Wednesday, November 26, 2008

To Grandma's House We Go, Not

Somehow this does not feel like it should be Thanksgiving already. Other than the madhouse at the grocery stores, who would know? The weather here certainly does not lend itself to the feeling of the holiday. Today it is cool, tomorrow should be a lot warmer, almost 80 degrees. Then it should rain. I know one thing for sure. When we go to Amanda's for dinner, we will park as close to the street as we can. The old first in, first out trick. Plus if it does rain in the afternoon, I would rather not get stuck in the mud.

Annie called me the other day to say that she had "pink eye". Oh, joy-just wait till the kids get it! Then she called me this morning to tell me that she is better, but she is passing it on to the kids. Ha. She did tell me that they are bringing my computer back. Yea! Jason had to completely wipe out the hard drive and reinstall the operating system. We had two hard drives which we had at one point used as master and slave,but one is now dead. But at least I will be able to use it again. I've been using Jimmy's laptop just to keep up on things but I have not wanted to make any additions or changes to it.

I can't believe there have been people in line since yesterday for Black Friday sales at some places. Are they nuts? We went shopping on Black Friday one time and since then we refuse to go to any store on that day again. Too much pushing, shoving and crabby people. Besides with my luck, I would stand in line for ever only to get to the head on the line and be told everything had sold out.

I guess we will watch football tomorrow. Texas will play and there are a couple of pro games. We will watch to see what the Longhorns do. I have a hard time understand the BCS ranking system and how some "experts" feel that Oklahoma could jump over Texas for the National Championship. Jeez...

I am a little sad because the road beside us is about to be widened. As a result "right of way" has meant a lot of trees are being cut down, including two in the yard of our building. Things just don't look right without the trees. The 64cent question is just how close will the road be to our building. It looks like most of the yard will be gone. And of course the landlady is saying nothing.

Oh well, now I have to take Lady outside and then find my way back to the kitchen so that I can start boiling some eggs. I think 24 eggs should make enough deviled eggs. Then Jimmy is going to make a couple of buttermilk pies.

Hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Who"s Idea Was This, Anyway?

We made our usual trip to the grocery store Friday afternoon. We did not really need a lot of stuff this time. We did want to check out prices on things. We didn't need a turkey since we are not cooking for Thanksgiving. Amanda has the pleasure of doing that at her place this year. Yeah, I don't have to cook and I can leave when I get ready, Yipee!. So we wander around WalMart looking at different things. I'm making note of the prices poinsettias and Christmas cactus plants for later.

Later that evening Amanda called me. "I need a favor..." That is always an ominous sign. She wanted me to make deviled eggs. Hum. She says she can't make them. Uh, it's not that hard, at least the way I do it...ok. So since Jimmy had planned to use the eggs we had on something else, we decided to go to another store later in the weekend. After all we were going to Fry's Electronics and Petsmart Saturday. He needed some cd's so he could burn some music and I wanted a couple more guppies and an algae eater for the little tank.

We came up with what we thought was a brilliant plan of when to go to the grocery store. We would go on Sunday morning while everyone was at church. Yes it was an evil plan. Get in, look around, get what we wanted, get out. Trouble was that apparently a lot of people must have made the same plan. Shame on us all! The place was packed. And for some reason, every where I went, all the people seemed to follow. While I checked out the produce, I noticed people going to the same spots I was looking. Then when I went to get some bread, guess who I discovered following right along behind me. The same people I left at the produce center! This seemed to go on every where I went. I began to feel like a magnet. Hey, people why are you not in church! Why are you following me? Everywhere I go, here you come behind me! What do I look like, a door man? I stopped by the cooking demonstation and found a good sample of some apple, cranberry stuffing. I'm going to have to get that recipe. Yum!

Finally, we got what we wanted and decided to make a run for it to the check outs! Yikes look at all those people... We found a spot to check out. Guess who all decided to check out? Oh, boy! Then as we get all our stuff out of the basket for the guy to check, the bagger leaves. Uh, escuse me, hello. Well at least the checker was nice. I helped our checker get the stuff bagged. Then it was a race for the exit!

Man, what a madhouse. I was glad to get out of there. It was not even noon. Trust me, I am not going anywhere near a grocery store Wednesday afternoon or evening. I will be home, sipping wine. Jimmy will be playing poker. I might say a prayer for those last minute shoppers trying to get things ready for Thanksgiving. They are going to need it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ah, The Sweet Scent

I love nice candles, especially in the fall and winter. I can remember a few years ago people would walk into our house and immediately comment on the smell. Jimmy likes the apple cinnamon scent. We also like pumpkin and other spice scents. During the holidays I even like the evergreen candles. We used to buy a collection of candles for $10 at WalMart, one big, a couple of smaller ones and a couple of little ones. The nice smell made you feel warm and cozy.

So what happened to candles? We just bought another box of our favorite candle set but unless I am standing almost on top of it, there is very little smell. Is it just me? I know that Amanda's mother was into candle making a while ago. Hers seemed to have more scent. At first I thought it was just WalMart, but even candles from other stores costing much more don't seem to have a lasting fragrance. I'm stumped.

Where have all the good smelling candles gone? Do I have to make my own so that I can actually smell them? Maybe I guess I will have to go back to the flea market and buy some of the "home-made" ones. I just don't understand why candles don't provide the aroma they used to. I used to get a pumpkin pie or apple pie scented candle and someone always asked me if I had baked a pie. Now- nothing. I long for that warm sweet home scent. Especially these days, right?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Christmas Tree's Saga

Drive around any town these days and you will notice that the Christmas trees will soon be ready to sell. The real trees that is. After all they only appear once a year. Right now the lots are getting ready by setting aside space to display the new crop of Christmas trees. But what about the trees? Did any one ever ask the trees if they wanted to do this? Imagine if you were this tree.

Ah, what a nice day. The sun is shinning, birds are singing, saws are buzzing. Saws! Saws! Oh, no, please don't cut me down. I like it here. There are lots of us here. Don't take me. Wow that was close. Did you see that big one fall. Man, I hope I get to stay here, I have some growing to do. I'm only 6 feet tall. Uh, what are you doing? Why am I shaking? I don't want...slam! Hey I'm down here! Hello, what are you doing? Uh, hey you are dragging me. Careful man, I have a lot of nice branches here. What do you mean I am going for a ride?

Where am I? Who are you? Are you flocked? Who did that to you? Ah chew, sorry I am allergic to your flocking. Boy I am glad they did not do that to me. Oh now what? What's that you are doing? Standing me up? What happened to my roots? I' m where? At a Christmas tree lot! I'm going to be sold! Oh no, you me I'm going to a house? Why? So people can decorate me? What do you mean by "decorate". I look fine just the way I am. Of course I did lose some little branch es while on the trip here. Hey kid, go away. Oh no, these people are walking around me, please go away. Thank you, yeah that skinny one will do just fine. Right? Yikes. Now what? Hey, take it easy!

Ouch! what are you doing with that thing. No, I don't want you to screw those things into me. Hey that hurts. Eek, that water is cold, hey you could have at least used warm water! What are those boxes for. All of that bright, shiny stuff. Why is that cat looking at me that way? Decorate me for Christmas? But I look fine just the way I am. Excuse me, that is private, what do you mean lights there? Why do I need lights? What's an ornament? Oh, those are ornaments? What are you doing, hey, quit that tickles. You are going to let that kid do this to me? Look out! Oops, well that's once less I'll have to wear.

I'm so embarrassed. Look at all this stuff they put all over me. What if I sneeze? Don't even think about getting up here, cat. Nice dog, go away... Uh, in case you people have not noticed, my branches are getting heavy. How much more are you going to do to me? You already put lights in places I didn't know I had, then you put all those colored balls on every little spot. Bows, too. Hey, look birds! Hi, guys. Uh, guys...hello. Why don't those birds fly? Oh, they don't fly.

Oh that is a nice warm blanket around my trunk. What's that? Is that a train? What, why is it going around me? Oh my, look at all that stuff the people are putting around me. Man that is a lot of color. Those look nice. How long will I be this way. Can I go back to the woods? No? What do you mean no? What do you mean you are going to throw me out? Well, this is going to be a find mess. I do all this work and they throw me away. Outside? At the curb? Oh dear.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Good, Bad, Funny, Sad

Well, the other shoe dropped on the hospital in Galveston. The teaching hospital will lay off 3,800 employees due mostly to the damage caused by Ike. Some have already found other jobs at Houston hospitals. That is the good thing. The bad thing is that this may cause some problems for the already overworked Houston hospitals not to mention the economic loss for Galveston.

As for our family soap opera, the revolving doors keep turning. While Pat and Amanda were here last week I learned that they both have parted ways with their romantic partners. Ok, let's make the changes on the score cards. Pat dumped the girl cause she was racing to "love" but he wasn't in the fast lane. Amanda and her friend remain friends... I always wondered what would happen if either or both couples were to break up. Next up, who knows?

In a side story, ever know someone who pesters you for business and then when you give in, they all but disappear? A friend of Amanda who has a business wanted Jimmy to go in with him on some work but as soon as the arrangements were done guess what? Haven't heard a word from him. That figures. A lot of talk, nothing to show for it. At least, it didn't cost us anything.

People in Houston are a little sad these days. The Houston Zoo's baby elephant died this week. There will be a memorial for the little guy. He was two years old and was named Mac. He was quite an attraction.

We might actually get some "cold" weather this week-end. Today it is nice and warm. I'm wearing shorts. By tomorrow morning it is supposed to get really cold with 15 to 30mph winds. Time to turn on the heater and drag out the blanket, again. Then next week it will probably be hot again. Canadian cold fronts just don't stay around here for long. Now where is that blanket, anyway?

I'm off now to feed the guppies. We bought a few guppies recently to put in our 10 gallon tank. Now I am watching over the one tiny little one I discovered hiding the other day. I did not notice that any of the females were pregnant. So now we have four male and four female and one ??

So much for life in Houston. Now back to the tv soaps.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Third Time the Charm, Sort Of

Well Jan finally made it to Houston. Living in Leesburg ,Va and working around the Washington area had become a bit of a hassle the last few months. She told us of all the traffic problems thanks to the candidates visits. Plus her job as a CPA is stressful and her house is being rebuilt, so there is quite a bit of stress there. Needless to say she was glad to get away.

One of the first things she did when she got here was look at the football tickets. Those poor tickets. She was worried that we would not get them cause she sent them UPS overnight but they took a couple of days instead. Then when we did get them we did not even open the envelope. So we started joking about it. Let's look inside. Maybe there are no tickets. Some UPS guy is going to the game, Ha. So then when we looked at the tickets we got a good laugh cause this game was originally set to be the home opener on Sept 14 known as "liberty white liftoff". The team would be wearing their white jerseys and fans would wear their white to support the team. Funny how on the top of the ticket it say game 1 for the first home game.

The seats were great, on the 45 yard line a few rows up from the field. We had a great view of the players on the field as well as the Texans bench. The game, on the other hand, was terrible. There is no other way to describe it. From the penalties called against us to the interceptions Rosenfels threw. We were only 6 points down at the half but after halftime it went down hill quickly. Was this really our team? Somebody must have kidnapped the team.Our team isn't that bad, right?No, they are bad. We lost 41-13. Before the fourth quarter was even half over fans were leaving. On the other hand maybe we could change the schedule and play Detroit over and over. Oh well. I did enjoy seeing the stadium set up for football. Really nice. The fly-over by those four huge military choppers was awesome. The only other time I have been in the stadium was during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last year when we watched Toby Keith .

Jan did "pig out" on Jimmy's chicken enchilada pie. Maybe we should send her a batch for Christmas? She really likes it. We did not get to do too much else cause it rained off and on Monday and Tuesday. We did manage to run out between rain storms on Monday to go to the Texas Land and Cattle steakhouse. Yummmmm.

Alas the luck didn't hold the whole time. Tuesday she was supposed to leave about 2:30 in the afternoon. She got a message on her phone telling her that her flight out of Houston had been changed, maybe because of the rain or maybe because of equpment. The flight was pushed back a couple of hours which made her connecting flight have to be changed too. She had to stop in Charlotte NC to connect to the flight to Washington Dulles airport. So we had to wait a while at the Houston airport a little longer. Oh well, we had a snack while she waited. And of course a little wine at the bar...

Sure is quiet around here now. But not for long - Thanksgiving will be here soon. Amanda is having Thanksgiving dinner where she lives. Annie said they are coming and they think Traci and her family too. It just dawned on me the other day that means, if they all come, we will have nine extra people here with us. Yikes!

Friday, November 07, 2008

We'll Try This Again, For the Third Time

This week-end our friend Jan will finally come from her oft postponed visit. Her house is continuing to be rebuilt after the devastating fire. That's what kept her from coming down the first time. We went to the baseball game without her. Of course the Astros lost. But we had nice seats.

Next try was when we were going to get together and go see the Texans play the Ravens. Ike had a different plan. The game was pushed back until this week-end. Reliant Stadium sustained significant damage to the roof which won't be fixed until next year. I wonder if it will be fixed in time for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this spring. Right now the retractable roof is open because it can't be fixed yet. We have good seats again for the Texans-Ravens game. But our quarterback Matt Schaub is injured and the backup Sage Rosenfels will start. Linebacker Zac Diles, our leading tackler broke his leg in practice. Oh well, at 3-5, we are not exactly scaring anyone.

There was even a question about if she would make it this week-end. First her ex-husband had planned to be out of town at the same time she planned to be out of town. Normally this would not be a problem but they cat-sit each other's cats. Don't even ask why. I guess they still depend on each other for some things. She does seem to be "needy". She keeps trying to find a new man to pal with, but she is not having much luck. She's been on a singles cruise, gone to some singles activities and now she is trying an internet dating service. For a while it looked like she might get a date for this week-end, but she decided not to do so. Too bad we don't know enough unattatched men that she might like.

So she is flying in tomorrow afternoon. Maybe the third time will be the charm. The Texans could use a charm. Now if I can just get Jimmy to take Monday and Tuesday off. After all some people take a couple of days off to go hunting or to just go home. Me- I'm looking forward to going out for a steak dinner.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yes, Anyone Can Grow Up to be President

Now that we have a President -Elect, the hard work is just beginning. The President's staff has to be selected and Cabinet members have to be picked. Even before the election both Obama and McCain were getting briefings on security issues and such. No matter who we voted for we will never really know how hard the job of President of the United States is. Even the candidates don't really know the gravity of the job. Just picking the White House staff is daunting. The choice of a President's Chief of Staff is very important. No President should be surrounded by "yes-men". A staff should be well rounded, intelligent and smart and not afraid to disagree. Given the state of our many problems as well as the world problems, cabinet choices are extremely important.

After watching news reports about the need to pick the right people to fill key positions and how to deal with the current important world and nationial issues, I thought what if... Imagine, as the new President-Elect given all the information he will need to know, he begins to realize the job is more than he thought it would be. Just think of a picture of this person sitting at a desk as information is brought in and put on his desk. The phone rings constantly. People are wanting meetings, decisions big and small. They say, we need an answer now!The piles of papers and files get higher and higher. Suppose, after seeing all this he says "this is more than I thought it would be." Who wouldn't.

I don't care how much experience candidates say they have or how ready they say they are to lead our county, they are not. We are going to expect immediate action. It won't happen. Neither Wall Street nor Main Street will improve overnight. The global economy will not change overnight. Our allies will want answers. So will our enemies. This job will change a person. Just look at how Presidents have aged over their years in the Oval Office. It's enough for a person to look at what is ahead and say, "This is more than I thought it would be, get somebody else."

That won't happen. We need to keep in mind when we look at the Presidency, it is a tough job. It is much tougher than any job we will ever have. We have all heard that any child in America can grow up to be President. Why would anyone want to. But some do. Some are good at the job, others are not. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Crunch Time, Finally, the Ads Will Cease

After all these many, many months and all those campaign ads on tv and radio, we finally will know who will run things in our states and our country. I will not miss the ads. From the national to the state and local ads, I have had enough. Last night while I tried to watch "Dancing With the Stars" I counted 7 political ads in among 2 regular product ads at almost every break. I never thought I would be glad to see the annoying Sonic people again. At least now I can get annoyed with the onslaught on Christmas ads. Who would have thought that I would look forward to the truck, car, and "Glade" ads.

We've heard all the speeches and all the analysis of what the candidates have said. Our country is at a cross-roads. Which ever road we now take will shape not only our country for the future but also the world. Citizens of the world are watching as we elect our next President of the United States. The world is looking for leadership. God Bless America.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Merry Christmas!

No, you have not suddenly escaped from a time warp. After all, Halloween is the official start of the holiday season. Just look at WalMart. We stopped there Friday afternoon to pick up some stuff. As we walked in the door while the last minute shoppers were grabbing Halloween candy, I saw a decorated Christmas tree in the front of the store. A guy had already hung one wreath and was working on another one. So just when will the Christmas carols be booming over the speakers? I even saw a cartoon which featured a couple walking around a neighborhood. There was a snowman with a trick or treat bag, a wreath on the door and Santa in the window. A ghost wearing a Santa cap was hanging from a tree while a pumpkin sat on the porch wearing a Santa beard. The couple walking made a comment "Guess it was inevitable" as they walked by a sign hanging across the building which said "Merry Thanksgivoween - Sept 1 thru Jan 1". So much for a breather between the holidays.

When we got home from shopping we got busy making some chili and chicken enchilada pie. Of course when Jimmy decides to make these two things he makes a whole lot of it. We made about 10 pounds of chili and froze most of it for later. Then he made one of our family favorites -chicken enchilada pie. He tripled the recipe. That too, we stuck in the freezer. Now our freezer is begining to look like it did before Ike.

One thing I think I may ask Santa to bring for Christmas, if not before, is a new can opener. Our ancient can opener has become crabby and rarely works anymore. Luckily I still have an old fashioned hand crank opener. But after opening 6 cans of pinto beans, 6 cans of rotel, 6 cans each of cream of chicken and mushroom soup, my wrist is complaining. Yeah, I may have to ask Santa to bring an electric can opener a little early. We are having company later in the week.

Well now I have to go finish the laundry. I wonder what we will have for supper? Oh yeah, chili! Jingle bells, jingle bells...Onward through the snow, oh wait, there is no snow here. Nevermind.