Thursday, May 31, 2012

Critters 3: Not for the Squeamish

DISCLAIMER: This post contains some grossness. If you are squeamish, I implore you: Do not page down!

This isn't a critter, but even my vegetables have been icky lately.  The potatoes turned into alien pods, just waiting to sick their tentacles into an unwitting human.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Now back to critters.  Walking home with Mr. T on a Tuesday, we encountered a lot of critters.

A bug in the street...

A Bug's Life

That wasn't so bad.  But watch out!  I warned you!

What the hell is that?  An "ugh" on my front porch...

Jurassic Park

A dead desiccated fetal bird looks rather prehistoric.  It reminded me of the velociraptor fossil in Jurassic Park.   I disposed of this myself, protected by a paper towel.

It gets worse.  Please remember that I warned you!

We got in the house to find that Homer had brought in a souvenir. Frank reported that Homer had been vigorously playing with it earlier but had gotten a little bored by the time we arrived.

The Amazing Spider-Man?

Frank kindly took the still-moving tail outside.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Can Start Now

Frank's school finished two weeks ago.  Ernest has finals this week.

Handy and I saw The Beach Boys on their 50th anniversary tour last night.

So it must be time for summer!

Some people get great concert pictures from their iPhones.  Apparently I don't.

I do see some great people, though.  These "California Girls" were rockin' it throughout the whole concert.

You go, girls!

As always, we had interesting seat-mates.  A young guy in front of us was thrilled to have scored a cheap ticket at the entrance.  He already had a ticket for the other Bowl concert.  Such a big fan, it's too bad he couldn't get the band member's names right  (Mike Stone?).  He was yapping all this to the man a few seats to his left, who bore an amazing resemblance to Ken Jeong but with glasses.  Although said young man got his ticket cheap, he said the seller gave the last ticket away.  That lucky recipient was a ringer for Rutina Wesley.  She sat next to me.  She was pretty quiet, although she worried me when she went somewhere and left her purse on the seat.  She sang a bit at the end and had a nice voice, as did the lady behind me.  Who may have been kicking my chair a bunch of times, but was not the one who whacked my head with a purse.  And so it goes.

The music, I must say, was fantastic.

The Beach Boys have had so many amazing songs over the years!  What's your favorite?

I've always loved Wouldn't It Be Nice.  I can't embed it, but here's the link.

Good Vibrations, everyone!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Korean Tacos

Living in the boonies small town rural area like we do, we are not up on the current food truck trends.  Food trucks do not generally make it this far, except for the Tiki Taco truck which made it to the last bike race.

However, even I have heard of the food trend called Korean Tacos.  Ernest said he'd been on a field trip to JPL and they chased down the Kogi truck for dinner.  And Frank had a Korean BBQ at a friend's house just this week.

Something new to cook?  I'm on it.

I used Frank's recipe for the marinade:  soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey.  I threw in some sherry too. My trusty grill pan did its job.

For the slaw, I more or less followed this recipe from Food for My Family.  Not finding daikon, I substituted radishes.  They added a bit of color.

Top with a drizzle of Sriracha chili sauce and oh my goodness, so tasty and spicy!  How good was it?  NO LEFTOVERS!

I ended up with a few more jars to clutter up the fridge.  Kim Chi was not in the recipes but I had to have it.

My husband saw the Sriracha and said, "Oh, you got C*ck Sauce."  Where DO YOU go for lunch, honey?

Friday, May 25, 2012

i wAS In A daZe

It wasn't the birthday, it was the bike race that did me in.  NorCal vs. SoCal.

Not that I raced, of course.  But being it was a home game, so to speak, the team moms (all 3 of us) decided to go all out and provide a Saturday pre-ride barbecue dinner AND a Sunday after-race burger lunch.

The moms and dads volunteered, too. Handy directed parking for 3 hours, and straggled past me at the merchandise tent, swearing "never again" and "people are A**h*l*s."

I hit the sweet spot of volunteering -- merchandising.  Had I know, I would have volunteered for that every race!  (Next year.)  It just suited me.  Shade!  Plus counting change, organizing, recordkeeping, saying good luck and thank you, and smiling.  Plus shade.  I should emphasize that again.  SHADE!  Because the temperature got up to 90.

The riders were not so lucky.  In the heat and dust, B finished 18th, disappointing for him because he finished the SoCal season in 2nd place.  P finished 24th in his category...a miracle considering his chain fell off 3 times.  Ernest, poor Ernest, ended up with a sprained ankle when a rider in in front of him slowed unexpectedly.  Ernest slid into a thistle.  He's lucky he didn't get scratched up.

It was a pretty day.  There's a teeny-tiny rider at the top of the ridge on the right.

The trophies were unique.

I saw the Mad Hatter but he had nothing new, just the dalmatian hat again. I was disappointed!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Made for Me

Hello! Where was I? Life interrupted.

I told my guys I didn't want anything for Mother's Day.

So they cleaned up the garden for me. Awwwww.

It's so pretty!

For my birthday I asked for one thing.  It's an activity, really.  They gave me a certificate for it.  It's happening on Saturday!  I didn't ask for anything else but ...

I got my CAKE!!!  Thank you Frank!  Red Velvet Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.  And it was a Pretty Cake, too!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Another Critter Tale, From Long Ago

Did I have to clean up squirrel poop, asked Green Girl.  Not this time.  But long ago, back in October 2006, I had this story to tell ...

Photo from

"Thursday about 4 a.m. I woke from my usually restless sleep to hear heavy breathing in my bedroom. It was not my husband. The noise disappeared but I was suspicious. It was definitely not the cat, so I investigated. Imagine my horror when I spotted an evil raccoon on the stairs. It beat a quick retreat to the sewing/guest room where it made an awful clatter. I freaked out, woke Handy, and made him go upstairs to see what the raccoon was doing. (Handy is a true gentleman, by the way.)

The raccoon had climbed up to the top of a bookcase (knocking down some Barbies). We didn't know how to get it down. I called 911, who kindly contacted Animal Control for me. The nice sleepy young woman from Animal Control said she was 30 miles away, so it would be at least half an hour before she could get there. She asked, was there anything breakable in the room because the raccoon was going to get pretty agitated when she tried to get it.

Agitated? It was already agitated. So I begged Handy to get a long stick and poke it off the bookcase because I couldn't stand the thought of it being in the house any longer. He used one of Frank's stilts. First the raccoon fell against the door, which slammed shut, and then it retreated back to the bookcase. In its terror, it (how shall we put this politely?) evacuated its bowels. We opened the door and Handy tried again. Success! It ran down the stairs and out the door.

Yes, this is the sequel to last year's saga about raccoons coming in through the cat door. Since then we've locked the cat door at night. But the cat wants to go out. So Handy had been leaving the screen door in our bedroom open just a cat's-width. Up to now the raccoons had not discovered the opening.

So, Handy kindly cleaned up the poo in the morning. There are still paw marks on the wall up high...I'm going to have to get a ladder to clean them off. Friday morning the corner of the front flower bed was all dug up. The raccoon's revenge.

Imagine how awful it would have been if it had gone into Ernest's room instead. We're closing his door from now on."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My New Quiche

I've been making quiche from the same recipe since I was in college.  Let's round that off to 30 years.  Oh my goodness!  The recipe was handed down to me by my father.  Who got it from his quiche pan!  It's been good, all these years, so I haven't messed with it.

But last week I cooked for Hogwarts' staff appreciation day* and they had specific recipes to use.  The new recipe was really good.  I might stick with it for a while.  It's a little firmer.  I used to put the cheese on top, but the new recipe has the cheese on the bottom. I like it better that way -- it doesn't make a hard chewy layer on the top.

Change is good for me, whether it's the New Timeline, New Blogger or now, the New Quiche.

This has swiss cheese, bacon, broccolini (leftover!), and red onions.

Old Quiche
your choice: sauteed onions, bacon, veg, etc.
2 c. grated cheese
2 c. half and half
4 eggs
nutmeg, salt, pepper

New Quiche
1 1/4 c. grated cheese
your choice, etc.
1 1/2 c. milk
4 eggs                                           (updated, thanks Kate!)
3 T flour
1/4 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. salt
sprinkling of thyme

* At our old school, Staff Appreciation Day used to be catered by the PTO.  This year, the kitchen staff did it.  That doesn't seem right, the staff cooking their own staff appreciation day meal?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Critter Country

Well, hello little friend. How did you get up there?

Oh, I see now...

Homer chased the squirrel The squirrel retreated into the garage and Homer followed it. But Homer didn't quite know what to do, and the squirrel escaped into the trees.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It might have been this

Imagine this, run over hundreds of times until it was flat.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I made the recipe on the back of these potatoes the other night.  Or rather, I threw the ingredients in the bowl while Ernest smashed up the potatoes.  He took a taste, and then said, "Mom, I have to lick the masher!"  They were that good.  Of course I did not have brie in the house so I substituted cream cheese.  This recipe is a keeper.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Scoop

This week's PhotoHunt Theme is SCOOP.  I immediately thought of all the cookie scooping we've done around here.

We often make cookies when Mr. T comes to visit.  He's learned how to expertly use Frank's cookie scoop.  We need to make another batch next week.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Well, I'll be...

Some of you may have seen this picture on my Facebook timeline yesterday... (well, I'll be a son of a gun, I'm one of those people that likes that newfangled thing)

Ernest walked in yesterday, saying, "Mom, there's something in the tire."  "Where?" I asked innocently.  "Oh, you'll see it.  It's pretty blatant."

Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle, that's some heavy metal. Handy Husband wished it had been in a front tire instead of a back one. "The fronts are down to their wear bars, but the backs could have gone for another 5,000 miles," he explained. Ah well, a new set of tires is arriving at the only local tire store tomorrow. Guess what I get to do.

So today was musical cars day.  Obviously, Ernest's car was out of commission.  Frank left for school in his car.  Handy needed the truck.  That left my car and Handy's fun car.  I offered Ernest my car, a lowly automatic.  He tried his best to negotiate his way into using his dad's stick but I held firm.

Turns out I had to drive out to snag Ernest at lunchtime to sign something for his visa for this summer's trip .  Well, I'll be a blue nosed gopher, that sly boy finagled a car swap then.  Hope he enjoys the ride home.

I went home to put together the packet of visa papers, and trudged off to the FedEx drop box.  We were supposed to include a copy of his driver's license, but all he has is the temporary copy.  Well, I'll be jiggered, guess what was in the mailbox when I got back?  The actual license.

Welcome to one of those "well, I'll be" days.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Bike Race Parking Lot Blues

Too many cars in one tiny place
Ain't gonna fit in this little space
A rock or a hard place for me to choose
I got the bike race parking lot blues
-lyrics by me, obviously
In keeping with my look on the bright side of life* theme ...well, I just can't right this minute...

While we did not mind the twisty windy highways up to the venue, the half mile on the sandy yet rocky jeep track left us less than pleased...oh, please don't let us shred a tire because we only have run-flats.  And the lack of parking!  We parked where we though we would not be blocked but when we tried to leave there was a 20-long string of polaris-type vehicles.  "Oh, we're leaving right now," the last one in line said at 3:00.  tick.  tick.  tick.  Yeah, 20 minutes later is "right now"...  and my carefully planned time window compacts.  But thank my personal time planning goddessness because we still got to the chalet check-in office in time.

There was not even enough parking for the Saturday crowd, which seemed to be less than half of the Sunday crowd.  On Sunday they did "stack parking" like at the Hollywood Bowl.

So we vowed we would park on the highway.  Only when we got there they said, you have to park off the white line.  But there was no space off the white line, only bushes.  We drove back to a turnout and begged the parking man to put us in a mini space.

Then my favorite person of the weekend appeared.  The man with the shuttle van.  He saved my life and my sanity! I wish I knew his name...I did give him my last bottle of cold water on the last trip as a thank you.

We are looking forward to the last race of the season because it is in our own backyard, so to speak, and there is a gigantic open field for parking!

Now that I've got the gripes out of the way, I have to say the view was absolutely glorious!

Looking up the long hill at the end of the course.

I was distracted by pretty flowers.

Coach goes down the long hill.

Ernest rides up said hill at the end of his first lap.

Ernest rounding the ridiculously stupid u-turn at the beginning of the 3rd lap.

See ya.

Unfortunately, he did not finish the course...heat, altitude, dehydration.  Another bummer.


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Mad Hatter's Little Sister

I thought I got a quick phone picture of the funky hat guy but I guess not. It was a duplicate of his dalmation hat only in grey. Bo-Ring.

I guess he loaned the dalmatian hat to his little sister...

She's mixing cats and dogs together.  A brave fashion choice!

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Blues, Feline Style

I sent this to my husband and he replied, "I recognize that song. It's an old standard called 'My Kibble Bowl is Empty Blues.'"

It looks like Homer only half his weight.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Boss

Concert season has begun, so last week the Handy Husband and I headed down to L.A. to see the Boss at the Sports Arena.  We made a few stops along the way.  Lunch at Philippe's, home of the French Dip Sandwich.  Oh so good, with cole slaw and potato sandwich.  I wish I'd been adventurous enough to order a pickled egg.

Then we saw dinosaur bones and other natural wonders at the Natural History Museum.  The sparkling gemstones, they called to me!

After a room service dinner, we walked from the hotel to the concert.

Oh, the Boss.  You know how I love him.  He did not disappoint.  We had better seats this time, close enough so I could see Patti's cheekbones and Little Steven's pouting sneer.

As it always happens, we were seated near the Biggest Fan.  Robby was kind enough to introduce himself before he sat his 6 foot 2 self down in front of me, telling us, "I'm your worst concert nightmare.  I wave my arms and dance around.  But if it bothers you, I'd be happy to change seats with you."  We were in the back row of the section.  Well, a polite obnoxious fan, that's a change.  Actually, he was really nice and his bopping didn't bother me at all because he was halfway out in the aisle and I could easily see between him and his much quieter friend, Luis.  He also told us about his absent 6 foot 4 friend, who "is even worse than I am" so I am quite glad ---- (I forgot his name but it will come to me) missed this show.

Someone asked me what it was like without the Big Man.  Just fine, although the band thought it took two to fill his shoes.  Jake Clemons has an enthusiastic stage presence, but he should have been miked louder.  Eddie Manion was excellent, too.  There was a nice tribute during 10th Avenue Freeze out...

So sweet, he danced with his sister!  I don't want to be his sister, though.  

Great show!

In the morning, we had breakfast at the place than never closes, then looked at some cool cars.

See ya later...Ernest has another bike race so he and I are off to Lake Arrowhead for the weekend.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Zap

We had a brief trip to Los Angeles last week, which would have been incomplete for my husband without a trip to the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Here's my ZAP for the Saturday PhotoHunt -- but is it Grease Lightning or Greased Lightening?  The Broadway Internet Database says "greased."  You decide.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Putting the Good and Notsogood into Perspective

You know it's never all good.  But it's mostly good.  Ernest got his driver's license today! (I was NOT ALLOWED to take a picture of him driving off.  He is getting annoying about my photographic documentation.)  But he arrived home from school with a cracked iPad.  I volunteered to take it to the Apple hospital tomorrow.  Because I don't have to drive him to school!!!

So I think I can put the coming week into perspective...

I can sit at the computer tonight and blog because Homer has taken over my chair.
I can spend time in a beautiful town tomorrow because of a small accident.
I can go to the beautiful mountains this weekend because Ernest has another bike race.

What can you do tonight, tomorrow, or on the weekend?