What’s in a Christmas Tree?

My Chirstmas Tree for 20 years

My Christmas Tree  of 20 Christmases bit the dust.  It disintegrated right before my eyes last year.  I had been hanging on to this Mountain King for years watching it slowly lose its grip on its faux life.  I simply refused to throw it out even though she was begging for mercy.  While putting the old girl away last year,  she gave up the ghost completely.  I gave her a proper farewell and wondered how would I replace her.

Fast forward to this year.  I can’t find a forever Christmas tree I like.  I have search high and low but nothing can compare to the love and memories of my old tree.  The old girl saw my children grow up, she saw my favorite pooches and assorted critters come in and pass on, she saw and felt my grandkids’ smile and yank at her pretty baubles.  She saw my bed head and no make-up.  She saw me playing Santa  and even caught me sneaking a tiny peek of my presents.  She knew how to keep a secret.  She saw a lot over the years and dang, I miss her.

Well, there is no use crying over broken branches I have to find the perfect forever tree, again.  What I have found out there are hundreds of different trees to choose from with a variety of adornments.  I found a few that were very interesting.  I took these photos with permission of the store owner.

My goodness, look at what’s in this tree.  There are dear horns growing from the trunk.  There are wolves, deer and elk hanging on the  tree.  I love it, I really love it but it is not the one for me.

The Lollie Tree

This Lollie Tree is cool, however,  my Grandkids will not be here for the next year or two.  But could you imagine how excited they would be?  Knowing them they would try every piece of candy and gingerbread man on that tree just trying to find the real one.  Can you say, Hello 911 what is your emergency?  Not for us but I do love the festiveness of it all.

How about a Dancing Doll Tree.  Ballet dancers all over with pink and silver colors.  OOooo that would be perfect if daughter were younger and a girlie girl.

This is a Turquoise and Wreath

This tree is Cool!  I love the color Turquoise.  It has a hodge podge of goodie and I love the shape but it just does not feel right for me.

The Bird Christmas Tree

I love this tree with the birds.  I have a soft spot for Birdies.

The Butterfly Christmas Tree

How about this Butterfly Tree?  It is sort of hard to see them but the butterflies are golden and so me!  But I am still not sure.

I had so much fun looking at the different trees today.  There were at least 25 or 30 dressed trees in the store.  By the way, if you are wondering where this awesome place is…  It is in Cloudcroft NM at a store called the Bear Track.

Every tree is beautiful and unique but I will keep on looking.  Hubs wants to get a real tree.  A REAL TREE.  I have never had a real tree in my whole life.  I know nothing about keeping a real tree.  I do know the needles fall out.  And they are suppose to make your house smell good.  Hubs really has his heart set on a real tree.  I think I will humor him and at least go look at them.

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aMusing Mondays: Raven part Daux or My Wife Has Lost Her Mind

gatewaytosed

FYI: My Wife Has Lost Her Mind was Hubs suggestion for this entry when I posted this on the webcam last summer.

The first year I lived here, I was seeing things that this city girl had never been exposed to. For example, mountain lions, bears, and horny toad lizards were just a few of the unusual things I was privy to see. Each time I saw something new, I would call my husband and tell him my experience with the new and exciting discovery. It was not until I started seeing things that were not normally in this area that my husband started to doubt my sanity. One day on the way to work, I swear I saw a wolf. Husband said it was a coyote. I said I know the difference between a wolf and a coyote. He said I was wrong and went on back to what he was doing. A few months later a news cast mentioned that the Mexican Gray Wolf had been spotted in the south central/east areas of New Mexico.  That is in our area.

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Next, I was going down to Walmart and saw a roadrunner by the ski area. Called husband again to tell him what I saw. He said at 9,000 ft in the winter snow, no less, you would not find a roadrunner. But yet there was that dang roadrunner crossing the highway. I was determined to prove to my husband I was not going crazy. I followed the car in front of me all the way down the mountain clear to the next town. I followed him until he parked in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. I jumped out of my car, rushed him and asked him if he saw what I think I saw crossing the hwy at the ski area.

“You mean that Roadrunner?” he asked with eyes as big as cantaloups.

“Hold it right there.”, I said excitedly.  I quickly called husband and said…

“Hold on I have someone here that saw the same thing I saw”

I shoved my cell at  the poor fellow that I had just accosted and asked him to tell my husband, who thinks I am going crazy, what he saw. The poor fellow was so nice he says “Hello?”. For a minute there, I think he thought I was crazy too. He did tell Hubs there was a roadrunner at the ski area in the snow. Then he gave me my phone back and backed away slowly. He did not turn his back to me until 20 ft. before the automatic doors. Yep, I think it is safe to say he thought I was crazy too.

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Then one day, I was headed down the mountain again. I got to the bottom and noticed a junk shop. You know the kind, junk everywhere and everything for sale. I was walking up to the door and noticed a dog. I leaned over to pat him and heard…”Hello” ” Whatca gona buy?” I look around and see NO ONE but the dog. The dog was just laying in the sun. His tail wagging and tongue hanging out. DANG! maybe I am going crazy. About that time, I heard, “Go on in.” This time I really start to look around. I am looking for anyone, for a speaker system or one of those rock speakers…you know the kind they put around the pool to deliver music to all that are swimming. NOTHING! I slowly go inside. All at once I notice a bird, a BIG bird. It was a crow. The biggest crow on the face of the earth. I get inside and decide to take my chances. I ask the guy inside if he knew he had a talking crow…A BIG TALKING CROW. He said yes but it was not a crow. He tells me it is a Common Raven. Turns out he found it years ago when it fell out of its nest. He could not bare to leave it to the elements so he brought it home and raised it. Somewhere along the way it started to pick up words. He said it knew about 50 plus word to date. I thought, OH BOY, what will husband think of this?   I decided to not say anything until I got home. I later told Hubs, in an eerie whisper 😉 ,  “A Raven spoke to me today.” Man oh Man, that was it for him. He thought I really had lost my mind. I explained the whole thing, but I am not sure he believed me. And after that, I decided to not tell him my further discoveries.

Who knew a Raven could speak? NOT THIS CITY GIRL!

Until next aMusing Monday

7 x 7 Award

I have received the 7×7 Link Award.    An honor I so humbly accept.  Thank you Miss Demure Restraint for finding me worthy enough.

It is so funny because it came on a day I was feeling blue and very, very sorry for myself.  I want to believe she made that decision before she bopped over to my blog and saw my pity party.  She tells  me it was given because she enjoys my blog.  This is a good thing.  I would hate to think it was because I was whining.   I want to take a second and tell everyone that commented on the temporary post of pity “Women over 50”, that I value each and every suggestion.  Your advice will not go unheeded.  Thank you so much for reaching out to me with all of your kindness.  It touched my heart in ways I have no words for.  I awoke with a feeling of hope and determination this morning.   Okay enough of that, on with the AWARD.

Here’s how this works.   The awarded selects seven of their own previous blog posts that represent certain categories: Most Beautiful, Most Helpful, Most Popular, Most Controversial, Most Surprisingly Successful, Most Underrated, Most Prideworthy, and then you pass the award along to seven new recipients.  This is somewhat baffling to me.  These categories  would be so much easier if they were something like: most stupid, most ridiculous, most forgettable, most ridiculous… etc.  But now I have to think.  If you read my blog, you know that thinking is not my strong point. Now, how in the world am I going to make these crazy snippets of my life fit these categories?

Well, here we go.  Remember to put on your imagination caps and try to see how I made these square stories fit into these round categories.

Most Beautiful –  I think that would have to be the time I photographed the King Bird and her babies.    Right before my eyes I watched a story of motherly love.  I did not set out to blog them it just came together that way.  I felt a needed to put it out there.  It is amazing to realize that in the  animal kingdom and the human world… Moms are the same across the board.  They love and let go like all mothers do.   Remember to open the Youtube page for the music as you read.  It is a must for the full effect.

Most Helpful –  This is tricky.  A lot of my post are of the stupid things I do.  I suppose you could take a lesson of what not to do from most of them. I am sure that would be most helpful to you.   But I did post one regarding a list of foods that are poisonous to dogs.  There are things on the list that surprised the heck out of me.  Many of the foods are in abundance during the holidays.  I was told by our vet that she sees an increase of pets right after the holidays.  So I hope this list will be helpful.

Most Popular – Oh lawd,  If I were to go by comments, there are two that are neck and neck.  Between the two, I think I will choose Legs,,,long, long, legs.  I just posted this on the 26th but man it received a ton of hits. It has to be the tags.  Something got them here and I would love to duplicate it.  HA.      WARNING!  If you hate creepy things DON’T READ IT.

Most Controversial –This one leaves no doubt.  Buckle up Buttercup it is Going to Get Ruff, I received a couple of few emails explaining how this post is causing undo panic and my internet information was incorrect. How dare I insult cooks around the world…. hmmmm.  I also had a comment that was along the same line, which I gladly approved.  I welcome comments good or bad.  I was once known as the Queen of Discontent.  NO, NO, NO, I was not discontented.  It was the position I held at my job. I was a CS and Complaints manager.  I loved, loved trying to satisfy the nuts discontented people who walked through my doors.  And that is really the truth I loved that job.  This is also the one Ms. D loves.

Most Surprisingly Successful –  Now this story is successful in the way of proving a hypothesis to be plausible in true Myth Buster style.  It did not get a lot of hits but it was one of the most memorable and successful experiments in my life.  MacGruber would be proud.   Wow, IT ITS TRUE. 

Most Underrated – This one was the 4th post I ever posted.  It is Rita’s favorite.  I know this because she featured it on her blog under Salute to Subscribers.  I admire Rita’s command of the English language so for her to call this her favorite makes me think this one might be underratted.  AND this was one of the scariest times in my life.  Oh My, Hurry Hurry Honey.

Most Prideworthy –Well you will have to indulge me on this one.  In my mind, there is nothing pride worthy about my ability to write stories regarding the less than smart things I do.  My Pride lies with my love for my family.  “The Litter Mates”, which can be found on the button bar,  has a page devoted to each member of this family. ( I think I need to change the name of this page to The Pack. I mean litter mates  sounds so sibling like)   Anyway, they are my pride and joy.  I would, however,  like to call attention to Daughter.  She is a remarkable young person and it defiantly worthy of the read.  The Daughter

So now all I have left to do is forward this award to seven bloggers I think deserve it.  Here are the seven blogs I chose:

Renovating Rita —  Rita is such a giving and loving person.  Her post are written with such clarity and rhythm.  She is a true writer.  Not only are her post fun and at times thought-provoking, she share her stage with other bloggers in a special segment called Salute to Subscribers.  I have found so many fun people to read through her willingness to share.    I know you will love reading her.  Thank you for my Salute Rita.

The Hobbler —  I must warn you this is what I call the potato chip blog.  There is no way you can just read one of her post.  I especially like the post Bringing New Meaning to “Political Cartoon”  This girl has dedication to her post and readers.  Anyone that would spend this much time and effort to bring us the reader, so much thought and laughter deserves this award.  You go girl!

London survival — This guy is confusing to me a lot of the time.  I think because he has different customs being from London and he is much, much younger than me.  I mean, I pride myself for staying hip but it is pretty hard to keep up all the way to London.  Now having said that I really like this guy’s humor and his ability to freak me out “Satan’s Little Helpers”.  I think he is loads of fun.  If you like different yet fun, normal yet  exciting, you got to read him.  Love your blog Joe

The Petalpusher — a.k.a. The Incredible Lightness of Seeing.  This was a toughie.  I was also awarded the Versatile Blogger Award on my photo blog this week and I so wanted to nominate her as a recipient of that award too.  She can take a photo attach a short story to it and transport you in time.  I can not suggest my favorite because they have all been my favorites.  Just an all around beautiful blog.

Merrily Marylee — She is funny as all get out.  She, like me, writes about her family.  I alway look forward to her post.  If you enjoy reading about family then this one is for you.

I’ve been thinking about… — a.k.a Miss Whiplash a.k.a. Patrecia.  What a wonderful women.  Her post are honest and true.  She writes of things I have never heard of too.  Mainly because she came from the UK and now lives in Bulgaria with her husband Neville.  She writes from the heart.  She is sometimes funny and sometimes heartwarming.  I think you will like her too.

Garden Mad — This little gal is an awesome photographer.  She has opened my world with her photos.  Although she mainly post on Wordless Wednesdays and hardly ever types a word, she can tell a fabulous story just through her camera lens.

My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours — Okay everybody, I love this blog.  Funny, funny, funny is all I can say.  Every time I read this blog I feel like I am smack in the middle of an all girl Seinfeld show.  Myra will have you falling out of you chair with side-splitting laughter.  She is truly a hoot.

I wish I could put the whole group of wonderful writer I follow on here, but half of them would shoot me.  You see, most of them have every award available 4 times over.  Yes, they are just that good.

One last thing.   All 46 blogs I follow brings a certain level of awareness, happiness and love, to my heart.  If I follow you, I am your devoted reader.  I value your words.  They have pulled me through a very hard time when I was with my dad in the hospital.  They have got me through boring days at work. They have given me hope and an abundance of laughter.    They have caused me to spew my morning coffee all over my house.  They have brought tears to my eyes.  They have caused me to dig deeper into my soul.  For this, I thank all of the writers I follow and the new ones that are recommended through avenues like this award.

Thank you again Miss Demure Restraint for thinking enough of me to share this award.

Whacked out Wednesdays: Legs,,,Long Long Legs

Main characters D – Daughter, M – Me, H – Hubs

D – “Mom?”

M – “Yes”

D – “Did you see the message someone left on your phone?”

M – “You mean the screen saver that said, Good Morning I see the assassins have failed. Yes, I saw it and it sort of freaked me out. That is until I remembered seeing you pick up my phone as I was going to bed. Shame on you.”

D – Uncontrollable laughter

M- “Listen, you need to get your bath earlier tonight cause I am going to take a nice steamy bubble bath and I need all the water I can get. It is going to be a to the top jacuzzi night for me. And I want no interruptions for ANYONE.”

D- “K”

40 minutes later the shower running.

Ten minutes later, I see Daughter walking like a drenched zombi down the hall. Totally naked with dripping hair, soap on half of her body and glazed over eyes the size of silver dollars.

My immediate reaction was a horrid feeling in the pit of my stomach. I jumped up and ran to her to see what was going on.

M – ” Oh my god, what? What is it”

Her hands were trembling.

D – silent

M – ” DAUGHTER! what is wrong?”

D – (wee little voice) ” I.. I ..I ..I saw it.”

M- “What? Saw what?”

I ran to the bathroom and searched behind the door, out the window and in the hamper. Nothing. I turned off the water and ran back to her. Daughter now on the floor shaking uncontrollably.

M – WHAT?

I am now starting to get mad as all get out. I want answers.

D – ” I was siting in the shower shaving my legs. Something out of place caught my eye. I looked down and….and…

M – WHAT? WHAT?

D – That glazed eye look again.

M – “Honey what was it?” (softer now trying to reach her)

D – “Mom it was legs, hairy hairy legs.”

What the hell?

M – “Your legs?”

D – “NO! I saw hairy legs poking out of the holes of the drain cover. I kept watching and then two more legs crept out with a body attached!”

uncontrollable shaking, teeth chattering —-(oh that was me). Daughter was numb and still.

M – “WHAT?”

D – “Mom, a spider came out of the drain and it is still in the tub…..get it out!, Get It Out!,GET IT OUT NOW.”

M – “Okay, Okay, geez scare me to death next time won’t ya?”

Daughter has had a life long fear of spiders. She stopped taking baths because spiders would fall down on her in the water or they would hide in the jets of the tub. She would turn on the jets and out would come spiders trying to cling to her for dear life. She would be screaming her face off and scrambling to get out of the soapy tub. Not good.

I grabbed a paper towel to remove it. I don’t believe in killing anything unless I have to. Boys that bring my daughter home too late would be a have to.

M – “Okay where is this humongous spider? Daughter, I can’t find it.”

D – “Look at the drain cover or under the seat.”

M – “Why in the world can’t you just get over your fear of spiders. I swear when I was your age I was scared too but I willed myself to not be afraid of them. I am not always going to be here to remove spiders for you. Listen little girl you better learn how to put your big girl panties on and deal wit…..”

heart racing, eyes bugging, going to faint! (that would be me again)

D – “Mom?”

M- silent

D – “MOM?”

M – “Daughter call your dad. Call your dad NOW.”

D – “Dad, DAD, DAD, DAD!”

H – “What the hell is going on in here? You people are making so much noise I can’t hear the TV. Why are you behind the door and in the floor? Why are your eyes so big? Why are you shaking? What is going on?”

M – points to the tub

D – points to the tub

H – DAMN!

A Wolf Spider and Yes it is as big as your screen. It would fit from finger tip to end easily. How in the world did it crawl of of the drain cover?

H – squishes it

H- “Gross” (walks away)

D – Gag, gag (audible)

M – woozy and still on floor

D- “I am going to rinse off in your shower come with me.”

M- walks behind Daughter in a bit of a dazed.

D- “Thanks mom” (Daughter disappears)

I am thinking now would be a great time for a bath. And a glass of wine.

I run the water all the way to the top. Get in. Relax. Wonderful hot steamy water to soak away the tension of the day. All I needed was bubbles. I turned on the jets and poured in the soap.

M – (Scream! Scream, Scream)

D – “Mom what’s wrong, what is it? Let me in!”

open the door. Daughter walks in.

D – “See I told you. That is why I don’t take baths any more.”

Six surfing Wolf Spiders clinging to me for dear life.

(Lawd, where is that bottle?)

I read whatimeant2say the other morning and it reminded me of our encounter. I thought I would share both of our stories.

Happy Thanksgiving All

aMusing Mondays: This Ain’t Yo Mama’s Dance

I write for the webcam in our little village.  This story was one I wrote back in the peak of our dry season and posted for the webcam blog.  Originally, it was called The Dance but I thought I would shake it up a bit with a different title.

I can not tell you how long it has been since we have had rain. Days would be an understatement it is more like nine months. I remember a few years ago, back around 2006, we had a pretty good dry spell too. A handful of us gals decided to try a rain dance. We had a designated time, we decided to do it in our own back yards and…. we were  to do it naked!.

WHY???

I don’t know but that was the deal. You had to follow these decisions to the T or, as I was told, “To the T or don’t do the dance at all.”  We were convinced it would only work if we all did it and followed the criteria to the letter. The dance was not choreographed nor rehearsed. You might say we decided  to do an interpretative dance. I remember thinking, “What the heck am I DOING?”, while I was stomping my feet and throwing my hands in the air.  My normally covered places were now exposed and wiggling in the wind.  My arms were waving and I was chanting, “Come on, come on and make it rain!”, over and over and over again. I felt so foolish.   My dogs thought I had lost my mind but they liked it. They were running in circles chasing each other in the dark of night and barking up a storm. Thank goodness my neighbors were gone. The whole time I was wondering if everybody else was doing it or if any moment they were going to jump out and punk me. The one thing we did not decide was how long we were to do this naked rain dance. After what felt like LONG ENOUGH, I grabbed my robe and ran inside, dogs in tow. A few days later the rain came. It rained and rained. It rained so much that parts of the mountain flooded. In fact, I had a rather large river running through my front yard even parts of the highway had to be closed because of the run off. It was strange to say the least. That following winter was a good snowy winter as well. I would have to say that the nude rain danced worked.

Now here we are again. No rain in sight and nothing on the radar. One of the original organizers called the other night and stated we need another rain dance. Same rules as last time…and to be followed to the T or it just won’t work. Last night at 9:00 p.m. I tipped toed out the back door. My dogs were not invited this year because my neighbors were here most of the week and I was not sure if they had left yet. I preferred no one witness this crazy woman trying to do her part for all her forest neighbors. Nine o’clock struck and I began to dance as before. Right as I started, I heard an eerie  noise creep up behind me. I could not see a thing because my eyes had not had a chance to adjust to the moonless night.  All I could think of was a coyote or bear or some other kind of wild animal breathing on my bare legs! That crazy thought soon became a reality.  Not only could I feel it, I could hear its steady breathe…in out…in out.   I stood there frozen, naked and night blinded.  I gave myself a minute to adjust to the darkness then slowly turned around.

MY DOGS!

My dogs had slipped out through the dog door and were waiting for their dance invitation, which I was happy to give after I made sure my neighbors were gone. Those little happy brown eyes and wagging tails were just so cute I just could not refuse them. We started slowly then worked our way up to a full-fledged rain dance! The dogs were in heaven running in circles and barking. We were having a pretty good time. It felt oddly freeing and if it paid off like last time very rewarding. I felt no embarrassment in the cloak of darkness and no one else was around… until look up to see Hubs shadow moving toward the window. Oh no, he is going to think I have lost my mind, again. He knew that us girls were going to do a rain dance but he had no idea that we were doing it naked. In all our dancing fun, the dogs and I had worked our way up the hill and out further in the field than I had planned. I had not noticed that until I had to race for my robe by the door. I had to get to it before he turned ON the Porch Light! I believe my dogs thought this was a race to end all races. Mutt must have felt I was winning because she moved her body right in front of mine and over I went like a slinky down the stairs, or in my case down the hill.  Ouch! I had to have rolled and bounced because I was on my feet in a split second and in full stride.  Thank God for padded cabooses.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Finally I get to my robe, compose myself, pulled the sticks out of my hair and walked in as if nothing happened. When I walked in, Hubs asked, “Did you do your dance at 9:00?” “Yes”, I said then went to wash my wounds. While tending to my skint knees, I ‘decided’ if called upon next year I will  pass on the dance. I think I better leave that to the younger braver ones.  I just hope that this year’s effort will bring the rain again.

Until next time

update: 1 week after our dance it RAINED.

aMusing Mondays: A Wicked Sense of Humor

 

When we moved here years ago I was totally shocked at the size of these birds up here. I thought they were giant crows that were involved in some type of nuclear fall out. I can only guess their weight but I would guesstimate an average of 20 lbs…some larger some smaller but all huge! I was told later on they were Common Ravens. Shoot, there is NOTHING common about those birds as far as I am concerned. In the last few years I have come to believe the Common Raven must have a sense of humor. Last winter, one Raven that hangs out at the top of my backyard Pines got a big chuckle when he witnessed my dogs’ surprise of the first snow of 2010.

Every morning my dogs have a ritual, which consists of, CAN’T WAIT TO GET OUT THE DOOR AND BARK MY BRAINS OUT! Pacing, pacing can’t wait. They run as FAST as they can, down a 45ft porch and jump off the end with an attitude that should scare even the meanest of squirrels! Then turn with a puffed out chest to look at the door to see if anyone was watching. They are proud beasts, my Mutt and Jeff.

This morning was a tad bit different. Can’t wait, Can’t wait! (the same) Ready set GO (the same)….run, run, run (the same)… the little one (7 lbs Jeff) gets to the end of the porch first but things are DIFFERENT! White stuff.  EVERYWHERE! He puts on the brakes right as he gets to the end of the porch…..PLONK! He flew off alright but not in the manner he was accustomed to. Pride was…………GONE.

The BIG one (70+ lb, Mutt) was hot on his trail. There was no way that little one was going to beat her. Her mind quickly changed as she watched him fly then land hard in the snow. She tried with everything she had to stop. Too late, the snow and ice started about 15 ft from the end and she was already in it. BRAKE, BRAKE, BRAKE, you could just see her mind yelling it and her eyes pleading it. She did manage to slow down a little bit before the big finish, which lead to an agonizing slow motion crash. She felt ever step she hit as she was going down. The little one watched at first with horror and moved out of the way before she squished him. Then he appeared to be basking in pure joy of  seeing the big dog epically fail. Both of them got up. No barking, no looking back with pride……..they did their business and came back to their nice warm beds to lick their proverbial wounds.

After witnessing this comic relief, I walked back to the den.  It is then I noticed there was not only the one Raven at the top of the tree, there were now about five or six Ravens clucking and chuckling like little hens. I guess the one at the top called for the others to watch the morning entertainment. Yep, I think the Common Ravens have a wicked sense of humor.

Note: To all concerned, it is 8:10 on Sunday night.  I have this scheduled for publish on Monday .  So far so good. My tummy ache went away, no headache and everyone in the house is doing well.  I think I am in the clear….we are in the clear.    On a serious note,  I really was scared and I do appreciate any prays that were prayed for us.  That was some pretty heavy guilt.  Thank you my friends

Buckle Up Buttercup Its Gona Get Ruff

Oh my gosh, I must be dying.  I found paired up socks in the laundry, my paired up personal socks in the laundry room.  You may not think this is a big deal but let me tell you IT IS A BIG DEAL, especially today.

It all started yesterday.  I cooked the best fried catfish ever, accompanied with crock pot white beans that had simmered all day long, hush puppy corn bread (like hush puppies but shaped like square cornbread).  I think the secret to a most awesome tasting catfish was the garlic olive oil I had made days earlier.  Oh my goodness, the aroma was divine.  I had never made infused oil before and had no recipe I just had a thought.  (that may be my famous last words)  I only put one clove of mashed garlic in, sat it near the stove and in four or five days it produced something out of this world.

The next day I decided I wanted all my girls (BFF’s) to have this too.  I thought why stop with garlic oil?  I will send a set of three oils.  I found awesome little empty wine bottles and cute little tops that would be perfect for giving.   I jumped on the internet to see what would go into an italian infused cooking oil.  And that is when one of the worst days of my culinary life started falling apart.  Spread across the screen in big bold letters were the words: NEVER, NEVER TRY TO INFUSE OIL WITH FRESH GARLIC N-E-V-E-R!

Wha?? But it taste so fringing good and so easy to do.  I read further to find out why..why could I not do it?  Instantly after reading the article,  my head starts pounding, my stomach is churning,  I break out in a cold sweet,  nausea digs its heels in; I am certain I am going to  become a vegetable with a droopy eye, slurred speech, and paralyzed possibly on a ventilator.  To put it mildly,  I WAS FREAKING OUT.  I called our local doc.  ANSWER MACHINE.  I called my son at ST Jude Hospital in Memphis.  I tell him to ask a doctor about it.  He says, “Mom you will be okay.  I got to go back to work.”  I called Hubs….silence. I started  SCREAMING.  It turns out he accidentally hit mute.  He gets back on and says, “You are okay just relax.”  Nothing they could say would console me. NOTHING.

You see garlic is of course from the earth.  All earth grown food has the capacity to give you botulism if not washed and prepare correctly.  Also, botulism grows at an outstanding rate when no oxygen is available.  Oil and air don’t mix.  There is no air in oil.  A colossal breeding ground for  the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  ARRRFFF!  It said it multiplies faster when left out of the refrigerator.  It had been 4 or 5 days sitting beside the STOVE.  OMG I am going to die.  WAIT!  Everyone ate the fish!  I HAVE KILLED MY FAMILY!  OMGosh.  I got all weak inside.  I felt a fainting coming on. When will our inevitable death from mommy’s garlic concoction kill us all?  Symptoms could start as quick as 6 hours or take as long as 96.   Oh great, that is just frigin’ great, a slow death.

I head home from work and straight to the bathroom.  By the way, that is where I spent most of my working hours too.  I am convinced I have Botulism.  “Do I have a fever?”  I ask Hubs every 10 mins.  I run from one end of the house to the other checking for fevers or upset tummies from the rest of my family. Oh Lord help me. Help US.

Hubs is being very understanding and patient with me.  Patient with me?  What in the world is going on?  Are we dying  and Hubs does not have the heart to speak the words?  Does he not want me to know? This is so unlike him to be so, so  genuinely caring and understanding.  I fall asleep with the thermometer in my mouth.

Fast forward to this morning.  Hubs wakes me and ask how I feel.  I tell him my tummy is still a little queasy but no headache and I think my brain has rebooted to normal but I am still worried.  I ask him how he is.  He says fine.  He leaves early for work and I get ready too.   And that is when I see my socks.  All nicely folded.  Hubs Folded My Socks.

Back in 1991 Hubs and I had a few heated words regarding his socks.  It seems I put a black and a navy sock together and he wore them to work.  It pissed him off so bad he came home with the Yells.  I promised him I would never and I mean never put two different colored socks together again.  And I have never put two different sock together ever again to this day; because I STOP doing his laundry.  I never put anything up or together again.  And with that Hubs told me he was never doing my wash either.  In fact, I would have to be dying for him to even consider ever again doing my laundry or putting my socks together. And up until today he never has.

There it is folks.  I am dying because the Hubs folded my socks.  If I am lucky I still have 3 more days.

This my friends is a TRUE story.  There is no way to just make this crap up so laugh if you may. But please pull out that prayer chain people and put us on it.

Fundamental Fridays: How Long

How long?

How long does it take to vent?

At this very moment I can’t remember what in the heck I was venting about but I DO KNOW how long it took because Hubs pointed it out.  3. 7 minutes.  Yep that is right it only took 3.7 minuets to get my point across…..or to run out of gripe.  Dang it.  What was I venting about?  I can’t remember but at the time it was pertinent…I think.

You may ask how I know for certain that is was exactly 3.7 minutes.  Because after several heated discussions of how Hubs never listens to me anymore, he has started pausing the TV to listen to me.

TO HECK I SAY!  Pausing a TV.  A MAN PAUSING A TV?

Yes a husband that is trying and trying hard.

Okay, I had an entire post on this but I hooked up my Bose and plugged in my Playlist then everything became a blur.  The white wine with fish tonight did not help (bottle) to keep my train of thought in line.

Where are the blogging Police when you need them?

Sorry, this is all I got for a Fundamental Friday.

I guess fundamental I need a freedom to vent  that only Fish Almondine and White wine can bring .

Happy Friday all.

aMusing Mondays: Taste Like Chicken

In 2005 Hubs, The Daughter, Son2 and three dogs moved into our family built home. At first, we had construction ground. Ya know, dirt, grass, dirt, grass, bump, tree, dirt, grass, etc. My father in law did all the excavating and to his credit he left more grass than dirt. This lead to a full grass lawn within a year. And that is when it all began.

One afternoon Hubs and I were cutting the grass. Every time I got off the mower, I would fall into a hole. These holes would always have an underground tunnel attached to them which was evident from the turned up dirt on top of the ground. Some of the holes were small and some, like the ones I kept falling in, were huge. I could not figure out what type of animal would make both large and small holes. Finally, I decided it had to be moles. Being from the south, that was a critter I was familiar with. However, these trails were so much longer and wider than what I had been accustomed to. I hike a lot around my neighborhood and I would spot thousands of tiny holes with underground trails attached to them. DANG! We were infested. When I hike I almost always take my dogs, Mutt, Jeff and Lucy. They love to go any place outside and I like their awareness, it keeps me on my toes.

This particular day I was trying to get home before the rain started. I was hootin’ and hollerin’ for the dogs to keep up. As I got to our driveway, I looked around for the them. They were no where to be found. Lucy was my oldest, at 17 pounds she was one of the smallest, and the love of my life. We were perfectly in sync with each other so for her to not be at my side was unusual. There had been some sightings of mountain lions close to our neighborhood and I was not about to lose one or both of my dogs like that. I had to back track. They were not on the road so that meant getting back in to the woods. I followed my footsteps back until I spotted them, well one of them. As I turned the bend, I noticed Lucy jumping up and down into the air then she would dart back and forth like an out of control wind up toy. I could see her stop and run back over to the other dog, Mutt, and soon after it would start all over again. I had never seen either of my dogs act like this before so to say I approached cautiously would be an accurate statement. As I got closer, I saw my Lucy covered in dirt. I’m not talking ’bout a little dirt; I’m talking dirt stuck to her wet nose, in her runny allergy eyes, in her ears and all over her body. It was stuck to and in every cavity she had. Then I saw why she was in such a state. My big dog, 70 pound Mutt, was digging in the dirt like a high speed auger. Dirt was flying as far as four feet back and at least 2 feet high. I watched them for a while to try to figure out what they were after. I would notice that every time Mutt would tire the little one, Lucy, would run to the big hole and start sniffing. It was not one of those dainty sniff, sniff, kind of sniffs. It was the kind that you would see on the cartoons. Ya’ know, the animal would sniff the hole so hard it would suck up everything under the ground into its nose. Hence, all the dirt on her nose, which was now caked so thick that she’d lost her nostrils. As soon as they saw me, they went into a frenzy. Mutt jumped up and started digging like the wind with an occasional pause to see if I were watching her. Lucy was running after the dirt trying to catch it in mid-air. Then all of a sudden I saw some kind of critter fly by as if it had been shot out of a cannon. Lucy was all ready in flight when she caught it. Then she ran like the devil under a bush. Big dog, Mutt, had no idea that Lucy had claimed the prize and was off enjoying the fruits of Mutt’s labor. Mutt was still digging, digging and Lucy was munching, munching. It was not long before Mutt stopped to smell the hole. Immediately her head pops UP and she looks around for Lucy. She knew she had been duped. She starts running in circles trying to find her. Soon they were both in the bushes. Out they came, Lucy was caring what looked like a big ole’ fat tailless rat with Mutt hot on her paws. I made her stop and drop. UGH! A half eaten something. It looked like a grayish, stubby tailed ratlike-thingy. I gave Lucy the go ahead and by the time we got home she had eaten it all. Poor Mutt couldn’t do a thing but watch all of her hard work go down Lucy’s throat. Lucy was looking at Mutt, with those cute twinkly eyes, as if to say, “Tastes like chicken.”

After I got home, I asked Hubs what the heck it was. He called it a Vole. It turns out these critters eat tree roots. They leave hundreds, if not thousands, of holes and trails all through your yard. It is suggested that a trap be used to catch them. Or you can use poison….UGH! Or you can do like me and turn your dogs on them. No yucky traps to empty, no killing of innocent critters with the poison, just good old fun for your dogs. You may even experience a decrease in your pet food budget. Of course, there is that little “large holes to fall into” problem. But hey, the dogs are happy.

A sad note: Kazooie, aka Lucy, died November 20, 2010. It is a hard thing to lose one’s shadow. I still love, remember, and miss her antics. The best dog I ever had. I love you sweet baby girl.

Fundamental Fridays: Everybody Dies Famous In A Small Town

 

I know I am late Sorry. 😉

 

I love living in a small town but sometimes I just want to escape.  Like when the cattle trucks come through our little village and stop at the gas station across the street from me.  It does not take long for the cows to start mooing.  They are calling out to me.  They know I’m here and they can feel my pity for them.  They are mooing my name Ruuuuuuth, Ruuuuuuuth over and over again.  They sound so scared, pitiful  and helpless. Don’t get me wrong I am a steak eater but I am an animal lover more, especially to the ones that know my name.  On more than one occasion I have thought about sneaking over there and unlatching the door.  I would shout be free, run free, get the heck out of that truck don’t you know what is coming?  I have gone as far as to walk outside to get a better look see and strategize my plans.

Some ideas are….

1.  Wait until the driver goes inside to get his cup of coffee then creep over to the truck and open the door. Then run like heck back to the store where I work.  I could fake it when the local PoPo ask me if I saw anything.  I could tell them  a band of very tiny forest people  stood on one another shoulders to release the bovine.  Then I would have my friends claim I was insane and I don’t know what I was talking about much less where I am at.

2.  Wait until the driver goes to get his coffee and a burrito then race over like The Flash and blow the lock with c4.  Okay you got me I have no idea what c4 is other than it is an explosive they have used on NCIS.  More than likely I would blow up the cows and that would defeat my purpose.  But what a heck of a steak and shake party that would be. What am I saying?

3.  Wait until the driver goes in to get his cup of coffee, burrito and uses the bathroom.  Run over pick the lock then one at a time guide each cow into one of my storage units that are right next door to the gas station.  Of the ones that can’t fit, I could tie them up in peoples yards.  I can put straw hats and spots on them to make them look like yard art.

4.  Wait until the driver goes into get his cup of coffee, burrito, uses the bathroom and flirt with the little ladies that work there.  Unhitch the trailer and hook it to my truck.  Haul them off to a undisclosed field where they can be happy and roam the country side  never more to worry.

The only thing that stops me is the thought of having to face Hubs.  Oh and I guess my friends might have a few words to say like :”ARE YOU CRAZY?” and “I just don’t know who you are anymore!”  The Daughter would hang her head in shame. I would get a reputation of being a cow hugger (that I would not mind).  Do they still hang people for cattle rustling?

I think I will just invest in a great pair of ear plugs.  I can pop them in as soon as I hear/smell the truck coming.  All I know is that I have to do something or one day you all will be seeing a headline about a crazed woman that reads, “Who let the cows out? WHO WHO WHO WHO?”

 

Now this story may or may not have been amusing but if truth be known…I REALLY DO WANT TO LET THE COWS OUT.