Category Archives: random

Oh Happy Day!

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radishes

Radishes from my garden! Something the deer DON’T like.

Things are looking up.

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Sonny

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Habitat Charlotte – newsletter     
      The life journey of Sonny Townsend reads like something out of a made-for-TV movie – the jaws of addiction jerking a young man from a stable, loving family and tossing him around like a chew toy until he’s thrown in a heap at death’s door. Four years ago Sonny was in that heap but made one last phone call.  The phone call put into motion a string of events that led him to Charlotte to beat the demon of addiction that had claimed his life for 33 years.  In Charlotte he found help and created his own network of health professionals, counselors and supporters.
      Today, Sonny is a walking, talking testimony of a life turned around by turning a life over to God.  He is a homeowner now, something he never dreamed of becoming when most of his nights were spent in an unventilated trailer in SC., surrounded by the debris of addiction.  Habitat Charlotte found an existing home for Sonny in the Windy Ridge neighborhood, northwest of Charlotte.  He worked side by side with Habitat contractors, cleaning, caulking and painting, before moving in on December 17, 2010.       
      He firmly believes sweat equity and Habitat training for home ownership are vital components of successful Habitat stories. 
      It’s easy to spot Sonny’s house when driving into his neighborhood; it’s the prettiest bungalow on the block.  A fenced backyard provides a perfect place for homegrown tomatoes; at the front door hot pink rose bushes great visitors.  The curb appeal of his home is a true reflection of the person who lives within.  Sonny has a sunny personality and a humble and grateful heart. He has been surrounded by people, friends now, who care about him.  He still finds his life story it a bit overwhelming, but he’s found perspective … and peace.

"Is the Pudding Done?" – published Dec. 2006

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Pat Blumer 2006

“Over the river and through the woods” takes on a whole new meaning when “grandmother’s house” is 389 miles away. It also takes on a new meaning when the “grandmother” is no longer around and another generation of “grands” takes her place. The “sleigh” has to be rerouted and the “horse” often flies into a fit of road rage should the “white and drifting snow” prove to be too formidable an opponent for the sleigh’s all-wheel drive capacity.
Who is the sung-about grandmother anymore?
My grandmothers are both now long-time residents of Beulah land and are, no doubt, presiding over their new digs in grand fashion. The holiday song could have been written for either one of them as they both fit precisely into the stereotypical image of a grandmother – apron tied over a dress, never pants … blue gray hair … busty up top and girdled elsewhere … flour up to their elbows with their hands in biscuit dough.
Time passes and things change and many of my contemporaries are abruptly finding themselves assuming the grandmother role. They probably don’t own an apron and blue/gray hair is just not an option, not to even mention a girdle.
I find myself pining for “grandmother’s house.” The real grandmother. The one in the song.
Where she kept the fried chicken and potato salad on top of the stove all day long and we never got food poisoning; the notion of botulism never entered our minds.
Where she dominated the conversation, the room, the house, the family.
Where her daughters-in-law called her “Miss Elsie” and stayed out of her way.
Where she always had a Kleenex tucked in her bosom and a glass of iced tea in her hand. “Don’t throw away my glass,” she intoned should someone else be washing dishes in the plastic dish pan set down in her old-timey, single sink.
Where she hugged hard and long, and yes, it hurt, and you tried to get away without a fractured shoulder blade or a crushed cheekbone. That upper body of hers was indeed mighty, and though it rivaled the proportions of any respectable pro-wrestler, properly corseted it provided a pillowy perch for infants and toddlers.
Come to think of it, both my grandmothers were magnificently endowed. Such endowments required harnesses of great resiliency. To hold one of these articles of clothing up to scrutiny was to absolutely stand in awe of the genius and engineering that is the science of women’s foundation garments. The weight of the thing alone was staggering and there is no telling what kind of circa 1950’s space-age elastic materials along with old standbys like pieces of whale bone comprised the contraption. And the size …lord have mercy … from the looks of it, it could harness a couple of mules on its day off.
My mother is the current grandmother and the holiday “sleigh” will park outside her house this year. Eventually, I suppose … okay, I hope … I’ll be the grandmother. Neither of us inherited the bounteous and enviable endowment. She got her mother’s quiet but strong gentility and grace and carries it, admittedly, on a boney upper body.
I got my paternal grandmother’s outrageous “hand-me-my-iced tea” take-charge persona but received not bodacious endowment to accompany said persona. And when a chick finds herself with a “now listen here” attitude and no ramrods to lead with, she’s at an immediate disadvantage should a “situation” present itself. Miss Elsie is reincarnated in the form of a meek-of-chest, bottle blond whom she would hardly recognize today. A Kleenex inserted in my blouse wouldn’t stay there and so is inserted into the pocket of my blue jeans; dungarees that, at retail, to her horror I’m sure, could have fed her family for a month or two.
I can’t cook fried chicken like she could but I try to pray like she did – without ceasing. Several times everyday she could be heard imploring, “Lord, help me to be a good worman.” Her mutilation of the kings English was hilarious, but land sakes, she was sincere. And I’d give anything to spend another holiday with her.
Even a crushed cheekbone.

Thought I’d used up all my stupid !

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     I was perfectly lucid when I dumped the white dinner napkins into the washing machine along with a couple of old reddish place mats. The place mats, left behind by my sister-in-law after Thanksgiving, looked so old and ratty and faded that I just knew they couldn’t possibly have any red dye left in them.  Thank you, God, that I didn’t dump in all the white, monogrammed dinner napkins.
     I’ve washed, bleached, re-washed and re-bleached … and am still left with that unmistakable pinky tint usually reserved for shamed underwear never to be worn except on those worst of days when there is nothing remotely clean left in the drawer.
     I’m working through the stages of stupid : 
1. Horror, shame, disgust – done.  
2. Making light of the situation – done.  After all, they are only napkins  – haha –  They are only pieces of fabric – lol – and it’s only linen – omg – and it’s only antique, hand-embroidered linen – ohmygawd !!
3. Trying to fix it – done. There’s no more bleach at the grocery store.  sigh …
4. Make sure it doesn’t happen again – done.  I shall retain the services of a laundress. 
5. Forget the deed and move forward – working on it.
    note to self:: Find a laundress, references required.

Smoked Turkey Chowder

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This is one thing to do with leftover turkey!  Turned out really good.  Butter, cream and a shot of sherry makes everything turn out “good”! 

Brown 1 large chopped onion and a pound of chopped carrots in 1/2 stick butter. I added 4 large whole cloves of garlic.   Stir in 3 – 4 T of flour; cook for a minute or two.  Whisk in 4 cans chicken broth; bring to a simmer.  Add leftover chopped turkey.  Cover and simmer.  Cook rice separately. My “inspiration” recipe called for wild rice but my post-Thanksgiving budget called for generic white rice.  Thus the compromise of a “blend”.  Stir cooked rice into soup; add 1 cup heavy cream; bring to a simmer; turn down the heat and ladle it up!!

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Good Capt Will
behind him the bridge that “folded” his mast
he was not aboard that fateful trip

i’m fairly familiar with a keyboard but not so with a laptop.
i accidently “published” the last – first, only – post.
oh well, nothing like diving in!