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Friday, March 31, 2017

FRIDAY FUNNIES

Ah, Gentle Readers, another week is staggering to a close.

It's been a rough one but it is ending happily.

I burned some meat last night.

Ohh, sorry, that's an expression I learned when I lived in Texas a few years back.

Actually I did a stove-top t-bone steak, cut it off the bone, sliced it and added it to my hot salsa de pimiento and served us each up some pepper steak.

In otherwords, we celebrated.

And now on this Friday it's time for some gentle jocularity.








O.K. so they're not hilarious but they're droll.

And that's enough for this week.

Fair Followers of the Friday Funnies, I want you all to venture out of your secure environs this weekend and enjoy spectacularly a Fine and Festive Friday Full of Folly.

And continue it throughout the weekend.

And always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(uh-oh)


Thursday, March 30, 2017

"FREAKIN' LUCKY"

The title of this post came from the BRD.

We had a visit today from the management lady who recently told us our rented house was being put up for sale.

Since we are not the type of people who can say "we'll buy it", we knew that we would soon have 30 days to leave and nowhere to go.

Our management lady . . . let's call her Hope.

That's not her real name but I don't want to get into any trouble here.

Hope told us she had been looking for a place for us and not having much luck.

Judy replied that we had been looking for smaller duplexes but they got snapped up before we had a chance to get in line.

Hope responded that she had one coming up because the man who had lived in it for 8 years was having to move to a larger house.

Judy said "We'll take it!"

Hope said she would have to have some painting and flooring done but suggested we give 45 days notice on the house we're living in and about to be sent packing from.

Later, when I hand delivered our notice to her she said she was probably going to put in hard flooring, like laminate.

I nearly jumped for joy because Judy had talked about how she wished we could get a place without carpeting, which is so hard to keep clean.

So, it appears that we will in about a month and a half have a new address.

The relief both Judy and I feel is amazing.

And you know what?

The new duplex is two-tenths of a mile down the same street where we lived for 12 years, up until an ill-fated move to Phoenix in 2013.

So, when the BRD heard our news she emailed us "You guys are so freakin' lucky!"
😼   😼

Monday, March 27, 2017

I HATE MOVING!

Actually what I hate is having my life upset.

Just when I get it to where I think I could live this way until I die, some SOB comes along and upsets my applecart.

So, I'm struggling.

We're packing.

We're divesting.

We're making piles of stuff that will either sell at a yard sale or be donated to whomever will take it.

Or go into the dumpster.

My biggest worry right now is that we have given 30 or so days notice on this place and we still don't have a place to go.

I'm thinkin' of a cardboard box under a bridge.

And then how would I get those marvelous meals prepared by SWMBO?

She has reassured me this evening.

She said it will all be okay.

She said we will find a place.

Come to think of it, she has always found a place.

She's good that way.

Maybe I should stop worrying.

Or find a bigger cardboard box.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

BLACK FOOD

Many years ago we lived in Mexico for a few years and we loved the Mexican food.

Not Tex-Mex, Gentle Readers.

This was wonderful seafood, great barbacoa (BBQ, for you Americans), and delicious moles.

Now those last are not those critters that dig up your lawns.

These are MO-lays!

Wonderful sauces of chocolate and coffee and spices that are layered over chicken or beef or even just tortillas.

Delicious, especially the deep dark Oaxacan mole.

We went to a Oaxacan restaurant in Guadalajara that had become a favorite of ours with a group that included a friend who steadfastly refused to taste the mole.

She said, resolutely, "I don't eat black food!"

And the mole was pretty dark.

Nothing would convince her to even try it.

Her loss, I say.

Because Judy has found a small grocery that sells bottled mole that is as dark and delicious as that we had in Mexico.

And tonight (for the second time in a week) we had it over some baked chicken.


It may look like road tar but get over it!

It is delicious.


The chicken was sauced with the mole and brought to the table with some black beans and cilantro and a combination she has perfected of quinoa and brown rice.


Oh.

Oh.

And oh again.

Is your scribe happy?

Is his tummy full?


As we say in Mexico, "you betcha!"

Friday, March 24, 2017

FRIDAY FUNNIES

When times look dark and foreboding, it's the humor that gets you through, Gentle Readers, so let us continue our time-honored tradition.








All right, folks, let's get out there and have a fabulous spring weekend and always . . . . . . always . . . . . . remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Hey, how do you feel about our moving, huh?)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ANOTHER LEAF


So, Gentle Readers, I've been dropping very subtle hints that a change is in the offing once again for these nomads.

We have been thinking about the future for several years as we groan into our late 70's and early 80's.

Planning on downsizing, getting rid of the accumulated "stuff" of years, nay, decades.

And now, it appears, our hands are about to be forced.

We learned on Monday that the landlord of the property where we have lived very happily for three years is putting it up for sale.

That means that once again we face the ugly prospect of moving.

A realtor was here yesterday to do a walk-through and a look-see and she told us that when the word comes for certain, since we are on a month-to-month lease we will probably have 30 days to vacate.

So that means the agonizing search for a new home that we can afford and the more agonizing packing, selling or donating the detritus of ages.

So that's it, folks.

We are not, as one of you worried, plagued by new health maladies.

It's just another relocation in a lifetime that has numbered the moves in more than a score.

I'll keep you posted from time to time.

Like the tiny leaves now appearing on the redbud tree outside my window, it is yet another new beginning.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ONLY . . .


. . . time will tell.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

LIFE IS . . .



. . . just one damned thing after another.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

DEATH AND DECONSTRUCTION

We lost a couple of good ones again.

Chuck Berry, who some (Chuck?) say invented rock and roll, dead at 90.

His voice, along with those of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, was in my head in the 1950's when I was a high school student.

His bizarre "duck walk", which became a trademark, evolved from an accident where he fell while playing.

Troubles with the law led to several terms in reform school and prison.

He was emblematic of the times and the trade he took up.

But it didn't stop him from writing and performing some of the great songs we all grew up with.

And this morning we learn of the death of Jimmy Breslin at 88.

A consumate newspaper reporter for decades in New York City, Jimmy told the stories of the common man so well he won a Pulitzer Prize.

A cigar-chomping, hard drinking "ink stained wretch" of the newspaper business with a knack for finding and telling a story.

Who else would think to interview the man who dug the grave for John F. Kennedy?

We'll miss them.

For the second part of my post, take a look at what Chef Judy, aka SWMBO, created for the evening meal yesterday.



It's a deconstructed (or Inside-Out) Vietnamese Spring Roll.

Shrimp, rice vermicelli, carrots, peppers, peanuts, mint leaves.

Topped with a spicy peanut sauce (unshown) it was delicious.

I know.

I'm a lucky man.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

CHANGES IN LATITUDES . . .

Judy and I drove to Jerome at mid-day yesterday to meet a granddaughter and her significant other for lunch at the Asylum in the Grand Hotel.

They arrived late because of traffic tied up south of Phoenix on the I-10 freeway while wreckage from four consecutive accidents was cleared.

But they got there only about 45 minutes late and we had a nice lunch in one of our favorite restaurants.

We reminisced with "the kids" about one of the first times we had visited Jerome, of how I had a photograph of the then 16 year old daughter who became the mother of our lunchtime companion.

It's a classic photograph of her sitting at the bar in the Spirit Room, a pub that's thrived on the same corner in the heart of town for many decades.

It was pretty much a ghost town in those days and we stayed in a hotel room with a broken glass window above the bar on one of our forays.

Now it's a fancy boutique hotel, completely re-done.

This was the view from just outside the Grand Hotel where we lunched.



It was a hazy day but you can see the San Francisco Peaks 75 or 80 miles in the distance.

I had been watching t.v. before we left for Jerome and heard a weathercaster say that it was going to be in the mid 90's in Phoenix but if you wanted to cool off and go skiing there was still plenty of snow at the Arizona Snow Bowl on those peaks.

About 160 miles separates those two locations and climate zones.

We were about mid-way in between and the day was very pleasant, with temperatures probably in the low 70's.

As we said our good-byes to the young ones we were heading back down the mountain through Old Cottonwood and New Cottonwood and back home.

When we lived between Old Cottonwood and Clarkdale over 20 years ago it was a sleepy place.

Now there were fancy stores and shops and restaurants everywhere.

It always makes me think of the line from Jimmy Buffet's song "...nothing remains quite the same..."

Friday, March 17, 2017

A DIRGE ON ST. PADDY'S DAY

Who would think a lad from Dartford, just outside of London, would link up with an Irish band to sing this mournful tale of murder and lust.


Never mind the national differences.

I love this version of this song.

FRIDAY FUNNIES

I guess all you Gentle Readers out there can tell by the change of color here what day this is.

It's the day we put on the stupid t-shirts that say "Kiss Me, I'm Irish!"

In America anyway.

I have read that the people of Ireland don't mark this saint's day by any such alcohol-fueled malarkey.

Be that as it may, let me wish you the standard . . .



But enough with the Irish blather.

Let's continue now with the regular funnies.





Hey now, something to put next to my birdbath!

Please allow me to give you some words of advice: don't drink too much, don't drive, you don't even have to eat corned beef and cabbage if you don't like it.

And, since I know no one listens to my advice anyway, good luck with your hangover.

And always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . . oh, quit bullying that dog!




Thursday, March 16, 2017

SHORT TERM POSIES

The Redbud tree just outside my den window is bursting with blooms right now.


It's amazing how speedily nature's march takes place when the weather warms up.

Only a couple of days ago I remarked to SWMBO that the tree was full of buds.

But they began blooming yesterday and this morning the tree is full of the pretty pink and purple posies.


And it won't be long before green leaves sprout from these flowers and the tree will be covered with a protective layer of arboreal greenery.

Meanwhile, just below the Redbud is a ground-hugging Oregon Grape plant.

It offers a contrast to the rosy hue above with it's bright yellow flowers.


Now the sharpest of viewers will see in the next photo an example of my bravery as a nature photographer.


No, that's not a snake in the upper right.

It's actually our garden hose.

The lurking danger is difficult to see but I'll blow it up to give you a better view.


This makes it blurry but you can now see a big fat bee that was buzzing among the blossoms as I performed my photographic duties.

No danger, though.

He was too busy pollinating the flowers to pay any more than the slightest attention to me.

Nature.

Constantly fascinating.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

THE ITALIAN VEGETARIAN

Judy stopped at our local Sprouts store the other day and discovered something she'd never seen before: baby eggplants.

Shoppers were scooping them up and she got a bagful and then asked a lady loading up on them how she fixed them.

The lady turned out to be Italian and she gave her a lengthy recipe which at one point involved cutting the eggplants in half and scoring them.

A man was listening in and at that point he said "Score them?  How do you do that?"

Apparently he had his mind on the NCAA basketball tournament but when eggplant scoring was explained to him realized his mistaken thought.

So . . .



. . . here, at home, are the halved eggplants, just a tad larger than a large egg, and some sliced zucchini.

And Judy shoots, she SCORES!




Go alongs include some garlic, a shallot, some cherry tomatoes and a sliced yellow pepper.

Throw all of that in a big pan and saute it with some olive oil and this is what you get.


Healthy and pretty darn good.

Judy called it sort of an Italian ratatouille minus the "gravy", as Italians call their red sauce.

(AMIT* - We had some chicken nuggets along with it so it wasn't a true vegetarian meal.)


<< *AMIT = A Moment Of Truth >>

Monday, March 13, 2017

AND NOT JUST THE PLUMS!

One street over the decorative pear trees are following the plums with a burst of ivory whiteness.


But I can't help wondering, as the temperature hovers at 85 degrees in mid-March, what will it be like here in August?

I have a friend and former colleague who grew up in Arizona but lives now in snow covered Maine.

The other day on Facebook she commented that she envies her Arizona friends right now but she'll be laughing out of the other side of her mouth when June rolls around.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

SPRING IS BUSTING OUT ALL OVER . . .

I used to sing that (the title of this blog) and follow it up with "Spring better get a bigger dress!"

Well, Gentle Readers, I never claimed to have any couth.

What brings this to my mind is Tom of the Mediterranean Climate over in California.

The other day when I was braggin' on our mercury headed for the 70's (actually it got to the low 80's the past couple of days), he asked me if we had any spring blossoms over my way.

I said "not yet".

I had forgotten how the "decorative" fruit trees explode in the spring.

I took these photos across the street from our humble home this evening.


Those are the supposedly decorative wild plum trees with all that purply-pink foliage.




So, Tom, and anyone else I may have misled, I apologize.

Well actually, since these trees explode with these blossoms practically overnight, I suppose I could be forgiven.

After all, I don't get out much.

Though SWMBO and I enjoyed an evening on the front patio tonight until the chill came upon us.

Speaking of which . . .


. . . I asked my Master Gardener what was going on with this plant.

It looks like it does in the fall, when the leaves turn crimson.

She said she thought Old Frosty had caught it just a tinge as it was starting to put out new growth and put a hurtin' on it.

But right next to it this lady is doing just fine.


By the way, if you were thinking about asking me what the names of these plants are?

Don't you ever!

(Though that last one might be an Oregon Grape.)

Friday, March 10, 2017

FRIDAY FUNNIES

Oh, joy, it's time for the Friday Funnies.

And not only for Joy but for all the rest of you too.

O.K. for our first laugh let's start off (as Zhoen would say) with one word.

Ryancare.

Oops, there I go again.

Anybody here like wine?












(hic) Had enough?

Oh, wait, there's one more that's sort of related.


That uses up my supply of whacko drinking cartoons.

All of you Gentle Readers (and secret lurkers) out there in the cyberworld have yourselves a disgustingly hedonistic weekend and always . . . yes, always . . . remember to keep laughing.

As for me, I'm happy for Fridays for another reason than the Funnies.

It's pizza night!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .