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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

FINALLY!


At last it's finally here and I can officially say: 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

This spooky fellow is waiting to greet Trick or Treaters at a home in our area.

He's even spookier when you see how big he is.


Meanwhile, far away in Montana, my musical cousin Bonnie and her mother Lil dressed up for a fiddle jam recently.


That gal on the right is bearing down on her 97th birthday next March.

It's great to see she still has her sense of humor.

(Love the stockings, Aunt Lil!)

Here's hoping you all have a great night this Halloween and don't have any nasty tricks played on you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

MUFFIN, MUFFIN, WHO'S GOT THE MUFFIN

I tore a recipe out of a magazine we received recently and yesterday I tried it.

Banana Oat Muffins.


Very simple to make.

I got the dozen out of the pan and put them on a rack to cool.


Wait a minute.

Didn't I say "a dozen"?

But there's only ELEVEN!

Where did the other one go?

? ? ? ? ? ? ?

JUDY!!!!!

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

O.K.  a little honesty.

We both wanted to taste one but since it was getting on toward dinner time we split one.

Delicious!

Monday, October 29, 2018

FARMERS' MARKET

I visited the inaugural Sunday Farmers' Market in Prescott Valley yesterday.

The organizers had warned there would only be about 15 vendors the first time but they had hopes that it would grow.

I walked around and visited with several of them and they all said they would be back next week.

One man had a big display of peppers of all kinds.


I was particularly taken by something I hadn't seen before - purple Bell peppers.


He said they were sweet and though I didn't buy any yesterday I may in the weeks ahead, if he has them.

I did buy some Shishito peppers from another stand.

They were five dollars for a pound so I asked the little girl running the stand for a pound.

She was carefully weighing them out when her mother returned and said "these haven't been going so give him a bunch more" and started shoveling them into my bag.

But she told the little girl to only charge me for a pound.


This is half or less of what I brought home.

I bagged up about the other half and put them in the freezer.

I tried one raw and it had just a hint of spice.

Judy chopped one and added it to our dinner salad and it gave it a nice tang.

Incidentally the vendor lady had a bag of Ghost Peppers too.

But she told me she doesn't eat them.

Too hot for her.

And for me.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

CONFUSION


The Weather Gods seem as confused as we lowly citizens are.

Trees are changing colors and leaves are falling but we've had an upsurge in temperatures the past few days and it's supposed to be near 80 degrees today for the third consecutive day.

I'm not complaining.

It feels great.

It's a dry heat, you know.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Friday, October 26, 2018

WHAT A DEAL!!!!

Another lousy week is drawing to a close but have I got a surprise for you!

Since Halloween is next Wednesday, the spectacular, sensational fall howl-iday edition of The Friday Funnies will be TODAY!

So get into your costumes and grab your trick or treat bags . . . here we go!

















Well, I hope you and your urchins or grand-urchins or great-grand-urchins enjoy the frightful day ahead and that you all have a great weekend.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .


Thursday, October 25, 2018

CHILL


(Thanks, Gayle.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

7 DAYS AND NIGHTS


There is only one week left until Halloween.

Are you ready?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

TRAVEL LOG

You Gentle Readers may have noticed recently that my blog posts have been short on words.

I've been doing this so long I lose my inspiration at times.

Fortunately I have a staff of thousands.

Well, not really but I do have friends who from time to time say or write something that deserves wider attention.

Such is the case today as I introduce a guest blogger, my friend of many years, Diane, who has just returned from a European river cruise.


* * * * * * * * * *
The following is my report on the Viking River cruise (plus some additional bus trips because of low water, insufficient to accommodate the long-boats Viking uses on the Danube, Main and Rhine Rivers.) 

They have not had rain since May. One sees many sand bars visible. Locals say you could walk across any one of the three rivers.

Not required reading but am writing this in response to many requests (well, I think it might have been TWO requests).

We flew from Phoenix on the 5th via Philadelphia to Budapest and returned on the 20th from Amsterdam via London, non-stop from there to Phoenix. 

The flights were smooth and since we were in business class, were able to lie down and really sleep on the plane. Nice! 

The meals served on board were excellent and the over-all service superb.

The weather the entire two weeks was perfect every single day -- always sunshine (though  they need rain desperately) with temps in the hi 60's to low 70's.

We had a suite on the ship with a balcony. 

Viking makes one feel like royalty with your every wish immediately addressed and whenever possible granted. 

The food on board is so wonderful. Each morning was a buffet breakfast with lots of fresh fruit, pastries and the usual breakfast fare of eggs, sausage, bacon, sometimes salmon, herring, cheeses. One can eat oneself into oblivion on board. 

Also each lunch and dinner there were local dishes offered from which to choose on the menu. 

The food in that area is very heavy. Always lots of meat, potatoes, sauerkraut (which tastes nothing at all like what we find in a can here in the USA) red cabbage, applesauce, gooey desserts, especially apple strudel. 

Champagne with breakfast, wine or beer offered for the other two meals. 

We had several presentations on history, local customs etc. along the way. 

Also special music. One night we had German musicians (accordian along with an antique hand organ) -- rousing, loud and such fun! 

Other times there was just background music from a pianist and sometimes a singer as well.

Each day there were tours, some lasted 8 full hours and were exhausting while being very entertaining, informative and just so wonderful. 

We toured numerous castles, palaces, churches and cathedrals. Some hundreds of years old and several even a thousand years old. Lots of gold leaf everywhere it seemed. 

I keep thinking nothing that is being built in today's world will be here a thousand years from now and, living in Arizona where nothing (hardly) is earlier than the 20th Century, it amazes me seeing such antiquated structures.

At one point one of our guides referred to our trip as an "ABC Trip"....which stood for "Another Bloody Castle" or "Another Bloody Church"..………….most amusing!

There are cobblestones everywhere making walking very challenging. I could not use my walker on them, so had to use a cane and watch my feet with every step. I was terrified of falling. 

Lee was such a help. she is 16 years my junior, is a competitive ballroom dancer, so quite fit and always ready to lend me an arm when I needed it. 

She and I worked together at the TV station 40 years ago. She was my assistant when I was hosting & producing the morning talk show "Today in Arizona". 

She also went to Rhodesia with my daughter Linda the second time she went there and has been close to our family all these 40 years.
I particularly loved being in Vienna where we had a concert of chamber music in a hall where Mozart had performed and Strauss, Bach and others had created such wonderful music. 

Lee had a waltz lesson while there. She was determined to do a Viennese Waltz while in Vienna and did dance to "The Blue Danube" while I watched.

Lee and I made it a point each evening whenever possible to sit with new people and get acquainted. We met very interesting fellow passengers, most of them from the U.S. along with several from the U.K., Australia and Canada.

It was a fabulous time. I enjoyed it twice as much as the Viking cruise we took about 18 months ago. There was just much more to see and do on this one.

I feel so fortunate I was able to have this fulfilling experience.

* * * * * * * * * *

I would like to point out that my friend Diane hinted at her age a couple of times in her narrative.

I asked for permission to state her age and she graciously allowed it.

She is 86 years young and always ready for a new adventure.


Monday, October 22, 2018

THE FELINES

A couple of random kids I photographed at a museum several years ago.



They were having a great time after visiting a face painter.

I think the second one thinks he's the Lion King.

What do they have in common?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Friday, October 19, 2018

THE FRIDAY FUNNIES

Patience.

Only 19 more days of this.


And besides . . . .


All together now.










And on that happy note, I shall bid you a fond adieu for now with the hope that you will have a huge weekend, full of huzzahs and hoorays, avoiding hubbubs and hoaxers and hackers and happily harrumphing your way to true joy.

And always remember to KEEP LAUGHING!!!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .


Thursday, October 18, 2018

ONE WORD: PURPLE

When I posted a picture of a crescent moon in an artificially tweaked purple sky recently, my friend Zhoen of the blog One Word commented that purple was her favorite color.

So when I was looking through my picture files today for inspiration I came across this photo from a car show of the perfect car for Zhoen.


You're welcome, Z.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

PURPLE RAIN NIGHT


Yes, I did tweak it a bit with my photo editing tool.

But . . . I like purple.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Sunday, October 14, 2018

ALL FOR A LIGHT BULB

My favorite guest blogger, Judy aka SWMBO, takes over today.

* * * * * * * * * * *

A few months ago the microwave oven in our rental home suddenly had a broken door panel.  

Since both of us oldsters have pacemakers we were leary of escaping microwaves and the possible effect on the devices.

So a call to the management company brought a handyman to survey the situation.

He decided we did, indeed, need a new microwave.

A few days later "said handyman" arrived with a new oven.

He brought along his wife and adult daughter to help with the installation.

It took three and a half or four hours of effort, calls to the manufacturer, and milling around before the project was completed.

We were delighted that the old black oven was gone and a new WHITE one was in place and matched the other appliances in the kitchen.

What a concept!

Fast forward to a few days ago when the light bulb in the underside of the oven burned out.

It was the only source of light in the stove-top area.

The man of the house removed the glass cover from the bottom back of the microwave and unscrewed the burned out bulb.

It came out easily . . . without the metal socket!

He had apparently turned the bulb the wrong way and broke it off in the socket.

Repeated efforts to get the rest of the light bulb device out were fruitless.

Nothing either of us could do worked.

Alternate plan:  Buy a couple of under-the-cabinet type fixtures or rope lights for the cabinets on each side of the microwave oven.

Great idea!

The rope lights I bought were too dim.

Back to the hardware store for under-the-cabinet light fixtures.

We came home with two different types.

One was a plug-in LED light fixture that required two tiny screwed-in brackets to hold it in place.

The other was a battery operated LED light fixture that required two tiny screws to attach its holder to the under side of the cabinet.

Each of these were nigh-on-impossible to install for a couple in their dotage.

Eyes and hands don't work like they once did.

But after a couple of hours (with a rest break in between) both were in place and functioning.

And it only cost $39.46 to replace that little broken light bulb!

* * * * * * * * * * *

(A note from Catalyst:  Not only did I allow her to pick out the lights with only a bit of commentary from me, I followed her suggestion to leave her the hell alone while she did the installation work herself.)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

THE FRIDAY FUNNIES

I love penguins.

Somehow they just know how to bring a comic feeling of well-being into my life.

And yours.

Because . . .



So let's get on with the weekend merriment, shall we?

Take your time with this first one, a meme I was made aware of thanks to Kate, of Visual St. Paul over there on the right.







And with that I shall leave you Gentle Readers to your own devices.

Have a great weekend and always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, no)