Thursday, January 31, 2019


From time to time the neighbors' cat, Mattie, comes by for a visit.

When the weather was warmer . . .yeah, I know, you're gonna give me a lot of static about my 60 degree weather when the rest of you are freezing your bippies off in double digit subzero temperatures.

Incidentally, I saw a brief mention from my niece-in-law in Minneapolis yesterday that said, "Huh.  24 below zero.  That's what it was when we woke up in our tent while camping out in the Boundary Waters region last weekend."

Yes, they did, hauling a tent and a stove and food and presumably some potable to take the bite off the frigid weather, poling along on skis, so they could camp out in snowy weather far away from it all in northern Minnesota.

And she's GRINNING!

Arizona Bruce mutters, "these kids nowadays."

Now where was I.

Oh yeah, cats.

We've had a number of visitors to our back yard over the months.

But the other day as I was out in front chatting with my next door neighbor, Bill, somebody new showed up.

It was a young gray cat that neither of us had recalled seeing before.

It was skittish but was obviously attracted to Bill's area.

Probably because he's been known to put the occasional saucer of milk outside for Mattie.

Meantime, yesterday I got a shot of our Muggles curled up in her cat pedestal.

She had a look on her face that seemed to say, "Oh, no, you're not gonna bring another cat in here, are you?"

No, Muggles, I . . . don't . . . think . . . so.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


Now that we've got the monk straightened out and I now know that it's correct name is La Monja, or The Nun, maybe I can explain why we moved her.

This past Christmas we were gifted a totem, designed, created and given to us by the BRD.

That's the beautiful rich daughter, or Gayle, in case you've forgotten.

We decided the perfect place for it was the corner of the yard where La Monja had been before.

So here, with a drum roll for the work of the Beautiful Rich ARTISTIC Daughter, is the totem.

It is a ceramic structure with each object resting on another nestled around a steel rod which goes up through the center.

I think it is perfectly sited at the top of the arc of rocks that Judy and I (mostly Judy) arranged out of a pile that was here when we arrived.

As the sun moves across the sky during the day the light and the shadow are constantly changing to provide a myriad of photo opportunities.

I'm anxious to see what it will look like at night under the light of a full moon.

(SWMBO advised me that I should explain we're aware that it is slightly tilted and a correction will be made in due time.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


It's about the last post - The Mono.

SWMBO just read it and came in to tell me that's not it's name.

She informed me that it is Monja.

Guess what that translates to in English.


SWMBO then said, "You could have asked me."

And that's why she's called She Who Must Be Obeyed.

(I did get her t.v. set running correctly last night, though.)


We (SWMBO and I) have been making some changes in what we laughingly call our "back yard".

We moved the monk to a new location.

It seems like a position of honor and quite by accident I discovered that it is just that.

In the morning, if the sun is shining and it usually is, a beam of light is reflected from my window directly to the monk.

And in the late afternoon he seems to have an unearthly light coming from the setting sun.

Now he (or she) looks like a monk to me.

I bought him, or her, years ago when we were living in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

A tag said it was a "mono".

Now the nearest translation from that Spanish word to English comes out as "monkey"!

Now he, or she, is definitely not a monkey but it just occurred to me that the first four letters of that spell "monk".

Which he, or she, looks like, wrapped in that robe with only the face showing.

Incidentally, SWMBO has insisted on keeping he, or she, outside and the elements have had an effect on that face.

From time to time I have suggested touching he, or she, up a bit but SWMBO says she prefers the aging process the weather is providing.

Which doesn't provide a solution to the mystery of the name.

But I've always called it "the monk" and I guess I'll continue with that.

If y'all have any better ideas, the comment section below is wide open.

I always welcome a meeting of the minds.

Monday, January 28, 2019


Y'all may remember my post recently about one of my neighbors on the next street over flying his flag upside down.

I noted that that's a correct way to fly the flag if the flag-raiser is in distress.

I suggested that, in this case, it might be his way of protesting the government shutdown.

The government went back to work today and, lo and behold, when I stepped outside a few minutes ago I noticed once more his flag flying.

But now it is right side up so I'm guessing it was a protest.

I just can't tell whose side he's on.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Saturday, January 26, 2019


You may have noticed yours truly bragging on his blueberry flaugnarde the other day.

You remember.

I started out calling it a clafoutis until I read that it only goes by that name if it's made with cherries.

But I didn't use all of the blueberries and they were going bad fast.

So today while I was out running an errand, the real cook in the house took the bull by the horns.

Actually she took the blueberries by the stems and showed me what baking is all about.

These are her candied-ginger blueberry turnovers.

They came out of the oven as I was compelling her to sit and watch yet another cooking show on t.v.

I haven't tasted them yet.

But I did get to munch on a few tiny cinnamon sugar bon bons that she made out of her pastry scraps.


But these will be better, I'm sure.

And the beat goes on.

Friday, January 25, 2019


Today's news: the government is still shut down, Roger Stone has been indicted and arrested, a Connecticut woman charged with D.U.I. was drunk on vanilla extract, and A.J. Pollock has signed a four year contract - - - with the LOS ANGELES DODGERS!  😖  Sheesh!

I think it's time to think about what day this is.

For those of you who detest puns, well I guess this just wasn't your week.

Now pun-hater or pun-lover, put your personal perfect professionalism to good use, place pusillanousness to the rear and plunge precipitously into a pleasant weekend.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(ewww, and I just cleaned the kitchen floor.)

Thursday, January 24, 2019


The other day I was chatting with my soon-to-be really old friend, Baseball Steve, and he asked me if I ever do anything in the kitchen other than the random loaf of bread.

Well, of course, I said.

Every Friday night I make dinner.

But he began to laugh when I told him that consists of buying a frozen pizza from the grocery store and . . .

But wait, I said, I make it my OWN by adding more pepperoni and mozzarella and parmesan and peppers and, when we had a container garden, fresh Italian parsley and basil and so on.

I should have mentioned that I just made eggplant parmesan the other day.

And I have mastered a Chinese-style breakfast egg wrap known as Jian Bing, which is really easy and quick and pretty darned tasty.

And I did try a recipe . . . just a small portion for myself to see what it was like . . . of spaghetti with mint.

That sounded strange but I liked it.

Judy just gives me the side-eye when I mention it.

So I do cook in spurts, meaning that I'll be fairly active for a few days and then turn those chores back to the real cook in the house.

But speaking of SWMBO, she said to me this morning that she knew what I could make.

I gave her a bit of the side-eye until she said "a blueberry clafoutis."

She came home from the store one day with a fairly large carton of the berries and I had just been thinking about them yesterday and imagining one of my favorites, a blueberry banana bread or maybe some blueberry muffins.

But a clafoutis, which I discovered last year on a blog from Paris by David Lebovitz that I read, is simpler than simple.

It's just fruit in a single layer in a buttered dish, topped with a simple batter and baked in an oven.

It should be topped with a dusting of powdered sugar before serving.

But you could use instead some whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, I suppose.

The first one I made was with cherries, then I made one with blueberries and red raspberries for a dessert at our Christmas Eve brunch with the BRD and her Beau Jack.

Incidentally, I just learned while doing some research for this post that when the dessert is made with anything but cherries it is more properly known as a flaugnarde.

So here then is the product of my kitchen labor today: a blueberry flaugnarde.

The best part of all this?

It will be as we attack it after finishing off the left-over eggplant parmesan in sandwiches with some of Judy's freshly cooked pepper bacon this evening.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


"These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not.  They take tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule."

--Chief Sitting Bull
speaking at the Powder River Council

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


He used to come and spar with Blackwell through the pane of a slider door.


A cat who belongs to our neighbor.

Doug had told me once that Matty is well fed at home but insists on coming into houses and begging for food.


SWMBO, also known as The Softie, said that he looked so pitiful one day as he politely raised one paw as if to knock and uttered a plaintive soft "meow."

So she let him in.

Muggles shows interest in him but she pretty much ignores him these days.

Notice I said "days".

Yeah, he's become a regular visitor.

He follows us around in the kitchen, rubbing against our legs and calling in his soft voice.

But all he gets is an occasional taste of dry food from Muggles' bowl and he doesn't seem to care for that much.

So he wanders around, checking things out, playing viciously with a catnip snake, and finally he settles down for a nap on our couch before leaving to continue his neighborhood roaming.

He always goes to the exact same spot for his nap.

I wonder, do cats dream?  

Muggles certainly does, sometimes twitching in his sleep and waking up suddenly with a wide-eyed squawl.

I think Matty dreams too.

"Now if only they'd buy some of that tasty canned cat food!"

Monday, January 21, 2019


Back in late 1991, we were ending 4+ years living in Mexico and moving back to the U.S.

Specifically to Austin, Texas.

We had picked Austin because once, on an earlier trip to visit the BRD in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we had stopped in Austin to see if we could buy a Sunday New York Times (NYT) anywhere.

Much to my amazement, they were sold from a dedicated box on the street!

I said to Judy, "If we ever move back to the States, we're moving to Austin where you can buy the New York Times from a newspaper box."

And so a couple of years later the time had come.

We had friends we had made in our Mexican sojourn living in Austin then and I called them for directions on how to get to their place.

Jordy (an abbreviation for his given name of Jordan) told me, "Come up I-35 and get off at the M.L.K."

"The WHAT?"

Jordy chuckled and said to exit at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and added "that's what everyone calls it, the M.L.K."

Well time moves on along.

Jordy is gone now and we long ago moved away from Austin and back to our beloved Arizona.

I get the Sunday New York Times delivered to my driveway now.

And I've become used to hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called M.L.K.

It's his day today.

Saturday, January 19, 2019


I stepped out of my garage this morning and was looking around the neighborhood when I spotted something strange.

One of my neighbors has a flagpole on his upper deck from which he flies our flag.

But today it appeared different.

In this somewhat fuzzy zoom-in you can see that the flag is being flown upside down.

That is a sign of distress.

But everything else about his home appeared normal so I began to wonder if he was flying it as a sign of distress or as a protest.

Considering that the federal government has been shut down for 4 weeks now it could be both.

Friday, January 18, 2019


Alright, already, Gentle Readers, I'm just going to forget all the bad things in the news for a brief respite from the darkness because today is . . .

And you know what that means.

It's time for The Friday Funnies!

Okay, had enough?

Oh, you haven't?

Well, maybe just one more then.

Or two.

That's it.

I can't be amusing you folks all day, can I?

Now listen up.

I'm anticipating that all of you ambidextrous automotons will apply antiperspirant and amble in an accelerated manner, putting aside the astonishment of apoplectic assistants, and have an adventure of a weekend.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oooooohhhh, so grouchy)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mencken Wisdom

"The only way a reporter should look at a politician is down."

H.L. Mencken
"The Sage of Baltimore"
1880 - 1956

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Carol Channing
January 31, 1921 - January 15, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019


How many times have you heard this?

"I never worked for the Russian government."

Spoken by a sitting President of the United States of America.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019


Oh, yeah!

Well, I hope your week has not been traumatic.

(Who am I kidding?)

Let's get to the business of the day.

All right, I think that's enough to keep you smiling for awhile.

Now whether you stay home and throw large objects at your television screen or tear around in the snow or the sunshine this weekend, I hope you have a happy one.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Oh, not the grumpy cat . . .)