Sunday, June 28, 2015

Estelle Getty Eyes

On Saturday night, I was with my friend, Michelle the Cook, and somehow we started talking bout eyesight. I said the other day at work, I was proofing some text and missed something and my supervisor was giving me a hard time (in a good way). I told her I may be 41 but my eyes are 85. I've worn glasses since I was five, but I tell people I have old lady eyes.

Michelle started laughing and said, "Estelle Getty eyes," and guess what that spawned...another goofy song parody!

We laughed when I told Michelle what I was going to write, because we are both fans of "The Golden Girls," and for some reason, the idea of an Estelle Getty song was even funnier.



Her hair is blizzard white, her girls she'll advise,
She's full of sarcastic might, she's got Estelle Getty eyes.
She'll turn the jazz on you, you won't have to think twice,
She's pure as Italian ice, she got Estelle Getty eyes.

And she'll tease you, she'll never appease you,
All the better just to displease you.
She's precocious,
And she knows just what it takes to make Rose blush.
She ain't got Blanche Devereaux thighs, she's got Estelle Getty eyes.

Dorothy brought her home, away from Shady Pines.
She looks like a little gnome, she got Estelle Getty eyes.
She'll need her dentures to chew, she knows all her lines.
She's a bit of a shrew, she's got Estelle Getty eyes.

She'll feed you, when she sees you.
Hope you'll feed with cheesecake she throws you.
It's delicious.
And she knows just what it takes to make Rose blush.
Sometimes she thinks she's a spy, she's got Estelle Getty eyes.

And she'll tease you, she'll unease you,
All the better just to please you.
She's precocious,
And she knows just what it takes to make Rose blush.
Sometimes she thinks she's a spy, she's got Estelle Getty eyes.
And she'll tease you, she'll never appease you,
Just to displease you, she's got Estelle Getty eyes.
She'll expose you when she knows you,
She knows you, she's got Estelle Getty Eyes.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cozy Cowl Hood With Bear Ears

After I sent the Titans blanket to Tammy, she sent me a box of yarn that she had and didn't need anymore. With that yarn, Nicole the Knitter asked me to make an animal scoodie for her goddaughter.

I checked around online and decided to try this one (it's actually the first one in a series of scoodies for Nicole's friends, so it was kind of a test subject).

I used Lion Brand's Cozy Cowl Hood and added the ears. You do need a user name and password to see the pattern on their site.


Ch 84; taking care not to twist the ch; join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in each ch around; join with sl st in first sc - 84 sts at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc in this rnd and in all following rnds), turn, dc in each sc around; join with sl st in top of turning ch.
Rnd 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in each dc around; join with sl st in first sc.
Repeat Rnds 2 and 3 until piece measures about 19 in. (48.5 cm) from beg.
Fasten off.

The ears are my my little design.

Whatever hook size you use for the base hat, use for the ears as well, or go one size smaller.
2 colors of yarn:
  • A medium nylon/acrylic blend would be very limp for both the insides and outsides 
  • Inside and outside colors of yarn 
Inside of the ears, make 2 separate insides.
  1. Give yourself a length of 6-8” of unused yarn before you start. This will be what you use to attach the front of the ear to the bottom of the ear. Chain 8. Do a DC in the third chain from the end of the hook. 
  2. HDC in each stitch. Chain 2 at the end and turn. 
  3. HDC in each stitch again. Chain 2 at the end and turn. 
  4. HDC in each stitch again. Chain 2 at the end and turn. 
  5. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row), to create a rounded off appearance. 
  6. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row), to create a rounded off appearance. Finish off the yarn and weave in ends. You will end at the top of the inside ear. 
Outside of the ears. Make 2 separate outsides.

1. Give yourself a length of 6-8” of unused yarn before you start. This will be what you use to attach the ear to the hat. Chain 12. Do a DC in the second chain from the end of the hook.
2. Row 1: DC in each stitch. Chain 2 at the end and turn.
3. Row 2: DC in each stitch again. Chain 2 at the end and turn.
4. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row), to create a rounded off appearance.
5. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row) again, to create a rounded off appearance.
6. Decrease the row by 2 stitches (at the beginning and end of each row) again, to create a rounded off appearance. Finish off the yarn and weave in ends. You will end at the top of the outside ear.

Lay the outside pieces flat and lay the inside pieces flat on top of them, so the bottom edges are together. Using a yarn needle, use the several inches of outside ear piece to sew the insides and outsides together, using the edges of the insides to guide you. Finish off the yarn.

Sew the completed ears to the hat with the same outside color yarn, on top of the head.

There's no real rhyme or reason to this cowl. I just liked the colors of the yarn, and for the heck of it, added the fun fur yarn to the edges.

The Eggy Tomato Breakfast Recipe You Need to Try

Earlier this year, I saw this recipe for Saffron Shakshuka, a Mediterranean-inspired warm-up dish to beat the winter doldrums.

So.

Damn.

GOOD!

Seriously, I'm not even going to try to convince anyone that it's this damn good. I'm just going to copy the recipe here and hope you're smart enough to make it for yourself.

Serves 3 to 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and minced
2 red peppers, cored, seeded, and rough chopped
1 – 2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
1/4 cup canned green chilies
1 quart whole, peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon spicy Hungarian paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (less if using a very salty feta)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
5 threads saffron
Splash rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup goat’s milk feta--I didn't have feta so I used my favorite soft goat cheese.
1/4 cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
6 eggs

Heat a large 3 or 4 quart skillet with 2 inch deep sides over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and when hot, the onions. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the red pepper and poblano; continue to sauté for 4 minutes or so. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Next, stir in the canned chilies and the tomatoes and juice, crushing each whole tomato with your hand as you go. Stir in the salt, pepper, and spices. Bring mixture up to a gentle boil, and then turn heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the rice wine vinegar, feta, parsley, and chives. Check salt levels and adjust as needed.

Edge heat up to medium-low. Working one at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl, and then transfer the egg to the shakshuka by dipping it into the stew and giving it a careful tip. Repeat for each egg. Cover and allow eggs to poach for 6 – 8 minutes –– just until the whites have set up. I learned how to poach eggs tonight, just for this recipe. :)

To serve, ladle into a bowl or spoon shakshuka over a grain, polenta, or rice. Garnish with a pinch of fresh herbs, a dash of paprika, and a sprinkle of feta.

HOT DAMN! MAKE THIS DISH!! The smell of it in your kitchen, as it's cooking, wafting through your home might just be enough to get you laid if you've got anyone in your home that might get turned on while you're cooking.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Star Wars Song Parody

So, the other day, I'm driving in my car and "1985" by Bowling For Soup came on. And while I'm listening to it, the lyrics started rewriting themselves in my head, Star Wars-style, because let's be honest...I'm a nerd and this shit's never too far from my thoughts.



Woohoo
Woohoo

Leia just hit the wall.
She always had it all:
One droid a day,
Daddy’s an Organa.
Her dreams were Force unseen,
When she turned nineteen.
Looking for just one man
What happened to her plan?

She was gonna be a rebel.
She was gonna be a Queen.
She was gonna shake her blaster
And keep her white dress clean.
Vader’s Death Star is now the enemy
Looks at her privileged life
And nothing will be alright.

Since the Clone Wars, the Rebellion,
Way before Alderaan,
There was Yoda and the Empire
And music in the Cantina.
Her two droids on the Tantive
They’re all taken captive
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1977.

Woohoo

(1977)

Woohoo

She's seen all the classics,
She knows every line:
Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi,
You're my only hope.
She rocked to Figrin D’an!
Not a big Max Rebo fan.
Thought she'd get a hand
From ole'Lando Calrissian.

Wears the bikini and chain made of metal.
And what’s the deal with Mon Mothma?
When did rebellion become a movie?
What ever happened to Life Day, bun heads?

(In space was)

The Clone Wars, the Rebellion,
Way before Alderaan,
There was Yoda and the Empire
And music in the Cantina.
Her two droids on the Tantive
They’re all taken captive
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1977.

Woohoo

She hated Solo, make him stop.
When did he stop being such a scoundrel?
And when did Chewie become a hero?
Please make this
Stop! Stop! Stop!
And bring back

The Clone Wars, the Rebellion,
Way before Alderaan,
There was Yoda and the Empire
And music in the Cantina.
Her two droids on the Tantive
They’re all taken captive
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 1977.

The Clone Wars, the Rebellion,
Way before Alderaan,
There was Yoda and the Empire
And music in the Cantina.
Her two droids on the Tantive
They’re all taken captive
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1977.



Another Visitor to Our Yard

I had just started mowing our yard on Sunday afternoon when I saw it. After one pass around the edges, I came back up to the house, and saw the rump of a young possum, snuggled up against the brick crawlspace. I thought, this probably isn’t good and I wondered where the hell he came from, because he (I don’t know if it was a male or a female, but I’m referring to it as a “he.”) wasn’t there three minutes earlier. And because possums are nocturnal, and here it was about 4:45 PM, this was just odd, even though we do have them in our neighborhood, along with assorted birds, raccoons, the occasional fox, and even snakes.

I clapped my hands and tried to scare it off, but he wasn’t budging. In fact, he continued to dig and creep along the bricks like I wasn’t even there. It was a little guy, maybe just 12 inches long plus his tail. Still, I gave him a wide berth, and got almost in front of him, clapping and making noise the whole time. This was one brave little possum. But when I did get in front of him, that’s when I saw his face.

Half of it was missing.

He had a lower jaw with teeth and a tongue (that looked either suntanned or callused from being exposed all the time), and he had eyes and a forehead (with everything he should have from that point up), but he was missing his nose and all of his upper jaw. The fur was gone from his face and it formed am upside down V between his eyes of black, probably infected, scabbed over skin. I thought at first: Holy shit, did I run him over with the mower? It was a disgusting thought. Then I realized, if I had, there would have been blood and screaming, from both him and me. No, this was not a fresh wound.

The more I watched him, creeping around the border of my house like a careful oversized mouse, I thought he was deaf. But the more noise I made, I realized his ears were twitching to the sounds. And then as he made it to my front step for a little rest, he just about fell off the steps…because he couldn’t see them. He was blind as well. Despite being a blind, wounded, baby possum, he showed no fear of me. I probably could have picked him up by the tail and he wouldn’t have cared, because who knows who or when he was injured so severely. Maybe he wasn’t afraid of me because he’d never seen a human. He never even once played dead for me.

It was hotter than hell that day, damn near 100 in just air temperature. The heat index may have been a few degrees higher. He looked like he was panting, based on how his little sides moved. It was kind of hard to tell for sure since he had no muzzle and his tongue was already out. A couple times, he settled down for a bit to relax. He looked exhausted. I told my husband to keep Cujo inside so he couldn’t bother the possum. I couldn’t just leave the poor little animal out like that. And what kind of quality of life could he possibly have? I think he may have been living under the hose reel box in the side yard, because he wanted to hide under there.

I called Animal Control for some advice. I was basically told that since it was a wild animal, they wouldn’t do anything for him, and if he died, they’d tell me how to bag up his body for disposal. At this point, the little guy was looking worse. Flies were all over the exposed skin of his face, even his eyes. I called a local (over in the next zip code) wildlife rehab group and left a message around 6 PM. I coaxed him into a bucket so I could get him out of the sun for awhile, but he decided he wanted to be free and very nicely and calmly left the bucket for the safety of the back yard and hid behind the hose reel. When he laid down to itch his face, I thought I was going to start sobbing like a baby: using a back paw, he itched his right eyeball until it bled and didn’t seem to care. The bleeding didn’t last long and it clotted quickly.

Since he had settled down again, I started my mowing and kept an eye on him. Do you know how awkward it is to mow with one hand because you’ve got your phone in the other hand? I didn’t have pockets in my shorts and I needed to keep my phone handy in case the rehab place called. I tried sticking it in my bra but that was just super uncomfortable. On a hot day, I don’t want a rectangle of plastic in my cleavage because I would have been sweating all over it.

I kept wondering when the fuck the rehab group was going to call me back. This was so unfair to the possum. And as someone who has done dog rescue, this struck me as unprofessional.

I even went inside to get cleaned up a bit. The rehab’s website said they closed at 8 PM.  By the time 8:15 rolled around, I went back outside, found the possum (probably a Virginia opossum), and scooped him back into the bucket (thank god for work gloves and unused bamboo tiki torch supports). Three houses away from us is an empty lot on the water with a ton of overgrown vegetation in the back. It wasn’t the best solution, but I figured the little guy would have a better chance at survival if he was back there.

The rehab place left me a message at about 9:15 that night. The woman was so blasé about it and gave me another number at which to call her. I was irritated so I didn’t call her back. What would I have told her anyway?

I couldn’t sleep that night. I kept thinking about that little deformed face and how brave he was, like it was no big deal. I purposely chose to not take his picture, even though I had plenty of chances. It felt like I would have been exploiting him somehow. Hey guys, check out this freak of nature I found! Look at the little monster!! No, this wasn’t like the raccoon that scared the shit out of me last year; this was an animal that had probably been attacked by another animal and needed some sort of help along the way. Would the rehabbers have even been able to do anything for him, or would they have euthanized him? I could see the benefits of both.

Every time I go outside now, I check the road and along our crawlspace for him. I’ve moved some rocks to the hose reel box to block it off. It’s too out in the open for his safety, at least, in my opinion. Despite never actually touching him (I did think about trying to pet him but didn’t actually do it), I guess I became strangely attached to him in that short period of time.




Saturday, June 20, 2015

Grandma's Upside Down Cobbler

I've had this recipe since right around Christmas. It came on the side of a couple little ceramic Nicole-brand ramekins that I bought at AC Moore, so it's  not actually my Grandma this is named for.

4 tsp butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cup fruit (fresh or frozen)

Melt butter in dish. Mix sugar, flour, baking powder and milk, Pour over melted butter. Add fruit; do not stir. I mixed it because I didn't want all the fruit just on the bottom, even though that's the point of the recipe. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

SO GOOD! Considering how wildly simple the crust is, it's extremely sweet and full of flavor. It was also very easy to make and I used a variety of little baking dishes that I have creating personal desserts. This will be something I make the next time we have company.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Baked Whole Butternut Squash

Tonight's recipe comes to us courtesy of Karen, the same vegetarian that brought us Baked Cabbage Slabs. Her recipe for Baked Whole Butternut Squash is now the ONLY way I'm ever going to make squash ever again.

"I laid it on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet, set the oven to 375 and waited...I cooked this for about an hour and a half...I knew it was finished when I could poke a fork in the thickest spot with no resistance. When it came out, I noticed, to my DELIGHT, that the skin had pulled form the meat and it...omggg it caramelized!"

There you go. That's really her recipe.

I'm now firmly convinced that if you want a goof veggie recipe of any kind, find a vegetarian first. They'll have the best recipe for you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Evening Living in the 80’s Again

I don’t think it’s any surprise to hear (read?) I’m a fan of 80’s music. The nice thing about being that kind of fan is that some of the groups I like are still touring. And if Leonard Nimoy’s passing taught me anything, it’s that when you’ve got the chance to see or meet someone you’re a fan of, then you better do it the first chance you get. Not that I ever had a chance to meet Leonard Nimoy, but still.

So tonight was my third time seeing Huey Lewis and the News in concert. They performed at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Portsmouth, and it was incredible. “In addition to Lewis, the band still features longtime Newsmen Sean Hopper (keyboards), Johnny Colla (sax and guitar) and Bill Gibson (drums), all of whom were part of the classic lineup that dominated Top 40 charts with catchy hits such as "Heart and Soul" and "Do You Believe in Love."” I really feel like the guys get better with each show I’ve seen them at. Of course, that’s not a biased fan talking or anything. Sure, at 63, Huey can’t do the same leap from the drum set that he could do in 1984/85 during “Working For a Living,” *but he got a good jump for it in Portsmouth.

The best part of this, to me, is just hearing Huey sing. If you could take a snippet of him singing today, any song, and play it against the same song, 20+ years ago, I think you’d be hard pressed to know if there was a time difference. Huey takes care of his voice and the results show that. He can still sing as well as he ever did, he can still wail and scream, he can still doo-wop and sing a cappella. He also looks good too. You watch him up on the stage, and he’s running around, and you just know this guy takes his craft seriously, even though it looks like he’s having a blast with it.






*I’m going to go off on a tangent here real quick. When I was a kid, my father recorded a Huey Lewis and the News concert from Showtime or something like that. It took place in Seattle and it was the “Heart of Rock and Roll” tour. I watched the SHIT out of that video. I had always liked their music from hearing it on the radio, but getting to see that video cemented me as a fan. I fell a little in love with Huey back then.

Every damn time I go home, I look for that video. I can see it in my head: a yellow Kodak VHS tape, with this concert and “Back to the Future” on it. I can’t ever find it! But thanks to the kind of people that upload damn near everything to YouTube, I was able to find three songs from that concert. However, my father’s vinyl copy of “Fore!” was something I did steal after I saw the guys in concert for the first time.



And god damn, isn’t he so good looking here?

I decided this time to not take a bunch of photos or videos, and actually go to enjoy the concert. My husband and I each snapped a few pictures on our cell phones, but that was about it. Unfortunately, I can’t find the set list online. However, as par for the course, Huey and the guys opened with “Heart of Rock and Roll.” It still gets me pumped up to see those stage lights go red, the guys come out, and then that thump-thump, thump-thump sound starts. It’s quintessential Huey Lewis and the News. It’s what you know them by. That, and “The Power of Love,” which was part of their encore. I still see Marty McFly, riding his skateboard, late to school and hanging on the back of a Jeep through “downtown” Hill Valley, every time I hear that song.

“Working for a Living” is one of my other favorites. It’s the anthem of the working man (or woman), especially whenever the economy starts to turn south. The lyrics still hold true.

Yeah, some days won't end ever and some days pass on by
I'll be working here forever, at least until I die
Damned if you do, damned if you don't
I'm supposed to get a raise next week, you know damn well I won't

I'm just working for a living
I'm working for a living
Working for a living, living and working
Taking what they giving 'cause I'm working for a living

Hey, I'm not complaining 'cause I really need the work
But hittin' up my buddy's got me feeling like a jerk
Hundred dollar car note, five hundred rent
I get a check on Friday but it's already spent


We were sitting in the middle section, almost dead center of the stage, 10 rows back.

They did play “Whole Lotta Loving,” which got a laugh out of my husband. I leaned over and told him that was my song for every deployment he’s been on.

Tired of these girlie magazines
I want to stop dreamin' and get back home to the real thing
Late last night I read the letter you sent
Woke up this mornin', under a tent
Uh huh, whole lotta lovin', we got a whole lotta lovin' to do

Tired of these girlie magazines
I want to stop dreamin' and get back home to the real thing
Late last night I read the letter you sent
Woke up this mornin', under a tent
Uh huh, whole lotta lovin', we got a whole lotta lovin' to do

My mini bar's empty, but I'm still alive
I'm all alone, but my bed's big enough for a party of five
Tossin' and turnin' until a quarter to three
Can't get to sleep without watching TV
Uh huh, whole lotta lovin', we got a whole lotta lovin' to do
Whole lotta lovin', we got a whole lotta lovin' to do

Ho, it's been weeks since I've seen you
I'm hopin' that you mean it
Tell me that you understand
But there's one little thing that I'm worried about
I hope that you remember who I am, I'm the one with the harmonica

Ho, it's been weeks since I've seen you
I'm hopin' that you mean it
Tell me that you understand
But there's one little thing that I'm worried about
I hope that you remember who I am

I had hoped they’d play “Walking on a Thin Line,” because of the military-theme of the song. Okay, well, really, it’s theme is a soldier returning from Vietnam and having a hard time fitting back into society, but this is a military community here and it’s just such a moving song. However, 37 years of performing together puts Huey Lewis and the News in the same ball field as Billy Joel: no matter how long they play, it’s going to leave you wanting more because there’s so much to choose from. They would have to play for hours and hours, and there would be fans still yelling out different songs.

There was even a new song performed, which means I'm going to have to go look it up on Amazon and see what new music they have out!

Even though a thunderstorm moved into the area, the show continued. Mother Nature wanted to contribute to the light show that night. And despite being under cover, we still got a little rained on. I would have left if the show had to be called on account of unsafe weather, but I was going to stick it out if it wasn’t. But the guys continued to play and even did that encore for us. Huey announced for anyone in the grass seats to come on under the tarp covering. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese


This recipe was another Imgue find. It was good and nice to come home to a completed meal (added some pepperoni slices, cooked in my crock pot on "keep warm" for about 8 hours because the low option is still too damn hot), but it was kind of bland. I need to add something to it for the leftovers.

But a word of advice: cube up your cream cheese first. Don't just dump the block in the crock. It will melt and mix better that way. I actually did cube mine and was happy with how it turned out.

Plus, if you're going to make mac and cheese, bake that shit! It needs to come out of the oven instead of out of a crock pot.