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Chicken Livers and Lima Beans

She's sitting outside when I come over and toddles out to meet me, "Hi!", she says, arms outstretched. "Come here!"
I'm coming.
She gets a big kick out of me pushing the automatic door button with my foot. "Oh, look at that."

We decide on Rick's Diner. I had to park further down the parking lot than usual. I tell her we can take it slow, no hurry. She of course speeds up. She really does seem to have opposite confusion.

She calls the seat belt a bitch; that damn belt moves on her apparently, because she asks where it is each time we get in the car. Is befuddled by the two straps. Then needs to know what to do with it after it's been pulled out far enough. I had to take the sheepskin cover off her seat belt - it was one more moving part and too much entirely.

She spies the little plastic beer mug and beads from Guglhupf last Saturday.
"Oh, it's so cute!"
It's yours.
She is completely thrilled.

As we're waiting at a stop sign, a couple out walking are also waiting for the traffic to ease.
Mom waves, smiles. The man waves back. She gets all flirty and waves again. He must have said something to his wife, because then she's waving.
"That was nice she waved too."
Sure was, considering you were flirting with her husband.
Laughter ensues.

She called me a bug when I  pulled a sneezus interruptus on her (you know perfectly well what I mean).
Which is much better than some things she's called me.
Okay, I'll take it.
"Take what?'
Being called a bug.
"A bug?!"
"Who's Kay?"
You know, my sister, the pretty one. Your favorite.
"I'm sorry."

Sometimes our entire conversation is like Who's On First.

I mention that Ben, my sister's ex, went up to see my niece and greatnephews in Alaska. (Ben and Mom kept in touch after the marriage was over.)
She got quiet.
What's wrong?
"I'd like to see him again."
I'll show you a picture on my phone [from Facebook].

At last - Rick's. My favorite waitress Danielle is working and we ask to sit in her section. She's funny, looks Mom in the eye, and talks to her. Take note people, that is huge in the tip department.

Mom gets chicken livers (gack), corn, potato salad. We had livers and gizzards for supper sometimes when I was a kid. I am not a fan of liver of any kind, but if a gun is to my head, I will choose chicken livers over the chewy disgusting gizzards any day. And over beef liver.
I have meatloaf, mashed and butter beans.
What they call butter beans around here is what we called lima beans [small and green]. Butter beans are big and brown in my neck of the woods. I like 'em both, but like to know what to get my mouth fixed for.

The tea is then pronounced "...real good" and she "...needed some more."

She asks if I have any dogs.
No dogs.
No. Dogs. No dogs.
"No bags?"
I don't have any dogs.
"Okay, I can do it if you can do it the same way you don't do it."

She sees a woman who is rather large and I can tell she's gearing up for a comment. She catches my eye and says "Oh god.". I make the zip your lip gesture and she nearly chokes from laughter.

I'm rummaging around for a coupon and find one for another cafe close by.
I need to remember I have that, we'll have to try it.
"You need me to help you."

"You know there's people on the other side."
That's a mirror.
"Oh, that makes it better."

The food arrives. She pokes a chicken liver, "Babies do them."

I don't know what this means. At all. But daresay she doesn't either.

I'm writing down everything you say, I tell her.
"That'll be fun. For both of us."

Then, out of the blue: "He was a nice guy."

"Ugh.", she falls back in her chair, clearly stuffed to the gills.
You don't have to eat them all.
"I'm not!"
Picks up another large liver and eats it.
"You don't like me."
Eats more corn.
Suddenly she's pushing off from the table.
Are you done?
Okay then, guess we're going.

I ask her to put the tip on the table while I pay the bill. She heads towards a table where people are sitting.
Mom this table.
She heads to the one next to the one we sat at.
This one.
I hope she didn't pocket it.

We partake in her favorite pastime, looking at houses. Everything I said tonight was pee your pants hilarious. Wish you had been there.
I told her she needed to be in the audience of a comedy show because she would think peanut butter was funny. And she did.

We pass by a church on the way home. "We don't need that." A pause. "Do we?"
As much as you say oh God and Jesus, they may think this car is a church.
"Great. We'll be having them then."

After we get back and escape (she thinks) past her medicine nemesis (sweet girl but for some reason, Mom doesn't like meds from her.), we sit in the lounge near her apartment.
"You're a nice man."

Gee, thanks.


Herd Mentality or Why I Bought a Steam Mop at The Home Show

I've been thinking of getting a new kitten for Finn. Since I've been spending more time at home, I noticed him flopping around, miffed that the other two cats, who are older than him, would rather sleep than play most of the time.
He makes a hhhmmff noise when rebuffed, then like a sulky teenager, he flings himself down on the floor. Or on the bench in Suite 101 like this:

 Two seconds after this picture was taken, he was trying to chew the dangling cords

Anyway, it went so far as me going to the shelter last week and scoping out the cats. Even spent some time with one. Then I saved a plastic bin from being thrown away because, in spite of CP's two harrowing words - inappropriate urination - I'm still not entirely unconvinced in the new kitten area, and it could serve as a new litter box. (plastic bins make great litter boxes. They have high sides, are roomy, easy to clean, and are often less expensive than a "real" litter box). I brought it home, dropped it on the floor and Finn took possession of it.

It's his new BFF.

Any toys thrown in there are like new toys. He has the best time using it as his attack launch pad.
Turns out I didn't need a new cat, just a new plastic bin.

So how does this segue into herd mentality?
Maybe it doesn't. Maybe that was just a better title than Here's Another Post From The Crazy Cat Lady About Her Goofy Cat Who Should Be Named Kramer Because That's Who He Reminds Her Of.

But wait, it kinda does. I've been looking at steam mops since the hardwood floors were installed because I don't like to use chemicals (unless they're killing insects, then I'm Better Living Through Chemicals all the way baby).
But how do I clean the area by the cat food which is covered in little nose/mouth prints because a cat who shall remain nameless likes to scoop the dry food out of the dish onto the floor and eat the food off the floor?
And another one does the same thing with the wet food.

I use a microfiber mop, vinegar and water, but that leaves the floor too wet. Water and wood do not good dancing partners make. A steam mop seemed like a good solution.

Four of us went to Raleigh for the Southern Home Show today. I figured I couldn't get into too much trouble since everything there would be big and expensive. There was no way a patio was fitting in the car.

Then we rounded a corner and saw it.

Watched the young man demo the mop with crossed arms and the don't-think-you-can-pull-one-over-on-us-young-man-we're-older-and-wiser look firmly fixed on our...ahem...wiser faces.

Then all four of us whipped out our credit cards and bought one.

And there you have it - Herd Mentality.




Today started out with a walk and hanging out afterward at Foster's Market (a Saturday tradition).

Later I met up with friends at Guglhupf for
September 25, 4-10 pm
Join us for "Rocktoberfest" at Guglhupf with live music by 'Die Nierentische' (a great band from Germany), lots of food and fun! Oktoberfest is a traditional German celebration dating back to 1810 in Munich, Bavaria. Enjoy this festive day with delicious cuisine, paired with outstanding beers and wines. Our traditional German street fare that day will include:
  • Weisswurst, Thueringer (smoked sausage), Bratwurst, Zwiebelkuchen
  • Potato Salad, Cucumber Salad, Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut, Brezels
  • Apple Strudl, Cherry Strudl, Berliners, Apple Fritters
  • Beers: Franziskaner, Spaten Oktoberfest, Spaten Doppelbock, Gaffel Koelsch, Duck Rabbit Märzen
What fun! We got there early enough for a good parking spot. Several people had already arrived and set up a table. Great food, great company.

It was hot. Again.
I am not normally a complainer about the heat in NC, because we usually only have maybe three weeks tops of disgusting heat, but this summer was more like a Florida summer, sticky and hot for what has felt like forever. No rain either, so drought is back. 

Thankfully tomorrow is supposed to be cooler and bring rain. Yay rain!



After reading about the BLT from at Merritt's Store and Grill on Kathiey's blog back in June, I have been on a mission. Fawn and I tried, but alas, we arrived too late. Epic fail.

Today however, was mission accomplished. I took Kathiey's advice and got a double.
It was delicious!

In my mind there are three sandwiches that are meant to be on white bread. Meant to be like a commandment handed down by God.

They are:
  1. BLT
  2. Ham
  3. Meatloaf
Do you know some people have never had a meatloaf sandwich?!  That is just wrong in all sorts of ways.

I love meatloaf, perhaps because my mother's was excellent. Part of the joy of having meatloaf was leftovers for sandwiches. White bread, mayo, slab of onion, thick slice of meatloaf, and a wee sprinkling of salt. My mouth is watering. I have an excellent turkey meatloaf recipe from Picnix Bistro, a restaurant in San Francisco that's probably long gone now. Send me an email if you'd like to try it.

In other news, I had my haircut today. I know. Quick, call the BBC.

Got there a bit early so I took a stroll down Trinity and hung a right on Watts. It was so charming. Sounds of children playing in the park, cute craftsman bungalows with big deep porches and gardens spilling out onto the crumbling jagged sidewalk.

Then, a nice surprise, CP called and suggested dinner. I met her at the Wooden Nickel and had the best fish and chips I've had in a long time. Afterward, up the street for Margarita pie at Gulf Rim, where a cute tow-headed girl at the next table spit water on my feet and then shared her Play-Doh.

It was a good day.


Melancoly Baby...Updated

During this downtime, I've been listening to college radio as I go about the stuff formerly known as "Saturday-time-suck".
You know, the things you don't have time to do during the week, so it sucks up half or more of your precious weekend - the dry cleaners; the dump; Target; the Post Office.
Today, since both Target and the P.O. did not have a box big enough for what I was mailing, I had to go to my old workplace for a box and then back to the P.O. Good thing I have time on my hands!

Back to the radio.
Sometimes I can't stomach anymore NPR. The BBC is on when I go to sleep and WUNC when I wake up, so I get a bad news sandwich (unemployment is 10% in the state of NC; coffee is bad; calcium is bad; hormone replacement therapy is bad - in fact, all the things you've been doing for the past 50+ years is bad; and hey, good morning!).

We have a lot of amazing local groups here in the Piedmont - Trailer Bride, Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Rosebuds, Carolina Chocolate Drops, to name just a few.

There's just one downside - college radio makes me sad.

It's so youthful - angry and longing, goofy and smart. And sometimes, when I'm listening, it just hits me - I'm middle aged. What the hell happened?! I was that age - wasn't it just yesterday? Not very long ago at any rate.

Today in Target I stood in line behind an older woman. A young woman was in front of her, The older woman was buying jello pudding mix and a small bag of flour. Her back was humped and she couldn't hold her head up. But once, she had been just like the young, straight woman in front of her, full of dreams and  future.

Time just slips by. There goes another second, another minute, another hour. Whenever I see something wonderful, like the way the light was coming through the clouds yesterday evening, I wonder if I'll remember that next year on Sept. 22. Will I even remember it tomorrow?

Then I wonder if in twenty years I will be like my mother. Will I remember writing this blog? Remember my friends? My family?

Play on college radio. Even though you make me sad.
I guess what I should have expounded on was that it's not just college radio - it's fall.
For even though fall is my favorite season because the weather is [usually!] cooler, fall also brings a new crop of bright, glossy, perky young people into town. No matter where I go, there's a gaggle of them. Mocking my maturity, my crone self, with their smooth, shiny skin and slender - everything. They're so...marketable.
They have no idea that in 20-30 years they will be me.
Don't worry, I'll be used to being invisible again in a week or two.



Went over to Wynwood after dropping off some goat's milk soap to Steffi. (Marzipan).

Mom was outside, but looked - well, not good. Her face was red and swollen and she was a bit slurry..
"Whew," she puffed.
Are you hot?
"I guess. A little."
She was wearing a tee-shirt and a black sweater. Even though today was the first day of fall officially, no-one told the weather. It was over 90 degrees - again.
She started looking cooler after she changed into a [clean] tee-shirt.
Her bed is covered with VHS tapes, CD's, folded clothes (one dresser drawer is totally empty), cards, ribbons she won at county fairs for various and sundry, catalogs, and a song book. Where does she sleep?!
Most of the clothes go in the laundry basket for the laundress.

We got in the car and cranked the A/C full blast. "That feels good!"

"Is that Russ?" she asked of someone driving in the opposite direction. (Didn't see them, so I have no idea if it did or not)
I don't think so, maybe it was his doppelganger.
"Doggie hanger?"
It's someone who looks just like you.
"Oh, could be I guess."

As we drove, she looked down onto the service road that runs alongside Hwy 54.
"There's a lot down there. We should pour something in it."
Like what?
"I don't know. Something."
"Hey, did you find out about that...[I hear her brain grasping for the word/concept, not find it, then give up]
...I don't know. Never mind."

She likes to tell me how to drive (this is a remnant of old Mom).
"Okay, go!"
Uh, I need to wait for the light to turn green first.
"I know that."

"How are your kids?' She always asks that and I always assume she means the cats. 
They're fine. I'm thinking about getting another one, but four is a lot of cats.
"Did you do it?"
Not yet.
"Four is too many."
Hmmm, if my demented mother thinks four is a lot...

Cafeteria supper today:The gross strawberries and bananas, deviled eggs, country steak (very similar to her simmered steak), mashed potatoes, corn, lemon meringue pie and sweet tea. She ate everything with a spoon - including the eggs.
"That's good any way with anything.", she says of a huge banana piece.
She puts a piece of something unidentifiable (to me) in her mouth.
Is that a piece of onion?
"No. Tastes like it."

"I'm full."
Stop eating then.
"I know."
Eats more corn.

A  few minutes later, she puffs out her cheeks and stretches her arms out to the side.
Don't eat anymore if you're full.
"I know that! Want one of these?" (Offers a strawberry wedge; deviled egg; steak; corn)
Keeps eating. Eats everything but the pie, which gets boxed up.
"I'm pregnant!" She laughs and pats her stomach.

"Where can we go now?"
Let's drive around Chapel Hill and look at houses.
We head up Franklin and turn down Boundary.
That one's for sale.
"Let's get that sucker."
"Holy wow." she says of one place.
It was rather impressive.

We do this for awhile, then head back.
I sign her back in and we take the pie to her room. Then she has to walk me back to my car, which is kind of sweet.
One of the attendants asks her if she's hungry. She says yes! Then, "I'm so full."
When we walk outside she says, "Whew, it's so cold out here."

It must be opposite day.


That Didn't Take Long

What didn't, you ask?

Going from:
in-bed-by-10:00PM-5:30AM-wake-up-work-by-6:30AM functional person
an up-past-midnight-pajama-wearing-until-noon-do-I-really-need-to-shower?-nah lazy a$$.

How long did it take exactly?

One lousy week.

Because underneath the organized exterior lurks a procrastinating troll. 
Just call me Scarlett [the troll]...Fiddle dee dee

The truth is, except for that little ole money issue, being out of work is kinda okay. I think most people would agree.

It's amazing what I can find to do (besides nothing): Wait while my oil's changed; shop at Whole Foods when nobody else is (and actually find a place to park); wander the aisles of Home Depot to my heart's content; have lunch with friends; visit Vespertine Cafe in Pittsboro to stock up on goat's milk soap; hang out with the cats.

I also do a lot of deep thinking. What the heck, I've got the time.

For instance:

What is the deal with people wearing big giant scarves with sleeveless blouses and shorts? It is 90 degrees outside, you do not need a scarf. Also, all of the above plus a pair of boots.

In the same WTH vein - what is the deal with making pajama sets of shorts and a tank top out of flannel or a sweatshirt type material? Huh?! Is that for people who can't decide if they're hot or cold? I do not get it.

And as long as we're talking fashion, (because, obviously, me and Ralph Lauren are like this [insert image of crossed fingers here]), designers - enough already with the hoodies and ruching. Please GO AWAY now.
If I see both those things on a garment I want to cancel my subscription to Vogue.

Okay, I'm exhausted. More deep thoughts tomorrow.
If I get up before noon.


Suite 101

When I first started working for the company I recently stopped working for, we worked out of the owner's house in a little den off the main living room. Suite 101 we jokingly called it, we even had mail sent there. 

Now I have my very own Suite 101. 
In my guest room closet.

It is from here that I peruse Craigslist, get carpel tunnel filling out on-line job applications for UNC, (it literally took HOURS), IM my entire friend list (all six of them) on Facebook at the same time, and read the Daily Mail. While maneuvering around one or more cat bodies.

Picture me hunched over my cute purple ex-kitchen table, thinking up witty things to write on the blog, typing into the wee hours of the night.


Worst Job Ever

Publix is a grocery store chain in Florida. Ex-pats from Florida moan about there not being a one in NC.

It's just a store to me, because it is not Oliver's Market - which is THE BEST GROCERY STORE IN THE WORLD. (Read the reviews, it's not just me.) They were doing the localvore thing back before it was the trendy thing to be. And pray tell, what other grocery store has Princess Cake by the slice?!
The original store in Cotati, CA was one short sweet half block from my house. I loved that store; fourteen years later I'm still in mourning. (Do I need therapy?)

Hang on...

Okay, I'm back from crying about Oliver's.

Aside from looking for a job (which SUCKS, btw), the worst job I ever had was working in the Publix deli for two horrible weeks in 1996.

Now friends, I have put in my time in the food industry; I have been a waitress, dishwasher, milkshake and pizza maker. Not to mention a parent. I've done my share of serving and preparing food, but for some reason, this job was awful.

I like my roasted beast as much as anyone, but this job almost turned me into a vegetarian.
Shaving ham, turkey, chicken, head cheese, slabs of liverwurst, the slicer would throw back tiny pieces of whatever and they would stick on your face, hairnet, clothes.

One woman said her cat would hang around while she disrobed and wait for all the meat bits that fell out of her bra. GAH!

Then there was the fried smell that permeated every pore and follicle on top of the cured meat smell.

Even after I was rescued by getting another job, I had a hard time ordering anything from the deli.

How about you? What was YOUR worst job?

And Now For Something Completely Different

No, not really. Same old, same old I'm afraid.

It's nail day and you know what that means. Hillsborough Wal-mart.
My favorite.

We start off on the wrong foot: out of the twenty-four cola beverages we bought yesterday, six cans are scattered around the room, empty. Two more are open and completely full, I almost spill both of them; one of them is sitting on some folded clothes.
An empty plastic flower pot is in the bathroom, folded clothes on the shower seat, a washcloth is folded up inside a vase, VHS tapes and CD's are on her bed, trash is not in the trash can.
Sometimes her scrambled brain weirdness just gets to me and pisses me off, horrible evil person that I am.

Because I am apparently a glutton for punishment, we do an entire change of clothes, which takes about twenty minutes - since I can't Find. Any. PANTS!
A simple - take your shoes off - becomes a five minute exercise in patience. (do NOT say it.)
Finally, I find her linen pants folded up on the bed. I swear I looked on the bed three times.

She sat in the chair saying she didn't know anything. I agreed with her.
I am mean like that sometimes.

On the way to WM she does not say a word, she's in a snit about having to put on clean clothes, I guess. Whatever.
She perks up as she sees the building.
As I make a hard left turn into a shady parking space, (the humidity has backed off, but it's still in the 90's), I hear a thud, thud, thud. First I think a tree branch is hitting the top of the car, but the branches are not that low.

No job and expensive car repairs. Whoo-hoo!

I had asked CP if she wanted to meet for lunch since I'm in her territory. She met me at WM and while Mom was occupied with her nails, we did 360's in the parking lot trying to replicate the thud sound. To no avail, thank god.
We collected Mom and headed to a great restaurant in Hillsborough, the Gulf Rim Cafe.

CP got a good laugh out of watching me try to parallel park, (I can't even spell it!), then I gave up and did a drive through.

Mom and CP had the Gulf Rim Cobb Salad. I had the burger, very good.
Mom was totally herself during lunch. Said all sorts of witty things. Tried to eat her salad with her knife. CP got to witness the stink-eye. Lucky her.

To make our - or maybe just my - lunch even more enjoyable, there was an attractive man wearing a utilikilt. (CP remembered Mom said "He might fall out.")
Seriously works for me. I need to move to Scotland - or Hillsborough.

Do try the Margarita Pie at Gulf Rim. Really good, key limish + tequila.
Hells yea.

We stopped next door at Matthew's Chocolates. Tried the Citrus Jasmine, Cardamom, and Peach Tea Truffles. Citrus was favorite, then Peach. Cardamon was like eating perfume.
Mom got a coconut oatmeal cookie the size of her head.

We stopped at a small vintage store on the way back to the car. Mom was hysterical over some of the mannequin heads, should have taken a picture. We tried on hats.

This one is cute, I like the color and the veil.

The red one looks kinda like the bag of ice (?) used in cartoons
when someone has a hangover.

From these pictures it appears that this was as much fun as a medical experiment, but she was having a good time, honest.

We took our leave of CP and drove around Hillsborough.
Of a house for sale, she said, "There's an empty one, let's take it."

I don't know where I am, I said at one point in our drive.
"It's alright. We're right here."

I guess we are.


Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow

Little Bunny Foo-Foo got her hair done today. Doesn't it look nice?

She was in a real giggly good mood this afternoon when her unemployed daughter came to pick her up.
She even thought this picture looked like her.

The bird house is borrowed from outside, she thinks it's hers. I still can't believe I missed out on all those displays she used to do. Maybe she'll get back in a creative groove soon.

She was ready to get something to eat. We had to take off one of the three shirts she had on first.

On the way to K&W, I was yawning like crazy. (Didn't have my 18 ounces of coffee this morning.)
She asked if I "was a chin."
When I seemed unclear as to whether I was or not, she started laughing.
"You don't know what that is?" She was incredulous.
Afraid not. Do you mean chimp?
"Oh god no."
More laughter.

She noticed the newly paved sections of 54.
"They've done lots of that. It will be good for going there."
Indeed it will.

K&W was closed when we got there at 3:30. Who knew they closed between 2:30 and 4:00 PM?
We slipped over to Harris Teeter to get some Pepsi's. That took up the exact amount of time.

Watermelon, her beloved strawberries and bananas in florescent red gelatinous goop, potato salad, baked chicken (different), lemon meringue pie and sweet tea.

Dear readers, let us stray for a moment from this gastronomical description to have a word about iced tea.
Unlike other regions in the United States, when you order iced tea in the South, unless you specify otherwise, it will be sweet tea.
Sweet enough to send your pancreas into shock and give you a sugar high akin to Halloween's. There was a freshly made pitcher, (Tupperware of course), of sweet tea in our refrigerator at all times. (We children were only allowed to have it on special occasions.) Proof that we were Southern, no matter where we lived on the planet.

Back to the meal: once again we have the utensil confusion and the crabby face that comes with suggestions.
Wouldn't it be better to eat the strawberry banana glop with a spoon rather than a fork?

Stink eye.
Pushing bowl away.


She hardly eats any chicken.
"It looks funny."
You said that's what you wanted.
"I don't remember that."

Oy to the vey.

When we paid the bill she thought the woman said four "dogs" in change, instead of "dollars".
She probably needs a hearing aid, but what are the chances she be able to find it, let alone use it? Slim to none, me thinks.

"Yo Gabba Gabba" was on TV when we came back. Nick, Jr. is her cable selection of choice now. A few weeks ago it was the TV Guide channel.

I know a lot of people/moms are creeped out by YGG. I shall confess here to a bit of the fascination.
Especially by Moono, who looks a bit like a...hmmm, how do I say this...well, a B.O.B. if you will.

Come on, doesn't he?! Don't tell me I'm the first person to think that.

Anyway, tomorrow we will "go play" and get her nails done.

We will not, however, be taking the Wynwood van.

Even though she said it would be okay.

Unemployment Blues

Today is my first day being unemployed since August 1996.
It's also the day the new refrigerator was delivered.

If one is unemployed (or soon to be), one must go out and purchase large appliances.

It's in the unemployee handbook.

Actually, it should save money since the old frig was 17 years old and not Energy Star compliant. It's very quiet.

No, I did not bow to the bottom freezer trend, that was another $400. I do have some sense.

Finn had to get in on the picture taking activity.

See him picking his paw up? He's "air kneading" - that's like air guitar for cats.

I'd better get back to checking Craigslist every five minutes.


I Heart Durham

Tonight my friend Rosemary, she of the cat show, and I went to the Craven Allen Art Gallery to an opening for Michele Maynard (lovely textile collages), and perchance a hunk of horseradish cheese.

Which they didn't have. Dangitbreath!

Saw some adorable paintings of technicolor onions. Doesn't sound charming at all, but they really were. Wish I had the disposable income (wish I'd taken a picture!). (I did not get the job BTW).

On the way to Craven, we spied this rather intriguing truck:

That's right people, a Taqueria/Indian food truck.

Shut your piehole.

We made a pact to stop on the way back. It's in the parking lot of Nice Price Books on Broad Street, should you wish to take a little trip. 5 PM - 9 PM Monday through Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday.
The nice man in the book store, when asked if the food was good, said it was the best thing to happen to him since he started working there. High praise indeed!

I believe Rosemary and I would agree with him.

Michael, the truck operator, made my food spicy, per my request. The Indian tacos were just so-so, but the Aloo Palak (potatoes and spinach) and Eggplant Bhurtha were delicious. Rosemary had a Chana Masala (chickpeas) that was wonderful. More than enough food for two meals.

And that is just one of the reasons I heart Durham.


At Last

Here are some pictures of the newly renovated and painted living room.
Also the end of the dreaded motel bathroom.

First, the inspiration lampshade.

The wall color is Butter. The cat is Lillie.

The accent wall color is Jalapeno Jelly. It's my favorite.
A nice juicy green. Thanks to Steffi for talking me down from
the darker olive green.

Steffi's idea to hang pictures on the knee wall. Genius!
The knee wall is two shades darker (Berry Burgundy) than the plant shelf triangle (Smoky Mauve)

I love my Barry Wilson mixer print.

And now, the bathroom improvements:

The wall color looks minty in these pictures.
Mint green is too blue for my liking. (Blue eyes, yes. Fabric, yes. Walls, no.)
I prefer yellow greens. The color is Pale Apple and it's not at all minty in person.


I Haz The Interweb! updated

After several attempts at getting wired at home I finally resorted to Time Warner cable.
Lo and behold, I am writing this post from my guest bedroom on my tiny, but fabulous
Lenovo Netbook.

Fawn, come visit again, you can do your blog posts here now!
I might make a Suite 101 in the guest bedroom closet.

My first attempt was with Clearwire. Easy and cheap.
Should have been my first clue (just because I like my men that way doesn't mean my wireless connection should be).
You need to have at least two bars out of five for a good connection.
I had one. Consistently.
No matter how I held my mouth, or what room I was in.

Called customer service, which was quite good actually. Got a real person in about five minutes.

But then the questions started.
Is the modem by a window? (if it were any closer to a window, it would be part of the glass)
Are there trees nearby? (ah, yes. it's NC, we have trees here. lots of them)
Are there houses next to you? (erm, yes. hello? suburbs)
Are your windows double paned? (seriously? this is a question?)

What I gleaned from this interrogation is that Clearwire will only work for me if I live in a hogan in the middle of New Mexico.
They said they would send a very nice man over to troubleshoot. (what's he going to do - clear cut my neighborhood?)
The very nice man said I was in a "pocket" and didn't get a good signal. (no comment)
I sent it back.

Second attempt was an AT&T wireless card. Same as above, except I skipped the whole customer service part and went right to returning it.


Okay, that was yesterday morning. Last night when I went to connect to finish this post - I could not connect. What. The. HECK. Mind you, I used the real bad words in person. I'm much more well behaved in blogger land. Mostly.
(An aside: when I start using the "magic incantation" words, as we call them at work, Oscar leaves the room, because usually the tool box is involved when I talk like that. And inside the tool box is one of his biggest fears - the measuring tape.)

My blogging companion, Oscar.

The chair thief Finn.

What has changed from this morning? Ummm...
  • The modem isn't on the floor anymore.
  • I'm using a mouse rather than the touch pad.
  • It's dark out.
That's about it.

SO...after one hour and fifty seven minutes on the phone, pinging and ipconfiging, they tell me basically it's my fault. Because the modem is working. Meaning it's not their fault.

I hate the interweb.

Okay, okay. Time Warner cable was right, it wasn't their modem (I'm sorry I hung up on you TWC)
Windows had done an automatic update and one of those screwed up the network adapter. I had to restore Windows back to when a time when I could get on line. Everything works fine now. Thanks Lenovo help desk!



I have one today. I'm nervous.

I don't think I "show" well.
The I [introverted] in INFJ can work against me, since I go internal when thinking, making me appear guarded - or stupid. Since the world is run by Extroverts, it can be a strike against us Innies.
The N [intuitive] part of me doesn't get all the questions, why don't they just go with their gut? Because that's what I would do.

I did Strength Finder 2.0 (love that sort of thing. I joined e-harmony just to do the personality test. I know, weird).

Survey says:
Intellection (introspective, in other words - Introverted)
Harmony (well natch, I am a Libra)
Restorative (good at figuring out problems and resolving them)

Back to the interview - it's at PROFESSIONAL place. Meaning culture. And not the kind in yogurt.
I have on the required black ensemble (with red shoes!), worried that I'm wearing too much jewelry. (What do you think? two rings, earrings, and a necklace.)

Business casual where I've worked for the past eleven + years involves putting on closed toe shoes, a Hawaiian shirt, and khaki's. Picture Jimmy-Buffet-meets-the-absent-minded-professor.

Pray for me Argentina.


Hummingbird Moth

There were two on my butterfly bush yesterday.

Taken on my phone camera. Google for better quality photos. They kind of remind me of flying shrimp, something about their tails is very crustaceany.

I Got Nothing

Sometimes a clever title eludes me. This is one of those times.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Went to Weaver Street in the morning, enjoyed lovely weather with lovely friends. Not necessarily in that order. A Trader Joe's run, home to drop off the haul, and then made myself go over to Mom's.

She saw me coming, "My daughter's here!" Sometimes she surprises me. Like when she knows me.
I gather up all the dirty clothes she had folded up and put on the bed, get her to take off the two dirty shirts and put on one clean one.
"I don't want to dress like a woman like that!"
A woman like what? A woman with a clean shirt?

Different day, same...well, you know.

"There's all the people we know." pointing to a photo collage of my brother's family.
She has a large framed baby picture of me, of course it's in the closet, facing the wall.
I hold it up next to my face. I have about the same number of chins now as I did then.

She chortles, "That's me!"
No, that's me, when I was a baby.
"Yes, a baby."
She puts her face on the picture.
"It's me."
Okay, whatever.

There's a modest display on the shelf, nothing like my brother's shrine.
"These are my things that I like," she says, patting the picture.
I took that picture.
"You did? Well, it's very good."
When I show her the picture above on the camera she says, "I don't look like that!"
I know the feeling sister.

We headed to the cafeteria. "Good job Bud, keep it up," she encourages a jogger.
"What have you been doing? Slipping around?"
Pretty sure I haven't been doing that since I don't know what it means. (did she mean sleeping around?! Haven't been doing that either.)
"How are your kids?" It's probable she means the cats, so I tell her they're all fine.
Bratty as ever, Finn's probably sleeping on the table as we speak.
She thinks that's funny.

The old favorite, chicken fingers, is back on her radar. Potato salad, peaches, watermelon, and buttered coconut pie round out her early supper.

I tuck her napkin into her shirt. Last week she refused to lean forward when taking a bite and dropped about every other forkful down the front of her shirt. I have a vested interest in keeping food on the napkin now, being her laundry service and all.
Not using the appropriate utensil doesn't help. Yesterday she tried to eat her potato salad and peaches with her knife, ate part of the watermelon with her fork, scooped up potato salad with a piece of chicken. She gets really mad when I suggest that another implement would work better.
Starts to drink the honey mustard sauce from the little cup.
No Mom.
She glares at me. Grabs a spoon.
Dip your chicken in it.

"What is that you're eating?", she pointed at the notebook I was writing in.
"800 of getting that stuff."
"You don't think much."
No, guess I don't.
She laughs, "We both have that."

She tucks her napkin back into her shirt, "It'll be down to my heels." Laughs.
Five minutes later when I repeat it back to her, she doesn't remember saying that. But still thinks it's funny.

I raise and lower my eyebrows at her and she calls me a flirt.

We take a drive towards Carrboro. I've noticed she gets slurry and makes even less sense after eating. Wonder if her blood sugar is high or low?

We sit out on the porch for a few minutes with two other ladies when we get back. Mom makes faces at me when they talk, mocking them. So bizarre.

I take her laundry and go home.


No News is Good News...?

Of course since I decided to document Mom's shelf displays, she hasn't done anymore. As my friend GA Boy says, Dangitbreath!

And if I don't write stuff down when she and I are adventuring, I remember nothing. Or mostly nothing. Or nothing worth mentioning. Or something.

We did go to the dermatologist a few weeks ago, there were some places on her nose that worried me. Doctor froze a couple of spots, which she endured quite well.

Lunch last Friday was uneventful.

We looked at pictures again. She is determined to make me the ugly one. One picture was of me a long time ago at Easter, all dressed up in a blue poofy skirted dress she'd made.
"Look how pretty Kay is," she said.
That's not Kay, it's me.
"No it isn't."
Kay & I. Guam, 1963-4

(While in Florida doing the garage sale, my nephew collected photos of Aunt Kay. When offered pictures of Aunt Kim, he politely declined. Dissed by my own mother AND a nine year old!)

Prior to lunch I got her to allow me to wash her hair before we left. Rather like the Two Stooges.
First we had to find the shampoo, because it was not in the bathroom (natch); that took about ten minutes. Get her to skootch closer to the shower, bend her head down, skootch closer - no closer - the other way [subtle push], towards the shower.
At one point I laid the shower head down, while it was on. What was that Wham-o toy that you attached to a lawn sprinkler hose that made it act like a unpredictable water spouting snake? That's what it was like. We both got soaked, but it was funny.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret - other people's hair makes me retch. Other people's wet hair stuck on my hands - oh god. Thinking about it right now is making me a bit gaggy. All the way to the cafeteria she kept finding strands of her hair on her clothes, then she'd drop them in. my. car. Gah. I almost threw up. Seriously.

Clearly I am not cut out to be a hairstylist.

Best Thing Ever

Well, right now anyway.

They should make just the centers of cinnamon rolls, like they make just the tops of muffins. It's the best part.

And I do mean the royal "they", because I hate baking.