Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dropping off the radar

That would seem to be what I've done for two weeks: dropped off the radar. Instead, we've been on a two-week adventure to the Mediterranean aboard a cruise ship of the Oceania Line, the Marina.

First, we stopped in London to visit our in-laws, then on to Athens, skimming the upper rim of the Mediterranean, then landing in Barcelona on Thursday.

This was a trip sponsored by a favorite winery, Robert Biale of Napa, and included wine tastings, three outings to vineyards, three sumptuous meals at said wineries, and more to do on ship. I'll be posting a TravelQuest on the North Texas e-News and will put the links here as they appear.

In the meantime, there's laundry and bills and groceries to gather, photos to download...

I need a vacation.

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Monday, May 09, 2011


Did you know you can actually watch cherries ripen? Yep, it's a fact, borne out by the way I can circle my small tree, plucking off 1/2-inch tart cherries and when I get back to where I started, I find more ready to pick! They must have ripened as I circled!

It is a bit disconcerting to think I've picked all ripe ones within reach and then get to the other side of the tree and look back over to where I've been--and there are more ripe ones! I think they're hiding under small leaves. Whatever.

I picked a quart of these babies this morning. A QUART! I've already picked a quart and there are more out there! I might have enough for a batch of cherry jelly this summer rather than waiting 2 or 3 years for them to accumulate in the freezer.

On the other hand, the thing that really does concern me is that these are ripening 3-4 weeks earlier than normal. I usually pick Memorial Day weekend, not Mother's Day. I wonder if this means anything for the fruit harvest around here.

My poor plum tree bloomed its 25-year-old heart out and then the wind and cool temps got hold of it and there are very few plums. Well, to be honest, I've only seen one.

But it's going to be a beauty!

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

And why isn't it Mothers' Day? Or is it? Hmmm.

Spent last evening and today in the new home of son Matt and his family. The guys got up earlier than everyone (but me!) and went to the grocery for breakfast items and fresh bouquets. (Said they only saw other men there--buying flowers, etc.) Then they cooked breakfast. Yum! Dined on the patio with two hungry grandchildren, then cleaned up so the men could go back to the old house and finish bringing items over which wouldn't fit in the moving van. Took 4 or 5 trips. They did yard work and I played hide and seek and watched a princess fashion show after we colored and pasted. Did laundry.

Full, wonderful day.

Happy Mother's--or is it Mothers'--Day to us all!

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Recycle Please

If everyone receives as many unwanted credit card solicitations as we do, there's a forest dying every day. It's ridiculous. You'd think eventually the computer program in place for said credit card companies would realize that the return from this address is zero and they'd just write us off and save a tree. Or three.

Alas, it hasn't happened yet and probably will not. I hear you can get off these lists if you call a certain number and give them everything but the model number of your kitchen sink. No thank you. That's what the shredder is for.

I usually tear these unwanted envelopes open and toss the innocuous material in the trash and the pages with names and numbers into the shredder box. Then, when I'm particularly bored or the box overfloweth, I shred.

This is what I did yesterday afternoon. And did. And did. I overheated the shredder three times. (Obviously, someone needs to do this more often. Volunteers?) There's a certain sameness to it because we get the same solicitations over and over. Some even put bar codes on the return envelopes. Oh, please. Shred.

Then on the back of one company's main envelopes there's a little logo that says Recycle Please. This, I can do.


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Thursday, May 05, 2011

An Oscar update

His Majesty Oscar snuck out of his bathtub lair one time too many and has now been captured and, I'm hoping, the hole covered up.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Just when you think a cat can no longer surprise you

Son Matt and his family moved into a new (to them) home today. In order to keep some semblance of peace, cats Oscar and Issy were sequestered in the children's bathroom.

Mary made it cozy for them with familiar items and their litter box in the bathtub. She put their bed in the bottom of the linen closet and closed the door.

Alas, the hole to service the bathtub faucets, small though it is, was left uncovered and Oscar, not the sharpest pencil in the box, decided to explore.

Before they knew what had happened, Oscar's plaintive moans were heard downstairs in the breakfast area, which is directly under the bathroom. What was he howling about?

How about being stuck in the inner area which surrounds a circa-1969 tub?

Panic ensued. Exactly where was he? Could he not get out? Would a hole have to be cut from the adjoining closet? How many days would it take before he started to smell? Would curiosity really kill the cat?

I suggested tempting the little rascal with canned tuna or chicken. None to be had in the just-moved pantry. All they had on hand was bacon and a dish of that, placed just outside the entrance, had no effect.

But Oscar has a weakness: popcorn. Fresh popped corn was laid down and a paw snuck out to snag a piece. Therefore, he could turn around and he could get out.

The sympathy level dropped to about 10% and hit rock bottom a couple hours later when his tail was spotted going back into its newest hidey-hole.

Oh, Oscar, I don't envy you when they finally catch you outside the tub!

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Hitting a snag in the travel trivia game

To update from the last post: I made it over 120K points once. There was nothing on the other side but a thanks for playing. Hmmm... I wonder how those in the top ten make it past 250K. Does something magic happen if you make it to 125K, for instance?

OTOH, I've totally bombed out and not made it past the second 45K layer twice. TWICE! Not even note taking has saved me.

But I'm not giving up. I haven't used my 20 chances yet, although I'm probably close.

Onward and hopefully--upward!

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