Saturday, April 30, 2011

Something incredible and wonderful happened in England yesterday...

It's a joy to see wonderful things happen in the lives of fine people whom one admires.

Thud and his lovely family had a baby boy yesterday, and Vinogirl became an auntie again. Congratulations to their wonderful family, and may they all be blessed with health, happiness, and prosperity. :)

There is no abiding yearning in my heart for tidiness and order...

...and yet I can appreciate and see the beauty of Things Organized Neatly.

I'm good with clean clutter. Where the dust buffalo roam, and whatnot. Do put your feet up on the table. Don't leave shit molding in the sink. That sort of thing.

Besides, this is a house of puppies, and there's only so much order I can truly stand.

Have a beautiful Saturday.

Friday, April 29, 2011

On what inspires customer service.

I recently had the misfortune of having a crap customer reassigned to me from another representative at my company. I've learned firsthand why the customer was unsatisfied with the previous rep: this customer's a nasty piece of work and certainly would not inspire someone to go above and beyond, and perceives every unexpected turn as a slight against him by the service rep.

When I have courteous and polite people to deal with, I'll exhaust all resources to engineer a good outcome for them. I'll do my best at every turn, but when I'm badly treated, I'm certainly not going to open myself up to further opportunities to enjoy more abuse.

I really wonder what people think they are accomplishing when they threaten, bark orders and serve up heaping helpings of withering contempt to the people who assist them in service positions? Such people think they can intimidate other folks into doing a better job. Not so, I say.

These are precisely the same people who probably routinely send food back to the kitchens of restaurants they frequent. I am sure they are in part frustrated by the generally poor quality of service they encounter, because they merit no better. I guarantee you they have ingested more than a bit of someone else's bodily fluids. I mentioned this to one such person once, citing the likelihood there'd be extra additives in their replacement plate of hash, and they said, aghast, "they wouldn't dare." Guess what, sweetie? They totally dare. They were probably hugging themselves with glee as they peeked from the kitchen and watched you nom up their spittle. Or worse.

Bon appetit.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

cookie fortune.

I couldn't resist. I snapped this photo and sent it off to my friend Lin. She fired back "especially if you stay in a motel off I-40."



My throat is scratchy. Smoke in the air most days lately, with a wildfire just a couple miles away last week. Disturbing, because it's been so eerily dry already. So much of Texas is a tinderbox right now. Meanwhile, I'm seeing that the folks in Missouri have been getting rain that I think was meant for us. Heard a news story a couple days ago that a town in Arkansas was wiped off the map by a tornado, with most homes there destroyed. I later learned that a cousin of mine lives in that town, but he and family are all safe.

Amazing, weather and environment, and how quickly things can change dramatically. Working from home now, when the siren goes off calling the volunteer fire department, it gives me serious pause.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

By popular demand...

The brand is Orly and the color is Royal Velvet, 40743. You can't

see the full effect, but the lacquer must have a violet mica therein, because there's a corona of purple around the downward edges of the nail surface with this one. Reminds me of the blue-violet iridescence of Swallowtail butterfly wings. Gardener nails!

That reminds me-- must get some monarda (bee balm-- also known as bergamot) for the flying jewels-- the love to eat the plAnt and will make their cocoons on same. *joy!*

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faux'n paws

I really hate when I have to deal with someone on the phone whose voice dramatically skews from the gender their name would indicate, and unfortunately, I usually find out their name after we've been talking for a while.

When I'm talking to that lady in one vendor's office (usually after I've said "yes sir" or "no sir" at least once), having taken their name at the end of the call to find I was speaking with Belinda, well, I remember that when I call that particular office these days, but will I ever learn, generally?

I have one customer now who makes Dr. Girlfriend sound absolutely powder-puff. This customer was offended by their previous represenative to the point that they asked for their account to be reassigned to me.


I'm kind of wondering if the previous rep was just taken aback, having called her "sir." Still, I vow to not make assumptions, and to do better. I really don't want to offend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


So, last week our teacher said he is not introducing any new concepts for the waning days of the semester. Class on Monday? New stuff.

I can't wrap my brain around it.
I'm wrung out on this stuff.
What's going to suck most monumentally is that I'm worried now that this trigonometry is going to scuttle my very high A. :(

Okay, maybe I'm whining just a little. I'll be so glad when this semester is over in a couple of weeks.

I found the most lovely little garden center...

This place is at the back of an 1860 Victorian house at the edge of a town. The area with the vines over it is where the herbs and flowers for sale are displayed. The rock-edged planting beds are where she has her kitchen garden. The place is just wonderful and it was so inspiring. It's incredible what you can accomplish with a garden if you just start doing a good job clearing away the weeds and invasive plants, amending the soil properly and taking time to establish good perennials for the area.

I hope you like garden posts, because there will be a bunch to follow. When I got home from Dallas Sunday afternoon, several things I'd planted last year had bloomed to welcome me home. I felt rewarded. Gardening makes me so happy, and it feels good to have my own little plot of earth again. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gardening bliss

I had SUCH a lovely visit this Easter weekend with my folks, my sister and her sweet chilluns. As ever, there was much talk and laughter, and we had a grand time. Mom showed me a blanket Dad bought for me when they brought me home from the hospital, and soon I'll be bringing that home, along with (surprise!) my first pair of shoes in a very stylish, buttery-soft white leather, of course.

The Holy Grail for my garden this year was to find an Oak Leaf Hydrangea. SCORE!!! This is a gorgeous plant, and even if it didn't have its many-headed spike of blossoms, I'd still love it for the grand, huge leaves. This one will have pride of place at the northwest corner of the porch. I found this at Earth Tones Greenery in Midlothian, a very lovely nursery. To my delight, I also found an Australian tree fern, its fiddle-heads all curled up and ready to stretch out any day now. Picture of that one will be posted one day soon.

Then there was this wonderful fuzzy plant called Bunny Ears. FURRY! Very cute.

I did acquire several other plants, but I must show this impossibly lovely old-fashioned varietal geranium. The blossoms are impossibly magenta-- almost a red-black. Thought you might be able to get a sense of them, but the photo does not do them justice-- they fairly glow with a dark wine colour. Beautiful. Incredibly fragrant, too. I often wonder how such grand flora could ever have fallen out of fashion. More garden pics to come.

Have a great week!
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Om nom nom

Friday when I got to Dallas, I went for a manicure/pedicure, and the tv was running Food Network, and I saw a couple recipes that sounded intriguing. They were on 2 separate shows, but I thought they seemed like a match. Sunday night, I finished up my homework that will be due Wednesday, and I think quite possibly that will be all the homework required of me. This seemed a good reason to grab my bonnet and trot into town for the ingredients to a lovely (but healthy) meal.

One recipe was for Sole Meuniere and this couldn't be more quick or simple, with very good results. I made mine with an inexpensive tilapia,but I'm sure this would work well with several varieties of white fish. The fish only takes a few minutes to prepare, so go ahead and spend the 20 minutes preparing the salad first. I made this quinoa salad. Delicious. Quinoa is a sprout, though it's often referred to as a grain. It's a metabolism-boosting food, and it gives some of the effect of eating a starch (a little like tabloueh) but to much better effect, food value-wise. Due to the processing, there is usually a film left on the sprouts, so you'll want to make sure that is off. I bought pre-washed quinoa because that was all they had at WalMart, but if you buy the other variety, be sure to plan for enough time to soak it for 10 or 15 minutes and rinse prior to beginning the cooking process.

By the way, a friend adds quinoa to her chili, and it's a marvelous addition to the dish. :)

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It's so fluffy I think I'll die!!!

Came home from Dallas to find a package awaiting me. I couldn't remember what I'd ordered. Himself blinked innocently.

OMG OMG OMG it's SO cute. Thank you!!!

Who is my anonymous benefactor?*thrills*

Look at that adorable tail, those unblinking eyes (clearly bent on mischief) and those mad Ninja Bunny skills!

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Sunday, Puppy Sunday: handsome little lad

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fancy ladies stepping out in their hairy-legged grandeur

I adore Iceland poppies. Their buds look like little Seymours, likely to demand feeding at any moment. Then from that hirsute casing burst forth the most unlikely blossoms.

This orange is so intense and the petals seem impossibly thin and fragile, yet they push skyward despite the wind.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Goodness gracious me!

In Dallas this weekend. Lookie what I saw at Oak Lawn and Maple today. What is up with people wearing britches with stuff written across the ass these days? Male or female, I'd urge against the practice. This guy was jogging and I felt kind of seasick trying to read his butt.

Not pretty.

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because all of my being is now impining

Love love LOVE PJ Harvey. I love that she gives a straightforward interview wherein she discusses the inspiration for her music. I love Interpol in spite of Banksy's inscrutability, and not because of it. Polly will talk about things, though.

love this song.
Come here at once!
Come! On a night with no moon because
all of my being is now impining...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

175 years ago today...

San Jacinto Day.

Mosey over to JPG's wonderful archived piece from 2008 for more, and I always love Blackfork's blog for his evocative posts on the subject of the Texians' struggle for independence. No small wonder that to have descended from such fearless folk is a point of much pride and honor amongst contemporary Texans.

what I'm listening to now...

I am utterly besotted with Kiran Ahluwalia. Lovely lady, exquisite voice, beautifully crafted music-- what's not to like? Toward the end, I really enjoy the masterful guitar work of Kiran's husband, Rez Abassi.

At once modern and ancient, Kiran's music is folk-style settings for Ghazals, an ancient Persian and Punjabi style of poetry. I have two of her cds on my iPhone (that's partly why I was so distraught at having lost my music library) and I adore this song in particular.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

chiweenie video

Funny thing is in my house, the chiweenie is the one (along with a certain Jack Russell Terrier) who is doing the prodding, and I'm the one trying to play possum.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ask me about my Death Ray!

LOVE LOVE LOVE the stuffing out of this shirt:

From Retropolis - The Art of the Future That Never Was

Monday, April 18, 2011

What do dogs think they'd do if they actually caught a car?

Ignorance is bliss.

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Credit where credit is due-- I was able to reinstall my photos and phone numbers, and Apple installed most of my apps and my recently purchased music.


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Ninja Easter Egg Bunny

I was poking around on the internet looking for papier maiche references for a project I'm working on (I'll show you later if the whole thing doesn't go horribly amiss) and I came across this goes-to-11 bit of adorable badassery that is

Seller Fishstikks has a lot of fabulous one-of-a-kind papier maiche pieces, and I'm besotted with their lovely, unique designs, but the Ninja Easter Egg Bunny really takes the cake! Someone should buy that. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: morning inspections

Teh puppehs have to make their rounds of a morning, checking to see if any errant squirrels have been about the place. Chuy and Praline have oddly similar habits with this regard, although Praline's scope is a little more vertically varied.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kicking Grass

I'm prepared to admit that the weedy seedlings of junk trees that now stand watch over this flower bed are even less attractive than it was with all that liriope, but I frelling hate that stuff with all my might. I really and truly do. The saplings will come out and that will be another story. The only time I'd ever recommend liriope is if you have a place that is so butt-ugly and undesireable that no one will ever want to garden there in future. Or, if you really hate a future homeowner, plant a big mess of this hideousness and they'll think of you later aplenty. This was probably planted more than a decade ago and was a dense network of filament like roots that formed a mat on top of and into the soil. To top that off, the roots have little tater-like nuts on them (corms? bulbs?) which, if the plant is simply broken off from a superficial level, will grow an entirely new eruption of the very scourge one was attempting to eradicate.

I started the tedium of removing the liriope from the flowerbed on the North side of the porch early this morning, and I just completed the task. I can feel how miserable my hands will be tomorrow. I feel bent over like an old crone, and I feel as if I did about a million situps-- a task for which I am clearly not meant. The only respite I've had from this hard-day's slog in the garden was the occasional interruptions of the "Oh, Shit!" phone from work. I've been on call so the 9 or so hours when I started this morning have had enough interruptions to give me a break from the task.

I'll be happy when I have something pretty to replace this to show in its stead. For now, the bare earth is glorious enough.

Friday, April 15, 2011

brilliant wall vinyl

This is generally not a color scheme I'd seek out, but I love what they've done with this place. Then there's these other vinyl wall cats. LOVE. THEM.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

According to an article online,

Most Americans think the tax they pay is fair.

I'm speechless. I can't say anything. I have no words. Well, okay, one word:


There've always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm...

Cold Comfort Farm

I LOVE this movie! I ordered it some weeks back and it finally came in. Got home from school Wednesday night, popped the vid in the player and peered out from a pup pile on the loveseat.

Tee hee.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


My teeth don't meet properly. I had my teeth cleaned about a year ago and (as I suspected, based on jaw pain), the day my doctors predicted has arrived: my misaligned teeth are finally causing my molars to crack because the back tooth on each side is the only place where my teeth touch. I know: weird, innit? I don't think I look like I Have a skeletal deformity, but I do wonder what it's like to have your teeth meet, and I'm looking forward to that. I'm probably going to start the pre-op work in May and although I dread it, I'm looking forward to an end to the jaw pain and the fear of losing my teeth due to something that simply can't be fixed with braces or hygiene. I've never had a cavity, by the way, and even though I knew something had cracked back there, hearing the pronouncement by the dentist was a little heart-wrenching.

I dread the surgery, but it has to be done. They put braces on the teeth, make a dog-leg cut in the mandible, and then re-position the whole mess. I wont' be having any slicing of bone on the upper area or the chin. Still, yuck. It's incredibly creepy to consider, and at once, miraculous as well. This will take me out of commission for about 6 weeks. I'm planning this little delight to happen about mid-October. More on this later. You don't miss what you've never had, and it's going to feel strange to have my front teeth cut like a proper bite should, but I sure as hell won't miss the constant jaw/ear pain.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Here's how I feel about whoever or whatever ganked my iPhone:


I am so hating on you right now. If you thought birds were angry, well, you have NO IDEA.

I never plug my iPhone into the computer and now I know why. I plugged the phone into the computer Monday night and *poof!* All my photos, my iTunes-- all that stuff is now GONE with the flapping wind. I don't get it-- how did this happen? It's got butt-tons of memory.

I am steamed.

Phone numbers?
Gone. All gone.

SO... if you're my friend, please send me a text saying "I am (your name here)" so I can save your number with your name, mkay?


Monday, April 11, 2011

Mommy's little helpers

Blackberries were on sale for $1.27 a pint, so I made blackberry jam Sunday evening. The puppies are such sweet things, so eager to help me clean up. :)

This blackberry jam recipe gives every indication of being a good one and it was very simple. This yielded exactly 11 half-pints. The puppies approve, anyway.
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: someone else's big puppy

A visitor came with a fresh new .50 cal. Nice doggie. Or not.

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Sunday, Puppy Sunday: bookends

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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Bonus puppage

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Big Sis Wants To Scare The Hell Into You

Big Sis Wants To Scare The Hell Into You

I've had 14's Gallery Of The Absurd on my sidebar for years because she's spot-on with her caricatures, and her text is hilarity con carne.

This one takes the cake, though. Go read it. The illustration is magnificent. :)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Nestus interruptus which I has a sad. :(

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A lovely little pair of purple finches were making a nest a couple weeks ago, I noticed. That's one of my favorite local wild birds, so I was pleased they chose my porch. Monday, my gallant fellow climbed up and snapped this photo of the fruit of the little pair's loins. Or future potential fruit. Or. Whatever.

Wednesday, the nest was bare, bereft of its little clutch of eggs. :(

THere were no broken shells about, so I'd rule out predator birds who would have eaten the eggs. The nest was intact, just the eggs gone. I dunno-- snake? I've never seen a raccoon around here. I'm puzzled and a little sad.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

fusion flapper bellydance

Amazingly cute and very clever. Golly jeepers!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I love this song. :)

Dandelion whine.

My little mitts are screaming. I have vowed that from now on, Sunday morning is my date with the garden. Last year I laid a very good foundation for more intensive work this year. I put some heat-hardy native perennials in strategic spots and 95% of those are back so far, so in that I am well-pleased. I spent a goodly bit of time weeding, and the muscles around my fingers are aching in a terrible way, today. I know it will come sooner or later, but I'm such a hands-on person that I really dread having arthritis someday. It's gonna suck.

That said, I took my handy dandy weeding tool about and popped up loads of dandelions and milkweed. There's a techinque to it, and when you have it down, it's kind of satisfying to slide the blade into the soil parallel to the plant, prise slightly and then the rewarding *pop* as the root gives way and pops free like a little carrot. That said, it's a shame the milkweed is such an odious plant in other ways, because it had a very lovely dusty blue and dusty purple cast to the leaves, and if it weren't such an exponential proliferator, I would let them go hog-wild. Not to be: out they must go.

Again, my paws are aching. *whimper*

I put out a lovely purple creeping phlox that I just love-- they make such nice mounds of color that come back year after year. Then I put a lush gallon pot of hydrangea at the edge of the porch step. I'm hoping for a massive profusion of blooms there soon.

A lovely Purple Finch couple have taken up residence in the nesty corner at the top of the porch ceiling. There's a lovely fat blue egg in the nest now, and since I'm going to be a Granny to a little birdie family, I thought I'd better put out a birdbath. Found a lovely one at Tuesday Morning. Himself most gallantly got me a couple of finch feeders and my little avian paradise is on its way. Put up a lovely hanging basket with blue lobelia and red pertoonies (that's what ancient Mrs. Kennedy fetchingly dubbed petunias) and some lovely yellow daisy flowers. I'm determined to have the place looking like a jewel box by the time Fall rolls around.

It's good to be gardening again. It's been too long. :)

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Living in the future is so cool!

In case you haven't heard of it so far, you watch the live video from an eagle nest in Iowa online. The pair have 3 eggs, two of which have hatched in the last few days, and the third is expected to hatch soon. There's also a link to the video of a 24 hour time lapse of the first egg hatching, and one of the second. It's amazing. The nest is about 80 feet up, is about 5 feet across and weighs about 3000 lbs. Pretty amazing stuff. :)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

I think I'm safe in saying...

I speak for everyone when I say that Katie Perry's song Firework can not die screaming soon enough for any of us. Went to see a movie Friday night and it was in the trailer for two movies designed to appeal to prepubescent folk. "make them say ugh ugh ugh, as you circle the bowl." Just shut up already. Don't you have someone to kiss, or something?

Other stuff that should die screaming:

Car sound systems that jar the bowels of neighboring motorists. Incinerate. On the spot. No questions asked.

Vandals. Die. Screaming.

Mondays. I've got a mad-on for Mondays. Why don't I like them?

More caffeine, pls.

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: windows r ossum!

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Saturday, April 02, 2011


Loved this movie.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Ain't it a pretty night?

So, there I was after working 12 hours. I love love LOVE working from home, btw. I'm in a better humour, and it's a lot easier to feel chipper about helping out the new hires when there are crises with their customers. The puppies sleep more than I ever would have imagined, and I can think so much more clearly without chaos erupting all about me. I got off work after 9pm Thursday night and went for a walk. I called Mom and we talked for a bit. Then I called Lin. I told her Orion was low in the West and soon, we wouldn't see him at all at night. She said it made her think of her old Chinese hair dresser who used to say "you have so much hair! Is just rike a rion!" I laughed and laughed. Anyway, I was walking along, looking up occasionally at the incredibly clear night sky with its profusion of stars. The temperature was about 62, and I had a light jacket on, but it was very pleasant. All along empty streets, most houses had at least one window aglow with the blue light that signaled a tv within. No one else was out walking. Pity, because the night sky had to be vastly more captivating than whatever was on the tube. Then again, I'm big-hearted enough to enjoy it for everyone. Yeah, I was packing and I also had a very nice knife (lovely gift, that!) along with me as I walked about town, but I thought what a quiet and peaceful little place this is. Not much going on. Then I came across something that at once saddened me on several levels. Someone had spray-painted graffiti on a sidewalk. I chuckled over this and walked on. Then I had to make the block and come back around to take a photo. I was sad because someone would do something so juvenile and tasteless as to graffiti a sidewalk in town. What made me ever more sad was what a pig's ear they made of the job of drawing a dog bone. Tsk. Tsk. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone