28 February 2009

Manic Monday - Waffle

All right! I was spoiled! I admit it! Waffles are not made by just adding water. They aren't! They aren't! They aren't! Waffles are served on Sunday. You sit down at a table with flowers in the middle and drink your fresh squeezed orange juice while awaiting the batter to fill the waffle iron warming for the great arrival.

Now about that batter. You can cheat a bit and use Bisquick is you must, but I better not see a whole egg just dumped in there as if it didn't matter. I mean REALLY!!! What kind of barbarian would do such a thing. Milk, egg yolks, oil, Bisquick in one bowl and egg whites in another. Blend the first bowl together and then whip the second bowl to nice dry peaks. Fold the egg whites gently into the batter so that it is air-filled and fluffy.

Now if you happen to have an old fashioned waffle iron, the best way to get it ready for the batter is to butter a piece of bread on both sides cooked first. This makes "waffle toast", a kind of variation on southern "fried bread". A good piece of waffle toast is a luxury unknown to an age worried about such things as weight, cholesterol, and other insidious adverse things that come from the consumption of bread and butter. Oh go ahead. It's once a week. Moderation in all things including moderation.

Now you may make the waffle. This takes practice unless you have one of those machines that gives you a green light. Beware! The light lies. It gives you squishy waffles. You can end up with a waffle that is half in the top and half in the bottom ... torn to shreds ... disaster. A waffle should be whole, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and easily lifted from the iron. This now brings us to the syrup. You are using pure maple aren't you? NO???? My God! Were you raised by wolves?

So there it is on your plate. Something that took real time to prepare. A perfect treat to start a restful day. Lightly buttered, Beautifully drenched in syrup ... a confection of perfection ... The Waffle.

Then again - There's always Sunday brunch and mimosas.

But you know I couldn't leave you without a song about a different kind of "waffle":


When you come across something on the net that really should be passed along, it is a good idea to do it. I didn't create this list, but it is too essential not to share it with as many people as possible. We've all been told what to have on hand for emergency survival as to food, medicine, shelter etc. But few of us stop to think about the every day information that someone else might need to know if you couldn't tell them?

How many of you are prepared in case of an emergency? Would your next-of-kin or loved one know where to find the information about banks, insurance policies, credit cards, and how to pay bills? Do you have a list of utilities, doctors, medications, lawyers, and people to notify if necessary? Do you have advance directives? Do you have a will? Are you a member of the sandwich generation – taking of your parents? Do you know their information?

In an Arizona Republic article from December 2007, broad categories and information are suggested that professional organizers, financial experts and life coaches believe spouses and significant others should gather and share.

These suggestions are for anyone – the lists can be simple or more detailed. Apply them to your own life. I’m sure software applications are available for this type of record keeping or you can design your own. Just be prepared! Another thing to remember is to keep your records up-to-date because things do change.

One very important note, be sure to keep the information in a safe place in at least two locations since it won't do you any good in the computer in the house that just burned down:


• Banking, savings accounts and household budgets

Record passwords and PIN numbers that access accounts. Also share where the checkbook is or online-checking passwords.

• Taxes

List the name of the person who does the taxes and where copies of back tax returns and documents for this tax year can be found.

• Credit cards

Compile all account numbers and outstanding debts along with phone numbers in case you need to cancel accounts.

• Power of attorney

If you have assets you don’t own jointly, each spouse should have a power of attorney for the other and then store the information in a safe place.

• Loans

Include names of lenders, amounts owed, account numbers, passwords and a phone number.

• Retirement plans

Become familiar with the other spouse’s pension plans, 401(k) accounts, IRAs and Social Security benefit statements.


Compile the company name, phone numbers, maintenance records and passwords necessary for the following:

• Itemized list of household contents

Write a list or video your household possessions. This will be invaluable in case of a fire and proof is necessary for replacement.

• Professionals

List contact information for doctors, lawyers, financial advisers, investment professionals and others.

• Utilities and bills

Includes gas, water, electric, telephone and cable-TV service with account numbers where appropriate. Write down information for other bills, too.

• Contractors and service workers

Include repair workers for plumbing, air-conditioning, auto repair, odd jobs and irrigation systems.


This category includes children, aging parents and pets. Information should include:

• Medications

Keep a list of medications and dosages taken by children, parents and pets.

• Relatives and friends

In the event that something happens to either spouse or to both, list the names of relatives and friends who should be notified.

• Caregivers

List the names and phone numbers of people who watch your children or care for elderly parents and pets. Remember to include doctors and the preferred hospital to go to in case of an emergency.

27 February 2009

Have I Got A Site For You

As you all know, I'm constantly trying to answer questions. Sorry about that, but in one form or another that was my job for forty years, and I can't quite break the habit. When you combine insatiable curiosity with a love of travel, a voracious appetite for books, and a compulsion to pursue historical trivia, you get a passionate love affair with the Internet.

Well I just found a site that may take me years to get through either by word or deed. It's called Legends of America, and it has everything: history, ghost towns (complete with ghosts), American history, historic people, native Americans, stories of the old west, photography, roadside attractions, Route 66, and other travel recommendations. Whether you travel in person or by arm chair, this is a great site.

I titled my last blog "Flashlight Worthy" only to find out that there is a blog named "Flashlight Worthy" whose slogan is "recommending books so good they'll keep you up past your bedtime". So much for inexplicable coincidences. If there is a genre or book prize, they have a list that fits. Or, if by some wild chance they don't have a list, you get to suggest one or submit your own. This is a book lover's paradise. In the interest of keeping you even broker than you already are, they kindly provide a direct link to Amazon lest you leave without giving in to temptation.

And for the song I always feel like singing whenever I discover something (or someone) leading the way to an adventure:

26 February 2009

Flashlight Worthy

February 26, 1957: Last episode of Dragnet radio series which had started in 1949 written by and starring Jack Webb. This overlapped the Dragnet TV Series which ran from 1951 to 1959 and then was brought back 1967 through 1970 and in rerun as Badge 714. The arresting theme music began to play ("Dum-de-dum-dum") to herald what became what was probably the most successful police drama in television history.

So why is this important to me? As a small child, my bedtime was theoretically 7:30 pm. Since I was almost always blessed with my own room, own bed and somewhat complacent adults, this meant me with radio, flashlight, and book under the covers until at least 10:00. It was the thrill of imagination fed by written and spoken words with the books and radio scripts creating movies of the mind. This was the world of Dragnet, Green Hornet, and Inner Sanctum as well as all the books from my shelves.
To this day, I tend to divide books into daylight and flashlight classes. Flashlight Worthy is a book with a voice so strong and filled with images that it is capable of painting a CinemaScope, 3D, stereophonic blockbuster on the underside of sheets even if I'm now reading it comfortably ensconced in an easy chair.

Today's children are force fed images almost from birth and I'm not sure it is good for them. Are they losing the ability to make their own pictures using only the spoken or written word? If you can't see the pictures when you read, how do you get transported to another place and time?

If you want to get a feel for these radio shows, you can listen or download many of them at Old Time Radio. There is also a direct link to the Dragnet shows at the top of this post. Are you around any young readers? Are they seeing the pictures? Maybe they need some practice with a radio and a flashlight.

For pure fun, here is the classic "Copper Clappers" routine between Jack Webb and Johnny Carson.

25 February 2009

Ring Around Elizabeth

Most of you are aware of "web rings" - They are collections of blogs about a single subject that link to each other so that you can jump from one to another to get different insights or information on the material.

Being a lover of history and British history as a subset, I just discovered a truly neat ring - Renaissance in the Elizbethan World. It seems to have started to promote a Compendian of Common Knowledge for those participating in Renaissance Faires, but now links to over 100 sites on the web, as well as links to subsets from the book for this period. I particularly liked "Managing a Noble Household" which you can print out as a pdf document.

In case you are feeling a bit put upon by modern laws and regulations, imagine having to check to see if the clothes in your closet were legal to wear by checking the latest Sumptuary Laws.

22 February 2009

Manic Monday (Fire) - Pucker Up

Marvelous Mo of Manic Monday has decreed that we shall all be on "Fire" today. For some reason, I have been in a very romantic mood of late thinking about great kisses that make things really heat up. I will spare you stories of the great kissers in my life except to say, "Thank you gentlemen!"
Instead, here are the osculations that have been pronounced the Best Film Kisses of all time, plus if you go to You Tube and put in "Best Kisses", you will get video after video such as the one below with Tom Jones setting hearts afire. Feel free to add any fiery kisses you particularly like in comments.

If Tom isn't hot enough for you, here's a real oldie. Get ready for the fiery dance of love, The Tango to Kiss of Fire

20 February 2009

Above the Dragon

For your horoscope in the 2009 Year of the Ox, go here and click on the year of your birth here.

In June of 1961 I graduated from high school and started at Mount San Antonio College in September. About a month after starting, my aunt needed the car for the day and I was stuck in the student center at noon with no classes and no bus until four. There was only one thing to do. I stood on a table and yelled, "Who wants to drive me home?" A good looking young man yelled back, "I will". That is how fate intervenes and two people dispense with the next ten years of their lives.

We married in August of 1962 and moved to northern California. As the Year of the Rabbit approached in early February of the following year, I was eight months along into doing what rabbits do best. (As Nancy Reagan once said, "Go ahead and count!") So what is the most sensible thing to do ... why head for the steep hills of San Francisco, Chinatown, and the Chinese New Year's parade.

Now I am just barely 5'4" while my former husband was 6'2". This left me down in the middle of a huge jostling crowd unable to see a darn thing. Fortunately, San Francisco has a lot of old buildings and old buildings have decorative ledges which presented a solution as long as I was willing to make a fool of myself. The husband and another cooperative gentleman lifted me up to put my rear on the ledge with the expectant bulge to the front while they stood below me with my legs over their shoulders as if they were the edge of an easy chair.

There I perched very obviously about to explode at a moment's notice atop my gentlemanly bearers watching the dragon dance his way into a year of good fortune. Which just might explain why two weeks later the littlest bunny that was supposed to arrive on my nineteenth birthday on March 2 put in his appearance on February 21. That year's biggest hit song was on the radio when he was brought in to me for the first time:

Christopher Alan will be 46 tomorrow. Happy Birthday Honey.


Rabbits are private individuals, a bit introverted and withdrawn. People born into this sign would rather work behind-the-scenes instead of being the center of attention in any situation. Do not misunderstand…the Rabbit is not a recluse. In fact, he is a reasonably friendly individual who enjoys the company of a group of good friends whether at a business dinner or a holiday party. Rabbits just like to be a part of the gang as opposed to the leader of it.

Rabbits, like their animal counterparts, are quite calm people who do not exhibit aggressive behavior and will avoid confrontation at all costs. When angry about something, a Rabbit will approach it calmly and considerately, hardly ever raising his voice or becoming visibly annoyed. Because of their serenity, Rabbits seem to miss things, whether they are confrontational in nature or not. However, the Rabbit is quite keen and pays close attention to the situations developing around him. He is intelligent and quick and can talk himself in or out of most situations with no problem.

The Chinese Rabbit is one of the most stylish creatures of the Chinese Animal Signs and finds interest in different cultures. He is classy and sophisticated, and can be found adorning one of the latest fashion magazine cover looks. Rabbits also like artistic ventures, such as painting and music and are generally quite present in these worlds. They love to express themselves, which is evident when joining them at home for a function or a cup of coffee.


The Piscean Rabbit is quite a complex person. He is creative and will work best in relaxed, peaceful situations where his creativity can be explored and put to good measure.

19 February 2009

Happy Birthday MO!!!!!!

This should be enough cake for everyone. Dive In and don't forget to stop by and say Happy Birthday to our Marvelous Mo now that he has reached the age of enlightenment.

And just for MO ... Lots and lots of Pie

18 February 2009

Purple Passion of Procedures

Yesterday was one of those marvelous days in modern life when I got to spend from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the company of the medical profession. There I was doing my normal round of blogs and blather when I stood to take a break and happened to notice that one of my feet was progressing through various shades from mauve to eggplant. Having nothing genetically in common with Barney, a trip to the local clinic seemed in order.

A little less than three score years ago, a child jumped off of a teeter totter the way children sometimes do, giving the one suspended in air a rapid trip to earth courtesy of gravity. These see saws were also built out of iron and were very very heavy so the trip was extremely fast, and if a leg swung under all that metal, this could result in a severe injury. Because it happened to me, the circulation in one leg has always been somewhat dicey with semi regular swelling or need to wear elastic bandages for a period of time. What I was looking at was much more extreme.

The clinic nurse took one look and said, "can you drive to the hospital?". Now Tacoma General is a wonderful hospital. They are a teaching hospital so there are scads of very sweet, pretty things being brightly cheerful as they assist you into a stylish hospital gown, extract various and sundry fluids, and then deposit you on a gurney watching the passing parade that watches you waiting for some mysterious "upstairs" to be ready to make an even more mysterious machine go whirrrrr. Just to keep you entertained, they poke things in your mouth to produce a number, tighten a constricting torture object to produce more numbers, and stick gluey things with electric wires resembling "Old Sparky" to make sure you are still among the living.

Every once in a while a nice on duty intern drops by to ask, "have you been upstairs yet?". A negative answer gets a reassuring pat as he lifts the blanket to see that the offending limb has not taken on any more ominous colors. Fortunately, someone had left behind the book "Slumdog Millionaire" (the source for the Oscar nominated movie), so laying out like a left over salami became rather entertaining. I was almost upset when fetched to go "upstairs".

Another cheerful, sweet thing proceeded to slather on gel and compressing flesh several times with a more than twinge producing grip that would have put King Kong to shame. After which I was dispensed once more to downstairs and the hall.

Final outcome after a decade of hours: No blood clot, prescription for a blood thinning drug whose price you don't want to know your tax dollars are covering about 2/3 of the cost, and an order to not sit or stand for long periods of time. Nothing like being told to loll around with your feet up and given another bliss making little pill to encourage being lazy. Therefore, all is well and semi back in working order. I now have to buy my own copy of Slumdog Millionaire to finish the story, and Barney can keep his purple feet to himself.

15 February 2009

Manic Monday - Candy

I love it when Mo makes it easy on me. Snuggle up with a special someone and press start.

For more participants, go to Manic Monday

08 February 2009

Manic Monday - Wear

There have been scads of songs about things to wear. Some have turned up in musicals and movies. Every once in a while one will even win an Oscar. One of the funniest of old movies with an Oscar winner about something to wear, 1948's "Buttons and Bows" from The Paleface starring Bob Hope and Jane Russell.

Elvis wore Blue Suede Shoes and Dolly Parton had her Coat of Many Colors. Who could forget the Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Polka Dot Bikini if they ever saw one? Neil Diamond is Forever in Blue Jeans though he might spruce up a little for a Devil in a Blue Dress. If things go badly, there might be a woman in a Long Black Veil. Now If you drop by my place, make yourself comfortable but You Can Leave Your Hat On.

To join in on the fun, visit Mo at Manic Monday.

02 February 2009

Keeping It Simple

This is just a little of what was lost fifty years ago today. The Day The Music Died. If you haven't done it yet, go read the remarkable feature done by the Des Moines Register. It is a combination video and written presentation and is just plain remarkable.


Not Your Mama's Lava Lamp

The latest One-Of-A-Kind handmade plasma sculpture from ArtLab 1824 is the "Climbing Arc Flask", a xenon gas filled glass plasma flask on a marble, wood and brass base that measures 13 1/4" tall and 6 1/2" in diameter.

A friend of a friend has become disabled. Since he can no longer pursue his normal career, he has turned to the art of creating retro antique lamps in looks and mad scientist in performance that he auctions on EBAY. These one of a kind creations are spectacular, and each one does something different.

Here are a couple in action:

This week's lamp now available on EBAY

01 February 2009

Manic Monday - Cloud

For this week's Manic Monday,I will be doing some more time travel using The Way Back Machine, courtesy of Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman, and turning the dial to 1951. Now 1951 was one of those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year's for a child as it was one of those years when all the adults around decide to indulge in delinquent behavior. As a result I went from Fresno, California to Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and finally got dumped in an all girls school in Pasadena, California. To this day, I love the whole idea of private schools ... they may be institutional but when your parents and relatives belong in an institution, it's nice to have one of your own in which to hide.

San Marino Hall School For Girls no longer exists. It was one of those anachronisms in Los Angeles where the doyens of Pasadena tried to mimic the East Coast nabobs. It had houses and house mothers, the grandest of which was reserved for the Senior Class girls to ensure that they were "finished" and ready for society. There were lessons in posture, deportment, tea service, voice, and piano all of which were displayed at the annual Maypole dance in long gowns during their final year. The claim to fame: One of the first of Lawrence Welk's champagne ladies, Roberta Linn graduated from San Marino Hall. I recently googled the school and came up with only two citations: A Classmates listing of nine former graduates and an old newspaper article about the suicide of a former San Marino Hall girl.

So what does this have to do with Clouds? The year book for the 1951/1952 school year had a theme of popular hit songs for those years such as "Pack of Wild Horses" "Wheel of Fortune", "Unforgettable", "Wish You Were Here" ... and a pictorial of all the drama department productions including the talent show where the winner did an imitation of the one and only Johnnie Ray complete with the tearing off of coat and tie while falling to her knees in full scream. His hits included Walking My Baby Back Home, Please Mr. Sun, Cry, Just Walking In The Rain .... and for today's theme:

The Little White Cloud That Cried

For more Manic Monday info and participants, please click here.

Today In History

Today is fun because there is both an old and new music sample. In 1896 Puccini's opera "La Boheme" premiered in Turin, Italy.

And then along came "RENT"

Have a great Sunday