Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bring the champagne


No, we didn't sell the Tear Drop but we did find the need for something with facilities. There are places at the beach that require you to be self-contained and in the Tear Drop that means a zip-lock baggy. No.

We will be camping in November with sister Doodles and Company so we needed a shake down cruise. Thursday was the maiden voyage of (to be named) trailer and I hope to have pix from the beautiful blue Pacific later. It was a wonderful few days and no dead whales wash up on the beach.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Please sir, buy my painting

Ok, I'm taking the plunge. I'm going to put my work out there and see if someone wants to spend money for it. The local senior center is having an Art/Craft show next month and I've reserved a table. Right now I'm getting together what I think my sell, I'll know of the 19th and 20th of October. Will I be surprised? I hope in a good way.

Editor note: I'm also tinkering with the idea of using PayPal to sell prints online, we'll see.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Random thoughts

Can't say why but I woke up thinking of my grandfather this morning. He was my father's dad and died some time in the '80s. Not that I went to the funeral, I did not care for this man. Was scared of him as a child and couldn't be bothered as an adult. My grandmother I loved.

Howard Bryant was born in 1896 into the second family of his father's. That meant he had brothers old enough to be his father and uncles his own age. Odd family. The first time I read the definition for "gruff" I was sure that word was coined for him. He never once showed any affection for us grand kids, we were only noise makers in his opinion. I'm sure we were but we were kids.

When I was fifteen or so my mom and dad, living in Southern California, got a divorce. When my mom sent Christmas cards to our grandparents in Indiana, Howard sent them back. He'd disowned us. Imagine that, so you can see there was no love loss from me. So why would I even think of him now?

The only logical reason would be he could fix anything and was quite inventive, not unlike my dearly beloved husband. While the other grand kids got kicked out of Grandpa's basement workshop for asking too many questions, I just sat quietly on a stool and watched him. He always had pocket knife that he used for everything whether to whittle off the edge of a kite bow to make it fit or turn a screw.

He made beautiful kites. Oh, not for us to fly, we weren't worthy. He would show us how to fly them then take them back to his basement. He made one that had a semi-enclosed lit candle and it rose straight up until the candle blew out, then stayed hovering on the upper currents of air. No running required to get it aloft.

Don't you wonder what makes some people so mean? He didn't have a bad life, though died of cancer in his 80s. He saw all his five children grow to adults, have families of their own and acquire some amount of success. His wife was a lovely woman who never made a fuss about anything. He wasn't rich but had enough to retire on which gave him more time to smoke and work in his basement. I guess there doesn't have to be reasons for everything but trying to find them wakes you up at five a.m.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

More rain?

The rain went from a gentle shower to a downright washout in less than twenty-four hours. Last night we had a thunder and lightening storm. That might be normal for some parts of California, but not here. More than once last night the entire bedroom lit up, I sat straight up in bed then heard the thunder. I thought someone had turned on the lights.

Today, while out shopping and in a large building, I heard the rain beating on the roof. More than a few shoppers made it to the window to see the sky open up and pour out rain. It flooded the parking lot in seconds. Now, the beautiful blue sky is dotted with puffy white clouds and weather report calls for something close to 80 tomorrow. I love Southern California!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The child has come

It is raining. That should be the whole post, there isn't much to say about rain except it is desperately needed here in Southern California. Fire season you see and we've not had any since March and we are 12 inches below what we need. March? Are we to thank El Niño? Will the baby stay for a while or toddle off without much more than a shower?

My office window is open and it's a gentle rain right now, so pleasing to my dry ears. Though it's cooler it's by no means cold so the sounds, and smells are wonderful. I do so enjoy the rain that's been absent for so long, I could listen to it for hours. Maybe I will.

Just be careful out there, the streets are wicked slippery from the accumulation of oil, now mixed with water. Do savor this wonderful rain as it will only be here for a day, then gone for who knows how long.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Camping in the wild

We usually don't need too many amenities when camping with the teardrop but a shower would have been nice on this last camp out.

We stayed at Montaña de Oro, a CA state campground just south of Morro Bay. The weather was gorgeous and the wildlife, so friendly. Well, maybe a touch too friendly. The camp is just about over run with raccoons and they have no fear of humans or dogs so they do exactly what they want after sun down.
This little guy my beloved picked up at the local museum store. He was the best behaved of the lot.

We camped with about 35 other teardrops and had a great time learning new ways to cook. Quite a few do some cast iron cooking in Dutch Ovens and even gave a demo on Saturday morning. Looks fun and if I try it out I'll post on PBE.

When you camp and you are the only teardrop in the place you stand out, way out, and really draw a crowd. We all had to laugh because the first question people ask is, "Do you really sleep in that?" I'm thinking of having shirts made with the answer. Camping all together gives you a chance to look at some different ways people have put these little trailers together.

We met some new friends and saw some people we'd camped with last March in Lake Perris and everyone was hoping to make this a yearly camp out. I'd say yes to that. The one great thing about teardrops is they are all different; some odder than others, sorta like the people who own them.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What did he just say?

My tracking app for this blog shows what people Google to get to this site and there has been a number typing in "french benefits" so I thought I'd see what some of the other sites came up in Google.

One is called Eggcorn , a database of malaprops. A malapropism is the incorrect use of a word by substituting a similar-sounding word with different meaning, usually with comic effect. Egg Corn being one for Acorn. The site is very geeky in a linguistic sort of way and that appeals to me. I mean, I did read "Eats, shoots, & leaves."

Once, listening to NPR I heard the reporter utter this sentence.

"He left the court room followed by a phallics of photographers. Hmmm. Do you think he meant phalanx? What I'd like to believe is he just thought, "Look at all those "dick-heads chasing him." and somehow it stuck in his brain.

So back to this blogs name, French Benefits. I got the name from the following TV commercial that was drilled into our brains a few years ago.

Satirized in a an ad campaign for FedEx Ground:

In “Wrong,” a guy is chastised by his co-workers for being a source of misinformation. “Steely Dan is not one person,” berates one guy. “We get fringe benefits, not French benefits, it’s not the Leaning Tower of Pizza, and James Dean was an actor—Jimmy Dean makes sausages.” The guy is then told that he’s wrong by thinking that FedEx ground is too expensive. “So we don’t get French benefits?” he replies.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

We do love her so

My sister and I have a darling aunt that is over eighty. I won't say exactly, she's a bit vain about her age, but be sure, she has hit the eighty mark. I call her every Saturday morning, it's a ritual. She's my mother's baby sister and since Mom's been gone I call her. I'm not sure she's a surrogate mom but I do enjoy talking with her. Very few, other than my sister, knew my mom as well as she did.

Auntie went to TJ Maxx the other day to look for bargains and in the lingerie section noticed they had a bra in her size. She's a tiny little woman and I guess it's a plus to find one her size on sale. She never tried it on and took it straight to the register where, while waiting in line, noticed the straps were studded with rhinestones. Wha?

When I asked her if she put it back she said, "Heavens no. You just don't find many $5.99 bras in my size. I took it home and took off the rhinestones."

Can you imagine what the the clerk thought about this old dolly buying a sparkly bra.

Friday, September 07, 2007

"Fair"ly sure this isn't healthy

This should be on our food blog but I'd be embarrassed to post it. We do lean toward the healthy side over at Peanut Butter Etouffee.

It seems the state fair circuit has gotten out of hand with fried foods. Here were the contenders for the Texas State Fair contest on Labor Day. I'm almost disappointed, our Ventura County Fair only had the usual stuff on a stick and deep fried. My late-friend Crystal, who performed at the county fair each year, always said, "If you deep fry it and put it on a stick someone will buy it." I'm sure she'd chuckling at this.

Deep Fried Latte
Fried pastry topped with cappuccino ice cream, caramel sauce, whipped cream and instant coffee powder.

Fried Cookie Dough
Cookie dough with chocolate chips, pecans and coconut, dipped in batter and fried. Other cookie flavors may be offered.

Zesty Fried Guacamole Bites
Small scoops of guacamole breaded and fried. Served with salsa or ranch or spicy ranch dressings.

Country Pride Peach Cobbler on a Stick
Peach cobbler with dumplings rolled in pastry dough and fried. Covered with brown sugar and cinnamon and put on a stick.

Fernie's Fried Chili Frito Burrito Chili and chili-cheese-flavored Fritos wrapped in an uncooked flour tortilla and fried. Toppings include cheese sauce, shredded cheddar, jalapeños, sour cream, hot sauce and onions.

B.W.'s Original Fried Banana Pudding
Banana pudding wrapped in a flour tortilla, fried and topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar or cinnamon.

Mama's Fried Sweet Potato Pie
Pie filling wrapped in flour tortilla, fried and topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Viva Los Doyers

Tommy Lasorda, former manager of the LA Dodgers, turned 80 the other day and he's still on the team's staff. To honor him September 14 will be Lasorda Bobble-head Doll Night.

Not that I don't want to give Lasorda his due but don't tell me this doll is him; this is really a Bill Clinton doll they dressed in a Dodger uniform.

The our LA team is only three games behind Arizona and San Diego in both the Wild Card and the National League West. Yikes! They actually have been playing a bit better. At least Penny didn't self-destruct after the first bad inning last night.

Go Dodgers


Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day

Today we celebrate the social and economic achievements of the American worker. Salute to Trade Unions everywhere without them we'd still have child labor, unsafe work conditions and no eight-hour day. They have trained skilled workers in their trades and fought for increased wages and a better standard of living.

Of course we never would have had Jimmy Hoffa. But let's be thankful for something today; if you know a union-man or woman, they getting fewer and fewer these days, give them a pat of the back for a job well done.