Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flat Dead Frog

Sorry - I couldn't bear to take a picture of the dead frog that Walter just brought into the house.  He did it again.  I looked at a spot on the rug, thinking it was water that somehow had gotten on the rug.  Yes, this is the same Persian rug that he's chewed a hole in, and yes, it's an antique Persian rug.  I'm so glad I looked closely before touching the spot on the rug, but I was horrified to see that it was a dead pressed frog.  This is the second time that he did this, but Wayne wasn't home to pick it up, so I had to do it myself, and of  course, spray the rug with Lysol.

Moral of the story:  DO NOT let Walter kiss you!!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Crossed Paws

Walter looks so elegant with his front paws crossed.

On the sofa, he looks regal.  He is in his rightful place on the sofa.  He chewed up three dog beds to get to his real bed - the sofa!

Four Cats in a Row

This never happens.  All four of my cats are sitting on the window seat together.  I don't know what the occasion was.  They wouldn't tell me...

Violet is the black long-haired cat, Zoe is the calico, Harry is the white and tiger-striped one, and Henry is the gray one.
World's Best Chocolate Cake

We missed our friend's 50th birthday party because I had just had knee surgery and Wayne had a high fever.  I was sad that we'd missed her party because "50" is a milestone, so we invited Trapper and Cindy to come to our house for a mini-birthday party.

I checked with Trapper to find out what Cindy's favorite flavor was, and he said she like chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.  I've had a recipe on my refrigerator door for the "World's Best Chocolate Cake."  Well, here was an opportunity to try out that recipe.

The day before the party, and right after physical therapy, I went to the store to buy all the ingredients.  I started making the cake Friday afternoon.  It was a labor-intensive recipe, but wow, they were not kidding when they named this cake.

There were three layers, and to make the cake sit evenly, I had to trim off the tops of the layers.  Just tasting those bits of cake, I was impressed.  Really, the world's best!

I made the frosting, and taking a cue from one of the cooking shows I've been watching, I put a quick thin layer of frosting to bind the crumbs.  Then I continued frosting the entire cake.

Instead of using 50 candles, I put 50 pecans and added the "5" and "0" on top of the cake.  I have to say, the finished product looked great and tasted even better!
Dom Perignon

I finally did it.  I tasted Dom Perignon!  For my 57th birthday, I had wanted to do a taste test with Dom Perignon and Cristalle, but I priced them and was discouraged at the cost.

I saw an announcement in the paper last week, that there would be a "Tasting at the Track."  All kinds of champagne tastings would be available for $25.  I called some friends to see who would be interested.  We got a group together, and the husband of my friend  chauffeured us to the Racetrack.

When we got to the event, in exchange for our tickets, we were presented with a champagne glass.  It was a nice set-up.  There were fourteen different tables grouped by the different champagne companies.  There were also several tables with different types of cheese, crackers, and fruit, with a separate table for chocolate pastries.  What could be better than champagne and chocolate? 

I had already scouted out and found that Dom Perignon would be at Table 11.  I was not the only one who noticed that.  As soon as the signal was given, many of us made a beeline for that table.

I tasted Dom Perignon.  It was OK.  It wasn't as good as that $23 glass of champagne I had at Restaurant August.  I just wish I had gotten the name of that champagne.

Altogether, I tasted 17 different champagnes.  I didn't rave over any one in particular, but I'm glad I got to attend the event.  I even saw someone I knew.  We recognized each other from our days working at an elementary school in New Orleans.

At eight o'clock, my friend's husband picked us up, and one of the women said what would be perfect would be some greasy hamburgers.  We stopped at Lee's hamburgers and indulged yet again.

I drank plenty of water that night, so I wouldn't wake up with a hangover.  It worked!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Devil's Horse

This morning, I opened the front door to pick up a package that had been left on my chair on the front porch.  I looked down on the mat outside my door, and SCREAMED!  There was a devil's horse right on the mat.

I tried to stomp on him, but I missed, and he hopped away.  I wasn't brave enough to pursue him, and he got away.

I always describe devil's horses as black armor-plated grasshoppers with yellow or red underneath their wings.  They are so hard to kill, you have to stomp on them at least three times, and then they're still moving!

Last summer when I was gardening, I remember pulling up weeds, and all of a sudden, about 50 baby devil's horses streamed out from the soil.  I screamed then, too, but I killed as many as I could.  I know - they were babies, but I also know they grow up to be armor-plated monsters.

I saw one eating a piece of cat food.  It was so big, it could hold a piece of kibble in its front legs.

The first time I ever saw them was at the welcome station in Alabama.  The whole driveway into the station was covered in devil's horses.  It looked like the plague in Egypt.  These things remind me of some of the creatures described in Revelation.

Since the one on my door mat got away this morning, I expect to be seeing it again.  You can be sure that I will scream when I do see it!
Walter's Treasure

My husband brought Walter in from his walk  last night, and the dog came into the room where I was playing on the computer.  I didn't even notice that he'd brought something in with him.  Wayne came into the room, and immediately he said, "Walter, what did you bring inside?  A dead frog!"  I looked down, and sure enough, Walter was trying to eat a dead, pressed frog.  Ugh!  Wayne came to the rescue, and he used paper towels to pick up Walter's treasure.

The day before yesterday, Wayne said that Walter hadn't eaten his food in the morning, but he found some styrofoam in the corner of the dining room.  He didn't eat his food that night either, so we were worried he might have eaten the styrofoam.  I called the vet, who suggested giving him two tablespoons of Pepto Bismol.  That did the trick, and Walter is back to eating again.

When I was cooking broccoli, I gave Walter a piece of the stalk.  Delicately, he took it in his mouth and brought it to the rug in the dining room.  Then he came back to the kitchen.  I gave him a piece of tomato, which he brought over to the rug by the patio door. He ate that piece, but I found the broccoli stalk untouched.  Yeah, Walter!  You won't eat broccoli, but you'll eat a dead pressed frog!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nine Days Later

This is what my knee looks like nine days after surgery.  I had an arthroscopy to smooth out the meniscus and underside of the patella.  The bruise didn't show up until almost a week later.  It's still swollen, but it doesn't hurt too much.

When we were at the dog park today, I said to a young couple who had two dogs there today, "Let me sit down - I just had knee surgery."  I had the TENS unit on - four electrodes attached above and below the knee cap, and I explained what it was for, after they inquired.  The young woman asked me, "How did that happen?"  I said, "I'm old!"  and then I busted out laughing.  I don't think young people expect older people to say things like that.
Walter's One Year Old Today

We adopted Walter from the SPCA in January, and we had to guess at his birthday, so we gave him Bastille Day.  Walter thinks every day is his birthday; he's just an exuberant dog, full of energy.

Today we went to the dog park, and he had a fine time running with all the other dogs: 3 pit bulls, 2 German shepherds, a Jack Russell terrier, and a schnauzer.  After exhausting himself with all his friends, we went to Petco, where we saw his dog obedience trainer, who gave him some treats for his birthday.  When he got home, he got a bath.  All in all, Walter had a wonderful first birthday.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I'm a Woman!

I had knee surgery last Thursday.  My husband came down with a urinary tract infection, and even after four days on antibiotics, he had a raging fever.  So what this meant is that even though I had knee surgery, I've been taking care of him.

One of my friends asked me how I was doing all that.  My answer: "I'm a woman!"
Isn't that what we do?  We take care of everyone even when we're injured.

On top of my knee injury, I cut my finger and was bleeding all over the place.  I was cleaning up the blood, but my finger kept bleeding.  I would have laughed if I'd seen this objectively.

Another factor in being able to cope with things is that I have really good friends.  One friend brought me to physical therapy, which unbelievably, started the day after surgery.  Another friend has been walking my dog.  Two friends sent me care packages.  Other friends have been calling to check on me.  That makes a huge difference.

I didn't take a pain pill last night, so I should be able to drive to physical therapy now.  It's three times a week for four weeks.  When this knee heals, after about three months, I need to have the other knee operated on - again!  I will have had three knee operations in one year, and I only have two knees.  Oy vey!  But the payoff is that I will be able to walk again.  I'm looking forward to walking the dog, going to a grocery store, walking on the beach, and eventually hiking....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


No more flamingoes on the front lawn.  They must have come late last night and taken all 50 of my pink bird friends.