Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Lone Ladle

So I went through the "buy the best" phase during a time when I thought I needed more things than I really did....

Translation: I wasted money on useless crap I THOUGHT I needed....  

Now I'm purging.

The "Lone Wooden Ladle" made the cut....

I bought this at an arts festival maybe 6 years ago. A handmade hardwood scoop. The proposed use was to scoop sugar from my sugar canister. To leave it in the canister.  It seemed to be a good size for this. But, the handle was too long to leave it in the canister. 

It sat in a holder gathering dust until today.

I needed to ladle balsamic sauce over my slow cooking pork tenderloin....


A thing of beauty finally graduated to a useful life......

Yes, I washed the dust off first.

Monday, January 19, 2015


This probably belongs in my foods blog, Cookie Cooks.... But, it's more of an addiction than a food choice really....

I was sitting innocently at work at LMU one day in the summer 2010 when my boss /friend brought in Starbucks' iced caramel macchiato. I have never been a coffee person, but suddenly I was hooked.

I got a gold CrackBucks card in 2011. I should have invested....

I've taken 1001 photos, or there abouts...
Airport crack

Vacation crack

Travel crack

Gift crack

Fashionable crack

Art crack 

Soul crack

Busy crack

Hide a crack...


Natural crack

Techno crack

Topless crack

Photo bomb crack

Natural crack habitat

New crack container

Sweets and crack

Where's my crack?

Crack want a be

Oh, not crack....

Crack whore......

Just plain crack residing at CrackBucks

So, at over $5 a hit, and 400-something calories a venti whole milk version (with whip added), I found that a drink a day was adding up... Figure $150 a month and an added 60 pounds to me....  

Can we say addiction.... And whole milk because flavor rides on fat. The drink is creamier.

So, I've completely revamped. I but maybe 2 a week and I make the rest. I've gone to 2% milk, no added whip, and a grande size (smaller).

This has cut about 170 calories and $100 a month.

Milk, caramel topping, vanilla syrup, espresso grind Starbucks coffee beans and an espresso maker.

My kind of happy ending....

Thursday, August 7, 2014

In A Nearly Perfect World, Almost...

A street, near where I live, has your typical stand of houses. Maybe a dozen or so, as I never counted them, of various sizes, costs, and levels of repair and upkeep.  That's the funny thing about Tennessee. You can find old rotting houses right next to half million dollar homes with multi-car garages and manicured lawns. It's normal...

This one house that I'm thinking of is small. Seems to be lived in by a young mother, her child., and a very pretty pit bull looking dog.  I do not know what her situation was, or is, but her old conversion van and poorly kept yard tells me she isn't bringing down the big bucks.... The yard was usually in a bit of disarray with some weeds, needing trimmed, and grass that didn't get cut often.  Now, don't get me wrong, as I am not throwing down on the girl.  My yard gets mowed once a month and the bulk of my garden bed is still sporting last years dead mater plants. In this case, it is just sort of obvious to me that the yard is not the most important thing in her day...

Now enter the "scraggly weed eating waving guy".  I am not sure if he was homeless or not.  He never makes a ruckus, almost always waves as I drive by and is always picking up trash and sort of keeping the side of this little road neater and tidier than most. He never drives. Always walking...

One day we noticed that the scraggly guy seemed to be hanging out a bit at the girl's house. A lot actually.  Suddenly her yard was well groomed, grass cut, no weeds around fence - you get the picture. Now she even has a small, very neat, vegetable garden put in. Scraggly guy was, and is, there so much that it looks like he is living with her. Could be....

He still doesn't seem to own a razor or know where the barber is...  And he dresses like it is winter.

Now, in the perfect world, the story would continue this way:

As a little time passes, the yard starts sporting a little more actual landscaping. Simple, but nice. Area neighbors notice and start stopping on the road and conversing over the fence. Asking who was taking care of her yard space. As more time goes on, they learn it is scraggly man, whose actual name is Jonathan. They offer Jonathan money to take care of their little micro-worlds using their mowers and trimmers. These folks, of various means, are so busy working to earn a living, they just wish to skip the yard work, and paying what little he asks for seems a huge bargain. Many do not have the money needed to pay the typical lawn company.  One by one the word spreads to area folks about how Jonathan will happily do the work for a very reasonable price. A price no one can argue with and most are happy to pay. The art of the yard is his passion, even if he doesn't know the word "passion". 

Over the next year Jonathan starts earning enough money to contribute to the household of this girl and her son. She is able to purchase a reliable and economical vehicle as a result.

Eventually, the girl starts managing Jonathan's money. He is able to purchase his own modest equipment and she drives him to various homes a little further out. She quits her job as she is able to help him as they move from one home to the next, spreading neatness, flowers, and time.... 

The girl spends more time with her son because she isn't spending long hours at a thankless job.

A homeless man succeeds in supporting himself and a family. Not his family, but folks who took him in.

A wonderful success story arises from two adults helping one another to not only survive, but thrive.

The first part of this was what 'seems' to be occurring at the end of the driveway.  The rest is just what I conjured up with my very over active imagination...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Snake Hollow Road; Or Deliverance 2?

So we were on a drive last Sunday - over to Sneedville, Tennessee.  On the way home, we drove from end to end of Snake Holler (Hollow) Road. The pavement to dirt to pavement road.

I remember my friends mentioning how the "Foreigners" lived here and there - while pointing at places.  I asked finally "by Foreigners, do you mean people from India, Turkey, and etc.? Or do you mean from Michigan and Florida?" It turns out that "Foreigners" means "Northerners", "Yankees", and anyone hiding from the world move there to Snake Holler.


I did not time it, but it took what seemed like FOR-EV-ER from entry to exit of this road. No gas stations, no stores. I think there was only one church even. Ok, maybe two, but I only remember one.

At several points I thought I could hear the faint twangings of banjo music echoing from the trees and dirt. My Sneedville friends did NOT appreciate that sentiment. Oh well.... True story.

Even my friends had to hang there heads and shake them when they saw "The Trailer" on the side of the road. We were still in the 'dirt' portion of the road when we drove past (and subsequently backed up to take a photo of) a ratted out trailer. This thing hardly had any walls or roof left. Insulation, and the like, was hanging about. It was like the trailer had been on fire at some point - yet there was NO SIGN of smoke or fire damage.

If you look hard, you can see a dining chair and a rocking chair. And take note of the closet full of neatly placed clothing and a basket on the shelf. WTH?


Did someone not want to finish paying the bank note but also didn't want to have it repossessed? Was/is it a drug hang-out?

Did someone start to move the trailer to their property and they got hijacked by mountain folk?

Never to be seen again??????

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