Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Did ya see Holly slap me upside the head in her last comment? That hurt! Geez-o-pete, you’da thunk I didn’t have anything better to do the last several days other than write for her amusement! Excuuuuuuuuuuuse me if I was busy cooking and cleaning and singing and playing guitar and eating and visiting and researching and and…..yeah! And I did SO cook, Lainy!

I am so abused, I think I need a vacation. Let’s see what the Goddess has to say when I don’t write for…for…for a lot of days!

Just wait. Even though I’ll be in her very own house, I bet she still thumps me!

I WAS going to tell you all about my power shopping trip, but I’m just too traumatized to think about it now. So if you all are needing some major appliances for your house, you’ll just have to wait. And you can blame it all on Holly.

Before I leave, I want to point you all to a new blogger buddy, Diamond Mair. Lovely lady with an interesting story that includes her time as a U.S. Marine, and a new business you can find a link to at her blog. Drop by, tell her Flo sent you, and pass the word along to your friends.

From her comments, you’d think I planned on spending the weekend at Holly’s inebriated. Let me assure you that I will come up for air—at least for an hour to go to Mass.

Have a happy, healthy, safe New Year’s celebration, and I’ll see you again in 2007!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Ahhhhhhhh. One party down, two to go. One is at my place, after I’ll have been gone most of the day preparing for and Christmas Eve Mass. This is one of my most favorite Masses, I love it when the church is packed to overflowing.

Anyway, I believe we have achieved at least the illusion of clean. As long as Lovi doesn’t bring her white glove, we should be ok. And if she does, I’ll just bring MY white glove to HER house Monday!

The house is STILL not done (not that I expected it would be), so we’ll be cramming 15 or 20 people into the cramped guest quarters. It will be all right, just a little cozy. A place to be warm and dry, plenty of food, and family gathered ‘round. What could be better?

My thoughts and prayers are with families unable to share Christmas with loved ones, especially the Ross and Van Schoelandt families. Remember our military members off in far lands, and their families back home.


Joy to the world, the Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King.

Merry Christmas, and may God bless each of you.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas Cookies

Did you see who was conspicuously absent from comments in the previous post? I believe we found the culprit: Cait did it!

Moving on, I figure a couple of batches of these will get me through the three family celebrations I have:

1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup (two sticks) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit (dried cranberries or raisins)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups all purpose flour
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila (silver or gold, as desired)

First, sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl. Check the Cuervo to be sure it is of the highest quality. Pour another 4 ounces in a measuring cup and drink. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of the butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon sugar. Beat again. At this point, it is best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK. Try another 4 ounces, just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, picking the frigging fruit off the floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, just pry it loose with a screwdriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift 2 cups of salt or something. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Cherry Mistmas.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

No Christmas This Year?

Which one of "you" is responsible for this?????


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gift Wrapping

By way of e-mail:

This is the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas when the Three Wise Men: Gaspar, Balthazar and Herb went to see the Baby Jesus; and according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact. There is no mention of wrapping paper.

If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said so: "And lo, the gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. And Joseph was going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year!' And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the Baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense."

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics: 1. They were wise. 2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion; this is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys I know.

One is Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is "if it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it."

The other is Gene, who told me he does wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift. "No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said. "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs."

I also wrap gifts, but because of some defect in my motor skills, I can never completely wrap them. I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it the exact center of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out. (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen.)

If I had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the Pharaoh's body would be covered only by Scotch Tape.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of Mental Illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:


* Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped. If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it's myrrh.

* The editors of Woman's Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food coloring and liquid starch. They must be smoking crack.

* If you're giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky recipient on Christmas morning:

YOUR WIFE: Why is there a Hefty trash bag under the tree?
YOU: It's a gift! See? It has a bow!
YOUR WIFE (peering into the trash bag): It's a leaf blower.
YOU: Gas-powered! Five horsepower!
YOUR WIFE: I want a divorce.
YOU: I also got you some myrrh.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

~(c) by Dave Barry~

Don't forget to laugh during this Christmas season, and to my knowledge one of the wise men was not named Herb.

There you go. Some sage advice for you or your loved one. No thanks necessary.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mr. Unique

That describes My Favorite Son. He has to do everything differently. He’d probably be very upset if I told him that his current “I don’t think I want to do what I’ve been planning on doing, and now I don’t know what I want to do” stage is not uncommon.

He likes to wear t-shirts that say things like: “Everybody needs to believe in something….I believe I’ll have another,” “I’m not a hunter, I’m a wildlife population control specialist,” “It’s time for some jolly, by golly,” or “Hard work never killed anyone, but why take a chance?”

Once I saw a button hanging loosely from his pants. I grabbed hold and was going to cut it off when he said: “NO, I like it that way!”

Last May was a big month for him—high school graduation and he turned 18. Naturally, cakes were part of the celebration. I asked him to cut the graduation cake. Not an unusual request, very straightforward, don’t you think? “Here’s the knife, please cut the cake.”

Like a good child, he cut the cake. However, instead of nice, straight, even lines, he cut crooked and curved lines. On purpose. Nobody got a normal looking piece of cake.

The Awards Banquet for the track team happened to fall on his 18th birthday, so we brought a cake along. He wasn’t allowed to get near the knife that time. Instead, he blew out the candles. One………at…………a………time.

[sigh] What’s a mom to do?


Monday, December 11, 2006

A Mother's Pride

My Favorite Daughter and I play the guitar and sing with an ensemble at Mass twice a month. There is a cantor assigned the other two or three weekends a month. A cantor leads the congregation in singing most of the songs of the Mass and it involves some solo parts. The cantor also reads the Prayers of the Faithful and the announcements before the end of the Mass.

MFD has been a cantor for a couple of years. I don’t like to sing by myself, and she doesn’t like to read, so we’re a team the weekends she is assigned to cantor. On ensemble weekends, we all take turns doing what we’re comfortable with.

We used to have several youth that sang with the ensemble. They enjoyed singing the Psalm, which involves singing the verses solo. It can be intimidating to sing in front of several hundred people, so the adults generally encouraged any of the youth that were willing to do that.

One weekend, before she became a cantor, MFD asked to sing the Psalm. One of the choir members arrived a little late, so when assignments were made and he offered to sing the Psalm, he was informed MFD was singing it. He made a comment at that time about her being the “Singing Goddess.”

Our Director was there that weekend and picked up on that, and it has become somewhat of a joke. Last weekend, when MFD wasn’t there for ensemble practice, he asked where “Her Highness” was.

This weekend MFD was the cantor. Our regular accompanist wasn’t there, but the nun who had been until a couple of years ago was the substitute. MFD hadn’t been an official cantor back then, and Sister just raved about how much MFD had improved since she was last there. After Mass, the Deacon came up and told her how beautiful her voice was and how much he enjoyed listening to her. Several others also commented how they loved it when she sang.

Of course, I’m standing there, about to bust with pride.

She got it all from me.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sweet Potatoes

For some reason, I am the one tasked with making the sweet potatoes for our family holiday gatherings. It’s one that has been handed down from my maternal grandmother, and it is my very favorite of all sweet potato recipes. Of all the offerings on the table, the two things I definitely go back for are green beans (that also have to be prepared properly) and sweet potatoes.

So here is my famous recipe:

Take five or six large sweet potatoes, peel and cut into chunks. Boil until tender, drain, and mash. Add ½ to 1 stick of butter, depending on desired consistency. Add some cinnamon, and a bunch of sugar until it tastes good. Mix well, pour into 9x13” pan. If you have to use the top rack of the oven, just put a single layer of marshmallows over the sweet potatoes, otherwise they’ll swell into a big sticky mess. If you have room, and if you like a few sweet potatoes with your marshmallows, uses two or three bags. Place in the oven, preferably with other dishes so as to conserve time and space. Bake until marshmallows are golden brown. Serve.

There you go. Hope they turn out as well as mine. Let me know how you do. The real trick is to get the sweet potatoes done properly so they taste good without marshmallows. That would be because about three-fourths of the way though the dish, the marshmallows are gone.


Chef Flo

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Play Nice

There are impressionable young minds wandering around out here and I don’t want to be responsible for corrupting them.

You see, once upon a time, I was an impressionable young mind, teacher’s pet, my parent’s favorite, Miss Goody Two-Shoes. Really and truly! I was quiet and shy and studied hard and made excellent grades and trusted everyone and never smoked or drank or cussed.

Then I joined the National Guard and went to Boot Camp. Ok, maybe it took a little bit longer. Hm. It could have been flight school that did it. Oh, no. I bet it was Living Under the Influence of all those twisted Warrant Officers.

I’ll bet that’s when all my personalities started developing. I started out as a Private (E-1), sort of worked my way up to Staff Sergeant, then became an Officer. Being a Noncom at heart (the Backbone of the Army) because both of my parents were (Dad retired as a 1SG and Mom as a MSG), but wanting to be an Aviator, my true calling was to be a Warrant Officer. However, wanting to be a responsible person, I took the route of Officer Candidate School. Which is where I met Hubby, if I haven’t already mentioned it.

See? Lots of reasons to develop a split personality or two.

In any case, if she hasn’t already, My Favorite Son’s Girlfriend may be visiting. That’s the reason you have to be nice. She thinks I’m nuts, but we all adore her, partly because she puts up with MFS. She’s also very bright and an absolute hoot. She and MFS, as honor students, were in almost every class together for four years, but they didn’t start dating until after graduation. I still can’t figure that out.

Anyway, I really like MFSG’s mom and don’t want her to get mad at me. Besides, MFSG promised she’d click on my ads, so I have to keep her happy.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Lady" Flo

Hubby was invited to speak to a group of Shriners and their spouses the other evening. As “distinguished” guests, we were seated at the head table. When the table was introduced, we were “Hubby and Lady Flo.” Of course, they used another name, because I didn’t want to correct them, and then confuse them. I confuse myself enough.

Hubby talked to them for a while about some of the things he did and observed while he was overseas during his deployments, and a little description of the overall mission. He was asked a few questions when he finished, and one that I was interested in was from a woman who wanted to know what gave the U.S. the right to force democracy on everyone.

Hubby explained that was just U.S. policy—if not to promote democracy, then at least to contain communism.

It got me to thinking, though. For those of us that proclaim to be Christians, it is our duty to spread our belief of salvation through God’s son, Jesus. Is what the U.S. is doing any different than spreading our belief?

Hubby, ever the diplomat, told me: “It is, and it isn’t.”

Thanks for the clarification, Dear.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Three Things MeMe

Seems Her Hollyness is getting a tad impatient for me to complete a little survey she “tagged” me with a few days back.


Three things that scare me:
Heights (yes, I KNOW I was a pilot!)
The thought of losing my husband or children
Being yelled at

Three people who make me laugh:
ALL my sisters
My children
The Fruitcake Lady

Three things I love:
My family/friends
My animals

Three things I hate:
Liver and onions
Poor winners

Three things I don’t understand:
Financial planning

Three things on my desk:
“You’re an angel” stuffed bear
Metal crucifix that used to sit on the dash of my parent’s car
A hummingbird desktop wind chime

Three things I’m doing right now:
Cursing Hollyb
Listening to Christmas music
Making chili

Three things I want to do before I die:
Go to Rome
Go on a real vacation with the family
Get out of debt

Three things I can do:
Install a light fixture without electrocuting myself
Fly a helicopter
Start an IV

Three things I can’t do:
Turn anything into gold
Turn back the clock
Communicate with the dead

Three things you should listen to:
Your mother
Your conscience
The sounds of silence

Three things you should never listen to:
Bad advice
Loud noise without ear protection

Three things I’d like to learn:
To crochet better
To dance
To pick the winning Powerball numbers

Three favorite foods:
Crème brulee
Crab legs
Grandma’s homemade bread

Three beverages I drink regularly:
A&W Root Beer

Three TV shows/books I watched/read as a kid:
Johnny Quest
The Cherry Ames series

Three Blogger friends I’m going to tag:


Friday, December 01, 2006

Modern Marvels

Hubby’s favorite show is “Modern Marvels” on the History Channel. I’m not quite sure why, because he is so not into modern marvels. Unless it’s something technical and complicated—and costs lots of money. Ask him about our ICF constructed house and geothermal system.

However, if he has absolutely zero interest in the subject, he has no patience for it. What he can tell you about the workings of a computer is where the on/off button is. If it doesn’t work, he gets on the phone. That’s why they hire people that work with computers—to fix his when it’s messed up.

So when I tell him what I did yesterday, he’ll probably say I’m lying.

I deposited a check into my bank account from home.

I have never been to the bank we use. It’s located in San Antonio, and since we don’t even live in Texas anymore, we’re not even close. It’s a bank for military members and their families, and we’ve been using them for our checking account for ten or fifteen years, but I’ve been a member for twenty years. We also have our credit cards and insurance through them.

They’re a pretty progressive company. I think they were one of the very first to come out with what is now called debit cards. Of course they have Direct Deposit, and you can pay your bills on-line, however, checks you receive other than Direct Deposit had to be mailed.

Until recently.

I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I’m one of their preferred customers, so this new deposit-from-home service is available to me.

So while it was sleeting and snowing yesterday, I logged into my bank website, scanned the front of a check I had, scanned the back, and TA DA! I have more money in my account.

Ok, so it took a few minutes longer than it sounds, but it was easy and so cool! Ain’t modern technology grand?

Try not to be too jealous.