Thursday, January 29, 2009


I will be so glad when this stinkin' winter weather is over. If we had a decent snowfall to at least make it pretty, it wouldn't be so bad. This winter seems exceptionally cold for southern Delaware. But I do notice that it is getting dark later and we will be setting the clocks ahead (remember "spring forward") on March 8.

I had lunch with some girlfriends today at a little family restaurant. Their special today - chicken and dumplings. Remember my recent post on dumplings? These were delicious - chicken, homemade slippery dumplings, stuffing, ice tea and tip - $10.00. Then off we went to our Realtors' Board office for another update class to the ever-increasing bureaucratic stuff we need to know or change. We were given a little gizmo that processes a pin number for us to use every time we enter our listing service. Ok. But - the irritating thing is that if we lose this little gizmo it will cost us $50.00 to replace it. At least they could have made it larger -- it is only about the size of a half dollar. Do you know how many people will be losing these things?? I will probably be the first!

After that I had my hair done - cut and color. I had a ten dollar off coupon which helped some and the hairdresser also gave me a break on the charge because she had misquoted it to me. I started coloring my hair myself recently, but this time I had them do it.

Pizza and chicken pizza steak hoagie for dinner from the local pizza place - yum!

I am now going to change into my pj's and settle in with my latest mystery.
That was my day - how was yours?

Friday, January 23, 2009


I have recently embarked on a journey into the past. The joke in my family is that I am the keeper of the H___ Museum. I treasure anything that I own that once belonged to me when I was a child, to my parents or to my grandparents. Within reason of course.

I still own my black and white copy books from first and second grade. You know the ones I mean. They still sell them. I have almost every picture my daughter ever drew in elementary school. I inherited most of my mother's old photos. My sister and I split them up, but I seem to have the bulk of them. You know - those old little black and white photographs showing people that we cannot identify. Old dolls, old dishes, tea sets, cut glass, souvenirs. You name it, I've got it.

To add to this, I have discovered the joy of genealogy. Why is it that when we reach fifty or thereabouts, we begin to be interested in long dead relatives? Why didn't we question our parents and especially our grandparents about their lives while we still had them with us? Not just about names and places, but how they lived their day to day lives, the trivia and details of their days.

I have found a site through our library's on-line service, wherein I can research old census documents. I am sure many of you have done this. It is like a mystery to be solved and I certainly love a mystery. I don't know much about doing this, but so far it is intriguing me to the point that I am glued to the computer screen until all hours of the night.

I knew that my paternal grandfather died when my father was a baby, supposedly during the 1918 great flu pandemic. This led me to a treatise written by a doctor about the epidemic and how it specifically affected Philadelphia. I then started to wonder what my grandmother's life was like when her young husband died and she had to return to her mother's house with her little boy. Why didn't I ever ask for details?

I have contacted a second cousin whom I have only met once and he has been working on the family history also. He has tons of interesting information that he will share with me.

Doing this is like herding cats, as they say. This person leads to that person who leads to another person and on and on and on.

Wish me luck - I am time traveling into the unknown past.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009


My husband greeted me early this morning with this.

He leaves the house by 6 a.m. everyday, while I am still pondering getting dressed at 9 a.m. He came back today around 9:00 and said, "There is a leg of deer in the refrigerator from O___. Just cut it up and put it in the convection oven." Whaaaaaat????

After awhile I took a peek and yes, there was a "leg of deer" in the fridge. Granted -- it was probably only half the leg, or maybe a small deer, which even made me feel worse about the poor creature. Now, I am not a vegetarian nor am I tremendously opposed to hunting (I guess). Hunting is a pretty big deal around here. Mostly duck and deer. I think it is mean to do it, but if it is legal and you need it to eat or thin the herd, or whatever the reasons/excuses are, well I don't get on the bandbox about it.

So I quickly closed the refrigerator door and called my sister. When in doubt, I call my sister. What am I going to do about this? She suggested marinating it or taking it somewhere and having it ground up for hamburger meat. Nah. I don't have a pan big enough or a saw to cut it up with and I doubt that a regular butcher would grind it up for me. I waited a few hours and took another look. No, I am not dealing with this.

I think I prefer meat that doesn't look like the original animal - meat that is nicely packaged in a grocer's freezer. Well, yes, I do dream of living in a log cabin, but no, I guess I won't be doing any hunting.

I called my husband and told him to thank the man, but that his wife is a "vegetarian" and won't cook the poor creature's leg and please give it to someone who will appreciate it. My husband didn't even balk or complain. I don't think he wanted it either. He doesn't like hunting and can't stand to watch anything on television that shows a suffering animal.

Right now? It is still in the refrigerator, but not for long.....I hope.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


It has been so cold here for the last few days. Beau and I haven't even been out walking much. Today it hit almost 40 and felt like a heat wave. We actually had a dusting of snow this evening. Not much, but enough to be pretty.

My daughter gave me the DVD "Mama Mia" for Christmas and I have watched it a few times already. I watched it again today -- it always makes me happy and I love to sing and dance to the music. My favorite - "Dancing Queen."

For dinner I made chicken and dumplings, using a leftover rotisserie chicken from the grocery store that we barely ate last night. It turned out great. Here in Delaware dumplings are really like large thick noodles and are called "slippery dumplings." I am from Pennsylvania and when I made chicken and dumplings the first time for my husband, he said "what are these?" "Dumplings," I said. I had made my usual dumplings from Bisquick. "These aren't dumplings," he complained. A lot of old time cooks here make their own slippery dumplings, but I buy the frozen store-bought ones that come from North Carolina. You can't really tell the difference. Here are pictures of what the two different dumplings look like.

I'll close tonight with my favorite goodbye - Happy Trails to you!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I saw this fantasy/drama/romance last night. One word -- incredible. You have to see this film. Not just for the story. Not just for the actors. Not just for the special effects. All are amazing. See it for the message of enduring love. The movie stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

This movie was based on a 1921 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I do not usually cry at movies, but the end really moved me to tears. Essentially, the story is about a man who is born an old man and follows him to his death as an infant. It is about the journey of life and the timeless power of love. It is about understanding and tolerance.

The special effects and computer generated images are so amazing. How did they do this?? I read that computerized whatever was used -- how I do not know.

Brad Pitt is, of course, beautiful. The older he gets, the more accomplished he is as an actor. Well, okay, I am happy just looking at him.

I strongly recommend this film.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

STILL LIFE by Louise Penny

I just finished this delightful mystery by a new author (for me). I actually read until 3 a.m. to finish the book and see "who dunnit."

From the book flap:

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebe and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

"Still Life" introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces --and this series--with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.

This book was first published in 2005 and there are several additions to this series since then. I will definitely be reading them. This book kept me on the edge of my seat - especially the last third of the book. I couldn't figure out who the culprit was and never saw it coming when it was divulged. The writing was charming, but also kept a sinister thread running through it. One part made my skin crawl -- I won't tell you what it was! The characters were interesting and fully developed and I wish there would be more crimes in Three Pines for Inspector Gamache to solve.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I love going to estate auctions. I especially like the one that is held every month or two in Rehoboth Beach. Today I went although I didn't get there until mid afternoon. I was in no rush because I had no intention of buying anything. I like to go and eat a hot dog from the concession and watch the action and if there is anything I can get for a good, low price, well that is even better.

Today the highlight for me was the bean and ham soup -- homemade by the people who run the food concession and just about the best I have ever had. There was one lot of things that came on that my friend and I split - $5.00 each. Can't beat that. She ended up with two martini glasses, a pair of very nice pewter candle sticks and two copper pans. I got a copper tea kettle and a copper pan.
Another lot contained about eight miscellaneous items which included a little toy furniture puzzle kit made in 1926. Someone bid against me on that and got the lot for $17.50. The woman asked me if I wanted some of it and to make her an offer. I offered her $7.00 and got a "breakfast in bed tray", a vintage Lenox cigarette box, a Universal Studios California cobalt blue cup and plate, an Italian pottery ash tray and a vintage glass sugar bowl. I went on E-bay and found the cigarette/dresser box going for $64.95. Not bad for the lot for only $7.00. So my grand total today was $15.00 including the $3.00 bean soup!

A great day. Anyone need a china cigarette box?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


My good friend and fellow blogger Lynne at Lynne's Little Corner Of The World has given me this very nice award. Thank you, Lynne!! (I really wish people who create these awards at least do a grammar or spell check - "For the coolest blog I ever know"?????) I now pass it on to the following fellow bloggers:

1. Barbara at The Clark Homestead
2. Willow at Willow's Cottage
4. Diane at Diane's Place
5. Jess at Jessica's World

The guidelines are that you post the award graphic on your blog and link your post to the person who gave you the award and the people you are passing the award on to.

Congratulations - you are all SO COOL!

Thanks to Lynne again for reviewing this wonderful book - "Hannah's Dream" - which I have just finished and have been left wishing there were more. As you will notice on some of my previous posts, I have read several books about elephants - some fiction, some true. I have developed a keen interest in these complicated and wonderful creatures and have joined the supporters of The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwalt, Tennessee. Please check out their website here - they even have an elephant-cam.

Hannah's Dream by Diane Hammond is fiction, but could very well be true because the author has done such excellent research into the life of the captured elephant and the problems and mistakes made by zoos and elephant keepers. Hannah was fortunate enough to have the same keeper for forty-one years and this keeper and his wife loved Hannah as if she were their own child. The time was drawing close to when the keeper would have to retire which coincided with the ambitions of the new zoo director and her plans for Hannah and the zoo. This is a book with a happy ending - I only wish there would be a sequel or that there would have been an "Afterword" at the end of the book. I wanted to know what happened to the characters after I read the last sentence. I strongly recommend this book.