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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Never Say Never

Oldies like myself will remember how Sean Connery said he would never do another James Bond movie, yet years later he stared in "Never Say Never Again". When our daughter was born and was old enough to want a hand held video game player, I said, "Never. I do not want one of those in our house." Our daughter, now 19 is a good student, and an excellant reader. While most kids her age are playing video games, she likes to curl up with a good book. This Christmas has brought a major change to our home. I bought the family a Wii for Christmas. I got the sports pack that includes tennis, bowling, golf, etc... Unlike the old video games, you have to get up off the couch and move around. We actually broke a sweat playing tennis. Playing singles inside is easy, doubles with two people swinging their arms around gets a little tricky. In fact, I got clobbered on the head as I went for a backhand shot. We need a bigger living room to go with the new Wii. When playing a game you have virtual players called Mii's. Each person creates their own Mii. My husband's looks pretty much like he does. Mine not so and Susan's almost. My husband likes the boxing, he can get his manly aggressions out without hurting himself or anyone else. I want to add a Wii Fit program so I can exercise with it. Well I need to go and get my Christmas letters out, I guess I could wait until July and say they are Christmas in July letters. Nah, I'll do it now. Until next time. Don't worry about eating too much Apple pie, it's just fruit after all.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shopping on Black Friday

My daughter and I ventured out on Black Friday. Resisting the pull of the Tanger's Outlet Mall was futile. We left on our adventure in shopping after lunch, after all, the die hard bargin hunters would be tiring and going home to rest and sleep it off.


Wrong!! We arrived at the Mall only to find it full of cars circling the parking lot in search of a space like vultures cirling a desert in search of road kill. We joined our fellow vultures zigging and zagging around cars big enough to park over curbs and small cars shoe-horned inbetween trees. After 20 to 30 minutes of fruitless searching we decided to leave. I spotted a family leaving the mall and walking out into the crowded lot. I pointed, said, "Follow that family." The more anxious we became, this was after all our last chance of finding a space, the slower they walked. The mother of the group feeling they were being watched glaced over her shoulder at us. We felt like stalkers. The family finally found their car and started opening doors. "Turn on your turn signal so others know we are waiting for this space." As the red car inched back a large SUV came around the corner facing us. It started into our space!! Without thinking, I waived my arms maddly, mouthing the words, NO, NO, NO. The man driving saw me, smiled and waived as he passed us in search of his own space. We sighed in releif. The rest of the trip was fruitful. I found a pair of white sandles for 70% off retail and Susan found a dress to wear at Christmas Mass. We had fun walking, joking and sharing time together, something we don't get to do as often now that she is in college. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I can't believe my last blog entry was in September. I did have another entry but I got lost on my way to post it. Actually, I had the entry almost finished, accidentally hit the wrong key and zap! it was gone. I was not pleased. In the meantime I have been busy, planting a garden, cleaning out my father-in-law's apartment and volunteering at a local school.

I love the fall. Cooler weather is refreshing, working outside is easier and a lot more pleasant. I mentioned a garden. I am trying garlic for the first time. My husband ordered garlic bulbs, I was expecting one or two bulbs, I think there was half a pound. I planted the cloves off of two bulbs and suggested that the rest make their way to the office. I also planted okra, squash, chives, sweet and hot peppers, onions and spinach. Soon we will have our greenhouse that was damaged in Charlie back up and running. The new roof is on and soon the sides will be replaced. Having a greenhouse is wonderful if you like plants. It protects them in the winter and you turn a knob and you get an instant rain shower. I'm already looking forward to hot-house tomatoes this winter.

The holidays are speeding toward us. I am planning our Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner. As always we will be together as a family. I need to start my annual Christmas letter. Many people, including my mother don't like Christmas letters. She finds them too braggy and sugar sweet. I have one fast, simple rule. What can't fit on one sheet of paper doesn't get put in, I keep it fast paced, humorous and I limit the bragging. I have had people write me after the holidays to complain they didn't get my letter. I then send them one ASAP. Well that's it for today. I do have a snappy, witty Christmas Letter to mastermind. I'll leave you all with this thought, I saw it on a t-shirt in a catalog, Don't Moon a Werewolf.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Tricks

There's an old saying, You can't teach an old dog new tricks. My question is, how old is old? Are you too old after a year, two, three...six...ten, when?
Well, I can definitely say nine is not too old to learn something new for a dog. Of course I have the most brilliant dog on the face of this Earth. We( my husband) found her on the side of the road as an older puppy. How old, we don't know. We already had a dog who was around four years old. Angel became an outside dog, while Esther remained inside. Then the hurricanes of '04 hit. Our yard, resembling a battlefield was no longer safe for Angel to roam freely through. She came inside (we said) until it was safe for her outside again. She never left. I wondered how I was going to house break a four year old dog. No problem. When Esther asked to go out, and she wasn't timid about it, Angel went too. Angel watched Esther and did what Esther did. A four year old dog can learn a new trick.

It is now five years later. Esther is happily chasing cats across the Rainbow Bridge. Angel at age nine no longer has her spokes-dog to ask for what she needs/wants. Angel never asked to go out, for a treat etc. Esther did all the talking.

The first few months without Esther were quiet. I would pass the front door to find Angel quietly standing, facing it. I'd open door, dog would go out. Awhile later I'd notice her standing, facing the door waiting to come in. At mealtime, Esther would bark her head off until you fed them. Angel never asked for her dinner or snacks. A few times we almost forgot to feed the poor thing because we got so tied up in our own endeavors we forgot. She never said a word.

It is now ten months without Esther in the house. What a difference. Angel found her bark. At dinnertime she demands her food and if it isn't to her liking, she leaves it. In the morning, she prances around, nudges us and barks until she gets her new favorite treat, Marrow Bones. Like Lassie used to do, she will walk up to me and bark until I follow her to the door or kitchen depending on what she wants. So I guess nine isn't too old for a dog to learn new tricks. I wonder what Angel will learn at age ten? Until next time, this old dog is going to the library to learn something new and I'm much older than nine.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Choices

I went to the grocery store with my daughter last week. She wanted orange juice so while she browsed over the selection of yogurt I stopped in front of the orange juice section. It used to be choosing was easy. Orange juice was orange juice the world round. As I reached for a carton of Minute Maid, I stopped in mid reach. There used to be two choices, with or without pulp. Now the choices have expanded, not only was there was oj with or without pulp, now oj with calcium, fiber or extra pulp joined them. Shouldn't extra pulp be considered fiber?

It is the same story on every aisle. There is white bread, whole wheat bread that mascarades as white, real whole wheat, double fiber whole wheat, rye, seven seed, oatmeal, potato, you get the picture. No wonder it takes me five hours to select four items. You need a Ph.D to shop and know what you are buying. I taught my daughter early how to read the label for nutritional information. At four she would pick up a box and announce, "Mom, look, this one only has 4 grams of fat." People would turn around and stare open mouthed. She has continued to surprise and amaze me everyday since.

Well, I'm visiting family and between the tennis match to my right and the tv turned up to drown out the stationary bike down the hall, I can't consintrate and be witty, so I'll say so long for now, I'll be back when peace and quiet prevail.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Power of Two, To or Too

The grape harvest is finished and I am now harvesting pecans. I am in a race against the squirrels to see who will collect the most. I have a bumper crop this year, that's the good news. The bad news is I have a bumper crop because my pecan tree knows it is dying and is trying to reproduce before time runs out.

After a morning of bending and picking up nuts, persperation running down my face, knees and everywhere in-between I dove in the pool to cool down. I lay on my float, hat sheilding my face from the sun, letting my thoughts wander down back alleys and behind closed doors. I started thinking about my blog and the name I had chosen for it, Fruit to Nuts, written as Fruit2Nuts for the Html. My brain began drifting around the words, to, two and too. In my blog title I have it as, to, meaning from the grape vine to the nut tree. Then I thought how the meaning would change if I put in Two. But would the two refer to two trees, two squirrels, two nuts, what? And if I changed it to Too, would I mean too many squirrels, too many trees or heaven forbid, too many pecans, because we all know there is no such thing as too many pecans in a southern home. It would be like a sugarholic having too many cookies in their underwear drawer.

Well I have to go and brush out my big Angel. It doesn't seem to matter how often I brush her and swifter the floors, the fur keeps falling out in large tumble weeds, it is a never ending battle. Until next time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

On Safari

I took a break from wine making to go on Safari. I donned my wide brimmed hat, hid my eyes behind curved sunglasses and grabbed my muscle gun before taking off to the four corners of the jungle. When I arrived at the hunting grounds sweat washed down my face, pooling in the dimple on my upper lip. I held my big game blaster above my head before jumping into the local watering hole. I kept my eyes alert for signs of big game. What was that? I heard a rustling sound in the leaves. Yes, there he was, climbing to the right. I loaded my game blaster, took aim and fired. The little critter dropped like a tick touched by a hot match. I looked for more game, I saw my next victim in a corner sucking the life out of his own prey. Hands steady, I aimed and fired. My quarry scampered away on all eight legs. He didn’t get far; I kept blasting him until he too dropped. My trusted jungle guide Angel wagged her tail in approval and took up the hunt, chasing victim one, a lizard into one of the four corners of our pool deck. She sat, holding the little critter by the tail with one paw and batting it down with her other. She worked as a special agent in interrogation techniques for the CIA. After batting it awhile, she would let it go, pouncing on it as it tried to escape. I let her have fun in this way for a few minutes while I swam laps. Before retiring after a hard afternoon of hunting and wine making I took Angel inside and scooted the lizard out the screen door. I unloaded and racked my rifle and went in search of a new adventure. Until next time, happy hunting.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Freaky Friday on Thursday

Our daughter, Anita, is getting ready to fly the coop. She is headed off on her first year of college about eight hours away by car. She has a lap-top she was required to buy for high school but after four years of heavy use, and the fact she told us a month after getting it the technology was already obsolete, we went in search of a new lap-top to take her through the next four years. We looked in all of the usual places. Wal-mart, Staples, Best Buy, etc, etc, etc. She said, "I want to go look at a MacBook. And I want to go to an Apple store and have someone show it to me." I asked where the closest Apple store was and she said, "At the Florida Mall in Orlando." We made plans to go.

My husband suggested we take the back roads, staying away from the dreaded I-4. That was mistake one. It took forever to get from our house to the mall, over two hours! I was exhausted before we ever set foot in the parking lot which was kaotic at best.

We entered the mall and mixed with the heavy stew of shoppers. You would never know we are in the middle of a depression by the mass of people swarming everywhere. My daughter located a directory and we were soon on our way, I felt like the ball in a Pin Ball machine, bouncing off people, columns and planters. After several stops and starts for me to catch my breath we arrived at our final destination. The Apple Store.

I looked at the store front and was surprised at how different it was from the surrounding stores. They were all open and airy looking with large plate-glass windows and doors. The Apple Store was solid black. That should have been clue one. There didn't seem to be a door. Clue two. There was a large sign where a door should have been. Clue three. The sign read, "We are closed for re-modeling to better serve you, we will re-open on Friday July 31st. That would be the next day. Up to this point Anita had been in a foul mood from being a teenager with sleep deprivation. I had been my usual Mary Poppins' self. The instant we read the sign, Freaky Friday happened. Anita started laughing and I started cursing. The louder I cursed the harder she laughed. I finally calmed down and we saw an odd assortment of people bend down, open the door and go into the store. I started getting mad again. Why did they get to go in and we didn't. We watched for some time, finally getting up the nerve to go up to the door and try to go in. We couldn't figure out how to open the latch at the bottom of the door. We peeped through the crack and saw young people, anyone under 30 is a young person to me, under tables. At first glance they appeared to be sitting and talking, I was more determined than ever to get in and learn about Apples and I don't mean the kind you eat. Then I noticed they weren't talking they were attaching wires etc. We left, ate lunch that further helped in calming me, then looked around. The Florida Mall is an amazing place. It had some shops we don't have down in our neck of the woods. When we had had enough and needed to get home for our hair appointment we left. In the book store I looked at a map and found a non-toll link to I-4 and we left.

The trip home was much faster than than the trip to. We were home in about an hour, I'll never go the back way again. After a second Intel gathering trip when the store was open and a third trip with dad, we came home with an amazing lap-top, printer and touch pad I -Pod. The printer and I-Pod both come with full rebates, yeah! Now for all the other important items she needs, refrigerator and TV. Until next time, avoid Freaky Friday.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Welcome to the Great American Experiment

Welcome to Fruit to Nuts, my first blog. I chose the name with the unintended help of a pesky little squirrel. I was out checking the progress of my grape crop (I like making wine and jelly, I like drinking and eating it even better) when I heard scampering and caught the slightest glimpse of fur diving behind a fence post. I approached loudly, shaking vines and leaves. No movement. I thought I must be imagining things. Then I peeked behind the post and nestled behind a clump of grapes was the rascal. He took off, jumped to the near-by pecan tree and laughed at me from above my head. Now I need to find a way to keep him and his family from eating my future wine supply and pecan pies.

You might ask what my blog is all about, well, the title says it all. Fruit to Nuts covers just about anything under the clouds. It will have humorous accounts of my daily life. My learned wisdom on how to live in harmony with others without being hunted down for manslaughter. No blog from a woman would be complete without advice on children (my daughter has provided me with enough info and insight for a 20 volume set of books.) Eat you heart out Dr.s Dobson and Spock. I may just go to a random writing prompt and post that. I plan to share some of my short stories and poems too. Most of all, I want to have fun with my blog. As I get into the whole blog experience, I will share other sights etc with you. Good-bye for now, stay tuned for my adventure to the Florida Mall.