Sunday, January 22, 2012

Comfort Food

People, it just doesn't get any better than this.
Fried cabbage and noodles with a side of real polish sausage.
This is pure comfort.....well until the heartburn and gas kick in just before bedtime anyway.
The only thing lacking is an ice cold brew.........if only I liked beer.  So I settled for an ice cold caffine free diet Pepsi instead.  I made this for supper tonight and it was DELICIOUS !!!
And in honor of Paula Dean, I fried the cabbage in real butter.
My cardiologist would have a stroke and my regular Dr. would shake his head, but sometimes ya just gotta eat real comfort food.  I have been craving real fried chicken for so long that I can't even remember what it tastes like.  But this stuff was great and will hold me for a while.
So Warren, if you have never made this dish, give it a try.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Darling Brother part 1

Those of you with an older brother can probably relate to the following tale. And the older brothers will probably get a big laugh out of it too.

I had the misfortune of being born 28 months too late and became the second son in the family.  And so my life was destined to be that of  "John's little brother".   Even though I love my brother dearly, let's set the pattern to future events.  My earliest memory of my big brother was of him helping me up on a kitchen chair and telling me to stick my tongue between the two metal cooling trays on our old refrigerators freezer.  I had to stand on my tippy- toes to do it.  So there I hung, screaming,  while he laughed.  My mother soon arrived to see what all of the commotion was about.  She hurriedly grabbed the tea kettle off of the stove and dumped the overly warm water all over the freezer and me.  This having failed she grabbed a butter knife and used it to pry my tongue loose while adding the warm water.
To this day I don't think that I ever convinced her that it was John's work and not my own stupid idea.  He of course denied the whole thing.    I am told that shortly there after I stabbed a fork through his cheek.  Sadly however, I have no memory of this and he has no scars to prove it.

My next memory was of walking around the side of the house and seeing my brother swinging  his metal Tonka truck's blue car hauling trailer around his head on a wire. And just as I was coming around the corner it either got away from him or he let it loose.  Either way the results were the same.  The end of the wire ended up scratching the pupil of my left eye.  Mom rushed me inside and laid me on her bed and applied cold washcloths until my dad came home from hunting.  I remember him entering the room with his shotgun and two pheasants. He sat them down and came to see me.  They rushed me to a hospital but there was nothing to be done. I had permanently lost the sight in that eye.  Now I may have said things as a child to hurt his feelings, but I have never held him responsible for that accident.  Both of these incidents happened when I was about three years old.  Now lets skip ahead. Near the end of the school year when I was in the fourth grade I had another accident..

There was a gravel pit on the land adjoining the trailer park where we grew up.  On this beautiful spring day John and I had taken a walk "out back" (as we called all of the surrounding lands) and on our way home we came through the "pit".  Someone had taken out the end of the big hill.  There we stood at it's edge looking straight down.  About 15 feet below us was a small pile of loose gravel which had dislodged  from the wall and it appeared to be about 3 ft. deep.  John suggested that we should jump.  I said "No Way" about the same time he said "You First" and pushed me over the edge.
Of course John told Mom and Dad I jumped before he could stop me.
The doctor said I must have landed toes first which caused my feet to stay deeply embedded while the rest of  me flopped face forward on the ground.  There were no broken bones but everything in my feet and ankles was either torn or strained.  I would walk again, but I spent the whole summer on crutches.

Just about one year from that date I again had another accident.  John and I were fishing down to the river.
It being a windy day we weren't having much luck in getting our fishing lines to the spots we wanted them from the top of the railroad trestle.  So John decided WE were going to walk out to the pier that held up the center of the span and fish from the footings.  Now there was only one problem with this.  I had just gotten a new pair of shoes.  Not  big deal to many, but I had extra wide feet with high insteps and the only shoes I could wear had to be special ordered and cost a fortune.  Needless to say my parents were always telling me to take good care of them.  Getting them wet was NOT an option. I never owned a pair of tennis shoes as a kid, it was either dress shoes or barefoot. So it had to be barefoot.  But what about the glass?  What glass?  Why the generations of people fishing usually brought pop or beer and bait and the glass containers usually ended up broken on the rocks under the bridge.  Well big brother had a solution to this. Just step where I step.  SURE, the minute your foot steps in the water the silt gets riled up making it impossible to see anything in a 2 ft. diameter from where you step. Just come on and be careful.  DANG IT......
There is no pain like glass cutting bone.  It was the top of a broken Miracle Whip jar....stuck in the bottom of my foot.   I have never seen so much blood without it spurting from a wound.  We are a mile from home with one bike.  My darling brother told me to ride home as he continued fishing.  I had to climb up the gravel to the top of the trestle get on the bike and ...pedal ???  I made it from the bridge to the road when I saw dad's car coming.  Luckily he decided to come check on us boys with the rest of the family.
John told the parents that he told me not to come in the water.
The cut was too deep to stitch closed and after debriding the wound of dirt, stones and grass without the help of any anesthetics or pain killers and putting in a few stitches to re-attach everything the doctor said it would heal and I would walk again.  But I spent the whole summer on crutches... again.

Now we will dance ahead to another incident I well remember.  When my brother turned twelve my Great- Uncle Joe gave him a Stevens single shot 12 gauge shotgun.  He got to go hunting and I got to be his dog.  One day I begged him to let me shoot it just once.  Finally he decided to let me, but first he was going to show me how to load it.  First he emptied the live shell out of the gun. He let me hold it while he showed me the workings of the gun, how to break it open and close it, how to shoulder it and then he showed me how to pull the hammer back to make it ready to fire.  And admonished me to never pull the trigger without a shell in the gun as it could damage the firing pin.  Now we will load it and let you shoot it.  He was standing facing me and the gun was between us pointed safely away from either of us.  He pulled out a shell and dropped it into the chamber. Then he put his hands over to mine as we snapped the gun closed.  KaBOOM!!!  Someone had forgotten to release the hammer before we loaded the gun.  (I didn't know about this until MUCH later)  My brother yelled "You tried to shoot  me."  I showed him that my fingers were nowhere near the trigger and his hand was still over mine, I couldn't have pulled the trigger.
The first words out of his mouth when we got home to our parents was how I tried to blow his head off.

I was in trouble, again, for doing just what my parents had always told me to do...."Listen to your brother and do what he says."  All he had to say was, "But I told him NOT to" or "Who are you going to believe, me or HIM."  Well for some reason they always believed him.  I guess age has it's privileges.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It Just Ain't Right

(Pardon my dirty windows)
Yes this IS Michigan and the thermometer is right,

38 degrees yesterday with a light breeze and 54 the day before, but with a strong cold wind.  Today it was cooler, about 36 and the wind chill factor brought it down to 25 degrees.  Tomorrow and the next day are supposed to be mid-40's.  And this isn't our normal January thaw which we always look forward to.
This winter has been exceedingly mild so far and far from the norm.  We've had very little snow and any accumulations only last a couple of days.  We normally have measured snow by the foot at this time instead of just a couple of inches.  What the heck is going on???

The poor rose bush hasn't even lost all of it's leaves yet.
They are still growing.

I am beginning to wonder now if there is something to that Aztec Calendar thing.  Oh, I have known about it for the past 40 years......but when you are a kid you never think you will ever get THAT old.   And believe me, with some of the stupid things I've done and survived, it was amazing that I ever reached my 20's !!!
But those are for another time, if ever.  Anyhow at my advanced age and condition I am not so sure I want to know.  I mean, sure, IF I knew that the Aztecs were right and the world was going to end by Dec.22 or whatever,  I would borrow tons of money and max out all of the credit cards I could get my hands on and do everything on my bucket list before then.  But then you would be counting down the days and minutes.
The stress would be horrifying.
No I think I will just stay away from the TV and News shows for this year and live out my simple life on the farm.  Even though it's not really a farm or so simple either.

For instance, Wifey and I are still coughing and hacking.  We have good days and bad, with the body aches and other flu symptoms, but the animals still have to be cared for.  Yesterday we both were having a "good" day and decided that we had better clean out the rabbit pens and.....(horrifying).....the ducks pen !!!    You know, I had completely forgotten just how nasty smelling ducks are, and how messy.  The last time we had ducks I also had cheap slave labor ( yes Angie, I am referring to you ?)  and children can be bribed or coerced into doing the nasty jobs.
Since I couldn't afford the first, it was usually the latter.  And a strong teenage girl has nothing better to do anyway....right?  Since my children have all grown and run away from I mean left home, I got stuck doing the job myself.
Wifey decided that the rabbit pens were a lot less smelly than she normally thinks they are, and snuck (or properly sneaked) off to do them after we got all set up to do the ducks pen.  But before all of that we let the whole zoo out to enjoy a great winters day.....

First it was the goaty girls.

Then the ducks.  They were so happy to get outside to flap around.

Then the guineas....

and the chickens, herded over by Peaches.  She LOVES her chickens.

Until she just couldn't help herself from running through them.

And finally the turkeys, this is Pretty Boy Floyd.
One of the hens is sitting on 12 eggs at the moment
and the other is off running with her chicken friends.
Yes Warren, turkey sex.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What Makes YOU Smile ?

Happy New Year from Fern-enstien.  She has been pretty miserable for the last week because Wifey and I have been sick with the flu and she hasn't been getting her minimum daily requirement of human companionship or outdoor play-time.

Since I have been forced to stay indoors, I have had some free time to play on the computer, and happened to come across the "Jose Cuervo" page that let you design your own personal bottle label.  I couldn't help but paste this photo on it.  Now seriously, wouldn't you buy a bottle of Tequila with a label like that?
What a happy face.

And with the cold weather we have been having, Fern gets the shivers when she goes outside.  She would probably enjoy a little shot anti-freeze before stepping outside in the snow and rain and wind.  She has such  a light coat compared to Peaches, who just loves this weather, so far.

Wifey and I both got sick a week ago last Friday, and today seems to be the turning point.  We both feel like we just might survive this thing now.  The coughing and sneezing have abated somewhat and the wheezing has lessened.  Our sinuses aren't dripping as much and our throats and airways don't feel like they are on fire anymore.  And the headaches are GONE.  I guess the medicinal alcohol did it's job.  Nothing like Old Dr. Dillon's Cure-all in the little brown jug.  A hot tattie before bedtime really helps.  For those of you not quite sure of what I am saying:  1 double shot of whiskey  poured into a cup of steaming water.  Sip that as hot as you can stand it, as fast as you can.  Then jump into bed and cover up well.  You will probably have to get up during the night to change your bedclothes because of all of the sweating you will be doing.

Neither one of us felt up to going to the doctor's office and sitting for hours waiting to be seen so we treated ourselves at home instead.  If things continue to go well, maybe we will be able to celebrate Christmas next weekend.  That is if our kids and grand-kids are over this stuff too.  Oh Yeah, EVERYONE has it.

Well wishing you a very Happy New Year,  stay well.