Friday, December 21, 2012

The Blizzard

Hear the Salvation Army band,
Down by the riverside, it's bound to be a better ride,
Than what you've got planned,
Carry your cup in your hand,
And look around, leaves are brown,
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.....

("Hazy Shade of Winter", Simon & Garfunkel)

(You can click on the pics to enlarge them)

Well, the winter weather has finally arrived.  We woke up to a full blown blizzard this morning.  And Blaine bravely went outside into the whipping winds to try and dig the truck out so that he could go do some errands.  He wanted to go to the grocery store and get the ingredients for each of our traditional "snow day meals".

My specialty on a snow day is Southern Goulash, a delicious recipe that has been handed down for generations in my mother's southern family.  (My grandmother sometimes called it "slumgulion".)  Wanna know how we do it?  Okay here it is:

Brown a pound of ground beef.  When it gets browned, do NOT dump the grease out.  Leave it in---it makes everything taste better.  Then dump in about a cup of thinly sliced celery.  Stir around awhile till the celery is fork tender.  Dump in a bottle of spaghetti sauce like Ragu, Paul Neuman's, or whichever brand you like.  Stir everything in together, cooking for awhile to get everything blended.  You want it real tomato-ey.  Set aside.  Make some spaghetti (or angel hair if you like) in water that has about 1/4 cup of olive oil in it.  I can't tell you how much spaghetti but I just guesstimate the amount on how much the meat mixture is.  When the spaghetti sticks to the wall when you throw a piece at it, it's ready.  Drain it and then dump the spaghetti into the pot with the meat and tomato mixture.  Fold in really well, distributing the celeries in a balanced fashion.

It's so good it will make you stand up and slap your grandma.  (Sorry---that's a southern expression of good food....)  

(Is "celeries" a word?)  (What about tomato-ey?)

Anyhoo, the other ingredients Blaine wanted to get is his traditional, official "Snow Day Chili".  (And he's not even Texan.)  I don't know how he makes his chili or I would tell you.  I do know he doesn't use ground beef, he uses really good quality meat cut up into square pieces.  He also dumps beer in there at some point.  And it is really GOOOD.  Here's a pic of Blaine---I don't think I've ever put a good pic of my handsome blonde man one on the blog yet:

 Anyhoo, the snow went on, and the cats did their usual----jockeying for a space to look out through the back sliding glass doors.  By the expression on Peaches' face, I can tell she is not very welcoming to giving up any room for Lu-Lu to join in....  

Let me tell you something about Peaches above.  She thinks she is the Queen Bee of the household because she is so beautiful.  She sashays around here like royalty, ignoring the word "no".  Blaine spoils her so bad that he has her thinking she runs the whole show.  She gets away with murder when he's around.  But it's a different story on weekdays.  As soon as he's out the door I look her right in the eyeballs and say:  "Look here, Missy---you do NOT run this household.  I DO.  So you better behave or it's the basement for you."

And then she behaves.

Also, she has this annoying behavior at night.  I'll be in bed sleeping peacefully and she'll get in my face and bury her head in between my neck and the covers.  WHY does she do that?  She purs while she's doing it---purring so loudly that you could probably hear it at the next door neighbors'.  I end up having to push her off me.

Then Blaine says that Lu-Lu walks all over me at night, even walking over my head and face.  But I never wake up when she does that.  Lu-Lu will usually sleep in the knee rook of my bent legs.  Or she'll sleep on the other side of the bed with stupid Leonard.  And Peaches usually sleeps at my feet.  Our bed gets crowded....

Which brings us to my lap-baby, Lu-Lu.  Once in awhile she "claims" a space but it's usually a space that none of the other cats give a damn about.

One day Blaine bought a scratching board that was saturated with catnip.  He brought it home, thinking it would just be a scratching place but the catnip nearly drove Lu-Lu nuts.  She wallowed around on it, covering herself with catnip.  It made her act drunk!  So here she is---passed out drunk on catnip.  

(Kind of reminds me of those days when I was a heavy drinker and would periodically pass out, heh!!)

Other things I did today was to start hanging Mumsy's Christmas presents to us.  (PLEASE don't tell my mom we already opened them---we were supposed to wait till Christmas Day but I just couldn't stand it--I HAD TO OPEN IT).

As most of you know, my mother is a well known artist in Texas.  And there's nothing I love better than pieces of her artwork.  She does a lot of mosaicing---she even teaches classes in it.  Anyway, one of her talents is making mosaic switchplates for light switches.  She sent us a BUNCH!  Yay!!!!  Both single switches and double switches.  I love these things, especially since I'm almost finished re-decorating the downstairs and these switchplates will give things a "final touch".  (But some of the switch plates will go upstairs, too.)  She also sent us a large white mosaiced cross out of white and mirror tiles, with a square mirror in the center.  It's absolutely lovely.  Ultimately I am going to decorate the master suite and bathroom in tan to match the walls, with a dominating green and with white accents.  So the white cross will go in there.

Here's the switch plates she sent us---I've already hung two--here's a double one.  (The sun was shining right on this one, so it's a little orangey looking.)  I love the ones that have "danglies" like this one..

I'm bad about opening Christmas presents early.  I'm already wearing my Christmas present from Blaine---a beautiful "medallion" ring with a huge white sapphire surrounded by smaller white sapphires.  And a matching bangle embedded with even more white sapphires.  And we got a trunk of gourmet foods from my sister and brother-in-law.  Instead of a basket the food is in a very gorgeous buckled trunk which I am going to use in the decor of the house.

I know, I're supposed to wait till Christmas Day to open things---oh well, I'm a bad girl.  Bad Bo.  Bad Bo.

Anyway, the snow kept coming down, and Blaine brought home the ingredients for our snow day meals.  Blaine made his chili first and it was delicious as usual.  Tomorrow is goulash day....



  1. naughty!

    tee hee

    I also have to open things early if I get them early!

    1. It was driving me crazy, Robin!! I finally ripped into everything and I've really had a hard time emailing my mother because I'm so afraid I'll say something that will let her know I already opened it!

  2. I have a horrible time with wrapped gifts & not knowing what is in them! Merry Christmas!

    1. Oh Cindy---I know that feeling! I find myself staring at them until I can't contain myself any longer---and then the wrapping paper goes a'flyin'!

  3. When I was about 8 or 9 my older cousin & I opened all the gifts under their tree while her mother was across the street at my house. We did it very carefully & then taped them all back up! When my kids were small, in-laws would send gifts & I would open them all just enough to see what they were & then close them back up. One year my bil had gotten the same gift for my oldest that my sister had, so I was able to get my sister to exchange her gift before Christmas. Of course she wasn't happy about it, but the 1 came from Seattle & the other was local.

    1. Hi Cindy! One time, when my sister Shea and I were playing hide-and-go-seek, I hid up on the deep freezer in the utility room and found most all of our presents there--unwrapped! I then made the deduction that there was no Santa Claus---that it was your parents, waaaaaahhhh!