Friday, September 20, 2019

Various topics: Bill Burr, the morning walk, and weeds

I'm like a teenager when it comes to comedians, or actually, anyone on TV I really, really like:  I get crushes on them; yeah, I even get girl crushes on a few woman.  Dolly Parton has been on my "girl crush" list for many, many years (surely you realize I'm not talking sexual attraction).  Perhaps the reason why Cliff and I have been married so long is that we both have a sense of humor, and we even enjoy the same comedians.  Anyway, my latest comedian-crush is Bill Burr.
Just look at that babyface
This morning, imagine my surprise when I realized the voice in my head (when I'm talking to myself but my lips aren't moving) is the voice of Bill Burr.  Hey, I like the guy, so I enjoy that voice.  Maybe he'll eventually start telling jokes as I take my walk.  I won't leave a video here for you, since he sprinkles the F word liberally throughout his routine.  But Cliff and I go into a flurry of anticipation when we hear that guy is coming out with a new video on Netflix.  By the way, his voice in my brain never says a curse word.  When I'm alone in the house, I have fun with Bill's voice in my head.  I may be cooking and suddenly wonder if I put the vanilla in the batter; I will ponder awhile, then say, "Bill?  What do you think?  Did I or not?"

Now that you know I not only hear voices but also answer them, I'll probably lose the few readers I have... but wait!  Everybody wants to watch a train wreck, so I might get more readers!  Yeah, that's the ticket, you get to watch and see if Cliff puts me away.  

The furthest two trees on either side of the path Cliff mowed are walnut trees.  When my cabin was back there under those trees, I called the one on the right the Old Chief (it's the one that leans to the left from a wild grapevine making it bend some) and the one on the left Brave Warrior.  I loved laying in the cabin on a windy day because of the sound in those two treetops.  Gabe and I felt pretty special that Cliff mowed our path yesterday in the awful heat.  

I saw many of these spiders (above center) on our walk today, big old fat boys (or girls).  I wanted to get one of them in the middle of her beautiful web, but when I got the camera too close, they did the same as this one and started climbing a long strand back into the treetop.  Gabe happened to notice a terrapin in the weeds near the path and showed it to me, sniffing it from one end to the other.  I took a picture, but apparently didn't shove the button hard enough, because there is NO picture of a box turtle in the last group I downloaded.  According to the Missouri Conservation department, there are no true terrapins in Missouri, but I had mistakingly learned to call them that.  The proper term is box turtles.

Last year I read that Monarch butterflies are endangered because the only thing they eat is milkweed leaves, and farmers have taken up a lot of the land where weeds used to grow by planting crops.  They suggested we should go to a nursery and buy some milkweed plants; I bought one, and was thrilled to see a Monarch caterpillar (larvae) on it, although I never saw it make a chrysalis.  I'll never know what happened to it... maybe one of the birds I feed had it for dinner.  

Anyway, many of my flowers are done blooming for this year, so I was pulling weeds and cutting down some flowers.  There is a vine that insists on invading my flower bed every year.  As I was jerking about 20 years of vine out that had wound around the tops of some flowers, I noticed there were pods on it and, on inspecting them, realized they were milkweed pods.  

So I'm the fool who went and bought a milkweed plant when I had plenty of milkweed plants at home.  They are different varieties of milkweed, since the one I bought is not a vine; but Monarchs like all of the varieties of milkweed.  I'm going to watch for someplace near a sunny fencerow where I can plant the seeds in the pods.  I'll make this place a Monarch Butterfly hotel!


That's it folks!

Yours truly, 
Donna 






Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hello friends and neighbors!

I don't have anything blog-worthy, but here I sit anyhow.  It's hot today, has been all this week; but before you know it, we'll be watching for snow.  It's been a lot cooler this summer than last, though, as I'm reminded when I look at our electric bill.  They compare the last 12 months to the previous year, and most of them have averaged cooler temperatures, and our bill has been less both those months.  I also keep the thermostat higher lately so the A/C doesn't run so much.  We never had whole-house A/C until we got this trailer house, so I don't even know how hot or cool most people keep their homes.  For five years or so, I'd set it anywhere from 74 to 76.  For the past couple months, I've been easing it up to 78 or even 80, and doing fine for the most part.  It isn't as though I'm doing hard labor in here:  More often than not, I'm reading as I sit almost directly under the ceiling fan.  I stay plenty cool.

Since I got the Instant Pot, I don't know when I've used a slow cooker, except for carrying food to group dinners so it will stay warm.  I decided to re-familiarize myself with using a slow cooker.  We need to go to the store, but not until tomorrow; I looked at recipes until I found one I had all the ingredients for, cheesy chicken and rice.  It was supposed to have a box of prepared Zatarain Rice added at the end, but I only had ordinary white rice.  I did have three chicken breasts and the cream of chicken soup called for.  It got nicely done, but both Cliff and I thought it was somewhat lacking in taste; perhaps if I'd had the proper rice, it would have tasted better.  It wasn't bad, just boring.  

Apparently this is a great year for watermelon:  A neighbor across the road has given us several, and the two bigger ones must have weighed 30 pounds or more.  A lady at the Baptist Church said her garden has gone crazy with watermelons too.  I'm still attending two churches every Sunday and actually, loving every minute of my association with both.  It's sad to see so many of these small-town churches shrinking like they are, but people just don't feel the need to go to church any more.  It's a busy world these days, though, with both the husband and wife usually working all week; I can see why they need to spend time at home when they're not working.  And so many are unbelievers these days; I surely wouldn't expect someone who's an atheist to attend church.  

Things just aren't as cut and dried as they once were.  Nothing is simple any more.  Maybe it never was; maybe it just seems simple to us when we're children.

I'm reading "The Liar's Club" currently.  It's a non-fiction work written by Mary Karr about being raised in a dysfunctional family.  In the introduction, she writes, "... I chose to write 'The Liar's Club' as memoir instead of fiction:  When Fortune hands you such characters, why bother to make stuff up?"  Oh yes, it's very interesting.  For our trip to visit my sister, we listened to an audiobook, "Explosive Eighteen" by Janet Evanovich.  I don't recall if I've read anything of hers before; it's pretty light reading.  I didn't care for the way it ended... she just sort of tied everything up in the last couple of pages. all at once.  There are lots of chuckles though, and the lady reading the book is great!  She does the voices for everybody, and sounds convincing, even when she's talking for the male characters.  Many times if a woman is reading the book we listen to, Cliff can't make her out very well and we have to give up on it after a few paragraphs.  

We are really enjoying Ken Burns' documentary on PBS this week, "Country Music".  

We have a parade to take part at Higginsville this Saturday, and the next Saturday is our little town's parade.  That will probably be it for this year.  I can almost feel autumn breathing down my neck!

This is a diffuser.  You set it on a burner on the stove, and whatever is in the pan you set on it won't stick.  It's amazing.  The handle of this one used to be brown, but you see, I store it in the oven with the skillets.  One day it sort of slipped over to the side of the oven and I didn't see it when I took out the skillets.  I don't recall what I was baking, but Cliff and I kept thinking something smelled hot.  I said, "It sort of smells like someone is burning wood chips, like when you barbecue or smoke meat."  Yeah, I was smelling the wooden handle.  I used this today when I was making rice pudding, which ALWAYS sticks without a diffuser.  

I do hope all my readers are doing well.  I'll leave a chuckle for you:


Yours truly,
Donna