Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Century of The Indianapolis 500

When Ray Harroun won the Indy 500 in 1911,  he did so at a breath-taking 74 MPH.

 ( put this is perspective, in 2006, I zipped from just over the Indiana State Line to Peoria, Illinois in an Olds '88 doing between 100 and 120 MPH...)

Today, qualifying laps clock at well over 220 MPH and the average lap in the race is between 185  and 200 MPH.

Talk about your NEED for speed!

Although today's win will probably be captured by a Helio, Montoya, or Bell...a small part of my heart will still be hoping for an Andretti win.  Marco is running this year.

I was there in 1969, the last time an Andretti won. I was 9 years old, and the driver was Mario. It was my first time at the track. For so many years after many that it became a terrible joke at The Speedway....we would hear the fateful words after many laps...

"...and the Andretti car is slowing down."

 So often that they dubbed it "The Andretti Curse".

It would be wonderful for the 100th Running to see Marco (or a Member of The Andretti Team) win!

Here's hoping!

And a quick look at the re-opened Snake Pit.

 Seriously?????????????????? Who are you people...and what have you done with The Snake Pit???? guys are such slackers.

This is the Snake Pit I remember, and frequented.

Spent this morning basking, just finished a cold plate, and Darius Rucker just did a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem, perfectly timed with the flyover!

Start Your Engines!

Please note that all the engines this year are either Honda or Chevrolet...not a FORD anywhere.

There is a reason for!

Postscript:  Although Marco had a rough day...Alexander Rossi...a rookie from California...(who drives for Team Andretti) has won the 100th Indianapolis 500....Rossi came from 33rd place to win this race!


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend!

Because it isn't all about parties, food and barbecues-
but because of the service and the sacrifice they made, we are able to enjoy them ALL under the Umbrella of Safety and Freedom.

                                     Dad- WWII The European Tour                               
                           London, Belgium, France, and Germany

 The house smells delicious. Pound-Cake baking to serve with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. A Pork Tenderloin slow cooking, which will be shredded with BBQ sauce. Mustard Potato Salad and Brown Sugar Baked Beans topped with Bacon. Of course, the requisite hot-dogs with mustard, relish and chips. Watermelon. Home-made Vanilla Ice Cream.  A three day feast.  And probably a much necessary FAST come!

Planning a very low impact holiday weekend, myself.  Reading, Writing, Painting, Gardening, Napping, Baking, Spa Baths, Catching the Race tomorrow, and of course Cooking and enjoying the over-abundance of Holiday food!

Have a Wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!


Friday, May 27, 2016

Brenden's Kindergarten Graduation...and Reflections on Happiness

Just the amount of patience it must require to get a group of 5 and 6 year olds to assemble, sing, and sit quietly while everyone got their Kindergarten Graduation Certificate boggles the mind.

Brenden...who is now officially promoted to the FIRST grade.

It was wonderful!  They were actually playing Pomp and Circumstance while the gymnasium was filling.

Several Aiden moments, too...when he saw his brother and excitedly (loudly) squealed out to him


And even a couple with me...who he has stopped calling "Gran Gran" and met me with "Grandma" excitedly when I got into the car.  But our Grandma Rose-Aiden Moment occurred quietly when they dimmed the lights and were doing a slide-show of the kids school year and he wordlessly climbed up in my lap and spread his arms in a huge Aiden hug and there we sat through the presentation just hugging with his cheek pressed to me and rocking together side to side. Just...I will remember this feeling all the rest of my life...pure unadulterated love.

After the ceremony we all stopped for Ice Cream together.

Later that evening at Brenden's Game the coach named both Brenden and Brady promoted to The All Stars Team!  James and Nicole are BEYOND proud!

Me, too.

Reflected a LOT on Happiness last night.

How happy I am that my boys seem to have found their "Happily Ever Afters" in life. Even Lennon, who is still searching for his soul-mate...but healthy and happy and doing well in his job and life.  It is all a mother could ask :)

How proud I am of their accomplishments...of their work ethics...of the men they have become...and (in James' case) of the good father he is to his children.  Looking forward to seeing Chris and Tina happy they pulled it back together...and a year or so later, their first child together!

( which is their shared life plan)

As a mother, it makes me happy to see them all happy. 
Content with their Lives. 

What an amazing journey it has been so far!

I am truly Blessed!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tea Time!

And is there anything MORE English than the Brits and their tea?

Actually the British got their first experience with tea from Portugal with King Charles II's new bride Catherine of Braganza. It went over so well that there are certain times and rituals now for it.

First up is "Elevenses" also known as Cream Tea and is usually served between breakfast and lunch at 11:00. Cream Tea is traditionally served with scones, muffins, or sweet bread  with clotted cream and jam on the side. Observation of Cream Tea began in the early 1900's and continues to this day.

The Tea we are most familiar with is Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon Tea is served between 3 PM and 4 PM.   Since lunch is early and dinner was generally served after 7:30 PM this was a way for hungry Brits to nibble before dinner. Afternoon Tea is the tea we associate with finger sandwiches, pastries, cakes and scones. Afternoon Tea is also commonly known as "Low Tea"

 "High Tea" despite its name was actually for the working class (think miners) who did not get the mid-afternoon break after an early lunch...and therefore had tea straightaway with a larger heavy meal in the evenings. Usually with Pies, Meats and Cheeses.

Many people now use the term High Tea to describe Afternoon Tea. This is a misnomer. 

The most sought out place for Afternoon Tea in England these days is the Palm Court at The Ritz Hotel

And a sample of their Afternoon Tea menu can be seen here

Where the Afternoon Traditional Tea starts at 52 Pounds Sterling or  68 Euro.  About 75 USD.

Even making tea in England is a ritual.  Water is boiled and poured in the tea cup. Then additional water is boiled. The cup thoroughly warmed from the boiling water and the water discarded...then the cup is refilled with boiling water, and the tea ball or bag is steeped for the required time. Sugar or cream or both is added after the tea has been served.

And one of the Traditional Finger Sandwiches to accompany Afternoon Tea.

English Cucumber Sandwiches

1 English Cucumber thinly sliced.

1 package of cream cheese.

1/4 cup real mayonnaise.

1/4 teaspoon of (both) garlic powder and onion salt

1 dash Worcestershire Sauce

1 pinch lemon pepper

1 loaf white bread with crusts removed

Place sliced cucumber between paper towel to drain/absorb moisture.

Mix together all ingredients.

Spread Mixture evenly over sliced bread and top each slice with a layer of cucumber slices.

Top with slice of bread and cut into finger sandwiches.

Garnish with Dill Sprig. 

 May have to create a Palm Court Ritz Afternoon Tea for friends at home soon!

More anon...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Not The King's English...

Yeah..yeah...God Save The Queen and all that.

Today we take a brief look at British slang.  This is the low-country, Cockney version of The King's English.

First of all you can ditch the letter "H" completely.

'ello, 'abit, 'orny, ' get the idea.

Which is how our friend, LuAnn, became known as "Tha 'Orny "Ussy" compliments of Dave long long after the Pennsylvania Gathering was over.

Also why we learned NOT to ask him if he wanted coffee every morning! See Coffee...

So anyway, a few examples of British slang. 

Ace:  If something is Ace or Aces it is AWESOME.

Arse Over Elbows:  The same thing as Head over Heels in The States.

Baccy: Tobacco for roll-your-own cigs.

Bang:  Not a sound...euphemism for sex.

Belt Up:  Shut up.

Biggie:  Two meanings. This is what a child calls his poo.  Or what a guy calls his erection.

Blinkered:  Narrow minded.

Blow me:  Not request for services to be rendered. This is simply an expression of surprise.

Bob's Your Uncle:   That is it!

Brassed off: Pissed

Butcher: To have a look at something.

Bloody or Bugger:  Synonymous with using the word "fucking" in The States

Chat Up: To try to pick someone up.

Cheers: It can be a toast when drinking, a way of saying goodbye, or thank you.

Chuffed: Quite excited!

Cock Up:  A Mistake.

Coffee: Out of context this is equivalent to a quickie or a quick bit of sex. British Coffee

Crusty: Homeless. 

Cuffy: Down on one's luck.

Daft: Stupid

Diddle: To Con someone

Do:  A Party

Duff: Useless

Fanny:  Unlike The States a woman's Fanny is her front bits...use this word with care in the UK.

Flog:  To sell something.

Gen: Information

Gen Up: To Research something.

Gob-smacked:  Amazed.

Goolies:  That would be your jewels, guys. Balls.

Grub: Food

Honking: Throwing Up.

I'm Easy: This means I don't care or it makes no difference to me.

Knock Up:  Completely different from its meaning in The States. It simply means to wake someone up.

Mate:  Friend or Chum

Mug: Gullible

Mush: Slang for Mouth also Gob.

Nicked:  Stolen

Nowt: Nothing

Owt: Anything

On About:  Talking About

One Off: A One Time Event

Pardon Me:  In the UK this is reserved for only when you fart.

Pavement Pizza: Vomit

Pissed: Not angry...just drunk.

Porkies: Lies

Pull: Looking for a date

Quite:  Absolutely

Redundant:  Laid off

Ring: To Telephone someone

Roger:   Screw (copulate)

Sacked:  Fired

Shambles: Chaos. Mess.

Shite: Just another way of saying Shit.

 Slag: To Badmouth someone.

Smashing: Terrific.

Snogging:  Making out.

Sorted: Fixed.

Stonking: Huge.

Ta: Thanks

Tosser:  Wanker...Jerk insult.

Two finger salute:  Two fingers up in a V with the back of the hand towards someone means the same as flipping the bird here.

Uni: University

Waz: to pee

Wind up: To annoy

Yonks: Ages

Zonked: Exhausted.

For more check out

Later, we will check out Tea Time!

 More anon...

Novel: The Plan- (cont) Tracy

[ I am surprised to see Mrs. Tracy Black sitting in the waiting area. I assumed after the recent suicide death of her husband she would have cancelled this session. As my receptionist sends her back and I can see more clearly the distorted anger of her facial features I realize she wouldn't have missed this confrontation. Her eyes appear puffy from crying. Her hair is tangled and unwashed.   Her mouth is a tight slit in her face. She has waited for days for this. Her clothing is soiled. As I rise to greet her she cuts me off with a hate-filled barrage...and so we begin.]

"You stupid FUCK...this is ALL your fault."

[The color in her cheeks is high now, and spittle flecks her lips as she continues loudly. The smell of her unwashed body fills the room]

"You fuckin' kilt him. I hope your happy. What the fuck did you say to him? You might as well pul't the trigger your own self"

[her fists are tight balls, knuckes white as she rages]

"So here I am. Two keeds. No money. No job. How am I su'pose to pay for the house, or food, or anything, now. What am I su'pose to do.???"

[She fumbled for a cigarette and lights it, then sees I have removed the shell she used last time as an ashtray. She looks around once more, and then flicks her lengthening ash on my hardwood floor with a satisfied glare.]

You done ruin't fuck.
How could you do this to me?"

[She is up off the chair and slashes at my face before I can stop her. Her long and ragged nails scratching my face and beads of blood rise to the surface. Her eyes are wild and unfocused. It is all I can do not to throttle her. Before her second attack I grasp her wrists and physically sit her back down in the chair. The butt of the cigarette falls from her hand and she stares at me momentarily before crushing it out beneath the heel of her shoe, defiantly, on my floor.]

[ I explain in great detail that I will tolerate no more violent outbursts from her or physical assaults...or smoking, for that matter. And assure her if it happens again I will get an EDO (Emergency Detention Order) filed and she will end up in a lock-down psychiatric unit for no less that thirty days and her children will be temporary wards of The State. Then I soften a bit and try to tell her I understand she has had a terrible shock, and I am truly sorry for her loss. The threat of the lock-down seems to have taken some of the fight out of her, and she begins to cry}

"I don'  know what I am su'pose to do now. Since Jer wasn't married to me long and he dint even have life insur'ance"
She sobs.

[And it is here we reach the crux of the matter. Mrs. Black is not devastated by the untimely death of her husband. Only by the overwhelming inconvenience of her lack of a reliable pay-check.  Until this very moment I didn't even believe I could think less of the woman. Apparently, I was mistaken. With her next statement it becomes a death spiral.]

"I gots to see Mark. Maybe if I bring the keeds up like he wants...maybe he kin

 (she trails off)

[ I have to stop this. Thinking quickly, to buy some time, I tell her that Mark has not been told of Jerry's death yet, and ask that she wait until he has been told and has time to process it. That to do otherwise might jeopardize his condition. Like she will care about that. Then I realize what I must do.  I reach into my back pocket and pull out my wallet thumbing through the cash inside...calmly telling her that it isn't a lot (although to her it must be riches) and peel off several crisp one hundred dollar bills. "Maybe this will help a little" I hear myself say. The effect is instantaneous. All her posturing and anger melts away. She gasps in surprise and she steps towards me attempting a clumsy hug. Which I allow, but do not return. Not yet.]

"I'm real sorry 'bout your face." she stammers "an about all that other stuf' I said. I wuz jus real upset, is all. "

[I mutter some useless platitude, and then ask her if she will return next week for our scheduled session. Her eyes widen with disbelief, and she hurriedly agrees.  She is rising to leave my office when I see her fold the cash in half and stick it into her filthy bra. Suddenly what I must do becomes crystal clear, and I absently find myself humming as I wipe the grey ashes from the floor with a soft cloth and dispose of the single crushed butt. Realizing, now, I am no longer irritated with her. Then I go to the wash basin and cleanse the bloody scratches on my face with alcohol. The pain is bracing. Affirming what must be done.]

Thursday, May 19, 2016

How does your Garden GROW...Bernie WINS Oregon "Yuge"...and Narrowly Misses Kentucky 46.3 to 46.7

And yes...I did takes this shot through the peas because James' beastly Camaro was in the background.


And a little in shock, as James has promised the Camaro to Preston for his 16th Birthday!!!  

 Which will be awesome!

But everything is up, green and looking good.

Walked in Tuesday to this Apple Cinnamon Roll Bake as Nicole and I had coffee and chat. Since it was a rainy day, we decided to make good use of our time and spoil Aden and greet the new kitten...discuss new finds on Pintrest...and bake things.

You have to have a good Plan B.


The Kitten.  
Whose cat only has one kitten?

Pat the Kitty...the Home Game

Kitty Kisses

 So, the garden is going great and already snipping fresh herbs.

The Kohlrabi has started!

The potatoes are growing like crazy...and we've tucked potatoes in every spare
un-planted spot now. The kids will have a great time digging them up this Fall after everything else is grown and picked.

We have onions growing between the rows of corn for double duty use of space.

And Pole Beans that will cover the trellis this summer.

Our tomatoes and peppers are ready for cages and despite the cold and rain they already have yellow blossoms.

A few of our strawberries have tiny white blossoms too!

Some of the cutting garden is up...the tulips now gone and lilies, irises and gladiolas breaking through.

Have Red and Yellow varieties of Honeysuckle coming to eventually cover the shed, and a Blue Clematis that arrived just today. It is going to be grown in the re-purposed skeleton of a wooden screen door strung with twine for the vines to climb.

And MORE potatoes, of course.

 The hot chilis and ghost peppers are thriving in pots way way way away from our garden spot and green sweet peppers. Out back on "Hot-As-Hell Island"

Since the rain came again( and the house was chilly and the baby was down for his nap)...we decided to BAKE some more. A loaf of Cheese Bacon Bread to go with the Rubbed Pulled Pork for Dinner later.

So much FUN to create with someone who enjoys cooking as much as I do...


Before...and sprinkled with Flat Italian Parsley (from our garden) and crushed chili peppers.

And After

Even got to visit with Emma and Brenden when they came home from school just before I left.  Emma and I are planning a "Mall Day" together in our near future, and Brenden and I, are going to have another Grandma Rose Day as soon as baseball is over.


He is awesome!!! Just like his Dad (and Preston) used to play  :)


"YUGE"...and California looks VERY GOOD.

Kentucky was an absolute nail midnight it was still too close to call. By morning it was Hillary's by 46.7 to 46.3  (a sliver of a percent) 

Although Oregon was a great victory and obviously netted Bernie more delegates...psychologically Kentucky was just as important.  In 2008 Hillary won Kentucky in a landslide. This year, she fought tooth and nail for just half the votes...and it was morning before the race was called. That, in itself, says a LOT.

Several of the Super Delegates have already abandoned ship (and two more over the side today) diving for a Bernie Lifeboat.  Hopefully by the Philly Convention they will see (much like they did in 2008) that Bernie will be a more viable candidate against Trump, and choose wisely. Even fleas eventually leave a dead rat...okay?

One can hope.

I seriously believe an adherence to Hillary this time will ensure a Trump Presidency.

Time will tell.

Back to our Virtual Travels Tomorrow, and British Slang!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sharing a Tear...and a Laugh...

Last year on May 15th, Jan passed away.  She was my biological mother and she was 72 years old.

To be honest, I scarcely knew her. During the first 18 years this was not my fault. For the next certainly was.  I didn't know her birthday, or her favorite color, or much of anything about her life. I wouldn't have recognized her voice if she would have called me on the phone. Which she didn't. When I reconnected with my brothers and sisters after her death last year I could offer them condolences on the loss of "their" Mother...but (having lost both of my grandparents, who raised me, years before) I found it impossible to process her loss as my loss...

As horrible as it sounds, I did not cry.

Until this morning.

My brother Mikey (who is also one hell of a stand-up comedian,  artist, micro-brew connoisseur, singer and song-writer) wrote a serious song he titled "Eulogy" on an album last year entitled Red Letters.  This morning I finally listened to it.

A year and a day after her death.


A song in which he had inserted a couple of live answering machine messages from Our Mom.

With her final message I lost it completely.  After a year and a day I finally "got it", and grieved the loss of a mother I never knew- but wish-like-hell I had given the chance.

In the past 10 years, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that whereas We Always Think We Have More Time...or Enough Time...We Don't. 

Since 2002 I have lost (through death) 9 people who all were huge parts of my life...not including finding out in 2012 that my little Brother had died years before. 

Most recently, my oldest childhood friend. I sat reflecting Sunday and was hit with the finality.  The realization I will never pick up the phone to hear her voice again...laugh together again, or call to share our day's events...ever again in this life ...and it is sobering.  We always think we have more time. That there will always be tomorrow. Even when life has shown us time and time again that this is not the reality of the situation.  Our last conversation (because cell phones store such things) lasted 57:43  What the time/date stamp doesn't show is that we always ended our conversations with "Love you" and " Love you back, see you soon!".  She was being released to home finally, and my youngest son had already offered a ride up when it happened.

Out of a lifetime of words...43 year of words...these would be the very last ones we would ever speak to each other. 

Having both lost our parents, our husbands, a few relatives, lovers, siblings and in-laws we had learned how easily your last conversation with someone you love can be...well...the last one you may ever have. 

Choose your parting words wisely.

And now for something entirely lighter...

Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones)  made me laugh until I cried
in the following Interview...explaining the close guarding of the Secret of his Upcoming Revival in Season Six...


Kit...Ser Davos is're just fooking eye-candy!

More Anon....