October 2008


This past weekend, we headed to the North Ga. mountains and Lake Burton with some friends for some leaf-watchin’.  Honeykins and i took the puppies on a 9-mile hike at black rock mountain state park–it was a moderately strenuous trail with some nice waterfalls and streams–important when you hike with dogs.

Hiking in North Georgia

Hiking in North Georgia

I had prepared a big ole pot of my Award-Winning chili and it was just the thing. If you like it hot, this is the chili for you!

1 red bell pepper,1 sweet onion,1 jalepeno pepper, 3 cloves garlic, –all chopped

Saute in 2 T. olive oil, in lg. dutch oven til sorta soft-8 min.     Add the rest of the ingredients-stir well.

1-5 canned chipolte peppers in adobo sauce, depending on how hot you want it. i used 5 and it kicked our ass.

1 whole roasted smoked chicken-cut into pieces or shredded (from deli) OR  2 lb. mixed chicken parts, roasted and cut into pieces.

2 cans zesty chili-style diced tomatoes, 1 can each navy beans and black beans,rinsed and drained

1 can beer

1 envelope white chicken chile seasoning mix.

Serve with Sliced limes, cilantro and sour cream. Drink LOTS of beer!!!!

NOTE: Shout out to the HANKSER, who had to leave unexpectedly to have his eye removed–he’ll be the perfect pirate for halloween!!

The Hankster

The Hankster

I just need to write and vent about my sadness over the weekend murders of Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother. (And, at the time of this blog, possibly her nephew). Senseless deaths, a “domestic dispute”, they called it. My heart goes out to the beautiful and talented young woman who many of us watched grow and blossom on American Idol. Whose voice and acting skills endeared us to her, yet all the while she remained the girl next door. Innocent, humble, closely connected to family.

When i first heard the news, i was so sad for Jennifer and her family. Yet over the course of 2 days, i find myself becoming more and more angry. Murder in this country has become almost commonplace. Every day i read the local newspaper or turn on the news and there has been another killing. It just seems to be the answer to conflict resolution for many in our screwed up society–and the problem continues.  Convicted felons of violent crimes are allowed to move freely about the country, with easy access to guns, drugs and other violent felons. Where is the outrage? When do we say “enough”?

I don’t know the answers. I do know, however, that when we turn on the evening news and watch yet another story of a senseless murder, shake our heads and “tsk-tsk” another death, when we become nearly immune to the problems that have become so, well, so not surprising in this country, then it’s time we take a good, hard look inside ourselves as well as out.

I do know that there is one step i can make–i can vote my conscience, vote to have more and tighter gun control. Its a tiny step, i know, but at times like this it’s the one thing i have. In the meantime, please take a minute to say a little prayer to whoever it is you pray to for the family of Jennifer Hudson.

karjulpat

gypsy, filthy rich, witch

DSCF0364

Cereal Killer and victim

Every year about this time i am faced with a quandary…what to wear for halloween. In all my life, i think there have been, oh, maybe 5 years when i didn’t don a costume. Even when i’m not trick-or-treating or going to a party, i still like to dress up and get out.  I no longer think it’s cool to egg the nasty neighbor’s house, or soap the windows of sworn enemies. i outgrew the mean pranks -the tricks-that during my teen years were associated with Halloween. For many years, we hosted large parties where costumes were mandatory, and I’m thinking about starting that tradition again, since i have an attic full of props.

halloween01

yo mama bin ladin, osama, george

waynes world

Wayne's World Wayne' World

skunk2

Roxy Le Pew!

A couple of years ago, honeykins and i were bored, so we put on these full-face-masks (you know–the kind that collect little pools of condensation in the nose, and you feel like you’re going to suffocate?)

He was Dilbert, an i was a vampire, and we had on these huge ponchos, and got on our knees, so we’d look like kids–or midgets– and went around to some neighbor’s doors and stuck out our bags. “TRICK OR TREAT!” we’d sing in fake soprano voices. When we got the obligatory sweets, i’d look in my bag-back up at the person’s face and holler in my best “South Park” voice- “THIS SUCKS!  GIMMEE SOME FUCKIN’ CANDY!!!”

‘YEAH,CANDY, DAMMMIT” honeykins chimed-in, as we greedily grabbed handfuls of candy out of their dish.  As one neighbor tried to shut the door in our faces, while muttering half aloud “you little…” we whipped off our masks, and he nearly pissed himself.. After a glass of wine and a few more laughs, we’d be off for the next house. That night was a blast!

I don’t believe in buying costumes, i like to use my imagination. Here are a few of the costumes we’ve come up with over the years…

Killer Bees (complete w/ fake machine guns and ammo-belts)

Illegal alien (face painted green, deely-boppers coming out of sombrero, authentic mexican poncho)

Osama bin Laden (me),Yo Mama bin Laden (honeykins, in complete burqa)

Cereal killer

Dick Head (condom cap, Pocket protector, “hello my name is..Richard Cranium” sticker

Wayne and Garth (Wayne’s World)

Austin Powers and Foxy Brown

Hippie Chick and Cool Cat

i’d love for you to leave a comment on YOUR best costume (or idea).  Happy Halloween!!!

Alpine T'ai Chi

Alpine T'ai Chi

 About a year ago, for reasons still lurking just beyond reach, i decided i needed to get a little enlightenment. Not that i haven’t always been enlightening myself, or even allowing certain, trusted others to enlighten me, but i needed MORE.

I think my search started when i began getting accupuncture for a shoulder condition.  It just didn’t seem to “take”, so after a couple of months, my accupuncturist suggested meditation and T’ai chi. Said i seriously needed to calm my inner self, which is no secret to me-i mean hell, i’ve suffered spastic colon,ulcers, arthritis, all that shit that’s related to stress and stuff.  Well, i can already tell you i suck at meditation, just can’t clear my mind long enough.  The more i try to “let it go”, the harder it is.

So i found myself a T’ai chi studio, and i gotta say, after the first class i was like, yeah, this is a good thing. We started with 30 minutes to Qigong, which is essentially breathing and movement exercizes. It wasn’t at all strenuous, yet i felt power coming from rarely-used muscles. (And i might add i have exercized all my life.) After 30 minutes and a short tea break, we began learning the basics of T’ai chi, and now, after 9 months, i know nearly all of the 24 movements. It’s been very slow going, sometimes frustratingly so, but each time we go over that one movement for the seventy-ninth time, I GET IT. Really get it. Inside and out.

One qigong movement is knee circles–just rotating the knees each direction (together) 72 times. This has become a daily ritual, and i am convinced  it’s the main reason that my knees didn’t give out on me during the bone-grinding descents in the Alps.

My teacher, Cate, at Shoulders Down, is awsome, the kind of person i want as my life mentor. She’s the person who pops into my head sometimes when i am facing a dilemma. She’s that person that just being in the room with her gives me serenity. (She also cracks me up-an added bonus).

And the name– Shoulders Down–how perfect is that? Seriously! i’m that girl who’s shoulders are connected to her ears-walking around like richard nixon or Frankenstein or somebody. So now i’ve become more aware of my body and its reaction to particular situations, and am finally learning to calm myself from the inside-out. I look at the whole picture instead of being overwhelmed by the small stuff. Best of all, i BREATHE. Yep, i start my day with a little moving meditation–T’ai Chi– and i’m ready for what life throws at me. (well, mostly).

In addition to the aforementioned shampoo, etc, that i scrimped on in the Alps, another change i would have made was to bring at least one stylish outfit.  no,no,no, i don’t mean designer clothes (i don’t own any REAL designer duds, anyway.)  I’m just talkin’ about one change of clothes that i could wear out at night that wasn’t related to backpacking. I mean, zip-off’s and coolmax are fine, but honeykins and i felt like total slouches when we were finally in a town that had actual restaurants (!) and we’re schlepping around in the same clothes we’ve been wearing on the trail. Especially so when we ran into Paul and Kevin, who after a change looked especially fresh–they even brought real hair product!!

So in hindsight, i would definately pack a lightweight pair of jeans and a cute tee. Oh, and shoes.

little pink crocs

little pink crocs

Even just a pair of slip on sneakers.  Anything but my Merrell boots or pink crocs that i brought to wear in the huts.

During the process of consolidating and paring-down toiletries for our backpacking trip to the Alps, I came across the “perfect” solution to all those little travel sized bottles of shampoo, soap, conditioner, etc… I went online and found these little paper Travelon shampoo sheets that come in packet the size of a dental floss container.  You get them wet and they lather up. At 50 sheets per container it seemed like a no-brainer.  So I bought the shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, laundry soap, hand soap–the works! All that stuff that would take up so little space and be feather light! Tried ‘em at home, they did an OK job.

The first time I washed my hair on the hike, I used 2 sheets. No lather. So I pulled out some more (note: use DRY fingers to pull out the little sheets-they’re the consistency of a listermint and stick together.) Maybe it was the hard mountain water, but I never got a bubble outta those suckers, just a big clump of green goo.  Well, the showers only give you like, a gallon of water for your token, then you’re done.  When I walked into our room, Honeykins fell out laughing.  Imagine “There’s something about Mary” when Cameron Diaz has that “hair-gel” in her bangs. It was like that, only green. 10-minutes of combing through it with a toothbrush only served to spread it out like an invasive algae, and no amount of head-under-the-sink scrubbing rid me of the slime. Fortunately, a couple of very cool women from the UK  apparently lost their appetites after sitting across the table from me at dinner and breakfast, and presented me with a couple mini-bottles of shampoo they liberated from the maid’s cart in a hotel they had splurged for.  Many thanks, Kelly and Brenda! 

Ditto for all the other little soap sheets. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Lesson learned:  Even when you’re backpacking, there are some things you just can’t skimp on. Bring a small bottle of Dr. Bronner’s  and use it for everything!

hair gel

hair gel

 

 

When I was just a minnow myself, i love, love, LOVED “minnow cheese”. There was this fossil of a woman at the country club kitchen that used to make it, and i could eat that stuff til it was practically coming outta my ears! Even on Family Night at the club, when Irene would cook turkey and gravy or meatloaf, all i wanted was her ‘minnow cheese. Then after I got sent off to reform school (ha!) i sort of forgot about it, because they didn’t serve pimento cheese in the cafeteria there-(did they, pete?)

So now i’m all grown up and reformed, (ha, again) living in Atlanta, and guess what people like to bring to pot luck parties?  You got it–Pimento Cheese!!!  YEAHHHH!!!! However—none of it is quite as good as I remember.  So i’ve been messing around with recipes, and i think I’ve got it. No, I think I have actually improved on it!! Here’s the recipe.  And listen to me–double it!  THIS SHIT’S GOOD!!!!!!!!!

              Damn, This is GREAT “Minnow Cheese!

6 ounces cream cheese,

1/2 cup Vermont extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated,

3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup Monterey jack cheese, grated

1/2 cup mayonnaise (Dukes)

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

4 ounces pimientos, chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika (hot works best)

Couple dashes hot sauce 

fresh ground black pepper

beat cream cheese til sorta fluffy.  add other stuff, mix well.  cool in ‘fridge. share.

Shout out to my girl, Stef, who came over for lunch yesterday (‘minnow cheese, of course), and stayed ’til 4:30! Man, time’s fun when you’re havin’ flies!

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