Friday, December 4, 2009

No More Thermostat Wars!!

Hallelujah! But since this is Texas...this too shall pass. finally got cold enough to have the heater on. This hard and loud tile floor finally got too cold to stand on barefooted...even with houseshoes on. So I've unfolded the winter pajamas and stepped into them, slipped on a pair of Daddy's old socks before slipping into the houseshoes, and I am set. I like winter. We don't really have much, and as I mentioned above, it will probably be short-sleeve weather again in a few days. But for now. It's freezing outside baby! AND it has snowed in Houston again!! Only the fourth time in the last 15 years! Further evidence of global warming. LOL

I moved my plants in yesterday. In the past, I moved them into the dining room and just jumbled them in the floor behind the table. When the weather warmed, moved them back outside. Freezing weather again, the plants came in. This year I cleaned off the metal baker's rack that they live on out in the screenroom. Then moved it in where it blocks one-half of our French door...the door we never open. Plants will get indirect light and should be okay throughout the winter.

Speaking of plants...Isn't this a beautiful thing?! I am so proud of my Christmas cactus. I've owned several over the years and never got one to this point...this large...and blooming! The oldest part of the plant came from Sam's best friend's mother's plant. Okay...that's Ben's mother, Bernice. Sam and I were visiting her in Wadsworth Texas around the turn of the century - one side of it or the other, I forget. As we walked in, I handed her a part of her Christmas cactus that had broken off the mother plant outside. She told me that I could have it. Poor lonely thing...I purchased a small pot at Wal-Mart and planted them together. I can still pick out the older part and am glad of that. These blossoms are on that part... Bernice was a special lady.

Sam is still working on his shop building. He is going to do some work for me in my sewing room...but in the meantime, he's still practicing with the woodworking tools he is acquiring. Some are used...some are new. I helped him set this shelf up on the bench and prop it up so that he could attach it to the wall.

He's doing a really good job IMHO.

But he does make a dusty mess. ;o) I like his portable workbench. And under it is a collapsible router table.

I subbed today. One of the ninth grade kids reported that their teachers really raked them over the coals from my note last week. They were much better today. Besides...there were two of us. Both Ag teachers are gone with some of the kids to a competition of some sort. They left a movie for the classes to watch...both classes in one classroom. The other sub said one of the classes that I was scheduled to have just about made her quit...yep...freshmen. As soon as they walked in, I told them to either sit down or get back outside until the bell rang. Outside temperature was in the upper 30s. They WENT OUTSIDE!!! Guess they showed me LOL!! Bell rang, they filed in and sat at their desks. The other class had to bring in desks from their classroom. I immediately demanded quiet so that we could call roll. Someone talked. I stopped and got their attention again with an "I WILL call a principal!!" We got the rolls called, sent to the office, movie on, and had a fairly quiet class. ;o)

Tomorrow to the library for our first Breakfast With Rudolph. We invited kids from four elementary schools, a private school, two childcare, and one Head Start. Our football team will be playing a playoff game in Nacogdoches so we don't know how this will go. Let us pray...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quilters and Butter

What do those two things have in common? Read on...

First of all, I drove Mama to the doctor yesterday (Tuesday). She got a great checkup and the doctor gave her permission to drive! Hallelujah!!! Today, she went to the dollar store AND to the senior diner to eat. ;o)

Last week, I contacted some quilters in the Tyler area. We met as a result of Cyber Friends Quilt internet guild. For several years we met in Tyler at Thanksgiving and quilters came from all over the United States and even Canada! Those of us in East Texas met at different times throughout the year and became widely known as the East Texas Wildbunch...a title we are extremely proud of. We meet at the Tyler Quilt Show every spring, at LQSs (local quilt shops), and just to eat. Once, there was the red-headed waiter at a restaurant on McCann Road in Longview...sorry...that is a different story. ;o) Ahem...some things truly must remain a secret.

I really enjoyed seeing Linda and Kathy at a Mexican restaurant (we generally meet and eat) but was disappointed that Judy was not feeling well. Warning...I will be back in Tyler in six weeks!

Time for the butter story. Below is an actual record of e-mails that were flying back and forth in preparation for our Thanksgiving feast in Tyler in 2005.
This started while deciding what time we should all start getting into Tyler for our Quilt Guild Thanksgiving lunch. I said I needed a reason to be there at 10 a.m. so that Sam, my husband, would agree to arriving there that early. Judy said that I could unwrap the butter and open the door. I replied back with a "Great, then I would be qualified to be a greeter at Wal-Mart"…it went downhill from there…

Sherry, I wouldn't count on getting a job at Wal Mart, they only hire people with NO experience, that's why they can never answer your questions.
Also, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to open butter stix. You may want to practice some before you get there Saturday.
 Correct way to open butter stix:
1. open little flaps on left side of wrapped stick
2. open little flaps on right side of wrapped stix
3. carefully lift long edge of paper, pulling gently till it lifts off of stick
4. place saucer under the partly unwrapped stick, then holding paper only, let butter slide off of wrapper onto the saucer.
5. never touch bare butter with fingers.
 Incorrect way to unwrap butter:
1. grab stix of butter and squeeze till end flaps pop open
2. then grab long edge of wrapper and jerk till butter is unwrapped and falls on counter top or floor.
3. snatch up butter stix and slap down on saucer and place on table.
4. don't worry about hand and finger prints, they will slice off when used.

Yes, Sherry, I think it would! Any experience you can gain during the process of opening the butter, could surely help, and I can't see that it would hurt at all! LOL  You just never know when those skills would be needed. LOL
6.  No cussing if the flaps are difficult to open, or if the butter doesn't want to slide off the paper, or if the butter falls on the floor during the "sliding" process!
7. put tape over mouth if #6 happens
Okay, so I'm over qualified for Wal-Mart.  I was truly looking forward to working there when I grow up.  In the meantime, I've been practicing with the butter.  I bought a pound of butter, and really messed up, so had to go back to the store for more.
 First of all, I bought margarine to practice with - it's cheaper you know.  However, it just doesn't sliiiidddde off the paper correctly.  And, once...or twice...or - well, you get the idea...I licked my fingers.  YUCK!  People use that stuff??!!  Well, I digress.
I couldn't get the butter to sliiiidddde off the wrapper either, so I thought maybe it was too cold.  I put it in the microwave for JUST 10 seconds.  Took a whole roll of paper towels to clean the microwave. 
Stick #2, after tearing the flaps off, and peeling the edge of the paper, I'm standing there with the butter just dangling.  So, I gave it a flip - just a little flip...went straight in the garbage disposal.
With stick #3, I thought...well, I can't write what I actually thought first.  Secondly, I thought "Spatula."  By this time, I've got the hang of opening the little bitty tiny flaps and carefully - oops, itty bitty fingerprint - lifting the edge of the paper (butter under my fingernail).  I take the edge of the spatula and start to gently push the stick of butter off the paper when Sam came up behind me and asks "Hey, what are you doing?"  We both looked up.  And there it was, stuck on the ceiling.  We haven't gotten all of the spackle picked out of it yet.  We may just use that stick for popcorn - that'll explain the crunchies...
So, Sam took stick #4 and tore the flaps, ripped open the wrapper, picked the butter up with HIS HAND, plopped it on the plate and said, "What's so hard about that?!"
I have a headache.  I'm going to bed.  Might as well, I'm out of butter.  I've got it on my grocery list though and as soon as I get over this migraine, I'll go to the store and buy more to practice with.
Hey!  Great idea.  My pineapple pound cake recipe calls for butter...would y'all notice if there was a bit of crunchy in there with the pineeeeeeeeeeapppppppppppppllllllllllleeeeeeeeee???????????  Oops, still had a bit of butter on my hand.
 Oh, yeah, I've got to put tape on my grocery list too.
 PS - Janet, cute puppies!  Do they like butter?
Janet/Spotted Cow
Now look Sherry, you have to learn how to do this, it's not that hard. First of all, you have to buy very expensive butter, try a shop that carries imported butter. The best kind to buy is the kind that had the 22 carat gold writing on it. I'm sure you've seen it, it's right between the Philadelphia Cream Cheese with the inlaid diamond wrapper and and the cottage cheese that has each curd dipped in Mother of Pearl.
You cannot tear the ends off, treat them like small delicate half square triangles, gently lift and fold them back out of the way. If you are having problems with "butter under the fingernails," then you have purchased cheap butter. Real butter does not get under your fingernails; it has more class than that!  Also, expensive butter slides right off the paper with out any problems.
I do understand that you have be allotted a very prestigious job and after re-reading your last reply, I have come to the conclusion that maybe we have given you a job beyond your capabilities. So, perhaps you should take the job of replacing the empty toilet paper rolls. Of course you do understand these rolls are not to be confused with the dinner rolls, don't you?
One is made of paper, the other made of dough. But the most important difference between them is that one is quilted and one is not!  You will be handling the one that has been quilted. When not actively busy replacing rolls, you can count how many stitches to the inch the TP has been quilted.
Also, warning to all diners, do not eat anything that Sherry says she added butter and nuts to, remember the spackled ceiling at her home!
Kathy/Quilt Obsession
You know Sherry, I hate to say this, but there seems to be an opening at the Thanksgiving dinner for a butter opener, just doesn't seem like you're qualified for this position! LOL If you didn't get the hang of it after wasting all that margarine, I don't think there's a chance of you catching on! LOL
I've been practicing - again...what's this springy thing inside the toilet paper holder do-hicky? What am I supposed to do with it.

Janet/Spotted Cow
Kim, can you unwrap butter?
Yes Janet, I believe I can open the butter, LOL  Don't worry Sherry, I'm sure we can find something you can do to stay busy. Maybe you can just mingle with the guests, I think you've worked hard enough already. Yep, mingling should be just perfect!
 Janet, you forgot to tell her that the toilet paper must unroll from the top.... I better keep my mouth shut or that will be my job! LOL

Well, after greater consideration, do you think maybe you could just handle opening and closing the door for people?
Of course, I am sure you do realize they have to either be entering or exiting  when you open the door?

Does the door open in or out?  I need to start practicing!

IN !!!!!  But remember, you have to stay out of the door way, yourself!
The Cranberry Sparkle is in the refrigerator jelling...the Pineapple Pound Cake is on the counter cooling.  (I strained the butter to get the spackle out of it.)
You have no idea how hard it was to work in the kitchen today.  You see, I have this big open gashing wound on my hand.  I decided that I was going to perfect opening butter.  Nothing I have tried up to this point had worked in a manner that I thought would please you-know-who.  I'm so afraid to even mention her name.  I might start sobbing hysterically again.  Sam had to shove a couple of valium down my throat earlier today.  She will remain nameless so I don't get upset again!

I'm sorry.  I had to go take another nap. 
This morning I decided to make the prettiest stick of butter anyone has ever seen.  I took this really sharp knife.  I got it out of the locked knife drawer which Sam accidentally left unlocked.  I got the best wooden cutting board I have in my kitchen - one of those maple boards that has the drip tray around it.  Really pretty.  Sam gave it to me for Christmas one year.  That was the year he took the knives away. Oops.  Digressing again.  (I like that word.) 
So, I took out the butter that I put in the freezer earlier to get it really, really cold.  Laid it on the cutting board.  Held it perfectly still.  Took the knife and heated it.  And started to slice the paper off the stick of butter.  The first side of the paper came off so nicely.  You should see it.  So smooth it almost has a reflection.  I turned the stick of butter over to the next side.  Held it securely.  Heated the knife again.  Started the next slice.  Forgot to move my finger.  Fortunately I didn't cut it too deep. 
Oh, don't worry, remember I said I used the cutting board with the drip tray around it.  So, the kitchen wasn't in a mess. 
But I don't know what happened to Sam.  He asked me what did I think I was trying to prove.  I just started screaming "JANET!  JANET!  JANET!"  over and over again.  I have a wonderfully understanding husband.  Without even hitting me, I realized I was on the floor with him sitting on top of me shoving those two valium down my throat.  He's such a sweetheart.  But he made me throw the butter away too. He said, "NO!  We can't just wash it off!!"
For those of you who haven't met me yet, I'll be at the door to greet you.  Please don't get your feelings hurt if I can't shake your hand.
Hugs and smiles!!
Cow woman
Oh My gosh, Sherry!!!  I am so sorry someone has upset you so much that you can't even say her name. You want me to slap her for you??  Huh!  I will, you know. And listen, you should never let anyone upset you so much that you slash your wrist, ut oh, I mean hand!  They're just not worth it. I am sure who ever that person is, will be nicer to you tomorrow when she sees you and what a nice job you have done with the butter!

Did you scroll all the way down?

ME !!!!  You Were Talking about ME!!!!!!!! You must be hallucinating, to many xanax's, oh, I'm sorry that was Valium, wasn't it? ()
 Ladies and DH, we all know that Sherry has been heavily medicated, (see previous emails for dosage), so if you walk up to the door and she shuts it in your face, just remember, she's not responsible for her actions. Someone will get her DH, Dr. Sam, to take care of her. lol
See ya tomorrow

And that, my readers is the end of the e-mails. But not the end of the story. While Janet/SpottedCow/Cow Woman/and just plain old Cow was instructing me in the fine art of opening butter, another quilter took photos for evidence...I mean posterity. She even labeled the photos:

Here are those wonderful women...some who love me and some who manage to tolerate me. ;o)