Oct 27, 2009

A Change in Stripes!

Handcrafted by none other than Sis, this number is a great look for any canine who doesn't wish to be mistaken for a deer. Amazing what a small change in colors can do for one's longevity, particularly during the fall hunting season. The smart bitch always opts for a well defined black & white stripe showing off good taste whilst baffling the average Joe hiding in wait for an unsuspecting White-Tail. She goes easily from day to evening, wind to rain in this versatile fabric named after the infamous sisters, Polly and Ester.

The turtle neck adds aditional drama to the piece, and the red blanket-stitch that brings it all together can only be termed as a touch of sheer genius. Note the understated glow-in-the-dark decorative safety strip atop the collar for easy identification at night. Not shown is the easy-on-easy-off velcro fastening strips along the stomach area, and easy access under-tail freedom for going number one or number two. This designer thought of everything. SMASHING!

"Divy It Up Amongst You"

That run on words won't mean a lot to most of you, but anyone who's old enough to remember The Soupy Sales Show will recognize the saying. Okay, maybe not, but I can be positively sure both my sisters will remember it. Soupy used to say it all the time, but wait a minute, maybe it was Pookie who used to say it, or was it White Fang, or Black Tooth, or Hippy the Hippo, or one of those hilarious strangers who showed up at Soupy's door and inevitably through a pie in his face. No, I'm pretty sure it was Pookie.

Either way, I was so sad to learn of Soupy Sales' death early this week. Very hard to imagine him being 83 years old. When I was a kid, I absolutely loved Soupy, his TV show and his albums which I listen to over and over again. I thought he was the funniest man on the planet (well, aside from Jack Benny).

The humor on Soupy's show had definite, strong, sarcastic undertones and may have gone over the heads of many kids watching in the 60's, but I always felt like I understood what he and his crew were laughing at, as if I were in on the joke. So sophisticated!

And so Soupy has shuffled off for the last time, had his last pie-in-the-face, and, being the Jazz aficionado that he was, has heard his final jazz theme played. We loved you, Soup, and we always will.

Oct 26, 2009

Jute Mat!

Last week Thursday Sis found a small rug online, available locally, and at a great price. She'd been looking for something to replace a larger, more formal Oriental number that occupied the spot directly under the dining room table for some time. Reasons?
1. The Oriental dominated the small dining room
2. It's intricate pattern was playing against the pattern on the dining room chairs
3. The Oriental was beginning to look out dated, and wasn't working well with her current direction in decor
4. And this is Key.... Now that there are dogs in the house, instead of just a cat, it's more difficult to keep things clean and odor free.

So she decided on a jute mat, 5x8, indoor/outdoor, muted earth tones with an understated pattern. She brought it home on Friday and we laid it under her dining set thinking we'd live with it there for a few days, see how it fit in the spot. Alternatively, we'd use it in the little side room that we've just finished painting.

That was Friday, on Sunday I looked across the room and noticed something strange under the table. It was worse than something strange, it was the contents of my dogs stomach, three times over. The likes of which I have never, ever seen. Bad.. REAL bad.

Needless to say, I rushed to clean it as best I could. We sprayed it with Fabreeze, used baking soda and water, left the fan on over it all night, and this morning, it didn't look bad, but smelled like some body stepped in something and tracked it ALL THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE. I took it out onto the front porch hoping to clear the air, but that was several hours ago and the odor still permeates every corner of place.

Sis was understanding and didn't get too excited. I on the other hand was so upset I could hardly sleep. Right before finally drifting off, I made up my mind to get up this morning and go see if I could find another mat just like it and replace it. Fortunately, with a sense of frustration and resolve, I managed to do just that, I only hope we can get the odor out of here by Christmas.

Oct 22, 2009

The Redneck Gourmet!

One recent weekend we happened upon a small town in rural Georgia called Newnan. We drove through Newnan's outskirts and marveled at the sprawling 18Th century Victorian mansions scattered along tree-lined thoroughfares leading to the town square. Life was moving rather slowly that Sunday, a lovely fall day. We took a stroll up Main Street and we were disappointed to see that most of the interesting antique and specialty shops were closed for Sabbath.
Stores with names like "The Other Side of The Moon", " Stairway to Heaven", "The Vintage Flea", and "What's In Store". Even a martini bar called "Andre's Off The Square". Closed, closed, closed, closed and closed. Soon we began to detect a wonderful aroma in the air, and we knew the day was saved. Before long my olfactory senses kicked in and as if in a trance, we began to follow the waft right into the entrance of the "Redneck Gourmet" restaurant. OPEN SUNDAYS! I had a Chicken Caesar Roll-Up at $6.95 that was not too shabby! Sis had a hearty Black Angus cheeseburger that looked divine. We sat at a small table on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and enjoyed our Sunday feast. RG has been family owned and operated since 1991. They have an impressive menu which includes sandwich options like Roll-Ups, Hoagies, Burgers, and Sandwiches. See their website for franchise opportunities or visit one of two Georgia locations soon.

Oct 16, 2009

Ahh The Irony! Part One...

Buried deep within my minds recesses are all the typical departments, compartments and entities that should be there. Not in any particular order, here are the first twelve:
CONSCIENCE: Conscience is probably located near the front of the brain, functioning as a guide, like the old adage "Let your conscience be your guide" warns. I don't cheat or tell very many lies, and I don't kick my dogs or prey on the elderly. I wonder if other inter meshing areas of the brain can benefit from a clear conscience, like

EGO: My ego has been through it all, completely inflated and crushed like road kill. At this point, it's buried in rubble, basically. I can recall having it checked at a very young age, and even throughout the years of my life up to now. Having your ego checked is a profound experience, you don't forget it, it shapes who you are and how you approach the world.

THE SUBCONSCIOUS: The subconscious mind seems unattainable, who knows where it's located, maybe all over every part of the brain. It's where the real power over your life lies. Unless you study it's powers, it will always elude you. It would be a great idea to teach young children how to tap the powers of the subconscious while their minds are open and unadulterated, but since so few of us have been taught about it, we don't emphasise it. Ahh the irony.

FEAR & LOATHING: Fear and loathing I'm familiar with. Having done more loathing than fearing, I can vouch that with loathing, things are hardly EVER as bad as you think they're going to be. The irony here is that while your in loathing, the part of your brain that holds this fact is temporarily out of service. It's partner, fear can be a real life saver, I think of fear as more of a defense mechanism against people without conscience or oncoming trains.

COMPASSION: I have compassion in abundance, and I think I'm grateful for that. Being honest, it was an acquired taste for me at first, but once my ego was in check and I removed my head from ummm, well, let's just say I have compassion now, and in places I never imagined. I like it and would like to keep it active and healthy.

PASSION: Yes, well passion is important isn't it? It's all the rage and is professed to be the only way one can attain life's true gifts. This is another area that can be rather elusive if you've not had some indoctrination to the idea, or unless you were born with a God given talent, like singing or painting. I've been scrambling to find my big life passion ever since I found out it was "the way". At this stage of the game, I'm afraid I may be out of what ever juice you need to grow passion. That sucks.

AMBITION: Interesting how all of these topics play off of one another, isn't it? Presently, my ambition is in question. I may have lost some perspective along the way on this. I do have ambition, but as we speak, it seems to be in a state of morph! I've had plenty of it through my life, but there is no question it's turning a big corner right now. I hold faith that when the dust settles, I will use it in full force, for good and not evil.

JEALOUSY, ENVY, ANGER & GUILT: I loath jealousy and anger. To my thinking they are both poison and should be completely eradicated from the brain. They just don't have a place the way guilt does. Guilt goes with conscience of course, but left on it's own to fester, guilt can take on the ugly qualities of jealousy and anger. I try to stay away from all guilt, jealousy and anger. I'm not always successful on anger, and envy, well I think envy an innocent enough emotion. Once again, it must be managed and must never be allowed to go out and play with EGO. EVER!

Oct 13, 2009

Taj Majal, Atlanta!

Previously on Spit and Glue I wrote about Atlanta's version of the Taj Majal. A Hindu temple called "BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir". You may have missed the post, so here are some photos from one day early last month when Sis and I took a ride into mid-Atlanta to see, of all things, the Taj Majal.Taking this little field trip lead us to a better understanding of Hindu cultures, spiritual belief systems, places of worship and methods of prayer. Unfortunately, photos aren't allowed inside the temple which I can best describe as a maze of white marble and granite. A sanctuary for prayer, a lovely, quiet..... "holy" environment where one can find peace and reflection, right?
In reality, and at the risk of sounding sacrilegious, we were both chomping at the bit to finish the Temple tour and work our way down to the gift shop where one can purchase meditation and prayer books, religious symbols, paintings, souvenirs....and let us not forget the ever important culinary offerings that if you're Sis and I, make a trip to town worth while. There's the truth. Remembering the new legumes we'd bought several weeks earlier at Farmer's Market, we were like two kids in a candy store, sniffing our way around an assortment of strange and exciting possibilities to complement Black Beluga lentils or Jazmin rice. We found these spicy, savoury crackers called Purimetha (Kadak), made with wheat flour and seasoned with cumin, turmeric and coriander. Perfect with the lentils we made the next day, pictured below. Yumm!
The real fun was tapping Sis' New Mexican green chili supply (the green in the bowl), and mixing it with eastern Indian flavors. This worked beautifully and it was delicious. If you want the recipe for the lentils, leave a comment and I'll send it to you. Your lentils don't have to be black beluga, the recipe works well with all lentils and beans. Enjoy!

Oct 10, 2009

Latest Lust!

Just look at it..... a brand-spanking new, clean and shiny, efficient looking and powerful Cyclone Rake XL (shown here with optional mower deck adapter & dual PRO super wheels).
It's name wreaks of possibilities. Unholy suction at the end of the lawn tractor, making mince meat out of gobs and gobs of grass, sticks, leaves and weeds. Trailing behind and cleaning it up as fast as the mower can spew it out, it's fantastic.
The ultimate fantasy would be to have the Cyclone hitched behind a brand new, Canary yellow, John Deere lawn tractor! Yeah, baby... talk about hog heaven! Of course much like the snazzy compost vessel I spoke of in a previous post, this dream-boat shall stay somewhere near the top of the Spit and Glue wish list. We're still limping along with Old'Blue, mowing in short shifts until she starts to smoke and cough. Then we put her away and pray she'll dry off and be good for another few hundred yards the next day. Real spit and glue stuff.

Oct 7, 2009

Vietnam Bombshell!

One Saturday a few months ago two Caucasian ladies on a shopping expedition stopped into a Vietnamese restaurant for a quick lunch. One of them was familiar with this particular ethnic fair, the other had never had the pleasure. The lady who'd previously delighted in Vietnamese cuisine ordered Pho, (pronounced "fa") a veggie, noodle soup with all the qualities necessary for a flavor-filled gala experience to take place directly on her palate. She shared the dish with her companion who with all two feet, joined the party and revelled in her first Pho encounter. They left the restaurant and b-lined to an Asian market across the street to purchase what they surmised to be ingredients apropos for replicating Pho. Weeks went by and the ingredients sat forgotten in a cupboard above the stove. When the last days of summer were behind them and the weather took a change into fall, they remembered the warm, delicious soup ingredients in the cupboard and went about the unfamiliar business of building a bowl of Pho. To the best of their respective recollections they wasted no time and got to work on the soupy replication. When finally it was soup, they sat down to try their creation.For the next 40 minutes the only sounds to be heard in the house were slurps, groans and pleasure filled sighs. The two of them could hardly believe what a fantastic job they had done in recreating an ancient Vietnamese staple, mastered and perfected over centuries, right here in their little kitchen in rural Georgia.

Oct 5, 2009

Faces and Places!

I was moving s l o w l y on Saturday morning. Sis and I had a date to attend the Greek Festival for lunch and I was looking forward to it, but at the same time I was fighting that foggy-headed feeling all morning. Old "Lead-Foot" got us there in no time, completely ignoring all of "Nori's" (the GPS system voice) directionals. Nori would give the instruction in a polite and gentle voice and Sis gently and politely dismiss each and every one of them. This was fine since Nori doesn't have the benefit of knowing where traffic is predicted, and Sis did. Anyway it only took a little sunshine, a glass of wine and some great food to bring me back to life. Two young members of the Hellenic Folkloric dance troup, all part of the Lykion family of educational institutions who teach Helenic folk culture and preserve it's authenticity. Atlantas Lykion chapter has more than 100 dancers, including an adult performing troupe. Their costumes represent more than 20 different regions of Greece. Bookings of dance performers can be arranged at helenkacur@gmail.com
Inside the "Cathedral of the Annunciation" we had a chance to view the amazing iconography and mosaic dome of Christ, really beautiful. Greek Orthodoxy Sacraments are seven in number: Baptism, Chrismation (anointment with Holy Oil), Confession, Holy Communion, Matrimony, Holy Orders (Ordination), and Unction (anointment of the sick)..... Outside we managed to find a seat in the shade right at the base of the stage where the group "Alpha Omega" played traditional Greek music. We enjoyed a glass of wine with a Greek salad, roasted potatoes, calamatas and the like. After about an hour we could no longer ignore the fact that we were sitting smack dab in front of gigantic speakers, and the music was becoming a little more tradition than we could take. We kept moving and walked deeper into the learning center to shop for to-go goodies taking in other stops along the corridor included cooking clases, lectures, bakery and clothing items to name a few. It was pretty crowded, but standing in a couple of lines paid off for us as we left the festival with a loaf of olive bread, a block of Feta and a couple of Greek pastries. We headed back to the car feeling like we'd robbed a bank, any time we find good bread it's a celebration because the county we live in must have an ordnance that says every citizen must eat white bread exclusively. Even if the label says wheat or rye, one can rest assured it's really white bread in disguise. Yes, I'm being sarcastic, it's maddening, I tell you.... can I get a big OPA!

Oct 1, 2009

A New Room!

I'm curious about the guy who over 100 years ago decided to build a house on this particular piece of land. One or two things have become clear since being here, he was smart to have selected acreage with some elevation. Sis and I were especially grateful to him for that a couple of weeks ago when many of our neighbors were flooded out of their homes. He must have planted the 2 oak trees around the same time he built the house because today they are massive, their roots incredibly deep and widespread across the floor of the front and back yards. The gigantic branches hover like umbrellas over the roof, keeping things cool and shady through the summer months.

But I digress, this is really about a tiny room off the master bedroom, right beside the bathroom. Sis said it used to be a bedroom, that sort of computes, as there are two closets in it. There are also two good size windows in it, so it gets plenty of natural light. The thing is though, is that it's not really big enough to be a bedroom. It's long and narrow, maybe 11 X 6 and to get to it, you have to walk through the bedrooms or the bathroom. Sis used it as office space at one time, but when her kids moved out, she opted to move the office into their old room. Now the room is sort of a dressing area with storage which we've decided to decorate. These photos were taken the first day when the objective was to clear the way to prepare for painting. I'll keep you posted on our progress. In the mean time, can you imagine what you would do with a space of that size? Short of knocking down walls that is. We need all the ideas we can get.

Hello October! I love you!

October is one of my favorite months for several reasons. The new feeling of chilly mornings and cool, crisp nights with the inevitable promise of upcoming holidays from Halloween to New Years. This is the time of year I'd like to have go by more slowly and stretch out over 6 months instead of 4. I love trading in my flip-flops for a pair of warm socks, and finally adding a blanket to the equation that is my bed. I like getting up before the sun does and having my coffee in the semi-darkness, easing into daylight instead of waking with it. I keep my ears open for the sound of familiar birds back in town for the season, and watch the trees slowly shed their beautiful leaves, revealing sculptures that will replace them through winter. I'm always amazed at how promptly the seasons arrive and disappear, and especially glad to have winter on the horizon and summer behind me. Hardly anyone I know likes the prospect of shorter days and longer nights, but I do. There's something appealing about having the day come to a close sooner rather than later, and having an evening cocktail or cooking dinner when it's dark outside. There are beautiful aspects of every time of year, of course, but if I had a choice I'd spend most of my time in these.