Foxy Mama's Blog

Stories, musings and ramblings from the front porch. Pull up a rocking chair and sit for a spell...


Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween images...

I wrote this little poem for the inside of my handmade cards a few years back. I usually use a font which looks scary and I rip the edges and smudge them to make them look old and crypt-like before mounting them on the insides of the cards...


Ghosties and ghoulies and ferocious black cats..

Witches on brooms, spiders and bats..

Jack o lanterns scowling, all orange and round

And lots of screeching, screaming sound.

Crooked tombstones all weathered and worn

and devilish scarecrows standing out in the corn..

Have a frightfully good Halloween!!!


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A cookie a day keeps the cooties at bay...

I confess to having a lifelong affection for Archway classic oatmeal cookies. Yes, I know… I shouldn’t be eating cookies and most especially I shouldn’t be eating storebought cardboard cookies from a package, as I call them. I have always prided myself on cooking and baking from scratch. But there’s something about those darned cookies that appeals to me. Don’t tell anyone, okay? I had one of those cookies just a little bit ago. The Rock brought them home to me as a gift the last time he went to the supermarket. Wasn’t that sweet? Of course it was probably to assuage his guilt for picking up potato chips and stuff for his stash. We each have a stash of junkfood that we hide away and have done so since the kiddos were little and now the habit remains.

The Rock is fond of potato chips, pretzels, cheese doodles, tortilla chips, nuts, etc. My affinity is for gum drops (spicy) and jelly beans, dried fruit, ginger gummy bears from Sweet Energy, hard candies and of course we both succumb to chocolate in some form or another. Oh and red licorice! I don’t know why we call it red licorice since there’s actually no licorice involved but I have a strawberry Twizzlers addiction from you-know-where… Ah gads I love those things. I know better than to buy them because I will continue munching on them long after I’m sick from eating too many of them.

Another thing we have a great fondness for are Edy’s frozen fruit popsicles. The Rock prefers lime and my poison is tangerine. Yum! Whenever we decide to watch a movie I always ask him if this movie comes with a popsicle? The answer invariably is “yes” but once in awhile we find ourselves out of them and suffer appropriately (if there is such a thing as appropriate suffering). Everyone has their own vices and ours are simple in nature and not very high up on the sin meter.

Anyway, tonight for some reason, as I sat masticating my oatmeal cookie I found myself looking at it and wondering what those brown things were that were interwoven with the other ingredients. They were moist, brown, amorphous and unidentifiable. They weren’t chips or raisins or anything with a structure that I could tell. My mind ran away with me for a minute while I envisioned bug-parts or something gross like that, although they tasted just fine. But then for all I know bug-parts might taste just fine. Some people eat bugs by choice. Eeeeeuuuuwwww, gross!!

I dug the box out of my cupboard again and scanned the list of ingredients and right there in tiny little letters, along with all the other ingredients (many of them unsavory sounding) was “bugs.” Just kidding, just kidding…it said…“raisin paste.” Raisin paste! What the goldurned heck is raisin paste?! Why on earth would anyone smoosh raisins up into a paste and insert it in a cookie? What’s wrong with using plain old regular raisins? Of course I probably wouldn’t like these phony but delicious cookies nearly as much if they had raisins in them, not that I have anything against raisins per se but they do tend to distract since I’d rather not have them in my cookies and I’d have to eat them first to get them out of the way as much as possible so I could enjoy the rest of the snack. All right, maybe I do have something against raisins after all.

Raisin paste! I still can’t get over that. So how do they get this raisin paste into the recipe then? Do they add it in little lumps and stir it in or what? And why? They don’t give the raisins billing in the description. They don’t say Archway classic oatmeal with raisin cookies. They don’t mention them at all except far down on the list of ingredients on the side of the package so why put them in there to begin with? I can just imagine some executives sitting around a board room discussing whether to put raisins in their cookies and finally getting into an imbroglio over whether to do so or not. The compromise, I’m guessing, is to pulverize those little buggers into a paste and add them surreptitiously. But why? Yeah, that’s what I’m asking too…

I had a friend once who really believed in health foods and herbal preparations and she told me about some wondrous mixture that she used on her family’s cuts, scrapes and afflictions. She called it “people paste.” She was quite serious about it and couldn’t understand why I laughed so hard and so long. People paste! I guess it was her earnestness or perhaps it was late and I was overtired but whatever it was, it tickled me into an incoherent condition. She went on and on touting the virtues of this “people paste.” I couldn’t stop imagining little people being ground up into a paste to be used as an exotic poultice on cuts, or having various pieces of wounded people glued back together again with this miracle mucilage. She did mention using it on her husband after he cut himself with the chain saw. It was made with goldenseal (I think) and I don’t remember what else but she claimed it worked miracles when put on copiously bleeding cuts and amputations, etc. Okay, she didn’t actually claim it would work on amputations but with such a track record as she recited, why not amputations?

Do you suppose raisin paste has some miraculous designation? Maybe it helps to hold the intestines together after ingesting too much fiber rich food? Maybe they had an overstock of moldy old raisins lying around in a warehouse somewhere which they needed to ditch somewhere? Maybe it was to fool unsuspecting cookie eaters so they wouldn’t realize they were eating healthfood? After all, most of the raisin eaters I know are health nuts and though I shouldn’t say it, they often look a lot like raisins themselves. Maybe it was to save the nosher’s life.

I once knew a little boy named Phillip who had 2 older sisters and every single time I ran into Phillip he was toting a little box of raisins and obviously relishing his gummy little snack. I questioned Phillip one day about his raisin eating habit and he told me, with all the gravity that little boys can muster, that he ate them to protect himself from cooties. Cooties, I asked? What about cooties? They’re from girls he told me. Girls have cooties and if you eat enough raisins they will protect you. What is it about the raisins that’s so effective in cootie control I asked him? He didn’t know so we brainstormed a bit and decided that it was proably the wrinkles in the raisins. Well, how about prunes, I asked? Prunes are bigger and have more wrinkles than almost anything. He didn’t buy it. He was all for sticking with the tried and true method. For his next birthday I bought him a huge box of raisins and I put a label on it which said that it was the jumbo size for cootie control…guaranteed 100% effective in preventing cooties caught from girls. He thought he’d died and gone to heaven.

I wonder whatever happened to little Phillip? Maybe he grew up and ended up becoming the head guy in charge of making raisin paste and including it in cookies. If so, then he really ought to speak to the advertising department. Just think how many lives he could save if people knew this important fact…


Friday, October 14, 2005

On the waterfront...

Bam! Bam! Ding dong, ding dong, bam… That was the sound we awoke to last Sunday at 5:30 am, when the world was dark as the inside of a bat infested cave in Kentucky. What the heck..?! As the Rock struggled into his clothes to go downstairs and answer the door I tried for some semblance of consciousness. As a joke (only a joke), I called out to his retreating backside, “I will not evacuate!” Well, can you imagine my chagrin when the Rock came back up and said we had just been informed by a member of the town’s finest “disaster specialists (heretofore called firemen) that there was a voluntary evacuation in progress. A few dooors down the voluntary part of that warning was not an option.

By golly, that was an adrenaline rush I can tell you. Having suffered a shortened and fitful night’s sleep to begin with, this news pushed us over the edge and into action with coffee, black and strong, being the first order of the day. After the caffeine titration started to take effect we began the preliminary process of pacing, assessing and planning, all the while accompanied by copious hand-wringing on my part. Oh, have I neglected to mention that it had been abundantly and briskly raining for a few days prior to all this? How silly of me. It had been abundantly and briskly raining for a few days already, prior to this calamity. And it still damn is… Ooh, did she say “damn?” Yes she did and she should’ve known better than to mention dam(n) right now while the rivers are still rising and the rain is still briskly and abundantly streaming…one damn week later!!

Our street was seen on national media outlets. But we were still better off than a certain little town not so far from here…called Alstead. Those poor folks! Well, I can’t even express how sorry I am for them. Our little city was inundated and the arial shots made us look like a mini New Orleans (sans the looting, of course). Our house was about a driveway and a half away from the worst flooding around here. Some folks were waist deep in the water in the street and I don’t need to even tell you what that meant for their humble abodes. They were the ones unlucky enough to be evacuated with no “voluntary” about it.

The rain actually did stop for a time but the water continued to rise for quite awhile. Our sump pump was very adequate but at 9:30 am the power company visited the pole outside our house and the sump summarily stopped. Because of danger to the folks in the flooded areas all the power was shut down and we went without electricity for the next 38 hours. Bummer! Dark. Cold. NO computer!!! Aaaaaaagh..! My window on the world was figuratively boarded up. No news, no mail, no morning puzzles, no blogging, no “light” in this corner of the room. I called the sonnies, who live in this town, and made sure that they were alright. They were alright.

Meanwhile, the Rock was in the basement, bailing by hand so as to keep the edge in our favor, totally expecting that the water out there would go down quickly and the power would be restored soon. After all, the rain was stopped or at least down to a light drizzle off and on. Nope! It was not to be. There was a lot of activity out on our street though as neighbors began to sally forth to get a gander at the new lakefront in our neighborhood and ponder whether it was in our interests to invest in boats and perhaps erect some docks and maybe a little sand for the beach. In the end, the sand we envisioned in our humor-filled fantasies ended up in bags for the not-so-lucky among us to “shore” up the breaches.

The water filled street and yards remained for most of us a curiosity and we truly had no idea of how far reaching the flooding actually was nor how serious. Neighbors chatted at the water’s edge and caught up on each other’s lives and some took pictures and after an interval more folks began to show up from who knows where? Canoes began to appear and row boats and kayaks too. And yahoos in big trucks with huge wheels and who blithely and with complete disregard of the swells they were making and whose basement they were putting in jeopardy, began plowing through the water only to discover it was deeper than they thought and the rest of us had a diversion watching the steam come out of their sputtering vehicles. I didn’t hear of any betting going on but the comments I heard were quite entertaining.

We live on a corner with our driveway around that corner from the house. Right behind us on that street we have a new neighbor and a swell fellow he is too. That street didn’t have their power turned off so he strung a heavy duty extension cord over from his place and the Rock had another one which he attached to it so it would reach the basement and even though we had no lights, computer, what-have-you, we did have power to the sump pump. Consequently, we never had a wet basement and the Rock didn’t stroke out as I was afraid he would. His parents’ house in New Jersey suffered extensive flood damage in the past and whenever it rains the Rock goes on high alert. It was “touch and go” for awhile but it ended up as us being touched by the kindness of a neighbor and the water going away.

Friends of ours were not so lucky and for them we have the greatest sympathy. One of them does woodworking in his basement and it flooded totally and they had to be evacuated and he won’t be doing any woodworking down there for awhile. Personally, I think they should buy our house since the Rock built a workbench which wouldn’t surprise me if it was earthquake proof. We have a new workbench in our future (we hope), which is ensconced in the basement of what we consider our dream house and is being sold by friends who actually are related to the young woodworker’s wife. Our house is on the uphill side of the street and we have always been very lucky water-wise. I hope our dream house’s basement is at least as continent as this one has always been.

Oh, did I mention that during the horrible rains and just before the flood the realtor brought someone through our home who might have been interested? With all the folderol happening this week I haven’t heard from the realtor in a couple of days. Maybe she floated away…

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