Sunday, February 28, 2010

why I am like a pixel

Great events this weekend.  Mom's 83rd birthday party Friday night.  We ate surf and turf. Here's Joy
You keep on tweeting Craig Ferguson until he responds....O.K.?

I learned to do this with my Photoshop for Dummies book
Impressive, huh? See what you can look forward to if you keep reading this blog?

On Saturday evening I attended a lecture given by the author of The Shack, Wm. Paul Young.  I read his book some time ago and I heard he was a wonderful speaker.  He spoke on redemption and forgiveness....who can't use more of that?  He shared with us his purpose in writing The Shack was to get folks out of their own particular religious paradigms when thinking about the love of God.  That's why he made God 'a big black woman' in his book.  Mission accomplished.  He had some humorous insights into God and the whole male/female 'thing'.  Paul movingly spoke of God's vast love for his creation.  He said there is no one else on earth who can reflect God's love in the same unique way as you can or in the same unique way as I can.  He made the analogy of each one of us being a the little light points on a computer screen.  We each project our own special reflection of God's love....and God's love is so immense and immeasurable that it takes each person on earth to reflect the true picture of His love.  Wm. Paul Young's story is astounding and he moved me.  If you ever get a chance to hear him-go for it.  Thanks Paul, for coming to share with us and here's wishing you continued success.

Sunday brought church and some time with the middle sprout at the movie Crazy Heart.  Jeff Bridges was outstanding in this story of a washed-up, alcoholic country singer, Bad Blake.  The music was authentic (we KNOW our country music in Texas!) and so was the dialogue....yew allrigh?  yeah, ahm allrigh.......I've known some characters just like Bad in my life and it all rang true.  The daughter and I finished up Sunday with some time at the gym treadmilling while watching USA vs Canada in the gold medal hockey match.  Great game.  Ohhhh, Caa....naaaa.....daa!

That's it. I'm inspired. I'm redeemed. I'm gonna be the shiniest pixel ever. Have a great week.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

frenzied fawn gets his 'whup ass' on

I received these disturbing photos in my email inbox recently.  They are so shocking, so...horrendous...I debated whether or not to share them.  In an effort to keep the public safe, I am posting them as they came to me.  Please, be forewarned.  You are about to see images you may find deeply upsetting.  These images may induce nausea, headache, increased corneal pressure, ingrown nasal hairs, goiter, impacted ear wax, anal leakage, fingernail fungus, vaginitis, spontaneous macarena hand signs, scurvy, prostate hardening and anvil toe.  Gaze upon them at your own risk and agree to hold this blog, On a Chicken Wing and a Prayer, harmless.  You agree?  OK, then.

Witnesses report seeing two horses grazing in a pasture located outside Austin, Texas.  Suddenly....without any apparant provocation.....a fanatical fawn appears.  Appearing to be a skilled and savvy warrior, the fawn immediately moves in to separate the friends.  Witnesses claim he was dividing and conquering the enemy.  The following photo demonstrates how speedily and violently he comes between the docile equines:

 Once the deer had control of the situation, he moved to intimidate the weaker of the equine pair.  One of the witnesses exclaimed of the fawn, "Yeah, he was definitely goin' jugular.  I only seen it one other time in my life.  Damned fawn lit into my prized bull buffalo.  Had to run git my 12-guage to scare him off.  Bull never did work after that...."

After the weaker horse fled, the diabolical deer wrecked havoc on the lone equine.  Bystanders claimed the horse was no match for the fawn. The crafty youngster darted in and around the hapless horse's legs employing lethal deer jujitsu moves.

One tearful female witness recalled, "That poor bay mare never saw it comin'...she never had a chance.  She was down the last time I saw her and I ran away thinkin' the fawn was comin' after me!  I tripped as I ran away, but I got up and never looked back.  No sir.....I never did look back!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

snowblowing before breakfast

The view from my, snowroom today.  This is the creative, cozy space where I work on my blog.  It also has the doggy door, therefore vigilance is required for a certain uppity, renegade roadrunner who just doesn't get his kind belong outside.  It's an ongoing, epic battle involving a crafty foe.  

Today, the view from my snowroom looks like this.

The icicles are a nice touch.  Hopefully, the sun will burn through the snow on the top windows and Mr. Sun can shine in later.  When I woke up, I donned my big down coat and started shoveling the front walk.  You see......there is a certain wiener dog with awfully stubby, turned-out legs who claims some difficulty in the snow.  These problems happen when you're only 6 inches tall, I guess.  I shoveled a path to the grass.  The wiener followed my footfalls in the cleared path.  Business was taken care of and we were back inside making coffee in no time!  While I'm drinking delicious vanilla-flavored coffee from my Keurig, the Texan gets in on the act.

This makes me love the Texan.

I'm not griping about the weather.  In the Texas Panhandle, folks don't complain about moisture-nossir.    Sometimes we don't see any measurable moisture from January to July.  Those years are tough on crops, cattle, and the hearty human stock who call the High Plains home.  Weather reports say we have at least 2 more of these snows coming this week, with possibly the 'big one' being next Sunday.  Must check the supplies-I see a visit to the liquor store in my future.

Oh, and please worry about me and my new addiction. I admit it..... I am powerless over my adoration of the photos on ihasahotdog. I follow this website on Twitter and I get a couple of these pictures every day. They never fail to make me smile. I'm even trying to master this new's called EngrishIt doesn't take much to entertain a simple mind.  God's creatures.  They're great, aren't they?

Monday, February 22, 2010

letting go: a cenote story

Cenotes (suh-KNOW-tays).  Have you ever visited one?  Here's a serene cenote in the jungle of the Yucatan peninsula (Mexico).

Notice the zip lines? Yep, that's what we're doing. This activity was the culmination of a hair-raising, heart-exploding, jungle canopy zip-line tour. Am I hearing extreme sportswoman?

You wanna zeep, Catalina?

Eets easy...just drop when I say let go.  No worries.....eets deep.

Do eet, Catalina!

Hey!.... young man!... you don't see any bleeding Mayan hearts or skeletons down there, do you??

Cold cenote wedgie, but no scary torn-out hearts!

The Texan goin' off bass-ackwards.

Swing those feet, Texan!

Skinny show-off.

The key to a satisfactory zip-lining experience is timing. Just ask my middle sprout. Her back was red, inflamed and bruised after her ill-timed cenote entry. Her legs swung out too far, her fingers were yanked off the pulley and she slammed her backside.
Her experience teaches us to not only enjoy, but to let go when the time is right.

Friday, February 19, 2010

the hope of manure

Someone is slowly closing the refrigerator door here.  The light is becoming friendly and is lingering a bit.  As such, my thoughts are turning to...........manure.  Temptation whacked my head yesterday at the local walmarts and I came away with these:

Isn't that the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?  The dream of my first BLT!!   Just what I need right now. I told the Texan about the tempting mountain of horse manure at my trainer's barn. 'When it warms some more, let's get a truck and a manure spreader and go crazy putting the rich stuff all over our yard and in my garden!' He responds...'I just love your let's. They always involve lots of work for me.' His cynicism = more of a challenge to me.

These are the fun little seed-starter peat pots. They are conspiratorial partners in my delusion thinking I am going to start this glorious garden all from seeds. It's got a snowball's chance in hell. For today, hell be damned. I need to keep dreaming of seeds and manure.

Monday, February 15, 2010

a teat-ering telecast

NEWSFLASH........I can no longer ignore the boob tube.  After getting an Olympic update from NBC this morning, I switched to Fox News to get my political news hit.  I'm a news junkie and Fox is part of my drug cocktail.  Fox News is determined to get the scoop!  Oops....I mean show the scoop.

This is the sartorial norm for Fox's beautiful female anchors. Think I'm kidding? Here is a photo of the following news show.

Don't misunderstand, I think Miss Uma is gorgeous, articulate and quite intelligent, but this is not 'take me seriously' newscaster garb.  The dress is pretty (for a cocktail party) and I'd kill for ta-tas like that....but c'mon.  I enjoy the female anchors on Fox and they are quite accomplished, but I am just of their headlights being the headlines. Does Roger Ailes send a mammary memo to the news anchorettes demanding decolletage?  For everything there is a season, but Fox seems stuck with titillating cleavage copy. Let the ladies dress appropriately and impress us with real news knowledge, or better yet, let the hunky anchors broadcast in wife-beaters and speedos. I report, you decide!

Friday, February 12, 2010

happy friday

Some things making me happy today.

1.  Looks like the sun is gonna shine today!  Hallelujah.  Shine on my pale skin and snow covered world.  Welcome back!

2. Cesar Millan.  Yep, star of the Dog Whisperer on National Geographic channel.  How many men greet you with, "How can I help?" and then sit at rapt attention?  I know.....that's only one reason I love Cesar!  When a dog rips the flesh off Cesar's hand or when he bravely intervenes with dogs going at each others jugular, he stays (in his words) calm and assertive.  He is part wise psychotherapist and kick-ass dog trainer.  His side-kick is a lovable.......that's right.....pit bull!  He's also muy caliente in his wetsuit.  Yes I have a big crush, and the Texan puts up with it.  He thinks it's harmless.....heh, heh.  'Cesar.....would you like to meet my wiener dog, Roxy-Doxy?

She's a good dog.  Most of the time.  How can you help??  (innocently)Uh....did you bring your wetsuit?' (I am not affiliated with Nat Geo or C. Millan in any capacity....darn.)

3.  This sweeeet, classic dance.  The photo is of my son-in-law last Halloween.  There have been a million reincarnations of this dance on YouTube.  I had to learn it  for a program I was involved in last Fall.  I was recovering from a hysterectomy at the time and I had major doubts about my health and what I was going to be able to do.  I fanatically watched videos of the dance and the steps.  I did just a little at a time and faithfully practiced, practiced, practiced.  I learned it, dressed as Napoleon Dynamite (just like legions of others before me), and strutted my stuff in the spotlight.  It was six weeks to the day after my surgery.  I was liberated and healed at the same time!  Check it out and do's guaranteed to make you giggle. (I am in no way affilitated with Napoleon Dynamite and received no cold hard cash for this endorsement.  Darn.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

our burgeoning environmentalism: the wind turbine

A field of wind turbines in Vega, Texas.

Wildorado Wind Farm, Vega, TX

I'm not a fanatical environmentalist. I don't care if you wear fur and drive an SUV. It's your business. I'll admit to something else that will guaran-damn-tee to label me loony. I don't believe in global warming.  GASP!   I don't think there is any verifiable scientific method to prove man-made activity is causing global warming or that global warming even exists. I think there have been cycles of warming and cooling during the existence of our 4.5 billion year-old earth (long before homo-sapiens drove cars on the face of it) and those cycles continue to this very day.

I do believe in a Creator of this universe. I believe we should each do our part (especially as technology progresses) to preserve the beauty and sustainability of our planet for future generations. I want to be a good steward of the gifts God has bestowed. Therefore, I thought some of our efforts (me and the Texan's) might interest you.
Here are some positive environmental steps we have taken:

1.  Installing many, many...beaucoup... compact florescent bulbs in our home.  The Texan was obsessed over these bulbs!  I didn't like them.  I thought they added more mercury to the environment.  I thought they gave off dim light and took a long time to warm up.  The Texan is methodical and persistent.  He kept after me....the technology has improved and he keeps adding them to replace the old incandescent bulbs.  I play along for the most part.
2. Adding extra insulation to the attic.
3. Having an energy company evaluate areas of heat loss in our home. We have shored up our doors with heavy-duty weather stripping.  It keeps the cold north wind from blowing through our house.
4. Replacing most of the single-paned windows in our 1960's era home with low E double-paned windows. We have done this over time and it has not come cheaply. This summer, we replaced all of the windows in our sun room.

5. Installing our very own.....ta-dah!....wind turbine. The Texan started to see some of these cropping up in our area. He made inquiries and before I knew it, the tower was going up!  Here is the technician working on the blades.  Looks like a tight careful!

This is what the turbine looked like being pulled up.

Proudly standing guard behind our home.

Did you know we live in the 3rd windiest city in the United States? Home wind turbine = good call?!

We have enjoyed the mesmerizing 'hum...hum' and we pat ourselves on the back for joining the energy-saving brigade. The turbine itself was expensive and it generates (on average) a savings of about $30./month on our electric bill. It will pay for itself in 30+ years! Whatevs.....we think the thing is cool.

What are you doing around your home to lessen energy consumption/costs?

Monday, February 8, 2010

easy tilapia and rice

Do you have a nacho and chili dog hangover?  Did you burn the lining of your stomach indulging in jalapeno poppers during the Superbowl?  Start your week off healthfully by preparing this easy tilapia dish.  Tilapia is a mild flavored fish and this recipe only takes 30 minutes.  Even folks who aren't fish eaters will enjoy tilapia.  (Disclaimer:  we are ranchers and beef is really our eating preference but hey, even beef-eaters need to venture out once in a while)  This recipe is tasty and foolproof. Here's the cast of characters:

You will need:
Frozen tilapia fillets (available at most supermarkets or Walmart)
butter (or olive oil)
onion (I used the pre chopped onions found in the produce section of my grocery store)
lemon pepper
limes or lemons
aluminum foil
rice (long grain is better than the instant 'box-style' rice)
chicken broth (I used Swanson's chicken stock)
Trader Joe's Salsa Verde or Rosarita's Salsa Verde (this is somewhat 'hot') or another favorite salsa.
Pioneer Woman has a fantastic homemade salsa that would be great on this fish.

Preheat oven to 425.  Tear off sheets of aluminum foil (large enough to wrap the fish fillet).  Unwrap frozen tilapia and place on foil.  Squeeze the juice of fresh lemon or lime on the fish fillet.  Season with lemon pepper.  Top the fish with desired amount of chopped onions.  Chopped almonds and sliced peppers are also great additions for the top of the fish, if you like.  Slice a pat of butter (or use olive oil) and place on top of fish and toppings. This is what my fish looked like.  I just went with the onions and butter. The fish fillets are need to thaw.

Wrap up the desired number of fish fillets. Place fillets in an oven proof pan (with sides) and put in a preheated 425 degree oven. Check for doneness after 20 minutes.

Prepare amount of rice you will need as directed on rice package EXCEPT substitute 1/2 the amount of liquid required with chicken broth. Example: if recipe calls for 2 cups water use 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken broth. Add a pat of butter to the liquid. Prepare rice as directed on package. My rice took about 25 minutes.

When fish is done, remove from oven. Open up aluminum foil pouch. Place a serving of rice on top of the tilapia (I keep my fish in the foil so the rice can soak up all the fish broth). Top the rice with your favorite sauce or salsa.  I love the Trader Joe's Salsa Verde-it has a great acidic quality, but it is not hot.  The Rosarita's Salsa Verde is hot.

A favorite tomato-based salsa is also good on this dish.  Experiment and use what you like best!  Pair this dish with a tossed salad or a nice steamed vegetable and you've got yourself an easy, healthful, inexpensive meal.  This has become one of my favorite easy meals.  Guaranteed to cure a Superbowl hangover.

Friday, February 5, 2010

2 reasons to love country living

My backyard this Friday morning

Snapped the feathered activity out my back window.  This roadrunner is very curious, but does he look like a criminal to you?  He (or one of his kind!) boldly broke into our doggie door while we were on vacation recently.  The brave daughter had to find a way to get him out.  Can you believe he has the nerve to show his face?  This shot will make a good WANTED poster. Yessir.....I'm keepin' my eye on you. 

Question:  Do you feed the birds at your house?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cookin' up the name

My cooking skills were born of necessity.  Being the only girl-child in a family with two working parents,  the culinary responsibilities were mine.  We were down-and-out in those days and my cooking was appropriately white-trash.  Wish the concoctions could be called something cool like 'soul food' or 'low country cooking', but it was really poor-white-folks cookin'.  Beans with ham hock, sauerkraut with pork ribs, shit on a shingle corned beef hash on toast and ( beanee wienees.  There, I said it.  Happy?

When the only girl-child married several years ago, I was convinced she would love to have a cookbook filled with these family classics.  Since I am an obsessive maniac over-achiever, this became a monster project. Like a Dan Brown novel, the seed of my blog's name lies secretly coded within the pages of this book, Cafe Diem.  I dug it out from under the Vatican archives to share with you. 
Cookbook cover.
The roommates.
Don't eat yellow snow!

Some food puns

more puns


it's getting scary, right?

I warned you!

Can you decipher my blog's name in the code below? OK, I's not in code. I just said that to keep you interested. But, there it is! Done years ago in this cookbook.

Well that's it, my fellow Robert Langdons. The Holy Grail. Thanks for playing along with me. One never knows when a bad food pun will come in handy.  Mystery, solved. Question, answered.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

the mammies are grammed

Went for my yearly mammo today. Patting myself on the back for being a conscientious adult and taking care of my health.  I am blessed with good health, but GEEZ I can understand why women put these things off.  If men had to do such things........well, you can finish that sentence.  I am grateful.  You're waiting for the colonoscopy story with baited breath, aren't you??  Take care of your fine selves!photos