Friday, April 17, 2009

Adding Another New Address to the List

Now that I'm marginally back in the saddle (still no driving, but back to raising hell), it's time to find a new rental house.

This is Coach Calipari's new house (yes, the University of Kentucky's Coach Calipari) here in Lexington. I didn't care for the tile in the 6th bathroom so I decided to keep looking.

We are happy that we are not apartment hunting in Hong Kong where this actual apartment complex exists. Click here for pictures of 100 apartments, each one containing only 100 sq ft.

Here's potential lease number 1. Let the games begin.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Closed for Renovations

Watch this space for reopening later on this April 2009.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Who needs Molly Maids?

The slacker in me loves loves loves this video. But I keep losing my laundry baskets...

How To Tidy Up in Three Minutes - video powered by Metacafe

Thanks to Paul Michael of, a favorite blog of mine.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Who do you think I am anyway, the Shell Answer Man?"

A question my children have heard me say a thousand times in response to another unanswerable demand for information...

Well, little darlings, and anyone who wasn't around in the 70s...

From the, February 22, 2007

(He) was part of a television advertising campaign by Shell Oil Co. back in the 1970s, in reaction to the oil shocks and gasoline shortages of that era. The Shell Answer Man was a nice-looking, pleasant-sounding fellow who would appear on the TV screen to ask and answer basic questions about driving in general and gasoline in particular.

With simple language, and in a disarming and folksy manner, the man from Shell would explain things that related to fuel usage, like how proper tire inflation was good for your gas mileage. Or he would discuss how “jackrabbit starts” wasted gasoline. Over a period of time, there were a variety of topical ads along those lines. If you were somewhat savvy about driving an automobile, there was nothing particularly new or revealing in the message. But if you were what we might characterize, with all due respect, as the “average consumer,” blissfully dwelling in energy La-La Land, then the Shell Answer Man offered some good advice. Well, it was good advice if you followed it.

This is the Shell Answer Man (but not as I remember him!)

I want some of this

I saw this street snack being scarfed up by Anthony Bourdain in Cairo on one of his episodes recently, and as I am a big fan of one-bowl meals, I want some of this. It is called kushari and this photo sort of looks like it:

It is made of lentils, rice, pasta, onions, tomato paste, hot paste (hot peppers), and vinegar. All social classes enjoy this street food. It looks a bit like Skyline chili to me, the 5-way.

No recipe yet, but I met an Egyptian physician recently whom I hope will share his (or his wife's) recipe.

No Skyline Chili here in Lexington, but the Gold Star is a reasonable facsimile.

Coming tomorrow: Who is the Shell Answer Man anyway?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chocolate Eclair Cake

This recipe came from one of my favorite caregivers from the big kids' day care back in the day. Her name was Miss Cindy and we've always loved this "cake."

Gather up these ingredients:

Chocolate Eclair Cake

3 Cups milk (2% works best)
2 small packages instant pudding - chocolate or french vanilla. (french vanilla if you want the real "chocolate eclair" effect)
1 tub cool whip, thawed.
1 box graham crackers
1 can chocolate frosting
1 shaker sprinkles, optional.

Mix milk and pudding with whisk until thick, about 2 minutes. Pour in cool whip and stir well.
In a 13x9" pan, place a layer of whole graham crackers, half the pudding/cool whip mixture, another layer of graham crackers, the other half of the pudding mixture, another layer of graham crackers. Then warm up the frosting in the microwave (about three 10-second bursts) until it just barely pours out of the can onto the top layer of graham crackers. Smooth it over the top and shake on as many sprinkles as you like. Refrigerate for 12 hours before serving or until you can't stand it and have to eat it.

Then it looks like this

This is going over to Aunt Shirley's for Palm Sunday Eve dinner. I'll try to get a photo of a piece "on the plate" and post later.

The recipe says it should be refrigerated for 12 hours before eating. Hah. Who can wait that long.

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Recipe and pictures coming up directly. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Return to Sender

When I was living in Knoxville a couple of years ago, I applied for a job as a transcriptionist for the sheriff's department. I probably would have gotten the job, being an awesome transcriptionist and all; however, one of the requirements on the application was that you had to list every address at which you had lived since the age of 18, and you must include the entire address including the zip code. WELL. I had a clear visual of each and every place but as to the address...

Here's what my application would have looked like, in reverse order starting with the address where I was at the time I would have applied for the job:

  1. 400 Hitchcock Way, Knoxville, Apt. No. Kill Me Now. No one should put 2 adults and 4 children and one 90-pound dog in 1100 sq. ft.
  2. 3xx3 San Pedro St., Paradise, FL. 2-1/2 blocks from Tampa Bay.
  3. 2409 Old Coach Trail, Paradise, FL. Gillian's first home.
  4. Sean, Mollie, Shannon, and my favorite apt, NE Coachman Rd, Paradise FL.
  5. 4th at 4th, Safety Harbor, FL. Close to the Christmas Parade!
  6. Shannon's Birthplace Condo, St. Pete. FL.
  7. Feather Sound Apt., St. Pete, FL.
  8. Shamrock House, Tampa, FL. Mollie's first home.
  9. House on Tampa side of Tampa Bay off Bayshore.
  10. Royal Oak, MI house. Sean's first home. The "Levittown House"
  11. Hideous Estrella St. apartment, Tampa.
  12. Barton House, Nashville.
  13. Belle Meade duplex, Nashville. Governor of TN and Minnie Pearl were neighbors.
  14. Murfreesboro Road apartment.
  15. Woodmont Blvd. duplex - now an office building...
  16. Metairie, LA apartment - victim of Katrina.
  17. New Orleans duplex close to City Park - victim of Katrina.
  18. East New Orleans apartment - victim of Katrina.
  19. College apartment across from Bolivar County Hospital, Cleveland, MS
  20. College apartment in former church.
  21. First ever home of my own: tiny, furnished apartment near Delta State University.
Since then, I've added 3 more addresses to that list, with yet a 4th soon to come. One learns to pick and choose one's treasures carefully when you move them around frequently. I'm moving china around I picked out at 16 that I don't really love any more, but my daughter does, so that matters. I off loaded a bunch of books that I love but are replaceable. My granny quilts and my photographs get packed up first, kitchen appliances and cooking implements last. (priorities, priorities).

When my family left Florida for new adventures in more northern latitudes, we left with our things in a tractor trailer jammed full, our vehicles full with pull behind trailers. My own comfort level for how much stuff to own is somewhere between Gandhi and that.

I like to live by the rule that one should be able to throw everything they can't do without into their car within 10 minutes and run for their life if they have to. Obviously, this has more practical application in places with volcanoes, tsunamis, wild fires, and hurricanes. But it does give you something to think about.