Saturday, December 06, 2008

7 Fascinating Fun Facts about Cowgirl Betty

“A gal can’t live by condiments alone.”—fracas

Season’s Greetings, Cowfolk. As most of you know, I haven’t had the same access to the wild world of InternetLand for the past six months or so. As a result, my posts have become less frequent. One of my New Year resolutions will be to post once a week. That way I can kick start my creative juices. So, thanks for bearing with me, y’all and not giving up on regularly checking on my site.

I have been reminded by the esteemed fracas about my lazy writing habits, and so I’ve been tagged on a meme as a result. Of course, I will tag others to pass on the Holiday joy. Like the game Othello (also a fabulous seasonal gift), rules take a minute to learn and a lifetime to master. (Well, perhaps writing takes a lifetime to master—something I still struggle with.) The rules are:

  • Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
  • Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

(1) I scored a perfect 5 on the English AP exam. A lot of U.S. colleges accept AP (or Advanced Placement) credits for taking higher-level classes in high school if they pass the nationally standardized AP exam for the subject at the end of the year. The first part is your standard multiple-choice reading selections and analogy sections. The second part is an essay answering a question, choosing a work out of a list of twenty or so authors. The question was examining “thoughtful laughter” in literature to demonstrate folly in the human condition. Of the authors to choose from were Jane Austin, Mark Twain, etc. I chose to write about William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. My English teacher thought I tanked the essay for sure.

(2) I drive around in a rolling trash can. I drive a 1997 Saturn, named Norma Jean, who has seen better days. Norma Jean is littered with McDonald’s and Dunkin Doughnuts bags, coffee mugs, pens, Mapquest directions, and other U.F.O.’s (Unidentifiable Floor Objects). A layer of dust and lint is plastered on my dash, and touching it is reminiscent of reading Pet the Bunny as a kid. One of my jokes to kids is that they can’t steal my trash, nor can they step on it. Sometimes a mysterious odor--I believe it is from some spilled sour milk on one of my back seats--emanates from the seats when it is overly hot, a back window is open during a rain storm, or a kid spills yet another drink on the seat. I have to dump in a quart of oil to my engine about once a week, as Norma Jean burns oil like it is going out of style. I’m hoping she can survive another year before I have to put her out to pasture.

(3) I am a horrible speller. Regular readers already know this. Daddypapersurfer also is more than happy to comment on any of my semantic gaffes. My mother also calls me “Ms. Malaprop”. Usually no one notices when I misuse big, fancy words--except my mother and Hun. (Perhaps other people notice it as well, but they are too polite to mention it.)

(4) Playing video games makes me nauseous. Hun makes fun of me about this. He also tries to encourage me by saying that my mind hasn’t played enough video games to disassociate the action of the game from reality. I’ll stick with Tetris.

(5) I really enjoy tawdry romance novels. This shocks most people who know me. I seem like a straight-shootin’ kinda gal. They then mock me liberally about it. If they only knew how much fun they were. One of my secret goals is to write a tawdry romance novel one day. You know, one with a spunky heroine named after a plant (Willow, Fern, Iris) and a hero named after an architectural feature or a bird of prey (Sir Hawksbuttress, Duke of Roman Arches).

(6) I hated Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. The first couple of chapters were good, and the last couple of chapters were good. However, I’d rather not drag through 600 pages of Harry whining and arguing with Hermione and Ron. I also think it is truly stupid for J.K. Rowling to “out” Dumbledore. Making Dumbledore gay just added absolutely nothing to the series. I think Rowling did it to stimulate sales from the Religious Right to buy in bulk for their rollicking book-burning parties. Now making Dumbledore gay from the onset--like when the creators of The Wire introduced the bad-ass, Robin Hood, dealer-robbing Omar--that is a different story.

(7) I eat fear for breakfast. Actually, I don’t. I eat granola and yogurt, drink two small cups of coffee, and take multivitamins. I thought it was just a very cool, Jack Bower-esque way to end the meme.

As far as tagging folks goes . . . I will tag the following: (1) OnKnees, my lady in arms, fighting the good fight, (2) my mother, The Heiffer, who is also a big romance novel fan, (3) Kimchihead to find out what really makes him tick, (4) Stella, for her fun haiku, (5) Sugar Queen for making the world sweeter, (6) R. K. Texarado, who’s humor is dryer than the Dust Belt, and (7) Rybu, who truly understands cold weather. I can also now safely say, “Not-it!”

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Condiment of the Month: Bacon--The World’s Most Perfect Food

I think this post’s title says it all. The flavorful salted sweetness of pork mixed with the extra glutamate (or umami) satisfaction found only in deep-fried fat, bacon can only be described as scrumtrulescent.

Bacon is a wonderful compliment to a high-caloric breakfast of eggs and pancakes. Fast-food chains have wisely incorporated bacon in their breakfast wrap/bagel/biscuit menus. A BLT sandwich, with tomatoes picked fresh from the garden, is one of man’s finest culinary inventions.

Truly, though, as perfect as bacon is, bacon to me is best used as a garnish. A sprinkle of bacon changes a compulsively chopped chef salad in to the scrumtrulescent Cobb. A dash of bacon in a peppers and cheese omelet transforms it into a Denver. Sprinkle bacon on top of a plain baked potato, and presto—the side dish magically turns into a main dish.

Bacon gives potato soup a reason for being.

I am the black sheep of two long lines of Southern cooks. Tex Mex blood runs through my veins. I am pretty sure I will be disowned by unveiling my aunt’s recipe for baked potato soup (peppered with a lot of “some of this” and “a chunk of that”). But this recipe is too good to not spread the message:


2-3 large potatoes peeled and coarsely chopped

1 large onion chopped

1 can of cream of chicken soup (I prefer Campbell’s Cream of Chicken with Herbs)

1 cup of sour cream

2 cups of milk

8 slices of bacon

(optional) pepper to taste

(optional) garlic to taste

(optional) grated cheddar cheese to garnish


Take the chopped potatoes, and boil them. (Depending on your preference, you can boil the shit out of them to keep them mushy, or boil them until you can cut a piece with a fork.)

While boiling the potatoes, fry up the bacon, save the grease.

Sauté the chopped onion in the bacon grease on medium heat. (I use the time-saving—and dish-saving—measure of frying the bacon and sautéing the onions at the same time on one pot.) The onions will be done once the onions are translucent.

Mix in the milk, sour cream, and the condensed Cream of Chicken soup in the pot. (ALERT: DO NOT ADD WATER TO THE SOUP!!)

Add pepper and garlic to taste. Add grated cheese (and more bacon?) to garnish.

Eat and enjoy.

Call the paramedics as you wait for your arteries/veins to harden and/or clot.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Fine Sunday in August

It has been a fine day today. The weather has been just right--sunny and 70s. The grass and plants are a lush green from the recent rain. The clouds are fluffy in the distance, portending a possible light show later this evening.

I restarted a furniture refinishing project on our deck yesterday, and I am almost done sanding a little chest. Another couple of sunny days, and I will be done with staining and varnishing. My next project will be sanding and repainting a couple of cafe chairs I found abandoned on a corner, with a sign posted above declaring their "free"dom.

I have no comments on condiments lately. Perhaps I shall share a recipe for tweeking BBQ sauce, or perhaps sing the praises of sour cream. Or shall I blog on the world's most perfect food: bacon?

. . . no need to decide now. After all--it's a fine Sunday afternoon and fall is around the corner.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fo' Shizzle

Hun and I returned on Saturday from a week-long respite in the Mile High City. It was loverly. We got to visit with friends and family, enjoy a couple of hikes, and received broad hints about how to build a fun-filled and fiscally secure future together from the afore-mentioned friends and fam. (Say that meandering sentence five times fast.) We also were force fed homemade ice cream. (The flavors were maraschino cherries with pecans, and Bing cherries with dark chocolate chunks--yum.)

Ten added pounds around the waistline later, I returned to work yesterday to discover I have now a caseload of one. (Hopefully my caseload will turn to two or--gasp--three bouncing teenage boys!!) Let the adolescent ennui begin.

All kidding aside, teenagers can be quite fun. I really like teens--they just don't seem to like me much because (1) I'm not hip, cool, or withit AT ALL, (2) I often get stuck telling them things they don't want to hear, such as "No, you aren't going home yet because the judge is being an asshole." and (3) I ask them to stop acting like teens and start acting like mini-adults because the county will kick their tuckus out of the system without a dime if they impulsively (imagine that for a teen) decide to sign themselves out of care because they aren't allowed to visit their boyfriend who is stationed in Bumfuck or the county declined to buy them an XBox 360 for their 18th birthday. I usually get a James Dean pout or Billy Idol sneer in response, attempt to encourage them to strive for bigger and better things, and shoo myself out the door before being conned out of more McDonald's outing.

I also dusted off a Pilate's DVD I got on hot-bargain special from Border's and completed a couple of workouts. Meanwhile, Hun has been playing Bioshock on his new XBox 360, and hasn't let me take a turn even once. (Insert Cyndi Lauper sneer or Paris Hilton pout here.)

Could my life get moore exciting?!

Fo' Shizzle.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Great Crumble . . .

My life lately has been like a store-bought chocolate chip cookie. It's sweet at times and it peps me up and keeps me motivated. But sometimes, when I hold onto aspects of it too tightly, it crumbles in my hands.

The sweet things have been Hun and my friends and family. I am looking to traveling back to the homestead in a week. I even got lucky enough to see one of my best friend and her new cabbage a few weeks ago as well.

Hun performed well on a test for grad school. It opens a lot of doors for us, which helps all of us breathe a little easier. It is a bit stressful to consider what is next. But having too many doors to find out what is behind is a far better position than having doors slammed in our faces.

Work, however, has been better. I have discharged my whole caseload back to family. One set of kids were discharged home after a long stint in care. The family is getting extensive services after they returned home. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everyone does their bit and the kids aren't in a position to go back into care in a year. I advised a set of extended relatives to apply as kinship-care foster parents for the second set. The kids are flying out of state to live with them tomorrow. (We won't mention the circumstances surrounding how they got yanked out of their foster home. It was a sour deal, and I hate to say it--it was the right thing to do.)

It's strange, how tight I held onto those cases. I spent so much time holding those cases together, that I sometimes didn't allow myself to step back and see as much as I wanted to. On one case, I saw a lot of what was going on. On the other case, I saw what I wanted to see.

Now I have a caseload of zero. Summer is traditionally a slow month for kids being referred. We usually get more as the school year progresses and as the winter rolls in. I expect to have a new kid on my caseload tomorrow. Life changes, as do the seasons.

One of my coworkers said that we have these children for a season, and we do what we can to help them on their way to the next. I can safely say I did everything I could for one set of kids. I hope I did everything I could for the other.

Well, that's just how the cookie crumbles.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Condiment of the Month: Cholula Sauce

Ahhh the spicy zest of it. Ahhh the flavor. My favorite haute sauce to lather my scrambled eggs and bacon on a Saturday is Cholula, hands down. As much as I enjoy Tobasco Sauce, especially with macaroni and cheese, Cholula hold my heart (not heartburn). What makes Cholula such a superior condiment? The answer: too many hot sauces out will only scorch your tongue-not revive it with a full array of palatable flavor. It has a touch of sweetness to it, and a creamy (yes, I said creamy) fullness to it. Cholula is the Grande Dame of hot sauces. From a tiny town outside of Guadalajara Mexico, the recipe has been in the same family for over a hundred years.

I first discovered Cholula in grad school. I just finished my third bottle of Tabasco in my adult life, and I needed to buy another. Unfortunately, no Tobasco was to be found, so I tried something different. I used it to garnish my famous omelets the next morning, and fell in love.

I was surprised. At the time, I was living in Boulder, which is well known for organic farmer's markets, professional mountain biking and climbing, tree huggers, and pot smokers. Although there was a plethora of sushi restaurants and microbrews--Boulder is a bit lacking in truly genius Mexican food.

I am a bit of a snob when it comes to the arena of Mexican food. Only excellent will do. Although Boulder has amazing margaritas at the Rio, and Chipotle and Illegal Pete's make killer burritos, it isn't in the same caliber as the local joints nestled along Federal Blvd in Denver.

Cholula helped me expand my mind about the realm of other hot sauces out there. Granted, Tabasco has it's place (try Tobasco Cheese Nips). But to compare Cholula with other Tex Mex hot sauces, is like comparing Crystale with Boone's Farms. It isn't as spicy as Tabasco. But it does have more flavor. I will probably be receiving tons of hate mail from this post, but a cowgirl has to take a stand sometime. If you want to reach for a hot sauce, go for Cholula

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Condiment of the Month: Nutella

I'm sitting at the local coffee shop next to Hun, sipping on a icy and refreshing beverage, and writing about general malaise. I note to some chagrin that I have not posted in almost a month. So much for best-laid resolutions of blogging at least once per week. I miss writing--time to fire up my neurons again.

I am also hungry. Not hungry (or "hugry") as I was in my last post, as much as hungering for a little adventure. My feet are itching for some exploration and travel, as it is the season for me (although fall is the season of choice for Frodo and Bilbo).

I always enjoyed family vacations. But the best adventure I have ever undertaken (notwithstanding the ongoing adventure of married life), was my 3-month trip around Europe. I recognize it is a bit pale in adventure to some of my more worldly friends, but during that time I saw all the wonders I only read about, read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and fell in love with myself again. My biggest stress each day was to find a roof over my head and figure out what sites I would first hit. I met some interesting people and made some friends along the way. All the while, my diet consisted mostly with fresh-baked bread, wine, and Nutella.

I fell in love with Nutella while I was PMSing in France. Although my unwelcome Aunt Flo followed me across the Atlantic, Nutella kept my aggravations at bay. Nutella comforted me on days I felt more than lonely, was a quick gnash in the morning before heading to a museum, a wonderful wind-down snack while lounging in a hostel and sharing the beloved jar with fellow travelers in the mood for the tasty morsel or just some conversation.

I also discovered how wonderful Nutella is with bananas in Switzerland, and traded Nutella for some Vegemite in Munich. I chatted about life, the universe, and everything with some Aussies, some Irish honeymooners, and some Harvard Law students--influenced by generous amounts of red wine, topped off with Nutella when the philosophical drunkenness drowned into hunger.

Some Nutella paved the way for some girls to ask me to tour Rome with them. I wouldn't have seen the city otherwise--I heard too many horror stories about it at the time to travel through Rome alone. Rome wound up being my favorite place in my European tour, and I owe the opportunity presenting itself to Nutella.

When I returned, I went on hiking trips and camping trips with a jar of Nutella in my backpack to keep my energy up. Before the airline restrictions on carryons, I would sneak Nutella on flights to munch on long rides.

I don't practice the "have Nutella, will travel" philosophy so much today. With my slowing matabolism and Hun to keep me company, I'm more likely to pack sun screen than the chocolate-hazelnut spread. I didn't bring Nutella with me to Thailand, nor to any of the cities I've seen along the East Coast. But to this day, when I see Nutella, I still think about how the age of Conan the Barbarian was described: these are the days of high adventure.

In a couple of weeks, Hun and I will have passed a couple of milestones. He will officially be finished with half of his grad program--and have completed a mojo-important test. We will also have completed our first year of married life. We will be celebrating by enjoying fireworks by the Brooklyn Bridge. Although no Nutella graces our cupboards, I still think our time here in Upstated New York has been (and will continue to be) filled with high adventure.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I am hungry!!

Just thought I mentioned that. I skipped lunch today, although I ate a heart-attack inducing breakfast of a gianormouse bacon, green pepper, and onion omlette shared with Hun. Anywho, it's almost dinnertime now and I would seriously gnaw the corner of one of the bookcases in the library I'm sitting in just now--if I only had access to some salt and pepper.

Hun is perusing the internet after we enjoyed a rousing bit of frisbie action in a nearby park. I spent my valuable internet time looking up the phrase "I am hungry" and browsing dessert recipies on

I also watched youtube videos on people making cakes in the shapes of dogs . . . my oh my . . .

Did I mention I was hugry?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Condiment of the Week: Peanut Butter

Aussies have their Vegemite. The French have their Dijon mustard. Nothing is more iconic to the American diet than Peanut Butter. Occupying the selves of over 75 percent of American pantries, it's a part of our cultural heritage. Almost half of the peanut crops in the United States wind up in a jar of peanut butter.

Like many kids growing up, I ate my share of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunches (or as an alternative to salmon patties). Each parent has his/her own way of making PB&J--to be branded in childhood memory. On those lazy summer days in the old neighborhood, my friend and I took advantage of out parents' techniques to add variety to our lunchtime PB&J and popsicle.

Whenever we were in the mood for peanut butter and grape jelly on white bread with a dash of butter, we would hit my friend's house and run through the sprinkler in her backyard to beat the noontime heat.

We would eat my mother's peanut butter and peach preserves on whole wheat on other days. After, we would play on my backyard swing set--occasionally being summoned to help her nudge out a neighborhood English sheepdog from the living room. He fell violently in love with the cool hardwood floors and box fan one hot afternoon in July when he escaped the confines of his backyard two houses down. (No one in our neighborhood had air conditioning. Everyone left the front and back doors open--along with every window--to increase air circulation in the desert heat.) My mother would pull his paws from the front and we would push from behind as the pooch skidded across the floor, yowling his protests. One time, we failed to push him out the door and he rested like a big bear rug until his owner called out "Chewbacca" a few minutes later.

My family patriotically consumes peanut butter in other forms. My father makes a mean batch of peanut-butter fudge. (He also makes peanut brittle and peanut patties, thank you very much.) Some of my friends introduced me to peanut curry--with a dash of peanut butter. I also love Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. My mother makes a mean batch of peanut-butter cookies as well.

When I was a Girl Scout, I was the local supplier of peanut-butter Tagalong cookies in the spring. (Years after I left Girl Scouts for tap lessons, family friends would still call asking if oh, please dear God, you could join for a couple of months to sell us some Tagalogs, do you have any little friends still in Scouts who can sell us twenty or so cases?

My father introduced me to further peanut-butter experimentations, such as peanut butter and mustard sandwiches, and even--don't gag--peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches. Indeed, my dad passed along his wisdom gained in collegiate dorm life to his impressionable daughter regarding the multifaceted uses of the popular protein supplement.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fallout (or "Betty, where aaare you?")

Yes, folks. I am still in the land of the living--barely. My life has been filled with more than incidental events as of late--but I've still managed to find escapist time to play Fallout, a PC game involving saving my little community residing in a fallout shelter during post-apocalyptic tomorrow. During my tours in Never-Never Land, I came to two conclusions (1) there is no way to successfully complete an adventure without incidental carnage, (2) there is no way to save the world without loyal friends (a radioactive mutt in my case), and (3) the best-laid plans go radioactive when faced with Deathclaws . Strangely enough, life imitates avatar (minus the grizzly bits).

I can only thank the amazing resiliency of the human condition and blind fate that I am here writing to all ten of my readers today.

I returned to work after spending a week in Colorado. My 94-year-old grandmother's health was declining, and I went home to spend time with her and my father. I might call myself a cowgirl, but she was the real deal. She spent most of her life in the Texas Panhandle, and lived through the Great Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and WWII. She saw the Soviet Empire rise and fall and heard Orison Welles's War of the Worlds. She was courted by a cad, only to find out he visited that "widow who lived by the train depot," whenever his manly urges required professional attention. She declined to marry my grandfather because he hadn't enough money to support them--until he said he would join up and fight the Nazis if they didn't get hitched. She vainly tried to control my adolescent father's occasional fits of dancing. She also went to the beauty shop to get her hair set every week for 70 years.

We visited for an hour for the first couple of days I was at the nursing home. (My grandmother's hip broke in March, and moved from her assisted-living home to a nursing home after her recovery. We initially hoped she would bounce back--as it was hard to imagine the old cowgirl would ever die.) The following days, when we walked the two blocks from my family home to the nursing home, grandma could barely stay awake. I would comb her hair, we would hold her hands and make some chit chat. Mostly, we exchanged smiles as my grandmother fought to keep her eyes open. She enjoyed company, getting her hair set, and having her hair brushed. But eating--even chocolate ice cream--held little pleasure. The ritual of "supper" was no longer a joy but a painful chore.

On the day before I flew back, I told my grandmother I was returning to Albany. Grandma frowned and sighed, and said she was glad she could see me and I said I was glad to visit with her too. She told me to come back to visit soon--I smiled and lied to her. I said I would see her as soon as I could. I knew it would be the last time. My grandmother died the next day as I was waiting for my connecting flight in Detroit. My parents were there as she passed. Her heart finally gave out.

I wish I could see her again. But life held no more enjoyment for her anymore. It wasn't worth the bother.

I returned to work today, only to be sent home by my boss. While I was gone, she arranged everything so I wouldn't need to return for the rest of the week. She asked me why I came in. I told her the jackhammers across the street of my apartment made cold comfort, and I wanted to get back to work. One of my coworkers suggested I go see a movie by myself, a cheesy chick flick or a ribald comedy. It sounded nice to me at the time. I made my check-ins with my foster parents, and all was as it was before--filled with the usual back and forth pull of heartstrings and mania. I headed out at noon and drove home . . .

. . . only to get into an accident with a car that cut in front of me to make a left turn. I'm fine, and my trusty mare Norma Jean will need some plastic surgery, but didn't seem to suffer any internal damage. The couple riding in the car were startled, sheepishly embarrassed, and no worse for ware.

When I got out of the car, I was shocked to see the driver and the passenger who cut me off. They reminded me of my grandparents. The wife looked like she had her hair set every week. The husband (and driver) had ears that hung to his shoulders. All my anger disappeared--still flustered--I asked "are you OK?"

I had to repeat it a couple of times--the driver wore a hearing aid the size of a lime. The passenger said "We are fine dear. Are you? My husband and I were returning from the V.A. in Albany. They were running some of the usual bloodtests, and he said he was tired and just wanted to go home."

Folks came by and asked if all was well and if we needed any further assistance. We repeatedly assured we were free of bodily injuries. The local police came by, information was exchanged, and a report was filed. The fallout, as I've discovered was that no adventure can take place with incidental heartache, loyal friends and family, and crumbling of best-laid plans. That's what makes life so wonderful and so painful at the same time.

So, that's how my day went. It's been the theme for the past couple of months. How's everything with you?

P.S. Fracas, 70s, TnB, DP, and all the other cowfolk out there--all is well. I really will have a Condiment of the Week by the end of the weekend! I really promise, and this time I mean it!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

She's Ba-aaack (Well--Somewhat)

Well, all. This is my first post in a while. Things have been busy at Case De Chaos. First, we were marooned by the unknown captain of our pirated internet. We haven't invested yet in legitimate wireless access, so I have been--well--less prolific in my postings. (I am drinking a white mocha and accessing the wifi at a coffeehouse.) Most of my postings are based on "I have no internet. Life has been filled with busy nothings. I'm currently coughing up small, furry creatures calling themselves Hal. The weather sucks." as of late.

Of course, this posting is much of the same.

The weather has improved and Hun and I have rejoiced in the few sunny days sprinkled in between "wintry mix" days. This winter is hanging like a horny bitch. But I have faith, spring soon shall triumph.

I've spied a few groundhogs trundling across country roads, wild turkeys pecking in the fields, fancy free-range chickens dodging traffic, and a few bald eagles taking advantage of the seasonal roadkill. Spring is at the ready.

Hun and I met my mother in Washington D.C. We had a good time and wandered around the National Mall. We saw the Air and Space Museum--featuring the Spirit of St. Louis and Apollo 11. We also saw the National Gallery and a small exhibit of the collection from the American History Museum.

In one exhausting evening, we covered the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. D.C.'s famous cherry trees were quivering with blossoms ready to burst forth. We hiked along each monument as sun burst through the clouds, dipped to the horizon--turning the sky a cool pink, and vanished as the Lincoln Memorial took over the night.

As wonderful as it was to visit with my mother and the seat of our nation, I missed my father. Although I am my mother's favorite daughter, I'm also my daddy's little girl. I've never lived so far away from home, and being a lonely only, I grew up heavily relying on my parents for emotional support. I hope to see my father soon, and Hun and I plan a trip to Colorado this summer--if I don't travel sooner.

My dad, who originally planned on joining us, had to cancel. My grandmother needed emergency surgery because she broke her hip. My grandmother--who is 94 and stubborn--is doing just fine, thank you. We were worried for her at the time. But like the hearty Texas gal we know and love, she made it through surgery like a trooper, and is eating her favorite KitKats.

My father had to make sure she was fine for the surgery and set up a place for her to stay while she is in recovery. It's been a hard road for her and for my father, but he is a good man and has received a lot of support from close friends.

On a happier note, one of my best friends is about to give birth. I am hoping for an April 11th birthday, and she will name the kid Betty (even if it's a boy--to put hair on his chest). I plan on visiting her in late June in sunny (more so than Albany) California. It's strange. I knew her from high school. She had a tough time in college and her share of not-so-right guys. But I've never seen her quite so happy as now.

I am still working in foster care. As per usual, work is work. Lately, I've been training a new family the art of picking battles with your 8-year-old ward, and mediating heated negotiations between foster parents and natural parents on the Geneva Balance of Sippy Cup Holdings. If I do my job right, everyone is pissed off at me by the end of the day--spank you very much.

Well, that's all folk. Until next time. I promise to post a Condiment of the Week. I'll give you a hint--it's all American.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Well yes, I haven't posted in a while . . .

. . . and I might have some difficulty posting in the next couple of weeks. Hun and I are having trouble with our wireless connection. I also have been spending some interesting nights in the ER with emotionally unstable children. Once our internet is up and running I promise, promise to write the next Condiment of the Week and Sunday List, as well as a couple of usual moans and groans about Upstate New York. For the ten (0r two) friends who regularly read my blog, please don't give up on me yet . . . I shall prevail!

Right now I snagged a computer at Hun's school, and I thought I would write off a quick note before running back to our abode to make green chili and potato soup (oh, and vacuum the carpet).

I am also feeling 100 percent better. Thanks for all the medical advice and messages of concern. I felt the love--and it's nice to be reminded that a lot of folks out there care if I am coughing up a lung.

Adios, amigos (and amigas) and may the wind be at your back while riding the trail!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Condiment of the Week: Honey

I'm a cantankerous sort. I've been sick for a week since braving an ice storm to make sure a foster kid didn't have serious intentions of burning down his house. Despite my downing hot Tang, eating green chili, and resting my voice (after losing it Friday morning), I still wasn't feeling any better.

Granted, I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. (When you're constantly exposed to kid germs like I am, you'd want to wear a bubble suit too.) I also secretly enjoy putting on campy horror movies to lull me to sleep. But I was sick of being sick. Comatose states bore me quickly, and all I wanted in the world was to finally feel better.

I even dragged into work on Tuesday in hopes that I would be distracted into wellness and to catch up on all my cases. (Time flies when you work in foster care. Cases can change directions quickly when you aren't aware of current ins and outs.) My coworkers didn't even tease me about sounding like Marge Simpson, instead they ran away when they heard me hacking around the corner. By the end of the day, I talked myself horse.

I succumbed Wednesday and scheduled a doctor's appointment. The doctor (who looked younger than me--ouch) said all I suffered from was a cold and recommended I continue to take massive amounts of cough suppresant and suggested a home remedy: honey.

Great, I though, I am now 25 dollars poorer, and I've been told about the medical benefits of honey. Then a second thought came to mind: my Honey (a.k.a. Hun). Hun was at my side all last weekend--listening to me gripe, forcing cough syrup on me, nagging me to get more sleep, and remaining patient and supportive--despite not getting a decent night's rest himself. I've been snotty, greasy, highly unattractive, and definitely less than charming. Hun was also smart enough to recommend getting more rest instead of going to the doctor, because there wasn't a miracle pill to fix what I had--despite my hopes to the contrary. I suppose, in my own way, I got the doctor's advice already.

I alternated peppermint tea with honey to my hot Tang regimen the rest of the afternoon and slept through more camp horror. By the next morning, I felt considerably better (although I still sound like Marge Simpson). I owe most of it to my daily dose of Hun.

So I'm designating this week's condiment of the week to honey. Take time to think of all the little things you daily dose of honey does each day--be he/she a parent, kiddo, lovemuffin, or life-supporting friend.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I've Been Memed by the Book Guy

. . . I guess I deserve it for not finishing what I started . . . ; )

According to the esteemed Rotus of I'll Never Forget the Day I Read a Book!, I owe him one for tagging him on another meme. Not to forgo a comeuppance or a challenge, I took on the Book Meme. According to Rotus, the rules are simple:

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

(1) Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages). The nearest book on hand wore a fine patina of dust while waiting patiently for me to lift it off my bookshelf. I blindly grappled for it and behold! I grabbed I, Claudius by Robert Graves. I, Claudius was smirking at me a bit. Like any good historic novel, it's scandalous, sensually descriptive, and lots of fun. (I cheated a touch. The first book I picked wasn't 123 pages long. What does that say about me? I like comic books and self-help workbooks, I guess.) I read the book only once, but kept a hold of it in great plans of cracking open the pages again.

(2) Open the book to page 123. Page 123? Done.

(3) Find the fifth sentence. One. . .two . . . (Hmm, three lines per sentence, this will be interesting) . . . three . . . four . . . aha! I have it! This made Livy really furious.

(4) Post the next three sentences. Alright, here goes:

This made Livy really furious. He said, "Polio, this talk is idle. Young Claudius here has always been considered dull-witted by his family and friends but I didn't agree with the general verdict until to-day. You're welcome to your disciple. . .

To add some context, the blurb is about a couple of philosophers discussing the best way to record history. Polio prefers writing the literal truth, without adding modern context. Livy prefers to add a modern slant, to persuade men to virtue. Claudius is underestimated by his August family as being dull-witted. When Claudius is asked for his preference, he diplomatically sees the strengths in both versions of history. Livy, in a huff, accuses Claudius of being dull--along with Polio. Hence the double entendre of dullness and dull-witted. Polio then advises Claudius to continue with appearing half-witted, exaggerating his stutter, and increasing his limp to be safely underestimated until it is his time for greatness.

(5) Tag five more people. Hmmm. . . I shall tag (1) Shinade of the Painted Veil for tagging me in Blogger's Amnesty Day-, (2) Rybu at File Under Misc. after de-tagging him on the Big Bang Meme, (3) my mother and fellow book-a-holic at Heifer's Hideaway, (4) 70's Teen to find out what nostalgia she can pull out of her bonnet, and (5) tNb at Atomic Dogma to find out what else is on her bookshelf . . . It's up to y'all if you chose to partake--no worries if you're disinclined.

Wew! I'm tuckered. I think I'm off to a nap!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Someone's been sneakin' around these parts . . .

Howdy folk! I found out something interesting about the joys of the web. I found out that someone is linking back to my little ol' blog here in Upstate New York. It's a blog all about Colorado and the surrounding parts. Apparently, they've been linking back to a few of my blogs. According to the blog, Drew Epperly is the writer for my site. I beg to differ. I am not Drew, I am Betty.

Not only that, but I think Drew doesn't always read my posts before he uses them as his own, since my blog has very little content about Colorado, and is mostly about Upstate New York. Perhaps I'm a bit reactionary, and should be flattered--but my word, who is this hooligan?!

Drew also seems to write a lot about soccer--my question is how much did he actually write? Perhaps I am being a bit kneejerk, and dear old Drew is just posting snippets of his favorite blogs to share. But there's a sneaking suspicion a sneak and a thief is amongst us . . .

Update: It looks like Drew is another victim of this site that posts RSS feeds at It's rather bizarre, and somehow, they got my name mixed up with his. There is also a "Cowgirl Betty" who writes various collegiate sports articles--which I also didn't write. According to Drew (you can see in the comments section), he has tried to get the group to stop running his articles on their site, but to no avail.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Falling off the Wagon

Howdy folks! Just wanted to let y'all know I've been a bit under the weather lately, explaining why I haven't been posting as often. I also have been fighting some flu-like symptoms, attempting to work at my job six days a week, and struggling with my internet being down at home. What can I say? It's been a rocky trail lately.

Well, after taking an oncall until about midnight--braving an ice storm to and from the foster home--my body told me enough is enough. I am now laid up, and I am writing this during one of my few moments of consciousness. Luckily the internet is back up!

I promise, promise to pick back up with Condiment of the Week and my various laments when I get back in the saddle (hopefully sometime next week).

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sunday List: Much ado about nothing, or the missing blog

I got an interesting (and unnecessary) apology from my friend, for my last blog entry. She was very generous and memed me in a link-exchange, hoping to increase some of my readership. The meme she participated in, as well as I, sparked a debate at one of the FuelMyBlog forums. (Might I add--FuelMyBlog is a really great site if you want to find like-minded bloggers to exchange ideas, find interesting sites, and meet new friends.) The forum discussed the ethics of the meme, discussing if it was putting those on the top end of the list at a higher advantage regarding linking-- and linking to other sites unethically inflating some of their blog ratings.

The whole deal got me off my my lazy arse and started figuring out some of this high-tootin' fenangled goo-gaa stuff about ratings, technorati, and all that is tossed around the 'net like a sack of hot cow-pucky. The below is my humble unscientific analysis about the whole subject:

(1) Technorati's rating system are pretty controversial. I read an interesting analysis at Sacred Cow Dung. Those with low ratings to begin with, well--It's like using a sprat to catch a mackerel(A fellow blogger's assessment wasn't far off the mark). Whenever even one other site links up to a sprat like me, my ratings jump up. That's because I distinguished myself from all the other ghostly blogs out there abandoned by their creators.

(2) The higher you climb with technorati, the harder it is to maintain your status, and the more sites you need to have linked to yours--because it take a lot more links to have your rating rise by even one rank. As far as getting even to the top 100, or even top 10,000--you have to be a friggin' giant--like Google, or MSN, etc. to achieve such status. No matter how many sites link to yours, a search engine, or monster media service will always win out. (P.S. Google--I think you're swell for hosting blogger for hostile little upstart cowgirls like me . . . if I do offend.)

(3) This leads to an inverse curve--a big red flag in statistical analysis--in finding any significance in the data (or so I'm told). In other words, relative to the giants--whose rating might have some significance--we are all lumped in the same statistical pile. In other words, technorati's ratings don't mean a hill of beans. My "authority" jumped up with the meme, but I'm still in the same league as those who have a lower rating and less "authority" along with those who have higher "authority" than myself. It's a shame how people really get fired up (and market researchers, etc.) about technorati's ratings and authority distinguishing a "scientific" basis for the value of a site.

(4) In my humble opinion, It's all about content, content, and content! (But it's a bit too subjective and not easy to assess for market analysts.) There are a ton of folks out there who have damn good blogs with ratings next to nothing alongside with high-quality blogs with ratings that reflect their work.

My conclusion: I can see how both sides of the debate can justify their reaction--my response is the whole business really isn't reflective of anything. If participating in a link exchange is the worst thing I do in the world, well--I'm still golden. I also didn't take in a stray kitty, pissed off a shitload of kiddos, caseworkers, and foster parents, etc, etc.--all in a day's work. Will I participate in one again? Probably not. I don't want to feel like I should even participate in the technorati gravy train. For those who are serious bloggers who do, have at it. But from what I found out--technorati isn't able to rank the importance of a personal blog. It really doesn't matter. Unfortunately, a lot of advertisers look at technorati ratings.

I'm really glad other great bloggers helped me get off my arse and find out for myself about the whole hulabaloo. Statistically speaking, the whole schpeel about site ratings is much ado about nothing. Unfortunately, a lot of folks out there hang their hat on the value of a rating--and that's the scary part, because so many other blogs with lower ratings go unnoticed.

If anyone asks why I removed the Bang!! Bang!! You're memed!! blog below, I decided not to bother with it. It's fine for folks to participate in this blog in my book--heck, I did it too. But I really don't want to rock the boat for those who fight for their ratings, and I don't want others to think my blog has more "authority"than others without reading it for themselves. I also took myself off the master list to be fair to those who are participating.

Aw, shoot. I'm tuckered! To take care of myself, I will watch The Man With the Golden Gun, and eat something with a condiment. I imagine I'll get a field of comments regarding my little diatribe. That's all good. I'll cowgirl up and keep my ears open. I might learn some more about the vastness that is the internet and rating whatnot before it is all done ; )



Monday, January 21, 2008

Condiment of the Week: Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

This weeks condiment, brought to you from my fridge, is inspired by an old duffer who lurks around my pastures from time to time. A few of us were discussing the assets of a certain celebrity, and his wonderful performance in Chocolat. Therefore, I selected Hershey's Chocolate Syrup as Condiment of the Week.

Some people might think that chocolate really doesn't qualify as a condiment, but more of a food group in itself. (Whenever Aunt Flo makes her monthly visit to my ranch, chocolate-covered anything is a staple of my diet.) However, chocolate syrup is more of a condiment because it accents the main dish. Chocolate syrup doesn't make the meal--it simply makes the meal better.

Consider the humble glass of milk. It is creamy and delicious, and definitely nutritious. But adding a few teaspoons (or 17) of chocolate syrup, and it is more than a wholesome beverage, it is an experience worth savoring. Warm that milk a bit, add some of that syrup and a dash of cinnamon on top and it is an incredible taste sensation that should be repeated again and again. The essence of the drink (both hot and cold) is the milk. Chocolate syrup simply enhances milk's succulent creaminess.

I drown vanilla ice cream with syrup and peanuts. I dip strawberries and bananas in it. I add it to brownie mix for extra-gooey yumminess. I even squirt in a little syrup in my red chili--no kidding.

There are very few desserts that don't benefit with a little chocolate syrup drizzled on top. Strangely enough, I don't like chocolate syrup on apple crisp a-la-mode. I prefer caramel sauce instead.

Hershey's Chocolate Syrup also bring memories of childhood. I remember my mother made chocolate milk for me on hot summer days. I remember my father and I pigged out on sundaes, drowned in syrup and peanuts, while watching made-for-TV movies at night. I even remember when Hershey's Chocolate Syrup was sold in a can. (Of course, not 8 lb cans as pictured to the right. Just tiny little pint-size ones.)

Plus, who could forget Messy Marvin?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some Overdue Resolutions

Howdy y'all. As most of you know, I have been promising for the past couple of weeks to resolutely write a list of resolutions for 2008. Now that we are well within January, my list has ripened past fashionably late to procrastination purgatory. (In other words, I am turning the corner of "better late than never" and rapidly stampeding ahead to "why even bother".) So without further ado, I bring you the much anticipated (well . . . not really) list:

(1) I resolve to be more kind to myself. This means I also need to start taking better care of myself as well. For instance, I will be taking daily vitamins, not eat so much candy at work and eat lunch instead, attend regularly scheduled dental checkups and physicals. (I really can't say eat out less because, well, we rarely order pizza.) I will also *shudder* exercise for 10 minutes per day and work my way up. When the weather isn't unbearably cold and slippery, I will jog around the block. When it is too cold, or I am feeling too lazy, I will do simple things like pop in an exercise DVD for a few minutes and do some stomach crunches. I will also participate in an exercise activity at least once per week. If I skip a day of not working out, or eating too much candy, I will not beat myself up. I also will be able to learn the joys of the word "no".

(2) I resolve to explore more. This could mean more traveling up and down the East Coast while I'm here. It also means exploring Albany and Upstate New York more. Hun and I discovered a climbing gym. I hope to find some climbing buddies to help us explore the Gunks. I also want to be able to hike more in the Adirondacks to escape the heat in the summer. Hun and I already discovered the joys of apple picking, small towns, gardening, etc. I plan on trying my hand at snowboarding on the East Coast and definitely Hun and I will continue to cross-country ski. It's all out there, I just need to invest the time in finding stuff to do. Hun and I are planning a trip to Washington DC, and are totally stoked.

(3) I resolve to be a better housekeeper. This means I put things away after I am done with them, and keeping my surroundings other than my kitchen immaculate. (Hun is generally the more tidy of the two of us.) I will also go through my belongings every six months and purge anything we didn't use, view, or wear. I also resolve to be a better cyber-housekeeper to my blog, such as keeping my blogs tidy and regularly post. I also resolve to post on my other blog at least once per week and continue with Condiment of the Week. I will also post one personal list per week and start editing some of my video for youtube superstardom once per month.

Well, that is that. I didn't resolve this year to be more kind to others. I figure, if I take better care of myself and the time to spend with those who I care for, kindness will certainly follow suit. I'm used to usually placing my needs after others, and I should practice being selfish for a change. Overall, my life is pretty darn good--and I need to take more advantage of it. This might mean I might not be on Santa's Good Cowgirls list this year, but then again the old boy is a bit out of touch with the times. (I can't believe PETA hasn't gotten their claws in the jolly elf for reindeer cruelty, not to mention elf labor laws.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I am such a groupy

. . . Inspired by the amazing band of fracas, I created my own music album. Interestingly enough, following strictly to the rules of the meme, my album was created by a solo artist with political leanings. The photo is by fetching, entitled @ the sharks.

Not quite as fun as 70s, but it's pretty startling how everything fit!

Rules of the meme issued by the Honorable Fracas:

The first article title on the page is the name of your band.
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together and make your band’s album cover.

Don't tell Hun I fracced around.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Condiment of the Week: Huy Fong Chili Paste

I spent New Year's Eve away from Hun, and I had a lot of time on my hands to wallow in singleton habits: namely watch really cheesy horror movies, eat junk food, and drink champagne. I noticed two startling aspects in my life in fuzzy, champagne-induced, relief: (1) I should figure out something to regularly blog about other than the crappy Upstate weather, (2) we had a shitload of condiments in our fridge.

I vowed that night to feature one condiment "chilling out" in our kitchen each week. Thus, Condiment of the Week was born.

This week I am choosing a PMS fave of mine: Huy Fong (or Rooster) Chili Paste. To say that I've used three jars of this since I've graduated college is saying something for a cowgirl like me. It's ground chilis marinated in oil, (sometimes garlic), and vinegar. It is finame without setting fire to your tongue (well, not if you add too much). From soup to salmon, I love to use it on almost anything.

I usually add it with soups and with dips. I love it in pho, a dirt-cheep and amazingly delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. I love to add it with soy sauce, along with a little sugar, to dip dumplings in. I use it on stir fry.

But my number one favorite use is with Ramen and sesame oil as a PMS-craving delight. I boil up some Ramen (I prefer the oriental flavor), and leave a little bit of water and all the noodles in a soup mug. I add the high-sodium packet of flavoring, toss in a couple of drops of sesame oil, and a few teaspoons of the chili paste. I got my roommates hooked on it while I was attending grad school.

I swear, if you are on the cusp of aunt Flo coming to town, the above combination could save your relationship with your significant other, hankies, and wasted bitchiness that could be set to more productive uses. At the minimum, it will help clear out your sinuses.

This week, I give a shout out to Huy Fong and his (her?) culinary contribution to condiment world.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Technical Difficulties

I am experiencing some technical difficulties at the moment. I am trying to change around my new look, but am having some issues with customizing things. Hence, the haphazard disarray of my blog layout.

Blogs to come:

(1) My (overdue) 2008 resolutions

(2) Condiment of the Week

(3) Show and Tell (very innocent)

(4) Plenty of griping and complaining

If ya don't like it, then hitch yer horse somewheres else.

Enough, already! I will be folding laundry and painting my toes for the remainder of the evening.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Just returned from a mandatory pep rally, featuring our fearless leader. He wanted to encourage the troops about all the great work we do in "touching children" (ewwwww!) He said he used to touch many children, but now, he rarely does. He has to rely on folks like me to touch as many children as we can. YEAH BABY!!

He talked about all the great work the agency has done, including the foster-care program growing in leaps and bounds. (Due to work of by our office. However, he forgot to mention that--spank you very much.) He didn't get around to naming my boss, or any of my coworkers . . . but he did single out some of them . . .

. . . for not paying proper attention to him. One of my coworkers received playful looks by others in my office because tomorrow is her last day (she accepted a position for a county agency--yeehaw for her). Our fearless leader was discussing employment retention at the time.

"Is there some kind of joke I'm not getting? Would someone like to share?" barked our fearless leader from the podium. All the sudden, MAs and clinicians were reduced to the age of 10-year-olds. Wide-eyed, silent questions of Did he just say that? flashed across the room.

He continued to talk about touching children, how our agency was a great place to work, and really, even though some of us from the audience were looking at him like he was fake and didn't care--he really did. (I vote for fake, myself.)

So, in case our fearless leader is worried that no one was paying enough attention to him, I want to assure him I was listening to every word . . . YEAH BABY!!

I agree on his view that our agency has done great work. I am proud of doing what I do--as much as I bitch about the system. I disagree with the whole touching children and families--that's just creepy.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Holy Cow!!

Wow, I had quite a weekend! Hun and I postponed date night on Friday. (Hun has a big test tomorrow.) I perused various blogs listed on FuelMyBlog, an online blogging community filled with wit and support I joined in December.

As a reward for Hun's studying, we ate Chinese food and watched a couple of DVD episodes of Forever Night, a show about a sexy vampire cop. Unfortunately, the main character, Nicholas Knight, fails on all three counts. He is neither sexy, a powerful vampire, or a descent cop. However the show's cheese factor--something I greatly value--is so high it offsets the character's inadequacies as well as the overacting, horrid writing, and "special effects" and amplifies the entertainment factor tenfold. Think of the show as a late night version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Dr. Who. I also place Big Trouble in Little China and Kolchak: the Night Stalker in the same glorious (or--more precisely--horribly horrible) category.

On Saturday, I ran errands and Hun and I cooked some food, and fed Dog, the ball python that lives with us and shares our life. I also looked at other blogs, such as Fracas, Daddypapersurfer, Sylvie Dixie, and onknees. I posted my two cents in the comments section. I also noticed a fellow named Kimchihead who even posted an anecdote to my neglected second blog, What is the nature of true love? (Alright, enough name dropping.) I started messing around with my inadequate photo editor, and made up a new flag for my True Love blog as well.

I also neglected to post anything regarding New Year resolutions. (Yes, I am procrastinating that list as well . . . I suppose I need to get back on the wagon, as it were.) I guess you could say I got a bit distracted.

This afternoon, Hun and I went cross-country skiing. Along the drive up, I bitched and moaned about Hun inadvertently killing me by overestimating my abilities on the trail. Hun attempts to use empathy, bargaining, and even reason to coerce me out of my anxiety. I continue to berate him as we are putting on our skis.

Hun told me he was not a cold-blooded bastard and he would never place me in danger. He also said I could stop anytime I felt over my head and take off my skis--but no, I continued to berate him. He said he wanted us to enjoy the afternoon, not for me to be miserable--and making him miserable as a result. He scooted off and I was left on my own.

I put on my skis and shifted around. I was being overly dramatic about the situation. At the same time, I don't like losing any argument, and I could just pack up the car and leave him be--that would show him.

I huffed as he was winding his way up the steep trail.

I had no right to snap at him. This activity was supposed to be fun. Fine then, I would crawl up the slope and see how well I did--if I did break my neck and die, at least I could prove I wasn't being histrionic.

I inched my way up the slope as Hun was sliding back down, asking me if I was coming. We climbed the hill and I didn't fall, or even side-stepped up the slope. I mumbled I was sorry about snapping at him--it was just he sometimes overestimated what I could do.

No, Hun replied. Not really. You usually underestimate yourself.

We slid up the trail and slid back down. I fell a couple of time, and Hun gave me some pointers. I even smiled a few times--despite Hun telling me it wasn't allowed and having fun would ruin the dark cloud over my head I was strongly trying to maintain.

I concluded that I did underestimate myself--more often than not.

We returned home and I checked my computer. Sylvie sent me an e-mail and I opened the attachment. I was awarded blog of the day.

Who'd a thunk? Hun was right.

Thank you Sylvie, DP, Fracas, Kevin, and everyone else out there in the FuelMyBlog cybervillage. I am honored. I even added the widget to my sidebar.

Next stop--Hollywood?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

To be continued . . .

I have a great New Year Resolution list being created. On the list is to stop procrastinating. Therefore, I am shutting down my computer and starting up a DVD episode of 24, Heroes, or Forever Knight. I will post my list later . . .

What was that sound? Did I break something?

Hippo Gnu Deer to Ewe and Yarns!!