Friday, March 31, 2006

Final Four!

I can't blog today.
I have basketball brain.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Oiled and Lubed

Sometimes people write and ask me if W4D is the same person as The Lubricator. Yes, they are one and the same, both nicknames for my DH. In the early 1990's, when I first started calling my husband "DH," he thought DH was an abbreviation for Dick Head. I didn't bother to correct him for years. When I finally confessed that it meant Dear Husband, he was pleased.

Some years ago, when I became irritated with DH calling me every afternoon and asking, "What's For Dinner," I changed his nick to W4D. If you don't know how W4D became The Lube, click here and read the original post.

Portabella mushrooms are $1.50 a pound this week so I've been pigging out, eating them every night. Portabellas taste like steak - so rich! This morning, it occurred to me that a portabella omelet would be delish so for brunch, I made huge omelets stuffed with those beefy 'shrooms, Romano and parmesan cheeses. A few slices of tomato with olive oil and a sprinkling of capers... Yummy! W4D is bringing home Chinese food tonight or I would seriously consider making another omelet for supper.

portabella omlette 2
Portabella Omelet for Brunch

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dining in Sleepytown

I took half an Ambien for insurance at bedtime last night and I slept 8 straight hours. EIGHT MORE AMAZING HOURS! That's 20 hours in the last two nights and more than I slept all of last week. It's more than I have slept in most work weeks of the last 8 or 9 years!

I keep thinking about a nap as I type. I surely must be terminally ill or the end of the world is near. Something drastic must be afoot. How come all the sudden, I can sleep like a rock!? I cannot even think of anything to bitch about or worry about or rant about. What is happening to me? Why am I smiling at the thought of sleep, wanting to yawn, thinking of my cozy bed, when I should be worrying that we haven't yet started our taxes or that they will soon be able to give the University of Florida and Gainesville Police departments raises due to the number of tickets the Kidlet and W4D have been cited with recently? I should be miffed and grumpy that W4D was in Daytona Beach earlier this week eyeballin' the bikini babes and that he gets a nice 3 day stay on the water in Jax next week while I have to stay home and take care of our elderly doggie dude that requires constant attention and is too old and too beloved to go to a kennel.

But, nothing matters today for I am rested. Life is good.

Anniversary Week Fare:
I was searching through old blog posts and found this one from this same week last year. As threatened yesterday, I will be recycling some vintage posts this week. What struck me is that we ate the same exact thing last night as shown below except the mushrooms yesterday were portabellas and the salad had feta and blueberries instead of strawberries. I am such a creature of habit.

(April 5, 2005)
This time of year when asparagus is plentiful and inexpensive, we eat it three or four times a week. Asparagus means spring! So do strawberries. We start getting the first Florida strawberries in early February and by April, they are downright cheap so we eat them every day. Fresh mushrooms are nice this time of year, too.

With an abundance of produce, how could I forget to pick up tomatoes? This is what I do when I forget tomatoes and have a fridge full of fresh strawberries. Top some red leaf lettuce with some big, sliced, fresh berries. Make a little raspberry vinaigrette with some raspberry balsamic vinegar and some good olive oil. Drizzle with your dressing and don't forget to lightly salt and crack some fresh peppercorns when serving. Looks good, tastes like spring.

Strawberry salad of 2005.

But, last night's salad was better!

Blackberry Salad
Feta cheese, huge blackberries and mixed baby greens

(back to last year)
Snap off the tough ends of asparagus. You'll know where to the tough part starts since that is where the stalk will easily snap. Rinse well and trim the snapped end if you like the stalks really neat. Use a 12 inch skillet and boil an inch of two of water, just enough to cover the asparagus. After the water reaches a gentle boil, add some salt, drop in the asparagus, put a lid on the skillet and gently boil about 5 or 6 minutes. The stalks should be crisply al dente, not cooked to mush. You can fork them to tell how done the stalks are and remember that they will continue to cook for about 30 seconds after you drain them so don't over cook. Drain and then return to the still warm pan, dot with some sweet cream butter and sprinkle with lemon juice. No heat needed, just cover and they should stay nicely warm for long enough to set up your plates. Serve with a nice little filet mignon hot off the grill and since life is short, go for the baked potato, too.

Good grief. I even used the same placements.
I have no excuse for being such an unimaginative cook.

Maybe I am dreaming...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Time Flies

I totally missed my Flaurella blog birthday. I thought it was today, the 28th, but I looked it up last night and it was the 23rd of March, 2005. Well, Bonne Anniversaire to me! Perhaps, this week I will run a few of my fave posts from the last year. Talk about ego -- shoving old blog posts down your throats a second time.

There's plenty to celebrate this week. My GATORS made it past the Sweet Sixteen, breezed through the Elite Eight and now, for the third time in school history, we are going to the Final Four this Saturday. We could end up in the Championship game next Monday. To say we are excited would be an understatement. We could be talking a whole lot more batta boom, too.

I slept through the night last night for the first time in many years. I didn't take a sleeping pill and I went to bed early and slept for 12 hours, only waking once when W4D left for work. I normally sleep 3 to 4 hours a night -- maybe 5 to 6 hours max if I take a sleeping pill. 12 whole hours was amazing except, I kept dreaming about death and dying and taxes. I guess it is time to get out the receipts and the books and load Turbo Tax.

These are the last of my camellias. There are a few blooms left but for picking purposes, this is it.

Last Blooms
The Bloom is Off the Rose
(in more ways than one)

"I used to dread getting older because I thought I would not be able to do all the things I wanted to do, but now that I am older I find that I don't want to do them." -- Nancy Astor, 1959

Too much sleep is really depressing.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Batta Boom

This is the Lubricator's suggested itinerary for this afternoon and evening.
I rec'd this email a short time ago:

Dog off this afternoon ?
Failure to Launch at 2:10 or 2:40
Bang Bang at 4:40 PM
Bombay at 6 PM
B Ball at 9:45 PM
Batta Boom at 11:45

So, he wants to take the afternoon off, see a movie in town, followed by cocktail hour with Bang Bang Shrimp at the Bonefish Grill, Sapphire martinis (at home?) followed by the Sweet Sixteen basketball game on the tube. (Go GATORS!) I am not sure what "Batta Boom" is, but I have a pretty good idea. Maybe he means Bada Bing, Bada Boom.

So, I wrote him right back and said I am in the middle of an update and I have to get it done before the new Martha Stewart magazine comes out (More on that another time) and while I'd love to play all afternoon, I really must work. (Being self-employed can be so restricting.)

I sent off my regrets via email and got an immediate reply:

I should work also, new plan:
Bombay at 5 PM
B Ball at 9:45 PM
Batta Boom at 11:45

Golly, he's planning on a fast basketball game. I don't think the game will be over until at least 12:15 AM. And, he's most certainly planning on our GATORS getting to the Elite 8 since there is no batta boom, bada bing, blam blam, bing bam, hanky panky, pokey poke when the GATORS lose.

There's obviously a lot riding on this game.

Batta Boom!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


15 minutes ago:

I'm in the kitchen looking for the stuff I need to make Reuben Sandwiches tonight. What I thought was Swiss cheese stored in the cheese tupper is really cheddar cheese so I dial up W4D to ask him to pick up some Swiss on his way home and to also remind him not to forget sour kraut. He's already in transit and about to pull into the market. While I have him on the phone, I also suggest he see if they have any nice shrimp. I can't go more than a week without some shrimp and I plan to make Frogmore Stew tomorrow or the next day.

Now W4D is not real good about remembering things without writing them down so I give him little shortcuts, little memory acronyms and such. I asked him to repeat back to me what I wanted him to pick up at the market. He immediately remembered the sour kraut and shrimp but already, the Swiss cheese had slipped his mind so I said, "Just remember 3 S's. Sour kraut, Swiss and Shrimp, S. S. S."

"Okay" said W4D. "S.S.S. but don't you want any W?"

"What's W?" I queried.


"Sure." I'd prefer Shiraz if they have any." I never turn down wine.

"See you in half an hour. S.S.S.W," said W4D, as he hung up.

I can't help but wonder what the checkout gal at the grocery will think we are having for supper when she rings up the order.

Morning Sunshine
7:00 AM This Morning: Sunlight on the Spanish Moss

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I've had enough.

Corned Beef Overload

We've eaten corned beef and cabbage twice this week and I still have enough for a third dinner. I can't eat it again tonight so I had W4D bring home pizza. I'll make a big salad with EVOO, balsamic and feta. We can nosh on pizza, feel healthy eating the salad, and get buzzed on all the leftover beer in the fridge.

I am not much of a beer drinker and there's a reason I only make corned beef and cabbage once a year. Oh, I like it just fine but I think it must have 20 gazillion calories and enough of those calories from fat to nourish a small Eskimo village for a year. And, I am really good about trimming up the meat. After I fully cook it the normal way, I glaze the meat and broil it, cooking it a second time to render it even more. (Do people not in the South know what render means? Someone, please let me know.) Plus, I slice corned beef as thin as paper with the electric knife.

Anyway, how can one corned beef dinner go on and on forever? I don't like to freeze the cabbage and taters and carrots so I'll have to serve it again by tomorrow. Or, maybe I can make a soup with the veggies and serve Rueben sandwiches. I have rye bread and Swiss cheese on hand. I can pick up some sauerkraut and make Thousand Island dressing at home. Yep, that's the ticket! Ruebens and soup!

Suddenly, I feel thinner.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Spring Slide Show

I'm swamped with work plus I have company.

Will try to pop in here tomorrow but in the meantime, have a look at my spring slide show of North Florida blossoms taken this weekend.

Wisteria detail

I wish spring would last forever!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Erin Go Braugh

I forgot it was St. Patrick's day until I stepped outside this morning and saw the Paddy O'Furniture. Okay, that's an old joke but I say it every year. It's tradition.

Here are wild shamrocks growing in my yard today. Please do not call them weeds.

Wild Shamrocks

Below are cultured giant shamrocks complete with little white flowers that I have babied and grown in a large flower pot for years and years. Bet you didn't know that they bloom.

Cultured Shamrocks

I'm cooking corned beef and cabbage with onions, carrots and redskin potatoes for supper. No soda bread though for I don't care for it.


Yes, I really have kissed the Blarney Stone.

Aye. In person.

Time for a beer!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Little Flat

The Lube and I were watching American Idol last night and Kellie Pickler, "the little minx," was singing.

I remarked, "She's a little flat."

"I don't think so."

"Yep, she's flat."

"She's not flat."

"You are tone deaf. How would you know if she's flat?"

"She's just fine."

"I'm not talking about her boobs, you eejit."

"Oh. I knew that."

A special note to The Lubricator:
Beware the Ides of March.
Speak up now or commit to another year.

Azaleas spilling over the deck rail.
More spring blossoms tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

An Official Non-Blogging Day

It has just started to rain. We need this rain. I've been out taking pictures of the spring flowers in case we get bad weather and it beats the blooms down. I'll share them tomorrow.

Strawberries are so abundant and inexpensive here right now that we eat them every day, sometimes three times a day. Strawberries are a great antioxidant and very good for you but I am getting tired of strawberries. Can you imagine!? Below is last night's dessert.

Strawberry Dessert
It is Strawberry Season in Florida

Monday, March 13, 2006

How Thoughtful

Before he leaves for work, The Lubricator almost always leaves me a little gift.

Every morning, I find a small mint treat stuck on the downstairs bathroom sink. Every fricken day I have to rub off that little blob of toothpaste and scour the sink because my DH does some weird thing with his toothbrush near the left side of the tap that leaves a little chunk of toothpaste stuck there. You'd think he'd see it since he often uses a bright blue gel toothpaste but no, he always leaves this precious little offering for me.

From this day forward, I am going to carefully scrape off each little toothpaste glob that is always in the same spot on the sink and dry them all, preserving their minty goodness. I will keep each daily toothpaste pastille in an Altoids tin and give them to The Lube for his birthday.

It's the thought that counts.

spring blooms: Spirea
Minty Fresh Spring Bloom from Flaurella's Garden

Friday, March 10, 2006

Talking Turkey

Wild Turkeys
These wild turkeys were down the country road past the west end of town earlier this week and I took their picture. If you know wild turkeys, you know they are skittish so I couldn't get very close. I did my turkey call a couple of times from the window of the car but that didn't bring them running in my direction. Perhaps they were scared of the vehicle or our dog or my very robust gobble. Most likely, Tom Turkey (the one with the fan tail) already had more hens than he could handle. The Lubricator was shocked to hear me cut loose with a very realistic turkey call. Even after all these years, it's good to keep a few secrets from your spouse, like your amazing ability to mimic a gobbler. Besides, calling turkeys is not one of W4D's talents and he now stands in awe of my astounding mimicry.
Wild Turkey Manhattan
This is the kind of Wild Turkey I am looking at this afternoon. A Wild Turkey Manhattan goes down mighty smooth at the end of the work week but be careful, a couple of these will put your lights out. (Yes, I was little heavy-handed on the cherry juice.)

Make one for yourself...
3 count of Wild Turkey Bourbon
Scant 2 count of Sweet Vermouth
Dash of Bitters
A little splash of cherry juice
Stir well with cracked ice and strain into chilled martini glass.
Garnish by dropping in a maraschino cherry.
Sip and smile.

Time to go make another shaker of Manhattans. I bet most New Yorkers can't go out and call to the wild turkeys. Poor city folks....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Nursing Typhoid Harry

I'm back from my annual physical having been poked, prodded, palpitated, stabbed, and my every orifice invaded and ogled. I got out of the bone density testing until June but suffice to say that I have been through the wringer today so afterwards, I treated myself to a little shopping. I looked at hundreds of pairs of cute shoes and didn't buy any, not a single pair! Am I a good girl, or what? I admit that I kept thinking about the 8 or 10 shoeboxes in my closet that I haven't even opened yet so instead, I will be surprised tomorrow since I have forgotten all the adorable kicks I already bought and have yet to wear. I'll go shoe shopping in my own closet and it won't cost me a dime.

I arrived home to find the too pitiful, too ill to work, probably contagious, hacking and spewing W4D on the couch, blanket up to his chin, whimpering like a little girl. Why is it that most men are such babies when they get even the slightest malady? I'd like to grab him by the shoulders, shake him violently and scream, "Snap outta it!" But instead, on my way home from town, I stopped by the drug store, sashayed down the cold and flu aisle with one of those handy blue tote baskets, scooping up every pain med, cold remedy, sore throat and flu medicine, symptom reliever known to modern man. Upon arrival home, I medicated The Lubricator with a selection of varied products from Walgreen's and myself with a lovely shaker of icy vodka martini's. I wasn't here all day so I still have a bit of patience left but heaven help him if he doesn't feel well enough to go back to work tomorrow.

I am at 50 hours on my liquid diet but I plan to eat something I can chew later this eve for supper. I'm thinking a little filet mignon and fresh asparagus will be tasty. I bet you that the manly man will not opt for soup two nights in a row. He may be weak -- practically on his death bed in his own mind, but The Lube will not pass up steak and potatoes and fresh asparagus. Ha! I have some fresh strawberries, too. I imagine he won't turn down a little vitamin C either. I bet I can even get him to watch the finale of Project Runway with me. He doesn't dare complain after all the humiliations I have endured today.

Here are some photos from my yard yesterday. The azaleas are blooming again for the second time. The first time, a hard freeze killed everything in bloom but it was early enough that our plants all put on new sets of buds. Just in case you haven't guessed, I love spring. Who could resist all this pink?

Azalea Buds Azalea Bloom Azalea Macro
Click any picture for a larger view.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Good Night, Nurse

Two hours ago, the phone rang. I heard a pervert rasping and spewing on the other end. I couldn't quite make out what was being whispered.

"Alright, creep. What do you want?" I demanded.

A voice like that of Darth Vader said, "Ammm osssaad. Daaaa lokkk. Lehhhh minnnn. Haaaarrrq."

"Who is this? I'm not in the mood for this sorta crap," I growled into the receiver.

"Lehhh meennnn. Ahhhh yaaaam owwww saaaa," half croaked, half whispered Deep Throat over the phone.

I turned right, squinted through the curtains and noticed a white generic car beside our black cars. It dawned on me that DH rode in to work with a friend today since he was going to pick up a state car for tomorrow. Agency cars in Florida are blob o'white Saturns or Impalas or similar generic, cheap piece o'sheets.

"Is that you?" What are you doing here? I growled into the phone.

"Daaaaaa laaaakk."

How irritating. It was most probably W4D home early and acting very strangely. I stomped my way to the back door and peered out the window and indeed, The Lubricator was standing there in a blue hoodie zipped all the way up, hood all bunched around his neck in a wad like he was stranded in the Alps in a blizzard. It was sunny, beautiful and 66 degrees outside. The man was bundled up like the abominable snowman and was glaring at me through the glass.

I yanked open the hard door. "What the heck are you doing out there? You're early. Why didn't you come in?"

"Skreee dahhh lokkkk."

Indeed the screen door was locked because I didn't expect W4D home at this time of day and I had earlier had the hard door open catching the fragrant spring breezes. I let him in.

Good Lord. You have never seen such carrying on.

The man has a sore throat. He's acting like he is terminally ill and may pass on to the other side at any moment. He had a sore throat last night, too. He whined. I tried to be patient. There is no fever. That's it, a freakin' sore throat and a little laryngitis.

He's gone upstairs to bed now. I'll have to go up there and coo over him, make clucking noises, plump his pillows and take him cold orange juice, hot soup and a spoonful of honey or something. For a man who never complains, when the Lube gets a headache or a bruised foot or a sore throat, you'd think the world will soon end. I guess it's a small price to pay for having such a normally good-natured man and more importantly, one who puts up with my daily rants and remembers to put down the toilet seat. Thank goodness we rarely ever get even a cold in this house.

Sore Throat Elixir
Flaurella Sore Throat Elixir

I put a shot of vodka his OJ and he won't even be able to taste it.
Night, night, manly man.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dear Readers,

Thank you for your encouragement. I may not have lots of regular readers but you are the best. Yes, I have imposed certain restrictions on myself since I have business clients who may read this blog. The Lubricator's agency co-workers have been known to read and then there's the whole political thing. I would really love to write about what I think about our town politics but I won't do that to the Right Honorable W4D. He already has to dodge bullets and I don't want to add to the fray.

I like this blog and I plan to keep it. I've proven what I needed to myself and am abandoning my self-imposed commitment of having to write every day. It will be more enjoyable to write whenever I feel like it -- maybe even post on weekends if I'm in the mood. Sometimes, I'll just post a photo since I really like taking pictures. Flaurella will still be here, I'll just be less structured about it. I'm way too Type A for my own good anyway, so that's that. If my evil twin wants to exercise her First Amendment Rights, she can get her own effin' blog.

"It's Hard Out There for a Pimp?" How hard can it be? I haven't seen the film (Hustle & Flow) and I never heard the song until the Academy Awards Show last night. I don't much like rap or hip hop or whatever that was and I couldn't understand a single word of the acceptance speeches. I don't understand why that song would be anything to celebrate. I guess I am just hopelessly white and old. Feh. Here's an interesting point of view.

It's a glorious spring day here in North Florida with the scent of orange blossoms on the air. The sky is crystal clear, brilliant blue and there are tender green leaves, buds and blooms everywhere.

Green Leaves
Ah, the glories of spring!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Hole in the Bucket

My brain cells are on overload. Yet, I don't have anything I feel like writing about except to say that as the one year anniversary of the Flaurella blog draws near, there will probably be some big changes made around here.

My blog was a promise to myself, for my own enjoyment and to see if I could come up with something vaguely interesting about which to write, five days per week every single Monday through Friday for one year, come hell or high water. I kept that promise to myself blogging all but 14 days over the last year, excepting a little vacation when I was away from all computers plus a couple of sick days when my eyes swelled up, went whacko and I couldn't see to type.

The last two weeks, I only wrote Monday through Thursday. Taking Friday's off two weeks in a row was a treat as well as an experiment. It's the old hand in the bucket theory. When you take your hand out of the bucket, the hole fills right up and neither the bucket nor the water notices that anything is different. Amen to that.

In the next two weeks, I will be re-evaluating this blog, what it means to me and whether or not to continue it. If I do continue, I may keep Flaurella and write less frequently but start another blog where I can say what I really think. Bwahahaha! And no, I won't tell anyone the name of the new blog if I start another. Anonymity would prove a joy to me. I am a traditional southern lady but what's to stop me from letting loose my evil twin? It could prove liberating.

Anyway, I'll be thinking about a list of things I have learned in the last year as the one year anniversary of Flaurella draws near this month. I'll also try to deal with some lifestyle changes that are coming my way.... or not.


My mother just smiled down on me when I wrote, "whatever." When I was an impatient teenager, I must have said "whatever" to my mother fifty-eleven times a day. I just didn't have time to listen or explain or "whatever." I know better now, Mother. I hope I know better.

Good grief. Little Miss Maudlin needs another toonie.

Here's a picture I took that makes me smile. I like the way the apple seeds are peeking out of the slits. Even a slice of apple has its secrets and that, I assure you, has nothing to do with anything.

Apple Star

Ambiguously yours,
Flaurella ~

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sweet Perfume

This morning as I opened the door to take The Bubba out for a walk, I was overwhelmed with the heady fragrance of orange blossoms. Wow! It's just barely March, the orange blossoms are early. I can honestly tell you that if you have never smelled the intoxicating fragrance of orange blossoms, you have been deprived of one ot the best aromas on earth. Nothing smells sweeter.

Orange Blossoms
Taken in my back yard.

Orange Blossoms
Florida orange blossoms smell heavenly!