Monday, May 29, 2006

Just Like a Woman

We have personally honored our Veterans who are gone and now we sit here, listening to some of our fave music cuts, cranked up at high volume, vintage Bob Dylan, drinking dirty vodka martini's with Tabasco-laced olives, reminiscing. And even though our political ideals have changed a bit over the years, we still love the songs of our youth. We are transported. We can relate our memories to the kids of today. Those kids are our hope for the future. We admire them, well, most of them.

Anyway, add to Dylan and the martini's, the sweet fragrance of a big vase of fresh gardenias dropped off by my friend Susan, and now the air is heady and intoxicating and bringing back many memories. Don't mind me, if I am a bit nostalgic today.

God bless the Soldiers who defend our country and the ideals of our country. They are for the most part like each and every generation, just like us at that age, green, idealistic kids. I wish they were all home and safe and sitting around listening to their generations' music with their friends but it seems that there will always be conflicts and wars.

I am fond of harping to The Lubricator about my belief that if women were running all the countries in the world, there would never be any wars, just a bit of trout slapping and some hair pulling once a month or so, and then we'd work it out sensibly within a few days. I trust we wouldn't send our sons and daughters off to die in foreign lands, and we'd surely find some other way to settle confrontations concerning money and religion.

I am not saying that freedom and democracy are not worth fighting for but if women were in charge, we'd talk each other to death instead of shooting. Women are tough - much tougher than men imagine. We are consistent and we don't usually let pride affect our judgment. For example, the Lube and I have been watching lots of war films on TV over the last three days. He loves them. I think they are dumb and idiotic and we argue about the cause and effect. It's surely a man vs. woman thing. It's our genetic makeup. Male genes don't understand female genes and visa versa.

I adore men but let's please let women run the world.

Back in a few days.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hippy Dippy White Pizza

We really enjoyed the finale of American Idol on TV last night. Great bunch of talented kids! I laughed my ass off when Clay Aiken appeared on stage behind the Wannabe-Clay and W4D asked me if that was Paul McCartney's son. He was serious. My husband is so hip. And apparently, so I am I for I just used the word, "hip."

This is one of the ways I get rid of the leftovers in my fridge. I use whatever small amounts of veggies, cooked, frozen or raw, that accumulate in the fridge. I buy pre-made pizza crusts like Marie's or Boboli and a jar of pre-made Alfredo sauce. I prefer Five Brother's but any will do. Sometimes I make a little fresh Alfredo if I have the right ingredients in the fridge.

This is an 8 inch pizza for one.
Here's what to do:
Salt and pepper the crust.
Sprinkle with crushed fresh garlic or use garlic power if that's all you have.
Never use garlic salt. It's too salty.
Spread a healthy layer of Alfredo sauce on the crust.
Start adding toppings

Flaurella's White Pizza

I added freshly sautéed baby portabellas
Small leftover broccoli florets and crumbles
Leftover asparagus
Leftover green peas
Freshly caramelized chopped white onions
Sautéed sweet red pepper
Snipped fresh basil (lots!)
Then I sprinkled the pizzas with Parmesan Romano cheese blend
Piled on some shredded frozen mozzarella with sun dried tomato bits.
Sprinkled with salt and pepper
And finally. drizzled a bit more Alfredo sauce on top.
Cook in oven until hot, about 20 minutes at 375.


Use whatever veggies you have on hand but always remember the caramelized onions for that gives great flavor to all other toppings. Go light on the sauce if you are dieting, heavy if you dare. And, always make more than one pizza. Yum!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Getting My Goat

Since our April visit to St. Augustine, in addition to my usual good-natured (!!) heckling, I have been teasing W4D constantly about getting hit by trucks. He has starting pecking back, retaliating.

When we were in North Carolina earlier this month, we were chatting with a group of people at a brunch at an antiques shop. They were having a reception with a speaker on Florida collectibles and since we both walked in wearing tropical print, Hawaiian style shirts and flip flops, we were welcomed into the reception. After the program, the local collectors wanted to hear about our antiquing travels and where we had been, where we were headed, our adventures thus far. Everything was going just fine until someone asked W4D if we had found any memorable places to eat along the antique trail.

My husband grinned at me and launched into a dissertation on what he was certain was the best meal we had on the trip to date. He described in great detail, this huge hamburger, showing with his hands a space the size of a saucer, that we had north of Atlanta. "And the best part was it was on sale for only one dollar! It was the best hamburger I ever had," he said.

At this point, I was snorting and trying to edge my way out of the circle of conversation while he continued, "That was the best burger I ever tasted. Have y'all ever heard of a Whopper? They are made by a place called Burger King and they have them on sale for one dollar each this week only."

The ladies lunching on dainty tea sandwiches, Jordan almonds and pineapple crème cake (which I must add was the best I ever ate!) raised their eyebrows but recovered quickly and politely kept listening and nibbling their luncheon, trying to pretend they hadn't just met the biggest hick ever spawned from the great state of Florida. By this time, I had escaped about 15 feet away fom the gaggle and W4D caught my eye with a triumphant grin. I gave him The Look. ["You will pay for that one."] I also gave him hell when we got in the car and on our way but I smirked about it for the next two states.

So, The Lubricator has apparently discovered that he can get much enjoyment out of acting like a total dolt and embarrassing the holy hell out of his gentle wife.

This last weekend we were at the Wagon Wheel flea market in St. Petersburg, Florida. There was a canal out back of one of the open-sided buildings. My husband grinned at me and wagged his eyebrows.


"Excuse me," he said to an older lady vendor with skin like brown leather from too many years in the sun, "Is that body of water out there the ocean? We're just here visiting and we're looking for the real ocean."

"Honey, that ain't the ocean! Where the hayell are you from?"

I didn't wait to hear any more. I pretended I didn't know the man and darted across the aisle to examine a fascinating display of Ginzu knives and nun-chucks while I tried to keep from laughing out loud.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Good, The Bad & the Gator Bait

Bad News. Looks like the poor alligator is being hunted and killed just because they are no longer afraid of people. Now, whom do you suppose is at fault for that? Man or Gator? If people would stop tossing chicken bones and sandwiches and marshmallows to the alligators, they would go hide like they used to when people came near but now, thanks to over-population due to years of hunting restrictions on them and idiots who think they are docile, tame animals who need Big Macs and attention, attacks are happening more frequently. Not too long ago, I saw an Oriental Tourista walk up to a wild gator at an overlook near my house and offer him food. Gator was about 6 or 7 feet long and I was certain the guy would lose not only his camera, but his arm. I didn't wait around to watch.

Gator Ringing Doorbell
Southern Gator politely rings the doorbell

Good news! I'm being whisked away in the morning for a romantic weekend and a Pink Martini concert, lots of good food, the beach and an elegant hotel room.

Bad news. I haven't a thing to wear.

More good news! Two Xanax, Four Amoxxycillin and I feel fine so can have some wine with dinner. I'm making a shrimp stir fry with lots of tasty veggies.

More bad news. Gonna need another root canal and more periodontal surgery. I intend to put all bad thoughts out of my mind and enjoy my long romantic weekend. When I get back, I'll post some more pix of the beautiful flowers in bloom along the Blue Ridge last week.

North Carolina along the Blue Ridge
North Carolina near Maggie Valley

Hasta la vista, Monday y'all.
Don't feed the gators and do look through the peephole before you open the door!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gators Gone Wild

While we were off on "Heckle and Jeckle's Excellent Adventure," I see that the local fauna, AKA Florida AlliGators, have gone wild. This is what happens when I leave the state unattended during mating season. My magnetic personality and crooked eyebrow keeps most cold-blooded critters in line much of the time but the moment I leave, the Gators start chomping on the local Peeps as well as the Tourista. Three deaths this week is a lot considering that we've only had 17 recorded fatalities due to alligator death rolls during the last 58 years until I left La Florida early in May. I am NOT counting all the lost fingers, toes and assorted body parts here, just recovered stiffs. However, at least three people were recently successful in beating off the mighty horny, rabid gators. I was real proud of the octogenarian lady who was watering her flowers by the lake with the garden hose down in Boca. That gator let loose of her leg right quick after she started beating him senseless in the eyeball with her hose!

UF Campus Gator
Gator on the UF Campus

Let's be careful out there people. If an alligator looks at ya funny-like and smacks his lips and grins, run up the nearest tree or at the very least, take off a'runnin in a crazy zig-zag pattern so he kain't ketchya and snack on yer extremities. Oops. I just slipped into local lingo there. Sorry, it's the toonie talkin.'

Unfortunately, I have a long forgotten Periodontal visit tomorrow, but that means I get drugs, lots of drugs so I will probably be out of it or at the very least, somewhat incoherent and more rambling than usual tomorrow - if I don't pass out by the time I get home or forget to blog. I just hate those surprise phone calls when they remind you that you need to pre-medicate and to come in tomorrow. Of course, this is purely my own fault since I forbid them to call me weeks in advance like they normally do with normal people since if they call me early, I get too nervous to function until the appointment. So, I insist they only call me one day in advance, no earlier than the day before, and then it is always a shock and I totally freak out but at least it is only for one day and not 10 to 14 days. I've already lined up on the countertop, Ambien for tonight, a handful of Xanax plus a couple of Valium in addition to my Amoxxycillin for tomorrow. Tonight, I am going to break my diet rule of one martini per night.

Right now, I feel I should confess that I regularly drink giant-sized 6 ounce, up and dirty martinis anyway so the One Drink Rule isn't really a hardship most of the time -- except pre-dental. A dental phobic should be allowed to drink as much as needed to be relaxed and fall asleep the night before they stab one's gums with needles, rusty
probes and sharp metal picks. I'm going to cook up a nice dinner of Porcini Tortellini Alfredo with asparagus and some sautéed tomatoes (with lots of fresh garlic, bwahahahaa!) and I might even have wine with supper as well as another toonie -- or two! -- while I cook. Lest you think I am a total alkie, please be advised that I can hold my own just fine. I just like big toonies, especially when I have dental tortures to attend, hanging over me in a big dark cloud of trauma. OMG. I need another drink!

Tourista, do not come here.
The alligators are all riled up and they will eat you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Honey, I'm Home

I'm back from our 1500 mile buying trip and a little R&R. It was good to get away. Aside from having to shop every day, the worst thing that happened to me was when I blindly grabbed the wrong bottle as I got into the shower in a hotel and washed my hair with hand lotion. How are you supposed to be able to read those little bottle labels when you don't have on your glasses? Anyway, I remember when I used to love to shop. Now that I have to do it for a living, I hate it.

It wasn't all torturous though. We had our martinis every afternoon in the prettiest places. I just love my little martini travel case and I wouldn't be on the road without it.

Martini Travel Kit Martini Travel Kit 2

Here's a view from the back porch of a darling cottage we rented in Virginia for a couple of days. When we weren't lolling about in front of the fireplace or relaxing in our Jacuzzi, we were sitting on this pretty porch getting all liquored up.

Virginia Martini

Sometimes, the simple things are the best things.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Swing of Things

Overheard near the grill at a cookout.
The middle-aged lady was accusing her spouse of renegging on a long-standing promise to relocate to another state and a totally different lifestyle.

She: I can't bear the thought of another summer here. I want to move to North Carolina. You promised me that if I married you, we would move to North Carolina.

He: And we shall my lovely, we will live there one day, I promise.

She: You sorry ass liar! I don't believe a word of it. You are a lying sack o'shit. What the phuk do you think I am, stupid? You've been promising that for 35 years.

He: "Whoa, do I detect a bit of negativity in your tone of voice, my dear?"

The Swing of Things
Just a'Swingin'

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Pirateous Jokeus Re-Runner

A pirate walks in to a bar, he has a ship's wheel sticking out of the fly on his pants. The bartender says, "Uh, sir, do you realize there is a ship's wheel sticking out of your pants?" And the pirate says, "Arrrrr, it's drivin' me nuts!"

Partial Post Re-Run from Flaurella: July 2005:

... We sat down and while looking at our menus, promptly order two vodka martinis, up and dirty. They arrived very quickly and we raised our glasses in a salute eager for a taste of what is to us, mother's milk. Right here, I shall insert our supposition that a day without a fine martini totally sucks. Anyway, we raised our glasses in unison to express our joy of not being raisins who require walkers or someone to read us the menu, and we each took a big, and highly anticipated, refreshing swig.

Do you know that face that you must make when you drink pure pickle juice? That puckery, dour, pruney face that automatically ensues after you taste something so salty or sour that your face automatically retracts, recoils and contorts into an anus of wrinkles about the mouth while at the same time, one eye repulsively squints shut in salty and shocked disbelief?? Well, that's the look we both had on our faces but W4D, aka The Lubricator, also immediately spurted out a beautifully executed, perfectly pirateous, "ArrrrGGGGggghhh!" just like a Johnny Depp shipmate in "Pirates of the Caribbean." Yes, the spousal unit was for once, far more vociferous than I, who just sat there with a stunned look on my face, lips pursed, brows puckered, unable to gather enough saliva to form words.

"Arghhhh! Ye Mateys," expounded W4D, as he crooked a brow, made a terrible pirate face and took another big sip. Now, right now, I can inform you, I would not drink more of that foul, dirty martini but DH, not to be deterred by really bad brine, took another sip.

"ArgggGGGGhhhHHHh!!" he bellowed again!

For some reason, possibly that I was still totally hungover from a lovely dinner and drinking session at Cathy and David's the night before, this struck me as terribly funny and I could not stop laughing. I immediately slid my toonie over toward DH (he'll drink anything) and called the waitress to order some Chardonnay as a better substitute while we ate.

Dinner was delish but every time DH took a sip of martini, he crooked that eyebrow, puckered, and I giggled like a fool. Don't ask me why he didn't send them back. I wouldn't have drank that crap for love nor money.

To read the whole re-run, click here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Am I Blue?

Things are slowly getting back to normal around here. How unusual that I still don't have much to say. Being quiet is a new experience for me and certainly for everyone who knows me. I forced myself to go out and mingle, finding it easier to talk to strangers than friends and family and discovered that I like listening just as much as I like jabbering all the time. Go figure.

This is a single bloom of a potted hydrangea that W4D brought home to cheer me. Each of the flower heads like the one shown below is the size of a cabbage. Hydrangeas will only stay pink here if you keep them potted or treat the soil with additives. Once you put them in the ground, they will eventually turn true blue due to the acidity of our soil. Blue, pink or white, I love them all. I'll take pix of my blue blossoms once the blooms get larger. To learn more about how to change the color of your hydrangea,
click here.

Pink Hydrangea

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Losing the Marbles

It's been 2 weeks and a day since Mr. Man, AKA W4D got run over by the truck. Could one of you medical peeps email me privately or leave a comment if I still need to keep an eye on my Jaywalker? He's not acting any nuttier, no more freaky, nor obstinate, unusual, obnoxious, nor moronic than usual so I am hoping I don't need to keep watching him for signs of trauma. Thank you kindly, in advance.

Marbles in a jar in the window.
Apropos since W4D got knocked cuckoo
and I am slowly but surely losing mine.

Monday, May 01, 2006


I'm trying to think of something joyful about which to write but we've had a death in our family and I just can't get into cheerful, observant or even smart ass mode yet.

Wednesday, we had to put down our sweetest boy, our best pal and loyal companion of 16 years. I'm over the sobbing uncontrollably stage now and working on overcoming the constant weepy-eye stage. We are keeping busy and talking about a new puppy come late summer or early fall.

I want to thank so many of you for the comforting and heartfelt emails and poems, the greeting cards and letters, the candles, the flowers and in general, all the love and compassion you have shown us. There are some friends with whom I didn't share the news. It just became more than I could bear to write about it one more time, to call with the news or to even run into you on the street. I've been keeping a very low profile so please don't be offended if I'm still not able to discuss it. Never fear, in a week or two, I'll probably be putting up a tacky pet memorial page or writing poems or something. Until then, I'll just keep laying low and trying to mend the hole in my heart. I know you will understand.

Love, Flaurella