Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!

Yes, I still Live and all that. Just been busy working and playing Yoville. It's so addicting havin that little avatar running around everywhere!

Here's a Mackie pic and my latest quilt project!!!

Mackie loved 'his' Christmas Cactus. He ate tons of it, and then promptly puked up a piece of tinsel. I thought it was magic! The magic of Christmas!

Yes, I have two Trees. It's the Ponsonby Way.

It took roughly 4 hours to draft this first block. The old grey brain cells, they aint what they used to be!!!

But then it took only 5 more hours to make ALL of these. I'll keep you posted on this project. I just felt the need for a Christmas Quilt to be done by next year, hopefully!

Look what Santa baby brought me! A Sony Bravia HDTV

Saturday, October 31, 2009

End of October Cards

Well, It's the end of October

and I made some cards.

That's about all there is to say about that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Autumn Sonata

What a piece of Heaven is this:
Autumn is bliss
Autumn is bliss!

There, that's my sonata!

And this is my latest...Dutch Apple Pie....served with a giant helping of Jigsaw Puzzle. 

I love this life!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Poverty Cooking 101.1

When life gives you celery...

Make Celeryade!  Otherwise known as cream of celery soup.

1 head of celery
1 cup heavy cream
1 can chicken broth
2 T. pesto in a jar
1 small mild onion
Shredded Parmesan to garnish.

Dice up the onion and the celery.  Food process it until it's mushy. Put it on the stove with the cream and the chicken broth and the pesto.

Simmer for 30 minutes or more until it thickens.

Garnish with the Parmesan!  The pesto adds all the flavor and spice you need and the Parmesan takes care of the rest.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Squeeze Me Jesus! I Baked an Apple Pie!

I know you aren't supposed to supplicate unto the Lord and beg for the ability to bake a pie, but I did it anyway.

I didn't crimp the edges well enough, I guess, so it kind of oozed out the sides instead of the slits on top but at least it BAKED without burning to a crisp and at least the pie dough behaved like it's supposed to!  

Also thanks to Aunties Cookieman and B. for sending me Gramma's 'never fail pie dough' with egg in a cup.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Food Failure 101

I'm a failure at food, I've finally admitted it out loud! I have high hopes but the outcome is a dismal failure more often than not.

What with all the excitement of fall in the air and the apple season in full swing, I just wanted to make an apple cobbler...I've made many of them from this recipe, they always turn out different but very delicious. But this time the dough portion did not rise and I just had apple lumps in a dish.

This was supposed to be delicious, delightful hand-made Maple Buns, just like they have at the apple festival every year back home.

But the chocolate was too runny and the maple fondant was too stiff and the whole thing tasted like soured cream cheese because maybe the cream cheese was a little off...

I just admit these things so you know that even the happiest of Julie Child Wannabees has her BAD days...

Bon Apetit! Just don't eat anything I've prepared!!!!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Pumpkin Festival

I went to the Pumpkin Festival in Elk Grove and it was really fun. I love the autumn festivals...they are so warm and quirky.

That scary thing behind me is a giant white pumpkin. I was pretty sure they had it fenced in so that if it HATCHED or started to move in any way, there would be a containment field.

These are the ones that were the 'runners up' in the Biggest Pumpkin Contest.

This is a pumpkin at the carving station. 

Not much to say in this post except "Happy Harvest, everyone!"

Friday, October 02, 2009

Flying Saucer Days

I was driving down the highway this morning when a plain white paper plate flew out of a wetback's truck and wafted past me on a freeway wind.

Last night Patrick had asked me down to the river to see this 90 foot boat that had come upriver to dock at Old Sac.  The pictures don't do it justice: it truly was a lovely ship! Very similar in look and feel to the one that Goldie Hawn has in the old movie Overboard.  White and large and needing a real crew to sail her.  And she came all the way from Bikini in the Marshall Islands.

 It gave me that sea-faring feeling...the one of longing to see the Southern Cross and to sleep out under an entirely different set of constellations in the middle of the ocean.

Right now for 5 bucks you can sponsor a rubber duck that will be tossed off the I street bridge with 5000 other rubber ducks and then somehow be scooped up once it reaches the Capitol Bridge, a few feet downriver from whence it started.  And if your duck gets there first, it wins a prize. All the proceeds go to fund something for the Special Olympics. 

 I was surprised they would let something like that happen, in this day and age. They would call it littering and a public nuisance and a bio-hazard if one of those little duckies escaped the nets and headed for the open waters of the Pacific. Neither Patrick nor I can see how they can guarantee that all those ducks will make it downriver. We fully expect the little inlets and docks along the way to have a stray rubber ducky or two floating in to land, beached and belly-up, with the tide.

I hope some of them escape. I hope at least one makes it all the way to Bikini, M. I. 

Today, with a severe headache and at absolutely zero on the energy scale, I saw that paper plate come flying past me and I remembered: 

I remember when you were allowed to toss bottles into oceans and throw rubber duckies into the cricks and rivers and set them free. 

I remember being a wee tot and being told that it was 'Flying Saucer Days' and what a BIG event that was! 

All the merchants of the town got together and put their names on paper plates with coupons for free things like ice cream and shoelaces. And at a certain time a local pilot would fly over the town and release all 5000 of them and we were allowed to run and chase them and pick them up and claim our prizes.

I'm pretty sure I won a free ice cream cone and maybe a buck or two, redeemable at the local bank.

For most of my childhood, at least, the sight of a paper plate windblown up against a barbed wire fence down some dirt road gave me a feeling of hope and expectation. Like finding an Easter Egg someone had forgotten about.

Nowadays, a paper plate is just a paper plate. But can you remember when...?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

October At Last

It's finally October! My favorite month of the year! To celebrate I will show a picture of...what else? FOOD!  This is what I ate from the Greek Festival this last weekend. Stuffed Grape Leaves (dolmas) and greek salad Gazpacho.  It was truly delicious! Opa!!!

  I love October because it is my birthday month. I'll be 53 on Oct. 17th and that makes me pretty happy.

However, I took the "Real Age" quiz online last night and discovered that I'm actually 70 years old. I kid you not! What a scary blow!  Of course I've learned from past experience that fear, shame and scary blows have absolutely NO EFFECT on whether or not I lose weight or get healthier.  At this point it would probably take a Dr. Phil Intervention.

In the meantime, here's the house all spruced up for Autumn.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sex and a Sandwich

 At Trader Joes, where food is complex and worthwhile and the bags are smashing!

A married friend recently told me that men cannot stand how complicated women make things. She maintains that men are very simple, have simple needs, and don't like to be all psychological about things.

"What men want", she said, "Is sex and a sandwich."

However, I think this is not entirely true, as SPORTS are the most uselessly complicated hot mess of nothingness I've ever run across and yet men are totally obsessed with it.

At least if I'm cooking, sewing, quilting or crafting, the end result of all that mayhem and complication is a TANGIBLE OBJECT...whereas sports just wrap you up emotionally for a couple of hours and then POOF; nothing.

Think about it: all that endless replaying of moves and analysis of the plays? ...that seems pretty darn nit-picky and complicated to ME so I'm not buying it that men are so simple and just like things simple. The bottom line really should be stated to be that men just don't like what WOMEN want to be complex about!

So, here is a grilled chicken panini with a side of peach mango relish. Complications be damned!

Monday, September 21, 2009

People Are People Wherever You Go

I had to pop over to the Co-op a bit ago and when I came out, I couldn't find my car. I just headed off into the parking lot, but had no recollection of where I had parked. (Can you say 'fibro-fog' boys and girls? Fibro-Fog.)

I stood there a moment or two and scanned the horizon and then turned back around and headed over in the other direction.

I could see the security guard standing under the shade tree in the front of the lot so I bopped over to him  for no other reason than to tell him I'd lost my car and make a conversation about it.

It's just one of those things you have to TELL somebody about, in my case so that I don't end up just talking out loud to myself in the parking lot.

"Hey! I've lost my car!" I said to him.
"Well, it's a small parking lot. It's bound to turn up sooner rather than later if you keep looking!" He grinned.
"Well, I think you are right! Because you are standing right in front of it!" I told him.
He laughed so hard at me this really tickled the both of us.

This is why my need to talk to total strangers pays off more often than not, I'll tell you!

"I'll tell you another secret," he said, aprapos of nothing, "The cars in this parking lot that are parked in the shade are the best guarded cars around!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mood Swings and Secrets


Well, I've just been having so much fun there hasn't been a moment to indulge in blogging!

I got to go down to Stockton this weekend and see my lovely cousin and her husband, whom I have not seen in over 5 years. It was emotional and fun, and just a very, very fulfilling couple of days!

They work for a fishing tournament company, and are usually on the east coast, but got to come west just this one this was my first opportunity to tag along and see all the sights and delights of the bass fishing tournament world!

During the morning, the teams of fisherman are out on the Delta catching bass, but later in the day they drive their trucks and boat trailers back to the tournament site and have their fish weighed. They get to be up on stage and are interviewed for the weigh in.

Apparently there is much hoopla over the secret tips and tactics of the successful fishermen. And so each person interviewed was asked, in one form or another, "without giving away too many secrets, how did you manage to catch such a big fish?"  Sometimes they were asked different questions, like how they got into fishing, or how their family supported their particular hobby, or how they liked their teammate, etc;  And the answer was ALWAYS some variation of: "Well, I don't want to give away any of my secrets, but..."

They all fish with a partner in the boat, and its someone they don't know so that they are there to keep the fisherman honest. I don't know how that works, what with having to keep your fishing secrets safe while in the same boat with a stranger who had his own fishing secrets to keep, but somehow they manage.

I suspect the secret is they load up on beer and just catch the fish without any secrets at all.

One of the questions, then, that the interviewer will ask is, "How did you like fishing with this guy?" And of course the answer is something along the lines of, "Well, he didn't steal any of my secrets and he was a good fishing buddy."

One young fella had us all in hysterics, though, when he was asked that question. Because his reply was so psychological he took us all off guard!

Announcer: So, without giving away any secrets, how was it fishing with this guy, here?

Fisherman: Well, he has mood swings. First, he'll be all happy and upbeat, and then later he'll be all down and depressed.

It was so unexpected that I was bent over laughing. We managed to make that remark the tag line for the rest of the weekend.

There are more tales to tell but I'll have to tell them another day! It's the mood swings, you know!

No secrets among friends

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Wise Oracle

Just for the halibut I did a quickie, free tarot reading online. My question was....

Will I meet a new love?

The card drawn was:

The Hermit.

I guess that answers that question.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wisdom of the Elderly

I've had this really, really irritating squeak in my dashboard for some time now. It's especially noticable on the freeway. That car--now 9 years old--has been a gem of stability, but it hasn't been holding up well lately.

Little things. Like the plastic casing around the seat belt broke off, and now I have to touch boiling hot bare metal in order to fasten my seat belt or release it.

I can't very well justify buying a brand new car just because of a little inconvenience like that, though. Even if it needs a new paint job, the windows don't roll down anymore, and it's started to get that little wet dust smell you find in really old cars.

The squeak, though, might just send me over the edge. I have to drive with one of my fingers pressing down on the dashboard, as that slight bit of compression seems to take care of it.

I was driving Miss Daisy somewhere this week, and she said that noise was just about the most annoying thing she'd ever heard.

"You know what I'd do to fix that?" she asked, "I'd wedge a piece of paper up in there and that will take care of it."

So I tried it and it DID!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Minor TV Personality

Well! I did it! I managed to make it through my TV appearance without saying or doing anything stupid! Whew! What a big relief!

It was pretty exciting to go to the Fox 40 studios. It's been about 45 years since I was in a television studio and obviously things have changed: we have computers now, and...electricity.

What surprised me is just how dark and silent the studio is while the news is being aired live. Everything is on monitors and on the laptops of the newscasters, and the rest of the room is dark and silent. The cameramen, editors, etc; all whisper and creep about in the dark. It was cool.

The kitchen was not in a separate room, but just along the back behind the anchors. So we had to creep in quietly and set up our display, etc; It became quickly apparent that there would be no way to pull my muffins out of the oven and make a big show of them being piping hot and all that so we just ditched that idea and set them on the table with the rest of the goodies.

The news is over at 8:55 in the morning and then we did our 5 minute segment and then basically those guys are done for the day! It's a Wrap! So they hung out with us and talked and ate our food, which I LOVED! My cousin M. Jean had been on TV once, featuring her hand-made antique boxes, and although the guy interviewing her for the piece ranted and raved during the segment, the moment it was over he took off his mike and booked...leaving her feeling a little bereft. She later wondered if he liked her items at all or if it was just for show!

There was no doubt about that in my case. We talked about food and family and care giving, AFTER the cameras had stopped rolling. It was so awesome!

The man who did the segment is Paul Robins...a very semi-famous local dude who was part of a morning radio team Phil and Paul in The Morning before coming to do the morning news on Fox 40 here in Sacramento.

He's a professional--at ease and in his element--but you don't get the impression that he's being professional, you get the impression that he's hanging out having a GREAT time and you should just hang out with him. It was so much fun!

Right before they filmed us, they brought us the mikes. I told them, 'Don't mike me! I don't want to have to talk!" Paul told me, "Don't be nervous!"

I responded with, "I'm not nervous! I just don't want to TALK! I'll screw up!"

Paul said, "Oh, if you've ever watched this show you'll know we are very good at screwing up! It happens all the time!"

My boss kept telling me, "Don't curse. Don't talk about the health care plan. Don't say I'm an idiot or a bad boss..." I told him, "OMIGOSH stop telling me what NOT to say! I'll IMPRINT on that and just blurt out everything all in one babbling tirade....

"These muffins are great how in the HELL can we justify how expensive this war is and yet not be willing to pay for health care for our own citizens my boss SUCKS and these muffins taste like SHIT and SHINOLA!"

You can see how FRAUGHT this was! Boss Man finally said, "Just relax and be yourself."

I looked at him with real pity, then. I patted him on the arm and in my most sincere, deadpan yet compassionate voice said, "No, Buck, that's exactly what you DON'T want me to be."

He took that in, shook his head in agreement and said, "I think you're right. You'd be up on this kitchen island SINGING and DANCING in the RAIN."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Wrench in the Works

I'm so glad there is all this attention out there about the Beatles. I love the Beatles! I'd get that new Beatles Game in a heartbeat! If I had a heartbeat. Which I don't.

Because I'm a zombie. A Test Kitchen Zombie.

Here's what is happening with me:

I've been working 12 hour overnight shifts. Now, these are called 'sleeping shifts' meaning that I'm guaranteed 6-8 hours of sleep during that 12 hours. It pays a flat rate and is much, much less than my normal hourly wage, but if it works, it's like free money: money while you sleep.

Unless the person you are caring for rings her little bell every flappin' 20 minutes throughout the night wanting her hair brushed, her sheets straightened, help transferring to the potty, etc; Then it's like Night Hell. And then when the 12 hours are over and you have to go do your NORMAL work shift and your NORMAL daily activities, it becomes DAY HELL...all blended together into a sort of zombie fog.

An Example: My doorbell rang yesterday just as I lay down for what I thought might be some catch-up sleep. It was my neighbor and he asked me if I had a wrench he could borrow.

And I could not for the life of me figure out what he meant by a wrench. My mind conjured up NO picture, and NO symbols and no definition of that word. Floating in the distance was a vague awareness that it might be a tool of some kind.

That's just how tired I am. And last night was the same only less sleep so today I was just longing to crawl into bed and remain there for the entire day.

Except when I went to my car to drive home, it wouldn't start. Dead Battery. I had to call AAA and have them deliver and install a new one for me, thereby wiping out my entire life savings and all my petty cash.

Good Times.

I made it home at last, closed the door behind me and relaxed on the bed thinking...Ahhhhh...when the phone rang and it was the Big Boss reminding me that on Friday we are going to be on TV doing a cooking segment.

And would I mind whipping up a few recipes and getting together a presentation and all that before tomorrow morning?

He had a few ideas and some guidelines (this is food for seniors, after all, and thus needs to take into account special dietary needs like low sodium, etc;) and then with perfect confidance that I was the girl for the task, he hung up the phone leaving me a jibbering idiot of fear.

And thus I whipped up these totally imaginary, utterly delicious, thoroughly sleep-deprived Zombie Pecan Muffins.

Anyone living in the Sacramento Fox 40 broadcast area can see me, the writer behind Miss Pink Ponsonby's Swell Soiree, on Sept. 11th, Friday morning, 8:55 am on Fox 40.

It will be a 10 minute presentation, and I've begged my boss not to let them mike me. He can make me go but he can't make me talk! Because I'll start babbling about wrenches, I just KNOW it!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Pushing the Season

Okay, it's only Labor Day weekend, but I am really in the mood for fall, now! I think I'm always pushing the season when it comes to the end of summer.

I had to dig out the fall-leaf table cloth and the vase of fake leaves!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Brie? Brie? Brie? Brie? Brie? Brie? Brie? Brie?

At the River on Friday
Well, where have I been, you ask? Working, entertaining, working, sleeping, not-sleeping...

Last week I was given the treat of attending a local production of CATS with one of my ladies and her friends and family. Lots of pictures were taken but not by me, and although people always promise to post the pics or email them to you...they never seem to arrive! So until then, I'll hold off on writing a funny blog about that day!

This weekend I went with a fellow caregiver and 7 friends to the Elk Grove/Laguna Comedy Under the Stars Event. I haven't laughed that hard in years! The comics were great, of course, but the laughter came from the people we were with.

This event is held in the park where there is a nifty amphitheater. Everyone brings blankets or low beach chairs (no high-back lawn chairs allowed) and lots and lots to eat and drink. The lady, Bee, who had organized getting the tickets for us was the Hostess with the Mostest! We were sitting in a semi-circle around her copious cooler and she spent her time opening it and bringing out treat after treat. Wine, dessert wine, prosciutto, cheese, shrimp, more was awesome and fun and so gourmet.

But the funny part is that even though all eyes were upon her like little trained circus dogs waiting to have a tidbit popped into our mouths, she would take out a food item and politely ask each and every single one of us along the row if we would like some. She never slacked off or varied in her delivery, either.

So the conversation would go like this:

Bee: Oh, Karla, you brought chocolate wine I'd love to try some of that! Shrimp? Shrimp? Shrimp? Shrimp? Shrimp? Shrimp? Shrimp? Shrimp?

Karla: Yes, I'd love some shrimp. The wine is boysenberry with chocolate undertones it's probably just a flashy gimmick to get you to buy it!

Bee: Well, I love chocolate but I don't like Merlot so I'm willing to try it just to see if it tastes like Merlot or chocolate. Brie anyone? Brie anyone? Brie anyone? Brie anyone? Brie anyone? Brie anyone? Brie anyone?

The show was from 8-10 but people gather to drink and eat by six o'clock, so everyone was pretty much smashed and in a rip-roaring mood by the time the comics started. Of course us ladies must make frequent trips to the powder room, and we have to travel in packs...and as usual there was a long line for the ladies room and none for the men's room.

A gentleman graciously offered to guard the door for us if a few of us wanted to go use the men's room and since we were next in line we trooped over there and used those facilities. We were laughing our heads off and not thinking a thing about it, but when we all exited the men's room there were about 15 men standing in line waiting! Looking pained! And hopping from foot to foot! I guess beer will do that to a fella.

As we joyously left their company there were many parting shots back and forth about 'now you know what it feels like' and 'guess you females wear the pants in your family!' etc;

Giggling in glee we raced back to our seats in time for the opening act, whose first salvo had us all screaming and cheering because he said, " What a Town, Elk Grove! Where the women use the men's bathroom!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Picnic Impromptu

It's hard to think of picnics this morning because it's so cold outside and yet it was just a couple days ago when I was in the summer-lovin' feeling and had an impromptu picnic in the park.

It started with me eyeballing that fun bag I made a while ago, out of some Mary Engelbreit fabric I had leftover from this apron:

I had carried it a time or two as a purse, but it just didn't feel right.

So I decided to give it a new reincarnation as a picnic bag...without having to kill it first, of course, and do the whole rebirth-as-a-dog thing. Maybe I should just say I recategorized it? That's the word!

So I stuffed some things in the bag; cute napkins and a small table cloth that would fit. Made a sandwich, grabbed an apple and a water and I was ready to go!

Complete with Scabbers the Rat sneaking by in the background.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Importance of Lying on Things

I don't know what it is...

It must be important...

It might be in his DNA...

But whatever it is...

Mackie HAS to lie on things.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Skirting the Issue

It seemed like a good idea in my mind.

I planned it out. I went through all my vintage fabrics to find the perkiest ones. I lay them out and observed them. I carefully cut the pieces out and sewed them into the skirt front...

And then it dawned on me!

What was, in my mind, a darling little vintagey-perky pool wrap skirt...had suddenly manifested itself into CLOWN WEAR!!!!!

As if it weren't enough to hang out at the pool with my boob exposed, here I was creating a skirt that would GUARANTEE that I get ALL eyes pointed right at ME.

I was in a dither. I had nowhere to turn! I didn't know how to salvage this mess!

But then I just remembered my default sewing choice and turned this gaudy mess into a very cute apron.

Then I got out some of my other cute, vintage, perky fabric and made a much CALMER pool skirt. I think this is much better, don't you?

That will teach me not to drop acid before I sew!

Two Dollah, Two Dollah!

Obviously, I'm into scrimping and saving a buck. So I love it when I discover something that is fun to do and really cheap.

Which is why this last month of August I've been enjoying the pool. It's Two Bucks to get in!

So I arm myself with some staples and away I go:

Blue, blue waters = heaven.

My downstairs neighbor has two wonderful cats that I like to greet through the screen as I come home each day. Every once in a while their 'momma' is home so I go in and chat with her for a while. If my bag is heavy, Milo the blue-point Siamese likes to come over and Lie upon my purse! KJ, the black cat is curious and friendly, but not about to invade my space! He's too polite!

It's just so darn funny to me. Cats: We can't understand them, and we can't live without them.

Yes, that's a head of cauliflower in the bag.