Mrs. Elmer Fudd

Hey, there!  A Facebook friend of mine was asking for stories abut possums (yeah, I know, huh??) and I did happen to have one (again, huh??), so I shared it with her, and thought I would share it with you here as well.  

I don’t know if you will be able to picture this in your head, but one night several years ago, in wintertime-the kind of weather we are having in Arkansas right now–highs in 40’s or low 50’s, lows in 20’s or 30’s…, we had let our dog out for her evening “constitutional”. We live just outside city limits in a woodsy area, and we see lots of different types of wildlife all year long.

Our dog is a big, beautiful, red hound dog named Junie B. Jones (’cause she’s not EVEN bad-that’s a former  first-grade teacher  reference right there-sorry if you don’t get it, but there’s always Google).  I am guessing she is around four or five years old.  The vet even complimented us on Junie’s beautiful red coat, and my husband confessed, “It’s the bacon grease…”  Yep, could we sound any more country?  She does eat dog food, but with table scraps mixed in and heated in the microwave.  This is all my husband’s doing: “She likes it that way!” he says.

Anyway, she’s been outside for a while, and then suddenly, we hear begin to hear some outraged barking as we sit in the great room, watching TV. Coming from our dog. Now this dog is a  lover, not a fighter, and she hangs pretty close to the house.  Inside if possible. Think “Ferdinand” the bull-but that’s another first-grade teacher reference…One time, she was out in the yard (this  was  in the early morning) and she barked and took a few passive-aggressive steps toward a deer, and that deer turned and chased her all around the yard.  This is the kind of dog that steals my heart.

At any  rate, my husband and I recognize this fierce barking  is not normal, so my husband gets up to look out the sliding glass doors to the deck and backyard.  He flips on the outside light, takes a look, and lo and behold, the dog is barking furiously at a possum, who is sitting on the rail of the deck near a hanging bird feeder, and this possum hissing at Junie B.

You see, we feed the birds all year long, black oil sunflower seeds, suet, etc. We had put out some old bread and fruit on the rail of the deck for the birds, and there was this possum up there, enjoying it all!

So my husband, who is in his pajamas, goes and hunts up an old jacket and his 22 rifle (is a 22 a rifle?).  He opens the sliding glass door, and shoots at the possum. He misses. You can’t wear reading glasses while shooting a gun, apparently. Now my husband is bald, wearing pajamas (size XL) with a large heavy coat on, shooting at this possum. Since he missed his first shot, he steps outside onto the deck and shoots again. Nope. Now the possum is looking at him like, “What? This food was just lying here!”

My good man is now getting irritated that he has shot twice and missed, so he goes to the edge of the upper deck (ours is a deck with two levels and steps going down to the lower level where the possum is) and shoots again. Misses. Finally, he goes down the steps to the possum level, and stands maybe three feet from the possum, who is still on the deck rail.

At this point, eye to eye with my husband, the possum decides this guy might possibly be a threat. So the animal kind of rears up and hisses at my husband, who pulls the trigger, and bam! (it was really more like a pop! being a 22 and all). The possum is hit and falls off the rail to the ground. My sharpshooter goes down the next set of steps to the ground, where the possum lies wounded. He finishes the possum off with a couple of more bullets. After that, I don’t know-I suppose nature took over.

Through it all, I have been inside, peering out the sliding glass doors, alternately gasping and laughing at this spectacle. My husband of thirty-three years comes inside, kind of sheepish, but announces, “I got him!” I just die laughing, and decide I am a blessed wife. I get to be married to Elmer Fudd.

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A Ladies Lunch Treat

A Facebook friend of mine from something like 30 years ago, messaged and asked for the recipe for cucumber sandwiches that I served once or twice-30 YEARS AGO!

So, I’ve been racking my brain, and came up with a close proximity to what I believed I did.  I thought I would share it here with you.  You’re welcome.  Plus, I have copied and pasted it from Facebook, so forgive formatting discrepancies.

Here goes:

Hey, I got your message. It was easier for me to post the recipe here than IM you. I can give you all the ingredients, but the proportions are pretty much to taste…

Cucumber Sandwiches:

1 loaf of thin-sliced white bread-usually found in the deli

2 or 3 large cucumbers, peeled (mostly-I like to leave a little green on–English cucumbers are very good with this). Go ahead and peel, core (remove seeds-typically I’ll just grab a table or butter knife and circle it round and round until all the seeds fall out) and slice them to whatever width you desire for you sandwiches.  Sprinkle them with salt and lay them out on paper towels to drain. Put paper towels on top, too.  You might have to change paper towels if they are really juicy.

Make your spread: I combined softened 1 8 oz.cream cheese, mayo (1/2 C or so), a couple dashes wooster, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, dill (if you like it) maybe some lemon juice-until it is spreadable consistency. Spread this on all slices of bread. I guess butter could be added too, for a British effect. Reserve about one third of the spread. Then cut off crusts (and have a little snack!)

After the cucumbers are dry(ish) place them on half the spreaded (?) sides of the bread. You could do one per two slices, or if you are going to cut them in triangles, arrange two-one in each corner of a single slice, then top with another slice, spread down. But don’t top them yet!

Now, you have these cucumbers with holes in the middles on your bread.

For the holes, put one dollop of reserved spread, then top with tiny cocktail shrimp (I get a can of these at the grocery store near where the tuna is-be sure you open it and drain it ahead of time-and cover with another spreaded (again?) slice of bread.

Now you have a choice: Use a biscuit cutter to cut out circle sandwiches, or if you planned on two triangles with two of everything, use a sharp knife to do that (I guess you could cut them in two rectangles if you laid out your cucumbers, etc… that way)

The challenge now is keeping them from becoming soggy. You want to chill them in the fridge, but I suggest in plastic with paper towels again on top and bottom in single layers only.

I would make these the evening before needed, or perhaps in the morning on the day you want to serve them. Good luck!

 

If you have any hints or suggestions, I’d love to hear them.  I remember these as being absolutely delicious!  I also have a recipe for homemade pimiento cheese on rye/pumpernickel/wheat that is pretty delicious, as well!

I love food like this!  Do you?

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The Tragedy

Apologies-this is a long one, but I wanted to tell the whole story (well, most of it).

I hate to admit it, but yes, we have had a tragedy.  A chicken tragedy.  You see, my good man and I decided several weeks ago we needed to get some chickens.  It was mainly for the fresh eggs–when I was still working, I had a coworker (another teacher) who had chickens and sold his eggs to me for $2.50 per dozen. He just delivered them to school, stuck them in the teacher’s lounge fridge, and I would run in there and grab them right before I left for home.  I was purchasing one or two dozen per week, and they were absolutely delicious! So, you see, we were spoiled.

Then, of course I got sick and ended up having to retire.  Now my husband is doing the grocery shopping, and no more cheap and easy chicken connection.  Well, another friend from work came out to visit me and (don’t ask me how our discussion ended up here-I can’t remember), she revealed she had an unused chicken coop she would let us try out.

I started researching chickens on the interwebs, and came to the conclusion Rhode Island Reds would be our chicken brand/breed/whatever.  They are really good layers, plus you can eat them for meat (I know, ugh…) in a pinch.  So, I put it (our desire to locate some RIRs) out there on Facebook, tagging a couple of other teacher friends whom I knew had chicken connections.

Well, guess what?  One of those friends had Rhode Island Reds incubating at his school at that very time!  Now, in my husband’s mind, “FREE” is a golden ticket!  His mom and grand mom both told me that when he was little, he wanted to be a garbage man just so he could go through people’s stuff and bring home the goodies!  So, here we are with a loan of a free chicken coop and free chickens.  What do you think happened?

Yep, we went and got the coop, went and got the chickens, went and got a chicken book, and went and got all the necessary feed and supplies.  We were in the chicken business for about &35.00!  We took care of them on our deck until they were old enough to go outside to the aforesaid  coop. My good man was putting out feed and fresh water in the mornings before he left for work, and again in the evenings when he got home.  He’s my hero!

As we watched them grow and develop, we were thrilled!  Absolutely beautiful birds–and we started letting them out in the yard periodically when we were home.  They were so cute, hunting and pecking for bugs all over the yard.  When something would startle one of them, it was like they said, “Chicken Up!” and they would all run to converge together and set off as one group across the yard to some bush or shrub where they could all take cover.  And they were smart enough to “come home to roost” about 8:45 p.m. when it started to get dark!  (Yes, here in Arkansas during DST, we have long days).  My husband would go out at about that time and shut and lock the coop.

It was at about nine or ten weeks or so, we started noticing that five out of six of them were developing larger combs on top of their heads, longer legs, and bigger wattles under their chicken chins (do chickens have chins?)

Yes, it was true.  We had five roosters and only one hen.  And she had a little bald spot on her head, like maybe someone was pecking her.

Well, there was nothing we could do about it at that point, so we just soldiered on, wondering if maybe we could trade some our roosters for more hens or something.  They weren’t old enough to…well, you know.  But then, the tragedy happened.

We had an awful storm on a Thursday night, with wind and rain and leaves and branches being torn off trees–and then a tree on the side of our driveway blew over onto our power line, bringing it down and leaving us with no electricity.  We called our power company (1-800-9 OUTAGE-how clever!) only to find out over 100,000 people were also out of power.  We live just outside city limits, so we knew we would probably be last on the list to get fixed.  We have a generator, but it was not powering the AC (something about a connection problem???) at this time.

So my husband, who happens to be off on Fridays, spent all day Friday bringing up and installing an old window unit AC in our bedroom (yes, the generator was powering our electrical sockets) as well as putting box fans in several rooms.  He then headed out into the yard to survey the devastation.  Can you imagine several hours outside in the heat, blowing, raking, brooming (is that a word?) and burning the sticks and leaves, etc…?  Well, my man did it.

He finally comes in, overheated and exhausted, to take a shower, grab a bite to eat, and then he goes to lay down in the cool bedroom.  I’m thinking this was about 7:30 or 7:45 p.m.  Don’t you know it?  He fell asleep fast and hard.  So fast and hard that I couldn’t bear to wake him up at 8:45 to go shut and lock the chicken coop.  I, of course, can’t get out there and do it, so I just had to go to bed and hope for the best.

The tragedy happened that night.  When we got up Saturday morning, we only had three chickens (all boys).  And they were freaked out, like something terrible had happened inside the coop.  There were feathers everywhere!  I think my husband found one chicken corpse out in the woods near to our house.

Now those roosters were not going anywhere near that coop again.  Come dusk, they could not be found.  My husband is not exactly a chicken whisperer, so what were we to do?  We couldn’t think of anything…so we reluctantly went on to bed.

Next morning (Sunday) we were down to two.  Monday, we were down to just one lonely  guy.  We are thinking, “One rooster is all we wanted in the first place…” But now a quandary:  Should we keep trying and get some more hens (which will get locked up at night) or just throw in the towel?  I’d like to keep trying, but all the work is on my husband, so he should really be the one to decide.

I guess we will serve as the “terrible warning” to any one who is thinking of getting chickens…  I’m sad.

 

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The Hair

So, here’s the story of my hair.  I first posted this on Facebook, but decided to repost here.  Hope you don’t mind.

Okay, so, true confessions (if you don’t care about my hair, keep scrolling): I have colored my hair for the past 25-plus years.  When I had to retire, I really couldn’t see paying $150.00+ every six to eight (women, you know it’s true) weeks to keep it up. I thought, “Why don’t you just color it yourself?”

Well, then I had a relapse of GBS which affected my hands and arms as well as feet and legs. Now, doing it myself was out, and I couldn’t see asking my good man to do one more thing for me. So, it was growing out, and I had my friend Donna bleach out the brown–and you cannot imagine the hideousness that is Teddi with blonde hair.

At any rate, the blonde served its purpose in allowing my gray to grow out enough so that we could chop off all that ugly blonde–and now, for the first time in my life, I have short, sassy, silver hair. I am kind of digging it. So, if you are out and about, and you see a woman, probably in a wheelchair, with short gray hair and a face that looks familiar–it’s me!! And when I get that fool camera to work, maybe I’ll post a picture. End of story. You may resume your normal day

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The Outing

Oh, my goodness!  I had an “outing” today, and I loved it!  My good man suggested this morning that we run some errands together after he got home from his weekly, early morning Wal-Mart grocery-shopping run (due to my GBS, for the past three or so years–driving, walking longish distances, carrying items over just a couple of pounds is OUT–so no grocery shopping for me:  my job for the first 30 or so years of our marriage).

Well, you cannot imagine how much he hates this grocery thing, and he usually needs a nap or a drink-sometimes both-when he gets home.  Just get in and get out is his motto.  And I’m pretty sure the Wal-Mart folks scatter when they see him coming.   I can’t imagine why… So I was cautiously optimistic that we would get out later together.

At any rate, I went ahead and showered, fixed my now short, gray hair (that’s another story) and was pretty much ready to go while he was still putting away the gazillions of items he bought.  Actually, it was only 73 items (it said on the receipt–did you imagine me counting them?) but to him, it was gazillions.  And cost gazillions of dollars.

I got ready because, to my husband, I must be completely ready to walk out the door at the appointed time.  “Are you ready to go?”  is what I will start hearing.  Never mind that he still has to brush his teeth, maybe go to the bathroom, pull his truck into the garage from the Wal-Mart nightmare, pull out my car for me to get into, go back into the house to get his sunglasses/reading glasses/wallet/coupons/whatever…  I must be ready or he fusses.

So he finally got ready, and we were off.  Our chores were:  cash a check at the bank, drop in for a couple of items I had seen in the weekly circular at the small, family-owned grocery store near us which Wal-Mart didn’t carry, and stop off somewhere for lunch.

The bank drive-thru was fine, the meal we had at the nearby Mexican restaurant was delish–but the little grocery store–oh, my!!  As I mentioned, I haven’t been in a grocery store in over three years.  Well, he rolled me in that front door, and it was as if the heavens opened and the angels began to sing!

Health and beauty items!  Paper goods and cleaners!  Boxed/Dried/Baking items!  Canned and jarred goodies!  So many new products I had no idea existed!  I wanted to go up and down every aisle.

He grabbed one of those little hand-held grocery baskets, and rolled me over to the deli, where we imagined this particular cheese I had come for would be located.  I had pita bread, bagels, King’s Hawaiian Rolls, and a cheese ball in that thing within 90 seconds.

He started sputtering,  “Do I need to go get a regular buggy?”  “You know I just spent XXX dollars at Wal-Mart this morning!”  “I thought we were coming here for just a couple of things.”  etc…  So I calmed myself down, we both recovered, and we managed to get out of there in about ten minutes time, spending just over twenty dollars.  I had good self-control!

But Wal-Mart has those handicapped scooters with the basket on the front, right?  Hmmm…I’m thinking seriously about inserting myself into my husband’s Wal-Mart nightmare next week…

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Homemade Pizza-Yum!

Hey, friends!  I thought since I have started this blog, and I have always loved to be creative in the kitchen, that maybe I could share some recipes from time to time.

When I got sick-man, was it really three years ago???!!! with GBS, it made it nearly impossible to do things in the kitchen, or anywhere for that matter.  Thankfully, my husband was able to take leave in order to see to me (which included seeing to almost everything, from getting me out of bed in the morning to…well, you don’t really want to know.  He says we have no secrets now, which is pretty much true.)  🙂

At any rate, during that time, he was in charge of meal preparation.  Great, right?  It was during this time, that I discovered that he (and maybe all men–I don’t know, he’s the only one I’ve got) was not good AT ALL at multi-tasking.  At least in the kitchen.  He was fairly confident with meat, so many times, that was what we had for dinner.  Meat.  I assure you, the kindness of church members, friends and family in this department was not lost on me.

So, anyway, here we are, three years and one relapse later, and I am slowly, carefully, figuring out how to resume some kitchen duties (but don’t ask me to drain noodles or take a hot pan or casserole dish out of the oven).  Do you think there were enough commas in that last sentence?  Yay, Oxford comma!!

Which brings me to this recipe for homemade pizza, which is the BOMB!  Good pizza starts with the crust, right?  Well, I can’t take any credit for that–I have always said, in cooking, if it involves yeast or a springform pan–count me OUT!  Well, all the pre-made pizza crusts we have ever tried have been…yuck!  Chewy and hard and…  But my husband, who still has to do the grocery shopping says, “If the Wal-Mart Supercenter doesn’t have it, you don’t need it!”  (yeah, I know…sigh) So he brings home one called “Mama May’s”.  It is thin-crust, and made by Spartan Foods of America??  Never heard of them, but–okay.

It turned out to be just right!  Here is how I topped it:

About 1/4 C Ranch dressing for the sauce (it sounded gross to me but it was good)

A light spreading (maybe 1/2 C?) of shredded mozzarella

Shredded chicken–I used a rotisserie chicken (my husband likes lots of meat–as aforesaid)  but put however much you like

Fresh spinach, red onion, fresh mushrooms sautéed together, then spread on top of chicken–I might try leaving them raw next time.

Bacon bits, topped with more shredded mozzarella and shredded parmesan!

I cooked it according to the directions on the crust–something like 425 degrees for ten minutes??

It was DELICIOUS!!  Give it (or some semblance of it) a try some time!

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Seems Counterintuitive…

Vitamins stink!  And I’m speaking literally, not figuratively.  In one particular drawer in my bathroom, I keep my daily pills (yes, I know they should be kept in a cool, dry place, but-whatever).  Whenever I open that drawer, “Shew!” that odor of Centrum Silver and Vitamin B Complex  comes wafting out.

And yet I take them.  Perhaps you do, too.  We know they’re good for us.  And in today’s society, we’ve got myriads of other kinds of yucky things we take or do–because we trust some kind of scientific “evidence” they are good for us.  Probiotics, fiber, organic, anti-inflammatory, raw, non-GMO, steel-cut, soy, almond, cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, ginger, turmeric, disgustingly brown or green smoothies… Yuck!  Yuck!  Yuck!

So, I was thinking that if we do all these things for our good based on worldly evidence, why do we view the “yucky” trials that come into our life as if they were “bad” for us, when the Holy Word of God gives ample evidence that they are for our good (or someone’s-yes, I believe you can serve as the “horrible warning” for someone else :)) Take a look at John 16:33; Romans 5:3; Romans 8:28; Romans 12:12; II Corinthians 12:9; I Peter 4:12.

True, I do know horrific things happen to people-I pray about this each day, but that’s another issue.  I am talking about “Oh, I didn’t get enough sleep last night, I’ll be tired all day”,  “That stupid old man didn’t notice the light turn green in time, and now I have to sit through another cycle of lights”, “Oh no, the air conditioning went out, and the repairman can’t get here until tomorrow” etc…  First world problems.  And, as for me: “I was found to have scoliosis as a child and had to wear a back brace”,” I was severely burned in hot water in high school and still have scars”, “I developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome as an adult and can hardly take care of myself.”  I’ll bet you have a list, too.

Well, guess what?  I believe those trials in my life (and those in yours) are for my/your good, because His Word tells me so. I can testify that God has and continues to use mine to humble me, to force me to run to Him in study and in prayer, to implant in me a sense of empathy for others who are suffering, and so much more.  They have been blessings to me!

Would I choose them?  No.  But I choose those vitamins.

I will close with a quote from the Right Reverend J. C. Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool (1816-1900) who, himself lost two wives to death:

“Let us mark this well. There is nothing which shows our ignorance so much as our impatience under trouble. We forget that every trial is a message from God – and intended to do us good in the end. Trials are intended to make us think, to wean us from the world, to send us to the Bible, to drive us to our knees. Health is a good thing. But sickness is far better, if it leads us to God. Prosperity is a great mercy. But adversity is a greater one, if it brings us to Christ.” — J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Amen.

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