Saturday, January 12, 2013

There Arose Such a Clatter...

I wish today started like any other, about 5 snooze punches, coffee in a quiet setting, Good Morning America bringing the days news...nope, not today.....

Its 4:05 am, and Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer are not awake, or broadcasting.  Bruce rang the alarm, "J', "J" you hear that....  My mind instantly wakes and tunes at turle speed to the expected sound of a chainsaw and breaking glass.  Nope, nothing, until the high pitched squeals of something being slaughtered come piercing through the windows.  Has Gacy gone for gaggles, has Lucas changed to livestock?

So we lept from the bed to see what was the matter.  Bruce, get flashlights, the order is barked while I'm hopping with my house shoes in one hand and putting jammie pants on with the other.

A regular possum has been courting the acorn spoils in the yard, so I picture in the same foggy mine the chicken slaughter to witness, and as I run to the coop feathers everywhere.   It appeared like a band camp pillow fight slaughter flick..... Looking, searching, but nothing in the outer fully encaged pen, just desperate refugees who lept out of the hatch who are now hovering in corners.

I count 3 of 5, and now I know I am going to have to peek into the coop to see if the perp is in there, with a blood bath form America Horror Story I imagine.  It's hanging from the rafter, with a mouth full of bloody goods, and perhaps one single foot.  The head lays on the ground with eyes still moving, perhaps gurgling too.... and then I tune back into reality.

I peek through the porthole window, and see eyes, another chicken.  Number 4.....  Either she is fine, or sitting really still next to the aggressor, "you see nothing here folks"....  Slowly light the nest box lid, nothing, and make my way to the hatch itself, beam the light in, waiting for some evacuating creature to fly out at my like the scene from Christmas Vacation.....  nothing.

Number 5 appears, so what the F?  Why am I up now in my jammies, sweating, in house shoes, in the rain with a flashlight like a burglar?  Why is Ma in her kerchief......and Pa in no cap......?

So the chickens are tucked back into the coop, the porthole hatch locked, and my adrenaline fueled heart is pumping like it is minute 19 of 20 on the Zumba tape......

I now imagine poor brown bunny, who has lived with us all year, from a baby, munching yard greens, and leftovers.  It has even learned to come to us when you make a clicking noise.  I slowly realize that brown bunny has taken the hit, or as best as I can guess. 

I'm in the house now, blogging about this mess in a feeble attempt to bridal this energy.  Coffee is ready now, so I'm checking out.  I realize too that the neighborhood children may have overheard the calamity, and like me, images of horrific monsters are in their head.  And once they have mustered enough energy to get to the bedroom window to peer out, see images of darkness, crossed by fast moving flashlight beams, and then ultimately someone holding a chicken dramatically under an arm....some cult-like murder sacrifice.......

Sweet Dreams Folks......

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lucky Number 13....

2013 is the lucky year, at least the numbers tell me so.  I have rekindled a love affair with wine and cooking (ok I really never lost the latter).

I can't remember why wine and I were separated.  We lived in separate houses, or regions of the house, didn't speak, sent nasty spitting parting glances at each other, and I texted hateful message, but got no response.  What a bitch....

We have made up, and are dating again.  Tonight marks the 3rd date, a little more than a fondle, but not yet a kiss.  Dinner was home cooked, and dramatic comedy scents the air, 30rock.   It may be of to a good start, hopefully she will propose.

Every time I stop drinking I have to deal with the person who poured the first drink to start with.  He's edgy, over plans and lists everything, ugh...  Enter Bordeaux glass 2 stage right...
Lucky number 13 will bring much.  However,  I am a staunch believer we bring some of our luck.  I vow to sage this luck into the house by:

1.  Bring plenty of fresh ingredients into the house.
2.  Cook dinners even more frequently nightly.
3.  Remove everything, and I mean everything from the pantry twice a year and clean and restock it.
4.  Remove everything from the garage twice and year and purge.
5.  Get back into those 90's frocks, and stay there.
6.  Stay ahead at work.
7.  Remember skinny jeans are made for someone with feelings, and not talk badly about them.
8.  Get out more, and take weekender trips.
9.  Light more fires, play more disco, and sip martinis more often.
10.  Continue to sing loudly at Karaoke.
11.  Rewatch the entire Sex and the City series, and remember all we  all did during those years.
12.  Promise to not write a memoir about number 11.  Or if the moneys is good, make up pseudonyms.
13.  Love more completely.

xo Friends - here is to being New Again in My City.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Turn and Burn....

Today started like any other Friday morning with an 8 am casting call for an 8:30 am meeting....lots of coffee.

At least it is Friday, I hope.  The vacuum of what was the holidays, working events, travel, and what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year was cheeseballed into some conglomerate of cheddar, swiss and holy shit what just happened.  It was tasty, fulfilling with every bite, but the mornings after are always uncertain.

So now it is time to turn and burn, and I have not yet had more than 1 large mug of coffee.  But the mini coffee pot I carriaged in from home should do the trick.  Trying new things this year, and a coffee bar in my floor to ceiling window office should do the trick, since a bar is technically against personnel policy.  At least it will make my bitter morning pursed lip reactions to the retired tech boom nerds or jobless UT post grads stretching outside the office (yes we can see everything when you bend over in your running tights) (double GAG) more lively.

March madness here isn't just a week during SXSW or basketball playoffs, it runs March 1 - through mid-May with more events than even Kim Kardashian could herself wreck with wretched appearances.  The couture profile of this group by timeline is as follows:  Osh-Kosh and mom jeans, never washed skinny jeans, running tights, upscale Texas, rasta, sagging jeans, no clothed hippies, more running shorts, and then finally rowing tights, Saris and grunge.....    It is an Old Navy and Nike Rosemary's baby.

So it is time to turn and burn.   I have to get my shit together as the polar opposite of what the squirrels did months ago when prepping for winter....  There is food and liquor to bury, nests of projects to complete now in the dead of winter otherwise delay to the 103 degree Austin summer.

Thank god for the blustery memory of winter, great times with the Maurer clan, snow and great food with Joan Nelson, and NYE bandits swimming in champagne.  The Pancho villa nye staches were a hit - they will definitely be making an appearance again.

My 8:30 am meeting cancelled, which is good for them.  All they can ever expect at those early Friday meetings is a character from Walking Dead.  Nothing left but the body, and the part of brain that only moves body parts and eats unwieldy overbearing out-loud speaking Friday thinkers.

So the weekend begins.

Stump whiskey for me please...

Hello old friends.

It's was holidays, and for me it meant many things.  Terror, fun, shopping, food, candy and whiskey.

This year brought many challenges with working in events, the return of the Trail of Lights.  8 continuous nights of work (hell), intermingle a family Christmas party, regular work for spring (yes SXSW approaches) and the normal need to clean the house.  It's too much, but it is what the busy season means, your busy.  It is a test.  Either you’re in, or your out.
When the first full cold spell hit the smells of molten sugar and corn syrup ripped through the house - peanut brittle.  This became a daily meal until almost gone for 3 days....  Grandma was always right though, cold weather makes candy, not love, not a microwave, not any special recipe.  And the pot method only works, yes microwaves do the same, but the flavor of the kettle is missing.  The ladies in waiting (sticks of butter) tripled, and sit awaiting their order, cookies, biscotti, they are ready to move from the parlor to ballroom.....

One thing Christmas means is whiskey. A long time tradition for our family.  It dates back to the days of vinyl leather covered ice buckets and true chrome stir spoons.  Replaced now with the same libation, and modern day stainless steel double walled ice buckets.  Grandpa would have had nothing to do with it.  I have converted recently to Jameson Irish Whiskey and ginger ale.  I fell victim after a sampling at the corner liquor store.  More recently I have tried stump liquor.  Moonshine to all you Yankees....

It’s made the old fashion way, small batches, well-worn hands, and true economic need.  The apple pie stump liquor is divine, pure, clean, and tasty.  Not fake like all those synthetic flavored spirits.  Caramel vodka, really?  Cake icing vodka - puke!

It reminds me of a day I can neither confirm nor deny, to when a certain family may have experimented in stump liquor.  A full batch, caramel and barrel aged. 

This spirit was responsible potentially for sordid tales of Mayberry officer stops in Brenham, but most of all memories.  Family came together, old, young, peace officer, etc....

This rumored concoction may still live in panel fronted cabinets of garages of unmentionable locations, and beware should you attempt to seek is location, it has been known to cause actions and sights not seen since Woodstock.
This has brought memories of you all......a photo of each of you exists in my heart tied to whiskey....

-Spoons games
-La Strada
-illusionist weekends in Austin at Top of the Marc
-pool parties
-Halloween costume parties
-pitch games
-Rain nights

Thank you for the memories.....

Monday, August 27, 2012

I'll Just Have a Small Plate....

I'll just have the small plate please, and on clearance?  Heck yeah.  I never do well when I run errands.  Anyone that knows me knows that is why I make a list, back it up with a master list, and for some reason still tote my blackberry around too.  All to be completely sidetracked by another project I just have to do stemming from a random thought or idea.   What is this post about again?

Anyhow I found these plates this weekend on mega-lo-mart clearance prices.  Turned them into a nice bed of flowers in the shade garden.  Look good eh?

Takes only 3 ingredients - cheap flower plates, galvanized wire (my favorite item ever), and copper tubes. 

The plates works best if they have edges (non-round) so they have a niche for the wire to grab hold like a plate hanger. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Smile is Worth a Thousand Pictures....

It was a blur and happened in the blink of an eye.  Last week, the worlds best niece and nephews came up for the weekend - Friday through Sunday.  It was their first time to spend a whole weekend all by themselves, would they be bored, would they get homesick, would they get hurt and I regret it for life since mom and dad were gone.....  I have to stop now that train is gone and at Get a Grip Central station.....

Each day was packed with whatever the kids wanted to do, with some strategically placed subliminal clues.  There were toy stores and trains, Zilker Park and the children's museum, pool time and slushies. There was an enabler in the house that AA would have thrown out in one meeting.  Vanishing ink, pop rocks, pez dispensers, food places that serve toys with meals....the litany in writing brings flush to my cheeks.

When it was over, it was a fantastic time.  When you sit on the couch, everyone wants to sit with you.  When you judge a cannonball splash, everyone wants to be judged by you.  Their smiles make you the popular kid, even when your middle aged and less easily slip out of the middle of an inflatable ring.  There are only a couple of pictures, but who cares.  The handmade drawings, they blue bits of slime from the children's museum that are spotted about are what is remembered.  It is the moment on the train when the biggest widest eyes look up, smile, and giggle quietly. 

That is why a smile that is worth a thousand pictures.  Take time this weekend and find a smile.

Monday, July 16, 2012

What goes on at the Frio...

I'm not sure about Van Morrison, "Hey where did we go, days when the rains came", but we are headed to the Frio!  This year will mark the 3rd anniversary of the sheer insanity of family coming together for several days of comingled, cohabitated tom-foolery!  That's right, the Maurer's are headed out for vacation.  And not just a few of us, all the uncles/aunts, all the cousins, all the kids and all the spouses in one compound.  Did I say food too? 

I'm not sure we can claim copyright now, but the Clampetts were NOT the first to show up to a large house with full trucks temporarily pin-striped with bungee cords, it was in fact the Maurer's, but in those years we were too busy making moonshine and drinking to take photos.  (you can guess which of the former is true, A, B, or C, both).  But, like most ill-fated "what were you thinking" ideas, this is not one to miss over your life.

There are cocktails, food, swimsuits, tubes, and tans.  We foresake common sense for nonsense, crying for laughter, and shoes for flip flops.  There is no internet, just yelling out the back door to the pool over the radio.  Water is required for this ride, and tubes are made into make-shift floating bunkers of alcohol.  Yellow rope mysteriously submerges Tupperware filled with what most people call "trash can punch".  Our flotilla brings tears and worry to people ahead of us.  Thank goodness these tubes can not talk. 

So today, Monday, I pledge to start making good on my list.  The one that gets me to the Frio and back.  It looks like the grocery list of Liza Minnelli, where no 2 single thoughts connect.... 1. rope, 2. gin, 3. kitchen knives, 4. aspirin.

I'm cooking the first night as I have for the first 2 years.  This year's menu:
  1. pulled spicy pork tacos with queso fresco
  2. chipotle cole slaw
  3. home fries (for the kids)
  4. beans
  5. garden salad
  6. 3 of Minny Jackson's choclate pies (as close as I can create) (One will be chipotle and chocolate - standby for the blog post on how it turns out).
Can't wait to get there.