Monday, February 27, 2006

Fastnacht Day in Pennsylvania

It's Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent season. In our part of Pennsylvania, the "Pennsylvania Dutch" area, that means it's Fastnacht Day.

A Fastnacht is a kind of donut. Only much better than a regular donut. You HAVE to eat at least one fastnacht on Fastnacht Day. If you don't live in fastnacht country, then go ahead and have a regular ol' donut. Sad. But all you can do is the best you can do.

I'm havin' a fastnacht right now with my coffee. MMmmmmmmm.......


Radio question of the day:

20 percent of women were hoping for this on Valentine’s Day....while 60 percent of men were hoping for it. What is it?


What I learned today:

1. Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.

2. Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.

3. In ancient Egypt, Priests plucked EVERY hair from their bodies, including their eyebrows and eyelashes. Those priests! Very nice, but how many calories did they use doing it? Now, that would be useful information.


Answer to the radio question of the day:

An electronic gadget.

Huh! Not what I was hopin' for. Oh! wait. There is one that could help a gal out....

Friday, February 24, 2006

Back home

Radio question of the day:

The average one of these lasts five days...and it's used by other people...
What is it?

My husband Niks and I went to Memphis for my sister Bonnie's funeral, and are now back home after a week on the road.

The service for Bonnie was nice, and very well attended, which made me feel good for her and her family. She left a husband, son, and three grandchildren. On the way back to Pennsylvania Niks and I went to the small village in the Tennessee hills where my parents, and all three of my sisters, were born. Bonnie was cremated, and I scattered some of her ashes there in the cemetery where most of my mother's family is buried. My father's family is buried in a different cemetery just down the road.

You see some strange things on the road. The above sign is one of them. A lot of folks in this country don't know how to spell. Just sayin'.

On the way home, Niks and I stopped at a few places that looked interesting. One of those places was "The Natural Bridge" in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. It is beautiful. They claim that it is higher than Niagara Falls. Those Virginians. It is very high, but I've seen Niagara Falls, and the falls appear higher to me. Probably that's just me.

I want to catch up with all of you, so now I'm off to do a lot of reading.

Answer to the radio question of the day:
Rolls of toilet paper.

No! That's not where I'm off to do my reading! You guys!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

And then there was one.

On Sunday, February 12th, my sister Bonnie died suddenly. She was in church and felt dizzy. Then she was gone.

I was born the youngest of four girls. Now I'm the only one left. But I do take comfort that Bonnie didn't suffer the way my sisters Mary and Doris did. They died slow, painful, cancer deaths. Bonnie had a massive aneurysm and never knew what hit her.

My husband and I are leaving tomorrow for Memphis where Bonnie lived, for the funeral. We will be gone for about a week. Our plans are flexible.

Hope all of you are well. I have been thinking of you all, and will be thinking of you all.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snowy Day

It snowed yesterday and last night. We didn't get that much snow actually. Maybe 5 or 6 inches tops. Anyway, I went out into the storm just to take this picture of my house for you. Okay. It's not actually storming. But it is kinda sleeting/snowing still.

I should lighten this picture so you can see better. But I just remembered: I'm too lazy. And I need coffee. Okay, okay. I don't actually know HOW to lighten it. Okay? Satisfied? Jeez! You guys.

Our street has been plowed, but the snow-removal service that comes and digs out our driveway hasn't arrived yet. So I did get snow in my boots getting this picture for you. If you're a good person, you feel guilty about that.

The top picture is taken from in front of my house looking down our street. I love our street. Nice neighborhood, nice people, who could ask for more?

Well, I could ask to win at Scrabble just one d*mn time in my life. Daughter Acton Bell and her spouse Ekim came over last night and beat the tar outta us again. That Ekim. Too clever by half.

That Acton Bell. So sweet. Apologizes for being smart. See, if you *raise'em right, they feel sorry for you when you get old and lose brain cells. That Lucy. Such a harpy.

*I know that you rear children, and raise crops, but kids are a bit like a crop, no?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

More please. Americans overeat, and by God, I'm an American!

Radio question of the day:

The average American home has 16 of these in their home. What is it?

Different kind of question: What's the difference between Groundhog's Day and President Bush's State of the Union Address?

Answer: One of them is a quaint but hollow ritual in which millions of Americans look to a small, pathetic creature of little intelligence and limited capacities to tell us what the future will bring. The other one involves a groundhog.
You saw that one coming. You guys. So quick.

The real question for a lot of us right now is what to get our sweetie for Valentine's Day.

I can tell you right now, that unless your honey is very thin or has very strong self-control, you shouldn't get candy for him or her.

I took my friend Peggy for her chemotherapy today. She had a little gift for me because of all the help she feels that I have given her. That Peggy. It was a box of truffles. Twelve big, beautiful, very delicious-looking truffles.

I could have eaten one while I was killing time waiting for her out in Hershey where she gets her treatments. But I didn't. I knew better than to get started on them. I'm not big on self-control when it comes to chocolate.

Instead I had a nice, sensible breakfast at a near-by restaurant. Then I went shopping and bought a lovely purse I don't need. Then I had my nails done. Never touched those chocolate truffles in spite of the fact that I could hear them calling my name from the trunk of the car.

When I got home, my husband Niks was still at the library doing his volunteer stint there. So I made myself a cup of coffee. One little truffle wasn't going to hurt me I figured. So I had one truffle, only they aren't at all little of course.

But there was still coffee in my cup. So I got up and got another truffle. Those truffles. Man! They are good! Actually I had made two cups of coffee. Niks shouldn't drink caffeine after one PM, so I decided to have that other cup of coffee.

Which called for another truffle. Well, okay. Two truffles.

Now see what you made me do! The truffle box looks mighty funny now. Four truffles missing! That isn't gonna do. Niks will fuss about that!

What to do, what to do???

Sigh. There's no way around it. I had to eat the entire batch. Gone. All gone.

Don't get your honey candy for Valentine's Day if her sweet tooth is as big as her damned head. Okay?

Answer to the Radio Question of the Day: Cook books. I'm so below average. Pitiful.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I'm baaaaccckkk!

This cute little critter is a gift from the hotel that my husband Niks and I dealt with for our Groundhog Day fun. The mug has the name of the hotel, Pantall Hotel, on the backside of it. If you're interested in the hotel, I have provided the link. I doubt you're interested. You guys. Shallow.

We had a bunch of fun. The hotel took us up to Gobblers Knob early on February 2. Early as in get up at 2 AM if you want breakfast, which they provided "free." The knob opens at 3 AM, and we were in place by 4 AM. We were quite close to the stump where the groundhog was being kept. He usually sleeps all day in the Punxsutawney library. Yep. He lives in their library. It's a small town. Very small.

So, there we were. It's the middle of winter. In the middle of the night. In the middle of the woods. Expect to be cold. Only we were dressed for it, and I can honestly say, I wasn’t cold. 'Course I had on two pairs of long underwear, a turtle-necked sweater, a light jacket, and a winter coat. I was not making a fashion statement. Niks held up beautifully. I had a small chair for him. He couldn't have stood that long, but he did great. (I had him so bundled up he couldn't get away. That left me free to explore.)

The "Inner Circle" of old guys in long black coats and black top hats attempt to entertain the crowd in various ways. It's all cornball, but that's appropriate. It's a cornball event.

They use a small cannon to shoot themed tee-shirts, and groundhog beanie babies into the crowd. They throw giant beach-ball-type balloons into the crowd. Those are flying everywhere all the time, with folks hitting them back and forth. There was a magician who thought he was a comedian as well. They get people up on the stage and hold quiz contests and such. They talked a bunch of newscasters up onto the stage and then dressed them as The Village People. Then we all sang and did the movements to YMCA. There's lots of music and dancing.

There is an area for "family" types and an area for "student" types. Think drunk for that last area. But there was co-mingling. It was easy enough to check out the fun with the rowdies and then get back to the saner area.

It's a party. It starts the night before with the Prognosticators Ball at the hotel. A good time was had by all.

One of the best parts was the fireworks! They were as good as any I've seen anywhere.

You know of course that Phil saw his shadow and there is to be six more weeks of winter. I call bullsh*t on that. It was cloudy. If he saw his shadow it was because of the TV lights. Whatever. Actually the scroll that Phil produced said "six more weeks of a mild winter."

You know, I forgot to mention: Phil peed on the old guy who hauled him outta the stump. That Phil. That was a highlight for me.

Would I do it again? I've made reservations at the Pantall for next year. I'm hoping a daughter or two or three will go with me. I do love a party.