I Wasn’t The Only One Who Was Exhausted

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Gentle Reader,

I had a really funny post brewing in my head for yesterday, but yesterday flat beat me.  I went to bed instead.  Y’all were with me in my dreams, I’m sure.  Today, however, I was quadruple booked (I’d blame my assistant, but she’s unpaid so that seems cruel to yell at someone who is a volunteer.  Also, she’s me.) and so that did nothing to improve my end-of-the-day energy levels.  So the hilarity that was brewing in my mind is LONG GONE.  I’m sure that would have won me some kind of award, so it’s really tragic.

Anyway, a dear friend of mine, B, once said that when he died, he hoped to come back as one of the [Wordie] animals, because they enjoyed a pretty sweet existence.  I laughed, and brushed that off.  But then I realized that The Boys have a favorite brand of yogurt, Cooper doesn’t like pickles on his hamburgers, and Cody REALLY doesn’t like mustard on his hamburgers (that was darn funny when he found that out the hard way), and that Scout The Ranch Cat/Trained Killer was rescued from the woods, essentially, and had lifesaving emergency (read: “expensive”) surgery twice within her first two weeks with us.  So B might be right on that issue.  We’re suckers.  But in our defense, WHO COULD POSSIBLY RESIST ALL THIS WORTHLESSNESS???????

What is it with this cat and bags???

Yes, that is a cat toy by The Code’s nose.  He loves them.  Embarrassing.

Worthless.  Utterly useless.  😉

Goodnight,

Wordie

Let’s See If I Remember This…

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Gentle Reader,

Last weekend, we attempted to fry chicken.  It had been awhile since at least some of us had personally deep-fried anything.

Hmmm….

First, we brine.  Brine recipe is a total secret.  Because I have no recipe and do what feels right at the time.

After brining, we rinse the bird.  And then season, and then batter.  (Using the Alton Brown, “flour, wash, flour again”, three-bowl method.)

While we are doing that, our oil is getting hot.  Crisco.  Always Crisco.  And the solid kind.

And then…we fry.  OH YES MA’AM!!!!!!

When golden brown and delicious, we flip.

And when it’s done, we make gravy (photography banned for security reasons…) and we serve immediately.  With sliced tomatoes, mashed potatoes, lima beans, and iced tea.  And if you remember how to fix them, biscuits.  But we had already had a big day…

Goodnight,

Wordie

An Open Letter

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Gentle Reader,

I’ve figured out how to look at how people find this here blog.  It’s like magic, that Internet thing.  Anyway, on with the letter…

Dear Person Who Found My Blog Using The Search Term “gently into the night but with a whimper not a bang”,

I’m not sure what you were searching for.  Were you searching for deep, meaningful reflections on this tiny planet and our steps upon it?  Because I mean, my thoughts on television, Labradors, and aggressive use of bacon in cookery certainly are a reflection on the human condition.

Are you a high school English student?  Because Miss Dale DID NOT MEAN my blog when she was telling you to do outside research on your senior English paper.  (Mine was about James Dickey’s “Falling”.  Wound up going to his Alma Mater for College.  Miss Dale is still deeply disappointed in my grammar and bibliography skills.)  Seriously, kiddo, you have GOT to go back and find some better research for your bibliography.  I know-you won’t use the articles because you are in high school and most of what the articles are talking about go over even my head (not hard, my head’s pretty low to the ground), but Miss Dale will know that you spent the extra hour on Google really digging into the meat of the work of correctly formatting a bibliography that really means nothing to all but the most dedicated of readers (in other words, Miss Dale).

Perhaps you have already taken senior English.  And, perhaps a bit of time has passed since.  If that’s the case, no judgment, but it’s time for a Dylan Thomas refresher course.  (No, not the guy from “90210”.)  And a T. S. Eliot refresher course.

Don’t worry, I get them mixed up ALL THE TIME.

Goodnight,

Wordie

PS-Scout the Ranch Cat/Trained Killer was exhausted during the composition of this post.  It’s hard to have such brilliant pearls of intelligence, poise, and wit cast before the swine that are her staff.

PPS-WE ARE LABRADOR PEOPLE, NOT CAT PEOPLE.  But look at that adorable paw.  I’m kind of addicted to the paws.

A Gravy Story

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Gentle Reader,

As I type this, I’m praying for mercy and peace for some family members that have recently experienced a great loss.  It’s got me thinking about my own extended family, and another story from time spent with my maternal grandparents came to my mind.  (I’ve got a lot of these stories.  And some of them even fall on this side of the appropriate/not appropriate divide.  A bigger question is where they fall on the chasm between interesting/not interesting.)

So, I have no recollection of this, but it received independent verification from both adults involved, so I tend to believe it:

One summer, I was shipped off to my Gamma and Papa Jack’s house by myself.  (That happened a lot.  I think they kind of enjoyed it.)  I was probably 6 or 7.  And as it was summer, and this was South Georgia, vegetables were a big part of our dinner plates.  (Aside:  My Gamma and Papa Jack called the meal eaten around noon, “dinner”, and the meal eaten in the evening, “supper”.  I called them, “lunch” and “dinner”, respectively.  Is this a regional thing?  Family thing?  It caused MUCH confusion for my younger brain.  Also, their big meal was eaten in the middle of the day.  The evening meal was leftovers or “crackers and milk”, which was what my Papa Jack called saltines and buttermilk-still one of my favorite comfort foods.)  And while I was visiting, my Gamma would pull out all of my favorites as far as main courses go.  (Was she cooking them because they were my favorites, or were they my favorites because she cooked them?)  One day, she was fixing fried chicken and gravy.  I was watching her, and she was vigorously stirring some flour into the dutch oven.  I had no idea what she was doing, because this was an unfamiliar sight to me.  My mama had never done this.  So I asked Gamma what she was doing, and she replied, “Making the gravy.”  To which my brutally honest 6 year old self replied, “What’s gravy?”

I’ll give you a moment to absorb the magnitude of what I had just asked.

So my mama got a phone call that night, after I had gone to bed.  “What are you feeding this child?”

My mama eventually got out of the dog house on that one because my gravy making talents are indeed legendary.  So despite my lack of knowledge, the talent lay buried deep with in.  I’m not trying to be immodest there-I’ll be the first to tell you that the vast majority of most days, I don’t have a clue what I am doing or why, and that I’m generally making it all up by the seat of my backside.  But gravy?  That’s mine.  (Which, it figures, right?  Not running or cooking with bean sprouts or crafting things to earn extra money.  My talent lies in being able to emulsify two separate liquids into one gorgeously silky and tasty finished product.  That has no redeeming health qualities, except for the calcium in the butter, because I take short cuts with my roux and don’t clarify it first.  Look, when your gravy tastes like mine, then you can judge me for not clarifying my butter.  In the meantime, I’m claiming the calcium.)

Maybe, if the spirit of Thanksgiving and the Season of Perpetual Hope and Joy take over me (I haven’t experienced this yet, so, no promises…) I will do a photo tutorial on my gravy.  The secret is in the love.  (And the patience for the EXACT right moment for your roux.  This is the ONE TIME of the year in which I am able to exhibit some patience, which I hear is something that we’re all supposed to work on.)

In the meanwhile, Lifesavers duty calls.

Good evening,

Wordie

Still Alive!!!

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Gentle Reader,

If you’ve hung in so far, I’ve got an entire list of hobbies you should check out.  But, thanks.  Anyway, not much going on in my life, I’m taking my Old Testament Survey course, which, of course, starts with Exodus (as it should be).  And hanging out at the ranch, where the animals continue to impress us with their levels of crazy.  (Example, Scout HANGS OUT IN PLASTIC BAGS.  This cat is some kind of Rasputin or something, because after her start in life, the dental floss eating incident, and now her penchant for anaerobic environs, the girl should have slipped this mortal coil months ago…)

Mack Brown has an important day tomorrow, and since I’m totally sure he reads this blog RELIGIOUSLY for my expert commentary on all things football (snack) related, I’ll keep it brief.  Coach, DON’T CHOKE ON ME TOMORROW.

And finally, for those of you who got great news last week, or today, I AM BEYOND PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!  WELCOME TO THE PROFESSION!!!!!  Let’s honor it, okay?

If you are still waiting, I wait with you.  And I know how long this is.  Nothing I can say can make it go any faster or decrease your worry, but remember, the only time you may panic is the day before results.  Okay?

And, if the results weren’t what you hoped for, this changes NOTHING.  You are still the same WONDERFUL, BRIGHT, INTELLIGENT Lifesavers Rabble Rouser you were going into that stupid exam.  You went through three years of hell.  You emerged better, smarter, prettier, and just all-around more congenial than when you entered.  You just didn’t take one exam well.  Granted, it was an important exam, but that is ALL.  This exam has absolutely NO bearing on who you are in your soul.  So, the thing to do is get up, lick your wounds (take time to do this, it’s TOTALLY OKAY), watch whatever movie it is that is some kind of emotional security blanket for you (I suggest “Goonies”), eat some Junior Mints, curl up under a blankie.  For TWO DAYS.  No more.  After that, it gets more difficult to leave the Couch/Fortress of Safety.  Immediately submit your reapplication, and start studying again.  You know the drill.  Does it suck?  I’m pretty sure it does.  Did it suck the first time around?  Yes.  So you’re used to it.  You remember how in Lifesavers School there were just some things that you had to suck up if you wanted to graduate?  Good.  You’re prepared for this feeling, now, too.  And anybody who gives you anything but completely positive love and support?  Not a friend.  You don’t need them in your life, or in your practice when you pass this next time around.

Okay, so Coach Brown needs to get back to work, and I have to finish some homework.

Have a great weekend,

HOOK ‘EM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!