Monday, October 31, 2011

Cousin Itt!

When I was in high school, such shows as The Munsters and The Addams Family were popular. One creature on The Addams Family was Cousin Itt. Although I watched the shows all of the time, I don't remember anything about Cousin Itt. So when my friend Anne Turbett wandered around Highland High School sixth hour (she was supposed to be in Student Council or in study hall) with her very long hair pulled over her face and her glasses placed over her hair, I didn't really know who she was pretending to be. Amazingly, she would walk by my typing class and stand outside the door to wave at me, totally diverting me from what I was supposed to be doing. . . and she never got caught.

Fast forward a number of years to about 1982. Don told me about a costume that his mother had made for him . . . a Cousin Itt costume. Well, by then I knew who Cousin Itt was. He wore it to church one Sunday and sat in the front row. The priest commented about how hard it was to preach with that creature sitting in the congregation. After that, I wore it to school a number of times for Halloween.

And I wore it to football games. And today I wore it to physical therapy, McDonald's, and Starbucks. I even ordered a "Cousin Itt Special" at Starbucks. It was delicious! Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011


This been the year of reunions for me. First, my 40th high school reunion. I remember thinking how old people must be if they are celebrating their 40th reunion, and now, in the flash of an eye, here I am.

Then two weeks ago, we celebrated the 95th Anniversary of the founding of Gamma Alpha chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Kansas State University. How fun it was to see all of my Kappa sisters! Jani Noble even joined us from Australia. Most of us haven't seen her for years, and what a treasure it was to get a few minutes with her. I love her Australian accent that she has acquired in her 35 years of living there . . .(Jani is pictured on the right with her good friend, Lucille Bogner Keller.)


I also got to see my pledge daughter, Pat McEwen McCune. I haven't seen her in probably 30 years, and we did not have enough time to catch up. Seeing her reminded me of how much I miss her. The beautiful, kind young woman I knew in college is even more gorgeous, and she still exudes that wonderful, giving heart she has always had. I hope to do a better job of keeping in touch (though by her admission, she isn't great at it either!). But we can't let that be an excuse . . .

Then in two more weeks, Don has his 40th year Delta Upsilon reunion (lightweights!) It will be fun in a different way. We are hoping to celebrate not only with Don's fraternity brothers, but also with Kenneth and Joey. Neither of them has signed up, however . . . no pressure guys!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another Visit to Holly

We made a trip to Austin last weekend to see Diana, and while there, we of course got to see Holly, the golden doodle. She is such a cute dog.

Babs and Sepia went too and got to meet her. They got along great. I was a little concerned that Holly would be too lively, but she wasn't. She was so well-behaved that any anxiety the dogs had was quickly dispatched.

Now Babs was not so polite. Holly's owner stored a big box of dog treats on the bottom of her storage shelf. Holly never touches them, but within about 20 minutes of being in the house, Babs had already helped herself to a dog bone. Shame on her.

They also didn't quite figure out how to play catch with Holly, but that was all right. Between Don, Diana, and me she had plenty of throwers. We now know that we can take our dogs to Austin without a problem, as Holly is a very friendly dog to all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Well, after I went to AT&T yesterday, I received another picture. Overnight, I received two more. This morning I received two more. So I went back.

The man at the store called a technician for help. The technician ultimately determined that I am not the only person with this problem. It was called a "known problem." They said it should be resolved within 3 - 5 business days. We'll see.

Unfortunately, then I received two more pictures, sent at the same time. The good news is I am not being charged for the hassle . . .


In my previous post, I mentioned that we had to figure out how to email the Paula Deen pictures to my phone. Diana successfully did so, and I received the pictures rather quickly.

The problem is . . . I am still receiving them. I have now received 15 pictures . . . 13 of them being the picture of Paula Deen in the hotel. About every 4 hours, I get a new picture in my email.

I took my phone to AT&T last night. They switched out my SIMM card . . . and I have received 4 more pictures of Paula since then.

I will be going back to AT&T when they open. I hope they can make it stop!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out!

A few days ago, I decided to make Victoria's Pumpkin Butter Cake. I had never tried a Paula Deen recipe before, but I had heard about them. This one lives up to its billing. But more about that in another post. This is about Paula Deen.

Saturday night we were celebrating a Wildcat Victory in downtown Austin. Don had seen a second-floor terrace where he had wanted to eat, so we decided to try to go there. We finally determined that it was part of the Intercontinental Hotel but that was ok . . . we were all decked out in our KSU purple. Certainly they would let us in.

Amazingly, no one even mentioned our purple, but they were very nice and we were able to sit out on the terrace. We enjoyed the Dia de los Muertos parade that went by, our sliders were delicious, and Don enjoyed his free beer. Suddenly, we saw a bus drive by and all sorts of screaming. "Paula Deen. Paula Deen is over there." Sure enough, there she was, reaching out of her RV, greeting her fans. She was as jovial in real life as she is on tv.

The bus drove away, never to be seen again . . . or so we thought. Just as we were leaving the hotel, her bus drove up to the door. Well, we couldn't leave now, could we? So after the bell hops unloaded three carts of luggage, she finally got out and walked right by us to check in to the hotel.

Now, if I can figure out how to email my pictures to myself, I will post pictures to prove it!

Well, Diana figured out how to email them to me. They aren't very good since the light was bad, but they are proof! The first one was hard to get because she was moving and just as I snapped it, a man stepped up next to her. She had just smiled at me and said hello. The next one is from the rear . . . but it is clear. The third one is of Di and me in front of her RV. First true celebrity sighting I have had in a long time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Harley Day!

For several years, I have thought it would be fun for Don to ride in Harley Day. This year I found a way to make it happen. At the Catbacker Auction one of the live auction items is a Harley Ride. I decided this was my year to try to "win" the ride for Don. It wasn't long before two of us were bidding. One man kept bidding me up, so I finally said to the auctioneer, "Who is that who is bidding against me?" The auctioneer pointed to the man, and I said loudly, "Tell him to knock it off!" And he did! So I got the ride.

Out next-door-neighbor's son, Andy Willis, owns a Harley, so we asked him to be the driver. He was thrilled as it was something he has always wanted to do. His gorgeous wife, Ann, was not so excited, however, since she had to ride on the back for the 8-hour trip from Arkansas. She is a goddess in my book, and I am very thankful she was willing to let Andy participate. I am not sure I would have been so gracious!

Don wore his do-rag the whole day, Andy wore his smile. They had a blast riding around the field, with the whole stadium cheering for the Harleys. It was a great day, capped with a Wildcat victory!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Root Beer Floats

Our nephew, Joey, received a root beer float maker for his birthday. We were given two of his first four bottles of root beer.

I didn't know how root beer was made, but it is an interesting process. This evening we invited our neighbors, the Gaskills, for root beer floats. Using some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream, we poured the root beer on top of it. If we hadn't have been sitting on couches in our family room, we would have thought we were at an A & W Root Beer drive-in.

We were all impressed. Impressed enough that they were gone before I even thought of taking a picture. Bottoms up!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tailgating Dogs!

Bella, Sepia, and Babs love tailgating. Bella spends her time outside, schmoozing with the people walking around. She gets snacks from her owners, and when it is game time, into the kennel she goes to sleep away the afternoon.
Sepia and Babs spend most of the day in the Willie, sleeping on people's laps, snuggling with Brenda or Doug, or trying to get treats. When it is all over and they are home, they are tuckered out. See Sepia sleep.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eins - stein, Zwei-stein, Drei - stein

When we were first married, Avon came out with beer steins that had a container of men's cologne tucked inside. Don's mother was big into collectibles and she felt the steins, while being fun, would eventually be worth some money. We kept the steins for a lot of years, and several years ago I decided to sell them. I advertised on Ebay, but we had no takers. So they have sat in the basement, waiting for a garage sale.

In planning for the Oktoberfest tailgate, Don had the idea to take the steins to Manhattan. He particularly thought it appropriate since one of Kenneth's friends had mentioned how proud her parents were of the three pictures on her blog of her drinking beer from a plastic cup. A German stein was much more appropriate.

The vintage steins were certainly a hit. Those who drank from them mentioned how much fun it was using them, so now, rather than going to a garage sale, they are going back on the shelves to wait for next year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


After Kenneth and Melinda spent a semester in London and had an opportunity to participate in Oktoberfest in Munich, Kenneth said he wanted to make sure we had an Oktoberfest tailgate party. So we chose the Missouri game for the Oktoberfest.

One reason we had to hold this tailgate was so that Kenneth could wear his lederhosen and his purple and white shirt that he bought in Munich. Unfortunately, he forgot his shoes and had to wear his tennis shoes. Other than that, the costume was authentic.

So was the food. He found some weiswurst (a white German sausage), Leberkaese (a ham loaf), and bratwurst. I made bierocks, which are a meat-filled bread pocket brought to the US from some Germans who had settled in Russia. Ashley and Ann brought homemade German pretzels, which were scrumptious, and Ashley brought some home-brewed German beer. We also had sauerkraut, and Victoria brought some wonderful Black Forest cupcakes. Yum!

The first Oktoberfest was a resounding success. No doubt there will be another one!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Do-Rag Don

Harley Day! I love Harley Day. The first several years, women in bikinis and men with long hair and vests populated the cycles. It has tamed down considerably, but I have always wanted Don to ride in it. This year we found a way. At the Catbackers' auction I purchased the chance for Don to ride, and luckily, our next-door neighbor's son, Andy Willis, owns a Harley. Perfect.

Andy and his wife, Ann, drove 6 hours from Arkansas to participate. Ever since Andy was at KSU, he had wanted to ride on Harley Day, and he wasn't about to turn us down. I think his wife is the heroine in this one - I wouldn't ride 6 hours on the back of a Harley for anyone!

I went to Alefs Harley in Wichita to find a purple Harley shirt for Don, but one was not to be found. A gray Harley do-rag would have to suffice. So in September I gave it to him to prepare for the day.
The do-rag was never worn until yesterday. But Don proudly wore it all day, even though it was Oktoberfest at our tailgate party. More about the ride later, but enjoy the picture of Do-rag Don.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shrimp Taverna with Farmer's Market Vegies

I don't know why Shrimp Taverna isn't a once-a-week meal. It is so easy . . . and yummy, yummy, yummy. But I digress. First, the Farmer's Market.

Compared to the markets in California, ours is pretty sad, but today's vendors did have some good vegies - beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, chard, squash, peppers, onions . . . with the kind of summer we had, it was encouraging to see some decent vegies. I bought some beets and small tomatoes. At the artisan bread booth, I bought a French baguette.

When I got home, I mixed up some Shrimp Taverna. Saute 1 T. olive oil, a diced onion, some garlic, and a sliced tomato. (I didn't have a tomato, so I used some of the little ones I got at the market. They worked just fine.) After about five minutes, put about a pound of shrimp (peeled) on top of the saute mix, with some fresh oregano and about 1/4 c. feta cheese. Cook until shrimp turns pink and cheese is partially melted. That's it! Then I served it over rice (the saute juice makes the rice taste fab), added a salad with purple peppers and farmer's market tomatoes, and sliced the French baguette.

Easy as could be, and delicious!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Perfect Day!

Saturday morning was dark and cool as we loaded the Willie and headed for Manhattan. The sun was not yet up, and a jacket was a welcome addition to the wardrobe. We gathered our last-minute food items and set off.

Arriving in Manhattan a little early, we went to Tuttle Creek to see the lake, turned around, only to find the parking lot filling quickly. Since we have the RV, Don likes to be one of the first ones in the lot, but this time we weren't. Luckily, we were able to park without issue, and set-up began. Grab the tables, put up the flagpole, attach the flags, set up the chairs, get the cooler out and relax until time to cook.

What we had was a perfect day. Bright blue sky, cool temperature, light winds. It isn't often that we can put paper plates on the tables without an anchor, but this morning, the winds were barely blowing. Eventually the air conditioner had to come on in the RV, but it was absolutely gorgeous outside . . . so why be inside? Only the dogs needed to be in there.

Pork tenderloin on the grill with several salads, a yummy sweet potato casserole, and cake balls tasted splendiferous. We allowed enough time to eat and clean up without being rushed. Several people came by that we hadn't seen in awhile and we had plenty of time to talk to them. Marva, Christy and I took the dogs for a walk. What could be better?

After walking into the game with thousands of Wildcat faithful, we experienced the always moving Ft. Riley Day flag ceremony and moment of silence for fallen soldiers. I love how KSU celebrates our young men who fight for us so that we can be free. We don't do it often enough.

Then the game started. Oh my gosh. We got to experience the most beautiful football weather I have ever seen. I cannot remember a better day. We got to see a tremendous quarterback in Robert Griffin III. He threw the most amazing passes, leading his receivers just enough to allow them to catch many passes untouched. But somehow our guys stayed in the game. And that ending . . . perfect. I don't know how Bill Snyder did it, but what a coach!

After the game, sharing Jenni's brownies was the final touch on a great day. It could not have been scripted better.

We made it home in time to see several sportscasters wrap-up the game, the dogs managed to sleep through most of the day, Marva was treated to her first football game and I think she liked it, and we all slept well. It was a perfect day!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I know that all of God's creatures are here for a reason (though I have yet to find a use for mosquitoes, other than spreading disease.) But nevertheless, I know that snakes usually eat mice and rodents or insects, flies break down dead tissue, worms enrich soil . . . I know all that. But there are some of God's creatures that I just don't like. Spiders would be one kind.

But I am fascinated by Spider webs. When the kids were young, we had Charlotte, the garden spider. A big, colorful spider, she wove the most intricate and interesting webs in our garden. Every day we would go outside to look at them.

In New Mexico, I don't recall ever seeing spiders like the orb spiders we have in Kansas. You know the ones that build their large webs at night, catch moths and spiders, and then take down their web before morning, right? The first time I ran into an orb spider was one night in our first house. I went outside to do something, and then next thing I knew I had screamed the most blood-curdling yell and was dancing the "spider jig" as I tried to get the web out of my hair!

When we moved to our current house 27 years ago, I was much wiser about those stupid webs and am very careful when I go out at night this time of year. Sometimes, I am lucky enough to see the orb spiders weaving their webs around one of the outside lights. And one night earlier this week, one was still out when I had my camera handy. Although the web doesn't show up as nicely as I had hoped, the spider surely does. S/he is a big one! I am glad I saw it before it ended up in my hair!