17 January, 2014


Yesterday I drove to New Orleans to pick a friend up at the airport.  Since it was lunch time we went to a Central American restaurant and had some Salvadorean pupusas.  We hit the road back to Hattiesburg via I-10 and then took I-59 N.  We were deep in conversation when I noticed, as we crossed into Mississippi, that a couple had pulled over and stopped a the welcome sign.  

One person was taking the picture while the other person stood in front of the sign; his left arm stretched out  wearing his falconer's glove and a hawk perched on it.  It looked like the hawk was still hooded.

Some other day, I probably would not even have noticed, but it just so happened that I had been reading a book (which I have already finished reading by now) where the main character's hobby is falconry.  He owns a hawk named Armistead and through out the book the author describes some of the basics.  Of course all this is new vocabulary for me so I kept highlighting words and looking them up (have I mentioned that I love this feature of my e-reader? No? Well, I do.).  So on the back of my mind there is this new "world" that I've never come in contact with and suddenly, right there, just a few yards away from me, it comes to life. Full color.  

I know, I'm probably rambling, but I just thought it was such a coincidence. What are the odds?

P. S. The murder mystery that I was reading was A Witness Above by Andy Straka, good read, by the way. 

13 January, 2014


There are TV shows that my husband loves and watches every week.  There are shows that I like and watch.    Some shows he likes, I watch with him but they are not my favorites. Same with him. We watch them together and keep each other company.  But we do not always agree on what shows we both love.  One show we both enjoy is Castle.  Actually, he got me hooked on it.  He also got me one of the Castle books a couple of years ago.  Now Castle on Monday nights has become sort of our "date night".   

Even when I'm out of town, we each watch it and send each other text messages or Skype afterwards to  discuss the episode.  Another thing I do during the ads is Twitting about it and reading the reactions of other viewers. You could say that I'm a little hooked into the Caskett saga.  

My weeks begin better because Castle, LOL.  There are always twists and unexpected turns that keep us glued to the screen.  

It also helps that Castle is ruggedly handsome and easy on the eyes. 

So a big "thank you" to all the cast and writers of this show who make my Mondays better. 

11 January, 2014

Second banana

So I like idiomatic expressions.  For a while one of my coworkers used to quiz me.  She had a idioms dictionary and would pick one at random to see if I knew it.

They sometimes jump at me when I'm reading. Many times I have heard them before and sometimes I have to look them up to see if they mean what I think they mean.  When I read  books in my e-reader most times I highlight them.  

 So I came across one yesterday that I don't think I had heard before: second banana
"The mayor cleared his throat and gave the chief a look: This wasn't a good cop, bad cop scene.  This was a star turn. Indignant second bananas were not required."   from: Nailed by Joseph Flynn Kindle Edition.  
Looked it up to double check the meaning as it sounded like another expression I've heard but needed to make sure. So I learned a new phrase. By coincidence, a few hours later, when I was watching TV they said the same expression!   Twice in one day!  
second banana n. Slang
1. One, such as an assistant or deputy, who is subordinate to another.
2. One who serves as the straight man opposite the leading comedian in a burlesque.
Now to really learn it, I need to find an occasion to use it and say it.  Most people would not even notice when I say it as it will fit the conversation, but I'll give myself a little pat on the back when I do use it.

'Till next one 

La Mexicana.

03 January, 2014


For New Year's Eve supper we had Missican. It was fun and it was delicious. Ah, Missican is how we named our meal: dishes from Mississippi & Mexico.

We had black eyed peas with bacon, turnips and greens, chicken tortilla soup, and corn bread. For appetizer there was Rotel cheese dip 'n chips.

New Year's Eve Meal.

I had never cooked black eyed peas. EVER! NEVER! So soaked them (thinking that that's how you do with lentils and beans, so it must be the same). I kept thinking how to cook them. Crock pot, easy-peasy lemon-squeezy, right? Read the package, yes you need to soak them. So after changing the water a couple of times of the super-soaked peas, and rinsing them just in case, they were put in the crock pot. I put in the blender an onion, 4 or 5 cloves of garlic and some parsley that I had in the fridge, pureed it and added it to the peas with enough water to cover them. Added salt and pepper, put the lid, turned it on.
Meanwhile, in another crock pot I put the chicken breasts, cut in big cubes. In the blender I pureed an onion, some chipotle peppers and some tomato sauce. Poured over the chicken and also added diced tomatoes and the rest of the can of the tomato sauce. I went overboard and used a big can of each, the big 28 oz. kind. Added a little bit of water, salt and pepper, put the lid, turned it on and went to sleep. So two crock pots, two dishes and a restful night. :)  

Earlier on the 31st I browned some ground turkey, added Rotel, Velveeta and let it melt. There it is, ready to be put in the microwave when guests arrive. I also chopped some onion and a little bit of green bell pepper I had left and added them to the corn bread mix and then baked it.  While the corn bread was baking, I cooked some bacon.  Once it was ready I added it to the black eye peas (yeah, I didn't add it when the peas cooked so ours had crunchy bits). 

Michael set the table and Derek and Danyel arrived.   Danyel had taken care of cooking the turnips and the greens with bacon. I do not prepare too many southern dishes, so I let the experts take care of that.

So as we were all hungry, we jumped right ahead and dined.  It was soooo gooood.  They really liked the black eyes peas and I had to confess I'd never done them before.  They said the peas were yummy and they were impressed.   As always we had a great time eating, talking and being together.  

After the meal we went outside. Michael had prepared the pit with the pine tree logs from some branches we cut off one of the trees a while back. He lit it and the wood caught right away and had some amazing flames and warmth.  We stayed outside till the arrival of 2014!  

Our little bonfire!

From Wikipedia: Lucky New Year food... ...The traditional meal also includes collard, turnip, or mustard greens, and ham. The [black eyed] peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion. Cornbread also often accompanies this meal.

Welcome 2014!