Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Kids Watch That?

It boggles the mind sometimes when one of my kids says - "Did you watch that last night?" and is referring to one of the decorating shows I am addicted to on HGTV. It amazes them I am sure when I refer to an old episode of "Saved By the Bell" that both girls could probably recite dialog verbatim.

What really amazes me is that one of my kids has the same affinity for Saturday Night Live that I did 32 years ago. I rarely missed an episode those first three years and enjoyed the "Not Ready for Primetime Players." As older daughter commented on the news commentaries and how the show missed Tina Fey, I laughed as I was reminded of Chevy Chase and Jane Curtin and later Dan Akroyd & Jane Curtin on Weekend Update. And if an episode included Steve Martin as a guest host, well then all the better.

I guess that she enjoys a program I always did, shouldn't surprise me. After all, she shares my bizarre sense of humor. Why else would we watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report?

Friday, September 26, 2008

I know Things are Slower Here

When you move south,one of the hardest things to get used to is the pace. As a northerner born and bred (should that be the other way around??) I was used to the rapid pace of walking, shopping, driving, decision making. Here in the greenest state (except my lawn) in the land of the free, the pace is .. a .. lot .. slower!

I mean really, just how slow can a human being move? It makes you feel like you are moving at double speed in a slo-mo film!

I've noticed over the last few months that DH and I have also started to take things slower. At least since the move into the house.

But that does't explain the fireworks tonight. Not even Tennessee can be that slow to celebrate Independence day. Oh wait a minute .. home game for Tennessee Tech .. I forgot the shoot off fireworks when they win!

As Emily Litella would say - Never mind!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Twilight Zoned

It really doesn't seem like a big thing when you move from one time zone to another. Last year, when we moved from the Eastern to Central time zone, we thought it was no biggy.

The first thing we noticed is that it really gets dark early here. We are officially 48 miles from the time zone border. Being on the eastern border of the central time zone is really not much different from being on the western border of the eastern time zone. EXCEPT of course, times for favorite TV shows. We've finally gotten that schedule down pat. Then of course networks change the day/time slots for the shows we liked. They do that everywhere, so can't really complain about that.

The thing that really made us sit up and take notice is when it gets dark here. If you are in the greater Detroit, Michigan area and it gets dark at 8 pm, then you can bet at about 7 pm it will be dark here in central Tennessee. Not so bad now in early fall, but come November 2nd, it will be dark at 4 pm here. That is why construction crews are up at 5 am and working at 6 am. It's light out then. We start counting the days until the winter solstice when the progression reverses itself. Since this will be our first winter in the new house, with its canopy of trees, we're not sure how dark it will actually be in here most of the day. Our street is so shady you have to travel a block and a half before you can see the sun shining and determine whether or not you will really need those sunglasses after 5 pm!

So we just hope for the best weather wise and are glad there are no construction crews parking on our side lawn at 6 am.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What Was That?

Many years ago, three-ish older daughter was in the backyard of a home we had recently purchased and fenced in. With two small children, we figured a fenced in yard was a safe place for them to play.

I had just let the dog out with our three-year old and she said to me "Look. Kitty." She knew what a kitty looked like since we had 5 year old Mandy a Siamese mix. Well this "kitty" was about 3 times the size of the petite Siamese in our house. At this point, Max, the dog, let out a ferocious growl as my little girl made a bee-line for the "kitty." This was NOT a cat, this was the largest raccoon I ever saw. I scooped her up in my arms, made a lunge for the dog's collar and dragged them both screaming/yipping into the house. Fortunately, Max scared the raccoon off the fence and I explained to my little one that this was a raccoon and raccoons were "bad." She was never to try to play with a raccoon and should run into the house if she saw one again.

Later, an elderly neighbor - hey he was over 80 - came over to ask if she was OK. I said she was fine, she wanted to play with the "kitty" and I wouldn't let her. He explained he had a friendly trap he set out and when he caught raccoons would take them to Hines Park and let them out there. I was greatly relieved to never see another raccoon the size of that one again. And I always think of what those sharp claws could do to a small child.

Yesterday, after cleaning out all the window tracks in my house, I happened to look out the master bath window and saw this HUGE animal. This was by far the LARGEST and most unusual cat I have ever seen. It was a bi-color - black and white - cat. The cat's whole head except the lower jaw was black. There was not even a speck of white around the nose. The body and tail were all white except for a black band around its middle. I called DH to see, which he did, but unfortunately, did not get my camera fast enough to capture its picture.

I am used to runty cats as our Mandy was. My little three-year-old in this story is now 28 and is owned by two beautiful runty cats, Luna & Tonks. The beautiful bi-color of yesterday was almost the size of raccoon we saw so many years ago.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Dirt on the Dirt!

I guess when you live in Tennessee, one tends to talk dirt a lot!

A couple weeks ago, DH and I went around our yard gathering samples for soil sampling tests. We took our dirt in two different mailing containers, one old dirt with the established lawn on it and the other of the new "pig dirt" variety!

The difference between the two? The old samples have grass growing on them. The new samples of the pig dirt - crabgrass.

So which part of the lawn needs 100 lbs per 1000 feet of lawn of lime? Not the pig dirt where all the crab grass is growing. That dirt is darn near perfect according to the University of Tennessee Extension service. So as close as we can figure we need about 5000 lbs of lime? I don't think that is gonna happen. Yikes. I can't even imagine how much that is dumped on the lawn wise. Landscaper is bringing in some more dirt for the back - we're hoping he brings in more pig dirt!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Are You Being Served?

Post on A List of Two Different Lengths reminded me of the worst experience we ever had at a restaurant.

Worst experience ever was on Cape Cod. Nice meal, lousy waitress. Brought DH refills, I was invisible. Asked if we (he) wanted dessert. I said yes, we'd both like coffee and we'd like to split a dessert. She brought him coffee and a cup. No cup for me, no coffee. I made him wave down another server and she made excuses. Original waitress brought a fork and dessert. For him of course.

DH left a 15% tip (this was back in 2000?) which I thought was extremely excessive for the service and I grabbed half the tip off the table. We had a HUGE fight about it. I told him, she never once made eye contact with me, but waited on him. And then ignored me. So now we play the "how did the server do game" and it works out well.

Having said all that - the place we liked the best was a brew pub in Wyandotte, MI which up until a few years ago was the best. The wait staff, bar staff, manager and owner would all come and chat with us. They knew we made the 50 mile round trip weekly for the beer and the ambience of the place. Owner - referred to as Senior - retired. His son - Junior - has stayed on as brewmaster for the subsequent owners. Best. Beer. We. Ever. Had. Period. There were three people left on staff that we knew when we moved to TN. That staff routinely got tips of 20 - 25%.

The last time we were there was before we sold our home in Michigan. DH thinks we should stop there on the way up for niece's wedding next month. Might be an idea!