Monday, August 31, 2009


Hello, lovers of letters. Welcome to another round of acromania.

Boy, I'm tired. I'm tired and my foot hurts. And why is that? Because I just walked around the damn grocery store for 90 minutes, that's why. I did pretty good, though - I got everything on my list and didn't stray too far from it.

Which brings us to tonight's acro. "What's On Your Grocery List?" We may have done this before, but it's OK, the possibilities are endless.

All the rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can, one that matches not only the topic above, but also the letters below. The letters are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket asked me to pick up wicker polish, Advil, a bottle of Cabernet, and some paper towels. I told him I had plenty of paper towels, he could use some of mine. Then tomorrow night at 10:00 est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners.

So the topic? "What's On Your Grocery List?" The letters:


So there you go. Get your cart and acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I'm working on getting enough footage of Milo to make my next Comfy Chair movie. I figure since he's kind of keeping me from making one, I'll just try and make one of him.
* My foot hurts. And the acrobasket asked me to get my reading glasses out of him.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Cold Nose in Your Hand: Priceless

Hello, blogees.

I have a dog now, did you know that? And what I'm about to say, please don't think this was some big surprise that has me wringing my hands wondering what in the world I'm going to do. I mean, I've owned dogs before. But let's take a little stock of Milo the Money Pit.

I got Milo on July 17th. 65 bucks to get him out of stir. That was cheap, I thought so as I was writing out the check. For my 65 bucks I got his first set of shots and a free neutering (sorry, fella), which will take place on Sept. 17.

So, 65 bucks, cheap. However, the night before I got him I was all giddy and went out and did some shopping. Food, treats, a crate, a tie-out for outside, shampoo, a leash, toys, blankies - a grand total of about $165. It's OK, I was happy to spend it - I felt like a new mommy at the baby store.

And so Milo came home with me and I washed him with the new shampoo and brushed him with the new brush and we played with the new toys. And he slept and traveled that weekend in the new crate and when he was a good doggie he got the new treats. And we were happy.

However, on day 2 of our adventure, Milo developed a cough. A cough I worried about, especially as it got worse, and so the next Monday I made him an appointment with Dr Steve, just to make sure it wasn't kennel cough, and I thought he needed to meet his new vet, anyway.

And so we met Dr Steve and he got some flea stuff and some coughing stuff and a shot, he made lots of friends at the office, and I wrote a check for $108. It's funny, because that was the day when I mentioned being worried that little Milo wasn't eating much, and it was also the day I found a sample of a different food that was in the packet I got from the animal shelter. I tried it and he loved it, so I gave my just-purchased, unopened bag of Expensive Old Food to the local pet haven and went and bought him a bag of Not Expensive But Not Cheap New Food at $10.

The next week brought more toys, and a harness because he was a little unruly on the leash, and in fact a new leash because he kept chewing weak spots in the old one. $25. That was also the week he busted out of his crate, one night while I slept, but he was a very good boy in the kitchen until I could get him a new one for a cool 69 bucks.

When I adopted Milo, he was full of fuzzy, fly-away, matted fur. All over the back half of his body. We had to get rid of that, it was itchy and unsightly. One trip to Lou the Groomer, $35, but that did include a purple bow which stayed on his ear upwards of thirty minutes.

Then of course, we just had to go to PetSmart, because, well, it's PetSmart! You can take your dog right inside PetSmart! And off we went, right in the store, and one doggie car seat, a name tag, a massive headache, and $58 later we headed home, happy.

Before we knew it it was time for the next vet's appointment, where Dr Steve loved all over Milo and said he had personality galore, gave him his second set of shots, some heartworm medicine, Milo peed on everyone in the office and jumped on the head of a rottweiler approximately the size of a calf, I wrote a check for $82, and we headed home.

And we continued on our adventure, with new toys and playing and my cleaning up all the things Milo has chewed up, and going for walks with the new leash, the new leash which also had several newly-chewed weak spots in it. And with a new harness, because he grew out of the old one. ($18, give or take.)

And somewhere in there I started watching the Dog Whisperer, who's given me some very nice tips absolutely free of charge, which I just love, but I realized that a lot of the leash training we were going to have to start working on was not really harness training. It was collar training, and the only collar I had was the one from when he was in the pound, and somehow I thought that might make him think of his life before me and get all traumatized, so I bought him a new collar at $8 or so. But he's doing much better with the collar, so that was a steal.

Ahh, but owning a dog isn't all fun and games. There's that one area none of us wants to deal with, but it's inevitable. Poo. I of course bought a poo scooper early on for $20, one that worked fairly well, but I still had to wash the stray poo off it, and on about its fourth usage, it broke. So I bought a second, a different kind since the first one was obviously a, well, a piece of poo, another $20, but this one was horrible and didn't pick up - well, I'm sorry but I can't let the opportunity pass me by - it didn't pick up shit. And I had to wash a lot of poo off it, all the poo that smeared around when I tried to pick up the poo.

There has to be a better way, I kept telling myself, and so I went online to investigate and found that there was apparently a better way indeed. Because on PetSmart's website, which I guess they let your dog sit right there and look at, there was a little item called Dispoz-A-Scoop.

Now, I normally don't like products that spell badly, but in some circumstances, I'll forgive. This is maybe the only online product I've ever seen with a solid five star review, total raves, no averages brought down by the 1-star "I hated this product." (I'm convinced all those 1-star "I hated this product" reviews are written by the same guy.)

With the Dispoz-A-Scoop you have what looks like a small garbage bag. It has a thin wire square rim around the top of the bag, which is then attached to a heavy cardboard square. When doggie does, you slide the rim under the doo, which works because the wire is so thin, then you push down on the cardboard and it collapes the wire, sealing the business in the bag. It's very sanitary. It's also $11 for 24 bags. I hied myself the next weekend to PetSmart, this time without Milo, and left with two boxes of Scoops, some treats to fit the Kong toy Aunt Stennie bought him, no headache, and minus $28.

Now, I doubt it would surprise anyone to learn I'm a little hinky about poo, and since I had to dispose, or dispoz, of the poo somewhere, I came up with a nice clean system wherein I put the secured soiled Dispoz-A-Scoop into a zip-lock baggie and put it in a trash bag in my new ($15) outside trash can.

The trash can was a one time only expenditure, but Milo has a lot of poos left in him, and at $11 a pop and a dog's lifetime of zip-lock bags, I feel that one day I'll be living in the lot beside my house in a lean-to made of old Dispoz-A-Scoop and zip-lock baggie boxes.

This past weekend was a little traumatic for me. See, along with - hey, remember this? My little freak-out that landed me in the ER? - my paying out a shitload of money in medical bills, my Saturday shopping was to include a new DVD player and new monitor. They both died. Milo had nothing to do with either of those, but I'll also have to buy a new turntable where he chewed the cord of mine in two. Anyway, shopping, new DVD, new monitor, more food, more treats, and a yet a new leash where he's already chewed two previous ones. That was Saturday. The new leash's handle is almost chewed apart. I'm thinking the next one will be chain. Possibly electrified. ($20 for the dog - $236 in all.)

Now, I've been a tad worried about something ever since I got little Milo. And that's the trip I'll be making over the Labor Day weekend. It was planned long before he came along, and let's face it, sooner or later I'm going to have board the little guy. I think it'll do him some good, actually. He needs to be with different people and to commune with some dogs, because frankly, I think he's turning into a Mama's Boy.

But I've fretted over finding the right place, and realized that the clinic Mr M uses for Alice the Cat boards animals. I'd been meaning to call them for a few weeks, but if you'll remember my work weeks of late, there's not much time for anything like that. I finally got a chance to call them today. Yes, they could take Milo, they told me, provided he was up to date on his shots, including the bordetella vaccine. I knew he'd just had his shots, but I wasn't so sure about this one, so I called Dr Steve's office and they said no, that wasn't part of the "five way" most dogs get. How soon can I get one? Well, you can come today. And so I ran out of work, grabbed Milo, and hauled ass, mine and his, to T'well and the vet. $28 later I had the piece of paper I needed to get his reservation for the weekend.

So I called this afternoon after the papers were faxed and got his reservation. Price? I didn't even ask. After they read all the rules, though, and told me I had to drop him off early do a bunch of paperwork, I can't imagine a fiver will get him back out.

So, I'm broke. But I have Milo. Barking, burping, farting, running, jumping, chewing, cuddling, wanting outside every 10 minutes, fetching, eating, growing Milo. Sometimes I look at him in disbelief - I really never thought I'd have a dog again.

And I only think of the money stuff when I'm driving down the road to the vet's, or sitting here writing blogs, or paying bills. One look from him with those eyes, or a nuzzle to my ear in the comfy chair, or a toy placed at my feet, or a climb up the footstool into my lap at the computer, or a cold nose up against my hand, and it's all forgotten.

He's a good doggie.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners! So, what about bugs?
- Honorable Mentions go to Kellie with an ie, with her "Got your tush? Uncomfortable dancing," and the DeepFatFriar, with his "Gyrating. Yelling. Throwing up. Dead."
- Runner-Up goes to Marla (marlamarlamarla), with her "Gooey yellow ticks under dog-fur." (OK, it's a bit of a cheat. I still liked it.)
- And this week's winner is LilyG, with her "Greet you terribly - unfortunately, dentally."
- Thanks to all who played, you've all done very well!


Monday, August 24, 2009


Hello, lovers of letters, lovers of life. Yes, it's back after a week away, time for another round of acromania.

I went to see the Hackensaw Boys last night. It was fun. Low key, outdoors, early, I took pictures which I haven't even looked at yet, and video which I'm trying to get uploaded to You Tube.

Being outdoors, there were dancing hippies, dancing toddlers, and bugs. (I danced to about two songs then sat down on the grass with Mr M and the Dear Nephew, and when the Nephew asked why I was giving it up I told him I was afraid I'd smoosh a toddler.)

Anyway, I hate bugs. So lets make this week's acrotopic "Bugs." Like 'em? Hate 'em? I don't care, just give me your thoughts.

All the rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can, one that matches both the topic above and the letters below. The letters are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket isn't bothered by bugs, but he's a little miffed he's currently holding my reading glasses, a hair band, a fork, and something I've been meaning to mail Kellie with an ie for about 4 months now. Then tomorrow night at 10:00 est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners.

So let's move all that crap out of the acrobasket. The topic? "Bugs." The letters:


Blecch. But there you go. Now acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Milo says, "Brrrrf!" Yesterday after walking into the den after showering and getting dressed, I found him in the den, sitting there after - chewing up a 3 x 3 foot piece of styrofoam all over the floor. Just sitting there like, "Ta-daaaaa!"


Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm Back!

I hope you missed me. I need validation.

Well, the two weeks of suck that have been my life lately are coming to an end tomorrow. Last week and this week we've been short a person there at the offices of TheCompanyIWorkFor, and yes, I've not been one of the people gone. Vacations. I haven't had one yet. It's been so busy there it's basically gone like this: San answers the phone, gets all information for whatever task, explains the caller will get their call returned, but not to get too excited about it being in the near future. She gives me what she's written, I get to work on it. I have a folder full of stuff and am working on two and three things in it at any given time. Even with all I did on Monday, on Tuesday at 9:00 am I still had 11 things in my folder left over from Monday. It's been pretty much that way all week.

I got home from a nice weekend at Mr M's on Sunday past, called the folks to see how they were doing, and found that my mom, aka Granny, was back in the hospital. Same thing, infections, and I guess we'd all been lured into some false sense of security because she'd been doing so well. It had been a while since she was in the hospital, and we thought she might finally be turning a corner. But she was released yesterday, so that was less than a week in stir, which is pretty good for her.

Milo and I have been plugging along. Our walks are getting longer each day, which is wearing me the hell out but he seems to really enjoy it, and he's becoming quite the good leash walker with the exception of his excruciatingly irritating habit of barking and lunging at people and other dogs while he's on the leash. I thought last week we ourselves were turning a corner when I was having some success getting him to calm down, but it's not working. It drives me crazy - when he's off the leash, he loves everyone. No one bothers him, he doesn't want to attack person or animal. It's when he's leashed. I want to get into his little head to find out what's going on.

Anyway, as I mentioned, Monday night, Milo was sick. He threw up several times, his stomach was making some really awesome twanging noises, and he was very listless. He sat on my lap almost all night. I was worried because, well, because he's just a puppy and I'm his mom, OK? I get hinky.

Anyway, Milo had an appointment for his second set of shots on Tuesday afternoon, so I left work early and high-tailed it to the vets, where Milo was proclaimed full of "personality galore," given his shots, some heartworm medicine, and I was told to rest assured that he was very healthy, he just probably ate something that made him sick. Which I'm sure was true, as there was grass in what he was throwing up. And later that night he was back to his old self, as energetic as ever, evidenced by the fact that tonight he chewed the cord to my turntable clean in two. The first thing he's chewed up. I was not pleased.

So now it's almost the end of the week, I have a Hackensaw Boys concert in my immediate future, and I didn't have one single nervous breakdown. And it's almost the weekend. Did I mention that?

Some pictures, though.

I took a picture on Saturday of Alice the Cat, Mr M's pet. See, I've told you about the problems between her and Milo. Well, this weekend they met face to face, and not under a bed. Right there in the kitchen.

See, Alice ventured out and there was Milo, and he wagged his tail and barked (remember, he wasn't on his leash), wanting to say hello. Alice immediately took up residence in the corner of the kitchen and would not move, and so Milo quickly lost interest and walked off. After a half-hour or so we lost sight of Alice and assumed she had gone back to the bedroom. But when I went to retrieve some plates, I found her.

Yes, she was on the counter, in the corner, behind the coffemaker and the toaster oven. And the blender. Just sitting there, unmoving.

Later we would find her hiding in the corner behind Mr M's bass clarinet. So there you go. Milo likes her, she doesn't like him.

Then before I left on Sunday, Sherman decided we should make a joke picture.

See, he's in the crate, Milo's free. It's a joke. Get it? (If you don't like it, blame Sherman.)

And finally, a picture taken a couple of nights ago. Milo loves to sleep in this position, just letting it all hang out.

Actually, this afternoon during lunch he did this outside in the yard for about fifteen minutes. In the hot sun. Not a piece of shade to be found. Boy, was it hot today.

And that's about it for this week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I get to Hucklebug tomorrow night!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I promise I'll blog tomorrow!

Milo's all better, Granny got out of stir today, work's still hell, but it's getting better.

Thanks for your kind thoughts!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I'll put something up tomorrow. I hope.

I've been very work-busy, Milo's not feeling well, tonight, and my mom's back in the hospital. Too much going on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Seething Barometer of Hate

Hello, friends! Yes, tonight I am the seething barometer of hate.

This past Thursday I had an odd experience. I had to go get my car serviced. That in and of itself is not so odd, but something happened upon my arrival. I pulled onto the lot and damn near ran over a man and his tripod.

I looked up and noticed the tripod first, then the man behind it. Then I saw another man, and another who was dressed as the devil. Then I realized what was going on. They were filming a commercial for the dealership, a commercial starring no less a person than their spokesman, the Dealman. I absolutely despise the Dealman and have wanted to slap his face since he first started showing up on my TV screen years ago.

Yes, I had my chance, because I was about in slapping distance, and definitely in distance to run over him with my car. But I did neither, I was feeling benevolent and let him live to make his commercial with the devil and make me want to slap him forever more.

Oddly enough, once I was safely in the waiting area and my car was being serviced, the devil came in to get a cup of coffee. I looked at him and said, "I always knew you'd find me." He laughed. In case you've wondered, the devil appears to be about 21 years old and wears a red silk ruffled shirt under his cape.

The servicing itself was quick and painless - and free, since I was on my fifth or so, it's a deal they have there - but while I was waiting I did a couple of things. One was my normal waiting activity, making a grid of about 64 squares on a piece of paper and drawing little pencil designs in each square, and the other was making a list of things I hate.

I'd been thinking about it even before I saw the Dealman. I don't think of myself as a hate-filled bag of bones, but I do tend to start a lot of sentences with the words "I hate." I'm not proud of it, it just happens. So I thought I'd make up a little list and maybe use it here, which is exactly what I'm going to do. Tonight.

So here it is, the list of what's really on my wick right now.

I hate:

Town Hall Shouters. I don't care what your views of health care, abortion, socialism, gun control, or anything else are. I might think they're idiotic, but they're your views. But for God's sake, these Town Hall Shouters are about to drive me crazy. If there's one thing I can't stand (there are many, actually) it's someone who won't shut the fuck up long enough for anyone else to get a word in, and when it's in a public forum setting, well, you've seen the clips, I don't think I need to continue.

Birthers. Why haven't these assholes gone away yet? The fake Kenyan birth certificate gave me a great deal of pleasure, though.

Glenn Beck. What a waste of human flesh.

People Who Use the Phrase, "Ya THINK?" Man, that is so annoying. I don't know how it got started, if someone on some TV show uses it as a catch phrase, but I can even take a nice Valley Girled "Duh!" over this one. I know two people in my real life and one person on television who use this to the point where I have to flex my hands into fists to keep my blood pressure down.

People Who Actually Believe There's a Death Panel. As my TV husband Keith Olbermann himself says, do these people honestly believe that if that was in the offing (oooh, no pun intended), there would be anyone anywhere, Democrat, Liberal, or blob - who would be in favor of it? Next I'm expecting to hear the health care bill will send every third child into outer space.

Cell Phone Lame-Ass Music People. I'm not a fan of the ringtone, I'll tell you that right now. Well, mainly, I guess that's because I'm not a fan of the cell phone in general. I don't like being in a restaurant and hearing The Macarena or Pachelbel's Canon or that song about liking big butts going off. Worse yet, hearing all three at once. But even more I hate calling a person on a cell phone, which I do more and more at work, and getting, "Please enjoy the music while your party's being reached." No! I won't enjoy the music, because I didn't pick the music. I don't like the music. I don't like Metallica's "Enter Sandman," or whatever rap song is rising the charts. Or redneck cowboy-hat wearing good-time songs. Or that song about liking big butts. I like my cell phones to ring like cell phones, and I like to call cell phones and hear - well, ringing like cell phones.

Crazy People Who Won't Just Kill Themselves. OK, I guess it's too much to ask for on this one. I was reminded of this yet again after the guy shot the women in a gym. It was compounded to the one I'll never get over, the Virginia Tech shooter, and every time I pull up the news I seem to find stories of distraught unemployed fathers who shoot their whole families and then themselves, disgruntled workers who shoot up their workplaces and then themselves, etc. Guys, do us all a favor and just shoot yourselves. Leave the innocent people out of it. Of course, there is no solution to this, because those people are flat-ass batshit crazy, so killing others is part of the deal. And though I'd like to have some sympathy for the crazy, it's nigh-on impossible in this situation.

People Who Comment on Internet Forums Just to Say, "First!" Why on God's green earth do people do this? I mean, what - how empty does your life have to be for being the first to comment on some internet forum to be such a life event? And what's worse, many of these dildos aren't the first! They just think they are. So you're reading other people's lame-ass comments, and halfway down the page you see a one-word comment - "First!" Dildos. Anyone who does that should be stripped of all internet privileges.

There. I just wish it was out of my system. But it's not.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners! And look at the entries! So, it's not the heat, it's the _____:
- Honorable Mentions go to Marla (marlamarlamarla), with her "Eventuality," Mike, with his "Entropy," and Mr Middlebrow, with his "Eternity."
- Runners Up go to LilyG, with her "Eccentricity," and Kellie (with an ie), with her "Evaporation."
- And this week we have dual winners. They are Michelle (the dishy), with her "Eucharist," and the DeepFatFriar, with his "Endometreosis."
- Great entries all - thanks for playing, you've all done very well!


Monday, August 10, 2009


Hello, lovers of letters, and welcome to another round of acromania.

Boy, is it humid here. I took Milo for a sort of long walk after work, and sweat was dripping into my eyes. When you go outside it feels like a woolen blanket has been dropped upon your person.

My Facebook friend Ward "Spits Hackensaw" had a status - he lives in Richmond, where surely it's even worse than here - that said, "It's not the heat, it's the humility." Which I thought was cute, and I'm pinching it for this week's acro.

Ready for a one-letter acro? This week's acrotopic: "It's Not The Heat, It's The ______."

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can, one that matches both the topic above and the letters below. The letters are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket's wicker is wilting. Then tomorrow night at 10:00 est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners.

So the topic? "It's Not The Heat, It's The _____." The letter?


Of course. E. The most popular letter in the acrobasket.

Well, anway, turn on your air conditioning and acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Brother-in-law seems to be doing OK. Might have come home tonight, though I didn't hear from any family members, so I'm thinking it will be tomorrow. Spoke to him briefly by phone today.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders, and welcome to another edition of Picture Sunday. And I'll tell you up front that this edition of Picture Sunday has a distinct lack of pictures in it. The one that's there is something, though.

It was a weekend at home for me. Friday chilling, then Mr M expressed an interest in getting out of town on Saturday, so he came down here. Seems I spent all damn day Saturday on my feet. I went to two groceries, shopped a little for Granny as well, put away groceries, and made dinner. And walked a lot with Milo.

See, the only area in which Milo is not an excellent boy is in the general area of the leash. He's just not a good leash walker. My cousin Jacob came down on Thursday to meet Milo (in love with him), and brought me some treats she's used with her dog, a different leash and an anti-pull harness. So every night we've been having Puppy Practice where we walk with the harness and the leash. Yes, I'm out walking my dog on two different leashes, and I'm sure the few people in town who don't already think I'm a loon are now convinced, but I don't really care, it really helps him get the hang of leash walking to where he's not jumping and lunging and playing and barking. And so now he's doing so well we tend to take much longer walks, all the way down the sidewalk and back, in the heat, and damn, I'm tired.

Anyway, meatloaf and red potatoes and a movie Saturday night, then today I'd planned to spend the day cleaning my hovel of a house. You know it's getting bad when Mr M notices the unbelievable clutter. But the day started with another long dog walk, then when I got back I got a call from my dad.

It's an odd thing, my brother-in-law. He's not odd, but as a person who doesn't own a motorcycle and has no intention of owning one, he decided this weekend to take the certified motorcycle safety course. It's the same motorcycle course Taylor took when he bought his bike, and I think Brine's reasoning was that there might be a time when he'd be called upon to move the bike for some reason and he wanted to know how to ride it.

Anyway, the phone call from my dad was telling me that this morning, as the b-in-law was finishing up his course, there was a slight problem. Well, not really slight, he wrecked and broke his leg.

So I spent some time on the phone calling my sister at the hospital, asking her if she wanted me up there or if I needed to bring her anything, and she said no, but stand by just in case. Which I did, except after all that walking this morning, my standing by included a nice hour-long nap, then I loafed some while doing laundry, then it was time for dinner, and to make a long story short (too late), I didn't clean squat.

I got the word late this afternoon that they'd contacted a friend of theirs who happens to be an orthopedic surgeon - always a good friend to have - and that surgery was needed and this guy would do it, and they were getting ready to transport him to a different hospital to get it going.

I finally heard from the sister again at about 9 pm, and apparently it was worse than suspected, and it was suspected to be pretty bad. Brine had like six different breaks in his leg, in two spots. There are pins and plates and possibly satellite dishes in there, and to be honest, he's pretty lucky to have a leg.

Why do people want to ride motorcycles?

So that brings us to tonight, and I'm sitting here dreading trash duty (I don't know why, since I've already done poo duty today and nothing can be worse than that) and getting ready for tomorrow and the new week.

OK, now, blogees, we have something special for you. A recipe du jour! And this one's special because it was done (from beginning to end, actually) by my boy Sherman. So I'll hand it over to him to introduce. Take it away, Sherman!

Hi, folks! I guess you all know that I have a big garden every year where I grow vegetables for us, then sell the leftovers at my vegetable stand I have at Mr M's. I give the money from the stand to charities. Sometimes I like to experiment. I think Bet has showed you pictures of my Shermanhead Melon, Shermanhead Peach, Shermanhead Carrot, and Shermanhead Squash. (They're really tasty, too!) Then one year I worked really hard at growing a chocolate cake plant, and last year I was really proud (if I say so myself) of my Shermanhead Pickle, an actual dill pickle that grows in the ground.

I've been working for over a year on this summer's new plant. And I think I've hit on something special. I picked the first one today and it tastes really great! So here is my very own Shermanhead Meatloaf.

This is an all-vegetable meatloaf. The vegetables seeds are fused together so that when the plant grows and is ready to be picked, it's a real live meatloaf. (Minus the meat.) We had ours tonight with some carrots and asparagus, which also come from my garden, which is at Mr M's. If you're in B'burg in the late summer, come by my stand. I'll have all kinds of good natural products. And my new friend Chilly Willy will be selling snow cones!

Now, take it away, Bet!

Thank you, Sherman. You're a wonder, you are.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I forgot to tell that I spent a good portion of the morning trying to get some live-action film of Milo. Since he's kind of impeding my Comfy Chair Cinema-making, I thought maybe I could make a little film starring him. He's not cooperating, though. He doesn't even pounce and leap when playing fetch when I have the camera turned on him.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Hello, lovers of letters.

I was going to do a ranting blog about all things political, but I think I'll leave that. I'm a little too ginned up at the moment. So let's just get to the acrowinners.

The topic was "What's So Great About Lemons, Anyway?"

Honorable Mentions go to LilyG, with her "Those lousy lemon group judges. Feh." and DeepFatFriar, with his "The lightest, lovliest golden jolly fruit."

Runner-Up goes to Kellie (with an ie), with her "They look like giant Jelly Fruits."

And this week's winner is Marla (marlamarlamarla), with her "Tart Lemons Leave Grimacing Jaw Features."

Excellent entries all. It really is hard picking some weeks.

Thanks to all who played, you've all done very well!


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Suck This

Sorry, acrofans, I completely forgot to put up an acro last night. No idea how it escaped me. We'll end tonight's blog with an acro and I'll judge it tomorrow night.

Any of you who've been around a year or two have heard me talk about our local holiday here in my little burg, Lemonade Days. It happens one Friday during the summer, and it has to do with the fact that in B'field if the temperature reaches 90 degrees the town gives out free lemonade to its citizens. There have been summers where we thought surely the town would go broke buying and giving out lemonade, and summers like this one where it's yet to reach 90. 90% humidity, sure, but not a clean 90 degrees.

Then there are the old arguments about where the temperature data comes from, for all the banks in town are showing 90, 92 degrees, and yet the "official" temperature will remain 89. Yes, it's an exciting town.

Anyway, every year for about the past five years we've had this Lemonade Days thing, and just about as long I've been bitching about it. See, one of the main events of the day is the window decorating contest, which our office there at TheCompanyIWorkFor has entered every year. We have three long, slim windows at the front of our office. We don't have a storefront, just those windows. And so we get together and brainstorm and come up with really creative ideas that make us laugh and we go to great lengths making it work, and then the judge, a local weatherman, comes along and looks at our window and laughs and claps, and we've never won the damn friggin' contest. Our "Lemon Gallery" display was a masterpiece, with our windows showing great works of art through the centuries, all incorporating lemons into them. (Aug 6, 2006) Zilch.

Then we did our "History of Lemons" display, which followed the lemon from ancient to modern times. (Aug 14, 2007) Bupkus. We've done displays that incorporated pictures of the town and other local businesses and citizens, trying to suck up our way to a prize. No go.

And every year we've said it's our last year. And every year we try one more time. But it all came to a head last year, when our window got nothing, the winning window was a business who did the exact same display as the year before (lots of cardboard lemons), and I entered Sherman in the "Make Your Own Lemon Hat" contest and he didn't even place. And when I say "didn't place," I mean, there were six entries and they gave out first, second, and third prizes, and he went home empty-handed. (Actually, that's a lie, I got a consolation prize that was rather nice, but it's the principal of the thing.) (Aug 3, 2008)

Anyway, after all that, we at TheCompanyIWorkFor decided to boycott Lemonade Days this year. Well, first we decided to make our windows into a giant lemon, on which would be written "Suck This." Then we realized people might think we were actually entering the contest and we'd lose yet again, so we decided we'd do nothing.

I never thought the boss would stick to her guns, but lo and behold, with Lemonade Days a mere 4 days away, we are indeed doing nothing for the contest. So there.


Except I got a call today at work from the lady whose dress shop sponsors the Lemon Hat contest. She was asking me to enter again. Now, I don't think I've ever been personally asked to enter a contest, even one I'm sure to lose, and I'm trying not to get sucked in by the flattery. Sherman has already flatly refused to participate, and Milo's a little unwieldy to be expected to be still long enough to wear a hat.

If I could come up with something otherworldly, say, something that would have a large brim that served as a reservoir into which I could have lemonade dripping from a lemon juicer, that had "Pick Me!" in light-up flashing letters across it, and possibly an animatronic naked lady bathing in the lemonade, I might consider it. But I only have four days.

It was nice of the dress shop lady to ask, though.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* OK, let's do an acrochallenge! The topic: What's So Great About Lemons? The letters:
* You know the rules, you get three entries to come up with the best acronym you can that matches the topic and the letters. I'll be judging tomorrow night at 10:00 est. And I'll be a fair judge, dammit!


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders, and welcome to another edition of Picture Sunday. Not quite as depressing as a normal Sunday night, mainly because I've already got the week's trash ready to go.

Well. As you may or may not have noticed, there was no Picture Sunday last week. Chalk this up to sheer exhaustion. I was coming off the podcastathon last Sunday.

This weekend was business as usual, with a twist. Hucklebug recording and chilling on Friday, then a hair cut on Saturday and off to B'burg and Mr M's. The twist was that now I have Milo. I went to Poderosa East on Wednesday evening, because I wanted to get out of the house and Mr M was kind enough to invite, but this was our first overnighter.

It was a little traumatic, on my part, anyway, simply because of routine upheaval. Milo's still a young fellow and I'm trying to keep some semblance of a routine going for him, which pretty much went by the wayside once we changed houses. There was a brief Alice the Cat sighting, but she only ventured out for a few seconds, then retreated back under the bed. Milo followed, but I retrieved him, and he didn't get swatted in the face and Alice didn't die of a coronary.

I think Milo and Alice need a beer summit with the President.

Anyway, we're back home now and the routine is resuming. Walking outside, playing inside, cuddle time. Milo seems to enjoy watching me shred paper in the shredder, and he sat on my feet tonight while I paid bills. Oh well, the simple joys.

A couple of pictures, and may I just say that I'm really hoping I don't turn Picture Sunday into Milo Sunday. I have no intention of forcing him upon you, and if you get tired of him, please let me know. Sure, I'll cry, but I'll listen.

On Friday, Milo met Lou, the groomer. I've known Lou forever, she and I went to school together and she was Bill's and Petster's groomer. She was so excited I got another dog, and announced Milo was a very good boy. There was a slight problem, though.

He got a bow on his ear. Lou always puts a bow on, I used to crack up seeing Bill come out of the groomer's with a bow on his head. Then he'd look at me and start to reach for his pocket knife. Anyway, we kept the bow on long enough to get a picture, then ditched it so we could go out in public for a walk. I mean, Milo's a Ruff and Rowdy Doggie Dude, he doesn't want a bow.

Then Saturday night while in B'burg we made our first trip to PetSmart. I was so excited to get to go to PetSmart with a dog. It wasn't nearly as fun as I thought it would be. Milo wanted to get up close and personal with the only other dog we saw there, a black shaggy guy, who was bigger and didn't really want some dumb doggie kid in his face. So there was barking. Then I got really nervous when Milo became interested in a big bin of birds.

Oddly enough, I got even more nervous when I realized the big bin of birds was right next to the cat section.

Anyway, I got what I went after. I figured I'd spend way more than expected, but they didn't have the harness/leash combo I was looking at online. And let's face it, right now he's got more toys than he can chew, and he doesn't seem to be bored with any of them. He had a new bag of food, and although I should probably go with metal or ceramic dishes, what he has right now is fine.

The main reason I went there was to get him a car seat. He cries for about 10 or 15 minutes if he's crated in the car, and although you can calm him down if you sing to him (yes, I drive down the road singing, "Milo - Milo's a good boooooy, he's the best doggie in the wooooorld," and I'm a little embarrassed about it my own damn self), I figured if he travels with me much it would be nice to let him ride up front with me. So I found one, and after some trying times getting it secured, I put him in it and we took off.

And he really likes it. No whining, no singing (except to the iPod), and lots of curled up napping (him, not me).

I also got him an engraved tag with his name and phone number on it, and was disappointed when I got home and realized that the treats for the inside of the Kong toy Aunt Stennie bought him - I put them down when looking at leashes and forgot to pick them back up. Didn't realize it till I got home. Oh, boy, another trip to PetSmart!

The DeepFatFriar was also kind enough to get Milo some rawhide chewies.

And then it was home today and back to that regular routine.

Do you know what I haven't done in a while? A recipe du jour, that's what. So let's do one.

Well, it's got eggs, but you can't see them. Shame, since that seems to be the main ingredient. No matter. Just gird your loins and say hello, from the "Eggs and Cheese" file in cardland, to Creamed Eggs on Fried Noodles.

And wouldn't you just know it. Oh, snot, my favorite recipe card ingredient, how nice to see you in this dish. (This card's snot seems to be cream of chicken soup and butter.) So you chop up some hard-boiled eggs, throw in mushrooms, celery, and almonds, mix it up with the snot, and lay it on some fried Chinese noodles. Which I mistook for shredded cheese at first. Apparently you serve this alongside some peas with white pieces of plastic in them, and lay your plate on what I thought were burnt macaroons but may well be a really ugly placemat.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Here's to my friends out west who may be seeing the Hackensaw Boys as I write this. I want a full report, girls.