Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beyond Awesome!

Eler Beth has a friend, Joe, who has been fighting an aggressive brain tumor. He had surgery a couple months ago and will be taking chemo treatments for a year. He found out not long after his surgery that he was getting his wish from the Make A Wish Foundation: to meet the cast of NCIS.

Monday he, his parents, and at least two of his siblings, flew out to LA. He'd never flown before and was very nervous about it. A limo met them at the airport to take them to his hotel. He texted Eler Beth when he got settled into the hotel and described the flight, the limo ride, and what he'd seen so far of LA.

Yesterday, the limo picked them up and took them to the studio where he not only got to meet the NCIS cast, but attended the taping of the season finale, got to actually help shoot a scene, operated the clapperboard (!! How cool is that !!), and got to sit with the cast while they watched the episode that was on TV Tuesday night. At one point while they were watching the show Michael Weatherly, who plays Anthony DiNozzo, said, "Hey I remember that scene!" Joe said Weatherly seemed very much like the character he plays. He also told Eler Beth that Pauley Parette, who plays Abby, told him something about an outfit that she wears in the season finale that she didn't like or had a problem with or something. (I'll have to ask Eler Beth exactly what that was all about.) Guess I'll have to pay close attention when that episode airs.

I think Joe's favorites on the show are Abby and Ducky, but I'm not sure. He got autographs from all of them and Weatherly even signed his Make a Wish t-shirt.

You know, I love NCIS and think it's one of the best, if not THE best, shows on television right now, and if there was the cast of one show currently airing that I'd put at the top of my own wish-list to see, they would be it. I am certain that the cast and crew treated Joe very well when he visited. This isn't the first time NCIS has granted a wish because there is at least one story on Make A Wish's web site of a fourteen-year-old visiting their set. Maybe Joe's story will be on their web site someday!

Today Joe and his family spent the day at Universal Studios Hollywood. I'm sure Eler Beth will get the lowdown on that tomorrow. He'll be in LA all week, and for a kid who has had more than one brain surgery in his 17 years, who is home bound for school, and who can't get out to do too much of anything, this has truly been an experience of a lifetime. Or, as he texted Eler Beth on Tuesday night, "This day has been beyond awesome!"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Great Pigs Feet Quest

First just let me say that I don't care for pigs feet. I have tried them, and they are okay, but not something I really ever want to eat. Thomas, on the other hand, has always loved pigs feet, having grown up with eating them as a "treat". His father raised hogs, so every year there were fresh pigs feet during butchering time. Since we've been married he has regular cravings for them, usually twice a year -- once in the fall/winter and once in early spring.

Andrew, like me, does not care for pigs feet, but Eler Beth follows in her Daddy's footprints (and her Mamaw's) on this one. She, like Thomas, usually craves pig's feet a couple times a year. She and Thomas are easy to please, too, because they just want it boiled 'til it's tender and salted a little. It really is a "treat" for them, not a meal. So whenever they want it, I fix it, along with a "regular" dinner for the four of us. They eat it either with dinner or after, and I get to see them enjoying themselves with their sticky pig's feet.

My Mom loves pigs feet as well, and also as a "treat". Her father raised pigs, so when she was a kid it was something they had a few times a year. Like my husband and daughter she doesn't crave it often, but when she does she wants it right now! And she likes it prepared simply, but she also likes it with sour kraut. If my mother is visiting us in the winter I will usually make sure she gets pigs feet and sour kraut, and then I get to see the three of them sitting around the table, smacking their lips and licking their sticky fingers -- yes, pigs feet is a sticky dish!

So about a month ago I was at Kroger with Eler Beth looking at ham, and she saw some pigs feet. "That kind of sounds good," she said. I told her to get some, but she declined. We moved away and suddenly she said, "No, I think I do want them. They sound good." So she made some that night. When Thomas got in from work he had some, too -- said he'd kind of been craving them lately. So I figured that was the end of pigs feet for this season.

Wrong! A week or so later Thomas told me he was really craving pigs feet (this year his appetite has been strange), so I looked for some at Kroger. They had none. I tried Meijer. None. I tried Wal-Mart. None. Now when Thomas makes a specific request, I really do try to get and/or make him what he's wanting, because he doesn't ask for specific things for dinner or dessert very often. I could find NO pigs feet anywhere! I bought some ham hocks and asked if he thought they might help ease the craving. They did, but it wasn't the same.

A week later he wanted pig's feet again. None to be found anywhere!!!

Another week went by. He hadn't asked for any, but I knew he still wanted them, and it had become a mission! None to be found anywhere.

Last Saturday he woke up about 3 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. So he went on a pigs feet quest. He checked out three Krogers, two Wal-Marts, and two Meijer's. At each one he mentioned to someone in the right department that he couldn't find pigs feet anywhere! He came home a sad, sad man.

That very afternoon I found myself in Wal-Mart. On a whim I checked the meat department, and lo and behold! Three packages of pigs feet!! They were still icy, like they'd just been brought out of the deep freeze. I bought all three and surprised Thomas with one package that night. Later in the week I was in Kroger and there were three packages of pigs feet. Today I was in our local Meijer, and there were
three packages of pig's feet!

I guess it pays to ask for what you want. They all must have gone rummaging in their freezers!

So I have two packages in my freezer ready for the next craving to hit. I think the pigs feet cravings are going to be all wacky and out of sync this year -- just like the weather -- so I'd better stay prepared!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

And Make Us Happy In The Happy Bees

I enjoyed doing a Monkees post every day last month, and I'm hoping it will make me want to post in my blog more often. Hope everyone else enjoyed it as well.

I had a rather shaky week. I didn't feel well physically all week, but Friday night it finally culminated in some kind of stomach thing that had me up most of the night. Saturday went by in a blur, and today I've still felt tired. Worse than that I have been irritable, or should I say, easily irritated.

Also, a very good friend of ours was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer last week, a very big surprise to him and his family, as he had no notion that there was anything wrong until he got diarrhea that wouldn't go away. It turns out he has cancer in both lungs, his liver, his spine, and both his lumbars. He is not a smoker, although I think he may have been when he was younger. He's a wonderful man and a very close friend. It is hard for me, especially coming at this time of the year. My Dad's cancer was diagnosed in March 10 years ago, and we buried him in May that year. I remember that shock and the trying to come to terms with it that we went through and feel for his wife and kids and grandkids. It has hit Thomas hard, too, because this man has been like a father to him since he was teen. So mentally and emotionally, it hasn't been that great a week for me, and I feel guilty even writing that when I think of what our friend's family is going through.

And then, just about 30 minutes ago, the nicest thing happened. I had to run out to the grocery, and Andrew asked me if I'd pick him up something at McDonald's. He offered to pay, and I told him not to worry about it. When I pulled up to the window to pay, the cashier handed me a receipt and said, "She paid for you."

A lady, a stranger, in a little white Mini Cooper paid for my double cheeseburger and fries! How very sweet, and how little she knows what that little random act of kindness has done for me today. She waved to me as she pulled off after picking up her order, and all I could do was wave back and mouth "thank you" to her rear view mirror. Have no idea who she was, but I plan to pass along that kindness just as soon as I have the opportunity.

Needless to say, I burst into tears -- emotions just too close to the surface right now! But now I feel more relaxed and contented than I have all week. Hopefully I can keep a good attitude and demeanor for the rest of the day and make sure that my family has a comfortable and happy evening.

A Prayer in Spring By Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

Have a great week everyone!!

31 Days of The Monkees:

"Goin' Down"

"For Pete's Sake"

"Theme From The Monkees"

Interviews With The Monkees

"HEAD" and "Porpoise Song: Theme From Head"

"I'm A Believer"

Fairy Tale

The Monkees Screen Tests

"What Am I Doing Hanging Round?"

"Star Collector"

"Daily Nightly"

"Love Is Only Sleeping"

"The Door Into Summer"

"When Love Comes Knocking At Your Door"

"Mary, Mary"

"No Time"

"Randy Scouse Git"

"Zor and Zam"


"Mr. Webster"

"The Girl I Knew Somewhere"


"Shades of Gray"


"Your Aunty Grizelda"

"Pleasant Valley Sunday"

"Last Train To Clarksville"

"Papa Gene's Blues"

"This Just Doesn't Seem to be my Day"

"I'm Gonna Buy Me A Dog"

"Early Morning Blues and Greens"