Monday, June 4, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

Jiggity Jig.


Just warning you that this is a booooring entry. Just some plane pictures and stuff ...



It has been a long week and a half. It is hard to believe that I have been away for almost two weeks. I miss my family and am eager to see them. When I am making a big trip, I begin thinking about it the day before and am halfway there on the first day of travel. Last night, I did a quick mental pack and did a little organizing. I am a little anxious about getting on the road -- I have visions of long customs lines and other unanticipated delays. Part of me will be very, very glad to be on the plane.

When I get up, it is very cold and there is frost on the ground for the first time. I hope that it is not too slick driving to the airport. My plane leaves at ten and I want to be there an hour and a half early, just to stave off any problems. I get washed and packed in record time. I have my two bags, one of which has my posters in it, rolled up in a cardboard tube. My ultra-dangerous lip balm is in a plastic sandwich bag.

After breakfast, Rowan's stepdad comes to take us to the airport, which again, is very kind of him. Her mom and stepdad have been marvelous to allow us to stravaig aboot, by watching the kids as needed. It has been a wonderful visit, all the way around. We crunch out to the car and load up. I give Lena a hug good bye and leave enriched with her artwork.

This trip is a little different from the trip in -- Rowan and I are not meeting each other in 3D for the first time; we are no longer a little ill-at-ease with each other. We are quiet, and we chat of this and that. I think that we are both tired and I am a little preoccupied with travel thoughts ... do I have my passport, what time is it at home, will I have a good seatmate, am I going to get hung up in customs? That kind of stuff. This time we take the freeway, not the back roads to Edinburgh, and make good time. I wonder if I will be brave enough to drive the next time I come here.

I look at the car clock and start to get a little nervous -- it is much later than I had hoped. Instead of having an hour buffer, it looks like I am going to have substantially less. I begin to hyperventilate a little. I am not sure how we have lost so much time. When we drive into the airport, I stifle the urge to yell, "stop the car!" and merely say, in a tense sort of way, that I will get out. Although they do not have to do so, Rowan and her stepdad say that they will park and meet me in the terminal. I grab my cases and trundle off to the ticket counter. It takes a while to get to the ticket counter -- the signs are a little confusing, and I am nervous because I am much later than I would like to be. The line is looooong, and some of the people in front of me are leaving on a later flight, and I am just about to have a panic attack.

I looked at the clock in disbelief -- it is an hour earlier than I had thought -- an hour earlier than the car clock in Rowan's stepdad's car. I realize that his clock is an hour late. I am not late, but am just right -- just as I am handing over my passport and reeling from the blood rushing to my head, Rowan and comes to say good-bye.

I am not a fan of long good-byes, so I thank her stepdad, most sincerely, for his help. He went above and beyond in the hospitality department. Rowan and I hug goodbye, and I tell her that I will let her know when I get home. It is quick, because I am close to the front of the line, and I shoo her away -- my mind is already occupied with the trip home. We will see each other again, for sure. They depart, and I watch them disappear into the crowd.

I am trying to impress the sound of Scottish voices in my mind -- and I remember what it was like to arrive in the airport for the first time. I don't feel much like a visitor. I have been enriched by the experience. It has been a great trip.

I get through the ticket counter -- there was some hang up, one I can't remember right now, but I had to wait for a bit at the counter. Oh, I remember, it was to do with the electronic boarding pass -- I had printed it out before I left the US, and there was some confusion about it, as the ticket people had apparently never seen such a thing. I am getting irritated. And worried. And when I get worried, I get irritated.

Finally I get through the ticket line with my two bags and poster tube. When I say two bags, I mean one carry-on and my purse. Please remember that I just left the ticket counter with these items, clearly observed by all of the counter personnel. There is a little pub-ish place where I get a coffee (I remember when Rowan and I peeked in on the way to London) and a mini-Boots, which I quickly look into, again remembering walking through with Rowan. I finish my coffee quickly and I get to the security screening line and am informed that you are only allowed to have one bag. I goggled at the person. I just left the ticket counter and all of my luggage is checked. I stomp over to some chairs and begin throwing away unnecessary items -- not that there are many (good-bye tuna and sweetcorn sandwich that Rowan made for me) -- and manage to cram everything into one bag. Thankfully, I travel light, but it was not an easy task. I have to cram, and I do mean cram stuff into my larger bag. I can't zip it. Things are stacked on the top of my open bag, but I only have one bag, so technically it is all good. The same amount of stuff in one bag is less dangerous than the same amount of stuff in two bags, apparently. My poster tube is laying across the top of my bag and there is just enough room to get my fingers at the top of the handle to carry it. Not the most comfortable arrangement, but workable. I have no idea why they did not tell me that I could only take one bag at the ticket counter ... grrrrr. I might have hated the people at the baggage counter for a moment or two.

We don't have to take our shoes off, for a mercy, but we have to practically strip when getting our bags x-rayed.

I get into the second waiting room and once again curse the lack of wheels on my bag. I get a slice of quiche, as I am starving. I nostalgically over-pay and I settle in to read for a bit before getting on the plane. I check the boarding information like one hundred times, waiting to find that I have messed up the time. Finally, I get on the plane and find, to my delight, that I have a whole seat to myself. No seatmate! Bliss. I rearrange my stuff and settle in to read. Here are some shots outside the plane as we take off over Edinburgh.



This is the city as we leave. I think it is lovely. I heart Edinburgh.



Straightening out over the Firth of Forth.



And over the countryside.



Pretty, no?



I feel like I am wrapping things up, taking pictures of the countryside as I leave, impressing the images on my mind.




These are the colors that I remember from the window of the train.










And we turn to head out over the Atlantic. I am officially a trans-Atlantic traveler. Hard to imagine that, really.












I always like being above the clouds. It is a nice trip so far -- the extra space is a bonus. About now, I have pulled out my magazines that I did not read on the way out. I have a copy of People Magazine that I brought from home -- the Sexiest Man or something issue. I look at the cover and then do a double-take. There is a familiar, but unexpected face on the magazine cover. I burst out laughing, because my husband has taken a picture of himself and glued it on the cover. It is hilarious and I miss him quite desperately. I am soooo glad that I did not throw the magazine away in the Great Edinburgh Airport Divesture.

The flight attendant comes by later, and sees the magazine and makes a comment about the cover, saying something about George Clooney, I think it was. Laughing, I show her my husband's handiwork. She is so impressed that she takes it back to the back of the plane to show to the rest of the crew. It is a big hit and she tells me that I have a keeper. I know -- after 17 and a half years, my husband still makes me laugh as much as ever. He is smart and funny and kind and does not grudge his wife trans-Atlantic flights. There is no way that I would be as accommodating, I have to say. I will have to make it up to him ...





The flight seems much faster this time, and very quickly, we are over the ocean. I look up from my book and I catch the first glimpse of land -- I know it for Greenland this time. I remember the flight attendant on the trip in saying that if it is green, it is Iceland and if it is white, it is Greenland. It seems a long time ago.



It looks white to me.



I wonder where we are ... When does Greenland become Canada? Or Newfoundland or Nova Scotia or wherever it is that we are. Should I be more embarrassed at my lack of knowledge?



I am irresistibly reminded of the Penguin Encounter at Sea World. I love that place.









I wonder what those lines are -- roads?



Where is Jack Bauer when you need him?! The plane does not seem to be threatening to shoot us down, though.



It is still there, and I am a little nervous. Don't they have laws about planes being too close to each other? That plane is practically looking up our nose.












I ask the flight attendant what she thinks that the straight lines are, and we think it must be a road, but it looks all snowy. The flight attendants are much nicer on the way back than they were on the way out. We talk about her recent trip to Edinburgh, her first with her husband.



Well, I looked out the window as we went south to Atlanta, but nothing much more interesting or picture worthy. I waved hello to all of the Southern Monkbots as I flew over. When they said that we were over Mississippi, I waved. Hi, Shelley!

I was very excited to get off in Atlanta, as my cell phone finally worked properly. I had about two hours in Georgia, long enough to get some lunch and to stretch my legs. I collected my one over-stuffed bag and poster tube and went through Customs. You have to collect your bags and re-check them in as you enter the country. I re-organized my one heavy bag into the two original smaller bags and got a cart and trundled over to the baggage area. It took a long, and I do mean a long time to get my suitcases. I think that mine were the last to be put out. Visions of lost luggage began to dance through my head. I was really glad that I had my computer with me.

I rechecked the bags and went through security again. It is at this point that my poster tube was confiscated, as being oversized. Please remember that it was checked in at Edinburgh with no difficulty at all. I was re-routed through to the "oversized carryon" counter where it was taken away. I was assured that it would be at my final destination. I asked if that was for sure, and I was reassured that it was. I was not convinced, but three people swore to me that the poster tube would get there with no difficulty and would be waiting happily for me at my destination.

I went on through and got lunch while I waited. A young woman commented admiringly on the jacket that Rowan had given me, a lovely teal one with Celtic petroglyphs on it. She had been studying at the University of Edinburgh and found them familiar. She said that I was wearing all of her favorite symbols. She was traveling back to California, as well. I left messages for folks that I was alive and well and on the way home. Rowan emailed me, and it came through on my phone, and once again, I marveled at technology.

It was interesting to be in the US again and to hear Southern accents. There was a Scotswoman talking on a pay phone as I walked to the gate, and I got a little pang, realizing that I was not going to hear that accent for a while.

It was about a half an hour before we boarded that I was stuck with the realization that there was no address on my poster tube. I went to the counter and said that I thought that there was no way that my stuff was going to make it to my destination. I was asked to show my claim ticket, and admitted that I had not been given one. Apparently, I was supposed to get one, but the crack TSA staff took away my stuff and did not give me one, despite the fact that there were three of them clustered around me, telling me that my posters would get to California. How did they know? What was I thinking, to TRUST THE TSA?? I deserved to lose my stuff for that alone. Anyway, it took a number of phone calls to everywhere from lost and found to the Delta baggage counter to verify that my stuff was lost. I was very sad ...

I learned a valuable lesson though, about getting claim tickets and following your own instincts, even when you are confronted with the scary TSA people who have the power of life and travel and getting home over you.

I was on the phone, trying to hunt my stuff down, even as we were on the tarmac ready for departure. I was one of those obnoxious people who had a cell phone glued to her ear as if what she had to say was soooo important that she couldn't hang up. Needless to to say, my stuff was not waiting for me at home and every one that I spoke to agreed that the TSA had botched it. I ended up getting a claim reimbursed, but That Was Not The Point.

Ah well.

I got off the plane at home and was greeted by my husband and the boys. My husband looked very handsome and some part of me eased when I saw him. Being with him feels like home -- he snuck up on me, just to get the reaction. I was reminded that it had been a long time since we had seen each other. It was a lovely kiss hello. My youngest did the traditional "run across the airport" to greet me, and I got all choked up. Let's just say that he has good dramatic instincts, but it was heartfelt. My oldest boy gave me a hug and mumbled hello. It was so good to see them -- it felt like a million years that I had been gone and I was all full of new experiences.


So, I went off to the UK to see a friend that I met over the Internets, which, in general, is not a good idea. In this case, however, it was a very good one. We had a wonderful time, exploring London and Edinburgh and Dundee. It was an adventure for sure. Somehow, across a continent and an ocean, we have become fast friends. My husband says that we deserve each other -- which is a high compliment. We are both refugees from the academic feminist world and have small children. Rowan knows more about literature than I will ever know and has a wide sentimental streak combined with journalist's observing, wry, eye. We are both marching into the world of the middle-aged woman, sans elastic-waisted pants. I refuse. Rowan has a wonderful twisty sense of humor. She hates pizza and avocados (which I do not understand) and is enamored with a great turn of phrase. In a lot of ways, we are more similar than we are different. We "get" each other, which is a great basis for friendship. I like that she is smart and funny and has a bit of a kick to her gallop.

I would say that one of the best ways to see a new place is with a friend who lives there, and I got to do that. She also shared her world with me, seeing it fresh through my eyes. It is her turn next, so stay tuned. I wonder what Rowan will make of California?

We are planning our next stravaig, now that Rowan sees that the world is not too scary and strange. I think that she needs to come out this way soon. Dublin would be fun. London, of course, is a must-do. I have my eye on Spain, as well. I have barely scratched the surface of Scotland.

The world is a wide-open place, waiting to be explored.

239 comments:

1 – 200 of 239   Newer›   Newest»
rowan said...

Great write/up an pics, Dr Bob! (Sorry, having to substitute oblique key for the dash which worketh no more on me laptop.)

The picture from above the cumulus is my fave. Most serene.

The magazine story is very funny!!

So... the pinnacle of my culinary achievement (a tuna and sweetcorn sadwich with pre/bought filling) was cast aside and now "sleeps with the fishes?" (Love that Godfather phrase for at the bottom of the briny.) Think you made the right decision there!

Yeh ..lots of fab places still to stravaig and write aboot!

rowan said...

Sadwich was a typo, but rather appropriate! To use a Dundonian expression, I can cook nane.

How long were you travelling in total?

How does it feel, being on a plane for most of a day?

bamaborntxbred said...

Awww...what a sad little "sadwich" to be tossed aside so easily.

I don't know that I've ever heard of a tuna and sweet corn sandwich and I think I might've eaten it standing next to the trashcan rather than tossing it....just to know what it tasted like.

I'm sorry you never saw the yer posters again. Maybe the TSA peeps wondered why you were so desperate to know if they would show up on the other end...and kept them...assuming they must be worth loads of $$.

I'm sad that this might be the last SA for awhile. There'll be no more MB either. Sad....

Dr. Bob said...

Bama -- I have the sneaking suspicion that SA will be around for a while. I love taking pictures and this is a nice place to hang them.

And Rowan and I still have places to see.

bamaborntxbred said...

Yay for me! Maybe someday one of the places y'all see will be Dallas, TX!

rowan said...

Bama, sounds like fun! Could you arrange an m&g with Bobby Ewing?

bamaborntxbred said...

Absolutely. I'll just mosey on over to Southfork on my horse and ask him. Hopefully I won't be too tired after working all day on the cattle ranch and drilling for oil in the backyard. I'm sure I can rustle up the energy for Bobby though. ;)

rowan said...

Cool! Have got my pool party wear all picked out. Thanks, Bama! Now...what to wear to the Oil Baron's Ball...

bamaborntxbred said...

How 'bout this?

rowan said...

Very swish! Think this is more 'me', though. My first link didn't work, sigh. Here's another!

rowan said...

Sorry, :(remembered I can't hotlink from my laptop. The equals key isn't working! Stay tooned for my fab pool wear!

Dr Bob how hot is it in your neck of the woods? It stooned and stoatted doon wi rehn here today. Sigh. How hot is it in TX? Have never owned a pair of shorts or a tank top!

bamaborntxbred said...

It's only going to get into the low 90's today...but it's sooo humid it's killing me! It's like stepping into the sauna as soon as I walk outside. Gross.

We're expecting some rough weather tonight. We had some flooding day before yesterday that killed some folks. Some really sad stories...

It's always something, no?

Can't wait to see the pool wear! This is my idea of pool wear.

rowan said...

Hee hee - like the pterodactyl-head aerodynamix of the blue wetsuit! Here's one I would find emintently suitable.

Aw, that's sad, about those poor peeps. That wather sounds scuuury.

bamaborntxbred said...

Awesome choice of swim wear Rowan! How stylish we would be...you in your Popeye's Girlfriend gear...me in my Space-Babe suit. We'd get all kinds of looks from the guys!

Okay- y'all have to check out Baby Duck's blog sometime. It's about her doggy, Amigo. I think she's leading up to something sad....oh no!

I've been visiting the other MB's blogs today. Innersting!

Rowan! said...

Bama, I ain't no Olive Oyl:if only! Olive didn't eat Crunchie bars, just looked like one,with a scary hairdo. Hey..maybe she'd been wearing one of those pterodactyl head swimmin cossies!

Dr Bob, that was good you had no seatmate, and a window seat. It would be nice to look down on the clouds and relax, unless there was turbulence, and it was shoogly. Not a fan of shoogly transport, but does it translate into queasiness in the air, as it does on the road?

Dr. Bob said...

Nah, no shoogling. It was not even a little bumpy. I was sad that I did not need a nap, because I actually had room. The trip, altogether, takes about eight hours in the air. On the way over, between the time change and layovers, it is about 24 hours. On the way back, with layovers and the time change, it was more like 12 or 13. I got in at ten or eleven at night.

I actually like flying -- even if it is a little cramped. You just bring a good book (I remember listening to the Calvary Chapel Edinburgh podcasts on the way over, listening to the drunken snoring of my seatmate ...

Okay, Bama, Texas it is!! Rowan is going to come over at some point in the nearish future, if I have to drag her on out.

bamaborntxbred said...

I hate flying. Or, I fear flying. I'm not sure if those are the same things or not. I haven't flown in at least six years. And only then I did it for work...

Y'all come on down, ya hear? There's plenty of room in this here great state!

rowan said...

Yo! A TX stravaig will be very fun! Found some tomatoes in the fridge, and had a healthy sandwich for dinner. (Am workin on just bookin one seat :D )

How far is Dallas from Southern CA? How many United Kingdoms might fit inbetween? We are a wee country, I guess. (I know, I should Google.)Can't quite conceptualise the sheer size of the US.

Glad you had a shoogle free flight, Dr Bob!

bamaborntxbred said...

Okay- Here are the stats:

Texas is the 2nd largest state in the nation, with California coming in third. (Behind Alaska.)

The UK is 244,820 sq km.
CA is 403,934 sq km.
TX is 678,054 sq km.

So...basically, you could put fit the UK inside either TX or CA....or you could fit the UK and CA inside TX.

HOWEVER:

TX has the least population out of the three:

The UK has: 60,776,238 pop.
CA has: 36,132,147 pop.
TX has: 22,859,968 pop.

So...there's plenty of room here for everybody!!

rowan said...

Very, very impressed, Miss Bama. Hee hee! That's very cool indeed. So, we are the smallest, but with by far the most peeps. That's why housing is sooo expensive.

Wowzers! Texans and Californians must have big rooms and heeuge gardens (bumps against walls while reaching around for a tea bag.) Man, my house is teeny weeny.

bamaborntxbred said...

I know, right? Well, I think there is verrrry much land in TX that most people never see. It's just miles and miles of flat, dry, tumble-weed land. No one really lives out there!

Are you like giant Alice living in a teeny house?

Dr. Bob said...

Bama -- I was once on a very memorable Grayhound bus ride from New Mexico to Florida. I swear that three of the four days were in Texas. I remember asking the bus driver where we were and he kept saying "Texas" -- it was like the hallway in Poltergeist that just keeps stretching ...

Lots and lots of empty space out there, y'all.

rowan said...

Bama - Alice in a tiny house? Yeh. There is a cake portion on a tiny table which I keep eating wee bits from. It is supposed to make me shrink, but curiouser and curiouser,like all cake, it is having the opposite effect. It has a higly visible sign with "eat me" emblazoned upon it; then again, so does all cake...

Dr Bob - that sounds one loooong bus ride!

rowan said...

Am thinkin about the avocado thing. Don't like them, cos they have a very strange texture: fruit should not be greasy. Maybe it isn't a fruit, and belongs to some indeterminate botannical genus which I, as a Scot, have never encountered. They are a bit soapy, too. A bit like eating a bar of green unperfumed soap. Have only tried them twice, from a remote grocery store, so they may just have been badduns.

I like panninis...the pizza thing may be to do with too much pepperoni. I can't stand the smell of salami and my son loves it, so have to have it around a looot.

Have to admit to having succumbed to a bit of pant waist elastication in the past, but have now swapped the granny troosers for something more befitting.

bamaborntxbred said...

Hahahaha! I'm laughing out loud again. Y'all are two of the funniest ladies I've ever encountered. I don't know why I think it's so danged funny that Dr. Bob would liken a bus trip through TX to Poltergeist...but I totally get it. I don't know why I spit water all over the computer at the idea of slicing green soap onto sandwiches...but I did...

And, of course Rowan nailed the exact "Alice" image I had in my brain from her previous post.

Kindred spirits, y'all.

I luv you gals!

Dr. Bob said...

Aww -- glad you get the somewhat odd humor at this little corner of the internetz, Bama. You are indeed a kindred spirit.

I think that is a good thing.

Rowan, you have only had bad avocados, I am sorry to say. The perfect avocado is creamy and sort of nutty-tasting and smooth. My favorite way to eat one is plain, with salt and pepper, second favorite is in a sandwich with sour cream and tomato, third favorite is in green eggs (scrambled egg with smushed avocado in it. Oh, and in guacamole. I make really great guacamole.

Mmmmmm.

Claire said...

So this is where y'all are!!

Dr. Bob said...

Claire!! Hey!

Claire said...

*Waves at Dr Bob, Rowan, Bama...*

Dr Bob, how long WAS your trip to Bonnie Scotland???

Dr. Bob said...

About a week and a half. The entries start in January and go up to the present. Took an embarrassingly long time to get it done. But I got some nice photos ...

Claire said...

Ya sure did!

I wondered if you were still there, living in Rowans basement :) I can't believe I've never been to Scotland, and it's only a cheap Ryanair plane ride away.

(Ryanair is a cheapo Irish airline that flies Europewide. Only you end up landing at an airport with a tin roof, in a field, approx. 3 hours away by coach from your actual destination. Trust me. So if I fly to Scotland, I may actually end up in Manchester or somewhere....)

Dr. Bob said...

Ryanair sounds like, oh, Jimair or something -- like some guy threw it together.

I like the way that BMI writes of the beauties of Manchester -- like it is an edgy, happenin' place.

Ireland might be on the horizon -- Rowan has a yen to see it. My grandfather was born in County Cork. And that is the extent of my knowledge about my ancestry. My mom was first generation American.

It sounds lovely. It is funny about distances. There is a very strong difference between Americans and you guys in terms of distance perception. Rowan lives about an hour from Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful places I have seen. She never visited it.

If I lived there, I would go down to London about once a month for a weekend, just to explore, I think.

I wonder if I can get a job in the UK for a year or so ...

Claire said...

Dr Bob, you are so right about the distance perception thing. Probably because Ireland & the UK are SO much smaller than the US, we are less used to travelling really big distances as par for the course, so a journey of two hours really is a big deal to us.(Although, traffic is so bad over here in Dublin that people regularly leave for work at 6 or 6.30am for a 9am start and get home at 7 or 7.30pm.) Small country, lotsa cars due to recent economic boom, large commuter belt, fairly poor infrastructure.

I think I read somewhere, ages ago, that people over here gripe about a commute of over an hour to work, while Americans drive that far for a decent take-away pizza and think nothing of it. Would that be true?

rowan said...

Hallooooo Claire! Good to see you!!

With ya on the distance perception thing. However, think with time zones (which kinda make my inumerate heid spin ) there is some sort of temporal flux thing goin on. Sadly, I don't have the nifty Commander Data here with me to explain things, but I think the gist of it is that Americans have longer days. Each of their hours equals one and a half of ours. ;) That will be why the can get more done and still be zappy and dynamic, while we are blinking into the middle-distance. Me, amyway. Am good at making excuses for being organisationally challenged. Perhaps I'll consider a career in law...

Man, seems like peeps in Dublin have a hard time with traffic. I am learnin to drive, but very slowly and without much success. Going at 30mph is too much for me. I just can't steer the thing at that speed. If I was more in shape, I could cut a hole in the floor, hook me arms around the front seats and run with it, a la Fred and Barney.

I have a great granny who was from Dublin.

Think youre probably right about the takeaway pizza thing, pretty much. And yeh...hadn't been to Edinburgh for about 6 years.It hadn't changed. My town changes all the time. Now it has a ghastly green dragon in the city centre. It leers at me when I go by. "Yeh, I'm mega-tacky and not referencin anything historical. Whuddya plan to dae aboot it, ya daft auld besom?" He's a lout. want him on an AASBO - an an anti-social architecture behaviour order. Diggim up, I say. Dundee is also famous for sweet-making. A giant caramel now...

Dr Bob - you've given avocadoes a good spin. will give them another chance. Black pepper and salt on them sounds innnteresting. Ran out of Marmite last week and it took a whole week to get more. Not the boogie :)

Dr. Bob said...

Rowan, I should clarify -- when I say that you never visited it, I don't mean that you had never been, just that you never go and visit, just to visit. That is funny to me.

As to take away pizza, a half an hour -- yep, we would go that far for a pizza. I drive a half an hour away to go to the store. I don't think I would drive an hour for a pizza, thought. An hour and 15 minutes to work most days. I drive to LA pretty much weekly, which is 90 miles away.

I don't know if that is a Californian thing or an American thing. Might be for those of us in Southern California, I think.

What is a commuter belt, anyway?

Dr. Bob said...

And Rowan, wait til you get a good avocado, please...

rowan said...

Dr Bob: It is funny about me not going to Edinburgh for years. Hadn't been for yonks, and it is such a cool place and so close, really. Haven't had much opportunity to go on day trips in the past few years, but when I do, it tends to be a trip around the north of Dundee;places like Arbroath, or in the other direction, Perth, rather than Edinburgh. There is an element of parochialism about it, yes indeedy. Dundonians are a leeetle at sea in Edinburgh. Don't know where anything is, where the loos are, where to get a nice cheap lunch. Edinburgh is BIG! Am reminded of a Billy Connolly joke, where a couple from the Highlands, cheekily referred to as teuchters, come to Glasgow. "Look Morag," Lachie says. "A hoose wi wheels!" Dundee has buses by the score, but the sentiment behind the joke is still there. Going to a big city id a big deal, and you pull your invisible security homespun shawl about you, in an unfamiliar setting. Edinburgh is grand, and perhaps it has seemed a little imposing.Edinburgh or Glasgow are at least an hour's drive on very busy roads, which does put people off. Can see now though, what I've been missing in Edinburgh, and have been bitten by the travel bug.

When I did go, years back, it was to visit my now ex parents in law, not really for a stravaig. Suppose Dundonians tend to be of the mindset where we stop and admire, but are kind of glued to the spot, no cafe radar going off. Think we might be an old fashioned 'head to the nearest bit of beach/seaside suburb when we have a day off' types. I do love Edinburgh, and will need to get back there more. It is a nice trip by train. It is quite an expensive place, and involves loads of walking. If I can resist buying stuff and just stride out, it would be a great all round benefit. (my hyphen key ain't workin. Just sayin. As a punctuation geek.)

Hee hee on the Avocados thang. I really will give them a chance, honnesss...I put an "e" in the plural...gak!

A commuter belt would be the area around a town which peeps are willing to commute into work from Is that roughly right, Claire?

Wishing you gals a good Sunday. Not too much rain, or too much broiling sun!

claire said...

You got it re commuter belt, Rowan. Spiralling house prices push people further and further outside the city to find affordable housing, which means that people regularly commute 30-40 miles - and back - to work each day. Towns once considered to be in the heart of the country -farmland - are now satellite towns of Dublin.

An about distance? Ireland is a wee li'l country. Have I seen much of it? Nope, I'm ashamed to say. I did grow up in a National Park, and now I live in the capital city, but I haven't explored my own country - or even Dublin - for years. (I've never even visited the Guinness Brewery, and I lived about ten minutes walk away for two years!!)The average tourist has seen more of Ireland than me.

And I've never eaten an avocado. Geez, I haven't lived at all... ;)

rowan said...

Am tempted to say yer not missin much re the avocados, Claire, but am bitin my tomgue and giving them a second chance, which they undoubtedly deserve. The ones I had were likely way past their sell by date and tasted funny. I guess I was thrown too, by expecting them to taste like pears, which they very don't. Hard to describe them: sort of mango like in texture, but a wee bit softer, and a bit cucumbery in flava. They're sort of like a solid dip for potato wedges or crinkly crisps, and wee horizontal veggie slices too, though that's a bit too healthy for most of us Scots. They're called julienne carrots, aren't they, or crudites, those wee bits of veg. Feel too embarrassed to use those high falutin French restauranty tems. Have to choke them out, the way you do the word, "serviette", Dr Bob. With you on that one, btw.

Remember being teased at primary school in the Highlands for not knowing what quiche lorraine was. Went to a birthday party where it was pointed out to me, and discovered that I had eaten something of the sort, only my mum called it ham and egg pie.

I saw London for the First time this year, Claire, having not ever set foot in England at all, except once for a job interview. Dublin sounds very cool. Is it about the same size as Edinburgh, roughly, about half a million peeps?

Dr Bob funny, re "Jimair". We would be "Hey Jimmy" Air over here, I guess! All the planes could have big tartan hats with thick tufts of fuzzy red hair. Think it might be a goer! My George hoover has a smiley face, as did his predecessor Henry. Anthropomorphism sells! To peeps like me, anyways..:)

bamaborntxbred said...

It takes me anywhere from 30 mins to an hour to get to and from work depending on traffic. I HATE that. It kills me that I'm actually "on the clock" for nearly an extra two hours that I'm not getting paid for.

I've heard Dallas described this way: From overhead it would look like a giant fried egg. It's very concentrated in the middle (downtown/uptown areas) and then it starts spreading out....and spreading and spreading and spreading out...into the suburbs. It's a huge amount of land space.

There is a little town north of here (which is rapidly becoming a suburb as Dallas expands) that has a restaurant that serves the best strawberry pie I've ever had. I'll drive the 45 mins to an hour to get that pie.

You can count on spending 15-45 mins in your car to go anywhere in this town.

I also visit my parents every 4-6 weeks which is a two hour drive from here.

Driving is all we do here.

Rowan- Please wait to have another avocado when you visit Dr. Bob. California grows great avocados. They're like buttah.

rowan said...

Bama, thatsalotta driving! Sayin that, maybe I'd drive for forty five mins too, for that strawberry pie. Sounds yummy. In fact, please send me one via Wonkavision right away.

Man, wish it was possible to travel Star Trek style, in that transporter thingy. My bio signature would malfunction, though, what with the hidden carbs secreted under my coat, and I'd come out with a strawberry pie where my head one was. Well, it's a change from the creme egg which usually sits there.;)

Californian avocados sounds yummy. Hear they do fab fruit and veg of all kinds. Yay! Am used to poor, sad tasteless shrivelled specimens.:o

bamaborntxbred said...

Here's a link (you can see a pic of the PIE) to the little restaurant I go to. It's called The Pantry and it's in this old renovated store in the old town square in McKinney, TX. There are lots of antique stores, etc. around the square...so I usually eat my pie and walk it off while window shopping. It's such a sweet and relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

I SO wish I had a transporter. That would solve so many of my problems!

rowan said...

Wooo hooo...PIE TASTIC! That town square sounds the boogie. Antique shops and coconut cream pie, and key lime pie (don't knowv what that is, but it sounds good. Is it like lemon meringue pie?) Yes, that would indeed be a great way to spend an afternoon. Do they do a smorgasbord thing, or a tapas menu, where you can try a wee bit of everything, or do you just have to ram raid the place armed with a big spoon, gobble a chunk out of each, them make a quick getaway?

bamaborntxbred said...

Yeah, it's not so much a smorgasbord thing. You have to order a piece at a time. (The regular food is really good too. Kinda home-cooking style.)

Key lime pie is very much like lemon meringue...'cept made with key limes. It's definitely the boogie! At the State Fair of Texas you can get key lime pie frozen on a stick and dunked in chocolate. It's the most delishiousness stuff in the world.

rowan said...

Michty me!! (Steadies self until black mist clears) that's too much! Am going on the watery gruel right now, until I lose enough poundage to come over and put it all back on again eating key lime pie frozen on a stick and dipped in chocolate. :D

bamaborntxbred said...

Heeehee! I'll make sure to have a piece waitin' on ya when ya hit Texas soil!

Actually, I'm so hungry right now that watery gruel sounds pretty appetizing...

Almost time to head home for a healthy dinner of Hamburger Helper...Stroganoff flavor of course!

rowan said...

Hee hee! Watery gruel indeed, when that pie shop nearby...

Hey: what's Hamburger Helper? Think I've heard Dr Bob mention that before. Is it a sort of stir in seasoning for meat patties, or a pourover sauce for ready made burgers?

bamaborntxbred said...

Hamburger Helper comes in many different varieties...Stroganoff, Chili Mac, Cheesy Hashbrowns being some of my faves.

Basically, you brown ground hamburger meat, add milk and water, a powdered sauce packet and either pasta, rice or potatoes to make a whole meal in one pan! Yay! It's not very nutritional...but it always tastes pretty yummy!

There is also Tuna Helper and Chicken Helper too!

See Here!

rowan said...

That sounds pretty nutritious to the likes of me, and very yummee! Is there toast helper or potato helper? I think I like American food loads already, before I even get there!

claire said...

Oh God....coconut cream pie.....I'm drooling here. I love anything coconutty or coconut-related.

I also loved the heeyooge portions of pancakes you get served in America. Calorific!!!!

Dr. Bob said...

When I was growing up, Hamburger Helper was kinda poor people food. We (the kids) hated it, cause we ate it all the time> I never gave it to my kids -- recently I got some, just so they could try it and they loved it!

Funny ...

Yep, the portions are kinda huge in the US, some restaurants have it as their claim to fame. The trick is to take half (or more) home and have it for lunch the next day.

rowan said...

Claire...drooling in stereo from across the Irish sea. Coconut stuff rawks...coconut ice cream is my fave. Imagining it on a huge portion of hot pancakes in the US now...zap! (keyboard shorting out...drooling and technology don't go well togethah.)

Dr Bob: Hamburger Helper would be haute quisine to the likes of me! Sounds a good way for tentative cooks like me to get a foot on the 'actually using the cooker for stuff other than heating things in a pot' ladder.

Chicken and tuna helper sound yummee, Bama!

rowan said...

Yikes....I spelt cuisine with a q! :O

bamaborntxbred said...

Ummm...I love coconut too! Especially chocolate and coconut! Yummykins!

Dr. Bob- that's funny that when you were growing up you thought of HH as "poor people" food. I thought it was manna from Heaven b/c it was "store bought". Nearly everything we ate was homemade b/c it was cheaper: Chili beans & cornbread, meatloaf & real mashed potatoes, chicken & veggies from the garden, etc.

I thought anything that came pre-packaged like HH was SUCH a treat!

Funny how now the opposite is true!

rowan said...

How does taking half of a heeyooge helping home from a restaurant work, in the US? Do peeps feel they can ask for a carton or what would call a doggy bag, or do you surreptitiously secrete stuff in napkins when folks aren't looking, like we do?

We are a bit shy of asking for a doggy bag in the UK, which s daft, cos the food is paid for and will just be binned, but there you go! Would like to think that Americans are a bit more bold and less unaccountably sheepish than us about such things.

rowan said...

Sorry, missed out the word "we" in my first paragraph: "what we would call a doggy bag."

bamaborntxbred said...

We might call it a doggy bag or a to-go container. We aren't shy about that kind of stuff at all. It's pretty normal for people to ask for to-go containers. I've been with people who will order their food and ask for half of it to be packaged to-go and the other half brought out for them to eat. Now, I wouldn't do that...cuz I'd feel like it was extra work for the waiter.

Dr. Bob said...

I think that we very frequently ask for to go containers. I just think of it as a meal I don't have to make. It's my food -- I paid for it!

Bama -- yep, I have hear of folks asking for half to be wrapped up in the kitchen. I have not done it, but I would have no problem doing so. I waited tables for many years and it would not have bothered me in the least. It is easier to pack stuff up in the kitchen, anyway.

And I am a big tipper.

Dr. Bob said...

Oh, and regarding HH -- yep, it is in the perspective. I don't use much boxed stuff, so my kids see it as a treat. We ate it all the time because my mom was NOT a cook ... and it was cheap.

rowan said...

As the 60th Haverer on this thread, i claim my prize of an avocado sandwich entree; fajita, enchilada and hamburger helper tapas smorgasbord main dish; Coconut AND strawbery pie for pudding, and a large key lime pie in a to-go carton. (I'm hungry :D)

You Americans are very forward-thinking. We don't have to-go cartons. How cool! We would likely get a startled response, and be presented with a crumpled supermarket carrier bag. I don't think I could ask for a doggy bag - need to-go carton therapy. :D

Dr. Bob said...

I don't have an official prize of the day, but I am throwing handfuls of cyber confetti at you for being the 60th haverer ...

Whoo hoo!!

bamaborntxbred said...

And I'm throwing handfuls of Hamburger Helper at you!! Watch out, it's kind of sticky.

rowan said...

Yo! Thanks: all about being in the right lace at the right time, ye ken. I am now looking a bit like a capercaillie, covered as I am with gooky brown HH and cyber confetti.

bamaborntxbred said...

Heehee! I never heerd a one dem capercaillies afore! Dat's a cute widdle birdie.

rowan said...

Bama, you are very kind when it comes to the animal kingdom, even the weird and wacky outer-edge of it, as inhabited by capercaillies. I kind of disassociate myself from their pugilistic demeanour but aim to point out their resemblance to food items hitherto mentioned. They kind of remind me of a squashed hamburger which has been munching key lime pie - it has a sort of greenish-yellowy beak. They are also chubby. other than that - they are the silliest birds going, and rare, which is kind of good, even coming from someone who is kind of ornithologisty. Imagine one of these waiting for toast crumbs and jumping out from behind the wheelie bin when you go to hang out the washing. Yikeseroony.

David Attenborough, I heart. Have always thought he was a cool dood, and saw him on tv the other day - he is 81 and still looks great. Man, signing to gorillas in rainforests and shinning up redwood trees has certainly kept a spring in his step. Note to self to get outdoors more.

I may not heart capercailie birds much, but I do like the band which bear their name. Capercaillie sing traditional gaelic songs rocked-up a little, and are fab. Love the singer's voice. Wish I could sing like her. Bad hair warning for the guys in the vid, but the music is good! Here's another.

rowan said...

Dr Bob - have been meaning to ask you about the electronic boarding pass. Did you have one of these printed out for each leg of the flight, there and back? If so, how organised is that? I was imagining showing a big cardboard ticket like you get on a train trip, and some ticket guy punching a hole for every leg of the journey.:D See it is a looot more complicated! Did it worry you a bit that they'd never seen an electronic pass in Edinburgh? I'd have been spooked that they might not let me on board!

bamaborntxbred said...

I like that Capercaillie band! Thanks for the vids Row-Row!

I still think the bird is kinda cute. I prolly wouldn't want to try to play with one...or keep one as a pet...but they're not so ugly!

rowan said...

Bama - Iam an animal lover, honess: just find those toikeys trying to outmacho eachother kinda funny. Nvertheless...am wearing a pair of tracky pants which are kinda overstretched, and which might cause mirth in Carcaillies. In fact, pretty mch assume it would. Know their sort...:D

bamaborntxbred said...

Heehee...I believe you love dem animals. Jest cuz you don't think dem's purty, don't mean you don't love dem!

Wonder why I've never heard of them before now...hmmm...

rowan said...

Lol...not judgin them by their looks, ye ken...they're just kinda loutish in thr behaviour. Handsome is as handsome does, as my grandma used to say.

'Kay...I am now th 70th Haverer, but no more HH to be lobbed in my direction, as one of those scuury capercailles might think I'm muscling in on his territory if I take a walk in the woods.

rowan said...

Dr Bob, you have road runners where you are, don't you? Very cool. Are they shy, or do they strut aboot?

leejolem said...

this is a test, this is only a test

leejolem said...

squeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my comment posted. I am so psyched!!! God must have known I needed it today!

Where do I begin?
Avocados--they are weird little chaps, but I do love them with bacon and cream cheese on toasted wheat bread. Cholesterol anyone?

HH--it is a staple at our house. usually we eat it once/week. My dh hates cooking but can handle this, Stouffers lasagna, frozen pot pies, chili and spaghetti. Growing up we thought tv dinners were a huge treat cuz my mom always cooked. Isn't that weird?

Texas size--I wonder how many Indianas fit in Texas--8 or 9 maybe? TX is huge! I used to like Falcon Crest better than Dallas as far as nighttime soaps go.

Key lime pie rocks! Tuna and sweet corn in a sandwich sounds intriguing.

dr bob, you are brave to do international travel. I hate airports and flying. Not skeered, just hate the whole process.

I drive around 40 minutes to work each day, but it's only like 9 miles. We live in a northern suburb of Indianapolis that was just farmland 20 yrs ago. Sounds like indy is similar to Ireland in that respect. We just don't have any cute leprechauns leaping about. I would think nothing of driving 4-6 hrs to see Taylor in concert (oh, in fact I have).

I'm not a big fan of birds in general. We have a sun conure who loves everyone in my family but me--she bites me and poops on me on a regular basis.

that's all for now--miss you guys--how many comments do you think we can get this 1 posting up to ? Let's go for 1000!!!

rowan said...

Yaay! Good to see you, Lee! I'm hoping for cyber fajitas all round when we reach 100.

what's a sun conure?

bamaborntxbred said...

Yeah, what's a sun conure?

Cyber fajitas for 100 and cyber margaritas for 200!

Yummmy....avocados, bacon and cream cheese! The three major food groups!

Right now I'm eating the most wonderful dessert bar. It's like a pecan pie in a bar form...with a super-thick, yet tender, flaky, extremely buttery crust. Sooooo good!

rowan said...

Bama...maybe she just made up sun conures to keep us on our toes! As for capercaillies now, they are just a mite gynecomastic.

Indianapolis sounds fab, Lee. My geography is very bad: did Harrison Ford and the wee boy in "Witness" dodge about trying to avoid being buried by nasty peeps in grain silos there? Lovely countryside, wherever that was! Where is Indy (see, am pickin up the happenin terminology) in relation to California and Texas?

leejolem said...

Rowan, we are in the Midwest--so we are northeast of both of them. Don't ask me how many miles, cuz I suck at geography--but it's lots and lots. We're much closer to the east coast than to the west coast. I've never been to either California or Texas--bummer! The countryside of Indiana does look like the scenery in Witness, but I live in the suburbs, so there is nary a grain silo in site. We live around 15 minutes from any farms. It's just lots of housing developments, strip malls, grocery stores, walmart, Meijer, etc.... Indy is just a short name for the city of Indianapolis--the capitol of Indiana. We live in Fishers--which is a northern suburb of Indy where lots of upper middle class boring people live with their 2.5 children.

A sun conure is a type of parrot--it's small, but very colorful. they sometimes learn a few words, and are very vocal (she mimics the sounds we make and tries to sound like the dogs). I wish I could link, but I'm hopless, and need to get back to work.

rowan said...

Ah, thanks, Lee! Hey...one good thing (and there aren't many) about bing in a different timezone from yer cyber pals is that you DO get time to link, cos it is after 8pm! That's not to say I don't have loads of cutting-dge things to do...like tackle my Mt St Helens laundry mountain.

Aww, sun conures are sooooo cute! I want one. Lee, they live for 25 years, and yours bites you? Never mind, they just look sooo charming.

bamaborntxbred said...

Beautiful birdie! I want one too! I just wouldn't want to do the clean-up part. That would be annoying.

I'm seriously considering...(when I'm left with only one doggie...which might be sooner than later...but we're not dwelling on that right now)...getting a kitten.

I really want either an Exotic Shorthair or an American Shorthair.

They are both related to the Persian...but obviously have short hair/fur. I love these breeds for their big round eyes, smushy faces and their sweet temperments!

rowan said...

Awww, that first wee guy on the exotic shorthair link - Roberto - he is the cutest kitty evah. He's almost too cute to be real. Have seen persians, but not these guys.

Anonymous said...

Bama, we have had multiple persians over the years. We currently have a black smoke persian that was dumped at Petsmart where my daughter works. I can't believe someone dumped him. He's beautiful and a sweetheart. One thing about persians--they're a little clumsy and not the brightest pussies in the cathouse! I lerve them, but they are kind of like the dumb blondes of the feline world. I'm not sure about exotic shorthairs, but I'm a sucker for the smushy face also. We have a black domestic shorthair (who is very handsome), a 1/2 long hair/1/2 siamese (very vocal) and the persian. We also have 2 dogs and the bird. I'm a cat/dog person ,but the bird --not so much. I like something cuddly that you can pet. My girls are crazy about her--they pet her and cuddle her, butI'm too afraid of the poopstream that hurdles out of her nether regions at me.

bamaborntxbred said...

Don't choo just love his big ole smushy face? I love it! I just want to squish it sooo hard!

I've just been thinking that I prolly don't want to get anymore dogs for awhile (so I can travel, etc. more freely)....I mean, of course, after THE INEVITABLE occurs. But I also don't want either of the dogs I have right now to be an only child...b/c they might be lonely....so a cat seems like a good choice. A companion for me and my doggie(s), but still...cats are a little more independent and I don't have to be there 24/7 to care for them.

And those kittens are soooo cute!

bamaborntxbred said...

Lee- I'm guessing yer anonymous, huh?

I had Persians growing up...and I've always loved them so much...I just don't want to have to worry about the grooming issues! I think I would love a dumb cat...since they're so dang smart to begin with...it would make for a more level playing field! :)

I really love all kinds of cats...

leejolem said...

OMG, I could eat those kitties' faces up with a spoon!!!!!!!!!! They are the most rainbow flavored kittens evah!! I do think it's easier to travel with kittis than puppies. You can really leave them with a perpetual waterer thingy and plenty of food for a weekend, and they don't need to be let outside. My cats and dogs get along fine (except for evil Bob who has a napoleon complex and is a psycho dog).

leejolem said...

Cats are skeery smart! I have to say our smartest pet though is Bob, our heinz 57 dog (part jack russell, chiahuahua , boston terrier and corgi). I swear he's only a dna molecule away from speaking. He tries to talk to us and uses all kinds of different inflections, tones, etc.... Our sharpei, Mu-shu is alas not so bright. Shar-peis may be the persians of the canine world. Bama, aren't your doggies like 13 and 15? Mu-shu is around 10 which is pretty old for a sharpei. She's in good health except for a little arthritis. She insists on sleeping only on furniture (no floor for her!), and needs an aspirin/day to keep her spry enough to jump up on every available furniture surface.

bamaborntxbred said...

I think they're closer to 14 and 15...Magoo is in good health (he has a medical condition which is controlled by meds, though)...but Jasper is not healthy at all. He's blind, deaf, and experiences Petite Mal seizures daily and Grand Mal seizures about once a month. He still eats, drinks, poops, etc. and seems to have a good attitude...so I think his "quality of life" is still worthwhile. I'm just preparing myself for THAT WHICH SHALL COME.

bamaborntxbred said...

I'm leaving for the day y'all! Hope you get to 100 posts and have cyber fajitas for everyone!

rowan said...

Bye Bama! Love to the doggies. You do them proud!

rowan said...

Hope the fajitas are kept on ice for tomorrow cos it is after 10pm in the UK. It isn't dark, though. Doesn't really get roperly dark this time of year.

Dr. Bob said...

Lee! Hey!

Good to see you here in this neck of the woods. I hope that you enjoy the pictures and stuff. Rowan and I (once we got our timing down) contributed to the writing equally. If you start back in January, you can see one of my favorite pictures of Rowan -- a bit crumpled, but good. You will not recognize her face, though ...

I used to think I was an animal person, but now I think I am tired of my long-haired cat (Mom, please? Please? I promise I will take care of her!!) horking up hairballs. On everything. She has an evil genius for barfing up hairballs on and in stuff. She has an aversion to throwing up on the floor. Don't know why, really.

leejolem said...

I gotta run too. I'm outta here (work ) for the weekend. Our computer is on the fritz at home, but will try to stop by using my daughter's laptop.

Bye Bama and goodnight Rowan!

rowan said...

Yeah, half past ten, and you could still sit outside, and read a book, no problem. Can't remember which country is supposed to be land of the midnight sun, but it is bloomin bright here!

leejolem said...

dr bob, I feel your hairball pain. Our semi-long haired 1/2 siamese vomits daily! It doesn't matter what we feed him. He's 12 yrs old, and the vet doesn't know what's wrong with him. He makes an awful noise (like a satan-possessed baby crying) right before he "horks". Ugh!

rowan said...

Bye Lee! Missed seeing you go. Have a great weekend. Hi Dr Bob! Gak to hairballs. Maybe being pet-less isn't all that bad!

rowan said...

Lol - I didn't miss getting my goodbye in after-all, and am still happenin, even if typing two fingered.

Am very glad not to own a vomiting feline.

rowan said...

Hey! Wishin all my fellow haverers a lovely Saturday. It is cold and rainy here. Was all ready to walk to the supermarket (had a yen for cheese whiz, which I loved as a kid:wanted to see if it still exists) and needed a couple of essential but boring items. Why doesn't washing powder foam up, when substituted for washing up liquid btw? Who knows...sigh to running out of stuff, and downpours! It is stottin and stoonin doon.

May the sun shine for y'all today, but not too hotly...balmy breezes to all!

bamaborntxbred said...

No fajitas yet?

rowan said...

Hola! Lol....sooon sooon...I am on the cottage cheese diet today and wants some cyber fajitas. Always want to put an "h" in that word somewhere. The spelling catches me out.

bamaborntxbred said...

OOOhhh...Rowan! If you post next you get to have the 100th comment! Yay!

rowan said...

Fajitas fajitas and yet more fajitas! Whoooo hooooooooo!

Hooray for 100 posts! Dr Booooob, we want us some cyber fajitas...

bamaborntxbred said...

Ummm....fajitas....

rowan said...

Aw thanks - yeeumeee! Hey, wishin you peeps a happy Independence Day tomorrow! So... (struggles with the math ... drumroll) it will be 231 years since y'all flew the coop, and stopped getting rained on every day and paying double for a burger! :D

bamaborntxbred said...

Wow! I bet you have buildings in yer town older than our country...huh?

(Thanks for the B-day wishes....America appreciates you!)

bamaborntxbred said...

Here's something pretty for America, The Beautiful's birthday.

rowan said...

Aw, that's lovely! Yer makin me all patriotic now! What a grand montage.

leejolem said...

Hey y'all! Happy 4th of July! I want some chocolate with my fajitas. How about a flourless chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache?
Rowan, your comment about the "h" in fajitas made me think of one of my best friend's pronounciation of a couple words. She's hearing impaired, but her speech is almost flawless. Every once in a while I catch her on something--my 2 favs:
ja-LAP-a-no (pronounce the "j" with emphasis on 2nd syllable) and
tor-teell-a (lots of "ll" in there). Must be something about mexican food.

Hope everyone is having a good day.

Dr. Bob said...

Happy fourth to you all. Sorry that I have been least in sight -- my internet went down for an annoyingly long time.

Rowan and Lee, the "j" thing is a toughie. I had an English teacher once who came out West and spent a whole year calling one of her students "Jesus" rather than "Heysus" and was mortified when she found that the J was not like in "jam".

rowan said...

Hullo y'all! Hope you had a great day. Chocolate ganache topping...yumeee! So, Lee, if the cake is flourless, does that mean it is one of those luscious fridge ones which are made of squashed cookies and syrup and melted chccy and harden when cold?

Dr Bob - I've made that Heysus mistake too, when reading "Tortilla Flat" and "Cannery Row" as a teen. Hey...looking back, would have said tortilla as in godzilla, as well. A double whammy!

bamaborntxbred said...

I think Lee means a cake like this if I'm not mistaken. They are very rich...and decadent...yummy.

Happy day after the 4th!

Dr. Bob- sorry your internet went ka-pooey....and glad it's fixed now!

rowan said...

Wow - a sorta chocolate meringue? Deelishus! Hmmm...maybe the collapsed part could be filled with coconut ice-cream...

Bama - you are the queen of pie links:D

Lee...ah, is that where the choccy ganache topping comes in? Filling up the gooey meringuey base? Man you Americans are cake-happenin. (Clicks heels and salutes.) Can't reach the dizzy heights of American pies, but I can do quite nice date and banana scones...

bamaborntxbred said...

Rowan I'd love one of yer scones I'm sure. 'Cept I'm not a fan of dates...neither the fruit nor the social variety.

May I please have mine with bananas only.

leejolem said...

Bama, how about a date with a fruit? That would really suck!

Rowan, I have never actually made said flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache--but have seen it made on tv. Does that count? I lerve the reality cooking shows--Top Chef, Next Food Network Star, even Hell's Kitchen. Gordon Ramsey is skeery--but kind of sexy in a weird way. Bama, I need a tv blog written by you!!! As long as it's in place by the time The Office starts back up.

Speaking of the Office--I saw the movie Evan Almighty this past week with HC4S (who says hi by the way). It was a cute movie. Very wholesome, and it had a good message about faith. I hope when I get to heaven that God looks like Morgan Freeman. And now Noah better look like Steve Carrell and of course Moses is Charlton Heston.

leejolem said...

I also saw a really hilarious movie that was not so wholesome--Knocked Up. It was a sweet romantic comedy, but had quite a bit of nudity--I was surprised. It had some really funny moments, and Katherine Heigl (spelling?) was very funny.

Dr. Bob said...

Although I live in the date capital of the US, I do not care for dates. At all.

But I am not a fan of dried fruit in general.

rowan said...

Aww, this is like, The Elves and the Shoemaker! I get up in the morning and find that you peeps have been typing through the night, writing entertaining messages and leaving them stacked neatly, and I have the pleasure of finding them in the morning!

Lee – you have been to the pictures! I sooo have a yen to go to the cinema. Haven’t been for 5 years. Would love to take my wee girl to see Shrek 111: she’s never been to the cinema, and I would enjoy seeing her reactions to the big screen, the popcorn and the film posters on sale – maybe next week when my son has 2 days in the respite unit.

Bama – yep, you can certainly have your scone dateless! Be warned, though: my scones are heyooge. The fairytale, The Tinderbox, which has the three helpful dogs with eyes as big as saucers, dinnerplates and cartwheels, ought to contain the odd reference to a less-famous cousin, who has eyes as big as Rowan’s banana scones.

Dr Bob – we are maybe a nation of dried fruit lovers, cos we aren’t really up to producing a lot of nice fresh fruit in large enough quantities. We are good at apples, and the odd peach and plum tree hides in the corner of suburban gardens (my mum has a groovy plum tree) but we makealotta cakes, and need a regular supply of dried ingredients. Think we must import vast quantities of currants, raisins and sultanas (grapes in progressively dried oot formats.) Saying that, I once made a great cake quite by chance, using a can of plums. Forhot about the cake, and it matured in its tin over a week or so, turning into something unexpectedly yummy and most un-rowanlike. Banana scones all-round! You can bring the coffee, Dr Bob. My coffee-press rusted with disuse:(

rowan said...

I meant to say, grapes in progressively less dried oot formats. Think sultanas are juciest, followed by raisins, and cuttants are just plain shrivelled and taste burnt...but they definitely have something....especially when they are the last snackable item in the cupboard.

leejolem said...

rowan, I hope you get to take your little girl to the movies! Any word on the new school for your son? I remember taking Abigail when she was just barely 3yrs to see Beauty and the Beast and when Gaston opens his shirt and sings "every last inch of me's covered with hair" she bust out laughing. That was the funniest thing she had ever seen or heard. I lerve going to the movies,and don't even mind going to a matinee by myself. Now, dried fruit is anohter story. I could live w/o it, except in the yummy dried cranberry and blueberry form that comes mixed in with cereal. I have never heard of a sultana. You scots like to live on the edge. Was your cake a bit fermented by the time you ate it? I've never gotten drunk off of a dessert product. What a way to spend an evening!

I haven't thought about the Tinderbox for years--I had a huge coloring book of it when I was little. Have you heard of King Thrushbeard? Another classic! I like to think of myself of one of the shoemaker's elves. As I recall they were buck naked when they did their work--I am not going to comply with that. Me typing naked at my desk is not a good visual!

bamaborntxbred said...

Y'all are funny! Hee-Hee!

Let's see...

Rowan- I prefer huge food. That way I look tiny in comparison. (See Big Gulp comment in one of the previous posts).

Dried fruit- I like 'em! I just don't like dates b/c when I was a kid someone (my brother prolly) told me they were roaches with their legs pulled off. I've never been able to get that image outta my head. Ewwww....

Movies- I saw Knocked Up too Lee! Hilarious...but FILTHY. It's on par w/40 Year Old Virgin. Dirty, dirty!

I want to see Transformers (more than meets the eye!) b/c it reminds me of my childhood, I love big, blockbuster-y action flicks, and I heart Shia LeBeouf.

Rowan- you absolutely need to take little Lena to the moving picture show. I'm convinced she's going to be an entertainer one day (or Faerie Conservationist), and maybe part of her future life's work includes being a "Movie Star"...so she should go ahead and see what all the fuss is about.

I love fairytales. I have a huge book of The Brother's Grimm and also another of Hans Christian Andersen's works. Love, love, love them.

(Ooh...loved that movie with Danny Kaye...Hans Christian Andersen.)

Thumbelina, Thumbelina, tiny little thing. Thumbelina dance! Thumbelina sing! Thumbelina what's the difference if you're very small? 'Cause when your heart is full of love you're ten feet tall!

leejolem said...

Bama, the Danny Kaye Hans Christian Andersen movie is da bomb. "inch worm, inch worm, measuring the matterhorn, seems to me you'd stop and see how beatiful you are". Oh my gosh, I lerve that movie!!! I was so excited when I heard about the Brothers Grimm movie with Heath Ledger and Matt Damon (I think), but I was sorely disappointed in the final result. kinda boooorrring!

I loved all the Office cameos in Knocked Up --how about Ryan as an Ob-gyn? It almost creeped me out. Even tho the movie was filthy it was also so sweet at moments. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. Not super realistic, but heart-warming at times.

Shia Lebeouf has turned into a little cutie-patootie. The girls and I have liked him since Nickelodeon days.

Rowan, what is the time difference between the states and Scotland? I'm hopless on time zones.

bamaborntxbred said...

Yeah, KU did have it's sweet moments. I especially liked the sister and her husband. I just never believed the chemistry between the two main characters. I'm all for the underdog getting the hot chick...I just didn't think they really made it work between those two!

Eww, hated that BG movie...even tho two of my fave hotties were in it!

rowan said...

Hey you guys!

Lee - yeah, the cake just may have fermented a little, and the sugar on top had carmelised...

That's funny, about Gaston. Have never seen that film, but that line is indeed worthy of a belly laugh. Glad you liked The Tinderbox, though the old witch got a bit of a raw deal, being left upside-down in a hollow tree, with the soldier nicking all the treasure and her cool dogs. Think she only asked him to get something she couldn't reach, or sumpin like that, back at the beginning of the story. Guess the moral of that tale is that gnarled old ladies living on their own need to invest in step-ladders.

Bama - Hans Christian Andersen was great. And here is Danny Kaye's finest moment. Dr Bob reminded me about the flagon with the dragon some time back. Sigh...and I thought I was an aficionado. How could I forget that? The vessel with the pestle and chalice from the palace were the only two goblets I recalled.

rowan said...

Lee, here is Inchworm for you! Bama, sadly, Thumbelina is not on YT. Um, timezones...I am 8 hours ahead of Dr Bob and is it five ot six ahead of the Eastern peeps? It is 7pm now, but that isn't much help, unless you see my post soon and can do a time check. Will go find a link!

rowan said...

Here is a good timezone thingy!

Hey... some of you peeps haven't even had lunch yet...jellis, if it involves fajitas or key lime pie! :)

leejolem said...

Rowan, Are you the same time as Dublin? I couldn't find a Scottish city on the chart. It said it is 4:03pm in Indianapolis (which is correct) and 9:03pm in Dublin, so you're 5 hours ahead of us. That's not too bad. For some reason I was thinking it was more like 12 hours. I can't open the Inchworm youtube--stupid computer at work. :( It never lets me have any fun. No need for you to be jellis of my lunch--I had a can of spaghetti'os with meatballs and Oreo crisps. Grocery shopping hasn't been a priority at my house this week. No key lime pie or fajitas for me today. I did try a new Hagen das ice cream flavor this week--it was the flavor that won their Scoop contest (people submitted flavor ideas--it was a special on the Food Network). The winning flavor was Sticky Toffee Pudding--something we really don't make here in the US. The ice cream is yummy!

PS--this is soooo funny--the code letters I have to spell out for verification are "daft"--how appropos!

Bama--I agree , not much chemistry between the 2 in KU. More like buddies, not in love.

Dr. Bob said...

Hey Rowan, this reminds me of the great sultana debate of 2006 ...

No me gusta dried fruit ...

rowan said...

Lee - yep, we Scots are the same time as Dublin and London. London sets out time: Greenwich Mean time. We are too wee to have different timezones. Think the sign at John O Groats, (close to the most northerly point of Scotland) says it is 874 miles to Land's End, the most southerly point in England.

Dr Bob - viva dried fruit and bean debates! We are a bean-tastic raisin-mungous people.

In 1964 my mum was persuaded, against her inclinations, to submit a photo for a beauty contest advertised on a raisin box. The winner's title was to be, "Miss Californian Raisin." :D I was in the picture too, as a babe in arms, and mum had on a heavy brown wool coat. She was a reluctant model!

Dr. Bob said...

I like your mommy...

rowan said...

She likes you too!

I wonder if there is such a thing as raisiny beans...YES...that would be the curried Mean Beanz - baked beans with raisins and curry powder. Zounds! Thwarted in my business plan before it got off the drawing board (or blogging box.) On well. At least the entrepreneurial spirit is alive. that ought to count for something. Still have my great plan of coming up with a great bean idea to sell to Heinz. Well, a girl can dream....:D

leejolem said...

Rowan, the California Raisins are rolling over in their tiny graves thinking about being mixed with curry and baked beans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Raisins

I hope my link works!!!

I do lerve beans though. They are high in fiber and good for cholesterol issues. Black beans are a staple in our house. I make chicken burritos with corn and black beans that are to die for. I can't believe I missed the 2006 "great sultana debate". I'm always a day late and a dollar short for the exciting things in life.

Watch out girls-today is 7/7/07--good luck should come your way. Maybe Taylor will decide to call me today and thank me for the kewl gifts I have given him. I'll start holding my breath right now. ......you might want to call the medics in an hour or so in case I start turning blue.....

rowan said...

(Drrrrrrrrring drrrrring: Leejolem can't take your call right now. Please lave your message after the tone. Beeeeeep.)

"Awww, man! Ahm bummed. Hey Lee and howyoudoin? You take a deep breath now, missy. Ahm mighty touched with yer kewl gifts and am gonna serenade yuh...Ahv nevuh been the one to raise ma hand, that was not meee, but now that's who who ah am, becoz of yooo ah am standin tall...my heart is full of endless gratitood...hey, the line went dead..."

Dang! Sorry Lee. Think my post crossed with a certain fellow's, and inadvertently cut him off. Hey...sticky toffee pudding Haagen Daz will hopefully act as a sort ofconsolation.

rowan said...

Those burritos sound good! (Note to self to learn to cook, and not to see merely heating things up as cooking.)

Curried beans can be quite taystee...honnesss

leejolem said...

Rowan, girrllll, if Taylor actually called me and serenaded me I would fall down in a dead faint. When I was standing next to him handing him the monkbot cap I could hardly breathe. If he had said any other words than "thank you" I don't know that I could have carried on a conversation. Good job on typing a southern accent--that's no easy task! I think I'm gonna go out next week and buy the audio version of his book just to hear that southern drawl. I'm also a sucker for an Australian accent, and a scotsman's voice ain't too shabby either! I know you have tons of sexy men in kilts waiting on you hand and foot on a daily basis--you're just hiding that fact from us cuz you don't want us to be jellis. There's probably one feeding you sticky toffee pudding ice cream right at this moment (or even curried beans). lol

I've been trying to catch up on reading all of yours and dr bob's posts. You guys had some great adventures! I love reading from both of your perspectives. It makes me feel like I was there with y'all. Your daughter sounds adorable. Sounds like she and dr bob hit it off. You've got your hands full. My kids have always been full of spirit like Lena. Alexa (hc4s) had us laughing from the time she was 2yrs old. She's always had such a sense of humor. I could write a book.

Hope all is well across the ocean!

leejolem said...

Example of Alexa's crazy humor--
The other day she got a nosebleed. When I got home from work she told me in a very mock serious tone "today my nose became a woman"--of course I laughed my head off. She's quirky that one!

rowan said...

Lee, Alexa's nose comment was hilarious. Really needed that laugh today. 11.30pm and all is quiet at last. Phew!

The men in kilts are welcome to come by, but as far as feeding goes, they can feed my fantasies by bringing mops and brooms, and getting the place into a semblance of order. Oh, and a couple can paint the bits of my kitchen that were too high for me and ended up looking rag-rolled. The Hagen Daz and curried beans are mine...not letting any men anywhere near them. Oh, and a couple can come and sing plaintive gaelic airs whilst doing my ironing. they can sing old Ultravox and Marc Almond hits from the '80s..as long as they gets those scuuurily wrinkled cords ironed. Sometimes I chuck stuff out, just cos it is too daunting a prospect to iron.

Jock...wouldya keep it down...I'm talkin to Lee over here...

"Sorreh Rowan, need tae up the anti a bit fur this pair o troosers - fell creased they are. This means nothing to meee,This means nothing to meeee ah Vienna."

Ah - my cover is blown. I do have a visiting troupe of bekilted ironing chiels working on my ironing mountain, but don't be jellis. They can be a bit tetchy about who does what job and I can't thole back-biting. Still, they sing nicely. Missed capturing the songs, as I didn't like to disturb them at work, but here they are out on the back step, jammin a leetle before going home.

rowan said...

Lee, that's great that you enjoyed reading the dual perspective! Yep, Lena and Dr Bob did hit it off. Dr Bob has introduced her to Veggie Tales dvds,which she absolutely loves. Her fave is, "Dave and the Giant Pickle."

(Waves to HC4S.)

Dr. Bob said...

Very funny comment by your daughter, Lee. Kids is funny ...

Lena is great -- I am not sure what would happen if she and my youngest met -- some kind of cosmic implosion, probably. They are both pretty strong little personalities.

Glad that you liked reading our posts. Did you find my favorite picture of Rowan? It is when she is getting ready for London ... third entry or so.

And Rowan does very nice dialects -- I can't write them out the way she does ...

rowan said...

Dr Bob - think the small peeps would get on really well, but the'd be swapping, 'how to get mum round to your way of thinking' strategies, and we'd have no chance getting them to do anything they didn't want to. Lena's tactics and arguments for not clearing up her drawing stuff and staying up to watch a little more of one last dvd are pretty finely honed already...

Lee - how is HS4s's asthma doing these days?


Hope y'all have a great Sunday, fellow Haverers!

leejolem said...

Rowan, this time of year it doesn't usually act up. We've got our hands full with bi-polar dad, so no one else can afford to be sick. By the way he is home and doing much better. He's on some new meds and has an appt in a couple weeks with a therapist. We had my family over last night to do fireworks for a belated 4th of July celebration. I think he wanted people to come over and see that he was ok. He cleaned all day to get ready, so that made me very happy!

I've been reading all of the January posts today at my boring 2nd job. I feel like I was there with you guys. I especially loved the story of you and dr bob going to church. Have you gone back at all? We are members at a wonderful Lutheran church, but I have not been good at attending regularly in the last year. Barry actually went today (I couldn't cuz I was at work). I was thrilled. He really needs his faith at this time.

I'm thinking of goin on an all Oatibix diet. I figure I would feel full all the time, and I would be bound to drop lbs by the dozen because there would be no room for truffles, potato chips, hot dogs, etc.... I am now craving a baked potato with beans and cheese--I've never had one of these before but Lena's choice at lunch has stirred by taste buds!

Dr. Bob said...

Hey Lee,

Glad that all are home and well. Beans seem to be a staple of the British diet, for sure. I actually like beans and cheese (haven't tried them on potatoes).

I am glad that you liked coming to the Steeple Church with us. It is a lovely church -- very warm and welcoming. Rowan sends me the podcasted services -- I feel like an honorary member across the ocean.

Weetabix, baby, weetabix ...

rowan said...

Hey you guys!

Lee - yep, I've gone to the Steeple Church every Sunday since that first visit on Dec 3rd! I became a member of the church on April 1st: the children were baptised and I made my Profession of Faith. It was a beautiful service, and I can listen to it again on the podcast, which is lovely.

Lee - Oooh, you have rekindled the great Oatibix/Weetabix debate! If you would like to try any of the foods mentioned, just ask, and I'll send! Actually, they do advertise cereal diets here. Weetabix and Oatibix are very filling. Oatibix is kinda like healthy cholesterol-reducing mortar, but it has its charm. Weetabix is an all-time staple fave.

Sigh...I always have to type the ciode letters at least twice. Is it just me? :D

rowan myopia said...

Dr Bob - you are one of the Steeple Peepel!

I have to agree with you that I prefer Weetabix, but Oatibix is a sort of filling phenomenon. Did you try it, Bob?

leejolem said...

I just finished reading from January thru June. Is it awful that out of all the beautiful pics and historical info the thing I find most interesting is the food and the grocery store? I'm so plebian. The different flavors of chips/crisps are fascinating--I believe I spied a beet and horseradish variety. Who needs fresh produce when your crisps have them in them? I must say Scotland doesn't have the corner on the market on fried desserts--the Indiana State Fair has some new product each year. In the past there have been deep fried snickers bars (like mars but with peanuts), twinkies, oreos and last year deep fried coke. They take the coke syrup and somehow fry it, so it is like batter with really sweet flavored syrup inside. I did not try it!!!! One thing good about the midwest--we have lots of great produce--corn, sweet corn, tomatoes, etc.... I have got to try tuna with sweet corn. sounds yummy!

My mom grew up on a farm and they used to eat blood sausage--I think it's similar to black pudding. Yikes, clotted blood is not my idea of food. She used to make us scrapple which is oatmeal and pork mixed up then sliced and fried--sounds kind of like your white pudding. Barley is great in veggie soup, but I think the texture would be weird in the white pudding.

I'm so glad you joined the church and your kiddos were baptised. That is awesome! Having a church home is so important, and I think it helps kids develop character, faith, love, etc...

Thanks for all the hard work you put into making a chronicle of your sightseeing adventures. I have so enjoyed it today!

Dr. Bob said...

Rowan ... get your glasses! Sheesh!

Anyway. Glad to liven up your day at work, Lee. We did have a good time. I kinda agree about the store versus monuments ... I like to see how people live and what they eat and how they shop. I had fun using the checkout at Asda. I'm kinda low-brow, myself.

I have had scrapple when I was in Ohio. It was fine. Pretty mid-west, I would think.

Yes, it is good that Rowan found a home church.

rowan said...

Hey y'all!

Lee glad you liked the Asda pics. Think the crisps are beer and horseradish...not that I have tried them...(don't know why, have eaten my way through all the others.)

Yes, I am so happy to have found my home church - Lena is very happy there and it is indeed a good stable foundation for her in so many ways. She has found a strong faith.

Those state fairs sound the boogie! We have Snickers too. I find it hard to choke that word out, to borrow a phrase from Dr Bob, in relation to the word serviette. We used to call Snickers Marathon bars. Snickers is too like an undergarment. We Brits took the changeover of names pretty hard. There was a big advertising campaign to make the transition as easy as possible, but it was uneasy...and there are still ripples below the surface...and they ain't just the peanuts. Marathon bars they will always be to us.

rowan said...

Beef and horseradish...not beer...sigh, sigh (goes to hunt for glasses.)

Dr. Bob said...

How many fingers am I holding up?

leejolem said...

Beef and horseradish makes more sense than beet and horseradish. I guess I need a glasses check too!

Is it bad that I still ask my girls if they need to go "potty" before we got out somewhere? Is that worse or better than toilet? I like bathroom myself. I had no idea that ole Queen E started the "loo" term. That is too funny! What if she had called it something tastless like "the crapper"--that would have been da bomb!

rowan said...

Hee hee!!! That there's funny, Dr Bob. (Still hunting for my big owly specs.)

Lee...yeh, that would have been da bomb. Am imagining her saying the crepaah, in a very upper-crust accent. Loo is quirky. I quite like it. Do you use that in the US? Wll, of course y'all use it, but you know what I means! :D

Hey...what is the subscribe to atom blog thingy?

rowan said...

Nighty night from ower ra watter, Dr Bob and Lee! Have enjoyed havering with y'all today!

bamaborntxbred said...

Hey y'all! I'm the 150th haverer! Frozen, chocolate dunked key lime pie on a stick for everyone!

rowan said...

Whoo hooo - thanks Bama! Just what I need! well, let me qualify that a little: it is what I would like. My non-elasticated waistband is pleading with me that I do not need one...or several...

bamaborntxbred said...

I know what you mean! My "too big" jeans fit now...oops!

I just finished reading the previous comments from over the weekend....and am laughing over the beet/beer/beef horseradish chips. The whole time I just kept thinking, "As if it even matters!". You know, cuz no matter which it was...it was sure to be the strangest "chip" flavor I've heard of.

Yay for your church link! Yer so high tech! I loved clicking that link b/c the sweetest little man was there smiling at me! I suppose he's your pastor? I looked at everything about yer church! Can I have some hot chocolate?

P.S. I always have to type the verif word twice too!! :)

rowan said...

Yay! S glad y vsited the virtual Steeple. Yer, the photo is of the Reverend Clark, the minister. He is a really wonderful reacher, and a very kind and jolly person. He and his wife have been most kind to their new church member. They are a very friendly congregation. Hey...why not send a hey to them via the website! Did I send you the podcast link page?

Sure there will be plenty of hot chocolate to go round! Cheers!

I am feeling guilty, cos I am sneakily blogging on my laptop in the kitchen while my mum is raking up cut grass in th back gadn, and my stdad s mowing! The grass was reaaly tall.

Bama: a fellow code re-typer! It ant just me!

rowan said...

Yikes, sorry, my vowel keys keep freezing! The first line of my last post should read, 'so glad you visited the virtual Steeple'.

rowan said...

Man...and the p from preacher hasn't showed up. Sheesh. Sorry. Feel free to edit my last post, Dr Bob. It looks a bit like text language in places. I am using my pc now, and the keyboard has survived being riverdanced on this morning by 'a certain boy' as Lena calls her brother. The escape key fell out, but I don't know what it is for, anyway.

Whe I come over to the US, will need to go on a State Fair crawl, and sample some of those exotic delights: frozen key lime pies on sticks; deep fried Marathon Bars (don't know the html for italics, so please visualise the sweet name thus represented.) Can't say Snickers. Even if the synaesthesia effects are suppresssed and the undie-sounding element of the name is ignored, it still sounds like a mean sort of laugh. Bet the bar tastes good deep fried, though.

What's a twinkie? Scrapple sounds good!

Will end my State Fair feast with an Earl Grey big gulp.

bamaborntxbred said...

Twinkies are one of the 5 major food groups: Cheese, Diet Coke, sauce (of any kind), bread, and Twinkies. Duh...everyone knows that.

Just kidding. ;) Some people don't.

Rowan- I can totally read yer crazee vowel/P missing comments. I'm an expert code-cracker!

I might email yer minister and say Hi! Although, I think he might organize a prayer meeting for you once I explain how we "met".

Maybe we should rethink that....

Dr. Bob said...

Hey Bama -- yeah, I sort of glossed over that one myself (saying how we met). Rowan, what did I say? Something, depending on the person -- that we met through a mutual friend (Gray counts ...). Rowan said that we met on a music website, but I always worried that people would inquire and I would have to 'fess up.

Twinkies are okay, but I profess a weakness for Ho-Hos. You can peel 'em...

rowan said...

Lol - Dr Bob - what on earth are Ho hos? You peeps have biccies like Chinese boxes or Russian dolls - you think you've got your head around them, yet there's another layer of carbohydrate mystery still to solve. It's groovy, really. I like snack surprises. Ho ho link, please, sumbuddy. I could google...but I like clicking on links. You are nice people.

Hee hee you two - yep, sometimes I say music website, which is kinda stretching a point, cos it makes me look like I know about music and i really don't. I am one of those people who really prefers to chill out in absolute silence. A nice cheewn is fine when one is in the mood for it, but it is not all about the music for me. saying that, though, it was a musical interest which brought me to the aforementioned musical website! It depends who I speak to, but I did fessup about how we met, at Bible class, and the group were genuinely intrigued. They could perhaps sense my discomfiture at being potentially seen as fangirly or watching low-brow tv. Funny.

Music website works for me in general, but I'm aware it is a leetle funny, cos it makes me sound like I knows my quaver from a semi-breve, and it is a bit like writing "brain surgeon" on my resume, cos I bought my daughter a 3d jigsaw of the brain. That being said, it works for me, and it makes me laugh. And it was a music website. I downloaded am MP3 of Chris Smither. Meant to buy his cd, and still feel bad I didn't. There...there is music in me after-all. I do like UTR and JTFTW. We helped a deserving musician get his voice heard. But try saying that out loud to someone...and watch their eyes roll. Funny, funny funny.

Turnip greens and red snapper, anyone? hey...it was a HEALTHY EATING website, as well...:D

rowan said...

Bama - thanks for the Twinkie link. That was not what I expected at all, a little cream-filled cake. Was imagining something more like a Viennese whirl. (Lol - do you have those?)

I'm glad to know what a Twinkie is. They feature here and there in modern American literature, and it was disempowering not knowing what they were.

bamaborntxbred said...

Dr. Bob- I like Ho-Ho's too. I just think Twinkies are just simple creme-filled goodness.

I've always had a special place in my heart for Snowballs too.

Y'all- I bought a little trinket for Lena (for a box I'm sending to Row and family) while I was with my Mom. I felt the need to explain how I knew a 4 year old in Scotland...sooooo, I kind of glossed over the first, say, 6 months to a year, and skipped to the first couple of emails Rowan and I exchanged and it turned into this: "We were on a mutual mass email list and eventually began emailing each other b/c I thought she was sooooo funny."

That's not REALLY lying to my Mother, right?

I mean, Shelley did send out a couple of mass emails...right?

It's just that my parents think that the only people you can meet on the internet are scam artists and murderers. Although, Rowan, if you really want to go through a couple of years of emailing, commenting on blogs and then travelling a great distance to scam or murder me....more power to ya gal!

Not really. Please don't murder me.

rowan said...

Bwa ha ha! (A gentle, not sinister laugh, btw.)

Thats kind of you about the trinket!

I am a scuurdy cat, scared of the robots in the trailer for Transformers and the antithesis of the murdering type, so yer ok! You can vouch for me, Dr Bob? Just don't try to take my last oreo or twinkie, or nuffin. That might me me a teensy bit irritable, but I would internalise it and get an ulcer, rather than say anything mean, or nuffin. Still, this is the internet...I could be a sociopathic body builder from Stow on the Wold, or Hemel Hempstead, or something. (These quirky English village names are the boogie.)

Hey, I mentioned Tayluh to peeps, so maybe I'm a leetle braver than I think I am!

Gotta run...see y'all in a wee whiley.

leejolem said...

I must be the only idiot around who explains to people that I met cool internation friends on a taylor hicks website that involves a travelling monkey with cymbals. My family already thinks I'm crazy--they just now have proof. Sometimes I abbreviate the explanation, but most people know it involves Taylor cuz they know I'm a fanatic!

Missed you guys yesteday--was at home with bronchitis. Ugh

bamaborntxbred said...

Sorry 'bout the bronchitis Lee! Should you be back at work so soon? You are quite the brave one to tell peeps THE TRUTH.

Rowan- I'm scared of the Transformer robots too! Haha! I thought I was the only one! (I still wanna see it though.)

I promise to keep my hands off yer last oreo!! Dat's fer sure!

leejolem said...

Have you guys tried to Oreo crisp 100calorie packs? They are quite a good sweet treat to take for lunch when you have a chocolate craving. they are missing the yummy lard-filled cream filling, but they're still pretty satisfying. they would go really well with a can of reddi-whip! do they make that non-fat? Even cool whip non fat would be the bomb.

I'm kinda of regretting my opennness about all things Taylor. The ups driver who comes in about 1x/week calls me Mrs Hicks and always makes lewd comments about the packages he's dropping off (often in regard to their size and what part of Taylor it contains--if you get my drift). The pharmacy students that I am a preceptor for know my reputation and always look for the Taylor collage I keep by my desk. There's no turning back now. I guess there's worse obsessions.

Speaking of obsessions, my dh loves the tv steries Charmed. We were watching the dvd of season3 the other day, and guess who popped up as a warlock--Rainn Wilson--aka Dwight Schrute of Office fame. It was too funny!! It was like Dwight in costume. I kept expecting Jim and Pam to show up and make fun of him!

rowan said...

Lee, sorry about your bronchitis. Hope yer feelin better soon. That ups man sounds a bit creepy...

As you're feeling a bit below par, maybe you should bring your Taylor pillowcase in to lay your weary head on at your desk, if you feel a little faint. I considered buying one of those on Ebay for the sheer kitch value...a real gem...but they were all 'paypal only' and I'm skeered to put my card details online.

I like the sound of the collage. Funny! When I was teaching English in high school, I was off work ill for a couple of weeks at one point. My class of fifteen year olds knew I liked Mel Gibson in Braveheart, so they sent me a card the'd made with a big cut-out of Mel with a flap up kilt. Underneath, they'd given him a pair of bloomers, which they'd all signed, asking me to get well soon. It was sooo funny and really cheered me up.

Bama, glad I'm not the only one spooked by the robots! I wanna see Shrek this week.

bamaborntxbred said...

Aww, your students sound so thoughtful...and creative...

:)

I haven't seen Shrek 3 yet. I totally wanna! This week though, I'll be in line for Harry Potter! And next week is Hairspray!

rowan said...

Haven't seen any Harry Potter films yet...Hairspray I liked a lot, with Ricki Lake and Divine. Don't know who is in the remake.

Yeh, they were a great class. Through some admin quirk, I had them from first year through to fifth (12 to 16.) Remember on the last morning of school before the Summer break, they asked to watch a video from the film and media resource cupboard. All the other classes were there before them, and all that was left was, "The Bodyguard". There was a peaceful vibe in class, if a little demob happy. One funny little girl shouted out to me, "Miss, why does Whitney sing like her bottom lip was stuck to an ice floe?" She proceeded to give an example of Whitney vibratto, and all the others joined in. It was surreal and hysterical, watching all those big farmer's lads (it was in the countryside) doing over the top Scots renditions of Whitney's big number with careful attention to every quavery note,

'If aaah shoo hoo hood staaay, ah wood onnleh bee in yoooor way hay hay hay hay hay hay...' Michty me, they will be 24 now!

leejolem said...

Rowan, I would have loved to have seen the lads singin like Whitney. I'm not sure who was the worse actor in that movie--Kevin Costner or Whitney. The songs are great, but the plot is a bit weak! I bet HC4S would love to have you as a teacher! She gets along well with her teachers that have a good sense of humor. Most of them do--she's had a couple clinkers, but she can ussually charm them. My oldest sister teaches freshman english(9th grade around 14 or 15 yr olds). She uses all different pop culture references and the kids love her (she's shown the Simpsons, Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo Dicaprio, etc... You guy would have a lot to talk about--she was an English Lit major and is a bit of a feminist. Knows much about feminisim in literature--where as I am kind of vapid in that area.

Bama, hope all is well with you. I can't believe how the Harry Potter dude has grown up--he was on Leno last night. He's a cutie.

bamaborntxbred said...

Lee- I know, it's weird to be finding little Harry Potter attractive. He was just a boy a few years ago!

rowan said...

Lee, your sister sounds a happenin teacher! Is she the sister who is really well-organised and good at de-cluttering?

Yeh, Harry Potter has been stretched. Think he went to visit the Wonka factory and went the way of Mike Teavee.

bamaborntxbred said...

Yeah, and I went to the Wonka factory by way of Violet Beauregarde!

rowan said...

Bama, I can see you turning into a blueberry lke Violet, for sampling the unstable recipe chewing gum. I am destined to be a blockage in a big glass pipe, like Augustus Gloop, who got sucked up from the chocolate resevoir he was slurping.

It is interesting that we are not identifying with Charlie Bucket...but then, it was only dire poverty which prevented him aquiring a cocoa/sugar/ theobromine addiction. He only got one bar of choccy a year, on his birthday.

rowan said...

Meant to say...thanks for the Ho ho link! Dr Bob - we have those too, and call them chocolate rolls. Cadbury's make really fab ones.

Bama - we have snowballs too, but ours are of a less livid hue and nly come n boring white. They have jam in the middle, though, but are a bit dry. Our Snowballs explode on contact with teeth.

However, there is also a squishy variety.

bamaborntxbred said...

Ooooh....Rowan! Those look fabulous!! NO FAIR! Your snowballs are better than ours!

P.S. Not tooting my own horn or nothin', but, I turned 35 today. I just wanna cry!

leejolem said...

Happy b-day to Bama!!!!!!! 35's not so bad. The only b-day I'm dreading is 50--for some reason that sounds so much older than 40-something to me. I still have 7&1/2 yrs to go.

Speaking of 40yrs old--I watched The Age of Love the other night--it pits 20 somethings vs 40 somethings for a guys love. It was vile!!!! the women should revolt and band together and walk of. Talk about bringing out the worst in females. It makes the Bachelor look tame. Next they'll be making a show called skinnies vs fatties. Ugh!

Bama, hope you're doing something nice for yourself today. You deserve it--you are such a sweetheart!!!!!!! I wish I could send John K. over to you via fedex. What a package!

Rowan, My super organized de-cluttering sister is a VP of a bank here in Indiana. She's the only female VP. She rawks! the other sister is pretty cool too--I'm probably the lamest.

bamaborntxbred said...

Aww, yer not lame Lee! I bet yer sisters don't have a bunch of Monkbot friends!

I've been watching that Age of Love show. I think the guy is a perfect gentleman....but the women are HORRIBLE. It saddens me that they are so vicious to each other. It seems to emphasize our (female) tendencies to cut-throats when it comes to men. STOOOOOPID!!!

And I hate that the younger women keep saying mean things about the older women's age...b/c in 10-15 years they are going to be right there too....

leejolem said...

We are our own worst enemies (woman, that is). It seems to me that they're not even trying to get along. The producers probably egg them on to be that way, but I just think he's a nice guy and all, but is he worth it?

bamaborntxbred said...

No way. He's nice...but he's no "American Idol Winner, Taylor Hicks".

rowan said...

Hey - just got in! Happy Birthday Bama!! 35? Yer just a stripling. have a really nice rest of your day. :)

rowan said...

Lee, I second that yer not lame. Hey - you invented those fab squishy snowballs! (look again at the link if you don't believe me.)

The Age of Love sounds horridhilarious. My oh my. The Bachelor had a female equivalent, didn't it? Remember seeing a few episodes. The guys were really competitive, and where the women in "the Bachelor" are snipy and catty, the guys actually came to blows. It wasn't called, "The Spinster", though! Interesting the connotations each of these terms has. Bachelor is hip and playin the field, and spinster is prissy and un-happenin. We need to invent a new word, which is less negatively loaded. I quite like your American term, bachelorette - egalitarian and a little edgy.


Have to admit, somewhat shamefully, to watching some of the episodes of "The Bachelor" being shown on a cable channel. (Hey, lets be honest...have seen most of them. :")) The guy has three potential wives to choose from now, whittled down from 25. It is spectacularly bad, but funny at the same time. When he hands them the roses at the end of each episode, and the one who doesn't get one has to sling her hook,just cracks me up. Am hoping every week one of the discared suitoresses will boot him in the Tuxedo with a stilletto, but they are all so nice about it.

rowan said...

Jist to clarify...I do feel for the discarded lassies in the latter stages of the show. They seems to genuinely like the guy and hopeful to be chosen, which is pretty sad and um - disconcerting. Am hoping that aspect of thing has more than a touch of tv spin, nevertheless, and they are all just starlets hoping for their big break.

The way the producers spin the rose moment out, is soooo awful, and it is that which makes me chuckle-cringe.( Am trying to pass that reaction off as a nice version of schadenfreude.)

It is awful, tho, the whole concept...am glad that the Brother's Grimm are not on the writing team. Have visions of the handsome prince coming by with the glass slipper, and the girls with large tootsies making last minute surgical alterations to them. (Hey, there could be a spin-off shoe in there somewhere: "Extreme Glass Slipper makeover"?)

Gonna see Shrek today. Whoo hoo! Hey - maybe the girl the bachelor chooses will be like princess Fiona, and turn into a green ogress every other day. Can just imagine his daft expression.

Man, I used to watch programmes with Carl Sagan, and stuff. Good synapse-building science documentaries. Sigh.

Dr. Bob said...

Lee, glad you are better.

Bama -- Happy Birthday!! (I have a dim recollection of being 35 9_9). Lee, I am with you on sorta dreading being fifty. I don't have a frame of reference for me at 50 -- it feels very weird, indeed.

Have fun at Shrek, Rowan.

bamaborntxbred said...

Rowan! Thank you for the crazee little orange space people bday message! I lerved it! :)

Thanks y'all for the bday shout-outs! I preeshiate y'all!

Rowan- Didn't you ask me to tell you which "lady" the bachelor chose? I still can if you want me too!

Hope you loved Shrek 3! Tell us how it was. Did Lena go?

leejolem said...

I have to admit I almost always watch the last episode of The Bachelor--I have to know who is chosen. It's very brutal though. I even felt bad for the last bachelor (the navy MD guy)--he seemed like a genuinely nice guy,and didn't want to hurt either of the women. Who talks people into going on these shows?

Rowan, I hope you and Lena have a great time and eat lots of buttery popcorn. I haven't seen Shrek 3, but the 1st 2 were great. For some reason I'm drawn to the little gingerbread amputee. He makes me chuckle. Wish HC4S and i could go with you 2 --we'd probably be thrown out for causing a public disturbance.

Bama, did you watch Moniques Charm School (with the Flavor of Love girls)? I don't know who ended up winning. It was fascinatingly bad. Monique cracks me up. How about Big Brother? That's actually one of my favs. Evil Dr Will is a reality show icon!

bamaborntxbred said...

Love Dr. Will. He's one fine, sexy, manipulating piece of work. I'm sad that he's not going to be on this season!

I'm a Reality show junkie!

I've watched Charm School off and on...but I don't know who won! I'm sure it'll have tons of re-runs!

I'm presently obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance? I love it!

rowan said...

Hey Dr Bob, Bama, Lee! Yep, did enjoy Shrek. Thanks! It was very fun. best one yet. The only one I have really sat down and watched, but the animation was amazing and the characters very amusing. (And the popcorn was good. Not that i had veery much. Was uncharacteristically abstemmious.)

Lee - with you on the Gingerbread Man amputee. He was a fave of mine too! He is back, and totally cracked me up. We meet him with his legs restored to him, mended with strips of icing which look like stitches. At one point in the film his life is in dire peril,and his whole life flashes before him (scenes from his childhood, etc.) One of his flashbacks is the scene where Lord Farquhar breaks his legs off, and that is followed up by a few frames of him having them mended, and follow-up physio on a treadmill. A leetle un-pc perhaps, but a total hoot.

Spent the afternoon on a local beach, so it was a very nice day.

Bama - yeh, go on, tell me who the bachelor chose. I missed the final episode, when he takes the last two girls home to meet his mum. Gruuuuuesome, but watchable, even if through splayed fingers. Yep, he did seem genuinely concerned about hurting their feelings - was clearly taking the whole thing pretty seriously. Yeah, lee - you do wonder why peeps go on such shows. Gak.

leejolem said...

Bama, that's one of the few that I don't watch. I've been watching America's Got Talent and American Inventor off and on. Jerry Springer is a hoot on AGT--he's very emotionally invested in the contestants. George Foreman is the best thing to happen to American Inventor--he's got such a big heart. The people that go on that show are kuh-razy passionate about their inventions.

The female judge on SYTYCD is rather annoying. I usually watch it near the finals--I'm addicted to the final episodes on all the reality shows. It's truly a sickness.

leejolem said...

yay for Rowan for having a fun afternoon off!

bamaborntxbred said...

Rowan- I don't know which season you're watching.

If Prince Lorenzo Borghese: He chose Jennifer over Sadie. HOWEVER, after the final show aired he and Jenn broke up and he began dating Sadie! They broke up a while later and as of press time the sad little Prince was still single.

If Lt. Andy Baldwin: He chose Tessa over Bevin and they are still going strong. She moved to Hawaii to be with him!

rowan said...

Sigh...abstemious with two "m"s was a typo. Just sayin. Could shrug and let it go, but hey - I cannot.

Bama - thanks for the info! When we catch up with those shows I will be all 'in the know'!

Dr Bob - here are our UK Ho hos. They are called mini rolls, the Cadbury version, anyway. they used to ve called chocolate logs, from what I remember. hard to stop at one or two, though...they are kinda yummy.

One very big Ho ho is known as as a swiss roll. They come unwrapped. I remember when the ice-cream ones came out, called Arctic roll: a solid ice-cream centre wrapped in sugary sponge. They were big, and you could slice-em. Maybe you have either of those deserty things in the US. The supermarkets are selling doughnuts now, from the in-store bakeries. Traditional favourites like pancakes have had the twist of raisins added...hmmm...not that dried fruit itself is not something of a tradition over here! :D

Hope y'all have a nice Friday!

Dr. Bob said...

I still think that pancakes are not a snack/dessert food ...

thanks for the heads up on the chocolate rolls, and, yes we have those ice cream cakes. Mostly at Baskin-Robbins (an ice cream store). I don't think you get them at the regular store, but I could be wrong.

Glad you got to see Shrek!

rowan said...

Dr Bob, glad you liked the Cadbury ho hos! we have Baskin Robbins shops here too...there's been one in the Royal Mile for yonks. I remember it, cos I generously bought ice-creams for my in-laws, and there were about six of us in the group. The wee cones cost about three pounds each! I was all poppy-eyed and aghast. (And fleeced.) This was about 15 years ago! The cones were good, though, or the whole memory might maybe have been repressed. :D

leejolem said...

Baskin Robbins is kind of a rip-off. I took Alexa and a couple of her friends to Maggie Moo's and it cost me around $20. I was "poppy-eyed and aghast" also! I'm always amazed at how willing I am to shell out money for "treats". What a sucker I am!

True confession time--HC4S and I are going out tonight to buy Taylor's new book. You know it's gonna be corny as heck, but I can't help myself. Sometimes he's so faux deep that it makes me laugh. The tortured artist/musician image tickles me and makes me giggle. His dad was a dentist for heavens sake--I don't think he withstood too much hardship or poverty. (if HC4S were reading this she would throw multiple fish at me for such blasphemy). I'll update y'all next week to let you know how much Taylor's tome has changed my life.

rowan said...

Lee - that was a nice early Saturday chuckle! Good luck on getting to read the book first! Perhaps you and HC4S can share-read amicably. I tried to do that with my sister a few times, but it never worked. (Ripped pages, etc.) Look forward to hearing your angle on the tome. I must get one myself!

bama said...

I got "Heart Full of Soul" for my bday. I read the first chapter and haven't had time to pick it up again. I'm sure I'll finish it pretty soon!

Rowan- if you can wait, I'll send you the book when I'm finished with it! My favorite thing to do with books is to pass them on.

Dr. Bob said...

Bama -- Again, Happy Birthday.

I saw Harry Potter this weekend and thought of you ...

Did you see it?

rowan said...

Aw are you sure? You got if fer yer b'day. That's most kind, Bama. Thanks!! :) the stravaigin TayTome! We could all have a book group discussion. Have you got a copy, Dr Bob?

I will look after it very well, and he can smile soulfully from the cover at me(If he is smiling on the cover..maybe he is looking deeply pensive and intense.) Taylor is lucky - he may look old when he is young, but that will mean he will look young when he is old. (Does that compute?) Think so. Unless his exuberant dancing means he'll end up needing a walking frame by the time he's 40.

rowan said...

Dr Bob, how scuury is Harry Potter? Would it be suitable for a five year-old? There was a trailer with a creepy looking geezer with a featureless head. Dinlikethelookovim. maybe I'll seek out the first video firstly.

leejolem said...

Rowan, don't worry, we bought 2 copies to avoid any cat fights. HC4S has already kissed her cover and groped it amorously. I did not need to do that since I do have the pillowcase. ONly 1 week and we get to see the man live in concert again. I'm hoping he'll be less intense and grumpy now that he's got a woman.

Bama, you'll be able to knock the book out in about 4 hrs. It's a quick read with a few surprising humorous things. Nothing too shocking or earth changing though.

bamaborntxbred said...

Dr. Bob- I did see HP on Friday! I went by myself to a matinee. Loved it!

Rowan- DO NOT TAKE LENA TO SEE HARRY POTTER! At least not the latest installment...and fer sure you should watch the videos of the earlier movies b/f she sees them...so you can judge for yerself. I'm not sure what her tolerance for "scary" things is.

This HP and the last one are pretty creepy...and some main characters are killed as well. In the last one, a teenage boy was killed by the "creepy looking geezer with a featureless head".

Lee- I laughed at yer "Taylor as tortured artist" comment. Just reading the book, I kept thinking that his childhood was like a beautiful dream compared to many people's, myself included, childhoods. Gimme a break already ya big crybaby!

Rowan- I'd be so happy to send you the book once I'm done with it! There aren't as many pics as I'd have liked. My fave is of him fishing in a pair of shorts and a white tee. Nice legs1

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