Monday, August 31, 2009


I only had two weddings today. Lots of people buying, but not being married by the county.

The first one just gave me the creeps. He had been married six, count them, six times. She had one failed marriage. He was born in 1946. He was not good looking, no sex appeal radiating from him. but there for wedding seven. He had had a busy 60 years or so, She was born in 1962. I didn't pick up any warm fuzzies from them. And I don't think there is much chance of this one working out either. I married them and then as we were recording the wedding I noticed they each marked NA in the choices of reasons for end of a marriage. Oh yes it was applicable. We had to reprint and marked each of them with dissolution of marriage.

Wedding number two was interesting. The clerk brought me the license and said do this one quickly. They have to pick their daughter up from school. As we went up in the elevator he asked if we could just do the wedding in the elevator. I told him it could be done, but I really didn't like to do that.

The reason for the rush was they got lost coming to the county building. Someone had given them directions, but brought them in the wrong way. They had made a big circle, and they ended up at the Superior Courthouse instead of our building. So they were later getting to us than planned. I got them married quickly but not rushed. Then they were out the door with, traffic willing, time to get to the other end of the county and pick up their daughter.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


My mother has talked about a Mexican chicken and rice recipe since I was born. Her twin sister would make it for her. Mother thinks it is the best thing she has ever put in her mouth. She is 92 and now does very little cooking. ( I am sure she never made this recipe, Aunt Jenny always made it for her. ) So she sent me the recipe this week.

My aunt wrote out the recipe in the early 1950's. The paper is fragile and the creases are tearing apart. It is a total meal: chicken and rice ring, soup and salad, and dessert. Nearly everything says make a day ahead. So you are committed to 2 days if you do this meal. It reads like a good meal. It also reads like a recipe from the 1940's.

For you young whipper snappers there are things like:

canned button mushroom. You couldn't buy fresh mushrooms in most stores then.

canned pineapple chunks nor would you find fresh pineapple at the average grocery.

Take a large roasting chicken and cook it slowly until tender. No weight, no oven temperature, no time. Or are we to cook it on top of the stove? Just slowly til done.

Thicken ( the broth ) with corn starch softened to consistency of thin cream. Again no amounts. Can you picture that one?

3/4 cup of top milk Probably if you are younger than 50 you won't know this one. Milk was not always homogenized and we shook it to mix in the cream. It was delivered daily in glass bottles and the milk would settle to the bottom. Cream rises to the top and that was top milk. Not as rich as whipping cream but rich.

My favorite one 2 1/2 cups long grained rice washed through 5 waters. . . Do you even know what that means, or why you are doing it? Rice did not always come in a nice Uncle Ben's box. It was in a bag and there was dirt, little pebbles and who knows what in there. And it was starchier. Making rice was trouble.

Marty and I are good cooks. And we are old enough this recipe doesn't scare us. We have lots of recipes worded like this from other older family members. We will make this recipe. It sounds delicious. My cousin says she has made it since her mother died and her family likes it.

If it isn't tedious and truly time consuming, we will make it for Mother. We will be back in Louisville next June. But it boils down to how much time we will have.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Below are a couple of pictures of my girly girl purse. The first is a close up of the roses. The second is the total look. Click on the pictures to get a larger view.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I did 6 weddings on Monday and only one today, Wednesday. On Monday we had the sheer white dress again. I was nervous. Would I see parts of the female body I didn't want to see? Or would we have modesty??????????

The white dress was chiffon with sparkles on it. The bride was 60 and the groom was 71. They were very dignified. He was dressed well and her chiffon dress was tasteful, it was lined and she had on a slip! No malfunction with this wedding. It was classy, sweet, and very tasteful.

Today my one wedding was a bride who was 8 months pregnant. She looked like she was 9 months. This poor woman was tired, swollen, and really ready to give birth. I asked if they had rings to exchange. She laughed and said yes they had rings, but she is so swollen she can't get the ring on. Poor Baby.

I did help train a staff person to perform wedding ceremonies. She was sworn in this afternoon. I only did one wedding. S0 she needs a lot of practice on Thursday. We were trying to get several under her belt so she could marry on Friday. Our great volunteer Joe had surgery and won't be ale to work for several weeks. I don't think she will be ready.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


OK. I did have some great weddings Monday. I did six weddings. But forget them. I have more important things to write about. I am sorry Nomei, maybe tomorrow the weddings.

Tuesday was long, it was tiring, it cost me money. I met C my friend with breast cancer @ 8:15 A.M. Tuesday. Those who know me know I don't do mornings. I get up between 7:30 and 8:30. I am dressed and out the door around 12: 15. I am a little slow in the mornings. I was @ Kaiser Walnut Creek at 8 :05 this morning. (non Bay Area readers, that is at least a 20 minutes drive) We met with her Oncologist at 8:30. We know she is going to be fine, the pathology report was great. But it is scary to talk about radiation and possible recurrence. And it is draining to keep her laughing and keep her calm. Her hands were shaking as we talked to the doctor.

So I did some retail therapy. I bought two blouses that are professional looking, so I can wear them to marry couples, and a pair of shoes. And as I walked to the checkout counter I saw purses. Lots and lots of purses. I wanted them all. And then I saw it. A red, girly girl purse.

I do not wear girly girl clothes. I like funky clothes, but over all no frills, rarely ruffles, no lace. But this purse talked to me. Red leather, braided shoulder straps, and one whole side of chiffon sparkly cabbage roses. I needed this purse. Really needed it. But I left, it was silly to spend the money on another purse.

I had my hair cut and talked about the purse and thought about the purse. And yes, I went back and bought the purse. I love my new purse.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


We finally saw Julie & Julia today. For non movie people, it is the true story of a young woman, Julie, cooking her way through one of Julia Child's cookbook. Julie blogged each day about the recipes and cooking. If you don't know who Julia Child is, don't tell me.

The movie is very well done. The cooking is a huge part of it, but it is also two love stories. The acting is great and the photography of the food is incredible. We both really enjoyed it. And we were starving when we came out.

So much food, so much technique, I could smell the food. But one scene stands out for me: The lobster.

Julie and her husband buy lobsters and take them home. In the car you can hear the scratching of the lobsters in the bag. Then she has to cook them. Should she kill them and then cook them, should she throw them live into the pot? She puts them live in the pot, pushing legs and claws back in. The lid goes on, and she stands back proud of herself, she is cooking a live crustacean. AND then the lid goes flying off! People that was not poetic license.

Once upon a time we bought lobsters for Marty, me, son Erik and his then girlfriend now wife Jennifer. One of the lobsters had lost the band on his claw and took a hunk out of the fishmonger when it was pulled from the tank. When home, Marty put the lobsters in the sink while the water heated up. He then grabbed the bandless lobster and it grabbed back. Marty threw the lobster across the room, Marty is bleeding like a stuck pig.

The lobster starts chasing Jennifer, who is barefoot. She is yelling and jumps up on a chair. I am doing first aid on Marty. Erik puts on leather cooking gloves and grabs the lobster and puts him in the pot. Erik then put the other one in the pot and slammed the lid down. He let go of the lid AND the lid went flying off with the lobsters crawling out. Erik still in the gloves pushes the lobsters back in, puts the lid on, and leaned on the pot.

That lobster was delicious. Oh, and Marty did not need stitches.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


You have read about my brides in the see through dresses. Well tonight we watched one of our favorite shows, Project Runway. The designers were to create a dress for the Red Carpet. One of the designers made a dress so sheer you could clearly see the model's bikini pants and the fact she did not have on a bra. He called it the nude dress. The judges called it a lovely nightgown, but not a dress.

I am tired of seeing women in their underwear, or lack of.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Today was busy at the marriage factory. I was handed a license before I even put my purse up. I think I married seven couples and took up a Spanish one to the marriage desk. Not real real busy, just nicely spaced.

Two stand out, dumb speed talker and malfunction.

I am going to ask the county to hang a sign for me: No thin white cotton outfits. Do these women have no mirrors? Do their friends not see what I see? Or do they think they look sexy and cute? I just know I am tired of knowing the bride does not have on a bra and is wearing a black thong. I am not really a prude, but come on. Nipples and thongs are just not what I want to look at.

Then we have the talker. Clerk C told me she couldn't get the bride L to shut up long enough to process their license. She said the bride told why she and the groom have the same name, yet weren't really married and on, and on, and on. I called their names and bride L began talking, in the elevator, while I asked questions, and into the ceremony. And then down the elevator and up to going out of the building. This woman can talk. I know way too much about her.

Their story: L and groom R were "married" 22 years ago on a ship by the captain. They were in South America and came back 3 years later to California. They called Alameda County to get a copy of the marriage certificate. Guess what, no record, it wasn't done in Alameda County. So they just ignore the problem for 19 more years. They have no proof they are married. They filed taxes as a married couple, had children, and went their merry way. For some reason they now decided maybe they should have a legal ceremony. So I married them.

She said this was just for California because some states recognized people who just lived together. I said yes a common law marriage. Then she said they were now legal in California, I said you are legal in the whole world. Oh??? But we were married in California. She wanted me to put the date of the ship board whatever on the license as the wedding date. I told her I didn't do that one 22 years ago, so couldn't change the date. I explained again, today's date 8/19/09 is her wedding date. She has to use today for legal purposes if asked for the date of her marriage. She still doesn't understand that one.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Yesterday was a very hard awful day. A dear friend C was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She has had other cancers as well. So we wonder how many times can she beat cancer. Yesterday she had surgery, a lumpectomy. Her cousin and I were there with her all day. I will not keep you in suspense, she is going to be fine. But the day was hard for her and for us.

I was at the hospital by 7:15. I had to be there early because I own magic earrings. I have earrings that hold up airplanes and get loved ones through surgery, illnesses, whatever. I am not real superstitious, but I am with these earrings. I have to wear them for scary events. They got me through a flight over the ocean, so they are really magic. (for those that don't know me, I hate flying, I went ten years without getting on a plane, I am the Amtrak queen)

C was to have surgery at 9:00. Before that could happen procedures had to be done. First a wire, yes a wire, was placed in her breast to pinpoint the cancer. That took some time. They called for a wheel chair to take her back to pre op. And we waited and waited some more. It turns out there were no wheelchairs available. The hospital was packed with surgery patients, ER was over flowing, and just run of the mill wheelchair usage was up. Finally the volunteer arrived with a wheel chair. We got back to pre op at 9:00. We had missed the window.

The nurses started getting her ready for surgery, questions asked, IVs started, the breast is marked with magic marker to be sure the correct one is operated on. They put her in another gown. The one she is wearing has traveled through the medical building and the hospital. It can't go into the operating room. And I wait in the waiting room, her cousin S is with her. After over an hour S comes out and says for me go in and have some time with her. And we wait.

The surgeon came by and talked to her, told C again exactly what she would be doing. She also marked the breast with magic marker. You know the saying, measure twice, cut once. Then the anesthesiologist doctor and his anesthesiologist nurse came by. More detailed questions and information about everything he would be doing. Kaiser is very efficient, and has excellent bedside manner.

Then at 11:00 suddenly activity, one of the OR nurses came in unlocked the wheels of the gurney and wheeled her off. I walked with her and then kissed her goodbye.

Back to the waiting room. We waited and waited and waited. We had been told 2 hours and it took 2 hours. A very long 2 hours. The surgeon came out and told us she was fine and that they are pretty sure they got it all. The initial tests say nothing lurking outside the tumor area and the sentinel node is clear.

But more waiting. She is in recovery, they will come get us when she wakes up and is clear headed. We wait 2 more hours. Then we both can go in. Once I see her, the relief is overwhelming. We tell her the good news, she is relieved.

The moral of this story is ladies get your mammograms on a regular basis. C's tumor was found when it was small and very early stages. Get in there annually and be safe.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Today the couple from Monday (who wanted me to do their wedding) came back. If you remember she was testing the strength of the elastic across her breast. We wondered what the wedding outfit would be.

They were there at 3:00 as they promised. He had on unbelievable boots. Sh** kicker boots with silver tips, gorgeous beautiful boots. He wore a sparkly coat, and a gorgeous hat. She had on an almost East Indian outfit. She had on white pants with a long white tunic top. Her yellow hair was almost glued down and had sparkles, her body was dusted with sparkles. She also had a shoulder length veil. She wanted me help her put on the tiara that her mother had worn. She was very emotional about this tiara. She had her daughter there, but wanted me, the "expert" to help her. I was touched by this. She had put it on over her veil. I took off the veil and put the tiara on her, then put the veil back on her. She wanted a very traditional wedding with all the bells and whistles. And I did that.

Before I go on I have to say they were a lovely older couple. They seemed to almost be in love with me and C who had worked with them. They wanted only me to do the ceremony. They thanked me, they hugged me, their children thanked me, and the grandchildren thanked me. They gave me an iris from her ceremony and one to give clerk C who had worked with them on three occasions. They really were nice, and likable. They were a sweet loving couple. I did the long, sweet, all bases covered ceremony. I really liked them, but. . .

If they had been white, they would have been white trash. She so wanted a "classy"wedding this time. Yes, they both had been married a couple of times. His divorce was within the last 6 weeks. He had to come back a second time with his decree to prove he was divorced. But they were in love, and both sides of the family were happy with the marriage.

Malfunction: She has on an all white outfit. It is gauzy, she is too old to wear it, but that is OK. It is her wedding. But she has on a pink bra. Both straps are hanging down her arms. And the cups are pink and black. But not a really bad malfunction. But after the wedding some of the clerks came in from a late lunch. And they were talking about the woman outside in the white outfit holding iris flowers (my bride). This woman is standing in direct sunlight (thank goodness the blinds were closed in the Wedding Room) and she has on NO underwear. None, nada, she is COMMANDO. They are horrified. In her defense I said, yes she does. She has on a pink bra.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Today was busy at the marriage factory. I did 6 marriages this afternoon. That isn't a huge amount really, but for this summer it is.

I had a witness in a sleeveless black dress. The clerk had commented on the loooooow cut of the top. It was a deep U. The lines cut across the breast at the nipple line and ended below the breasts. She bent over at the counter, her girls escaped and showed more than C wanted to see. As I followed the witness into the marriage room it was evident she wore no underwear. Let us say the dress was caught in a rear part of her body.

A largish woman was in the lobby in a very very very short skirt. This skirt was about one inch longer than the blouse I was wearing. It was just below the cup of her hips. Not a attractive sight.

And to the weddings. I called for "Todd and Maria". A couple stood up and then the man said, "You have my name wrong, it is John." Then anther couple stood up and said they were who I called. Two women of the same name. Interestingly, the first couple were not getting married today.

My first wedding the groom was so moved that he cried, she was calm and taking care of him. I had a vanishing couple again. I called for them three times. No one showed. Later they came back and were ticked they had to wait. You vanish, you go to the bottom of the pile.

There were several lovely weddings: Couples from Pakistan, Mongolia, India, Afghanistan, and the great states of Texas and Louisiana. The couple from Pakistan told us they needed to be married between 3:00 and 5:00. Nosey me asked why. They are Hindu and had their star charts done for the best time to marry. Today between 3 and 5 was it.

Wednesday I have a couple coming back for me to do their wedding. When I checked at 4:00 if anyone was left to marry, they were buying their license. I was talking to them and they said they wanted me to marry them. I said I would be glad to. Then they said they were bringing their friends on Tuesday. I told them I wouldn't be back until Wednesday. They moved their wedding day to Wednesday so I could marry them. This is a possible wardrobe malfunction. She is well endowed and had on a top with elastic across the top of the breasts. The elastic was put to the test today, the girls nearly escaped. Can't wait to see what she will wear Wednesday.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Thursday Marty and I did our thing at Kaiser. He had blood work done for his Thyroid. His medication is fine. I had my blood pressure officially checked and I got a Shingles Vaccine. I routinely check my blood pressure at home. I knew it was up and kept hoping it would drop. No it didn't. So my doctor upped my medicine. This upsets me because I already am on so many medicines. But that does beat having a stroke. For the next month or so they will closely monitor me and see if the medication works.

The Shingles vaccine in my family is an emotional issue. My father died from complications of shingles. Several people in my family have had shingles. Both sides of blood kin, in laws, and friends have had it also. It is a mean, awful disease. It is painful, disfiguring, and for some goes on forever with the pain. This new vaccine is a wonderful gift to us. But some of us have side effects after taking the vaccine.

I am "one of three" with the redness, soreness, swelling at the site of injection. They gave me the shot in my "less used" arm, the left one. That sounds good, except I am almost ambidextrous. So the left is used a lot. I got the shot Thursday. I was fine. Friday afternoon the injection site started swelling and the pain became intense. Saturday morning my arm was red and swollen from my shoulder to my elbow. It was hot, swollen, and had a knot the size of a golf ball. I was in pain. Tonight at almost midnight, the swelling is almost gone. The pain is only if I touch my arm. Trust me, I don't touch it. In the morning I think it will be back to normal. Even if it lingers with a little pain, it will be nothing like what my Father went through.

This vaccine will protect me from the terrible pain and disfigurement he went through. And the pain that many in my family have gone through.

Talk to your doctor and see if you meet the requirements for this vaccine. For one thing you must be over 60. I am not sure if I understand that requirement. My nephew was about 38 when he had shingles. Oh well. They always have rules.

Check it out with your family doctor. Better a sore arm for a couple of day than months of horrible pain.

Friday, August 7, 2009


This has been a hard week, in more ways than one. A friend has breast cancer, my blood pressure has gone bonkers, and Louisville has nearly washed away.

My dear friend has breast cancer. I went with her to meet the surgeon. We liked the doctor, and have confidence in her. Surgery is set up for next Friday, the 14th. The surgeon says this is so early not to worry. I am worried. You don't know until they start cutting.

Because I went with my friend to the surgeon's I did no weddings on Wednesday. So no fun news to report.

Louisville is a mess. My family is OK. Friends are OK. But the city of Louisville has a lot of mud in homes and businesses. Even if we don't live there anymore, we care and we worry.

My blood pressure is way up. After home monitoring, I finally went in for an official Kaiser's blood pressure check. Still up and higher than in May. My doctor has doubled one of my blood pressure medications. Next week I will go in for another check to see if this is working.

But the good news is I have good insurance and Kaiser is on it. Within an hour of my blood pressure check I heard from them. I was called and told what medication to change. I think the thing I really need to do is go back to eating healthy. Marty will have to quit cooking all those dishes that must have gravy. And horrors of all horrors, return to exercise.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Tonight I had a girls' night out for dinner. Good friends eating, talking, laughing, and there were a couple of tears. It was a nice evening. And what did Marty do while I was playing? Well, when I came home the house smelled like chocolate heaven.

Tonight Marty tested a recipe for Cook's Country which is in the Cook's Illustrated family. This time it was for German Chocolate cake. But there was a catch. It was low fat. Horrors, a healthy dessert. YUCK!

They used less butter, fewer eggs, low-fat sour cream, and fat free evaporated milk. They dropped a lot of calories.

Regular cake 740 calories, 45 g fat, saturated fat 23 g per slice.
Test recipe 340 calories, 13 g fat, saturated fat 7 g per slice.
Still not a real healthy choice.

Marty cut the cake while it was warm. The only way to eat cake. Surprise, it was good. And a very light cake. It was not as rich, of course, as real German Chocolate cake. But we thought the frosting was as good or better. Would he make this again? Probably not. This is not a cake he ever makes. Just not one we crave.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Louisville, Ky is again a major disaster area. In an hour they had 6 to 8 inches of rain today. Last week they had 5 inches in about an hour. And it continued to rain all day today. There was no place for today's rain to go. The ground is saturated. Man hole covers blew from the pressure of ground water. Power went and sump pumps couldn't work to protect homes. And there were high winds to go with this storm. Tall buildings were swaying from the power of the storm.

People were trapped in fast rising water and had to be rescued from the tops of cars and from their homes. The main library had over three feet of water. Thousands of books are ruined. The bookmobiles were under water close to the roofs.

The city and other cities in the area were shut down. Hospitals were evacuated. The police and fire fighters could not keep up with the rescue calls. The University of Louisville had to evacuate several buildings. Horses at Churchill Downs had to be rescued. There are hundreds of stories about this flood. The damage is huge. I placed a link to pictures of the flooding. Since it is from a Louisville TV station I don't know how long it will be valid.

My family and Marty's are OK. They have water in their basements and tree limbs down. But no major damage. They are the lucky ones. This city has had an earthquake, Hurricane Ike, an ice storm, and wind storms all in the last year and a half. And now this. They have been declared a disaster area at least three times. How many times can they come back?

If you have some spare change, send a donation to the Red Cross. They are spread a little thin lately in the Kentuckiana area.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Do I have the perfect husband? Yes, yes I do, in more ways than one. (And sometime when I am drunk enough, I will tell you how hard it is to live with a perfect person.) I told you he cooked the risotto dinner, and tonight he washed dishes. But this afternoon he won the award for perfect husband of all times. Sister in law Ann told me today Marty is wonderful, or words to that effect. And she has a perfect husband, Little Brother.

I have told you how much I love gardenias. They are such wonderful exquisite flowers. So what did the perfect husband do? Read and learn.

For months Marty has worked on our lone surviving gardenia plant. And it blooms and blooms. But today, he planted four new gardenias. One above and one below our struggling gardenia plant. And two more were planted to the far side of it. They are planted in hardware wire to thwart the gophers. The new plants are a different variety from the one we already have. So it will be fun to watch how they develop and bloom. Will they bloom as much, will they bloom at all? I will let you know.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Last night we cooked a great dinner. That was almost the royal WE. I did some prep work, but mainly wash up duty. I did create the menu and set the table. I had planned to cook it all myself. But luckily it interested Marty and he wanted to cook.

The Menu:

Sliced Tomatoes, shaved Parmesan cheese, torn basil leaves drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette

Risotto with asparagus, porcini and lobster mushrooms, and shrimp

Bread sticks

If you have never made risotto you need to know it is labor intensive. You stir it for 25-30 minutes constantly. But we don't stir, we have a really cool gadget that works amazingly well. It is a Stirchef. A gadget that runs on batteries, sits on the pot, and stirs all sizes of pans tirelessly. I just did a search for the link and it looks like this gadget went the way of the Super Shooter and other Christmas specials. They are on Amazon and eBay, if you want to get one.

Back to the meal. The salad was scratched. Marty didn't want a salad. The shrimp were wrapped in prosciutto and cooked on the grill. The saltiness of the prosciutto against the risotto was fabulous.

We made too much risotto and that is one food you can't heat up the next day. So we picked out the wild mushrooms and asparagus and left part of the risotto.

Tonight pulled beef quesadillas. Unless Marty wants to cook again.