Christmas 2011 at the Johnson’s

Without brandishing a sword or musket, the calm-faced soldier beat out the Santas and snowmen for the theme of the Johnson’s Christmas tree 2011, affectionately named ‘Charlie.’

Working with a band saw and various sizes of the soldier, LT will be cutting out 100+ of the little fellas for me to paint before early December. I painted this little guy 25 years ago!

Will keep you posted on the number count- gotta go- hear a funny noise in the garage…


Our Apple Festival Gals

2011 Apple Festival, Hendersonville, NC

You Have To Plug a Crock Pot In?

I think someone forgot something...

I am pretty much good to go as long as I have diet coke, cheddar cheese and whole wheat saltine crackers.* (In a pinch I will go with any type of Saltine cracker: low sodium, regular, salted or unsalted tops.)

You do not even have to be among my closest friends to know I’m not the cook in our home. LT could win awards with his gourmet cuisine. From his melt-in-your-mouth fried shrimp to his finger-lickin’ baby back ribs, his fare leaves you feeling Southern’ stuffed. What he does not like to do is throw a meal together or cut corners. He approaches food preparation as he does Law Enforcement: in a precise, orderly fashion. He insists on getting the special ingredients for the dish, and not settling on what is on hand.

Since I have been unsuccessful in turning LT into a saltine-dinner lover, we had to come up with some time-limited dinner fare. The solution: A crock pot, slow cooker, or whatever you call it. I agreed to step up as a souse chef for LT on crock pot meal days. The first few simmering delights were delightful. LT walked in to a home filled with the aroma of a home cooked meal. Somewhere around the 4th run out of the gate, I forgot to “get the crock pot going” early in the day – which is the selling, and critical part of the meal.

With sticky notes adhered to all non-moving objects, I remembered to get our dinner going the next time. I glowed with pride when he walked in that afternoon. As he loves to share this tale, he speaks of his insatiable hunger after a day filled with “protecting the city.”

Yes, I did, pack the crock pot with dinner. Yes, the crock pot was turned on. The final check point- I did not plug the crock pot in the electrical outlet: there was no power to the bird!  The meal had to be pitched. I am not going to eat chicken that sat in a pot for six hours, are you?

LT suggested we get one of those flip signs you see in diners. One side reads OPEN, the other side reads CLOSED. Our sign would read Crock Pot: PLUGGED IN and ON, UNPLUGGED and OFF. I told him one more suggestion such as this and he would need one of his officers to run up here and plug the pot in. Currently, I do not guarantee what is made in the crock pot is edible, but I guarantee damn tee you, it is cooked.

This crock pot tale is not over. Bear with me; you may have seen us in Target last week. We were the couple in the kitchen appliance aisle having a heated discussion about crock pots. Crock pots, you ask? What is there to argue about with crock pots? You throw a chicken, soup and a few celery sticks in a crock pot, turn it on, and plug it in; eight hours later, you have dinner. So what was the deal? Our discussion was about the size of the crock pot.

We came to Target to replace our old small, cracked crock pot. I have to admit I was looking forward to not using a mallet to jam a pot roast in it. Every time I got a good sized pot roast, it reminded me of doing deep knee bends in my jeans to get a little wiggle room. Wiggle room was what I was looking forward to in our new crock pot. LT was looking for a full fledged gymnasium.

Unfortunately, crock pots were on sale at Target. How could a sale ever be bad news? Its bad news when the buyer uses the $4 savings margin as an excuse for purchasing the gymnasium, cafeteria-style, neighborhood-feeding sized crock pot.

As I ran through the rational explanations for not purchasing this gargantuan Crockpot, I see his heels digging in the floor. This is a moment when a wife must make a critical decision. Do I choose this battle? Do I want to continue this discussion? Or, should I give in, move forward, saving energy for a future fork in the road when this win may just be the leverage I need to win that discussion. No- brainer here- hey, I’ll give him a break, maybe he is thinking about having the neighborhood over for chili. I concede. LT’s eyes light up. He carries the box to the check out; it will not fit into a shopping cart.

So overwhelmed with his selection and insistence, I neglected to obtain the signed statement I normally get before he brings an additional kitchen item into our home.

He must find a place to store said item(s).