cinnamon sticks

Southern Comforts

Just as I enjoy the plethora of pumpkin-flavored foods that appear around Thanksgiving, I eagerly await eggnog season come December. Homemade, of course, is superior, but I have been known to enjoy copious amounts of the off-the-shelf variety, as well. You can imagine my dismay, then, when I polished off a bottle of Labrot & Graham a couple of evenings ago and still had half a carton of eggnog left. Drat.

Last night, I was digging about in the liquor closet looking for some suitable substitute when I discovered a nearly full flask of SoCo and an entirely unopened bottle of L&G. Hallelujah! A Christmas miracle.

This morning, after returning home from the auto dealership, I found myself surveying the kitchen landscape for fitting breakfast foods. I settled on the apple galette left over from Sunday's Praise Band party and immediately began mixing an eggnog to accompany it. As I was grating nutmeg into the glass, I realized it was only 10 am. Habit had mandated that I fill the glass half full with bourbon; it was too late! There was no way I was going to waste that eggnog (or that whiskey). Apparently, I was going to be drinking before noon.

For the record, eggnog makes a fantastic meal. Comparable to yogurt, I'd say. And this has qualified as my best morning so far this week.
  • Current Music
    Count Your Blessings - Eddie Fisher
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The Internet Has Failed Me

I cannot find solid brass, pineapple-motif towel bars online. You would think there would be wide demand for such an item in colonial America. Oh, wait. This is 2008.

And, I just discovered that Virginia Metalcrafters has gone out of business. Hmph.

I just want a place to hang my dish-drying cloth!
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    blank enh
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spanish dancer


My ESL student from Nicaragua just called to tell me that she passed her citizenship test! We filed her paperwork 6 months ago, and it seemed like this day would never arrive. She had her interview at 7:20 this morning at the FBI office in Charlotte. She and her husband left at 4am in order to arrive early.

She called me as soon as the interview was over to let me know how things went. One of the first things she said was that it was so easy! "Much easier than the [mock] interviews that we did together," she pointed out with a laugh. "All of the questions were 'yes' or 'no'!"

She was asked several questions to verify information on her application. Then, asked 5 out of 100 questions for her Civics exam, all of which she answered correctly. She remembers them questioning her about the number of stars on the U.S. flag, who becomes President if the President and Vice President die, what year the Constitution was written. She was asked to write down a sentence that was dictated to her, which made her laugh: "The teacher is proud of her class." (I gave her a little pep talk on the phone last night in which I told her the exact same thing!)

She said that the best part of the whole interview was watching them stamp "Approved" across her application; she felt as if she would burst with joy. Now, she will go back to Charlotte on December 8th for her Oath ceremony, at which time she will officially accept U.S. citizenship.

And as if that's not big enough news, I will also be attending her graduation exercises this Thursday night. She will be receiving her GED in a ceremony at Wake Forest University. I think these milestones call for a celebration!
  • Current Mood
    busy elated
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Last night, I fell asleep on the living room sofa watching "L'Homme Qui Rit (The Man Who Laughs)" with Drmellow. At some point, amidst dreaming that asqmh was visiting my parents, I found myself in a parking garage or parking lot on the verge of being assaulted. With all of my might, I kicked the guy in the crotch.

Unfortunately, I really did kick my leg--and slammed my foot so hard against the coffee table that I'm fairly certain I broke two toes.

So now I'm hobbling around today, feeling superior about my self-defense skills, but wondering what on earth caused me to dream that. Ow.
  • Current Music
    Be Thou My Vision - some version with tin whistle
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Happy Hour

The Town of Boone finally voted to serve mixed drinks this week. Overwhelmingly, I might add, though I'm surprised the voter turnout wasn't higher for this particular issue. From someone who remembers the days of road-tripping to get something other than a beer, I say, "It's about time!"

Hopefully, the passing of the new ordinance will spur some economic development downtown as it has in surrounding communities like Blowing Rock and Banner Elk. Here's the article from the Democrat, if you're interested.

  • Current Mood
    calm calm
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Note To Self

Dear Body:

I'm a little tired of this upset stomach thing. Two weeks is long enough. I appreciate that my antibiotics are doing their thing, as the whole Salmonella/E. coli thing was getting rather tiresome, but the drugs are making me feel almost as bad. Let us just be done with this.
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    blank curdled
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Made In N.C.

Our local Fox affiliate (Fox8-WGHP) has been running an interesting series on the nightly news: Made In N.C. Each segment features a product made exclusively in N.C., many of them in or around Greensboro. Of course, Pepsi (which originated in New Bern) expanded their operation quite some time ago, but some of our more famous exports still call North Carolina home; Nyquil, Cheerwine, Texas Pete, Thomas Built Buses (you know, the ones you rode to school in every day) and those ubiquitous "Support Our Troops" magnets are manufactured right here in the Triad. Crest Toothpaste is produced for U.S. and worldwide distribution a mere 10 miles from our house.

Some lesser-known, but equally impressive products include Revi Technical Wear (outfitters to NASCAR, IndyCar and world-class cycling teams), Granite Tactical Vehicles (for military use) and Repreve® recycled yarn (used in apparel manufacturing by Patagonia, LLBean, and other major brands). Not only were Krispy Kreme, Bojangles' and The Fresh Market born here, we also happen to be home to the world's largest open-face granite quarry.

Check out the Fox 8 website to peruse the ever-expanding list and watch the corresponding video segment for an inside look into the production of each item. Locals (and beer connoisseurs), especially, will appreciate the tour of the new Red Oak facility.