Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Easter Spider

The Easter Spider

I’m pretty blind, even with my glasses on.  I keep meaning to go get an eye exam done so my prescription can be updated, but I’ve managed to put that off for the last 3 years or so.  *shrugs*

That’s why this morning, I thought Pickle was playing with (i.e., getting ready to eat) a moth.  She’s really taken to catching insects like moths and flies.  It’s a little gross, but much better than catching things like squirrels and birds, so I try not to judge.

I casually said to my husband, who was much closer to her, “That’s a pretty big moth Pickle’s got cornered.”  My sweet husband looked over from his recliner, raised his eyebrows, and calmly said, “That’s not a big moth,  it’s a big spider.”

He might as well have said, “Honey, there’s an axe murderer at the door”  because adrenaline launched me off the couch like an Olympian.

I am an arachnophobe.  No matter how much I try to “live and let live”, spiders are my exception.  Yes, I know they’re beneficial, and they mean no harm, yada yada nature, yada yada ecosystem, yada yada whatever.  I don’t care.  They creep me out.

So, I’m moving towards the object of Pickle’s interest while yelling “Kill it, kill it, kill it, kill it”…..I’m not sure if I was talking to Pickle or my husband, but I wanted that spider dead.

They’re quick, those spiders.  Its dash to the baseboard and behind the sofa table (which had my SHOES tucked underneath it) made for great escape.  Pickle finally lost interest and went off to find something else to play with, and my husband shrugged his shoulders and returned to his recliner.

You’d think that a man who’s lived with me for nearly 15 years would instinctively know that there is no returning to a recliner when there is a big friggin’ spider AT LARGE IN THE LIVING ROOM!   Though I’m wondering what exactly he thought “for better or worse” implied if not for insect duties, it’s Easter Sunday, we’re expecting 15 people within an hour, and I’m going to have to be a spider hunter.

20 minutes later I see hairy spider legs and alert my husband by running in place, flapping my arms, and saying “Oooooohh ewwwww ewwww ewwww  yuuuuuuuggggg!” which every husband understands to mean “I found the spider.”

Husband joins me and “oohs and aaahs” over the spider’s impressive size.  Honestly, this man is just missing the mark on appropriate responses today.  He takes a photo, then goes off to find something with which to TRANSPORT the spider out of doors, rather than kill it.  Again, I’m alone guarding the prisoner.

This is the payback I deserve for torturing one of my best friends, a fellow arachnophobe, with photos of spiders.  Though I can empathize with his irrational fears, I’m unaffected by visual images so it’s amusing for me to terrorize him with pictures on his Facebook page or in his email.

Karma gets ya for doing things like that.  I’m staring at my comeuppance.  Happy Easter to me.  Easter SpideyOh, and happy Easter to you, Brian.  Here’s a picture.  🙂







The Story of George (or, how I got the best garden fountain in the entire world)

The Story of George (or, how I got the best garden fountain in the entire world)

I spend my fair share of time on airplanes.

I get bored.

When I get really bored, I reach for the airline magazine, and occasionally the SkyMall magazine, though I’m not a shopper.

2 years ago, I found something in the SkyMall magazine that I wanted.

I really wanted it.  Like, seriously.

It’s cool. It’s outdoorsy. It totally fits my house and my personality, and my DOG! There is no doubt in my mind that this was MADE FOR ME!
It was ridiculously expensive.

I had to devise a plan.

When I travel, I am reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. All those trips to the airport, awful food on the road, copies from the local Kinko’s….it adds up.

For the last 2 years, every time I received an expense check, I put it in my “I must have it” jar.

Finally, I saved the required amount of money, and giddily went online and ordered my indulgence.

Today, it arrived.

Immediately upon arriving home, I carved out a spot for him, got him situated, and powered him up.

I shall call him George.

(originally written July 2, 2009)

George george echo

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

I love this recipe because it’s really versatile.  I’ve been making some version of it for 30 years or so.

Base recipe:

1 1/2 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken (breast, thighs, or combination) cut into bite size pieces (leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken is perfect for this recipe)

2 c. cooked rice (brown or white)

2 c. chopped broccoli (raw)

1/2 c. corn

1 small onion, finely diced

16 oz. Velveeta

1 c. milk

2 T. flour

salt & pepper to taste


If chicken is uncooked, brown in a non-stick skillet until no longer pink.  In a separate saucepan, whisk flour, milk, salt & pepper together over low heat.  Add cubed Velveeta and stir occasionally until smooth.

Mix together chicken, rice, and vegetables in casserole dish.  Pour cheese sauce over chicken mixture and bake in 350 oven for 40 minutes.


Substitutions and additions are simple to cater to different tastes.  Cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, and peas work in any combination.  To spice it up a bit, add diced jalapeno.  Macaroni can be used in place of rice.  If you don’t want to make the cheese sauce from scratch, you can substitute 2 cans of condensed cheddar cheese soup and 1 can milk.  If you like a crust, sprinkle the top with seasoned breadcrumbs before putting in the oven.


Some favorite combinations:

Chicken – mushrooms – onions – broccoli – carrots

Tuna (2 large cans) – onions – peas – carrots – macaroni instead of rice

Chicken – cauliflower – broccoli – sundried tomatoes


chicken broccoli casserole