GardenGrrl's WunderBlog

Ghost Stories....

By: GardenGrrl, 9:47 AM GMT on October 27, 2008

Whooooooooo, Do you believe in ghost? With Halloween drawing near this is always a fun topic.

Some years ago I lived in a wonderful turn of the century apartment building. It was beautifully maintained with built in cabinets, hand crafted woodwork and gleaming hardwood floors. The building also had a ghost. As tenants we all just accepted odd things happened from time to time, would acknowledge the ghost and the odd things would stop for awhile. It was the same story every time someone new moved into the building. After a week or two they would approach one of us older tenants in the hall or laundry room, shift from foot to foot, hem and haw a bit, then ask, "Has anyone ever mentioned this place was haunted?"

Whatever it was, we all felt it was harmless and just wanted to be noticed. Saying a simple hello would stop the odd repetitive noises. One dark winter night in the wee hours right before dawn, a tenant heard a ruckus in his bedroom ceiling. He tried to turn on his light it wouldn't work. He asked the ghost to be quiet, it only scratched and knocked louder. Come morning he could smell smoke and when he opened his shades he saw a small portion of the ceiling where the light was, had a black circle and was smoking. When the fire department came and pulled the ceiling down to put out the fire they couldn't believe what they saw. They area was charred and contained in a tight circle but no flames beyound it.

Angels, ghosts and the unexplained, do you have a story?

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Light the Pilot?

By: GardenGrrl, 9:40 AM GMT on October 21, 2008

Autumn in North Texas is not heralded by the hue of red and gold leaves but by the tiny blue flicker of the furnace pilot light.
We have a natural gas furnace. We are also rather frugal people. Leaving the pilot light on burns gas so if it is not needed, the furnace is shut down and gas lines secured for the warm season.

Deciding when to do the furnace start-up ritual is a test of endurance. We all know that a 40f day in North Texas is quite often followed by several 70f days. Can we tough it out until a cold spell a several consecutive days comes?

This practice can bite one on the hiney. When the indoor temp of the house is 58f and dropping, it is not a good time to find out the thermocoupler on the furnace is not working. As very few people do simple repairs on their own HVAC systems anymore, finding a thermocoupler after 7:00pm can be tricky. If I see some at Lowes this season I am buying two.

This year we lit the furnace early.


Thought for the day, Plan ahead and then relax.

(And,...remember to bring sweater home from work:)

Updated: 10:04 AM GMT on October 21, 2008

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Kid Friendly Outings

By: GardenGrrl, 9:24 AM GMT on October 13, 2008

A couple years ago when the plant I worked at closed down and all my friends scattered across the country looking for new jobs, my best friend found work about 2 hours freeway drive north of here. She also found out she was quite fertile and quickly produced our two God kids after getting married.

These are some amazing kids too. Almost bordering on special needs because for their ages they are HUGE. If they were pumpkins, you could haul them on a truck to a county fair and win a prize. Or, just imagine having a 3 year old that can look over the top of the kitchen counter AND reach everything on it. His younger brother is almost as big and they are great little climbers too. Toddelers that big require constant supervision.

So Mom can get a change of venue and some adult company, we have had to figure out kid friendly places for two large energetic boys. Something halfway between where we both live. First I'd like to say that someone needs to drive a stake through the heart of the evil marketing genius that came up with "Family Fun Arcade restaurants". A noise filled mid-way full of coin operated machines with 30 second play times that spit out paper tickets for little suddenly "must have" trinkets.

On the other hand, whoever came up with those wonderful indoor playlands at certain fast food chains should be canonized for saint hood. Kids can play in an easy to supervise controlled enviornment. They don't ever seem to get bored with climbing through those tubes, and the adults can talk. Best of all it is cheap!

My next vote is IKEA. This is a theme park disguised as a furniture store. For potty trained kids they have a free baby sitting playland. For the kids you drag through the store with you there are play kiosks set-up in all the departments. The little guys had a blast and mom got to shop. Everyone wins. I love IKEA.

Thought for the day; Play!!!!

Updated: 9:29 AM GMT on October 13, 2008

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Autumn Cooking Weather

By: GardenGrrl, 6:58 AM GMT on October 06, 2008

Okay, I am done with politics and back to the things that I so enjoy WU for. Photography! Garden stories that leave me waiting for the next chapter. For instance, will aSigiams intergallactic pepper protection force save the harvest? Will Jalepeno Harry start a family under JD's porch? And, ofcourse, the weather too.

Speaking of weather, it has finally cooled off enough in North Texas to cook in the house again. During the beastly hot days of summer the only food groups in our home are; take-out, delivery and which air-conditioned restaurant?

I love to cook. I really like making up new dishes and trying new foods. I'm blessed to live with someone who even after twelve years will heartily down anything I come up with and pronounce it fabulous. (No matter if I'm making faces at a not so great experiment.)

Today I baked. (Cue bold orchestral fanfare) Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes smothered in chocolate shavings!
OOOOh that's some good stuff. I use the Dr. Oetkers mix (hands down the best on the planet) and Scharffen Bergers baking chocolate. Do a taste test next to other chocolates and they will taste like flavored wax next to this.

Now if someone can recommend a good "off the shelf" raspberry sauce for dribbeling over flourless chocolate cake, you will be my hero.

Calories; forget the twinkie, only eat the good stuff.

Updated: 7:00 AM GMT on October 06, 2008

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