Alice’s Restaurant

November 22, 2006

FanLit Forever Due

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 2:27 am

We interrupt this turkey count down to remind everyone that tomorrow is the least day in which to submit something for the first ever FanLit Forever challenge.

Can you do it?

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Alice

November 21, 2006

T-Day Minus Two

Filed under: Suzy Homemaker — aliceaudrey @ 9:40 pm

You know how Foxworthy likes to do those “You might be a redneck if…” jokes?  I’ve got “You might procrastinate too much if…” jokes.

You might procrastinate too much if …

…the tools you need to get ready for a party include a pumber’s wrench, a screw driver, a hammer, or a paintbrush.

… your child’s teacher phones  – yes PHONES – to find out where the reports for the last four chapters went, and you only got your hands on the book yesterday.

…. your family is so used to the things stuffed into the closet falling on their heads that they coined the phrase “booby trapping” to describe your cleaning habits.

…  you have been spotted chasing the FedEx truck.  More than once.

… you never change the VCR clock to Daylight Savings Time because it’s only going to go back to Standard Time in a little while anyway.

… it’s easier to buy a new computer than to clear off all the old files.

…  the turkey is still frozen when you put it in the oven.  Dressing?  What dressing?

On the task list for today –  Clean the house.  Maybe paint the upstairs hall.  Fix the leaky faucet.  Remind the kids they are supposed to help cook, not make messes in the living room.   Eat all leftovers to make room in the refrigerator.  Poke the turkey.  Still frozen?  Better get out the cooler.

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Alice

For Fun

Filed under: Day to Day Life — aliceaudrey @ 1:50 am

Look under the lamp shade

Alice 

November 20, 2006

T-Day Minus Three

Filed under: Suzy Homemaker — aliceaudrey @ 6:54 pm

I keep thinking of the time my grandmother dropped the turkey as she was bringing it into the dining room.  The minister and his family were present along with the president of the women’s relief society.  She said she could cry to have to face them with no main course.

Luckly Grandma was a smark cookie.  She said “Let me go get the other one” as she picked everything up.  She took it into the kitchen, cleaned it up, put the same turkey on a fresh platter, and served it. 

Then it was simply a matter of keeping a straight face while collecting compliments for both her good cooking and the foresight to have cooked two of them.
On the task list for today – make sure I got everything on my grocery list.  Find the cranberry mold.  Assure my sister I don’t expect her to bring a peacan pie 400 miles in the back of her car.  Make sure I have enough pillows and blankets.  Poke the turkey.  Yep, still frozen.  Mostly.
Alice

T-Day Minus Four

Filed under: Suzy Homemaker — aliceaudrey @ 12:18 am

Did you hear the one about the woman who decided to try a popcorn dressing in her turkey?  She decided to skip a step.  She filled the bird with un-popped popcorn.  Everything looked fine until the oven door burst open and the turkey shot across the kitchen, spewing popcorn like rocket fuel.  She and her family had their Thanksgiving dinner at a Chinese restaurant.
.

On the task list for today – poke the turkey and see if it’s still frozen solid.  Yep.  I thought it would be.

.
Alice

November 19, 2006

T-Day Count Down

Filed under: Suzy Homemaker — aliceaudrey @ 7:18 am

I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year, as I have for the last half-dozen.  Usually I recruit my mother and sister to help make the meal, but due to health problems it doesn’t look like it this time.  Which means it’s up to me and the kids.

When faced with a daunting task – make a list.

First on the list is a trip to the grocery store.  I almost forgot I had to get the turkey with enough time for it to thaw so I could pull out such wonderful things as all the internal organs they put in the little paper bag then stuff up the bird’s back side.  Yeah, ‘eww’ is right.

My local Super 1 supermarket has a great sale.  If you buy $25 worth of food, and my T-day list requires more than that, you can get the turkey for 24 cents a pound.  My turkey cost me $3.50. 

I’m seriously thinking of going back tomorrow to get one for the freezer.  Now if only I hadn’t unplugged the darn thing.
Alice

November 18, 2006

Who is Suzy Homemaker?

Filed under: Suzy Homemaker — aliceaudrey @ 6:24 am

You may have noticed that some of my blogs are labeled “Suzy Homemaker”.  There is a reason for that.

Back when I was in Jr. High and High school everyone was required to attend either Home Ec classes or Shop.  The thing is the women’s movement had gotten far enough along that the schools could no longer tell you which one to take, based on gender, but everyone expected girls to do Home Ec and boys to do Shop.

One of my best friends – I had two – and I were talking about how unfair it was to be expected to take Home Ec.  I may have been wearing tie-die, but we could both cook and sew, and keep house with the best of them.  Only we didn’t do it because we expected to become good little home makers of the future.  We did it because it had to get done.

I’ve been cooking since I was 7, turning out regular meals by myself since I was 9.  To me it was not a joy.  It was a chore.  If I sew, it’s mostly because that’s the cheapest way of acquiring something to wear.  I’ve been at it since I was 7, with minimal help by the time I was 10.

When we found out we’d have to do in school the exact same things we were doing at home, neither of us was thrilled.  As my friend said, “I don’t care what they say.  I am never going to be Suzy Homemaker!” 

So we took Shop.

Though I haven’t done any of it in a gazzillion years I know how to bend metal, rivet, solder, follow blue prints, use a scroll saw and a drill press, and can hammer a nail straight.  I can also create a cake recipe by modifying an existing recipe until I get what I’m after, make a pattern off of an article of clothing, and not turn my husband’s underwear pink in the laundry.  Not that I won’t indulge that past time now and then out of spite.

Now and then I will have someone drop by the house who is amazed that I bake my own bread, or whip out a batch of cookies simply because I feel like it, and frequently hear jealous comments about making my kid’s costumes and clothes.  Despite my intentions, I became Suzy Homemaker.  It amazes people who know me for supporting garage bands, organizing charity events, or avid camping to learn that I am a Suzy Homemaker.  But there it is.  And now and then I really like it.

And that friend?  She’s an electric engineer.
Alice

November 15, 2006

Reply to a Squawk

Filed under: Day to Day Life — aliceaudrey @ 6:13 pm

Lisa Kleypas has a concern that she put on Squawk Radio.  She’s worried about large-scale illiteracy.  I believe I come from a uniquely pertinent point of view.

But for the grace of God I would now be nearly illiterate.  The same level of illiterate as Michael Rogers advocates.

Reading was always hard for me, made harder by poor social skills and some issues which I have no intention of discussing here. 

When I hit 6th grade I still struggled with cartoons.  I could read labels in the store if I applied myself and had no problem with traffic signs.  I was quite good at reading maps.  With some work I could get by.

My reading skills were so poor I was separated from my class to attend remedial reading.  They started with the alphabet and went from there to vowels and consonants.

By coincidence we had lost our TV the same year.  It was not replaced for a year and a half.  The only form of entertainment I could readily come by involved reading.  Better yet, if I was reading, I could put off my chores for an hour or two.  Reading became a constant activity for me.

In a matter of weeks I surged past my fellow remedial readers and was transferred back to my classroom.  That didn’t last long.

I was mortified when my teachers pulled me from class again.  I didn’t want to go back to remedial reading.  But it wasn’t remedial reading they wanted to put me in.  It was the gifted class.

It’s amazing what a year without TV can do.

Could I survive without my reading skills?  Certainly.  But not easily.  When I was nearly illiterate I often felt left out because others understood so easily what I was still trying to sound out.  Think of the way Star Wars started, with a long scrolling screen full of words.  Newspapers, magazines, nearly 90% of what I personally have encountered online has involved reading far beyond the basics.  Bought a toy or a piece of furniture lately?  Get a load of the instructions on how to put it together.

It goes beyond reading comprehension.  The more illiterate the reading, the worse the writing.  Poor writing skills come across the same way as poor grammar and poor annunciation.  People automatically assume the speeker/writer is uneducated, and less worthy of attention.

Yes, writing has historically been the province of only those lucky enough to be able to afford an education.  However, it has been a part of civilization for as long as people have felt a need to record things for posterity.  Admittedly the earliest recordings were predominately accounting records *grin* but the skill set is the same.  It isn’t the overnight phenomena Rogers would have us believe.

It is possible technology will someday make reading obsolete, returning it to a select few who value reading for itself.  I don’t see that day coming in 19 years.  Do you?

Alice

Gerbil TV

Filed under: Day to Day Life — aliceaudrey @ 2:53 am

I suppose it’s about time I answered the question.  What is Gerbil TV?

Keep in mind that my family gave up cable TV a few years ago.  We still get broadcast, when the weather is good, and rent videos a fair amount, but we don’t do any channel surfing.

Last year we went to the pet store and got a couple of gerbils for my daughter. 

Gerbils are fun to watch.  They are sociable creatures who get along much better than hamsters.  Soon my whole family found itself standing round the cage, watching the gerbils play.  We spent more time watching gerbils than watching TV.

When we got them, the clerk assured me they were both female.  You’d think a pet store clerk would be able to tell, wouldn’t you?  Hah!

Everything was fine until about four months after we brought them home.  Then it turned out one of the gerbil was a daddy, which made the other a mommy, and we had ourselves a litter of 6 gerbils.

Like I said, gerbils are sociable creatures.  The daddy did not eat any of the babies and neither did the mommy.  Instead, we got treated to gerbil antics like box matches, friendly chases, group grooming – get your mind out of the gutter, they weren’t doing anything naughty – and gerbils who would sit on their haunches and watch TV.

We gave that litter to the pet store when we couldn’t find anyone else to give them to.  Did you know gerbils breed as soon as a litter is born?  By the time we figured out which gerbil was nursing the babies, it was already too late.  Shortly after giving away the first litter of gerbils, we were treated to another.  We decided to keep this one because they were so fun to watch.

We took these gerbils to the veterinarian to have them positively identified girls from boys.  You wouldn’t think it wouldn’t be that hard to tell, would you?  I mean, surely a veterinarian could be relied on to do a good job.

So, a few weeks later we had our third litter.  Yep, it turned out daddy was the only male in the lot.  We now have three cages of gerbils.  Every so often the gerbils will do something cute and the whole family ends up standing around the cages watching gerbil TV.

Alice

November 13, 2006

How to Find My Work

Filed under: Writing Life — aliceaudrey @ 9:37 pm

I do have a chapter posted on my web site.  It takes a little work to get to it.  If you click on WIP you should see the feature book right now is ‘Zackly Right.  This is the one I’m working on for the Golden Heart.  If you click on ‘Zackly Right you will get the first chapter of the book.  Arrow down past all the warnings about how you have to be of age to read it.  It takes a bit of work, but I hope it’s worth it.

I intended to put the first chapter of Serpent’s Teeth up as well, but got bogged down in revisions on it, then the Avon FanLit contest started and that was all she wrote.  Or, um I wrote, or whatever.  After I catch up with my CPs and the Golden Heart and some contest judging I’m supposed to be doing I’ll work on the web site and add a few things.

In the meantime, some of my favorite stuff was done for Avon FanLit.  You can check it out by using the find button, selecting “authors” and putting Alice Audrey in the blank.  The later stuff is better than the earlier stuff.

Alice

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