Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Horse Pucky Advice: Tasteless Christmas Gift

Dear Horse Pucky,

Five years ago, for Christmas, my now-92-year-old-mother gave me the ugliest sweater I've ever seen. I thanked her for it and told her it was not my style or my size and to please return it, get the money back, and go buy something nice for herself. What did she do?! She kept it for five years, thinking I'd forget about it, and then gave it to me again this year as a Christmas gift. You're probably thinking,'At 92, she's a tad dotty,' but she isn't. She's sharp as a tack, loves bargains, and thinks no one will notice how cheap she is. 

I hate to call her bluff, but the sweater is the tackiest thing I've ever seen. What is the best thing to do so as not to hurt her feelings?  I DON'T WANT IT BACK!

~Ugly Sweater  Kid

Dear USK,

This year keep the sweater and make mittens out of it. Trace your hand with a marker on the sweater, cut out hands, then stitch up with yarn. Next cut off the ribbed part of the sleeve on the sweater, then stitch onto base of mitten with yarn to make a ribbed, bottom sleeve to mitten, and voilla...you have a pair of hand-made mittens.

If you don't wear mittens, give them to your mother. She may or may not notice they're made out of the same sweater she gave you twice in five years. In any case, the mittens will keep her warm. She'll love it. If not, she may never talk to you again. But then you won't have to deal with unbecoming  sweaters at Christmas.

~Horse Pucky

Friday, December 23, 2011

No Snow but Lots of Squirrels

Look, no snow!
There is absolutely no snow in Rochester, NY. I just went outside and snapped this picture of my back yard, and the woods, with nary a trace of snow anywhere. Not one single flake. This is highly unusual this time of year around these parts, and I must admit, I 'd like to see some of the white stuff for Christmas.

What I do have are plenty of squirrels, each doing a tap dance on the roof. It got so noisey in my office this afternoon, I had to go outside and yell at the little gray fur balls to "tone it down". They chattered back at me and scampered to the neighbor's rooftop, cursing, all the way, in squirrel language.

 That's what I get for putting shelled walnuts out as a Christmas holiday treat for my woodland friends...a herd of ungrateful squirrels. Or is it a scurry of ungrateful squirrels? Maybe it's a flock? Yipes, who cares. Time to get back to work.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Cranberries and Spooky Happenings


Cranberries are one of my favorite foods. They not only taste good but they're good for you and can be used in a multitude of recipes.

 I thought cranberries grew in bogs further north than upstate NY, so I was surprised to see a couple of stray cranberry plants in the woods, down by the creek, behind my townhouse. It was late afternoon when I decided to go for a stroll. Before too long the sun started to set, and I thought, 'I need to get back home before it gets dark because I'm alone and it's kinda creepy back here in the woods.'

However, those little red berries intrigued me and I figured if I pilfered at least one plant, I'd plant it in my garden, nurture it, and grow my own berries for the holidays. I waded across the creek in my neoprene rubber boots, bent over to pull up one of the plants, then slipped and fell into the creek.  Apparantly the water was warmer than the air because, when I stood up, I was steaming from neck to toe.

As I was making my way home in the dark I was thinking, "As soon as I get into the house, I'm going to make a cup of hot tea because I'm freezing." The air temp was 36 degrees. By the time I got to the door, there were two firetrucks, and two Irondequoit police cars, one with a K-9 unit.

My neighbor is a volunteer fireman. He looked out his back window and saw a headless form walking out of the woods with steam emaninating from its body and decided to call 911.

I never did get that cranberry plant, but I got a lot of metaphorical horse pucky from the neighbors. As for the fireman and the police, I told them I was happy to see my tax dollars hard at work. I gave the German shepherd a dog bisquit. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Store Bought Is Better

dill weed
If asked, I'll bet most of you would probably say that anything home-made is better; better tasting, more appealing to the eye, and better for you. In the case of my home-made dill pickles, you'd be dead wrong.

I'm not exactly Suzy Homemaker, but I am a pretty fair cook... except for my attempt at making home-made pickles. They tasted like digits dipped in gasoline-gone-bad. I don't understand how I made such awful tasting cucumbers. Maybe it was the dill I grew in my garden or maybe I followed the recipe wrong or maybe someone left out something in the recipe on purpose, but the pickles were just awful.

Since the pickle escapade, I tried using the dill in a potato salad recipe and it tasted great, so I know it's not the dill. Good friends who share recipes are trustworthy, so I really don't think they'd leave out a key ingredient. Then I double checked the jars I put the pickles in just to see if anything in the jar was suspect. And there it was!

A spider the size of New York State was nestled in and around the dill weed. It was the worst looking thing you ever saw. It was big enough to emit an awful taste, but I don't think the spider was the culprit. It didn't matter.  I threw out all the jars of pickles and decided that store bought is better.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Debts 'R' Us

I am sick and tired listening to people bluster on and on and on, ad nauseum, about the current economic climate being the result of our current administration. Turn off the damn TV and start reading economic history!

The United States has had a public debt of $75,463,476 since its founding in 1791 as a result of the American Revolutionary War. The debt got paid off because there were 14 budget surpluses and 2 deficits. Then there was a sharp debt increase because of the War of 1812. The U.S. paid off 99.97% of that debt due to surpluses.

Here's where it starts really going downhill fast. As a result of the Civil War, the debt was $65 million in 1860, passed $1 billion in 1863 and by the end of the war reached $2.7 billion. During the following 47 years there were 36 surpluses and 11 deficits with 55% of the debt paid off.

Do you see more than one pattern here? There have been, and continue to be, layers and layers of political horse pucky thrown at the American people for the last 225 years. Turn off your TV and read some economic history. Think for yourself. Then vote for The Horse Pucky Queen.

P.S.Many thanks to wikipedia for a quick synposis of the historical data in this blog post. You may want to read, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon. It's scary...we're almost there.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wilford Resemblance

Wilford Brimley
Our family loves animals, all kinds of animals, especially cats. My daughter has three cats; Paucus, Hiram, and Sunny. Paucus loves to pose for the camera, loves to be groomed, and just loves to be loved. He's a real character with "ham" as part of his persona.

The other two cats, Hiram and Sunny, disappear for parts unknown as soon as the camera comes out. There's no froo-froo stuff for them unless you want to become shredded wheat or shredded meat.

Here's the deal: I think Paucus looks like Wilford Brimley. For those of you who are too young to remember Wilford, I'll refresh your memory. WB appeared in movies such as Cocoon, The China Syndrome, and Absence of Malice to name a few. His recent TV commercials include Quaker Oats, and Liberty Mutual. He's a talented actor, so he's bit of a "ham" himself.

Just out of curiosity, do you think Paucus and Wilford resemble one another? I'm taking bets on this.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Horse Pucky Advice: Face Lifts and Beyond

Dear Horse Pucky,

My husband was looking at me kind of funny when I got out of the shower this morning and mentioned that certain parts of my anatomy are looking droopy. He suggested plastic surgery to "perk up" those parts and even offered to pay for the procedures. I'm leery to go under the knife for any reason. What should I  do?


Dear Droopy,

Don't do it!! I'm sure you're beautiful just the way you are. As we age, gravity naturally takes over, and who cares anyway. I mean, what's really important here! If you want to tone up, go to the gym and find a trainer who will help you get into shape gradually.

Have your husband take a good look at what's drooping on him, then offer him a can of spray starch along with a can of putty and a sharp-edged putty knife.

~Horse Pucky