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Mandatory Testing for Commenters December 16, 2005

Posted by Leita in Flotsam/Jetsam, Internet, Life in the Woods, News, Southern Living.

.. And why I believe everyone should be required to pass a test before clicking that Submit button:

News story, last paragraph:

The boy remains in the detention center. But his mother is desperately working to get him out. She says even though there are those speaking out against him, many are also realizing this was just an awful teenage mistake and support her son.

First comment:

IP: Logged
Posted: 12/16 4:03a

Really I think your child didn’t do nothing wrong the other 2 kids took his gun and went and did some wrong things with the gun and yes they should be lock up for it but u know how the systems work everybody don’t get in trouble for some of there wrong doing everybody know how it is and for d people that threating your son handle that because I got a child to and aint nobody going to threat mines because Im d mother and dad

There are simply not enough [sic]s in the world to explain this one.


War, Dinner, Katrina but No Crabs and No Beach House November 24, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Hurricane, Life in the Woods, Southern Living.
1 comment so far

Heading into the kitchen for the day and packing for a quick trip to Georgia tomorrow to visit some soldiers fresh back from the war.

I’d rather be on the beach or dangling toes off a dock on the bay, dangling string and chicken necks to feed the crabs and ultimately, myself. I had to turn down a three-day freebie beach house stay due to prior plans, thanks to the Army keeping them on call all weekend.

“Yes, soldier, you may spend Thanksgiving with your family, but only if they live nearby because we may call you at any moment even though you’re stateside. Happy Holidays, but don’t go anywhere!”

What a pile of holiday crap.

Happy T’giving, folks. Remember the people who lost homes from Hurricane Katrina; many are spending the winter in tents (and worse) along the Gulf Coast. Say a prayer for them and for the kids fighting overseas, maybe some of both will be home come Christmas.


Growing Up Down South … November 15, 2005

Posted by Leita in Life in the Woods, Southern Living.
1 comment so far

…where snapping a gooey wad of Bazooka resulted in a run from the switch or fly swatter, but snapping peas on the front porch was neighborly entertainment.

…where all the grandbabies begged Granny to tell us once more about the first time she wrung a chicken’s neck. (Just a child, her first attempt ended with her mother chasing after the poor hen and its half-foot long neck).

…where Mama fed her children from the kitchen table while Daddy was served at the breakfast table. Even Daddy didn’t eat in the dining room, that was for company. I have no idea why we needed three eating areas.

…where grapes were for jam, scuppernongs for wine and wisteria’s job was testing children for allergic reactions to bee stings.

…where if your family was too proud to produce at least one Bubba, chances are a cousin would marry one.

…or a Yankee, which was a big step up from a Bubba.

…where beachfront homes fell into two categories, small shacks on pilings built to blow away in a hurricane or pre-Civil War antebellums built to last anything Nature blew. Almost.

Walter Anderson’s Art Finally Getting Attention November 13, 2005

Posted by Leita in Art, Design, Hurricane, Life in the Woods, News, Southern Living.

Earlier, I wrote about Mississippi artist Walter Anderson, whose art was badly damaged during Hurricane Katrina. I wrote letters, dozens, to the media and art organizations to try and get the word out about their plight but received no replies.Walter Anderson's art - used without permission but with lots of love and respect.

“There are hundreds of pieces of artwork left, and each one needs to be evaluated, treated, and cleaned by a professional conservator. The family will do whatever is necessary to preserve this work. But we’ve lost our homes, we’ve lost our livelihood, and this is expensive work. What’s more, time is short. The longer each peice of work goes without attention, the less we’ll be able to save.”

From: The Walter Anderson family site.

Since then, The Washington Post, NPR and others have featured the Anderson family’s struggle to save his work. The Today Show ran a segment on the family but I can’t find anything about it on the website. Grrr… they’ll get a letter today. John Anderson’s essay “Katrina’s Destruction of Shearwater Pottery” can be found on the family website.

A brief bio on Walter Anderson is here. His wife, Agnes Anderson, wrote a fascinating book “Approaching the Magic Hour,” that can be purchased here.

I won’t stop writing letters and I won’t stop praying for this lovely family and the gifts they’ve given us all.


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French Toast – A Drunken Dinner Recipe November 7, 2005

Posted by Leita in Flotsam/Jetsam, Life in the Woods, Southern Living.

Sunday afternoon was lovely. I sat outside and sipped wine until the sun went down, thinking I would retire early that night. Then I realized it was 5 p.m. and I’d had two glasses of wine too many. Hunger set in but no worries, I could still manage to put something together for dinner as long as it wasn’t too complicated or required three separate cooking timers. French toast came to mind which was easy enough and didn’t require a trip to the grocer for ingredients.

Speaking of, here they are:

Pain Grillé Français Ivre (Drunken French Toast)


  • 3 eggs with shell bits retained
  • 2 shakes salt from the stovetop shaker with the big holes
  • 2 shakes of cinnamon with the top accidentally removed
  • 1 glug milk
  • 1 shake from a bag of flour + the handful that fell on the counter.
  • 1 dump from the sugar canister
  • Pre-sliced bread to ensure omission of unwanted fingertip marinade.
  • 1 plop butter

Stir batter with whatever utensil is on top in the drawer (a corkscrew in my case, obviously). Preheat butter, forget until it burns; wash pan and repeat two more times. When butter is bubbly but not black, dunk bread into batter and leave it in too long. Pick up soggy pieces with fingers and pile into pan. Stir with potato masher until fully cooked and nicely browned. Endure brief bed spins while stirring. Scoop out of pan with butcher knife and place on plate.

Eat while hot with last sip of wine. Leave crusty dishes unwashed where they sit; soak a wash cloth in cool water and take to bed to help calm the bed down. Fall asleep 15 minutes later.

Do not repeat ever again.


Technorati Tags: cooking, recipe, wine, drunk, dinner, food, dining, meals

Thibodeaux’s First Night Home October 17, 2005

Posted by Leita in Life in the Woods.

Photos taken with the crappiest $400 digital camera manufactured.


3 a.m. – wide awake.

3:30 a.m. – finally


4:30 a.m. ::yawn::

Smudge Meets Thibodeaux

5 a.m. Smudge the kitten discovers she is no
longer the smallest animal of the pack.

A Birthday Eve Chipin October 16, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Life in the Woods, Southern Living.

How many people can say they get a Chipin for their birthday? Not many, I wager. A Chipin is a chihuahua-miniature pincher combo and this particular one is eight weeks of alpha female attitude. I’ll post a photo of her tonight or tomorrow after she’s settled into her new home.

My jungle garden In the meantime, here is a photo of my front yard, aka the Jungle Garden. Already broken in by Mike the border collie and Bunny, the American bulldog, it is canine heaven here in the woods. Thibodeaux (yep, I’ve already given her a name) should have a glorious life here in the woods, unless she gets lost under the vegetation or kidnapped by a palmetto bug.

Thibodeaux won’t be the runt of this pack; she’ll have two kittens, Deuce and Smudge waiting to kick her puppy ass. I caught them working on a plan to take her out just this morning.

On Dieting August 9, 2005

Posted by Leita in Flotsam/Jetsam, Life in the Woods.
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Our body, we are taught, is very, very smart.. a miracle, even! The human body, says science, is a wondrous apparatus with brain and viscera capable of digesting or disposing nutrients when it has had enough. Ingest too much vitamin C and our bodies turn into professional organizers.

“This is no longer needed, flush it away.”

But pull up to a Burger King drive-through or peek inside the fridge at 11 p.m. and see what happens. Ingest one too many extra-biggie-size Value Meals or that last piece of stale cheesecake and our bodies turn into raised-during-the-Great Depression pack rats.

“Wait.. don’t throw that out. We may need it someday.”

My doctor explained it this way: (Insert Middle Eastern accent)

“When you diet too fast, your body starves like a family without money. Once you start eating normally again, the family remembers the days when it was poor and hungry. The family hoards every calorie it can, being Very Careful not to spend too much in case it ever happens again.”

Obviously, doctor has not lived in the U.S. very long. If the above were true, my internal family would be spending every spare calorie, even going into caloric debt taking fabulous vacations, driving snazzy cars, wearing fashionable department store clothing that did not come off the clearance rack and residing in a beachfront home in some exotic locale.

And I would weigh 80 pounds.



(For more like the above, come on over to Sparktown.)


My Dog Itchy June 10, 2005

Posted by Leita in Flotsam/Jetsam, Life in the Woods.

Itchy was the result of a permiscuous Pomeranian and either a Chihuaha or some unknown neighborhood rascal. Soon after she moved in (and chewed herself a home in everyone’s ass heart… she could be a real pain) I started thinking she was at least part Terrier. Had to be, she looked like a cross between a Rat Terrier, a Cairn Terrier and Phyllis Diller. I’m guessing she ran away from home shortly after birth, squatted in a little of fluffy Poms thinking she’d have it easy for the rest of her über-upper-middle-class life. Until it came time to sell the pups. The fluffaloriums went for +$200, Itchy was free with a bonus of free fleas, hence the moniker which she acquired more honestly than any black dog named Shadow. Instead of living in a gated-community tract home, she came to the country. I like to think she lucked out, as did I. This is doggy heaven.. dirt roads, no traffic and only a couple of houses near. Grown, she didn’t weigh much more than six pounds, but she was huge where it counted. Itch climbed like a cat, using her claws. She scraped legs when someone was unfortunate enough to wear shorts in her presence. She bit, too. All that got a little better as she grew, though. When big enough to go out by herself, Itchy started chasing the neighborhood dogs. The smallest pooch on the street, she ran with Golden Retrievers, half-breed wolves and a Boxer/Pit Bull mix that frightened animal control so much I think they refused to pick the beast up no matter how many complaints they received. Itch was princess of Wilson Street. If a strange dog came sniffing by she’d run it off.. the last one was just a week ago, a German Shephard/grizzly mix. She left the wild bunnies alone, though. I guess they weren’t big enough to bother with. Itch died today, consumed by something with neither teeth nor fur. Something she should’ve left alone, but there’s just too many tempting treats in the woods out here. Ironic, she could best the biggest critters out here, but was taken by something smaller than she. After she left, I cried until I fell asleep and dreamed of chasing her around the yard with a flea spray bottle. G’bye, Itch.