Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Impossible Dream! And My Confession about TV's Gomer Pyle, Jim Nabors.

The other day I read that Jim Nabors got married to his longtime partner. It was funny because it had been decades since I even thought of Jim Nabors. But the story made me happy. There were always rumors that Jim was gay but they were neither confirmed or unconfirmed. It never made a difference to me.

I do have to confess that I am a Jim Nabors fan. I loved watching him on Gomer Pyle USMC. That was such a fun show! And I actually like his music, thanks to my mami. I actually know the lyrics to a lot of his music. Don't judge people, don't judge.

You are asking yourself now, What the heck is wrong with Carolyn? Jim Nabors? Well, yes, Jim Nabors.

When I was very little, there was a period of time when my mom stayed at home with us. Mainly with me because by that time my sister would have been in Kindergarten. I would spend days alone in my little world. I would play outside, climb on the roof and, generally, do what little kids do.

I remember my mom worked at home sometimes doing sewing. Now, my memories are a little iffy at this point in my life because I am old but I do remember that. She would work and sometimes I would be inside. But mainly, I would be outside.

I remember we had a rose garden right outside the back door. I would pretend that was my rose garden and play in and around the roses. I remember we had a little playhouse in the backyard. Sometimes, I would go play there. We also had fruit trees all around and I would climb them. One of my most vivid memories of when I was a child was getting stuck in a tree and my mom coming out and taking pictures of me while I freaked out because there were bumblebees around. I hate bees.

But sometimes, my mom would play music. I loved music. My favorites were the Archies and some Classic Rock music. I remember my uncle left a tons of albums in our house while he was away in Vietnam. Sometimes, if I was lucky, my mom would play that music for me. I think that is where my love of Classic Rock began. I remember listening to the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Rare Earth. I loved Rare Earth. But my uncle only had one Rare Earth album but I remember I loved it.

But mostly, my mom played Jim Nabors and Tom Jones. Yes, I know the lyrics to a zillion Tom Jones songs as well. And to this day, I still love Tom Jones. I actually liked him more than Jim Nabors. Jim's music was more sedate and boring. But I would sing along nonetheless. Tom's music was more peppy and you could actually groove to it.

And trust me, dance I would! I would always dance. It was one of my favorite things to do.

So it's funny when I read about Jim getting married, all these musical memories came back to me. Memories of my childhood spent with my mom in our house in Inglewood, California listening to his music.

Plus, I was also happy that maybe what seemed an "Impossible Dream" to Mr. Nabors all those decades ago, has become an actual dream. I love that gay people can now marry if they so wish too. I only wish that it was the law of the land because it is not fair that in this country of "Equal Right for All" not everyone has equal rights.

Congratulations Mr. Nabors and thank you for being part of my childhood.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What We're Watching This Week

This week we have 3 series going at a time because Netflix freaked out. Netflix used to be the bomb but the service has been sort of willy-nilly. Usually if we have a series in our queue, we get it all at one shot. But lately, we have been getting random discs. I hope they get it together because it is sort of annoying trying to watch multiple series at one time.

This week, we are watching:

Really good show. We love anything involving King Arthur, Merlin, Excalibur etc.  We were watching "Merlin" but gave up on it after one season because it wasn't that good. "Camelot", however, is well done and worth the time. 

I have to say that Californication is not for everyone. It is filled with cursing, sex and other random weird crap. But we like it. It's hard not to like David Duchovny. But I would only recommend this for those who are not easily offended or who are not politically correct. I like it because when I lived in LA, I knew people like this.  Plus, it's really funny and really grew on us. 

We just started watching this. I have wanted to watch it from the first but Tom was a little reluctant. He hates zombies and cool stuff like that. I finally convinced him that the show is more about surviving the zombie apocalypse than horror. I knew I was going to love this series from the first episode. The second episode was just as good and I think this might be a keeper! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Ice Man Cometh

Last week, we had freezing rain. I looked out and saw my mini car encased in ice. It was not pretty. Luckily, over the weekend, it all melted away.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Finding A New Friend

A few months ago, I received an email from someone who had found my blog while doing research on Latina bloggers.

She read my experiences and realized that we had a lot in common. So she reached out and contacted me. I contacted her back and became Facebook friends and then decided to meet.

On Tuesday, we met for the first time. I know that might sound weird to some people and very normal to others. It is still strange to me but I have met so many of the friends I made online in real life so it is becoming the new normal.

We went and had lunch and stayed in the restaurant for over 4 hours just talking. It wasn't until we got the hairy eyeball that we realized that we had been there so long.

My new friend, Lizzy, was great. We had a ton of stuff in common. We both were born in L.A., lived in Miami and Palm Beach County and now we are Latinas living in the middle of nowhere. We were even dressed alike, which was a little freaky.

I am a believer that we always meet who we are supposed to. I am glad she reached out and now I have a friend somewhat close by. We actually live about 2 hours away but it is close enough that we can meet and have lunch.

I am glad I finally was able to meet her and, hopefully, we will be friends for a long time.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action!!

On Monday morning, we were invaded by a movie crew. Tom runs the Stage and Screen department at the university. One of the students in the Film program at the University was doing her senior thesis and needed a filming location. She found one and it did not work. So one of the faculty members, who had been at our house, asked if he could use our front door for filming.

We agreed.

It was nuts. At 8:30 am a convoy of cars and trucks came down our street and from all those cars a zillion students swarmed out. Then our house, driveway and yard were taken over. Lights went up, cameras were taken out and there were a zillion people milling around.

It was like 20 degrees in the morning and we decided to open up our guest room and our guest bathroom to the filmmakers. OMG, we have never had so many people in the house at one time. Now our house is tiny so if you have more than 10 people in it at the same time, it feels crowded.

But it was the right thing to do since there was no other place that they would be able to change and get ready. Plus, unless they brought their own port-a-potty they had no other place to go.

I have to admit that it was unnerving having like 30 college students around while I was trying to watch the inauguration. I really dislike people in my house in the first place. But these were all strangers and it was a little chaotic. But I sucked it up because I had agreed to it.

Initially, they were going to use the front door and yard. Then they needed the foyer. So we had a set up in the foyer and outside. I am sure the neighbors were horrified because there were cars parked all over and a lot of activity.

I also let the kids set up the catering in the dining room because it was so cold outside. So there were people coming in and out of the front door and front porch. I tried to block it out. Scout did too. She spent her time running from our bedroom to the sun room and back to the bedroom and under the bed. She is like me. We are antisocial that way.

I have to admit it was novel at first but then I got a little tired of the nonsense. But, overall, it was sort of cool. I realized how hard it was to make a movie, even a small student movie. There are so many people involved and so many things that have to happen.

Every shot has to be set up and there are a zillion takes. Then everything has to be moved again and different angles have to be shot. There seems to be a lot of standing around and waiting for many members of the film crew. I felt bad because that seemed awfully boring. I invited anyone in the house to watch the inauguration with me, if they wanted.

Though it was a fun experience  I am not sure I would open my house up again to a film crew unless it involves a lot of money and Colin Farrell.

In the end, it took twice as long as it was supposed but the kids were actually very nice and polite. I didn't like all of them calling me ma'am and Mrs. Salzman though. I felt like their mother. It's a hard hard thing getting old!

I did not miss the inauguration and that's all I cared about. It was a good day to see President Obama sworn in again. It was awesome watching all the pomp and circumstance. I loved the president's speech as well.

I am hoping that these next four years bring about more change. I thought it was huge he tried to be so inclusive in his speech and proud that on the day we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. the president seemed to be striving for equality for all.

If you haven't figured it out as yet, I am all about equality for all!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ Spring?

I went out to our backyard the other day and noticed that one of our bushes had buds already. It could be because it was warm a few weeks back and maybe it got confused. But these buds might not last since it was the coldest night we had this winter last night.

We haven't had much of a winter but it has gotten cold. I, like our little bush, am wishing for Spring!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pork Butt Two Ways - Recipe

Now that I am not working and looking for work, I have way too much time on my hands. That is sort of a good thing because now I can focus a little more on my passion for cooking. By no means am I an expert but I make some pretty damn good food.

I am also trying to cut my grocery bill down to save a little money. So at the grocery store the other day, I saw a pork butt and a little light went off in my head. I wondered if I could get two meals from one piece of meat.

When I got home, I already had two meals in mind: Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Pork Tacos. Yummo!

This is how I made my Pork Butt. I could have easily put it in the slow cooker. Although I am a huge fan of slow cookers especially when I have no time, I prefer to roast my meat in the oven if I have the time.

So I took my pork and cut slits in the meat and added a clove a garlic into the slits. Then I took a pre-made dried rub and made sure to slather it all over the pork. You can easily make your own but I have a lot of dry rub in the house so I am trying to use it up.

Then I roasted the meat in a 300 degree oven for about 6 hours! OMG, the house smelled heavenly. And the roast got all tender and delicious. I then took the pork out of the oven and let it cool a little before I pulled it apart. I divided it into two parts.

For my pulled pork sandwiches, I took the pork and put it into a pot with some beer and Stubbs BBQ sauce. I then let it simmer for an hour so all the flavor would get into the pork.

I then took some broccoli slaw mix from the grocery store and added some creamy buttermilk dressing to make a coleslaw. I love using the broccoli slaw than cabbage. Plus, it holds up better and it is really tasty.

That was it. Once the pork was done, I put it on a bun and added some slaw on top and viola, dinner. I served it with some sweet potato fries. Hubby loved it.

For the other dinner, I decided to make pork tacos. I took the pork and put it in a pan with some minced onion and some green chile powder for a little kick. I have tons of green chile powder that I had gotten in Santa Fe when we lived there. Luckily, it does not go bad.

Then I made a fresh guacamole with avocados, fresh cilantro, lemon juice, tomatoes and other spices. I cannot give away all my secrets! Hello. Then I served the pork on a corn tortilla with guacamole. OMG, deliciousness!! There is nothing like fresh tacos. I only wish I had made the tortillas myself but I am too lazy for that.

So there you have it, willy-nilly cooking at its best. You get some delicious food and save money! I am going to try and see what other foods I can stretch to make tasty meals.

Buen Provecho!

Monday, January 21, 2013

He had a Dream and so do I

It is ironic, that on the day we celebrate one of the men who changed the country; we celebrate the inauguration of our first black president’s second term. It’s a nice coincidence.

In a lot of ways, today’s inauguration is the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream. But we still have a long way to go. Although we have our first black president, it has not been without great strife. In fact, the last four years have shown us that racism is alive and well in this country.

Yes, I know people will say I am incorrect but I believe I am not. The world is changing and there are always those who will not and cannot change with it. There are always people who still believe that this country should be as it was centuries ago.
It’s sad. But the world will change with or without them.

I actually have to thank Dr. King for helping me gain admission into the University of Miami. On my admission application I was asked who I would be for one day. I chose Dr. King after thinking long and hard about all the people in the world.

The reason I chose Dr. King was because I had read his book: Letters from the Birmingham Jail. If you have never read this book, run out and buy it. It was one of those books that might change your life. For me, it validated certain things I inherently believed.

Even after he went to jail, he never lost faith that this country would change and that blacks would someday be treated as equals in this country. He never lost faith that things could change. He never lost faith that what he was doing was the right thing to do. In his words: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” That is why he took up the fight for civil rights and that is what he died for on April 4, 1968.

His words resonated with me because of the truth of those words. It is something I believed before I read the book and believed even more after I read the book. It is something I still believe. And that is why I wanted to be him for one day. I wanted to feel what it was like to fight a battle you might not win. I wanted to feel his unwavering faith in his fellow man. I wanted to feel that faith he had. I wanted to have that faith.

Sure I have faith in many things, including myself, but I do not think it was or will be as strong as Dr. King’s faith. I think there are few people in the world who actually achieve that faith and then do something about it and actually change the world. Dr. King was one of those people. He never lived to see the changes he fought and died for but he made that difference.

He paved the way for our current president to be president. Don’t get me wrong, there were so many others who paved the way and who died for civil rights and I admire them as well. But Dr. King is the figurehead of the battle.

I never believed that we would have a black president in my lifetime. Honestly, I never thought that Americans would accept that. I was wrong and a little right as well. But, it happened. It actually surprised me. I actually burst out crying when they announced Barack Obama won the election. I am not sure why but maybe it was because one of my long held beliefs was shattered. But that was a good thing. On the other hand, I cry like John Boehner at the drop of hat, so go figure.

It’s funny because four years ago I started this blog and the second post I wrote on this blog, was called “MLK and Obama”. And the third post I ever wrote was called “A New Beginning” right after the first Obama inauguration. And four years later, I am once again writing about these two men. It makes me feel that my blog has sort of come full circle.

And although we have a black president, we still have a long way to go. It is never an easy road but it is one that has to be taken. Though on paper we have equality, it is never that easy. There are still people in this country who are not treated as equals whether it is because of gender, race, sexuality or income.

I also have the same dream that Martin Luther King did. Whether it will truly happen, I don’t know but we should never ever stop trying to live up to those words: 

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men (and women)* are created equal." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

*I added the women!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Carolyn in Carolina!!!

Four years ago, I posted my first real blog post. I can't believe I have been blogging for 4 years now. It's funny how much of my life I have shared online. It never occurred to me to do this until I started a blog.

So I have four years of memories and stories. What is funny is that when I forget what I was doing or where I have been, I go back to my blog and try to find out. It is really a life journal.

I want to thank all the readers who come by and take part in my life. On this blog there aren't as many as on my other blog, The Art of Random Willynillyness, but they are still appreciated.

Because of this blog and my other blog, I have had so many wonderful experiences that I probably would have never had. I have met, in person and online, so many wonderful people who I never ever would have met if I had not started blogging. And, I am so thankful for that.

I am not sure I can ever stop blogging now regardless of what happens. I really love sharing my life and writing and this little blog is such a special place to do that!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ The River Wild

Okay, it's not that wild but because of the rain the river in front of our house has risen. I took the top picture a few days ago. I took one yesterday. They are not the same angle and not very good quality but you can see how much it went up. It never gets that high. Hopefully, the rain will stop and it stays where it is.

We never had flooding while we lived here but it has happened. Luckily, the weather looks like it will be getting better.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Hate Winter But. . .

I hate winter but it's a little disturbing that yesterday when we headed to Asheville for a Sam's run and lunch, it was over 60 degrees in January.

I wore a sweater and was sweating when we got out of Sam's. It was humid and warm. Now I know 60 is cold for some folks. I remember when I lived in Florida, 60 degrees was chilly and the sweater came out. But now 60 is warm for us especially in January.

When we got home, Tom sat outside and we let Scout run around in the yard. It was so nice. It felt like Spring.

I am a believer in climate change so it worries me that once again, we might not have any snow here in Western North Carolina. Last year, we had snow one day and it was only an inch. Then nothing.

When we first moved here about 5 years ago, we had a huge snowstorm and then snow off and on. The next two years, it was the same thing. It changed last year.

Now I hate winter but it's bizarre that it's so warm here in the mountains. Now if it does snow, I will be cursing myself but it's just wrong.