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Swine Flu


While looking for inspiration for a serious blog, I kept getting updates on twitter about the swine flu.

Now, the swine flu is a pretty serious outbreak with potential to kill.  And it's important to take all precautions without getting panicked.

Advice about clean hands and disinfectant washing should be implemented. 

There are so many ways to pick up germs.  Thus I want to scare all of you by pointing out the filth found on shopping carts.  Diapered babies with dirty hands slather up the seat and rails of the shopping carts where we place food, our hands, and purses.

Get some disinfectant wipes and use them on you, your kids, and the carts.  Be aware of those around you.  Avoid people in obvious distress.  Their coughing and spitting can reach you and your family.

Be careful in restrooms and around produce and other frequently handled items.

I suffered a serious case of MRSA in 2007 and am convinced that a shopping cart carried the MRSA germ into my system.  A simple scratch is all that's needed. 

Don't take this lightly.  The swine flu is bad and MRSA is bad.  Our world is terribly dirty.  Germs, allergies, biological secretions can be found anywhere.

I've been there and still don't know what weakness took hold in my body.  Please protect yourselves and your family.

Watch for more blogs.  More subjects


Cloud-like Castles In The Air--A Mother Cupboard Tale


Father Cupboard, bless his heart, is not the handy honey-do helpmate that was once an important facet of my youthful requirements for Prince Charming.  However, I am definitely NOT an eternally slim, youthful beauty blessed with hormonal perfection.  Not a chance, mon ami!  So much for his vision of sweeping me off to his ancestral castle!  But dreamy little what ifs love to plague the untended mind, and I’m going to tell you about it.

Oh, yeah.  The castle reference is not a typo.  There really is a structure that’s part of Father C’s Mediterranean ancestry.  He calls it the family villa.  And lies in his recliner surrounded by genteel dreams of reclamation.  I call it ancient history, and mop the floor, while I deal with my long-dead Cinderella complex.  Plainly, our separate symphonies of life were authored by decidedly different composers.

What prompts this clash of cultures?  Well, lately(*), it’s been the Revlon and Duracell commercials.  Their actors boldly cavort upon the sweeping terrace of a lovely ancient structure, which overlooks the sparkling Mediterranean. 

Egad!  It’s the family villa.  I mean.  It really is the family villa

The battery people are okay -- just average tourist types.  But those pouty Revlon lips, displayed by Melanie Griffith, defeat my efforts to drag Father C from his recliner to change a light bulb, or unclog a commode. 

Royalty, after all, does not do bulbs or commodes.  It doesn’t matter that Antonio Banderas can whip his royal Docker-clad astrological site, and destroy his sitting position comfort zone.  Oh no, my dethroned knight bravely slips ever deeper into his reverie, where he hands the fair Melanie a chilled glass of wine from the Estate’s vineyards.

The treachery of it all does not last too long.  The spell is broken when he can’t focus a vision of Lady Lips, coaxing a pasta sauce to perfection, over a steaming stove. 

Realizing this, I quickly take advantage and graphically describe the melting lips; the runny makeup; the limp, scraggly hair, and the wilted gown.  I next throw in the kicker: “Yoiks, Sir Reginald, is that fair maiden of pouty pulchritude fleeing into the arms of the divine Antonio -- in California?”

Oyez, and verily, it is not a Kodak moment.  Paradise has been surely and well sullied.  Skullduggery has, yet again, invited harmony and sensibility to restore their reign within our household.

The telling of this tale is not the end.  More adventures with Father C will pop up. Bet on it! For now, though, lay your scepters aside for sustenance.  It’s recipe time!


1 cup PIGNOLI NUTS (Pine Nuts)


2/3 cup SUGAR



2+ tbs. FLOUR

Break almond paste into small pieces in bowl or food processor.  Add sugar and beat until smooth.  Add egg whites. Mix well.  Add amaretto/lemon peel. Put into large pastry bag with star tip or drop by rounded tsps. onto sheet lined with parchment paper --1 inch apart.  Put nuts on.  Bake @ 325f - 18 to 20 min.  If no pastry bag available, wet hands and roll dough into a ball.  (You may wish to brush with egg wash.) Dip into nuts and place on parchment paper. Let cool and remove from paper.  Approx. 36 cookies.



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