The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

There’s something about a Missouri tomato July 14, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 9:15 pm

Today was a day I look forward to all year long. It was the first BLT of the season with luscious slices of Missouri vine-ripened tomatoes. Ah, sheer bliss.

I’ve had summer tomatoes from many other states, and I may be a bit biased, but, nothing beats the perfect taste of a Missouri tomato. I know there are others out there who agree with me wholeheartedly. My in-laws, who are originally from Missouri, but, have lived in Denver for decades, still miss the special taste of a summer tomato from the Show-Me state. In fact, every year we ship them a little box so they can share in the bounty with us.

I was a little worried about this year’s tomato crop. The first tomatoes started out beautifully, but, developed a black rot on the bottom before they ripened. Things seem to have turned around, however, and we have a nice little supply to show for the beginning of the season.

Hope this has inspired you to forget whatever diet you’re on and fry up a nice pan of crispy bacon, slather a little mayo on a couple of slices of fresh bread and dress the top with a couple of thick slices of Missouri tomato and lettuce. It is a meal fit for a king.

Bon appetite!


If Architects had to work like web designers July 13, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 1:07 pm

This is a very entertaining, and unfortunately, true analogy about what it would transpire if an architect had to face what Web designers do every day with clients. This was a piece that was shared with me many years ago by a friend, John F. from Maryland. It’s made the rounds over time, but, the message never gets too old to share. Enjoy!


Dear Mr. Architect:

Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted.

When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one.

Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls don’t have nearly enough insulation in them).

As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)

Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that the kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.

To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year. Make sure that you weigh all of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make.

Please don’t bother me with small details right now. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house: get the big picture. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to be choosing the color of the carpet. However, keep in mind that my wife likes blue.

Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.

While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. It therefore should have appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers. Please make sure before you finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the population in my area that they like the features this house has. I advise you to run up and look at my neighbor’s house he constructed last year. We like it a great deal. It has many features that we would also like in our new home, particularly the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.

Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this time to do the real design, since they will be used only for construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable for any increase of construction costs as a result of later design changes.

You must be thrilled to be working on as an interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials and to be given such freedom in your designs is something that can’t happen very often. Contact me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.

PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions I’ve given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you can’t handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.

PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer. Please advise me as soon as possible if this is the case.



Sometimes a day is unexpectedly hard

Filed under: My View on Events,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 11:07 am

I got a call from my daughter this morning. She shared some news with me that brought to mind once again, that life is precious and we just never know what will happen in our day.

Her prospective father-in-law is an assistant superintendent for a school district. Today, his boss came into his office to meet with him and during the conversation suddenly became unresponsive. After calling 911, doing CPR and trying to resuscitate him, he was still unable to get him to breathe. He had already passed away by the time the paramedics arrived. He was only 50 years old.

We forget, sometimes, how precious life can be. We get so busy making a living, that sometimes we forget to make a life.

It’s a beautiful day today. Take a walk and enjoy the gift. Spend a little time with your family and make a memory. Every day is precious. We never know what tomorrow will bring.


The Kleenex Thief July 10, 2007

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick",Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:24 am


Me: “Fat Chick, have you seen my Kleenexes?”

FC: “They’re with me, here on the table.”

Me: “What are they doing over there?”

FC: “I thought I’d do you a favor and give you an excuse to exercise a bit.”

Me: “What in the world are you talking about?”

FC: “Seems to me the only exercise you get lately is reaching for something. Reaching for your cup, reaching for a snack, reaching for the Kleenex. I figured after the most excellent allergy display yesterday that I’d help you out and make you get up and walk to the Kleenex box.”

Me: “Did I ever tell you that you’re just plain mean?”

FC: “Oh, a couple of times a day or so. It doesn’t really matter. I like being mean. After all, I am your alter ego!”

Me: “If you don’t give me back my box of Kleenexes, I’m going to spew mucus all over you next time I sneeze!”

FC: “What do you think that’s going to do, crackle my finish? Really, woman, you must think my glaze is pretty thin if you expect me to be threatened by that. Why don’t you just do the easy thing and get up and move once in awhile?”

Me: “Although I disagree with your tactics, I have to agree with your point. I need to move around more. I’m becoming a sedentary lump in a chair. Okay, you win. I’ll get up and move around more. Now can I have my Kleenexes back?”

FC: “I don’t know. I kind of like this pretty blue box. It looks pretty good next to my yellowness, don’t you think?”

Me: “My gosh, Chick, you are so incredibly vain. I’ll leave it on the table for now, just to humor you. But, just so you know, it makes you look a little green.”


Annie’s Family Bridal Shower July 7, 2007

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 9:18 pm

Another milestone event leading to the big wedding day. It never ceases to amaze me how generous our family can be to one another. Annie and Josh were “showered” with some truly wonderful gifts and I’m sure it will be a day she’ll always remember.

While showers seem to be the domain of the females in the clan, Josh received a special private gift from his new brother-to-be, Allen. I was truly impressed that a 14 year old would save his own money and buy a wedding gift on his own. He presented Josh with a new Playstation and Guitar Hero II. I’m not making any official bets, but, wouldn’t be surprised if that one wasn’t Josh’s favorite!


Surprise guests from Atlanta July 6, 2007

Filed under: My View on People — auntlelo @ 7:56 am

Thursday evening at our house:

We were about half way through a lovely dinner (thick cut bronzed porkchops cooked on the grill with roasted asparagus) when the phone rings. My husband starts making those comments on the phone that throw me into a mild panic.

“How are you? You’re where? Sure, we’d love to see you. Do you remember how to get to the house? No? Let me give you directions!”

About that time I’m waving my arms in his face.

“Who is it? Where are they? When are they coming? How long till they get here? My gosh, the house is a disaster! It’s THURSDAY, for pete’s sake!”

The only day worse than Thursday at our house is Friday. By that time, we’ve accumulated a lot of clutter. You know the kind. There was mail all over the kitchen counter. Wedding paraphernalia scattered about the house. Laundry waiting to be done. The bathroom needed to be cleaned. The vacuum needed to be run. A dust cloth would have been a nice touch. And, we were in the middle of dinner and there were dishes that needed to be done. YIKES!

My husband gets off the phone and says his cousin and his wife from Atlanta were on their way back from Denver, are just outside Columbia and on their way here. They should be at our house in about thirty minutes.

The phone rings again and it’s my mother-in-law asking if we had company. Geesh! Couldn’t someone have given me a clue? They know my house isn’t like the photos in Better Homes and Gardens! By Thursday, it’s a freaking disaster area!


Four bodies quickly rose from the table and scattered to opposite parts of the house to try and make it presentable to out of town family who had never seen it. Thirty minutes later, the house was tidied up, a fresh pitcher of iced tea and fresh pot of coffee were made and I was happy that I still had a good amount of a special lemon yogurt cake with  blueberry sauce on hand to offer guests.

The family arrived. We had a nice leisurely visit, a little dessert and a little coffee. We caught up on the news and offered them a bed for the night, but, they opted to continue on to St. Louis so the morning travels wouldn’t be quite as difficult.

It was good to see them. This should be a lesson to me not to let my house get so out of hand by the end of the week. I need a housekeeper!!!!!!


What celebrities do I look like? July 5, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 2:48 pm

MyHeritage - share black and white photos with facial recognition technology

I came across this interesting new online application that allows you to upload a photo and the face recognition software searches and matches your features to celebrity photos in its database. I’m not sure this thing works very well. I think the face recognition believes I’m a model or I’m Asian. Either way, nothing could be further from the truth.


The best fried chicken I’ve ever made July 4, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:44 pm

It’s taken me well into my adult life, but, I can say with confidence that I have finally mastered the perfect fried chicken. This may not seem like such an important thing to some people. However, when you’ve grown up in the shadow of my Granny’s fried chicken, it’s a pretty big milestone.

I won’t divulge the secret yet. I want to savor it awhile and bask in the glow of all the compliments from dinner. Let me just say, it’s extremely simple and I’m amazed I didn’t figure it out before now.

So, right now I’m very full, very satisfied and very happy to have lived up to my southern roots. Tomorrow, I’ll have to go to work and apologize to Fat Chick because we had fried chicken. I’m going to have to think harder next time I choose an alter ego. Having one that is a potential food item makes some conversations a little touchy!


Interesting facts about July 4th July 3, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:15 am

I came across an interesting fact sheet from the US Census Bureau containing some interesting facts about July 4th and some of our traditions. Here are a few of the more interesting items for your Independence Day enjoyment:

On July 4, 1776, the population of the newly independent nation was about 2.5 million. On July 4, 2007, the US population has risen to 302 million people.

Most of the fireworks that will be displayed for our national holiday will have come from China, not the US. The value of fireworks imported from China in the past year is $206.3 million.

There are 30 places nationwide with the word Liberty in their name. The most populous is Liberty, MO.

11 places have Independence in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, MO.

Other interesting July 4th trivia:

US President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont.

Two US Presidents who were instrumental in the creation of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, died on 50 years after the signing of that important document on July 4, 1826.

Enjoy a free and safe July 4th holiday with your family and friends and remember, it’s not just about the fireworks and the barbeques. It’s about our freedom and honoring what that means and what is required to protect it.


Kids, Grandkids and Grown-ups July 1, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:35 pm

We had a good weekend. Our grandchildren were all here and we actually had 5 of our 6 children around the dinner table at the same time on Saturday night. A rare and special time, indeed!

I spent time playing Barbie dolls with Aidan and Jill. We even took a trip to Chuck E. Cheese and Toys R Us. We bought each of the little ones a toy and then, of course, I had to buy a few new Barbie doll outfits for myself. After all, the Barbie doll collection does live at my house!

We even managed to squeeze in a great visit with some family we like to spend time with on Sunday night. I’ll have to make a resolution to make more time for those grown-up visits in the future. It was really nice to spend a few hours with people our own age. I think we’re planning to run away from home for a couple of weekends in the fall. I’m looking forward to it already!