Friday, May 29, 2009

Meals on Wheels

Today's Wonder of the World is...Meals on Wheels!

Flickr photo by artcphoto
No, not the nationwide program to bring meals to the homebound, though it certainly deserves its own special post as a Wonder of the World. I've done a Meals on Wheels route for years and love my clients dearly. I must blog about that one of these days.
But today I'm honoring the other kind of Meals on Wheels: the chuckwagon! Just call me Cookie.
(Technically that's the name for the chef, but I like to pretend.)

We can fix you up with the slightly bored hot dog man above, or go vegetarian if you like.

Flickr photo by allaboutgeorge

How about an eggroll?

Flickr photo by Marie (Austin)

Or a taco?

Flickr photo by josewolff

I bet their tamales are out of this world.

Flickr photo by cheezemaster
One of my favorite bakeries sells its tamales at construction sites all over Greer via a vending truck. How I wish it would drive through my neighborhood! If they'd just ring a little bell, I'd come running!
Just like we did in France.

Flickr photo by aschmitt
Technically they didn't ring a bell. Neither did they drive through my quartier. Nor did we come running. (What a liar I am!) We drove to the pizza trucks parked all over Clermont Ferrand.

Can you believe it? A wood burning oven in a truck?

Flickr photo by
dogs bark at night
It's true. And the pizza was REMARKABLE!
Here's a seafood one. Yum.

Flickr photo by ijspence
Maybe I need to put on my readers, but that one looks to be just shrimp and mushroom, hold the octopus and squid, hold the traditional egg in the middle. My friend Silicon Valley Diva recently got me thinking about French pizza, and how leftovers from the seafood version smelled up the fridge. But it's so, so good when it's hot!
Notice the slightly burned edges. That's a must from a wood fired pizza truck oven. Crispy, yet chewy. Yum.

And for dessert?
Cheers!

Flickr photo by bettybl

Mister Softee, of course!

Flickr photo by Mandy~Gill

Have a wonder-full Friday and a super weekend everyone!
Get your dimes (dollars?) ready! Summer's coming soon!
Love, Becky

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Use Your Noodle

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Art of the Noodle! And Noodle Art!

My baby Sam loves his noodles. There he is, a few weeks before we moved to France, slightly noodle drunk. Suck it in, Sammy. People are looking.

Nine years later, he's still noodle crazy. So when I hopped over to see what The Pioneer Woman was up to this weekend, and found her ka-noodling with a preacher, (making noodles and sauce, you naughty thing you) I thought we might try it ourselves.

It wasn't as hard as I expected. After all, all you do is mix eggs with flour, knead it around, roll it out while watching the Disney Channel until your mom has a little fit and makes you turn it off ...


cut it in strips...


Boil it 2 minutes, and voila!


We made her sauce recipe too, and let me tell you, it was divine!

Yum.
How about a little noodle factoid?
Old Mr. Wikipedia says that the oldest noodles ever discovered were found along the Yellow River in China. They were 4000 years old!
I wonder if they looked like Ramen noodles. Those always look petrified to me.

Speaking of Ramen noodles, take a gander at this Tower of Noodleness.

Flickr photo by Munguent
The flavor packet circles are quite a nice touch.

I also like this noodle art on display at Art Beijing, an international art fair.

Flickr photo by Jef Aerosol

Take a closer look at those noodles he's eating.

Flickr photo by Jef Aerosol
Cool, huh?

Artist Jason Mecier might have eaten from that cup o'soup. At least the freedom noodle part.
Look what he did with a few boxes of noodles!

Photo by whorange.net
Tammy Faye! Done completely in noodles! Even her eyelashes!
Jason's crazy collages amaze me. Take a look for yourself. It just might inspire you to get out the Elmers and a box of macaroni.



Have a wonder-full Wednesday, y'all!
Love, Becky

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hey Buddy, Got a Match? Box?

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Matchbox!

Flickr photo by wackystuff
Maybe it's just me, but I look at that wacky matchbox and become racked with questions.
Are those birds really inseparable? What's with the umbrella? Could bird feet really hold an umbrella? And what does any of this have to do with matches?
What's the story there? People want to know!
(At least this person does.)

Once you solve that one, would you take a look at this?

Flickr photo by wackystuff
Woo hoo! An elephant on a see saw holding matches! Pretty please with sugar on top and a cherry, won't you write a story about that and let me read it?

Hop over here and here and here for more strange/beautiful/wonderfully weird matchbox art.

Or maybe you prefer art made from a matchbox.
Little Becky would have LOVED to have this Etsy matchbox in her pocket.

Photo by sparklerama.etsy.com
So much cuter than Polly Pocket.

And my heart jolts into overdrive for this little prize. (Another Etsy masterpiece.)

Photos by paperhat.etsy.com
Don't your fingers itch to put that together? You could set up your own opera while sitting on the bleachers at yet another baseball practice.

Take a look at these pocket scenes.

Photos by halfacupoftea.etsy.com
You can find them at Etsy too. I believe I'd wear those boxes out, opening them over and over again.

Want to write a book but you don't have much to say? This one's perfect!

Flickr photo by matchboxbook
I suppose you could write a really long book in teensy tiny handwriting and give anyone who reads it old lady eyes like mine.
Seriously. I'm not ancient enough to be this blind.

But I'd wear my readers out in public if I had a chance to meet members of the International Championship League of Matchbox Stuffers.
Never heard of them?
They're quite a creative bunch. They take ordinary small matchboxes (no cheating with a family sized box, you sneaky one, you,) and fill it with as many tiny items as possible.
Collections like this.

Flickr photo by Green Wellies
Pretty cool, huh?
Your grouping can either have a theme or not. No duplicates allowed.
Here's another one.

Flickr photo by leslie.hawes
It's fun to examine each little thing.
At least it's fun for me. But I find miniatures strangely fascinating. And I probably need more excitement in my life.

I know what I'll do! I'll watch Eric Clapton (with long hair and sideburns) Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins perform Matchbox Blues.



Have a wonder-full Friday and a super weekend, y'all!
Love, Becky

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ogblay Adnessmay

Today's Wonder of the World is...Speaking in Code!

Flickr photo by shutterberry
Oohday oohyay eakspay igpay atinlay?
You do? Ategray!
What fun it used to be to speak a secret language. Even if everybody but your little brother understood it.

Now that our kids are too smart for us to spell things out, (There's one B-R-O-W-N-I-E left. Do you want it?) Todd and I have been thinking we ought to come up with our own secret language.
Or maybe we should just learn Eggy Peggy.
Are you fluent? You could be. Just add the word egg before each vowel in a word.
So "How are you doing?" becomes "Heggow eggare yeggou deggoegging?"
I'm afraid those meddling kids would figure it out. Darn.

I found Eggy Peggy on Wikipedia with a whole slew of other crazy languages. We English speakers aren't the only nutty people in the world. Just about every common language has a wacko code for fun.
Have you heard of Louch├ębem?

Flickr photo by *julia
It's French butcher slang, used especially in Paris and Lyon. You take the first consonant, move it to the end, and add one of a group of suffixes.
So le boucher (butcher) becomes Louch├ębem, and le patron, Latronpuche.
Weird.
I don't think I need French to be any more confusing.

I'm still confused over Ubbi Dubbi.

Flickr photo by the Saint Petersburg Times
Remember it? From Zoom?

Maybe you have to learn it when you're really young and have a flexible brain, not a stiff, dusty one like mine.
Speaking of little ones, these three babes developed their own secret code when they were tiny.

Hey Cassie, Jill, and Bailey!
Or is it Bailey, Jill, and Cassie? My triplet nieces undoubtedly understood their own little language, though it took us a little longer to catch on. Now they're teenagers and talk in text messages.
And hey little Amelia, Sarah, and Stu! That's quite a load of babies you've got there.

When Sarah was a baby and had her days and nights mixed up, we'd take her to Waffle House.
They have their own diner language.

Flickr photo by That Other Guy Over There
I'll have my hash browns scattered, smothered, covered, and chunked, ease-play.

Arr, get it right landlubber, or me might have t'see ye t'Davy Jones!

Flickr photo by Doxieone
I'm a fool for pirate talk.
Ahoy, mateys! (Or does that mean hello?)

Ave-hay an onderfulway ayday!
Love, Becky

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's In Your Lunch Box?

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Lunch Box!

Flickr photo by migzhots
Hooray for the lunch box, with or without the matching thermos.
I had a few. Did you?
Mork and Mindy? The Bionic Woman? Fonzie or Peanuts?

My writing heroine, Anne Lamott, recognizes the profound meaning behind the lunch box. In her fabulous book on writing, Bird By Bird, she writes,
"Sometimes when a student calls and is mewling and puking about the hopelessness of trying to put words down on paper, I ask him or her to tell me about school lunches."
It seems that everybody has a school lunch story.
When she had to tell her own, she wrote,
"Here is the main thing I know about public school lunches: it only looked like a bunch of kids eating lunch. It was really about opening our insides in front of everyone. Just like writing is...The contents of your lunch said whether or not you and your family were Okay."

I remember lots of slightly soggy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, quite a few with tuna fish, and a few golden days when Mom let me bring Slim Jims. It's funny, but I'm having a hard time remembering the lunchboxes themselves.
I'm pretty sure I had a Holly Hobbie box at one time.

Flickr photo by Chicken Betty
Holly Hobbie always reminded me of the girls from Little House on the Prairie.
Of course the Ingalls girls didn't take lunchboxes to their one room schoolhouse. They used lunch pails instead.

Flickr photo by Denise J.
You know who else uses lunch pails?

Flickr photo by ericdavid44
The Dabbawallas!
Let's pause a moment and repeat that word over and over.
A dabbawalla is a person in Mumbai, India, whose job it is to pick up hot cooked lunches from the suburban homes of business people and deliver them to their offices downtown. They've been doing it since the 1880's.

I also find this lunchbox interesting.

Flickr photo by liquidarts
Liquidarts purchased it in a train station in Japan. Just pull the string, crack the lid open, and it warms itself up!

Bento boxes are amazingly cute. Have you heard of them?

Flickr photo by Keiki
They're segmented boxes filled with the most artfully prepared food I've ever seen. Seriously. Click here to be impressed!

I'd love to fly over to Japan and try one myself!

Flickr photo by wackystuff

Hey hey hey, get out of my way! All this lunch talk has made me hungry!

Flickr photo by LR Monkeytoes/Lisa
Before you go, please share. Tell me all about the lunchboxes of your past. What did you love to find inside? What did you trade for cheetos?
As Mushmouth would say, Hubave a wubonduber-fubul Mubondubay, y'uball!
Love, Becky

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hanging Out with the Bobolinks

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Garden!

Mr. Pig welcomes you to the garden.
Little does he know that the herbs growing behind him may very well end up brushed with butter all over his Boston Butt.

Have you met the gardeners?

Ooh, I do like my neck in that poorly cut and pasted photo. So long and lean. A giraffe neck! I seem to be not quite attached to my collar, however.
It's probably because I'm a fraud. A fraud, I tell you!
Todd is the only farmer in our house. I just eat the food and hang garden tools on my walls.


Remember my rakish art? I believe I've shown it to you before.
And guess what I just found...

Photo by flatcreekforge.etsy.com
My new friend Tammy over at Flat Creek Farm has a blacksmithing husband who made it from a railroad spike. He sells them in his Etsy store, flatcreekforge.etsy.com It looks like art to me.

Back to gardening...
You've heard what my pal Emily Dickinson wrote about gardening, haven't you?

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,
I keep it staying at Home -
With a bobolink for a Chorister,
And an Orchard, for a Dome.

A bobolink is a bird, just in case you don't know. I looked it up for us.
By the way, children, if you're reading this...you know we go to church on Sunday. Don't even try the gardening excuse.
(Not that my children would do that, of course.)

Come on, let's go touring around my--well, Todd's-- garden.
Are these not the biggest tomato cages you've ever seen?

My husband is an optimist, imagining Jolly Green Giant sized tomato plants. Tons of tomatoes for our favorite tomato pie.
Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my long lean neck.

As long as we're out here, I've got a question to ask you. Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage...


Rosemary and Thyme.


We've got blueberries too.

Hopefully no bears live in our subdivision. (Did I ever tell you Sarah's nickname is Sal? Do you know why this makes any sense?)

And in this corner, we've got one little spear of asparagus, inching its deliciousness out of the soil.

We're on our second asparagus season of the spring. The first batch already grew and flowered and was cut down and trampled.
No, it wasn't trampled. I just felt like saying that.

Need a fig leaf, Eve?
We've got loads of them.

Hopefully we'll have loads of figs too.

How about muscadines?

That's a strange, pungent southeastern grape that you have to peel and eat skinless. Not only do they taste like nothing else you've ever tried, they have the weird texture of eyeballs in your mouth. They make a most delicious wine.
Mmm. Everyone in my house is crazy about them. Tanner is too, although they make his face swell to twice its size. No no, Tanner. Don't even think about it.

Good boy.

Have a wonder-full Friday, y'all, and a super weekend!
Love, Becky



PS. Excuse this post's weird title. I just wanted an excuse to use the word bobolink.