Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy little honk

     It is sooo easy to be a Christian when you are in church. Worship music is playing, the Spirit is moving. People are smiling and "How-you-doin" and lifting up their hands in praise...but it's getting there that is hard. I'll admit that I am not a very good witness on my way to church. Oh believe me, I want to be. It's just that, people are just so...irritating. And everybody but me is a terrible driver. Either too slow, neglecting their turn signals, or driving too close.
     It starts innocently enough. As annoying as someones driving skills may be, I will be courteous. At first. Self control comes easy when you are at the first level. Don't pretend that you don't know what I'm talking about either. At level two, I may give them a "Happy little honk." You know the difference. The little tap tap tap of the horn? Not the press the horn to the front bumper kind that comes from a level three.
     There are five levels I am aware of. Now that I have bared my heart to you, don't be so judge mental of Christians. We are not perfect and never claim to be. As I have just confessed, we are certainly flawed, and clearly sinners. That being said, let's move on to level four. Here my friends, is where it begins to get dangerous. Level four is perhaps a gateway to level five. At four, you are one step away from pulling out your weapon.
Level five? Let's just say, it ain't pretty. I may look something like this:

     Hey, I'm no Saint. I never claimed to be. I will be the first to point out my flaws and confess them to God. But I also know, that when I ask forgiveness, it is given freely to me. That being said, unless you are an excellent driver, with a stellar driving record, steer clear of me on a Sunday morning. Because I might just be packing heat...

     Sinner saved by grace,
     Miss Jodi

Friday, April 26, 2013

Duck face

     Duck face. I would say I am over it, but this would be an understatement. So would disgusted, sick of and tired. I am not sure how this came to be so popular. It was never attractive. It never was cute, and certainly not charming.
     I began to notice it about a year or so ago. Teenagers posting selfies on FB with pouty trout lips. Just a passing phase I thought. Like tongue piercings and tattoos of barbed wire and tribal designs, or head bands, or parachute pants. Then, I started to see adults (always women) pursing their lips in a fish sort of way. And it continued. And continued. And here we are today, young and old alike making duck faces. And me rolling my eyes.
     And so, as I often do with silly trends and fashions, I ask myself, "WHY?" I mean really? Is this how you want people to remember you? However, I think this is one of those questions that I may never get the answer to. Like, what's the point in wearing  nude lipstick? And why do people slip on banana peels in cartoons? Don't they see them? And why can you run faster in new sneakers? And why is the grass always greener, even when you get to the other side? And why oh why, does Donald Trump do that thing with his hair?
     If you have the answer, please let me know. Until then, I'll just sit here wondering. And thinking about banana peels and Donald Trump.
     Till next time,
     Miss Jodi

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Black bean fudge-don't do it

     Are you a fudge fan? I won't lie to you. I am. Of course it's not something I keep around the house because of the caloric content. It's just for Christmas. We make it and give it away, because if I'm gonna gain some Holiday weight, you're goin down with me my friend. That's what friends are for, right?
     I recently heard about bean fudge. A low-carb, healthy alternative to the calorie laden traditional fudge, made with nutritional power house ingredients like black beans and cocoa powder. Fudge with out the calories? Sign me up. Here I have listed for you the nutrition facts.
Nutritional Facts for Black Bean Fudge -- Low Carb and Healthy
Serving Size: 1 (24 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 24

Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories 52.6
Calories from Fat 34
Total Fat 3.8 g
Saturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 93.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 4.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 1.6 g
     As you can see, everything from the carbohydrate count to the grams of fat per serving is listed for you. What is not listed here is the taste. I suppose I was a bit naive and overly hopeful in thinking that once the black beans were pureed and mixed with the cocoa powder, that they would no longer taste like black beans. As if they would magically turn into a creamy smooth chocolaty blissful bite of delicious fudge tasting black bean. I was wrong. So very wrong.
     Any way, because I love you, I want to warn you and perhaps keep you from wasting your ingredients as I did. Don't do it! If I can save one hopeful person from going through what I went through when I bit into that dry, piece of black bean fudge, than it has all been worth it. In the mean time, here is my favorite recipe for traditional YUMMY fudge:


  • 3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cups chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • LINE 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.
  • MELT chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  • CHILL 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan by lifting edges of foil. Cut into squares.

Till next time,
Ain't nothin' like the real thing, 
Miss Jodi

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Love thy neighbor

     There are times when your neighbor is a great irritation to you, (for example, like at 12:30am when they decide to let off some celebratory fireworks, or when they purchase a motorcycle and drive up and down your street  revving the engine over and over again, or letting their annoying little Chihuahua yip and yip and yip for hours on end) and there are the times when YOU are the great irritation. On a hot summer day several years ago, I have to say that it was I who was the irritant. Now, I didn't mean to be. I certainly would never want to be.
     Let me try to explain. My momma lived about 6 houses down from us. Her neighbor Roy is very fond of fishing. EVERY single day. So fond in fact, that his wife refuses to allow another fish to cross their threshold. With his daily catch no longer welcome in his own house, Roy began bringing fish to Mommas house. DAILY. After eating fresh fish for about two weeks straight, and having filled her two freezers to full capacity, she did what any other sound minded, generous, desperate person would do. She started giving the fish to HER neighbors. That's where I come in.
     My freezer quickly became full. So full, that I began throwing the dreaded daily donation away. Now we live in the desert, and the way we cool our home is with an evaporative cooler which uses a fan to pull air from outside across cool water and bring the cooled air into the house. Here is where the problem began to grow. Monday is trash day. This was Tuesday evening. The temperatures were in the 110s. By Wednesday evening, the rotting fish began to reek and the cooler was pulling the odor into the house. We decided it was unbearable and moved the trash cans to the curb. It still stank to high heaven, even after 2 gallon bottles of bleach and 3 containers of Pine sol were doused in them.
     Our next door neighbor Henry happened to see me when I was in the back yard and came up to the fence. Casually resting his arms across the top, he leaned forward and in his slow southern drawl asked me, "Y'all got somethin' dead over there?"
     It was a very long wait till Monday.
     The best neighbor ever,
     Miss Jodi

on being forgetful

     Have you heard the old saying that an elephant never forgets? Of course, they don't really have too much to remember in the first place when you think about it. Where is the watering hole? Where is the grass we eat all day long? And, that's about it...So maybe an elephants memory is not too impressive to begin with. I once had a man tell me that he had the memory of an elephant. Not sure what that says of him. Maybe that he is really really good at remembering where the watering hole is?
     Well, whatever the case is, I certainly don't have an elephants memory. I tend to forget things. I once even forgot my exchange student at church and left her there. It all worked out though and we turned around and picked her up before we got too far away. It was a happy ending. Unless you consider that we probably scarred her for life with abandonment issues. Then? Not so much.
      I think that if I could forget that I forgot something, I would be pretty happy. But as it is, I remember that I forgot. So then I wander around aimlessly trying to remember what I forgot. It's really not fun. I am in a perpetual state of, of.... Ah, never mind!
     String around my finger
     Miss Jodi

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"It's flan"

     I overheard this conversation today between an elderly mom and her daughter:
Daughter "Mom, look at this, a little container of flan. You like flan, right?"
Mom: "What?"
Daughter: "It's flan."
Mom: "It's what?"
Daughter "Mom, it's FLAN."
Mom: "It's a pan?"
Daughter: "No Mom, it's FLAN. To eat."
Mom: "You don't eat out of a pan!"
Daughter "FLAN. It's Flan."
Mom "It's Flan?"
Daughter "YES! YES! It's flan!"
Mom "What's flan?"

Monday, April 15, 2013

Guilt 101


     My Momma. Sweet as a sun ripened summer peach, generous, kind and loving. She is also the queen of guilt. And not just the things that I should be guilty of, like walking past  a piece of trash on the ground instead of picking it up, or not volunteering at the homeless shelter. O no. One little comment like, "Whew! My eyes are dry today." is answered with, "Well you SHOULD be glad you can even see. You should be happy you HAVE eyes. Some people don't you know..."
     I am not clear on how she got so good at it. Maybe she studied it in school. Guilt 101. If she did, I'm sure she was top of the class. She is so good, that she doesn't even have to be near me for me to feel guilty. I just hear her voice in my head. Like Jiminy cricket. And what is with Jiminy Cricket anyway? I've NEVER seen a cricket that looks like that. May he is not really a cricket at all. Maybe Cricket is just his last name. That does not explain why he is green though...



The fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime.
Make (someone) feel guilty, esp. in order to induce them to do something.
fault - blame - sin - crime - guiltiness - culpability
     Back to guilt. And Momma. Once I told her I was sick of doing so many dishes. So she said, "You should be glad you have food to eat that gets your dishes dirty." My head hung in shame. Yes! She was right! How dare I get tired of dishes when there are children starving in the world! What kind of monster am I?!
     I suppose a little has worn off on me. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as they say. I will admit to you that the other day I found myself guilting my daughter into washing the dishes after dinner. It went something like this, " Oh you don't WANT to wash the dishes? Well, I wouldn't want to impose on your life of luxury. Especially after all the work I put into cooking your favorite meal for you. No, you go ahead and sit down and relax. I"LL take care of everything. No, no. Don't get up."  The important question, did it work? Let's just say that I didn't have dish pan hands that night.
     Keepin' it real,
     Princess Jodi

Friday, April 12, 2013


     Insomnia is defined as habitual sleeplessness. Seeing that I am writing this at 12:41 Ante Meridian, while my family sleeps quietly and not so quietly, you may have figured out that I suffer from this disorder. I find it highly irritating that everyone else falls asleep so effortlessly, so peacefully. Even the nocturnal cat is asleep. I am fighting the urge to pull out cymbals and clash them together, or scream "Wakey-wakey!!!!" through the megaphone. I may fantasize, but that's about as far as I take it. I am not certain if any of you also have insomnia, but thought it would be nice  to share with you some things that may help if you are reading this at 12:42 am. These are things that have helped me.
    Let's start with what NOT to do: DO NOT watch the minutes on the clock. You will start writing strange things on vintage typewriters like "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Do not count sheep. Unless you really have sheep. Then it might be OK, but I cannot tell you from experience. Do not drink caffeinated beverages after 2pm. Do not drink Red Bull. Do not eat No-Doz like it's pop corn. Do not watch scary movies.
     To help you relax enough for sleep: Try the Internet. There is just something so mind numbing about watching cat videos that it always puts me to sleep. You can also read the FB page of an elderly yet "Hip" relative. Updates on diabetic necessary pedicures and toe nail clippings will not keep you awake. As tantalizing as Aunt Mabel may think they are, she is wrong. O so wrong. Watching Golden Girls returns. Hey everybody loves Betty White, but you can really only take so much of the shoulder pads and Florida themed decor.
     I would also like to recommend some things NOT to do the next day when you are sleep deprived. Drive. Target practice with your M-16. File any sort of customer complaint. Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Wait in any sort of line. Give your cat a hair cut. Give your spouse a hair cut. File your taxes. Also any use of heavy machinery should be avoided, and I might add here that sharpening your machete would not be such a good idea either. TRUST ME.
     Well, I sure hope that helps you at least a little bit. Please let me know.
     Sweet dreams,
     Miss Jodi

Monday, April 8, 2013

Plain Yogurt


     Plain Greek yogurt. It's one of the most popular nutritional trends going on in California at the moment. Right up there with Kale and juicing. It is known to have wonderful health benefits such as being a great source of  protein and calcium, and boosting your immune system with lactobacteria which helps white blood cells to fight infection.
     Pretty impressive huh? Well...it is until you taste it. Have mercy! That is some nasty stuff. I have many friends who use it in place of sour cream, to make salad dressings, and in place of milk and oil in baked goods. The only problem is, it always tastes like plain yogurt. You can add it to whatever, or add whatever you want to try to kill the taste, but it's always going to be there. That nasty twang of plain yogurt.
     I am of the opinion, that God does not intend for us to eat plain yogurt. That's why we have flavored yogurt. He wants us to enjoy our food. Otherwise, why would we have taste buds? I am certain that we should not have to slap the table to help us swallow a certain food.
     Now do not misunderstand me. I think that there is a place for plain yogurt. It is on the shelf at the store. Not in my refrigerator, not in my smoothies, and never, ever in my mouth. I would rather gnaw on a raw piece of Kale, thank you very much. So before you lovers of plain out there start to leave me comments about how much you enjoy it, please refrain. I know you do, I really do. But I don't. So you enjoy the plain, and I will enjoy the flavored, and we will both be happy.
     Give me flavored any day,
     Miss Jodi

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

10 reasons I NEVER camp

     I am not a camper. I don't enjoy pretending to be homeless. I don't find it entertaining. I don't like to even think about it. Oh, I have many reasons. And since we are on the subject, I have compiled a top ten list.
     #1 Bears. Worse than any Heffalump or Woozle, Freddy Krueger, or even the Boogie-man. My worst nightmare. Why? Because it could and often does really happen. Bears attack people. Us humans are tasty.

     #2 Indoor pluming. That's right. Running water and flushing toilets.

     If you have never had the terror of using or smelling a non flushing public toilet, I have 3 words for you, stinking, retched and terrifying. If you're brave enough to sit (and is there really anyone? I don't think there is!) and you happen to miss the seat... you're not coming home. It's just wrong. One step away from a bucket.

     #3 Dining choices are extremely limited. There is no McDonald's in the middle of the wilderness. No Kentucky Fried Chicken. No Marie Calenders. Your dinner options include mainly Can-O's. As in a can-o-beans, or a can-o-Spaghetti O's or possibly if you're feeling especially fancy, a can-o-soup or something you manage to impale with a stick and hold over a fire.
     #4 Sleeping arrangements do not include a bed, sheets, or even a roof. Sleeping under the stars is highly over rated. Sleeping on the ground is hard, rocky, BARBARIC and unnecessary.
     #5 A cry in the dark. Meryl Streep. Did you not see this movie based on a true story?!? Dingos are alive and well!!! Maybe not where we live, but why take that chance? I'm no fool.
     #6 Bugs, snakes and other blood-sucking-human-hungry-vermin.

     #7 Dirt. Look, we spend our entire life fighting dirt. We dust, we vacuum, we scrub, we scour, we sweep., we wash and wash and wash. And then we die and return to dirt. But the fight is not over until that moment. Why should I surrender? Even temporarily? Makes no sense.
     #8 Campfire. The main source of heat for cooking your can-o-dinners, necessary warmth at night, and of course how can you roast a marshmallow for the obligatory S'more with out it? The trouble is, we can barely get a fire going in our fireplace at home without the assistance of a can of lighter fluid or pure gasoline, and I'm fairly certain those things are both illegal in the California National Forests...Remember Smokey? He always said that only I could prevent forest fires. That's a HUGE responsibility!
     #9 Kitchen Patrol. Also known as KP. Somehow, no matter how many people are with me, it always falls on me. I could have stayed home for that. How is that fun? Who wants the added stress of washing dishes with boiled creek water? Not me, thank you very much.
     #10 Bears. They really are worth mentioning twice. They are THAT horrifying. Look at the teeth on this bad boy. Do you think he is showing off his amazing dental hygiene skills? I guarantee you he is not.
     There you have it. A common sense and brutally honest opinion of camping. From me, to you.
     Not so happy camper,
     Miss Jodi

Glamping. I could do it. Thanks Lupe! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Your spouse may be trying to "Off" you if:

     I've been watching 20/20, Dateline and the Investigation Discovery channel long enough to have noticed some similarities in spouses who are trying to kill their Ex or their current spouse. You might even call me an expert. And because I care about all three of you, I am going to share them with you today.
     Let's start with the most subtle and work our way up from there. Fire arms. Yep. If your spouse suddenly applies for a fire arms license, acquires an interest in, or worse, comes home packin' heat, you might just be in trouble. 
    Secondly, let's say you and your beloved haven't been getting along recently. Arguments. Bickering. Disagreements. You come home from a hard day at work and are surprised to find that your spouse has prepared your favorite meal for you. Strangely however, they refuse to eat any of it. Because they "Ate earlier." Uh huh...
    Something often overlooked or dismissed as coincidence  is a new life insurance policy. Or six. And in large amounts. Also if your spouse is on a first name basis with your insurance agent, or "Just happens" to have them on speed dial. NOT a good sign.   
     Another reason for concern would be the sudden development of a new friend. Especially if his name is Vinny, he has the habit of hitting his fist into his palm, and is fond of mad-doggin' you while cracking his knuckles...Yep. BIG trouble.
       The last clue, but certainly NOT the least, would be a trip to the hardware store for these items:
 Duct tape, a shovel, and cement. If you find those items, or even  the receipt for these things, you're goin' down my friend.
      I hope you're taking notes,
     Miss Jodi