Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We are building a new home and I am amazed at how the styles change, yet they don’t change. 20 years ago we built a home in Salado that had all the modern trimmings. The house was built after the model of a Louisiana Plantation home. It has the style that was over 100 years old. It’s a style I loved and will miss. Our new home looks entirely different. The outside is much more rustic in appearance, like a lodge. The outside is a brown rough looking stone that takes us back to the time of the caveman. That’s okay because I hate the more modern styles. Both of the homes we have built are so called timeless homes. It’s the inside that differs from times past. The interior styles and décor in houses changes almost weekly. Something installed today is out of date by the time it is in place.

When I was a kid everyone had a hardwood floor or one covered with linoleum. Only rich folks had carpet. Everyone dreamed of having wall- to- wall carpet. Through the years, everyone got carpet and it is now out of vogue. Everybody is going back to hardwood floors. Wallpaper is out, and it used to be the rage. Walls are now painted and textured with so called earth tones that look somewhat like a sod home or the inside of a cave. Counter tops were made of tile of covered with linoleum when I was growing up, but now everything must be granite. Many of the modern homes today have a fancy outdoor grill with elaborate cooking equipment and well furnished patio furniture. The modern home dweller is attempting to move back outdoors like our ancestors.

Many of the features in the new homes seem to be getting us back to nature and are a throw back to caveman or more primitive ways. All these changes support my theory that we are in a reverse evolution trend and are descending from the ape. The main thing is that it cost a lot more to build than in the caveman days. The sad thing about modern day building is that the porch is disappearing. The porch is no longer useful since folks don’t have time to visit or do the other things that the porch was made for such as catching a cool breeze, drinking lemonade, shelling peas and such.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We have moved to our temporary little rent house until our new home is completed. Our kitchen is now local restaurants and fast food places. I have been eating a lot of chicken and none of it taste like the chicken I ate as a kid or the kind my spouse prepares.

When I was a kid we raised our own chickens and the flavor was out of this world compared to the anemic stuff today. Today’s chickens have been breed to have large breast. These hugh chunks of meat are never cooked properly and are either too dry or raw in the middle. Chickens are also cut up differently today. As a kid, my favorite piece was the pulley bone, better known as the wishbone. This tasty morsel is now part of the breast and totally disguised.

The fast food chicken places of today usually serve a large piece of batter with the meat of the chicken buried in this fat laden plaque producing crust. These chicken places vary by the spices used in their batter that disguise the taste of the meat. The chicken really doesn’t matter, it could just as well be shoe leather.

My spouse prepares chicken for frying in much the same way as my mother did. She simply rolls the chicken is flour and liberally sprinkles it with salt and pepper. Another technique she uses is to roll the chicken pieces in buttermilk then flour. The batter is not all that thick, but forms a tasty brown shell when cooked at the right temperature for the just the right length of time that requires an experienced eye. Of course, fresh Crisco or oil is essential for the best taste rather than grease that has been used over and over for frying everything in the kitchen.

Frying, of course, is only one of many ways of preparing the bird. As a kid I really didn’t know it could be grilled, smoked, baked or made into all sorts of salads. I was raised on the fried stuff, and if done properly that remains one of my favorite foods. I can’t wait until we are in the new home so my spouse can break out the skillet and fry up a tasty batch of the bird in the way it is supposed to be fixed.


Friday, May 20, 2011

We are moving from our beautiful home and porch in Salado. We are only moving about 10 miles away to Belton. We sold our home and the house we are building won’t be ready until sometime in July. In the menwhile, we are living in a temporary home in Temple. I miss my porch and even miss the deer eating all my plants.

Moving has been very traumatic for someone my age. My spouse seems to be holding up well, but even she is beginning to feel the pain. The trouble is that all this moving will be in vain because this fellow in California swears the world is going to end on Saturday.

All my life, I have heard preachers and others predicting the world is about to end. Entire religions are based on this prediction. Another group of scholars claim that the end is going to be Dec.21, 2012. I say all these guys are wrong because the Bible says that no man knows the day when the end will occur. That day is called the Rapture. That’s when Jesus comes and takes all the believers to heaven.

Anyway, I’m ready for the end. I hope they have a nice porch in heaven. I’m looking forward to seeing many of the people I have loved who have passed on. I even hope folks like Mark Twain are there. Twain said there would be no dogs in heaven. He said that admission to heaven was by favor not merit. If it were by merit, then the dog would go in and you would stay out.

This 89 year old prophet, sho is predicting the end of the world, said there is going to be a massive earthquake that will make the recent one in Japan look like a picnic. Atheist and Christians alike are claiming this guy doesn’t know what he is talking about. I heard him interviewed on TV and he seems pretty sure of himself. He has certainly gained a lot of attention. It will be interesting to see if we can still read this blog on Sunday.

Anyway, moving at my age is almost like experiencing the end of the world. For now, I am without a porch so there is nothing to inspire me. I feel like those poor folks in Japan or Haiti after their big quakes. At least I can see my new porch being constructed and if the Rapture comes on Saturday, I do hope there is a nice porch in heaven.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

There has been no blog in the past several days because there has been very little humor. Our family has been mourning the death of our nephew who died in the prime of life from leukemia and lymphoma. He had received chemotherapy for the past 3 years with little effect. He suffered all the side effects of the drugs including; hair loss, nausea, vomiting, infections and everything in between. He was much too young to die at age 53.

In the middle of all this sadness the only humorous experience was a visit with a physician who had come to my former institution of medical practice as a consultant and as a guest speaker. This fellow is the author of the book “ Mark Twain and Medicine.” He is an authority on my hero, Mark Twain and it was my privilege to go to dinner with him and also hear his speech. He was terrific, and it was almost as good as it might have been to have dinner with Mark Twain himself. I had a most delightful and entertaining time talking to this scholarly gentleman who knew just about everything about Twain. Between the two of us we possessed all knowledge about Mark Twain; he knew everything there was to be known and I knew everything else.

This fellow’s book was as much about the history of medicine in Twain’s time as it was about Mark Twain himself. It contained most of the humor of Twain that poked fun at medicine and doctors. Most of the treatments in Twain’s time were ridiculous and totally ineffective. The germ theory of disease had just been recognized toward the end of Twain’s life. Modern surgery, antibiotics and all the marvels of modern medicine didn’t exist in Twain’s time. It was a time for charlatans and all sorts of worthless medicines and cures. Mark Twain had a great time poking fun at these absurd practices. Twain also had some of his own recommended cures, like the advice he gave a lady about her illness. He told her she needed to give up smoking, drinking and swearing and she would get well. She claimed she didn’t do any of these things. He replied that she was a hopeless case, and she was like a sinking ship with nothing to throw overboard. She was doomed because she had neglected her habits.

Anyway, I had a great time with this Mark Twain scholar. He brought the only shred of humor at a very sad time. We reflected on what people will be saying and laughing about 100 years from now about our practices. Chemotherapy will probably be one of them. Folks will be saying; can you imagine they used to give people poisons that would make their hair fall out and throw up everything they ate. Hopefully, in a 100 years from now doctors will have a better and more humane cure for cancer and folks like my nephew will be able to live a full life and laugh at Mark Twain stories until a ripe all age.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Today, most everyone in America is celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden, the spiritual head of al Quaeda and mastermind of the 9/11 attack and many other terrorist related deaths. While I am rejoicing at this death, my family is weeping and mourning the imminent death of my beloved nephew who is the same age as Osama bin Laden. Our nephew is dying from cancer and has done nothing but good things in his life. He has been a wonderful father and husband and a caring physician who has touched many lives in a very positive way.

Death is the greatest mystery of life. There is no hard scientific evidence that any part of us exist after our heart, either naturally of by mechanical support, ceases to beat. Many of us believe in an afterlife. As a Christian I believe this exist by believe in Jesus Christ who I accept as God, in the form of man, who came to earth and died for me and was resurrected on the third day. Others don’t believe in this Jesus and believe they can achieve the afterlife by belief in other saviors or by other means. Some believe in absolutely nothing after the heart stops. This latter group of folks may be in trouble if I am correct, otherwise it doesn’t make any difference. Only time will tell who is correct.

Even among Christians there is great debate about what the afterlife is like. Do people go directly to heaven or is there a waiting period? Folks like Osama bin Laden believe it’s okay to kill yourself if you take a few Christians and other infidels with you. He also believes these suicide martyrs will be greeted in the afterlife with a room full of virgins waiting for a big orgy. I prefer to think he checked into hell itself.

In my afterlife, I hope there are many mansions as the Bible says. Some religious groups think they are the only one there, so they may be off to themselves. As for me, I would hope to have a nice porch with a rocker and some of my good books. I would like to visit with some of the folks I have liked in this life as well as having family nearby all the time. Of course, I hope there would be no deer or other pest. I would sure like to visit with Mark Twain, but I’m not sure he will be there. I suspect there is still a good chance Twain will be in heaven, because it would be unfair to have him in hell and provide any amusement for folks like Osama bin Laden.