10% Chance of Rain

The iPhone had been out less than a year when this was drawn, and notebooks with wireless connectivity ruled the landscape. Obviously, portability comes with its own perils. At least I never leaned over and had a laptop fall out of my shirt pocket and break. This fate befell my cell phone not long ago. It didn’t help that I was leaning over, looking down a stairwell. And yes, I still have a desktop computer that I unplug when the lightning becomes too frisky. It has so many cables and wires, though, that I usually take my chances. And yes, I have a laptop, too. I’m covered!

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

109 responses to “10% Chance of Rain”

  1. OK, let’s see what kind of food discussion I can start 🙂 I finally got around to reading “Being Dead is No Excuse: the Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral”. It’s a fun read, also a quick one since it’s full of recipes. Now I have this urge to make tomato aspic and homemade mayonnaise!

    One chapter – “The Methodist Ladies vs. the Episcopal Ladies” – and its description of casseroles (Methodist) might hit home with some in this Village.

  2. The authors of the above, Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays, have another book – “Some Day You’ll Thank Me for This: The Official Southern Ladies’ Guide to Being a ‘Perfect’ Mother ” I looked at part of it on Amazon and immediately thought of Jackie’s description of her mother. Among other things listed under the heading “You might be a Southern Mother if” were these:
    “You know the proper technique for hanging and dressing venison.
    You actually shot the deer yourself.”

    I’m a life-long central Floridian so not really a Southerner like these ladies, but I have known a few.

  3. As someone (who grew up in rural, small, churches) the casserole potluck is alive and well! Of course, my specialty is banana pudding. Here’s the recipe:

    Banana Pudding:
    1 large package Jello brand Instant Vanilla Pudding
    1 16 oz Cool Whip Extra Creamy
    1 14 oz Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (DO NOT USE FAT FREE!)
    1 box ‘Nilla Brand vanilla wafers
    2 cups cold milk (DO NOT USE SKIM)
    8-10 large ripe bananas

    -Mix instant pudding with 2 cups cold milk according to package directions for pie filling.

    -Add Eagle Brand and Cool Whip near end of mixing.

    -Fold sliced bananas into pudding mixture. (There should approximately equal amounts of banana and pudding.)

    -Pour mixture into a 10″x15″ glass baking dish (a 9″x13″ will be VERY full)

    -Place ‘Nilla wafers on edge, pushed down into pudding around the sides of the pan. Spread remaining wafers evenly over the top of the pudding (flat side down)

    -Chill, covered, in the refrigerator until firm (generally at least two hours)

    I also make what I’ve heard called “funeral potatoes.” I’ll save that recipe for later, but it involves frozen hash-brown chunks, shredded Velveeta, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, cornflakes, butter, salt, pepper, and dried chopped onions.

  4. Oh yes, my cousins upscale and socially upper class Southern 30ish daughters all shoot their own deer and alligators and clean and cook them as well.

    Girl’s Day Out takes on a new meaning for the current crop of Southern GRITS.

  5. Turns out the editor that parses the comment pages doesn’t like the equal sign. I used it as a bullet in front of the recipe instructions and the page was rejected. Hmmm…

  6. Jackie, my grandmother was as genteel of a Southern Lady as there was, but she hunted with her husband and sons for deer, duck, rabbits, and squirrels. She cleaned and cooked everything including the crappie, bass, and catfish that they caught, too.

    A few years ago I gave her Remington Model 11 semi-auto 20-gauge shotgun to my son-in-law. She got it for Christmas in 1932. She hunted into her 60’s, so she used the shotgun for 40 years. We still use it, though not as heavily as she did. We have everyday shooters for the mud, muck, and woods.

  7. David: the book includes a potato recipe with similar ingredients. The last line in the directions is “After you’ve eaten your fill, ask your doctor to add Lipitor”, which would be appropriate for many, if not most, of their recipes.

  8. I should clarify the comment on my grandma cleaning game and fish… she cleaned WITH her husband and sons. She didn’t do the work for them.

  9. I know a Southern couple who swears their wedding vows included “He or she who shooteth or catcheth, cleaneth and cooketh.” Knowing this particular couple (both of them hunt and fish), it likely did.

    Someone mentioned gazpacho to me recently. Now I am hungry for gazpacho. I need to catcheth some gazpacho.

  10. I rarely use any advanced features on my smart phone. It got so bad I just eliminated data off my plan and just use data if I connect to wireless. Only use my ancient laptop if I go on a trip. I do have the latest and greatest gaming PC though. Priorities.

  11. I spend time with the Methodists – they recently had a series of meetings in the upstate NY area – 3 of them had about a dozen people attend – the 4th one had over 150 in attendance – they served a dinner after the meeting – food sells! (and yes, I was at the one with the dinner – but didn’t know about the food – so just went for the meeting!)

  12. Evening:

    School and life neither develop nor instill; all they do is reveal.

    Middle Age: that stage of life in which you no longer care about your appearance – your body has become anarchic and your mind has lost all concept of fashion sense.

    (I wrote the last one for the benefit of my students. Needless to say, they liked it.)

    Those who have an IQ become thinkers. Those who do not become athletes. Those who have neither become teachers.

  13. Jimmy:

    I still use the same dumbphone that I bought in November 2006, do not have a tablet, and keep my old laptop in a box because I can’t bear to part with it for some odd reason.

    However, I am nearly ready to jump for the Samsung Galaxy S8.

    Go big or go home, that’s my thinking.

  14. You should try to publish a cookbook for the church ladies recipes that seem to be primarily casseroles featuring butter, cream soup, pasta, sour cream, chicken or tuna, cheese, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper and bread crumbs.

    Twenty versions of something very alike and they ALL want to be published because theirs is one ingredient different.

    We were Episcopalians by the way.

  15. GM Debbe

    Just read that 4,153,237 people got married last year, not to cause any trouble, but shouldn’t that be an even number?

    Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water.

  16. Morning:

    For some, religion seems to be a politely observed fiction that is primarily a social activity.

    Perhaps “where” and “when” are mutually inclusive, symbiotic synonyms that exist as separate constructs only within the human mind.

    Can electricity be called the breath of life?

  17. Morning, Rick.

    Religion: social or political. In Nov., that made strange bedfellows.

    And where, when, how fast, and in what direction all[?] become mutually exclusive at subatomic levels, per Heisenberg. Some thinkers derive free will from that. I prefer a transcendent source.

    What are we doing up this early, anyway?


  18. Appropriate q. from today’s AWAD: Craik, Dinah Maria Mulock, poet, nov. (26 Apr 1826-1887). “Oh, the comfort—the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person—having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

    We’d have been both saddened and surprised on this date in ’52 in Brewster, NY to know that I’d be alone today and with an inch of new snow outside. Still have more to be grateful for than most people.


  19. I recently turned in my stupid phone for a (supposedly) smart one, and I really don’t feel that I upgraded. I still vastly prefer my laptop for information or even social media, as I can see so much more and do what it is that I want to do. Remember when we wanted all of our screens bigger and bigger?

  20. Jackie, I remember one Sunday when our church*, for some reason, had a potluck lunch after the service. I swear to you, at least twenty versions of broccoli-cheese casserole. I was the odd one out because I brought blackeyed peas cooked with ham hock and corn muffins.

    Old Bear, I seem to remember seeing as article about a man who wanted to marry himself because he could never love anyone else the way he loved himself. I don’t know if he’s the odd man in your news story, but he’s definitely odd.

    *St David’s Episcopal church, btw.

  21. Trapper I often seemed to be chairing ladies tennis league, ladies club, etc. Lunches, teas, things where we all made and brought dishes. I learned to try and coordinate with those attending and steer contributions.

    My son in law won’t touch broccoli. He’d have eaten your bean pot!

  22. Hi, Jean dear.

    I once heard the theory that we love those who reinforce our feelings about ourselves. Not sure I subscribe to that, as I seem to have mostly found women who apparently thought more highly of me than I do myself.

  23. One other electronic device I received as a gift from my better half in December 2013 I still have. My Kindle. It is the Kindle Fire HDX model which serves me as a tablet in a pinch. When we have been a long way from home and I can get WiFi I have used it to access information on line. Nothing like using your Kindle Fire to book a hotel room when you are off lost and gone in Wisconsin Dells. I also occasionally use it to play music for Sunday offertory. I never thought I would do more than read books on that little beast. Only a 71/4 inch screen, but it has done yeoman duty. Now if I could only get the Samsung tablet I bought from my son to be as useful.

  24. Curmudgeonly ex-professor: In the real world, red flags would be flapping and snapping. But in the fictional place that is never named, where we get to see life as it could be, I like it. Resident artist and host may be looking for fresh air and new ideas. Or just a new sofa. Maybe put the TV on the right of the frame. Anything big or small is possible.

  25. I agree, it opens up possibilities and plots and characters for Jimmy. Basically he is down to two characters and a cat right now. Not unlike Get Fuzzy but way, way better cartoonist and jokes.

  26. Your points are well stated and likely correct.

    My preferences lie in the various A/J interactions more than in intergenerational interactions. Would a move cut down significantly on J’s, er, “tanning time”? Pshaw!

  27. c ex-p, I doubt it. But Janis will have to relearn locking the bathroom door for long soaks again.

    By the way, that retro strip with the thunderstorm looks like last night’s weather here in Tulsa. Short sleeves yesterday, flannel shirt today. And Saturday is supposed to be about the same. Short workday tomorrow, 4 hours on, then off to the dentist to have extractions of both teeth and money.

  28. Future planning: Ludwig is, what, 30-something now? Perhaps it’s time to introduce a new feline character, also.

    And does anyone remember what Lou and Gene finally named their rural bistro? If they ever did.

  29. Dear emb, I see that you woke early this morning thinking of your wedding day, so long ago. It’s so sad that Elaine is not here to reminisce and celebrate with you. You are a good husband to cherish her memory so well. The same feelings come to me often, though my thoughts are not as profound as yours.

    It’s a really good thing that we cannot see the future — it would be a serious anachronism, for one thing. It’s better to get accustomed to each day as it happens.

    Chris and I were married in 1952, in June. We were very happy, and the good memories are many, as are yours.

    Wishing you well,


  30. Charlotte: Thanks. I see no reason to assume your thoughts are less ‘profound’ than mine. I happened to run across a poem or two first.

    That 2″ is becoming 3″, and may be more by tomorrow, my day to copy edit* BUMC’s bulletin, after an emeriti bfst w/ BSU’s new president at 0845.

    *Last time I missed an incorrect hymn #. Still like the job.


  31. Felt bad when I realized just now I have not, as planned earlier, watched any Braves games since the MLB season started. Discovered their record is 6-12. No longer feel quite as bad.

  32. I just found out that my best friend in high school and for years after recently passed.

    All those years…

    And another story has now ended with “I never saw him again.”

    Dear God, dear God.

  33. emb:

    I was up early because I am usually at my desk at work no later than 6:15. This morning, I was there at six.

    Free will: Because of reading too much philosophy and psychology, I stopped believing in free will when I was about 19. I hope that I am wrong and that it does exist.

    I might turn in early this evening. I took a pretty hard gut punch with the news.

    No lines tonight.

    Instead, here’s a forty-year-old poem of mine that I posted here a couple of years ago; it seems especially appropriate this evening:

    The Apparitions’ Litany

    My life is filled
    with ghosts
    I’ll not see again.
    Eyed shadows in cars,
    hallway walking dead,
    good friends.

  34. My Chinese laundry is reopened but most of my effort went to emptying baskets and putting away clean. I dislike badly done laundry so putting away laundry done by others is annoying and results in my rewashing a lot.

    On a positive note I sorted my bras to give ones that don’t fit to my hairdresser. She is of a strict faith that wears dresses, long sleeves, high necks and somber colors. Apparently that does not apply to under garments and was thrilled with a turquoise lace provocative number that I bought too small. So, I tempt her with more hot uplift colored bras and bikinis and thongs.

    God will forgive me for leading his lamb astray.

    On a positive note I can skip doing laundry at least a year. I have enough clean!

  35. Rick
    I. am so sorry you have lost your friend. It sounds like it was a real gut pouch as you said. I hope you can remember some happier times right now.

  36. Laura:

    You’re very kind, and I thank you.

    It will be a while, but I am sure that the good memories will emerge.

    I have to let some emotions work their way around first.

  37. emb, your comment regarding degenerate humans resulting from intercourse w/ the Nephilim, & destroyed by the Flood reflects many plot points of Madeleine L’Engle’s Many Waters. Our girls enjoyed her novels. So did my wife and I.

  38. Morphy [1]: [Since italics and boldface seem not to transfer into the Village blog, I’ve twice resorted to ALL CAPS for emphasis. Please don’t misinterpret that as “Shouting.”] “I believe Jesus is a big enough man to take a joke. [present tense intentional]” We agree on something! If there is a Hereafter, Jesus is there now. Elaine may even have met him.
    We may agree on little else about Jesus of Nazareth, my favorite 1st century apocalyptic prophet. I try to follow many of the injunctions attributed to him. However, though a devoutly religious heretical United Methodist, I am neither messianic nor trinitarian. And I do not want to discuss religion or theology with you. Let’s see, below, if there is something else we can agree on.

  39. Morphy [2]: You wrote, “To proclaim the planet we call Earth is grossly overpopulated, implies there is some portion of that population you feel should not exist. Rather than be so gross as to request a description of that extraneous portion or where one would find them living their lives, I simply ask: Do you count yourself, and your progeny, among them? Or are you and your offspring somehow more deserving of a place here?”
    [Not your business, but I have 3 kids, all over 50, only 3 grandkids, no present reason to expect great-grand kids, and thus am probably contributing little to overpopulation.] “Simply ask”, indeed! You may INFER that nonsense, but my statement IMPLIES no such thing. That Jones Beach, on Long Island’s south shore, is too crowded in summer does not mean I want to eliminate half the folks there. For anyone to infer that would make me wonder about them. Thousands of gentle people are concerned about human overpopulation, and have been since I was a teen in the early ’40s and, of course, earlier. I’ve not yet run into any of them who advocate eliminating any segment of the world population, and see no point in discussing possible solutions here. This blog has been there before, fruitlessly.
    20th c. books existed about overpopulation decades before Paul Ehrlich [my jr. by 2.5 yr] came on the scene in ’68 with “The population bomb.” [See: https://www.scribd.com/document/69642518/The-Post-War-Intellectual-Roots-of-the-Population-Bomb-Fairfield-Osborns-Our-Plundered-Planet-and-William-Vogts-Road-to-Survival-in-Retrospect%5D
    When I mentioned Ehrlich to some BSU humanities faculty in the ’70s, they asked why nobody had told us earlier. Despite general market books on the subject, they had no idea. Scientists are generally no narrower than other profs. Continued below.

  40. Morphy [3]: Since, among possible targets in the Village, you seem to reserve most such stretches of logic for me, I presume that you single me out, and also continue to see me as deceitful and immoral. Also, since I [plus, I infer, some other Villagers] often find your reasoning hard to follow in some of the more convoluted prose we encounter here, I’ve decided it would be pointless to engage in supposedly reasoned discussion with you, here or in any other forum. It might even be dangerous, considering what I perceive as your penchant for taking things personally that are not so intended, and to consider suing. Therefore, let’s agree not to discuss things of substance here. Continued below.

  41. Morphy [4]: For the reasons stated above, I want nothing more to do with you. I don’t even want an answer to this 4-part plea. Please do not direct comments to me, stop assuming my posts are meant for you, and realize it is not your job to dictate what topics I may post on.
    Besides, please know that I am a unipolar [not bipolar] depressive. Not so bad as to confine me to an institution, but it’s still there, and, retrospectively, has likely been for most of my life, perhaps stemming from a so-so childhood. [Noting, of course, from the news and much personal experience at BSU, Sanford Health Bemidji, and various personal encounters, that my troubles are nothing compared to those of many others. I am blessed in many ways, most of them none of your business.] I have been seeing professional help since ’71, but turn out to be shrink-resistant. The meds my current psychiatrist prescribes generally suffice for day-to-day living, but major stress is often more than I can handle. I prefer to do without the unjustified stress that you engender, whether you intend it or not. Morphy, PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE! Peace, and goodbye.

  42. Rick: I am very sorry for your loss. Anytime we part from a friend, we should try to remember it may be the last time we do so in this life.

    When I lost my best friend in January, I watched her take her last breath. For a while, the jury was out on whether it would have been better for my last memory of her to have come from a time when she was alive. For me, perhaps it would have been. For her, I feel it was better for me to be there. I am now at peace with that.

  43. Ghost & Rick

    We do the best we can with the information we have at the time.
    Do not second guess – that way leads to madness.
    If we have no “Free Will” then what was was done for a reason we can not ken.
    If we have “Free Will” I hope what we do is for the betterment of others. (Most of the time 🙂 )

  44. emb

    Your experience going through doors your way could be disastrous.

    But there is a more insidious problem with doors: there must be force field
    in doors and archways that modifies thoughts and memory as you pass through.

    Leave/enter a room — “what was I just thinking? why did I come here?” pass
    through the door the opposite way and it comes back (Most time)

    Back when I worked in an office where we were all 40 (odd we were all within a few months)
    the boss, an old man of 55, would come in and turn around – and we knew he forgot why
    he came into the room. We now know it was the memory altering force field in the door 😉

  45. Happy belated birthday, Nancy! I am playing comment catch-up.

    Rick, I’m so sorry for the loss of your old friend. Sometimes returning to a place you spent time together helps a little.

    Ghost, like a cool morning filled with birdsong, you were there for your best friend. Like a warm evening full of starlight, she was there for you.

  46. For those who have never been there with someone and held their hand as they died, it is hard to describe the emotions you feel. I do understand how Ghost feels about this. It is not something you do for yourself, it does not bring a closure but creates more I think.

    Ghost chose to tell someone how much he loved and cared for them and spared others the pain and memories. Even when the loved one dies with less pain and suffering there is no death that is pain free. I know too well.

  47. To Ghost and Rick, may the memories of your friends be blessings to you.

    Jackie, it was rather hard to wake up this morning, what with the rain outside and a cat purring next to me in bed.

  48. Jean, I know that feeling. Dickens has moved to my shoulder to sleep now live.

    The other day he had his fluffy tail pointed upward and when I woke up I thought it was a long haired woman in bed with me. Scared me to death. I don’t sleep with women. Or long haired men.

  49. Shut down laundry to take Dickens to groomer, Black Jack to car wash, get packages from post office, pay vet for boarding and flea treating dogs, pick up dry cat food and bird food, pick up more prescriptions, limes and skim milk.

    Whooooie! Too much fun for one day. I feel a relapse coming on.

  50. Our local forecast includes the possibility of snow flurries the rest of today, possible accumulations under an inch on the valley floor tomorrow morning. By this time next week we supposedly will have highs in the 70s, like we did at times in January. Weird!

  51. I got word this afternoon that my brother Bill’s wife passed away at 12:50 this afternoon in Norfolk VA. As I’ve noted her she has been in poor health for several years. This is a different situation from 3 weeks ago. My sister had 6 girls while my brother had no children. I’m not sure how many friends that they have, as both of them are difficult to understand. I am sure Bill would not fit in here at A&J.com, but he is my brother and I love him….

    In honor of Nancy and John


  52. Old Bear:

    I try to follow that maxim, but I rarely succeed.

    For free will – to tell the truth, I don’t care if I actually have it or not.

    It feels as if I do, and that’s good enough.

  53. Smigz:

    You’re right, more than you know.

    I am still living in the town in which my friend and I grew up.

    I always thought that he was the lucky one because he traveled the country and the world because of the Navy and later a high-tech job.

    One time, though, he told me that he was sorry that he moved away.

  54. Would that I could. Thank you Mark. I have to finish the Chinese laundry, about two months worth, pack up the books I am donating and furrow into the library office area. Or maybe word I want is burrow?

    It would be lovely to go. I like plant shows and sales because they are fun and full of dirt loving people. Who like to play dirty.

  55. Having seen your office, Jackie, I think burrow is closer. The dentist got out the two teeth today. He really had to work to take one out. Excellent work, no pain during the procedure and nothing yet. I expect I will be sore tomorrow though, just from the amount of pressure he had to apply. I can honestly say I am looking forward to proceeding with the needed work, instead of dreading going.

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