Saturday, August 19, 2006


As ever, click images to enlarge. Yes, I know this is a larger home than I'm accustomed to. Yes, I know that it is CRAZY, AFRICA-HOT in Arkansas right now. And yes, I know that this is happening all over Arkansas--heck, many folks in North Little Rock, in central Arkansas, and Prescott, in South Arkansas, are near riot-ready, with some Prescott businesses being forced to close, hopefully temporarily, due to the inability to keep up with their $10,000+ bills for cooling costs. And this month's bill for us is only about a hundred dollars higher than last month's (and last month's shocked us PLENTY), so the mere thought of NEXT month's extortio--um, bill, scares the living wampus outta me.

OH! And let's not forget the simultaneously-due electric bill for the for-sale know, the EMPTY house? That no one LIVES in? That only has night-lights on unless someone is actually there, working on the place?Yup, $700 worth of electricity, all due at the exact same time as Bella's monthly preschool tuition, the mortgage on our for-sale house, and quite a handful of other wonderful, inescapable things. There are a couple of people to whom I have made modest offers of assistance in dealing with some of their own hardships, and I hope those folks will understand waiting just a bit longer. I know that they will.

And just so that this is not a total bummer of a weekend post, I offer you a photographic helping of Southern culinary happiness: fried pickles!And more on flickr, naturally. Oh, OH! For those of you who might have wondered about the incidents which led up to the necessity of installing the Bella-Cam, it was mostly due to our waking up to scenes such as this one (staged on our kitchen floor):


  1. That one spoon is a little out of place...

    You know, this doesn't have to be a problem. How long have I been begging you to go halves with me in the um...pharmaceutical distribution business? I tell you, we could clean up!

    Well, not literally clean up, because that would be a maid service business.

    Wait a minute...we could combine the two, and have the maids...

    Okay wait. Let me get it all down on paper first. I'll get back to you.

  2. I understand, mine is not that high, but we still have seen it jump by the hundreds this year. I hope your house sells soon, so at least you only have one to deal with.

    I only have one house and it is pretty tight around here lately, especially with me leaving the country for 2 months, I am counting my pennies.

    I can understand the Bella Cam, when I was growing up my friends little brother would get up in the middle of the night and cut up bananas. They ended up hiding all the knives from him, he was only 3 years at the time.

  3. Fried. Pickles!

    You are an evil, evil lady. Since you've shown me that I may have to go get a plate of fried pickle chips (which wasn't really in my dietary plans for the day). Or maybe I'll just make more refrigerator pickles. Hmmmmm.

  4. Is it wrong to say that I'm dying to try fried pickles? That I think they look. Really good?

    I really feel for you on the electric bill, but I'm glad to have proof that ours is far from The Highest Bill in the World, as my husband claims.

  5. Ok, ours was $648 last month and $544 this month after we made the attempt to conserve.

    We're all going to go bankrupt just trying to keep the lights on.

    AND we still have another month of California rate hikes.

    I'm going to go cry now. At home. Because I can't afford to go anywhere with gas at $3.30 here.

  6. I like fried pickle-chips, too, but I've grown to love Dixie Cafe's version. The use big ol' cold-processed Kosher dills (like Clausen's) spears, and an herbed batter with fresh dill in the batter. I could seriously eat just a plate full of those...and maybe some yeast rolls and honey.

    It's a similar taste experience to fried green tomatoes, but only "similar," because FGTs are battered in a cornmeal batter like fish. Both are TO DIE. And probably, eventually, will kill you.

  7. That should read, "like catfish."

  8. Looking at those pickles is making me so HUNGRY!

  9. Fried pickles? Really? As in, you take a pickle and deep fry it? My poor New Englander brain is just baffled.

    And the electric bill? I sympathize. Oil bills are jumping in time for the end of summer, along with gas prices, etc.

  10. Belinda - I feel your pain, now that I'm a poor starving student again, I am surprised by the amount of bills one has every month - it is crazy! I miss my twice monthly paycheck for that one reason, so I could pay for things. Aye!

    As for the Bella recap, too funny. I can't believe it only took her a week to be done with school. Hopefully she will go back and find a nice groove, some good friends and enjoy it again.

  11. Damn, that's a lot of $! Good thing you're rich from all the genetic poodle manipulation, eh? ;)

  12. In Texas, the high temperature for the days hasn't gotten lower than 100 in awhile, so I hear you, sister!

    How can you ever get upset at your little girl? She does the FUNNIEST things, and SO original! I'd love to hear her thinking behind her "utensil setup" on the floor, because you KNOW there was some train of thought to what she did...

    And are you saying she does all of this in the middle of the night? haha..oh my goodness!:-) Her antics are just too funny!

  13. Shoot, Belinda, the kid's gonna grow up with a COMPLEX! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! No, really - we had to put eyehooks on our bedroom doors when my son was little to keep him IN - he could only get to the bathroom through our room and any movement had me up and wondering what the heck he was up to (usually no good). That was before the days of baby monitors for heaven's sakes!!

    As for utility bills, don't get me started. Our's have tripled and going higher. AND there's no wood stacked for the Winter because the jeep has been out of it for months. :( It's going to be COLD and BROKE here this Winter. Boooo Hooo...

  14. Yikes. I thought our bill was bad (even with replacing one A/C). But we really only had one bad week here in NJ.

    Fried pickles? I wonder what Alan would think of that. He likes Clausens (one of the brands we like to get when on sale).

  15. I live in a little apartment, and my electric bill has tripled over the last two months. Of course, I've been running the AC like a madwoman because of the heat. If it weren't for my poor cat, I'd suffer it out with fans as much as possible, but I can't bear the thought of my kitty suffering all day long while I work in the air conditioning.

    I hope I have adorably creative kids like Bella! Everything she does makes me laugh...of course, that could be a problem when you're trying to discipline, huh?

  16. Past Arkansan here...

    I have been singing the praises of the fried pickle for quite some time now, and everyone just seems to think I'm insane. I am partial to the chips more so than the spears, but I have never had the Dixie Cafe's pickles. Their Chicken Fried Chicken is one of my fondest childhood memories (with the mustard in the squeeze bottle that made the tinies little lines).

    Is there a fried pickle club?

  17. Holy smokes!

    Fortunately we live in an area where we only get about 5 really really unbearably hot days on average in the summer. Nothing that open windows and doors can't handle.

    Man, I feel your pain!

  18. Holy cow chips! And we thought our electric bill was bad!

    I just had fried pickles for the very first time tonight. Dill. I think I would like fried SWEET pickles better.

    The utensils-on-the-floor-in-the-middle-of-the-night made us laugh till we cried. I can't wait to be a grandmama!!!

  19. um...

    did you SEE her arrange the silverware? acuz that's CLASSIC paranormal activity right there...

    You ought to set up some Bella-Cams elsewhere, perhaps you'll catch some spooky stuff to tell the boys from TAPS or the Ghost Whispererer about.