Starving Saturday

It is not easy to earn one of these Food Hog ID badges, but some days they prove their worth
It is not easy to earn one of these Food Hog ID badges, but some days they prove their worth | Source

Bad bugs, bad bugs...Watcha gonna do when they chomp on you?

Whatever bad bug it was that was trying to kill me all this past week has been pretty well chased from my aching body. Saturdays are supposed to be like that – good days – days without bad bugs gnawing away on your innards. Celebration time has arrived one whole day before St. Paddy's Day sees the sun come up. My non-Irish luck got here first.

I took good advantage of it, too.

War Dog” was picking on my bride

My bride, bless her bossy soul, was being picked on by our “War Dog,” eight full pounds of assertive rat terrier hound. He ran out of neighborhood dogs to whip up on. The gal who doles out his dog food and makes sure his water dish is overflowing stood in for me, the usual next victim. I now control his supply of dog bone treats, so she got all of the hound-heckling. Today, Saturday, was not particularly her day. That's the way it goes sometimes.

Clean thoughts - dirty socks

I felt somewhat sorry for my lady – not altogether all related to altruism or massive sympathy, understand, but enough such that I knew I had to exercise verbal caution around her and, also, to do something really out of the ordinary in the way of showoff helpfulness. I decided to wash my dirty socks in her big washing machine. It is a huge affair. You could wash one of those “MASH” field tents in the thing if you had enough muscle power with which to lift it to the opening. In went socks, really groaty things because I run around shoeless most of the time. Then some soap (“Hey, how much of this stuff do I put into the washer?”) and a shot of smelly chlorine stuff went in. I hit the right buttons and dials (after I was told to plug the electric cord into the wall socket) and the machine did its thing.

Earned a smile from the effort, too. I could not tell if it was a laughing-at-Gus smile or a thanks-for-the-effort kind. More than likely it was both of those.

To market, to market, to be a fat hog

Having accomplished one small miracle for the morning, it was on to the next attempt at having another success take place. I grabbed up the grocery list and headed for the market. The list was fairly long, but there was nothing really unusual on it. That was not to my liking, for I am inclined to want stuff from the store that could be described as unnecessary, even if it were not unusual – stuff like some good cookies, “coffee-dunkin bars," Special Pepsi, frozen blackberries, chocolate chip ice cream gallon packs, and you know some others, too, don't you? Well, I had plenty of those Obama stamps in my pocket, and the grocery store had plenty of stuff to trade for stamps and green dollar bills and the like, so I went a tad nutso at the store. I did get into a bit of trouble with my boss here for spending too much on “nonsense.” I said I was sorry, not pronouncing the words very well because of the big cream-filled oatmeal cookie I was trying to swallow at the same time.

A great date can be just the cure you need

Two days ago, I was made happy in what was then mostly bug-caused misery by my wife's baking of cookie bars loaded inside with chopped dates and other things. The outsides were made with oatmeal flakes and some kind of culinary glue that held everything together. I worked them over pretty energetically. They surely did taste good. When I looked up again, there were only a few left on the tray.

Had we raised a family full of boys instead of the girls we propagated, I would have advised those males to marry up with girls who know how to cook and who exercise their knowledge with regularity and lots of enthusiasm. “Catch one like that, men, and all of the rest of the pain goes away without you ever needing so much as an aspirin tablet.” That's what I'd have told them.

Having demolished all of those fine date-filled cookie things, I figured that I might be able to continue on with my campaign to make my lady feel better about her dog's contrariness and my own moping around the place for a week's worth of sneezing, coughing, and rather noisy moaning and groaning.


Check that beautiful blackberry sticking its head up from a swim in the crust-covered fruit jam. When Rednecks pay somebody back for big favors, they usually do a tasty payback job of it
Check that beautiful blackberry sticking its head up from a swim in the crust-covered fruit jam. When Rednecks pay somebody back for big favors, they usually do a tasty payback job of it | Source

Many good turns deserve at least one other

It was time for me to return the cookie-baking favor and make some fruit bars that might replace all of the many that I had consumed. One of the “foolish” things I had bought at the market was a jar of mixed berry extra-fruity jam. As well, I had succumbed to my desperate need for a bagful of frozen blackberries. After I asked for the oatmeal coating part of the recipe, that causing the raising of the left eyebrow considerably on the part of the owner of the family kitchen, I set to work. It was easy enough.

Into a big bowl went oatmeal flakes, some flour, a pile of softened margarine, a couple of handfuls of brown sugar, and another thing or two of minor importance to the plan. Half of that mixture was spread out in our big baking pan. The mixed berry extra-fruity jam bottle was emptied out on top of the crumbly stuff and spread out pretty evenly for a baker as impatient as this one. Then, because I like to mess around with stuff whether or not I understand it, I plopped whole frozen blackberries in neat little rows on top of the jam filling. Fruit you like? Fruit you get. Last, I covered the whole mess with the rest of the oatmeal crumb stuff. Into the oven went the pan. The clock was set to ring out in 45 minutes, and I went into the presence of the TV and watched that interesting “The Shark Tank” entrepreneur wannabe show. I suppose I was wondering if they financed fruit bar baking businesses...

It's a good thing I have an up-to-date Food Hog card

So today, Saturday, we had some more fruit bars on which to munch, gratified by their good taste and by the fact that oatmeal is good for ailing, but recovering, bodies, and fruit is also very restorative. In fact, this form of oatmeal and fruit goes very well in between swallowings of all of those doggone pills – the white pills, the pink pills, the purple pills – and even the liquid kind.

The score is mounting

Let's tote things up here. (1) sock washing, (2) market fetching, (3) extra cookies (4) my bride's favorite coffee-dunkin' bars, (5)a demonstrated respect for the gal's fine baking with those date-filling deals, (6) replacement of all of those date bars that I had gobbled up by making a new batch of berry-filled bars. The score mounted nicely for a Saturday and the day was only about halfway finished.

Panorama of Gethsemane Campus main buildings,  Houston, Texas
Panorama of Gethsemane Campus main buildings, Houston, Texas | Source
Panorama of Gethsemane Campus ancillary buildings, Houston, Texas
Panorama of Gethsemane Campus ancillary buildings, Houston, Texas | Source

Church is calling even though it is only Saturday

I thought to run down the street for maybe 30 minutes or so to visit the outside of a big church that is accompanied with a long, one-story tall school building. It is right on the corner of the area's most major street and is, of itself, an attractive place. It is also the kind of setup of land and building made to order for my interest in panorama photo-making. There was little activity underway on the church grounds, today being Saturday. I ran on over there and snapped off a bunch of individual photographs of the place. My goals were several. I wanted to get the practice, in that I was new to this panorama picture production, and I wanted to have some photos I can use later in some hubs and articles explaining to others how to do this type of photography. When I returned home I revved up the computer and its several panorama computer programs and made a couple of those long, skinny images, the front of the place and its side view showing the entrance to the school and another ancillary building.

Let's make a trade

Then I sent an E-mail to the church folks and asked them if we could make a trade – their cooperation on my making more professional-looking panorama photos of the outsides of their campus buildings and also some inside panorama views. In return I would give them a DVD/CD of all of the photos with which they could do as they wished. Fun for me and value for them. Fair trade.

Nutrition, non-stop

During all of this time I had been eating stuff – cookies, berry fruit bars, sandwiches loaded with leftover ham slices, tomatoes, and jalapeno-jack cheese. Also, gallons of coffee, buttermilk, ice cream, some pears, and a little bit of water with which to wash things down and to attempt to compact the growing mass behind my belt buckle.

Mockingbird's messy nest amid the formidable thorns of the little orange tree.
Mockingbird's messy nest amid the formidable thorns of the little orange tree. | Source
The top part of the Satsuma orange tree. You can probably see that there are two "leftover" oranges still hanging on after last year's crop was harvested. (Spot one of the oranges in the upper left quadrant of the photo)
The top part of the Satsuma orange tree. You can probably see that there are two "leftover" oranges still hanging on after last year's crop was harvested. (Spot one of the oranges in the upper left quadrant of the photo) | Source
Check out the wrinkly orange skin photographed so nicely by that old Mavica-91 camera from way across the back yard
Check out the wrinkly orange skin photographed so nicely by that old Mavica-91 camera from way across the back yard | Source

Listen to – and look out for – the Mockingbird

So, I took a break from all of that gobbling and swallowing. Out to the backyard I went, taking my wonderful old Sony Mavica-91 camera – the one that my buddy, Rod Gorman gave to me a while back. I had been informed that a feisty mockingbird had settled into our small orange tree and, therein, had constructed a nest. Some of you know how mockingbirds act around other critters, even around other mockingbirds. My goal was to photograph its nest. I stuck the camera lens barrel in among the leaves, two-inch long thorns, and branches and actually came away with a nest photo. Yes. This Saturday was obviously coming along right nicely.

Thirsty “Satsuma” orange trees can get confused

Out in the back part of the yard sits another orange tree. This one is fairly tall. It is the orange tree that got mixed up good and proper last year and developed two crops of oranges. Typically, that tree sets out its flowers in the springtime. In the autumn before last year it brought forth its first batch of flowers (just before November), for we had been in severe drought conditions for the eight months before then. Again in the springtime, last year, it came along with more orange blossoms. The tree is really tall, and, because it has those two-inch long and sharp thorns, it is not my thought to go after oranges at treetop. So, there are several ripe oranges still hanging in the tree from last year. I made a photo using the Mavica's telephoto setting to portray the “last” of the ripe oranges still hanging there from tree branches. That camera does a good job, for the wrinkly orange skin on that small orange can be nicely seen in the telephoto picture made with the handheld camera all the way from the other side of the back yard.

Here come the oranges
Here come the oranges | Source
There will be lots of oranges provided there are lots of honey bees this year
There will be lots of oranges provided there are lots of honey bees this year | Source
Those lemon fruits may be smaller, but the blossoms seem to be much bigger than are the flowers on the orange trees
Those lemon fruits may be smaller, but the blossoms seem to be much bigger than are the flowers on the orange trees | Source

Blossom time is here again – this time with a vengeance

After that, I made some pix of more orange blossoms, for this year we are seeing way more of those than in any previous year. Next to one of the orange trees is a lemon tree. It, too is loaded with flowers,so I made photos of some of those, too.

There are times when a food break is of importance

Getting tired from all of the hard work of pointing a camera at things, I thought it might be time to go inside, get something to eat (finally) and write out this report to my many friends here on this happy Internet site.

I rather wish I had also picked up a container of tummy relief pills while I was at the market this morning. Perhaps the place will be open again tomorrow.

"Plop, plop, fizz, fizz - oh, what a relief it is..."
"Plop, plop, fizz, fizz - oh, what a relief it is..." | Source

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Comments 10 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

What an energetic Saturday you had, Gus. When I read your title in the hub, 'A great date ...' I thought you were referring to a weekend trip to the movies. Little did I know you meant great date cookies.

Good to know you are feeling feisty again ... and hungry. I like chocolate chip ice cream, too, especially when the ice cream is coffee flavor. Have you tried that - coffee chip?

Those are great panorama photos - can easily see why you are enamored of this unusual technique. Stay well and watch your fingers with War Dog. :)


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oh man, date nut cookies are my nemesis. Once, in Vegas, I happened across a buffet of desserts that included date/nut bars. I think I ate my money's worth on those little beauties alone. Wish I had one or a hundred right now! Wait...how far is Houston from here?


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Good Doctor bj (drbj) -

That gal surely did whomp up some fine oatmeal-date cookie things. I ate so many of them I felt embarrassed about it - so I made some thank you oatmeal deals with that jar of fruit jam. I hate to admit it, but they are also mostly gone. Today we baked up some chicken coated with stuff, and while the oven was nice and hot, I renewed the fruit bar supply with two big pans of the things. Used dried cherries, craisin cranberries, blueberries and a cupful of some leftover pineapple just for the fun of it. Those things are still in the oven as I type on the keyboard. We shall see what we shall see, right? (Gonna use them, if they come out OK, as bribes to be used on my working buddies, of whom I have a bunch.

Ice cream - any kind - is all wonderful stuff. Never had the coffee kind, but it sounds like a winner.

Pano pix are fun, and they always surprise me with one thing or another. Stitched the two in this hub together using the freebie program I downloaded from the Canon camera Website.

Happy St. Paddy's Day - may all his snake hunts be more successful now that he is in the ground with 'em.

Gus :-)))


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hi Lela (Austinstar) -

Those date bar things can work on a person, can't they? I did the same thing with Ms Esther's. As you may have read in my comment to our buddy, the Good Doctor bj, I am experimenting with some more made with several kinds of dried fruit. Can't let empty baking pans just sit around, can we?

Gus :-)))


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oh God forbid we leave empty baking pans laying around! That is definitely wasteful.

I'm about to publish a hub about pies tonight. Just writing it made me ache for a fresh peach pie. Or even a chocolate one. Look for it tomorrow.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hello again, Lela (Austinstar) -

The baked dried fruit oatmeal bars got done - and they turned out really well. The dough part got some thicker than the earlier ones, but I think that is because I changed the formula to cooking oil instead of margarine or butter. Kinda fun messing with the things. Two big 19x13 inch size pans (maybe a little bit bigger...) made about 3 dozen units, but they were two different sizes - probably could have cut them all the same size but I was running out of time. Now I have lots of "bribe" treats to make my local buddies happy.

Gus :-)))


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

What a wonder life and so good to hear of your story. You presented this hub with such lovely photos and the date cookie looks so delicious.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Bok Devika (DDE) -

A big life is built from little things. Your own activities and your many writings attest to that, too. I am glad that you enjoyed this recounting of some of the events of a single day.

Gus :-)))


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Your fruit bar sounds yummy. We have a mockingbird just around the corner from our home. He does sing beautifully. We try to photograph it but it is quite quick fellow and gets away before we can even snap the button. Thanks for sharing the nest photo, very nice!


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

teaches12345 -

Well, I am probably going to turn into a berry - I surely did pig out on those fruit bars - and the next batch, too. The mockingbirds are hanging around their nest. That probably means that they are sitting atop some eggs or are feeding little birds. I'm not about to stick my nose in close enough to check it out. Those birds are t o u g h.

I hope you have a pleasant Friday and the weekend, too. I am not sure what we are going to try over here this weekend, but I can guarantee that, by Monday, the two of us in this house are going to be mighty tired from whatever it was... (and it is almost "blue bonnet" time around here - gotta make some pano pix of that deal).

Gus :-)))

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