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Mmm. I guess I’ve grown up. I had the option of lunch with the kids: corn dogs, tater tots, and green koolaid. I gently declined, because I don’t like corn dogs and tater tots are PMS food and I am not pms’ing. We needed bread, so I went to the store to get a couple of loaves of whole wheat, and lunch leapt into my buggy:
a tub of garlicky, lemony hummus and a bag of organic bagel chips lightly seasoned with sea salt. Then a tub of fat, oily Kalamata olives. Then the idea of a big jug of lighty sweetened iced tea heavy on the mint. Yum.
Ok. So I’m a food snob. I suppose a can of black olives would be fine, but purple, glossy and fat Kalamatas, them’s good eatin’. Creamy, tart hummus on a crisp salty bagel chip, I could go on and on. It’s like…I don’t know…Martha’s Vineyard’s version of Ruffles and Onion Dip.
I don’t share, either. Everyone gathered ’round and sucked in their cheeks, trying to reach a chip to scoop up with, without being too obvious about it. Ok, fine, I can be one of those self-sacrificing mothers sometimes, so I let them have *one* chip and *one* teaspoon of hummus. But that was it. they deserve no more, because they are boys and they stink.
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I found my first significant wrinkle this morning. I don’t know quite how to take it. When one has no significant wrinkles, one assumes one won’t ever get one. Like age spots or varicose veins.
See, the thing is, I never look in the mirror. Not really, anyway. I’ll look at my hair or my lips or maybe the mole on my chin to make sure no hairs are long enough to braid. The mole has been there since I was born and I have no desire to remove it, even if it is sprouting long blond hair. I never look at the whole picture, the conglomeration of features that make up my very ordinary face. Consequently, I missed the development of The Wrinkle.
It’s about 1/2 inch long, on the right side extending horizontally from the corner of my eye toward my temple. It’s just above the cluster of freckles on my cheek. I can’t say I’m deeply disturbed by it, my reaction is more like the one I had when I realized I was throwing the laundry over the side of the stairs instead of toting the huge basket like a normal person. I feel a strong sense of resignation, tempered with pleasure that it’s a smiley and not a frowny.
Just the other day, whilst trudging through StuffMart with Sweet Daddio, I noticed many older women who looked like they’d just eaten a green persimmon. I asked SD
to PLEASE let me know if I ever start to look like that. I conciously try to wear a smile, or at least a smirk, because I have always loved the way older women look when they’ve obviously led a good life and are happy. I want to be like that. I don’t want to look like a geriatric barracuda.
Since turning 40, I’ve realized how silly the whole Gorgeous Youth thing is. I mean, we live in a catch-22 situation. On one hand, we Must Stay Young. Our worth as humans is based on how close to 20 we look. Then, we are supposed to live as long as possible. We want to look young but die old. Huh? You see a few incidents of revolt against the Look Young thing, such as Red Hat Society and the plethora of retirement villages (no one under 60, please). That pleases me, because it means I’ll have a place to go when I can absolutely no longer pretend to fit in with the younger set.
I am reminded suddenly of a time about 3 years ago when i got ma’am’d. Not only was I ma’am’d, but I wasn’t carded. I was buying wine at the time. This 12 yr old clerk at the store rang up my purchase, handed me my bottle of riesling, and said “thank you ma’am, have a nice day.” Psychological trauma. Ugh. Up until about 5 years ago, they’d flirt a little, now they ask if they can take my groceries to the car. Before, we’d chat, now I get ignored in favor of the natural blond in self-checkout.
Oh well. Sweet Daddio says he likes me. When I pointed out a chick bouncing down the street once and said “She’s pretty.” he said, “Blech. 20 yr old blondes with big breasts and long legs, booooring.” Maybe that’s where the smile wrinkle came from.
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I remember an event of 13 years ago. We were living in a little farmhouse out in the country. Our children were 4,2-1/2, and 1. It was summer, and we were all outside. The boys were playing in the backyard, and I was a mere 15 feet away at the front of the carport pulling weeds in the flower bed. It was all fenced, lest you foam atthe mouth and accuse me of neglecting my children, which I was not. You’d have to be there to see the setup. Anyway, the kids got quiet and I looked up in suspicion. then I heard, 10 feet above my head, “hey…hey…mama….hey mama” I looked up in horror and disbelief as my ONE YEAR OLD CHILD waved at me from the roof “hey mama”. Then I noticed my 2-1/2 yr old child running back and forth, along the peak of the house roof. Then I heard a hissing noise. All this at the same time whilst my gut leaps into my sinuses then falls to my ankles.
I go the 15 feet to the backyard, wondering what fresh sort of hell my life was becoming and I discovered the source of the hissing: the 4 yr old is at the top of a 12 foot ladder, saying “GIT DOWN GIT DOWN MAMA’S GONNA KILLYA GIT DOWN YOU BEDDER GIT DOWN!”
Yes. a 12 foot ladder. That their father left up against the house earlier that week when he was fixing the roof. *sigh*
I climb the ladder, coax the small happy children down, and we go inside for popsicles. I decide the thing to do now is call Sweet Daddio and inform him that he left the ladder in a precarious position:
*ring ring* “Hi, This is Sweet Daddio and I can’t come to the phone, etc”
RT: “OOOOOOOO hiss hisss OOOOOOOOOO”
2 minutes pass
*ring ring* “Hi, this is Sweet Daddio, etc etc”
RT: “NEXT TIME YOU LEAVE THE LADDER OUT *YOU* CAN GET THE KIDS OFF THE
20 minutes pass
*ring ring* “hello?”
“grovel grovel apologies apologies grovel some more”
This, my dears, is a marvelous summer meal. If you cheat like me, and buy canned beans, there isn’t even any cooking involved.
4 cans great northern, cannelini or navy beans, rinsed
1 sweet vidalia onion, diced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
2 ears of roasted corn left over from the other night, cut off the cob
1 bell pepper, diced
toss all this stuff together then dress with:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
stiff handful of fresh basil and oregano, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced very fine
Let sit at room tempurature for a bit before serving.
ciabatta sliced thin and toasted, or a crusty baguette sliced thin and toasted.
I started making this for summer meals several years ago, and it’s great for putting together whenever it’s convenient during the day, then eating late with the toast. It’s also particularly tasty with a good crisp white wine lik pinot grigio.
My brother gave me a cookbook for Christmas a couple of years ago: Essentials of Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Apparently its something of a Bible in the cooking industry. All I know, it’s got great recipes that are basic enough that oomphing them up with a bit of extra whatever is easy. Go get a copy.
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Political Correctness has yet to reach East Bumfart, Georgia.
(gross..my 14 yr old #3 just walked in and said “I just realised I haven’t taken a shower in a week.” I responded “that explains the presence of flies in the house.”)
Gold Bless America, and if you don’t like it, you are welcome to leave. No one will stop you and I’ll bet several people will pay for your ticket.
Having said that, there is another thing Memorial Day stands for:
Good yellow corn, recently picked, and soaking in a bucket just before throwing on the grill. I hear there are things you can do with leftover roast corn, but leftovers have never been an issue.
There. I’ve vented my semi-annual blast of Patriotic American Fervor. I love it here, and I can’t believe my good fortune at getting to live here. I am indebted to the people who’ve made it possible for me to say what I think without fear of reprisal, and I will defend to the death the right of other people to say what they think, even if they are wrong.
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I really love memorial Day weekend. There are veterans at every store, selling poppies (I’ll tell you the story of why they sell poppies, if you want me to). Our local Habitat for Humanity has a fundraiser that kicks off every Memorial Day: for $30 a year they’ll come by your house and plant a big American flag by the mailbox on major holidays. Last summer we missed out, and wondered why everyone had a flag but us, then in April Mr. A knocked on our door and siad he noticed we didn’t have a flag, would we like one? Proceeds to Habitat for humanity? Of course! we said. Then he asked if maybe we could help plant the flags, just on our street, it takes about 30 minutes. Sure! we said. So yesterday #2 went out with Mr. A and planted flags. Anyone who’s Anyone has a flag, and if you don’t have one, well, we know where YOU stand.
Sweet Daddio has to work tomorrow. so today, he’s being frantically lazy as he tries to cram as much fun and relaxation into one day as he can. Right now, he’s doing 2 things at once :watching the pre-race festivities whilst shucking corn. Soon he’ll be eating, then watching races (not the Indy 500..the other one…the real one, with real drivers in real cars.) He doesn’t care for Indycar racing. “Buncha prima donnas driving hopped up go-carts” sez he. NASCAR is a Man’s Sport. Indy’s for wussies. While he is wtaching the race he’ll be noshing on my own special deviled eggs, and maybe some other snack I can concoct.
Dinner’s at 1. #1 is working from 8 to 5, and #2 is working from 4 to 11, so someone has to miss out. I’ll save him a plate.
The menue is:
Grilled chicken with a lime/cilanto/vidalia onion marinade
Baked Beans Rootie Style (canned beans, ketchup, mustard, blackstrap molasses, topes with crispy fried bits of salt cured ham. The ham’s important, it’s a salty with the sweet bean sauce, and a crispy with the soft beans)
Roasted corn with chili-lime butter (a stick of butter, juice and zest of 1 lime, a teaspoon of chili powder, mixed well)
Key Lime Pie with a pecan crust. I was out of graham crackers and didn’t want to go to the store, so I used pecan meal and butter to make the crust. The pie itself is pathetically simple: 2 8 oz blocks of low-fat cream cheese, 2 8-oz cans of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup lime juice, zest of 1 lime, blend it all together until very smooth and pour into a prepared crust. Decorate with lime slices and chill at the back of the fridge where no one will see it for at least 4 hours, better overnight.
That’s Memorial Day Eating. And yes, my life relaly does revolve around food. It’s one thing that I can predict.
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Just a Little and Diffident Random Assortment of Small Nuggets From a Simple Minded Li’l Ol’ Housewife From East Georgia.
“flatter ‘n’ a flitter” I had a band teacher who hailed from Darkest Appalachia. She would say that when someone was off key.
“Who died and made you mother?” My stock comment when the boys start bossing each other around Right In Front Of Me.
I am not one to curse unless seriously provoked. I try to come up with creative and evocative alternatives. Instead of calling another woman “bitch”, I’ll call her “brood sow”. That’s better than bitch because brood sows are smellier and notoriously foul tempered. I will also call people “pestilential” or “festering sores on the buttocks of humanity”
I have a favorite word, do you have one? Mine is “exacerbate”. I have heard it misinterpreted to mean a secretive and precise form of personal sexual gratification. Effluent is another good one. So is ephemeral. I don’t know why I am partial to ‘e’ words, it just worked out that way.
I have 4 dogs and 4 children. If I decide to get another dog do I have to get another child? Can I swap a child for a dog?
I got a pair of eyes rolled at me today. I love it when they do that, because I get the perverse pleasure of giving a long winded and meandering lecture on the poor behavior of children these days and if I have to scrub the soap scum off their tub every week then he can at very least hang up the shower curtain without rolling of eyes and heaving of bored adolescent bosoms. So rude. To think I tore him away from delicate brain surger…I mean…X-box game play to perform so menial a task as hanging up a shower curtain. That I cleaned. That I had contributed in NO WAY to it’s becoming scuzzy. Such temerity from a woman.
I am suddenly remembering a man named Jack, a family friend, now deceased. Jack was a hunter and a woodsman. He was also a creative cook. He made this concoction he dubbed “cockafooey” It was rice, ground venison, chopped vegetables, and a double handful of toasted almonds. Sometimes, if was just returning from 6 weeks with the Ojibwa, he’d have wild rice. Jack taught me how to handle snakes, to shoot a .50 cal blackpowder gun, and to shoot skeet with a .22. He died doing what he loved, surrounded by his 4 hunting dogs, in a tent in the deepest woods of the north Georgia mountains. I hope I go like that, doing something I love. (does that mean I want to die in the kitchen, horribly burned beyond recognition, just like my biscuits?)
Sweet Daddio and I made a trip to the County Line(our local liquor store). We live in a dry county, so in order to procur desired alcoholic beverages, we have to drive 15 miles. No big deal, I don’t get spooled up over things like that and besides, it’s a lovely drive through cotton country and I got to ride with the top down on Little Martha and my favorite man sitting next to me. Anyway, we bought large amounts of several things: vodka, bourbon, watermelon pucker. I love watermelon pucker in the summertime. It doesn’t taste anything at all like watermelon, but it DOES taste like a watermelon jolly rancher, and mixed with vodka and some club soda makes a refreshing and intoxicating beverage.
We are keeping 2 extra dachshunds for an undetermined amount of time. We have dubbed them “thing one” and “thing two” like the characters from The Cat In The Hat. They are sisters, and identical, and impossible to tell apart. One of them poops dry little turds in the corner of the living room, but since I never catch them doing it I am deprived of the pleasure of beating them. 6 dachshunds is definitely too many. It’s like having a seething mass of really large cockroaches all over the floor, and everytime you put your foot down you step on one and it screams.
I was going through all my photo cd’s earlier today. I re-discovered some photos I took of squirrels, including one of a mama squirrel with 6 boobs stealing dog food out of the bowl, and another of a daddy squirrel wearng a smirk and an erection. Honestly, I did NOT notice the erection when I took the picture.
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My new header, that is. #1, Computer Genius, showed me how to take an image of my own making and insert it, customizing the look of my blog. Oh, I know, anyone can do it, in fact all sort of people do it all the time. But I’d never done it, and it was a dark and mysterious thing until he shed some light and showed me how and where. I am going to change the header periodically, maybe monthy, maybe more often, if I feel like it. Each new header will feature a photograph taken by me. If, for some reason, you’d like to see a larger version of the photo, let me know, and I’ll post it. If, you know, you want to, maybe, purchase a copy of the photo, that can be arranged also. Believe me, I am not holding my breath on that one. He also set me up to put links to my favorite other places.If you don’t see yours, it’s pure-t oversight and I’ll get to it eventually. You’ll just have to wait yout turn.
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I am, apparently, healthy. At least I assume so. I had to go to the Dr.’s Office and have quarts and quarts (well, maybe I exaggerate) of blood drawn for all kinds of tests and screens and whatever They do with all that stuff. Ok, if not quarts and quarts, then pints and pints…or however much all those little tubes with the glue in the bottom hold. AND I had to do it on a fast! No morning banana to get the blood sugar up, no milk in my coffee (at least I GOT coffee, heaven would have to help them if I had to go until 9:30 am without it). The nurse sticking me was all apologies and sympathetic noises. I tried telling her that being poked with needles and having vast quantities of life-giving fluids removed from my person didn’t bother me in the least. Especially not on an empty and growling stomach. To her credit, she’s a skilled sticker and it didn’t hurt in the least, and she provided a large cup of orange juice afterward.
They are doing an Executive Panel: theyroid, kidney and liver function, CBC, electrolytes, some other stuff (cholesterol, I think) plus lithium level. It’s like this, I am on several medications that can cause vital organs to pack up and move to Miami while I’m still in East Georgia. Lithium is a known fryer of thyroids, and I have been warned by the Good Dr. H that I will, eventually, have to go on synthroid because the amount of lithium I have to ingest (roughly double the national average) for therapeutic benefits will flat out cold-cock a thyroid. I also have to watch my kidneys, hard to do because they are in the back part of my body and my eyes are in the front and I’m just not as limber as I used to be. As long as I drink plenty of fluids all the time then I’ll be fine. I do, and I am, except one side effect of drinking all that water is a constant need to pee. It is, however (drinking, not peeing) good for the complexion. I am on a thing called Zyprexa, which in large enough doses will make one’s liver simply fall out onto the floor. I, however, take very small doses on a limited basis, so I thik the liver screen is just a safety measure, plus it’s on the Executive Panel anyway.
I don’t know about the cholesterol. I’ve never had it checked before. I am not a big eater of foods fried in lard (or even shortening), nor do I eat eggs more than once or twice a month. In general, I think I eat in a way that most nutritionist would approve of (maybe not the Hallelujah Acres people, but honestly, I like some of my food cooked).
So that’s how the morning started, at the Dr.’s office being poked. I honestly don’t know what the rest of the day holds.
Sweet Daddio wants to swap cars with me. He took Li’l Martha to work and left me Big Bertha (2003 Chevy minivan with fat thighs and in a most pedestrian shade of tan). Martha gets better gas milage, and since he has 30 miles 1-way, and I don’t drive much, and gas is expensive…*sigh*. He made comment about getting himself a new car in 3 or 4 years, when #3 leaves and we only have 1 kid at home. He wants a Mustang convertible, not an SS, but something he can put the top down. Driving Li’l Martha has made him a believer. I remember when he had her here before we moved, and he called one evening and said “You know, going 110 with the top down is rather exhilarating.” Yeah. It is. His older brother has a Mustang Cobra convertible. Last time they got together Sailor Man (old brother) took SD to an abandoned air strip and said “watch this”. 175mph later SM cussed and said the car came with a governor he needed to take off so he could find out how fast it would REALLY go. SD said 175 mph is really, really fast. Boys and their toys. *snort*
I wonder what it would take to get SM to take me on a ride. I don’t know, I am not even sure he likes me.
You all have an easygoing and peaceful Memorial Day weekend. Eat some barbeque (you know, even tho I am originally from Texas and live in East Georgia, Kansas Style BBQ is my favorite), a few deviled eggs, and be safe and happy.
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Swimsuit anxiety? What’s that? HA! I spit on anxiety! Fie on spandex!
My swim suit, you know the one I told you about, the one that cost the average annual income of someone from a small caribbean nation? Yeah, that one.
It came! Mr. UPS Man Wearing Shorts and Sporty Shoes brought it to my front door with a smile and a cheery “have a nice day!”
To which I replied (to myself)”I will if the suit fits.” Which it does!
Now, mind you, I don’t look like Natasha Kornocobbia or what’s-her-name Tyra Banks. No. That’ll never happen for my legs are too short and arse too broad, BUT it does fit, and I am unlikely to draw unwanted attention to myself at the beach when wearing it.
It is 2 pieces. The top is a cherry red v-neck, loosish in the fit with built in boob holsters. It’s also generously long, providing secure coverage with little fear of unwelcome exposure of all those issues created by carrying many children inside.
The bottom is, a swim suit sort of panty WITH an a-line skirt falling uninhibited from waist to upper thigh, no gathers to accentuate bulges, and no pulling tight to make it look like I picked a size too small.
Alltogether a perfect suit. Damn well better be. I could feed my family for a week on what it cost.
*A word to Debbie* The bottoms go up to belly button and the top goes down to hips, I think the long torso version would probably work for you.
See, my inherent good cheer rises above the mustard colored stew that is life. I sprinkle happy thoughts like so many jujubes, because I have a swimsuit that fits, that doesn’t make me look like a beluga, that I will feel no anxiety or shame about wearing in public places.
Oh- and I fixed my pink hair, too. Bought another box of color (ash blond), stunk up the bathroom (Loreal smells bad), and now my hair is a nice sedate medium shade of blond, the kind no one will notice but they will say to themselves “something’s different”. No more lil ol’ lady in a muumuu, just a happy (if chunky) housewife with a NEW SWIMSUIT and unassuming hair.
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So much for a peaceful and lovely summer. #1 came by last night and told us he’d been kicked out of the place where he was staying (his presence violated the lease agreement), So, we’re letting him stay here, in the cramped and tiny guest room, for 60 days only, and ONLY if he passes a weekly drug screen. He’s probably going to be pissed as hell that I’ve posted this. Too bad. If he doesn’t like it he can go live somewhere else. There are other conditions to his living here, but since I’ve given too much information already I won’t go into those.
The stress level, which had been reduced to insignificance, has suddenly leapt into the stratosphere, the knot has returned to my stomach, and my ears are ringing again.
What was I supposed to do? He literally has nowhere else to go. I’ll be damned if I am going to be his personal alarm clock. He still has to finish an english credit to get his diploma. Credit Recovery classes start next Tuesday. I refuse to get him up and be his mommy. I won’t do it. I’d rather eat rocks first.
WHY can’t he look after himself? He demands to be treated like an adult, and shows all the personal responsibility of a 6 yr old. He can’t save money for a deposit on an apartment because he has to buy cigarettes. He can’t find his work uniform because he doesn’t have sense enough to consider it more vital to his well being than his precious computer. He can’t get up in time because he left his alarm clock elsewhere, forgettng that he can use his computer as an alarm clock. He told me last night he could make it say anything he wanted (‘It is now time to get up, shithead’). So why didn’t he use it this morning, instead of getting up at 15 after 8 when he was supposed to be at work at 8? Why do I care? Why does this bother me so much? Where have I gone wrong? Why can’t he just go live somewhere else?