Filed under: *whinge*, family, food, Good grief, Grandparents | Tags: Dealing with a grandparent, responsible adult, What.
I do not like Amarillo, Texas.
And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
I do like my grandmother, and the only reason she’s in Amarillo is because she’s from Canyon and Amarillo was the closest place with the kind of assisted living she needs.
I do like chicken fried steak and cream gravy and mashed potatoes, and there’s a place in Amarillo that serves a most excellent version of those things.
But other than that, I could go several years without smelling a stockyard when I first walk out of a hotel room, and not miss it.
It wouldn’t bother me a bit if I never walked into a Walmart and saw 3 young men strung out on some kind of drug, harrassing 2 other young men who were apparently not on drugs.
I would not be upset if I never saw another size 20 woman apparently wearing her skinny 12 year old daughter’s spandex camisole.
Ok maybe I am going to say something about it…
It was good to see my grandmother. I am glad I did it.
It is also good to be home, and I am going to be very happy to sleep in my own bed tonight.
Without the whiff of stockyard or the roar of every single diesel tractor-trailer in the country blowing past my little bitty car.
The chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and cream gravy were delicious. Terry had the not-mythical chicken fried corn on the cob. Yes.
Filed under: Dewicate feewings, family, Good grief, Grandparents, He'p meh He'p meh Oh Lawzy He'p meh, Not another Change!, Sometimes she thinks too much | Tags: Coping mechanisms, Dealing with a grandparent, Home and hearth, solving personal problems
all packed, with the exception of that one last bag, you know the one…that one bag that has the bits and pieces of stuff that are still being used. Reading glasses, Kindle, toothbrush.
Yes, I use a Kindle. If it’s a Great Book that I want to savor, I’ll buy a real copy. If it’s one-time fluff that I can download for free, it’s on the Kindle. Plus a Bible and a dictionary. and a couple of cookbooks. I like the Kindle because it lets me use large print, which I need even with the reading glasses. And fluff, which I need in a hotel, particularly on a trip that could be stressful. Like this one.
Terry said “Let’s go get you a new phone.” He and the boys have only been trying for 2 years now to make me replace this 5 year old pink one, and it’s getting fritzy- not ringing reliably, that sort of thing. So. I acquiesced and in a bit we’re going in. I don’t like change very much, unless it’s a small one like switching from pork to beef ramens or eating almonds instead of peanuts. I am sure I will like the new phone. I am also sure if Terry hadn’t pushed, I would still be using the old Nokia phone I had in 1996.
We went to the store today and got provisions for the trip: snacky stuff like trail mix and multigrain Pringles and bottled water. I like stuff that is in neat containers that close back up. Also, sandwich stuff, so we don’t eat hamburgers from McDonalds. We have plans to eat at 3 restaurants: The Main Street Cafe in Clarkesville, Texas, because their smoked brisket is a flamin’ miracle of cookery; Red River Steakhouse in McLean, Texas; and Calico County Restaurant in Amarillo because they have chicken fried corn on the cob.
Mainly I am going to see my grandmother, and talk to the hospice nurse, so I can report back to Dad. I am looking forward to seeing her. Terry is going to post up in the cafe at the home where she’s living, and do work. Isn’t modern technology amazing? I continue to be boggled by it all. He even has satellite thingy on his phone, so we can do GPS whatzit en route. Paper maps, apparently, are Old School and quaint.
#4 is all packed and ready to go, I guess. 3 bags of stuff and the checklist checked…okeedokey there.
The grass is cut, the gardens are being watered, the cat food dispenser device is filled, and the older boys have meals in the freezer. My duty is fulfilled in that regard.
and yet, I am anxious. Of course I am. It’s the trip, that’s one thing. I didn’t have the standard 6 months to ponder it, and plan, and think, and look at the map, and let the idea marinate in my brain until it was ready to slow simmer for several days. So that is a little bit anxiety inducing. But that’s ok, I’ll live. It isn’t as if I had to suddenly drop everything and go on a 6 week hike through the Amazon Basin, right? We are not leaving civilization. We are going to a place where men don’t wear beards or shorts (not even cargo shorts like Terry’s). People still eat, sleep, and…well…they don’t drive VW Beetle convertibles, either. Especially the men.
There is a definite cultural shift once you cross into Texas.
Sigh…ok. Yes. Ready to go.
Filed under: Dewicate feewings, family, Grandparents, Sometimes she thinks too much, spouse | Tags: Coping mechanisms, Dealing with a grandparent, Oversharing, solving personal problems, Spouse
It is amazing how Having Something To DO is so energizing.
One thing I can’t stand is getting all emotional and hand-flappy and running around like my head has fallen off. I do not play the helpless female very well. Women like that irritate me, and I do not want to be irritating to others.
This bothers Terry sometimes. He has said he wishes I could just let it go, let the stuff out and roll with it for a while. Sometimes I wish I could do that,too. But it gives me a hangover. If I have something to DO, something productive that contributes to the solution, I am much happier.
And so it is. We are making this drive (20+ hours) to Amarillo,to see my grandmother. It might be good-bye, it might not. I don’t know. But there is an urgency about it and a tremendous sense of relief that it’s happening NOW, and not July 10. Maybe it’s just reassurance, and that’s ok.
I guess there is a very good reason Terry took the entire week off. We had other plans, but they aren’t the sort that can’t be done some other time, and even if they were, this is more important.
So, I am now happily making lists and plans and getting ready. All the laundry was done yesterday. I have a bit of mending (making shorts out of pants for #4), a bit of cooking(granola bars for snacks), and a bit of yard work (mowing, watering everything). #4 needs to pack for camp today. I will give him his list, clear the dining table so he can put everything on it and I can double check, and turn him loose to do it himself.
We will be dropping #4 off at 6am Sunday morning for him to go to camp for a week, then heading straight out west. Our oldest will be here to see after the dogs and cat.
Last night we were sitting out in Terry’s Cave, making a list and discussing stuff, and #4 came out. He said he wished he could go too, and opined that he would enjoy a trip on back roads. Terry informed him that we would do just that with him, in 3 years when he was old enough to help with the driving. #4 got excited about that, and said he wanted to drive to West Mineral, Kansas and see Big Brutus. I think that would make a fine
inaugeral inaguaral oh heck…first road trip for a 16 year old.
I’ve recovered from my emotional issues…I know I am saying that as if they were some sort of pathological problem, and I know they are not, but they are uncomfortable, and because the family is not used to seeing me dissolving into a soggy mess like that, awkward for them. Last night I apologized to Terry for my weirdness and he rolled his eyes, and said “you don’t have to apologize for that!” then I tried to make excuses for it by blaming hormones, and he rolled his eyes again and said “maybe hormones made your reaction a little stronger than it might have otherwise been, but your emotions are real and you DON’T HAVE TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR THEM!”
Maybe not, but something that uncomfortable, feeling that out of control of something going on inside my brain, that is very difficult. Letting it happen, like letting a horse have it’s head and just RUN…that is…kind of….foreign. 20 years of bipolar disorder has taught me to keep things wrapped up pretty tight, and I have trouble discerning when it’s ok to let it out, even when I know, logically, that it is a reasonable sort of response.
Filed under: family, God Stuff, Grandparents, Memories, Sometimes she thinks too much, spouse, things that make you go hmmmmm | Tags: Christian Values, Coping mechanisms, Dealing with a grandparent, Spouse
Yesterday was rough, y’all. I got a call from my father, who asked me to call Grandmother and talk to her, assess her over the phone. Grandmother’s 100th birthday is in August, and she lives in a (very nice…REALLY REALLY NICE) nursing home in Texas. Lest you get all indignant about her living so far from family, it was her choice. Anyway,a couple of weeks ago, she was moved (not physically, but in her care) from standard care to Hospice.
On one hand, this alarmed me. “HOSPICE!?” I thought. But…but…she’s not *that sick!* And really, she is in pretty good health for a 100 year old. But, according to the care nurses, and they know these things (seriously, I’ve met with them. They know their stuff),she is reaching The End Of Life. She spends a lot of time in the past, reminiscing about her parents and siblings (all whom have passed on), and is getting kind of…groggy, I guess.
I called her yesterday, and she was thrilled, but there was definitely something “off”. She wasn’t completely there, and I had to repeat myself a couple of times. This is very unusual behavior for her. She seemed preoccupied, and that is unusual for her.
So, I decided I was going to fly out to see her in July. I have several obligations to meet before then, but I made plans. And attempted to buy a plane ticket.
Do you believe that God messes with things, so that we will do what REALLY needs to be done? I have always said I believe that, but yesterday, trying to get that plane ticket, it became abundantly clear that He was messing with things to get me to change the plans.
I got online with Expedia, to get a ticket and car rental. Fine, no problem, great flight out of Atlanta, etc, decent price blah blah. Then, my American Express card didn’t work. What? I’d never had trouble with it before. So I tried Terry’s. Same thing. So I called Expedia and went through the process with a real person. Same thing, neither card worked. So Terry called American Express and they were all OhSoSorry! Some Issue! We’ll get on that right away!
So…then Terry comes downstairs with a funny look on his face and says “Let’s drive to Amarillo instead. We can leave Sunday and be back Friday, and it will cost the same as your plane ticket. I think God messed with the AMEX on purpose. and I think you need to see your grandmother sooner than July 10.”
and so it is.
13 years ago, just days after #4 was born, Terry got a funny feeling about his own grandmother, and drove to see her. She passed on 2 weeks later.
Yesterday…was tough for me. I thought a lot about Grandmother. Not just the 100 years old part…she remembers WW1. She grew up with a horses and a buggy for transportation. She has seen the world change in ways that boggle the mind. Antibiotics, air travel, all the way to computers and people on the moon. Her world has changed more drastically than I can imagine. Uncommon for women of her generation, she has a college degree, and never stopped learning something new.
I look around my house and there are bits and pieces of her everywhere. She loved to do needlework- any sort. I have her quilts on my wall, a needlepoint firescreen, several pictures on the wall of my sewing room. I have her old cookbooks, too. A 1950 Betty Crocker, a Gnomes Gnotebook she wrote her favorite recipes in. I inherited her love of sewing and cooking, and her sense of adventure in those things. I am also cautious like she is, and stubborn too. I have this beautiful painted china doll she made when I was 7. It was an experiment in creativity for her, and she said she enjoyed making the one she gave me, but couldn’t see making a whole bunch of them. I get that from her, too. I will make one or two of something, then wonder why do need 100 (of whatever, silk neckties, dyed scarves, homemade soaps), and move on to something else.
Grandmother went deaf at the age of 3, from an illness. She doesn’t remember what music sounds like, or birds singing, or another person’s voice. This served her well in her 71 year marriage to Grandad. He was an irascible old goat (from the age of 5, according to his brother Walter) and frequently went on rants and tirades. She would just turn off her hearing aid and look at him seriously. One of the things that kept me so emotional yesterday was the realization that when she passes on, SHE WILL HEAR MUSIC FOR THE FIRST TIME!
I am so incredibly excited for her! Of course I will miss her, but she has said for the last 5 years or so that she is ready to go, ready to see her siblings and parents again, and tired of being the only one she knows who’s still alive. I get that, and respect it.
I have many very happy memories with her, most of them formed as an adult. We didn’t see our grandparents very much growing up. We always lived far away and only saw them once every 3 or 4 years. My very first memory- Mom says I was 2-1/2 when this happened-was of playing in Grandmother’s rock garden. I had casts on my legs and was unable to walk, so they sat me down in the rock garden with an old Welch’s grape juice can and a couple of kitchen spoons. There was a bird bath filled with small blue ceramic tiles, and I played with them, filling up the juice can and dumping it out, stirring them around, making stacks and knocking them over. I remember it very clearly.
Once Terry and I married, we started traveling to Texas to see them. We took the boys, because I wanted them to know each other. Then as the boys got older, I started flying out there, to stay for a long weekend. She and I would work on a project, cook something, and generally enjoy each other’s company. I kept this up even after she moved out of the house and into assisted living. A couple of years ago she moved into the nursing home where she’s at now. Dad asked me to fly out there and check the place out, to make sure it was nice enough for her. It is. The people who work there are very committed to the care of the residents, and take real time with them.
Now that she’s in Hospice, I need to see her. It might (and maybe even probably) be the last time I see her. Maybe not. It could be that her grogginess and general behavior is a result of a medication change. That is something that needs to be looked into. I hope it won’t be the last time I see her, but I am prepared for it either way.
100 is a long time to live. She has outlived all of her siblings, friends, and 5 doctors. I don’t want her to go, she is a part of my heritage, something that I am attached to, in a way. I have never had a close family member pass on. Grandad died 6 years ago, but I wasn’t attached to him the way I am to Grandmother. When he died, it was more…Something To Do, I was able to be useful and plan the funeral, clean up his house, and that sort of thing. I was there. I don’t know if I will be able to do that for her. I know she would like it if I could.
The idea of letting go is hard. It’s not that I am howling NOOOOO DON”T GOOOOO! because I believe in Heaven and I know that’s where she’ll be, and that isn’t a platitude of someone patting my shoulder and saying “oh she’s in a better place now” in some attempt to comfort me. I KNOW she will be there, when she goes, and she will be with the people who love her, and she won’t be lonely anymore. It’s more…overwhelming…than anything. The idea that someone I know and love is actually on the cusp of this massive transition is incredibly exciting..and overwhelming.
And so I cry…some grief, even though she’s not gone yet, but mostly out of a sense of ..I am not sure what it is. I’ve never felt like this before.
Filed under: Dewicate feewings | Tags: Coping mechanisms, solving personal problems
I admit to being a bit f a paranoid personality. No, I don’t hear voices in my head that tell me I’m being followed by the Secret Service and my neighbors are minions of Satan hell-bent on making my tomatoes grow poorly. I blame the pine trees for that. Those things have their place, but it is not in my yard.
Mine is more relational in nature. Whether it’s missing the cat for 2 days (if that happens, every time I hear a car honk I am pretty sure it just turned her into a grease spot)…or not getting a phone call from my sons who drove 3 hours north to see their grandparents (which is a sure sign they’re both dead in a ditch,truck wheels slowly turning before it bursts into flames and leaves nothing behind but ashes and a couple of tooth fillings)..
See? I have a powerful imagination and it is masterful at filling in the blanks with all sorts of lurid Stephen King-esque details. If I don’t get regular and frequents reassurance, the brains says to me “Things Are Very Bad”.
And yes, I know that’s silly. I know what it’s doing, this brain. It’s protecting me. (WHAT??) Yes. Because things are rarely that bad. Even the time I got the call from the Sheriff’s office that required another call to a bail-bondsperson named Diane (she was very sweet, motherly and patted me on the arm, saying “It’s ok, honey, it’s just a phase he’s going through.”)…it wasn’t as bad as It Could Have Been. It was just a phase and he’s much better now. It is protection in that after the (whatever) event, I can say “well, that wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected.” and feel relief.
See, what my brain does is to create all these horrid scenarios, all these What It Could Be situations, so that when the reality is discovered, it is not nearly as bad as the possibility. My cat is probably not a grease spot on the road. More likely, she found someone who feeds their cat outside and is merely enjoying the freedom of wandering. Cats do that. When I don’t hear from my sons 3 hours north, it’s usually not (and never has been, so far…see, there goes the brain again, leaving room for the possibility of disaster) because they’re dead in a ditch, but because his phone died and he forgot to pack a charger.
How did they do it, the people my parents ages, how did they send their children out into the world without a convenient way to call and reassure them that they were indeed still alive and well, and not kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery in Thailand? (another fear I had,when the boys were 12 and prone to walking the 1 mile to Mr P’s for a soda and a peek at the covers of Penthouse and Playboy) (they think I didn’t know they did that).
How was my father able to even let me go on a date with someone he considered shady, when I had no way of calling? How were Terry’s parents able to let him get into a 20 year old VW Beetle and drive from South Georgia to Chicago, when he was 17? I can barely let mine go 3 hours north. And that one is 20. Not that, at 20, he asks my permission. He says “Mom, I’m going to Madison to see Richie and go catfishing.” and I think “he’s going to be attacked by a writhing mass of 20 foot long water moccasins and when he dies and sinks to the bottom of the muddy lake, he will be eaten by catfish and have to be identified by the tread pattern on his boots.” See there, I did it again.
There is this wonderful method out there called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, that essentially retrains your brain in it’s way of thinking. Maybe I need to do that again. 18 years ago, that is the method Dr. H used on me, and it was pretty flamin’ amazing.
Right now, when my mind goes someplace grotesque (it’s 3pm and Terry hasn’t called today, that means he fell into the aeration basin and was chopped to pieces by the aerators, and El Presidente is scared to call and inform me of Terry’s untimely demise), I am trying the techniques taught 18 years ago…stuff like “Ok if it’s that bad, before you panic, send Terry a text to make sure he’s actually dead before calling the police.” so I do, and naturally I get one back (although it could be El Presidente pretending to be Terry to throw me off) that says “very busy, sorry I haven’t called” so then I’ll send a cryptic one that only Terry would understand, and when he sends the proper answer back, I’ll know it’s really him.
Ok no. Not really, but see how that works? The method uses logic to talk yourself out of an illogical thought process. 18 years ago, it was “Oh Lord I’m so ugly and everyone hates me!” and logic, (that is, no one stares or gags when I walk in the room, and people actually smile and respond when I talk to them) taught me that my thought process was illogical. Now, I need to use that when the brain says “Dead in a ditch!!” and say to myself “no one has called to tell me, and grandmother is expecting them and would call if they didn’t show up at the appointed time.” etc.
So today, I am going to concentrate on being logical. Because that makes more sense than worrying about things I have no control over.
Filed under: childhood, Good grief, In The Southland, people, things that make you go hmmmmm | Tags: Being Southern, Oh for pete's sake, responsible adult, What.
I mailed #4′s final payment for camp last week. Satisfied that he was all set, I felt like a grown-up and Proper Mother. My kid’s going to camp, as kids like to do, he has his medical thingy, all the proper boxes are checked and the supply list is on the refrigerator. Aren’t I special! Aren’t I the responsible adult who got it right! Yes I am!
Then I went away for the weekend. Because I could.
When I got back, there was a letter, very formally addressed to me, written in slightly shaky yet book-perfect script. Terry handed it to me and said “This is important. You need to read it.”
Here is the letter (names changed)
Dear Mrs Rootietoot
I am sorry I opened this mail. I did not notice the name before opening it. My name is (Jane. Q. Doe) I have been living here for over 30 years as the name (Jane Q. Doe), even taught school for 35 years by the same name and address for over 30 years.
Hopefully you can get the correct address for the check.
If you have any questions my phone # is (insert number here). I surely hope you can get it where it belongs.
Jane Q. Doe
After reading this, in it’s near-perfect script, I felt like I was 10 years old, and had kicked my ball into her rose bed.
I am considering this reply, with my thoughts and explanations in parenthesis :
Dear Ms. Doe (I do not know how to address her. She is not a Mrs, or that would be on her return address. Some women prefer to be called Ms, some prefer Miss, and each one is offended by the other. This is VERY shaky ground),
Thank you very much for returning my check, and for your kind explanation as to the open envelope. I do not hold hard feelings toward you for that, as I have made the same mistake in the past. (and I have. I have also read mis-delivered catalogs before taking them to the proper mailbox. I have not, however, actually OPENED someone else’s mail. However, I have never lived somewhere 30 years, so I cannot speak for the complacency that might occur under such circumstances)
I am a 47 year old woman who has raised 3 young men to productive adulthood and have a 4th son who is 13. All 4 of them are polite and respectful men and I receive many compliments on the way they treat others. I have grey hair, am married to the father of all 4 children (and have been so for 26 years), and attend a church prayer group every Wednesday. The mistake in the address was in no way intended to inconvenience you, but simply a reversal of 2 numbers. As a teacher for 35 years, I am certain you’ve had a few students who have made mistakes like this, and realize that it is unintentional. I have switched numbers in the past, and this is one of the reasons I do not manage the household finances. You can imagine the mess that could make.
Thank you for your honesty, and taking the time to explain and return the check.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Being Southern, Coping mechanisms, solving personal problems
Last week, I made arrangements to spend a couple of days with a friend near Atlanta. Her husband and son were going to be elsewhere, and the idea of a weekend saturated in estrogen (and chocolate mousse) was too good to pass up.
Yes, it’s Father’s Day weekend, however, 3 of our 4 boys were/are in other towns for a while, so we relocated Father’s Day to July 8. We do that all the time with the Minor Celebrations such as this.
It was lovely. It was quiet. I slept until 7 am because I wanted to. 7 am. The mind boggles. I never sleep past 5 am around here. Either a dog starts barking, or Terry gets up to go to work, or something. There were no dogs, only the aroma of coffee and the promise of being able to wake up slowly…
and…feminine conversation. No discussions of bodily functions and the quality of biological production. No looking out the front window and feeling the need to mow the grass. Just time with a close friend who understands.
Ok. Now. I have issues with my touchpad rearranging things. I am going to illustrate the issue by refraining from editing here for a while so you can see what I am talking about…starting…
So, we did stuff. Lunch on the square aft the lates ing Asian grocery ore o yes,very nicehem.
Also, painthas t I am used to that. No one every excpet for the lack of kaffir lime leaves, but chips from Home depot. I had to call Terry for advoned teal (coral, I never oudl have gice on what matches a blue-tuessed)
Then, wandering und the square where I found the PERFECT for water in my sewing room. I have to keep it to refill the iron for steam. It is a loih roses, and a creamer (‘ll use for penicls, and a sugar bowl that is perfect for safety pins., while tvely china coffee pot.
You see, I can actually type about 90 words per minute. But, since about 3 months ago, the touchpad on my computer has become hypersensitive, and the cursor jumps around, rearranging things. How irritating.
Anyway, the weekend away did a lot for me, mentally and spiritually. My friend makes me think (even when I don’t want to. I prefer to remain comfortable in my delusions thankyouverymuch), getting away from The Usual Thing, and learning how to make chocolate mousse (do you believe I’ve never made it before? Well, I haven’t.) was a pleasant vacation and now I am ready to face the laundry and normalcy of Life, The Universe,and Everything that comes in the week ahead.
Filed under: Dewicate feewings, food | Tags: Being Southern, Coping mechanisms, Oh for pete's sake, solving personal problems
I woke up hungry this morning. Not just “gee, I could eat something” but “WE NEED TO GO TO CRACKER BARREL WHERE I CAN GET THE OLD TIMER’S BREAKFAST WITH EXTRA BISCUITS” which here in the Deepest South, is not called “hungry” but “HONGREE!”
I am never hungry first thing, and certainly never HONGREE. Normally,I am a little bit queasy, and only want hot coffee to wash away the cobwebs.
I am meant to buy groceries this morning. It is a dangerous (and likely expensive) mistake to go to the store HONGREE. It is actually more economical to go to Cracker Barrel and get the Old Timer’s Breakfast (2 eggs, bacon, grits, biscuits, hash brown casserole for $7.99) than it is to wander the aisles of Bi-Lo, blithely tossing anything that looks appealing (marinated mozzerella balls,smoked gouda, proscuitto, croussaints, rib eye steaks, mangoes, orange sherbet, ) into the buggy, and that is exactly what will happen, if I go to the store HONGREE.
I refuse to say I am starving. At 5’5″ tall and on the north end of …well…my weight limit. (sigh)… I am a solid 6-8 weeks of ability to survive in the wild with only clean water being necessary,so I am not starving.
Maybe the HONGER is a result of catharsis. I have been walking on philosophical eggshells (broken lightbulbs, coal cinders) for a very long time. A resolution and a compromise was reached a couple of days ago, forgiveness was given and tears were shed, and…I am breathing again. Maybe that’s why I am hungry.
A couple of days ago I made a loaf of spiced sweet bread. It could have used some currants, but I am out of those. A toasted slice of that, with some butter, is a poor substitute for Old Timer’s Breakfast at Cracker Barrel, but is a tasty poor substitute. Here’s how you make it (bread machine style):
1 cup warm milk
1/4cup softened butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each (ground) cinnamon,allspice, cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups white bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
Put it all in the bread machine in the order listed, punch the button to start and that’s it.
If you don’t have a bread machine, put it all in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook, and let it mix for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Coat with oil, and let rise (covered) ina warm spot for about 2 hours. Punch down, shape into a loaf and put in an oiled loaf pan (or on cookie sheet,or shape into buns), let rise 45 minutes, and bake at 375 until fragrant and brown. When you take it out of the oven, rub a stick of butter all over the top (but don’t use the whole stick!)
*Edited to add as I hit publish on this post, CJ (he’s 20) came blasting in (he’s never quiet), and offered to take me to breakfast! “IHOP?” he queried. “Cracker Barrel?” I countered. “Sure!” said he.
It would appear he may have inherited his father’s ability to read my mind. It has yet to be determined if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
Filed under: aaawwwww, dogs!, family, food, Good grief, I feel so smart!, In The Southland, oh you self indulgent hussy! | Tags: Being Southern, Coping mechanisms, Dachshunds, Oh for pete's sake, What.
So. Yesterday was full of consequences. (before you worry, no one died, no relationships were ended, and actually this post has nothing to do with anything related to the last 2 posts)
I wear aprons around the house. I am a messy person and wearing a full coverage apron allows me to only wear one change of clothes a day. My aprons always have deep pockets. The one on the left gets bits and pieces of trash that I pick up, and gets emptied several times a day. The one on the right carries my phone and reading glasses. This Is How It Is Done. I also did laundry yesterday, and that included washing the week’s worth of aprons. Monday’s apron somehow didn’t get emptied before washing. As I was removing everything from the dryer, I discovered a very clean and bent to heck pair of reading glasses. “Well,” I thought. “I wonder if I bought the warranty for them. Probably not because I don’t usually have the best judgement when it comes to stuff like that”. A trip to the optician and resulting assurances that I, in an uncharacteristic fit on common sense, DID buy the warranty and they still had those frames in stock so 10 minutes later, I had a a new pair of reading glasses. I needed to go to the store anyway…because…
I had plans to make this ridiculously easy chicken salad for dinner. Seriously…no cooking not even any chopping. However, it requires chow mein noodles- those delicious little fried things that look like dessicated earthworms. Since I was there anyway, I got a bag of noodles. Then I though “hey, self…since you were so smart to get that warranty, you deserve a Treat.” I love Ruffles chips and that onion dip you make from a carton of sour cream and a bag of onion soup mix. O How I Love That Stuff. So, I bought some. A big bag of chips so it could be shared with the Summer Household. And I ate it. So delicious! Not a petite portion either. You know how the thing on the back calls a portion size 2 tablespoons? Is that realistic? No it is not. Not when you love that stuff. Now, as a No Longer 20 Year Old With A Cast Iron Digestive System, I suffered consequences. I knew I’d have them and did not care. And have them I did. I warned Terry, but did not feel guilt, because he has his own issues with hot wings. Sometimes the consequences are worth it.
We have a dog. He name is Rusty (actually we have 4 dogs but this story is mainly about him). He is one year old, and a male wirehaired dachshund. Like most male dogs, he’s loyal to a fault, and Protects Me From Danger. Even though he only weighs 10 pounds. Last night Terry and I were sitting outside, enjoy a late evening adult beverage and commenting on the weather. It is what people do in the Deep South. “It sure is humid tonight.” That sort of thing. Now, we live on a golf course. Our yard is fenced. Every evening at 7:30, a dog and his person, that live on the 12th hole (we are midway down the par-4 10th hole), walk past our fence. All 4 dogs find it necessary to vociferously remind that dog and his person (the dog is a stately old golden retriever) that they (our dogs) are Very Dangerous Indeed and He’d Better Watch Out and If It Weren’t For The Fence There Would Be Carnage. Satisfied that the old dog was sufficiently reminded of his rank in the scheme of things, 3 of the 4 dogs came back to us. We didn’t see Rusty, but didn’t think much of it, assuming he was molesting a golf ball or something. Then we heard mournful wailing. A sad, sad song that alarmed us. It was not the yelping and squealing of pain, but the angst of a broken spirit. We saw Rusty standing in the back of the yard, and called to him. He didn’t move, but was obviously alive because his tail wagged. What we discovered was that, in the excitement of the golden retriever’s evening constitutional, Rusty got his head stuck in the fence. He wasn’t hurt, but was unable to get loose. We laughed, Terry took pictures with his phone, and then we got him loose, no worse for the event.
Now for the ridiculously easy chicken salad, because you know you want to know:
The meat from the other 1/2 of the rotisserie chicken you bought on Sunday, chopped OR 2 cans of chicken, drained
1 can each bamboo shoots, sliced water chestnuts, bean sprouts and baby corn, drained
1 bag of shredded cole slaw mix from the produce section
1/2 cup Asian Sesame Dressing (the bottled stuff)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
A bag of chow mein noodles, or a can of those rice noodles (like chow mein noodles but smaller) either one is fine
Maybe some toasted almond slivers
Mix the chicken and vegs together in a big bowl
Mix together the mayo and salad dressing, pour over the salad and mix together.
Sprinkle the noodles and almonds on top.
See, no cooking.