Yes, Dear Ones, I DO Eat Healthy Food

I love all my readers, I really do, you’ve become more family to me than, well relatives. However, I have one reader who gets very upset when I write about eating pizza with grape jelly or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with mashed potatoes and Baked Lays.

Big Salad

Big Salad (Photo credit: kattebelletje)

It’s true, I do like weird combinations at times. But, my goodness, give me some credit. I don’t eat this ALL the time, just once in a great while as a treat. Now, I know that most people don’t think pizza with grape jelly is a treat BUT, I only do it if the pizza is dry and sub par. Try it sometime, give it a chance. Wink Wink. Let me know?

I gave eating fish a chance and now I like some of it, except for salmon which was ruined for me forever. (See the post I Hate Salmon…) I will eat mild fish and I only myself to try it when we were in Florida on vacation. I tried it several times and I can kinda sorta say “I like it.” If I had to choose fish or a petite filet mignon, would I pick fish? Not a chance but I am open to the idea of eating it and we don’t eat red meat very much at all.

Another thing to consider is that there is no income coming in to our house and there has not been any income coming in for almost a year. I’m not complaining, it’s the worst job market ever but we do eat scrambled eggs and toast once a week and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches once a week. You can’t blame me for that.

When we go shopping we buy chicken not steak, good food is for good news only and we haven’t had any of that lately. We keep saying that if any good news happens, we will go out to eat and celebrate. I’m not sure we believe in good news anymore.

Our condolence prize is a pizza pie once every two weeks or so. It’s not the end of the world. My husband is a good cook and when I try I am adequate cook as well. Lately, there hasn’t been time to cook since I am literally spending each day going to a different doctor trying to find out why I pass out and end up face down on the floor.

The medical factory that I go to has lined up every single test in the world. I understand why they do it and that is why I have cooperated pleasantly but it’s not as if I am home, watching Orange is the New Black and eating ice cream bon-bons.

Strawberry rhubarb compote

Strawberry rhubarb compote (Photo credit: Kitchen Wench)

So, while I appreciate your concern, please do not worry, (biological sister and twin) because it’s not as bad as it seems. On the stove now I am cooking a fruit compote with rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries and a few prunes in a slow simmer with Sugar In The Raw. I’m not even using fake sugar (yet.) I love this stuff and I love cooking it.

We had a huge green salad for dinner, steamed asparagus and half of a leftover lobster roll with cold cucumber yogurt dill soup. See?  Do you feel better? I do have good food habits but writing about them is not nearly as entertaining as the other stuff. Is it?

PS THANK YOU FOR CARING!

Read Comfort Food, Larry and Lola

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*”Bye, Bye Borders, Borders, Bye Bye”

Borders store closing

Image by scazon via Flickr

Closing all Borders stores is an out-and-out major disappointment. It stinks, big time. What now? Adios Barnes and Noble too? I’m not saying that I don’t love Amazon.com because I do, I like it for its convenience and low prices. Sigh, but really, you can’t sit at Amazon and drink a cup of coffee. You can’t leisurely and lovingly stroll down the aisles to see what the new hardcover books look like or how the new in paperback books are all lined up in a perfect row begging for hands to fondle them. It’s just not right and it’s sad.

Now, there is no where to go and stroll through the aisles, looking at book jackets, stopping to read the titles, gently touching my fingertips to the outline of the illustration. Borders was a great place to meet, it was in the perfect place for so many people from nearby medical offices, stores, office buildings and deli’s to meet.  Closing Borders is closing a network of people who like to linger, socialize and have a damn cup of coffee even it tasted like dirty dishwater. It was a place to sit and not ever feel rushed. You could linger among magazines and mochachinos. You could also meet like-minded people, give unsolicited advice about books, make friends, start a book club, read books to their springy, enthusiastic children.

So now, what do we do? Read our lifeless Kindles (I don’t use the one I ordered years ago) by ourselves, never touching a piece of fine, heavy, cream-colored paper? Part of  closing this particular business is not like saying good-bye to a furniture store or a nail salon, it’s saying good-bye to a way of life. A nice, peaceful way of life where people could talk, they could exchange ideas and suggest books for each other or lend coupons. It was a social place as well as a store. My children may never sit in a bookstore and linger over a heavenly array of different books, with different colorful covers and  eat snacks. They won’t meet other people or share a cup of coffee or talk to other people their age. They will be hunched over their iPhones and all they need, it seems, is a credit card and a computer. It’s a sad statement for our society.

*Sung to the tune of  “Bye, Bye, Baby, Baby Goodbye…” By the Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons

Technology's Impact on Families: Depends Who You Ask!

iPhone 4 Bumper + Universal Dock w/ DIY Adapter

According to my mother (my teenagers’ grandmother) you would think that society and civilization are quickly burning up with raging orange and red flames of fire because of two second text messages. That said, it is a new generation and technology obviously has changed interaction within families and in the general public.

In my generation we spent all our free time on the phone. I remember walking back and forth from the kitchen to the living room with the long, dirty, coiled, yellow stretchy phone cord to talk to my friends from school who I had just seen hours before. This was way before call-waiting too.

Then there was e-mail and even us parents could pretty much keep up with that as well as the older generation. But now? My children text obsessively on their multi-faceted phones and we have to force them to turn them off while we are eating (which sometimes they do and sometimes they pretend to do.) On a weekend away with the entire family our mother could not believe that the first thing her four grandchildren did was check their phones and Facebook. She was disgusted and distraught and my sister and I (and husbands) were used to it. Our mother took it as a personal affront.

Things change, people change, as parents we get used to things; we have no choice but it is helpful to set limits. The older generation think we have all lost our collective parental minds. In defense of my children they can keep up a great conversation at any time, they do well in school and we have adjusted. That’s what parenting is all about, you need to change with your children and with the times and set some boundaries. Is it easy? Not always. Will it make your children unable to have a reasonable conversation over a family dinner? No. Honestly, if I could figure out how to use one of those fancy phones I would own one myself. I have a simple, made for dummies phone and if I am lucky, I can actually call someone or pick up and scream “hello?” and hear a response. I consider that, for me, a success.

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Ah, Roommates

Utterly Alone

Image by Michelle Brea via Flickr

You mean UGH, ROOMMATES? Don’t you?

The one word you or your college student should fear when they get the information from their chosen school is “TRIPLE.” It’s what happened to me when I applied to college, many, many years before Naviance even existed. We applied by mail, we knew the admissions department’s response by the thickness or the thinness of the envelope. Things were different way back then…..as my daughter likes to say “when the dinosaur’s roamed.”

When I was admitted to college I was unfortunate to be assigned to a triple, 3 girls, one small room. Another phrase for that would be “hell on earth.” I was the big city girl, the two others were from teeny, tiny towns, population probably at the 400 mark. I was doomed right from the start.

I was waiting to be let into the dorm, I was the first one in line. It didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t have my choice of beds, why wouldn’t I? I waited, for the official starting time. Rejoice! I could pick the bed I wanted. I went to my assigned room and once there saw someone’s coat and belongings lounging on the single bed. Apparently not every one was as rule conscious as I was. Apparently, since I was the first in line, one of the girls, apparently, had sneaked into the dorm the night before and laid claim to the single bed. I was absolutely stunned, confused and thought that was unfair;  I was also very naive.

The two roommates bonded in an instant, two small town girls with nothing on their minds but boys, boys and well, boys. I found myself sitting outside in the hallway a lot when the two girls were….ummm…entertaining, their individual boyfriends of the week, on their separate beds, together. The hallway floor and my soft blue and white one piece, zip-up robe became friends. The RA (Resident Assistant) couldn’t really do too much about it although she did offer me a seat on her bed once in a rare while.

As soon as I could, I asked for a transfer but it took months. Finally, I had a new roommate that was great but then, after a while, she left. The rest of the short semester I had a single. I loved it, every single, second of it. Call me antisocial, it felt like heaven.

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thank you Ghandi

Apple Store San Francisco - Genius Bar

so i went to the snooty mall today, all anxious and not knowing where to go. my sense of direction is what legends are made of. as in i have no sense of direction, never did, never will. and jill was not working. yes, jill our gps helper person.  of course, when I have to go to the complicated mall jill just shows me an hour-glass going up, going down. i had no idea where i was going. had to stop a car in the next lane  and scream to ask for directions. it was all so seventies.  there was bumper to bumper traffic, what should have been a 35 minute drive took me over an hour and ten minutes. I was all jittery and hot and flushed since I didn’t want to be late for my appointment and nordstrom’s doors were locked tight and it was like totally dark in there so we were all milling around in the parking lot waiting to see if someone would unlock the doors because eventually they had to. right? i mean it is nordstroms….

i had a 10:15 appointment with the genius ( i kid you not, that’s what they are called) at apple and I was all running over shlepping my computer because the dvd player which I tried at home at least 12 times, was all of a sudden working. surreal, i know, totally  really surreal, like going to the doctor with a complaint and then as soon as she walks in the room, it’s gone. cured. just like my computer when he, the genius, put the Ghandi dvd in it that had scratches and i swear that Ghandi himself healed the computer’s dvd. no seriously, Ghandi himself fixed my computer and saved me about 200 dollars.

while my computer  was given a free, yes free, new keyboard, i walked around the pretentious mall and wanted to get an iced tea. there was a specially tea store and I swear on my life, they wanted me to pay $4.95 for a small herbal iced tea and i was so “i’m so out of here” because starbucks is even cheaper than this and i have a gift card. i walked around the mall slowly until two people (two different people) accosted me, shoving samples in my hand. and I was all fine and happy that i got free samples until I looked at them and saw they were samples for people with deep, severe, repeat deep, severe wrinkles. now i had two wrinkle cream serums and I thought to myself, omg, I must look so old and horrible and I didn’t even have an iced tea to drink to keep myself hydrated.

i’m in all sorts of pain and my back is all sore especially the lower middle back and i am tempted to cry but am trying to hold myself together because yesterday was a horrible day and everyone was in a miserable mood. today was a little bit better because it must be that Ghandi sent some more healing powers although it seems the genius who worked on my computer did something wrong and now my computer sounds like an airplane on a runway about to take off. but supposedly the dvd player is still fixed, just not sure if i can hear it now.

i met a really interesting friend of my mother’s who is an artist and somehow she inspired me in some sort of creative, optimistic way.  i am now thinking about taking an art class even though i know i have zero talent but i’m talking myself into trying again. i failed clay once and i’ve never forgotten it but i was in my twenties then and at 54 i really don’t care all that much. so i need a new hobby and now i have inspiration and a sunnier disposition to think about it. so i will plug away and maybe get involved in something new or maybe i won’t and will be the lazy slob i always have been and dive under piles of comforters and dream of spring.

“The Waltons” (Really Not Fun To Be Them)

“The Waltons” television show was a show during the seventies that I watched religiously.  I loved  the interaction of three generations living in the same house in the old days, eating meals together, without heat, without electricity, without modern day appliances and without complaint. Not so for my family.  Two weeks ago, the county that I live in came head to head with a blizzard whose strength was overwhelming. Nobody thought it would be that bad…little did we know. We got about 21 inches of snow, heavy, wet snow and it snowed for days. Sometime during that first evening our lights started to flicker. Uh oh. They flickered again. This time we were feeling uneasy and doubtful. Sure enough, two minutes later, the lights dimmed, the electricity halted, the tv turned itself off and we were in our little house, feeling the heat escape rapidly, minute by minute.

I must say we were all calm. We had put our flashlights and candles together at the first flicker,  thinking that we probably wouldn’t need them. The snow kept coming and the trees were getting very heavy with new wet snow. Some heavy branches were already kneeling down in the snow from weight.  When we started to hear trees and branches breaking and hitting the window, we were justifiably scared. It sounded like something you could only imagine in the movies; but it was very real and terrifying. Whip, Crash, Shudder, the branches sounded like breaking glass as they threw themselves at our house.

We managed to get through the four (really long) days and nights with firewood, food and an afternoon with my mom. My daughter had a sleep-over for one night, which she practically had to beg for, and my son and husband who volunteer for the ambulance corp, were able to spend time in their quarters too. Even family members of the ambulance corp were invited. Luckily we had cell phones that were able to be re-charged.  Interestingly, the absence of noise, brightness, computer screens, X-box was almost fun. Almost. I did miss listening to music but I read by the fire in the daytime and at night we huddled under our covers, blankets, sleeping bags, down jackets and pajamas. When it was just my dog and I home one afternoon, we lay against each other on the light green, navy, red squares of the carpet in front of the fire and cuddled; a sweet memory I am not apt to forget.

Our neighbors moved into their sister’s house, five minutes away in another town. All 4 grabbed their sleeping bags and left for the entire 4 days. I envied them at first,  immensely. There was no question of where they would go, it was a given.  In the beginning we were annoyed that no-one had invited US into their homes for the night, not to mention the duration of the storm. When I complained to my sister and mother we heard things like “well you should know you are welcome” and that angered us more. I was brought up NOT to ask but to wait for an invitation, especially knowing my mother and sister’s love (NOT) of overnight guests.

Our family stayed together, we froze together, talked together. Not a lot of that happens when school is in session and when everyone is so busy. There was no X Box, no computers, no music, no television. We sat, in front of the fire and talked, hearing the twigs crackle, the orange flames enveloping the logs, the night silent and still with utter darkness. The only light we had was the brilliance of the full moon in the sky that shined on us late at night.

When we awoke we saw that a large tree had crashed down through our fence and it lay suspiciously close to where my daughter’s room was. Two other trees were down and hundreds upon hundreds of branches. We were lucky, noone got hurt. We may have been cold, and cranky, we complained about the cold constantly and couldn’t wait for the electricity to come back up. When it did, 4 days later we were ecstatic. The heat turned on, the refrigerator buzzed, random lights went on, the music from radios blared and the silence ended. Even though we were freezing cold and we had no options,  I think we won, staying here together. My children may yell and beg to differ but for me but I have to say, in retrospect, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Good night, John Boy.