Cookies? Check. Ice Cream? Check. Impulse Items? Check.

WELCOME HOME

 

I haven’t had the energy to go grocery shopping (something I hold near and dear to my heart) since early Spring. I’ve had all my illnesses flare up at the same time: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Syncopy, Fainting and Crashing, No Energy etc. For me? A tragic loss. For the supermarket? A major deficit. I’m not joking (as most of my readers will tell you) I LOVE FOOD, good food, strange food, NEW food and products. I will always look at every item on the shelves to see if I can spot any new items. I always can and I always buy them. I have no idea what the photo below is showing but that is a product I would definitely buy and eat, wouldn’t you?

Fastelavnsboller

Fastelavnsboller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband came along for this trip just to see if I could physically make it but once we were in the store I shot out with my carriage grinning wickedly. I don’t need a list nor do I want one. This is my home. I look at every item in every aisle and I know what I need, want or have to have for that week.

I knew it was a mistake NOT to go into marketing after I graduated college. I am the one to pick out the next new product, the new sensation, the new flavor, I’m a marketer’s taste test dream. Is it too late? I am at my prime, have your people twitter my people.

My mom says I have been like this since I’ve been five years old. I haven’t outgrown it and am proud to say my children, have inherited this hobby too. Even now, in their twenties, they love to go shopping with their mom.

For a while when I was younger (no, I’m not kidding) my then boyfriend, now husband, watched a show called Supermarket Sweep. We watched the original show every single night when it first came on. We toyed with the idea of getting married in a supermarket but somehow never went through with it; I regret that.

Stew Leonard’s is a great place to shop and fun too. I bet they would help if we could talk my (un) romantic husband into the idea. Right near the mooing cow! Don’t get me too excited, please.

Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard’s (Photo credit: JeepersMedia)

Anyway, I bought: (New Product) lemon ice cream with mashed lemon cookies inside,huge, soft oatmeal raisin cookies (new brand) some new kind of skinny-ish popcorn for when you need something slightly salty but not fatty while you are watching a movie at home.

 

Also, I am now taking a new medication for my fainting spells, the fancy name is Syncopy also: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Narrow Angled Glaucoma, Eppiglottitis, IBS,  and others. I now have to have breakfast. I bought apple, blueberry and strawberry breakfast bars. This is the first time in all my life that I have eaten breakfast, my mom will be so pleased.

Usually, it’s just that steaming cup of coffee in my white Starbucks mug with half and half and one sweetener. I look forward to the smell and the first sip every single morning.

After that, I just go on with the boring details of my day. If I don’t feel the need to nap, I feel it is a personal triumph. Then our dinner conversation begins around 4pm. What shall we cook?  It doesn’t really matter, last night we had hot dogs, baked beans, and broccoli, the night before pizza but they are all precursors to the most important part of any meal: dessert. The lemon ice cream dessert:

Lemon

I dipped my spoon, my little spoon, into that new lemon ice cream, slowly, tasted a small bite, let it linger on my tongue and swallowed slowly, making sure I had a cookie bite with the ice cream. I was hoping for a dance sensation in my mouth or as my husband and I used to say “I hope it dances.” Did it? Oh yes. After half a cup of delicious lemon ice cream with bits of lemon cookies, I have found a new love. It’s so nice to be in love again, I feel tingly all over.

 

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Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore: Tulips

English: Cultivations of Tulips in South Holla...

English: Cultivations of Tulips in South Holland Italiano: Coltivazioni di tulipani dell’Olanda Meridionale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Today you have been granted the opportunity to go anywhere, do anything, meet anyone, travel in time…whatever you wish, it is yours. Now, there’s a catch. (Isn’t there always?) When you wake up tomorrow… you will not remember any of it.Would you still choose to take the offer? Can you drink in the moment and enjoy it knowing you will have no recollection of what happened? Think about it?  How important is a memory?”

Part 1:

I would hop on a first class plane, sipping orange juice and amaretto on my flight to Holland. I stretch my legs and marvel at how wonderfully everybody treats you when you are sitting in first class. I have a menu in my hands and I need to pick what I want to eat for dinner. I decide on the Surf and Turf for my entrée, happy not to have to pick just one item. After the flight attendants take everyone’s order they pass around trays of appetizers: mini lobster rolls, Brie or St. André cheese and crackers, pulled pork sliders and chicken salad with chutney in phyllo dough. Loving food, as I do, my tastebuds are dancing with joy loving the different sensations in my mouth.

I sleep for three hours and by that time the pilot announces our descent which brings me right into the airport/and waiting limousine to take me to the Tulip Festival, now in full bloom. I bask in the beautiful scenery, the rows of color: red, pink, rose, orange, green that stand in line like tiny soldiers. I drink up the sight and as fresh, cold bubbly spring water quenches my thirst, these rows of tulips fill another need. The primordial need to see beauty .  Rows upon rows of beautiful tulips, in every color, so vast that you think it is a prop from a movie. Yes, it is real and the gigantic proportions make me feel like an insect crawling on the freshly mowed grass. The scent of the grass tickles my nose and I laugh.

I am here, at the tulip festival, a place I have always wanted to see. I am giddy, my cheeks are pink from the excitement, like the color of one of the rows of tulips, my body trembles. I sit down on one of the many benches they provide for tourists, wooden slated benches, simple, nothing overdone, they mustn’t out-do the beauty ahead of them. Looking around me there are other people, each one, staring at the beautiful scene in front of us. There is no litter here, just rows of flowers, tilting their heads to the sun. Some tourists try to take photographs but you can’t capture an entire field in a photograph. Or the smell. The smell in the air is clean, fresh, with a hint of sweetness, freshly moved grass, and sunshine.

There is nothing else I want to do but sit back, stare and breathe, long, take long, deep breaths.  I do not want to sit on a bus like some of the other people, seeing churches  and old houses and attractions. I am where I want to be, in the garden of beauty, nature’s beauty and I, a quiet admirer, overwhelmed by this magnificent sight. There is nothing else I want to do but stare and take in this picture of magnificence and beauty.  I am where I want to be, in the garden of beauty, nature’s beauty and I a shy yet ardent admirer.

****

Part 2:

It’s early morning in our house. My husband, Steve, has already left to go to work by train. He has left me coffee to drink in the machine and I greedily reach for it and drink it in two or three big gulps. I go about my chores as usual. I wake up the children who need to get ready for school. Fortunately, I always make their lunches the night before so I don’t have to do it in the morning. I don’t tell the kids but I hate mornings too. I pour cereal and milk, my two kids, 8 and 11 are loud but we laugh a lot. I rush them outside to wait for the bus, get them on the bus and I wave as the bus leaves. They still wave back to me, I know it won’t last very long, they are growing up so quickly.

I go to the grocery store with my list, a long one for four people in the family. I start checking off items on the list. Milk, bread, chicken, cheese, steak on sale, and about ten other items.  After I am done I wait on a very long line, reading a trashy Hollywood magazine that I refuse to buy but actually love to read. Finally, it is about to be my turn, I start unloading my cart. I add a pack of sugarless gum because I can’t resist those items at the end  of the aisle where their placement seems to stare at you, practically begging you to buy them.  My husband calls me”The ultimate consumer ” because I love to see new products at the store.  At the very last second, I reach over the counter to stretch and grab just one more thing. It’s something I never do, but I didn’t even think about this, it was impromptu. I reached over the counter and I bought tulips.  Pink tulips.

Pink Tulip 2 of 3

Pink Tulip 2 of 3 (Photo credit: krispijn.scholte)

“(S)He’s Leaving Home, Bye, Bye”*

Kleinkind beim Laufen

Image via Wikipedia

(April, 2011)

My son, my first-born made his final decision for college in September. He’s excited, thrilled and after celebrating with him, I slipped away and am now holed up in my bedroom, sobbing. It’s not like I haven’t been prepared for this, it’s not like he’s still six it just feels like he was six a moment ago. He’s my boy and as much as I know how happy he is with his choice, the deposit put me over the edge. I fell apart; it was now official.

I know I am being ridiculous, this is not sudden bad news but it feels like a total shock to me. I am weeping and I can’t explain it except to say that while I am so happy for him, I feel vastly sorry for myself. This is my son, my first child, the kid I called “buddy” so many times my husband was worried people would think that was his name. This boy is a delight, a warm, compassionate, smart young man. At the age of 2 1/2 he stunned a grown-up friend when he used the word “compromise.” When the friend doubted him and asked him if he knew what that meant, he explained it beautifully: “If I want to go to bed at 9 and my daddy says 7 then we compromise in the middle.” You can’t argue with facts.

(June, 2011)

I lost it today, in the supermarket between the pizza rolls and the pizza bagels, two past favorite foods of my son. The tears welled up in my eyes and I started crying, quietly, discreetly but that was just strength of will on my part. I could have sobbed but I held myself together. My son is graduating High School in a week and a half. The day after, he leaves to go to his old camp to be a counselor. I never liked being left, that’s for sure. My parents left me alone a lot when I was younger so they could travel together in Europe. I would cry hysterically but once the yellow taxi disappeared from the view from my sixth floor kitchen window, I was alright.

I feel, like many other mothers and fathers feel that he is leaving me and us, the family. I know I am overreacting but this is how I feel. It’s a great thing, a joyful thing but the good feeling hasn’t caught up to my heart yet. In time, I’m sure it will. I just have to get used to it but it is a drawn out process.  I like to think that when he actually leaves FOR college I will be better, but who am I trying to kid?  I’ve never been great at change and this is a big one.

It doesn’t help that my daughter, only one grade year apart from her brother, will be a Senior in High School come September. This little girl of mine is smart, independent and always knew what she wanted from the minute she was born. She planned her birthday party themes four years in advance and stuck to each one of them. She is a fierce animal lover, and vegetarian, she is very smart, extraordinarily beautiful and has an incredible quick wit. This girl, wrapped her arms around my neck for years and wouldn’t let go. No one else could soothe her except me. Soon, she too, will be running out the door, this independent free spirit that I fervently admire.

In our hearts, our secret fear is that our sons and daughters will forget us. So, I am saying this now. Please remember we love you so much. Please don’t forget us or stop loving us. Keep in touch and the hug you give when you visit, try to make it last a second or two longer so that we can remember just how good it feels.

*Courtesy of The Beatles song

Carrot Cake Was NOT Just An 80’s Thing, Was It?

Carrot Cake

Image by Pen Waggener via Flickr

Hubby and I went out to dinner last week and as we looked over the dessert menu (after all, isn’t that the reason I go out to dinner?) I realized that certain important items were missing from the menu. There was no carrot cake, cheesecake. vanilla cake. Or any cake except a dense, all dark-chocolate cake. No pies. Just passion fruit crème brûlée,  a brownie with vanilla ice cream, a root beer float (really? that is a beverage to me) and fresh fruit in season, (LOL) and Nutella in pastry shells. I have a big jar of Nutella at home in the closet and with a teaspoon (or 5 teaspoons) to eat right out of the jar it costs a lot less than the eight dollars THEY were charging. I had just baked brownies for my kids and husband so that was out of the question, vanilla ice cream was safely nestled in the freezer. I had been dreaming of carrot cake, cheese cake, vanilla layer cake, coconut cake but there was nothing.

Carrot cake, to me, is perfection. It is a blend of sweet, salty, crunch and creamy. I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese frosting but hey, its frosting and it is vanilla-ish so that works for me. My husband in his loud, convincing voice said: “carrot cake was just an 80’s s thing.”  Excuse me? I don’t think so but he kept telling me that we don’t see it on dessert menus very often and I just assume that we’ve been going to the wrong restaurants.

Was carrot cake a cult thing? Like a flash in the (cake) pan? Do I need to find my leg warmers and leotards and watch “Flashdance” on the, (gulp) oldies station? Look at denim, that’s been around a long time and I doubt that’s going anywhere. I don’t want to think that carrot cake is not available anymore and please don’t suggest I make it because I don’t have the patience or the talent for all the chopping, mixing and whatever 52 steps it takes to create it.  Also, it’s no use saying “don’t order dessert” because that is totally irrational.

If I can’t find it in a restaurant I really don’t want to buy a whole cake. I don’t want a whole cake of any flavor in my house, from a bakery or Costco or the frozen section of my local supermarket. If there is (non-chocolate) cake, I will eat it.   Please, don’t let me buy an entire carrot cake or cheesecake because I am the only one in the family that will eat it and I have given up on portion control or rather portion control has given up on me.  I will have to scour every bakery and grocery store to find a place that serves these delicacies by the slice. I’m just not sure if I can be trusted to only buying one.

Rx: Ginger Snaps

ginger snaps

Image by sweetbeetandgreenbean via Flickr

I have self- prescribed a new medication that treats many of my annoying illnesses, my arthritic hands, my painful legs and general muscle and joint pain. You can find this medication at some drug stores and every grocery store. You don’t need a triplicate, you don’t need a physician’s signature and no one will think you are crazy if you fill this prescription; they will not look at you crossly if you double the amount. You don’t need to plead with your Doctor or Specialist and you don’t have to see their withering looks when they deny you the medication.

My new drug of choice, are ginger snaps. At first, I bought them on a whim. Then, seeing the improvement in my mood, I bought them again and I think they help more than the other six or seven medications that I am on for Fibromyaligia, or Hashitmoto’s Thyroiditis. Nothing else seems to work so I may as well get enjoyment out of this prescription.

I don’t have to eat ginger snaps on a full stomach or two hours before eating: there are no instructions. I eat them when I want. More importantly, I don’t resent this drug for not working as much as I do all the others. They are not covered under my insurance plan but that is alright, they are reasonably priced and always available. They are my treat after long days trying to adjust to a new, busier schedule. My husband is working full-time now while I am still feeling my same old, tired, achy self.  I have tried the generic brand instead of the name brand and I am completely satisfied with either choice.

The first bite, those of you with (TMJ) might think about putting the cookies in the microwave, for a while before digesting.  Nuke to taste. Or, just suck on them for longer joy and satisfaction. You can also dunk them in a lovely cup of Earl Grey tea, milk or coffee. There is no real overdose danger except your pants might feel a bit snug if you eat the entire box in one night but that side effect has never been reported (and who would report it??)

It stands to reason that this particular drug, unlike Oreos, Milanos, Twinkies, or Chocolate Teddy Grahams, is a guilt-free treat. My point is, I feel like they are entirely medicinal. My stomach feels soothed, my mouth has something to crunch on that is not  boring old celery and I get many different taste sensations in one bite. The first bite fills you with a very hard crunch, be wary of any loose teeth you may have. The “ginger-esque”  burn comes at the end: during and after your last swallow. The only problem I see with this medicinal treat is that they are highly addictive so make sure you have a box or two extra, hiding in your pantry or medicine cabinet.

I pretend/know they are healthy and I don’t even look at the calories, fat grams or carbohydrates. Here is my theory:  if they are not sweet, they are definitely good for you. If anyone else has down the same medical research on this drug or any other, I’d love to hear about it.