Friday, June 29, 2012

The Catsup Bottle

(A poem for those of us who have stared at a Heinz 57 bottle and have kept tapping the 57 imprint to get some to come out.  Does that really work???)

by Ogden Nash

First a little
Then a lottle.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Warning Signs You Might Be An Extreme Couponer...

By now most people have heard about some of the wild shopping/saving techniques of the self-proclaimed 'extreme couponers'.  You may have watched the may have even been on the show.  Although I do consider myself an extreme cheapie when it comes to grocery shopping, I don't think I've quite stepped over into the abyss.  Here's my method of determining one's level of couponing extremity.  If more than three of these warning signs describes TLC immediately to set up a shoot for their show!

1. You call your pantry a stockpile.

2. You insure your stockpile.

3. You call your grocery shopping trip a 'haul'.

4. You've had to install more than one shelving unit to store your stockpile.

5.  Your bedroom (under the bed, in the closet...anywhere) has either toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo or cereal stored in it.

6. You consider leaving the store with Ramen noodles, flavored water, toothpaste and toothbrushes a great shopping trip.

7. You require assistance to your car and you DON'T have your kids along  or move about via wheelchair.

8.  You know what a line limit is, and you know your store's.

9. You plan on more than two transactions during your checkout--and they're all for you.

10. It takes you more than 10 minutes to check out, even with a competent employee scanning.

11. Your kids are excited when the Sunday paper comes and they keep ads in their rooms.  (Guilty on this one!  Like I said...more than three!)

12. Your kids know what stores in the area double coupons.

13.  You've invested in a paper cutter for reasons other than scrapbooking.

14. You bring either a binder or file box to the grocery store.

15.  You've  been in a dumpster or recycling bin looking for coupons.

16. You measure your toilet paper, not by rolls, but by height.

I'm sure there are many other signs, but these are the few I've picked up from the show.  Now, fess up!  Have any of you readers made it to extremity?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Feeling Weird Today?

Here's what Dr. Seuss has to say about it...

"We are all a little weird, and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."

I have to say I've never thought of love in that way before!

To My Hubby:  I'm so glad we're both weird in the same sort of way!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hurricane Allison, Birthday Girl...

I can't believe how quickly time flies by!  She was such a sweet, mellow little baby.  A million messes later, we still adore her!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nine Years Ago Today...

was the happiest day of my life.  No, I'm not just that into Flag Day, although it's a worthy enough holiday.  On this day in 2003, my hubby and I tied the knot.  Ever since then, we've been together making our dreams come true.

We've had some ups and downs through our years together, but one thing has remained constant.  Our relationship has always been a joy, a safe harbor, a delight.  We've worked together to be closer all the time,  we've (so far) survived the initial years of parenting, we've laughed at the same weird things for years now.  You've put up with my lame puns and corny humor; I've learned to appreciate the joys of college football.  This give and take of marriage is wonderful stuff...a safe place to learn, grow and love.  A sense of 'home' personified into a rewarding relationship.

This past year in particular has shown me that no matter what difficulties arise, we'll be okay.  We can stick together and brave whatever storms arise (including surgeries!).  I'm so excited to see what is coming up for us both.

Thank you, Andy for being the man I love!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Real Story of Cincinnati Chili, Part 4

Let's brush up, shall we?  Here is the link for Part 3.

We last left Hannistina rushing home from the BonMuffin Bakery...rushing from the short, bald man who sighed and dreamed over her next culinary disaster.  Poor Dudley!

So anyway...

Hannistina hurried from the cold, brisk evening into the warm kitchen.  She wrinkled her delicate nose.  The smoke still hung in the air and tainted the ambiance with the smell of imperfection.  She quickly set the table with the succulent offerings and whisked away her canvas tote into the back bedroom.  She was not a moment too soon, because there came a knock from the front door that sent shivers down her spine.  Hannistina hurried to the front door, pausing only long enough to glance in the hall mirror and see her cheeks glowing and eyes sparkling from the excitement.  She grandly opened the front door with a flourish, but the sight at her front door took her breath away.

Hannistina smiled slightly and asked, "May I help you?".

"Yes.  I am Georgio Ghiradelli.  I am looking for Miss Hannistina Hershey.  Is she here?".

"Please come in.  I've been so looking forward to meeting you."  Hannistina recovered from her shock as she stepped back and motioned him in.  She realized that he was standing in his coat and hat and remembered to offer to take them.  Her eyes widened as he took off his hat.  His hair was even redder than it had first appeared when she had first laid eyes on him!

Georgio laughed a loud, abrasive laugh.  "Most people expect me to be the tall, dark and handsome man that my name implies.  I understand the shock.  I hope the disappointment doesn't ruin our evening!".

Hannistina flushed with shame.  How could this presumptuous man read her mind?

"I am so sorry, " she replied.  "I did not mean to offend you.  I just..."

He interrupted, "Your house is filled with a mixture of smells."  His face scrunched as he worked to sort the smells in his mind.  Without any prompting from Hannistina, Georgio followed the mixture of scents wafting from the kitchen.

"I have a nose that knows food smells, some even call me the 'savant of scents', but this is a combination that I have never before encountered."  Hannistina followed him meekly, knowing that she did not want to explain.  Maybe he would let it go.  Before she entered the kitchen, her heart was struck with horror as her eyes went from the beautiful tablescape to her stove top.  She spied the large pot of chili on the back burner, still simmering!

"Ah, what have we here? A ragout, of course.  You must taste mine...".  His voice died away as he discovered the true contents of the pot.  "Oh, yes, of course.  You Americans rank supreme in the making of meals such as this.  One pot wonder, no doubt.  The only thing I wonder is how a person of taste can enjoy something so very homespun."  He said the word 'homespun' as if it were a curse word.

Irrational though it may be, Hannistina instantly began defending her chocolate-laced chili, which she had been more than willing to wish out of existence the moment before.  Hot words spewed back and forth, hers praising the simple cook with soul, his praising the extraordinary ingredient.    The result was this mutual ultimatum...each would try the other's fare and critique it in light of their extremely high culinary principles.  Hannistina retrieved a fresh spoon from her immaculate silverware drawer and scooped a sample of the fateful chili, making sure to give the spoon a dramatic swish to highlight her 'soulful' creation.

Georgio tasted, tasted again, then rested his features into an arrogant smirk. (the beast!)

I am fairly certain these were in my dream last night...along with fried chicken.  Don't's a pregnancy thing.

"You call that a masterpiece?  You have no idea to what heights a truly fresh, high quality product can carry you..."  His speech lasted for eight more minutes, despite her ferocious staring.  At last, he daintily put on his white silk gloves, retrieved his refrigerated briefcase and began to open.  Hannistina caught a glimpse of her heart's true desire...truffles, truffles, and more truffles.  Each truffle was enclosed in its own temperature-controlled plastic compartment inside the briefcase, so as to be absolutely perfect for the lucky taster.  A small hiss of air escaped as Georgio opened the case of a dark chocolate confection.  With white-gloved hand he cautiously picked up the tender morsel, fanning it lightly with his spare hand.  The aroma of the chocolate brought goosebumps all over her Hershey's kiss-gorged body.  She took a bite.  Somewhere in the distance she was sure she heard strings crooning out their romantic melody.  She closed her eyes...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grandkids Are Worth It!

    Here's another poem by my Mom!                     
When families stayed close, get-togethers were no trouble,
But modern times force grandma to be a new kind of noble.
Life in the fast lane requires grandfolks to be mobile.
But grandkids are worth it!

If you haven't seen grandkids for many months,
If they're homesick for you, don't be a dunce.
Hop in your car, no matter the distance.
Natalie is worth it!

Don't sit around and whine for them, or pout.
It's just ridiculous for you to go without.
Once you're there, they'll meet you at the door with a shout!
And Jamie is worth it!

If the place where they live is very, very far,
Be thankful that someone invented the car.
Traveling, for grandparents, is now only par.
But Katherine is worth it!

If it's been so long you are going berserk,
Be grateful you no longer have to work.
Get a move on - a grandchild-fix is a wonderful perk.
Cara is certainly worth it!

If you miss your family even a little tad,
Don't mope around, increasingly sad.
Be glad these days it's not bad to gad.
And Scott is definitely worth it!

Your kids far away don't mean to deprive.
They figure you're up to a day or two drive.
You don't have to beg, or wheedle, or connive.
Because Andrew is worth it!

If you're feeling as bored as a stationary plant
And you MUST have a visit, and they obviously can't,
Hallelujah that modern grandparents gallivant!
You know Allison is worth it!

If your husband tells you you are losing your grip,
I'd advise a long journey at double-time clip.
What you need is a grandbaby-withdrawal trip.
Titus is totally worth it!

If you're suddenly informed there will be a new baby,
You'd better get moving, wherever they may be.
Go see 'em right now! And I don't mean maybe!
Baby Reeder is worth it!

If they've all gone so fast, you don't know which way they went,
And it won't be enough if a picture fax is sent,
Just don't drive so fast you get into an accident!
Jozef is worth it!

Lonesomeness is something you needn't reconcile.
Even though the trip may take quite a while,
They'll be cheering for you as you fly mile by mile.
Amos is worth it!

If you find yourself at some point nestless,
And your days and hours are exceedingly restless,
Drive on till their house just over the crest is.
Hannah is worth it!

If your days drag on in silent desperation,
Think of the kids - there's no better motivation.
Get packed and press on to your eastern destination.
Nicole is worth it!

If you just have to hug and squeeze your little pixie,
Your children won't have the heart to say nix, see?
A visit is great medicine, and I ain't whistlin' Dixie!
Scott is worth it!

If the pictures galore are just not enough comfort,
And you or they need a childlike cavort,
Get your husband and fly, walk, drive, or transport.
Michelle is worth it!

If your spouse is becoming morbidly terse,
Or you're thinking the quietness can't possibly be worse,
Then the miles between kids and you, you must quickly traverse.
Sarah is worth it!

Even if they're busy, it's all right to inquisite.
It's not as if you're asking the moon, is it?
Please, please, please may we come for a visit?
And Andy is worth it!

Wherever your kids and grandkids call home,
Whether you must drive to Tallahassee or Nome,
Grab your toothbrush, coffee cup, and comb,
And take off! Grannies today have to roam!
And family is worth it!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Real Story of Cincinnati Chili, Part 3

To catch up on the first two installments, click here:  Part 1    Part 2

If one installment is all you can stand at a time, read on...  Hannistina was just screaming to herself....

"My lovely dinner is ruined! Oh what shall I do?".

The answer was obvious.  This was not the first time she had been in this sort of dilemma.  Her salvation was just across the street at Dudley BonMuffin's Bakery and Catering.  She squelched a pang of guilt as she stuffed three pieces of Great Grandmother's heirloom Le Creuset bakeware into a large canvas tote bag.  "Just once more and never again." she firmly resolved.

A small bell jingled as Hannistina entered the bakery.  Dudley BonMuffin looked up as he drizzled chocolate sauce over a fresh batch of profiteroles.  His pulse quickened.

"Can I help you Miss Hershey?"  His greeting was anything but rote.  There was a tender eagerness that washed over her unnoticed.  If she had taken a careful look at Dudley, she might have noticed what tender, sensitive eyes were set in his plump, bald head.    But she was always in a hurry.  Always in a predicament.  This fact did not bother Dudley.  She was his damsel in distress.  Fixing her culinary nightmares was the stuff of his finest dreams.

Yes, that is Dudley there on the left, sitting forlornly.  <<sigh>>

She chose zucchini vichyssoise to start.  Dudley ladled it into one of the dishes.  Next the entree: roast duck with haricots verts.  He placed the duck quite carefully so no one would ever guess that it had not been there to start with, then he arranged the haricots verts all around.  A perfect light dinner so there would be plenty of room for dessert.  Dudley's specialty was tiramisu.  He offered Hannistina a full chilled bowl from the walk-in.  Of course she could take his glass dish home.  Of course she could use some of his insulated carrying cases for the hot dishes.

"Miss Hershey, I would be honored to escort you home."

"That's not necessary, but thank you, Mr. BonMuffin." she said cooly.  She glanced down at him briefly and noticed only that he was nearly a foot shorter than herself.  Alas!  She noticed nothing of his noble heart!  The bell jingled and all too soon she was gone.  Dudley heaved a heavy sigh.

To be continued...try not to bite your fingernails clear off in your anticipation!