Thursday, February 21, 2019

Pancakes

If Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day, then Thursday is pancake day.

Last year, I visited my sisters in Illinois and my next door neighbor watched over hubby, who was unable to drive. She ran errands, baked pound cake for him and on Thursdays brought him pancakes from the Village Inn.

Thus was pancake Thursday instituted.  Every Thursday I find myself at the counter getting take-out pancakes for my now-pampered husband. Why don't I just make them?

Obviously, you are not familiar with my cooking. Spaghetti and dropped (soft-boiled) eggs are my two specialties – except for those occasions when I undercook or overcook both.

My grandmother was a cook at the local grade school and could make everything. Ah, the fried chicken, cherry cobbler, and Christmas sugar cookies that I remember. During one diet, I counted up the calories in her Sunday dinner and they exceeded my limit for the week.

My mother was notable for making cakes ... not the fancy kind, but the wonderfully chocolate kind in an oblong baking pan. She would take one every Sunday to go with Gram's dinner.

I remember one Sunday when it was smashed in the center. Getting five girls – my sisters and me – into the car at the same time was a challenge. She had placed the cake pan on the front seat of the car. And then, in a hurry, she had thrown her purse into the car.

You can imagine – direct hit. Luckily, there was a kitchen towel over the cake. Neither purse nor taste of the cake was severely damaged.

One time I learned to make lasagna from scratch. Well, I bought the noodles and sauce – as close to scratch as I get. In my defense, I did assemble it all in the pan!

We had relatives visiting  and the church was having a "hunger dinner" for the youth group. You know the kind, where those who draw the "poor" straw have bread and water; while the "rich" get to eat real food.

I made two pans of lasagna, one for the church and one for us. Hubby dropped off the finished church lasagna while we girls had a glass of wine or two. Then everyone sat down to dinner.

The girls were having a great time chatting and sipping, until we noticed both the guys were loading up on bread and moving the untouched lasagna around on their plates. Yep, last time I would ever make lasagna.

Still don't understand what made it so totally inedible. And those "rich" kids at the church dinner probably wished they had drawn the "poor" straw.

Never did go back to church to claim that baking dish. Not mine!

My hubby always says the best thing I make is "reservations".

I haven't given up all hope. Now that I've retired, was thinking about trying a cooking class. But then, I have my hubby so well-trained, it would be a crime to deprive him of the pleasures of take-out.

He anticipates the weekly spaghetti and pancake nights.

 And pizza ... that's Friday nights.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

What day is this ...?

Today is Tuesday, Feb. 19 ... which I know because I looked at my computer screen and then double-checked my desk calendar. Can't be too careful.

It's also the second month since I retired after 40+ years from the newspaper / publishing / internet development industries. But am still spending most of my time on the computer, trying to get my website up-to-date.

That story about the painter's house being the only one on the block that needs to be painted ... too true. The last time I touched my website was some 10+ years ago. We had a family reunion in 2010 and I posted info for the family.  And it is 2019 already. Time does fly.

Updating a website is a time-consuming process, since I have to touch every page. And they are all loaded with things that need to be changed ... names, addresses, statuses .. and code that could be more streamlined.

First up was finally replacing pictures of my sons' old girlfriends with their current fiances and brides. These poor spouses have had to live with their predecessors on the site for the past ten years.

My sons are lucky they don't have frying pans attached to their heads.

There is also the matter of what to keep public and what to password-control. And all those checks to make sure it really is guarded by a password.

My husband has been trying to sell his 1986 El Camino – a show car – on the website. Unfortunately, the interested buyers so far have been men wanting to use the car to pick up lumber at Lowes and drive to the grocery store.

Uh-uh. They are quickly shown to the (garage) door.

This is a show car, one to be cherished and babied. Not sure, but it might even be more valuable than the wife. Seems that way some days.

Our site was also used for the company business when we lived in Massachusetts. That was shut down long ago, when we moved to Arizona. So, will finally retire that section of the website ... just not sure what to replace it with.

We have travel sagas, family photo albums, reunion calendars and pictures. It's slow-going, much like pulling out a picture album. You get caught up in looking at all the pictures and the captions.

Plus can't get much done in one day – what with staying up late, sleeping in each morning and surfing the net for the day's news. Then there's Facebook, DrudgeReport, multiple newspapers, checking the emails ... and it's time for lunch!

Then back to the emails, do some work on the website and it's already dinner time. (Oh, and housework ... that's still on the back burner. Will get to it as soon as I find time.) Amazingly, the days speed by.

BTW, what day is today? Let me go look ...












Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Horse Sense

    May I have back that dress I gave you....? 

    Remember that perfect dress ... or the slacks ... or the suit that you could not live without? And where is it now?

    Clothes come in and out of our lives on a regular basis and -- if you're like me -- they're given away when you drop a dress size and madly longed for when you go up two sizes.

    From my youth, I can remember two items of clothing from Rolands, one of those exclusive Illinois stores that has long since closed. One was a pink and white jersey that felt like spun sugar ... which quickly melted and twisted into a cotton candy lump when I used too hot an iron.

    The other was a bright yellow Pollyanna dress (think sunshine) with gathered waist and puffy sleeves. I was sure I looked lovely; more likely a lemon. Where did that dress go. Or, do I really, really care?

    Another never-to-be-forgotten ensemble was my first paisley print pantsuit. It was custom-made by the local seamstress and started the pantsuit revolution. Maybe, all by itself.

    Some dresses though have come to symbolize our youth and sexual allure. I still remember a plum-colored knit, long to mid-calf, with batwing arms. (The better to hide my inheritance from my grandmother ... upper arms that resemble Dumbo's ears, ready to take off at the first breeze.) Ah, how those sleeves hid things!

    Many a time, I wore that dress to social events and dinners where I hoped to attract and enchant the opposite sex. Alas, that never happened, but I never blamed the dress. Must have been the men and their lack of fashion sense.

    This dress went to sister-in-law Paula, who was involved in theatre, and whom -- I was sure -- would pursue many theatrical entrances in this number. Can you hear me Paula? If that dress is hanging in the recesses of your closet, I'd love to try it on again. Or, if it's long since demised, I'd love to know how it met its fate.

    Janet, Judy and Sharon -- my sisters in Illinois -- benefited from many of my wardrobe discards. I used to travel extensively and could only manage those things that would fit into a suitcase. At the same time, I was a polished and inveterate shopper. The two would not seem to mesh, except that I gave away as often and as much as I acquired.

    I do remember a velvet jacket, but not much more. (Note to sisters: see message to Paula.)

    Janet once had a slinky black cocktail dress that was strapless and had its own velvet jacket. I remember that particularly from a trip we girls took together to Las Vegas.

    We had tickets to a dinner performance and were sliding onto the cushions around the nightclub's round table. I slid around first and then Judy, when suddenly Janet screamed "Stop, stop!"

    Judy was sliding around the table and grabbing at what she thought was the tablecloth. Instead, it was Janet's strapless slinky black cocktail dress -- now X-rated. Jackets are a blessing!

    But we're getting off track here. Girls, you'll have to tell stories about your dresses on your own time.

    Again, I remember a white knit, mid-calf (they seem so elegant at that length) with a smocked top and ballooning sleeves (the batwings again). I was a fairy princess in that, until I saw a photograph someone took of me. The dress immediately went into the back of the closet -- on the floor, I think -- and was never heard from again.

    Speaking of "fairy princesses", I was one in first or second grade. Aunt Flava, one of my grandmother's sisters, gave us dresses for the Christmas play. Mine had a black velvet bodice with little glass diamonds sewn in and a taffeta skirt of black and gold plaid.

    It was truly magic. The best dresses are.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas plus 1

It's Monday, Dec. 16, 2011 -- the day after Christmas.

The damage is + 1 1/2 pounds which will have to be worked on this week, starting today.

Hubby gave me a silver and turquoise necklace with two sets of earrings, one silver and the other turquoise. Excellent taste, even if he does plead ignorance to the shop ladies, who help him pick out something. Final choice is still his.

His gift was a Motorola Zoom, PC version of the Ipad. Made to sit handily nearby on the coffee table for quick access to email, internet and any questions that come up during TV/Movies.
Will also work as GPS next time we take a road trip and need to find locations of cities, hotels, restaurants.

:) Another high-tech gadget.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Greetings

Wow, just have to frost the cookies and I can sit down and put up my feet. Two batches already mailed and given away to sons, relatives and friends.

This batch is for us on Christmas morning. :)

The packages were all sent; the cards mailed and the Christmas tree is glowing with lights.






Holiday summary:

Nicest new entry making things easier -- self-seal envelopes on Christmas cards.

Hardest thing to find late in the game -- cards that say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Greetings" or "Happy Holidays".

Unexpected pleasant experience -- all the smiles and friendly people waiting in mile-long lines at the post office.



Holiday thought: A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.






Saturday, December 10, 2011

Halloween - Piglet Race


Molly posed nicely for a Halloween picture at the front door with Bear.

But, did you miss the Halloween piglet race here in Marana? No worries, we captured the highlights below:








And the winner was ... piggy #1. (Drat ... should have shot video on this one.)

Homeward Bound

After 3 weeks on the road between Tucson and Boston -- we're headed home. The weather has changed from September mild to cold, wet and rainy.

So the going is not as fast as we hoped. Each night we reach a hotel, we consider some sightseeing and then nix it in favor of driving further. Somewhere in the Texas panhandle, we take a rest stop. The facilities are gorgeous and seem to blend into the Texas landscape.