Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cleaning the refrigerator--ugh!

I just spent the evening cleaning the refrigerator. I'm talking about taking everything out and crawling inside to scrub off old dried pickle juice and unidentifiable crud. Why, you may ask, would I do such a thing on a balmy summer evening?

I am doing my once-a-year hosting of my women's writing group on Friday. It is also a potluck and some friends will bring salads that will need to go in the fridge. Therefore, my fridge must be far cleaner than usual. I dug out the crisper drawers and cleaned the crumbs and gunk from the nooks and crannies underneath. I washed down the shelves and sides, stretching and grunting with gusto. Then there were all the plastic racks on the inside of the doors with gobs of dried-on ketchup, chocolate syrup and more unidentifiable crud. (Thank goodness I can't smell!)

At least it's self defrosting so I didn't have to defrost the darn thing. Back in the 70's, cleaning the fridge meant I had to take everything out of the fridge and freezer, put pans of boiling water in the freezer to melt the several inches of ice, scrape and sop up melt water til it was clean and dry and then get everything back inside before it spoiled.

So anyway, the unglamorous job is done for another year.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fat sparrows can't fly

I never met a carb I didn't like. I am also blessed with a fabulously efficient metabolism. I could survive in the wild for weeks and weeks without eating bunnies and berries.

As a result, I have shamefully gained 12 pounds in the last month just from birthday parties, family picnics and going out to eat. What is so annoying is that I can easily gain back in a month all the weight it took many months to lose. And it's not for lack of exercise. I've been more active recently than I've been in a long time.

This really worries me. I love to cook and I love to eat but I hate having to plot and plan for everything I put in my mouth. I often think that the worst thing about dieting is that it requires you to think about food all the time! That just seems counter-productive to me. I'm a go-with-the-flow kinda gal. I love leftovers, spontaneity and other people's cooking--whatever.

My busy "social season" should slow down to normal in a couple weeks so then it's back to vegetable soup and diet Jello again. I do this out of fear, however, because hardly a day goes by that I'm not informed in some fashion that I'm eating myself into an early grave (figuratively).

I want to see my three great-granddaughters growing up and my grandkids graduating from college and getting married. I have a lot of stuff to hang around for!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gracie takes a hike

Some of you may remember that back in February we took in a stray cat and named her Gracie. She had not been out of our house since that time (except for a trip to the vet), and really didn't seem to want to go out.

Gracie remained very shy. The week that my three great granddaughters were here she spent her days hiding under a bed. Then my grandson came for two weeks and she was slowing adapting to him. One day, the boy decided to take each of the four cats out onto the patio for some outdoor time. He set Gracie down and she took off into the wooded lot next door. We haven't seen her since.

I would be concerned for her but she obviously has the skills to survive outside. I like to think she may have returned to a former home or found a home more to her liking. I am comforted by the fact that she left here a healthy, well-fed cat with a beautiful coat.

She obviously didn't bond to us, our three other cats or our home. I prefer to think that she simply didn't like us rather than believe she is starving, terrified and alone. But, of course, she found us once and may well find us again when the weather turns cold and the wind starts to blow.

I will keep watching for her every day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tis the season for road construction

There is an old joke in Minnesota...the four seasons of the year are: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction. There is another joke about how road construction always consists of one guy working and a bunch of others watching. (The guy doing the work in Minnesota isn't named Andre, however, it's more likely Bob.)

I've driven a lot of roads in the past month and there is road construction everywhere! This is good for all the Bobs earning a paycheck and all the supervisors buying new cars. It's all helping to rebuild the economy.

I always say, "Whatever works!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Tuesday

This is my sister and my grandson in front of the globe at the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum in Madison. I took this picture last Tuesday. It shows I am gradually mastering the intricacies of the devious, inscrutable camera. (I risk tempting fate by getting too cocky, so I will say no more on the subject.)

Yesterday, I pressed the boy into helping me attack the Wild Cucumber weeds in the wooded lot next door. This is a summer chore I have been pursuing for some years now and it's a nasty job. The vines spread in all directions and climb as high as 20 feet. Happily, it seems to be helping to eradicate the blasted stuff because there was much less of it this year. Of course, that might be due to the lack of rain.

A few years ago, I wrote a piece on the Wild Cucumber and submitted it to a local horticultural publication. They sent back a very nice rejection letter (sigh).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

01/20/09 to 07/20/09

This cartoon gave me a chuckle because it's seems so true. Not a day passes without the newspaper or TV news having a commentary on how the economic recovery is progressing too slowly--or not working at all.

Well, it has only been six short months since the current administration took office. How spoiled and naive are we to think that the economic crisis would be over in a matter of months? No quick fix is going to get us out of this mess. I think it will be years before real estate values increase to former levels. Of course, that's just an uneducated opinion and I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

In the meantime, we just have to keep our chin up and eat more broccoli.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Excuses, excuses

This doesn't really look like me. I never wear high heels or dresses and never get permanents in my hair. It's just kinda funny.
My grandson, Allen and I went to Madison WI for a few days. Yesterday we went to see the Harry Potter movie (I'm not really into it, so the movie was kinda confusing to me). Today, I'm taking a friend to the hospital for surgery and Allen is watching the latest Indiana Jones movie on DVD.
The upshot of all this is that I haven't had much time to blog. I'm sorry about that. I miss you all!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Been there, done that

Oh yeah!

I like to think I'm above such violent egotistical displays, but that's exactly how I felt when AARP started sending me stuff at the tender age of 50.

Then, the day after my 55th birthday, I happened to be in Michael's Craft Store and a huge sign suspended over the cast registers announced, "If you're over 55, ask for our senior discount". It made me puddle up.
And, I must admit that I didn't take it well when my first grandchild was born when I was 42. I did not want to be called Grandma W (she was my elderly mother-in-law in a nursing home).

Sometime after I retired at age 65, I finally began to adjust to what I perceived to be other people's distorted perception of my "stage of development". I felt like I was still vital and intellectually "with it". But then, I started doing embarrassing things, like dropping really dated expressions into my vocabulary. That is soooo not cool!

There are tons of expressions that are virtually meaningless to my grandkids, like:

Filling station or Dollar's worth of gas
Penny postcard
Jar of Mum Deodorant
Bushel basket
Duz does everything
Lug of peaches
Pitcher of nectar
Cellophane package
Till the cows come home
Fibber McGee's closet

I could go on and on showing off the stash of nostalgic stuff stuck in my brain, but it's not a good way to impress anybody younger than me. I hope it gave you a laugh.

Friday, July 10, 2009

How do I crop a picture?

I would like to crop this pcture a little on either side because it's too busy. I have it stored in "My Pictures" and can't figure out how to do anything with it. Any advice kind people?

The girls went back to their home today and I now have my 15- year-old grandson staying with me. The two of us are going to Madison WI on Monday to see my sister, her daughter and family and her son and family. One of my absolute-must-see stops in Madison is Ella's Deli. I love that place! They also have a good zoo and The Original Pancake House-yummm.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Still with the kids

We put the girls to work washing cars. They had so much fun washing my car, they did the neighbor's car too!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Butterflies are free (free-will donation)

The butterfly house at the Como Park Zoo. The girls really loved it!

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's already the 6th of July!

This is the reason I haven't been posting lately. My three great-granddaughters are staying with me for a week. They keep me busy! We went to the Zoo and went in the Butterfly tent and saw lots of different butterflies. The girls really loved that. We also went to see the movie Ice Age 3.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The secret "sins" of childhood

(Picture of 40's era kids.)

Back in the forties when I was growing up, I had three younger siblings very close in age. We lived in an old farm house outside of town. That was back in the days when the only entertainment was radio and occasionally, a "Blondie" or "Pa & Ma Kettle" movie in town . Those were innocent times when everything was G-rated. Even us.

We were never allowed to use naughty words like Heck or Darn. In fact, we couldn't even say Butt. The "butt-ockal" area was called the Seater. (I found this quite confusing since my mom had a cedar chest in her bedroom.)

Since we were normal kids, however, we didn't let the prohibition on cussing keep us from talking trash to each other. We got away with vilifying each other using such nostagic old favorites as Snot, Stinkpot, Dope or Dumb-bell. When someone wimped out by crying, they were scorned with Big Baby!

Bodily functions were coyly referred to as Number 1 or Number 2. The words Pee (as in urinate)or Body (as in naked) were very edgy language in our young minds. Incredibly, there was a character on the "Fibber McGee and Molly" radio show named Mr. Peabody. We happily incorporated this name into our lexicon of alternative cussing. Thus, our new order of escalating filthy language became:

Dummy > Dumb-Dope > Dumb-Dope-Peabody!

This was absolutely the most vile thing we could call a sibling. Happily, Mom was oblivious to the truly foul-mouthed implications of Peabody, so we got away with it for years--even if someone tattled.

And yet, we all rose above our youthful wickedness and became upstanding citizens. All four of us are grandparents now, but you should hear the way our grandkids talk!