Archive for September, 2009

If you have seen ‘Julie & Julia,’ then you will know what I am talking about.  If you have not seen it, then think of Meg Ryan, in the restaurant, in ‘When Harry Met Sally – Official Site – Now on DVD.’  Same thing!!

And, it is the same thing as taking that first bite of a Harry and David® • Wholesale Products Harry & David “Moose Munch” Dark Chocolate Bar.  I purchased my first bar at Target and it is melt-in-your mouth fantabulous, and almost better than—- well, you know what. 

It is not as if I have been sitting on my duff and eating all day.  Truth be told, I have been sitting on my duff and typing most days.  Last week I did one day with my weights and one day on the treadmill, but two days does not a workout habit make.

I have successfully lost 24 pounds since January.  Ahh, this week may have lowered that to 20 pounds as I have actually eaten four meals out.  This is two meals over the total of meals eaten out in restaurants that I usually do in a whole month.  People keep wanting to feed me and it is rude to say, “no” to someone who is intent on treating you.  Right? 

Yeah, well tell that to my sat upon rump, especially when the Nashville Indiana, Historic Bed & Breakfast Inn, Restaurant, Brown County Indiana, Artists Colony Inn Artist’s Colony Inn’s chicken pot pie (Nashville, Indiana) is also like butter to Julia Child. It has been a week, since our friend took us to dinner there, and I can taste it yet.

Back to the Munch.  We are in Target, of all places.  Gaffer has a new job, while he waits to take his Master Electrician’s test class and he needed clothing for his new job, which is as a cashier at Family Restaurants: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant.  Geez, talk about specific.  Button down shirts are NOT that easy to find when you do not want to wear white ones. 

We are checking out and, it being time for lunch, my eyes were tracing over the candy they lure you into buying at the checkout counter.  I always look for very dark chocolate.  I love dark chocolate, and here sits a Harry & David’s Moose Munch bar.

Yep, you heard that right, a Moose Munch.  Gotta love that name, first off.  I have never had a Moose Munch before.  The sugar content is not outrageous compared to other treats and since I usually break things like that into halves or thirds, it would be 145 calories for a half. 

I do declare, they should have to put a warning on the label of a Moose Munch.  I bit into it and felt like, well, like I said above.  Yep, right there, this was heaven on earth, melt in your mouth, if I drop dead now, I will be complete, scrumptiousness.

Please, Santa, I want a whole Christmas stocking full of Moose Munch, this year.  I have been a good girl, well, most of the time.

P.S.  No one has paid me to mention anything on this blog, but I would not be averse to Harry & David sending me a box of Moose Munch.  Then, I would share with XUP for sure.

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 XUP’s post *XUP* brought up another side of the large family debate.  To recap, there was dad, mom, brother(10 years older) and me in our house.  Quiet does not even begin to describe our house.  If television had never been invented, we could have lived in a morgue.

I loved going to my sister’s house (she lived with my grandmother and my aunt) for holidays.  On Christmas, Mom always worried that we had to leave our toys, but I think that set up for me that holidays were about family.  They were not about money spent on gifts, or the size of the turkey.  They were about sharing.

I loved picking out which gift/s I was going to take and show my sister.  She is ten years older than I am.  I loved opening the car door and waving to my aunt, with her movie camera going.  I loved going into the house and having all the aunts hug and give me a sloppy kiss and then into the kitchen where grandma , who would play the piano on rare occasions, would sneak me bits of my favorite food (generally desert).  I only have two cousins on that side of the family.  They are both male and both older, so there was not a lot of interaction going on.

In the summer, we would have a rare treat of a small Dairy Queen cone, on the way home.  Every season had it’s own special treat and memories.

I only remember one or two family gatherings with my mother’s side of the family.  I was very close to one cousin, out of eighteen, and being a loner do not really remember doing much there. 

That side of the family has some wonderful people and then some truly unbalanced ones who insisted on starting a fight every gathering.  I am sure that put a damper on the whole “get together” thing. 

The fun parts though were when my uncle played fiddle.  I loved his scratchy cigarette voice and also the humor of one of my aunts.  The really sweet, large family aunt made the best apple desert in jelly roll pans and I would go, fights or no fights, purely for her cooking.  Gosh, we have a theme going here; my need for desert.  But, that is for another post. 

I am a loner, but I would not give up the large family gatherings, fights and all, for anything.  It was the exclamation point on a long quiet sentence.

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I was watching “Must Have Dog” and thinking about how neat the protagonists’ large family was.  Ah, blog idea, I thought and began this post, then let it sit and stew for a few days and sure enough, *XUP*, blogs about having a large family.  Great minds or what?

There is a huge difference in people who grow up in a large family as opposed to those of us who are/or are like, only children.  My sister grew up in our grandmother’s home.  This was approximately an hour and a half drive, one way.  Oh, and she is ten years older than I am.   My brother, who was six years older than me and who was my protector/advisor and chess/cribbage partner, died in 1990.  I miss him still. 

While my brother and I were close, there was still that six-year’s difference in our age.  My friends had crushes on him and he helped me out with ‘boyfriend’ issues.  We did not hang out together though.  Vacations hardly count.  Even there, the contact consisted mostly of rolling our eyes at each other while our parents loudly debated whether it was day or night.

Despite these debates, which only occurred anytime our parents were both in the same county, our house was exceedingly quiet.  At times, it was deathly quiet.  Those were the times when dad was not home and the TV was off. 

Unlike people who grow up in big families with: houses full of noise, loud discussions at the dinner table, and lots of games, I like my quiet.  I am used to quiet and it is precious to me.

The three boys, who live with us now, spent many years in a large family.  There were ten children in the family when the last two came to live with us. It almost seems as if being alone is a frightening thing to them, to be avoided at all costs.

I, on the other hand, can sit and stare at patterns in the carpet and be entertained.  Of course, I see things in the patterns that other people do not see.  I am happy to travel alone.  I am fine with eating alone.  Can go to a movie alone and enjoy it.  Quiet is a good thing to me.  I value quiet.  Not so much, people from big families.

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I do not remember watching Julia Child.  I think I presumed I would not like her, and that she was rather ‘stuck-up.’   Never presume!

Julie Julia

The Julia Child, played by Meryl Streep, that I saw on the screen is the most delightful woman who finds joy in everything.  For this Julia, eating fish is an orgasmic experience.  No, make that, everyday living is an orgasmic experience.  She is delightful, radiant and someone anyone should love to be around.

Stanley Tucci is fantastic as Paul Child, Julia’s husband and we should all find the love that is depicted in this film, in our lives.

Amy Adams is Julie Powell, the blogger who decides she needs direction and discipline in her life and that her committment to cooking all the recipes in Julia Child’s book will be just what she needs.

I had only seen one review on this movie on Reelz channel, but one of the two reviewers found Amy Adams, as Julie Powell, to be whiny and irritating.  Frankly, I think he needs to get a life.  There are just times in life when the best thing you can do is fall on the floor and cry.  It is certainly better than breaking or shooting something.  The movie depicted the growth of this character and, at the end, she seemed as delightful as Meryl Streep portrayed Julia to be. 

The most wonderful thing about this movie, however, is you could not help but leave the theater feeling a lot happier about the world.  We need more of that in life.  We need more people like Julia in our lives.

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Mom was raised to be a lady.  You know, ladies don’t sweat, they don’t show their feet (Do not even ask!), they dress up for the doctor (Once, mom crawled up the basement stairs, washed and put on lipstick before calling the ambulance for a broken foot.)  and they never arrive, for a visit, empty handed.  Consideration of others is key. 

Consideration of others does seem to be a lost art, at times.  Mom would never visit someone without calling ahead.   But, I enjoy opening the door to find that an old friend has surprised me with a visit. 

The problem with this whole visit/consideration thing is now my mom has gone “over the top” with it.  Apparently, there is an etiquette thing that you cannot visit someone without pretending you do not want to go, so that you have to be persuaded to go.

EXAMPLE: She is invited to visit her granddaughter’s house for a visit to celebrate Army Guy’s being home on leave.  She has three weeks notice.  For three weeks she fluctuates.  This morning, when I called her to find out what time she would be ready for pickup, for the trip, this is how the conversation went.  And, bear in mind, that this is the third conversation like this in three weeks.

“About that, I don’t think I will go,”  mom says.

Since this was the third call, when she thought she wouldn’t go, I knew most of the arguments.  I replied,  “Mom, we have plenty of room in the car.   There is seating for seven and we are only six and we don’t even need the car top carrier because it is just for overnight, so I am bringing one bag and making each boy put in one pair of socks, one underwear and one toothbrush and they can share deodorant…”

At that point she interrupted me.  Actually, she had been trying to all along, because those were the arguments from the first two weeks.  She had a new ploy now.

“I don’t want granddaughter to have to put new sheets on the bed.”

“Granddaughter is 43 years young.  She can put sheets on a bed and besides, she has two young men in the house.  One of them can change the sheets.”

“I know, but I really just didn’t want to take Army guys room.  But, I would like to see him. ”

“He has his own room in the basement.  He would like to see you, too.”

“Well, I just don’t want to put anyone out.”

“So, mom, why do you put me out?  Why do you make me go through this argument every time we are going anywhere?”  I say as I pull out another hank of hair.  Then, I add, “Plus granddaughter is looking forward to taking you to see, ‘Julia, Julie’ something at the theatre.”

“Okay,  I’ll go.  Pick me up at 8am.”

I swear, I am not calling her again between now and trip time.  The next trip, I’m just dangling theatre tickets in front of her from the start.

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Irritating Little Chihuahua is still giving the recliner a wide birth but she is ferocious in her sleep!




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My Labor Day

I slept late and we are having a quiet day.  This is what I woke up to at 9 a.m.


This was not night time.  This was out my front door at 9 am and we don’t have fires to blame.


With the cool nights all summer in Indiana, the marigolds are about the only thing left, and our fawn twins are now just one.  I don’t know if they have split up or one got hit by a car but this guy is still coming through twice a day and feeding, so she can have what she likes.

Happy Labor Day all

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When you have been married for twenty years to someone who has COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), I rather think it is NOT like a normal marriage.

After all, nothing is normal. My home is totally scent free. I spend hours poking bottles of shampoo and conditioner under his nose to see if he wheezes. One day, I will be arrested in Wal-Mart for killing my husband by scent.

Medicine is delivered in boxes and this man, who turns 57 this year looks like he is 90. When we go to a restaurant, they seat him with my mother. No one asks, but he is given a Senior discount. He sleeps with a Cpac and oxygen is just around the corner. He is bent, and sallow and coughs, sneezes and spits all day long.

Have I ever mentioned that I have a thing about spitting? Probably not! That “thing” would include not mentioning it as it grosses me out so completely that I try to avoid it at all costs. Somewhere, in my past life, I have apparently done something that Karmically gave me a husband who must spit to survive. Enough on THAT subject!!!! Gross!!

The one thing that I have noticed though, is that people change when they are ill. I think we all change a bit as life progresses; hence, the stupidity of marrying at seventeen, or perhaps ever. But, he has really changed and lately, not for the best.

We have all discussed it; we being the boys we raise and myself. It is a universal agreement that he is really acting strange.

First, there is his obsession with the yard these last two years, which I am convinced, will kill him. We own four acres, some woodland, but lots of grass. I mowed the first ten years of our marriage, no one mowed in Wyoming. Okay, he mowed our sand and sagebrush maybe twice a year. But, we are in Indiana again and he spent most of the summer mowing little patches of lawn each day. I guess, if it didn’t kill him, it’s good exercise.

His increasing weirdness also encompasses his moods. He has gone from easy going to a real pain in the behind. He gets on a ‘kick’ and drives everyone crazy, nagging, until it is done.

Gaffer came up with probably the best and saddest reason. He is facing his increasing disability and does not want to face it. It is better that he fights it than just gives in. In the meantime, the boys keep him busy with game night, every night. It has been a constant in their lives.

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Letter to my daughter:

I want you to know that your childhood has now become my childhood.  It is not my fault. I did not steal your childhood, even though it was far more exciting than mine was. 

When grandma tells you the story of her taking me to the beach, as a baby, and not realizing that the sun reflected off the sand, and she felt so horrible because my little feet got burnt; well, just remember that it was your little feet that got burnt, your mother who was stupid enough to not realize the sun reflected off the sand and, even though I had you under the umbrella, your feet got burnt. 

But, don’t feel bad because I got like a third degree, vomiting in the pharmacy burn which she has forgotten all about.  So even though she thinks your incident was poor little me, it was actually you.  She came over to my house to take care of you and me because I should have been in the hospital; but she has totally forgotten that I was burnt to a crisp, or that it was NOT her fault.

Then, there is the little matter of the weeping willow that I was so upset about when lightning struck it.  Only lightening never did strike the tree I played under as a child.  Grandma had moved, by the time you had your own weeping willow to play under, and it was that weeping willow that was struck by lightning.  

In the beginning, I corrected her, but what does it really matter?

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