Now We’re Cookin’

24 Aug

just barely

The wedding isn’t for another two weeks,  but what with one thing and another, I decided to get started on the cake now. The Bride had asked for carrot cake, which has the advantage of keeping well, and with my schedule – and The Squire’s – I figured I’d better get cracking.

Because of the size of the pans, I needed to make a double batch, and as you can see, I just barely make it! I could not have gotten another cup of anything in there! My trusty Oster grated four cups of carrots in nothing flat. Just as well, as I have to do this all over again – maybe tomorrow afternoon? I don’t want to leave anything until the last minute.

The Bride called here this afternoon, and left a message I couldn’t understand, but she called back to ask if either The Squire or I could take her to Aberdeen tomorrow. I can’t drive, so it’s up to The Squire. There’s an old song that goes, “If It Weren’t for Bad Luck, I’d Have No Luck At All”, and it fits this child down to the floor. She and a friend had gone out shopping for “wedding stuff”, had stopped at a traffic light, and a car pulled up behind them and stopped. Unfortunately, the next car along didn’t stop, and hit the middle car hard enough to push it into hers. She has a banged up spine, a mild concussion, and her car (which was fairly new) had to be towed away.

If it ain’t one thing…

Oh, Yetch!

23 Aug

Last night, I slipped my feet into my boots so I could go feed the fish.

And felt something soft and tender.

Eddie, bless his little black heart, had left a newly dead mouse in my right boot. That or the poor thing had escaped Eddie’s tender ministrations by crawling into the boot to hide. Probably the latter, as I couldn’t find any wounds on it other than a bite in the vicinity of the right shoulder blade. I held it for a moment, and it was still vaguely warm, but definitely dead. Poor baby. I think the thing that disturbs me most about mice and deer is that they don’t close their eyes when they die. They continue to look at you beseechingly.

I threw him into the back forty for the foxes to eat. So much for empathy.

In the future I will shake out my boots before I put them on. No telling what else the dear boy may drag home.

A Sinking Sensation

20 Aug

Recently, I have been displaying some symptoms of the same condition that wreaked havoc with  my grandfather, my dad, and both of his brothers. Other than extreme fatigue and forgetfulness, one of the things that plagues me is stumbling.

Or general clumsiness, depending upon your view of these things.

I also have panic attacks, which makes driving difficult. I used to take Blazer to knitting at church with me, but somebody  objected, and put up big signs that only service animals are allowed. As far as I am concern, Blazer is a service dog, even if he doesn’t wear an orange vest.

Anyway, this afternoon, I had gone up to take my nap and then came back down because I had forgotten my midday meds. The Squire stopped me just before I reached the bottom step and wanted to know if everything was OK. We spoke for a few moments, and then I stepped forward, forgetting I had not gotten all the way to the bottom. I walked off into the air, and made quite a landing, scaring the daylights out of The Squire and adding another bruise or two to the collection I already have. Didn’t do my back a bit of good, let me tell you! Fortunately, the bathroom door was shut, so although I hit my head, I didn’t end up flat on my back.

I was laughing hysterically, but The Squire, for some reason, didn’t find the episode funny.

Wedding Plans

18 Aug

I still haven’t nailed down The Bride on her wedding cake, although we did finally get a number, which is a start. I’ve selected several designs, none of which pleased her. She doesn’t like stripes or dots, but doesn’t want a plain cake, either.  She doesn’t want “ruffles” between the tiers, but kept insisting she wanted lace, instead. After a trip to the Wilton pages, I discovered that by “lace” she meant ribbon. The concept that “less is more” makes no sense to her at all. I did point out how much nicer the girls dresses looked after she had removed some of the gewgaws,  and she agreed so maybe there’s hope.

With all of the doctor’s appointments The Squire and I have coming up between now and Labor Day, I decided to get started on this project as soon as possible. When we remodeled the kitchen I gave all of my cake pans to a friend from church, with the understanding that he would let me use them in the event I needed them. I think they are out of town, as I haven’t gotten an answer to my emails. Their daughter is going to college, and they’ve probably driven her down to get settled in there.

So – today The Squire and I defrosted the big freezer, so we’d have space to put the cake. Piling boxes in the cooler, stacking things on the counter, tossing UFOs (Unidentified Frozen Objects), boiling water (you’d think we were having a baby!) and then replacing it all. Great fun.

We had a lovely well-balanced dinner of mini-pizzas, popcorn shrimp and chicken nuggets, along with a bag of frozen veggies. Grease and carbs. Yum!

When we were finished with the freezer, I leaned over to give The Squire a hug to thank him for helping me, and jerked back with a mighty YUCK!

Is there anybody else in the entire world who can work up a sweat defrosting a freezer?

 

Requiem for a Bread Machine

16 Aug

When I was still working for the Evil Insurance Company, I made bread three day a week. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I took out my frustrations on the dough. Bang, flip, bash! One for you, one for your stupid brother and one for your ugly little dog, too. (Oops, that’s from another story, isn’t it?)

I sent The Squire to the office every day for a month (20 working days) with a different kind of bread – white bread made with egg and honey, whole wheat, cheese and cracked pepper,  fresh herbs, two-toned bread, rye, various sorts of sour dough – you name it, he had it. The girls in my carpool stopped accepting the extra loaves because their husbands wanted to know why they didn’t make bread. The Squire ended up taking the leftovers to his office, where nobody complained -ever!

After I retired, the bread making slowed down; I was no longer so frustrated, and I had discovered the joy of afternoon naps.

About ten years ago, our three daughters got together and gave me (us, really) a DAK bread machine. That machine saw Trojan duty,  working long and hard, turning out countless loaves of bread.

Until yesterday.

I got it all loaded, ready to go, and the motor had jammed. The Squire and I were on our way up to the Laundromat, and there is a brand new Goodwill Super Store in the shopping center, so after we put the clothes in the washers, we wandered down the way to see what was on offer.

Came home with a very nice Corner Bakery machine. Judging from the condition of the accompanying cookbook, it was hardly even used.  The Squire managed to get the makin’s out of the DAK and into the Corner Bakery and away we went.

Not bad for $7.

I Gots To Get Organzized!

14 Aug

When my sister was about four years old, she looked at the wall-to-wall chaos that was our play room, put her hands on her hips and uttered the above sentence, which has gone down in family history.

And this past week was one of those times.

I worked all last week, and have decided, once and for all, that I am too bloody old for this nonsense. Getting up at 6AM and staying up all day without a nap gets really old, really fast.  It’s not just the physical exhaustion, it’s the mental strain of trying to keep all of the pieces together. Within the space of five days, I managed to miss the turn into Loveton Circle twice, once turning too early (No big deal; it IS a circle, after all.), and once going past the light and having to drive a half mile to the next place to turn. I also forgot my teeth one morning. Mind you, I’ve had dentures since I was twenty-two, so there was no excuse for this particular trick. Thank Heaven, The Squire was home and willing to bring them to me. Willing, and more than a little concerned.

The Squire has been wanting to see the meteor shower for decades, but every August, it has been rainy or cloudy. Thursday night promised to be clear and cloudless, if a tad on the warm side. Friday morning, he came staggering downstairs just as I was getting ready to leave the house. “How was the ‘show’ last night?” “Dunno”, he grumped. He’d been reading a “really good book” and had finished it up at 2AM. Rather than disturb my rest, he’d slept in the guest room, but now he had to get pulled together to run to Panera and collect the “Dough-nation” for the food pantry at St. George’s. Normally, this is done around 9:30 on Thursday night, but he’d been in outer space and hadn’t gotten back in time to make the pickup.

Yesterday morning, The Squire  crawled out of bed at 7AM and went over to the shopping center to sell raffle tickets with Mac for a church fund raiser, beginning at 8AM. He called here at 8:30 to ask if I’d heard from Mac – I had not – as he had called both the cell and the landline, and couldn’t get hold of him. “I’m going to run by his house to see if the place burned down overnight or something, and then I’ll swing by the church.”

I don’t know where they finally got together, but Mac had been looking for the vendor’s license, without which they could not legally sell the tickets. At that point, “it was to hell with it, and either go home or to the movies.” They both went home. (The license, BTW, was in the treasurer’s top desk drawer.)

In the afternoon, I went to a baby shower for our grandson and his wife, and had a marvelous time. Matthew is a clown and loves being the center of attraction. He struck “model” poses with the diaper bag, swinging this way and that. Somebody gave the baby a tiny camo suit, with the last name on the hat. (It’s a long one, and I doubt it would have fit on the shirt pocket.) M sat the hat on top of his head and insisted upon “wearing” it for quite a while, in spite of his wife’s playful attempts to remove it.

One of the games they played was to try to guess, on smell and taste, five different types of baby food. The string beans were easy, but carrots, squash, and peaches all seem to taste exactly the same. Of course, M had to be the final taste-tester, and really did “gag it up”. “We are not feeding our son this slop!” was how he put it.

And then the fun started. I was not – still am not – recovered from my week at work, and it was almost 100F, with a heat index even higher. When I went out to my car, I couldn’t find my keys. I don’t normally put my keys in my purse, but the dress I was wearing didn’t have any pockets, so they had to be in my purse, but I just couldn’t locate the fool things. I went back inside to see if they had fallen into the chair, but no luck. By this time, I was so tired and hot I was ready to sit on the floor and cry. Eldest Daughter went out to check my purse again (yes, I’d left it in the car!) and not only found the keys, but started the car and the a/c.

And locked the car behind her.

Fortunately, there is a “secret” way to get into the car, because I think being rescued by The Squire twice in one week would not have gone well.

I came home and went to bed.

Next week, I gots to get organzized.

 

 

 

 

Adventures with Pink Eye

6 Aug

A few weeks ago I developed a lovely case of pink-eye, for which the doctor prescribed some drops. The drops cleared up the conjunctivitis, but my eye lids got really red and itchy. We met some friends for lunch and I had mixed egg whites (which tighten the skin beautifully and can be taken from the shells of your breakfast; you don’t need much) and a dab of makeup just to hid the fact that I looked as if The Squire had finally lost it and belted me one.

We kept using the drops even after the pink-eye had cleared up, but I finally stopped after I develop a blister on my upper lid. I had an appointment on the 4th, and was hoping we’d be able to get this cataract business straightened out, but we need to wait another few weeks.

Anyway, it turns out that I am allergic to Neomycin, which was the active ingredient in the drops, so we are off for more medicine to counteract the side effects of the first one. The doctor told me to smooth it over both top and bottom lids, on both eyes. The Squire, of course, insisted upon helping, but this morning neither of us  could find the tube. Mind you, the silly thing is less than three inches long, not as wide as my index finger, and a fairly dark purple, too boot, so it’s not really surprising that we couldn’t locate it.

“Use mine”, says The Squire. “It’s not the same thing”, says I. “Well, it is purple,” he insists. It’s NOT purple; it’s white with a red stripe, but my eyes were itching like mad, so I gave in. He put a little dab under one eye, and then got to laughing and put enough under the other eye to cover me from hairline to chin.

A few minutes later, I started rubbing at my face, and just as he as about to tell me to stop rubbing my eyes, he told me to go wash my face – NOW. Turns out that the active ingredient in his eye cream is – neomycin!

I washed my face with baby shampoo, reapplied my own ointment, and lived happily ever after.

And that, boys and girls, is why they tell you not to use other people’s medications.

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