Tuesday, June 30, 2009

He's Home!!!

Now to get him back up on that bicycle!

See ya down the road,
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I've Got Blogs in My Tummy!

I've been waiting for Skooba to get back from the shop with his car so we can head out to the hospital. Maybe today we'll bring home the prize-Jim.

In the meantime, I've been drooling through pages of recipes making a list of things high in protein and calories (absolutely the opposite of what I normally search for) in order to put some weight on my skinny Geezerguy -on Doctor's orders. Then after a few weeks we have to transition into a heart healthy lifestyle.

I've got quite a list going. But Skooba will be here soon so I wanted to share a few things I found with all of you. Since a few of my friends live alone or often prepare meals for just the pilot and copilot of an RV you'll like these.A couple of these will also satisfy the pot luck and the thrifty crowd too.

More importantly, I think you'll enjoy the blogs where I found each of them. They are pretty flavorful in themselves-pun intended. So in no particular order please go try these yummy blogs on for size!

Tangled Noodle Yummy Gelatin

My favorite is Tangled Noodle but Girl, I'm way too lazy to make the treat I'm highlighting here! Even though Jim will be consuming quantities of Jello in his next few weeks- this won't be one of the ways-unless you want to come to Tucson
(Hmm... I wonder if you pried the magnets out of those ubiquitous fridge letters if you could use them for molds?)

Cafe Munchkin Teeny Tiny Turon

Yummy banana spring rolls- really easy -would be great for a pot luck. I think there could be a danger here in actually getting the whole batch to the church supper!

Endless Summer Eggs in Tomato Sauce

This one is a shout out to Jaimie and George - an RVrs perfect supper after a long day on the Alaskan highway . I know it is one I actually printed out for the inside of my cupboard door! Use low Sodium sauce, of course, but find a bakery and buy a regional bread.

Ali's Cleaner Plate Club Cheddar Bread Pudding

The perfect comfort food and a great, affordable, pot luck newcomer.
I have been looking for a savory bread pudding like this for ages. Easily modifiable too.

The Geeze and I eat a pretty healthy diet, normally, but we haven't had a health crisis in years, so we've gotten a bit complacent. Now, I'm hoping that any of you who happen to know of good blogs where real people feature simple, affordable menus for both cardiac patients and diabetics will comment here and point me to your favorites. I can find all the ones from the Heart Foundation and the Diabetes sites but what I want is what others like us have enjoyed.

See ya down the road,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Putting Things in Perspective

My family has been truly blessed this past week. The Geezerguy, Jim, while still hospitalized due to minor complications has come through his open heart surgery quiet well. We've been blessed to have two of our boys, Sage and Skooba, with us during this stressful time. Lone Duck is about to arrive to help his Dad through the tough post hospital days.

Jugglesorcerer is poised to come if needed but offering continual phone and mail encouragement. He even was instrumental in giving Jim one of the brightest spots of the week. See, 3 1/2 years ago he married Buttercup, who is mom to Patrick and Kristina (instant Dad). Then Patrick married Rose and in short order produced Riley (instant Grandad). JS called Jim at the hospital on the 24th to announce that Riley has a brand new baby sister Kaylee. So Great Grampa Geezerguy got to tell all of us about his new great granddaughter. It's the first time he ever got to be the teller instead of the tellee of baby news in our family!

Yes, blessings abound.

On another front three American icons left us this week. All were famous for their smiles and the joy they brought to everyone. Ed, Farah and Michael each had their individual crosses to bear but each was also instrumental in helping countless others through their work and charities.

May they rest in peace.

See ya down the road,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Passing the Blog

This has been a long and stressful week. Jim/Geezerguy has had so many procedures done, culminating in his triple by-pass on Sunday, that we've lost count but today he's feeling pretty good. They have him up in a chair and his sons, Sage and Skooba are with him right now encouraging him to take baby steps down the hallway and eat a little of his lunch.

I stayed home to wash some clothes. 7 days on a hospital cot are 7 days too many. Jim made me come home to sleep last night and the night before even though I was prepared to do battle with the nurses in ICU who said I couldn't stay. I have to admit, I feel better and this morning I've been able to deal with a few things that needed doing.

You'll have noticed that in spite of Red Skelton's advice I haven't been able to keep up with the months challenge but that's not important. My hero is going to be well and come home in a few days and that's all that counts.

Clancy has been pretty well discombobulated by all of this too. I'm going to sneak out of this blog and take a nap while you go see what her take is on all this. Click here

See ya down the road,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

So Much For That bright Idea

About an hour and fifteen minutes after I went to bed, I finally learned what labor pains truly were.

At 12:30, Mom tapped on my door and sat on the edge of the bed.

"I could hear you from my room" Sounds like this is the real thing."

"I hope so 'cause if it's not, I'm not going through with it.!" She got out a simple maternity dress and the rest of my things and laid them on the end of the bed for me. Then went down to tell Jim and Dad it was time to go.

She never did tell me which one said it and neither will own up to it ,but the response was,
"Can she wait about 10 minutes? The movie's almost over."

All I know was I heard my Mom chewing them out so vehemently I rushed through getting dressed just so I could get downstairs to see what on earth was going on.

We Got to the old W.B. Plunkett Hospital ,up on the hill, a few minutes later to find a whole bevy of nurses there waiting for us. We didn't know that they had been thrilled to hear we were coming since they had not had a baby there in almost 6 months. In fact, our child was one of the last three babies born there. The other two, a pair of twins one of whom had actually been delivered by his 9 year old brother in the back of a pick up arrived about 20 minutes after we got to the maternity room.

Geezer's parents and younger brother arrived and everyone took their places in the waiting room at about 1:30 AM. And they waited, and they waited ,and they waited. (shall I skip the other seven repeats that symbolize one hour of waiting each?)

Finally at 11:31 AM, as they were beginning to prep me for Cesarean Section, the first Cumberland heir presented himself to his adoring people. He was cooed and cuddled, patted and petted, held and honored by everyone -except me!

It seems, the doctor, fearing that I was getting into distress around 9 AM had given me a shot of Darvon to relax me. Now I'm the type that goes into a deep sleep if i take a Tylenol. So all I remember was opening my eyes and looking at the ceiling. I remember thinking, "When did they put the pipes on the ceiling of this room?"

Then I turned my head and found Jim with his head on my pillow smiling the most wonderful smile. "We have a son", he whispered, "a beautiful baby boy. Thank you, Honey".

I kissed him and then turned and faced the wall for a moment, I couldn't help smirking and feeling smug for once. Jim and Mom- who was never wrong about anything, and Mom2 had all sworn my baby was going to be a girl. As I told you all weeks ago, when I found the first edition of The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, I knew my child would be a boy. A few minutes later, but seven hours after he came into the world ,the nurse introduced me to James, Charles Cumberland, my Jamie, and your Lone Duck.

It was June 16th. He'd decided to pick his very own day and not have to share it with anyone. That worked for 30years Then Lady B. who together with Old Newsie celebrated their anniversary on the 15th, came along. Guess when her birthday is?**************************************************************************************

Yesterday was supposed to be a very memorable 40th birthday for LD. It was but not for the reasons we'd hoped. You'll note I missed posting this for his birthday as had been the plan for weeks. Please forgive me and wish him well anyway.
And while you are doing that, please add my Jim, Geezerguy to your prayers. He has suffered a heart attack, not a great big one but one that showed us he needed aggressive treatment. he'll be having open heart ,triple bypass surgery on Monday, here in Tucson.

I don't expect to be online much in the next few days so I'll get in here with an update or ask someone to do it for me when we can.

Thanks for your prayers.

Yarntangler and Geezerguy and all the assorted nom de plumes

Monday, June 15, 2009

Special Days

This is a very Special day in Hobbs, New Mexico. Old Newsie and Lady B. are celebrating their wedding anniversary. They are a funny couple who were lucky enough to find each other when they thought they were past the being in love stage. Lady B., who is always carefully coiffed and made up, lives in a neat tidy world with her incredible collection of Barbie dolls and her long time friends in town. Old Newsie has never worried about what he's wearing and spends most days trying to find his desk (under a ton of important pieces of paper). They somehow manage to complement each other very well. Happy Anniversary and many more.

"And now for something completely different". The second installment of my first ever TriBlog. A time when Dad had a trio of other women, Grandma Shasta, Scrabblebuff, and me, ruling his life.

Happy Fathers Day x 8

When last we met in Nostalgiaville, your intrepid heroine-that's me- had sacrificed her (hoped for) girlish figure and downed an extra-large Strawberry milkshake after a harrowing journey over perilous potholes, all in hopes of producing a 3rd generation birthday heir. Not for the first, or last time, one of my brainstorms didn't work.

But there was still hope, for Father's Day fell on June 15th in 1969! I could score lots of Brownie points if I made, Jim a Daddy, Old Newsie and Dad2, Grandpas and my Grandad a Great Grandfather on Father's Day all with one big push! This was what I had really been hoping would happen and had prepared for.

Earlier in the week, the soon to be Jamie/Vanessa and I had talked this plan over and we went to the card shop on Park Street. There, we read every single Father's Day card in the store and proceeded to make selections covering any contingency. Mrs. Tetraualt wore a big smile when she was ringing up our purchases. I had eight cards in my bag.
From Daddy's Little Girl.

To My Dad From His Little Champ

Happy Father's Day Grandfather from your Little Princess

To Grandfather on Father's Day From His First Grandson

To Grampa on Fathers Day From His Granddaughter

To Grampa on Father's Day, Here I am, Carrying on Your Name.

Happy Fathers Day Great Grand Dad

Happy Father's day Great Grand Dad from your Little One.

I was so pleased with myself for this foresight. I was imagining the baffled look on all those guys as I presented them with the proper cards from my hospital bed.
Once the birthdays had passed, I was finally allowed to go to bed.

I awoke about 5 in the morning, with the first hint that Jamie/Vanessa was doing his/her part to pull this off. I remember how excited I was by a tiny tinge of pink. I sat on the edge of our bed bouncing up and down slightly until Jim woke up.

"What's going on?"

" I'm showing!"

"Oh My God! Does it hurt? Are you okay? Is the baby okay? What should I do? What do you want? Shall I call the doctor? Do you need anything?"

"Yes, I need you to quiet down before you wake up the whole house!"

Too late!

Thump! thump! thump!
on the bedroom door...

"Marcie , Jim are you in there?"

"Of course we are, Dad."

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing, go back to sleep. I'm sorry we woke you up."

"Honey," to Jim, who is frantically pacing the floor, "come back to bed, nothing is happening yet. I'm going to go back to sleep."

And I did - for about twenty minutes.

Thump! thump! thump!

"Marcie, do want me to call the doctor?"

"No, Daddy. I just want to sleep for a while."

And I did - for about twenty minutes.

"Honey, I think we should go downstairs so I can keep an eye on you."

"You can't keep an eye on me in the same bed?"

"Well yeah, but the phone is downstairs."

To make a long story short, which was impossible 40 years ago, they made me lay on the couch from 6 o'clock in the morning on. Dad and Jim took turns staring at me and willing things to start happening. Around 7:30 Mom came down stairs and gave me a sympathetic hug. I got up and walked into the kitchen with her to get something to eat. That's when the 1st twinge hit. It wasn't much just somehow different than any of the practice contractions I'd experienced over the past few days. "Please don't tell them!" I pleaded, backing up and right into Jim.

"Don't tell us what?"

"She just had her first contraction but it's nothing to get concerned about, remember last Friday."

On Friday I'd had an afternoon of Braxton Hicks or false contractions. They had gone away when I took a shower and everyone got mad at me.
Jim jumped for the wall phone, Mom grabbed it first and said, "uh..uh...uh, wait a little while."

He acquiesced but naturally went right back to report to Dad what was going on. I had to fight with them to have any breakfast because "everyone knows" you aren't supposed to eat before you give birth!

Same argument for lunch. After lunch Jim finally decided to call Mom2 who wanted to come right down to rush me to the hospital. My mother managed to dissuade her of that and even invited her to come down and attend Baby Watch. Thankfully, Mom2 had her usual houseful of Sunday guests who would certainly all rush to the hospital together when Jimmy called them to say "It's time". Naturally, that's something he would stop and take time to do because she made him promise. At our house, my sister and brother had friends over, I remember asking Mom if they were charging people to come watch the spectacle.

In the middle of the afternoon, I got up to visit the powder room upstairs. Dad and Jim had been taking turns napping in the recliners so they would have plenty of energy when it was needed. (Any time I dozed off one of them would shake me awake, yelling "What's wrong?") Dad had decreed that Jim was to accompany me to the bathroom anytime I needed to use it all day. But Jim was asleep just then and Dad was persuaded to draw the line at some things.

Once I managed to haul my over-sized body up the stairs and down the hallway to the bathroom, I realized I was alone for the first moment all day. Of course, I was going to take a shower! So I climbed into the old fashioned tub and started the water, completely forgetting that the pipes would squeal and clank and betray my nefarious scheme.

Thump! thump! thump!

"What are you doing in there?"

"Just cooling off, Dad."

"No! Don't take a shower!"

"Daddy, I'm hot and sweaty and very uncomfortable."

Poor Mom was convinced to sit on the toilet until I was finished. We were laughing so hard at my two favorite men, she finally had to get Jim to haul me out of the tub because I sat down to let the water just run on my back.

The evening didn't go much better. I had finally allowed Jim to call the doctor when my contractions reached 8 minutes apart. He said that since I was less than five minutes from the hospital I should wait until the five minute point or until I became truly uncomfortable. In the meantime, he was going to take a nap.

Jim's parents required an hourly update and I let him handle it. I had enough to do with my own side of the family. Thank God for my mother, She managed to keep both of the guys from loving me to death. She rubbed my feet and back and kept me laughing when the pains came. Then around 11 o'clock the contractions stopped. They just plain quit. I apologized to everyone for missing yet another special occasion and, with Mom behind me, I went up to bed. I think she was exhausted too. We both went to bed while Jim and Dad started watching a movie.

In my child's baby book there are 4 unused cards and a dozen sheets of paper from a scratch pad neatly ruled, columned, and labeled, by Dad of course,

Time ...duration... interval... strength .

This last is hysterical; notations such as "good one, nothing much, strong" ratings made by my observers - not me. In neat penmanship- (Dad's) and chicken scratches (Jim's) there is a moment by moment history of June 15th, 1969 from 7:30 AM to 11PM.
A Fathers Day when I forgot to give my Dad the card I bought him from me!

Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of this very long weekend.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wave The Flags Today

Can you remember what you did
exactly 40 years ago? I can, at about 4 pm on Saturday, June 14th, 1969, I called my father-in-law and begged him to come get Jim, who was far from being a Geezer then, and me and take us for a ride. At the time we were without a car and living in my old room at my parents house.

There was nothing wrong with that. We all got along great and the arrangement worked out well for all of us since Mom had been sick that Spring and I could be there with her. Jim, who was still a senior in college, had been laid off at the plant where he'd been working the graveyard shift so we were pretty strapped. I had to quit my waitress's job when my uniform wouldn't fit anymore, thanks to the presence of our first child.

That presence is why I know exactly what I was doing that evening. I was escaping all of the hopeful looks and incessant "Any contractions yet?" directed at me from my entire family.
You see Flag Day, June 14th is Old Newsie's birthday. It is also my brother Denis's birthday. He was serving in Viet nam at that time. And Dr. Buoni had proclaimed Flag Day, my baby's due date, much to the delight of the soon to be grandparents, great grandparents and everyone else. Wouldn't it be great if the first grandchild is born on their birthday? The pressure all day had been difficult to cope with along with the muggy New England afternoon.

So my late in laws did just what I asked. Mom#2 called back a few minutes later and suggested to Jim that the four of us go for a ride to cool off a bit. Jim was just as relieved at the idea as I was, and soon his Mom and Dad arrived to spirit us away. Not that we got off scott free, I can still hear my Dad's voice saying call me if anything happens. I can also see my Mom laughing and winking at me.

Once we got on the road, Dad2 discovered just how devious I could be. When he drove off toward Clarksburg, I secretly cheered. I guessed they planned to go to Donna's Dairy Bar, a favorite ice cream stand. What they didn't know was that the road was closed just before we would get there. But I knew a back road.

When we got to the road closed sign I pointed to an hidden lane that came out almost across the street from the Ice cream stand. I knew this because I'd ridden a bike on it with a friend back in high school

Once committed to the narrow road, Dad watched me in his rear view mirror as the potholes grew more frequent and the bumps and frost heaves rougher. Jim's Mom suddenly became convinced that I would decide to give birth out in the middle of nowhere and began chastising my poor Dad2 and insisting he turn around- a impossible action on that one lane route. Jim was alternately glaring at me or looking very nervous. Dad2 however, just kept watching me with a twinkle in his eye- he knew I'd planned this washboard ride from the moment I'd called him.

It really wasn't more than a couple of miles of what had actually been an ancient Indian trail. It passed some very pretty farms and then, as promised, delivered us to Donna's Dairy Bar.
Mom2 told me she would order me a chicken sandwich and a glass of milk while I was in the bathroom. As I headed for the loo, I told the woman behind the counter "No matter what they order for me, I want a cheeseburger and a large Strawberry shake." She grinned and asked me when I was due. "Today- and this diet is over!"

I got back to the table just as she brought the food. When they saw what I'd done, Dad2 just laughed and told the waitress, "Bring her a cup of whipped cream and two cherries."

When midnight arrived, there had been no birthday baby for Denis and Dad#1. I've always been grateful to Jim's father for helping me try to make wishes come true, in spite of what it might have done to the suspension on his car.

Tomorrow, this saga continues because you see that year June 15th was Father's Day!

Today, however, I just want to say Happy Birthday to Old Newsie and Brother Denis. May all your wishes come true this time.

Love ,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mouth Open Wide

I was watching NCIS,one of my favorite shows. It was a very good episode but I had an awful time not falling asleep. I could
not stop yawning. So I thought I'd Google yawning and see what I could find out about it.
This is what I found.

All mammals apparently yawn.

Pandiculation is the term for the act of stretching and yawning simultaneously. A yawn is a reflex of simultaneous inhalation of air and stretching of the eardrums, followed by exhalation of breath.

People used to think that the main reason we yawned was to increase extra oxygen to rid the blood of excess carbon dioxide. Recent studies however, have shown that yawning may in fact reduce the amount of oxygen rather than increase it.

Currently it is believed that yawning is the body's way of controlling brain temperature.The process cools off your brain, much like a fan cools the inside of a computer.
(So if people are calling you a Hot Head just yawn at them and you'll cool off and they will like you better.)

Sometimes a yawn can indicate the brain is needing glucose and we need to eat or drink. A yawn may also be a means of communicating apathy and boredom

Yet another theory is that yawning occurs to stabilize pressure on either side of the ear drums. The deep intake of air can sometimes cause a popping sound that only the yawner can hear; this is the pressure on the middle ear such as inside an airplane and when traveling up
and down hills, which cause the eardrums to b
e bent instead of flat. Some yawn during storms, which alters air pressure.

Superstitions are attached to yawning as in any natural action. What ever you do don't forget to cover your mouth when you yawn to prevent your soul from escaping. The ancient Greeks believed, that a person's soul was trying to escape from its body, so that it may rest with the Gods in the skies. This belief was also shared by the Mayans.

Gordon Gallup, hypothesizes that "contagious" yawning may be a survival instinct inherited from our evolutionary past. "During human evolutionary history when we were subject to predation and attacks by other groups, if everybody yawns in response to seeing someone yawn, the whole group becomes much more vigilant, and much better at being able to detect danger."

A recent study by the University of London has suggested that the "contagiousness" of yawns by a human will pass to dogs. The study observed that 21 of 29 dogs yawned when a stranger yawned in front of them, but did not yawn when the stranger only opened his mouth.

All of this is my way of saying I'm really tired to
and I think I'll go to bed.

See ya down the road,


My Internet connection has been sporadic all day. So this will be short in hopes it will actually get posted on time. If it gets published before I go to bed I'm going to count it!
All but of two of the people I thought would respond to my Wacky Word Challenge did so. One of those thought he would do his own thing. Not the smartest thing he's done lately. That means this weeks Good Sons awards go to California and Washington.

Without further ado, here are my definitions of yesterday's proposed new words.

Aggly.....Choral group whose songs run the gamut from Old MacDonald to Tim MaGraw's Down on the farm

Braxessi .....Voyager fans who really thought Neelix should get his own show once he met up with Brax and Dexa and discovered fellow Talaxians in "Homestead".

Catic.... people who are domintated by their felines to the point buying them special furniture or even of having an entire room given over to them. (Dogtic people never go that far!)

Deted...Sworn off tea for a while due to plumbing issues.

E-pokyi.... Internet version of the Hokey Pokey

Furbus....Conveyence used to transport stray minks,sables,chincillas and rabbits back into the wild.

Gusalima...Hybrid non-greasy ganders bred in Peru for the American meat market.

Imandeep.... Super model's book of profound thoughts and advice.

.... What the VP is doing when asked a question by reporters.

....Moisture noticeable in the eys of a male, often accompanied by a snuffling sound when viewing Sleepless in Seattle. Usually attributed to something in the eye.

.... Grandiloquent, pompous writing, comprised of prolixity and garrulousness to disguise the fact that the blogger has a paucity of ideas and therefore nothing to say.

Loweble .... expression used to indicate "I have no idea".

MaDoom .... Female parental unit who confronts her male offspring who have cleverly soaked and shot an entire box of tampons onto the bathroom ceiling where they cling precariously with strings hanging perpendicular to the ceiling.

That was the first half of the alphabet. We'll try this again once I've collected the other half.

Yep, it's late!

See ya down the road,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wacky Word Wednesday

As I was leaving a comment on a friend's blog last night, I spotted, once again , a word that would be a great Scrabble word- patacque. Heck, that's 21 points right there without even having to land on a double word square(42). If you managed to get the Q onto a double letter and also hit the double word square you would get 62! Then you have to factor in the fact that it is a seven letter word. So add 50 to the score before you double it and that would make it 162! A triple would get you ...

There is only one problem. Patacque is not a legal word. It is one of those verifiers you need to type into a little box before you can leave an intelligent statement like "Way to go." or "Great recipe!" on someone's blog. These sure look like words and I'll bet everyone of you has told at least one person what the wacky word on their comment field was.

So I got to thinking, which I admit can be a very convoluted process. What if we were to take some of these computer generated "words" and assign them meanings? After all, the Language of America, once known as English, is constantly evolving. We blatantly steal things like taco and babushka and add them to the dictionary. Suddenly, words I had two points deducted from my compositions for misspelling like lite and site are in that same book. Remember being told by your mother "Ain't ain't in the dictionary."? Well, it is now.

Some of the changes are actually rather lamentable. Once perfectly respectable words have now taken on completely new meanings and singing old songs can be considered politically incorrect. So if the adolescent generations, the computer geeks, and Madison Ave.copy writers can all make up new words why can't a handful of intrepid bloggers?

I'd like to list a baker's dozen Wacky Words gleaned, last night, from the comment sections of your blogs, Dear Readers. You assign definitions to them and post them on your blog or in my comment section (after typing in the verifier, of course). If you get a kick out of this sort of thing, then pass it along to six of your readers and see what we can all come up with. I'm sending this out to all of you but I'm making a three biscuit bet with Clancy as to which 6 of you will respond.

Here is my list. I'll post my definitions for these "words" tomorrow. It will be fun to see if any of us come up with the same ideas.






But I can't sign off without giving at least a couple of examples, can I? Here are a few that just screamed meanings at me and one that needed no definition at all.

Prommate - a term for your BFF who went with you because neither of you had dates.

Sickisms - completely tasteless jokes about illness, hospitals, patients etc.

Flickites - disciples of the Great and Glorious Imax

Teree - who to put after Teri, Terri, Terry and before Terrell in my cell phone

Redgew - what ends up in your hand when your four year old gives you his cherry popsicle

And the one that needs no definition? This came from the comment page on
Tails From the Furside . The only Blog that I am directly challenging with this meme. I kid you not.

Hillymomma !!!!!!!

See ya down the road,

P.S. Ha! you thought I'd forget about Patacque, didn't you. Well, I didn't. Although I can't use it in Scrabble because it is a proper noun,
Patacque turns out to be a town in Illinois!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

When Life Gives you Lemons

I'm sitting here drinking a glass of lemonade. Well, what we call lemonade most of the time since its actually the Wal-Mart knock off of Crystal Light. I just made it a little while ago and the half gallon pitcher is almost empty.

I got to thinking about Nana's Lemonade. One glass of that over ice, chipped from the big block, would last at least an hour while I stretched out on a blanket under the grape arbor, reading my latest Nancy Drew or Trixie Beldon mystery. Only Grandad was allowed to drink it down in big gulps after he worked on his Peonies. The rest of us knew to just sip the nectar that was the perfect blend of sweet and tart.

I didn't realize how much work Nana lovingly put into every pitcher she made until I was older. In those days we just knew there would be the big glass pitcher on the second shelf of the refrigerator after lunch and woe to the granddaughter who snitched a slice of lemon that was floating on top!

Nana's Homemade Lemonade

5 lemons
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 quarts water

Peel the rinds from the 5 lemons and cut them into 1/2 inch slices. Set the lemons aside.
Place the rinds in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar over them. Let this stand for about one hour, so that the sugar begins to soak up the oils from the lemons.
Bring water to a boil in a covered saucepan and then pour the hot water over the sugared lemon rinds.
Allow this mixture to cool for 20 minutes and then remove the rinds.
Squeeze the lemons into another bowl.
Pour the juice through a strainer into the sugar mixture.
Stir well, pour into pitcher and pop it in the fridge!
Keep lemon loving grandkids out of the pitcher.
Serve with ice cubes.

At home, in Levittown, we made lemonade from Kool Aid, and sometimes the Hoye kids would set up a lemonade stand on the corner of Mockorange Lane. Denis and I did most of the work, of course, but we knew the value of having our little brother and sister close at hand. they provided the cute factor and they thought nickles were better than dimes because they were bigger so we "paid" them with those.Many years later, my 3 oldest boys did the same thing in El Paso. Lone Duck and JuggleSorcerer must have gotten their business sense from Denis and me. They built the stand and made the drink. They even sent away for the free Kool Aid pitcher. The summer after Sage appeared in the Christmas play at the Ft. Bliss dinner theater, however, they made a new sign that read Tiny Tim's Olde Tyme Lemonade. They made him sit there, on the corner, while they played ball. And, of course, the cute factor worked again.

Sage wasn't quite as young as my sister and brother had been. He knew the value of the coins he collected when the soldiers walked or drove past his corner on a hot afternoon. He also had experienced the whole Shirley Temple/Tiny Tim bar drink thing. So he saved his "pay" and bought a pitcher of his own and made pink lemonade . He painstakingly made his own sign for that reading, For Girls Only.

Speaking of Pink Lemonade...I picked up some interesting speculation while trying to find out how the Pioneers managed to make lemonade on the wagon trains. Did you know that two different guys claimed they invented it?

The New York Times credited Henry E. "Sanchez" Allott as the inventor of pink lemonade in his obituary: "At 15 he ran away with a circus and obtained the lemonade concession. One day while mixing a tub of the orthodox yellow kind he dropped some red cinnamon candies in by mistake. The resulting rose-tinted mixture sold so surprisingly well that he continued to dispense his chance discovery."


"according to carnival historian Joe Nickell, in his 2005 book Secrets of the Sideshows ; a man named Pete Conklin who ran a circus lemonade and peanut concession actually was the one who invented the drink. One day in 1857, while Conklin was making regular lemonade, he ran out of water. In desperation, he used the pink water from a tub that one of the bareback riders had used to wash her red tights. Unfazed, Conklin added some lemon slices and sold the concoction as “strawberry lemonade,” promptly doubling his sales. And, as they say, when life gives you lemons …."

Here's a link to a real American hero who understood what that saying meant. Alex made lemonade.

See ya down the road,

Monday, June 8, 2009

What Did You learn in School Today?

I have always been interested in history. But there's little I remember of what I was taught in school left in my memory. In those days, we studied ancient history both as a class of it's own and in our Latin classes.

"Veni! Vidi! Vici!" "I came! I saw! I conquered!" That's what Julius Caesar reported when asked about his victory over Pharnaces. That's pretty much the way we learned Modern History and American History. We came, we saw, we conquered. If we, as the good guys, lost a battle or hurt innocent civilians, white, black, brown, or red, it was not part of History.

I remember asking why we didn't study the events of the 2oth century that involved our fathers, uncles, and grandfathers. The answer was, by learning about things that had happened hundreds of years before, we wouldn't be so apt to do them again.

Occasionally, we learned about a brave priest, nun or bishop who had died defending their church during the Spanish American War or The Great War.

But the only heroes of WWII we heard about in 1960 were;

(then Catholic President) John F.Kennedy, who saved his crew mates by swimming and hurting his back and by writing something on a coconut.


(now Saint) Maximilian Kolbe, a brave priest who traded places with a Jewish father and was killed in his place.

We learned about Anne Frank, the only Jewish girl many of my classmates, who had grown up in the very sheltered New England towns of Adams and North Adams had ever heard of, but only because her diary was in the school library.

I had spent my grammar school years in the post- war suburban development of Levittown, PA. There I was "exposed to" families of every faith. My best friend's grandparents had been murdered at Treblinka .

The lady who made us cider and donuts for Halloween treats wore a tattooed number on her arm so that she and those around her would never forget that she had lost her entire family, including her husband and children (who would have been only a couple of years older than me) to the Holocaust.

I knew what that word meant in my own naive, 14 year old fashion. But I never heard it uttered in my high school in Massachusetts.

This is in no way meant to put down my twelve years of Catholic school education. Over at Adams Memorial High they didn't even get to hear of St. Maximilian! My friends down in Levittown, at Wilson High did learn about Woodrow Wilson.

We graduated in 1965. That was only nineteen years after the end of WWII and I had classmates who's fathers were still missing in Korea. We had classmates and brothers about to serve and perish in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Mediterranean. Since then, we have fought in Granada, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait,and other places. My son may have to go to Korea next year.

So I have to wonder if we have learned anything by studying the Peloponnesian Wars and the major battles (won by the North of course) of the American Civil War.

"History repeats itself." our teachers told us.

While I admit that now my two particular areas of historical interest are the 1850s-American West and the first half of the 20th century, I hope the young people today are more aware of their recent past than we were. It seems that the past that keeps repeating is actually still going on.

Stepping off my soapbox now. Another day I'll write about my own interest in History, or Herstory, or even Kidstory.

See ya down the road,

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In Answer to Jonathon Swift and The Lone Duck

Yesterday, I wrote about Col. Robert Johnson the man who bravely ate tomatoes in front of hundreds of people to prove he wouldn't die. One of my most satirical readers challenged me to answer another food mystery about a brave man. This is my answer.

NPR Morning Edition Oct.18,2007

"Scientists exploring a cave in South Africa report evidence of shellfish dinners enjoyed by humans who lived 164,000 years ago. Anthropologists say the find could point to one of the earliest examples of modern behavior.

The discovery also calls to mind a line from 18th-century satirist Jonathan Swift: "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster." But now, the first people to eat shellfish may have been found.

Anthropologist Curtis Marean of Arizona State University reported on what he found in a cave in a rocky bluff by the ocean at Pinnacle Point.

"Not only do we see them eating shellfish, but there is a whale barnacle, a special species of barnacle that only appears on the skin of a whale," Marean said. "So that's a clear piece of evidence that they brought in a chunk of whale skin and blubber and ate it at that site, so what we have is the earliest dated systematic use of marine resources."

Scientists say culture makes us "modern" humans, as opposed to our primitive predecessors. By many measures, the new find suggests that modern human behaviors began earlier than previously believed. Modern homo sapiens is believed to have evolved about 200,000 years ago. But it took a long time for a "human" culture to develop. Anthropologists are still trying to figure out when such "modern behavior" began.'...

...And there was one more thing: a collection of small blades made of stone. Researchers say those are the fine tools that probably would have been set in a piece of bone or wood, like teeth in a saw blade.

The stone blades and the shellfish collecting are examples of increasingly sophisticated behavior. ...

...Discoveries like that made at Pinnacle Point are rare, especially along coastlines. Sea levels have risen several times over the past 200,000 years, and the oceans would have flooded many coastal cave dwellings.

Marean's cave site at Pinnacle Point is well above sea level and escaped that fate, leaving behind the cast-off shell of what may have been the first bold human to have eaten an oyster."

Now, I'm not saying that "the first bold man to have eaten an oyster" was a hero. In fact, I very much doubt "the first bold man to have eaten an oyster" was even a man! Women have historically been hunter gathers as well and in coastal tribes it was the women who fished and created the baskets in which to carry her groceries.

I think it was more likely that Oolna was the one who observed the birds smashing the oyster shells against the rocks and devouring the succulent flesh. Tired from her day's work, and trying to decide what to make Og for dinner that night, she finally said ,"What the heck." and managed to grab one of the smashed shells before the gull got to it.

She probably was so delighted when she swallowed the oyster tha
t her energy was renewed and she hastened to gather a mess of them. If Og was anything like my Geezerguy, who refuses to have anything to do with raw fish, I'll bet she had a good laugh as she imagined the look on her mate's face when she handed him his dinner.

You want me to eat what???

See ya down the road,


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lycopersicon Esculentum,

I made tuna salad sandwiches for supper tonight. That's not particularly impressive but the tomatoes we added to them were out of this world. We got them early this morning at the Rincon Valley Farmers Market.

We also found some tender baby squash, crook neck , pattipan ,and zucchini. Geezer was also amazed at the size of some yams so we bought just one which when baked should be enough for both of us.

But back to the tomatoes. Organic heritage tomatoes are like nothing else in the world. Certainly not anything like those tasteless little orbs they sell at the super markets these days. Mom used to grow Beefsteak tomatoes when we were kids and we would get a thrill out of seeing how many sandwiches we could make from just one of those huge fruits.

Our neighbor, Ed Wiseman, introduced me to the most delicious treat when I was about 10 years old and its still my favorite way to eat a tomato.

Spread cream cheese generously on a slice of pumpernickel bread; top with a very thick slice of tomato, warm from the garden, a bit of salt and pepper and a paper thin slice of onion. No top. I'd never had a sandwich with only one piece of bread before that day. I drove my Mother crazy making sure the Freihofers bread man delivered pumpernickel bread the rest of the summer. This gets pretty messy for a kid but it is so worth it!

Tomatoes have had an interesting history. First bred in South America, they were brought to Southern Europe by Spanish explorers. In Northern Europe and Britain, they were cultivated, at first, simply as an ornamental. Since they were related to deadly nightshade they were thought to be poisonous.

The Germans called them Wolfpeaches and it was believed that witches used them to produce werewolves. Indeed the scientific Latin name for tomatoes translates literally to "edible wolf peaches".

Superstition abounds in the cultivation and uses of these fruits. Placing a large tomato on the windowsill will ward off evil spirits. Putting one over the hearth will insure prosperity. If you need that prosperity faster, just place a tomato peel over the front door and you'll get money within four days. (and you don't have to forward it to anybody else either!)

Called Pomme d'Amor by the French, Sir Walter Raleigh is supposed to have presented one to Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen as an easily suggestive gift. Because of their alleged aphrodisiac properties, there were places in this country where young women were not allowed to eat the "Love Apples" until after marriage to prevent them from becoming promiscuous.

Once refused by the general populous in America they were served at many more enlightened tables like Thomas Jefferson's. Finally, a man who had been growing them on his own property for years and trying to convince people they were safe decided to go dramatic.

Man Who Ate Wolf Peaches
By: Doane R. Hoag

Salem, Mass., Sept. 28, 1820 ‑ To the surprise of everyone in this city, Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson is still alive. Several weeks ago Johnson, whom many considered to be totally bereft of his senses, announced that at high noon on Tuesday he would personally mount the steps of the county courthouse and, in full view of all interested parties, eat a wolf peach.

Now everyone knew that the wolf peach was deadly poison. Dr. James Van Meeter warned that if the colonel actually went through with his insane proposal, he would almost instantly begin to froth and foam at the mouth and double over with intense abdominal cramps which would terminate within minutes in his death.

"He's either an eccentric old fool who's going to kill himself, or he's just bluffing," people decided. In all likelihood, they thought, it was just a put‑on, and the colonel wouldn't show up at all. Nevertheless, as the noon hour drew near last Tuesday, an immense crowd of more than 2,000 persons gathered in front of the courthouse. Noon arrived. No Col. Johnson. People began to hoot and jeer. But at 15 minutes past the hour, who should appear but the colonel himself.

Dressed as usual in a black suit with white ruffled blouse, black shoes, black gloves, and a three‑cornered hat, he mounted the steps of the courthouse and faced the crowd. On his arm was a basket of wolf peaches which he had grown on his own property.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said, "for many years I have been trying to convince you that the much maligned wolf peach ‑ Solanum Lycopersicum is not a poisonous plant but a delicious and highly nutritious fruit which deserves a place on every table. "Having been unable to convince you by argument, I shall now attempt to do it by example. If I am right, I will live. If I am wrong, I will die. My friends, I shall now eat the wolf peach!"

With this, he reached into the basket, drew out one of the scarlet colored wolf peaches, and put it to his lips. Some were skeptical, suspecting it was only a trick, that he wouldn't actually eat it. But he did. Those close enough to him could see clearly that he actually took a large bit out of the fruit, chewed it up, and swallowed it. People gasped with horror. A woman fainted. Everyone watched to see Johnson begin to froth at the mouth and double over with cramps. He did neither.

It is now Friday, and Johnson is still alive and well. People around here have decided to start planting wolf peaches in their own gardens, for they really are a great delicacy. But they have stopped calling them wolf peaches. Tomatoes sounds much better.

Reprinted with permission of Atlanta Journal/Constitution

Okay, so there you have it, Another hero- Good old Col. Bob Johnson: the man brave enough to eat a tomato!

See ya down the road,

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Turn to be a Hero

This is a shout out to all my RVing friends who need to make something for tomorrow night's pot luck. For those of you who still bake for school and church bale sales, this one's for you. It's also for a certain cookie baking lady in Bartlesville, OK and the cake lady in Hobbs, NM. But most importantly it's for all my DILs!

By passing on this recipe, discovered by blog hopping while not quite awake, I hope to help make it the best new dessert of the year! But you have to act fast -be the first on your block or in your RV park to do this before everybody and her sister presents it first.

I'll wait until Sage and Chica get back before I try it since two of us have to watch our sugar consumption. It shouldn't be a problem, the other two will not leave much for us!

And so without further ado head for Cake Spy's blog to try her Cookie/Cake/Pie.

See ya down the road(at the dessert table!),

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Hero X 2

Geezerguy (HERO #1) took me to the movies tonight. After a really muggy day under a cloudy sky that simply wouldn't rain, the air conditioned theater felt pretty good. We saw State of Play
in which both Russell Crowe and Ben Afleck were very good. Had a good twist.

Before we left for the theater Hero#1 suggested stopping for dinner so I didn't have to cook anything and further heat up our Motor Home.

Enter Hero#2:

See ya down the road, Yarntangler

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Time For a Change

When I was a little girl I shared a room with Scrabblebuff. I always wanted a lavender bedroom, but she wanted pink. She got it. (I did have a lavender room later on but that is a different day's blog.)

When I was in 7th grade, I got my first pair of glasses ~butterfly shaped of course. I wanted to get a silvery colored frame but Scrabblebuff showed Mom a pair that were less expensive. Pink!

When I was getting married, I found a lovely linen sheath with embroidered flowers rising from the hem to the knees. I knew my four bridesmaids would all like the simple and flattering style, despite the fact they ranged in age from 15-21 and were of various heights and weights. They all did except She -Who- Must- Not- Be- Named. As the Maid of Honor, Mom said she should be allowed to help pick it out. My college aged friends groaned when they saw the typical bridesmaid dress with all the chiffon and fluff that she picked. I did put my foot down when she picked her favorite color and decided to at least let the girls choose their own colors and become my rainbow girls.

This picture is not of my wedding but it's close enough to give you the idea.

(When it was my turn to be her matron of honor years later I got no choice and wore a handmade brown patchwork skirted dress. It wasn't too bad for the time but I do have my cousin's blue one in my costume box if I ever lose enough weight to squeeze into it.)

Since that day almost 41 years ago, I have never owned a pink dress, a pink nightgown, a pink blanket, or a pink phone. I do have 2 pink T-shirts but only because they were what I had to wear to work last summer.

So you can guess why I have hated the look of my ultra pink blog ever since I set it up a couple of years ago. At the time it was the only thing that looked sort of feminine. Today I spent a good portion of the day searching for a new blog template-free of course and found three I really liked.

What you see here is not one of them. Techno-peasant that I am, I can't manage to figure out how to get them from the template place to my blog. I managed to get something downloaded but then I got stuck. All I get is error messages. I have given up for today but don't be surprised when the looks of this writer's blog continue to change.

Hey! At least I got a cool picture of an idyllic road I might someday travel at the top.

If you can tell me how to change the whole thing (I really want 3 columns) you'd become my hero for today!

On a side note: for any of you younger readers here's a fun party idea I found while looking for a picture similar to my bridesmaid dresses. On second thought, this would be a blast for us gals who are out of the Bridesmaid category. Thrift shops carry hundreds of such outfits! The boys could wear blue, purple or even pink tuxes! This could be a great fundraiser!

See ya down the road,