One-Liner Wednesday: A Memorable Piece Of Marital Advice From Aunt Ann

This is one of those you-can’t-make-it-up stories.

Z-D says considering all the bad advice that is on social media lately I need to share this here. It’s a story from my past that imparts some memorable advice.  

Kind of weird advice.

I swear to you that his Aunt Ann said this to me years ago. And I’ll also tell you up front that I can honestly say I took her advice to heart.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here…

~ ~ ~ ~

Many years ago I went to a bridal shower held for moi.  It was ostensibly for me to meet about 20 of Zen-Den’s older female relatives, but was in fact a way for them to size me up.

They were not a friendly crowd.

It was an awkward uncomfortable event for me, an introvert, a sweet little lambie tossed in among the wolves, but I did my best to be likable because back then I cared about such things.

At this shower we played a game in which all the women at the shower were to write their best piece of marital advice on a 3×5″ index card.

While they got snacks I was to read all the cards to myself, picking the card with what I believed to be the best advice.  The person who wrote this card then got the door prize.  I can’t remember what it was, but these women wanted that prize.

There was a competitive spirit amongst them.

That I do remember.

I realized immediately that this game was a trap, the Kobayashi Maru of bridal shower games.  No matter whose advice I picked I’d tick off someone and there’d be repercussions, perhaps for decades.  These were women with a penchant for holding onto resentments.

Grudges were their lifeblood.

I did not like this game, but miracle of miracles I read Aunt Ann’s piece of advice and I instantly knew that I liked it the best PLUS I realized that no one there would ever resent me for picking it.

Yes, that’s how timeless and profound it was.

Aunt Ann told me: Never start ironing your rags, because once you do, you won’t be able to stop. 

Is this not so? And was I not fortunate to have Aunt Ann point this out to me, thereby setting me on the course to a life of freedom that comes from having wrinkled rag?

Huzzah!

~ ~ ~ ~

To learn more about Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday click HERE.

Adapting With A Smile: Getting The Groceries, Trying The Recipes

Welp, it has finally happened even though I said I’d never do this.

You see, we’ve started using online ordering for our groceries, then we go, together, to pick up our order outside the store.

There’s no charge for this now and it does seem like a healthier way for us to get groceries.  Plus not to put too fine of a point on it, we have the time– and allow me to clue you in, it can take time to do this.

On our last adventure our assigned pickup time was for a 5:00-6:00 p.m.  We arrived at 5:03 p.m., got in a line with about 20 cars in front of us, and left the parking lot with our groceries in the trunk of the car at 6:58 p.m.

Yes, almost 2 hours in line to get food, safely.

Ain’t life a pip? 

• • •

The knocked over sign said: PICKUP LINE STARTS HERE  We laughed at the folly of it all, having been in line for an hour before getting to this *beginning* spot. From the look of the damage to the sign someone before us may not have seen the humor in that sign at that point in line.

• • •

We did have a weirdly good time waiting in line together.  

We started watching shoppers, most of whom didn’t have masks, going in and out of the store.  We started making up back stories about them OR criticizing how they handled their groceries once they got to their vehicles.

Case in point, a woman wearing surgical gloves came out of the store pushing a cart, walked to her car, opened the trunk, put her groceries into the trunk, walked over to the trash container, removed her gloves properly.

Then USING HER UNGLOVED HANDS she opened the flap on the trash container, disposing of the gloves therein.  She walked back to her car trunk, shut the trunk, got into the car, and drove away– using her hands that had touched the trash container to do so.

ICK!

• • •

The shy sign said: PICKUP WAITING STARTS HERE We chuckled with mirth, but weren’t duped. We’d been in line for close to an hour and a half at this point. Clearly this sign saw what had happened to the previous sign and was taking precautions to stay safe.

• • •

Now that we’re dining in all the time we’ve been cooking and baking: carbohydrates are our friends.

In truth we’ve been having fun while trying new recipes and/or revisiting old ones.  In all cases we’ve adapted the recipes to work with what we have procured via said online ordering/pickup scenario discussed above.

Below is an alphabetized list of recipes we’ve made.  I’ve rated them and made a few notes about what we changed because of… oh you understand why.

Click on the title of the recipe to be taken to it online.

Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie [A+] – used ground beef instead of ground lamb

Baked Cheese Grits [A] – used half & half instead of whipping cream

Bisquick Velvet Crumb Cake [B-] – added nutmeg to batter, cinnamon to topping 

Brown Rice and Corn Cakes [A] – used onion powder instead of fresh chives, white flour instead of whole wheat

Classic Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies [A+] – didn’t change a thing!

Classic Strawberry Shortcakes [A] – added 1 tsp vanilla extract, a pinch of nutmeg

Easy Bisquick Chicken Pot Pie [C-] – made as is, not bad but old-fashioned and blah

Grandma’s Anything Goes Strata [B] – used all milk [no half & half], used cooked bulk breakfast sausage instead of deli meat, added 1/4 tsp brown mustard

Lemon Curd [A+] – no changes to ingredients, cooked using double boiler instead of directly on heat 

Martha Stewart Spiced Walnuts [B+] – used 1 tsp chili powder for 1/2 tsp coriander

~ The End ~

Which Three Personality Traits Are Helping You Deal With Today?

Photo by Johnson Wang [@jdubs] via Unsplash

• • •

YEARS AGO I TOOK AN ADULT EDUCATION night class about managing your stress. The 4-part class was offered by a regional hospital and was taught by a woman with a background in massage therapy who was at that time working on a graduate degree in religious studies.

She was wise & funny. Delightful in her pragmatic approach to life.

To be clear this was not a class aimed at finding the causes of your stress or analyzing why you had this stress. It was a class based on the assumption that the sources of your stress were your own business, specific to your own life.

The class was about creating a “tool box” of positive coping behaviors;  that is, by learning to breath in the moment or detach from your ego or chant a soothing mantra or acknowledge your own worth, you could deal with your stress in a healthy way.

The premise being, quite simply, that if you know how to calm down in any situation, then you’ll do better at whatever it is you’re doing.

Is this not true?

~ 💚 ~

ONE OF THE TOOLS I REMEMBER FROM this class was the question I posed in the title of this post. We were encouraged to think about who we were based on our own particular personality traits. [List of 600 personality traits here.]

This was trickier to do than you might think it’d be.

To wit, we were NOT describing ourselves in the sense of our relationships so saying I’m a wife, a niece, a sister-in-law was wrong.  And we were NOT describing ourselves in the sense of our job titles/hobbies so saying I’m a manager, a writer, a walker was wrong.

While those descriptions of myself were accurate they weren’t the point of this mental health exercise.  They were considered a distraction from understanding yourself better, a way to gloss over who you really were.

NOPE, we had to state who we were based on our own self-awareness.  We had to acknowledge our individual personality traits whether they be considered a strength or a weakness, then accept the trait.

To thine own self be true, you know?

~ 💚 ~

I HADN’T THOUGHT ABOUT THIS CLASS IN a long time, but over the weekend I realized I was reminding myself each day to focus on three personality traits, allowing myself to feel empowered as a result of it.

I realized why I was asking myself this question and thought that maybe someone else might benefit from using this simple approach to stress management.

So in conclusion here is my answer to the question.  For me, most of the time my personality traits that are helping me deal with my days during the pandemic are: 1) I’m organized, 2) I’m creative, and 3) I’m perceptive.

• • •

What about you, kids? Care to share which three personality traits are helping you stay above the fray, cool in every way? Or if not cool, at least sane for most of the day?

• • •

Flowers Of Yellow Make Me Feel Mellow When Words Escape Me

~ ~ ~ ~

It’s Tuesday, the day of the week when I plan on posting to this blog.

‘Tis a fact.

However, I’m finding that I have less to say than normal, words escape me.  Or perhaps I’ve become more succinct with my words when I use them.

In truth I’m becoming more relaxed, introspective about my current lifestyle.  All things considered I’m cheerful and content to spend more time at home;  I figure if this is how you stay healthy, why not become a hermit?

[Meant to be a rhetorical question but worth pondering.  How well are any of us adapting to this stay at home lifestyle?]

So in lieu of me rambling on here, attempting to write about my usual flapdoodle and twaddle, I’ll give you the following which is delightfully wordy and worth a listen.

On The Allusionist, a podcast by Helen Zaltzman, there is an episode called “Tranquillusionist: Your Soothing Words.”  It’s 10 minutes of unexpected aural mellowness while Zaltzman reads 343 words.

[Click on HERE to be taken directly to the page on which you can find the doohickey thingie that lets you listen to a podcast on your computer. Or follow The Allustionist on a podcast app on your phone and find the episode there.]

And with that, I wish you well, my gentle readers.  May you find ways in which to honor and center yourself while remaining safe during a strange time in the history of the world.

Live with intention. Engage with clarity. Share with joy.

Everyone doing OK under the circumstances?  

What’s Cooking? Old Recipe Pamphlets and Cookbooks [Part 2 Of 2]

Today it’ll be Think & Do + Poll Question. Yesterday it was Show & Tell + Discussion

THERE IS A PLACE BETWEEN TRASH AND TREASURE WHEREIN ONE CAN FIND STUFF

STUFF being defined as interesting things, unique things, obscure things that are worthy of conversation but not much more.

In this case the STUFF is from a box I inherited that contains my grandmother’s handwritten cookbook, a couple of printed cookbooks, and other bits of information about food and drink.

Thus I give you Think & Do.

~ ~ ~ ~

THINK & DO

This recipe for Frankfurter Roast with Prune Stuffing suggests: “You’ll like this simple method of utilizing either prune or raisin stuffing with the plebeian but flavorful frankfurter.” 😳

~ ~

This recipe for Cottage Cheese Salad Dressing combines sweetened condensed milk with sieved cottage cheese, vinegar, and a few spices. 😖

~ ~

This recipe for Chicken [or Ham or Salmon or Tuna] Mousse suggests that it is: “A hearty flavorful entree for hot summer or busy, meeting-filled days.” 🤨

~ ~

POLL QUESTION

~ ~

Sources:

Frankfurter Roast with Prune Stuffing is from 100 Selected DRIED FRUIT RECIPES chosen by 100,000 HOMEMAKERS at GOLDEN GATE INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION, published by CALIFORNIA DRIED FRUIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE, 1939

Cottage Cheese Salad Dressing is from THIS IS MY BOOK OF MAGIC RECIPES by The Borden Company, 1942

Chicken [or Ham or Salmon or Tuna] Mousse is from Joys of Jell-O by GENERAL FOODS CORPORATION, 1963

~ ~ ~ ~

What’s Cooking? Old Recipe Pamphlets and Cookbooks [Part 1 Of 2]

Today it’ll be Show & Tell + Discussion. Tomorrow it’ll be Think & Do + Poll Question.

THERE IS A PLACE BETWEEN TRASH AND TREASURE WHEREIN ONE CAN FIND STUFF

STUFF being defined as interesting things, unique things, obscure things that are worthy of conversation but not much more.

In this case the STUFF is from a box I inherited that contains my grandmother’s handwritten cookbook, a couple of printed cookbooks, and other bits of information about food and drink.

Thus I give you Show & Tell.

~ ~ ~ ~

SHOW & TELL

The STUFF featured in the above photograph has one noticeable thing in common: these recipe pamphlet and cookbook covers have the color red on them.  Other than that they are about as random as can be.

They are in order of publication year:

1933 – The Art Of Mixing by Wiley and Griffith

1941 – Quick•easy RECIPES from MUELLER’S

1942 – THIS IS MY BOOK OF MAGIC RECIPES from The Borden Company

1943 – How to bake by the Ration Book from Swans Down

1949 – Aunt Chick’s Pies by Nettie McBirney

1963 – Joys of Jell-O from General Foods Corp.

1960s [?] – TRUDY TENDERFOOT MEETS REDDY KILOWATT from Ohio Edison Company

~ ~

DISCUSSION

Anyone else feeling less guilty about not following through on Marie Kondo’s advice about getting rid of STUFF that doesn’t spark joy?  Especially in light of the fact that STUFF often makes for good conversation starters?

Anyone know why red was [or is?] a popular color for the front of cookbooks?

Anyone try a new-to-you old recipe lately?

~ ~ ~ ~

Like An Owl On The Shelf, I’m Looking At You My Fellow Bloggers

I happened to see the sun shining on this owl pitcher sitting on the hutch shelf and snapped a photo of her for the heck of it.

Never have I been happier to report that nothing interesting is going on around here.

I haven’t been anywhere in a week.  Well, I’ve gone outside for walks in the neighborhood, but I haven’t been in a store or restaurant or medical office.

No haircut. No trip to the mall. No foray to the party store next state over. No shopping at the garden nursery.

Pretty much, NO to all the activities I’d planned for the end of March.

My calendar is empty.

Instead of fretting about the nothingness of now I’ve decided to focus on blogging.

To wit, I’ll be writing here in my usual way, trying to keep my posts short, snappy, sassy, stylish, smart.  And any other positive ‘S’ word you can think of.

But writing and maintaining your own personal blog is only 60% of blogging. The other 40% is reading other people’s blog posts and commenting on them. Therein is the secret of blogging, truth be known.

And with that little bit of wisdom gleaned after messing around in the blogosphere for 16 years [anniversary this week in fact], I’ll hit publish on this post.  No need to dither here when I’ve all of you to read and comment upon.  Must share the comment love.

Yep, I’m looking at you, my fellow bloggers. Ain’t you glad?