Of Cornfields & Coolers: A Fast Weekend Trip North

Please note that after a week of rainy days the blue sky and puffy white clouds made me happy.

OVER THE WEEKEND we drove 4.5 hours north through central Ohio farmland, seeing cornfields hither and yon, so that we could go see Zen-Den’s mother.  She’s now spending her days in a wheelchair and living in a nursing home. We also wanted to meet up with Zen-Den’s sister and her husband who live about a half hour away from MIL.

We hadn’t seen any of them since November 2019 because of all the Covid-19 restrictions, yada, yada, yada.

The weather for our drive was great, summery warm but not humid. I’ll admit that it was mesmerizing to be on the road after 16 months of staying at home.  Everything looked the same, but different.

Mother-in-law was able to chat with us for about 45 minutes before she was tired.  Considering her situation she seemed in a good place mentally, physically, and even spiritually.  Never one for small talk, we knew that it’d be fast visit with her so we also planned on visiting with SIL and her husband.

We met them at a lovely, Mediterranean-esque vineyard and had a delicious lunch outside on the patio under a large umbrella where adult libations flowed.   Then we walked around the beautifully landscaped multi-acre grounds that included a pond, walking paths, a gift shop, and a swanky bar with a hip vibe.

It was a pleasant, relaxing afternoon outside in the sunshine, walking a little, drinking some, and laughing a lot.

I mean A LOT of laughter.

Please note that the empty wine glass, with visible dregs of red wine, was left on the rustic lamppost near the vineyard parking lot.

SO THAT WE could break up the 9 hour round trip drive, on the way back home we stayed at a Hampton Inn.  Naturally something goofy happened while we were there because that’s how it goes with us.

When we travel by car we put bottles of water on ice inside a small Igloo-brand cooler that holds about 6 bottles.  It’s nothing special, just practical and durable.

As we were getting ready to leave the motel in the morning Z-D went to get ice from the machine on the first floor near the reception desk.  He had the cooler with him.  When the woman working behind to desk saw him with the cooler she started laughing.

At him.  He was baffled, not upset.

She said that she was used to seeing large Igloo coolers on wheels, the kind families take with them, but our little cooler was just too cute for words, a miniature cooler that for some reason tickled her.

Z-D explained that the little cooler was just for the two of us, so it made sense. According to him she nodded her head in understanding, but kept chuckling as he walked away.

Thus it came to be, what I can only describe as, a situation wherein Zen-Den was COOLER SHAMED.  I mean, really, who goes around publicly criticizing a man’s cooler? 🤨

Anyhow that’s what we did over the weekend. Just a weekend, kind of normal, like they used to be.

What did you do over the weekend, my gentle readers?

Please note that this is the cute little cooler mentioned above.

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!

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

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.

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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?

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Laughing With A Friend About Her Peeping Mom Problem

HERE’S the dealio. Friend and her husband live in a house on a country road, with an acre front yard, situated on the top of a steep hill.

This is rural. Very rural.

Directly across the way on the other side of the road on top of another hill is Friend’s husband’s parents’ house.

From their front doors they can see each other’s houses in general, but not the specifics, such as what’s going on inside the house or who’s sitting on the front porch.

Because they’re isolated up on their hills, it is private.

• • •

Antique wire-rim spectacles

• • •

EXCEPT that Mother-in-Law recently retired from a full-time job and bought a pair of binoculars to watch the birds in the trees that surround her house on a hill in the middle of freaking nowhere.

However birdwatching has not been enough to keep MIL entertained.  She is bored. And clever.  

In fact, MIL has figured out that by sitting just so in her living room she can use her birding binoculars to look inside Friend’s house.

Or to see who’s sitting on Friend’s front porch.

To spy, in other words.

This new turn of events has put a strain on Friend and MIL’s relationship.  MIL sees nothing wrong with peeping in on her son & wife’s daily life, and despite being asked to, will not stop her peeping.

Friend is peeved.

• • •

Bowl of plastic eyeballs

• • •

BEING a pragmatic soul I asked Friend why she didn’t shut the blinds on the windows on the front of the house. She told me she didn’t want to do that because it was unfair for her to have to do something she didn’t want to do because of her MIL’s interference in her life.

Uh huh.

So I suggested that Friend needed to do something to get MIL’s blood pressure up and offend her enough so that she’ll stop being a peeping mom.

“Amuck, amuck, amuck…”

To wit, I suggested that Friend could join a coven, dress like the witches in Hocus Pocus, and have a witches meeting in her front yard, complete with dancing, spells, and a big cauldron of boiling something, like the witches of Macbeth.

“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.”

And you know what, my gentle readers?  Friend told me that I was being silly, unsympathetic to her plight, and that I was: “NOT TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY.”

To which, between giggles, I managed to say: “You’re right, because this is not a problem. This is an opportunity to EITHER get over MIL’s interference & shut your dang blinds OR cause some mayhem.”

The choice is hers.

Question of the Day

With a peeping mom directly across the street from your house, would you buckle under and shut the blinds?

OR

Would you stir the pot and cause some trouble to make a “mind your own bidness” point to peeping mom?

I await your insightful answers in the comments below.

The Rest Of The Story: Thank You For Asking, My Gentle Readers

Quick, is anybody looking?

About the water leak in the ceiling of our recently remodeled bathroom…

[Story here.]

The ceiling is fixed thanks to roofers, remodelers, and painters.  The problem was that last year when The Remodelers were in the attic installing the new bathroom fan they accidentally knocked against the existing vent which jostled it enough so that the connection on the roof became loose.

Then water from melting snow and rain dribbled in around the existing vent, dripped through the attic down onto the ceiling– and eventually made itself known in the bathroom.  Hence the problem.

But you know what kids, all’s well that ends well.

About MIL after FIL’s passing…

[Story here.]

MIL, who is in her early 80s & has her own serious health issues, never wanted to live in their house after he was gone, so she has moved into an Assisted Living facility wherein she is safe and cared for by a staff who know how to keep her healthy and we hope, happy.

This is a woman, who before this, has lived in only 3 different houses in her life, so change does not come easily to her.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers [or tots and pears 😉] regarding her.

About the confusing Latin + Native American message…

[Story here.]

I figured it out, oh yes I did.  After a bit of online research plus a conversation in real life, I realized that [ready for this?] a Shakespeare play was going to happen in a rural county park.

The message was a sly reference to Shakespeare, using Latin, combined with the name of the county park, that happened to be the name of a Native American tribe. I don’t know how effective this message was at getting people to attend the play, but it was a good brain teaser for me.

And we’ll just leave that story right here.

About the eyelid cleaning that I had last Friday…

[Story here.]

The BlephEx™️ procedure was without drama, the way I like medical things to be.  The Doc put some anti-bacterial foam on this little gadget that looked like a Dremel drill wannabe and vibrated like an electric toothbrush on cocaine.

He slowly moved it around my lash line and eyelid area, cleaning my eyelids and eyelashes as he went.  No big deal, it tickled a little bit and took about 15 minutes.  Immediately afterward my eyes were tired, but I could see clearly to drive & read.

Overall my eyes feel less gritty & more relaxed than before, so there you go.

Nope. Then let’s smooch!

~ ~ 🤔 ~ ~

Any more questions you’d like to ask me? This is your chance. If lines are busy, please keep trying. 

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