Share Your World | Going To The Turtles

Once a week Cee asks the questions on her blog, and I answer them here on my blog.  It’s a good thing, ‘ya know?

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 What is something that people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?

Basketball.

*yawn*

Here’s my take on it: a bunch of people, who call themselves a team and wear matching culottes, make a big deal about bouncing a ball while running to one end of a wooden court where they make squeaky noises with their shoes as they toss the ball among the team members.  Eventually, someone attempts to throw the ball into an overhead small circular net.

Why?  No one knows.

Then, the whole nonsensical show repeats at the other end of the court allowing the other team to do the same thing.  And then it happens again.

Ad infinitum. 👎

What quirky things do people do where you are from?

No one does this where I live now but…

I grew up in a small town where the word “mango” meant green pepper.  Yep, no one called green peppers what they were, except my mother who knew that a mango was a tropical fruit, not a vegetable.

She never tried to correct anyone in town on this point, but she did make it clear to me that what everyone in this small town believed to be true, was in fact objectively false in the rest of the world.

It was a life lesson, I suppose, on the dangers of groupthink.  And of putting the wrong ingredients into your recipes.

 • What are some things you wish you could unlearn?

What it is like to be inside a MRI.  All of them, any style.  It’s a feeling too horrible for words.

Who is someone that you miss having in your life? 

I used to go to yoga classes at the wellness center in a local hospital. Carol, a RN, taught the classes.

These classes were the most safe and satisfying yoga experiences I ever had.  However, Carol retired, the hospital closed the wellness center, and I’ve been left ever since trying to find [unsuccessfully] anyone as fun and centered as Carol was.

I miss Carol.

Optional Bonus Question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week’s gratitude award goes to Fredrik Backman for writing the darkly humorous novel, A Man Called Ove.  This book kept me entertained/distracted for hours so that the remodeling noise and the various people traipsing around inside our house did not bother me.  No better review, eh?

This week’s looking forward to something goes to meeting some friends to go see a professional baseball game.  We do this once a year and it’s always a good time, regardless of who wins the game.

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This post is part of Cee’s Share Your World Weekly Writing Challenge.

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Of Plans & Parsley Thwarted

“Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.”

~ E. B. White

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Two parsley worms munching on my parsley.

Zen-Den and I took last week off to go on a staycation.

My plans for our staycation, which we scheduled last January, revolved around the idea that together we’d be able to do a long list of outside chores.  But the weather turned hot & muggy with rain so we weren’t able to do much outside.

Like I’d planned. Carefully.

At first the weather bummed me out, but after a rather stern Come-to-Jesus meeting with myself I managed to convince me that all was not lost.  That I’d adapt to this unfortunate turn in staycation weather with a revised plan and a hopeful heart.

Dammit.

• • •

So what did we do on our staycation?

Well, I’m glad you asked, my gentle readers.  We did boring things, mostly inside the house, that had needed to be done for a long time.  To wit:

  • we cleaned out more of the basement, taking 2 carloads of stuff to Goodwill;
  • we sorted through clothes closets and our garage, tossing out all sorts of junk;
  • we shredded documents from as far back as 1998;
  • we cleaned out both the refrigerator + freezer, going so far as to replace the water filter in the frig;
  • we installed the last 3 new outdoor lights, a project we began last fall, taking the old still useable lights to Habitat For Humanity;  and
  • we tried 2 new dessert recipes, Mexican Brownies & Apricot Clafouti.

We were productive and made yummy things to eat.

• • •

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One particularly hungry parsley worm followed the parsley stem to the end.

But much more was going on here than de-cluttering and dessert.

While we were working to make things less cluttered inside the house, two parsley worms set up residence in my herb pot, and decided to devour as much parsley as possible.

I’d be upset about this except that in light of all the current chaos and discord going on in the United States, their destruction seemed insignificant.

Charming, even.

Plus I know that if they eat enough now, they’ll be able to turn into Black Swallowtail Butterflies later in the summer.  And that kind of small hope, of transformation and growth, of plans succeeding, makes me think that tomorrow will be a better day.

For them.

For us.

For everyone.

• • •

A Recipe For A Heart-y Dinner, So To Speak

Do you want to be happier about where you are in life?

Then I recommend you read the following recipe which will quickly make you incredibly content to be living in the modern world.

The recipe is from The Something-Different Dish, by Marion Harris Neil, Cookery Editor of Ladies’ Home Journal and author of this cookbook, published in 1915, a mere 101 years ago.

[She also wrote The Story of Crisco around this time. But I digress…]

Please keep in mind that a respectable cookbook published this recipe because [presumably?] people were eating things like this.

That they made at home.

Not that long ago.

So considering this reality, might I suggest that when you start to feel down about your life here in 2016, you need to remember that things could be a lot worse.

You could be eating Love In Disguise for dinner tonight.  😉

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If We Were Having Coffee On This January Morning…

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{ image via @lawyermom1 }

THE SETTING:  

We’d be sitting at the local Starbucks, enjoying the fact that we were out of the house, doing something together.  

I’d be drinking a vanilla latte with an extra shot and you’d be drinking whatever it is that floats your boat.  My treat, of course.

We’d be listening to the sound of the overworked espresso machines, the indistinct conversations of fellow Starbuckians, and the random genre-less background music that seems to be in every Star$.

THE CONVERSATION:

√  We’d be chatting… about how I read that the colors for spring clothes are rust, mustard and poppy.  I’d assure you that there’s no stinking way you’ll be seeing me in any of those colors.  I’d also mention that I have no plans to go shopping for spring clothes this year.

√  We’d be sharing… our latest podcast obsessions, which in my case is Call Your Girlfriend.  I’d tell you that the podcast’s tone is smart and warm, and that it is lots of fun to listen in while girlfriends talk about a variety of subjects such as feminism, fashion, politics– and whatever else is newsy and relevant this week.

√  We’d be talking… about how after reading this article about raiding your own cookbook collection, I’ve decided to make one recipe per month from a cookbook I already own.  My first recipe, Braised Pork With Sauerkraut, which was delicious, was from Joy of Cooking [75th Anniversary Edition].  Considering I have over 30 cookbooks, this could turn into a fun longterm project.

√  We’d be laughing… about how Zen-Den, the confused, asked me if I’d be “calamari-ing” our house.  Somewhere he’d heard about this new Japanese declutter trend.  While he understood the principles, he’d gotten the name wrong.  My answer, when I finally figured out that he was talking about KonMari, was NO!

THE CONCLUSION:

We’d have to part after about an hour or so because each of us had things to do, things to do.

We’d hug and promise to get together sometime in February, weather permitting, daily life allowing, work schedule be damned.

And we’d count our blessings that we have each other to talk with.  Like friends do everywhere.  Over a fancy coffee in one of the most ubiquitous places on earth.

• • •

Idea for this post came from Diana at Part-Time Monster.

• • •

An Unsolved Mystery: What Became Of Dottie?

When the weather turns sub-zero, my thoughts turn to carbohydrates.  All kinds of carbohydrates.  Some of which are meant to be eaten with delicious stews and soups.

Carbohydrates like corn bread.

Homemade.  Using Dottie Dorsel’s Corn Meal, a regional favorite.  A product packaged in a rectangular shape made of thick paper.  Traditional.  Easy to find on the shelf.

• • •

So I went to ye olde K. Roger to a buy some of Dottie Dorsel’s Corn Meal and instead what I found was Dorsel’s Corn Meal.  Packaged in a slick corporate plastic bag with a zip top and large writing that excluded Dottie’s name.

This, I said to myself, is an outrage.

I mean, Betty is still with Crocker.  Duncan is still with Hines.  Aunt is still with Jemima.  [Okay, the last one’s not the same, but go with me here.  I’m on a rant.]

SO WHAT HAPPENED TO DOTTIE DORSEL?

The heroine of our story.

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{ Image courtesy of dannwoellertthefoodetymologist }

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Naturally I started researching this mystery because it’s fricking cold outside and I ain’t going anywhere on foot or car [if I can help it] I had the time and I was curious to see how the current owners of Dottie Dorsel’s Corn Meal would explain themselves.

I discovered that:

  • Dottie Dorsel, aka Dorathea Dorsel, was a real person from northern Kentucky whose father owned The Dorsel Milling Company in the late 1800s.
  • I learned from a recipe in a 1999 cookbook that the company was at that time called the Dottie Dorsel Company.
  • I know that today Prairie Mills owns, what it refers to as, Dorsels Brands.
  • I cannot find any corporate PR releases or newspaper articles that talk about the change in packaging– or why Dottie’s delightfully alliterative name was left off the new package.
  • I can find some recipes online [here and here] from the early 2000s that mention using Dottie Dorsel Pinhead Oat Meal (another regional favorite), but Corn Meal recipes, specifically mentioning Dottie, do not seem to exist.

• • •

Clearly, there’s a conspiracy going on here.  A cover-up.  You can’t go around messing with people’s names on food packaging, can you?  I realize that Fig Newton dropped the Fig from its name, but Fig wasn’t a real live person who I related to on so many levels.

Fig was a fruit.  Duh.

All I can guess is that Dottie must have overheard something so sinister or stumbled upon a secret so dark that there was a need to rub her out.  Which lead to some mysterious someone axing her first name from the packaging of her own regionally famous corn meal.

BUT WHY MUST IT END THIS WAY?

That’s what I can’t figure out.

[Hello FTC!  I forgot to add this disclaimer when I wrote this post, so I’ll add it now… a few weeks later.  I’d love to tell you that this company was savvy enough to respond to my concerns, but no such luck.  Meaning that there was no compensation for what I said here.]

In Which We Learn Whether Or Not I Can Upload A Photo & Then Write About It

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Let’s pretend that my last post didn’t happen.  Okay?

Which is to say that if you’ve arrived here expecting to see a post about me having lunch, I deleted it.  The post, not lunch.

I didn’t delete the post because I said anything bad, but because the photos, which made the post interesting, looked hazy.  Not pretty.

In fact, when I uploaded them yesterday the WP system wouldn’t let me upload them in the normal way.  I had to revert to an older way of uploading photos to get them here.

And once here, not so clear.

So now, today, this very morning, I decided to upload a test photo to see how the WP system is working today and to see how my photo looked.

And wouldn’t you know it, today’s photo, of two of my mother’s old recipe booklets that I keep in one of my desk drawers, is the epitome of clarity.  And coconut.

Thus proving that I’m tenacious, I can upload photos, I can write a post of the fly, and that I’ve kept some rather unique items that belonged to my mother.

For no discernible reason. Which seems to be the theme of this post.

Regarding Sweetness & Light For Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  Here are five links of sweetness and light to put you in the right frame of mind.  Enjoy!

√  Fall in love all over again… with puppies.  Watch commercial many times.  Feel all warm & fuzzy inside.  [Which TV show used this music as its theme?]

√  Remember how much you loved the romantic movie You’ve Got Mail.  View the movie’s original promotional website.  Allow its simple charm + your memories of the movie to make you smile.

√  Bake some Mini Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing.  Be overwhelmed with happiness upon tasting them.  Try not to eat them all in one sitting.  So good.

√  Print a few free Valentine’s Day cards to give to your sweetie + friends + family.  Remember to give yourself a card, too.  Just because.

√  Take a look back in time when a girl’s dream was to have a man sweep her off her feet.  Be amazed by what good-looking, athletic Douglas Fairbanks, as  Zorro, could do.