Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When Life Gives you Sour Grapes

Sour Grape Salad at the 2:00 position on the plate



I was asked if my Super Bowl post yesterday could have a tinge of sour grapes.
Well, naturally!

And that got me to thinking.
What about those of us who refuse to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday with the bean dip, barbeque and beer  being prepared in massive quantities on the east coast?

We have to eat, but we absolutely refuse to partake in any Super Bowlish dishes.

So, all you glum folks whose football teams will not be in Indianapolis this coming Sunday–do I have a recipe for you!  It comes via my daughter-in-law’s mother, who made it for wedding rehearsal dinner. We had to forcibly remove the wedding party from the salad so we could get on with the show.

Sour Grapes Salad

8 oz. cream cheese
small tub Cool Whip
½ c. sugar
1 lb. seedless red or green grapes

Wash and dry grapes. Combine cream cheese, Cool Whip and sugar till smooth and lovely.
Fold in grapes and refrigerate.

There you have it. A little something to sweeten Sunday.
You may want to hang onto this one even if your teams are playing Sunday.
If your team loses it will sweeten Monday.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Bowl Slush



Dear N.Y. Giants and N.E. Patriots Fans,

Enjoy this week. It’s your final chance to believe anything is possible. The final countdown to untold glory or unmitigated misery. The last week when every ESPN channel, every TV Guide, every sports page features your teams. The waning few days to wear your team’s colors to work and to bed, when the Man on the Street in Indianapolis is interviewed to see if he knows which states comprise New England and the Woman on the Street is asked to guess the original cost of the Giants franchise ($500).

Enjoy it. Because next week at this time one entire group of you will be wallowing through the Slough of Despond, debating whether to join with fellow sufferers and rehash what should have been or sit alone in you room with leftover cheese dip, musing about the possibility that your state/region’s hockey/basketball/baseball team will reclaim the glory of your state/region. And thousands and thousands of ‘Super Bowl XLVI Champion’ shirts, hats, beer steins and key chains that were printed for your loser of a team will never see the light of day. So enjoy this week.

And you Champions? Enjoy the next few days. Enjoy the next year even. Enjoy the thrill of victory because it is ephemeral. In a couple of weeks most of the nation will be quite over its infatuation with you. In a couple of months entire people groups will not be able to name the victors of Super Bowl XLVI. And one of these years– 2013? 2014? Your team will lose. The glory days will be over. You’ll try to recapture the jubilation but alas. Nothing but hollow memories remain. You team is now as attractive as last week’s snowfall.

Enjoy this final week of walking in the clouds. Eventually you’ll land in the slush with the rest of us leftovers from Super Bowls Past. Your only compensation is knowing that the team who beat you will eventually be in the puddle with you.

Sincerely,
The Packer Fan in the Slush

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sign my petition. Bayfield Recall

For several years now my husband and I have taken a winter break and stayed at a bed and breakfast in the village of Bayfield on the shores of Lake Superior.
About this time of year I start to recall our great times up there and remind my husband of how we enjoy it.
This year he said the fateful words I never wanted to hear, "Maybe we should try someplace else this year."
I think I need to circulate a petition requesting that my husband reconsider.
I really want to go to Bayfield again.
Below are my reasons.
Please consider the facts. Then, if you see me standing on a street corner with a sign that says 'Recall Bayfield' would you sign my petition? Thank you.
We get to see a leg lamp house


and beached boats

and Narnia trees.

We get to eat at Maggie's

and stay at the historic inn

and admire the library from the outside

and inside.

We see skates

and sunrises over Lake Superior

and the ice road on Lake Superior

and visit my beloved big sister.

But the clincher for my husband is always the chance to glimpse these.
Maybe this will be the picture for
my recall poster. All is fair in the Bayfield Recall Battle.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jumping

When my Tiny Tots Sunday School class, or my own little boys
were undergoing a surfeit of excess energy I would have them jump up and down while we
sang this little song.
Feel free to use it as you please. It works with almost any tune.
There are no rules as to how many times to sing the verse. My rule
of thumb was till the excess energy had dissipated.

Jumping, jumping, jumping jump,

With the feet God gave to me.
Jumping, jumping, jumping jump,


With the feet God gave to me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Prime Number


Optimal numbers. What a fun little phrase.
Since those two words hint at an entire universe filled with the potential that x  will have an optimal level of efficiency (if we can but light on the optimal number required for x), The Prude is fascinated.

Did you know there is a method to discover the optimal numbers of pigs per feeding space for pellets?
That the American Heart Association has established an optimal triglyceride level for you? (it is 1.3 mg/dL. You are welcome)

Plato, bless his little philosophizing heart, did some complex contortions of numbers and figured out the optimal number of citizens in a state (5040. The Prude’s little village will need to sub-divide soon)

The optimal number of fingers on inhabitants of Bedrock? (4).
When you set up your fantasy football league you will want to know the optimal number of players . (12).
The optimal number of words in a blog post is 300.  Oops.
The Prude’s optimal number of children is 3 because that is how many God gave her.

But her optimal number when it comes to keeping a nominally tidy house is (2).
Rather tidy. Disregard bow behind the Bumble.

She grew up in a family of 5. She was disorganized and, admittedly, sort of sloppy. Same when she lived on her own (1)
Then she married, (2) and the house was tidy enough to escape church lady censure.
But with the arrival of each additional child (3), (4), (5) she found herself looking back at the disorganized and sloppy days with longing and nostalgia.
Even after the 2 eldest married, she couldn’t seem to get a handle on keeping a tidy house for (3) people.
But then her youngest went away to college. And God, with His way of giving little blessings to line the loneliness of an empty nest, restored The Prude’s ability to keep a nominally neat home for (2)
For a brief semester she thought she had the disorganized/sloppy thing licked. Then youngest child came home for winter break (3) and once again the messy monster reared its ugly head.
Through a series of complex mental contortions The Prude comes to the conclusion that her optimal Tidy Number is (2). She loves living with more people. She is just incapable of providing them with an orderly environment.

This post is now way over (100) words past optimal. Time to end. But first, Fantasy Football ala Prude needs (11) more players. Any takers?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do You Tattoo?

The Prude is working on taxes. All her creative juices are being used to imagine the good and responsible ways the government will be using all the money we’ll send them. 
So here is a repeat from Jan. 18 of last year. Hope you don’t mind



When The Prude was growing up she knew only two people with tattoos.
An elderly man at a nursing home.
And Popeye.

Popeye’s was a small, tasteful anchor on his massive forearm.
The one on the nursing home friend was less tasteful.
Although also on his forearm, it featured a woman who seemed to have left most of her outfit elsewhere- possibly on his upper arm.
The reason The Prude’s parents didn’t mind her being in the same room as the Lady on the Forearm was that nature had Done its Bit. Age spots, hair, veins and wrinkles all worked together and the Lady on the Forearm found herself, whether she liked it or not, modestly (if less than stylishly) attired.

That was then.

The Prude, a few summers ago, was shopping with her sister at WalMart. We noticed we were receiving sidelong glances, a few whispers and giggles, and some sympathetic, pitying smiles.
We checked quickly to make sure no clothing item had slipped or come unzipped, that no Charmin trailed from our shoes, that no flotsam or jetsam clung to our teeth.
Our paranoia increased. What was different about us?
Then it hit.
We were the only un-tattooed women in the store.
Teens, moms, even the older women zipping around in those motorized carts all looked smugly from their butterflies, vines, dragons or skulls to our pale, blah arms, ankles and calves (the only parts of us visible besides our faces).

There wasn’t much we could do. It was too late to grab pens and draw something on our wrists. Our drawing skills are limited to tulips and suns anyway.
So with as much dignity as we could muster we got in the check out lane.
Our Fluttering Fairy tattooed cashier clucked her tongue at us, and it seemed that the entire store breathed a sigh of relief when we took our offensive selves and departed.

Today The Prude is still tattoo-free and plans to remain so.
Unless…
The Prude has noticed that Script tattoos are becoming popular.
Bible verses, snippets of poems, something or other written in Chinese or Ancient Hebrew.

And Your Prude got to thinking.
Maybe a temporary tattoo. One she could change daily, possibly even hourly.
Her grocery list, desperate ideas for this blog, what she was going to do when she walked purposefully into a room. They could all be there. Right on the inside of her arm.
And once again she could hold her head high in WalMart.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Everything but the Cluck


A photo circulating on YouTube shows what appears to be a mound of freshly squeezed pink frozen yogurt.
But then comes the zinger. It isn’t even close to frozen yogurt.
It is ‘mechanically separated chicken’.
According to You Tube, that means chicken bones, chicken feet, chicken guts, and chicken eyeballs are ground together, whipped with a smidge of ammonia, a dash of artificial flavor, and topped off with mock coloring.
Which then becomes Chicken McNuggets.
True?
Your vigilant Prude hoped so.
She investigated. 
Alas. 
Not actually completely true. 
Yes, mechanically separated chicken has muscle fiber and tendons. No, it doesn’t have eyeballs.  Yes, lots of artificial stuff. No guts. No ammonia. And no, McDonald’s doesn’t use it anyway.
The Prude had been so certain that the pink squishy stuff photo proved that McDonald’s is the 21st century version of the Plucky Pioneer.
You remember the pioneers.
They were the ‘waste not want not’ folks who made America great.
The folks who, when they butchered a hog, went on to use everything but the oink.
THAT is what The Prude thought McDonald’s was doing.
Using everything but the cluck. She was momentarily impressed.
Turns out McDonald’s is not indued with the thriftiness of our forefathers. 
The Golden Arches does consign entire portions of chicken to the netherworld and they will never see the inside of McNugget breading.
Therefore The Prude will not be able to award them her first ever
‘Everything but the Cluck’ award for frugality.
But the search goes on. 
I don’t suppose any of you know which hardy pioneer type was responsible for that pink-yogurtlike chicken? 

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm ready for my close-up...

studio shot

the strut

the jewelry shot

sometimes it is hard to stand out from the crowd

the Look

too much tongue?

you want me to sit on a WHAT?

Yes. We are rather lovely.

this is the one with my center part...

The over-the-shoulder look–

–ruined by the big lug

But this IS my best side.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy January 19!



Did you think January 19 to be a day of little import?
No friends.
Jan. 19 has something for everyone.

For the mystery/truly creepy horror stories lover: Edgar Allen Poe, the ‘Father of the Modern Detective Story’was born Jan. 19, 1809. Edgar can thank James Watt, the creator of the copy machine, born Jan 19, 1736, for the easy mass production of his novels.
Those who know the difference  between Impressionistic and Post-Imperssionism art will want to wish Paul Cezanne a happy 183rd birthday.

Civil war junkie? Say Happy Birthday to Robert E. Lee, born this day in 1807, and marvel that EXACTLY 54 years later Georgia seceded from the union. Coincidence? You decide.

Jan. 19 for some reason generates wars and rumors of wars and violence. In 1915 the Germans began the first ever air raids on Great Britain and 8 years later the French (the FRENCH?) announced the invention of a gun with a firing range of 56 miles. FIFTY SIX MILES, PEOPLE!
In 1945 the Red Army captured Lodz, Krakow and Tarnow in Poland and in 1968 Cambodia accused the US of crossing their border and killing 3 Cambodians.

On a happier note, today in 1981 the release of American hostages in Iran was arranged.

Another ‘coincidence’: Jan 19, 1931 attempts were made to repeal the dry law, and a mere 4 years later the first canned beer went on sale.

And, to make sure you know that January 19 has something for everyone: It is the day in 1523 that Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli published his manifesto, the day in 1902 that the first Tour de France was announced, and the day William Pitt in 1783 became the youngest Prime Minister of England at age 24.
Which is the exact age of The Prude’s eldest son, which is giving her great pause for reflection.
Happy January 19 everyone! Hope you look at it with some real respect!