I Spent The Day in The 1950’s

In a huge attempt to try and ignore the bad in the world that I can not change I have retreated to an era I never lived in, the 1950’s. Back before television ran ugly news 24 hours a day, when movie stars had morality clauses, before you could watch the stock market plunge moments after some idiot government employee made a stupid decision.

Today I watched no news, read no Facebook, I listened only to music I chose, it made for the perfect head in the sand day. In perfect 1950’s style I worked at my sewing machine. I roasted tomatoes to make homemade cocktail sauce. I made the base for a homemade ice cream I will be serving at a dinner party. I made four dozen ham and cheese rolls for a funeral tomorrow. I

I dusted and ironed and then I did the ultimate 1950’s activity for a house wife, I met my friend Hannah for lunch.

We had salads, trade stories of our children. We did not talk about current events. We did not talk about our husbands. It was perfectly lovely.

The only problem with this 1950’s day is that like the fifties you can only live in denial so long. While you are not paying attention wars could break out, politicians can rob you blind, and most people will be marginalized.

So I have to come back to the real world. I have to ensure that I am contributing to not just my family, but my community. I have to hold people accountable. I have to manage my world. I still have to make food for funerals. Some things don’t change.


Review of the Reviewers

Today at Mah jongg my friend Morgan showed up at my house with a grocery bag full of fruit she had leftover. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries now fill my fridge. What a wonderful surprise gift.

Monday we are having Russ’ company teammates for our annual intern dinner as a way of welcoming the class of summer interns to the company. I had already made my menu because I have a lot of cooking to do. I am not sure if any of the teammates eat at all before they come to our house, but they usually eat everything I prepare and I always prepare too much.

My original menu included a buttermilk pie for dessert, but with all these beautiful berries I am going to make a change. I went online to do some recipe research. Nowadays I like to read reviews of recipes before I get invested in them. My only problem is I would like a review of the reviewers.

When someone comments that a recipe did not work for them how am I to know if the reviewer is a novice or expert cook. I wish that there was some rating system for the people who comment.

Back in the old day, when I just used real cookbooks I first would judge a recipe by the reputation of the author. Julia Child almost never has let me down, and Julie Rosso and Shelia Lukins of the Silver Palate are equally reliable, but their books are old now and don’t always include ingredients or dishes that are in fashion today. Don’t get me wrong, I still use their books, but sometimes I want something they don’t have.

So I turn to the Internet. When I input search words I often come up with something from All Recipes, although it might be perfect fine, I usually don’t even bother to look at that site because there is no quality control, unlike a site like Smitten Kitchen or Bon Appetite, where at least the recipe is tested.

Writing recipes is hard. I know that from experience. I cook, then write from memory. I don’t measure when I cook so my recipes are approximations. This is fine for cooking, but not for baking.

All this reading of recipes and the reviews, and the reading between the lines of the reviews to determine if the reviewer is an idiot is a lot of work. No wonder I just make things up as I go along. I wish I could do that in baking and have anything turn out.

Maybe rather than looking for berry cakes I should just make ice cream. I can do that without a recipe and with my eyes closed. I don’t want to make a pie since I am making tomato pies as part of the dinner and no one needs a two pie dinner. What a wonderful problem to have.


Roseanne Is Exactly Who She Always Has Been

When ABC announced they were doing a reboot of Roseanne I thought they had really sold out to bring back that woman. Her twitter history of slurring anyone who is not white, straight, American and republican was clear before today. I am happy that despite high ratings and thus good revenue ABC took swift action when Barr tweeted out her slur of Valerie Jarrett.

Just because the guy in the White House tweets out all sorts of unsavory slurs does not mean that the rest of the country has to sink that low. If we all would stand up to that kind of bullying we would be a better country.

Now Roseanne is claiming that we didn’t get her “joke.” I am all for comedy, satire and wittiness, but there was no fine line between those things and Barr comparing Ms. Jarrett an ape. But no one should be surprised by this, least of all ABC.

Did they do no due diligence on her by reading just a year’s worth of her twitter feed. She has acted this way forever so I sure she is wondering why this crossed the line. Well it did, and thank goodness for decisive response.

I feel sorry for the people who work on her show, like camera and lighting people, who are now out of work. The best thing that could happen is for ABC to find other work for them right away.

We do have freedom of speech in this country and Roseanne has the right to spew whatever kind of hate her black heart comes up with, but we don’t have to reward her with money and a platform on a network TV show to spread her kind of evil. Standing up to bullies is the right thing to do and ABC did that today. But hey, do your homework before you give another hater a show so you don’t have to go through this again.


Don’t Say “Happy” Memorial Day

It’s Memorial Day. Yes, it is the unofficial start of summer, which brings about a lot of joy and celebration, but the reason for the day is a most somber one. Remembering soldiers lost in battle is worthy of a day, but is the end of May the right time of year?

In the commonwealth countries they call this kind of day Remembrance Day. Citizens wear red paper poppies to remind everyone to remember the lost. Remembrance Day is held on November 11, the day of the end of the hostilities of World War I. Being held in November means that it is not a day for picnics, or swimming or barbecues so there is no confusion about the reason for the day.

I notice that around here lots of people say, Happy Memorial Day. I am guilty of this too, but the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. If I had been a soldier who was killed in battle I would just want to be remembered.

I am lucky that I don’t have any close relatives who were lost in war. The veterans in my family made it home and have Veterans Day to celebrate them. Nonetheless, even though I didn’t have any singular person to remember, I did take a few moments to think about the sacrifices made by families who did lose a loved one serving in our military. To them I could not imagine saying, “Happy Memorial Day.” What is happy about losing your family?

So maybe we should move Memorial Day to a time of year when we aren’t tempted to celebrate summer at the same time. We could switch President’s Day in February with Memorial Day in May. All those dead President’s won’t care since we already combined George and Abraham’s birthdays into one day.

If you are someone who lost a solider in war, thank you for your sacrifice. This day is in many ways for you too. Not really a happy day.


Back to Camp

And like that she is gone again. Home less than a month, the longest stretch of time we will see her all year, Carter has now gone off to her true home, Camp Cheerio. She will be there three months, in her happy place. Finally she is a Senior Counselor, the job she has wanted for ten years. It certainly was the long play to get it.

She went today, two weeks before camp officially opens, to get the horses ready for the campers. She will spend girls session as assistant riding riding director. Good thing she has the big ‘ole land cruiser because she packed that thing full of not just her camp stuff, but her riding and grooming equipment. Her car was more full than what she brought to college. Of course she doesn’t have a horse at college.

So grooming and riding the horses this week. Staff training next week and then the campers come. Girls camp is four weeks this year. Then Carter moves from staff to Senior Counselor with a cabin. She won’t know which cabin until closer to co-ed Camp, but she hopes for the older girls.

It was a lovely few weeks with her home, even though she was back and forth three times to Cheerio working the weekends. No real drama. None of the trouble adapting to being home that I remember from college. That is what makes this departure today even harder.

I guess that long ago I came to accept that she likes camp better than home. I can’t really blame her. So good luck Bug. I hope it is the best summer yet. I know the work will be hard, the sleep will be little, but the friends are the best.


Anything For Shay

I heard whimpering from Shay before I heard the thunder. She stood at the top of the steps begging me to follow her. Being skittish about storms is a relatively new thing for our six year old baby. Since I had been doing nothing except cleaning all day I thought I could take a break and give Shay the comfort she needed as the storm approached.

As I came up the steps Shay headed for my bedroom. I came through the door and discovered her snuggled down on my new white quilt on the bed. Our bed is her home base safe space. This is what I get for making a mostly white quilt.

Of course quilts are made to be used and loved so the fact that Shay loves to snuggle on it is fine with me. It’s funny that even though the thunder was still clapping Shay stopped crying and shivering once she was at her home base. Oh well, dogs are more important and things.


I Miss Old Refrigerators

I had my day all planed this morning. My friend Jeanne was coming from DC and we were meeting at needlepoint. Our visit was going to be short because I was needed to be at home by one to have my refrigerator finally repaired from my May 9th original call.

I got to needlepoint and got to see Jeanne and Nancy and some bonus friends, Lane, Jane and Amy who all came in while I was there. My visit with Jeanne was much too short and I hardly got any time with Nancy. So sad for me since this was the fun part of my day. I was not planning on seeing any other friends in person since I look like a prize fighter with my eye. (And thanks for the messages of concern. It is an infection and I saw the doctor yesterday.)

I was home at my appointed four hour window for the repair man to come. I thought it was my lucky day when he showed up at hour three. So much better than two hours late like last time.

He took apart my refrigerator, something he did not do at the diagnoses call two weeks ago, and discovered that the back was full of frost and ice.

After thawing it out he said he might not have to replace the motor he had ordered. I was a little perturbed by this since it was something he could have done at my original visit. It turned out that the broken motor was actually broken so he went to replace it. Guess what, they had sent the wrong part. Three to ten days to get the right one and the automatic scheduling program set up his next visit to put the second and hopefully correct motor in on June 20! See Sears is very short on Techs because some other company came in and poached them all for better pay.

Children around Hope Valley might have learned some new words from me I was so mad. So here are the take always for today. Don’t trust that the diagnostic tool that tells the tech what is broken is the only thing that is broken. Make sure they actually order the right part. And don’t buy any products made or sold by Sears and especially don’t buy the extended warranty.

I miss the days when you bought a refrigerator and it was still working thirty years later in the garage.