This Ain’t No Dang Instagram

This is not Instagram, but an incredible simulation!

This past Sunday, with COVID’s permission, we had the entire family over to film another episode of Smitty’s Loose Change.  It was a delayed Easter, and an advance celebration of the great-grandson’s birthday, which is today.  (Oops!  Got my publishing dates mixed up.  It was yesterday.)

The culinary centerpiece was our version of a Black Forest cake.  Everybody eats – everybody helps.  Since the grand-daughter-in-law has come to love the base cake, and since it evades the grandson’s food allergies, she has learned to bake the spelt-flour/dark chocolate/mayonnaise cake.

The wife mixed up the whole-cherry sauce for it.  The grandson whipped the cream, fine-shredded a block of dark chocolate to sprinkle on it, and plated and served to everyone in the living room after dinner, while I wowed the crowd with my fantastic fork-work.

The daughter sent along some food for thought.

The grandson brought two 25 cent coins for my collection, from the East Caribbean States.  Canadian vending machines will reject American quarters because they are the wrong size and weight.  They cannot tell the difference between these and Canadian quarters though, which is how he got two of them in change.

The Grandson’s path from the bus stop to his housing complex, is along a community trail.  He spotted a piece of fluttering paper, and also brought a Nigerian 100 Naira note.  I did my usual money laundering, using warm water and liquid hand soap, getting rid of skin oils, dust, and COVID viruses.  Then I ironed it smooth and flat.  I have African bills from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and South Africa.  This was a welcome addition.

When I told the grandson that I had somehow lost the pictures of the stone cat for my The Year In Photos post, he riffled through his Smart phone, found them from 9 months ago, and emailed them to me again.  No excuses this time.  I claimed that I almost stepped on it, but the owner actually had it up on a porch railing, in the sun, much like a real cat.

At last, the star of the show, the closing act, the birthday boy himself, great-grandson, Rowan.  We thought that he might be getting Italian or Scottish red hair.  In a certain light, it seems that there is a slight, reddish cast to it, but in strong light, it shines a golden brown.  The women took another in, what apparently is going to become a tradition, a photo of four generations of males – me, the son, the grandson, and Rowan – showing how he develops, and the rest of us deteriorate, over the years.  😉

April, and this BEDA act, are rapidly drawing to a close.  Thanx for joining in the fun.  I’m going to slow down to my usual schedule again next week.  I have to!  One of the wheels on my walker has jammed.  😳

Nothing In Prompticular

Just a little throwaway post from a day when I couldn’t convince the hamster in my head to get the wheel turning.

What language sounds the best?

Well, it won’t be any of the Asian languages.  The yin-yang, sing-song speakers of those, all sound like geese, or like they’ve all had COVID, or like geese that have had COVID.  African languages sound like they haven’t discovered vowels and consonants yet – just a bunch of boops and glottals, and clicks.  R2-D2 might be Kenyan.

With all its multiple modifying word-endings, Spanish sounds like you’re being attacked with a verbal sub-machinegun – great, if you’ve got all day to wait for it.  Latin is for medicine.  Italian is for lovers. German is for training dogs.  The Queen’s English is for pomp and circumstance.  Arabic is for phlegm.  Speakers sound as if they’re having an allergic reaction to dairy products…..CKHACKK!  😯

French is the language of diplomacy.  Of course, that just means that French speakers can ramble on for days – weeks – months – years, without ever actually saying anything.  French has some foolish constructions…. but the SOUND of it.  Oooooh!!!  If you doubt me, click to hear the Matrix Merovingian Curse.

What best describes your lifestyle – Sneakers, Dress Shoes, or Sandals?

None of the above.
My sneakers days are far behind me – and I called them ‘running shoes.’  The best I can accomplish now is a fast shuffle.  When I say that I’m approaching 75, I mean years of age, not miles per hour.  I’ve never been rich enough to be pretentious.  Even when I worked in an office, my footwear was clean and functional, but hardly worth calling ‘dress shoes.’

I may not do what I do on my feet at any great speed, but I feel I need something on them to protect and support.  Wearing sandals is just asking for foot injuries – and barely suppressed snickering and pointing.

I’d like a write-in vote – for boots.  As I explained in my Suave – Sophisticated post, I’ve worn good, solid, round-toed boots whenever socially allowable, for over half a century.  I’ll die with my boots on, and be buried in Boot Hill.

If your life were a book, what would the title be?

While I am reasonably intelligent, my social skills are somewhat lacking.  The Pink Panther, or Johnny English could star in my “Sophisticated” post, but I wouldn’t even get a speaking part.  If my life were a book, the title would probably be Dummies, For Dummies – and someone would have to explain it to me.

Oops!  It’s already out.  Can someone explain to me, why it’s already in print??  Did somebody see me coming…. AGAIN??!  😯   🙄

Fortunately for you, that’s all I have to say on these subjects.  There’ll be another Masochists Anonymous meeting here in a couple of days.  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me.

One-Line Into Comedy

Comedy

Commit suicide??….
….That’d be the last thing I’d do.

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon?….
….Great food, no atmosphere

The inventor of AutoCorrect died today….
…. His funfair will be hello on sundial.

I say hooray….
….for speech therapy

Somebody gave me a book on anger management….
….I lost it

People say that I’m egotistical….
….but enough about them

I used to be addicted to eating refrigerated poultry….
….but I quit cold turkey

I asked my wife what she wanted for Christmas. She said, “Nothing would make me happier than a diamond necklace.”….
….so I got her nothing

I have an EpiPen….
….My friend gave it to me when he was dying. It seemed very important that I have it.

What did people do before they had sandpaper?….
….They just roughed it.

Tony

We’re G-r-r-r-eat!

Tony the Tiger for president!….
….Make America Grrrreat again

Why does Peter Pan fly?….
….Because he Neverlands

Disneyland is a people trap, built by a mouse.

Beer is a gateway drug to Aspirin

Drunk is when you feel sophisticated….
….but can’t pronounce it

Resolutions….
….In one year, and out the other

If your fridge was running….
….I’d vote for it

I looked up my family tree….
….and found three dogs using it

Forklift operators hate our puns….
….They find them unpalletable.

Where there’s a will….
….there’s a greedy relative

Only dead fish….
….go with the flow.

I asked a lone wolf for a stick of gum….
….but he didn’t have a pack

Remember, if the world didn’t suck….
….we’d all fall off

I scream. You scream….
….The police come. It’s awkward.

I’m not a fan of the design for the new quarters….
….but then, I hate all change.

Life is short. If you can’t laugh at yourself….
….call me. I’ll do it.

 

’18 A To Z Challenge – Puppy Love

 

Challenge '18 letter-p

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been proved wrong – again!

I told the wife, that when our Wheaten/Schnauzer/Poodle–cross cur was gone, we would not get another dog.  I explained a thousand times that we are too old, too weak, that we didn’t have the strength, the stamina, the patience….most of all, the money, to buy a purebred, non-allergenic puppy.

Puppies Parents

Our two new little handfuls, with their black Daddy, and white Momma.

By ‘we’, of course, I meant ‘me.’  Suddenly, one day, while I was composing a previous A-To-Z post, she called to me to “come see something on my laptop.”  Halfway down the stairs, I saw the picture of Mom and Dad Scotty Terriers.  Before I could even protest, she shifted to more photos of a bundle of the cutest puppies.  Ohhh, no fair!

Scottish Terriers are usually black, but some of them are white, and a few of them are brindle, which is white, with blonde/gold highlights.  Mom was white.  Dad was black, and the puppies were some of each.  Could we just go to look at them??  They were only a 2 ½ hour drive away.  I’m doomed – doomed I tell you.

Puppies

Aren’t the two new Scottish terrors Terriers cute??

We brought the son – and his checkbook – along.  They valiantly held out, but we all knew that we had not come just to look.  The wife picked the little black female, above.  Then came the hard sell.  Unlike the previous litter, this time the breeder was having trouble getting rid of the males.  If we would also take a male, she would give us a screwing deal on both dogs.

The wife launched a piteous appeal to his heartstrings, to get the son to further loosen his purse-strings.  When he finally bowed to the inevitable, we became a two-dog family.  Happy birthday, Mothers’ Day, Arbor Day, Thanksgiving, anniversary, Christmas, and Leonard Nimoy’s bris.

The next day, we got a panicked phone call.  “Is something wrong??”  Well….  Another couple had come to look at the puppies, and she was attaching ribbons to ours, to assure that we got the ones we’d picked out.  The male the wife had chosen, the only brindle one in the litter – had turned out to be a female??!  Would we accept any other male?  We chose the happy, chubby white male, as a Mini-Me.

We named the male, Duff, a Gaelic word that means ‘black.’  We called the little female, Guin, a Welsh term which means ‘white.’  So, our black dog is White, and our white dog is Black.  At least we’re not out Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog, as Norma Tanega did, back in the mid-60s.

No Chew

Here’s a liter of IRONY!

Plug

I only hope that the male pulled that plug from the socket, before he chewed it off.

At just over six months old, they recently got their first trim.  We had to be vetted by our new groomer.  She was recommended by the wife’s hairdresser.  The woman came to the house to see the dogs in their ‘native environment,’ before she would accept us as clients.  I feel so 90210. 😯 Oh Yeah!  We’ve got two new puppies.  Be thankful that you’re only stuck with me.  At least I’m house-trained.  😉

Puppers

They’ve gone from being a mere handful, to being A Real handful.

Cat Blog – AKA: Views And Likes, Come To Daddy

They say that, after a while, people and their pets begin to look alike. I don’t know about looking like my pets, but I know that I/we have begun to act like our cats, and the cats, sadly, have become like humans.

Experts say that cats don’t talk to each other the way people do. They have many different meows and other sounds to express wants, needs and feelings.  Two or more cats may make sequential sounds, but it’s not conversation.

I can make a low-pitched rumble in the back of my throat that sounds very much like purring. For reasons not known to me, it is called ‘vocal fry.’  About 30% of people do it at the end of words in normal speech.  The Kardashian females are especially noted for it.  When a cat purrs at me, I can purr back, and we’re both contented.

Cat Blog

When the son comes home in the morning, Mica jumps into his lap, digs his claws into tough denim pants, and demands his whapping and scratching. If son is distracted by food, drink or newspaper, Mica soon yowls to remind him that attention is missing.  The son says he’s learned to read and time these outbursts.  Just as the cat opens his mouth, the son meows loudly at him.  He says the look of confusion is precious.  Wait, what??! I was gonna say that.

I have some mild allergies that sometimes make me sneeze – never once, always at least twice, usually three, occasionally four, at least twice, five in a row. If Mica is in the room, or awake and able to hear me, after each and every sneeze, he lightly meows.  The recovering Catholic wife insists that he is blessing me.  As if I needed blessing, or the cat is authorized to do it.  I think he’s just telling me to keep the noise down, to protect his sensitive ears.

Each of our cats has a different time and place where they demand attention. With Tonka, it’s often as I recline my easy chair for my afternoon nap.  Suddenly I have the equivalent of an 18-pound building block on my chest, wanting to snuggle in – try to breathe, try to breathe.  No wonder superstitious mediaeval peasants thought that cats ‘sucked the life out of babies.’  It’s known as positional asphyxia.

Cat Day

In the winter, the air in the house is so dry that we got half-inch-long sparks off doorknobs, so we installed a humidifier in the hall, outside the bedrooms. It had push-button controls on the upper surface.

As we accumulated cats, we found that they will jump up, and pad around on a humidifier, even when it’s running.  Waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of a cat-induced, speed #10, oncoming tornado is a real adventure.

We eventually bought a new humidifier, with touch-screen controls at a 45° angle on the front edge. When cats jump down from something, they slide their front paws over the front edge….  And here comes the tornado again!  We’ve gone two winters now without running it.  A few electric sparks are not as much of a shock as that.

Cat Scratch Fever

All of my cats demand attention at certain times, but Contessa (my little ‘Missy’), is the one who hangs out in the computer room with me while I’m working, or trying to.  She’s also the one with the sharpest claws.  My arms finally reached the point shown above, before I learned to use peripheral vision to notice her coming.  I saw a blog-post the other day.  All it was, was a photo of an arm, scratched worse than mine, with the caption, “Why yes, I do own a cat.  Why do you ask?”

Now, a gentle paw slap as she tries to grab, my attention and my arm, is enough to make her sit back on the floor. Most females don’t want my hands anywhere near them, but when she’s in a ‘pet me’ mood, she demands them all over her.  After 5 long years, she’s even finally taken to lying on her side on the floor at my feet, so that I can rub her tummy – a sign of trust.

Other trust signs are the long, slow, two-eyed blink, and lifting their tail and showing you their butt. They have to trust you enough to take their eyes off you, and the exposed rump not only means that they’re temporarily defenceless, but there are scent glands, which we can’t smell, but which they use to identify themselves to others.

Cat Decision

catacomb – beauty salon for felines
catalyst – cat’s inclination after too much catnip
or – a feline who really makes things happen

catatonic – party fare for cats substituting milk for gin
catechism – manual for turning your doubting tomcat into a true believer
catsup – dinner party for fat cats (catered, of course)
catamaran – a cruise boat for kitties
catastrophe
– four felines and a decorated Christmas tree
catapult – what felines apparently use to get into your lap….when you least expect it
Catalan – a Spanish gato
catamount – wherever your kitty climbs up, to sleep
catfish – be sure to put the lid back on the aquarium

yin_yang_cats

A To Z Challenge – U

april-challenge

When NBC convinced Johnny Carson to move his Tonight show from New York City to California, the changeover happened quite quickly.   His Burbank studio was ready far before he had a chance to buy or rent accommodations on the Left Coast.

He was put up for almost two months in a luxury suite at a ritzy local hotel. I don’t know if it was just having to live in unfamiliar, if posh, surroundings; if there was some friction between him and hotel staff and management; or if it was just an easy target for the gag-writers jokes.

Every night for weeks, there was a snide comment, and the Sheraton Universal was changed and referred to in his monologues as the Sheraton Unspeakable, the Sheraton Unreasonable, the Sheraton Uninhabitable, the Sheraton Untenable, the Sheraton Unbearable.

It was almost amazing how many U-shaped insults were crafted.  Finally, one night it became simply the Sheraton Unique, and we come to the word for this post about

letter-u

I recently composed a post about how huge percentages of the population have an overwhelming compulsion for conformity. They must be like everyone else, and everybody else must be exactly like them.

When the grandson was small, he was diagnosed with a variety of food allergies. Several of them caused behavioral problems, something the non-plagued are often not aware of.  Certain chemicals and compounds in food can cause physical and neurological stress, in turn causing moodiness, edginess, irritability, anger and lack of focus.

As a child it was relatively easy for his mother to watch his intake and ensure that he took his medication. As he neared puberty, and his character was developing, he regressed to sullen disinterest, if not disobedience, more so than most tweens.  Careful cross-examination revealed that he was sneaking foods from classmates, and not taking his pills.

When he was asked why he was doing this, even knowing his allergies, his answer was that he didn’t want to have allergies. He didn’t want a restrictive diet.  He didn’t want to take pills.  He just wanted to be like everyone else.

It didn’t take long to prove to him that ‘everyone else’ wasn’t like ‘everyone else.’ His Mom and his Grandma had to avoid certain foods and take medications.  When he looked closer, he found classmates with similar restrictions and needs.

Grandma, the chef, pointed out that the spelt-based cookies, cakes, bread and rolls, even the spelt-crust pizza, with lactose-free cheese and tamarind sauce, instead of tomato, were treats that no-one else got to have. Did he want her to stop making them for him?  The way to a man’s head, as well as his heart, is often through his stomach.

As a knowledgeable adult he can control the allergic affects, although he is still careful. As well as being a friendly, caring young man, he is largely indistinguishable from the rest of the herd, but he takes pride in knowing that he, like all the rest of us, is one-of-a-kind.  He is unique!  I don’t know why more of us can’t embrace that.

Cool Cats

sdc10369

Another post about cats, in the shameless pursuit of blog-stats – but first….let me tell you about my dog. My dog eats peanuts.

It started innocently enough, with a handful of peanuts, for me – and a forlorn, mooching dog in front of me. ‘Offer him one.  He’s a carnivore.  He won’t take it.’ But he did, and another, and another….  Now it’s a daily ritual – he gets 8 or 9 peanuts, and I get to read my newspaper in peace.

The wife decided to cut off his soft dog-food, and feed him only hard kibble, to help clean his teeth. He has allergies to grass.  I give him an antihistamine a day, to cut down on his scratching and licking.  I used to put them in his soft food – now what??  Put a dab of peanut butter on the end of a kitchen knife, embed the pill in it, and scrape it off against his front teeth.  Schlurp, schlurp!

Dogs will come when you call them. And they’ll be happy.
Cats will have someone take a message and maybe get back to you.

sdc10385

I should paint a yellow line down my spine, not ‘cuz I’m chicken, but because this guy has taken to walking on my back (and Shimoniac’s). Like the peanuts, it also started innocently.  I stopped and knelt on a step, just below the half-landing, going upstairs, to pet and skritch him.  Somehow he oozed around the corner, up a couple of steps, and walked through the railing, onto my back.

I don’t know if he’s petting me, like I pet him, or establishing dominance. Now, whenever I go to the basement storage room, he jumps up on the freezer to get ruffled, and walks all over my back.

An exposed back is not safe! The day he leapt from the landing as I bent over at the bottom of the stairs to put my boots on, was….interesting.  I often kneel when I clean out the litter tray in the basement.  To have him pounce is not unusual.  To have him do it, just as I stand up, has him clinging to my shirt.

Then one night I did it with no shirt on, That required almost a whole tube of antiseptic cream, and sleeping on my stomach for a couple of days.

Matthew & Tonka

If I walk past this needy big fellow on a table or TV stand, he often reaches out to pull me in. He’s the most trusting, and loving of my cats.  When we snuggle (almost every evening as I read), he licks my moustache and eyebrows, and rubs his face against my glass frames.  He lies on the back of my chair and licks/grooms my hair.

Picture 163

Our little female has helped herself to some of my chocolate milk a number of times, when it’s sitting on the end table beside my chair, minding its own business.  She’s lost a lot of teeth, so liquid nourishment is good for her.  A couple of Christmases, she’s also sampled eggnog.

I’ve left out one of my cats, and I have lots more interesting information about cats, but you’re already looking at me the way I look at Jehovah’s Witnesses, when they come to call, so I’ll just end with a bit of feline humor.  Have a chuckle or two at the expense of cat owners/lovers, and come back soon.

Signs that your cat is the owner and you are the pet:

  1. You get up as many times as they demand to be let in and out of the room.
  2. You feed them tiny pieces of food, which you go through the trouble of cutting up, whenever they stare at your plate of food.
  3. You run the faucet for them whenever they feel like playing with water (never mind the fact they have a filtered water fountain).
  4. You hold them for however long they desire to stare out of the window (usually 5+ minutes).
  5. You let them redesign the household any way they want. (Books on the floor instead of shelves? OK!)
  6. You feed them treats whenever they forlornly play with their empty interactive treat toy.
  7. You get up to play with them whenever they pounce on you, even if you are in the middle of writing an important email/blog/essay, etc.
  8. You let them choose the side of the bed they want to sleep on first and sleep on whatever space they designate to you.

If more than four of these are true, you are the pet.   😆

 

Getting The Cold Shoulder

ice

Once upon a long time ago, I overcame my failure to launch, got a job, and moved to a city a hundred miles from home. During the middle of February, a nasty cold snap moved in.  One Friday night, my friend and I went to an early movie.  The place was not crowded.

Afterwards, we went up the street to our favorite restaurant. Besides the proprietor, there were only four of us on that chilly night, the friend and I, and two young ladies.  At least that’s what they told us they were, when we went over to introduce ourselves.

After about an hour, they asked if we would walk them home. ‘Why shor!’ As we left the restaurant, I glanced at the big Coca-Cola thermometer, hanging on the outside wall.  It read -18° F, about -28 of these newfangled Metricated degrees.  The walk home involved only that, not even any hand-holding, although it’s hard to hold hands with snowmobile gloves on.  Snowmobiles might have been invented by then, but snowmobile gloves sure hadn’t.

After leaving the girls, we headed back to the restaurant to warm up again before going on home. I looked at the thermometer again as we stepped in.  It had fallen to -23° F, or -30° C, in the hour we’d been gone.  As we sat cuddling our hot chocolates, my pal said, “Do you know your ears are white?”  Like the joker I am, I said, “No, but if you’ll hum a few bars, I’ll try to sing along.”

“No, no! Your ears look frozen!”  I reached up and found something that felt like Michelangelo had carved from marble.  I wrapped my hands around the mug, and transferred warmth to my ears.  I couldn’t feel a thing.  Within 15 minutes I could feel them again, and was sorry I could.  They stung for hours.

The next day I went to a Men’s Wear store, explained what had happened, and asked if they had a solution. The salesman provided a bright-white as-the-snow, 100% wool, skiers’ ear band, which I wore faithfully.  I later found that, while I had not lost the ears to frostbite, the tiny blood vessels had been damaged.  Now if a cool September breeze stirs the leaves on the Maples, the ears don’t like it.

I left the job, moved back home for a summer, moved out again, went back to school for retraining, got a girlfriend, got a fiancé, got married, and wore that headband every winter. My WIFE looked at the now grey-brown abomination on my head, and said, “That thing’s gotta be washed!”

Most of the wife’s family is allergic to wool. Thank the Catholic God and Monsanto for Nylon, Rayon, Orlon, Banlon, Dacron, and Polyester.  She washed it in nice hot water, and dried it in a nice hot dryer, and I got back a nice, paper-white wrist band.  Oops!

We easily replaced it at K-Mart, before they went extinct, but she always felt badly about destroying the original. Some years later, when her knitting skills had improved to the point that she was arguing with knitting patterns and TV knitting show hostesses, she asked if I would like her to custom-design and make me a replacement, this time in a washable wool/polyester blend.  See above, “Why shor!”

head-band

She started with a tube, a basic sock. Then she steadily increased stitches on one side, while adding a simple pattern.  After achieving a desired length, she stopped the pattern, and reduced stitches till both ends were equal.  Now she carefully sewed the ends together, and I have a double-thickness ear protector.  The protruding edge goes down the nape of the neck, to fend off cold breezes and falling snow.

After letting me be the guinea pig, the son decided that he’d like one also. A neighbor kid, watching me shovel snow with it on one day, asked how I got my hair to grow up through my hat.

I once sliced into an old tennis ball, and pushed it down over the ball of my trailer hitch, to protect it from rusting. This was the same kid who asked me how I got the ball to balance there.  I think he’s got all the way up to manager at his McDonalds location.   😯

What’s Finally In Your Fridge?

Open fridge

When last we left our husky hero, he was grazing his way through Kansas the basement storeroom. Now is time for him to finally reveal What Evil Lurks In The Heart Of AMANA. Boowahaha….hack, hack!? Stand back! I don’t want anyone crushed when I open this door.

Poor refrigerator, it seems to go in cycles, always busy, but there are days when you can open the door and get an echo. A week later, if I threw a cup of water at it, all but a few drops would splash back on the floor, it’s so jammed with leftovers put-asides. ‘Leftovers’ has a poor connotation; these are intentional, and good.

As downstairs, almost everything in the upstairs fridge comes in multiple versions. There are two 2-liter jugs of iced tea. The three of us drink more than one per day, so there’s always another one chilling. There’s my morning orange juice, but because the wife’s allergic, she has serially gone through cranberry juice, apple juice, the iced tea, and now is drinking mango juice.

Among the condiments we have regular ketchup and my Hot and Spicy ketchup, yellow mustard, and Dijon. (We can’t afford Grey Poupon.) There’s sweet relish, and dill, the wife’s mayonnaise and my Miracle Whip, white vinegar and malt, soya sauce and Tamari, which is spicy like soya, but with less caramel for lighter colored foods and less burning when cooked. .

The shelves are jammed with lemon juice, lime juice for Tex-Mex, coconut oil, Indian ghee, which is a clarified cooking butter, HP sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, hot chili-garlic sauce, Tabasco sauce and Chipotle Tabasco, sandwich spread, Sriracha, chili sauce, salad dressings, chopped garlic, shredded garlic and shredded ginger, maple syrup, stuffed olives, sliced pizza olives, and two different Diana sauces.

We stock store-bought sweet pickles and gherkins, and homemade dill pickles in snacking quarters, and slices for burgers and sandwiches. The wife likes artichoke hearts, the liquid from which she sometimes uses as a salad dressing, adding a dash of lemon juice and salt, and we keep both margarine and butter for cooking and spreading.

There’s 4 kinds of fruit in the fruit drawer, and 6 different vegetables in the vegetable drawer, including zucchini, which the wife fries with olive oil & garlic salt and tops with shredded cheese. Milk includes 3% homo, my chocolate milk, the wife’s non-dairy Coffee-Rich cooking substitute, and buttermilk to make pancakes and waffles. The son and I eat regular sour cream, while the wife uses the more expensive, lactose-free.

CHEESE! Oh Dear Lord, cheese! We always had cheese, but now that we’re getting older, the wife ensures that there’s lots of cheese to assist my chocolate milk to fight off osteoporosis.

Fasten your seat belt! – The son’s cheddar cheese-string sticks, the wife’s mozzarella sticks, Kraft Singles sandwich slices, Havarti slices, a bag of shredded TexMex, a bag of grated Parmesan for pasta and homemade Caesar dressing. In blocks, we have smoked Parmesan for special dishes, Emmenthaler, the son’s Gruyere, cheddar, the wife’s goat-milk Kashkaval, which she puts on the fried zucchini, Monterey Jack, occasionally mozzarella, which I take from the freezer, to thaw for lasagna, pizza or French onion soup, and Edam, for family-gathering hors d’oeuvres. Oh, and don’t forget the flavored cream cheese spread, the jar of Cheeze-Whiz, and the jar of salsa con queso, which I dollop on my nachos.

Behind the leftovers on the top shelf, hide two or three flavors of homemade jam – red currant from our own bush, strawberry, raspberry, sour cherry, or spiced peach. Tired of putting it on toast? Mix a little boiling water, and they make excellent pancake/waffle toppings. Up there are also horseradish, beet relish, which is 50/50 horseradish and grated, cooked beets, and goes great on ham, pickled ginger, and a soup can full of salvaged bacon fat that we use to fry French toast, or make a roux for gravy.

The son works midnights, and doesn’t take the evening meal with us. He eats at 4:00 AM. The wife and I prepare a recipe that was set up when we had two healthy teenagers. Now she and I take what we want, and fill a Ziploc container for the son. Sometimes he has two or three ahead in the fridge.

Tupperware

Occasionally we pack some up for the daughter, especially tomato-based dishes, because her son is allergic to them, for days when her mobility disability keeps her from cooking. Thank the heavens for microwaves. Tupperware was handy but expensive. Now Ziploc and Glad containers are here. If you melt one a bit, it’s quick and cheap to replace.

After we’ve supplied the son and daughter, anything left goes in smaller amounts for future lunches. No longer just sandwiches – unless you want one. We freeze fresh bread, and never put out more than half a loaf. That top shelf is crowded with little containers of chili, won-ton soup, curried chicken and hamburger stroganoff.

I had to install a light fixture above the sink with three hi-intensity halogen bulbs. The one in the fridge was always so obscured by all the food that you couldn’t see in. Thanx for reading our obesity diary. You must’ve wanted to; you showed up.   😆

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On an unrelated note; I recently ran into a woman who’s even more of a Grammar Nazi than me. She warns her online friends that, if they send her a message like the last line above, but spelled ‘You must of wanted to’, she’ll unfriend them on Facebook.   😳

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