Archive for November, 2017


My friend Suzanne is not the best cook and has set off the smoke alarm more often than she cares to admit. Wanting to impress a new beau she was dating, she squeezed a store-bought frozen lasagna into a baking pan, covered it with extra cheese, and passed it off as her own when he came over for dinner to meet her children for the first time. I know this fact to be true, because  I helped her by leaning on that frozen brick until it melted enough to smoosh into the pan.  It was kind of like fitting a square peg into a round hole, but lots of melted mozzarella cheese can cover up even the biggest of little white lies. That old deception came to my mind this week when the White House press secretary shared a picture of a chocolate pecan pie on social media, stating that she made it for her family’s Thanksgiving dinner. The internet trolls and bullies started in immediately, with faceless people insisting that she couldn’t have made that pie because the crust was just too perfect, and that since she “lies about everything else” that she must be lying about this, also. Some even threw in a little fat shaming while they were at it. They started hashtagging words like #PieGate, #conspiracy, or even #pielies. If you don’t know about hashtagging, it highlights your statements so everyone in the world of the internet and Twitter can see your words in all their glory. I’ll bet their mothers are mighty proud. Now, I don’t tweet or twitter nor do I like to get involved in political arguments with strangers and/or friends and/or relatives, but I just had to put in my two cent’s worth about pies, lies, and cooking during this season of peace, love, and Baby Jesus. STOP IT.  There. I said it in two words. Three,  if I add the word PLEASE. Even if you don’t agree with someone’s politics, religion, eating habits,  or what they consider to be homemade, you don’t have to voice your opinion, especially if it isn’t nice. Maybe she bought the pie. Maybe she didn’t. Maybe her crust always turns out soggy like mine does, and she buys the refrigerated kind and just makes the filling. Maybe she always makes perfect pies as a family tradition.  Maybe she just unthaws a whole pie and covers it with whipped cream to hide the freezer burn, orders her turkey from the local deli, and makes mashed potatoes from a box before bowing her head to give thanks. Keeping your eyes on your own plate and your piehole shut will help with this whole peace-on-earth-good-will-to-men thing that is supposed to happen this time of year. I will now step down off my box of refrigerated pie crusts and get on with the rest of my day, which will be spent binge-watching Hallmark Christmas movies and eating leftovers. Oh, I almost forgot to finish Suzanne’s story: Her youngest daughter spilled the beans before the dessert was even served that evening. Her husband still laughs about how she tried to impress him and how much he was flattered by it. Although they live far away, I will almost bet that the smoke alarm went off during their holiday dinner and that they bought their pies at the local grocery store. #peacebeginswithyou #loveoneanother #allpieisgoodpie 

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Six Months

The snow came a little early this year. It wasn’t the coming early part that bothered me so much, it was the staying. We often have an early snow, but it usually melts, giving me plenty of time to finish my end-of-fall chores. This year, I had finished hauling the furniture off one deck and put the flower and vegetable beds to bed by covering them with straw. I hauled some broken branches to the burn pile and folded and stacked all the tomato cages. I cleaned out the coop, piling a lot of fresh straw on the dirt floor for insulation.  I left the front deck alone, the planters filled with flowers and the barbecue grill ready to go, hoping for a few more days of fall. Besides, I was tired. When that first snow fell, I knew it would last only a day or two, so didn’t worry about it. Boy, was I wrong. On top of the snow, it rained. The seat cushions became crunchy and froze to the chairs. The geraniums were still green and incased in ice.  The citronella candle had to be chipped of the table.  Yesterday, as HE and I hauled the things through the snow to the shed, I came to the realization that if the snow stays until the end of April, as it often does, we will be having one of those six-months-of-winter years. Yes, I know I live in Minnesota. No, I’m not whining, at least not too much. Yes, I know that it is usually five and a half months anyway,  but some of us who are more compulsive tend to keep track. When I got to contemplating long winters, I thought about a long-ago Memorial Day storm of my childhood, when we were snowbound at our cabin, located at the bottom of a fairly steep hill. Back then, it was an exciting adventure, but these days I can’t even think about it because something like that might make it  a SEVEN month winter, and that is just plain wrong. 

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Showing off my drawers

Every household in every state and even in every country has a junk drawer. I’ll be the first to admit that ours is probably worse than most. Cleaning it out is usually a project done on a cold day in January every couple of years, and I think I am running little behind schedule. It is hard to keep a junk drawer neat, because one is always adding stuff and then rummaging around looking for other stuff that probably isn’t in there anyway. I couldn’t open mine the other day when I was searching for the dull scissors.  I couldn’t find the sharp scissors, which are usually in a special scissors holder attached to the wall and I was hoping that someone hadn’t put them THERE.  Anyhow, I had to stick my hand into that jammed-up dark drawer in which there could have any number of objects that could poke me and draw blood.  That drawer holds everything except scissors or the kitchen sink, but even that might be there if I dig deep enough. I thought I would share with you the top ten most useless items that I found: 1) Coupons for cough and cold medicines which  expired in 2013.  2) Rubber bands that are apparently dry rotted, as the two I tried to use snapped apart and kind of crumbled in my hands.  3) A rawhide dog chewy of unknown age, partially chewed. 4) Seventeen loose batteries of assorted sizes.  I might be exaggerating a little here…wait…no…I’m not. 5) Two packages of fresh batteries that were purchased because I couldn’t remember if we needed batteries or not. (These made the useless list because we didn’t need any). 6) Several of those little packages of salt, pepper, and ketchup from long-ago takeout food. One of the ketchup packages is sticky and I think another is empty, but I don’t want to explore any further right now without biohazard gloves.  7) Two flat head screwdrivers, deemed useless because they were buried at the bottom of the drawer where I couldn’t find them and I gave up and used a butter knife. 8) One old butter knife with a broken tip. 9) A broken pedometer or two…wait…or three. I must have worn them out. Thanks for believing me on that little white lie.  10) Gravy-splattered directions on how to fold cloth napkins into different shapes for festive family meals. Note: I have no cloth napkins. If I did and they were folded into fancy shapes for a festive family meal, I would never hear the end of it, just like the time I tried to make Thanksgiving more festive by  accessorizing the turkey with blue cheese stuffed pears and sugared grapes a`la Martha Stewart.  I should really tackle that drawer today, but I am too busy looking for the scissors. Besides, it’s not a cold day in January yet. 

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