Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Chocolate milk wars

Mom was an avid Hershey's chocolate syrup fan. That's all we ever had in the fridge...when we actually had it. She also loved Hershey's candy with almonds and would suck off the chocolate piece by piece in some distorted effort to make it last longer so that the rest of the bar would remain uneaten for months.

But, my Grandmother on my father's side had no such compunction about giving her grandkids chocolate milk. And she preferred the powdered Nestle's Quik, which to this day is my favorite.

Pour a spoonful into cold whole milk.
The granules don't completely dissolve, even with vigorous stirring, and a small raft of chocolate powder bubbles appear on the top of the milk.

Which, when sipped, burst into your mouth to your obvious delight as it was solid flavor, not gooey syrup.
And the chocolate was milder, not as acidic as Hershey's.

Thanks, Nana. 
One of my fondest and just remembered memories of you.


Friday, August 16, 2019

John the Bull

Back before we had kids, my husband belonged to a Jeep racing club. We'd spend every other weekend in some godforsaken woods in Pennsylvania listening to the roar of engines sans mufflers and cursing and people who were far more interested in noise than quietude.

Anyway, there were various races, uphill, obstacle, drags...I only watched the drags because they were short and between the dirt and heat, they were about all I could stand. We knew people in the club who were racing...I wished them well.

One person out of the hundreds stood out from the crowd. He was a short, stocky, mean tempered bull of a man...named John the Bull. He may have had a last name; I never heard it. But he was always cussin' and drinkin' beer and mean-looking. Truly correctly named. He had a big racing vehicle...an X type, which meant it was special, not one that fit into one of the tamer groups. It was loud and so was he. Adding to his short, bull-like appearance, he wore a brown felt squashed top hat. Always sneering, calling on his kids in various cuss words...loud and abrasive.
I didn't think too much of him.

But, after once particular race in the heat of summer, we were on our way home, towing our pop-up camper along busy Route 80, when a tire blew. 
We pulled to the side of the road. My heart was in my throat as I imagined all sorts of horrors to befall us...staying at the side of the road forever, leaving the camper for help and finding it gone...the sort of things I always worry about. Being stranded. That was topmost on  my list.

Our friends had gone before us, they did not know we were stuck. Yes, we had a spare, but even that was hard to reach.

So here we are, stuck on the side of the road, when a big RV pulls up behind us and out steps John the Bull.
Sweet as can be, he starts helping us lift up the camper, detach and reattach the spare, having his kids help.
Now, he pulled up behind us on a busy highway. No way could he have known we were part of the racing group as we towed no Jeep. He stopped because he was a nice guy who wanted to help somebody.

OMG.

I'm tearing up now because I remember every bit of that incident and it just showed me how wrong someone can be about another human being.

John the Bull passed away a few years after this. I send up a prayer for him every now and then.
He deserves it. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Unnormal

So, the Petersons are going on a cruise somewhere up north.
New England ports, lots of fishing villages dotting the coast, then up to Nova Scotia...not near Oak Island, but then, one can't see enough quaint fishing villages, can one?

This is all husband's brainstorm.

It is going to be very expensive...I don't know why he decided to waste money on this extravagance, but he wants to do it and it is better than me having to endure life in an RV.

I do so love this guy. He's inventive. He's sweet. He loves to spend money. So un-Ukrainian.

So then, after all this planning and buying passage and the urgent need for decent clothing and footwear, he asks me if there is anything I've always wanted to do.

Simple...I'd love to visit Sandy in Vegas. I'd love to drive along Route 66. At least part of the way. And visit Pie Town, but that's on Route 60, which may or may not be part of 66.

Something that can be done in our huge new car and the added bonus of sleeping in a motel/hotel.

So, we won't get to see the tidal bore on the Bay of Fundy, but we will get to see the tide run backwards.
We will tour Boston Harbor and a couple of other harbors, like Portland?




No, Some place in Maine. I've never been to Maine. We are supposed to get lobster there.


Point in favor, for sure.

But with these effing braces, I'm not anticipating getting much of the deliciousness of the cruise banquet in my gullet.

More ways to lose weight.

I have gotten some new duds, however. I will try to send photos, but I doubt I'll be able to.

Did you know it costs $45/day to have Coke products on the ship?


Monday, August 5, 2019

Crudballs

Chaos in the Peterson household and beyond.

With all the terrible things happening in our country currently, I shouldn't bitch, but I can.

But, in deference to those in El Paso and Dayton, and Parkland and Columbine and all those other atrocities, I will refrain.

They do have it so much worse than I do.

I am bleeding inside for those people. I would pray for the dead but they've already gone to their rewards. I will pray for those injured and their dear ones, however.

Prayers might help them.

Sunday, July 28, 2019






I am not dead.
We received a mail from my cancer doctor's affiliation, to the next of kin of ME. There was an email problem and it may have compromised something, so they sent a post snail mail to my next of kin warning them to check to see if anyone had started a new me thing. Because I was dead.

Contrary to what they think, I am still alive. Mean, disgruntled, pissed off, angry, but breathing regularly and working with my brain.

The more recent photos of me are ugly, hospital and dental things that do me no great justice, but be it known the world over...I am alive.

And intend to stay that way.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Hot time in the summer sun

Last week, here in New Jersey, it was hot. How hot? It was so hot that the water in our pool reached 92 degrees F.

I had to rely on tales told by my daughters and friends and, of course, the news, as I was not in NJ. I was in NC.
It was hot, there, too.

Okay, I only went out of the vacation house a couple of times, into the car, into the grocery store, back in the car, back in the house. That was enough.

Yes, we have had hot summers before. We've had them without air conditioning, also. We survived, but it was most unpleasant. One year, it was this hot when I got chicken pox. My mother cut my hair as short as my brother's. They put an exhaust fan in an upstairs window, closed off all the other windows but for an inch or so, and that was how we made it through the long, sweaty night.

Not actually made it...we probably just sweated ourselves into a stupor that passed for sleep.

To quote my grandmother, "it's so hot, even the cold water is hot."

She was right!

BTW, the water on Emerald Island in NC tastes gross and, yes, even the cold water was hot.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Lost to history

Yesterday, I learned from someone I ought to trust with the truth, that: some famous Roman guy was poisoned by his wife/lover/maybe mother by a poisoned fig. 

At 3:am, I could not find any real reference to this when I Googled "Hey, Google, who poisoned every fig on the tree?"

We all know the hand gesture where the person bites her/his thumb which is really nasty and means something like "Pull a fig out of an ass's butt". I learned that first year of college. It stayed with me while I can't remember who told me that and in what book it was.

However, it deals with a fig.

Possibly, this fig thing goes with the poisoning of the guy.


The coolest part is that, while I can not remember where this was quoted from, I do remember this, and it has become something I will never forget.

In order for the woman to get to poison this guy, she

POISONED EVERY FIG ON THE TREE.

We're talking a very angry, vengeful woman here.

The Romans were famous for poisoning enemies. Kids. Grandparents. Politicians. There's a big read on Wikipedia about how this poisoning was going on...quite the thing.

Their poisons weren't all that powerful. They knew about Hemlock, thanks to the Greeks. They knew about some mushrooms. Other than those things, they just probably put any old thing into someone's food and hoped for the best.

Since their favorite condiment was garum, which is distilled rotten fish guts, it might have been hard to disguise the bad taste of a poison anyway.

While this story will stick in my head...it has definitely put me off Fig Newtons.