Sunday, November 29, 2015


I recently had to do the unspeakable.  I shall post my confession here in the spirit of "keeping it real".  I bought two pairs of size 14 jeans, after staying in size 12's for at least two years.  My waistline had crept up a little before the holiday season even started, but my jeans were still fitting.  Sort of.  Anyone who has fought a weight problem all her life will understand this:  As I gain a pound here and a pound there, I always notice that some of my less roomy jeans are a little tight, so I move them to the bottom of the drawer and proudly tell myself, "Well, you are still in a size 12.  You can lose five pounds or so any time you please."

You know how it goes.  I was still hunting out the most forgiving pairs of jeans I owned, as well as digging out the sweats to wear around the house, when I started thinking about my mother's fruit cake, which I haven't made in years because (duh) I love it and it is very fattening.  I thought about my age and how quickly death is approaching and decided I did not want to go to my grave without tasting that fruitcake one more time.  

You have enough of the details.  I do, by the way, hereby promise that Cliff and I are going to get back on track by the first of the year.  Feel free to ask me later how that worked out for me.

Isn't it funny how once you start letting things go like this, you think of every food you have been denying yourself for years?  Last week I got out the waffle iron because from the time I was a kid, I have loved waffles and prefer them vastly over pancakes, but I deny myself for the cause.  While I'm still on a roll, I determined to have waffles.  

My waffle iron is Teflon, and supposed to be non-stick, but it was never non-stick even from the first time I used it.  I learned to use Pam spray before every waffle session, but once in awhile I'd forget and end up scraping stuck waffle bits off that thing for an hour, at which time I would give up and soak the mess off in the sink.  

Well, I haven't had Pam in the house for a long time, but it seemed to me that if I soaked a paper towel in Crisco and rubbed it around the hot waffle iron, that should do the trick.  

It didn't work, and I ended up with the usual mess.  Rather than waste the made-from-scratch batter, Cliff, Cora, and I had pancakes.  I came THIS CLOSE to tossing the waffle iron in the trash, but decided to buy some Pam and give it another chance.  We had waffles this morning, and they didn't even attempt to stick.  Nice, crispy waffles.  I am SO full.  

The worst thing about making waffles is that even with only two people eating them, there is a long wait between servings before the next one is done.  But good things are worth waiting for.  

I love the old waffle recipe from the 1960 Better Homes and Garden cookbook (HERE).  Beating the egg whites until they're stiff and gently folding them in makes for the lightest, crispiest waffles on the planet.

Yes friends, keep me honest after Christmas.  I need help... Cliff needs even MORE help... and I do not want to keep getting larger britches each year for the rest of my life.

Friday, November 20, 2015

When a toddler speaks...

Cliff and I have really enjoyed being with Cora while she learns to talk, but she has surely taught us to watch what we say.  Before she was actually putting words together, probably around the age of one year, I noticed her repeating things I said.  At that time she called cows "Mooo".  She would point at a cow or calf, say "moo", and I would absent-mindedly say "mmm-hmmm", emphasis on the "hmmm".  She would repeat my mmm-hmm exactly.

She's been calling us by name for a long time.  She has trouble with the "L" sound in Cliff, so it comes out "Ciff".  However, she pronounces Donna perfectly, and always has.  She sometimes calls us "Grandpa Ciff" and "Grandma Donna", because that's how her parents refer to us when they talk to her.  While I always call my husband by the shortened version of his name. Cora sometimes calls him Clifford, I guess because she hears her dad and others use his full name.  

I never realized until the child started talking how often I say "yup" instead of yes.  That seems to be Cora's preferred word when she answers in the affirmative, although she can't pronounce the "y" at the beginning, so it comes out "Wup".  She says this OFTEN!  Like many toddlers, she can't pronounce her "r's", so they, too, come out as "w".  Like that pesky wabbit, Bugs Bunny.

I don't curse, although occasionally if there's a big disaster (like when I shut my finger in a door, or spill something messy) I say "Crap!"  

By the time Cora was nine months old, she was repeating that word five or six times in succession if she heard me say it once.  So I don't say it any more.  

She still refers to herself often in the third person, which I think is my own fault.  As a way of baby-talking without even realizing what I was doing, I would say things like "Cora can't have that" or "Cora likes that".  You know, rather than saying "you can't have that".  So let's say I decide to put her boots on or zip her jacket:  Typical of a two-year-old, she wants to do things for herself and will say, "Cora do it."  

The strange thing is, she knows there is another way to refer to herself.  I recently asked her, "Did you have fun at Grandma's house?"

She answered emphatically, "I DID!"  Not "Cora did", but I did.

Maybe she is just patronizing us.  Perhaps she thinks we don't know how to talk right, and is saying things the way we taught her so we will understand.  

Because of the nature of construction work, she isn't here as regularly in winter as the rest of the year, so her dad has her a lot.  We don't let a week go by without seeing our girl, though, if we can help it; and her daddy is fine with bringing her over to spend a day if we ask.  Of course, there's no charge for those days.  Yesterday her dad woke her up and brought her over, per our request.  At the door Cora popped her pacifier (paci) out of her mouth and handed it to me with a grin, saying, "Want this?"  I usually put it away until nap-time.  

Some years ago... it was after we had first moved to the mobile home, so four to six years ago... I mentioned to Cliff that I missed babies.  "I wouldn't want to raise another child," I told him in jest, "but if someone left a baby on our doorstep, I think I would take it in."  

I don't remember his response, but in Cora, we have the best of both worlds:  We got our baby, but we don't have to get up at night with her.  We get lots of time to ourselves and we don't have to worry about eventually having to raise a teenager.  Of course, she isn't really a baby any more.  

Somebody is going to have a baby in the next five years, because I think if we are still up to the task, we might want another one.