Sunday, January 14, 2018

Good morning!

I made donuts for breakfast.  Not really from-scratch, but made from canned biscuits.  I imagine everybody knows about this trick:  Take the biscuits out of the can, make a hole in the middle, and put them in hot shortening.  I use the Fry-Daddy.  They're not Krispy Kreme, but they're not bad, especially if you never buy donuts anyhow and they're the only ones you ever have.  Take them out of the hot grease when brown, dip in a powdered sugar glaze or a mix of sugar and cinnamon, and eat.  This is like a once or twice yearly treat, but when the kids were small I made them often.

I read a passage in the Old Testament this morning that reminded me of a sermon I heard years ago.  It's the only time I ever saw this particular young man, since he was a guest speaker; but I always remember good sermons.

In the passage (Exodus 15:22-27), Moses is leading the Israelites through the wilderness.  Three days pass without any water, but finally they find some in a place called Marah, which means bitter.  The water was so bitter they couldn't drink it, and they began complaining.  Moses throws a piece of wood in the water and it's no longer bitter.  There's another sermonette in this, but I won't go into that, because I'm pretty sure nobody comes to my blog for a sermon.

The story goes on that when they left Marah, they came to Elim, which had twelve wells of good water and seventy palm trees.  

When the preacher came to this part, he told us that he and a friend of his, when they fell on hard times, would tell one another, "Elim is coming!"

And ever since that time, if things are going bad, I tell myself, "Elim is coming!"

Isn't it peculiar that some speaker I only saw that one time impressed me with a story I've never forgotten?

OK, moving right along, I'll once more sing the praises of my dog:  I'm always up two or three hours ahead of Cliff, so Gabe and I spend a lot of bonding time then.  I take him out as soon as he's out of the kennel, then one more time before I wake Cliff.  He evidently knows this routine well.  I'd taken him out for the second time; he was on my lap this morning when I said, "Get down; it's time to go get Cliff up."

He jumped off my lap and ran to the closed bedroom door.  When I opened the door, he went around to Cliff's side of the bed and put his paws up on the bed to look at Cliff.  Really?  He knows what I'm saying?  If I ever teach him to bark on command, I'm just going to send HIM to wake Cliff up.  

I have complained that Gabe is the hardest dog to housebreak I've ever had, but I think the truth is that I sometimes don't see him when he needs out.  See, he sits at the front door and stares at me when he wants out.  My chair is situated in such a way that my back is toward him when he does this, so he's telling me in his own way that it's time, but I don't know it.  Then an accident happens.  That's my theory.  If only he'd bark to get my attention!  I've had several people tell me to put a bell at the door and he will learn to ring the bell when he wants out.  Where would I put the bell?  On the doorknob?  I know it works, because people tell me they've done it.  

Now, if you're one of my Facebook friends you can just cruise right past this next story, because I've shared it there.  But many of my readers aren't on Facebook, or aren't my Facebook friends.  Here it is:

When I first got Gabe and was trying to teach him some basic commands, he refused to come to me when he was loose outside because he was having too much fun. In the house, he'd come. Outside, not so much. I googled everything I could find on the subject and somewhere came across this advice, which I can't quote word for word: If your dog is heading toward danger and you don't yet have him trained to come on command or obey "no", lay on your back, wave your hands and feet in the air, and yelp like a puppy.
Hmmm, I thought.
I tried it in the house and it worked, but who knows what would happen outside; sounded too good to be true.
This morning, since the ground is frozen (no mud) and Gabe hasn't been off-leash outside for days, I let him loose and he followed me to tend to the calves. We hadn't been out long when a neighbor's white dog that shows up here a couple times daily came into our yard. Gabe saw him and happily went running toward him. The white dog turned toward home, Gabe following fast. I yelled "Nooooo" loud and long; he stopped and looked back at me, then turned and ran to follow the dog. I could see I probably would have to walk to the neighbor's to retrieve him, because he really wanted to play with that dog. I could see Gabe heading for life on a leash forever.
Then I remembered that crazy advice I'd read.
It takes me awhile to get down on the ground, but I managed, and then I rolled on my back and began kicking my feet (sort of like peddling a bike), waving my arms in the air, and yelping at the top of my lungs.
As soon as I did this, Gabe turned and ran toward me at the speed of light. At the same time, the neighbor lady opened her door and started calling her white dog.
So now I know the trick works, but here's my question: What were the neighbors thinking when they saw their 73-year-old neighbor lady laying on the ground kicking and waving and making loud, piercing noises in these single-digit temperatures? Did they think I'd had a heart attack?
That's the part that makes me laugh.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Meanderings and musings

Let's start with toilet paper, shall we?  Seven years ago I became incensed at the high cost of toilet paper.  I was also unhappy about the fact that a sheet of toilet paper keeps getting narrower, so we were paying more and getting less.  I opened the subject for discussion on my blog, asking my friends which toilet tissue they found to be the cheapest (you can read the entry and comments HERE).

After their input, I opted to go with the cheapest recommended brand I could find, which turned out to be Scott.  You had to use about 2 yards of it, but I was on a quest to save money.  Unfortunately, Cliff got tired of it very quickly and said he'd pay for the toilet paper if I'd just get some decent kind.  He was already paying for it, so I shopped around for other cheap brands that might fit his requirements.

Possibly too much info here, so beware:  I'd been playing this TP frugality game for a couple of months when we went to visit our oldest granddaughter at an apartment she'd just moved into.  While there, I needed to use the facilities.  Being used to the cheap brands of tissue at home, the kind where you needed to pull off about two yards of paper if you didn't want your fingers to break through it (but it was CHEAP), I was very pleased with whatever it was she had available.  Stepping out of the bathroom, I asked her, "What kind of toilet paper is that?"

"Charmin Extra Soft," she answered.

OK, so I'd buy that wonderful stuff for Cliff and I'd use the Scott in the other bathroom.  Everybody would be happy.  Yeah... in HIS bathroom everybody would be happy, not in mine.  After gravitating to his bathroom more and more, I resolved to start buying Charmin after the cheap stuff was gone.  We'd cut corners on something else, by george!  You only live once, and at our ages, we'll keep life's simple pleasures as long as we can.

It didn't take long to notice a roll of Charmin lasted SO much longer than a roll of Scott that I was spending less in the long run.  So even though there are only two of us here, when I saw Costco had $4 off their already decent price on Charmin this month, I bought two huge packs of it (limit 2).  Who says you can't learn anything from your grandkids?

That's the toilet paper story.

I will only mention one item about the Instant Pot.  I finally made rice in it:  Perfect!  However, I had to figure out how much water to use.  One source said 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice, which seemed strange, because cooking in my double boiler I use a 1/1 ratio.  Another source suggested 1 1/4, and yet another, the 1/1 ratio.  Part of the problem was that the various kinds of rice cook differently.  One source, the one with the 1 1/4 to 1 ratio, said rinse the rice first, drain, then add it to the water.  That's the one I chose, and yes, it was perfect.  This was the first time I've ever used any button other than "manual" on the cooker.

And now, on to a random memory from yesterday.  I don't even know what brought this up, but Cliff and I were talking and I jokingly said, in a whiney manner "I'm just an old dirty dishrag.  Everybody throws me around and uses me like an old, dirty dish rag."

This is not the line of talk you normally hear from me, but I was joking.  As soon as I said it, I was immediately sent on a trip down memory lane to the only person from whom I ever heard such a statement:  It was the '70's, I suppose.  I was working on a conveyor at Whitaker Cable in Lexington.  Sometimes one of us would get behind, so the boss might assign someone to be a "rover".  This person would go to whichever of the several conveyors might be in trouble, help whoever was behind, and then go wherever else help was needed.  One day a lady whose name I can't spell... sounds like Neeawawna... was the rover, keeping things running smoothly.  I can't tell you a thing about her, but I remember the unusual name and I can actually picture her perfectly in my mind's eye.  The factory wasn't air conditioned and could be as hot as 100 degrees in summer; this lady was doing her job as a rover and stopped near me to help, saying, "I feel like an old dirty dishrag, the way they throw me around."

Thanks to one statement she made forty-some-odd years ago, although I really never knew her well, I thought of her yesterday, then told the story to my husband.  Now I'm sharing it with the world.  Folks, you never know what silly thing you might say that might be the only thing someone recalls about you.  Isn't life grand?  I wonder if that lady is still alive.

As I figured, Sally knew the lady's full name:  Neawana Creason.  I guess she died several years ago.  "She had red hair," Sally said.  I do remember that.  I can't even imagine why I have such a vivid picture of the woman in my mind, because we didn't really work side-by-side where I'd get to know her.  And I can't tell you why I remember exactly what she looked like, and this one silly little story.  I'm awful at remembering names; I believe her first name stuck with me because I always wondered if it was an Indian name, and I loved the sound of it.