Monday, March 27, 2017

Fly on the Wall

Kranky Granny’s poor old blog seems to have more time outs than all the sports teams and misbehaving children in the country combined.  My apologies for not giving you’ll a heads up to the latest absence. 

If you could have been a fly on the wall, of our humble abode, over the last month you would have thought you were in a testing center for fog horns.  Thanks to the round robin of croupy coughs that hubby and I have been passing back and forth.  At one point, I called our doctor’s office hoping to make an appointment only to learn that he was out of the office with the flu.  A few days later I caved and we went to the urgent care center hoping for a refill of our cough syrup.  We came away with a lot more.   Turned out we both had sinus infections, hubby had a bad case of bronchitis and I was diagnosed with pneumonia.

I’m no stranger to pneumonia. I’ve had at least a dozen bouts over the years.   While the medicine may help the pneumonia it also puts me to sleep.  So, I spent the next ten days scaring the tar out of my husband.  He never knew a person could do so much sleeping. Eighteen hours a day on average.  I took the last of the medicine Saturday morning and now (Monday evening) feel I have finally slept off the last of it. 

 Last Friday was our Tenth wedding anniversary and we had made plans to celebrate with a trip to someplace warm and sandy, but that never happened.  I’m just glad I procrastinated on making those reservations. I did manage to get a small celebratory post on Facebook between naps.

We did have one date scheduled that we forced ourselves to keep.  We had been making plans with my brother and his wife to go visit their new place in the country for months and the dates got rescheduled several times by both sides.  When this last one came around we just forced ourselves to put on our adult panties and tuff it out.  Turned out to be one of the few sunny days this month and despite having to down cough syrup every few hours we actually had a very nice time.  I even took my camera and got a few decent shots that I will share soon.          

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spring Craving

Sorry for the lousy photo.  I was there at the wrong time
of day.  At least you can enjoy the blue sky and clouds in the reflection. 
This sign appears in the window of a local frozen custard stand.  Given that today is the last day of February and they are not open I would have to say the sign lies.  But the artist needs to get a few attaboys for their creativity.

Now how did I know about this non-event, given that I am not a frequent visitor to any type of ice cream establishment?  And, our town has four that I know of.  Well, on the first few sunny days of spring (and spring is coming early to our part of the country) I get a craving for an ice cream cone.  This particular place is like the Dairy Queen's of my youth, where you walk up to the window and order and sit on the patio to enjoy your treat; so you would think I would choose one of the other three that have indoor dining rooms.  Unfortunately, I have no choice because this is the only place in town that cares about diabetics, like me,  and offers a no sugar added frozen custard. Yes, I would rather have the real stuff rich with heavy cream and sugar but, I'm thankful the owner of this stand cares enough to offer something for those of us with restrictive diets.

The recording on the stands phone tells me I will have to wait until March 4th to enjoy my first cone of the season.  My question is why didn't I call them first. I could have saved a trip.  But, no harm idone.  I managed to not waste my trip by popping into the Sub Shop next door for my favorite bag of Cheetos and a tuna sandwich.

If the weather holds you now know where I will be on Saturday. I just hope that my visit does not leave me with sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia.  In case your wondering that is the medical term for an ice cream headache.  

Monday, February 27, 2017

The 1950s Housewives

Today, as I was stripping and remaking the bed and folding laundry, I was reminded of the days of my childhood. Those were the days when you did not know a single mother who was employed for wages.  There were many things back then that could be counted on, as surely as attending church on Sunday.  The list might differ in each household but it would take a disaster of atomic proportions to cause the schedule to change.

Each Sunday, it was a given that almost every oven on the block contained a pot roast scheduled to be ready by the time the family arrived home from church. All that is, but ours. Having a mother from Alabama meant our Sunday dinners were always good old Southern fried chicken.

If a clothesline was empty when we walked home from school, on a Monday, it was a sure sign that the wife/mother of that home was either in the hospital or just home with her newborn. It also was a reminder to my siblings and me that the first thing we had to do after changing out of our school uniforms was to collect the sheets off the line and make up our beds.     

 Borrowed from the blog
Blooming Homestead 
Tuesday meant we were having Spaghetti for supper.  Wednesday was always Meatloaf and every Friday was salmon croquettes.  It was not unusual for kids to compare dinner menus with friends and try to get invited over for supper when they hated the dish being served at home. I remember a neighbor girl who hated the sauerkraut and sausage night at her house. It was one of my favorites but my mother rarely made it, so one night we traded places without telling either set of parents our plans. Needless to say, it never happened again.  If it was that easy and the other parents didn’t mind, I, as a mom, would have been fine with it.

Even the men seemed to mow their lawns on the same day so all the yards had the same growth pattern.    

I’m afraid those 1950’s rules never applied at my house. I have never been that regimented. Partly because I was always employed in retail with crazy schedules, and partly because it is my nature to attempt to accomplish everything in one mad whirlwind of activity.  For years, I would spend one of my days off preparing a week’s worth of meals that could be either frozen or held over for serving.  Leftovers are always better, right? 

Until my mother-in-law became too infirm to cook, I never had to worry about Sunday Dinners. She expected each of her children and their families to be around her dinner table and seldom did any two plates have the same food on them.  Her entire married life she had run a restaurant each Sunday. She was on the phone every Sunday morning asking for our order for dinner.  That would never have flown in my mother’s kitchen.  Mom made what she wanted and we either ate it or went hungry.  And, if you decided to pass on the meal Mom had best not catch you in the kitchen hunting for a snack later.  It only took a few weeks for me to learn that my mother-in-law would call each child in birth order for their meal request.  Since my husband was the youngest not living at home, we were always last.  I soon started asking her what each of the others wanted that day and would choose from those items for my family.  That way she was not cooking so many different items.  Once my husband’s younger brother married his wife started doing the same and within a few years, most of the plates started to look alike. 

I will admit that I do have a few household chores programed into my computer calendar.  Otherwise, the plants would all die of thirst, the smoke detectors would go years without the batteries being changed and I would never remember when to reset the clocks.  So, I suppose you could say that a few of those 1950’s habits stuck with the help of a little electronic magic.            

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bumper Stickers

 I can't remember a time when automobiles didn't have bumper stickers.  I recall that, back in the early days of my driving, the stickers were often placed on the cars without the owner's permission.  At that time there was hardly a vehicle in the state without a bumper sticker from one or more of the theaters in the new and booming area of Branson. It seemed that anyone with something to advertise or a political agenda would go around parking lots attaching stickers to the bumpers of the parked cars.  During this time the souvenir shops and other tourist traps began selling comic stickers or ones that allowed the vehicle owners to post bragging rights.  

I have always hated these stickers and would search my car almost daily so that I could remove them before the glue was permanently set.  Nothing worse than trying to get rid of aged stickers. For about a decade it was well known you had to leave your sunshades in the down position when parked in a tourist area if you did not want your vehicle stickered. After a while, so many people were doing this that it no longer paid to send out the troops and the posting of bumper stickers faded away.  

A 2008 study by psychologist William Szlemko and his colleagues at Colorado State University showed that those who choose to adorn their vehicle with bumper stickers (and other personal items) are 16 percent more likely to be the aggressor in incidents of road rage.

What??? You mean that sweet person with the peace bumper sticker, personalized plates and fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror is 16 percent more likely to run me off the road than the person driving the plain, unembellished muscle car?

The car pictured here can be found most days parked in front of a house a few blocks from where I live.  I see it around town quite often and each time it seems to have a new sticker added to it or placed over one that had faded away.   I've never seen the driver but their aged Saab sure shows their love of music groups.  

A few days ago I got behind a car that had a bright orange bumper sticker with only a single word "Sorry" on it.  I wondered why someone would put a sticker like that on their car and what they were apologizing for?

First chance I got I went to Google (what would we do without Google?) and found the sticker, but there was no explanation of why you would want to put it on your car.  

Are they apologizing for their bad driving?   Possibly, for who they voted for?  Or, perhaps the dilapidated state of their automobile?  Or does that weatherbeaten Ford Focus I saw have the door panels stuffed with Meth or other drugs.  Could the body of one of our states dozen missing persons be hidden in the trunk.  

It has been days and that bumper sticker still haunts me.   Wish I could have asked them why they feel the need to apologize and I find myself looking for that car every time I leave the house hoping for a second chance.      

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mental Games and Castles

Back in grade school,  I read a book about a man who spent many years locked in a tiny, dark dungeon because he angered the King.  I want to say it was about Miguel de Cervantes the author of Don Quixote but I could be mistaken.  In the story, the prisoner told about the mental games he played to keep from going stir-crazy.  

Since that day I have used several of the suggestions from that book to reduce my stress level, get relaxed enough to fall asleep or just to alleviate boredom on road trips or while standing in a queue.   One is a simple counting method that isn't worth talking about.  The other is to mentally challenge yourself by designing something elaborate and detailed like a house or planning the minute details of a large party. 

That is when I first began designing my castle. Not a day goes by that I am not doing some adjustment to the Castle plans in my head.  What was once a small square box with one tower is now a fortress large enough to house my entire family of 92 people plus their houseguests. 
Image result for castle drawing
I can't even count the number of times the decor has changed or the number of colors of paint on the walls.  When out shopping in some thrift store or antique mall I find myself finding pieces to add to my castle.  Every time I read about some new gadget I have to go and revamp the entire castle.  

This castle now has a chapel, ballroom, two kitchens, huge library, media rooms, music room with every instrument possible,  indoor pool, man cave with bar, ladies sitting room, four game rooms (arcade, board, card, and puzzle), two theaters -- one for films and one for stage productions, classrooms for homeschooling, a nursery for twenty little ones with Nanny quarters, workrooms for all kinds of male and female hobbies, spa, barber and beauty salons, 104 bedrooms and double that for bathrooms, Underground parking for sixty cars, a bowling alley, indoor handball and tennis courts, basketball courts, rooftop gardens, six turrets, an in-house nursing unit for the sick and elderly with resident RN, safe rooms, underground tunnels, hidden rooms and all the accoutrements needed to make the castle self-sustaining and able to last for centuries.  All sitting on 200 plus acres dedicated to hunting, fishing, horse stables, woodlands, bike and go-cart racing, ball fields, gardens (both food and flower), livestock, service garage able to hold the family tour bus, and apartment buildings to house the many staff who care for it all.   The only problem is, I need to win a billion dollar Powerball drawing to pay for it.  And, at this point in my life, I doubt I would live long enough to see it completed.  But, that doesn't stop the plans from growing.