Monday, January 22, 2007

The Ice Cream Wars

My mother lives about 15 miles away. Except for a small, springy Jack Russel terrier, she lives alone. That she lives alone and within a relative close distance to my house both contribute to rather frequent visits.

It might be on her way to bingo at this or that church or school. Or to pick up one of her grandchildren to go here or there. Sometimes she even makes dinner and trucks it to our house. Any number of reasons. Whatever the reason for the visit, she usually also has some sort of care package. I guess she can't stand to see a coupon go to waste.

So she might show up with cat food. Good, we have many, many cats. Or she might show up with cereal. Fine, we eat cereal. And then sometimes it's ice cream. remember I have an issue with ice cream, yes?

I have no complaints with her bringing ice cream. None at all.

The problem is this.

When it comes to ice cream flavors, there are those who are the bulwark of the ice cream industry, buying chocolate and vanilla and maybe, on a special holiday or something, Neopolitan. Then there are those other people.

I'm in the former category. BORING! I hear you cry. But, it my defense, ice cream is, in large part, merely a vehicle for hot fudge and bananas. You just don't want to go polluting that with all kinds of flavors of craziness.

I will admit that sometimes I will spring for the occational Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Cookies and Cream or, perahps, Chocolate Marshmallow. But, they are usually just variations on the original theme.

I am...uh...mmm...the most, ... let's say accomplished ice cream eater in the house. The other memebers of my darling little family like ice cream but...not like I do. So I, being the head ice cream eater and grocery shopper, get to pick the ice cream flavors. And, fortunately, all the subject of my little frozen dairy queendom are usually happy with my choices.

My mother, on the other hand, will bring flavors such as Strawberries and Cream or Black Cherry or Something With Nuts Which Should Be A Punishable Offense. She buys the ice cream she likes to eat.

She and my dad pretty much shared the same taste in ice cream so you can imagine what it was like growing up in that house when you are a chocolate/vanilla lover. It's not that she never got chocolate or vanilla. But I was just a peasant in her frozen dairy queendom at the time. It would kind of be like if you had a pack of wild dogs and, for the most part, tossed them loaves of stale bread as their main source of food. Sure, they'll eat it because there's nothing else. But then, once in a while, you throw them a London Broil. Guess how long it lasts. Right.

And it's not that she will even eat ice cream when she's here. I can say, "Hey mom, would you like a bowl of that green ice cream you brought last week?" Because she'll say, "No, you eat it. I got one for myself. That's plenty." And then I walk around the corner where she can't see me and bang my head on the freezer.

Fortunately, for me at least, my little frozen dairy peasants are not so discriminating and they will often eat the strange and bizarre ice creams that materialize in the freezer.

After they've helped devour the flavors I like.


And then there is a certain hubby who shall remain nameless who claims one day "I don't like chocolate" and then happily deposits the last spoonful of Double Fudge Brownie Death By Chocolate into his gaping gob the next.

You don't like chocolate. Riiiiiiight.

And then he'll say, "Well, only sometimes. But I like vanilla more."

So, the other day, I sliced up a banana, warmed up the hot fudge and reached into the freezer to get the ice cream.

Uh oh.

The container felt awfully light. I mean really light. Now, I knew when I put it back there was at least enough for a decent serving of chocolate/vanilla still in it. I opend the container to see about two tablespoons of chocolate in the corner.

WHAT THE CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How?! HOW could someone leave A TINY LUMP OF OCE CREAM IN THE BOX AND PUT IT BACK INTO THE FREEZER?????????!!!!!!!!

I can't exactly prove who did it but I have my suspicions.


What's a girl to do? I spooned the ice cream into the bowl of bananas and ate it.


Last night I came home from the grocery store (again) and started to put the groceries away. Hubby sorted the various dry goods while I juggled some stuff into the chest freezer. Eventually I ran out of room. There were still some frozen items that needed a home so I opened the freezer half of our double door refrigerator. I tried to shift some things around but, as they say in the business, I was shit out of luck.

Then I saw the two ice cream containers that have been sitting on the shelf, mocking me, for the past 3 or 4 months. Mom ice cream.

I tried juggling a few more things all to no avail.

I looked back at the ice cream.

We stared each other down for a minute or two and then I said "Ok, this ice cream is going to have to go."

I picked the first carton out of the freezer. It was suspiciously light.

"It doesn't feel like there is even any ice cream in here." I set it on the counter to deal with later and picked the next carton out of the freezer. It was as light as the first. "I don't think there is any in this one either." I set that one on the counter next to the first and went back to stowing groceries.

I suppose curiosity got the best of hubby because he wandered over and opened up one of the ice cream containers and looked in. And started laughing. I turned to see what was going on and hubby said there was a note in the bottom of the ice cream carton.

It said "There's still a little speck right here. (with arrow pointing to said speck). Who's clever now?"

What?! I walked over and looked in. Sure enough. There was the note, in my son's handwriting, and a tiny speck of ice cream.

While I was gaping in disbelief at the first note, my hubby opened the other container and found the second note.

"Ha, ha. It's funny when I leave like 1 spoonful of ice cream in the container so somebody else can take care of it, right?"

I...don't even know what to say about this. I mean, I can understand the righteous indignation and all that but to take the time....

...notes in the ice cream container.....?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Night of the Wish I Was Dead




Wha? Hm? Oh.

Oh hi. Hi everyone.

Everybody doing ok out there? Yeah? That's good.

Me? Oh, I'mmmmzzzzzzz....

I'm a little tired. Can you tell? I'm really kind of running on empty right now.

Actually, no. I'm running on pain killers and muscle relaxants. I think I mentioned once before about the whole chronic migraine thing and how the medication I'm on for it, even though is says on the bottle "MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS", that it does not, in fact, cause drowsiness but the exact opposite of drowsiness. Awakiness. Or alternatively, Very Alertiness.

So it would seem as though the migraine monster is going to rear its ugly, painfull, throbbing, light and sound sensitive head again. This past Wednesday I could feel it coming on. You know, the little bit of uncomfortableness that starts in your eyeball and eventually works its way through your brain, into your neck and pretty much the rest of your life? Yeah, that.

I managed to put off taking my medication until probably a little too late in the afternoon on Thursday because by about 10pm that evening, when all the other little real estate agents are nestled and snug in their beds, I was wondering if there were any 200 acre tracts of land that I could walk. Or maybe I could clean? How about that? Oh, yeah. Other people in the house are sleeping. Well then, how about finally taking down the Christmas tree? Nah, not yet. How about spending way too much time on the computer researching heritage breed chickens?

Ok! That sounds productive!

So at about 4:30am Friday morning, after I managed to track down every breeder of Javas, Dominiques, Delawares and Chanteclers on the east coast and email them about chickens. I finally stumbled off to bed.

I can't even imagine what the chicken people must think when they check their email and find a message from someone who was still up at 3 in the morning inquiring about chickens. Maybe they think I'm really excited about it. Or really strange.

Then 6 o'clock rolls around and, hey guess what, it's time to get up again! Because guess what? Work!

Oh, and guess what else? Guess what lack of sleep contributes to?

Oh! I know! I know!

More migraines! Whee! It's like being on some kind of crazy ride that goes around and around. And around. With pain. And then medicine. And then more chickens!

I managed to make it through work and get a second wind. I knew I had to stay awake until at least 11pm because sonny boy and baby girl were on their first ski club trip and would need a ride home from the school. And, since hubby was working night shift, it was all up to me. So, around 11pm, I left the house and headed for the school. Baby girl decided to go to a friend's house to sleep over so it was just me and sonny boy going home. On the way, sonny boy reminded me that he needed a ride to camp because the winter trip for his scout group was this weekend.


That very night. The one where I promised myself that by 11:30 I would be in REM state.

As it turns out, 11:30 found me checking my email to see if any of the chicken people responded (they didn't) while waiting for sonny boy to gather his camping stuff. By 12:30am we were on the road to the campground.

The one on the other side of the county.

An hour away.

And then another hour home.

So, around 3am or so, I finally crawled to bed.

And then up again at 6am! Woohoo! Because why? Why would I get up at 6am on Saturday when I don't have to go to work? Well, let's see... Oh! Oh yes! The class.

I signed up to take a class!

Doesn't that sound fun? Kickboxing? Pottery? Or could I finally be on the road to learning how to play my violin?


How about...

Real Estate Law.

Now that sounds exciting eoungh to keep me awake, doesn't it? I bet you all envy me knowing that I spent this past Saturday, and will spend the next three Saturdays, studying Real Estate Law.

You all just wish you were that cool, eh? No? Not even a little bit?


Well, at least I knew I had the evening to get my little self to bed early and finally catch up on the lack of z's I had suffered.



Ok, well not completely. Because I did manage to take a nap on the couch for about 2 hours until




Me: Mmph. What? Hello?
Hubby: Were you sleeping?
Me: Mmph. Hello?
Hubby: Hey,
Me: What? Where are you?
Hubby: I'm on my way to pick up baby girl. How do I find the owner of a dog?
Me: What?
Hubby: A dog. I found a dog. How do I find the owner?
Me: What time is it?
Hubby: 11 o'clock. He doesn't have any id tags.
Me: What kind of dog?
Hubby: A chocolate lab.
Me: Where did you find him?
Hubby: He was on the road. It's really foggy. How do I find out who owns him?
Me: um... Where exactly are you?
Hubby: Near the baseball field.'t there a bar near there? Why don't you go there and ask around?
Hubby: Ooh. Good idea.


Me: Mmph?
Hubby: No one there knew who he belongs to.
Me: What?
Hubby: The dog. No one knew.
Me: Where is he now?
Hubby: In the car. He's coming home with us.
Me: Oh.

So a few minutes later hubby and baby girl showed up with a chocolate lab. He had a collar on and you could see that his family took good care of him. He was older - a little gray around the muzzle - but in good shape.

We introduced him to the beagles, gave him a drink of water, set him up with a comfy blanket on the kitchen floor and then went off to bed. Finally.

Finally I could lay my head on my comfy pillow.

Finally I could snuggle under my two comfortors.

Finally I could




Dont' get up.


Just lay here.


He's just getting settled.

Bark. Bark.

He'll lay down soon.

Bark. Bark, bark.

Just close your eyes.

Bark. Bark. Bark.

Just take nice, slow, deep brea-


This isn't going to work.









Bark. Bark,bark.







8am (in church)

Please, God, please let a very large rock fall off some very high mountain onto my head today. Amen.

The happy ending to the story is that we were able to locate the owner later that day. And I finally got some sleep Sunday night.


Oh, nevermind.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hello? FDA?


So, I went to the grocery store tonight. I like shopping at the grocery store at night. Especially after taking pain killers and muscle relaxants but that's neither here nor there. And, hey, I have a prescription anyway.

I like shopping at night because all the other weirdos are out. And they play good music over the speakers. Not the weirdos, the store people. Oh cut it out, you know what I mean.

But I'm misleading you. This post isn't about the weirdos at the grocery store or the music.

This post is about ravioli. Raviolis? Raviolies? Raviolioes?

I shop at Giant in Hazleton because of the pretty good prices and background music. Also, it's not too far away and offers a pretty decent selection of stuff.

Hubby and I have this ongoing ... thing ... about grocery shopping. He's a generic man and I'm a brand name woman. Although, through patience and a steady hand, he has retrained most of my thriftless ways. There are, however, some things that I will not compromise on. Frosted Flakes and Pop-Tarts probably being the two biggies. I'm sorry but Toaster Pastries just don't cut it. They taste like...I don't know, unPop-Tarts.


I figured I'd get a bag or two of frozen raviolioes for those days when I want to feel like I can cook like an Italian but without all the effort. I might pull out the flour and rolling pin to try homemade pierogies but even that would take the aligning of several planets, an act of Congress and a promise of Plenary Indulgence. Homemade ravioliolioes? Fuggeddaboudit.

I did a quick scan of the raviolioliolo selcection and figured one is as good as the next so I whipped out my abacus, and after a quick comparison of price per unit on each brand, and taking into account Giant Bonus Points, multiply that by the U.S. Produced Ravioli Tax Incentive I plan to claim on next year's return, carry the seven...and the obvious choice was the Giant generic brand of mini ravioliolettes.

Later that evening...

After putting the groceries away, I was feeling a bit peckish. In the hungry sense. What to eat? What to eat? Oh! Why I could just open a bag of Giant brand mini raviolikins and heat up a few with a skosh of tomato sauce. Mmm, mmm. A plan indeed.

I put some water in a pot and set it on the stove to boil, being extra careful not to watch it. When the water was ready, I opened a bag of mini raviolililliputians and dumped a few in. Then I scanned the back of the bag for an idea on how long it would take.


Here is the whole reason for this post.

The directions read - and I'm not lying one bit - "Heat until inner ravioli temperature reaches 165 degrees fahrenheit."


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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Amy Love-in

I want to take a moment to direct your attention to another blog. It was made by my sister - created to celebrate the 40th birthday of our dear friend Amy.

Click here to check it out.

But besides that, I also wanted to post a little bit about her.

I consider Amy to be my other older-sister-friend. She and my sister were pretty inseparable as we were growing up and I was equally tortured by both of them.

At least until my sister went away to college. At that point, everything kind of changed. It might have been that my sister and I no longer had to share a bathroom in the morning and that lended to our relationship becoming a bit more settled. Or maybe we all just grew up a bit.

Or maybe, just maybe, it was that Grateful Dead show in Hershey.

Actually, that's probably it. But I digress.

So at some point, Amy became my friend as well and, well, all those lines between relation/friend get all blurry after a while.

And now...

A short list reasons why I LUUUUV my Amy.

She has one of the best laughs I ever heard.

If I ever have a questions about a movie - ever - she will most likely know the answer. Her knowledge of all things film astounds me.

She can fly an Impala like a fighter jet. Even when it's out of control.

She helped with my birthday party when I turned 8.

She said smegma in front of my mom. (Not at the birthday party. It was much later.)

She is warm and cozy.

She knows how to deal with dogs.

She was my compadre during the Summer of Decadence.

She knows about all things cool in music, books, art and booze.

She is there when people need her.

She liked hangin' with my dad.

She's an active camper as opposed to a passive camper. Because of this, she knows all kinds of practical stuff.

She is the type of person that I could sit with for several hours in front of a fire. There is a small, select crew that fall into that category.

Mainly, though, I guess it's because I am comfortable around her. She is like a warm hoodie. Broken-in boots. A hammock in a nice shady spot. Macaroni and cheese. She is genuine in every sense of the word and that is why I am so lucky to have her as my other older-sister-friend.

Happy Birthday, Amy! We all love you!