Thursday Thoughts

Every morning when we are in AZ, the first thing I do in the morning when I get up is open the front door. The Acacia tree in our front yard, about which I have frequently written as it creates so much work for Bill, while being a pain in the neck, also is the home of many birds. I love to hear the birds chirping in our front yard in the early morning hours. Unfortunately, yesterday morning the open front door also allowed me to hear a car accident that took place at our closest major intersection – Brown and Ellsworth – that is probably a quarter of a mile from our house. I heard the sound of screeching tires and then a really loud BOOM. I knew full well that within a few minutes, I would also hear the sound of sirens, and I did. I’m not sure what happened, but I know that someone’s day was ruined. I quickly said a prayer, as I do whenever I hear or see something like that. I was reminded about how our lives can change in the blink of an eye.

Watch Out!
It must be the day for accidents, because I almost saw one at the grocery store yesterday afternoon. In fact, I don’t want to brag, but I think that were it not for little ol’ moi, someone’s insurance would have gone up. I was walking back to my car after a quick shop, and there was a car backing up without any tentativeness and another car driving down the aisle, also throwing caution to the wind. They were set to crash, and without thinking, I yelled out at the top of my lungs, “WATCH OUT!” They both stopped suddenly, and crisis averted. I can’t say they even gave me the slightest wave of thanks; nevertheless, I feel as though my attempt to be a blessing to someone every day was successful for that day.

Is it Hot in Here or is it Just Me?
I read a story the other day that made me laugh out loud at the time, and it’s made me laugh out loud every single time I’ve read it. And frankly, that’s very naughty of me because what happened was actually quite unfortunate and dangerous. What was fortunate is that it doesn’t sound as though the person was hurt. Apparently a man shopping at a Costco store in Washington had to swiftly and undoubtedly frantically remove his pants because the cell phone that was in his pocket caught fire. It was NOT a Galaxy Note 7, which has been the topic of much media coverage and discussion because they have been known to spontaneously combust due to the battery getting too hot. The fact that it was NOT a Note 7 does not, my friends, give me much comfort. Instead, it tells me that at any moment, my very own cell phone could go up in flames and though I would not have to remove my pants, I would have to throw aside my new purse. Maybe it really was simpler when telephones were connected to the wall and didn’t start on fire.

Rose Colored Glasses
I suddenly realized the other day that my new favorite color must be dusty rose. Why do I think that? Because I realized that my phone is dusty rose, my iPad cover is dusty rose, and I purchased a new purse at DSW the other day, and it is – you guessed it – dusty rose. I didn’t even realize that I was drawn to that extent to that particular color.


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

imagesIt’s that time of year again, folks. The season of losing my mind.

As you are all aware, Christmas season starts earlier and earlier every year. It used to be that we were happy if it didn’t start until after Thanksgiving. Nowadays we’re happy if it doesn’t start until after Halloween. Pretty soon it will be 4th of July.

I’m not going to complain about Christmas season starting earlier. I’ll leave that to others. I, for one, am in the camp of enjoying Christmas music earlier. Heck, I would enjoy it all year long if I could (without people thinking I’m nuts). And Bill and I experience our holiday season a bit differently than most. Because we leave for AZ on Christmas Day, we really celebrate the holiday – at least the secular holiday – the few days before Christmas. I spend Christmas Eve Day every year being the Grinch; that is, I’m taking down my Christmas trees. For that reason, I always put them up on Thanksgiving Day. It gives me a chance to have the grandkids help me decorate my Angel Tree.

It used to be that if I had my Christmas shopping finished by December 14 (my birthday), I was deeply satisfied. I always posted my Christmas cards that day as well. Now, of course, the Christmas card ship has sailed, at least for me. I haven’t sent cards in years, and only get a few as a result, mostly pictures of my great nieces and nephews, which I love. Christmas cards are for the young and not cynical. If I DID send out Christmas cards, they would say Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays. So there.

Because I have been seeing the Christmas ads for several weeks now, I have been FREAKING OUT because I hadn’t started my shopping. I couldn’t shop in AZ, because then I would just have had to bring the gifts home. So I sat down at my computer yesterday, and began my shopping.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am one of those who does nearly all of my shopping by computer. Last year I’m pretty sure I did it all via one dot com or another. And it is my hope that I can do that this year as well. I’m not agoraphobic, or even terribly antisocial. I just hate looking for parking places. I don’t know the technical term for a parking-place-looking phobia.

Yesterday Bill and I went to Costco after church to get some things for Thanksgiving. You know, Thanksgiving. That holiday that falls the day before Black Friday. Anyhoo, I needed to get some peanut oil in which to fry one of our turkeys. (We will have two, lest Court’s first attempt ever at turkey frying is a horrible fail. In the past, we have eaten at Dave and Jll’s, but they are scattering this year, leaving us floundering and trying to figure out how to replicate their always-delicious fried turkey.) Well, it hadn’t occurred to me that other people might be at Costco buying their turkeys and other accoutrements for Thanksgiving. Not just “other people.” EVERY OTHER PERSON IN SOUTHEAST DENVER.

“It probably isn’t a good idea to go to Costco right after church,” I told Bill.

“You mean because of all of the cussing and negative thoughts?” Bill asked me pointedly.

Yep. Because of that.

Well, there’s a bit of snow on the ground here and Christmas music is playing on our easy listening station. So in my mind, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Now I just have to go check on my Thanksgiving turkeys.


The other day I was making a gourmet lunch of hot dogs and Cheetos. Sure, some French person somewhere in Paris was eating a Croque Monsieur or Madame sandwich while sitting on a park bench outside of the Louvre, but I don’t envy him or her because I LOVE HOT DOGS.

There. I’ve said it. In fact, one of my favorite lunch treats is the buck fifty special at Costco that features a foot-long hot dog or polish sausage and a Diet Pepsi. A buck fifty. Considerably less expensive than your Croque Monsieur, monsieur!

Anyway, I had spent good money on the weenies. I don’t go for the generic brand. No Siree Bob. I put out good money to get all-beef Oscar Mayer weiners because that’s the kind that Bill used to eat at his favorite hot dog joint on the South Side of Chicago. (I know, but that is not a typo. His favorite hot dog place didn’t serve Vienna Beef hot diggities. It was Oscar Mayer all the way.)

All this is to say that our lunch fare got us to talking about advertising jingles through the years. And Oscar Mayer had two of the very best. C’mon Baby Boomers. You can sing them with me….

I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weiner
That is what I’d truly like to be-e-e
‘Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer weiner
Everyone would be in love with me.

That catchy tune aired in the mid-60s. It is not to be confused with the equally catchy

My bologna has a first name, It’s O-S-C-A-R
My bologna has a second name, it’s M-A-Y-E-R
Oh, I love to eat it every day
And if you ask me why, I’ll say
‘Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A.

I am not ashamed to tell you that to this day I never ever misspell bologna. Of course I’ve probably only had to spell it out five times in my life and three of those five are in this blog post. Still….who couldn’t love this symbol of fine hot dog eating everywhere….

I took this photo of the Weinermobile outside of our neighborhood Walmart.

I took this photo of the Weinermobile outside of our neighborhood Walmart.

Another famous jingle that also featured hot dogs was offered by Armour Meats, also in the mid-60s.  Remember?

Hot dogs. Armour hot dogs.
What kind of kids eat Armour hot dogs?
Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks.
Tough kids, sissy kids even kids with chicken pox
love hot dogs, Armour hot dogs.
The dogs kids love to bite.

We must not have been too concerned with political correctness in the 60s. Maybe we were too worried about where all the flowers had gone. Because I can’t imagine a commercial today that would talk about fat kids during which they would feature a plump girl biting into a hot dog. And sissy kids? Wouldn’t happen.

But of course, catchy advertising jingles weren’t limited to hot dogs. Who can forget two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame-seed bun? Or hold the pickles hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us?

And after all of those hamburgers and hot dogs, you needed plop,plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is. And the next morning, once your stomach was settled, remember that the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup. But perhaps the one easiest to remember was this: Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, and so forth. Meow Mix cat food.

All this made me think about a movie I recently watched on Netflix called The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, starring Julianne Moore. It was an interesting movie based on a true story of a woman who helped support her family of 10 kids by winning a variety of prizes – some monetary, some less helpful – for writing advertising jingles in the 1950s. Apparently companies used to hold contests to find the best jingles. I recommend the movie.

It makes me a bit sad that nowadays there are no jingles, only pop music as the background to commercials aimed at the 18-40 demographic. But just remember, when you say Bud, you’ve said it all.

This post linked to the GRAND Social


“Would you like a piece of toast for breakfast?” I asked Bill one day last week.

“Sure, sounds good,” he answered.

So I got out a couple of pieces of the high-fiber bread that the nurse practitioner had suggested I eat as part of my effort towards a high-fiber diet in light of my recent health situation. He highly recommended the bread. Killer Dave’s Bread, he called it. He said it was his absolute favorite bread. In fact, it is actually called Dave’s Killer Bread. We purchased it last week from Costco, two loaves shrink-wrapped together in the old familiar Costco way – designed for big families.

I toasted two slices, smeared cream cheese on Bill’s, and carefully dotted the bread with his favorite grape jelly. He took a bite without looking up from his Ipad.

One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand.

“Hmmmm,” he finally said. “I could use this bread as siding for the playhouse.”

And so he could. Sorry Jeff-the-nurse-practitioner. The bread tastes like a shingle.

I took a bite of my own toast smeared with peanut butter. I chewed……………and chewed………….and chewed some more. My friends, I am simply not cut out for a high-fiber diet.

And yet I must learn. Because I don’t want to end up in the hospital simply because I am opposed to eating shingles.

Honestly, it’s not accurate to say I’m not cut out for a high-fiber diet. I like lots of things that are high in fiber. In fact, in 2011 following my surgery, I had to eat a low-fiber diet for a period of time, and I found it really difficult. I love most vegetables and nearly all fruits. I put a tablespoon of Benefiber in my coffee each morning. I can’t quite stomach whole wheat pasta no matter how animated Rachael Ray gets about it, but I do buy the high-fiber white pasta.

20150731_085457But when it comes to bread, I want bread and not shingles. I want my bread – at least my sandwich bread – to be fluffy and not weigh nearly the same as a brick. There you have it. I’m a child of Wonder Bread – Builds Strong Bodies 12 Ways. If it was good enough for Captain Kangaroo, why it’s good enough for this baby boomer.

As for the bread I recently purchased from Costco, I have decided that in fact it should be called Killer Dave’s Bread, since it is liable to do just that. One loaf is in the freezer. The other I will give an ample ol’ college try. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s what Killer Dave says anyway.