The Battle of the Orange and Cream

Sometime in the past year or so, Bill and I discovered Stewart’s diet sodas. In particular, we were thrilled to taste their root beer and their orange and cream diet sodas.

For a while, they were sold at Fry’s grocery store, the Arizona version of Kroger. At some point, they stopped stocking them, or at least stopped stocking the diet versions. I was sad until I discovered I could buy them at a little fruit and vegetable market not far from our Arizona home. They don’t give them away – a buck forty-nine a bottle. The pop, however, is well worth the price as both the orange and cream and the root beer are splendidly delicious.

So I did what any normal person addicted to a particular product would do – I began hoarding them. Seriously, I would go to the Superstition Market each week or so and buy every single solitary bottle of the diet root beer and the diet orange and cream in the refrigerated case. I try not to think about how much money I spent on my habit. But I will tell you the honest truth – I was not the only one doing so. Every time I went, I would have to wrestle a bottle or two from some other desperate senior citizen’s hand. Well, not really, but figuratively, yes. The only good thing is that it seems like most senior citizens covet the cream soda, and as far as I’m concerned, they can have every one of them because, well, cream soda.

The reason that I began hoarding Stewart’s diet sodas like a meth addict is because I was unable to find any place in Denver that sells Stewart’s sodas. Now, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any such place, but I can’t determine a source. So my thought was that since we would be driving home from Arizona in May, I would load up our trunk with clanging bottles of soda pop.

Stewarts hoardAnyhow, that’s exactly what I did. They have been sitting on a shelf in our garage since we got home. Little by little, I have opened a coveted bottle as a special treat. The diet root beers are delicious, but without a doubt, I prefer the orange and cream sodas. Because, orange and cream. You can read further about my orange and cream addiction in this post.

Now, before I go on, I will remind you that I would do almost anything for any one of my grandchildren. I make treats that they like. I have a constant supply of their cookie-of-choice – Oreos. I have M& Ms and A&W root beer and pink lemonade always at the ready.

Alastair and shrimp

Alastair’s displaying the shrimp he cooked by himself on the grill, delightfully flavored with a spicy Cajun seasoning. See what I mean?

But the day I saw Alastair take a cold orange and cream soda from the refrigerator, I was stunned. I hadn’t told him not to drink it so he didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that I know my grandson Alastair. He likes good things. He likes good food and good drink and good fun. I can’t wait until he is old enough to prepare full meals for me, because he will be a splendid cook. So the handwriting was on the wall. I knew he was going to love the orange and cream soda, and he indeed did.

Again, I must remind you that what I said above is true – I would do almost anything for my grandchildren. Except share my orange and cream soda.

So, I went to the grocery store and bought a 12-pack of Sunkist orange soda, thinking I was brilliant to have thought of such a logical solution. I put it in my refrigerator so it would be nice and cold for his next visit.

And his next visit was this past Saturday. He was there for a while when I saw him open the drawer in my refrigerator where I keep my beverages. He closed the drawer. Then I heard him go into the garage. He emerged carrying a bottle of the orange and cream soda, garage temperature notwithstanding.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I said, sounding only slightly hysterical. “Did you see that I got you some lovely Sunkist orange soda?”

“Yeah,” he answered. “But that isn’t nearly as good as this Stewart’s Orange and Cream soda. I’m going to chill this bottle so I can drink it.” And that’s what he did. He put it in the drawer. Every so often he would go check the temperature, like a soda pop sommelier. When it was exactly right, he opened the bottle, sniffed the beverage deeply, and took a long, cooling draw.


By the time Alastair stops by next, Bill will have successfully dug a root cellar which will be hidden by rocks in our back yard in which I will be secretly storing my Stewart’s diet orange and cream soda. In the meantime, can anyone tell me where I can buy it? It’s available from Amazon for fifty bucks for a 12-pack. Wait, what?

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Thursday Thoughts

Shakespeare Sonnet 98: From you have I been absent in the spring
It’s funny living in the desert in the winter, even after all this time. Since the weather is somewhere in the high 60s or low 70s during the day now, I think of it as being spring rather than winter. I go to the grocery store and am astounded that asparagus is not on sale or artichokes aren’t a dollar a piece. Oh yeah, I’ll remind myself, it isn’t time for spring vegetables yet. Forgetting about winter? Not a bad problem to have.

For the most part, I’m a pretty good sleeper, as long as sleeping through the entire night is not part of the definition of being a good sleeper. I generally wake up a couple of times during the night. For the past few months, however, I have had the additional problem of waking up very early. A wake-up time of 5:30 a.m. or later is workable. But it’s been more like 4:30 or 5. That’s early enough that the birds are asking me to turn off the light. So when I went to visit a primary care doctor yesterday, I asked him for a prescription for Ambien. He looked at me suspiciously out of the corner of his eye. Or maybe I imagined the suspicion. Because asking for a prescription for Ambien felt no different to me than asking for a prescription for heroin. He glanced at my chart, and then pulled out his prescription pad and began writing. As he tore it out and handed it to me, he told me doctors no longer prescribe Ambien for people over the age of 65, which is why he checked my chart. Really, I asked him. Why is that? Well, it’s pretty well known that while Ambien can make you sleep soundly, it can also, in fairly rare instances, make you do odd things in the middle of the night. Start cooking a meal, get into your car and go for a drive, decide to mow your grass, that kind of thing. So, according to the doctor, there is a fear that someone 65 or older could get out of bed and fall down and break a hip. I’m not entirely sure why doctors think hips are more likely to be broken at 65 than they are at 62. Anyway, before taking Ambien, I will make sure to inform Bill that if he hears the car starting up during the night, take heed.

Stewart sodas
And speaking of heroin, let me tell you about Bill and my latest addiction (which, I’m pleased to say, isn’t heroin). Stewart’s Diet Root Beer and Stewart’s Diet Orange and Cream soda. Heavens to Betsy, are they ever good. There is a little farmers market not too far from our house, and we learned that they carry these products. So on a fairly regular basis, we make a trip over to the store and buy every single bottle in the refrigerator case. So far they haven’t put their foot down. The orange and cream soda tastes just like my childhood favorite – Dreamsicles. Oh yum.

Happy Birthday
Monday we celebrated Lilly Marie’s second birthday at Maggie and Mark’s house. She actually had several days of celebration – the way any good birthday rolls. But Monday was her actual birthday, and Mark’s parents were there, as were Bec and Bill and I, to help her celebrate. Girlfriend full-out knew it was her birthday, as she was quite animated and excited. She was dressed in a pretty birthday dress and even let her mommy put a bow in her hair. Happy birthday Miss Lilly.

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