22 November 2019

If ... Then

OH EM GEE.  Friday, you have no idea how welcome you are!  'Nuff said.

So I've been thinking about various random things this week - more so than usual - because I needed to be able to get out of my brain even more than usual.  This has been one of those weeks when, both in thought and deed, I've wanted to go up to people and say, "You know, IF _______, THEN _____, so deal with it."

Since it is neither socially acceptable to do this to others (particularly strangers) - and could even be dangerous - I'm going to say it to all of you.  Should you find yourself feeling addressed or even attacked in any of these circumstances, please do not take it personally.  But you might want to give things a bit more thought ...

IF you are a person who usually complains at a fever pitch about holiday decorations, music, etc. being in the stores too early. but you have for whatever reason decided that this year, you are embracing it all right away because "it's been a tough year,"
THEN maybe shut up about it related to any place or any person going forward because you no longer have the "moral imperative."  Stores do things for business reasons, they always have - get over it.  People do what they want to do, when they want to do it because it is up to them.  Just because *this* year has been tough for you (which, truly I'm sorry that's the case), it doesn't mean that if next year is great, you can go back to your previous proclamations.

IF you bake a delumptious birthday cake, and have some for dessert every night,
THEN don't be surprised that it is gone after a few days; but, THEN remember that Thanksgiving is next week, which = PIE!!!

IF you don't pay attention to weather forecasts,
THEN don't be surprised and/or complain all day when it is cold, or raining, or whatever and you are inappropriately dressed.

IF you realize/decide that you have lots o' knitting supplies that you don't need/don't use/don't want/don't whatever,
THEN put them into a box and donate it to a women's shelter, an old age home, or even a local school.  Lots of times these places have knitting/crocheting groups or lessons, and rely on donations for supplies.  For anyone in these situations, having access to the supplies, nice yarns, patterns, etc. is a wonderful treat since they are generally not in a position to treat themselves to those things.

IF you are constantly talking on your phone and not paying attention to what is happening around you,
THEN do not give others dirty looks when they try to pass you, or they bump into you because there is no place to move on the sidewalk and you were not paying enough attention to move to the side.  Also, who are you always talking to?  And about what?  I'm lucky if I can come up with ten minutes' of conversation twice a month with one of my sisters!  Of course, maybe that's because I am working on the assumption that, much like me, they do not care to have a moment-by-moment rundown of my life ("Right now, I'm walking past a store.  Now I'm crossing the street.")

IF you start knitting/making gifts for people early in the year, or just earlier than usual, and actually finish them all well before the deadline(s),
THEN do not decide that you need to make several more, especially if others would not appreciate said handmade gifts as much.  You have just been given the chance to either a) make something for yourself, b) make something for the holiday on your own time, or c) just enjoy being finished with it all.  Geez.

IF you are with your child in a public place, and said child is running around screaming and hitting people for no real reason, and you are either not paying attention (perhaps you are on your phone), or don't seem to care,
THEN don't get annoyed at people for telling your darling spawn to stop doing it.

IF you lay off approximately 25 people suddenly (two departments' worth of people) in early November, and then don't address it with the rest of the staff until the end of November,
DON'T act surprised/hurt/attacked when the room is tense and the questions are pointed.  Jesus Christ on a snowmobile, grow a pair!

IF someone pays you a compliment,
THEN say "thank you" at a minimum and leave it at that.  When you say something in response like, "Oh this is old," "Oh I don't really like it," or any such apologetic/negative remark, you are negating the kindness of the person who took the time to compliment you.  Someone is being nice.  Smile, accept it graciously, and move on.  Learning to do it this way may be difficult, but soon you will realize that your smile is a genuine one and that you truly are appreciating the compliment. 

IF you have read this far,
THEN have a good weekend!


21 November 2019

Fascinating and Beautiful

Occasionally, I look at the website for the Astronomy Picture of the Day.  I came across this by accident once at a previous job, and the images generally fascinate me. 

Today's is both fascinating and beautiful. 

You can read about it here.  I do have to say that this one really really appeals to me. 

Just a reminder that the world is amazing, whether or not we consciously pay close attention.

20 November 2019

Sew ... Here's a Plan ...

Oh I have to tell you how much I enjoyed everyone's comments about "Poverty Meals" from my last post, and reminders of some of the other things that were regular meals/foods growing up.  Isn't it funny how - especially when you are a kid - you just figure everyone else's family does the same things, eats the same food, etc.?  And then the first time someone mentions something different or you visit a friend's house, it's like WHAM!?

Thanks for the trip down memory lane (though who am I kidding, The Tim and I still like some of that stuff).

I know I don't talk about sewing here very much, though I have a sewing machine and enjoy the basic things I know how to do.  But I seldom use my machine, mainly because I pile so much crap on the table above it, I would need to clean it off first.  I had been toying with the idea of setting it up on the table on January 1, and just leaving it out, thereby providing fewer possibilities to create piles o' crap.

Then a few weeks ago, I was scrolling along on Instagram, and saw that someone I followed had linked to this post.  Hm, I thought, this might be worth looking into.  So I watched the informational video, and decided to sign up.  This will provide me with actual incentive to use my machine, and - at least theoretically - by the end of 2020, I'll have added some useful things to my household and repurposed some materials. 

I'm sharing this with you because it occurred to me that some of you may also be interested.  If you sign up before November 30th, the cost is half, even though the full amount is not that expensive.

Not that this means I'll be only sewing in the next year, because I would miss knitting too much.  Rather, this is just a plan to help me get back on track with sewing, and also refrain from creating too many piles of random stuff around the house.  So hopefully for me, it will be a win-win!

I have been thinking of goals for the next year, and I'm hoping that this one will actually stick. 

Stay tuned ... :-)

19 November 2019

Did You Eat "Poverty Meals" When You Were Growing Up?

Thanks for all of your kind words and wishes for The Tim's birthday.  He seemed to really enjoy his dinner and his cake, and was thrilled with his Crazytown Hat!  I'll see if I can get a photo of him wearing it.

When I told him I had made his birthday cake like they did in Roman times, he looked puzzled and then said, "Did you put columns on it?" which amused me.  He appreciated my "artistic" efforts.

It was a good weekend and a good day all around.

A friend of mine sent me this link, with the message - "Wait! Did you know these were 'Poverty Meals'" and my first reaction was to laugh, but then it got me to thinking.  I know I have mentioned before that we were very poor growing up, but to some extent, we didn't know it unless others pointed it out.  We were lucky to have something to eat every day, and clothes to wear (even if they weren't necessarily nice clothes) and occasionally we were farmed out to live with relatives for a while, but that was always presented as an adventure rather than something that was a problem.  

But I remember being shocked years ago, when a discussion about foods we ate as kids but would never eat today was going on.  I mentioned that one of my favorite things as a kid was fried bologna sandwiches, but I would never eat one today, because a) I am a vegetarian, and b) I knew there was no way I could successfully duplicate the ones my father used to make that tasted SO yummy.  At which point, a co-worker said, "Fried bologna sandwiches????  That's what poor people eat!"  

I have to be honest, that never occurred to me.  Just like most of the things mentioned in the linked article never seemed like things we ate because we were poor.  Of those things mentioned on the list, we regularly had all of them except chicken livers and fruit in condensed milk (I feel pretty certain that my parents must not have liked them).  They were just part of the regular rotation of meals.  There are some I still happily eat today, that until I read this article, had no idea were originally around because of their low costs.  And for better or worse, I think of some of them as treats (cinnamon and sugar toast, for instance).  

A black woman I worked with once told me that "no one who was self-respecting" in her community would eat boxed macaroni and cheese.  I was an adult before I realized that people made it completely from scratch - I thought "homemade" mac and cheese meant that they used the boxed stuff and jazzed it up, or that they used the "fancy" boxed stuff!

(regular - we never had it with these 'fancy' veggies!)

(fancy - fortunately for my parents, we didn't like this version as well, 'cause I know it cost more ...)

I did find a recipe for truly homemade mac and cheese years ago that I make pretty regularly now - using whatever cheeses we happen to have - and we enjoy that.  But I've also been known to fix the boxed stuff on occasion ...

So - what about you?  Did you eat "Poverty Meals" and if so, did you know that's what they were?  

Now I'm thinking of some other things that likely fall into that category - in any case, this has all been quite illuminating to me.  :-)

18 November 2019

When You Are Your Own Best Audience

How was your weekend?  Mine was good, with a nice combination of hanging out and also getting some things accomplished.  Today is of course The Tim's birthday, and we went out to dinner last night which was fun.  We tried a new local brewpub and the food was good, but the beers were really wonderful.

Today as previously mentioned, the stuffed cabbage that he requested for his birthday dinner is in the crock pot, and the house really smells pretty darn good!  I baked his birthday cake yesterday, and then added the frosting this morning.  I am always wishing I could think of ways to decorate his cake - not anything elaborate, but just better than a plain cake.  This is mainly because when it is my birthday, he always makes a cake for me that looks pretty as well as yummy.

This year I had an idea, and spent part of the weekend trying to figure out how I could make it work.  I gave it a try this morning, and was pretty pleased with the result.  (If you have already looked at Instagram, you've seen it already - and, spoiler alert, I'll probably post the picture on Facebook later too ...)

I made an old-timey birthday cake, just like during the time of the Romans!


I am not just pleased that I thought to do it, and got it to work, I am ridiculously amused by it.  I mean, Roman numerals!  Frankly, I can't believe it even occurred to me in the first place.  This is the kind of thing that *might* occur to me three weeks from now, and by next year I would completely forget about it.

I crack myself up sometimes.  :-)