It all began …

June 30, 2010

The following was in the newspaper yesterday:

“Did you marry your high school sweetheart?  The (newspaper) is looking for stories about couples who dated during their teen years and ended up married to each other.”

So, of course, I thought I would submit our story.  But when I looked back through all the Hubby posts here, I couldn’t find one that told the story of  when “it all began”.  That is really an omission, because it is one of the most important turning points in both our lives.  So, I’m going to correct that omission right now:

On New Year’s Eve, 1961 I was 15 and staying overnight with Robyn, one of my girlfriends. When it was almost midnight, her boyfriend, Wayne, called from a party to ask if he could stop over for a little while to see in the New Year with her. But she explained that I was there, so that probably wouldn’t work. No problem, he said. Just by coincidence he had a friend who he had wanted me to meet anyway, and that friend just happened to be right there at the party too!  So Robyn said okay – in that case they could both stop over.  But when Wayne hung up the phone, he definitely had a problem.  He didn’t really have a friend in mind to introduce to Robyn’s friend whom he had only met a few times, but he needed to find somebody quick! He looked around the room and his eyes landed on his friend Jim (probably one of the taller guys in the room, so he stood out). So Wayne went over and gave Jim a “sales pitch” about Sandy, his girlfriend’s “cool” friend, and convinced Jim to come with him to meet me.  The rest is history.  Jim and I went together, sometimes off but mostly on, for the rest of high school and married a year after I graduated.  We have just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary.

I’ve always loved telling the story about how Wayne picked Jim for me.  And it’s no surprise to anyone who knows Wayne that he spent his entire career working in sales – he definitely had a talent for it.  But, to my way of thinking, the most important sales pitch Wayne ever gave was the one he gave to Jim about a girl name Sandy, on New Year’s Eve, 1961.

NOT Diet Grape Salad

June 29, 2010

Okay.  We went to Hubby’s annual family reunion on Sunday.  I had made turkey lasagna and some banana bars but I wanted to take another dish too.

I looked in the fridge to see what was available and some grapes caught my eye.  They reminded me that Linda had made a grape salad that they really liked.

So I found a recipe for grape salad in a cookbook, but it called for FIVE POUNDS of grapes!  It says it makes 10 servings, so they are thinking a half pound of grapes is a serving?  Doesn’t that seem like a really big serving?

I measured my grapes and I had two cups, so I modified the recipe to fit what I had.  But when I got it made, while it was delicious, it really didn’t have enough grapes in it, so I ran over and bought another cup of grapes.

Anyway, we thought it was awesome, in a very non-diet way, so I’m sharing it with you for your non-diet days (like reunions!):

Grape Salad, my way

Combine 4 oz. cream cheese, softened,

16 oz. sour cream,

½ t. vanilla,

¼ C. granulated Splenda (equal measurement if sugar) and

¼ C. packed Splenda brown sugar (double if using regular brown sugar).

Mix well.

Clean 3 cups of sweet, seedless grapes.  (I had two cups of dark ones and bought another cup, that time pink ones.)

Add the grapes and 1 C. of coarsely chopped pecans to the mixture.

Mix well and refrigerate.

Okay, back to the diet now.

Profile of a Winner!

June 28, 2010

My old friend, Cheryl, is the winner of my I-can’t-believe-I-posted-700-times contest!

I actually had planned to share photo documentation of the  very high-tech system I used to arrive at the winner, but my photos of the little pieces of paper with all the names on them in a big plastic pitcher don’t want to download, so you’ll just have to take my word for it — Cheryl won!

To remind you who Cheryl is, besides being an occasional commenter here, she and I went to high school together and I wrote about a fun encounter we had here — a time when I noticed her browsing in the tropical fish department of the nearby super store.

Yesterday I stopped at the super store on my way home from church, and it just so happens that I encountered Cheryl again — and again she was doing something “interesting”.  As I walked past the cosmetic aisle I noticed Cheryl studying a wall of products.  So, of course, I walked over to say hi.  And as we chatted she told me she was looking for waterproof eyebrow pencil.  Hmmm.  I’ve never heard about a product like that, nor the need for one!  She said she needed it because hers keep wiping off.  Being the caring, thoughtful friend I am, I gave her my very best advice to solve her problem — “STOP RUBBING YOUR EYEBROWS!”  She said she would take my sweet advice under consideration as she waved a waterproof eyebrow pencil under my nose as proof that she wasn’t the only one who had the problem of disappearing eyebrows!

So, anyway, eyebrows or not, Cheryl is the winner of the original greeting cards.

“I’ll have my people call your people, Cheryl, and we’ll do cards.”

Thanks to all of you who left a comment and joined in the fun.  You are all winners with me!


June 27, 2010

Peace is seeing a sunrise and knowing who to thank.  — Anon

A trick of the eye

June 26, 2010

I have four different sets of measuring spoons.  And I’ve separated them all so that sixteen little spoons of varying measurements float around in a drawer with spatulas and cooking spoons.  It works for me.

Yesterday I wanted to use one tablespoon of whipped cream cheese and one tablespoon of blackberry preserves on my morning English muffin (Weight Watchers has made me so much more of a “measurerer” than ever before), so I got out two tablespoon measures.

I had never noticed these two measuring spoons together before.  But when I did see how different they looked, it was just hard for me to believe that they both held the same amount — the stainless steel one looked so much bigger.  I was so skeptical I even went so far as to fill the black one with water and then pour it into the stainless steel one.  Of course, they DID hold the same amount.

Then I turned them over and it was immediately obvious why they could be the same:

Smaller diameter and deeper, versus bigger diameter and more shallow.

I think the fact that one is black and the other is shiny stainless steel also makes a difference in the appearance of disproportion.

I guess it’s been too long for me since geometry class when we learned about different configurations of objects having the same volume.

If any of you are home schooling your children, feel free to use this in your math lesson today!  It was certainly a little refresher course for me.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock …

June 25, 2010

… time is running out to enter my I-can’t-believe-I-posted-700-times contest.

Win a box of six original photo greeting cards.  They will be blank inside (unless you want me to try my hand at greeting card writer too — I might be able to do it!) and include matching envelopes.

Think of it this way.  “Someday” wayyyy in the future, after I’m gone, there may be a huge number of collectors who collect … not baseball cards … not comic books … but original greeting cards!  So, if you were to win this box of six now, maybe you could sell them then on a huge black market for the very popular collectible greeting cards, and feather your retirement nest!

So, comment here or on the original contest posted last Monday for this once in a lifetime opportunity! (said in my best Billy May’s voice)

Happy Friday!

Bob, the “dry cleaning guy”

June 24, 2010

Cops are probably (or at least used to be) dry cleaners’ best friends, and maybe not for the reason you are envisioning.  Uniforms have gotten more casual now (a change I personally don’t think is a great “look”), but when Hubby started out as a young uniformed officer the uniforms he wore could be washed and ironed by a devoted wife, but they looked much better (and saved the wife from all that ironing) when they were dry cleaned.  So that means that for almost all of the 36 years that Hubby was a policeman, we were on the “frequent flyer” plan with dry cleaners — first with uniforms, then with suits and dress shirts when he moved up into “plain clothes” jobs.  One of the decisions that regularly had to be made before we both left for work in the morning was who was going to drop off or pick up the dry cleaning.

Ahhh, but when we moved “to town” six and a half years ago, one of the big pluses was that we could be on a dry cleaning route.  What a wonderful service!  The “dry cleaning guy” came by twice a week to pick up the dry cleaning bag hanging on our utility door.  And as long as Hubby was working, it was always there, and full — we definitely made it worth his time to come by.

But things really changed when we retired.  We went from having dry cleaning to be picked up almost every time the guy came by, to only having something for him to pick up once or twice a month!  We fully expected to hear from the company that it just wasn’t any longer worth their time to have us on the pick-up route, but that never happened.  So “Bob” still faithfully pulls into our driveway twice a week to see if we have anything for him, even though we seldom do any more.

But what I’ve never thought about before is that because Bob comes to our house twice a week (and I think he’s been our route driver for most of the 6+ years we’ve been on the route) he is pretty familiar with our house … and apparently notices any changes.

We needed to have our front door and shutters painted, and decided to use that opportunity to change the color from the dark red that was on them when we moved here.

So the painter used one of the shutters on the window next to the utility door to put up samples of five different colors we had selected, so that we could “live” with them for a little while and decide which color we wanted to use.

We chose the middle sample and are happy with our choice.

A few days after the paint job, Hubby and I drove in the driveway and saw a note on the dry cleaning hook.  I said, “Oh oh, I bet the dry cleaner is finally giving up on us and saying that we won’t be on the home delivery route any more.”

But I needn’t have worried.  The note was just our long-time “visitor” Bob, giving us an “atta boy”.

Bob’s note made us smile.

In a world that in many ways becomes more impersonal by the day, there are still people like Bob who will look for opportunities to have a little personal interaction.  And I thank God for them.