Monday, June 29, 2015

Mangia Monday*

*Also could be titled "That one where I try to make a blogging comeback-beyond the random".**

In an effort to declutter not only my brain, but the piles of paper that are once again threatening to take over our home, I stumbled upon a legal pad displaying a blog post for a Mangia Monday series that I considered back in March. (It started with a post about artichokes followed by one about risotto.) Not only was the story complete, it also seemed to have been put through some sort of editing process, as evidenced by stray ink marks making threatening jabs at my usual pencil scratchings. Rather than move the piece of paper to some other sorting system, only to be found a few more months from now, I figured I would throw havoc to the wind, sit on the couch for a little bit longer and do some typing. I might even make a morning of it and look for the photos I had planned to have accompany this post. Without further ado, before I don't...

Toast is Simple

Do you remember the super thin bread made by Arnold? Long before sandwich thins and other ways to reduce the carbs in a sandwich came into fashion, there was that bread you had to practically peel from the loaf. I recall sitting at my grandparents' kitchen table in the Bronx, opening that plastic outer bag to get to the inner wrapping. It was a very downstate New York thing for me, like some sort of tourist experience, as we didn't typically have that melba thin bread at home in Central New York.

The puzzling question at the time was just how many slices of toast were appropriate to call breakfast. It seemed to take at least four to equal two regulation sized slices of bread. I can still see my cousin sitting across from me at the table as we delicately navigated the cooking time to as not to burn our wafers.
My toaster companion cousin and me with my grandmother, who I always remember smiling just like this, and my hairdresser grandfather.
If there happened to be leftover Italian bread, the adults would step up the game...stove toast. Now I have always had a soft doughy place in my heart for bread, especially Italian bread. When I say I enjoyed bread, I mean that dunking bread in milk was often a highlight to end my dinner with (ew, shudder). Back to the toast...the Italian bread would get cut into things more resembling hunks than slices, far beyond what a toaster slot could accommodate. The bread was speared by a long handled meat fork and then toasted over the open flame of the gas stove burner.

Oh, how I wanted to savor that taste, joyfully partake in the stove toast event. However, no amount of butter could override that faint taste of gas. I swear that's what it was. Plus, let's face it, nobody was really toasting their bread campfire marshmallow style, slowly roasting to a golden perfection. Call it blackened if it sounds more gourmet, but that toast absolutely had burnt to a crisp spots. I know that burnt is a taste some have acquired, but the mix with the gas stove taste was too much for me to enjoy. This did not stop me from trying, nor does it make me cherish the memories of my father, aunts and grandparents holding out that fork any less.
The stove toasters!  Gooda-gooda Grandma, Grandma, Aunt Fran, me, Aunt Bea, Dad and Grandpa.

**Perhaps also could have been titled "Lotsa Links"

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Borrowed random

Just a brief check in as I continue to unravel. I have unlimited energy, but of the wrong variety. Nervous energy does not go far in the way of being conducive to getting things done, or at least not the things on my list. No, this form of energy is the "just keep moving" brand, as opposed to the sit, think, plan kind. So instead of finishing my son's scrapbook, which would require me to stand still and risk an emotion overload as all that remains is writing him a few messages, I purged the linen closet. I am having trouble taking five minutes to order some photos for my son to give his friends as gifts this weekend and to fill the empty multi-opening picture frame on our family room wall because I feel like I just climbed out of the photograph sinkhole and fear falling back in! Instead I went to the store for the ingredients I need two weeks from now. Twirling, twirling, spinning, spinning! Just keep swimming! Find some random!

Just in case you've been concerned about how cell phones have impacted teenage relationships, I offer this gem...My son went golfing with some of his guy friends yesterday. Last night he mentioned that his friend had broken up with his girlfriend before they started golfing, "but they were back together by the tenth hole". I was disappointed that a six month relationship was terminated via text messaging, but was also perplexed as to how the fences were mended via the same system. Mostly I was just amused by the report.

Technically this is another gem from the monkey in the field since she was the one to give my aunt this gift...
Obviously this item was for big spenders with that $19.99 price tag...and obviously it was a big seller with that markdown!
What?! Discontinued?! Hmmm, how else could one POSSIBLY take a drink from too hot to just right in minutes? Maybe by looking at it? Blowing on it? I have a sneaking suspicion that these will keep your hot drink lukewarm, as in room temperature, for awhile. Stay tuned for further reports on these "beverage temperature regulators" from Just Right Joe (not to be confused with Average Joe).

By the way, the barn swallows? Out. Of. Control. I am maintaining a slight edge...very slight. It's just a matter of time before I gather up the evidence for a full report.

Stacy Uncorked

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Unsettling random

Here is the first bit of moderately alarming news for us to discuss...
 …no, wait, sorry. I was not referring to the fact that I let my kids out of the house in such wrinkled clothing. It was more about the fact that graduation is getting even closer, now less than two weeks away!

I also now feel very conflicted, after our recent revelation that we should be going commando!
So which is it? No undies, or desperately seeking that "undie feeling"? And why is she doing that with her face? Come on advertisers, I have enough other things to worry about. Sheesh! For example, reading about the Homer and Marge legally separating next season on The Simpsons wasn't enough? Now my salad risks being doomed to a bowlful of unhappiness?
I spent more time concerned over what they put in the Italian dressing next to that one that seemingly planned to stay together. What is the recipe for that happiness, and what chemicals does it involve?

Luckily there was a new treat suggestion on the back of the Triscuit box to help me cope. Now mind you, they are limited edition Triscuits, so good luck finding them anymore here in Central New York, as we have been out buying them all looking. Maybe I shouldn't tell you exactly what they are, to help keep my competition down. In fact, best you not get yourself started, as they could be the gateway snack cracker, leading you to a life of sketchy Nabisco dealers, and back alley grocers.
So that is a secret shredded wheat cracker, chocolate, and then a half a marshmallow put under the broiler for a bit, then adorned with some almonds on top. I'm sorry, s'more who? I have a new love now. My friend Mary (of knee scooter fame) made the ones on the right with one square more chocolate than I used. She felt they photographed better, but also felt her proportions were spot on.  I have two unopened boxes here, as well as the other necessary ingredients, but am trying to pace myself. Damn them and their limited seasonal editions! 

Stacy Uncorked

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

One piece of random...

And I can barely spare this square! There I was last week, boasting about my free underwear. Little did I know, that if I just bought better toilet paper, I wouldn't need underwear all?
I had no idea that the underwear industry was founded for people who were just too clumsy or lazy to adequately clean their backsides. I have been wasting so much valuable time if I was  just going to throw on some undies anyway!

"Cleanripple texture" to get us clean? Is that like sandpaper just blasting any "debris"? And is that really ALL the confidence I need to go commando? What kind of shoddy shape have people been leaving themselves in and what are their underwear made of to ward off any ill effects of ineffectiveness? Bring on the white pants and we'll see who's who and what's what.

Thanks to the Monkey in the Field (who is often by the lake) for finding this gem, despite the fact that it conjures images that may keep me awake at night...pondering my options.

Stacy Uncorked

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Random test

1, 2, test…is this thing on? Testing 1, 2, 3? Anybody still out there?

Here's the deal, I think about writing…a lot. I think of so many things that I have to say, and then find myself overwhelmed and convinced I could not possibly take that much time away from unsuccessful bra shopping to get all of those thoughts typed up. There are just not enough hours in the day for me to not get my son's scrapbook finished and fill you all in on the hoarder style system called my brain. Seriously clutter wizards, turn that wand on yourself!

I think about graduation, because oh my gosh it is really happening in a mere twenty-four days. Those thoughts are mostly light and fluffy because anything heavier would likely render me completely useless. So I let my thoughts drift back to when I was a senior getting ready to graduate, man those were the best of times…mayday, nostalgia is not the kind of pal to hang out with all day long. I usually wrap up those musings wondering if it is okay to send my son away to school if he has not seen all of the John Hughes films yet. (Kari, I know your answer!) I can't risk him being the only guy on the floor who doesn't get the "Bueller, Bueller" reference. Seriously, I may forget to pack his toothpaste, but he will know that "the Donger need food".

Have I given you an idea of why the posts are scarce? Can we agree that the random may be the only hope I have for now to keep this blog alive? Wait, I think I actually have other posts already written (on yellow legal pads of course) and a contest to win…hmmm. For now, in honor of Tuesday, if that is what day it really is, may I serve you some random?

It must be hard to make signs for brands that have tricky names. If only there was a bag with the correct spelling that one could consult...
 …damn, if only I'd bought them instead of taking silly pictures…mmm…caramel creams! (Did I write to them?)

I like America and I like Christmas, but see no reason to merge the two.
Even back in my most crafty of days, this was not a project I considered.

A travel bra and panty organizer?
Mine may never fit properly, but at least they are not unorganized. I debated whether the system itself might be the size I seek. I could velcro some makeshift straps on that little number. With regards to underwear, I may have been talked into some clearance girls' underwear today. They were marked down for cheap due to the belief that there were only two in the three-pack. (There were three.) When I got to the register, they rang up as 0.00. Good deal! (And kudos to the cashier for not questioning that price. I don't even care if they fit now.)

I think sometimes you really need to decide if you want baked goods or beer. Is the combo really necessary?
(This spoken by the person who truly enjoyed a blueberry beer…hypocrite.)

This little doll is taking pole dancing to a whole new level in home decor! (Wait, was there a previous level?)
Her eyebrows give her such a forlorn look. "Nobody is going to pay for me in this frock of a dress! And this grapevine wreath I am sitting on is so uncomfortable!""

Was that it? Was that all that was in the file since last week? Well then, yippee!
My boy in the center…senior ball night

Stacy Uncorked

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Random intermission*...

*I realize that "intermission" would suggest that we are in the middle of some grand performance, which seems wrong since this blog is in more of a dry spell than anything else. 

How about some music, would that make an intermission seem more appropriate? How about something from my son's final orchestra concert? (This was absolutely worth its own post, but I am trying to limit each day's tears for the next few weeks.)
One more song, for those of you who already saw the previous one on Facebook? (Yes, we will bring a tripod from now on, as I think my videographer's arms got tired by this last song.)
It has been awesome to be a part of it! 'Nuff said. (Not really, but like I said about the whole crying thing.)

Now, go ahead and have yourself a snack…
It says "bloggers" right on the bag, who are we to argue?
…while I try to gather my thoughts about the barn swallows. Actually, my thoughts are pretty much gathered, in that I do not like the barn swallows, but I need to focus long enough to put my feelings into more words…that make sense when read in sentences, and coordinate with the photos I have taken.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Random pests and/or peculiarities

Before we get started, anybody looking for some hookahs?
Fine, I googled it and they are water pipes, but that isn't as funny as saying hooker with an accent. 

When I saw a woman around the corner trying to help this turtle find safe passage across the street, I continued on home and brought back a broom. I then offered to hold her dog's leash while she played crossing guard. Something about the words "be careful, he's a snapper" made me realize she was clearly much more qualified for that episode of Wild Kingdom.
In case you have ever pondered how vicious a snapping turtle could possibly be, that thing spun around and grabbed onto the push broom's bristles.

That's right, turtles are bad-ass! But even if you don't have a shell, you can pretend.
"I cannot believe she put me in a post with the words pest and peculiar in the title."
And here we have Fozzie's latest neighborhood nemesis. (Fozzie thinks nemesis means potential best friend.)
My gosh cat, at least make yourself useful out there and stain that crappy looking deck! Maybe eat some of those weeds?

Oh, hello tree swallow! I see you are camped out on my mailbox so that you can peer into the paper box across the street where you and your mate are setting up shop. Those pieces of straw you've been using seem pretty easy for my neighbors to just fling out onto the ground, no offense.
You know, you're kind of pretty and appear to have some respect for personal space and appropriate techniques for approaching or staying away from humans. Um, you haven't seen your cousins, the barn swallows, around yet this year, have you?
"You talking about us? Sounds like you're talking about us."
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! They are back, and demand their own post