Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fleshy Vegetables

As is well known, I don't cook.  I can cook.  I just don't.  My dear husband, on the other hand, cooks up a storm.  I sometimes am his sous chef, which means we get to spend some quality time together chatting and chopping.

Last night was a bit different.  I'd had a rather busy day.  The hubby had spent a good portion of his afternoon making chicken pot pies.  My assignment was to make the salad to go along with them.  Salad, I can handle.  It doesn't count as cooking in the hubby's book, but he does like my salads.  Truthfully, I just throw in whatever he says to put into it, so t's not so much "making" a salad as it is "assembling" the salad.  It was too early for dinner when we sat down to chat -- we usually eat around 7 or so -- but the hubby told me to make the salad.  "Nah, it's too early," I said.  "When are you gonna make it," he said.  "In a while."

He was restless.  He realized that he had some tomatoes that he wanted to use before they went bad, so he set to making tomato/cucumber/sweet onion salad.  For the record, I consider both tomatoes and cucumbers to be yucky.  As in, they are at the top of my Yucky List.  He understands this, so when he makes the salad, he fixes mine first and adds the yucky stuff later.  Sweet man, he is.  Well, he decided to try slicing the cucumbers with his newest kitchen gadget:  a mandolin.

For those of you who are less informed, a mandolin is a device that scares me to death.  It looks like some sort of medieval torture device.  I tend to stay away from these types of things.  Jim sat in his chair studying it and saying "I sure wish I had the instruction manual."  Torture device without instruction manual?  Double scary.  I mentioned that he could probably find it online, but also asked where it had gone to, because he'd just taken the darned thing out of the box.  I heard him mutter something about having found the manual while I headed off to put clothes in the dryer.

I swear I wasn't gone more than three minutes, but I came back and heard him saying something about slicing part of his finger off.  WHAT?  I ran up to the kitchen to find him with his hand under the faucet, with blood red water running down the drain.  "Oh my God," I said.  "Let me see it."  Well, let me tell you, it was only a flesh wound, but it was an impressive flesh wound, because he now was missing a fair chunk of the side of his thumb.  And oh, did I mention that it was bleeding profusely?  "We need to go to the ER," I said.  "They aren't gonna be able to stitch it, but they're gonna have to stop the bleeding."  At this point, the Marine in him kicked in and he said "getthehellouttahere" (always said as one word).  "I don't need to go to the ER.  It would've been fine but I didn't use the safety shield.  It'll be ok."

I handed him a paper towel, then sat down and waited.

He ran it under the sink for a while, then finally took my advice to put pressure on it.  "Put pressure on it for ten minutes solid, and then we'll go to the ER when the bleeding doesn't stop."  Now, imagine telling a stubborn Marine with ADHD to sit still for ten minutes.  In short:  it ain't gonna happen.  He'd hold pressure for a minute, then check.  Drip.........drip............drip.  "We need to go to ER."  "Getthehellouttahere.  It's gonna stop."  Drip........drip........drip.  "Why don't you make the salad?"  "I'll make it when we get back from the ER."  "We aren't going to the ER.  It's fine."  Drip............drip............drip.  "You know you're on Plavix and aspirin, right?  You know those are blood thinners, right?"  "Getthehellouttahere.  It's fine.


"You know, it's been a half an hour and it hasn't even slowed down, right?"  "It'll be fine."   I raised an eyebrow, poured myself a glass of water, sat back and waited.  "Make the salad," he said.  "Nope, if I make it now, it'll wilt before we get back from the ER."  "I don't need to go to the ER."  He changed the paper towel, because the second one was now soaked, and he needed a third.  "It'll stop."  I sat back and waited.  Drip...........drip...........drip.  It was running down his hand and wrist, and soaking into the placemat in front of him.  Drip............drip........drip.

An hour went by.  Drip..........drip.........drip.  "Wow," he said.  "It really isn't stopping."  "You're right dear." "Make the salad."  "Nope.  Not till we get back from the ER."  He glared momentarily, then looked down at his thumb.  "Wow, I really did a job on it, didn't I?"  "Yep."  Drip.........drip........drip.  "Give me another paper towel."  Silence as I handed it to him.

Finally, ten minutes later, a revelation:  "You know what, I think we are gonna have to go to the ER."  "Ya think?"  He laughed.  "OK, OK, you're right.  I'm gonna have to go.  And yes, I know you'll say I told you so."  "No dear, I just want you to take care of yourself.  So off we went to the ER.  He mused "I wonder where the missing skin is.  Did you see it in the cucumbers?"  "Nope,"  I said.  "It's probably on the mandolin."  We were there for an hour; they popped some Gelfoam on it, wrapped it up like a cartoon character's thumb after a mishap with a hammer, and we were ready to go.  I wrapped my arms around his neck and murmured into his ear, "now do you believe that I just wanted to take care of you?"  "Yes," he said.  "Oh," I said, "one more thing.  I told you so."

They could hear us laughing in the lobby.

We were still laughing when we left, because I kept asking him my typical questions like "do you need a wheelchair?"  "Are you dizzy?"  "Do you need an ambulance transport home?"  All were met with "getthehellouttahere."  Can't blame a girl for trying.  I got him home safely and he, of course, told me to make the salad.  I followed him into the kitchen a minute later, and he pointed.  "Look."  "What?"  "There's the missing skin."  And I'll be darned, there it was.  A nice little fileted piece of Jim-flesh, about the size of a fingernail, sitting right there on the counter.  "Well, are you gonna eat it or what?  Why's it on the counter?  Do you want me to add it to the salad?"

He mentioned something about me being disgusting as he threw it away, but hey, I'm not the one who put it on the counter.  And hey, don't joke about stuff like that with a nurse, because our sense of humor is totally different than other, more normal peoples'.There may or may not have been a joke or two about it being "only a flesh wound."  I did, however, get my comeuppance.  More on that tomorrow.

Monday, June 30, 2014


My sweet hubby and I went away for the weekend last weekend.  It was just a nice overnighter, but it's nice to get away once in a while.  Plus, when you do an overnighter, the prep is pretty simple.  It's the emotional prep that's hard.

Jim was pretty darned sure that the dog was either going to a) starve to death or b) be mauled by Thomas' dog.  See, Penny (Thomas' dog) has this in-your-face-play-with-me personality which knows no personal space, and Mickey, our little prince, just ain't havin it.  Mickey loves his humans and no one shall put them asunder.  He sees Penny as a threat to his firm entrenchment as Dog of the House.  Penny doesn't care.  She just blunders through life with no regard to anyone.  This does not always work out well, as Mickey doesn't want her near his humans, and although he's a third of her size, he will have his say withi Penny.  Penny, on the other hand, has been known to pin Mickey to the ground, teeth bared, should he make her mad.

So the conversations went like this:
Jim: "Who's watching the prince while we're gone?"
Me: "The boys."
Jim: "No way.  They will kill my dog.  They'll forget to feed him.  Those boys can't even remember to feed themselves. How will they remember to feed the dog?"
Me:  "Penny is five.  She has lived with Thomas her whole life.  She hasn't died yet.  They'll be fine."
Jim:  "I'm telling you, he's gonna starve to death.  Maybe I'll have David (his son) watch him"

::pause while he checks with David, who had plans and wasn't available::

Jim: " They're gonna kill each other.  I don't want that dog killing my fuzzy dog."
Me:  "They'll be fine."
Jim:  "We're gonna come home to a dead dog.  You just watch."

So the week went by, and Friday night arrived.  He suddenly changed focus.

Jim:  "So, those boys are going to starve while we're gone.  You know that, right?"
Me: "Why in the world would you say that?  They'll be fine."
Jim:  "Because there's no one here to cook for them, and they don't know how to cook."
Me:  "They are fine.  They are both really good cooks."
Jim: "I don't think so.  They're probably gonna starve."

The man has to have something to fret about -- and it's usually food related.  Let's just say, there is ZERO chance of anyone starving to death around here, because we usually have enough food to feed an army.   And so it was that we pulled out of the drveway and drove off for our little getaway, with Jim fretting that the boys would destroy the house in some way, shape or form.  Can you tell that he raised three sons, three years apart?  And yes, he did come home early from a weekend away to find a full blown party in the house, complete with teenagers passed out in his bedroom.  So yeah, I get his point, but these are the Nerd Boys you're talking about.  Geez.

So we got to the hotel, and Jim told me to call and see if they had fed the dog, and ask what time Seth's girlfrend had gotten there.  Here's the texting.

Me: "Ask the clowns if they fed my dog and ask what time Elaine got there."  LOL
Thomas: Elaine got here around 3.  Dogs starved to death, I'm wont to report.

Cracked me up.  The boys understand my dear husband so well.  He laughed when he heard Thomas' response.  On Sunday, here's the communicaton:

Thomas:  What time are you guys heading back?
Me: We should be home around nine or so.
Thomas:  OK.  The liquor bottles and dead hookers should be cleaned up by then.
Me:  Did you bury the dogs?
Thomas: Buried Penny.  Had to eat Mickey.
Me:  How'd you cook him?
Thomas:  Fava beans and a nice chianti.

It's almost worth going away, just to see what they come up with next.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It Was Nice While It Lasted, Molly

Sadly, Thomas' Molly lost on Jeopardy tonight, in a nailbiter of a game.  Thomas didn't register it at first and, thinking she had won after a comeback from third place, leapt higher in the air than I knew he was capable of.  He ended up in a crumpled heap when he realized she had lost, holding his head and moaning "no, Molly, NO."

He may need therapy.  On the other hand, he spent a good portion of time today playing on some trivia app on his tablet.  He was destroying people in math word problems, when he came up with a new opponent:  Raj Kumar from India.  "Oh man," he said.  "I'm screwed.  He's from India."  Until he destroyed him, too.  He moved on to General Trivia, where I think he was practicing for his own stint on Jeopardy where, he claimed, he will catch Molly's eye.  Oye VAY the boy takes a cute smile seriously.  I had a proud moment though, when he asked me what Coco Chanel's first name was (Gabrielle).  Gotta love a boy who asks even ONE question about classic designers.

I may have to put him back in the will.

And, in another happy thought, Jillie sent me this:

I have no words.  The preview photos from the wedding are beyond gorgeous, but this one says it all.  Her response? "This is probably the one day of my life that I didn't have mud under my nails."  Archaeologist, dontcha know.

I just look at it and think to myself, THIS.  This right here makes it worth the fact that she screamed through her first year of life, didn't sleep through the night till she was four, and made me absolutely insane for a while when she was 18.  This brought things full circle.  I love you, Pretty Gurl.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I'll Take a Nurse for $2000, Alex.

The Heir to the Throne is in love.  Pretty sure it's the real thing.  Plus side:  she's a nurse.  And super smart.  And cute.  (Those are in my order, not his.) Down side:  she's married to someone else.

Thomas has developed a Jeopardy fixation.  Now, this does not discount his obsession with game shows since an early age.  When he was two, his father and I watched Jeopardy fairly religiously.  The ex used to say he was going to get me on the show so we could pay the house off.  The closest I ever got was on a cruise ship, where I did well, but lost cause the darned ringer didn't ring me in in time.  But I digress.  Thomas has been influenced since a young age, when he would come running during the station break, saying "debbydebbydebbydebby" and then kissing the screen as newscaster Debby Knox gave the station break announcement.  He loved her.

Fast forward some years, and he has taken to watching Jeopardy repeats on youtube.  He shoots the questions at me, then says, with a fair amount of amazement "how have you never been on this show?"  Yeah, I have a fair amount of useless knowledge.  So on his afternoon breaks lately, this is what he's done.  And then he discovered Molly.

Molly Lalonde, of Nashville, Tennessee, has been the jeopardy champion for the past couple of days.  The first day, I didn't realize his fixation.  Yesterday, he was remarking to his brother "wouldn't it be funny if Molly was still on" right as they announced that she was, indeed, the champion.  Thomas went nuts.  I asked what the heck was his deal, and he replied "LOOK at her.  She SO cute."  Yeah, she is.  She has a super cute smile.  So he was enthused to be able to watch her again.  She was on a roll, when she suddenly gave a wrong answer.  His reponse was to yell -- quite loudly -- "NO Molly.  That was so EASY!"  He was in some fear, I guess, that she would be booted, but I'm happy to report that she won again.  He set the DVR to record Jeopardy at that point.

So today, we couldn't decide what was for dinner.  Jim got caught in traffic on the way home, and I don't cook, so we muddled about for a while before deciding to get takeout.  Thomas was enthusiastic about picking it up, till I mentioned that it was 7:31.  "Oh MAN, is Jeopardy recording," he said, before turning on the telly to check.  "It it's not recording, my life is OVER."  Apparently, a cute girl on Jeopardy can reduce a 24 year old young man to the mindset of a 13 year old girl, minus the door slamming.  Thank God, it was recording.

He went with Seth to pick up the food, and was conversant during our dinner, then immediately retired to the DVR to cheer on his favorite girl.  Now, keep in mind that last night, we Facebook stalked his woman, only to find that alas, she is married to another.  He was sad.  We don't like it when Thomas is sad.  He may or may not have muttered something about it being temporary.  He also may have mentioned that she's a hometown girl when we found out that her undergrad work was done at Notre Dame.  As a side note, my dear husband may or may not have encouraged his interest with a pronouncement that "nurses are always hot, and ready to party."  He should know. He's been married to two.  Thomas took this under advisement.

That was right around the time that the tornado watch hit.  Channel 8 went to the meteorologist, who happens to be a sweet young thing with a nice rack.  Thomas didn't notice.  He was busy wailing "NOOOOOOOO.  Forget the tornado.  Where's MOLLY?"  He missed Double Jeopardy because of this.  He was not amused.

And so it is that now his pseudo-wife Molly is now a three day champion, and the Heir to the Throne became a very happy young man.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Oh Happy Day

Saturday last, my sweet girl got married.  I have gone through a lot of emotions this week, to say the least.  Here's a little snippet.

Her BFF snce the age of four threw her a bachelorette party, which was just going out to dinner at Macaroni Grill, then back to Corri's house for games, thanks to Seth's girlfriend Elaine.  One of them was a "how well do you know Jill" game, which surprisingly,  I won, with three points.  I mean, who knew that Jill would most like to kiss Liam Neeson before she got marred?  At least she has good taste.

Afterward, she and Corri went to the garage to get the tree stump her dad had carved for Jill's wedding cake stand.  I pulled the car around, and my eyes laid on these beautiful young women, and I was suddenly carried back to when they were about ten.  It was a flash that nearly got me, and I had to catch myself.  Jill hates it when "grown ups" cry.  I told her that all bets were off for her wedding day.

At the rehearsal, Thomas dscovered that the more serious the situation requires him to be is in direct proportion to how badly he behaves.  Walking Jill down the aisle, I looked over and Seth was dancing, waving his arms over his head -- which is pretty normal for him -- and Thomas was dancing wildlly in place.  Oddly, the priest did not say anythng, but Jill and Michael were met with a firm "NO SKIPPING" admonishment when they left the church improperly.  I'm sure that the rather Napoleonic priest was blaming the Protestant bride under their breath.  I, of course, laughed and high fived her as she skipped by.

Saturday morning came along, and off she went for a bridesmaids' breakfast.  I met her at the church later to get hair and makeup done.  She had bought monogrammed robes for the girls as their gift, so in I walked to the girls giggling like little girls in their pink robes, in various states of hair intervention.  Jill went and laid down on a table at one point while she waited.  I'm pretty sure that in that couple of hours, I saw some part of each of the bridesmaids undergarments.  Not sure how that happened, but yeah.  Suddenly, it was time to get over to the church NOW -- as in, we were late getting Jill over there so that no one would see her -- so the flower girl grabbed one end of her dress and I grabbed the other, and we basically ran across the parking lot, straight to the basement room where she was to hide.  A few minutes later, I had sweat dripping down everywhere, thinking that I was in the midst of a menopausal power surge, when the photographer realized that the heat was on full blast.  I can't imagine how hot Jill was under all that tulle, but she looked beautiful.
Contrary to her earlier warnings, she did NOT throw up.

The ceremony went off without a hitch, though it contained an overly long homily in which the priest a) said "Jill and Michael" at least twenty times, as if he was reminding himself of who he was marrying, or filling in the blanks on his standard speech, and b) he seemed to have a fixation with talking about the marriage bed, and consummating the marriage, both of which were met with wide eyes by the bride.  She rolled her eyes more than once.  The sweetest moment for me was when they lit the unity candle, and the soloist was singing "You Are Mine."  I looked over and saw that my Jillie, who never can seem to stop singing, was singing to Michael -- and he promptly joined in and sung to her.   It was just a perfect display of Jill and Michael. Then I realized that the priest was singing too, and it was just kind of funny.

I didn't cry.  Not even close.  I was just so happy.  Her brothers, however, both professed later that they had trouble holding on and both almost lost it.  That was a real revelation to me, after watching those three grow up at each others' throats a fair portion of the time.  Ah, it's nice to see things come full circle, and realize that these parts of your DNA turned out to be just. so. nice.  And man, they clean up well too.

Maybe I'll remember to tell about the reception, but given my proclivity for forgetting to finish two part blog entries, I make no promises.  So I will just leave you with this, which warms my heart more than I can say:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sethanese, All Grown Up

Today was the day that Seth became a man.  We took him to the fort for his date with a certain Walmart shower curtain.  We got there nice and early -- early to the point that he got number ONE when we checked in.  The gentleman at the counter asked him "are you really READY to be Number ONE" to which Seth responded in some sleepy version of agreement.  Said gentleman then said, "well, we could do you one better." "Huh?"  "You could be Number NOW."  We laughed and sat down in the empty waiting area.  Suddenly, we hear a female voice call out "Number NOW."

Seth didn't flinch.

She called out again "Number NOW."  I nudged him and we got down to business.  It was a busy day, with going to the fort, then my doctor appointment, and Seth had two appointments.  Appointments mean waiting, so while I was waiting for the doctor, I was sending Seth Snapchats, which were met with mixed responses, at best.  And when I came out, he shared what he'd been texting with his little lady friend.

No joke, this kid's little lady friend is a PERFECT match for him.  Seriously.  I laughed so stinkin hard when I read this that I about lost it.  Then I asked him if I could share it on the blog.  He thought the idea was great, and so it is that I share it with you, complete with their spellings and lack of punctuations and YELLING AT EACH OTHER IN CAPS.

Seth:  Doodswag!  Whatcha got goin on tomorrow?

Elaine:  Nuffin. :-)  planning on coming home and doing whatever the hell I want. You?

Seth: Noice. I gotta get up early and get me a military id then i have doctors appointments.

Elaine: Wait what

Seth: No Idea. Something about Jim being a Marine means I get a military ID. Insurance stuff.

Elaine: Yeah, that'd be good. Please dun enlist. I need you to take care of the farm.

Seth: Wait. Wut farm?

Elaine: Yeah.

Seth:  U wot?










Elaine:  wow that actually sounded anti Obama. My bad.

Seth: LOL well that was fin.

Seth: Fun

Seth: Fin Fun.

Is this girl a perfect match for The Spare, or what?  And for all of Seth's posturing that Jim and I need our own sitcom, I am now convinced that he and Elaine need one of their own.  Coming to a cable channel near you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ciao, Ristorante

A local landmark fell recently.  It had been a fixture for years -- before I moved to the eastside 25 years ago -- but I had never been there.  A plain cement block building, painted white, with "Salute Ristorante" painted on the trim, it was completely unremarkable.  Heck, even the parking lot sign was hand done: a white circle with hand painted letters saying "closed" on it, and attached to a thin chain.  A sign that was strangely unnecessary, because the parking lot was always closed.

A friend of mine said that it was her husband's favorite Italian place, and despite his wonderful reviews, and the fact that we drove by it all the time, we never ate there.  It was reputedly run by a true Italian who summered in Indianapolis, of all places, and wintered in Italy.  My friend said that Vito (yep, that was really his name) cooked and served real Italian food, on a level with nothing else found here locally.  She said that you had to pay in cash, and when you did, he would pull a huge roll of bills out of his pocket to make change for you.

Heck, we never even talked about going there, save the one or two conversations I had with my friend about it, so it was funny that last summer, when Thomas and I were driving by there, he mentioned that he half wanted to go there, and the other half of him was sure that he never would.  He mentioned that he was curious about this place that had sat there for years with a neon "OPEN" sign on at times -- but rarely with a car in the lot.  The kicker was that he didn't want to visit it, because he was sure that it must be a front for the mob, and he didn't want to destroy the picture in his head, which seemingly involved Tony Soprano and a strategically placed juke box.  Apparently Thomas wasn't alone in this belief.

The other day, I was in town for something, and I realized that there was construction going on in the building.  They're changing it into a gas station, and the only construction guy there happened to be digging a big hole in front, presumably for the gas tanks.  I'm sure that's their cover story, but I know better.  I'm pretty sure that now we know where Jimmy Hoffa's buried.