Our discussion the other day about paper plates reminded me of stories that my folks used to tell about their early married life. My dad was in basic training in North Carolina and my mom moved there to be close to him. She taught gym part-time and they lived in a small trailer. One of the stories they told me about how broke they were was that they couldn’t afford to buy a set of plates. So not only did they eat on paper plates, they cut the paper plates in half!
By the time I came along, they were in better shape, although still not great; my dad was in law school with two part time jobs and my mom was forced to quit working the minute the school district found out she was pregnant! As a kid, things were tight, not destitute, but definitely tight. One of the ways that my mom saved on groceries was by using powdered milk. I still remember it after all these years, chalky and for some reason never seemed to get really cold. I hated it.
At least once a month we had Saturday dinner at my grandparents’ house – hamburger and french fry night. There were a lot of reasons that I liked to eat my Nana and Pappy’s; one of those reasons was that they had “real” milk. It was always very cold because that’s the way Pappy liked it and there was always plenty. They had a special half-gallon carton holder that looked like this:
When my younger sister started school and had “real” milk every day, she began refusing to drink the powdered milk at home. While I hadn’t been brave enough to do this on my own, I quickly followed her lead and my mom gave up and began to buy “real” milk. I started drinking skim about 30 years ago and I’m still a big milk drinker all these years later. My mom doesn’t understand how I can drink skim and has suggested more than once that I “might as well go back to powdered milk”. Yes, after all these years, she still remembers how we “forced” her to buy milk.
My milkman told me yesterday when he was making our delivery that big local dairies are going to discontinue skim milk production for a bit. Apparently skim milk requires more steps and production time; during our current crisis, trying to keep up with demand means cutting out skim so more easily produced milks can make it to market faster. Who would have thought? Guess I’ll be on a higher fat milk for a while.
Do you remember any meals you enjoyed at your grandparents’?
The Razzies are out! They did an online reveal this year and here are the winners:
- Worst picture: Cats
- Worst actor: John Travolta for The Fanatic and Trading Paint
- Worst actress: Hilary Duff for The Haunting of Sharon Tate
- Worst supporting actress: Rebel Wilson for Cats
- Worst supporting actor: James Corden for Cats
- Worst screen combo: Any Two Half-Feline/Half-Human Hairballs in Cats
- Worst screenplay: Cats
- Worst director: Tom Hooper for Cats
- Worst remake, rip-off or sequel: Rambo: Last Blood
- Worst reckless disregard for human life and public property: Rambo: Last Blood
Looks like Cats took a licking this year.
What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen? Have you ever walked out of a movie?
Over the weekend I made thank you cards for the good Samaritans that pulled me out of the snow last week, baked two loaves of zucchini bread, wrapped them and tied them with ribbon. When it was time to go to dog class Monday night, I put everything in a tote bag and took it along. Neither of my Samaritans was there. One is on vacation in Mexico, the other under the weather and skipping class. I left one loaf for the other staff to enjoy and YA has already polished off quite a bit of the second loaf!
When have you had best laid plans go awry?
Work and life in general have both been rather trying of late. The other day I was sitting in the living room, rather dazed, on a sunny Saturday morning when I noticed the sun pouring into the dining room onto the leaded glass windows of our oak dining room buffet. It was a lovely, peaceful sight, and I told myself I had to start noticing and remembering things like that when I was stressed.
There are lots of things that are simple pleasures that can make all the difference in a person’s life.
What are the simple pleasures that keep you going?
I am happy to report that we had mail delivery every day possible for the past week, and on only one occasion did it come after 8:00 pm. I spoke with the carrier, who told me that there still isn’t anyone permanently assigned to our route, but that a couple of new Postal Service hires are making it possible for the mail for our route to be delivered on a regular basis.
We needed some good mail news. In fact, I think we need a lot more good news all around these days.
What good news have you run across lately?
Now that Christmas Day is over, husband and Daughter and I started talking about a trip next December to Austria. Daughter has lots of exciting ideas and brings up infinite possibilities. Husband is dour, and says he just wants to be away from the US and all the holiday hysteria the week of the 25th, while Daughter wants to be gone in early December. Prague is a must, as is Hallestadt, Austria. I just don’t want to be rushed and stressed. We will spend the next couple of months debating and discussing, and then we will consult with a travel agent. Planning ahead sometimes isn’t easy with a bunch of opinionated people.
How do you and your family plan ahead? How do your plans work out?
Our daughter is home and is relishing being spoiled and waited on. She works hard as an intensive in-home family therapist in Tacoma and is really burned out right now. She doesn’t like sea food, which is unfortunate given how close she lives to the sea, and has been craving beef. She and I are planning favorite meals for her while she is home. Roast beef, garlic mashed potatoes, turkey chipotle chowder, and pasta with this special tomato sauce I make are her requests. It is good to have her here.
What were your favorite meals at home? What didn’t you like? What special meals does your family request?