How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


18 Comments

Sunday Snippets Blog Hop #3

Check it out! Jennifer Eaton of http://jennifermeaton.com/sunday-snippets/ has initiated this Critique Blog Hop. Read the rules and sign up. Sounds like a fun way to get good feedback.

sunday_snippets2

I offer these next 250 words from Leap of Faith. The beginning can be found here: https://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/sunday-snippets/

* * *

“That new girl, Irene, is stealing from everyone. No-one lost anything until she arrived.”

Olivia, Reddy’s mother, cut thick slices of crusty olive bread. She stirred a thick zuppa on the stove and filled shallow bowls for their supper. With shaking head and busy hands, she watched father and daughter sparing, but kept quiet.

Everett put his hands on his hips and copied Reddy’s hand toss. He rolled his eyes and sat down at the wood kitchen table. “It’s up to the teacher to right this, not you. Come sit.”

The room was too small even for the miniature table, let alone a man of his girth. Her mother set down a bowl in front of Reddy and brushed the short coiling wisps of hair which framed her face. “Mia bella,” her mother whispered, sat down and crossed herself. “Nel nome del padre,” she began…

After supper, hours of daylight still remained before the sun withdrew into the horizon. Her father excused himself from the table. Reddy bounced her knee up and down beneath it. Her mother tightened her lips as she cleared the dishes away. “Come, Rosalia.”

Reddy groaned and slumped in her chair. “Okay, Mama, I’ll help with the dishes, but can I go outside for a while after? It’s still light out. Please.”

Mother and daughter eyed each other. Reddy hated this tug of war between them. “Small time,” her mother said as she pinched her thumb and forefinger together.
Reddy dashed out of the back door.

* * *

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11 Comments

Flash in the Pan – Paranoid

The party was a success. Ursula scans the wreckage and shudders.

MH900444437“This is the last time I’m feeding my free-loading friends,” she mutters. Her cat slinks out from underneath the sofa.

“Meow,” Sputnik complains arching her back.

“Come to Mama, pretty girl. What’s this on your tail?”

‘You’re dead meat, Urs,’ the scrawled note reads.

Ursula remembers locking the door. Paranoid, she checks again.

But Spider wasn’t here…

~ * ~

The word limit for Paranoid is 75 words. I used 68 today. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for rules and contributions.


22 Comments

Goodbye 2012

Here’s another year whistling by and thumbing its nose at us. I’m not going to bemoan something I have no control over. As well I’m not making any New Year’s resolutions either. What I am going to do is break more rules. A couple of weeks ago, I had a stern discussion with myself.

Why am I getting up at 7:00 a.m., seven days a week? When is my retirement going to kick in? It’s been six years. Sure, sure, the cat needs to be fed, but, which one of us is more important? Hm?

I’m happy to say Lady Gaga, is trained not to bother me until her cat alarm clock goes off. Her inner clock is spot on. She becomes antsy about ten minutes before the alarm goes off. I’ve choked laughing when I’ve caught her many times, studying the large red numbers on the bedside alarm clock. When the buzzer goes off she flies straight into the air. Every morning. To tick her off, I sometimes go to the bathroom  before I feed her.

For the first time in a-g-e-s, I’ve collapsed back into bed and slept till ungodly hours afterwards. I hang my head in shame, but I promise myself more of the same in the New Year.

MB900423153

What’s Ticked Me off This Year

Why is there no magic potion for crepe chest? I’ve most likely had it for twenty-five years but it’s bothering me now. What took me so long? I wonder if sleeping on one’s side contributes or accelerates this condition. I’ve tried flinging an arm behind my back. Pfft. I refuse to wear scarves or closed neck tops.

*

As you know, I don’t have a partner. I noticed a new development in my kitchen this past year. If I’m feeding only one person breakfast, lunch and dinner, where the heck are all the dirty dishes in my sink coming from? Loads of them and every day.

*

For years I’ve enjoyed highlights in my hair. I hate the dark colour against my blah-tinted mature skin. In November, I made an appointment for a trim two weeks before Christmas My hairdresser asked, “Are you sure you don’t want a colour?” I was so sure I didn’t but it was a big mistake. After my cut, what a rude awakening. I have grey hair? Where the heck did it come from? And all at once? Ugh.

*

Another rip-off came to my attention. I love spiral notebooks. I have trouble scratching anything onto the paper because I have arthritis in two fingers, but I like having one handy. How much thinner can the paper be made? At this rate, I can’t write on both sides of the page and anyway, I seem to scribble right through it and rip the paper.

Other than these few constraints on my valuable time, I’m hunky-dory and ready for the New Year.

MH900440952 Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.


32 Comments

Flash in the Pan: Pepper

“Will you listen to yourself?”

“Really, Ma . . . I gotta run.”

“Three short months there . . .”

“Canada, ay?”

“Some say it’s across the pond—some pond—it might as well be an ocean.”

“Alright, already, spit it out ay?”

“You’ve said it again—that dreaded ay?”

“I didn’t . . .”

“You pepper your speech with it like it’s seasoning. Cut it out.”

“Ay?”

Argh. Elocution lessons down the drain. 

~ * ~

Click http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for rules of this challenge.

The word limit for the Flash word Pepper is 75. I used 74.


54 Comments

Curious Meets Crazy

I hate cold coffee and am forever reheating a cup in the microwave. Why does the mug handle end up in the back even when I place it facing out, or, no matter how long it spins to reheat?

My old washing machine ate socks; I became used to losing them and expected the loss. What changed? The new machine hasn’t gobbled any—even once—in four years. What gives?

When are you officially a senior? 50? 55? 60? 65? Businesses used to offer discounts on a wide range of products and services for customers age fifty and over. Once the demographic reports on baby boomers came out, perks dwindled, an inch at a time. Too many seniors are approaching age sixty-five. Why is this information a surprise?

McDonald’s offers seniors a coffee discount—size small only. Some ‘franchises’ don’t offer any reduction at all. Others give you the same price cut whether you order a small or a large cup. Why the differences?

Why do meteors fall through the atmosphere but don’t hit anything? I’m pleased not to hear of catastrophic damages, but why is it they never hit any cities or tall buildings? Why are burned remnants always found in remote areas? How lucky are we?

Why do I always want to do something else when I’m in the middle of any particular project? Even when I’m half-way into an absorbing book, another one catches my eye; I’m impatient to get into the new one no matter how exciting the current one I’m reading.

Why is my cat driving me crazy? I threw drop-sheets on my sofa to discourage her from playing Tarzan. She found an opening no matter how I draped, tucked or arranged the sheets to drag on the floor. She discovered a new game called ‘run under the drop-sheets and hang on the sofa underneath’. Alright! W-e-e-e-e. Will my sofa last until next Monday morning and her manicure appointment?


30 Comments

Swoon No More

Does anyone in this whole wide world dislike hate fruit flies like I do?

Fruit flies were everywhere yesterday, following me around it seemed. No fruits or vegetables anywhere. Why did they descend on me? Sure I ‘m apt to find a few in the kitchen during the warm summer weather now and again, as in past years, except last fall, we had hordes. I don’t expect a following to my favourite spot on the sofa, though, nor around my computer (which happens to be in my bedroom). No fruit or food in here either.

I smashed at least a dozen of the flying pests certain only one existed. As soon as I clapped one dead another one materialized. I couldn’t get any work done. And, one flew at my face. What? This made it personal. Did I mention I’m not dead yet and I can prove it? I’m like a frog—I’m so fast—but I don’t use a weird tongue to do the job. Who else is so talented to kill and applaud at the same time?

I half-filled a mug with sugar water and placed it on a side table by my desk. No captives to report in the past twenty-four hours. No race resulted, either,  to determine who craved my glass of wine first. I’m almost disappointed;  this is most unusual. You won’t believe it—I couldn’t either—a fruit fly in my COFFEE swam its last dead fly float! Have the fruit flies of the world joined AA?

Not so long ago, I remember house flies bu-z-z-z-z-ed. Of late, I notice they annoy the hell out of me but are mute. Fruit flies hung around my kitchen until last night but swoon over sugar water and wine no more. What’s happening? I thought technology was going to confuse me first not the silly bug world.

Tonight, a lone fruit fly came to visit. It had the nerve to land on the back of my wrist—bold as brass. Yes, I looked at it—for a millisecond, and let him have it. Later, a cousin or a spouse flew in.

How I hate washing my hands every five minutes but no trouble shall I have sleeping the good sleep yet again tonight.


23 Comments

A Poor Man’s Meal

I’ve been locked in technical hell lately. A week ago my six-month-new Brother printer started jamming (nothing to do with music, but it was playing havoc with my nerves). No matter how many times I removed the paper, checked the paper tray, straightened and ruffle the paper, it had made up its mind to drive me crazy. I called Brother support. After scanning my bill  and e-mailing it to them to prove purchase, the lovely young lady in Montreal said she was sending me a new one.

A new one? OMG! It arrived two day’s later. Inside the box was a prepaid UPS sticker for return of the old-new one.

The same weekend, I was in my e-mail account where I receive all my blogs.  I can’t recall what I was doing but a yellow banner appeared across the top of my page with this warning:

We’ve noticed some unusual activity in your Hotmail account. To help protect you and everyone else, we’ve temporarily blocked your account. To unblock it, verify your account.”

To verify my account, they ask for a cell number so they can text back a code. I do NOT have text messaging. All communication with MSN has been one-sided (in that I cannot respond to their e-mails–you can’t reply to). I’m still NOT able to send mail from that account. I CAN open and read blogs and comment. It’s like we are not speaking the same language. I was also TOLD they cannot discuss with me what kind of  ‘activity’ they are talking about. I didn’t even ask. Might anyone have had a similar experience?

You’ve been getting my comments when I’ve had time to read your blogs but I haven’t responded  to any e-mail. I am not ignoring anyone. My apologies?

o O o

I’ve had a few requests for the following after an earlier post. Why I like this recipe is you don’t use mayo.  This is no longer a poor man’s or woman’s meal. The price of canned tuna is climbing as the size of the can is getting smaller. Does 170 grams sound about right where you live? When you drain the water, it’s supposed to be 120 grams of fish or so the can suggests.

 

Tuna Salad

1can (15 ounces) white navy or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (9 ounces) water-packed canned tuna, drained and flaked

1 clove garlic, minced (more if you like)

3 ribs sliced and chopped (1/4” each) celery

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice + zest of  ½ lemon

Salt and black pepper

 Drain and rinse beans. Drain tuna. Toss into a large bowl. Add garlic, celery, garlic, lemon and zest. Add salt and pepper. Toss well. Add oil just so it’s not dry. Toss. Yum.

Adding crusty bread makes this a  nice light lunch. Also, you can toss some of this mixture onto a green salad (a quarter cup or so, up to you).

o O o

Originally this recipe called for thinly sliced celery (one or two ribs) but I like crunchy so I dice and lots (up to six stalks). They add bulk so there’s more salad.

Also, I sometimes add chopped sundried tomatoes (in oil) and skip the OVOO, as much as you like). Play with it and I hope you enjoy.

This is better fresh but yes you can store in the fridge overnight. It’s best at room temperature, however.


54 Comments

Whose Money is it by the Way?

I don’t recall if I’ve had a good rant this year. You can’t expect a body to remember everything she’s done over a six- month period, or is it in the last half-year? I can’t remember where I put my glasses two minutes ago…or is it three…whatever. If I don’t get to the point soon I’m going to lose my train of thought. Where was I?

Let’s talk groceries; my favourite subject. The packaging is getting smaller. Who’s noticed? Let’s look at pasta. Wait a minute. Is pasta measured in grams or litres? I might venture one is for dry goods and the other is for wet. Never mind. I know a way that’s a lot easier to visualize without the confusion.  To put this strange measuring into prespective, think a one litre bottle (L)  vs a 750- millilitre (ml) bottle of wine. The difference is something like 250 ml. Sometimes I think I make this stuff up because I was slow in grade school. You may think I’m a cheap wino but I know how to subtract. Pay attention to smaller sizes and higher prices. I know you get the picture so stop smirking.

The first time I recall making a whole box of pasta (375 grams or was it more at some point?), I had so much I couldn’t give it away. One package doesn’t go as far nowadays. I do save the leftovers but I don’t have much after four servings. Whole wheat and whole grain pasta is being promoted as heart healthy (but in a 300 gram-size) and the price has—you guessed it—steadily crept up as the content has shrunk. I’m positive the 375-gram box is smaller thanI remember, but I wasn’t paying attention when I should have been; I wasn’t retired yet. Everybody is downsizing one way or another except for my tush, it seems.

Tuna is a favourite pantry item I keep on hand and am always afraid I’ll forget to restock. I make a mean tuna salad with white kidney beans and chopped celery I adore. (Let me know and I’ll post the recipe.) You know those days when lunchtime munchies won’t leave you alone? Most days I’m satisfied with a big tossed salad, especially in summertime, or homemade soup out of my freezer. Today it’s tuna salad straight up (sometimes I go nuts and mix tuna and a tossed salad together).  Not long ago those little tins of tuna cost only 77₵. The past few months the price has been sneaking up ten cents each time I go shopping. This week they’re up to $1.07.

Nobody likes to talk about—I can’t understand why—papier toilettes. (Sounds better in French, doesn’t it?) You thought I’m not aware of your sensitivities, maybe? I’ll ignore the insult.

Let’s get back to the subject at hand—oops. Stop being so squeamish and let me finish. This time the packaging is getting BIGGER. Yep, I said bigger- looking. Instead of buying eight or twelve (single) rolls, somebody thought fifteen DOUBLE rolls is better—double rolls, count ‘em, equal to thirty regular rolls. Wow! What a bargain. Think again. They’re not wound as tight as they once were. Take note a roll doesn’t go as far as it did once. Am I right?

In the end, what will a dollar buy in the future–a quarter-cup of cereal? Remember not long ago old folks said a cup of coffee used to cost a dime? How much is it now?


55 Comments

Old Bird, New Tricks. . .

Generally speaking, I’m a tough old bird. I have no allergies that I know of, except for sunscreen. I can’t wear it. A breakout of tiny, angry water blisters, which itch like the plague and break if I scratch, and itch more when they break, invade my pitiful sun-screened skin.

A couple of months ago, I made a new discovery. (I’m way too easy, you see.) It’s time, I decided, to stop using Dove soap on my face after eons of use. I haven’t had any problems: no extra lines or flaky skin, but a change would be good, I thought.

Enter Nivea Visage Replenishing Cleansing Cream Lotion (Mature Skin). I also splurged on Nivea Visage Rich Moisturizing Day Care with SPF 15. This was not a big investment; the price was right, the total  under twenty dollars. Oh, what a feeling; what a r-u-s-h a new jar of cream will bring! I felt like a new woman for several weeks. My face looked as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Until, the diaper rash!

I believe I have some Rosacea as do many women after a certain age. What I saw was something more. When my cheeks and chin broke out in pimples—with pin-sized yellow heads—my attention sprang into front row.  Mornings I looked great, no redness and no pimples—until I washed my face and applied the moisturizing day cream—hmm, curious.

My head has been someplace else lately. I noticed sort of, but didn’t put the  details together. Something made me stop the day cream and switch back to a long-time old faithful moisture cream. No change. Yikes. (I blush easily, which makes my face a deeper crimson and the added heat irritates this new condition.) Now the breakouts were becoming more of a problem because makeup didn’t hide them and everyone could see what was going on. Blush. Blush.

I stopped the cleansing lotion and went back to good old Dove soap. No immediate magic, but three days later, no more yellow heads—only angry red lines. I’d also been drinking buckets of coffee lately and have been a bit more stressed out than usual. Generally, not good.

So far, I’m pleased with my skin’s improvement. Why do I always need to chase the next best product when the current one is doing its job? What can I say? I’m vain to hope—hope there is still magic to be had. Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I don’t like to look my best and feel like a new woman once in a while. I’m sure vanity never goes away. Am I right? Sure I am.

First of all, I knew I had an allergic reaction to sunscreen? What is SPF 15, after all? But I forgot. So my head has been buried in the sand but no more. I hope I don’t have to give up coffee—or wine. Both of these aggravate Rosacea as does stress, but the big bad problem seems to be going away. . .

This feels like a service announcement. What? This is about ME. It is NOT an infomercial. Please.

~ * ~

For information on Rosacea:  http://www.symptomfind.com/diseases-conditions/rosacea/


41 Comments

This is Awkward . . .

Most days I get breakfast, read the newspaper and putter around, or attack tasks / projects I can’t avoid. Lately, there have been a ton of those  and I’ve been buried under lots of paper. In spite of concentrating so hard, a few days ago, I noticed something different:  SILENCE.

I live in the basement level of the house I share with my daughter and her family. The dehumidifier is going all the time. Or at least it was.

The hot water tank in the laundry-room was replaced about a month ago. Because of the water spill during the switch, I moved the dehumidifier in there to dry up the wet cement floor (decided not to spend the extra money finishing the floor). I shut it down afterwards.

In the past few days, the temperature has been going up outside. Yesterday felt like 35 degrees Celsius. Duh, time to put the dehumidifier back on. I decided not to move it back into the dining / kitchen area and left it where it was—a good thing too.

My dehumidifier is either having an identity crisis or is on strike. I can’t remove the water container—not that it’s full anyway but I keep checking—it keeps icing up inside. When I unplug it, the ice thaws and leaks (on the cement floor, thank goodness). I wonder if a good swift kick might help.

I’m was used to the constant hum it makes; why did it take so long to realize I live in tomb-like silence? Have I forgotten I have a radio? What does that say about me? I am not deaf if that’s what you’re thinking. My problem is neither my hearing nor memory. How can anyone be so busy she doesn’t stop to put some music on?

Anyway, I’ve no alternative. We are expecting a hot, dry summer (as in where’s the rain?). I’m ready to eat nails because I need to go shopping and don’t want to. My dehumidifier is only three years new. Drat.

By the way, now that I think of it, silence is golden or haven’t you heard that somewhere too? My worry is after I swallow the nails I will be screaming and it’s all my dehumidifier’s fault thus breaking the golden silence.