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No Air, Dead Fish & In-Laws

I ran around all day Friday getting ready for the “Supper Club.”  Yet when I finally arrived home, I found my home stifling and a tad smelly.

Certainly the air conditioner has not gone out three hours before my supper club?

I hastily called the heating & air people and plead my case:  Dinner party for 13 at my house in three hours…inlaws coming…three small children…

The fellow they sent out could not have been nicer.  He tried everything–he really did–there was simply nothing to be done:  “You’re not gonna wanna hear this, ma’am…I mean it’s 85 degrees in here right now and I can’t do anything with ‘the unit’ until tomorrow…it’s froze up…don’t think you’ll be havin’ any sort of party here tonight…”

You know the weird thing is that I did not panic.  Usually I would panic.  Yet this time, I just laughed.  I figured God was showing me what an amazing sense of humor he had after I complained and whined about having to actually cook–and then didn’t actually cook anything (except baked potatoes) after all.

So I called Ashley and told her the news.  “Do you think people will mind eating here if it’s that hot?”  I asked hopefully.  “What if I set up some fans?”  She set me straight:  “No. I’m not coming to something like that.  Who wants to sit there in that heat with a baked potato steaming up in their face?”  This is the kind of candor I need in a friend.  She even offered to have the party at her house, which is conveniently located around the corner.  And she even mopped and vacuumed and took no time to get herself ready before the party because that is the kind of friend she is.

So I baked the potatoes at her house, and shlepped the rest of the food over in the Town & Country, which gave me an opportunity to use my trusty pot holders.

And when I got home after the party, I looked in on the last living Kindergarten Graduation fish because he seemed a little peckish the night before.  (I had changed his water and had high hopes that he would rally.)  He was way down in the decorative rocks…looking for food..submitting to his watery grave.

All things Kindergarten have fallen away.

Posted on 27 July '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. No Comments.

Damned with Faint Praise

While hospitality is not particularly high on my list of spiritual gifts, and my friends are secretly thankful due to my woeful lack of kitchen creativity, I am a member of a little “suppah club,” as we call it down here, and this Friday night is my night.

(I was actually supposed to host this event at my home four months ago, but that was in the middle of removing/saving Edward from the computer magnet academy Kindergarten class, and I was far too stressed to prepare food for my own family, much less this supper club set.  Instead, I offered to bring several bottles of red wine to the only brown bag restaurant in this chain-restaurant obsessed town and everyone agreed unanimously that this was much safer and pleasant for all involved.)

I dodged that bullet only to come back on the rotation for July.  So H, being the kind, generous, supportive husband that he is, offered to go to Sam’s with Edward to procure the items I needed for this most basic sort of menu: Pork Tenderloin, Baked Potatoes, Garlic Green Beans and Banana Pudding.

This is sort of a pinnacle menu for me, and H has offered to grill the tenderloin and prepare the green beans, therefore leaving me unfettered to focus on the pudding and starch because, as he encourages, “You are so good with the baked potato.”

And if that’s not damning with faint praise, I don’t know what is.

(If all else fails, I do have a giant Cheez Whiz Spaghetti casserole sitting in my freezer. It’s been waiting in the wings for the next shut-in, and I relish the security of this preparedness like Pa would a smokehouse full of venison.  Note the Kinnickkinnick gf/cf bread in the upper left-hand corner–Edward’s favorite!)

Edward watches H carefully select the super packs of pork tenderloin.  He screws his face into his signature snarlish growl.  “Not PORK!  Have you forgotten about trichinosis?  How long are you going to cook it?  No one should eat this!”

Of course, he blathers on and on about foodborne illness and trichinella worms until H bribes him with Brewsters.  He quiets down with the promise of his favorite casein/color/artificial flavor-free lemon sorbet.

Fast forward to the Brewsters.  H and Edward are waiting in line.  A young man approaches the window carrying a largish zebra-striped purse that he is apparently planning to give to his girlfriend who works at the Brewsters.  Edward immediately bellows:

“Look at that hip hop man carrying that purse.  Now that is just wrong!”

Another father leans over to H, amused concern in his eyes, and kind of whispers: “Did he say ‘hip hop man’?”

“Yep…’fraid so.”

Posted on 24 July '08 by , under "Did He Just Say ?", GF/CF Diet/Food Reviews, Huswifery. 3 Comments.

Japanese Fighters

Edward finally graduated from Kindergarten. In his mind, he’s ready for 4th grade–at least that’s what he tells people. To celebrate this milestone, we asked him where he wanted to go eat and what he wanted to do. Without missing a beat, he blurted out “Red Robin” (read $10.00 hamburger) and “Buy some pet fish!”

You see, a teenage neighbor had given Joseph a beloved “beta” or Japanese Fighting Fish that was bestowed upon him by a now ex-girlfriend. So Edward had been vying for his own fish for several months.

At least he is a child who knows what he wants, so after perusing the offerings for a few minutes, he quickly points to a tank of tiny goldfish. “Five of these—that’s what I need!” Now these look so tiny to me, and I’m concerned about the potential voracity of the blue thing, named “Wyn,” that we’ve already got. I also don’t want another tank on my kitchen counter.

So I approach the seventeen-year-old “Pet Specialist” with my concerns. “Oh no, they are completely compatible!” she promises. Edward beams. The specialist plops the five fish in a baggie and rings up our total: 64 cents. Man, I got off cheap…or so I thought.

The next morning, one of the five fish (or should I say half of one of the five fish) is floating aimlessly at the bottom of the tank. Thankfully, his missing half is hidden by the decorative pebbles so that Edward only notes that he is “searching for food down there by the rocks.” Yes, isn’t he diligent?

A few days later: “How come we started with 5 fish and now there are only 2?”

And then the ominous question, “What’s that furry stuff growing on my beautiful blue fish?” (I should have taken a picture but, really, it was gross.)

I won’t bore or pain you with the details of researching the “fur” and realizing it was some fungal infection scientifically called “Saprolegnia.”  Maybe it was transmitted by one of the 5 “Kindergarten Graduation” fish? How we purchased some costly “vitamins” in hopes of reviving Wyn, to no avail. How H hastily flushed the infected Wyn down the toilet (when he started gasping uncontrollably at water’s edge) without consulting anyone or giving anyone the chance to say his or her farewells. How this broke many hearts and resulted in a much later than normal bedtime due to histrionic wailing (a little too convincing for my taste).

But yet how one spunky “Kindergarten Graduation” goldfish remains, albeit alone, happily munching the expensive vitamin food.

Now he’s the real fighter.

Posted on 21 May '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 1 Comment.

Poor Man, He Spent His Birthday at Sam’s Club

Edward’s school counselor, Dr. Bunny, spends one hour per week with the kindergarteners teaching them about stranger danger, smoking and the like.  Of course, he takes these lessons to heart and talks about these topics non-stop, which can sometimes be a little uncomfortable.

Tonight we decided to celebrate H’s 41st birthday with a trip to the local Mexican restaurant; after we ate, we were headed out the door when Edward saw a perfect opportunity to share Dr. Bunny’s knowledge.  Several people had congregated to smoke, so he immediately bellows authoritatively, “Look at THAT lady smoking!  I’ll bet her lungs are BLACK.  And BROWN too!  Now she is NOT a Safe Side Stranger.”  “Safe Side Stranger not love me!” shrieks Sue, at which point we quickly duck into the Town & Country and head to Sam’s.

(What better way to celebrate turning 41 than a Friday night trip to Sam’s to shop for tampons and princess pull-ups?)  I quickly shuffle over to the tampon aisle, trying to discreetly select something from the packs of 800 count tampons—who knows I may have reached menopause before I could use that many.  I look up and see Joseph staring intently at the packages.

“What are those?” he asks, grinning.  “They’re for ladies,” I answer evasively.

“Yes, I know they are those things where you go ‘thwack’ and pull it out.”

He then proceeds to demonstrate a woman doing such a thing but it looks more like someone trying to start a lawnmower.

“Yep, I think we’re done here,” I tell H quickly and we hurry everyone to the cereal aisle for distraction.

Posted on 5 October '07 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. No Comments.