Archive for March, 2015

MaryAnn’s Pickles

There’s something about someone else’s cooking. Or handiwork. Or home decorating. It doesn’t really matter what it is, if someone else can do something well and you can’t do it at all you appreciate that thing so much more.

Husby made a delicious meat-thing* dinner, and what goes better with hamburger than pickles? And what better pickles are there than MaryAnn’s? She knows how to make pickles and I totally don’t, which makes me appreciate hers that much more. When I take a bite out of these crunchy wonders I know MaryAnn is the most talented cucumber pickling artist since Mr. Gedney.

Look at that savory clove of garlic at the bottom of the jar.  Yum!!!

I could probably learn how to make pickles, but why should I with MaryAnn around? Whenever she offers me a jar of these dilly delights I welcome them with open arms and a watering mouth.  As far as I’m concerned she’s the Pickle Queen and always will be.

Thanks, MaryAnn – keep ’em coming!

* Meat-Thing = a bachelor term used by Husby and Pinky (Husby’s former roommate and my now brother-in-law) for seasoned hamburger spread on a piece of bread, broiled in the oven; served open-faced.

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Now that I’m closing in on retirement I feel more bold about what I write regarding my workplace. I know I could get Dooced, but at this point I don’t even care.

One thing that really bothers me about the day job is the unfair way people are paid.  In our agency we have everything from the most base (but very necessary) jobs like paper shredders and mail routers to those who hold advanced degrees, the likes of PhDs and MDs.  As you would guess the doctors get the big money, and I suppose they should in order to pay off all of those student loans.  Those without advanced degrees, or no degrees at all get paid less.  Way less.

I have a college degree, but am one of the people who gets paid way less than the doctors.  And the thing of it is, the doctors are always asking me questions.  Not hard questions either.  “Where can I get some Scotch tape?”  “Do you have a stapler?”  “There’s a paper jam in the copier.”  These are simple questions and problems I can answer and fix, but seriously?  Aren’t they smart enough to figure these things out?  I don’t get paid enough to take care of people who make seventeen times more money than I do just because of the proximity of my cubicle to their problems.

Not only do these pompous high-brows not know how to work a photocopy machine, what their fax number is, or wonder if they can exit the office from a door that clearly leads into the hallway, one of them doesn’t even know how to hang his jacket.

This jacket belongs to Dr. Smart E. Pants.  Quite frankly I think he gets paid way too much for not even having mastered the coat hanger. This isn’t a fluke – most days he hangs his jacket like this.

Really?  Why doesn’t he just ball it up and toss it in the corner? It’s time for me to retreat into a place where the inequities of the world aren’t so obvious.  Is there such a place?  Above the moon?  Beyond the rain?  *Cue Dorothy Gale singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow*

I might never be rich but I earn my money, at the very least for my patience and tolerance, and for the simple fact that I know how to hang my clothes.

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Drink Refills

My friend MaryAnn and I go out lunch every month. Every month we go to the same place, the name of which place I’m not going to mention because 1) I’m a little ashamed to claim I eat there and 2) I don’t want to slander the place with what I have to say, particularly that I’m ashamed to eat there.   So, the restaurant shall remain nameless. The reason we eat there every month is because 1) we’ve become regulars and it’s the only public place we can go and be “recognized” like famous people, and 2) they don’t kick us out for staying too long or being too rowdy.

The staff at this particular restaurant has remained the same for as long (and probably longer) as MaryAnn and I have been going there for lunch. That means we’ve become fast friends with the waitress. OK, maybe not “fast” friends, but we all know each other on a first name basis and the waitress likes to walk slowly by our table from time to time to catch up on what’s going on in our lives. She also makes sure our drinks are refilled often, probably to give her an excuse to hear what we’re saying.

This past Christmas, without consulting me, MaryAnn decided to get a gift for our waitress. Yes, that’s right, she gave the waitress a beautiful, sparkly snowflake pin that, for all I know, was made of solid gold and dozens of diamonds. All I did was feel sheepish and compliment MaryAnn on how nice she is.

When it came time to refill our drinks, this is what our waitress brought:

Should I take this personally?

They’re called reFILLS. My Coke is on the left, MaryAnn’s ice tea is on the right. Not only is her glass bigger, but it’s filled to the top. Mine? The drink for a person who didn’t give the waitress the gift of jewels? A measly half glass of pop.

Next Christmas I’m giving the waitress a car.

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We’re getting a little hint of springtime where I live.  The wind still blows cold but the sun’s been shining and temperatures are above freezing.  There’s still snow on the ground, but it’s sticky and wet.

Husby made a present for me with the sticky, wet snow.  I looked out the patio door and saw this:

He stood on the deck with his crooked willow arms and shy smile looking into the window of the sliding door.  At about one-and-a-half feet tall he was the cutest, most petite snowman I’d ever seen and made he me laugh every time I passed and looked out.

Alas, by the next day the sun kept shining and the temperature was determined to reach forty.  By mid-day the eyes of my little snow friend had popped out and all that remained of his happy smile was an indentation in his icy head.  And because the wind was strong and the sun was warm his icy neck melted and his head hung at an odd angle.  I felt sad pity for him, but his faceless, lopsided self gave me the message that spring is on its way.

I hope little snowman’s demise isn’t in vain.

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There’s a little part of me that wants to be heard by people far and wide.  I don’t know that I want to be famous, per se, but sort of.  Having a blog hanging out there in the universe gives me a little of that, and someday I hope to publish a novel or two that will be read by more than my immediate family, but right now I’m relatively unknown.

In my estimation people on the airwaves are totally famous.  And guess what?  I know people who have been on the airwaves.  Radio, to be precise.  Am I famous by association?

My nephew Fojo has a weekly radio show at KUMM.  OK, I know that sounds really icky and perverted, but it’s actually the local radio station at the University of MN, Morris.  Get it?  KUniversity-of-Minnesota-Morris (KUMM).  If you ever want to listen to it you can stream at KUMM.org.  O-R-GIf you search for KUMM-dot-anything-else you might find something a little less savory than a wholesome college campus radio station.

Fojo’s show contains an eclectic mix of music because guess what?  Not only does he have interesting taste in music he takes requests.  Seriously, he plays everything from Waylon Jennings to Led Zeppelin.  He’s like Dr. Johnny Fever, programming his own music and has probably even said “booger” on the air.

Fojo’s on-air prowess was most likely inherited from his mother, Charlotte, who also had a radio show when she was in college.  Her sultry voice, heard on KVSC in St. Cloud, MN, was a big hit with the guys taking residence at the local prison – KVSC was the only radio station they were allowed to listen to.

Charlotte’s day in the radio sun has past, but Fojo reigns every Sunday afternoon from noon to 2:00 p.m., except during spring break and summer break and any other breaks the school has.  I’m impressed that he’s able to talk and work all of the radio knobs at the same time – I doubt I’d be able to do that.  So I just tune in and enjoy the show.

I may never be famous, but at least I can hobnob with people who are.

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