Filed under: birfday, cookies, cranky, curious, don't want!, first world problems, good eats, iPhone, iPhoneography, laffs, learning, life, lunch, make it work, Mom, Opinions, peculiar, play through, pondering, show and tell, The Good Man, zen
With Thai Basil Tofu, potstickers and spicy eggplant simmering in my tum, I excitedly reached for my fortune cookie, ready to crack it open and read my fate.
I have a mild obsession with fortune cookies and the wise and occasionally silly words inside. I have several of the small slips of paper tucked into my wallet. A few are taped to my work monitor. Some just drift around in my writing workspace like tumbleweeds of clever words intended to poke and prod at my mind.
So it was on this day, celebrating the birth of the kind and patient woman who gave birth to The Good Man, that I cracked open a fortune cookie and found…
“A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works.”
Okay, okay, now wait just a second here. This is not fortune. This is propaganda.
Believe you me I’ve never, not once, rejoiced in a parking ticket. And living where I do, parking tickets are something that find their way into my life more often than I appreciate.
One short Google search later I discovered this happens to be a quote attributed to a man named Bill Vaughan.
Fine, okay. Who in the hell is this Bill Vaughan?
According to Wikipedia, he’s an American columnist who wrote a syndicated column for the Kansas City Star from 1946 to 1977.
We break here for the requisite Roger Miller sing along.
I drive a big old Cadillac with wire wheels, got rhinestones on the spokes
I got credit down at the grocery store
And my barber tells me jokes
I’m the number one attraction every supermarket parkin’ lot
I’m the king of Kansas City, no thanks, Omaha, thanks a lot
Kansas City star, that’s what I are
Yodel-deedle ay-hee, you oughta see my car
Aaaaand we’re back.
So I read the rest of the Wikipedia page trying to understand if this Vaughan guy is a communist or what. Because that quote, ooh damn. That runs a bit into a political spectrum that I’m not sure I run toward.
Turns out Mr. Bill Vaughan was sort of a quippy guy. Here’s some others attributed to him:
“A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election.”
“Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.”
“The groundhog is like most prophets; it delivers its prediction then disappears.”
“If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.”
Ok, I might be warming up to this guy. Still not sure what he’s doing in my fortune cookie, though.
Maybe the business of fortune cookies has gone from slight puns and fake Confucius quotes to smart, scholarly, and thoughtful fortunes.
To that I say: Harumph
I may be a bit a traditionalist when it comes to the fortune cookie. I guess I’ll just have to keep going to the kind of restaurants where they can be found in order to do additional (delicious) research.
While we’re on the topic, here’s one of my all time favorite fortune cookies. I got it almost a decade ago but it still rings true:
Birds are entangled by their feet and men by their tongues
Now that one is a thinker! And a little more fortune cookie-eque. With all due respect to Mr. Bill Vaughan.
Both cookie fortune photos ©2016 Karen Fayeth. Taken with an iPhone6, questionable light, questionable photographer and a song in my heart. Subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page.
Filed under: amazing, awesome!, baked goods, birfday, Celebration, cooking, first world problems, fresh ideas!, fruit, fun, giddy, gobbles, good eats, gratitude, iPhone, iPhoneography, latent childhood, lazy, life, Love, love and marriage, make it work, Mom, nostalgia, Opinions, play through, show and tell, sugar & fat & salt, summer, The Good Man, w00t, woo hoo!
Recently I’ve been a little delinquent in spoiling The Good Man. Things have been crazy what with all of the international travel and working long hours and, well, life.
His birthday was last month and although we had a nice quiet celebration, I feel like I failed a bit to make the day something special.
The Good Man is a child of summer and it’s easy to understand why his favorite fruit is the peach. Yesterday I found a nice ripe pile of the fuzzy stuff at the grocery store and brought several home.
“Cobbler or pie?” I asked after showing him the peaches. He began muttering the question over and over to himself like a philosopher mulling over the meaning of life.
“Or a crumble?” I followed, then, “Is that too many choices?”
For several hours after he wandered around the house “cobbler or pie…or crumble? Hmm…” This is a very big decision in Good Man Land.
Finally toward the late evening hours, I surveyed the ingredients I had on hand and began consulting cookbooks in preparation for his decision.
It was then I pulled out The Book of Love (dun, dun DUUUUUN!) to begin the search for recipes.
This Very Good Book:
I think every person who likes to cook has a favorite or special cookbook that is the go-to for any circumstance, and this one is mine.
Taking a seat in a nearby chair, I opened the holy tome. I read the inscription inside the front cover. You see, this particular cookbook was a gift from my grandparents to my mother on the occasion of Christmas 1950.
My mom left it behind when she moved out and my grandmother kept updating the recipes inside. The Better Homes & Gardens magazines published recipes that the homemaker could cut out and add to the book, to keep it fresh. I love seeing my grandma’s handwriting along with the food spots and spatters in its pages.
Some of the recipes are a little odd or outdated, but I’ll tell you this, I’ve never made a recipe from this book that failed me.
As The Good Man walked by, he said in a voice a little quavery with anticipation, “I love it when you pull out that cookbook.”
Oh yeah, he knows. Good things come from that 1950’s made with yum cookbook.
Finally, after waiting for his answer and looking at recipes and thinking about my laziness factor, I decided for him. “Good news, you are getting cobbler.”
He nodded, relieved the decision had been made and ready for the delivery on my promise.
That happens tonight. Oh yes and oh yum.
Best part about making baked goods for the one I love? I get to have some too!
Filed under: angry, awesome!, awkward, bathroom humor, business is business, da blues, disapproving boss, don't want!, drama, gratitude, kerfuffle, laffs, latent childhood, learning, life, love and marriage, make it work, memories, Mom, New Mexico, nostalgia, Opinions, peculiar, play through, road trip, sigh, the feline, The Good Man, travel, Ute Lake, where I come from, work, worried, yucky
I was born with a troubling affliction*. It’s been so difficult to manage my whole life, and it’s so difficult to discuss. Today I feel is the time to make public my ailment.
I am affected by a disorder known colloquially as walnut bladder. Yes, it’s true. I so much as look at a glass of water and I feel the need to pee.
In such times as walnut bladder-itis affects the life of The Good Man, he calls me his little tree frog. “You know, you pick up the frog and it tinkles in your hand?”
As a child I presented quite a challenge to my folks who liked to take road trips. The average child has to pee frequently but I was even more prone than normal. I always had to pee and I had the kind of dad who refused to stop. It was always a problem.
We used to spend summers at our place at Ute Lake. The drive from Albuquerque to Logan, New Mexico is about three hours, plus or minus. Even as an adult, three hours is just too long for me to go without a trip to the potty.
I vexed my mother terribly with my affliction. Once she threatened to use a clothespin to clamp off my leaky plumbing.
Well that got my attention.
From then on I planned well ahead for an upcoming road trip. I would cease intake of liquids at least a day in advance of the trip and would steadfastly refuse to drink any liquid until we arrived.
In hindsight, not having much liquid while living in the high desert wasn’t probably the best idea, but it worked and it avoided clothespins in delicate places.
In daily life I manage my ailment by working a path between my desk at work and the restroom. At home I get up at least twice a night to pee. The Good Man and The Feline have learned to adapt.
But I had occasion last week to really realize again the utter torture of a completely full bladder and no good plan to empty it out.
It was a typical afternoon at work and I was, as usual, drinking lots of good fresh water. Staying hydrated is still important. And that means ol’ Walnutta here has to go at a minimum once an hour. Sometimes more.
Usually before heading into a meeting, I will go right before so I can get through the hour stretch.
On this day, I was so busy with work and in other meetings and I bumped right up to the top of the hour when my next meeting was due to start. I did an internal gut check and then a clock check and thought, “Yeah, I’m ok.”
Silly, silly me.
At about twenty minutes into the hour and a half long meeting, a job interview with a prospective candidate no less, I had that first twinge of “oh…hmm, I’m going to need to pee here pretty soon.”
As the seconds on the clock ticked by with molasses speed, and the candidate droned on and on and on, things started to get bad.
One goes through most of the stages of grief when it comes to an overfull bladder.
First, denial: “Pfft! I’m fine. No big deal. I can make it.”
Then bargaining: “Ok, well, if I can make it just ten more minutes, maybe I can excuse myself and take care of this. Please please bladder don’t let me pee my pants.”
Anger: “Dangblamit why did I drink so much water today! And why is my bladder so tiny? And why can’t I just distract myself and make this feeling go away!?!”
Depression: “Dude, you are such a loser. Look at everyone else at the table, they can hold their liquids. What is *wrong* with you?”
Acceptance: “It’s going to be ok. I’m going to make it. I’m not going to pee my pants. And if I do, it will be fine, right?”
Over the course of an hour and a half I moved up and down and back and forth through all of those stages and I squirmed mightily in my chair.
Look, my attention span isn’t that long to begin with. Add in a full to bursting bladder and I don’t hear what anybody has to say about any topic.
It was horrible. At one point I thought I might even cry, I had to pee so badly.
And finally! Finally at the hour and forty five minute mark that damn candidate stopped talking and I was free to go use the restroom all the way over on the other side of the building.
Then it becomes like that question of walking or running in the rain. As in: In which method do you get wetter? (I think Mythbusters proved it’s a toss up)
The question became: do I walk to the bathroom thus taking longer and upping my odds for peeing my pants? Or do I run thus jangling my stuff and making it more likely I’ll pee my pants?
I chose a sort of tight-legged shuffle and finally made it safely into the bathroom stall.
And once I made it to the safe zone and did my business, my whole world looked a little brighter. A little happier. A little more at peace.
I know everyone has gone through the ballad of the full bladder at one point or another. When you have a walnut bladder it happens a little more often than I’d like.
You better betcher sweet life I’m doing a much better job of meeting and bladder management. No one likes the full bladder squirms.
Ok, not *really* an affliction. The word just sounded good to add the right amount of drama.
Image found here.
Filed under: awesome!, backyard, birfday, bragging, cake, Celebration, charming, family, fun, latent childhood, life, Love, make it work, Mom, New Mexico, open a can o' whup-ass, Opinions, parenting, picnic, play through, thank you, where I come from, yes boss
For all the ways she made me who I am…
Today is the celebration of the birth of my own dear mom. I don’t think she would mind me saying that today she is 79 years old. If you met her on the street, you’d probably guess her age was much, much younger (like early sixties). That alone inspires me.
If you have read my blog for a few years, you will have learned a bit about the patience and understanding of my mother.
Here are a few choice places to get caught up:
There was the time I threw a snake at my mother.
There was the time I shot her in the arm with a BB gun.
Or when she thought I’d drowned in the bathtub.
And one of the many times I crushed the aspirations she had for me.
But mostly, a story about when she was just being, quite frankly, awesome.
I am the sum of all my parts and much of the good stuff I owe to my mom.
I am proud of her and I’m lucky she was kind enough to give me life.
Happy Birthday, Mom! You deserve cake!
Easter 1976, Albuquerque, NM. We are a good looking crew! Thanks mom!
Image from the family photo albums.
Filed under: amazing, anxiety, awesome!, backyard, big weather, Celebration, family, fun, growing up, kids these days, laffs, latent childhood, learning, life, love and marriage, make it work, memories, Mom, Opinions, Oregon, play through, rain, road trip, show and tell, thank you, The Good Man, weekending, where I come from, woo hoo!
Genetics are a funny thing. A real funny thing. Not funny ha-ha as much as “oh, wow….”
I had quite a bit of time to ponder this over the past several days as The Good Man and I traveled to Oregon for a family reunion.
In attendance were my mom, my brother, and my sister along with a whole host of other extended family. I saw cousins I hadn’t seen since I was in high school. I met cousins I had never met before.
It was a really nice day and we all ate and chatted and got caught up. I had a few moments to look around the party and think, wow, that’s my family. We share genetics and even the relatives by marriage are part of the dna chain through their kids.
So many people, so similar and yet so dissimilar all related by the common threads that run through our molecules.
And then there was the really fun conversation I had with my cousin’s oldest son who last I recall was toddling about and slobbering over Cheerios. Now he’s a full-fledged adult, married to a wonderful woman and being an awesome part of the human race. Wow, does time fly.
I think the best part of the day was when a good ol’ fashioned thunderstorm rolled in over the warm Oregon day. The raindrops started slowly and picked up speed. We all backed up our chairs under the porch awning of my cousin’s house and watched the storm roll through.
Yes, it’s true, the big event of the day was watching a storm. Man how I miss rainstorms that come with a show. This was a pretty darn good spectacle, too. As drops plopped and lightning cracked the sky, I sat next to my cherished aunt and we laughed while she teased me for being so chicken about the thunder. Then we discussed the rain and the day and life in general and were just simply…family.
I had been rather nervous going into the event, unsure what to expect and wondering what I have and haven’t made of my life since we were all together last.
I left the event a little tired but happy and a bit content. My worries were for naught.
And The Good Man got to learn a little bit more about who he married.
It only scared him a little.
Image found here.