Casseroles Need to Die

!!!!lalalalalalal

When compared to traditional dinners featuring a roasted meat, potato, and a vegetable, casseroles don’t stand a chance. Have you had a pork roast slathered in tuscan oil and topped with fresh herbs complimented by a roasted sweet potato and green beans baked with Lipton brown gravy and onion soup mix sprinkeld on top?  OMG

Invented at the same time as TV tray tables in the 70′s (another mistake) –casseroles have worn out their welcome.  They all involve cheese as a flavor cover-up and  feature five ingredients or less.  Kill me now.

Break out two chicken breasts on the George Foreman grill and sautee some mushrooms in butter on the stove top to pour over the them.  Done.  What could be easier?  Add Idahoan instant mashed potatoes and nuke a package of  frozen niblets corn.   Beat that Mr. Casserole.  The gauntlet is thrown.

The casserole is grossly over rated.

For the love of God, stop.

 

The Wedding Bouquet

1991 Old MI Jennifer on dock CUTE

We walked along the rocky beach, picking out the prettiest stones.  Our flip flops flopped in unison.  She toddled along in her pink ruffle-butt swimsuit and carried a plastic sand pail, holding the shovel in her right hand and stopping every ten feet for buried treasures.  When she wrapped her baby arms around me, her skin smelled like sea salt and hot pretzels.

A bell rang in the school yard signaling recess; a time for playing Cat’s Cradle and hopscotch–carefree and pony tailed.  Her science project was still incubating at home.  The guinea pig was fed.   A new two-wheeler was wrapped and hidden in the garage, waiting for her birthday.  Innocent, she was made up of lightening bugs in a jar, sparklers, and moon glow.

Sobbing into a wet pillow, sure she was going to die, she swore off all boys.  Forever.  They were unreliable, nasty Sasquatches who needed too much looking after.  Besides, there were better things to do–like driving with the radio blaring, the windows down, and the sunroof open.  She checked the rear view mirror every two minutes to see if she still looked good in her sunglasses.

She had the jello shots ready in time for the coin toss.  Bags of chips littered the sorority house and her posse was dressed in green and white Sparty pride.  Ohio State Sucks.  She’s got finals on Tuesday and no spare time.  Life is a blur of deadlines, drama, and planning a spring break trip.  She calls home.  “Mom, I miss you.”

Rubbing her feet after a 14 hour shift, she wonders to no one there, “Is this as good as it gets?”  Her apartment is tastefully filled with bargains found on the fly.  Her roommate has four legs and a waggly tail.  She’s been to the bullfights in Spain, Oktoberfest in Germany, and the Beaches of Normandy.  Still, she wonders.  She waits.  She works.

A small panic sunk in as she and he realized that this was it.  Today was the last day of restaurant training.  The end.  The goodbye.  Pushing the clock, they decided to go out for dinner.  Not a date, just dinner.  They didn’t think about each other that way…until the second glass of champagne.  Electricity, no…Thunderbolts.   There is no she anymore; there is “we.”

A wedding bouquet is wholly made up of all the things that make up the girl.  The ties that bind, securely wound at the base of the bouquet, hold her childhood memories.  The colorful blooms hold her hopes and dreams.  A bride now, she courageously holds on to her past and her father’s elbow as she starts up that aisle, trembling.  She dares to look ahead, at the groom, and her heart leaps into his arms and their future.  They are ready to begin a new story. 

 

 

Let a Sleeping Dog Lie

Now when you are a dog, going to the Indiana Dunes means running wild on the endless beach and digging up fish bones until the cows come home.  You get to wade up to your pink belly in Lake Michigan, biting at the white caps and rollers.   It also means getting to run free on the wooded trails–trails that are full of poison ivy and adventure.   It’s all good when you are just a dog.

 

 Remi and I loved our time at the sand dunes. 

We visited a buffalo farm and dined on a gourmet dinner of tenderloin and buttered morels, expertly prepared!  My mom and I jumped in a sand hole because it was there and we could.  We were part of a small Airstream rally that weekend as we slurped up ice cream cones and buffalo stew.  We fed the mosquitoes at night and our campfire stories were interrupted by a ring-tailed intruder who scampered up a tree.  We stayed long enough to see a blaze orange sun-ball set against the downtown Chicago skyline.

The trip home was uneventful, which is the best kind of trip home when you are flying solo pulling a trailer.   We parked in the driveway and headed straight to bed.  Reunited, Remi snuggled up against daddy all night and he liked it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning, John woke up itching and erupting with poison ivy sores.  Did I mention that he is violently allergic to poison ivy?   HE naturally attributed the outbreak to his working on deer blinds and food plots the day before on Holly Road–where he is building a deer preserve.   That sounded good to me so I went with it. 

The lines of red scabby skin and puss sores cover his forearms and face.  He keeps wondering why it keeps coming out more and more.  I keep letting him wonder.

Could it be right where a little doggie, who missed her daddy, was curled up after a romp in the vine covered Indiana woods?  “Ruttt-Ro!”  At this point, I’m thinking it is best to let a sleeping dog LIE.

 

I Spy With My Little Eye

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I spy with my little eye new life stretching out in the glorious spring sun.  The fields on our farm are awake.  Dainty flowers, climbers and clovers, and buds — all ordinary, yet extraordinary.  Come take a walk with me!

 

 

Birth Days

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How sweet is it that my youngest son and my mother share the same birthday?  May 16.  How coincidental is it that my brother’s son and my father share the same birthday too?  October 16.  In our family, Grandma and Grandpa both have grandsons born on their birthdays.  However, my nephew ratchets it up a notch:  he has the same exact name as my father.  Good times on ancestry.com for future generations!

 

THE BIRTHDAY CAKE  ~by Victoria Chase

What goes into a birthday cake?

Sift and stir, and beat and bake

A cake that must be grand and fine

For a great big boy of nearly nine!

 

“What will he be when he grows up?”

High hopes are raised on the rolling board!

Fond, foolish memories that mothers hoard,

And love too full for a measuring cup!

 

Quick fear for the hurts the future holds,

Fierce anger, too, for the men of might

Who leave a world of pain and fright

As a heritage for nine-year-olds!

 

What goes into a birthday cake?

Sugar and salt, and smiles and tears,

Butter and eggs, and hopes and fears.

Sift and stir, and beat and bake;

That’s what goes into a birthday cake!

 

Momma’s Having a Hot Flash

Wine ordering websites need to come with an R rated warning.  S e r i o u s l y

After 10 minutes on wine.com, I need a room and a vibrator to go with my cigarette.  Who writes this stuff?

“Effusively juicy, rich and concentrated, showing plenty of snap to the crisp and well-spiced flavors of wild berry, dark currant and plum tart. Orange-infused chocolate notes linger on the exotic, mocha-filled finish.  There is real mineralite within this bouquet that, returning after 30 minutes, offers alluring ocean spray scents rolling in off the ocean.  It clams up a little towards the finish, shuts the lid tight and consequently there is the sensation of less persistency here compared to the Taylor’s or Smiths. But the Big Johnson has a knack of filling out with bottle age and becomes both gentle and generous with the passing years.

Somebody pry my fingers off that Johnson and bring me a towel and a cold compress.

 

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