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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kid Stuff

Kid Stuff
My kids drove me crazy around Christmas with their Batman rendition of the Jingle Bell song.  If you don’t know it, I will spare you the ear worm.  I have noticed these days anything related to the Butt and especially farts will start a giggling fit with grade schoolers.
It does not take much to get an 5-11 year-old in a fit of giggles, and they never tire at the same joke or jingle.  We were much more mature in the fifties.
Except for:
Does anyone remember LSMFT?  Anyone?
That was the Lucky Strike cigarette mantra.  LSMFT…Lucky Strikes mean fine tobacco.  As if other cigarettes used tobacco grown in doody.  (Tee Hee, Tee Hee.  Excuse me while I get over that…I said “doody” tee hee, tee hee.)
Anyway, we mature lads of the fifties would say LSMFT, Loose Straps Mean Floppy Tits.  We would giggle about that for hours.  Actually, it still gives me a chuckle.
The other day I saw a discarded Lucky Strike pack.  It was all I could do to not stomp on the red dot, declare “Lucky Strike”, and slug Mrs. C on the arm.  Well, that’s what we did in the fifties.
The Snow-White cartoon had the famous “Whistle while you work” song.  We had our own lyrics.  “Whistle while you work, Hitler was a jerk, Mussolini bit his weinie, now it doesn’t work.”  We sang that all the time and always laughed.  I’m not sure we knew who Hitler or Mussolini were, and we only guessed at weinie, but we still thought it was funny.
Pepsi-cola had a jingle: “Pepsi Cola hits the spot / twelve full ounces, that’s a lot / twice as much for a nickle, too / pepsi cola is the drink for you!”
We sang it, “Pepsi Cola hits the spot, makes you vomit on the dot, looks like water tastes like wine, Oh my God it’s turpentine!”
We weren’t all bad as 10-year-olds, we knew enough to not step on a crack and break our mothers back.
When school ended for the summer, everyone ran out and sang, “No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks!”  Do they still do that”
We did mature a bit as we got older.  I remember if you were driving with your girl and saw a car with one headlight out, you yelled “Padiddle” and got to give her a kiss.  No, I have no idea what “Padiddle” meant.  Probably a few car accidents came from that one.  We didn’t have texting, we did have “Padiddle.”
That was my childhood.  What mature stuff do you remember from those days when just about anything would make you giggle?

Monday, October 16, 2017

We All Can’t Be Perfect

We All Can’t Be Perfect

OK, I am a terrible person.  I just went on a mini-rant in a comment to a very nice blog-lady friend who committed the crime of correcting my spelling.  This is a pet peeve of mine, and yes, I spelled it “peave” in my rant just to play with her…once again I apologize.


Why is it that people have to demonstrate their superiority in certain areas?

Look, I am a horrible speller.  I have posted on this several times.  I was punished in school for years on every paper I ever submitted.  Big red letters:

GOOD CONTENT…WELL WRITTEN…3 spelling errors, 15 points off…B-

I can write a 500-word post today in about twenty minutes thanks to spell check.  Years ago, I would have spent an hour or more checking the spelling of every word I was unsure about.  Most were spelled correctly, but I still missed a few that I did not check as I was sure I spelled them correctly.

When I see someone with a bad leg, I don’t tell them they walk funny.  If I see someone who is really fat, I don’t tell them they are really fat.  If I see someone who has a bad complexion I don’t point it out to them.  It is rude and unproductive.

My spelling is terrible.  Pointing it out may make you feel good and superior or whatever, but it is a little rude.  Bad spelling is not always a result of laziness or stupidity, any more than accurate spelling is a result of intelligence or diligence.  

Maybe I am a bad speller because I am so damn smart. 

I see a word and instantly recognize its meaning.   I don’t have to see every letter of a word, or sound it out, or analyze it, I know the word and it’s meaning without seeing or caring about every letter.  Maybe I understand a thought or an idea without even reading every word.  I am so damn smart I don’t have to read every word much less the letter structure of every word.  I don’t see misspelled words, I don't need to analyze every letter. I am so smart I don’t need to use all the letters.

I am a poor speller because I just much smarter than all of you compulsive spell checkers!  Maybe.

OK, probably not.

Trust me people, unless you are a teacher or an editor, there is no need to correct someone every time they spell a word incorrectly. 

There is no need to tell a smoker that smoking is bad for them…they know.

There is no need to tell a fat person they are fat…they know.

There is no need to point out to a person with Tourette’s that they have tics…believe me, I know.

And there is no need to correct a person’s spelling every damn time they make a mistake.  We know, we have paid the price, we hate it and we do try.  It is not laziness or stupidity it just is.

I am not perfect, I am a poor speller.  I know.  I have been a poor speller for 71 years, I am not likely to improve anytime soon.  I also know that  poor spelling can stop some people in their reading tracks, sorry, that is your issue.

I love to write.  I might have even been good at it if I was encouraged by teachers instead of being beaten down because spelling is so damn important.  Too bad spell check came along so late.

OK, that is my last rant on spelling.

I’ll get off my high horse if you get off yours.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


 a cranky culinary re-run from October 2013
Mrs. C is half Italian and half Irish.  I often tease her that the Italian half never steps into the kitchen.  It is not that she cannot cook; she does not love to cook.  For the last six months I have been goading her about her lack of culinary passion and have pestered her into making lasagna.

I love lasagna.

For the past six months she has been brushing this request off.  Now her Italian half is from her mother, so I know she must have received some training in the kitchen.  What Italian daughter does not know how to make lasagna?

Last week we went grocery shopping.  We bought several tons of ground beef, not a typical purchase but I thought nothing of it.  We bought several tons of ground veal and ground sausage.  Not a typical purchase, but I thought nothing of it.  We bought five cans of crushed tomatoes and a can of tomato paste and some ricotta cheese.  I thought nothing of it.  We bought four packages of lasagna pasta…DING!  The bell in my head went off…LASAGNA!!

“Yes, I’m making lasagna, and you don't deserve it.”


“I’m making it Saturday for dinner on Sunday.  Jerk! You couldn’t have asked for baked ziti?  Do you have any idea how much time it takes to make lasagna?”

I do now. 

Saturday there was crushing, mixing, seasoning, boiling, baking, and browning for four hours.  The kitchen was littered with pots, pans, Pyrex dishes, and cooking implements that I didn’t know existed.  The house was filled with odors that mixed together and created a stomach rumbling mouth salivating perfume reminiscent of Thanksgiving, but with a definite flavor of Italy. 

A pot of sauce simmered on the stove for hours and in it were sausage links and meatballs absorbing the flavor of the sauce.

“Mmmm, the sauce smells delicious.”



“It’s not sauce, its gravy.  You want sauce, you get a WASP to make dinner, you want my Italian half in the kitchen…IT’S GRAVY!”

Dinner on Sunday was Heaven.  Two large squares of lasagna with some cheesy bread to sop up the gravy, and sausage and meatballs on the side.

I had no idea what a big job it is to make proper lasagna.  At least we have enough left over to last a week.  I am told that like wine it improves with age.

I wonder if I should ask for soda bread this St. Paddy’s day. 

I love soda bread.

*Tomato Gravy is much more in depth (than tomato sauce), and is also referred to as "Sunday Gravy" as it was generally the normal Sunday dinner for most Italian families. The gravy is made by beginning with a sauté of oil and meat (usually braciole, pork chops or sausages, meatballs, roasts or a combination), followed by your vegetable, tomato mixture, and seasoning. It is referred to as Gravy because of the juices from the meats that are used as your base. A proper gravy will take a minimum of 4-6 hours to properly cook, simmer, and marinate.