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Opinions

Ho-hum in the kitchen

Food For Thought

Can’t think of anything to fix for supper? Tired of the same-old, same-old in the lunch bag? What to take for that family reunion potluck? Having trouble even making out a grocery list? Join the club. After 65 years of keeping house and putting meals on the table, there seems to be nothing new or tempting left to try. And then, a strange thing happens and cooking becomes an adventure once again.

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Color me blue

Walkin'

I’ve been feeling a little blue this week.
It all started when I came across a video posted on Facebook that really set me off. The clip was taken by an anonymous bystander in a store of what is presumably a mother and her 4-year-old. The preschooler is acting horribly, throwing a foul-mouthed tantrum because she wants something she can’t have. A store employee or manager steps in to intervenes and keeps the child from grabbing what it wants. The woman and child are black. A sloppily-dressed bystander is also black. The man intervening is white.

. . . . . Full story available to subscribers only. . . . . .

Peanut butter and WHAT?

Food For Thought

I could hardly believe my ears. Right there on national television, on the 5:30 p.m. news, someone was ranting about a strange new sandwich that had become popular. A woman, who apparently just sampled it expressed disgust, saying it definitely was not for her. This purportedly latest addition to that convenient innovation was age-old news to me.

Anniversaries and Goldilocks

Walkin'

Mom and Dad recently celebrated their 71st anniversary without any fanfare. Actually, they were going to do nothing at all, but a late morning doctor appointment found them driving home, Mom sitting on her pillows so she could see over the steering wheel, past Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant on a Tuesday. They like the food, service and price at Pepe’s in general, and they specifically like Taco Tuesday, when they both can get a large lunch, chips and salsa included, for under $6 each.

On being a gardener

Food For Thought

The seed catalogs have been thumbed through, pages have corners turned down, order blanks have a few tentative lines filled in, but the past six weeks or so have not been encouraging. We have put off starting those first seedlings in the greenhouse, sun porch, or under plant lights in the basement. Not long ago, we looked out the window at the patch of earth we’d hoped to have already tilled and partially planted and what did we see? Snow. Not in piles, granted, but lurking in chilly little patches where the meager sun seldom reaches.

Memories

Walkin'

We’re visiting Mom and Dad in Chicago this weekend.
Mom likes to employ Sabra’s green thumb and have her help plant the garden the past couple of years, and brother Bob is taking Dad and I fishing.

Where’d it go?

Food For Thought

While cleaning out a drawer the other day, I came across an old typewriter ribbon. (I never actually “clean out” a drawer in the sense of emptying it and putting its contents somewhere else; mostly I just look through stuff and put most of it back.) I don’t know how long the typewriter ribbon has been there, but it must have been a good long time, as it was a ribbon for a little portable Olivetti I had while in college and used for maybe 25 years afterward.

Ghost story: true or false

Walkin'

Most of what I write is true.
Sabra, for example, was moving our raised bed garden boxes 50 feet to the right for no apparent reason, and I was watching her from my office window overlooking the backyard. It was a blustery, cold day and I did pull down the shades because it was distracting to see her drag the heavy frames 1 inch at a time to the new destination.
But she did not dig a trench for the asparagus. You think me a total cad? That was my job.

A little nostalgia goes a long way

Food For Thought

Indulge me for a few minutes; yesterday was my birthday and, after this many years, everybody is entitled to a little wallow in the past once in a while. I spent a good deal of the day writing birthday cards for a number of my friends who are also April babies. At our age, receiving cards on or before the exact birth date is immaterial. The big thing is just to have people remember we are still around and able to read and comprehend.

More than ghost troubles

Walkin'

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, our move in 2005 to our current home in Iowa City was supernatural in another way: Sabra was phenomenal in getting every last detail accomplished.

A purse that’s “big enough”

Food For Thought

It may be coincidence but about this time every year, I find myself going through my purse and weeding out all the old expired appointment cards, credit cards, receipts, shopping lists and other leftovers of my life. I’m always surprised at how much of that stuff loiters around clear at the bottom amid the chewing gum wrappers, paper clips, assorted coins and what appear to be cookie crumbs, though I swear I never carried cookies around in my purse.

Ghost busted

Walkin'

The ghost is back.
Long time readers of this column know I have history with the other-worldly dating back to the 1990s when I lived in one of the half-dozen, 100-year-old, two-story brick buildings that make up downtown Solon. My loft apartment was originally the meeting place for the local Masonic Lodge, a mystical, civic service organization with roots in the Middle Ages.