Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 ... What's Wrong With Me!

I fixed Thanksgiving dinner!

Okay, as much as you'd love 
to believe this is me, it isn't.  
Stock Free Images
No, I didn't put a TV dinner in the oven or microwave like you'd expect.  I actually fixed dinner for my wife and I.  And, she didn't even know it was going to happen.

See, believe it or not, I can be a decent guy every now and then.  (Please, don't let the word get out.  It would spoil my reputation!)

It all started this last Sunday.  My wife loves to have our daughter's family over for Thanksgiving dinner.  However, after finding out she was going to have to work most of Turkey Day, she decided to jump the gun and have the meal on Sunday.

Now, I love my wife, and have for 32 years, but let me be honest, there are many others better versed in the kitchen than she.  It's not all her fault, though.  She was raised by a mother who only fried and fried, being from the Deep South, and if it's not fried, she's still in the learning stage ... even after 32 years.

For example, my wife can take the most beautiful one inch thick pork chop and broil down to 1/4 inch without even trying.  If she'd have been around a couple of centuries ago, I'd have swore she invented beef jerky by accident!  Timing seems to be her primary problem, as she can never get everything ready at the same time.  Thus, meat is constantly overcooked.  Thank goodness I still have most of my teeth!

Anyway, Sunday came around and she tried.  She did overcook the turkey some, and the dumplings were a little hard, and the stuffing somewhat dry, and the corn casserole somewhat hard, but my daughter brought some type of yam concoction that went right along with the rest. Oh, did I mention the crescent rolls were almost black on the bottom?

Anyway, I'm used to it, so I never said anything.  I just sat back, acted as if all was normal (of which it really was, lol) and did my best to swallow.  My son-in-law couldn't show because of one of the grandchildren having bronchitis, and when it came to fix plates for them, my daughter graciously said one of his relatives had already brought them lunch, and bowed out.  

Wednesday, a revelation hit me!  

"Why couldn't I fix my wife another dinner that she could enjoy 
on the day it should be enjoyed?"

 I can cook fairly well.  In fact, the girl's used to love it when I would cook for them every now and then.  My wife has never complained either.  So, a plan was enacted.

I decided on a ten pound turkey roast instead of a whole turkey.  I thawed it out overnight in my truck (outside temperature was 37 degrees, so it was okay) and it was still wrapped.  I bought some frozen buttered corn and a  broccoli /green pea /water chestnut /carrot mix and hid them in the back of the freezer.  Next, the can of yams and the stuffing were kept in my stereo room, and the Parker House yeast rolls were kept in the fruit crisper in the bottom of the refrigerator.  

My wife had to be at work at 7 a.m., so right after she left, I transferred everything to the kitchen.  I then slept until about noon, and awoke, did the necessary personal hygiene shower and stuff, and then began to cook the surprise lunch.

The turkey roast had to cook for two hours at 375 degrees.  Upon opening it, I found it held together with a string netting, similar to the hair nets my grandmother used to wear on her hair decades ago.  (I can barely remember what she looked like without it on.)   After reading the directions, I found it was supposed to stay on during cooking.  Later, I’d find out it was to hold the breast meat together as it cooked, as it was real turkey, and not some man made processed food.  

I wouldn't mind cooking all the time if this was 
my wife ...No, I can't say that. 
(But I can fantasize!)
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Then, about a half hour before she was due home, I got the rest going.  Microwave going full blast for the corn and veggies, water and butter boiling for the cornbread stuffing mixture, and a pan simmering the gravy mixture I’d purchased and made.   I even opened up the yams, stuck them in a casserole dish, added 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, and a tablespoon of cinnamon, mixed it all up with half a stick of butter, and stuck it in the oven with the turkey.  

When the wife walked in, everything was ready but the rolls.  The shock on her face was worthy of my efforts.  It’s one of those times you feel good inside.  You know, the type of good that gives you future points when you want a German Chocolate cake baked, or something like that!  lol

Anyway, I cut the netting around the turkey, and was amazed at how tender and juicy it was as the electric knife cut easily through it.  I even fixed her plate and carried it all to her in the living room so that she could watch a football game in progress (I think our lifestyle has somehow switched gender expectations.)  About that time, I smelled the rolls and managed to get them out of the oven in the perfect state you'd want.  
Tomorrow I'm Back To Normal!!!!
Stock Free Images

The dishes were few and quickly cleaned up afterwards.  I later heard her on the phone to our daughter telling her how much better it was than what she’d prepared on Sunday.  I almost felt bad about it, but was happy at the same time that it had come out so good.

Now, as the day is over, I sit here typing, and reminiscing about the occasion.  I had done something special for her that was completely unexpected and it had worked out exceptionally well.  Completely out of character for me!

I wondered, 
“How long before I get well?”   

And, then I shuddered, 
“What if it’s a permanent change?”


Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Wonder ...

I know I should be blogging more often.

I know that I'm on my last pack of cigarettes, by daughter's family is visiting tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving early since my wife has to work at the pharmacy that day, and that my college football team is currently getting beaten by Penn State.

Besides that, I just wonder.

I wonder how the Internal Revenue Service has 650 tax returns filed on dead people by one person, and gives out $19 million dollars in refunds to the same address without noticing?  Perhaps, if he would have only submitted 649, he could have gone unnoticed.

I wonder why it is important that a person (who hasn't had a hit record in 40 years) has it reported that she's dropping weight?  Huffpost finds it necessary to keep us updated on Marie Osmond, long after anyone really cares about Marie Osmond.  Obviously, someone there really likes the song "Paper Roses."   

I wonder why Coral Gardens, Florida has repealed a 50 year law stating that you couldn't park your pick-up truck in your driveway?  Actually, I wonder more about why that law ever was on the books?  I guess someone liked to look at pick-ups and couldn't see them as well in driveways as they could next to the curb.

I wonder why Baby Boomers tend to zero in on health problems at ages 50 and 65?  What's wrong with 49?  I've always been a fan of 90, but don't have much faith that I'll ever see it.  If I zero in on a problem now, I might miss being able to enjoy it later in life.  My wife's been a problem for years, but I've never zeroed in on her.  Well, maybe when we first got married.  Perhaps, I should start aiming again.  Damn, now I sound like a dirty old man.  Forget that thought.  I have.

I wonder how I missed that it was Target Practice Week for locomotive engineers.  After the one hit the Veterans float this week, one in Egypt just hit a school bus and forty-nine were killed.  Remind me to stay away from train tracks until the holiday ends.

I wonder why people are worried about the million dollar homes in New Jersey that are still in the dark?  If a person can afford a million dollar home, don't you think they could afford a generator or two?  I wonder more about those that can't afford a generator?  Are they all taken care of yet, or are all the power crews looking for the best deal on generators for the cheapskates in the million dollar homes?

I wonder how a Toronto Blue Jays baseball player can secure a $16 million dollar deal with the team and he has yet to return from a drug suspension?  For 1/16th of that, I'd be the team uniform washer, and they wouldn't even have to wait on me to be free of drugs.  I just have to remember, "Whites with whites and wash all colored clothes in cold water."  For a million bucks, I could learn that by heart!

I wonder how Congress can be wondering why there are fewer veterans serving in Congress than since before World War II?  It's easy!  One, more and more soldiers are dead before they become veterans! And two, how do you run a campaign on an enlisted man's paycheck?  These politicians really do live in a world of their own!

I wonder how Hostess went bankrupt?  Twinkies have been around for decades.  Now, they're no longer a part of Americana.  I went out at 3 a.m. this morning to see if I could find any.  Had to settle on Hostess Zingers and Cupcakes.  Not the same, but plan on giving them for Christmas gifts this year.  I know people will be disappointed they won't be getting their annual box of Twinkies from me, but it's the blame of the folks from Hostess, not me.

I wonder about scientists that study the brains of rappers and say they find a "relaxed executive" function there?  I've often wondered what made scientists think they'd find anything in the brains of rappers, or if they even had any to begin with?

And, I wonder if the world really is going to end before Christmas gets here?  I wonder if those, not lucky enough to get Hostess Zingers, will be upset if I tell them, "I didn't buy Christmas because the world was ending and I wanted to party before it did?"   

And, lastly, I wonder why I wonder?  

I guess that's what happens when you've nothing to write!

©Copyright RCRUMPLE2012. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sleep! Sleep! Wherefore art thou?

Last night, I didn't go to bed.

Okay, so some of you will be shocked by someone not going to bed at night.  Please, don't be.  I find writing at night to be free of telephone interruptions and unnecessary conversations.  Everything is quiet, the world is at rest, and my mind can wander where it needs to in the realm of my strange journeys into the unknown.  In other words, I can continue on my book without having to say, "Yes, dear."

My wife arose early to get to her opening shift at the pharmacy.  I needed a break anyway, so we conversed politely and discussed the Indiana University basketball game Friday night, and the day's upcoming football offerings.  Yes, my wife has developed into more of a sports fan than I ever have been.  I'll watch my I.U. games in basketball and football, but that's about it.  She watches those, as well as her favorite, Alabama, also in the same sports.  Plus, she enjoys watching the University of Kentucky play, hopefully, just to see them lose.  (And, you all think I'm the sadistic one!)

So, she leaves for work and after a couple of hours, I hit the hay around 9 a.m.

At 12 noon, the phone rings!  Of course, by the time I reach for it, the other party had already hung up.  I check and find they've left no messages.  Okay, let me turn over and get back to sleep.

I believe I'd just drifted off when all hell broke loose!

Suddenly, the house starts shaking!  No, not just a little bit.  I'm talking walls moving and pictures falling.  The roof was pounding like someone was running on it, aluminum storm doors rattled as if they were being physically shaken, and a case of cd's slid off their perch and hit the floor!  This continued for about 15 seconds, and then silence.

Of course, I got up to check things out.  We've just had the privilege of acquiring new neighbors, and my first thoughts were "Meth Lab explosion!"

I ran into the living room to see my two cats sitting with their ears in the "alert mode" and saying, "Hey Rich, what the hell's going on!"  

Telling them I'd be right back I ran out the door and spied my neighbor's house sitting as normal.  In fact, the entire neighborhood was the same as I'd left it three hours prior.  (No, no one had built a high rise since I'd been sleeping!)  

After checking the news on the web (and answering a few comments on the hubs and blogs), and finding nothing, and talking to one of my other neighbors for a few minutes (only to prove I hadn't lost it as many would expect), I decided to go back to bed.

Ring! Ring!  (That's written sound effects for a telephone.)

It was my grandson telling me my daughter and her family had arrived back in South Alabama to live, again.  They travel the U.S. for different jobs and never find one that will suit them.  (I think that's my daughter's way of saying, "We got run out of town again, Dad!")  (Just joking.)

I end the conversation and think, "Now, I can get some sleep!"

That's when I hear the truck.  There is a truck backing into my yard, right by my bedroom window!  "You gotta be kidding me!"  Nope, I'm ready to say the hell with it, and this motor that sounds like an electrical generator starts up.  That does it!

I get up, walk to the living room, and find the cats sitting with their ears in the alert position again!  "What's going on, Rich?  What's that noise?  Tell us, please tell us!"   I again confirmed I'd let them know when I got back inside.

As I walk out my door, there's this individual revving up the motor in the back of a trailer, between my house and my new neighbors.  At first, he smiles.  Then, he see's I'm not smiling.  I almost believe I saw fear in his eyes.

"Do you just back into a person's yard and start disturbing the owners without even knocking?" I asked, almost calmly, but not quite.

Turns out, he's only going to be about a half hour as he installs a fence separating their back yard from mine.  "Good!  That way I won't have to look at them!"

Ten minutes later, my wife comes home.  Instantly, she's filled in on the day's activities.  Having questions I couldn't answer, I go back to the web and find this:

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Kentucky

"A 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck eight miles west of Whitesburg, Ky., early Saturday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The epicenter of the shallow, light earthquake was 0.7 miles deep under the Appalachian Mountains town of Blackey, near the Virginia border, the agency said.

There were no immediate reports of damage in the eastern Kentucky area."

When we had kids in the house, we kid proofed the house the best we could.  When we lived in Alabama, we hurricane proofed the house the best we could.  When we moved to Kentucky, we tornado proofed the house the best we could.

Now, all I have to do is figure out how to Earthquake proof it!

Aw, the hell with it!  The world's ending next month anyway!

I'm going to bed and get some sleep so I don't miss it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

CIA Director Digs Afternoon Delight!

Wikipedia Commons
CIA Director David Petraeus resigns his post because of an extra marital affair.

Let me say that again!

CIA Director David Petraeus resigns his post because of an extra marital affair.

Here's a man, in charge of one of the strongest intelligence organizations in the world, and he steps down because of an extra marital affair.

Who knew?!?!

Wouldn't it seem somewhat strange that the CIA Director could keep an extra marital affair secret?  

The CIA is one of the primary agencies in charge of our nation's security.  And, this organization didn't know that its director was having a little "afternoon delight" on the side!  

Where's the sanity?!?!

It's not like your neighbor going over to your other neighbor's house with an empty cup looking for some sugar substitute!  This man is the head of the CIA.  He's supposed to have people know where he is every minute of the day.  

"Yes, Mr. President, I'm well aware that you need to talk to Director Petraeus.  I'm not telling you that he's not available, sir.  I'm simply saying that he's vanished!  He said he was going to lunch and it would probably be a couple of hours before he got back.  Yes, sir, I know we're in the middle of a crises, sir!  I understand you want to know what's going on in Libya right now.  You might try calling his cell phone.  Oh, you have and it says it's either been shut off or is out of the area.  Have you tried the Motel 6 down off of Water Street, sir?   No, I don't know what he would be doing there, but if he's gone for more than four hours, we're supposed to call a doctor for a house call."

So, did they know and just not say anything, or was Director Petraeus so slick that no one would ever know?  

Did he feel as though he could slide in and out of security, properly covered by a shield of passive protection, reach his primary target, satisfy both combatants to the fullest, and then return as if nothing had happened?  

Or, was he simply thinking with the wrong part of his body?

“I pledge allegiance to the swag,
of the director of the CIA.
One cheater, under sheets, quite visible
with Viagra and secrets for all.”

“God Bless America!”

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Disaster Response And You

So, the week is nearly over and I haven't posted once.

It's not that I haven't thought about it.  And, "No" I haven't lost interest.  There's just been so many negatives floating around this week that one has to question to make fun of them, or just let them go by and hopefully be forgotten.

Sorry, for those of you that enjoy it, the sarcasm and jokes will return in the future.

I'm lucky that I wasn't in an area affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Millions have suffered devastating losses in either loss of daily items taken for granted, property, or even worse, human life.  For many, it means starting life all over again.  For all, it means a moment to stand back and reflect.

I hold much empathy for those suffering.  I don't wish to seem cruel in any manner.  Yet, there's a thought deep inside that plagues me.  I've tried to cast it aside, but it keeps appearing over and over.

"How many of those demanding assistance from others have ever given assistance to others?"

The last decade has brought much devastation as the weather seems to be getting some sort of revenge on the way man has treated the world.  There have been terrible hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, and tornadoes throughout the Midwest.  Cities have been destroyed, lives changed and lost, and many have had their lives changed forever.

How much help did they receive from those now demanding assistance?

Now, the argument to this will be, "But look at the sheer numbers involved and the importance of the area.  New York is important to so many."

Let me ask, "To a farmer that has just had his home destroyed, his animals lost, and his crops ravaged by a tornado, what importance does New York City make?"  If this farmer isn't important to the citizens of the East Coast, why should the East Coast victims be important to the farmer?

See, it's not a matter of the numbers.  Human beings are human beings.  Everyone will be in need sometime in their life.  Who will be there for them if the importance is gauged by dollars and population, instead of simply that there's a human being in need?

We are attuned to finding excuses not to help, or, to simply turn our heads to those in need.  Our society has become so callous that we find solace in denial, and reality TV.  "It happened, it's over, let THEM deal with it, I've got my own life to live" seems to be the way that the majority think and respond.  Yet, when they are in need, questions arise as to why they seem forgotten.

My character in all my previous blogs is simply that, a character created.  He is a character that responds to the absurdities around him and embellishes them with sarcasm and hostility (to some extent) because they are truly going on.  He expresses what many feel, but fail to say.

"This is me talking now, no character."

Yes, the people along the East Coast need our help.  There is no doubt.  Many of us will give what they can.  Yet, there are those that have already put it aside because it doesn't directly affect them.

As a society, we need to change!  We need to see things through to the end and ensure each person will have the best chance at survival and getting their lives back together as possible.  But, not just for the folks in the metro areas.  This needs to carry down to the smallest renter in the mobile home park that just got hit by a tornado, flood, or other natural disaster.  Their lives are just as important as anyone else's.

If one doesn't think this so, then please, when you're in need, don't expect others to come to your rescue.  They may continue to believe the same as you and forget about your situation.  

Instead, look at the big picture of each of us taking a few moments to help each other.  Do you realize that if everyone on the East Coast were to give a dime when another catastrophe took place in some small burg in Nowhere, U.S.A. that it could completely rebuild the homes lost and restore hope to those in need?  A small dime would be all it would take.

Or, is it easier to turn on Honey Boo Boo and forget?

Think about it.  The answer lies deep within.