Monday, May 23, 2016

PRETZELS rolling in the DOUGH


First time I ever went to a mall was back in the 60’s. I hitched a ride with two of my friends who were seasoned shopping pros, and their mom. I had never seen such  a thing. I was fascinated by all the stores being under one roof. With limited funds and so much to do, I was a tad bit overwhelmed.  But… I forged ahead making the best of this shopping experience. It was then I discovered Hot Sam Pretzels. They had a concession and my friends stopped there to buy some SOFT pretzels. Being a Synder’s pretzel girl, born and bred… hard pretzels were all I knew. But I was willing to experiment. And the price was right, cheap. This SOFT pretzel was bigger than a hand and smothered in salt. It looked yummy, indeed. But before I could leave the kiosk,  with this... new to me... bread creation, my friends insisted I slather it with mustard. I thought they were crazy as hell. “WHY,” was the question I asked. They said, “BECAUSE.”  “Because why, I wondered?  Turns out a soft pretzel TASTES scrumptious that way.  Really, truly… it does. Technically speaking... the reason was this... according to the internet... "spreading mustard on pretzels is how people from Philly, PA  eat them. This trend began in the 1920's with pretzels that were sold from hotdog stands or carts. The mustard covered up the blisters that salt forms on the surface of the dough from humidity and camouflaged the flaw." WHO KNEW? Who cares? A soft pretzel is the perfect snack food. Soft and chewy. It fills you up. It’s affordable. Can be eaten anytime, night or day. I was hooked.  I became a FAN, like the rest of the world.  They’re DELICIOUS. And I spent a considerable amount of my youth delighting in them. At some point though, I outgrew the snack.  Time marched on and I forgot about this culinary treat. Flash forward to today. It has been years since I’ve been to a mall. Once my kids left the nest, I had no reason to grace it’s door. But that changed…. when my hubby and I…. went in search of a protective cover for his cell phone.  It’s an older model. So after exhausting all other options, we headed to the mall where all the kids hang out. We figured there was bound to be a cellphone cover there.  And we were right, there was. Found a GREAT deal and LAID our money down. (another story for another time) As we were heading towards the mall exit, pleased with our purchase…. I noticed an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel kiosk. A smile spread across my face... from cheek to cheek.  Not a Hot Sam’s... but a PRETZEL joint of these MODERN times. We joined the long line and ordered a couple SOFT pretzels. One for mustard. And one with sweet almonds for dessert. My hubby and I grabbed a table and sat down watching mall traffic. I became awash in memories. A LOT has changed at the mall… but the taste of a SOFT pretzel remains delectable and is MONEY (dough) in the BANK  for those that sell them.

(If only my old teeth could chew like they once did)

PS) Please ignore the discoloration in text and background above. Can not get blogger to cooperate.

Also be sure to check out my Thrifting Threads and Things column by clicking on the picture in the sidebar if you missed it earlier in the week.

Monday, May 16, 2016

"I SEE THE END BEFORE IT BEGINS"

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Our daily routine has become staid and mediocre at best. I had BIG plans for my birthday this year. It’s a MILESTONE one. We were ecstatic. A BUCKET LIST trip to someplace my husband and I have never been before. The intent was to let loose. Be ourselves and have fun. “Before my numbers up, I’m going to fill my cup. I’m going to  live until I  die.” We wanted to capture ocean breezes and breathe fresh air.  Do a little sightseeing. And just rejuvenate. But all of that is now on hold. Sh!t happens. And it did BIG time here on the home front. Someone very dear to us... is now in the throes of getting a divorce. It has been gut wrenching to watch. The meaning of MENTAL CRUELTY does not begin to describe what has happened to her. In good conscience I can not contemplate the notion of a celebration at this time, much less an adventure into the unknown... for any of us.  So for now, my husband and I... STAY PUT. And… we help her deal with the mess this man has made of her life. LOVE comes. Love goes. It endures. After she made a twenty year investment in a future that is no longer on the horizon... I’m hoping time will heal her broken heart and her empty bank account. Please say a prayer that she finds her way… on this new journey she is faced with… to rebuild her life. She has a long row to hoe. But I want her to know she is not alone.

(click on picture to enlarge)

A few songs on my mind today…

I have always been more touched by lyrics than melodies.

I'm Gonna Live Till I Die


That's Life


WARNING there will be a STUPID commercial 
for some awful movie at the beginning 
of the next two songs. Get past it and 
this song is beautiful.

Like I'm Gonna Lose You 


And this one is just plain FUN.

Dear Future Husband



Monday, May 9, 2016

MOTHERS and LINEMEN


Mother’s Day started out with a power outage, and little if any sleep... over night here at our house. My hubby and I had just finished watching the movie The Intern with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. We were going to get online for a little while before heading off to bed, so I could post a Mother’s Day story. BUT apparently... outside in the wilderness that is our backyard... the Powers that Be... had other plans. A line fuse blew open near the transformer creating a bit of a fireworks display and a surge. When this happened... POWER was cut to all the neighbors on our side of the street, and to the street lights across the highway. It was overcast from a week’s worth of rain... and you could not see a star, or even the moon... up in the sky. It was pitch black. So, my husband called in the outage to the power company. Access to our property and the transformer is tricky so my husband had to wait for the power company guy to get here. His job was to assess the situation before calling out a crew.  It was treacherous walking out back in our jungle of trees and bushes, to the pole, with my hubby’s hand held flashlight.  But this fella had a powerful spotlight in hand, to help guide the way.  My husband showed him where the transformer was… while I sat on the front porch enjoying the cool night air. The next thing I know... I hear some LOUD bangs going POP POP POP.  Husband said a mini fireworks display lit up the yard.  Standing on the ground trying to take care of business, the lineman had dropped a metal fuse link and assembly… while attempting to reset the fuse on the transformer. This caused a short circuit making the situation worse.  He had a problem. So he made a call to get some backup. They immediately sent out a crew of guys to work on it. It was now 4 am. Not exactly the Mother’s Day I envisioned. They told us to go try to get some sleep, they’d fix it in the next three or four hours. So... my hubby and I headed inside to do just that. As we settled in... comfy cozy under the covers, suddenly we hear chainsaws buzzing. They needed to chop down foliage that was in their way, blocking access... so they could string a new line to the transformer... to get everybody’s lights and power back on.  Sleep did not come easily from all the ruckus out there... until after 7 am. And then... for just 45 minutes, because we were scheduled to meet the grandchildren, and my daughter... for an early breakfast, out of town.  Life has taught me, things do not always turn out the way you plan. But you have to learn to roll with the punches. I knew sleep would come later. I enjoyed the family meal... delighted by hugs, kisses and conversation from  my grandchildren and daughter. Seeing them is a special treat, for sure. 

(you get to see the food not the grandchildren 
or daughter 
because we are respecting their privacy 
about not  having their pictures online)

The pretty GLASS BALL terrarium with Orchid you see pictured at the opening, set the mood for the rest of the day, bringing a smile to my face. The last orchid I had was in a corsage when I was a teenager. Isn’t this one cool?  I LOVE it. But the sentiment behind the sweet painting of roses pictured below, (so that I’d always have a bouquet to look at), touched my heart too. 


Dinner later sealed the deal, making this a truly wonderful Mother’s Day.


But I must admit…  I was exhausted and felt every year of my age. I hit the bed, the second I walked through the door, when we arrived back home, at 7 pm. "It’s been , been a long day." Hope moms everywhere had a fantastic day however you celebrated.  And thanks to the guys who got me back online with the POWER I needed to post.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

DERBY DUDS - WHAT ARE YOU WEARING TODAY?

MY KENTUCKY DERBY DAY ENSEMBLE
 Dress $2.49 Hat $1.29 Boots $5

OFF to the RACES. 
Will we have another 
Triple Crown 
contender this year? 

CHECK OUT MY NEW BLOG 
for a NEW post and MORE thrifty finds.


Monday, May 2, 2016

KENTUCKY DERBY RECIPES & CHAPEAUS


I love a nice chapeau, whether on a man or woman. They have character and style provided they aren’t accompanying a team sport like baseball or football. Every year I go in search of the perfect one to wear on Derby Day. I’m a bit of a killjoy though. I do not like the fancy ornate hats that Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski wear.  Or the ones all those charming Kentucky ladies do. I love looking at the one of a kind creations, it’s true. But on someone else, not me.  Nothing tops this pretty, little old head of mine, unless it’s somewhat sedate and understated. I’m BIG into color, just not crazy about flowers. I had enough of them to last a lifetime in my Easter Bonnets growing up. So every year finding the perfect chapeau becomes a bit of a chore. Like last minute Christmas shoppers, I usually wait until the clock ticks down to score one,  overpriced and relatively mundane. This year I took a step back in time and went looking for something vintage. And I found it right out of the gate. It’s picture perfect.  No fuss and affordable. Who could ask for anything more? Though I settled on this beauty,  I could not resist looking at other options after the purchase. You can tell,  the choices were limited where I live, budgetary concerns aside. Ultimately my favorite head topper was the right decision.  I have the perfect dress to go with the hat. So now all I have to do is gussy up the rest of me. I’ll make some Kentucky Hot Browns, sip an OAKS LILY (instead of a Mint Julip) and head off to the races. CUPID may not be there but you can BET Bob Baffert will.
Basic Black Hat
Yellow Floral Hat
Pink Ribbon Hat
Red Bow Hat
Beige Floral Hat
CHIC HAT
Animal Print Hat
AND THE WINNER IS THIS ONE
"PEACH PERFECTION"
Do you love it or hate it? 


MAY THE BEST HORSE WIN
AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

RECIPE
Kentucky Hot Browns
(click on photo to enlarge)

Oaks Lily
The Grey Goose Oaks Lily is the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks.
·                                 2 ounces vodka
·                                 2 ounces sweet and sour mix (or lemonade)
·                                 6 ounces cranberry juice
·                                 triple sec
·                                 blackberries
combine all ingredients in a shaker along with ice. Shake, strain and add extra ice, then garnish with the blackberries.


Monday, April 25, 2016

MORE TROUBLE THAN IT WAS WORTH


I decided to rearrange stuff in my cupboards this afternoon, for no good reason other than to kill time. I am bored. I admit it. In order to do this chore I needed a little help. I am short. I got out the step stool because it’s the only way I can reach the shelves. I wanted to make a dent in the clutter, since I have neglected the shelves for too long. I knew I had some packages of egg barley up there that must be 10 years old. So I wanted to throw them away. But accidents happen. When I was trying to get them down,  my hand caught on the edge of something else. The next thing I know…. my hair, stove, countertop and kitchen floor are totally covered with the contents of an open bag of coriander seeds.  It was one BIG mess. I was slipping and sliding trying to walk. The seeds were everywhere, in everything. I was spitting them out of my mouth. They are teeny tiny little things and took at least  a half hour or more to clean up. It was a painstaking task. And since we love Indian food and these seeds are an integral ingredient in most my recipes… it was a loss that hit us in the gut. They are hard to come by in our neck of the woods, so I was devastated my stash had been cut. So having less to work with, means fewer of our favorite ethnic meals here at home. That realization made me mad at myself. I wish I had just left well enough alone and found something else to occupy my time today, other than attempting to clean a cupboard. It was more trouble than it was worth. That is for sure. Have you ever had a similar mishap?


PS) Be sure to check out my new blog post on

Monday, April 18, 2016

STRANGERS, SCARABS and KISMET


Life is funny. Things happen when you least suspect them to. Our weekend was plotted out and we were attending to business when I asked my hubby to make a side trip to a local store. As is customary, in our relationship, he sat and waited in the car while I went inside to have a look-see. I had gathered a few things in my cart and was rounding a corner when I almost had the wind knocked out of me. There was a lady coming towards me with her cart and she could barely squeeze by. They do not make the aisles BIG enough for two customers to be side by side. As she was passing I sucked in my gut. Then I happened to look down at her hand. My heart almost stopped. There on the middle finger of her right hand was a lovely vintage SCARAB ring. I LOVE Egyptology and particularly scarabs. But what caught my eye about this one.... was the fact that I had EXACTLY the same ring on my right hand and middle finger. So I reached out tugged her sleeve and said, “We are kindred spirits.” She looked surprised and said, “Why?”  I then pointed to our rings. Her heart skipped a beat too. She said, “I can’t believe it. You know how old these pieces are?” I told her, “I did.” And  added,  I had gotten mine when it was brand spanking new. She said, “Me too.”  She called for her daughter who was in another aisle and we showed her our hands. Her daughter was tickled by the mutually shared rings and said, “It is a small world, isn’t it? MATCHING SCARAB RINGS, same hand, same finger. What are the odds?”  And I added, "Not to mention being in the same store, at exactly the right time to see it." Our happy threesome then exchanged names, chatted for a little bit, and we went our separate ways. Life sometimes throws you curves. During the past year, my life has been full of them. But today life gave me something back, a winning inning. Something sweet to savor. I made a new friend. And that is priceless.