Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saint Polly

My younger daughter, Eddie, and I have decided that Polly is a Saint or not very bright...we haven't decided which title is the correct label. Polly has spent the last few months painting every room in their house, making new curtains, purchasing a few pieces of new furniture and doing a general spruce up on their home. After umpteen trial pints of paint the correct shade of barely yellow was finally found for the family room. The new furniture was delivered, pictures hung on the wall and everything looked GREAT. Then it happened. Polly turned into their driveway just in time to see husband Tony unloading a piece of furniture. It was a recliner. A ugly recliner with heat, massage and a built in cooler. Here is the real kicker... the fabric is camouflage. Uh oh. Polly said something along the lines of, "May I ASSUME that is going to the office?" Nooooo....Tony looked all pitiful and the chair now has a place of honor in the newly decorated family room. What do you think...Saint? Or not real bright?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fine Cusine

I was looking through old cookbooks the other day and laughed when I came across a recipe I made ONE time about 30 years ago. All you moms know how hard it is to come up with a dish that pleases everyone and I was sure I had a winner. My entire family likes German potato salad and what kid doesn’t like hot dogs. After following the directions for the German potato salad I put it in a round baking dish, split the hot dogs lengthwise and stood them up around the outside edge of the bowl and put the dish in the oven to brown the hot dogs. It was supposed to look like a standing rib roast and it sorta did in an Oscar Mayer kinda way. SO…..I made a salad, hot bread, a nice dessert and called everyone to the table for dinner. There were the five of us staring at this “faux standing rib roast” in the middle of the table with all those hot dogs standing at attention and after a few minutes I turned to Dave and said, “WHAT….you don’t like German potato salad and hot dogs?!?” His response was, “No, I like hot dogs and German potato salad. I was just trying to remember the last time I was served a main course that looked like it needed to be circumcised.” I miss Dave.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Operation Baking Gals

This will be the second time I am taking part in this effort and I think it's positively AMAZING how much a group of women can accomplish in a short amount of time. This project has nothing to do with our personal feelings about the war or politics, it's all about sending a piece of home to our soldiers one cookie at a time. The first box I sent was filled with cookies, a paperback book, a ball cap, gum, sun block, Skittles and individual Crystal Light packs. What you choose to send is entirely up to you but there is an extensive list of items on the OPERATION BAKING GALS site that our guys and girls like to receive as well as items that are not allowed to be mailed. There are also detailed instructions on what size containers work best, how to pack the cookies with the least amount of breakage and even how to fill out the paperwork. Don't panic, it is very simple....hey, I did it on the first try. Other than cookies I'm not sure what I will put in this next shipment but I was amazed at how quickly I managed to fill that box! This time I think I will choose a female soldier because I have a ton of girly type things that I can tuck in with the cookies. This is a perfect project to share with your children or grandchildren so please take a minute and go visit with my friend Susan at and tell her Jan from Myrtle Beach sent you!

Monday, September 8, 2008


A good buddy of mine and I hosted a baby shower for a mutual friend of ours last weekend and since the new mom to be is a vegetarian the majority of the guests were also vegetarian or vegan. The menu needed to be a little different from the usual shrimp on a stick feminine lunch fare and if I do say so myself...we done good. I volunteered to make a brown rice, black bean and vegetable dish that is served cold with a raspberry dressing. I like this recipe because it is tasty as well as pretty on the table. There were about 20 attendees and after we finished with the mandatory mind numbing games and endless present opening it was time for the real reason we were all there... THE FOOD. Everyone oohed and ahhed over all the different vegetarian selections we had prepared and several people asked me for recipe for the brown rice/vegetable dish I had made. So, I'm sitting there all smug that this dedicated carnivore had managed to make a vegetarian dish that everyone really enjoyed. The recipe is hardly complicated and I rattled off the ingredients...diced onion, chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh or frozen corn, black beans (rinsed) and avocado chunks stirred into brown rice that has cooled to room temperature. Stir together and add raspberry vinaigrette to your taste. Then it happened. A voice from the back of the room (I could tell she was a vegetarian too because she was so skinny I could have snapped her like a twig) said, "Jan, this rice is delicious..why is your rice so much better than mine?" I smiled, tried not to look like I was bragging and said, "Well, I always cook my rice in homemade chicken broth." Dang, and I came so close.


Several years ago TLC made (it might have been on HBO originally but I saw the show on TLC) a documentary about childrens beauty pageants titled PAINTED BABIES. If I remember correctly it was filmed in 1995. The documentary followed four little girls from the pageant world that were pros or were just getting started with pageants. Not only did I watch the show but I called a friend of mine and we stayed on the phone discussing what was unfolding on the screen and laughing our proverbial tails off. Well, TLC has made a sequel to PAINTED BABIES and it aired this past Sunday night. If you have the opportunity and I am sure you will because the cable channels get their hands on a new show and they tend to play it every 28 minutes or until we can recite the dialog right along with the participants. The sequel is every bit as entertaining as the original but when I say entertaining I mean as in driving by a train wreck can't look away type of entertainment. I do have to admit the two girls featured in Sunday nights show did not turn out nearly as obnoxious as I was expecting but their mothers and grandmothers…Lawz A. Mercy. In real life they are probably perfectly delightful people but thanks to editing and the bizarre world of pageantry they come across as total nut cases. Hang onto your hats but our family had a brief encounter with pageants. If you happen to be a friend or relative of ours I know you are laughing hysterically because Eddie, Polly and I are about as non-pageant as anyone you will ever meet. Here is an example...the hem came out of my favorite pants last week and I fixed it with duct tape. Then I washed the pants and instead of fixing the hem I applied new duct tape. Eddie and I still don’t know what possessed Polly to do this but when Tory was 3 and Katy was 18 months old Polly entered them in a pageant. I thought she had lost her mind and in retrospect I think she must have. She was pregnant with Sarah at the time so we will blame this on "I have two toddlers" insanity plus raging pregnancy hormones. Polly found two beautiful pageant dresses that were second hand but still cost more than my first wedding. Not more than my wedding dress...more than the whole wedding. Getting ready for this pageant was a PRODUCTION. I am willing to bet Princess Diana spent less time getting ready for her wedding to Prince Charles than it took us to curl hair (one child barely had hair and the other child has enough hair for 3 people), put on makeup and you have never lived until you try to put mascara on a 18 month old baby. Katy is almost 13 now and the vision only recently returned to her left eye. OH...I'm kidding I didn't really blind her but I was scared to death that was going to happen. Then you have the ruffled socks, ruffled panties, fancy shoes and hair bows. My hand to was the longest day of my life but the REALLY good news is Polly came to her senses and figured out that we just aren't pageant people.

Kindergarten Logic

I love the way Cameron thinks and while his actions might not always be appropriate they are to the point and usually accomplish the desired result. He is having “issues” with a little boy in his class but I am 99% sure those “issues” have been resolved. Cameron’s parents have made an effort not to get involved in this dispute but Cameron was very upset when he arrived home on Friday. Eddie asked a few questions and Cameron told her he lost his good behavior button because he had deliberately knocked this little boy down on the playground. When Eddie asked him why he had knocked the little boy down Cameron blinked back his tears, gave her a “how dumb are you look” and said, “MOM…he deserved it!” How do you argue with that? Heck, maybe we should have all of our governmental foreign relations under the direction of five year old boys. Quite frankly I think it could be a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Reincarnation Radio

Well, I did it again. I promise that I really didn't mean to make the girl behind the bank counter feel bad. I stopped by Wal-Mart (or as it is known in the South...Wal-Marts) to stock my shelves for Hurricane Hannah and since my bank has a branch inside the store I stopped there first to deposit a check that I had been carrying around forever. Did I have a deposit slip? Of course not but the little girl (probably all of 18) behind the counter said, "Oh that is no problem, all I need is your social security number." I spouted off the number and she frowned and said she must have entered it incorrectly and could I give it to her again so I did and it still didn't work. It was about then that I had a revelation and said, "OH, I am so sorry that was my husbands social security number." I then gave her mine which of course worked." There was a stack of weather radios on the counter (even the bank is getting ready for Hurricane Hannah) and I'm checking them out when the little bank clerk says, "If you bring your husband by this week and add him to your checking account he will receive one of these radios as a gift." Without missing a beat I said, "Thank you but if I bring my husband by this week he will be very disappointed if all he gets is a free weather radio. He has been dead for 6 years and I feel certain that he would expect AT LEAST a 52 inch plasma TV." Note to self: Must remember that not everyone has the same twisted sense of humor that you have.