Posted by: slow study | October 6, 2010

Car repair

I just spent 10 straight minutes replacing batteries in a remote control car of Anne’s. She HAD to have me do it NOW. There were 3 separate compartments that held batteries, and it was kind of unclear which tiny screws needed to be undone to open those compartments.

I was doing this work in a dimly lit room and I could barely see the screws and Anne was in my face chatting the whole time. And leaning over to block my light.

Anne suggested that I unscrew some different screws to open one of the compartments. Like she knew what the heck she was talking about.

Turns out she was right. Sigh.

I finally finished – 7 batteries were replaced in all – and the car worked perfectly.

Then Anne took the car and went and sat down in front of the TV to watch SpongeBob.

@#&*$%&^%#@&*^@$

All I can say is she had better have that switch in the OFF position.

I also just ate almost an entire loaf of Great Harvest Cinnamon Chip bread. This was the replacement loaf I bought because I ate the other one. It was supposed to be a gift.

Posted by: slow study | October 5, 2010

Separated at birth

One of my neighbors forwarded me a video recently, with a note that said, This woman could be your long-lost twin!
 
Right from the start I knew it wouldn’t be good.
 
And it wasn’t.
 
The video was a news clip of a woman who is a certified beer-server (there is a fancy name for this…whatever.)
 
My “long-lost twin” is homely, with glasses and huge curly hair.  The giant elf hat didn’t help.
 
Sigh.
 
I hope this long-lost witch twin is fraternal.
 
At least the neighbors think I look thin.
Posted by: slow study | October 5, 2010

Dinner theater – chili

Yesterday I decided to make vegetarian chili.  You know, for the vegetarians in the house.  And Shawn.
 
I found a recipe online and it seemed easy enough.  I altered it slightly as I didn’t think any recipe in the world needed 5 onions.
 
Being lazy, I was hoping it would all fit into the crock pot so I wouldn’t have to monitor the cooking process.  Nope.  So I dragged out a giant black camping pot I have used exactly one other time (and I already forget why.  I DO remember feeling that I really really needed to have a giant camping pot for some reason…).
 
In went 3 kinds of beans, tomatoes, tomato juice, spices and 1 1/2 onions.  And 2 bay leaves.  Actual leaves.  I thought I would go to the spice aisle and it would all be ground up, but no.  Who knew you could go to the store and buy a bottle of leaves?  I’m no leaf connoisseur, but it seemed like a rip off for $2.48.
 
I set the concoction on the stove top to simmer.  I gave it an occasional stir.
 
The only real change I noticed over time was that the house was beginning to smell like a giant fart.  Nice.  I’m making dinner and it smells like I am brewing something silent but deadly.  I supposed this was a hidden benefit as it would help cover up the smell of the actual farts that would be produced later.
 
After two hours I decided to taste it, using a Lightning McQueen spoon because all the other spoons were in the dishwasher. It was pretty dull. Not the spoon, the chili.  The spoon was very festive and I felt myself saying KA-CHOW as I spooned up each bite.  But I was hoping it would be more flavorful. The chili needed something. 
 
Let’s be honest.  The chili needed…meat.
 
Still, this started as a vegetarian meal and was going to end that way.  I threw in some ground red pepper to at least give the chili some bite.
 
Amy was not impressed by my efforts.
 
She started off by sending a text to Shawn in all caps:  JUST TO LET YOU KNOW, DINNER IS DISGUSTING.
 
Then she sent him a photo of the foul mess that was placed before her.
 
Amy:  This looks gross.
 
Janet:  That’s how chili is supposed to look. 
 
Amy:  Do I have to eat this?
 
Janet:  Just taste it.
 
Anne, looking worried:  Do *I* have to eat it?
 
Amy shoved her bowl towards Anne.   “Anne can go first.”
 
Janet: For crying out loud.  Just take one bite and see what you think.
 
Amy touched the tip of her tongue to the spoon, possibly getting a tiny dab of sauce.
 
Janet: C’mon.
 
Amy gingerly took a bite and chewed with a look on her face that was reserved for Survivor contestants during eating challenges.
 
Amy: Get me some water!
 
A big production was made of swigging a bottle of Propel.
 
Amy:  How much of this do I have to eat?
 
Janet:  You don’t HAVE to eat any of it.  If you don’t like it, make yourself a veggie patty.
 
Amy, not wanting to tax herself with the enormous effort it would take to microwave a veggie patty, yet still trying to sound like she was being brave and sacrificial:  No, that’s okay.  I’ll eat this.
 
It took almost two bottles of water for Amy to choke down the chili, which she ate while she pinched her nostrils closed.
 
The gasping sounds she made as she tried to breathe and eat at the same time were of course very flattering to the chef.
 
By this time, the bread sticks came out of the oven.  I had been unable to find Bosco bread sticks (they have cheese baked inside), so I had tried the next best thing.  I had sliced open bread sticks and put sticks of mozzarella inside, baking them together so the cheese would melt.
 
Amy:  They look weird   They look like hot dog buns with cheese inside.
 
Anne:  That doesn’t even look like cheese.
 
Janet:  I’m so glad I could let you down once again.
 
Shawn, home by now and tasting the chili:  It’s okay.  It needs meat.
Posted by: slow study | September 30, 2010

Corn Maze with the Youth Group

I thought I had everything covered when I listed the rules about going through the nighttime corn maze.

I guess I was wrong.

Sigh.

Eh, what can you do?  After each new youth event, I seem to add another don’t to the list. (A recently added rule:  Don’t open the doors of the vehicle while it is moving.)

They were just so excited to go through the maze.  And the handout at the apple orchard promised that there would be lurking monsters.

My emphasis to our group had been DO NOT TOUCH THE MONSTERS IN THE MAZE.  They are REAL PEOPLE, hired for a job.  Don’t touch them, hit them, or abuse them in any way.

Kid:  Can we yell at them?

Janet:  It is understandable if you yell because you get scared.  But there is no need to verbally abuse a monster, threaten his family with harm, etc.

Kid:  So I can yell at him as long as I don’t say anything about his mom?

Janet:  Sigh.

The kids were initially hesitant when we were herded off the wagon ride, in the dark, by a gravelly-voiced monster.

Mildly cocky when a grunting, gory mask-wearing monster asked us for our admission tokens.

And thoroughly wound up/freaked out by the time we actually entered the maze.

I was told to lead our group of five.  I could feel someone’s head pressed into my back.  I’m not sure any of the kids had their eyes open as we began stumbling along in our awkward conga line.

I kept my flashlight fixed on the ground ahead of me.  My biggest concern was my knee.  The knee that had gone through surgery exactly one year earlier.  The knee that was covered with a large protective wrap that I had just purchased from Dick’s Sporting Goods earlier that day (because I had lost my other one).  Thankfully, the path was worn smooth from all the corn maze walkers from previous weeks.  The major obstacles were fallen stalks and the occasional ear of corn on the ground.

Up ahead, we could hear screams from the group that had gone into the maze before us.  It took away some of the tension because at least we knew to expect something.  And by the time we caught up to that frozen group, the monster had quieted down from his initial outburst.

We didn’t always have warnings, though, and some of the kids panicked when a stalker appeared.  Amy’s group of five splintered into three parts when scared – a screaming pair of kids ran in one direction, another pair went a different direction, and Amy was left standing alone.

Amy:  Thanks a lot.

Janet, to the group of five when they got back together:  Don’t abandon your group.  You have to be like the Marines. 

Rachael (other adult chaperone): Don’t leave a man behind.

Sometimes we would hear sounds on the path, only to find that it was a wooden crate covering a speaker that was piping eerie music.

“That’s dumb,” a relieved kid said, upon discovering it wasn’t a monster.

I was unable to determine how many monsters in the maze had chainsaws.  Three?  There may have been two Jasons (hockey mask-wearing monsters) or maybe just one who moved around a lot.  At one point, Jason caught a group of us in a part of the maze where the paths met at a “T.”  The walkers stood motionless while Jason wielded his running chainsaw, the pinnacle of which was his dragging the chainsaw blade in the dirt right in front of our feet.  No one moved.  No one screamed.  We just stood there.  Finally, Jason left, possibly out of sheer frustration (?)  After the initial scare, a lot of us weren’t reacting to the monsters.  For me, the worst part of Jason’s appearance was dealing with the gas fumes.  I could taste the gasoline.

Although we were in different groups when we started the maze, the other adult chaperone and I found ourselves together almost right away.  We chatted nonchalantly as monsters appeared and disappeared around us.  One followed me for awhile. No problem. At least I wasn’t first in line any more.  Or last.

Janet:  We must be near the end of the maze.  There’s Jason again.

I personally thought the scarecrow was the most unsettling of all the corn stalkers.

The burlap sack over his head had a face painted on it, and the mouth was just three vertical, parallel black stitches. 

Kid, in the dark:  Where’s Amy?

Scarecrow, in a low, hair-raising voice:  Amy isn’t here anymore.

We kept walking, but in the dark, even a few rows over, we could hear the scarecrow continue on:  Amy.   Amy.  Amy.

Amy:  Thanks, Bridget.

A monster jumped out at our group, but by this time we were all calm and it rattled no one.

Kid in a disdainful voice to the monster as we walked past:  Try a little harder next time.

I cringed. 

I’m just grateful that the monster didn’t throttle her or hit her with a running elbow drop to the throat.  It was the first night of the haunted maze, and the monsters were doing a great job, no matter what surly teens said.  We were fortunate that the monsters weren’t allowed to touch the walkers.

It was unclear whether or not Bridget had been asked to leave the maze.  The stories varied.

Kid calling me on my cell phone:  BRIDGET GOT KICKED OUT OF THE CORN MAZE.

Janet:  But I can see her walking right in front of me.  Unless there is someone else in this maze wearing shorts and black tights.

Another youth reported that one of the monsters had pulled out his cell phone, and in a non-monster voice, had called the manager of the apple orchard.  The monster was overheard saying “there are three girls and one of them is named Cody.” 

Also noteworthy:  one of the monsters yelled GET OUT OF MY CORN at everyone who walked by.  Someone couldn’t have possibly interpreted that as an order to leave the maze…(?)

Kid:  Bridget said something to the monster about his mom.

Janet, tiredly:  What?

Kid:  When the monster said, ‘Get out of my corn,’ Bridget said, ‘Get your MOM out of my corn.’

Regardless, someone in my group trampled down a section of corn stalks, creating a new path.  With all my talk about not harming the monsters, I hadn’t even thought about mentioning not damaging the maze.  Oy.  To me, property damage results in a kid being promptly removed from the event and sent home.  But how do you follow through with that when you are lost in a maze, in the dark, you don’t know exactly what happened, you are in charge of 13 kids, you don’t know who was responsible, and there is no way of possibly repairing the damage?  I mean, it took all summer to grow that corn.

Another report had one of our guests, not one of our church kids, trampling down the corn.

Sigh.

At least no one got hurt, monsters or kids.

And only one kid threw up.  And not in the maze, thank goodness.  Encountering someone vomiting in the maze would be more horrifying than any monster.

I recounted this story to a friend of mine, who is a youth pastor.

His response?  Welcome to youth ministry.

Posted by: slow study | September 28, 2010

Birthday celebration

This is how I know I am dull.

The highlight of my birthday was going to Meijer (grocery store) and getting a bunch of Ziploc baggies and boxes of pasta for a really good price.

Don’t misunderstand.  I was thrilled out of my mind at the deal I got.  I was the happiest camper in all of Meijer as I went through the self-checkout line, ringing up boxes and boxes of plastic sandwich bags.  Scanning mass amounts of coupons.  Receiving multiple printouts that said “good for $2 off your next order.”   I was on cloud nine.

However, I am quite aware that the average person would NOT classify that as a rockin’ good time.  And especially not for a birthday.

Now that I think about it, the average birthday girl (or boy) wouldn’t have been dazzled by choice of restaurants, either.

We went to the local Coney Island for dinner. 

 I know.

 But I happen to love that place. 

The food is good, it is served fast and we have our own special booth.  (Well, it always seems to be available when we go in there.)

We sit tucked away in a corner, where Anne can disrupt the fewest number of restaurant patrons, but she can still see when the ice cream/cream puff/Sanders hot fudge desserts are being served.  It’s win-win.

Anne, pointing:  LOOK.  THAT PERSON IS GETTING THAT DESSERT TOO.

Amy and I like when someone orders the…oh I can’t remember what it’s called…the flaming cheese appetizer. I have a take-out menu around here somewhere but I’m too lazy to get up and look for it.  The server sets the pan aflame while standing at the table and calls out OPA!  The heat from the flames can be felt a few booths over.  We haven’t ordered that in awhile.  Amy likes the taste of it.  It’s okay.  I buy it strictly for the fire.

No one will ever accuse me of being classy.  Eh, whatever.

I was perfectly content with my birthday Ziploc baggies.  And my birthday McD gift cards (yessssssssssssss).

And if you thought I couldn’t get any livelier, just wait:

Recently I found a guy stocking the shelves with canned pumpkin at Walmart.  I almost did a dance. 

I’ve been waiting for canned pumpkin for a year.  A year.  Apparently it had been a rough year for pumpkin farming (told to me by pumpkin people in the know at Walmart).  The guy stocking the shelves said people have been yelling for pumpkin, so I guess I’m not the only pumpkin crazy out there.

I bought two cans.

My sister said to me, Do you eat the stuff right out of the can?

Uh, no. That would be slimy and gross.

Time to make some muffins. Or pie. Or SOMETHING with pumpkin.

Amy: Pumpkin. Ewwwwwwww.

Posted by: slow study | September 10, 2010

Dinner theater: Coney Island

Friday night.

Out to eat at the local coney island.
 
Anne, looking at the dessert menu:  I’M GETTING THE BROWNIE SUNDAE.
 
Janet:  I’m not buying dessert here.  We have ice cream at home.
 
Anne:  I’ll have chicken nuggets and fries.
 
Anne chattered away, her conversation periodically (make that repeatedly) peppered with my interjection of: stop kicking me.
 
Thing is, Anne can’t talk without her whole body being involved, so my saying anything was of no use.
 
Sigh.
 
Janet, to Anne:  Eat your chicken.
 
Anne, waving her arms around:  GUESS WHAT I AM?
 
Janet:  Something that kicks a lot and doesn’t eat.
 
Anne, in one of many abrupt subject changes:  We are in a play. 
 
She then began assigning roles.
 
Anne to Amy:  You are a violin.
 
Anne to Shawn:  You are a jackal.
 
Anne to Janet, laughing hysterically at her own cleverness:  You are a fry.
 
Janet:   Stop kicking me.
            Stop kicking me. 
            Stop kicking me.
            Stop kicking me.
            Stop kicking me.
            Stop kicking me.
            Stop kicking me.
            Stop kicking me.
            Stop kicking me.
            Stop kicking me.
 
Anne:  I’m not eating this chicken.  I only want the fries.
 
The grand finale was Anne turning around in the booth, on her knees, rear end facing the table. 
 
Anne, to Shawn who was seated next to her:  My name is Butt.
 
Anne:  Ask the Butt a question.
 
Anne:  If the Butt does this (bumps against Shawn’s side), that means ‘yes.’
 
Anne:  If the Butt does this (pulls away from Shawn’s side), that means ‘no.’
 
I put my head in my hands.
 
Anne, suddenly noticing Amy’s absence from the table:  Where’s Amy?
 
Janet:  She went to the bathroom.
 
Anne, assigning new roles:  Amy’s name is Pee.
 
Anne:  And Mom is Poo.
 
Janet, getting up:  Time to leave.
 
Anne:  I want to get cookies at McDonald’s.
Posted by: slow study | September 7, 2010

Starbucks

We went to the Indianapolis area for Labor Day weekend to visit Shawn’s family.
 
On the way,  Shawn got off  I-69 at the Upland exit.   Upland, IN is a modest little town that is home to Taylor University.  Shawn and I are both alums.   And whaddaya know?  There’s a Starbucks.  Right there.  Right there practically at the foot of the exit ramp.
 
This is the same area that used to boast a Kmart, a McDonald’s and little else.  I mean, the college was out in the middle of nowhere.
And now there’s a Starbucks for crying out loud.
 
That just seems wrong.
 
So commercial. 
 
So indulgent.
 
It didn’t stop us from going inside and ordering drinks, though.
 
Anne got an organic milk that came in a juice box-looking container. 
 
Shawn to Janet:  Taste this milk!  It tastes like cake batter.
 
Janet, sipping, agreeing and then checking the packaging:  It says VANILLA.  I’ve never seen vanilla-flavored milk before.  But if you think about it, they have chocolate milk, why not vanilla?
 
Janet:  If all milk tasted like this, I would drink it more often.
 
Back in the minivan, we passed a field filled with cows.
 
Anne:  Hi cows!  Thanks for the vanilla milk!
 
Anne, a few minutes later:  I don’t want this milk anymore.  It tastes like hazelnut.
 
Janet:  The container says HORIZON, not hazelnut.
 
Later in the trip, we passed the Nestle factory.  There was a giant Nestle Quik bunny next to the sign, holding a drinking glass with a straw.
 
Anne:  I wish someone would hold me up so I could touch his milk.
 
…………………………………………………………………………………..
 
Back on the road at the end of the weekend, heading back home, we decided to stop again at that same Starbucks. (No surprise there.)
 
At 10:30am, Anne ordered a double chocolate brownie. (Also no surprise there.)
 
Inside, there was a young guy seated with a laptop, an open textbook and a large drink (I forget the Starbucks word for “large.”  Grande?  No.  Venti?  Yeah, yeah, I think that’s it…).  He was wearing a purple shirt that read: Taylor Trojans.  Shawn went over and said hi, and told him that we graduated from TU 20 years ago. 
 
I promptly had a flashback to days at TU as a freshman during Homecoming Weekend, when strange women would come parading through the dorm. 
 
“This used to be OUR room,” the women at my door would gush.  (Yeah, yeah.  Strained smile from me.  I would force polite laughter as they would talk about the view and the curtains…  Oh, just go away, willya?!?!?!?!?)  Homecoming was SUCH a nuisance.
 
Shawn to Janet:  He’s a junior. 
 
We reported this back to Amy, who had stayed behind in the minivan.  She tries to avoid being seen with us as a family whenever possible.  We are just TOO freakin’ embarrassing to be associated with.
 
Amy was not impressed and told us that the guy probably thought we were stupid for coming over and talking to him.
 
Janet:  He was friendly.
 
Shawn:  Can you imagine?  Going to Starbucks with your laptop and studying there?  I would have loved that when I was at Taylor.
 
Amy:  Was Starbucks even INVENTED when you were at Taylor?
 
Janet:  Crap.  I just realized that we graduated from college before that guy was even BORN. 
 
Sigh.
 
And then this old gal busted through her grande Caramel Light Frappuccino.
 
………………………………………………………………………………………
 
Good news:  I seem to be backing away from my daily trips to McDonald’s for a large diet coke.
 
Bad news:  I’ve traded $1.06 and zero calories at McD for $4.00 and who knows how many calories at Starbucks.
Posted by: slow study | September 2, 2010

Trip to the apple orchard

There is an apple orchard/cider mill nearby and it is officially open for the season.  We all went last evening.
 
Apples currently available:  Ginger Gold and Jonamac.
 
Not too many people (or bees) at the orchard yet.  No wait for the apple wagon; no line for cider and donuts; no crowds clustered in front of  the “Goat Family.”  I’m serious about that last one.  It is even listed on the handout as one of the many attractions at Erwin Orchards. I personally have never seen the appeal of the Goat Family.  Ever.  It’s a pen of goats.  They walk around.  And…that’s about it.  For 25 cents, a person can get some Goat Feed out of a gumball machine that is cemented into the ground in front of the fenced-in area.  Then a goat might eat off of your hand.  Yeah…no.  I don’t have the desire to pay for goat lips and saliva to touch my hand, but maybe that’s just me. 
 
Okay, it DID liven things up a bit with this year’s addition of a ramp for the goats to climb.  That is pretty cool, I guess.  But once you’ve marveled at a goat on a ramp, everything else is just a letdown.
 
Shawn, pointing:  That goat over there looks like he has socks on.
 
Subject in question was a beige goat.  The bottom of each leg was black.
 
Janet, mentally picturing a certain someone on the church softball team, wearing black socks with the uniform:  Looks like my Dad.
 
Amy’s favorite part of the trip was riding the apple wagon. 
 
Gas mask for the diesel fumes coming off the tractor?  Check.
 
Dramamine for the bumpy ride?  Check.
 
Sports bra for the bumpy ride?  Check.
 
Anne to bark orders at the guy driving the tractor?  Check.
 
Amy was really disappointed that we didn’t get to ride through the entire orchard.  Eh, that’s what happens when only four rows of apples are ready to be picked.
 
Anne:  I CAN’T REACH ANY OF THE APPLES.
 
Anne:  THERE’S A BUG IN OUR BAG.
 
Anne:  I WANTED TO GET RED APPLES.
 
Anne:  CAN WE GET DONUTS NOW?
 
Cider mill donuts are always good.  They have a nice sugary, greasy crunch. 
 
We each chose one donut.
 
Counter girl:  For 75 cents more, you can get a half dozen…
 
Janet (mentally):  For 75 cents more, you can eat 2098578927 more calories…
 
Shawn:  I got the extra two with sprinkles because I know you don’t like sprinkles.
 
Janet:  I appreciate the effort, but we both know that won’t stop me.
 
For the record, I didn’t eat those extra two donuts.  But I did have one and a half of those extras. 
 
Shawn:  What happened to the other donuts?
 
Janet:  Have you just met me?
 
Anne, after two sips of her $2.75 cider that came in a decorative plastic red apple sipper with attached straw:  I don’t want any more.
 
Back at home, two decorative plastic red apple sippers with attached straws went right into the trash can.
Posted by: slow study | August 26, 2010

Summer can’t end soon enough

School starts soon.  Amy will be in ninth grade.  Anne will be in first grade.  And every parent knows what that means – two kids in school ALL DAY.  Yesssssssssssssss.

What am I going to do with my time? I’m going to Disney World!

(cue: giant snort)

I have no plans. I am serious when I say that after a summer with the girls, I can’t even put together a complete thought.

 The other morning Anne wanted breakfast, and I offered her Cheerios.

“Okay,” says Anne, “But I don’t want them hot.”

?????
Janet: Cheerios. Cheerios aren’t hot.
Anne, playing Nintendo: I’ll have Cheerios. But I don’t want them hot.
Janet: What are you talking about? Cheerios are never hot.
Anne, not looking up: I don’t like them hot.
Janet: CHEERIOS. The little o’s…
Anne, finally making eye contact with me: OH. I thought you meant CHEESE.
Janet: Not sure how you thought I would be serving you hot cheese.

Even after that strange exchange, I caught an ever-so-tiny glimpse of Anne maybe understanding something about real life.

She was in a huff over her Nintendogs game. It’s a video game where you take care of dogs.

Anne: I feed them. I wash them. I walk them. And then you know what? When I come back to play the game again, they are HUNGRY. AGAIN. And dirty. And need to be walked! And I spend all my money on them. It is SO ANNOYING.

Janet: Yes. Like with real dogs.

Anne makes an exasperated noise.

And then a mere 15 minutes later…

Anne, showing me the game screen: Do I have enough money to buy another dog?

The screen shows that she has $639.
Janet: Yes.
Anne: Yea! I’m going to buy a YOSHI TAYLOR (yorkshire terrier). Then I’ll have three dogs! And after that, I won’t have to spend any more money! I will only have to buy food and water and clothes…

I give up. The kid has no clue.

It isn’t like she’s never had contact with actual dogs.  Our surrounding neighbors have dogs and sometimes I walk them if someone goes on vacation or is at work.  Anne knows they eat, drink, poop and pee.  I’ve been looking after a little dog once a week, and Anne always insists on coming with me.  Yet she whines and complains the moment we start the walk.

Anne: Can we go back NOW? It is so HOT.

Janet: The dog is in a cage all day. At least let her get a decent walk.

Anne: WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE.

Sigh.

So so weary.

You know you’re tired when you dream about being tired.  In a recent dream, I saw a giant insect flying nearby and I kept trying to get up/call to someone, but I couldn’t muster the energy to do either.  I ended up rolling off the couch (still in my dream) to get away from the insect, only to run the dishwasher and have water flood everywhere.

There may be a deep psychological meaning behind all that, but I think I’m just overtired.

That happens when you stay up too late with the 14- yr-old (watching the BBC version of Jane Austen movies) and getting up too early with the 6-yr-old (who seems to think it is time to get up whenever she opens her eyes in the morning).

I’m also fueling myself with the food of champions: Diet Coke and anything that contains overprocessed, bleached white flour.  It is a delicious combination to be sure, but it always leaves me crashing.  A relatively new addition to my regular intake is the McDonald’s caramel frappe.  This sugary frozen coffee drink totally ROCKS and a size medium is 550 calories a pop (although I am always careful to get the “diet” version – ha! by asking for mine without whipped cream or caramel syrup on top).  It amuses me when I say No Whipped Topping into the drive-thru speaker, and then a voice responds, “Do you want the drizzle?”

Do I want the drizzle. AHAHAHAHAHAHA. 

Oh, this summer has totally turned me into an idiot.

(From the back seat: I WANT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. I WANT A SMOOTHIE. I’LL ROLL THE WINDOW DOWN AND TELL THE GIRL TO HAND ME THE SMOOTHIE THROUGH MY WINDOW.)

Like that’s a good idea. I can already see the smoothie sliding through greased hands and hitting the pavement.

It’s enough that I have to deal with I DIDN’T WANT STRAWBERRY BANANA. I SAID WILD BERRY.

Janet, to the girl at the drive-thru window: Bartender, make mine a double.

And hit me with the drizzle.

Posted by: slow study | August 25, 2010

Guacamole

Okay, so apparently I can’t handle my guacamole. 
 
Who am I kidding?  There are a lot of foods I am unable to eat in moderation.  But let’s add guacamole to the list.
 
It all began with Jimmy John’s. 
 
Amy and I started getting their vegetarian subs, and they have guacamole on them.  I’ve had guacamole before and liked it, but for whatever reason, I’ve never bought it for the house. 
 
Anyway, hitting Jimmy John’s with great frequency was getting kind of costly, so I thought – why not buy the sandwich fixings and make the sandwiches at home?   We hit Walmart, the natural choice for fresh, quality ingredients (read: the closest store).  The girls helped me gather up the stuff…guacamole, sprouts (blech), cucumbers, tomatoes, provolone cheese, lettuce. 
 
Amy:  You’re just going to put this on REGULAR bread?
Janet:  Uh…yeah.
Amy, rolling her eyes:  fine.  (obviously NOT fine).
Janet:  Go and pick out the kind of bread you want, then.
 
Amy went to the bakery section and returned with a humungous loaf that could feed 5,000 and still have bags of leftovers gathered afterwards.
 
Janet:  How about a loaf of bread that is thinner?  Like for subs.
Anne:  I’LL GET IT.
Amy:  Anne, no.
Off they went, bickering and shoving each other as they walked.
 
The jackals returned with identical loaves of somewhat thinner bread, fighting over which loaf to use.
Anne:  Use MINE.
Amy:  I already chose the bread first.
Janet: Oh for crying out loud.
 
Anne threw her loaf into the cart and carried Amy’s chosen loaf back to the bread rack.
 
Back at home, I got ready to make the subs for dinner.
 
Amy:  I want spinach quiche tonight.  We’ll have the subs tomorrow.
 
Janet (the ever-flexible house servant): Okay.
 
But I couldn’t help trying the guacamole.  I mean, Anne had left some tortilla chips on the kitchen counter that were just begging to be dipped…
 
And dip I did.  Again. And again.  And again.
 
And then I thought, hmmm.  Chips have a lot of fat.  I should switch to pretzels.
 
So I got out the Rold Gold Honey Wheat Braided Twists (this is where I hold up the bag for blatant product placement) and more guacamole.
 
Now THAT is a perfect match.
 
I think I ate 34067893 dipped pretzels.  The whole fat content thing became irrelevant almost instantly, as guacamole has tons of fat, too.
 
Tonight for dinner I got out the ingredients to make a “Jimmy John’s” vegetarian sub for Amy.
 
Amy:  The bread is too big.
Janet:  Sigh.  That’s the bread YOU picked.
 
I took my hand and pressed on the sandwich to flatten it.
 
Amy, taking a microscopic nibble:  I don’t like the guacamole. 
Amy:  I’m not going to eat it.
 
Anne: I’M NOT EATING THAT.
 
The girls ate warmed- up pizza.
 
I scraped the sprouts off the spurned sandwich and ate it.  Tasted good to me.
 
It should.  It had 5 pieces of cheese on it.  And guacamole.
 
And of course I went back to hitting the guac and pretzels afterwards.  My body showed no signs of rejection; I didn’t feel full.  I didn’t feel sick.  I was like the Energizer Bunny of guac eaters.  Bring it on.
 
Guac intervention was needed.  Quickly.  I needed to be cut off completely.  I had found yet another food that I couldn’t handle in moderation.
 
It was painful ($1.38 worth – oh the humanity!!), but I had to rinse the rest of the guacamole down the drain. 
 
Goodbye, guac.  We will meet again someday, but only on the outside.  You can no longer enter my home.
 
 

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