Tag Archives: humor

Have I Sinned?

24 Aug

oh, look at the delicious grilled cheese and tomato soup…

No.  It’s not tomato soup. We are out. It’s organic marinara sauce thinned with water and white wine. Then spiced back up with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.  He doesn’t know.

“It’s tomato soup!” I chirp. Then bend over silently laughing in the kitchen because of my totally ridiculous relapse of Catholic guilt over “lying” about the sauce turned soup.

Tell me,

Have I sinned?


Possessed By Thrifty Granny Spirits

16 Aug

#1

Confession:  I am possessed by thrifty Granny spirits.  It began within the past few months.  Seriously.  Not just any Grannies.  My Grannies.

So, no need for exorcism.  I quite enjoy them.  And, it’s probably no surprise then, when I tell you that seeing the WWII propaganda slogan: “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” (on Craigslist, painted on the side of someone’s stolen RV of all places) made me giddy. That, I credit to the granny possession. Not because the war or the historical reference are exciting but because the meaningfully revived slogan is freaking rad.

I’m pretty sure that both of my grandmothers have formed a peace treaty with each other and converged in my brain since my birthday back in June.

There’s Viola, the pie baking, flower and squirrel loving, sewing grandma–stylish because she made all of her own clothes and had bra and underwear repair kits in her sewing box. And, she was a little crazy, but then, who isn’t?

And Josie, the Maltese, bourbon and 7 on the rocks drinking grandma that made use of every scrap of food in soups, pastas, salads–you name it–fed you from the moment you walked in the door until you walked out (even then sending you home with more food) and had brand new back-up flannel pajama sets hanging in her closet until the day she died…but never wore them because she just kept repairing the old.

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” was second nature to my grandmas and is easily becoming my manifesto these days as well.  During WWII, it was a suggestion that spurred U.S. citizens to actively care about community by doing. By doing what was within their power to do.  Everyday people created social change and positive economic impact through everyday actions.

In this process of thought to action to support the war effort, people also preserved their environment by not overusing, wasting, or taking more than their share of food, materials and resources. People not only became self-reliant by growing and canning their own foods from their “Victory Gardens” but they also created community and relationships through giving and sharing with neighbors, friends, and family. The acts of growing food, redistributing, reusing, repairing and repurposing was simply, smart and friendly.

Now, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t get warm and fuzzy because of the patriotism. No, what I take from it is the idea that  people worked together for the greater good. And greater good, however inadvertently, also encompassed the benefit of the environment.  There was no reference point for labels like “hippie”, “liberal”, or “tree hugger” as those social labels weren’t coined until later in history.  People were just doing what was “right” by way of their actions being practical and making sense for everybody. Since the Granny possession I have been looking closely at my habits and beliefs and here are some changes I’ve made so far:

  • Saving tons of money by cooking at home (of course there is the occasional Chinese, Thai, or super burrito outing) and bringing home food leftovers or perfectly good, lightly blemished fruit and vegetables from work…for free!!!
  • A garden is in the works…our summer never really arrived, so it will be a winter garden.
  • My wardrobe has been about 99.7% thrift store for several years now. The change? I won’t buy something unless I absolutely adore it…
  • ***Most importantly***I’ve ditched driving (99.9%) in favor of riding my bike for transportation because it’s fun! And healthy! Yes, I’m obsessed.  And possessed. It is one less car on the road and one healthier human…it clears my mind, keeps me positive, and provides the physical challenge I need from day to day.  And did I mention how it makes my legs, heart, and lungs, healthy and beautiful?! Yes. It’s fun! And healthy!
  • Or, I walk

Realizing that spirit possession and thrifty living cannot be covered in but one post, imparted wisdom from here on out will be on Thrifty Granny Spirit Possession Mondays or Wednesdays, I think. My commitment issues prohibit me right now from deciding on the specific day. But I’ll give you a heads up: It’ll probably be Mondays.

Many people are affected by economic change…and environmental change.  Are you affected? How? Are you not affected? Why? Have any ideas you’d like to share? Love to hear your stories and comments!

DIY Graham Cracker and Beer Mega Dinner

11 Aug

Some nights call for a light dinner.  If you find that a sound proof room, punching bag, and serious kickboxing gear is still required after yoga:  Lost Coast Brewery Tangerine Wheat Beer and graham crackers are your friends. Below I walk you step-by-step through making DIY Graham cracker and Beer Mega Dinner.  If you carefully follow each step the first time, next time is as easy as riding a bike!

figure 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 6-pack Lost Coast Brewery Tangerine Wheat beer (note: if you feel like feeling crappy, choose another beer.)
  • 1 pkg. Graham Crackers

Materials:

  • “Church key” or other beer opening device
  • paper towel
  • your fingers
  • a bad attitude and/or irreconcilable ennui

Preparation:

  • Beer:
  • Open
  • Drink
  • Note:  I use the old school device pictured to the right. This dazzling piece of airtight construction was procured straight out of my father’s silverware drawer where the not fine not silverware resides.
  • Graham Crackers:
  • Open
  • Crack off a graham
  • Eat
  • Repeat

Suggested presentation: See figure 1, above. Use paper towel to wipe a clean spot on the table, then place graham on clean spot. Place beer nearby.

Final Note: for these particular evenings, I prefer using crappy lighting (see photos). It accentuates the overall feeling of crappiness so that the flavors of the meal really pop.

Bon Appetit! Buen Provecho!



How Do You Spell Freedom?

9 Aug

B-I-C-Y-C-L-E

(Nishiki and Zephyr rest in the kitchen after a Sunday evening cruise to Chinese food and a fast, furious night mission flying through quaint neighborhoods. Yeah!)

Backstory: When I was a kid, I had a sweet pink Schwinn with a flowered banana seat. I didn’t really ride it except when we lived in a housing subdivision for like, six months.  Then we moved back to the country and it ended up rusty and neglected outside the garage beside the three trash cans.

Living in the country, there were no sidewalks. And riding over the crumbly uneven soil just sucked. Our house was on a big hill and my sister and I invented ways to use gravity to our advantage in things that had wheels. Mainly, an old rusted Radio Flyer wagon.  Bikes? Not top choice.

The one time I decided to ride down the hill on a bike?  **H-A-Z-A-R-D** Underneath the field of long, golden California grass…the ground was riddled with gopher holes and probably snake pits and who knows what other kind of wild animal dens.  Long story short?  I took off helter skelter planning on the ride of my life; fast and thrilling.

Turns out, the only thing fast and (not) thrilling was my tremendous triple flip dismount over the handlebars when the front tire caught up in probably like, a badger burrow or something. And I ejected, a failed circus act, straight off that little flowered banana seat.  The bruising and shame of it all pretty much squelched any further daredevil tendencies.


Flash Forward: Until now.  Now, not only am I deep, deep in bike love but I am also reunited with my inner accidental circus rebel.  And now I bring common sense to the ride as well.  There is nothing like flying on an old steel road bike.  Life is right in front of you!  Butterflies graze my helmet, sun shines directly on my skin.  I am one layer closer.

I mean, you drive a car and to randomly stop at a garage sale requires work.  You have to execute a three point turn (only three if you’re lucky), you have to find parking, get out, lock the doors…by  now you’re probably a block away and you walk. Ugh. Walking good. The rest of it? Drudgery!

Ride a bike, spot a yard sale, crash up over the curb into the driveway and voila! You’re shopping. And there are shortcuts.  That actually make traveling shorter. Shortcuts in cars?  Never really shortcuts. Cutting through parking lots in a car requires waiting for other cars, following arrows.  You’re performing complete stops, losing patience.  Blahblahblah. On a bike?  You’re in. You’re out. Blam! Just like that. And you’re still obeying the rules of the road. Yeah!

Anyhow, about the Chinese food outing?  Hilarious.  So, we attempt to lock our bikes to the street sign in front of the joint…only to be thwarted by the polite yet insistent hostess who tells us repeatedly in loud clear English (with a thick accent) that we must park our bikes across the street. Upwards of ten times, even as we are moving our bikesthe shouting continues. Pointing to the city ordinance painted on the curb, and then to the bike rack directly across from us, she offers help and then I swear I hear her say, I wait for your ass.


And she did wait. Right inside the glass doors. With a deep bow, she seats us by a window with a perfect view of the bikes and announces–loudly–You watch bikes, see? And points.

There they are. Awesome.

The menu? Plum wine…of course. Mushu vegetables. Almond cashew chicken. Steamed rice. Yum.

The ride home?  Dark, cold, fast. Awesome.





riding my bike with my hair feathered like farrah

11 Jul

FACT# 1:  this is the sweetest freakin vintage motobecane i have ever laid eyes on and i purchased her today.

FACT# 2: i envisioned riding on her (it’s a “she-bike”) in a dress through a field of daisies; bike baskets overflowing with vegetables, books, and fresh cut flowers.

FACT# 3: it is only a matter of time before fact #2 comes to pass.

FACT #4: i am eating ben and jerry’s creme brulee ice cream. it is delicious. i feel it finding a cozy home on my butt as i speak…or write, i mean.

FACT #5: on our maiden voyage around the neighborhood, i felt the same freedom i felt at age 7 when i  pedaled around the cracked adobe bike trails behind the public school around the corner from my house. this is a long fact. because it is the final fact of the night. the breeze was also blowing in such a way and the moisture from the coastal fog made my bangs flip back in a thick  farrah fawcett feather as i secretly wished they would when i was 7. but my hair, to this day, i swear says, neener neener neener i’m not gonna curl in the singsong way that made me see red when i was a kid. but tonight, tonight? was different. my hair was feathered and sassy like farrah. thirty years too late. and, YA’ KNOW WHAT?!

I LIKED IT!!!!