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He Was Black

25 May

“Naivety is the sister of innocence and the cousin of stupidity.”  Pierre Decourcelle

On Memorial Day I was with a group of people who were sharing gratitude for service women and men when someone shared that he had been in Vietnam for a year and understood why soldiers were told not to make close friends while in combat.  “I had this close friend, he was black, a really nice guy, who got killed…”  Didn’t hear the rest of his share as I was busy wondering why he felt it necessary to tell us that the man was black and a really nice guy,

I was tempted to jump in and share, “I have this really good friend who lives in Milwaukee.  She’s white, but a really nice woman…”  But then I didn’t know exactly what I could share about her that would fit into the Memorial Day conversation.  And anyway, I didn’t feel in the mood to play Poke the Bear.

Our book club recently read “The Cellist of Sarajevo” in which the author, Steven Galloway, wanted people to consider how we react to others.  “As individuals,” Galloway said, “we’re very careful about whom we choose to love.  We don’t typically let governments and huge corporations tell us who to love and when they try to, we become very suspicious.  We are not as parsimonious about hatred,” he said.

In other words, we allow government and other groups tell us who we’re supposed to hate.  This is an easy way to get people to participate in wars.  And this hate is generally dished up to us as groups that we should hate, such as blacks or Muslims or Iraqis.  And they are dished up to us in groups because when we get to know people as individuals we are more likely to see our similarities rather than our differences.  I find it harder to dislike people who are like me. 

I highly recommend “The Cellist of Sarajeevo”.  I also recommend inserting the color of anyone you speak of into conversations.  This might make people uncomfortable.  They might also wonder if you’re going off the deep end.  They also might start to become uncomfortable when someone feels compelled to tell them, “He was black.”

Loveya – The Grandma

Pretty Baby

27 Mar

“Real beauty is to be true to oneself.”  Laetitia Casta

I recently saw a post on my Facebook page from a mother whose daughter, approximately aged 8or 10, was being teased at school.  The teasing had to do with the young girl’s looks.  She was being told that she was not pretty.

The mother, in a demented loving attempt to restore her daughter’s self esteem posted a picture of her daughter and asked viewers to Like and comment on the daughter’s “beauty”.  I haven’t gotten around to participating in that beauty fiasco.

So we still think that the most important thing for a young woman to be is beautiful?  Is there any other message we can give young girls so such conversations don’t occur?  In today’s media beauty-madness probably not.

I received an email from my daughter-in-law today telling me that my granddaughter just graduated from school in the navy and is now a military policewoman.  She went into the navy after high school because she wanted the challenge of bootcamp.  She wanted to see if she was strong enough.  She’s lovely in so many ways.

Keeping me on the humble end of the grandma spectrum is my two-year-old granddaughter.  She found something soft in her diaper and gave herself a facial.  Mommy smelled something and knew her little princess needed a diaper change.  She looked over and AAARRRGH!  Not all grandma stories are brag stories.  Her face, however, does look amazingly lovely.  Maybe she ….  Forget that train of thought.

And next time you’re tempted to tell a little girl that she or her dress is soooo pretty, stop and think about it.  Anything else you might want to comment on instead?

Loveya – The Grandma

Dining for Dumbies

10 Feb

“The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork.”  Oscar Wilde

 

This is something I’ve been dying to get off of my chest, besides that certain bra that rides up under my arms.  It’s about dining out at a tablecloth restaurant, which can make some people a bit nervous.  This is a restaurant where you know you should tip 20%.

As I work at such an establishment, I’d like to offer a few tips that might make you dining experience stress free and more enjoyable.

First, if you are about to embark on such an experience and don’t quite know what the ground rules are, simply embody nobility as you walk in the door.  Ask yourself, “What would the queen do?”  This may sound a bit over the top but it really isn’t and you’ll soon see how this works.

First of all a) – The queen would never re-arrange the table or turn glasses upside-down or slouch.  That’s a good start for good restaurant behavior.  Note – everything is placed on the table at a certain place for a reason.   The little plate to the left of your fork or forks is your bread plate.  Guess what it’s used for?  Leave it there.

Unfortunately, some people move their bread plate to the empty space in front of them and when the waitperson comes to the table with share plates (served with appetizers) or salads (if the appetizer course is being skipped) there’s no empty space in front of the guest to place the additions, i.e. share plates or salads.

Also, if you’re not going to have wine and there are wine glasses on the table there’s no need to turn your glass upside-down.  I’ve never seen a waitstaff physically restrain a guest and pour wine down their throats.

Also, when the waitperson comes to take your order do not say, “Could I have…”  Oftentimes I answer, “No.”  The key word is order.   You are giving an order, which should begin with the words “I’d like,” followed by your wish, such as, “the eel lips with mocha lime puree,” or something like that.  Oh, I am on a roll, which goes on the bread plate to the left of your forks.

When you’re finished with your entree do not stack dishes, place your napkin on the soiled plate, or pass things to the waitperson as they’re clearing the table.  You are royalty being served, remember?  If a waitperson asks you to pass your plates immediately deduct 5% from their tip.  You earned it.

Dessert.  When the waitperson asks if anyone would like dessert have the courage to have dessert without taking a poll at the table.  “Are you going to have dessert?”  “I don’t know.  Are you going to have dessert?”  This can go on for a small eternity while the fat person in the group is desperate to have someone order dessert so they feel they have permission to order dessert.

Dessert a)  Remember the Titanic and all the ladies on board who didn’t order dessert because they wanted to look good when they got off the boat.  Enough said.

Loveya – The Grandma

 

Cooking Up A Life

10 Jan

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”  Robin Sharma

As a tribute to the New Year and the propensity to make resolutions that last less than 30 days, I decided to change the focus of my blog.  Recipes are fun but we all know to eat more veggies and less processed food.  So this year, or for as long as it can hold my own attention, I shall attempt to impart words of wisdom (WOW) as discovered through my own stupid mistakes.

Thankfully, I also have a group of wise friends, real and imaginary, to steal from.  Fortunately, my imaginary friends are not, for the most part, imaginary.  Many of them are awesome writers.  It’s our friendship that’s imaginary.  I tend to adopt people that I admire.  My first adoptee is Pope Francis.  Might as well start somewhere near the top.

First of all, I’m annoyed by people who are bowled over by the actions of Pope Francis.  I’m especially annoyed with Christians who find him exceptional.  Because actually, according to what I learned in the formative years of my Christian upbringing, Pope Francis is merely taking Christianity seriously.  He’s walking the walk.

I, too, intend to walk the walk as soon as I loose ten pounds and get my hair highlighted and pay off the 55-inch plasma TV.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  I’ll probably need another cup of coffee before I can actually see, or admit, where I’m going with this line of thinking.    I’ll get back to you on this.

Loveya – The Grandma

 

 

Come Follow Me

6 May

“You can also go to hell for lying.”  Anon

My favorite email is from other bloggers who say they think my blog is really neat/great/etc and will be following me!  Drum roll!  What crap.

Even though I’ve received about a dozen of these there are seldom any visits to my site.  Think, think, think.  Oh, did I mention that the email also encourages me to visit their site and see what they’re up to?  What they’re up to is getting other people to visit their site.

My blog is about writing about …  That’s a good question.  Started with recipes but realized that we all know the difference between healthy and unhealthy food.  And if a person wants to live a healthy life they’ll figure out a way to make a salad, avoid junk food, and move their butt in some kind of exercise program.  So I’m simply going to noodle along and write about what happens, what irks me, and what I’m discovering as I go through life.

I discovered that you can’t believe everything that you read.  I discovered that it really doesn’t make any difference to my life whether anyone reads my blog.

Going to go out and start some work on my garden.  Need sunshine!  Love sunshine!

Loveya – The Grandma 

Hello Again

5 Apr

“Having two bathrooms ruined the capacity to cooperate.”  Margaret Mead

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  That’s because I haven’t been cooking anything interesting enough to share.  And that situation isn’t going to change in the next two weeks.

Backstory – When I was a young girl, which was shortly before the extinction of the dinosaurs, a new thing called Atomic Power came on the scene.  The story was that soon this Atomic Power (capitalized like God) would make it possible for people to have a 4 hour work day and everyone would have lots of time to paint, compose music, write great American novels, blah,blah, and blah.  An example of how that turned out pictured below.

 

Yes, that’s our cat, Jim, in his favorite recliner, watching NASCAR.  They were three wide in the turn and he was glued to the screen.

For inquiring minds who want to know, Jim was found and raised by college students many years ago and named after Jim Morrison.  His pupils are permanently dilated.

At any rate, Jim is not writing the great American novel and neither are the vast majority of us.  My job, waitressing, is safe from being taken over by robots unless that can come up with a robot with attitude.  Where was I?

Oh, yes, life.  In order to have a more interesting life I decided to do more interesting things.  And so, while I have two weeks off from my job, I decided to drive to the Grand Canyon.  Never been there.  After I made this announcement to a group of women friends two other retired ladies asked if they could join me.  We leave tomorrow.

Because I will not be doing any cooking for these next two weeks, and we’ve vowed not to eat in any chain restaurants, I decided to do two weeks of restaurant reviews on the diners where we dine entitled, What’s Grandma Eating Now!  Maybe the title needs a little work.  Will have my phone and laptop with me so this whole project should go swimmingly.  

S in Bag

Our other cat, Stinker.  She always gets a little paranoid after she does drugs (catnip) and hides in a bag until she comes down.  Yes, we have a very interesting home life.

Loveya – The Grandma

Salt and Water

7 Feb

“My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.”  Mitch Hedberg

One day a group of us were acting like experts on health issues.  It soon became clear that we were repeating things we’d heard along the way and making excuses for our lazy behavior.

One gentleman was lamenting about the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day.  Those are 8 ounce glasses we all agreed.  “Do you know how much water 65 ounces really is,” he asked.  Yes we did but we also knew, right then, that he was lousy at math.

Eight ounces, by itself, is not a huge amount to drink at one time.  So if a person were to simply notice the time, or set a timer on their phone if they’re comatose most of the day, they could drink 8 ounces every hour on the hour and in 8 hours have their quota finished.  Is that so difficult!

Next we moved on to the topic of salt.  Needless to say, we all agreed that people eat way too much salt and many in the group bragged that they didn’t salt their food.  I had been part of that non-salting group.  Recently, however, I discovered that salt is an awesome addition to my homemade food and makes it sing!

Is it possible that the admonition to not salt food evolved because people were consuming such a large quantity of processed food, which is salted up to its proverbial eyeballs.  So why wasn’t the advice from the medical community to stop eating processed food?  Because we have no time to cook what with reality TV and Words with Friends.  Doctors know when they’re talking to walls.

No, I did not include pictures of water and salt with this blog post.  Go into your kitchen and look at them for yourself.  While you’re there, have a glass of water!

Loveya – The Grandma