I’ve been thinking…what was I doing differently back when I was skinny.
Looking back, I know I ate some carbs, but without really thinking about it, I did actually eat a little better and (and this is big), I didn’t eat out as often. I cooked! And I think that’s how I monitored what I ate a little better.
The thing about eating in restaurants all the time is although your good intentions are spot-on and you walk into the restaurant thinking you will order something healthy, once you take a look at that menu, all can be lost. (and often is) And even if you stick to your guns and order a salad or some other healthy selections, beautiful bread is brought to the table with that scrumptious sweet butter and you’re pretty much vanquished.
I always say to myself one slice of bread with butter won’t hurt, but then I only use half a pat of butter and I feel obliged to spread the remaining butter on a second slice of bread, especially if it’s warm and crusty. That wouldn’t happen if I were in my own kitchen.
I know you’re thinking, it’s easier to go out and let someone else take charge of the cooking. But I think there are some kitchen tricks we can try and stay in at least two or three evenings and satisfy ourselves with a great meal.
Next week I’ll explore that possibility.
One of the differences between living in a big city as opposed to living in a small town is the types of crimes that are committed.
A city may have murders and kidnappings and bank robberies; a town has its share of petty robberies but murders may not have caught up to the small town yet., There is a big difference in the conduct of the citizens though.
Big city people check all their locks before going to sleep. Townspeople just hope for the best. Maybe it’s because big-time violence hasn’t arrived yet. Here is a sample of the type of crimes being perpetrated in my town.
Two weeks ago, a thief stole a bunch of lawn sprinkling heads from a nursery garden. Tell me what kind of person says to himself, “What can I steal tonight? Oh, I know, I’ll steal me some sprinkling heads.”
A couple of months ago, someone broke into a pickup truck. There were all sorts of safety equipment and a satellite radio among other pricey things, but the thief must have been thirsty because all he took was a can of soda and two AA batteries. Sorry, I can’t explain the batteries. We have some really quirky thieves.
The biggest theft that I can remember was a missing car, however the guy left his keys in the ignition and the car door unlocked. Oops. But that isn’t as uncommon as you would think.
Lots of people leave their car doors unlocked. It must be force of habit when you’ve grown up in a small town. The thing is while they were playing in the schoolyard, and graduating from high school and later raising a family, their small town grew up with them. It was a smaller town back then.
Times they are a-changin’.
I tell you more crazy things happen in my supermarket at the deli counter. I guess it’s because aside from twiddling your thumbs while waiting for your number to be called, there’s nothing much to do, well except people-watch which I confess I’m prone to–a lot.
For instance, last week I found myself staring at the mature woman, okay very, very old woman, standing a few feet away from me. I stared because I never (no exaggeration) saw a woman’s face with so many channels of wrinkles before. My guess is she had spent a lot of days in the sun and it had taken an awful toll. But that wasn’t the most striking thing about her.
The thing is, she had taken great pains to put a full face of make-up on. And it was beautifully done. I know because I was a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant for ten years way back when. As a matter of fact, because I spent time as a consultant, I rarely leave the house without some kind of make-up on myself: lipstick, blush and sometimes eyebrow pencil. This particular day, I was spruced up pretty good.
I hadn’t noticed her looking at me, but she must have because she leaned toward me and said, “I like your make-up. It’s perfect for you.”
I responded, “I was just thinking the same thing about you.”
She smiled and said, “Well, I’d say we’re both still kickin’ it.” She chuckled as she walked toward the produce department.
These are the wonderfully unexpected things that happen in a small town.
It appears that everyone in a small town talks more, at least that’s how it seems to me. I have more conversations at the deli counter than I ever had in the big, bad city.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved the city and there are still things about it that I miss, but small towns, although microcosms of a large city’s population, the inhabitants are hellbent on holding conversations.
For example, last week I ordered some low-sodium boiled ham (I’m on a health kick. It will probably last a few more weeks.) Anyway, this lady standing next to me hears my order and she asks if I had ever tried Rosemary Ham. Who ever heard of Rosemary Ham? I don’t even remember seeing it in the display case, but sure enough when she orders it, the girl behind the counter doesn’t question her.
Oh, and by the way, I don’t know if they do this in every small town, but ours always offers the customer a taste before slicing off the order. Maybe they think everyone enters the store famished–who knows. So this lady gestures toward me and asks the girl to give me a slice too since I’ve never tasted Rosemary Ham. (Everyone in the deli area hears her request, but none of them looks surprised or for that matter bent-out-of-shape because we are holding things up while I get my all-important taste.)
I obediently take my slice and thank the girl. My new best friend has another piece of interesting news to relate. If I go to the bakery department, they sell the most delicious Rosemary Bread. She advises me to make a sandwich using this bread and to add cheddar cheese and mayo. She assures me that I will be in heaven.
Now, you think this is where I’m going to end by poo-pooing the whole episode don’t you, but I’m here to tell you, the woman knew what she was talking about. I wonder if her name was Rosemary?
What’s the first thing you learn when you live in a big city or anywhere for that matter–don’t tell anyone where you live!
So what do you think my reaction might have been when I met a man in the produce department of the supermarket and he asked, “Where do you live?”
We had been having a perfectly mundane conversation about the weather and how so many of the streets were flooded while we stood beside a display of eggplants. All of a sudden he veered off and asked me where I lived. I almost picked up one of the eggplants to smash it over his head when I glanced at his face. He didn’t look like an aging lothario, so although my hand continued to rest on an eggplant, I stopped and gave my course of action some further thought.
You see, my town’s streets are divided alphabetically. It occurred to me that he might be innocently asking what section I lived in, especially when he followed up his first question with, “I live in the E Section.”
Easing my hand off the eggplant, I smiled and answered, “I live in the Z Section.”
“Oh, nice area,” he remarked. “I have a friend who lives over there.”
Our conversation ended shortly after. Poor man had no idea he could have been tomorrow’s headline–Man Massacred With a Big, Juicy Eggplant By a Crazed Woman in the Produce Department.
If you want to experience a tiny touch of culture shock, move from a large, bustling city to a quiet, bucolic town. Be warned though, the adjustment can be tough for a while. I don’t wish to make the changes sound like bad things, but it takes some getting used to when you’re least expecting little surprises.
For instance “rush hour.”
Recently, while driving home with a visiting friend after a day of shopping, she began to laugh hysterically for no reason. I asked her, “What on earth are you laughing at?”
She replied by pointing to the clock on my dashboard–it read 5:30. “This is your rush hour!” she exclaimed.
I looked around. There were about a dozen other cars on the road.
My friend still works in the city and has to drive to and from work on a crowded highway that I too was once well-acquainted with. I giggled with her. Rush hour was no longer a part of my life experience, but I remembered the first time I encountered this small town rush hour.
I was delirious too.
If I were asked, “Do you dream?” My answer would be “no.”
But the absolute truth is, once in a great while I dream. Now keep in mind, it is a scientific fact that everyone dreams, but I could go for years without dreaming. (at least I don’t remember dreaming.)
The thing is, when I do recall a dream, it is a certain type of dream. It’s always about water and someone is always drowning. It’s the kind of dream that I don’t want to think about–it’s sort of frightening.
That is why when anyone asks, “Do you dream?” I answer, “no.”
(but I do wonder what the dream means. why is it a similar dream each time?)
I belonged to a card club and I didn’t want to go to her show, but the majority ruled. That’s how I happened to attend a concert starring Ella Fitzgerald.
At the very least, I knew I would enjoy a nice dinner, since The Latin Casino served a pretty decent meal. What I wasn’t expecting was an out-of-this-world show. Ella turned out to be exciting–a stellar entertainer. Her voice rang out straight from her heart and her audience could feel the very essence of her music.
What made me think of Miss Fitzgerald today? I don’t know.
She is no more. Neither is The Latin Casino in New Jersey. But those were the days!
Whenever I think I’m coming down with a cold, I run to my jewelry box and take out every piece of amber I own. That would be two rings, an amber brooch on a silver chain and a bracelet with a dangling amber charm. One of my daughters even asks to borrow my necklace whenever she feels a stuffy nose coming on.
I know it doesn’t make any sense. After all amber is nothing more than fossilized tree resin, but I’m in good company when it comes to believing amber has strong healing powers. The Egyptians, Phoenicians and the Greeks were among the ancient cultures that valued amber, and many American Indian Shamans wore the stone for protection and for enhancement of their healing abilities.
Although it’s healing properties have never been validated by any scientific study, some crystal practitioners believe amber can draw out negative energy. I don’t know about you, but I’m good with that. I’m still going to sprint for my amber whenever I’m feeling low.
I needed a job. The one I had turned suddenly sour with the arrival of my new boss. I decided to send out resumes, as many as I could, but the job openings were slim.
In desperation, I concluded that I would be forced to send one to a legal firm that was looking for a legal secretary. The thing is, I swore I would never work for lawyers. My quite outspoken opinion of them was they’re stuffy and in love with themselves. They think they’re superior to all other humans and they have no sense of humor. In short, I would die before working for a another attorney especially since my new supreme being was the definition of mean and despicable. The fact that I already worked in a legal department for a large corporation was a total fluke, but that’s another story altogether.
Anyway, I decided that if– on the off chance– I landed an interview, I’d go and practice my interviewing skills because it had been years since I sat through an actual interview. When I received a call from the law office to set an appointment, I wondered what it would be like to go in completely unrehearsed and give off-the-cuff answers. In other words what you see is what you get.
So, that’s what I did. To my surprise, I met two very nice attorneys. They met the “real” me, not a person trying hard to land a job. That same day I was informed that I had the position if I wanted it.
I was extremely happy working there for many years.