Saggyboobosity lonesome Playtex blues

Over in Illinois there are some very tired 18-hour bras working a double shift.  In the preschool room my tiny French student notices the Bandaid over my hot glue burn and says, "Boo boo."  From this small step she suddenly expresses the big idea, "I like your shirt. Do you like my shirt?"

 I do.  I like that party shirt! Go, Dog, Go!  We are cooking.

Here in Texas I put a Chicken Davenport ala Doris casserole into my preheated newlio trulio functioning oven. Doris was my sister-in-law way back in the before time.  She made a gourmet dish of chicken, frozen broccoli, frozen hashbrowns, cheese, and cream of chicken soup for a bridal shower a quarter century or so ago. I can't remember "divan", and I can't exactly google "Doris", although I miss her and wish her well after all these years, and her husband, too. Another former sister-in-law lived in Davenport, Iowa, a swing state. Somehow Chicken Divan got mixed up with davenports, couches, sofas,sleepers, settees, divans, loveseats, futons, and sectionals. The secret is having plenty of buttered bread crumbs baked on top of the casserole.  Enough might even prevent divorce.

I am so far behind.  I zip and dart from Halloween tie-dye experiments to Hurricane Sandy fretting. Sitting in the waiting room for my blood pressure checkup, I pass the time writing fall student progress reports. This creative endeavor seems to calm the blood pressure.  My doctor pronounces my blood pressure "beautiful".  Not bad for a divorced couch casserole boo-boo art teacher.

It had been a bad day.  I couldn't even wear my own shirt.  There was so much poop in the preschool that I had to scrounge up a new outfit to wear to the doctor appointment.  My little French student would have looked at my shirt and said something other than "Boo boo"!

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


We have nothing to fear but puppeteers

And fear itself, and giants and fairs, oh my!  But we might be overreacting about dirt.

Been a rough couple weeks with very anxious preschoolers.  One little guy was totally freaked out by a visit to the State Fair of Texas, and could not nap for days. I don't think he was sleeping much at night, either, as he was in tears most of the week and barely able to function.  And no, the little dude did not witness Big Tex going up in flames.

I have my own state fair anxieties. What are normal fears at age three, four, five, fifty+?  Growing Up Brave: Expert Strategies for Helping Your Child Overcome Fear, Stress, and Anxiety, by Dr. Donna Pincus, was a good guide on this topic.  Good reminders for the Halloween season, too!

Normal fears for preschoolers, ages 3-5:

  • Costumed characters
  • Ghosts
  • Clowns
  • Monsters
  • The dark
  • Sleeping alone
  • Separation anxiety
  • Specific fears such as dogs, bugs, water, blood, or elevators

And for all ages, debilitating anxiety and excessive stress make kids unable to store and retrieve information, to focus, and therefore to learn.

A second student is absolutely terrified of puppets.  She can play with a puppet herself, but seeing a puppet show sends her into a massive panic attack. Just anticipating an upcoming puppet show sets her into terror. Rather than remove her before the puppet show, we are trying to give her the coping skills to ride it out and the cognitive tools to understand the situation.

As for dirt, I'm just beginning An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Disorders, by Moises Velasquez-Manoff.  The hypothesis is that medical elimination of bacteria, viruses, and parasites has brought a new slew of ailments in the developed world.  Ignoring the evolutionary functions of these "bugs" may be contributing or causing the skyrocketing rates of peanut allergies, autism, inflammatory bowel diseases, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and asthma.  The costs of these diseases are in the billions of dollars each year. 

The book reviews in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Kirkus have been very intriguing.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Go ask Alice about Medicare

There's something really depressing about Google sending me to a Medicare Supplement Plan infomercial when I'm looking for Grace Slick.  I was searching for giraffe and Alice In Wonderland long neck images to fold zig zag necks. The next search results reminded me emphatically about the four warning signs of a heart attack.

 © 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


The Mark of Zig Zag Girl

So you would like to fold a zig zag? Very good. We must start with a strip of paper about 11" x 2", preferably colorful. Sit in a circle, each holding the strip vertically.Fold down a small flap, perhaps an inch long.  Give the flap two eyes. He is looking at you.

Who?  Who is looking at me?  Zig Zag Guy, of course!

Now fold Zig Zag Guy's head backwards so he looks at your friend across the circle.  Tell your friend, "He is looking at you."

Fold Zig Zag Guy's head again so you can see the whites of his eyes.  Say, "He is looking at me."

Folding Zig Zag Guys has been my students' favorite lesson this fall.  So, naturally, I want to be Zig Zag Girl for the school Halloween party.  I've already been a baked potato, a bat, a galaxy, Blue Dog, and an art teacher diva.  Why not a folded superhero girl?

Why not?  Well, possibly because folding and dyeing a t-shirt to create a zig zag pattern requires superhero girl concentration to the Zth power. So far I keep making diamond patterns instead of zig zags. Super Zig Zag Girl will have to make another trip to the craft store.  Zip Zip Zip!

All I know about Zorro I learned before I went to kindergarten.  Disney had a Zorro show from 1957-1959.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Easter blizzard of 1873

In the spring of 1871 we sold our spare horses and other belongings; and loaded a Car for
Lincoln Nebraska ----
Page 10

{In the summer our Son Christian was born but died a few month later} here at Lincoln I worked my two teams, excavating cellars and hauling freight, from  [   ] City and other places:,,  In the fall of 1872., I drove my Mule team, to The Republican Valley; where I homesteaded my farm in Section 35 – town 3 –Rang[r] 20 west 6th Principal Meridian -- -- -- during the colder weather, I drove back to Lincoln, and in The spring, took my wife and Baby’s along and arrived on our homestead, on the 12th day April 1873. -- -- On the 13th day of April, just after unloading our belongings, a most fearfull rain and snowstorm set in; which lasted over Three days; and we had neither food nor shelter for our poor teams – and fed them the husk out of our strawticks;,,  We ourselves found a little protection, in an open Log [shant] without any roof on the same:” -- -- What your dear Mother, and Myself suffered, to keep our little Baby’s warm and dry, you can not imagine – and my pen is too poor, to describe the same!! -- -- -- -- -- Our horses and mules, broke loose from cold and hunger, the second night – and it was on the, 3rd day after the storm, that I Tracked

Page 11

Them to the mouth of the Sappa:”-- -- Soon after this, I found a couple of homesteaders, hired them to help, put up our first Log Cabin in which our daughter Elizabeth was born July 25th 1873. -- -- Now we went to work with a good free will; digging a well, putting up a shed for the teams, breaking a little of the Prairie sod, and put in a few acre of Corn, and the rest of the time, I used the Armstrong machine; and put up as much Prairie hay as possible. – Of course our harvest didn’t amount to much; for we planted so little – but the pesky Grasshoppers, came along, anyhow; -- and looked over the location; so as to be able to find it the following Year:” -- -- --
The next year, we broke out about 15 Acres and would have had a nice bit of Corn; but The hoppers Came, and saved me the trouble of husking it:,, -- -- -- -- Then came the Year 1875. and with it our Son Adolph, on April 21st. -- -- -- Now we had on hand five hungry little ones ==  a   part   of   our   happy   lives!! But they had to be fed, and Clothed; and the measly hoppers took ever thing,
That we Expected to harvest:,,
Page 12

So There were many heartaches, of what to do in The future!!:”  We kept on a planting and sowing; but even The Uear 1876; our entire crops were distroyed[sic], when we almost had a big Corn Crop in our reach == at times we were much discouraged; but Yet we held on and struggled for our little Band:,, -- -- --
The Year 1877. was a blessed one for all of us, besides an abundant Corn and Wheat Crop;; we harvested a bouncing Baby girl, for on May 2nd our Cathariene was born, -- to help us, to chase the hoppers = but she came to late; for the Bugs must have got scared and They never bothered us afterwards! -- -- --

From now on, Time passed somewhat easier for The Children grew up like Sunflowers; and were soon able to help a little here and there; {In the Year 1879, our daughter Maggie was born but died a few mont later;,,} 

{The Year 1881 brought us our Son Henry who also died when but a few month old:}
     So time passed with Sorrow – Grief --; and happiness; for all of us:,, -- -- -- Excepting The Year 1880, we raised fair to good Crops, and with The Childrens help; we got along pretty well:,, but yet we needed
Page 13

Help, for if one on the top of the list got married; it was nessessary [sic], that another took her place == == == == == So on The 11th day of October 1882. our Son Nicolai was born; and promised to take The burden off The old mans shoulders = but that still left your Mother, to carry her big and heavy load: -- -- -- -- -- Therefore kind providence was with us; and on The 15th day of August 1884 our daughter Dorothy was born;,, --

This made it an even dozen; That the good Lord had given to us;,, and as we now look back over the past; we must say:,, Father in Heaven we Thank Thee:, Amen!!
In the Year 1885, we sold off, our stock on hand; for I was too sickly; to do the farm work any longer – we rented a house in Orleans, where we lived until The fall 1889, when we moved to our farm 12 ½ miles west of Orleans; and which I had prepared while living in The City. -- -- -- During our residence in Orleans of four years;,, I worked in a store – and one winter I taught German, to a Class of Eleven;, all grown Men & women. ==
Page 14

While here I was thrown down, on my sick bed, for a couple of month, suffering from Neuralgia of The heart, and at the same time of Erysipelas over the whole head:’- What I suffered, when near death door; nobody Knows but me – and  The  almighty  father  in  Heaven

From The fall of 1889 untill the spring of 1910, we lived on our farm, west of town; then we moved into one of our houses; which we had built in 1909. and where we now live happy and contended[sic]== spending our old age, in peacefull retirement, and will not go forth, to any other home, until The good Lord says;,, Come!! -- --
Now in conclusion, of This short;; and Yet long life == of your old parents == let me say to you, our dear Children; That at all times, we never looked for trouble in The future!!  We always took the bright side, of happenings, as They came to us; and were always trying to face The Sun:  So That we could’nt[sic] see any shadow!= And to you each and every one we would say:
Always  try  and  face  the  Sun!!
Page 15

Don’t hunt for trouble!
But look for success –-
You will find what you look for –-
Don’t look for distress -- --
If you see but your shadow
Remember I pray
That The sun is still shining –
But you are in the way. –
Don’t grumble, don’t bluster
Don’t dream and don’t shirk –
Don’t Think of your worries;,,
But Think of your work;” –
The worries, wil vanish –
The work will be done -- -- --
For no one, sees his shadow –
Who faces the Sun !!!—
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Yours with Eternal Love;,, your
Mother and Father
Dorothy and August Sasse

October 15, 1911.
Orleans Harlan County
 © 2012 Nancy L. Ruder

Penmanship at 74 years of age

Every few years I pull out the letter from great-great grandfather Sasse and find a source of inspiration and amazement. Today I am just in awe of his penmanship at age seventy-four. He was writing on lined paper.  He must have used a fountain pen in 1911, not quill and ink! His letter must have been a "final copy", as there are no indications of editing or corrections.

With a comfortable pen I can write for a few hours, but my penmanship is inconsistent in style and legibility.  I blame this on my tremor, which is inherited from the other side of my family.

Now that I've finished the transcription, I'm excited to post the rest of it!

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder

28th Regiment Illinois Volunteers

On August 1st 1861.  I enlisted in Camp Butte near Springfield Illinois in Company:,, Co:”  28th Regiment Illinois Volunteers infantry:,, I served in the 3d Brigade 4 Division 13th Army Corps -- -- Army of the Tennessee. -- -- [  ] part of my time, we were attached to the 16th Army Corps; not having enough men left in our own Ranks; to keep our own Corps Complete. I was honorably discharged on September 10th 1864.  at Springfield Illinois, after having served my time of enlistment, of three years and month!!!  -- -- --- -- --- ---
What shall I say of all the bloody fights and skirmishes? – or the more important Battles;,, such as Fort Henry & Heiman.—Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing – Corinth Miss:  Matamoras – Hollys [farm] Black River – Grand Gulf; -- or yet the more bloody ones of: Vicksburg – and Jackson Mississippi
Page 8.  National Park Service Regiment information link. Confirmation of August Sasse, private in regiment link. 

With the thought of all these slaughtering days it makes me shudder even now; and I wish they had not been:!’ -- -- -- -- --

Counting the skirmishes, and all other small affairs:,, where blood flowed freely:,, I have taken part in 28 fights or Battles – in fact from Cairo Illinois or Birds Point Mo.
To Pittsburg Landing.  Then the Siege on Corinth Miss; where we had a fight every day –and every night dug trenches – to protect ourselves; the following day- from the rebel hordes; and that on from the [7]th day of April, until the following 30th day of May; when the Rebels evacuated the City;, after setting fire to all their Commissary stores, and forage, which they could not take away with Them! – and when we marched in; The whole City was indeed a glare of fire brands in all directions!!- from here we were on many weary marches, Through the interior of The States of Kentucky = TennesseeMississippi – and Louisiana:”—On These long marches, we had many little [straches] near Bolivar Lagrange – Collierville and Hollysprings:,, -- -- -- -- --
As before stated, I was discharged in September 1864 at Springfield Illinois
Page 9

from there I went for a short visit to my old Camping ground; Havana Illinois – then went on a trip across the Ocean to my old Birthplace and found my dear old Mother alive and well!! – In my stay there that winter, -- I saw – admired – and loved your dear old mother;,, in The Lutheran Church at Bramsche = Your Mothers Birthplace;; in The presence of your Aunts:,, Elizabeth [ hland] – Anna Mundt – Hermione Kreiling – Caroline Rentsch – and your Uncle C. J. W. Sasse and many other relatives of your mother. ==

On the 20th day of February 1865, your dear old Mother and Myself, bid farewell to our beloved ones: and one month later, arrived at Havana Ills: where we rented a farm, and went to housekeeping.  In this part we rented and farmed for 7 Years in which time four Children were born to us:”—Caroliene September 26th 1865. Anna [Novor] = 1867 who died when 10 months of age:,,  Minnie Febr 18th 1869 – August, October 15th 1870 -- --

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Ox team mired in mud

You bet I earned them, and lots of other stuff beside for I had then learned already, how to get my Clothing free:,, -- The third year I hired at $120 and a free horse to ride, every other Sunday;;,, which was my day off – to see the girls of course, [illegible] had no other ones to see!! – Yes I forgot – 10 Times a year a Preacher would come in our settlement – which is called to this day:,, Long [Pond?} or [ ]uiver settlement;, and such a day would be a big Jubilee; when old and young would turn out, on foot or with the [  ]wagen, to see the great and holy men.,, -- By this time I was well initiated in the farm work, and always willing to do my share; -- I hired to Wm Bruning, for the nice sum of $240.00/100 a year; besides all the Overalls and workshirts I needed, and washing and mending of Clothing Thrown in, besides two horses and a second hand lumber wagon, were at my command: at any time on Sunday – If I wanted to take my best girl to Lumberwagon riding; “ on moonlight nights These several years, I would be at the Creek or a rich Cornfield, with my shot gun;,, to Kill Duck Geese - - or any other game, that came in my way and There was a great abundance of all kinds,
     Especially Ducks -- -- Geese & Cranes –

The meat I gave to the farmers, for the shot and powder I needed – and the feathers and skins, I saved up, until the end of the season, and sold them for a nice little pile of Cash. -- -- --
After these years of hard knocks, and making a little money besides ; -- I rented 40 acres of fine land. – boarded with a friend at $2.00/100 per week – bought a Yoke of Oxen, and went to farming on my own hook; I helped around in The neighborhood for 50 Cent a day, and boarding myself – That Year I had a good Crop, and made some money;,, -- so I traded my Oxen for an old mare, and bought a filley to work with her –rented a 120 acre farm about one half very sandy, and the other good, but low bottom -- -- so the high water took everything; and This brought me back, to the Year before; besides being in debt, for about one half years board money. -- -- The next year I went to Prairie breaking --- traded my horses for two yoke of Cattle – and that year I made enough money to pay my debt; and had $175.00/100 to the good -- -- Now I felt encouraged – bought 80 acres of bottom land – paid $200.00—down, and the balance in two years. -- -- --- --- I worked here – There – Everywhere – at good wages. ---
Of my own land I broke about 30 acres, planted the same in Corn, and harvested a [illegible]  The next year I broke some more of the corn land, and served Timothy, on the [   ] years everything.  The spring showed up very nice, and my Corn showed up very fine – Then a very rainy time set in – and I lost everything!! ---- Even one of my Ox teams, mired in the mud, and perished after night -- -- Now I sold off everything that I had left – so as to get enough money together to pay for my Land; and get my Deed! –

Yes; Prunes! – When I offered the money; I found the man had no tittle [sic] to the land himself and I had to loose my $200.00/100 besides some interest I had paid:,, -- -- -- -- - -

Now I took my money and bought me another span of horses; rented better and higher land – and till the War broke out; I had accumulated a nice sum of money ; and about 1500 bushels of Corn in The Crip, on the place where I boarded:, We had now gotten to the Year 1861 -- -- the Year of the Rebellion had  broken out!!  -- -- --- -- I studied every [     ] of Newspaper, That I could get hold of: ,, listend to the many speeches, of The great men, Especially to our afterwards beloved Abraham Lincoln and Stephen [ ] Douglas  The best speakers of them days;,, and many others: ,,  What I didn’t understand, I talked over, with my dear old friends;,, in Bruning – Westing – Walker – [ eikirk]. – Yes, and a number of others; whose memory will not be forgotten; for they were all dear to me; and had always treated me as one of Their Son’s:” -- -- -- --

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


A great-great-grand procrastination

Ah, there are so many things I should be doing, all unappealing.  Since my visit with the Woolly Mammoth and his delightful friendgirl to Ellis Island in August, I've been wanting to make a transcript of a letter from my great-great-grandfather, August Sasse, (pronounced sassy so far as I know).  And I'm a tad tired of sassy, smart-alecky children, but you don't want to know!  I'm transcribing from a Photostat copy of August Sasse’s handwritten letter, and his penmanship is lovely.  I have tried to stay faithful to his punctuation and capitalization which are quite different from modern forms.  I hope to learn the typing of German diacritic marks, but bear with me.

Page 1

A short Biography of Mr & Mrs August Sasse so that our Children may have some idea; who Their parents are; and Country They came from, and it may possibly be an Ointment on Their Troubled Thoughts -- and a pleasant memory; in many years after we have gone  -- to our last resting place — Heaven:,, our new  home –:,, for we are positive that our lives have been such — That we are Entitled to a seat, with our dear Savior: — Your Mother Mrs Dorothy Sasse (nee.) Dorothea Margaret AufdenBrink was born May 31st 1840 in Bramsche (now) Province  of Hanover Germany; a small town of about 1500 inhabitants;,, her parents were in the Merchandize and Grain Business;,,  After she went through her Schools; and confirmed in The Evangelical Lutheran Church, at the age of 14 Years—she was a pupil in The College at OsnabrÜck;, for the Completion of her studies; such as Needlework — Knitting — housekeeping - and especially Cooking for The higher Classes: -and she made such headway, That in Two years Time, she was granted a Diploma, in all her studies. - after This she staid home for one year when she took a position , at Mr Schroeders —
Page 2

a Wine Merchant and Senator in the City of [ ]uakenbrÜck, located some 12 miles from her own home — here she was employed for seven years spending her time for six month every year in Amsterdam Holland — where the Schroeder family went every winter – to spend a part of their large income, and for the more interesting amusements to be had:,, -- It was at This Time, in the spring of 1865 when she married — of which will be shown  [illegible] — as I take up the short and unimportant Story of my own life:,, -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ---- -
I August Sasse was born in the City of [ ]uakenbrÜck (now) Province of Hanover Germany, on the 20th day of August 1837. – My father was a discharged Soldier, of BlÜchers Army; who fought and defeated The great Napoleon, at the Battle of Waterloo; -- -- At the Time of his marriage to my mother, he was the Regimental Shoe or rather Bootmaker, for the division he had served in;,, my mother took a course of Midwifery, in The City of Osnabrück;, and [plied] that Business in her home in [Q]uakenbrück, until she Came to America, and died in 1876 in the City of Chicago Illinois;”—My Schooldays to The age of 14 – were many, and at times very short ones – for in between the Schoolhours; I had to work in a [Pr]inters Office –- stripping tobacco – running –

Page 3

Errands over the whole City, for the high mucky mucks; at The Enormous price of Three Cents per day. Or 15 cents if Engaged by the work:,,  At Times when out of Employment; I went and helped Theatrical Company’s, in the near by towns ; taking part in some of Their plays, and getting besides my living Expenses Nine Cents per day – Then I felt all The glory, of being rich – and my mother shed tears of joy ; when I came home, and gave her my savings.:” -- -- -- In These last [two OR five] years, from 12 to 14, I had learned The Cigar Trade; and was then able to earn from 1 ½ to 2 ½ [bollars] (German Thaler) every week. -- --In the spring of 1853, I came to New Orleans America, and landed in near Havana Mason County Illinois:,, I hired to a farmer for 20.00/100 a year with The privilege of going to the District School the following winter, to learn the English language:” – Well, I went 30 whole days  but never learned what the teacher talked to me about. -- -- but all the same, I had lots of fun, with the nice young girls – some of Them I remember at this late day;,, such as Bess – Ida – Lizzie –Martha and Jane: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
The next year I hired for $70.00/100 and a pair of blue Overalls, if I would help to milk 4 Cows?

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Curse of the Spider Woman*

Don't look at me even through squinted eyes. I am toxic. I am Typhoid Mama. No inanimate object is safe. Some animate ones behave too inanimately. It's been bad voodoo all over the place.

So far just since the rodents and the rat snake on the patio:

  • Stove control panel died.
  • Oven died.
  • Microsoft support for Windows Home Premium operating system evaporated.
  • Preschoolers took poopy pants to a whole new level.
  • Brakes on Buick started grabbing and squawking.
  • New electric range is delivered, but the old one is wired directly into the condo electrical system and giant delivery dudes are not authorized to remove old or install new range.
  • Canon printer pooped out.
  • Preschool pet rabbit plays possum while lead teacher is away on jury duty.
  • Giant spider attacked library.

On the upside:
  •  I finally got a photo of a funnel web spider.
  • The eleven-year-old preschool rabbit revived.
  • The lead teacher was not picked for a jury even though she was looking forward to being sequestered.
  • The brake work was minor.
  • I like Windows 7 and the new Canon printer.
  • It's finally autumn.
  • The condo mailboxes in the kiosk have been replaced after a year of broken locks and doors.

*Kiss of the Spider Woman was a haunting movie with William Hurt, Raul Julia, and Sonia Braga. Hurt won the 1985 Best Actor Oscar for his performance which did not involve mailboxes or rabbits as far as I can recall.

Once I had an evil eye charm given to me by an elderly traveling coworker.  Alas, I added the charm to a wire sculpture. The old blue eyes mystery of the Florida swordfish reminded me. I never had one of those creepy rabbit's foot key chains, thank heaven. I'm horrified to find they are still "harvested" and sold, even on Amazon.  

And so I close another crazed rant to go reweave my web.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Microsoft's crab legs payback

Perhaps I enjoyed Maria Semple's skewering of Microsoft corporate culture too much.  I liked her book on facebook, so I should have known there would be technological hell to pay.  Where'd You Go, Bernadette is great fun, a romp narrated by Bee Branch, a tween girl as bright as Paloma Josse in The Elegance of the Hedgehog, but perhaps not as deep. 

Almost as soon as I "liked" the novel for its hilarious TED Talk parody, I got C80003F9 error codes on my failures to retrieve Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows updates. Coincidence, maybe. Aggravating, definitely. No amount of shutting down and reloading my old Windows Vista Home Premium could remove the curse. Now I've purchased and downloaded Windows 7 to replace my unsupported operating system. Are you happy yet, Microsoft?

Obstacles placed on my home computer turf are one thing, but when the Microsoft revenge tracked me to the grocery store things got ugly. The young male cashier did not know the code for those last two ears of corn on the cob of the season, sixty-nine cents each. Since he was searching for "husks" he couldn't find "ears". The other cashiers hollered codes at him.  When he entered the codes, they were rejected.  Same thing happened for the bunch of radishes. How many bunches? 

1     1 is what the teen entered, but that 1 added a $9.74 charge for crab legs to my bill.  Attempts to remove the crab legs added more and more crab legs.  This was going to be the most luxurious false gourmet grocery bill ever! Fifteen minutes, many more crab legs, and a puzzled store manager later, we voided the entire transaction and started over. Went home to make sloppy joes, not crab legs, for supper. Happy yet? At least we now know the product PLU for crab legs is 1.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


askFat 17

I am unable to convince Blogger Comments that I am not a robot.  Therefore, I have decided to become a robot.  Blogger suggested a splendid robot name:

Should a PIN be necessary to activate, enter Hi2sB0yElr0y.

Danger Bifocal Robinson admin sys bop flop squint.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Wheemo-Whip ... the reptile sleeps tonight

 Wheemo-Whip is not the real name for the Marshmallow Fluff sandwich the three-year-old boy brought in his lunchbox. He brought a Fluffernutter, minus the peanut butter. Let me just say that I've never yet met a three-year-old boy for whom a Marshmallow Fluff sandwich is a good idea based on nutritional, behavioral, naptime and stickiness concerns. It ranks right up there with packing a popsicle in a lunchbox as a preschool teacher's bad dream.

Wheemo-Whip is also not the chorus for "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", but for a kid growing up under the influence of Kraft in the Sixties, it's a reasonable mistake. Miracle Whip, Cool Whip, Dream Whip, ergo Wheemo Whip. In the advertising jungle we kiddies were brainwashed for a generation.

Wheemo-Whip Ee e e um um a weh Yesterday this anole began a lengthy search for a comfortable position to camp out on the metal hummingbird garden ornament. My brain was hollering at the lizard, "Don't you know the cold front is coming? You are going to get way too cold!" Yes, it was 88 degrees today, but it'll be a high of 55 tomorrow!

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh

Wheemo-Whip  I haven't been sleeping all that well since the day of the patio Texas Rat Snake. Visions of reptile and rodent sugarplums in my dryer vent were keeping me awake in the wee hours. Glad to report I've made friends with a visionary problem-solver in the wire and screen aisle of Home Depot. He concocted a solution using a downspout screen stuck in the dryer vent duct and completely understood my rat snake issues.  Best of all, it cost $2.68 + tax.

In the jungle, the condo jungle, CollageMama sleeps much better tonight.  Good to know neither reptile nor rodents will breach my security perimeter. Alas, I can't be so sure about the demonic pronunciation gremlins.  


The world would beat a path to my door

...if I could only invent a childproof glue-stick for use by preschoolers! Kids can't open brand new glue-sticks. Once opened, kids can instantly twist the glue up out of the tube until it

  1. falls completely out of the glue-stick tube
  2. can be mashed down by putting the lid back on the tube
  3. can be used as pretend lipstick
  4. can be schmushed onto the paper
  5. can be schmeared on the wrong side of the paper
  6. can be used like a crayon to coat the paper
  7. can stick to your underarm
  8. can roll away under the table and then be stepped on
On a happier note, the weather is cooler and I'm back out on the paths and trails many days after school for mental health and exercise. It's been a fine week for fritillary finds, but yesterday it was the hawk that made my day. I hadn't been on the trail that goes under the overpass for a long time, as there's almost no shade.

The hawk was busy catching supper as the trucks roared by. It flew right across my trail while I fumbled my camera.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Craving poverty suppers

My oven is broken therefore it's no surprise I really want a baked potato and 4-H meatloaf now that fall has nipped the air.  Limited to stove-top prep I'm remembering suppers from the Sixties. My mom put supper for five on the table every evening and believed in the beneficial force of a round table to promote egalitarian conversation. 

May Fritzi dine at the celestial Outback for all eternity!  She deserves it.  Some of her Sixties suppers I now realize were poor family desperation basement pantry concoctions. And they were among my childhood favorites.  

Mom used to toast "open-face" left-over hamburger buns in the oven topped with salted slices of American (not Velveeta) cheese.  I'm craving one right now.  

Another deeply satisfying meal was Creamed Salmon on Crackers.  That was basically a can of salmon, a can of mushroom soup, and a lot of Tabasco sauce heated together in a double boiler, then ladled onto saltines.  The thrill was in arranging the cracker squares on our plates. 

Bread-and-gravy was one of my childhood favorites.  We each got a piece of white bread (bordering on stale) to tear up into pieces.  We competed to form the tallest heap. Served with thin slices of leftover rump roast and warmed-up "scram" gravy.  The cornstarch gravy was flavored with brown sauce. One good rump roast could make up for a lot of cheese buns and canned beans.

In those Ed Sullivan GI Bill years a carrot stick, a canned pear half, and a Flintstone jelly glass of skim milk were considered a balanced meal.  If you were living large you might have a Duncan Hines cake or some Jello instant pudding for dessert.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


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