Thursday, September 05, 2019

It's A Peanut Butter Thing

I grabbed my huge water tumbler just now and there was peanut butter on it. Not a lot, but enough to make me roll my eyes, sigh, and not feel the least bit amused by it. It's ridiculous how often I find small dabs or smears of peanut butter in the most out of the way places. And lest you think I'm babysitting a toddler, let me assure you that I'm not. And for those of you who are settling in for a husband rant, you're going to be disappointed.

It's me; I'm the Typhoid Mary Of Peanut Butter.

Honestly, it's embarrassing. That stuff gets all over me whenever I'm near it. It doesn't help that I'm into the peanut butter every single day, sometimes twice.

During the summer Rick eats the very same lunch every single day, a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich. He simply cannot face anything else, especially in the heat when he's out in the field. So, every night, I make him his Smucker's and Extra Crunchy Jif on wheat bread sandwich. As you can imagine, we buy a lot of peanut butter, so I get the enormous three pound jars, which are about eight inches tall, at the warehouse store. Once the level of peanut butter goes down in those jars, it's tough to maneuver the knife in there, especially in Extra Crunchy. Why don't the Jif, Peter Pan, and Skippy people put peanut butter in wide-mouth, squatty jars? Life would be so much easier! (And can we do something about that paper disk on the top that never, ever comes off cleanly and efficiently and that I have to wrestle with, resisting the urge to use my teeth? That would be terrific, too.)

As a child I had not much use for peanut butter. Now I am suddenly attracted to it like chocolate. A tart apple with peanut butter is my favourite lunch. Sometimes, I just eat a spoonful of peanut butter for lunch. Other hungrier times, a slice of toast with peanut butter and cheese.

Later, I find peanutty smears on my wrist, keyboard, phone, or nose. They could be on my sleeve, glasses, or refrigerator water dispenser.

It's...nuts.

I'm not a messy eater, and this doesn't happen to me with other spreads like butter or mayonnaise or even the strawberry jam. During my Nutella phase aeons ago, it wasn't a problem. And when I occasionally binge on (please don't judge me) marshmallow fluff, I don't mark a trail with it, either.

No, my dear friends, it's A Peanut Butter Thing. Is it just me? And if it is, any idea how I can clean up my act?


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Thursday, August 22, 2019

And They Said It Wouldn't Last--The Dept. Of Nance Is Fourteen!

It was with some Wonder and Astonishment that I realized the Dept. of Nance is Fourteen this August 2019. This will be my 795th post here, and I have to admit that I haven't an inkling as to what I'm going to write. After fourteen years of this, I sometimes feel like all the Good Stuff has been taken, you know? I've written about so many things--The Politics, two sets of cats (and their maddening hair), my teaching days, my long-suffering husband Rick, my martini-drinking days, and my two sons who are now men--that I marvel at how I can find anything at all to write about anymore.

This blog was originally started to fend off any feelings of Hypocrisy. I was forever telling my Creative Writing students that writers write, period. They write as a matter of course. I wanted to practice what I preached, so I started this site and began writing, at first every day or every other day. Then I became gentler with myself, allowed myself more leeway. (The Universe, as you all know, makes other plans for us every now and then.) But through it all, I did keep writing here.

Blogging in general hit a peak for a time, and some bloggers got famous, got book deals, and some monetized their blogs--kind of like how YouTube is now, but on a smaller scale. It seemed like everyone was into SEO and Personal Branding and Hits and Niche Blogging and yada yada yada. I simply didn't want to get that worky; I already had my career. And once I retired, I didn't want another one. My blog was supposed to be my pleasure. (And, hopefully, part of someone else's.)

So, I still have an old fashioned blog where I unwind for a bit in the old style way: I write deliberately and at length about something I want to share with others; I hope it sparks some discussion; I respond to your comments directly so that it's a back-and-forth chat that includes everyone. I don't see it changing anytime soon.

Thanks to all of you who join me here. I do sincerely love having you. And, just in case I've left any stones unturned in fourteen years, here are

14 Random Things About Me

1. I like ketchup on macaroni and cheese.
2. I own seven pairs of prescription glasses (and two of prescription sunglasses).
3. I don't wear any jewelry, including my wedding band.
4. My favourite music will always be The Beatles.
5. I might like salsa if it were served warm.
6. Country music irritates the hell out of me.
7. I'm not eating guacamole often enough to suit me.
8. I don't get the allure of Twizzlers. Or Skittles.
9. I buy dog biscuits for other people's dogs.
10. I'm a firm believer in naming pets with people names.
11. Wearing peach or yellow makes my skin look green.
12. I think the acting in most old movies is horrendous.
13. I love taking the dumb quizzes on Buzzfeed.com.
14. If I lived on Pleasant Street and it wasn't pleasant, I'd start a petition drive to rename the street.

Again, thank you for reading. And for commenting. It's been a terrific Fourteen Years. Let's go for more! Share some thoughts and your own Random Things in Comments.

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Thursday, August 08, 2019

I'm In A Mood: The Good, The Bad, And The Blues

Today finds me restless and a little bit fussy. I might have to go to Target just to feel smug about all the Back-to-School stuff on display.

But then I'd see all the Halloween candy and Christmas decorations and get snarky and irritated, so forget it.

Here are

Some Things I'm Cranky About

1. I'm sick of air conditioning.
2. I'm tired of figuring out dinner.
3. Cat Hair--holy effing crap.
4. No good tomatoes anyplace.
5. republicans.

You all get it, right? This summer has been a nightmare of heat and humidity, and while we're all Thankful for our AC, what wouldn't we give to shut it off and have open windows? For once? It's a goddam Hostage Crisis here at the Dept. My brain is like oatmeal from being entombed in here--cat hair covered oatmeal. Thanks to Number 5, my complaints are ridiculous, I know.

Yet, there is Gladness, too. Here are

Some Things I'm Happy About

1. I'm growing lovely basil in the herb garden.
2. We had a terrific trip up to Niagara-on-the-Lake last month.
3. Our wine cellar is restocked (and then some).
4. I'm reading like a maniac.
5. And doing crosswords in ink.

Last summer, my herb garden suffered from whitefly and some mystery ailment that spotted the basil leaves and left holes all over them. This year, better plants and the high heat/humidity are a boon to my pesto production. For those of you interested in the book "Before We Were Yours", I enjoyed it a great deal. It's a novel based upon true events. I disliked the alternating narrators/time frames construct, but it built suspense (there is a bit of the mystery element in here, too). I do recommend it. (As I do the wine from the Niagara-on-the-Lake and Twenty Valley/Bench regions.)

Oh, I would be remiss if I did not mention

This Thing I'm Sad About

Toni Morrison, who was born and raised in the same town I was, died this week. To say she was a brilliant writer is to damn with faint praise. I was lucky enough to meet her many, many years ago when I was a student teacher. She came to her alma mater, Lorain High School, for a special assembly, and thoughtful people there arranged for me to say hello. I remain in awe of her talent and her knowledge of writing. She was a writer's writer; her books are art. They make her immortal.

Now you...
Is summertime losing its charm for you? Share some Goods, Bads, and Blues of your own. Or, as always, just chat about these in Comments.


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