Thursday, April 22, 2021

C Is For Candy Dish

Don't let my Banana story lead you to believe that I am a Joyless Crabass when I go grocery shopping. I am not, truly. I love my funny grocery store where I not only buy groceries, but occasionally, thanks to the Closeouts section, come home with things like socks, shoes, cute shirts for the little granddaughter, mattress pads, lawn furniture, and--if I wanted to--a rabbit hutch or a pet staircase or a futon. 

Someday, I'll show up and there will be cars for sale there, and I won't be one bit surprised.

But I digress.

A few months ago they set up a display of candies for three bucks a bag. Thankfully, none of it is candy that I like, but there are several varieties that Rick really likes. He has a weakness for any gumdrop sort of candy, due in large part to his late grandparents. They kept a ready supply in a charming little crock marked For Grandchildren Only, or something like that. It was usually full of spice drops, those wee little multicoloured gumdrops in flavours like clove, cinnamon, spearmint, and whatever the white ones are supposed to taste of.

I love surprising Rick with little treats that he loves. I bought a couple of bags of candy for him and fished out a suitable Candy Dish, after much careful deliberation.

Put the candy in a flat dish, and the sugar will be all over the place as he scoops them out. One with a lid? That lid will never be put back on the dish. A deep bowl? He'll eat them all in one sitting, no problem.

Here's what I came up with:

This was full to the brim the day before

It's like one of those puzzle toys for dogs or cats who eat their food too fast. He can't fit his whole big hand into it all at once. He can't grab a huge handful and still get his fingers out of the dish. You can see there is some sugar on the end table, but not very much. 

However, Success is limited. Rick will eat from the Candy Dish instead of having an actual lunch. He'll eat half the candy in the dish after dinner and then berate himself about eating all that candy. We've had several Adult Discussions about it:

Nance:  I was under the impression that you were a grownup and could control yourself with a Candy Dish next to your chair.

Rick:  And I was under the impression that I was a grownup and could eat what I want.


He's really ruining the Fun, Loving Thoughtfulness behind the whole thing for me.  

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

B Is For Bananas (And My Belligerence About Produce In General)

great deal of advice exists about Food Shopping. Don't go to the grocery store hungry! Shop the perimeter of the store! Stock up on great deals on meat and nonperishables! Honestly, I ignore all that. I find that I have my own Internal Rules about Food Shopping, and most of them can be distilled to these two:

1. I'm not paying that; they're crazy.

2. I will buy this no matter what it costs.

Produce falls into the #1 category constantly. I am weekly dismayed at the price of some items of produce, and will happily (but begrudgingly) do without until Those People come to their senses. If They think I am okay paying $1.50 for a single English cucumber, They are insane. That is Madness. Likewise, my threshhold for a bunch of broccoli is $2.50, but it had better be some damn goodlooking broccoli. And do not get me started about mushrooms or avocados. I'll need medication.

Pretty much every week, I snap a photo of the sign overhanging the tableau of Bananas and send it to my friend Leanne in southern Maryland, who never looks at prices and simply buys whatever she wants from Peapod, the online grocery service. Or sends her saintly husband Jim to the store for this and that. They buy Bananas weekly, and I often fuss via text message about how the price continues to go up on Bananas here. Here is today's sign:

Good heavens! I remember not so long ago when Bananas were 39 cents a pound. Then they went up to 47 cents a pound. Each time, I communicated my outrage to Leanne. "We just paid 98 cents a pound," she said airily. "That is criminal," I texted back. "No way in hell I'd ever pay that. You're being robbed." Ever philosophical, she replied, "But we don't have snow here."

Which made me wonder, would I trade better weather if it meant higher-priced produce? 

For those of you who wonder about my Grocery Rule #2:  I will buy this no matter what it costs, that is reserved for things for which there is no substitute, such as certain wines, Hellman's mayonnaise, Philadelphia cream cheese, Heinz ketchup, Campbell's tomato soup, Old Bay seasoning, and such things. You have things like that, too, I know. Store brands or other labels will simply not do. 

I haven't bought Bananas in a couple of months. I am resentful about how fast they become overripe, no matter how many tricks I use. I've also developed a particularly bad habit of craving peanut butter with my Banana, and we all know how irresponsible I am with peanut butter

 And I'm not caving in to Them and paying Their heinous high prices. It's flagrant Produce Profiteering, that's what it is, and I'm not going for it. 

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Saturday, April 03, 2021

A Is For Appliances: This Is How Far I Have Fallen

Here is a rather Sad Commentary about what my life has become:  I got excited because Rick bought me a leaf blower. I'll pause now while the Absurdity and Dismay wash over you like a Tsunami Of Pity.


Allow me to forestall your eye-rolling outrage about Leaf Blowers In General, too. Few things annoy me more than the cacophanous legions of Leaf-Blowing Men on Saturdays and Sundays, relentlessly walking up and down their yards and driveways, stalking leaves, herding them into swirling rows, and noisily guiding them all the way down to their curb lawns. For hours. For all the months of Autumn. Starting at 8 AM. And never, never ending.

I don't use my leaf blower like that. My leaf blower means I will no longer have to drag my vacuum cleaner out to the porch, wrangle the cord, lie on my stomach, crane my neck to see under the flap of the GFI outlet, and finally get it plugged in to vacuum the rug so that I am not surrounded by detritus. Or, snake the vacuum and its cord through the front door and let bugs in and perhaps a cat out. My new leaf blower is cordless and quiet. It sounds no louder than a hair dryer. It's wonderful.

I love it as much as I love my new vacuum.

I know; this is equally as pathetic, coming from me. I detest vacuuming. Everything about it irritates me:  the incessant noise; the fact that you never stop having to do it; the boring repetitiveness of it; the dragging around of a machine that only does one thing. Our previous vacuum was a nice little vacuum that did a great job. And! It had an automatic cord return that saved me the insult-to-injury of having to wind up a bigass cord after I was done doing a hated job. But recently, I noticed that the vacuum cleaner...wasn't. I was going over and over and over places, and cat hair and stuff was still there

It had to go. And fast. After a day of research, we got my new vacuum, and at that point I realized how how much of a slacker my old vacuum had been. It had been getting away with doing a half-ass job for years, and I had merely put up with it. This new machine makes my dining room faux Persian rug look like new. It plucks up the nap again on my carpets, making them feel cushy and deep. Its low profile gets way underneath furniture without me having to move it. It has suction settings! And no more sitting on the floor with scissors and pliers, ripping our long hair off of the brush roller; it has a self-cleaning roller that hair doesn't tangle around. It's almost the perfect I Hate To Vacuum Vacuum. 

Alas! It has no self-winding cord. And believe me, I do miss it.

I have a Love/Hate relationship with many of my appliances.  I've written here before about my infuriating can opener, which I still have. And let's not forget the time my icemaker attacked me, and yes, I still have that fridge, too. And, finally, my beloved coffeemaker, which, thanks to Rick, is still brewing after sixteen years. My old vacuum and Rick's heavy leaf blower did not inspire my love. They had to go. (But I still don't know why I have that damn can opener.) 

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