17 Weeks and 3 Days ‘Til . . .

. . . Christmas, of course! Now, why is that on my mind on a hot summer day in August?

‘Cause I miss our grandkids and look forward to when they have some time off from school. Of course, we are close enough to visit on weekends, but those are treasured days when their little family has some time together. Terry and I will be out of town this weekend, but by next weekend we may just have to make homemade ice cream and bribe them to come over.

I’ve started a list of “How You Know Your Grandkids Have Been Over”:

  • The Hershey’s chocolate syrup can is empty
  • One end of the front porch contains empty glass jars and lids (critter jars)
  • Critters (lizards and grasshoppers mainly) are scarce — still hiding out else they end up in glass jars for the day
  • I step on a loose “bb” or Lego toy in the carpet
  • My eye shadow and other makeup isn’t where I left it
  • A “tad” of green toothpaste is on the bathroom wall, close to the sink
  • Our poodle dog, Beau, has been sleeping a lot more than usual
  • The guest bathtub has a variety of boats and Fisher-Price “Little People” around the edges
  • Our dirty clothes hamper in the guest bath has several changes of clothes in it (McKenna)
  • Mamo is wearing a heavy dose of purple eyeshadow, dark eyebrow pencil, bright lipstick, face powder, and Avon perfume along with several pieces of jewelry (the sparkly ones!)
  • The sugar spoon in the sugar bowl is covered with sugar from someone dipping in for bites.
  • And worst of all — the house is MUCH TOO QUIET!!

STAN Review

Monday evenings are usually STAN nights. However, the place I picked to go was only open Tuesday – Friday. So, we had a STAN lunch on Tuesday. They also serve dinner, but we opted for a lunch instead.

The place: Texas Culinary Academy (TCA) on Burnet Road in Austin.
Location: IBM site, entrance #2, building #2

Students enroll in this Academy for a 12 month program. During their last six weeks, their class is responsible for the dining room meals. We learned that they also serve as interns at local hotels or restaurants before graduating.

We had several servers during our meal. While one was refreshing our drinks, another was serving bread and another was placing more eating implements beside our plates. One of us ordered a Caesar salad and was given a choice of having the salad prepared in the kitchen or at our table. He opted for having it done at our table, and it was educational as well as entertaining. The table settings were formal, yet the atmosphere was very relaxing. The students were all dressed in crisp, sharp attire (white button shirts/jackets and black pants), and a few with chef hats were nearby.

The food choices on the menu included Appetizers, Salads, Entrees, and Desserts and there was a very good variety of each. It was difficult to choose because each one sounded delicious. Even though we were tempted to go for the steak, we decided to try something more “adventuresome.” Terry’s grilled pork chop came with a fruity sauce and potato patties topped with another dollop of flavored topping. His comment was “this is wonderful.” Ann, Kelby (joined us at the last minute), and I had the grilled trout with green beans and finger-size potatoes. The seasoning and flavor of each item on our plate was wonderful. I don’t usually order fish, but now I am encouraged to do so more often. Nick had a crepe that was full of shrimp and covered in a cheese sauce. He also said it was delicious.

The facility, the food, the service, and the atmosphere was tops! If you get a chance to eat at TCA, do so!

Feedsacks and Chicken Bones

Just sitting on our front porch this morning, enjoying a cup of coffee, and the still cool-enough temps (80’s) when I saw about 5 chickens and roosters in our yard. They belong to our neighbors down the road, just came for a visit, I guess. Fried chicken came to mind immediately, but of course these chickens were safe — I’d never be able to wring a chicken’s neck or chop off its head with an ax. Even so, then I’d have to remove those feathers and other parts — so, the trip to the grocery store sounds a lot easier (and more pleasant!).

Reminded me of the good “old days” when we gave our toddlers a drumstick to chew on? Our grandkids won’t eat chicken “with bones in it.” They are too attached to chicken tenders (and “chicken parts”), I guess. Wonder how many Generation X “kids” even know how to cut up a whole chicken — not just to get the legs and thighs, but to get the pully bone (wishbone for those who don’t know) and the two pieces of the back bone. Some of my favorite memories were at my grandmother’s table pulling the pully bone apart with my cousin, Terry. Supposedly, the one who got the biggest part could make a wish and it would come true! Where can we get pully bones today? Only at home, I believe.

And some will remember the “old days” when feedsacks were used as material to make various wearing apparel, as well as quilts. Learned today that feedsacks were even made into underwear for some folks — afterall, they were 100% cotton and felt much better against the bare skin than some other materials available. Today, if you can find an old feedsack piece of material, you’ll pay dearly for it. Now, each time I find some, I’ll wonder where it was worn or used in the “old days.”

How times have changed: “in the old days, Grandma put the apple pie in the window sill to cool — her grandchildren put their apple pies in the window sill to thaw.”

Sam I Am

Trying to repeat this often so I won’t forget who I am! Seems like lately that my old memory “chip” needs to be recharged/replaced/updated or sent back for warranty work.

Now, don’t start reserving a room at the Alzheimer’s Clinic for me yet. I can still remember if I ate — I never stop — or where I live and what to do with the tv remote control (unlike the cartoon strip, Pickles, when Earl aims the cell phone at the tv, punches buttons, and after a bit hears a voice speaking in Chinese).

OK — here it is: I thought that today was “Thursday.” It is “Friday.” What happened to “Thursday?” Maybe it was here and left while I was sitting at the dining table trying to price linens I have bought for the past two years for resale. And that’s another story — as in, WHERE did I buy this hanky and what did I pay for it and what should I price it at so as to make a little profit. Now, I used to be a business teacher and consider myself a very good recordkeeper — but when you have hundreds of hankies, it gets old trying to describe each one in your inventory.

Here is another: I keep losing misplacing my glasses. Yeah, we all do that — even my grandson. But, it’s embarrassing when they are on top of your head and you’ve searched the house looking for them. Then, there’s the couple of times they have been left at an eating establishment — once in the booth seat and last Monday night on the floor next to the booth. These glasses must be “charmed” not to have been stepped on or sat upon before I retrieved them. They KNOW what it’s like to have been stepped on — I stepped on my own glasses about a month ago. They just fell on the ground and you’d have thought I had AIMED for them with my size 9 1/2’ers. Before I could even react to their gravitational urge, they were made unwearable! Thank goodness the Eye Clinic works miracles!

Another? All right — missed appointments. My hair stylist, Lisa, needs to start calling me the day before an appointment — a gentle reminder, like the ones from all of the doctor offices. Did medical staff call to remind us when we were younger? I don’t remember. I do put all of our appointments into an organizer now (something I never used before retirement) — and that helps, if I remember to go look at it every day or two!

Then, there are times when Terry and I are riding together and all of a sudden a thought or a question hits me. I share it with Terry. He almost slams on the brakes and tells me that he just finished telling me “that” . . . . Guess that’s where I heard about “it.”

As I write this, I look up above my computer screen and on a shelf is a small framed photo of my Dad, Gus. Seeing his sweet smile and expression remind me that “everything is fine.” So, I’ll stop worrying, fretting, and forget that I forgot.

Afterall, Sam I am, and that’s just the way it is sometimes.