A NICE TALE OF THE HOLIDAYS

You’ll like this friends.  I was crawling around on my knees in the dairy aisle today when I noticed a young and pretty mom with her little one checking out the milk section.  They came my way and, mom had wondered if we had a certain kind of yogurt.  I showed her where it was.  I asked how her Thanksgiving turned out.   She said  that on Thanksgiving morning they lost their electricity.  I asked if that messed up their day.  She said that at first, it sure did.  They didn’t quite know what to do.  “So”, she said, “We went into New York City.”   She looked like her family could easily afford a nice meal in the city.  I asked where they wound up going.  She said that they didn’t go to a restaurant.  They went to a shelter and offered to help serve the homeless.  They were welcomed in and, after working for a few hours serving meals, they got their chance to eat.  She said they sat right down with the guests and had a ball talking  and laughing with what turned out to be some very nice and grateful  people.   It was a kind of family meal.  They ate with the family of man.   She also said that the apple pie for desert was just great.   When they got home, the power was  back on again.  She said it was the best Thanksgiving ever

TURKEY TREK PART 2

Before Sandy and I left for Connecticut, we had to spend a half hour or so running around the house making sure we didn’t forget anything.  Did I turn off the stove?  Is the toilet flushed? Is the toilet running?  Is the lid down?  We’re always worried that Millie will drink out of the toilet.  You couldn’t pay her to have even a sip but, we worry there’s always a first time.                                                                                                                                                                                                    The question came up about if I bought that fancy apple pie at the A&P.  I sure did.  Where is it?  In the van behind the drivers seat.  No, I didn’t eat any of it.  Where’s my good driving gloves?  I don’t see them in the van. Wait they’re under the pie.  My good driving gloves are really great.  I’m told they really are artillery shell handling gloves.  They’re like big insulated, leather mittens with sleeves.  They have a thumb, index finger and the rest is mitten.  You can pick up a dime with them and, also, hit the radio station selector knobs like a pro.  They are so cool that I’m tempted to drive with them even in the summer.

     We we’re going through the leaving the house checklist, for the forth time when the phone rang.  It was Sadie our grand daughter wondering if we left yet.  We told her it wouldn’t be much longer.  After we got off the phone with her, we started the checklist again for the fifth time.
     I went out to warm up the van.  I was happy to see that no check engine lights came on.  That’s always a good sign.  Plenty of fuel.  The coffee cup holder was empty.  There wasn’t too many dried bagel crumbs and debris on Sandy’s  seat.  A quick brush with my hand got rid of the worst of them.  My back cushion was in place.  Windshield wasn’t too dirty.  Snow was off the roof.  We were set to go.  Just as soon as Millie finished out in the yard.
     It didn’t take too long for Millie the Hound to get the hint.  She did her thing and Sandy got her inside.  Millie climbed into her easy chair.  We thought about leaving the TV on for her, because, she likes to watch Fox News.  She fell asleep so fast that we turned the set off.
     The phone rang again.  Just in case it was Sadie we let it ring and ran to the van like we were scrambling for our fighter planes and battle.  Peeling out of the driveway in a cloud of cinders, we were on our way…….to be continued….

TURKEY TREK PART ONE.

Overslept a bit on Thanksgiving Day morning and was jolted awake by our phone ringing.  It was our grand daughter Sadie on the line.  She’s gotten so big that before the sleep had left my ears, I thought it was my daughter Sunshine.  The only difference between Sadie and her mom on the phone was that Sadie talks kind of like cyber teens talk.  I can’t put a finger on it really, but she has the same vocabulary and speaking style of Bob the young man who fixes my computer problems whenever they pop up.  They’re both very smart kids.  Bob can fix my computer blindfolded with one frontal lobe tied behind his back.  Sadie is working on a killer robot.

     I think Sadie was calling to see if we left yet.  But, her stated reason for calling was to inform us that the Chinese take out place was closed for Thanksgiving.   I guess turkey lomein didn’t fly last year.  And, forget those cranberry egg rolls.  Probably no one liked that the turkeys head was still attached to the bird.  (Remember Jean Sheppards Christmas Story?)   I was assured that  the place was going to be open on he big day but, well, new plans had to be made.  Sadie suggested Cracker Barrel.  The idea made sense to me.  I hollered to Sandy and got a yes.  Sandy’s always up for Cracker Barrel.  Me too.  Cracker Barrel is our Delmonicos.  I told Sadie that we should make reservations.  She said she’d get on it and hung up.
     Two minutes later our phone rang again.  It was Sadie.  She had the scoop.  Cracker Barrel said they couldn’t do reservations but,that we’d probably get in pretty quick if we got there before one o’clock.   Sadie then asked if Sandy and I had left yet?  I told Sadie that I was very impressed at how she took the bull by the horns and, that we just had to feed and walk Millie the hound.   In thirty minutes,  we’d be out of the shed and running lights and siren…..to be continued.

BIG SALE AT THE A&P

Boy do I have a sale for you friends.   This is at your local A&P.  Check these prices.  Local broilers and fryers $.35/lb.  Sirloin Steak just $.31/lb.  Marvel Bread large loaf $.10.  Ann Page Mayonnaise pint jar $.25.   Campbells Tomato Soup 3 cans for $.20.  Sweetheart Soap 3 cakes for $.19.   6oz Package of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes for one week only, just $.05.  In the Seafood Department, Large Shrimp are just $.32/ lb.  B&M Baked Beans are only $.19 for a 28oz jar.  Of course there is much more on sale at your local A&P market.   These prices are good for one week only.  The week of  July23, 1942!!!!   My wife Sandy found this newspaper ad in a box lot she bought at a local auction.  Back in those days the A&P in our area was on Main Street Hackettstown, NJ.  It was also a collection center for used fats for the war effort and, it looks like you cold buy War Bonds there too.  Jane Parker Doughnuts were $.14 a dozen.   I don’t see coffee listed.  It might have been scarce.   On the other side of the page, in a separate article, the War Department was thinking of raising the weekly allowance of gasoline for the average consumer, to four gallons per week.  It was hoped that this measure would ease problems for drivers.

      Have a Happy Thanksgiving all of you.  Eat lots and smile.  Take turns sleeping on the sofa after the meal.   I’ll be dong a one hour show on songs I’m thankful for this evening around 9pm or 9:30pm.  It will be a one hour show.  Take care.

IT’S CLEANING DAY….SORT OF….

Outta my way.  I’m finally going to do it.  Noting will stop me today.  There’s a giant twenty box pile of old papers and catalogs form from eight years ago sitting in my studio.  It’s blocking the heat radiator.  It’s full of dust and spiders.  I don’t really mind the spiders.   They’re those Squidward type spiders and they’re pretty good at catching stink bugs and hornets.  They can stay but, the dust and junk is going to go.  Like Crazy Eddie cut prices to the bone, I’m going to be a regular tornado of flying debris today.  Stay out of my way!!!!  Here I come.    Oh, first I gotta make a coffee.  There’s this great movie on TCM.  Ooops, Millie the hound wants to go for a walk.  Right after my Sunday afternoon nap, I’m getting right on this God forsaken mess.  I’ve put it off too long.  I’m going for the top of the pile first.   Look at what’s sitting right on top.  It’s a 1942 copy of Popular Science magazine.  Wow an article on the “new” Philco combination radio and record player for the den.  Whoa!  Cool!    Yes sir this pile is outta here.

JOKE FROM A FRIEND

Got this joke in my email from Dave a good friend from the Hackettstwon NJ.  Dave is a barber.  They hear all the good jokes.   Enjoy.  Thanks Dave.                                                                                                                       A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse  vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird’s mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird’s attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to ‘clean up’ the bird’s vocabulary.


Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer.

For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he’d hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John’s outstretched arms and said “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I’m sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior.”

John was stunned at the change in the bird’s attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very softly, “May I ask what the turkey did?”


  
Happy Thanksgiving

THE FIFTY CENT SHOPPING SPREE

Many years ago my relatives out in Western Pennsylvania learned that the big employer in their city, a huge bronze foundry, was closing up shop.  The news came right about this time of year just before Thanksgiving.   The economy of the town went to pot.  Jobs were gone.   Most of my relatives worked at that plant and, it looked like Christmas was not going to happen.  A sadness fell over the city.  Prosperity would not be around he corner any time soon.

     I’ve always admired the get up and come back swinging after you’ve been clobbered attitude of my family out there.  It was kind of fun hearing how they fought with the manager of a five and dime if candy went up a penny per pound.  Grandma was always duking it out with  oil burner repairmen.  Of course after she got her point across and, her opponent gave in, she was always ready to give the guy a cup of coffee and have a chat with him.  Heck, he’d probably even get a tip.  Delivery men, repairmen, potato chip salesmen all knew it was much healthier to not cross the lady living at 123 Beaver Street.  No sir.
     So, with attitudes like that, going for them, none of us here back East, figured a measly thing like a plant shutdown was going to stop Grandma and her crew.  We didn’t have long to wait before they hatched a plan and gave us a call.  Grandma had Mom, her oldest daughter on the phone for an hour.  This was the deal.  For this Christmas and until further notice no Christmas present could cost more than fifty cents.  It was a stroke of sheer genius.  Now remember, fifty cents back then would be like five bucks nowadays.  To make things even better you could only buy one gift per person on your list.  In fact, for that first year, we all drew names and the name we got was the only gift we had to buy.  Later, as things got a bit better, you could give one gift per person to as many relatives as you wanted but, the prime directive was it had to cost no more than fifty cents.
     The challenge was on.  We all hit garage sales, bargain shelves, or, found ourselves building or cooking something from scratch.  I went out and found pretty bottles in junk heaps.  I’d clean them and fill them with colored water.  I had a case of them.  Darned if they didn’t look pretty darn good.  Uncle Bill, got a bologna sandwich and a cheap beer Christmas morning.  It was just what he wanted.  Aunt Alice got a lamp from a garage sale.  The base was a bust of General Mac Arthur.  She kind of liked the General.  Grandma got carved soap from one of us.  It floated.
     Long story short.  It was one of the greatest Christmas days ever.  The laughing went on for hours.  Money saved was put into a Christmas turkey dinner fund and there was plenty to eat.  The 50 cent Christmas Gift idea went on in our family for many years.  The 50 cent gift was always opened last because it was the best gift.  It was a gift from the heart.

HAVE SOME SPAGHETTI THERE MARCO

I had the best meal this evening.  It was tasty as can be and, easy to do.  Better than that, I think it didn’t even cost a buck and, it saved on our garbage bill.  About a week ago, I made some nice spaghetti sauce.  I put sausage and chopped meat into it and anything else I could think of.  It turned out great.  I don’t like to brag but, I do make great spaghetti sauce and, I always make enough.  This time, I think I made about three quarts.

     You may remember my story about not being able to find the missing box of spaghetti.  That was one of the boxes I got real cheap along with seven other boxes at the A&P’s discount clearance shelf.  It boiled up real tasty and on Sunday night I had a very good meal.  On Monday, I had spaghetti again.  This time I got a few crusty hoagie rolls from the store’s bakery and had a little spaghetti with sausage sandwiches soaked in peppers and sauce.  Well, long story short, it was spaghetti one way or another for a few more days and then I froze what was left.  After the weekend, I set the microwave on defrost and it was a case of here we go again.
     What’s this Thursday?  Yes, it is.  So after two or three more nights of gorging, I tried one more thing for tonight’s feast.  I only had a little bit of straight spaghetti left in the first box, I had just a little Cavatappi  (corkscrews) left in another box.  In the freezer, there was a few large raviolis wrapped up in a freezer bag.  I decided to boil each pasta all together at once.  You got to time everything just right but, once done, all those shapes and styles of pasta with the last of the meat sauce, made for a great looking bowl full.  It was like eating a Jackson Pollak painting.  (I don’t think I spelled Jackson’s name right.)   I don’t think I’ve had a better meal in a long time.  Each bite was different.  I pass this knowledge on to you.  Enjoy and eat well pilgrim.
     You know,  If I was traveling with Marco Polo when he brought pasta back to Italy from China,  I don’t think the spaghetti would have made to Genoa.  I’d have probably picked up a few tomatoes at a road side stand and that night around the campfire………..

THE CASE OF THE MISSING BOX OF PASTA

The other day at the A&P I spotted a small display of spaghetti on drastic sale.  It looked to be slightly damaged boxes on sale for one dollar and then, on top of that they were marked an additional 50% off.  Being an A&P employee I got an additional 10% off.  It was also, employee double discount day, so, I got 10% more.   That made the price something like 20 cents per box.  I love pasta and, it tastes especially good when I can get it real cheap.  Long story short, I bought eight boxes and danced all the way to my car.  When I got home, I pirouetted all the way to the cupboard and sang a happy tune as I placed the boxes into the cupboard.

      That night, I figured that I’d eat spaghetti and, lots of it too.  I boiled the water and fished out a box from my treasure trove.  I was so happy with my good fortune that I got out some of my own spaghetti sauce from the freezer and ate like a pig.   God, it was so good.
     After dinner, I had some station chores to do and I rushed through the clean up.  The rest of the night was spent typing and burping garlic.  Life was good.  No, life was great.
     The next day, I moseyed into the kitchen to work on breakfast.  I was actually, thinking of maybe having more spaghetti.  A spaghetti sandwich crossed my mind.  I looked in the cupboard to grab the box from last night as I started to boil some water.  The box was nowhere to be seen.  Seven boxes sat in their old spot where I left them the day before.  But, that partial box was gone.  I looked everywhere.  I hunted through the cupboard, the fridge, the freezer, the garbage, under the sink, out on the deck, in the bathroom, and I even looked under the bed.  I left no spot untouched.  I kept telling myself that it was just a twenty cent box of pasta.  In fact, now that I had eaten some of it’s contents, it was really only worth about 15 cents.  Still, I became obsessed and spent at least a half hour searching.  All the while, I kept telling myself to just forget it.  It was just a box of old pasta but, now, it became the golden fleece.  I can’t tell you how many places I looked.  I even moved the fridge just to be sure.  I can’t tell you how many times I counted the remaining boxes.  They were scattered all over the cupboard but always came up seven.  Where was number seven and a half????
     I finally had to go to bed.  Lying in bed , I thought of one more spot and got up to look.  Nope, not there either.  It was just going to have to wait till morning.
     The net morning Sandy was in the kitchen boiling a yam.  I looked in the cupboard one more time.  No luck.  So, I asked Sandy. ” Hey, did you happen to see a box of spaghetti laying around?”
     Sandy said, “Sure, they’re all in the Cupboard right where you left them.  They’re all there.”
     I couldn’t take it.  “No they aren’t.  I had eight boxes.  Now, there’s seven.  See?”
     Sandy went on.  “I count eight.  eight boxes. right there.”
     I scratched my head.  ” I count seven”
     Sandy walked over to the cupboard.  “Yeah, there’s seven on this shelf…see?  Here’s the other box, the one you used, on the lower shelf sitting on top of the soup cans.  Here.”    She handed the box to me.
     Right away, I saw what happened.  I’m taller than Sandy and, from my point of vision, the middle shelf blocked my view of the lost spaghetti box.  Sandy, from her point of view, was just the right height to see the box easily on ther lower shelf.  From my view, it was invisible.
     Lesson learned.  When you got a problem looking for a solution, get a few points of view.