Saturday, May 31, 2014

Desperately Seeking Sodium

I'm on a low salt diet!

Is there anything worse? Yeah, I'm a little pudgy in some places and in other spaces I'm built like a brick sh*t house. (Whatever that means?) I have a tendency to swell in all the wrong places and don't drink enough water.

I don't think I use that much salt anyway. It's not like I carry a salt shaker around in my purse or I've got one of those salt blocks out in the back yard. I don't have Mortons on speed dial.

The doctor told me that I should avoid anything that has added sodium on the label.

Have you checked a label for the sodium content lately? Everything has salt in it, including the Diet Coke that I love to drink.

The doctor told me I should go au naturale and eat foods that are uncooked and unpreserved. Eat lots of vegetables like onions, kale, spinach and cabbage. Cauliflower, broccoli and rutabagas are also natural foods that are good for you. I told the guy that I didn't like any of those vegetables but I really liked potatoes.

They are a good source of fiber but the best way to eat them without adding any salt would be to eat them steamed advised my doctor.

So, that's my new food staple! Steamed potatoes! Not mashed with garlic and butter. Not baked with butter and sour cream. Not loaded. Not fried. Not boiled and browned. Not mashed with brown gravy. Not au gratin. Not scalloped.

Plain, steamed potatoes and no Diet Coke!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Where Do You Keep Your Money?

In my family we like to have more than one bank account. I'm not sure why but I think it started with my Mamaw, who was my father's mother. Her name was Mary Lou Leonard Palmer Pitzer and she had money in every bank within a three county radius.

I never knew this until later, after she had passed away. I may have accompanied her to the bank once or twice when I was little but I can't say for sure. What I can say for sure is that I knew where Mamaw kept her spending money: in her bra. I wonder why she did that? She always carried a large pocketbook, full of all kinds of junk, but she kept her money close to her heart.

I've thought about doing that sometimes too, but I really don't have any extra room in there other than what is supposed to be in there. (If you know what I mean.) Over the last couple of years, more than one bank that I am affiliated with has gone belly up. The next thing you know the old signs have either been removed or covered up by a new bank's banner from somewhere that I've never heard of. Then you get new cards, checks and all sorts of other junk from the new bank and you're supposed to chuck the rest.

Sometimes, I don't do that.

A few days ago, I had to visit different locations to handle several different transactions. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. But someone forgot to tell me that. As I waited in the drive thru line mentally checking off items on my to do list, I realized that the lady at the bank was trying to get my attention.


"Ma'am? Excuse me?"

"Ma'am? Hello? Earth to lady in the red Mustang..."

"Yes?" I replied.

"What account do you want this to go into? And while I've got your attention, are you sure you're at the right bank?"

"What do you mean, what account? Of course, I'm at the right bank." This lady had my attention now.

"Well, ma'am, you've given me a bank deposit slip from a bank that was shut down five years ago and you didn't write down the account number."


"Oh, goodness! Can't you just look it up by my name?" I asked.

"Sure. I just need some identification."

"Okay." I began looking frantically for my license but it was soon apparent that I had forgotten it somewhere. I must have left it at the previous bank. I told the lady that I would be right back and drove back to the other bank.

The nice lady there saw me approach, waved my license in the air and offered these sage words of advice: "You know, you ought to keep that thing in your bra. My Granny taught me to do that after I left mine once. Yes sir, I keep it tucked right here, up close and personal. You have a good day now!"

Makes perfect sense to me!

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Girl And A Chainsaw...A Mother's Day Memory

I like to consider myself a Jill-of-all-trades. I'm fairly competent at keeping a house clean, keeping the lawn mowed, whipping up a mean casserole and wetting a hook at every opportunity.

I don't have any children unless you count my fur babies, Wally and Ralph, so I can't tell you if I am a good mother or not. Hey, the litter box is cleaned out daily and the kitties are fat and sassy and I don't hear any complaints from them.

My nieces think that I am a great aunt and I try to "mother" my own mother sometimes but that just drives her bonkers. "Stop worrying," she says. 'You're getting on my nerves and it's not healthy for you. Don't you have a story to write?" Dissed, once again, by my own mother.

I can spin a basketball on my finger and I have a wicked left-handed hook when I bowl. When it's right on target it's a strike every time. But most times, it hooks too soon and crosses from the left side of the lane to the far right side and ends up in the gutter before it has made it halfway down. I should probably practice more but that's not me and I'm usually off to the next best thing before I know it.

For the last few years I have been obsessed with owning my own chainsaw. I live on the edge of town in a slightly wooded jungle area. Every spring when the new growth on the trees, plants and shrubs emerges, my house, yard and driveway fight to keep from being swallowed by the ever-expanding spread of wisteria vines, kudzu and wild azalea bushes.

I have a nice set of clippers that are advertised to cut through twigs and branches up to one inch thick and it does a really good job. But, I thought if I had a chainsaw I could cut through the higher up foliage that supports the new growth that I have to cut back every year.

Simple enough plan, right?

No one in my immediate family thought so.

Brother's opinion: "A chainsaw? What the hell you want a chainsaw for? Why don't you just hire someone to do it? You're like dad--you'll cut your arm off?"

Sister's opinion: "What are you going to do with a chainsaw? That doesn't seem like a very fun Christmas present? Besides, aren't you a bit clumsy like dad? You'll cut your arm off?

Friend's opinion: "A chainsaw? That's what the tree service people do--and you are so much like your dad that you'd probably cut your leg off." (At least it was a different appendage.)

Mom's opinion: "You want what for your birthday? A chainsaw? I don't think that's a really good idea, besides you are a bit clumsy like your dad. You might cut the wrong tree down and it will fall on your house. Or even worse, that pretty Mustang of yours. Then what would you do? I'm not getting you a chainsaw--you'll cut your head off?"

I couldn't really understand why but confidence in my sawing abilities was extremely low. Yes, I have had a bicycle accident in the recent past; I did step in a hole in the back yard (not my fault; it was a sinkhole) and I did fall into the creek a few weeks ago. But none of those incidents involved a 2-cycle gas powered engine.

It's not that I haven't operated a chainsaw before; I had on more than one occasion and one time, alcohol was involved. (But hey, the family doesn't know about that.)

So imagine my surprise last weekend when the big box sitting in the corner of the room partially hidden by a large ficus tree turned out to be my very own chainsaw. Amused looks were passed between the family as I oohed and aahed over my new toy. "You better be careful with that," they all volunteered. "You'll cut your arm off."

Upon closer inspection I was disappointed to see that it was an electric chainsaw. "Mom, it's electric," I said.

"I got you a cord to go with it," she said.

I hadn't noticed the other package that was lying slightly underneath the chainsaw box. I reached for it and sure enough there was a hundred foot extension cord. "Well, that's good," I said. "But why did you get me an electric chainsaw?"

"Harrumph," she scoffed, "those gas chainsaws are over $200. I'm not paying that much for something you might only use one time."

Frowning slightly, I asked, "Why do you think I'm going to use it only one time?"

"Well, sweetie, you are your father's daughter and I know you can be clumsy sometimes. I didn't want to pay too much in case you cut your arm off."

I just shook my head. "I'm not going to cut my arm off. Have some faith."

"Oh, I have plenty of faith. And Happy Mother's Day!"

"Thanks, mom," I said. "I'm glad you have faith in me and no one has ever said 'Happy Mother's Day' to me before."

"Sure, honey. I have lots of faith that you'll do a good job cutting my shrubs back. Now, let's go try this thing out."

In retrospect I'm not sure who the chainsaw was for: me or my mother.

A chainsaw for Mother's Day? Why not? It's the perfect gift!

(Just don't cut your arm off.)

Friday, May 9, 2014

What Moms Really Want For This Mother's Day

Wouldn't life be so much easier for moms if we had one of those magic 8-balls to make all of the decisions for us? Starting from the morning dilemma of Should I wear the black heels? (cannot predict now) or Should I wear the blue flats? (check back later) our day could begin with the preciseness of a military drill team.

Having conquered what to wear we could move on to the next question of Should I brown bag it today? (As I see it, yes.) or Hope that I will actually get the time I need to go out to lunch (It is certain.) before we head out to sit for close to an hour (most likely) in traffic while taking the kids to school, dropping off the dry cleaning and running through a local drive through before realizing that you left your purse at home (better not tell you now) while frantically checking your console for the needed change to pay for a Grande Mocha Latte (outlook not so good). But hey, pay it no mind, it's all good; you've arrived at work now and it's going to be a great day (don't count on it).

You've survived a morning spat with the copy machine, a run in with your administrative assistant who is very hormonal (without a doubt) or extremely hungover (signs point to yes) before you get the courage to ask your male supervisor for a week's vacation during the busiest time of the year (My sources say no.) because that was the only slot available that the entire family could be together in one place to enjoy your family's timeshare in Panama City.

Lunch was totally skipped because you were completely overwhelmed with the new government regulations (It is decidedly so.) that your company was being forced to incorporate into its bylaws and it was late afternoon before you found yourself staring into your glass reflection as you tried to choose between sweet or salty. (Reply hazy, try again.) Just when you had decided on sweet and salty you remembered that you had no money your assistant came running and said the school was on the line: Little Johnnie had been puking everywhere and needed to be picked up. (You may rely on it.)

You are slammed and can't really leave so you call your spouse whose day off is today to go to the school. (Yes!) On the way there, he is called into work and since he is on-call he needs to go right away. You call the sitter who is actually a freshman in college (very doubtful) but she is studying for an exam before you call your mother. (Yes, definitely.)

Someone hands you a piece of birthday cake (outlook good) before you gather yourself to (concentrate and ask again) meet with your supervisor once again before you leave for the day. You explain that a decision must be made this evening or you won't get to use your condo at all. Bracing yourself for the answer (My reply is no.) you are surprised when your boss opens a drawer and pulls out a magic 8-ball, the one you had brought as a gag gift to the company Christmas party last year.

"Let me ask the magic 8-ball," your boss says. "Magic 8-ball, should I let her have off the week she wants?"

Seriously, now. This man is only joking, right? Yes, he is incompetent on even his best day but letting a magic 8-ball make a decision for you? Well, why not roll with it. "Okay, whatever it says, we'll go by. Deal?"

Looking up at you with a grin "Deal," he agreed. "Magic 8-ball, should I let her have the week off?"

We both looked intently at the black sphere as he shook it violently and placed it on the table. The ichyshericon inside bounced around a few times before settling on the answer. (Reply hazy, try again.) Frowning slightly, he shook it again (concentrate and ask again) before it settled on the answer (signs point to yes). "Okay," he said. "You can have the week off. Besides, I've been wanting to try out Louis in your position to see if he can handle the stress."

Walking away with a signed leave form in hand you wonder if you made the right decision (Better not tell you now.) but your stomach growls and it's time to go home to a sick child and another decision to make about dinner: Chicken? (Very doubtful.) Or beef? (Cannot predict now.)

No, even decisions made through the magic 8-ball are not as cut and dry as they should be. (Ask again later.)

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mom's Advice For Chigger Bites

In a recent conversation with one of my younger cousins she posed this question to the masses on Facebook: How do you diminish the itching that comes along with chigger bites?

Now she's a few years younger than me and it was interesting to watch the responses from folks her age and younger come in from all over the country. Here are a few examples:

1. Go to the Urgent Care Clinic and get a special lotion from the doctor.

2. Put ice on it.

3. Run to Walmart and ask the Pharmacist.

4. Pick.

5. Scratch it till it bleeds.

6. And pick some more.

And so forth and so on.

What is even more interesting is the responses that she got from the moms my age and up. They all said the same thing: put fingernail polish on it.

In the summertime you could always tell the kids that spent their days, evenings and nights in a kind of blissful unawareness: We all had many multi-colored splotches all over our body; the stranger the colors, the better.

Mom always said the polish suffocates the chigger that is trapped under the skin. I don't know if that is true or not and I was going to Google it and see what came up but even the mention of that bug made my skin crawl and I started to scratch.

You know moms are mostly always right, just try to pick a clear polish so you don't stand out in a crowd.

And another tip from mom: stop scratching or you'll leave a scar.

Friday, May 2, 2014

It's On Sale...This Weekend Only

Looking for a fun summer read. Check out Scrunchie-Fried, it's on sale this weekend for only $.99.

Just click on the Amazon link below the image. Scrunchie-Fried eBook: Gianetta Palmer: Kindle Store


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