Tag Archives: husbands

Paperwork

All those who like it, raise your hands! No-one? I get you, and feel the same way. We spent the afternoon in separate rooms going over a 17 page master agreement and four addenda, soon to be five.

I spent hours working on the small print version yesterday that was stamped “DO NOT SIGN.” My neck and eyes were sore. Today we each spent four hours marking up the correct drafts, separate rooms, then comparing notes. Over the weekend we must write language that suits our needs. Luckily I used to draft laws for 34 million people. Scary, I was 22 years old and the fate of all these folks was in my hands.

We got our corporate book today. I’ll check it out in the morning. My husband is enamored of the corporate seal-maker and its properties. We may have to send out holiday cards this year just so he can emboss envelopes – just kidding. Cheers! Dee

 

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Concord Grape

It probably will not be out until late September/early October, depending upon the weather. They can be eaten and my first and most popular blog is “How To Eat a Concord Grape.” Just follow the instructions from a hobby farm gal surrounded by Concord vineyards and dairy farms.

You must eat it fresh, else you’ll end up with Welch’s jam and juice. I don’t live there anymore, but if you can’t get to western NY the Welch’s white grape juice is the closest thing I  can get.

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Husbands. Mine sharpened a favorite knife of mine, a 4″ paring knife he uses to shave off slices of what kind of apple he likes that day. I was cutting two jalapeno peppers for chimichurri sauce for grilled skirt steak and sliced my thumb, deeply. He has been threatening to re-bandage me for a few days. The thumb opened up two days ago and I needed more time.

This afternoon it looked really good and he re-bandaged it, I washed my hands, placed hydrogen peroxide on the cut, let it dry, added Bacitracin, and he put on a nearly invisible NexCare bandage. I’m good to go.

* * *

Today would be Mom and Dad’s 60th wedding anniversary. They’re both in a better place now and hopefully have had some time to chat, in heaven.

* * *

Jewelry. I made my mother commit to letting me pierce my ears on my 16th birthday. She did. They were infected for two years. For the past ten I’ve only been able to wear 18K gold tiny hoops and they gave me trouble. I took them out for good a couple of years ago.

On my left arm I wear my 18K wedding ring (no engagement ring per my request), a copper hand-made bracelet from the farmers’ market and a magnetized “golf bracelet” that helps with my arthritis.

On my right, I’ve a silver Claddagh ring on my ring finger, an Italian red/white/green bracelet, a stronger golf bracelet which keeps arthritis at bay, and a Turkish “evil eye” bracelet to keep me safe, from Islamabad, a gift from Dad.

Other than really cool eyeglasses a la Edith Head/Edna Mode every day I wear a black, wooden guitar pick on a leather chain, with the Celtic, never-ending knot engraved inside it, in memory of Dad. Sometimes I add another handmade piece but the wood one is always with me. Dad was very talented, as a musician and director of many artistic endeavors.

Oh, I do have my great-aunt’s pearls from her wedding in the 1940’s. I wore them to mine. They’re not really appropriate for taking out the dog. Cheers! Dee

Men and Menus

It’s my husband’s birthday, well, yesterday. He was flying in and it started snowing and I heard of dire weather conditions. His plane was delayed an hour but then there were other issues with the car.Let’s just say he was two hours late, maybe more.

Every Friday he asks me to go to the gas station up the way and get a certain frozen pizza and a 2 liter bottle of Dr. Pepper. He had to get food at the airport, a burger, so oh, no! His pizza is still in the freezer!

It’s his birthday so I reciprocated in kind. He says, dear, I don’t know what kind of jewelry you like so I go to airport gift shops and get you a refrigerator magnet. Aw, shucks.

I get him his gas station pizza every week, with the DP so decided to get him a birthday gift. Hi dear, I don’t know what kind of jewelry you like so decided to get you some organic beef jerky. He liked that, then crashed.

Our holiday and menus are simple. A roast chicken for Christmas Eve with mashed potato and green beans. Perhaps cereal and fruit for breakfast and and a burger at lunch at home, cooked on the grill.

Christmas Day will be a late festive breakfast, no lunch, then dinner a deux with filet mignon, baked potatoes (loaded, a fillip to the beef jerky birthday treat), roasted heirloom carrots and, sautéed Brussels sprouts with pearl onions and bacon. Dessert is planned and may be made and not eaten. Limoncello panettone as either a trifle or bread pudding. Yes, the panettone is purchased, not hand-made.

The funny thing is that my husband likes to do scientific things in the kitchen. Over the past year or so we’ve hand-cranked fresh pasta, made fluffy pancakes with whipped egg whites, (he reads the recipe and I do the work) so hopefully we’ll redo some  of these and perhaps try another suspect, like the ricer? Root vegetable puree, no rutabagas. We’ve an entire week together! Imagine that! The dog is so happy to be up snoring on the bed together with him, too loud for me until they calm down a bit.

The rest of the week is a potential list of menus he likes, things he is unable to get in restaurants. They’re mostly family favorites. My side of the family, not that there are sides. Time is so precious with his mother around Thanksgiving that I don’t learn the food he loves on a regular day.

M, it’s chicken enchiladas, and your fantastic egg rolls. He’s the birthday boy today, getting in very late, and I’d love to be able to surprise him next week if you give me recipes or hints.

Thank you, family. He really wants egg rolls! The weekend is taken care of but one day next week….. your secrets will be safe with me. Cheers! D

 

 

His Time, Her Time

Every weekend I tend to get a tummy ache. My husband works two time zones away, sleeps and eats late and I try to cook when I can. We should have met in the middle and sometimes we do. Now I keep yogurt and fruit on hand so I’ve early breakfast covered, for me at least.

Sometimes he’s not ready to go to lunch until one p.m. my time and I haven’t had breakfast. It’s his time at home and he’s usually too tired from a hard week to cook. He’ll leave at dawn tomorrow and be back late at night Friday and want a certain frozen pizza. It’s anywhere from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. so I’m glad for the frozen.

I have vegetarian and maybe some fish during the week. When he comes home weekends I ask if he wants steak on the grill because I’m craving iron and he says “honey, I’ve eaten steak all week. Can you make chicken fajitas?

***

Now let’s have her time. I met my neighbor once when moving in and twice when moving out, today. The she in this case is a tiny baby named Paisley. I bought them great flowers when she was born a couple of weeks ago. They’re moving and building a home. I don’t think Paisley will be ready for construction duties anytime soon. Lucky her!

They were all ready in their football shirts to see the big game, including Paisley and her big sister, a gymnast.

We wish them well in their new endeavor. Cheers! Dee

Knowing

Years ago my mother gave me a check for my birthday. It was impersonal but I was married to someone she’d only met a couple of times and we were mobile, as always.

My mother-in-law took me to an antique store about an hour away from their home and I found a gorgeous oak dresser with beautiful drawer pulls, like brass tassels.

The drawers do not shut easily as the piece is over 100 years old. One night my husband came home from work and saw a tiny bruise under my thumbnail.

“Did you close the drawer on your finger?” He knew. That’s why I love him so much.

***

All week I eat yogurt, salads (including Caprese with fresh mozz and tomatoes), fruit, Clif Bars et al. On the weekend I need some iron so suggest a nice, juicy dry-aged rib-eye or NY strip. He’s a meat & potatoes guy so I suggest this and what does he say? “Oh, honey, I’ve been eating steak all week.” Boo hoo. Poor guy. I feel so sorry for him eating steak all week! Not. Cheers from Dee and Zoe

Man Caves, Corner Lots, Views

When I met my husband nearly 15 years ago he was living in a ground floor apartment with blackout curtains, behind the mailboxes and overlooking a parking lot. He had a friend’s donated la-z-boy, his desk (a door above woodhorses) and desk chair, the world’s first dual-brained, dual-monitored computer that he built from scratch. All he had in the frig was one frozen lasagna his mother bought him when she visited a few months before. In the frig itself were the remains of one 72 oz. Dr. Pepper from a convenience store, and a package of individually wrapped string cheese. There were string cheese wrappers littered on the rug between frig and computer.

He needed me. I cleaned up the wrappers and opened the blackout curtains. When he took me to a restaurant all the waitresses knew him. I cooked for him. I organized his laundry and closet so he could move away three weeks later. Hired and paid maids so he could get his security deposit back.

He was back with a new job two weeks after that. When a neighbor (a fellow cave dweller who was gifted the la-z-boy chair) asked why he returned he replied, “her.” He stayed at his grandfathers for a couple of weeks then one weekend walking a neighbor’s dog (a side gig for me) I found him a townhouse overlooking our park.

He had light, bought a frig and w/d and I cooked. I had a cat so he couldn’t visit me. One day he came home for lunch and I was making grilled cheese sandwiches and he remarked “oh, so that’s how you do it!” In response his mom later sent me a photo of him making his own toast at age four. It only took 30 years for him to learn to make a grilled cheese sandwich, and he still prefers mine.

I don’t really remember where I was born or the first few years except seeing slides every New Year’s Eve at home. I do remember my parents’ first home on a quiet street in a small village. No view, great street, people and kids. I still, many years later, keep in touch with a couple of neighbors. Touch football in the dead-end street (Dad was always reaching) and tree-to-tree baseball in our back yard. All the kids would call on him and his only rule was that everyone plays. I’m a girl and was allowed. A kid was able to help a toddler hit a baseball and carry him/her for a run. Of course Dad was the pitcher, the old softie.

We moved atop a hill for a spectacular view and got a pool. Then to our nation’s capitol for a corner lot where Dad tried to get a pool. In So Cal they had an incredible ocean view (I was on my own).

After the “Barbie House” on the park my husband and I didn’t opt for man caves but went for city views, then mountains, now lakes. Who knows what’s next but I achieved two things. I got him out of a man cave, and created a food snob. Yes, string cheese guy now tells me the nuances of two-year vs. four-year cheddar. Go figure! Dee

ps He’s in charge of anything that’s plugged into an outlet. Computers, phones, whatever. He also reaches high and is obligated to get things up high while I retrieve pots, pans and tools where I can reach below.D

Choices

I love my husband. I have many books with recipes in them, good books, some of the best, he has a book called Numerical Recipes. We’re both technicians of a sort, a very different sort who happen to get along together.

Last night I made a classic Beef Carbonnade (beef, onions, bacon and beer) stew that I let simmer for a few hours. I decided to make spaetzle, something my father would like. I used a recipe from Tyler Florence http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/spaetzle-recipe.html and just added a bit more milk. Probably atmospheric conditions and that I used Italian 00 flour.

I try to multi-task both in kitchen work and appliances. There are few items out on the counter, and minimal storage space so I choose gadgets wisely. The first tools I used in cooking school were a chef’s and a paring knife. I still use them but have changed to an 8″ Santoku and 8″ ceramic blade. Yes, I’ve at least 12 knives up on the magnetic strip, easy to access even for a left-hander.

When my husband is out at a specialty hardware store and sees something he thinks I need, he buys it. He knows 5% of what I know about cooking but likes the science and mechanics of it. PLEASE don’t let him find Harold McGee on the bottom shelf as he’ll read it and drive me bonkers! He remembers everything, even what is the difference between baking soda and baking powder. He doesn’t understand, as a physicist, why bakers need both. Double indemnity? I don’t bake. I cook.

So, back to the spaetzle. Simple recipe, and he chose the best tool with which to drop the drops into boiling water. NO, don’t go buy a spaetzle maker, dearest. We can use your old college colander. You got me a potato ricer. At the specialty hardware store over the years you also bought me a food mill.

Food mill, he said. I poured the mixture I made into the food mill with the largest disc while he stirred, poised over the boiling pot of salted water and watched the nubbins come to the top. We took them out with a Chinese mesh “spider.” Then they went into butter with a bit of salt and pepper and were perfect with our tender, tasty Carbonnade.

Teamwork. After we were done I said congratulations, dear, you just made pasta. I did? He’s very proud. There’s a lot more Carbonnade so he may decide to make his own spaetzle tonight.

My fear is that he does not do mis en place, asks for every step, uses every pot and pan in the kitchen and thinks dinner ends with dinner. No clean-up. That’s why he’s only allowed in to get ice, water or Dr. Pepper. Cheerily, Dee

 

Brothers and Husbands

I think one tends to the familiar when it comes to choosing a family. Of course one does not get to choose the family that bred him or her. My parents taught me a lot, as the eldest, and I passed some down to my younger siblings.

When I was off at college, my younger brother and sister were given a dog, a Collie they named Nike, after the goddess not the shoe. Yes, they loved her for all time but went off to college and the dog was left with our parents, of course.

My brother would always say, no, she doesn’t have to go out yet. My husband now says “When Zoe asks, I’ll take her out.” Does the dog need to get herself a “wee wee” pad (we do not need or have them) or just cross her legs and say PLEEEEASE!!!

I know my husband is in the middle of important work at home but this early evening work gives him a walk and a break and allows me to make dinner. My brother was in high school, had nothing else to do but could look at Nike and say “she doesn’t need to go yet.”

When I visited I often took her out for him and cooked for her. Two poached eggs on the weekend, on a piece of buttered toast, with two dog biscuits on the other side of the bowl. I forgot to butter the toast once and she wouldn’t eat it. My brother asked what was wrong. “You didn’t butter the toast.” It was still warm so I added a pat of butter and swirled it in.

That is why my brother doesn’t have a dog and we do. Of course Nike ate my breakfast. Zoe’s on frozen raw food.

Both Nike and Zoe were/are herders. Nike gathered the family up for breakfast. Zoe will not let me go anywhere in the house without following me and tries to be especially present in her “magic room,” my kitchen. Oh, the smell of chicken browning and potatoes. AAAAAAHHH. She gets great dog food, not our food.

I miss what Nike did for our family, especially my younger brother and sister. Her death was humane but traumatic for all of us. I ended up working for 20 years for shelter animals and feral cats because even though she was a sickly dog she loved everyone and I wanted to pay tribute to her and our family, including my abused rescue dog, Chani, who I adopted shortly after Nike’s demise and had for ten years.

With Zoe, (adopted from shelter at 6 weeks, with us 11.5 years) now she still herds me. I’m the food wench and disciplinarian and my husband is the “fun guy.” He’s working in the other room right now and the door is closed so it will be quiet. She’s with him, wants to be with me, she really wants her “pack” together so she can just watch to make sure we do not leave her. My brother, the Nike dog expert met Zoe as a pup and said, “she’s really needy.” Amen to that.

ps Can she go out now? Zoe and her “mom” Dee

Brown Beans and Stuff

My husband left this morning for the week, which gives me a chance to make noise, as in dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum cleaner and cleaning out the frig. Such exciting endeavors!

I’ve not been sleeping at night, so took a nap on the couch while he was watching a movie last night and I had intended to cook dinner. Instead he walked the dog to pick up Mexican food. What a sweetheart. He had started a list, which I just found now, on a post-it that says brown beans, crossed out. I got a chicken quesadilla instead. I can’t keep every note he writes but my heart goes pitter pat when he goes to the store for us, walks the dog or asks if he can help put our bed back together after an intense laundry day for me.

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Cars. I tend to remember some over the years. There was my dad’s first new car, 1964 Buick Special coupe, red. At age 8, I was cleaning the whitewall tires with steel wool and saw tar from road maintenance on the door so used steel wool. He was so upset.

Then there was the woody station wagon circa early 1970-something. I remember family trips and my brother sitting in the back using suitcases as drums and driving us all bonkers. It was my college graduation present. Yes, a single gal driving around in a car that seats nine and groceries. It died on a bridge. I sold it to my mechanic for $400 and it was on the street in a week.

My pea-green/rustoleum VW sold to me by my boyfriend who must have hated me at the time. Semi-automatic, fuel injection (as my younger brother would have said at the time, Wrongo, Moose-Breath) . When it rained I had to keep stopping under overpasses and use towels to dry the distributor cap. After a politician’s child took the left front wheel off the axle on New Year’s Eve when I was home sleeping, police wouldn’t give me the report, I was responsible for the Freedom of Information Act in that state and no-one would tell me who did it so I footed the bill and could not turn too far left from then on lest the fuel system blow me up.

My only new car was my 1993 Jeep. I bought this army jeep (chose no back seat) so I could take my dog to the beach and it worked beautifully. One accident, because of a fire truck and the driver in front of me slamming on her brakes at the last second. All re-done. it lasted for years and hopefully went to a Marine.

Now I drive an old Acura and my husband an old Volvo. Why? Newer cars are smaller. My husband is very tall and he has to fit our cars. I can fit into anything but he needs to fit. We chose wisely and keep them fit for travel anywhere.

***

This brings me to Kevin, our former mechanic. We has a rocky start back several years as I don’t think he had much respect for female customers. I believe we got there quickly, however. Drop car off , what’s wrong, what he’s going to check, leave car and keys. Call with estimate, OK estimate, call for pickup. Credit card and keys. Clockwork.

Then things got more complicated. I ran out of oil down the street in my husband’s car. Kevin knew where I was, a few blocks away, and advised me to go across the street and get abc/xyz oil and drive to the shop. It worked. We worked together over two weeks with him advising me on when to drop off, pick up and to drive longer distances so he could find the leak. He did. It cost a lot but that’s why you keep a good mechanic around, especially if my motorcycle/tractor/car expert, physicist/software engineer/consultant is off on business. Yes, that would be my husband.

Thank you, Kevin. Thanks for working with me over the years. I appreciate your work ethic and service and hope our paths will cross again. My time with Jim Fascistio has ended. He kicked me out of the shop, yelled that Kevin said I was a pain in the *** then bragged about refusing service to a long-term customer who doesn’t have credit cards declined to fellow mechanics, another woman gone! Bravo! Throwing your father’s hard work into the trash.  Problem is he was kissing the feet of the young man next to me and thanking him after all his credit cards were declined. Then he turned to me, sent his minion out of the room then said “I won’t serve her! Get her out of here!” He had my car registration so I asked for my papers back. He bragged about a Federal Civil Rights violation.

If my numbers are right women are at least 50% of the population. If Junior eliminates all female long-term paying customers, wouldn’t profits go down? Think about it. He should. He’s lost a customer for life and everyone I know.

A rant, I know it. But I have to do a miscellaneous post every so often. Enjoy the day! Dee

A Song

It’s tough to be away from each other for months. We get five minutes on the phone in the morning and ten in the evening simply because the hours are so different. My email is down so we had to get another service to get the first one to figure out the problem and it’s taken 12 hours on the phone. No results.

I had to join Gmail to get Yahoo to talk to me about the problem. Yahoo has a robot answer the phone and say there is a high call volume and if you’re disconnected call back. Five minutes of canned music and they disconnect. So I’ve spent the day on the phone and AT&T has been great but can’t do anything to even get tech support as the partner of Yahoo they only have access to the one Yahoo phone number that disconnects customers after waiting in line. In the end I’m going to end up with four internet services. That’s like having four electricians, four plumbers and in the end, four husbands. I think the latter is illegal.

My husband couldn’t even untangle this debacle last night and he’s a pro. ATT and Yahoo have merged services but they apparently don’t talk to each other. Hours online and on the phone and nothing has been resolved.

I do not have access to the pop mail or Yahoo mail I’ve had for years, my husband is on the same pop mail account and his is fine. He’s far away and I need my email pop account reactivated because being away is one thing, being unable to send information my husband needs is another. Was I hacked?

With the limited time we spend on the phone I wanted to sing him a song when he calls later tonight. It’s about love and commitment and I even took out the guitar and looked up the lyrics. I’ve played it badly twice and my fingers already hurt, lack of practice. Sorry PDX! Wish us well, as I do you, Dee