Thursday, August 26, 2010

Food, Glorious Food!



This week I have learned how much a smallish child can eat in a span of six hours. Packing a snack and a lunch for two people has really thrown me for a loop. I think it's because I have giant twin piles of foodstuffs waiting to be neatly packed(all right, who am I trying to fool here? So it isn't so neatly packed - more like haphazardly stuffed - but no one has complained yet) into lunch boxes, staring me in the face every morning. It isn't spread out through the day like it has been, all summer.

I'm thrown into a panic at roughly 6:35am each day, trying to figure out what I am supposed to put in the aforementioned lunch boxes. If I ask Peanut and Bean what they would like to eat, they will tell me to include:

A) Gum
B) Chocolate
C) Lucky Charms Cereal

I am not the healthiest eater on the planet, but I recognize these items as unwise lunch selections. What is on our menu? I'll tell you: Peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter bagels, peanut butter and crackers - do I really need to go on? I guess I think peanut butter is a comfort food.

I know that one mother at our school packs homemade pumpkin muffins almost every day, because her family considers them comfort food. Another child is allowed to have Cheetos - only they aren't really "Cheetos", because they are a low-fat, health store, organicy version of something that really shouldn't have ever spawned a healthier version, at all. I mean, if a snack is going to turn your fingers orange - it might as well have all the other unseemly...uh, benefits, too, right...

I'll tell you what I crave when I think of comfort food:

McDonald's

Yes, I am actually owning up to my abiding love of the Golden Arches. Let me tell you a little bit about our history.

One of my earliest memories is seeing my mother's waist length hair right at my level, but a little further in front of me was the counter at Mickey D's. We would go there to celebrate, to reboot after a bad day (only we didn't say "reboot" back then, of course), or as a reward for something good that my brother or I did.

I know this to be the truth: Nothing tastes finer than one of Ronald's cheeseburgers, if you are sick or melancholy. Even if it barely resembles a cheeseburger.

When I was pregnant with Peanut, I convinced myself (and my doctor - although, I'm still not quite sure if she was just humoring me) that I had horrible morning sickness, which could not be conquered by anything other than A1 Steak Sauce or everything on the McDonald's menu. I truly did have awful morning sickness. I also had afternoon sickness, early evening sickness, and late night sickness. McNuggets seemed to be a cure-all. I know how terribly unhealthy the Big Mac is, I really do. I haven't had one in ages. However, during that nine+ months the Big Mac was a lifesaver.

Needless to say, I was not one of those adorable women who looked like they swallowed a beach ball. I was one of those gigantic women who looked like they swallowed a few too many Happy Meals.

When Peanut was a baby, that movie, "Supersize Me" was released on DVD. I watched it one extremely early morning, after the baby had decided that 4:45 was a perfectly wonderful time to wake up. I'm pretty sure that the film was supposed to shock and awe. It was supposed to show the American public how truly awful those french fries are. Maybe it was aiming to make us all fear the evil Sausage McMuffin and its partner: The crispy, golden, flaky, delicious fried Hashbr-but I digress.

That movie just made me want to eat me some McDonald's.

However, I can't pack that in the lunch boxes, now can I? Nor would I want to: I want my kids to grow up with nutritious food, which actually looks like the food that you are supposed to be eating.

But I bet I got you thinking about those fries...



September 30, 1985

Yesterday was okay, I didn't do much, I went to MacDonalds for lunch, I walked with my friend C, my brother A, and me. We went to my old house where Iused to live so it wasn't fun. I went to lot's of stores, we went to halmark, lucky's, mac Donalds, Thrifty's, and another one, I can't spell the name. My brother was acting wierd, so we both (me and C) yelled alot, and he just kept on being wierd, then we went home. A stayed home but I went to C's house, we both made Halloween books, and they were neat! you open the little books and then you open doors glued to the paper and you see a person, on the top of the door is a person in a costume.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Aways Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth- or, Pockets, as the Case May Be...



My husband, whom I shall call "MacGyver" - because everyone seems to use "The Husband" or "D.H." and my husband is original and completely uncommon and using such a nickname would not do him justice- is really good at fixing things.

He is, after all, super MacGyvery - minus, of course, the mullet. Minus any hair, actually.

So, MacG (there, that's even better) has a new hobby: Restoring and refurbishing old Coleman lanterns. How this all started, I'm not completely sure; but it is less expensive and time consuming than some of his other interests, so I've decided that I'm a fan. To aid in his search for Coleman bits and pieces, we decided to spend our Saturday at a flea market. Call him a Lantern Picker, if you will.

This was the first time at a flea market, for Peanut(8) and Bean(6). They weren't too sure about the place, for the first hour or so that we were there. For MacG and I, the smells, sounds and sights brought us back to our childhood, because we'd both been to that exact flea market several times in our youth.

MacG is an awesome companion at places such as these: When a bent old woman shrieked "onedollaronedollaronedollaronedollar!" in his face, he calmly blinked at her and asked, "so, uh, how much does everything cost?" She was not amused.

The kids quickly got over their hesitance and learned to bargain. Peanut found some great pieces and Bean bought six boxes of TNT Pop-Its for, well, one dollar. You totally had these when you were a kid:
Right?

All the people milling around looking at other people's junk (er, I mean treasures) reminded me of the garage sales that we used to have at our house, when I was growing up. I began to ruminate about one sale in particular:

The one where my mother sold several hundreds of dollars to the neighborhood ladies. It may have been thousands, but the idea makes me feel kind of ill, so I'm going to pretend that it was just hundreds, okay?

How does one sell money, you ask? Was she printing copies? Laundering for the mob? Well, hang on and I'll explain.

My grandmother is a notorious pack rat. I think I got the hoarding gene from her. She was the one who gave me a sugar cube for my birthday - from a trip that we went on, like, fifteen years ago. She rarely parts with anything. So, imagine how pleasantly surprised everyone was, when she began packing up items to donate to the Goodwill. This was sort of ironic, because she enjoys shopping at Goodwill - once she even bought back a sweater for me, which I had donated to Goodwill, because she thought it "looked like" me.

She put the *ahem* treasures in boxes and then they sat in the garage for a while. For a long while. Years.

One particular weekend on a summer in 1988ish, my family was planning to hold a garage sale. My grandmother was visiting her mother on the other side of the country, so my mother decided to help her out. She took the To Be Donated boxes out of Grandmother's garage and priced it all out - fully intending to hand over the earnings.

One of the boxes was full of old, worn out purses. There were square bags, drawstring sacks, imitation *insert your designer here* bags; lots of purses. No one even really paid much attention to them for a while.

Then all of a sudden, women were clambering for the chance to buy one of Grandmother's old purses. One lady came back and bought all of them. How wonderful, we thought, Grandmother will be thrilled that we were able to make some money off of this old junk (oops, I mean treasure) before she could give it all away for free!

She wasn't thrilled.

She was extremely unhappy with us.

She had been using the old bags as her own personal Bank of Grandma. Each purse had had around $100 in its folds.

The moral of the story: If you are going to sell someone else's stuff, be sure to check the pockets first...



November, 1985

My grandmother took me to the goodwill. It has lots of good stuff there! I got parts of my costume from there, and purple pants. I think it is pretty neat there! I am not poor or anything, but why pay regular price, when you can pay five dollars lower? I got lots of stuff from there.
C is getting lots of words for this journal! He gets more than me sometimes! I used to get the most all of the time, but B and C are getting pretty much now! I can't wait until Thanksgiving, a nice, carved turkey, with a mashed potato, beans and sweet potatoes! Yum! I can't wait! Then christmas is to come! That is fun! This year for Christmas, we're going to Yosemite.

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