Saturday, September 7, 2013

Odd Thoughts From An Odd Duck

No, I’m not proposing that we attack Syria with half-filled bottles of Kool-Aid or anything, I just mean that I’m posting some random thoughts from yours truly (and some folks DO think I’m a trifle odd). I originally had “fellow” in the title but changed it to “duck,” so no-one would hold my words against some innocent secret society.

In my semi-theoretical quest for wild edibles, today I took a slow cruise around the perimeter of the Walmart/Lowes parking lot in a nearby city behind enemy lines (the state line). It appears to be an utter wasteland. A highway lines the front, a golf course lines another side, a vast field of golden rod lines the back, and a field of GMO corn lines the last side. Being in enemy territory, I’d have to be pretty desperate to forage here anyway. There was a small section of lowland forest in the golden rod where one might take advantage of the edge habitat to trap some wild critters. My short stint as a trapper many years ago taught me that not every place that appears barren is actually so. Still, there’s nothing quick and easy here.

I rarely come here anyway, preferring to spend my money locally, but my wife came here looking for a few decent tomatoes, since our local Walmart stocks mostly inedible crap. We’ve noticed that Walmart sends their good stuff here, and their crap to West Virginia, though the price is the same both places. West Virginia has ALWAYS been sh_t on by most folks, so I guess we’re used to it, but it’s still aggravating. Personally, I’d find a local source or do without, rather than drive up here and reward them with our business. She has to spend her own money if she wants them, if that shows you how I feel about the matter.

Forced frugality has had some interesting consequences. My wife IS finally getting the slightest idea that what you spend for burgers and fries is no longer available for milk and bread later. I guess I let her be too spoiled for too long. She absolutely HATES to cook anymore, which is sort of ironic since she’s a GREAT cook. We eat more microwave meals than is good but, still, she HAS been cooking a LITTLE more since our most recent round of poverty has occurred. Using up what you have before buying more has become more important. The other day, I smelled something sort of familiar, yet different, cooking for lunch. It turned out that she had some pepperoni and spaghetti sauce, but no crust or mozzarella. So, she used some parmesan cheese and crescent rolls from a can. It made for rather rich little mini pizzas with that sweet crust. They were okay, but she said she wouldn’t do it again!

I notice that I’ve rediscovered peanut-butter and crackers for snacks, plus butter sandwiches—two of my staples when I was a kid. I remember going back to the apartment from the farm one day many years ago, when I lived in town, and being a bit hungry. So, I sat down in front of the TV with a stack of saltines and a jar of peanut-butter and ate the whole stack before I realized that my glass of milk was still sitting on the kitchen table. I must either have been really hungry or it was a fascinating TV show is all I can figure! That same time period, I was at Kroger’s after work one day, picking up a pound of bologna and a loaf of bread, while the welfare queen in front of me had one cart full of meat and one of junk food, with a third full of mixed items. It sort of made me wonder why I was working.

We got all the bills paid up yesterday, and aren’t behind on anything, so we’re doing better than a lot of folks. The little woman fixed BLT’s for supper tonight—simple fare, but fine by me. The only thing that might have made them even better would have been to add a fried egg, but I wasn’t stupid enough to say anything to her!

My stepson and his new bride are having a “bash” tonight in place of a wedding reception. They sort of ran off with his kid and hers and got married in Florida, so no-one was there to have a reception WITH. They’re good kids; I hope they have long and happy lives together. I think they BOTH got a good catch this time around. (I know HE did anyway, and his mom is certain SHE did as well! Actually, she’s as pleased with the match as I am.) My wife and I aren’t “bash people,” so we aren’t going, but I hope they have a good time with their friends.

Saw another old man riding in a shiny new convertible today. I have to wonder why they still make convertibles since the seat-belt laws have come along. A roll-over in a convertible now is a death sentence. Before, you MIGHT have been thrown free.

I didn’t get anything accomplished today, but it was a pleasant day none-the-less. Old folks keep passing on, but young folks keep getting married, babies keep being born, and the earth keeps right on spinning. Grump as I may, the world is still a beautiful place and God is always good. Hope your day is good, too. © 2013


Kev Alviti said...

Worked hard today but like you say the world is a beatiful place and life is good. Nice insight into what you're up to

Angela said...

I agree with you about the produce at WalMart's in WV being very poor quality. It is hit and miss but I prefer going to Kroger's where I score every time with first quality produce. I really like peanut butter and crackers. I bought the Jiff to go and one is just the right amount of peanut butter for me. I also like the crunchy peanut butter from time to time. Maybe your wife is getting like I am. I love to cook but I hate to clean up! lol I still cook anyway though because I live too far from fast food and my cooking is better! :)

Gorges Smythe said...

I used to work hard, too, Kev. I rather miss it (seriously).

I agree that Kroger's is better, Angela, I'd shop there if it was up to me, but it's not. ;-)

Chickenmom said...

My favorite snack when I was a kid was a saltine cracker topped with a very, very, very thin swipe of butter and a bit of sugar sprinkled on top. Still love them - had some this afternoon!

Gorges Smythe said...

Gee, Cm, I was expecting you to top that cracker with cheese and a sardine!

Mamahen said...

You were on my turff , I was there yesterday. If I had known you and your wife were going to be there, hubby n I could have waited a day and we could have met in person :) Oh well perhaps another time. Today would not have worked out anyway.

Gorges Smythe said...

Yeah, maybe next time, Mh!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

When you are down to deciding if you can buy milk and butter or gas, you really do rethink everything you buy! Been there and not too long ago either. May be there again depending on the economy but the main thing is to get rid of or not get into debt! we did it all wrong back in a time where it was common practice. Now, I wouldn't have a credit card (we do have debit). The drawback is that you can't get a hotel room or rent a car (in another town) without one. Talk about being penalized for being frugal.

Gorges Smythe said...

The powers that be want us dependant and desperate, Kathy.