Monthly Archives: November 2015

A Simple Walk in the Park…Dark.

It was going to be so simple. I was going to be the good wife and get the dog’s walk out of the way. Roy has been working some late nights, so I have been coming home early enough to get the dog’s walk in before it is too dark. Simple, right? Well, you’d think so.

Tonight, I was finally too late for a pleasant stroll in the daylight. But I knew that to leave that wild, rambunctious dog with no exercise would just lead to grief…and random chewed up items around the house. So, I got out the walking in the dark supplies and let the dog out of her room.

Before we left for the walk in the dark, I needed to take care of myself – bathroom, snack, etc., so I let the dog outside to take care of her peeing issues while I got ready. I also had to change the batteries on the flashlight, since, when I turned it on, I couldn’t even see to the end of the hall because the beam was so weak.

Having taken care of that, I picked up the lighted-up collar that flashes in the dark and went to put it on Josie. She misunderstood when I opened the door and rushed into the room. She saw the flashing collar and knew a walk was in store. That’s when I found out she had not gone downstairs to pee. Instead, in her excitement, she peed all over my floor.

After a quick mop job, I tried to put the collar on the dog. She wanted to go for the walk, but she didn’t realize that she had to stand still for me to get the collar on. The struggle to get her collar on went from inside the house to outside. I tried to get the collar on and clipped, but it kept slipping through my fingers as she tossed her head and wiggled about. In the end, I laid on her on the porch step and cursing and swearing, finally managed to get the thing clipped on and the lights on.

She tore off down the steps and I followed more slowly, flashing my flashlight around, praying I didn’t run into a skunk or something. The dog joyfully flew about, looking like a fast moving Christmas tree and the lights were the only thing that kept her in my view.DSCN2296.JPG

I walked quickly in the dark, flashing my light from side to side, trying not to think what might be out there, just beyond my beam. The dog had no such qualms, her light trail could be seen moving from side to side, stopping just long enough for me to get close.

Then it happened: She disappeared. No matter where I looked, I could not see her. All I could do was keep walking along and looking. All at once, there was a set of beady little eyes, there in the dark, not moving, engaged in a stare down with me. I knew it was a skunk; my worst fears realized!

I began to slowly back up, when suddenly, the “skunk” relaxed its shoulders and the lights around the neck reappeared. It was the dog, who had covered her own collar as she took care of her bathroom business.

Normally, we walk a little farther, but tonight, that was enough for me. I took my pseudo-skunk decorated with Christmas lights and went back home. That’s all the walking in the dark I plan to do for a while…but the dog may have different ideas. We’ll see who wins!

 

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Creating a talking list

Okay, I admit it, I’m one of those people who probably overshares on Facebook. It is just such an easy way to instantaneously visit with large groups of people. But I’m also aware that there are some things which should not be discussed on Facebook. So, since all the other people have their “taboo subject” lists, I’ll make one too.

When I’m on Facebook, I don’t really want my religion challenged. I’m fairly certain God is not putting those challenges on about “if you believe in God, you’ll re-post this…if you don’t repost it, something bad will happen.” I don’t really think God is sitting up there in heaven, waiting to strike if I don’t share the proper thing on Facebook. While we’re at it, don’t talk to me about one religion (Christian or otherwise) pitted against another. Pretty much every religion under the sun has heroes and if we took a shovel and dug a little we’d find things we don’t like. Tell me when you’re having a fundraiser bake sale, etc. and I’ll be there, but no ideology, please.unnamed

No politics on Facebook. I won’t convince you and you won’t convince me, so all those political rants are a waste of time. I like to hear about successful programs and ways in which I can help, but the evils of the political parties are lost on me.

I’m also a little squeamish about discussions of sex lives. I don’t frequently read about someone’s activities in the area of amour, but when I do, I always wish I hadn’t read it! I don’t mind hearing about weddings and engagements and anniversaries, in fact, I like those. I even love all the pictures and posts about babies, I just don’t want to hear any creation details!

The next thing on my list is going to sound weird, but I don’t want to hear about farts on Facebook. Apparently, it is now all the rage to create little clever sayings about farts, but those always make me flinch. I have as many bodily functions as the next person, I don’t need any cute little sayings to remind me of how uncomfortable it is!

And then there’s liver. The subject of liver is always unacceptable to me. I don’t like liver and I don’t want to discuss its health benefits or anything else. I am also not very fond of almonds, so if I didn’t have to talk about them, I’d be happy.

Then, there is the color purple, especially as it appears on the backs of the Vikings. Okay, what I really don’t want to discuss if football—Vikings specific. The every Sunday scream fest at my house when the Vikings are winning or losing (the screaming is the same, either way) is enough. I don’t want to discuss it on Facebook.

Other things I don’t want to talk about: guns (I can’t shoot), jeans (I can’t wear them) recipes (I can’t cook), and music because I can’t play or sing. In fact, I think everyone should just clear everything they want to talk about with me before they post it on Facebook.

What do you mean, we have freedom of speech? If I don’t like what someone says or how they say it, they shouldn’t have the right to talk about it, right? Oh dear, I think I may have gotten something wrong here….but still, if you would, just don’t talk to me about liver, alright? Anything but liver. Is it a deal?

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Dinner at 8…or got ate, or something

When it comes to meal time at my house, Roy and I have somewhat differing views on the subject. If it was up to me, we’d eat every meal out…but of course, I don’t usually pay for them. If it was up to Roy, we’d eat every meal in…but of course, he doesn’t usually cook them.

So, we nightly perform a little dance we like to call the “what are we going to do about dinner?” He can come up with a ton of excuses for why we should eat in and I can come up with an equal number of excuses for why we should eat out.

First, it’s a waiting game. Roy waits until the last possible hope he has of me cooking before he says, “Uh, what’s for supper?”

I, on my side, have been waiting as long as I can for him to offer to take me out. “Well, I don’t know, perhaps I could defrost something and we could eat in a couple of hours.” I’m counting on him being too hungry to want to do that.20151116_093656

“Well, okay. Maybe I’ll have a piece of jelly bread while I’m waiting,” he’s affable and agreeable if he thinks I may fix something.

“There’s no jelly and no bread,” I snarl, “and if we don’t go out to eat, you’re getting oatmeal and not with a smile.”

Then, there are all the holidays I can come up with for going out to celebrate.

“It’s Restaurant Appreciation Day,” I announce as we both come in the door after work.

“What’s that?” he’s suspicious immediately.

“That’s where you are supposed to show how much you appreciate your favorite restaurant by going to it to eat,” I reply hopefully.

“And which restaurant is your favorite,” he asks, but he already knows the answer.

“Oh, I’m not fussy, I like them all. You pick one,” I am so delighted I may get to go out.

“I really like Fauth’s Kitchen, that’s my favorite,” he answers craftily.

“I wouldn’t eat there if I was you,” I say between my teeth, “because the cook there is very likely to spit in your food.” So much for being subtle!

I’ve tried everything. I told Roy one night we had to eat out because I had sprained my wrist and couldn’t handle the pans. He very obligingly came out and moved the pans for me every time they needed it.

Another time, I told him that I was just too tired to cook right then. He generously volunteered to take the phone off the hook so I could have a nap before I cooked dinner. He said he would have some jelly bread to tide him over.

Then there was the time I told him it was “National Give your Kitchen a Rest Day.” He fired up the grill for me.

Tonight, I tried a new tactic. “Honey, I spent so much time washing and ironing your shirts so that you will be ready for work, that I just didn’t get anything started for supper. I don’t know how soon I could get a meal going and I’m sure you’re starving.”

“I’ll get something out of the freezer for you,” he answered calmly. “You can get out the bread and jelly for me.”

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Pumpkin Pie, Anyone?

I have stated so many times that I am not a cook. I don’t enjoy it, I’m not imaginative and in fact, if I can just get it from the freezer to the table without over-salting, over-sugaring or over cooking it, I figure I’m doing pretty well.

Why then, do you suppose I undertook a major cooking from scratch project? It’s easy. My sweet little grandson looked at me with those big beautiful eyes of his and said, “Grandma, I want a pumpkin pie from a pumpkin.”

I’m sure his parents are capable of it, but Grandma, who is seriously off her meds sometimes, decided that it was her duty as a card-carrying grandma to make that pie. After all, how hard could it be to make a pumpkin pie from scratch?

Well, as it turned out, it was pretty tough. I forged ahead nonetheless. First, there was the selection of a pumpkin. I went to the store and tried to determine which of those giant ribbed orange monsters looked the most pie-like. I selected a medium-sized one because everyone said that was going to be more than enough pumpkin.

Lacking the sense to just labor in silence and see what I could do, I immediately posted a picture of the pumpkin on Facebook, inviting the little boys to try and guess what Grandma was going to bring them. They guessed that Grandma was bringing a big pumpkin. I should have left it at that.

I cracked open that pumpkin and went to work. I hate taking the seeds out of a pumpkin. It’s slimy and stringy and there is no tool that ever does the job, so I always end up having to use my hands. With a little effort and a lot of swearing, crying and grasping slippery seeds with my fingers, I finally had the darn thing gutted.12190797_975568235814940_5887003693112475364_n

Then came the baking. I put the pieces on a pan and in the oven. About 10 p.m., they were mostly done. I turned off the oven and thought, “I’ll watch the news and then take them out and put them in the garage to cool overnight.” The news wasn’t terribly exciting and so I fell asleep in the chair. About 1 a.m. I stumbled out of the chair and went to bed. The baked pumpkin wasn’t in the garage.

The next morning I rushed around, went to work and about 10 a.m. or so, I remembered my baked pumpkin, spoiled and by this time probably molding in the oven. I got home, flung open the oven door and there they were, looking slightly depressed and smelling—not in a good way. They hit the garbage and I hit the grocery store.

I had a struggle with myself at the grocery store: should I buy another pumpkin or pumpkin in a can? I remembered those trusting little boy eyes and bought the pumpkin. I cleaned another slimy set of seeds and baked it…sitting next to the stove this time.

Then came the task of getting that pumpkin into something like pie-baking texture. This proved tricky. Not only did I have to run it twice through a mixer and a blender, I failed to put the top on the blender for one round before I turned it on puree. The walls, my clothes and my glasses all looked like they had the orange measles. Two days later and I am still combing pumpkin blobs out of my hair.12195090_976443442394086_5417765234042510412_o

The pumpkin at last had the look and consistency of strained baby carrots and I was able to stir them up into a pie-like substance. The baking is done and the pies are ready to try, but I don’t know: Do you suppose I should taste them in advance or let the grandsons take their chances?

Royce - loving the pie!

Royce – loving the pie!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Confessions of a secret Vikings watcher…

My mother raised me right…honestly she did. She taught me that football was a rough game and better left to men to play and watch. For many years, I never had a problem. My father watched the Vikings through thick and through thin, but I always managed to maintain an aloof attitude against the players in purple.

Then I married a man who was an even bigger Vikings nut than my father. It matters little or nothing how the game goes, Roy sets up a row that can be heard through windows and down the block. If they are winning, he is cheering and crowing and if they are losing, he screams so loud that his hunting dogs run for cover.

Needless to say, Sundays in the fall are not designated for a peaceful afternoon nap. Nor is it possible to do any housework which requires noise. My only option, then, is to sit in a chair and wait for the football deluge to be over. On the good days, when they win, it becomes a cheerful evening.

But there are not enough of the winning days. The Vikings, while a tough team, of course, have a tendency to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. When they do that, life is sad at our house. We discuss and review and rant about every play. We go over and over the points where they messed up the most and any other topic is not interesting enough to divert the mood.

So, over the years, gradually, I have found myself watching the game, hoping against hope that Bridgewater connects with Peterson and the blocking is good and they make the scores. Walsh has been having a sketchy year with those field goals and extra points and several players, whose names I can’t keep straight, have the following issues, “butter fingers, blind eyes, and numb brains.” Sacking the quarterback is good when the Vikings do it and not when the Vikings have it done to them.

I now know far more about football than I ever intended to. I don’t laugh at the jokes any more, “I’m having the Vikings as my pallbearers so they can let me down one more time,” or “Why do the Vikings wear purple? You’d be purple too if you always choked.” I know the names of many of the players and I even know the coach is Mike Zimmer.

The Secret Vikings fan at a game in the old Metro Dome

The Secret Vikings fan at a game in the old Metro Dome

All of this was still on the fringe of my consciousness until today. Today, the Vikings were head to head with the Chicago team (I believe they are the Bears) when a pass from Bridgewater hit a player far down field right at the close of the game.

I jumped up and shouted, “They got it! It’s close enough for a field goal to win the game. Now Walsh had better hit it!” I immediately slapped a hand over my mouth and looked around. Roy, who can yell pretty loud, had been outshouted and was a little stunned. The dog was hiding behind the chairs. My book and my sewing, both of which I had been trying to do, went skittering from my lap across the floor when I jumped up.

So I guess there’s no more hiding it. Apparently, I have fallen into or been sucked into the trap of cheering for a football team and of all the teams, I had to cheer for the Vikings. I thought friends didn’t let friends become Vikings fans. Is there a support group for this?

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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