Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Danish Experiment: well, when you’ve got everything handy…

Have you ever watched someone cooking or baking something on tv or Youtube, and it occurred to you that you had all those ingredients, so maybe you’d give it a go?

The other night I watched some woman making danish for her boys on Youtube, but they looked… un-danish.  She took a tube of dough, chopped it into 8 hunks with a cleaver, then pounded each chunk with her FIST into a hockey puck.  Wow.

I had a tube of crescent rolls from Easter, but didn’t want to make hockey pucks.  I watched a couple others make their own versions, then got busy. 

Here, I’m laying out a couple rectangles of crescent roll dough.  See those perforations between each triangle?  Crimp the little holes together with your thumb & finger so each rectangle looks solid. 

Hmm, these look about 4” wide per rectangle.  We’ll want one inch strips.

Get out your pizza cutter--well, they’re not perfect but they’ll do!
Okay let’s make the cream cheese filling.  We want 4 oz. softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons GRANULATED sugar & 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Beat it all into a frenzy, then set aside.
(Don’t use powdered sugar, or the filling will become frosting.)     
Now we take each strip and twirl ‘em—then curl them into a circle on your baking sheet.
After I put each twirled & curled strip on my baking sheet, I used a tablespoon to fill the centers with a big glop of jam or cream cheese filling.

I’m going to bake these at 350F for 15 minutes.

Didn’t these turn out nicely?  But we’re not through yet—let them cool to room temperature….
Take 1/2 cup of POWDERED sugar & 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Beat the two together using a spoon for 1-2 minutes, then drizzle over the tops of your danishes.

NOW they’re ready to enjoy  Nerd smile

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Like the old saying goes, you can catch more faucets with honey than with vinegar

Okay so the title is a little off, but it’s still true.  And I’m not sure this is blog-worthy but I still wanted to share it, if that’s okay.  A little over a week ago, I was getting a baking sheet from under the kitchen sink (I lean them against the wall under there) and noticed a small spray of water droplets on the top pan.  Did that just happen?  Where’d those drops come from?  I reached up under the sink and ran my hand along the pipes.  Don’t feel anything… 

That night before going to bed, I laid a large brown paper bag from the market under the pipes.

When I got up the next morning, I filled up my water reservoir tank on my Keurig, got my cereal & toast, was rinsing my dishes… oh wait, the paper bag!  I looked under my sink and sure enough, there was an 8 inch oval wet spot on that bag.  Was that from an overnight drip or this morning?  I’d better contact building management.  I filled out the online service request, took a photo and attached it to the SR.  Then I waited.

A day later, I was sitting here reading (blogs, what else?) when I heard some male voices down the hall by the elevator.  One of them laughed and I knew right away it was Jay, a younger man from West Virginia and our building’s ‘plumber guy’. 

It’s about time!  I’m not going to sit here and replace wet paper bags every morning, y’know! 

I got up to go meet them when I suddenly heard Janet, the woman who lives up the hall talking to them.  I carefully opened my door to listen better and boy, she was really giving them the business.  Apparently she had contacted Steiner about a clogged bathroom sink, and was irritated to learn they weren’t here for her today.  They were installing new plumbing in the studio apt by our floor’s laundry room.  I heard Jay apologize profusely, promise to look into it and then Janet’s door slam. 

Was that necessary?  Wait… wasn’t I ready to do some barking of my own just a few minutes before? 

I emptied a bucket of cleaning supplies I kept in my closet and stuck it under my kitchen sink.  There, no more bags.  I made a promise to myself to be extra nice to Jay when I saw him.

Jay arrived the next morning, apologized for the delay and I told him it was okay, I know he gets pulled in every direction daily.  He got under my sink, determined the leak was coming from a crack in my water-line, and I had a sudden flashback of me yelling “GET IN THERE!” at a baking sheet I tried to jam under there a couple weeks ago.  (Jay said it was age but I dunno…)  He told me he’d replace it straightaway, and asked if I had any other issues.  I said yes, could he turn up my fluoride regulator as I was getting a cavity.  He looked at me for a moment then laughed and told me I should talk to his helper Mike, who thinks fluoride is an “X-Files thing” to coat our brains with aluminum.  We both laughed this time, and I asked if he’d like a glass of iced tea and was surprised when he said yes.

When Jay went downstairs for a new water-line, he returned with it and a flat white box.  Inside was a new kitchen faucet (seen in the top photo).  I said “Wow, that’s pretty nice.  Is that for the studio down the hall?”  He said “As long as I gotta detach your line, I thought I’d replace your faucet.  This one will give you a lot more room for filling big pots and your water pitcher.” 

After all was said & done, I called Steiner (my building’s management) to thank them for the great job Jay did.  They seemed really appreciative, thanked me for the call and told me they’d be sure to pass it along.

Janet, I hope you got that bathroom clog fixed—next time try a little less vinegar.  Nerd smile


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Proud fools and Republican men: stubborn is as stubborn does, I suppose

This morning I made plans to go to the market and do some shopping.  For the last several weeks I’d only been picking up 1-2 items at a time, and was surprised how bare my cupboards had gotten, along with an empty freezer. 

As I sat on my couch tying my shoes, I watched the news.  There’s going to be a pause on the Johnson & Johnson One Dose vaccine because of six cases of blood clotting (out of 8 million).  A miniscule number, but this would not bode well for the 49% of Republican men refusing to get vaccinated.  This was the last thing they needed to hear.

I shook my head in disbelief.  Butt-brains!  They could infect each other with covid-19 for all I cared.  I know, I know… not nice. 

So I turned off my TV, grabbed my mask and headed to the store, wondering why these men were being so stubborn.  I’ve had to restrain myself from yelling at my TV every time Joe Biden has gotten on there, pleading with us to get vaccinated.  Joe I’m trying!  It’s been reported that people like myself who had the virus and recovered, develop a natural immunity that lasts around six months.  Still, doctors claim they only need one dose of the 2 dose vaccines.  I got sick last July, took me 2 months to fully recover and cannot imagine going thru that again.

So the next thing I know, I am at the store and bagging my groceries when the checker turns to me and says “Your total comes to $113.70.”  I looked down at the spray of items still unbagged and said “Uh-Oh.”  She asked “What’s wrong?  Did you forget your wallet?”   

No, that wasn’t it.  I had come to Kuhn’s with a list of exactly what I needed, what I knew I could safely manage to carry home.  But today… I can’t explain it.  Something came over me and I loaded up that shopping cart with a month’s worth of food.  I even made sure to eat before I went, I know the rule about shopping on an empty stomach.

I said “No, it’s more like I forgot my car.  I don’t see how I’m going to carry this many bags home.”    

Suddenly, a woman appeared behind my right shoulder (on her way out the doors) and said “Did you forget where you parked your car hon?”  She looked between 65 and 70, and was holding one bag of her own.  I said “No, no—I sold my car last year but forgot I can only carry so much.  I’m fine.”  

She said “Well I’m parked right outside.  Let’s load up this cart with your bags and wheel it to my car.  My daughter brung me, but she won’t mind.”   I said “Omigosh, that’s very kind of you but no thanks, I’m good.”

(I don’t know why I automatically said that, I must’ve had 10-11 bags here.)

She didn’t give up easily though and asked “How far do you live from here?”  I said “Oh, I’m just up the street and down a few blocks, California Avenue.”  She said “Where on California?”  I told her right past the Methodist church.  She said “The Tiffany.”  I nodded my head and turned to my checker, said I was paying with my debit card.  The woman beside me said “Oh sure, my sister Betty lives there!  She’s in 316, which one are you?”   I told her 402. 

Dammit, why did I just tell her that?

She said “My daughter Stacey is over at the office buying bus tickets.  That’s the only thing she came in for, so we have room for your bags.”  I said “Ma’am, thanks again but I’ll be fine.”  I asked my checker if she’d help load up my arms with bags and this other woman stood there and said “That doesn’t look very smart.  If you don’t want my help then why don’t you use your Senior Pass and make a couple trips on the bus?  Kuhns will watch your stuff.” 

I told her I didn’t have a senior pass.  She said “You sound like my late husband, he didn’t go for all the senior perks either.  He was stubborn too.” 

I wanted to tell her I wasn’t old enough yet for a senior pass (and was a little miffed she thought I was) but I just shrugged my shoulders while the checker weighed down my second arm with bags.  

I got out of Kuhn’s parking lot (it’s slanted and a steep uphill climb) and braced myself against an electric pole to pant like a dog for a couple minutes.  Just a couple feet away, a big PAT bus hissed to a stop and I watched a couple older folks climb on. 

I’m not stubborn!  When I’m their age I’ll get a Senior Pass!

As I huffed down California Avenue, hands burning, fingers aching, chest thumping and suckiing in a lot of air, I noticed a car right behind me cruising very slow.  When I got to the next electric pole, I wearily drooped my arms and rested against it.  The car behind me slowed to a stop, and the driver’s window rolled down.  A very attractive young woman, looking around 30 or so, stuck her head out and asked if I was alright.  I smiled and said I was fine, thanks for asking.  She asked “Do you have far to go?”   I blushed and said only another block.

She leaned far back in her seat then, and another face neared the open window.  The woman from the store!  She said “I TOLD YOU this was too much for one trip!  We’re going to follow you until you get to the Tiffany!”

My God!  I’m sure her daughter had better things to do than follow some older man home… it just kills me how stubborn some people like her mother can be!

Anyway, just wanted to get this off my chest—along with about a month’s worth of groceries.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Doctor Q’Anon and ApacheDug in “Don’t do drugs”

My mailman woke me up Good Friday morning.  I was sitting upright on the end of my couch, still wearing my clothes (and shoes) from Thursday and snoring away when my phone rang and jolted me awake.

I picked it up and whispered “Hello?”   I got back “Hi Doug it’s Jim.  I’m downstairs.”  I said “Is Shawn & Sophia with you?”  (My sister Shawn’s husband’s name is Jim.)   He said “I don’t know who you mean.  Doug, it’s your mail carrier.”   I said “Oh!  I’m sorry Jim… how did you get my number?”  He said “I didn’t.  I’m down here in the lobby.  I pressed your buzzer.”

(To be honest, it’s been so long since anyone’s pressed my buzzer I forgot that it’s connected to my landline.  Also, I could only get my eyelids half open; I was dealing with some VERY heavy brain fog.)

I said “Do you need something Jim?”  He said “I wanted to let you know you left your mask down here.”  I said “How do you know it’s mine?  It’s… not embroidered with my name or anything.”  He said “It was in your mailbox.”  I said Oh.  He added “along with your wallet.”   WHAT.  I told him I’d be right down.

When I stood up my knees wobbled and I plopped back down.  Easy now… as I got back up again, it began coming back to me.  The day before, Thursday, I’d been to my conservative dentist.  (My friend Danielle calls her Doctor Q’Anon.)   It had been an early appointment, at 9am.   So why was I still dressed for it?   Because when it was scheduled a couple weeks ago, my lovely dentist had given me two blue football-shaped pills and said “Take the first one an hour before your next appointment, and the second one right after we’re done.” When I asked what they were, she said “Alprazolam.  Douglas you are way too tense & serious a patient, and your next visit is going to be 3-4 hours long.  I want you to be relaxed and happy, okay?”

Sure… who doesn’t want to be relaxed & happy?   So on Thursday morning at 8am I took the first pill.  After that… I have a dreamy memory of my doctor wearing a plastic shield on her face and promising to email me her photo, and holding a tray of tiny toys.  And laughter, lots of laughter.   My next memory was Dr. Q’s front receptionist asking if I had a ride home and me saying I only lived a bunny hop, skip & jump away.

More laughter and me promising I was going straight home.  It was all hazy & dreamlike.

When I opened my front door to go downstairs, there was a white Rite-Aid bag on my welcome mat.  I picked it up and looked inside.  A 2-pack of Bounty paper towels and a quart of very warm milk.  I have ZERO memory of going to Rite-Aid!  I looked at the receipt inside, it says I bought these items yesterday at 1:44PM.   It also says DAWN DISHWASH DETER on the slip but there’s no Dawn in here; I’ll be damned, someone came along & stole it!  

I set the bag inside then proceeded downstairs to get my mask & wallet.  When I saw Jim the Mailman, he joked “Late night?”  and then told me my chest was glowing.  Sure enough, in my breast pocket was a brightly lit ghost ring.  Dr. Q’s tray of tiny toys….  it was rubbery and I squeezed it and it shut off.

When I came back upstairs, groggy as hell and shaking my head, I saw my answering machine was now blinking.  I pressed PLAY and heard “Hi Doug, it’s Nina from Dr.P’s office?  She said if we don’t hear back from you, she’s sending in the cavalry.  She also said your mouth is going to be plenty sore for a few days, she did repairs to 8 teeth.  Get back to us by noon if possible, okay?”

That’s when it hit me… owww my mouth WAS plenty sore.  I went to my refrigerator to get a glass of juice, and right there on the top shelf was a brand new bottle of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid.

I shudder to think what I said or did for this nifty ghost ring.