Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Cool dryer weather today--HOORAY!!!!  We should have nice, summer weather for a few days--and then it will warm up.  And by warm up, I mean temps at and over the 80* mark.  Blah.  Thank goodness for air conditioners.


While watching the Tigers game last night, we saw one of the pitchers break his elbow when he threw a pitch.  I have never seen anything like that before and never want to see it again.  He was in so much pain, I thought I could feel it!  I STILL shudder to think about what I saw.  He is done for the season, but did no damage to any tendons, ligaments, or muscles.  He actually was lucky that it only was a broken elbow.  It still is unbelievable that ANYONE could break an elbow just by throwing a baseball.


The Red Wings signed my Baby Boy's older brother to a one year contract.  For the most part, he will be playing in Grand Rapids, but will be called up to Detroit during the season.  It would be nice to see the two of them play together--I'm sure there is a great deal of chemistry there, as they grew up playing together.  It will be interesting to see if he can make it in the NHL.


The Youngest's neurotic cat--the one on anti-anxiety drugs--has been doing quite well lately.  And then they went and bought a new couch this past weekend.  He is NOT amused, but getting better every day.  It's not a wonder he isn't happy about the couch--cats HATE change in a big way.  Our cat gets very upset for a few days whenever I move the furniture around in the living room.  The joys of pet ownership.


We're still battling the yellow jackets in the soffit.  While K was able to close up most of the entry holes, they still are finding their way in.  So, K did a little bit of spraying, which killed MOST of the buggers--but not all.  There are two or three that continue to find ways to get into the soffit, so there will need to be more spraying done.  This HAS to be taken care of quickly.  From everything I've read, they get more and more aggressive as the month of August approaches--something about new queens, I believe--and they don't want anything around the nest.  Like I need to worry about THAT!


I don't know if the weather has had anything to do with it or not, but the police logs just haven't been too interesting lately.  There have been quite a few alcohol-related calls, but with this weather, ANYONE would want to drink the depression away!  Hot weather seems to bring out the wackos and this weekend is supposed to be hot.  High temps and a holiday weekend just might give some interesting police calls.  Stay tuned.


Our oldest has always had some strange reactions to certain medications.  If something is supposed to cause drowsiness, she would get hyper.  We found this out when she was given Tylenol with codeine for an ear infection.  She stayed up all night talking to herself after getting a dose, so we stayed away from that afterwards.  She also couldn't handle Dimetapp or several other meds because of the same result.  Last night, she found out her boy takes after her.  She gave him some Benadryl for his newly diagnosed allergies and he stayed up till at least 3:00 AM, bouncing off the walls.  But, when he fell asleep, he slept very well and woke up extremely refreshed.  At least something good came out of it.  ;)


Despite the fact that nothing came of K's visit to the sleep center, I STILL think his sleep isn't right.  (He went to be tested for sleep apnea and was told he doesn't have it.  I disagree.  I also think he has a bit of 'sleep eating,' too.  But I digress...)  Many times this next scenario has been played out in our house.

I went into the bedroom last night to put away the last of the laundry that I had just folded.  K had already been sleeping for an hour or two.  A lot of the time, he isn't disturbed when I go into the bedroom, but sometimes he is.  As I was putting my night gowns away, he got up out of bed, looked at me and began saying "I heard on the news..." and he proceeded to talk as if we had been conversing for an hour or so.  And he does this quite often--he just starts as if he never was sleeping.  It is the strangest, eeriest thing.  Maybe he DREAMS we are talking and he just continues what he was dreaming about.  I don't know. 


My favorite day of the year came and went over the weekend.  That day would be the first day of summer.  It is my favorite day because every day from now on gets shorter and shorter--and we are one day closer to winter with each day.  ;)  And the hockey season will be starting on 7 October--just 99 days away!  Time is moving way too slowly...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yuck, Yuck, Yuckity, Yuck

This is getting absolutely ridiculous.  Once again, as has been the case for days and days and days, the humidity is hovering around the 90% mark.  And the temp is hanging in at just under 70*.  This makes for cool, clammy, uncomfortable weather.  And I am about to lose it--big time.

I'm not one to want the hot, dry days of summer--hell, I don't wait for summer at all.  But what is going on here cannot continue.  While the temp is at the highest where I feel comfortable, I cannot handle the humidity.  Everything that I touch, is limp and damp.  I put on clothes every day that feel as if they weren't in the dryer quite long enough.  My dishtowels/rags are getting 'that smell' to them--the smell that comes from being too wet for too long--after using them just once.  (In the winter, I can go for three or four days before 'the smell' sets in, if it ever does.)  I can't put my hair in braids before I go to sleep--I do this because it gets in my way when I turn over--as it is still wet when I wake up.  And there is nothing more disturbing than smelling a mustiness in your hair--as if it will mildew and have to be cut off completely.  This humidity knocks every bit of 'get up and go' from me--I just feel like I'm moving in slow motion all of the time.  And my head and eyes hurt--the allergies/sinus problems are working overtime.  I just feel like shit.  (Pardon my French.)  I do believe I'm turning into a sloth--green hair and all.

I know in six months I will be pissing and moaning over the fact that this house is too dry, but right now I can't wait for the dryness to set in.  Last month we were worrying about the possibility of uncontrollable wildfires and now we have standing water or swamp-like conditions everywhere.  Our basement has always been 'damp,' but we have as much water down there right now as we get in the spring during the thaw.  Our dehumidifier is working overtime and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will last for the entire summer.  Still, it just isn't getting rid of the water/dampness that is hanging around the basement.  And thus ends my ranty piss and moan session.  ;)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time Moves On

Can you miss someone who you haven't had contact with in over 25 years?  I guess it's possible, because I am missing my cousin Ben.  Ben died this past weekend and I have been a bit down ever since I heard the news.

Ben was The Mother's first cousin and he was only eight years older than me.  He always was kind to me, but really didn't have all that much to do with me--after all, I was just a kid who was in awe of him.  He was the first teenager that I spent any time around.  I thought he was very, very cool and looked a bit like Elvis.  (He DID have the dark hair and slightly curled lip when he smiled.  And he was very good looking.) 

I always thought Ben was quite smart--probably because he spent a year at the local university back home.  I'm not sure why, but after a year he joined the Marines.  He found himself in Vietnam for 13 months.  I remember writing to him and have often wondered how much, if any, enjoyment he got from the ramblings of a pre-teen.  I was tremendously proud to think I had a relative defending our country.

One thing that I always will remember about Ben was his rock collecting.  He spent an enormous amount of time looking for agates on the shores of Lake Superior.  He would polish the stones and then sell them to local tourist shops or jewelry makers.  I have never been able to tell an agate from any other rock, so this was one talent that impressed me immensely--and I was very jealous.

When Ben got home from Vietnam, he, like so many, was 'not himself.'  For quite a while he didn't seem able to get his life together and he foundered.  There were several 'dark' years for him and we worried that he may not recover.

Finally, Ben got his life back on track.  He married and he and his wife had two children.  At one point, Ben went to the police academy and worked as a deputy sheriff for several years.  Time went on, he moved on to other jobs, divorced, remarried, divorced again and got back together with his first wife.  The two of them had a good life for many years, welcomed several grandchildren into their lives, and she was with him when he had the massive heart attack that killed him.  I hope he finally was at peace in his later years.  I wish I would have been in touch so that I could have known for sure.  I miss you, Ben.  RIP.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Couldn't This Be Fun?

There is the saying "If only I was a fly on the wall." in reference to being able to spy/listen to people.  Naturally, that isn't a possibility, but if we had the abilities of some animals, we might be able to camouflage ourselves enough to hide and eavesdrop.  ;)  Here is a story--with pictures--on some masters of disguise in the animal kingdom.  These are some truly amazing pictures.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Got It!

We are now home from our road trip and it can be revealed:  my anniversary gift this year is a nook!  So, "what's a nook?" you might ask.  A nook is an ereader--a gadget where you can read books and other printed material.  This is in place of reading an actual book.  (I'm not trying to insult everyone, if you all know what ereaders are--it's just that some people don't have a clue.)  There are several different ereaders other then the nook--Amazon, for example, has the Kindle and Sony has one, too.  After much research, I decided on the nook--for various reasons I will only mention if someone asks.  (I don't want to bore anyone.)

The nook is about the size of a paperback book--BUT it is only .5" thick.  It has enough memory in it to store about 1500 books.  And you can add memory with microSD cards.  There are over one million books available for the nook from Barnes & Noble--and there are more than can be found online.  This is quite a dangerous purchase for me, as I LOVE books!  And, for the most part, all of the books that you can buy for the nook are a bargain:  current bestsellers are about $10 each and there are many, many books for less than that or for free.  With the average hardcover book selling for $25 or more, the prices on ebooks are outstanding.

I haven't gotten the nook up and running as of yet--I have to charge it first--but I KNOW I am going to love it.  Being able to take numerous books with me at all times and being able to buy and download books WHEREVER I am at ANY time is amazing.  I'm definitely going to have to learn the meaning of the word restraint.  :)

Does this mean I'm done buying 'real' books?  Absolutely not.  I still will buy hard copies of my favorite authors and I have a few series that I intend to continue collecting.  Then, of course, every once in a while there will be another book that is special for one reason or another, so I will buy it.  All in all, I will have the best of both worlds when it comes to books--and I will probably bankrupt us with all of the books that I buy, in whichever form.  :D

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Weekend

Our weekend begins tomorrow, so today is all about getting ready.  Fun.

We have been having a lot of problems with stinging insects so far this summer.  Our latest problem is with yellow jackets--nasty, nasty buggers.  They have been building a nest in the soffit, in an area VERY close to our back door--the door which we use to get in and out of the house.  Of course, I am extremely phobic when it comes to these things, so I have been living on the edge for the past several days.  And to make it even worse, we have had a couple more wasps/hornets/whatever in the house.  I can't only feel nervous outside, but I can't even feel comfortable in my own house!  Such fun.  Anyway, K is working on eliminating the nest and now time will tell if it's all gone.  Just keeping my fingers crossed.

The weather is not to my liking, either.  We have had so much rain that I think I am  beginning to mold.  I'm afraid to look in my skin folds--I'm sure I would find mold or moss.  Maybe even a few mushrooms.  ;)  I don't remember how many days it's been since I watered the plant in the breakfast nook, but the water-catcher tray is STILL full of water--it just won't evaporate.  And until today, the temp has been low, so we've been dealing with cold, clammy weather.  But today, we have warm temps--and they are climbing.  I finally had to break down and put the air conditioners on, just to knock out some of the humidity.  I'm hoping this will help.

We are looking at doing a road trip tomorrow.  This, of course, is subject to change.  And this is all because of the weather.  Unstable air, etc, etc, is coming into the area and bad storms could come along with it.  It all begins tonight with the threat of strong T-storms.  While we don't normally have to worry about tornadoes here, the further south we go--like where we are going on our road trip--the higher the probability of bad, bad, bad storms.  I really don't want to be anywhere unfamiliar in the case of a tornado and I DEFINITELY don't want to be driving if things turn bad.  So, we might be deciding at the last minute that we will be staying home.  And I thought it was difficult to try and plan trips in the winter.  ;)

I REALLY want to do our trip because I have decided to buy my anniversary gift this weekend.  And I won't reveal what it is till it has been purchased.  Mean?  I know, but I'm hedging just in case I change my mind--which I don't think will happen, but...  So, at the latest, next week I should have a post up about my newest tech gadget--and that's the last hint I will give.  :)

Hope you all have a great weekend.  I'm going to try to have a good one.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Police Log

I haven't done one of these for a while because there really hasn't been any activity of interest.  I blame the weather.  But, I happened to find a couple of things to post from yesterday and today.  Enjoy! 

--10:44 PM, suspicious situation, smell of gas or butane, inexperienced grillers
First, how embarrassed are those 'inexperienced grillers' right about now?  And how much fun are the cops having with THIS one?  :D

--9:42 AM, three foot plastic Uncle Sam statue taken from yard, yellow toy dump truck left in its place
I KNEW there was a reason the sheep lady took the sheep in at night--she's afraid they will be replaced by yellow dump trucks!

--4:10 PM, porcupine walking along street, then in a tree
So, are we about to get an iPap app for porcupines now?

--5:25 PM, report of vulgar music being played from teenager's car
Was it more vulgar than MC5's 'Kick Out The Jams'--which began "Kick out the jams, motherf***ers!"?  Just another song from 'the soundtrack of my life.'  :D

And then we have the 'are these at all related?' calls:

--10:18 AM, lost cat

--12:33 PM, found white cat
Let's hope that the 'lost and found' was the same cat and he/she got home safely! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

HAD To Share

My Youngest sent this to me the other day.  I find it absolutely hysterical!

Just A Check Up

Today I had an appointment with my internist--it was just a short visit to make sure everything is fine with the tweaking of my meds.  And to my great surprise, my all-time favorite nurse was back in his office.  For good!  She had left in the fall and went to work for a veteran's facility here in town--she wanted the security it offered.  However, when the nurse that replaced her left, she was offered her old job back and she gladly took it.  She loves working for my doctor and is much happier with the work schedule.  This really gave me a happy today!

And just as easily, my happy was taken away.  Well, for a short time, anyway.  I had to have my blood drawn--and this was unscheduled and a surprise.  Fine, I'm getting used to it, even if I don't like having it done.  The problem is this new lab I go to--the lab tech's aren't used to me and my veins yet and they seem to think they know more than I do when it comes to drawing my blood.  The best and easiest way for them to do it is by using a butterfly--which is how it was done in the last lab.  These new techs insist on using a regular needle on me and those don't work all that well.  Today, I knew there was going to be trouble--and there was.  First, the tech couldn't find a good vein in my right arm.  I had to suggest trying my left arm--which he agreed to after saying he might have to get the blood from the back of my hand!  NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN!!!!!  Then he found a vein in my left arm, but lost it as soon as the needle went in.  Of course, he moved the needle around and moved the vein around to see if he could get the blood, but it didn't work.  (I don't know if ANYONE has EVER gotten blood from that particular vein--there doesn't even appear to BE a vein where he stuck me!)  I, once again, suggested a butterfly, but he took another needle and went after another vein a couple of inches over.  This time, it worked.  But, all he had to do was move over another 3/4" and use a butterfly and there would have been no problem.  Why can't they just listen to me?

The appointment went well, my doctor is pleased with how I'm doing and I don't need to go back for another six months.  I'll have to exercise my veins to get ready for the next round of blood-letting.  Hopefully, things will go better next time. 


As I get older, I guess I'm becoming more of a curmudgeon.  Every year more and more things irritate me and get on my nerves.  One thing that I have noticed lately that is bothering me are 'rattles.'

Quite a few years ago I decided that I was done with keeping a lot of tchotchkes and doo-dads around the house.  I used to have tons of stuff around when we were first married, but I realized early on that all of that stuff needed to be kept clean and I didn't want to be bothered.  So, I don't keep a lot of things on my living room tables or elsewhere.  However, I still have things on my built-in bookshelves and necessary items on the dresser shelves in the bedroom.  Also, my curio cabinet and china cabinet have tons of stuff in them, but for the most part, I don't need to clean those out but once a year.  And that's fine with me.

Not having to clean a lot of stuff is one benefit of not having knickknacks on display, but living in an old house, I have found another positive thing:  I don't usually have to worry about things 'rattling' on the shelves as we walk past them.  The floors in an old house like ours have the tendency to 'bounce' when they're walked on, so if things aren't placed 'just so' on shelves, they will vibrate and rattle--and that causes me an endless amount of grief.  I have spent countless amounts of days trying to get all of the drinking glasses in my china cabinet to NOT rattle against each other every time I walk through the dining room.  Not only am I concerned that they could break if they vibrate enough, but the sound of them rattling "sets my tith on etch!"  (That is an actual quote from Ricky Ricardo on 'I Love Lucy.'  :D)

I am winning little battles against a 'rattle' in our bedroom.  SOMETHING on the dresser shelf rattles--and I can't figure out what it is.  First, I thought it was my wind-up alarm clock, so I moved it.  That worked for a few days and then the rattle was back.  I was convinced it was the remote controls for the air conditioner or the clock radio, but that wasn't the case, either.  The last thing I moved was the flashlight and that has stopped the rattle for a few days.  But the rattle is back.  I keep winning the battles, but the war rages on--and my nerves are beginning to rattle along with whatever is doing so on the damn shelf.  I hope this isn't what my 'golden years' are going to be like.  Even *I* won't be able to stand me.  ;)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The Youngest has just begun giving her oldest cat anti-anxiety medication.  If this doesn't work, he will have to go on Prozac.  Words fail.

Name That Tune

Does anyone remember the show Name That Tune?  It was a game show where the contestants tried to name songs with the least amount of notes played.  (If you're really interested, here is the Wikipedia article where you can read all about it.)  I never watched the show very often, but I do remember thinking that I wouldn't be any good at it.  However, there ARE a number of songs I COULD name in a minimum amount of notes.  Crank up the sound and enjoy some of them:

The Mamas and Papas--such a wonderful sound.  And Monday, Monday is recognizable from the very first note.

Procol Harem came on the scene with a song for all times.  Annie Lennox redid this one later--and did a very fine job of it.  Here we have A Whiter Shade of Pale.

Anyone who has seen Risky Business will recognize this one:  Bob Seger's Old Time Rock 'N' Roll.
And here we have some hard rock by Deep Purple.  One of my favorite albums was Machine Head from 1972--and this is where Smoke on the Water was found.

This next song can still get me up on my feet, ready to move!  From my very young years, we have Question Mark and the Mysterians with 96 Tears.

And does anyone EVER think I can post anything about music and not include Eric Clapton?  I really don't think I have to hear more than one or two notes of this song and I could identify it.  And here is Layla.

I know there probably are a lot of songs that can fit in the 'I know what song that is from the first few notes' category and these just are a few of them.  What are some others?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

For All Posterity

Do you use Twitter?  No?  Then you are missing out on the opportunity to write words that will be saved for all time.  In April of this year, the Library of Congress decided to save every tweet that has been twittered/tweeted since the beginning of Twitter.  (Now THAT is something I'd like to hear you say three times fast.  ;))  It was determined that this will be a great way to preserve the culture, so the LoC will archive every word written via Twitter.  AS if ANYONE wants to remember me going 'Boo, hiss' over tonight's Chicago winning the Cup.  Here is the story from Twitter, if you would like to read more.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


When I was a young'un, we didn't have access to the fresh fruit and vegetables that we have today.  We had to wait till things were in season before we could buy them, but that made the produce even more special.  Watermelon was something that we only had in the summertime--and we always had a huge one for the Fourth of July.  There was nothing quite as delicious as a piece of cold watermelon on a hot summer day--biting into the crisp, red sweetness and having the water drip down your chin.  And the best part?  We were able to eat as much as we wanted.  Pure heaven.

When I was pregnant, I didn't have the uncontrollable cravings that some women experience.  With both pregnancies, I had one craving that was taken care of with one serving of the particular food and I wasn't bothered anymore.  With my oldest, my craving/obsession came to me in the middle of the grocery store.  In the middle of February.  Where it was difficult to get fresh, 'exotic' produce.  I saw the sliced watermelon in the refrigerator case and knew immediately that I had to have it.  Despite the fact that it cost more than filet mignon, I NEEDED to have the package of watermelon.  And having the wonderful husband that I do, we bought the watermelon.  When we got home, I ate all three pieces at one sitting and thumbed my nose at our food budget for the week.  So we ate one more meal of macaroni-and-cheese--I really didn't care, as I was in heaven.  ;)  And I didn't need to eat watermelon again till it was back in season.

Now for the TMI part.  Over the years, I have joined Weight Watchers several times.  Anyone who knows about WW also knows that it isn't very cheap to be a member.  I always thought that the reason I did okay on it was that fact that I had to pay and needed to go and be weighed weekly--this gave me incentive to watch my eating.  I just could never see spending that kind of money and have nothing to show for it.  My biggest problem with WW--and EVERY diet/eating plan I have ever been on--is that I get extremely bored with what I'm doing after about 6-8 weeks.  However, I would continue going for weigh-ins for several weeks after my enthusiasm waned.  Of course, this would not go as well as expected.  As time wore on, I would give up my 'good' eating and go back to old habits.  But, I STILL wanted to show a weight loss--no matter how small.  And here is where the watermelon would come in.  If I knew I wasn't going to show a loss for the week, I would go and buy watermelon a couple of days before weigh-in.  Then I would eat it all...and wait.  After the watermelon made its way through my system, I--at the very least--would end up staying the same weight, if I didn't lose a little.  I NEVER have to waste my money on one of those late-night colon cleanser products--all I need is a bowl of watermelon.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Tissue Alert

Several years ago, my internist sent me to the allergist to be tested.  I was getting sinus infections a couple of times a year and he didn't like me being on antibiotics so often.  (These days, with me being on Enbrel, I definitely don't need to have infections, for sure.)  Anyway, it was determined that I am allergic to dust mites.  Great.  As if I can keep dust away.  So, I went on two different allergy meds and have had only one sinus infection in more than five years.  I guess the meds work.  But, that means two more medications that I take daily.  So, I decided to do something about this.

Almost two months ago, I decided to quit taking my allergy pills and just continue with the nasal spray.  And things have worked pretty well--until this last week.  I don't know WHAT is going on outside, but I have been miserable.  I wake up with a headache--which, for the most part, goes away within an hour, but still, it's a headache.  But today, WOW!  It's been raining all day and I am just miserable.  My headache isn't going away, I'm sneezing, and my nose is running like a faucet--I think I have to go back on my pills.  And I just may need to be tested again, because it seems as if my allergies have expanded.  I don't have a happy.

Ladies? Think Again

Our church has a group for the adult female members.  This group meets regularly and plans ways to raise money and other projects.  When I first joined the church, I was invited to join this group.  The name of the group is the 'Women's Circle.'  As it was explained to me, all of the members are women, but not all are necessarily ladies.  ;)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Bit Tragic, But Horrendously Funny

There have been a few times in my life where I have been very, very sick.  And by sick, I mean a temp over 103-104*.  The times I have been this sick usually corresponded to having strep throat--an illness that I would get twice yearly while I worked at an elementary school.  (Kids are disease-riddled little goobers and they LOVED to give strep to me.)  I never managed to have any great, funny experiences while I was in the death-throes of strep--I saved all of THOSE adventures for when I was hopped up on Demerol--I did find a girl who wrote about HER illness and trying to run a 5K race.  I laughed so hard that the cat looked at me funny.  Here is Allie and her blog titled Hyperbole and a Half.  Her story of the race is entitled Texas.  Be sure to look around her blog when you get there--she is one funny person.  And her illustrations are great, too.  (Read her post Things That Can Make You Feel Like an Idiot Almost Instantly, too.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Nature At Her Best

Whenever we travel--whether it's north or south--we have to keep an eye out for wildlife.  And we do this mostly to avoid accidents.  Moose and deer can cause MAJOR damage to vehicles--and bodies.  We hardly ever are disappointed in what we see.  It is common to see turkeys and fox and coyotes and bears and eagles.  The most common animal that we see are whitetail deer--and yesterday was no exception.  When we were about halfway home last night, we saw a female deer on the right side of the road.  She was heading up the hill to get into the woods.  This was nothing unusual, but we kept an eye on her to make sure she didn't turn and come back onto the road.  As we got closer, we saw that her fawn was with her.  This baby was barely as high as her knees and had all of its spots.  Surprisingly, it was just as spry and lively as mama--the little one ran quickly behind the adult and made its way into the trees to safety.  It all happened way too fast for me to get a picture--damn.

(Of course, this is NOT the baby, but looks quite like it.)

NOT People Persons

We took a ride up north yesterday to deliver some things to the kids.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.  We always visit with K's oldest sister, also.  As we were driving through the town where she lives, I saw a house with a big sign next to the door that read "GO AWAY!!!!"  And for some reason, that really made me chuckle.  Then K told me about a guy at work.  He has stated that there are two things he hates:  visitors and unexpected visitors.  By the way, that gem of a man is a bachelor.  :D

I guess these are two examples of people who DON'T believe that "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world."

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


This is kind of a response to the troll's comment from a few days ago.  Not really, but it got me thinking, so here we go.

I have mentioned how I have lead a very sheltered life--and I make no apologies for it.  It is what it is and I'm too old to want to change too much.  Nowhere is my sheltered life quite as obvious as in my eating habits.  And this all stems from my childhood.

Growing up, our household revolved around what The Father wanted--or what The Mother THOUGHT he wanted.  He was/is a very tight-lipped individual, so whatever was said, we children didn't hear.  I have to take The Mother's word for it that what was, was what he wanted.  And nowhere was his influence felt more than at the dinner table.  The only things that were put on the table were things that he would eat--and there were not many foods that he WOULD eat.  And that's where I get my lack of imagination and adventure when it comes to food.

Dinner for me as a child consisted of meat, potatoes, a tiny spoonful of some vegetable, and bread.  We ate beef, chicken, beef, pork, beef, and, occasionally, turkey or salmon.  Potatoes were mashed, boiled, and rarely, baked.  As for vegetables, we had very little variety.  Mostly we ate peas and carrots or corn.  Green or waxed beans were on the menu, at times, and that pretty much was it.  Once in a great while, we had a tossed salad.  Fresh vegetables consisted of tomatoes and carrots.  The Father ate pickled beets and homemade pickles, but not much else.  The bread we ate was usually white and store-bought, but sometimes we had homemade bread--and occasionally we had Finnish flat bread (rieska.)  The ONLY casserole that was served at The Parents' table was a potato and salmon casserole.  And I won't even TRY to describe the spaghetti that The Mother made--and the ONLY spaghetti The Father will eat.  Most people wouldn't even recognize it AS spaghetti.  The only spices that were used were salt--WAY too much--and pepper.  Onions were also used for flavor.  Other than that, nothing.  Nada.  Zero.  Bland food was the order of the day.

I was in middle school, at least, before I tasted pizza for the first time.  I never had a taco till I was married.  The first time I saw someone eat a bratwurst--I was probably 12--I almost died.  I thought it was disgusting.  I didn't even KNOW that there were 'flavored' Doritos--actually, the only snack foods we had were potato chips, potato sticks, maybe Fritos, and maybe Cheetos.  Again, I never KNEW there were so many snack foods to be had, until I was out of The Parent's house.  I remember going to a restaurant only a couple of times when I was a child--it just wasn't done in my family.  And even if we would have had places that HAD takeout food, we never would have gotten any.  Again, NOT done in my family.

Getting married and leaving the influence of The Parents could have sent me one of two ways:  I could have embraced all of the foods I was denied as a child or I could have stayed with the 'tried and true' from childhood.  Maybe not so surprisingly, I kind of took the middle-road--and I really don't leave my comfort zone very often.  I eat most of what you will find in the chain-type restaurants, but still can find it hard to find something to enjoy in 'regular' ones.  I am truly an American when it comes to eating--I enjoy the everyday, non-threatening menus that you will find at burger-joints and Americanized Italian restaurants.  And that is pretty much it.

I don't make a big deal about what I will and will not eat.  If the people I'm with want to eat at a place where I'm not comfortable, I do the best I can.  I usually will order something I am familiar with, but there ARE times I will step out of my comfort zone.  I actually have eaten calamari and alligator.  I'm not completely against eating fish.  I DON'T, however, eat mushrooms, shellfish, mutton, squash, among other things.  And yes, I HAVE tasted all of the previous foods and find that I JUST. DON'T. LIKE. THEM.  Just because I am a bit finicky doesn't mean I need chastising over my eating habits.  I won't try to tell you what you can eat and don't tell ME what to eat.  And I won't make a big deal about my eating habits--I will just, quietly, eat what I want without disturbing others.  However, I don't think I COULD be quiet if you try and serve me caviar, oysters, or Rocky Mountain oysters.  I WILL bolt from the table if those were put in front of me.  :D