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MAY ...2017 .. Whats for Breakfast / Brunch / Lunch ?

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UNCLE JIMMY

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We shared a McDonalds Big Breakfast this morning.
Tina had her one pancake, I had the other two, plus the eggs and sausage patty.

Crybaby

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UNCLE JIMMY wrote:We shared a McDonalds Big Breakfast this morning.
Tina had her one pancake, I had the other two, plus the eggs and sausage patty.

Who makes the McDonald's run -- you or Tina, Jimmy? Inquiring minds want to know!

bethk

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OK....warning: JIMMY ~ DO NOT LQQK !!!

My 'light' lunch today was half an avocado, mashed, with chopped tomato and s&p and some fresh tortilla chips (as in, I just bought them and they haven't been in the pantry for 45 days because he only eats 8 - 10 chips at a time ~~ he counts them out according to how many calories he wants. Geesh!)

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:OK....warning:      JIMMY ~ DO NOT LQQK !!!

My 'light' lunch today was half an avocado, mashed, with chopped tomato and s&p and some fresh tortilla chips (as in, I just bought them and they haven't been in the pantry for 45 days because he only eats 8 - 10 chips at a time ~~ he counts them out according to how many calories he wants.  Geesh!)



Mmmmmm! Looks super to me, Beth, as I love chips and salsa and I really like guacamole or anything with avocado. Your mix looks yummy and fresh!

I had some chips and Pace brand hot chunky salsa for lunch the other day. There's a new brand of chip here, Hola Nola, that has "Authentic Real Restaurant Chips" that are not only good (not overly salty like some you buy at the store but more like the ones at good Mexican restaurants) but they seem to stay crisp forever -- I just put a binder clip on the bag and they're still crisp more than 3 weeks after I opened the bag! They're made in Ascension Parish in LA, and consist of "ground corn, coconut oil, sea salt, spices, and trace of lime." They come in a microwaveable bag, and say on the bag they're made from" Non-GMO Corn, Kettle Cooked, Coconut Oil, Handcut, Thin & Crispy. They also make Blue Corn Tortilla Chips and Creole Tortilla Chips -- they're good too but I prefer the plain ones, though none of them taste radically different.

I just checked online and they're sold mainly in the South but also sell online (though not cheap at $3.99 a bag). Best chips I've had in years and I've never had ones that stayed crisp for so long -- I never tried heating them up in the microwave either as it says on the bag to do it prior to opening the bag. I'm smiling 'cause I usually have already opened the bag whenever I read that. I don't buy chips too often but love that Pace hot chunky salsa, as it's actually spicy. It's good on lettuce and cukes, too, for a low cal but healthy snack.

bethk

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Dane likes the Tostitos round tortilla chips....less calories because they are smaller, I suspect. I like the Dorito Cantina chips as they are thin and crispy, much like I remember the 'original' Doritos were when they first sold in the stores in the early 1970's but then stopped production when they started adding 'flavors' and I stopped buying them.

I started buying the WalMart hot salsa because it's inexpensive and really tasty. It's difficult in The Villages to find spicy things. Heck, I can't even find a store that sells Bush's Hot & Spicy Chili Beans ~ and that was a standard for me in Ohio. If I have time I'll have to do a grocery run when I'm there and fill a box for Dane to pack in the car to drive home.

But speaking of 'heating' the chips....next time you're having a cocktail and you have potato chips in the house, put a few on a tray and stick 'em in the oven for just a couple minutes. It always reminds me of the 'machine' at the laundromat when I was a kid. It was full of potato chips and a big light bulb to keep them warm. You put in your nickle, turned the crank and out came your "fresh" chips. It's amazing we kids survived eating that crap! LOL

Crybaby

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Beth wrote:But speaking of 'heating' the chips....next time you're having a cocktail and you have potato chips in the house, put a few on a tray and stick 'em in the oven for just a couple minutes. It always reminds me of the 'machine' at the laundromat when I was a kid. It was full of potato chips and a big light bulb to keep them warm. You put in your nickle, turned the crank and out came your "fresh" chips. It's amazing we kids survived eating that crap! LOL

I don't ever remember seeing those, Beth. I've got to admit that it does sound like something that a kid would be attracted to!

Anything else you're planning on picking up when you're back in Ohio? I can just picture the car loaded down with stuff on Dane's drive back!

Oh, and when's the wedding?! That was exciting news about your daughter getting married -- I hope you both like the guy!

bethk

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The last we heard, Michelle, the wedding is planned for mid October, someplace in the mountains of West Virginia....probably somewhere without any cell reception, black flies galore, poison ivy & other irritating, biting bugs.  She said they wanted to go camping (which, I'm sure I've mentioned, is my least favorite activity).  I just hope there is a hotel within driving distance because I am NOT sleeping in a tent OR using a porta-potty!

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Lunch the day after a Shula steak dinner......

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:The last we heard, Michelle, the wedding is planned for mid October, someplace in the mountains of West Virginia....probably somewhere without any cell reception, black flies galore, poison ivy & other irritating, biting bugs.  She said they wanted to go camping (which, I'm sure I've mentioned, is my least favorite activity).  I just hope there is a hotel within driving distance because I am NOT sleeping in a tent OR using a porta-potty!

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Lunch the day after a Shula steak dinner......


Mmm -- lunch looked delish!

Laughed at your description of the area the wedding will probably take place. I only went camping once but I loved it. Brian always refused to go camping with me no matter how hard I begged. He said Vietnam had given him his fill of "camping" and would last the rest of his life! My camping trip with my mom and sister was when I was about to turn 19 -- we went to a national forest outside of Highlands, NC a couple of days before Labor Day; the weather was a lot cooler there than in N.O. and the area we camped in was right on the water. I really, really enjoyed it, though my mom and I did all the work -- my late sister did NOTHING and complained the entire time. I'm smiling as I type this, as this was the very first time in my life that my mom actually said something derogatory to me about my sister, who wasn't exactly kind to me most of my life (that's a huge understatement as most of you probably remember hearing before, BTW). It really endeared me to my mom at the time! She said, "It's a good thing Charlotte did all the driving, as she hasn't lifted a finger since we got here." I literally howled with laughter.

We got to the camp site right as it was turning dark and had no time to stop at a grocery and get fresh food so we had to eat from the canned goods we'd brought with us. (Since we were in the mountains, it wasn't like we could drive up and down those mountain roads once it got dark, and we were rushing to get to the park so we could register with the ranger as required if we were staying overnight.) Charlotte almost died while I was heating up the grill when she inquired what we were going to eat and I replied, "Pork and beans and Vienna sausages, as that's all I have that I can think of without the fresh meat we planned to pick up." She whined and complained and said how disgusting it would be with Vienna sausages cooked in with the beans, who eats Vienna sausages anyway, blah, blah, blah, until the food was hot. And then, I swear, it was as if she counted the Vienna sausages and every freaking bean on her plate to make sure she got her fair share. I laughed my butt off! And she ate every morsel she could grab, too!

The next day we decided to move our 9x9 umbrella tent down to another camp site about 75 yards away. Due to the late hour the previous night, we'd pitched it on an area on a slight incline and I found someone who'd just left a site and they'd even dug a nice little trench around THEIR 9x9 tent, so it was literally the perfect site about 25 feet off the lake, too. We discussed whether or not we should haul all our stuff up the hill to the road and move it down the road by car and then haul it down the incline, and Mom and I decided it was easier/quicker to just tote it down there by foot, making a couple of trips to get all our stuff, our food, and the tent moved down to the new site. All of a sudden, Charlotte "didn't feel well." I remember seeing my Mom's sideways glance at me. So Mom and I lifted and toted everything, after breaking down the tent (which was new -- we'd practiced putting it up in the backyard before going on the trip!), and then pitched the tent right between the nice little trench someone had dug (good thing as it POURED that night -- that's when I found out while sleeping that you don't lean on a tent as it will then leak on you!). Right after we got the tent back up and everything in order, Charlotte had a truly miraculous recovery and said she was feeling much better. While walking to the car to go on an adventure in the hills, my mom made that crack to me about her. I swear, I just loved it!

I remember telling you guys about my sister and how ugly she was to me several years ago. She was ill for 2 years after getting both ovarian and cervical cancer and she really fought to stay alive, which I really admired. What I haven't told you is prior to her death on 11.15.15, she was nicer to me in those two years than she had EVER been to me. She was so sweet and kind that I could not believe it. When I was in the hospital for 3 weeks prior to my pulmonary hypertension diagnosis and Brian was told that it didn't look like I was going to survive, he had to tell Charlotte, as her husband said it would be best if Brian told her himself (Ed's a big chicken). He said when he told her that she SOBBED! I sat there with my mouth wide open, as I could not believe it. Brian said she said, "OMG, my sister is in the hospital and might be dying and I'm too effing sick to go and see her," and that she sat in bed crying her eyes out with her hands over her face, rocking back and forth and literally sobbing! At first, I thought he was making it up but he swore that's how it went down. I was with her until a couple of hours before she passed away and I know she could still hear me because I asked her to move her lips if she could hear me and she made three "guppy kisses" with her lips -- I was so glad to know she knew I was there. My friend told me towards the end of C's life that everyone is nice once they know they're dying but my hospital nurses told me that THAT is certainly not true and that they had tons of first hand experience with people that were never pleasant before they got sick and didn't act any different with anyone even though they knew they were dying.

The nice thing is I got to see what it was really like to have a sister for nearly two whole years. The really sad part was THAT I got to see what it was really like to have a sister for nearly two whole years -- it showed me what a waste she had made out of our time together on this earth. Though I was and remain today really happy that I got to see what it felt like to feel loved by her for the first time in my life, I often feel quite cheated by her because it could have been so much fun if she'd only acted halfway as nice for her 65 years on this earth! I still think of her almost every single day and I often cry when I think of her, as I'm doing right now.

She loved animals and was so so kind to them -- she had a knack with them too. After Katrina, she ran the city's first no kill shelter after rescuing hundreds of pets left in N.O. immediately after the storm, which lead to a woman beginning this shelter, Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). Charlotte took it over when the woman had to return to her home and job in California. Charlotte did this almost full time with lots of volunteers in a big tin industrial building lent to ARNO while running her own business and every hour of every day was dedicated to these animals. A newspaper man from CA, I think, came down here and wrote a story about the shelter and about Charlotte and was amazed that she knew the names of all of the animals currently there at that time (I think there were 80), how they arrived there (whether rescued, brought in, or left behind when the owner had to leave town or passed away), and what their current medical maladies were if any -- she literally knew every single thing about each of the 80 animals.

She was cremated and Ed had what we always had in our family and also in his -- a visitation for a couple of hours at the old N.O. funeral home we all deal with prior to a Mass (we're Catholic) being said in the funeral home's chapel. The large rooms Ed had arranged for were packed with people for the entire 2 hours of visitation and there was not even standing room left in the chapel for the Mass -- I wasn't surprised at all as her groupies were constantly at her home up until the last time I left her, as she passed away about 1:30 a.m. the next morning. I had to share my last hours with her with several young women who I didn't know though they obviously loved her dearly. While I was at the funeral home for her funeral, many different people who were close to Charlotte at one time or another during her life showed up (she was very well known and very respected in her field, as she owned and ran a small advertising agency specializing in print and print production -- I worked for her for 4 years once until the proverbial sh*t hit the fan one day and I exploded at her cruelty in private at the office, quit and walked out and didn't see or speak to her for about a year; even missed Christmas with my family that year so I didn't have to deal with her, much to my mom's chagrin. (My mom witnessed C's cruelty my whole life but counseled me as an adult that I was such a strong person and that C obviously had problems and that I should "turn the other cheek." That holiday season I told her that "all four of my cheeks were bloodied and scarred" and I had no more cheeks to offer up to her and that my Mom should direct her entreaties to Charlotte or drop them entirely. Brian finally stepped in and told my mom politely that she was welcome to stop over every Sunday after church as she always did but that she had to stop bringing up my sister, as he was tired of seeing me get upset every single Sunday. And my Mom did as she asked without further comment and never showed any anger to Brian for having said that to her.)

To continue about the day of her funeral, many of these people who approached me at the funeral home had witnessed her horrible treatment of me in person at one time or several times, and some had been what Charlotte I'm sure considered "entertained" by her demeaning me in some fashion right in front of me -- this often resulted in horrible looks on peoples' faces and when she never got the laughs or grins she'd expected, she would said, "Ha ha, I was just kidding, of course." Well, I made sure that I told every single person who'd witnessed her cruelty to me at one time or another how kind she had been to me for two solid years; I often cried while telling them this, but I wanted them to know because I not only didn't want them to think poorly of her but I also wanted them to know that despite her treatment, I really, REALLY loved her. So her death did provide me that opportunity, as I often felt much sorrier for the poor people who obviously felt so horrible for me and felt so horribly awkward to have witnessed those types of situations over the years (there were many, as she not only trash-mouthed me behind my back, made up stories about me and downright lied about me, but she took particular glee in trying to humiliate me in public as well. I never gave her the satisfaction of defending myself or taking up for myself when she did this publicly, as I knew the awkward silences and the horrid looks on lots of their faces when she did this was much worse for her than anything I could have done or said at the time. I just stood there and listened, feeling just awful for the person(s) she was obviously trying to impress in some twisted area of her mind.

Sorry that I "talked" for so long about her but since I'd written here before about how ugly she'd been to me my whole life, I've been wanting to say something about her death other than what I'd already said, which has simply been to say "my late sister Charlotte" when speaking of her...

bethk

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I'm so sorry for losing your sister at such a young age (in your teens when she decided to be mean to you) and that she had to pass away too soon after discovering how much she could have enjoyed being a sister.

So, take joy in the good memories you have and ignore the bad as it always seems to become more and more difficult to find a reason for cruelty.

My mother, Evelyn, and her sister (two years younger), Dorotha, always had a relationship I envied. They could talk when together and then when they got back together after a year, pick up where they left off on the same conversation! I grew up with 3 brothers, Chuck is 3 1/2 years older, Bill was just a day shy of a year younger than Chuck and then Tom, who is 4 years younger than I. So, being the only girl, I was spoiled all the time.

My closest brother, Bill, passed away from a heart attack at age 30. I miss him to this day and wish I could just sit and talk with him just one more time. When a sibling passes away it changes the dynamics of the family forever. A year and a half after Bill passed away my dad also had a heart attack and died.....so it was a rough period of time. Mom may have allowed me to be spoiled when I was young but I think that was just to prep me for taking care of her when she was older. I was always taught it's the daughter's duty and the boys must visit but they have 'jobs' to do so the day-to-day care falls to the daughter. I don't think that rule was made when the daughters had families and full-time jobs to attend. LOL

Crybaby

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Wow, Beth, I can't believe you lost your brother when he was only 30 -- how sad for your whole family. And then to lose your father so soon after -- what a difficult time for you and your family. Yes, taking care of an aging parent often falls to the female in the family, though sometimes it's the person who lives closest or the person who wants to "direct" the others. I agree, Beth, on how things never really changed once women began working full time outside of the house (and most of them worked full time once they got home, too). I used to try to explain to my mom how lucky she was that all three of her kids stayed in New Orleans.

Not that us living in N.O. made too much difference once my mom reached 80 and started needing help. I always tell people that I found it amazing that one woman could raise three children but those same three kids could not seem to manage amongst themselves taking care of one mom! But, of course, that was no surprise to me given the screwed up dynamics of our family growing up and with my dad having such a problem with alcohol (a "working alcoholic," as they say). I certainly had no expectations of things running smoothly as my mother aged and thus wasn't really surprised at not only how often my brother and sister (and sister-in-law!) often treated her poorly, and in C's case, tried to tell the other two what she expected us to do in regard to my mom, like she was the boss. I actually felt "free" once my mom passed away, as I never had to try to get us all together for occasions anymore -- I could finally just act like they were "friends" or neighbors that annoyed the heck out of me and who I chose to keep my distance from. It was like becoming an only child all of a sudden but loving the heck out of it! Plus, I had no guilt whatsoever about my mom, as I treated her like I'd want to be treated in old age -- I was kind, loving, forgiving, and treated her like a queen, as did Brian. When she was lucid, she always made me know how much she appreciated me and Brian. Her last words to me, when she could no longer open her eyes and her mouth was open and extended and she looked dead already, were so quiet that I didn't hear them. I told her I couldn't hear her and bent down and put my ear right next to her mouth so I could hear her. Her last words to me? She said, "Michelle, you were always so pretty!" So kind even at the end, and Lord knows, she didn't have an easy life. I never even told Brian what she said until after she died, as it sounded sort of swell headed to repeat it. But I think she meant it in more ways than just appearance -- I think she meant I was pretty in behavior, which meant a lot to me. Just so kind, you know? And a very nice memory to leave me with.

I am happy that I got to experience some level of kindness from my sister prior to her passing but I can't and won't ever deny exactly who she was for most of her life. She was together with her husband for 50 years and we're still in touch and friendly with Ed. Soon after C died, he was at the house for dinner one afternoon and repeated one of her lies as if it was true and I corrected him about what the truth was and how it had really gone down at the time. He knew, of course, why a pathological liar C was, as that became obvious over the years when problems with others occurred and he wanted me to repeat what I knew of the situation, even though C had already told him how something had transpired. He's say something like, "Yes, I know what she said but I want to hear what you saw and heard." That day at the house with Ed, the situation got tense and I cried and told him in no uncertain terms how I loved her and missed her but there was no way I was going to pretend things she lied about were now truths just because she was dead. I got up and went into the backyard to calm down. He gave me a couple of minutes and then came out and apologized. When I told him how she had been nicer to me in the two years of her illness than she had ever been in my entire life, he shocked me to my core when he said, "Me, too, Michelle." I knew she was no dream to live with, trust me, but I found that profoundly sad that he, too, felt the same way I did, as they'd been together since she was in early high school minus a year or two when they "broke up" when he was in college. I also set him straight and I think shocked him a bit by recounting some of the ugly things she'd said about me to others over the years -- all not only untrue but TOTALLY made up in her own little mind -- and I told him I was none of those things. He seemed to be surprised how much I knew about what she said about me but people would TELL ME!!! I also told him that even if I HAD been like she described, that she wouldn't have even known it because we were never friends and she knew very little about my life. I could see on his face that he realized lots of what she said about me had indeed been lies -- as he realized she couldn't have possibly known those things even if they had been true. It was quite an afternoon of enlightenment for him, I think.

But it's easy to remember her fondly, though, particularly due to her unbelievable kindness to animals. When running ARNO, she always wanted to start a store to help support the organization, like some charities have thrift stores. The people at ARNO got the store up and running during her illness and named it Charlotte's Hope! Such a kind thing to do but they really loved her a lot and I'm glad for her that she got to experience that type of adoration, as they did indeed adore her. I never understood and still don't why she couldn't share some of that kindness with me but for some reason, she just couldn't. My close friends and Brian all say it was envy on her part but I don't know what she was envious of, unless it was my happiness and contentment -- I never let her know she got to me, which probably just frustrated her all the more.

Here I go again just talking and talking and talking, for which I apologize again. But at least some of you can be grateful for the "normal" relationships you have with family members when compared to the strange-but-true situations that made up my family! I always notice the kind dynamics of other peoples' siblings and always have -- especially the closeness you see between and among sisters. That's indeed something I could be envious of!

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