Why Am I Here?

“Why am I here?”

 You would not believe how many times I say this these days.  No, I don’t mean that I’m getting all philosophical on you.  I’m talking I get somewhere and really don’t know why I’m there.  This happens almost every time I go to the garage.  My garage is where I keep glassware, canning supplies, and other kitchen related items that I don’t have room for in the house.  It’s also the home of our two big freezers.  So I go to the garage at least once a day.  And nearly every time, as soon as I step inside I say, usually out loud, “Why am I here?”  The garage sits about 20 feet from the house, which apparently makes for just long enough of a walk for me to acquire amnesia these days.  The problem is not that the required information doesn’t stick.  Oh, it’s in there, but good luck retrieving it!  Usually, within a minute or so of asking myself why I’m there, and after the application of much concentration, I’m able to remember why I came.  But not always.

 I try to warn people that I don’t remember things, but they don’t seem to get it.  They say things like, “I’m the same way!”  Ha, ha—no, you’re really not.  Thanks to tamoxifen, I just lose information in my brain somewhere.  It’s like my brain is the junk drawer of my body or something.  Sure, what I need is in there somewhere, but I’ve got to mentally dig through a bunch of twine, pencils, scotch tape, and a nut cracker to find it. 

 Two weeks ago I was driving into town to take Mini Me to piano lesson.  In a deviation from the normal routine, I was planning to run by Goodwill before hand and drop off some items.  So, we ride into town, pass the turn to piano, and head for the Goodwill.  Except as we approached the intersection where I’d need to turn, I suddenly did not know what I needed to do.  “Do I need to turn here?  I don’t remember where I’m going. Where am I going? Think, think, stupid brain, where am I going?”  Tick tock tick tock.  Finally, at the last second I remembered, “Oh yeah, Goodwill,” and made the left turn.  Then last weekend, I was getting ready to open a can of tuna.  I carried the tuna over to the drawer where the can opener is kept, but when I got there I just stared at the contents of the drawer.  “What am I looking for?  I need…something.  I must need it out of this drawer since I opened it.  What am I doing?  Uh…opening a can.  And what’s the tool I need for that?  Uh…”   Really, it should not take so much effort to remember that you need a can opener to open the can you are holding in your hand.

 Either of those things ever happened to you?  Probably not, unless you’re on tamoxifen.  They never used to happen to me, either.  Thankfully I have both a sense of humor and a supportive spouse.  A big reason why I‘m able to laugh at these incidents is because I cling to the assumption that once I’m off of tamoxifen, everything will go back to normal.  But it’s not all bad anyway, because like I said I have a supportive spouse.  Hubster has been great about recognizing that the tamoxifen has caused memory recall issues for me.  So, what’s he gonna do, get mad?  No, because I can’t help it, right?  I’m not forgetful because I’m an insensitive and self-absorbed lout who is too wrapped up in herself to remember to pick up Hubster’s toothpaste at Walmart.  Nope, it’s the drug’s fault–I’m handicapped!  And while I would never, ever exploit this, it does offer a certain advantage for those times when I am just an insensitive, self-absorbed lout who got too distracted by a new bottle of nail polish to remember the toothepaste.

Candy is Dandy (or Why It’s Not a Good Idea to Stop at the Tourist Trap Candy Store When You’re Hungry)

munger moss

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the fam and I went on a little weekend trip to southern Missouri. No, not Branson. I read your mind, didn’t I? Okay, not really, it’s just that pretty much every person I mentioned our trip to asked if we were going to Branson. Branson isn’t really an option for us, because Hubster breaks out in hives whenever he’s subjected to country music. I’m pretty certain the man would explode if we were to even drive through Branson. And, really, if I’m gonna go to Pigeon Forge, I’ll go to Pigeon Forge, not to Pigeon Forge’s Ozark cousin.

The real reason we went to Missouri was to check out the spring planting festival at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Yeah, we’re plant nerds like that. In spite of the fact that we got drizzled on all day Sunday, the festival was a good time. Got to hear lots of live bluegrass, and cowboy music, including Sourdough Slim the accordion playing cowboy. And we picked up some interesting varieties of tomato and pepper plants. I also got a very cool African basket.

About 3:00 or so, we decided to head back to our motel in Lebanon—the very cool Munger Moss Motel located on Route 66. Did it have fancy amenities like internet? Heck no. But what it did have was a very interesting mix of folks staying there—including the Harley Riders from Finland. Awesome. But Lebanon is a pretty small place, so there wasn’t much going on Sunday night, and we decided to head over to Springfield. After an evening of Bass Pro Shop and Buckingham’s Barbecue, we went back for our final night at the Munger Moss.

The next morning, we checked out and did some hiking in Bennett Spring State Park. After a quick clean-up and change of clothing, we headed for home. It was about 1:00 and we were getting pretty hungry. When we reached I-44, there it was, like a beacon of love, and rainbows, and sugar, and tooth decay, and empty wallets—Redmons Candy Factory.

Taffy. Oh man, this place had more flavors of taffy than I have ever seen. And in spite of the fact that as a mother, I’m supposed to encourage the consumption of healthful foods ahead of the consumption of sticky, sugary goodness, I totally blew off that whole responsible adult gig. So as Hubster carried around a white paper sack, picking and choosing a few pieces here and there, Mini Me and I ransacked the joint, grabbing handfuls of various flavors and throwing them in the sack. “Mmmm! Cinnamon roll taffy! Ooh look, lemon meringue taffy!”

Somewhere in the back of my mind, a little flicker of June Cleaver managed to escape the duct tape she’d been wrapped in and push its way to somewhere near the front of my mind. “You haven’t had lunch!” it protested, “And what about Mini Me’s braces? Is she supposed to even have taffy?” However, I quickly squashed June’s rebellion by pointing out that the pomegranate taffy was almost like a fruit—so it was perfectly healthy, and…hey, pecan logs! Poor June was left struggling against her duct tape somewhere along the dusty trail between good sense and sugar overload, and I was on my merry way to pecan log bliss.

Oh sure, I saw the sign that said the bulk candy was $3.49/lb. But, since Hubster was holding the bags—oh, yes, eventually there were two, because the other side of the store had hard candy—I didn’t even think about how much we’d accumulated. I figured than when it started getting heavy enough to be expensive, he’d shut us down. Because, whether he realizes it or not, that is one of his primary functions in our marriage—to keep me from going over the top stupid all the time. There was only one problem—Hubster hadn’t seen the signs. So, he was a little shocked when after adding in a couple of white chocolate turtles and a few mints, our bill came to over $30.

Oops. I guess maybe it was a bad idea to go there hungry.

(Oh, and if you’d like to read Mini Me’s account of our trip, you can checkit out HERE)

Saltines & Marital Strife

You know, Hubster and I don’t argue much.  Most of the time, we’re a whole lot like two peas in a pod.  But sometimes, we nearly come to blows over the most basic matters of right and wrong. 
Why can’t he understand that the proper way to eat a saltine is with the salt side down, and the flat side up?  He says that the salt side is the “top” and should face up. Therefore anything you put on it (in this case mayo & cheese) should go on the salty side. 
Clearly, he couldn’t be more wrong. 

I tried to make him see the error of his ways.  “It’s like a hamburger bun,” I said, “the rounded part is the top and the flat part is where you put the food.”  Unmoved, he replied, “A bun is cut in half—that’s why it has a flat part.  You can’t cut a cracker in half, so the stuff should go on top.”

Not that it makes any difference to me if he wants to make all his cheese and crackers upside down, but he was making mine, too.  And having all my crackers wrong side up is disturbing to me in a way that few things are.  The only thing that bugs me as much is the way he folds towels (also wrong) crosswise instead of lengthwise.  When it’s lengthwise, it’s ready to hang on a towel bar.  When it’s crosswise (WRONG) it has to be refolded to hang on the towel bar.  Need I even state that is grossly inefficient?  (And wrong.)

And as if to prove just how doggone belligerent he is (and believe it or not, as I’m typing this he’s telling me that I’ve spelled belligerent wrong in spite of the fact that spell check is happy as a clam) he came up here, plopped down and proceeded to correct my translation of his argument.  Then he decided he’d show me how to spell belligerent, and looked it up in the dictionary.  I’ll give you one guess who was WRONG.

So, I’ve decided to let him have this next paragraph to make his case for the upside down cracker configuration:

The cracker, like the bun, has a flat bottom because it is baked on a flat surface with the rounded (top) side up.  The bun, when used as intended, has an exposed rounded side not because it is turned upside down, but because it is sliced through the middle and the contents are placed in the center leaving the rounded top up and exposed.  For the bun/cracker comparison to be valid, the cracker would need to be sliced through the middle and have the mayo and cheese placed between the halves.

Is anybody still reading?  Helllooo…it’s me again.  Yeah, I know.  See what I live with?  Every day.  For-ev-er. 

So now that we’ve both said our respective piece, it’s your turn.  Should the saltine go salt side up, or salt side down?  Which of us is right, and which of us, despite our fancy-pants argument, is yet again wrong?