Ghosts of Appliances Past

Monday was Studly Doright’s birthday. I’d already spent a good deal of money and all of my bright ideas on his Christmas gifts, so my birthday choices were limited. I was running out of time to make a purchase for the big day, so at the last minute I kind of panicked and bought him an air fryer–hardly the sexiest birthday present, but at least it was something I could wrap and stick a bow on.

He seemed to like it. He didn’t jump for joy upon unwrapping it, but he didn’t act as if he’d like to throw the fryer in the trash either, so I was somewhat heartened. I’d planned to cook one of his favorite dinners utilizing the new appliance, so I sent him away while I figured out how to use his new toy.

Hey, did you know it’s recommended to let the fryer heat up empty for twenty minutes the first time you use it? Heh. Neither did I. The smell emanating from the air fryer was a little on the noxious side, so I tossed out the first batch of French fries and started from scratch after reading ALL of the directions, instead of just the suggested cooking times.

In the middle of cooking batch #2, I had a flashback to our very first days of marriage. As a wedding gift, someone had given us a Fry Baby–a small deep fryer for cooking fries and onion rings. The thing splattered grease all over the place when in use, and I was scared of it. I looked at the air fryer with new respect. No oil meant no splatter.

When our fries were done I struggled just a bit with getting the basket out of the fryer and in my mind’s eye I pictured me pulling too hard and launching hot French fries into my face. Surprisingly I used finesse instead of force and soon I had a nice batch of crispy fries basking on a serving plate. Studly was impressed, I was uninjured, and the fryer was a hit.

(Below: That’s not my air fryer or my hand, or even my fries.)

We had pinto beans and cornbread to round out the meal. That’s about as country as it comes, and it’s our comfort food.

Peace, people!

It Don’t Come Easy

Tomorrow is Studly Doright’s birthday. Falling so near the Thanksgiving Holiday, sometimes his big day gets barely a nod. After all, didn’t we just stuff ourselves on turkey and dressing and pecan pie until the mere thought of having a slice of birthday cake seems like the ultimate in gluttony? And then there’s the sad truth that I struggle with anything kitchen-related, baking cakes included.

Nevertheless, I bought a cake mix and a can of icing while shopping yesterday, and this morning I set about making a cake for Studly. As I mixed the cake I had a thought. What if, instead of baking a sheet cake I made cupcakes? That way I could send the bulk of them with Studly to work and we’d keep one for each of us to enjoy after dinner tomorrow.

I happened to have some little paper cupcake 🧁 wrappers so I placed those in my large cupcake pan and began pouring batter neatly into the 12 cake slots, filling each about 2/3 full. I ended up with almost half the batter remaining, so I poured a bit more into each cup. Still there was an extraordinary amount left over. Finally I thought to check the box and realized that the mix was meant to make 24 cupcakes. Well, of course it was.

Meticulously, I scooped batter out of each of the already filled cups and transferred it to another muffin pan, making something of a mess as I went. However, I finally had 24 muffin cups filled with fairly equal amounts of batter.

Amazingly that was the only misstep in the entire process! The cupcakes, although admittedly not uniform in size, baked to a light golden brown. I allowed them to cool for the exact right amount of time, and the frosting went on smoothly. Maybe, just maybe, for once in my life I didn’t totally screw up this latest kitchen adventure. But there’s still time.

(Note: These are NOT examples of my cupcakes. Even the reality side looks slightly better the mine.)

I’ll leave you with some George Harrison.

https://youtu.be/4p5yzdCa2GE

Birthday Morning in Dallas

The first day of my 62nd year on earth started off in the best way possible–with me sleeping in until 6:30 a.m. Of course it helps that I’m in the central time zone here in Dallas, but I’ll claim a victory over sleeplessness any way I can get it.

My daughter-in-law made me feel special with a banner and card.

Then my son took us to breakfast at a funky place called the All Good Cafe in the Deep Ellum district.

I had an amazing omelet!

Across the street from All Good:

On the ride back to our son’s home we got a glimpse of the Texas State Fair:

The men are playing golf this afternoon and I’m going to pick the grandkids up at school. There might be time for a birthday nap before then, though. That’d be great.

Peace, people!

Comedic Timing

We were shopping for Studly Doright a sports jacket at Dillard’s a couple of nights ago. He found one fairly quickly and as we were leaving the men’s department he said, “Well, now I need you to help me find a gift for a girl I used to date.”

I did a double take, and my mind quickly scrolled through all the girls he’d ever dated. Before I could express outrage he said, “She’s kind of hard to buy for, and her birthday’s on the 5th.”

Only then did I realize he was talking about me. I slugged him. Gently.

Peace, people.

October, My Kind of Month

There’s so much to love about October: Cooling temperatures, changing leaves, pumpkin everything, and best of all, my birthday!

Yes, October is most likely the best month of all, and even though my date of birth comes early (Oct. 5), I celebrate all month long. I’m like a little kid in an old lady’s body. Fortunately, my dance card for the month is pretty full, so even though I’m too old to be the belle of the ball, I’ll at least have an invitation to the party.

Studly and I are going to Dallas for a few days. He’s going to play in a member/guest golf tournament with our son. I’ll hang out with my grandkids while the men play golf. Long distance grand parenting stinks sometimes because we don’t get to be there for every sporting event and music performance, but while in Dallas I’ll get to watch our eldest grandchild, Dominique, play in a varsity tennis tournament and Jackson, our youngest grandson, play baseball. Yay me!

The golf tournament concludes with a dinner for golfers and their dates on Saturday evening. As far as I know, I’m Studly’s date. I found a dress for the soirée, and I’m actually trading my flip flops for heels for one night and one night only. I’ll try to remember to take a picture; otherwise, no one who knows me will believe it happened. I practiced walking in the heels this afternoon. No one was injured in the process. The cats were wide-eyed and leery.

While Studly has to head home on Sunday, I’m planning on staying on for a few days. I’m going to a rally for Beto O’Rourke in Dallas on Sunday afternoon and attending a Bishop Briggs concert with my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter on Thursday. I’ll fly home on the 12th. Whew!

Then one of my very best friends is set to visit on the 26th of October. She is traveling through Florida on a leisurely solo trip, and I am so looking forward to having her spend some time with us at Doright Manor.

Oh, my daughter’s birthday is the 27th of October. She was and remains by far the best gift I ever received during my birthday month. I’ll even share my birthday month with her. That’s love.

Peace, people!

What’s to Become of Me?

My daughter, Ashley, might begin looking for a nice retirement home for me, and her actions would be justified. You be the judge.

I was watching the morning news and one of the broadcasters opened with today’s date. As he pronounced the words, “June 7th,” I experienced a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’d forgotten my youngest granddaughter’s June 6th birthday. What kind of grandmother forgets her sweet grandchild’s sixth birthday?

Immediately I sent off a text:

Within seconds my daughter tweeted her reply:

She did try to give me an excuse. Her oldest child’s birthday is December 6th, after all.

You see from the exchange above that now she’s humoring me. I’ll bet she was looking up names of nice assisted living homes in her area even as she was lol-ing at me.

Testing the waters I texted,

See, now she’s wanting to medicate me.

I hope she finds me a nice place, somewhere with a swimming pool and nail salon. Oh, a wine bar would be nice, too. I’ll go without a fuss.

Peace, people!

Thirteen Today

Our beautiful middle grandchild, McKayla, was born 13 years ago today, prompting us to leave our son’s home in Dallas, where we’d spent Christmas Day, to journey as quickly as possible to Kansas City to welcome this child.

She wasn’t due until mid-January, but she insisted on arriving early. I will always believe the tsunami that hit Indonesia on December 26 played a role in McKayla’s early arrival. Superstitious? Maybe. But she’s quite a force of nature.

Happy birthday, dear McKayla. We love you.

Birthday Boy

Happy 15th birthday to our eldest grandson, Garrett. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. We paced the halls and worried the hospital staff with endless questions. It seemed like you’d never arrive, and once you did, our lives were forever changed.

You’ve enriched our family in so many ways that I’ve lost count, and you’re the only kid I know who can consistently spell better than I can. Love you more today than the day before.

I can’t wait to see what your future holds.

You Might Be Studly Doright If….

Studly Doright (aka David Noyes) seemed to enjoy his birthday celebration on Thursday. After an outstanding Thanksgiving feast orchestrated by his mother and sisters, we settled in to fete Studly as he prepares to enter his sixth decade on earth.

First our son, Jason, emceed a game show pitting our five grandchildren against Studly’s four siblings in a quest to see which group knew more about Studly. I’m not sure which team emerged as the winner, but we all got a kick out of the questions and accompanying vintage family photos that served as clues.

(Above, our two oldest grandkids, Garrett and Dominique, discuss their team’s answer.)

Our daughter, Ashley, led us in an activity called, “You might be David Noyes,” in which participants had an opportunity to share humorous recollections about the guest of honor in a format similar to Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck.”

The contributed memories had everyone in stitches. I can’t remember many of them; I was laughing too hard. One I shared was, “If you ever tried to claim gravy is a liquid to justify eating it while prepping for a colonoscopy, you might be David Noyes.”

The grandkids got a kick out of these revelations about their Poppa.

(Above, our youngest grandchild, Harper, listens as her Poppa explains one of the many shared stories. She might have been angling for a piece of the birthday cake, as well.)

Afterwards, Studly read cards from family and friends. He got a little emotional at times, declaring this was his best birthday ever.

Thanks to everyone who made it so special.

Peace, people.

Just Say Ok

Just Say Ok!

While Studly Doright and I were relaxing on Amelia Island this past weekend I had the following text conversation with our daughter:

“Ok.” and “Yep.” were my contributions, and my reward was seeing my daughter’s reaction. So now I’m planning a quick trip to Chicago on the 27th of October.

I’m beyond excited about seeing Les Misérables at the Cadillac Theater, but that’s just icing on the cake. The real treat will be getting to see Les Mis with my daughter on her birthday and our middle grandchild. I’m so glad I typed “Ok.”

Peace, people!