Every once in a while I visit the Twitter Account of ChrchCurmudgeon. His entries make me laugh. I suspect Mr. Curmudgeon is not in the age group his posts indicate, but sometimes I can relate to the grumbling.

Last week I dropped in to read some of his posts and found a few gems he had entered since I last stopped by:
  • “Had my Metamucil. Guess that makes me a Regular Baptist.”
  • “Thou shalt not repeat that chorus one more time, for we get it already. #10 Curmudgements.”
  • “Turns out Amos wasn't planking after all. Services will be Friday.”
  • In an effort to attract aging baby boomers, we are now the Seniorz Ministry.”
  • “We can drop innovation in its tracks at fifty yards. We are…the senior saints phone list."

After returning home from a recent shopping trip empty handed, I spent quite some time stewing over the fruitless afternoon. That was when Mr. Curmudgeon came to mind and I decided maybe I should start a Twitter Account and become known in Twitterdom as, “ShpnCurmudgeon.”  I’m sure my common sense approach to fashion would seem curmudgeonly to Boomers, Gen-Xers, and The Millennials.

The outcome I desired when I went to the department store was to return home with a nice dress to wear to a wedding. Not mother-of the-bride or mother-of the-groom standouts, just a little number that would cover a portion of my body but not scream, “Bag Lady,” thus causing all of my relatives to sit on the other side of the room and pretend they have no idea who might have invited me to the wedding.

Saying, “A dress to wear to a wedding,” to the cute little sales assistant was followed by being directed to a section of clothing where all of the garments had been created using fine fabrics. The dresses differed in design but were alike in that the top portion of each dress was covered with blinding ornamentation - well, the fraction of the tops that were included by the designers. I have decided that tops of dresses designed as wedding attire are conceived on Friday afternoons when all of the designers are anxious to begin their weekends. No time for sleeves or necklines!

The fall wedding to which I’m invited will be held outdoors. The place is Connecticut. I suspect I won’t need to expose cleavage in order to stay cool. But then maybe I have a totally distorted image of October weather in the Northeastern section of our country.

In addition to questioning how low-cut my dress can be before every other guest is able to estimate my age to within one day and three seconds, I have a few other questions.
1)      Will I be able to do enough arm flab exercises between now and October 15 to trim the old arms sufficiently so I can wear a top with spaghetti straps and not freak everyone out?  (Who would ever have guessed that the shape and size of spaghetti – a food – would one day be copied in fabric and used as the part of the dress that insures everything stays in its appropriate place?)
2)      How many of those Body Shaper undergarments will I need to wear in order to negate the gross effects caused by the stretch-factor in fabric that can turn a dress into the shape of a broom handle when it’s suspended on a hanger?
3)      How short is too short for a skirt when the wearer has been a senior citizen for more years than she cares to (or maybe can) remember?

Just wondering!

Link to ChrchCurmudgeon: http://twitter.com/#!/ChrchCurmudgeon  If you are of a “certain age” you might enjoy!


Gourmet Cooking

On my recent Alaskan cruise, I was privileged to enjoy gourmet cooking on a daily basis. In addition to having unusual names and being delicious, each dish set before me in the beautifully appointed restaurant was a work of art.

A tour was offered to watch these works of art being prepared in the ship’s kitchens and I accepted the invitation. There I observed mid-day meals being prepared with the largest kitchen equipment I have ever seen. At the end of the tour I purchased the Princess Cruises volume titled, Courses: A Culinary Journey – autographed, of course, by one of the executive chefs. I was now prepared to begin my own journey into gourmetdom. Judging from the number of cookbooks sold times price paid for said volumes, I’m guessing that enhanced revenue from cookbook sales might have been the desired outcome for the tour.

Back home and ready to cook again, I chose the courses for the meal I planned to prepare according to “presentation,” as those who cook for show like to say.  The appetizer was be a “Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart;” the salad, “Radicchio, Endive & Butter Lettuce;” the entrée, “Farfalle Alla Rustica;” and for dessert, “Opera Cake.” Now I needed to assemble the ingredients.

The four basic recipes for my meal called for 102 ingredients. Checking my kitchen for what I had on hand, I found seventeen of the ingredients. Had the entrée recipe not informed me that farfalle is “bowie pasta” I would have thought that I had only sixteen. But I do keep an emergency box of bow-tie pasta for times when I’m out of ideas. Those little dehydrated shapes can be easily transformed into either a salad or an entrée.

The list of ingredients I assembled did not include ingredients for additional recipes for the sponge cake, chocolate ganache, and the two sauces needed to complete the dessert, or for the entrée's demi-glace.

Sadly, I’m quite certain my little condo kitchen will not accommodate all of the ingredients needed for a gourmet meal, so I guess I will have to stick to my old standbys: pot roast with potatoes and carrots, pan gravy, garden salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, and iceberg lettuce, and apple dumplings with cream for dessert. But I do have a beautiful, autographed book!

Watermelon Sculpture - Princess Cruise Kitchen



A TV show I saw the other evening featured people surrounded by things they had won. Until seeing those people, I wondered what happened when I submitted my name hoping to become the “winner” of something I don’t actually need. I think the last time it was a kitchen appliance featured in one of my magazines. Even though I have very nice appliances, the “grass is always greener” principle took effect and I envisioned this exquisite cooking appliance setting in my kitchen. Never mind that in an upstairs condo unit the kitchen floor would have to be torn up in order to run the gas line so I could actually use that coveted gourmet model. Well, another option would be to remove the downstairs ceiling.  But, as sweet as Erma is, I don’t think she would take to that idea.

I’m sure I would be a much better cook if I had a great stove in place of just a good stove, but Hubby will just have to settle - either that or spring for the great stove. I actually have come to believe that entries I submit go into a dark hole and end up somewhere in China, probably close to where appliances are made.

Seeing the show on winning served to remind me that some months ago I promised that, once published, I would give a copy of my book to a randomly selected blog follower. Just this past week I received copies from the publisher, so now is the time to do that. Of course, me being me, I did not think to have people post a response if they actually wanted a copy.  Not sweating the details is one example of why I am never put in charge of major projects. However, since I promised and, so no one comes to the conclusion that the whole project traveled down a dark hole, I researched and found what seems to be an equitable way to give away a copy of my book.  The program I found is called a “List Randomizer.”

While typing my followers into the program, it occurred to me that most blog followers go by a user name or just use a first name. One more detail I did not take into account. But fate smiled on me this once. When I finished typing names and ran the program, a full name ended up in the number one spot. Not only is the “winner” a blog follower, but she is also a Facebook friend. So I’ll be able to easily get an address for mailing the book. 

Using the list randomizer was so much fun that I wanted to keep pressing the button just to see the list rearrange. But I controlled that impulse and Mary Beth Neighoff still appears at #1.  Now to see if she actually wants a book!


Fifty-Five Years

When I stood at the altar and took my wedding vows in 1956, it seemed to me that couples who had been married for five years had been married for a very long time.  Now, fifty-five years later, I look back and wonder where the time has gone.

Hubby, Elvin, and I celebrated our fifty-fifth with an Alaskan cruise on board the Island Princess. Instead of the traditional photography session documenting our time together, our anniversary photo was taken as we disembarked the ship in Juneau, the capital of Alaska. After a great day in the city, we were served a delicious anniversary dinner on-board the ship in one of the beautiful dining rooms. I had Beef Wellington (first time ever) and a chocolate ganache covered cake decorated for the occasion was delivered to our table.

The celebrating was nice, but the events of the years that brought us to that point make up the fantastic part of our story. We have been blessed with four wonderful, successful children, great and loving in-laws who have added immensely to the joy of our family, thirteen “beyond-our-dreams” remarkable grandchildren, incredible friends, and fulfilling careers.

We are blessed!