The First Liar Doesn’t Have A Chance

It used to be that picking tomatoes wasn’t too bad of a chore. One could think about future gardening seasons while picking the fruits of this years labor. Not so this season. With two crazy individuals presently dueling to see who’s the craziest, I prefer to think about the past. While picking uncooked spaghetti sauce yesterday, my thoughts went back to earlier times when a neighbor lady asked for gardening advise.

We had a garden in the community garden plots in Watertown. Plot sizes were 20 by 30 feet so one had to make good use of the ground. We did manage to get a second and sometimes a third plot if there were leftovers that no one wanted. Everyone around always complimented us on how good everything was growing, especially our tomatoes. The neighbors who lived next door to us had their garden in their back yard, and if I must say so myself, it left a little bit to be desired.

One season, her garden was growing beautifully but the darned tomatoes wouldn’t ripen. There’s a limit to the number of uses for green tomatoes and she was getting tired of the whole situation. One afternoon as I was getting home from work she comes over and says, “Your tomatoes are ripe, mine are green. What can I do about it?”

Feeling a little cantankerous I replied, “Well, it may sound absurd but here’s what to do. Tonight there’s no moon. After dark go out to your garden and take all of your clothes off. Tomatoes can see in the dark and they’ll be embarrassed and blush. In the morning they’ll all be red, you’ll see.”

The next morning was a Saturday and as I was sitting on the deck having a cup of coffee, she came out of the house and headed for her garden. I went over to the fence and said, “Did you do as I suggested?”

“I said, well, what the heck and did it,” she replied.

“How did it work?” I asked.

“So-so,” she answers, “The tomatoes are still  green but it looks like all the cucumbers are four inches longer!”

The first liar doesn’t have a chance.

Keep your fork

Creamed Eggs On Toast

It was a special treat when Mom made us creamed eggs on toast. Generally this “fare” is considered a breakfast item, but we’d have it for our evening meal, or ‘supper’ as we called it.

2 Tbsp real cow’s butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
2 c milk
6 hard-boiled eggs
6 to 8 slices of bread, toasted

After melting the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, salt and pepper. Stir to make a rue. Add the milk while whisking well to dissolve any lumps. Cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened. Either chop or grate the eggs into the white sauce and stir until warmed. Serve over toast. You may want to garnish the covered toast with slices of the hard-boiled egg.

Keep your fork

Trailer Park Retirement

Luray is the host city to Cooter’s Last Stand this weekend. Ben Jones (Cooter) has his ‘Cooter’s In The Valley’ establishment (museum, restaurant, gift shop) just west of town and is hosting Cooter’s Last Stand Saturday and Sunday. They decided to get the whole Dukes Of Hazzard cast together one last time before more of them buy the farm, so to speak. There is supposed to be at least 20,000 in attendance with nearly 200 General Lees in addition to about 100 other Hazzard County cars. Although not many young people today know about the Dukes, we ‘Older’, retired individuals can remember them as if they were on TV yesterday. This realization of being not young reminds me of this story.

After spring break, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their vacation. One youngster offered the following: “We always used to spend the time with Grandpa and Grandma.

They used to live in a nice big brick house. But, Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Floriduh. Now they live in a place with lots of other Grandmas and Grandpas. They live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass.

They ride around in huge tricycles and wear nametags because they don’t know who they are anymore. They go to a big building called the wrecked center. They must have fixed it because it looks pretty good now.

They play games and do exercises there, but they don’t do them very well. There is a swimming pool, too, but they all jump up and down in it with their hats on. I guess they don’t know how to swim. At the gate, there is a dollhouse with a little old man who sits in it.

He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes though, they do manage to sneak out. Then they go cruising in their golf carts.

Grandma used to bake cookies and other neat things,but I guess she forgot how. Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And they eat the same thing every night, “Early Bird,” whatever that is. Some of the people can’t get past the old man in the dollhouse. So the ones that escape bring food back to the wrecked center and call it potluck.

My Grandma says Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says that I should work hard so I can also be retarded someday too. When I earn my retardment, I want to be the old man in the dollhouse. Then I’ll let people out so they can visit their grandchildren.”

Keep your fork

Working on Fifty

While having coffee and cake with Catfish and Gator Babe a couple of days ago, Gator Babe’s sister who along with her husband were visiting from the Atlanta area, asked how long we had been married. I proudly answered, “It’ll be fifty years next June.” Then I had a flashback, remembering our wedding.

The pickle Queen was really anxious about making a mistake during the wedding ceremony. Her uncle, a pastor, along with the church preacher were both officiating at the wedding. I don’t know if they were afraid that I’d change my mind and flee and the PQ would be an old maid forever, or why, but one of the two reassured her, pointing out that the order of service was not difficult to remember.

“All you have to keep in mind,” one of them said, “is that when you enter the church you walk up the aisle. Floyd and the best man will be waiting before the altar. Then I shall ask the congregation to sing a hymn. Then we shall go on with the ceremony. Just remember this order and you can’t go wrong!”

The happy Saturday evening arrived, and I waited nervously for my bride to appear. As the PQ took her place beside me, I was curious and then horrified as I heard her repeating, “Aisle, altar, hymn. Aisle, altar, hymn…” (Think about it!)

And some time later she did!

Keep your fork

Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

While fixing stuffed peppers the other night, I looked at all the tomatoes lying on the counter and remembered that my grandmother used to fix stuffed tomatoes. I found her recipe after checking her recipe book. Now we’ll be able to enjoy stuffed baked tomatoes as well as stuffed peppers. Heaven only knows that we have plenty of both ripening daily.

6 tomatoes
1/2 c cooked rice
1 tbsp butter
1/2 c chopped meat
1/2 c meat broth
Salt and pepper

After washing the tomatoes, cut a slice off the top of each tomato. Hollow out the tomatoes, leaving a thick shell. After combining the rice, meat and broth, season to taste. Fill the hollowed out tomatoes with the rice mixture. Place the stuffed tomatoes into a well-greased baking casserole. Place a dab of butter on each tomato. Bake at 375 degrees until the tomatoes are tender.

Keep your fork

You Know You’re A Mother

Having been around mothers most of my life, first my birth mother and then the Pickle Queen, I’ve noticed that you know you’re a mother when you’re up each night until at least 10:00 p.m., vacuuming, dusting, wiping, washing, drying, loading, unloading, shopping, cooking, doing the dishes, driving, flushing, ironing, sweeping, picking up, changing sheets, changing diapers, bathing, helping with homework, paying bills, answering the phone, checking e-mails, budgeting, clipping coupons, folding clothes, putting to bed, dragging out of bed, brushing, chasing, buckling, feeding, taking lunch to the field, swinging, playing ball, bike riding, pushing trucks, cuddling dolls, in-line skating, catching, blowing bubbles, wrapping gifts, hosting doings, running through sprinklers, sliding, taking walks, teaching Sunday school, being 4-H leader, coloring, crafting, jumping rope, gathering eggs as well as doing other farm chores, butchering chickens and other animals, planning family trips, raking, trimming, planting, edging, mowing, gardening, caring for house plants, putting fruits and vegetables up, painting, cutting wood, splitting wood, carrying fire wood into the house, stoking the stove, emptying the ashes, cleaning the stove pipes, bandaging scrapes and boo-boos, and walking and feeding the dog. I’m sure the list goes on and on. You get up at 5:30 a.m., and have no time to eat, sleep, drink, or go to the bathroom, and yet, you still manage to gain ten pounds. How do they do it?

Keep your fork

Reality Check

  • Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you you’re getting old. Squash their toes with your rocker.
  • The older we get, the fewer things seem worth standing in line for.
  • Some people try to turn back their odometer. I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.
  • Maturity means being emotionally and mentally healthy. It is that time when to say yes and when to say no, and when to say WHOOPPEE!
  • How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  • When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, just think of Algebra.
  • You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
  • I don’t know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
  • The golden years are really just metallic years: gold in the tooth, silver in your hair and lead in the rear.
  • Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.
  • One of the many things no one tells you about ageing is that it is such a nice change from being young.
  • Age seldom arrives smoothly or quickly. It is more often a succession of jerks.
  • Yeah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
  • Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and blind that they don’t recognize you.
  • If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.
  • First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull your zipper up, then you forget to pull your zipper down.
  • One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.
  • Being old doesn’t make you forget. Having too many stupid things to remember makes you forget.

Keep your fork