Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise. (Sigmund Freud)

“Hey, let’s take her shopping for Mother’s Day?” A suggestion made by a super-special, many-years-younger person.

My husband thinks it’s a great idea. We have the time. Rare.

I am not a shopper. I’m a get-what-is-needed-and-run kind of individual. However, since Jay is recovering from knee surgery, I figure we won’t have time for extensive searches. Point out something good enough and I’m fine.

After all, no one can tell Arthur Ritis to take a hike. For good. They can’t buy me a few extra years to change choices I made in the past or wash away memories. Time can’t be extended. Magic wands to heal the ills of my friends exist in unwritten fairy tales.

We arrive and I hold my breath. More clothes? Very few items come in chihuahua-length leg sizes. Moreover, department-store mirrors are entirely too honest. They exaggerate wrinkles and add inches to my waist. (I have a vivid imagination.)

“Purses!” my aware friend calls. She points out the worn corners in mine.

“Nothing to try on.” I smile.

She leads the way, asks a few questions and leads the way through the aisles.

“Buying a purse?” a customer asks. She hands me a coupon.

“Even better.” Mission accomplished.

“Next time you need a wallet.” My friend leads the way toward the mall where Jay waits.

Next time. Yes! I am grateful to take reality in small portions.


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Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest. (Hermann Hesse)

At the bottom of the chocolate birthday cake recipe are directions for icing. They advise: frost while cake is still warm. Ah, how time saving! However, while I’m sure I followed the simple instructions, the results appear syrupy. The final product could be high-caloric lava, better suited for a junior high science project.

The time saver has now turned into a messy challenge. My white sweatshirt mimics a Tough Mudder competitor’s. Okay. Is there any way to save this stuff? I work quickly and add powdered sugar, then press the concoction into the top and sides of the cake with the same technique I would use if the icing were made of my grandkids’ clay.

I run out of frosting and don’t want to know how rich this cake is as I make icing of a close-enough color. Voila! The caloric contents of a candy store on one plate. However, divided among a dozen people it may be okay…nibbled…recognized as the dieter’s weekly intake. Provided the outside chocolate layer doesn’t fall off during slicing like shingles during a heavy storm.

In the meantime I learn to take myself less seriously and allow the spasms in my neck to relax despite the nuisance. I take a photo of my creation. It looks better than I expected. Happy birthday, Greg, Sarah, and Claire!

Peace to all, no matter what needs to be repaired. Or eventually discarded. Tomorrow begins another year. Happy New Year to all!

birthday cake

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I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe. (Donna Tartt )

Sure, Kate and I should use the food processor to crush the cookies to make the truffles. But rolling them between two sheets of waxed paper turns the task into a game. And that is the purpose of our day—to spend time doing something fun.

Besides all I have is a recipe held precariously in my head. A superb baker, who owns two ovens, told me how to make the delicacies. Last week. I’m counting on my fallible memory.

Kate and I laugh as some of the crumbs escape across the table top. At least the cookies came from the organic section of the grocery. The mess contains fewer unnatural ingredients.

The final results taste fantastic, but won’t make the cover of any food magazine. We don’t take the time to make each ball even. And we run out of melted chocolate.

“Are you going to blog about this?” Kate asks.

“Why not?” I answer. Some of life’s most beautiful moments happen during mundane, messy, silly, and this-isn’t-the-way-it’s-supposed-to-happen experiences. Cookies-smashed-into-cream-cheese-and-scraped-off-with-the-blunt-edge-of-a-knife fit into that category.

As we work I think about how privileged I was to take Kate with me to find last-minute holiday gifts. I tend to be a get-required-items-then-skedaddle shopper. Kate and I stopped to look, to see, to celebrate, to talk over hot chocolate while Grandpa and Kate’s little sister, Rebe, had the chance to swim at the YMCA.

Kate wanted to help Grandma catch up. I feel honored.

The sink looks like it has taken over for a commercial chain of restaurants. Kate and I also made pumpkin bread. The stainless steel appears to be bleeding, in orange.

Then when Rebe comes back with Grandpa she decides she wants to bake, too. She doesn’t want to be left out. I agree only if she takes some of the finished products home with her. More food would end up in the freezer than we could give. Contents would need to be stacked like mortared bricks. For the freezer’s system this would be something like trying to breathe inside a basement wall.

And my waist line doesn’t need to hold what the refrigerator can’t.

After all our creations are completed the girls make a tent with blankets and couch cushions. I play with my granddaughters and crawl inside their play environment, too. I grab a plush toy cow and tell them it gives chocolate milk. Kate readily accepts a pretend squirt. Rebe claps her hands over her mouth and says, “I’m lactose intolerant.” She isn’t. But she has definitely inherited her father’s quick wit.

My neck should hurt more than it does. But perhaps laughter heals in unexplained ways. My considerably-past-middle-age years will return, sooner than I want them to appear, long before I see in a mirror the ridges in my neck. Probably sometime during the clean-up. For now I have discovered a great secret of the universe. The light in my granddaughters’ laughter makes me feel whole.

Kate and Rebe, thanks. Just for being the wonderful girls you are.

May  everyone find peace, love, joy, and plenty of laughter during the holiday season.

laughter words to inspire the soul

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