Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Own Hodge Podge

Sometimes I do those standard question posts, where you have no creativity that day and you just answer questions for the whole world to see.  I don't love them, but when I feel like it's been too long since I've posted, I sometimes grab one and do it.

Today though, I decided I have some pictures I've taken for posts but didnt' get around to posting them, so I'll create my own Hodge Podge, Mix Up, Random or Whathaveyou.

First up:  my heritage completely represents the UK.  English, Irish, Scottish to the core.  Oh, I'm probably not Welsh, so I guess not the whole UK is represented.  I love the accents, think the countries are pretty in pictures, and have visited only England.  My sister has visited all of them AND Wales and really likes them.  It seems I recall a story about sleeping in a sheep barn in Wales....  You'll have to ask her.   I'm not such a fan of the damp and dank and sometimes blah  nature surrounding the UK.  I would never want to live there.  I like my country better.  Sorry.

When it comes to cultural things in the various countries imbedded in my genes, I'm not such a fan of those either.  Bagpipes do nothing but irritate me.  Do NOT play them at my funeral or my weddings.  Plaids are OK but only certain plaids.  I think I'm not a fan of the tartans in my family, if I recall.  And the food.  I have never been worried about not having a potato.  Finn n Haddie just makes me want to run away.  Guinness, while smelling nicely and having fantastic glassware isn't my beverage of choice.  And I'd never wear a tam for any amount of money.   I know, this is all very blasphemous.  Close your eyes.

However, I recently discovered steel milled oats for my morning palate pleasure.  Apparently this is oatmeal the way the Irish and the Scottish intended it.  It is very grainy and looks like chicken feed.  And it takes 100 years to make it.  But it's really good, with a little brown sugar.  It's crunchy, sort of, even after it's cooked.   I enjoy the crunch in the morning.  Sometimes oatmeal is like glue or it slithers down my throat and that's not so pleasing at 6:45am.   I make what it says in the directions and it feeds me for 3 mornings.  So, I make it on the weekend, but by mid week, I have run out, so I have to go back to regular oatmeal because I do not have 20 minutes to cook oats in the morning.  And this makes one hell of a mess.  Like rice, it manages to get its starchy ooziness all over the outside of the pan.  But it's good and worth it, I think.  I am a big fan.

Which leads me to this.  I had run out of premade good oats, see above, and was going to have to settle for regular quick oats when I woke at 5:15am to find that we had no school.  It's a snow day.  Again.  I like them, as I might have mentioned before.  And this time she got it a little more right.  Last time, there was no snow at all but she caved and canceled when all of the other superintendents did too.  This time, she waited until it was at its worst, which was 5am and when she had to really make a decision, and rather than a delay, she canceled completely.  If she was sitting here at my kitchen window, I could see how she might have thought there was enough snow to make transporting students very difficult.  See how pretty?  It does look like there is a powerful amount of the slippery stuff, if you sit here.  But really, it's not much.  It's snow that's on top of a lot of slop.  I walked out to get the paper this morning and it's messy.  And maybe it's slippery driving.  But it does seem like I've had to drive to school on days when I was certain we should not have had school, and this doesn't look like one of them.  Again, it sounds like I am lamenting my day off.  Nope.  It's just forever a mystery to me what goes on in the head of a superintendent when it comes to making this decision.   Like, does she put on her robe and boots under her nightgown at 4:45am and go whipping up and down her road to see how safe it is?  Just what all goes on?

And this is the scene from  my kitchen window over the sink.  I laugh when I look out because I don't know what k-ster was doing when he lined the chairs up like this.  From where I stand at the sink, I feel like I have the Olympic judges sitting there and I look up to see how they rated my performance.  Not sure why that judge on the left won't look at me though.....

In other news, there's a funny mail situation that goes on here at the compound.  I can't remember if I've ever told you about our living situation here.  My family owns a campground which is open only in months when the water won't freeze.  My house is right on the grounds of the campground and my parents live across a driveway and an "island" which is really just grass.  It's like 100 yards from my door to theirs.  Up a pretty walk to their office door.  (I took a pretty picture with my phone yesterday but t-mobile's site isn't cooperating, so you don't get to see it)  We also own a car wash which is at the other side of the property.  So it's kind of like a big triangle.  And sometimes I refer to it as the compound.  We are bordered by 2 streets.  That's important to know for the following.

The mail for the campground and my parents goes to their house.  In the summer, we have people who get mail like birthday cards and medication by mail.  Back in the days before email, we'd get a lot of mail and I could deliver it in the park and get like 10 cents as tips for delivering.  And if I delivered to the Belmore's , they gave me gumdrops AND a dime.  I digress.  Oh, and so does the mail for the carwash even though that address is on the road behind us, so it's not even close to their actual house address.  My mail and k-ster's mail, and sometimes mail for Gwenstopher (because I used to put in fake names when I had to fill out forms for silly things) ((she gets a lot of offers for the Boston Globe)) all comes to our house.   Lately, we keep getting mail for the neighbor, I assume because it sticks to our mail.   And mail for people in the campground in the summer, people who have phone hookups and cable, has our address for the billing address because technically, the ground that their trailer is on is considered our address.  Even though the office is next door.  Are you following me?  If you are feeling a tad bit confused, then you will not be surprised to see this.
This is what happens when my parents go away.  I bring in the mail and put it on their counter. I set it out by the day it arrived, with the newspaper for that day.   My father came home before my mother, and this is what he created.  There are at least 5 distinct piles.  My mother's mail, the business part of the campground, my sister e-ster who hasnt' lived at home for over a year, me and k-ster(because the mailman was apparently blind- this mail did have our proper address), people in the campground who get junk mail over the winter.  And my favorite, an envelope with an address for a woman who lives 2 miles from here.  The street name isn't even CLOSE to the to streets for which we get mail.  Her name isn't anything like any of our names.  And the house number, not even in the right number set.  Isnt' it a federal problem when you touch someone's mail that isn't yours?  When we have a mailman that's regular, he quickly learns names and knows that even if the address is wrong (like sometimes my mail still has my parents' address on it) which one to give it to.  And just wait until the registrations for the road race I chair start coming in.  That's always fun.

Years ago, when we got something delivered to us that was a for a company in the next town, my father was exclaiming about the incompetency of the mail service.

"Dad, don't you know that there's a sign at the post office that says if you don't know where the mail should go, just send it to xyz Campground?"

"Jesus Christ!  Well, that explains it.  I can't believe it...."  Cue lots of hysterical laughter from my mother and me.  Of course there's no sign.  Not out front where we can see it, anyway.  But I bet there is one in the mail sorting room.  Instead of that "lost" bin or whatever they call it, here in my town, they call it that "campground bin".  Can't figure out where it goes?  Just drop it off over there at the campground.  They'll take anything. 

K-ster remarked recently that I might have some diarrhea of the fingers.  Perhaps my last post was a tad long?  Should have been offered in installments?  Well, sometimes I'm a little off balance.  I mean, I could go back to this kind of inspiring post.

Oh, and one more thing.  See the request at the very top of my side bar?  My students are competing to win that podcast contest and the winner is chose by the popular vote.  It's a pain to vote but totally worth it.  Can you go do it for us?  Doesn't matter what country you're from!  Merci mille fois!


  1. I've been tempted to try the steel cut oats--did you know you can soak them over night in the fridge? At least I think you can. I also have heard that there is a way to cook them overnight in a crock pot. I really need to try them. Especially if they aren't slimy like rolled oats.

  2. That judge on the left is just plain rude! :)
    I soooo love the UK. All of it. I'd live there in a minute and have enjoyed some lovely visits. Funny thing is, I do always find myself longing for the comforts of home.
    Gwenstopher made me laugh. That darn Boston Globe sure is relentless in their attack, aren't they? Kinda makes me glad we aren't in Boston the thought of manuevering through Brighton in all that snow brings back nightmares. Hey look! I have diarrhea of the fingers too. (Maybe it's contagious.) P.S. The smell of Desitin is rather easy to distinguish ;)


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