Monday, January 14, 2019

Who Is in Charge?

Cheezburger Image 6163257856
I am.

Who's in charge here? I have heard that question in so many voices, situations. 

Sometimes I am in charge, good or bad. I gladly ceded that responsibility now that I am retired. For twenty years and six-hundred students, I was in charge. 

Parents, we were/are in charge. For feeding, clothing, and all sorts responsibilities for our children, we were/are in charge.

Paying bills, having the oil changed, finding lost items, etc.--we adults: we're in  charge.

Given all that, some of the most amazing I'm in charge here people are children. They have no power, no reason to believe that they are in charge. 

Even though you and I know that a child should not be in charge in critical areas,  they are in the sweetest and most amazing ways.

(The longest video is the last one. The others are less than a minute )

A three-year old taking charge here, maybe

Expressing himself to one he loves

Helping mommy 

Who in charge here?  Both.

There are many elements in all lives when exasperation leads to a  real question:  Who is in charge of me?

Friday, January 11, 2019

Squeaky's Big Send-Off

Are You Trapped in the Real Estate Hamster Wheel?
Oh, well.

Squeaky died sometime in the night.  Scotty said that he noticed when the hamster wheel suddenly went silent.  Oh, well.  It was his time.

Scotty had always been pragmatic about things in his life.  Lose a favorite Wheel Box car?  Oh, well. It'll turn up somewhere.  Dropping a slice of pizza?  Oh, well. Just brush it off.  So when Squeaky's little ancient hamster heart stopped beating, Scotty and I (as the paternal unit) both thought about how to give him a suitable burial.

Scotty had been into Vikings after watching "How to train your Dragon" for the twentieth time.  "Let's throw a Viking funeral!" Alright, we can do that, no problem. But I didn't know what I was saying.

Scotty retrieved a canoe/barge made of popsicle sticks at church camp last summer. We put Squeaky on a pile of twigs layered on the water craft.  After pushing the funeral barge out in the swimming pool, Scotty used the "Hunger Games" bow with a burning marshmallow at the point of the arrow aimed at the barge.  

Again and again.  

When the canoe finally caught fire, it initially went up in flames and the thing burned before hisssssing out and sinking, leaving a singed marshmallow sticky Squeaky floating on the top of the water.

Oh, well.  

I managed to scoop Squeaky from the failed Viking send-off with the pool skimmer.  What now?

Scotty had watched some warrior movie where the slaughtered hero was placed on a funeral pyre.  "Let's do that, Dad!"  So we did.

We lay out some sticks criss-crossed to form a good solid structure on the patio, and carefully placed Squeaky on it. Scotty used the Kingsford wand lighter to get a good burn going on the bottom layer.  But, with us being novices at funeral pyres, the whole thing collapsed, leaving Squeaky lying on the concrete surrounded by embers.

Oh, well.  

I didn't know how we were going to give Squeaky a big send off.  But, Scotty, being the boy scout he is, had an idea which made me wince and cringe.  It made sense, but man....really?

I pulled out the old rusty Coleman barbecue and built a pyramid of Kingsford guaranteed-to-light charcoal briquettes.  Scotty placed Squeaky on the center above the coals, using my brand new set of BBQ tool set.  Then he performed the Kingsford lighter ritual and got the coals going.

At first, it seemed that Squeaky was finally heading to his fiery hamster Valhalla.  But Noooo.

Squeaky had some sparks here and there, but clearly the charcoal was not ready.  It developed a nice white ash like briquettes do.  But that was it. Instead, the odor of grilled Squeaky told us the truth.

Oh, well.  

By this time, Scotty had had enough.  "Let's just bury it."  He retrieved a shovel from the garden.


Oh now, what will he ask? A pine box?  What do I say? Odin, please help us. Thankfully, Scott dropped the dead hamster into the dirt and covered it up.

"Dad?  Can we go to Lucille's BBQ?  Mom has a coupon for free appetizers."  He wiped a charcoal streaked hand across his nose.  "I'm kinda in the the mood for ribs, aren't you?" 

My daughter Mary's hamster Max died on the first day of middle school. Mary wept, indicating that she should stay at home for a day of mourning. Didn't happen. In a rare moment of kindness, my son John placed Max in a shoe box and buried it in the backyard with all the other deceased pets. Mary did go to school, but has insisted over the decades that she never recovered from the loss. At 32 yrs, she still mourns the loss.

I wrote this in 2014 and exhumed it. I felt it needed a more elaborate resurrection. It was fun to write. 

Well, then indeed.

How (Not) To Have a Viking Funeral
A good Viking funeral

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Food of the Gods

Selection of Lindt chocolate truffles
Swiss Chocolate
Chocolate: Say the word and watch the heads nod.  Coffee/caffeine: Would you like a cup of coffee? and heads will nod again.

Aroma and taste
Why is there such a connection to such appreciation?

Theobromine* is basically in both coffee and chocolate. It has something to do with taming the alkaloids.  Note the two differences in the molecular formula.

Theobromides in Chocolate
Chocolate= C7 H8 N4 O2  Caffeine= C8 H10 N4 O2

Chocolate and Caffeine are close cousins, if not siblings.  God created both. Both came from the New World. God meant for man to consume them. Go out now! Buy some. 

Now, for some tea, a gift from the Far East. 

Tea= C10 H12 O5 Ca N2 Na2 2H2O

How to make a perfect cup of English tea
I have NO idea what all the above means. Do not believe for one moment all these numbers and elements that I know how to read them. My husband can, but was not interested.

Note for tea drinkers: the molecular formula is much more complicated, as it contains so many variations, with unique and delightful stuff in it. All the variations make no sense to me either.

*Go to this site. It is about a 13 year student in England who worked this out.