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Opinions

Mailboxes and pink snow

Food for Thought

You know how things seem to come in threes? Things like good luck, minor catastrophes, disappointments, and unexpected visitors? Well, I am presently waiting for the third thing to happen regarding mailboxes. I’m hoping this isn’t a three-part run of bad luck involving mailboxes– just something to do with mailboxes in general.

One stroke for Sabra

Walkin'

A few weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon, Sabra swept snow off the deck and suddenly joined a group that draws nearly 800,000 new members in the U.S. each year: people suffering a stroke.
I was running errands in Iowa City at the time but from what I’ve learned since she had several of the classic signs: a sudden and severe headache, neck pain and nausea.

Things I know but don’t understand

Food for Thought

It may not be rocket science, but there are a few things I have to believe but that still definitely puzzle me and I can’t help wondering if anybody else understands them any better than I do. Maybe life wouldn’t be so much fun without its little mysteries but I’ve always thought it was better to have the facts and have everything comfortably explained.

It’s probably an addiction

Food for Thought

I received four new books for Christmas. Two are by authors I’ve read before (though not these particular titles) and the others are identified as New York Times Best-Selling Authors. This, I understand means only that they have had at least one book on that list, but not necessarily this one. In fact, I’m pretty sure about that, as one of the books indicates it was published in 2014, even though it was clearly under my Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, 2013.

Bullying and dissing

Food for Thought

Ask your children or grandchildren for a definition of “dissing” and, chances are, the answer you get will include words like rudeness and insults. Ask what the word “respect” means and the reply will probably be vague or abstract and have more to do with love (or fear) than with high regard. They may claim to respect their parents but feel they are old-fashioned and don’t understand how things are for kids these days.

Fleck’s index

4,086: Number of welfare applicants tested for illegal drug use under Florida legislation passed last year.
108: Applicants testing positive for marijuana use.
2.6: Percent testing positive.
17: Republican Congressman from Florida.
3.5: Grams of cocaine Florida Republican Congressman Trey Radel was arrested for possessing.
5.9: Percent of Florida Republican Congressmen arrested for buying and possessing cocaine.
-20: Degrees Fahrenheit of coldness that must be reached before Alaska school children are held in from recess.

Waiting for spring

Walkin'

My car and I are feeling old this winter.
The Honda Civic’s doors creak no matter how much oil is sprayed on the hinges; my knees ache no matter how much Icy Hot® is smeared on the joints.
I’m a 1952 model; it’s a 1998.
It has 220,000 miles; I’ve drunk as many beers.

An obtuse winter

Food for Thought

When I was in college in Iowa City, I had several art classes each week, from the usual 50-minute length to two-hour studio classes. Some perverse member of the art staff had decided that 7:30 a.m. was a good time for art history lectures. These were mostly slide shows of art works illustrating whatever topic our professor chose to lecture on that day. The lecture room was in the basement of the art building, windowless, dimly lit only by the slide projector, overheated, and stuffy.

Hypopetria questions

Walkin'

Pearl and I treated ourselves to a walk in the woods after a fresh snow last week. The day was sunny but temperatures were only slightly above zero so we were the first and only visitors in the park. As the wind gradually picked up, puffs of snow plopped from the trees, and Pearl gave merry chase as they plunked to the ground.

Cooking for one

Food for Thought

When things progressed to the state where I found myself cooking for one most of the time, I had to learn, all over again, some pretty basic strategies. First of all, I had to remind myself that I don’t like eating the same thing for dinner three or four days in a row. Then I had to relearn some basics about freezing leftovers for later.
One; freezing doesn’t improve anything, so don’t expect it to taste better than it did the first time around. It’ll most likely taste worse.

Popcorn recollections

Walkin'

The other night I made popcorn and discovered that we were out of microwave packets. I had to make the salty treat the old fashioned way, in a pan shaken over the stove.
Ah, memories.

Cold winter memories

Food for Thought

Last month’s unusually cold weather reminded me of a winter in the early 1940s when I was in first or second grade. We lived only about five or six blocks from school and we always walked there and back, twice a day, as we went home for lunch. Our school system didn’t have a hot lunch program then, though a few kids brought sack lunches, especially in the winter time. At our house, the noon meal was the main meal of the day and Mother wanted to make sure we got a good, hot meal, so we always ate at home.