Toilet Paper – The Great Debate

The preferred method at The Red House is the over hang. How does it hang at your house?

It is written in the book of ‘Internet’  that paper products were first used to do ‘clean ups in aisle one and two’ in the mid 1800’s. One option were sheets of manila hemp paper infused with aloe vera. Another option were the pages of the first widely circulated catalogs from Sears Roebuck. By the late 1800’s, paper was being rolled onto cardboard tubes.

From that day forward, people who had nothing more urgent to discuss, would debate how toilet paper should be hung. Some would advocate the forward (over) hang method, suggesting that might stop the paper from clinging to the wall.
The backward (under) hang proponents would point out that the family cat was less likely to unravel the roll if it was clinging to the wall…

Toilet paper holders have come a long way! I like this one from ‘Planet Dork Sculptures’

Friendly debate continues to this day, though it would seem that the over hang method is the preferred one. Manufacturer Georgia-Pacific conducted a survey in 1993. 73% of those polled preferred the forward hang. In 2010, the Cottonellle Roll Poll attracted half a million votes – 72% chose the ‘over’ method.

And so it went until 2020 when the world  went mad and people started buying up toilet paper. There may in fact now be a few homes with enough stockpiled toilet paper to last them for a very long time, as described in this joke that circulated late that year: “It was a quiet Monday morning in September 2053, when John awoke with a need to go to the bathroom. To John this wasn’t just any ordinary day! This was the day he would open the last package of toilet paper his parents bought in the year 2020.”

Also in 2020 – Stock Market Report
Helium was up, feathers were down. Paper was stationary.
Fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light trading. Knives were up sharply. Pencils lost a few points.
Hiking equipment was trailing. Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline. Weights were up in heavy trading.
Mining equipment hit rock bottom. Diapers remained unchanged.
The market for raisins dried up. Balloon prices were inflated.
And toilet paper touched a new bottom.

What’s a mathematician’s favorite type of toilet paper?
Multiply.

What do you call someone who goes from one store to another looking for toilet paper?
Bounty hunter.

Francis Ford Crapolla – This photo is near the top of my sidebar. Click it and you will be whisked away to a random post… on my blog, not on your blog…

Since this might be my last post ever about toilet paper, I expect you want to share your thoughts on these important questions:

Does your toilet paper hang over or under?
Are you the empty roll change agent in your house?
Do you have an interesting roll holder?
Where do you keep extra rolls of toilet paper?
Your preferred vernacular – lavatory, throne, loo, WC (water closet), john, latrine, comfort room?
How many books or magazines do you have in that room?

My ‘Rona Virus’ Toilet Paper Posts, none of which went viral:

Will Trade Grapefruit for Toilet Paper

Not So Close Contact

More of the Lighter Side

 

Canadian Thanksgiving – Tradition Ideas – Mirthy Monday (Video)

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving! Happy Eat Until you are Stuffed Day!

Does your family have any interesting Thanksgiving Traditions? How about treasured recipes that your family always serves?

Here are a few non-traditional ideas that you might want to try next year!

We stuff our Thanksgiving bird with cereal—sometimes sugary, sometimes silly, not usually healthy but one year it was Grape Nuts.
– Author Unknown –

Speaking of stuffing – how about a Rice Krispies/Marshmallow turkey with smarties stuffing for dessert!?

When I was a kid, my aunt gave every one of the cousins a little chocolate turkey as we wrapped up the evening. We all assumed it would stop when we grew up, and yet there are still around 15 tiny chocolate turkeys circulating through the house every year. We’ve taken to hiding them in each other’s bags so she doesn’t know we aren’t eating them anymore. Pretty sure one of my cousins unknowingly went home with about 8 of them in 2016.
-Author Unknown –

This would be the ultimate way to ‘baste’ a turducken! (A turducken is a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck which is then stuffed into a deboned turkey).

Here is a video for a Mini Turducken wrapped in Bacon.

Start the day off on a sweet note by serving your traditional Thanksgiving pies for breakfast with coffee instead of after the big meal. That way, you won’t be too full to indulge in dessert.
– Good Housekeeping Home –

Bowling with Turkeys – Forget bowling balls and bowl with a frozen turkey this Thanksgiving using soda or water bottles as makeshift pins. This hilarious tradition started in 1988 at Lucky’s grocery shop in Newport Beach, where the bowling took place in the alleys of the store.
– Culture Trip –

There are many ways to cook carrots, but at Thanksgiving they are best if they are in a carrot cake with cream cheese icing!

Host a potluck dinner… asking everyone to bring a dish to pass can create a more diverse, exciting spread. It also lessens the load on the host.
– Good Housekeeping Home –

More about the Holiday and the Bird:

Thanksgiving and Turkey Quotations

Our Canadian Thanksgiving – 2018

Bruce Did It – Mirthy Monday

Our resident moose: Bruce

I’ve been re-reading some of my favourite books. For the past month I’ve been immersed in the wit and wisdom of Robert Fulghum.

In one of his stories he describes how his family settled on a way to discuss the normal daily shortcomings and idiosyncrasies of family members  – in a playful, respectful way.

In my Seattle household there are seven of us: five core family, a housekeeper, and a large stuffed moose …

One morning when I was raging around the kitchen over who drank the last of the milk again and didn’t go to the store for more again, in walked Myrna with the moose. “John (the moose) did it, ” she said, ‘and he’s so very sorry.’ The moose did look guilty. We laughed. John took his chastisement gracefully. Milk crisis forgotten.
– Robert Fulghum in the essay ‘My Fault’

Well, we just happen to have a resident stuffed  moose too (we named him ‘Bruce’). With only two humans in our household, shall we say we are experiencing a certain degree of ‘testiness’ caused by 13 months of a lot of two-some-ness. The idea that all of our fumblings, mumblings, faults and foibles were actually the work of Bruce the Moose  seemed like a brilliant idea.

Everybody knows they could do better, but nobody feels bad getting reminded in a secondary loony way.
– Robert Fulghum –

It has worked very well. ‘Bruce’ is silently stoic, but you can sense he is  building a database of good things to remember, such as: buy crunchy peanut butter – not smooth –  always, not almost always; if you add a lot of beans to the family diet don’t comment on the ‘noisy response’ a few hours later; don’t stack three slippery, loosely covered containers on the top shelf of the fridge.

Have you and your family developed some new coping mechanisms in the past year?

An Eggsellent Arrangement of Eggs

I’ve done quite a few blog posts about Eggs over the years.

In a post called Playing with the Word Egg I noted that “Nature recognized that the Egg was eggsactly the type of ineggspensive, eggstremely simple container needed for many housing situations. With an eggsternal shell that would survive eggstreme conditions (barring eggsplosions), the egg was an eggsellent choice where eggsessive sharp edges were undesirable for the eggspectant mother when it was time to eggspell it.”

I looked at an equation for drawing an egg shape in the post Eggs Are Eggs-actly Complex.

I even did a post about Devilled Eggs. (How hard can it be to hardboil an egg… yet the ones I did a few days were just a bit under done, so yes, it is a rather exact science.)

In this post, I’m going to explore another aspect of eggs – when you remove eggs from the carton, do you do so in a particular order? What would your egg storage container look like when you only had half the eggs left?

This was a topic on Twitter a few days ago… who says Twitter is a useless waste of time! (Thanks to Gavin Jones @ecologyofgavin for starting this inquiry.)

Gavin suggested these four possibilities:

Egg Carton arrangements 1 to 4

Then he added this one:

Egg storage arrangement #5 (ignore the 3B label)

Twitter followers added the next two:

Egg storage arrangement #6
Egg storage arrangement #7

There were a few people who were basket storers:

Egg storage arrangement #8

And last, but certainly not least, there was the ‘any place there is room in the fridge’ arrangement.

Egg storage arrangement #9

So, how about you? How do you store your eggs? Do your eggs have a storage symmetry?

Can Time Go Backwards?

Many thanks to my friend Larry for giving me this clock for my Clock Wall. Everything about the clock is backwards.  I’m hopeful that this clock will make me feel like time can go backwards, because another decadal birthday is only months away. What is it about a birthday that ends in a zero? Why does it seem so much bigger than the last nine birthdays?

This is my Arizona Clock Wall. If you look carefully, you’ll see which clocks need new batteries!

If you are a person who doesn’t like to listen to a clock ticking, you wouldn’t enjoy being near this bunch of ‘tickers’. They say tick-tock over and over again, but they don’t say it in unison. The aggregate sound is more like tick-tick-tock-tick-tock-tock-tick etc…

If my mind is not too intently engaged in what I am doing, soon the rhythm of the clocks will speak to me. “Want-cho-co-late want-cho-co-late want-cho-co-late”.  “Sun-is-shin-ing sun-is-shin-ing.” “Go-to-bed go-to-bed”… I won’t tell you what the clocks say about politics.

The Car Guy doesn’t mind hearing the ticking of the clocks, but they don’t speak to him. Perhaps clocks choose who they will talk to…

How about you? Do you have clocks that tick? Do they speak to you?

My posts about Age are at Age Quotations.

My posts about Time are at Time Quotations.

Another Moose – Mirthy Monday

I told my niece that I saw a moose on the way to work this morning
She said, “How do you know he was on his way to work?”
– Author Unknown –


Not so long ago, a pair of Moose ambled across the field behind our house. The moose (not meese or mooses) stopped for a short while, contemplated something, then moved on. (This was the best I could do, photo wise. The light was not great, nor was the weather…)

Fast forward to last week. I was at our local Canadian Tire store, and what do you think I saw? A moose – and not just any moose. A genuine Canadian moose dressed in red Trooper’s Hat, plaid shirt and a sporty scarf – with a Rudolph Nose!

Portrait of a Moose

Showing great restraint, I didn’t buy the moose. I did buy two strings of Christmas lights, though. Two days later, I realized I needed one more string of lights… and guess what? Apparently I needed a moose too, because there it was, right where I had left it in the store. Waiting patiently, glassy eyes sparkling, red nose acting like a beacon as it drew me down the aisle of this, that and a bunch of other stuff I didn’t need or want.

Moose with an HDR filter

Did I need a moose? No, of course not. Did I want something that makes me smile every time I look at it? Well, maybe. Did I have a vehicle in the parking lot big enough to carry a small moose? Well, yes I did. Was The Car Guy willing to carry the beast through the store and out into the parking lot? Well, yes he said he would.

Moose with a cartoonish filter

Does red plaid clash with my decor? Not at all.
Going, going, gone – another Canadian Tire Moose gets a home!

Moose needs a name. I’m thinking ‘Bruce’. What would you name this moose?

Daylight Saving Time – Mirthy Monday

A Guide to Changing the time on your Clocks:
1. Smart Phone – Leave it Alone. It does it with Magic
2. Appliances – You’ll need a Masters in Electronic Engineering or a hammer.
3. Sundial – Move one house to the right.
4. Car Clock – Not worth it. Wait six months.
– Internet Meme –

Daylight savings time—why are they saving it, and where do they keep it?
– Author Unknown –

Twice a year, we go through the ritual of resetting our clocks – our part of Canada  observes Daylight Saving Time.  Actually, it is The Car Guy who performs the clock changing task. He used to be pretty thorough about the job, but with the advent of digital clocks in just about every appliance, he has given up. He sets the most critical ones, and leaves the rest to fend for themselves. It doesn’t really matter much whether the water softener cycles an hour later for six months of the year. It does matter if the furnace comes on an hour after we get up…

I don’t mind going back to daylight saving time. With inflation, the hour will be the only thing I’ve saved all year.
– Victor Borge –

“Whatever” Clock

It is rather ironic for me to talk about time. I have never worn a watch. I can tell you what year it is, and what month it is, but I won’t know exactly what day of the month it is. I might be able to tell you what day of the week it is, and I will certainly know whether it is morning, afternoon, or evening. But I won’t know what time it is, to the exact minute – so my ‘Whatever’ clock is close enough for most of my purposes.

“ISH” Time

clockMany years ago, I spotted the perfect clock for me.  I should have bought it, but didn’t, and regretted the decision for a long time. I eventually made a similar clock for myself, and it is one of my most valuable possessions. It runs on “ish” time. If it was true to the original, it would not have the minute hand on it. But I consult this clock when I want to know the time more precisely than the “Whatever” clock. So, I put the minute hand on. Visiting children love this clock. Actually what they love is turning the hands. After a visit from them I have to reset the time and take a few kinks out of the hands.

One of the ways the telegraph changed us as humans was it gave us a new sense of what time it is. It gave us an understanding of simultaneity. It gave us the ability to synchronize clocks from one place to another. It made it possible for the world to have standard time and time zones and then Daylight Savings Time and then after that jetlag. All of that is due to the telegraph because, before that, the time was whatever it was wherever you were.
– James Gleick –

Middle East Clock

The kitchen clock was a purchase I made in the Middle East. The numerals are Eastern Arabic. It is amazing how many people look at this clock, read the time, but don’t notice the numerals.

Digital Clocks

One of our children attended two different schools in one year. It was the grade where children are taught how to tell time. The one school taught the concept near the beginning of the term; the other school taught it near the middle of the term – and she missed both lessons in the transition.

We didn’t realize until some months later that she couldn’t tell time on a regular clock. We had lots of digital clocks, so telling the time wasn’t a problem for her – though we should have guessed something was up when she would say the time was 9:15, not quarter past 9.

You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe “Daylight Saving Time.”
– Dave Barry

Lots of Quotes about Time: If you have the time, here is the link to all my quotations about time: Time Quotations

How disruptive is Daylight Savings Time for you?

If a Man says He Will Fix it

Mike Holmes the Make It Right Building expert, is more than a man with a hammer. His simple philosophy is to do things the right way – with your head, your heart, and your hands. He educates and inspires viewers like us.

The QuipperyOur home is about 39 years old. We purchased it 28 years ago, and for the past 15 years it has supplied us with a never ending list of things to repair and upgrade. If Holmes had been called in to assess some of our reno projects, he would have said, “This should never have been built this way.” Other projects – he would have said, “This met code when it was built, but it doesn’t today. Fix it.”

Holmes has taken up residence in our head. Every time we pick up a hammer or saw, our first thought is, what would Holmes do? The fictional character Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek also lives in our head. He inspires us to “Make It So.” Armed with these inspirations and a good selection of sharp tools to occasionally draw blood with, we set off each day on a mission.

Home Renovator’s Serenity Prayer: Higher Power (internet, Home Depot, library, family) – Grant me the courage (balls) to fix the things I can, the humility to call in the pros when I’m in over my head, and the wisdom to know the difference.
– thissortaoldlife.com –

Home renovation shows make everything look pretty fast and easy. In just half an hour, an outdated, grungy bathroom is transformed into a candidate for Better Homes and Gardens. Real reality, as opposed to television reality, means that bathroom was a disaster zone for several months or more!

Real reality often means that the only reason the project ever gets finished is because the house is being put up for sale. At least, that was how it worked out in one of our previous abodes. The project wasn’t even a reno. Just a repair.

One cold and blustery Christmas Day, I was cooking a turkey dinner. Twenty guests were gathering around the table in anticipation of the feast. Just as I was taking the bird out of the oven, I heard an unexpected sound, like escaping water, coming from the nearby laundry room. The water was escaping all right, from a gradually enlarging hole in the ceiling. A water pipe had frozen and then burst. We turned off the water supply and had dinner. After a leisurely meal, men with glasses of wine in one hand and sundry tools in the other, headed for the laundry room. Several hours later, the pipe was repaired and the water was back on.

The laundry room ceiling now had a hole in it measuring about 1 foot by 1 foot. We decided to let the whole thing dry for a while. For a while stretched into a long while, which might have been forever had we not had to sell the house…

What reno project or repair in your house is still waiting patiently for the finishing touches?

Are plumbing repairs blue jobs or a pink jobs at your house? What about drywall repair?

Cookbook Shelf

Savella Stechishin

In response to a blogging suggestion from Feeding on Folly – What does Your Bookshelf Say About You: I got no further than the Cookbook Shelf and this book – Traditional Ukrainian Cookery by Savella Stechishin. The Car Guys sister, by remarkable coincidence, had just asked us if we still have this cookbook.

The answer is yes, we still have it – the 9th edition (printed in 1976). This book was first published in 1957 by Trident Press Ltd in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Car Guy looked it up online, and found out that used copies are for sale on various sites for as little as $35 to as much as $400!

Savella Stechishin’s Traditional Ukrainian Cookery is to Ukrainian cuisine what Julia Child’s cookbook is to French cooking.
– Vera Krycak –

Savella Stechishin did much more than write a cookbook! She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1930 – the first Ukrainian woman to receive a degree there. She taught in Saskatchewan schools, was a home economist for Women’s Services at the University of Saskatchewan and lectured at the Department of Slavic Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. She also gave Ukrainian language courses at Saskatoon’s Mohyla Institute, where she was dean of women. She co-founded the Ukrainian Museum of Canada in Saskatoon and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1989.

The Car Guy’s heritage is Ukrainian and Swedish. This has introduced a wealth of interesting recipes to our family. My culinary repertoire was blandly vanilla in comparison!

What is the most dog-eared, well used, loved, recipe book in your kitchen?

Christmas Desserts and Family Traditions

The QuipperyThe Fruitcake

Have you ever thought what it must be like to be a Fruit Cake? Made weeks or months in advance of Christmas Dinner, it is left to steep in whatever secret ingredient is used to give it that special flavour (I prefer rum). It is briefly admired as it is paraded down the catwalk of the dessert tray – then ignored by a bunch of carnivores who have just devoured half of a gigantic turkey.

I’ve always liked Fruit Cake. Back in the days when I’d do lots of Christmas baking, I’d serve it with Rum Hard Sauce. It is a simple recipe. Beat 3-4 tablespoons of butter (though my recipe says margarine because back then it was much cheaper than butter.) Add 1 cup of icing sugar, 1/4 cup rum, and 1/8 cup milk. Beat and chill before serving.

In a 1983 New York Times column titled “Fruitcake Is Forever,” Russell Baker claimed to be in possession of a fruitcake that a long-dead relative had baked in 1794 as a Christmas gift for President George Washington. Washington allegedly sent it back with a note explaining that it was “unseemly for Presidents to accept gifts weighing more than 80 pounds, even though they were only eight inches in diameter.
– Mental Floss –

The Sugar Cookie

The Fruit Cake’s nemesis is the Sugar Cookie sitting next to it on the platter. The Sugar Cookie, made just that morning, is unaware that it will be the hands down favourite. It may or may not have been tarted up with icing and silver sprinkles – but it will be devoured. Every last crumb will be gone by the time the last guest has headed  home with a tupperware container full of turkey and mashed potatoes. The Fruit Cake will sit untouched and forlorn on the platter – much to the delight of the hostess who created it (and loves any dessert that contains booze or chocolate or fruit or all three.) It is just a matter of time, however, before the last of the Fruit Cake is also devoured (as is the eggnog) and the hostess – well, she has gained five pounds in weight. (I speak from experience.)

Gingerbread

Baking and decorating Gingerbread is a tradition in our family. I’ve written about this in the past (Line up the Usual Suspects and How to Plan a Gingerbread Party.)

Rum Balls

Rum Ball making has become one of my son-in-law’s traditions. Each year he tries to increase the amount of rum, yet maintain the consistency of the dough such that it can be rolled into balls. Needless to say, Rum Balls are for adults only. Rum Ball rolling is time consuming and is usually done in front of the TV set while watching a movie. In years gone by, the traditional movie for the job was Amadeas. Don’t ask me why it has to be that movie – it is just the right movie for the job.

My eldest daughter decided to introduce Rum Ball making to her family this year. Her post began

Turns out, twenty-two years is enough time to forget a recipe. Although, as I stood in the grocery store calling my younger sister (wife of the rum ball making son-in-law) to find out what almond paste was, it occurred to me that I might not have actually made this recipe before. I did participate in the ritual of drinking wine, watching a movie and rolling. I’m just not sure I ever assembled the ingredients and then mixed them up in such a huge bowl.

Carrot Cake

Huh? Carrot Cake doesn’t seem like a traditional Christmas dessert – but it is just about my favourite treat other than something made with dark chocolate. We have done extensive testing of store bought carrot cake and the Fountain Hills AZ Safeway store makes a carrot cake to die for! Since it is just going to be two of us for Christmas dinner this year, quick and simple Safeway carrot cake is the way to go!

What are your traditional Christmas Desserts?