Fifty-Three, But Who’s Counting?

We look pretty good. What is it we’re all dressed up for?
(Helpful hint – put labels on old photos while you still remember the details…)

I have many talents – drawing isn’t one of them – for example The Car Guy is much taller than I am…

The Car Guy and I celebrated our 53rd Wedding Anniversary in 2022. Our Wedding Vows were very traditional, but if there had been an internet back then, I think we would have added some of these vows, which I found when I did some web research:

“I promise to get up and get our remote from across the room, even if it was not I who placed the remote so very far away.”

“I promise to love you through Ikea, be it during the buying or the assembly of furniture procured therein.”

“I promise to replenish the toilet paper that you almost certainly won’t remember the stored location thereof.”

“I promise that I will never ask you to sample anything to see whether it has gone bad.”

“I promise that I will clean up after supper when you cook it.”

“I pledge always to respect your musical preferences while you are driving. However, if you are not driving…”

“I vow never to steal your covers, unless you are hogging them.”

“I vow to agree that you really are the best driver on the road and that you always know exactly where you’re going.”

“I vow to always do all the stuff neither of us wants to do when I know that you really, really don’t want to do it a lot more than I really, really don’t want to do it.”

“I vow that for as long as we both shall live, I will guard you against spiders and mice.”

A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.
– eCards –

For more pithy quotations see this post: Love and Marriage

An Abnormal Normal Christmas

Back to Normal Christmas Letter
For many years I wrote an Annual Christmas Letter for family and friends. There wasn’t much to report on a personal level in 2020 and 2021 because of Canadian pandemic social restrictions. Everything I wanted to say about everything else was on my blog – so I didn’t do letters for those two years.

January 2022 was the end of the pandemic for The Car Guy and I. We promptly got Covid when we left the restrictions in Alberta and moved to the open social life of Arizona – sure made writing the Annual Letter more interesting and easier to write!

An Abnormal Christmas
The Car Guy and I moved up our migration to Arizona to early December 2022. That meant we celebrated Christmas with real family in Alberta in November, while December Christmas was a series of virtual visits with family who were also in small pods in far flung places. Our Christmas Day meal was a simple gourmet BBQ hamburger dinner for two – if that isn’t a stress free holiday recipe, I don’t know what is!

One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.
– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone –

I always know what I’m getting for Christmas…
fat… I’ll get fat.

I bought my brother some gift wrap for Christmas. I took it to the gift wrap department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping.
– Steven Wright –

As for this post – “It’s A Wrap” too!

The Halloween Tree

‘Twas a night after Halloween, and what did we see?
Snow in abundance covering all trees
(heavy, wet snow, brisk wind, drifting…)

The pumpkins were lit and though shining so bright,
They couldn’t dispel the gloom of that night.

And then in a twinkling a thought came to me,
What was needed were lights from a Christmas tree!

I spoke not a word, but went straight to the task
And soon in the light of the tree we did bask.
(Well, the pumpkins basked – we admired while curled up in our comfy chairs.)

And that, dear readers, is why and how I violated the social admonishment (as expressed in social and mass media) that I not decorate for Christmas until after American Thanksgiving! Yes, I know, I’m walking on the wild side!

(Sometimes social media can be a preachy, self-righteous, sanctimonious kind of place…)

Just remember, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything, and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way.
– M*A*S*H –

Canadian Thanksgiving – the Traditional Wokadoo

A Really Brief History: Canadian Thanksgiving is a stat holiday that is now observed on the second Monday of October. The first official Thanksgiving was celebrated on November 6, 1879, but long before that the First Nations celebrated fall harvest – even before the early French settlers initiated such an event in 1578.

You know that just before that first Thanksgiving dinner there was one wise, old Native American woman saying, ‘Don’t feed them. If you feed them, they’ll never leave.’
– Dylan Brody –

Family Traditions: Our family cooks a Wokadoo (turkey). Many, many years ago our very young nephew christened all such birds in the oven ‘Wokadoos’. He couldn’t remember the word ‘turkey’ but he had a general idea of what sound a turkey made, (though he was actually thinking of a rooster.) The closest he could get to saying “Cock-a-doodle-doo” was ‘wokadoo’ and from then on, all my turkeys were referred to as wokadoos.

For the past few years, most of our family feast days have taken place at one of our children’s homes – the passing of the turkey baster, you might say. I don’t mind. Our home was turkey central for over forty years.

Thanksgiving: when the people who are the most thankful are the ones who didn’t have to cook.
— Melanie White –

This year, a Son-in-Law (the one with a smoker large enough to accomodate a turkey)  cooked an excellent bird. After dinner, when we traditionally take turns talking about what we are thankful for, the Daughter introduced a twist on the theme. She gave each of us a LEGO kit and tasked us with building what we are thankful for.

This is the kit we each got – and this is what I built the next day after I sort of followed the instruction manual. These critters are very different than the ‘thankful things’ we built the evening before!
These are my Thankful things. Can you guess which ones represent family, friends, nature, a roof over our head?
This is The Car Guys ‘Thankful things’. More people, home, nature but also  the answer to the question ‘how high can you build before it falls over’.

What are your Thanksgiving Traditions?

Hungry for more quotations? Thanksgiving and Turkey Quotations

Another One Bites the Dust

And the Chief of all the Appliances in the house said “Who among you feels not up to the tasks demanded of you?”

And the Washing Machine (a mere 4 years old but beginning to wonder if there was more to life than water in, water out, water in, water out) said, “I feel not so desirous of being bubbly this week. Might I take a rest?”

And the Chief said, “So be it. I shall make it so you striketh against the Tide Pod and so you shall rest for a while.”

And so it came to be.

And the Chief waited a suitable amount of time – until the human inhabitants of the abode were lulled into false security.

Then the Chief asked, “Who among you cannot face another winter of being a burning inferno?”

And the Furnace said, “I feel I am cracking up after 30 years of faithful service. Might I take a rest?” “Me too, me too”, chimed in the Air Con and the Water Heater. “We know not how much more of this we can take before we leak out vital fluids.”

And the Chief said, “So be it. I shall make it so you and everyone in the darkness of the basement are given a full and lasting retirement. You need never work again.”

And so it came to be and the humans in said abode faced a costly HVAC and Water Heater replacement that exceeded the price they got from selling ‘Wanda, the BMW’. And the Chief was pleased that it had successfully granted the wishes of the inhabitants of the basement underworld AND found a new and happy home for Wanda, which wasn’t even in the game plan!

Flush with success, and before the new inhabitants of the basement even arrived, the Chief approached the Refrigerator. “Are you tired of being cold, cold, cold while everyone else is basking in the heat of this very warm summer?”

And the Fridge, also only 4 years old and unaware of the expectations of how long a fridge will perform, said, “If I see one more bag of Sugarsnap pea pods, I think I am going to barf.”

And so the Chief caused the ice in the ice maker to melt and run onto the floor and all the cold to flee and the Fridge felt warm and cosy for the first time in, well, 4 years.

The Chief, well satisfied with what it had achieved in a mere 4 months and humming the tune ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, contemplated how long to wait before approaching the Dishwasher,  the Clothes Dryer the Deep Freezer, the Water Pump and/or the Septic Pump.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Stop Motion LEGO

In this video, Japanese stop motion animation artist tomosteen uses LEGO to create an ‘Oreo Factory’.

Stop Motion Needle Felt Wool

Needle felting is a craft that involves repeatedly stabbing a needle into a piece of wool. This stiffens and shapes it into the desired form. The tip of the needle has small barbed notches that allow the fibers of the wool to be moved towards the center of the shape without being pulled back out when the needle is pulled out.

Andrea Love creates needle felted objects which she then animates in stop motion.

Here is one of my posts (with videos) about Stop Motion Clay Animation.

Quirky Quips and Quotes – Laundry in Limp Mode

Preamble: A few years ago our Jeep suddenly lost it’s zippy acceleration while we were driving home from Arizona. We took it into a Chrysler dealership. They couldn’t repair it for days, but said we could drive it home. It would be a slower trip than usual because the Jeep would be running in ‘limp mode’.

Fast forward to this years snowbird return to The Red House. We unpacked and I started to do laundry. Oh, oh – our four year old washing machine quit after just one load. It’s electronic dial spit out an ‘E-11’ error code. The Car Guy did a reset (unplug and plug back in) but it didn’t help. He made sure the water wasn’t blocked and that the pressure was okay. Check, check. He contacted the warranty repair company. That put us on the list for repair, but it has been two weeks now and we still don’t have a date they can come out.

The pessimist in me thinks it could be a long time before the washer gets repaired – so I thought about whether a washing machine has a ‘limp mode’? I started to test various combinations of water temperature, wash cycles, etc. After a lot of trial and error, I’ve been able to use the machine on ‘tap cold’ mode on the ‘rinse again and spin’ cycle and one wash cycle – as long as I don’t push the ‘pods’ soap button. Fingers crossed.

I briefly wished I still had my trusty old Maytag washing machine. It would have been 44 years old now and it would not have given me grief about eating another ‘pod’. Mind you, it only had one cycle that reliably worked, it didn’t spin the clothes very well, it refused to wash sneakers or quilts and it sometimes took a walk about when it was out of balance… but it never had a hissy fit over the type of soap I gave it.

Have you ever taken anything out of the clothes basket because it had become, relatively, the cleaner thing?
– Katherine Whitehorn –

I love those 17 seconds when the laundry is all caught up!
– Author Unknown –

Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you’ve got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn’t your biggest problem. Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash.
– Jerry Seinfeld –

One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweat-shirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me, “What setting do I use on the washing machine?”
“It depends,” I replied. “What does it say on the back of the shirt?”
He yelled back, “University of Oklahoma.”
– boardofwisdom.com –

A clever take on the song “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)” by The Proclaimers. “But I would walk 500 miles, And I would walk 500 more, Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles, To fall down at your door.”

Other Posts of this nature: Clothing Quotations

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 (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