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Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Door Number One
By Allison Adams 03-04-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun 03-04-12
At the start of the New Year I vowed to get rid of clutter and take care of some things on the “Honey Do” list.
In this house my hubby is a hard-working, traveling man – and I am Honey.
My Honey Doing is well intentioned.
I start off following the list closely – replace air filters, repair window screen, etc. – but it doesn’t take long before I start to venture off in other directions.
My husband says I am easily distracted.
Anyway – what usually happens is I branch out a bit and end up painting something.
(It’s a sickness.)
Many, many, many times that something I paint is the front door.
Our front door has been white, black-green, eggplant, teal, and burgundy – for starters.
Several years ago I had a dream that the Lord told me to paint my front door gold.
I am not making this up.
The very next day I told my hubby about The Dream, then I marched right over to the paint store and picked out the perfect color: “Imperial Yellow”.
It wasn’t exactly the gold color that the Lord mentioned in The Dream, but I think He’d have suggested “Imperial Yellow” if He’d seen the paint swatch.
By the time my hubby came home from work that evening we had a brand new, sunny, front door.
“What do you think?” I asked.
“Its very bright.”
“It’ll grow on you.”
“I doubt it.”
To tell the truth, it never really grew on me.
I gave it a couple of years before I eventually painted it a pale gray-green: “Water Moss”.
It’s a much better match with my seasonal front door decor.
We almost never use our front door: Its really just there to give purpose to the doorbell.
The door through which we enter and exit 99% of the time is our back door – the door that leads from our kitchen to our garage.
Beneath fingerprints, kick marks, and the normal wear and tear that comes with being pushed and pulled, over and over, day in and day out – it was painted flat builder’s white.
It was a very sad door, and I was a Honey doing a boring chore in the general vicinity … so I decided to branch out and give that door a happy face-lift.
In no time I was armed with a quart of semi-gloss and a sash brush.
And because I wanted happiness whether we were going in through, or out of that sad door, I went out on a limb and painted both sides.
I really can’t believe he didn’t see it coming.
“Notice anything different?” I asked as he came through the door that evening.
“Ummm. Does your hair look nice?”
“No. I was replacing some weather stripping and suddenly I painted the back door.”
“Well, you sure did. I see that now.”
“Are you new here?”
“Its very blue.”
“I know! Don’t you love it? It’s really blue-black. I knew it was the perfect paint the minute I saw the name of the color – ‘Blue Note’. You know how I love music!”
“Is that supposed to make sense?”
“It was a sign.”
“Of course it was.”
“Honestly, its like you don’t even know me.”
“I’m trying to take it all in.”
“Now its a happy door!”
“Why did you paint both sides?”
“Happiness a comin’ and a goin’!”
“Ahhhhh. I see.”
“I was only thinking of you. You come and go through that door all the time, and I wanted it to evoke good karma.”
“Thank you. Its very nice.”
“Well, it’ll grow on you. Besides, you know what they say.”
“No, I don’t. What do they say?”
“Happy Door – Happy Life.”
“I thought it was ‘Happy Wife – Happy Life’.”
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
By Allison Adams 02-19-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 02-19-12
For a long time my freezer was simply a rest stop for leftovers as they traveled from the serving platter to their ultimate destination: the garbage can.
Over the years I have continued to put things into my freezer with absolutely no intention of ever eating them.
The only reason I froze food was to fool strangers who looked in my freezer into thinking I was normal.
There. I said it.
Now that we are Empty Nesters it has become necessary for me to revisit the whole Freezer Issue because on the rare occasion that I do cook an amazing meal we need a way to properly preserve the leftovers, because two people can’t possibly put a decent dent in a pan of lasagna unless they eat it daily and nightly for a week.
For several months now, I’ve been practicing The Art of Freezing.
“I have an announcement to make”, I hollered to my husband. “I’m going to defrost something for supper!”
“Thanks for the warning”, he replied. “Do we have a choice?”
“Certainly. Do you prefer something reddish brown, or something with a pinkish hue?”
“Can you be more specific?”
“Well, I assume the pinkish hue bag contains something in the poultry family, while the reddish brown bag is likely something non-poultry.”
“Wouldn’t it help to label that stuff before you put it in the freezer?”
“If I did that we’d have absolutely nothing to talk about.”
I have finally learned not to freeze in bulk. It’s impractical and unattractive.
I now freeze things in portion-sized, transparent, Zip-Lock freezer bags. They’re much cuter.
I’d hit a home run if I ever picked up a Sharpie to use to label the cute freezer bags.
“How long have those things have been in the freezer?” hollered hubby.
“How long has Elvis been dead?”
Every few years I have to root around inside my freezer with a stick, extract some of its contents, and throw it out to make room for more deposits.
It’s a vicious ice-cycle.
My husband began having second thoughts. “You know, I’m really happy with a can of …”
“Let’s go with the reddish-brown bag”, I suggested. “I have its identity narrowed down to one of three possibilities.”
“Are any of them edible?”
“I believe this could either be chili, vegetable beef soup, or my homemade Rachel Ray spaghetti sauce.”
“They’re all digestible options, but ...”
“Would you like to make this interesting?”
“As if trying to come to grips with the fact that my next meal, and possibly my last, will consist of an unidentifiable frozen food, isn’t interesting enough?”
“My dollar says its homemade spaghetti sauce. You?”
“My money’s on vegetable beef soup. When was the last time you actually made spaghetti sauce?”
“When did Washington cross the Delaware?”
“Let the games begin!”
“Step away from the microwave!”
I’m not sure what I have more trouble with, really – freezing or defrosting.
I rarely think to pull something out of the freezer so far in advance of a meal that it can spend a day or two lollygagging around in a thaw while in the controlled comfort of my refrigerator.
I really wish I could defrost bag of frozen “whatever” just by staring at it with my Super Microwave Eyeballs; then plate it up.
Am I alone?
“This may be your lucky day”, I regretfully admitted. “At this point I can tell you it’s definitely not chili. It might very well be vegetable beef soup, but I’m also not ruling out spaghetti sauce.”
“The next 10 or 15 minutes of microwaving should be revealing”, said hubby. “Lets up the ante. I’ll throw in another $1 – you?”
“This is so exciting! I’ll open a bottle of wine!”
Let me tell you people, Empty Nesters can make something out of nothing.
(Oh, and it was soooo my homemade Rachel Ray spaghetti sauce.)
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Running With Scissors
By Allison Adams 01-22-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 01-22-12
This morning I received a call from a young friend of mine – a new mother – who reported that when she turned her back for a split second, her 8 month-old baby girl rolled off her changing table onto the floor below.
The baby was fine: The mother, however, was traumatized.
“Welcome to Parenthood.” I said to my friend. “I promise that someday you’ll laugh at this, but in the meantime, an event like today’s will help you be prepared for the next one.”
“The next one?” she asked with trepidation.
“The next one”, I replied. “Like when she accidentally bangs her head on a door...”
“… while throwing a temper tantrum.”
“Or when she decorates your living room wall with your lipstick, draws all over her face with a Sharpie, slams her finger in a door, makes mud pies with the kitty litter…”
“ … dials 9-1-1 just to say ‘hello’, swallows a nickel, runs with scissors, won’t eat anything but jello, and picks her nose in church.”
“She’ll tell a lie, refuse to practice piano, start choosing her own friends, pick out her own clothes …”
“She’ll have her heart broken, skip school, give you the stink-eye, learn to drive, get a tattoo, and dye her hair purple.”
“She’ll bring home The Boyfriend.”
“Wait! Have no fear! The Parenthood pendulum swings both ways.”
“Someday she’ll sit on your lap and read to you, draw a picture of you, pick flowers for you, help you bake cookies, play with your hair …”
“She’ll hold your hand, write a poem for you, laugh at your jokes, tell you her secrets, cry on your shoulder. Her little world will revolve around you.”
“She’ll score a goal, ace a test, start solving her own problems, learn to speak a foreign language.”
“She’ll make a speech, go to college, choose a political party, start a movement, question her beliefs, quit shaving her legs, organize a protest, and find her life’s calling.”
“Enough! I can’t take it!”
“Don’t worry! You’re just experiencing an early side effect of Parenthood: its called ‘temporary traumatism’.”
“Sure! Parenthood is a bittersweet pill, my friend. The most common side effects of Parenthood are (this is not a complete list):
“Temporary traumatism, followed by sudden onset euphoria, followed by sudden onset despair, followed by sudden onset serenity, followed by sudden onset hysteria. Repeat.”
“I’ve felt all of that!”
“You’re likely to suffer nagging irritation brought on by frequent frustration due to intense emotional conflict, or over-exposure to something like the business end of the Silent Treatment.
“You may endure periods of disillusionment followed by strong urges to pull your hair out following a long period of unsuccessful, intensive, persuasive reasoning.”
“Its also likely that you’ll undergo temporary disappointment followed by great satisfaction when you’ve forced yourself to step back and let your child suffer the consequences and Life Lessons learned by making her own mistakes.
“Have you ever watched ‘Gilmore Girls’?”
“I love that show! Do you have season five on DVD?”
“Nope. Call your doctor if you find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time basking in the thrill of victory, or dwelling on the agony of defeat.
“Avoid the urge to use any degree of force, bribery, or trickeration, to instill a false sense of self-worth in your cutie pie – even if there’s trophy and a sash at the end of the ‘rainbow’. Have you seen ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’?”
“Oh. My. Gosh.”
“Also, avoid the urge to micro-manage every single move your sweet child makes.”
“Is that ‘Helicopter Parenting’?”
“Oh – you HAVE read the warning label!”
“Yes, I have.”
“Well, then you also know that everyone who takes Parenthood will hopefully experience the gift of unconditional love, eternal devotion, immense joy, loads of laughter, profound pride, times of tears, and eventually – gray hair, or gradual hair-loss.
“Parenthood should be taken seriously, because the effects of Parenthood last a lifetime.”
“I think I sprouted a gray hair right after she fell off the changing table.”
“No doubt, my friend. No doubt.”