AARP, I’m not Ready for Thee!

Just because I’m watching The Waltons on a Friday night does not mean that I’m interested in a policy for final expenses.

I’ve realized the drug and insurance companies love to advertise on the tv channels I like to watch. They think only senior citizens watch the oldies. I have to endure ads about incontinence and Jitterbug phones right in the middle of  Andy Griffith. The nerve of them assuming that I need any of that, because I”m watching  reruns of shows I saw in their original form in the 60’s and 70’s.

I’m a tad offended.

“Do you have frequent urges to go to the bathroom?” “Does sitting for long periods of time seem like torture?”

No! I want to watch The Lucy Show and not have to see somebody cringing in pain while dancing to “Boogie Nights” on a gallbladder commercial.  Please get off my tv. Just because I’m over 40 and like the oldie shows does not mean that I have the heartbreak of psoriasis.

I’ll tell you what heartbreak is — having to sit through those commercials.

Pharmaceutical companies are using  pop songs that were popular in the 70’s and 80’s to push their drugs, too. If I have to listen to another Earth, Wind and Fire song while hearing a voiceover tell me all about stool softener… Why do they think I might even need that? My stool habits are none of their beeswax. Watching Lawerence Welk and Gilligan’s Island isn’t fun anymore.

What’s coming next? Nursery rhymes advertising wrinkle cream? The younger set will be combating the aging process before they even start grade school.

I can see it now– the spokesperson would probably be a kid from a baby food commercial. A whole dance team dressed like characters from Frozen twirling around on screen with a jar of snowflakes that claims to freeze everything it’s applied to so little ones can maintain that “just born” look throughout life. “Quick – act before you turn eight — or it will be too late!”

I think I’ll pass. In fact, I’m starting my own revolt against all the so-called experts who  invade my late night tv viewing. While the geriatric ads are running, I’ll make my way to the kitchen and eat something loaded with bacon and butter – all the stuff they warn you about.
Pour some sugar on that.

Rock On, my friends. Rock On.


Stellar Performance

I love singing in my car.

It’s my stage. It’s my chance to perform with the greats.

Don’t laugh.

What’s wrong with singing a little tune while trucking down the road?

Singing in the car could seriously cut down on road rage too. Who has time to be mad while they’re singing? Somebody cuts you off in traffic — sing to them. It’s great therapy — if you have friends in the car, go ahead and harmonize! Get your car choir going and drive all over town. You could go to every drive-thru in town and serenade all the drive-thru’ers.

It never fails though, right when I’m in the middle of a stellar performance, hitting the highs and the lows, holding out that last note perfectly – my phone rings…

Telemarketer averted and I’m back on stage!

I’m sure the other drivers wonder what on earth is going on in my car. I don’t care. I’m singing with Shania, Faith, or maybe Alan Jackson. Who cares what people think. Can’t they see the lights, the stage and the orchestra. Oh yeah, that’s all in my head – in my little world inside my car. It’s safe there.

Aw, come on. I know I’m not the only one who sings in my car. I know you car performers are out there – you’re the ones who play your imaginary drums on your steering wheel and sing into your coffee.

We’re an elite group, you know. We are the ones who help make the world a better place as we drive down the road with a smile. Other people want to smile and sing too when they see us. There you go — we’re making the roads safer just by being out there with our little traveling concert venue.

I think the transportation people could come up with a road safety campaign about singing in the car. They could call it — Singing for Safety — or something like that. I don’t know, but it would be fun!

Until I get the call to star in their commercial, I’ll be out there singing in my car. Elvis and I will be doing our part to keep the rest of you safe out there.

Go ahead and try it. I guarantee you’ll have a better trip to the grocery store next time.

Don’t Take Me Out to Eat

You know the old saying, “You can dress her up, but you can’t take her out”? Well, you might want to think twice before going out to eat with me. I may accidentally spill something on you.

My husband has known this for years. Still, he goes out in public to eat with me. He apparently doesn’t learn from past mistakes, because it happened again when we  went to lunch last week. I thought I would clean up our table and carry everything, stacked up in one hand, at one time. I didn’t quite make it to the trash can – one tilt and the avalanche tumbled down  … salsa went on me and a little on the people sitting near the spill site. Poor people. They had no idea.

I’m beginning to think that, perhaps, I should always eat in my car by myself. Or just stay  home. Though, I don’t think this happens except when I go out with my husband.

He should have known what he was getting himself into. The first time I so gracefully managed to spill something, I remember it was early in our relationship – I knocked a glass of tea over and it went toward his side of the table. Oh there have been numerous spill events over the 28+ years we’ve been together.

I think I need a personal assistant just for eating out.

They could make sure my bib fits well and has a little pocket to catch anything I drop (believe it or not, that’s not so much the problem — I’m a pretty good aim when it comes to getting food in my mouth), keep my glass at a distance (as I tend to talk with my hands) and clear the table after we finish eating. I think that would solve everything!

I wonder how much a thing like that costs. I don’t need a fulltime assistant — just one for when I go out to eat. It doesn’t seem to happen when I’m at home or dining at someone else’s house. On second thought, I knocked over a bottle of water while eating supper at home just yesterday.

So, that brings up another question. Why do I only make the messes when I’m eating out (or in) with my husband? Hmmmm– any psychologists out there? These and other questions may be answered someday.

Until then, know that going out to eat with me may be hazardous to your health – or at least to your wardrobe. Think before you invite me out anywhere. You’ve been warned.




Speaking of Car Salesman and Lawnmowers

The Doublewide Husband and I went to a car lot to win a lawnmower and came home with a car. Not a free car, mind you.

So, you know those fliers you get in the mail from local car salespeople touting their “gigantic sale” or “low prices bound to beat the guy down the street” — sometimes the postcard will have a little cheap metal key (or other cheapo thing) attached. It might say something like, “you may have already won — come on down and see if your number matches the winning number on our board!”

Well, we scratched off some boxes on the scratch-off part of the card and, low and behold, we had two matching boxes with pictures of cherries on them.

We’re in the money! We’re in the money!

We just knew a new John Deere was in our immediate future. I could picture it gliding across the yard cutting the tall grass with perfection. (we have a lawnmower, but it’s not a John Deere)

So off we go to the dealership to present our winning card and work out the arrangements to haul the loot home. Dreams of a new lawnmower danced in our heads all the way down the road. I won’t keep you in suspense. We did not win a lawnmower.  Surprise…. surprise!

As soon as we pulled on the lot and parked, a little sales guy was ready to whisk us away to his office to get some information. He was smooth — said it was for marketing purposes. I’m sure it was required for their whole weekend promotional thing, but still. I have to add that we were sort of willing participants, because we were already kinda sorta looking for a new vehicle. My old car, Harold, had a LOT of miles on him and it was time to say goodbye. We just didn’t plan on it being so soon.

Once our sales guy had the information he needed we walked out on the lot to look over the offerings. They were featuring one car that I didn’t care for, but we took it for a test drive anyway. I instantly felt like I was sitting down in a bucket and that confirmed the featured car wasn’t for me.

Eventually we made our way over to the preowned side of the lot. They say “preowned” now – – it seems that there are no more “used” cars out there. Sure enough, we found one we liked and took it for a spin. I liked it so well, I almost drove it home — along with our little sales guy in the backseat!

Back at the lot, we worked out a deal and signed on the dotted line. The new vehicle was ours to drive home. Elvis the Equinox officially became part of the family. The Doublewide husband and I left happy with our purchase. Our car shopping journey ended quickly.

I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom – it’s up to you whether you listen or not.  Beware of car sales promotional cards that arrive in the mail and little car sales guys who tell you that you’ve for sure won something like he’s had that line on repeat all weekend. You’ll leave the lot with a $2 bill and a new vehicle.




Progressive Eating with Old Friends

Old friends are good for reminding you of your weird outfits and hairdos from college days.

They’re also good for a day of shopping and eating appetizers, shopping and stopping for dessert, shopping while touring and tasting olive oils…and eating some more.

Saturday, three of my besties (I’ll call them Greg and the two Kims) and I met in Abingdon, VA, a little gem in our backyard. If you’re in or around Southwest Virginia, make it a point to take a trek there. (no, the town of  Abingdon didn’t pay me to say that) (if they want to compensate me for the mention, I won’t say no 😬)

Needless to say, it was a wonderful weekend. I came home very full and toting two bottles of olive oil- so I am now healthier. I haven’t yet opened the butter-flavored oil nor the blood orange-flavored oil, but I already look healthier with the two bottles prominently displayed on my kitchen counter. So there’s that.

You need good friends who will indulge your whims as you indulge theirs – eating dessert first is a must. Well, the bakery was right there next to the antique store. You can’t possibly pass that up. Always eat dessert first! And eat a lot of it. (and get the cake with tons of cream cheese icing)

We finally decided to have a late lunch/early dinner at a neat little eclectic cafe. A bacon/egg and cheddar cheese on grilled sour dough, humongous cheesy burger on brioche bun, grilled chicken breast on grilled sour dough and tasty fish tacos later, we were full to the gills and needed to be wheeled out to the car in individual wheelbarrows.

I’m joking about the wheelbarrow curbside service, but that would have helped us get down the front steps easier. Maybe restaurants should consider that.

Now our selfies taken at several points of interest will stand the test of time on social media and provide memories for the rest of our lives. The wonderful food has since digested, which means we can meet for dinner again soon. Woo hoo!

The next food-day adventure is already in the planning stages. Stay tuned! I’m sure I’ll give a detailed report on everything when it happens.


I Can Cook – Peanut Butter and Jelly

Don’t ask me to cook a gourmet meal in 20 minutes. I would fail miserably.

There’s a show on Food Network, some kind of cooking challenge, where the chefs have about 20 minutes to cook a gourmet meal that looks good and is edible.

I can make eggs and bacon in 20 minutes. That’s about it.

They use things like octopus (blech…..) and squid ink noodles (I thought ink was poison). Where are the beans and taters?? I seriously couldn’t be a food show judge — half the stuff they make isn’t anything I would touch!

I have graduated from hamburgers, though. Some years ago, my menu consisted mainly of hamburgers and fries. Now I’ll eat things like cauliflower, snap peas and even squash. I prefer my squash fried, though.

It’s interesting to see what the chefs come up with as they scurry around making up their dish as they go and grabbing ingredients to fix it all. I’d spend all my time in the potato aisle. You can make potatoes for any occassion and not fix the same thing twice.

Something else I’m good at making — a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I have to have just the right peanut butter. None of that stuff they used to put in the giveaway boxes my papaw got once a month. It was a big ol tin can of peanut butter — and, let me tell you, it would stick to  your ribs. That was some of the thickest peanut butter I’ve ever encountered.

Now that I’ve given my age away….

I don’t think they do those boxes any more. Nothing wrong with being the recipient of a giveaway box! That was some of the best cheese. It was a big long block of cheese, and made the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever.

Now where was I? Oh yeah — I’m good at making (and eating) all the stuff you probably won’t see on a tv cooking show.

I can make pretty good hamburger helper, grilled cheese (as mentioned above), meatloaf and mac and cheese (a necessary food group).There ya go, Food Network people. That’s real food!

Now you know, there’s nothing to worry about if you can’t cook or eat like the people on tv. I seriously used to worry about that — like I was a castoff because I didn’t eat fancy food. Now that was just crazy.  Southern grandma food is in — just ask the Cracker Barrel gang.

That’s where I could do a competition and win — or at least make it to the finals. Cracker Barrel food war is right up my alley. My between-college-semesters job at The Biscuit Company would come handy! I can make homemade biscuits with the best of ’em – and eat my share of them.

Since most of my topics include food, maybe I need to consider changing the name of this blog to The Doublewide Kitchen, or something like that. Most of the fun times in my life include food –either making and eating it or going somewhere to eat.

I tried something different the other day that I had in mind I wanted to make – it was kind of a banana pudding cobbler. The end result: it was good while fresh, but don’t try to save any for the next day. Sometimes my concoctions turn out ok and sometimes… well…

Anyway – in case you want to try it — I don’t mind sharing the recipe. If you try it with your own spin, let me know how it turns out:

Doublewide Banana Pudding Cobbler

2 large boxes, vanilla pudding mix (I used the cook and serve, but you don’t have to)

2 medium to large bananas (cut up in a bowl – squirt some lemon juice on to keep them from turning brown)

1 box, yellow cake mix

1 stick butter — melted

9X10 glass baking dish — or metal cake pan will do

How to make: prepare pudding according to the package directions and spread in baking dish. Then put the sliced banana pieces in the pudding — try to spread them evenly throughout. Next sprinkle the yellow cake mix over the pudding and bananas. Finish by drizzling the melted butter evenly over the cake mix. Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour — or when the conglomeration browns. Mine only took 30 minutes, but all ovens vary.

Top with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Like I said, mine turned out pretty good. It was not so good the next day after sitting over night in the refrigerator. You be the judge.

Happy eating! Look for more of my “homemade concoctions” from time to time as I get weird food ideas and decide to see of they’re actually edible.

(Post and recipe first shared on Wisdom from the Doublewide 6/2/2019)





Do the Oatmeal Mash

One of my favorite things to do is to create unique food combinations. I’m not talking gourmet here, just average things. Take oatmeal, for instance. You can combine dozens of things with it to add some “umph”.

This week I created an oatmeal “mashup”.  I went to the kitchen at work to make my breakfast, complete with the usual dash of cinnamon and turmeric. What do my wondering eyes spy sitting on the community table?

Apple pie.

There were cupcakes on the table, too. I can resist a cupcake, but I cannot pass up the yummy, flaky, apple-y goodness of apple pie.

I had to be strong. Visions of healthy new year resolutions danced in my head. Stick to the oatmeal – it’s the best choice. I looked at the pie, knowing that’s what I really wanted. Forget the oatmeal – I’ll clean out my arteries another day!

Wait a minute. Why not combine the oatmeal and the apple pie?  Hmmmm…..

So, guess what I did?! I fixed my bowl of oatmeal and put a piece of pie in it. I stirred it  up to incorporate (fancy tv chef word) the apples into the oatmeal. Viola! I think I hit on the next new breakfast craze!

My unique concoction was pretty good.

I like that word — unique. Not weirdo “unique”, just unique. That seems to be missing in our society these days. When the latest fashion, movie or game catches on – look out. Everybody will be wearing it, watching it and playing it. Then you’ll see copycat versions of it popping up everywhere.

It took me awhile, but I finally realized that it’s ok to not follow the crowd – I’m an original one-of-a-kind. (I know some of you are saying “thank the Lord”)

It’s alright if I’ve not seen the latest movie or played the latest and greatest video game.  The earth is not going to tilt and fall off its axis if I’m not involved in the latest “big thing”.

It’s ok for you to be you.  You are an original, too. Say you’re a little quirky? Well, okay!

If another person is razing you because you don’t fit their mold, that’s not okay.  Is someone harassing you for not going along with the crowd? Politely tell ’em to take a hike.  Better yet, challenge them to cultivate their own uniqueness. Don’t be afraid to stand up and say you’re just fine the way you are – with your own favorite things, your hairdo or the clothes you wear,  whatever.

You and I have diverse talents and ideas meant to be used in the world for good. So, go be who God created you to be and I’ll do the same.

I  believe we can do great things together – kind of like oatmeal and apple pie.