Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do you know why grandchildren are always so full of energy? They suck it out of their grandparents. ~Gene Perret

I know you are probably wondering where I've been. Well, maybe not, but I'll tell you anyway. I've been in a very bad mood. Now I know I've said that quite a bit lately, so I thought it was time to just give you a reprieve from my bitching and moaning about everything. This last week and through the weekend was particularly hard because I really, really, REALLY wanted to go to California for my granddaughter's birthday next week, but no matter how hard I tried to juggle things around, I can't afford to go. I cried for two days straight and I'm still hoping for some sort of miracle, but I'm a little better now. My attitude isn't quite as adjusted as it needs to be, but I'm getting there.

I made Lily a quilt like I did for Zoey. I call them their "hugging" quilts so whenever they use them it will feel like a hug from Grandma and Grandpa. If the truth were known, I think I'm the one who needs a hug from them.

Moving on..... Apparently, last Sunday was Grandparents Day. Another one of those "holidays" created by Hallmark to sell more cards. Personally, I like to narrow down my celebrations to a selected few. Thanksgiving and Christmas go without saying. Our wedding anniversary always, without fail, because even after 43 years, we still love each other and like big wet kisses. Birthdays...Tom's, my sons', my daughters-in-law, grandkids, Tom's parents and hopefully my sisters'. Easter is just a day we generally go to someone else's house for dinner. Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day are just extra days off now.

We used to REALLY celebrate July 4th when we lived on the farm. We had ten acres, lots of space and no city ordinances. Every year we bought hundreds of dollars of sparkle-y fireworks to shoot up in the sky....the kind where everyone would Oooooo and Awwwww, but it was firecrackers that provided the most entertainment. My grandkids, nieces and nephews delighted in blowing shit up: zucchinis, tomatoes, cucumbers...just about any fruit or vegetable they could shove a firecracker into. They'd light it, drop it and run like hell. Good times! Now we live in the city under all kinds of rules, regulations and ordinances that protect the neighbors from our noisy and explosive celebrations. I miss it.

So, back to Grandparents Day.

My in-laws live in a retirement community; a large building where all the apartments open to an inside hallway. My mother-in-law always says she feels like she's living in a fancy hotel. Hotel? Well maybe, but not really that fancy...maybe Hampton Inn.

The residents are served three meals a day in the large dining room on the first floor. Notice I didn't say "three delicious meals", as the management advertises. It is probably the worse food I've ever eaten.

Anyway, the retirement community does holidays...Father's Day, Mother's Day, Grandparents' Day, opening up the dining experience, usually Sunday Brunch, to friends and family of the residents. We were invited, along with Tom's sister and brother-in-law, to last Sunday's brunch in celebration of Grandparents' Day. A special menu was created in deference to the swarm of kids that would be visiting and eating...a buffet that included as the main course fried chicken tenders and fried popcorn shrimp. Now, when I said "swarm of kids" I was being sarcastic. I think there were two people in the dining room who were under age 40.

Quite often, when we are invited to these holiday brunches, we usually have other plans. When we are not planning anything for an upcoming holiday, we will usually invite them to our house for lunch or dinner.

It's not that I don't enjoy their company. I do. We usually spend the entire time yakking away, getting caught up. It's just the Sunday...but it's like that all the time...something fried or boiled meat. Last Sunday, the cook called the boiled meat "Salisbury steak," some sort of indescribable meat patties floating in brown water. Oh yum. A huge chafing dish full of green-yellow-brown broccoli was sitting next to a vat of cheese sauce, fresh from a can. I chose the broccoli sans cheese sauce. It was bad. I mean bad, as in spoiled, but they cooked and served it anyway. Same with the corn...from a can...and it tasted like it had been in a can long past it's expiration date. I didn't finish eating either. I tried a cornbread muffin. It was so dry and salty I could barely swallow the one small bite I took. Luckily, green salad and fresh fruit was available.

The meal Sunday morning was a far cry from the Coriander Crusted Tilapia in Ginger Coconut Broth I made the night before, the recipe for which I will be posting later this afternoon on my food blog.

Other than the food, the visit was nice. But next time, I think I will cook for them here at home.

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