Saturday, January 17, 2009


Can anyone tell me why my FB page always has a picture of a man shaving his tit? What kind of message can that possibly be?!

Pickled Eggs

Really this post should be titled "Mrs. Ruby." Because it's more about Mrs. Ruby than it is pickled eggs. Pickled eggs are just. . . . directly tied to Mrs. Ruby.

Mrs. Ruby was this wonderfully acerbic (I gotta look that up later and make sure it's the right word) lady with whom I worked about 20 years ago. I did some part time work at a small, family owned, retail store in my hometown. Mrs. Ruby was a sister to the man who owned the business for years, and hence a sister-in-law to the lady who owned it when I worked there.

My brother worked there before me, I think, and then he worked there a long time after me. A family friend managed it, and they hired the usual assortment of high school seniors and college kids for part-time work. Including me a couple of times.

Mrs. Ruby was . . . . old . . . it seemed. She was old before the lava cooled in the earth. In fact, she probably lit her first cigarette on a spark from the sun in the Big Bang. I don't know what she was like in her youth, but she was fun in a "I'm too old to care" sorta way when I got to know her.

She would occasionally (every day) fall asleep at work, with a cigarette in her mouth. While she napped, the cigarette would burn down with the ash defying gravity. Not falling while she sat straight up in the chair. When a customer would come through the door, she would wake up, and in one smooth set of motions, stand up and take the cigarette and sling it idly towards the nearest ashtray and begin walking towards the customer. She never really got ashes in the tray. And one couldn't think she really intended to, but it was the gesture, I suppose. Since she knew the boys had to vacuum at close anyway.

She never said an ugly word to me that I can recall. But I can recall she was a great supervisor. You could spend an hour doing stock work with her over your shoulder, or she would wait until you'd spent an hour to point out a couple of mistakes that could make your work useless. She was fun like that.

I loved her, truly did.

A favorite story of mine is one day she said something like, "My windshield seems dirty and I can't see out of it. Can I ask you to clean it?" Well, sure. So off I went with the windex and paper towels to scrub the windshield clean for her. The only problem was. . . the windshield was clean. So (the way I remember it) on a hunch I went back and asked for her carkeys. One stroke of a paper towel later, I realized the inside of the windshield was covered in a thin film of cigarette smoke. I thought it was funny then and I think it's funny now. She loved smoking.

Mrs. Ruby made pickled eggs. Now, I'd never heard of pickled eggs. I don't like pickles. It took me years and years to realize that pickles are really cucumbers that have been ruined. I don't like pickles in egg salad, potato salad, or any salad. I don't want a pickle next to a burger or on a bun. I hate pickles. But for some reason, when Mrs. Ruby brought a great big jar of pickled eggs, it was like green-vinegar-magic.

Oh. My. Gosh. So good. The employees would kinda fight over them. A great big jar that once held pickles now held boiled eggs that slowly turned green on the inside. The longer they sat in the vinegar, the more the green made it's way inside the white of the egg like a ring on a tree. And the more delicious the egg became. Oh like ambrosia with a yolk.

Well, for years I've wanted to try and recreate Mrs. Ruby's culinary masterpiece. I remembered her simple instructions. But I couldn't really imagine myself following through. But oh how I wanted it. I've recently researched it on the internet and found that most recipes were just variations on the simple instructions she gave me. But still, me? No.

Well, MyFella took to it one day. He bought a great big jar of pickles and gave them all to his mother for his little bity nieces to eat. Then he called me one night and said, "It's done. Two dozen. Boiled and shelled. And I followed the instructions." When he delivered them to me, the jar was sealed with the lid puckered in tight, so I know that good juice was boiling hot when he sealed it up. And they had been in there long enough for the green to start soaking through. And the flavor? Just like I remembered. Just like I remembered her making them.

Mrs. Ruby has been gone a long time now. I often think of her as I pass here in town a company where I know her son-in-law had worked for many, many years. I guess that's why the thought of her and her eggs came back to me so often. It's been at least two decades since I worked at that store. The eggs are delicious in their own right, with or without the memory, and possibly a little better knowing MyFella took the time to make them. I've had two now, and with that first vinegary bite, as the texture of smooth boiled egg white blends with crumbly yellow, if I close my eyes, I can be 20 again. For just a moment, I can wonder if I'll go drag main street tonight. If my co-worker and I are going to stock the shelves. And I can smell the smoke from Mrs. Ruby's cigarette. I can hear that slight gravel in her aged voice, and wonder how she can seem to be sound asleep, yet so wide awake in an instant. I can see her coming in that back door, purse in hand, so spry for a lady in her 70's. She was a marvel.

We've only just begun*

Tomorrow, at roughly 5p.m., I will have known MyFella for 3 years. That's a record for me. Oh, I once dated a guy over the span of four calendar years. Yeah, we broke up every 3 months (sometimes made it 4), would go four months without a word to each other then start again - for FOUR SOLID YEARS. But, ah, focusing on the topic at hand -

Three. Solid. Years.
With. MyFella.

No break-ups. No (almost no) drama fights. Very few "heated" or "passionate" disagreements. (the worst one was over my cousin in Iraq and some very pro-Bush statements that led us to the decision that we need not discuss the concept of 'patriotism' again) . . . but back to the positive

MyFella. With him. For Three. Solid. Years.

Come five o'clock tomorrow.

It's not really a date we recognize or make a big deal out of. We can really only track it by going to a calendar 3 years old and figuring out which day he was in town for a meeting. The day I took off work early to go and meet him face to face for supper.

So anyway. We have that day. Then sometime in March that same year we talked about exclusivity. Then sometime in August we said the four letter word. And if I go back to an old cell phone that I keep in my car mainly only because it has that date in it, I can find the date we said that word. (and tell you roughly when moments later I was calling my bestest gal in the whole wide world, "G" to tell her ALL ABOUT IT."

So anyway. Even though we don't anniversarize it (I just made that word up) I have for him a very modest basket with some of his favorite snacks in it. Pumpkin seeds, peanuts, sugar free chocolate candy. He'll like it and be surprised.

And I like that we've completed three years and counting. Makes me feel like singing a Karen Carpenter song. . . .

*Disclaimer. I am really NOT a Karen Carpenter fan. And I hate extra-mushy crap. Unfortunately (and I may have discussed this before) I tend to think in terms of songs and quotes a lot. It's some sort of ocd condition I can't seem to break. This post was originally titled 4.0, like a version of software or something. But the song lyric went into override in my head. Ugh!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


That's my A1C score for the last 90 days. Yeah, non-diabetic is 5.9 and below. That little bittie creeped up on me. Well, I knew it. I started having "just a small cookie" during lunch. And other bad decisions, plus I gave up walking completely.

If the temperature will climb up from the 20's , etc. (because it's very hard to walk in that kind of weather after work, at least to me), I am ready. I've got new shoes. And a new attitude. Well, OK, I'll work on the attitude.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday morning

Just outside his neighborhood last night, the air began to smell like pine trees and a neighbor was burning a pile of leaves, spreading the fragrance through the air.

I woke to the sound of rain on a tin roof. I had a breakfast of homemade biscuits and farm fresh brown eggs with side choices of sausage or pork tenderloin, white gravy, blackberry jam preserves or molasses. And now his niece is playing the guitar while Jamie sings along.

I think I would love him even if he were a city boy. But country has some nice benefits that you just don't get in the city.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Missing Pictures

Saturday lunch was with two wonderful friends, my adopted nephew and his mother. The mother has been my friend for close to 14 years, and as the nephew is in his early teens, I'm thrilled to have watched him grow. And continue to grow. My gosh, that kid is getting tall! I'm also secretly thrilled that he's been known to reference two other uncles with the same name as mine and say "I have three, but only one ever does anything with me."

After lunch with the two of them, MyFella and I took A.N. (adoptive nephew) to what is becoming "our thing to do." We go to the comic book store, and follow that up with a trip to Ben & Jerry's, where we compete vigorously in games of checkers. I admit it, I lose, and I'm not trying to let them win. Oh well.

Saturday night, MyFella and I had dinner with some good friends. It's a couple, and one of them was one of my very first Big City friends. In fact, she was the first Big City friend. Her and her-then partner. I'd really been looking forward to dinner with them, and it was a great time.

Both parties deserved a photo in the blog, but the camera was dead. No picture! Sigh.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

and a happy new year

The last of my holiday, I happily stretched Christmas decor into the New Year, so as to celebrate New Year's morning with My Fella. We awoke on January 1 and exchanged Christmas presents under the tree. I would call it a Charlie Brown tree, but it's sort of greeny gold tinsel.

The rest of the day we joyfuly spent together. Lunch at a Chinese buffet was my gift to him (it's one of his guilty pleasures, he loves a Chinese buffet restaurant). Then we enjoyed retreats into fantasy land courtesy of the Malco movie theatre chain. Once we found solace in Daniel Craig's lithe body. Then we huddled in fear wondering if a Christian would save us from a joker. Skeeter joined us for a Boys Night Out at the second movie. It was great fun to be guys out. You know, you can fart, tell dirty jokes, etc. Not that we did, but we could have. We found time for a burger at the Belmont Grill with some friends. It's been nice.