Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

April 3, 2017

DULL DULL DULL

Filed under: At home,Food — Janice @ 7:57 pm

My world is so dull these days that I think about a blog post and know immediately that there is nothing to tell.

Today I was reading the posts of The Bloggess and she makes her dull life so darn interesting that I really don’t feel like writing a blog post.

But, sometimes there is that urge to communicate with the world, so I will try again to develop a habit. Slowly but surely….   Just don’t expect anything funny.

There is a sweet big yellow cat sitting here by the computer, wondering why I don’t come feed him some more food before I get busy with this sort of thing.

A few days ago I knew I needed to cook some hamburger I bought before it went bad. I had a head of cabbage and I thought I would make a cabbage and beef sort of unrolled cabbage roll recipe I like. I went to the refrigerator and found no hamburger. Where was it? I looked through every drawer in the fridge and touched every item in the refrigerator to MAKE SURE that I wasn’t overlooking it. I wondered if Mark had thrown it out, seeing that it was past the Sell By date, though I doubted that he would do that. I couldn’t find it so I finally decided I must have opted to NOT buy the beef at the grocery, knowing I had plenty of other things to eat at the house (and that I probably would let it ruin while I didn’t get around to cooking…. I tend to do that.).

This morning I bundled up a bunch of plastic bags to take with me in hopes of putting them in a recycle bin somewhere soon. Then I also grabbed up several of the reusable cloth bags so I would have some spares in the car in case I went to the grocery. One bag had some heft to it. I investigated and found my missing pound of ground beef, a week old, and still in the grocery sack. Gross gross gross. Fortunately it was securely wrapped in plastic and hadn’t leaked, but I do think we had been smelling it a little bit and didn’t know what we were smelling. Gross gross gross. I threw away the hamburger.  Obviously.

Tonight I went by the grocery store and only got things that were full of preservatives and had no refrigeration needs.

January 26, 2016

A Bright Beautiful New Year

Filed under: At home,Austin — Janice @ 11:36 pm

I’m not making myself feel guilty about NUTTIN’ this year, I swear. So I haven’t felt a single pang of guilt as this blog lies here, lonely and pining.

But this week I did think maybe it would be a good idea to prime the pump and put something down. Anything. Get those juices flowing.

Then I read a couple of posts from my friend Dana at danastarr.net  and that totally bummed me out because she has some beautiful long pieces that are funny and insightful and have pictures, too. I’m probably back to feeling guilty again.

But I will write something for you. I am LOVING this beautiful winter weather we are having. I went up to Dallas this weekend and it is so much more wintry up there. We haven’t had a freeze at all here. My always wait until my lantanas and fire bushes have been frozen to cut them back. No freeze, they are growing like crazy. Everything is still green (except the deciduous trees) and we have iris and jasmine blooming and my daffodils are about ready to bust out.

Sure, we could still get a freeze and I don’t mind since it would help the allergies and kill some mosquitos, but I’m trying to enjoy the pretty days while we have them.

I snapped this driving across the Lamar street bridge this week. It is against the law in Austin to use your phone while driving, so rest assured I was at a complete standstill in traffic when I took this. That’s a law I totally obey because I know I am not capable of using my phone and driving at the same time.

I talk about the beautiful greenery and then put up a picture of bare trees, but it was about 60 degrees on January 25 and the sky was stunning.

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December 6, 2015

More Holiday Spirit

Filed under: At home,Normal Life — Janice @ 10:24 pm

There is a Christmas tree in my house. Not one, but two actually. Last year our raggedy little fake tree was looking bad. I swore we were going to throw it away after Christmas to force us (me) to get a new one in 2015. And, surprise, surprise, I must have kept my promise. That sounds so UNLIKE me! But I climbed into the attic just before Thanksgiving to pull down that tree and no tree was in sight.

Mark went looking for a tree when he was at a big box hardware store. He came home puzzled; he couldn’t believe “good ones are $100!” Actually, good ones are more than that, but okay ones are triple digits, for sure. We don’t have children, we don’t have company, we won’t be having a holiday party here, so we really didn’t need a tree like that…especially when I’m still paying for air conditioner repairs from August and a new washing machine in October.

I went to Big Lots! Friday and found a nice little tree, on sale, for just $70. That seemed reasonable to my budget-oriented mind and so I got it AND a smaller, bright purple tree. Both have the lights on them already. In fact, the “big” tree (it stands just a hair taller than me) has lights that can be white or multicolored or flash back and forth. Mark and I have generally alternated years on the tree:  one year he gets his all white lights, the next year I get all multicolored. Sometimes we have both, the multis up the middle and the white on the tips. With this tree we can have our favorite when we are home alone and alternating between the two when we are home together.

I got them set up and lit and spread the branches today, but I didn’t have the ornaments from the attic. My enthusiasm for the project waned as the day went on, so I’ll get to those sometime this week.

I will have pictures of the trees eventually—hopefully fully decorated—and I will post them along with the lights across the street that make me happy every time I look out.

December 5, 2015

Austin Christmas Outing

Filed under: At home,Austin,Food,Music — Janice @ 11:26 pm

I just got in from a fun night feeling the holiday spirit.

Each year, KUT radio has a carol sing-a-long on the steps of the State capitol and they light the city’s downtown Christmas tree (as opposed to the Zilker Park “holiday tree” created from the moontower there). I have never been to this downtown event, although I have admired the downtown tree many times. In my early days in Austin, it was always a real tree and was brought in from somewhere. It wasn’t a giant tree like in Washington or Rockefeller Center, but big enough. A few years ago the city changed to an artificial tree. It’s a cone-shaped, quite obvious fake tree, but still pretty and festive. 2015-12-05 19.24.01

I heard the commercials this week for the singalong and asked my friend Deidre if she might want to go. She had plans for later in the evening, but we decided we could do it all. So tonight I met up with Deidre and two of her friends that have become my friends and we went downtown. The whole event was bigger than we expected. Finding parking wasn’t easy, but with the beautiful weather we didn’t mind the walk.

In front of the capitol were truly thousands of people in the dark, under the trees, singing Christmas carols along with a piano player and a songleader/disc jockey from the radio station. Programs with lyrics were passed out so everyone could sing all four verses of Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Giant projectors were casting big stars in kaleidoscopes across the building front. We sang along with great gusto on Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells and many more. Then there was a 10 down to 1 countdown the tree was lit.

Along with the tree lighting was a whole little festival down on Congress. Booths selling food and drinks and homemade products and crafts and artwork. We strolled a bit before we got to the singing to see what they had. And then there were bands playing on each end of the street after the singing ended, so there was lots to do and see. I didn’t know there would be so much.

2015-12-05 19.24.49After, we walked down Congress and enjoyed the lights and the people-watching. Deidre knows MANY people and she was greeting someone about every block. We found a semi-fancy Italian pizza place to have some food. From the street it seemed like a bar and a utilitarian Italian restaurant. Getting inside, though, it was easier to see it was a little more upscale than I usually frequent and full of many young urban dwellers. They did have great food and we had some awesome pizza.

We ended the night where Deidre had planned on going originally: a beer garden south of the river that had a reunion of a band she had loved in the past, Black Before Red. I had never heard of them before, but they did have interesting songs with really unique melodies and chords and great lyrics, too. I may never get to hear them again, but it was a really good experience and a good night. 11058118_10153756154829346_7686185045814933066_o

Deidre’s friend Rebecca has lived in Austin a year longer than I have and comes from the Panhandle just like me. She and I were discussing how we don’t DO these Austin-y things like we once did. When we moved to Austin we were exploring different parts of town and going to the festivals and trying new restaurants. Now we do the same things over and over and stick to the familiar. She said, “You know the nickname of Austin, right?” I said, “What? The Violet Crown?” She said, “No, the new nickname is the Velvet Rut.” That described it. It’s comfortable, beautiful, and yet too familiar. I was glad to get out of the rut tonight.

I’ll steal Deidre’s selfie to show you the girls celebrating on Congress.

December 2, 2015

Am I Sick?

Filed under: At home,Food,My Job — Janice @ 10:30 pm

No, I am not sick, but something’s up. I’m cranky. That’s never a good thing. And I just looked at a web site full of recipes and they all made me think, “Gag, that sounds awful.” Maybe I am sick. That certainly does not sound like me.

I did leave work to come home early today. I didn’t leave sick. I left sick and tired. But I didn’t stop working. I came home and worked the rest of the day. The office building has been doing something with their smoke and fire detection systems for way too long now. We’ve gone through it before and it started again, today. They have to prop open the doors of the stairs, the fire escape, and blow lots and lots of outside air through it to test something. I don’t quite understand the concept. What I do understand is that the stair door is just across a “hall” from my desk. Except it is a hall without walls and I am in an open cube. My 10 coworkers of my department are all grouped together in this cubbyhole area, but most have at least one cubicle wall blocking the wind from their faces. I do not. We put a thermometer on my desk today and it dropped to 64 degrees in a flash. That temperature can feel good when you are outside in it in the sunshine, but not inside when you are facing into a gale wind and trying to work. The last time this happened half of our staff in our department got sick from the cold or from the airborne allergies it forced into our faces. Today I picked up my work and came home and didn’t fight it.

But I went to the doctor today, not because I’m sick, but just for a check-up/follow-up. All is well, tests were fine, I’m a healthy girl. So I came home and took a nice nap to celebrate. I made some healthy soup for dinner, though I would have eaten chips and cheese for dinner if I had only had some. I cannot go to the grocery store when I’m in this cranky, poor-me mode. I do that and come home with way too much chocolate and crunchy salty things. I must wait until lettuce and salmon sound good to me.

Bottom line. I hate to write when I feel cranky and have nothing to write about. I hate to complain in a permanent blog where future employers (heck, current ones) can read it and judge me. But I swore I was going to write every day this month (let me hedge that — as much as I can), so here it is. Done.

September 2, 2015

Where Does the Time Go?

Filed under: At home,Normal Life,Writing — Janice @ 10:26 pm

Here it is Wednesday night, almost midnight, and I haven’t done my Tombstone Tuesday blog over on my other site. Will it get done this week?

8ball

I would like to be one of those bloggers that we all love so much that tell all the details of their lives. They tell us when they are mad at their friends, family, coworkers…  I would love to be one of those freewheeling writers that confesses my sins and gripes in gory detail, but I think the truth WOULD NOT set me free when it comes to a blog. I am ever aware that not only do my family members and friends read this, but my real name is up there and anyone could Google it, not just now, but forever more. We all know jobs have been lost or certainly applicants have not been hired over things on the Internet, so I do try to be cautious.

Not that I’m mad at anyone or have anything to confess…

Except… Bluebell ice cream is back in the stores in Austin this week. Monday I went to CVS. Tuesday I went to Sprouts. Tuesday Mark went to HEB. Today, I struck gold. Finally. I really wasn’t even thinking about it this evening, but the Walgreen’s on South First has a big flashing sign and it said, “We have Bluebell.” I figured it was all just a come-on and I’d get to the freezer and they would be sold out, but they weren’t. They had Homemade Vanilla and Cookies ‘n’ Cream so I bought 10 gallons and came home and ate them. Okay, I bought one gallon and truly only ate one spoonful. I love frosted Cokes and ice cream with syrup on it, but I have to be in the right mood and tonight I could live without it. If I am lucky enough that Mark doesn’t finish it off tonight, I will hope to be in the mood tomorrow. Or it may be my breakfast.

Time really does get away from me. I feel like work keeps me so busy from Monday through Friday that I am just hanging on for the weekend to be able to catch up on laundry, rest, housecleaning, etc. I say that, but I went to see the awesome Cornell Hurd Band tonight at El Mercado on what may become a Wednesday night residency for them. Monday I went to see the LIttle Elmore Reed Blues Band at the King Bee and had a great time and stayed until the very end of that incredible display of talent. So obviously there is time for extracurricular activities if I make them a priority. 

I’m going to ponder the other blog post and maybe attempt it tomorrow. Or put it off to the weekend with everything else.

March 22, 2015

Springtime Gardening

Filed under: At home,Garden — Janice @ 7:59 pm

Spring arrived Friday, though it was damp and cold for Austin through Friday and Saturday, too. But today (Sunday) was bright and shining and we had blue sky and at least 80 degrees, I think. I used to be a great gardener. I need to find that enthusiasm and energy again for gardening (and housekeeping and writing and working….). Today I did get outside and do a FEW things so I could say I worked outside and accomplished something.

We have big live oak trees in our neighborhood. I’m glad the builders preserved so many of them for our yards when they built our houses in the 80s. I can just picture what a forest this section must have been at one time. But live oaks drop their leaves in spring when the new growth comes in. That is why they are called live oaks, they are never “dead” in the wintertime. But when the leaves fall, they are really a chore. Our back roof is covered in piles of leaves that need to be pushed down to the ground and cleaned up. No telling what kind of mildew and rot might build up under them up there.

I took a broom and swept my entryway first today. My sister wrote the other day that she was channeling our Papa Hallford and had swept her walk and sidewalk (she also has live oaks) and that there was a great deal of satisfaction in sweeping. I agree with that and every time I DO sweep I think I will do it more often in the future. That rarely happens. Today I swept the porch. Not spotless because more leaves were falling as I swept, but I got a handle on it. I swept leaves off of the flagstone rocks in our garden. Usually by now there would be bluebonnet plants all through the flagstones and we would let them go through their cycle before cleaning out that area. This year the bluebonnets are nonexistent! We don’t  know what happened, but they aren’t there so I swept the rocks and even pulled down a few spiderworts that were growing there because I have plenty IN the garden and don’t need them coming up where I’d like to walk.

I filled up our trash can with leaves from the driveway and walkway and then called it a day. I picked up dead branches and trimmed off some yellow leaves on plants. I trimmed back the Carolina jasmine that takes over as soon as  spring arrives. I didn’t haul rocks or mow or dig or do anything extremely strenuous, but it was enough. I came in sweating and had to cool off and clean up before I could continue my day.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll do a little bit more.  Now is the time  that everything is pretty and green and blooming. The rain has been coming frequently and the hot sun isn’t baking anything for the moment. I want to enjoy this spring while I can.

March 17, 2015

A Fresh New Start

Filed under: At home,Austin,Bluebonnets,Cemeteries,Family,Food — Janice @ 11:29 pm

I guess the best way to return to a habit and get the ball rolling on this blog again is just to start.

And keep going. We’ll see if I can manage that.

I truly don’t know why I don’t. I write all the time, all over the place. This blog doesn’t have to be any more polished than the emails I write (since the same people will read it). So I will try.

I just had a beautiful fresh start to a New Year for myself with the big celebration for my 56th birthday (oops, I had a typo and put 65 first, can 65 ONLY be 9 years away?). It was a GREAT birthday. I have probably complained here in past years about how my birthday falls during Spring Break and, worse, during South By Southwest. South by Southwest is the Austin music conference/festival that is a fine event, but it keeps my husband, Mark, away from me much too much. But, every 6 years my birthday falls on the Sunday BEFORE SXSW and Mark can free up some time to celebrate my day.

It’s hard to believe it has been 6 years since we had a great lunch at El Chile on the east side and drove around observing the blooming mountain laurel and fruit trees and then visited the Texas State Cemetery. That was my first visit to the cemetery, even though we had lived here almost a decade by then. It was amazing and I’ve visited it many times since then. I am happily married to the only man in the world that would understand that a trip to a cemetery for a 50th birthday would be the best present.

This year Mark offered me a road trip to a Hill Country town or anything I wanted. I thought long and hard and decided a brunch at the 1886 Café in the Driskill Hotel and a trip to the Ransom Center would be my choice. Mark had some concerns about being downtown during SXSW, but we forged ahead and talked the café into letting us have a reservation even though they don’t take reservations  during SXSW or for brunch.

The Driskill is a beautiful hotel. It is Austin’s oldest and most opulent hotel, built in 1886. The lobby is big and marble with pillars and grand staircases and dark wood paneling.  We hadn’t  been there 3 minutes when I spotted Billy Crystal coming down the staircase. That’s the kind of magic that happens there.

With the ColonelHere we pose with Colonel Driskill. I was hoping for some orbs in the picture since he haunts the place, but no such luck. I was sniffing, trying to smell his cigar, but I didn’t get that either.

We enjoyed the cheese soup (amazing!) and I had quiche while Mark had steak and eggs. I also indulged in a bloody Mary.  It was fun to people watch, wondering if we looked like out-of-towners to them.

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We took a walk around the Driskill and then walked down 6th Street a little. I honestly don’t know  if Mark and I have EVER walked down 6th Street together. It is Austin’s Bourbon Street…something the city is known for, but nasty, dangerous, and a place the locals don’t go. In the daytime it is not so dirty or scary. There were lots of people out and the streets were closed so there was lots of room. We had fun pointing to buildings and remembering…. “This WAS Joe’s Generic Bar. This was Steamboat. This was where I played for this…. This is where I used to go ….” It has changed tremendously since I worked down the street when we moved here 16 years ago.

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There was no shortage of people watching on 6th Street. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, we even saw leprechauns. We steered clear so I don’t know what they were soliciting. I have a feeling they weren’t going to lead us to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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On to the Harry Ransom Center. It is a museum where my cousin works, yet I have never been to it. I wanted to go just to see where it was and what it was like. I didn’t need to spend hours there. It is a very nice small museum, known for its traveling exhibits, I suppose. But it does have a Gutenberg Bible on display, which is AWE-some in the truest sense of the word. And the first photograph ever made, in 1824, I think. Mark looked at the piece of metal with dark shapes on it, hardly distinguishable as a landscape outside a window at all. Mark commented, “Well, it isn’t even a very good photograph…. kind of grainy.” We laughed. It was the kind of exhibit that makes me want to go read more about the invention of photography.

There was also a big exhibit going on about Alice in Wonderland. A lot of people were there to see it and it was a beautiful display with LOTS about the book and the whole history of Alice. Somehow, I grew up without ever knowing much about Alice in Wonderland. I knew about her, but I don’t know if I actually ever read the book. I think I saw a cartoon. I think I once had a ceramic figurine of her. But since Mark and I didn’t have a real connection with Alice in Wonderland, we took the quick view through that exhibit.

I was happy and satisfied and content to go home to open birthday cards that had come through the week (I always save them until the day) and maybe get in a good nap. Before we got all the way home, Mark took a swing through a rehab facility by our house. Each spring there are fields of bluebonnets around the center so he wanted to check to see if any were blooming. Neither one of us have seen a bluebonnet by the highways yet. Lo and behold, they were beginning to bloom. There is no piece of nature that makes me as happy as the bluebonnet does. We stopped to do the Texas thing and take pictures in the bluebonnets. We will be back when they are more abundant.

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Now Mark is deep into his long days/nights of working during South By Southwest and I am a SXSW widow, home alone overnight. But the birthday is over and I don’t have to think about it falling during SXSW when I don’t get any attention. It was a happy and fun birthday and I’m grateful to my sweet husband and to all who sent the cards and presents and called and texted and Facebooked and emailed. There was no shortage of love.

January 1, 2015

My New Year – 2015

Filed under: At home,Writing — Janice @ 11:14 pm

It is January 1, 2015. I guess I didn’t do so well on the Holidailies this year, but, hey, I did better than I would have if there were no Holidailies. It at least gets me motivated for a little while.

That is sort of how the New Year and New Year’s Resolutions are. I’m trying NOT to make any real New Year’s Resolutions, but it is so hard not to hear myself in my head saying things like, “I’m going to start…” It just comes with the territory when December starts slipping away. I wish I would have that sense of newness and change and growth with each new month, or week, or even DAY! As it is, the year will likely slip by before I have a chance to write another novel, complete another genealogy of a different family, lose x number of pounds, or climb Mt. Everest. (Those last 2 are of equal difficulty.)

I am excited to have my diary in hand for 2015:

moleskine

I have had some great difficulty over the years finding the right diary. I had found a great diary at Border’s Books and used that style (really chunky and thick with a big spiral bind) for several years until, boom, Border’s closes up shop. I hunted and hunted and finally found the diary online, but it is made in England, apparently not sold in the US and it was a little spendy for me to have it shipped from the UK.

Two years ago we were in a bookstore in Alpine and Mark found me the perfect diary. I had already discovered and loved Moleskine journals, but didn’t know they made a diary with full pages for each day and with real dates in it, too (not a generic Jan. 1 for any year). It was a great diary. Last year I had to hunt a bit before I realized they were on Amazon and ordered one about a week into the New Year. This year I am prepared and diary (and accompanying notebook for the purse for my brilliant ideas) is in hand. Purple this year. Last year, red. Two years ago, green.

I like the continuity of size and shape. My mother has kept diaries FOREVER and for the most part they are the exact same style for the last 30 years. It is quite a sight to see them in her bookshelf. We refer to them when we are trying to remember what we did on a certain Christmas or where we might have gone on a vacation. They are handy. Mother has threatened to burn them all and we’ve talked her out of it. I know there are entries that would sound like Little House on the Prairie to my nephews and their future children, so I hope they are preserved. I doubt if mine have enough of interest to anyone but me, but it is a part of my nightly ritual to document my day in my diary and I rarely forget to do it anymore.

I will go write on page 1 tonight, with good penmanship and thoughtful quotes, as I always do. We won’t be a week into the New Year before it becomes an unreadable scrawl and I write things like “Worked. Okay day. Going to bed early.” and call it complete.

Happy New Year! I resolve to write in my online blog every day…  haha, No! No resolutions about that for me here.

December 10, 2014

Appliances

Filed under: At home,Childhood Memories,Food — Janice @ 11:09 pm

Amazon knows me all too well. I have an email touting all the latest kitchen equipment. No, I am not much of a cook, but I am drawn to the kitchen gadgets. I recently did order a “tiny pie making kit” with little tiny pie pans made of silicone (or is it silicon?). Plastic. It is practically plastic, but it doesn’t melt. I have, so far, not made a tiny pie, but I am eagerly anticipating feeling the pie-making urge come upon me so I can test out my new tiny pie pans.

I suppose Amazon also kept track of the juicer I bought a few months ago. I thought I would give that juicing fad a try and see if I could become incredibly healthy AND slim by drinking delicious green concoctions. I really did like the juice, but the process and the clean up became a drag. I am proud of myself that I did not just put the juicer on a shelf or in the back of a cabinet to sit. I bundled it up and gave it to someone else to try.

Well, now that I think about it, I also have been keeping an eye on immersible blenders on Amazon, too. I was watching the prices and yearning for one, but ended up buying one cheap in a big box store one day. It was really neat to have for the four or five pots of soup I made before it fell to pieces in my hands.

I look back on the appliances that my mother had as I was growing up and it is a little bit different than what I use today. At work, the subject of “percolators” came up. Most of the “kids” I work with had no idea what that meant at all. I grew up with a percolator preparing my parents’ coffee every morning. I loved the sound of the steam gurgling and struggling and then heating enough to push that gush of water up through the glass piece on the top to percolate down through the coffee nestled in the metal basket around the tube up the middle. The percolating coffee was a sweet sound to wake up to and the smell meant “home.”  We were always warned about that glass top, to be careful with it. You could get a replacement if it broke, but that would mean a trip to town and no coffee until it was replaced. I think Mom mostly handled the coffee pot and that delicate piece, but I do remember shaking out the grounds from that metal basket into the trash can. My folks switched to a Mr. Coffee after I left home, I think, but that must ahave been invented in the late 70s because I never owned a percolator. They were old-fashioned by the time I lived on my own.

Mother had a Sunbeam mixer on the countertop. I have a mixer of some type on my countertop, too. Mine is used mostly for cookies, though I always THINK I am going to use the bread hooks more than I do. Mom’s didn’t have the lock down feature mine has to keep the beaters from riding up on the dough, but hers had the nifty knob to slide back and forth to change where the bowl was in relation to the beaters. On mine the beaters move around the bowl, the bowl doesn’t move around the beaters. I miss how we could scrape down the sides of Mom’s mixer as we mixed. My current one is built so that you have to turn the mixer off before you can really get in to scrape the bowl sides. I’m sure less fingers go into the cake batter this way. That was a warning we always heard from Mother, to never reach into the bowl if you dropped your spatula or something. I seem to remember a scary tale of my aunt getting caught in the beaters. But she still has 10 fingers so maybe it was just a good fable to warn us.

We had the typical pop-up toaster from time-to-time in my life, but mostly we had the slide in broiler-type toaster. I would love to have one of those again. There was nothing better than a batch of Texas toast, slathered with butter on both sides and toasted good in that broiler, on top and then turned over. Yum. And cinnamon-sugar toast, or just sugar toast, was perfect from that broiler. And cheese toast (we called it grilled cheese, but I think that is something different to most people). Or maybe these were all just better from Mom’s toaster because they were prepared by Mom. In my kitchen I have a toaster oven that is fancy enough to bake in it, it says. I have never ever baked something in it. I toast. And maybe I melt some cheese on something. But I haven’t had cinnamon-sugar toast in years. Sigh.

We never had a microwave when I was growing up. I had my first one when I was already out on my own. We managed to get by. I think I could get by without a microwave again, but my poor husband would starve.

Oh, and crock pots! Those were invented somewhere along in the 70s and I’m sure Mom’s first one must have been harvest gold, like our kitchen, or avocado, the other ubiquitous color of the 70s. For those that don’t remember, except for a few VERY modern pink and blue stoves and refrigerators in the 50s and then the classy copper color that showed up in the nicest homes in the 60s, harvest gold and avocado were the first colors for appliances. We bought a harvest gold stove when we moved from Colorado back to Texas and we thought we were really uptown.

I can’t remember anything Mom made in a crock pot back in those days, but I would miss mine a lot if I didn’t have them now (I have a “regular” one and a big BIG one).

When we moved from Colorado back to Texas and had ordered the stove, but didn’t have it yet, we had a kitchen with appliances, but no stove for a period of time. I don’t know how long it was, probably not more than a week, but I remember the ingenuity my mother used to cook our meals. I felt like it was “Little House on the Prairie” to not have a stove and oven, but Mom did quite a job. She had an electric frying pan, so really that was suitable for most of the things she would have cooked on the stove. We had the toaster oven, too, and we had a little mini-coffeepot that could easily boil water. We used it to boil the water to make tea (we always drank iced tea with dinner) and we boiled eggs in it, too.

Amazon may succeed in selling me a new immersible blender and maybe even a new coffee pot in this holiday season. Now that I’ve gotten all nostalgic, I may have to see if they sell percolators and toaster ovens.

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