Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bragging About My Little Angel

This year, my daughter was chosen to be an angel for the first-grade Christmas pageant. Lucky me, they ran out of costumes before V's name was yanked out of the hat. This meant I'd have to make a costume. Blech.

I want to be talented and creative, but despite a rather heavy gene pool when it comes to artistic tendencies, those genes skipped me completely. My great-aunt was an art major and very talented. My maternal grandma could duplicate a dress just by looking at it (no patterns needed). She also painted with oils and made up fabulous stories. My mother and aunt could, write, sew, draw, paint, whatever they wanted to do. Both could easily pick up anything they wanted to try and it usually came out well. My mother, in particular, always had some project going on, the leavings of which filled every spare corner of her house. My sisters were the same way, too, one having attended Penn State as a graphic design major.

It's no wonder that, with all that talent, the gene pool ran out of creative DNA when I finally arrived. There I was on the Monday following Thanksgiving, staring at bolts of fabric I knew nothing about and trying to decide what I needed (beyond "white") to turn my already-precious daughter into a precious angel.

Fortunately for me, I've always wanted to learn how to sew but I haven't had the time. One Christmas The Oracle heard my desires and purchased a rebuilt Singer for my birthday/Christmas gift. At least I had the equipment to do the job even if I didn't fully understand how to use it. I bought double what I thought I'd need in fabric to compensate for my ineptitude and set to work.

Overall, my efforts weren't half bad. Precious Daughter wasn't too pleased with the result, but I was so frustrated with the process that her complaints were summarily dismissed. By the time the wings were finished, she'd changed her mind.

The hardest part involved those wings. Shoot, I didn't know how to make wings. The only thing I knew I wanted was feathers, and I wasn't sure how to accomplish that. I even looked at my pictures from last year's pageant, but I couldn't glean anything useful from last year's angels.

As I dragged Precious Daughter through the aisles at Michaels Crafts, I was blessed with inspiration (thank you, Mom, Grandma, Aunt M., etc.). Two thin sheets of white craft foam, a glue gun, and two baggies of feathers later, and I was in business. Once I cut the wing shapes out, I actually had quite a bit of fun gluing the feathers on as the kids stared at Chicken Little for the umpteenth time and DEB kept asking what I was doing. I burned myself several times with the blasted glue, but we'll just ignore that.

I made her don this costume again on Christmas Day so her aunt and uncle/godfather could see it and also because my pageant pictures turned out with that creepy red eye. The kids all look possessed.

Precious Daughter was a bit irritated with me, so I threatened to send all her gifts back to the North Pole if she didn't comply. Was that a bit harsh?

Ain't she sweet?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Over in Eighteen Minutes

The Oracle and I dragged our depleted selves to bed at 1:30 or 2:00 a.m., and the kids were in our faces bright and early at 7:10 with elated cries of "Santa came!!" My first though revolved around their inability to get out of bed that early or that quickly on a school day and a solemn vow to never again give in to their pleas for "ten more minutes." Hmph.

I grudgingly crawled out of bed, and The Oracle did the same. I threatened all sorts of mayhem if they so much as dared to touch a present before we had the chance to use the bathroom, and paper-shredding chaos ensued the minute we entered the living room.

This is B with is favorite present.

B is a huge railroad lover. He is forever on the look and listen for trains. In our area, we are blessed with a fair number of freight and passenger lines, none of which are too close for comfort, but they are close enough for our listening pleasure.

This isn't the best picture of B, but his joyous yells of "A refrigerator car!" make it wonderful anyway.

This is B and V with two other favorites, her pink feathery boa and the game, "Gassy Gus," which involves game cards full of nasty foods and lots of flatulence. It's a four-year-old boy's dream gift, and it's a post all its own.

I took lots of pictures Christmas morning, better than these (with my clutter in the background - ICK!), but despite the red-eye reduction setting on my camera, my blue-eyed children always come out with red eyes, and I haven't yet mastered the skill and steady hand required to make them blue again on the computer.

Anyway, back to the post title. The Oracle spent countless hours working for extra spending money, I spent forever stressing over money and shopping in the wee hours, and a mere eighteen minutes after the roused us from our much needed sleep -- including the grownups' pre-carnage potty stops -- our two little darlings unwrapped every present including their stockings.
I wanted to crawl back into bed, but the little buggers kept hounding me to remove packaging. In years past, Santa labored until sunrise cutting through thick plastic bubble packaging and wore his fingerprints off removing the twisty wires that strap toys to the cardboard inside the plastic. How much does this cheap plastic crap cost before adding the Fort Knox packaging?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

September's Toad

Living where I do, I am not only blessed with the conveniences of a mega Wawa and quick access to lots of shopping and three or four major highways, we also have lots of wildlife. It is not uncommon for me to drag the kids to the windows or outside to see all manner of critters: deer, skunks, opossums, groundhogs, fox, wild turkeys, praying mantises (as big as my hand!), stick bugs, lots of butterflies. I’ve even seen a pheasant or two in the last 15 years here. In mid-September, I was revisited by a rather large hop toad that seems to like hanging out on my front stoop in the fall. I’m guessing it’s the same toad, since every year the toad that arrives is bigger than last year’s toad.

If it’s the same toad, I suppose he’s been hopping onto the scene for three or four years now. Maybe more. He started out as this cute little thing, maybe two inches long or so, from tip of nose to rump. This year, he’s roughly five inches long. I’d like to measure him, but I don’t want to freak him out, either.

As usual, he marked his arrival by scaring the bejeebies out of me, narrowly escaping my downwardly-moving size-eleven shoe that would’ve squashed him flat on my way to the mailbox. I’m not scared of the toad itself; I am afraid of squashing him. He has this knack for putting himself smack in the line of my footsteps. Hi, Toad! Welcome back.

The kids were still up, so this year I let them look at the toad.

My daughter named him George.

I hadn’t seen George in a few days, and I was just figuring that he’d become food for something else when I went outside to put the kids’ bikes away before it got too dark since our driveway light burned out a couple days before. I stuff my son’s bike in the garage and close the door. As I moved away, I felt something odd under my foot and brushed it to the side. I look down, and I see George -- George! -- laying belly-up on my driveway. Oh, damn! I murdered George. I felt awful and I wanted to cry.

Well, seriously now, my guilt-ridden heart didn’t want to believe that I’d actually squashed him. Maybe he’s stunned. Yeah, that’s it. Maybe he’s playing possum so I don’t eat him. Maybe he didn’t get his guts ruptured under my shoe. Coward that I am, I comfort myself with this weird rationalization and go inside instead of removing George’s flattish-looking carcass from the driveway.

Double damn. I had a last-minute errand to run, and I had to go back outside. Lo! There was George, sitting in the driveway as he usually does and looking at me. Lazarus rose! I was so excited and happy to see him. I was even happier to see him not there when I returned home.

Yeah, okay, maybe he hopped off and died in the flowerbed, but I don’t believe that. Nosiree. Just shut up and let me have my delusions.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

A friend sent this to me last week. I am in awe of their talent.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

O Tannenbaum - II

When we married, The Oracle and I had very different ideas on Christmas trees. In his house, the tree didn't see the great indoors until Christmas Eve, and it came down January 6th. I thought this practice insane. How on earth can you decorate an entire tree and still have time to do all the other Christmas Eve stuff?

In my mother's house, the tree went up around my birthday (mid-December) and came down whenever I had time, since I was the one assigned tree duty. I'm ashamed to admit that "whenever I had time" sometimes stretched beyond Valentines Day. Hey, it was fake. Fire hazards and needles in the carpet were not issues.

Wanting to be a good wife and make my husband happy, I agreed to this Christmas Eve tree thing. The Oracle and I wrestle the tree into our apartment and he gets it into the stand. So far so good. One area of ChristmasTreedom that I happily surrendered was light stringing, and The Oracle generously obliged. He's a first-rate tree lighter; he never misses a spot. When I lived at home, my mother would squint at the tree and blur her vision and point and dictate where the dark spots were. Since it seemed like we never had enough strings of lights, this usually translated into a fair amount of tugging and rearranging while my mother squinted and critiqued my efforts. Blech.

On our first tree, The Oracle strung the lights and the garland and prepared for bed. Huh? Wait a minute. "What about the rest of the ornaments?" I asked.

"Ornaments? My parents only used lights and garland."

"Oh." I wanted to say, "Well, that explains how they managed to decorate a Christmas tree along with all the other Christmas Eve duties when he was small." I was a good girl and kept my mouth shut, and spent most of that night putting ornaments on the tree.

I actually managed to keep up this Christmas Eve tree thing for a couple years, and then I started whining about how long it took to do. At first The Oracle didn't understand my attachment to Christmas ornaments, but over fifteen years of accumulation has changed his mind a bit. Just about every ornament hanging on the tree means something to me, even the cheapie plastic ones I bought last year because my fragile favorites are remaining in the basement until my kids are less inclined to treat the tree like their personal toy rack.

One tree subject on which The Oracle and I always bicker is tree size. I am sorry to admit that when it comes to Christmas trees, size does matter to me. The bigger the better. I grew up with that seven-foot-tall monstrosity, so anything that doesn't block my view of someone standing on the other side is too small.

Our solution to this tree problem is taking turns on who picks each year. The trouble is that when it's The Oracle's turn, I can't keep my opinions to myself.

Too short. Too bushy. Too skinny Too Charlie Brown. Too ouchy. That poor man gets utterly disgusted with me. For nearly twelve years he succumbed to my whims. We'd bring home the tree, put it in the stand, and when we stand it up it scrapes the ceiling and leaves yet another greeinish-brown mark in the paint.

Then we had kids, and now our kids are old enough to pick the tree. The Oracle loves this, because I'd never criticize the too-something tree my kids picked, and The Oracle would never complain that the tree is still too big even though it scrapes the ceiling.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

O Tannenbaum

Every year I secretly lust for a fake Christmas tree, and I would have bought one years ago if I could convince The Oracle that he'd get sufficient evergreen fragrance from a wreath.

Today’s fake trees are almost like two- or three-part umbrellas. Pre-lit umbrellas to boot. Boom, boom, boom, the tree’s together and you’re ready to decorate. Wowwwww…

When I was a kid, we had a monstrous seven-foot-tall, mega-fake, bottle-brush tree. My mother proudly bought it off the Sears floor (it was displaying ornaments) for something like $25 when I was very, very young. I wonder if it’s possible that we had a fake tree before fake trees were common.

I had a love-hate relationship with that tree. My youngest memories, of course, involve being lifted up by Daddy to put the angel on top (and the angel was later devoured by our puppy in 1971) and goggling at piles of booty beneath it that stretched endlessly across the living room floor. The tree was always tottering on a too-small stand in our living room, ready to topple over at the slightest insult.

Every year my mother oh-so-carefully picked off and preserved every scrap of tinsel from the tree. She believed that saving the tinsel meant that your family would be together every Christmas. I think my mother possessed some scraps of long-since-banned lead tinsel up into the early ‘80s if not longer.

When I hit my teens, it became my job to assemble the tree. What a chore! The easy part was getting the “trunk” and the stand together. The trunk was a two-piece pole, maybe 2” in diameter (if that much) drilled full of holes. The only difficulty here was getting the three pairs of eyes (at least) to agree that it was perfectly perpendicular to the floor.

Our tree had to have each individual branch inserted into the trunk. There were a gazillion branches. What a horrible process. The branches all looked basically the same, like three- or four-pronged bottlebrush forks ranging anywhere from 12 inches to three feet in length. Each size was lamely color coded with a smattering mostly-rubbed-off paint on the bit of the branch that stuck into the trunk.

It went something like this:

Sort branches by color code (and there were always two or three “mystery” branches with no color.)

Arrange them by size (no easy feat when they’ve been bent and squashed like Mr. Bill to fit in one big refrigerator box).

Start filling up tree holes. “At last!” you say. Not so fast. There were two schools of tree-assembly thought: The Top to Bottom fillers and the Bottom to Top. I was a Bottom to Top and bickered with my Top to Bottom sister about the whole process. Truly, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to crawl around on the floor to stuff the last branches into the bottom of the tree when it was so much easier (and much more dangerous) to stand on a kitchen chair to cram the giant bottlebrush cluster into the top of the trunk.

Then there were the trunk holes. After X years on the Sears floor and another fifteen at my mother’s, there were many where the wood split downward at the opening and the branch sagged or fell out completely. Luckily, you had a few choices:

You could bend the branch to compensate.
You could tie the branch to an upper branch to compensate.
You could support the branch by duct taping it to the trunk to compensate.
You could get sick of compensating and drill the stupid trunk holes deeper.

I tried every method. Every one, and I’m amazed I didn’t drill through my blinkin’ hand when I hauled out my stepfather’s drill and increased the depth of every bleepin’ hole. I'm surprised I knew how to properly operate a drill. I don't know if I still do.

The duct tape worked best, by the way. I should’ve known.

Well, finally I’d get all the branches on, look at the naked green-painted wood of the tree trunk and remember that big bag of bottle-brush circles that were supposed to go between the colored sections of branches. Shazbot! If my mother wasn’t watching, I’d slip the circles back into their basement box.

Every year when the tree came down, I painstakingly organized the branches by size and color and wrote a detailed list on which branches/colors went where. It took me several years to get smart and tie the colors together before putting them away. The new list always went into the box with the tree parts, but every year it vaporized into thin air by next December so I’d have to repeat the entire process.

Yet I still cried when my stepfather Dumpster-ed that tree after he sold Mom’s house.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

How I Envy My Friends!

Everyone I know is finished shopping, wrapping, and baking for the 25th. Not me. Nosiree. I've only bought a handful of gifts, we still don't have a tree, and we've devoured every cookie baked so far. (Can't help it. The Oracle is truly gifted in the cookie department.)

What's so bad is there are two gifts I have to handle that must be mail ordered, so if I don't get my hiney in gear now, I can't order them. Not unless I can find a way to successfully dodge the recipient until their New Year's Day party.

Please don't ask me why this is so. Part of it is economic. Part of it is the absolute loathing I have for going into stores and staring at shelves, racks, and display cases and deciding whether X is really a good gift for somebody.

Part of it is also a serious lack of available time slots away from my children. Usually the only time I can get away from home is when they're sleeping. That doesn't leave too many shopping options open despite extended hours at the mall. I hate the mall. I hate Wal-Mart. Oh, Heaven help me. I wish I could con my kids and get away with holding Christmas a week later when all the cool stuff is back on the shelves and on sale?

This is also the only time of year when I find that perfect something I've wanted forever, but I can't buy it because I'm not shopping for me. And chances are good that if I did succumb to temptation and buy that perfect whatever, I'll be wracked with guilt when I'm ten lousy bucks short for that perfect something for someone else.

And then there are my Christmas lights. They look awful. I strung 'em up the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and my house woefully looks like a taproom. My husband calls the strings of lights in the half-dead Japanese maple a "The Multicolored Python." We have this airblown Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the front porch. He really isn't intended for outdoor use, but I had him tucked in the corner and he made out okay last year. Last year. This year, Billy keeps dragging him all over. He got rained on last week, and now I'm not even sure that he'll work. I haven't tested him because he's plugged into the circuit running the taproom lights, and I'm so embarrassed by the taproom lights that I haven't turned them on in almost two weeks.

I've been meaning to redo the lights, finish shopping, bake, and wrap presents, but I just haven't had the time.

Now I know why my sister went to Spain over Thanskgiving.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How'd you get that scar?

I shared this story on a friend's blog, Juggling Scarves. I don't know how to insert links yet, so you'll just have to Google it or something until I have time to figure it out. I'm lazy, I have lots of work I need to finish so I can get paid, so it's reprinted here for your reading pleasure.

My most embarrassing scar is about a half inch long, running along the orbit bone of my left eye socket. It’s barely noticeable and looks like a Picasso crow's foot. (Or crow’s toe, perhaps?) The embarrassing part is how I got the scar.

One blistering-hot Sunday in August, The Oracle and I drove to church and parked in our usual spot by the evergreen trees. The Oracle and I are talking about whatever, and as I got out of the car, I felt/heard something buzzy-tickly in my right ear.


In an evasive maneuver to get away from the yellowjacket about to dive into my ear canal and sting my brains, I jerked my upper body downward and to the left - WHAM - into the corner edge of the still-open car door. Immediately dizzied by the impact, I covered my new injury with my hand and continued my downward motion, bending at the waist to avoid passing out. It was more an instinctive thing than a conscious action. I think the intense throbbing in my skull takes the most credit for keeping me conscious.

As I stood there, bent over in the lot, it took The Oracle a second or two to notice I was missing and ask if I was okay. I told him what happened, and, bless his heart; he asked if I was bleeding. "Bless his heart" because blood and guts make him utterly nauseous, and he was thoroughly together and calm. He took me home to assess things, and I patched myself up. I had no idea whether I needed stitches, and I couldn’t reach my mom. There was no way I was setting foot in an ER unless it was absolutely necessary, because I worked as a 9-1-1 operator at the time, and my coworkers were not going to learn about this if I could help it.

We had no butterfly bandages handy, so had to cut up my own while The Oracle held paper towels to my injury (without passing out). A funky-looking bandage and two Advil later, we were back at mass in time for the Eucharistic prayers. (See what a good Catholic I used to be? Then we had kids…)

Later I checked with Dr. Mom, who said I didn’t need stitches. In hindsight, stitches probably would’ve left me with a smaller scar. Ah well. First, I'm amazed that I didn't hit my eye. Thank you, Lord, for that. Second, the force of my self-imposed impact actually bent the corner of the car door.

The worst bit, though, was starting my new job at the police station later that week and forever memorializing my resulting Technicolor shiner in my employee-file photo. All of the officers kept asking if my husband did that to me.

The punchline? When we returned to church that afternoon, we parked in the same spot, and that same tickle attacked my ear. This time I didn't jerk away. I held my breath and turned my head a little to the right. That nasty yellowjacket was nothing more than a few needles from the pine trees poking me in the ear.

I injured myself over nothing more than my stinging-insect phobia.

How 'bout them apples?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

In the Land of Magic Mushrooms

Author's note: If you read this a couple hours ago and found it a little weird, I drifted off as I was writing this late last night. When I awoke, stiff-necked and drooling, I clicked the bright orange button instead of the sleepy blue one to save my work, and that's why you got to read the unfinished product.

As mothers-in-law go, I got very lucky. My mother-in-law (well, both in-laws) welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like one of the family. We have always gotten along well, and my in-laws were wonderful allies in some rather difficult times.

As those closest to me know, my 84-year-old mother-in-law (on this public forum we'll name her DEB for "Depression-Era Baby") suffered a stroke about two months ago. It was a fairly serious bleed in her brain caused by her emphatically-denied high blood pressure.

I guess I should give you a little background. DEB has always been a feisty, independent woman. She's very funny and she sings all the time. She never let circumstances drag her down. Many folks in their 80s spend a good chunk of time discussing aches and pains, pills, and their latest colonoscopy experience. Not DEB. "Old people" got on her nerves. If her neighbor talked her into going on a casino bus trip, she sat with her neighbor's mildly-mentally-challenged son rather than the "old people."

Once I drove her to the grocery store, and, to my horror, she called some annoying woman driver an "old bat." Never mind that I'd been grousing about the lady taking her chunk of the parking lot aisle out of the middle. The Old Bat thought I called her the name, and I shamelessly admit that I didn't hesitate to throw DEB under the bus and refer Old Bat to her. Old Bat said something lame about how DEB should look in the mirror, but really, when someone older than you calls you an old bat, that's a pretty heavy blow.

Only until very recent years did DEB start looking like she might be a little over 60. She colored her hair, sure, but she never wore makeup and her skin looked pretty good. She didn't walk old or act old or think old. She didn't even talk old, if that makes sense. You didn't realize she was 80-something until she mentioned something like, "Back in '39 when I was 16..."

Prior to cataract surgery, she had some bloodwork done that revealed "slightly elevated" blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol. Her immediate response was, "Doctors just want to give you pills." Another favorite: "Oh, my blood pressure always goes up when I go to the doctor." How do you fight that? Her view is that doctors want to find something wrong with you so they can take your money.

Well, the bleed was directly related to high blood pressure. After roughly eight weeks in hospital, acute rehab, and sub-acute rehab at a nursing home, she finally came home Wednesday. From being bedridden to wheelchair to walker, she's now walking rather steadily on her own. Her greatest risk is something the doctor defined as "left-sided neglect," which means that she doesn't acknowledge objects on her left side. This means she'll likely bump into or trip over things in the left side of her field of vision.

Anyway, it's time to get to the reason behind the title of this post. We could see over the past couple years that DEB's been slipping a little in her memory. It's bound to happen, right? Well, this stroke seems to have short circuited something in the file drawers, and now we never know what DEB is going to come up with.

For reasons to be contained in another post, my in-laws visited yesterday. DEB kept referring to the prior day's visit with long-deceased people in Delaware. Some strange woman was in my house yesterday, and DEB didn't know who she was or why she was there. She also let my dog sleep on her bed last night. I didn't know Knucklehead could be in two places at once. And another thing. Apparently, my husband not only had a prior marriage, but he has two grown daughters with children of their own.

What makes this even more fascinating is that for the most part she's still in 2007. She knows me and my kids and the layout of my house, and she knows which Bush occupies the Oval Office. She had the days mixed up, but she knows Christmas is around the corner despite the fact that I haven't had time to decorate a single thing in here except for the icky taproom-like lights sagging off the front porch. She asked me several times when and where we were going to mass.

Now I know why people get into neurology. DEB's synapses are firing all over the place. Maybe they're trying to get the books back onto the shelves without Dewey's help, or maybe the dementia/Alzheimers has taken hold and this will be the last of the lady I've come to adore over the last 17 years.

I have to credit my husband, The Oracle, with the title of this post when he used it to label DEB's mental wanderings.

Really, though, what do you do with it? Do you humor her and go along for the ride, or do you struggle to keep her anchored to the here and now? The argumentative side of me wants to keep her anchored, because I have this nasty tendency of making sure the information is accurate. Is it a crushing blow to learn that someone's been dead for twenty-odd years, or will that reminder bring something to the surface and make her say, "oh, yeah, I forgot"?

I'd like your opinions on that.

Angels on My Shoulder

I've been slaving over a transcript for several days now, and the insanity I was feeling is part of why I chose last night to create this blog. One of my very first jobs, I was incredibly nervous and my hands were shaking the entire time. This transcript looks like a box of Alpha Bits.

At 2:30 or so this morning, I proofread the last bits and started putting in the cover pages. Without getting too technical, this job is being split into two different transcripts, so I copied Transcript B to a new document, convert it to ASCII format (something most computers can read), and returned to Transcript A to delete that portion. I was carefully deleting a page or two at a time when got an error message that kicked me out of the program. Uh-oh.

I go back in, say a few Hail Marys, reopen the document, and it is only three pages long. Huh? What happened to the other 87?

In a hyperventilating panic, I call tech support. At this unholy hour, I expected to get an answering machine. I did not expect to hear: "If a representative does not return your call within a reasonable amount of time, please call back." Umm.. How do I define "reasonable"? It seems to me that "reasonable" is directly related to my vital signs. Right then, nothing longer than immediately can be considered reasonable.

I spend my time deep breathing and saying the Rosary. A surprisingly-perky technician calls me back from wherever he was on the planet, talks me off the ledge, and he starts directing me here and there to recover my document. His instructions yield nothing, and I'm back on the ledge. I ask him about the auto backup feature, and after checking a few things it seems that mine is turned off. It seems the program comes that way, even though my prior version of this software had a different default setting. Sorry, he says. Nothing more he can do.


Not wanting to face the notion of doing the job from scratch, I get ready to email the ASCII files of the first bit to the firm. There is my whole transcript! I'd forgotten that I mistakenly created an ASCII file of the entire job instead of just Transcript B.

Thank you Jesus, St. Anthony, Mom...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's wrong with me?

I'm sitting here with a truckload of work to finish, and I pick this moment to start a weblog. Clearly, having a backlog of seven -- no -- eight jobs isn't enough of a pressing matter to stop me from goofing off.

Maybe like most bloggers, this sort of thing started with a semi-warped sense of humor, a half-decent writing ability, and no hopes of ever obtaining a publishing contract, so now I have to start spewing whatever comes to mind for the public-at-large. Lucky, lucky you. Please accept my most sincere apologies if I fail to meet any expectations you might have.

There's no secret meaning lurking behind the blog name. It was picked in sheer desperation when the countless unique, kind-of-funny titles I conjured turned out to be not unique at all. Without boring you to death with the route of my train of thought, be satisfied in knowing that it jumped the tracks at my all-time favorite comfort food. Naming this thing was clearly a stressful and time-consuming experience for me. I've worked up an appetite.

On its surface, the peanut-butter-and-bacon sandwich sounds like a disgusting concept. Please, please don't run away yet.

If you love bacon and you love peanut butter (passive "likes" might not apply) chances are very good that you'll find this to be a divine combination. It can be put on warm toast, which makes the PB all gooey and wonderful, but straight-out-of-the-bag squishy white bread works just as well. The only rule to this sandwich: The bacon must be crisp and drained. This is non-negotiable. Who wants that kind of indigestion?

Maybe you do if you're reading me.

P.S. There's another rule: never serve it cold. Cold peanut butter is just plain gross.

Thanks for visiting!