Friday, July 17, 2009
Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer
This has to be my favorite time of the year, these lazy hazy days of summer. The sun is up at 6 in the morning and doesn't go down until after 8:30 in the evening. Days like this seem like they will last forever but I know all too well that the days are getting shorter. They have been getting shorter since the Summer Solstice.
My summer day begins when I wake up about 7 am and stumble into my bathroom to shave. After I splash witch hazel on my face I'm ready to face the world. The kitchen is my next stop. I mix up some fiber blend with grape-cranberry juice to take before my breakfast of Corn Chex and freshly sliced strawberries. For years I had problems with my morning constitution (I was constipated) but not since I began taking AIM raspberry flavored fiber blend mix about five years ago. Maybe this is too much information but it was a wonderful development in my life. Now I'm just a "regular" guy. Smile.
I used to watch "Morning Joe" on MSNBC but I can't take Joe Scarborough anymore and his constant negativity on anything Democratic, Obama and Nancy Peolosi. Scarborough, or as one blogger calls him "Doucheborough", is one of that dwindling variety of Republicans called "wingnuts." They are the part of "NO!" and exclusivity (meaning that minorities and GBLT members of our society need not apply because they are the "real American" -like we're not.) Scarborough's daily hateful diatribes against anything Democratic I can do without thank you. These mornings my TV is silent.
Bill has been up since 4 am (he goes to bed at 7 pm) so he's ready for some chit chat. If I'm in the mood I'll chew the fat, if not then he understands and disappears to his lair in the basement (where he lives.) Warning, I'm not always bright and cheerie in the morning.
This morning we're waiting for a call from The Garage to tell Bill that his '91 Jeep Cherokee is fixed. The brake pads are being fixed and something about the brake hose being blown. I don't know all that mechanical stuff but I do know if the brake hose was blown while we were on Rt. 1 that would have been a BIG PROBLEM. That's another bullet we dodged. Thank you Jesus.
Hopefully we'll get a call this morning so we can make our weekly trek to the Super Wal-Mart in Milford. This is the only store in this area (which we call "Lower Slower") that I can buy Turkey Hill Decaffeinated Diet Orange Iced Tea. Oh sure, the regular Turkey Hill Orange Iced Tea is plentiful at other stores but I can only take so much fructose corn syrup. I'm not on a diet but the Turkey Hill diet orange iced tea agrees with my stomach. Drinking it gets me through the summer (and winter too.) Of course it's not like the homemade iced tea that my friend Larry's grandmother Mrs. Brown used to make. Oh my oh my, that was wonderful iced tea. The only other iced tea that came close was my Aunt Mabel's iced tea. Making homemade iced tea is a lost art.
Yesterday I took Bill up to a new produce stand eight miles up Route 1, where Billy Bob's used to be. We're both at that point in our lives now that we don't desire a lot of heavy meat in our diets. Fresh fruit and vegetables work just fine for us. Oh, an occasional piece of chicken or even some hamburger but not on a regular basis. Yesterday I purchased cantaloupe, broccoli, corn on the cob, strawberries, watermelon and onions. The honey dew looked scrumptious but I just don't have enough room in my refrigerator. Maybe if I got one of those french door refrigerators I could squeeze all that fresh fruit into it. But Bill won't hear of that. He says our present refrigerator will do just fine and we can save the $2,000 that it would cost for a new refrigerator.
When we got home yesterday I sliced the cantaloupe up for Bill. I even had a piece. The taste of fresh fruit is almost as near to heaven that we can get. This is not your store bought wintertime cantaloupe. This is Summertime cantaloupe. Maybe it should be called "Candyloupe."
This morning I cooked a fresh broccoli cheese casserole with the broccoli I bought yesterday. Our friend Jay gave me a church cookbook which has the best broccoli casserole I've ever tasted. Here is the recipe:
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
1 cooked bunch of fresh broccoli, cut small (I steam mine to al dente - don't overcook)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 chopped onion
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 box Progresso Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs
2 pats of butter
Mix the first six items together in a large bowl. Spread in a 9" x 13" casserole dish. Cover with Progresso Panko (Italian Style) Crumbs. Press break crumbs lightly down on top of casserole. Dot with butter. Bake in preheated oven 350 degrees. Enjoy. This is the perfect light lunch or dinner with a salad. If you wish, you can add cook rotisserie chicken to the mix for a more hearty meal but I prefer the broccoli alone.
I was just outside pulling up some weeds from my flower beds in front of the house. It is humid out there today! This is the kind of day when just a little movement will result in a sweat soaked Ron that has to take two showers today. I did that yesterday. I don't want to do that today so I'll stick around inside. Maybe read a book, maybe sit on the deck and watch the new baby Purple Martins learn to fly. Then again, maybe I'll just take a nap. I'm at that point in my life where naps are very important and enjoyable. I rarely miss an opportunity to recharge myself by taking a well deserved nap.
Tomorrow we will do our usual weekly Saturday morning breakfast at Zorba's then another lazy hazy day just hanging around the house. Maybe I'll do a little yard work and then maybe I won't. That is what is nice about being retired, I can do whatever I want to. I'm no longer a slave to a eight hour, five day a week work schedule, 50 weeks a year. The only relief is that two weeks of vacation. Oh sure, I still work but I work part-time now which is a big difference from full-time. The difference is that I have control over my life and not someone else. For way too many years I was a slave to the Man. The corporate culture that demanded the best days of my life. I've earned my retirement and, believe me, I am enjoying it. Especially on a lazy, hazy day of summer like today.