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Milli Gilbaugh

Yours, ours and mine

Since my husband and I were married on a March Saturday all those many years ago, I tend to think of weddings every year when the month rolls around again. It ‘s one of the few things that make the month of March bearable, as about the only other things going for it are wind, slush and runny noses. When I think of weddings, though, I think of them as beginnings rather than the glorious result of months of planning and daunting expenses.

Easter, a movable feast

Food For Thought

When, as a young teenager, I noticed my birthday was on the same DATE every year, but not on the same DAY of the week, I began to wonder about the date of Easter. Easter was always on a Sunday, I knew, but sometimes it occurred before my birthday, and sometimes after. Sometimes Easter was in the month of March, sometimes not until fairly late in April. I couldn’t find any other holiday that couldn’t seem to make up its mind as to which month it belonged in. How were we supposed to plan for it when there seemed so little consistency about when it would arrive?

Mardi Gras and Carnival

Food For Thought

The term “Mardi Gras” is French for “Fat Tuesday” and refers to the day before the beginning of Lent when Christians used up any rich foods before giving them up during the Lenten period, along with parties and other self-indulgences. The day was the last opportunity for merrymaking, revelry and indulgence in food and drink for the 40 days leading up to Easter.

If I ruled the world

Food For Thought

Not being a tidy person (meaning I don’t put the groceries, the laundry or my creative projects away promptly and clean up as I go along in the kitchen), I nevertheless believe a few changes I’d like to suggest would make the world tidier and more efficient. Things that serve no seriously useful purpose and generally tend to cause more chaos than they prevent. Some of these, I’ve no doubt mentioned here before, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat them in the hope somebody may see the value of these suggested changes and start a movement to spread the word.

Spring cleaning

Food For Thought

I remember the days when everybody engaged in what they called “spring cleaning. This activity could begin any time the housewife felt overwhelmed by winter blahs and felt the need to clean out closets or make new kitchen curtains. Timing depended largely on the personal ambitions of the housewife in charge and the availability of reliable help. The weather might also be a factor, though it didn’t figure in any long-range goals because of its unpredictability.

The other resolution

New Year’s Resolutions are hard enough to keep when you are by yourself and nobody is going to see if you cheat or not, but this one can be even more difficult when you are in the company of others. Others who have the same bad habit you are trying to conquer. I’m talking about smoking and the things we all go through trying to rationalize our bad habit while, at the same time, trying to escape it.

About those resolutions

Food For Thought

If you’re like most of us, you’ve already fudged a little on one or more of the resolutions you so bravely made just a few days ago. We all like the feeling of being able to wipe the slate clean and start the new year fresh and guilt-free. But too often those well-meant promises we make to ourselves turn out to be a lot harder to honor than they were to make. I’d like to pass on some thoughts about New Year Resolutions, things that I’ve learned from experience and things that persons much wiser than I have shared with me over the years.

The working wife

Food For Thought

It has not been too many years since the “lady of the house” spent her mornings shopping for the day’s groceries. She would visit the butcher shop and the fishmonger to buy the meats for the day’s meals (often dinner, served in the early evening hours), and perhaps sausages, bacon, or a soup bone which might end up as an element in breakfast, lunch, or one of the dinner courses. Her rounds would probably include a visit to the greengrocer where she picked out the day’s fruits and vegetables, fresh, dried, or otherwise preserved depending on the time of year and their availability.

The Cribbage dilemma

Food For Thought

Believed to have been invented by the 17th-century English poet Sir John Suckling, Cribbage remains one of the most popular of all card games. A virtual playground for mental math, the game offers numerous ways to pile up impressive point totals from just five cards. A perfect hand totals 29 points, and that’s just the point count from the cards in one hand of play; there are several opportunities to score additional points during play by taking advantage of the cards played by your opponent, as well as the order in which cards are played.

There is no money in poetry...

Food For Thought

So wrote poet Robert Graves, but then he went on to say there is no poetry in money, either. Only the most naive, inexperienced poet expects to make his fortune through his published verses. About all that can be hoped for is a little prize money gleaned through contests, or perhaps a small check from Reader’s Digest for a particularly clever snippet of rhyming wit. Other than that, most poetry is published at the poet’s own expense and purchased mainly by the poet’s friends and relatives.

Don’t tell my mother

Food For Thought

Even though I’ve celebrated my 83rd birthday and am in no danger of having my mother discover I’ve broken one or more of her rules, I find I still feel pangs of guilt when I do. When we were kids, my big sister could blackmail me into almost anything by threatening to tell Mother I may have committed one or more misdemeanors. Whether I had or not, just the threat that Mother might be inclined to suspect or to investigate any such accusations was enough to make me knuckle under to my sister’s pressure.

Just how traditional are you?

Food For Thought

I can’t help laughing when I see and hear restaurants and grocery stores promoting their “traditional” Thanksgiving dinners and the ingredients thereof. Unless you were around, helping out in the kitchen before the 1950s, you might have the impression the ready-to-cook, pre-basted, Butterball frozen turkey has been around long enough to be called “traditional.” Let me tell you some of the truths about Thanksgiving turkeys before that time.