What’s in MY wallet???

Have you seen those silly commercials where the pathetic single women ask each other what they had for dinner last night? One says, " a box of brownie mix" and another says, "fourteen Twinkies" and the third gloats that she had some heart smart healthy frozen dinner of shitake mushrooms, sauteed tenderloin bites and asparagus tips. I always have two thoughts: "Why can’t you women find a grocery store with real food?" and "I’ll take the brownie mix, thanks."

Rich is gone and I am FED up with turkey and mashed potatoes so tonight’s dinner is a chop salad of tomatoes, blue cheese, roasted pine nuts and hard boiled egg and then some homemade Chex mix. It’s what was on hand.

In my family it’s a tradition to make a giant (the turkey roasting) pan full of homemade Chex mix. My father always made it, as follows:

Equal parts corn, rice and wheat chex.
And then the SAME amount of fancy mixed nuts and Mr. Salty extra thin pretzel stix. The nuts have to be high quality including giant cashews, almonds and pecans, NO PEANUTS. I use a whole bag of each, raw, from Whole Paycheck Foods. The pretzels have to be Mr. Salty THIN stix. A whole bag.
1/2 # butter (yes, that’s right). Ample amounts of garlic salt, onion salt, Worcestershire sauce and just a hint of cayenne pepper. You melt the butter and seasonings and then toss in the other stuff and then your roaster is full to overflowing. You bake the mix at 300 for a good 45-60 minutes, tossing it often. Since the roaster is so full it falls all over the oven and floor. Cool and pack into large ziplock bags. You get four or five full bags. Lasts all season.
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Here’s something besides turkey I’m fed up with: credit cards. These are a necessary evil but just barely. Somewhere back in my heritage was the philosophy that the only thing you could buy on credit was your home and your farm. Since I don’t have a farm, that leaves the house and the other place in Florida. It doesn’t change the fact that credit cards are convenient, especially if you’re shopping challenged and you travel. That’s me.

I had four cards. One is attached to my bank accounts and is used for day-to-day groceries and things that get subtracted directly from my checking account. One is attached to a bankrupt airline that shall remain nameless. That is used for travel and household purchases and gets paid off each month by auto pay from the checking account. Then I have one card with each child’s name primary that also has my name on it. They don’t have the cards; I cut theirs up without even telling them they have them. I use those cards to do things like pay for saxophone reeds and college tuition and those get paid off each month, too, while building credit in their names. The party line with them is NO CREDIT CARDS so they just use bank cards for their accounts.

Recently I started using a credit card that had been sitting dormant for almost a decade. I never closed that account because it had a HUGE credit limit on it and I figured if any one ever got kidnapped and I needed ransom money I’d have it. It has a pretty alumni M in blue and maize on it. I started using it because I’m going to fade out the bankrupt airline card since I don’t fly that airline now that I’ve relocated and also they always charge me an annual fee, which, as we all know, is ridiculous.

So, is that all clear? Well, it was to me until the credit card companies started selling their cards to each other. Now I am completely confused about whether I have an MBNA card, an American Express card, a US Bank card or a Bank of America card. It’s like musical cards. I keep getting more cards with notes that say, "this card replaces your old card ending in 1234. Cut up that card and use this card." Each new card has a new online account address and requires a new sign in identity and a new password. I am quite serious when I say this brain is good for exactly two identities and two passwords- and at that, there are 7 too many combinations.

This is why it’s a good idea to live in a cash and barter economy. Just my opinion.
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Regarding public figures who keep misbehaving and then announce they’re going to get therapy: I’m trying to figure out how long a person would "go into treatment" to stop being rude and insensitive and self-indulgent. Or, being a perv. I’m also wondering how much money a therapist could make coming up with variations on "You acted like a pig. You need to cut that out." Personally, I used to have trouble convincing some managed care employee do-be that it would take more than 3 sessions to cure out right psychosis. Celebs and politicians must have better insurance. Anyway, no Seinfeld for you.
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For everybody who didn’t want to read today: I don’t blame you. Here’s a picture.Gir

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16 responses to “What’s in MY wallet???

  1. I don’t like credit cards either, and they always slip something in the fine print of the agreement. However, they are handy to charge plane tickets on. I used to make that chex mix for camping–we used Johnny’s seasoning salt,which is a local product. Fancy mixed nuts are the key, even when someone picks out almost all the cashews because they’re her favorite. It is very messy to make though.

  2. Ooh, that’s a gorgeous eye. When I was at my cousin’s this weekend, visiting her cabin with Sarah, I looked into those gorgeous eyes of the deer hanging on the wall.

    Your mix sounds yummy, but I have to watch the salt intake. I don’t think that would quite do it.

    Have you visited Fox and Obel? It’s quite an interesting deli/grocery in Chicago.

  3. Oh, is it Sterling? Hello Sterling or Sterling’s cousins anyway. There is nothing so sweet as a giraffe’s eye.

    That bankrupt airline card. I still have one. Mine are paid off each month and when the account gets down to next to nothing in the bank then they will go bye bye and I will be in line to flip burgers at Mickey D’s.

    I love the Chex Mix too, though not sure about the cayenne pepper. I’m serious, you should look up the Russian Tea Cafe…. they serve the most heavenly hot tea and really good Russian food too.

    Stephen was here for six days at the first of the month. Then a week and a half in Montreal and now three and a half weeks in Tokyo. He was sick this weekend, either stomach flu or he got hold of something at the little grocer he went to there. He’ll be back in Dresden for Christmas then back to Tokyo sometime soon. As far as I know he has nothing scheduled in Chicago, but he does have something at the Met in New York in 2010.

    These pumpkins are really really juicy. They do change a little, at least the first ones did. The one that blew over and broke the stem hasn’t. Cinderella’s coach for the little birds…. we’ll have to see about that.

  4. Great. Now I’m hungry.

    How much would it cost to have you flown out here and get my headlife straight? Maybe we could schedule it while Rich was away and I could cook you dinner (or buy you take out)and some nice Toasted Head.

    Beautiful picture there. I often gaze into my Lil’s eyes and wonder what she is thinking. My kids often say that if they had one wish it would be that they could communicate with animals. Wouldn’t that be grand?

  5. Love your chex mix recipe. My mom always made it. She added Cheerios and Life cereal. The tiny bit of sugar in the Life cereal squares combined with the Worcestershire sauce and garlic is really great. You have made me really crave some so I better make some tomorrow.
    P.S. I loved the photo of the missing food processor blades, sounds like some place I would put them too and never find them when I was looking. Scheez. It could be worse. Try hunting for two hours in the basement for some 15 year old feathered darts your moved away from home 26yr. old son now wants and then learn later that night, he has them in his room, under the bed in a seldom used art box… etc. etc.

  6. I quit using most credit cards 2 years ago and that keeps me out of trouble! Now you have made me crave the Chex Mix, with cashews (and I would pick them all out)!

  7. So that recipe is really supposed to last me ALL season??? Good try. 🙂

  8. Funny how everyone’s favorite Party Mix recipe is so different. I especially like the bits where the butter has caked on and gotten slightly burned… Mmm.

    On another topic, I think you should seriously consider writing a book, if you’re not already. You are such a wonderful writer!

  9. I have the kind of hate for credit cards that only people who have carried large balances have.

    I am stealing your idea about the credit cards in the kids’ names.

  10. I make Chex mix every season too. Why not have it for breakfast? How is it different from a bowl of cereal, you know, change the milk for the butter and the garlic for the sugar, etc etc.

    I haven’t used credit cards for anything in years. College girl doesn’t have one either. I do like that commercial where the guy using cash bollixes up the choreography. I’m like that guy. Some stores don’t seem to know what to do with cash.

  11. I have nothing intelligent to say, I just wanted to prove that I read all the way to the bottom and agree, wholeheartedly, that un-house-related credit of any kind is EVIL. We are currently clawing our way out of that exact issue, and ruining our awesome credit (which got us into this mess to start with) in the process. Ugh.

  12. Whatever happened to wheat honeys and rice honeys. I’ve just never been a fan of chex. Or credit cards for that matter. Not too long ago I received a credit card statement in the mail. Though I didn’t owe any money, I never heard of the credit card company. IDENTITY THEFT!!??

    No. It turns out that this new company was just sending out statements as they had taken over for a company that I used to have a credit card through. I only had the card because it had “Greenpeace” on it. Once they stopped putting “Greenpeace” on the card, I cut it up. Must have been almost ten years ago.

    Hea, I only have a little over 2,000 more words for that NaNoMoNo project. But I’m at the climax right now. Maybe I’ll have to do a flashback at the epilog.

  13. Maybe I should be ashamed to admit this, but I charge almost every single thing I buy. Gas, groceries, gifts. I even have a few of my monthly bills automatically charged to it. I pay it off each month, and Discover pays me to buy the things I need. I am VERY fortunate that I was raised by 2 frugal parents with a strict German background. It is embarrassing when I’m on a date and don’t have cash to cover my own meal…… Maybe that’s why I’m still single? 🙂

  14. We have one credit card that we use. Then there are the others that keep changing, and I have not kept up with them. Our one credit card accrues points for Amtrak train travel. We’re saving points for a trip across country in a sleeper car with a private bath. It’s not exactly luxury, but it’s the closest we’ll ever get.

    That photo is quite beautiful. The lashes are surprisingly lovely.

  15. Yeah, and they also sell your charged off debt to mulitple collection agencies with phone thugs and lawyer types. Once I get out of this, never ever again.

  16. If Dan and Abbey read this post, you might want to closely gaurd any information you have regarding those credit cards in their names that they “don’t?” know about.

    Otherwise you may start seeing additional charges from the kids each month.

    But I must admit that is a excellent idea in terms of building credit for them!

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