Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pits? Or not.......

(I really do have a sign in my kitchen and a magnet as well that states: There is a kitchen because it came with the house.)

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

If a can of cherries states “pit” does that mean pits have been removed?

I have a problem decoding can-speak.

In high school I took home economics. I took it because I had to. I took it because every female in my family could and still can cook. I took it because I thought it would be fun to learn to sew and cook.


I pin patterns to material every one inch. Mother looked at something and made it from several patterns and never pinned.

I wouldn’t mix patterns and for good reason. I made the only pair of walking shorts that ended up a tight skirt sown with legs. Don’t ask how it happened. There’s good, solid reasoning that only “I” understand.

If I could have figured a way for the legs to be separated, I could’ve been the inventor of leggings. Instead, I had a skirt/short that was so well put together I couldn’t walk, much less sit down. Plus it was a mess by the time I took it apart to try to read the pattern better.

Then the cherry incident happened. I claim fame to pie crust. I could flute with the best of them. I should’ve taken up sculpting.

I was a dismal failure at meringue and couldn’t stand those yucky eggs whites anyway, so I always made double crust pies.

For homework, I made a cherry pie. I was so proud of it because it really was pretty. It had the red juices oozing out of the top just like it’s supposed to–hot and ready to serve.

I put it in front of daddy and sat down waiting expectantly for accolades of how well I’d done, how good it was, and so on.

I wasn’t expecting him to spit out the first bite and hear a clunk on the plate.

I was horrified.

Daddy was choking.

The only thing he didn’t do was grab his throat and run.

I did the only thing I could. I sat frozen to the chair wondering what I’d done wrong; I’d followed the recipe.

He finally gasped I’d not pitted the cherries.

I went straight to the can and pointed to the pit part which I then realized must mean pits aren’t pitted.

Several morals apply.

Buy cherry pies, then you don’t have to worry.

Don’t choke around me, I freeze.

Especially if I’ve done the cooking.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Valentine's around the corner......

This was last year's....but it'll work for any year.....

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

Alert! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching!

I’m working on a manuscript with the subject “what it means to be in love.”

At first glance it seems an easy topic.

First thoughts raced through my mind: first love, lasting love, brotherly love, agape love, fraternal love, familial love, marital love and so on.

As I started to compose with meaningful dialogue, I realized two words distracted fingers from sailing across the keyboard. They were “in love”.

Love is easy. “In love” takes on a new persona.

I remember the movie “Love Story” with the famous line: “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.”

That’s just not right! Saying you’re sorry is a part of love. If one can’t push those two words out as eloquently as the two that puts us together until death do us part...I’m sorry, but the ‘I do’ will be flat lined here and there.

I’d venture to say the words “I do” are easier to say than “I’m sorry” in most marriages, no matter how long they last or don’t last.

Saying either of the sets of words is a big step. The first is a  commitment one to the other. The latter should be as easy flowing through the lips as the first.

Why then, is it so hard to say? Or admit.

Pride? Ego? Anger? Hurt? Betrayal? Stubborn? The latter is what husband claims as my problem. I concur. Meeting 50-50 is often 60-40 or 75-25 or 80-20. I wonder why I am on the smaller end.

Stubborn. Okay, stubborn!

After thinking of many I know, including husband and me, who’ve been together through good and bad; those who didn’t make it but can still remember they once loved so deeply; and those not yet ready for committal, but have stars in their eyes and love in their heart–I still struggle over “in love”.

I know my being in love means having to say I’m sorry. It may take awhile, but I know over the last 42 years if I hadn’t said them when needed, I’d have bleeding ulcers!

On Valentine’s Day verbally say to each other what’s needed and don’t hide behind hearts, chocolate and flowers. If an apology is in order, do so. If you love them, say so.

Words are powerful, especially when spoken from the heart.

An addendum---chocolate and flowers definitely add a nice touch!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pink Pig Love

(This was not published because, I guess, it was to risque for the newspaper!!! This was Christmas last year.)

Maxwell Smart Dollar, our 18 month old miniature dachshund had a really great Christmas. I have to go back to when he first came; husband had said no more dogs (we’d just lost our beloved border collie Freckles). I thought fine until I fell in love with the most precocious tri-color mini-doxi and he bought me. It was love at first sight.
Daughter and kids were here when he arrived and immediately wrapped husband and them around his paw which is attached to his playful and animated personality. He was spoiled rotten. Everyone loved him and he loved everyone.
Daughter had brought a huge stuffed pink pig which Max immediately thought was his. It was quite funny seeing a five pound long skinny body with short legs running around dragging Pink Pig by the tail. It was love at first sight.
It was a riot until, unfortunately, Max fell in love with Pink Pig. I was horrified because I’d never had male dogs and didn’t know they showed their uh…..affection quite so openly. Funny at first, it became downright embarrassing. He was "in love" with Pink Pig. Really. In. Love.
Pink Pig went to dumpster land because Max couldn’t mind his manners. You’d think he’d have forgotten about her.  We found out that wasn’t so.
Bree and Speedy came over to exchange gifts. She brought me a stuffed red Elvis, with a mop of black hair, a cape and sunglasses! Max wanted Elvis until she put a tiny pink pig in front of him and I kid you not, Max grabbed Tiny Pink Pig and ran around in circles and disappeared down the hall and came back prancing around like he’d won the lottery.
All we could do was laugh.
The reason we know he remembers his first true love, is because Max is OCD (in our house that means Obsessive Compulsive Doggie) with stuffed toys. When he’s given one, it is like clockwork seeing how long it takes to get all the stuffing out, find the squeaker and drag the leftovers around to play pull and tug.
Tiny Pink Pig is in perfect condition. He carries her around by her little curvy tail. He brings her to lie down beside me to nap with her. It's so ridiculous I almost feel badly about dumping Pink Pig…I had no idea!
New pink pig is small and hopefully Max has grown up.
I’d like to think so.
I doubt it though.
He is a male.  

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bathroom Technology

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

New technology is a big deal. The most updated, speed demon, exclusive computer in a matter of months is outdated. Same for TVs and cell phones.

The ladies room is one area of technology I never dreamed would irritate me to no end.

Used to one could go to there and everything was easy.

The toilet paper dispensers didn’t look like flight panels to decipher and toilets were manually flushed. Now buttons are hidden and sometimes on the wall. The scariest is “no hands”---meaning the thing goes crazy by standing up!

Water flows readily by putting hands underneath the faucet. This is only after you have looked and squeezed anything looking like it turned on or off. 

Soap dispensers vary. One can push, pull, slide or put a hand underneath and soap automatically releases. Soap used to be soap. It looked, smelled and washed like soap. Now big squishes of foam blobs out and it doesn’t look like soap. It smells too pretty and we can only hope it’s really soap.

By the time the soap is on and rubbed in and around, the water’s off and you find yourself standing in front of a mirror with hands similar to a doctor’s pose. Only difference, they look professional and you have soap foam and water running down to and dripping off elbows.

My personal favorite is the way in which you can dry those hands. There are so many ways and each one a polar opposite of the last one.

There’s the blow and go. I dislike these. There is just something wrong with blow drying drippy hands. Blow dryers are for hair.

I prefer the handle that’s obvious. I spent so much time looking for a way to get paper out on one machine my hands were air dried. A lady who was waiting finally showed me it was a swirly hard-to-see thing on the side.

The ones I really don’t like are those that require a swift move of the hand. There is always a picture showing one “how to” but they don’t always work for me. I swish here and there and at one point I felt I could give the Karate Kid a run for his money.

Men’s rooms must not be as complicated because husband always asks, “What took you so long?”

I don’t even try to explain.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Possessive Pew Person

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

I never suspected I’d be a possessive pew-dweller hugger.

Yesterday I found I might be.

Bree, Speedy, husband and I generally sit on the 2nd row, right side of the pulpit. Yesterday, the pianist’s friend was in our seats!

I was in the nursery waiting for the nursery worker and Bree came to give me the news. We were going to be sitting on the front row.

“What?” I don’t think I’d ever sat on the front row.

“It’s either that or ask that man to move.” Bree sighed.

“You think he would?”

She refused to ask, so front row it would be.

I never dreamed so many things came into actuality on that row.

There was no place to hang my feet. There was no place to put my coffee to readily reach. There was just no place to hide writing notes.

Mind you, not notes back and forth (okay maybe one or two); but notes on future writing projects or grocery lists or even notes on the sermon.

I sincerely hope the preacher thought my note taking was on his well delivered discourse. I should’ve known better because of the twinkle in his eye as he walked my way was surely to alert he was on to me!

This does not by any means denote when on the second row I’m actually hiding anything. It’s just that on the front row, one feels so vulnerable and exposed. Open to finger pointing. Although my preacher doesn’t point fingers, I mentally felt them yesterday. It was though he automatically took this row as the accountability row.

The way I see it, I can get into enough trouble by myself without having any extra guilt, pressure, or wrongdoings thrown my way.

That front pew added pounds of responsibility. I even looked back once noticing a few empty seats available. However they were on the wrong side which is another malfunction in my pew selecting. I can’t hear as well on the other side. All in my head I know.

The front row pew blues is all in my head as well.

I fully intend to be there early and snag our seats next Sunday. Maybe even ask pianist boyfriend to move.

I already feel the nagging voice of God saying “Does it really matter what row?”

Have you ever won an argument with God?

Me either.