Happily Ever After–Just for Today

Written By: Jackie Weger - Aug• 16•14
Jackie Weger

Jackie Weger

For the first time in my life this week I shopped online for something other than a book.  I saw a pair of fab shoes on a Bingo pal last week and she told me she  got  them on Amazon.  I’m a writer.  I live on Amazon, but it never occurred to me to shop for clothes, or jewelry or shoes.  Now it does.   I’ve had a good week.  Actually, I’ve had a good month thus far. I got a nice royalty check, I won two back-to-back jackpots at Bingo, everybody I know is alive and well and my latest book is on my editor’s desk getting its last soft edit and final proof. Here’s the snag. My writing cave needs a good cleaning. My desk is a wreck. But I’m superstitious. I don’t clean it or move a single piece of paper or note or list of words or character outlines or bits of  dialogue or my dictionaries until the finished book is published.  So! I need something else to clean.

I don’t know about you, but I can live with dust bunnies hugging my ankles.  I easily ignore the ironing board that has been up in the kitchen for a month.  I was gonna put it away but the cats love it. So I left it up. All of the empty boxes my Amazon goodies came in are lined up on the thing and the cats are using them for safe harbor. It is bad luck to sit on a bed after it’s made, so I don’t make it up anymore.  Hey! I’m on winning streak at Bingo,  I’m not touching the thing. I can live with it.  But what I cannot live with is a dirty, disorganized fridge. Not dirt, dirt, but you know what I’m talking about–those five bing cherries I was gonna pit and put in a salad. Didn’t. The two lettuce leaves I was saving to broil fish on. Forgot about ’em and fried the fish instead. I boiled eggs a few days ago for stuffed eggs.   Cooked too many so told my keeper to  put the  extra eggs in the jar with sweet pickles and I use ’em in a salad later. So he did. He didn’t shell them first. As soon as I learn how to sell stuff on eBay, I’m selling him. I’m starting the auction at a penny. Won’t go over a dime.

Since my kids are grown and gone  foods stay in the fridge. I somehow have not been able to make that transition to shop for one or two instead of seven and friends with hollow legs.

I have learned a few tricks. I can make a pint of sour cream last six weeks. After opening, just store the container upside down in the fridge.  I have a garden. Did you know you can freeze corn in the shuck and three months later boil it in the shuck? Tastes as if you just harvested it. I tried that with yellow squash. Didn’t work. Bell pepper either.  Now this does work: At first frost pull up all of your tomato plants and hang them upside down in a  closet or the laundry room. Tomatoes won’t grow

Cleaning the Fridge

Cleaning the Fridge

larger, but they won’t rot and will continue to ripen until New Year’s Day. No Lie. Check for tomato worms first, though. If you don’t, the cats will.

Even stranger, when I lived in jungle villages and off islands,  I lived, shopped, cooked and ate  like the natives.  Staples were an 8# bag of rice and coffee. Everything else one bought at a tiny tienda or harvested fresh every day. No fridge. No left overs. No Saran wrap.  If you happen to have a banana shrub in your yard, pluck a leaf. There is some kind of chemical in the leaf that retards spoilage. Cut an apple  or head of cabbage and put the cut side on the back of side of the leaf. Stays fresh for days.

I don’t know what it is. As soon  as I hit stateside… I’m back to living the American way.  And here I am with a laundry basket full of foods not fit to eat–never mind the expiration dates. I am so overloaded with guilt. I compost, but I look at the dollar value of the waste.  My fridge is sparkling. Now, I have to hit the grocery store.  I shop at Kroger. They send me coupons and give me senior citizen’s discount on Kroger brand. That’s nice. Guess what else. Kroger has an author program. Yes, they do.  You can take your own Createspace books, do an autographing, they put a little sticker on your book and at the end of the day, add up all of those stickers and  give you your $$$.   I did a book signing in Publix a couple times when I lived in Florida. I sold books. At K-mart, too.  But today, I’m just grocery shopping and on the way home I’m stopping at Taco Bell for take out–cause I’m too tired to cook.

Y’all have a good one.




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  1. Rich Meyer says:

    Great post, Jackie.

    Half the time we end up eating out, since it’s just as cheap most times than to cook for two. Well, two-and-a-half with all the little furry beggars, that is. 🙂

  2. Rich Meyer says:

    Though I’d never start an auction on eBay out at a penny myself … nowadays, that might also be where it ends up.

  3. Jackie we are the same way. It’s just me and my husband, but we do some gardening and that keeps us out of the supermarket a little. The nearest Kroger is a half hour drive from me. I didn’t know about the author program they had. That is pretty cool. I live in a small town so I use AZ prime for two day shipping. I shop online for everything. LOL

    • Jackie Weger says:

      I am so not going to have five cents left out of my royalties or Bingo $$$. I am so hooked. I love my new sandals, earrings and snuggie with matching booties. I used to adore the Sears Catalogue. Broke my heart when Sears phased it out. But, I can handle shopping on Amazon. I just noticed if I’m buying a gift, Amazon ships it direct. No more wrapping and hauling packages to the post office. I’m in luuuv.

  4. Dale Furse says:

    I didn’t know that about banana leaves. I’ll be planting some soon so thanks for that. 🙂

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Dale! Do cut out that center stem. You cut the leaf into squares or close, roll them up and boil them in a pot. That makes them supple. In Mexico and Texas we use corn shucks for tamales. In Panama and Costa Rica, we use boiled banana leaves. The tamales are square. We make our own string, too, out of the type of palms used for Palm Sunday. We strip off the hard outer edges and boil it. That stuff is strong! The palm grows wild in tropical countries, but there are some who farm the palms in Guatemala for export to the U.S.and Canada. Aren’t I just full of esoteric tidbits? Useless here, but a cultural necessity in Central America.

  5. Jackie, you always make me laugh – I love the guy who pickled the eggs in their shells – but I always learn cool new things from you, too! Thank you!

  6. Mary Smith says:

    I embarked on a binge clean-up of my study the other day. It now looks worse than before I began but I know I have achieved something whenever I look at the big binliner bags full of rubbish – where did it come from, why did I keep it? There’s also a growing pile of books for the charity shop and a few boxes of files I can store in the attic. I will get it licked today then sit down at my clutter free desk. Maybe I’ll start on the fridge next and follow some of your tips, especially the freezer part which has lots of mysterious little tubs of unidentified frozen dinners I never labelled when I put them in there over the months (years?).

  7. Donna Fasano says:

    Wait. You have a keeper? I thought I was the only one who had a keeper! Aren’t we the lucky ones (most days)? 🙂

    Donna Fasano
    Prima Donnas

  8. What a delightful post! I fully sympathize with the dust bunnies and the misplaced ironing board. I’ve always been anything but paranoid about house-cleaning and since becoming an indie author, my tolerance levels to untidiness have risen even more. I do have my pet peeves mind you; like I can’t leave dishes in the sink for example and if something hits the floor it has to be picked up at once, but as for chores like ironing and dusting, forget about it 🙂

  9. Pete Barber says:

    Great tip about the tomatoes. I’ll definitely try that out. I always have a bunch left on the vine. We don’t have much of a food wastage issue because we feed our scraps to the chickens–amazing animals, chickens. they eat just about anything (except carrots) and they give us lovely eggs that taste like . . . eggs (as opposed to the runny pale things sold in the grocery store).

    • Jackie Weger says:

      I can have chickens where I live. Neighbors have goats and horses and somebody has a cow because it trots across my back yard now and again. But, I can’t get rid of my feral cats. I love having a few hens. I need to rethink it. Since the great fires we had in my area of Texas a year or so ago, we now have coyotes and a fox in the wooded areas. Clotheslines and chickens. Oh, and a family of racoons. For the moment they are doing chicken duty!

  10. Great post. Congratulations on your good month, especially the nice royalty check. I can relate to the part about bad luck siting on a made bed, so you just don’t make it. Ditto here.

  11. Jackie, you are so funny! It’s your sense of humor that keeps you going…and helps you ignore those “dust bunnies.” I used to be an organized person, but as I got older, many things that seemed “important” fell by the wayside. My office is a disaster, too–and I’m afraid to touch anything. Someday, I’ll get my act together…but it won’t be today!

    Congrats on your great month, and best wishes for your continued success.

  12. Mimi Barbour says:

    Here I am, sitting in a ferry terminal with my laptop on my knee and people staring at me because of my giggling. You sure do create mind pictures with your words, Jackie. Loved the post.

  13. Neil Ostroff says:

    Great post, Jackie. Love it!

  14. Julie Frayn says:

    I told my daughter about the tomato trick. She has a whole herb and veggie garden this year, and her first tomatoes 🙂 Cool about the author program. No Kroger’s up here!

  15. Jenny Harper says:

    Jackie, you had me in stitches! I have no idea what half your store cupboard ingredients are, and we don’t grow banana plants in Scotland, but you sure conjured up some fine images!

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