Category Archives: small town USA

Hear, Here – –

Once again Jack’s Wednesday post is on Thursday – but here’s why

Wendy and I went to visit friends in North Carolina over the weekend where we would be joined by other friends, one of whom was celebrating a birthday. So six of us enjoying a relaxing time while we gossiped, blethered and caught up on our pandemic lives.

Except – I had noticed earlier in the week that Wendy seemed to be talking more and more quietly.

I am practically deaf in my right ear due to an un-diagnosed infection many years ago and a few years ago I was persuaded to get a pair of hearing aids. I duly inserted them before we set off and packed spare batteries just in case.

When we got to our destination and met up with our pals it was obvious that I had a problem. I changed the batteries but no difference. I checked the tiny filters and they were both clogged with wax. Oops – no spare filters! Aarrghh – the dreaded wax in my ‘good’ ear, which has sometimes happened in the past.

Our friends, like us, rescue cats so a syringe was easily produced and much sluicing ensued, but to no avail.

I was due to record radio shows yesterday at Dirk’s excellent home studio so I was worried. Not only that but Wendy was telling me things and I had no idea what! What had we just bought??

So from Sunday until Tuesday I Regularly put in the fizzing drops and lay on my side, then sluiced with warm water. Finally, as in the past, it just suddenly cleared – what a relief!

As I get older I appreciate the senses I still have – eyesight is not as great but still there; Sense of smell long gone but the reason I like spicy food; hearing still there as long as I don’t let the wax build up!

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Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

Life’s Little Sweetnesses

Tomorrow I am leaving my day job at noon and my husband and I are driving our wee red Prius across to North Carolina. Bruce the dog is staying with his girlfriend and her parents. (It’s okay; everyone is fixed.)

Jack and I will pile into Susan and David’s house and await the arrival of Beth and Brandon early Saturday, all of us so happy to see each other. It has been two years, because David had cancer before the pandemic hit and was in infection control already. Such an over-achiever that one, always has to be first.

We girls–Brandon, whose nickname is TNB, which is short for That Nice Boy Beth Married, calls us the sister wives. Don’t get the wrong idea–will make bathbombs while rocking out to Meatloaf. Anything for Love is the greatest stirring song ever for making luxury bath products. We will do a viking raid on Trader Joe’s and the liquor store (both of which are particularly good in Susan’s area.)

David and Jack and Brandon will probably watch Monty Python and maybe we can convince them to go someplace for a couple of hours so we can put on some other 80s hits too. You never know.

We will all pile into a restaurant that has a table waiting, and we will get silly with margaritas and martinis. Susan hardly drinks at all, so she usually winds up driving. Susan has the really good paints and the Sculpy clay; I have the bath bomb stuff and Beth has the essential oils. It will be a glorious weekend.

Throughout the pandemic, we had weekly Zoom meetings, sometimes joined by friends Barbara and Oliver in Britain. But it’s not the same as face to face. Since we missed several birthdays, plus the Thanksgiving Holiday we often tend to spend together at a resort after family duties are accomplished, I made each of them their favorite desserts as presents for the in-between ones. Because Susan is also a cancer survivor and she and David are on restrictive diets, I made them in little individual jars of 4 ounces, so each is a personal one-serving, shelf-stable and ready to eat on demand.

So that’s red velvet for David and for Brandon; they don’t find it odd they share a favorite, since they have similar tastes in many things plus our former cat Beulah, who is a ladies’ man, lives with David but considers Brandon her boy toy. So there’s that.

Beth gets Key Lime Pie, because Beth likes to be unusual, and salty as well as sweet, and we love her that way.

Susan and I share tastes of bitter dark chocolate and deep creams in moist cakes, so she’s getting Italian cream. Plus a personal Nutella.

Oh the sweetness of friendship.

(PS If you want to know how to can cakes in a jar, there are many recipes to try online. Caveat: if you’re new to canning, I really suggest you start with something besides cake. It’s not a beginner exercise and you’ll burn yourself trying to seal the little suckers. Start with something that water baths.)

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Filed under Life reflections, small town USA, Wendy Welch