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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Feeling Catapulted and a Bit Off

September 10, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I seem to have screwed things up, however, in thinking that it was the season opener at the Fitz this past weekend when in fact the opener is coming up this week. I had a birthday this past week which left me feeling catapulted and a bit off, so it does make sense that I'd make such a mistake, and it is a relief that I can laugh about it. You know, as I get older I see more and more how you've really got to be able to laugh at yourself or you're pretty much up the creek without a paddle. Or a canoe, for that matter. You're just standin' there in your waders looking like your own brand of fool if you can't take a moment and laugh at you.

My parents tell me I've always been able to laugh at my own silly mistakes. When I was three or so I managed to undo the motor from my father's boat while we were out on the lake fishing for perch. I watched the motor kind of undulate down toward the bottom of the lake and said, "Funny!" and began to laugh. My father did not laugh. He did not speak. Instead, he gave me a look, a stern look, with one brow raised high, which translated to, "What the hell were you thinkin'?"

When I was about twelve I was down at the river with my brothers. They'd rigged a rope in a tree up on the bank so you could climb the tree, grab onto the rope, and swing on out over the river. You had to time it just right, though, or you'd swing back and have to catch the tree trunk. Well, I wasn't paying much attention and didn't get high enough on the rope so as it swung down, instead of sailing out over the river like my brothers, I slammed into the sand at the edge of the water. Got the wind knocked out of me and lay there like a beached otter, gasping. My brothers never laughed so hard, and once I got some oxygen in me, I joined in.

There were episodes in high school, of course, when I did or said things that were this side of stupid. When I was a senior I made plum preserves for the county fair. I didn't seal the jars properly and, after they sat on the shelf for a week or two, I opened one up to give it a try before I drove over to the fairgrounds. The preserves tasted like the smell of pig crap. And I'm not kidding you. I took the preserves along anyway, and instead of putting 'em up for judging, I passed 'em around so people could smell 'em.

I think, though, this past week might have taken the cake. My once lost, now found son James, who still lives in Toronto and whose tastes are a bit more expensive than mine, sent me a gift card for half a day at the ritziest spa in the city, The Forest for the Trees. Oh, my. I spent most of Wednesday there, and when I got home the first thing I did was make myself a gin and tonic. Which I rarely do except for holidays and days of pure misery. But Wednesday was an exception.

Let's just say I now have pink fingernails with tiny gardenias in the corners of my thumbnails (I couldn't bear the thought of mango green with a pelican motif). I thought a Brazilian wax sounded exotic, with coconut-scented candles and soft drum music in the background but once it was explained to me, I thought, well, maybe not. Instead I went with a body massage and a facial, and one henna tattoo just for the heck of it. It's a small orchid on my right arm, up near my shoulder. The beauty of it? If you look at it from one of several angles, you might mistake it for a mosquito. A big one. It's making Mr. Sundberg crazy. He has mosquito issues and has slapped my arm twice now.

Ham Spread

Try this next time you host a luncheon for the ladies or pack lunch for the guys.

1 large can deviled ham
2 T mayo
8 oz cream cheese
Grated onion or onion salt
Mix above ingredients. Spread on bagels, buns, bread, crackers, etc. Can be used as a dip.

Good for an autumn picnic.


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