Saturday, July 17, 2010


   The other morning my wife and I were home when the phone rang. She was in the bathroom using her water pic and I was at the computer. We both picked it up at the same time and when she heard my voice she said "You take it", which I did.

   Yes, it was someone calling for a donation of some sort and as usual I was going to be polite and tell them no thanks before I hung up. As she was speaking I heard this loud noise like a garbage disposal or mixer coming through my earpiece. It was very disturbing and loud. I asked the woman on the other line if she also heard it. I could barely hear her answer "YES". "Is it coming from your end?, I asked. "No I don't think so" she replied. "Well it's not coming from my phone and I can't hear you so I'm hanging up." Which I did.

   About three or four minutes later I walked into the bathroom where my wife was still using the waterpick and I started to tell her what happened on the call when I noticed her phone lying on the sink. Yes, she never hung up the phone and the noise was coming from her machine. Well, that's one way to get rid of an un-solicited call.

   Another way to stop these calls is to tell the caller "Hold on a second" and put the phone down. About a minute later you'll hear the beeping noise telling you they've hung up. Or you can say "I'll call you right back" and hang up. I know that most of these people are just doing their job so I try not to be overly rude but if you'd be so kind and e-mail me your phone number, I'll be sure to pass it on. Don't forget to also leave your date of birth and social security number.


Monday, July 12, 2010


   Saturday evening my wife asked me to bring in her two bread machines from the garage. "It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow" she says. "I think I'll make some bread". To her, making bread means, making challah, her great tasting egg bread. The recipe is usually handed down from Mother to Daughter but since the invention of the bread machine, the procees has changed.

   "It's time to bake for the holidays" she tells me. OK that means at least three or four loaves. She has to have enough to give to the kids to take home. After about two hours into the baking a loud "Oh sh-t" is heard, one of the machines has burned up. The machine was one of the first she had purchased and I guess it had run it's time and decided to retire from  the kneading torture. "Honey, she always calls me Honey when she wants me to go to Target, can you run up to Target and get me another machine?" Off  I went, "Oh, I also need some yeast, more bread flour and sugar", she added.

   The reason I called her a machine is because by the end of the afternoon she had baked 9 challahs after throwing away the one that was in the machine when it fatally expired. After each one would come out of the Breadman she would put it on a tray and lay it covered with a dark cloth on the hood of her car, to rise. Her next step would be to put egg wash and poppy seeds on the top and into the oven to bake, rise a little more and remove a beautiful golden brown challah. 

   This year she did not braid the challah as she did in the past and instead of long loaves, they were round, it was easier on the hands, but still as delicious as ever. Our apartment smelled like the old time bakeries. She added yellow raisins to about half for those that love that additional sweet taste.

   Later, after everything was put away, she collapsed into her chair and exclaimed "I'm done for the day, what are you (me) fixing for dinner?" If she hadn't had her shot during the week, there is no way she could have stood for that long. Thank goodness the spasms were disappearing. The photos below are not actually correct but I put them in for effect. I'm sorry that most of you will not be able to share this wonderful treat, baked by my wonderful wife.

                                                                                                                  If she had braided
Forming the challah

Sunday, July 4, 2010


   I was thinking again, a dangerous thing to do, about the Fourth of July. Does it mean the same to most people or is it just another day off? Growing up, the fourth meant family get togethers, lots of food, fun with my cousins and one of my uncles setting off the fireworks.

   Those days are long gone as are my uncles. Four of the neatest guys and greatest uncles a young man could have. I always considered them my older brothers. My youngest uncle, Hy, was only nine years older than me and I guess we were the closest especially in later years. My uncle Carl who was the first to pass away and the oldest, was the one who always hugged me the hardest and for the longest time. I believe he really enjoyed my silly routines. My uncle Nate seemed to be the one that was the coolest with a great smile that always made me believe that he was the luckiest guy in the world and worked his butt off to provide for his family. My uncle Paul, I remember because of his red Pontiac convertible that he let me drive to my Senior Prom. Also, the uncle that I could never figure out. It seemed to me  (but what would I know) how did he survive and provide for so many years without having a job. He also had the greatest tan, highlighted by the bluest eyes just like my Mom, I always thought that he should have been in the movies.

   I miss those old days when the family would all go out to Milwaukee Woods or as we called it back then Milwaukee Shmutz, (dirty) for our giant picnics or the summers that were spent in Union Pier or South Haven Michigan, each family for two weeks at a time, while the husbands worked in the city and would come up for the weekends.

   Being the older generation now,  our kids thank goodness, spend most of their time with their children and we spend our time with our family of friends. I'm not saying that we're forgotten by our children, far from it. We spend a lot of quality time together and there are no better kids than ours. I'm sure many parents say the same thing but our children are really the best. I'm not trying to start any controversy so your reactions to this statement is not necessary.

   We, us older folks remember what the fourth is about so much more than the younger generation. As far as having a day off from work, it doesn't mean too much. So enjoy the holiday and stay safe. Remember, don't hold those firecrackers in your hands.