I probably should consider doing a weekly Wednesday One. That's more my speed.
I like to tell my Texas friends that, when I was growing up, my parents had connections. My friends, knowing I'm from New Jersey, start eyeing their cutting horses' heads a little nervously and wrack their brains trying to remember if I've ever mentioned an Uncle Guido or Cousin Rocco.
The truth is, my parents' connections were much less interesting. Basically, most of them were farmers who would give us mass quantities of food for little or no money. One even gave me my first job - as an illegal alien. Well, okay, not technically, but I was doing the work of an illegal alien, and that work involved the backbreaking task of picking acres of strawberries for ten cents a quart. Ah, America, the land of opportunity. Come here, and you can live below the poverty line AND blow out your lumbar discs! The party never ends!
Anyway. Another one of my parents' connections is a commercial apple grower. Every fall my parents bring us a big load of apples, just in case Texas breaks away from North America and drifts off into the Gulf of Mexico and we can never buy applesauce again.
So I have been busy making apple pies, apple cake, apple bread, apple cookies, baked apples, and apple pie filling preserves. Because I still have an entire bushel left, I am researching how to make socks and underwear from apples. I'm also toying with a homeschool project idea: I'm going to give each kid 50 apples and tell them to go be Johnny Appleseed. They can come home in a year or when their first tree sprouts, whichever comes first.
While my parents were here, we put up 25 quarts of applesauce. Applesauce production is pretty much a group effort, which is interesting when you've got a teenager who's using a butcher knife as a percussion instrument instead of cutting fruit, another person running the strainer that's spewing Lake Apple Juice underfoot, and four idiot dogs that roam the kitchen, fighting over apple scraps, which give them gas that will cause chemical burns in your nasal passages. And in the midst of it all is my father, a diabetic who hasn't checked his blood sugar in, oh, three years, yelling, "It needs more sugar! Put another five pound bag of sugar in there!"
Actually, I have a theory about apples. I'm almost 100% certain that the fruit with which Satan tempted Eve in the garden was an apple. Maybe a plum. And here's why. I suspect Eve was about 8 months pregnant at the time. I mean, think about it. First of all, the woman is pregnant, so she'll eat everything that can't run away from her. And - this is a key point - the apple was easy to acquire. You think Satan could have tempted her with a strawberry? I don't think so.
Serpent: Hey, doesn't that strawberry down there look sweet and juicy? Don't you want to eat it and have the knowledge God has?
Eve: What are you, nuts? As if I'm gonna bend over with this forty pound belly in front of me. And if I did get down there, how'm I gonna get back up? It's not like you can help me - you ain't even got arms. And that Adam sure won't come help me up. He says I have mood swings. Can you believe that?! The man is hiding over by the lions' den, like he's all scared of me or somethin'. Now push that rock over here so I can sit down. My feet are starting to swell and my bladder's givin' me fits. And is it just me, or is it hotter than Hell today? Seriously. 'Cause you'd know, right?
Parenting tip of the day: Let your kids eat off-brand, half-price Halloween candy all day on November 1st, and by 5:00 pm they'll be begging you for some green beans. Honest to God, it happened at my house.