Free-Range Croutons, Random Thoughts
By Beth Quinn
I have a package of croutons in my bread drawer labeled “free-range croutons.”
I confess I have no idea what that means. I can only envision millions of croutons roaming the Badlands of South Dakota, occasionally being knocked for a loop by some aggressive free-range tumbleweeds.
I supposed they’re in search of some free-range water, perhaps some organically certified, lite or light, fat-free or reduced fat, low sodium, naturally flavored water.
That kind of water is hard to come by and very expensive. Just ask the free-range croutons.
I feel virtuous about having the free-range croutons in my drawer, just as I feel virtuous about the organic mac and cheese I have in the cabinet for my grandkids. But I have no idea what the point is except to please their parents, who are big fans of organic things.
I bring this up because I’ve spent the past couple of days painting my husband’s office. I have a lot of free time for thinking when I paint, and random thoughts entertain me as I stare at the growing swaths of non-organic grey paint I’m putting on the walls.
Here are some more free-ranging thoughts that have gone tumbling through my head these past couple of days:
Why did they – whoever they are – change the “use by” date to a “buy by” date on food at the grocery store? Knowing when it will go bad was far more useful than knowing when the store should have pulled it from their shelves.
This is the Year of the Single Mother, and I’m glad they’re finally hitting the big time. Obama’s mom, Sonia Sotomayor’s mom – they deserve a lot of credit. When I was a single mother, my singleness was blamed for every small infraction my kids committed. (“Well, that explains it! He colored the sky yellow and the sun blue because you’re a single mother!”) Of course, Bristol Palin whining about how hard it is to be a single mother isn’t doing the cause any good.
The clothing catalogs are changing color names again. For years, “tan” was good enough. Then the marketing people decided “oatmeal” would be an improvement. I want to puke when I see a bowl of oatmeal, so I never buy oatmeal-colored sweaters. I’m happy to report, though, that oatmeal is finally being ousted. Now it’s called “dirt.” I’d buy a dirt sweater before an oatmeal one any day.
You can never have too many tubbies.
My hairdresser Liz has a number of rules she lives by, but my favorite is this: Cowlicks must be respected. This picture of me as a kid shows
what happens when your uncle the barber fails to respect a cowlick and, instead, smooshes your bangs flat to trim them. The cowlick jumps back into position as soon as he lets go.
The Great Squirrel Uprising of 2007 is continuing. The squirrels are sacrificing themselves for their cause, which I think is to get rid of the people. They’re hurling themselves in front of cars and, each morning on my walk, they race down their tree trunks to stand chattering in front of me and block my progress. I don’t know what to do about it.
Sanity needs to speak louder. We’ve got a lot of crazy people in this country shouting about DEATH PANELS and and how GUNS BELONG IN CHURCH!!!! I think the sane people among us need to speak louder instead of assuming that people couldn’t possibly be listening to crackpots. You know who’s listening to the crackpots? Congress. Speak up, sane people! Call your congressperson and your senator and say something sane and encouraging.
Why isn’t there a light in the freezer? My freezer is in the basement, and if there’s anyplace you need a lighted freezer, it’s in the basement. I have to take down a flashlight to find the ground chuck.
I was following a dump truck the other day when I noticed that sign on the back: “Construction Vehicle – Do Not Follow.” What does that mean? I don’t know what’s expected of me. Should I turn off into a nearby parking lot?
I went off yogurt this morning. I’ve had a yogurt every morning for at least three years now, but this morning I decided I couldn’t stand it anymore. I don’t know why. That happened to me once before when I stopped drinking V8 after 10 years.
I don’t know why, but the more expensive your bike is, the less likely you are to have a kickstand. It seems to be a rule among bicyclists, but I don’t understand it. I like a good kickstand.
So there you have it. Free-range thoughts. If you have any of your own, you’re welcome to add them to this list. I’m running out of random thoughts and wouldn’t mind thinking yours for a while.
Beth can be reached at beth@ZestofOrange.com.
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