Fifty-Two Pies

I love a well-stocked pantry. It makes me feel good to can and freeze food so that I can pull out good, wholesome “fast food” to serve at a moment’s notice. My husband, Bud loves pie. One summer, we had a bumper crop of butternut squash, so I reasoned it would be a great idea to make some of these up into pies and freeze them. I rolled
enough piecrust to build a driveway, prepared large kettles of pie filling, and kept my oven going till I had fifty-two beautiful butternut pies ready for the freezer. My kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off, but I was proud of those pies as I wrapped them and stacked them in the freezer, anticipating the pleasure of pulling out a pie from time to time to enjoy after a good meal with family and friends, along with a good story.

It didn’t exactly work out as I planned. I hadn’t taken Bud’s love of pie into consideration but I did get a good story out of the deal. Bud was delighted with “his” pies. All the food at our house undergoes an immediate conversion the minute it is cooked and becomes “his” as in, “Is there any more of my apple pie?” or “Who ate the last piece of MY pie?” I wouldn’t dream of making a dessert to take to work without making an identical one for home. I don’t know if he would be more hurt if I “ran around” or “cooked around” on him. He still hasn’t forgiven me for giving away a strawberry-rhubarb pie over twenty years ago and still brings it up regularly.

Anyway, Bud and I had pie after dinner that night. It was delicious. He finished the pie off the next day after lunch. When he went to get “his” pie after dinner that night and found the pies all frozen, he was horrified. I explained to him, again, that I made them to freeze and serve over the next few months. Apparently, my first explanation had gone straight over his head, like so much of my mindless babbling. (We’ve been married fifty_two years. That’s how it works.) Frozen, in relationship to food he was planning to eat right then, is the F word at our house. We try to avoid it.Heartbroken and betrayed, he self-righteously pulled a pie from freezer and left it on the counter to thaw overnight. He consoled himself with butternut squash pie for breakfast the next morning, adding it to his new breakfast menu. That was just the start. Unless there was another dessert on the menu, you can bet Bud had butternut squash pie, sequentially going through that mountain of pies in less than three months. When I had the satisfaction of eating the last, lonely piece of the final pie, Bud spoke what were very nearly his last words, “You ate my pie!”


All’s Fair

A trucker stopped at a roadside diner for lunch and ordered a cheeseburger, coffee and a slice of apple pie. As he was about to dig in, three bikers stomped in.

One stared him down, grabbed his cheeseburger and took a huge bite from it. The second one drank the trucker’s coffee, and the third gobbled down his pie. The truck driver didn’t say a word as he paid the waitress and left.

As the waitress walked up, one of the motorcyclists growled, “He ain’t much of a man, is he?”

“He’s not much of a driver, either,” the waitress replied. “He just backed his 18-wheeler over three motorcycles.”

Ask Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda,

My husband and I have been married fourteen years.  We have been trying to have a child for ten.  We recently went through a rough patch and separated for a few months.  I was intimate with an old friend during that period.  My husband and I reconciled and I realized I was pregnant, afterwards.  Either man could be the father.  My husband knows the whole story and wants the baby, either way. This may be our only chance to have a child.  The other man is divorced and recently lost his only child, so it is not unlikely he will suspect the child could be his and want paternal rights.  Both sets of grandparents are ecstatic about the baby, though of course, they don’t know the whole story.   I don’t want this child to be hurt.  My husband’s parents would not welcome a child not of their blood.  How do I handle this?  Worried Mama

Dear Worried, If you and your husband are in agreement, that is what matters.  With the possibility of custody questions looming, I would be proactive and do DNA testing at birth and talk to a lawyer pending results.  Many families have to share custody.  As far as the grandparents, I can’t see how it would help them to have extra time to worry.  Good luck.


Auntie Linda,  My sister is a serial marrier.  She is thirty-eight and has been married four times and had numerous relationships and children with two exes. She has a well-established pattern.  While in a relationship, she meets the love of her life, and begins clandestine affair, while raging and abusing the current guy, before moving on to next relationships.  All of her husbands have been good guys but I have become reluctant to become close to her current husband since he probably won’t be around long.  She is already becoming critical of him, meaning he will soon be history.  In other relationships, she has maintained contact with  “friends” during her marriage, becoming increasingly involved as her relationship or marriage falls apart.  Recently, her husband asked to speak to me about their marriage.  I’d rather not get into her behaviors or history.  It is awkward for her children and the rest of our family to have to deal with her ever-changing partners.  Over the years, we’ve had so many come and go it’s odd to see who is in holiday pictures.  How does family maintain relationships without getting dragged into multiple relationships? Tired of love

Dear Tired, You needn’t feel any responsibility beyond common courtesy.  It’s not your job to defend or explain your sister.  People should go into relationships with their eyes wide open, understanding people with a history of many broken marriages and relationships are not a good risk.  That’s a lot of baggage.  You might just as hubby #4 if he can count and wish him luck.

Ask Auntie Linda

Auntie LindaDear Auntie Linda, My husband, Bob, had a cancerous kidney removed four years ago. Our marriage was never good. He is a truck driver and did well until three weeks ago when he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor after a seizure. Now, he is unable to work. His prognosis is poor and he needs my health insurance. We have three children. I had already told him I was leaving before all this happened. I could never leave him, now, with him being sick. He had already confronted me because of some text messages and emails he found, though I am pretty sure he has been unfaithful as well. He knows I have gotten involved with Mike, co-worker. I want a relationship with him.

Bob, our children, and I are all devastated by Bob’s illness and terminal diagnosis. They know I was leaving before all this happened, and immediately they all started saying I had to stay now. I feel awful about Bob’s illness. I know I am hopelessly stuck. Both our families are involved now. We live in small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Our minister has already been here to visit.

I know I have to stay and care for Bob till the end. That is not my issue. Mike is very supportive. He understands I cannot leave Bob and isn’t asking for that. There is a workshop for my job I must attend in San Francisco next month. Bob’s parents will be coming to stay with him and the children while I must be gone.

Mike wants us to be together that week. I don’t see how it would hurt since Bob knows how I felt before his illness. I wouldn’t hurt Bob by rubbing his nose in it, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t take this opportunity since Bob knew I was leaving him before his diagnosis. Am I wrong to want some happiness before what promises to be a miserable, lengthy ordeal?  Molasses Molly

Dear Molasses,  No, you are not wrong to want happiness, but this is not the time to put yourself first.  Escape will not solve your problems.  Examine your conscience.  You know Bob’s time is limited.  If your relationship with your children is important, don’t lose sight of the fact that it will be impacted forever.  Their sympathies will be with him.  If the ethics of that don’t concern you,  being involved with a coworker may be a sexual harassment issue, not to mention the damage to your professional reputation and possible job loss.  On a more practical level, you and Bob share a financial situation.  You could be left with astronomical expenses should you lose your job.

I suggest you back off, support Bob and the children through his illness, and consider your needs when the situation changes. I can’t see how adding another problem to the mix will help. Auntie Linda

P. S.  Old Mike sounds like a real buzzard.


Dear Auntie Linda,  Our parents had to go in a nursing home a year ago because two of my sisters and I could no longer care for them at home.  My father had end-stage lung disease requiring professional care.  Mother has early Alzheimer’s Disease.  Though she appears fairly functional on visits, she requires constant attendance since she wanders off and can’t manage her daily care.  The problem is, my father died three weeks ago.  Now, one sister who lives several hours away insists Mother is well enough to return home with some help.  Of course, Mother is all for it.  The problem of managing her care would fall on me and my two sisters who live near Mother.  Even though she appears pleasant and competent, Mother can not be left alone.  She was leaving burners on even before she went in the nursing home.  Several times we had to go looking for her in all weather.  Even though we have made this clear to my sister, she insists Mother can manage with home health.  She says we (not her) can check on her a couple of times a day.  The responsibility of Mother’s care would fall on those of us who live in town, and we have already tried everything.  I am worried my sister will move her home over our objections.  What do we do? Exhausted

Dear Exhausted, Make it clear to your sister that you will not accept responsibility for caring for your mother at home.  If your sister insists on bringing her home, involve the social worker and adult protection if necessary.  Your sister cannot force you to assume responsibility.



Dear Auntie Linda

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, I was out to dinner with a group of friends from work when John, an old boyfriend, spotted me and stopped by our table. We were a couple for a few months until I realized he was a narcissist and I realized I needed out. I don’t know why I ever went out with him to start with since he had three ex-wives and four children. We remained on vaguely friendly terms, so I wasn’t surprised he stopped off speak to me. me. Part of the reason we broke up was because I found out he cheated with old girlfriends the whole time I thought we were in a committed relationship. That, and the fact the he became more critical and more manipulative the whole time we were together. I am now happily married with a new baby., now, and want nothing to do with him. One of our group posted a picture with names of everyone in our party.

When I came back from three months maternity leave, Jody, one of my office mates was excited to tell me that John messaged her after seeing her on Facebook. John has moved in with her, and they plan to marry right away. She was over the moon with joy. “John treats me like a princess. John is crazy about my kids. We go out to dinner every night. He wants to get married right away and have a baby.” She is a friend as well as co worker. I feel awful for her. She is smitten. This is John’s pattern, as I sadly learned.

I was very non-commital, but am torn over what, if anything, I should say to her. I don’t want her to think I am still interested in John. On one hand, I like Jody and work in the office next to her. She knows John and I were a couple and has asked a few questions. I don’t want to go into our history, but feel sure she is headed for trouble. I dread having to see it firsthand, especially at work on a daily basis. Should I try to tip her off or just let the chips fall? Been There

Dear Been There, If Jody asks for advice, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give generic advice like, “I always encourage people to take the time to get to know their fiancé well before jumping in with both feet.” Chances are, she’s made up her mind. Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, my husband and I are retired. We both worked hard and split the chores while we worked. I did most of the housekeeping, cooking, and laundry. He did the mowing, car care, and bill-paying. Since we retired, I work outdoors a lot, because I enjoy it, still cook two meals a day, and do all the household chores. The problem is, I spend a lot more time working now that he does. He doesn’t want to pick up any household chores or pay for cleaning help, even though we can easily afford it. How do we settle this? Katie the Cleaning Lady

Dear Katie, Is your husband inclined to be fair in general? Sounds like he doesn’t want to give up a good deal. It depends on whether you are willing to do. If he is unwilling to do some swapping, let him eat whatever he wants to fix for dinner and leave his laundry. Cold cereal, peanut butter, baloney sandwiches and canned soup are way cheaper than big meals. You could save grocery money and pay cleaning help. If he is not interested in change, it’s up to you. Let some stuff go. Auntie Linda

Funny New Year’s Resolutions

image image image image image image image image image imageI resolve to work with neglected children. (my own).
I will answer my snail mail with the same enthusiasm with which I answer my e-mail.
When I hear a funny joke I will not reply, “LOL… LOL!”
I will not ring the stewardess button on airplanes just to get her phone number.
I will balance my checkbook. (on my nose).
I will think of a password for my computer other than “password.”
I will try to figure out why I “really” need 11 e-mail addresses.
I will go into McDonald”s and order a McSpreader
I will go into McDonald”s and order a McSlurry
I will find out why the correspondence course on “Mail Fraud” that I purchased never showed up.