I ♥ Pickles

Pickles.  Why are they so good and why am I SO addicted to them?

pickle2

When I was a young girl, I craved pickles.  Dill pickles that is.  It was something about the sour taste and crunch that my body craved.  I’ll never forget being at my friend Dawne’s house and her mom would buy the pickle spears – OH.  MY.  GAWSH.  I fell in love.  I came from such a large family that my parents could not afford to buy pickle spears so all we had growing up were hamburger pickle slices which were yummy and did the trick but a pickle spear was GREAT!

 

As a young adult, I found my cravings didn’t slow down at all.  I also like green olives for the same reason (not as much as I love pickles) for the salty sour taste.  I also noticed that pickles would settle my sour stomach which was a benefit.

As a teenager, my friend’s mom actually pickled okra and let me try it and I was BLOWN AWAY!  She had every variety of pickle under the sun; sweet, dill, bread and butter, hot, spicy, etc.  I had no clue and was AMAZED by this new revelation.  She pickled cucumbers, okra, and even green tomatoes and each one was better than the next.  Something about the home canning of pickles that has a whole new taste and experience.  All the tlc that goes into canning veggies is truly amazing and to have someone let me try their finished product was beyond words.  I was hooked.  She had an entire pantry of pickles in every shape, size, and taste.  Oh, what I wouldn’t have done to live there!

pickles

When I was pregnant, my body desperately craved HOT pickled veggies.  I would go to the store in the middle of the night to get them.  I would sit down and eat an entire jar.

As an adult I even enjoy “pickles” in my salad.  Much like they serve at the Olive Garden – the pepperoncini pickled peppers.  Pickles.  Why are they so good and why am I addicted to them?  Not only are pickles and pickled peppers very popular, but there is a wide variety of pickled vegetables on the market today. Some are found nationally, others regionally. They include pickled asparagus, beets, cauliflower, cocktail onions, green tomatoes, okra, sauerkraut, sweet mixed vegetables, sweet pickles with raisins, and more.

pickledokra

 

If I order an Italian beef I must have the pickled hot peppers on there too.  Love the hot crunch to go along with my food I guess.  I even enjoy dill pickle relish on my hot dogs.  Seems there’s a pickle for every situation 🙂

Fast forward to this day, still eating and enjoying pickles on a daily basis.  I can eat an entire jar in one sitting with no problem at all.  I eat them for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner sometimes and just skip the meal completely.  Not sure why I’m so addicted but there’s no denying it- I am, wholeheartedly.

 SOME PICKLE FACTS:

 A Peck of Perfectly Plausible Pickle and Pickled Pepper Facts

  • Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservation, discovered at the dawn of civilization, thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia.
  • North Americans prefer pickles with warts. Europeans prefer wartless pickles. Refrigerated pickles account for about 20 percent of all pickle sales.
  • International Pickle Week is one of the country’s longest running food promotions –it’s been observed for more than 50 years. IPW actually runs for 10 days during the last two weeks of May.
  • According to the U.S. Supreme Court, pickles are technically a “fruit” of the vine (like tomatoes), but they are generally known as a vegetable.
  • Americans consume more than 2.5 billion pounds of pickles each year – that’s 20 billion pickles! And since it takes almost 4 billion pickles to reach the moon, all the pickles we eat would reach the moon and back more than 2 times!
  • Pickle Packers International has its own official limerick and theme song – the Pickle Polka. The pickle got its name in the 1300s when English speaking people mispronounced William Beukelz’ name – he was a Dutch fisherman known for pickling fish.
  • The phrase “in a pickle” was first introduced by Shakespeare in his play, The Tempest. The quotes read, “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle�”
  • On his voyage in 1492, Columbus not only discovered America, but gave peppers their name. In search of black pepper from the Orient, he assumed the spicy pods used to flavor foods in America were a form of black pepper and mistakenly called them “pimiento,” or pepper. Actually, the plants are not related at all.
  • The “hot” sensation one experiences when eating pickled peppers is caused by Capsaicin. This powerful substance can be detected at one part in a trillion.
  • During WWII the U.S. Government tagged 40 percent of all pickle production for the ration kits of the armed forces.
  • When you eat hot peppers, the pain receptors on the tongue react and cause a physical reaction called “sweating.” You start to salivate and perspire, your nose runs, your metabolism speeds up – this is all the body’s reaction working to cool itself.
  • Good pickles have an audible crunch at 10 paces. This can be measured at “crunch-off” using the “scientific” device known as the Audible Crunch Meter. Pickles that can be heard at only one pace are known as denture dills.

Pickles – Past to Present

Few foods could be considered more a part of Americana — we’ve been eating pickles since Christopher Columbus discovered America. Since then, the pickled cucumber has evolved into a favored snack and recipe ingredient that is available in more than 36 varieties.

Pickle history began sometime around 2030 B.C., when inhabitants of Northern India brought cucumber seeds to the Tigris Valley. Soon, cucumber vines were sprouting throughout Europe. Shortly thereafter, people learned to preserve the fruits of their labor by pickling them in a salty brine. By the 17th century, the crunchy pickled cucumber had made its debut in the New World. Early colonists grew so fond of them that in 1820, Nicholas Appert constructed the first pickle plant in America.

In fact, America was named for a pickle peddler — Amerigo Vespucci. He was a ships chandler, outfitting vessels scheduled for long explorations with vitamin C-packed pickled vegetables — particularly cucumbers — to prevent scurvy among crew members.

Through the years, pickles enjoyed a flourishing reputation. From continent to continent, the world’s most humorous vegetable made an in-dill-able impression on monarchs, presidents and even military men. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, believed they contributed to health and beauty. Queen Elizabeth I developed a passion for pickles, as did Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Troops under Julius Caesar and Napoleon relished the thought of having crunchy pickles at meal time, and during World War II, the U.S. government earmarked 40 percent of pickle production for the Armed Forces.

Pickles also played a part in folk medicine. Many people believed that sour pickles helped balance the acid-alkaline content of the body and destroy bacteria in the digestive tract.

Many modern-day celebrities are reported to be passionate about pickles. Actor Bill Cosby, sexy Brooklyn-born actress Fran Drescher (The Nanny), ex-New York Mayor Ed Koch and Guardian Angel-founder Curtis Sliwa are just a few recognizable names that are rumored to be pickle connoisseurs. Late Night host Conan O’Brien has a giant plastic pool pickle in his office, and hip-swiveling rock ‘n’ roller Elvis Presley liked to eat fried pickles.

Now in their 4,000th year, pickles are big business. They grow in more than 30 states, with Michigan and North Carolina the prime purveyors of pickled produce. And because Americans are so passionate about pickles, pickle packers everywhere continue to work hard to produce pickle products to please even the pickiest palate.

PICKLE FACT CREDIT GOES TO:  I Love Pickles

a11111

 

Monthly Writing Challenge: Favorite Childhood Book

31 Day Blog Challenge:  Day 17 ~ Favorite Childhood Book

This is an easy one.  My favorite childhood book is, “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.  Oh, how I love this book to this day.

THEGIVINGTREE

Even as a young girl it touched me that this tree gave him everything.  Made me wonder how a child could be so selfish and the tree could be so forgiving.  What a lesson.

THEGIVINGTREE2

“AND SHE LOVED A LITTLE BOY VERY, VERY  MUCH – EVEN MORE THAN SHE LOVED HERSELF”

writing-challenge-blog

a11111

Monthly Writing Challenge ~ Dream Job

31 Day Blog Challenge:  Day 16 ~ DREAM JOB.

I love these writing challenges but cannot stand it when there are similar questions on them – I’ve answered this twice before and I didn’t bullet point my day yesterday because my days are so damn boring.  Same old shit, just a different day.  My life is being lived via autopilot right now and I have nothing exciting to say.  Rare-ft-ft-ft!

Dream job.  My dream job would definitely not include a cubicle as it does now or working the night shift.  It would be staying home all day long, setting up my craft room just “so” and crafting and creating all day long.

I would have a “theme” and it would flow.  I would know exactly what I wanted to make and wouldn’t have my hands in so many pots at one time.  I am kinda all over the place as far as creating goes and would love to find my niche.  I see other crafty people that have found their niche and I’m sooooooo jealous.  My head is all over the place and I cannot settle on one thing.  I’d like to be diverse but at least have a theme or something that makes my clock tick – to find my passion.

To find my passion and to run with it- turning out hundreds of items that make my heart happy.  For a while I was quilting, then I started to make glass bubble refrigerator magnets, then I was drawing birds, then I was drawing t-shirts, decorating the office, scrapbooking, etc.  I’d just love to find the one thing that makes my heart sing.

That would be my dream job.  Nailing down a hobby that brings me and others so much joy and to be able to make a good living doing so.

What is your passion?  Are you lucky enough to have found it or nailed it down?

writing-challenge-blog

a11111

Bad Habits

Bad habits. Share yours and why you won’t give it up. Ever.

There are so many bad habits I have developed over the years, where do I begin?  I think the first one I’ll share started off when I was approximately 11 years old.  I was ice skating with my sister and niece and told them randomly at that very moment that I decided I was going to start to swear from then on.  LOL.  I cursed up a storm that day and am pretty sure I got my bad temper and LOVE of swearing from my father (God rest his soul).  When he was pissed, a whole string of curse words came floating out of his mouth.  In the same order each time and with such veracity.  Over something as silly as spilt milk or misplacing his keys or a tool from his work bench.  I’ve had a trucker mouth ever since.  I’ve tried to quit and refrain from cursing in front of my granddaughter but other than that, all bets are off- I’m dropping f’bombs like there is no tomorrow.

swearing

I trash talk big time when I’m driving.  I mean no harm and I believe a lot of it has to do with the area that I live in but yes, I will say calmly under my breath, “Stay right there you rat bastid” when someone looks like they are going to pull out on me.  I am continuously doing this and I didn’t even realize it was a “problem” until one of my dear friends from Arkansas was visiting and we went some where and I was driving.  She said, “Annebella, I cannot believe the way you talk in traffic!” and I just couldn’t believe it wasn’t “normal”.  She stated that where she is from, she is constantly waving people on to go ahead of her and they are very polite where she is from.  LOL.  Not here.  It’s drive, or be driven over.  You have to be very defensive and if you thought where I lived was bad, you should try driving in NYC or Jersey.  That’s where it’s drive or get driven right over.  It’s a bad habit but one I don’t think I’ll ever stop!

kitty

I have OCD, and the daily rituals I have are enough to drive even me crazy.  I have to wake at the same time each night for work.  I have to leave the same time for work every single night.  I have to stop at McDonalds and get my sweet tea before work.  I have a total routine for my day and I follow it to the “T”.  It brings me comfort and security but actually, it’s pretty annoying.  I even arrive for work 1/2 hour early every night, leaving my car in the parking lot at exactly 9:30p for my start time at 10p.  I have to have 3 stirring straws in my coffee, I have to use 3 paper towels when drying my hands, I have to ALWAYS have a glass of cold beverage with ice at all times.  These things are just a few of the many things I do 🙂

ocd

That’s about all I can think of for now but I assure you there are more bad habits than that.  What are some of your bad habits?  Do you want to stop them or is it beyond your control?  Or do you even care if you stop it?  LOL.  I don’t care if I stop these anymore, the guilt is gone and I can live with myself.

a11111

 

Writing Challenge ~ What’s in my Handbag?

31 Day Blog Challenge:  Day 14 ~ What is in my handbag?

What’s not in my handbag should be the question of the day.  I’m one of those “big purse” people.  I have everything but the kitchen sink in there baby.  I think part of it is born out of working night shift because I have to be stocked-up on so many things in the even that I don’t feel well.  In my job it’s not like I can pack up and go home at 3am when I don’t feel well so I make sure to have everything on hand, I’m kinda like a walking pharmacy as far as OTC meds go.

I’ve got my cell phone, my vape, my chargers for my cell and vape, my day planner, brush and ponytail holders, make-up, chap-stick, perfume, receipts,  ear buds, nail file, hand sanitizer, tweezers, and so much more…..

What’s in your purse?  Do you carry a large purse like me or a little one?  If you do carry a little one I need to know HOW DO YOU DO THAT?  LOL!

This purse was purchased for my from my youngest son Zeek and given at Christmas.  I was so happily shocked and have been carrying it ever since.

and the messy inside:

a11111

writing-challenge-blog

This is What I Do. . .

How’d You Get Started In Your Career? And How’d You Get To Where You Are Today?

So, 14 years ago I applied for an overnight position in the telecommunications department at a large hospital.  I’ve been here ever since.  I thought I’d be sitting behind a rotary phone taking one call at a time and it would not be complex whatsoever.  Boy, was I wrong.  It was a computer software program that the ladies were working on with a headset and also answering the code phone while answering for 100’s of physicians answering services as well.

It looked so complicated but I was willing to give it a try.  I excelled and found that yes- I would be taking inbound and outbound calls through the hospital.  These days we are the answering service for 100’s of Dr.’s and also answer the code phone first and foremost.

When a nurse on a unit has a code; they ring down to the operator (me) and I am the 2nd line of defense.  I do an overhead page, send out pages to the group that responds, and also make some calls to make sure all have responded.  It’s a high stress, fast paced job and I need to know how to do it before it happens.  So, being brushed up on all codes is of the utmost importance.

The job has grown exponentially over the years with our answering service becoming more than twice the size.  The codes have expanded and the job is basically like working in a little 911 center.  I am so proud of the job that I do and I love it.  Each call is different.

I’m that person on the other end of the line when you call your child’s physician in the middle of the night to have the on-call Dr. paged.  That’s me.  I will take your information, call the Dr. at home and connect you to him/her.  I am that person that will react in the event of a code blue (cardiac arrest) and make sure the proper procedures are followed so that care can begin for the patient.  Like I said, each call is different which keeps it from ever being dull.

I started on the night-shift all those long many years ago as a way to care for my kids during the day.  My son was 11 and my twins were 7 at the time and I just could not afford to get a sitter for during the day so I decided to try nights.  I was made for the night-shift.  All those years of being a night owl and someone was actually going to pay me for staying up all night (I was doing that anyway), this allowed me to be home during the day in the event that one of my kids became ill at school and needed to come home.  I never needed a sitter because my husband works days and is home all night long.

I am also in charge of monitoring the medical gas air flow alarms, the fire-board, the code blue annunciator, and the back-up emergency generators. This job entails so much and to this day I have questions or situations come up that I have never dealt with.  It’s amazing.  I learn something new weekly and things are always changing.

It has served me well and I’m so blessed to be a part of this great team.  We definitely have great teamwork in this department and I love working with the people that I work with, we have become so close over the years.

I cannot see myself doing anything else.

hospop

a11111

A Letter To My Mom ♥

A letter to my mom.

Dearest Sweet Mother,

I just want to tell you how I think the world of you.  The sun rises and sets on your very being.  I think you were born one of the sweetest, kindest, most understanding, and loving people I have ever met and consider myself so lucky to be yours.

You have taught me so much over the years (had I only listened I would have saved myself a lot of heartache).  You have taught me not to worry so much, patience, hard work ethic, forgiveness, to have a big loving heart.  You have taught me to put others first and to take good care of my family.  You always had time for a hug and a kiss, for a cuddle and a love.

You were never to busy for a hug or an “I love you”.  You taught me how to sew, how to cook, how to keep a clean house, how to raise my children with love but with discipline.  You have taught me right from wrong and showed me the way when I was lost.  You’ve taught me to draw, you’ve given me a love for nature, and even taught me how to prune a tree.  You gave me the gift of enjoying the little things in life and how to appreciate a glorious day.

You have taught me how to stand tall in adversity and how to manage money.  You have taught me how to be a good wife and mother, and now how to be a great grandmother.  You’ve always turned the other cheek and I have learned to be a more relaxed person because of your patience and courage.  You’ve taught me to show love when nobody is showing love to me.

The little things you did for me growing up have stuck with me through my lifetime.  From singing little songs, “I love Annie, boo-boo-boo-booboo-boo-boo” (which I now sing to my granddaughter) to Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy, a skittly ivy-doo wouldn’t you-ooh?  The way you use to ask me to sit on your lap so you could cuddle me and tell me that you love me.  From my straight blonde hair where you always found a random curl in the back – turns out I have curly hair these days and it must have been from when you found that curl!

Raising 12 kids and two of your own granddaughter’s could not have been easy.  I often think about you sitting at the bottom of the basement stairs and telling me how you cried when you looked at all the laundry to be done and it breaks my heart for all that you have gone through.  With dad working full time to make ends meet you had the brunt of the stay-at-home mom situation all on your own.  You amaze me that you raised all of us and we are all doing great.  We are all productive citizens and have you and pops to thank for that.  What further amazes me is the love I was shown even though you must have been so busy.

I look at you and see an 87 year old angel.  There is a special place in heaven for you Mz. Plum and I know dad will be happily waiting for the day when you both get to meet up again.  You are a highly intelligent woman that I’m so proud to call my own.  I have learned so much from you.  You’ve always got the answer when I need help with something and your advice is unwavering.

You are a talented artist and I admire your skills.  I love to see the creative cards you come up with for my birthday every year.  Hard to believe an 87 year old woman is still mastering the computer and making hilarious cards.  I have always loved your wild and wicked sense of humor.  You always bring a smile to my face.  You never complain, even when you are in pain.  You have a heart of gold and would give the shirt off your back to anyone in need.

You do more now at 87 than I do at 47 which astonishes me.  I’m so proud of you for your continued weight loss and your commitment to water aerobics.  I love that you are close with your family and how family is so important to you.  I love checking in on you and our long conversations.

Thank you for being a mentor to my son Zach- for teaching him the ropes and teaching him how to garden and other various hobbies.  Thank you for being there for him and having such a close bond with him, it means the world to him and to me.  I love to see the two of you together – you just “get” each other and I’m so happy for that.

I thank you for my life.  You have given me such a great life and I’m eternally grateful for all that you have done.  I wish to be 1/2 the woman that you are in this life.  You are calm under pressure and have an understanding that things will work out however they work out and you don’t get your panties in a twist.  I learned that even under the worst situations to keep my calm and composure because it does no good to get out of control and let the situation take over.  I’ve seen you do this first hand and it taught me a great life lesson.

I love that you are a talented singer, and I loved the voice mail message you left for me on my cell phone on my Birthday when I missed your call.  It must have been a joy traveling the world with your sisters growing up singing with the big bands.  I know where I get my talent from – musically and artistically.

I love your faith in Jesus Christ our Savior.  I love your dedication to your religion and am so glad you taught me this from a young age to turn my troubles over to the Lord.  I love that you taught me to to turn the other cheek, to forgive others, and not to hold a grudge.  I love that you attend mass every week even though I know you are tired and would rather stay in bed a little longer.  I’m humbled by your beliefs and know that they are true and right.  May God always bless you and keep you seeing things on the positive side and keep you smiling daily.

If there is anything I can ever do for you, you know I’m just a phone call away and I’ll be there asap.  I love you mom, more than the “Whole University” and will forever be grateful for all that you have done for this family and for me.

I love you to the moon and back.

Love,

a11111

Blog Writing Challenge ~ Day 12. Winning the Lotto :)

31 Day Blog Challenge:  Day 12 ~ If I wont the lottery….

Ya know what?  I wouldn’t mind winning the lotto but I’m realistic and know my chances are not well so I do not ever associate my life with “winning the lotto”.  I wouldn’t even need to win that much ~ even a few unexpected thousand would be helpful.

If I won the big lotto – I honestly don’t think I would change much.  I’d take care of the people that I love and care about.  If it was a substantial amount I’d love to open up a foundation for animals and for veterans.  I know I would travel more to see the people that I love so much.  Especially blogging friends that I’ve known for years.

I know this is a boring answer but it’s realistic.

Below is the writing challenge that I’m doing this month and please feel free to join in if you’re having writers block.  🙂

 

writing-challenge-blog