To Be Or Not to Be a Pepper #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

This is the question Hamlet would have asked if he and his doctor had the same conversation my doctor and I had last week during my annual wellness visit. “Your triglycerides are slightly higher than normal,” she told me. “Although they’re getting into the pre-diabetic stage, they’re nothing to worry about yet. You just need to cut back on sugar. Do you drink soda?”

“Yes, I drink Dr. Pepper but only one can a day.”

“Well, that one can a day has too much sugar.”

“But I drink it for the caffeine, and I don’t care for coffee or tea.”

“Caffeine is good for you, but the sugar isn’t. Do you drink any juice?”

“Yes, one glass of orange juice with breakfast.”

“Many juices have too much sugar. Genetically, your body can’t handle it.”

“But I drink orange juice for the calcium.”

“Since you consume plenty of dairy products, you’re probably getting plenty of calcium.”

“What about protein shakes?” I asked. “Would they be a good substitute for orange juice?”

“Many of those have too much sugar,” she answered.

For once, I wished I wasn’t wearing a mask, so she could see my face. Needless to say, I left the clinic with a heavy heart.

Then, I got to thinking. For years, I’ve been consuming only one can of Dr. Pepper a day. Why now are my triglycerides slightly higher than normal? Granted, soda plus orange juice plus protein shakes plus the hot chocolate, ice cream, and brownies I forgot to mention might be a bit too much sugar. So, I can cut back on everything else, but I’ll never give up my daily Dr. Pepper caffeine fix. I’m a Pepper through and through.

To prove it, here’s a poem I wrote years ago that appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. You can click the link below the poem to hear me read it.

 

Ode to Dr. Pepper

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Copyright 2011

 

I like to swallow its cold carbonation,
feel it come back into my mouth in the form of a belch.
Oh, that feels so good!

I drink it in mid afternoon.
It helps me get through the day.
I sometimes consume it in the evening
when I’m sleepy, and it’s too early for bed.

In the good old days,
I drank a lot of it,
just what the doctor ordered.
Now, the doctor says it has too much sugar
so I limit my consumption to one or two cans a day.
What would I do without it?

 

Ode to Dr. Pepper

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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My Favorite Commercials #OpenBookBlogHop #TuesdayTidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is:  “What commercial do you hate? What commercial is your favorite? (YouTube link us if possible) Have you ever got an idea for a story from a commercial?”

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I don’t watch television anymore. There just isn’t a lot I like to watch now. So, I don’t even pay for cable. That having been said, I remember three commercials from my childhood.

 

Armour Hot Dogs

 

As a kid, I loved hot dogs, plain, with no ketchup, mustard, or bun. When I was little, my mother sliced them into bite-sized pieces that I could eat with a fork. When I grew older, I enjoyed picking them up and biting into them. I don’t know if my mother ever bought Armour Hot Dogs, but I sure loved the jingle.

 

Oscar Mayer Bologna

 

I wasn’t into bologna as a kid, but as an adult, I like to eat it every so often, either in a sandwich or sliced into a salad. When I make my grocery list and decide to buy it, I often sing the last part of this jingle to help me remember how to spell it.

Dr. Pepper

 

Last but not least, here’s a commercial for my favorite soda that I still drink today. Years ago, I was inspired to write a poem about Dr. Pepper, which appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. I’ll paste it below the video, along with a recording of me reading it.

Ode to Dr. Pepper

 

I like to swallow its cold carbonation,
feel it come back into my mouth in the form of a belch.
Oh, that feels so good!

I drink it in mid afternoon.
It helps me get through the day.
I sometimes consume it in the evening
when I’m sleepy, and it’s too early for bed.

In the good old days,
I drank a lot of it,
just what the doctor ordered.
Now, the doctor says it has too much sugar
so I limit my consumption to one or two cans a day.
What would I do without it?

 

ode to dr. pepper.mp3

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How about you? Do you have any favorite commercials? What advertisements don’t you like? You can either sound off in the comment field below or participate in this week’s Open Book Blog Hop.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Let’s Talk about Food


Thanks to Aman Khan for this tag. I couldn’t have seen this at a better time, since I was running out of ideas for my regular Tuesday posts. Here are my answers to twenty-five questions about food.

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Q1. What’s your favorite breakfast?

A. I don’t have a favorite breakfast. From day to day, I alternate between oatmeal, bagels and cream cheese, breakfast sandwiches, and pancakes with either sausage or a ham and cheese omelet. Most of the food I eat comes from Schwan.

Q2. How do you drink your coffee?

A. I don’t. I’ve never liked the taste. It’s funny, though, because I like coffee-flavored ice cream once in a while.

Q3. What’s in your favorite sandwich?

A. I like a sandwich with lettuce, onions, mayonnaise, cheese, and either lunchmeat or tuna or chicken salad. Once in a while, I’ll eat a hamburger.

Q4. Soup or salad?

A. I like them both. In a restaurant, I often order soup with a sandwich unless they have macaroni, potato, or pasta salad. When I order an entree, I usually ask for a salad. Most restaurants serve huge portions, and soup, I think, is too much, in that case.

Q5. No more sweets or no more savories?

A. I like both sweet and savory foods, although they may not be as healthful.

Q6. What’s your favorite cuisine?

A. Again, I don’t have a favorite. I like American, Mexican, Italian, and even Chinese.

Q7. What’s your favorite food movie?

A. I don’t have a favorite movie with food in it.

Q8. What’s your most guilty pleasure?

A. Chocolate.

Q9. The tastiest food I’ve ever eaten was?

A. I’ve eaten a lot of good food in my life, but I don’t remember the tastiest.

Q10. What’s your favorite cookbook?

A. I don’t have one because I don’t cook much anymore. Even when my late husband was alive, the recipes I used came either from him or from friends. You can read more about that in My Ideal Partner.

Q11. What’s your greatest inspiration source?

A. Now that my late husband is gone, I’m not inspired to cook as often. Most of my meals come ready-made from Schwan.

Q12. Cooking at home or going out?

A. I eat most of my meals at home, but once in a while, I’ll go out to eat with friends.

Q13. High end or low profile?

A. I like major restaurant chains and local establishments.

Q14. What’s your favorite restaurant?

A. I don’t have a favorite, but there are some I don’t like. I’m not very particular, though.

Q15. I do my grocery shopping at?

A. I rarely go to the store myself. With my limited vision, this can be tricky, even with someone to help me find what I need. Instead, groceries are delivered to my home once a week from Albertson’s and once every other week from Schwan.

Q16. Coffee with Leonardo Dicaprio or Gordon Ramsey?

A. I don’t know any of these people, and I don’t drink coffee, but I wouldn’t mind having a Dr. Pepper with Alan Alda.

Q17. What should not be missing in your kitchen?

A. The refrigerator, the microwave, and the stove.

Q18. What is your favorite snack?

A. I don’t usually snack between meals, but occasionally, I’ll eat a slice or two of just plain cheese.

Q19. What’s on your pizza?

A. Everything except jalapenos, anchovies, and guacamole.

Q20. What foods do you really dislike?

A. Peanut butter and liver and onions.

Q21. What’s the one food you refuse to share?

A. Although I won’t eat anything if someone else’s mouth has been on it, I don’t refuse to share any food.

Q22. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

A. Kale.

Q23. What’s on your food bucket list?

A. I don’t have a food bucket list.

Q24. I couldn’t live without eating?

A. Anything.

Q25. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would you eat?

A. Chocolate ice cream.

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Now it’s your turn. On your own blog or in the comments field below, answer any or all the above questions. Also, if you have additional questions about my eating habits, please feel free to leave them

below, and I’ll answer them. I look forward to hearing from you about food.

***

Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

***

How I Coped with Summer

Now that fall has come, I reflect back to “those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,” and as the song says, I wish we could just stay in that season. Like most, this past summer went by way too fast. It wasn’t as long or hot as other summers. Of course, like everyone else, I complained about the heat, but I had my ways of dealing with it.

The window air conditioning unit in the spare room was my best friend. With the help of ceiling fans scattered throughout the house, it kept things pretty cool. I drank plenty of water, as I always do. With a few pieces of ice, it also kept me cool. Then of course, there was my old pal, Dr. Pepper. It was just what the doctor ordered, although it took away some of the water I drank, but that was okay because I could always drink more water.

On summer evenings when the weather cooled, I sat in my back yard and did email or read a book, slapping mosquitos when necessary and eventually moving indoors to avoid being bitten. I sometimes went with friends to concerts in the park, where we bought ice cream at a nearby stand.

In the early mornings before it got hot, I took long walks by the creek, feeling the cool breeze caress my bare legs and arms. It was a great way to start a hot summer day.

When I was growing up, my family often took trips to the mountains to cool off during the summer, but now, my family is either dead or scattered across the country, and I don’t have many opportunities to visit the highlands, especially since I don’t drive.

In my younger adult years, I attended a camp for the visually impaired on Casper Mountain, approximately 200 miles south, then west of Sheridan, Wyoming, where I now live. Here, I made friends and learned computer and other skills and had plenty of opportunities to walk in the woods and enjoy nature. Although the camp is still there today, there’s no adult program anymore due to an unwillingness by the state and other entities to pay for it.

Now, summer is gone, and fall is upon us. I already miss those days of relaxing in my back yard with a Dr. Pepper and a good book, the sounds of band music floating through the air at the park, the salted caramel ice cream I enjoyed during such a concert. Oh well, there’s always next year, isn’t there?

How did you cope with summer heat? Are you glad fall is here? Why or why not?

 

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Ode to Dr. Pepper Revisited

I blogged this poem twice already, but after reading Thompson Crowley’s poem about making and drinking tea, I was inspired to post it again. It appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. You can click below to hear me read it.

 

Ode to Dr. Pepper

 

I like to swallow its cold carbonation,

feel it come back into my mouth in the form of a belch.

Oh, that feels so good!

 

I drink it in mid afternoon.

It helps me get through the day.

I sometimes consume it in the evening

when I’m sleepy, and it’s too early for bed.

 

In the good old days,

I drank a lot of it,

just what the doctor ordered.

Now, the doctor says it has too much sugar

so I limit my consumption to one or two cans a day.

What would I do without it?

 

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.