Monday, May 30, 2011

A poem about trees and another about Jalapenos, along with a ramble.

Very Tall Trees
Laura J. Bobrow

One day I stood under a very tall tree.
The leaves were so high I could hardly see them,
And I'm certain the leaves couldn't see me.
"Well," I thought, "I'd like to be higher."
So I went and got the wheelbarrow,
A rickety old box and a rubber tire.
It took a lot of thinking to get them arranged just right,
And they almost reached to the very first branch....but not quite.
So then I got a telephone book, the watering can and chair.
And when they were altogether, I said to myself, "There."
I said to myself, with one foot in the barrow.
"I'll just climb up this tree and go visit a sparrow."
There's no trick to balancing on a rickety old box
If you know how to rick when the rickety box rocks.

"If mother could see me", I thought on this tire,
"Why where on earth are you going?" she'd inquire.
And I practiced my very most I-Don't-Care looks
As I stood on one hand on the telephone book.
But then when I got to the watering can,
It wasn't as easy as when I began.
I had one foot on the handle, and one on the spout,
And I wasn't afraid, I was looking about.
I waved to the birds. I breathed some air,
And I could have made it up onto the chair,
When along came the breeze,
Which tickled my knees,
And I started to sneeze
And kerplunk! I fell down as nice as you please.

Which is what is the matter with very tall trees.

The Cardinal thinks humans should grow wings.


The first photo was taken at Meadowlark Gardens, the second is of our son Brad many years ago when we were with my family in England. I have shared this photo before and decided to revisit it for this poem. The third one of the Cardinal was taken when he settled on a branch out back.

Gregg and I ran errands on Saturday and during the evening we were invited to attend the surprise going-away party of that little boy in the tree, now 31 years old, as he is getting a promotion and leaving his present place of work. All his friends and colleagues decided to throw him a party at one of his favorite restaurants. The party didn't start until around 9.30 p.m., the guest of honor didn't arrive until ten. It was fun chatting to all the people we see on Facebook after Brad has posted photos of their out-of-hours get-togethers. We felt like we already knew everyone and have met several at Lisa and Brad's wedding. Lisa used to work there also, and that's how she and Brad originally met.

The restaurant stays open all night and the party went on into the wee hours but we left around 11.30 having had a wonderful time chatting with everyone. Such nice, nice people and they are very much like a family. It was super to see how our son and daughter-in-law had such a close bond with the people they had worked with. I'll have a photo to share in the next day or so.

I made the mistake of drinking two or three cups of coffee and did not sleep very well. Sunday morning I couldn't jump out of bed very quickly, still feeling very much in the land of fog. Gregg, who spent many years in his navy days being used to the constant rumblings and the hum of engines on ships, and at one point slept under the deck where jets were continuously landing on the carrier, can sleep on a line-post. He got up after a good night's sleep and a short while later surprised me with breakfast in bed bless him, serving up a few slices of previously cooked steak that he had sau·téed with the eggs, left-over asparagus from lunch a couple of days ago which I had forgotten about, along with toast and topped off with a glass of orange juice. I told him he is getting to be quite a good chef as he is a great experimenter in the kitchen when he has the time.

We drove over to Lisa and Brad's to drop something off a couple of hours later, had a quick chat with them before going our separate ways. We talked about the party. Son will no longer be working with his friends, but thankfully they have both formed lasting friendships.

For dinner Sunday evening I thought I would make a couple of dishes to go along with the Grilled Chicken Fajitas, which I never got round to preparing because of the silly thing I did. One word, "Jalapenos!" Holy moly, wish I hadn't! Only because I joined the ranks of people who didn't wear gloves while seeding the darned things, thinking a jolly good hand-washing would suffice. Don't believe it, use rubber gloves! In my defense I can't remember ever making anything with jalapenos before. We jokingly said - sort of - we might suggest to the supermarket produce manager that he hang a warning notice in very large letters over his ruddy hot peppers.

To give you a quick clue what went on, realizing I got off pretty lucky after later reading about other people's experiences - and we were finally seeing the funny side of things, probably out of sheer relief - Gregg came up with this poem. The two dishes were Pico de Gallo and Guacamole. Simple ingredients and easy to put together you would think, but read Gregg's poem.

Denise: "Peppers, eyes!"

"But I washed my hands FOUR TIMES!!!

"Think how horrible if I had not.

Weird feeling, eyes burning,

Hot spots on forehead.

Eyes on fire!"

Yes I was breathing a sigh of relief after I had spent half an hour dunking my head under water in the bathroom sink, doing a pretty good impression of a snorkeler. I basically had a delayed reaction from cutting up and removing the seeds of two jalapeños. I thought I had taken all precautions. After each time I touched the hot peppers I washed my hands in hot soapy water, and I did this four times. I had already told Gregg all about the dangers of touching eyes after using hot peppers, especially the seeds. About half an hour after our meal I was yawning my head off, I sat down thinking it had all turned out lovely, and without thinking and such a classic no-no, I rubbed my eyes. Who knew? After I had snorkeled my way through that sink full of water, and after drying my very wet head, strange heat sensations that I've most definitely never experienced before crossed my furrowed brow. I also noticed that my fingertips were a bit numb and were feeling the same kind of strange heat. What the heck!

I really did get off lucky because I went on the Internet and found that I was not alone. Amazing how many people out there have had the same thing happen to them. First of all if it had been as bad as some of these poor people had to deal with, I would have called the doctor, a walk-in clinic or as a last resort gone to the ER, but I found it interesting. You can click here to read one very long thread from Great Britain, and click here where one lady had a nasty experience and gives some advice.

Now, after all this, would it stop me from using jalapeños again? Probably not but I certainly would take every precaution, like using those rubber gloves -that seems to be at the top of the common sense list. The result of the two dishes, the Guacamole and the Pico de Gallo, they were excellent and I will post them sometime, that is if anyone is brave enough to make them. It was actually the Pico de Gallo that I ran into trouble with. Tomorrow I will make the Grilled Chicken Fajitas that didn't make it to the table, because I was otherwise engaged diving into the bathroom sink. Plenty of left-overs from both dishes today.

Picture this, an image of Gregg and myself wearing Industrial Strength Welders masks and gloves while eating dinner tomorrow. Maybe I can get him to write another poem?


  1. Aw, too bad you had such a violent reaction to the jalapenos. I have never used them in my cooking and probably never will, though I like the way they taste (in small quantities).

    Congratulations to your son and good luck and best wishes to him and Lisa.

  2. Oh my gosh! I've never worked with jalapenos and now I don't think I ever will. How awful!

    Congratulations on Brad's promotion! You sure have had a lot of wonderful things to celebrate lately. Yae!

  3. Densie, congrats to your son on his promotion. I wish him all the best in his new job. I like Jalapenos but have never tried using them at home myself. After reading your story I probably never will. I enjoyed your photos, poem and post.

  4. Sounds a great leaving party, good luck for the future.
    Sorry to hear of the reaction you got, forewarned is forearmed as they say.

  5. Put oil on your hands first. It rinses better. I eat lots so suffer some, and know not to touch certain things after cutting them up.

  6. Love the poems and boy, what a story about jalapenos. It must have been very uncomfortable. Can you imagine what they do to your stomach. Now I know why I steer away from them. Take care in future.

  7. Thanks for stopping by the WhistleStop Cafe. I'm home from Italy now, so there will be lots of pictures.
    The tip with the oil is a good one when cutting jalapenos... although I don't know that it would have helped for you!

  8. Congratulations to Brad:-)
    What a nasty experience you had with the jalapeno peppers - I don't think I'll be using any soon . . .
    I laughed out loud at the vision of you and Gregg in welding masks and gloves at the table:-)

  9. Great tree poem and tree pics!
    Really like the jalapeno poem, too. I don't cook with jalapenos, but I can imagine the problem. Not fun!

  10. Oh my gosh!! I know it can be so very painful, I have problems with dexterity using rubber gloves, so I have taken to using Mexican canned peppers, I can just lift out the slices with a fork.
    Capsicum is used in pepper sprays for a reason!!!!
    Jane x

  11. I liked the poem and the picture sure is cute. My grandson eats jalapenos on his sub sandwich, so I am going to tell him about your experence. Congratulation to your son on his new job.