Tales From A Hungry Life

January 22, 2014

In Other News…

by Maria Schulz

NEWS FLASH: Here in the Northeast, it actually SNOWS IN WINTER!!!

Such a troublemaker

Such a troublemaker


Here’s what you must do prior to any snowstorm:

1. Run to the supermarket

2. Clear the shelves of every jug of water

3. Elbow your way to the dairy aisle and take every gallon of milk

4. Buy enough eggs to feed a battalion

5. Stock up on Twizzlers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

6. Buy a bag of ice

7. Get 10 cans of Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs

8. Don’t forget the Italian Meatball soup in a can

Here’s what you will probably forget, and really do need:

1. Bags of ice melt

2. A shovel

3. Candles, matches, flash lights in case of a power outage

4. That snow brush/ice scraper for your car

5. Gas for your car and/or portable generator

6. Antifreeze

7. Kitty litter because all of the stores are out of ice melt

8. Regular food so you can cook while you’re home

I remember when snow was fun. Do you? A snow day was filled with endless possibilities. Maybe we would make a snowman. Maybe there would be snowball fights with the neighbors. Maybe we’d even find a sled that wasn’t broken or cracked, and ride it all the way down our hill. Maybe there would even be so much snow that there would be no need to fear getting run over at the end of your street because no cars would be on the road.

A snow day meant looking out your window and seeing a world that was quiet and pristine. It meant bundling up in your feetie pajamas and going back to bed. It meant a break from the endless chaos that was school. It meant no Sister Felicity.

Enjoy your snow day

Enjoy your snow day

So what does snow mean to me now? It means waking up at 5 am and waiting for a call that says I don’t have to risk my life to get to work or school. It means shoveling for hours so I can pull my car out to the curb. It means willing the snowplow to show up eventually. It means dreaming of a future spent on a beach somewhere, smiling when I see that the Northeast is going to be buried in a foot of snow.

It's just snow

It’s just snow

I guess the thing I enjoy most about the snow is HOW FREAKING CRAZY EVERYONE AROUND ME GETS. For days leading up to the snowstorm, people are running around like it’s 1940 and we’re in London during the blitz. You can almost hear the constant “WHIRRR WHIRRR” of the warning siren in the distance when they talk. The conversations always go like this:

“Did you hear we’re getting snow?”

“Yes. Yes I did.”

“Are you ready for it?”

“For what?”

“The snow.”

“Oh, are we having snow?”

“Yes! We’re having snow. The forecasters say it’s going to be at least a foot!”

“Of what?”


I’m not stupid or cursed with short-term memory loss. I just enjoy watching people whip themselves up into a frenzy of anticipation. It’s the same in the summer, except then we’re bracing ourselves for a hurricane.

It’s fun living in the Northeast.

In other news…

The other day, while I was busy stocking up on canned spaghetti and meatballs (because you can’t just whip that up easily), my daughter innocently asked, “What was The Partridge Family?”

I think I love you

I think I love you

Now here was a question that I was actually equipped to answer. I started to tell her about Shirley, Keith, Laurie, Danny and those other two kids who weren’t really all that amusing, and about Reuben Kincaid. I explained that they drove around in a psychedelic bus and did concerts, singing songs like “I Think I Love You,” and “Come on Get Happy.” That’s when my girl told me something that made me reel:

“Reuben Kincaid is dead.”


WHAT? Reuben Kincaid was a character that I loved, especially because he embraced that “I hate kids” sentiment that seemed so prevalent at the time. Adults didn’t coddle or encourage us; in fact, they seemed to despise us. I could totally understand why just by watching Reuben interact with Danny, the little kid who wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to having Reuben as the manager of his family’s rock-n-roll band.

Awww, Reuben

Awww, Reuben

My husband and I barely had time to register this incredible turn of events when Maddie also asked: “What was Gilligan’s Island?”

Since I’m slow, I started to tell her about the 3-Hour tour, and how 7 very unlikely small boat patrons ended up stranded on a desert island. Once I’d launched into stories about Gilligan, The Skipper, Mr. & Mrs. Howell, Ginger, Mary Anne and The Professor, she leveled me with:

“Oh. The Professor died too.”


I can't actually build a canoe, but here's an advanced water purification system….

I can’t actually build a canoe, but here’s an advanced water purification system….

WHAT? This really was a tough day for 1960’s & 1970’s sitcom actors. I have to admit, I never thought much about the Professor, at least not in the way that boys from that era fought over Ginger vs. Mary Anne.

To me, the Professor was kind of an idiot, as was everyone else on that island. Even 6-year-old me couldn’t get through a single episode without coming up with half a dozen burning questions:

1. Why the hell didn’t Thurston and Lovey take a ride on their own yacht? They were rich—why would they get on the S.S. Minnow?

2. How come Ginger had a few ball gowns with her? And why on earth would she get on the S.S. Minnow?

3. Why would anyone go anywhere with Gilligan or The Skipper?

4. So, Mary Anne finally gets a day off from the farm, and she proceeds to go to California to…ride the S.S. Minnow?

5. How come everyone brings trunks of clothing FOR A 3 HOUR TOUR?

6. If the professor is so smart, WHY THE HELL CAN’T HE BUILD A CANOE OR RAFT THAT GETS THEM OFF THE ISLAND? He invents all that other stuff. Maybe he’s just a show-off and finally has a crowd who can worship him as a Super Genius.


A 3-Hour Tour

I expected the series to eventually bring the Professor and Mary Anne together.  Ginger would probably end up being Mrs. Thurston Howell 3rd’s second wife, while Lovey was sent off to live (or not) with the headhunters from the other side of the island. Or, possibly, the other six inhabitants would turn on Gilligan, and NOT save him from the headhunters when they showed up in the first place.

Still, somewhere in my addled head, these sitcom characters go on and on. It’s like I can hear Celine Dion singing that song from The Titanic:

“Every night I see you…I touch you…I feel you. That is how I know that you go on.”

TV characters go on and on…right?

TV characters go on and on…right?

Except it’s not every night. Just when my daughter asks me who these people are in the first place. Personally, I didn’t even realize they were still alive.

There was one more bit of news that was sad and not exactly unexpected: one of the last munchkins from The Wizard of Oz has passed on.

wizard of oz munchkins


I think the real news is that she was still alive—The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939. That’s 75 years ago! Nobody splashes headlines across the front pages that say: “Cast member from Gone With The Wind Dies.” And why would they? Those people were all old in 1939. Just because they’re little people doesn’t mean they live forever. Of course, if I was the last Munchkin still standing (it’s reported to be one of the representatives of the Lollipop Kids), I might start worrying.

And finally, on a non-someone just died note, the Academy Award nominations are in….

Take me home

Take me home


Some people get upset because their favorite stars don’t get nominations (Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips”) or because a movie or star doesn’t get nominated (“Saving Mrs. Banks” with Emma Thompson), but everybody can’t get nominated. With the abundance of awards shows out there, come to think of it, maybe everyone can.

As for me, I’m hoping for a slow news day filled with more riveting snowfall measurements, explanations about the cold air, and hour upon hour of shoveling. I hope my 60’s and 70’s television heroes get a day to relax, and my daughter doesn’t say something like: “What was The Rockford Files?”

Greatest. Show. Ever.

Greatest. Show. Ever.


Wake Up Casserole




This looks like a hearty breakfast/brunch/or “binner” dish (breakfast for dinner). I think you have to be open to substitutions if you don’t have everything on hand. For instance, I don’t have the hash browns, but one of the reviewers suggested tator tots instead. I would suggest potatoes o’brien (check your frozen food section) or line the bottom of the pan with some roasted potatoes that you’ve chopped up and cooked with some red and green peppers, onions, etc. Enjoy!

So, Hungry Lifers: are you snowed in? What news story have you heard that caught your attention? Would you have boarded the S.S. Minnow or agreed to help Danny get his rock-n-roll band off the ground? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks for dropping by.



  1. Maria, if you think they freak out in the Northeast over snow you should see what it is like here in North Carolina. Also there is no snow removal equipment, so if it snows, they have to close school until it melts:) Once that took four days. Just. watching. the. snow. slowly. melt.

    Comment by Lexie Wolf — January 22, 2014 @ 9:39 am | Reply

    • Hi Lexie! Wow, no plows? How much snow do you get? Sitting around waiting for the snow to melt would drive me crazy. My kids would love it though. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — January 22, 2014 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  2. A reply? I’ll give you a reply. I hate snow. Always hated snow. Hated it worst when Wuzzy my best friend caught me in the eye with a slush, or ice ball, and almost put my eye out. The best part was that I had to wear an eye patch just like Tyrone Powers as a Pirate, for about two weeks. By the way my mom didn’t look to sue Wuzzy’s parents because Wuzzy (pronounced Woozy) nearly blinded me instead she bawled me out, after she took me to the Doctor’s for not being careful. Things were different in those days. By the way I hated Gilligan’s Island and The Partridge Family thought they were too asinine to survive. Shows you how bright I am. I also thought Pizza shops would fade away and counseled a friend of mine not to invest in one. The Rockford Files? I think my Mother told me about that one. And I for one feel bad about the death of any munchkin..

    Comment by Bglou — January 22, 2014 @ 10:57 am | Reply

    • The Partridge Family was great TV. I won’t argue with you about Gilligan’s Island, though. That eye patch was probably a good look for you (and of course your mother was right). By the way I wasn’t glad that the former munchkin died…and I used to watch The Rockford Files with YOU.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — January 22, 2014 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  3. We are adults now and I think that might be why snow isn’t fun anymore. We have to worry about all those things that someone else used to worry about for us. I loved walking to the golf course to sleigh ride and then having to put my feet on top of the radiator when we came home. It would be a great bonus if the partridge family was on!

    Comment by Suzanne — January 22, 2014 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

    • Suzanne, you’re probably right. I want to be the child, sleep late, and go outside to play. Oh well. I think I will put my feet up now and watch some re-runs of The Partridge Family. That sounds like the perfect snow day to me!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — January 22, 2014 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  4. Maria, snow days are not what they used to be. You summed it up well but let me add that living in my house with a caged lion of a father of 80 years who paces his room (which is right above my bedroom) starting at 5 am because he is dying to get out and shovel when he knows we will not get out for at least 2 more hours, is so fun. My wife and daughters, whom have off when the NYC school system says get in here to me as an employee, badger me to stay home well before I even know if a snow day will be called. Then I make the decision to stay home and my 78 year old secretary calls me from work and says where the hell are you? Oh the two hour joys of digging the cars out of the snow and creating the perimeter around the house so no snow will melt and flood the basement. Then I watch TV and all you see are the same pictures of the same snow ridden roads and the heroic people who made it to school and work. Well I ain’t no hero or martyr! At my age if I fall or get into a accident I will not heal like I did on those snow days when I was a kid. And to top it all off, the in between the TV reports I see are of the Professor, Rubin, and the last Munchkin being dead. I could take the first two, but a Munchkin? They’re suppose to live forever. Staying home on a snowy day can break the child in you. Is it summer yet?

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — January 23, 2014 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

  5. The WORST part of the snowstorm days were when you thought you’d be able to get a few more hours of sleep in, and some pain in the arse gives your family’s phone number out to the aging public, letting them know that “this is the house that has all the boys in it” who can come over and help you shovel. One particular day, an elderly woman from around the block calls, and lays into dad with a sob story about how she has no one to shovel her property, which is a corner house that is a mini plantation, essentially. You get woken up out of a peacefull sleep & are told to go do it. But the WORST part of it, is when your younger brother, an entrepanurial (sorry if I didn’t spell that right), sort, tells you, “Don’t worry, man. I’ll negotiate the price…..we’ll make, EASILY, 40 or so bucks between the 2 of us!” We get to the old bag’s place, and, as she starts to tell us what she wants done and then precedes to only offer 5 dollars TOPS for each of us….the great negotiater goes into hysterics, laughing his ass off……and your standing there thinking, “C’MOOOON, MAN……. SAY SOMETHING! NEGOTIATE!” But he can’t, because he’s laughing too hard at YOUR expense. He KNEW that you just wanted to be under the covers in that nice, heated home, getting some extra “z’s”, but he just stands there laughing @ YOU! I actually got a measure of “piece of mind” a few weeks after that, when, after ANOTHER snowstorm hit, and I answered an early morning phone call from someone looking for “that home with all the boys in it…….” and I preceded to tell her that she had the wrong number. Bringing back memories for YOU Maria?? I think you’re aware of this story by NOW! And, I’m sorry to hear about “The Professor”….. Russel Johnson and “Reuben Kincaid”…….Dave Madden. I always liked those guys. Don’t know the name of the munchkin, sorry!

    Comment by Paul — February 2, 2014 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

  6. Oh, and by the way, that photo that you have of “The Partridge Family?” That’s not the original cast. The little boy who was the original drummer is not pictured there, he was replaced by that kid you see in the photo. The original kid’s name was Jeremy …….something. Can’t remember. But that other kid replaced the first kid.

    Comment by Paul — February 2, 2014 @ 2:26 pm | Reply

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