A New State Slogan


Usually by the end of February I am so excited for winter, with its snow and cold, to be over. I’m probably not like the rest of my friends; I do love a good winter snow storm. Of course I feel that way about ALL weather, my fascination started when I was about nine years old and we experienced an F4 tornado in my hometown. Since then, any major weather event piques my curiosity and gets my blood moving. As I have said many times before, “You gotta make your own fun”. Fun, of course, being a relative term.

Maybe I wouldn’t feel the same excitement if I was out with my snow shovel trying to get my driveway cleaned. But I still feel a sense of joyful anticipation when the weatherman tells us that a major winter snowstorm is headed this way. This actually sets off a strange Pavlovian response in me: I hightail it to the grocery store to buy a gallon of milk. I continue this process each day until the storm arrives and it was just recently that I noticed that we had four gallons of milk in the fridge. This is a sickness, what should I do with all that milk now that they downgraded our storm to a Trace-1″? Can they legally do that? But what about all my milk?? I think that I am going to be making massive quantities of pudding.

What I need to tell you is that I do not like the cold at all. I have not been out of the house in many days, other than to take the kids to school or to a random appointment. The sun feels great, and sitting in the sun on the kitchen floor seems to help my self-diagnosed SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I wonder what happens when my SAD comes up against my PMS? Will it be the clash of the acronyms? I don’t think that it will be pretty in any case, so stay tuned for that story. Anyway, I digress; can I please just ask for a drastic warm-up? Who is in charge? Where can I file my complaints? Enough already!

So, when I ventured into my utility room this morning to start a load of laundry, I had quite a shock. I had tossed a small load of whites into the dryer last night and then I forgot to start the darn thing. By the time I went to get the clothes out today, I can tell you with all disdain and disgust…they were frozen in clumps in the dryer. As I turned on the dryer a bumping sound came from the wedges of icy clothes that were tumbling around. Now that is cold, Iowa style!

What is our other option? If we live in Iowa, these are things that you must think about in addition to feeling the joy of your nose freezing together, slipping and falling on your rear end at the grocery store (on your way to get the 5th gallon of milk), and trying to dig your mailbox out of a snow bank so that you can find your mail. (This is sort of like the game, “Button, button, whose got the button?” but it’s more like, “Mail, mail, where the HELL is my mail?!” You have to use that tone in keeping with my Iowa winter theme.)

Keep in mind, dear reader, it will only be mere months and we will be eating sweet corn, hearing the sizzle of good Iowa beef on the grill and heading to the Iowa State Fair where some of the best Epicurean delights in the world are found on a Stick. Ever had corn dog on a stick? Of course you have, how American is that!? But what about a fried Twinkie on a Stick, or a Fried Snickers bar on a Stick? Ever heard of a fried pickle on a Stick or a big hunk o’ cheese, fried and on a stick? Oh man, you know if it’s fried and on a Stick it’s going to be good. Welcome to Iowa, the Land of Food on a Stick. Our pioneer ancestors would be so proud. These were people so poor they didn’t have Sticks. We Iowans have come a long way, Baby! Perhaps someone should suggest that the Iowa slogan should be: “All Good Things, Fried and on a Stick” instead of Fields of Opportunities. It works better, don’t you think?

Maybe I will go see if I can make some pudding on a stick. Wait, aren’t those called Fudgesicles? Well anyway, if you have a recipe for fried milk on a stick let me know, I need something to do while I am stuck here in my house.

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