Friday’s Weekend Column
Summer Jobs

by James Glaser
May 20, 2005

Everyone loves summer and I do too, but summer is a lot of work. Every summer I lose weight. Somehow though, I don't lose as much as I gain in the winter, so, there is a net gain every year and after a few decades of that you have to stop and make a decision about getting those extra pounds off.

Last summer I had my accident and with the broken hip socket I was learning to walk again. For a month there was a walker and then several months with a cane and I was walking many miles a day. Winter's icy roads made me cut back on walking, but I am now back at it and I feel good.

I know from experience, if I don't eat more than I normally do, and I add a lot of walking to my routine, the pounds fall off. It is madding though that you can splurge for one weekend and put on 5 or 6 pounds and you can starve yourself for a week and really work out and take off two.

So, here is what I am doing this summer. I am taking a walk every time I get the chance. I now walk all over town when I go in, like instead of driving from the Post Office to the grocery store. Remember Northome is pretty small, so it is not like I am putting in miles. But hey, every little bit helps. My sister Jodi gave me a pedometer and I keep track of the steps I take. She said to shoot for 10,000 a day and on some days I make that, other days I almost double that. It is just a reminder to keep moving.

The hip still bothers me. I was doing some volunteer work at our local craft co-op this week and learned that the month in the hospital last summer took its toll on my body. I figure I am going to have to work every day this summer and really push to get back to where I was before the accident. My hand is better, but I still can't grip like I used to. The ribs are fine now.

So I will be doing lots of "summer jobs" around here. I now know how much Charmaine did and so I will be doing the work of two, maybe three, because I think Charmaine was doing the work of two all along.

I am thinking that in a month or so, I will be able to go back to gainful employment. Right now, I would be embarrassed to charge someone for working. I start out the day slow and build up speed until about noon and then start to fade. At noon I am at about 75% of where I want to be all day. I will keep at it and I know I will be back to my old self again. I pray about that too.

Opening of fishing started last weekend and even as cold as it was, people were out there catching walleyes and northern pike Some did real well with many in the 25-28 inch range, which would be about a six pound fish.

I went down to the lake thinking about putting my dock in. Other years I have done it alone, but I think I will need a little help this year. I checked the water and yes, it is still as cold as when I went swimming on the 8th. Let my qualify that. Yes, I did get all the way under the water, I did swim for a few feet, but I wouldn't call it swimming. There was a little breeze and I can tell you that my trip back to the house was fast and I didn't feel my hip at all. I bet it was a half hour before I quit shivering.

What is so nice about summer is that the jobs you have to do are usually done in nice weather. Inside work can be saved for rainy days and outside work is done in the sun. Up here you are interrupted all the time when you are working outside, because people are going for walks down our road and they like to stop and say hi and see what you are doing. Some how though, if you are doing something real hard, like digging a new garden and you could use some help, those people don't even see you out there, but really most people around here stop and pitch in if they can, because you do that for them.

Hummingbirds are back and I have their feeders out. I saw a Baltimore oriole and will start putting some grape jelly out for them. They eat oranges too. I have been looking for my Indigo Bunting and hope he returns. Down near Sand Lake I saw several Blue Birds and am thinking I should make some houses for them.

Monday I made fudge. It was the recipe from Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It is at the back of the book and is called, Monsieur Bon Bon's secret Fudge recipe. It makes great hot fudge sauce, but I had to doctor it up to make it better and it turned out great! The original recipe comes out pretty hard and the pieces crumble when you cut them. On ice cream, when the fudge is just off the stove, it is great! The only problem with what I added is that it doesn't set up very well and so it is hard to give away in pieces. I have the whole pan sitting in the kitchen and I am telling you this is really great fudge. So, constantly I am taking the tiniest piece every so often to see if it set yet. It hasn't, but that is OK with me.

Monsieur Bon Bon's secret fudge


2 cups sugar
4tb Cocoa
¼ lb butter
2ts light corn syrup
5oz. can of evaporated milk
1 ts Water

I added

1 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
1.55oz Hershey bar
8 marshmallows
1ts corn syrup
1½ oz of heavy cream
1 tb vanilla

To make the original recipe, you put everything in a pan and heat to a soft ball stage, remove from heat and beat mixture until it loses its luster. I added the cream and corn syrup to the original recipe and then beat in the marshmallows, Hershey bar, and semisweet chocolate after I removed it from the heat Just before I put it in the pan, I beat in the vanilla.

This is great fudge and if you want to lose any weight this summer don't make it or have lots of people to help you eat it. What is nice, is you can make this in about 15 minutes, which can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. Right now I am going in for another test of the fudge I made. By the time it does set, there won't be much left. One good thing, this is a small batch.

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