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Coffee time with the girls
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

Meeting the ladies for coffee is always an adventure of some kind, and this past week was no exception. We cover a variety of subjects, and everyone builds on the other’s stories.

Somehow, we got on the subject of cleaning refrigerators and cleaning out the food we have overstocked.

Greta confessed to us that she couldn’t avoid it any longer. It had gone on too long. The inside of her refrigerator needed to be cleaned out. Now, I don’t know another gal who has a refrigerator more packed with sauces, condiments, salad dressings and food than me. I think I have found my match. 

Greta spent an entire afternoon emptying her refrigerator, and throwing away mostly empty bottles. She found a bottle of Steak Sauce, but didn’t know how it got there. They don’t use steak sauce. Digging deeper, she soon uncovered a shelf where spaghetti sauce had spilled and crusted over. While scrubbing and pulling out the shelves, she broke the plastic hinge attachment on one of them. She found the broken piece. Now I would have just tossed it, and gotten along without the shelf! Greta called on her son-in-law, Hector, to bring over some super-fuse type glue that they had bought at the fair. Sure enough, the glue fused the plastic pieces back together. Now that is a useful tip. 

Benita, our pilot friend, remarked that whenever her organic food-expert daughter, Alvera, comes for a visit, she (Benita) prepares ahead. Benita cleans out the food that she has no intention of throwing away, and hides it in the garage refrigerator. Isn’t that a good idea?  Alvera doesn’t know it’s there. “She doesn’t believe in that refrigerator,” remarked Benita, “Because I keep soda and other forbidden food there that the grandchildren know about.” 

Claudia, who stocks up of food in large amounts because she lives in the country, couldn’t wait to tell her story. Her son, Feron, (who might be a bit obsessive-compulsive,) came home one weekend and totally re-arranged her can cupboard by product; peas with peas, soups with soups, and so on. “It was nice while it lasted,” Claudia laughed. “I just throw the cans in there any order they happen to be!” 

Well, yes. Of course. Don’t we all? Oh, be quiet. I know some of you smug readers have neat cupboards and refrigerators. Good for you. But we don’t want to hear about it!

Louise’s granddaughters usually come to stay a while. They are now grown and have their own homes to manage, so they think they know everything! After a few days, Lizzie, the granddaughter, goes thru Louise’s cupboards and gets rid of the expired foods. Some of it must have rubbed off on Louise because Louise decided to clean out a few items herself this week. She was going to make a cake for a church event, and saw that she had 6 boxes of cake mix. “I threw out 6 boxes of cake mix a few days ago myself, because they had that old smell,” she whispered.

Myrtle interjected, “When items are advertised, buy 5, I don’t anymore. I buy just what I need.”

Oh, that’s a good one, Myrtle. I still don’t have that control. I run all over the store looking for one more item to fill my quota. The corporate office loves me. I fall for it all.

Our son examines what we eat too. I, too, hide foods like Ramen Noodles (full of the wrong stuff), but mostly, he doesn’t say anything much anymore. He has given up! He just goes to the grocery store and buys his food, and everyone is happy. My garage refrigerator is full of chocolate candy, a few colas, gummy bears, and ice cream for the grandson. And yes, our grandson always heads there first.

Our conversation then moved on to other subjects. Gang-talking leads to subjects changing rapidly, and one needs an alert mind and a quick tongue to get into the conversations.

We continued on, interrupting our interruptions and having a great time. Only thing is, we didn’t particularly learn religion, no politics, no pseudo-intellectual ideas. We just laughed. 

Definitely, our kids are now trying to run us, and we are outsmarting them.

We think.

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at or juditabler@awomansview.