“I’ve been experimenting. This is celery Jello.”

Moving on to a different prompt. "Has someone ever made food for you that you didn't like but you ate anyway to be polite?" Oh so many occasions, so many times. My grandma on my dad's side at one point was really obsessed with Jello. So, all - let me just restart with this. My grandma on my mom's side and my whole mom's side of the family has like a cookbook they passed down from generations with all like the recipes that we've had and one of them is rainbow Jello, which is like a red Jello, a orange Jello, like they don't specifically have to be in a rainbow. But all this different kinds of jello stacked on top of each other and prepared, so that the Jello is like all different colors, which is fun and super cool. But then my grandma on my dad's side of the family. She also kind of wanted to join the Jello trend. I'm feeling like that must of - how it had gone down, but her Jello was a little bit more interesting. In a polite way of saying it, interesting. So I specifically remember, and this story has been told many times in my family, a time going over there with my whole family. And she brought out the dessert and we are all like "Oh my gosh. Jello!" She put it on the table like uncovered it with the tin foil and we looked inside and we were like, "Huh?" And she was like "Guys I've been experimenting. This is celery Jello." And we looked at her and we were like "Yum, celery... and Jello..." So I think we ate it at some point, but that's definitely a time when I ate food, but I didn't like it, 'cause I was polite.

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“I want IQ points.”

But if I were to be paid if something other than money... If it's, like you know, in the more fantasy realm, I want IQ points. I want to be a genius. Super smart. Like, right now I feel like I'm just above average, like, I'm not that smart and it's kind of sad but I have to accept it. And I see my classmates, natural geniuses. I'm like, "Oh dang. I wish I was like that" but I'm not, so kind of a little of that. So I definitely want to be smarter if that were a possibility, because then I could, you know, learn languages more easily, do harder math, get a perfect SAT score, you know, something like that. Or like in video games when there's like skill points. Like plus one into art, plus one into music, plus one into, I don't know, cooking. That sort of thing. Skill points would be really cool. Or like skill points into magic, you know. The ability to like just go to work and then become a powerful wizard and become a vigilante at night, would be a pretty fun idea. 

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“… Instead of reading a half teaspoon salt, read a half cup of salt.”

Back to the salty theme. I'm German and I grew up eating potato klebas. In Norwegian they're called potato klubbs, but we always call them potato klebas. And one time, and they're very time-consuming and my aunt and my mother made them. And I'll read you the recipe: It's two cups all-purpose flour, one half teaspoon salt, one quarter teaspoon baking powder, one quarter teaspoon black pepper, four potatoes - four cups of potatoes peeled and grated, two tablespoons grated onion, eight ounces cooked ham cut into one-inch cubes, two tablespoons - er two teaspoons of salt, and one cup melted butter. You mix the flour, the salt, the baking powder, and pepper, and put it in a bowl. Place the potatoes and onions in a large bowl and stir in the flour mixture until thoroughly blended. Use floured hands to knead the potato mixture in a bowl until it takes on the quality of stiff bread dough. Add additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Pinch off tennis sized balls, a tennis-size piece of dough and shape it into a cube around a cube of ham completely covering the ham to form the ball. Repeat with remaining dough and ham cubes. Set aside any extra ham. Fill a large pot with water, add two teaspoons full of salt and any extra ham and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Carefully slide the balls into the boiling water a few at a time. Loosen any sticking to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, remove with slotted spoon and drain on a plate. Serve with hot melted butter.  Well, my aunt and my mom made it when I was about nine years old and I sat there watching them grate potatoes, grate the onions, and they made a huge amount. This was um, one recipe but they must have tripled it. So they were there for hours making potato klebas. And my mother instead of reading a half teaspoon salt, read a half cup of salt. And she poured the salt into the potato klebas. They were very salty, but they were still very good. But you added the ham, and it made it even saltier. I just remembered that after I had got done talking with you.

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“He would tell my sister and me “She’s talking salty.”

Note: Some language has been edited out of the transcript that has not been edited out of the audio.  My great-grandmother envisioned herself as being a wealthy woman, although she was far from it. She had lived her entire life in poverty. And because she was unable to pay taxes on her farm during the Great Depression, she lost her farm and became homeless. In her later years she ended up in a nursing home. But despite her poverty, she imagined that she was a wealthy woman. And she would use one of her salty expressions. She would say, "I'm as rich as six feet up a bull's a**." Referring to the fact that animal manure is often used as fertilizer. And when my father would hear her say this he would laugh. And he would tell my sister and me, "She's talking salty."

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“So we ended up doing a 10K.”

What am I grateful for this week? I didn't think I would get to see my boyfriend at all this weekend because he was originally scheduled to work Saturday, and I was doing a 5K in Lansing on Sunday that he didn't sign up for, but then at the last minute he ended up getting Saturday off. So we ended up doing a 10K. Um and it was like closer to where he -- where he lives which was more interesting to him, and um the 5K used to end in the ballpark, which he liked and a lot of people liked, but they stopped doing that. Anyway, so I went there Friday night and we did the race Saturday. So that was a lot of fun. We both came in second in our age groups. He was the sixth male to finish overall, and I was the third female, and we were both happy with our performance. Neither of us, like, felt great at the end. He said, he was like, "Yeah, it hurt the whole time." I'm like, "But you" -- like he went out super fast as he was trying to keep up with these really fast guys, and then I think that kind of like threw him off for the whole race because he went from just standing there to like sprinting and then he -- like he slowed down and I think that just kind of messed him up for the whole race and made him feel overtired. But his time was still like 42 minutes. I didn't feel yucky until the second half. I might have been like dehydrated or something, or I might have worked too hard too early in the week, because like I didn't know I had a race, so I was working super hard earlier in the week. The first half was okay, like the middle was not as much. I, like, was kind of alone for a lot of it, like there were people ahead of me and people behind me but not like near me at all, which I didn't really like. So I ended up slowing down a lot, but I didn't walk, which I was happy about, but by the end like I was shivering, which is weird, 'cause it was like hot outside and I had a really bad stomach ache. But I still finished in 49 something, so under…

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“… nasty spicy olives and then a cousin who doesn’t know how to let an unwanted event go.”

Have I ever accidentally eaten something that I shouldn't have? Um. When I was a kid, oh my God, so when I was a kid -- so I love on like olives and pickles. So when I was a kid, I had gone to this like graduation party for a cousin, and it was kind of like a ritzier branch of the family, and they had these like giant olives and I was like, "Oh my God, like, giant olives, I've never had that before," and I was thinking it was just like regular olives, but like big. I didn't realize it was like -- like spicy or I don't know if it was like peppers stuffed inside. I don't know what, but, you know, I took a big bite, and I just had this like sour like, puckered like, maybe even like teary eyed like face. It was just like so spicy and hot, and I was like -- and, you know, one of my cousins was like sitting across from me, and I rarely ever see her. And I was just so embarrassed, and plus she was like really pretty, she's always been really pretty, and I'm just really embarrassed, and now like whenever she sees me at like -- and this is rare, like at a funeral or something like that or get together, which is like rare, like years in between. She's always like, "Careful with those olives!" and I'm like, "Oh..." And it's like, ugh, so yeah, nasty spicy olives and then a cousin who doesn't know how to let an unwanted event go.

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“There had to have been 700 people come to my mother’s house to visit with my son.”

Have you ever made a backup plan for something just in case your original plan didn't work? Yeah, doing parties, there's always a backup plan in case it rains. When my son graduated high school -- oh, it was so funny because he was a very popular boy, very popular. He belonged to two churches. He was -- belonged to two youth groups. He was a football player. He was a star football player. He was homecoming king he was, um, you name it, he was it. And I had made out a hundred and one invitations for him to send out in the mail. And he came back to me and said, "Mama, do you mind if I make up a flyer for my -- and I'll just pass out flyers for my party." I said no, "I don't mind. How many do you need? I'll make them for you." He said, "Probably about 350," and I laughed at him. So, fast forward to his -- his party day, the most torrential down fall there ever was. I was outside with an umbrella, between me and my husband, cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, and all the graduation fare that you you may -- you can imagine, and there in my poor mother's house because we were having it at my mother's house. Inside her house, it was wall to wall people, all day long. There had to have been 700 people come to my mother's house to visit with my son that day. It was absolutely incredible. I'd never seen anything like it.

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“Every scene was filmed twice, once in Welsh and once in English.”

Something about somebody recommending a new song TV show or movie to you and you really liked it. Well, it's a good thing you didn't ask books because we'd be here all night. But yes, so I -- I was watching a lot of British TV during the shutdown, and I mentioned this is kind of like an icebreaker thing in a staff meeting and somebody who works in my office, but I don't know very well or didn't at the time, said she liked to watch a lot of that too, and she recommended a show called Hinterland to me, and oh my gosh, it is so good. It's really dark but it takes place in Wales. And when they film the show -- when they film the show, they film the every scene is filmed twice, once in Welsh and once in English, I never knew this until I was watching the extra features because of course, I don't speak Welsh I only speak English. And so that's the only one that, I mean, that's the only part of the show that I watch. So of course every actor is bilingual, which I think is really cool. I guess that's not so uncommon in Wales, but, you know would probably not too hard to scrape those people up. But anyway, I still find that is a really fascinating aspect to the show. But yes, it's a very good and of course it has like the lead detective has you know, problems in his past. The stories are -- I'm trying to think if I'm mixing it up with Shetland, Shetland will take an entire season to solve a mystery. I think, I think Hinterlands I don't think it takes a whole season but you know, I'm sure I'm down a season. I should really I should watch it. I tend to watch this stuff on DVD and when you do that, you can only watch seasons that have been out long enough to come out on DVD. Because I get them from the library and so I know they have there's another one out there that maybe by now I can watch it or maybe on my -- maybe on a streaming service, but I highly recommend it. It's not upbeat, but it is very well done. And hey, I suppose if you look hard enough you could…

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“My dad and I are extremely competitive with each other.”

Do you and your family like to play a certain game when you all get together? There's pretty much a few that we stick to, 'cause everyone has different game preferences. I like either strategy games or trivia games. My sister would like more sort of interactive I feel like, like when we were kids she liked to play Charades and I thought that was the worst game ever, but she also thought my trivia games were like the worst games ever. So we pretty much stick to ones that everyone can agree on, which is only about four. There's like Rummikub, Yahtzee, Apples to Apples. And that's about it, 'cause someone usually has some objection to the other ones. And it's always an interesting dynamic, because my sister's not competitive at all, my dad and I are extremely competitive with each other and that can get funny. We have a game that's based on the show Jeopardy because that's my favorite show, and he and I loved to play it. And but we would compete so much with it, that we would worry about little details. You ought to ring a bell like when you want to buzz in and give the answer. And we would get into arguments about who was sitting closer to the bell, or like whose hand was closer. My arm was shorter than his so was that fair? and eventually it got to the point, my sister would usually read the cards 'cause she didn't want to play and so she measured a distance from the bell. And we each had to put our hands like on that spot and she had to finish reading the card before we could move them. Because that's the only way it was going to work. We were giving each other bruises from like slapping hands trying to get to the bell first. So that's always kind of funny, but I usually actually beat him at that game. So maybe that's why he was so competitive because I was beating him at the Jeopardy game at like age 16.

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“… We’re a gaming family for sure.”

We play this other game called "Revenge", and this is our family game. So if you didn't know, Dish Network has Sirius Radio available on it. And we've always had it on it. If you go to those stations and push like the button over right, yeah, the right button over, it kind of brings up a little like menu where it's still playing the music and still showing you the station that's on and the channel, but you can't see the screen to see who who's singing what the song is etc., and so ever since I was like little, like 10, we figured this out and we've made a game of it, to guess who is singing and we call it "Revenge", because this is like -- we want revenge on each other for the last person who's won it's just trivia, you know, who's singing basically, whoever gets the first get the point. And you'll be go through all different kinds of music. And the way you start playing it is we'll just be sitting there like doing nothing, and one of us will say "Revenge" and if at least, you know the majority says "Revenge" so three out of four of us. My older brother did not play this he was -- he was not into it, moved out. He's -- he's like nine years older than me, so, he moved out well before we started playing, but three out of four people at least say "Revenge", we gotta play Revenge. And it's just music trivia, and I win almost every time now. You know, before, I didn't always, and it's all kinds of music, right? It's not just music nowadays. It's like there's country on there for my dad. There's modern hip-hop. There's old hip hop. There's 70s 80s 90s lots of rock and roll stations for sure. You know, especially for older music. But I mean, that's our go-to game. That's our family game. And it is just one of those things that we have always played, makes it sound a little nerdy but -- we have fun and we even have a belt for it. We have this old wrestling WWE belt, you know, the spinner kind that John Cena started. I don't remember if it says Cena on it, or CM Punk or if it just doesn't say anything. But yeah, it's…

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