Rules for Living

We all know the basic rules of life.  Don't spit into the wind, don't pet a tiger unless he's wagging his tail....  stuff like that.  I have a few more to add to the list:

  • If you are divorced, do not marry a second spouse who has a name similar to your first spouse.  The same is good, but if you can't get someone with the same name, get someone with a very different name.  If your first wife was named Christine, for heaven's sake don't marry a Krista!  You can't win at this.  You'll accidently call wife 2 by wife 1's name and this is never appreciated.
  • Do not name your children with names that all start with the same consonant.  You'll get stuck, I promise:  "Daniel, David, Donald....darn it!  Get over here!"
  • While I'm on names, be nice when you're naming your children.  I went to school with a Rose Budd.  Seriously.  How is a kid supposed to get through school that way?  Try out the names together and make sure they can't be easily twisted into something dirty, stupid or funny.  And don't forget to figure in what their initials are going to spell.  Life's hard enough without having strikes against you from the beginning.
  • Never underestimate the will of an old woman.
  • Don't believe everything you hear.... or anything that you see on youtube.
  • Bathroom scales are evil things and should be avoided at all costs.  Except to weigh stuff you're selling on Ebay.
  • Even if you are very comfortable with your parents and your in-laws, don't mention your sex life to them.  They truly do not want to know.  They might smile and nod their heads, but they don't want to know.
  • If a problem can't be solved by a kiss, wine, chocolate and/or ice cream, give it to God.  He'll know what to do with it.
  • If you want a really, REALLY good dog, then only have one dog. An only dog will think it's a person and act accordingly.  Put two dogs together and they suddenly realize that they're dogs.
  • Smile.
  • When you grow up and move out of your parent's home, you are no longer a child when you visit them.  You're a houseguest.  Act like one.
  • Invest yourself in the moment at hand.  You'll be a better listener, a better driver, a better parent, a better lover, food will taste better and flower will smell sweeter...if you give your full measure of attention to each thing as it presents itself.

Super Powers

I have a strange little daydream from time to time.  I wish for a superpower, just like the comic-book heroes get to have.  And what, you ask yourself, would Payson Cousin like to have for a superpower?

OK, you probably aren't asking yourself, but I'm still going to tell you.  I would like to be able to say whatever I think, without any negative ramifications.  More than that, I want people to get my message, take it to heart, and never realize that the message came from me.

Think about it.  Doesn't that sound like heaven?  What would you say to your mother-in-law?  Your noisy neighbor?  That rude customer or the salesgirl who is too busy talking to her phone buddy to wait on you?  What would you say to ogling guy, or the one that really needs a shower?

Imagine the possibilities!  Oh, the world's problems which could solved!  Drivers could become courteous! Kids would start respecting their elders and old people would start respecting their juniors!  You could TELL that 12 year old girl that she is too young to wear a thong for the world to see, and you could tell those slacker dudes to pull up their damn pants!

It gets better and better, the more I think about it! 

Summer Peach Cobbler

I love peaches.   And I love summer, so what's better than a simple peach cobbler?


Preheat your oven to 370 degrees.

In an oblong cake pan (I use glass for pretty), melt 1/2 cup of real butter.  No fake stuff.

In a medium-large bowl, combine 2 cups of self-rising flour, 2 cups of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon and 2 cups of milk.

Pour the batter over the melted butter. 

Place the peaches on top of the batter.  You can use fresh, peeled peaches, canned or frozen peaches in halves or slices.  Whatever makes you giggle.  You can also use apricots, plums, berries, or pears (although pears very nearly disappear in the final product.)  Don't bother trying for a pretty design;  you won't be able to see it later anyway.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the top of the cobbler is nearly set.  Meanwhile combine 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs, 2 heaping tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of melted butter.  Stir it around in a small bowl until it's lumpy and scrumptious.  Sprinkle over the half-baked cobbler, being careful not to jiggle the pan too much.

Finish baking for another 10-15 minutes.  The cobbler should be golden and fragrant and well-set.  In other words, if you shake the pan a little and the cobbler wobbles like a bobblety bobble, it isn't done. 

Serve warm or cold, however you like it, with ice cream or whipped cream or heavy cream or whiskey sauce or brown gravy, for all I care.