I love how my brain works, the associations it makes, the memories it gives me. And as for the title of this post, it all goes together, at least in my mind!


Softening Hay Cubes

I’ve told you many times how Miss Pepper loves, loves, loves alfalfa cubes. They are her favorite treat. A few cubes after dinner is pure bliss for our girl.

These days I have to break them into smaller pieces when I give them to her. A large, hard cube is too much to handle.

It’s those old teeth.

When she gets a bite of cube that’s too large, she holds it in her mouth, softening it until she can chew it. Sometimes she’ll roll it around, kind of flipping the cube with her jaws, I guess so that she can get all sides soft. She produces a LOT of saliva during this process, which turns into a slimy stream of green goo.

This part isn’t terribly attractive, but as we age, there seem to be more and more of those not-so-attractive things happening to us.



My Grandmother

Watching Pepper soften her cubes before eating them brought me a flash of memory from my childhood.

My paternal grandmother was a dunker. She’d dip just about anything into her coffee.  Cookies, toast, and bread were three of her favorites.

I vividly remember one morning when she was staying with us when our parents were out of town. I’d gotten up early and the two of us sat at our family’s dining room table dunking toast into coffee. She’d given me a cup of milky coffee, which made me feel exceedingly grown up.

Still today as I write this I can almost taste the buttery, crisp toast and how it melted into the coffee as I dunked it.

I can see the oil slick from the butter on the surface of the coffee. And I can see my grandmother as clearly as if we’d shared toast and coffee just yesterday.

It’s such a sweet memory. And now I wonder if she dunked hard foods into her coffee because like Pepper, it hurt her mouth.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 

My husband and I recently went to see this movie.

We both loved it, though Rick’s comment was that he thought you had to be a certain age to “get” it.

Maybe so.

It has a stellar cast of British actors and a story that totally resonated with us.

The part about the film that connects to this blog post was something Judy Dench said. She was helping her Indian employer understand Builders Tea, which is apparently a staple in the British diet.

It’s strong, black tea that is softened with milk and sugar.

What Dench said that got me was something like, “We swish our biscuit (cookie) around in the tea until is gets soft, then we eat it.”

That line catapulted me back to my childhood dining room adventure with my grandmother, and then zig-zagged me to present time and Pepper softening her hay cubes.

And somehow my lovely brain brought it all together.

I’ve been tinkering with genealogy and have learned (no great surprise here) that we have strong ancestral ties to Britain. My grandmother dunking toast in her coffee became something much more than a simple breakfast act.

It became a link to our heritage.

And I loved that.


So there you have it – a look at how my brain works.

Don’t be afraid!

I’m still the same Jean you’ve come to know in this blog. It’s just now you’ve had a peek behind the curtain.


I’m guessing you do the same thing. Come on, tell me about it.


P.S. Sometimes my husband is the tiniest bit afraid.