Saturday, December 3, 2022

Tis’ the Season

Tamale Season

Down to the last chicken tamale I made early last month, having ground turkey in the fridge, I decided to switch it up by browning ground turkey, use that as a filling with taco sauce.

I didn’t have to run to the market for corn husks and masa harina, because both are a staple for me, always in the cupboard for when the mood hits.

I usually steam the tamales in the instant pot, but since it’s difficult to squeeze more than two/three in the pot, and it takes hours and hours and hours to steam a batch of about 24, I invested in the regular tamale pot seen above.

That 15-quart pot turned out to be waaaay too big for my kitchen and steaming only 24 at a time, so I gave it away and plan to pick up a 12-quart Rachael Ray steamer for when the mood next hits.

At bingo, Baker was asking if I could eat "Mexican Food" saying that’s what was to be served at the White Elephant Christmas Party. I told her not to worry because I’d bring something of my own.

Then I learned "Mexican Food" was to be tamales.

I should still have plenty in the fridge to reheat, bring as my meal by then and impress everyone with my ability as a tamalera.

Walking into bingo, I checked the prize table to see if that Olive Oil Decanter I’ve been lusting to win for almost two months was still on the table.

It was, but it looked like it wasn’t yet time to come into my possession because I came so close so many times to yelling Bingo and missed when the one number I needed was not called.

At least I had a fun table mate — Talker’s cute little 5-year-old granddaughter.

She doesn’t yet know her numbers, so Grandma Talker helped her out and she came one number short of winning a game herself.

When Grandma Talker won a game, she let the little girl pick out a prize. She chose a cute little wallet.

I had no cash on me, otherwise I’d have given her something to put in the wallet.

A friendly child, she hugged everyone her grandma introduced her to — some she came back on her own and hugged that individual multiple times.

It is a good thing R (the resident that won Halloween as a witch) wasn’t present, because she hates children.

I know of two times R was rude to a child being present. Fortunately, I was not present either time because I’m not afraid of R, as others are and would have said something — as I did when she was being rude, bullying a new Manager in front of a room full of residents.

I called her on it, which set off a thus far 8-year acrimonious relationship between us two wherein she’d turn up her nose at the sight of me, speak ill of me to others. I in return paid her no mind because I’d erased her. I would walk right by her here/there on the complex, look through her, not say a word to her.

She wasn’t accustomed to not being feared, being dismissed and two/three years back began trying to engage me when we’d pass on a walkway. It’s just been in the last few months, when she’s been showing up at Bingo, working even harder at trying to engage with me — greeting me when I walk in the door, say "goodbye" when I leave.

You all know by now, I can be a cold hard hearted beoch when the need requires. Once erased, you stay erased. So, I do not return the greetings, sit with my back to her at bingo.

So, anyway, I’m told that last time someone brought a child to bingo, R stood up, said "There’s a kid in here, so I’m leaving" and walked out.

So here the little girl was running around hugging everyone and fortunately R was not present or I'd have gotten in trouble again for standing up to a bully.

When it looked like she was heading to hug me, I got all Wednesday Adams on her, diverted the hug by telling her to pause for a photo with grandma.

She did, and the ploy worked as she forgot about hugging me, LOL.

Watching Wednesday on Netflix, I’ve learned we have that in common — Wednesday Adams doesn’t like to be hugged by strangers and, like me, she doesn’t care to have her birthday celebrated.

However, during the Blackout Game, I didn't notice when the little girl all of a sudden got up from her seat. She walked around the table, hugged me and put her head on my shoulder.

Caught off guard, I uttered a surprise "OH!" then "Thank you" and something told me my luck was about to change, that she’d just given me good luck.

I say this because, she’s somewhat of a miracle child.

Just before Talker moved into the complex, while Talker’s mom was still alive, the little girl fell two stories off the balcony of her Great Grandma’s apartment, hit the ground, and survived with no damage whatsoever.

I’m told that everyone was screaming and scrambling, expecting to see if not a deceased child a badly damaged one and found her to be okay. Not a scratch on her.

The little girl said, "Jesus catch me" — meaning she saw or felt arms catching her before she hit the ground.

And yes … an ambulance was called, she was taken to hospital, examined by professionals, who also found nothing broken, no internal or external damage whatsoever.

Lo and Behold, after she hugged me during Game 10, my cards began to cover rapidly as numbers were called until BINGO! I won the big game — Blackout. First time ever.

Recognizing she’d brought me luck, it was ME who initiated a hug with HER.

"Did Jesus tell you to hug me?" I asked.

She said "yes", πŸ˜‡

Winning Blackout entitled me to pick a prize from the big table where all the larger and usually more costly prizes reside.

Seeing nothing I wanted, I asked if I could pick from the regular prize table, was told sure, "But three items instead of one".

Of course, I took the olive oil decanter I’d been lusting after, then a glass mason jar and told the little girl that since she was responsible for my win the third item was hers to choose.

She can’t yet read but chose a crossword puzzle book. Maybe she can color in it.

Before I left, she must have hugged me like a hundred more times. Yeesh!

Shortly after returning to my unit, switching into my warm comfortable camo onesie p.j.s to settle down, watch Judge Judy, there was a knock on the door.

It was she again, wanting to give me a hug before she left the complex.

Nice, but Good Lord! I hope this doesn’t mean she’ll be at my door every time she visits Grandma Talker.

Remembering her empty wallet, I gave her something that I keep on hand for special occasion gifting to mostly kids — a $2 bill.


  1. That's a big fall not to have any injuries from. Wow. I love tamales but can't eat them anymore.

    1. What's in tamales that you can no longer eat them?

  2. Talker's granddaughter sure is a cutie and yes, what a good luck charm! Glad you won the blackout bingo and finally got your oil decanter! It was nice of you to let the little girl pick a prize too and then later give her the $2 for her new wallet!

    1. The old folks really enjoyed her running around hugging them.

  3. Cool for having a $2 bill around! Congrats on your wins. Linda in Kansas

    1. I keep a stack of $2 bills just because it's fun to have funny money on hand. Many younger folks have never seen nor heard of a $2 bill.

  4. I love to be hugged (but not by everyone). This post makes me feel hugged... except, thankfully, by the R The Witch.

    1. I used to be a huge hugger. Now, not so much unless the spirit moves me.

  5. After working psych for 25 years....hugging is out. I had to set boundaries so often with those patients. I guess I kept those 'boundaries outside of work. I learned also, not everyone wants
    hugged and there's a 'comfort' space we all have. I didn't grow up in a touchy-feely environment, so boundaries were normal for me. I give a nice smile and handshake, though. Glad you got the prize you've been wanting and very sweet to give that little girl one of our prizes and a goodie for her new pocketbook. Side note. Mary Wilson
    (Original member of The Supreme) gave me a hug and smooch on the cheek once and I've been in heaven since! So..maybe you need to be a Supreme!

    1. Have you ever wash the cheek Mary Wilson kissed or did you preserve the area πŸ˜€

    2. Tempted to 'preserve'. Eventually did wash that cheek (reluctantly). Kissed by an angel, indeed!

  6. I love how she brought you luck and she got a book AND a $2 bill out of the deal! You are a good soul. I totally get the hugging thing, too. Today, at church, two of the little girls who are regulars with their parents and grandparents were the only children in attendance. They are darling and I saw them at our Christmas lunch, after the service, and asked each one if I could give them a hug. I don't think we should just go around hugging children. It sends a bad message to children.

    1. Well thanks. I'll take that "good soul" and you're right about sending a bad message.

  7. You may have a Fan Base now, she's Adorable. And I'm impressed that you make Tamales on a regular basis, it's a Labor of Love, heavy on the Labor, so I always buy mine in the Food City Parking Lot from the Indie Tamale Hawkers, theirs are always the BEST and most authentic. They have a Tamale Festival in Phoenix but it has been suspended the past couple years on account of the Pandemic, it's a great place to get a good selection made from all the Regions. I like the Tamales made inside Banana Leaves.

    1. Tamales are amazingly quick and easy to make when only making a few at a time, so long as one is using a proper steamer pot and not the instant pot that is.

  8. What a cute little miracle kid.
    And now I'm craving tamales.

    1. Tamales are all year round for me, but especially during Tamale Season, which is now.