Columnist: Debbie Matthews

Dec. 10, 2013 @ 10:59 AM

The dark side of hospital dining

The day I brought Petey home from the hospital, we also brought home a bunch of stuff.
We had instructions and prescriptions.  We had unguents, lotions and a couple of pairs of ugly, strangely-fitting yellow socks (Who was the foot model for those things anyway?).  We also carried a big box full of gifts from his amazing, generous co-workers at Duke.


Dec. 03, 2013 @ 10:36 AM

Santa’s knee

When I was 4, my family went to a Christmas party. The adults were in the living room, and the kids were in the rumpus room. I was just getting ready to go to the restroom when a surprise visitor showed up. It was Santa Claus!


Nov. 26, 2013 @ 09:50 AM

Dirty work

You should have seen me. I was trussed up like a Christmas goose.
I wore a tent-sized apron, and next to my latex swathed hands was a spray bottle of Clorox Clean-up. My hair was tied back, and my glasses were acting as safety goggles. The only reason I wasn’t wearing a face mask is because I freak a wee bit when stuff covers my mouth and nose. But I was drawing infrequent, shallow, nervous breaths.


Nov. 20, 2013 @ 10:55 AM

Serendipity doo-dah

A couple of days ago I received a note from my niece, Susi:
“Can you do an article on green bean casserole? For 10 years I have been making it and for 10 years it does not turn out. Now it's a running joke to everyone that I'm going to bring this casserole that no one eats. This year is the year for me, I can feel it.”


Nov. 12, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

Surviving ‘til black Friday

So I asked The Kid if there was anything I should include in this week’s column; Thanksgiving with an emphasis on food safety.  My little chef wrote this informative discourse:

“This holiday season, please don't kill your family.


Nov. 05, 2013 @ 08:13 AM

Continuing education

I recently received a master’s degree at Duke. 
It’s not really that impressive. It was obtained at the medical center, and the degree was in survival of the long-term hospital visitor.
Petey’s been a patient for a while at Duke. Every day he’s getting a little better, but for now, this is his home.


Oct. 29, 2013 @ 09:39 AM

Pass the cheese, please

We’ve had dogs, hermit crabs and even a pet rock or two.  But there is a standing rule -- no rodents allowed.
That’s because two giant, voracious mice already live here — Petey and The Kid.  They can never, ever, get enough cheese.


Oct. 22, 2013 @ 09:42 AM

Creature feature

Maybe it’s the dump truck-sized dog, or maybe it’s the two weird looking old people that live here, but in all the years we’ve owned our house we’ve had a cumulative total of about six kids come to our door, trick-or-treating.


Oct. 15, 2013 @ 08:11 AM

This spud’s for you

  I’ve got ’em all snowed.
     When my mom is planning a special dinner, she asks me to prepare it.  When I make it for Petey, he thinks he must have been a very good boy.
     The thing is, my twice-baked potatoes might impress, but couldn’t be easier to produce.


Oct. 08, 2013 @ 11:51 AM

Hamburger, please!

I’m not a fan of Hemingway. 
Growing up, I was something of a tomboy, and I still enjoy climbing the occasional tree.  But Papa’s work is so testosterone-drenched that by the time I finished reading one of his short stories I’d have a 5 o’clock shadow, and need to get my prostate checked.


Oct. 01, 2013 @ 08:16 AM

My mom, she's wacky


Sep. 24, 2013 @ 09:59 AM

Pasta, pasta, pasta

From start to finish it was a complete exercise in too darn much.  Kroger had 10 boxes of Barilla whole wheat pasta on sale for $10. So I bought 10 boxes. Then I made dinner for Petey and me, using an entire 1 pound box. I don’t know what I was thinking.


Sep. 17, 2013 @ 02:01 PM

Crazy little things I love

As a kid when I was sick, my mom did the coolest thing. When we went to a drugstore to fill a prescription, my mom would buy me a small treat. Usually I would pick colored construction paper.
As an adult, I keep this tradition alive. If anyone in the family is sick, a small token for the patient is added to any medicine purchase.      


Sep. 10, 2013 @ 11:36 AM

Rushing the season

It’s a fashion term.  If in early September you’re sweltering in suede boots, turtlenecks and sweaters, you might be rushing the season.
As much as I love our Bull City, summer here is a Dante’s circle. I’m over it and yearning for fall by the day after Memorial Day. Summer is hot and sweaty, but the fall’s a smorgasbord of delights.


Aug. 27, 2013 @ 08:03 AM

The first pasta toss

Orecchiette is a small, round, cup-shaped pasta.  It means “little ears” in Italian.  I don’t see it.  I think it looks more like a stocking cap for Hipster Barbie.