Lemon Yogurt Dream Pie

INGREDIENTS
2 envelopes Dream Whip whipped topping mix
1 C lemon yogurt
1 3/4 C milk
2 packages Jell-O lemon instant-pudding mix
1 baked 9-in cinnamon-graham cracker or ginger-snap crust
  • Prepare Dream Whip as directed on package, with 1 C milk. Blend in remaining 3/4 C milk, 1 C yogurt, and pudding mix.
  • Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scrape bowl as necessary.
  • Spoon into pie shell.
  • And you know what comes next: Chill.

The Short-Short Game

Sparkle Junior and I are starting to consider the possibility of adding a putting green to the Slice of Heaven 24-Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range.  When I say “starting to consider,” I mean I talk and Spark nods. This is all fine and good, but I know, too, that every so often, he will do exactly what I suggest, so I have to be careful to use my powers for good, not for evil, at least when I am around him.

This afternoon, we are eating a real simple lemon-yogurt dream pie with a graham cracker crust. I once made this pie for my dad, and he absolutely loved it, right up until the exact second when I told him it had yogurt in it, and that was that. He put his hand on the edge of the pretty little china dessert plate and pushed it away delicately while at the same time pushing his chair back, and then he went outside for a smoke to get the taste out of his mouth.

Spark, though, has no problem with yogurt, or anything else that might spill on the floor and make an unusually sticky mess. I’ve wondered at times if he were not switched at birth with some very tidy baby at the hospital where he was born.  I’ve been to his family home a couple of times, and it never looked fully lived in.  Or maybe his mom just had emptied out a can of that new-house air freshener. I don’t know. Spark’s room, though, always looked a lot like Spark: slightly disheveled and optimistic, decorated with memories of rock ‘n’ roll parties that never really happened.

I wonder sometimes what he thinks about when he’s out on the tractor, and other times I really don’t want to know.

I’m sending him off now to go find a copy of a Putting Green Construction Manual, and that should keep him busy for a while, and I will clean up before the after-work crowd starts to arrive.

I had my first short-game lesson yesterday, and I found it fascinating, especially since Sandra told me how putting greens are built, at a cost of $40,000 to $60,000 per green. (You can buy a lot of Royal Palms for that money, seven or eight, at least.) Of course, my drives are so short that my regular game is a short game, so putting must be my short-short game.

I would love to bring The Morning Guy in on my new construction project, but I really want him to focus more on my game, and tell me how I can improve my performance. Sadly, he seems a bit distracted lately, and I suspect he’s been watching football again, and backing a losing team. That surely must wear a man down after a while. Still, I know he’ll come around and the tips will start to flow, if not from him, then from one of you. (Don’t hold back now.)

It has occurred to me that you may wonder how I ended up owning a driving range without knowing anything about golf, so perhaps I should fill you in. (Pie pun intended.) The pie shop has been in my family for years, and the building is one of those great low-slung Old Florida places, caught in a tangle of overgrown greenery, and the acreage around it was pretty much a mad scramble of vegetation, too.

One Sunday last spring, I was sipping on an O’Doul’s over at The Swing Barn and talking to Sue Ten as we watched Tiger Woods up on her large-screen TV, and I realized I had been watching golf from a far for more than 30 years. I had fallen in love with The Inner Game of Golf in 1977, but I had only played twice, both times on a ramshackle course in rural Arizona where everything was brown, including the greens.

“I think I will take up golf,” I said.

Sue replied silently by drying a couple more glasses and opening another O’Doul’s for me. By the time I finished off that one, the sugar high was starting to kick in.

Sue looked at me warily, and said, “That would be good. You need to do something to get your mind off your divorce and all that crap.”

Crap, indeed. My ex-husband Pretty Boy Boyd had managed to deplete my savings account completely and run up my credit cards just as thoroughly, and all I got out of it was more than I wanted to know about everything and anything having to do with Kansas City barbecue, and an all too personal knowledge of the local legal system. I tend to fall for men who are talkers, so you can probably understand why I now like to associate with men like Spark and The Morning Guy, neither of whom shows much interest in talking to me at all. Ever.

That night, I went to a driving range for the first time with my sister Mel, who was visiting from Maine, and I became a believer. Melbie and I had no idea what we were doing, but we did laugh a lot, and we were outside in the early evening enjoying life. The big news for me was how quiet it was. At last, a way to have men in my life without having to listen to them, not that I actually listened that much anyway. I think you know what I mean, and I do apologize if you are one of the men to whom I did not listen. I’m much better now, but I still really prefer that you just send me a note, or leave a message on my answering machine. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

What I did not like about that particular driving range was the hours. I am plagued with insomnia, and when I am plagued, my dear, you can expect to be plagued as well. As the saying goes, When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy.

What I wanted was a late-late-night establishment, a place where I could go and put my dreamless state of mind on hold. The pie shop was already open 24-hours a day, but I did not want to work all night, and I already knew that The Morning Guy had a passion for golf, or as much as he has a passion for anything besides maintaining his own comfort zone. We passed a few notes, we struck a deal, and you know the rest.

That was just a few short months ago, and now I am enjoying some smooth sailing on my own. More people eating pie, and more people hitting balls, 24-hours-a-day. And often, as I fall asleep just before dawn in my little turquoise conch cottage down the far end of the lane, I hear The Morning Guy’s motorcycle as he arrives to stock the soda machine and drink coffee with the other morning guys — and sometimes I dream. I do. I dream.

Dreams Can Come True . . . .

I love this story, and I am totally inspired by this adventure.  If this guy — Swiss no less — can fly over the English Channel, then surely I can make a sweet success out of the Slice of Heaven 24-Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range. And who knows what you might be able to do, what with your winning combination of brains, beauty, and talent?  Go for it, people! Go for it! What are you waiting for, anyway?

Swiss man flies over Channel on jet wing

Friday, September 26, 2008


(09-26) 12:59 PDT DOVER, England (AP) —

He had nothing above him but four tanks of kerosene and nothing below him but the cold waters of the English Channel. But Yves Rossy leapt from a plane and into the record books on Friday, crossing the channel on a homemade jet-propelled wing.

Rossy jumped from the plane about 8,200 feet over Calais, France, blasting across the narrow body of water and deploying his parachute over the South Foreland lighthouse, delighting onlookers who dotted Dover’s famous white cliffs, cheering and waving as Rossy came into view.

Backed by a gentle breeze, Rossy crossed the Channel in 13 minutes, averaging 125 miles per hour. In a final flourish, he did a figure eight as he came over England, although the wind blew him away from his planned landing spot next to the lighthouse.

“It was perfect. Blue sky, sunny, no clouds, perfect conditions,” the Swiss pilot said after touching down in an adjacent field. He said he wanted to show, “it is possible to fly, a little bit, like a bird.”

Onlookers scooped up their children, picnics and dogs to race to the landing site as Rossy posed for photographs. His ground crew doused him with champagne, and the pilot swigged greedily from the bottle as he waved to the band of onlookers gathered to cheer him and take pictures with cell phone cameras.

A small airplane zipped across the sky with a banner that read: “Well done Jet Man.”

Rossy said he had watched passenger ferries cutting a path between the Britain and France as he tore through the air.

“I was happy to be faster than them,” he said. The 49 year old said the Channel crossing was the realization of a dream. “That’s the most gratifying thing you can do,” he said.

Rossy’s trip — twice delayed due to bad weather — was meant to trace the route of French aviator Louis Bleriot, the first person to cross the narrow body of water in an airplane 99 years ago.

The South Foreland Lighthouse was the site of Guglielmo Marconi’s experiments with radio telegraphy in 1898. Bleriot used the white building as a target during his pioneering flight, the building’s manager, Simon Ovenden, said.

The Channel has attracted a range of adventurers and stuntmen over the years, most drawn to the 21-mile wide neck of water between Dover and Calais.

Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American doctor John Jeffries were the first to fly from Britain to mainland Europe in a hot air balloon in 1785.

Capt. Matthew Webb braved stinging jellyfish and strong currents to be the first to swim across the Channel in 1875. Other stunts followed: The first hovercraft crossing in 1959, the first human-powered air crossing in 1979.

Geoff Clark, a 54-year-old onlooker from Chatham, in southern England, called Rossy’s flight “a remarkable achievement.”

“We saw the climax of his attempt as he came down to earth with his parachute. It’s been an exciting afternoon,” Clark said.

Rossy’s wing was made from carbon composite. It weighs about 121 pounds when loaded with fuel and carried four kerosene-burning jet turbines. The contraption has no steering devices. Rossy, a commercial airline pilot by training, wiggled his body back and forth to control the wing’s movements.

He wore a heat-resistant suit similar to that worn by firefighters and racing drivers to protect him from the heat of the turbines. The cooling effect of the wind and high altitude also prevented him from getting too warm.

Mark Dale, the senior technical officer for the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, described Rossy’s flight as a “fabulous stunt.”

Rossy, who spent months preparing for the cross-Channel flight, has said he wants to fly across the Grand Canyon in Arizona next.

As for the 13 lonely minutes he spent aloft between England and France, he assured reporters he felt no fear.

“I was under tension. But fear? The day I fear, I don’t go,” Rossy said.