Showing posts from January, 2013

Whither Winter?

All last week, the temps couldn't get past 30 degrees.  It even snowed a teeny bit.  My poor, snow-deprived children grabbed their sleds and made the most of it, even though grass was clearly visible above the snow cover.

Okay, I'll admit it.  After they all went to bed that day?  I took one of those sleds and put it through its paces myself.

So, today? 69 degrees.  Our cheap plastic sleds, abandoned and useless, are sitting outside in a mud swamp.   And tomorrow, it should reach at least 70.  I'm even considering pulling out my FitFlops.  I loves my FitFlops. 

But I still want my winter back.  Please?

[FitFlop image: Island Trends]

Puppy Love

A friend of mine used to move a lot (generally with pets) for her husband's job in the military.  When her family transferred to Maine, she registered with the local veterinary practice.  This particular practice had a long questionnaire to fill out, and one of the questions on it was as follows: "Do you consider your pet to be a member of your family?"  My friend, after thinking about this for a minute or two, wrote, "I consider my pet to be a member of the family only up to 500 dollars.  After that, NO."

I totally get that.  I guess you would say I am not much of an animal person.  But I do have a friend who is very much an animal person, someone who definitely does not put a $500 ceiling on her attachment to her pets.  Which helps to explain her enormous vet bills due to the amputation of her dog's cancerous leg.  Oh, and then there was the chemotherapy, and get the idea.  She's gone way over 500 dollars.

Now, Kristin and I share …

Time Machine

Kayla of Shut the Fridge won the Celebrity sTalker book giveaway.  This is actually old-ish news, but I kept forgetting to mention it.  I was too busy this week writing about hot flashes and cauliflower.  Congratulations, Kayla!  I actually have the book packaged up, and I'll be mailing it out Tuesday.  Unless I forget to bring it with me, the way I left Theo's care package of homemade banana muffins baked with a mother's love lying on the kitchen table last week as I ran out the door to take the kids to art class.

At least books don't get moldy.

And here is the point where I should announce the next book giveaway, right?  It's The New Kings of Nonfiction.  It's over 400 pages, and I am currently bogged down somewhere in the middle of it.  Not that it isn't a good book, mind you; but it's a collection of nonfiction pieces compiled by Ira Glass (of This American Life fame), so my interest level fluctuates according to which piece I am reading.

What distu…

Hold The Ketchup

I attempted a recipe from Pinterest today.

I know!  I've become THAT mom.

It was touted as being mac-n-cheese, but with cauliflower instead of macaroni.   Now, I know long-time readers might be wondering, "Hey - why don't you just serve the cauliflower with ketchup, the way you always have?"  And the answer is "I don't know."  I guess I was looking to make my mac-n-cheese healthier.  Or maybe I was just trying to make my life more difficult.

Anyway, when I took a closer look, I realized that the ingredients for the recipe called for heavy cream and cream cheese in addition to the regular shredded cheese.  I swear, my cholesterol rose 15 points just from reading the directions.

So, in an effort to stay alive another couple of decades, I decided to take my regular mac-n-cheese recipe (which receives mixed reviews, but that is because I married a weirdo who doesn't like the heavenly combination of pasta and cheese and who passed that particular idio…

The Poise That Refreshes

Now, I believe I have alluded in the past to the gobsmacking nature of menopause.  Let's review: at a time in your life when you are most likely enjoying the charming experience of living with a child going through the throes of puberty (complete with eyerolls, disdainful sneers, and angst galore), you yourself are experiencing what can only be described as a second adolescence, only less fun.  

Acne, insecurity about your appearance, public embarrassment (when you forget to cross your legs before you sneeze) - ladies, all this and more will be yours at some point in your 40's.  Couple those delights with a face that insists on following the siren call of gravity and the realization that you have suddenly TURNED INTO YOUR MOTHER, and you've got a recipe for a humdinger of a decade.

Am I being too negative?  Forgive me.   Remember that movie in 4th grade?  The one that called the onset of menses a beautiful time in one's life?  We don't need to be lied to again, do we…

Handyman Fever

Larry, flush with success after completing his insulation project in the den, spent yesterday tearing out the walls in Anna's old room.  His reason?  They needed paint.  Really.

You see, even before Anna officially moved out last summer, Brian had been coveting her domain.  Rumor has it he was even seen sneaking into her room while she was at work and measuring her closet to see if his Lego table would fit.  But, of course, he wasn't excited about taking ownership of a room whose wall color roughly resembles that of black raspberry ice cream.

Gosh, it seems like just yesterday that I was regaling you with the story of choosing that paint color3 years ago, it was...

So!  As Brian pored over paint sample cards, Larry (following his usual perfectionist logic) said, "Well, I'm not going to paint those walls without first tearing them down and putting insulation."

Apparently, folks, he is planning to rip our house apart bit by bit, room by room.  I'm wondering …

Preemptive Nostalgia

Not dead yet...

Enjoying (or trying to, anyway, drugged up on Sudafed and Excedrin Migraine as I am) this rare sunny day.  We'll be scooping up freebies (hey, our local bakery gives a free cookie for a completed snowman coloring page!) and buying ingredients for David's lasagna and attending a birthday party (cake!).  All in all, it's a gloriously ordinary suburban day, one that I am sure I will look back on fondly when I sit, alone and forgotten, in a nursing home someday.

Wow, where did THAT come from?  Must be the menopause...

Maybe I'll cheer myself up by reading Celebrity sTalker again before I give it away.  Last day to enter!

[Cookie image: Peanut Butter Runner]


Wow, what a difference the sun makes!  We haven't seen it in a week, at least.  Also? Everyone in this family has been sick all week with some sore throat/headache/cold combo that simply will NOT go away.  In fact, a couple of the kids seem to have started on a second round.  I can't really keep track anymore.  All I know is that I fed everyone ice cream for lunch today - it felt like the right thing to do.

It's not the flu, people.  You know when you have the flu, because when you have the flu, you lie in bed and think that death really isn't so bad.  Also?  Your hair hurts.  This isn't that.  It's just an irritating cold that kept me up most of the night last night; and when I did doze off, I drifted in and out of weird dreams about Downton Abbey.

Very weird.

So, all that to explain why I haven't written this week.  But the Celebrity sTalker book giveaway is still ongoing!  Comment on this post by tomorrow to have a chance to win a free copy of Suzy's…

Celebrity Stalker

No, not me, silly - Suzy.  Suzy Soro.  She played the woman who got the last chocolate babka in Season 4 of Seinfeld , and now she's written a book where she indulges to the max in her 2 favorite pastimes - telling funny stories and name dropping.

Did I mention that I actually am acquainted with Suzy Soro?  In the Internet sense, anyway.  I mean, I email her and EVERYTHING.  Also, I bought her book.  So, we're practically related.

Anywhoo, she has a lot more names to drop than I do.  Apparently, she has made it her life mission to embarrass herself in front of as many celebrities as possible.  In the end, she comes across as a sort of Hollywood Zelig.

Does anyone remember Zelig?  I'd like to point out, Suzy, that the one celebrity you never mentioned was Woody Allen.  And he's the one I've met (or at least stalked).  So, between us, we've seen everyone.

It was this way.  I had taken my college roommate Carol into NYC for the day, on our way back up to school. …

British Goings On

Jenny Explains It All has linked to her daughter's irreverent recap of Season 3, Episode 1 of (what else?) Downton Abbey.  Go!  You won't regret it.  Unless, of course, you haven't seen it yet, in which case it is just a mess of spoilers...

It's true, I'm a tad obsessed.  Look at it this way - it's the first TV series I've watched in approximately 2 decades.  I know!  It's like I live at Downton myself.  "Television, Robert?  What is that?"  "Don't worry, m'dear; it hasn't even been invented yet.  Not even in America..."

The Party's Over

We had to get back in the swing of things this week, which meant finding the schoolbooks and figuring out assignments and, well, after 2 weeks or so of Christmas and parties and party food and what all, that didn't go over very well.  Plus I had to start driving these kids all over the place again, which was a harsh departure from sitting around in my fat jeans, while knitting and eating leftover Christmas candy.

So, yeah, it wasn't the greatest week.  To top it off, thinking that I was FINALLY caught up on popular culture (as I had watched the first episode of Downton Abbey Season 3 AHEAD of time on my friend's British DVD player), I rashly chose to read some blog posts about the episode and was treated to numerous spoilers before I figured out that EVERYONE ELSE in this country had cheated by watching 2 (2!) episodes last Sunday night.

Really, people - whatever happened to delayed gratification? 

So I had to go back to my friend's house and eat MORE holiday cookies (…

Downton Fangirl

Well, I hope you all enjoy viewing Downton Abbey tonight.  I don't need to, you see, because I've already watched the first episode of Season 3.

Yup, been there, drooled over that.  It pays to have a friend whose Irish father brings her the British DVD version for Christmas.  And who has a DVD player we can actually watch it on.

Anywhoo, it was definitely worth viewing - I mean, unless you don't LIKE hunky British men and hunky Irishmen and awesome British accents and gorgeous period dresses.  In that case?  Don't bother.

And, oh, the music to the opening credits!  Hearing it makes me perk up the way my dog used to when we jingled the keys to the car.  What is it about that tune, anyway?

Mr. Bates - Too Good To Be True?

Look, I love Mr. Bates as much as the next gal, I do.  My heart goes pit-a-pat every time he limps across my TV screen.  But I think we all need to discuss whether or not he really is innocent of murdering his wife.

Yes, I KNOW that she was low enough to frame Mr. Bates for murder by committing suicide.  But I am no longer completely convinced by his continued portrayal of stoicism in the face of adversity.  Is he really such a sad sack that bad things just keep happening to him?  Doesn't that version of events sort of detract from his allure?

So, spill it, people: is Mr. Bates a murderer or not?  Is he lying to Anna?  Just typing those questions feels like a sacrilege.  Yet...he didn't seem all that surprised to find himself sitting on death row, is what I'm thinking...

[Mr. Bates image (sigh): PBS]

Anniversary Intrigue

Just a quick note to inform concerned reader(s) that I made a miraculous recovery by Tuesday morning, enabling me to boss the kids around for 4 hours straight in order to make the house presentable for guests by early afternoon.  We had lots of people over, who ate not nearly enough food and chocolate, leaving me the arduous task of picking up the slack for the past couple of days.  Their collective appetite may have been dampened, of course, by the sight of Susie vomiting all over the vegetable-and-dip tray, maybe 20 minutes after the start of the festivities.  That's right - my daughter, who had given not one hint of feeling ill all morning, waited until there were upwards of 30 people in our house to spew forth a veritable geyser of regurgitated party food. 

Despite my long and varied experience with puking children, I panicked.  Larry, coming to the rescue like the experienced vomit SWAT team member that he is, grabbed her (as she threw up yet again) and ran upstairs, leaving…