Category Archives: Daily Grind

Weird question for you

Would you rather be in great health and in a bad marriage/relationship, or in failing health and in a great marriage/relationship? And why do you choose what you choose?

No reason for me asking this; I just haven’t blogged in a while and I randomly thought of this while I was just unloading the dishwasher in between gobs of hummus and chips. I think I would choose the health. Maybe. Is that weird? See? It’s not an easy question!

I love records

Periodically, my fab friend Stacey at Vertigo Music needs to make some space in her store, so she has these awesome “Buy 1, Get 11 Free” sales for the dollar bins. I went in and the pickins were GOOD. So good I bought 2 and got 22 free! Wheeee!

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My NyQuil-induced freaky dream

I have been a total mess all week due to a seriously lethal cold/flu thing. I think I’ve finally turned a corner today; I felt good enough to leave the house, which would have been impossible a few days ago. Anyhoo, I’ve been swigging a *LOT* of NyQuil. As in, “Nectar of the Gods.” My only saving grace throughout all this. All you mamas out there know how hard it is to parent when you are sick as a dog. When the kids are sick, too…well, it’s pretty much the most unpleasant days of your life.

One plus side to all this, if you are a total spaz like me, is that NyQuil gives you freaky dreams that you can blog about. Like this gem from last night:

I was apparently an actress who was in “Django Unchained,” but my scenes were cut at the last minute. I was appearing on the Oprah show with all the other actors in it. Glenn Close was there. I don’t remember the others. But it was all people who were not actually in the movie.

So, I was super-bitter that my scenes got cut. Oprah asked me a question, and I called her out about her falseness, phoniness, etc. In real life I have no opinion of Ms. Winfrey other than she worked hard for her success and she really came from practically nothing and built an empire. I harbor no ill will towards her. I can’t say I was a regular watcher of her show, nor do I take the lists of things she likes as gospel like so many do, but I like her, I guess. I will not deny that she is an inspiration to millions and does a ton of good things. But in my dream she was the most evil woman who ever lived and I was happy I got to expose her.

WELL. I went to my parents’ house and we all sat down to watch tv and my little rant on the O was the top story on all the entertainment shows and there was basically a public outcry to lynch me, because how DARE I CROSS OPRAH. Even my parents were “so disappointed in me.” Which we all know is just the worst.

I ended up going back to high school, which naturally was in a mall, and trying to blend in, like a narc ala “21 Jump Street,” to escape the public’s wrath. I left the school during lunch and got lost in the parking lot and then I woke up.

NyQuil. It should be illegal. It’s that good.

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I get by with a little help from my friends

My theory: Your 20’s are all about figuring out who you really are. Your 30’s are all about figuring out how to accept who you really are. So what are your 40’s about? Just a whole bunch of awesome because you know what’s important and you don’t care what other people think? Because although I’ve only been 40 for like a month and a half, I’m riding the Don’t Care Train, for sure. I don’t care what people think about my weight, my hair, my make-up-free face, the condition of my house or the car I drive or any of those things. Right now I have the awesome gift of love and friendship on my mind. I’ve been hanging out a lot with my super- awesome and amazing friend Tiff, and yesterday was all about Shari and Shaune. I love you guys! I’m a lucky 40-year-old who doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

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By the time I got to Woodstock

I really have Woodstock on the brain. The town, not the festival. I like the festival, too, but not as much as I like the town. I first went up there a few days before Christmas in 1997 and I’ve been there many times since. I’ve seen every season and met lots of people. I’ve stayed lots of places (my favorite being the Village Green B&B, right on the Village Green. I used to like to crawl out the window onto the roof and people watch) and I’ve bought lots of things and taken lots of pictures. Below are some favorites. Some of the pics may be repeats from other blog posts, and some are sights from around town…but oh well.

I have the negatives of a roll of b/w film from my first trip up there. I must get it developed and uploaded so I can tell you the story and show the pic of how I bumped into Michael Lang on Tinker Street about 1/2 hour after deciding on a whim to go to the festival site for the first time. Crazy, right? But Woodstock is just that kinda place.

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Kitchen Sink Cooking

I love to cook. I mean, LOVE. Which is a big surprise to all of us. In fact, my hubby says its the biggest surprise of our relationship. When we met, I either ordered out or went out to eat or ate cereal for dinner. But after 10 years together, I must say I have gotten pretty good. My husband is a nice Midwestern boy, and he likes his meat n’ potatoes. I have eased up on the outwardly funky food and concentrated on perfecting and then tweaking “normal food.” I have had moderate to substantial success with this. And my two-year-olds are awesome eaters. They are not really picky, so far. And they like hummus, tofu, spicy things…and I think that’s great. They even eat some veggies with happiness. But as soon as I learned about how to purée vegetables and sneak them into food without your kids (or husband with high cholesterol) knowing it, that’s when I started Kitchen Sink Cooking. As in, “Everything but the…” Sometimes I follow a nice recipe. But sometimes I just throw a bunch of crap together and hope for the best.

Right now, at this very moment, I am making meatballs. Kitchen sink meatballs. This is what’s in them (oh, sorry, I don’t measure with kitchen sink cooking):

Ground turkey (2-3 lbs to make a great big batch)
Cilantro from my garden
1 packet of onion soup mix
1 little packet of Goya Sazon
Pepper
Sea Salt
Bread crumbs
Like half a bag of frozen cauliflower which I cooked and then puréed

I should have probably added an egg, but I want to save all my eggs to make deviled eggs for my Bible study tomorrow night (I like irony) and I figured the puréed cauliflower was moist enough. Other healthy things that you can purée and add to other things to sneak into your family’s food are sweet potatoes, broccoli, and carrots.

I put some fresh garlic and some olive oil in a cast iron skillet (actually one big one and one little one) and browned the meatballs a little. Then I baked them in the oven at 350 for…a while. Ovens are all different. I don’t know how your oven works. They are actually in there right now…I’m guessing at least a half hour of baking.

When they are cooked through I am going to serve them with some buffalo ranch dipping sauce and some pasta salad. YUM.

I will let you know how it goes. When you cook like this, it either turns out really amazing or looking like the below ugly recipe card from the 70’s. You astute observers will notice that this particular ugly recipe card from the 70’s is signed by Amy Sedaris. Yep. I love her. She is my spirit animal. I met her and she was awesome. Yay. And I bet she does her share of Kitchen Sink Cooking.

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(Please ignore my dirty oven)

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Edit: it’s done! And it’s delicious!!!

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Another edit: the kids love it!

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I want for nothing

Sometimes you wake up and you realize how beautiful life is. Sometimes you have one of those ridiculously special days that you feel you somehow don’t even deserve, or was even possible in your boring, go-nowhere little neck of the woods. Sometimes you just feel so loved. That sometime for me is right now, right this very second. I was in the company of so many amazing people in everything I did yesterday that, no lie, I woke up with a smile on my face this morning. The day was filled with delicious food and creative friends and beautiful family and awesome art and gorgeous film and moving music and lively discussion and good weather and bad weather and laughter and tears and I just felt SO MUCH OF EVERYTHING.

As women (and especially as moms and/or at the workplace) we tend to go on automatic pilot just so we can accomplish the myriad tasks swirling around in our heads. When we are taking care of everybody else all the time, those days when we are kinda in it for ourselves are all the more special. Right now I’m so filled up that I could cry. God is good.

Carol took me to a fabulous lunch filled with wonderful conversation, and she gave me the portrait she painted of me and that hung in two galleries this spring! Below is the original photo, the painting, and the artist herself. It was a wonderful time. She is so rad. Also 2 pics of me and Shari at the Levon movie screening last night (complete with producer Q&A, free wine and delicious food afterwards! I can’t even talk about the movie right now. I just can’t. There are no words for how beautiful that masterpiece was painted). And then I came outside to see that my daisies came up! And the moon and the sun are both in the sky right now. I’m watching a bumblebee get his breakfast on the magnolias next to me while drinking my coffee from my favorite owl mug I got in Woodstock. My kids are playing and happy. Right now, I want for nothing.

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That Old Book Smell

Yesterday I finally did it: I took the kids to the library. I have been wanting to do this for ages, but I had visions of them bolting in 2 different directions, pulling all the books off the shelves, screaming their fool heads off. I don’t know why I choose to continually underestimate my children, but I do. I asked them if they wanted to go to the library, and they said, “YEAH!!!” I didnt even know they knew what a library WAS until I took them to Barnes & Noble the other week and they asked me if this was the library. There must be a Caillou library episode that I missed or something.

Anyway, I explained how we need to be very quiet there and not pull out books unless I’m with them because they all go in a certain order, etc. Oh, man. We had a great time. Hazel decided she wanted Curious George books, so I showed her where those were and she spread them all out on the floor and chose a few of them. Max wanted a book about dinosaurs and The Cat in the Hat and I grabbed some Elephant and Piggie books, too, because they are awesome.

They were really patient while I picked out my books, too. I was impressed. They have a story time on Thursday and I think I will take them. Oh yeah, I just remembered, there *was* a Caillou library episode, because he went to story time and checked out a book and accidentally colored on it and had a meltdown in front of the librarian. We should review this episode so they don’t end up turning The Man in the Yellow Hat into The Man in the Amazing Technicolor Dream Hat.

So, yeah. The library. The best job I ever had was working at a library. I did crafts with kids and adult programs, too. I loved having everyday access to all those books and movies. I love the way library books smell. I like that musty used bookstore smell, too. If I could invent a perfume that smelled like fresh summer rain and old books, I would be a rich woman. Actually, I really wouldn’t. I’m probably the only woman in the world who thinks smelling like a musty old book would be attractive. I swear, it’s a miracle I found anyone willing to marry me. I’m such a mess.

Well, lookie what we have here!. I’m not the only one! It really IS the greatest smell in the world!!! Who’s a mess now, eh? (Me. The answer is me. I’m still a mess.)

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Am I more Martha than Mary?

So, last night was my the first night of my summer bible study (and the first time I led a bible study ever). I think it went pretty well. I mean, I thought it did. They all said, “See ya next week!” so I guess it wasn’t too hideous. My natural inclination is to pick apart the weakness of my questions and “leadership” abilities and stuff like that…but nobody is judging me on those things. Nobody except me. We veered off topic a lot, which I loved. I want this to be free and easy and open. And it was. I’m sure it will just get freer and easier and…opener.

It is said that when two or more people gather in His name, He is there. And He was. The Lord wants these specific women to get together and talk and learn about Him. He will give us all the words we need for each other.

So, what did I learn? I learned that I need to remember that God has a sense of humor. As someone who loves to laugh, loves to be silly, loves to think outside the box…how do I forget this?? As one of my friends said last night, if we are made in His image, obviously he has a sense of humor! Obviously we can use our sense of humor in connection with Him. I forget that sometimes.

I also learned that despite how much I’ve mellowed out in the past few years, I am still a total worrier. Am I (*gasp*) a MARTHA?!?!. I’d like to think I’m a Mary, but I’m not so sure. I wish I could truly not care about what others are thinking about me (or what the house looks like or how the food tastes or is everything good enough). I assume others are thinking the same things I am thinking. Like, as I’m blathering on about whatever: “Man, this girl should NOT be leading a bible study.” “Yikes, how did she not remember the details of that story she is trying to reference?” Yes, I know this stuff is only my own insecurity. And it’s the enemy trying to discourage me. Well, it ain’t gonna happen. This could be the crappiest, lamest bible study in the world and I am not giving up and I’m not gonna doubt myself or worry what anyone thinks. Yeah, right. Shut up, enemy!! You sound like a crazy person. Yeah, what else is new?!

I would also say that I learned that I am blessed beyond measure, but I already knew that. That is one thing that I will never, ever doubt.

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