Wheels down

Hello friend. It’s been a whirlwind weekend. It kicks off a few weeks of chaos and fun we have coming up. Family. Friends. Food. Fun. *burp* Repeat.
Sorry.
But we have landed back home, for now, and I wanted to share this. I may have already posted about it in the past but I’m too tired to check. So apologies it this is déjà vu!
A couple of years ago a good pal gifted me this 20 cup (yes) thermos. She knew I entertained often and could never keep a coffee pot full. She was a genius. I love this beast. I carry it around to parties. Usually I bring people chai. Not chai tea. Just chai. I’ve gone over multiple state borders with it. I’ve taken it camping. I’ve taken it to parties. I love it.
Know why I love it so much? I made chai this morning at 10am to take with me to visit family. We got back. Had dinner. I yelled at some kids, and then I decided to clean it out. It was 7:45pm. It still had a cup left. A steaming hot cup. Steaming. Hot. Just sayin’.
Ask Santa for it. Or Amazon Prime.
Here’s a pick. It’s call Zojirushi.

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Oh No You Didn’t!

I was a bit distracted today. Last night, as I was falling into a deep deep sleep at 8:45pm, my husband dropped a bomb. A major announcement. Something he knew would send me reeling, so he waited until I was only half concious. He told me my Thanksgiving stuffing “needs work”. Excuse me? I’m sorry what? I felt like someone dumped cold water on me. It needs work? The stuffing I’ve been making for almost two decades? The one that we never have leftovers for?? Really? Then he kept talking. “It’s not clumpy enough.” “The sausage bits are too big.” “Maybe try a new recipe.”

I pretended to continue falling asleep, when in reality I was really seething for almost 10 minutes before actually falling asleep. How dare you sir!!! 

This morning I woke up and decided to ignore everything he said. This is the dude that has been licking his plate clean every Thanksgiving for the past 18 years. All of a sudden he’s on Chopped judging my technique?? Well I would not let him derail me. I mean, really, what am I supposed to do? Test run the stuffing? What am I a newlywed? But I was tortured. Obsessed. Fine! You win husband! I’ll do a trial run.

So I went through my work calls, work emails, work work – and then at 5pm…or maybe 4:59…I went out and bought all the stuff to make test stuffing. AKA dinner.

Here’s how it went down…buy this

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Then grab the entire 8 oz of butter. Yes. All of it. Do it. I also add in some fresh sage.

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Then add in the pre-chopped onions and celery or chop it all yourself if you’re a better person than me.

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Take whatever bread you are using, cut it up into rough pieces while thinking of your husband smack talking your hard work when all he does to prep for major holidays is take a shower. Ahem. Then bake at 200 degrees for an hour to dry out.

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Start another pan and cook the sausage. Here’s a before and after of what it should look like.

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I forget to add an egg to the ingredient photo – but you need an egg. At this point you’ll mix about a 1/3 of the stock with the egg and set it aside. Then generously butter a dish because…well, you know. Because butter.

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By now the onion, celery, sage mix is golden brown and swimming in butter.

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Time to combine the bread, sausage, onion/celery/butter mix and add a generous dose of fresh parsley and sage.

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You’ll note that I don’t add any salt because the butter I use is salted and, although I’ve never actually tasted it, I imagine the sausage to be salty. The only thing you have to add is the egg/turkey stock mixture and about a cup of just the stock.

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Then, for shits and giggles, add more butter.

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Bake for about an hour and done.

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When your husband says,”Sorry I doubted you, you are the best stuffing maker on the planet.” Drop the oven mitt on the floor and walk out of the kitchen.

P.S. – Don’t forget that your family can’t have food until Sunday because of all the calories they’ve consumed on Friday night and you should give your husband a small aspirin because of all the butter intake.

Some people.

In general – I’d say about 95% of time – I run into nice people. Decent people. People who like people. Yeah there are some roadragers (is that a word?) and cranky people out there – but one on one, face to face, you usually get nice. Am I right? Am I delusional? I don’t think so. That’s why I was so shocked at a little episode we had yesterday. Let me share.

Because my husband and I are 90 and can’t stay up too late, we tend to go to a Sunday morning matinée to get our movie on. This also works because my teen and tween sleep the morning away and we make it home in time to all have an early lunch together. I love an early lunch. There are lots of other pluses to this scenario. Less crowds. Cheaper tickets. Older audiences. We love it all.

So yesterday we decided to sneak away and see Birdman. We made it there in the nick of time, got our tickets and ran to the theater. To our shock and awe – it was packed. Really packed. Friday night showing packed. My husband spotted two seats and we made our way. There were two couples separated by the open spots we wanted. We asked both couples if the seats were taken and one of them said instantly,”nope all yours.” The husband in the other couple said nothing, but the wife said,”they’re taken.” Okey dokey then. We moved on. We found seats a couple of rows behind them.

As the previews started we noticed more couples trying to find seats. They went through the same interaction with those couples as we did – and they were both turned away the same way.

The movie started. My husband leaned over and said,”there’s no one sitting in those seats. No one is coming. She lied.”

He was right. She basically just didn’t want anyone sitting there. Not a big deal right? Wrong. It takes me about two seconds to go through my emotions when this stuff happens. Disgust, anger, annoyance, and then finally, acceptance of the fact that they are not nice people. Or maybe they have some sitting-next-to-strangers disorder. Whatever. This is not the case with my husband, who is bothered to his very core, his very soul about the injustice. He grapples with their entitlement, he struggles with their complete lack of empathy for other movie goers. He’s upset. And he stays upset.

It doesn’t help that the movie is dark and sad. It doesn’t help that we have a clear sight view of this selfish couple, or that he knows the other folks turned away had to sit in the very front. Their movie going experience all but destroyed (not really).

The movie ends. He turns to me and says,” What did you think? That was great right? Oh, I’m going to say something to that couple. They should know that we know.”

In the early stages of my marriage I would have tried to talk him out of this, explained that we needed to be the bigger person etc. All that talk would have incited him even more. The other thing the talk would have done is to get him angry at me too, how could I not understand how horrible these people were? How could I not see he was right? Now, 18 years in, I say nothing. I say not one word. If he wants to say something, by all means, go for it. He is right. Some people should be called out, no matter how much of a scene it would make.

So I watched him go down the aisle, pass the couple and keep moving. When we got outside I asked him why he changed his mind, he said,” eh, some people.”

Some people indeed.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Instagram Balanced

Here’s what showed up on my Instagram feed yesterday. Same, but different.
Shaolin Monks who believe your mind
can do anything you command it to. They believe in discipline, focus and training.

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Next up: Andy Cohen from Bravo. He believes in gays, housewives and International home searches. He also believes in Mazel-of-the-weeks, Padma Laxshmi and alcohol.

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Same, but different.

Top 10 rules for 16 year old drivers that happen to be my daughter

My daughter turns 16 in a few weeks. My daughter turns 16 in a few weeks. My daugh…sorry.  I’m a little spooked. How is this possible? Wanna know something even stranger – she’ll be driving a car soon. DRIVING a car. My baby. On a road.

My husband’s been taking her for test drives, I’ve done a couple of tours with her myself – and it’s all good. She’s careful. She’s smart. She’ll be fine (but did I mention she was a baby?).  I’m coming to grips with it. Cause you know, it’s all about me.

But sometimes, I drive around try and imagine her in one of the cars on the road with me.  This freaks me out even more.  In my head she’s driving really well. Not texting. Seat belt on. Focused.  All good. But then I look at all the other drivers on the road with my daughter in her imaginary car.  I start cursing at the Blue Honda swirving in and out of lanes, and at the truck that’s going way too fast for the curvy road we’re on. I’m fuming at them for being on the same road with my imagination. By the time I get home I decide my daughter will never be let out of the house again.

And by the way, I’m the laid back parent. The go-with-the-flow parent.  If my husband and I were to make lists of the most important things my daughter needs to remember about driving, here’s what our two lists would look like. Guess which list is mine?

Photoneha*

Come on. Admit it. You check for murderers in your backseat too right? Right?

 

*I wrote half this post on my ipad and the other half on my phone. I couldn’t figure out a way to get the list from one to the other when I combined the two – and my iclouds aren’t working or something. So sorry about the weird photo/insert thingie.

 

 

Nobody cares. Work harder.

Well that’s not exactly true. Lots of people care, but I really should work harder. Here’s how I came to this aha! moment (I speak your name Oprah!).
I was in the middle of a whining tirade this morning, complaining about the usual stuff people complain about (oh my job, my house , my blah blah blah) when a good friend said,” nobody cares, work harder.
Geez. Fine.
There are days when this advice would have made me crawl up and go back to bed, or cry in a corner. There are days when I would have said,” F you! I deserve to vent and fume.”
But today, it’s what I needed to hear. There’s no time for tucking into self-pity. What am I an infant? I need to be soothed? Come on! I’m no martyr. Atleast 4 times a day I almost buy a vanilla latte . How bad could things be? Answer: not bad at all.
So tuck that in your pocket or purse for a rainy day. Don’t say I never gave you anything. Good night.

Racism. The old fashioned kind.

I went to get a book for my friend’s son (a boy so beautiful he would blow up the blogosphere – but alas, his smart mama keeps him off the interweb). I try to get a book he will like and his parents won’t hate reading 1,000 times to him.
As I was perusing, I found this Thanksgiving book. I was drawn to it right away. Because of the way it was drawn.
None of that cultural sensitivity stuff from the newer books. Just good old fashioned stereotyping.
I grew up in the 70s and 80s. Everything that we called normal is now called hazing, bullying, sexual harassment, ADHD, cultural insensitivity and it’s evil twin – racism. Many 40+ olds like me are now in therapy or spending quality time in a bar reflecting and learning why none of that was normal. And it wasn’t normal or right. We were just too busy wearing shoulder pads to notice.
That’s why I was so surprised to see this book, published pretty recently.

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Look at these old school images.
Squanto and his pals actually have feathers on their heads – and mohawks – you know, cause their Injuns (which I now know is an offensive epithet and not a cute abbreviation. See, all that time at the bar helped). I’m obsessed with these pics. I can’t figure out why one of the pilgrims has a groovy Afro or why some of the pilgrims have hipster mustaches.

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The picture below brings me right back to elementary school. I’ve seen a version of this pic a million times. The pilgrims facing the cold, hard winter. Why don’t they just go into the warm wood cabins behind them? Duh. I should have been a pilgrim.

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Once they explain the “origins” of Thanksgiving, there’s a picture of a modern family enjoying the feast.

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I’m digging the addition of the African American grandparents – but where are the descendants of Squanto? Atleast 3 culturally insensitive jokes come to mind. I won’t write them. Cause I know what cultural insensitivity feels like, I’m an Injun too. Dot, not feather.
(I did not buy this book. I bought a Halloween book called Dem Bones instead. Much more politically correct )

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