New decade, who dis?

Don’t worry. I’m not going to go through everything that happened to me in the last 10 years. But I thought it would be fun to do some non sequiturs. Fun maybe over promising…. but here goes:


  • At the beginning of this decade I had an 11 and 6 year old. Next week that 11 year old leaves for her last semester, senior year in California. The 6 year old is learning how to parallel park. The dingo ate my babies
  • Chickpeas love olive oil. It’s true. Alison Roman taught me that. And Brad from Bon Appetit taught me more than I ever wanted to know about fermentation. Yes… kimchi… we get it we get it. In the last year I’ve nearly stopped watching Food Network (except Ina ofcourse). Who needs it?! NYT Cooking and Bon App have YouTube shows that actually show you how to cook! It’s a revelation. Everything I’ve made this year that’s impressed anyone came from those two places. Closely tied for third… King Arthur Flour Instagram and Smitten Kitchen Instagram. Do yourself a favor and carve out 5-9 hours to dive deep into those sites. It’s worth it
  • I went to far too many funerals.
  • But went to plenty of weddings too
  • I met some really good people
  • And met a few shitty ones too
  • We lost a cat. Santa brought 2 more. That bastard
  • My sister finally let the calendar go! What’s the calendar you ask?? Oh. I’ll tell you. In 2010, my sister made a calendar for the whole family as a Christmas gift. It was genius. No buying ridiculous things for people who will never use them- everyone gets a calendar. Through the years we’ve asked, no begged her, to rotate who gets to do the calendar. And every year she holds it hostage (yes it was her idea, what’s your point?). So imagine my extreme surprise when she said she no longer wanted to do it. Admittedly it was during a highly stressful time in her life. Juggling a newborn, job, life, etc. She was probably exhausted and tired when she said it. We should have said no… that’s your gift, you don’t really want to give it away…But guess what?! We didn’t. It was ours for the taking. I think we did a coin toss. I don’t remember. My cousin won it. I was devastated. But in a turn of highly fortunate events, she passed on it too! I was the winner! Or whatever you call the last one standing. Doesn’t matter. It’s mine. At least until 2030
  • I love to have people over. It’s a known fact. I’m always up for it. When I met my husband in 1991, he was… shall we say… slightly less social. It took a long long time to convert him. I’m proud to say that he’s almost more social than I am now. It’s a hosting miracle. I’m pretty good at it. I feel confident in my abilities to feed and welcome. But there are two people in my life that are freaking ninjas at it. I’m talking to you Katherine and Marcella! Holy moly. Next level hosting. That’s the badge they’d get. It’s not just about WHAT they put out. It’s HOW they put it out. And it doesn’t feel contrived or pushy. It just makes you feel taken care of. I’ll keep having people over and keep trying to be as cool as them. Trying
  • The girl gang was born. Our family welcomed the coolest, cutest, most savage set of girl babies in the last few years. Norah was first, followed by Reya, then the power twins – Jane and Catherine, and finally came Lila. Boys drool. Girls definitely rule. I’d show you pics but then I’d have to kill you
  • Speaking of girl gangs…no list of things that have happened to me in the last 10 years would be complete without mention of our annual, and now that our kids are older, biannual girls weekend! Two Aprils, lots of booze and non-stop laughing. It’s the best medicine for all my ails
  • When I picked my career and my life partner years ago, I had no idea both would take me to so many cool places. From Oktoberfest in Germany, or sitting in Grand Place in Brussels having a Leffe, to The Secret Lagoon in Iceland. It’s been a trip. Literally. What’s next? Can’t wait
  • Giving is better than getting. Liz K taught me that. She also made it ridiculously easy to do good in our neighborhood. Let me explain. All my life I’ve given to big causes. St. Judes, Unicef, etc. When there’s a major disaster, who gives? This guy, that’s who. But it felt… distant. Transactional. Which isn’t a bad thing. But 2 years ago I saw a Facebook post for a group called Neighbor in Need. A local mom had begun galvanizing help for women and families who lived in our surrounding area and who were having a hard time. It was/is everything from meal trains and small donations, to a holiday drive this past Christmas that helped hundreds of children. Here’s the beautiful thing. She makes it so easy. Don’t have time to cook? Venmo some money. Don’t have extra money? Offer to deliver one of the meals or pack supplies. It’s genius. We live in a really nice town. Most of our issues involve dog poop left on lawns (there’s a Dateline special coming up). But we have people among us that have real problems. Not enough food. Not enough resources. Invisible problems if you drive around town, or check out the town Facebook page. But Liz sees them. And she’s helped me see them too
  • Oh gel manicures. Why did you come into my life?? You’re easy. Fast. And you’ve destroyed my nail beds. I used to be a Ballet Slipper, short and square gal. Now I’m wearing Como Se Llama on long ovals! Who even am I? Well this past month it happened. My nails revolted. They’ve had enough. Now my nails look like they belong to a 3rd grade boy. Short. Nubby. Naked. It was my own fault. I have no one to blame but me. And OPI
  • Finally, I’m ending my decade with the same haircut that I began it in… except now I wear reading glasses. On top of my contacts. Joy

So there you go. Decade down. New one up to bat. This year holds big things for us too. A couple of weddings (so far), a graduation (my baby girl), and a few more laughs I hope. I started this blog because it made me happy. I hope you are still doing the things that make you happy too. Here’s to the roaring 20s! Peace and love, peace and love

Really?

There are no words. Just thought you should see this since I had to.

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Another view

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Nice Doggy…

We had a yard sale this morning.

Apparently this is the weekend for this type of thing. We got out there early – really early and had people all morning.

Our neighborhood has great walking paths – there’s always folks out with their babies or dogs or both.

Now…before I begin the rest of this post…let me be clear. There’s one thing that I usually don’t discuss with people. No, not religion or politics or money – I have no problem talking about that stuff (as long as you’re a grown-up and not secretly angry).

What I’m talking about is a subject near and dear to many people’s hearts. I’m talking about pets.  Pets. Specifically, my non-love for/of them. My complete un-need for pets. I know. I’m a monster.  I don’t stroke, coo, or otherwise touch them. Do I wish them harm? No! NO! I love that you love pets. Dogs, cats, birds, whatever. Good for you. It’s just not my thang.

My husband is a cat person. He’s had and loved cats his whole life. He’s made our children cat people too.  And we have one. Lexi, a very pretty Calico. Before her we had a very street smart, rat-turned-cat that my husband found behind a dumpster in the Bronx named Virgo.  I’ve posted pics before.  I offer this not as an excuse, but merely as part of my history.

Back to the yard sale.

As I said, we set up early for all the hardcore “buyers” who troll the neighborhood at 6am. During the course of the morning, we met many of our near and far neighbors. Some were curt and all business – nodding and forging ahead. But many were super friendly. Stopping to chat and look around.

Many of the awesome folks that stopped had dogs. And inevitably, I felt deep guilt when I didn’t acknowledge the dog. Because you see I know you love that dog. And I think that dog is awful cute. But here’s what happens, when I say something about the dog, like, “oh how cute” or “what a sweetie” or something – all of which I mean sincerely –  you immediately loosen the harness so the dog can come closer and I can pet said dog.

And then….nothing. You get nothing from me. I start stuffing my hands in my pockets. I start fixing my hair. I do anything but pet/stroke/touch the dog.

Awkward.

Because what you don’t know is that I don’t even pet the animals that live in my house.

I blame my parents. We never had pets – until I went away to school – then my family had a pet revolution. Everywhere you looked there was a big, fluffy dog. I missed out.

So you see I appreciate you and your love for the dog/cat/bird/fish – but I’d rather not touch it.

Is that ok?

Am I still a good person?

I’d rather kiss a 100 snotty babies than rub a dog’s belly. I’m a freak.

Not news.

Cat Nap

Gird your loins.

Another cat post.

I took this video for my boy – who is in mad love with this cat. Since it’s Friday and my brain can’t function – I decided to use it as my post too. A nice Friday cheat.

I came down this morning to find Lexi sleeping in her spot and making a noise.  Kinda like snoring or sleep meowing. I dunno.

She was doing it loudly enough for me to hear it in the kitchen. By the time I decided to go get my phone and tape her, she’d mellowed a bit.

Stick with the video…around the 2o second mark, like a great whale, she starts again.

The round blob of fur is hard to figure out.

Here she is in all her fat, whiskery, stank eye splendor

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The Lexi Life

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I asked my boy last night what I should write about on my blog

since I’ve promised to not slack off so much.

He said,”you should always write about Lexi.”

Then he spent the next 10 minutes going through all her amazing qualities:

She’s beautiful. She’s clean. She’s purrrrry. She’s his. Blah Blah Blah.

I asked him to go take a picture of his perfect cat.

And he did. And the picture is perfect too.

Now I’m annoyed.

And jealous. I think/know/am sure that he may love her more than me.

Look at her smug face. She knows it too.

And she’s accomplished something I thought could never happen.

I’ve written a cat post.

Send help.

Virgo

My husband is a cat person.

If he was older, unmarried and a woman – he’d be a really good cat lady. He’s had cats all his life and loved them. Me? Not so much.

This is Virgo – he was with us for almost 12 years.  My husband had just graduated college, gotten a job in the big city and was about to move out of the Bronx – where he had been living for about a year.  As he was leaving, he went to the back of his old building to dump some garbage and a little, gray cat the size of a large rat ran over to him. It was love at first sight for both of them.

Virgo was not a gentle, loving, purring kitty. He was a Bronx born, garbage raised hooligan. He considered every touch a call to arms. He didn’t like to be pet. The irony. A pet that doesn’t like petting.  The only person in our family that even tried to love that cat was my husband – and he’s got the scars to show for it.

Virgo lived the good life. He went from eating garbage in the ‘hood to eating only Fancy Feast – my husband insisted. For most of his life he had a better healthcare plan than all of us combined and he was groomed way more than I was.

It was the first time I ever lived with a pet. I know, I know. Cats are easy. Cats aren’t dogs. Cats are low-key. Except this cat wasn’t low-key. This cat was wild, crazy and mean most of the time. And the liter box. Can we talk about the liter box? It’s box. Full of poop and pee that just lives with you. The horror.

That seat was his perch, his favorite spot in the house.  There is a permanent indent in the cushion where he sat – and where now, our new cat, also sits.  Yes, we got another cat. Lexi. The complete, polar opposite of Virgo. A loving, purring, soft, sweet little girl. You want her?

I don’t think I’ll ever be a cat person. Or a dog person. Or a fish….you get the point. But I’ve made my peace with cat living.

 

 

 

Call of the wild

Today’s post was supposed to be about the following things:  picking up my babies from camp & the Olympics.

I plan to be at the gates of the camp as soon as it opens. Just kidding. Not really. The two weeks both flew by and took forever. I’ll never send them away again. Just kidding. Not really.

The Olympic opening ceremonies are on tonight!  Danny Boyle directed the production so I fully expect a little “jai ho” slipped in there. When I was little, the summer olympics were a major ritual in our house. Cooking shows were tuned off. Bollywood movies were put on hold for it. It was big.

So of course I sprung out of bed and bolted downstairs to post this before my big day – and look what I found waiting for me.

**warning** This is gross, offensive, disgusting and revolting (that’s how I felt anyway).  For your protection I only included a thumbnail photo.

Sorry. But I think you need to know what happens here.  It’s like a war zone.

I did what any sane person would do – I screamed and woke my husband up to clean it. He came downstairs, said a few swear words and told me that the cat is sick.

Yes…Sick. Twisted. Wild. Needs to be in the woods. This is why we shouldn’t have pets indoors. What were we talking about?

This now concludes the overshare.

I’m going to go back to my happy place now. A place that does not involve cat puke or poop or whatever that was!

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