16 November 2009

lie to me

What would you do if everything that you knew, had ever known, was A Lie.  A provocative thought, no?  Let's say, for example, that you had been given up for adoption.  Or you were kidnapped as an infant.  Or, even worse, you thought you were an orphan, but your parents had been alive your entire life.  And had chosen to send you away because you were a girl, not a boy.  All of these scenarios are based on reality.

Would you still be the same person?

Nature vs. Nurture.  Are you who you are based on your DNA?  Or your upbringing.

I think it's probably a little bit of both.  I honestly think that, no matter what, I'd still be mostly Me.  But I do believe that who raises us, who sets that example, helps to mold the original clay that was the original You.

Would I still love sunshine, licorice, ocean water, tulips, bacon cheeseburgers?  Yes, I believe I would.  All of the emotions and feelings involved in loving THOSE things are sensory --- and probably hard-wired into my brain.

But would I still be stubborn, good with kids, a music lover, a voracious reader, Type B, easily brought to laughter, generous................

I'd like to think I have my parents to thank for that.

16 September 2009

like mother like daughter

so, last night we made L's meatballs.....tonight we made a recipe courtesy of her daughter, my niece (thanks E!).  pepperoni bread - i simply can't describe how really good it is.  and how easy it is to make.  even someone as culinarily-challenged (yes, i did just make that word up, shut up giada) as i am, managed just fine.  actually, my daughter did most of the work, i just did the rolling before baking, and the eating after.  add a tossed green salad and it's the perfect meal.

E's pepperoni bread

1 tube ready/to/bake pizza crust
pepperoni slices
shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese (helps to ease the guilt)
italian seasoning

that's it, honestly.  i love making things that don't require lots of ingredients.

anyway, you roll the pizza dough out into a rectangle, then lightly sprinkle it all over with the seasoning.  i've seen a recipe where you spread a layer of butter (!) on the dough before sprinkling the seasoning, but we wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies later so we skipped the butter fat.  i don't think you need it at all, actually.  then spread a layer of the cheese, then a layer of pepperoni, then another light layer of cheese.  you can also sprinkle a little bit of grated parm on top for a nice twist.

then you roll it (like you're making a jelly roll.  not that i've ever done that, but that's what the "other" recipes say to do) and kindof press the edges closed.  it looks like a fat dough meatloaf, or a rectangular calzone.

bake at 375 for between 12-17 minutes (light brown) depending on your oven....

slice and eat.  a very quick and easy meal when you have sports practices, back-to-school night, and homework all at once (my life today).

one note -- we used regular pepperoni, and while it was very good, it was a tad greasy as pepperoni is wont to be.  i think we'll use turkey pepperoni (hormel makes the best and you can buy it in a little resealable bag) next time and see how it changes the texture and taste.  it's probably much better for you too.

sometimes these simple recipes are awesome to have in your hip pocket.  i've GOT to get out of the habit of looking at the clock at 5:50 pm and realizing it's time for dinner and 1) not only do i not have a plan for what we are going to eat, but 2) i don't have anything from which to make a decent dinner.

i think this is going to be one of my Go-To recipes.  

15 September 2009

something new

isn't it amazing that feeling you get when you try to do something for the first time --- and it works?

try making meatballs from scratch.  yes, i am on the north side of 40 and have never attempted it.  but i was motivated by my sister's story of meatball-making with my two nephews, and how much fun it seemed.  she is an amazing cook, and she really enjoys it.  i don't.  i cook so we can eat.  period, the end.  but i've got to do something to make the dinner-hour prep and cook time less onerous.  less of a torture session, with audible sighs of distaste, and more something i look forward to - or at least something i can survive with a minimum of frustration.  so i got my sister's recipe, hit the store and put on my apron.  literally and figuratively.  (i can hear the chortling from all who know me, but honestly i just didn't want to get sauce raw meat oil/grease crap all over my clothes.  you know how i am when i eat, it's much worse when i cook.  frightening.)  anyway, they were really good (thanks L) and i'm a trifle embarrassed i was too intimidated to try them before now.  not really all that difficult, and very tasty.....

or, another new (and frankly, terrifying) thing........like writing a blog - and actually publishing it.....i really enjoy the blogs i read most days, and find myself feeling like they are my buds, my cohorts, my pals.  they make me laugh, and they also remind me that there are other people/women out there who might be going through what i'm going through, or feeling what i'm feeling.

my sosister-in-law (slang for sortof sister-in-law, she's actually my sister's sister-in-law) writes an on-line journal and i love it.  i enjoy reading about the things that bring her happiness, and the things that challenge her....the funny things her kids do and say........and about the relationships with those she loves.  you know, all of the important things in Life.  she's a really good writer and i felt inspired after i started reading her posts on a daily basis (thanks girlysmack).

so i figured that maybe writing one myself would be a good, even cathartic, experience.  it certainly can't hurt, right?  and even if it does, probably only for a little while.   !!!!!!!!!!!!!

i'm a very private person, as my family can attest.  i don't put myself Out There very much, and keep a lot of things inside.  i'm one of those people who lets everything percolate for a while in my head......until i come to a solution or to a place where i feel better about things.  i'm not a talker, a communicator or a verbalizer.  it's a character flaw, or maybe just a character trait,  but i'm pretty sure i'm hard-wired that way.  sometimes it is actually physically impossible for me to talk about Anything until i've had a chance to go round and round in my brain and heart about it all.  so having stuff out there that others can read has been kindof a big step for me.  but i'm hopeful that putting things in writing will help me to get some clarity.  the written word has a tendency to force you to look at things more concretely.  writing also makes me feel ok about myself, as if i've actually accomplished something positive.  and i'm in real need of that right now.  so here goes. 

anyway, lately i've been feeling.........stagnant? stifled?  certainly unmotivated and uninspired.  i'm not sure. i've just been floundering.  so i'm forcing myself to do things i don't regularly or normally do, in the hopes that i will snap out of this mini-funk and feel better.  meatballing and blogging.  wow.

i'm actually thrilled that we had homemade meatballs tonight.  maybe not an earth-shattering event for some, but pretty big for me.  and i'm actually cool with writing about it and about other stuff too.

i've been inspired by many, influenced by a few, and pushed by even fewer.  meatballs and blogs. who knew.
we'll see how it goes.

14 September 2009


had the pleasure of spending the weekend with "the babies" as my daughter calls them.  my 3 1/2 year old nephew and 2 year old niece.  it was amazing.

i love the unadulterated joy you feel inside when a child's face lights up when they see you.......or how their little sleep-creased pink faces, upon awakening from a nap, can make your heart actually skip a beat.  my kids are older now so i don't get the unconditional displays of affection from them that i used to enjoy so much when they were little.  but i still get immeasurable joy from the pleasure of their company.

note to self about an interesting phenomenom - i had somewhat forgotten that a toddler's main job in life is to define the word "mercurial".  the swift change from happy to angry to sad to joyful is exhausting to watch!  can you imagine how tiring it is to actually BE that little person? 

i think that the memories of tantrum-filled days and restless nights mellow and fade with time.   how else would we be able to gird ourselves for the challenges of teenagers?

parenting.  an amazing journey. 

13 September 2009


kindof just occurred to me that summer is really over.  as in OVER.  while the weather is still warm and the sun still bright, the kids are back to school, the pools are closed, there is no beach traffic on I-95, football has begun, and it's dark just after 7.  i love summer.  LIVE for summer.  and this year has been no exception.  i think i could live at the beach year-round - i love the ocean.  the tranquility on a calm day, the angry water on a stormy day, the endless sound of the waves crashing........guess i'll keep buying lottery tickets.

26 August 2009


i'm so sad about ted kennedy's passing today.....whatever your political leanings, it can't be denied that his efforts for our citizens were amazing.

i think he spent the last 40 years perhaps atoning for his own sins ---- and attempting to make things right?

i always get a tightness in my throat when i think about the losses that this family has suffered. for, at the very heart of things, they were A FAMILY. mother, father, children, grandchildren.....they had problems just like we all do. and while they may not have had the financial struggles that many of us face, they certainly have had their own personal suffering and crosses to bear.  i can relate to that. losing a son, father, sister, brother, uncle? how do you recover. and they suffered those losses many times over.....

president kennedy was assassinated before i was born, and robert kennedy was killed when i was a toddler. but the tragedy that has befallen this family is still one i can understand. how hard to lose so many loved ones.

but it truly seemed, when john kennedy, jr. died, that Fate had become a punitive and deliberately cruel member of this family. to lose him in the prime of his life? it must have brought them all to their knees - there certainly was a collective sorrow among us all for this man who would never grow old....a man who forever captured our hearts with that salute as his father's casket passed. it felt as though we had lost someone we knew.

i will never forget an interview ted kennedy gave afterward and the poignant tribute that came to an end because teddy, overcome with emotion, simply could not continue. the loss was simply too much to bear.  he looked like a sorrowful and wounded old man at that point - a man suffering greatly over the loss of his beloved nephew who had "every gift but length of years".

feeling very fortunate today that my family members are all alive and well.  and grateful that there are citizens among us who are willing to fight for those less fortunate, the down-trodden, and those discriminated against.  ted kennedy wasn't a perfect man, but really, who is? i think, since i'm not the Judge and Jury, that it's enough he spent most of the rest of his life trying to make things better for as many as he could.

i remember reading about a letter that jackie kennedy onassis wrote to him, thanking ted for his participation in caroline's wedding in lieu of her father, president kennedy.....jackie was said to feel that his devotion to SEVENTEEN children, in addition to his own, made him a hero. she wrote, "On you, the carefree youngest brother, fell a burden a hero would beg to be spared. Everyone is going to make it because you are always there with your love." she continued on and noted that he never missed a single, significant event for any of those children.

fatherless children, yes, but without a father figure? never.

yes, a hero.

07 August 2009

Dinner Impossible: Placentas

i just read, in a national magazine that will remain nameless (TIME MAGAZINE, TIME MAGAZINE, TIME MAGAZINE, sorry it just slipped out) that there are people out there who will come to your home, after you give birth, and cook the placenta from said birth so that you can eat it.

yep. seriously.

i think some people do lose their minds a bit after going through the whole birthing experience thing, but i had to read it twice before i actually believed it. not only that someone does this for a living, but that there is actually a market for this service? really? people actually want to save their placentas and then eat them? supposedly if you cook it, do other weird things to it and then turn it into capsules, you can take them like vitamins.  the placenta holds the key to eternal life. or something like that.

after i got to the part where i realized actual eating and consumption of the placenta wasn't exactly what they were talking about, i was less revolted.  that these people were, in fact, just seriously into the whole holistic organic whatchamacallit whatever movement in a BIG WAY. but still.

i'm sorry. i think there are some weird things in the world (swim cap fetishes for example), but this has got to be one of the weirdest things i've heard of. at least lately.

childbirth is pretty messy.  and it was totally worth every moment. but the placenta, or "after-birth" (actually one of the most nausea-inducing phrases ever), is probably the grossest part.

i hope they put mine in a hazardous waste receptable and didn't sell it on the PLACENTA BLACK MARKET or something.

05 August 2009

just asking

why do we have clowns. they are creepy and scare the woo-hoo out of me.

for that matter, what's up with mosquitos, cellulite, brussel sprouts, body odor, humidity, traffic, cancer, AIDS, serial killers, pedophiles, rapists, Nazis, slugs, snakes. you get the point. need i go on?

04 August 2009

oy to the vey

A few choice morsels:

"Holy Crapamole"

"Goddammit" (Not so interesting at face value, obviously. But considering the context - said by my not quite 2 year old son at first Thanksgiving with new in-laws? At the dinner table. Wow.)

"Hey Mom, when am I going to get furry like you."

"Your underwear is big."

"I wish I had wrinkles on my stomach like yours."

"Mom, is your penis as big as mine?" (Said at Target, while standing in line. With at least 400 people listening. Snickering and snorting heard as far as the International Space Station.)

All comments from my babies before they were old enough to be embarrassed or to intentionally cause embarrassment. I wonder what they say about me now.

03 August 2009


Sometimes, at the end of the day, I find myself experiencing a sweet melancholy. An oxymoron you say? Perhaps. Not sadness so much, just a bit of regret about things not done, or things that could have been done better. And memories of tiny things that helped the day to pass positively. Most of the time having to do with the people I interact with in my life.  Was I a good person?  Did I return a smile given, or not even notice?

How many times has the genuine smile and glance of a stranger brightened my day. And made me realize it's the very smallest things that have an impact beyond measure.

A door held, a smile returned, attention paid to girlish daughterly chatter, a wave across the lawn to my elderly neighbor. All things that cost me nothing, but have rewards that linger as the day comes to a soft and dark end.

Maybe my slumber will be peaceful as I recount the goodness received.

31 July 2009

Night owl

I'm a night person. Not, mind you, a night person who is PRODUCTIVE at night. Just a person who likes late nights versus early mornings. I can always find a book to read, email to answer, eBay items to peruse, The Gap shopping to do, an unhealthy snack to have, CNN headlines to browse, Facebook posts to respond to......

I should be asleep, getting ready for the next day to come. Instead, I will blearily crawl out of bed tomorrow, silently (ok, loudly) cursing my inability to have the self-control to get to bed at a decent hour, and attempt to start my day. Please PLEASE PLEASE let it be a day when nobody wants to converse with me within 60 minutes of my awakening. I hate to start the day with wailing and gnashing of teeth.

29 July 2009

"The Reader"

Soooooooooo. Watched "The Reader" with Kate Winslet yesterday.......I am alarmed that I can't pin down my emotions about the whole experience. They ran the gamut --- sympathy for the sick child (and I do mean CHILD), horror at the immediate explosion into a sexual relationship with said child, disgust with Hannah, sadness for Hannah, empathy for Hannah, repulsed by Hannah, sympathy for Michael, admiration for Michael. Do you sense a pattern. I really was so torn. I mean it. I was tremendously sad for Hannah and her ignorance --- and the illiteracy that played such a huge part in her choices in life and death. But I was also completely appalled that a fellow member of the human race could participate in the vile acts she recounted.

Yes, it is a movie. But it could be fact. Certainly there were many, MANY German citizens who worked in the camps and participated in all manners of atrocity. And there were those who just 'did their job' and may not have been as clued in to the master plan they were part of. Most of them went on with their lives and raised families........

Anyway. The Holocaust is haunting on so very many levels. And this movie introduced a new component to my feelings about it all.

It was excellent and I highly recommend it. But be prepared for your emotions to be challenged and to feel unsure, for a time, how you really feel about it all. Complicated to be sure.