Showing posts from September, 2010

Fall brings out our true colors

Thirty days has September, April, May, and November. All the rest have thirty-one [except Februrary] but if I truly had my way, the month of October would be 300 days long. If there was ever a time of the year that I would want to bottle up and have to myself all year long, it’s the month of October when nature puts on its finest show for all of the senses. The smell of the leaves, the sight of the first frost on the pumpkin, the taste of hot mulled cider, the sound of bare trees blowing in the wind, and of course the feel of stick jabbing you in the leg when you jump into the leaf pile. Honestly, I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it, even the stick. When October rolls around, I morph into some other person, a person who lives and breathes to embrace every aspect of the season. Like most of us who are tired of painting our toenails and shaving our legs, I welcome the return of long pants and closed toed shoes quite happily. Not only that, but I like to pretend I’m a fas

There’s something rotten in the state of my garage

If you follow this column, you might remember that last week I wrote a lovely philosophical story about the lessons I’ve learned from my garden. After contemplating how an ignored garden was really a message of personal revival in disguise, I concluded with myself slowing down, taking time to enjoy life and weeding out the unnecessary extras that keep me from living the life I want to live. And then, since then, I’ve spent an entire week sniffing around my garage. Literally. It started the very day my husband said, “you won’t see me much this week.” With meetings and conflicting appointments, our paths didn’t cross long enough for me to force him to remedy the stinky situation: the smell of death looming in the garage. Somewhere, some sort of critter had met his or her doom, and what was left was beginning the all-important job of decomposing and releasing of gases and other such unpleasantries. I opened the door from our house to a wall of odor. Granted, I have a nose so super se

Zucchini Tomato Pie - the way to send out the summer

I don't know about anyone else, but my zucchini plants were a major bummer this year. Sure, I didn't give them the normally needed TLC, and sure I did find the world's largest weed (see photo) planted right next to them, but when it comes to zucchini, I always thought that you shouldn't take care of them because if you do, you'll be swimming in them for a month. But there I was, a failure of a garden year, and left with one gigantic zucchini, and a major hankering for a garden full of them. So I swallowed my pride and went to the store and actually bought zucchini in the months of August and September. It was a sad and sorrowful day. But it was so very worth it. When it comes to zucchini recipes, there are thousands. This one is my new favorite savory dish because a)it's super simple and b) my son's exact words were, "gee, mom, I thought it was going to be really gross but it's actually pretty good. Can I have some more?" And really, you ca

Learning from the WMNG

It was a sunny late summer day when I ambled over to what I now refer to as the “WMNG.” Within seconds my expression went from cheery yard work smiles to a scowl of disappointment, because right there, in plain view all summer long, my small plot of plants had morphed into the World’s Most Neglected Garden. The beans, now four feet long and as wide as Popeye’s forearms, grew down to the dirt, their woody seeds pushing through the dehydrated skin. What was left of the tomatoes drooped rotten over their cages, spreading seeds that I’ll surely have to pull as weeds the next year. The broccoli and lettuce had all gone to seed, reaching world record heights, as if lettuce should ever be three feet tall. And the list goes on, from hidden monster zucchini to a few dozen gnarled up carrots, none more than an inch and a half long. I stood there with my wheelbarrow full of greenery gone bad and realized that the WMNG was trying to teach me something. If I listened very carefully to the rustle of

Not Penicillin, Momicillin

Many do not know, but I have a pretty substantial relationship with antibiotics. Coined "the queen of strep throat" over the past few years, I actually walk into the doctor and they look at me and say: Oh no, not again. So me and penicillin, we go way back. And now, I've got a new " cillin " to claim: Momicillin . A regular writer on there, it's the bare bones of motherhood and womanhood, often not the prettiest of pictures (but hopefully one that will be the medicine you need for a chuckle or two.) Because they have rights to the work, I can't post them anywhere else but can certainly direct readers there. So without further adieu, here's the latest installment . Or should I say... Great Shel Silverstein in the morning with cabbage soup for breakfast! ps . Gerturde Hurlbutt was the woman who won the contest and gave the name "skeet" the the sport of skeet shooting. She also won $100 for her fancy idea. Thought you should know.

Letters and laughs are a lost art

At the risk of sounding too old fashioned, I would like to throw in my two cents when it comes to lost art forms. ­(Picture, if you will, me sitting in a rocking chair on a front porch, rubbing my aching knee and starting this next sentence…) “Back when I was little, we didn’t have those fancy email forwards. If we had something funny to say, we actually had to say it. Out loud. In front of people. Over time, sure there were those blue ditto machines and eventually the fax, but still. If you had a joke, you told it, not read it.” Because really, when it comes to jokes, when is the last time you’ve heard one delivered with poise and timing? People just don’t tell jokes anymore. We just forward them, some of us with fourteen pages of past recipients situated right at the top to really kill the moment. My grandparents had a friend who was large, loud, and Hungarian which meant nothing except that his family served chicken paprikash a different way than we Polish folk did. But this guy, wi

Bed jumper learns a lesson

Let’s just say this: I was a bed jumper all of my childhood. I did it whenever I could get away with it, and even when I couldn’t because the sweet feeling of springs popping beneath my feet was worth any punishment anyone could give. And life could get no better when my new furniture suite arrived and I was awarded with a four-poster bed (with removable spindle tops that so awesomely could double as microphones). I was around eight, and when the put the dresser with the large mirror was placed directly across from my new bed, a star was born. I sang every Beach Boys song there was into those wooden bed parts while I danced and jumped and watched my talent blossom in the opposing mirror. Someday, I would be famous, I thought. Instead, someday is today, and that bed isn’t gold-plated in a museum, it was instead passed down to my daughter. Along with the bed jumping gene. It didn’t last but a few years before the cracks got too big for comfort and we had to purchase a new bed. After