Showing posts from March, 2011

The allure of puppy breath

What has four legs, a lot of fuzz, and the power to melt your heart in a matter of seconds? I’ll give you a clue. It’s also the same thing that has a wet nose and the ability to say “take me home I promise to love you and will try not to hardly ever pee on your carpet” without even being able to speak anything besides a high-pitched “arf.” Man’s best friend is a curious creature, and as much as I will deny it, my whole body turned to lovey dovey goo when we walked in to the pet store and she and I locked our dark brown eyes. I tried to look away, and in fact I did. I walked around and looked at the other dogs and I laughed at the bitty puppy treats that looked fancier than anything I would serve myself and the jeweled collars and gold studded doggie attire. As a person used to large outside dogs, a little fluffy foo-foo pup was uncharted territory. So it was rather odd that I found myself pining for that little puff of a mutt who must have hypnotized me with her puppy

Springing to Spring Clean

When spring starts springing, we humans start cleaning. Or at least we’re supposed to—that’s what history, biology, and society has taught us over the last few thousand years. But if you really want to know why we get a little crazy with the rags and buckets come these first few mildly warmer days, you have to look deep into the encyclopedias. You know, they’re there on the shelf with all of the other books collecting dust. Back in the way long ago, people warmed their homes with wood and coal heat. Their only light source was candle or fuel lamp. And certainly they didn’t have air filters and those handy quick mops that squirt out their own cleaning liquid. Traditionally on the first warm, dry day, furniture was moved outside and a brigade of scrubbers went to town on walls, floors, and everything in between, scrubbing off a measurable reside of ash, wax, and filth. Religiously, the preparations for the Easter season required getting ready for guests to arrive. (Fo

The Dangers of a Mom-Mobile

I would be smarter than to stick my hand in the crack of the seat of my car. I am fully aware of the myriad of mysteries that end up in that section where the horizontal and the vertical part meet, where everything that was once on the top of the seat gets pushed to or creeps along by its own will. My husband, not so much. Which was why it I could barely drive for laughing so hard at what took place when he slid into the passenger seat. I’m not sure what inspired him to reach in there blindly in the first place, but when he cried out in pain I bet he rethought his action. “Ouch! Something sharp is in here!” he said, clasping his finger, which was cut so much that it was bleeding a bit. He was probably thinking it was a decorative pin from a bag or a defunct paperclip. It might even be a sharpened pencil. That would make sense to the average person. However, to a mom, these would be anything but reasonable. So when he reached back in to fish out the dangerous c

Two good rules of life

Today I’d like to add two rules to my ever-growing list of life lessons. One: You can never have enough tote bags. Two: You can never have enough cook books. In a life of general chaos, I like to convince myself that I can compartmentalize things if I store them all in their own separate bags. This is sometimes handy, but sometimes just means that 90% of my possessions are at the bottom of a big canvas tote with a mess of crumbs and randomness. (Today I found my measuring cup in a bag with vinegar and six pairs of scissors.) And while I stand by my fetish for tote bags, I admit they sometimes can be excessive and unreliable. This all leads me to rule number two, which unfortunately comes with a caveat. There is definitely an excess of unreliable cookbooks out there. I should know- I’ve got a tote bag full of lousy ones clogging up the basement. But there is one special type of cookbook that never fails, and you can rarely have too many of. I’m speaking of none

Creole chicken = Fattest Tuesday ever.

This year because life with involved children is absolutely nutso, we celebrated Fat Tuesday on Monday. I made a dash for king cake and paczkis after dropping the kids off at school, and then between everything else ran to the grocery store to buy ingredients for what has become my FAVORITE SLOW COOKER DISH IN THE WORLD. Probably the universe. (I have thrown out slow cooker meals because congealed yuck makes me want to congeal yuck of my own.) It just so happens that it's a perfect dish for celebrating Mardi Gras, or really anything. Next week I might just celebrate Thursday. Or sunshine. Or waking up. Paired with plastic beads, zydeco music, and king cake (the paczkis are for breakfast tomorrow!), this has been the best Fat Tuesday on a Monday I've ever had. And so, I urge you all to celebrate something, sometime soon. This rocks. Fat Monday Creole Chicken 1 pack boneless, skinless chicken thigs 1 pound polish kielbasa, cut into bite sized pieces 5-6 green onions, choppe

Enter: The Twid

It used to be simple, but long gone are those days, and now seems to be the time for dividing children into elaborately named age groups. From baby to toddler, and then it’s off to being an actual “kid” before morphing into the awkward and frustrating world teenagers. The latest addition to the age division is the “tween,” an appropriately named stage that falls between being a kid and a teenager. The Tween of today is caught in a world of frustration, somewhere in a gray area where his or her body, brain, and emotions just aren’t quite sure where they should be. But Tweens have their own music and television genre, so it’s not all bad. Being a parent of younger children, I couldn’t help but notice a similarity between the transitional stage of the Tween and the generally stressful life of a three year old. And so, it is with great pride that I coin my own new stage of life. The Twid. Not quite Toddler, not quite Kid, the Twid is the in between time when your brain