Category Archives: Family

Attention Whore Seeks Audience…

Whenever we hold up the critical mirror of consciousness to do a self-check, I sometimes wish it came with a warning sticker to the effect: “The idiot in mirror might be a larger ass than they appear.

The following post is a painful acknowledgment that I am not funny as I think I am, and maybe I should seek professional help. As painful as the following confession is to read, I promise you, it was a thousand times harder to write and admit to.

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Aunt Peg’s Layered Jello Salad…maybe

Long before such Food Network shows like Cutthroat Kitchen and Chopped introduced questionable cuisine–there were traditional homemade dishes with mystery ingredients that only got passed down in the family to the daughters who hoarded the recipes on 3 x 5 cards tucked away in a tin recipe box. Classics such as hotdog surprise or macaroni salad were hauled out for holiday parties–sometimes against the will of attending family members–and no holiday would be complete without these culinary treats at the table. I am about to share with you one such recipe.

Be warned, this one may become your very own secret surprise side dish delight!

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Continue reading Aunt Peg’s Layered Jello Salad…maybe

Dental Damns…

We are past the first hurtle. My son has survived having his wisdom teeth extracted and now has to just get through the next five days on a restricted diet of soft foods. Currently he is having ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It may have been exhausting, but at least the hardest part is over. Now to survive the days with the benefits of top-notch pain killers. (Norco is the way to go. Sadly, only the kid is receiving them.) But, I am reaping the benefits of a narcotically stunned teenager filled to the gills with bowls of Super Scoop ice cream with a chocolate sauce chaser.

The even better news is that the two family members who have been teetering on the brink of existence in separate hospitals have now recovered enough to be discharged. Huzzah! Let everyone rejoice the homecomings!

And to anyone who was hoping the title of this piece was somehow a salacious intro to a naughty confession, my apologies. I’m sorry to disappoint your prurient desires.

Hell’s Home Kitchen – Napalm Edition

I recently read a few other bloggers’ trials and tribulations in the kitchen–HERE and again HERE and this made me reflect on some of my worst disasters.

Please enjoy my retrospective and recollections of thymes past.

*****

Continue reading Hell’s Home Kitchen – Napalm Edition

Happiness in a Box

I was given a quest this week to buy crayons. No problem, right? As my favorite character from The Big Bang Theory might have put it: “Easy-peasy, oh so breezy.”

This simple task turned out to be a lot more difficult than expected.

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When the Pumpkin Hits the Fan…

<<<STRESS>>>

Everybody has it. It’s the energy that fuels life. If you don’t have enough stress, you probably would have been eaten by something furry back in prehistoric times to keep you from reproducing your laid-back DNA. Stress kept you on your toes back then.

Nowadays, however, it tends to be a corrosive that eats away at your central nervous system unless you learn to deal with it in someway. Today was a test of my emergency stress management responses. You may have handled things differently–probably averting the same crises with ease. But, I defy you to read the following and not at least have a little sympathy for a mom who just wanted to read a book.

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A Boy, A Book, and the Gulf Between Them

Forgive me, this is a hard post to write and I’d like to do justice to both the joys and the sorrows in their turn. It is a post about discoveries and magical thinking–the good and the bad involved in both. This is about a book–and a boy who will probably never read it. I would separate them, but the two things are inextricably linked for me. It would be like dividing the sun from the moon.

Be warned, as it is written on ancient maps past the edge of the known world: Here be dragons!

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Artful Creations of Pain and Vision

Through a friend, I was invited to join fellow service women in an community-based artistic endeavor of a most mysterious kind–one with the thrill of possibly ending up shellacked and put on display!

How could I say “No” to that?

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Mission GISH-Possible

What have I been up to, you ask?

Oh, not much.

Just…

….GISH….

For the past week I have been making bizarre requests from friends, neighbors (one of whom questioned why I needed an ax and should she be worried, the other who handed me one with no questions) and completely perplexed, but nice strangers.

I’ve traveled for supplies, stumps, wings and more, keeping safe-distance practices during our unusual interactions, all in pursuit of a life beyond the ordinary.

It always starts with a small idea…and then it steamrolls into a massive production. GISH keeps me hopping for days on end until, suddenly, it’s all over and all that is left are the memories.

And the photos.

Let me share them with you now. (Brace yourselves, if you’ve never experienced unbridled GISH, perhaps you’d best be near the fainting couch or have your salts handy?)

Here we go….

Continue reading Mission GISH-Possible

Walking Buck Creek Trail

There was no plan before we left.

We just took off together—as if lured by sirens singing.

Beneath the stars, you steered me to the places that you love,

made mysterious by the flare of rockets red glaring.

Through the cemetery and down the hill

To where the waters waited,

And the path was still and free of people.

We walked along Buck Creek Trail that Fourth of July.

Chasing fireworks just out of reach.

The flash bang of concussions meeting us in the dark.

As slick, silent waters slid past a fallen tree.

Fireflies flickered, semaphore signals, beneath a gibbous moon.

When I was younger, I thought it was called a ‘Gibbon’ moon.

I couldn’t help but wonder…

Do monkeys dance bathed by lunar luminescence thinking it is day?

Or does the Man in the Moon wear a simian grin?

My, how that mischievous moon loomed large.

A low-hanging pendulum ticking in the tree tops.

Playing peek-a-boo behind Earth’s shadow

While the jealous sun searched for its hidden lover.

And as we walked through the humid musk

Of night smells and sulfur from plentiful explosions.

Every inhalation left an acrid taste upon the tongue.

Around each curve we anticipated the next cascade to come.

But we never quite caught the pattern of their detonation.

Overhead, we spied

…A glimpse.

…A spark.

A flickering emanation—a sky lantern floating.

The softness of a scene unmarred until…

BANG!

Followed by an emptiness–ears still ringing.

Eyes straining for a light in the dark.

Then the skies rained down with jeweled profusions.

The distant constellations twinkling in the smokey aftermath.

When the pyrotechnics paused

We waited…wondering…

“Was that it? The last one?”

But no.

A serpentine hiss trailed an invisible propulsion

Launching upward, arcing toward the vault of heaven.

Earthbound, we held our breath in anticipation…

Will it wax with radiance, or fizzle, wither, and die?

Or will it flower, hanging time itself upon a belt of sky?

Silver sparks streak, descend.

Causing seizures of joy in small children.

Cascades of tinsel dripped down from a dark blue heaven.

You laughed and pulled me forward through the night

Following an ever-moving horizon.

You never caught them—the manmade stars you chased.

But then, that was never your goal.

You wandered the night in search of adventure.

Lured by a golden monkey moon winking down at us,

As if imparting a cosmic joke before we departed.

Back through the cemetery we went

Where the little chapel hides in hedgerows

Sparklers briefly crowning the trees in red, white, and blue tiaras.

And there was no tomorrow yet to fear.

There was only the night and the steps we took beneath a silvery moon.

While the fire flies danced to a tune only they could hear…

…in the dark

…on the path

…along Buck Creek Trail.