Category Archives: Health & Food

A Pointless Post About Dust

unknown-1“Where does dust come from?” This is a question that was rhetorically asked in a writing course I recently participated in. And because I am who I am, I remembered that I have always wondered that same thing myself.

I have a fairly large, dark wood coffee table in my living room. I love this table. Of course. I would not have chosen it to grace my living room and look at it every day if I didn’t. It has a big shiny surface. Which happens to be its only flaw.

Why is it a flaw? Because I can spend 5 minutes dusting the balls out of that thing and a mere few hours later? Dust. All over it.

And when the sun is coming through the windows just so (I love the sun coming through my windows, but only when no one is here, including myself), you can see it float down and land right on the surface of that newly dusted table and every single, ever-loving item in my house.

So, where does dust come from exactly? I wasn’t sure, so I looked it up. For all those who are like me and wander into strange places while thinking, or if you missed that day in fifth grade science class, here is where dust comes from. You’re welcome.

As taken from wiseGEEK (www.wisegeek.org):

“…it is largely made up of dead skin cells, fibers from clothing and other materials, pollen and dander, and tiny particles of dirt. Dust comes from objects in the environment, and from the people and animals that live in it.”

Upon further research, I found out that the average person loses about 40 dead skin cells every second. Most of that thin layer of white stuff you see building up on your furniture? It’s dead skin of you and whoever else lives in or visits your home.

So, basically you have little pieces of pretty much everyone you know in the air that you are breathing. Through your nostrils and into your lungs. That thought makes me want to go out and purchase one of those Walter White type masks. No offense.

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I guess no one has has actually died from breathing in other people’s dead skin cells, so I suppose I’ll just have to suck it up (pardon the pun). I mean, I’ve survived the first forty-nine years of my life living this way. I think I can survive the next uh…forty-nine (it’s possible).

In the meantime, I believe I’ll be investing in some more Pledge. Oh, and can you do me a favor before coming over next time? Slather up with some body lotion, would you? Like, maybe bathe in it? I just really hate dusting.

Mamie’s Restaurant – Roxbury, CT

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Foodgasm Factor 7 :: Broke Factor 5 :: Repeat Factor 8

Breakfast or lunch? Breakfast or lunch? That’s a tough decision when you visit Mamie’s in Roxbury. Especially when you haven’t eaten yet at all and it’s just before noon. The options on the menu are amazing. Here was the reason for my debacle:

Eggs Benedict, Roasted Summer Vegetable Hash or buttermilk pancakes; Blue cheese burger, BLT with fried green tomatoes or the smoked ham and brie sandwich. Just to name a few.

After much consideration (I’m not kidding — the server asked me three times if I was ready), I chose the three-egg omelet with cheddar cheese and tomatoes as well as a serving of blueberry pancakes. The omelet came with 2 slices of whole grain toast and sausage. It was a lot of food and I ate every last bit (minus the three bites of pancake I shared with DH).

Speaking of servers, there aren’t many. I saw two girls working the tables, and two people in the kitchen area. We had to wait a bit longer than usual for our meal but it was worth the wait. And like I’ve said before, I don’t mind waiting for my food as long as it comes the same day. And the staff is pleasant about it. Which they were. Adorable even.

I messed up the presentation before I thought to take a pic. Sorry if it doesn't look appetizing but trust me it is VERY appetizing.

I messed up the presentation before I thought to take a pic. Sorry if it doesn’t look appetizing but trust me it is VERY appetizing. And yes, I like ketchup with my eggs.

The eggs were perfectly fluffy and made in a square shape which was totally fun for me because I’m ten in a forty-eight year old body. The bread was cut into thick slices and as fresh as if it just came out of the oven. The pancakes were divine and were filled with oodles of blueberries that burst in a blueberry explosion on your tongue. The pancake itself was cooked so thin it was like a crepe.

DH had the chicken salad sandwich. It came with a side of french fries. He really enjoyed it. I took a bite and it was delicious. Not over the top in flavor, but subtle in a good way. The bread was this brioche type of bun and bounced back when you touched it.

Our bill came to $30. Before tip. But if I wasn’t a pig and didn’t order two breakfasts, it would have been $24. I don’t think that’s too bad for breakfast/lunch, do you? I mean, damn. McDonalds can be that much.

They don’t serve mimosa’s or any kind of alcohol for that matter, so don’t expect it. They serve dinner on Fridays and Saturdays, but you can bring your own bottle of wine or whatever you wish. The menu seems to change often because of their use of fresh and local produce, so you won’t get the same thing twice too often.

Don’t check their website for an updated menu because it won’t be there. In fact, the site doesn’t seem to be updated often and there isn’t a ton of information. Their website says they do brunch on the weekends and when I called, the girl who answered said, “oh, we haven’t updated the website in a long time…” So, there you go.

Roosters at Mamie'sThe decor is maybe a mid-century country french provincial (is that even a thing?) but I’m not really sure. There are some antiques in the small dining room (very small…I’m talking maybe five or six tables). There are rusted out metal roosters perched along the lawn. Very quaint, very welcoming.

The restaurant sits along Baker Road (AKA Rte. 63) in country-esque Roxbury. Umbrella’d picnic tables sit on the grass for larger parties. There is a covered porch with  four or five tables for smaller parties. It seems like a great place to sit if it’s a nice summer evening for dinner.

Unfortunately, we had to sit inside although it was a beautiful day. The wait for an outside table was way too long and I was way too starved. I don’t think they take reservations unless you have a party of five or more.

Be prepared to wait regardless if you go during a peak time. I feel like this is a place the locals favor and really only know about but it’s definitely like that private beach on that island you went to last summer. Once word really gets out, it will be impossible to secure some real estate. (Note: we knew about this place from friends of ours)

Overall, it was a great dining experience and look forward to going back!

The White Horse Country Pub – Marbledale, Connecticut

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The White Horse Pub. They gave me more bread, I just ate it all.

Foodgasm Factor 4 :: Broke Factor 4 :: Repeat Factor 6

This wasn’t our first time here. Apparently it was our fourth, although I only remember three. It came highly recommended by a dear friend some time ago.

On this day, we stopped by on our way to a vineyard in Litchfield (Sunset Meadow — I highly recommend it). It was our last full day before The Kid came home from her mission trip so we wanted to get in another date.

The White Horse Country Pub is good. It’s a decent place that seems to be reliable. It sits along this body of water they call a river but looks more like a creek on steroids.

There are two outside patios, one off the restaurant area and one off the bar. The patios sit looking out over the river and is beautiful. The setting is tranquil.

There is a tall wooden wall that separates the diners from the parking lot and busy Rte 202. There are a few of those hot lamp things that keep you warm on cool days/evenings and a string of large bulbs hang from above. It looks like a great place to eat at night.

Inside, the restaurant and pub is rustic. It’s a very quaint and fun atmosphere. The bar in the tavern is large and a big fireplace sits opposite it.

Any time I have gone by this place, the parking lot is full. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of day it is. Good sign, right? Perhaps.

IMG_5132Everything seems to have their logo/name branded/stamped/etched into the sides. Wine glasses, beer mugs, pottery that holds bread. It’s very charming.  Just so you know, they give a generous pour of wine. Almost to the rim.

We were seated outside on the patio off the restaurant next to an older couple. They both had huge buckets of seafood in front of them. I looked and looked on the menu but couldn’t find it. When our server came over (great service, by the way), I pointed to the couple and asked what that was.

The river is behind DH. he suggested I get up and change seats for this photo op but I was too lazy to move.  After all, I had to save my energy for this meal.

The river is behind DH. He suggested I get up and change seats for this photo op but I was too lazy to move. After all, I had to save my energy for this meal.

“Oh, they must be regulars. That meal is only served at dinner, but I’m sure the chef will make it for you.”

It is called the WHITE HORSE SEAFOOD BAKE and it consists of shrimp, clams, mussels, calimari, salmon, corn, onion, potatoes in a white wine sauce. I thought he said something about some kind of licorice liqueur but I didn’t taste it.

It is served in a huge iron pot and a piece of branded pottery containing garlic bread accompanies it. He warned me that it was a lot of food for one person but I figured if two people who are at least 20 years older than I am can do it, so can I.

Ahhh. The excitement mounts.

DH ordered the BLT. A sandwich made of apple smoked bacon, fried tomato, greens and chipotle mayo on a baguette. This is served with a side of french fries.

It took a long time for our order to come. Probably because of my meal, I’m sure. I really don’t mind waiting for a meal as long as the company is good and I have a full glass of wine, to which I had both.

When my food was finally placed in front of me, I thought “this is no problem, there isn’t much food here.” I quickly learned I was mistaken.

It was a damn bottomless pit. It was steaming hot, the heat being held in from the iron pot. I am not a fan of extremely hot food. I had to take a sip of water after each bite. I did burn my tongue. Several times. It was difficult to eat because although they do give you a galvanized steel bucket to put all your shells into, I really could have used a plate to dissect everything.

Everytime I dropped a piece of the seafood into the pot, the liquid would splash up and burn my neck or stain my clothes (even though it was a white wine sauce, there were tomatoes in there). I would highly recommend asking for a bib.

The mussels and clams were steamed almost perfectly. The salmon was thoroughly cooked, which is good for this situation. They could have been a little more generous with the potatoes, but they were so hot anyway, I had a hard time eating them.

After a very long time, so long that DH ordered a cocktail after he was finished with his meal (he thought his sandwich was okay…but remember, Mr. Picky), I was done. I’ll have to remember to take a bite out of everything he orders, so I can pass on my findings. Be patient with me, I’m learning.

I finished the entire pot. And the broth was still steaming. I was full but was I satisfied? Eh. It was okay. I won’t order it again. I had to really work at my meal. I don’t really like to work that hard for a meal, unless it’s lobster. And I wasn’t impressed with the broth it sat in. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t to die for. I did not have a foodgasm.

The wine was average and DH’s cosmo wasn’t that great. It’s a pub though. I’m sure they have a great beer list, but I’m not a beer drinker and DH really doesn’t love beer either so there you have it.

If you go to their site, you will see all of the awards they have won. Lots and lots of awards. An entire page dedicated to their awards. So, you probably really can’t go wrong.

I would go back again because of the atmosphere. The other items on the menu seem like they would be reliable and something you can count on being at least good.

I really want to go back for a burger. Their menu is quite extensive and there is something for everyone. Including the picky eaters in your family.

Also, it’s really quite affordable. I didn’t ask for the price of the seafood bake beforehand, but DH made a comment about how this lunch would probably be more expensive than the last lunch we had ($150? I didn’t agree). We placed bets. I said my meal alone was $25. He thought it would be more than $50. We had three drinks (2 wines, 1 cocktail), no dessert and no appetizer.

The meal was about $56, with tip $67. My crockpot was only $21 (I won). It was a really great value for what I got. Overall, it was pricey for lunch, but that’s not a fair statement because if I ordered the burger, it would have been much more reasonable. Also, it’s probably not necessary to have two glasses of wine at lunch. But we’re talking about me here.

The meal was decent, I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t order it again, it was a lot of work. But, you may feel differently so don’t not get it on my account. That will totally make me feel bad.

Oh and by the way, when new people sat down at the table next to us, they wanted what I was having. Except the server said they can’t make any more and that it’s really for dinner. So, if you want that, go at dinnertime. I got lucky, I guess. Or not. I probably would have been happier with a cheeseburger.

It’s All About the Boob and Being a Boob – Part II

Yesterday I told you about my new friend, Wendy and her cancer diagnosis. Today, I am going to talk about how we react to bad news.

While at work last week, I received a Facebook private message from Wendy. “Bad news…I have breast cancer…”

After I let the message sit there for a couple of minutes, gathering my wits about me, I replied with this: “I’m so sorry” and “you will be okay” and “let me know if there is anything I can do.” Not very original and kinda stupid. Probably not the best words to say to someone who is suffering a traumatic event. And that was AFTER I gathered my wits.

Then a couple of days later she PM’ed me with this, among other things, “…take samples from my lymph nodes to make sure it has not spread…”

“I’ll keep you in my prayers, hoping it didn’t spread,” was my response. Really? How stupid. Keeping someone in their prayers is totally acceptable and comforting. But hoping it didn’t spread? That goes without saying. It just wasn’t necessary.

Whatever. I’m awkward in these kinds of situations. Some people have the gift. I do not. When God was handing out Common Sense, I thought he said “Be All Dense,” and I didn’t get in line.

But, I have to ask. Is there really a “right” thing to say? I think we are so concerned about what to say, how to react, that we wind up saying the wrong thing anyway. Basically, you can’t win.

A long time ago, a friend of a family member had a miscarriage. She was very far along in her pregnancy. When I heard the news, my heart broke for her. I was already a mother at the time and I couldn’t even begin to fathom it. But I knew when I saw her, I would be awkward. And I was.

“Oooh yeah, umm, sorry about the baby.” Followed by a literal cringe on my face. A cringe, as if I was trying to hold in a fart. I walked away feeling like the biggest asshole. I froze. I didn’t know how to react. I didn’t want to NOT acknowledge it. I was afraid she would think I was cold.

Instead, I made myself look more like an ice princess, like I didn’t care, when in actuality I did. Very much so. Although it has been many years, I feel like every time I see this woman, that is what she remembers.

And when I go to a wake? Fuhgettaboutit. I’m a bumbling idiot. I’ve decided to just say the generic speech that goes like this, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Done. Over. No room for error. Then go sit in a chair at the back of the room and be there. Because that’s really all anyone ever wants. For you to just be there.

When The Kid was hit by a car, there were many people who expressed their concern. They were all wonderful, with a little awkwardness thrown in here and there, but I knew they meant well.

One woman actually said something like this, “geez, that would have been awful if she died because you don’t have any other children.” This is not verbatim, but close.

That one made me laugh out loud in disbelief. Then I remembered that people are just weird and awkward in these situations. I can’t even blame her. I’m sure, like the fart-face I made at the lady who lost her baby, she didn’t mean for it to sound so callous. I’m sure she was coming from a good place. Besides, if I really judged her, it would be like me living in a glass house and throwing stones. Or being a pot and calling a kettle black. Get it? I don’t have the right.

So, what have I decided to do in these situations? Pray to the good Lord above that I don’t throw up crap. That’s all I can do. And if I do sound like a bumbling asshole? I apology in advance for what my mouth does. I swear I have no control. My heart and tongue just aren’t always on the same page.

In the meantime, my friend Wendy is going to get this big, ugly mo-fo of a “C” word out of her and she’s going to fight it. How do I know? Because although I’ve not known her for a long time, I get that she is tough as nails. She can hold her own. If I was walking in a dark alley with her and we were mugged, I get the feeling she’d kick some serious ass and save the day while I lay in a puddle, shriveling up and pooping myself. Yeah. I would definitely poop myself.

So, to continue the theme from yesterday…here is my #MyLeftBoob pic for @WendiPopRock. Let’s get it trending for her y’all.

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And next time you say something stupid when someone gives you bad news, brush it off and go buy a card. Because card companies actually PAY people to be appropriate and smart. Then go sit by your friend’s side. She will appreciate it.

 

It’s All About the Boob and Being a Boob – Part I

I met Wendy @WendiPopRock a few months ago who interviewed me for a local on-line newspaper. Actually, I hadn’t met her in person. We “talked” over Facebook and private messaged each other a million times and we became friends. Friendship courtesy of the Interwebs. Not really an uncommon occurrence these days.

It turns out we have a few things in common: we are both irish, our daughters happen to dance for the same Irish dance school, we love to write and we love wine. I have since met her for real. Once.  But that doesn’t matter because I feel like I’ve known her for forever.

Wendy hadn’t been feeling well for a few weeks. She talked about how she just wasn’t herself. She even cancelled out on a wine get together I had. I knew she must not have been feeling well if she cancelled out. You just don’t cancel a date with wine if you don’t have to. Well, I don’t. And even though Wendy is a new friend, I get the feeling she doesn’t either.

She mentioned that she was going to go get some testing done. My wine get together was on a Friday night. On Monday she went on her appointment. Wednesday morning I received a Facebook private message from her. “Bad news…I have breast cancer…”

My heart sank. I gasped. My boss-friend asked me what was wrong. “My friend Wendy has breast cancer,” I heard myself say. Good Lord.

Guess how she found out? She was dying her hair and dropped a blob of dye on her left boob. When she was wiping it up, there it was. The lump.

20 years ago, someone I worked with had a boyfriend who had accidentally elbowed her in the breast. It hurt and when she rubbed the area, there was a lump.

Another friend of mine was having a routine mammogram a few years ago. The test results showed she had breast cancer. She was lucky. They caught it in the very early stages. Her lumps were too small to even detect with just an exam.

See where am I going with this? These three ladies were lucky. Either something happened to make them see a doctor or they had their routine mammogram.

They talk about early detection by giving yourself a self-examination. It doesn’t take long. Do it in the shower, in bed, while making dinner. I don’t like doing it. I have extremely cystic breasts and the feel of all that lumpy tissue under my fingers really gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Last year as I was lying in bed, I happened to feel my boob. I felt a fairly large lump. I kept saying to myself, “oh, it’s probably nothing. I’m PMS’ing so my ducts are swollen. It’ll go away.” After a month, it didn’t go away. So, I made an appointment with my gyno.

He did an exam and agreed that I had a lump. He said it was probably just a cyst, so he attempted to aspirate it. But he couldn’t get any fluid. After some nervous waiting, a mammo and an ultrasound, I was cleared. Luckily. But waiting a month isn’t smart. I should have gone immediately. Even though this story had a happy ending, the next time may not be so happy.

I’m still not good with the self-exams, but I will do them on occasion, which I am fully aware is not enough. I have my annual mammogram and because of my cystic condition, it is always followed up with a thorough ultrasound.

But if Wendy had waited for her annual mammogram, it may have been too late. If she didn’t drop that God sent glob of hair dye on that exact spot, who knows.

If my friend Pat’s boyfriend from 20 years earlier didn’t elbow her, the outcome may have been completely different.

If my other friend Tee didn’t go for her annual mammo, I shudder to think of the outcome.

I know I’m either too late or too early, depending on how you look at it, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I’m here to say, feel yourself up, ladies. Just do it. It’s important. It will save your life.

There is another way we can bring awareness to breast cancer. Go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all three and post a pic of you and your left breast (fully clothed please) and let’s see if we can get it trending.

Type in #MyLeftBoob. I’m doing it. Won’t you? For my friend Wendy. And all the other breast cancer victims, past and present.

Now reacting to the news of Wendy’s cancer? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Yes, it includes Jack and Ass.

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It’s there, my left boob. Just hanging out under my PJs. #MyLeftBoob

 

They Should Leave the Heat Up to Nature

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She’s going down.

I tried yoga once a very long time ago. I hated everything about it. I hated the way I had to put my body in ways I didn’t think was natural. I hated the way I had to clear my mind and be present. Everyone who knows me, knows I have squirrel brain. I especially hated the whole “ohm” thing. No way, sister. No way.

I am not a serious person. I could not get through that yoga class without giggling. That day long ago, I promised myself that I would never ever step foot inside of a yoga studio again. Ever.

So, when my friend asked me if I wanted to meet her for some hot yoga, my first inclination was to say “NO.” It was on the tip of my tongue. But she had a coupon. 2 weeks of unlimited classes for 20 bucks. If someone gave me a coupon for free cow balls, I would take it.

“Sure,” I said to my friend. “I’ll go, but if someone farts, I’m out.”

After I grabbed one of their mats, I chose a spot at the very back. I was so pushed up against the wall, the teacher reprimanded me. Something about not being able to stretch out properly. “Horse shit,’ I said to myself. Although I quickly came to realize that she was correct.

That first day was on New Year’s Eve. It was cold in my town. Below freezing with the wind chill. You’d think I would have welcomed the hot air after coming in from that cold, but I didn’t. I felt like I was suffocating. Remember, I’m peri-menopausal. Anything above 65 pretty much makes me break out in a hot sweat. I swear the thermostat in there was set at 790 degrees.

It started out with the instructor telling us to breathe and release the tension and worries of our day. She wanted us to clear our minds.

I peeked out of one eyeball, looking around the room. Everyone seemed to be doing it. So, I closed my eye again and tried to follow suit. Somehow, my mind went from “how long have we been here” to “I hope A. makes that really awesome pineapple infused vodka tonight” to “hmm, I wonder if pineapple is even in season?” to “I should have moisturized my feet better.” Squirrel.

So, we’ve established that I cannot clear my mind. Next.

The dreaded “ohm” moment came. Like I said, no way, sister. And I didn’t. I totally faked it. Which was fine because the guy next to me was so into it, his ohm’ing was the only ohm’ing you could hear for miles. I refused to look at my friend, because I knew I would start giggling. I know, very disrespectful, not to mention childish. But I held it together.

Then the contortionist shit came. I heard words like upward dog, downward dog, child pose, warrior 1, warrior 2, warrior 3, triangle, wheel, tree, something about achunga or muchinga or whatever. I was off-balance and extremely ungraceful. Like Honey Bob-Boo trying to do a pirouette.

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Me and my doggy bitten mat after a hot yoga session

Day 2 I had to borrow their mat again. I did have one at home but it’s thick and one corner of it got attacked by a dog. And I don’t even have a dog, so go figure.

I brought my doggy bitten mat on Day 3 but it got kicked out of class because it was slipping a little. Although I think they are just mat snobs. “Oh, I don’t think this is for me,” I kept saying to myself.

On Day 4, I had to borrow their mat again. Day 4 was also a transitional day for me. I actually left there feeling that I could possibly get into this yoga thing. Possibly. When I told my friend this news, she nearly fell over from a heart attack. Even though I said “possibly.”

I don’t know how it happened. The stretching felt incredibly good. The deep breathing is amazing. The heat? I could do without the heat. I swear to you, I was sweating more than a pig on a spit. No lie. You could have filled a bathtub with my sweat. But the best part? I think I may have burned 350 calories. That right there is a margarita and a half my friends.

By day 4 I was able to get into some of the poses. Not wheel or that half headstand thing where you rest your knees on your elbows, but I could stand on one foot without falling over like an anorexic caught in a stiff breeze.

I can honestly tell you that I’m pretty sure I will never, ever be able to move my body like that. If I do, I’ll let you know. You might want to purchase tickets to see it. It will be that much of a mind blow.

So, will I be going back? I think I will. After I get my own mat, of course. But do you think they could turn down the heat just a tad? What did you say? Oh, is that why they call it HOT yoga? Never mind.

Hormones vs. Hormones

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I woke up in a bad mood this morning. A real bad mood. Even the text to my mother was full of venom. I’m pretty sure she was praying. Thanking the good Lord that she was 639.59 miles away. Safely tucked away in the sweet plains of The South.

I don’t know why I woke up this way. I just did. It happens. So, when I told The Kid to empty the dishwasher, she replied through gritted teeth with a “PLEEEASSSE???” You know, the kind of “please” you say to your two year old when she demands a lollipop.

This was probably not the best day to get snarky on me. Peri-menopausal women are a force to be reckoned with. “Force” as in an Uzi With A Vagina. But what does she know? She’s only 16. So much to learn. Poor thing.

What was my reply? “I don’t think so, child. This is your chore. Why I feel the need to remind you to do your chore is beyond me. So no, I will NOT SAY PLEASE!”

When she was done with her chore, I told her she had an attitude and that I didn’t like it. “Mom, can I say something to you?” she asked.

The previous night I was at the high school for a seminar. It was about drug awareness. Three kids from our town came to speak about their drug and alcohol addictions. A child professional got up and spoke for a bit. One of the things he said is to listen to your child. Never dismiss her.

Usually when I am in this type of foul mood, I would say something really stupid and completely against what all child development people would recommend saying. They would not only cringe at my reaction, but would probably have my kid in some kind of therapy for the next 20 years.

When I am in this mood, it would sound something like this: “no, you can’t say anything because whatever you say right now will not help you. Now go upstairs and get ready for school.” But I didn’t. I stopped and I thought before I spoke. I know, this is a shocker. My mouth is usually louder and faster than my brain.

“Yes, you may.” I nearly had a heart attack at my own reaction. “Mom, why is it every time YOU’RE in a bad mood, we have to suffer?” I looked around for DH. So sure he was hiding in the shadows with a $20 bill.

I was rendered speechless. This is the second “attack” I’ve had from my family in a week. I use the word “attack” loosely. It was more like an awakening. The first time, when we were in the car going somewhere, it was what I like to refer to as a “come to Jesus” meeting. Except I’m the only one who didn’t get the memo. “We think you are going through menopause and we don’t like it. You’ve kind of been mean lately.”

They were as nice as they could be about it. But I sit here thinking about these occurrences. Yes, I have been pretty bitchy around here. Not always. I’m not one of those raging lunatics who should probably be committed. But I have my moments. Perhaps a little more than less lately.

And I know why. Sure, hormones play a part in it. I was born hormonal. You should have seen me as a teen. Think Regan without the complete head turn. Damned as I tried, I could only get my head to go 3/4 of the way around.

I haven’t been taking care of myself as well as I should. I stopped exercising. Exercise plays a huge part in feeling good. It’s got something to do with endorphins. Endorphins are your best friend. But I digress.

Whatever the reason, it’s not a good enough one to treat the people you love the most in this world the worst. No, I seem to save my best mood for everyone else. Friends, strangers, people who I try too hard with.

So, in my eye-opening last two weeks, I’ve decided that I need to lighten up on the closest people to me — my family. I can still be great to my friends. Kind to strangers. Civil to everyone else.

I’m going to save my good energy for my people. The people who, even though I act like Sybil at times, still love me back and never give up on me. Even in my peri-menopausal semi-crazed rage.

With that being said, we are still allowed to get upset with our children when they don’t listen. When they don’t do what we ask them to do. Perhaps I don’t need to spit blood, but I can be a little exasperated. And I’ll try to keep the Regan to a minimum. I promise.

Miracle Lasagna

My mom makes this lasagna. I grew up with it. So, it’s been around since the beginning of time.

Actually, she got this recipe from my aunt, who is a terrible cook so it’s kind of a miracle. Because it’s really good.

I had to use clip art because I don't have a pic of my actual lasagna. Because I don't make it anymore because The Kid is lactose intolerant.

I had to use clip art because I don’t have a pic of my actual lasagna. Because I don’t make it anymore . Because The Kid is lactose intolerant. Which totally sucks wieners.

Miracle Lasagna

    • 1 box of those oven ready lasagna noodles because, hello?
    • 1 pound of ground beef
    • 1 pound of ground italian sausage, hot or sweet, whatever your preference of the day is
    • 1 of those really extra big jars of marinara sauce. I think I use Ragu or Prego but whatever strikes your fancy. Remember, no rules?
    • 1 16 oz container of ricotta cheese
    • 1 egg
    • A hefty sprinkling of parmesan cheese you buy in a container that Kraft makes
    • A couple of cups of mozzarella cheese
    • 1 of those throw-away aluminum lasagna tin pans because, hello?

Directions:

  1. Put that ground beef and sausage in a pan and cook it. Drain out the fat. Put aside.
  2. Mix your ricotta cheese in a bowl with one egg and a hefty sprinkling of parm cheese from the container. Sometimes I will even add some pepper and garlic salt to make it taste good but it tastes good anyway, so save yourself time and don’t do it, unless you want to. I sometimes do it to make it look like I’m professional or something.
  3. Take your aluminum pan and pour a layer of sauce on the bottom. I don’t know why, just do it.
  4. Put a layer of your oven-ready lasagna noodles over the sauce on the bottom. (HINT: don’t do this step until you are absolutely ready to continue building your lasagna, because the ends curl and it’s really hard to add all those other layers with curled edges. I know, umm, experience.)
  5. Put a heaping spoon of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles and smooth it all out nice, covering everything.
  6. Put a heaping spoon of the meat mixture over the ricotta cheese and smooth it all out nice, covering everything.
  7. Pour some sauce over all that.
  8. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
  9. Repeat #4 through 8. NOTE: I do not add another layer of noodles at the very top, but you may if you feel like it’s necessary. People are surprised that I don’t add a top layer of noodles. I don’t know why.
  10. Throw that right into an already warmed up oven of 350 degrees for one hour.
  11. Congratulations, you’re done.

Out of all the 7 things I make, this is a real crowd pleaser. Even my Italian sisters-in-laws like this. I know they aren’t lying either. Because they like to make fun of my 1/2 Irish ways and my lack of sauce making and ability to cook.

Bon appetit? Okay, how about go eat.

 

Girl’s Get-Away

At My Job, I have been helping to organize an all-women’s weekend retreat. This has been a dream of my Friend Boss (Susie) for a long time. Susie has her own, very successful blog called Not Your Average Mom. This is a weekend for women only to come and ease away the stresses of everyday life.

Anyway, I’ll be there. Of course. Because I’m helping to organize it. And it’s going to be fun. I don’t like to miss anything that is going to be fun.

If you’d like to hear more about it, click on this link and you will be able to read a nice post Susie put together explaining the whole thing.

But if you don’t feel like doing that, let me explain what it entails:

Date: February 27-March 1, 2015 (I really like how that date makes it seem the weekend is like, 6 days but it’s really not so don’t get excited)

Place: The Interlaken Inn, Lakeville, Connecticut (note: if you would be traveling out of town, no worries. We will have complimentary transportation to and from the airport/train station. It’s a first come/first serve basis so if you do this, let me know asap)

What’s Included? Well, besides a 2 night stay at the inn, I’ve broken it down for you below:

Friday: Meet & Greet, Dinner, Drinks, a singing man with a guitar (the only man allowed btw)

Saturday: Breakfast followed by three break-out sessions; a yoga class, pole dancing instructions, karate/MMA lessons. There will be a snack break in there somewhere. After the sessions, lunch will be served followed by a 3 hour break to do with as you wish. Some suggestions: a nap, a movie, a walk, a massage, a leisurely shower, hang out at the bar, go check out the sites of the beautiful Litchfield Hills. In other words, do whatever you freaking want to do without husbands and children and housework crap bugging you.

After your break, meet us downstairs for dinner. Then this is where more fun comes in…there will be karaoke, a photo booth, dancing, music, drinking, games, fun, hanging out, the letting down of hair, partying, more drinking and fun, fun, fun.

Sunday: Sleep in a bit then have a relaxing brunch before heading back home to well, home.

So, doesn’t an entire weekend of no grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and all else crappy sound good? I mean, you won’t even have to make your bed! Damn.

And you can come hang out with me. I promise to sing some karaoke. I promise! I warn you that I sound like a dying cat on its last life, but I love to sing and I will sing even though I shouldn’t.

I wish this was a video so you could get a real treat. I am singing American Pie. That song will never be the same.

Seriously, you need to grab a girlfriend, or two or three and come on down or over or up.

How much does it cost? This is how much it costs…

  • Single: $425
  • Double: $325
  • Triple: $300
  • Quadruple: $225

It’s totally affordable. And the reason it’s totally affordable is because today we launched a Crowdfunding campaign. (click right there to the left)

And here’s the Google definition because I’m really bad at explaining things: the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.

So, if you would just love to help to make this a success, please consider a donation. There are perks so you’ll get some goodies in return! Here’s that campaign again.

How do you reserve a room? Call The Interlaken directly at 1-800-222-2909 and tell the operator that you are calling to reserve your spot for the Not Your Average Weekend retreat.

If you have a friend who will be calling in or has called in her reservation, just make sure you tell the nice lady/man on the phone who you want to room with.

Right now, all you need is a $100 deposit to hold your spot! Or you can totally go to the crowd funding link above and see that you can actually get an even better deal on your weekend. But act fast because there aren’t very many being offered at this price.

Leave a comment if you have any questions or send me a nice email at momfeld@hotmail.com and I’ll be sure to answer any question you have!

I would love to see you, to meet you, to party with you! It’s a great way to rejuvenate and catch a break from the winter blahs. Send me a message when you book your room! See you there!

Here’s a sneak peak of what happens when you eat their dessert alone without children hanging on you. And my acting debut:

My Favorite (AKA Easiest) Recipe Revealed

It is absolutely the most common of knowledge that I dislike being in the kitchen. I hate cooking in it. I hate cleaning in it. I do like to stand in it though because my kitchen is kinda new and it looks really pretty. I also like to pour myself a glass of wine in it. Or make a margarita.

But cooking? Ugh, blah, gross, puke and plfffftttt (that’s the sound you make when you stick out your tongue and make a raspberry). My goal is to get in and get out asap. You know, like when those Army specialist guys or Navy Seals are on a mission to go get some terrorists or whatever? Just like that. Without the guns and stuff. And less blood. Well, maybe. If I am careful with the knife and remember to move my finger out of the way.

I have 10 thousand cookbooks. All collected through the years starting in 1992, the year I got married. Because I tried. I did. I tried to cook nice. After I had a cry-fest on my wedding night in the shower, because I totally freaked out that I had no idea what I was going to make this man of mine for the next forever, I snapped to.

I got out my cookbooks, tied on an apron and cooked like a madwoman for a solid week. I know exactly what DH thought. “Boy did I pick a winner. Good decision bucko, I’ll be fed for life and it will be good.”

Except it wasn’t. I hated it so much, I pretty much never did that fancy stuff again. I got by on tomato soup with those white milky specks (why does that happen?), spaghetti with sauce out of a jar and if DH was really lucky, frozen meatballs thrown in for good measure. There was chicken, chicken and more chicken that pretty much resembled shoe leather, and as a special treat…sloppy joes.

cookbooks

I haven’t opened this cabinet in so long, I was worried a family of mice would be living in there.

My philosophy is now this: Screw those cookbooks. Even though I still have them in the cupboard because you just never know even though I still, to this day, haven’t looked through 98% of them.

The meal has to have very little ingredients, require as little chopping as possible and be quick. If it tastes good, that’s a bonus. But it doesn’t have to taste good. Because then they won’t expect much so that could be a blessing in disguise.

So, get my point? The easier, the better. The faster, the even betterer and if I’m lucky, chinese food when everyone is sick of my cooking. Which is more than I care to admit. Actually, I don’t really care at all.

So, I will bestow to you my best meal ever. And my family loves it so much, I make it weekly with enough leftovers to carry over into the next night or longer. These people are lucky, I tell you.

I call this Sausage Pasta because I don’t know what else to call it and I’m really creative like that. I made this up by the way. Which is weird in and of itself because mostly I don’t know what I’m doing.

Sausage Pasta:

  • Olive oil. I dunno…a couple of tablespoons, maybe?
  • 1 box of Cellentani or Cavatappi or Ziti or whatever you like, al dente. Or overcooked like I do it because I always forget to take it off the heat before it reaches this stage.
  • 1 lb of any kind of sausage you like. I like the pre-cooked chicken or turkey sausage that is usually flavored by something or other. Cut this precooked sausage into slices. If you use fresh, just cook it like you would cook ground beef.
  • 1 can of cannelloni beans, undrained. The juice in this is what thickens the “sauce.”
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts in water for less fat. Cut them up so it looks like you are getting more and getting your money’s worth.
  • Capers. I use those cute little ones and I just pour them in until it meets my fancy.
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced not minced. But do what you want. I won’t tell.
  • Salt, pepper and basil to taste.

While the pasta cooks, mix all of the above in no special order. Unless you use fresh (when I say “fresh” I mean the raw kind, not really sure how fresh it is) sausage, then cook that first. I’m not really sure why. If you really need to know, look it up.

Add to cooked, drained pasta and you have yourself a meal.

If you want to make it even healthier, add in some broccoli or whatever. But that’s an extra step and more work because then you have to wash it and cut it and cook it. So, just throw some on the side raw if a veggie is important to you.

There you have it. A meal that literally takes less than a half an hour to throw together. Don’t say I never gave you anything. You’re welcome.