Friday, January 8, 2010

5:00 Fridays

Allow me to wax about how much I love my readers, and I ain't talkin' about just the people who had anything to do with my birth or the birth of my children. I mean the meat n' potatoes bunch who don't even know me and have no DNA obligations to read my writing or boost my spirits. I thank you all for being my fuel on this little blog journey I'm on. My favorite thing is reader comments and interaction. It's always wonderful to hear your insights and perspectives on the musings and rants that make their way from my brain to your screen.

Today I thank my reader Sandra for sharing a cocktail recipe inspired by...band fruit.

She happens to have a crate of tangerines in her kitchen that are going to rot if not properly consumed. Sandra, being fond of 5:00 Fridays, naturally resorted to squeezing those babies into cocktail creations. As I write this post, a woodern crate of clementines is staring me down. One has already gotten mushy, leaving its most unpleasant juicy stench behind. I also have a slew of oranges and grapefruit rolling around my counter tops and in my produce drawers. Drawers. What a great word to use instead of britches. Does that count as a homonym, I wonder? Maggie will have the final verdict. Am I digressing? Non sequitors abound in my brain.

I'm happy to support the band, being a band geek myself. The only trophy I ever got in my life was for marching band. I might still have the gold sash stashed somewhere. Meanwhile, Mac Daddy has boxes of trophies in the attic for various sports - basketball, baseball, football, air hockey. I like to say that Mac Daddy even married his trophy wife on the first try.

Well, thanks to Sandra now I know what do with all this fruit. I mean really, I can't stuff a clementine into my kids' lunchboxes everyday, and the family is tiring of orange/grapefruit vinaigrette. Our love of citrus has been squeezed out of us.

Until I found vodka.

Rather, until Sandra found vodka and pointed me to it.

Grown Up Juice

1-2 oz. Rain vodka (In Sandra's words: "Use however much you need--you know your liver better than I do.")
Juice from 2 tangerines (or in my case, oranges and grapfruit that we bought from the neighbor's kid)
Splash of lemonade or limeade

Mix all of this together in a grownup juice glass filled with ice. Garnish with a wheel of whatever citrus fruit you have on hand.

Cheers to you and all that vitamin C!

Bonus points if you guess what instrument I played in band. And no, I've never started a story with, "This one time, in band camp..."
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Day My 6 Year Old Asked Me About Abortion

I drive by a particular Catholic church in my neighborhood almost every single day for one reason or another (mostly because that route leads to Target and Trader Joe's). Normally I'm a big believer in letting people believe whatever they want. While I am a vehemently opinionated soul, I do not use my breath to spew my ideals to anyone who will listen (As for this blog, you choose to come here, right? No prodding or payment from me. No payment for me either, for that matter.). I don't believe in proselytizing. I don't believe in incendiary messages spouted from soapboxes. I don't believe in subjecting children to hideously complicated adult paradigms.

What I believe is it is my job, my duty, my honor, to protect my children.

Please check out my post on Deep South Moms about what has me up in arms about what this particular church is doing to pollute precious, innocent minds.

Here's a hint:

No mother of a six year old should have to answer the question, "Mommy, what does 'abortion kills babies' mean?"
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Monday, January 4, 2010

My Glass is Half Full. Of Ice.

I haven't seen the teens in about 10 years. I was finishing graduate school in Chicago then. That was my teensy skooch back to the East after eight year stints in Minneapolis and Madison. By teens I mean temps, natch. My own teen years were over two decades ago, and that's the tail end of the rotten pubescent, lemming, un self-aware, unconfident, dorky stuff that make one's teen years so memorable, despite how hard we try to forget.

The temperatures here in Raleigh are taking after stock market line graphs of late and taking a steep dive southward. I didn't move here for this. I remember many a winter not even needing a coat in these parts. It was a welcome change from the mummyesque layering I endured waiting for the bus on 44th Street in Minneapolis or the whip of lake wind chilling me inside out in Chicago. I never did acclimate, despite 10 years out there. Things weren't so bad in Madison because we lived in our own little version of Melrose Place so we rarely had to leave home. That, and we often indulged in Wisconsin's most notable export.

In light of all this frigid weather, folks in North Carolina remind me a lot of the good people of Minnesota. All they talk about is the weather. Instead of the usual "Happy New Year" store clerks remark this time of year (I'll give a week more before I start calling people on the importance of message timeliness.), they call out, "Stay warm!" as they bid you farewell. The neighborhood is quiet, eerily peaceful. No kids. No dogs. Um, why does it seem I'm the only one out walking my dog in these tundra temps?

I'm trying to see some silver lining here. Ice is silvery, right? I'm generally a glass-half-full kind of girl. If you find yourself whooping it up and need to be knocked down a few notches, gimme a call. My alter ego is Debbie Downer. I can make you cringe, cry, or croak in a matter of minutes. Mac Daddy is my optimistic counterpart. He sees the good in everything, which is highly annoying and makes me irritable as hell. I sure hope our sons don't inherit this trait and make their future wives ornery. Sometimes a girl just wants to look into her soap spotted empty wine glass and bitch.

It being 2010, a new year and a new decade and all, I've decided to try on Mac Daddy's disposition. I'm afraid it won't suit me at all but I'm going to give the old college try (Wherever does that term come from?! I surely don't want my boys to try half the stuff I tried in college!). Here's my first, if not feeble, attempt to see the glass half full.

Reasons to not hate the cold weather:
  1. No snakes in my yard.
  2. Ignored dog poop freezes and is easier to clean up. Granted, Mac Daddy is the often the one faced with this since I jet back inside as soon as Lark has done his business.
  3. Children chat less when they are cold because the are busy experiencing chattering teeth.
  4. It's perfectly acceptable to have dead leaves, grass, plants and such in one's yard.
  5. Snuggling.
  6. The Snuggie (never mind that I wear Deal's kid sized one that he got for Christmas).
  7. No mosquitoes.
  8. I don't have to shave.
  9. Jeans and sweaters hide more dietary sins than tank tops and shorts.
  10. Boots. Way better than flip flops.
  11. Oysters are in season.
  12. Beer gets cold quickly if you put it in a cooler on the patio.
  13. It's cold and flu season, giving me a fine excuse not to shake hands with people.
  14. Conversation common denominator makes it easy to talk to anyone.
  15. Scarves hide hickeys (I mean, for those trashy girls who get those kissy bruises. Blech.)
  16. Knee socks. (I know Denise at Eat Play Love has my back on this one.)
  17. Hot Buttered Rum, Hot Toddies, , Hot Sake, Hot Cider, Hot Chocolate
  18. Comfort food.
  19. I get wear to that cute chenille hat and scarf set I bought ages ago. Be sure to compliment me profusely if you see me sporting it.
  20. An excuse to chill out (pardon the expression) with a good read or a must-see flick.
So tell me, what makes the snot freezing temps more palatable for you?

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