I am currently blogging about everything. Jump in where you are and thanks for coming by!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Infinite Loop

Unless you have been living under a rock of remarkable size and heaviness you have seen an infinity scarf in the last 5 years. The infinity scarf is distinct from it's non-infinite brethren by having it's two ends sewn together to make a loop or circle of fabric or fibers. Its proponents claim that by being a loop the infinity scarf is a more versatile garment, it's detractors probably say something like, why can't I just tie the ends of my regular scarf together and have the best of both worlds? Then the infinity scarf people probably strangled them with their infinity scarf and screamed, "Laugh it up now, laughing boy! LAUGH. IT. UP."

These infinity scarf people are intense is what I'm telling you guys. Really.

So with some trepidation I too embarked on the treacherous waters of infinity scarf wearing.


Even the 7 year old had her doubts.

But I decided to give it at least a try because infinity scarves look so cute on most people! Plus I live in Florida where I don't get to participate in many cold weather fashion trends. Y'all with your tall boots and cute coats and WINTER HATS! And here I am stuck in flip flops and summer dresses most of the year, in the heat and the sun and the...

Where are you guys going? Come back here! Minnesota, I see you! TURN AROUND RIGHT NOW AND COME BACK!

So, these infinity scarves, as I was saying, are apparently a seasonless trend. I see them paired with heavy jackets and spaghetti strap tank tops, so I know IN THEORY this is one I could do.

And at the beginning of the day I felt like yeah, this is totally me.

But by the end of the day I started to feel like I was being very slowly and softly strangled to death. Pinterest to the rescue, surely someone has come up with a way to wear these things that isn't going to give me knitted asphyxia.

I dutifully searched to see the most common ways to wear the scarf. Lord a mighty, I think some people are clearly frustrated Eagle Scouts looking to belatedly score a knot tying badge.

"14 Ways to Wear an Infinity Scarf" they proclaim with illustrated guides. So last night at a friend's house I tried them all. Plus a few more we made up just for kicks and because I'd had a glass of wine or two.

A simple double twist double loop. Looks great from the front, gives me shelf boob from the side. I turned around and I was like, "HOLY CRAP there's been a scarf-tastrophe on Tits Mountain."

I tried the scarf and hood combo. I call this one Christiane Amanpour reporting live from Tehran.

I tried the simple wrap skirt. I was not impressed.
Nothing like wearing something that is both unflattering AND potentially going to disgrace you by coming off.

Then there was the tube top idea. I'm calling it Spring Break in Daytona Beach.

My friend's child was embarrassed for both of us.

Please keep in mind these are legitimate suggestions for how to wear these scarves! I decided to take matters into my own pinot fueled hands.

I present, "Miss Pinterest 2015: I Promised Myself I Wouldn't Cry"

TONIGHT WE DINE IN HELL (with Mason jars)

The Fashion Forward Baby Sling

Never Work with Dogs or Children Dolman Sleeves

But no matter how I twisted and turned it I realized, you can't really rock this thing if you're a girl with a nice pair of melons.

Happy 2015 y'all!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hipsters Man.

So the humble mason jar has become ubiquitous of late and as usual I blame the hipsters. I once saw some hipsters in their native environment (Brooklyn) and they put on their ragged flannel shirts and top hats, rode their fixie bike (shaped like a handlebar mustache) to a pop-up organic brewery where they serve everything in you guessed it, a mason jar.

BUT do not let its hipster hype dissuade you from using a cool and multipurpose item like a mason jar. My mother variously deployed them for use as vases, drinking vessels, desktop organization, to hold pantry staples, as a salad dressing cruet and for actual, you know CANNING long before Pinterest existed to document our lives in dreamy, pastel soft-focus. We always had them around in various sizes for various things as long as I can remember but I don't remember ever using them for salads. If certain corners of the internet are to be believed a mason jar's (or Ball jar, or canning jar or whatever you call them) highest purpose is to provide a sog-free salad for your afternoon repast.

There are literally dozens and dozens of salad jar recipes out there and as in everything else that exists in the wilds of cyberspace there there are passionate devotees and just as passionate detractors.

A Random Dude:
what is gained from putting salad into a mason jar instead of tupperware. hipsters...

Other Lady:
I'm far from a hipster. They are so much easier to layer - the ingredients are protected and the dressing doesn't get all over the lettuce (which is what makes the lettuce soggy). Most tupperware type containers are wide - no way to keep a salad for a week, which is what these jars do. No lie, I made a week's worth of salads and the last one is just as good as the first.

There's One on Every Article:
Mason jars used to be for canning moonshine when I was kid, now its some sort of healthy eating communist-pinko socialist agenduh, tjanks OBAMA!!11!!

My own feeling on mason jars is this, only use one when it is the right tool for the job. Don't buy a double walled insulted plastic "mason jar" with a handle on it. They make stuff like that already, it's called a travel mug. There's no reason to cutesy it up. I feel the same way about hipsters, actually. When I was broke kid wearing clothes with holes in them, it was because I was legitimately too poor to buy new pants. I wasn't being fashionable. Commodifying and making a consumerist fashion statement out of the trappings of poverty and frugality kinda righteously pisses me off. My Mom used to pick prickly cactus pads out of the woods behind our house and pickle and can them, not because it was some sort of fun hobby, (though I think she DID enjoy it) but because we were pretty poor. The time she made us pine needle baskets for Easter was because we were broke and she used what she had on hand to make us something special. So use your mason jars, but remember that they are a tool used world-wide by people who are frugally preserving their food to last for leaner times ahead. Their value lies in their utility and function and of course like most functional items they are truly beautiful.

/End Rant

So how did my consumerist trendy salad come out? Pretty typically for me, I was unable to find the component parts to my Mason jar. I found the jar and the ring okay, but I hunted high and low for the lid and it was nowhere to be found. So what's a blogger who promised a mason jar salad to do? I used my Ball Brand freezer "canning" jar instead. This is not the layered glass masterpieces of Pinterest, but it has the same functionality of a standard canning jar in it's shape. It is easily portable and because it is a nearly uniform tube from top to bottom it keeps the ingredients well separated for maximum salad crispiness. In fact the slight bell at the top gave me more room for greens while it helped keep my dressing on the bottom. I need to work on the proportions though, I used too many baby carrots and it didn't leave enough room for greens.

My salad, decanted onto a plastic plate from the upstairs kitchen, would never win a beauty pageant, but the greens were crunchy, the mixture of candied walnuts (recipe below), shredded cheddar and raisins gave sweetness, creaminess, crunch and protein to my meal and the ginger dressing from Makotos (if you are from Melbourne there can be only one) gave a tangy snap to the whole thing.

Decision? Mason jar salads are a keeper!

Tomorrow's Pinteresting life challenge, to (wear) an infinity scarf! AND BEYOND!

Candied Walnuts on the Stove Top

Pour some (1/4 cup?) sugar into a saute pan, heat over medium heat, when sugar starts to caramelize remove from heat and throw in a handful of walnut halves or pieces, stirring quickly to coat. If sugar hardens too much, put back on the stove to soften briefly. You can also add a pinch (a literal pinch!) of cayenne pepper to get some hot/sweet walnuts. You could also use pecans in this recipe.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Hair Raising Adventures

So perhaps real live grown ups don't watch re-runs of Cutthroat Kitchen until 1 a.m. on nights when they have to be both up for work and documenting their coiffure the next day. I did one grown up thing and set my alarm before I went to sleep. I did a really not grown up thing by hitting snooze a few times before turning it off entirely and making bargains with myself to get more sleep.

I will ONLY wash and condition my hair in the shower, no leg shaving or anything else. I can sleep for 10 more minutes.

I will skip breakfast and only drink coffee as I drive to work, I can sleep 10 more minutes.

I know basically where all of my clothes are I don't have to hunt them down, I can sleep 10 more... and then I was like, "NO BITCH! Get your LAZY ASS up and GO DO YOUR DAMN HAIR!"

I can be really mean to myself! I would never talk that way to someone else... unless they crossed me.

Anyhow I scurried into the bathroom and did the usual curly haired girl shower. If you are not a curly haired girl or a curly haired person with LONG curly hair, then you probably do not know about our strange shower rituals.

I will probably be cashiered from the Curly Crew for revealing any of this, but here it goes.

Step 1. Turn on shower and then go ahead and get in. Why wait for it to get warm? You're gonna be in there for 45 minutes so you might as well start how you will inevitably end. Freezing.

Step 2. Get hair very, very wet. (Oh, you think that's obvious huh? Everybody does that? Have you ever stood under a full force shower head for 5 minutes and then realize parts of your hair and/or scalp are STILL not wet? No? I didn't think so.) So move that hair around, get it all sopping wet, pay special attention to your scalp.

Step 3. Hunt frantically for some conditioner. Oh no! You're not out of conditioner are you? You may as well call out sick to work now because conditioner is basically all that stands between you and the whirling edge of madness.

Step 4. Fill the 7 or 8 mostly empty conditioner bottles with water, swirling their contents around and dumping them on your waiting, matted hair and thank Providence that you never EVER throw those things out.

Step 5. Find a 3/4 empty tube of Intensely Wet Slick 'Em Slide "Em Hydrating Hair Goo ™ behind your 12 completely full bottles of shampoo. Cry a little in relief.

Step 6. Empty the entire tube into your hand and then use your hands like rakes to comb through the dense underbrush of your scalp sweater.

Step 7. Pull wads of hair out by its very roots. Feel nothing.

Step 8. When your hands are so full of hair that it looks like you have become Bigfoot's personal masseuse scrape the hair off and try and fling the resulting hairball/small cat onto a shower shelf.

Step 9. Repeat.

When do you shampoo your hair? Honestly, never. Or maybe once in awhile if something truly bad has happened, like "had 6 rum and cokes at the office party and accidentally vomited into it" bad. Shampoo is just there to make other people who use your shower feel welcome. "Hello straight haired person, please use some of the complimentary scalp sudser. (DO NOT touch my nearly empty bottles of conditioner)" This practice known as "co-washing" or conditioner washing is a secret of curly haired women world wide.

When I had sufficiently de-matted myself I jumped out of the shower and began the next phase of any hairstyle for a curly haired woman; the ritual application of product.

First we begin by wringing the wet hair out in a towel. After going once over your hair the towel has become completely sodden and will not dry for two days. Hang it up and thank it for its service. Then you mix two to three different products into your hand. Today I used a discontinued hair cream from Garnier Fructis that I bought in bulk 6 years ago when it was being discontinued. I hoard this stuff like precious gold because there will be no more once it is gone. To it I added a shine serum Biosilk Silk Therapy Oil, no really, that's what it's called. I rubbed them between my palms to mix them and then pulled it through my hair using the rake and shake method, whereby one takes sections of hair, rakes your fingers through and then grabs hold at the bottom of the hair and "shakes" it into place. A Ouidad certified hair dresser taught me this. At the top of a mountain in Nepal. Surrounded by beautiful curly haired sheep. But I digress. Here I'd already been working on my hair for 15 minutes and I was still stark naked, much less ready to spin and pin my hair.

This is why I am maybe not a grown up yet. By this point in my real life a child would have kicked the door in commando style and demanded my attention, but THIS week my kids are visiting my Mom, so what better time to try a hair care routine?

Once my hair was well covered in product I wrapped it up in a fresh dry towel and got some damn clothes on. I was pretty cold at this point.

Once dressed I commandeered a couple of dozen bobby pins from my kids' hair accessories stash and began twirling my hair around and pinning it as best I could to the back of my head. Here's the thing though, I can't really see the back of my head, so try as I might, twisting and turning to catch a glimpse of my work in my mirrored closet door I could not both PIN and see, so I decided to just wing it.

How did it turn out. Well, we all remember my Pinspiration from yesterday, right? Sort of a lady-like, soft coiled romantic low chignon. Mine was more... um...

Less curly romantic and more Star Trek Special Guest Star

See what I mean? Instead of spiral curls looping back on themselves in springy ecstasy I had bulbous hair snakes curled up and hissing at each other. Or I was like a rejected hair test for Majel Barret.

Some more charitable people at work said it looked like rosebuds on the back of my head, but I think they were worried about angering my scalp snakes.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another Pinteresting day. My challenge for Tuesday? Mason Jar Salads, man!

Photo courtesy of ProduceWithAmy!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Better Living Through Pinterest

So, as many of you know, I am a complete mess. My areas of competence are staggeringly limited to baking, improvising costumes, and writing on a deadline. Most days I struggle with simple things that most people would consider pretty average and every day, like keeping my bedroom clean, remembering to return library books, and doing my own hair.

I have decided that perhaps I should attack my issues using the same methods I have used for all my previous challenges, step 1. Tell myself with confidence, "Way stupider people than you have figured this out!" and step 2. Research.

Which brings me to Pinterest. Pinterest is my happy place right now. A place that promises better hair and bright and shiny laundry rooms, a place for extra cheesey lasagna and a flatter stomach in 15 minutes.

So play along at home, do you hate Pinterest? Love it? Love to hate it? Use it for research? As an aspirational guide? A place to pin some of your favorite people?

Tomorrow's Project Pin: An Easy Curly Hair Undo

Because here is how my hair looks on a normal day, a bun with some fuzzy frizzy hairs around my face. I look like I am always coming from the gym, when in reality, I haven't been to the gym since 1998.

So tomorrow, I wake up and I coif the hair, like a grown up. I'm going to use products and pins and see what happens.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Happy Place

I'm a baker. From the time I won the school wide cooking contest in the 5th grade with a decadent Cherry Coke Cake with Chocolate and Cherry Coke frosting, to the time I decided to tackle the mysteries of bread, I have known that is my core. I cook, I saute, I have even deep fried on occasion, but in my heart of hearts I'm a baker. Maybe it started before 5th grade. Maybe it was making cookies with my great gramma, or kneading masa with my abuela, or watching my Mom make perfect buttercream roses on scraps of wax paper. Whatever else is happening, I am usually thinking about what I can bake next.

We have been renting houses for the last seven years, feeling a bit rootless and at loose ends, but now I know where I truly want to live.

Inside the pages of the King Arthur Flour catalogue. BAM!

There ya go. Do little Easter people holding eggs not do it for you? Okay, how about this?

The gorgeous organization of it all, a place for all of your flours, see through storage with labels. Oh my gosh. I feel faint.

Oh, hello gorgeous, are you flour flavorings? Come to Mama.

I just want to live in a world where there are organized shelves, containers for every possible type of flour or ingredient and possibly a pizza stone, ($54.99 shipping not included) to call my very own.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Running Face

Running Face, a haiku

Sweaty, pores glisten
Chernobyl tomato face
Running sucks so bad

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Leftover Roast Beef -- What To Do?

Leftover roast beef is a lovely problem to have, but if your family doesn't want the roast beef as is the next day, or you don't have enough to go around, a well planned leftover recipe can help.

Beef stew is probably the easiest way to use up your leftover meat and veggies.

The first thing is to chop up at least 4 cups of raw mixed vegetables, tonight I used carrots, celery, garlic, and onions. I had more onion and celery than anything else, probably only 1/2 C or so of carrots all told, and only 2 cloves of garlic. You use them in there proportion you see fit! Melt some butter or heat some oil in the bottom of a stock pot, sprinkle the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook your veggies over medium heat till they are fragrant and your onions are getting translucent. You will need some beef broth of some kind. If I don't have frozen homemade broth on hand I use bullion, "better than bullion" soup base, packaged beef broth or some combination of the two until I have about 2 C of liquid. Tonight I used 1 can of golden mushroom flavored soup which has a beef broth base and 1 cup of beef bullion, I also added in one of these small bottles of Sutter Home red wines which are fantastic for cooking, plus a tiny can of V8 vegetable juice which I would rather die than drink, but works marvelously well in soup bases. If you were adding potatoes to this soup, now would be a good time to add them. You could also throw in a bay leaf or two. Let everything come to a good boil and mix a 1/4 C or so of the broth to 1 TB of corn starch, make a slurry and then pour it back into the soup. Turn the heat down and let everything come together for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile chop your leftover roast into bite sized pieces, add it to the soup and allow everything to simmer until the meat is heated through and the vegetables are tender. If your leftover roast has leftover veggies with it (more carrots, celery, onions etc) go ahead and add them in when you add in the meat. Also add any drippings or juices from the container where you stored the roast.

And there you have it, roast re-used, and dinner on the table in about 30 minutes.

Other ideas for leftover roast beef.

*Thinly slice the beef, make a gravy from reserved drippings, make a hot open-faced roast beef sandwich.

*Grind together leftover roast with raw potatoes and onion and fry in a cast iron skillet to make beef hash.

*Chop the beef small, mix with frozen mixed veggies, make gravy from drippings and top with uncooked biscuits. Bake until biscuits are done for a sort of "pot pie".

*Thinly slice beef against the grain. Cook thinly sliced bell peppers and onions on oil and worcestershire, sprinkle with chili powder and cumin, when soft and fragrant, add slices of leftover roast beef and fry together with pepper mixture. Serve as fajitas in tortillas or on top of salad greens.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Improvisations

So, Easter somehow or another crept up on me this year. I managed to get some cute things for the kids' baskets while they were at a birthday party, but I didn't buy actual baskets until the Saturday before the big day. When I inquired at the grocery store where I was buying the fixings for our Easter feast if they had any egg dyeing kits I was met with an amused laugh and "No."

When we got home my husband and I used a cheesecake recipe from YumSugar to make a classic New York style cheesecake. I also had some strawberries that needed using up so I made a basic compote with them, the general idea for compotes is to combine berries, water, lemon juice, sugar and a wee bit of cornstarch in a pan and heat on medium until thickened. For bigger berries, cut them in half and then proceed. We poured the cheesecake mixture into the spring form pan and realized to our horror that it was WAAAAAAY too full, so we pulled some of the mixture out and put it into buttered ramekins which we then baked as miniature cheesecakes alongside our main cake. Winning!

Saturday night was our night to dye eggs, but I think I mentioned before that I had forgotten to get any of the dye kits? I hadn't panicked about it because I thought, "Oh, I have food coloring at home." Yeah, turns out I was down to red and green food coloring, which I made the usual way, 1 tsp of white vinegar in ceramic ramekins, 1/4 tsp dye and 1/2 C warm water. My daughter Sarah suggested we try using orange Gatorade to dye the eggs, so we added a heaping spoonful of the powdered drink mix to our water and vinegar mixture. Perhaps unsurprisingly this worked very well. I cannot say the same for yellow Jello mixture. It looked great in the cup, but didn't dye the egg at all. I crushed some blueberries in a small amount of water and that gave the eggs a sort of lavender/grey color that was very beautiful. I taught the kids that we could use a white crayon to mark the egg with their initials or to make designs, which gave me the opportunity to teach them the term "wax resistance". Raspberry tea makes a lovely color in the mug, but didn't give the eggs much color. Yellow or purple onion skins make a fantastic egg dye, but I was out of the right color onions. Egg kits usually come with little paper collars that you place the eggs on to dry. I improvised some by cutting a paper towel tube into rings. After the eggs were dry, the kids colored on them with food coloring markers and they looked great.

My husband and I had tickets to go see Jersey Boys on Saturday night, and bless that baby sitter, she did a fantastic job helping the kids clean up the egg dyeing mess. All we needed to do was get the kitchen in order and set and decorate the table for breakfast. We used stuff we had around the house and tried to make things look Spring-y and festive. The stuffed animals are pulled right out of the playroom and placed in a basket we already had.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An Open Letter to the Makers of 7 Pair Packs of Women's Underwear

To The Manufacturer/Packagers of Women's Underwear,

Dear Sirs or Madams,

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a recent purchaser of a 7 pair package of women's underwear from your esteemed company. I chose your underwear because it came in a pleasing array of cheerful and bright colors, –raspberries, lemon yellows, a tempting tangerine! – that reminded me of italian ice flavors one might purchase of a summer day. I thought long and hard about my purchase, standing there behind the red shopping trolley, whilst other shoppers parted around me like fish in a busy brook. Other packages of panties beckoned, promising the dull but reliable joys of beige underpants that don't show through sheer fabrics, basic black with a no-roll waistband. A 5 pack of flowered panties also seemed promising, but their flowers, bud-like and pastel, seemed juvenile. With a rush of thrilling abandon I gaily threw your 7 pair package into the cart with my cereal and sandwich baggies and made my purchases, my heart gently floating skyward like a child's wayward balloon. The promise of new and pretty panties beckoned even as Spring seemed to recede into an unreachable horizon.

When I got home I hurried to the sanctity of my boudoir to avail myself of your shrink wrapped glories. The raspberries, the tangerine, the sunny lemon yellow, all there, glowing with a promise to lift the chill hand of this eternal winter. But beneath them? Oh! Shame and ignominy! 2 pairs of insipid "zebra" print by way of a child's scrawling and 2 pairs of a muddy, muddled print one can only describe as duck hunter camo! Should I choose to stand nude, saving my panties, in front of a duck blind in Arkansas, surely I will blend in! One assumes I will now need to fashion the tangerine panties into a tiny jacket to alert the hunters to my presence. Or perhaps you did have my 37 year old, suburban mother of two self in mind, perhaps in case of HOME INVASION I am to strip to panties and stand motionless in front of my potted ficus in the living room! The intruders will be unaware of my stealthy, though chilly, presence.

The zebra print pants were clearly meant for when I go on safari, as I am wont to do! I am forever trekking off to the savannah and as I pack I think to myself, IF ONLY I HAD ZEBRA PANTIES! THEN MY DREAM OF BEING EATEN BY LIONS WHILST IN MY ALTOGETHERS COULD COME TRUE.

I have few material joys in life, underwear packagers and manufacturers, my "disposable" income going to things like dental appointments and field trip fees, but one of the few indulgences we allow ourselves, the parents, the overworked, the underpaid, is a pair of well-fitting and good looking underpants. Panties that allow us the illusion of a carefree and energetic existence. Do not hide your off-brand factory-second bargain basement panty patterns in with the cute ones! This is the not the kind of surprise that delights. This is upsetting and disconcerting like a surprise pregnancy, or a surprise audit.

No thank you, sirs and/or madams, no thank you!

Good day.

I said GOOD DAY!



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Little Celebrations

It's easy to go all out for the big holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, but what about all of those smaller holidays that lend life a little sparkle, a little fun? It's been a long cold winter, maybe make Valentine's day a little special?

The above is the breakfast table setting we made last year. My husband and I stayed up after the kids were in bed and at their place settings we placed the gifts their grandparents sent them, plus small boxes of chocolate from us. The garland on the light fixture was leftover from Christmas, I dug the doilies out of a cabinet, the place mats are just red round placemats we have. We served normal breakfast foods, but the decor made it fun. My Mom used to leave our valentines outside our door so we saw them first thing in the morning. As February 14th is also my Mom's birthday we celebrated all day long from breakfast chocolate, to a special treat in our lunch boxes, to a nice dinner at home we would all make together. Maybe that's where I got my love of celebrating all the holidays?

We did a similar thing for St. Patrick's day as well.

We made rainbows out of assorted fruit and we served it with MAGIC yogurt. To make a fun color changing yogurt, simply place a few drops of food coloring in the bottom of a bowl. Gently spoon some vanilla yogurt over the food coloring, when your child stirs the yogurt, it turns green, just like magic! The centerpiece was a package of store bought hot cross buns, the leprechauns used some doll house furniture in the middle of them and had their OWN breakfast and then they left a trail of rainbow colored sprinkles leading out the door!

The bunting on the light fixture is some rainbow colored flags leftover from a summer party. We also used some old "Hello, My Name Is" name tags to invent Leprechaun names for all of us. My own was Patty O'Furniture, I think my husband was Jack O'Lantern. We had a few scattered "Pot O' Gold" chocolate pieces on the table as well. Very fun.

The table settings just take a few minutes the night before, we use almost all things we already have in the house, just buying maybe a few paper plates or special napkins. What do you have planned for yourself or your family this year?

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Synopsis of Musicals I Have Never Seen*

* Since conceiving this post I have now seen the musical Once. My synopsis stands.

Spring Awakening: written by that one guy, who's song you liked for a hot minute back in the 90's, this musical features people who all dress like Wednesday Addams and seems to be about teenage angst and possibly diphtheria.

Pippin: this, just based on songs I've heard, is about a circus who decided to stage something like Hamlet, possibly Macbeth. Everyone may be insane. There's an old lady who sings about being young who might be Gertrude or might run the circus/madhouse. Fun Fact: A guy on American Idol once picked the song "Corner of the Sky" at random to sing on Broadway Night. Additional Fun Fact: All the songs in this musical were picked at random.

The Boys from Syracuse: Confusingly, not about the Orangemen, or is it? Some sopranos sing about prostitution using a bird metaphor. May take place in ancient New York.

42nd Street: The original location of every song your Grandma knows and sings when you drive somewhere for lunch.

Anything Goes: Unless Grandma was a bigger fan of this musical.

The Boy From Oz: Wolverine is just fucking with us now. Or Hugh Jackman plays a gay man who was playing a straight man. Fan fiction for theatre queens.

Once: the musical to see if you'd really rather be at an open mic night. Soundtrack fits seamlessly into coffee house back ground music. You need to write a sad poem in your diary.

Candide: the musical written to placate every budding drag queen at your high school so they had an excuse to work the word gay into a conversation. If you loved that kid you will love this musical I think. Practice your High E's.

Chess: definitely about chess. And prostitution in Bangkok? God bless Murray Head. If you were a big fan of Mamma Mia you will be left wondering why they didn't do "Dancing Queen". Like you do at every musical.

Damn Yankees: baseball musical, may be loosely based on the Bad News Bears, features an escaped lunatic who sings in a "sexy" baby voice and terrifies a professional athlete with her stylized hip thrusts.

Follies: about a haunted theatre, populated by the saddest humans on Earth. Their only joy comes from acting out old plays and praying for the sweet release of death. Do not listen while in treatment for depression.

In the Heights: West Side Story with actual Latinos, different neighborhood, no Polish gang members. Soundtrack fits seamlessly into a Zumba class if you're white.

Mexican Hayride: Why it gotta be Mexican? Is this like the jumping beans? Racist?

Nine: An Italian film director faces a midlife crisis, despite being surrounded by money, fame and beautiful women. Terrifying. True fact, I have only heard 3 songs from this musical.

Promises, Promises: is this a jukebox musical? Seems like every other song is from Lite FM. About love. Possibly might be the musicalization of a sitcom from the 70's.

Rent: The 90's happened. Some of us were bisexual. It seemed like a good time to be in a band. "5 thousand, six hundred, something-something minutes", will get stuck in your head.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let's Talk About Sex (To Our Babies?!)

We all have a story about how our parents spoke (or didn't speak!) to us about the birds and the bees, reproduction, the difference between boys and girls, "married love", um, sex. I am talking about sex here people. Hopefully we can all agree that sex is an important subject and one we can talk to our kids about openly, honestly and without a lot of embarrassment or shame. Or at least faking that we aren't embarrassed. I have a hilarious story about "the sex talk" that involves my mother. I was reading a Judy Blume book (GOD BLESS JUDY BLUME!) and I came across the word, "masturbation" and I asked my Mom what it meant. She turned beet red and stammered that it was just some thing that boys did.

I eventually just looked it up in the dictionary. Suddenly, some of the stuff I had been hearing at school was making more sense.

Today though, it seems a lot more complicated, we have to deal not just with playground talk but the vastness of the internet. We want to be open and honest, but protect their innocence, not over answer, protect them from predators, but not scare them to death. So today we are going to turn to my friend and sex educator Elizabeth Dilley.

Elizabeth is a UCC minister who served in a local congregation for nine years before accepting a call serving in the denominational setting. She has also served as a regional health educator for a Midwestern affiliate of one of the nation's largest reproductive health care providers. Elizabeth has led trainings for parents on how to communicate their values to their children, integrating sexuality and spirituality, as well as about a "zillion" classes on STIs, birth control and healthy sexual choices for children and youth of all ages. She is trained on a variety of human sexuality curricula. Today she is speaking for herself and not as a representative of the UCC or any other organization. She agreed to speak to me today as a friend and her answers are obviously informed by her faith, professional background, and her own experience as a parent of a (GORGEOUS, adorable!) toddler.

Thank you Elizabeth for speaking with me about this incredibly important topic, let's jump right in! When do you start talking about sex with your children?

Elizabeth Dilley: My goodness - this is such a complicated question. In some ways, we've been talking about sex literally since our child was born. In other ways, we never talk about sex. What I mean to say is, "talking about sex" is really a limiting frame to think about this. It's really a lot more about sexuality than sex, per se. Sex is all tied up with other values, experiences, and beliefs, and just as we can't separate the two in real life, it's best not to separate them when it comes to talking about them with your children.

The most important thing to remember is that as a parent, you are your child's primary sexual educator. They will learn from you from what you say, what you don't say, how you act around the topic, how you talk about your spouse/partner/co-parent (or all of the above), and what kind of shows you watch on TV or listen to on the radio. I always recommend that parents get clear about the values they want to communicate to their child, preferably before the child is born. Your children will take their cues from you! If you are religious, your religious beliefs probably tie into your beliefs about sexuality, and there's no need to try to separate the two.

For us, the values of mutuality, respect, sacrificial love, commitment, pleasure/delight, honesty, love, and monogamy are integral to our understanding of sexuality and the values we want to communicate to our child. We are progressive Christians, so we believe these values are central to couples, whether it is one man and one woman, two women, or two men. We are trying to raise a queer-affirming and trans*-competent child, too, so that comes out in our educating. (And while polyamory is not for us personally, we believe these values we endorse can be and certainly are present in poly relationships and we will do our best to speak honestly and fairly about them.)

Maybe you want to affirm that sex should only happen in the context of marriage between one man and one woman. Maybe you want to affirm that sex is something fun and you want your child to really enjoy himself/herself, whether it's in the context of a relationship or a one-night stand. Maybe you want to affirm polyamory, or have your child grow up believing that same-sex couples are normal, or that the act of sex is only for procreation, or ..... Whatever your values are, take some time to think about what it is you want your child to learn, know, value and believe - keeping in mind that they may not grow up to share your values or beliefs. Once you as a parent (or as co-parents) are clear on the values you want to communicate to your child, it becomes a bit easier to figure out the age-appropriate ways to share those over time.

I also want to be clear that parents should agree on a strategy, even if it's unlikely that both parents (if both parents are active in rearing your child) have the same comfort levels in the actual talking about sex and sexuality. In our household, I'm both more knowledgeable, more comfortable, and more educated on the topic, so I'm the primary sexuality educator - but we both know that our child is learning from BOTH of us, and my spouse is very intentional about modeling healthy, open, compassionate and female-affirming sexuality.

This link provides a really helpful primer for talking about sexuality with your child: Planned Parenthood

But let's talk in more detail:

1. It's not just one talk - it's a regular, ongoing conversation that begins at birth. When we gave our child her first bath, we talked about each body part as we cleaned it - her head, her shoulders, her elbows, her chest, her back, her bottom, her vulva, her legs, her feet, her hands. We are vigilant about using correct medical terms, so babies don't grow in a woman's "tummy" but her "uterus." Of course, this also means that our toddler asked us this year, "Does Santa have a penis?" and she's been known to ask this about our friends and family members.

2. Know what your kid is really asking. "Where did I come from?" might be a question about childbirth. It might also be about adoption, or Toledo, or any number of things. "What do you mean?" can both buy you a little time to organize your thoughts and find out what they really want to know.

3. Remember - they will take their cues from you. If you are comfortable talking about it, or at least honest in expressing your discomfort, they will continue to ask from you. If you blow up or shut down the conversation, they will learn that sex and sexuality are shameful and maybe bad.

4. It's okay to say, "I don't know," or "I need a little more time to think about this before I answer." You can follow that up with, "Let's find the answer together," or "Can we talk about this at X time?" or even, "Let me find out more information."

5. I cannot stress enough that these conversations about "sex" are really conversations about "sexuality" and they often intersect with conversations about faith/belief, if you are religious. They also intersect with conversations about patriarchy, oppression, liberation, culture, history, hope, dreams, sensuality, etc. This PDF on the "circles of sexuality" may provide some context.

In one of the parent trainings I led, a parent who has very different values than I do expressed the ways she had talked with her children about sex. She described it as "sharing your body," which was a clear and concise way to communicate her family's values about what happens during sex, and she did it in a very positive and affirming way. There wasn't a lot of shame attached to this description and actually a lot of love and delight came through when she spoke in these terms. I was very impressed, and have been trying myself to think of a pithy way to express our own values to our growing child.

LLL: Thank you for sharing this with us Elizabeth! You have given me a lot to think about with how I talk with my kids and I feel a little better prepared! I look forward to this "ongoing conversation".


This is the first part of our interview with sex educator and mom Elizabeth Dilley! We will have parts two and possibly three coming to this blog soon. If you have questions or comments about having "the talk" or as we know now, a series of talks with your kids, please let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Laundry: The Neverending Story

I dislike housework, housekeeping, home keeping, chores, cleaning, straightening, organizing, putting away, whatever. It always feels like I am on an endless hamster wheel. Do the dishes, make the dinner, clear the table, do the dishes, repeat ad infintum. I married someone quite like me, he also would rather find something, anything else to do. This is a mixed blessing, because while neither of us is badgering the other person to pick up more or feeling resentful that the other person is more comfortable with mess, neither of us is actually leaping up from the couch to clean.

We got along okay in our mutual sloth until we had children. Children turn everything up to 11. We were both determined to do better and actually I think we have. We started small, with the laundry. First we bought a pink wood and cloth folding hamper for our daughter's room. She's 11 and still using the same hamper. I kept it next to her changing table near the closet. As I pulled the baby out of her tiny onesies and even tinier socks I would grab a bottle of stain treatment and hose down whatever messes she had accumulated. Then as I did laundry all I had to do was dump everything in the washing machine, and add the soap and hit start. This worked so well with her clothes that I started doing the same routine for my own clothes, getting them in the hamper, already stain treated, pockets emptied, turned right side out. My husband spontaneously bought some rubber sock rings and started pairing his socks before he put them in the wash. He puts clothes in the wash before he leaves for work, I make sure they go into the dryer when I get home with the kids, and then after they go to bed we fold the clothes. The folded clothes either get put on top of the dresser in the kid's room or left right outside their door. Our clothes get put into the dresser.

That doesn't sound like a lot but the routine took years to establish. We tried a lot of other things first. Having a specific laundry day, where we did all of the laundry at once. We tried getting the clothes washed and dried before work. We tried having one person do the laundry by themselves, we tried trading that job back and forth. Sometimes the laundry routine would get so insane we'd load the entire back of the car up with dirty clothes and drive to the laundromat with soap, bleach, and baskets and go and do all of the laundry in 2 hours using the super capacity machines. The upside to the 2 hour laundry marathon was that the laundromat was right next door to a Goodwill charity shop. As clothes came from the dryer that were too small, or were unwanted for any reason, we could bag them up and drop them off on the way home. The cost was astronomical, but at least we could begin again without climbing a slippery pile of dirty clothes I dubbed Mt. NeveRest.

The story flipped again when we lived in a place that didn't have a reliable dryer, but did have a large clothesline. I learned that if you want gleamingly white undershirts, dry them in the sun. Seriously, blinding whites. Sheets smell fanatic dried in the sun. Bathing suits and leotards and any garment that has a lot of stretch, will last forever getting line dried. I quit ever putting my bras in the dryer after that. They dry so quickly and they last forever! The hooks never snag other clothes in the dryer, nor do the underwires get bent.

We live in a new place now, same old routine, except the washer and dryer are in the garage and we hang clothes from the garage door tracks. The garage doors on this house were sealed off 30 plus years ago, but the tracks remained. Things that get hung up to dry include, all dresses, all bras, bathing suits, leotards, tights, pantyhose. Anything that has glitter or sequins on it. All of my husband's work shirts, all of his work pants, anything that is made in a "stretch fabric" anything very sheer or that has beadwork, or complicated embroidery. When I dry things in the dryer, I make sure what goes in the washer is compatible. Towels get washed together, jeans get washed together, bath mats and throw rugs get washed together. T-shirts and similarly weighted clothes get washed together. This way everything will dry in the same amount of time and it causes less wear and tear on your clothes. I am obsessed with removing the dryer lint. The girls like to throw it in the yard for the birds to make nests. Recently we saved our in-laws' dryer by going to the outside of the house and removing the cap on the dryer vent. It had become clogged with dryer lint, we pulled out 2 feet of backed up lint from the vent and now their dryer does the job in less than half the time. It was getting to be a serious fire hazard. If your dryer starts to take longer and longer to dry I suggest you locate your vent and check!

Everything we wash is separated by color, all darks and reds go together unless I have enough reds to have their own load. Light colored clothes get their own wash as do whites. I wash everything in cold water, it saves energy and money. The only exception to that is bed sheets and whites, they get washed on hot water. I use very little bleach, but I do use it on things like white socks or t-shirts. I have taken to using the detergent pods, that just get thrown in the wash. I wash delicate items on the hand washing cycle with a little Woolite. My favorite stain treatment is a cleanser called "Greased Lightning" which is also an all-purpose cleanser. Such became my zeal to complete my laundry that I would even bring it with me. I once lived 6 hours from my Mom, if I was coming to see her over the weekend, I would bring my dirty laundry with me and bring it home folded and sorted into piles to go straight to the drawers. My kids' drawers were labeled with pictures of the appropriate clothes, so they could put them away themselves.

So now our laundry is all caught up, big deal right? Well, by establishing the hamper routine, you have to make sure the hamper gets emptied. That keeps clothes off the floor. The bathmats and towels are getting washed regularly, which helps keep the bathroom clean. The dishcloths and dish towels are always ready to go to work in your suddenly cleaner kitchen. When the clothes are clean you have to make sure you can put them in the drawers and closets, so these start becoming cleaner and more organized spaces. With me it started with my fantastically organized underwear and sock drawer, then the jeans all started going to one place, then I started folding my t-shirts like the professional organizers do. When you can see your clothes at a glance you can routinely weed clothes out of the wardrobes. For the kids we try and check in the Spring and the Fall, but sometimes they have a sudden growth spurt and you notice all of their clothes look like capri pants and 3/4 length sleeves. Regular laundry means these clothes are always ready to be bagged up and taken to a thrift shop or to a friend with smaller kids.

If you are swimming in a sea of chaos, you just start with one thing, anything and watch the ripple effects. Maybe you have your home life down, but work is where you are floundering. Make a commitment to one thing there and see what happens. Fix your files, check e-mail first thing, block Facebook from your computer, whatever it is that is your personal boondoggle. My opinion is that when we take a macro view of our lives, the problems seem insurmountable. When we look at our lives in smaller parts we can see solutions. Can I fix everything today? No? Can I finish this load of laundry, sort, wash, dry, fold, put away? YES, I CAN!

Monday, January 6, 2014

I Never Wanted a Dog

As a kid, we had dogs, several dogs in fact. I never remember going and GETTING a dog, either, it always seemed like they somehow appeared unbidden in our lives. Sometimes they overlapped by a few years, so we would have two dogs, a junior and a senior dog if you will.

Dogs I have lived with include, in no particular order: Pulgas, Patches, Red, Poochie, Hambone, Connie, and Tipper. This does not include the cats, birds, fish, ferret, Guinea pig, rabbits, hamsters and occasional turtle that we also shared residence with occasionally.

Later with my boyfriend/husband we had joint custody of a cat, but when his allergies flared and mine came back with a vengeance we re-homed her and lived the blissful life of non-pet owners. Non-pet owners have a charmed existence. The money that goes towards pet food, vet bills, boarding fees, special toys and groomers, can be spent on frivolities like bread or the good parmesan cheese. If you wind up at work late, or stuck in traffic you don't worry that there is a mad creature tearing up toilet paper while you are gone because they are bored, or alternatively, there isn't some poor soul crossing all 4 of its legs trying not to have an "accident" in the living room. The time you spend scooping a cat box or unfurling a tiny plastic bag in front of the neighbor's house can be spent reading or relaxing or just relishing the fact that the only feces you disposed of that day was your own.

Then we had kids. And for awhile it was quite like having a pet. They had to be walked, and taken for check ups, their shots were expensive, they required special food and of course you got up close and familiar with their defecation as well. But kids grow up! They learn to eat and even prepare simple foods! They toilet train! They go to free public school for 6 hours a day so it's like free boarding!

A dog always seemed like HUGE step backward in the slow process of freedom I secured for myself over the last few years. When you have a kid that can make cereal for itself and the other kid in your life? That my friends is the sweet taste of freedom to the prisoner. That extra 15 minutes of sleep for me in the morning would disappear if I had to walk a dog. No sir, nu-uh!

My children (then ages 10 and 5) had been campaigning for a dog for awhile. In fact when the elder child was only 5 herself, we had given her an option, she could have a dog or she could have a sibling. She negotiated for and received the promised sister, so her life and ours had been puppy-free. When the younger sister was a terrible two, the elder one tried to renegotiate for a dog again, so we introduced her to the legal term, "no backsies".

As the baby learned to speak she joined her elder sister in pleas for a dog. My rock-solid reasoning fell unheeded, "We move a lot. We are always on the road." didn't seem to penetrate their consciousness at all. In fact their whining only increased in volume and intensity.

When we moved back to Orlando, within whining earshot of their grandparents, the kids finally got their wish. As all grandparents are legally required to do, they caved immediately to the children's tiny terroristic demands. The grands announced plans to purchase a dog as soon as they were back from a 3 week trip. Knowing negotiation with them was as futile as dealing with the children, my husband and I moved quickly to secure a dog.

Again, no-one in my family ever buys a dog. You just GET a dog. As it turned out both my youngest sister and my mother had both recently acquired new dogs. My family traveled to see Mom and Sis and to quietly audition the animals. A mountain feist dog had recently turned up in a neighbors yard and ended up being fostered by my parents. A Chihuahua/terrier mix had been intercepted on it's way to the animal shelter by my sister. Both dogs were small, less than 10 pounds, which made them portable and appropriate for our peripatetic lifestyle and they both needed forever homes. The kids liked both dogs a great deal, but the little Chihuahua with the soulful brown eyes won the day. Also, I think my parents knew by this point that the mountain feist had bonded with their miniature pinschers and would make a lovely addition to their pack of ridiculously small dogs.

We broke the news to the girls while we were at the pet store. As we rang up a dog bed, dog crate, pet food, harness, new leash, chew toys, reward snacks, pet mess carpet cleaner, slicker brush, food and water bowls, and a book on puppy training I turned to the girls and said, "You have to get scholarships to college now." No joke, on pet supplies, spaying, shots and flea and worm medicines we easily spent $400.

We named her Delilah Jacqueline. She is commonly called Delilah. She likes to jump around and roll on the ground with the girls while they giggle like maniacs. She enjoys knocking over wastebaskets and chasing squirrels in the yard. She gets taken on a short walk in the morning by the kids, short walk in the afternoon to pick the girls up from school and then a long walk in the evenings. Her worms have finally cleared up, she's flea free. Can I say I am loving this entirely? No. I paid the neighbor kid to come over and play with the dog and walk her while we were at Disney all day. Coughing up another $20 on top of a trip to a theme park is, um, not my favorite way to spend money. That seriously cuts into my churro budget. I still really hate picking up poop, but I really hate people who leave the poop right there on the walk-way. Seriously, some of you people must be walking ELEPHANTS, the amount of poop that is out there! But a walk every night, that's good. Watching my kids play in the yard with their dog, that's good. Watching the dog sleep, curled in a ball, on my husband's lap while he watches football, that's good. Writing this post while the dog sits right on my hip, occasionally looking up at me with her goofy little face. That's good.

"Hey there Delilah, here's to you."

Friday, January 3, 2014


Like virtually every other woman my age, I use the social media site Pinterest, which combines the non-stop thrill ride of screwing around on the internet with the go-go hedonism of scrap booking. It's the perfect hobby for the exhausted mother of two. I feel like I am accomplishing something, "Making plans for the birthday!", "Collecting cookie recipes", "Decorating ideas for the kids' rooms." without actually having to, you know, make cookies or decorate anything. Because that crap is tiring. And messy. And may require me to talk to my family.

I have various boards for long-term projects, like when we finally purchase our own home, the poetically named "The Home Sweet Home of Someday, Somewhere" for home decor ideas. I have some lists of things I saw on the internet that made me laugh, and then I have some weird stuff I truly thought would only be of interest to me. My most popular board by far is "Odd Socks" which I started because my kids apparently can only have one sock of any kind at a time. In fact, I'm not sure how they did it, but we were at a friend's house recently and my kids managed to leave some random socks in her front yard.

I also have some inspirational pins featuring women I admire over at, "Awesome Women". I'm also slowly gathering statements that reflect "My Life Philosophies".

So, if you too are a person who wishes to escape the sordid reality of often being too busy to shower and you wish to join me in my fantasy world where I make my own bath products, follow me on Pinterest. And remember:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Why I Shouldn't Be Allowed to be Anyone's Parent, Part 1

I hear people say the same things over and over again about being a parent.

These are often kind, well-meaning, mature people. People who probably have already raised successful children. I should listen to these people. Most likely I will not.

1) "Spare the rod, spoil the child."

Really, random person? You said that OUT LOUD TO ME? As I am dealing with my kid's tearful meltdown in the middle of the grocery store? Look, I appreciate that this is not pleasant for you to listen to. It isn't pleasant for me either but at the exact time that this little slice of motherhood was happening we had all just recovered from the stomach flu. My child was still cranky and feeling nauseated and my quick trip out into the world occurred because we were out of Pedialyte and ginger ale, AKA the only things we could keep down at that time. I'm sorry I didn't beat my 2 year old right there in the soda aisle, because surely THAT would have calmed her down. You know what I say, spare the rod, spoil the closet. We all need more hanging space. You go chill.

2) "He's such a dedicated father!"

Really, nice lady at the church nursery? I mean, he IS a dedicated father, but he's just changing a diaper, not giving up a kidney here. The fact is, if he changed every diaper on that child from now until she is potty trained in 4 more months, he WILL NEVER CATCH UP TO ME. In fact the primary reason we have a second child 5 year later is so that he can get the chance to at least EVEN UP THE NUMBERS. He is still woefully behind on breastfeeding.

3) "Boys will be boys."

REALLY, lady at the playground?! Your son battered my kid and left her crying and bleeding on the playground. The parallel scratches on her face will take a week to heal and leave her scared and shaken for 2 days. Your boy didn't do that to my kid because he's a boy, he did it because you are a jerk.

4) "She's such a cutie/beauty!"

Yes, my children are beautiful. I know that, they know that, people in Australia can see how cute my kids are. We appreciate hearing it! However after awhile if that is ALL you ever say about my kids I will know you are not paying attention. They are also kind, weird, fearless, friendly, curious, funny, demonstrative, dramatic, strong, resilient, imaginative, creative, compassionate, tough and cool. Just like their parents.

5) "How are the kids?"

Thank you for asking. I love talking about my kids, I really do, please see above or almost 85% of the posts I write on Facebook. We can talk about them, or talk about me, my new job, my continuing collegiate adventure, my husband's new business, the marching band I joined, a cool article I read recently, the plight of the diminishing honeybees, the new Hobbit movie, my recipe for homemade Chex Mix, or more importantly, YOU. We can talk about YOU for awhile, my friend. Just you, not your kids or your husband, your siblings or your parents. How are YOU doing, what are YOU thinking about these days? Let's go get a drink and be silly for awhile, you look like you could use a break.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

It's tempting isn't it to treat the "official" new year as a time to re-prioritize, re-direct our lives. The dominant cultural narrative is that after the excesses of the holiday season, we begin an ascetic new life as a more purified version of our "real selves"; a person who is always smarter, calmer, fitter, more prayerful, soulful, hopeful, learnéd than our current cookie-bloated wreck of humanity. How many of us start new workout routines, diets, diaries, BLOGS, attempt ONE MORE TIME to read Ulysses, or the Bible straight through, without skipping the "begats", or any other number of physical, mental or moral challenges set forth just because the calendar has slipped into another year?

The other day my darling younger daughter was talking, mostly to herself, in that unselfconscious monologue peculiar to street people and small children. She glanced up at our hand-written dry erase board calendar and said in a sad but calmly resigned voice, "Oh no! It's the end of the world." Sufficiently alarmed I looked up and saw her telling our dog, "That's it Delilah! We are out of numbers in a few days." She gestured languidly at the calendar and said in a sing-song, "Soon we will all be dead, even youuuuu, you'll be in doggie heaven" She patted the dog's head and said, "Don't worry! I'll fix it!" and in her kindergarten scrawl added a charmingly backward 14, 15, 16, 17 to the empty squares at the end of the board. (She had read the 31 as a 13) Looking back at our dog she said, "It's okay Delilah. I saved the world" and then wandered off to the living room, probably to build a nuclear reactor out of Legos and Barbie doll shoes.

I stood there, gob-smacked, is probably the best word? She had delineated for me the essential fallacy of the import of the changeover from December 31 to January 1. There are always more days! That's the very fact that defeats our best laid plans for a new diet, right? Chomping down on-sale early Valentine's candy in a doldrum of a winter afternoon, we despair of having "blown it" only a week or two into a our bright and shiny resolutions. What if instead, we acknowledge there are always more days, and some days require more candy than others. Tomorrow may well require grapefruit, or turkey pastrami, or miso broth and ginger ale, have confidence that you will know when you get there. Resolve to do your very best, always. But if you mess up, just write in some more days. You might save the world.