Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fish for breakfast?

This morning Jeff asked if I would like some "lovely trout with a fresh egg" for breakfast. While that offer was kind and generous, the thought of eating fish for breakfast just turned my stomach! Who eats fish for breakfast. Wait, don't answer that. I'm sure there are many tribal communities where fish is a breakfast staple. But not for me! Breakfast is a tough enough venture on its own. I don't like eggs much, bacon and sausage are tough to stomach in the wee hours, and pancakes and waffles take too much time. As Jeff can attest, I love anything "bready, doughy or dusty (read, powdered sugar, NOT dust!)". The perfect breakfast for me is a coffee and pastry at Starbucks. But even that bores me. I've tried all the pastries that appeal to me, and there's just nothing new. However, over at Tully's I discovered an almond croissant. This is filled with a bit of almond paste and dusted with powdered sugar and makes Jeff roll his eyes every time I eat one. He's more of a sausage/egg/cheese/bagel breakfast sandwich type of person, but I'd rather eat a bowl of cereal any day over a protein bomb like that. However, no protein makes for no energy, as I've found in my many morning yoga classes, so oftentimes I must force myself to have some protein. A meal-replacement shake, or perhaps just a glass of Ovaltine might do the trick. In recent years, I've warmed up to yogurt, something I couldn't stand in the first 40 years of my life. But it must be vanilla only, and preferable mixed with nuts and/or bananas or strawberries to make it palatable. The whole big breakfast thing just doesn't do it for me. When I have guests, the most painful part of hosting, for me, is breakfast. I have a few of those breakfast casserole recipes that involve massive amounts of eggs and cheese, and I'll throw one of those in the oven, but I'd much rather have pancakes or waffles. I just don't want to make them. I think a quick trip to Starbucks (my treat!) is the best way to treat my guests. Breakfast is just so overrated. It just gets you started for the REAL good eating of the day at lunch and dinner. Yes, breakfast is the "most important meal of the day" but they really shouldn't have scheduled it so EARLY. Bring me a coffee and a pastry any day and it puts a smile on my face and starts my day off on the right foot. Incidentally, Jeff ate eggs and trout for breakfast. FISH! For breakfast! Ew.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I haven't blogged in a while. Sometimes "life" just gets in the way and I don't have time. But Sundays seem to be good times to blog and this week, here's what's on my mind.

Last week, on Thursday, St. Patrick's day, there was a fatal accident just down the road from my house. This happened on a road we travel every single day, at a time when it would have been entirely possible for one of us to be on the road. In fact, I drove Hannah to school that day for a test along that road. Jeff rode his bike to work, but, thankfully, takes a different route. Arlie, unfortunately, was on the bus, which passed right by the accident and so she saw more than she should have had to.

Here's what happened - a 31-year-old man, drunk and possibly under the influence of drugs, was driving erratically down the highway at a very high rate of speed, when he crossed the center line and crashed into a car driven by a 62-year-old man who died at the scene. The accident scene was horrible (I only saw it in pictures, I can't imagine how awful it was for Arlie to see it in person!), with one car flipped over and the other horribly smashed in, missing one entire tire/wheel, and with debris strewn all over the highway.

This guy, a local resident, made the decision to drive without a license, under the influence, and he killed someone. An innocent person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I cannot understand this and it happens all the time. First of all, who is drunk and under the influence of drugs at 7 a.m.? Someone with a very serious problem - clearly, this guy was an addict and had already been involved in prior drug convictions and had his license taken away. Yet, he still drove and he killed someone. How does one go on after such an incident? How do you keep living when you kill someone by your own hand and your own choices? How is it any different than pulling the trigger or plunging a knife into a person? "Vehicular manslaughter" is what they call it. Manslaughter, not murder. How is it any different? Is it different because this guy "didn't set out to hurt anyone?" I don't think so. He made choices. He's an addict, sure, but he made the choice to take the first drink or smoke the first joint or take the first drug. He made the choice to drive without a license. And by his own hand and his own choices, he killed a man. And he gets to live. It's not right.

Later that night, we went to Dairy Queen. The accident happened right in front of DQ. The ground shimmered like frost but we all knew it was broken glass - shattered with an impact so extreme the glass settled in a sparkly powder along the road. Just hours before, a man died there. And life went on. Cars sped by, we ate ice cream. It seemed so sad. That guy didn't wake up saying "I'm going to be killed in a horrible car accident today." But he was. And it could have been any one of us senselessly killed by a stupid, selfish person. It just wasn't right. There was no indication, save for the glass, of an accident. No sign saying "a man died here today". Nothing.

I drove by today and there were flowers. Just a few bouquets, leaning against a pole. A small reminder of a big problem. Please don't drink and drive, do drugs and drive, drive drowsy, drive buzzed, drive and text or drive distracted. Because it only takes a second and lives change forever.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday, Monday.........

Got that song stuck in your head now? Sorry. Mondays I wake up with my head swimming. So much to do, so much to think about, never enough time. It doesn't help that the Shade is barking incessantly in the garage for an unknown reason (and no, I will not go check because I'm 99% certain it's "nothing" as opposed to the 1% that it's "something" which could be as benign as Charlie looking at Shade's food). The manic Monday madness actually starts on Sunday evening. I woke up Sunday with big plans to make a nice dinner, eat it with the family while laughing uproariously at America's funniest videos, then settle in to watch the new "Secret Millionaire" premiere and, my only regular weekly indulgence of TV, Desperate Housewives. But, as usual, the day did not go as planned. It started out wonderfully as I lounged in bed and received a delicious pastry, fruit and coffee delivered by my wonderful husband at noon. Ah, indulgence! Then, around 1 ish, I decided to "get ready" which made me remember I needed to do my roots, and while I was waiting 15 minutes for the brown to soak into my grays, I might as well do a mud mask. That was a sight, let me tell all crazy, green mask on my face, wrapped in Jeff's! I showered, got ready and took the kids to Target around 2:30. I HAD intended to work out, but that never "works out" on the weekends for some reason. I even entertained visions of taking the kids on a family bike ride but that disappeared about as quick as those two packages of Swiss Cake Rolls I ate right before bed. But I digress.

Anyway. We went to Target where I spent about $190 more than I intended to (we went for a computer lap desk and new underwear, and came back with new clothes for everyone except Jeff. Poor Jeff never gets new clothes. I must remedy that soon.) By the time we arrived home, my looming unfolded laundry was calling me, so I invited Hannah to bring HER laundry that needed folding into my room to watch a movie with me. She declined - the folding, not the movie. So, we started to watch "Mermaids" a bygone era movie starring Cher, Winona Ryder before she was a kleptomaniac and Christina Ricci before she was freaky. I folded and we watched and then I (somehow) found myself lounging on my unmade bed when Hannah mentioned it was 6 p.m. and shouldn't I be getting Arlie now? From her friend's house? Because I said I'd pick her up at 6? Oops. Once again, Arlie, the quintessentially "left behind" child was left behind. I raced off to collect her with instructions to Hannah to wash two bags of coleslaw mix so I could start dinner when I got home.

I arrive home to make dinner (by this time Chinese chicken salad - not the warm, lovingly prepared "Sunday" worthy dinner I had envisioned), and found Hayley making mac and cheese. I mentioned we were going to eat dinner, DUH, and she said "Well, it was 6 o'clock already, I figured we were fending to ourselves." Sigh.
Next thing I knew, the funny video show was on while I was still preparing dinner which meant I got to see about four funny videos (definitely not enough laughs to see me through the evening) and we ate dinner together, minus Hayley, who decided she needed to remove furniture from her room RIGHT NOW, which meant Jeff's dinner was cut short so he could help navigate the tricky business of moving a desk out of a room with a narrow doorway. Dinner over, everyone scattered, leaving me to clean up. The sink was full of dishes but I pretended they weren't there. They're still there. Nothing says "Happy Monday" like a sink full of the weekend's dishes!

I tried to watch the "Secret Millionaire" show, but Arlie insisted I attempt to put music on Jeff's old MP3 player, because, God forbid, she might have to go to Hawaii without any tunes (she's going to HAWAII and she's complaining about her lack of music!). I couldn't figure it out and I could feel a fatigue settling in  - the kind that prevents you from doing anything but lying on a bed staring at a television screen. But I went upstairs to find, oh yeah, that laundry I was folding and the movie paused. Ugh. So, I started the process of folding and hanging clothes and ensuring the bedding was getting cycled through the washer and dryer because there's nothing worse than wanting to just collapse into bed and finding it bare, then having to improvise with a bunch of blankets and an old sheet. Bleh. I managed to get the mattress pad on and the sheets, but the blankets were still drying. I hung the last of the clothes and before I knew it, it was after 9 and my show had started! Jeff came running up, huge bowl of ice cream in hand, glass of water and settled into bed while shouting to me "it's on!" Duh. I missed the first few minutes while I put on my pajamas, then finally settled into bed to watch the rest of it. But first I had to get my computer because I had to look something up. So, I watched the show between looking at my computer and TWICE was interrupted by kids even though they KNOW this is the only show I watch regularly, and for the rest of the week I almost never even turn the TV on, but still they interrupt me during the ONE hour of the week I want to watch a show. Grr.

During the show, I asked Jeff to please check on the bedding. He then criticized the "order" in which I had washed the bedding (mattress pad, quilt, blankets) saying I should have washed the blankets before the quilts and I said, in my nicest voice, "Well the next time you do any f**king laundry, you can choose the order in which its done" then turned back to my pressing computer engagement. I then mentioned I had missed the first few minutes of the show to which he replied "Well, what were you doing?" to which I replied that I was folding his (expletive) underwear, thank you very much. And then I ordered him downstairs to let the dog in, get my purse and bring me another Swiss Cake Roll. He said "You already had one! You are not going to eat two packages" to which I replied, that oh yes, I was and he better bring me one, and he suggested we share it and I said he better get me my OWN and NOW and I think maybe I even snapped my fingers. See what happens? They drive me to eat.

So, my Sunday did not go as planned which led to me waking up on Monday with a list of a bazillion things in my head that I MUST do. I got a call for a job which I had to decline because two of the children have eye exams today. And I have to email the teachers. And find all the tax stuff. And figure out my cell phone bill that got screwed up. And organize the Variety Show stuff and email all the participants. And make sure we have enough fresh fruits and veggies in the house. And clean off my desk. And finish the laundry (haha, just kidding, that job is NEVER done). And walk around the house stressing over the chores that didn't get done and how are those kids EVER going to learn? And make phone calls and pay bills and transfer files from downstairs to upstairs and clean off the dining room table and ......and..........and.........

But first I'm supposed to clear my head and go to yoga where I'll spend an hour or so serenely "letting go" of my everyday life and stretch my worries away. HAHA! Get it? It's a joke. Ah, Monday.........