Posts Tagged ‘life’

Condiments and Sauces, etc…..

March 27, 2011

Never mind keeping track of what people are allergic to or not in my house, I have to worry about who eats what condiments, sauce, yogurt,etc…. Pay attention, there will be a quiz at the end.

Big Daddy:  Hellman’s mayo only, Miracle whip is the devil’s food.  banana peppers, toasted bread-if eating bread, no blood on the plate with the beef, but will eat carpaccio.  American cheese over cheddar on the sandwich.  No couscous because, “it tastes like air.” eggs over pancakes.  Veggies,  veggies, and more veggies.  Meat, meat, and more meat.  fruit, some desserts, but not many. Tea.  No coffee unless its frou-frou.  Ranch dressing.

MiniMe: No salad dressing of any kind.  No condiments on the sandwich, BBQ sauce on everything else.  Lettuce, tomatoes only on sanwiches-not in salads.  Butter on sandwiches, no mayo. Orange juice.  plain milk makes him gag, scrambles eggs, never boiled. Oatmeal. Pancakes.  No fruit-on-the bottom yogurt-must be pre-blended.  Spinach, preferably creamed and most veggies. HAM! Shrimp. Loves sweet potatoes, but will eat white potatoes.  Prefers Alfredo sauce over tomato sauce, but will eat them mixed or separate, doesn’t care.  Previously didn’t like onions, not will eat them on a sandwich.  Will eat plain cabbage  and raw potatoes.  Gravy on the meat, but not the starch. Now likes spicy foods.  Motto: If not nailed down, it will be eaten.

Whirling Dervish: Nothing with a weird texture-No oatmeal, pudding, and only some smoothies. Baked potatoes, no sweet potatoes.  Meat! No fish other than how Grandpa Poppy makes it (fried).  Gluten-free diet.  Rice gives her headaches.  Boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, but favorite are fried but is not a breakfast eater. Milk.  Will eat deviled eggs without paprika.  No nuts, but likes peanut butter.  Prefers Alfredo sauce over tomato sauce, will eat pink sauce. White Bean Soup is favorite.  No shrimp.  Yogurt prefered from a tube, rather than a container.  Cheese, cheese, and more cheese. Corn in any form. No spinach, creamed or otherwise. Gravy on the starch, sometimes the meat. Beans.

Glamour Rayz:  The tangier the better.  Dill pickles by the jar.  Boiled eggs, but only the whites, but will eat deviled eggs.  Baked potato, but no skin on it. Makes her own pesto sauce.  No Alfredo sauce, but will eat tomato or Pink sauce. No crusts ont he sandwiches. Prefers chocolate milk.  Cheeseburgers plain.  Hot dogs with no bun.  Gravy on meat and starch.  Has a sweet tooth.  Syrup and powdered sugar on the waffles.  Likes spicy stuff.  No peas, will tolerate green beans.  Salad either plain or with Italian dressing depending on the mood.  Likes ice in all drinks.

Butter Face (Wonder Dog): Certain lins of dog treats give him bubbly guts. Shoes, but prefers the most smelly of them. Dead stuff from the yard.  Grass. Unattended coffe, but akes him jittery.  Butter (hence the name). Steals food, but prefers, fat, meat. Motto:  Please see MiniMe entry for reference.

And this is what I CAN remember…..Check please!

-Saucy at the Edge

8 Year Olds…..

March 27, 2011

Big Daddy’s  man cave is full of estrogen.  He’s been relegated to the livingroom to watch march madness and  has to side-step tissue paper and nail polish. He’s not happy but it’s Glamour Rayz birthday, so he’s taking one for the team.  A big one. It’s a spa party sleepover. Ten 8-year-old girls had hair done,  cucumber facials, hands and feet painted, with glow-in-the-dark polish no less. Luckily, since it was a spa party, I served veggies and fruit, along with the chicken on-a-stick. We diverged slightly with m&ms and cheese doodles, but hey they’re 8.

After cake, presents, and a great deal of screaming and giggling, the posse changed into the pjs and ambushed Big Daddy’s man cave with sleeping bags, stuffed animals, and a whole lot of pink. More pink that should ever be allowed in a man cave.  Big Daddy staggered out, “You could have warned me!” “I was going to, but they’re moving too fast. It’s the sugar,” I holler as I run down stairs to contain the madness.  We settled in to watch “Ramona and Beezus.” I’m thinking this is a good movie to hold their attention, so  dim the lights and I park it on the chaise with one of the girls, hoping to catch my breath……

Then Butter Face the Wonder dog comes in and unlike Big Daddy, he isn’t happy about the raucous in the man cave and is not trying to take one for the team.  He saunters over everyone lying on the floor and lies directly on my niece. He likes her sleeping bag. She is NOT pleased. I grab his collar and try to get him to lie on his dog bed behind the Big Daddy’s man chair.  His does his doggy circling thing, but then makes a bee line for my niece.  He has to be escorted from the room. Reset.

Things were going well and then there was some wigglin’ goin’ on down in front. Then there’s more.  I look and one of the girls has slithered into the bottom of her sleeping bags head first and is waving her hand out of that little hole where the zipper starts. And then she sticks her head out of the hole and smiles.  I would have told her to settle down, but I was too busy laughing because she looked like a TOTAL nut cheesing with her head sticking out of her pink camouflage sleeping bag (Pink camo is whole ‘nother blog topic for another day, but I digress).  I get the stink eye from the Pink Ladies for disturbing the movie. Meanwhile “Camo Girl” is still flapping like a bird down. “SHHHHHHHH, quiet down in front!” Order restored. Again.

There’s a scene in the movie where Ramona is talking to her childhood friend, now teenage crush, Henry.  At which point, the girl I’m sitting on the chaise with, who is a tom boy through and through, is the chillest kid on the earth and one of my favorite kids in the world, calmly says, “Sometimes girls get shy about talking to boys when they get older.”

Surprised and amused by the statement, I say,”Oh really, ya think so?”  She replies,”Yep, but they’re easy to talk to when they’re your boyfriend.”

I chuckle. “Really?” and jokingly ask, “You have a boyfriend?”

She nonchalantly replies, “Oh yeah, I have two.”  My jaw drops,” Two???!!!” I started laughing so hard with my mouth closed so as not to disturb the movie that I was shaking.

“Michael and David.  And I’m thinking about gettin’ another one.”  I busted out laughing to the dismay of the Pink Ladies.

Trying not to totally blow my cool, I replied, “well, don’t spread yourself too thin…..”

She shrugged, “hmm, maybe.” 

I’m out.

-Sufficiently Spa’d Out at the Edge

On Meditation…..

January 12, 2011

I DO NOT meditate. I can’t. People always tell me I should meditate, it will relieve stress. First of all, the whole time I’m supposed to be meditating, I’m thinking about all the things I’m supposed to be doing while I’m wasting time meditating. On the other extreme, I’m soooooo relaxed that I nod off and start snoring like I’m getting paid. Same thing with the Yoga. And wrapping my leg around my neck is relaxing, how??!! Mojitos and chocolate work just as well.

It must be psychological because every time I’d go into yoga class, my stomach would start to gurgle. It was like my stomach could sense what I was about to do and think,” Hey, it’s yoga class, time to break some wind up in here, yea-uh, baby!” It would seem as though just prior to entering, I had eaten a troth of beans wrapped in cabbage with a little sprinkling of broccoli on top for good measure. And frankly, some good noisy fartin’ just makes me laugh. So here’s me in my last yoga class…

Whew, made it. Was almost late, but I l’m good…oh right, I need to focus, get my chi in order….pulling my feet in, leaning forward to touch my head to my feet….pzzzzt…ooooh damn, that one snuck out. Ewww, that smells like cabbage…oh I need to get some cabbage for dinner tomorrow night. We also need, potatoes, cereal, eggs, oh dang, bring it back around, focus, focus, damn it…..okay, downward facing dog, I like this pose since I can actually….my toes look like I been kickin’ flour and I need a pedicure like nobody’s business….did I wear my good strechy pants or the ones with the hole in the butt crack….shit, focus!….okay, okay, side angle pose, or whatever that was she said, “Uhitta Poriskova,” oh wait isn’t that a tennis player….and so my mind goes.

As I’m dropped down into the garland pose, I started bustin’ ass all the way down to the floor, and this one could curl the toes on a dead man. And then I start laughing ’cause that one felt great, two it was loud and the loud ones always make me laugh, and three the face on the woman behind me was priceless. Clearly this form of stress relief ain’t for me. I’m out. I think I heard them clapping upon my departure. I hope they get their toes stuck in their nostrils.

I decided to stick with mojitos and chocolate instead…..

Mi Madre….

July 25, 2010

We’re celebrating my mother’s 70 birthday this evening. Nan’s birthday was earlier this month, but between her schedule and ours and to take some of the edge off (pun intended. :)), we agreed to celebrate at a later date.

We all joke about turning into our parents, whether we like it or not.  It took a while for me to realize that I was very much like her.  And while Nan and I, the only daughter she has given birth to, have not always had a smooth road to make our journey ( certainly not do to any imperfections on my part.  :)), I am glad to be so.

  Nan is the most caring, kind, and smartest person, I know.  She understands that everyone needs a friend. Always there to lend a helping hand or kind word, give directions (often while in an entirely different state or country), feed the masses, hold a hand, or just be.  With a deep breathe, a rub of her forehead, and a few minutes to think, an upside down world would be righted again.

When I was lot younger, I used to think that my mother was not “maternal.”  But looking back, she couldn’t have been more so.  Through the scouting, the sporting events, the concerts, the science fairs, the auditions, the term papers, the surgeries and the stitches, she has been there.  She has been there cheering my siblings and me on, believing in us through it all, often reminding us of our own strength when we ourselves had forgotten. She has always been our number one fan, our champion.

My older brother, Uncle Fabulous, Big Daddy, Nan and I were at a party.  We had been there a while and at some point in the evening, Uncle Fabulous, Nan and I ended up in the living room, just the three of us. We were talking our usual stuff, food, books, plays, food.  Another guest wandered in and Uncle fabulous started the introductions.  He introduced himself, then me, then said, ” And this is my mother…”  The man looked confused and asked Uncle Fabulous if he had said his mother, to which my brother nodded, and said, “Yep, that’s my momma.”  The guest looked astonished that as grown adults that we would be at a party, enjoying ourselves with our mother.  Then my brother and I were ones that looked confused. The guest replied, “I could never be at a party with my mother, we don’t get along that way, we wouldn’t have anything to talk about.”  We talked a little more on the subject, then Nan said, I raised my children to be people I would want to be friends with.” My brother and I just looked at each other and smile. …that’s our momma.

I’m sure that I don’t tell Nan thank you enough, what child ever does.  But today, on the celebration of her 70th birthday, Thank you.

I am extraordinarily proud to have you as a mother…..and a friend.

Daddy’s Girl…..

May 6, 2010

My heart hurts.  I miss my dad so bad I can’t breathe. It’s ironic that at one time I rolled my eyes at a woman who said that though her father had passed away 14 years earlier, she ahdn’t gotten over it.  Being young and clearly clueless, I was thinking to myself, “Oh she has got to get over that, it’s been a long time.” But I just didn’t understand.

I love my momma to death, and am proud to be a great deal like her, so this is no slight to her parenting abilities.  But I am a daddy’s girl and always have been.  And though he passed away in 2000, I’m still his girl.

To be sure, he was by no means perfect, and in fact, drove me crazy on the regular.  But he was mine and could make things better. 

Sometimes it’s a song on the radio, a meal just eaten, or a smell that brings him to mind.  Cigars and Lavender.  My dad smelled of lavender from the soap he used everyday. He taught my brothers and I the box step in our kitchen.

Under stress, I wish he were here to talk to.  He had a way of bringing things back to reality(and telling me to stop being a drama queen) and making me understand that there was nothing that I couldn’t handle.  When he came to visit just after Mini-Me was born and I was frazzled from dealing with a gassy baby, he said,”Ya hear that?” All I could hear was Mini crying like his head was going to pop off, “What?” 

“Boobula(my nickname), that’s the sound of life! Wow, that is the sound of life!” It changed my perspective. (A nap helped too, but you get my drift.)

And after a few days of what I believe is the beginning of my mid-life moment(crisis is a bit extreme for the time being), I am missing him something fierce.

Of course, he would probably just say, “Boobula, your mid-life moment, that’s just life.”

Big Daddy and the Little Man

April 10, 2010

They say you marry someone who is like your parent of the opposite sex. It’s true, sort of.  The two men that I have loved most in my life couldn’t have been more different physically. My dad, aka the Little Man, was 5’6″ and dark chocolate brown. Big Daddy is 6’2″ and lightly toasted. But they were  both cut from the same personality cloth–caring, generous, loving, loud, vibrant, youthful. Good souls, both of them.

You could hear my dad laughing from a mile away. He was smart and funny and very easy-going.  He had a temper, but it never flared for long especially with me, as daddy’s girl.  With the batting of my lashes, I could get off punishment sooner rather than later.  He was always dressed to the nines in suits, or in tennis clothes, or dressed to play in his garden, socks on with his sandals.  When my Dad turned 50, my mom got him a green plexiglass skateboard that he would ride around our neighborhhood on. That was him, that was the Little Man.  My best friend.

When Big Daddy and I flew home so that he could ask my dad if he could marry me and meet the rest of the family, they took an instance liking to each other.  Well, almost instant.  As a member of a large extended family, the test for Big Daddy was meeting the crowd and withstanding the pressure.  If the Little Man, the aunts, uncles, and cousins (and there’s a ton of them) cracked on him, then him, then he was in like Flynn as the saying goes.  If they didn’t and didn’t talk to him much, we wouldn’t make it. Big Daddy took the razzing in good spirit, so it was decided that he was a keeper.

Big Daddy’s relationship with his dad was tenuous at best.  But he and the Little Man’s relationship blossomed.  My father taught Big Daddy how to cook.  They shared a deep love for music, for sports, for bar stools, for life, and for me.  My dad loved him just as much.  And I loved Big Daddy all the more for loving my daddy.

On one of our last trips home before we were to be married there, the three of us were getting into my dad’s car.  He asked me to drive, so I took the keys.  When we got out to the car, Big Daddy went to the back door to allow the Little Man to sit in the front.  After all, he was the elder and Big Daddy was raised right.  But the Little Man grabbed Big Daddy’s arm and said, while pointing at me, “No, you sit up here now.  Your place is beside her.” I beamed for the both of them.

 While we were growing up, the Little Man always said that he didn’t want any crying, that he wanted us to have a party for him when he died. My brothers, sister, and I dismissed it as crazy talk.  But when he died in 2000, that’s exactly what we did.  We celebrated a life well lived with great food, great drinks, great music, and lots of dancing, with family, laughter, and love. 

Just as the Little Man wanted.

Number1Son

April 9, 2010

My eldest child is my stepson, superhero name: Number1Son.  I came on the scene when he was 18 months.  He will be 17 this month.  Shortly after Big Daddy and I got married, Number1Son mother decided to move out of the area and take him with her. After that brief stint, he came to live with us. His mother eventually moved back to the area.  She and Big Daddy have shared custody ever since. We see him at family functions and attend his athletic events.

My emotions are mixed about Number1Son.  While I love him, and raised him as if I had given birth to him myself, I’m not sure about liking the person he has chosen to become.  We have always had a love-hate relationship, though he knows through it all that I do love him.  Frequently, due to work schedules, he was left in my care.  I was often left with the responsibility, but not the authority. I taught him how to dress himself, tie his shoes, to read.  I wanted him to be his best, so I pushed him.  But then I got, “You’re too hard on him.”  Expectations were all they were.  Growing up, he often played his parents like fiddles(and still does), never taking responsibility, usually leaving me to be the scapegoat whenever it was convenient.  At one point, difficult  and disappointing though it was, I had to let go.

When high school began for him, he chose to live with his mother full-time.  In our home, everyone has responsibilities.  There are expectations that you will do your best every day at whatever the endeavor, you will participate in the household, including its maintenance and upkeep, and you will be held accountable for your actions, all of them.  He took the easy route instead.

I have always seen glimmers of brilliance in Number1Son, which is the most frustrating thing.  He’s not dumb by any stretch of the imagination.  On the contrary, but rather than think for himself and do his best everyday, he has chosen follow the crowd, to just get by, not realizing that it will bite him in the butt later.  He could lead, but he’s choosing to follow.

I hope that he discovers his own brilliance sooner rather than later.

Things One Might Hear at the Edge…..

April 8, 2010

There are things one might overhear at the Edge on any given day…..

Mini-Me: “I like Latin better, It’s more gooder.”  Me: “Great, it will help with your English too…”

Whirling Dervish: “Aren’t I creatful?” Me: Huh? “Oh, the word is creative.”

Me: ” Stop stunning you’re sister, It’s not nice.”

Me: “Stop licking your brother, it’s gross.”

Me: “No you may not dry off in the dryer.”

Me: “Did you wash?” Any of the children: “Yeeees.  Me: “…with soap??? (insert cricket chirping here)

Whirling Dervish (on whining all the time): ” I whine, it’s what I do. Get over it.”

Me (to Mini-Me, while cleaning out his underwear drawer): “These have holes in them!: ‘Mini-Me:Yes, mother, where would I put my legs?”

Mini-Me (playing with my belly): “Mom, you’re so squishy!” Me: “It’s you and your sisters fault.”

Big Daddy(rubbing his belly): “Baby, you hit the lottery with me!” Me: “Is that so?”

Me:”Why is your athletic cup taped to your hockey stick???” Mini-Me:”It’s a hand guard, mom. duh.”

Me:”Pick your friends, not your nose.  And don’t pick your friend’s nose.”

Me: “Underwear and socks are to be changed EVERYDAY!”

Glamourayz (in the truck): “Close the windows! My eyeballs are wobbling back here!”

Whew…..

January 25, 2010

Happy New Year All!  It has been a bit crazy on edge, but I’m back in the saddle.  Running on all cylinders through the holiday season has left me a bit ragged.  There is a bit of  procrastination thrown in for good measure, which I knew would strike at some point, brought on by self-induced pressure to write, but I’m pushing on through.

I also believe I was a bear in another life and really am supposed to be hibernating during the winter months.  So, pretty much when it’s dark outside, I often feel the need to hold the couch down with all my might.  My children, if they were devious enough, could probably color my hair some ghastly color or make me up like a drag queen if they were so inclined. Instead, they tip around the sofa, so as not to disturb Mamma Bear, and eat weird stuff for dinner and watch way more television than they are supposed to.

Thanks to all for the encouragement/nudge that you missed my writing.  I’m putting the coffee pot on to wake the bear and getting going.  I certainly need to introduce the rest of the super heroes living on the edge with me.  Got loads to share, so stay tuned.

Precious…..

December 9, 2009

If you have not gone to see the movie “Precious,” do not pass go, do not collect $200, GO to this powerful movie.  The script and cast are phenomenal. The story was horrible to watch and process, especially when one realizes that this happens all too often on a daily basis, and not just in the black community, but all of them. 

The alternative school teacher in the film is the ray of hope through it all. She cajoles and pushes her students to complete the program, but more importantly, she lets them know there is at least one person in their corner.  And with that encouragement, she helps them find themselves through the written word.  In many of these cases, that kind of encouragement is what changes the course of these children’s lives.

My mother-in-law, “Ma,” is that person for the children of Connecticut.  She heads up Children in Placement, a program that trains volunteers to act as guardians-ad-litem for abused and neglected children in the Connecticut court system.  I remember when she was deciding between this position and another one.  She chose this job because while it would offer a number of challenges (and less money), the rewards would be far greater. That was 15 years ago.

Over these past 15 years, she has been that encouragement for the children that cross her path.  She has been their voice when they had none, but more importantly she has helped numerous children find their own.  Through The Connecticut Youth Alliance, she empowers current and former foster children to use their voices through digital story telling. They put their life stories down via computer (while learning some great writing and editing skills).  Initially, the students weren’t sure where to begin, could be believe that they had anything to say. Or that anyone would want to hear what they had to say since no one had ever really asked. With Ma’s support they find their way forward.

Rather than sharing what the students have written, she takes them along to events and presentations to share their own words, exposing them to people, environments, and situations that they would never have thought possible. On some occasions she spends her own money to do so.

Her success stories are the students that have gone on to bigger and better things, including college, some on full scholarships.  Her students come back to see her and to share their success with kids who came from where they are, letting them know that there is hope. They come back to say, “Thanks.”

This film shed a glaring light on the vicious cycle that poverty, abuse, and neglect can bring to bear on a community, reaffirming the need for what my mother-in-law and so many others like her do every day.  It has motivated my husband to action.  I hope it motivates others so that one day there will be no need for programs such as Children in Placement. And we will all be better for it.

Thanks, Ma.


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