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Showing posts from August, 2010

Detoxify your life with fancy skin products that bring on snazzy new expletives

We have this unwritten reward system in our house. Whenever life really starts wearing me out and I work super hard not to end up yelling at stuffed animals and throwing meatloaf, my husband says to me, “why don’t you take a bath?” And I do. Because I love baths. Sylvia Plath wrote, “There must be a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know any of them.” Amen, sister. A hot bath, coupled with locked doors, a humming fan, a good book and a glass of wine are just the things I need to de-stress and de- freak and relax. Coincidentally, it’s also a good time to slather my face in mud to de-tox my skin and fight with tooth and nail the inevitable wrinkles. (I’m no girly-girl, but having a face that looks like my old leather hiking boots is just plain wrong.) And so, after a long day of sifting through not one, not two, but three people’s clothes and rearranging one entire bedroom (see upcoming column on Thursday for full explanation), when he told me to take a bath, I sprinted up th

Summer report cards

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It’s late August, which means a few very standard things. For one, tomatoes are at an all-time abundance and there’s a good chance only three people are actually reading this column because the rest of them are toiling away over a giant pot of spaghetti sauce, wondering just why in the world they put in so many tomato plants. Secondly, parents of school-aged children everywhere are riding the roller coaster of emotion now that school is back in session. (Just how does it happen that the very people that nearly drove us to the edge disappear for a few days and already we’re moping around and missing them?) August also means that the stores start putting their Halloween stuff in the sale bins to make room for the ultra-early Christmas decorations. But finally, late August means the end of summer. I know what you’re thinking, that the season of summer officially ends somewhere around the third week of September, when the Earth does its fancy tilting thing and we have the vernal equinox. W

A philosophical look at motherhood

Forget the age old question about the tree falling in the forest. There’s a more relevant query to ponder: If a mother isn’t around to hear her children whine/fight/ask for snacks, do they ever really make a noise? I believe I have the answer to this philosophical question using no philosophy at all. But before I reveal the answer, let us first determine that for this whole transaction to take place, we need to have a) children making noise, b) air for the soundwaves to travel through, and c) a mother’s ears that are not automatically programmed to shut out the sound of her children’s voices when they start sentences with “Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?” If any one part of these things do not exist, the question is moot. But in reality, we do normally have these things. At the end of a wonderful, loving, and did I mention long summer with my young children forever underfoot and overhead, I, for one, know that there is a constant hum of chatter that comes out of their mouths, among other

Baby Blue Dustbuster, 2001 – 2010

It is with mild sadness, barely a slice of dignity, and a few giggles that I announce the death of our Dustbuster. Today, at 8:02 AM, he was gently laid to rest. Our Dustbuster had been with us for a few years, always a dutiful small appliance. He happily stayed charged up when we needed him and ingested more than his fair share of dog hair and Cheerios. But after a bout of destruction last year, his last leg finally gave in after a terrible fall in the driveway. He will be greatly missed. The Dustbuster, as we know it, has quite the history. According to the Black and Decker Web site, the appliance that has either hung on our wall or was stashed in the corner for most of my life came as a result of a two wonderful things: the U.S. Space program and women stealing their husband’s garage tools. In the 70’s, Black and Decker introduced a set of cordless tools for the workbench, including a small vacuum that I imagine was mostly used for picking up beverage tabs and sawdust. Wives s

Late Summer eating habits are sweet and anything but corny

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My husband isn’t much of a picky eater. He’ll eat pretty much anything I put in front of him, and he never really puts in specific requests for certain foods. Except in late summer. It’s as if there’s some unwritten rule that when the end of July and early August roll around that we Ohioans have to eat our own weight in sweet corn. Sometimes we even make an entire meal out of it. Surely it’s unbalanced nutritionally, and surely our digestive tracks cringe at the very thought of it, but in late summer, it’s just something you have to do. As far as I can figure, people have been swarming over corn for hundreds of years. An elementary school history lesson will tell you that when the settlers came over to this great land they were in search of religious freedom and the chance at wealth. Really, I think they got a good whiff of corn blowing across the Atlantic and followed their noses to the real gold: corn. People on this side of the world have been eating corn for thousands of years. Lit