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Showing posts from January, 2011

Paying it forward, casserole style

We all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what happens when you miss an apple? The answer: casseroles. They say that time heals all wounds, but what gets you through before time comes? You guessed it: casseroles. The word “casserole” according to Web sources is derived from the Old French word “casse” and the Latin word “cattia,” both referring to a frying pan or sauce pan. We know it as a one-pot meal, baked in none other than a casserole dish, a name that surely had great influence on what we call the food inside. However, I beg to disagree. I’m pretty sure it comes from an Old French word “casse” meaning “make you” and “role” meaning “feel better.” Because there has never been so much love and usually cheese in one portable baking dish. The best part about it is that the casserole delivers love not only to those who eat it, but also to the ones who make and deliver it. I now know this to be true. I admit spending the majority of my life living in a place where

*Fart fart fart fart fart fart fart f and un-stuffed cabbage

It was a total coincidence, I swear, that I learned the best fart statistics in the entire world the same day I made a delicious un-stuffed cabbage dinner. Seriously. It started when I picked up a fantastic book at our local library entitled "Do Sparrows Like Bach?: The Strange and Wonderful Things that Are Discovered When Scientists Break Free" (found here on Amazon.) Flipping through while my daughter attended story hour I came across a story on farts. Here's a bit of background: I love farts. Well, not smelling them, but I admit to having the sense of humor of a fourth grade boy. It all stems from two things: 1) Farts have been funny in every culture throughout the history of mankind, and 2) When I was little I was not allowed to say the word "fart" which made it all the more fun to sneak into my room, close the door, and say repeatedly into my pillow. (This is sadly true.) So coming across this article brought absolute tears of joy because I have now a

Pee-Pee on the Potty

I’d like to say that it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but pretty much it was just the worst of times. While the rest of the world went on their merry way, we have been fighting the gravest battle of all parenthood: potty training. If you have ever attempted to potty train a child or even a pet, you know the frustrating misery it will put you through on a daily basis. A constant (and I do mean constant) struggle and perpetual asking the same six words over and over from the moment the child wakes up until the child goes to sleep, and then you even find yourself waking up in the middle of the night questioning the darkness and the random characters in your dreams all the while you yourself have become at one with the phrase and the same six words are forever burned upon your lips: Do you have to go potty? Having gone through two successful completely toilet trained children, I was sure the third would be the easiest. People told me that she would just want to copy

Today, we dance to Zydeco

I was reminded that my previous post was less than pleasant, and I couldn't in good conscious leave it at the top of this page. So today I present readers with my new most favorite quotation: “Without music, life would be a mistake...." -Nietzsche I believe this to be true, as today in my weariness, dragging my recovering self out of bed, I prepared for a music lesson I am giving. Because singing is still painful from my lovely surgery, I'll be introducing preschool children to different types of music. Bluegrass, Classical, Jazz, Ragtime, and Zydeco. And I was reminded as I went through and chose my songs that even in the weariest of moods, a little Bill Monroe or anything Cajun can do nothing but make you smile. There is a second part of Nietzche's quote: "...I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.” Interpret that as you will, but I have a feeling I'll see a little bit of a higher power when there's a roomful of beautiful children

Dirt don't hurt...but tonsillectomies do: My Tonsillectomy Story

This is not your typical post. This is the post meant for the person who late at night types "tonsillectomy story" into the Google window and really wants to know what another person went through. Or it's also for my mother, who I know will read the whole thing... So at the age of 33 I got my tonsils out. It was time, my doctor said, after having case after case of strep throat for the previous three years. I was on so many antibiotics that by the end they had to give me more than double the normal dose just to ward off infections. I had it done on a Tuesday morning, bright and early. I told the doctors I'd be a mess and I wasn't laying in the hospital bed 10 minutes before I started weeping, scared of what was to come. I have had three major surgeries in the past (and three lovely kids to show for them) and each one came with some sort of complications. Good endings, but complications. I'm just prone to being special, I guess. The surgery itself was a br

I was told there’d be silence

Someone actually said it was “a husband’s dream come true,” the fact that I wouldn’t be able to speak for a week. I’m not sure it was a total dream come true, though, because not being able to talk was just the beginning of it. I couldn’t do much of anything except point, wince, and make stupid hand motions that didn’t make any sense because mostly I was waving off the scorching pain that was my throat. I had my tonsils out. Let me first clear up the myth that says you can eat as much ice cream as you want. You can’t. They don’t let you do that anymore. However, you can have as many popsicles and Jello as your heart desires, and trust me, your heart won’t desire that much of it. Secondly, there is the myth that when adults get their tonsils removed, it is a far more painful surgery with a longer recovery time than children. This is partly true, but in my opinion the words do not do justice to the days of suffering and agony that followed my surgery. Without going into detail, le

Introducing Metal Mouth

Forget those people who pull stunts like biking across the United States or walking from pole to pole. We are venturing on our own incredible journey in this family, one that I’m sure will involve pain, suffering, success and defeat. And while some of us are going to take it lying down, the rest of us will take it sitting up. In a waiting room. My happy little family has entered the world of orthodontics. We knew it was coming when my daughter started getting teeth before she started losing them. They came from all directions and headed in all the wrong directions, like someone got tired of lining them up and just threw them in there willy nilly, hoping for the best. Unfortunately we didn’t get the best, we got the willy nilly catawampus version. Our dentist once told me, “it’s probably no surprise that she’ll have braces in her future,” to which I had to hold myself back from saying, “which is why I’ve thought about getting a few extra jobs and selling off everything I own just

Thank you's and a writer's resolution

Writing this column doesn’t always have its advantages. If I’m being honest, mostly I find myself sitting on the couch with a laptop, a cold cup of coffee, and the drone of the latest cartoon craze in the background. A cracker will fly across the room, hit me in the head and stick in my hair and I have to do my very best to avoid jotting down 650 words about why motherhood and insanity should really be the same, interchangeable word. But other times, pouring out my feelings on life as we know it feels really good. Especially when I know someone is actually listening. Every job has its perk. Teachers get summers off, office workers get the occasional free pen. Sunglass salespeople always have the latest and greatest eyewear. Columnists don’t get any of those things. We get letters. This past year I have heard from a number of readers, but a few wonderful occasions have really made me smile, and I can’t think of a better way to thank them than to actually put it into words, on actu