With everything going on in my dealings with mom’s cancer, I am having great difficulty finding the time to sit down and write something of substance. Even when I manage to carve out a few moments just to do this, I am unable to string together more than three sentences. It fascinates me how much the day to day dealings have zapped my brainpower. I decided to just tell you the top 10 things floating around in my mind and see what sticks.

1. I took a leave of absence from work. My mother is quite feeble these days. She has allowed herself to deteriorate to nearly being unable to stand. She is taking radiation, and I am her only family in town. Therefore, I am ferrying her. It ends up being close to a 3 to 4 hour outing every weekday. Combine that with the aforementioned inability to think, and there you have the reasons I am not even trying to work productively.

2. The one fringe benefit of my mother’s health crisis is that my sister is coming to town a LOT, so I get extra playtime with her.

3. Before we really knew mom’s diagnosis, we had arranged for a remodel of our master bath. The original estimate was to take about 2 weeks (I figured it woukd be 3), but due to unforeseen crap going on once we opened the walls, this job is taking forever. I do have running water now. Its been 10 weeks. Nearly there. Nearly.

4. I have heartburn right now. I had been plagued with it for the past few months, but it went away when I stopped working. I believe it’s because I quit eating out. But last night I had biergarten food, and I’m paying for it today. It was good going down, however.

5. Almost got stuck in a space capsule in the children’s play area. See #2 above. She instigated it.

6. I was bitten by a Llama today.

7. Ostriches, up close, scare the hell out of me. They have swagger and an attitude of owning the place. They seem like they want to pop a cap in your ass. And, they are huge; they have those beady eyes. And, when you close the car window, giant birds don’t like it, because they know you have the food, and they start tapping on the window (above my eye level, mind you) with their big, horrifying beaks. This is a close second to the terror that is named “Clown.”

8. At the fabric store, I bought some midnight blue velour, faux fur, and organza with glittery snowflakes on it. The clerk said, “awwww, how pretty. Are you making a frozen – themed costume for your little girl?” Um. Nope. (I shall be the Snow Queen, this year. I get to wear a crown. I like that.)

9. We’ve had to move mom about 3 times in the last few months. She wants to move back into another place (nope), and she keeps talking like moving is no big deal. Of course it isn’t, when you aren’t DOING any of it. It IS easy when the furniture keeps showing up where you need it. Do you think there are “Moving Fairies?” That would be an excellent costume for my husband. I could get some white painters coveralls, put a logo on “Two Fairies and a Truck,” add glitter and wings. Voila! He’s not as excited about this as I hoped.

10. I made the best batch of red beans and rice this week. It was stellar! Another perk of not working right now is that I’ve actually freed up a little extra time in the morning to meal plan and prep. Tomorrow’s planned fare is shrimp & corn bisque.



I needed some quick, efficient and healthy lunch options, because, quite frankly, assembling chow at 5:30AM has stymied me.

Enter PictSweet brand, Deluxe Sides, Edamame with Sea Salt. An individual, steam in the microwave box of yummy.


Yesterday, in between soccer games, we popped in at the Whistle Stop Sweet Shop downtown to sample a bit of fudge. This cute little shop opened up a couple of months ago, and I’ve been meaning to get by. It’s a small shop, and rather than overwhelm you with too many selections, they had on hand just about a dozen tempting flavors of fudge and a good selection of other bon-bons and confections, both chocolaty and not.

I decided to try the Crimson Velvet fudge, a red-velvet concoction that is creamy and satisfying. We purchased a square about the size of a pre-cut, brownie, and I have more than 75% of the thing still remaining in the kitchen. It’s so rich, a little goes far enough.

I was quite pleased with the prices, as well. More often than not, specialty candy stores charge ridiculous markups for the quality. This candy was handmade, delicious, at a reasonable cost, and served up by a very warm and friendly merchant. Go visit; go soon!



The children go back to school today. As of yesterday, I’m back at work after an extended break.

I found the latter portion of 2012 to be quite a bit overwhelming. Number one child’s college search, and all the pressures that go along with that, has just begun. I gradually took on a higher workload until I reached full-time. That was somewhat difficult to adjust to after all these years of the flexibility of teaching, and I’ve never been the most organized sock in the drawer. I’ve never been particularly useful at meal planning, but it was easy to wing it back when I could pop into the grocery anytime I needed to; no longer, preparedness will not be at all optional if we want to eat more than two different dishes a week.

I did not spend enough time with friends. I need to start attending photography group again. Or, maybe I need to teach you all to knit (and/or crochet), and we should have a knit night out in addition to book club.

NO! I’ve got it. Let’s form a MARTINI club. Weekly. Wednesday nights at I LOVE SUSHI, or Brix, or other wine bars. What do you think? I think it’s genius. I want to taste ALL the martinis. You never know what you could accomplish unless you try.

Aim High (homework 2)