Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Posts tagged ‘relationship’

Where Is My Happy Place? Can I Borrow Yours?

Have you ever been told to go to your happy place?

Go in your mind to the one place on earth that you most want to be,

A beautiful beach.

A mountain meadow.

A rolling hillside in Ireland.

A holy place you once visited and never forgot.

So many times I’ve coaxed women, who in the clutches of labor pain to envision their happy place and go there.

I’ve spent hours whispering to them words of encouragement, that they can endure, that they can breathe through the most intense pain, and most often they do. I leave them holding their perfect beautiful infant at the breast.

In the last few weeks, so many people have told me to go to my happy place.

I’ve searched for it. I’ve even tried physically to go there.

What a crock.

I’ve gone through 6 labors unmedicated.

I’ve had my spinal nerves ablated.

I’ve done it before, I’ve found the strength to go …somewhere.

But now…I’m lost.

My happy place must have gone with the recession.

I can’t feel my strength, my breath.

How can I find my happy place if I can’t find myself.

Where did  I go ?

A Man’s Life

My husband is away.

Doing family business. Kind of heroic stuff. So while I sit home and do my small tasks, go to work, annoy the children, and worry my face into a topographical map. He took matters into his own hands.

He sat in the American Embassy for 8 hours to update his passport in one day at a cost of well….don’t ask.

He bought a ticket out of the country. Remembered his blackberry and my laptop and the boy is gone.

So what is a man’s life anyway.

I’m sitting at his desk. As usual it’s a mess. Little papers with names and numbers, messages scrawled all over it. A filing system I bought him for Father’s day sits unused right next to the monitor. Post it notes stuck to the wall!

Hand sanitizer, a mug one of the kids made eons ago filled with maybe 50 pens, most that don’t work, a calculator. His work jacket sits on the back of the chair smelling of trap grease..and him.

My dog Cujo’s cage sits right by his desk with his jar of treats right on the desk. He hates Cujo.

At least he always says he hates Cujo..

My desk is different.

I dust it.

I have a total of 2 pens and a legal pad.

There’s face cream and an eyebrow tweezers.

A jar of Exedrin and vitamin water.

3 pictures of the children.

My laptop.

Zyrtec.

That’s it.

This isn’t what I thought marriage would be like when I was a little girl running around with a pillow case on my head playing ” getting married”.

I never played “marry” with my girlfriends and said “Let’s pretend we have no money, our houses are too small, our children have problems , our husbands never pick up their dirty clothes and don’t even know how to load a dishwasher…yeah let’s do that!!!”

I never thought “marry” would be a messy desk in my ultra clean home, and a stinky jacket on the back of the chair and dust bunnies underneath the desk that look like shag carpeting in the worst color ever.

When I played “Marry” as a little girl I never fleshed out the guy in the fairytale, he was always an obediant shadow person.. you know a silent partner. I don’t think I even envisioned the guy living in the same house. He just brought a diamond ring and that was about it for his part. Ha!

I never imagined the silent partner would turn out to be my  hero.

This is gmom,

peace out.

 

Carousels

Hoo, 20 months old pointed desperately at the carousel.

“Oh gosh, that’s fun let’s take him on!”

Good idea, right?

Started out okay. His mama, Eggs  sat with him on one of the painted ponies.

We waited for the ride to start.

The Calliope played the tinny tune while we, Hoo’s fan club stood at the fence and waved madly.

 

Then the meltdown.

Hoo started crying and slithering in that way he does where the only thing you can do is gather bunches of his clothes and drag him up off the floor like spilt milk.

The carousel started up and Eggs quick tossed Hoo on to the chariot seat and held on. Hoo cried and wrestled pointing at the horses. Eggs tosses him back up on to a horse and jumps on behind him…and he cries…and he cries.

We his cheering section…are  laughing our ever-loving’ heads off.

“You’re doing it Hoo! Yay Hoo! You’re riding!” We called every time he went by, then we collapsed in hilarious laughter until he came around again…still crying, with Eggs hanging on to him.

“Yay Hoo! You are awesome dude! You are riding!”

Finally the carousel stopped. Eggs carried Hoo over to us and happily handed him over….and…he started crying!

What is it? Why are you crying now?

Of course he wanted to go back on the carousel again.

That destroyed us. We couldn’t stop laughing after that.

He rode the carousel all day long.

 

If you ever wonder is the world going crazy or is it you.

Hang out with a 2-year-old. Chances are (sigh) it’s you.

I mean me.

This is gmom,

peace out.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Recipe OMG It’s Better Than…

There are some foods that children shouldn’t be allowed to eat.

Now I see you shakin’ your heads but it’s true.

When the “grown ups” are moaning and smooching their spoons now there is something going on that’s not for little mouths.

Take mashed potatoes and gravy for instance.

It looks innocent enough.

But don’t let looks fool you.

The dowdiest of spuds  with a slick of creamy gravy can tickle you up like the first time a boy ever…well you know.

and you never looked back.

*******************************************

Boil potatoes until they are fork tender.

Run them under cool water and peel.

Mash with a masher, food processor or even the back of a fork.

Like a much-loved mattress a little lumpy is good.

To make gravy:

Take all the pan drippings from your turkey, chicken or meat.

Put them on the stove and heat the pan.

Stir around so all the tasty bits get loosened up.

If your pan is fairly dry add in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of red wine.

In a cup measure out 1/4 cup of corn starch and 1/2 cup of water.

Stir to combine.

Pour this mixture into your pan drippings.

Stir the gravy as it thickens.

Once the thickening (cornstarch + water) is mixed  pour the gravy into a saucepan over a low to medium heat.

Let the gravy cook until it is the consistency you like.

How’s that for easy.

Now pour this yummy delectable bit of naughtiness over the mashed spuds and….

Stand around the kitchen with all the daughters and women and eat the mashed potatoes and gravy out of coffee mugs cause you just can’t wait till dinner…

Just kidding.

(That’s what gmom and the girls did while the boys played some poker and watched football.)

Happy Thanks WP kids.

Hope your day was as yummy as mine was.

I can’t wait for the turkey, stuffing, cranberry and gravy sandwiches tomorrow!

Maybe there won’t be marriage, maybe there won’t be sex, but by God there will be dancing!

What a great line from “My best friend’s wedding.”

Has life got you down?

Are you waiting and hoping for better days?

You think you’ve got it hard?

Where is your soulmate?

Why is your family so freakin’ dysfunctional?

Are holidays more like “Fight Club” then a joyous gathering of friends and family?

Where are those children you have been dreaming about for years or worse still why does your ex have them half of the day?

That lump in your breast that needs checking, is it cancer?

That bill you can’t pay this month or next?

The relationship you realize was never going to work to begin with?

The woman you can never do enough for to please?

You are a writer, an artist, a person bursting with creativity,

will  the world never see???

Are you dropping on your knees these days and wondering… why am I here at all?

You are not alone.

There is an old parable friends, and I do mean friends, because when I write this blog I know those of you who are reading it are just regular people like me.

Just doing the best you can in your life.

Anyway..old parable…

God heard the world crying over their hard lives.

All their myriad of problems.

He said,”Okay folks, here is the deal, everyone pack up all your cares and woes into big Hefty garbage bags and take them to the big football stadium at the edge of the city.

Then put those bags in the field, just pile them up there.”

Everyone did as the Lord said and sat on the bleachers looking at the mountain of their problems in life.

“Okay,”said the Lord,”Now everyone can choose any bag they want to take home with them and leave your own problems for someone else to take.”

Well what do you suppose the people did?

Everyone ran down to field and grabbed their own bag to take back home!

You never know what the next person is dealing with in life and your own problems and cares in life are tailor made for you.

Pick up your bag and take one step at a time.

And if it feels to heavy,

let God help you carry it.

There’s a good lesson here.

Now me,

believe me there is plenty I don’t blog about,

problems like we all have,

I  keep in my own four walls.

 I’ll be damned if they get the best of me.

So things might be tough,

life not easy,

but turn the music on anyway,

and dance.

For your own self,

if for no other reason,

dance!

…and as my mother used to say…

“Let the world spin itself today.”

Natural Childbirth: Hypnobirthing (Mom 2.0)

At the tail end of middle age,

here I am.

My eldest child, just now expecting her first child.

I am a grandmom twice.

This child having her own will complete a circle that I have waited for quite sometime.

My girl China, who made me into a mother.

Seeing her now take the place as mother to her own,

now that’s something special.

I will attend her at birth as I have with the other daugher and daughter-in-law,

and have done with hundreds of other babies over the past 18 years or so as a doula.

I have attended hypnobirths, Bradley births, c-sections, stillbirths and of course medicated births.

In hospital, at home and at birthing centers.

I have given birth 6 times myself plus one stillbaby born too soon.

All unmedicated births.

The last 3 using hypnotherapy.

I won’t claim to be an authority but I have a bit of experience under my belt,

so to speak.

China, invited me to her hypnobirth class.

I agreed.

A few couples sat in a semi darkened room with a candle lit.

The instructor sat cross-legged on a footstool with a pashmina across her shoulders like a prayer shawl,

and her hair hanging loose to her mid back,

a good look when you are 30.

Not so much at 55.

She proceeded to speak on birth without pain of any kind.

The contractions as “surges” and pushing as “so yesterday”.

Now as I mentioned I am all for Hypnobirthing.

I think it’s extremely helpful in attaining a natural childbirth if that’s the woman’s wish.

I held my tongue as she led the women through the “full dilation” (or pushing stage of labor) breathing.

“Ladies”, she quietly sang, “You gently breathe in, and breathe out,there is no drama of pushing ,or people coaching you to push your baby out, your baby comes out all on its own with no more effort than your gentle breath.”

Okay, I was done holding my tongue.

I can tolerate varying opinions and means to an end in getting babies born, but telling a group of first time expectant mothers that they won’t have to push their babies out, and that the experience will be pain-free is just plain horsepee.

It will be a sad day for these women when their babies descend low into their pelvis towards birth.

The time when the tendons stretch, and tissues, (it doesn’t matter if you massage in a gallon of evening primrose oil) stretch and often tear with the scope of the coming skull.

I’m not talking perineum here I mean the vaginal canal.

Never mind the “Ring of fire” (straight from a hypnobirth training manual to describe when the head emerges from mom’s body).

“Ring of Fire”

Hello!!!

It’s not called that for nothing!

Hypnobirthing can absolutely get a woman through labor and delivery with much “less pain” then just muscling through the contractions.

But pain-free it ain’t.

“Madam”, I said,”I have attended hundreds of births of all kinds and the disservice you are doing to this group of women appalls me.
Never in all my experience has even the most calm,the most ‘in control’ woman who has used hypnobirth didn’t say post-birth that it was the hardest thing she had ever done.”

I felt my daughter’s hand on my arm.

I was embarrassing her in front of her teacher and classmates.

“With all due respect”,I finished.

We left the class into the cold of the Silver Spring night.

I apologized to China who walked arm-in-arm with her husband.

“I couldn’t abide seeing you lied to,” I said,” Having a baby is going to be the greatest day of your life, a day you never forget, I won’t have someone build you up ridiculous expectations that may leave you feeling afterward like your body failed you.
That if you do end up choosing to take an epidural you will have failed at childbirth.
You are going to have 18 years to raise this child.
This is only one day in your life. Whether she comes natural, by epidural or section she is going to be the same baby. ”

“The truth is giving birth hurts.”

There I said it.

The Wedding Dress

Sitting in the back,
of the cedar closet.

I can remember when we bought it.

We couldn’t afford it.

So much money,
for one dress,
for one wearing,
for one day.

But she wanted it.

And she looked like an angel.

Now the photographs of her,
wearing the dress,
are hidden.

The memories of that day,
never mentioned.

The man she had brought to me,
to love as a son…

I don’t even know,
where he is now.
But I still think of him.

And the dress,
now brings only,
sad feelings,
of dreams dashed.

We have such high hopes for all of them,
our children.

We try to be resilient,
in their ever changing lives,
I say to my friends,
“I get them married then take cover.”

Their daddy and I,
We love them,
and break for them,
our “usual suspects”.

What more can we do?
But sell the last unhappy remnant,
the last sad memory,
on Ebay,
or Craigslist,
to some unsuspecting people.
Who just want a bargain,
and whose hopes and dreams
are intact.

That’s life,
I guess,
in the fast lane.

Watch the curves!

And don’t forget,
to pray for those,
who get lost,
along the way.

Of Mice And Men, Women And Children

Don’t let this video scare you the mouse wins!

I have been trying to help Rose with one of her college courses.

Psycho-analytical BS I think it’s called.

She has to read this book, Geo-political Architechture.

Just reading it is a challenge.

Understanding it a puzzle.

Some pompous, ESL meshuganeh definitely wrote it.

Translating English to English pain in the …

So there we are.

Cuddled up in bed, me reading, her looking somewhat dazed,

doodling on a notesheet.

Then we heard it.

Skittering little rodent feet across the ceiling.

OMG, I hate mice.

Nervy fellow kept running back and forth.

Rose said, “Don’t worry Ma it’s just one, we’ll get ’em.”

But you know the old saying, “If you see one there are ten.”

I hope they are mice and not rats…

Next day I’m off to Home Depot and perusing the kill section of the warehouse…nice.

Do I want to go guillotine and snap they little brains out or glue their little mouse feet to a board and watch them slowly die of starvation.

The little houses with poison inside, reminiscent of some Grimm’s Fairytale looks interesting.

“I was trapped in the witch’s house with no escape and nought to eat but a bit of funky smelling peanut butter.

Oh God I hate mice.

I went with a dozen snap traps.

But mice are smart.
Smarter then we humans realize.

I set the traps in groups of 4 along the walls where the small fur devils have been hanging out and although there are new sh#t bits the traps are not sprung.

So you want to play rough huh?

I devise a home-made trap with a bucket of water laced with bait and a dowel for easy access up the side for them to climb and take the fatal dive into the bucket.

Hopefully this will fool the ones who have been around for a while and are well acquainted with aforementioned old-fashioned snap traps.

I can hear them in their homes telling their young, “..and never ever go near those dumb-ass wooden squares you see around… But there is a bucket with food in it that looks like fun kids!”

I hate mice.

So it’s day four of the mouse kill.

No catches yet.

I get up early to start breakfast for the troops.

Let Cujo out to do his business.

Drink a quiet cup of coffee listening to Hoo start to stir in his crib.

Perhaps we and the mice can co-exist peacefully.

They are just mice for goodness sake.

Just wanting a warm place for the winter and some spilled dog food to eat.

As a child I even had a few as pets.

As I sip my coffee before the day officially starts memories of Michael Jackson singing “Ben” come to mind.

“Flowers For Algernon.”

And I realize with a start,

I can’t kill these mice…

Then I hear 2 traps snap shut in quick succession behind the breakfront.

The last swallow of coffee goes down hard.

Easy Fried Chicken With Hooter’s Hot Wing Sauce

You can pour the sauce over your fried chicken or use it as a dipping sauce on the side.

Here’s my truth.

Almost every night before I fall asleep I get a little hungry,

and wish there was some fried chicken in the house.

Sometimes I even think about where my husband might be on his pickups around Maryland and D.C. pumping out waste oil from closed restaurants and wonder if calling him to pick up some fried chicken on his way home at 3 a.m. would be thoughtless.

Kinda.

I lie there hungry and wondering how the hell did Jay Leno get the Tonite Show back

and what is Conan doin’ now???

Hungry…hungry,hungry…

Just me and my chapstick and ROC age defying night cream.

Did I smear enough on?

I’m hungry..

Why didn’t The Chef bring anything over to eat!!!! (I whine to myself)

When he has leftovers from a catering job I am often the fortunate recipient and can be found snarfing over trays of picked over hor dourves.

Pigs in blankets.

Yummy!

This 6 foot tall Chef, whose first words were,”No you shut up.”

He turned out swell.

But tonite…oh yes tonite!!!

Let there be late night indigestion!!!!!

Fried chicken!!!!!

(Easy style it’s a work night.)


Ingredients:

2 pounds of chicken parts

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of garlic

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of cumin

2 tablespoons of sugar

—————————-
Directions:

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients and then toss the chicken pieces in the mix.

Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour so batter will stick to chicken.

floured chicken ready to sit in the fridge for 90 minutes or so. Time gets that thin crust to stick good.

Heat a pot of oil to 350 F.

Carefully lower in a few pieces of chicken at a time.

Do not crowd the chicken (or the pieces won’t crisp they will steam).

Fry the chicken until the pieces are golden brown and the juices run clear when pierced

with a fork.

It don’t get no easier than this!

Now here is a dipping sauce that will make your chicken taste just like

Hooter’s hot wings!

HOT WING SAUCE HOOTER’S STYLE
———————————–

1 stick of butter or margarine

1/2 cup of hot sauce

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic

Put butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic in a saucepan and heat through. Pour over fried chicken or use as a dipping sauce.

Mixing up the Hooter's style hot wing sauce.

As an alternative add 3 tablespoons brown sugar in to the sauce recipe.

Great flavor for those who like sweet and hot.

So there you go!

Your week night fast and easy fried chicken recipe with hot sauce.

Make some mashed potatoes and peas on the side and you are good to go!

This is gmom and Cujo wishing all the working WPer’s out there a safe week!

In The Morning My House Looks Like The Bar Scene From Star Wars. (Recipe For Breakfast Bars)

“>

It’s 3 a.m.

I hear the front door open and close.

Work boots pass over head.

Then a chair scrapes the floor.

Bart‘s home.

He stocking foots it to the laundry room where he strips off his oily work clothes.

I hear the shower go on….off.

He heads to bed for a few brief hours of sleep,  with the tv on.

I slip back into a semi-sleep until Hoo wakes at 6.

I hear Hoo’s bottle hit the floor around 6:30.

The signal he is up and ready for company.

This morning the kitchen looks like the bar scene from “Star Wars”.

It’s a busy day in the biofuel business.

Everyone is on deck.

The center of the constellation is the bossman.

My husband.

The most interesting, constantly evolving  person I know.

He drinks a coffee and nurses a morning headache but always keeps an upbeat attitude.

He sits in the dining room and reads the Wall Street Journal.

Bart rolls out of bed bare-chested in pajama pants and heads for the coffee.

He’s eats a big breakfast.

Eggs and steak or 3 grill cheeses.

Jonesy  knocks at the door ever polite, our fix it man, only 22 like Bart.

All smiles,

happy to make it for breakfast.

He eats whatever I put in front of him.

Genady, the Russian worker is smoking outside.

He never comes in the house.

I’ve stopped trying to get him to come in and instead let Bart take food out to him.

I wave and say “Morning” to him but all he says with his big smile is,

“Nice day,nice day”.

10 years in America and still no speakee English, yeah right!

Edward Norton‘s diatribe from “25th Hour” passes through my head when I see Genady and I wonder if he’s done time and that’s why he won’t come inside.

The last of the motley crew is Aldy, young and shy, and always stinking of trap grease.

I question Bart,

“Are you pouring oil over his head? How is he getting so filthy?”

“Aldy go change your clothes and take a shower man!”

He does and comes back with his thick hair slicked back.

Much better.

We are cornering the market on Tide and Oxyclean.

So another day begins as they all pile out to the trucks.

Genady and Bart lingering over coffee and a cigarette by their truck.

Waving to Hoo who stands by the screen door waving and calling to them.

I pick him up.

Come on big boy.

Time to get dressed.

These breakfast bars although not healthy enough to replace a well-balanced breakfast are good enough in a pinch or for those who won’t eat breakfast.

They make a great mid-morning snack too.

As you adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes just be aware that the recipe does not do well with flax or flax-seed or with drier cereals like chex.

Have a great week WP kids.

Be safe out there.

If you see an oil truck on the B’more streets be kind to them.

They are my boys!

Breakfast Bars

————————-

2 cups brown sugar  

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup butter

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 and 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 and 1/2 cup raisins

1 cup chocolate chips

6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios

1.Preheat oven to 375 F

2. In a large bowl mix the sugar, peanut butter, water, vanilla, and eggs.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

Mix into the batter.

Mix in oats, raisins, chocolate chips.

Bars unbaked by the 1/2 to 3/4 cupfuls on the bake sheet

Carefully stir in the cereal.

Drop 1/2 cupfuls of batter onto ungreased cookie sheet leaving space between bars.

3. Bake for 12-14 minutes until bars are browned at edges.

Let cool completely on cookie sheet before moving to storage bags.

Terrific Breakfast Bars with Coffee

This is gmom, Cujo and family,

Peace out.

 

Cujo not allowed in the kitchen with so many people underfoot

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