This turkey was an asshole

Or it could have been my beloved/hated Chambers oven. From 1939. I adore this thing, but it is not the most reliable way to cook.

Every Thanksgiving I try a different way to survive the turkey. I start it early, the timer pops, not one but two digital thermometers register the correct temp, I brine, I tent, I baste and I turn. Some years I even order the damn thing (always day old and dry).

This bad boy? He mocked me. Everything looked and seemed perfect until we went to carve him. Not once back in the oven, but twice!

Turkey aside, this was a wonderful holiday filled with family and friends. I hope you all had the same.

Happy thanksgiving.

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Time to Cry Tuesday… Mom

Thanksgiving, like every holiday, starts off with the business of lists and recipes, shopping and cleaning and ends up where everything seems to, with the bittersweet memories of those we have lost.

“Umm… Ame, what is up with the ancient can of mandarin oranges and what do they have to do with your mom?”, you ask. Read on my friends. This one is just plain old freakish.

I spent a big chunk of the weekend reading expiration dates and tossing ancient items out of my pantry and fridge. It is really quite embarrassing, but frankly I suck at this piece of domesticity. I usually do it before the holiday visit from my nephew, the expiration date nazi, but sadly he will not be joining this year.

I digress. I had just finished making (not enough) cranberry sauce and was on the phone asking a friend about whether to use canned mandarin oranges in my fresh sauce. My argument in favor of this slimy little canned citrus was nostalgia. You guessed it, my mom always used them. I reached into the pantry and saw the condition of the can, realizing it had slipped through Saturday’s expiration sweep.

But then I saw something so startling that even the most stubborn skeptic could not deny.


As the word ‘Mom’ left my lips, this is what I saw.

Yeh, I know, crazy, right? (and yes I am aware that this can expired over 5 years ago)

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So here’s the thing. This is no coincidence. Why the hell would DelMonte stamp MOM on the bottom of a can of (5+ year old) mandarin oranges?

Because, my friends, I really do believe they did not.

Here’s to you, Elaine, you cagey devil. And yes, I get it, I can’t possibly leave out the mandarin oranges.

“She lives on beneath everything I do. Her presence influenced who I was, and her absence influences who I am. Our lives are shaped as much by those who leave us as they are by those who stay.”

– Hope Edelman from Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss


Filed under aging, food, holidays, moms, Uncategorized

What Moms Wish For

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This is my girl.

Many of you have watched her grow up here; at least the parts of her we like to share. Jana not only made me a mom for the first time, she made me a mom blogger with my very first post about her High School graduation. Then on to her college graduation where I visited a different kind of change… getting her back.


Fast forward to today. Today is Jana’s last day at a job she has grown to love way beyond being a place of employment. God’s Love We Deliver has been a calling. The place where someone a little too young for the job proved she was not. Where, like everyone who works and volunteers there, she was embraced for who she is and appreciated way more than she could fathom. Until she made the tough decision to take the next step in her career.

The photo above is today’s GLWD Facebook post. She came into the office at 6AM (did I mention she starts work at 6AM?!) to find the walls covered with photos of her good times spent there. I awoke to a text with a video of the scene. We were both quite taken with this.

The emotions surrounding raising a child are often overwhelming. Equal parts pride and melancholy, the growing of a human is a roller coaster, indeed. (it’s all good, we both LOVE roller coasters). All a parent can hope for in the lives of their children is that they can find themselves, make a solid contribution and be valued. A huge thank you to the God’s Love We Deliver family, that has embraced, not only our girl, but our entire family. You have left a mark on all of us.

Good luck, my sweet Jana. As one door closes… blah blah blah. None of this makes today any easier. Love you to the moon and back. We could not be any prouder of you.

Now go out there and kick some ass.


Filed under Jana, moms, parenting, work

Hanky Panky on the Tennis Court

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It has been a while since I have been here, but this story just begged to be a blog post, so here I am. Yeh, I missed you guys too.

This is a spin on the age old advice that every mom gives their daughter and every daughter rolls their eyes at:

Make sure you wear nice underwear, you never know when you are going to get into an accident.

Seriously? What kind of advice is this? And if you are in a car accident, is your underwear really your biggest problem?

I guess this stuck with me, and quite honestly I doubt my mom ever said this herself. I always make sure I am wearing nice underwear and I happen to love Hanky Panky thongs.  Especially the black ones.

There. it is out. Now everyone knows. Not just the guys my husband plays tennis with…


Husband is playing in his regular Saturday game. He is in a little bit of a crouch [not crotch] and feels something odd in his shorts. He reaches in and pulls out… you guessed it. A lovely pair of black original-rise Hanky Pankys stuck inside his shorts from the static gods. He holds them up. Everyone gives him that look like, shit I hope those belong to your wife. Or maybe it was more like, what happens on the tennis court stays on the tennis court.

The worst part is that he couldn’t ‘seem to remember’ who was on the court at the time.

I am sure I will find out soon enough.


Filed under humor, moms

Confession: I was THAT mom

02987f44146962c00ea7c5e013d8a591These days I feel so far removed from the original I Could Cry Days of having no time. To breathe. To stop and think. To smell the peonies. Now life is more under control. The parenting that I do is more cerebral and my maternal obligations are pretty low stress.

Even after a long, crazy work day, I feel like I have time because I am not torturing myself with the things I think I should be doing. As a working mom, and a lover of crafts, I could not escape being ‘THAT mom’. The one that worked all day but still made party invitations to match my daughter’s dress. The one that made the halloween costumes. And HAD to iron the graduation gown. Who knew this was all way more important to me than it was to my kids?

I stumbled upon this post today. Aside from simply loving his voice, Scott Dannemiller, hit a nerve for me – many years later, but a nerve, just the same. A little excerpt that had me laughing outloud:

“As the man who is married to the person who reluctantly put googley eyes and a graduation cap on all the fruit cups, I feel I am qualified to offer this sage advice to the mothers of the world who do this kind of thing through gritted teeth out of a sense of obligation.

Stop it!

Oh, Scott, where were you when I was sitting at the kitchen table till 3AM icing upside down cupcakes to chocolate chip cookies and wrapping shoestring red licorice around them to make little cowboy hat desserts for the 4th grade class? (what the hell was the theme of that class party, anyway?) That photo above was not my cupcake… a little gumdrop and a potato chip on an Entenmanns could have saved me a hell of a lot of time, though. If only Pinterest existed back then!

The kicker of that episode was that I took the day off to attend the class party and no sooner had I put down the tray of treats, than my daughter looked at me with a green face and said, “I don’t feel so good.” We rushed to the office to see the nurse, only for her to puke across the office floor. (sorry to bring this one up, Jana)

Needless to say she was too busy being mortified to give two craps about my cowboy hat desserts.

If I had it to do over would I have done less of this? Probably not. The thing about being a working mom for me was to make sure I did all the stuff that I would have done if I didn’t work. Was it ridiculous? Of course.

But when have I ever claimed not to be ridiculous?


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Inside out signage


This sign hangs in the window of a restaurant in town. From the outside, it reads ‘Organico’.

From the inside… anyone see what I saw?

As I was taking this shot I said to Gary, ‘Hey, doesn’t this sign look like a penis with…”

And he finished my sentence “… one dropped ball?”

At which point the waiter – who I did not realize was standing behind me – said, “You are not the first person to notice that.”

Must be a full peninsula of Magnets for the Absurd.


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