Monthly Archives: April 2012

Time to Cry Tuesday – Two Alarm Dinner

I am a good cook. No really this is not a joke. I am really a good cook. And I enjoy it. But my kitchen is, well I guess you would say, a little challenged.

I have the fabulous Chambers Stove that you see in the picture above. I adore it from a design point of view. It is actually the reason I bought my house. I loved the charm of it. But the one problem is that if you use the broiler it heats up the griddle on the top surface and seeing that there is no fan above it the kitchen gets hot enough to set off the smoke alarm.

Ok, to set off 2 smoke alarms. One in the kitchen, one in the entry hall.

No biggie, right?

Unless you have a dog that has a strange neurological response to the sound of the alarm.

Which I don’t anymore. Iko is cool with it. But Mel? OMG, she would shake like her body was plugged into a socket. We used to have to take her outside and walk her around to calm her down.

So today when I used the broiler and set the chain of alarms off, my first reaction was to run and hug the dog. Who looked at me like, ‘Hey, what the hell is up with you and shouldn’t you get the broom and hit that thing to shut that incessant noise off?”

That Melly ghost just hung in the room for a second and made me realize how I will never stop missing that old girl.

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Filed under Iko, mel, pets, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Hot Flash Cool Down Necklace

Ok this one is a first. Yesterday I received an email hawking a necklace that claims to cool down your hot flashes. I love the site that was giving it away so this is by no means a dis to them or their promotion. In fact, this item must be doing really well because they have sold over 5,000 of them and have been featured on all sorts of mainstream media. But for blog humor purposes –  and what else really matters – I could not resist.

If you have ever had a hot flash, or slept next to one,  it sort of sounds like a good idea. What a lovely Mother’s Day gift. “Here honey, I bought you some jewelry”. She gets all, ‘oh what a sweet guy, I love you so much’ on you until she opens the box and sees you have purchased a hot flash necklace with the condescending name of – get this, ‘Hot Girls Pearls‘.

Ummmm, not the kind of hot girl this crazy meno-mama wants to be called. Just a tip guys, when she opens the box, you might want to duck out of the way when she throws these at you. They look like they might hurt on impact. I am thinking a good solid black eye could occur if her aim is good.

Please, no disrespect to the inventor of these babies. They could be very effective and lord knows we are looking for a way to cool down. But seriously, who really wants to wear a necklace modeled after the one that Wilma Flintstone wore.

Just saying.

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Filed under humor, products

Twenty-three

My daughter is 23.

There I said it. That was not easy. How can this be? The curly-headed little girl that used to boss us all around is now really a grown up. Like taking the 6:45 train go to work everyday kind of grown up. Like getting back a tax refund kind of grown up (lucky girl).

I have always said that the first 5 years of parenting lasts forever and after that it flies by so fast you don’t know what hit you.

Happy birthday to the one who knows me best, keeps me in line, chills me out, shares the ups and downs and still makes me laugh every day. (well almost every day). 

For those who are saddened by the idea of their kids growing up, here is some wonderful news. It gets better every year.

Love you Petuney. May your dreams all come true, even if they are taking a little detour on the 6:45 right now.

Happy 23!

 

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Filed under Jana

Time to Cry Tuesday – Pink Snow

Every morning — before the insanity of the day — I walk. I started this about 8 years ago when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure (way too young) and realized if I did not get my arse moving I was going to find myself in trouble. What started as a practice for my physical health wound up being the key to my mental well being as well.

I walk in all weather. I have snow, rain and sweltering heat gear and there are few excuses for no walk. Being a dog person, my canines have been my personal trainers, never taking no for an answer. Mel, rest her crazy little soul, walked up until her very last day. Now Miss Iko the semi-psycho puppy would never except any reason to miss the walk.

Each time of year has its wonders. I love to walk in fog (I know… weirdo) and there is something incredibly challenging about walking in extreme temps, both hot and cold.

But there is absolutely nothing more magical than the pink snow of Spring. I can not stop taking pictures of this because it will never cease to dazzle me. The top pic is my favorite but here are a few more that I have taken over the last few days.

Enjoy. And don’t forget to stop and notice these things. They were created for you to enjoy, remember to be grateful.

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Filed under carry a camera, Iko, mel

Remembering Levon

Yesterday, April 19, 2012, the music world lost a legend, Levon Helm. This loss was a personal one in our home. Not only do my husband and I have a strong bond to the music of The Band, but our children both share that love. Part of the soundtrack of our lives, Levon and The Band will forever make us feel the love. That down home sound crawled its way into our home in a big way.

A few memories to honor the man who helped shape the sound we loved:

1. The first album I ever owned was The Band, Music from Big Pink. My older brother, who was a strong influence on my formative musical tastes, bought this for me as a birthday gift when I was still in elementary school. While the other kids were listening to The Archies and The 1910 Fruitgum Company, my bro made sure I was a cool little kid.

2. My first concert was Bob Dylan and The Band, 1974 at the Nassau Coliseum. I went with my girls and our parents had to drop us off because we were too young to drive.

3. A few summers ago I was fortunate enough to stumble into the end of a counselor’s day off from the camp my kids attend. My son and his friends rolled into the restaurant we were in and as luck would have it there was a band playing. Out of nowhere all the boys broke into a rendition of The Weight that will forever remained burned in my memory.

4. But the highlight memory of Levon Helm for me will remain attending The Ramble last December 3rd. It was one of those special nights where the music wrapped itself around everyone in that barn and held us in its embrace all night long. For those who are not familiar with the Midnight Ramble, it is a concert series in a barn/studio that is part of Levon’s home. There are scheduled guests, but this particular night had a host of drop bys that blew us away. Spanning the years of my adolescence to one of my favorite new bands of today, we were treated to Jimmy Vivino, Garth Hudson, Donald Fagan, Jackson Browne and Dawes.

Thank you Levon, for a great run. For the passion. For the joy in your face when you banged those drums even after the cruelty of fate robbed you of your singing voice.

And most of all, for the music.

Photo: This image is from the downstairs bathroom at the Midnight Ramble. I hope the Helm family will forgive me the ‘no pictures’ rule for this one, I simply could not resist.

 

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Time to Cry Tuesday – Brides with Feeding Tubes

This is usually a place where I write about poignant, touching moments in life. Today I am reserving my right to talk about something that disturbs and saddens me quite deeply.

I will put this on my list of Top 10 Most Disturbing Stories of the Year. Ok, I don’t have a list like that but I am going to start one. I will also include vaginal cosmetic surgery. You see where I am going.

Briefly, here is the story. Brides-to-be are turning to feeding tube diets, or the K-E diet, for rapid weight loss of 10-20 lbs. in 10 days in order to fit into their wedding gowns. Here’s a novel idea ladies: alter a wedding dress to fit you instead of altering you to fit a dress!

This diet involves inserting a nasogastric tube to ‘feed’ the woman  for 10 days; cutting the daily intake to 800 calories. It is described as a hunger-free form of dieting. Correct me if I am wrong, but is this INSANE?

What blows my mind is a 41-year-old woman, Jessica Shnaider, had no problem being featured in this NYT story and then again on most major TV morning news shows. Here are some quotes from this person:

“I don’t have all of the time on the planet just to focus an hour and a half a day to exercise so I came to the doctor, I saw the diet, and I said, ‘You know what? Why not?”

Yeh, I can see why walking around with a friggin’ tube in your nose and not eating for 10 days would be less of a hassle than exercising and healthy dieting!

And then there was this beauty of a soundbite:

“People think I’m sick, I’m dying,” said Ms. Schnaider, a watch wholesaler in Miami. She refrained from going into her daughters’ school. “The children, they would be scared,” she said.

The adults that she knew were not scared by this behavior? Let me think of one adult that should have been running to catch the next train out of crazy town – THE KNUCKLEHEAD WHO WAS ABOUT TO MARRY HER. And did you catch the fact that she has a daughter?! Is there any hope for this young girl?

What is so disturbing about this diet is the doctors who are willing do facilitate it. Is the $1,500 that much of an incentive in the days where health insurance has shaved down the profitability of a medical practice? Here is a quote from a doc who might think they are tempering this with some solid advice:

“I don’t want to tell a bride she shouldn’t look good for the wedding,” Dr. Aronne said. “But we tell them, ‘You can get to the same place if you started earlier, instead of waiting until the last minute and doing something drastic.’ ”

How responsible, doc. How about something we rarely hear these days… the word NO and a referral to a good therapist to work out these debilitating body image issues and help these women to start their marriages on a healthy note instead of sending them right down the road of serious problems.

I have both a son and a daughter. This story disturbs me on so many levels. I don’t know which would worry me more, my daughter wanting to do this or my son marrying someone who did. Imagine these women raising kids.

Let me remove my outrage for a moment and get down to why this has me so inflamed. I have watched too many woman fall down this hole. Not just young women, but those who are at an age where you would hope they would finally get over their value being tied to how thin they are. I can sadly say that I count more women of all ages in the category of poor relationships with food than not. The scary thing about this therapy is it could be argued that it is ‘healthier’ than most eating disorder related behaviors because at least there is an attempt at nutrition, it is doctor-supervised and it is only short term. How sad is that?

Some sobering statistics from The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc. (please see this link for sources). I have picked only a few, but the ones that struck me as the most appalling.

  • Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness amongst adolescents
  • Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression
  • Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the US
  • Over one half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives
  • In a survey of 185 female students on a college campus, 58% felt pressure to be a certain weight, and of the 83% that dieted for weight loss, 44% were of normal weight
  •  42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner and 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat

This last one saddened me the most. It is starting at such an early age. The little girl that dreams of her wedding day and then sticks a tube down her nose to lose weight could most likely have been carrying this baggage since she was 7 years old.

How do we stop this madness?

Here is a start. Anya Strzemien of Stylist wrote this fabulous post. Women and men alike, please make this required reading for you, your friends, your daughters and most importantly anyone you worry about regarding risky body image and eating issues. In short, Ms. Strzemien implemented a tip jar to fine anyone in the office who says something negative about their appearance. The fine is $1 for every negative comment someone makes, with proceeds going to Girls Inc, an organization that promotes self-esteem and leadership skills for young girls. She took it one step further and flipped the focus to a positive one by using the comments section of her post to ask readers to say something good about themselves. In return, the Huffington Post Media Group will donate $1 for every comment up to $5,000.

Let that be the kind of behavior we ask our daughters to imitate and leave the feeding tubes to the minority!

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Filed under absurdities

Is it possible to throw out a garbage can?

If you are a regular reader you know my unhealthy obsession fascination with other people’s garbage. I am not sure if it is my neighborhood or the fact that I walk every morning before the garbage is picked up, but I have found some of the most amazing things sitting by the curb. I need to do a garbage round-up post soon so you can see what I mean.

Today I came across this gem. Monday is not a garbage day in my neighborhood. The last pick-up was Saturday. Which means that these people have left this here in hopes that tomorrow’s collection day will bring them some luck. Is it an undocumented phenomenon that it is literally impossible to throw out a garbage can? Notice the contents are gone but the can remains; even with a clearly marked note on the can. Are they not allowed to take the can or is it a big FU for not tipping at the holidays?

I have tried to do this before. It is not easy to get these guys to take the can. And this one seems to be in great shape, other than being sans lid which I am guessing is what is rendering it useless in the land of cats and raccoons.

I suggest first making a more elaborate sign, maybe one with some humor to catch their attention. Or maybe standing outside when the truck comes and begging. Or perhaps taping a little envelope to the signage with some incentive in it and a clearly marked dollar sign.

Any other suggestions?

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Filed under carry a camera, garbage