Monthly Archives: September 2013

Why is there salt on the rim of Mommy’s coffee cup?

(How did this not post? I must have been losing my mind. But hey… it’s worth posting.)
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(I can’t take credit for that… but I don’t remember who the comedian was who said it.)

In case it wasn’t obvious, today is the first day of school. All three boys woke up, ate breakfast, got dressed,  brushed teeth, and were ready to go at least 15 minutes before they needed to be. I am documenting this because it’s most likely the last day this is going to happen. The hubs took them to the bus, and they got to see Grandma pulling in. She volunteered to watch Buttercup so the hubs and I could both attend the Kindergarten First Day Celebration.

This is the third time we’ve had this event, but only the second time I was able to join in. The kids were all settled in when we got to the room, and they were about to read a story. I won’t drone on about the details,  but we did a few art projects and took a tour of the building.

The older boys had half-day kindergarten,  but now the Pint Size Genius is full day. That means I wasn’t meeting him at home right after he was done with his first day. He’s spending a lot of time in school before I get to see him again. I’ll be okay. I think.

Speaking of PSG,  he lost his first tooth yesterday!  I totally didn’t see it coming.

Here’s to a great new school year.

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I guess this means I’m a soccer mom…

(Sorry folks!. I thought I I’d posted thislast month. But I guess it still applies,  so I’ll go ahead and post it. Thanks for your understanding.)

I’m sitting in a folding chair swatting gnats off my tablet while The Regulator participates in soccer practice.  Today I’m comfortable, it being about 78 degrees. A couple weeks ago it was terribly hot, and in a couple weeks it’ll be terribly cold. But we’ll be here. 
The Regulator is on the team, but barely. He’ll get playing time, and he’s practicing hard. But he’s two years behind his teammates.  I think he enjoys it enough to step up and do well.
I never had that problem. There was always a space for me on the roster, since a girl’s team was a little hard to come by (I played before Mia Hamm made it look awesome). But I’ll be the first to tell anyone that I didn’t really have any love for the game. My parents were trying to keep me active, which I appreciate today. And I wasn’t half bad… I wasn’t half good either. I was able to nail a throw-in with above average accuracy. Running all over the field, however… I did NOT love that at all. I think in 6 years I made one goal, and that was pretty much a fluke.
At least my soccer experience means I know my stuff when the boys play (did I mention all the boys are playing this year? The other two just haven’t been assigned to their teams yet). Not that it’s very hard to know your stuff in soccer. Get the ball into the net without using your hands. But at least it’s something I can have in common with my boys– the hubs isn’t exactly the athletic type.  I might even get the chance to help them do proper throw-ins.

Here’s to bringing sports to the family.

Just eat it!!

“Have a banana, have a whole bunch,/ It doesn’t matter what you had for lunch…” –Weird Al Yankovic

(I hope you guys are enjoying this– if you don’t, the red ‘x’ is in the upper right-hand corner.)

I happened upon a show that is on the Cooking Channel and on Food Network (I don’t watch either channel very much, so it’s odd that I ever saw it). Media gadfly Mo Rocca (who was given that title on VH1’s “I Love The…” series) hosts a show where he meets up with grandparents of varied heritage and helps them cook a family dish. It’s called “My Grandmother’s Ravioli,” and he never makes ravioli and I don’t think his grandmother is available anymore (God rest her, if that be the case). It’s actually really cute, and I got to see a solid three hours of 30-minute episodes. The dishes were Irish, Jamaican, Russian, Indian, and Ecuadorian.

Being part Ecuadorian myself, I was especially interested in that episode. My Ecuadorian grandmother never left her country, and I last saw her when I was 12– she passed a couple years later (God rest her, as well). And while I know I ate her cooking when I visited, I can’t exactly remember what I had. There was a roasted pig (we used the ‘natural casing’ to make sausage afterward… I didn’t eat any sausage for at least a year after that revelation), and definitely– brace yourselves– guinea pigs. Don’t look at me like that– they’re not the cute fluffballs you see at PetCo! Those suckers are bred for food and they get pretty nasty in the process. It’s like eating rabbit without having to worry about big ears.

My parents never made a big deal out of cooking stuff specifically because it was native to our heritage; rather, we ate what my parents were willing to make. I mean, I certainly look like I have enjoyed food in my life! I’m working on that, though. I digress, however….

For one thing, Mo Rocca is a great host. He clearly came up with the idea on his own and somehow got the backing to make the show a reality. He’s funny, he’s clever, he’s the kind of guy you want to cook a family meal with and feed. He’s also Colombian– I actually didn’t expect that. But he speaks Spanish– which is excessively cool. I, on the other hand, understand most Spanish but still feel like an idiot when I try to speak it. 

Second, I watched Mo and the Ecuadorian grandmother (with the Pureto Rican husband– my parents in reverse) make ceviche con camarones. I love ceviche– I have a crazy obsession with red onions. It’s the easiest thing in the world– red onions, tomatoes, lemon juice, cilantro, [she used cocktail sauce– I use ketchup usually], and shrimp (which is optional in my world… but I really want to do that next time). She also made seco de cabrito… goat stew. I can’t say as I’ve ever had the stuff. It looked good, but I’m very touchy about meats that aren’t the big 3: beef, chicken, and pork. I don’t even like veal all that much. And I’m convinced goat would have a weird goat-y taste. 

Third, I would love to be on his show. But I’m not a grandmother. My Puerto Rican grandmother isn’t available anymore either (God rest her, of course). But she was the source of my most ethnic dish of all time: pasteles. In Spanish, that usually translates to ‘pastries,’ but that’s not what I’m talking about. At all. It’s boiled pork shoulder encased in a starchy masa blend wrapped with a piece of parchment. It’s way more complicated than that, to the point where it’s made once a year and the product frozen to be enjoyed for a few months afterward. I have to be in the mood for them, but I absolutely love making them– mostly because it would be the women of my family getting together and building several dozen pasteles over the course of many hours. The last time the women of my family were together was my grandmother’s funeral. There’s a part of me that longs for another pastele jamboree.

Food like that– it’s the best gift you can give your kids. It makes you different, in a very fascinating way. And knowing that it’s what brought your family together year after hear, holiday after holiday…. that’s what you pass on to the next generation. 

Wow, that’s a story for the ages.

I didn’t ask permission to tell this story, so I’ll be changing the major details.

An acquaintance is getting married, and it will be her husband’s second marriage. (For my religious followers, these are not church weddings– if that matters.) For the benefit of my Golden Girls fans, I’ll call them Dan and Morothy. Dan is a great guy, and he and Morothy have been together for a long time. I’m actually quite happy for them, especially knowing his first marriage (to a woman I’ll call Gloria, for the sake of continuity) and how it didn’t work out. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure they were going to work out, but I wouldn’t have said that out loud. That’s when Morothy told us about the bottle.

When Dan got married the first time, to Gloria, the happy couple gave bottles of wine to every member of the wedding party. The day the divorce was finalized,  one of the groomsmen brought out… that same bottle. Apparently the day he got the bottle he announced to the others that he was going to save it for the day the divorce went through.

See now, I think someone should have sat that boy down to explain what it means to stand up for someone at a wedding. It’s more than an opportunity to wear a suit or a pretty dress and go to a party with an open bar. Whether a church wedding or not, your purpose is to affirm to the world that you believe in this union. It’s one thing to attend the wedding wallowing in cynicism, but a very different thing to be a part of the wedding party.

Sufficed to say, the groomsman will not be part of Dan and Morothy’s special day.

But I would like to say that I wish them all the happiness in the world.

Technical difficulties

If you tried to check out my “day in the life” post and noticed the pictures were kinda missing… whoopsie. They weren’t uploading from my tablet, and we had to wipe the hard drive on the desktop computer so I didn’t have chance to save the pictures there.

I’ll most likely fix it today.