Paleo Decadence. AKA, The Hamburger Patty.

I’ve absolutely got to tell you about the most delicious meal I ate while on vacation.  The decadence.  The simplicity. It was AMAZING!!

Now I am not a food blogger.  I tried that.  Apparently, you need to be a decent cook and fairly innovative with your recipes if you’re going to be a food blogger.  I am not those things.  I have around 20 meals that I cook and there are really only so many times you can talk about baked chicken.

The thing about my vacation was I was not the one cooking the majority of the time.  Mom was.  I woke up in the morning to the smell of bacon cooking and coffee brewing.  It was paleo heaven!

Our last meal in Florida was cooked entirely in the condo because it was raining yet again.  We had a bunch of hamburger patties that were the last thing in the refrigerator which Mom had been marinating overnight in some steak marinade.  She pan fried them over medium low heat because she likes the way food cooks better when done low and slow.

What’s decadent about a hamburger patty marinated in steak sauce?  Nothing.  That’s not the decadent part.  I’m getting there.

I put mustard and ketchup on my burger patty and was well on my way to eating it when I noticed my baby brother Brian doing something absolutely freaky to his burger.  He put butter on it!  Butter!  BUTTER!

I asked him what he was doing.  He suggested I try it, that the butter was really good on a hamburger patty.

Oh my goodness!  The butter melted and dripped down the meat and mixed with the sauces.  My mouth thanked me.  Yours will thank you too.



Oma Almost Dies on Vacation. Again. It’s a Recurring Theme.

Oma and her sister took another vacation together.  On some level, their trip may have been less stressful than the one she took with her sweet children two weeks earlier (ahem), but Oma and her sister always have a near death experience.  Their collective children have come to expect wild stories and even Ed the Awesome likes hearing about their misadventures.

Oma and her sister had a relatively uneventful trip to Disney World last year, but they’re both in their 60’s and felt like they hadn’t really had the chance to experience everything Disney had to offer.  Last year, they each lost 10 pounds because of all the walking they did, enjoyed a home cooked meal every night in their condo thanks to Oma’s exceptional cooking abilities (some might say that cooking is merely following directions, but I assure you, there is significantly more involved if you want a truly great meal), and Oma relaxed with a glass of wine in the evenings.  Oma also came back with wicked tan lines on her feet.  (Totally unfair.  She could have given me some melanocytes in the womb if she had wanted.) But, they each felt like they hadn’t seen every single thing Disney had to offer, so they went back this year.

Their first five days were uneventful, so we all waited with bated breath for the text or call that began with, “You won’t believe what happened to us.”

I got the text while I was at work on Thursday.  There was a pretty significant thunderstorm and lightning had struck the condo above theirs.  The upstairs condo’s kitchen was on fire.  They were waiting for security to check out the unit.  There was smoke in the hallway.  They were waiting in their rental car in the pouring rain until they knew it was safe to go back.  (It turns out the condo above theirs wasn’t on fire.  Oma didn’t know and still doesn’t know where the smoke was coming from.)

I got more details on Sunday.  Oma tells a much more dramatic story in person and she likes to save details for when she gets back home.  She and her sister had been in their condo that afternoon because of the thunderstorm when they heard lightning which sounded like it had struck extremely close to them.  They opened the door and saw the people from the upstairs condo racing down, fear evident on all of their faces.  Oma asked what had happened and the mother barely eeked out that lightning had come through the window into the kitchen, right next to their son.  Oma and her sister grabbed their belongings and raced to their rental car, getting sopping wet in the downpour, and stayed there for the next couple of hours until they were given the all clear that their condo was safe.  Mom was most upset about the little boy who had almost been hit by the lightning and how terrified he looked, but he too was not hurt.  I think his scared eyes might haunt her dreams for a while though.

So once again, Oma is either doing something really wrong because she has a near death experience on every vacation, or she’s doing something really right because she always comes home from these vacations unscathed.

My Beachy Pedicure

I’ve had a vacation to Florida planned for the last few months with my Mommy.  My brothers then decided to tag along.  They’re moochers like that.  Fortunately, I like them both.  One of the necessary preparatory measures my mother and I feel necessary for a trip to the beach is the pre-beach pedicure.  Since our trip is a mere 7 days away, today was the day for said pedicure.  I didn’t worry about being on call for work.  I’m now on the surgical heart team.  It’s a new position for me and I absolutely love the change I’ve made.  I’ve been taking call since I started and I haven’t been called in on the weekend once.  Not one single time!

So, I texted mom yesterday and we made firm early morning pedicure plans.  I picked her up this morning and we made a Starbucks run before our pedicures.  We picked out our nail polish colors and sat side by side in our massage chairs and then dipped our feet into the warm water.  We were about 5 minutes into our pedicures when my phone rang.  It was the hospital.  I was being called in for an emergency procedure.

I rushed out of my chair as mom and the lady doing my pedicure both asked if I couldn’t stay to finish my pedicure.

Nope.  I couldn’t.  I had to leave immediately.  Except that I had to pay before they would let me leave.  Five minutes into a pedicure and I had to pay.  Dammit.

I paid.  The lady was very nice and begged me to come back so she could finish her work.  I took her card.

I rushed to work.  I changed clothes quickly and got to work.  Five hours later, we finally got to leave.

I still love my job, even after the Saturday morning and afternoon interuption.  I called the nail salon on my way out to my car.

Six hours after starting my pedicure, I was finally going to finish it.

Five minutes into the second attempt at the pedicure, I got a text from the team leader from the heart team.

“Would it be cruel for me to tell you we may go back to surgery with that patient?” she texted.

“Exceedingly.  I just sat down for the rest of my pedicure.  Please tell me you’re kidding,” I texted back.  I started sweating.  I was panicking.  I did not want to go back for another five hours.  The state of my toes was seriously at stake.

“Yeah, I saw your car,” she texted back.

So, so mean!!!

And I am so, so glad she was joking!!

I finally got to finish my pedicure.

Florida, get ready for me and my beautiful toes!!

Laughing at Myself and Maybe, Laughing at My Kid

I may have said this before, but my mother is one twisted woman.  She used to make me and my brother stay up late on Friday and Saturday evenings to watch scary movies, ostensibly because she didn’t want to watch them alone.  That’s what she has claimed for years.  She still yells at the characters on any show, knowing full well they won’t change their course of action.  This behavior is absolutely genetic because my Logan does the same.  He can’t sit still while watching a scary movie.

I took the boys to see The Rise of The Guardians last Saturday and then Ed and I both took the boys to see the new Bond movie the following Monday.  You won’t get any spoilers here, but both were absolutely fabulous!  Anyway,  Logan and I spent the entire time during The Rise of The Guardians talking to each other about the show and being surprised by the show.  One of the fabulous things about children’s’ movies is that children are expected to talk during the movie.  As long as the parents occasionally shush their child, you can have a conversation at almost any decibel level.  When we went to see the Bond movie, it was Monday and the theater was almost empty.  Logan sat next to me and, as usual, we talked almost the whole time.  He told me about the different weapons being used and accessories for said weapons.  I would scream and thrust my arms out in a defensive maneuver whenever something startling happened.  Ed would shush us every few minutes.  I wonder how much of the movie Ed actually got to enjoy because that kid and I are very talkative and we both have issues with volume.  Ha!

Anyway,  it dawned on me that there was probably a method to my mother’s madness when she made me and Jacob watch all of those scary movies as children.  It’s funny to watch your children freak out at a scary movie!  It’s funny to watch me watch a scary movie because I freak out!  It’s really funny to watch Logan jump up and down while watching anything which might be classified as mildly startling.

I suggested this theory to my mother.  She told me I was wrong.  She said I couldn’t have been more wrong.  She said she had us watch those movies so we could be prepared for whatever might happen.  It’s a dangerous world out there and we needed to know what could happen.  I think she’s got an interesting cover story.  She said she’d never laugh at any of her children and really, she probably wouldn’t.  I, however, am not quite like my mother.  I find many things my children do hilarious.  And when they’re adults, I plan on telling them all about the funny things they did as children.

People Actually Read My Blog, or I’ve Got a Killer Friday Night Social Life

Well, it’s Friday night and I’m a bit bored because Ed and the boys are playing Call of Duty:  Modern Warfare III, which is their favorite pastime until Call of Duty:  Black-Ops II comes out next week, so I decided to check out my stats page because I haven’t done it in forever.  The list was significantly longer that I had expected, mostly because I think my mother is one of the few who read my blog and I’m pretty sure she poses questions to the Google browser just to tease me, and there were some search questions listed that I found amusing.  There were even a few that made me almost spew my delicious Pinot Noir onto my computer screen.  That would have been a travesty though, and a waste of good wine, so you can calm yourself because there was no wasting of good wine in the writing of this post.

Slightly off topic, but I’ve recently come across a quote I really like.

Write Drunk.  Edit Sober.  Earnest Hemingway.

That guy must have been brilliant.  (Yes, I know who Hemingway was.  I’m not that drunk yet.)  (Mom, relaxI’m kidding!)

Anyway,  on to the list!

1. Kid Who Looks Like A Monkey.  I mostly liked this one because we’ve been teasing Trip about his enormous ears lately and he is very proud of them.  He has even told his teachers that he has ears like a monkey and they should be jealous.  The little dude is a chick magnet though, so maybe he’s on to something.

2. What Happens to Boys Who Are Raised by Neurotic Mothers?  Dear God, I hope they turn out okay!  Otherwise, mine are screwed.  I think they’ll turn out just fine in spite of me.  Or to spite me.  They’ll probable live as far as humanly possible one day from their dear Momma, but it’ll just be so I can visit them in exotic locales.  Right?  You know what’s really troubling?  Someone found my blog with that query.  And they received absolutely no help at all!

3.  Jacob Hates You.  I don’t really get this one, but it makes me giggle anyway.  Maybe that’s the Pinot?  There are some mysteries the world will never solve.  In any case, I am Jacob’s favorite sister.  I might also be his only sister, but that is not the point.  I am his favorite sister because he thinks I am awesome and no one should ever disillusion him from that opinion!  That, and he’s right.

4.  Box Fight.  That was it:  “box fight.”  What in the hell is a box fight?  I wish I knew.  I’m a child of the 80’s and I absolutely love boxing.  I still watch it on whichever channel shows it late at night when I’m the only one awake because Ed hates it.  Or he just thinks I’m slightly weird for watching people fight in a ring.  I really do love it though.  I remember Mike Tyson fighting on HBO back when HBO was the only movie channel available.  Or were we just poor?  I’m not sure if there were other channels available back in the dark ages and I have no intention of finding out now, unless you, dear reader, just remember that kind of thing off the top of your head and would like to provide me with that little tidbit of knowledge.

As a little aside, I went out with my brother Jacob last weekend for a little drinking and debauchery.  Well, drinking at any rate.  So we went to a local establishment and had a couple of beers, but we were younger than most of the other patrons by a decade or two, which is no easy feat at my advanced age, so we walked across a busy highway (we’re in the country-it’s like crossing the street and risking your life at the same time) to another local establishment where the clientele was closer to our age and we saw a few people we had known from high school because they also hadn’t moved away and a Laurence Fishborne look-alike.  As we were chatting and discussing the merits of a life well lived, a “fight” broke out behind us.  I was as observant as ever and had to be pulled out of harm’s way by my dear brother.  Fortunately, he has become quite the quick thinker.  I turned around in time to see one guy slapping his own chest while hopping backwards.  These weren’t mere steps backwards or done in an attempt to find a space with more room for the actual fight.  These were HOPS!  He was hopping backwards like a rabbit!  And then, there were bouncers who appeared from out of nowhere and separated the two, although I don’t really know if you can separate two guys who are ten feet away from each other.  In any case, one was escorted out the front door and the police were called and they stayed for what seemed like an eternity!

In the end, I came to this conclusion:  If you’re going to get arrested anyway, you might as well throw a punch!  Otherwise, WHAT IS THE POINT??

5.  My brother’s full name.  You’ll have to forgive me for not listing his full name here, but with the last name, there are only twelve in the good ol’ USA, so it’s not like whoever typed that name into their browser could’ve been looking for someone else, but WHAT IN THE HELL, Google?  How is his full name, which I’ve never used on this here blog, associated with my fantastic blog.  (Yes, you should infer a little sarcasm there.  Self deprecation.  Whatever you want to call it.)

6.  My grandfather was in the CIA.  Dude, so was mine!  Maybe.  I’m not really sure.  The stories my mom tells about him killing people didn’t come out of her mouth until long after he was dead and she has a very, very vivid imagination.  (Mom, do not view that last statement as an invitation to describe said murders or self-defense maneuvers in the comment section.  That’s for private discussion at your dining room table where the possibility exists for us to enjoy making even more people uncomfortable.)

7.  Ed is awesome.  I think my husband may have searched this term in hopes of finding some dirt on me.  He has finally come to accept that he has received a life sentence with me for some unconscionable sin in a past lifetime.  Whatever it was, it was bad.  Poor guy.  He’s so nice now too.  You’d think a guy as nice as he is would get a wife who might cook and clean once in a while.  Lucky him, I work and drink red wine.  And beer.  And spirits.  Though not all at the same time because I learned my lesson when I was much, much younger.  Drink one at a time young lady, and you’ll be that much happier for it.  And he is awesome!  And cute!

8-88.  There were so many variations on stretch mark queries, I can’t even begin to list them all. Ladies, and Gentlemen if this happens to apply to you as well, stretch marks are permanent.  Once they rear their ugly heads, they never, ever leave.  Unless you have a tummy tuck and get those bad boys surgically removed.  That’s always an option.  But if you’re not willing to consider surgery, you’re stuck with the little reminders that your body has done something wonderful.  Mine housed three souls at once.  However, those bastards itched when they were forming (the stretch marks!) , so put your lotion on or you will be miserable. 

“It puts the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again.”  Can you name that one?  It’s one of my favorites.  I blame my seriously warped mother and the strange upbringing I endured.  I can’t believe my brothers don’t write.  Our mutual biographies read like a sociopath’s background….and her mother made her stay up late on weekend evenings to watch scary movies because she didn’t want to watch them alone. 

89-100. These were really just various queries about children and I’m hoping they were parents searching for inventive ways to photograph their cherubs.  And even though I’ve got some mad iPhone skills, they should probably look elsewhere.  I’m not very skilled with the camera.  I’m just persistent.

And well, now it’s time to  send the cherubs to bed and take the remotes away from them.  Momma wants to start watching Grimm and she needs that playstation to do it.

All I Wanted Was Some Barbecue Chicken Like My Mom Used To Make

All I wanted to do was make some barbecue chicken in my crock pot like my Mom used to make.  I found a recipe in a magazine that looked good and easy and those are some pretty good indicators if a dish will be good.  So one night last week, I got the dish all prepared in the crock pot and put it in the fridge.  Ed was an amazing husband and agreed to come home on his lunch hour so he could turn on the crock pot for me.

  I came home after work expecting the delicious aroma to be overwhelming.

I had told everyone at work about how awesome my barbecue chicken was going to be.

And I came home and was underwhelmed.  Disappointed.

There was an aroma, it just wasn’t strong.  It didn’t live up to my expectations.

I shredded the chicken and ate it.  With more barbecue sauce.  The boys stole some off of my plate.  Ed had some when he got home.

And so….lesson has been learned.  When you want barbecue chicken like your mother used to make, ask your mother how she makes it!  You might even learn something!  And, your house just might smell as delicious as you’re expecting!

You know what’s even worse than underwhelming barbecue chicken?  I used to have a cooking blog.

You Just Never Know What Might Be Hiding Under The Bed…

Ed’s parents have taken a little vacation, a long weekend, just the two of them.  They asked Ed to look after their dogs while they were gone.  Of course, he said yes.  Said he’d even be happy to do it.  It’s a real honest-to-goodness vacation for them and it’s been far too long since their last one. 

So tonight, after Ed and the boys and I watched a movie (Brave–loved it!) and had dinner (Tex-Mex–awesome!!), we dropped in at his parents house to feed the dogs and give them some attention.  Sir Patrick Mayo is a standard French poodle.  He’s champagne colored and likes getting his hair cut and styled like a fluffy 80’s perm until Ed reminds him what a waste of time his pride is and then he sulks.  There’s Julie the Boston Bulldog who is absolutely positive that she’s the top dog and she will take down any male dog who tests her authority.  Yes, being a Boston Bulldog, she only weighs 20 pounds.  She’s still top dog!  🙂  And then there’s Burban, the pup of their pack.  He’s a full blood mutt who happens to be mostly black with a small white patch on his chest.  He was named Burban because my in-laws found him sleeping in their garage as a puppy underneath the suburban.  If my mother-in-law had accidentally put the car into drive instead of reverse, things would’ve turned out badly.  Fortunately for all of us, she didnt’.   Burban most enjoys chasing after cats and boys and Julie and wreaking havoc wherever possible.  It’s just that everything is so exciting and he has too much energy and he’s really not sure what to do with all that energy!

Once Julie and Burban had licked their bowls clean and Patrick refused to admit there was food in his bowl or that his body required any sort of sustenance, we let all the dogs run through the house and chase after the boys.  That is why you have children, right?  To wear down the dogs?  Anyway, the dogs and the boys made multiple trips up and down the long hall and scattered the rugs and absolutely nothing fragile was broken.  After the dogs and the boys looked sufficiently tired, the young dogs were put in the back yard and Ed and I went to find Sir Patrick Mayo.  Sir Patrick Mayo was cowering on top of Ed’s parents bed and shivering because he absolutely knew he had been abandoned and his people were never coming back.

And then, I noticed it.  My dear in-laws, most likely my father-in-law, had taken louvered doors-the quarter width ones you might have found on a closet door back in the 80’s- and propped them up along both sides of the bed.  There has always been a wooden box at the foot of the bed so the dogs could easily climb onto the bed. But this, this was too much.  Their bedroom has a dark, gothic feel to it anyway, but now, you can’t see under the bed at all!  It totally freaked me out!  You have no idea what might be hiding under the bed waiting to grab your foot while you’re sleeping!  Mummy?  Vampire?  Crazed Murderer?  Werewolf?  Zombie?  Alien?  You have no idea!  Any one of them could be under the bed and you would be totally unaware!

I told Ed and the boys about this.  I described the fear with which one might be jolted when said unknown creature grabbed their sleeping foot and pulled them under the bed and started eating their organs.  I even demonstrated the scream which might slip from their mouths.

They all looked at me like I was crazy.

“Where do you get this stuff?” asked Logan.  (He can be a cynical little monster some times.)

“Dude,”  I said, “You don’t understand!  Oma made me watch all of the scary movies when I was your age.  She wouldn’t let me go to sleep.  She made me watch every single scary movie ever made just because she didn’t want to watch them by herself.  She said she was preparing me for a potential attack.  I mean really, if a poltergeist was going to target just one person, it would be her and not me.  The point is, I know all about these kinds of things and you always leave the space under the bed within clear sight so you can see any monsters under the bed!  It should be a law!”

“Mom,  you’re weird,” said Trip.

“I don’t want to watch any more movies with you, Mom,” said Logan.

I think Ed just rolled his eyes at my histrionics.

I might have seen a zombie hand pushing the louvered door out of its way.