Category Archives: Wine

Resolutions … Fuhgeddaboudit!

Happy New Year!

Know this, all evidence of our holiday was eviscerated from our living quarters and banished to the arctic chill of the attic as of December 27 th.  This is not shocking when one is wed to a supremely organized human and his order taking minnion, The Firstborn.  The rest of us try to avoid them at all cost during “Christmas clean-up”and can be found hiding in the laundry room snacking on stale mini saltines whilst perusing www.loveandknuckles.com.

Due to this unexpected gift of extra time, what did I accomplish during the last few days of break?  I have been ferociously brainstorming a 2015 New Year’s Resolution List.  The irony of the fact that it is January 4 th is not lost.  In my mind, as New Year’s Day fell on a Thursday, the annexed weekend simply does not count as the new year. A fresh 2015 begins for me Monday morning, January 8 th.  That was 4 BONUS days to imbibe on my bad habits.

If you can’t be bothered to generate one or are simply too busy, I am here for you.  As a courtesy to my readers, I have banged out a few resolutions for you that are guarenteed to ensure a happy 2015.

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8.  Do less housework! Why fold laundry and do dishes when you could be reading a trashy celeb mag or getting your nails done? Rally the children. Why else did you create them?  Pretend it’s 1940’s in rural Idaho where a child’s purpose was do do farm work.  Culturally, we are way too soft on this generation of offspring.  Gather up your toilet brushes and get your kids a’ scrubbin’. 

7.  Be disorganized. Studies show that sloppy people have creative, sparkly minds that shouldn’t be supressed.

6.  Eat very fatty meat.  There are so many toxins in pesticides these days, you are probably doing more harm to yourself eating blackberries and kale.  Organic pig product on the other hand, while full of artery clogging fats, is tasty and full of protein.

5.  Mental Well being!  No complaining about snow, ice and other treacherous weather.  Better living through chemistry- go get a happy pill script and a monthly tanning bed package.   

4.  Stop doing hard excercise classes.  It’s silly, really. Alternatively, because you must take advantage of your gym’s free babysitting, jump on the treadmill for a nice leasurely walk. Don’t go too fast, you need to be able to safely access your social media so you can see pictures of all the parties you weren’t invited to last holiday season.

3. Sleep more! If you just train your oldest child how to use the microwave to make organic pig products for breakfast and leave the milk in the easiest accessable shelf on your fridge, you could sleep in at least an extra 45 minutes every morning.

2.  Be present!  Stop nagging/yelling at kids.  Instead, perfect the pulverizing above rear elbow pinch when they behave badly.  They will be paralyzed and if you are swift, no one else will notice your ninja pinch move.

1.  Stop drinking wine!  It’s much, much too caloric.  But, by all means, don’t stop drinking.  Rum on the rocks or with diet coke is a healthy alternative. Don’t forget gluten free vodka, because we all know if it doesn’t have gluten, it is automatically healthy. 

Godspeed, friends!

Let’s Celebrate Like It’s 1621

Last week, My Husband’s oldest sister sent an email announcing that she and her husband were flying in from Texas for Thanksgiving and would be hosting at my in-laws house. Very kind of her, as my Mother-in-Law will be undergoing surgery 9, yes NINE days prior to Thanksgiving.  For the record, I adore my sister-in-law and her husband.  As an educator and experienced mother, she is a vat of advice when it comes to my own children.  However, I felt it only fair that in turn, I prepare her for what will be expected of her on Thanksgiving day. I have spent the last 12 years hosting and dining with my in-laws, so I feel a little like the family guru here.  Yes, yes, very presumptuous of me to give a woman advice when it comes to her own parents, but it is necessary in this case.  A little back story on my sister-in-law…If there was a trophy for health nut, she’d win it. A vegan who wakes up at 4 am EVERY SINGLE DAY to excercise before heading to school.  She is also perhaps the most perpetually cheerful person I have ever met.  So really, she is unlike any of the rest of us who share in her former last name.

The Title of my Email:  “You may decide to have a cocktail after you read this… I know it’s been 30 years, but THANKSGIVING IS UPON US!”

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Dearest Sister-in-Law,

I think it’s best I make a list of your parents’ peccadilloes concerning Thanksgiving. After the first Thanksgiving I hosted (and subsequently cried myself to sleep on the cold tiles of my bathroom floor), I have learned MANY, MANY lessons that will behoove you later this month.

I really look forward to spending Thanksgiving with you all, but know in advance that the thought of being under your Mother’s watch, in her kitchen, 9 days post-op, already has me in hives. I don’t resort to drinking at breakfast often, but know that the Bailey’s will be free flowing into my Dunkin Turbo on the morning of the 27th. This is my official disclaimer.

PLACE SETTINGS

Seeing that I only have Fiestaware and your Grandmother Lily’s unacceptable Franciscan dinnerware, Your Mother will insist on breaking out her VERY fancy china and silver. (Pls note, my children are not allowed to eat off of such finery. She keeps Mickey Mouse plasticware plates in her pantry. They also are only allowed to drink out of sippy cups at her house.  Yes, I know The Oldest is 9.) All napkins and placemats must be linen and pressed.  Starched, really, if you must know.  She prefers the Niagra Spray Starch, which is only sold at the larger Grocery stores. I have placemats and napkins, but they are only from Pier One. I suspect Your Mother will want to use her own. A kid table will have to be set up- far, far away from the grownups. Maybe outside. Yes, I will be at the kid table.

BEVERAGES

Your Mother likes Bogle Petite Syrah, Your Father prefers Reisling or Alsace with his turkey dinner. All must be chilled. She will want to drink out of her Wedgewood etched crystal goblets. I have extras she gave me as a birthday present one year.

MAIN COURSE

The most sensitive part of the meal. As Your Brother and I still consider ourselves Sort-Of-Southern, we love fried turkey. Shockingly, Your Mother does not. We fry a turkey every year, and yet, an additional “normal” turkey must be baked in the oven. Recall that 1st Thanksgiving with your family that I mentioned that almost had me in therapy? I had purchased some fancy turkey spices from Williams-Sonoma. Your Mother almost assaulted me snatching it out of my hands and forbidding me to put it on her turkey. She only seasons turkey  with salt and pepper and Hungarian paprika.  Pure Hungarian paprika, that is.  No paprika extract acceptable. No Giant/Acme/Wegman’s store brand will work.  The turkey MUST be fresh, too. She will know if it is purchased frozen and thawed. Trust me, we tried this in 2004.

SIDES

Mashed Potatoes- They must be NORMAL. Specifically, the potatoes must be Russet! (Remind me to tell you a Thanksgiving story circa 2007 in Tallahassee, Florida where we had YUKON GOLD mashed potatoes. With cream. Cream! Can you imagine?  No, you can’t and you can’t imagine Your Mother’s reaction.  I believe it was her first potato-less Thanksgiving dinner, ever.)  The milk must be whole!  And room temperature! The butter must be plentiful and salted!

Stuffing- It, too, must be NORMAL. Luckily, My Mother’s recipe is nearly identical to Your Mother’s, so she will always eat my stuffing. Addtionally, I use Sunbeam white bread- in all it’s refined flour, gluten glory. I know, I know. Can you believe supermarkets still sell this crap?

Sweet Potatoes- Turns out, only Your Father and I eat sweet potatoes. As I mentioned, I used to spend hours cooking, peeling, mashing these delights to create my own casserole. I found one loophole- your Dad doesn’t know the difference between my homeade sweet potatoes and the ones I order from Fresh Market. I just add my custom crumble topping. Caveat- too much is a no-no, and marshmallows are VERBOTTEN.

Green Things- Your Father requires cole slaw or green beans.  Last year, I made a fun slaw salad with tangy dressing and cranberries and almost got kicked out of my own house.

Corn- I have a lovely corn souffle recipe I aquired during my time as a Georgian.  I don’t recall if anyone eats it but me. I am usually so dejected by this point of the meal, I can’t remember.

CARBOHYDRATES

The family to which I was born has made crescent rolls from the aluminum tube since their inception in the 80’s. This and gelatinized Cranberry sauce from a can are the only requirements my people (the children) will have. Whew.

Your Father really, really likes cornbread. I have a great recipe that I mix in whipped cottage cheese making the muffins moist. He loves this, but CANNOT KNOW ABOUT THE COTTAGE CHEESE. The container must be wrapped in plastic bags and taken to the trash before any unnormal contamination is detected.

DESSERT

Your Father likes Pumpkin Pie. He is the only person who will eat it, but it must be served. He likes it with homeade whipped cream, as well, pls note Reddi Whip is not acceptable.  Don’t even think about Cool Whip.

In 2006, I made a scrumptious apple pie using shredded apples and toasted, finely chopped walnuts. I still dream about it. It was divine. Your Mother hated it.

XOXO!
Can’t wait to see you!

Dear Fellow Elementary School Parents Who Attended This Evening’s “Spirit Night”,

YOU’RE WELCOME!  Yes, you have my family to thank for the unanticipated but surely welcomed closing of the “playroom” area tonight of the restaurant where our elementary school’s “Spirit Night” took place.

I should have known this was going to be a precarious evening. It had all of the trimmings of a typical day of disaster in my life.  Which occurs 5 out of the 7 days of the week.

1.  The Husband is in another state.  (Of note:  Sometimes, even if he is not with us, but the children know he is within a 5 mile radius, they will sense his chi and behave just knowing he could spontaneously show up.)

2.  I’d been running around since the 8:55 AM busstop shoo-off, my car was full of sand from the park, The Nosy Meap never took a nap, and I hadn’t eaten since 12:15 PM.  Translation: I was in a fairly pissy mood.

3.  Due to my overscheduling, The Eldest had choir practice simultaneously with The Middle’s lacrosse practice, which I happened to be “coaching” (translation:  preventing 6 year old boys from beating each other with lacrosse sticks), which pushed us way passed our bedtime and had us arriving at the “Spirit Night” restaurant at….wait for it…7:15 PM.  (This is usually when showertime occurs in our home.)

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After I spent $26.57 for fastfood (the boys have outappetized kid’s meals), and watched my children shovel bites of fried chicken parts down their gullets, before sprinting into the overflowing “playroom” to act like Tanzanian chimpanzees on a hostile takeover of a rival troupe, I decide to go chit-chat on the other side of the restaurant with my friends.  (Of note:  The Nosy Meap had no business being in the “playroom”, you know the one designed for 3 year olds, therefore, I had her in a half-nelson on my hip trying to constrain her from breaking free and joining in on the mayhem.)

During my trivial banter discussing the fact that aforementioned child continued to refuse to use the potty,which is one of my biggest parental failures of note, my ears started to twitch. I heard a low grumble, as my motherly intuition picked up the pitch a voice that shares my DNA.  And shout-down-the-lane began as The Town Crier (The Eldest) declares to the entire restaurant, “MY BROTHER JUST THREW UP ON THE PLAYGROUND”.  Thinking The Middle has projectile vomited and was withering on the crusty floor of the “playroom” in despair, I tossed my daughter to my friend, Natalie, and sprinted across the restaurant, only to find my son wrestling with a fellow wild boy friend with not a care in the world.  “Did you throw up?” asked Concerned Mother.  “Huh?  I burped and the chicken I didn’t swallow in my mouth came out”, said Middle Child as he continued to play, laugh and be crazy.  Hmph.

Yet, I hear this voice booming and echoing throughout the restaurant, “MY BROTHER THREW UP! MY BROTHER THREW UP!”  Ah, family loyalty at it’s best.  Literally, My Sweet, Sensitive Eldest Boy was telling everyone in the restaurant that his brother threw up as if it gave him instant street cred.  For real.  Children started to swarm around him as if he was Savonarola decrying Florentinian artwork.  I wanted to thwap him on the head.

As you can imagine, this evening continued into its spiraling plunge.  The Middle’s extraordinarily curious Kindergarten friends started to hear that he threw up and next thing  you know, Management has shut down the playground and children are seeking him out to confirm such a …newsworthy event.  I am accosted by kids, parents, Management!  Translation: time to go, little family. Time.To.Go.

Therefore, I think it’s time to thank me that you had to endure just an abbreviated evening of headaches.  Most of you looked excited when the “Playroom Closed For Cleaning” sign popped up. You had your excuse to flee and be  in the comfort of your own homes…

Love ‘N Stuff,

The Concerned Mother Enjoying an Tasty Glass of Van Duzzer

 

The Open Letter Forum

The time has come.  I feel an Open Letter Forum is upon us.  It is said, therefore it is written, hence, we commence a series of Open Letters.

A few samples on the platter include the following:

An Open Letter …

*  … to My Offspring, Apologies That I Pillaged Your Easter Baskets (again),

*  … to the CEO of UBER,

* … to the (alledged) Swingers (gasp!) of My Small Town,

* … Tiger Parents,

* … My Fellow Just Average Brethren,

* … Any Future Potential Employers,

* … The Hot Dads,

* … God, G-d, The Gods, Buddha, The Prophet, Etc., *

* …. My Future Daughters-In-Law,

* … Facebook Posters in Need of an Etiquette Class,

* … Drivers of Large Expensive Vehicles with Stick People, Organizational Activities, and Orthodontist Magnets Attached,

* … People Who Give Me Dirty Looks at the Grocery Store,

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Many of these letters have been inspired by recent text messages, GNO discussions, FB private messages, frantic and frequent phone calls and clandestine conversations in the preschool parking lot.  If you have an idea for an Open Letter, please message me.  You will remain anonymous, if you so choose.

*  This letter will have a sub-series of letters

Help! Getting Less LOVE and More KNUCKLES Over Here…

Dear Kate,

Listen up, we need to talk.  Although I adore your blog, http://loveandknuckles.com, it’s starting to put me in some sticky social situations.  So, Kate, I figured if I put this in public forum, it would help some of my other friends understand celebrities and “the industry”.

Firstly, we must tell them about “us’.  If our readers don’t know of our long distance and widely technologic girlfriendship, they will now.  Middle School friends, we hadn’t seen each other since the late ’80’s when we were reunited by…Facebook, naturally. Now, although we are oceans apart (er, rather states), nary a day goes by where we aren’t blowing up one of our electronic devices with human observations, media commentary and general life grievances.

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I need you to explain to some of my circles about celebrities and that the majority of them aren’t actually real people.  Never mind the huge text fight I got into with 3 of my college roomates about the allegations that all may not be on the up-and-up in a certain famous singer and his mostly B list actress wife’s household.  What is more pressing?  Last night at an Oscar party I was attending, I started spouting out some juicy celebrity trivia and got the stinkeye and a lot of raised eyebrows.

The wine (and champagne…ouch…) was flowing, the Oscar’s were on, ladies were jabbering away.  When I commented on a few of the men and suggested that they may not entirely like women…GASPS were sharp and echoing.  Denial!  Anger!  How could it be???? I just meekly reference you, but they weren’t convinced.  Even my friend Kathleen (you are really starting to get a West Chester following) had my back, but our words fell on deaf ears.

Help me, Kate. I am about to lose friends…

Love’N’Stuff,

G.

P.S. Everyone wants to know who is genuinely nice and whose marriage is for real.


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