Once upon a time….

Do not ask questions of fairy tales”  Jewish Proverb

The other day I went shopping to find a multiple ball, acrylic display case for the growing collection of baseballs my oldest son keeps on the shelf in his room.  We need a new way to display the balls, because if any roll on the floor, then Crazy Lacey gets it, and her new favorite toy will be the Manny Ramirez autographed baseball…that I personally chased Manny Ramirez down to get.  I had no luck with the display case, but there was this cool, distressed wood sign that said, “It’s never too late for Happily Ever After.”  I stood there for a second imagining what happily ever after might be like.  Happily ever after happens in fairy tales…right? 

Okay, so happily ever after…  There was another sign at the store that said…”Once in a while right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”  So, here was another piece of the puzzle…a sign suggesting that “love” will provide us that fairy tale…hmmmmmm.  Love is a beautiful, wonderful, amazing thing…the thing that fairy tales are made from, so maybe that is our key to happily ever after…or is it?  I can not tell you how many times I have sobbed, somewhat uncontrollably when some cartoon princess falls in love with her cartoon prince, and they live happily ever after…while their cartoon dwarfs, cartoon wildlife animals, or cartoon everyday household items happily sing in the background.   So is love what creates our happily ever after?

And if it is love, love of what…someone else, something else, ourselves…chocolate????  Oh, does it really matter….  If you were to ask me to describe myself, I’ll tell you that I am a blissfully ignorant person.  Things haven’t always gone my way…life hasn’t always been perfect, but honestly, I refuse to give up on my happily ever after.   Will love be a part of it…absolutely.  Not like the love of another person necessarily…because quite honestly, when my happily ever after is contingent upon another person, then I’m kinda screwed.  But, it’s kinda like this...”You don’t have to go looking for love when it’s where you come from.”  ~Werner Erhard.  And that’s pretty much it…live a life of Love.

So, if you don’t have to look for love, if it is where you are, and if love makes your fairy tale, and happily ever after happens in fairy tales, then I guess I have my happily ever after…and I’ll be honest…it’s not a bad gig. 

And with that I say, “Pardon me while I enjoy my happily ever after…”

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The Power in a Pair of Shoes

“God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.”  ~J.M. Barrie,
Courage, 1922

Every year my kids go away for a couple of weeks with their dad…and every year I take advantage of that time to clean around the house.  The annual purge is not a  particularly a happy time…there are a few days there where I feel like I am one of the people being profiled on, “Hoarding, Buried Alive,” because the reality is, before you can reconstruct, you got to deconstruct.      But happily the final result is this… and this….   If you want to know how long these closets will stay this clean…well, that’s a question I just can’t answer…not sure if anyone can.  If you take into account that they’re boys, and then add in the fact that they’re boys…I would guess one week, possibly two…but at least I  know that at one time they were clean and that makes me happy.

Now as much as dread the annual cleaning, I always feel so accomplished when I’m done.  And then there are those unexpected surprises.  I’m not talking about the things the kids have hidden in there, although I’m sure those things will start popping up soon.  But as I was going through Little Bit’s room I came across his first pair of real shoes.    Please understand, I am not a sentimental person…there are very few things that I save, but I have kept both of my boys’ first pair of shoes.  When I pulled the shoes out of the box, I was overwhelmed with memories.  I got this image of my precious little baby, and remembered why the toes of the shoes were so worn… he was such a wild man baby.  He had the most precious orange glow to his head for months after he was born.  The orange glow eventually turned into big ginger curls, but it took a while.  So many strangers would walk up to Little Bit in the grocery store, restaurants, everywhere, and rub his little red head for luck… I was afraid he was never going to grow any hair.  It was so refreshing, in the midst of the mundane task of cleaning out closets, to be able to take a momentary stroll down memory lane.  I put the shoes back in the box, put them in the memory box with the few other pieces of sentimental memorabilia that I keep, and went back to cleaning out the rest of the closet….pulling out the shoes that he most recently outgrew and putting them in a bag of things to be given away.   It’s not as if there aren’t memories attached to the newer shoes…there are always going to be memories attached to everything my guys touch…but not like that first pair of shoes.  So…as much as a hate the annual purge…I love the perks…it almost makes me look forward to next year…almost, but not quite.


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Please sir, can I have some more?????

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.  ~G.K.

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”  I used to eat to live.  I mean, I was one of those people who didn’t really get a whole lot of pleasure out of food…it was just something I did in order to sustain myself.  My food didn’t need to be fancy…it just needed to be food.  Boy have times have changed.  Actually, my food still doesn’t have to be fancy….but cheesy, gooey, rich and chocolate sure does help. 

I was brought up eating healthy, and for the most part, my kids have embraced healthy eating habits…which means they don’t eat french fries.  Now, although I was brought up eating healthy, I do eat french fries.  Therefore it breaks my heart when the server ask my kids what side they want with their entrée and they say apple sauce.   Please understand…it doesn’t break my heart that they made a healthy choice…it breaks my heart because that means there are no left over french fries for me…and that makes me sad.  You might say, well, go ahead and order your own french fries…I’m not going to do that…I’m on a diet!

Okay, let’s discuss queso.  Thick, cheesy queso with rotel, without rotel, with chorizo, without chorizo…does it matter?  As long as it’s warm, rich and very cheesy…that’s all that matters.  Happily my oldest has recently discovered queso, and happily he knows when he’s had enough…which means more for me.  Unhappily, the last thing I need to do is be eating leftover queso.  I’ll be honest, I’m not proud…I’ll keep eating even when it starts to get cold, and that film forms on the top of the cheese…believe me when I say I’m a trooper.

Now the reality is…I’m not getting younger…okay, the reality is I’m getting older…and that queso sticks around for a while.  And the french fries aren’t going anywhere either.  I am weak…oh so weak.  But, I guess if G-d didn’t intend for us to eat queso, he wouldn’t have invented cheese, or milk, or cows, or tortilla chips…….

And with that I say….”Who’s up for some Mexican food????”


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If I were Queen

All I Ask Is That You Treat Me No Differently Than You Would The Queen

I love watching the show, Say Yes to the Dress.  I love seeing all the happy brides-to-be try on all those lovely dresses, and some times I actually get a little teary-eyed.  When I got married I had the honor of wearing my mother’s beautiful gown that she had worn many years before.  It had beautiful beading and a long full skirt…I looked just like a princess.  20591699.thmOnly problem is, I’ve never been much of a princess kind of girl…I never dressed up like a princess as a child, and I never pictured my prince coming along to save me.  21950949  To be totally honest…just between you and me…I always wanted to skip the whole princess thing and just be Queen.  Princesses, of course, are more beautiful and youthful…but when the Queen says “Jump,” you say “How high” or off with your head.      20471035.thm

And as Queen, here are a few of the things I would insist on:

  • No more clam shell, blown-plastic packaging.  There is nothing I hate more than to buy something at the store, get into the car and I can’t get the damn package open.  I always end up with cuts on my hands and a bad attitude by the time I finally get the package open. I’ve never really understood the logic of this package….maybe it is so we can have a feeling of celebration once we get to the item inside;
  • No more unripe fruit in fruit bowls and fruit cups.  If the fruit is not ready, don’t put it in the cup;
  • Give me what I ordered at the drive-thru window.  I don’t want to find out after I have driven away that you didn’t give me what I ordered…if you give me an extra hamburger…well that’s okay,  but don’t forget my french fries after I have had the kids crawling around on the floor in the back of the car finding enough nickels, dimes, pennies and quarters to pay for those fries; and lastly…    
  • I know it’s only 11 items, but if you are in the express lane that say 10 items only, that means 10 items or less.  ‘Cause as soon as you let someone by with 11, then it becomes 12, and then 13 and before you know it, it’s 20….you know, the slippery slope?  Now if you have 15 cans of liver flavored cat food, and 5 items of something else…well that’s debatable.  And I can promise you, if you think you are being stealth about that 11th or 12th item…the people behind you, they know…they can count too and they know.

And that is what I, Queen Kara, proclaim.

And with that I say, “Off with your head.”  How fun would that be!!!

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You would think…

“Nowadays, manners are easy and life is hard.”

You would think as we get older we become more dignified…and maybe some people do, but I haven’t noticed that with me.  I am still good with my “please’s” and “thank you’s,” and I think my respect for others has only increased, but I’m turning into one of these popcorn picking, teeth picking, adjusting while walking down the street kind of ladies….let me explain. 

Although I still feel a little foolish getting home and realizing the medium sticker on my new shirt has been firmly affixed across my left breast the whole time I have been out in public…random wardrobe malfunctions don’t elicit the embarrassment they once did….probably don’t elicit the same reaction they once did either.  And if I  have an itch or require readjustment as I walk down the street I am no longer going to wait to find the nearest restroom.   21364786.thb   I’m going to take care of the problem, ignore any random stares and move on.

Same thing when eating popcorn or chips, or any potentially renegade food.  The other day I was eating popcorn and a stray piece fell down the front of my shirt.  Without giving it a thought, I reached down the front of my shirt, pulled out the offending piece of popcorn, stuck it in my mouth, and continued on before I stopped to see if anyone was looking at me.  There was a time when, Oh my G-d, I would never have considered doing anything so pedistrian…much less pick my lunch out of my teeth…which I don’t make a habit of, but when the need is there it gets done.  I remember seeing an older woman doing this one time and cringing, and thinking…”Oh that must be an old lady thing.”  Well guess what…I’ve joined the club. 

Do I think my manners have gotten that much worse as I have aged or that I don’t care as much anymore…to an extent, yes, but again, let me explain.  As I have gotten older my priorities have changed a bit.  With raising kids, helping care for older parents, doing my best at my job, and trying to makes sure the bills get paid, the last thing I’m concerned about is what someone is going to think about a quick little itch or a popcorn  retrieval.   Do I not care about what other people think….of course I do…hopefully I will never forget my please’s or thank you’s…but if I stranger happens to be looking while I happen to be scratching…well, c’est la vie.

And with that I say….”Ahhhhhhh, that feels so much better.”

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August 6, 2012 · 5:20 am

Scattered pictures…

“Sometimes I do get to places just when G-d’s ready for somebody to click the shutter.”…Ansel Adams

Now that I have started this blog I have taken to carrying my camera with me everywhere I go so that I can snap photos of things that I find odd, unusual, or potentially blog worthy.  One thing imparticular that I had thought about was a sign that had been posted in the ground floor bathrooms of the building that I work in.  It was a sign directing users of the facilities where to “poop.”  Now being that we are a building of government employees, I guess they figured the guidance would be helpful and save us a lot of valuable time and energy.  Unfortunately when I got there I found that the signs had been removed.  Maybe they figured that after the initial posting we caught on…we’re smart like that.

Sadly, I was not able to document that classic sign, so instead I will post one of my all time favorite photographs.   Now I know this will never be one of those, iconic photographs, like Nat Fein’s Pulitzer Prize winning picture of the Babe having his number retired at Yankee stadium, “The Babe Bows Out”but to me, it’s still priceless.  This is,  “The day the ex-husband turned into Sponge Bob Square Pants.”

Disclaimer…no ex-husbands were harmed (physically, mentally or emotionally) in the making of this picture…(voice over…”I am Ex-husband and I approve this message”...he really does.)

“F is for friends that do stuff together U is for you and me N is for anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea!!”


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“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the
kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of
cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”

Laurie Colwin

A while ago Little Bit went on a cruise with his grandparents.  When he got home I asked him what he ate on the cruise, and he told me that every morning for breakfast he would eat a hard-boiled egg.  “Oh, you like hard-boiled eggs…well I can start making those for you.” I said.   “Uh……mom, I don’t think I want to eat your hard-boiled eggs.”  Okay, I carried this child for nine months, took care of him when he was a baby, sat with him while he got his finger stitched up….and he doesn’t trust me to boil an egg?!?!  I mean this child won’t even eat the ketchup that comes out of my refrigerator.  Seriously, I am so tired of hearing, “Mom, what’s the expiration date on that?” …which I will admit, is a legitimate question around our house.  Guess that’s why my foodie friends always tell me to bring a bottle of wine to any gathering involving food.

It’s not that I’m a really bad cook, and it’s certainly not that I don’t want to cook…it’s just that I find cooking intimidating.  I see all the beautiful, well written blogs on food, with wonderful recipes, lovely pictures and well written descriptions, and I am so impressed with the creativity and artistry of these bloggers.  And these blogs desperately make me want to cook.  One of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning is to go to the Farmer’s Market and try to figure out what people might do with all the amazing and strange-looking organic vegetables and grass-fed meats..but if I attempted anything like a cooking blog I’m afraid it would look like this……

or maybe this.

So, if you are looking for a blog with wonderful dinner ideas and beautiful pictures about all I can promise is recommendations to the local drive-thrus and random photos of hot joggers.

And with that I say…Bon Apetite!

P.S.  After reading my latest post my mother called to say that no where in this blog was she mentioned…so I would just like to say that my mother is a wonderful cook, although she long ago packed up her apron and spatula, and it is through no fault of her’s that my cooking is, shall we say, less than adequate …she did her best…she really did.

And with that I will say…”Wait Kara, you do know how to cut up a tomato, don’t you?” …mom.


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