Did you know that in addition to being a low-sodium foodie, I also play CUPID to people from around the globe? It’s true! Sort of like Santa but with a far smaller suit, I spread my love of LOVE worldwide, thanks to the wonders of technology.
I don’t know about you, but I for one enjoy the easy life. Someone else cooking my food, cleaning up after me, picking my teeth. So next to my birthday week, and Christmas, I like Mother’s Day weekend the BEST.
Friday night kicked off the festivities w/ a hot date featuring my husband.
After sushi for two @ our favorite place, we hit Ye Olde Booksellers. I got a great new book called Farewell, My Subaru. A tale about a guy who gives up his material existence to live off the land in New Mexico. Never mind he’s a pampered urbanite with zero farm experience. I was sold when I read he’d gotten goats off of Craigslist.
Given the number of pets we have, this shouldn’t come as a major surprise, but we’ve also gotten animals off of Craigslist. Our former 3rd-hand macaw, and our little wonder bird *Kiwi*. Now normally I’m not one to toot my own bird, but since we’re on the subject. Toot-toot. it sure is hard to imagine life w/out Kiwi. I would have to go back to grooming myself, changing clothes just once a day, and having friends. YES, She’s become so attached to me, in fact, that I may have to take a restraining order out on her. She has of late begun trying to drive all others away from me. For instance, when someone comes over to talk (and by someone I mean ANYONE, including humans, human-esque forms, animals – even toys and telephones), she begins to chirp in a jealous fashion. If I do not respond, she becomes slightly more agitated, to the point where she starts to lunge at said person (or animal – or phone), trying to bite them and send them packing. I have had boyfriends who were not so attentive. Or insane.
ANYWAY. Saturday my husband – who is just so smart! brought down the big plastic log cabin that was up in our attic playroom and reassembled it outside for our daughters – as well as the rest of the kids on the block. It looks like this:
Except that ours is now taking up most of our front porch, and those are NOT my kids. But they do look like they are having a grand old time, and they would not be the only ones. The ladies were having the BEST TIME EVERRRRR this weekend playing in that thing. And who can blame them?! If I were a kid, I can’t imagine anything better than my very own plastic log cabin!!
So Saturday evening my husband dragged the girls away from the cabin to take us all to the Borgata buffet for a pre-momma’s day feast. We got there just after 5 PM and let me tell you, that is the BEST TIME TO GO. There was no line, no waiting, nothing but food glorious food and meeeee eating it alllllll. After dinner, I did NOT play my secret luckiest winniest machine ever, mostly b/c someone else was using it and they did NOT appear to be winning anything. Instead I went the next aisle over and played a brand new machine called S’mores. And it was DELiCIOUSLY addictive. Yes, I blew $40 away on the machine quick-as-a-wink, and wanted to go back and spend more. B/c THAT is the kind of food-obsessed moron I am. Oh well. It was fun while the flavor lasted. After the Borgata, we went to the beach, and it was as magical as ever even though it was windy and cold. Ahhhh. Nothing like it.
Yesterday, Momma’s Day, was lovely. My older daughter lost her second tooth in TWO DAYS. I kid you not. We were all giddy about it. She also got her brand new violin restrung, and practically slept w/ it she was so happy. Later in the day we went shopping, and even though I have decided that bathing suit shopping is as close to hell as I care to get, I even found a new swimsuit! It is WAY CUTE with the prettiest pattern. I usually hate most bathing suits b/c they are made of hideously ugly fabric, things you wouldn’t dare dress in EVER. Not to mention the fact that most of them make you feel like an over-stuffed sausage sticking out of a waaaay too small casing. But this one is soooooo sweet. YAY. Yes, I know I have half a dozen bikinis that my husband begs me to wear, but all I want is a cute 1-pc that holds my ample chest in place so I can run around in the surf & build sandcastles w/ my kids w/out worrying that my breastesssessss are popping out unbeknownst to me and some old duffer is getting an eyeballfull. which has happened before. This suit is great b/c it is SO CUTE and fun, but highly practical. My idea of perfection.
So last night we returned home for supper before the BIG SURVIVOR SEASON FINALLEE!! 3 HOURS OF SURVIVOR FUNNNN!!! Which brings me to the funniest story. Last night as I was inside getting dinner together (YES I KNOW I WAS COOKING DINNER ON MY VERY OWN MOTHER’S DAY BUT WAIT TILL YOU HEAR THE REST OF MY STORY). SO, I was inside, and the next thing I know my husband comes in the house w/ the biggest smirk on his face. He goes YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED. And he starts just cracking up. Well it turns out, our little neighbor across the street isn’t quite *up to speed* yet w/ regard to potty training. So she’s out there playing with all the kids, hanging out inside the cabin, when SNIFF**SNIFF** my older daughter’s like “Who FARTED??” The cabin apparently goes silent. The kids are all looking around at each other, waiting for someone to fess up. My daughter asks the littlest neighbor, “Did you fart?” To which the little one responds, “No fart, POOP.” My daughter looks down and sees that the kid has POOP all over her leg – AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Thus prompting a MASS EXODUS from the cabin. All the kids spill out onto the sidewalk. So on the cement, my husband discovers this one lone turd. Just sitting there. right outside the cabin door. Our friend across the street happened to come across just then, with a plastic bag in her pocket. No kidding. Craziest thing ever. Can you imagine just walking down the street and PLOP a big crap falls out of your shorts! BOY I hope that’s not me some day.
So how was your Valentine’s Day?? I have to say, I am feeling a little depressed this morn. It inevitably happens after a big holiday – I get sooooo EXCITED and then it comes and then it is gone. Way too fast. This feeling probably hits most people following Christmas – I know my mom gets it pretty bad, the blues, the doldrums, but for me, it’s Valentine’s Day. Oh well. I hope everyone had a terrific time yesterday. And I hope many of you got the Valentine’s cards on time. I have been thinking about that a lot. It was a relief knowing at least one arrived safely – Thanks Hayden. Really hope that tongue thing worked out for you.
WELL since I’ve been harping on Valentine’s Day Lo these many weeks, I thought you’d all enjoy hearing a bit about what I actually did.. SO HERE GOES.
My Official V-DAY Preparations began weeks ago (yeah, I CAN SEE you eye-rollers out there) with an initial trip to Target. They have those $1 bins of holiday-themed stuff in the front of the store, and for Valentine’s Day there were lots of frogs & chihuahuas. Neither of which makes me think of love, but were very cute nonetheless. So I got Post-it notes with the frog prince & socks with chihuahua cupids. Valentine’s Day candy. Gift bags. Headbands. All adorable. They seem to stock these $1 bins with the sort of stuff you will eventually use, so you don’t feel too guilty buying it. Because it’s only a DOLLAR after all. But it always makes me wonder – all this stuff coming from China that costs $1 and looks a whole lot better than $1, I wonder how much the person who manufactured it actually earned. Even a cent? How the hell could they possibly pay a living wage to the people making this and sell it so damn cheap? And then I feel guilty. TERRIBLY guilty. and I try not to think more on that b/c I l have filled my cart. And I know that I suck as I wheel it to the checkout. And as I place those bullseye bags in my trunk I feel an ache deep in my soul which begs to be held. Like that man who earned just 17 cents for the whole lot of it.
MAN. I feel really depressed now. And It’s only 9AM. Too early for wine. I have to go raid my kids chocolates. I’ll be back in a minute…
Okay. SO weeks ago I saw this stuff and even though it was early, like the first or second week of January, I thought WOW.this stuff is super cute and so cheap! I have to stock up. I will stash it away for the ladies for Valentine’s Day. And so I did, I got a whole bunch of stuff, and even though my younger daughter was with me, I knew she would forget. It must be fun being 4.
So I got cards and candy and a bunch of other heart-themed merchandise and when I got home I hid it. Several weeks later, I was at Target again, and I noticed how picked over everything was. They still had some stuff, but no where NEAR the selection they’d had just after Christmas. This is the reason why you need to buy early, to get the good pickins. So seeing the picked over less-good pickins reminded me of what I’d already bought. Unfortunately, sometimes I forget, like when we went to Atlanta for the holidays, and Christmas morning we’re opening presents and I realized that the Vince Guaraldi CD we’d gotten my dad was actually at home in the closet. Then I had to mail it with his birthday presents a couple weeks later, and I felt a little silly b/c it was a Christmas album.
Anyway, I remembered I’d already bought a bunch of stuff, and was very happy (even though now thinking about it I am way sad and don’t think I will ever buy anything from those $1 bins – or the dollar store, come to think of it, ever EVER again. and that poor man, he is probably supporting his extended family of 15 on that cruel unfair salary, living in a waterless thatched hut next to the town garbage dump. While those stupid corporate execs at Target are living in fat plush mansions, with gold-lined toilets, drinking espressos and eating $400 steaks. Those rat bastards. And that poor man. That poor, poor man……BOY……I am so depressed. I need more chocolate. Be right back.)
SO I AM truly crazy about Valentine’s Day!!!! I have no idea why I am this way, but it’s like Christmas & Easter excitement to me, all mashed together and sprinkly with a heaping helping of hearts. I know I am a truly hopeless romantic.
My day started out like any other Valentine’s Day should – in bed next to my main squeeze. Unfortunately both of the kids were there too, having woken us @ 6 AM jumping up and down yelling HAPPY VALENTINES (YO!). When I finally extracted myself from warm covers & their grasping paws, I enjoyed a nice breakfast. And on Valentine’s Day, even my cereal says “ROMANCE”.
The remainder of the morning was consumed orchestrating my SURPRISE V-Day treat for said main squeeze. I had a covert operation going with 2 of his coworkers, little did he know.. So after stops at SEVEN (count em SEVEN) different stores, I had everything I needed. I had already gotten the rest of the things from another 3 stores in the weeks before. Including Target. SIGH……………………….. [Reaching for the chocolates.]
SO WHAT DID I TAKE HIM??! I know you are all wondering, particularly in light of all the wonderful & marvelous suggestions I’d already offered on my great big list of creative, thoughtful & CHEAP Valentine’s ideas. WELL, I made him two gift bags. In one I assembled an array of presents, and in the other I brought him a special gourmet lunch. But the gift-giving didn’t stop there. Oh no. For the past 2 weeks I have been working on a little covert operation of my own, code name: heart pillows. You see, after wracking my brains for days and days, trying to think of how to out-do my past V-Day extravaganzas, I decided I was going to make each of my three beloveds a pillow. But not just any pillow. I was going to make themed pillows of love, dedicated to each of them exclusively. I initally thought I would make square pillows, emblazoned with each of their portraits, cut out of fabric or felt and stitched on. But when I got to IKEA (that magical store I had decided to purchase pillow fixins from), I spied the most perfectly PERFECT & enchanting pillows ever. Big fat soft red hearts with crazy arms sticking out each side. WOW. I KNEW these were IT. So I bought three – and at JUST $9.99 each, a super cheap bargain. I will not think about how they got such a super cheap bargain right now b/c I have already had to let my pants out from all the chocolates. I feel confident that IKEA paid those pillow seamstresses a just wage and they are all living in penthouses or at least apartments with clean running water. So I am not thinking of that anymore – nah-nah-nah-nah-nah I can’t hear you bad thoughts..Now I will describe what I did to these pillows.
SO I went to the craft store and bought an array of multi-colored felt and fleece sheets, some shiny embroidery thread, and several beaded felt hearts. I brought all of this home, and then periodically, over the course of the next couple weeks, when no one was looking, I would break all of it out, put on heavy rock music and start sewing. It was hard to do – not only b/c it was very labor-intensive work, but b/c my time is consumed so many other ways. Blogging, cooking, photographing, wiping up bird poo, mothering, cleaning. Plus I like to read and drink wine and watch TV. Sometimes I even shower and get dressed and leave the house. So I am usually pretty darn busy – so making these fabulous pillows took quite a bit of doing. BUT I DID IT! And here’s how they turned out:
ANd everybody LOVED them!! And they were so SURPRISED!! I am so glad they didn’t look under the bed, b/c that’s where I’d been hiding everything during the ‘making of’ process. I had to stow them in one of those huge blue IKEA bags, but they didn’t quite fit:
That doesn’t look too good.
ANYWAY, last night we enjoyed an absolutely decadent meal of crab legs, shrimp, and bread from Metropolitan bakery. Then we drank champagne, (the kids had Boylans sodas – a real treat for them b/c we don’t usually drink soda) and we all ate the chocolate chip cheesecake I’d made earlier in the day. And even though I really am NOT a fan of cheesecake I have to say it was AMAZING and I could have eaten the whole thing myself. I was feeling a bit of a pig. But I cut myself off after two pieces. So we all watched Survivor – our family favorite! Then put the kids to bed and we decided to watch Lost. What a mistake. Is it just me or does anyone else feel that Lost has become an hour-long tease, sandwiched between the most irritating and/or offensive and/or downright fool stupid commercials? I am tired of the whole drawn out process of watching this show unfold. I like long & drawn out but where is the damn black smoke and the polar bears and the crazy ass forest whispers? I don’t give a crap about Benjamin Linus. Ooooohhh scary. This show – I feel like they’re just making it up each week as they go along, trying to keep us in the dark. It is very annoying. PLUS those horrible commercials. I feel like I am being pummeled by a pharmaceutical pusher – I don’t HAVE ALLLERGIES – and then when they busted out “Viva Viagra” I nearly turned the set off. Have you heard of TOO MUCH INFORMATION? Listen, if you can’t maintain erection and have to take a pill, fine. But when they have to warn you in the commercial that “You must see a doctor to see if your heart is strong enough for sexual activity” I am thinking maybe you as a 69 year old man shouldn’t be dating a lusty 25 year old. Seriously. No offense but she’s your granddaughter for pete’s sake. Talk about putting a dampener on my own libido. SIGH…… [Reaching for chocolates].