All Posts By

Jen

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do Events How Did We Survive? Things that piss me off WTF?

This Is Us and that Damn Crock-Pot

January 26, 2018
This is Us and that Damn Crock-Pot

First of all — Spoilers!!! If you haven’t seen or heard about This is Us and that Damn Crock-Pot yet then just move on to another post. You might want to try my Reuben Balls Recipe, it’s pretty awesome and you don’t need a Crock-Pot to make. 

If you’re like most people and you’ve seen the most recent episode of This Is Us, then you’ve already thrown out your Crock-Pot and maybe even your Instant Pot. That’s what (mostly) women around the United States have been doing since it was revealed that it was a faulty Crock-Pot that started the fire that probably kills dad Jack, though we won’t know for sure until after the Super Bowl when it will finally be revealed – for sure this time.

I have to admit, when I saw the show last Tuesday night my first reaction was that sales of Crock-Pots were gonna tank. I even posted that thought on Facebook, and even got a little heat for revealing the ending. I don’t think I did, but people get pretty upset about such things so who knows. 

Anyway, I don’t think the folks at NBC put a lot of thought into the Crock-Pot plot twist. Clearly they did not anticipate that women all over the country would be afraid to use these time saving devices.

Crock-Pot has even had to make a statement ensuring that their devices are safe to use.

Of course, it is safe to use. The trick is to unplug the damn thing when you’re finished with it. 

Listen, I am the first person to blow this sort of thing way out of proportion. After my son was born I was sure the house was going to catch on fire or blow up. I wasn’t sure how but I made sure to check that the coffee maker was off and unplugged along with every other appliance in the kitchen and made regular trips to the basement to see if I could smell gas. I could, and even had the plumbing and heating folks come out to check it. Hey, I can’t help it if my nose is more sensitive than their gas detecting equipment. 

Thankfully my ex and I got a divorce and I could move out of that ticking time bomb that is still standing as beautifully as ever. Also, thankfully, I had my thyroid tested and got my medication adjusted so I am not nearly as obsessed with these things anymore.

Anyway, I get wanting to throw out the Crock-Pot, but here’s the thing… It’s fiction. It was also at least 17 years old. Who uses any kitchen appliance for 17 years? No one, they had their kitchen remodeled and yet they still used a used Crock-Pot that they knew had a faulty switch?

See, I don’t buy that. Rebecca, the mom, who is just as high strung as any mom I have met would have never allowed something like a broken Crock-Pot into her house with three infants. It just wouldn’t happen.

And what kind of neighbors give a mom-to-be a broken Crock-Pot? Horrible neighbors, that’s who.

Also, Rebecca just left it on in the kitchen and went to bed. Not only that, she left the mess from the Super Bowl party down there. Mom’s don’t do that unless they’ve been shooting some heroin or drank a box of wine. Moms, especially the moms like Rebecca, clean up the kitchen before going to bed. It’s scientifically impossible for her to go to bed with a mess downstairs.

And then Jack cleaned it up. I know there are men who do stuff like that, I just haven’t ever met one. Of course, they had to have Jack do the clean up so he could leave the Crock-Pot plugged in. Because – Rebecca wouldn’t have left the damn thing plugged in.

I have a love/hate relationship with this show, so many elements are just wrong. Or, maybe I just can’t relate to them, I don’t know. Even when the characters are horribly broken, life is still pretty good for them. I’ve started that posts numerous times, but frankly the show is so beloved, I don’t want to be shunned for not towing the line. So, I’ve kept my mouth shut. This might be the proverbial straw – not unlike the TWD episode where Glenn ended up under a dumpster for a few weeks.

I don’t know if I will watch the episode after the Super-Bowl. Not because I am worried about it being a gut punch or getting my heart broken. I’ve known since last season that Jack dies, it was just a matter of when and how. Frankly, I’d like them to just move on. 

Jack is fine, but he’s just a guy. And a dead guy at that.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, don’t throw out your Crock-Pots, they are perfectly safe. Just turn them off and unplug them when you aren’t in the house. 

Seriously, does anyone actually fire up the Crock-Pot and leave for work? There’s no way I’d ever do that, even before seeing This Is Us. 

 

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do Kids Minnesota Pets Things that piss me off WTF?

There’s a Mouse in my Car!!!!

January 24, 2018
There's a mouse in my car

There’s a mouse in my car!!! WTF!?!?!? I haven’t actually seen the mouse, but I can hear it and it’s terrifying. A few months ago I was driving my daughter to school because the bus never came. As we were getting on the practice freeway (35E for those of you who aren’t from the Twin Cities, but for those of you coming here for the Super Bowl, it’s a stretch of highway that nearly wasn’t built back in the early 70s because neighbors didn’t want the noise in their backyard. Because the freeway was closed for most of my childhood, we sled down what is now 35E. If finally opened once the state or whoever makes these decisions compromised with the neighborhood and reduced the speed to 45 mph and why it is called the Practice Freeway. 

Anyway, we were getting on the freeway, on the entrance ramp, when a mouse suddenly appeared on the windshield of the car. It was on the outside of the car, thankfully, but it still scared the crap out of me and my daughter. It quickly crawled back into where it came from when it noticed the trees and other outside things zipping by at speeds more than 45mph. 

While I did not want it to die I also did not want it in my car and hoped it would fall off or get blown off or would get the hell out of my car when we parked.

I haven’t seen or thought of that little guy since that day. 

Until this past Saturday. 

There’s a Mouse in my Car!!!!

I got in the car to go to the gym and heard some rustling in the glove compartment area. I hadn’t yet started the car so it wasn’t the radio or something in the air vent (like a piece of paper that got sucked into it – it’s happened). 

It’s a critter. There is no rhyme or reason to the rustling so I don’t think it’s the car making the noise. It’s something alive.

I have not actually seen the mouse, but because I can hear it I am sure it is going to appear at any moment – like the one that appeared on my windshield – and scare the bejeebus out of me. Because I can hear the rustling in the glove compartment area I am sure the critter is inside the car this time.

I like driving. In fact, I love it. Driving is the only time I get to be truly alone and can rock out or think depending on my mood. Driving is my me time and something I look forward to. 

Until now. Now it sucks. Now all I think about is how this little animal is going to cause my death and probably a bunch of other people’s deaths too. I imagine it will crawl up my pant leg causing me to freak the fuck out and drive into oncoming traffic. If it can’t get up my pant leg, because now I’m tucking my jeans into my boots, it will crawl up the back of my seat and into my hair. I imagine it will grab onto my cheek for some reason and stay there until I can swat it away. Of course, I won’t be able to until it has scratched out my eye. 

Now when I drive all I do is think about the ways this tiny little animal is going to kill me. What used to be a relaxing and enjoyable activity has now become an anxiety-filled excursion.

Even worse, I can’t tell my daughter. The damn thing is somewhere near her seat so if I tell her she will never get back in the car again. So far she has not heard the rustling and I’m really hoping the damn thing will leave before she figures it out. 

I know this mouse is a metaphor for my life. It’s this small thing that I have blown way out of proportion and yet I don’t know how to reign it back in. How does one get a small rodent out of their vehicle? I’ve considered vacuuming it but I’d have to locate it first and I don’t want to feel around the dark parts of my car so I can get bit or scratched. 

I really don’t want to have rabies shots in my stomach for weeks on end.

(Is that a real thing or like the bubble gum myth of childhood?)

I’ve thought about putting the cat in the car and letting her do her thing but I still have to drive and I don’t know how long it will take for her do the job. I don’t even know if she is a mouser. Dini was the mouser in the family and she passed away last summer.

Also, what is the mouse living on? There’s been a broken Cheez-it on the floor for months now, I would think it has to eat and what would be better than a floor Cheez-it? Can it come and go for water? There are several half empty bottles of water in the car but none show any signs of being unscrewed. If he is getting the water out of the bottle he’s screwing the cap back on. 

Can I put D-Con in the car? That seems like a bad idea, though I am not sure why. Should I just get a new car? 

What the hell should I do? How do I get this thing out of my car?!?!?!?

 

 

Food Recipes Things I Really Like Winter

Baked Reuben Dip

January 21, 2018
Baked Reuben Dip

I’ve been making this Baked Reuben Dip for ever. I got the original recipe from my ex brother in law some 25 years ago. Originally the recipe called for sliced Buddig roast beef, and it was fine. However, I have found that using roast beef from the deli makes for a much better dip.

The original recipe, at least as I learned it, was for the Crock Pot, one of those mini ones. And again, it’s great, but it takes forever and keeping it warm for hours at a time makes a nasty mess. Baking it in the oven creates a better dip that is more appealing.

This is one of those recipes that has an awful lot of wiggle room. It has three main ingredients – cheese, meat and sauerkraut – in equal parts that can be adjusted based on how much you need. In my house my son wolfs it down before anyone else can get to it so I usually make a lot.

I’m using weight as a measurement but you can use volume too. This would translate to about a cup of each ingredient.

Baked Reuben Dip

Baked Reuben Dip

8 oz roast beef – sliced and chopped

8 oz Swiss cheese – grated

8 oz sauerkraut – drained and chopped

1/4 – 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing

In a mixing bowl mix together all ingredients. Use more or less of the Thousand Island dressing depending on how “dippy” you want it to be. Place in oven safe casserole dish and bake in a 350°F oven for 35 minutes or until bubbly and beautiful.

Serve with Gardetto’s rye chips or those little pumpernickel breads you see in the bakery section of your grocery store. I prefer the rye chips because they’re the perfect size, but Ritz crackers or melba toast works well too. 

If you have any leftovers it can be used for making Reuben Balls or simple spread on a toasted baguette for a quick and simple Reuben sandwich. 

Enjoy

Food Recipes Things I Really Like

The Best Reuben Balls Recipe

January 21, 2018
the best reuben balls recipe

This is the best Rueben Balls recipe you will find, and these are the best balls you will ever put in your mouth. 

Not hyperbole.

Recently I made Baked Reuben Dip as part of a Vikings Game Day Appetizer series (Go Vikes and Skol!!) and had half a jar of sauerkraut leftover. Because no one eats just sauerkraut I wanted to do something to use it up instead of letting it die a slow death at the back of the fridge. 

After doing a very quick Google search looking for appetizer recipes with sauerkraut, it dawned on me that there isn’t a lot you can do with sauerkraut, especially in an appetizer. 

However, it would seem that shaping sauerkraut into a ball and deep frying it is a thing. All of the recipes I saw used ham or sausage for their sauerkraut balls, that sounded kinda disgusting to me so I decided to try my hand at a Reuben Ball. Because really, that’s the only way I like to eat sauerkraut.

I don’t deep fry. Not because of the calories or that it’s bad for you, but because I don’t want to burn the house down. 

I do however, bake shit that tastes better fried.

I have a feeling that these Reuben Balls, the best balls you’ll ever put in your mouth, might be even better if they were deep fried. But, I’ll never know because of my fear of frying.

The best Reuben balls recipe

The Best Reuben Balls Recipe

(the best balls you’ll put in your mouth)

1 package (7 oz) sliced roast beef – chopped

1 1/2 cups sauerkraut – drained and chopped

1 cup grated Jarlsberg cheese (Swiss would work well too, this is just what I had on hand)

2 green onions – chopped (include the greens)

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup crushed Gardetto’s Special Request Roasted Garlic Rye Chips

1/2 cup Gardetto’s Special Request Roasted Garlic Rye Chips

 

It’s important to drain your sauerkraut as much as possible. You can put them in a strainer and push with a spoon to get the water out. After that I pressed them into paper towel to get the rest of the water out. Crush the rye chips by placing them in a zip loc bag and rolling with a rolling pin or place them in a bowl and use a cup or drinking glass to crush them. Use a food processor or Magic Bullet to process the other 1/2 cup of rye chips to roll your balls in.

Mix roast beef, cheese, sauerkraut, onion, crushed rye chips and egg together in a bowl until well incorporated. Shape mixture into golf ball size balls and roll in the processed rye chips until covered. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. No need to grease.

Bake in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with Thousand Island dressing, it makes a perfect dip for these tasty balls.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do Food How Did We Survive? Minnesota Recipes Things I Really Like

I Made This – Pizza and Wine!

January 16, 2018

I can’t believe I made this – pizza and wine! And by ‘made this’, I mean I made everything in this image by myself and from scratch.

I made the wine and I made the pizza.

I made the dough – I let it rise, punched it down and shaped it into pizza crust.  I made the sauce, from tomatoes I canned last summer and I chopped the veggies and cooked the sausage. I put it all together and cooked it in my oven. 

I made the wine. I fermented the grape juice (I did not grow, crush or stomp on the grapes, but I did research their origin for the style and taste I was looking for). I cleared and stabilized the wine and I bottled it all by myself. 

FYI, my wine has a fraction of the sulfites and no added sugars or preservatives than store-bought wine – so it’s much healthier.

It took about 4 months for the wine (most of that is aging), and 2 hours for the pizza (most of that is waiting for the dough to rise). 

So why did I do this?

Good question. I did this because I — wondered what would happen if — I made a meal completely from scratch (ok, maybe not 100% completely, but close), and I was tired of frozen pizza, take out and eating stuff filled with preservatives and all the other stuff.

Plus, since I have been making wine – which is all about the yeast – I thought why not make some pizza. I used to have a fear of making anything with yeast, but since I’ve been making my own wine, beer, cider, root beer and even kombucha, I figured it was a silly fear.

In fact, it turns out I have many fears about cooking. 

Each fall I can many of the veggies from my garden. Usually tomatoes, beans, carrots etc. I follow the directions for canning and I store everything in a cool, dark basement, and yet when I open a jar of pickles, tomato sauce or dilly beans I wonder if I’ll get botulism. 

I suspect I am not the only one with this fear.

I Made This – Pizza and Wine!

Pizza crust:

4 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 package yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

1.5 cups water at 110°

Mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer is easiest but a hand mixer will work. You can also use a food processor, but I don’t have one and don’t really know what settings to use. I suspect there are some directions that come with it.

Slowly add the water and oil to the dry mixture and mix until it is all incorporated. Remove from the mixing bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl and cover. Place in a warm area and rise until doubled, about an hour. 

After dough has risen cut into quarters and let rest for at least 10 minutes. 

Shape on cookie sheet or pizza stone and add your toppings.

I Made This Pizza and Wine

Pizza Sauce:

I used my own canned tomato sauce with garlic, basil, oregano and onions, but you can use tomato paste, water and add herbs to taste. Canned tomato sauce will also work. I threw in an extra can of diced tomatoes because I didn’t have any crushed tomatoes. I added about 2 tablespoons of sugar to the tomato sauce to cut the acid taste and then I boiled it down to thicken it up.

Toppings:

Thinly sliced green pepper, sliced black olives, sliced mushrooms, sliced red onions, mozzarella cheese. 

Cook in a 425° oven for 10-12 minutes. 

Enjoy!

So I made this pizza and wine, because it turns out the stuff I make is much better than the same stuff from a box or the freezer.

What have you made?

 

 

Blogging Huh Minnesota Minnesota Nice People Things I Really Like Winter WTF?

#SKOL

January 15, 2018
#skol

Skol!

That was a helluva game last night. It looked like a typical Minnesota Vikings end of season. They held a 17 point lead agains the Saints for most of the game and then they didn’t. There were seconds left on the clock, no way they could win, but they did.

I don’t need to recap the game, you probably saw it when it happened and if you didn’t, you’ve seen it a hundred times by now.

I’m not even a sports fan, let alone a football fan, but it was…. amazing. 

It’s difficult not to get swept up in the excitement, but we’ve been here before, many times, and … sigh…. we know how this is likely to end. And we know better. And yet…

This season, and especially last night’s win, reminds me of when I am stuck on a level in Candy Crush. I’m not going to purchase any boosters and some of the levels are simply unwinnable without boosters. Eventually the game realizes you aren’t going to pony up any cash and lets you win because who knows, you might in the next really level. 

According to Berg’s Fourth Law of Media/Sports Inversion – A Minnesota sports team may be a contender until the moment the local media actually believes they will be contenders. At that moment – be it spring training, late November in the NFL season, or week 72 of the NHL playoffs – the season will fall irredeemably apart.

It goes for more than just the media, when the folks start believing, I mean REALLY believing, that’s when it will inevitably fall apart.

We’re a group of people who thrive on the negative, as explained here in Howard Mohr’s How to Talk Minnesotan: The Power of the Negative

Certainly, we’ve been doing this since before the Vikings joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960, but it has served us through the incredible, heartbreaking, frustration and excruciating losses we’ve witnessed in the last 58 years.

I gave up on the Vikings, like I usually do, in the preseason when they lost to the Seahawks. In fact, I declared I was going to make the Seahawks my team going forward. I did this – not because I am a Seahawks fan, but because I was doing my part to ensure the Vikings started winning.

I watched two games in the regular season, both times they lost. In fact, I remember hoping they would lose. Again, doing my part to help them win. When I stopped watching, they started winning. I haven’t seen a game since and even last night’s game I didn’t actually watch until I though they were going to lose and then it was my job, as a Minnesotan, to endure the loss – live.

I have a friend who is not a Minnesotan, he’s from Florida of all places, but has made his home here for several decades. As the Vikes racked up more and more wins he started speculating about the Vikings in the Superbowl, numerous times. Each time I had to remind him that he was going to jinx the whole thing if he didn’t knock it off. I think he thought I was joking, I was not. I’m hoping the fact he is a Floridian will appease the football gods, but for all I know we’re going all the way to lose because someone, who isn’t from here, speculated too soon in the season.

Like all Minnesotans, and some people from Wisconsin, I’ve been let down by the Minnesota Vikings for as long as I can remember. And I do remember. I remember exactly where I was when they lost in ’74, ’75 and ’77. I was roller skating (because there’s not much else for a pre-teen to do in MN in the winter months. I take that back, there is, but we didn’t ski either) and the disappointment was palpable when they lost the Superbowl each time.

I do not come from a sportsminded family. My father would have sooner have bathed the dog after being sprayed by a skunk than take my brother and me to a football game, or any sports game for that matter. I do not understand football terminology or know anything about offense or defense. I just know that the Vikings will make it to the very precipice and then lose in such spectacular fashion – sort of like the Saints lost last night – and once again crush our dreams.

That the Superbowl is in Minnesota just makes it even worse. 

Of course, the reality is that this is just too good to be true. They shouldn’t have won last night, it just isn’t what they do. I really don’t know what I am supposed to do for the next week. I’m in unchartered territory and it terrifies me. 

I won’t say it, but there is a part of me that is beginning to believe that this might be our Candy Crush.

Of course it won’t be, the Vikings will lose next Sunday, and all will be right with the world.

 

Blogging Contests Dumb Shit I Do Minnesota

Vikings Playoff Giveaway

January 13, 2018
Vikings Playoff Giveaway

*Update – Since no one even guessed, and there is no way anyone could have guessed the outcome of the Saints vs Vikings game, we’re gonna do it again….

Just for shits and giggles I’m doing a Vikings Playoff Giveaway. If you can predict, guess or speculate the score of next Sunday’s game against the Eagles, you will win some cool Vikings memorabilia.

I’m not trying to jinx it, I won’t speculate on who I think will win, though historically this is where the Vikings start to fold, but I am hopeful. What would be more awesome than the Vikes in the Super Bowl in their own stadium? Although, I understand they would not be the home team if this happens. Anyway, it’s too exciting not to do something in honor of the great season both teams have had (but especially the Vikes!!).

I’m gonna have two winners, whoever gets closest to the score has their choice of either this cool as shit beer glass or this retro Purple People Eater t-shirt. The glass is offical NFL Merchandise, but I peeled the sticker off. If that’s a problem let me know and I’ll get one with the stick on it. The t-shirt is upcycled from Ragstock so not official NFL, but still cool as shit (not sure why it looks blue in one photo and purple in the other. It is purple).

Vikings playoff giveaway

Vikings Playoff Giveaway

Here’s what you gotta do to win:

Follow me on Facebook

Follow the official Redhead Ranting page on Facebook

Sign up for my newsletter (don’t worry, I haven’t actually sent out a newsletter in years and If I do you can unsubscribe, though I think there’s an auto response when you sign up. I’m not really sure anymore….). You can fill out the form on the right sidebar over there –> –>

You can, but don’t have to, follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (I’m not particulary active on any of those platforms but need to up my numbers so it’d be doing me a solid but that seems like a lot of work for a t-shirt or a beer glass). 

Leave your prediction for the game in the comment section. The two closest guess will win and whoever is closer to the final score gets their choice of prize. 

Good luck to all, and especially good luck to the Minnesota Vikings!

Skol!

 

SaveSave

Blogging Food Recipes Things I Really Like Winter

Instant Pot Pea Soup with Lentils in 9 minutes

January 11, 2018
Instant Pot Pea Soup with Lentils in 9 minutes

Here’s another quick and easy recipe for your new pressure cooker – Instant Pot Pea Soup with Lentils in 9 minutes. Yep, 9 minutes to make a hearty, protein rich soup that would normally take an hour or so on the stove top.

Nothing brings back warm memories than pea soup. Growing up we had this for dinner at least once a month during the winter months. In Minnesota that’s half the year. My brother and I hated pea soup – probably because of the name and the way it looked. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I actually started liking it. It was probably no surprise that I liked it at that point because I am a better cook than my mother.

I make pea soup every year after Christmas. I usually have so much ham leftover I can also make my Instant Pot Ham and Wild Rice Soup (I really need to get an additional Instant Pot for that much leftovers. 

If you didn’t get an Instant Pot for Christmas you can get one here, this is the one I have – Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker – but they’re all great. It’s so much more than a pressure cooker. It is also a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker and warmer. I’m pretty sure it can walk the dog.

This Instant Pot Pea Soup with Lentils in 9 minutes recipe is super simple, super easy, and super forgiving. If you don’t like some of the ingredients, just eliminate them or put something else in. 

Instant Pot Pea Soup with Lentils in 9 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag split peas rinsed – any color
  • 1 bag lentils rinsed
  • 1 onion
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 cups diced ham
  • 8 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tobasco or Melinda’s Hot Pepper Sauce to taste (Optional)
  • Sour Cream for garnish

Putting it all together:

I start with a mirepoix (diced veggies – usually carrots, onions and celery) and toss it in the Instant Pot and hit the sauté setting for about 3-4 minutes. I just want to sweat the veggies a little. 

mirepoix

Rinse peas and lentils until the water runs clear. I never used to do this, I figured it had been rinsed at the plant, but I’ve found it makes a superior soup if you rinse the dried peas.  From there I throw in both bags of peas and lentils and pour in the water and secure the cover.

Use the manual setting and set for 9 minutes on high pressure. Make sure the pressure valve is in the closed position. It takes my instant pot 15 mintues or so to pressurize and seal and then start cooking. 

(Apparently, I forgot to take anymore pictures of the process…duh)

Do a slow release of pressure – basically don’t open the valve. When it’s depressurized open the lid and stir your soup. 

This is when I add the diced ham. I used to just throw it all in the pot and cook the hell out of the ham and that was a mistake. The ham has been cooked so all you need to do is warm it up. And it will warm up enough in the hot soup. 

Serve in bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream. Don’t skip the sour cream, it adds an amazing flavor to the soup and makes it even creamier. 

Instant Pot Pea Soup with Lentils in 9 minutes

Tips:

After the soup has cooled enough I usually freeze 2/3rds of it in individual servings. I freeze them in Ziploc bags because they’re easy to store in the Freezer but you can use plastic containers too. Whatever works. 

My daughter does not like pea soup so it usually takes me a year to finish this huge batch. Be sure to mark your container with the name and date. I play hard and fast with sell by dates and use by dates, but you’ll still want to know what it is and when you froze it. 

SaveSave

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do Ex Husbands Ex#1 Ex#2 Minnesota Nice People Send Jen on a Vacation Things that piss me off Winter

When the Bough Breaks

January 11, 2018
when the bough breaks

Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop

Who the hell puts their baby, along with the cradle, in a fucking tree?

They don’t. It’s a metaphor. For mother (or father, primary caregiver – just so I don’t offend anyone reading this who isn’t a mother, but who is the primary caregiver – hey, we’re all, metaphorically, in this together, right?).

Did you see what I just did there?  I just fucking apologized to someone who might or might not be offended that I assumed the nursery rhyme was about mom and not dad. 

That’s how overwhelmed I am.

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock

I am breaking. 

I am a single mom, I am always in a state of overwhelm, but lately I have not been able to get any respite.

Between trying to chase down an IEP for my daughter who was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and Anxiety; fighting my ex husband in court, via text message and through his porn-star named attorney (I am sure she is nice and probably a decent attorney, but she really should consider changing her name); and work full time… I just don’t have any energy left.

My house is a shambles. I have laundry in the washing machine (not the dryer, but the washing machine) from before Christmas, and there’s some weird shit growing in my fridge. 

I cannot keep all the balls in the air right now.

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall

I know I am not the only single mom who doesn’t have any support. In fact, it is so common we should form a club and make t-shirts. The problem is, we’re all too overwhelmed to meet up.

I suspect that’s a big part of what is wrong with society right now. Aside from the explosion in single people raising little people, we’re also really disconnected. Sure, we communicate with one another on social media, but that’s usually just so we can flaunt our moral superiority. It rarely is about lifting anyone up or offering sincere support – though I am sure it happens, it doesn’t happen enough. 

We’re disconnected from family. At least I am. There was a wedding in my extended family not too long ago. I’d been hearing about the preparation for the last year so I knew it was coming up and expected to be invited. I was not. I was informed “we really didn’t think you’d want to go.” How considerate. No, I’d never want to connect with family I haven’t seen in a few years. I really enjoy not going out and seeing people. I much prefer to stay home. Of course, god knows I have plenty to do at home (see above) so maybe it really was a blessing that I wasn’t invited. I’m not even sure I would have wanted, but I am sure I would have liked to be invited. 

And down will come baby, cradle and all

I’ll get over this, I will get my footing back and I will get my shit together. I will get the IEP, I will get the school to accomodate my daughter and I will manage the next four years of dealing with the ex somehow. I do. I always do. And, I’ll do it alone.

Actually, I am not alone, I do have support, it just comes from the oddest and most unexpected places. My first ex husband’s wife has been wonderful. She always has been. I recently connected with a high school classmate, through Facebook, and he helped fix my leaky drain. He was most gracious, happy to help. It was not like it was some horrible chore to him (like it was when I used to ask my brother for help) and that was wonderfully refreshing and fucking weird at the same time. 

There is no point to this, I just needed to vent. So, thanks for listening.

Blogging Kids Reviews Things I Really Like

My Review of Paddington 2

January 10, 2018
My review of paddington 2

My review of Paddington 2

Ha! I’m a poet and don’t even know it! Oh yeah!!

I was invited to a free screening of Paddington 2 for review, however the views are my own. 

One of the best parts of blogging is that sometimes you get to see a great movie. And sometimes you get to see several. The weekend we saw Paddington 2 we also went to pre-screenings of Ferdinand and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I was also invited to The Greatest Showman, and really wanted to see it, but I couldn’t do one more movie in such a short period of time. Also the smell of popcorn was no longer appealing at that point.

My Review of Paddington 2

I wasn’t sure about Paddington 2. I missed the first one and barely remember the books. Also, I’m not a huge fan of live action mixed with CGI so my expectations weren’t that high. My daughter and her friend however, were super excited to see it. 

They were right to be. It was wonderful. From the moment the movie started to the final credits, we were all captivated and even a little choked up. 

Paddington 2 is the story of Paddington who lives with the Brown’s in London. Paddington loves the Browns, but misses his Aunt Lucy and decides since she can’t visit London, he will send her a pop-up picture book of London he found in his friend’s second-hand store. Of course, there’s more to the pop-up book than meets the eye and it is eventually stolen. Paddington enlists the help of his friends and new family in getting it back from the thief. 

It’s a heckuva ride!

This is a movie the whole family will love. I don’t care if you’ve got older teens (my daughter and her friend are both 14), college students or 30 somethings, this is a wonderful movie everyone will love. It’s too bad it wasn’t released before the holiday break because this would have been a perfect movie to see. 

Of all the movies we saw that weekend, hands down Paddington 2 was the favorite. In fact, the kids are looking forward to seeing it again when it is released.

For fun, check out the Paddington website.

 

 

Events People politics

Should Oprah Run for President?

January 8, 2018
Should Oprah Run for President

Last night, after a rousing speech at the Golden Globes, everyone was like should Oprah run for president? Last night the answer was an enthusiastic YES! with fists pumped high in the air. Hell, last night, after that speech, I would have voted for her. In fact it reminded me of a speech given at the DNC years ago from a first year sentator….

It was an amazing speech, but I’m not so sure Oprah should run for president.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure she could win. She has more name recognition than even Donald Trump, and I think she has more money than he does. 

But do we really want another celebrity with absolutely no political experience in the White House? 

I love Oprah, who doesn’t? She’s an amazing woman who worked her ass off against some great odds to be one of the most influential people of all time. I’ve never met her, but she seems genuine and I would bet she’s never bragged about grabbing anyone by the pussy. She does amazing things for people all around the globe and is someone little girls and boys can look up to. I can’t think of a negative thing to say about Oprah.

But that doesn’t mean she should be President of the United States. 

At least not yet. Have her go the way of Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono or Shirley Temple or even Al Franken, Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Let her run for more local office first and then she can try her hand at President. While I believe she would be much more willing to and able to reach across the aisle than any of our recent presidents, it would be helpful if she had some experience at a more local level. 

The thing is, Oprah does more good doing the things Oprah does than she could ever do as president. Washington is awash in gridlock and red tape. I suppose she could buy a car for everyone to entice them to get to work, but that could get spendy. Even for Oprah.

It’s still early, there’s plenty of time for democrats to find a viable candidate to run against Trump. Let’s not be hasty and throw the first celebrity with name recognition and money in the ring. The election is too important.