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December 2011

November 2011

Teaching Kids About The Roles of Men and Women

UnknownThe Boy works as a tutor and as a kindergarten assistant. The week before Thanksgiving he was reading some stories to his class. Usually he has time to check out the books before hand, but on this day he  simply launched into a holiday-themed story. He was reading out loud when he came to this: "The women are in the kitchen and the men are watching football." Sigh.

He did some quick editing - I think he read it as, "Some people are in the kitchen, and others are watching football." Another teacher at the school, also male, read it as, "The men are in the kitchen and the women are watching football." The times, they are a changin', because a.) there are guys teaching in elementary school, and b.) they are sensitive to recognize blantant sexism when they see it. But why are books like this still coming out? 

The Turkey/Family Ratio

ImagesWhen I told The Boy that I was consulting the chart to figure out how big a turkey to buy for Thanksgiving, he revealed just how well he knew me. "May I assume," he asked, "that you are pretending that there are two additional adults attending Thanksgiving, that you want leftovers and that we are heavy eaters?" Bingo. The Butterball chart allows you to account for your eating habits and desires for leftovers, and I only felt a little guilty using their site, given that I actually buy my turkey at Mrs. Green's health food store.

But the point is, I purchased a 20 lb turkey to feed 10 adults and one baby, who it must be admitted, has not even started on solid food yet. And as of this morning, all that is left of the turkey is what's in the soup I made yesterday.

When The Weatherman pulled the bird out of the oven Thursday (it was too heavy for me) I was happy as could be. We had four generations here - my parents, my kids, my sister and her husband, my neice and her husband and Baby Amelia. The turkey weighed 3 pounds more than Amelia.

But slowly people - and the turkey - started to depart. By Sunday lunch it was down to turkey enchiladas and just The Weatherman, The Boy, My Daughter, one of her best friends, and me. By Sunday dinner it was just The Weatherman and Me, and the soup. It is very good soup. But it is a very quiet house again. Less than a month til Christmas though. 



ImagesMy Thanksgiving menu involves three days of cooking. Yesterday, I prepared the cranberry/orange relish, the creamed spinach and the sweet potato casserole. (I should really be arrested for attempted manslaughter on that last dish, which includes maple syrup, heavy cream and a stick of butter. The potatoes are more of an after thought.) Today's agenda includes baking the pies, a carmelized onion dish, prep work on the white mashed potatoes, prep work (but not cooking) the stuffing, and setting the table. I will put on my apron, get my iTunes going in the kitchen and proceed with confidence. I know how to do this and I know it will be good.

But I am stymied about picking a website design for the book. I've asked a few friends/family and they all have different preferences. I change my mind everytime I look at the options. The designer has given me 5 designs for the homepage and 4 for the links. Why does this seem so much more complicated than preparing Thanksgiving dinner?! Here is one option for the homepage:

Eye-catching and compelling, or too much orange? It all makes preparing gravy seems so simple.


Air_New_Zealand_plane_makes_emergency_landing-topImageYesterday I found my cell phone inside my eyeglasses case. This, I hope, is not a sign of early dementia but simply a reflection of my travel schedule over the last week.

The Weatherman and I got back from our AMAZING trip to New Zealand. The travel went as smoothy as possible but it was still 31 hours door-to-door. We were home for about 48 hours and then flew to Florida for the wedding of the daughter of dear friends. We were there for less than 24 hours and got back yesterday. 

It's a perfect week to celebrate Thanksgiving, because I am so thankful to have been able to go on such an incredible trip, to share in the happiness of our friends, and to have family gathering at my house on Thursday. That said, I hope no one finds the roast turkey stuffed with creamed spinach or mashed potatoes in the pumpkin pie. 

More news brewing with the book - website design, magazine excerpts - but I still think I need another day to mentally regroup before making any work-related decisions. Meanwhile here is a small sample of the beauty of New Zealand. This is Akaroa, about an hour and a half outside of Christchurch.

11:5 Akaroa goregous


Silver LaneChecking out for two weeks, as I am going on a major trip with The Weatherman. Meanwhile packing in a freezing house by flashlight, since we STILL don't have power.The Con Ed guys who sit by the fallen tree (see photo) tell me they are there for "site security." They don't cut the tree or fix the lines; they just stand guard. (What are they guarding? The tree? The wires? It must be a liability issue - making sure some yahoo doesn't touch a live wire.)

Anyway, I don't care for flying, but at least the plane will have heat and warmth. Bye and see you when I get back.


Unknown-1Still no power. House is freezing. Phones are out. Must now throw away everything in freezer and refrigerator. We are still staying with friends.

Tomorrow the Weatherman and I are leaving for a big trip and just hoping we get power restored before we go. By now I can no longer remember what appliances were on when the power went off.

SO aware of my reliance on all things that need charging - computer, iPad, landline phone, cell phone. That's not to mention refrigerator, freezer and furnace. 

Since Sunday there have been two Con Ed guys sitting in their cars next to biggest the fallen tree that took down the wires. No trucks, no action, but 24 hour monitoring. What are they doing?