Monday, July 28, 2008

25 Days, 18

Josh buys me a calendar every year for Christmas. One of those big picture ones that hangs on the wall. I don't know how or why he started this little tradition, but I really love it. I keep them on a hook in the pantry & jot down what we've done and what we're doing.

This year, a few days after the New Year, I went through each page and wrote down small goals for me and for us. Nothing major, just things like: plan a weekend trip, try three new recipes, have a party in the backyard with lanterns, visit the library (I used to never borrow from the library, but after noticing that my bookshelves had become crammed with books I disliked or couldn't even bother to finish I decided that enough was enough. We've been library regulars for three months and it's been a revelation.)

Anyway, July's big goal was to make gazpacho. When I wrote the goal I had planned to have vines full of ripe tomatoes growing in the back yard, but I never actually got around to planting them. So Sunday morning we headed out to the farmers market for supplies. Heirloom tomatoes, a huge and misshapen cucumber. Some orange bell peppers no bigger than Dash's fist. Onions, parsley, good cheese bread for dipping plus some grapes and peaches just for kicks.

This is the gazpacho I made and it is the best I've ever tasted. Fresh and chunky and crisp. Just the right mix of tart and sweet, cold and hearty. I highly recommend you give it a shot.

Mom's Gazpacho (with my notes)


1 egg (I used 2)
2 cups chopped fresh plum tomatoes (I used about six tomatoes, ranging in size from a giant heirloom to egg-sized plums)
1/2 cup chopped green or yellow pepper (I used three small orange peppers)
1 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed (I used one whole 12-inch cuc)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2/3 cup olive oil (I used all 2/3 cup, but I'll use about half as much next time)
Juice of 1/2 lemon (I used the juice of three lemons because Dash was helping and he became enamored with the lemon press)
2 cups beef broth (optional) (I used veggie stock)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I omitted)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
Pepper, coarsely ground
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used three)
1 46-ounce can tomato juice
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
Tabasco, to taste (I omitted because I live with the delusion that Dash will eat the foods I prepare for him. I bet it would have been an extra-tasty addition)

Garnish (optional): chopped parsley, minced red onion, chopped olives (I omitted)


Place eggs in small pot of cold water, bring to boil, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

In a pot or large bowl, combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, cold broth, red wine vinegar, parsley, Worcestershire, and coarsely ground black pepper to taste. Stir.

Sprinkle garlic with a pinch of salt, and set in bowl.

When eggs are finished cooking, run under cold water, remove shell, add to garlic and salt mixture, and mash together with fork.

Pour tomato juice into large pot or bowl with vegetables, and add garlic, egg, and salt mixture. Add bread crumbs and stir so that they dissolve into liquid.

Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste. Chill for at least 4 hours and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley, minced red onion, and chopped olives if desired.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

25 Days, 17

Dash & I have the same taste in ladies' shoes.

(Looks like it was just a virus and Dash is on the mend!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Hey! You wanna know what is absolutely not awesome? When you think your kid's just a cranky two-year-old but then you check his temps and they're vacillating between 101 and 103. So you load him up with Tylenol and put him to bed only to be awakened by his blood-curdling screams at 1am. You thought your nights on the couch with him were over, and you're actually half right because you don't really both fit on the couch anymore so you put a huge pillow on the floor beneath where he's "sleeping" in case he rolls off and you lie down on the hard-ass floor trying for just an hour of rest. Sleep finally comes at 6am. You have to be up at 6:30am to go to work.

You thank God that you're not alone and that your husband can work from home and stay with the baby. You check in all day and the fever hasn't broken but the baby's misery can be managed with children's Tylenol and you figure it's the flu and you'll wait it out. Then you arrive home with Pedialyte and soup and chocolate ice cream but really what the kid needs is a trip to the emergency room as he is now at 105. You've heard that 104 is really pretty fucking terrible. You've never really heard of 105 before.

At the emergency room, where you're half expecting to be chucked on the chin and instructed to calm the fuck down and stop being so damn Jewy all the time, they actually rush you in and send you for x-rays (possible pneumonia!) When the x-rays come back clear you once again unclench your ass only to be told that we now need to worry about a u.t.i. or a blood infection. Or, you know, it could be nothing. Who knows?! Whee! Do you want to be admitted to the hospital? Or shall we just adhere this plastic bag to Junior's junk so we can test his pee in the morning?

You opt for option 2. So now he sleeps. With a bag that is (hopefully) filling with pee attached to his fella. And you know that you'll be waking him in a couple of hours (1:30am!) just to make sure he's not burning up. And then you'll be taking him back to the doctor for bloodwork first thing in the morning.

No. That shit is not awesome in the least.

25 Days, 16

Do you watch Shear Genius? Good. Don't start. It is truly unredeemable television about catty and-- from what I can tell--untalented hairdressers competing for money or something. Who knows. I have to watch it because this season began when there was no Top Chef or Project Runway or Real Housewives of New York and I needed some Bravo reality tv.

Anyway, this season's judge is a "celebrity hair colorist" named Kim Vo.

I call him Kimmee

I'd never heard of him and his client list is pretty much Goldie Hawn & Pam Anderson. Unimpressive to say the least (last season's judge was Sally Hershberger who is contemptuous but at least also startlingly famous for a hairdresser).

Yet. Yet there is something about Kim Vo and his face. I want to cup his little face like I do Dash's when I kiss him. I want to nom nom his cheeks. He is not attractive to me in the way that I want to make out with him or anything, but he draws me in. I bet he smells great.

I mentioned all this to Josh once. And because he is a Genius of a different sort, here is a picture of my birthday cake:

That's right. The assholes put all 37 candles on the cake plus an Elmo one for good luck. When I saw it coming I thought the house had caught on fire.

Monday, July 14, 2008

25 Days, 15

Six years ago today I did the smartest thing I've ever done.

Happy anniversary, baby. Everything is better with you by my side. I love you.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

25 Days, 14

Dash' first Sourpatch Kid

(our camera is being repaired so I'm resorting to old photos & phone pics.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

25 Days, 14

When I paint my toenails red Dash calls them Guerrero Toes.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

25 Days, 13

I've been arguing with myself for a few weeks now about whether or not to write this down. It's craziness to admit what I'm about to, but it makes me sad to think that we could forget this story one day, so I'll put it here to ensure we'll remember.

I'm not a religious or mystical person. I believe in God, but my spiritual development owes more to Joseph Campbell than anything else. I definitely don't believe in ghosts or miracles or Heaven or Hell. I believe that we are made of light and that when our bodies fail our light dissipates. We're still there, we're just ... diluted. I don't buy into the theory that people hang around after they're dead.


Except that Josh's beloved Grandma, Dash's G.G., passed away more than a year ago and she continues to pay Dash visits.

Dash was a year and three months old when we lost his G.G. There's really no reason that he would remember her. She was sick and frail for much of his life and he saw her relatively rarely in the end. But he does remember her. He talks about her unprompted. He recognizes her in pictures. Whenever he mentions his G.G. we place our hands over his heart and tell him, "G.G. lives here."

"No," he replies, pointing toward his bedroom "G.G. lives there."

He worries about these visits. They frighten him a bit and we try to reassure him that G.G. loves him more than anything in this world or the next. That she would never hurt or try to frighten him. But I'll admit, it freaks me out, too. And I'm a grown woman who knows better than to believe in ghosts.

Except I kind of do believe. I can't wrap my mind around it any other way. Dash has never seen a movie or tv show about ghosts. We've never read any stories about them. He doesn't even know the word ghost. We never explained to him that G.G. had passed away or even what it means to die--he was far too young to understand. Yet, somehow, he knows that she is not here with us the way regular people are. He knows that G.G. is spirit and he says that she visits him in his room.

I know it's insanity. But I'm inclined to believe him.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

25 Days, 12

This weekend Josh organized a day of berry picking for us. We headed out to nearby-ish Underwood Farms and had ourselves a hell of a day.

This is what greeted us as we entered the grounds. Apparently goats have flawless balance and can wander from pen to pen along narrow planks high above us. Some small and damaged part of me wanted to see one stumble.
They wouldn't let us into the pony ride pen with Dash and he was pissed. He continued to make that face for the duration of the ride.
There was a giant green tractor. Probably could've gone home after that and he would have been perfectly content. (Josh's face in this pic looks hilariously insane to me. Every time I look at him I laugh.)
We fed carrots to a miniature donkey named Antonio and a miniature horse named
Honcho. They both had effed up teeth and Dash was a little worried about putting carrots directly into their mouths, so he went for the feeding tube option.
He was super-excited to ride the train and waited patiently for his turn. As he was about to take his seat this little asshole jumped into his car. The asshole's mother insisted that they could ride together. Dash wasn't really into it. I don't blame him.
So we let him go again. By himself.
It was much better.
Why do all dudes sit like this? Is it a genetic imperative?
Finally it was time to pick some berries!
I totally get why raspberries are so expensive. They grow on thorny little vines that stick and cut, and they're so delicate that every second one disintegrates in your hand.
Dash picked two strawberries, ate one...
tossed the other...

and declared the day over.

I had plans to make jam from our haul, but I can buy organic reduced sugar jam fairly cheaply and not have to clean boiled sugar and strawberry goo off of my counters. So we just ate these.