Monthly Archives: March 2014

Opening Day

Today is a big day, this Monday, March 31, 2014.  It marks Opening Day.


No, I kid.  I like baseball, although some would argue that point with me considering I root for the Mets.  Typical reply to that comment is “Really?  Are the Mets still in baseball?”  Yuk, yuk.  Or the more direct, “Why aren’t you a Yankees fan?  It’s so much easier!”  I have a downtrodden team but I don’t care.  I like the Mets for two reasons:  my mom rooted for them and I have good memories of her watching the game by herself in the den on our tiny tv and going crazy with delight; and David Wright.  In an era of overpaid and overblown sports icons and bratty behavior, David Wright is a class act and I like class acts.

But that’s not what I referring to in my title.  It’s opening day for me.  The day when I decide to open up the possibilities and plan a garden.

Reflect on that for a moment.

As we all remember, I despise summer and humidity and do my best to escape it with amazing resourcefulness.  (“Yes, of course I’ll drive to the supermarket to pick up a bunch of things – it’s air-conditioned.  Duh!”  “No, I don’t want to come outside and look at the insert-something-that-Hubby-wants-me-to-see-close-up right now, I can see it from the window and it’s air-conditioned in here.  Duh!”)  But although I swore off gardening three years ago, I think I’m ready to punish myself try it again because now I have time to be thoughtful about it.

The biggest problem with gardening, to me, is the ninja weed that sneaks in overnight and builds up a fort around your carefully tended growing things.  I can go outside every day for two solid weeks and verify nothing unplanned is happening in my happy pile of dirt except what I put there, and foolishly think that maybe this time it’s going to work, and then BAM!  The ninja weeds waited for my back to be turned and they set up shop.  They’ve entwined their way about the cucumber trellis.  They are choking out the peony.  They are silently running underground (ninja submarines?) and cloning themselves to look like a new batch of lettuce when they’re really putting out feelers for new ways to kill my spirit.

Well, this year I have time to be more diligent and get out there when it’s cooler in the morning and take stock of what’s happening with the ground folk.  I think I might actually be able to do it this year.  I just might be successful at this and not end up with canoe-sized zucchinis and cucumbers that look like zeppelins.  

I….I’m daring to open my heart again to a garden.  Hold me.


I see no problem with this plan.


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It’s a Love/Hate Thing

Ten Things I Love:

1.  Fritos Scoops.  They are LARGE and crunchy and corny and they’re way better than their skinny counterparts.

2.  Yarn.  Well, duh.

3.  Hidden object computer games.  It’s amazing how much time I can spend scowling at my screen.

4.  Southern Comfort and seltzer on the rocks.

5.  Looking at houses: interiors, exteriors, landscaping, floor plans, furnishings, closets, basements, I love it all.

6.  Driving.

7.  Tea at night with a shot of Bailey’s in it.

8.  Baby anything.  Except spiders.  Those suckers are gross.

9.  Gilmore Girls.  Yes, I have the boxed set, so what?

10.  Ravelry.


Ten Things I Really Don’t Love:

1.  NJ Politics.  With every fiber of my being, I really don’t love this.

2.  Spiders.  Yeah.

3.  Getting my fingernails dirty.  

4.  Arrogance.

5.  Stupid drivers.

6.  Getting a Christmas card from someone I didn’t remember.

7.  Basketball.  Get off of all my channels.

8.  The color orange.  Yes, that’s what color a basketball is.  Hardly a coincidence.

9.  Disorganized clutter.

10.  Fritos scoops not being in my house.





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Let Me Think About That

Introspection can be dangerous, exhilarating, miserable, responsible, boring, scary, or avoided at all costs.  I, sadly, have not been able to avoid it for the last two weeks (and there’s my explanation for no blogging, Younger Daughter, so stop nagging me) and it’s not exhilarating in the slightest.  It is a re-run episode of a sitcom that gets watched only when nothing else is on and you remember the episode vividly and also remember that you didn’t like it very much but what the hey, there’s nothing else on and the remote is all the way over there so you settle in for a mediocre half-hour of time.  No wonder I don’t like it.

But it’s been following me all over the place, like a piece of yarn from my latest project stuck to the inside of my shoe and not even that noticeable but still there, and when I finally notice it I realize what a dope I am for not noticing it earlier.  Had I noticed this bout of introspection following me around and nagging me for attention maybe I could have dealt with it earlier and saved my brain and my emotions that much time.

But no, here we are, and now we’re just muddling through.  I can’t blame it on the weather, because I’m really not sick of winter.  Think about it: I knit.  Why would I not love the season of knitted items galore?  I also hate sweating, remember?  Why would I want the season of humidity and lethargy to be here that much sooner?  Also, a sunny day when there are no leaves on the trees makes the world sparkle just a bit more and I like that. 

So no, I can’t blame the weather for my malaise.  I also can’t blame the calendar.  We’ve had all sorts of social events happening here and there, and events with friends, and things to plan and look forward to and that has generally kept me content.   It’s a bit disconcerting to have my hips and knees lodge a formal protest with their creakiness and generally unwillingness to come along quietly, instead deciding to scream and holler their incessant demands for not moving at all.  But still, we get stuff done.

It might be the phrase that pops up every now and again with people I run into:





This is what’s driving me a bit crazy and starting those internal dialogues in my head.  I used to be a teacher.  I’m not teaching any longer.  So what am I going to do now?  Hubby offered to get me a job at his company, and I literally had the kind of reaction you do when you swallow Robitussin for the first time.  Other friends cheerfully piped up with “why don’t you teach private lessons?” which would bring me right back to where I was and the not-so-good feelings I had and by the way, people are cutting back on spending money for things like that.  Another friend offered me a part-time job in her office doing her filing, which was a sweet and generous offer but not something I want to do.  And every time I mentally reject something, I get the TTOG (two tons of guilt).

I’m guilty because Hubby is the sole money-maker for the family, even though he promises me we are going to be fine and we can handle it.  We’ve done it before when he’s been unemployed and I was staying home with my young children.  I’m guilty because it seems people are expecting me to come up with another game plan to make my days worth something.  I’m guilty because … because … oh, hell.

… because I am enjoying staying home and being off a crazy schedule and having time for anything and everything.


Isn’t that crazy?  I’m guilty because I’m happy where I am?


At this time I’d like to thank my mother, the Catholic Church and all her nuns and fathers, motherhood in general, and my close Jewish friends for this legacy of monumental guilt that has taken up permanent residence in every pore on my soul.  If I didn’t have you in my past, I wouldn’t be wallowing in this guilt today.  So, thanks for that.  Allow me to return the favor sometime.


And on that note, I’m going to make another cup of tea and knit something.  Because I can.


What a glorious feeling


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Happy Boiled Dinner Day

It’s that time when we throw a hunk of meat in a pot of boiling water, add carrots and potatoes and a “spice packet” and later on some cabbage, and pronounce it delicious.  We had our dinner last night because Somebody made other plans for this evening and I’m actually okay with this because it means leftover boiled dinner sandwiches tonight.

It was a festive week here at Tea and Sarcasm with both daughters on Spring Break, and much hilarity ensued.  It culminated in everyone dressing up and attending a Charity Ball.  We sound like rich people for saying that and it makes us giggle when we do, but the real reason we attend is to hear the amazing band.  It’s based in New Jersey (which means nobody else has heard of it, but that’s okay with me) and they’re known as the Infernos.  A wild night was had by all, and we all had appropriately sore tootsies the next day from all that dancing.  

I myself am fighting a cold (spoiler alert: the cold’s winning) that I picked up from the two little munchkins next door that I babysat earlier in the week.  They are adorable so it’s easy to forgive them when they cough and sneeze in my face, or rub their runny noses on the front of my sweater.  You’d think after fourteen years of teaching I would be immune to almost anything by now, but I guess munchkin germs are super germs and they have staying power.  It’s been a week and the cold is just about to move into my chest.  Yay, sexy phlegm!

Between missing planes and civil unrest in the Ukraine, we’ve been having interesting political discussions, too.  Both my daughters are history majors and they know way more than I ever will, so it’s fun to listen and learn.  (Hear that, girls?  I admitted I learned from you.  Now stop pestering me.)  Plus we are watching “Cosmos” and Older Daughter is explaining the tougher points to me when I get that glazed over, help-me-its-science look.  That and the Cosmos twitter feed makes me feel less stupid.  I have other mad skills that are not in the science and history realm, so I look forward to showing off someday.

Apparently one of the lottery prizes is up to 400 million this week, and the inevitable conversation of “what would you do with…?” came up.  I was a dud at the game, because I answered truthfully and said I would save it because I pretty much have everything I’ve ever wanted, and the only thing it would bring me is relief that I’d be able to pay any medical bill that came my way as I got older.  I think I was being silently judged.  Judge away, folks, I’m a contented creature.

Hmmm.  Not too much sarcasm here.  Must be the cold.


*cough* *cough*


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I’m Giddy and I’m Up and You Know What That Equals!

(If you don’t, then why are you here still reading?)


Younger Daughter is coming home today for Spring Break.  I’m very very happy about this even though it makes me a really mean mom.  I didn’t want her going South for Spring Break.  Not because I’d be afraid that she’d end up on “Girls Gone Wild” or anything like that.  No, she actually wanted to be in New Orleans helping out in Katrina-affected areas like the altruistic little soul she is.  But Mean Mom didn’t like the thought of her driving 1700 miles straight through and having strangers (and by strangers I mean not carried on my insurance) drive her car and possibly driving a car she’s unfamiliar with as she’s still a relatively new driver especially since this wasn’t a group sanctioned by the college and there’s no liability happening and…..yeah, I’m Mean.  But I learned a long time ago that Moms get to play the “gut” card and if it doesn’t feel right to you, you tell your children upfront and hope and pray that they understand this is a Very. Big. Deal.  Lucky for me, Younger Daughter is an understanding soul, as well.  She will get her altruistic fill right here in Jersey helping in Sandy-affected areas, as well as being spoiled for a week.


I’m also helping Older Daughter to buy a car, and it’s from a really really nice man who sold Younger Daughter her car.  It’s such a nice change from an anonymous dealership and I think I will buy all cars from him going forward.  The test drive is today and we’re both giggling a lot over it.  Then we’ll have a week of jockeying four cars in our itty bitty driveway but I don’t care because that means everybody is home and I love it.  We’ll see movies, we’ll cook, we’ll bake something really unhealthy, we’ll probably hit some Dr. Who reruns, and then we’ll play Cinderella.


For reals!  We’re actually going to a Charity Ball and we have to get very dressed up and made up and hairdo-ed up (totally just invented that word, I’m getting it trademarked.  Wish I knew how to do that little TM thing on my computer.  Don’t steal it, ‘kay?) and then figure out how not to get all messed up with seatbelts while we drive for an hour to get there.  Then we’ll be feasting and dancing all night and this band they have is AMAZING and I just love the thought that once a year I can say I’m going to a Charity Ball and it really is everything I think it’s going to be.  Which, as we all know, totally means sweatpants the following day.

But this weekend, we’ll have nothing on the agenda except Daylight Savings Time which, really, why do we still have it?  Does it really do anyone any good at all?  Who’s good with losing an hour of sleep and showing up disheveled everywhere?  Doesn’t “disheveled” look like it needs two “n”s in it?  Spellcheck says I’m wrong.  Does Spellcheck know anything about Daylight Savings Time?  Hmmmm?????  Take that, Sassy Spellcheck.

Yep, I’m giddy.  

For your thinking and head-tilting pleasure:


And they kept it. How very ool.

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But it’s on SALE.

Overheard at the supermarket while waiting on line:

Sassy Lady: Mom, you wanna get those cookies on sale?

Mom: No, I don’t think I like them.

Sassy Lady: But they’re on SALE.

Mom: Alright, let me see them.

*Mom examines the box carefully.  She puts them on the conveyor belt.*

Sassy Lady: Mom.  You should totally get that bread, too.  It’s on sale.

Mom: **

Sassy Lady:  MOM.  Did you hear me?

*Mom is searching in her cavernous purse.  I shift my weight to the other foot.*

Sassy Lady: What are you looking for?

Mom: I think I have a coupon for that bread.  Will they take a coupon even if it’s on sale?

Sassy Lady: What the — haven’t you ever been shopping before?  Of course they do.

Mom: I found it!

*Mom moves items up to cashier, then hands her the cookies and the bread.*

Mom: Here, I changed my mind, I don’t want these.


It says something that I was fascinated by this particular conversation.  I don’t want to think about what it says, but boy does it say something. 




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That 18″ of snow predicted to make our lives a living hell because the state is out of road salt and also out of patch for the condominium-sized potholes ended up being about 18/100ths of an inch.  I wish someone would pay ME six figures to be wrong and smile about it.  Does that sound bitter?  I don’t mean it to be.  I genuinely wonder how some people get their jobs and how we all tend to agree that they’re paid about right.  Baseball and football stars totally deserve gazillions to PLAY A GAME while nurses, teachers, and social workers often need a second job just to pay the electric bill.  Yeah, that sounds about right.  (You’re getting the sarcasm while I’m drinking the tea.  I wish I could have you drink this delicious tea but the internet still doesn’t work like that.  Now, THAT’S a job that’s worth gazillions: doing that Willy-Wonka-transmitting-candy-bars-over-the-airwaves-of-the-internet thing.)




I made bread on Saturday.  It was a recipe for Molasses Oat Bread and it sounded awesome and somewhat healthy, so I went for it.  When the mixture started climbing over the dough hook and INTO the workings of the mixer, I knew this was going to be some bad boy bread.  I had to finish mixing in the flour by hand which was quite the workout.  Then I had two big and one small loaf, and they came out of the oven looking like a tsunami.  I’ve never seen bread arch like that before.  It’s very delicious but very dense.  I’ve wrapped a big and the small loaf and put them in the freezer so now I basically have weapons.  Go, me.




I’m knitting a sweater called Swirl.  It is really really heavy, and it’s more like a king-sized comforter than a potential sweater and I guess it ranks right up there with the bread as stuff I just can’t be normal with.  No, I have to obviously go for the big guns on everything and make a statement.  I think the statement is something vaguely related to my childhood, but I’m not really sure.




Oscar-Dress-Hating-Ceremony was on last night, so popcorn was had and Twitter was followed and I did NOT retweet Ellen’s photo.  Not that I have anything against the lovely and talented Ellen DG, but I was in the middle of following a different sort of Twitter drama and while I got the pictures on my feed I was distracted and then the next thing I know Twitter was broken.  That’s mighty powerful mojo right there.  Why can’t the weather forecasters harness that mojo so they don’t scare the crap out of parents whose kids are going to have to go to school until August the way this year is going?




As he was leaving for work this morning, Hubby offered me money because I had none and asked where he should leave it.  Sleepy me who hadn’t even cranked open an eyelid yet replied “On the dresser so I know you think I’ve been a good prostitute.”  I didn’t even get a reaction.  Honestly, he was awake and had already had caffeine, and I was still half-stuck in my dreamworld (which was about school again, dammit) so you think he would have been quicker on the uptake.  Nope.  Older Daughter commented, “So you’re disappointed that your husband didn’t acknowledge your prostitute joke,” then shook her head and probably thought “my mother is for sure going over the deep end.”  (She doesn’t know yet that I can read minds.)







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