Monday, June 30, 2014


I am a failure. I have failed as a mother. Utterly failed my kids.

Right before I left for Brazil, Superteen turned sixteen, which is another teary and blubbering post. I asked her what she wanted me to cook for a special birthday dinner.

"Why don't you order crab cakes from Villa?"

"No, what special meal do you want me to cook? What's your favorite thing I make?"

"Ummmm, we could order pizza from Bella. Or go get dinner at La Rosa."

I have failed to remember to cook, cupcakes. I have failed to make those special meals that my kids will someday want to come home to . I have failed to make those foods that will speak to them when they are heartbroken or sick or just in need of love.

In my defense, I am a complete badass at restaurants and at takeout. I know where to get the best pizza with perfect crust. I can call one local restaurant and the server knows what we want before we even finish our hellos. I know where a wicked food truck with fiery gordas sits. I can reel off the phone numbers for several amazing restaurants, and I know which servers to ask for. Chinese? Oh yeah, I know which of the three local Chinese restaurants also serves a green curry shrimp that will make your tastebuds sing. Sushi? I know which day of the week to go to which place, depending on who the sushi chef is. Charcuterie platters? I know a girl...

But cooking. Cooking. Between food allergies and food preferences and food issues and schedules and vegetarianism and junkatarianism and time, I forgot to cook.

Grace's birthday changed that for me. I decided to come back from Brazil and NOT order out. No takeout, no restaurants, no food I don't make. Several challenges here. Timesboy calls himself a meatatarian. He LOVES meat. Granted, he will eat Brussels sprouts and kale all day long, but he would like a slab of beef wrapped in bacon beside the vegetables. I hate cooking meat. Hate it. If I never had to cook meat again, I would be fine. Superteen slips in and out of vegetarianism. She can go weeks without meat, and then want Ground beef grossness. I don't eat wheat, and have not for over seven years.

So far, we have survived. Omelets, didn't suck. Raw corn chowder, totally didn't suck. In fact, Superteen ate almost all of it and I barely got seconds. Pizza, but not takeout. Again, didn't suck. Homemade Guacamole and Pico de Gallo Tostadas. Tons of kale, because Timesboy and I could survive on it. Mango Cashew Lassis, which the kids strongly disliked. This worked for me, because I frikking loved them, so I got extra. And tonight, this.

Cilantro Cornbread waffles. Vegan and gluten free. And more importantly, GOOD. With spicy black beans. So good that Superteen told me she liked my cooking. I tried to act like it didn't make me want to jump up and down, but I am totally excited about this cooking thing. Tomorrow, raw corn chowder for lunch, and something involving cherries. I don't know what, but something involving cherries In my zeal for cooking, I decided to buy about three pounds of cherries. So yeah, they are on the menu tomorrow. And Timesboy asked me to make bacon pasta this week. Bacon pasta, otherwise known as pasta carbonara.

This is what I am working towards. Kids asking me to make a meal versus to order the usual.

Peace and love and cherries and waffles, buttercups. XOXO

Monday, June 23, 2014

Brazil, Part One.

"They have a joy for life in Brazil unlike any country I've ever seen." -
Morena Baccarin

How does one do justice to a nation with mere words or pictures? Nothing I say could capture the experience of the last eight days.

Brazil. Brasil. Salty warm air. Blazing sun. Fierce storms that rolled over the ocean as we scrambled for cover. Chicken hearts on skewers that I could not dare refuse. Coconut water that no Whole Foods can ever replicate. Tapioca flour cakes and cassava. Fresh lobster eaten out of the shell while sitting on the beach. Seahorses slipping through tree roots, as we watched from a boat. Lemurs with lion manes. Ridiculously beautiful waters surrounded by white sand. Luxury like I have never seen before. Hammocks beneath coconut trees. Portuguese, Spanish, English, German, Japanese, Italian, and other languages all flowing freely, interspersed with nods and laughter at the attempts. Motorcycles and bikes weaving through traffic that could make my heart race. Caipirinhas, which have replaced Moscow Mules as my favorite drink. Bairros that took my breath away with the  crushing poverty pushing right up against the shiny stadiums. 'Love' Hotels. Little girls in too much makeup and stiletto heels outside of the stadiums, confirming the worst news stories that I wanted to ignore. The amazing people of Brazil, so patient with our attempts at Portuguese. "Bom dia" and  "Abrogada" and my near constant "Como se... diz en Portuguese." Jaw dropping graffiti that put everything I saw in Europe to shame.

These are a handful of the things that come to mind when I think about Brazil. So many contrasts, so much beauty intertwined with extreme poverty. I am still trying to wrap my brain around all that I saw, without even broaching the unbelievable World Cup matches. I will get to those in time :)

Boa noite, meus amigos. Paz e amor e agua de coco. XO

Monday, June 9, 2014

Driving My Monkey Crazy, a Picture at a Time.

Superteen says I need to work on my selfies and poses.

What, this is my expression most of the time....

This is my Miley- Superteen isn't impressed. I don't know why.

Okay, here...
Superteen, me, and the Bestie. Behaving. No Miley.

The Bestie, me, and Hot Toddy. No Miley, no crossed eyes. You are welcome, Superteen.
And then this happens.

Sorry, cupcake, this is how I roll.

No regrets, buttercups. Moving forward. Peace and love and Miley poses and selfies with lovies. XOXO

(PS, updates on the journeys, literal and figurative, and the HOUSE, coming soon. Scout's honor :))

Life moves fast

I used to have reservoirs just a few steps from my wee cottage's front door. Full of bears, squirrels, deer, foxes, and a few animals I ...