Tag Archives: Humor

Mind Your Manners

To my mother’s credit, I am probably one of the most well mannered people you’re going to find in this day and age.  I always send thank you notes, even to my parents and siblings. I can tell you which fork to use at a formal dinner party (generally speaking work from the outside in).  I can tell you that it is rude to butter your entire roll (rather you should butter only the piece you are about to consume).  I can properly set a table – bread plate and forks on the left, knife (always with the blade toward the plate), spoon, and drinks on the right.  I am the consummate hostess (Martha Stewart aside), always striving to make my guests feel like they are staying at the Four Seasons.  It is to the point that I have even been referred to as “Emily Post” by certain friends in a half joking manner.  As a matter of fact, I was consulted on etiquette for my own bridal shower.

I must tell you, however, that there are a few draw backs to all of this politeness…

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Oh, Baby

The past three weeks have been a blur.  We have the new puppy, I have been working insane hours (not as in a lot of hours, only about 45 per week, but just really strange and varying times), and I have barely seen my husband.  When one is home, the other is away.  This works out great for the puppy, but not so well for my sanity.

I have found myself swinging back and forth between elation at this new, fuzzy, loving creature in our care and what I can only describe as post-puppy depression.  The puppy’s constant need for attention and love does not pair well with the 3 hours of sleep I have been getting each night.  Add to that the demands of being the only one home when I am here coupled with an I-never-get-to-see-my-husband level of loneliness and it’s a recipe for frustration.  I think I’m losing my mind.

Here’s an example of my recent daily schedule:

1. Fall asleep around midnight or 1 am because I am a night owl and just cannot fall asleep any earlier than that no matter how hard I try.

2. Kick my husband awake at 3 am when the puppy is whining to go out hoping he won’t recall the kicking part and that he’ll think it was the puppy that woke him up.  Promptly fall back asleep as bleary-eyed husband shuffles outside with the dog.

3. Blindly slap at the off button on my alarm clock at 4:57 am.

4.  Stumble to the bathroom, trying not to wake the dog or the husband. Dress in the dark.  Go to try and kiss the husband goodbye, run into post on bed.  Swear loudly waking up both dog and husband.

5. Apologize to now fuming confused husband and whiny puppy as I scramble out the door.

6. Trudge through 8 1/2 hours at work.

7. Drive home.

8. Kiss husband in garage as I arrive and he leaves.

9. Walk inside look at the dog, look at the bed, look at the dog.  Sigh.

10. Feed the dog.

11. Take dog outside.  Praise her lavishly for peeing.  Run inside to get the treat I forgot to bring out.  Return to find the dog eating landscaping bark. Remove bark from dog’s mouth, try to interest her in a tennis ball.  Dog looks at me like I am crazy, jumps up and grabs another piece of bark. Repeat process.  Try to coax dog inside using the treat, chance of success 50%.  If the plan fails, give up and physically carry the dog inside.

12. Sit down, realizing how tired I am.  Dog is immediately by my side with a toy.  Play with dog.

13. Repeat step 11.

14. Come inside and sigh in relief as the dog lays down for a nap.  Try to relax.  Fall asleep.  Wake up in a panic 40 minutes later to realize the dog has peed on the floor.  Sigh.  Repeat step 11 and clean carpeting.

15. Husband gets home, give him a half-hearted kiss, tell him I’m going to bed.  Lay there fruitlessly trying to fall asleep for 2 hours until he and the dog come to bed.  Finally fall asleep around midnight or 1 am.

16. Slap off alarm at 4:57 am.

The one thought that keeps going through my head in the midst of all of this craziness is “how do parents do it?”  I can barely handle a dog and she can be crated when necessary.  What do people do when there is a little person in your life that is even more demanding that a puppy?  I just cannot imagine finding the time and energy for a baby.  And I know there is still plenty of time, it’s not at all that I feel I need to do anything about it now.  I guess I just worry that maybe it’s something that will never feel convenient.  And then again, why should it?  There is nothing at all convenient about changing any part of your routine and having to make allowances for others, but in the end they say it is worth it.  And while I will say that every parent I know somehow makes it work, and eventually manage to return to some level of normalcy, I just really don’t think we’re there yet.  I like my sleep (and the puppy will sleep through the night sooner rather than later) and I like my quiet, orderly life.   For now I think a puppy is about as much as we can and want to handle.

The Seven Year Itch

Courtesy of http://www.pollsb.com/photos/ o/30135-itch_scratch.jpg

Okay, maybe it hasn’t been seven years, but time is relative.  No, I am not talking about a deep stirring desire to find greener pastures, I love my husband (and we haven’t even been married for seven months yet).  I am talking about hives. Hives that I have been breaking out in randomly for 2 1/2 long years.

It started right around the time we got engaged (coincidence I am sure).  I would wake up in the middle of the night with my feet and hands swollen, red, and itchy.  It was awful.  And, having rarely dealt with even a simple pollen allergy prior to this, it took me months to try taking an antihistamine in response (it just never occurred to me).

The antihistamine “solution” was something I stumbled upon accidentally as I was on a cruise a few months after this all started and was absolutely going to distraction with the itching one night.  My entire back was inflamed.  All I had in my makeup bag was a Claritin so I took it.  And there it was, sweet relief.  I started taking one a day, and for a month I was itch free, but then the hives came back and I was so dejected I dismissed the Claritin as no longer useful and suffered through the bouts.

Now a sensible person is asking themselves at this time, “for God’s sake, why have you not gone to see a doctor yet!?”  And I really don’t have a good answer for that.  I guess I didn’t want to hear that I was allergic to anything.  After all, I am a chef and I can think of nothing more tragic than to find out that there is a food or wine out there that I simply cannot have. Ignorance is bliss as they say.  But, one can also only be uncomfortable for so long.  Eventually I gave in.  Because they would come and go with no pattern I took pictures (which I will spare you the sight of as they are enough to make someone without a tendency toward hives to break out) and booked an appointment with the dermatologist.  They were extremely (read: not) helpful.  “Yep, those are hives.  Go see an allergist.”

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Confessions of an OCD Chef

My recipe filing system

My System of Organization

As I have already indicated, I am a very structured person.  Having a personality such as this comes with certain, shall we say, lifestyle expectations.  Everyone automatically assumes that because I can’t stand for anything to be out of place my house must look like it belongs to Martha Stewart.  I would like to publicly debunk that myth.  My house, while certainly not a “mess” by most people’s standards, is not nearly as neat and tidy as it would be if I didn’t have anything better to do with my time (such as watch 6 hour marathons of Law and Order: SVU or check for the latest facebook post that I can throw my 2 cents into).  My bed is rarely made, there are piles of mail on my kitchen counters (though they are categorized piles) and while my closet may be color coordinated, there is a basket of laundry that is sitting at my feet that has been in the same spot for 4 days.  Another thing that is horribly disorganized are my recipe files (see above) which consist of a decade’s worth of newspaper clippings, computer print outs, sticky notes, and recipe cards.  All of these items are carelessly shoved into a photo album that once held about 2 dozen very neatly written and alphabetized recipe cards that I copied from my mother’s cookbooks before I went to college.  Somewhere along the way I gave up (I think it was when I was unable to get more recipe cards in the same style and thus I felt the entire cause was lost).  My husband tells me if I just sit down and type them all out (ha!) that he will be more than happy to create a cross referenced computer file for me.  That, my friends, is not likely to happen this century.  And while the system is not ideal, I do know more or less what is in that album and I can almost always find it (given 20 minutes or so to look).  The good news for this blog, however, is that it almost forces me to be a little random in my recipe posts and that, I believe, will be a good thing.