Tinkle, Tinkle, Little Child

The other day I had to take my small, squishy child to the pediatrician for a physical.  Actually, I had to take him in for a weird rash, but because he hadn’t had a physical in two years, they made me do the physical as well.  Because, you know, I’ve got all kinds of time to spare.  Let’s make me take extra and unnecessary steps.

Anywhoo – soon after we checked in they handed me a cup and asked me to have him give a urine sample.  I walked with him down the hall to the bathroom and asked if he wanted me to hold it.**  He glared at me.

“I’m NINE mom.  I’M FINE.”

Okaaaay then, I’ll just wait here in the hall.

The minutes ticked by.  And ticked.  I could hear some rustling about.

“You okay?”

*growly voice* “I’m FINE!”

More ticking happened.  More rustling was heard.  I looked like a weirdo hanging out in the hallway of the pediatrician’s office without a child.

Then I heard a very small, muffled voice from behind the door.

“Mommy?  I’m having some technical difficulties.”

The door opened a crack.

“Do you want me to come in?”

The door opened slightly more. I assumed I’d been granted entry. I wedged myself in and the door was quickly slammed shut behind me.  I surveyed the scene.

In front of me stood a small, sweaty, frustrated looking boy holding a rather crushed plastic cup with about 1/2″ of urine in it.

“I had a little trouble with the lid,” he confessed, thrusting the crumpled cup at me.

I looked around the room.  The top of the toilet tank was splattered with puddles of urine, as well as the wall behind it.  The counter and sink to the side had not escaped the carnage, nor had the floor.  Paper towels, both damp and dry, were in the sink and all over the floor.

My son wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.  Eyes full of tears he said, “I don’t think there’s enough pee now, and I’m all empty.”

He handed me what remained of the lid, and I tried to put it on the crushed cup.  Not happening.  I wrapped the entire shebang in a paper towel and carefully carried it out to the nurse, while he stood behind me, head hung low.

“He had some trouble with the lid,” I explained, carefully handing the cup to her.

Maybe next time he’ll let me hold it.

 

** This Post from my Vodka, Valium and Duct Tape Facebook page from April:

“My teen son is currently in the hospital due to diabetes complications. No worries, he will be fine. Probably going home tonight. But even in the hospital we are not safe from my…blondeness.

They gave him a plastic urine jug and asked him for a sample, then left. He pulled down his pants to get started.

Teen son: Here mom, hold this.

Me: Your PENIS!?!?

Teen son: *glare* NO!!!! The jug! *shakes his head at my stupidity*”

Posted in Home, My Family, My Life | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Flattery will get you everywhere

At one point in my life I was a 5th grade teacher.  I really enjoyed being a teacher, and would absolutely love to do it again, but for now I have chosen to stay home and be available to my kids for things like, “I’m out of chap stick, can you put some in my locker?”.  I live for that shit.*

*Editor’s note: No, I don’t.

I do have many fun memories of my time in the classroom.  5th graders are amusing and interesting little people,  truly coming into their personalities.  They never failed to make me laugh, sometimes unexpectedly.

One day I told them how great they were working, and that most likely I would let them out a few minutes early for recess because of this.  When it came down to the last few minutes before recess they were way too hyper for me to even think about letting them out.

“If you think you are going to go early, you’d better give me a reason to do it,” I announced.

The kids immediately started shushing each other, and sitting up very straight with their hands folded on their desks.

I gave them my best serious, skeptical look.

“Mrs. Weisenberg, you sure are looking pretty today,” offered one student.

My eyebrows went up, unconvinced.

“You are the best teacher we have ever had!” enthused another.

“Mmmmm hmmmmm,” I responded.

“You’re so smart!”

“You’re awesome!”

“Tell me more,” I encouraged them.

“I love your clothes!”

“You make the best lessons!”

They seemed to run out of superlatives.

Suddenly, from the back of the room…

“You’re so THIN!” shouted one of the boys.

“CLASS DISMISSED!”

It’s important they learn the proper way to flatter a lady early in life.

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You’ve got a face for radio

As you have probably already realized, I am the mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes.  Because of this I am fairly active on several message boards and Facebook pages for parents of children with Type 1.  We are there to give advice to the parents of the newly diagnosed, as well as to vent when things go wrong and brag when things go right.

Another woman in one of the groups I belong to happens to have a radio show.  It’s mostly about seniors and Type 2 diabetes, but she does devote specific days of the month to talking about Type 1 Diabetes.  After seeing some of my posts and a few documents I have created, she contacted me and asked me to be a guest on her radio show.

At first I was flattered.   “You like me!  Right now, you really like me!”

Then I was petrified.  PUBLIC SPEAKING?  Have you lost your MIND?!

Oh.  Hell.  No.

I talked it over with a few friends who reminded me that it wasn’t so much public speaking due to the fact that it was radio.  No one would see me, and I wouldn’t see them.    Plus it was a call-in show out of Indiana.  I could do it from the comfort of my own home!

You mean, I could do it naked and no one would know or care?

With that thought in mind I decided to go ahead with it.  If I can help even one family by sharing some of the experiences we have had, I should do it, right?  *ahem* RIGHT??

All right, already!  I’ll do it!  Get off my back.

A few days prior to the show the lovely Tami Neumann from Conversations in Care sent me some preliminary questions so I could be prepared.  They were pretty easy, since they were all about our life with diabetes.  But as the day grew closer the panic started to set in.

What if I babble?  What if I ramble?  What if I talk so fast no one can understand me?  What if I use off-color language inadvertently?  (not so far-fetched, if you know me at all)  And the worst – what if I make a joke and no one laughs????  I mean, it’s radio.  How will I even know if they smile?  All I hear (or rather, don’t hear) is CRICKETS!

AAAAAAAUUUGGHHHH!!!!

As the hour approached, I made an executive decision.  I would do the show naked.  Why?  BECAUSE I CAN.

I closed the blinds, stripped down, hopped up on my bed and called in at the appointed time.  The show began, and I tried to talk to her as though I was on the phone with a friend.  Only without all the cursing and gossip.

Overall I’d say it went fairly well.  I didn’t go back and listen to it because really, no one wants to hear the sound of their own voice on a recording.  It’s weird.

Here it is if you are at all interested.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationsincare/2013/05/20/adventures-in-traveling-with-type-1-diabetes

Conversations in Diabetes on Blogtalk radio

Conversations in Diabetes on Blogtalk radio

Follow up:  Last night my husband turned it on to listen to it.  I was flattered that he was able to sit there and listen, as he usually has such a short attention span.  I must be doing great!

Then I heard the snoring….

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Baby, you can’t drive my car…

imageMy teen son has reached the age where he is able to get his driver’s permit.  I have some friends who try to delay this process with their teens as much as possible, but with his 6 day a week, never-the-same-routine-twice, unpredictable basketball schedule, I can’t WAIT for him to be able to drive himself.

The time finally came and we made the appointment at the DMV (for the love of Pete, don’t EVER go to the DMV without an appointment!) for him to go take the written permit exam.

Me: Do you want me to help you review before the test?

Too Cool for School Teen Son: I got this, mom. *holds hand up as if to dismiss me*

Me: Are you sure?  It can’t hurt to have it fresh in your mind.

TCfSTS:  *in his best douchebag attitude*  Ma.  I got this.  It’s fine.

Me: I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as you think.

TCfSTS:  Mom.  I’m good.  It’s cool.

Me: Oooooookaaaayyy.  Don’t say I didn’t offer.

On the appointed day we headed down to the Santa Ana DMV, with 347,912 other people. Thank goodness for the appointment.   Too Cool for School Teen Son made sure his hair was perfectly coiffed, and enjoyed making his best Too Cool face when it came time to take his picture.  Then he confidently strutted his way into the testing room, and I took a seat in the waiting area.

Fifteen minutes later he emerged, a completely humbled person.

“I failed,” he muttered at the ground.

…..”Bwahahahahahahahaahahaha!!  *ahem*  I mean, oh.” I responded.

When we got in the car to leave, Mr. Too Cool suddenly morphed into Mr. Outraged.  Clearly the test was a setup for failure.  No one in their right mind could know the answers to these questions!

Mr. Outraged:  *reading from the test*   “A man with a white cane begins to step off the curb…”   *more outrage*  Who cares what color his cane is??  What difference does it make if it’s purple or black or polka dotted?  Why do they even put that in there?!  Why can’t they just say “a man”?!?!?!

Me: Because a white cane means he’s blind.

Mr. O: …*hangs head*  Oh.     Well.    How was I supposed to know?

Me: Because it’s in the book.

Mr. O: What book!?

Me:  The one you were supposed to review.

Mr. O:   *with renewed outrage*  Well how about this?  You tell me – what is a “passenger car”?!

Me: A car.  That carries passengers.  Like mine, and all the other regular cars on the road.

Mr. O: *momentarily silent*  Well, then what is NOT a passenger car??

Me:  A delivery truck.  A semi…

Mr. O:   *extremely outraged*  They have passenger seats!  Doesn’t that indicate a passenger????  Isn’t that a passenger car????  You don’t see single seat CUBES driving down the road, do you???

Me: What exactly did you think a passenger car was?

Mr. O: *mumbles something unintelligible at the window*

Me: Excuse me?

Mr. O: *sigh* I thought it was one of those carts on the side of a motorcycle that another person sits in.

Me: *laughs so hard I almost pee*

Mr. O: WHAT!!?  Isn’t that what it’s called!?

Me: *continues to laugh hysterically*  Maybe you should try reviewing before the next time.

Mr. O: *sulks in indignation for the remainder of the ride home*

Follow Up:  I am happy to report that yesterday he managed to pass the test with a score of 100%

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My Fair Teenager

My two boys fight endlessly.  I’m sure you are shocked by this revelation.  They are six years apart in age, and worlds apart in personality.  Of course, they both are masters at pushing each other’s buttons.  They know exactly what to do down to which facial expression will set the other one off.  And they revel in it.

When we leave them at home alone together, I get the usual litany of phone calls.

“He ate my french fries!”

“He’s bugging me and my friends!”

“He won’t let me play xbox!”

Because I am an awesome mother, when I am out and I receive a phone call like this, I hang up without a word.  If they call back, I hit ignore.  They’ll figure it out.

One night my husband and I were attending a poker fundraiser for our football team.  In the middle of the festivities, my phone rang, our home number visible on the screen.  I sighed dramatically, rolled my eyes, and answered  brightly, “Yeeeess?”.

All I could hear was sobbing and something that might have been words.

More dramatic sighing followed.  From me.

After many reassuring and soothing words, I was finally able to calm my youngest down to the point where I could understand him.

Small Squishy Child:  *sob* Jordan *gasp* won’t *hiccup* stop talking *sob* in a British accent!

Me: Huh?

SSC: *hiccup* Jordan won’t stop talking *gasp* in a British accent!!!  *waaaaailll*

Me: *sighing and holding my head in exasperation*  Put him on the phone.

Child Who Thinks He’s Hilarious:  ‘Ello Govna!

Me: Seriously?

CWTTH:  Wot?

Me: Can you please stop talking in a British accent?  You’re making your brother cry.

CWTTH:  Bloody ‘ell!

Me: Just stop!

CWTTH:  Alrighty then, govna!

Me: *sighs deeply  and disconnects*

I’m not cut out for this shit.

Posted in Home, My Family, My Life | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Busy little bee

It’s been almost two weeks since I wrote a post.  These damn kids are just sucking the life out of me, always neeeeeeeding me.  Plus with the school year winding down my weeks are back to back meetings, events, activities, and banquets.  If I have to eat one more dry chicken breast I may commit hara kiri. (yes, that’s the right damn spelling.  I spent 10 minutes down the internet rabbit hole making sure!)(For you!  I do this for YOU!)

At this point I have written 13 blogs in my head and zero on the computer.  I feel like some of the topics may have passed their expiration date.  More Italy, anyone?  How about that blogging conference two weekends ago?  Anyone not been beaten over the head by Mother’s Day yet?

Seriously, Michelle, when are you going to get your head out of your ass  martini glass the clouds and get down to business!?

So right here and now I vow to you, the loyal reader/person who typed in the wrong search term on Google, to MAKE TIME TO BLOG.

I may not feed my kids or the dogs, and my house may go to hell in a handbasket, but damn it – I will blog!

Disclaimer: The above promises were made by a habitual liar.  And she drinks a lot.  The management takes no responsibility for what may or may not eventually appear on this page.  May cause diarrhea, distemper, and crabs.  Please consult your physician before reading.

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Mom 2.0

I just finished packing up to head out for the weekend to my very first Blogger Convention.  Conference.  Gathering.  I have no idea what it’s called.  

At any rate, I hope that by the end of the weekend I will have learned so much that next week you will be ASTOUNDED by my posts.  The wit!  The insight!  The sentence structure!  How does she do it???

I guess the next step would be to go to a photography Conference.  Convention.  Gathering.  I’ll stop now.

 

Posted in Home | 6 Comments

Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves

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Our day in Florence, Italy, didn’t start off as well as we had planned.  We were scheduled to take a morning tour called Nude and Food with Sam from Florence for Foodies at 9:00 am sharp.  They warned us that our 9:00 time was very strict, and if we were late we wouldn’t get to see the Statue of David.

Florence was a little over an hour from our villa, so we planned our travel time accordingly.  We made it there in the allotted time, and parked our rental car in the Piazalle Michaelangelo , an easy, free parking lot with beautiful views of Florence.  Sam had told us to park there, then take a taxi to the city center.  The city center is a restricted driving zone (ZTL), and they are very liberal with the tickets if you inadvertently cross into the ZTL.

Too bad it was pouring rain.  There was not a taxi in sight.

I called the number on the sign at the taxi stand, while my family huddled under our miniature travel umbrellas.  The man who answered shouted at me “No taxis  now – all busy!  It’s raining!  Call back later!”

Call back later?!  Like when?  Would the afternoon be more convenient for him?

The only other option was the city bus – at least we could get into the ZTL on the bus.  We’d just have to figure it out from there.  Of course, the bus stopped at every. fucking. corner. on the way in.  We had resigned ourselves to the fact that we just weren’t going to get to see the David.  And we were okay with that.  We still had the “food” part of the tour to look forward to.

When we finally rushed up 15 minutes late, out of breath, expecting to just meet the group as they exited, we were surprised to see Sam standing there waiting for us, holding her Florence for Foodies sign.  She had waited!  Hooray!  It was a good omen for the rest of the day.  (also we were the only people in the group, so that probably helped)

Once we saw the David, and took the requisite stealth pictures (because cameras are prohibited), we were on our way to a fantastic morning of food and drink.  Sam knew all of the best places.

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We started off with some cappuccino and pastries.  I have never acquired a taste for coffee, but Hey, It’s Italy!  I was willing to give it a shot.

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Nope.  Still don’t like it.

After that we went to an indoor market where they had produce and meats and cheeses and baked goods, and mushrooms in bulk, and sun dried tomatoes in bulk, and, and…

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At the market we did some tastings of olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  I gotta tell you, the “good” fresh olive oil tastes surprisingly like grass clippings.   I wasn’t a fan.

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Yes indeed, that photo in the middle is of a green olive.  It was really green and I badly wanted to take an “artsy” picture of it.  I think my photography skills still need a lot of work.

Next we went to a wine shop to taste Prosecco and Grappa, and have a few sandwiches.  I am completely hooked on Prosecco.

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Grappa?  Not so much.  They sprayed a small taste of the Grappa in our mouths.  That’s all I needed to know I never want any of that again.

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It’s a good thing gelato was next.

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The kids with Sam, our morning tour guide with Florence for Foodies.

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After the gelato, we took a two hour break and wandered Florence on our own before meeting Nat for our afternoon tour, Venus and Wine.

Our first stop was to the Uffizi Gallery.  Nat went to purchase our tickets, and warned us to be on the lookout for gypsy beggars.  We’ve seen them all over Europe in the past, and we know how aggressive and tricky they can be. They are quite persistent and forward, and you don’t want to give them anything, because they apparently have some sort of super communication power, and before you know it, every gypsy in the Tuscany region will descend upon you.

It wasn’t long before a stooped, wrinkled woman dressed in stereotypical Old Gypsy Lady garb (you know- scarves, shawls, long skirts…like an old fortune teller in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland) came up to beg for money.  We did what we had been told.  We said, “no, grazie” and then made no eye contact.  She shuffled around us in a stompy circle, shook her crooked pointer finger at us, and muttered something at us that could only be translated as a curse.  I’m pretty sure she even spit on the ground.

We all huddled together and tried to appear nonchalant, but we all let out a sigh of relief when Nat soon returned and herded us off to the Uffizi.

Nat turned out to be an excellent guide, very well informed about the works in the Gallery.  She did a great job of making it interesting not only for us, but for the small, squishy one as well.  We spent about two hours in the museum, after which we were definitely ready for some wine tasting!

Nat guided us all to a wonderful (and highly rated!) restaurant called dei Frescobaldi, in the heart of Old Florence.

We were seated in a private room, with our own private wine bar and sommelier.  Along with some fantastic wines we were also served a variety of meats, cheeses and breads.

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Nat explaining some of the wines to us.

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One of the best parts of the day was the sommelier, Primo.  Primo took a liking to the small, squishy one.  He taught him how to open a bottle of wine, and how to decant it.  He even let him “make” his own wine, and interesting mixture of several red wines and some coca cola.

IMG_2567 IMG_2575 IMG_2596Sadly, the day soon came to an end.  We said goodbye to our new friends at dei Frescobaldi and headed back (by taxi, this time) to our car in the Piazalle Michaelangelo.

The view of Florence from the parking lot at night was spectacular, so we threw our things in the car and walked to the railing to take a few last photos.

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This *heavy sigh*  is what we were doing when thieves broke the window of our car, not 100 yards away, and stole my daughter’s purse and a backpack in less than 5 minutes.  And we missed the whole thing.  It was the gypsy’s curse!

My daughter’s purse had her brand new iPhone 5, her brother’s brand new iPod 5 (his big gift from Santa), her new Michael Kors sunglasses that she bought at a charity night the week we left, and her wallet, with her driver’s license and debit card.  That was bad enough, but the backpack contained the medical supplies of my teen son, a Type 1 diabetic.  It not only had insulin, but extra blood sugar testers and test strips, sites for his pump, and worst of all, his back up insulin pump – a $6,000 device!

We called the police, who said all we could do was file a report.  They gave us directions to the police station, which, of course, was smack in the middle of the restricted driving zone.  So in we drove.  Once the report was filed, they helpfully *cough* came out with some newspaper and tape to cover the window, and we began the 90 minute drive back to our villa, in the rain.

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Like I have said, our vacations are NEVER dull!

Posted in Home, My Family, My Life, Travel, Type 1 Diabetes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Aluminum Chef

One of the first things we did in Italy was take an all day cooking class.  And by all day I mean ALL DAY.  Eleven solid hours.  At the end we were exhausted but exhilarated.   Healthy, homemade Italian cooking does not have to be complicated – and  the food is so much better when it’s fresh! If you ever go to Italy, definitely take a class.  There are plenty out there to choose from.  Our class was in a small hill town in southern Tuscany called Cortona.  It was run by a lovely American expat named Shirley.

Side Note: Turns out Cortona, the town, is featured prominently in the disgustingly violent video game Assassin’s Creed that my teen loves to play.  As we were walking down the main street his face lit up and he shouted, “I KNOW this place!  I’ve been here!”.  Then he proceeded to show us around the town with much confidence.  Maybe there is something to be said for violent video games?

At any rate, we met Shirley in a cafe in Cortona at the arranged time of 9:00 am.  We discussed local styles of cooking, and our whole family got to have input about which foods we would like to learn to cook.  Shirley wrote down about eight dishes, then we set out to the market.  First there was the produce market.

Shirley talking to us about the local produce.

Shirley talking to us about the local produce.

The basement produce store

The basement produce store

Jordan watches Shirley pick out what we need.

Jordan watches Shirley pick out what we need.

The reddest tomatoes I have ever seen!

The reddest tomatoes I have ever seen!

Beautiful fruits and vegetables - but don't touch!

Beautiful fruits and vegetables – but don’t touch!

The grocer weighs it all.

The grocer weighs it all.

(Quick confession: I really wanted these pictures to tile horizontally, but for the life of me I can’t seem to get it to happen.  SO, we trudge on.  Vertically.)

Then the butcher shop:

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(Oh, NOW you do the horizontal. )

Then the cheese shop, grocer and bakery.

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Soon we were piled into the car with all of our supplies and heading up the hill to Shirley’s house above Cortona.  We spent the next 10 or so hours cooking, and cooking, and cooking. And eating.  And cooking.  And drinking.  And cooking. As we cooked, Shirley would add on more dishes she thought we should learn.  We ultimately learned to cook:

Stuffed Tomatoes

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Stuffed Artichokes

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Lemon Olive Oil Cake

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Ravioli with a tomato cream sauce

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Potato Gnocchi

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Pici Pasta

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Tomato sauce

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Bolognese

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Carbonara (which contains NO cream – who knew?)

Cream sauce
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Chicken and Veal

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Did I mention that we were constantly snacking during this process?

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And I can’t even remember what else.  A lot.  Oh!  Tiramisu!  So delicious I forgot to take a picture.  The kids were so busy cooking and eating that they forgot to fight and complain for an entire day!  I call that a success!

Plus, Lucas discovered that he REALLY likes to grate cheese.  So much so that when we got home he made me order the EXACT same grater online.  And he has asked me every. single. day. if his grater has arrived yet.  Not that he’s obsessive or anything.

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Shirley gave us a recipe book, and I took copious notes with plans to make all of it at home.   And then the recipe book was stolen in Florence (stay tuned for that story).

I’m hoping that my hundreds of blurry, overexposed, underexposed, poorly framed, off-color photos will help fill in some of the details.  (perhaps you’ve noticed some of my professional work above)

If you are ever in Tuscany, I highly recommend you look up Tuscan Culinary .  It was an awesome experience.

Now I just hope I can do some justice to the foods we learned.  Wish me luck!

Posted in Food, Home, My Life, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

It’s gettin’ hot in heeere…..

We interrupt the regularly scheduled Italy posts to bring you this newsflash:

HOLY FUCKING HOT FLASH, BATMAN!

Seriously?  How can I be this old??

So, I was at tea with teen daughter yesterday, when all of a sudden I started to feel hot.  REALLY hot.

ME: Is it HOT in here, or what??  *fans self with napkin*

TD: No, but YOU are obviously hot!

ME: How can you tell?

TD:  Maybe its the sweat running down your face.

ME: *blots face with napkin*    Even my wrists are hot!  *takes off bracelet*

TD: *takes picture of me with phone*  This is really funny –  You are bright red!

ME:  This is NOT funny!  Delete that picture!  *lifts dress up as far as possible without being completely indecent, leans back in chair, opens legs and fans thighs*

TD: *giggling* My friends say you look funny.  *shows awful photo she sent to friends*

ME:  *bursts into flames*

WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO ME!?

Posted in My Life | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments