Apple Pie and Coffee. And Yum.

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as apple pie. That was because no one had ever eaten an apple. Then Eve took a bite and said, “Well, now I know what to do with all that pastry.” See? It really was the tree of knowledge.

Ever since then, people have been baking apple pies of various and sundry varieties.

Mrs. Joe Neanderthal was not a huge fan of pies. When one of her children started whining for an apple pie, she put an apple on his head, smashed it down, and said, “Pie-shmy.” Incidentally, that was how apple sauce was invented.

Other people love apple pie, no matter what shape it’s in. Round pie, square pie, McDonald’s (a pie shape unto itself), apple pie is as American as, well, apple pie.

In a highly scientific survey, I have determined that the most popular apple pie (according to Most Americans) is the one in front of them. Followed closely by the one behind them.

The only thing the different kinds of apple pie have in common is “apples.” Other than that, they are as different as can be.

Some apple pies have two crusts. Some have one. Some have one and a half (a lattice). Some don’t really have a crust at all, more of a crumble top (I like those best). Some have cinnamon (we don’t speak of the ones that don’t). Some have raisins (YUM!). Some are fried. Some are made right in the apple (which seems like cheating to me).

Some have bourbon (Yum!), some have caramel (Yum!). Some are deep dish, some are more tart-like, some are in a traditional pie plate.

Some are served with whipped cream, some are served with ice cream, some are served with cheddar cheese, some are served with coffee (yay!).

According to my research, there are only two possible problems with apple pie. 1. It almost never has chocolate in it. 2. It might not be served.

All in all, apple pie is a pretty good way to eat your fruit.

Love, Mom

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Weird Thanksgiving Food, Pizza, and Talking Turkeys

Dear Kid,

Because we’re a crazy sort of couple, Dad and I stayed home and watched Free Birds a few nights ago. Very cute movie. The basic premise is that a couple of turkeys travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving to make sure turkey is not on the menu.

Let's grab a slice (or two) of pizza. DearKidLoveMom.comAfter a series of adventures, the turkeys win and deliver pizza from the future to the first Pilgrim feast.

Which started me thinking about odd Thanksgiving food (you thought I was going to wonder about talking turkeys, didn’t you?).

I understand that many people feel strongly about Thanksgiving and its associated traditions. I’m all for tradition, but I like the idea of contemplating something new. And since “new” and “food” go together beautifully in my world, I turned to my good Friend the Internet for inspiration.

Let me tell you, there are a lot of weird ideas about weird Thanksgiving food out there. There are some things that sounded interesting and (duh) some things that sounded downright wrong. Like turkey gravy cupcakes.

Let me be really clear: savory cupcakes are great if you like that sort of thing, but gravy does not belong in a cupcake. Not now. Not ever. Because I said so. (Sometimes, you just have to put your foot down as a mom.)

Also the Thanksgiving Dinner Cake sounds like a bad idea. The basic recipe is turkey meatloaf which you bake in round pans and use as the “cake”; stuffing for the “icing” between the layers of meatloaf; regular mashed potatoes as “icing” on the sides of the cake; sweet potatoes as the “icing” on the top of the cake; and (of course) mini marshmallows on top of the sweet potato layer. Actually, this sounds like a great idea for dealing with leftovers if you have children under 10.

On the other hand, the idea of Thanksgiving sushi rolls sounds really good. A little turkey, a little sweet potato, a bit of cranberry, and a bit of love all rolled up in a rice and cut sushi-style. How bad could it be?

Apple cider mimosas sound like an idea worth trying. As does doing something with butternut squash. Don’t know where we’d fit another side dish, but I like the idea.

I found a recipe for soft pretzel stuffing which sounds like a great idea because the bread won’t get mushy.

What do you think about pumpkin cornbread served warm with honey? I think YUM.

The photo of stuffed Brussel sprouts (like stuffed mushrooms only greener) almost makes me believe these little babies are low cal and healthy. (I’m pretty sure it’s a rule that you can’t do healthy on Thanksgiving).

I did not find anyone suggesting salmon (although I think that would be a great Thanksgiving food). Nor did I find any suggestions for pizza. Pizza makes a lot of sense since the national religion of Thanksgiving is overeating and football.

Maybe the turkeys got it right after all.

Love, Mom

The turkeys shared pizza. You can share DearKidLoveMom.


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Santa and Spiders (the Good Kind)

Dear Kid,

Dad and I went to the crafts fair at the high school yesterday. As always, it was mobbed and various school bands and orchestras played in the background. (Stick with me, you’re going to like this one.)

We wandered around looking at various crafts, purchasing a few pieces of jewelry, sampling various homemade yummies, and basically having a good time.

My friend Ann was there selling chocolate covered treats (hi Ann!).

Near the end of our wanderings, we rounded a corner and I said, “Oh, my.”

The two ladies sitting at the table burst into laughter. “That’s the best response we’ve had all day,” one of them told me through her giggles. It must have been my tone of voice. Or possibly the reaction they’d gotten from other visitors.

The thing is, they were selling spiders.

Yep, spiders.

And you know how I feel about arachnids.

But these were glittery spiders and they came with a story (an 1800s German folk tale to be precise). A little bling and a good story go a long way in my book.

I’ve lifted the pix from their website (visit it here) because I took a great shot of their table that came out as nothing but blur. (We’ve discussed how not-good I am at photography. Where’s Beth when you need her?)

Here are the photos:

Santa Spider. Comes with a great story.

Santa Spider. Comes with a great story.

And here is the story (which makes the spiders much, much better):

Once upon a time (because all the best stories start that way), a mother was busy cleaning her home for Christmas. The spiders (not being stupid) skedaddled (not a German word) out of the way of her broom and up to the attic to hide. Apparently, the mother wasn’t too concerned about the cleanliness of the attic. Truth be told, neither am I.

When the house was quite, the spiders slowly crept downstairs to see the beautiful tree. (Ooooh, ahhh.) Being excited and being spiders, they scurried up the trunk of the tree and out each of the branches.

This suggests that there were more than the usual number of spiders but since this is a fairy tale we shall overlook the mother’s infestation and move on.

The spiders were filled with happiness at being in the tree and it leaked out in the form of spider webs. The spiders spun and danced through the night, leaving their webs everywhere.

At his appointed time, Santa showed up with gifts for the children. (Can anyone explain how he manages to scoot up and down chimneys without getting soot anywhere? Dad can’t even come in from outside without tracking mud into the house.)

When Santa saw the tree covered in spider webs, he smiled at the happiness of the spiders. Apparently, he was a fan of the eight-legged. But he knew that the mother would be upset if she saw her beautiful tree covered with dusty webs (not sure how they got dusty so quickly, but in this story, they did). So, being Santa and therefore being magic, he turned the webs into silver and gold.

The tree sparkled and shined and was even more beautiful than before (well, duh–if you had magic silver and gold all over you, you’d sparkle and shine too).

And that’s why we have tinsel on our trees and why every Christmas tree should have a Christmas spider in its branches.

I told you it was a good story.

Love, Mom 

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Pre-Thanksgiving Saturday and Hello World Day

Dear Kid,

Happy pre-Thanksgiving weekend. While half the world is out shopping (and the other half is cooking), I slept in this morning. I can’t even begin to tell you how nice it was to roll over and go back to sleep.

You probably know that feeling.

Sleep is a good thing.

But now it is time to wake up, snuggle the puppy, and get going for the day.

Happy World Hello Day. DearKidLoveMom.comTurns out today is Hello World Day. The idea of HWD is to say hello to at least 10 people today. I’m going to a craft show a little later and will do my best to greet at least 10 folks.

There is something spectacular about saying hello (with a smile). When you smile at people, they (usually) smile back.

And smiling makes us feel better. Endorphins go *pop*!

So say hello to people today. Smile at a stranger. And have a great Saturday.

Love, Mom

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Top 10 Ways to Procrastinate

Dear Kid,

It occurred to me that there are specific ways to procrastinate when writing a blog. And that I should share them here. Not that I would EVER employ any of these. Ever.

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” – Mark Twain

I should probably also point out that none of these can be used to procrastinate when it comes to studying or completing a lab assignment.

10. Watch an episode of Project Runway Jr. Give the judges your opinions.

9. Play a game of Spider Solitaire. Provide professional commentary in your head.

8. Wonder what it would be like to be a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

7. Shop for a pair of purple high heels. Remember you have purple heels. Decide that doesn’t matter.

6. Design a pair of socks for the office sock contest.

5. Organize your T-shirts. Alphabetically.

4. Clean the bathroom. (Yeah, right.)

3. Drink a cup of coffee. Decide it was so good you’ll have another.

2. Take a nap.

1. Write a ridiculous Top 10 list.

Happy studying.

Love, Mom

What's your favorite way to procrastinate?

What’s your favorite way to procrastinate?

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Cat Conversations | Cat and Mouse

Dear Kid,

I think I'm being taken advantage of...

I think I’m being taken advantage of…

You just said to catch him. You didn't say anything about what to do next.

You just said to catch him. You didn’t say anything about what to do next.

Just don't let the dog see me like this!

Just don’t let the dog see me like this!

Today is going to be a real Monday, isn't it?

Today is going to be a real Monday, isn’t it?

I AM the better mousetrap.

I AM the better mousetrap.

Murphy warned me about days like today...

Murphy warned me about days like today…

This is NOT right.

This is NOT right.



Where did you put the mouse?

Where did you put the mouse? It was just here…

Love, Mom

Like Cat Conversations and Kitten Observations? Read more:

Voices of a Cat | Kitten Observations

Prefer to read about the Puppy?

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Having Drinks with the Author of Crash!

Dear Kid,

Some people are energy-suckers. When you read one of their emails, talk to them on the phone, or (heaven forbid) meet them in person, you can feel your mental and physical energy drain. These encounters can leave you feeling like a pile of week-old lettuce. (You need a recovery plan for dealing with those people, but that is a different topic for a different day.)

Some people are energy-infusers. When you see that they’ve sent an email, you grin. When you finish talking to them on the phone, you want to do cartwheels (mentally if not physically). When you get to meet them in person (heaven be praised!), you feel energized enough to power the city lights for a week. Or more.

Asking ourselves the tough questions... DearKidLoveMom.comMy friend Carla is one of the energy-infusers of the world. She’s amazing and I was lucky enough to grab some time with her last night (she’s in town for a few days and chose to spend some of her time with me–Yay!). Here’s a link to her website and her soon-to-be-published book. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, go. Have a root canal planned? Cancel it. Graduation? Not as important. Exam? OK, go take the exam so you can graduate. But be sure to catch her next time.

We met for drinks at Carlo & Johnny (where they may have the best restrooms in southwest Ohio–the lighting in there is designed to make even the most tired of us look great). By the time she left for dinner, my brain was abuzz. Partly with all the fab things happening in her life (did I mention the book?) but partly because she makes me THINK.

Carla is an author, a speaker, and a coach. As a really good coach, she asks questions that require insight (hers) and introspection (the person she’s working with). Last night the person being asked to instrospect was me, and self-diagnosis is not one of the things I do really well. Not taking my B.S. is another one of the things Carla does really well.

So instead of just “getting together for drinks” (which would have been good), I left feeling like I could tackle the world and with homework assignments (which was even better).

I hope you have a friend like Carla who can totally make your day an A+. Gotta go do my homework now.

Love, Mom

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