Champagne Art Auction

Champagne Art Auction

Dear Kid,

We went to our first cruise champagne art auction. DearKidLoveMom.comWe went to our first cruise champagne art auction. They had some really great art on board (Agam, Britto, Maxx).

These were not the pieces they were giving away cheap.

These were pieces that were price to take up our entire food budget for the next 18 years. Since I feel strongly about being fed, we did not invest.

But I drooled.

Extensively. (And expensively.)

And we won a bottle of champagne in the raffle. So there were plenty of bubbles to smile about.

Love, Mom

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Cruising Into Breakfast (Can You Count That High?)

Cruising Into Breakfast (Can You Count That High?)

Dear Kid,

It’s hard not to love breakfast buffets on a cruise. Unless you’re looking for leftover Chinese takeout.

The variety and abundance are wonderfully astounding. Unless you’re looking for cold pizza.

Of course it’s not always easy to know what things are. Dad sat down with something he told me was a scuffle. It was an egg-spinach-potato concoction. I later realized the “c” was actually an “o” on the sign and Dad’s breakfast became a soufflé.

There were a number of vegetarian (perhaps Indian?) dishes that I’d never heard of as well as the more traditional eggs (available 4,000 ways), oatmeal and grits (hot), muesli (cold), French toast, pancakes, waffles (pancakes with abs), pitzellas (really), muffins, fruit, yogurt, breakfast meats (available 40,000 ways), etc. You name it, they had it.

Except for figs.

And restraint. There wasn’t a bit of restraint in evidence.

But there was lots of Yum.

Love, Mom

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Re-Reading and Re-Thinking

Dear Kid,

I love re-reading books. I particularly like stories that I haven’t read in a while, so even though I don’t really remember the plot, they are like well-worn slippers that I slide into, comfortable in the surety that they will still fit.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Groucho DearKidLoveMom.comI’m a fan of fiction. I have more than enough reality IRL and I (generally) choose to read fiction that is light and fun and will in no way whatsoever change the course of the world.

Right now I’m rereading the Divergent series. I remember that when I read it the series the first time, I liked it progressively less as I worked my way through the books. But I often find that with a series (do you?) and didn’t think much about it.

This time I’m reading with a slightly different eye.

Actually, I don’t know that it’s my eye that has changed so much as our national landscape has changed. It’s a scarier book this time.

I can’t help thinking about which Faction I would be in, or that you and Pi and Dad would be in different ones. I can’t help thinking that we’re living in a world where hatred within our country is running so high that the idea of a war against People Not Like Us is not as ridiculous as it should be. Nor is the idea that leaders inevitably become tyrannical out of fear and a lust for power.

On a more frivolous note, in a self-sufficient post-massive-war Chicago, they still have coffee. And guns.

Not all the factions have soda or cake. But they couldn’t get rid of the coffee.

Or guns.

Maybe it’s not really a frivolous note….

Love, Mom

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Groundhog? Go for the Ice Cream

Groundhog? Go for the Ice Cream

Dear Kid,

Happy International Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

Today is Groundhog Day! You’d think I’d be talking about that furry little rodent (or more likely, threatening him). Been there, done that, so I’m moving on.

(Mr. Groundhog, please, please don’t see your shadow!)

Tomorrow is International Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

How cool (or frozen) is that?

So instead of stressing about whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, I’m thinking about breakfast ice cream.

Coffee ice cream? Absolutely.

Chai tea ice cream? Sounds fabulous.

Peanut butter? A bit of protein is a great idea.

Scrambled egg ice cream? No, and no.

Left over Chinese food ice cream? Er, not really getting Mu Shoo ice cream.

Vanilla? Chocolate? Strawberry? Yes, yes, yes. Pistachio? Sure. Rocky Road? Why not. Moose tracks? Go for it.

In fact, I’m having a hard time coming up with ice cream flavors that would be good at some time but not good at breakfast.

Do you think Phil can be bribed with ice cream?

Love, Mom

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You May Not Give a Fig, But I Do

Dear Kid,

We don’t have any figs in the house. I know this because I spent 5 minutes staring into the pantry willing them to appear. It didn’t work. We are fig-less.

We don’t have any figs in the house. I know this because I spent 5 minutes staring into the pantry willing them to appear. It didn’t work. We are fig-less. DearKidLoveMom.comFig trees don’t have blossoms. Technically speaking, there are a zillion tiny flowers inside each fruit (you and I call them “seeds”). Regardless, they are yummy.

Or they would be if we had any.

Figs are loaded with calcium, B vitamins, and fiber, which means they are not only yummy, they are quite healthy.

The health benefits are more effective if you eat them. Which I can’t do because we don’t have any.

The early Olympic athletes ate figs as part of their training regimen. Which meant when they looked in the pantry, they found figs.

According to Pliny (he lived a long time ago), figs are not only healthful, they prevent wrinkles.

We still don’t have any figs. Not even a Newton.

I am doomed to an evening of calcium-deficient wrinkles.

Love, Mom

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National Popcorn Day | January 19th

National Popcorn Day | January 19th

Dear Kid,

The laziest man I ever met put popcorn in his pancakes so they would turn over by themselves. W. C. Fields DearKidLoveMom.comIt may be corny, but today we celebrate National Popcorn Day. No one knows who invented the day, but here we are. (And yes, in case you were wondering, I checked and there is a Popcorn Board but they have no idea where the idea of National Popcorn Day came from. They aren’t about to argue the point, but they didn’t invent it.)

We, the People, are fans of popcorn (on National Popcorn Day and every other day). In fact, we eat more than 17 billion quarts of popcorn in the US. Not all at once.

A popcorn kernel can pop up to three feet in the air if it’s not covered during the popping. This would be dumb because popcorn would end up everywhere except in the bowl meaning you’d have no snack and lots of cleaning. Which sounds like a bad trade to me.

Warning! Do not store popcorn in the refrigerator. The frig will dry out the moisture in unpopped kernels and without the moisture, the popcorn won’t pop. And if it’s already popped, all I can say is cold popcorn. Ick.

In ancient times, people would make popcorn by heating sand in a fire and then stirring popcorn kernels in the sand. This is not a recipe I recommend. Unless you like sand in your popcorn.

Not all popcorn is the same. While the kernels look the same, popcorn pops into two shapes: “snowflake” (which pops bigger and therefore is used at most movie theaters) and “mushroom.” The shape has no impact on the taste or lack thereof.

Popcorn is a whole grain, containing the germ, the endosperm, and the outer hull (pericarp). It also has protein, vitamins, and minerals although the amount depends on how much popcorn you eat. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s a good excuse for snacking.

Happy National Popcorn Day! Excuse me while I make some popcorn to celebrate.

Love, Mom

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