It’s International Beer Day

It’s International Beer Day

Dear Kid,

A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.-- Czech Proverb, DearKidLoveMom.comHappy Friday! And Happy International Beer Day!

Didn’t know it was International Beer Day? Then it’s a good thing you have me.

There are three major classifications of beer: ales, lagers, and (if you’re a college student) beer-in-the-hand (which beats the kind that is more drinkable but more expensive).

Pay attention. There will be a quiz at the end.

Ales have been around forever (and by “forever” I mean back before women knew it was acceptable to punch a man who yelled, “Bring us some ale, wench!”). Lagers have only been around for a few hundred years.

Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for short periods of time, while lagers are cold fermented for longer periods of time.

The primary types of ale are pale ale and brown ale, but within those categories are bitters, milds, IPAs, nut browns.

Lagers are the world’s most popular beer and the primary types are pilsners and dark lagers.

Then there are stouts (with a dark, coffee-like taste), porters (happy to carry your luggage for a tip), and malts (light to full-bodied with hints of caramel, toffee, and nuts).


Love, Mom

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August is The Month of Transition

August is The Month of Transition

Dear Kid,

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit and Happy August.

It seems (to me) appropriate to use a lot of capital letters as we head into the a Month of Transition.

August is a Month of Transition. That’s why it has 31 days—to give us one extra before we pop into September (you’re reading this on the internet therefore it must be true).

We’re transitioning from camps to home to college. We’re transitioning from the looser structure of summer to the more rigid structure of the school year. We’re transitioning from shorts every day to shorts only on the weekend. We’re transitioning from summer sales to back to school sales.

There is a whole new crop of freshmen heading off to college this month. They face the same excitement-nervousness-happy-terrified-wonderful feelings every freshman faces. More importantly, their parents face the same excitement-nervousness-happy-terrified-wonderful feelings every parent faces.

News flash: kids get over it faster than parents.

Second news flash: parents generally know we’ll all get over it sooner or later.

Third news flash: we all get to experience it for each big “new.” Moving into an apartment, going off to an internship, joining a sorority or fraternity, getting a job.

It was not my idea to pose for photos before breakfast DearKidLoveMom.comMega news flash for parents of college kids: they are much better at sharing the not so good news and the scary than they are at sharing the good stuff. Which is to say, they’ll sometimes contact you when life isn’t so great and sometimes forget to let you know they’re still on the planet when the happy happens. Unless they’re the kid who only tells you the good stuff and suffers in silence with the more difficult things.

Mega news flash for kids: we want to hear all of it. The good, the bad, the ugly, the wonderful, what you had for breakfast. (Ok, ok, you’re independent—you don’t have to share breakfast unless you want to. Just eat something. Coffee by itself is insufficient.) We’re thrilled that you’re having new adventures and new experiences and we want to know all about it.

As a conversation stopper, "I don't drink caffeine" was right up there with “Let’s talk politics and religion.” DearKidLoveMom.comBecause we love you.

Happy August.

Love, Mom


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Happy Global Hug Your Kids Day

Dear Kid,

Happy Yellow Pig Day! (Yes, it's a thing, and yes you should read about it.) DearKidLoveMom.comToday is Yellow Pig Day! Remember what that means? Neither did I, so click here to reread about it.

It’s also Peach Ice Cream Day! Know what that means? Know what that means? Go eat some peach ice cream and think about it.

Most importantly, it’s Global Hug Your Kids Day.

I think Global Hug Your Kids Day is a great idea. Hugs are important. Hugs are essential. Hugs are calorie-free chocolate.

Happy Global Hug Your Kids Day!

But you are not here and that makes it more difficult to hug you. (And by “more difficult” I mean impossible.)

This presents a celebratory dilemma.

I could suggest you give yourself a hug for me. Not a terrible idea, but certainly not one of my best.

I could text one of your friends or co-workers and ask one of them to give you a hug. That would work better if I knew how to contact one of them. (I wonder if it’s too late to rent a skywriting plane…)

I could wrap a hug in plastic and mail it to you, but a) that doesn’t seem very satisfactory and b) it won’t get there for a few days. Next!

I could write a blog letter and post it online. Oh, wait, I already do that.

Or maybe, I can send you a virtual hug. Just tell you how much I love you and that I wish I were near enough to hug you in person.

Virtual hug, coming your way.

Love, Mom

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The 5th-ness of July

Dear Kid,

Today is July 5th. Just in case you thought the major holiday of the month was yesterday….OK, the major holiday of the month was yesterday, but today is also a Day of Celebration.

Today’s holidays are brought to you by Whose Idea Was This? and You’ve Got to be Kidding Me!

Because today’s holidays are (I am not making this up) National Bikini Day and Work-a-holics Day.

Now let’s just think about this for a minute.

What are the main activities for the 4th of July? Picnics, drinking, more picnics, more drinking, fireworks. And while fireworks are non-fattening, the same cannot be said for picnics and adult beverages. So who thought it would be a good idea to put Bikini Day right after Snarf Everything In Sight Day?

July 5th. Things can get confusing sometimes... DearKidLoveMom.comAs for Work-a-holics Day, on the one hand isn’t every day Work-a-holics Day? (Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department.) On the other hand, there are a lot of people still on vacation on the day after the 4th, so perhaps it isn’t the ideal time to celebrate excessive working. On the other hand (yes, I know that’s three hands—either I’m an alien or counting isn’t really the point here), those of us that are working are pitching in for those on vaca, so maybe it is the right time to celebrate.

Mostly, I hope people don’t get the holidays confused. Seeing people wearing bikinis in the office would definitely be, um, weird, and people trying to work at the pool would be bad for computers and general productivity.

Personally, I think I’ll just stick with saying, Happy July 5th.

Love, Mom

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Fourth of July To Do List

Fourth of July To Do List

Dear Kid,

Fourth of July To Do List:

4h of July. Happy Birthday America. DearKidLoveMom.comMake a cup of coffee.

Fill the bird feeder.

Watch the squirrels eat the seeds I spilled filling the bird feeder.

Put on bug spray.

Pull out wintercreeper.

Provide mosquitoes with brunch despite the bug spray.

Explain to the birds that they should eat some bugs in addition to the birdseed.

Be ignored by the birds.

Watch Puppy nap on the driveway. Decide he has the right idea and call him over for a snuggle. Extra points for a sleepy snuggly puppy.

Wave as Dad and Pi leave for a bike ride.

Plan lunch.

Plan dinner.

Watch the squirrels some more because it’s fun.

Take refrigerator inventory and re-plan meals. Consider stealing seed from the squirrels to make dinner since there’s not much in the house.

Watch the weeds regenerate at light speed. Times two.

Make another cup of coffee.

Watch the squirrels plot how to get to the birdfeeder because eating the seeds that fall is great but insufficient. For the millionth time, wonder whether “bird  feeder” or “birdfeeder” is correct. Decide the answer can wait.

Brush the Puppy. It’s summer, so allow extra time.

Get ready for the fireworks and music festival this evening.

Make another cup of coffee.

Be proud to live in this country despite all its faults. And the mosquitoes.

Happy Birthday, America!

Love, Mom

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It’s Not Just Memorial Day

It’s Not Just Memorial Day

Dear Kid,

It’s Memorial Day. You knew that. And if you want to read my serious thoughts on the day, you can find them here and here. If you want my thoughts about Memorial Day hot dogs, click here.

But today is far more than Memorial Day. It is also Learn About Composting Day.

I am not joking.

Learn About Composting Day was created by the Holiday Insights people in 2011. I have no idea (absolutely no idea) why they would pick Memorial Day, because it seems like a bad pun to me. I’m hoping they just happened to coincide this year. But still….

The general idea behind composting is to take vegetable and fruit scraps, pack them away in a dark place for a while, and voila! you have wonderful, nutritious compost that you can use to fertilize plants in the garden. What could be easier?

The harvest--pre-compost. DearKidLoveMom.comAt our house, we excel at some of the steps.

Create fruit and veggie scraps? No problem. We generate a ton of peels, ends, tops, and rinds.

Collect the aforementioned scraps? Still no problem. We sometimes fill multiple containers in a day.

Deposit the scraps in a dark place? We are so on it! (And by “we” I mean Dad. He does an outstanding job of taking the scraps out to the compost bin.)

Leave the aforementioned scraps alone and let them decompose? Doing nothing is one of my superpowers.

Take out the wonderful, nutritious compost and fertilize plants? Um, not so much.

For reasons I can’t even begin to understand or analyze, we have the Las Vegas of compost bins: what goes into the compost bin stays in the compost bin. It must be decomposing and settling down inside the bin because the volume we’ve put in far exceeds the size of the container. Unless there’s a fourth dimension to the container…hadn’t thought about that…

“Next year” we are going to take the compost out and spread it around. Apparently, “next year” is one of those unreachable goals that moves farther away as you get closer. Remember Tantalus?

On the down side, our plants are not getting the benefit of wonderfully decomposed kitchen scraps. On the plus side, the scraps aren’t in a landfill and they aren’t in the kitchen. And I got to mention mythology.

Happy Composting!

Love, Mom

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