Understanding Real Friendships

Understanding Real Friendships

Dear Kid,

Have you ever gone a while without talking to someone and then you pick up right where you left off, weeks, or months, or years earlier?

"I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light." — Helen Keller DearKidLoveMom.comRecently, I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. We had some serious catching up to do, but it was effortless, engaging, and endlessly entertaining. In other words, it was our friendship. The same as it had always been.

That’s the great thing about real friends. The friendship doesn’t disappear. Sometimes it fades for a while. Sometimes it lies dormant during a friendship winter. But it’s there, waiting for friendship spring, ready to blossom back.

Cheers to friends.

Love, Mom

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Bugs Bunny (Wait ‘Til You Read This!)

Dear Kid,

If you had been around in 1940 (you weren’t) and if you’d been paying attention (you probably would have been looking in the other direction), you might have been aware that there was a new cartoon. If you’d been time traveling, you might have understood the implications of a buck-tooth bunny. Otherwise, you might not have immediately grasped the implications.

chewed on a carrot while he voiced the carrot-chomping parts DearKidLoveMom.com

Bugs Bunny first appeared in his own short (A Wild Hare) on July 27, 1940 (which makes him older than you), and he shot to stardom like a cartoon character jumping on an Acme Products trampoline.

FACT: Mickey and Bugs were the first cartoon characters to have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bugs is a US Marine. (Hard to imagine him with Gibbs.) In 1943 Bugs wore a Marines uniform in the movie Super Rabbit (one of the Private Snafu instructional cartoons) and the USMC decided to make him an honorary private. Then he was promoted. And then promoted again! Rinse and repeat until Bugs was a Master Sergeant. [Extra points if you know what Snafu stands for.)

FACT: Bugs Bunny was the first cartoon character to appear on postage stamp.

Mel Blanc provided the first voice for Bugsy and it was originally supposed to sound more like Daffy Duck, but Mel went in a different direction. Also, he actually chewed on a carrot while he voiced the carrot-chomping parts (and then he spit the chewed up carrot pieces out so he could go on recording).

Love, Mom

SNAFU stands for Situation Normal All Fouled Up.

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Cascara (What?) | More New Experiences at La Terza

Cascara (What?) | More New Experiences at La Terza

Dear Kid,

The other day I told you about the coffees we tried at La Terza. What I didn’t tell you about was the cascara we drank there.

“The what?” you say. So glad you asked.

Cascara (which David taught me to remember because it sounds like mascara—although why he thinks about mascara is not something he and I discussed) is the husk of the dried coffee cherry.

Basically what happens is the (highly valued) seeds (and by “seeds” I mean coffee beans) are removed from the cherries. What’s left is then dried in the sun (like a raisin except without the raisin-ness). If you can get cascara (which is not easy—thank you La Terza for sharing!), you’d likely brew the cherries like a tea.

And it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted. Because you’ve never tasted coffeetea. Or teacoffee. (Or cofftea?) But you’ve tasted toffee and this is nothing like that.

It’s delicious. Sort of fruity coffee with the consistency of tea. In a word: Yum.

Often, in coffee producing areas, people drink cascara rather than coffee, because coffee beans can be sold for cash money and cascara is generally just used as compost (at best) or landfill (at worse). With cascara becoming more popular, the entire cherry is being used.

You can also just chomp cascara. I tried that. It was ok, but never going to replace raisins in my world.

A word of caution. When (as and if) you purchase cascara, make sure you purchase from a (highly) reputable source and that you’re buying cascara not cascara sagrada which is the dried bark of the California buckthorn tree and is often used as a laxative. Who knew? Stick with the real cascara.

Love, Mom

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Keeping Up with American Ninja Warrior

Keeping Up with American Ninja Warrior

Dear Kid,

Have you been watching American Ninja Warrior? Probably not.

I could give you a play-by-play, but it would probably sound something like this:

What? Seriously? OMG! How do these people DO this? Humans just aren’t supposed to be able to…WHAT WHAT WHAT? GO! You can do it!

(You don’t have to tell me I’m not cut out to be a play-by-lay commentator.)

I’m so impressed with these athletes. And the women are getting stronger and stronger and going further and further each year. The most amazing part to me is that the competitors all have day jobs. They aren’t professional athletes (OK—a few are professional athletes in other sports—and they tend not to be the ones that go all that far in ANW). But the vast majority are teachers and realtors and doctors and whatnot.

The dedication they have is astounding, and their athleticism is beyond astounding (what is beyond astounding?). This year, the obstacles are more ridiculous than ever. The competitors are having to hold on with both arms (no legs) and then jump over to the next arm hold (still no legs). Do you know how difficult that is??? Crazy.

Just thinking about it makes me want to go lie down for a while.

Love, Mom

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Learning About Coffee at La Terza

Dear Kid,

In all the excitement of The Big News yesterday, I didn’t have time to tell you about our experience at La Terza.

La Terza is an Artisan Coffee Roasterie in Cincinnati. Not only do they roast up extraordinary coffee, they believe strongly in educating people about all things coffee. So on Saturday, Dad and I went over to La Terza for a tour. And education. A tour-cation. A tour de force of tasting and learning.

Learning about coffee at La Terza. DearKidLoveMom.com

We tasted three different kinds of coffee (Ethiopian, the second one which I think was Brazilian but I’m not sure, and Sumatran).

We learned that when coffee is first brewed, it is too hot for all our happy taste buds. The only ones that work at super hot temps are the bitter receptors. So wait for your coffee/tea/soup to cool from about 180 degrees down to 145 or so to taste the full flavor.

Learning about coffee at La Terza. DearKidLoveMom.com

We learned about how coffee spread around the world and how it’s now grown on farms. We learned more in an hour and a half than….well, we learned a lot.

Then we got to help in the process! (How cool is that!)

We got to help roast the Sumatran beans. Dad poured the green beans into the roaster. (I moved the lever.)

Dad helped roast the Sumatran beans at La Terza. DearKidLoveMom.com

When the beans were done, David (La Terza’s owner) ground them up and made us coffee. Freshest cup ever.

Dad helped roast the Sumatran beans at La Terza. DearKidLoveMom.com

It was a wonderful morning.

Love, Mom

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The Editorial Board Met and Decisions Have Been Made

Dear Kid,

The Editorial Board met and decisions have been made.

The Editorial Board Met and Decisions Have Been Made DearKidLoveMom.comTo be clear, I am the Editorial Board and I always talk to myself, so having a Meeting wasn’t exactly an event. More of a continuum of thought.

And making a decision of this magnitude was less a single episode and more something I’ve been sneaking up on for a while.

But I have finally decided. And by announcing it, the decision becomes formal.

DearKidLoveMom will no longer publish on weekends. We are reinventing ourselves to a Monday through Thursday communication. (Tiny print: Except in extreme circumstances where I can’t help myself.)

Why? Because.

You are approaching a new phase in your education by heading off to an internship. Which means I am heading off to a new phase of mom-ing. So I’m gifting myself a break.

This is (probably) the last weekend post for DearKidLoveMom.

I love you, Kiddo. Have a good weekend.

Love, Mom

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Yark! Running a Little Late

Yark! Running a Little Late

Dear Kid,

Yark! This morning came a little early.

Actually, this morning came right on time. Our decision to do something with it came a little late. Which means I have 8 minutes to dash off this letter, finish my coffee, and be in the car.

We’re headed for a tour of a coffee roaster. I think that sounds like an excellent way to spend a boiling hot Saturday morning, don’t you? According to Dad, we’ll get to see the roasting operation and taste a couple of different kinds of coffees. I’m in!

Six minutes.

Other exciting things on the docket for the weekend: fill the car with gas, do some house cleaning, do a little cooking, brush the Puppy, sleep. Makes you wish you were here, doesn’t it?

Two minutes.

Gotta fly.

Love, Mom

 

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