BAKER’S REMORSE

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I’ve always loved to bake.  I cook simply because there are mouths to feed over here but I bake because I thoroughly enjoy it.  And when it’s dark and cold and rainy outside there is nothing better than being inside a warm house with the smell of fresh cookies in the oven.

But something happened a few days ago that has never happened before…I sort of found my kryptonite.  I decided to try a new chocolate chip cookie recipe and I’ve completely lost all self-control.  Now, I like sweets as much as anyone, but I’m aware of the rules of normalcy….eating a couple of cookies after lunch, not a problem.  Eating SEVEN cookies before 10:00am….now it’s getting weird.  

And it’s gotten WAY weird with these cookies.  My first mistake was making far too much dough.  My second mistake was cooking them so that they were a little crispy on the outside yet chewy and gooey on the inside.  My final downfall was keeping dozens of these cookies in plain sight on my counter in a clear plastic container.

And every single time I walked into the kitchen there they were, just taunting me with their deliciousness.  Once I realized that me and these cookies had a little problem, I tried ignoring them.  Tried avoiding eye contact with the container.  I got to the point where I would spend lengths of time in the kitchen doing the dishes, preparing meals, stealing glances at the container out of the corner of my eye, pretending that I was going to win just this one battle and leave the kitchen empty-handed.

But I was shamefully defeated EVERY damn time.  When I opened the container to take this photo I LITERALLY PUT A COOKIE IN MY MOUTH AND IT WAS HANGING THERE while I clicked away.

When the kids asked to have a cookie I was like “YES!  Have a cookie!  Have FIVE cookies!  Pack them in your lunch and pass them out at school….JUST PLEASE MAKE THEM GO THE HELL AWAY!  

Thankfully, the cookies are now gone and life resumes as normal with the exception that I can’t button any of my pants.  If any of you are curious as to the recipe, I apologize but after the last cookie was gone I ceremoniously burned it at the stake while singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” around my kitchen.

“Where DOES The Other Sock Go?” And A Few More Things I’d Like To Know

1.  The lyrics to Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam.  Eddie Vedder…you’re amazing and all but I’ve heard that song countless times since 1992, and I still don’t know WTF you are saying.  Just listen for like, 20 seconds…..

See what I mean?  That song totally cramps my car karaoke jam, it’s much harder to annoy my children when I’m just mumbling nonsense the whole time.

2.  Boy or turtle?  A many years long, great debate in my family.  I mean, clearly, it’s a turtle.

Slow Caution Danger Sign

3.  Where DOES the other sock go?  It’s pretty much my goal in life to unload the whites from the dryer and have them all match up, just once.  It will probably never happen, but a girl can dream, right?

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4.  How is it that I have a degree from UCSD but I can’t help my kid with 4th grade math homework??  I mean, I can figure out the answers, but according to my daughter, “THAT IS NOT THE WAY WE LEARNED IT AT SCHOOL!!  YOU’RE DOING IT ALL WRONG!!”

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5.  How can an egg roll possibly retain heat for so long?  I make like four attempts to eat it and I get screwed every time.  I’m like a dog that gets shocked but I just keep comin’ back for more.

Homemade Chinese Vegetable EggRolls

TRICKY LITTLE BUGGERS

6.  That Meat Loaf song, “I would do anything for love (but I won’t do that).”  I know every single word to that song but for the life of me I can’t figure out what “that” is.  Please, somebody tell me…what won’t he do???  This is the crap that keeps me up at night.

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7.  How is yawning contagious?  I bet you yawned reading that, didn’t you?  Want to see if someone you know is a psychopath?  Yawn in front of them.  People high in psychopathic personality traits often don’t “catch” the contagious yawn, because they are lacking in empathy.  Just learned that today.  MIND. BLOWN.  And I yawned like six times while writing this so I am totally not a psychopath, just in case you’ve ever wondered.

8.  Why and OMG WHY???  Nobody should eat their breakfast on a stick.  NOBODY.  (For some reason, I imagine myself saying that with a thick Italian accent.  Probably because if my Italian ancestors saw the kind of crap Americans deem “food”, they would die).

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Anyway, those are just a few of the things I ponder during my morning shower.  Thanks for listening.  How about you…what are some things you would like to know?  Feel free to share in the comments!

Friday Night Entertainment On Bainbridge Island

My husband and I were born and raised in the suburbs of Southern California and New York, respectively.  Our decision to randomly pick up and move ourselves and our three children to a small, rural island in the Pacific Northwest surprised a lot of friends and family.

“But what is there to do?”
“There’s no mall at all?”
How far do you have to drive to Target?”
“What if you, like, needed to buy underwear?” (I still don’t have an answer to that one)
“You have to take a ferry everywhere?”
“Does Amazon even deliver there?” (Yup, I would not be able to survive here otherwise)

Anyway, when we moved into our house in the woods four years ago, we inherited a feral cat called “Blackie”.  The previous owners had been feeding him for years and asked if we would continue to look out for him.  We agreed.  Now I actually spend more on cat food than dog food for my actual pet because he’s a spoiled feral cat who only likes expensive canned stuff.

We feed him every day to supplement his hunting and even with that, he allows no human contact.  He has survived for an unknown (but large) number of years on this island teeming with predators.  There are cats here that don’t last a single night outside between the coyotes, raccoons, bald eagles, etc.  He has survived rainstorms, snowstorms, freezing temps and 52 consecutive days without rain last summer.

We honestly did not understand how it was possible Blackie was still alive…until tonight, when he showed us just how tough he actually is.

I happened to catch a pretty amazing exchange with my phone.  I sent the video to my family who began to mercilessly make fun of me for my narration during the event.

From my sister, “Janene is narrating like she is in Nairobi on Safari.”
From my brother, “LOL!!!! Can I post on Facebook, pleeeeassse?”
From my son, “OMG mom, you’re like better than the double rainbow guy.”

And then my aspiring little filmmaker set about editing a re-mix of my ridiculous commentary.

And as embarrassing as it is, they all convinced me to post it.  And even though I know this time people will be laughing AT me, not WITH me, I guess I’ll take a laugh any way I can get it!

 

The Sock Incident

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Having lived with Labrador Retrievers for many years, my family has no shortage of crazy dog stories. Honestly, the list of items ingested by our labs could fill a book.

Yes, we have lots of stories, however, none of them compare to “The Sock Incident”.

One day, when he was about 9 months old, Charlie (our current lab) seemed to be more mellow than usual, just sort of moping around. As the day went on, he looked worse and worse and that night when I put his dinner out and he didn’t touch it, I knew something was really wrong. Labs NEVER refuse food. Based on his track record I figured it was quite probable that he had eaten something he shouldn’t have. Our regular vet was closed for the day but I found a vet in the next town that was still open and headed over.

When I got there I explained to the receptionist and the vet tech that I wanted x-rays done because I was pretty sure that he ingested something that was causing his malaise. There was a scale in the lobby where we were standing and the vet tech wanted to get his weight in case they needed to put him under for surgery. “Here we go again,” I thought, mentally calculating the cost of this one in my head.

The vet tech took Charlie’s leash and tried to walk him toward the scale but Charlie refused to move. With a look of panic in his eyes, he just kept pulling back on the leash over and over. I was getting frustrated so I started to push him onto the scale and he bolted back with all his strength.

Suddenly he squats his legs and assumes the position of a dog who is about to do something you do NOT want him to do indoors.

Looking absolutely crazed now, he starts pushing and straining and pushing some more. The receptionist, the vet tech, and myself are all just standing there watching the scene unfold in what seemed like slow motion. And then it happened, like a cork popping off a bottle of champagne.

An object comes absolutely FLYING out of Charlie’s ass and shoots through the air like a torpedo.

And that object had apparently been plugging up a river of liquids and solids that were now being relentlessly unleashed and spewed all over the LOBBY of the vet’s office.

The three of us are all standing in a circle around Charlie, dead silent, mouths hanging open, staring at the wreckage before us and at the object that landed across the room, which we can now see is a large sock.

The vet tech breaks the stunned silence with, “I CANNOT believe that just happened.” The receptionist chimes in, “That is the craziest thing I have ever seen in my life.” I am looking at Charlie, who is now prancing around the lobby, tail wagging, like he’s just won the lottery.

The vet tech looks at me and says, “I hope you realize your dog just shit out a $2000 sock.”

I have no idea what to do, what to say. I am completely mortified by what my dog has just done in their office. The vet tech turns to me and says, “Well, do you want to go back and see the vet now so he can check him out?” I should’ve said ok. I should’ve done anything other than what I did.

I grabbed Charlie’s leash and started walking slowly backwards, toward the front door.

“Um, well, actually….I think we’re good now! I mean, clearly, that was the problem so…uh…I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry.”

And Charlie and I bolted out the door in utter shame, leaving our trail of destruction behind us.

When I got home and maniacally pantomimed the entire episode to my husband he was incredulous. “You mean, you didn’t do ANYTHING? You just ran? You didn’t pay them anything or even OFFER to at least clean it up?”

No. Regretfully, I didn’t.

But I did give them a hell of a story to tell at their next office party, don’t you think?

I’m A Meme Makin’ Mom

I’ll be honest…I’ve had a bit of an issue understanding what a “meme” actually is.  Even after I looked it up.  According to Dictionary.com, a meme is “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.”  But every time I would refer to something as a meme, my kids would roll their eyes and say, “Mom!  That is NOT a meme.  Why can’t you GET this?”

Well, get THIS kiddos.  Not only do I now get what a meme is, I just learned how to MAKE them.  That’s right, me, sole keeper of thousands of your childhood photos, can turn any one of them into an overnight internet sensation at my whim.  Well, perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but still…I can show them to my nine blog readers.

What prompted this new hobby, you ask?  I came across a photo of my nephew that I took years ago, one of my favorites. And it just looked so meme-like. Though my own kids were pretty cute (in my not-so-humble, mom-biased opinion), my nephew was just next-level cute.  Here’s what I made…

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So I was at the computer with this photo, learning how to use Microsoft Paint to edit, caption it, etc.  And my 15 year old walks by and sees my computer screen.

Jack:  “What are you doing??”
Me:  “I’m making a meme.”
Jack:  “WHY?”
Me:  “Because it’s fun.  Maybe I’ll quit my job and become a famous meme maker.”
Jack:  “Oh my God, are you serious?  And I keep telling you, if you really want to be famous, you need to get off Facebook and get on Instagram.”
Me:  “That sounds complicated.  Leave me alone.”

He then takes a photo of my computer screen and furiously snapchats his sister in college.

Jack:  “Mom’s making memes!”
Hannah:  “What?!  Oh, God, no no no no!  You have to stop her.”
Jack:  “It’s too late.  She learned Paint.”

He then sends THIS to her and to his cousin (the baby in the photo).

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A real wise-ass, that son of mine.  Check out this one of you, my little darling…

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And to my picky eater youngest….

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Anyway, you get the point.  In fact, you may want to just unfollow me right now, because I could get really annoying, really fast, just memeing you all to death.

I mean, these ARE memes, right?  I’m pretty sure they are.  Yeah, they totally are.  I definitely know what a meme is now…I think.  Kids?  A little bit of help here?  Anyone?

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