Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And I Barely Caught My Breathe Before. . .

When you hold your newborn baby in your arms and gaze into the eyes that peer back at you in complete and utter surrender to the comfort and protection you offer, you aren't thinking about the week I just had.  The last thing you consider in that tender moment is hearing these words, 'I asked her to marry me and she said 'Yes!'"  But that is exactly the way my Wednesday afternoon began.

You cannot imagine the level of joy I felt at that moment because, my boy, my wise, wise boy is marrying up!  Not only has he chosen to spend the rest of his life with a woman who ticks all of the boxes of independence, intelligence and beauty, she is a proactive do-er and that, I quickly discovered, comes straight from her mother.  Boy hydee has my son hit the jackpot on mother-in-laws!  Less than 24 hours from their announcement, she was on the phone with me, extending her hand and offering to let me be a part of all the planning activities, something I have not practiced for almost 30 years.  I am sorely out of shape when it comes to being a girl or the mother of a girl and am wholly grateful that they are directing this rodeo and allowing me to ride the tethered pony along behind!

On Saturday, Moondoggy and I drove into Chicago to meet the Mother of the Bride (MOB) and, along with the happy couple, look at venues.  By all accounts, the events of the prior few days had hardly soaked in, and I was having a tug-of-war with the aging process which suddenly felt compelled to speed up as I realized I would be the Mother of the Groom (MOG). And there we were, being swept into what we will a year long process of planning.  

The MOB is a strikingly beautiful woman with an exuberant and vivacious personality and she can give her daughter as much grief as I give my boys - you gotta love that!  She is also a business owner who just happens to be an accomplished. . .LARGE EVENT PLANNER!  Have I got it made or what?  I am doing my thanking and praising all over the place about this.  There are simply things I don't even think about due to the lack of estrogen in the house that the Bride and the MOB knew to ask about and I could nod in agreement without looking to pathetically out of it.  But the BEST part of the whole day was when we met the wedding planner at one venue.  On introductions, she thought Moondoggy was the Bride's father and then asked if I was the SISTER!  Let me repeat that for you, she asked if I was the SISTER and when I laughed and told her I was the groom's mom, she said, "You look so young!"  Now, I hear a lot of things, but young has never been one of them.  Either she was a misguided but kind gal or she is the slickest of salespeople the wedding industry has ever produced.  Frankly, I don't care which because her comment sent my newly accelerated aging process into retreat.

Thankfully the MOB gave me a Chicago Wedding Planner Guide.  Now I have homework, but I am looking forward to rekindling my girly self and enjoying it.

And I say with pride, I am the Mother of the Groom!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Don't Call These Men Dogs - That Would Be An Insult To The Dog

Another book by an indie author.  I have been impressed with the plethora of excellent independently published books; books that may never have been available in the past.  As with all of the books I discuss, I'm not saying read this or don't.  I'll just leave it up to you.

by Dave Conifer.

The guy doesn't mess around.  There is nothing coy in the title.  Revenge takes an ugly form.  Wrecker is a novel replete with unexpected twists and turns and characters that seem like polar opposites, but essentially are the same.

Stuck in an unsatisfying marriage, Jane Havelock is busy mothering their young daughter, enduring the boorish and wholly unappealing attitude of her husband Steve.  Rarely have I readily disliked a character so quickly, but this guy is piece of work.  Stuck on himself in numerous areas, he, ever the shark for a bargain, hires a cut rate handy man to complete projects around the house.  Now I know what you are thinking.  You think that Jane will inevitably fall for the handy man who is always there when her egotistical, power hungry spouse isn't.  You think that, as the handy man endears himself to her young daughter, that a relationship will develop.  Well, don't think.

From there, the handy man takes them all on a wild ride filled with a case of "Roid Rage", revenge and self loathing that not only put Steve in a position of professional and financial ruin, but also in a position to find appreciation in Jane.  Too little too late if you ask me.

Conifer creates some despicable men to be sure, and just when you think the story will go one way, he turns it on a dime.  Unexpected.  Shocking.  Disturbing.  What more can I say?

Available through Amazon and on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Wrecker-Dave-Conifer/dp/1456584537/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/35959
Barnes & Noble:  http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Wrecker/Dave-Conifer/e/2940012049049/?itm=1&USRI=dave+conifer+wrecker

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The True and Real Story of. . .

Normally I don't take this space to rant. I don't feel normal today.

I've about had it with a trend that has been sweeping the country for the last year or two and I simply must address this before more people throw their hard earned cash at what really is worth nothing more a dollar.  My beef?  The Wedge Salad. I did not realize how prevalent the hype about this phenomenon was until watching "Modern Family" (I DVR it so I am a week off episode order) the other day.  A knock down, drag out fight took place between a married couple all because of the Wedge Salad.
You've probably seen it on the menu of your favorite restaurant, priced between $8 and $10.  But, do you know what a Wedge Salad really is?

My sister invented the Wedge Salad back in the 70's.  It's true.  In a fit of famished creativity, on a day when our snack foods had been depleted, my sister, too hungry to make a traditional salad, just cut a head of lettuce in quarters, poured dressing on the cut edge and let it seep into the crevices.  Then, she stood over the sink and ate the entire salad without dirtying a plate or cutlery.  Genius.

We called it a Bachelor Salad, but it became a very real part of our food reptoire. A true WS consists of a head of lettuce cut into quarters.  You can get 4 salads out of a head of lettuce.  Cover one of the wedges with dressing.  In my sister's case, it was my mom's homemade Thousand Island dressing, which is to die for and I would have to kill you if I gave you the recipe.  A true WS is not something consumed at the table, on a plate with a knife and fork, a true Wedge is always eaten over the sink.  THAT is a true Wedge Salad.  This bastardized version is a disgrace to the meaning of the original.

I'm not sure who claims to have originated the restaurant version that has become so popular, but they are making a killing.  Figure four WS from one head of lettuce, a smattering of bulk dressing, some cheese and bacon to stick and your talking ten bucks for a dollar salad and they are calling it gourmet.  And so many people are lining up to pay for it.

So next time you sit in a restaurant and ponder the Wedge, remember, you can make it at home in about 2 seconds and save yourself the money.  If you really want to spend that money, send it to me - I'll find something better to do with it.

Rant over, go back to your lives.