Have you been watching Call The Midwife on PBS? Season Two just ended and those of us addicted to the show are bereft. Its the adaptation of a series of books by British nurse Jennifer Worth which chronicle her years working as a midwife in the East End of London. Set in the 50s, each episode is a vignette detailing issues of the time, such as racism, the lack of reliable birth control, prostitution, separation of the classes, and changing rules of propriety. (more…)
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Do you watch AMC’s The Walking Dead? I do and adore it, along with my husband, siblings, and a lot of my friends. Great show! But that’s not what I want to blog about. The topic I want to discuss is the little six or seven inch action figures that AMC is marketing. I gave the Daryl Dixon figure to my girlfriend for Christmas a couple years ago because we both like Norman Reedus. It cost around sixteen dollars. I later found two more, one each for my husband and myself, and we started collecting the entire set
Our set is incomplete now, even with the extras we bought, because we’re selling those suckers off! Have you looked at prices for them on Ebay? Daryl Dixon goes for up to Three Hundred Dollars! We just sold one for two hundred and sixty. The other main characters sell for up to two hundred and the zombies for up to one hundred. If we sell off the entire first series we’re looking at a profit of around a thousand dollars.
So my question is: Are people insane?
My kids keep freaking me out. They read things on the internet and then tell me about them. An example – “Mom, did you know that in The Lion King, when Simba became king, they had to eat the hyenas?” Gross, right? This is something I never considered, never wanted to consider, but unfortunately sounded true.
My mind keeps going back to a recent conversation. I’d gotten up from the couch and walked purposefully into my bedroom. But when I got there I looked around, confused as to my purpose for being there. When I almost walked into my daughter on the way back to the living room and laughingly explained the incident, she said “Oh, you just went to have a conversation with someone who no longer exists”.
Apparently she’d read on the internet that due to the liquidity of timelines its possible for us to exist concurrently with other incarnations of ourselves. Sometimes things happen to people we know in the other timelines (dimensions, whatever) that cause them to cease to exist in our own, but our brain knows something is missing and causes us to occasionally act upon the presence that should be there. I’m no physicist, but what that tells me is that for every one of the uncountable times I’ve walked into a room without knowing why, I’ve experienced a loss. Agh! Freaky.
Does anyone else’s kids or friends freak them out the way my kids do me?
- Wendy AAR
I had an interesting run-in while grocery shopping the other day. I was walking by one of those sample give-away booth setups and saw that the featured product was Jergen’s lotion. My hands were dry, so I stopped and was hijacked into a long uncomfortable conversation with the woman running the thing. I don’t know if she was manic or bipolar or just very, very lonely, but I couldn’t break away without being rude. Thankfully, I stayed to listen because she gave me some great skin care advice. (more…)
Years ago, in holidays past, I enjoyed cooking. Now, four kids and a two decades later, it’s not my thing. In fact, I go to great lengths to avoid actually making food. My family survives on grocery pre-made goodies, a host of frozen main dishes from Trader Joe’s, and their wits. So, when the AAR staff decided to share their favorite holiday cookie recipes, I was sure I’d have nothing to contribute. But, as Blythe pointed out, I’m probably not the only non-cooker in our readership. And, upon occasion, even those of us who avoid the kitchen do have to produce “home made” baked goods.
So, for those whom home-made treats are something other people do, here are few easy short cuts.
1) Buy slice and bake gingerbread cookies, roll them into little balls and dunk them into colored sugar. Cook them for 2/3 the time on the label. They’ll be soft, sweet, and mildly festive.
2) Make boxed brownies but add a bag of chocolate fudge pudding, a cup of chocolate chips, and a teaspoon of vanilla to the mixture. Bake according to what it says on the box. Let cool completely before cutting. You’ll have deeply fudgy brownies the chocoholics in your life will love.
3) Dump a bag of frozen berries into a rectangular baking pan. Add in a package of vanilla pudding and a teaspoon of vanilla. Mix thoroughly. In another bowl, melt a stick of butter. Add a cup of granola, a cup of quick oats, and a cup of brown sugar. Mix together and put on top of berry mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice-cream and tell your kids it’s a “healthy” dessert because it has fruit and fiber.
4) Get to know the best frozen desserts at your grocery store. I–and my family–will vouch for almost anything in the Trader Joe’s cake and pie section. In fact, it’s hard to beat TJ’s frozen New York Cheesecake (the one in the blue box) or their Chocolate Ganache Torte. Both vanish the minute I put them on our kitchen counter.
5) Instead of bringing baked goods to the party, show up with a good but inexpensive bottle of bubbly. Your hosts won’t mind a bit!
Growing up one of my mother’s favorite snacks was pimento cheese. Perhaps it’s because we lived in the north (I’ve since learned it’s a longtime southern favorite), but she never made her own. Instead, she bought this small jarred version of pimento cheese. For a special treat for all of us, she’d put tiny squares of rye bread topped with pimento cheese on a plate. I thought they were okay, but as a girl, would have preferred another snack.
Post-presidential debate, a new sub-genre of Amazon reviews crops up:
- Jean AAR
I have a warm place in my heart for the first season of Downton Abbey. My best girlfriend and I spent a beautiful spring day indoors, watching the entire series in one sitting. We had a wonderful time exclaiming over the drama, insulting the oldest sister for spending so much time in the mirror, and by the end of the day we both had a mad crush on the valet, Bates, played by Brendan Coyle. (more…)
A charter school recently saved my sanity. I have a brilliant daughter who experiences anxiety when she attends regular public high school. Something about the huge crowds of children, or the chaos during class changes, pushes her panic button. Because of this problem we spent the better part of the school year dealing with truancy, constant illnesses, falling grades, therapy, and medication. I finally withdrew her from public school and enrolled her in a local charter school. What a relief. (more…)