Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lucky Sevens

There’s a saying that bad things happen in threes. Well, I think it’s more like sevens.

Perhaps not for great big bad things like Japan's disaster trifecta: 1) earthquake, 2) tsunami, and 3) nuclear crisis (sending thoughts and prayers to Japan).

But I think that bad little everyday things happen in sevens.

For example, in the short span of a few weeks: 1) my car tire went flat, 2) the back door knob came loose, 3) the front window shutter fell off, 4) the cable froze up, 5) the hem came out of my favorite pair of pants, 6) my computer caught a virus, and 7) the seam split on the shoulder of my coat.

None of these things are catastrophes. They’re bad little things, but they’re annoying. I expect everyday things to work. I take everyday things for granted. I admit it. I don’t think about the door knob or my hem or the shutter, until it breaks. When an everyday thing breaks, it’s a hassle. And when everyday things fall apart all at once, the days seem to s-l-o-w down while precious time (and patience) is wasted to fix each previously unnoticed thing.

There is a lesson to be learned when everyday things fall apart: React, don’t overreact.

How you react makes all the difference. To keep perspective, one just has to look around at the much bigger problems in the world (again, thoughts of Japan) and realize that when everyday things fall apart the best reaction is to laugh, repair, and move on with every day.

Be glad for seven little things instead of three big bad ones.

Think of it as lucky sevens.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Too Much Thyme

I’m not a good cook. I can’t mix things up with a pinch of this or a dash of that and create something yummy and delicious. I need a recipe and measuring cups and perhaps even a copy of Cooking For Dummies (I have one) to make it from raw ingredients to cooked dinner.

Even then, it sometimes tastes bad.

Take tonight, for example. Inspired by watching Julie & Julia last week, I decided to try to cook a simple casserole. Believe me - I am under no illusion that I can cook French cuisine. You won’t find me anywhere near a Julia Child recipe. It’s not that I can’t boil an egg (I can’t, but I guess I could learn), it’s just that I never understood the need to boil an egg. Why, oh why, spend so much time making food when there are already so many cooked options out there to buy?

Cooking takes too much time.

But then there was movie inspiration paired with a hope to break free from the monotony of take-out dinners. And I took action. Recipe in hand, I walked the grocery store aisles and found the ingredients (more or less). I chopped carrots and sliced sweet red peppers (which, I discovered, are different from bell peppers). I diced green onions after my mom showed me which part to use – the white, not green (confusing). I thawed some frozen broccoli chunks and cut pieces of store-bought roasted chicken breast (I had to buy it already roasted. I have no idea how to roast a chicken – don’t judge - baby steps for baby cook). After all the prep, I had to cook the veggies and then dump everything together, mix it up and bake it. All in all, that “simple” casserole took about two hours from grocery to dish. Two hours!! Who has the time!?

And speaking of time…

I quickly realized after eating the casserole (the part of the project I was looking forward to the most, of course) that it had way too much thyme. Even though I followed the recipe to the teaspoon, even though it seemed to me (know-nothing cook) like such a small amount of thyme, the flavor of it was overwhelming. I still taste thyme now, about three hours after the meal.

What can I say? I tried.

It was nice to take a night off from take-out.

So...maybe next thyme.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spring Fever

I am so DONE with winter.

Just to recap, since you haven’t heard from me in recent months, here is a simple review of October through February:

Taylor has runny, goopy, Snotzilla nose (see previous post).

Stuffy nose leads to ear infection.

Taylor takes antibiotics for ten days.

Antibiotics create a terrible, raw diaper rash.





And somewhere in there was Thanksgiving, the birth of my first nephew - my dad’s and brother’s namesake - precious baby Dale Sorlie Ness III (kissy-kisses!), Christmas, the start of new year 2011, and Taylor’s 3rd birthday. Not to mention a busy fourth quarter for my law practice (which was good, but made for some tricky juggling of mommy hat and lawyer hat).

We’ve been to the pediatrician monthly, sometimes weekly. This past weekend, we went Friday and Saturday. We have every diaper rash remedy known to man – creams, lanolins, Aquaphor, anti-bacterial prescription meds, anti-fungals, Maalox, zinc oxide, corn starch, baking soda, paste and paste and triple paste. Nothing beats this brutal diaper rash. Feel free to send ideas!? We’re desperate.

Right now, Taylor is on the second day of her fifth round of antibiotics. This is the third type of antibiotic we’ve tried so far and its most common side effect is diarrhea – oh, yay. I’m bracing for severe diaper rash to follow and trying to entice Taylor into cute little panties as quickly as possible. But current potty-training efforts have resulted in pee on the floor and carpet with no pee yet in the potty. Sigh.

Please forgive my long absence from blogging. Please keep reading. I’ll be back with more frequent posts as the weather warms, the germs dissipate, the potty-training succeeds, and we all move from actual fever to spring fever.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coughee House

Isn’t weekday school fun?

Almost-three-year-old Taylor not only makes friends and plays games, she also brings things home – things like drawings, posters, songs and…germs.

Yes, yes. I know all of you parents out there are nodding your heads. You know. You’ve been there.


(Notice my sarcasm. I know you can’t hear it, but it’s there).

So, lately, I’ve been spending most of my time at the coughee house.

And I’m not talking about Starbucks.

Everyone in our house has been coughing. Taylor’s coughing fits came courtesy of her second double ear infection in a month while my mom’s coughs became pneumonia. Yikes! The rest of us managed to eke by with a few random coughs and nothing worse – yet -- knock on wood.

On top of all that, Taylor’s cough accompanied a monstrous runny, goopy, sticky nose that we lovingly referred to as Snotzilla (especially post-sneeze). The most annoying thing about Snotzilla was her tendency to interrupt Taylor’s usually sound sleep. In fact, Taylor didn’t nap for almost a week. That was NOT cool.

Snotzilla had to be stopped!

We fought Snotzilla with copious amounts of vitamin C, steamy rooms, and mountains of tissue. We tried fresh air, rest, and acetaminophen. Nothing scared her away.

Week after week, Snotzilla ruled the coughee house…until we finally brought in the big guns – antibiotics.

And now, almost ten days later, Snotzilla is nowhere in sight and the coughee house is quiet and peaceful once again. Afternoon naps stretch for hours. Outings no longer require a pocketful of tissue.

Life is well.

But I’m still at the coffee house…

Starbucks, that is.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nikon Envy

Jellyfish. Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Friday, September 24, 2010.

Award Winning Dahlia. American Dahlia Society Exhibit, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Sunday, September 26, 2010.

What is Nikon Envy? Click HERE to find out.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Poetry Snack

I adore raspberry sorbet;
The kind you find in a grocery store.
Raspberry sorbet.
And if it was warm I wouldn't eat much more.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bluesday Tip #7: Don't Be A Party Pooper

Today is Bluesday!

Bluesday is the first Tuesday of the month. Each Bluesday, I share a tip for How To Be Blue. Being blue is about caring for the ocean -- what we put into it, and what we take out of it.

This month's Bluesday tip: Don't Be A Party Pooper.

Many of us have a dog. Many of us love dogs. But few (if any) of us love to pick up after our dog. 
Dog waste left behind will end up polluting the ocean, especially when left on a beach. And people do it all the time. The proof is in the ocean pollutants. 
Well, that just stinks.
Recent scientific studies of ocean water along beaches closed to swimming because of unhealthy levels of certain bacteria in the water found that most of the bacteria originated from dog poop. In fact, dogs are third in line behind birds and people as a source of ocean water pollution. 
In most cases, this problem is easily avoided. You - the dog owner - need to pick up the poop. I know a lot of us already pick it up, so please take this post as a pat on the back for all the good work. It's a thankless job, but an important one. 
To those of you part-time-scoopers and non-scoopers, don't be a party pooper by leaving dog waste on the beach. It will eventually end up in the ocean. Scoop the poop. Even if you live inland, waste finds its way to water sewers and into the ocean. 
A very helpful article in USA Today provides a thorough overview of the health risks of pet waste in the ocean. Pet waste threatens the health of our oceans, which threatens our very own health as people.   

Please click HERE to read the USA Today article.

Don't pollute the ocean with your dog's daily doo. You'll ruin the party for people and ocean creatures.

Use the opportunity to recycle a plastic bag to pick up the poop!

Don't be a party pooper. Be blue!

May you turn a deeper shade of blue with each passing month.

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