Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Home sweet gone

Who ever said you can't go home hit the nail on the head. You can try, but you won't find who, what or where you're looking for.

"Home" hasn't been the same for me since Dec. 31, 2004. My grandmother was still in the same house I grew up in, but there was a hole where my mother should have been.

No woman in her 90s should be living alone, particularly in a neighborhood that was graying and going downhill. A few years ago, my aunt sold her house and my grandmother's and found a townhouse that would fit both of them - mainly less stairs for Nana to negotiate. But it wasn't in my hometown, so all of our visits "home" wouldn't be to the place I knew for 18 years.

With a "For Sale" sign looming, I went back to the house to say goodbye. It was smaller than I remembered. I stood in the living room and bawled. It hurt that my children would never be able to go back to where Mommy was a little girl. It hurt that I couldn't come back and find Mom and Nana waiting for me; one succumbed to cancer, the other to the creeping shadow of old age. I was mourning Mom all over again.

The house sold quickly to a young couple and I was hopeful that they would fix it up and call it home for a long time to come.

I was wrong. It's on the market again.

From the looks of the pictures online, the owner took down the paneling in the dining room and painted over it in the living room. The shutters are down, replaced with new curtains. I didn't recognize my bedroom because the last I saw it, it had pale pink walls (a leftover from the five minutes when I was 10 that I actually liked pink) and fugly green carpet Nana picked out after I moved out. The other bedrooms got fresh coats of paint as well.

It's one of three houses on the block for sale and there are countless more in the neighborhood. I'd like to think that this time someone will fall in love with the house and make it their forever home.

I doubt it. Call me a cynic.

I call it loss of innocence. A loss of "home."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Overheard at my house: Ignorance is E. coli

This was an actual honest-to-goodness conversation held in my kitchen last night as Hubby and I unloaded the dishwasher. We were debating the merits of our small white plastic cutting board.

Me: This cutting board is gross. Can I just pitch it?

Hubby: No. It's sterile.

Me: Do you want to eat something that was cut on that?

Hubby: Yes. Do you think the black one is better just because you can't see it?

Me: Ignorance is bliss.

Hubby: No it's not. Ignorance is still E. coli.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu plan Monday... Freezer Edition

Once upon a time, a friend from college (who screams uber-organized-on-top-of-things momma) turned me onto freezer cooking. The concept intrigued me: spend one night in the kitchen and take the effort out of cooking for quite a few days during the month. I don't really enjoy cooking, so if that's one chore I can get out of the way, awesomesauce.

There are countless cookbooks and web sites dedicated to how to do it. I tried one, which after our first attempt led to a slight revision. Moral of the story: we can do it "better."

But that was last summer, and we really haven't done more than freezer breakfast burritos since then. I'm not sure if it's the sunshine and warmer weather or the spring fever that makes me want to attempt crazy things in the kitchen, but I'm ready for Round III.

It helps that I'm over the super woman "I can do this, no problem," attitude when it comes to cutting out dairy and I'm back to "Oh woe is me..." I hid in a corner yesterday at our friends' son's birthday party because the food options were pizza (my favorite), Cheetos and Doritos. Hubby scolded me for not eating and commandeered some leftover boneless chicken wings for me. I was talking to someone at the time and had every intention of ducking home for a quick PB&J or something, I swear.

Once a Month Mom has a gluten free/dairy free menu every month, and I've been having trouble finding good comprehensive web sites that can help me plan a month's worth of meals. I need someone to take at least SOME of the effort out of it for me.

So I'm back to where I started, but with one difference: I know better. I'm not going to follow their amounts or instructions to the T. I had Hubby look over the amounts for doubling each recipe last night and helped reign me in and be realistic.

I have three lunch recipes for me and four dinner recipes (that we will eat twice - hopefully). I have a massive grocery list that I will NOT be attempting with both kids because it's spring break and I'm not insane. It may be a run to the store tonight after dinner or bed. We'll see.

I also have no idea when we'll actually be cooking. My thought is to do it in two stages this week: one night for lunches, one night for dinners. All in one night proved to be too much last time. And Baby kinda zaps my energy by the kids' bedtime anyway.

I still have a list of dairy-free meals to fill most of April, but I haven't put pen to paper to know exactly what we're eating when. But it's only 9 a.m. on Monday, so I think I have some time to figure that out today.

But I'll need more coffee.