Sixth Sense or… Practically Magic

“So, what time did you get home last night?”  This was the trick question that my parents would pose the morning after I’d been out.  Did your parents ever ask you this question?  If so, do you recall silently pondering:  Did they hear me come in?  Do they know I was home after curfew?  Should I tell the truth?   Should I lie and hope that they didn’t hear me?  Yes my friends, it was a life gamble.  Sometimes I won.  Sometimes I lost.  Roll the dice of fate and see what happens!  Those were stressful moments.  Time goes by.  You grow up and perhaps have children of your own to take care of.  Guess what you get to do?  You guessed it!  Torture your own kids!  Life can be so fair that way.  Bwahahaha!

I used to think that my parents were psychic.  How did they know when I did something wrong?  How did they know when I was lying?  Their magic powers were revealed to me as I became older and watched my silly cousins doing stuff.  I watched them grab the milk jug from the fridge and KNEW they were going to spill the milk while pouring it into the glass.  As they ran around the house I KNEW one of them would trip and fall and start crying.  So, it wasn’t magic after all!  All you parents out there know exactly what I am talking about.  Let me share some of those fascinating situations and what occurs when you have not yet been gifted with that beautiful clairvoyance.

Beware the Silence:  All you parents of toddlers know this one very well.  Every adult knows that screaming, yelling kids can drive you absolutely crazy!  You pray and beg for quiet.  Anything for a little bit of peace.  Your wish comes true.  You sit back with that still warm cup of coffee and then you remember…THERE’S A TODDLER IN THE HOUSE!  Worse still…it’s quiet…too quiet.  NOOOOOOOOOO!  Yes, that little bit of heaven just cost you two tubes of lipstick (now broken after being used to colour on the walls).  That new roll of toilet paper has been reeled into the toilet.  Luckily you caught the culprit just before the toilet got flushed into action.

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The 10 Foot Dash:  Come and catch me!  That’s what your little one is miming as you hear the giggle of joy and thrill of being chased.  There is one special little way that children run while being pursued.  You’ve seen it.  They start running.  As they are moving forward they are looking backwards, at you, to see how close you are.  Hmmm, what do you think happens?  Easy to guess for us magically gifted parents…WHAM!  Faceplant to the wall.

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Third Eye:  Guardians of the rug-rats eventually grow a third eye.  Not a real third eye, but that sensory eye that can see through walls, around corners, and even into toddler’s minds.  This is the most complex and highly powerful tool in a parent’s arsenal.  Never let them know the truth for it shall shatter their illusion of your omnipotence.  Let them wholeheartedly believe that on the back of your head you have grown an invisible third eye.  My favourite would be hearing little voices shout-whisper (kids really don’t know how to whisper) “How did she know?”  Well, here is how the power of the third eye works.  Parent in kitchen prepping food.  Kids in another room watching tv and getting bored.  The Parent, with the imperceptible third eye, knows that there has been no yelling, punching, or obligatory sibling fighting.  This wise parent would, at this exact moment of realization, yell out, “Don’t you dare!”  Children stare in awe at each other.  That wondrous look that says “How did she know?”  Note:   had guardian not yelled this out, said children would have couch pillows in hand ready to swing violently at each other leading to painful tears and hollers of, “My eye! My eye!” streaming through the house.

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Blame Game:  Enlightened adults know when a youngster has done some dirty deed.  “Who did this?!”  The interrogative line to subdue the youth.  As the adult, you are in charge of this campaign of youthful entertainment.  You know that once the rule of no playing ball in the house gets broken, it ultimately leads to something else being broken.  Vases, lamps, and flower pots are the top three casualties of war.  Veteran parents know that the indoor games begin after several minutes of the “Beware of Silence” phase.  For the newbies, being distracted by doing other life chores, the war would begin.  The flower pot would disintegrate and someone was going to get it.  “Who did this?” is the parental shriek.  Children get this wonderful look on their face when they are guilty.  We adults know how to read that look.  It’s kind of a wide-eyed terror look.  Fidgeting is a good tell as well.

fullsizeoutput_1a06Parents, I truly believe that with age comes wisdom.  With wisdom comes responsibility.  With responsibility comes a time when you decide that screwing around with your children’s minds is waaaaaaaaaay more fun.  So use that sixth sense.  Bring that terror of your omnipotence into their lives.  Tell them that you have a third eye.  Tell them that you can see them no matter where they are and that you know what they are doing at all times.  Bust ’em when you can.  David Copperfield may have his magic tricks, but as adults and parents trying to raise children, we too are practically magic.

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What’s up doc?

There are two kinds of people in society:  1) Hypochondriacs and 2) FODs (Fear of Doctors).  I am of the European reasoning that doctors will only give you bad news.  If you are like me, you prefer good news and happy times.  So, with this thought in mind, why would I go to a place where there are other ill people who can make me sick, and speak to someone who will only give me bad news?  As of today I renounce my FOD status!  Why? I had a life changing experience that I will share with you and hopefully convert you from a FOD person to a…hmmm…guess I will need to come up with a third group of personalities.  Here is what happened.

My story begins two and a half weeks ago.  Remember those dreary, rain filled days?  I had decided to book an “annual” physical with my doctor (at her subtle request).  You see, I had visited a few weeks earlier unsure if I had strep throat.  I wanted to ensure that none of the grandbabies got sick so…yes…I fought my Fear of Doctor to get checked out.  That day I did not have strep, but I still had a miserably sore throat.  Although I truly believed I had no reason for it…well, hindsight is 20/20 and as you recall I proceeded into that awful cold/sinus/deafness ailment.  Now, let’s backup to that day of the physical.

As a sidenote, I would like to state that my “yearly” physical takes place every decade (if I can schedule it).  Now, being closer to my 50s, the creaky bones of arthritis and the hollering of other women to get checked out, made me think I should squeeze one in early.  This one was done after 5 years.  Good for me!  The physical part of my checkup was done and I was sent for blood work.  Does everyone know what blood work is all about?  Sure you do!  Or, are you more like me.  Last time I needed to go for surgery, when I was at the ripe old age of twenty-three , I had blood work done.  It’s been a couple of years.  Not that my doctor hasn’t been trying.  I believe that in the last 15 years she has given me the paper for blood work about 4 times.  (1) I lost it.  (2)  The paper had been in my purse so long that it was tattered and torn and unreadable.  (3) I think the dog ate it  (haha, I always wanted to say that, but he actually didn’t).  The last one she gave me (4) was still on my desk at home.  I had every good intention of having it done.  Well, this time she beat me.  “Take this upstairs and get your blood work done.”  Now, if I didn’t, I would be an awful patient.  So I trotted upstairs and bided my time.

One minute later it was my turn.  I sat in the chair, rolled up my sleeve and proceeded to have a needle jammed into me.  I asked, “So, will the doctor call me with the results?”  She looked at me like I had three heads.  I explained, “I haven’t had blood taken in about twenty years.”  “Oh,” she began, “if there is nothing wrong then you won’t get a call.”  My follow up question, “How long until the she gets the test results?”  Reply, “about three days.”

My blood was drawn Wednesday.  No call on Thursday.  It was Friday and all was clear!  Woo hoo!  Brrrrrrriiinnnggggg!  CRAP!  Doctor’s office.  Summary of phone call:  Doctor wants to see me.  YIKES!  Since doctors’ appointment days book up quickly, I had to wait a week to see her.  Naturally, I spent those five days doing what any other normal FOD would do.  It’s also a Hypochondriac’s favourite game.  All together now:  What’s My Ailment!

Yes, I spent several gloriously rainy days in a cough-ridden haze being depressed about my  extended cold illness.  I got to worry about what beloved foods I was going to have to cut out.  I LOVE PIZZA!   High cholesterol?  That was possible.  Hmmm, maybe diabetes.  Was I going to be a diabetic?  Then, through this mist of sorrow I would reach for that happy spark of simple stuff like low iron.  I could handle that!  Yeah, that’s all it was.  If it was something really drastic then I would be rushed to Emergency right?  That was how I finally stopped thinking about it.

Sunday night I realized that the next day would be THE day that I saw my doctor and got the final say.  I decided to stay with my positive side.  No matter what happened, I could handle it.  And if I had to give up pizza or french fries then I would die happily at an early age eating the foods I loved.  (I know…I’m a total realist).

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Now, not only did I wake up to SUNSHINE after three weeks (hello Vitamin D), but that just added to my increased happy thoughts.  I ate a banana for breakfast.  I got there early.  I actually got to see Doc before my scheduled appointment.  I took a deep breath.  I relaxed and believed that there was nothing bad.  She walked in, “So, we are here to talk about your results.”  My heart skipped a beat.  I reminded myself, think positive.  “You’re not dying,” she said matter-of-factly.  “You’ll be happy to hear it’s your thyroid.”  Happy?  Happy to hear that something is wrong with me?  Short notes:  I have a slow thyroid which makes me sleepy and cold and with one pill a day I’ll be good as new.  Celebration time!

So, I am sharing my story to tell you:  GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR.  It can be good news.

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Don’t be a FOD (Fear of Doctor) type.  Be a SYD (See Your Doctor).  You might be pleasantly surprised and ask, “What’s up doc?”

Note 1:  Supreme artwork and colour choices were represented and drawn by Maryann.

Note 2:  Yes, I’m proud of it.

Note 3:  Yes, I’m improving.  I might try markers next time.

 

The sun’ll come out…tomorrow???

I think I am finally over that horrendous sinus-stuffed / bruised-rib coughing / voice-losing bout.  I believe I am on the mend after four tortuous weeks of headaches and hearing loss.  I am alive and I am (almost) well.  I believe there was one main ingredient that I had been lacking and I also believe that this crucial element to my normal daily routine is what made this illness continue to haunt me.  It made my usual chipper self, quite miserable on a daily basis and I could not release myself from this funk.  I have been ill before (though not quite this like this) and I have managed to fib myself to wellness.  “I am not sick.  I’m not sick.  I am well.  I feel fine.”  This little mantra could always get me back to my happy, smiling self.  What was missing?

It appears that my good ol’ friend, the sun, decided to go away on vacation for awhile.  Had not been seen in weeks.  Why would this matter?  Well, I recall reading about SAD people.  No, not sad people, but SAD people; those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It seems that if we do not get our daily dose of those beautiful rays our serotonin (mood balancer) levels drop.  With the lack of Vitamin D that we get from the sun, our moods change and we end up in a sleep slump that could lead to depression.  So, while good ol’ fireball went into vacation mode, the rest of us trudged daily through our lives.  Our sloppy, squishy, rain-soaked lives.

So, here was I was thinking I was not getting enough sleep and that this was the cause of my awful, cranky mood.  True, I wasn’t sleeping well on those mega-cough nights, but then I’d make up for it with an almost coma-like sleep the next night.  Yes, my ears were plugging and unplugging, which was annoying, but I had really never been that irritable before.  After week three, and more rain in our forecast, it hit me.  I had not seen the sun in many, many, many days.  Living in Canada we are used to lots of snowstorms at this time of year which is accompanied by bright sunlight that bounces off the newly fallen snow and blinds you from time to time.  Here we are in January (one of our usually worse winter months) and no snow.  No flakes falling.  Nothing to shovel.  I was grateful for not having to perform that miserable task and yet, the daily rain forecast made me even more crestfallen.  What was a girl to do?

I did what everyone else around me seemed to be doing…skulking.  I would go shopping to get groceries and people were wearing their best scowling faces.  Cashiers would ramp up the: “Hi how are you?” when starting to process your order, and would then turn off the bling smile until the obligatory: “Have a nice day.”  Yeah, even smiling was becoming a chore.  What is the point of warmer weather if you are constantly walking through a downpour or even worse, the ever present drizzle of rain.  It was like wandering through a rain forest without the actual accompanying heat.  Not fair!  When was this going to end?

Update.  Weather forecast.  Cold.  Colder than the weather we had been having.  Hmmm, what was this?  Snow?  SNOW!  That meant NO MORE RAIN!  What else did that mean (besides shovelling)?   You guessed it. Look who came back!  I missed you!  We all missed you!  Gorgeous!  Absolutely fabulous!

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So what did I do?  I looked right up at that beautiful burning ball in the sky (and promptly blinded myself for several seconds. Meh…it was worth it)!

I am no longer SAD…yes, I think I did catch a quick spell of it.  It is amazing how this glorious Vitamin D provider can, literally, affect one’s mood.  This morning I was happy as a lark, singing as I went outside into the cold air to view my good friend above.  Thanks for coming back. You really were missed.

I would like to take a wee bit of time to review the lyrics to “Tomorrow” from Annie.

“The sun’ll come out / Tomorrow / Bet your bottom dollar / That tomorrow / There’ll be sun!”

My dear Annie, it was a few week’s worth of tomorrows, but the sun finally DID come out!  Hallelujah cause now I’m “Walking on sunshine / Ain’t don’t it feel good!”  (Shout out to the ’80s crowd!)

 

Transmogrified, Evil Villain…

Life is great!  I am happy!  Cough…Happy!  Cough cough!  What the heck is going on?  Hmmm, there is a wee tickle in my throat.  Ahem, ahem…cough cough.  HACK-COUGH!   My nose is itchy.  What is this?  There is leakage from my nasal passages.  Grab a facial tissue and blow my nose.  Blow again.  One more time!  Phew!  Think I got it all.  Great!  Wait a minute.  I can’t hear anymore.  What is going on?  I don’t have a fever or anything.  What new strain of evilness is this?  Yes, it appears I have a cold.  If it is so normal then why do I feel so AB-normal?

I have become a transmogrified evil villain!  I am usually the upbeat “Pollyanna” type rooting for everything good in the world!  “You can do this!”  I exclaim.  “Live in denial!” I yell to myself.  This self-lie usually works to trick my body into thinking that I am not ill.  It’s not real.  I can get past this.  Yet, here I am on day 9 (yes day 9) and I have managed to get hearing back in one ear.  The Super Cough has diminished to a mere whisper of its previous potency.  My bruised ribs have finally stopped screaming at me so I guess I actually did not crack any ribs in cough-a-lot episodes.  My sinuses…oh my…those beauties made my eyes look like fish eyes…all bulgy and watery.  Why am I describing my ailments?  I believe it is vitally important to share information that might make others feel better about their life situation, knowing that there are “others” like them.

To be honest, the reason I bring up my gross illness is because I have become a horrible human being.  I have become an uber, ugly, vindictive “reality show” type personality on the person I love.

When you get sick as a parent, you are not allowed to show weakness.   You are the doctor.  You are the nurse.  You are the most patient and understanding person in their lives.  When they say their teardrop hurts their cheek, it’s a reality you need to remedy to make them sleep.  However, when the children are out of the house and you become ill, you finally get to plead illness (and insanity).  Who gets the brunt of your illness woes?  Your bestie!  The person who will always be there for you through thick and thin.  It’s true right?

Think about it.  Wiseguy told me right from the beginning that one crucial element of a good relationship is:  COMMUNICATION!  For those of you who do not understand what that means, I shall simplify.  If there is something that is bothering you and you are holding it inside instead of talking about it, that means you are NOT communicating.  This would be a perfect example of my parent’s household.

In my parents house if you were upset, you held it in because there was no point in discussing issues.  Parents were always right.  Siblings?  No talk…more about actions and getting even (bwahaha!).  So, now I had to learn this “talk” thing.

For those of you who were taught manners and behaving properly and “be sure not to offend anyone” this was a difficult task.  After several years I got the hang of it.  It’s not about yelling and picking on each other, it’s actually discussing things, in adult words, no F-bombs.  It’s sharing thoughts, ideas, opinions.  It really does work.  Well, it works while you are both of sound mind.  When one gets sick, sense and sensibility gets thrown out and the evil “sick” monster takes over.

As previously mentioned, I have been the caretaker for many.  If I did get ill (i.e.”West Nile Virus), I still had my father-on-law come to me whilst I was lying on the couch and ask me: “What’s for dinner?”  Yes, it’s true.  When children get sick, parents don’t get timeouts.  It doesn’t matter how tired you are, the children are most important and one day you hope you will have time to sleep.  So, here I am, 20 years later, sick myself, and I am incorrigible.

I have been apologizing to Wiseguy on an almost hourly basis!  Why?  Because I am yelling at him for not speaking loudly enough for me to hear him.  My ears are plugged.  When my one ear canal finally opened up I complained that he was talking too loudly.  Even better… he now has whatever ailment I have and I am complaining when he can’t hear me!  I am agitated.  I am irritated!  I can’t hear properly.  I keep throwing verbal darts at Wiseguy.  He can do nothing right.  He made me a beautiful breakfast and I complained about the pan he used.  Cruel!?  For sure!

So, this little story is two-fold:

To Cold Sufferers:  You are not in your normal state of mind.  When you find that you are going crazy and verbally assaulting those you love, remember to apologize for being an intolerable pain.

To my hubby:  You are the best!  You should get hazard pay for dealing with my psycho-sicko mood swings.  I’m here for you.  (I hear you coughing right now.  Thanks for letting me share my unhealthy goodness with you!  Bwahaha!)

P.S.  Although I am of the elder-world, I find that many children’s books can simply explain life’s difficulties.  As adults we find “big words” to explain our life situations.  Over the past few days, in my whiny state of mind, I thought about how “horrible” I felt and recalled one of my all time favourite stories.  It made me laugh out loud (nowadays known as LOL):  Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Do you have a favourite storybook?  If so, what is so special about it?

 

The Chosen One…

Today’s “it” word for mean people is:  bullying.  When we elders think of the term bully, we imagine the kid that used to prank us.  That prankster would grab your knapsack or hide your lunch bag or move your coat.  This led to endless laughter from classmates.  What did this bully teach us?  The one thing that I recall the most was thinking “I will never be like that person.” I think that is the greatest lesson learned.

In school we siblings were lucky to be the Chosen One for many of the bullies.  My parents were typical parents in some ways and yet extremely different in others.  Not fashion forward at all.  When puberty hit and there a growth spurt coming, there was no point in buying clothes that you were going to outgrow.  Hand me downs, or clothes that we had outgrown were fine.  Really?  Oh yes, really.  My parents grew up in a village where they were lucky to have shoes in the winter.  Yup,  those were my parents.  We didn’t invite kids from school to our house.  Our parents had us hang out with “our nationality” of people.  There was mass on Sundays (prayed in the “mother tongue”).  During the week we had choir practice (in the “homeland” language).  There were the musical instruments we learned to play (something that resembled a mandolin).  Dance group…yup, you got it:  the folk dancing of our ancestors.  These were all fantastic things to keep their heritage alive in another country.   In hindsight I am very grateful to have had such a wonderful upbringing.  As a child I wanted to break free.  I wanted to be like everyone else.  Why?  Here is the simple equation:

DIFFERENT = MISUNDERSTOOD = CHOSEN ONE

The Chosen One was NOT a good thing.  That meant you were prime target for being picked on.  Did we tell our parents about any of the verbal or physical abuse we received at school?  Heck no!  That would lead you to becoming a bigger outcast because then you were a snitch.  Equation:

SNITCH = UNRELIABLE = CHOSEN ONE

I wonder how my life would have been different if I had all the protection that is available nowadays.  Parents are told everything about what happens in school.  If there is a volatile child doing “bullying activities” they get sent to the principal’s office.  Why?  Due to past indiscretions of previous educators, teachers no longer have the right to say or do anything that will upset the bully.  The bully sits in the principal’s office.  The principal will tell them that what they are doing is wrong (which the bully already knows) and is told that if they reoffend it will lead to suspension or expulsion.  This should remedy the situation right?  In the majority of cases…no.

This system might work if parents would believe that their child is a bully.  However, the parent(s) will not believe any of this malarkey.  Here is how it plays out:

  • Meeting with principal
  • Parent(s) argues that their child is misunderstood and someone or something provoked their child
  • Principal stands firm
  • Parent(s) meets with Superintendent who then overturns the principal’s ruling
  • Game, set, match!
  • Bully returns to class
  • Cycle continues

I believe that what makes matters worse now is that everything is recorded and uploaded to be shared and viewed over and over and over again.  My generation didn’t have to deal with that.  If something happened, people would tell the story and laugh about it, but no one would be able to flash a phone at you and replay the indignation you had to deal with.

How do you get children to understand that their “joke” is not funny?  How can you teach them that it’s wrong to make people feel dumb or ugly when our “reality”  shows are demeaning people all the time.  Children learn by example.  What example is our society providing them with?  Which makes me think about how we survived in our day.

Friends.  I truly believe that whenever you feel down and lonely there will always be that one Chosen One who will be there for you.  You are not alone.  I find it interesting that in a world full of people, there are no human connections.  The connections are made through “text messages” and “likes” and “unlikes” and pictures.  We elders are the examples for our youth and we are constantly texting, e-mailing, talking on the phone and ignoring them, so why would they respect others when they get no respect themselves?  Are we really too busy to spend time with the youth of today?

I will agree that you need to love yourself first.  The reason is simple:  Equation:

LOVE YOURSELF = BARRIER TO BULLIES = HAPPY LIFE

If you can love yourself, then the mean people can’t bring you down.  If you live each day being grateful for something, then the little things won’t depress you.  If you take time to listen to your child and their day, oftentimes it helps you forget about any stress you have had in your day.  Why?  Their distress is usually something that we can resolve.  More often than not, your bit of advice will not only make them feel appreciated and loved, but it will make you feel like a genius!

This was a long one, but I am very passionate about this topic.  What can be done to get rid of the bully.  Are you going to the Chosen One (victim) or the Chosen One (friend)?  The choice is up to you.

Love…

Your friend (The Chosen One)

“Be the friend you always wanted to have.” – Maryann 

I am a Stoner…

This definition might actually lead you to believe that I partake of cannabis.   I do not.  I am a unique type of stoner.  As you may well know I am a preparer of foods.  I LOVE to cook!  I could put a cot in this beloved kitchen of mine and just live here.  Obsessive?  You betcha.  What else am I totally infatuated with?  Pizza.  Any kind of pizza.  Thick, thin, Chicago style, New York style, hot, cold, etc.!  So, imagine my happy surprise when I received a pizza stone as a gift!  Yes!  I had heard about the benefits of baking up a pizza on this rock, but to actually have one added to my kitchen arsenal was a dream come true!  So, MY definition of a stoner is:  “a recipient and user of a pizza stone.”  Let me tell you about my profligate life using this wonderful wheel of fortune.

I cannot begin to tell you when my pizza obsession began, but I can recall being 8 years old and my mother presenting us with homemade pizza.  I loved the pizza sauce and the gooey mozzarella cheese.  Sometimes one bite would make the mozzarella slip off the beloved sauce and stick onto my lips causing many yelps of displeasure until I could remove it.  Still, each bite was like a fantasy.  Saturdays became a day of excited nervousness:  would it be tasty pizza for dinner or stinky cabbage soup.  As you can imagine the smell emanating from the kitchen was definitely different for each.  The smell of pizza is the best aroma in the world!

For bread lovers out there, I join you in adoring bread.  And really what is pizza but bread with happy food surprises on top!  Who would not or could not fall madly in love with pizza?  (Ok, there are some of you out there, but I still believe you are missing out on actually being able to “taste” joy.  Oh yes, I feel THAT strongly about it).

After Wiseguy and I moved in together I learned how to “order pizza”.  Yes, I could call the pizza place and tell them…nay…order them to make me my preferred pizza pie.  Sidebar:  I really disliked this job.  I disliked having to repeat myself.  Although I have a voice that could wake the dead, for some reason my on-phone ordering skills seemed to change the decibel level of my voice to a pitch only a dog could hear.  All in the line of duty if I wanted to have my pizza AND eat it too.

I first started experimenting and making my own pizzas when the kids were craving pizza and our wallet was craving obscurity.  Instead of ordering 4 or 5 pizzas of differing toppings, all I had to do was make two large rectangular ones (using cookie sheets).  I would account for several slices per person.  I would top with requested meats and/or veggies for personalized slices.  No fighting or whining about the pizza AND it saved us lots of dough.  (Ha!  Ha!  dough…as in slang for money, but dough as in pizza dough as well! I’m ingenious!)

All of a sudden, a pizza revolution occurred!  Forget about the franchise pizza places.  Suddenly there were restaurants opening with unique crunchy, bubbled pizza crusts and exotic toppings.  Some places even made their own mozzarella!  What sort of craziness was this?  Ah-ha!   Imported wood pizza ovens from Italy.  Mama mia!  I had to try one of these super glamorous dough-based spheres.  It appeared that at this time there weren’t many in my part of the globe and worse still, not even in my neighbourhood.  I had heard rumours of one place that had opened in the newly renovated area of our city:  The Bread Bar.  It was local.  It was a 15-minute drive from our place.  We arrived.  It was crowded.  We went in.  We ordered.  20 minutes later and 26.00 dollars lighter we hustled out with our hot little masterpiece.  Mmmmmmm.  More Mmmmmm.  Still more Mmmmm.  The crust, slightly charred with big air pockets.  Nice crunch.  Sauce was stupendous.  We had ordered a basic meat/cheese pizza.  I loved it!  I wasn’t too keen on the price though.  It was after this revelation that I decided it was time for me to start creating my own masterpieces.  How?

Plan A:  convince Wiseguy that we needed to import a wood burning stove from Italy.  (Yes, he still gets tears in his eyes from laughing so hard.)  Plan B:  procure a pizza stone.  As mentioned earlier…I got one!  To add to my new pizza-making pleasure I found a neat setting on my Sub-zero Wolf stove dial.  Check it out!

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The incredible stone setting! It allows me to preheat my oven to 550 degrees!

Other items for fantastic homemade pizza:

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Pizza Paddle:  to slide pizza onto pizza stone

 

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The PIZZA STONE:  Used bi-weekly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final result:

 

Ok, besides my creepy, half-drooling voice…is it not fantastic!

I believe Dean Martin said it best:  When the moon hits your eye / like a big pizza pie / That’s amore!  TRANSLATION:  Seeing a pizza the size of the moon means you love pizza.

P.S.  Feel free to become a Stoner like me and join me in a different kind of high!

 

Just One More Please…

I am sure you will recall my story about my peculiar “crack” addiction.  Shopping at Sephora or The Crack Store as I refer to it.  Besides being addicted to beauty creams and magic lotions and colour palates for my face, there is one other thing that I just realized I can’t get enough of.  No, no it’s not kitchen appliances (though THAT would be a good guess and also a great story for another day).  As I was vacuuming today, I went room by room by room by room (you get the idea) and I noticed one of these in each room.  Whenever I saw one, I glowed with joy and happiness to see their cuddliness there…just waiting for me to snuggle in.  What was this resplendent item?  A baby blanket.

Now, you may be wondering, “What is so special about a baby blanket?”  You may also be wondering, “What is a baby blanket?”  I shall explain both.  I call my “throw” a baby blanket.  You see, blankets are larger and are used for covering such things as beds.  My “throw” is half the size of a blanket, but it is still soft and cuddly and has all the characteristics of a regular blanket.  Why are they called throws?  Well, I guess decor persons would “throw” them onto a chair for a pop of colour or to add chic-ness to a room. To me it sounds like someone is throwing away a comfort cloth.  So, logically,  I have decided to rename it a baby blanket.

There are electric blankets and there are wool blankets and there are cotton blankets.  What makes my baby blankets special?  They have that soft cashmere feel to them.  Your hand smooths over them and you can feel the tiny little fibres brush languidly against your palm and fingers.  It’s like the peace you get with yoga, but without the stretch.  No downward dogs here.

B-blankets are personal sized.  Room for one and no more.  Well, maybe one adult and a chihuahua.  Then again, two children could snuggle under one.  These are helpful at bedtime if one person doesn’t need many layers of warmth and you do.  Wiseguy and I have a King size bed (oh glory be!) and he doesn’t like being buried under mountains of blankets and comforters.  Solution?  My amazing new fake chinchilla wee blankie!  It is 100% fake chinchilla and also 100% polyester!  It is incredible how soft this man-made plastic throw is!  It feels like lamb’s wool on the one side…warm and knotty like a real wool blanket except no itch to it.  The other side is even more cool!  Literally…more cool.  That chinchilla soft fur feel, but it’s cool to the touch.  Incredible!  How do they make these!

Ok, besides the fact that my winter hands need a good manicure, observe the soft, cushy, cool blue layer.  Seriously…does it not look like blue-dyed fur?  Yet it is not!  Totally fake.  You can also see the fake lamb’s wool too!  Honestly, it’s incredible!  So why I am writing about fake fur blankets…ahem…baby blankets?

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As mentioned previously, I never really realized how many of these wonderful little snugglers I possessed.  I have this lovely ice blue one which is my latest acquisition.  It definitely reminded me of Elsa from “Frozen”.  I went through a brown phase.  A really large brown phase.  I believe I have three different brown bitty blankets.  I have an uber soft navy blue one and there is an off-white one somewhere in my humble abode.  Why do I keep purchasing these throws?  They are portable hugs!

I have been a hugaholic all my life! When I meet people for the first time and, if it feels right, I go right in for the hug!  Blankets are usually too large to be able to swirl around you and somehow transform into a comfortable warming position.  They usually awkwardly overhang and some part of your body gets left out.  With a mini-blanket you can quickly yank it up in the air and it will swiftly land on your person in the most pleasant and accommodating hug-type position.

As you can see, there are many great features to the semi-blanket:  perfect size, lightweight, fabulous feel, colour variety, fits one and all.  They also make great housewarming gifts.  Who would NOT want to get a petite blanket?

The cold weather has set in.  It’s nice to know that the days are getting longer.  We will be heading into the worst of winter and happily looking forward to the days of spring.  I am very pleased to have my plethora of small blankets to warm my winter-worn body.  I lazily sit down on the couch and curl my legs up under me.  I pull the blankie off the back of the couch and wrap myself in it.  Happy.  Content.  I grin with joy.  I know Wiseguy is happy that I have all these woolies in each room.  He is ecstatic!  (Not really…but he has told me NO MORE!)  Sadly, the feeling is short lived.  I am watching tv and I see the new spring colours appear that would definitely brighten up one (or many) of my rooms.  So many new potential fuzzy hugs to have in each room and I have luxurious space for them!  I am sure that Wiseguy would LOVE to have more colourful, soft, cuddly, fuzzy, love blankets.  Right?  Dearest….sweetheart…love of my life… JUST ONE MORE PLEASE!