A Recipe Blogger’s Nightmare

WP_20160227_07_43_09_Pro[1]My plan was simple. I was going to write a humorous little post of my addiction to cookbooks. Something in the form of an online intervention.

I took a picture of my cookbook shelf. It could be worse. It used to be much worse, but this is what remains following The Great Cookbook Purging of 2013.

WP_20160227_13_02_37_Pro[1]I spread all the cookbooks on my table, sorted through them, pulled the ones I either used regularly or couldn’t bear to part with (how could I ever leave thee, Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cookbook), and these select few were put back on the shelf.

WP_20160301_09_01_40_Pro[1]That part done, what do I do with the remaining? Most of them were kept for only one or two recipes at best, others I couldn’t remember using but always thought I might.

Finally it hit me, “Hey! I have a blog!”

Continue reading “A Recipe Blogger’s Nightmare”

Valentine’s Day Getting You Down?

Do you find Valentine’s Day depressing? You’re not alone. According to health experts, sad dogValentine’s Day can be miserable for singles, recently widowed, or anyone who feels their love life is less than ideal. Seeing images of happy couples can be a bit much, especially when you lost the map to your happy place.

Heck, Valentine’s Day can be emotionally draining for kids too, as far as that goes. At least it was for me. Does anyone else remember it the way I do?

Every year in elementary school, it was the same. The students would walk around the classroom, depositing their cards in the shoe boxes each kid decorated with ribbon, hearts, glitter. Whatever they thought would ultimately bring them the highest return.

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Food, Glorious Food, and the Time I Couldn’t Eat, Part 2

In case you missed Part 1 of this story, start here.

All right, where did I leave off? Oh, yes — I’m on the kitchen floor, having an emotional breakdown over not being able to eat eggs, which I didn’t like anyway.

You know, I’ve always viewed myself as a fairly intelligent person, with refined tastes and more than an average amount of self-control.

hash brownsBut then one day I’m half starved — no, make that fully starved — and there are some leftover hash browns sitting on the kitchen counter. Daughter bought them at Dunkin’ Donuts.

You know the ones, right? The greasy little rounds in a small brown bag, that maybe if you bought them first thing in the morning are fine, but this was midday.

I picked one up, held it to my nose and inhaled deeply. Aaaahhhh … oh, if only … well, maybe a little bite? Just a nibble? — it couldn’t hurt, right? Just a little? Continue reading “Food, Glorious Food, and the Time I Couldn’t Eat, Part 2”

Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe

Does anyone else remember the days when shoe salespeople would hover over you, ask what you wanted, measure your feet, go to the back of the store to retrieve the box, and then actually put the shoes on your feet? Actually touching your feet?!

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Wow. Sure glad those hellish days are over. Aren’t you?

No doubt the shoe salespeople are happy too. In fact, I think the Shoe Sellers Union worked tirelessly trying to prevent salespeople from ever having to touch feet again. And I, for one, love them for it.

What I don’t love, however, is how many shoe stores are completely carpeted. I mean, what’s up with that? That is just so, so wrong! How the heck can someone choose a pair of shoes — a seriously important endeavor — in a completely carpeted store? It’s impossible, I say!

I mean, oh sure, you can judge a shoe by its looks, you can check its fit, you can even jump up and down if need be, but you can’t check its sound. And it is the sound of a shoe that is of the utmost importance. Am I right?

Tell me, have you ever bought a pair of shoes only to discover they squeaked? Or squished? Or made an undefinable floopy sound?

What I want — what I dream of — are shoes that are utterly quiet … silent as the air … nary a whisper or breath of sound … as inaudible as the most inaudible thing you’ve never heard.

You know. Like, really, really quiet.

Continue reading “Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe”

Learning to Cook: A Very Special Visit With Betty

Gather ’round, boys and girls. We’re going to have some fun today, because we have a very special guest with us! She’s going to watch as we continue to learn how to cook just like Mother! Because that’s what we all want to do, right?

WP_20151006_05_53_35_Pro[1]Oh, and look … here is our special guest! Say hello to Betty Crocker, circa 1973. Hello Betty!

Johnny, one mustn’t scream like that when someone enters the room.  Say you’re sorry to Ms. Crocker.

You can sit to the left there, Ms. Crocker. You’ll be able to keep a careful eye on everyone, and I’m sure all the boys and girls will find that very comforting.

Now, children, please get out your cookbooks. I hope you all remembered … oh dear. You didn’t bring your cookbook with you?

Well, never mind. Here, you can use mine. Just please don’t spill WP_20151005_16_30_23_Pro[1]anything on it, okay? The current spills will one day be carbon dated and we don’t want to throw off their findings.

Now Ms. Crocker very kindly updated her Boy’s and Girl’s Cookbook from 1957 so it would be exactly what our modern children of 1973 would want. Isn’t that grand?

So let’s get started with learning how to cook!

Continue reading “Learning to Cook: A Very Special Visit With Betty”

Open Letter to My Spammers

ladyatdeskMy Dear Spammers,

Thank you so much for your interest in my blog and the dedicated attention you continually show to my posts — some of which were written several months ago. Your unwavering support of my writing cannot be denied. It is touching, truly.

Why, I remember when I was just starting out as a blogger: nervous, unsure of myself, wondering if anyone could possibly be interested in what I had to say. But there you were, giving me feedback and leaving comments — once I checked the spam folder, that is.

Which leads me to my main purpose in writing this letter, that being, how to keep your comments from winding up in a spam folder. I mean, if they hadn’t, I’d have something like 300 comments in my first month alone! Not to mention how many people would have seen your comments, which always included helpful links and business offers.

I’ve spent some time studying the situation, and I think I might have some tips for you. Please consider these points for the next spam .. er … comment … you leave:

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How to Beat Writer’s Block

It happens to the best of us — and the worst of us, for that matter. That horrible time when you’re just stymied for an idea … or just a spark of an idea … or just anything at all to write about.

Here’s what I do when it happens. Who knows? Maybe it will work for you too.WP_20150920_10_14_03_Pro[2]

  • Stare at the screen for an indescribable period of time, focusing on the little blinking icon that indicates where you begin typing, only you’re not typing. You’re not doing anything but staring at the little blinking icon. It’s taunting you, that little blinking icon. It’s laughing at you. You hate that stupid blinking icon.

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Ode to My Cell Phone … With Apologies to Keats

cellphoneI spied you in the phone store,

 Cradled in your cubby, attached by a cord,

Your screen was dark, waiting for more

Than a passing glance or a mumbled word.

For a part time clerk, seeking a sale,

Shows the popular model, the better known brand,

I checked your features, my skin grew pale,

I held you aloft, I took you in hand,

Cool to my touch, you were eager to please,

Never have I selected a phone with such ease.

Continue reading “Ode to My Cell Phone … With Apologies to Keats”

I Sold My Soul to Fitbit

FitbitFor those of you who have not yet joined the craze — oh, you sweet, innocent things — Fitbit is a type of fitness tracker. Kind of like a super cool, high tech pedometer, only better. Husband gave me one for my birthday, because he knows I like toys.

Remember that Twilight Zone episode, Talky Tina? Where the doll talked to the man and tormented him and threatened him and in the end killed him?

I don’t know what made me think of that. Anyway, back to my Fitbit.

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