Whoa Mama

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Things I Learned From Second Grade Poems

Today was the Second Grade Poetry Tea. How precious and liberal and creative and perfect. The class of 25 each had 2-3 poems that they read to the appreciative, snapping (as opposed to clapping) audience. One of my favorite moms turned to me and said she wished she had her beret at this beatnik slam.

They have been working on everything from haikus to traditional rhyming patterns. There were obviously some themes and formats that they were working from. Interestingly one boy, the uber cool and awesomely named "Declan", inspired multiple poems. Pets were a popular theme, including our trusty, loving, old chocolate lab. Noah has always been moved by his death. Noah's haiku about Rocky included his fully formed figure buried upright on the beach. It was quite Egyptian.

Other themes suggested included "why not", as in "why isn't every day Friday and why can't I have more beyblades". There was a color element showed up in sublime statements like "Purple is when the evening smells like cookies." The seasonal inspiration took on a number of forms; I particularly loved "Spring is nice.      When it is warm."

My favorite theme was "what is scary". By and large what second graders find scary is:

  • Falling off a ladder
  • Vomit
  • Getting hollered at
  • When Mom/Dad is mad
  • Getting lost
  • Jumping over vomit
  • Barking dogs
  • Vomit

Then we had tea and cookies and, if you are my boys, felt especially like a star when you aunt made an iced, green tea with lemon and honey concoction to share with your friends.

Especially because green tea wards off vomit.

Saturday, June 09, 2012


For a girl who is almost entirely Irish, I am don't suck in the kitchen. If you think about it, it is a minor miracle since my grandmother, may she rest in peace, served her roast beef grey and cut against the grain, sometimes after she thawed it out. 

I have a number of stand-by's. If you have ever had a crisis, I may have made you a lasagna. It is my go-to, made with love, comfort food. I have a mean chocolate chip cookie recipe, make muffins my kids brag about, delight in finding new things that go with goat cheese and have a BBQ menu that can come together for any number of guests in under 30 minutes. 

No exaggeration about this last one. Once we agreed to have my husband's family all at our house about an hour after an eight hour drive with the kids. The car engine wasn't cold before I had three side dishes out, chicken grilling and a tall sapphire and tonic.

Anyway I've had some baking victories 

I also do volume since all three kids have birthdays in two days.

And some serious defeats

Patriots Cake with Black food color splashed on it

the result of a fondant attempt

By and large, what gets me invites to parties is my guacamole.  Again, weird, since it isn't like I came by it honestly. So here it is for any who have ever asked for it. It isn't complicated, but does rely in the fresh herbs, I think. Happy Summer!!

3 soft avocados
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped, color of your choice
4 or more garlic cloves, crushed
1 plum tomato, chopped,
6-8 leaves of fresh basil
Fresh cilantro to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Jalepeno, chopped finely, to taste
2-3 limes, squeezed

Peel avocados and crush by hand. Add remainder of ingredients, blending with potato masher, or better, by hand for better consistency and nice soft hands. Adjust any or all of the ingredients to taste.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Meet Babs

My baby sister (aged 35) had a baby! And she's awesome!  Well both she's are pretty awesome. But Babs is particularly wonderful. See.


Gina, the Amazing, had to, as most do, go back to work today. What does a sister do to support her in this painful duty??? She makes a lasagna that weighs more this little pumpkin pants x12. Then she makes a back to work CD for her, that includes:
Heigh-Ho - Los Lobos           
9-5 - Dolly Parton      
Easy Money - Billy Joel              
What Do You Do For Money Honey - AC-DC                  
Working For a Living - Huey Lewis & the News                               
Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFarrin
Money For Nothing - Dire Straits                         
If I Had $1,000,000 -  Barenaked Ladies           
Movin' Right Along - The Muppets                    
Chico Snap - So South
Money (That's What I Want) - The Beatles       
Put Da Lime In Da Coconut - Muppets

 Incidentally, we are all smitten with her.