October 2010 Archives

I swear to Campbell's that this is the absolute last final post about the stupid local recipe contest.  Really. 

Anyways, after so many of you pointed out the obvious (which is that this is not an actual contest based on creative, culinary skill but rather the ability to mix the right combination of processed foods and bind them together with mayo or even worse, Miracle Whip, and Ritz crackers) I made the decision to walk away.  I, Rougie, was better than the whole thing and did not need to subject myself to the humiliation, pain and suffering.

And then I must have suffered some kind of head injury or something because at one point on Thursday night or Friday morning I thought about submitting an old recipe for Turkey Meatloaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes that I came up with in college. Just because I had it.  Really. And then I figured that judges probably wouldn't know what a sun-dried tomato is and I immediately regained control of my senses.   

Crisis averted. BUT...OMG: insatiable craving for turkey meatloaf ignited! And thus THIS recipe was born.  If I were a petty person I'd call it My Fuck You, You Have No Taste Turkey Meatloaf but I am not a petty person and so I named it Lemony Dijon Turkey Meatloaf with Artichoke Hearts.

Here's what you'll need:



* 1/2 cup chopped green onion

* 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

* 2 eggs

* 3 Tbsp. cream cheese

* 1/3 cup Dijon mustard

* 1/2 cup breadcrumbs - I use the breadcrumbs with Parmesan but you can use plain

* 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

* 1/3 cup lemon juice

* 2 tsp. grated lemon zest

* 4 - 5 small artichoke hearts, chopped

* 1 tsp. fresh rosemary 

Combine all of that in a bowl like so:


Stir them together and then add 1 lb. ground turkey and use your hands to mix everything up:


Be careful not to overmix the meat - it will make for a tougher texture.  Salt and pepper to taste and then plunk the whole mess into a loaf pan sprayed down with Pam:


I sprinkled another 1/4 cup of Parmesan and some extra lemon zest on top.  Then I baked it for about an hour at 375.  I say "about an hour at 375" because my oven is fucked the fuck up and really, I never have a clue what the actual temperature however if you look at other turkey meat loaf recipes the standard seems to be an hour, maybe an hour and 15 minutes, at 375. 

When you pull it out, it will look like this:


And then you will have to stop yourself from eating the entire thing in one sitting. Seriously.  I cooked this on Friday night and I am embarrassed to tell you how little is actually left.  I mean, I woke up to get a bottle of water from the fridge at 3am on Saturday morning and the heavenly scent of lemon and Dijon and rosemary screamed my name so loudly that I cut off a hunk and ate it cold before crawling back into bed. At 3am.

That, my friends, is one helluva meatloaf.

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This week has been nothing but Bullshit. Seriously. 

* Rigged recipe contests? Bullshit.  If the ability to use a can opener trumps my culinary skills, then I don't want to play. Thanks Harmzie, Dad, Miss Mary and others who helped me see the light. Thanks also to Dad for calling me an Interloping Yankee Jew Bitch in a way that was actually *funny*

* Saying Bullshit in the middle of a presentation to ~ 30 or so coworkers? Why not.  Apparently my filter was off on Monday (probably due to the fact that I was up from 1am - 5am - more crap) and so mid-presentation I dropped a BS-bomb. Not exactly an F-bomb. But not exactly work appropriate either. I may have died right there on the spot.

* Mother Nature can kiss my ass and while she's at it, she better fucking adjust her lithium dosage because this weather? Bullshit.  Earlier this week it was in the 80s. THE EIGHTIES people. In late October. Our low one day was 73. That was the late October LOW.  Tonight? There's a freeze watch in effect.  I've been bouncing back and forth from A/C to heat and it's simply ridiculous and I'll probably get sick as a result. 

* Speaking of weather...Tornadoes? In North Carolina? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Hey - guess what Mr. Weatherman: I don't HAVE A TORNADO PLAN IN PLACE BECAUSE I DON'T LIVE IN KANSAS.  Tuesday and Wednesday my wee little town was buffeted by storms and at least one tornado did in actuality touch down.  I missed the excitement Tuesday night but I spent most of Wednesday night at home shitting my pants. Things only got worse when my chimney started to leak because REALLY OLD HOUSE? ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?

* More weather side-effects: I'm being attacked by giant insects.  This spurt of warm weather has given rise to a bumper crop of giant wasps who are now seeking refuge in my warm and toasty house because they know that Mother Nature is a Bipolar Bitch who is going to kill their asses very, very soon. Lucky for me the wasps are slow and stupid and easy to kill. However: it's still a bullshitty pain in my ass. (although not a literal pain in my ass because unlike Amy Blam, I kill my wasps in full before I flush!) 

* Dating is bullshit. Period. I'm about 2 hot seconds from giving up.

* I am sick and tired of political coverage.  He's lied about his time in the armed forces. She loaned money to convicted criminals.  He's hired illegal immigrants.  She flies on private planes.  He has sex with monkeys.  She likes to watch. This is the best we have people? Really?  I will be grateful when the elections or over and we can go back to commercials that promote Nutella as being legitimately nutritious.

* You go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Halloween is on October 31st. Sometimes that's on a Friday. Sometimes it falls on a Tuesday.  Sometimes it falls on a Sunday and while that may be a giant inconvenient pain in the ass, it is what it is.  Anyone who encourages, supports or endorses trick-or-treating on ANY DAY OTHER THAN OCTOBER 31ST, is dead to me.

So yeah. I'm ranty today.  It's the direct result of the 18 metric tons of bullshit dumped in my lap this week.   What about you? Anything making you semi-apoplectic?

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Every year, our local paper runs a holiday recipe contest.

Every year, I submit recipes.

Every year, at least one of my recipes makes the finals.

And every, year, I ultimately lose. 

This wouldn't be a big deal if a) I wasn't such a damn good cook b) the recipes that did win were actually orginal and c) the recipes that did win didn't involve some combination of Ritz crackers, Velveeta and cream of crap soup to hold the whole mess together. 

Frankly, it makes me a little apoplectic when my homemade Spiced Cranberry Conserve doesn't even make it to the finals in the Veggie/Fruit category but Two Can Casserole does. REALLY PEOPLE? REALLY?

So if you haven't figured it out yet, it's that time of year again. I was going to forgo the contest this year because really, I'm not sure my blood pressure can take it, but I was talking to the Reporter a few days ago and she told me to go for it.  And even though she's not a judge, and even though only little old blue haired ladies tend to win, I am actually contemplating entering. Again.  Only I plan to be strategic.

The first thing I did was review what has won in years past along with what I've submitted.


Main Dish Winner: Prosciutto Chicken

Fruit/Veggie Winner: Spinach Souffle Madeleine

Bread Winner: Cream Cheese Stuffed Apple Bread

Dessert Winner: Ooey Gooey 8 Layer Caramel Apple Sour Cream Pie


The Grand Prize Winner that year was the Cream Cheese Stuffed Apple Bread which wouldn't have been a big deal only IT WASN'T AN ORIGINAL RECIPE. The woman who won fully admitted to having gotten it off the side of a box.  SERIOUSLY? SHE WON FOR THAT?

In 2007 I submitted 2 recipes: my Brussels Slaw - which is the best version of Brussels sprouts you will ever eat and will turn even avowed Brussels sprouts haters into lovers - and my Orange Scented Mini Pumpkin Loaves with Dried Cherries and Golden Raisins.  Both recipes were finalists in their categories although somehow my pumpkin loaves wound up in the Dessert category even though they should have been in Bread.



Main Dish winner: Be Thankful Garden Lasagna

Fruit/Veggie Winner: Zesty Hot Holiday Broccoli Dip

Bread Winner: Chocolate Bread with Hazelnut Spread

Dessert Winner: Southern Brownie Tiramisu  


The Grand Prize Winner in 2008 was the Southern Brownie Tiramisu.  I don't know if it was an original recipe or not but I do know that I submitted 4 recipes - 1 in each category - and only 1 was a finalist.  My Chicken Meatballs Stroganoff? Apparently not worthy of a finalist spot. You know what was? Apple Chicken and an Eggplant Parmesan recipe that includes ground beef. OMFG.

I've already told you that my delicious homemade Spiced Cranberry Conserve wasn't impressive enough to be a finalist but that Two Can Casserole was. So was something called Vegetable Salad Bar that involves gluing a shitload of veggies to crescent roll dough with a cream cheese/mayo/ranch dressing mixture.

My from scratch Apple Caramel Crunch Tart didn't impress the judges either.  But Holiday Rum Cake made from cake mix and instant pudding did because apparently the judges ARE SMOKING CRACK.   

My only submission to earn a Finalist berth in 2008 were my Blue Corn Ricotta Muffins with Bacon.  I appreciate the nod but when you stick me next to White Chocolate Blueberry Loaf, I cringe. Just a little.



Main Dish winner: Red Rice

Fruit/Veggie Winner: Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

Bread Winner: Sourdough Pumpkin Bread

Dessert Winner: Golden Yam Cake  


I can't really discuss the fact that Jalapeno Pepper Jelly was crowned the Grand Prize Winner last year. I just can't because JELLY? REALLY? And it involved food coloring. And it said "this is a good side dish with meat or with cream cheese on crackers." This isn't a side dish. It's a fucking condiment and it's fucking bullshit.

After the stinging disappointment of 2008, I dialed it back last year and only submitted 2 things: my Four Seasons Stuffing (simplest yet most delicious stuffing ever) and Rise 'N Shine Bars which was my stab at replicating Crack Pie. The Rise 'N Shine Bars did earn a finalist slot even though the recipe still needed tweaking and the version I delivered to the judges was a little off which is probably why I didn't win and fucking Golden Yam Cake did. Gross.

So here we are in 2010 and I have about 5 days to decide what recipes I am going to enter.  To say I am cautious is an understatement.  I am tired of submitting original, delicious recipes only to lose out to unoriginal bullshit made with pre-packaged food and/or that comes of the side of a box although this year the announcement says: "Originality will be given a lot of weight so please don't submit something you got off the back of a box."  HA. Will believe it when I see it. 

I have a few ideas in the Veggie/Fruit category including some decadent twice-baked Yukon golds and even more decadent Creamy Dreamy Spinach (secret: an asston of melted butter and yes - asston is an actual culinary measurement), although truthfully, neither seems like much of a culinary stretch.  I've also thought of submitting my Spicy Caramelized Onion Bacon Blue Cheese Dip but what does that fall under - besides Sheer Awesome? 

I refuse to poach someone else's recipe which means the life altering Buttermilk Bacon Pralines are out.  Although, as a last resort I may borrow (with her permission) AndreAnna's White Trash Casserole which if memory serves me includes tater tots, ground beef, cream of crap soup, cheese and maybe ketchup - perfect for the crowd I'm catering to. And if I win? We'll totally split the cash.   

Comments ( 7 )

I know. I haven't written in a century and my first post back and it's a picture post. Such a cop out - right? Well suck it up kids because that's all I can manage.  A combination of being supremely busy and suffering from The Block has kept my usually nimble fingers not so nimble and I'd rather write nothing than write crap.  So photos it is!

Last night Lilsaej threw her annual Halloween/Birthday bash, and it was, as always, a rollicking good time. I went as a Fetching Fraulein which translates to Slutty German Beer Girl.



T1 and T2, as it should be. Also? Lilsaej does Spooky Psycho REALLY well.  Almost too well.



The Reporter and her man, The Mr. IT Guy.  I seriously think she needs to sport big, red hair all the time because doesn't she look hot? Also? Mr. IT Guy should be nicknamed Mr. Awesome DIY Man because hello - check out the mailbox he constructed from scratch BY HIMSELF.



The one where The Other Reporter (aka Gazette Diane), The Pixie and I are all actually looking at the same camera and looking at it well. 



I love this picture of me and The Real Estate Queen except for the classy beer I'm holding awkwardly as if to say: At 35 I probably need to start taking pictures that don't involve me holding some sort of alcoholic beverage but aw fuck it. 



You can tell that The Kaiser took this photo of me and Sumo because my breasts are starring center stage.  Nice.



More of The Kaiser's brilliant photography. Move over Andy Warhol.



This would be a great picture of me and The Kaiser only he looks kinda like an asshole. Of course, in this case asshole is totally a term of endearment.



Why yes. You are correct. I am totally flipping off Sumo and The Kaiser and I assure you, whatever they said and/or did, they totally deserved it. In other news, doesn't The Redneck Princess look like a saucy little minx? Meow.

It was a wonderfully fun party that involved lots of yummy eats (including these Buttermilk Bacon Pralines I made which I swear to pigs everywhere are better than sex, Guinness, AND cheesecake combined) and home-brewed *brandy* drunk from a Mason jar and the UFC fight on PPV (OMFG Brock Lesnar - really? We paid $45 to watch you go down in the first round?) and white knee highs (which no one got a picture of because apparently no one is familiar with the concept of *full body shot*) and good friends and too much testosterone and I was right there in the middle of all it. Seriously. Someone pointed out that I did not actually have to sandwich myself between The Kaiser and Sumo and tolerate all of their dumbassery and "Hey Nows" and crude, 12yo boy humor and I just sighed and smiled and explained that sadly, that was my favorite place to be, and really? It is. I love those bastards. 

UPDATED: The Reporter managed to get an actual head-to-toe shot of the whole beer wench look! And I'm not holding a drink. It's a photo double win!

3 of Us.jpg  

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I usually tend to ignore Facebook status updates that say "If you love your mother..." or "If you have a loved one in heaven..." or "If you think Jesus Christ died for you.,." or "If you secretly pick your nose when no one is looking..." then repost this as YOUR status.  I mean - for the most part, these tend to be pretty innocuous and well meaning. I just think it sort of takes away from the whole thing if you need someone to tell you to do it.  I love my mom. And if I feel like posting that I love her, I will. What I don't need is someone telling me to do it.

That all said, this morning I was flipping through Facebook and I saw the following status update from my friend Suzy Voices:

♥ I'M A HANDFUL ♥ I'm strong willed, independent & outspoken. I make mistakes. I am sometimes out of control & at times hard to handle, but if you can't handle me at my worst then you sure don't deserve me at my best. If you're a HANDFUL, then repost this on your status!... I dare you!

And while I didn't repost - I stole it for my blog because y'all - I am totally a handful.  In fact, I am more like 2 (maybe 3) and I worry about how that will impact my ability to get involved in a loving, long term caring relationship because Jesus Christ I can be a lot sometimes.

I am needy. I am insecure.  I am neurotic.  I am demanding. And selfish. And flirty.  As a Leo born under the ruling planet of the Sun I suffer from a wicked case of the MEMEMEMEMEs and let me tell you: if my future Mr. Right doesn't drop everything immediately and put me first, we're going to have problems. Also? My gastro-intestinal workings are not exactly delicate and flower-like.  (See also: I eat a lot of cabbage.)

On the plus side, I am working like hell on trying to fix my issues. I know I am insecure. I also know I don't have to be. I  know that I require being the center of attention at all times. I also know that that's completely unrealistic.  I am trying. REALLY HARD.  But it's a lot easier to continually worry about what's not working than it is to focus on what is working. 

And what is working? Well let's see: I am a badass in the kitchen.  I am smart. I am successful.  I enjoy old movies on TCM as much as I enjoy watching The Hunt For Red October for the 1754th time.  I also like Jim Carrey i.e. I am not above goofy, scatological humor. I can read. Actual books. I mean, I read trashy magazines too, but I have a brain.  I like to play Scrabble. And go to museums. And the opera. And I also like sitting around on a Sunday watching football/basketball/NASCAR and drinking my weight in Guinness.  I am refined - usually.  But I am not afraid to yell SUCK IT CAROLINA when Duke takes a meaningful lead in the 2nd half. In short, I am a mish mosh of 100 different things that may not naturally fit together (how many other people can truly claim to love the opera AND NASCAR) but somehow work when rolled up in the quirky, engaging, occasionally exasperating package known as me. 

And part of that package is the downside. The neuroses.  The need for attention. The selfishness.  It's all part of the same deal. The thing is, like Suzy's status said: if you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best. 

I may be a handful. Or more.  But I also know that I put a lot back in. So instead of worrying about everything that could potentially go wrong in a so-far-non-existent-future relationship, I am going to focus on all of the positive and putting my best foot forward. After all, my feet are cute and I have killer shoes.   

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Do you know why they call autumn, fall? Because shit falls off of trees.

And while some of that shit is light and airy i.e. leaves, some of it is not i.e. the 10 gajillion acorn-maple-nut HELL BULLETS THAT ARE RAINING DOWN ON MY TIN ROOF AND DRIVING ME BATSHIT CRAZY.


So part of the problem is likely the tin roof on the house. And the car port. And the storage shed.  And part of the problem is likely the mass of trees flinging acorn-maple-nut Hell bullets on said metal rooves so that my days - and nights - are filled with the constant bang of nuts on metal.  That sounds quasi-dirty. Trust me. It's not.

The thing is, these little nut muncher things aren't that big, Or heavy.  So it confuses me when I am lying in bed at night and it sounds like a goddamn motherfucking Chevy Impala is falling on my roof.  Seriously. I went outside today and walked around my house searching for the ginormous tree (or tree limb) that must have come crashing down on my roof at around 8:45pm last night and scared the Beejuzus out of me. Couldn't find it. All I could find was a few leaves, a lone twig, and a bazillion of the Psychotic Nuts From Hell that apparently defy the laws of psychics (Fuck you Isaac Newton!). 

I welcome fall with open arms. I truly do. Scarves. Boots with bare legs. The return of the Sweater! All great things.  

But this shit falling out of trees onto my head (literally and figuratively) HAS GOT TO STOP I TELL YOU.  BEFORE I GO INSANE AND TAKE YOU ALL WITH ME.

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If you want to see pictures of my weekend in Iowa with AndreAnna, click here.

If you want to know what we did, read her blog. Seriously. Just pick a week and read.  Not to be all creepy and shit but every day was like one of her posts (sans Crossfit because hangovers & exercise don't mix).

Farmer's Market? Check.

Super Target? Check.

Getting busy in the kitchen with bacon? Check. 

Sassy & snarky daughter? Check.

Son that fluctuates on a dime between Satan's spawn and most adorable, grinning toddler ever? Check.

Awesome husband? Check.

Car bombs? Check.

Ridiculous baked goods from Mimma? Check.

Wii Battle of the Sexes? Check.

It was like I fell through the blog-o-hole and got transported to Diary of a Modern Matriarch for 48 fun-filled hours. 

Trust me. Under no ordinary circumstances would I just venture to Iowa. But AndreAnna and her family are no ordinary circumstances. 

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I got my first cell phone in August of 1997. It was a Star-Tac and it was a birthday present from Mom & Dad.

Thirteen years and many phones later, I still have no effing clue how to work call waiting on a cell phone.  All I know is that if I am talking to someone, and someone else calls, if I hit answer I hang up on the first person I was talking to with no way of bringing them back.

Can someone please explain to me how call waiting on a cell phone works?  There's a cookie reward in it for you. I swear.

Also? To everyone who has either won cookies or to whom I promised cookies (and there's about half a dozen of you), September sucked donkey balls but I plan to bake some time in October. I swear.

Also? Am I only the person who's never heard of the Flowbee? A co-worker brought it up at dinner the other night and while I thought I was well versed in bizarre pop culture phenomena, I somehow managed to miss this one.


Have a Happy Friday kids! I am off to visit ModernMatriarch and scare the Bejeezus out of Iowans everywhere.  

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One bright spot these last few weeks has been the retail therapy. If there's anything I'm a champ at, it's shopping, and since Dress For Success - Round 1 didn't go all that well (I only kept 1 out of 5 things), I dove into Round 2 with a vengence. 

Actually - that's not true at all.  It was more like Ann Taylor made me her bitch and sucked me into a never-ending vortex of coupons and discounts and sales and overzealous stylists named Mary Lou who are determined to see me in pants but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

It started out simple enough: I returned the absolutely-gorgeous-but-really-not-appropriate-for-work skirt from J. Crew and replaced it with this:


Moss tweed pencil skirt


Hard to tell but it's a purple/green tweed pencil skirt that is very work friendly and which was part of a killer outfit I put together today.  Do you ever create a look and think to yourself: DAY-UM I AM GOOD? I mean - when I walked out of my house this morning I was pretty sure I could conquer the universe on account of my wardrobe and that made me feel good because when I returned the original skirt at J. Crew, every single salesperson in the store thought I was crazy for returning it because it was SUCH A PRETTY SKIRT.   

But I digress.

Anyways, after J. Crew, came 2 cheap but cute dresses from Target:


Product Image Mossimo® Black: Women's Novelty Dress - Black/Grey Print 16


Product Image Mossimo® Black: Women's TRS Sheath Dress - Black Herringbone 

And then came Ann. 

It started out innocently enough - browsing dresses online while at home one Saturday morning. Then a few days later came the email announcing a special deal wherein if you ordered 3 or more full priced items, you got a 40% discount.  Ok - you have my attention. You also have my money.

When the items were delivered a few days later, everything was too big so I took one of the dresses to the Ann Taylor store near my office to swap it out.  There I met Mary Lou, an overzealous stylist who was determined to see me try on the entire store even though I told her I had to get back to work.  Still in a rapid fire 10 minute window the 2 of us managed to find me another 2 dresses, swap out the original dress for the correct size, and grab a necklace which all also came with the same 40% discount plus an extra 15% since Mary Lou upgraded my Ann Taylor card to an Ann Taylore Mastercard.

A week later I was back to kill some time before heading to The Realtor's house and somehow I wound up with a suit, a skirt, a sweater, a belt and a scarf. And before you ask WHY...I will tell you.

They suck you in. Every day I get an email offering some kind of promotion or deal. There are coupons flooding my mailbox.  There are coupons in my bags when I walk out with purchases.  And I don't know how to say No to 30% off. 

The good news is, I am excited about my work wardrobe for fall in a very big way (and I'd show you pictures of everything but the Ann Taylor website is being kind of douchey not too mention THERE'S SO MUCH STUFF). The bad news? I am afraid of what my first credit card bill is going to look like.

Also? I told Mary Lou I'd come back one day when I actually have time so that she can have a true shot at styling me. 

I am officially Ann Taylor's bitch. 

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Last Thursday was a good day. A really good day. And it had me mildly hopeful that the last 30 days - which I called The Really Dark Period and which most everyone else simply referred to as September - were finally coming to an end and I could refocus on forward motion.  Part of forward motion means writing again. And while there are so many things I'd like to say, I've been sitting at my laptop for half a day struggling to get any of it out. 

For example - I'd like to tell you about going to the Cleveland County Fair last week with Lilsaej and Pixie.  I'd like to tell you about the fried pickle chips and vinegar fries we did eat and the pimento cheese fritters we missed (because we were full of fried pickle chips and vinegar fries and sausage and corn dogs and...).

I'd like to tell you about the pig races and being passed over for Head Pig Rooter of our cheering section FOUR times as well as Honory Pig Queen. This all despite the fact that Pixie and I both thought that I "connected" with the announcer when I smiled and politely asked for pig ears (because really - a tiara is simply not an appropriate accessory for pig races):


I'd like to tell you about carnies and the fact that they really are their own breed.  I'd like to share my philosophy on riding rides that get assembled "day of" (and may very well be held together with duct tape) as opposed to riding rides that are cemented into the ground - like nature intended.   

I'd like to tell you about how much fun Bingo is (even though I never win) and about winning Fat Albert when a little white rat crawled into a hole marked pink:


Meet Sir Fat Albert of Clevelandshire aka Fat Albert. Isn't he cute?

But I don't really know what to say.

I should really tell you about the Komen Race because so many of you supported me.  I finished in 27:45 - one of my worst ever 5K times and a real disappointment. Then again - no one told me about the hills and none of my training involved inclines. Then again - no excuses. Then again - I raised $1190 - isn't that what matters?

I'd like to write about my fabulous weekend in the Big City with The Realtor and helping her look after The Banker's & The Architect's children, including Boy Wonder. Boy Wonder is 12yo and he spent Friday night with me and The Realtor having a swanky tapas dinner and then attending the opening of the new Mint Museum.  Most 12yo boys I know are into fast food and video games. Boy Wonder? Well he's just the coolest and The Realtor and I agreed he was more of an adult than most adults we spend time with.

The whole weekend was fabulous including sitting outside in the sun at Starbucks and reading magazines followed by sophisticated glasses of wine at the wine bar and then much-needed mani-pedis.  I explored 2 new neighborhoods this weekend and got to see a side of the Big City that I rarely see.  It makes moving there down the road more compelling.

I'd like to write about all of this but I can't. I don't know how.  The words aren't coming to me, the sentences aren't forming.  Other than to tell you that I did all of this, I don't really know what else to say because I am blocked.

So while The Really Dark Period does seem to be fading behind me, I still need some time to find my voice again. 

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