My book

Since I was a little kid, I’ve been writing a book inside my brain.  I review all situations in my mind as dialogue.  I describe scenes and scenery in my head.  I can see paragraphs.  This all started in the fourth grade with Little House on the Prairie and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I have tried to write fiction but have always hated how it was coming out.

I tell you this because I started reading a book two days ago that is showing me, page by lovely page, that I can indeed write a book of my own.  And also because I think my reading friends will love this book.  I refer not to the one in my head, but the one I am reading – “(Re) Making Love: a sex after sixty story” by Mary L. Tabor.

It’s a memoir written in essay form.  Quotes, poems and recipes scattered throughout.  I love it.  And I have already started my book.  Mostly in my head but also on paper.  I don’t care if I ever sell it or if anyone ever reads it.  But I’m writing it.

In the meantime, “(Re) Making Love” may interest you and/or inspire you as much as it has inspired me.  Give it a try!

(Re) Making Love


It’s fucking snowing. Again. And again. And again.

I can’t let this one go by.  This is what Hilary Rosen said.

“What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues.  And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.  Guess what.  His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.  She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we – why do we worry about their future?”

Clarifying her point, Rosen apologized Thursday and said she meant Ann Romney was not the best example for her husband to use on the campaign trail as a woman who understands the struggles of working class moms.

And then our President says this.  “First of all there is no tougher job than being a mom.”

Well Mr. President.  How about your job?  I’ll bet that one is just a teeny weeny little more difficult than “being a mom”.

Here’s reality.  Get up every day since you graduated from high school and GO TO WORK.

There are six inches of snow on the ground.  It’s 15 degrees outside.  Six more inches are predicted by the end of the day.  Get up 2 hours early.  Put on your snow boots and your sweats and your winter coat and gloves.  Shovel your driveway, dig out your car, clean it off and warm it up.  Take a shower, do your hair and make-up, put your boots and winter coat and gloves and hat back on, clean off the car again, drive to work.  You will be late no matter what you do and someone will criticize you for it.  And you will have hat head all day.  If you’re lucky, your employer might let you out a half hour early.  Then you can go outside and clean off your fucking car again and drive 20 or 30 miles to get home and that will take you an hour and a half.  Oh.  And your dog hasn’t been out now for 12 hours.  Or your kids are ready for dinner and cranky when you walk in the door.  Or the power is out because the snow dropped a tree on the wires to your house.

Or maybe, you are embroiled in some god-awful political situation at work.  All you want to do is go to work, do your job well, get paid, leave.  That’s it.  So you stop on the way home to do the grocery shopping.  And fill the car with gas.  You have 60 cents a gallon credit at Stop & Shop so it only costs you $68 today.  Make dinner, stop the kids from fighting without losing your temper and screaming like a shrew, help with homework, give baths, read stories, have a conversation with your husband.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit.  You forgot to buy diapers.  Moron!   Back to the store.  Throw in a load of laundry.  Load the dishwasher – if you have one.  Get your own clothes ready for the next day.  It’s midnight.  The alarm goes off at 5.  Your husband wants to have sex.  So do you.  But my god you’re tired.  You get up the next morning and drag yourself to work.  To be greeted by that same fucking political situation perpetuated by the person who had enough power to “work from home” yesterday.  And you have a cold.

Or.  How about this.  Be in the exact same situation.  Just eliminate the husband.  So you have less income but you can fall asleep a little earlier because the kids like frozen fish sticks for dinner and no one wants you to have sex.  But you had to load the kids into the car when you went back out for diapers.  And take them into the store where they cried because everyone was tired and they wanted candy bars and you said no.  And the other people in line are giving you major stink eye because you have your kids out late, they are wearing pajamas, they are crying.  You are exhausted and can’t stand one more minute of today and give in and buy the chocolate.  Stink eye increases and the old geezer in back of you is whispering to his wife.  You are one lousy fucking loser mother.  And it’s only Monday.  But at least you won’t run out of diapers until pay day now.  And when you get home the kids have melted peanut butter cup all over their clean jammies.

I’m not done.

The political situation at work has gotten worse.  And you are dodging bullets every day.  What is wrong with that person anyway?  Why does he have such a big ugly hard-on for you.  You need your job.  You don’t want to cry.  Women ALWAYS cry at work.  Guess what?  You’re fired.  You are broke.  And relieved.  What is wrong with you!

So you go on unemployment.  You do or do not find a job right away.  It doesn’t matter.  You are screwed whether you work or not.  You need the money.  That is why you put up with the office politics for so long for all the good it did you.  You’ll get another job some day.  Hopefully you can keep up with the mortgage/rent payments until then so you don‘t lose your home.  The cable/phone/internet – you can‘t cancel these – the kids will go out of their little kid minds without TV, you already gave up your cell phone to save money.  And if you think there is any other way on earth to find a job except the internet – I‘m here to tell you this is 2012, not 1980.  Now you get to throw your resume into a black hole of unresponsiveness.  Let‘s return to the bills – gas and electric, car payment and gas for the car – don‘t forget the $68 to fill the tank, insurance, taxes, the one lousy credit card you use for emergencies that never seems to go down.  You can‘t give up your high blood pressure meds or you’ll have a stroke, especially now.  You have got to pay the Cobra – you and the kids HAVE TO HAVE health insurance.  You know that is true because 4 years ago you had an ectopic pregnancy out of nowhere that almost killed you.  Anything can happen.  And remember when little Johnny broke his leg?  That stuff costs a fortune and you never know when tragedy will strike.  And sometimes it feels like that the only love you get is from the dog and he has seizures and needs very expensive blood work twice a year and is on two meds and now shows signs of liver damage because of the side effects of the Phenobarbital – and the stuff he needs to take to save his liver cost three times as much as the anti-seizure meds so what are you going to do?  You‘ve had him longer than you‘ve had your children, you love him, he loves you – he might be the only one who is happy to see you when you get home.  Except the one in diapers.  She still loves you.  You are sure.  The battery in your car dies.

Finally.  You find another job.  It pays a little less than your last job but there are benefits after three months.  The Cobra payment for your family is $948 a month – it’s killing you.  It’s more than your mortgage.  And you don’t get any vacation this year but after next January which is 8 months away, you will have two weeks vacation every year!!!  And after you work there for 10 years, you will have three!!!  Yippee!!!

I could go on and on but even I’m getting tired of this.  I have worked forever.  And I have actually enjoyed it most of the time.  But some of this stuff HAS happened and is happening to me.  You try to take the bad with the good.

So yes.  Being a mother is very hard work.  Anyone who thinks it isn’t is an idiot.  I did not have children but I saw my friends struggle with jobs and motherhood.  I saw my mother struggle with it.  Ann Romney is lucky that she had options and was able to CHOOSE to stay home with her boys.  She seems like a very nice woman.  But if I am given a choice, I would choose someone else to speak for me and my friends when it comes to putting your nose to the grindstone, getting out and cleaning the fucking snow off the car, and driving to work with menstrual cramps after you got your mother to watch little Sally today because she‘s been barfing since 2 AM so you only slept one hour last night instead of five.  Just sayin.’

So I return to my election year rant.  The economy is in the toilet.  People need jobs and food and shelter and love and understanding, and are turned away from homeless shelters every day.  Hey it’s April.  It will only get down to the high 40’s tonight.  Of course I live in Connecticut, not northern Maine or Alaska.  It will probably be a tad chillier there.  The North Korean nuts are acting up.  George Zimmerman shot and killed that poor child and it took 46 days for him to be arrested.  Syria.  The sign I saw for gas yesterday said $4.20 per gallon.  Health care.  Health care.  Health care.  I am paying my Cobra.  Wall Street has stolen our money and not many are angry because they just don’t understand.  Well some do – Occupy Wall Street.  And we hear politicians say we don’t have rights to entitlements like Social Security.  I’ve been paying into that fund since 1972.  Damn right I’m entitled.

Come on people.  Let’s set Hilary Rosen’s poorly chosen words, for which she has eloquently apologized, aside.  Let’s talk about the issues.


I love cookbooks.

According to “The Ladies’ Room Reader” compiled by Alicia Alvrez, the first American cookbook was self-published in 1796 by Amelia Simmons, a self-proclaimed orphan, in an attempt to improve “the rising generation of females in America,” particularly of orphans.  “If orphans pay some attention to cooking, they will be welcome wherever they are, and may even attract husbands,” opined the author of this popular tome, which went through four editions.

I am not an orphan and I have “attracted” a couple of husbands and a few non-husbands too, and cooking is something I know about.  When I got my first job way back in the early 70’s, I immediately joined a book club and my first shipment included my dear friend Betty Crocker.  I am now the owner of many, actually too many, cookbooks.  But I still have Betty and refer to her often.  Here’s a picture of my cookbook.  It is all beat up and you may not be able to see it in this picture but it is held together by clear packing tape.  And the cake pages have blobs of chocolate all over them.

Now that I’m unemployed, I’ve been cooking more.  I love to cook.  But it can be time consuming and I have time now.  I made my first ever cheesecake and I’ve been experimenting with bread, something I have been interested in for years.  I overcame my “yeast fear” several years ago when learning to make Yeast Rolls.  Do you remember those rolls from high school lunch?  There were so good.  I can make them.  And they are still great.

I find cooking relaxing.  I even like grocery shopping because it gives me ideas.  And sometimes I read cookbooks like novels.  So I spent a little time this Sunday making bread.  I did not knead by hand – just at the end to get the last of the dust combined.  I do have a nice big KitchenAid and a dough hook.  I feel sorry for the ladies who used to make bread by hand and had to knead for 10 minutes.  That dough gets very resistant at the end.

So this bread is delicious.  It’s just Betty Crocker’s plain old white bread.  I made whole wheat the other day and I liked that more.  I’m making walnut bread next.  I have high hopes for that.  And one of my French cookbooks has a recipe for a Eight-Grain bread that has many different kinds of seeds including sesame, pumpkin, flax and sunflower.  I’ll keep you posted.