At age 6, Nya, a girl living in San Diego, was suffering from malnourishment because her father, a single parent was struggling to raise (and feed) his children on an $11-an-hour job. For long periods of time their cupboards were bare, and Nya, who is now 18, subsisted on a diet of ramen noodles and free lunches provided by her charter school. She was in crisis, severely starving and depressed, with failing grades one of the many forms of collateral damage.
I think we’d all agree that no one should have to worry about being run over by a motor vehicle in their own shower. I’m a world class worrier but until it almost happened, it never occurred to me to worry that a stolen car would crash through our front fence and stop inches from joining me in the master bath. This wasn’t recent, fortunately, but it comprised one of the three times that a vehicle has taken out our front fence and come perilously close to ending up parked inside our home.
As back-to-school time approaches, parents need some gustatory coaching so children will be fueled, focused and nourished for the long school day.
Somehow (an attack of divorce guilt, I think), I ended up becoming a Cub Scout Den Leader for my older son, Rory’s, den. It really wasn’t all that easy to find activities that I could do as a single mom with sons. They’d be willing to go to the occasional movie with me, and I could be a manager of youth sports teams, but even the latter didn’t give me much one-on-one time with the boys. They really weren’t interested in lunch and shopping. And that was probably a good thing.
When it’s sauna hot and sticky outside, it seems the only thing you’re inclined to make for dinner is reservations. Here are some savvy seasonal tips for keeping cool, refreshed and energized — at least until the mercury aligns with normal.
Everybody has a fantasy about what they’d do if they won the lottery. I’ve always been clear about mine: hire a live-in masseuse. I’d get a minimum of two massages a day of about four hours each. In fact, some days I wouldn’t even get off the table, especially if I could figure out a way to simultaneously get a straw into a glass of chardonnay.
Nothing melts in your mouth like creamy, dreamy butter. Think: a crusty piece of garlic toast slathered in salty butter or a light and airy croissant; shrimp scampi swimming in a sea of white wine and butter; a tender lobster tail dunked in a ramekin of clarified liquid gold. After being maligned for more than a decade and given a lengthy “time out,” the golden boy is back. Here’s why:
Sadly, summer’s stone fruit growing season is way too short, but oh so sweet! Did you know:
• Plum trees are grown in every continent except Antarctica.
• The peach has a poisonous pit containing hydrocyanic acid.
• On average, there are 44 cherries to the pound.
OK, it scares even me. Over the years, as new phrases came into the vernacular, my kids would hear them at school, start saying them at home, and pretty soon even mom was using them. Well, most of them. But now, more and more phrases have come into common use, which annoy me beyond reason. I know: it’s the first step toward terminal curmudgeonliness. I fear I’m steps away from morphing from the kid-adoring neighbor lady to the one who rolls out onto her front porch in her walker and hurls epithets at the skate boarders.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan, who had a real soft spot for ice cream, designated July as the month to pay tribute to one of his favorite indulgences. Since the Reagan-era, ice cream has evolved into a creamy, dreamy industry that practically suits every cultural, dietary and gustatory preference.