Tales From A Hungry Life

November 24, 2016

10 Reasons to Be Grateful This Thanksgiving

by Maria Schulz

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Did you know that being grateful is actually good for you? There’s scientific proof that being grateful can have a dramatic impact on your life—keeping blood pressure low, making your immune system work better, and helping you get more sleep.

That’s good news, because Thanksgiving Day can come with its own stresses. Maybe you’re having a big crowd over and you have a million things to do. Or, maybe you’ll be a guest and some of the folks you’ll be seeing annoy the living daylights out of you. Plus, with all of the food being served, this holiday can wreak havoc on your health.

Everybody loves roast turkey

Everybody loves roast turkey

So…instead of focusing on the things that will drive us crazy today or make us fat, how about finding things to be grateful for? Here are some suggestions.

Family can be fun

Family can be fun

  1. Family

Sure, not everyone is blessed with the perfect family. But come to think of it, is ANYONE? Find me the perfect family and I’ll show you a pack of Yetis with the same last name. Sorry, folks—this mythical family doesn’t exist. We humans are imperfect and tend to get on each other’s nerves. Still, there are ways around this. Is your wacky, forgetful mom bringing her world famous mashed potatoes to the table? Be grateful. Is your annoying, messy, but somehow-still-lovable son home from college? Be grateful. Is Uncle Harry smoking his disgusting cigar outside—and keeping his shoes on his smelly feet inside? Be grateful. You get the idea.

Get out there

Get out there

  1. Friends

Some of us rely on the kindness of friends to make our holidays special. Maybe your family is a pack of psychos or they just live too far away to spend the day together. If you want to spend it alone, that’s great. However, if you are miserable because you feel you’ve been rejected by humankind on this day of thanks, accept an invitation to dinner with your stand-in family—your friends—or go help others at church, a soup kitchen, a nursing home, etc. Don’t just sit there like a Debbie Downer crying over your sad, tiny bird. Get out there and mix with people. You’ll be glad you did, even if those people are watching an awful lot of football.

Don't be that friend

Don’t be that friend

3. You woke up today! Hey, if that’s not a reason to be grateful, I don’t know what is. Be grateful that you’re up and about. Go participate in a local Turkey Trot. Go to church. Smile. Today is a gift. Treat it that way.

Run, run, run

Run, run, run

4. You’ve got all of your marbles. Metaphorically speaking, that is. And if you literally can’t find your pack of marbles, I’ve got good news for you: you can go online and score a big Black Friday deal on some new ones.

I've got a lot to be thankful for

I’ve got a lot to be thankful for

5. Your kids gave you one of those “I’m Grateful For” Turkeys with wonderful things written on all of the feathers. Somehow, you managed to score ahead of the dog, the iguana, and a pack of Legos. Be grateful.

6. When all the cooking and eating is done, you can watch football. Or the dog show. Or you can watch the parade while you cook. The point is, you can do whatever you please. If you have to work today, make plans to celebrate tomorrow or Saturday or whenever you can be surrounded by those you love or at least like enough to challenge to a wishbone-breaking feat of strength.

Or you can make your own "I'm grateful for" list

Go ahead, make your own “I’m grateful for” list

  1. There’s pie! Apple, pumpkin, blueberry, lemon meringue. Why wouldn’t you be grateful?
Best Ever.

Best Ever.

  1. NETFLIX! If watching sentimental movies or football is not your thing, go for Breaking Bad or Orange is the New Black. Turkey-binging and Netflix-binging. Perfect together!
Red, white, and imperfect blue

Red, white, and imperfect blue

  1. We are Americans. We live in a country that is not perfect, but it’s our country. The Bill of Rights lets us practice our beliefs, pursue happiness, and complain thanks to Freedom of Speech. We aren’t perfect and we’re able to say so. That’s a pretty amazing unalienable right and I’m grateful for it.
Plus you can read whatever you want

Plus you can read whatever you want

  1. Laughter is free. Yes, your family and friends may do things that annoy the stuffing out of you. Grandma may eat food off your plate. Your best friend Gerry may bore you with endless football commentary. Your beloved dog may have just barfed blueberry pie all over your rug. So what? Chances are your Thanksgiving Day disasters will live on in infamy. Today won’t last forever, and those people and pets who are driving you crazy won’t be here forever either. Be glad you’re where you are right now and laugh as much as possible.
the muppet movie

They look happy

Here’s a bonus reason to be grateful today: even if you’re watching your weight, dessert on Thanksgiving is MANDATORY!

Where have all the cookies gone?

Where have all the cookies gone?

Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon clove

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup white sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pure pumpkin

1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove together. Set aside.
  3. Use mixer (on medium) to beat butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add pumpkin. Slowly beat in flour mixture until dough forms. DO NOT OVERMIX!
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop (or a teaspoon) and drop scoops onto baking sheet, two inches apart.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges start to brown.
  8. Remove from oven, let cool.

Enjoy!

So many reasons to be grateful

So many reasons to be grateful

So, what makes you grateful? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving treat? What was your worst turkey day disaster? Please leave a comment. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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November 17, 2016

12 Thanksgiving Ideas that are Fun for Everyone

by Maria Schulz

Popcorn and toast, anyone?

Popcorn and toast, anyone?

Thanksgiving can be tricky. Sometimes, it’s a day when families catch up, laugh a lot, and enjoy their time together. Other times…not so much. There’s always a fun story about a drunken uncle, a bossy mother-in-law, or a whiney friend who sucks the life out of the party by telling everyone at the table about his recent bout with hemorrhoids or scabies.

Let me tell you about my latest illness

Let me tell you about my latest illness

Most people I know are NOT going to have the quintessential “Kennedy-esque” game of touch football on the front lawn while their giant turkey cooks to perfection. Come to think of it, the Kennedys probably weren’t even that happy to be together, touch football or no touch football.

We look just like the Kennedys

We look just like the Kennedys

Whether you’re off to a large gathering or just a small, intimate celebration, it’s always good to have ice breakers and conversation starters on hand. In that spirit, I thought I’d share a few ideas to keep your special day from going off the rails. Here are some of my suggestions.

Ready? Here we go...

Ready? Here we go…

Twelve Thanksgiving Games that are Fun for Everyone

  1. Take Bets. How long will it be before Grandma tells you how she worked 12 jobs at your age and you’re a lazy loser? How many male relatives will fall asleep with their pants undone while they snore in front of a football game on TV? How many lumps in Mom’s gravy? You get the idea.
Get your game on

Get your game on

  1. Break out the board games. That turkey is going to take a while. Why not get in a quick game of Life? Uno? Scattergories? Pictionary? Truth or Dare? Who’s Most Likely To? Never Have I Ever… (or Would You Rather… if there are kids around)? Cards Against Humanity? You can keep it clean for the kids and have lots of laughs.
  1. Set up a Group Pool/Prize. Yeah, maybe Aunt Sally couldn’t care less who’s playing football today. But I bet she’ll care if there’s money at stake, and it will keep people busy while you cook the turkey. You can also bet on the outcome of the Dog Show, a corny holiday movie, or murder mystery. $5 per person and the winner doesn’t have to help clean up.
While you deep fry your turkey

While you deep fry your turkey

  1. Play Telephone or the Minister’s Cat. Yes, these are oldies, but they’re always fun.
  1. Go outdoors between dinner and dessert. Play Bocce ball or Running Bases—adults and children alike can use some fresh air. Walk the dog while you’re at it. And yes, you can even channel your inner Kennedy and play a game of Touch Football.
Run off that turkey dinner

Run off that turkey dinner

  1. Stay inside. Play Wii bowling, football, or Olympics. Go on Playstation and play Walking Dead, Batman, Just Dance, or Dancing with the Stars.
You too can score a "10"

You too can score a “10”

  1. Use your cell phone and download the app for HeadsUp. It’s really just Charades, but you hold the phone up to your head so that everyone else can see the word, and the other people in the room try to give you clues about it. You have to guess before time is up. It’s quick, fun, and very addictive. Hint: if you don’t have a smartphone, you could just write words on cards and hold them up to your head while everyone else gives you clues. Sometimes old school is the right way to go.
  1. Play “Two Truths and One Lie.” Each person around the dinner table tells everyone two things that are true about him or her, as well as one lie. If someone guesses the lie, you take a shot (or eat vegetables, pie, etc.)
Are we having fun yet?

Are we having fun yet?

  1. Another great game is What If? This app comes with fun what if/but then scenarios that a person has to answer. The results are usually hilarious.
  1. Plan a TV or Movie Marathon! Choose a holiday themed comedy like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles to get everybody laughing (who doesn’t like John Candy?). Or, binge watch The Godfather Trilogy or Orange is the New Black together. Your call!
Those aren't pillows

Those aren’t pillows

  1. Put a slip of paper with a question on it underneath everyone’s plate. Before you pass the turkey, ask everyone to pull out the slip and, one by one, read and answer the question on it. Depending on the crowd, the questions could be, “What are you most thankful for?” “What are you least thankful for?” “Where did you spend your worst Thanksgiving (hopefully the answer isn’t your house).” “What was your first girlfriend’s name?” “What’s the most embarrassing thing you ever did?” “What was your worst job—and why?”
Better than a Magic 8 Ball

Better than a Magic 8 Ball

  1. Experience Your Own Version of Karaoke Madness. You know you want to unleash your inner Beyonce. Go ahead, make their day! But don’t take this one too seriously. It’s always better if you’re not very good.

Recipes:

Thanksgiving Appetizers

FNK Flat Content; 3-Ingredient Thanksgiving Appetizers; Opener

Let’s eat

Find everything from stuffed mushrooms and deviled eggs to ricotta stuffed bacon wrapped dates, spiced pecans, and goat cheese with fresh dill. It’s the perfect way to set the mood for a fun party that everyone will enjoy.

Cocktails!

What I'm Thankful For

What I’m Thankful For

If you want to do drinking games or just have some fun cocktails on Thanksgiving, check out these recipes on Food Network. There’s a Pumpkin Pie Martini, Bourbon Negroni, Apple Toddy, Cider Punch, and dozens more cocktail choices.

I've got a lot to be thankful for

I’ve got a lot to be thankful for

So, what are your family traditions on Thanksgiving? Do you eat and then crash on the couch until dessert is served? Watch the parade and dog show? Watch football games in between bites of turkey? Do a 5K Turkey Trot? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Happy Thanksgiving!

April 12, 2016

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day

by Maria Schulz

There are lots of unofficial “holidays” floating around out there that marketers love to tout. For instance, yesterday was “National Pet Day.” I didn’t realize we needed a day for that. Everyday is National Pet Day here at my house. “World Laughter Day” is coming up on May 1, and of course, May 4th is Star Wars Day. You’ll know it because everyone will be walking around wearing Star Wars ties and tee-shirts, and you’ll get lots of emails from merchants with the subject line: May the Fourth Be With You!

Still great.

Still great.

Today friends, is National Grilled Cheese Day. Now, lots of these holidays have no meaning for me, but this one absolutely does. If there’s someone out there who doesn’t love a great grilled cheese…well, I can’t understand that. I mean, are you CRAZY?

My love affair with the grilled cheese began long ago, and of course it got me in trouble. When I was 8, my mom bought a new toaster. Since I always used the old toaster to make my version of a grilled cheese (it was just a melted cheese sandwich, but no one would let me use the stove), I slapped my bread and cheese in and waited for the magic to happen.

Do NOT put cheese in there

Do NOT put cheese in there

Unfortunately, the fact that the new toaster was not a toaster oven like the old one sailed over my head. I can still see my mother trying to scrape the cheese out of her new, now destroyed, toaster. She got so mad at me that I hid in my room and didn’t go back to school in time for the after lunch bell. I thought she’d realize I was still home, but she just kept ranting in the kitchen about what a moron I was until I came out…and got yelled at for being late for school.

Eventually, my mother bought a new toaster (oven) and life went on like before. There were lots of cheese sandwiches in my future. Remarkably, my parents eventually allowed me to use a skillet and fire to make grilled cheese, and I never looked back. I learned some important things, among them: NEVER PUT CHEESE IN A REGULAR TOASTER. These are life skills, people.

As a mom myself, the grilled cheese was a go-to lunch item that my husband, kids, and I always enjoyed. I was good at making them, but by far, the all-time Champion Grilled Cheese Cook of the World was my mother-in-law, Irene (Nana, to my kids),

So good

So good

With a couple of slices of bread, a slice or two of American or Cheddar cheese, a dab of butter and a hot grill pan, Irene/Nana could make magic. Her grilled cheese sandwiches looked like something out of a stylized photo shoot. The aroma used to send us all into a tizzy (dog included), making us circle the kitchen and erupt into cheers of LUNCH! LUNCH! LUNCH! Of course, while she cooked, she would share cheese with our dogs (first Cokey, then Trixie), giving her Most Beloved Human status.

I can still see her there in my kitchen buttering the bread, adding the cheese, flipping the whole thing over, and using a heavy spatula on top to help the bread crisp up. From her white curls on top of her head to the Dr. Scholl’s shoes on her feet, Irene was as All-American as…well, grilled cheese.

Irene the teen

Irene the teen

She’d wear her regulation “Nana” garb, which consisted of a long gray sweater with big pockets for tissues, medicines, or hard candies, over a floral blouse and black slacks. Irene would tell hilarious stories about her life growing up in Ridgewood, Queens: she was the first person to create and own a pet rock, which she walked down Fresh Pond Road on a leash. She never cashed in on her big idea and was really annoyed when it made its second creator millions in the ’70s. Irene had endearing and not-so-endearing nicknames for her friends and relatives, including “The Stick” for her ridiculously thin neighbor and “The Battle Axe” for her nasty, difficult grandmother. Irene told us of her life growing up during the Depression and Prohibition (when some relatives made hooch in the bathtub), and she sold war bonds, painted her legs with “seams” when pantyhose were scarce, and waited for her fella to come home from the War (that fella was my husband’s Dad) in the 1940s. She was, as her father would’ve called her, a real “tomato.”

Not Irene

Not Irene

When my kids would ask her where her family came from, she would reply: “Philadelphia.” She was an All-American girl, and even though her family came here on a boat just like my family, that was so long ago that they didn’t think about it much anymore.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese. A perfect marriage

Tomato soup and grilled cheese. A perfect marriage

She’d tell the kids to come in and sit down, pushing her glasses back up on the bridge of her nose and gesturing to us to take our seats. Then she’d serve us our grilled cheese sandwiches and dole out the tomato soup that was its natural partner…and we would eat…and talk…and laugh.

On this National Grilled Cheese Day, I’d like to raise a glass of (soda/wine/water) and a delicious cheese sandwich in her memory. My mother-in-law may be gone now, but she will always be remembered…especially on holidays, real and random…and every other day too.

Recipes:

Healthy Grilled Cheese Recipes

healthy grilled cheese recipe

So good–and good for you too!


So, Hungry Lifers…what’s your favorite type of grilled cheese sandwich? Hint: mine’s a tie between healthy tomato and mozzarella Caprese and good old American Cheddar. Please leave a comment and enjoy your day!

March 16, 2016

March is Read-Aloud Month

by Maria Schulz

These days, families are stretched thin because we’re all very busy and very stressed. Do you exercise 3 or more times a week like you should? (Not always). Do you eat home cooked meals instead of fast food (I try). Parents, do you read out loud to your kids every single day? This one’s a no-brainer…except for many these days, the answer is no.

At readaloud.org, there’s a movement to help parents carve out a minimum of 15 minutes a day for reading aloud to their kids. Now here’s a revolution that I’m all in for!

Untitled

house_infographic_web

There was nothing better than cuddling with a book when my girls needed to wind down from an activity before naptime, in the bath (yes! You can get waterproof books and kids can act out the stories while splashing and playing), and of course, at bedtime.

Bookstack

Let’s read. And talk. And eat.

I knew it was good for them, but you know what? It was good for me too. I got the chance to discover what made them laugh, what interested them, and experience wonder at the world around us. It was fun to watch my girls discover the simplest things, from colors and numbers in the beginning to concepts like sharing, being kind, compromising, compassion, and empathy. Hey! Maybe we should read aloud to our politicians, too.

Many parents will say, “I’m just too tired and there’s no time to read. I’ll give my kids their iPad or Kindle Fire and they can read audio books. That’s the same, right?”

Wrong. It’s not the same. Children and parents forge bonds as they read together, and if you start reading to kids from they day they’re born, their brain will make more vital connections than children who don’t have books read to them. It gives them a bigger vocabulary and gets them ready for school, tests, and success. Yes, it even helps them succeed in S.T.E.M. classes (if you can’t read, you can’t learn).

High Stakes

highstakesforparents_infographic

These were the books that my girls enjoyed:

Pat the Bunny

Goodnight Moon

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born

Muldoon

Rufferella

rufferella

Sing it, baby

Guess How Much I Love You

Where the Wild Things Are

My Somebody Special

C is for Cookie

The Cat in the Hat

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

The Rainbow Fish

The Velveteen Rabbit

the velveteen rabbit

The Kissing Hand

Winners Never Quit

Madeline

Detective LaRue

my somebody special

The best part about reading aloud? You get to act out the scenes and have fun together. To reap the benefits, you just have to do this 15 minutes per day. If money is tight, the library is free. Go once a week and stock up on books you can enjoy together.

Reading to your kids is just like exercising, eating right, and taking care of yourself. It’s hard to make the time, but when you do, you realize it was the best thing you did all day.

Recipe: Quick Breakfast Burritos

breakfast-burritto

Eggs are brain food! This breakfast burrito recipe looks delicious, but if you don’t think you’ll ever have the time to make this, prep ahead, omit whatever you don’t have on hand (I don’t usually have green chiles on hand and my kids won’t eat them anyway), and create a healthy breakfast that will send them off ready to learn. You can even make these ahead and freeze them. That way, all you have to do is defrost them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, and go. P.S.: Pack a book with that burrito, for a truly brain-boosting breakfast experience.

So, did you/do you read aloud to your kids? What was your favorite book? What’s your favorite “reading moment” memory? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!

February 5, 2016

Inspired by Eggs in a Basket

by Maria Schulz

I woke up this morning to more snow and the sinking feeling that shoveling was in my immediate future. Luckily, I read a post by my friend Beth at butterscotchblastoff with a recipe that brought me back to my Grandmother’s kitchen.

retro-kitchen

Like this, only bigger and pinker

I can see her now: my beautiful little Nonnie, in her pink frilly apron, cooking for me in her big pink kitchen in Port Washington. She had short brown hair and big brown eyes, framed by round glasses that she always wore. Her home always smelled of something wonderful on the stove: fresh bread, spaghetti and meatballs, apple pie, or peach spongecake.

Making_eggs_in_basket

How’s about cooking something up for me?

One of my favorite memories are of sleeping over and waking up to find my grandmother cooking breakfast for me. If Uncle Sal was there for the weekend and Uncle Don was home, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra would be playing in the background as we waited for our meal.

MariaNonnieBandC177

My two grandmothers

My grandmother used to take a piece of bread, make a circle in it with the bottom of a juice glass, and put both pieces of bread into a hot pan with a dab of butter. Next, she’d crack an egg into the middle of the toast. When everything had firmed up nicely, she’d flip it (yes, even the round piece that had been cut out was cooked and flipped). She’d season it all with salt and pepper, put it on one of her pretty plates, and presto! Breakfast was served.

tomatoes and eggs

Hey, good looking

How could eggs be so delicious? My grandmother was a magician in the kitchen, and I would practically sit in the audience and applaud. There was lots of laughter around that table as we enjoyed our morning feast.

 

To boost up my morale before heading out into the snow drifts, I set out to make a little magic of my own. I did everything my grandmother showed me, but with inspiration from Beth, I added a twist: yellow tomatoes, a little more butter, salt, pepper, and basil. I added it to my eggs in a basket on top and on the side. You know what? It was delicious! I recommend it heartily.

Eggs in a BasketI think my Nonnie would approve.

So…what’s your favorite breakfast food? Best memory with Grandma? What inspires you when your get up and go has gotten up and left? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!

 

 

 

December 7, 2015

15 Cool Retro Toys

by Maria Schulz

I wanna be a toys r us kid

I wanna be a toys r us kid

Yes, it’s that time of year again, folks: time to go out there and find the best toys around. Toys that will educate, prepare our children for a future in the science and math fields, and make them perfect little corporate drones.

Wait…what?

My parents never focused on getting me a gift that would ensure an acceptance letter to the premier college of my choice. They chose things that sparked creativity, helped you learn about the world around you, and maybe even showed you what you were destined to be someday. That, of course, was clearly an accident. But still.

Let's go retro

Let’s go retro

Here are my favorite Christmas toys that are still DA BOMB after all these years. Ready? Let’s go…

 

The fun and wonderful toy

The fun and wonderful toy

  1. The Slinky: the fun and wonderful toy! Get it to walk down the stairs, wear it like a single earring, or use it as a temporary ladder for your Barbie doll or action figure. Use your imagination, kids! The applications are endless.etch a sketch
  1. Etch a Sketch: I dare you to make the Mona Lisa on this! Go on. See what kind of mad skills you possess when you aren’t using an iPad. I was thrilled when I could write my name in script on an Etch a Sketch. We all have different talents.
Call me maybe?

Do you need some answers?

  1. Magic 8 Ball: Oh Magic 8 Ball, will I get an A on my next math test? Try later. Here’s a toy that requires an imagination and a sense of humor! The laughs keep coming with this silly little ball that can tell you the future. Just keep shaking it if you don’t like the answers.
Knock his block off!

Knock his block off!

  1. Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots: Go ahead, knock his block off! This toy had the dual function of letting you work out your aggressions at the same time as you were laughing like crazy. I call the red one!

    Ready...set...GO

    Ready…set…GO

  1. Simon: come on…can you remember the sequence? Press the button and show off your eidetic memory. Or, press the buttons and show off your early memory loss. Either way, it’s a fun game that challenges you to think, respond, compete, and repeat.
I can lift comics with this

I can lift comics with this

  1. Silly Putty: mold, stretch, bounce, put it on comics and pick up the picture. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have with a tiny bit of money and loads of imagination. It’s in the Toy Hall of Fame for a reason!
I can be a designer

I can be a designer

  1. Spirograph: get ready to design your heart out. This set of gears and wheels help you create distinctive designs that you can use to create all sorts of pictures. Color them in and create your own coloring book while you’re at it.
Making things with Lite Brite

Making things with Lite Brite

  1. Lite Brite: go ahead, make things with Lite Brite! I can’t draw, but I could always push pegs into a board that lit up, so I could design amazing scenes. This is perfect for hours of entertaining fun.

    I need to take this call

    I need to take this call

  1. Fisher Price Chatter Phone: what little kid won’t still enjoy playing on this phone? It looks retro (they won’t care about that, but you will), it can be dragged around because it has wheels, and they can make believe they’re having a very important conversation with anyone they please. It’s a great imagination-starter that will still thrill your little ones.

monkeys in a barrel

  1. Barrel of Monkeys: how many monkeys can you link arm in arm? This was one of our favorite games when I was little. You’d start hanging them off the sides of our big orange counter top (it was the 60s, after all) and then keep going until they all fell off. Then you’d start over. Or you’d use the monkeys to play with some of your other animal toys. Perfect for the bath (they float and dry easily). When you’re done, just throw them all back in the barrel (or risk losing your monkeys).
You had me at hello

You had me at hello

  1. Mr. Potato Head: Or for those of you so inclined, Mrs. Potato Head. Mr. Potato Head, I love you! You can change Mr. Potato Head to fit any mood or character. Does he have a mustache? Big eyes? Is he smiling? Maybe, maybe not. You decide.
My old pal

My old pal

  1. Bozo Punching Bag: this was supposed to be for me, but I can still remember my brothers punching the living daylights out of Bozo. You get a pretty good workout and you laugh a lot. I think I could use one even now to blow off some steam.

Crissy doll orange dress

  1. Chrissy Doll: she didn’t talk, walk, or crawl, but she was only limited by what you imagined she could do. She came in a groovy orange lace dress. You could brush her hair, give her a back-story, and spend hours with her.

    Malibu Barbies!

    Malibu Barbie, Francine, & Skipper

  2. (and #15 too) Traditional Barbie Doll/ Traditional GI Joes: Full-size, please (but not life size. Duh). You could create whole families with these toys. Everyone had a story and an agenda. It was like reality TV, except much more realistic and compelling. Think the Kardashians with people you actually cared about and liked.
GI Joe, the great love of Skipper's life

The great love of Skipper’s life

RECIPE:

So good

So good

Gingerbread Cookies

Here are some fun cookie ideas to make your holidays bright. Don’t have time to bake from scratch? Use the slice and bake kind from your grocer’s freezer. I won’t tell.

So…what’s the best toy gift you ever received?  Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!

January 2, 2015

New Year’s and The Secret to A Happy Life

by Maria Schulz

Another holiday season is behind us. The days aren’t so much merry and bright as they are bare and gray. It’s the New Year, and that makes me think about all I want to accomplish in the next 12 months.

What will I accomplish in 2015?

What will I accomplish in 2015?

The earliest days of January always fill me with a mixture of boredom, anticipation, anxiety, and hope. Maybe this year, I will become a better person, write more books, sell more copies of the one I already have out there, be kinder, get fit, lose weight, or even finish reading November 22, 1963 by Stephen King.

As I searched the Internet for ways to become a better person this New Year, I came across an article called “The Secrets to A Happy Life—Courtesy of Tolstoy.” In this very inspiring article, the author explains how, through Tolstoy’s example, we can keep an open mind, become more empathetic, make a difference, learn new things, and accept others.

Not her.

Not her.

I enjoyed War and Peace and Anna Karenina, but I realize that some readers’ eyes may glaze over by the things that excite an English major like me. So, I tried to think of someone a little bit more current. Someone who was a good sport, fought fair, and tried his or her very best. Someone whose worldview I admired, appreciated, and embraced. They didn’t have to be real…just real to me.

Therefore, I’m going to put forth my own:

Secrets to A Happy Life—Courtesy of Jim Rockford

What a smile

What a smile

1. Keep Smiling. Sure it’s hard to smile at everyone, especially when you suspect that they’re stupid, insane, or bent on killing you. But a smile is always your best bet, because the people who like you will be more willing to forgive your mistakes. And the ones who don’t will spend so much time trying to figure out what you’re smiling about that you’ll have the extra time you need to get away from them.

2. Accept Your Friends’ Character Quirks. Angel wasn’t exactly the best friend Jim could’ve hoped for, but he certainly did make life interesting. Yes, he was the reason that Jim often got shot at, beaten up, or found by the bad guys, but he also unwittingly helped Jim solve a case or two. So you’ve got to take the good with the bad.

3. Keep an Open Mind. Beggars can’t be choosers, and it’s not every day that someone comes through the door willing to pay $200 a day, plus expenses. So when opportunity comes a knockin’, you’d better open that door.

Rockford Files ad

4. Expand Your Social Circle: it’s important to have family and friends to get you through the rough times, but it pays to meet new people. Sometimes Jim’s escapades let him play at being an Oklahoma millionaire or even to hob knob with rich folk played by Lauren Bacall. So go on…get out there!

5. Practice Empathy. When his friend, Rita Capkovic (played by Rita Moreno) gets beaten up by her pimp, Jim takes her into his trailer and nurses her back to health. Yeah, sure, this ends up causing her to fall in love with him and drive him crazy, but still. Empathy is good.

6. Live the Simple Life. Jimbo lived in a trailer! He’d rather go fishing with his dad, Rocky, than work! He didn’t obsess over the many debtors that called and left messages on his answering machine! His favorite foods were Oreos, tacos, and steak, with a beer chaser! He lived life on his terms, and I love that.

I still want to meet Jim and Rocky

I still want to meet Jim and Rocky

7. Beware Your Contradictions. While Jim may have preferred the simple life of fishing and loafing off, he also liked things like gold Pontiac Firebirds, dinner with a pretty girl every now and again, and loud sports jackets. Did he begrudge himself these things? Nope. He embraced it all. That’s my boy.

8. Never Take Sides Against the Family: Sure, Rocky drove Jim crazy. Whenever he heard what Jimmy was up to, he tried to talk him into “getting a real job,” or “staying out of prison.” Others may have found Rocky annoying, but no one said so to Jim, since he inherently understood that his father always had his back.

9. Always Keep It Real. Jim Rockford never put on airs; you knew where you stood with good ol’ Jimmy. Wouldn’t it be great if you could say the same thing about all of the people in your life?

Rockford_files

10. When in Doubt, Run. Perhaps Jim’s best character trait was his ardent desire NOT to be shot, manhandled, punched in the head, or beaten to a bloody pulp. He was the anti-hero’s hero at a time when detectives like Mannix showed their masculinity by being left for dead in the gutter. Sure, a punch or two always seemed to hit the mark, but if Jim could disappear at the first sign of trouble, he was out of there. Now that’s my kind of hero.

Recipes:

Hmmm hmmm good

Hmmm hmmm good

Chile-Spiced Skirt Steak Tacos: delicious, and a great way to combine two of Jimmy’s favorite things (you don’t even have to visit his favorite restaurant, Casa Taco):

Oreos! Make ‘em at home using this recipe.

Food Network's homemade Oreos

Food Network’s homemade Oreos

I would give you a recipe for home-brewing your own beer, but that’s WAY too swanky for Jim Rockford (not to mention, me). Remember to ask yourself: WWJD (What Would Jimbo Do?) Keep it simple—pop open a can of your favorite, just like Jimmy would.

For those of you who are wondering, I was inspired to write this post because  James Garner was on all of the “Celebrities We Lost in 2014” lists, and it made me a little bit sad. So here’s a fun way to celebrate him again.

Awwww...Jimmy

Awwww…Jimmy

So, Hungry Lifers…what are your hopes for the New Year? Which TV show would you base your Secrets to a Happy Life on? Do you like spicy tacos, oreos, and beer chasers? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks, and Happy New Year!

December 18, 2014

My Author Visit

by Maria Schulz

 

Now available on amazon.com

Now available on amazon.com

Did you ever get to do something you’d always dreamed of doing? No, I didn’t climb Mount Everest (too cold and too dangerous…I fall a lot), or win the Noble Peace Prize (I could never beat out someone like Mother Theresa), or even do a cooking show on the Food Network (if I was on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, I might get so excited that I’d set the kitchen on fire). For me, that dream was publishing my book and having a book reading.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it

Extra! Extra! Read all about it

On TV or in the movies, the author walks into a packed room and the crowd bursts into applause. Everyone adores the author and wants to buy eight million copies of his or her books. The author spends the night feverishly signing books until his/her hand almost falls off. Then he/she walks away a millionaire, back to his/her loft in Brooklyn.

Don't all authors look like this?

Don’t all authors look like this?

What would my author visit be like? What if NO ONE SHOWED UP? Hold on though…it’s a book about my family! Of course they would show up. But…would anyone else? What if strangers came, and they DIDN’T LAUGH…or what if they threw tomatoes at me?

It's scary out there

It’s scary out there

I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be when the day finally arrived. And then…it began to snow. My phone started buzzing with regrets, and I worried that my worst fears would come true.

“It’s such a terrible night outside,” the library coordinator, Beth, said to me when we arrived. “You’ll be lucky if a couple of people show up, or if you even sell 3 or 4 books.”

Such a troublemaker

Such a troublemaker

My daughter and I went back out to the car to put the extra box of books away.

“You’ll sell more than 4 books!” Paige said.

“Thanks,” I replied, although I wasn’t so sure.

We went back inside and saw my Catholic school friend and her daughter standing at the door.

“Michele! Thank you for coming!”

“I wouldn’t miss it!” she replied, as she introduced her daughter, Emily, to me.

Seeing them made me feel so much better. Up to that point, I felt like a girl standing alone at a party, waiting for someone to ask for a dance. But now, at least 2 people were there, and they wanted to “dance” with me!

Please please please

Please please please

My husband and daughters stood with me, greeting people as they arrived. Friends from all walks of my life came through the door, including the wife of my 9th grade English teacher (who took a train and then had her friend drive her all the way to the library just so they could be there); work pals (including Grace, my wonderful book designer); friends from the neighborhood (my book club, religion classes, bowling buddies, and my husband’s best friends); and of course, my father, brothers, sisters-in-law, nephew, niece, and cousin Tom, who got stuck in rush hour traffic for four hours! What was even more amazing was that people I didn’t even know came in, smiling and eager to hear about my book. I felt like George Constanza from Seinfeld. Yes, the worlds were colliding!

The worlds are colliding!

Jerry, the worlds are colliding!

At 7:30 p.m,, Beth introduced me. I thanked my husband, girls, family and friends for always supporting me. I also thanked the people who didn’t know me at all for coming on such a snowy night. Then, I said:

“I started writing Tales From A Hungry Life ten years ago to capture all the memories that I shared with my family as the only sister living with 6 brothers. I wrote it after reading memoirs like The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. I enjoyed them but I thought: these people are crazy, and not in a good way. I wanted to read about a family that was crazy in a good way…so I wrote about my family. Of course I also included recipes, because food was always a big part of our lives.”

Dad gets into it

Dad gets into it

When I was done talking about my book, I invited my cousin Tom, my brothers Chris, Jude, Lou, and Joe, and my father, Lou, up to the stage with me. We each took the scripts I’d prepared and sat down on the edge of the stage as we started to read from my book.

Tommy, Chris, Jude & me

Everyone gets ready for their star moment

We read about my Uncle Don and his hilarious way of facing life’s pitfalls. We read about our childhood pets, Goldie and Henry. We even read about our mother, and how she always had her favorites. The crowd laughed in all the right places; sometimes, it was the 7 of us up on stage that started laughing. My father jumped up and acted his heart out as he relived certain moments. The crowd was laughing! They were enjoying it! No one threw tomatoes (I was wearing red, just in case) or booed.

Let's read

Let’s read

When it came to the Q&A part, I passed the mic around. We all answered questions about the book, which stories my brothers thought hit the mark, what was missing, and what I should include in the next book. We even sent the microphone into the crowd so my brother Tony could answer a question too. Then, Jude said:

“Even though this book is about Maria’s life, it gets you thinking about your own childhood. While you’re laughing at her memories, you’re enjoying your own. That’s the best part of it.”

At the end of the evening, I got to sign dozens of books and thank a very enthusiastic, happy crowd. I was fortunate enough to have over 50 people show up, I signed books until I thought my hand would fall off, and we sold 26 copies.

I may not have a loft in Brooklyn, but as my grandmother would have said, I’m a millionaire without a million..

Recipe: Fresh Tomato Recipes

tomato-stack-salad

Because tomatoes are for eating, not for throwing! Try this tomato stack and you’ll agree that tomatoes are great year-round.

So Hungry Lifers…did you ever get to do something you always dreamed about? Have you read my book yet? Thanks to everyone who came out on that snowy night and to those who were there in spirit. Let’s do it again real soon!

November 5, 2014

Way Back Wednesday: Back to the 50s

by Maria Schulz

I’m trying out a new feature today (yes, you will be seeing this again) called “Way Back Wednesdays,” where I  hop in a time machine and visit a place from the past (either personal or historic). So where would I go if I could go anywhere?

Go Gargoyles!

Go Gargoyles!

This old photo of Flushing High School gave me a bit of inspiration for this post. It made me go all Peggy Sue Got Married/Back to the Future/Happy Days as I imagined going back in time as a teenager at my parents’ high school.

I can just see myself now: I’m wearing a blouse, skirt and heels, and I look like I’m 30 even though I’m just a teenager. As I walk through the halls of Flushing High, I spot my father. He’s got a pompadour and a pack of cigarettes poking out of his coat pocket. He is joking around with his friends and hanging around a little too long in one part of the hall; a teacher pokes his head out of the classroom and tells him to “get to class already!”

Dad

Dad

In the crush of students, I can hear my mother before I even see her; I would know that beautiful laugh anywhere. Mom is heading this way, oblivious to my father and of course to me. She is wearing the fake beauty mark on her face that her English teacher will eventually wipe off because he says she doesn’t need it. It’s a nice complement but it horrifies her.

I follow my mother to Spanish class and feel happy when the teacher asks her to read. I hear her clear accent as she prattles on at breakneck speed in her first language. Her voice and accent reminds me of home.

So pretty

So pretty

After Spanish class is over, I head over to my father’s music class. I witness his solo on Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White. He’s a good trumpet player, and a bit of a goof ball. When the bell rings, I follow him outside and watch from the bleachers while he plays baseball. It’s incredible to see him so young and strong; but like all of his future children, he is not fast at all.

While I’m back in the old neighborhood, I swing by the local movie theater where my Uncle Don works. He’s an usher, and just like I figured, as friendly as always. After we know each other for about 5 minutes, he tells me a joke and I hear that laugh that I have loved for as long as I can remember. A few minutes later, Uncle Don has invited me back to his parents’ (my grandparents’) house for dinner.

 

Uncle Don, laughing

Uncle Don, laughing

On the walk back home, Uncle Don and I run into our cousin, Eleanor. I know her but she doesn’t know me…yet. We like each other immediately. She’s shy and bookish, but then again, so am I.

When we finally arrive at my grandparents’, my Uncle introduces me as a new kid in the neighborhood. I’ve told him I’m in from Long Island (what was then just farmland), and so he introduces me as if I’m an alien from a strange land. Of course, that’s exactly what I am. Everyone says ‘hello’ and I can see hope spring up in my grandmother’s eyes, as she thinks maybe I’m his new girlfriend. Of course, my uncle has no such inclinations towards me, but still, my grandmother dreams. She sets another plate on the table. I’m in!

 

Yes, they were young once

Yes, they were young once

I am amazed by how young everyone looks. Nonnie has long black hair (I only remember her with short hair) and she’s so lively. She’s laughing and talking, both with her voice and with her hands, like every good expressive Italian. As everyone digs into spaghetti and meatballs, my grandmother keeps saying, “Is it good? Do you like it?” The men just nod and eat, which I guess they think is enough confirmation for all of her hard work. I smile and say, “This is the best spaghetti and meatballs I’ve ever had!” Which is true, because her spaghetti and meatballs always was the best.

As soon as the dinner plates are cleared away and Nonni’s homemade apple pie is put on the table, I peek again at Grandpa. He’s sitting across from me, looking so young and handsome. His hair is dark and his smile is wide as he helps himself to some pie. Junior (my father) is at the table too, enjoying my grandmother’s apple pie, telling funny jokes, and looking eager to finish and run off to some other adventure.

Uncle Don tells another story about a coworker who drives him crazy. There are laughs and eye rolls, and of course, more pie. Uncle Sal is even there, back from a Vaudeville gig. He’s talking about how Lana Turner and Jackie Gleason like to stop by the nightclub where he works. After he eats, he will read the paper and then head off to work to rub shoulders with even more celebrities and gather more funny stories.

Uncle Sal in his Vaudeville days

Uncle Sal in his Vaudeville days

I have been laughing very hard, but suddenly I start to cry. My grandmother squeezes my hand and asks me, “Do you miss your family?” “Yes,” I reply. Then she smiles and says, “Are they as crazy as this family?” I laugh through the tears and reply, “Oh yes.”

Thankfully, I’m not asked much more because they are all so full of life that it’s hard to get a word in edgewise. I smile at my grandfather as he offers me a slice of pie. I think to myself, ‘I’ll see you again soon, but it will never be enough time.’

Louie, Lena, Don and Junior

Louie, Lena, Don and Junior

After dinner, Uncle Don puts on a Glenn Miller album and teaches me some dance steps in the living room. He spins me like he’s Fred Astaire and I’m Ginger Rogers. My father dances with me too and even manages to lift me clear off the ground. His back isn’t bad yet, I think to myself. My grandparents watch and laugh while Uncle Sal reads the paper and smokes at the kitchen table.

This has been fun, but I have to head back. It’s hard to walk away from them, because I didn’t realize how much I missed them. But I’m needed 60+ years in the future.

I can’t wait to tell those jokes I heard from all of them. Maybe I’ll even practice those dance moves I learned. But first, I have to sit down and eat that slice of Nonni’s pie that I smuggled back home.

Recipe: Apple Pie

What is it about a grandmother’s apple pie that makes people want to go back in time and have some? Enjoy this apple pie recipe from another grandma with serious skills, and think of my grandmother somewhere, smiling.

So…who would you visit/where would you go in your own personal time machine? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks.

September 10, 2014

Take The Test

by Maria Schulz

School is in session, and for those of you with children, you’re right back in the thick of things. There are a million schedules to coordinate, activities to run to, meetings to attend, and of course, the dreaded tests, tests, and more tests.

Of course, you’re not a kid…you’re a parent! But now you will have to do more homework than you ever did at any time in the 12 years you attended elementary, Junior and High school, plus college, combined.

It’s been a while since I did a multiple-choice test, but in honor of the new school year, I’m all for it. Are you ready? This one’s for you. Let’s go.

Note: some of the answers are in “teen-speak,” so try to imagine it like the sounds of a screeching dolphin/your teen (think Flipper), and you’ll probably be able to decipher it.

I speak dolphin

I speak dolphin

 

The Back To School Multiple Choice Test (BTSMCT) For Parents

1. Your child is about to start kindergarten and must ride the school bus. She is looking forward to it, so naturally you:

a) Encourage her to look at it as a great adventure

b) Climb onto the bus and have to be physically pried off of her

c) Ask for the bus aide’s credentials and the bus driver’s license before agreeing to get off the bus

d) Drive the entire way behind the bus, every day, all year

ANSWER: B

2. For once in your life, you won a lottery, and now you are about to be a chaperone for your 2nd grader’s class trip. When you get to the Pumpkin Farm with your group, they each run off in ten different directions. You immediately:

a) Call in reinforcements (other moms) and round ‘em up

b) Secure the perimeter (other parents will help) so no one disappears

c) Grab a nearby hay bale and sit down until they all wander back

d) Yell: NOBODY GETS A FREAKIN’ PUMPKIN UNTIL YOU GET YOU’RE A@#ESS BACK HERE!

Come back and the pumpkin won't get hurt

Come back and the pumpkin won’t get hurt

ANSWER: D

3. You are assigned to lunch mother duty for your son’s sixth grade class. Upon entering the classroom, you are overcome with sensory overload caused by:

a) The screaming and yelling of 25 hormonally insane prepubescent children

b) The smell of 25 hormonally insane prepubescent children

c) The sight of 25 hormonally insane prepubescent children

d) All of the above

ANSWER: D

Why My Child Is Great

Why My Child Is Great

4. Your child has made the Varsity football team, but he seems to be permanently attached to the bench. You should:

a) Accost the coach, because obviously he doesn’t know greatness when he sees it

b) Email the coach relentlessly until he allows your son to get in the game

c) Encourage your son to work harder in the hopes that the coach will realize he’s a member of the team

d) A and B, but not C

e) All of the above

Answer: D

She's ALIVE!

She’s ALIVE!

5. Current events and language skills often come together in teachable moments. For instance, a homophone is a word that sounds the same as another word, but has a different spelling and meaning. Pick out the headline that has the correct homophone:

a) Betty White dyes peacefully at home

b) Betty White dies peacefully at home

c) Betty White likes to dye her hair

d) Betty White likes to dye her hare

ANSWER: A. Betty White IS NOT dead. But she may dye her hare.

Look--he's MAKING A SAUCE!

Look–he’s MAKING A SAUCE!

6. If you have two children, and one child begins doing her homework at 3 pm, while the other one starts his homework at 5 pm, and each one has 4 hours of homework, which one will finish sooner?

a) The one who starts at 3 pm

b) The one who starts at 5 pm

c) The one who doesn’t turn on Chopped marathons and start their homework at 10 pm

d) All of the above

ANSWER: C

7. Which line was written by William Shakespeare?

a) “Thus, with a kiss, I die.”

b) “We are all fools in love.”

c) “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its own thoughts.”

d) “I got one less problem without cha.”

ANSWER: A.

(Authors: a)Shakespeare b) Jane Austen c) Marcus Aurelius (another one with “dyeing” problems d) Iggy Pop)

The best part of history class

The best part of history class

8. History is the study of past events, particularly in human affairs. Which of the following statements about history is true?

a) History is a way for us to look back on events so we can learn from them

b) History is an important subject and requires a great deal of reading

c) History is the subject you go to when you have to, like, listen and stay awake because, like, the teacher will call on you if you put your head on the desk and sleep

d) All of the above

 

Answer: C

9. The probability that a woman, aged 92, would be in the headlines for dyeing as opposed to dying is probably:

a) 10,000,000 to 1

b) 100 to 1

c) 5 to 1

d) Like, my calculator broke

 

ANSWER: A. That Betty White is a troublemaker

So satisfying

So satisfying

10. Advertising is an important part of our pop culture. For example: if an ad is seen on Superbowl Sunday by 35 million people, it would have the power to:

a) Sell a sh@!load of candy bars

b) Make people laugh

c) Resurrect a 92-year-old woman’s career

d) Keep a 92-year-old woman from dyeing

 

ANSWER: C

edward or jacob

11. If one parent has a recessive gene for blue eyes and a dominant gene for brown eyes, while the other parent has two dominant genes for brown eyes, what do you think the color of their children’s eyes would be?

a) Blue

b) Brown

c) Could it be green? I think Betty White has green eyes

d) Amber, like Edward in Twilight. He’s dreamy

e) Like, what was the question?

 

ANSWER: B

12. The Science Fair is coming! The Science Fair is coming! That means, as a parent, you should:

a) Run and hide. NOW

b) Start gathering necessary supplies like magnets, oak tag, markers, glue sticks, etc.

c) Hang the following sign up on your fridge: “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

d) Explain what “constitute” means

 

Answer: All of the above

And I thought my family was hard to please

And I thought my family was hard to please

13. Your teenage daughter needs to raise approximately $3 million dollars to build a new wing on your school, where she will probably never, ever have a class. This means you must:

a) Become a contestant on Gordon Ramsey’s Master Chef, where you will learn how to cook amazing food and help raise needed funds

b) Give up sleep, because you’ll be baking cupcakes and cookies for the rest of your natural life

c) Give her a $20 bill, your car keys, and tell her to go get her own damn cake

d) Make believe you’re asleep, or in a coma, or dyeing your hare

 

ANSWER: C & D

betty-white

14. In recent pop culture history, the vampire became a pop sensation…much like Betty White did after she got tackled in that football game/chocolate bar commercial. Does that mean that Betty is a vampire?

a) Yes, obvi.

b) Well, duh…she’s too old

c) Like, who cares? Bring out Edward Cullen!

d) Um…who’s Betty White?

 

ANSWER: A

Wait...that's not a groundhog

Wait…that’s not a woodchuck

15. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

a) The question is pointless and cannot be answered

b) The question is stupid. Who’s Chuck Wood?

c) I need at least one number, and preferably two, if I am going to answer this

d) Woodchucks are not like actors. They don’t have time for these silly games

 

ANSWER: B

16. Your daughter does not eat breakfast in the morning, and as a result, gets dizzy and passes out in her 4th period French class. You immediately:

a) Go to the school and laugh at her when she’s wheeled into the nurse’s office

b) Berate the teacher for boring your daughter into a semi-comatose state

c) Shower your daughter with breakfast bars, orange juice, and cookies

d) Horrify your child, who comes back from the nurse to find you singing “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)” to her delighted classmates

 

ANSWER: D

gordon gekko

17. To prepare for parent teacher conferences, you will:

a) Ask your child how they are doing in class

b) Realize that your child is probably lying

c) Make a long list of grievances against the teacher that you want to discuss

d) Check the parent portal like it’s the Dow Jones and you’re Gordon Gekko in the movie, Wall Street

 

ANSWER: All of the above

18. In an attempt to pack a healthy lunch, you have placed a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole grain bread, apple slices, a cheese stick and a cookie into a double insulated bag that stays cold for 8 hours. You should expect that bag:

a) To come home empty

b) To be thanked for being the most thoughtful, loving, kind mother the world has ever known

c) To come home completely full, because, like, they didn’t feel like turkey and cheese today. And apple slices are so yesterday

d) To look like it just went to hell and back

 

ANSWER: A. Ha, ha, just kidding. C

Lunch!

Lunch!

19. While helping your child with his English homework, he asks you what a homophone is, and for an example. You tell him:

a) A homophone is someone who should not be judged or bullied

b) A homophone is the precursor to the telephone

c) A homophone is a word that is similar to another word that has a different spelling and meaning

d) Betty White didn’t die. She dyes!

 

ANSWER: D

dynomite

20. Language is a living thing that changes over time. Each generation has it’s own slang. Match the word with the decade it’s from:

a) Whatevs                                e)1980s

b) Snap!                                     f) 2010s

c) Dynomite!                            g) 1970s

d) Groovy!                                 h) 1960s

BONUS QUESTION! ANSWER THIS CORRECTLY AND GET 5 POINTS IN EXTRA CREDIT!

The PTA has just left a message on your voice mail to ask you to become a Chair Person for Mirrors of the Soul, the statewide essay contest. You immediately:

a) Accept, because they obviously recognize greatness

b) Start dyeing your hare

c) Change your phone number

d) Make believe you are LBJ and inform your PTA president that if nominated you will not run, if elected you will not serve.

 

ANSWER: ALL OF THE ABOVE

 

Recipe:

 

Healthy Lunches

 

I loved these healthy lunch ideas from Cooking Light. My favorites are Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Raisins, Little Italy Chicken Pitas, and Tomato Soup.

Yum!

Yum!

 

So, did you hear that Betty White dyed peacefully in her home? Did you pass my BTSMC test? Do you dye your hare? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!

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