Sunday, January 27, 2013


Hope is terrifying. Once you have hope, there becomes something again you are afraid to lose. There's a certain sense of security in knowing things can't get much worse. It is so tempting to back away from the things in my life that are giving me the smallest sense of hope, with the slightest provocation, just to protect myself from any potential pain.

Happy Birthday Matthew

It's hard to believe my little brother Matthew would have been 32 today. He sure looked like his sister, minus the awkwardness of being 12 in the early 80s with the Dorothy Hammel haircut and braces. I cannot believe it can still hurt so much 27 years later that he and Christopher are gone. It's hard not to wish that my children could have grown up knowing their uncles.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mexican Chorizo and Sweet Potato Mama I'm Sick Soup

Samantha is home with a cold/sore throat. Figured spicy homemade soup might help, so I made this tonight. Loved it... and without too many tortilla chips, it is reasonably healthy.

Mexican Chorizo and Sweet Potato Soup


6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt
3/4 lbs. fresh chorizo or other spicy sausage, casings removed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups baby spinach
Juice of 1 lime
3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, halved, pitted and chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the tortilla strips with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil on a baking sheet, spread in a single layer and bake until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cumin and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the sweet potato, chicken broth, tomatoes and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the spinach and lime juice and season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with the tortilla strips, cilantro and avocado.

My step mother found this via the Foodnetwork

Monday, January 14, 2013

you know it is monday when...

I was playing one of my favorite Danni Leigh songs this morning on the way into work. Since it wasn't finished by the time I pulled into the parking lot, I jumped out of the car and continued singing, audibly, the next line:

"I'd love to take my clothes off and throw them on your floor." Failed to notice the tech support guy right next to my car.

It was a big effort to recover and not turn right around and go back home.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

A slow change for 2013

My daughter has long been really freaked out about the idea of me dating. Charlie doesn't seem to mind.. .kind of 'go for it mom' but his sister has tried to extract a promise of spinsterhood almost since Chuck died a year and a half ago. It was easier to reassure her then since at the time, the thought of even socializing with existing friends was daunting.

I don't know if she feels it will somehow lesson the memory of her dad, or threatens her in some way but thus far my inclination has been to try and hide it from her (send her to a friend's house if I'm going out etc.) But I don't want to sneak around, and I have always been honest with my children.

So last week, I told her that she may have to adjust to this idea, that I loved her and respected her opinion, but this wasn't up to her. When she asked, I talked to her very briefly about some of the single men I knew - a couple who have asked me out, a couple who I wish would. She ruled a few out for me, and lobbied hard for a good (married) friend of mine, but was understanding when I told her that we don't do that. I told her I have even filled out an online dating profile. (I have so many friends that have gone this route. Given how honest I was in the profile- something like 'full-figured widowed mother of two teens' (including pictures) - I have been surprised by the number of interested prospects, actually. But dating someone I don't know who is trolling for women online, at best sounds irritating and at worst risky. Annoyingly, the site keeps sending me emails along the lines of - "Hey! He's interested in you. He sent an email!, for $29.99/month, we'll let you read it." Ya, no. I have just ignored those pings thus far.

Anyways - I think I slowly convinced her it would be ok,  that I wasn't trying to bring a new father into her life - or have someone around who would crowd her out or with whom I would force her to be friends. When she asked, I assured her (under no uncertain terms) that I don't want more children (I cannot imagine raising teenagers again 13 years from now). I just told her if she did meet anyone I had plans to spend time with, I would expect her to be polite and sweet, as I would expect her to be to any friend I brought home.

I also told her I would be a ridiculously annoying mother if her and her brother were all I had to focus on, much more involved than she would want. That might have done the trick. We finished the conversation and she then built me a collage of men she knew I thought were hot (although she was baffled - 'these guys are gross mom, most of them have grey hair'. Should I tell her that so do I, I just pay Sara down at London salon to conceal it?) Then she changed my phone screen picture to John Hamm. This should be interesting.