Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kate and Capt doesn't work....

Monday night Capt and I watched the season finale of Jon and Kate Plus 8.

Normally he does not stay in the same room when that show is on. He has many issues with Kate's behavior and attitude towards Jon, as well as other things. Kate and husband could and should never be would be a disaster of magnitude proportions.

I was startled when right in the middle of watching Kate freak out when her children had a bit of paint on their hands, my husband leaned over and whispered in my ear that he had a fantasy

Before I let my mind run amok with that info I asked him what his fantasy was.

"I'd like to tie Kate down and watch her freak out when I splatter paint and mud on her because she's just too uptight about keeping her herself and her kids clean."


I think I'll stop watching it in front of Capt, clearly it is affecting him in a most disturbing way.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Secret Life of Yew Nork Babe's House

What ever this plague going around is, it has clearly wiped me out. At least this morning I feel like the fever is gone and I can think clearly...well somewhat clearly...I never truly think clearly.

Last night the season finale of The Secret Life of the American Teenager aired. If you heard about the show then you probably don't have a teenager. Or you may shield them from that type of show. In the past, when my children were teenagers, I would have not allowed them to watch it, but I was a strict parent and kept my children protected from a lot of worldly things.

Now that I am a step-parent to a teenage girl who is not being raised in a sheltered way, I see that it both ways has its benefits, neither is wrong, both are right. Although, my children are on the fence about that.

The Secret Life deals with teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, Christianity and other real life issues. The way these issues are portrayed are real and relevant to today's times.

The part I love the most: The character's personalities are portrayed in a transparent way. The attitudes, the brattiness, the hormones, the's all there.

Monday nights are our family night. We have a family meeting, talk about issues we may have, offer up suggestions to make our family run smoother, and comment on our week in general. We then play board games until The Secret Life comes on.

As the show progresses we discuss or comment on the motives of the characters. And I think it is a good thing. And I think that the show has opened the eyes of hundreds of thousands of teenagers and in turn will protect them from many heartbreaks. (An example: Why did Amy go all the way at band camp? Because she was feeling insecure and was being pressured and bamboozled by the most popular, silver-tongued guy that all the cool girls wanted to date. The outcome: being pregnant at 15 and having your whole life turned upside down.)

Pookie has learned a great deal from the show and has used it to understand some of the issues that surround her.

My husband is an excellent father and may be raising his children differently than I did mine, but I am learning from him that love and communication is the most important aspect of raising children in these times.

But one thing is for certain, even though I don't have much say in how my step-children are being raised, I adamantly put my foot down about this: NO ONE, REPEAT, NO ONE IS EVER GOING TO BAND CAMP IN THIS HOUSE!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Be Still My Heart

My little girl, I just can't get enough of her:

Don't you just want to just squeeze her?

She's 28 1/2 years old now, so I'm sure she would consider it harassment or something.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Like it Hot!

We got a new pizza/deli in this small town and it's all the buzz. Every time I bump into someone in town one of the first things they say is, "Have you tried 3 Fellows Pizza yet and isn't it great?". The owners are all from New York and the pizza perfectly reflects New York style pizza, which is just heavenly.

One of the amazing things about 3 Fellows is that they DELIVER !!! ....right here in the boonies. And that is unheard of in these here parts. [oh my, I'm starting to talk like a Marlborough-er]

Anyway, last night it was my turn to make dinner. My day was hectic. I just barely made it home before TheCodeMasterGeneral's bus pulled in front of our house.

When I got in the door I realized that it was too late to plan dinner.

I had a great idea: Let's get pizza delivered, but first I checked with Capt to make sure he didn't have pizza for lunch....I'm good like that.

I started to feel like I was back in New York, like now I have another option when it comes to getting dinner on the table.

The pizza delivery young man came to the door, I paid him and when I brought the pizza box into the house Pookie (age 13) asked if the pizza was hot.

"Yes, of course it's hot, why?", I asked.

"It must be really hot because it was near that delivery dude.", she said with a twinkle in her eye as she swooned.

Oh my land, that girl is growing up too fast.

And I think I saw a few more grey hairs on my husband this morning.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Observation

With all the technology these days I hadn't realized this problem before:

Kids with cellphones not having landline telephone etiquette.

Pookie's cellphone was taken away by her mother this time. I don't know all the details but I'm sure it was deserved. Here at the house of YewNork, we don't have a lineline.

When Pookie is on her cell she rarely talks, 99% of the time she is texting her friends.

Last night while I was driving her and her BFF to a fundraiser facility basketball game at their middle school she asked her BFF to text their other BFF, Kaylee to see if she's going to be there.

As she passed her her own cell, she told Pookie that the other BFF had her cellphone taken away also and that Pookie was going to have to call her at her parent's home phone.

Pookie dials and I hear, "Hi, is Kaylee there?" "Umm, okay, bye."

"Who answered the phone?", I asked.

"Kaylee's mom", she said

"I thought you loved Mrs. P."

"Yeah, she's so cool."

"Then why weren't you using good manners with her?"

"What do you mean?"

Then I explained how I would have felt if one of her friends didn't say ," Hi Mrs. F., how are you....or Hi Mrs. F. is Pookie there?" At least acknowledge her, I explained.

It never occurred to her, or to her BFF sitting with us in the car.

They said that they will both keep that in mind if they ever have to call a landline again. But the truth is, it rarely happens with teen-agers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NewYorkBabe's Irish Soda Bread

This is what is in my oven right now.

I've tried many recipes over the years and I've come up with one that is perfect, it's a combination of different Irish Soda Bread recipes handed down from generations. And yes, I am not Irish, I am Jewish, but I have some friends who are.

1 Cup dark seedless raisins
4 Cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
I tsp. baking soda
3/4 Cup sugar
2 T. Crisco shortening (full spoons, not measured exactly)
2 T. caraway seeds
2 Cups buttermilk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400. Put water in small pot, add raisins and bring to boil, then turn off and let raisins soak until ready to add.

Sift flour on parchment paper, measure 4 Cups and put into large bowl. Add salt, cream of tartar, baking powder and soda. Mix with whisk to fully blend. Add sugar and shortening. Cut shortening with butter knife until fine pieces, mix well with wooden spoon.

Add strained raisins and caraway seeds and mix well again.

Crack egg into a large bowl, add enough buttermilk to equal 2 cups, important: not more than 2 cups. Beat together.

Add buttermilk and egg mixture to mixture stirring well with wooden spoon. It will be sticky and hard to handle with hands.

Sprinkle some flour on the parchment paper and on your hands and spoon out mixture. Put some flour on mixture and knead gently until mixture is in a slightly manageable shape. Gently is the operative word. This will be very sticky.

Divide mixture in half, adding a little more flour to cut ends and lightly knead into shape of pans.

Coat pans with shortening and flour lightly 2(9x5-inch) loaf pans. (I also use round glass casserole pans sometimes) Fill equally with batter. Make a cross-like indentation with a sharp knife on top of the dough (it doesn't have to be perfect) and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then lowering to 350 for balance of approximately 30 minutes.

DO NOT open oven during the first 15 minutes of baking.

Then sit back and watch the family become intoxicated with the delicious aroma.

Advice: Don't let them eat a piece until their homework is done, or your husband throws out the garbage because it's all about the leverage here.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Don't you get PineSol from Pine Trees?

I had a wonderful weekend with my twins and future son-in-law.

It's maple tree tapping time out here in the boondocks. Everywhere you look you see maple trees being tapped, tubes a'flowin' and 5 gallon water jugs filled with sap.

My daughter asked me what was going on with all the plastic tubes and water jugs all over this town and I explained that my neighbors are getting ready to make maple syrup.

"Oh, well what kind of trees are those?", she asked pointing to the trees being tapped.

"Sugar maple trees.", I replied.

"But I thought you got maple syrup from pine trees.", she said. She thought for a second or two and then realized something.

"Oh yeah, maple syrup....maple trees", she said.

My 28 year old daughter makes me crack up...and she's not even a blonde.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Fashion Friday

About 7 years ago I found the perfect handbag from Banana Republic. It had round bamboo handles, canvas and oh-so stylish. I can't find an online picture of it but believe me, it was just perfect. One of the things I loved the most was the way it opened and closed with ease.

I felt so sassy and vogue strutting along with that purse.

But my world was about to come crushing down.

I had just found out that my former husband had been having an affair. The betrayal sliced through my being and the pain was crippling. My body and mind shut down, yet my spiritual connection to God and His peace was ever present.

I began losing weight fast...30 lbs in a few weeks. Although I ate some food everyday, my heart rate was so high I burned away those calories and then some. I had seen so many people, both men and women, go through this, since I was a matrimonial paralegal and dealt with them on a close level, but I never could understand the intense pain they were going through and how it affected their bodies like so drastically. Although I cared dearly about my clients, I never could sympathized with them...that was about to change.

It was about that time when a receptionist at the firm, a woman who was a tad on the wild side, got herself a new boyfriend. This new boyfriend had gone to an annually required meeting with his company and brought home some 'handouts'.

This particular receptionist thought it would be a great idea to put one of these 'handouts' on each desk in the office before anyone got in in the morning.

When I pulled into the parking lot I wiped away my usual morning tears, stepped out of my car (swinging my new Banana Republic canvas handbag)and ran smack into a desperate client. I told him to follow me straight into my office and I will sit and talk with him.

As I stepped into the entrance to my office I spied a bright, banana yellow 'handout' on my desk and quickly swept it into my easy to open purse, hoping that my client didn't see it.

My day was so busy, I forgot all about the banana 'handout'.

That night, in the middle of the night, I had to get rushed to the hospital. I had a high fever and was in a terrible amount of pain. My former husband did not want to drive me, he didn't care much about anything but his new girlfriend, so my daughter took me. She was in the midst of her final year in college and was having her thesis project presented the following morning.

My daughter stayed with me at the hospital all night but had to leave in the early morning hours right before my emergency surgery. In fact, all three of my children were in college at the time and all three of them were dealing with finals. I had been through surgeries before and I insisted that their finals were more important than sitting in the hospital with me.

My surgeon, who knew my former husband and knew about the affair before I did, wanted someone from my family at the hospital while I was in surgery. I was too out of it to make any phone calls so he asked if it was alright to go through my purse to find my address book.

Of course the bright, banana 'handout' fell out of my purse and went flying across the hospital floor. He went over and picked it up, looked it over and put it back into my purse. Next he called my sister in Staten Island.

The nurses put my purse under the gurney I was on and it seemed like every time they moved me the purse would open, spill out and topple over exposing the increasingly embarrassing 'handout'.

After the surgery (The surgeon and an oncologist did the surgery and they didn't find cancer, just a benign mass)I woke up to find my oldest son leaning over and kissing my cheek. All I had the strength to whisper to him was, "Dave...please... take the condom out of my purse.....put it in your pocket now.....don't ask me any questions....I will explain later."

The look on his face was priceless.

I recovered, in many ways. God is so good to me.

When I was up and about I took a trip to a local store. An elderly woman stopped me and told me that my purse was lovely.

Right then and there I emptied it and handed it to her.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Value, Worth

In my morning devotions I read, "An idol is anything that takes the place of God."

It hit home.

I am a fine example of what happens when you raise a child without making them feel like they have some kind of value. Fifty years later I am still trying to overcome my feelings of worthlessness. Yet in my head I know my value, in my head I know my worth.

But sitting in a tiny corner of my heart the opposite whispers to me.

In the quiet background of everything I do I sense its pull, "No one cares, you don't matter." And no matter how hard I try to ignore it, it's there. Just there. And there. And I know that it confuses people and sways their opinions of me because they can sense it too.

And it has allowed me to make wrong choices in my past.

And it takes the place of God.

An idol. Sin.

And it is annoying as heck.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

It's Come to This

So, Pookie gets her cellphone taken away since this past Monday because she hasn't turned in 8 math assignments. She also got her laptop taken away, but she can handle that.

Pookie texts ALL DAY LONG. I mean she texts when she is walking, talking, in the car, at the movies, ALL THE TIME!!!! She has unlimited texts on her phone and takes full advantage of that.

These past couple of days have been rough, she has been going through terrible withdrawals. She's been in tears, pleading, begging, praying, trying mind control on her dad....she even made up all the missing work and has been doing extra chores to get her cellphone no avail.

Capt is being strong and not giving in because he wants her to learn her a lesson on prioritizing her school work. I'm in agreement, the constant texting is OUT OF CONTROL.

But when I just walked into the dining room what I found was quite disturbing:

Pookie using a calculator , frantically and aimlessly texting away.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Time is Here

There is about 2 1/2 feet of snow that fell last night and it is still falling full force. The kids are sounds asleep upstairs and have no idea yet that school is closed. There is no way I'm heading out to work, the roads aren't plowed yet. I would imagine that the courts are closed anyway. A day to sit by the fire and relax is just what we all could use.

Yesterday I posted about visiting a new church. I have been looking for specific things in my search for a church here in Connecticut. It's not like there is anything wrong with any of the churches that I've been to this past year, it's just that I feel the place for me is in a church that fits these qualifications:

Worship - the worship team should, at the least, have smiles on their faces while leading worship. I love worship, I feel that it sets the tone for the service and helps me enter into God's presence. The worship team is leading us into God's presence, we are all singing to God. When I worship I have an image of God in front of me, I can't help but smile and get excited, so when the worship team is looking like they wished they were back in bed, it is distracting to me.

Music - I like Christian music. I come Christian City Church where music is...well...the most awesome experience...indescribable. Old hymns are wonderful once in a while, they pierce my heart and can melt me into a pool of butter where I stand, but I just can't get all excited when I'm signing hymns throughout worship. ..except if I'm singing "How Great Thou Art"....that one gives me goosebumps every time.

Congregation - It is nice to have a mix of types of people, mix of different generations, mix of backgrounds. I love when the congregation is made up of some really cool and updated,in the world type people...people that can relate to current events, fashion and what is going on in the world today. Some of the churches in this small town are made up of only people who dress plainly, do not wear make-up and have strict rules which separate them from the non-saved. That is fine for them, but not where God wants me.

Pastor - I like a pastor to be laid back, upbeat, comfortable, not too dramatic or theatrical and, most importantly in tune with the Holy Spirit. I don't put all of my confidence or trust into pastors because they are just humans like us and not our God, but the person that is spiritually feeding and leading me every Sunday should be someone that I feel isn't "way out there"; he should be right where we are in life, able to relate to us and our struggles. I've been to churches were it seems the pastor is too above us all and is too busy taking his private jet to the tropics than to sit down to share a meal with us. And I've been to churches where the pastor seems to be in a poverty mentality.

I want a church that loves the community, that has a heart for the unsaved, that accepts sinners with an open heart and does not judge but gently leads us all to forgiveness. I want to go to a church that is filled with sinners like me.

Christian City Church was the church my children grew up in, it was the church that I felt was my family. I haven't experienced that in a long time.

Yesterday I visited Hope Church and it feels right, it feels like I've found a home again. All the things I am looking for seem to be there.

And I am start to finally feel settled.

How do you feel about church?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Christian Spirit

I'm getting ready to head out and visit a new church, since I still haven't found a church in Connecticut that 'fits'. I have hope that this will be the one.

So while I'm gone, here's a video I'd like you to watch demonstrating a perfect example of the Christian spiri; just make sure you have a tissue ready, especially you men: