Saturday, May 9, 2009

Not Just A Mom

A Mom

A woman named Emily renewing her drivers license at the County Clerks office was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job, or are you just a ….?

"Of course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I’m a Mom."

"We don’t list ‘Mom’ as an occupation…. ‘house wife covers it," said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like "Town Registrar" or "Official Interrogator."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it, I do not know… The words simply popped out. "I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (What mother doesn’t), in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters, (the whole darned family), and already have four credits, (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants-ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby), in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom."

Motherhood….What a glorious career! Especially when there’s a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations" and great-grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associate"? I think so!!! I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants".

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Have A Question

Usually I reserve this category for things that just make you go "DUH!" but I think it is fair as well as reasonable, to add things in it that make you go, "hmmmm."

Tonight my oldest is having a friend over. I remember those days. I always had a blast. I don't remember it being so noisy when it was me though. At any rate, a sleepover requires some kind of tasty treat so I decided to make a cake. The only problem was I didn't have any ready made frosting. This actually kind of humorous in that I insist on homemade everything--my mother has ruined me. Meaning she always cooked from scratch and I want that same kind of food. I digress. For some strange reason, I always cheat and buy the store bought frosting. It's not like it is hard to make. And it's probably cheaper, not to mention it plain tastes better. Well, I needed canned milk and I didn't have any so I got some from my mom. I asked my sister how she made her chocolate frosting, and I did my best to commit it to memory. Yeah, whatever.

When I got home, I went right to work on my frosting. It quickly turned into sweet chocolately goodness. I sampled it of course to make sure it tasted right, had the right consistency, and above all that it was in fact safe to eat. It was. As I spread it over my cake, a question popped into my mind. Where did frosting come from? Who thought it was a good idea to mix sugar and fat together and put it on a cake? So my curiosity got the better of me and I went to my best friend, Google. It took a little digging, but I found a satisfacotry site with enough information to answer a simple question.

Cakes were made in ancient Eygptian times, but more like a quick bread and embellished with fruits or nuts. Later, in the 1600's frosting was introduced. It was made with eggs and sugar and "on occassion" flavoring. That sounds like the start of something good. In the 1800's the frosting we are more familiar with was brought to light. The site also gives some tips on how to make your own frosting as well as the different types for decorating. All that because I had a question!

While I have no "recipe" for my frosting I will share it here.

1 stick of margarine(regular not low fat) or butter.
1 cup of powdered sugar (to start)
1 tsp vanilla(or flavoring of your choice)
Evaporated canned milk
* 1/2 to 3/4 cocoa powder

In a bowl combine the margarine and sugar with a mixer til crumbly. Add a small amount--maybe a tablespoon of the canned milk. Don't worry if the frosting is runny at this point. Add the cocoa powder if you want it to be chocolate, then the vanilla. Then alternate between the sugar and the milk until you reach the consistency you want. I added the sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. My sister also melts 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and adds that to the mix last.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Chronicles of Lourie

I thought I would star something new in the blog. I have emails that date all the way back to 2003. Why do I keep them? Because it is a journal of sorts. It's fun to go back and see what kind of trouble I was stirring up. If my memory will serve me--yeah right--I am going to attempt to post one a week so as not to overwhelm. So without any further ado, I would like to introduce The Chronicles of Lourie. Today's entry is from May 20, 2003. Kristin was in kindergarten and Ryan wasn't even thought of.

This afternoon, I went as usual, to pick Kristin up from school. You know the drill...get in the car, start the car, drive the same route as always...I got as far as the corner, and what do you think I saw right there in the middle of the road? A turtle! He was about five inches in diameter. Just minding his own business. Sunning. Until....I jumped out of the car and rescued the unsuspecting critter from certain doom! He got scared. His little feet were flailing and his head was in and out. Poor guy. I think I gave him a heart attack. I had the notion we could keep him...what am I EIGHT!? Haha. So all the way to the school I could hear him scratching. GET ME OUT OF HERE! I'm sure he was sending SOS to his fellow turtles. I can imagine in the morning that I will be greeted by three large turtles with brass knuckles. I fretted over whether or not to just let the poor thing go. Should I let Kristin even see it. We have fish...but she wants a REAL pet...lately she has been asking for a cat. I finally got out of the car and met her at the kiss and ride. I told her I found a turtle. She asked me if I took it home. Okay, now I'm thinking that I should have let this turtle go when I had the chance. What do I know about turtles anyway??? So we get back to the car and she is all over the place wondering where it is...this little guy was just loose in my van. He was stuck between the passenger seat and the door. And when I was trying to pick him up he started hissing at me! I never knew a turtle could hiss! I finally got him and showed him to Kristin. Her eyes got all huge, and she kind of stiffened in her seat. Then she said, "Don't let me hold it! He's too BIG!" He was about 5 inches around. I thought he was cute. I then asked Kristin if we should set the little guy free. She said yes. So I carried him off to the woods area and set him down. He crawled away out of sight. Hopefully he will tell his turtle friends they don't have to pay me a visit after all.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Riding on Coattails

I am going to ride on the coattails of some of my fellow bloggers and insert a video I find quite funny. It stars Paul Lynde and Elizabeth Montgomery. They were both very talented actors, but to see her in this rather ungraceful manner brought out her talent as a comedic actress. It takes place at The Palace in Hollywood and they are doing a dramatic reading from Macbeth. Hilarity ensues!

Too bad we don't have television like this anymore!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Root Canal

"Root canal" are not the words one wants to hear, especially if those words were proceeded by, "You need a..." I had to face the music today. About three weeks ago I had to get a crown done. Having been through it once before I at least knew what to expect. That didn't make it any easier. I am not the best dental patient to begin with. I think however, my dentist and now endodontist would strongly disagree. I am very compliant. Why wouldn't I be? After all they are putting hooks and drills into your mouth. You bet your sweet bippy I am compliant! Inside however, I am struggling and fighting the urge to bolt and runaway saying, "I'm out of here!"

I have never had a root canal. I am happy about that. I don't do well with the unknown. It's that whole lack of control. How long will it take? Will I feel pain? Will the sounds of drills and other instruments drive me to the edge of insanity? I said I was not a good patient! But this endodontist was very good. He knows people do not want to do this. So he makes it as easy as he can.

I was numbed once to start. He left me in my chair to let the novacaine take effect. He did good because it was happening fast. After a few minutes, he came back and administered the next one. Go ahead, I can't feel a thing back there. He told me to raise my hand if I felt any pain. He began working. Okay, so far I am good. I can do this. Yes, these thoughts are actually in my head. Then out of no where I felt pain. Oh yes! Both hands flew up and waved a bit frantically. He quickly gave another injection explaining I might feel pressure but no pain. I didn't even feel pressure. Who cared? As long as it kept me from feeling. It did. Through out the whole procedure he would add more novacaine. It wasn't the highlight of my day, but I can honestly say that worst part was waiting for it to be over. He thought he was done, but no. A stubborn root was still hanging around. He apologized for not being done. I thought, keep me numb and make my tooth well and I will wait here.

After about an hour and 15 minutes we were finally done and he sent me on merry and numb way. He told me to wait at least week before making the final appointment to have permenant crown seated. For now, I will still baby this side of my mouth until I feel ready to use it again. I hope I am done. I really don't care to be in a dentist's chair again any time soon.