Top 10 Halloween Candy Drinks: Pairing Your Stash With Snazz


 Halloween Descending


Which means you, and possibly your children, have been eating Halloween candy all weekend.

Personally, I don’t. It isn’t because I have reached a level of self-control, or self-righteousness that has given me the enlightened perspective of one who would not sully herself with eating every single Reece’s Peanut Butter cup.

It isn’t because I have some secret philosophy against the commercialization of All Hallows Eve.

It isn’t even that I think the candy is gross.

It is because in my ripe old age, if I start eating halloween candy, my legs start looking like this:


Thankfully, I haven’t lost all my pizazz!  In my heart of hearts, I still enjoy the old time tradition of spirits and cocktails!

So, the real question is:

How can I make this unique experience really work for me?

Eh, ya gotta live a little…

You gotta put a little Snazz with your Stash!


Here is my Ultimate Top 10 List of Halloween Candy Drink Pairings:

1. Snickers Arrogant Bastard Red Ale
2. Almond Joy Piña Colada
3. Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups Angel’s Envy Bourbon
4. Crunch Bars Rum & Coke
5. Starburst Blueberry Mojitos
6. M&Ms Classic Manhattan
7. Twix The Anejo Highball
8. Candy Corn Maker’s Mark Bourbon Squash
9. Skittles Moscato Wine
10. Jolly Ranchers Jolly Rancher Apple Vodka Cocktail

Daydreaming Notes: What If I Owned A Food Truck?

Man, I guarantee you this: my food truck would be AWESOME.


So, I watched Chef the other night, and it was a good movie.  Like, no one blew up, no one reached this epic pit of rock bottom…it was just a good story with a great cast.  I didn’t feel dirty or weird when it was over…I felt like I needed to get myself a food truck!





Seriously: Chef Jefe made cuban sandwiches.  He didn’t have this gigantic menu with weird stuff.  He just made sandwiches!  It was an easy idea, and a realistic goal.  And it worked.

(yes, I know this is a movie. Stay with me.)


So, just daydreaming here: 

What would I have on my menu if I had a food truck?

Wait, hold on…I need a killer name first:  Okay, I’m coming up blank with this one.  Ah. I know exactly what it would be.





Okay, so I got the catchy name.  Now, what’s on the menu?


The best way to pick good food is to think about what people like to eat in your house.

  • Gluten Free Turkey and Cheddar Panini
  • Tamarah’s Amazing Chili
  • Grubbin’ Shepherd’s Pie
  • Homemade Gluten Free Bread Pudding 
  • Tamarah’s Rosemary Pickles


and to drink

  • Tetly and Mint Iced Tea


That’s what I would do.  I could make all of those items every day, easy.


So how much do food trucks cost?  Not as much as you’d think! has a great site for food trucks for sale:


Screenshot 2014-10-29 17.19.51


So, put down $50,000 for the truck, equipment, license (~$1,000) and food…and you got yourself a business!

I don’t know.  That’s pretty awesome.


It Feels Like A Horse Sized Duck Today




I can handle this.  I’m not really worried about things, entirely.

The jump is just a little farther, and I am hoping it will land well.

I know we are fine.

But jumping will always throw your stomach for a loop, no matter how far you go.







It’s almost over, and “normal” will fall back into place soon.  Sooner rather than later, finally.

I know this, and I am just getting through today.

As Anne Lamott said, if you have a huge ornithology report due, don’t take on the whole flock.  Just go “bird by bird.”


Okay, then.

Finding Sanctuary

We are completely beach people.

Take us to a beach, and we will be occupied for hours.  It is simply the most heavenly place on earth.  The ocean is overwhelming with its bigness.  I love listening to how big it is.  Much bigger than I, much bigger than my worries.  The sand delicately exfoliates the callouses on your feet.  You find yourself digging little holes into the sand with your toes.  The kids will always find something to build in the wet sand, whether it is a city or a fort or a castle.  This time there were a ton of sand dollars on the shore, so there was an abundance of shells for each of the kids to collect.  For whatever reason, Eve kept burying her shells and then telling me about it.  I’m not sure if she thought she was putting them back home, or if she was going to grow a sand dollar tree, but I love seeing what they do with what they find.  It is always different.

Right now in life we are in the throes of transition, and it’s a little rough.  Rough in “#firstworldproblems” kind of rough, but still a little challenging in its own regard.  So I am finding ways to escape, for my own sanity.

The beach is definitely the sanctuary I seek right now.

































And me.IMG_9460

Old School Memes. Represent.

It is always fun to learn a downfall of another person, so I’ll admit something for you guys: I didn’t actually know what “meme” meant.


Maybe I did know at some point, but when I thought about it…I realized I couldn’t describe exactly what it was.  I think I have always used the term to describe an icon or an avatar, honestly.  Like a kind of visual metaphor: it describes something.

So, today I was reading a blog by DebOnTheRocks, and she said, “Susan Goldberg tagged me in an old school meme that is snaking around, and I’m down. Memes are so me.


But there was no picture…no gif.



tumblr_inline_nd83irF7VF1qc8ajpThere was no .gif!  None!!


And all of a sudden I realized that I had never actually looked up the definition of “meme”:


  1. an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
  • 2. a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users


Huh.  Well, there ya go.

On to the old school meme!


 Screenshot 2014-10-24 14.55.53Not that Old School.

5 Pretty Random Things About Me:

1. I went to clubs in SanFrancisco with Ben before kids.  They were goth clubs (I know, hold your shock).  I still have the latex outfits that absolutely don’t fit me anymore; although, my cat tore up the pvc skirt I had for some reason.  Those were fun times, and I think fondly of one of the clubs we went to which shall not be named, and doesn’t exist anymore anyway.   But it was awesome.  Very interesting.  There were midgets upstairs…nice folks.


2.  I stopped cutting my hair short in high school.  I just got tired of bad haircuts, so I stopped going in to get my hair cut.  At one point my hair was so long that when I would do the laundry, I would actually be throwing my hair into the dryer with the clothes.  That got annoying, so I did cut it a bit after that.  I still don’t know what to do with my bangs.


3. I will never get into sports.  I have tried watching football, baseball, water polo, table tennis…heck, I even tried watching soccer once.  I find myself covertly switching the channel to CSPN2 to watch authors dryly talk about their books and completely forget about the sports  I was trying to pay attention to.  I just don’t care about sports. At all.  It’s like watching someone else eat something great: I am sure it is a lot of fun for them, but I’m just sitting here watching you eat.  That’s not much fun.


4. I completely believe in prophetic dreams, but I never tell anyone about them besides Ben because I don’t like listening to skeptical comments.  How’s that for building walls?  I’ve had prophetic dreams for eons, but if the message isn’t for anybody else but me, then I just don’t see the point in sharing them with anybody else.  But besides that, they are always interesting.  You can certainly learn a lot from quietly listening and paying attention.


5. I have about 5 pairs of shoes, heels included.  I only need them for leaving the house…otherwise, why wear shoes?  I like being barefoot much better, and if I could get away with shopping at Costco barefoot, I totally would.

Our Trip To The Astronomy Dept. For The Solar Eclipse

Yesterday was a partial solar eclipse.

We have done the pinprick in paper before, which worked out amazingly well, but I thought we’d amp up the intensity: find an astronomer and get them to let us play with their telescopes!  How hard can that be?

You’d be surprised how easy that was 🙂

So, over at my education-blog, BreakingOrbits, there is an Events page.  That page has a ton of links to Free things going on in the Bay Area.  Lo and behold, the City College of San Francisco was having a free event where you could play with the Astronomy department’s telescope!

No kidding!

So, off we went!

(I love homeschooling)

I love colleges.  I love colleges in the way 6 year old little girls love Princess Castles.  I love the design, I love the architecture, I love the over-the-top hugeness they put into the walkways.  (You should have seen my melting face when Ben took me to see Dartmouth.  Holy cow was that amazing.)  These stairs were huge, and I made the kids walk all the way up just so I could get a picture of them on the steps in front of the giant pillars and dome, and the gigantic words that say, “The Truth Shall Make You Free.”  I love colleges.  They are definitely where I belong.  I would love to go back and teach Literature classes there after the kids are all off on their own.




IMG_9366Thank you kids for letting Mom take this awesome picture 🙂




Okay, so here was where it was happening!  We walked all through the Science Hall, which was actually pretty neat to see.  They had a seismograph machine in the wall that was working, and that was amazingly awesome (and I got to explain what it was to some random guy walking by, because he said he never understood what it did! Awesome day for him!).  There were displays in the hallways, and one had whale vertebra, whale baleens, shells and microscopic pictures of marine amoeba.  I also got to bug a study hall asking if any of those fine gentlemen were the Astronomers we were looking for.  They waved their hand and said, “These are not the Astronomers you are looking for.”  They were pretty convincing, so we kept walking…and we finally found them!  They were outside, which made a lot more sense.

This guy was hanging out with some mylar, and you could look through the mylar and see the eclipse.



IMG_9373The kids all stood in line to wait their turn to look through the telescope.



This is Evan in the gray sweatshirt, and he was in charge of the telescope.  He was a very pleasant fellow, and we talked with him for a bit.  He was explaining how today was particularly interesting, because there was a gigantic sunspot that you could see today; so that made the eclipse a little more exciting!



When we were done, I figured we’d walk around and see what else the college had to offer.  Nova wanted to see the Art dept., so we headed over there.  We found the art gallery, which was fun for me.  I worked in a gallery at a college for a few years, and it was one of my favorite jobs.  So I loved being able to take the kids here and show them around.



We took a seat and I showed the kids the students’ paintings.  Had them tell me which ones were still lifes, which ones were portraits, etc.  Alice got really into it and found the “HORSIE!!!!!!

I was trying to explain why Helvetica was so important, but I lost them on that topic.  Which is totally fair. However, if you are interested in typography, the documentary, “Helvetica,” is actually very interesting.



We were done walking around the college, and we had a little time to kill…so we went to the beach.  The kids know what to do 🙂

Okay, so I was at a stoplight when I saw this guy in the wild, writing.  May I just say that he found a fantastic place to write.  Noisy, busy, but no one is bothering you.   My hat off to you, fellow writer.

Life is good 🙂

The Night I Didn’t Meet Cary Elwes.

Tonight was to be the night.

I was going to meet Mr. Cary Elwes.


giphyThat’s it, girls. Right in the feels.

If, for some reason, you don’t recognize that name…I guarantee you will recognize his face.

slide_252557_1563862_freeOh, that Cary Elwes!


He just wrote a book and is doing a book tour right now.  Yesterday night he was at an event an hour and a half away from me, and I was going to see him.

I had rearranged schedules this week to make sure I could make it to the event. The house was clean, I had everyone’s shoes, I had the address, I had the time of the event, I had the address and directions… the car was gassed up and I was ready to go.

Why, yes, I was going to take all the kids.  Ben was in meetings all night, so why not?  The kids get to meet Dread Pirate Roberts…you really can’t beat that with a stick.


Except, it didn’t happen.




Screenshot 2014-10-22 17.10.00




There aren’t enough curse words in the Oxford English Dictionary for this situation.


But here is why I am really upset:


Oh sure, Mr. Elwes is pretty dreamy…in a far away, living on unicorn dreams kind of dreamy…but there is something else about him that intrigues me.  There is something else I wanted to ask him:


“Elwes attended Harrow School in London”

Harrow School, commonly referred to as “Harrow”, is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.[2] There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243, but the Harrow School of today was formally founded by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I in 1572.[3] Harrow is one of the original nine public schools that were regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868

Its long line of famous alumni includes eight former Prime Ministers (including Churchill, Baldwin, Peel, and Palmerston), numerous foreign statesmen, former and current members of both houses of the UK Parliament, two Kings and several other members of various royal families, 20 Victoria Cross and one George Cross holders, and a great many notable figures in both the arts and the sciences. This year’s Good Schools Guide said “Parents looking for a top notch, blue chip, full boarding, all boys’ school will be hard-pressed to beat Harrow. This is a school on top of its game”.


This fine man went to Harrow.  Harrow is one of the most prestigious schools on the planet.  It is every parents’ dream to be able to send their children to Harrow.

How did he get there?  What were his motivations when he was a kid to do well?  What did his parents say to inspire him to greatness?  What kind of a kid was he when he entered, and how was he different when he left?  How did his experience there change his perspective on the world?

I wanted to pick his brain as a parent. How did his experience at Harrow influence how he is raising his child?


I want the best for my children, and this seemed like the most unique opportunity for me to pick up more tips on how to be an inspiring and supportive parent.  I don’t really know too much about Mr. Elwes, and I certainly don’t hold him on a pedestal of any sort.  He is still just a guy living life, raising a family.  But he has had experiences and opportunities that I will never see, and it seemed like an amazing time for me to glean information from a different perspective.
That’s what bummed me out the most. But oh well.  I’ll just keep my eyes open for more doors of opportunity….and BUY TICKETS WELL AHEAD OF TIME.

Orange You’re Glad I’m Not A Banana?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Orange is a colour that people either hate or love: tell us how you feel about it.


We are a pretty funny family, but we suck at telling jokes.

The delivery is always off and the punchline is followed by a 5 minute dialogue on the history of the punchline, and how it was very relevant to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution era in England, and while I am at it, here is the synopsis of “Wuthering Heights,” which also has a close bearing to the story.

You can imagine how much fun we are at Christmas.


main_wineThis helps!



However, my kids are absolutely set to be the best “knock-knock” joke tellers on Earth.

Even despite being in our genetic line.  So I don’t know how this is going to work out for them.

Case in point: this is my favorite Knock, knock joke:


Knock, knock

Who’s there?


To, who?

To whom.

*many, many groans.  I understand*


Last year for Christmas I actually bought them a book of knock-knock jokes, and it was okay for a while…but they reverted back to their own brand of humor:


Knock, knock

who’s there?


Banana who?

Banana wrapped in a sandwich!

*wild, crazy laughter from everyone*


The best one I have is the Orange one.  I remember the very day I unleashed this joke onto my, then, 4 year old eldest son who will undoubtedly grow up to be the world’s most amazing engineer.  We were driving on highway 120 on the way home from somewhere.  It was around 2:30 in the afternoon in the fall.  We were all having fun that day, and in good spirits, so I had the sudden realization that now…now was the time to give them the best knock, knock joke I knew:


Knock, knock

Who’s there?


Orange who?

Orange you glad you aren’t a banana!

*…wait for laughter…*


“That’s not funny.”


That’s all I got, kid.




SAHMs Need Not Apply? Oh, Please.

“This is NOT a good job for a stay-at-home mom looking to fill a few hours between yoga and picking up the kids. It requires full concentration, the schedule can be erratic, and our clients are past the Gummy bear stage.”


Hi. I am a SAHM.  I ran across this job posting looking for an Office Manager in a Mom’s forum, and….you just can’t pass this up without commenting.  You just can’t.


“Office Manager Quiz: Are You the Most Detail Oriented Person You Know?

Step 7 – Springfield, NJ

Quick—when was the last time you organized your sock drawer? If you answered more than 30 days, you may not be right for this job.Growing insurance brokerage is looking for highly organized and professional office manager. Full-time salaried position.You will be in charge of various administrative processes, including but not limited to scheduling appointments, data entry, completing financial paperwork, client contact & follow-up, working with insurance companies, organizing workshops, and keeping sharp objects away from the principals.

Our office is fast-paced, demanding, and fun – not typical or boring in any way. This is NOT a good job for a stay-at-home mom looking to fill a few hours between yoga and picking up the kids. It requires full concentration, the schedule can be erratic, and our clients are past the Gummy bear stage.”



I’m not sure if they could drive that nail of condescension any deeper!  Now, I understand that the person they are looking for to fill this position clearly needs to be both insane and willing to do insane things with unreasonable expectations on limited budgets and crazy timeframes…and I can see how the first person whom would come to mind would be a SAHM.  I totally understand this.

I would like to ask them: when was the last time you organized 7 sock drawers, 16 subject curriculums with interactive lesson plans, 21 homemade meals a week all the while not being a condescending jerk about it?  If you answered, “Why would you have 7 sock drawers…?” then you may not be cut out for the job of a homeschooling mom of 5.


Listen. I know what popular media thinks SAHMs do all day.  Clearly we have time for yoga class in between meals wrought with gummy bears.


So let’s see what the job duties for this stellar job that is above my pay grade would include:


Job duties include:
– Schedule Appointments
– Maintain company database
– Collect client information
– Client follow-up
– Fill out detailed forms
– Organize and keep workflow on schedule
– Executive support
– Multi-tasking, poly-tasking, a tisking and a tasking

Job Requirements:
– A professional demeanor
– A positive attitude
– Proficiency in Word, Excel, and some knowledge of a contact management system
– Highly organized
– Reliable
– Obsessively detail oriented
– Ability to juggle multiple plates at a time (if they have tasty snacks on them, even better)
– Problem-solving skills are a must, a college degree is a bonus, and prior experience in a law firm, financial services firm, accounting office or insurance agency earns you extra bonus points (redeemable for free coffee in our kitchen)


WHEW!  That is a lot of stuff to do!  I just couldn’t even imagine handling a job that busy….

or could I.

So here is what I did today:

  • Woke up at 7am
  • made coffee
  • went to the bathroom
  • got coffee
  • checked email, blogs, blog forums, twitter, facebook, news, BlogHer NaBloPoMo posts
  • 8am make breakfast for the kids
  • change Alice’s diaper
  • get Alice milk
  • get Nova & Glenn started on their chores (dog poop, unload dishes, load dishes, feed chickens, give chickens water, collect eggs)
  • start dishwasher
  • change load of laundry, take fresh towels upstairs for showers
  • get another cup of coffee
  • clean Alice who is covered with peanut butter. Put the peanut butter back.
  • Make a green smoothie for myself. Give 1/4 of it to Alice.
  • 9am get Conrad and Eve going on and
  • Start Nova and Glenn reading Jane Eyre. Read 2 chapters with them with study questions.
  • Get Alice another cup of milk. Get her situated with coloring
  • 10am have Nova and Glenn continuing on reading, head over to feed store with dog to get more chicken food
  • 10:30 take 50lbs bag of feed into the backyard, refill food container and give chickens more food
  • water flowers in front yard next to the Free Little Library
  • Check in on reading, get them started on math
  • Check on computer work, get them off Minecraft and back onto Starfall
  • 11am swap laundry. Take shower.
  • Check email, blogs, blog forums. Start brainstorming blog ideas.
  • Help with math
  • Pull up the Kindle version of the Book of Enoch and begin study
  • 11:45 get lunch started
  • clean up living room.
  • Take trash out
  • unload dishwasher
  • get kids started on EPGY & ReflexMath
  • get dirty laundry from upstairs
  • eat a cup of cashews
  • do math with Conrad & Eve
  • 12:30 start writing a blog post
  • wash a few windows
  • put books back on bookshelves, reorganize Art Cabinet

…honestly, it just goes on like this all day. More laundry, more tending the kids, finishing school subjects, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning under the couch, cleaning Library, sweeping, making dinner, dishes, reading…



Oh well.  Tomorrow’s another day.


• Location: Springfield, NJ
• Compensation: $12 to $16 an hour based on experience


Oh, honey.  You’re going to have to pay me a whole lot more than $12/hr to put up with that terrible attitude.

You’re clearly tired. Go take a nap.

I Have The Power To Stop Time: Somehow, It is 5pm

It has been mildly overcast all day, so the sun hasn’t shone any brighter than it did this morning.

Which means it has looked like 10am all day.  And it has felt like 10am all day.


So how is it 5pm already?



Clock_5I have no idea what time it is.  

We have been doing school all day.  I have been cleaning all day.  We still have more school to do.  I have so much more cleaning to do.  Someone restarted the washing machine, so my laundry groove is off.  I don’t even know where to begin with the dishes, but I have one load going so far.  And somehow I only have 2 hours left of sunlight until I continue this madness into the evening.

I am tired, I am trying to figure out the purpose of life (when does this topic ever end…seriously??), I need to cook dinner…I also need to just pull up my bootstraps and go to Cost Plus and buy more forks, since we’re down to 7 (maybe 6).  The walls are dirty, the kitchen chairs are dirty, the countertops are dirty, the carpets are dirty, the kids are dirty and I have this crazy idea that I’m going to get it all done by tomorrow so we can relax a little and just do school.

Somehow it is 5pm, and it feels like my day has just begun.

Coffee, anyone?