Sunday, September 30, 2018

Ramblings and Recipes, Part 7 - More Life, More Children

"If at any moment of the day I ever think I am remotely cool at all, which is hardly ever, I have two daughters who make sure that never happens" ~ Pat Benatar
Having two children is totally different from having only one.  When something is broken or you find half eaten cookies in the couch cushions, you know who did it when you only have one child.  When you have two children, new entities turn up at your house.  These entities are known as “I don’t know” and “Not me”.  Because when you want to know who did it, the answer is always “I don’t know” or “Not me”.
With a growing family, we needed a larger home.  We found a lovely four bedroom house in a nice neighborhood.  It was on a quiet street with lots of kids, a good school district, well-kept homes, and a next door neighbor who greeted me with a bottle of wine on the day we moved in.  “I saw you had kids, so I figured you needed this”, she said as she opened the bottle and proceeded to hand me a glass and then poured one for herself.  We sat on the front step and sipped.  It was the beginning of a great friendship.

·       ½ cup brandy
·       ¼ cup lemon juice
·       1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
·       1/3 cup orange juice
·       1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
·       ½ cup triple sec
·       1 lemon, sliced into rounds
·       1 orange, sliced into rounds
·       1 lime, sliced into rounds
·       ¼ cup white sugar (optional)
·       8 maraschino cherries
·       2 cups Club soda (optional)

In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the brandy, lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec, and sugar.  Float slices of lemon, orange and lime and maraschino cherries in the mixture.  Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.  For a fizzy sangria, add club soda just before serving.

When Jamie was around eight months old, I met another mom with a daughter about the same age.  A couple of times each week, after I dropped Tracy off at school, Yvonne and I would meet at Pumpernick’s Restaurant in Sunniland for breakfast.  This became a ritual for several years with our two daughters growing up to be best of friends.  Occasionally other Mom’s would join us and we soon developed a morning Motherhood Support Group, where we would discuss such psychological child rearing topics as ‘Does red wine or white wine go with the bedtime reading of Dr. Seuss?’.
Being a stay-at-home mom was a treat for me at first, but by the time Jamie was ready for nursery school, I needed something to occupy the hours.  I went back to college, did some volunteer work and tried my hand at gardening. 
Gardening can be very therapeutic.  You can talk to yourself while gardening and if anyone catches you, you can explain that studies have shown that vibration, like that in music or the sound of your voice, stimulates plant growth.  Sounds good, right?  And don’t even get me started on the benefits of yanking out weeds or bashing the hoe into the ground when you are having a bad day. 
I never did get much gardening done.  There were always interruptions and my free time was limited to 15 or 20 minutes between picking up one child from pre-school and dropping her off at her dance class or gymnastics, rushing to pick up the other child from elementary school and dropping her off at girl scouts or skating lessons, or suddenly remembering that I needed to deposit a check at the bank to cover the one I wrote to the drycleaner.  And then there were the interruptions from the Avon lady or the neighbor pushing Tupperware.  Or the PTA mom calling me to remind me that I needed to bake six dozen cupcakes for the bake sale that week.
Finally I gave up and threw sod over the garden.  It was faster to just mow it.
Jamie was one of those inquisitive children, constantly asking “Why?”  Driving in the car with her in the back seat was always an intellectual challenge.
“Why is the grass green”, she would ask.  And before I could start in on a scientific explanation about chlorophyll, she would ask “Why do cows eat the grass?”  And in her next breath, “If cows can eat grass, why can’t we eat grass?”  Before I could get a word out she would be saying.  “With cows eating so much grass, they should be green instead of brown, but I’ve never seen a green cow.  I would like it if the cows were purple.  Wouldn’t a purple cow be pretty?  I’d like to have a purple cow”.


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