One and Done Sunday #19

Hey, Happy Fathers Day!

Welcome to One and Done Sunday. One picture, and five links that are worth your time.

First, your picture, from the what-the-hell-happened-to-me category:

How many things can you find wrong here?

1) mini van

2) with paving stones

3) and flowers; flowers that are still alive in spite of me owning them for an entire hour already.

The only two things in this picture I ever could have predicted are the zombie stickers in the window and the packing blanket underneath everything.

You know, minivans get a bad rap. Lots of people are all like, “Oh, I’ll never own a minivan. NEVER!” Whatever. I get it, stigma schmigma, your life is over when you get a minivan, you get stupider when you buy one, they’re so unsexy for God’s sake.

You know what else they are? They’re really goddamn convenient. We whipped that puppy from an 8-passengers-can-sit-comfortably-and-smack-each-other-while-listening-to-their-iPods vehicle to one ready to receive stone, cement and dirt in like 45 seconds. Bam, bam, bam.

But I don’t have a whole lot of my identity wrapped up in the car I drive every day like it seems most of America does.

Because no matter who curses my minivan for either going the speed limit in my neighborhood or cutting them off on the Turnpike, or what names they think as they judge me with a van full of kids making the school rounds, or if people automatically (and hilariously, knowing both my kids’ soccer skills and my own cupcake making track record) categorize me as a cupcake-making-soccer-mom, there are two things they can’t change:

– I dig the minivan

-I also have a ’66 Mustang convertible.

Here are your links.

A hilarious article from down under about mums: Mother Bashing- It’s All the Rage! (thanks Team Oyenyi for the link!)

You can’t hate a baby elephant playing in the ocean. I dare you to look at these pictures and try not to smile. Karyn at Kloppenmum Because Play is the Work of Childhood.

One very specific use for a dead cat.

I don’t drink, so this guy could actually be full of crap, but he has been great to me and writes this wine blog and he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. Since there are a lot of moms here, and since a lot of moms drink wine, you should check out JVB Uncorked. If you’re a mom who prefers to drink bourbon, you should crack open another bottle of Baker’s and click his link.

Elizabeth Reep is a kickass stepmom who created Camp C.O.P.E. for children of deployed, injured, or fallen US service members. I started reading this article in my doctor’s office and had to stop and get tissues because I was openly weeping, and I had to finish reading it at home. I wish I was half the stepmom she is.

Oh, and one extra, because this is really frickin’ cool. 32,000-Year-Old Plant Reborn From Ancient Fruit Found In Siberian Ice.

Happy Sunday, and do something awesome for your dad today.

One and Done Sunday #18

Welcome to One & Done Sunday. One picture, and five links that are worth your time.

When you tell stories that are not your own, often things get lost in translation. Details may be embellished or forgotten, significant bits left out, and complete fabrications can occur.

This is not the case with the following story. You’re just going to have to trust me on that.

A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless and without any identifying characteristics, is having problems with squirrels getting into her trashcan. They have chewed through the fastening mechanism on the lid to reach the contents. They are not thwarted by mothballs, bleach, or anything she can think of to secure the lid.

No one else on her street is having this issue.

She’s one of those moms who does too much, but she’s usually in the flow and pretty organized. Monday morning she woke up and was checking out her schedule and saw that she was completely booked. She always makes Monday’s dinner the night before. (I know, right? Sunday night I make something from the freezer section for the kids and then throw lunch money at them Monday morning so I don’t have to deal with making lunches on my day off).

As she remembered she made meatloaf for Monday’s dinner, she also remembered that she’d never taken it out of the oven Sunday night.

Bummer. Bye-bye, meatloaf.

She threw it away in secret, neatly avoiding a conversation with her husband about wasted meat and what’s for dinner tonight.

Some time later her husband said, “Do you know anything about a squirrel out here with a meatloaf?”

There was a squirrel, trucking across the powerline with some difficulty, carrying damn near an entire meatloaf that he had liberated from the trash can.

Here’s your picture (sadly, not of a meatloaf-carrying squirrel).

CC was out slaughtering the overgrown wisteria and mulching our dangerously raked “back yard” and the puggles were beside themselves and would not leave me alone until I put them out with him. They have 20-foot leashes that let them explore a little bit under supervision.

Casey managed to climb up on the little stone wall into the flower pots while simultaneously getting herself all tangled up and stuck. The part you can’t see are all the branches her leash is wrapped around.

Here are your links.

A beautiful, tiny essay by a great writer: Tragedies

Reminiscent of that Moe the bartender Simpsons quote I was born a snake handler, and I’ll die a snake handler: Paul Johnson at The Good Greatsby If It was a Snake It Would Have Bitten You.

On Michael Ruhlman’s excellent food blog, Anthony Bourdain So You Wanna Be A Chef.

Seinfeld Episodes That Wouldn’t Work Today – Jenny at Caffeinated & Random

Beth Howard makes pie. She also lives at the American Gothic house (yeah, that one in the Grant Wood painting. I mean, the actual one that he painted, she doesn’t live in the painting. She’s a real person). She has a hell of a story about coming back to life after her young husband died suddenly. Here’s her Real Simple article Miss American Pie.

Also you should check out her book Making Piece,  a Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie.

So technically that’s six links.

Happy Sunday. May your trees stay up where they belong and your squirrels keep their damn hands off your meatloaf.

One and Done Sunday #17

Welcome to One and Done Sunday: one picture, and five links that are worth your time.

Don’t fret, I’ll carry on milking my 40th birthday with my next post. I would like to say that this picture is a sign of my maturity, my newfound ability to not kill growing things in my garden. But really I think the credit goes to advances in horticulture technology:

Knockout roses:

The knockout roses we have have been through a hurricane, an October blizzard, and three winters of oh crap, we didn’t winterize the roses and they’re under nine feet of snow.

They don’t seem to be terribly bothered by any of it. I never knew how much I would love going outside and seeing roses there. It’s very cool, kind of like getting flowers every day for no reason.

Yesterday at work, before I left to meet CC for dinner between shows, I lightened my bag. The last thing I removed was my umbrella. Shockingly, there are no windows in theaters and I couldn’t see the sky. I went out a side door and saw one guy carrying an umbrella, but he was prancing a bit and it being New York and all, I thought it was merely an accessory. Then I saw others with umbrellas, then I felt the rain. I turned in slow motion to watch the side door–which opens only from the inside–close. If I wanted my umbrella, I would have to plow through the crowd at the stage door and walk all the way around the building again. So I chanced it.

It didn’t rain much, it wasn’t a big deal. At least, not until after dinner. About three blocks from work it started raining more. Then it poured.

Did I mention I was wearing white pants? I was mostly see-through by the time I got back to work.

I passed a complete stranger who actually laughed out loud at me.

And you know what? I really didn’t care. It was pretty funny. Chalk that one up to 40 too.

Speaking of thunder storms, Renee Schuls-Jacobson wrote a great piece On Sons and Thunderstorms.

CC sent me this link of before and after pictures of East Germany. This photographer took pictures immediately after the wall came down, and then again ten years later. It’s astounding. Pictures by Stefan Koppelkamm: A Massive Facelift for East Germany.

Melissa Stetton is a model with a blog that I totally dig. I don’t know her and if she’s noticed my comments at all she probably thinks I’m a stalker, which is sort of appealing. Here are her recent thoughts on doing a photo shoot nearly naked in Central Park in 55-degree weather. Pretty Bored: You Chose to Be a Model, Deal With It.

Sometimes life sucks. When you’re a writer, it’s all future material. Hannah R. Goodman guest posts on E. Kristin Anderson’s site: Dear High School, Thanks for Being so Sucky. Love, H.

I loved this post for so many reasons. Life Well Blended: On Being the Stepmom on Mothers Day

Happy Sunday.