Sunday, December 18, 2005


Growing up, my family wasn’t much for wearing their emotions on their sleeves. We were a pretty tight knit group – and still are – but relied more on the knowledge that we loved each other rather than saying it at every possible opportunity. Not a very sappy bunch, my family… We had our traditions though… Every Christmas we would get up at the same time, go downstairs at the same time, take turns opening presents in the same way, and even have Christmas dinner with the same family every year… still do, as a matter of fact…
One of the traditions I was never fond of as a kid though, was the distribution of the family Stollen. For those of you who don’t know, Stollen is a German sweet bread (awesome with butter, and even better when it’s sitting next to a heaping plate of eggs and scrapple) that is traditionally made over the Christmas holidays. Love the Stollen, but as soon as I was old enough, I was charged with giving them out to our friends, teachers, bus drivers, babysitters, and what seemed like everyone else we knew. Not a pleasant chore really, because I was subject to countless kisses on the cheek from grey-haired relatives, snickers from my classmates as enormous breads were deposited on teacher’s desks, and the occasional wedgie after getting a hug from my middle school bus driver.
Every year I would hear the same stories coming out of the kitchen as my mother kneaded loaf after loaf… “my mother used to make 75 of these every year, and her mother would make 100 at a time…”
In the past few years, she hasn’t made as many as she used to, just enough to keep the family satisfied, and a few extra for the people who come looking for a fix every year… and every year my sisters and I talk about someone taking over the tradition and spending a day making them, but we never really got around to it. This year my lovely wife (who has been hopelessly addicted to Stollen since their first meeting) decided it was time for someone to take over, and spent a day with my mother just making breads. I watched mostly, but couldn’t help steering the kids into the kitchen every once in a while so I could watch the process I’ve seen every year of my life. Again, I heard all of the same stories, listened to the two of them laugh about the bus driver, watched the batches – three Stollen at a time – rest on the pans before they went into the oven, and smelled the yeast, fresh crust and hints of caramelized sugar that’s pure Christmas for me. All day they lingered in the kitchen, baking and talking about our families – Sam and Lily, my sisters, grandparents, cousins, in-laws – the whole lot of them…
… and for the first time, I got it. All these years, my normally stoic German mother wasn’t really giving out Stollen just to torture me or wish our friends a happy holiday. All this time she was giving the best holiday wish she had… thank you for watching over my children, for protecting and teaching them, for keeping them safe from harm and for being a friend.
So here I am with a family of my own, two children who have shown me what life and love are really about, and a wife who understands more than I do that the smallest things sometimes mean the most – and I can’t think of a better holiday tradition.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


There are moments, you know, that are frozen into memory. Some profound, some foolish, and some completely random. I remember my first kiss (and the first time I actually enjoyed one)the first time I met my wife, first beer, first complete and utter humiliation, first heartache... swim meets, car crashes, dinners, mistakes... all mesh into one big memory soup.
Anyway, I'm right in the middle of a swamp of work. I got into the weeds a few days ago, and I've yet to get out. I have so much food sitting around in so many different refrigerators & freezers, I spend every waking moment running through menus in my head... timing things out... if the pork goes in at 2:00 I need to make the napa slaw by 2:15 because I can clean ten pounds of chicken in 11 minutes so the 40 pound case will be done and I can get the breasts in the oven by 3:00, do the fruit till 3:25 and the flatbreads till 3:45, antipasto veggies broiled by 4:15... and on and on... Today I spent 14 hours like that, planning my next moves, revising by a minute or two in one direction or another. The problem is, I can't stop. I left work at 10:00 and thought - ok, gas station by five after, home by 10:15, food unloaded by 10:30, ask Sara about her day by 10:40, email & menus completed by 11:00, blog by 11:30, bed by...wake up at... its maddening.
This morning though, for a brief shining moment, I escaped. Up and in the shower by 6:15, out and dressed by 6:40, kids ready and downstairs by 6:55 - and I turn the espresso machine on so the boiler can heat up to about 203 degrees in the time it takes me to get breakfast and lunches ready... here it comes... almost ready to go, I start my morning meditation. Fresh roasted Black Cat blend Vienna roast beans from Intelligentsia in Chicago go from the hopper to the low speed gear reduction burr grinder, into the heated portafilter, lightly tamped, refilled and tamped with 30 pounds of pressure, portafilter snugged back into the grouphead, heated cup goes under and the vibration pump goes on... and this morning... perfect coffee karma. Godshot. Crema from the start, a little tiger striping in the drip, and it was perfect. For a moment I lost track of time and stared, sipped, admired, and left the house a little late. For the first time in days, I lost track of a few minutes, didn't adjust my schedule, and it was just what I needed. Finally quiet in my head, I'm good to go, refreshed, and ready to begin again... In the kitchen by 8:05, set-up by 8:30 soup by 9:05, oven on, beef cleaned by 9:20....

Friday, November 25, 2005


Let me start by saying, it was a strange Thanksgiving. Last weekend we were all set - we planned to be off to Maria's for a (as always) wonderful Puerto Rican/Traditional Thanksgiving meal - and as is the usual state of affairs around here, everyone got sick. At the last minute, all plans were scrapped, and we were on our own. No biggie, we've done harder things than this, so we bolt out on Wednesday and get a turkey, a ham, the fixins for a lasagna, some yams, rolls, etc... Grocery receipt still warm from the register, Sara is passed out on the couch in a flu induced coma, and I'm left to ponder the meal. For some reason I think to myself, lets make this turkey as if I was a grandmother.
So I brine it. Pot of water, some salt, some brown sugar, some bay, a few other things within reach - and I slowly submerge the bird... down she goes into the brine, down she goes into the basement refrigerator, down my throat goes some cough medicine, a few motrin, an actifed, and down I go onto the floor.
Flash forward twenty four hours, and the bird makes a quick appearance upstairs again before she is dusted with a little adobo and tossed into the oven. As far as the bird goes, thats it. Really. Didn't do a spot of work... and let me tell you, I don't care if you deep fried your turkey this year... smoked it, cooked it in wine, marinated it for three weeks or cooked it in an antique clay pot underground - my turkey was better. I don't know why, but the brine worked some sort of magic. It came out to the table looking pretty ordinary, and looked a little better than average when I sliced into it... then I took a bite... suddenly I could focus only on the turkey, and everything else around it seemed to blur and shudder as if I was looking through a fisheye lens, or I was Frodo and I had for the first time slipped onto my finger the one true turkey. One turkey to rule them all, one turkey to find them, and one turkey to bring them all and in the darkness bind them, in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.
Sorry about that. Really though, it was pretty damn good. Juicy... So for the first Thanksgiving in my life, I was thankful for the turkey.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Aukberg Test

Make a list, load the car, go to the kitchen...
It's a two mile or so drive to work, and the whole way I think about timing. When it goes in the oven or on the stove, when it comes off. What the plate looks like... what the sauce should look like... when it goes on...
Unload the car, check the list, chop chop chop...
I had a gig on Saturday - pretty simple thing really, dinner for six. Seeing as though I make about 1500 meals a week, no biggie. The only difference is, these six people could mean some real money for me, since the hostess wants a personal chef and wants to see what I can do... so by the time I leave the kitchen and load the car again, I'm ready, but sweating a little.
I arrive about 90 minutes early and unload the car again... unpack... and start the required small talk... what a lovely kitchen... oh, you interned in some restaurants in Belgium, how wonderful... yes, I always bring my own knives... two kids... ooh, a plate warmer, cool...
don't let me keep you from your guests...
now it's my kitchen...
Last two guests arrive, and things start rolling. Cold plates from the fridge, a little ring mold, and in a minute I have six perfect little columns of wasabi cucumber salad. Next six little flatbreads balanced off center like diving boards are gently propped up with a dollop of caviar, and the smoked salmon rolled up with wasabi mousse comes out of the freezer. Quick little slices make pinwheels that defrost on my fingertips, and gently perch on the flatbreads like wee Greg Louganis' (Lougani?) waiting to attempt their inward two and a half onto a pool of freshly scissored chives.
Chargers come off the table, amuse-bouche goes on, and I'm starting to jog...
Some extra cream in the soup to bring it off boil, little pepper - and mumbles from the dining room. Forks clink, mumble mumble, and I sneak in to pull the plates. Bowls out of the warmer, quicklikerabbit I ladle the butternut squash, leek & chipotle out and wipe the rims... basil chiffonade and red peppercorns mounds float on the side (a bit like Greg Louganis after he hit his head I think... not funny, must focus) ... bowls on saucers, and they go out, and now I'm runnng.
mumble mumble...
In case you were wondering when the fun part comes, here it is.. ten ounces of soup per person, and an extra ten minutes of wine and conversation, and I need an entree. Sea bass comes off the ice - and already I have a hiccup - every strip of fish I cut has an odd line of bones right down the center that should have been taken out already. Quick mental note - must yell at fish guy. Loudly. No tweezers or time, I cut the center out of each steak and now instead of six nice pieces of fish I have twelve cute little pieces, and all of my plating ideas are out the window. Oil, chorizo and bay leaves in one pan, cranberry cilantro polenta in another, and asparagus with herb chimichurri in a third. Bass on top of the chorizo, flip asparagus, flip polenta, flip fish, polenta onto a sheet and into the oven, flip asparagus, fish pan into the broiler.
mumble, mumble...
Plates out of the warmer, extra piece of polenta I was clever enough to make directly from the oven to my mouth, and I move on. Actually, I stop for a minute and think "holy shit... thats pretty good" and then I move on. Polenta goes down, TWO cute little fishies stacked on top, a drizzle of chorizo oil, some fried bay leaves and a little basil, my mouth is watering, some chorizo to hold up the stack, and the kitchen smells like Christmas time at my grandmother's house in Portugal. Actually, I don't have a Portuguese grandmother. One day, I do plan to befriend an old Portuguese woman though... spoons clatter... chevre goes down next to the fish, asparagus on top, a few raspberries nestled on the asparagus, bowls come off, plates go on.
Sidebar - apparently, it is perfectly acceptable to spend $100,000 on your kitchen, and only have twelve nice forks.
so I wash some forks...
A little time now, so I throw some english cucumbers on the mandoline to make long thin strips, and stand them on edge on each salad plate in circles to make little walls - tuck the salad greens inside and let some puff out of the top so the plate looks like Huggy Bear wearing a cucumber headband. Some anjou pear on the side, a little Maytag, a pear vinaigrette squirt, and I'm good.
Plates come off, salad and freshly washed forks go on.
mumble mumble...
Back in the kitchen I roll crepes with poppyseed cooked in sugar and orange rind, then roll some with strawberries and mascarpone, and toss them all in the oven. Chocolate sauce and little drops of butterscotch on the plate, crepes out of the oven, stacked like lincoln logs, little strawberry fans on the side, plates come off, plates go on, and I'm done.
The kitchen is clean by the time their plates need to be cleared, and Rosa has out her calendar and a red pen to mark down all of the dates she wants me to come back. To seal the deal, because she is stuffed and a little drunk, she pays twice what I asked, and I'm in the car listening to Anna Nalick and smelling the chorizo on my apron before the oven has even cooled down.
Sunday afternoon rolls around, and I'm watching Sam race his rubber iguana down the slides at the park. My finger starts bleeding again from some random dinner injury, my arms are covered with spatter burns, and still, for a minute I can't imagine life being better. Maybe if I had a Portuguese grandmother... or some more of that polenta...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The better of me

For my lovely sister, who doesn't sugarcoat things... my day...
Actually, nothing much to report. No overwhelming problems, no kid injuries, no addictions, no arguments. Splinters though, you know what I mean? Little things pick away at you.
Well, this is a depressing post already. I'll finish later. At the moment, life has gotten the better of me.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We are not a codfish.

No one ever finished college and said "one day, I would like to be an ordinary guy". My kids never got up and said they would like to have a boring day, Satchmo never looked up at me with his big goofy dog head and looked like he might not want any food, and the germ that Lily brought home last week didn't evolve with only minor discomfort in mind. A tricky one, she was, made me feel crappy - then better - waited until I left the house - and then crappy again. Tuesday night I didn't sleep, went to work on Wednesday & felt like crap. Thursday I went to work (also crappy) came home, passed out, went back to work, crappiness continued.
By Monday, I had lost all hope and decided to stay home. Without the drive or ambition to go the quarter mile to Blockbuster, I spent the day surfing. Ocean's Twelve, Scream, Hittin' It, 50 First Dates, Love Actually, Catwoman, National Treasure, Hudson Hawk and Fried Green Tomatoes to begin with, and snippets of dozens of others. I've discovered, it seems, that I can't sit still. Hate being home sick with nothing to do. I watch something for a minute because I'm too tired to get off the couch, get bored with it, and move on. Flip, flip, flip, flip, flip...
... and then... my mind bends just a bit to keep from going completely mad... and finds... a project.
A project. A sick project... I can remain horizontal, keep my brain mobile. Lines, I think, movie lines - thats the stuff. I'll be a movie nerd for the day. What I would like to do is find my own Ezekiel 25:17 (...I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger...) or "you had me with hello". I find that in the kitchen Nicholas Cage's "bring me the big knife" comes in handy unless someone thinks your serious, and Ron Burgundy's "You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole wheel of cheese?" rarely can be squeezed into conversation. "You talkin to me?" is overused and as cliche as "Rosebud"... too many Spicoli quotes might make people wonder, and twenty or so movies later, I'm stuck
on the couch
The game is lost, until tonight. We do our usual routine - get everyone changed, read a few books, and let Sam watch tv for 15 minutes before he goes to bed. Tonight though, Sara puts on Mary Poppins and I'm captivated. For a few minutes I'm 5 years old again, every line is golden, and I'm in love. Every glance superior, every comeback snappy, and practically perfect in every way. Unfortunately, the boy can't stay up forever, so I wait patiently for one last line... and it comes, words to live by... "Close your mouth, please, Michael, we are not a codfish"... and finally, I am satisfied.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Buttercream mosquitos

How can someone so small be so annoying? Seriously, this woman I work with is about 4'10'' and is as annoying as a six foot tall mosquito. Really, it's amazing - she walks into the room and the air becomes tannic... and not in an intimidating sort of way... she doesn't have any real control over my job and I don't feel threatened by her in any way... I almost look forward to seeing her because I have this overwhelming urge to argue. I crave confrontation with her so much I feel like crouching in a dark corner outside of her office, biding my time, waiting as patiently as a trapdoor spider or a cakeless fat guy the day before his coworker Margie's 38th birthday party when he knows that Frank is picking up the cake at Clawson's Bakery and everyone knows that Clawson's is the best because they have those little blue icing flowers like every other bakery but they make theirs from real buttercream and god knows real buttercream goes down like mother's milk especially when you volunteer to clean up after and can sit in the break room, just you and the cake's cardboard underbelly with all of the little buttercream flower scraps clinging seductively to it's edge.
What was I - ah yes, annoying. The point being, she is annoying.
Dammit. I lost my story. Just keep thinking about cake.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Lately I've been pretty happy about the way Sam & Lily have been getting along. I was a little stressed for a while about him freaking out when she was mobile - grabbing his toys and whatnot - but so far he is taking it pretty well. So well, in fact, that I'm getting a bit edgy about the two of them. He talks to her a lot, asks her what is wrong, gives her toys, etc.. but they seem to be communicating on a much different level now. On Friday, he was baby-talking (or what sounded like baby talk) to her in the back seat of the car - and next time I looked back, the two of them were holding hands and smiling at each other... cute right? Just wait. Yesterday I heard him talking in the living room, and when I walked back in the two of them looked up at me, got quiet, AND THEN BOTH TURNED AWAY FROM EACH OTHER. Sam walked away, and Lily crawled over to the couch. Now I know I'm tired, but I swear they were talking about me. I got this Children of the Corn feeling that I just couldn't shake, and think they may have developed their own secret language. It seems that I have no other choice but to somehow learn their secret babble-tongue, and decipher their plans. At the moment I'm not entirely sure, but I think yogurt is involved.
On an equally disturbing but totally unrelated note, I am completely destroying my hands. Sunday morning I was rushing around setting up for yet another early morning catering gig, and I cut the tip of my finger off. Not a lot, mind you, but enough to leave a fairly good blood trail through the kitchen over to the sink. The good thing is, little cuts tend to hurt a lot, and the bigger ones are just annoying... why? I have no idea. I cut my whole pinky knuckle off down to the bone once while cutting up a peking duck - and it sucked - but I'll take that over a bad paper cut any day. Just the thought of a piece of paper sliding over my skin... eeew. Anyway, I wrap it up, put some tape around it, and I'm on my way. When I get to the gig, there is a bunch of prep to do - but first I throw all of the quiche in the oven and set it at 325, figuring in 45 minutes when I need to plate them, they'll be perfect. I keep working, cleaning as I go, and 45 minutes later I open the oven and realize that all of the towels I brought are wet, and I'm cooking in a house without anything that looks remotely like a potholder. Sigh. I suppose never cooking is a good reason to hire a caterer, but seriously people, you're killing me. In a rush, I quickly weigh my options... wet towels? No, they'll burn your hands anyway, and get water on the crust... Dining room napkins? Too many people milling around. Chef coat sleeves? Sleeves might get stains (have to look pretty), and anyone who walks in might wonder why I'm using my clothes... Well, I figure, lets just try speed... I'm a little hesitant at first... stay centered Joe... worse things have happened... maybe she'll pay in cash, its all good... Deep breath, and I go - grab the first pie plate, toss it on the counter.... Nothing. Do another... nothing. No smoking flesh, no bubbling blisters, nothing. Apparently, I have leathered my fingertips just enough to withstand a 325 degree pie plate. Will I try something hotter? No. No I will not. Will I be a dumbass and not bring enough towels next time? No. No I will not.
On the bright side, I've decided that I'm James Bond. Think about my resume when I contact the CIA - Average Joe that will blend into any crowd, hands completely scarred nubs that will leave no discernible fingerprints, profile that will render me virtually invisible in front of a strategically placed Alfred Hitchcock poster, fluent in child babble language akin to the dialect used by Navajo code talkers in WWII. Seriously, I'm marketable. With the lack of fingerprints alone I'm the freakin Scarlet Pimpernel...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Profound & Beautiful

Few and far between, I know. Hard to get a second to write, and I have so much to say about so little, I don't know where to begin. My three days of hella-early catering are over with, thank god. I discovered a long time ago that I'm not a morning person, and these last few days have certainly proven that...
I honestly don't get how people do it - at four in the morning, my face actually hurts. Not just an "oh, geez I need some coffee and a shower" hurt, but an honest to god searing "get back into bed you stupid bastard" hurt. Plus, I'm as cranky as a thirteen year old girl.
I have to remind people that the business is called Friday NIGHT Out Catering and start charging double if I have to get up at an ungodly hour.
On a positive note, I have temporarily overcome my desire to write absurdly long posts, and will keep this one a shorty. My sister Jeanne is to blame... after reading "Beachbucket" I realized something... I need a few pages paint a picture, take myself back to a moment. Jeanne, on the other hand, can throw up a paragraph every few days and make me feel like she is home again. Turns out, profound and beautiful comes in all shapes and sizes.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Fields of Asparagus

Most days around here are a little chaotic. Two kids & a little too much work crowd things up a bit....and when there is down time, I really try to cram as much relaxation in as possible. So by Saturday afternoon (after working almost twenty hours on my feet on Friday, and going back into work on Saturday morning) I was ready to lay around completely boneless. "The only thing that will get me off the couch" I thought, "is if the house is on fire".
As luck would have it, I got word from Sam that the fire department around the corner was going to set a house on fire... well, not exactly a house, but a little house-like shed that they built in a parking lot to use as part of their fire safety demonstration. Now I don't know about you, but if someone is blowing something up, setting something on fire, or doing anything with pudding - I'm there.
Relaxing, right? Go around the corner, watch a house burn down, maybe get some ice cream... and I'll be face down on the couch again in no time... dozing away.... perhaps dreaming of someday owning an asparagus farm, sitting on the back porch with the kids looking over my vast expanse of asparagus... warm summer breeze... savory tender tips gently swaying in unison like an endless green crewcut...
So we go. Two parents, two kids, light spring jackets, one milk in sippie cup, one snack in side pocket, two shells, a plastic Triceratops, and a backup plastic Iguanadon in case the Triceratops somehow fails to perform. We get to Berwyn Fire Co. No. 3 a few minutes early, and there is the usual fire safety hubbub - a guy in a dalmation suit, "Check Your Batteries!" keychains with a little picture of a smoke detector, a yellow balloon for Sam, etc... Just in time, it appears, because as we are jostling for position, a fireman is setting up a protective barrier so the seething crowd of toddlers won't get too close to the flames. Soon, the fluttering yellow caution tape is securely tied to the second trash can, and we're officially safe and ready to roll. Sirens sound, and the house bursts into flames. Really big flames. Really quickly. For a small town fire safety day, I'm really impressed... and really hot. Sam is on my shoulders and suddenly still. I look around and everyone is still - toddlers, parents, and firemen alike - caught up in the majesty of huge orange flames as they roll like waves into the sky. For a moment, the Eckert parking parking lot is our own Los Alamos... The firemen spring into action... trucks pull up, hoses unravel, masks go on, and axes fly... then, just as the water hits the blaze, the wind shifts.
What a moment ago was "fun for the whole family" is now "choking cloud of death for the whole family" as great billowing columns of smoke somehow manage to cross over the protective layer of caution tape and envelop the crowd. Sam and I manage to make our way into the firehouse just as the wind shifts again, and we turn to see what remains of the little house as the hoses are turned off - a small pile of charred wood. A really small pile. The lesson of the day apparently, was if a small structure catches on fire, you should immediately call Home Depot and order building materials for another small structure because even if the fire department is seven feet away, there is no way they'll be able to put it out fast enough. As a matter of fact, if you have a small structure, you might want to seriously consider hiring someone to continuously spray water on it in case it happens to ignite.
With the excitement of our miniature Manhattan Project over, I am standing around with Sam on my shoulders looking at the aftermath when another unfortunate gust of wind blows the yellow balloon out of Sam's hands. For those of you who don't know, there is definitely some sort of balloon hierarchy, and with the yellow balloon behind only red and mylar balloons, it is still worth risking your life for. Quick as a flash, Sam jerks his body backwards and flips himself off of my shoulders. In a heartbeat, he is gone, and time seems to freeze. As he falls headfirst towards the asphalt behind me, I have some sort of 80's flashback montage playing in my head. Sam's first words, first steps, first solid food... his first song and our first soccer game play out, and as it occurs to me that we may never get the chance to look out over our waving asparagus fields I reach behind me and find an ankle. I grab, not even sure what I'm holding onto yet, and as I look around I see him dangling from my left hand so close to the ground that his hair is touching the street.
Later, when he has calmed down and we're walking home I panic a little. Too close for comfort, and I think I might make Sam wear a helmet from now on, even while he is outside watering the shed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tickle, Cook, Breathe

Days like this I wonder if Sam & Lily's life will be defined in the same way my life is defined. Maybe that is saying it too simply...I know my life is defined by many things, but it seems to be divided into chunks. The farther back I look, the more general those chunks become - yesterday Sam helped to feed Lily, in the last month we went to three birthday parties, in the last year we had a perfect baby girl, etc...
The problem is, I look back and most of the things that come to mind are things I'd rather forget. I remember a time before Rita, before the tsunami, the earthquake, Columbine. Before Thurman, Oklahoma City, Challenger... before the unibomber, before that afternoon in 1986, before BTK, before waking up in a crumpled volvo, before September 11th, before today.
In many ways, my life is charmed, I know. I remember that when I come home to the kids. I walk in the door, or into their classrooms, and for a second everything disappears. In that moment (before I have to carry Sam's wet shoes or change Lily's diaper) everything is warm, perfect... easy.
..and then I forget again. I get so wrapped up some days moving from one thing to the next - rushing out the door and rushing back in, rushing to finish my work and rushing to get them to bed, and even rushing down to the couch so I can sit in the quiet for that extra minute before I fall asleep - that some days I hit a bump and get so completely thrown off course I can't recover. What can you do...
I end up moving on... sometimes sooner than others... and the rush comes back into focus. Priorities - Raise the kids, love my wife, make some money, be thankful for what I have, rinse, repeat tomorrow. Luxuries - Tickle someone for at least one solid minute every day. Be the first person in the kitchen so I can have a moment by myself in front of the ovens when they are a blank slate, full of promise. Breathe in when I wake up, out when I go to bed, and occasionally in the middle somewhere.
Still left with these scars though. Some days I stop to look back and see Thurman, Jules, lives changed by accident, nature or politics - and the memories are like bookmarks or worn pages that my book just opens to when I set it down. odd.
In my head this started out to be a lighthearted first post... got a little off track it seems. In the grand scheme of things, today wasn't a tragedy on any grand scale. More of a shift in direction. One of those days that makes you snap out of the rush... focus on things...
kids, wife, be thankful.
tickle, cook, breathe.
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