• Blessings,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting

    Shutterfly Kills Me on a Weekly Basis.

    Shutterfly’s masters of marketing send regular emails with subject lines that say “Your Memories from This Week *insert number here* Years Ago.” I love looking at the old pictures they send, but boy oh boy, do they ever remind me of how time flies. Take these pictures, for example. My sister snapped them thirteen years ago this week. It feels like a whole lifetime ago. I miss those little boys sometimes, but also I can hardly remember what life was like—other than BUSY—when they were that age. Additionally, I miss that dog so very much but also I can hardly remember what life was like when we had a dog…

  • Food,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz,  Pretty Pictures

    Fruitastic Salad 2.0

    Knowing what you know about me regarding my control freak tendencies, it probably doesn’t surprise you that I am tremendously more comfortable following recipes to the letter than I am experimenting with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I’m certain that’s why I enjoy baking more than cooking elaborate meals that leave lots of room for improvisation. My sister, while definitely knowing what she wants, when and how she wants it, is more laid-back than I. She is not only an excellent baker but also a tremendous cook when it comes to all dishes. A few years ago she brought what she called “Fruitastic Salad”…

  • Family Fun,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz

    Happy To Help.

    On Sunday I received an unusual answer from my mom when I asked her if she needed me to do anything before heading down to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. Naturally, “Happy to help” is an understatement. She had already talked to my sister about it, who was completely on board (of course) with the plan. I’m pretty sure she’s been researching specialty drinks to prepare for this very important task. When we arrived today it was only a matter of minutes before we opened up that cabinet to see what we were up against. I spotted a bottle of Green Label Jack Daniels in the back and immediately called…

  • Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz,  Queen of Denial

    Knife Skills Are Only Helpful When You Use Them

    Where was I? Oh yes, sitting here with a wrapped up finger after my kitchen accident yesterday. Here’s what happened. Not quite six weeks after attending a knife skills class during which we learned to “curl your fingers under when holding whatever you’re cutting, to protect your fingertips from the knife”, I was dicing apples for my very delicious and popular apple bread recipe with the Chef’s Knife I received at that very class (the VERY SHARP Chef’s Knife*) when it happened. *insert elevator music here, instead of the gory details* I didn’t panic; I grabbed a paper towel and started applying pressure immediately, keeping my finger above my head.…

  • Best Thing Ever,  Childhood Memories,  Music,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  Uncategorized

    Totally Worth The 30-Year Wait.

    Something incredible happened this weekend. I don’t even feel like I can put a proper post together, partly because I only got five hours of sleep and partly because I still can’t believe it. My sister and I saw Adam Ant live last night. If you don’t know me well, you might think, “Oh, cool…I guess.” It was beyond cool. Trust me. You may recall that Adam Ant was my Numero Uno back in the 80s. I wrote about my obsession here, in a post that even includes a picture of me dressed up as Adam Ant for Halloween 1983. I never saw him in a live concert, though. Back…

  • Amazing People,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz

    A Timeless Birthday Wish

    Today happens to be my sister’s birthday! Whee! I thought I would share a birthday post I wrote for her four years ago, not only because I think it’s partially hilarious but also because it all still applies. Edits are included at no extra charge. Today is a real milestone kind of day. Thirty-five Thirty-nine years ago on this very day, a person was born. This person was not just *any* average kind of person: she is really something special. I was going to say that on this day, I feel really old. But I won’t say that first because that makes it more about me. Then again, she’s used…

  • Family Fun,  Food,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz

    Making A Fun Meal Plan Takes Talent & A Lazy Eye For Editing

    For the entire time (minus a couple of lazy weeks here and there) since my sister moved in with us, she and I have made a monthly meal plan so we can keep track of who is cooking what and on which day. (Jim and J get dinner duty here and there, too.) At first we started with a straight-up paper calendar that we hung on the refrigerator, but once I finally entered the 21st century and started using Google Calendar for my own scheduling purposes after Julesie had been suggesting it to me for eons, I realized that being able to see the meal plan on my phone–say, if…

  • My Sister Has Mad Skillz,  Shameless Promotion

    I’ll Tumbl For Ya

    I have been a decluttering fool today. I went through more of the house than I intended AND expected to in one day: it’s amazing how much you can get done when you’re not in front of the computer! I did, however, post to my Tumblr blog all day, which I can do from my phone and my iPad and it doesn’t take more than a minute so I stayed mostly on task. I think I put up a record (for me, anyway) nine posts today, and it occurred to me that if you only follow me here and not over there, you are missing some VERY satisfactory stuff if…

  • Childhood Memories,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz

    The Brady Bunch

    My absolute favorite show when I was little was, hands down, “The Brady Bunch”. I don’t remember when I started watching it (the five seasons originally aired from 1969–when I was one year old–until 1974 and then syndication began immediately, making the shows available almost every day for years and years), but I watched it all the time. I watched “The Brady Kids” (the animated show), “The Brady Bunch Variety Hour” (singing and dancing in kooky outfits? yes please!), “The Brady Girls Get Married” (reunion tv movie!), “The Brady Brides” (so wacky!), “A Very Brady Christmas” (classic!), and even “The Bradys”, the hour-long drama that aired in 1990, depicting Marcia…

  • Food,  Friends,  Fun in Chicago,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz

    Chicago Food Swap: Almost Like Hanukkah!

    Yesterday my sister and I drove to Forest Park so we could participate in the Chicago Food Swap. It was the second swap that co-organizers Vanessa and Emily have put on so far, but my first time going. Sadly, I missed the first one due to having other plans. I’ve been looking forward to this one for two months. Great news: it was fabulous! We had a great time. The way a food swap works (apparently this is huge in Los Angeles, by the way) is that everyone brings home-grown or homemade items, packaged so that people can pick them up and look at them. When you sign in, you…