Category Archives: Blogging

In Thanks…

On Thanksgiving Day I feared I was going to run out of flour so I sent J to the store to get some more before they closed for the day.  It turns out I didn’t need the flour so it wasn’t until Friday that I discovered that he picked up the wrong kind of flour.  I needed “All Purpose Flour” and he chose “Self Rising”.

“I can’t use it,” I said, handing him the package.  “You need to take it back.”

He looked at me as if I sprung two heads.  He leaned back, cocking his head to the side, and said,”You better use it.  I’m not taking it back.”

See, I knew I should have had a canned dinner.

It was my idea at the beginning of the week to just purchased prepackaged, pre-prepared food for Thanksgiving.  I thought of it after I dropped off our big box of canned goods and frozen turkey for the poor to the church this year.  J and I bought the food together, picking up a big box of generic stove top stuffing and then a store brand of canned corn.  At first I felt guilty and thought, maybe I should get a brand name of canned vegetables but then thought “Why?”  All canned food is gross anyway.  Once you eat fresh, in season fruit and vegetables you get spoiled and you don’t really want a canned substitute.  But I’m getting that for the poor.  I felt bad and wanted to put the stuff back on the shelf and head over to the produce aisle to get some kale and string beans for the folks.  But it wasn’t on the list and I didn’t know how long the fresh food would sit in the box so I got the canned food instead.

But carrots and potatoes were on the list.  What sense did that make when I couldn’t buy milk or butter?  How can someone make mashed potatoes without fresh milk or butter?

So after I dropped off the food at church with frozen turkey I thought, maybe this is the way to go.  Some family was going to be happy to get those things to feed their family and just be together on the holiday.  And as far as I knew it was just going to be me and J for the day.  Cricket was staying over at college and wouldn’t be back until Christmas and J2 was going to be spending the holiday in Cleveland.   It seemed redunkulous to do all that cooking just for two people.  I was making plans to find a restaurant open that day or hop from relative to relative to get fed.

But then J2 got a reprieve from his mother, so it ends up that it would be three instead of two.  That’s when I got the bright idea for canned Thanksgiving dinner.

“But J2 likes your cooking,” J whined.

“No, he doesn’t.  J2 doesn’t know the difference between biscuits from scratch and those refrigerator biscuits you buy.”

“But you like to cook–”

“No I don’t.  I hate it.  I just do it because I want to eat healthy, but at Thanksgiving no one eats healthy.”

“You want to cook it.”

“No I don’t.”

“Yes you do.”

“No I don’t.”

J and I went around and around like that for a minute.  “You know you want to cook it.”

“No, I don’t.  Cricket won’t be home.  She’s my sous chef.”  It would also be my first Thanksgiving dinner without her in 19 years.  It was weird to not have her around.   And, really, the Js eat too damn much.  I didn’t want to take that on by myself.

“I’ll help you cook.  Whatever you want.”

“You lie,” I said with a raised eyebrow.

“No, I will help, whatever you need me to do, I’ll do it.”

“And you wont’ complain?”

“I promise.  Just make your dinner.”

I know, I’m stupid.  A man will make desperate promises when they are either horny or hungry, you can never trust them when either one is in play.  I gave in and planned a southern style dinner: rosemary turkey,  cornbread dressing with sausage,  balsamic collard greens with sundried tomatoes, buttery garlic Brussel sprouts, buttermilk garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry-persimmon sauce, turkey ham (that’s already cooked, I just preheat)  sweet potato biscuits, rosemary rolls.    I even planned dessert, and I rarely make dessert, which was sweet potato pie and applesauce spice cake.

On Thanksgiving Eve I made the desserts, cranberry sauce and greens.  I should have known then to scrap the whole idea and just go get some cans.  After I made the cake and had it in the oven I needed J to washed the dishes so I called him in the kitchen.

“I’ll do them tomorrow!” he called out.

“No! ” I called back.  “Tonight!  You need to do it now!”

J stomped into the kitchen, grumbling.  He did it several more times as I asked him to wash after the other things.  He was mad that I was cutting into his study time although he was studying in front of the TV and toggling back and forth between a video game and his paper on the computer.

I washed the last of the dishes and finished the pies by 2am.  I was tired and J had already gone to bed.  But I was up by 7am to make the rolls and then the biscuits.  By 9:30 I had the cornbread in the oven and was making croutons when J came downstairs looking like who did it and what for. 

“Coffee,” he mumbled.  “I need coffee.”

There were a few bowls in the sink so I said,” I need you to wash those.”  J spun around.  “I just woke up.” he whined.  “Let me get some coffee first.”

“Go ahead,” I said.  And he did.  By 10am he was caffeinated, mouthy and ready to supervise.

“Why isn’t the turkey in the oven?  What?  When did you plan to make it?  We won’t be eating until 10 tonight!  It takes forever to cook!”

I turned my back to him as I placed some rolls on the cooking sheet.  “J shut up.  And if you are really worried about it why don’t you wash some dishes.”   I turned around and he was gone.

We need a dishwasher instead we just have a small sink with a dish tub.  We can’t just let the dishes pile up because there isn’t any room for it, although it not like J hasn’t tried.  But in keeping the meal moving I can’t let the dishes get out of hand so I go and retrieve him. 

J melts down, “You don’t respect me being in graduate school.  I don’t have time to do all of these dishes.  I was in the middle of a thought and now it’s gone.”

That crazy ass Korean!  He was in the middle of watching a football game.  I was 10 seconds from drop kicking his behind into the flat screen.  Through clenched teeth I said,  “Just wash the dishes.”

He grumbled, traisping over the the sink, mad.  “I don’t see why you need all these dishes…. why did you make all these rolls, no one wants rolls… ”

“You wanted me to cook; I wanted canned food.”

“I didn’t want ro-ollls”, he said splashing in the water.  I think instead of turkey we should have roasted J instead.  I think of how I could have my own segment on TLC’s Snapped.  It would be really creative.  The sheriff would say, “I never seen anyone truss a 220lb man before and stuff him in the oven, but she did.  He even had a nice golden glaze, it held up well as evidence.”

J stomps out the room after the dishes are washed.  I go to him, take his hand and look him in his eyes, “Is your mantrum over?”

“I wasn’t throwing a mantrum.” 

I decide to overlook the obvious.  I apologize for cutting into his study time (although I note he’s still watching TV) and ask him to go to the store to buy eggs, flour, fresh rosemary and butter.

“You have flour,” he says.

“It’s almost gone.”

“You don’t need it.”

“Yes, I do.”  He leaves, grumbling out the door.

J2 stays in his room most of the day, out of the way.  He doesn’t know how to wash dishes because J thinks he’s too klutzy and will break them instead of washing them.  He hasn’t eaten anything all day and I suspect that he’s going on a morning fast just so he can eat more when the meal is done.

By the time J comes back home I have turkey is nearly ready to go in the oven, I only need the fresh rosemary to make a quick paste.  After that I spend the rest of the afternoon basting the turkey every 15 minutes along with making  the brussel sprouts and dressing.  The turkey is done by 3:30.  I bake the rest of the food and we were ready to eat by 5pm.

Except me.  After I laid out all the food on the dining room table I realized I made way too much for just three people.  We live so far out that my nephews, niece and cousins wouldn’t just drop in for a plate of food –the nephew who came last year I had to go pick up.  And I was tired.  I sat down while the Js attacked the table, happy I decided to go the usual formalities of making them say what they were thankful for.  I was drifting in and out of sleep by 5:30.

J woke me up.  “Thank you,” he said sweetly.  He was on his 2nd plate.  He give him a frown as I try to drift back to sleep.  He’s a damn spoiled ass. 

It’s been just a few days and there isnt’ much left of the meal.  J2 ate both sweet potato pies by himself and J has set aside pieces of cake for the women in his store.  He even said the little old ladies are awaiting the assortment of muffins that I made a few years ago.

“I can’t make it with the self rising dough,” I said.

“Yes you can.”

“No, I can’t.  You don’t bake you don’t know.”

“Just make the muffins for them. ”

“It’s too much work.  Cricket isnt’ here to help me and I can’t use the flour.”

“I’ll take the flour.”

“It’s still too much work–”

“I’ll help you.”

Where did I hear that before?

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In Sickness (Scenes from a Marriage)

I

It started two weeks ago, over the weekend.  I felt like crap and my mucous membranes were itchy to I figured it was just allergies.  On Sunday I was feeling a bit dizzy and was unable to accomplish anything so the next day on Monday I called in sick.   I could have made it into work, but I was tired and had some writing I needed to finish.  On Tuesday I still needed to write and I didn’t feel any better so I threw that day in, too.

The week before J was complaining of feeling sick but it never panned out.  It never does.  He’s a carrier and when anyone is sick in the house I look at him as patient 0.  That Friday he went out and bought a bottle of whiskey, allegedly to make hot toddies.  He poured some whisky in glass and then added some lukewarm tap water.

“That’s not a hot toddy,” I told him.

“Yeah it is.”

When I succumbed to feeling bad he made me real toddies with hot water, lemon, and honey added to the whiskey.  He was even sweet enough to bring it to me in bed.  I know it was only a shot of alcohol but it knocked me out within an hour of drinking the elixir.

By Wednesday I was feeling worse but I had to go in since I worked in the evening.  The only thing that got me through the hours was Dayquil, Benadryl and coffee (to offset the Benadryl).  When I got home I asked for J to make me another hot toddy.

“You’re drinking up all my whiskey!” he whined but made me one anyway.  He made himself one, too.

II

Thursday my throat was starting to hurt but not bad enough to take off from work.  I was  willing myself to get better because my friend Tony was in town and I was determined to meet him at the clubs.  Saturday I could barely lift my head off the pillow.  When I could finally roll out of bed I was moving slow. 

“What are you making for dinner?” J asked.

“I don’t think I can make dinner,” I said and then snorted to keep the mucous from dripping down to my lip.

“Blow your nose!” J yelled.  “Blow your nose!”

“Shut up!” I rolled my eyes.  “Just order dinner tonight.  I’m going to take a nap so I can be ready to go out tonight.”

“You’re not going out,” J said with a stentorian voice.  Who is he, my daddy?

“Oh, I’m going out,” I countered.  “I haven’t seen Tone in years. I’m going out.  Do you want to come?”

“No, I’m not going and you aren’t going, either.”

I twisted my lips and raised my eyebrow.  “Oh, I’m going.”

The food came and I could barely eat it. J brought me a hot toddy and asked me to drink a little to clear my chest.   I fell asleep and woke up during the Boondocks for a few minutes only to fall asleep again.  I wondered if her drugged me.

III

Monday came and I was without my voice.  J was happy I was without my voice. 

“Pick me up at 5,” I barely whispered. 

J knitted his brows and looked puzzled.  “You heard me!” I growled but it was lower than before.

“No I didn’t,” J said.

“You did!  Stop playing!” 

He frowned and looked quizzical again.  I swear I’m going to punch him.

Now I am coughing up phlegm.  I take it as a sign that I am getting better, but J doesn’t.  By Wednesday morning J is prognosing me.

“Go to the doctor,” J said.  “You have H1N1.”

“I don’t have H1N1, it’s just a cold,” I said.  “Besides, I don’t have a primary doc anymore.  He moved.”

“Go to the doctor we all go to,” J said.  Cricket, J2 and James all go to the doctor on the square.  It’s about .2 miles away from our home. 

“I’m getting better,” I whisper.

“No you aren’t.  Do you hear yourself?  Go to the doctor.”

I’m quiet, stewing that I knew I was on an upswing.

“Did you hear me?”  J nudges me, I won’t respond.  “Okay, just make sure your insurance is paid up so I can get paid once you die.  Do you wanna die?”

“Okay, I’ll make an appointment.” I growl between my teeth.

I couldn’t get in that day so I went on Thursday.  At first I resented J for being paranoid but as the day progressed I was steadily getting worse.  I began to wonder myself if I might have H1N1 because by then I had coughed up a river of phlegm.

The next day at the doctor’s office I get checked out.  Listening to my symptoms, checking my temperature, and looking at my history she surmised I didn’t have a virus but that my allergies had gotten out of control.  She prescribed a Z-pack,  gave me an inhaler and told me to try Zyrtec D instead of Benadryl.  I kind of doubted that it was allergies but after using the inhaler once I had to admit that it helped to open my lungs. 

J comes home and asks what I was going to make for dinner.  He and J2 have been eating take out for the last several days and both were getting  of it.  It’s okay for the to sneak and eat take out when I’m not looking but too much take out is not cool.   On Wednesday night J called me up to ask me what I was going to make for dinner.

“I’m at work, J”  I said. 

“Yeah, but what about dinner?” he asked.  When I work 1-9 I make dinner before I leave but this whole week I thought it best to stay out of the kitchen because I did not want to be Typhoid Mary.

“You know what, you can make dinner.  Or you can order something.”  He groaned in the phone but then said he would make noodles with ground turkey.  When I came home he had ordered out instead of cooking. 

So after being diagnosed with just atomic allergies I figured I’d make the Js homemade Cincinnati Chili.  They were both happy.

IV

Today my throat hurts.  I figure its from the draining sinuses.  My chest is a bit tight, but other than that it’s better than before.   My voice is coming back, too, but since I can cook again J figures it’s a trade off.

To soothe my throat I gargled with salt water but an hour ago J decided to go to the store and I went with him to get some sucrets.  I never had them before and opened up the package as soon as I left the store.

They taste horrible.  With each passing minute it got worse and worse.  I sat in the passenger seat with my hands covering my face.

“Oh my God,” I said.  “Oh my God, oh my God.”

“What’s wrong?” J asked.

“These sucrets are horrible,” I said.  “They are so nasty.  I am about to spit this out and just deal with a sore throat.”

“Stop being a baby,” J said.  “Let me have one, I love sucrets.”

He really does.  He eats cough drops like candy and loves the taste of cough medicine.  When I first got sick he mistakenly brought home Hall’s Refreshers instead of regular cough drops.  He didn’t believe they weren’t cough drops until I pointed out the printed words hard candy in the corner.

“They made it for people like me, who love cough drops!” he said happy with his purchase. 

Now J took the package of sucrets, pushed one out and popped it in his mouth.  “Mmmmm,” he said.  “It’s minty cold.” he blew out some breath as if he expected icicles to for on the car’s windshield.

I was rocking back and forth, wishing the stupid thing would melt faster and not leave an after taste.  It was like robitussin in candy form.  Who would find that appealing?

Oh… yeah.

 

Blasian Babies and the Disney Family Gap

Daniel C

Euphoria Luv didn’t give a shout out on this blog but I’m going to do it for her to let everyone know they need to vote for some of the babies in this year’s baby contest which includes her son, Daniel.

To vote for Daniel click here.

Julia K

And another mom let me know that her daughter answered the casting call.   She is too adorable.  So cast your vote for Julia K.

Click the link here.

And if anyone else has a Blasian baby that’s in the contest let us know.

You have to register with Disney family to cast your vote but after that you can vote as many times as you want to.  You can vote once as day, every day through November 17.

Tell Me a Story…

Gather around kids, let’s hear a story.

How to Explain Duality to a Mixed Child

I just read this excellent article over on Racialicious about the Gosselins and race.  Okay, it was mostly about that one episode where Jon outs himself as Korean but to make sure folks knew he was white, too, he basically dissed his own culture.

My favorite part of the article was this paragraph:

While race is a complicated issue for children to grasp, numerous studies indicate that children as young as have an understanding of it. This means that Jon and Kate could have at least pulled out a map, pointed to Korea and and explained that Koreans are people from that country. There’s no reason why they should go around believing that inanimate objects can be Korean. Moreover, it’s also important for them to understand that each child in their household is both Korean and white, lest the children deemed non-Asian develop some sort of complex. Kate already notes that some of the children get angry when told they are not Asian, so why not nip this issue in the bud?

After reading this paragraph I have decided that when my little one (whenever I have that little one) is old enough to ask, I too will pull out a map and show my child the strange land his/her father hails from: Cleveland. 

I will tell the child that the city was settled by space aliens who assumed the shape of all races and colors.  Their mission in life is to move to other cities and towns so they can tell everyone why Cleveland is so superior to eveyplace else although they don’t want to move back there.  I will explain that when Daddy is barking upon seeing someone wearing a brown t-shirt that it’s a type of an odd greeting that do there.  I will explain to my child that although Daddy is a Clevelander, they are fully Cincinnatian because Mommy had the good sense to stay here and no, you don’t have to make a chopping motion everytime you see a baseball game on television. 

I will definitely say that although Dad and brother are from the Northeast side of the state we won’t hold it against them.

And definitely don’t listen to Daddy when he pronounces the name of our team; it’s the Bengals pronounced bing-GULLS, not bing-GALS.

In case you didn’t gather it’s football season.  And if the Bengals can only win 2 games this season they both better be against Cleveland ’cause I can’t take it.  If they can win four I wish they’d take down Pittsburgh because they are getting on my nerves, too.

Sophomore Year: What do you know?

The beginning of the sophomore year puts both Cricket and J2 at a disadvantage.

Cricket: after a stellar start to the first two quarters of college her third quarter GPA dropped and her scholarship was suspended.  Now she has to find a job to help pay tuition and, much to her sadness, she can’t row crew in the fall.

Yeah, boo-hoo.   

J2 is on home house arrest, which he hates. We’re hoping he’ll take this time to focus on his studies and become a solid C student instead of always being on the verge of retention.   It’s not like he’s in jail so I don’t expect him to come out spouting the koran and loving bean pies, but with a limited amount of activity maybe some spark will hit his brain and he’ll want to, dare I say, pick up a book.

The saddest part about being a parent is everything seems to be on fast forward x4 whereas your kids think they are in slow mo.  So you can say do this, do that but they say oh, I’ll do it later.  I have time.  Time?  You think so?  Yesterday I was changing your diapers and now you’re talking about finding an apartment near campus.  For them life is a long winding road where the end is a kabillion miles away.  You are almost nearing the peak, knowing you can’t go back and redo the journey so you tell those coming behind about the pitfalls you’ve encountered and what to do.  You want their way to be easier but the hard way seems more enticing.

“Spending too much time on activities and not enough on studies puts you at an imbalance,” I tell them.  “You need to work on the grades and try to learn.”

Yeah, okay, they say.  Then they do things their own way.

It’s the point of youth to make mistakes.  But it’s the role of the parent to guide and keep them on the right track.  They don’t learn morals and discipline through osmosis.  Hopefully by the time they are juniors we’ll have this thing down pat.

Exposure is good….

June 12, 1967 the U.S. Supreme court made a decision that whites can marry non-whites. Since that ruling, the number of interracial marriages has soared. I myself am in an interracial marriage, and it’s so hard to believe that it has only been 42 years since the decision was made. Although acceptable by law, it still raises controversy amongst some family and friends. Especially those who were raised in the era before 1967.

I have been trying several ways to find a similar couple in my situation. A Black female married to a Samoan male; with kids…. And it has become the most difficult task I have encountered on the internet. I am sure they are out there, very few, but where? I asked an office employee at my kid’s school the other day, “Are there any other Samoan kids here?” “Nope, you guys are the only ones” was her reply.

I had joined other social sites in hopes to accomplish meeting someone who could relate to the things I share, or the things I went through. I tried to find maybe websites who were made specifically for the interracial unity of Samoan men and Black women. Nothing, nada, zilche…… Granted I have met many people in interracial relationships, who have beautiful multicultural children. Yet, there are things from my perspective though, that they will never understand about the Samoan culture. No matter how much I explain it. Some things have to be learned through exposure. I do know a few Samoan women and black men, but those women were disowned for stepping out. And not until the relationships dissolved were they welcomed back into the family. The only thing we related too was the racial prejudices. Me being Black, their husbands being Black. Sad but true. Even in family the pre-judgment of a person because of the color of their skin does still exist. I would say it’s not as bad, but the dislike is definitely known when one is looked down upon for being of a different race.

My reasons in wanting to find a couple in the same cultural situation as myself is so that my children can meet other children with something in common. Not just the mixture but the culture expectations. The learning of the language. The dances, the songs. The understanding on why this is done this way or that. Someone who is not aware of the Fa’a Samoa would not understand. It’s kind of like when I grew up. My grandmother died when my dad was around 11 or 12. She would have been our Mexican- Indian heritage link. During my sophomore year of high school I was a foreign exchange student and studied in Tepic Nayarit, Mexico. Was it my parent’s way of helping me learn my Mexican-Indian culture first hand by allowing me that opportunity, I believe so. There would have been no other way for me to learn the language, read, speak, and write it fluently had I not had on hands learning. I know my kids will not truly learn the Fa’a Samoa living in the US because the traditional ways are not carried out much here. However, many of the elders do attempt to hold on to the old ways. Yet with each generation, the old ways slowly fade away.

I was exposed to many different cultures growing up, and had friends from all walks. I want the same for my kids. I think that exposure truly helped me in accepting everyone and not being a prejudice person. I don’t want my kids confined to just a few ethnic backgrounds. I want them to know the Asian kids, the Pacific Islanders, the Caucasians, African Americans, Arabians, Indians, Latinos, etc. Our world is such a great melting pot of backgrounds and cultures that I am positive I’m not even aware of hundreds of them that exist. I just hope one of these days I can meet some else who is also married to a Samoan because I know I can’t be the only one out here…..