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Friday, January 8, 2016

5 Things on a Friday (Evening) because the dog has taken over my life

Hi, Friends.

I like to post earlier in the day, but there's a little 3 lb. ball of fur that has taken over my morning writing time. That would lead me to the fact that there have been a lot of thrilling events going on around here during the first full week of 2016.

I mean if you consider this routine thrilling:

1. Take the dog out.
2. Bring the dog in.
3. Play with the dog.
4. Put the dog in the crate.
5. Count how many minutes it takes for the dog to stop crying.
6. Run an errand or two, all the while wondering if the dog is crying.
7. Blow off 75% of errands and race home.
8. Take the dog out.
9. Bring the dog in.
10. Repeat.

So I can barely remember what life was like BM (Before Mack). But I thought I would do my best to retain some semblance of my former self by sharing some rambling thoughts in this week's 5 Things on a Friday.

1. Christmas in New York

Times Square
I've visited New York City a handful of times in my life. I've always had a good time, but I would never have put it on my list of my favorite cities. So when Steve planned a three day trip for the boys and us to visit New York before Christmas I'd say I was moderately excited. What I found out is that New York City is flat-out showing off at Christmas time. I found every moment in the city to be completely enthralling. We had a great time visiting Central Park and Times Square. The boys accommodated me by walking up and down 5th Avenue and letting me ooo and aah at the spectacular window displays. We took a water taxi cruise at night and were able to see Freedom Tower lit up against the black sky and I got all choked up and misty when we cruised past the Statue of Liberty. I felt like a little girl again as I watched the magnificent Rockettes in the Christmas Spectacular.  We rode the subway to the World Trade Center site and Drew held my hand and squeezed up close to me as I struggled through the 9/11 museum. In just three days, I fell in love. I get it now.  I HEART NY.

St. Patrick's Cathedral
Drew & Lady Liberty

Central Park
Freedom Tower
The Gucci Store where I found Fake Daughter's New Winter Coat for a mere $785
2. What NOT to buy at the Anthropologie Sale
Anthropologie is having a sale and I can't even count the number of perfectly awesome sweaters and tops and earrings and whatnot that I could have included here as one or more of my five favorite things of the week. But then I saw these.
And y'all. I need you to listen to me closely. I don't know much, but I know this. Unless it's going to be Opposite Day every single day in 2016, this cannot happen. We aren't serious about bringing overalls back are we? Didn't my 1985 pinstriped Guess overalls that I belted (oh, yes, I did.) serve their fashion purposes for perhaps the next eleventy million years or so? I've seen some pretty disturbing things on the internet, but this might take the cake. We cannot bring these back. I will not provide a link. I'm just going to tell you that these are on sale and that they were originally $288 American dollars. No. No. No. Please. No.

3. Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
I ate my weight (plus the weight of all of my children and my husband and perhaps a few neighbors) in carbohydrates over the break, so I am trying to take it down a notch this week. After one of our Christmas get togethers there was a huge plate of cauliflower left over from a vegetable platter someone had brought, so I decided to search for a recipe for mashed cauliflower. I had serious doubts about how it would turn out, but I was very pleasantly surprised.  One of the hints on where I found this recipe said to be sure to blot out as much water as possible from the cauliflower after you steam it to be sure it doesn't end up too watery.  I think that is key.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
1 Tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the steamer bottom.  Bring water to a boil.  Add cauliflower, cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened. Remove from heat. Transfer half of cauliflower to a food processor. Cover and blend on high. Add remaining cauliflower florets, one at a time, and blend until creamy. Blend in garlic, parmesean cheese, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.

4. The Best Anniversary Gift Ever (or maybe the 8th or 9th best gift ever)
I took a photo of this heartwarming and sensitive gift that I gave to my husband and posted it on social media on our anniversary this week. I know you are jealous of the romance happening up in here. Anyway, a number of people asked where they could get it so HERE is the link.  There are some other really funny ones including one that say, "You are my mom. You are crazy. That's all."  Love it.  [PS And Mom. Of course, I would never buy that for you. Never. ;)]

5. Things I've Learned by Hadley Park
I cannot begin to count the number of things I've learned since I began volunteering in the pediatric cancer community. I've met doctors, nurses and parents whose strength is astounding to me. But by far the most astounding strength is displayed by those in the littlest, weakest bodies. I have no doubt that the boys and girls I have met are the bravest people I ever will meet in all my life and that they are put in my path to teach me things I would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn. I think the most amazing thing I see is that in each and every one there is light that the darkness of cancer is incapable of extinguishing. This song was co-written by a young boy I met last year who is fighting cancer for the 2nd time in his life. I am stunned by his faith and by his perspective.  See the good in all things first. A good plan for the new year, yes?  God bless you, Kaleb. (And that's Kaleb in the video. The cutie pie blond. He's a superstar.)

Bonus: 6th Thing on a Friday:  Shih Tzu Selfies

Have a great weekend, Friends!!

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