brain draino

As I lie in bed.. and I’m not going to lie.. lying in bed for a month, I’ve lost weight and I like it.  Look for my new book “Do nothing, lose weight.”

cover of upcoming book

cover of upcoming book

Anyway as I lie in bed and read the paper and the internet it’s hard to not feel dread and sadness at the shootings, at Trump’s hate speech, feel like the world is going to hell in a hand basket.  What helps me is not to stay in the macro, but to also look at the micro. Let me offer you some brain draino from the negative of the day.

In my micro world I’ve been humbled by the goodness of friends of neighbors helping me and my kids while I have been sick.  The first week when I thought it was a bad cold it was hard to make sense of what was going on .  Mark was still rushing off to work per normal.  I got pretty upset and emotional.  “I can’t do what I normally do.”  I can’t be the one who makes breakfast and school lunches everyday.  I would have filed for divorce if I could have gotten out of bed.  The fevers where making me loopy.  I wasn’t sure of my thoughts. I was so tired I could barely get to the bathroom.

Slowly, he started to step up, but there are still gaps when he is gone and week two I was much worse.  I texted a neighbor, “can you please bring me soup and feed my kids?”  I didn’t know I could do such a thing.

food made with love tastes the best

food made with love tastes the best

So  desperate an ask.  But she came over with soup for me and took my kids to her house for a few hours where she made them dinner and they had a good time.  She continued to bring tea or soup over the next several days.  I just gave her my key.  I wasn’t going anywhere.

I had to punt Thanksgiving to my sisters.  I cabbed over for about an hour, but I was a zombie at the table.  I thought I would have made my creamed spinach, my cheese pinwheels..but was a feverish day dream.

Days kind of blurred. Another neighbor texted, “may I bring you dinner?”  Please.  Meanwhile another neighbor whose son is at our school was picking up my kids almost everyday.how to bring food to the sick

I think people think if people are married they are covered, but “it’s takes a village” is a real statement.  It’s not it takes a nuclear family.  When I’m healthy I need my friendships, I need the camaraderie of the world and certainly when I’m sick I’ve learned my level of need.  I knew I had to go back to the doctor ( I went early and I tested negative for everything).  I decided I would call a cab and get to the Sunday clinic when they opened.  My friend Anya came over with a big tea pot and said, “I will be here at 8am and take you.”  I said, only if you promise to leave because the stress of her waiting with me would get to me.  I don’t want to be burden.

at the doctor's they asked me to put this on. My Tinder photo?

at the doctor’s they asked me to put this on. My Tinder photo?

She drove me the next morning while my family slept and sure enough the doctor said, “pneumonia”. I got some antibiotics and the fevers lessened.

Long story, but I needed to go to my regular doctor the next day to adjust the meds.  An uber took me there and back.  I love just being able to lie down in the back seat.  Money well spent.  I got the right medications.

A friend texted me, “anything I can do?”  Yes, can you get chicken tenders from Vons for my kids?”  I had soup, but I needed a ringer for my kids and I couldn’t stand let alone cook.  Now, at this point you might say, Daphne, aren’t you married to a chef?  Couldn’t he have made a week of meals for your kids that you could heat up in his absence?  But, friends that’s how I ended up with a cooking show on the Food Network.daphne dishes  I am the cook of the house.  Mark is still annoyed that the kids don’t want some fancy multi part dish he would like when they really want butter noodles.  Plus, when you cook for a living I don’t think you do at home. I don’t know.   I needed to figure out work arounds. This same friend brought some take out a few days later which I made about 4 days worth of meals out of.  By the way, ones appetite is pretty dinky on pneumonia.

My  sister Cecily took Vivien to a Christmas event I couldn’t make.

good aunt

good aunt

My mom came and hung with the kids because I started to worry that they were alone too much.  My kids have been so kind to me.  They haven’t complained.  Vivien fills my pot of tea.  Rex gives me massages.  One weekend Mark took Rex to a long planned father son camp.

won the first two heats of the box car race

won the first two heats of the box car race

One of those nights I got Vivien a sleep over so I could totally rest.  I knew I was no fun, not able to help with homework, zippo, so I kept wanting to find my kids fun time, company.

I was also fortunate to be friends with an Eastern Doctor who makes house calls.  So, I got acupuncture which helped open my breathing and relax me. She gave me some herbs and pro biotics that erased some side symptoms I was having.

Week 4.. I’m much better, but weak.  I drove to school for parent teacher conference.  Walking in and out of campus.  Talking for an hour my chest hurt.  I felt light headed. I went back to bed.  The kids and Mark went to get the tree.  “help us decorate the tree mommy?”  I can’t.  I got some boxes out and lay on the couch.  “Okay, unspool the lights and walk them around.”  I directed.  I’m so proud of 2014 Daphne, she organized the lights and ornaments for 2015 Daphne. organized christmas So, it’s not just about taking care of others when you can.  Take care of yourself!  Because you don’t know when you will be broke down and your stronger self can help out.  I was so proud of them.  They did the whole tree. I just had to stand on a chair and put the star on, that’s it.trimming the tree

As this was going on a dear old friend ( more than 20 years) showed up with three different entrees.  Home made mac and cheese ( fab) home made chicken soup and a frozen chicken curry.  Also from her kitchen.  It’s people like this that make me strive to be a better friend, a better person.

So, when you read the bad things let’s remember that most people are good.  That if we ask for help it comes!  For years Mark and later I too have done some fund raising for Meals on Wheels.  Man, I really get it know. Being a homebound, elderly person with no one visiting you but a sweet person bearing food.  That would make quite a difference in your life.   I don’t need any presents under my tree I already got more than I could ask for.

how to talk to your twenty something

Ha, I have no idea.  Today my step son Oliver is 22!.   Good for him, but that means I”VE AGED TOO.  Kids are cruel.   He is a wonderful young man who has been very patient with my loud, outgoing ways, which are not his.  A few years ago he even played  along with me on a video, “How to talk to your teenager”.  An experience that was probably close to running through bees while dripping with honey.  But, performance is like restaurant work in this family.. it’s hard not to be brought in ( or brought down.

So happy birthday to the first person who made me a “mom like” person.  I love you Oliver.

 

Daphne Dished raw

Okay, this ain’t pretty, but it’s what’s happening.  A little vlog on my life with pneumonia.  I know I’m not the only one suffering with this now, so maybe it can put a smile on someone elses’ face who has a pale, ugly face right now like moi.

Thanks to those who have been asking if Daphne Dishes is coming back for a third season.  I sure wish it would I day dream recipes ( unable to cook right now).  I have heard it’s going to be repeated in Jan.  So maybe that’s a good sign?  My recipes are still at www.foodnetwork.com/daphnedishes

I hope you are well and healthy and I hope to return to being funny and cooking and LOOKING BETTER.. oh and feeling better.

I am SO humbled by the help friends and family have given me and my kids the last few weeks.  We are all in this together.

New-mon-ya

So, this site has been in bed for the last couple of weeks along with me and now I know why.  I have Pneumonia.   Skipped Thanksgiving.  Been challenging.

I’m sure all kind of wit and wisdom will come from weeks of bed rest and tripping on steroid drugs, but until then.. wash your hands.  Check out my friend Shannon’s blog about your brave trip to assist Syrian refugees in Greece  ( spoiler alert Greek helpers and Syrians all seem to be gorgeous.) Shannon is very funny and once guested as my “Stunt Mom”.

Clearly she is a tough cookie, but her writing is informative without being pedantic.

Since I’m in bed and sleeping or watching screens Any suggestions of favorite binge shows?  I’m up to date on Empire ( storylines starting to go south), Indian Summer on Masterpiece Theate, everyone is depressed, but I just want to see the young Indian lead get naked.  Jane the Virgin, good, not as stellar as first season. Watched River on netflix. good, dark.  Grandfathered, loved, funny dead pan, my favorite.  Watching some John Adams, but small pox hard to watch right now.  So, please leave any shows you like… no zombies or vampires or game of thrones.  thanks.

a pee too far

here is a TBT.  I was super pregnant with Rex.  There are always some issues that bother us more than others… for me.. a wet towel on a rug  (grr), kid who want go to sleep when you are beat (everyone)  and then the good old pee on a brand new couch.  It does remind me why I still get this couch steam cleaned every three months..

The Bacon effect

First kids can’t run around a car while it’s in motion.  Then a lover can’t greet you when you get right of the plane, now they are taking bacon.  I’m of course referring to the latest report from World Health Organizations (kill joys) that processed meat specifically, and meat in general are a tiny notch above asbestos for causing cancer.  I just enjoyed the heck out of hot dog on the 10th hole the other day at a golf tourney.. who knew it would be my last!

I can’t take it.  Even though I had no make up only my phone I felt compelled to record this moment

Oh and ham!  What next sex?

what if you have the “bad” kid

 

As a parent who volunteers more at her kid’s school than people who draw a salary I get to see all sides to a school.  So often parents find the fault with a school and lay it a teacher or principal or a child that is not theirs knee.  When maybe, it is their kid.

I heard a mom a while back talking about how some teacher wasn’t stimulating to her little genius.  Then I was volunteering and saw this kid and thought I would need a lasso and a muzzle to deal with him.  ( Hence, I didn’t go into teaching).

As it was one day when I thought my little precious, angel might have the makings of serial killer

Child’s educational needs vs. your ideals and anxieties

–Couldn’t figure out a pithy short title for this one.

As parents know there is nothing like having a child to make you review your own childhood.  From the “I had to make my bed every morning so should you.”   To, “I was sexually exploited by family members and I will never let that happen to my child.”

It’s not really accurate for us to compare our childhoods to our children’s when it comes to the new world order of the economy, education, social mores, etc.  I am still jarred by seeing a tattoo covered lady, but no one else is.  I’m gladdened that it’s not okay for kids on the playground to say some of the racist things I use to hear when I was a kid.  I can’t believe how much harder schools are now then when I was a kid.

is this what I want for my kids?

is this what I want for my kids?

I recently had an ah, hah ( is that how it is spelled?) moment when I was hearing about a charity that supported underprivileged kids gain entry into private high schools.  My knee jerk reaction was “why do they have to go to private schools?  Why can’t public school be better? Is that the only way for poor kids to do well is to go hang with the snooty snoots?”  They talked about having to get their academics up in middle school, laudable.  But, also take them to the beach, because many had never been.  To take them to museums.  To coach them that when they are in these high schools they will have friends who get Italian sports cars for their 16th bday and know that they will not.  The reasoning is something like this, to succeed in the world, really do well, you have to be comfortable in the milieu of the rich and educated.  The high schools, the college, the social arenas.  My leftist, child of boho upbringing, middle class, went to city college than to a public university self was stunned.  I think I thought because I was a sophisticated, educated white lady that I was in the the In crowd.

But, really.  I’m not, never have been.  I’ve been invited in for glimpses, but that’s it. Ditto my husband.  He is a public school educated, middle class outlook kind of dude.  So, that is the trajectory we set for our own children.  But, is that a good idea?  When the world is different than when we graduated from high school.  My tuition was $650 a quarter.  While my kids are not strangers to the beach they aren’t kicking it at country clubs either.

Barack Obama was raised in a middle class, single mom with help from his grandparents apartment.  But, they got him into the best prep school in Hawaii.  It has given me pause.

I’m such a proponent of the egalitarian society and education, but maybe I’m wrong.  Is this one of those things were I should do something different for my kid than was done for me?  Besides, trying to figure out how we could pay for a private high school, but I’m struggling with this philosophically as well.  I know it’s harder in LA where are public schools are not great and private schools are pricey.  It would be different in other areas I’m sure.

But, what educational path are you chartering for your kids?

 

volunteering at school lunch

So, When Viv was first in Kindergarten I volunteered, but as this video shows it didn’t quite go as I had planned.  I tired a few more times, but it always seemed to be school lunch time just as Rex fell asleep so I’d be looking for parking right outside of the school when he would nod off.  I test the mom in charge, “Sorry, can’t do it, Rex asleep.”  An unreliable volunteer, what are the chances?

So, last year when Rex started Kindergarten I started again.  Daphne Dishes.. up food.  There is a lot of running back and forth so I always get a lot of steps for the day.  I learn a lot, not so much about my kids, but which kid is going to flip out if I make him/her take the required veggie/ fruit.  How anyone below 3rd grade can’t be asked a complex question like, “with cheese, or without?”  Sometimes I’m standing there in my hair net thinking, you know, I host a Food Network show?  But, no one cares.  They just want another glass of milk.

The sweep up at the end of the shift is the worse.  Mashed food on the ground.  invariably piled high in the trash cans big chunks of the fruit and veggies we made the kids take (federal law).

 

children’s music class

I just popped in to my neighborhood book store to get some books for Vivien.  I do my very best not to buy books online from the place that rhymes with parmesan and go to our locally owned small book store full of charm and questionable profit models.  I was clearly doing the right thing because in the back of the store they had a toddler music class going on.See, a store in the community cares about community.  I smiled.  Transported to those years,  not that long ago when I took my children to music classes.  Sitting a in a circle with an earnest adult playing guitar.   ( sidebar, there was one kid there who looked about 5 or 6 and I thought if I brought Rex to something like that now I’d be a victim of matricide).

With my first kid I trucked all over for little kiddo classes.  I thought it was good for her.  Was it?  Good for me!  Naw, truth is if you stay home and don’t stress that they fell asleep for a nap right before you get to the class you spent $200 on it’s easier on mom.

So, when Rex came along I was wiser and poorer so I did my own music class.  It turned out great!