My Funny Valentine

Remember when Nordstroms still had a piano player?  Well, after college I worked at Nordstroms for a few months. Freaking hated it.  They are hard core and it’s very tough to make your commission in Personal Accessories   when people return stuff — remember how they take everything back– a check that you thought was going to be good jumps down to piddle.  Back in the old days I had to sell $130 an hour to make my commission. That was a TON of money BACK then.   After Christmas it was tough.  But, I stuck it out while I lived at my mom’s and took classes and internships in broadcasting.

I folded scarves in our down time.  Every body touches the scarves.  Everybody touches them and doesn’t buy them.  So, I’m folding scarves for WEEKS praying I get a job in radio so I can quit this job while that piano player is playing “My Funny Valentine” over and over and over and over.  No wonder I started to turn on the day.

Cut to present day and I get TONS of emails asking me if I’m going to feature some gifts for V- day.  I think they meant to go to  ( they do stuff, I do stuff in my head).  Mind you I married a chef so Valentine’s day has always meant a lot of work and good biz for him.  Even this year when he is sans restaurant he is catering a dinner. My date is going to be one of my oldest male ( gay) friends.  We were briefly an item before he knew for sure he was gay back in college.  I knew he was, but he was ( and is) so attractive I wanted to hit that before he figured it out.   We are great friends and he is making Chicken Tagine.  We will drink red wine  ( chased with shitakes of course for brightness) and watch “Beast of the Southern Wild”.  Can’t wait.

Okay, so what will I get my husband for Valentine’s day?  The best thing I could give him.  Kindness.  Okay, now play the video.

Getting a mouth ready for Valentine’s day

I’ve put those trays on my teeth some evenings to brighten my smile.  Discolored teeth are so unattractive, but tough when you like coffee, tea and red wine like I do.


I got a pitch in the mail bag from . listing food that dirty your teeth and those that clean them up.  So, getting ready for kisses on Valentine’s day by drinking pineapple juice and carrying a straw to a wine bar.

1.     Black Coffee and Black Tea—The darker the beverage, the more staining that can occur. So try adding a little extra milk to lighten the color and reduce the staining effect.

2.     Wine—Both red and white wines if taken in excess will stain your teeth.   Although red stains, white wine’s acidic composition actually etches tiny grooves in your teeth making them more porous and more easily stained.

3.     Colas and Sports Drinks—Because they are so highly acidic, they help promote staining by other foods.

4.     Berries– Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries and other berries, although excellent for your overall health, can stain your teeth. So, if you’re crazy for berries, be sure to rinse out your mouth thoroughly with water after each indulgence.

5.     Beets—Now here’s a vegetable that could put a powerful stain in your t-shirt, so, like all foods that stain, moderation is called for with this one.

6.     Sauces—Soy sauce and tomato sauce, as well as other deeply colored sauces, are believed to have significant staining potential.

7.     Juice—Grape, pomegranate and cranberry are highly pigmented and can cause staining.  So, if you must imbibe, try rinsing your mouth out with water or drinking juices through a straw, thereby bypassing the fronts of your teeth

8.     Pickles and ketchup—These acidic foods are good at opening up the pores of your tooth enamel allowing for easy staining.

9.     Balsamic Vinegar—While great on a salad, causes havoc to your teeth.  If you must, try it on lettuce, which has a natural ability to provide a protective film over your teeth.

10.  Candy–Sweets contain teeth-staining coloring agents. If your tongue turns a funny color, there’s a good chance that your teeth will too.

11.  Curry—Although great on Indian food, this yellow-staining food flavoring can be harsh on teeth. So make sure to rinse thoroughly after indulging.

12.  Popsicles—Did you ever look at your tongue after you’ve finished your fruity, sugary pop? Not only does it color your tongue, but also your teeth.  Plus, it has added double whammy negative effect produced by all of that sugar. So, limit your intake and rinse with water after finishing.

12 Tooth-Whitening Foods 

1.     Apples and pears increase salivary production which flushes away stains over time.

2.     Pineapple acts as a natural stain remover.

3.     Carrots contain vitamin A which is needed for healthy tooth enamel.

4.     Cauliflower and cucumbers also help to increase salivary production the natural way to flush away stains.

5.     Green vegetables like broccoli, lettuce and spinach contains iron which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel on your teeth.

6.     Shitake mushrooms help inhibit bacteria from growing in your mouth.

7.     Onions help reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay.

8.     Cheese is rich in protein, calcium and phosphorus, all of which can help safeguard the acids in your mouth.

9.     Salmon provides calcium and vitamin D, nutrients needed for healthy bones and teeth.

10.  Poppy and sesame seeds help scrub away plaque.

11.  Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory to support healthy mouth tissue.

12.  Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Valentine’s Day

I think the day I would like to have is Sit-on-the-Couch day. I’ve been nursing a cough… Rex and I have mommy and me coughs right now. Before I had kids, if I felt off I could put on my pajama pants, my worn sweatshirt from the ’80s, and watch trash TV on the couch while I ate chicken soup.

Well, that ain’t going to happen. But, oh, if it could. That’s the gift I would want.

V Day Momversation

Does V Day make you warm and fuzzy? Or lonely and sad? Check out what the moms of have to say about it. I have not been given official word, but I have a feeling it might be the last Momversation panel I share with Heather Armstrong of It was announced a couple of weeks ago that she has signed a deal with HGTV for online and TV work. So my guess is she won’t have time for Momversation any more. Congrats on the deal Heather! And welcome to the world of basic cable.

Meanwhile, let me know if your husband cares a rat’s ass about valentine’s day.

V Day

Only two weeks to start feeling conflicted, miserable, or immune. That’s right. Valentine’s Day is almost here.

Most of the time it’s positioned as a lover holiday, but I liked those store-bought Valentine’s that we used to exchange in elementary school. You know, if you give one to one, you give it to all. I just loved giving them and getting them. I didn’t think, “The school makes everyone in your class give them.”  I thought, “Wow, look at all these valentines!”

When I was about 11, I made or bought, can’t remember, Valentine’s presents for my sister and parents. They didn’t give me anything, but I didn’t think about it. Then I went to do errands with my mom. She ran into the grocery store while I dreamed of putting money in a bank (I don’t remember where in the shopping center I was). Anyway, my mom pulled up, and I got in the car. On the passenger’s seat was a potted red tulip. She said I had been so sweet to everyone else on Valentine’s Day, and she wanted to do something for me.  It made me so happy.

I think that was the high point.