Sunday, November 28, 2010

Most Irresistible Dish at Thanksgiving Dinner

I hosted Thanksgiving Dinner at my house on Friday night. Check out the fruits of my labor.

Appetizers. Yes like a true Southern Belle I have a deviled egg plate, and the goldfish crackers are homemade.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Turkey and Ham (both of which I outsourced this year)

Mac and cheese

Cauliflower au gratin

But this juicy little morsel stole the whole show:

Monday, November 22, 2010

When Grandparents Make Newbie Mistakes


My Dad is in over his head.

I mean, he’s 75. He has four daughters and four grandchildren. How could such a veteran make a newbie mistake?

It all started when he sent us an email with lots of cute dog pictures in it.

That prompted Grant to reply:
“Dear Popo, I want this dog and this dog and this dog and this dog and this dog and this dog and this dog. I really like all these dogs and I wish I had some.”

Afraid that Dad might not recognize the obvious trap, I sent this follow-up:
“Dad I know this goes without saying but please don't buy us a dog.”

But he fell right in to that trap:
“Tell the kids I’m going to rent a dog for them for Christmas. love, Popo”

A few weeks later Grant double-checks:
“Popo. Are you still going to rent a dog for us when we come to Alabama at Christmas?”

Popo begins backpedaling:
“Grantmeister would you consider a parrot that could learn Chinese?”

Grant remains polite but firm:
“Actually I want a dog more. With a parrot, you can't play with it. It's just not cute. You can't cuddle with it."

One last feeble attempt from Popo:
"How about a rented gerbil?"

Grant is less polite and more firm:
"Popo it needs to be a dog. A gerbil is too small."

Popo gives in:
“I will contact a dog rental service and Grant and I will go down and select one.”

Already victorious, Grant delivers a surprising coup de grace:
“Dear Popo, is it a big dog or a small one? I want a small one. But not like a baby one. Babies aren't cute, they're all white. “

At peace with his role as beta male, Popo replies:
“It will be a small dog and he likes small people. love, Popo”

So basically I see two possibilities for this Christmas:

1. Popo rents a dog. The chaos that we normally enjoy at my parents’ house at Christmas gets whipped into an outright frenzy. Someone will be hospitalized.

2. Popo doesn’t rent a dog. My children spend the holiday wailing and gnashing their teeth at the injustice. Someone will be hospitalized.

Dec. 31 update: My brother-in-law Jeff came up with a brilliant idea that saved the day. He has a beautiful, sweet dog named Brunnen and instead of kenneling Brunnen in Nashville he brought him to Alabama for the holiday. Brunnen was happy to be on a chain in my parents' backyard for the week and Grant was able to play with him any time. It really was a win-win and I don't know if my Dad appreciates how his newest son-in-law saved him! I do Jeff - thank you!!!


p.s. We would never call our grandparents "grandma" or "grandpa" in the South. We are more creative than other Americans.
p.p.s. I have never heard of a dog rental service. In Alabama or anywhere else in the world.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Sister Asking Obama a Question

Last week I went to visit my sister Christi in Japan. She was there to cover Obama's participation in the APEC Summit in Yokohama and had a few days free afterwards, so I went to hang out with her.

BTW this is Christi asking the President a question in India.

Here's Obama answering.

Cool, huh? I know, I totally know.

Since I was going to Japan I decided to take Grant so he could spend some time with Buddy's parents also live in Yokohama. They're Chinese but they live in Japan.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe this is really my life.

Grant had to miss school but we figured loving attention from his grandma and grandpa would more than make up for it.

Plus they did homework with him every day.

This is only tangentially relevant but I want to insert here that I adore my in-laws. I think I'm the luckiest wife in the world because they love me like their own daughter. And I'm grateful to them for raising their son to be the man he is.

Here are some reasons I love Japan.

You can go into any random sushi shop on any corner and be assured that it will be reasonably priced and will taste FABULOUS.

Sometimes you're walking in the city and you stumble upon an absolutely serene temple in the middle of all the urban chaos. You walk through the stone gate and suddenly - welcome to Heaven!

There are lots of doughnut shops where you can sit and have a coffee and a pastry and watch the world go by. This pictures captures one of the best moments of my life.

The kids' menu has sushi on it. Which Grant LOVED. Go figure. A 7-year-old loved sushi. That's how good sushi is in Japan.

As you can see I'm so feeling the love right now. I love my in-laws, I love sushi, I love my sister, I love my son, I love coffee, I love Obama. It was a good trip.