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Betsy Block


Just Another Manic Monday (Part Two)

Just Another Manic Monday Part Two
I am new to the ways of the Web, and so, looking for some sage advice, I wrote to Kate Hopkins of The Accidental Hedonist (I love her site's name). She told me about "link love," whereby bloggers give each other props, and provide links. Always one looking to spread love of any kind, I took her advice to heart (so to speak).

And so, my very first virtual smooch of gratitude goes out to my sister Kate, who took the time to write me back with some excellent advice on how to propagate my site. SWAK, baby. (Maybe you're too young to remember: that means Sealed With A Kiss. Very popular back in the day.)

If you have a favorite site out there, please write and let me know so I can check it out and maybe provide a little link love (as Kate puts it). I want to be a Good Citizen of the Internet.

"Sorry, Mama," BD greeted me last Monday morning. "Sorry, angry Mama." Then he started singing, "Mommy, angry mommy ..." (It was a riff on some song named "Johnny, angry Johnny" by some band called Poe. BD loves making obscure musical references like this. At least, they're obscure to me.)

Anyway, here's why I was out of sorts: Last Sunday morning we awoke to the beginnings of a good old-fashioned nor'easter that, by day's end, dumped more than a foot of snow on us. Not a problem; it is winter in New England, and we've had an easy time of it this year. Plus, by evening, the snow had stopped meaning that our Monday schedule wouldn't be disrupted. "I wish school would be cancelled," E sighed as he heavily climbed the stairs to bed. "Sorry honey, it won't," I replied as sympathetically as possible. I kissed him goodnight and went downstairs to make lunches. Next, I settled comfortably onto the couch, happy that we'd had our stormy day, even happier that it was over.

That's when BD suggested I check online for school closings. School closings? Was he kidding? The roads were already basically clear and there were still 12 long hours to devote to cleanup. But any excuse to go to the computer works for me, so I figured I'd humor him, "check it out," obviously find no announcement, then do a little light Web surfing.

Imagine my surprise, then - my shock, really - when I saw that school had indeed been cancelled for the next day. (See Just Another Manic Monday for the back story.) The superintendent had gone and called off school already?  Seriously, is there something wrong with this guy?

I marched into the living room and told BD the news. I then crossed my arms, shook my head, and blurted out, "It's shameful!" BD burst out laughing. It was easy for him to laugh - he was going to work in the morning. Glorious work. Enviable work.

Meanwhile here I would be, yet again, another Monday at home with the kid(s). E has literally been to school on a Monday twice since mid-December. I don't even really like his school - it's too rigid, the kids don't have enough recess, and it's not nearly creative enough - but by Monday morning I can usually see its merits.

Fortunately, P's preschool won't close its doors unless it's a state of emergency (now that's a policy), so with her we were all set. Then E got an invitation from a friend (whose mom, knowing my Tale of Mondays Lost, was taking pity on me, I suspect). Suddenly, I was singing a different tune. A little time to do some errands and clean the house meant Angry Mommy was on hiatus - at least until this week, because as this mom helpfully pointed out, there's no school at all due to February break.

So there I was, early Monday morning, on the same walk I take every day. My goal: half an hour of "alone time" before the day began. And boy, did I get it: the streets were deserted due to the holiday. I was a few blocks from home and there was no one else around when I saw A Man. He wasn't giving off the best vibe, so I crossed the street. So did he. I started to cross back and he started coming right at me. This Man literally stood between me and my children, my home, my life. Just then I spotted one lone car driving toward me. I flagged the driver down to explain the situation; the Man disappeared (where'd he go?), but reappeared to watch me after the car had driven off. It turns out that I'm actually a pretty fast runner.

In the past, I would have been shaken up. This time, though, I was mostly mad. I'd been eyeing the cup of coffee in the Man's hand. Not really hoping, but sort of wondering how it would feel to splash it in his face. (I didn't have to -- instead I made it home and reported the incident to the cops like a good girl.)

A concerned BD asked if I wanted him to stay home from work and I said, "Of course I do, but not because of this." He laughed and said, "Yeah, I guess you're used to tough characters."

The next morning, Tuesday, with headphones on and mojo turned up high, I headed out again. "No fear," BD advised as I left. When I got home, I walked in the door with my arms raised in vicory over my head and said to BD, "I kicked his ass!"

"You did?"

"No." But I would have. It's never a good idea to mess with an Angry Mama.

I needed to come up with a recipe that I could dedicate to any parent who's unexpectedly home with the kids; in other words, a recipe that makes the best of things. I still had buttermilk in the fridge left over from the pot pie crust I'd just made, but I really didn't want to bake something sweet (for once). Instead, I made this buttermilk dressing, which is smooth and rich, but is eaten with veggies, thereby making me feel virtuous. Which, given how things have been going lately, I could use right about now. (Is it spring yet?)

Buttermilk Dressing to soothe the Savage Maternal Beast

cup buttermilk
cup mayo
1 tbsp. vinegar (white wine if you have it; red wine if you don't)
1 tsp. minced onion
1 clove minced garlic (or just use dried onion and garlic if you're in a mood like I was when I made this and you don't have the patience to chop even this little bit)
a healthy dash of dill
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk, put in fridge for flavors to meld. Eat it with your feet up, if possible. (So it spills a little. Life is short.)