Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm behind

The weather has been too glorious to spend it inside.
LMC has been too busy to let me idle in front of my computer.
Husband has not had a day off in 28 days. Straight.

It's been a little hectic around here.

That being said, we did celebrate a birthday this weekend and LMC got a scooter and a "piggie airplane" that drops a barrel of (imaginary) monkeys when a release button is pressed. She is impressed with both.

More to come tomorrow-- lots, lots more to come tomorrow.

Just not today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I love cookbooks and read them as some read novels or peruse magazines. My cousin constantly laughs at me and wants to see what my updates are as, she too, peruses what I have noted and considered.

But, cookbooks are like Bibles- they hold family histories. They hold memories. They hold stories.

I purchased this cookbook before our DC adventure, with the single intent of using it:

And use it... I have. I jot down recipes that I have found to be successful

I even write down what the menu was for a given holiday...  (Easter 2012 was chicken salad croissants, egg salad sandwiches, and BBQ potato chips as we watched the Masters)

Flipping through the pages, I make notes about the recipe. If something turned out not to be as expected- well, The Future Me will be prepared.

I take lots of notes. Lots and lots...

 Chilled Red Bell Pepper Soup? Who'da thought that would be good? So, I told TFM (the future me) that, "hey- you! Don't be surprised... this isn't bad!"

I take notes upon notes as the recipe is made again and again.

And, if a meal fails and there is no saving it... I let myself know. Even when it sounds delightful. 

Or, if it is pale in comparison to moms... that happens, too. 

Sometimes, the recipe is more of a guide and less of a precise measurement. Like this:

Or, just to really convey to TFM if something is icky and we had to order pizza... well, like I said I use cookbooks like notebooks. And knives like spoons. And dish towels like burp clothes. And burp clothes like dish towels.

I try to have a sense of humor about it and sometimes am more successful than others. 

Or, if I learned something- like how to undress a lamb (that's my verb in regards to lamb- not a technical term), I tell myself how to do it. Saves me the trip to google or to my chef friend.

Or, if something is insanely expensive... and then I find it cheaper somewhere else -- I tell myself where to look.

And... sometimes... how the recipe was modified and why... for instance, if I can't find something. I should make a note of where the thyme is.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

To Dance

LMC is a big fan of dancing.

All kinds.

What she lacks in hip-hop (she got that from me), she makes up in rhythm (she got that from Husband). In the evenings, she has two tutus- one red and one green, which she dons with the matching jammies, rotating between Monday, Wednesday, Friday for the red and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday for the green. Sundays, I insist she wear an actual nightgown, sans tutu.

We dance in the kitchen. We dance in the den. We dance with music and we dance without music.

She makes an excellent dance partner. We have fun with the music too loud and the smooth motown sounds filling our apartment and wafting out the windows when Husband is on call.

So, I have been thinking about putting her in a summer dance class. Up here, there are two kinds...

Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet.

She's going to one. They're almost the same price. They're at almost the same time on Saturday. I just do not know what the difference is- isn't it just going to be a bunch of three year olds running around in pink tutus and pink leotards? Unless you are LMC... then it will be either green or red, depending on the day.

Thoughts? Can you please help a non-graceful girl out?

Friday, May 18, 2012


Yesterday, I was reading a message board for DC moms and one of the posts said something to the effect of:

BTDT moms- what do you do when your toddler [insert something I care not to share here]. FT moms, take note for when your angel does this.

Hunh? BTDT? FT? I get LOL, but... this 31 year old gal had to google BTDT. And before you go doing the same thing, allow me to save you the key strokes for the acronym of Been There Done That.

Immediately, I thought about Lewis Grizzard and his awesome column in the Atlanta J-C about personal ads in the classified section (long before match.com and eharmony.com). Since we aren't paying by the word on the WWW, is it too difficult to spell out the been there and the done that?

I ask this question from a mighty high horse because, I too have succumbed to the ease of the acronym. Or the EA as I shall refer to it now.

Allow me to give you a lesson in the acronyms often found in LOC (not Library of Congress, rather Life Of Cagle)

Most often used is LMC... that's Little Miss Cagle. She's pretty adorable and will turn 3 at the end of this month...

PETF: Patricia Eileen the First (that's my mom)
YFBF: Ye Few But Faithful (those dedicated twenty something who subscribe to LOC and who I adore immensely)
FOAF: Fit of All Fits... we talk about these a great deal when LMC has a melt down of all melt downs. They are the stuff legends are made out of.
HIMs: How I Met anyone
SNB: I don't talk about this one too much anymore, but when LMC would shuck her clothes and lay out in a FOAF, she was a Screaming Naked Baby
GF: Gluten Free
SIL: Sister In Law-- I have several, five to be precise. Usually an SIL conversation is about Brother's wife. Unless I am referencing my SoWeGa SILs, than I will reference the Farm.
SoWeGa: South West Georgia-- where Husband calls home
MIL: Mother In Law
FIL: Father In Law
DILOTY: That would be me... Daughter In Law Of The Year
PPCs: Pansy Planting Chronicles

If I think of any others that I use... I'll update the list, but until then- this is a good key to start with.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

How far we have come

This is my fourth Mother's Day. I know LMC is not quite 3, but four years ago there was a baby shower to celebrate the coming of our sweet pink bundle of joy.

That morning, I hosted a diabetic friendly brunch for my parents, Martha's parents, my parents, grandfather, and Brother's family. We busted out the fine china (that I still miss) and used a very large piece of plywood from Husband's boat building stock on two saw horses. The [elegant?] under-table was covered [hidden] with a dark coral- almost orange- pressed hemstitched linen tablecloth that was something ridiculous, like 144 inches long. My dining room could not handle the amount of people we were serving.

The fine china, the silver, the crystal, the fancy serving pieces, an extra table outside for bloody marys and sweet tea... I pulled out all the stops for my first Mother's Day brunch, and I still didn't even have a child on the ground yet. We feasted outside in the beautiful 72 degree day, without a cloud in the blue sky day. Fresh flowers and great music with gerbera daisies growing amongst tea olives in our old back yard day. I could not imagine a better way to spend a Sunday.

After celebrating the coming of LMC at Ms. Mobile's home, we would be ever clueless that she would be joining us in less than three weeks.

Mother's Day part II escapes my memory... my apologies.

Last Mother's Day we had an elegant brunch at Tunnicliff's, wandered around Eastern Market-- my favorite pastime-- and napped when LMC napped.... remember naps? Those were the days. Husband had the Sunday off, and it was just the three of us. Our perfect little family of three enjoying our new neighborhood and each other. Oh, how I still remember my eggs benedict on a crab cake instead of an english muffin. Not to be missed.

Which brings me to Mother's Day part IV...

Husband was on call Friday, post call Saturday and back on call today. yeah.... This morning, I awoke as I usually do- alone- to the still of the apartment. Stretching my arms and thinking about my day, I found the remote to the television... and two cards on my bedside table. One from Husband and one from LMC.

The one from LMC had a $20 stuck inside with a note that said, "LMC is treating you to Tunnicliff's and Chesapeake Eggs Benedict this morning. Wish I could be there to celebrate you and all you do for us. I love you -Husband" (yes, he signed it Husband. He always does.)

I get dressed. I get LMC dressed. I get hungry. I get the keys. I get to negotiate with the 3 year old about the mode of transportation to Tunnicliff's. I get to decide where we feast as it is my day after all.

We abort the plan to head for a fancy brunch just the Cagle girls. Instead, we stroll to McDonald's at Union Station and I get a cheese biscuit and diet coke. LMC gets an order of pancakes and sausage. It was $7.23.

Less than what it would have cost for just my entree at Tunnicliff's.
Twice as Fast.
Twice as Easy.
Much, much closer.

And all I wanted.

We've come a long way from Mottahedeh Tobacco Leaf and sterling forks for Mother's Day. Maybe next year. Probably the year after.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What's Cool

Traditionally, I am a traditionalist. Brother and I never wore GAP sweatshirts- even at the peak of cool. 3/4 sleeves became popular circa 1994, this girl avoided them until 2002.

Beanie Babies? Are you kidding me? I once heard a girl say she was (and this is a direct quote), "I'm investing in my future." .... no comment needed.

The TV series, FRIENDS? I missed the first season.

I want to make sure that things are truly "cool" before I hop on board. I never crimped my hair. I never wore blue eyeshadow. Leggings weren't my thing unless I was in ballet class.

The Pioneer Woman fell into this category. I first heard about The PW when a friend delivered dinner and I heard the comment, "Do you 'do' the pioneer woman?"

Excuse me? I had no idea that "doing" anything was possible when it came to this sort of thing.

So, I went into the Pioneer Woman kicking and screaming.

But now... I'm in love.

Ree Drummond is funny, kind, charming, and the kind of person you want to be friends with or, at the very least, grab a glass of wine with. Just not someone you want to ask directions.

Yesterday, I picked up her book-- From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. It's a light story about how she met her husband. It starts with the break up with California and relocating to her hometown in middle USA. Not thought provoking, not confusing, just an easy story about how a boy met a girl with a few slip-ups along the way. You can imagine sitting across from her at any restaurant as she spins the tail.

It's a good read. And it can be done in a day if you get hooked like I did. Check it out.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Fingers Hurt

"Hi. Um, Hi. My name is Wife."

"Fire, Police, or Ambulance?"

"Um. I don't know."


When I was about four years old, I had a plastic fishing pole. It was yellow with a green reel and thick string for fishing line. There was a yellow hook at the end of the string. It was all very innocent and very safe.

One summer day, I really wanted to play with it and searched our new house high and low to no avail. Where was the last place I had it? The station wagon. I walk outside and see it sitting safely in the back on the red seat where I had been playing with it earlier in the day on one of our outings.

The door was locked. Sigh. I get the keys, unlock the door and return them to the kitchen before locking the car back. The fishing pole safely in my hand, I slam the door.

On my fingers.

I scream for all I am worth. My fingers are, literally, stuck in the door- locked. I scream louder. I try to pull them out.

Nothing is budging.

Our neighbor's son, Jeff, heard me screaming from inside his house and came running. He grabbed the keys and freed me from what would have been a fingerless life.


The second time I slammed my fingers in the door, a taxi cab stopped and the dark skinned driver poked his head out of window and asked if I was okay. This is the middle of DC, mere blocks from the White House. Cursing under my breath, I said I was.... a lie. My fingers had barely missed certain death-- only how I wish they had.

Surely, surely I had not locked the door by accident. I pull on the handle. Nothing. I curse again.

Walking around to the passenger side, I stop a stranger and say, "Excuse me, but do you have a cell phone?" (as if to say, "Excuse me, do you have ears?" This is 2012. Of course he does.)

"I do."

"Do you mind if I borrow it? I just locked my daughter in the car."
{Oh, did I not mention that little nugget?}

My fingers are throbbing.

"Who do I call? Triple A? 9-1-1?" I ask, a little clueless on how to handle this.

"I bet 9-1-1 would get here faster."

"Good point," my wheels spinning.

"9-1-1. Fire, ambulance or police?"

"Um, I don't know. I just locked my daughter in the car."

"Hold please for fire and rescue. What number are you calling from?"

"I don't know. I stopped some nice man on the sidewalk."

"Don't panic. Hold please."

(don't panic? DON'T PANIC? Seriously? Sure. Why not? Don't panic. I locked my daughter in the car. It's about to rain. This liberal city has zero tolerance for negligent parents. I'm going to jail. I am going to jail. This is the end.)

"Fire and rescue. What's your emergency?"

..... I go through it again.

"The fire department is on its way."

"Okay, well, I'll be here. I'm the panicked one in the blue t-shirt."

Hours pass (minutes? seconds?) and I hear a siren. I'm biting my fingers. I'm in Downtown DC and it's lunchtime. It gives new meaning to noon rush hour. Chinatown- you are my nemesis right now.

The sirens get louder. I'm holding my throbbing fingers with one hand and constantly looking at LMC in the car. I start hearing sirens coming from the other way.

Is there a fire? Please don't let there be a fire-- I need some help!

Two firetrucks stop- one from the south, the other from the north.

In front of me.

Traffic screeches to a halt.

Traffic in DC stops for motorcades and apparently idiotic mothers.

The fire chief with the chevrons on his shoulders and official cap came from around the side of the truck. The support vehicle came up behind the second truck. Three sets of sirens are at full blast in my ears.

Five men get out of the fire truck and I start crying.

"Don't panic, Miss. We're here."

"You aren't going to call DFCS on me, are you? I'm so sorry. Please don't call DFCS."

"This happens all the time..."

People pull out their cell phone cameras on the sidewalk. Apparently they had never seen a firetruck with a ladder before. Strangers stop and ask if I am okay. Thank the sweet Lord for sunglasses. My fingers might be falling off, but my eyes are bloodshot red. I should really wear nicer clothes when I am out-- t-shirts and jogging skirts aren't the best first impression.

Forty-five seconds later, the door is open. They all get hugs and high fives from me. LMC freed from her buckles, absolutely clueless to what has happened in the last five minutes. LMC says "DANKS, guys!" We pay for parking (which started this whole mess in the first place) and walk up to the Landsburgh... waving at our new friends the whole way.

Sirens wailing, they are off again to the next adventure.

I have new heroes.