Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Dog Caught the Car

Over the past two weeks, I interviewed several times.  Today, I learned I got the job.  My first reaction?  Something between severe brain freeze and joy.

I shall be teaching writing composition to high school students.

All my experience, passion, schooling and past blend perfectly to get this job.  All of that now counts for squat.

Now, we start over with a blank page.

How do you write a book?  The same way you run a marathon or teach a class.  You study, you plan, you train and you go at it, day in and day out.  Only yesterday I walked around an empty house thinking, "Now what?"  

The now what has been answered.

My son did call me and laugh. "You didn't last one week without them."
I know.  I know my motto for my tomb stone is "She tried hard." but the one I live by, is "I'm the dog that caught the car."

One day, I must learn to stop chasing these things.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Connecting the Dots with Mark Shea

Mark Shea runs a podcast radio program through Breadbox Media called "Connecting the Dots."  He's graciously offered me the opportunity to be his guest on Mondays.

If you'd like to listen to the first one, complete with Simcha Fisher's final podcast and the telling of the Duck Joke, click here! 

Download the app for your smart phone and I'll be on next Monday at 5 o'clock.  Thank you Mark and Simcha!  It was loads of fun.

I have a piece over at Aleteia Today!

When we sent our third off to college, I felt so disconnected. It felt hard to say good bye over the phone. However, I wrote up all those feelings and it became this piece about tips for sending your child off to college.

It is a week of new beginnings and good byes.  Today, all my children are in school.  That is the first time ever since I've had children, that there aren't children at home.  

She lost her first tooth last night, and started Kindergarten today.  

So what am I doing with my first day off ever?  Well, I'd love to send you photos of me eating bon bons, floating at a pool, dining out and drinking wine, painting, reading, laying in a hammock with a popsicle and a Jimmy Buffett song cranked up in the background but no.  I am doing none of those things.  Today, I'm going to the Dentist to get a crown fitted.  

Yes. Envy me.  I live the dream.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Maybe I'm Doing it Wrong

Ever get asked to describe yourself?  I've spent the past two weeks in interviews and one of the favorite questions is, "Describe yourself in three words."

My first thoughts?  "I don't know."
"You're joking right?"

The problem with giving single word descriptors? Whatever you choose, you must prove.

So if you say funny, the next thing you must tell is a joke, or it seems not true.
If you say creative, you'd best have some unconventional thinking lined up in the wings to dazzle the interviewer with, or you look like you cherry picked adjectives without tying them to fact.

Intelligent...well, there are days, hours in each day when I wouldn't be able to prove it.  

Organized...those who know me, if they ever caught wind of me saying such a thing, might never stop laughing. My organizational skills come in fits and spurts, like thunderstorms of order in the midst of consistent chaos.  I recognize life would be much easier if my organization was the constant rather than the standard deviation, I also recognize after fifty years of living, I will have to just make the most of those occasional cloudbursts of order.  It does mean I can be competent and get things done, it just means every act of organization is an act of the will and requires some degree of a leap of faith by all those counting on me.  I've never said "I'm organized" at an interview for one very important reason.  The universe itself might start laughing if I ever dared to pretend such a reality. I'd have to offer it a throat lozenge to get back to the discussion. 

Humble...if I just made the crack about being organized, l would be at the very least, humbled before the end of the interview.

Mental note: Before next interview, stop by the 7-11 for some cough drops.    

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Small Success Thursday

It's Thursday...and I write these things before we get to Thursday so I have to come clean. We haven't made it to the barber's yet.  We have procured shoes and lunch boxes and school supplies.  I'm trying to summon the will to fill out forms.   It's going to take prayer and I'll probably have to bribe the 12 year old with milk shakes. (Plural).  

Come join us for Small Success Thursday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fasting Wednesday

Everyone who reads this knows I'm a big fan of Fr. John Riccardo of Our Lady of Good Counsel. He's calling for people to pray and fast for our country as we prepare for the upcoming election.  Here is his first talk, but I recommend listening to all of the ones he's presented as part of the discussion.

Pray and Fast Why?

I know fasting and prayer are recommended to us as whens, not ifs, of a vigilant Catholic prayer life. I also know I stink at it.  It seems like nothing, but it is not nothing, for as Saint Therese of Lisieux says, "to pick up a pin for love can convert a soul." My fasting tends to be of the pin variety.  If I go without diet coke, it will be a fast, because I do seek it daily and often.  But it is as a friend of mine, Larry D once wrote, a cross of toothpicks. (I love that phrase), and the soul it will most likely work on, is mine.

The rest of his talks on fasting for this nation are available here.  I've put off doing this in part because I've usually heard about this after I've not only had breakfast but usually lunch.  However, diets, prayer regimens, writing regimens, budget plans, fasting, any thing we want to pursue seriously, can start at the moment our heart answers.  Anything else, is an excuse, a delay, a triumph of sloth over the opportunity for grace.  Any quitting because we messed up or forgot, is also a form of mini despair, and again, the hooks of despair pulling the soul away from the possibility of greater grace and growth in virtue.  

I hope others will join me, I hope we get a collective not just of Catholics, but of all patriots for this nation, to consider offering something up, surrendering some habit, some gift, for the good of the nation, and that all of us pray for the candidates we have, will grow in discernment, grace, wisdom and charity.   Pray especially for the candidate you despise.  Fast for him or her.  Give alms.  Offer masses for them.  Offer rosaries, offer holy hours.  We're going to need them, whoever wins, to be blessed, be graced, and be touched deeply by God, so that our nation may be a people of hope, a people of generosity, and a people of peace.

Monday, August 22, 2016

So Are the Rest of Us too Tepid? Or is it Just Me?

This past week, several friends in the Catholic blogosphere lost their spots as featured regular columnists at a national paper I sometimes write for and respect.  However, as the third person fell, I had to wonder, why are they being dismissed?  All three live their Catholicism, one is an intellectual, one is a humorist, and the third, an evangelist/mother.  All three had an edge to their writing, such that sometimes, it cut, meaning it spoke to the heart and challenged.  

I loved all three for their ability to be so fearless.   As someone who sometimes struggles with writing everything I think for fear of injuring people, I admire their tenacity, their willingness to speak and be unafraid.

However, with the third firing, it brings the question, are the rest of us (and I will mean primarily me) being too tepid in our witnessing to the faith online?  Am I avoiding the harder issues, the ones that rankle the soul because they demand I think and wrestle with convictions and find courage?  You know, the biggies like politics, marriage, abortion, social justice, Pope Francis, right and left wing thinking in the Church, birth control, priesthood, the true nature of the Eucharist, the real consequence of prayer, all that stuff.   Am I too comfortable being a comfortable Catholic blogger?   Ought I to do more and if so, what?

The coward me answers, I have such a small corner of the internet.  It's a happy perky mostly Chocolate coated candy bar type of experience.  Such musings may be sweet and easy to consume, but they don't have as much nutrition as the three authors I admired.   My writings have peanuts by comparison.  It will hold you over, but it's never enough to make a meal.  Why mess things up?

Because we aren't called to a neat and tidy life. As I told my mom the other day, if there's a hard road, I find it and take it.   She'll love reading that in my blog. Loving me as a child and as an adult must be the equivalent of a roller coaster experience where you keep thinking, have we had enough fun yet?

I go back to my original creed in writing.  Truth has to lace everything, even charity, if it is to be true charity, just as charity has to lace every truth, so it may be received.  However, it will mean I must not be afraid to use both charity and truth in equal parts.  What is it I'm supposed to write?  I know relevancy in writing is determined by the willingness to bleed on the page, to think about those things that matter, and to risk something beyond approval.  Answer: ask the Holy Spirit to lead on, and follow.

I hate that I've answered my own question, but it's the lesson I keep learning.  Study more, get back to work and buckle up.

****and then, real life interferes giving me the perfect Chocolate teenager is pretending to be an elephant and tormenting my five year old by snorting imaginary boogers in her hair.   Sometimes, humor is healing. Sometimes it reveals how far we have to go even on the everyday issues before we can get to the big ones.

Got to Catch Them All

I love this sign.  Why?  Because Catholicism is about proposing a greater relationship with God, and offering the fastest surest way to grow in intimacy with the mystery which is the infinite loving God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and yet one God.  

Inviting people in with humor and history at the first parish of our nation?  To come in and sit, to come in and pray?  To invite people in this day and age to come in and be contemplative?  Awesome work! 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

How To Be Holy When All I Do is Change Diapers

Last year, I participated in the online Catholic Conference 4 Moms.  Today, I found the video of it up on Youtube.  So today, you're getting my attempt to give a Ted type talk.   

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday Spambot Returns and Weekly News Round Up

Today, I'm feeling it. The house got smaller.   We are now a family of ten, tomorrow it will be nine. Each time it shrinks as one leaves for college, it gets harder.   I have a piece on it over at Aleteia.  I wrote her an email, I just feel her absence everywhere and I will feel her older sister's as well.   There is a load of work to do, and what am I doing?  Sitting, feeling it and finding it hard to move.  

However, I know sitting is not good for the brain, body or soul, so I'm posting this link to an excellent podcast here for you; Fr. Riccardo's talk on Prayer. I'm going to put it on and go take on putting the house in order for next week when school is about to start.

For those curious, I'm returning to writing on both books, The Book of Penelope and the 365 Doctors a Day, and will start to give weekly updates to keep myself on track.   I've also been asked to be a guest co-host on Mark Shea's Radio Show, Connecting the Dots.  So download the Breadbox media app for your smart phone so you can listen in, and I promise, I'll post links, tweets, Facebook feeds and linkedin notes when it happens.  Very excited.   That's all for Saturday's news.   

Oh, and finally, Spambot Saturday returns! That's right, I take a blog piece which received a Spambot comment this past week and relink to it on Saturday so you can enjoy leftover blog.  Enjoy!  Here's this week's Spambot Saturday Throwback.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Flooding Feels Like Forever

As a kid, I remember our house flooding twice.  The first time, we were watching outside, thinking the rain would come in through the door.  Anyone who has ever been in a flood knows water doesn't work that way.  You walk into your room, thinking everything is okay because you've checked outside and the water, while over the curb, isn't at your front stoop.  

You take a step and squish.  The carpet is damp, as in wet like when you drop a glass of water and have to blot it up and get to the deepest amount of wet, wet.  At that point, we all ran screaming, scurrying to put everything in our closets and on the floor onto our beds, to unplug everything.  "Save my books! Save my stuffed animals! Save my records!  Save my shoes!"  These were the over hyper thoughts of a seventh grader when the water began to rise above the carpet and saturate our house.

My father loaded us all into a John boat and put on his waders used for hunting and pulled all four of us and my mom and our dog down the street to a neighbor who had a two story.   Not really getting it, my brother and I asked if we would have school the next day.  When the answer was no, we started dancing, celebrating.  We asked if we could take intertubes to float down the street.  The answer was again no.  So we spent the rest of the next day watching our neighbor's cat get really irritated at seeing fish swim across the kitchen floor while it sat on the counter.   I remember my father quoting The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, "Water water everywhere, and not a drop to spare." I thought of the book, Winnie the Pooh.

When we finally made it back to our home, it was weeks before something like normal returned.  We had throw rugs on the concrete slab and had to step over the doorways where there were wooden planks with carpet nails sticking up.   Lots of stuff was just gone, and sometimes we wouldn't recognize what went missing and be looking all over only to remember, oh yes, that got lost in the flood.  We flooded a second time, though not as bad.  We knew what to expect, we also knew how to recover, so it went faster.  We also had flood insurance, so that made it easier too.

The bottom line is, when you flood, it is an unimaginable mess with months, not weeks of recovery time.   There are all sorts of secondary problems once the water recedes, once it is no longer dramatic national news.   Mold in the insulation, lost treasures that have no value insurance wise, but mean something to you, pictures, books, all sorts of odds and ends get lost in the process because water so coats everything it touches.  

It helps to get a sense of things, how bad is it?   

I've lived in Baton Rouge for one summer, the landscape of Louisiana is such that when there isn't a main road, there often isn't another road.  It's part of the logistics of living in that area of the country.  I-10 is a long stretch of road with cities every hour or so, and smaller places you can't get to on I-10 except by going to the bigger places and retracing your steps.   It's part of what makes flooding in this area of the country so devastating.  You can't get to all the places, at least not by car.   

So please, if you can, give something to help out those who right now, can't even begin to do damage assessment.

Here's a link to Catholic Charities USA, where you can go to give direct aid to the victims of the flooding in Louisiana.   And thank you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What I Know

Monday, I interviewed for a job.
Tuesday, I interviewed for a job.
Wednesday, I shipped a child off for college and waited to hear about either job.

One is more suitable logistically, but will involve me hitting the books.  The other fits my interests but will demand more time.   Both left me thinking, I need to read more, I need to study more.

So here's what I know.
If I get job #1, I need to study more.
If I get job #2, I need to study more.
If I get neither job, I need to study more.

After spending an hour trying to mess through some new books on curriculum, I have learned three things:

1) I am out of practice as a student.
2) I am not as disciplined as I imagined.
3) School was a lot easier when I was on the other side of the desk, and it was someone else's job to make me pay attention.

Happy last days of Summer everyone!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Over at Aleteia Today Too!

So today I take on the issue of how to teen whisper. It's similar to toddler whispering, but taller.   Please, go click, like, share, etc and enjoy.  Meanwhile, I'm going to pack up some kids for college...(Sniff), and maybe write about sending off my youngest to kindergarten.   (Sniff, sniff).

Monday, August 15, 2016

Over at Aleteia today!

I have a piece over at Aleteia today. It was a nice surprise when I found this in my inbox this morning, wish the scale had been as friendly.   Go check out The Examination of Conscience is Easier than Stepping on a Scale and leave a note, like and share.  Also, say a prayer for me this week, I'm trying to reenter the work world so I'm interviewing for teaching jobs.

It is a nerve wracking thing, as my teenagers keep practicing with me and they're much harder than actual interviews.  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

How I Wasted Too Much Time on Thursday and Today

There was a game involving books and puns.  That's the equivalent of chocolate and diet coke catnip for me.   I should never NEVER read Simcha Fisher's posts when she's hosting a game if I want to get things done.   However, I did, and the reward of that rabbit hole of time is you get laughs today.  The game was simple. You take a famous book, and take it down a notch.

Here are a few samples:

1) Death of a Sale's Pitch
2) The Adequate Six
3) The Ancient Art of Wart Removal
4) The Cat in the Rye
5) My Son Also Rises
6) The Rhyme of the Ancient Marinara
7) As I Lay Digesting
8) A Room with a Somewhat Obstructed View
9) Charlotte's Web Browser
10) In Her Majesty's Cleaning Service
11) The Fjords of Madison County
12) Bridget Jone's Blog
13) Cowardly Old World
14) Selfie of an Artist as a Young Man
15) The Composite of Miss Jean Brodie
16) Lost in the Cosmetology
17) The Round and the Furry
18) A Ticket in Time's Square
19) The Phantom EZ-pass Lane
20) The Commission Salesman of Venice
21) The Ringling Brothers Karamazov
22) The Shelf Life of Pie
23) In This House of Bread
24) The Adventures of Tom, Lawyer
25) The Garlic Wars
26) The Return of the Naive
27) Spenser's Dairy Queen
28) Orange Julius Caesar
29) The Importance of Being Bert and Ernie
30) The Squire of the Flies
31) And the sequel, The Lord of the Stings
32) Their Eyes Were Watching Cod
33) The Yelp
34) Love in a Time of Coloring
35) A Weed Grows in Brooklyn
36) Celsius 100
37) The Pay Per View Fight Club
38) The Flight Club
39) The Retired Guy on a Boat
40) King Arthur and His Knights Sit Around the Table
41) Harry Potter and the Magic Pebble
42) Gulliver's Traveling Pants
43) Farewell to Sleeves
44) 50 Pairs of Shades
45) Cheeseburger in Paradise Lost
46) The Divine Joke Book
47) Cadbury's Tales
48) Funkanomics
49) The Call of the Mild
50) How Green Was My Valley Girl

I fear, I could go on...

Friday, August 12, 2016

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday was Thursday, all day. I didn't get to cross posting Small Success. It's okay.  It was a collection of SST's greatest hits, or rather, pulled quotes from past pieces.  That being said, here's a link to yesterday's Small Success Thursday!

On to today's news...If you don't know it, I have an author page on Amazon.  In addition to The Book of Helen, it has the other three books I've contributed to over the course of my writing career.  Here's the link. I'm especially proud to be part of the Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion.

It's being released on August 29th, but you can pre-order.  It is the collaboration of over 80 Catholic writers, to give you something to enjoy each day, 365 days a year.  :)

In the meantime, I'm researching how to put together a book tour for The Book of Helen starting in September when it becomes available in print as opposed to e-book.   It's currently on sale for 2.99 if you want to grab a late summer read, and if you do, reviews are something every author needs. It makes the Amazon algorithms happy.

 Thank you.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Half Baked

This past May, the oven died. No biggie, we had a microwave, a stove and a grill and it's summer. We have a griddle, a slow cooker, two toasters and a waffle iron.  Who needs an oven?  There was so much to do, we just filed it under a "I'll get to it" task and pressed on with life.  We boiled pasta. We made hot dogs. We made eggs.  This is easy.  Why do we even have an oven?  It's taking up valuable cabinet space.  

The first month, we grilled hamburgers and smoked ribs. I made pancakes and we ate ice cream.  Two months passed without too much hassle.  Not that it had been smooth sailing.  We'd forget and purchase those insta biscuits or a cake mix and stare at it in the cabinet.  We did learn to grill a whole ham and bake a pie (it was runny) on the grill.  We also made biscuits in the grill, and cooked fried cheese in a cake pan.

However, we went on vacation and got to use an oven for a week, granting us a respite from the drought of all things from the oven.  I remembered how much easier it was when we didn't have to make sure we had charcoal before we started cooking, how I could put something in a dish, season it, cover it and let it when I returned from vacation, we measured and ordered one but it wouldn't be coming for at least a month.   Suddenly, the sloth of the early part of the summer stung big time.

We recommitted to grilling, to smoking, to boiling, but it was getting old.  The day before it was to come, we bought things to bake in joyful anticipation. Yes, we'd grown weary of HAVING to limit our options to what we could grill, boil, toast or saute.  We got a call.  Damaged in transit, they'd have to reorder.  We'd have two more weeks.  We were now desperate for something, for anything, but everything felt old, like soggy old cereal. Longing for something baked, we purchased bakery muffins and thought them better than they were by their sheer novelty.   The day came. The men came with the double oven.

It was the wrong size.  We'd have to reorder.

It wouldn't arrive for another month.   We are one week from the oven.   We've done the life hacks of making cinnamon rolls in the waffle iron.  We've eaten bbq'd everything.   We're tired.  Even the pasta fiends in the house no longer get excited when they see the pots boiling at dinner.   I'm eyeing my daughter's EZ bake with no small amount of envy.   We went to the Nat's game, and I hunted until I found something being sold that came from an oven.  

If next week comes and for some reason, there is a phone call, I'm going to start knocking on the neighbors doors and offering to dog, kid, car, house and cat sit if only to broil dinner and roast some vegetables.   I picked up a fall cooking magazine....the tag line, Grill All Fall Long.

And I'm thinking, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...."

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mass Appeal

This weekend at mass, we sat behind a mom holding her 3 year old daughter. The little girl had fat ponytails and deep brown eyes. She and Paul kept trading smiles. She showed off her stuffed duck.  Paul reached over and gave her a kiss on the lips.  They both grinned.

Paul put out his hand and she touched it.  She said, "Hi." and pointed to her mother, "Mama." and her dad, "Papa."

Paul nodded, and tapped me and said, "Mom" and then "Dad" and started introducing the family. Pointing and stretching to indicate "John, Faith, Anna, Regina, Rita..."  He made sure she saw all of them. It was clear, he was saying, "Meet the family."

She smiled.  He smiled.  We kept a hold on him to prevent any future kissing, but she waved to him when they left the church.

Meanwhile, Anna sulked the rest of the mass.  I don't think she approves of the match.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I Can't Title This Without Giving Away the Punchline, but more than a mere Book Review of Elizabeth Scalia's "Little Sins Mean A Lot"

Elizabeth Scalia's book "Little Sins Mean A Lot: Kicking Our Bad Habits Before They Kick Us" should come with a warning.  You cannot read it without engaging in an examination of the soul.     

When I first picked up “Little Sins Mean A Lot” by Elizabeth Scalia, I found myself convicted by the first (Procrastination), third (Self Neglect), and fourth chapter (Treat yourself), in that I could easily find my own justifications for my sloth in getting to paperwork and working out, and tendency to use if I worked out or did paperwork to indulge either my sweet tooth, or a shortcut in either housekeeping, sabotaging all the good I’d managed.  Having bought the book when it first came out, I hoped to read through it and give a review but my disorganization and procrastination collaborated and I couldn’t find the book for three weeks.   

Elizabeth’s earnest stories of her own discernment of how little sins injure our capacity to work with the Holy Spirit helped illustrate how to go about a serious examination of conscience and not stray into scrupulosity at the same time.  Plowing through the chapters, I got indicted again by the gloominess and griping, but decided I should finish the book before running to the sacrament of Reconciliation to make sure I didn’t miss anything.   Clinging to the narrative, guilty, passive aggressive, ow, make it stop, phoning it in…oh, you had to bring that up?  

My youngest son has Down Syndrome.  We’ve been considering applying for a service dog, and I have been the lone hold out.  I even went so far as to acquire an application. It sat in my stack of stuff to get to for nine months because I didn’t want to write the essay at the end.  

Writing is something I love, it comes easy to me, and I knew, I could nail that essay.  I also knew, the number one person who would be taking care of any canine would be me.   So the forms sat and sat and sat and sat until I read Scalia’s words discussing the application of the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict, “you leave nothing lie.”  She went on, “when you close the window, you lock it; when you put away the broom; you put it away; you don’t just launch it into the garage.”  I had papers lying there, but I wasn’t quite ready to let that push of the Holy Spirit push me over. Submitting an application would mean possibly a commitment to another living creature.  I didn’t want to give it a chance…and then I got to chapter 12, “Sins of Omission.”

Her frank discussion of being unwilling to say yes (to a big yes, possibly taking on four children) made my balking at a service dog to my son feel like a super cop out.  I ran through the reasons for, why were we seeking a dog for our son?  We would be getting a dog for his companionship –I could already see his younger sister gravitate toward her older sisters, since they could share ideas he couldn’t.  Having a service dog would also give my son a task, and he would need something he could do in the future, as more of his siblings grew away from the home, and entered into the busier outside world.  A service dog would also provide a level of safety for Paul, and I’d need that little bit of help as he got bigger.  I ran through the reasons why not, “I didn’t want to do the work.” 

Sins of Omission are usually sins of saying “no” to the opportunity for grace.  Grace always is given when we say “Yes,” and “Yes” usually means service.  All service is a sublimation. I’d been refusing to sublimate to the point of refusing even to attempt to bring about a good for my son.   

Long story short, I finished the book, went to reconciliation and wrote the essay.   

If we get a dog, it’s all Elizabeth Scalia’s fault.   

Small Success Thursday

You know Thursday's Drill, come to and celebrate your small success.

Monday, August 1, 2016

I'm Sorry Mom, You Have Been Chopped

Mom! What's for dinner?

I have cooked meals in this household since it became a household, and no one has ever been poisoned or even slightly agitated by my cooking.

Until today.

You see, my kids watch Food Network, it's one of our favorites.  Unfortunately, it has lead one of them to think it is their mission in life to never experience a non gourmet meal.

Which meant when the answer was "Hot dogs," I was given an impromptu lecture on how unhealthy such fare is for children.   Adding raw carrots and black beans did not change the critic's mind. So I also fixed a Caesar salad.  I figured, I had him.

Except I fixed it from scratch.  Meaning, the lettuce came as a head, not in a bag with all the ingredients presorted and prewashed and pre-torn.  

"You don't make Caesar salad with that sort of lettuce..." he explained.
"Yes you do. Caesar salad uses romaine.  People used to just buy heads of lettuce, wash them, tear them up and use them."
"Prove it!"

So the guy who doesn't know how to make a Caesar salad is telling the Mom who introduce him to Caesar salad to provide evidence that Caesar salad uses Romaine.  I produce a cook book.

"That's old.  No one uses a cook book anymore. It's not proof."  Producing a second, third and fourth cook book did not change his mind.

I pull up recipes on the internet.  They collaborate my understanding of Caesar salads.  I even explain that they used to make Caesar salads with raw eggs and in some restaurants, with anchovies  in an attempt to round out my knowledge of all things related to Caesar salad.

Meanwhile he'd been googling on his i-phone.  The recipe did not mention a particular lettuce, which to the expert teen's mind meant Vindication.  Thus I listened to a smug adolescent explain that I didn't understand how to really cook. "There's only one way that's the right way." he explained.

I handed him a bowl full of romaine tossed with croutons, a Caesar dressing, salt, pepper and parmesean.  He ate it all, and ate what was to be my and his sister's serving.  

I looked at him and the empty salad bowl. I was feeling smug and triumphant.  Except I'm dealing with a teenager.

He told me, "It's still wrong."

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!