The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Peeing on the Buddha

We have this stone buddha in our yard. We bought him when we got our first house in Providence. That house was built in the early-1900s by some rich old Italian who owned a sausage shop. In the back yard, surrounded by roses bushes was an empty pedestal. The old Italian likely had a whitewashed statue […]

A Winter of Listening

Right now the thermometer says the outside temperature is 50 degrees and rising. It is warm, too warm for January, and almost unnatural for Winter. Last week a storm threatened us here in New England with temps in the teens and 4-8 inches of snow. The computer models were off a little, by Sunday we ended up with […]

A Good Room

This room is a good room. We call it the family room, not because it is the room that holds the family most often but because that’s what the builder’s plans called it. This room is not the living room. The living room is at the front of the house, across from the dining room […]

Cord Wood

He stumbled in from the wood pile dropping logs loudly, and fed the fire before insinuating himself under his wife’s blanket. Wood warms you three times – he had read so – when you split it, when you stack it and when you burn it. “Good god,” his daughter complained, “It’s too hot in here!” The […]

Hunting Elusive and Exclusive Holiday Specials

Part of our Christmas holiday traditions always includes watching several movies and holiday specials: Christmas Vacation, Four Christmases, Fred Claus, Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph and of course Home Alone. For a variety of reasons we only own Christmas Vacation and Charlie Brown, and we usually DVR Elf or some of the others. Problem […]

No Shop November… Um, what?

Around the beginning of November my wife offered us a proposal: Let’s try to eat all the food in our house. Not all at once, mind you, but over the month. See, we are notorious for buying on sale, stocking, forgetting and then tossing food in the garbage. Especially leftovers, and the same pattern ensues each and […]

An Epic Fail??

November 30 was the final day of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) and I have failed. For anyone who doesn’t know, NaNoWriMo has been around since 1999 and the challenge involves completing a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days, an average of around 1700 words a day. I’m about 25k short of the […]

Chocolate Chip Kahlua Cream Cake-Two Ways, Easy and Even Easier

This recipe is so easy, and so yummy! It starts with a boxed cake mix, and only needs one bowl what’s easier than that? I originally got this recipe from a neighbor and it has become a standard go to in our house. For Thanksgiving I was making two, so I decided to try to […]

Tis the Season

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone. Evidence of the holiday lingers throughout the kitchen: the container that held the last pumpkin muffin with cinnamon cream cheese frosting laden with crumbs, a bag of brown sugar leaning against its half-brother powdered sugar, two pieces of apple strudel that somehow survived the onslaught, and several counters that […]

A Small Good Thing in Times Like These

Recently I began baking bread and I can’t really explain why. I have always wanted to bake bread and it seemed something very primal, simple and pure. So I started baking bread, focaccia to be precise. After that, I decided I could tackle making loaves of white bread for toasting and sandwiches. How hard could […]

Our World is a Poem

Uncertainty is something we’re driven to live with. This is nothing new. When faced with what seems like monumental and epic uncertainty, we flounder under the unknown weight of some future storm threatening our children, our marriages, our careers or our “lives”. Sometimes we forget that a range of responses are available to us. Uncertainty breeds emotion […]

From our Foreign Correspondent

One of the great things about blogging is the global reach. Silly Mummy, a fellow blogger from Great Britain, left the comment below on a recent post. Sometimes the “outsider” can see a little deeper into a situation thanks to their sensitivity, insight and distance. This American Presidential election season has been marred by all […]

Watch This

When we started this blog a couple years ago, the furthest thing from our minds was making money or advertising products. Recently a company named JORD (pronounce Y-ord) contacted us by email and I pretty much overlooked the message as another form of spam. Several weeks ago my wife asked, “Did you see that email from […]

Golden Repairs

Habit demands discarding the broken vase, or bowl or coffee mug; toss its ceramic fragments deep into the plastic trash bags that line the kitchens and the workshops of our lives. Rare occasions exist, the time and place are just so, when we stand in stillness holding the crushed pieces of fragile ceramic glass in raw and bloody palms […]

Everybody Knows, or at least they should…

Bottom line: we all should know by now. For weeks I’ve listened to both sides, from Bill Maher to Rush Limbaugh, and the rhetoric and vitriolic tones reveal our further descent into madness. For both sides, this election cycle has become one of rationalizing rather than reasoning — although one could argue that Clinton’s side is […]

Trump unshackled?

All this Trump stuff makes my head hurt. I am not alone in thinking this. Last summer a group of clinicians calling themselves  Citizen Therapists  crafted a manifesto declaring how damaging Trump, and his ideology of “Trumpism” is for our collective mental health. Professionals are worried. No wonder. By now we’ve all seen or heard […]

Me and Emily at the Stardust, 1958

He insisted they move his room so the moonrise and the evening sky would be more visible, pointing out that Johnson across the hall made it easier for them to comply with his request since Johnson died last week and the room was empty. The staff could not come up with a reason to say no, so they carted his […]

Roger’s A-1 Automotive

Mercifully my car was not on Roger’s lift. He swore loudly tossing an angry wrench at his pristine metal toolbox. He paused, reconsidering this action then lifted and returned the 1 1/8 to its rightful place. “Damn it all to hell,” he raged, “Look at this!” He waved a finger covered with oily murk in my direction. I […]

Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

It is officially Fall and while I don’t support the Pumpkin Spice craze, I can definitely get behind a Spiced Pumpkin bread! Especially when it includes chocolate chips! I got this recipe from my friend Amy (the creator of this yummy ice cream treat) and added my own twist to it. The recipe makes two […]

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