Thursday, May 21, 2009


I am not a golfer—never have been, don’t expect that I ever will be. But for some reason as I was thinking of a way to compose this post, the interjection, “Fore!” jumped into my head as a summary of the holding pattern I find our lives in at the moment.

Golfers will yell “Fore!” because it sounds a lot nicer than, “Hey you! I’m sending a hard round object in your direction so you might want to pay attention in case your head manages to intercept its path,” or some similar sentiment. I guess they could also yell, “Yo!” or “Ho!” or any other attention getting phrase (Except “Fire!” That one would probably only cause confusion on a golf course.).

But I digress.

Right now I feel like the Universe has just yelled, “Fore!” and I’m sitting here waiting to see whether I’m going to get beaned in the noggin or the impending strike will miss me entirely. What the hell am I talking about? Well, tomorrow morning we go for Mr. Moo’s annual cardiology appointment, which is normally not more than a blip on our radar. We go in, the nurse does a little EKG action and praises Mr. Moo for not fidgeting at all, and then the doctor comes in, takes a listen (usually has a few med students take a listen, too) and then we’re on our way. Easy breezy.

For those feeling like you are coming in at mid-story with no idea what the heck I am talking about, you’re not confused. Really. I just never posted about Mr. Moo having a ventral septal defect (VSD) because it was so small and so innocuous that it was hardly worth mentioning. In fact, I thought about it so little that I would forget to tell doctors that had never seen him before and only remember when they got an alarmed look on their face while doing an exam (physics lesson—liquid passing through a small hole causes a LOT of turbulence, so you can both feel the vibrations if you touch his chest as well as hear a loud WHOOSH WHOOSH if you put your ear to his heart—no fancy medical listening devices needed).

Anyway, last year at our easy breezy appointment, the extra test du jour was a chest x-ray (the previous year it had been an hour-long echocardiogram—whee!). No one expected to see anything of note, but as it turns out, Mr. Moo’s heart had become larger. When the doctor told us, I almost choked because only a few weeks earlier, our friends had lost their child unexpectedly, and one of the things found at autopsy was an enlarged heart. I think the doctor saw my panicked look because he calmly told us that what he would like to do is wait until this year’s appointment to make a decision on how to proceed. In explaining further, he said that if his heart gets any larger (and for the life of me I can’t remember if it was also that if it didn’t get smaller, sang the blues, or a number of other idiosyncrasies) they would have to repair the hole. Small hole. Should be simple. But the location combined with the design of the heart means that repair involves open heart surgery and heart-bypass machines. None of which you want to use in reference to your just-turned-four-years-old little boy.

I expect that we will have an answer before we leave the appointment tomorrow, so I’ll know in less than 24-hours whether the Universe has clocked me a good one. But in the meantime, we just sit in our little corner and wait. And I may obsess a bit, so if I seem distracted, you’ll know why.

Friday, May 08, 2009

My new BFF!

This woman, this Alice...she gets me. She really gets me. From her pearls of wisdom circa Monday:

"It's so humiliating, being such an emotional slave to one's hormonal cycles. I woke up this morning and I was all, wait, why is the world a terrible place all of a sudden? Then I looked at the calendar and realized what was up. This is an improvement on my usual routine, which is to cry and rage and have no idea why until I get my period. I am almost 40, people, you would think I would have this figured out by now. And yet, every month, I'm pissy and weepy and my husband has to point out to me what's going on and then I have to kill him."

First, the scary moment where I grab the tinfoil and wonder how she got into my head and stole my thoughts. Then, the realization that she is just that good. Then the origins of my genious plan where she becomes my BFF. For real! It will be Teh Awesome.

Hi Alice! {waving frantically} I have choooooocolate for yoooooou...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Eating in Appalachia with Andrew Zimmern

Do any of you watch Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern? I found his show on the Travel Channel shortly after we signed up for cable TV, and I have been a fan ever since. Even my kids have gotten into the action. Mr. Moo will ask if we can watch the “man that eats the funny things.” I spend most of the show playing a game of “Would You Eat That?” with the others in the room. I am usually pretty open about trying new foods, but I admit fully that I draw the line at insects. It’s a texture thing. I know I couldn’t get past the legs and exoskeleton. {{{shiver}}}

Most everything else, the obscure seafood, animal testicles, aged beyond belief items, and cultural oddities…sure, I’d probably give them a try.

What I also love about the show, besides the culinary insights, is the fact that Andrew embraces the culture of the place he is visiting. While I have seen him hesitate to eat something and give his host a funny look as if to say, “Do you really eat this around here, or are you getting a laugh on my behalf?”, he never starts the interaction with an Anglo-centric arrogance that is found far too often in our country. There is no judgment of people who eat pieces of the animal we normally discard or even items that would we might not normally consider eating. There is simply an appreciation of the culture, the cuisine, and the experience of taking it all in first-hand. I love that I can experience that with Andrew and share it with my kids (who really do find the show fascinating).

So, when an announcement came across his Facebook fan page asking for bloggers to promote upcoming shows, I responded immediately. Here is what you’ll find on tap for tonight:

Appalachia Episode

This week's episode takes place right here in the US in the Appalachian mountains. The mountain range runs north to south touching more than a dozen states, and many of the people in the area still maintain the traditions and foods that were a part of life for their ancestors.

First, Andrew goes squirrel hunting in Cass, West Virginia. You have probably heard of chicken fried steak, but have you ever tried chicken fried squirrel? He also samples good, old-fashioned Swiss cooking in Helvetia. Next, Andrew heads to North Carolina to attend the Livermush Festival. Livermush, made out of ground-up pig parts, was invented here. Other items on the menu this week: bear meat, wasp larvae, and mushroom coffee.

Be sure to tune-in tonight at 10 E/P. If you’d like, you can watch a promo video of the episode. You can also get a detailed list of the places he visits and food he eats on the Appalachian Travel Guide.

See if you can get your house together for a lively game of “Would You Eat That?” I think you might be surprised at what you find out about each other.