It must be Monday

How was your weekend? Our was pretty good (aside from the recital bloodbath on Saturday, of course). Almost relaxing, even, considering all of the running around we did and errands we ran and such. Plus we FINALLY figured out Halloween costumes, after months of vacillation, so that was a relief. (I lovingly helped things along: “Anyone who hasn’t made a costume decision by the end of the day will be on their own completely. Who wants more pancakes?”)

Otto and I enjoyed a game of Scrabble last night and went to bed at a decent hour, rather than what has become our Sunday night routine of staying up too late to watch Mad Men and then running around with last-minute Sunday night stuff and not getting to bed before midnight.

The stage was set for a perfectly pleasant Monday. Or so I thought, because I am a dumbass with bad karma.

5:30 dawned earlier than usual, today. I’m sure of it. In fact, I was so sure of it, I slept another twenty minutes in protest. Ahem. So I was… ummm… moving a little quickly once I got up.

I took the dog out, checked my email, folded laundry, and went and woke the kids up. Then I came back downstairs to throw food in the crock pot.

My crock pot and I are having a torrid love affair, and I hope it never ends. I love to cook, but I am also extremely lazy busy, and so the crock pot saves me from myself on a regular basis. I rarely have time to cook an intricate meal at dinner time, but I almost always have some time in the morning to throw food in it. Today was going to be EXTRA MARVELOUS because dinner tonight is going to be turkey breast. And making a turkey breast in the crock pot is stupidly simple.

1) Place turkey breast in crock.
2) Dust with salt and pepper and rosemary.
3) Smear with an equal mixture of cranberry sauce and orange marmalade.
4) Cook all day.

That’s IT. Easy. Foolproof.

But I haven’t made it in a really long time, and I think the last time I did it I got a boneless/skinless breast. (Um, Foodie and other vegetarian/vegans? Or those who are squeamish? Skip the rest of this paragraph.) At some point I picked up a HUGE turkey breast because it was on sale, and of course it had rib bones, which was fine, I guess, but it also had skin. Like, miles of skin. Over a layer of fat. And as I’d just taken this bad boy from the freezer the night before and it was only partially defrosted, I soon found myself enjoying my morning while buried up to my elbows in half-frozen turkey slime, trying to peel off the skin and fat before I plunked this thing into my crock pot. You know, for that SUPER EASY meal I was making.

It was while I had a pile of turkey skin in one hand and the other hand was trapped underneath a viscous layer of fat on the breast itself that Monkey trotted into the kitchen and said, “You have those photos for me for school, right?”

Now, you know I love that boy dearly, but it’s not exactly unusual for him to say things that make no sense to me. Monkey likes to have conversations with himself and bring in other people halfway through, assuming they’ll be able to read his mind. So I wasn’t alarmed, I just said, “What photos? I don’t know what you’re talking about, honey.”

Well, it turned out that their upcoming autobiography project needed pictures. Today. And I was about halfway through my patented “You cannot tell me these things at the last minute, you have to plan ahead!” speech when he pointed out that actually, the teacher had handed me an informational sheet about it last week.

I went to my purse. And pulled out the sheet. The sheet handed directly to me. The sheet I’d put in my purse and forgotten to pull out. The sheet that said pictures were due today. At least four of them, of significant life events. Labeled and numbered, and by the way, please work with your child to fill out this information sheet to go with them.

And then my head exploded.

I went through photos on archive discs down here in my office, while upstairs in his office Otto combed through recent photos. The turkey sat neglected and half-skinless in the sink as Monkey pondered the relative merits of various pictures. About ten minutes after we would normally leave for school, he had all his photos, a completed information sheet, a profuse apology from me for screwing up, and possibly just a little bit of salmonella. (Hey, I was in a hurry.) But we made it happen.

[Newly revised definition of hell: Hell is when your stepfather is a photographer and you’re tasked with bringing “just four” pictures to school of significant life events.]

Due to the flurry of picture-choosing activity and such, I’m pretty sure Otto didn’t have any breakfast, and I never had a chance to pack him a lunch. Monkey got a pre-made box lunch, which he was thrilled about, but which makes me feel like an inadequate mother. But NO MATTER! I would do better with the OTHER CHILD!

Well, the other child came grumping down the stairs late, as usual. I packed her a FABULOUS lunch (see Mir compensate. Compensate, Mir, compensate!) including dessert, and she perked right up. Then it came time for her to beg me to fix her hair, so we went into my bathroom to do that.

I was about halfway through when she decided something was wrong with one of her contacts. A quick check revealed that it had a folded-over bit and would need to be removed and reinserted. I sent her back upstairs to do that.

While she was up there, I went back to the kitchen to tend to my turkey breast, and marveled at how we have three clocks all in the same area (microwave, oven, and toaster oven) with vastly different times displayed. We talk a lot about syncing them, but it never seems to happen. Then I realized it was late. Like, the bus will be here any second sort of late.

“CHICKADEE!” I bellowed up the stairs. “Time to go! HURRY UP!”

She came flying down. “Can you just put my hair in a ponytail real quick?” she begged. I agreed, and we ran a brush through it and pulled it back.

“You’re good. Go!” She ran towards the door.

“MY FLUTE!” she ran back upstairs. I opened the door just as the bus pulled up.


A herd of elephants went by overheard, then tumbled down the stairs, and I handed her her lunch and tossed her backpack onto her back and told her to HURRYUPHAVEAGOODDAYILOVEYOU.

And then all was quiet.

I wrestled the turkey into submission. At least, I wrestled it into the crock pot.

And then Licorice and I went back to bed.


  1. StephLove

    I am always amazed at how quickly you write, Mir. All that and this was posted by 11:00.

  2. StephLove

    p.s. It’s like reading an epistolary novel and wondering, with all that going on, how did the character write the letter?

  3. Shauna

    “And then Licorice and I went back to bed.” Best part, best part! I just switched over to the flannel sheets (yeah, CLASSY) and getting into bed is HEAVEN & getting out of bed is HELL. If hell is the kind of place where you roll over & fall back asleep- so, kind of a double edged hell :)

    Enjoy the rest of your day!

  4. Em

    Thank you for that glimpse into my future (I feel confident saying so because this sounds like my life many days except the 5:30 thing. Yuck.). In exchange, I shall offer you another crock pot recipe for the lazy, er, busy among us. Chicken breast or tenders, 1/4 cup OJ, 1 cup BBQ sauce (turns out though that a whole bottle of BBQ sauceis 2 cups and doubling the recipe covers the chicken better anyway, but that is the ratio). Cook on LOW all day, serve over brown rice. Truly, I usually have those ingredients on hand anyway.

    I hope you afternoon is a little less “Monday”.

  5. Megan

    Ah. See, my Monday which is being WAAAAAAY too Mondayish (and it’s only 9:30 here) at least had NO TURKEY FAT. None. Not at all. Disgruntled co-worker over minor incident that really was kinda meaningless but over which co-worker has been stewing and huffing for FOUR DAYS, yes, but turkey fat? Not one slimy bit. Schadenfreude. It’s such a good thing.

  6. Rachel

    Your “newly revised definition of hell” made me laugh (out loud… in my cubicle… I’m sure all my co-workers are wondering what could be soooo funny on a Monday morning!)

    Well, at least the rest of the day will be better, right?

  7. dad

    Great job of turning a potential calamity into a success story and saving the western world. It all must have happened just like that because no one could make this stuff up.

    I’m sure Licorice loved being able to snuggle with someone who had been immersed up to their elbows in turkey juice. You, undoubtedly, were delicious!

  8. Jean

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! You make me laugh so hard. That photo thing? The bane of my existence while my kids are in elementary school. For years we weren’t digital and hadn’t even developed our pix. Still haven’t, truth be told. Then for a few more years, after we went digital, no photo printer. And usually not enough color ink for a paper print either. My lovely neighbor is used to me calling her and asking for a quick print before the kids leave for school. I definitely win loser mom status in this category. You, however, came through with flying colors. Congrats. Hope your turkey is yummy.

  9. My Kids Mom

    My boys got in a physical fight over who got to snuggle with me on the right side of my bed and who would be on the left side of my bed. They were still fighting long after I’d gotten the hell out of Dodge. I cannot for my life figure out what makes one side better than the other, EXCEPT… The Brother is on The Better Side.

  10. MomCat

    Arrrgh! One of *those* days! I hate those. (I save the premade lunches for emergencies, too, so they seem like a treat. Go Picnic!)

  11. Heather

    I’m seriously considering going back to bed myself :P

  12. Half Assed Kitchen

    I recently had such a photo catastrophe which included me racing to Walgreen’s to pick up our pics, trying to beat the school bell. I wish they’d included photo printer on the school supplies list so I’d know what I was getting into.

  13. Katie in MA

    There, there, poor thing. I’m sure your day will be better the second time you start it.

  14. Heidi

    Ack! Please tell me you recorded Mad Men. That was absolutely the best hour I’ve spent in front of a television in a long, long time. Okay, now I’ll go read your post…

  15. Sara

    Some days are like that–even in Australia. (Or so Judith Viorst leads me to believe.) I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been to Australia. But given the combination of turkey, rosemary, cranberry sauce, and orange marmalade your day has simply *got* to get better!

  16. el-e-e

    I’m still thinking, “Don’t forget to wash hands, Mir! Wash hands!”

  17. Frank

    You know.. I have to say that I am constantly amazed by your writing skills. Cuz…. SNAFU’s like that happen to me all the time, but my life is considerably more boring, less colorful, and definitely less dramatic. It is this ability to turn the ‘usual’ into the entertaining bit you do on a regular basis that keeps US a bit more even keeled… I bow to your awesomeness. Or maybe that is me doubled over laughing… not sure right now. :)
    Though, in the interest of full disclosure, I usually bow to your dad’s comments, too… must be good genes.

  18. susie

    oh my, i am not sure i am ready to be a grown up. i’m not sure i have the appropriate amount of moxie to get through a morning like that and come out the other end smiling. or at least, not curled in the fetal position in the kitchen next to a half skinned turkey.

  19. mamabird

    I have recently decided that in order to prepare our dinner in time to eat with my daughter (since she won’t eat unless we are) that I will be using the crock pot MUCH more often. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll skip the ribs and fat step, though.

  20. Nicki

    Shoot! I’d have needed a nap, too. Of course, there’s no rest for the wicked, which makes me think I must have done something REALLY bad that I somehow managed to overlooked, since right now, I just feel cursed.

    Thanks for the recipe. Have any for kids who are suffering with pharyngitis until tonsillectomy on Love Thursday? (The nurse didn’t actually call it Love Thursday when she scheduled the surgery, by the way, but I’ll school her on it.)

    Hope your day improves, Mir!

  21. Ann

    I had this sinking feeling that Licorice was going to be involved in this story somehow. And it wasn’t just going back to bed. So, consider yourself LUCKY along with tearing thru the rest of the morning

  22. Tam

    Wait. You actually are organised enough to PLAN dinner in the morning, and then get it COOKING ALL DAY? *hangs head in shame*

  23. styleygeek

    “aside from the recital bloodbath on Saturday, of course”

    I totally read that as “aside from the rectal bloodbath”, and scurried frantically down the page to find out who was in the ER. (I figured it would be Licorice.)

  24. Cele

    To quote a popular song of late…

    “You’re gonna miss this …. someday.”

  25. Andrea

    I appreciate that I’m not the only one whose clocks all say different times! My son chooses to believe only our DVR time. Thank you, Verizon! :)

  26. mom, again, again

    oh, I hated those autobiography projects when my girls were little. This was still in the days of “buy one set of prints, get another free” but I tell you, between myself, their dad,the grandparents and great-grandparents, for any given picture taking session, I ended up with damn few pics.

    One of my girls, the one who keeps school projects, has scanned in a montage she had to make one year; and a few random shots. We have some pics with both girls, and some half pics of both girls, where one of them cut herself out for the project of the year.

    At daughter #1’s wedding, I found their dad’s collection got lost or damaged during a move. Both our moms (and grandma’s) tended to put photos on the fridge until they faded or curled; but I guess I’ll check with them anyway to see what can still be salvaged. I tell you, as it stands now, I have damn few pics of my beautiful little girls. Mostly the shots where somebody looks weird.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest