Attention Rhode Islanders: What happens if you use Del’s for something BESIDES frozen lemonade? Drawing a blank? Then you should check out this new book by two local ladies, Rhode Island Recipes! My copy just arrived in the mail and I’m so excited! My friend and fellow Rhody Blogger, Jennifer Leal, has co-authored this one-of-a-kind cookbook with another local culinary guru, Lydia Walshin. The result is a refreshing mix of delicious dishes using some of the state’s culinary souvenirs. We’re talking Little Rhody products like Iggy’s Clams, Dave’s Coffee Syrup, Wicked Natural and Olneyville’s N.Y. System Spices! So creative. So healthy. And so fun! Check it out here!
They didn’t mean to do it. They were just there. A box of donuts. Sitting on top of my fridge. The white cardboard box staring back at me, practically calling my name.
“Jackie,” it whispered as I stood in the kitchen, snacking on a carrot that was about as satisfying as a dab of toothpaste.
“You know you want one.”
My stomach was churning, but I refused to walk over.
A half dozen Allie’s donuts inside the box. Mocking me. A day after the doctor told me I had gained a few pounds. They weren’t meant for me. They were just a sweet gesture from my husband while he was in North Kingstown.
They were lined up with their cute frosted, sprinkled heads. Bright pink, blue and yellow. Darling AND delicious, like decorated Easter eggs. They were waiting for me to bite into their moist, chewy, doughy selves.
Having one of these donuts is not considered snacking. It’s like an out of body experience.
Something happens to you. You realize that if you could eat them all day (without blowing up and going into cardiac arrest), there would be no need for men. I adore my husband. But this stuff is… like… buttah.
I mean, when it comes down to it, all we really need in life (aside from our loved ones) are frosted mounds of dough with holes in the middle. Sure, place me on a treadmill. Give me a few rounds of Tylenol from the sugar high. Make me run around the block while holding a box.
The satisfaction you get from biting into these unbelievably sweet, but not disgustingly sugary hole-less dough-balls, is like something I simply can’t write out loud.
But, like I told you, I went to the doctor’s and found out that I’ve gained a few pounds over the past year. Not a good thing when you’re 42. Not 22, sweet Ms. Swift. 42.
So I promised myself to cut back on certain things. No, I’m not going on a fast. Unfortunately, I eat AROUND THE CLOCK and always have. I jog and do Pilates too.
But unfortunately, I tend to eat a little too much. Which has caused me to get that roll around the middle when I try to squeeze into last year’s jeans. And shorts. And anything without an elastic waistband. And yes, I have that “crack” problem when I bend down too far in jeans.
My problem is, my whole life, I’ve exercised AND had a fast metabolism. I’ve pretty much been able to eat whatever the heck I want. Until now.
Your metabolism at 42 is like watching a tortoise chase a Tootsie Roll. It’s so slow, it’s torturous.
I once when on a protein diet. My body was in agony after six hours. I cracked and had one slice of bread. One slice. I GAINED weight that very night.
I mean, really?
Oh, what happened to the box of donuts?
It’s in the recycle bin now. The donuts? They are long gone.
What? Who? Me?
Oh, I wanted them. I craved them like Gossip Girl craves her first Gucci bag.
But guess what?
I did not eat a single donut.
I snacked on an apple.
Then hard candy.
Then 18 chocolate chips.
With a shaky hand, I cut the decorative dough-balls into squares.
Then I placed them on a platter. Opened the sliding glass door.
And gave them to all the kids playing in my backyard.
Are you a stay-at-home-mom? Do you work outside the home? Do you work from home? Part-time? Full-time? Still trying to figure it out before your toddler wakes up?
Whatever you do, you’re a rock star. And I think you can relate to this mom who wrote in to my Ask Mom OnlineRI column with a dilemma that many mothers face: Should you quit your job? Look for another one?
Please find my two cents here.
You get a headache. Then the pain, the pressure gets so intense, so gnarly, you fear that a vein might just pop out of your forehead. (Like Kimberly’s in that oh-so-memorable episode of Melrose Place back in 1995.)
So you take some Tylenol. Tell your kids you can’t play Uno, because Mommy doesn’t feel well. An hour goes by, and the pain doesn’t go away. So like a total mommy martyr, you try to go on with your day.
You do the laundry. The dishes. You take out the trash. Answer 25 emails. Plan a conference call. Approve a proof.
Then it hits you. This is no ordinary headache. You feel like a pile of donkey bombs.
Time to fake a smile and…when no one is looking, do the inevitable.
Grab your iPhone, lock yourself in the bathroom and………..
…oh yes…..Google your symptoms.
You type in, “Headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness.”
57 different illnesses pop up. You are on page 1 of 25.
“Son of a..”
Son of a… that’s it. I whisper to myself, “I totally have Lyme disease.” (Sounding a lot like that woman in St. Elmo’s Fire.)
I take off my clothes and check for a tick, a bull’s eye rash. Anything.
“Sinus headache.” Maybe that’s it. But there’s no mucus.
“Swine flu” NO.
“Flu.” But I’m not coughing. And my head doesn’t hurt there, it hurts HERE. Guuaaa.
“Appendicitis.” No pain there either. Thank God!
“Gastrointestinal virus.” All the symptoms add up, except for violent vomiting. I’m not puking, I just FEEL like puking.
Can’t be that. Or that.
Holy…no…not that either.
I pull out the thermometer.
I’m actually BELOW normal.
No one else on this beautiful earth except ME and all my female relatives has a regular temp of 97.1. It’s just not right.
I must be really, really bad. If I go to the doctor, he will probably laugh at me because I have no temp.
It must be my hormones. Or that pizza I had Friday night. But it’s MONDAY. Maybe it’s the water? Maybe I accidentally drank the plant water?
Wait, all of my symptoms show that it could it be, “Meningitis.”
I better make some calls.
But there’s no rash. Phew.
I call the doctor. He can’t get me in until later in the week.
Of course not.
I know me, and I am so going to be OK by the time the appointment comes.
Then one of those pop-up ads shows up. “Brain tumor.” And this is nothing to laugh at. But the pathetic part is I’m starting to get scared.
Everything that’s showing up in this Google search is starting to scare the Beetlejuice out of me. Plus, I’m actually starting to think I feel ALL of the symptoms listed, even though I’m lying down. And I know for a fact that I’m not bleeding internally. Or vomiting. Or having a stroke.
So I take some Advil. I go to bed early.
And realize it was just a virus.
I promise myself to NEVER….EVER.. Google my symptoms again.
But I know I’ll do it. I totally will.
I know you know what I’m talking about.
Please don’t forget to give yourself a break this Mother’s Day. Whether you’re rockin’ a summer dress and heading out to brunch or staying in yoga pants as your kids serve you breakfast in bed, I hope you enjoy the day.
But, could you do me a favor? Could you please try not to do every little thing for everyone else, just this one day?
Because you deserve it. And you can go back to doing it all the next day. And the next. And the next.
Do what you want and really try to enjoy the day.
Find out what mom REALLY wants this Mother’s Day in my latest AskMom OnlineRI.com column here.
This one’s for you, girls! XO
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! – Jackie
I’m still trying to come down from the natural high of being a part of the Listen to Your Mother Providence show. I feel like a second-grader waving goodbye as the last guest leaves my birthday party. There’s nothing left but deflated balloons, dented ribbons and a half-devoured birthday cake.
And a heart that burns.
Not from too much cake, but for the party to last a little longer.
Not for the presents, but for the present, to last…just a little bit longer.
I’m still reeling from the entire experience. Thirteen amazing women. All with a story to share. Original stories shared in celebration of motherhood. Of its struggles. Its highs, its lows, and everything in between. My mom and dad were so sweet, they flew in for the show! An early Mother’s Day gift!
And I got to see a ton of familiar faces, from my family to Rhody Blogger friends (Tera Norberg, Carina Aggor, Melissa Pezza, Jen Senecal, Chelley Martinka, Jodi Williston to name a few). I’m so grateful.
Today, I feel so sad to say goodbye to my show sistahs.
Together, we giggled. We cried. We laughed until we almost peed. From auditions to rehearsals, we shared our insecurities. Our worries. Funny vents. Silly side stories. Then show day, the butterflies. Natural remedies. The fears. The hairspray. And oh so much more. We gave motherhood a microphone.
We are friends 4-eva. We are LTYM sisters.
We got to be a part of something that was simply magical.
You know the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”?
When I think about the Listen to Your Mother show, this old (and not quite accurate saying) couldn’t be more true. (And yes, Kirsten, this made me think of you and your piece!)
The whole experience, from audition to final show, was so much greater than the sum of the parts. And each cast member, although amazingly talented on their own, shined a little brighter when we performed as a group. One presenter flowed to the next, sharing something different. Something special. A part of themselves. Even people from the audience could tell you that there was something wonderful…a roller-coaster of emotions (in a good way)…going on in that auditorium.
I just have to say a special thank you to all my show sisters, for their courage and tenacity. Their wisdom and words.
Thank you, (in no particular order) Kelly Baraf, Jennifer Ciplet, Laura Rossi, Jessica Severson, Carla Molina, Alicia Kamm, Kirsten DiChiappari, Lauren Jordan, Stephanie Lazenby, Brianne DeRosa, Lexi Magnusson, Phyllis Kim Myung, and the poetic queen, Marian Kent.
Thank you, co-producers and co-directors, Laura Rossi and Carla Molina, for creating an incredible ensemble and experience, and for performing such memorable pieces too. And for seeing the real me, quirks, fast-talking, self-deprecating, whisper-yells and all. Thank you for giving me a chance to say my piece (and my peace) on stage. I love you all!