A Drunken Proposition

Have you heard the latest?

There’s a list of college presidents who want the drinking age to be lowered to 18. It’s their view that the whole reason why young people are abusing alcohol is because it is illegal, and therefore the “forbidden fruit” theory applies: they just want what they can’t have. They believe that lowering the drinking age will help remedy this situation.

I just gotta ask. Are they drunk?

Plenty of things are desirable because one can’t have them, but this isn’t enough of a reason to invite the whole heap of trouble that legalizing alcohol for teenagers is likely to bring. Of course, I wasn’t around in the days of Prohibition, but there’s no way that the problems with enforcing the no-alcohol law were greater than the problems caused by people abusing the drug in the decades after the law was repealed. DUI deaths and injuries, binge drinking, domestic violence. Serious subjects were talkin’ about here.

So serious that this idea is almost laughable.

I think the poor college folks just don’t want to deal with the trouble that illegal drinking brings. Sounds as though they’d rather just let it all be legal than get tough on sororities and fraternities and kick kids out of universities for engaging in excessive party behavior.

Let’s see, where else can we apply this type of reasoning? Lots of people speed. Should we keep raising the speed limit to keep up with them? Kids skip school because it’s against the law to do so. Just let ‘em be. Why have truancy laws? Will making stealing something legal keep people from taking things that don’t belong to them? I doubt it.

The whole idea is enough to drive a girl to drink.

A Small List of Things That Would Make (My) Life (just a little bit) Easier

1. A chain of kid-friendly coffeehouses (complete with indoor play area and see through wall).

2. All drivers to use their turn signals.

3. Restaurants that open at 10:30 for lunch.

4. Businesses to open at 8:00 so errands can all get done by late morning.

5. Fair and balanced news reporting. No, really.

6. Books and magazines with the page number printed on every page.

7. Curb recycling and/or plenty of places to drop off recyclable materials

8. Easy-to-read street signs at every intersection, off-ramp, and fork in the road.

9. An end to all junk mail. And while we’re at it, no more bills

A Bargain for Baby

Out and about on my own one day, I spotted a multi-family garage sale sign advertising lots of items for kids. I zoomed on over and walked up to two strollers sitting side by side on the front lawn. The scenario went a little like this:

*  I immediately placed one hand on each stroller and began looking them over.

* In an instant, the two Dad-owners of the strollers walked over to me, each trying to market their product like used-car salesmen (although totally honest and without too much pressure).

* There was some laughing and joking and I asked a few questions, pretending like I was a savvy bargain hunter who knew exactly what she was doing.

* I turn the strollers over and look at the undersides as if I’m looking under the hood of a car. This kept the two Dads alert and at my beck and call.

* I asked them each to demonstrate how the strollers folded and unfolded. Both go get their wives.

* I tested out the features of each stroller to make sure all the parts are in good working condition.

* At this point I realized that the six months of babyhood we had survived without a stroller is about to come to and end.

All this in time for a little family getaway out of town at the end of the month-where we promptly spent any money saved that day, and then some.


A stroller purchased at a garage sale:



The satisfaction of finding a $100 dollar stroller in perfectly good condition and at such a great price–complete with shock absorbers, canopy, one-handed steering option, cup holder, removable padding, lay-down bed, storage baskets, and tray accessories:



Hope you’ve enjoyed this post written as part of the Parent Bloggers Network and sponsored by couponers.com.



A Kitchen Cook’s Alternative Rules

I’m no world-class cook, but I can find my way around a kitchen just fine. I enjoy preparing fresh food and I’m not afraid to alter recipes (i.e not measure anything) in order to make a dish suit my tastes. I’m not afraid to sample and taste as I go along.

Recently, I’ve been making a few summer treats for me and mine: fried green tomatoes, blackberry pie, and an ongoing supply of summer salsa.

I’ve also switched recipes from my old tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe to a new one. This one is a little different, a little better, but still a classic and still too good to eat just one. As I was enjoying the finer points of eating a little raw dough, I chuckled at a few of the things I’ve heard/learned/developed on my own over the years with regards to making food. Having worked in the restaurant/food service business in a few different capacities, I know many of the rules of health and hygiene. Let me assure you, I followed them all when cooking for the public.

But now I cook in my own kitchen, and I have a few alternative rules of my own.

1. Wash hands thoroughly before and in between all food preparation. When tasting a recipe-which you should do often-go ahead and dip that finger into the raw cookie dough. After all, we’re all family and any germs will bake out in the oven.

2. Follow recipe measurements precisely. First of all, there’s no such thing as too much sugar in cookies. Second of all, feel free to add or take away ingredients not integral to the baking process. For example, don’t leave out baking soda. Do feel free to add more chocolate.

3. For a healthier option, substitute tofu for butter. Never, ever substitute for butter. If you’re looking for a healthier option, you shouldn’t be making cookies in the first place.

4. Measure spice ingredients exactly; the right combination is key for optimum taste. If optimum taste is what you seek, don’t even think about skimping on cumin or cilantro in any Mexican dish. It’s what makes the party.

5. When preparing a dish, double the recipe and make two. Keep one for yourself and give one to a neighbor. Better yet, triple the recipe and keep one batch for yourself hidden in the back of the freezer.

6. It’s a good idea to clean up as you go along. Yes, it is a good idea isn’t it?  But really, you did the cooking, so someone else should do the cleaning.