World Book Day…

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Apparently, yesterday was World Book Day. I thought that was last month. Books are a central part of my day, every day. I’m currently reading four – two are religious books, one is a daily through Easter and the second is a weekly for the entire liturgical year.
The other two are:
Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy by Jamie Raskin
Lessons from the Edge: A Memoir by Marie Yovanavitch

My next book up is coming out on May 16 and is written by a woman I know through my writing group: Empty Shoes by the Door: Living After My Son’s Suicide, A Memoir by Judi Merriam.

My Top 5 Books in the last six months are (and yes, I’m well aware that there are more than five books on this list.):

The entire Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters
Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could by Adam B. Schiff
After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made by Ben Rhodes
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
State of Terror: A Novel by Hillary Rodham Clinton & Louise Penny
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
Mankiller: A Chief and Her People by Wilma Mankiller and Michael Wallis

Happy Reading on World Book Day and Every Day!

Holiday Food

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Food makes the world go round. When we travel, the first thing we do when we get off the airplane or park the car is to find somewhere to eat. I know we’re always looking for that perfect, quintessential local food that we can instagram and taste, and talk about when we get home. Maybe that’s just me.

The holidays are also a time of food; not always trying new things, but having the old things – the things of our childhoods, of our in-laws, of that Pinterest thread that we’ve been promising ourselves we would eventually try.

Here are a few of mine:

1. Candy canes for Christmas and Gelt (chocolate gold-wrappered coins) for Chanukah.

2. Latkes. Confessional time: I make latkes more during Passover than I do during Chanukah. Passover has an overabundance of potatoes, and by  mid-week, it gets a little tiring, although celebrating our Exodus from slavery is never old.

3. French Toast. I happen to make the best French toast. Plain, unadulderated, egg, milk, white bread with butter and Aunt Jemima syrup. Mmm. On occasion I will make a French toast casserole that needs to refrigerate overnight, and then bake in the morning, and that is also amazing, but I think that has less to do with me than with easy French toast on a weekday morning!

4. Green bean casserole. Yes, the Kraft one. Or is the recipe from DelMonte? I think the recipe calls for milk, but my mother never used milk to keep it somewhat kosher-like. Again, simple: 2 cans of French-style green beans, drained, mixed with one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, mixed with half a container of French’s fried onions and baked for 30-35 minutes on 350. Sprinkle the fried onions on top, and bake for another 5 minutes or so. Voila!

5. Orange Marmalade. I’m not sure why I think of orange marmalade at Christmas time. Possibly because my mother-in-law is British/Irish and that’s a very British food to have during Christmas (or any tea time) with scones or English muffins or biscuits.
What are your holiday favorites that you really miss or can’t live without?

My Top 5 Moments of The Walking Dead

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I thought I would share my top 5s over the course of the next few weeks. Choosing a top five of anything can be very subjective, Whatever five I pick, I’m leaving out ten more things that I really loved, not o mention that anyone reading this will have their own five moments that they think are the top.

This Sunday marks the AMC Marathon of Season 6 of The Walking Dead which leads us into the Season 7 Preview Show with Chris Hardwick and whoever else he has planned to tease us with information and non-information. I had already noticed that in the season 7 trailer, we don’t see hide nor hair or any characters that were in Negan’s lineup to meet Lucille.

There are so many more moments that I could have included, but these five popped into my head first. It was funny that three of the five were from season 5. I know many people felt hat season 5 was their best season so I guess I kind of feel that way, although each season has a special place in my heart.

And let’s be honest, I could probably write a Top 5 Moments for each character!

As they continue on with season 7 and beyond, we’ll see how they continue to fare.

[Note: Each moment is labeled with the Season. Episode #. Episode Title. There are spoilers included for other episodes and for all six seasons.
SPOILERS]

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Tips to Stay Hydrated and Safe

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1. Drink lots of water. Not vitamin water, not flavored water, not tea, not coffee, not soda, no electrolyte replenishments (except when you’re doing serious physical activity).

Nothing beats plain ice cold water to refresh and rehydrate. If you’re just rehydrating, the temperature doesn’t matter, but ice cold water is the best.

2. It’s so important, I’ll say it again: Unless you’re doing strenuous, physical activity and you’re losing minerals and nutrients, H2O for you. Plain, unadulterated water. Save the mineral replacement until you’re losing minerals.

3. Sunscreen. Get the highest spf you find. For my kids I use 50 and above. I try to look for 70spf. Neutragena is a good product that we’ve used for years. Coppertone Sport is also highly recommended. The spray on kinds are convenient and work. Make sure you spray your kids’ hands so they can get the sunscreen on their faces.

Don’t forget eyelids, tips and backs of ears, noses, and lips.

4. Crack the windows of your car. Even with leaving them open a little, do not leave anything in your car. No kids. No pets. No electronic equipment. If you wouldn’t leave your cell phone or laptop, why are you leaving your kids in there?

5. Swim in pairs. We’ve been told since the 70s to use the buddy system. Why? Because it works. Do not go into any body of water, including backyard pools without letting someone know that you are in the water.

It is everyone’s responsibility to keep an eye on toddlers and preschoolers in and around pools. I don’t care if your friend is always an irresponsible idiot. If you see a child near water, shadow them or make sure the parent knows they’re near the water. Babies and children that young can drown in very small amounts of water.

Keep empty planters and buckets outside upside down so they don’t accumulate water that small ones can tumblr into (unless of course, you collect rain water. If that’s the case, make sure that the water areas are safe from children.)

Summertime should be relaxing and fun. Taking care and following some safety tips will ensure that it stays that way.