♦ Fun After Thirty!

Dear Shaina,

I don’t know where you got the idea that all the fun is really over after thirty! Have your father and I done such a poor job of having fun? All the late night parties at our house, all the dancing at everyone’s parties, all the music festivals, the oh-so-fun holiday celebrations, the snow-women on the deck, the trips to Disney World (ok, that wasn’t so much fun, but we thought it would be), all the happy hours at the beach…? What about our recent adventure to New Orleans for our anniversary? We ate in award winning restaurants, heard amazing live music, spent time with old friends and mingled with a myriad of fun characters that seem to rise from the earth on every street corner.

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We have clearly failed you. Ok, so your idea of fun is not exactly the same as ours. What you thought was fun at age five isn’t the same as your idea of fun today, either. If you have the capacity to have fun, it only gets better, really!

In between the 3 martini lunch and the late nite live music.

In between the 3 martini lunch and the late nite live music.

As you bemoan the rapid onslaught of your imagined bleak fun-less future, I am going through more boxes of books and papers containing the remnants of all of our earlier years. In addition to all your ratty stuffed animals, I discovered a box of dolls complete with two anatomically correct baby dolls, still in their diapers. It’s hard to let go of stuff. They remind us of the big and small moments, intertwined with lots of fun memories that stitch together the fabric of our lives.

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I found one of my own composition books from grade school. I wrote an entry about being mad at Peppi because she was telling secrets in school to everyone but me. She was actually inviting people to a surprise birthday party for me. I barely remember our fight, but I remember that party and how surprised I really was. It was a highlight happy moment in my childhood.

We all want to hold on to happy and fun. We don’t want it to end. We believe we will never be this happy again. Nothing is permanent. You know that already. That is why you grab each moment and mourn the inevitable loss with each step forward. Your life is so rich and full; the angst sharing space with the pleasure, in spite of, because of…the fun.

So you’re on the edge, again. You don’t need to be in Jerusalem to perfect your mind-body-God enthusiasm. It’s already inside of you and it travels well. I’m a believer even without the science. Here’s to going over the edge and relinquishing it all to the God(s)!

We are off to the Acoustic Cafe Music Festival this weekend. It is our new annual Memorial Day Tradition (just started last year). We have a new tent and camping pads and we staked out a perfect spot near a Port-a-Potty and a water spigot. Fun comes in all kinds of packages even at our age!

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Love,
Mom
xoxoxooxxoxoxoxoxoxxoxox

 

What’s for Dinner?

This has not been a particularly creative or time intensive cooking week for me so no fancy recipes. When I told Dad we were having Black Bean Cheese Burgers (from the freezer) for dinner, he said, “why don’t you put them over those leftover grits?” That inspired this 15 minute satisfying, tasty and healthy meal that also incorporated some of my leftover veggies sitting in the refrigerator. Sometimes, you have to keep things simple, especially when you’re having so much fun.

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Black Bean Burgers over Chipotle Spiced Grits

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  •  1 onion sliced in wedges
  • 4 mini sweet peppers, sliced, any color
  • 3 or 4 mushrooms
  • Any other leftover veggies you want to add
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Black Bean or any veggie burger of your choice (meat burger if you prefer)
  • Cheddar or other cheese of choice to top the burger
  • 2 cups of cooked corn grits
  • Chipotle Sea salt to taste
  • 1 avocado
  • lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, to taste, optional
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 2 small persian cucumbers, sliced
  • 2 compari tomatoes, sliced
  • Salsa
  • Cilantro

Lightly sauté onions, pepper and mushrooms in a large sauté pan. Add the burgers to the pan and cover. Flip the burger when it is done on one side and top with cheese after flipping. Cover the pan and cook until cheese is melted, burger is done on both sides and veggies are cooked to desired tenderness.

Add Chipotle salt to cooked grits to taste and heat in the microwave.

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Peel and mash avocado. Add lemon juice, garlic and salt if desired and set aside.

Arrange romaine lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes on plate. Add salsa and mashed avocado.

Spoon grits onto the plate and top with the melted cheese veggie burger.

Garnish with remaining sautéed vegetables and cilantro.

Eat and enjoy!

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