Mean Girl to the Rescue!

How'm I gonna save the world when the world ain't ready?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Family ties that chafe

This weekend was spent, for the most part, lying around sick, in between bouts of last-minute shopping. I must have picked up a cold bug at the office party or something. I don't like thinking too hard about the transmission of germs (I get off the El and wash my hands with hot soapy water at the first opportunity), but a lot of people at work have colds, so the odds are good that I got the cold from touching the bathroom faucet there -- oh, bitter irony!

I did have bursts of energy, thank god, so I was able to do things like make Boilo and take my first stab at making good chicken stock. I've made stock before, but this time I used Mark Bittman's recipe and followed it pretty closely. It was a success, and I used the chicken parts as cat food (Booby is not a leg man, and I've been wanting to experiment a bit with fresher food for the kitties, as I have been reading lots of articles about how terrible a diet of mostly kibble and canned foods are for them).

Today found me inadvertantly screwing up my sister's life by misspeaking during a phone call to my mother: to keep it simple, my mother viewed the two of us trying to cement plans for Christmas Day as trying to decide who would be stuck with her and my father. As the years pass, my mother becomes more and more histrionic about these matters; she is unwilling to compromise or see reason, and even me speaking directly and frankly ("Please don't play the martyr. We are trying to arrange it so we can both see you!") does little to deflect her. Part of the trouble is that she has some friends whose kids spend every precious golden nugget of time with them and them alone - no distracting, tiresome in-laws to take away from the holiday cheer. We have pointed out that these wunderkids also seem to have no real friends and live literally a short golf cart's ride away on the same plot of land (but a separate house), but it doesn't compute. The son-in-law refers to the husband of this couple as his best friend. It's sweet (er, I guess), but it's also not usual (I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want my dad to be my husband's best friend. Get along well, yes. Best friend, no).

We decorated the tree yesterday as well. The holidays are starting to annoy me. Hopefully later I will have a photo of a 3-legged, 21 lb. orange cat to post.


At 9:40 AM, Blogger MisterBaggins said...

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At 10:07 AM, Anonymous TB said...

Oh yes. Cat pictures!

Also, can you imagine living so close to and spending that much time with your family OR your in laws?
My husband and I are planning a move to be closer to family, but not that close. I like some space between me and that which has the potential to drive me crazy.

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Mignon said...

Yes, but tb, don't end up too far away. Think free babysitters...

And what is it with martyr-mom? Please tell me it's not chromosomal. I don't want to be that!

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Arabella said...

Mmmmmmm, chicken stock. I know it's sacrilege, but I have to say that my own homemade stock has never turned out as good as College Inn or Health Valley. I'm willing to give it another go, though, if you think the Bittman recipe is good.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

She ended up in tears after speaking to my sister, and is "angry at all the in-laws." I hope it's not chromosomal, because I will shoot myself if I treat my kids that way.

Baggins, your mom IS lucky (though I'm sure she doesn't see it that way, huh?).

Arabella, the stock needed a lot of salt, it seemed to me. I don't know if it was as rich and golden as College Inn (or the wonderful organic broth I discovered this weekend and made potato-leek soup with), but it's rather nice. I'll email you the recipe. Mark Bittman has a way of making one feel like a jerk for pouring broth from a can into a pot for homemade soup, but sometimes, it's gotta be done. :)

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Mignon said...

Actually I didn't mean to be harsh on your mom, because mine is a complete martyr-mom too. Especially during the holidays. After divorcing my stepdad she would get so angst-y about where to go and who would or would not invite her to stay the night and whether or not my now-ex-step-dad would be there that she would leave town for the whole month. That's what I don't want to be.


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