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Needless to say, I’m on the “almost too old to bother” with this test. But in my defense, the first time I was scheduled, after Katie Couric made it seem so easy, Gma Ada had a heart attack. I cancelled and flew to NJ.

The second time, just last year, I bought the gallon jug of prep medicine along with two gallons of margarita mix, because we were hosting a Cinqo de Mayo party. Honest. Last April Gma Ada broke her hip, so I cancelled and flew to NJ.

This third time for my very first colonoscopy would be the charm we figured. I considered not even telling Gma Ada what was happening but in the end Bob dropped me at the hospital and drove his Mom to the dentist today. In bubble wrap.

Here is what I learned while drinking myself into oblivion last night.

1. Don’t bother buying any Crystal Light. It only changes the color which made me think I’d flunk the test.

2. Don’t try to read Southern Living Magazine. It’s all about FOOD and you won’t be having any for awhile.

3. Ditto for TV. Did I need to know that Red Lobster is having a special on lobster of all things? The PBS special on rice however…

4. Don’t start texting with that friend who writes you long letters. Your attention span cannot possibly keep up with your powder room visits.

5. Don’t leave any jelly beans or nuts lying around the house, your memory starts slipping and you might be tempted to eat one.

6. Don’t accidentally mix the infant simethicone drops in with your dog’s dinner. It’s hard to multi-task while chugging GoLytely – a most ironic choice of names for my liquid diet.

7. Don’t forget to thank your husband. For answering your same question multiple times, “Did you talk to the doctor yet?” and for cooking dinner when it’s all over. The hospital socks are a nice touch!

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There is a momblogger the Bride turned me onto awhile ago. Her name is Glennon Doyle Melton and her blog is Momastery and her message is a simple one – Enough is Enough. Life is “brutiful” (brutally beautiful) and we are all in it together, a warrior tribe of women online doing the best we can with what life has dealt us.

Momastery is an open window. It’s a place to take a deep breath. It’s a place to drop out and tune in. It’s a place to stop striving, stop competing, stop suspecting, stop hiding. To hear and tell truth. Mother Teresa said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that We Belong to Each Other.” If we find peace here- it’s because we remember.http://momastery.com

So imagine my surprise to see her being interviewed on the Today Show one morning while I was in Nashville. You may have noticed this year, if you still watch TV in the morning, that Today is trying to be less Yesterday by keeping or attracting younger viewers and being more interactive, opening up a Green Room on their set, and imploring the viewer to follow them on Twitter etc.

Now I’m officially a senior citizen, but I remember when the Rocker was in high school and I served on its board that we created a survey on technology. One of the questions we asked was where did our students get their news and they all said online and NOT on TV…that was about 15 years ago. So it’s good that Today is catching up with these Millennials.

Glennon talked about starting out with the typical mommy stuff on her blog until one day she shared a picture of her kitchen. That’s when the negativity started, she received tons of comments about her cluttered and out-of-date kitchen. Judgey, and sometimes mean, but often helpful ways to organize her simple kitchen with its picture covered refrigerator. Doesn’t everybody who ever entered anyone’s kitchen just stand and stare at the pictures hanging by magnets on refrigerators? It’s as if they can take in the soul of that house, that family, by looking at those pictures.

Well Glennon got a little pissed, although she didn’t say that. What she said was this was the exact problem with us! This striving for perfection in motherhood and it just had to stop! Look at her 1960s water faucet at her kitchen sink. Most people in the world cannot get clean, running water coming out of a faucet in their kitchen – it’s all in our own minds. Instead of thinking we have a crappy kitchen sink, we need to change our perspective and be thankful we have running water!

We have to put on new “Perspectacles.”

Anyway, did you ever feel like you were speaking a different language with another English speaker? I’m not talking dialect here, I’m talking Glennon’s Today Show piece which had been filmed earlier, so it was less of an interview and more about her philosophy. The hosts of the Today Show looked a little dumbfounded, gobsmacked in fact. There was a big pause, then they realized they were in fact live and had to say something. So Al Roker made a joke about putting on his “bispectacles” since you know he just turned 60…and then it was cut to commercial.

Glennon Doyle has written a NYT’s best selling book, “Carry On Warrior,” and she has many other social media platforms. She is starting to tour with her inspirational message, and will be in Nashville very soon.  She has done a TEDx talk

and has started a non-profit, “Monkee See – Monkee Do.” She is a phenomenal woman who speaks truth to our sometimes messy and always chaotic world.  10617054_284425955075742_12256534_a

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I’m sorry to say, that while perusing Twitter I lacked the energy and inclination to watch SyFy’s new show Sharknado. It was all over my Twitter feed, but instead I linked to @KosherSoul’s Washington Post article in the first person singular. The man’s name is Michael Twitty, and I somehow found him when he wrote an article about Paula Deen. He is a Southern culinary historian and food blogger http://afroculinaria.com with a remarkably astute point of view!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/first-person-michael-w-twitty-36-culinary-historian-and-food-blogger-from-rockville/2013/07/10/a9ac8d08-d91f-11e2-9df4-895344c13c30_story.html

“No one had to tell me about “organic” or “sustainable,” because that was the tradition that was passed down to me. My authenticity is not based on food trends; my authenticity is based on what August Wilson once called the self-sustaining ground of the slave quarter.”

His intention is to bring an awareness to our white Euro-centric society of our gastronomic roots in Africa. Most food cooked on plantations in the Antebellum South was not done by French chefs – even though Mr Jefferson did have a French chef give his slave/cook Edith Fossett  instructions: “1862 He (Jefferson) had a French cook in Washington named Julien, and he took Eda and Fanny there to learn French cookery. He always preferred French cookery. Eda and Fanny were afterwards his cooks at Monticello.” So you can see how French cooking did influence Virginia and Louisiana chefs in the future.

But mostly today’s Southern cuisine is the result of black enslaved women, who created wholesome, real food;  locally grown and harvested. They raised the cows, chickens and pigs that were slaughtered without drugs. They grew the vegetables and fruit without pesticides.

So I began to think of my own culinary history, born in PA coal country and nurtured in rural NJ. How is it that I managed to raise 2 children who became healthy, real food-types despite my own upbringing? My foster mother Nell cooked by can, usually Campbells. She was of that new-fangled, post-war generation that was sold a bill of goods. Look, we created a frozen TV dinner for you to just “heat and serve” to your family! Marketing was focused on making the happy 50s housewife’s life simple and easy. Where do you think that canned green bean special swimming in soup came from on Thanksgiving?

But Nell was first generation Yugoslavian, and she talked about her father keeping barrels of sauerkraut in their basement. Sometimes she would fry pork chops, but for special occasions, she would make “halupkes.” These are the most delicious little pillows of ground pork and rice, rolled in a cabbage leaf and simmered in sauerkraut. I adored this Slavic stuffed cabbage, with a passion. Even today, comfort food usually involves pork. But lucky for me, the Flapper loved to cook.

The Flapper was married first to an Italian man, then widowed and married to my Father, an Irishman. She married my step-father, who was Jewish, after I moved back into her house. Consequently, she was a proper global chef de cuisine. My pre-teen and teen years were filled with lovely aromas and real food. She baked banana cream pies, deviled eggs and put together a proper meatball and tomato sauce. She could roast, fry and broil just about anything using her Fanny Farmer cookbook. In fact, I think she only opened a can to get at some stewed tomatoes for her famous Depression-era mac and cheese, with bacon!

Nell taught me to cook with love on special occasions, and my MIL Ada taught me how to make a proper seder dinner. But the Flapper taught me to cook with alacrity, with whatever is in season, using the freshest possible ingredients. And this led to the Bride winning her Kindergarten Mother’s Day essay by “writing” about my mac and cheese and how I cook “from scratch,” even when I make PB & J sandwiches! Here are my herb planters on the deck.

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The best thing I learned from the Flapper was always adding some TLC to any dish. What is your culinary history?

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