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I should have titled this, “What May Send the Dalai’s to Divorce Court.”



Dalai Dan is scared of expiration dates. Little girl in a Halloween haunted house scared. If our milk is even approaching the date, he goes and opens a new bottle.


This, my friends, does not please the Dalai. In fact, it has caused many a’morning argument when he goes to pull the newest bottle of milk out for himself because his precious olfactory senses can’t handle anything but milk straight from the utter.


I have tried and tried again to explain to him these dairy facts:


  • All dairy dates are “sell by” dates
  • “Sell By” dates are to help retailers rotate their stock, NOT to tell us when to throw it out
  • Generally speaking, milk and yogurt are good 5-7 (and up to 10!) days after the “sell by” date
  • Cream cheese is good for 2-4 weeks past the date if it is unopened
  • Hard cheeses, unopened, can last up to 6 months!
  • If a hard cheese has some mold, the only effected part is the molded area, so it is perfectly safe to cut it off. Really.


So, the next time you go to throw out a container of milk or yogurt, do the sniff test. If it smells fine, then it is fine. That is really the only way to identify sour milk. But, even if the milk started to turn and you drank it (let’s say, you put chocolate in it and didn’t notice?) you wouldn’t die. You’ll be just fine.


Trust me, Dalai Dan, you’ll be just fine…


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I call him Dalai Dan. But there is very little Dalai in Double D.

 

I was catching up on my blogs today and read all about Marlboro Man, the Pioneer Woman’s husband. He lasso’s shit to eat while wearing chaps and riding on a horse.

 

Not my man.

 

My man goes to the store and comes home with two bags full of

 

Crap.

 

Truly.

 

Here’s the tally:

  1. Large bag of Reeses Mini Cups
  2. Jalapeno Chips
  3. Honey Smacks
  4. Microwave Popcorn
  5. Two boxes of fruity snacks, one Spiderman and one Scooby Doo. (Seriously, do they taste different? I think the man secretly likes to play with the shapes.)
  6. Haagen-Dazs ice cream
  7. Frozen pizza
  8. Animal crackers
  9. Slice and Bake cookies
  10. Two tubes of Pillsbury biscuits.  (random)

 

What is more amazing about this purchase is Dalai Dan ate so many smoked ribs last night, it gave him a terrible stomach ache and he didn’t end up going to work until 10:30 in the morning.  He said it started feeling better in the afternoon. Oh, and about 3 hours after that, he made a trip to the grocery store to by lethal fake food.

 

Unbelievable.

 

What’s worse, this is his “normal.”  No matter how hard I try, he eats complete nastiness.  And the mofo never gains weight, so there are no obvious consequences.
He may die of heart disease or cancer, but he will still be 175 pounds and fit in an extra small coffin.

 

So, here he is.  All 175 pounds of him.  Surrounded by food and remotes.  Resting after the physical exertion spent moving the chair for a foot rest since our coffee table is under repair.

 

He likes to call this his “Couch Meditation.”

 

 

 

Can you get your husband/boyfriend to eat healthy? (Sometimes)

What do you wish you could ban from his diet? (Fruity snacks)


p.s. Sorry about the posting mess yesterday. Not sure what went down.


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I am old.


This weekend was my husband’s big 40th birthday party.

Today my son is starting middle school and has a locker combination.

Today my baby is starting kindergarten and will be gone all day.


So, I’m feeling a little emotionally fragile.


I think my fragile state all started with Dalai Dan’s coming of age because I know I’m right behind him. Tick Tock Tick Tock.


We commemorated his maturity with a solid tribute to our youth: an 80s themed roller skating party.



There were Madonnas, flash dancers, preppys, mullets, and a lot of acid wash.  The birthday boy opted for a Michael Jackson look, me for a more hideous version of my high school self.  The unflattering breast-high jeans were almost as ugly as my high top Reeboks with the straps.



Roller skating may not have been the best idea for the old and fragile.



Because there were casualties. A lot of butt bruises and one broken wrist. But that didn’t stop this die hard from coming back to the party after a trip to the emergency room. I think she is feeling REALLY old and fragile.



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A lot of you are wondering how my sweet husband fared with three kids while I was away for 7 days with Dalai T. You also are curious how and why I ended up in the Amazon rainforest.



A quick explanation: a good friend of mine works a lot in Brazil (above in purple) and has many great connections. Her son and my son are in the same 3rd grade class. They spent most of this year studying the rainforest so she came up with the great idea of taking some of the boys on a rainforest adventure with their moms. Sold!



This meant that Dalai Dan would have to fend for himself with the other 3 kids: Max (11), Daniel (6) and Annabelle (5).



Before you give the man too much credit, you have to take into consideration my formula, n-1. Simply put, no matter if you have 2 kids or 8 kids, take one away and it is exponentially easier. And there are usually diminishing returns after one child since then they feel entitled to your focused attention. Jeez.


I got a sense they didn’t miss me much almost immediately. My first interaction was with Dalai Daniel:


“Oh, honey, it is so good to see you – I missed you so much!” I said to him. He is very stoic and not one to say anything too loving, so I was surprised when he said,


“I was SOOOO different when you were gone.” My heart was melting.


“We got to eat junk food all the time!” Well, doesn’t that just warm the heart…


Over the course of the next few hours, I learned that dad is basically a GOD. The Messiah had come for 7 days, saving them from the dark forces of chores, bedtimes, healthy eating and general sound parenting.


1. They ate out for every meal.

2. They stayed up late eating popcorn and watching Modern Family every night.

3. They rotated sleeping with dad.

4. They each got to pick out a toy at the toy store.

5. They got ice cream frequently.

6. They each picked out their own cereal: Coco Krispies, Frosted Flakes, and Captain Crunch.

7. They went to the movies and where encouraged to eat candy.

8. They went to a friends ranch, swam in the creek, and got ticks.

9. They practiced baseball batting at the park to test a new bat and batting gloves.

10. They went to the pool and the Messiah actually got in and swam with them.


How do I even begin to pick up the pieces? I am doomed. Jehovah has given them a taste of the sweet life and now they expect fudge bars and Family Guy.


It’s going to be a long summer…


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I don’t want to dwell on the weather, but there is 100% chance of thunderstorms here in Kansas City, with a high of 47º.


I only bring this up in order to point out to you that I made great sacrifices marrying Dalai Dan.  Why?  Because I was born and raised in sunny California.  I had a lemon and apricot tree in my backyard.  We grew strawberries.  My great grandma Lina made me fresh squeezed orange juice from her two backyard orange trees (and she only had one arm) and I would drink it as I ate her juicy homegrown peaches over cereal.


All I can grow here is cucumbers and wheat grass.  And I’m f*cking cold 6 months of the year and too hot 3 months of the year.


I actually wouldn’t trade raising my kids here in the Midwest for anything, but sometimes I’m astonished that I’m actually here.  What the hell happened?


I remember as a young girl twisting my apple stem while reciting the ABC’s.  The letter I was on when the stem detached was first letter of my future husband’s name.  Remember that game?  I would come up with all sorts of names for him and daydream about his cute face. Where was he?  How old is he?  What is he doing right now?  In all of these fantasies, I never cooked up Dalai Dan, in a small town of 10,000 people, shooting bullfrogs with his shotgun.  We don’t shoot things in California.



I never imagined the love of my life wearing a gold nugget ring, sporting a butt cut, and rocking out to Poison.  We don’t listen to Poison in California.


My utopian husband didn’t cruise Main Street.  He didn’t hang out at Wal-Mart on a Saturday night.  And he certainly didn’t say things like, “I’m going to the car wa-R-sh”.


Most importantly, he didn’t live in the cold-ass Midwest.


Thank God he is nearly perfect in every other way, or the weather would have been a deal breaker.  Thank you, my fellow Midwesterners, for being so damn friendly, open and neighborly, that your warmth has kept me toasty all of these years…


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Do you know that researchers say they can predict, with 90% accuracy, which couples will divorce?



After 2 decades of following 658 couples, analyzing minute-by-minute details of interactions, monitoring heart rates, and collecting blood and urine samples for stress indicators, the top 4 indicators for a death of a marriage are:


  1. Contempt:  intense feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless.  Eye-rolling, for example, is the kiss of death for a relationship.
  2. Criticism:  the act of passing severe judgment or fault.  If you find that you comment more about the things your spouse does wrong, instead of right, you better find yourself a good councilor.
  3. Defensiveness:  protecting oneself from criticism, exposure of one’s shortcomings, or other real or perceived threats to the ego. Sarcasm, blaming, and trivializing with humor are some defensive behaviors that foreshadow divorce.
  4. Stonewalling :  To refuse to answer or cooperate.  Is silence your thing?  Bad move if you don’t want to end up with an attorney bill.



The month we were engaged on a flight to Hong Kong:  Stop the Press!  Do I detect an eye roll? If that doesn’t end the marriage, the denim vest is cause for divorce.



John Gottman, who presides over a high-tech couples lab at the University of Washington at Seattle, says that while they can detect with great accuracy who will end up divorced, there is less good data on what therapy/intervention helps couples. Gottman says more research is needed to understand what makes happy couples stay together.


Most popular interventions,for example, rest on the premise that marital happiness depends on the way couples solve problems and resolve conflicts through good communication. “Wrong,” Gottman says.


How can that be???


Gottman says couples never do solve their problems. Happy couples have problems, and they tend to have exactly the same problems several years later.  What distinguishes them from unhappy couples is that they develop a “dialogue” about their perpetual problems, dealing with them using humor and affection.  Happy couple basically accept their problems and their partner and laugh it off until death does them part.



How good are you at laughing off the hard stuff?

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