Friday, October 30, 2009


My friend Anitra has a terrific blog that you NEED to visit, as she gives away a ton of stuff, both of the helpful tip variety, as well as material goodies.

Get over there and enter - up to 10 entries!

Thanks, Anitra, as I could totally use a night out with my husband. Yep, that's right. If I win, I'm NOT inviting the children.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Best Nest

In my Former Home, sushi was as mainstream to us as McDonald's. More likely you would find me out on a lunch date with my son at Dozika, than at Micky D's - well, that is until the stress of the sale took over my entire body and all I could do was gorge myself on its greasy goodness.

In my New Home, I had the joy of eating at Yama today. Beaver's new Japanese Restaurant has been teasing its residents with the "Opening Soon" sign for an entire year. During our visit to Beaver last October, it was Yama's "Opening Soon" sign that helped me to visualize my living here. Today, Zane gleefully downed two bowls of miso and half a California roll. I had miso, seaweed salad, and a salmon skin maki roll. And tea. I felt right at home.

I'm still waiting on a Pita Inn franchise to break ground. Seriously, say "falafel" around here and you're bound to get a thoughtful "God bless you" and a tissue handed to you in response. I'm not sneezing, everyone, just hungry for some middle eastern fare. Oh, where or where is the kibbeh and the shwarma when you crave it?

In my Former Home, you were a number in a coffee shop. One of many, except maybe at Peet's where they may have known your name. Sure there were other exceptions, but coffee shops lined the streets like parking meters and I never really found my cozy place after George left Newport Coffee House back in 1999. That placed was the "Cheers" of coffee, and my first writing space. Many personal journals were finished cover to cover in that place.

In my New Home, I've learned that the owner of Beaver's own Cafe Kolache has perused my blog and now knows that while I stop in there for a cuppa, my beans come from the micro-roasterie one town over. Awkward? Nah. I like Kolache and truly believe that one day I will pen something really great while sitting there.

Only, in order to do so I have to actually visit the place by myself without the under 5 crowd hanging on my leg asking if the owner can make him the "blood and bones" drink.

In my Former Home, the cost of yoga classes were inconceivable, with some drop-in rates running anywhere from $15-17 per class.

In my New Home, Three Rivers Yoga Institute has just opened their second Pittsburgh location two doors down from Kolache sporting a drop-in rate of $10. Or a monthly pass for $75. With other Fall specials available, practicing yoga has just gotten more affordable. Then there is $5 yoga at DCI, in the mall. Mondays from 6:30-8 and Wednesdays from 7-8:30 - in case you are interested. I sent my husband to Three Rivers tonight. No charge for his first class. He's hooked. Most definitely going to make a habit of utilizing both of these blessings.

Now if we can just pawn the kids off to someone one or two nights a week we could possibly take yoga together.

In my Former Home I taught music, coached kids, sold Mary Kay, and wrote sporadically for a PR firm.

In my New Home, I volunteer at Zane's school, volunteer at Harper's school, sell Mary Kay, and am becoming more proactive everyday about submitting articles and finding a paying home for my dribblings.

And who knows? Mommy may just reactivate that SAG card in the next 3 years. Long term thinking, I know, but at least I'm dreaming for myself.

In our Former Home, my daughter was enrolled at Lincolnwood Elementary School and attended classes there.

In our New Home, my daughter is enrolled at Dutch Ridge Elementary and attends classes there. Only, our former school district still believes Harper is a student at Lincolnwood School. Apparently, according to their records, she still attends her old school and has even been marked present on several days, and absent on September 1 and 8 specifically. Funny, cause, see, we never registered her with District 65 for the current school year, nor did we pay school fees, and we moved, out of state, on the last day of school back in June. The district even forwarded all her records to the Beaver School District. Her current grades in Evanston must look terrible!

In our Former Home, I had a group of friends on whom I could rely for prayer and help.

In my New Home, I have a group of friends on whom I can rely for prayer and help.

Sure, these two places are radically different from one another. Emphasis on "different". One is not better. One is not worse. Just different.

My Former Home was nice.

My New Home is nice.

Gotta be where you be. You know?

All present and accounted for.

Got that, Evanston District 65?

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Sickness and In Health: Or, how the flu crapped on my weekend

Yes, crapped on my weekend.

That's the extent of my cursing.

At least publicly.

My little weekend away to see my incredible student play the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, an audition for which I coached her while she spent the summer at a program here at Carnegie Mellon, was swiped from me by the flu. Add to my misery that I have played that role myself, and that the show was being produced by a company for whom I have a HUGE love for (having worked with them), AND it was being directed by my all time favorite director, and saying I was disappointed doesn't even scratch the surface of my emotional state.

My husband got the flu. Swine. Bird. Who really knows. All that's important here is that he got something that took him out for 3 days. And then he rose again. Just like Jesus.

Was I upset he was sick?


LIVID. Was I upset that I was missing the opportunity to see my friends, plus two new wonderful additions to the lives of some very special couples?

Yes. Was I angry that I wouldn't get to pray with a remarkable woman, have lunch with a faithful friend, see my brother in law, and visit the classrooms of the children I used to teach?


But, what I mourned the most was time.

Some time to myself.

I polled some Mom's a few weeks back by asking them, "If you had two hours to yourself, with no one home, nowhere to be, and nothing to do, what would you do?"

Almost unanimously all the mothers in the room answered that they would spend that time alone. No gathering their friends and going to a movie, or running out to shop, or meeting someone for coffee. No. They would opt for not sharing that time with any other person.

So, while I WAS going to be seeing a ton of people, it was the time alone, on the plane, in the wonderful king size bed that was being offered to me by my gracious hosts, and in the car and on the streets as I wandered my old neighborhood, that was most appealing to me, and what I was mourning most intensely.

Moms crave time.

And silence.

It is rare that we get both.

Which is why it is now 11:00 PM and I am up writing.

The day I woke to hear my husband moaning in the shower only to take his temp and have my jaw drop when it said 103.4, was the day I realized I wouldn't be taking that flight. In need of encouragement I asked a friend when we, mothers, would get a break. Her response, "In Heaven."

Um, not to get all theological on her, but I disagree. Jesus withdrew. For me, there were "Danger Will Robinson"' signs all over that answer.

Husbands, take note.

Together, with your wives, the mothers of your children, sit down and set some time for her to withdraw from the "to do's" and the "MOM!", and the this and the that's which so jumble her mind, and build in time for her to go off, by herself, so she may be renewed. 'Cause, see, we love and adore you and the our children, but sometimes? Sometimes we need to get out of Dodge. Just for a bit. So we won't shoot anyone. I'm not talking about a month-long backpacking trip across Ireland. Just maybe an overnight, or a weekly girls-night out. A nap.

My husband TOTALLY gets this and was DEFLATED that my trip was cancelled. I am thankful that he understands that I need to be refilled and that this small trip to Chicago would have served as that fuel. He is amazing at recognizing that Moms fail to get time away from all the mommy stuff.

But hey, pretty lady, before you get up on you high horse and say, "You go girl. Tell him, sister!" it's not just the Dads who may not understand the importance of a Mom getting time away. I know plenty of you out there who just don't think Daddy can do the nighttime routine like you can. Or the morning routine. Or any routine. And they shouldn't do it like you! Let Daddy be Daddy! Let go of the control. Your children will benefit greatly from having Dad develop some special traditions with them, while you regroup. It's time to remember that our highest call is that of being a Christian. We need to nourish our souls as Christians . . . who happen to also be wives and mothers. Think back on those positional truths. We are daughters of the King first. The other roles come second.

The flu, however? The flu could care less about us. It's gone now. But lurking. Like a pig. Ready to pounce. Or whatever pigs do. Who gives a flying pig.

Oink off, flu.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


In preparation for the Spirit of Pittsburgh Half-Marathon, I ran my 10 miler last weekend.

Before I took off, however, I created my Happy and Healthy Half-Marathon play list - 2 hours and 30 minutes of the songs that keep me moving.

As a former dancer, I can't ignore a tempo when I move, so some of my favorite songs, while fantastic, had to be removed because of the slower tempo factor. For example, I adore Falling Slowly, but on a run? Nope. I'd adjust to the tempo and slow down. Sorry, but you didn't make the cut for this race.

I have stocked my race play list with songs that either have a tempo with which I can actually keep pace, or songs that are even faster than I can handle - tempos that I can't even possibly keep up with. Just to tease me and challenge me.

With my ipod set on shuffle, I always find it interesting which songs miraculously play while running through certain parts of town. During this run, I had a 3 mile loop in the cemetery. What better place for Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade to show up? Nothing like a little "Jesus Is My Help" when I've still got 5 miles to go. Go ahead. Click the link.

Listen to this group and you too will believe you can run a half marathon.

Then there's Toby Mac. Ok, yeah, so I've got a bit of a Christian school-girl crush on the boy and have since the DC Talk Heavenbound days. But, come on, there's nothing like running through a graveyard while listening to "I Was Made To Love You".

The irony of "runshipping" through a cemetery isn't lost on me. What a place to remember that if I drop dead right now, I will be lifted up to meet Jesus.

I was breathing fine, however, so while I didn't really have a fear that my long run would take me out, it was cool to remember that in the end, at least for me, death actually loses.

So on the secular end of things, I also have the typical endurance pushers sung by the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Earth, Wind, and Fire, a little Madonna, New Radicals, some Kinks, and even one little ditty by Elvis. I'm pretty eclectic. But how funny was it when upon exiting the cemetery, knowing that I still had 4 miles to go, I hear THIS.

That darn shuffle option can be so hilarious.

Race is Sunday. Wonder what will play when I pass Heinz Field? Or cross one of the bazillion bridges I'll be crossing. Or while I'm scaling some ridiculous Pittsburgh incline? And thankfully cruising back down?

Your turn. Throw me some song suggestions for the Half-Marathon!

A New Saturday

Somehow, while living in Chicago, the lazy, no-agenda Saturday, often alluded us.

As a Pastor's family, we don't get the typical weekend with a Saturday and Sunday off. Sunday is a work day, leaving Saturday as "The catch up on the week day". At our former church, George was out at night 2-3 times a week for meetings, so Saturday became the only day during which to get important tasks done around the house and run errands. Add to that weekend church functions every so often and one is left without an empty day.

Our new Senior Pastor is not a fan of meetings. His belief is that he'd rather have you hanging out and doing life with members and neighbors rather than sitting in meetings.

We like his philosophy.

"Doing life" is what we did yesterday. Football was on all day. Chili was slow-cooking in the pot. Corn bread and dessert were being prepped for dinner (our amazing neighbor Martha was headed over with a Beef Stew adapted from Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon recipe.). There was freshly roasted coffee from my new favorite micro-roasterie over in New Brighton, Hallowed Grounds, and a very close friend was visiting from Chicago.

It was also freezing outside.

But inside, our house was warm (thanks to some ceramic heaters to supplement the lack of heat retention in our 100 year old house). And we were relaxed.

This whole idea of a lazy Saturday is just so foreign to us, that at times, George and I would ask each other, "Is there something we are supposed to be doing today?" The kids watched Saturday morning cartoons, I took Harper to tennis (where I met a Mom interested in taking tennis lessons with me), I ran a few miles, Zane drew robots, Harper continued reading chapters in her "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" series, and George and Myron watched ball.

Nothing HAD to be accomplished and we experienced down-time. Sweet, sweet down-time.

During down-time, I like to cook.

We'd had tacos on Friday night, but had failed to finish the taco meat. So, into the slow cooker it went, with broth, beans, green bell pepper and tomatoes that I diced and froze from a co-op order (that someone failed to pick-up, turning me into the blessed recipient of their already paid-for organic goodness), along with some left over roast beef (from a cow my neighbor purchased - only to run out of room in both her freezers), and herbs and spices.

Hodge-podge Chili masterpiece.

Then there was the apple and green tomato crisp, (I added the apples to the recipe), made with those same co-op blessings, and corn bread (made from scratch - who am I?), to go with the stew.

The evening was spent with our guest and our neighbor around the dinner table. Eating, talking, and worshipping together.

THIS is our new Saturday.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Um . . .

My "rockstar" daughter was needing some blue and orange hairspray to add to her rocker Halloween costume, so we popped into Walgreen's last night.

Yes, I realize Halloween is still a few weeks away, but the vision of John Hughes must reign in Beaver because it's huge around here. In fact, she had the option of wearing her costume to a junior youth group program at a local church just last night. Plus, we've got the Halloween Hop (trick or treating at the local businesses) next weekend, a Halloween Parade the Wednesday before Halloween, and then, of course, the actual Halloween/trick or treating event.

It's a lot of Halloween.

Let me add that our family doesn't actually celebrate Halloween as much as we just endure it. It is my least favorite "holiday". I don't love the emphasis on haunted houses, death, evil, witches, and all the typical ghoulish displays. However, I am not so extreme as to think that the entire day should be banned or ignored by Christian families because, in my heart, that would be denying that my God is stronger than anything evil. Ok, I could really get into that whole debate here, but I really don't care to do so, and that's not really what this post is about anyway.

This is about something much more important.


So, as we hit the check-out with a few bottles of colored hairspray in hand, the gal behind the counter offers, "Hey, if you really want to experience the best trick or treating, go down to Beaver. The houses by the river. Those people give away full-sized bars!"

Beaver. Houses by the river. Full-sized bars.

I live down in Beaver. My house is a block off the river. I can not afford full-sized bars.

I'm banking on the fact that she was referring to the larger houses on River Road - similar to those houses back in Evanston that gave away full-sized bars.

Being a "cake-eater" sure is difficult.

Well folks, I hate to disappoint, but we'll be going "old school" with the whole gluttonous candy orgy this year. Bite-size and "fun-size" is all you'll find here.

I'm positive there won't be too many complaints.

Geez, this whole post reminds me that my entire family needs to see the dentist.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Bridge

I'm in print.

Beaver print.

During our first week here, I noticed a local publication called The Bridge proudly displayed at a few of my favorite Beaver hang outs. Namely, the library, Cafe Kolache, and Coffee Buzz. The lead article was of particular interest to me as it celebrated the joys of walking about town. The newbie that I was (am?) was already toting Beaver as being a "walking town", and this article, written in a style that seemed familiar to my own, only added to my excitement, for it validated my own sentiments about Beaver. More so, it revealed that here, in Beaver, there was a publication that could possibly serve as an outlet for my typed dribble.

It took me a few weeks to both gather the nerve and edit a piece from my blog in order to submit it to the editor. It was accepted.

What? Really?

Many thanks to the editors of The Bridge, whose mission statement reads: to help improve things a bit by providing fresh ideas, promoting cultural and environmental awareness, and by stimulating dialogue between neighbors and residents.

I've been invited to become a regular writer for The Bridge. My pieces will most likely be centered around the theme of "new girl in town".

What's funny is that I've not even seen the recent edition yet. However, I just sent a friend of mine, who's in town from Chicago, over to Kolache for some coffeehouse time - Beaver style. He's been given instructions to snag a few copies.

I'm thinking that Beaver print looks quite flattering on me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cuppa Jo: Mary Kay Blend

New Blog alert!

Head on over to my exclusive Mary Kay blog at

Things have gotten a bit murky over here what with attempting to write about family, the kids, daily musings, and business. So I decided to pour a second Cuppa Jo.

Mary Kay Blend will have monthly specials, giveaways, and serve as a place to address some of the specifics about my Mary Kay business.

It's for customers. It's for consultant's. It's for potential customers. It's for potential consultant's.

And it's now got a home of it's home!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who Can Shop To This Stuff?

When I shop, I shop hard.  Laser-guided even.

I am not, what my husband calls a "gatherer".  Meaning, I no longer go out and shop just for the fun of it, grazing, if you will, from store to store. I lost the ability to mindlessly gather after having children. Children = timeframe.  I no longer have hours to wander and linger in stores.  If I have a precious hour or two to myself I use the time well.  I plan.

I'm a "hunter".  I now shop with a purpose.

Today's purpose?  To find great deals at Goodwill on fleeces and long sleeved shirts, and to check out what brand new Target items had come in since last week's visit for Halloween costumes.  You may not realize that Goodwill purchases "lots" from Target - which include completely new items that have been discounted at my favorite big box store (as I won't touch Walmart), but still didn't seem to sell. 

What did I find?  An LL Bean and Lands End fleece for $3.00 each, and a few other long sleeved items.  As tempted as I was to browse short sleeve items, dresses, pants and housewares, I reminded myself that even though it is only October 10, my 100 year old brick house with plaster walls is already chilly and I refuse for our heating bills to break our budget, so rather than turn up the heat, I'll choose layers, thank you.

I also found a Jango Fett and Darth Vader helmet (not, these aren't for me) and a few composition notebooks for only $.30 a piece - no doubt left over from the school supply sales.  I'm tucking these away for next year.  The best find, however is a new comforter set with shams, and dust ruffle for our bed.  Never opened.  $25.  The colors are great - now if we could just get to repainting the very depressing walls and trim of that space.  The former owners apparently found a mix of a putty mauve for the walls and grey for the trim a good pick for the bedroom.  I don't see how anything exciting ever happened in that dark den. Ahem.

Anyway, it was a fruitful trip.

And yet, slightly disturbing.

Half-way through harvesting my crops, I was distracted by the lyrics of a song playing over the store loudspeaker.

"I'll take you for a drive on my big green tractor . . . "

Let me just get this out on the table right now.  I am not a fan of country music.  I have never heard a country song that I liked.  I don't get country music.  I don't want to get country music.

My apologies if this hurts your feelings.  You are welcome to create your own blog about your love of country music.  Please don't pour out your Cuppa Jo just because I could care less about riding around on a big green tractor, or singing about what I love about Sundays.

That was the next song.  The artist took stole about 3 minutes away from my ability to focus by sharing about his love for strolling to the end of the drive.  Reading the Sunday Times.  And drinking coffee.  Ok, well, that part was digestable.

But the kicker?  The song that almost tripped me up and forced me off my game?  Some pitifully warbled downer about real life.  These lyrics will never make it on to my half-marathon play list.

"We had to put Mama in a nursing home, and baby's cuttin' teeth."

Can you blame me?

Had to shake my head a bit and refocus after that one, but thankfully, the inspiring music that is country music didn't completely ruin my ability to get the job done.  I stayed on task.

How do people listen to this stuff and manage to not end up curled up in a ball on the floor in the corner of a dark room swiggin' moonshine that was made in the woods behind their house?

That was mean.  And intentional.

If you are a country music fan, I'd like to ask you not to give up on reading here, and offer you a bit of a challenge.

Without googling, (y'all are on the honor system here), can you tell me the title of the three songs which almost ruined my perfectly good afternoon of bargain shopping?  I already fed you a few of the annoying lyrics, as I can't seem to get them out of my head.

Perhaps the former owners of my home were having a country music house party when they painted the master bedroom.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Da Boss is Da Bomb

Way to go Gymboss.

Contrary to how I may come across in certain posts where I slam customer service, I do not follow the adage, "The customer is always right."

I do, however, have the expectation that a business, store, or restaurant, should try to do everything they can, within reason, to both satisfy and keep a customer.

I also believe that true old fashioned customer service has suffered in our electronic age. More often than not, when calling a company, the customer "speaks" to a recorded voice through a number of prompts before reaching an actual person, if at all.

When faced with this, I usually remedy the lack of human interaction by pressing "0" over and over and over until the recorded voice gets the impression that I don't understand what it's saying and thus has no choice but to hand me over to a real person.

However, I was GREATLY pleased with my recent electronic interaction with Ellen over at Gymboss.

Gymboss? What is it?

Gymboss is an essential training tool for my running discipline. As a Gallowayer, I rely upon my Gymboss timer to alert me to my intervals during my run/walks. I'm so not interested in getting into a debate with you as to whether I can call myself a true runner since I follow a run/walk interval. Whatever. Save it.

Using Galloway's method has resulted in a decrease in the aches and pains that I have experienced in the past. And I have real reason to have pain, folks, as I've got extra bones in my feet and must rely upon some pretty heavy duty orthodics that were cast for me years ago.

Galloway's method has also helped me to decrease my minute per mile.

I returned to running after a 4 year hiatus only to find my 5K time at 10:50/mile. Upon embracing Galloway's method, my 5K time dropped to a 10:30/mile. And then, to my shock, at this past weekend's 10K, my time dropped to a 10:20/mile.

I've even posted a 9:50/mile this summer. The method works.

Now, this is a far cry from where I was in 2000 when I clocked my fastest time ever for 3 miles. 28.14. I had just found out I was pregnant with Harper. The adrenaline kicked in and I took off.

Haven't seen that time since.

So, when my Gymboss jammed the other day, I panicked. I needed to adjust my interval, but with a jammed button, I couldn't do so. This may not seem like a desperate situation, as I could just get another one. Only, I'm in the last month of training for a half marathon, and I rely on it. I need it. NOW. The race is November 1. Training without it would really hamper my progress, as would continually checking my watch during 2 hours of running. My little Gymboss friend alleviates the need to check my watch at any time. Beep. Run 3 minutes. Beep. Walk 1 minute. No thought. No math.

So I emailed Gymboss on Saturday, explaining the timing of my situation. My 3o day warranty is up, but I really didn't want to drop another $20 on a new one. I explained in my email that I wanted to get the gadget repaired pronto or get a new one just as quickly if it couldn't be fixed, and fully intended in calling them today, to follow up, as I was sure I wouldn't hear back.

First thing this morning I received this email:
I am putting a replacement timer in the mail to you today. There will be a postage paid envelope to return the defective timer. Ellen

No need to email a second time. No need to call. No need to explain and fight for a new timer. The company read my email, and immediately popped a new timer into the mail.

See, it really can be that easy. Isn't it really just the company's choice as to whether they want to provide stellar service?

Me: 1 minute email. Them: 30 second response.

No pain. Quick turnaround. Nice method of doing business, Gymboss.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's Really Me!

Do not adjust your computer.

This is indeed the page you are seeking.

Cuppa Jo has needed a face lift, and will be under minor repair for the next few weeks, as I dabble in learning html code.

I'll still be writing. I'll still be sharing tidbits about the incredible adventures of Harper and Zane (you realize, however, that my stories about them are not really for you, the reader, but rather for me, so that I can save them for memory - as my memory seems to be developing some blank spots these days. Too much caffeine?)

While under construction, I'll continue to share what I like to call, my "caffeinions", about anything and everything.

And yes, I'll promote my Mary Kay business.

All the goods will be in place. Only they will look a little different. Please be patient with my tinkering. And, if you are one of those types who can create a creative blog template with their eyes closed (Andrew), please offer me some suggestions. You know, like step by step instructions on how to turn this blog into a site with multiple pages for multiple topics (Andrew).

A girl can dream.

And if you read here often, please be so kind as to let me know by either commenting, or signing up to follow my blog, and by subscribing to my feed. See, to a former actress, these simple actions are equal to that of applause. And everyone needs a little applause. In fact, I'm clapping for you right now.

Standing O to Andrew Bernstein for the photo, taken in Michigan, I believe, while on vacation with his family this summer. Thanks for thinking of me.

(Now if you could only redesign this site to have multiple pages, I'd really think you were something . . . wink, wink.)

Coffee's on!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Shamless Plug: No Purchase Required!

Several of you have expressed interest in what I do and why I still do it . . . the Mary Kay gig. Many of you are shocked that I am a consultant 2 years later. Funny, huh?

In celebration of the company's $50 October Opportunity Promotion, how would you like to be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Visa Gift Card?

I'm not dense. I realize this gig isn't for everyone, but $50 is! You don't have to become a consultant, nor are you required to make a purchase to enter and win!

All you have to do is answer 1 question:

If I only had 5 minutes to answer your biggest question about my Mary Kay business, what would it be?

Call, email, text, or leave me a comment with the question you would like answered. My Director, Trish, will need to follow up to insure that indeed the question came from YOU. Accountability.

See, I can also win a $50 Visa Gift Card if I have the most questions come in. I love that I can win prizes like this . . . and with the holidays coming I could use an extra $50. Couldn't you? So, let's work together on this one!

Month's ago, when a similar contest was held, it was one of my customers (you know who you are) who won $100 worth of product.

In similar contests, I have won two $50 gas cards.


Enter today. What do you have to lose?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall Vice

Empty bag.

The deed is done.

My stomach is full.

Fall has begun.

See, in my head, the Fall season doesn't truly begin until I OD on a bag of Brach's Candy Corn. No other brand will do. Seriously, don't talk to me about them. The other brands crumble in comparison (literally), while Brach's has that soft center that just calls my name every October. The other chalky tasting brands are sold year round. That's just wrong. Candy corn is strictly Fall. October. With a hint of November, IF you can find them in November. In my personal expeditions I have found that candy corn becomes scarce and endangered come November 1.

Driving under the influence of candy corn, or DUICC, began year's ago when I would drive 30 minutes each way to teach private lessons. With my trusty bag of white, orange, and yellow goodness by my side, and a huge water bottle, I would listened to talk radio, and munch. And drink. And munch. And drink. As if the water was of any help against the sugar I was downing at great quantity and speed. Sure, I'd con myself into thinking that because they are sweetened with honey I was getting some tiny bit of nutritional value. Think again, Sherlock.

Upon reaching my destination I would think, "There is just no way I can eat any more!", only to return to feeding my face on the drive home as well. The bag never entered the house, for then I would have to share. No, it remained in a specially designed hidden compartment just for candy.

While pregnant with Harper, or Zane, (it doesn't really matter, as this story applies to both pregnancies), I recall hitting up every Walgreen's from Evanston to Glencoe (there are 3 on Green Bay Road) in a frenzied search for just one bag of candy corn. Sometimes, to my dismay, the shelves were void of my yummy treat. Such a rare delicacy doesn't remain on the shelf for long. I'm not the only seasonal addict out there.

I love the stuff so much that I even received a care package of a mixture of peanuts and candy corn from a girlfriend who moved away years ago when I lamented to her that the stores were bare. Apparently, Mississippi still had enough to go around.

All this to say. I've finished my car stash. I've snacked on a few handfuls at small group. I am now done. Satisfied.

And completely ill.
With the entire month of October to go. I hit the hard stuff way to early this year.

Well, until next year, my love. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but seriously, if you show your face around here again this season I will promptly throw up on you.