Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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Today was for other people.
It started this morning at 6 am when my friend R. called. I was delirious plus I never use my home phone so the machine picked up. I heard her voice and knew something was very wrong. Last night after asking her husband why he was being so quiet he told her that he didn't love her any more. How do you look your wife of 14 years, mother of your three children in the face and calmly say the most devasting words to her? I always thought of them as such a strong couple and a great family. He is a very involved father and they do community work together as a family and are active in the schools. Very generous and very caring. I am stunned. Her world just ended. She called again later in the day and we talked some more. Parts of it are so similiar to my marriage ending that I am having flashbacks. She's angry, she loves him, he didn't put up a fight for their family, she called him a coward, he's not willing to try anything to help, she's being backed into a corner and forced to make the choices, he didn't have an affair but he did turn outside of their relationship for companionship and support. All so painfully familiar.
When I got into work a co-worker needed a chance to vent about how she is treated by another co-worker. She feels disrespected and yelled at. I've heard the exchanges and she does tend to get snappy when she is stressed. My tendency is to tell people to bring up the issue and resolve it with the other person. But she just isn't capable of doing that. So I promised her I'd get back to her with suggestions after I thought it over.
Later another co-worker came over to talk about the stress of her upcoming wedding and the strain of their bleak financial picture. I didn't have much except to recommend she find some alternate ways to reduce her stress, suggested yoga or pilates and supported her doctor's decision to put her on medication until she can get a plan in place.
My dear friend Andra who was raised Catholic is hostessing a Passover seder tonight. She is 39 weeks pregnant and so ready for the baby to come out. Thankfully she has called in caterers so she should be okay. I wanted to call her in case her water broke tonight as we joked about. I wanted her to go the hospital knowing that I love her and that no matter how bad labor gets, she can do it. We (and her husband) both wish I could be there but she is in DC.
I finally got my opportunity to introduce myself to my neighbor who is cleary a single mom too. I wanted to offer her any help, emergency childcare or a walking companion. Her little guy is beautiful. She adopted him from Guatemala 3 months ago when he was six months old. Keegan played with him and watched protectively while she and I chatted. She was really nice and offered me help too. I hope she takes me up on any of my offers.
And even though it was supper time Keegan still got his bike ride. Who cares if it makes the evening slightly more hectic? That kid loves to take a spin around the neighborhood. I wish I was less susceptible to feeling other's people pain and fear. It's one of the reasons I no longer do family counseling. But I do have the magic of my boy to wipe it all away.

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