A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles by Debra Legg

Debra Legg is former interactive media editor for modbee.com and a freelance writer, editor and Web content specialist. A graduate of West Virginia University, she’s won awards for reporting and column writing in West Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina. Her sons — 9-year-old Big Guy and 7-year-old Boots — provide plenty of fodder for 9 to 5 to 9, which is a nationally syndicated column through McClatchy Tribune Media Services.

The mud monster
Saturday, 24 Jan, 2009 – 13:46 | 2 Comments
The mud monster

This is what happens when you combine two boys, three days of rain and a muddy back yard. Griping about cleaning up is inevitable.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

Caught between a rock and a pizza box
Saturday, 24 Jan, 2009 – 12:12 | Comments Off
Caught between a rock and a pizza box

By all accounts, the LeBlanc family was doing a lot of things right.
Their mortgage payment is $440 a month on a five-bedroom home in Lafayette, La., a figure the likes of which I haven’t seen …

Bubble, bubble Boots in trouble!
Friday, 23 Jan, 2009 – 14:29 | Comments Off
Bubble, bubble Boots in trouble!

Honestly, it was only three caps of Mr. Bubble. And we have hard water, too.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

In praise of food conspiracies
Friday, 23 Jan, 2009 – 14:09 | Comments Off
In praise of food conspiracies

Yes, I trick my kids.
I shamelessly spike marinara with spinach and proudly bill whole-wheat banana muffins as cupcakes. Big Guy won’t touch banana or spinach, but he gobbles both in their covert forms.
I also do …

Egg-free, garlic-free zucchini fries
Friday, 23 Jan, 2009 – 12:16 | Comments Off
Egg-free, garlic-free zucchini fries

I knew the zucchini fry recipe had potential when I heard about it back in the fall.
I also knew I had to proceed carefully lest I arouse Big Guy’s suspicions about anything that grows in …

A SWAT for taking college football to Congress
Friday, 23 Jan, 2009 – 0:52 | 2 Comments
A SWAT for taking college football to Congress

Hey, didn’t the Bowl Championship Series end two weeks ago when Florida beat Oklahoma in Miami?
Then why was it being played again for 40 minutes Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives?
Because a representative from …

Egg-free corn lightbread
Thursday, 22 Jan, 2009 – 12:59 | One Comment
Egg-free corn lightbread

Warning: This recipe is a beast the requires a really big bowl. Think “bordering on wash tub.”
Seriously. I use an eight-quart Tupperware model for mixing, and that’s just about right. It’s not that there are …

Time for pitchers and catchers to report to the back yard
Thursday, 22 Jan, 2009 – 11:49 | One Comment
Time for pitchers and catchers to report to the back yard

Weather warm enough that we shed our jackets on the way home from school last week inspired  Big Guy to ask a version of the question flitting through my mind:
“How long until they’re playing baseball …

Have the decency to let indecency law die this time
Thursday, 22 Jan, 2009 – 0:42 | One Comment
Have the decency to let indecency law die this time

I am not in favor of children reading “Playboy” online.
I once threw a fit, in fact, when Dad left 4-year-old Big Guy alone with YouTube for only a few seconds. It was long enough for …

Give ‘em a SWAT
Wednesday, 21 Jan, 2009 – 23:22 | Comments Off
Give ‘em a SWAT

From the city council woman bent on herding runaway shopping carts to the senator determined to ensure that his state not go another day without an official dirt, public-policy time wasters long have floated across …

Egg-free, peanut-free no-bake oatmeal cookies
Wednesday, 21 Jan, 2009 – 13:02 | 2 Comments
Egg-free, peanut-free no-bake oatmeal cookies

No-bake oatmeal cookies are probably the ideal baking-on-training-wheels recipe.
It’s the first cookie I made by myself after the recipe made the rounds during my pre-teen years. It requires only one pan, no baking sheets and …

Cooking up a reason to buy a BlackBerry
Wednesday, 21 Jan, 2009 – 11:22 | 4 Comments
Cooking up a reason to buy a BlackBerry

I’m as geeky as the next girl but I’ve never understood iPhone infatuation, and the only blackberries I’ve craved are the ones that grow wild in the mountains in the summer.
That could be because I’m …

Furlough is 2009′s foreclosure
Wednesday, 21 Jan, 2009 – 1:01 | Comments Off
Furlough is 2009′s foreclosure

Seeing every other house on your street sold at a foreclosure auction? That’s so 2008.
This year, you’re hopelessly unhip if you don’t know someone who’s been furloughed. Bonus points if you’ve been furloughed yourself.
The state …

Bailout? No thanks. But here’s where you can help
Tuesday, 20 Jan, 2009 – 11:36 | 2 Comments
Bailout? No thanks. But here’s where you can help

Dear Washington,
This is going to sound strange coming from someone five months into unemployment, whose entire professional career has been in an industry on the verge of imploding and who’s looking for work in a …

With this ring, I get out of a big medical bill
Monday, 19 Jan, 2009 – 23:53 | One Comment
With this ring, I get out of a big medical bill

Gary Johnson and Rebecca Witt are making it, but barely, on his $8-an-hour job while she uses grants to pay for college in between raising three children.
But because they aren’t married, the state of Michigan …

Egg-free chocolate cheesecake
Monday, 19 Jan, 2009 – 15:28 | One Comment
Egg-free chocolate cheesecake

I’d given up hope of ever making cheesecake again until I found Rosemarie Emro’s excellent Bakin’ Without Eggs cookbook. Not only does the book offer an amazing collection of time-tested egg-free recipes, but it also …

This year more than ever, a birthday to celebrate
Monday, 19 Jan, 2009 – 10:11 | 2 Comments
This year more than ever, a birthday to celebrate

“Mom, who’s that guy whose birthday we celebrate?”
“Jesus?”
“No,” Big Guy responded, exasperated at Mom’s density. “The one whose birthday’s coming up  and I get a day off from school. The one who went to heaven.”
“Oh! …

‘I have a dream’
Monday, 19 Jan, 2009 – 9:47 | Comments Off

Not my original work, but an important message today and every day.
I have a dream, too, Dr. King. It’s a lot like yours.
We’re all getting closer.

Good fun, but not necessarily clean
Sunday, 18 Jan, 2009 – 12:44 | 4 Comments
Good fun, but not necessarily clean

A funny thing happened along the way to making the bathtub crayons Tara posted at It Feels Like Home.
We got waylaid by a commenter’s “recipe” for easy bath paint. Since easy is good and we …

Cheesy-ranch a Chex Mix even Big Guy loves
Sunday, 18 Jan, 2009 – 11:52 | Comments Off
Cheesy-ranch a Chex Mix even Big Guy loves

The magic of Parmesan strikes again.
When Big Guy met last night’s new round of Chex Mix, he was determined to munch around the margins, picking out the Goldfish.  Then he spied a spattering of toasty …

Food allergies are not just hysteria
Sunday, 18 Jan, 2009 – 11:10 | 3 Comments
Food allergies are not just hysteria

It started with an article in British Medical Journal in which an American doctor claimed parents are in the grip of a “nut hysteria” that is fueling irrational fears about allergic reactions to peanuts.
The doctor, …

Faking egg-free fettuccine
Saturday, 17 Jan, 2009 – 12:00 | 2 Comments
Faking egg-free fettuccine

Most Italian dishes we’ve managed to adapt to egg- and garlic-free without even missing what’s not there.
Marinara sauce is just fine with extra onion, and lasagna turns out wonderfully with just cheese in the filling.
I …

Egg-free hot milk pound cake
Friday, 16 Jan, 2009 – 13:02 | 2 Comments
Egg-free hot milk pound cake

I shall never bake again.
Late last night, I said that as the guys caterwauled around me while I peering into the oven and staring at a cake showing every sign of falling faster than my …

Goofy is fun … when it’s not annoying
Friday, 16 Jan, 2009 – 11:50 | One Comment
Goofy is fun … when it’s not annoying

This morning should have been a piece of cake with Big Guy, considering that he was looking forward to gingerbread boys. Plus it was the first morning all week I hadn’t gone 15 minutes too …

Oh, um … shoot. I can’t say that in S.C.
Friday, 16 Jan, 2009 – 0:41 | Comments Off
Oh, um … shoot. I can’t say that in S.C.

Better watch your butt in South  Carolina, in more ways than one if a state senator has his way.
Democrat Robert Ford, an African-American who readily admits he’s targeting African-American men, is behind Bill 56. It’s …

Egg-free, garlic-free cocktail meatballs
Thursday, 15 Jan, 2009 – 13:09 | Comments Off
Egg-free, garlic-free cocktail meatballs

This is a favorite dating back to my single-girl hostess with the mostest days. I have no idea where it came from, but I freaked out momentarily a few weeks ago when I couldn’t find …

Where will they be sleeping when the music stops?
Thursday, 15 Jan, 2009 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Where will they be sleeping when the music stops?

I have a back-up plan should the job market worsen: selling used furniture. I already have an impressive inventory of unnecessary beds.
And should things really get bad  – say, Bank of America flounders after buying …

Everything I need to know about SCHIP I learned from a mechanic
Thursday, 15 Jan, 2009 – 0:36 | Comments Off
Everything I need to know about SCHIP I learned from a mechanic

I don’t know which scared me more the day I swerved my Ford Escort off the freeway just in time to see the engine ignite: The flames shooting from the hood or my stepdad’s predictable …