Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Steven and I were at a “Cousins Party' and while we were sitting in the backyard catching up on the family news I couldn't help but notice all the youngest cousins running around having fun.
I was feeling nostalgic, missing when my guys were that little as I watched the group of guys, fourth grade and younger, throwing the football to each other. Than they raced to the front of the house to play basketball before coming back to watch a game of horse shoes. They were just a whirlwind of motion. It was exactly how I remember my boys being at that age and I couldn't help but smile.
But then I noticed the little girl cousins. They were all first grade and younger walking around the back yard each holding an umbrella to shade themselves from the sun and humming songs. I wasn't sure what they were playing until one of them came close enough for me to peek under the umbrella. That's when I notice the blue eye shadow all over her forehead. I looked over at her Mom, who was sitting next to me, “Is someone doing face painting?” I asked her.
“No they're practicing putting on make-up.” she answered.
Now, I raised boys, so I missed the make-up phase.
But, I was also raised by a Mom who never wore make-up, except for some red lipstick when she wanted to feel like she'd gone to some trouble. I never even saw make-up until I was in middle school.
I wasn't quite sure how I felt about little girls and make-up at this age. But then another one of little girls came by and I was caught off guard when I realized she'd done a pretty good job with her application. She'd chosen a pretty bold color palette but the eye make-up was where it was suppose to be and so was the lipstick and blush. I was impressed.
“She did a pretty good job.” I said to her Mom.
“She loves playing with make-up.” She answered. “She's not allowed to go out wearing it but around the house,” she shrugged her shoulders. “What's the harm?”
As everyone moved on to another conversation I could help but flash back to my first experience with makeup. It was middle school and it had been a nightmare!
I always wondered how those girls from middle school, who came in looking fabulous from the very first day wearing makeup, did it. They made all the rest of us look like recent graduates of Clown School. I'd always assumed they had some gift at putting it on. But now I realized it was because they'd been able to practice years before it was acceptable.
Maybe my Mom hadn't made the right decision about the no make-up rule. Maybe I still wouldn't be struggling with trying to get mascara on without accidentally painting my contact lens. Maybe I would know the difference between wearing eye shadow in a cat's eye shape or a smudge. Maybe I would have cared if I'd just started earlier!
I couldn't believe I was actually looking at a five year old at this very moment and wondering how she got her lipstick on so perfectly. I was just about to ask her if she used lip liner first when I realized: I was about to ask a FIVE year old for make-up tips!

That's when I quickly got up from the table. “I'm going in to get a drink.” I announced. “Does anyone else want anything?”

Saturday, August 22, 2015


It was first thing in the morning and I was standing out on my deck, holding a bag of peanuts. My son Alex was already outside and watched as I started to crack open a shell.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Feeding the chipmunk.” I laid the half opened nut on the deck and sat down in the the chair next to Alex, taking a sip of my tea.
“Why do you leave the shell on?” he asked.
“Because it's so cute when he sits and nibbles on the shell until he can get to the nut.” I answered, then lowered my voice. “He's coming...” I whispered.
Alex and I watched as he scurried over to the nut, sat and looked at us for a moment then took the nut in his little paws and began biting at the shell. When he had the nut he dropped the shell on the ground and stuffed the nut in his cheek and scurried away.
“Isn't that the cutest thing you ever saw.” I said to Alex as I went over to pick up the empty shell and replaced it with another half opened peanut.
“How many times do you feed him?” Alex asked.
I sat back in my chair and waited for my little friend to come back. “I don't know.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Two three times a day.” I said. I could see my little guy peeking at me through the fence. “He's on his way back.” I whispered.
He wasn't as cautious as he was before and instead ran straight for the peanut and began breaking open the shell.
“You know once you start feeding him you can't stop.” Alex warned.
“Why would I stop feeding him?”
“If you forgot just one day, or we go away, he's going to do some damage.” Alex added.
We both watched as my little chipmunk ran around the deck looking for other nuts.
“What kind of damage can a little guy like that do?” I said as we watched him jump on top of the chair next to me then up on the tabletop right next to my tea mug before jumping back down and running back to his little burrow.
“Wow! He's getting bold.” I said as looked at my tea mug and wondered if he'd brushed against it. I decided not to take the chance and got up to go make a new cup. “Maybe I should rethink feeding him so much.” I added.
“Too late for that now.” Alex said as he pointed to the top of the stair where my little guy was now sitting and staring at us.
“You've had enough.” I said to him. “It's time to go home.”
Alex looked over at the non-moving rodent. “I don't think he wants to listen to you.”
“Maybe feeding him on the deck was a mistake.” I said as I picked up the bag of peanuts along with my tea mug and headed for the door.
“Are you thinking that now?” Alex was right behind me. As we went inside the chipmunk was right there staring at us though the glass door.
“Wow, why is it that if I'd seen him looking at me a few minutes ago I would have thought it was adorable.” I said. “Now he's kind of creeping me out.”
“That's because you finally realize you've created a monster.” Alex said over his shoulder as he headed down the hall to his room.
“How am I suppose to fix this?” I called out to him.
“I don't know?” Alex called back. “But I'd think of something quick before he chews through the siding and you find him sitting on our counter waiting to be fed.”
I looked back at the chipmunk, who was still staring at me through the door. “You're scaring me.” I whispered to him.

He didn't seem to care.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Ready to scrape the leftover meatloaf from a dinner plate into the garbage, I happened to look down and saw a shiny copper penny sitting on the top of the trash. I stopped mid-scrape and reached in to pull it out.
“Did someone accidentally drop this in the trash?” I asked as I held up the penny to show my husband, Steven and our boys.
“That was me.” Max said as he put his plate on the counter. “It wasn't by accident. It's just a penny so I threw it away.”
“You're throwing away money?” Steven sounded surprised.
“I was cleaning out my pockets.” Max explained, but when he looked at Steven and me with our mirrored looks of shock, I guess he felt the need to explain further. “It was only a penny!” he said. “It's not that big a deal!”
Steven and I just looked at each other. “Where did we go wrong?” he asked me.
I had to agree with him on this because when it came to found money Steven and I had the same outlook. If you saw a quarter, dime, nickle, or even a penny, you picked it up and considered it a lucky day.
In fact, I can still remember something that happened that made me fall deeper in love with Steven when we were first dating. We were driving down the street when Steven suddenly pulled over. “I think I just saw a dollar bill blow across the street.” He jumped out of the van, ran across the street into an empty field and within moments had the bill in his hand, waving it at me as he ran back across the street. “It was a five!” he said as he climbed back in the van, a huge smile on his face. He put the five on the console before we headed back on our way. I remember picking up that five and realizing I would have done the exact same thing if I'd been the one who saw the bill tumbling across the street.
Now, whenever we're out together, for a walk around the block or just out shopping, one of us is always looking down, ready to find the next lucky coin or bill. Over the years it's become a game for us.
I looked back at Max and asked. “How could anyone throw money away?”
“Don't look at me!” Alex said as he backed out of the room. “I have a change jar. All my loose change goes in there.”
“Exactly!” I looked back at Max. “You never ever throw money away!”
“Oh, come on! It's just a penny!” Max said.
“Pennies are money too.” Steven answered.
Max looked at Steven and I shaking his head in disbelief. Then he smiled, “What if I told you I had three pennies in my pocket when I was cleaning them out?” He gave a quick laugh before he left the room.
My gasp was audible. I looked over at Steven. “Do you believe him?” I asked then looked back into the garbage pail.
“I don't know.” Steven said as he shrugged his shoulders. “But I think I'm going to draw the line about found money when I have to dig to the garbage for it.” He too, left the room.

Leaving only me, staring into the trash wondering if I felt the same way he did.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Steven decided it was time to take me out to the golf course. I'm not sure it mattered if I wanted to go or not. I also couldn't put up much of a fight, because we'd both been complaining that we didn't spend enough time together. We'd been searching for some activities we could find a common interest in. Even thought I was pretty sure golf wasn't going to be one of those interests, I was going to have to at least give it a try before I said no.
That's how I found myself standing behind several golf cars with a golf bag strapped to my back trying on an old glove that Steven had pulled out of the bottom of his bag.
“Where's the other glove?” I asked as another golf cart pulled up behind us.
“You only use one.” he said as he turned me around and readjusted the bag higher up on my back.
“Why aren't we using a cart like everyone else?” My bag was already beginning to get too heavy, but I didn't want to start the day out complaining, so I decided not to mention that.
“Plenty of people walk this course. It's a short one and the walk is great exercise.” he explained as he handed me two golf balls and a few tees. “Put those in your pocket so you won't waste any time searching for them when it's your turn.”
By now we'd made it up to the front of the line. A man in a golf cart, holding a clip board, pointed to the two men sitting in a cart behind us and said. “You four are up next.”
I turned to Steven, not sure I'd heard correctly, but Steven had already turned around to introduce himself to our new friends. Of course, being the only female the men were nice enough to let me go first. I slowly walked up the stairs that led to the first hole.
“I have to let you both know I've never played before.” I apologized to them as I bent down and tried to poke me tee into the hard ground. Steven hand me a club and I took my first wild swing.
“You hit it!” Seven said, trying to sound encouraging as we watched it skip a few feet in front of me.
“Well, that was fun.” I said as I tucked my club back into the bag, hiking it back only my back and stepped out of the way to let the others drive their balls so far down the fairway I couldn't see where they'd landed.
The gentlemen climbed back in their cart and drove the few feet to where by ball was. I bent over and picked it up.
“You're not going to hit it again?” they asked.
I looked behind me, watching as another foursome was getting set up to play.
“That's okay.” I said tucking the ball back into my pocket. “I'll just drop the ball when we get closer to the green.”
“She's going to work on her short game today.” Steven explained to them.
“Oh, good idea.” they said before they drove away to find their own balls.
Steven looked over at me and smiled. “It's a beautiful day for a walk.” he said.

I tired to readjust the weight of the bag on my shoulders before I looked over and gave him a big smile in return. “It's sure is!” I said as I began my hike, thinking about how nice it would be to be laying on the couch right now watching a re-run of just about anything on the Entertainment Channel.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


My husband, Steven and I were sitting on our porch enjoying a quiet evening. “I love dusk.” I said. “I think it's my favorite time of day.” I leaned back in my chair, watching as some lighting bugs began to flicker in the bushes.
Steven sat beside me and swatted a mosquito off his leg. “It's too bad that it's the mosquito's favorite time of day too.” he said as he brushed another one from his arm.
“Do you want me to get some bug spray for you?” I asked.
“No, I think I'll go in before I'm eaten alive.” Steven got up, ready to head inside when something caught his eye in our back yard and he walked out there instead.
“Come here a minute.” he called to me as he looked up in the sky.
I followed him out and looked up too.
“Do you see it?” he asked.
“The bird?” I said as I watched it swooped down close to our fire pit.
“It's not a bird. It's a bat.” Steven said.
I instantly felt a shiver run up my back. “How can you be sure it's a bat?” I asked.
“By the way it's flying.”
“Isn't it too early in the evening for them to be out?”
Steven swatted another mosquito off his leg. “Are you kidding? With all the mosquitoes around? It's their favorite time of day too.”
I watched as the bat swooped and dove down around our bushes. Trying not to be disgusted, I thought about all the good they accomplished with pest control. “I guess it's good to have a bat or two around.” I reasoned.
“Have you even watched how a bat's radar works?” Steven asked.
“No. How do you test that?” I asked.
Steven leaned down, found a small rock in the grass and tossed it straight up in the air. The bat headed towards the stone and followed it straight down to the ground, inches from where I stood. I screamed, covered my head with my arms and raced for the porch. “Why did you do that?” I screamed.
“Did you see how it pulled up at the last second when it got too close to the ground?” Steven asked.
“No. I was too busy making sure the bat didn't get tangled up in the hair!” I yelled as goose bumps popped up on my arms.
“Sorry about that.” Steven bent down and found another small rock. “I'll toss this one further away from us.” he said.

“Please don't!” I cried as I headed for the back door rubbing the goose bumps from the arms. “I’ve had enough bat fun for one evening.”

Sunday, August 9, 2015


My husband Steven, watched as I dropped my yoga mat, hand weights and giant balance ball into the middle of the living room. “It gets harder every year.” I complained as he helped me push the coffee table back to give me more room.
“I know.” he agreed. “That's why I spend every night on the treadmill.”
“I hate the treadmill.” I grumbled. “In fact, I hate exercise!” I then went back to my search for all the exercise equipment I'd hidden around the house. “Why does it have to get harder every year just to look acceptable in a bathing suit?” I called from our bedroom.
“It the same thing for everyone!” Steven called back.
“Not making me feel any better.” I said as I searched under our bed. “What ever happened to that thigh squeeze thing I had?” I called out.
“You sold it at our last garage sale.” Steven called back. “Along with the abs zapper and butt burner you didn't like.”
“Oh.” I came back into the living room to go through our DVD collection. “I really need to put these in some sort of order.” I said as I searched for my yoga video. “I should have a section just for my exercise videos.”
Steven stared to laugh. “That would be a small section.”
I ignored him as I held up a video that went with the thigh crusher. “If I'd been able to find this for the garage sale I could have gotten more for the equipment.” I said as I tossed it behind me on the couch.
I finally found the yoga video, took the wrapper off and popped it in the machine. Sitting on the couch next to Steven I took the remote and started the video.
Steven looked over at me. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Watching the video.” I explained as I took a sip of water and fast-forwarded through the beginning section.
“Aren't you going to get on the floor and do what they're doing?” he asked.
“Not until I look through it first.”
“Because when I get a new video I like to do a quick run-through to see if I'm going to like it.”
“What if you don't like it?”
I pointed to the thigh crusher video next to me on the couch. “It goes with that one for the next garage sale.” I took another sip of water and hit the fast forward button again.
“What about...”
I had to interrupt him. “Steven, could we talk about this later?” I asked. “I'm in the middle of working out.”
Steven looked over at me.

I held up my water bottle and pointed at the television. “I'm hydrating and previewing.” I explained.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


My sister Liz was going away on vacation. Not an ordinary vacation, but one where she couldn't use her phone. Even though I was going to meet up with her in San Francisco a week later, I was still concerned that while she was away she wouldn't have any cell service. This might not sound like a big deal to some, but I talk to her every day.
“What if I need to talk to you?” I asked her during our last conversation before she left?
“I'll be seeing you in seven day.” she said trying to reassure me.
“I can do that.” I finally agreed.
Little did I know that the very next day a problem would come up that I desperately needed to discuss with her. I sat on the couch, pondering my choices of other understanding ears. That's when I looked over at my husband, Steven, sitting at the other end of the couch trying to watch television.
“Can we talk for a minute?” I asked.
He quickly turned the sound down on his show and looked at me with some concern.
It's not anything bad,” I quickly said. I guess the tone in my voice must have scared him a little. “It's just that I ran into someone at the grocery store who said something that's been bothering me all day.”
“What did they say? he asked.
“Well, maybe it wasn't exactly what was said, but how it was said. That's what's really bothering me.”
“How was it said?”
“I'll probably need to fill in some background about this person before you can truly understand why what was said and how it was said that would bother me.”
“Said what?” he asked again.
“Why do you keep asking me that?” I was beginning to get annoyed.
“Because how am I supposed to understand what you're even talking about if I don't know what was said in the first place.”
I was pretty sure I was hearing some exasperation in his voice, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and answered his question without telling him the background of the situation. “This person looked in my cart and wanted to know why I was always buying diet soda.”
“I know! Can you believe it!” I was waiting for him to agree with me, but instead he just stared a me.
“Big deal.” he said. “Just tell them it's because you like drink diet soda.” he said.
“Big deal? I cried. “Are you kidding me? You had to hear the way she said it and how she was standing when she said it!” Now I was losing my patience.”I knew I never should have brought it up to you. Liz would have understood exactly what I was talking about.”
“I'm sure she would and the two of you would have been on the phone for an hour discussing it.” Steven started to laugh.
“Exactly what's that suppose to mean?” The tone in my voice stopped his laughter.
He shook his head “You know I'm beginning to miss Liz myself.” he said. “Exactly how many more days until you meet her in San Francisco?”
“Whenever it is, it's not soon enough for you, huh?”

Steven just smiled as he turned the sound back up on his show.