Friday, December 30, 2016


We were at our annual holiday visit at my sister's house. All of us were gathered around her kitchen island, when my sister looked over at my wrist and noticed a red burn.
“How'd you get that one?” she asked.
I held it out proudly so she could get a better look. “Christmas morning, cooking bacon.”
My sister pulled up the sleeve of her shirt, showing me several welts on her forearm. “Frying calamari for Christmas Eve dinner.”
I leaned in to get a closer look. “Okay, I have to admit, yours looks worse than mine.”
My sister smiled as she pulled the sleeve down. “I didn't pat the calamari completely dry before I put it in the oil.”
“That's a painful lesson learned.” I said as I casually pulled up my own sleeve to show off my old holiday scars. “Remember the years of cookie baking?” I pointed to the fading red lines on my forearm. “I got caught three years in a row with the oven rack.”
By now our boys had grown bored with our conversation. They filled their plates with food and headed for the game room.
That left my sister and her husband and Steven and I. My sister was examining her hand. “You can’t see it anymore, but remember the year I made a Christmas goose?”
Steven leaned back and smiled. “That was the best goose I ever ate!”
My sister smiled. “Thank you!” She gave up looking for the scar. “I had a burn on my hand for years, from the drippings overflowing when I was taking the pan out of the oven.”
“I remember that one.” I shuttered at the memory. “You ate dinner with a cold cloth wrapped around your hand.”
It was my turn again as I showed her my knuckle. “See this little crescent shaped scar?”
She leaned forward to get a better look. “It's pretty faint.”
“Thank you!” Steven called out.
Everyone looked over at Steven, but I jumped in to explain first. “That was from the can opener disaster.” I said. “I was opening a can of cranberry sauce when the lid cut open my knuckle.” I rubbed the spot of my old wound. “I really should have gone to get stitches but we had a house full of guests.”
Steven jumped in. “It wasn't as bad as you thought. All I did was put a butterfly bandage on it and you were back at the dining room table in two minutes.”
We'd all gotten quite for a moment. Then my sister looked over at me. “Are we that accident prone?” she asked.
“No!” I was shocked she'd even suggest such a thing. “We love to cook and accidents just happen sometimes!”
Steven leaned over to my brother-in-law. “But, just to be on the safe side, I got her a can opener that doesn't leave any sharp edges.”

My brother-in-law nodded in agreement. “Smart move.” he said looking at my sister. “I'll be picking up one of those for you tomorrow.”

Friday, December 23, 2016


My husband Steven and I were headed out the door, for another holiday get-together. “Are we bringing anything?” he asked as we put on our coats.
I walked over to the wine rack and pulled out a bottle that already had a ribbon attached to it.
“This is perfect.” I said.
Steven stopped in front of the door. “Are you re-gifting?”
“It's a bottle of wine.” I answered.
“But we got that as a Christmas gift.” he argued. “It still has the original bow on it.”
“Food and wine don't count in re-gifting.”
“Since when?”
“This is their favorite wine.” I said. “Why should I go to the store and buy a bottle of this wine when I have a bottle right here and it already has the bow on it?”
“Because you didn't buy it.” he argued. “You took it out of our wine rack.”
“That's where my re-gifting rules come in.”
Steven took a deep breath. “This should be good.”
I tried to ignore his sarcastic tone. “You can't re-gift homemade food or wine, but anything store bought isn't considered re-gifting.” I explained. “It's more like sharing when you bring it to someone else's house.”
“So if someone made me a scarf I couldn't re-gift, but it would be okay if the scarf was store bought?”
“I didn't say that rule applies to outerwear.” I corrected. “I said it was find with food and wine.”
“So what do you do with the clothing gifts that you get and you don't like?”
“Those have to be worn at least once in front of the giver. Then you can put it in the back of your closet, where it will stay for a few years, before you give it to Goodwill.”
Steven started to laugh. “What about things for the house?” he asked.
“Out on display until the giver sees it, then up in the attic until the next garage sale.”
“What about gift certificates?”
“Oh come on, Steven! What's not to like about a gift certificate?”
“So you mean to tell me you've only re-gifted food and wine?”
“I'm telling you those are the only two things you can re-gift. And those can only go to someone who loves that type of wine or food.”
Steven looked at the bottle of wine tucked under my arm. “Do you make these rules up as you go?” he asked.

“Yes, but only when we're late for a party and I forgot to get them a hostess gift.” 

Friday, December 16, 2016


I was sitting on the couch, tucked under a blanket and scrolling through my Facebook feed, when Steven came into the living room and sat down next to me.
“Check this out.” I said as I handed him my phone and gave him a piece of my blanket.
“What am I looking at?” he asked putting him feet up on the coffee table and draping the blanket over his legs.
“It's a really great Christmas display.” I tapped the screen to start the video.
We both watched as the synchronized music and light show began. The entire house began it's flashing light display while a rock band covered a pumped up version of Carol Of The Bells. I couldn't help bobbing my head along with the music.
Four minutes later, when the video ended, I looked at Steven. “Wasn't that great?”
Steven handed me back my phone. “It was pretty good.” he said.
“The house is only forty minutes away.” I said. “Let's go look at it.” I suggested.
Steven looked confused. “We just looked at it.”
“I know,” I was scrolling though Facebook again. “But I'm sure it's even better in person.”
“Really?” Steven didn't sound convinced. “You mean driving forty minutes to wait in the traffic leading up to the house, finding a parking space a dozen blocks away and walking in the freezing cold is going to be better than what we just saw?”
It made me stop for a minute, because he had a point. But then I got nostalgic. “Don't you remember how much fun we used to have bundling up the boys and putting them in the back seat with bags of snacks while we drove all over Monmouth County looking at the lights?”
“Sure, it was fun.” Steven said, taking out his phone and logging onto his Facebook account. “But that was before everyone posted pictures of their decorated houses.” He scrolled though his feed. “One of my clients posted this great shot.” He handed me his phone to show me the house. It had lights in every tree and bush in the front yard. The entire house was outlined in lights and a full sized Santa was standing at the front door ready to welcome all their holiday visitors.
“Wow, that's really great.” I handed him back his phone.
“I know! They had a company come in and put all the lights up. It took them two days to get it all done.”
We were both scrolling though our feeds, looking for more houses, when Alex came into the room. “What are you two up to?” he asked.
“We're traveling around the county looking at everyone's Christmas lights.” Steven and I both held up our phones to show him. “Want to come with us?”
Alex looked over our shoulders to see. “This is how you look at Christmas lights now?”
“Sure.” Steven said. “No traffic, no freezing cold weather. What's not to like?”
Alex looked over at me. “What about the snacks and hot chocolate after? That used to be the best part.”
“That's a great idea!” I got up from the couch and looked at Steven. “I'm going to make some hot chocolate. Do you want some?”
“Sure.” Alex and Steven said together.

I handed Steven my phone. “Show Alex that great one I showed you with the music.”

Friday, December 9, 2016


Dinner was done and I was putting my plate in the dishwasher when I turned to Alex and asked, “Do you have room for dessert? I have cookies.”
“Really?” Alex sounded surprised as he placed his plate in the sink.
I shook my head and gave him the stink eye as I pointed to his plate and opened the door to the dishwasher. “Oh, sorry.” he took his plate out of the sink and put it in the dishwasher. “I was thrown when you said you made cookies.” he explained.
“What?” Now I was confused. “I didn't say I made cookies.” I opened the cabinet and handed him a sleeve of store bought chocolate chip cookies. “I said I had cookies.”
“Oh, right. What was I thinking?” he took the sleeve and went back to the table.
By now Steven was clearing his dishes. “Remember when your Mom used to bake all the time?”
Alex shook his head. “Not really?” He tore open the sleeve and took a cookie out. “But I'm sure these are just as good as the ones you say she baked.” He took a bite of the cookie and smiled at me.
“Oh come on!” I cried. “I can't believe you can't remember when I baked.”
Steven took out a glass and held it up. “Milk?” he asked Alex.
Steven took the milk out of the refrigerator and began to pour it into two glasses. “I have to say your Mom's chocolate chips cookies were really good.”
“Thank you.” I said as I went back to the table and sat down. “I can't believe you don't remember when I baked?” I reached for one of the cookies in the sleeve.
“Nope.” Alex shook his head as he reached for the glass of milk Steven held out to him. “But like I said, these are fine.” He dunked half his cookie in the milk.
“No, there not.” I placed my cookie on the napkin in front of me. “My cookies were so much better then these!”
“They were.” Steven dunked his cookie in his glass of milk.
“I believe you.” Alex said. “I'm just telling you I don't remember them.”
Now I was getting frustrated. “It can't be that long since I've baked.” I argued. “I used to bake dozens and dozens of cookies around the holidays.” I looked at Steven for confirmation. “Remember, I used to give them out as gifts.”
Steven nodded his head. “Everyone loved them.” he took a bite of his milk dripping cookie. “They were a perfect combination of chewy and crunchy.”
“Thank you!” I looked back at Alex. “But that's also the reason I stopped baking.” I explained. “I was making so many, it got overwhelming. Besides, everyone in my family was baking. It was getting ridiculous with how many cookies we had, so I decided to take some holiday pressure off myself and cut out the cookie baking.”
Alex nodded. “I completely understand.” he said taking another cookie from the sleeve. “Like I said before, these are fine.”
“No they're NOT!” I wanted to swat the cookie from his hand but instead I got up and went over to the grocery list. “I'm going to make you real chocolate chip cookies!” I began writing down everything I'd need. “No one's going to tell me homemade cookies aren't a thousand times better than store bought.”

I looked back at the table where Steven and Alex were smiling at one another. “I know exactly what the two of you just did.” I said as I finished writing on the shopping list. “But you're right. It has been too long since I baked.”

Friday, December 2, 2016


I was hunched over the coffee table with my address book in front of me, frantically scribbling names and addresses on envelopes, when Steven walked into the room.
“What are you up to?” he asked.
“The holiday cards.” I grumbled.
“You don't seem like you're having much fun.” he said as he sat down next to me.
“I'm not.” I complained. “I'm already late getting them out! I forgot to make copies of all the different pictures I wanted to tuck into certain people's cards, I don't have the energy or brain power to write a personalized note in each card, like I was hoping to do and...” I began shaking the pen furiously seeing if any more ink would come out before I had to search for another one. “This is the second pen I've used that's run out of ink!” I tossed the empty pen across the coffee table in disgust.
Steven smiled as he grabbed the remote for the television. “No one says you have to send them out this year.”
“Of course I have to send them out!” I cried. “I've had these cards sitting on my desk for the past two months!”
“Do you really think anyone's going to notice if you miss this one year?” he asked as he adjusted the pillow behind his head.
“I've already gotten a call!” I reached over and pulled out another pen for the drawer of a side table.
“Someone called you to say they haven't gotten a card from you yet?” Steven looked confused.
“My sister called me yesterday to tell me that I'm not the first holiday card she's gotten this year.” I scribbled on the back of one of the misaddressed envelopes to make sure the new pen was working. “I'm always the first card for her and somebody beat me!”
“So you're not her first card, who cares?”
“I don't think you understand, Steven. I've been her first card for the past six years. It's my small claim to fame. I'm not real happy about losing that!”
“So maybe you'll be the first card for somebody else.”
“Why do you think I'm working so hard to get them out now?” I hunched over the coffee table and began addressing envelopes again. “If I hurry, I still have a chance to be the first one for my other sister.”
I stopped for a moment and began shaking my writing hand. “I think my fingers are beginning to cramp.” I whined.

Steven rubbed the back of my neck. “As long as you're having fun, that's all that counts.” he said.

Friday, November 25, 2016


It was first thing in the morning and I met Steven out in the kitchen. “You know what today is, don't you?” I asked him as I got my tea cup out of the cabinet.
“Hmm...the day after Thanksgiving?” he asked as he handed me a tea bag.
“You know what we always do on the day after Thanksgiving?” I said as put the kettle on and turned around to see him trying to quietly leave the kitchen. “Oh, no you don't!” I cried.
“Oh, come on! The boys aren't even up yet!” he complained as he stopped and turned around to face me. “Can't we just enjoy one more day of Thanksgiving and start tomorrow?”
I shook my head. “Nope. It's tradition.”
Steven shook his head. “Fine, we'll get all the Christmas decorations down from the attic as soon as they're all up.”
I smiled, then went over to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. “Thank you.” I said before I went over to the front window. “I can't wait to throw out all our dead mums and deflated pumpkins.”
Steven stood next to me as we both looked at the house across the street from us. “How come their mums are still alive?” he asked. “Even their pumpkins look better then ours.”
“They must have some special power when it comes to mums.” I reasoned.
Steven looked over at me. “Or they water theirs.” he suggested.
The kettle began to whistle and I turned around to go back to the kitchen. “I watered ours.” I said. “They're just really needy plants.”
Steven followed me to the kitchen. “How often did you water them?”
“It doesn't matter now.” I poured the water into my cup, then tried to change the subject. “That's what's so great about today. It's a whole new holiday to decorate for!”
“Yeah...” Steven didn't sound thrilled.
“I don't know what your complaining about.” I said. “I'm the one who does all the work. You guys just bring the containers down from the attic. I'm the one who spends the entire day transforming the house for the holidays!”
“And we appreciate that.” Steven said. “But why can't we just do it over the weekend?”
“And break our tradition?”
“It's not our tradition, it's yours.”
I thought about it for a moment. “I guess I could spend today just putting away all the Thanksgiving decorations.” I looked around the house. “As long as you promise to help me over the weekend.”
“Promise.” he held one hand in the air while the other was on his heart.
I wasn't happy but I finally agreed. “Okay, fine.”
Steven smiled. “Great! So now that you don't have all of that work ahead of you today, maybe you could get some grocery shopping done.” he suggested. “Were out of everything.”
“Are you kidding?” I opened the refrigerator. “It's still packed with leftovers from yesterday!” I cried.
“I know, but we already had that dinner three times yesterday.” he complained as he moved the storage containers around on the shelves to make room for grocery shopping. “Can't we have something different for dinner tonight?”

I smiled as I slowly closed the refrigerator door. “Hey.” I reminded him. “It was your idea to extend Thanksgiving for one more day.”

Friday, November 18, 2016


My son Alex and I were on an early evening walk through our neighborhood when I happened to notice a lottery ticket laying in the gutter. I pointed it out to him. “Looks like someone got mad when it turned out to be a loser.”
Alex looked down. “How do you know it's a loser?” he asked. “Maybe they were on their way to cash it in when it blew out of their window?”
The ticket was several feet behind us when I stopped walking. “Are you kidding?”
“Nope.” he shook his head. “You never know.”
I looked back at the ticket as a puff of wind caught it and I watched it tumble further down the street. I looked back at Alex. “Why don't you run and get it and we'll check the numbers when we get home.”
Alex shrugged his shoulders. “It's not that important to me.”
“Are you kidding!” I couldn't believe my ears. “What if it really is a winner?” I cried.
“Just forget about it.” Alex said and began walking again.
The wind was taking it farther away from us. “Oh forget it!” I began jogging back. “I can't just forget about it!” I called over my shoulder.
When I reached the ticket it was folded in half but didn't seem to have any damage. I opened it up as I jogged back to Alex. “It's a Power ball.” I said holding it out to him.
Alex started to laugh. “I knew you couldn't pass it up.”
We began walking again as I slipped the ticket into my pocket. “What's that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, come on!” he was still laughing. “I know you! You'll stop and pick up a penny!”
I wasn't finding it as funny as he was. “Oh yeah?”
“The only question I had was how far you would let the wind take it before you couldn't stand it anymore and had to go get it!” Alex patted my arm. “We all know how you are about things like that.”
I still wasn't seeing the humor. “Okay...just for that if this ticket turns out to be a winner I'm not sharing the money with you!” I said feeling a little huffy.
Alex started to laugh harder. “Yes you will!” he cried. “You won't be able to help yourself!” I looked over to see him shaking his head. “You don't realize how well we know you.”
“Okay, fine.” I said as I patted the pocket with the ticket in it. “Just for that your Dad and I are going to go on a trip by ourselves and we're leave you and your brother home with frozen pizzas!” I was hoping he was feeling the sting of the punishment I'd just inflicted.
Alex laugh even harder. “And you're already spending the money!” He was laughing so hard he was shaking. “You and Dad crack me up! You always have vacation plans when you buy lottery tickets.”
We were at the end of our street, our walk was almost done. I patted my pocket again. “You'll'll be frozen pizzas for you.”
We walked into the house and I called for Steven. “Guess what we found on our walk?” I called out.
Steven came out of the kitchen, wiping his hands on a kitchen towel. “What?”
“A lottery ticket!” I cried holding it out for him to see.
“Great!” he flipped the towel over his shoulder and took the ticket from me. “I'll go online to see if it's a winner.”
I realized I was holding my breath as he scrolled through his phone.
“'s a loser.” he said as he crumpled it up and handed it back to me.
My shoulders slumped as took the ticket back from him.

“Hey,” Alex said as he patted me on the shoulder. “Look on the bright side. You're keeping our neighborhood streets litter free.”

Friday, November 4, 2016


Steven and I were sitting on the couch reading the morning paper. “I hate turning the clocks back!” Steven grumbled as he pointed to the reminder at the top of the newspaper.
“Not me!” I cried. “I love it!”
Steven looked over at me, I could see the confusion on his face. “Since when? You hate winter.”
“That's true.” I took another section of the paper, from the pile between us.
“You hate cold, you hate snow.” Steven began listing all my dislikes. “You hate ice. You hate shoveling, you hate not being able to sit out on the porch.”
I held up my hand to stop him from continuing. “All true.” I said. “But this year I've decided there's some good things that will happen when we change the clocks so, I've changed my mind.”
“What good things?”
“Well, I'll feel like cooking more.” I looked over at him and smiled. “You like that, don't you?”
He nodded in agreement. “I do like that.”
“So now the house is going to be filled with the smells of stews, pots of sauce, and roasts.” I nodded, slowly bringing him around to what I was thinking.
“That does sound nice.” He looked confused again. “But why are you thinking turning the clocks back is going to make you cook more?”
“It isn't.” I admitted. “It's just going to make me feel less guilty eating.”
“Less guilty?”
“Well after my spring, summer and fall diets all failed.” I explained. “I've decided I'm giving up the diet for the winter and embracing the layered, oversized, flaw-hiding clothes instead.”
“Oh...completely serious.” I said. “I'm also looking forward to coming home from work and getting right into my pajamas.” We switched sections of newspapers. “If you do that when it's still light outside people think you're a slug.” I adjusted the pillow behind my back. “But when it's dark at 4:30 everyone thinks you're just getting snugly.” I looked over at Steven and smiled. “Gotta love that, right?”
Steven just shook his head.
“I'm not saying I'm completely giving up on losing some weight.” I added. “I'm just giving myself a little break.”
“How long of a break?”
“Oh...I'm thinking maybe until January when all the weight loss commercials come on and make you feel bad about yourself.” I looked over at Steven. “So a diet break? You in?”
“Well, we do have to make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas.” he said. “Those are always tough for us.”
“Exactly!” I said. “See if we both agree, then neither one of us has to feel bad.”
“That's true.” he finally shrugged his shoulders. “Why not? I'm in.”
“See turning the clocks back is going to be great!” I smiled over at him. “Let's celebrate!”
“Celebrate? How?”
“Meet me here on the couch Monday night, right after work. Wear your pajamas and we'll order in!”
“Wait, I thought you said you were looking forward to cooking?”

“I can cook anytime.” I reminded him. “But this is a celebration!”

Friday, October 28, 2016


Steven and I were on a weekend getaway to Cape May. We stopped at Cape May Point Park and while we wandered through the different paths, Steven snapped pictures. An hour or so later we were back in the car. “Can I see the photo's you took?”
“Sure.” He began swiping through his photos.
“Oh...” I cried when I saw one I loved. “Can you send me that one! I want to post it!”
Moments later it was on my Facebook feed. “Great! Thanks.” I turned off my phone and we headed to our next destination.
After a full day of sightseeing Steven and I were finally sitting at dinner and I began to scroll through my Facebook feed. “You know it's always kind of nice to see how many people 'like' a picture you post.”
Steven moved his bread plate so the server could put down his salad.
“Oh look,” I cried. “Karen liked my picture! I've owed her a phone call for so long”
“So why haven't you called her?”
“Because we have so much catching up to do that both of us would have to have at least an hour of free time.” I complained.
“Just call and set up a time.”
“I know I really should.” I pushed my salad to the side and continued to scroll. “Whenever she posts a picture of somewhere she's gone I always hit the 'like' button.” I looked at Steven and shrugged my shoulders. “So, in a way, I feel like I'm keeping up with her.”
“No, not really.” I said sadly, then clicked off my phone and began to eat my salad. “Maybe I should just post to her time-line and see when it's a good time for her to talk?” I picked up my phone again and began typing. “Maybe she has some free time this weekend.”
“That's a good idea.” By now our main course had arrived.
“That's the problem with Facebook.” I continued. I thanked the server then looked back at Steven. “You think you're keeping in touch with friends by liking their posts. You see who has a birthday, a graduation, who's working on their house but you don't have a chance to ask any questions. All you do is hit 'like' and move on. No one really talks to each other any more.”
We finished dinner and while we waited for the bill I went back to Facebook to check my feed.
“Oh my gosh I love it!” I cried.
“You know how I just wrote on Karen's time-line that I owed her a phone call? That I'd love to catch up?”
Steven looked confused. “Yeah?”

“She just 'liked' my post!”  

Friday, October 21, 2016


My son Alex and I were headed out to pick up breakfast. I grabbed my keys from the kitchen counter. “I'll drive if you run in and pick up the bagels.” I said as I headed for the front door.
Alex slipped on his shoes and grabbed a baseball cap, “Sounds good to me.” he followed me to the car.
We weren't even half way down our street before Alex had the radio on and was quickly switching from station to station.
“Oh, I like that song.” I said.
But he'd already moved on to the next station. “There has to be something better than that.” he reasoned as he hit button after button.
“Wait,” I complained “You're switching too fast. I can't figure out what song it is before you switch again.”
“Don't worry. I'll find the right station.” The switching continued for a few more minutes before he finally turned the radio off and leaned back against the seat. “The radio's broken.” he sighed.
I looked over at him. “Broken?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Well, I can't find anything worth listening to. So as far as I'm concerned it's broken.”
I could only shake my head. “You know when I was growing up the person who decided what was listened to in the car was the person driving.” I reached over and turned the radio back on. The first station I clicked on was a classical station. “See I fixed the broken radio.”
“Humm...” Alex leaned over and turned the air conditioning off and opened his window.
I reached over and turned the air back on. “The temperature of the car was also decided by the person driving.” I explained as I pushed the button on my door that closed his window.
“But it's beautiful out.” he said. “Wouldn't you rather have the windows open?”
I had to admit he was right. I'd been using the air conditioning for so long it had become a habit. “I guess we could try the windows.”
He turned the air off while I lowered the windows.
We'd only driven for a few minutes before I pulled up next to another car at a stop light. Alex quickly reached over and turned off the radio. “Hey!” I cried. “I was listening to that.”
“In a minute.” He began putting his window up. “Can you close your window, I'll turn the air back on.”
“What?” I looked over at him. “You just said you wanted the windows down because it's a beautiful day?”
“I know.” He nodded his head to the car next to us at the stop light. It was filled with a group of guys about his age.
It took me a minute to figure out the problem but when I finally did I happily put my window up. “Sorry about that.” I started to laugh. “I guess sitting in a car listening to classical music with your Mom is a little tough on the image huh?”
“The classical station is a little embarrassing.” he admitted. “But hanging out with you isn't bad at all.”
“Ahhh.” I almost felt a little teary. “Thanks, I like hanging out with you too!” I reached over and turned off the radio. “Looks like it's broken again.” I laughed as I opened the windows.

Alex smiled. “I told you, that thing breaks all the time.”

Friday, October 14, 2016


I was hurrying out of the bedroom to get my morning cup of tea. “I overslept!” I cried as I passed Steven in the kitchen and grabbed the kettle from the stove.
“Oh, I thought you were just sleeping in.” he said as he moved out of the way so I could get to the sink to fill the kettle. “Did you forget to set your alarm?”
“No it was set.” I put the kettle on and hoped watching it would make it come to a boil faster.
“So what happened?” he handed me my favorite mug.
“Well, I was in the middle of this dream...” I put a tea bag into the mug.
“Oh, and you didn't want it to end?” he nodded, “I've done that.”
“No, that's not what happened.” I went back to watching the kettle. “I was in a car with a few friends.”
I looked back at him and shook my head. “I don't know who they were.”
“So how do you know they were friends?”
“I don't know.” I shrugged my shoulders. “I just knew they were.”
“Okay so...” he leaned back against the counter.
“So every time one of my friends tried to tell us a story this annoying guy sitting in the back would have his phone alarm go off.”
“Who was the guy?”
“I don't know.”
“What was he doing in the car with you?”
“I don't know, he was there to be annoying I guess.”
“Just because his phone alarm went off?”
“Well, it wasn't just one time, it was over and over again.” I explained annoyed that the water hadn't come to a boil yet. “Every time my friend would start her story the alarm would go off again.”
Steven's phone started to ring. He took it out of his pocket, looked at the number. “I'm sorry, I have to get this.”
While he had a quick conversation I stared at my kettle and looked at the clock wondering just how late I was going to be today.
When he was done with his conversation he looked back at me. “Sorry about that. So you were saying you didn't know who the guy in the back seat was?”
“No, but that doesn't really matter.” The water had finally boiled and I poured it in the mug. “The reason his phone kept going off...”
Steven's phone rang again and he, once again, looked at the number. “I'm sorry, this is work, I'm going to have to take this one too.”
I watched my tea steep as he finished up his conversation, hung up and looked back at me. “Sorry about that, so what were you saying?”
“I was telling you about my dream.” I reminded him.
“Right, right.” he leaned back against the counter. “So some guy you didn't know was sitting in the back seat and his phone kept going off.”
“Right, so...”
Steven's phone rang again. “Sorry about this. We just started a new job and everyone has questions.”
I threw my tea bag in the trash and headed for our bedroom to get ready for work.
Steven came in a moment later. “Sorry about that. So you were saying?”
I was pulling clothes out of the closet and laying them on the bed. “Well, I was getting annoyed every time this guys phone rang, but then I realized what I was hearing was my own alarm ringing! It had been going off for about fifteen minutes!”
“I've had that happen to me before. It's just funny that you made it a guy in a carload of your girlfriends.” his phone rang again. He looked at the number. “Sorry I have to get this.”

I had to smile as he walked away.

Friday, October 7, 2016


I was running late for work so I grabbed my cup of tea and ran to go take a shower. Once I turned on the water I did what I always do while I'm waiting for the shower to get to the right temperature. I closed my eyes and stepped on the scale.
Taking a deep breath I looked down to see what today's damage was, but there wasn't a reading. “Hmm...that's weird.” I stepped off, then stepped back on once again. Still nothing.
So I took my shower. While I was wiping the steam off the bathroom mirror, so I could put on my make-up, Steven came to the bathroom door. “You going to be much longer?” he called through the closed door.
“Be out in a minute.” I called, which is what I always say no matter how much time I still needed. “Hey, Steven. Did you know the bathroom scale is broken?”
“It's not broken.” He called back. “I pulled the battery out of it.”
“What?” I stopped blending my cover-up and opened the door. “Why would you do that?”
“Because when I used it this morning it kept coming up Error.” Steven passed by me and put his towel on the shower door.
“But when I used it yesterday it was fine.” I went back to blending my cover-up under my eyes.
“Okay, but now it's broken.” Steven went back into our bedroom to wait for me to be done. “I'll try to pick up a battery today.”
“Okay, I guess I can skip today.” I reasoned. “But I really need it back for tomorrow. If you don't have time to get the battery let me know and I'll pick it up.” I popped my head around the door jam and saw him sitting on the bed. “It's really important.” I added before I went back to the bathroom mirror to finish.
“Important?” Steven sounded confused.
“I have to weigh myself every morning to see what kind of day I'm going to have.” I called out.
“What kind of day?” Steven was now leaned against the bathroom door jam, looking at me in the mirror.
“Exactly.” I got out my blush and brush. “I weigh myself every morning, at the same time, before I get into the shower.” I pointed to my full tea mug on the sink. “It has to be before I eat or drink anything. If I'm happy with the number maybe I'll let myself have that cookie or second piece of bread that day.” I clicked the blush container closed and put in back in the cabinet. “You know... happy number, happy day.”
Steven just shook his head. “And if it's not a good number?”
“Terrible day.” I grabbed my hair brush. “When I eat that cookie on second piece of bread on a bad day I'm miserable the whole time I'm eating it.”
Steven started to laugh. “So the number on the scale doesn't stop you from eating something?'
“Sometimes, but usually not.” I turned around and smiled, ready to start my day. “So you can see how today’s going to be hard for me. I'm not sure if it's a happy day or a fat day.”
Steven watched as I collected the rest of my things before I headed for the front door. “Well, I think you look great.” he said.

I spun around to face him, a huge smile on my face. “Thanks! That's going to help make it a great day for me!” I grabbed my purse and gave him a quick kiss good-by. “But that's only going to work for today. I really need that battery for tomorrow.”

Friday, September 30, 2016


Steven and I have been watching separate T.V.'s for years, mostly because we had vastly different tastes in shows. But recently we decided we wanted to spend more time together so, here we were, sitting on the couch while Steven channel surfed.
“Can we please just land on a show and watch it?” I begged. I was getting dizzy as Steven flew through the channels, rejecting them before I even had a chance to see what was on.
“There's nothing on,” he complained.
“Good, then give me the controller.” I said, holding out my hand, waiting to see if he'd actually give it to me. “I can always find something to watch.”
“It's not your night to decide.” He reminded me. “I'll find something.” he said, going through the more obscure channels and stopping for a longer look-see at the Golf Network.
“Please don't.” I begged as I watched some guy picking tiny pieces of something off the green, setting up to make his putt. “Do you even know any of the guys that are playing?”I asked.
“It doesn't matter.” Steven sat up straighter on the couch and pointed to the television. “I bet he can't make this putt!” He said, sounding as if he had money on the game.
I sat patiently as Mr. Golfer did everything but dig a trench to the hole. The tension and anticipation mounted in the announcer's whispered voices as they explained each step Mr. Golfer was taking.
Of course, by now, I'd closed my eyes to wait until a thunderstorm blew thought the game or the guy finally made his putt, whichever came first.
I'm not sure how long I'd been dozing when I woke up and the game had only moved to the next hole. The same amount of non-excitement was going through the hushed crowd.
It was then that I heard a familiar sound coming from the other end of the couch where Steven was laying. It was faint, but I still recognized his snore.
Sitting up, I looked over to see him fast asleep, but still clutching the controller tightly against his chest.
Getting up slowly, I tip-toed over to him to try and gently pry the controller from his grip. I wasn't even touching him yet when his eyes popped open. “What are you doing?” he asked, tucking the controller behind his pillow.
“Oh, come on!” I complained. “You're not even watching television anymore!”
Steven kept his hand behind the pillow. “I might not be watching but I was still listening.” he reasoned.
“You were snoring!” I said as I sat back down.
“Well, then, I want to thank you for waking me up.” He pulled the controller out from behind the pillow and adjusted the sound to be a bit louder. “I didn't want to miss this putt.”
“Don't forget it's my turn to have the remote tomorrow.” I reminded him.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you, I have an appointment tomorrow night.”
“You what?” I sat up straighter. “That's not fair!” I cried.
“What do you mean?” he looked confused. “It's still your day to have the controller.”
“I know, but clearly half the fun of having the controller is being able to make the other person watch shows they have no interest in.” I pointed to the golf game.

Steven shrugged his shoulders then looked over at me and smiled. “What can I say except it's a win-win for me.”

Friday, September 23, 2016


I was showered, dressed and ready for work. I looked into the bathroom mirror one last time and chanted, “You can do this!You can! Put on a smile and let's go!”
I went into the kitchen to grab my lunch when Steven came in. “Morning!” he said. “How'd you sleep?”
“I was up and down all night.” I said with a smile on my face. “I feel terrible.”
Steven looked confused. “You feel terrible?”
“I sure do!” I said in a sing song voice.
“But you look so happy.”
“That's because I've decided to use the 'fake it until you make theory' today.”
Steven laughed. “Yeah, good luck with that.”
“What do you mean?” I took a deep breath and put an even bigger smile on my face. “People do it all the time.”
“Sure they do.” Steven said. “But they do it with jobs and relationships. I’m pretty sure you can't fake not being tired.”
“Watch me.” I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. Steven stood in the doorway watching me. I walked to the car trying my best to walk with an upbeat style. My shoulders were back, my arms swinging by my sides and I was taking deep and purposeful breaths. “I'm feeling better already!” I called over my shoulder as I unlocked my car and got in.
“Like I said, good luck with that.”
I gave a quick wave as I backed out of the driveway. Halfway down my street I turned the air conditioning on full blast and adjusted the vents to land right on my face. “That's better.” I said as I turned on the radio and found a station that was playing hard rock. Turning it up until I could feel the bass thumping in my chest I continued on my way to work.
“Don't forget to smile.” I reminded myself. “It's going to be a beautiful day!”
I could feel my eyes burning from lack of sleep. “Oh, no you don't.” I reprimanded myself. “Your eyes hurt because the sun is so bright and it's a beautiful today.” I reached into the console and got my sunglasses. “There you go! Perfect!” I sang as I put them on.
I pulled into my spot in the parking lot at work. Gathering my things I opened my car door but before I got out I gave myself another quick pep talk. “It's going to be a great day!” I said in my sing song voice. “You can do this!”
I hadn't realized my friend was parked next to me just sitting in her car. “Morning.” she said her head leaned back against the headrest, her eyes half closed.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Awful night.” she said. “I'm exhausted.”
Seeing her like that was all it took. It was like looking in a mirror. “Me too.” I sighed as my shoulders slumped, and my lunch bag and pocketbook felt too heavy to carry. “How are we ever going to make it though the day?” I whined.

“I don't know.” she shook her head sadly. “Good luck to you.” she called as I dragged myself across the parking lot feeling like the only hope left for me was the soda machine in the break room. “Caffeine.” I whispered.  

Friday, September 16, 2016


Dinner was done, the kitchen was clean and I was just about to sit down on the couch for the first time all day. But before I could even get into the living room I heard my son Alex call, “Mom, can you come here for a minute?”
At first it didn't sound like anything urgent so there was a split second that I thought about pretending I didn't hear him. But, he was persistent. “Mommmmm!” he called again “You've got to see this!”
I headed down the hall to where he was standing. “What?”
“Check it out.” he pointed to something on the wall.
As I got closer I finally saw the giant mosquito he was pointing to. “Wow, that thing is huge!” It had a three inch wing span.
“I know!”
“Let me go get a tissue.” I was about to go into the bathroom when Alex held one out for me. “I'm way ahead of you.” he said.
“Wait,” I took the tissue from him. “You were waiting for me to kill it?”
“You're better at it then I am.” he stood behind me.
“It's a mosquito.” I said as I grabbed the bug off the wall and headed to the bathroom to show him his new home. With a quick flush he was on his way. “I can't believe you had to call me to get rid of him.”
“I didn't have to call you.” he was headed back to his room. “We just all know how much you like bug catching.”
“What? Are you kidding me? Who ever said that?”
Alex shrugged his shoulders. “I don't know, it's just always been known.”
Shaking my head I went back to the living room to finally sit down and relax. I actually got a good hour of down time before I heard Steven calling, “Hey, I've got a huge spider for you!”
“Oh come on!” I yelled as I headed to the master bathroom. “Why can't anyone else get rid of the bugs around here!”
Steven was standing in the bathroom door way. “Look at the size of that one.” he was pointing towards the corner by the wastebasket. “It's a big one huh!”
I looked at him. “Why do you sound like you're giving me a present.”
“Because we all know how much you like bug hunting.”
“WHO STARTED THAT RUMOR?” I asked as I grabbed a tissue from the box on the sink and went in for the squish. “I hate bugs!” I moved the wastebasket and the spider spun around to face me.
Just then the lights went out. “WHAT!” I jumped back, picturing the spider using the dark opportunity to lunge for my face.
Steven was laughing as he turned the light back on. “I thought maybe you'd like more of a challenge.”
“Are you insane!” I turned around to see the giant spider headed my way. “Oh man, oh man, oh man.” I chanted as I scooped the spider up in the tissue and sent him to join the mosquito. I shuddered as I flushed the toilet.
“Update for all of you!” I called out to everyone in the house. “I DON'T LIKE BEING THE BUG SQUASHER!”

“You say that now,” Steven walked with me as I headed back to the couch. “But we all know you do.”

Friday, September 9, 2016


For the past few weeks my family and I have been watching a Mama deer and her three babies wander around our neighborhood. She'd take them from yard to yard giving them a tour. The fawns would stop for a moment at each yard and nibble on some grass before scampering after their Mama. You couldn't help but smile at such a sweet sight.
So, you can imagine how happy I was the day I spotted the triplets in our back woods bedded down for the day. “You've got to come see this!” I called to my husband Steven and our son Alex.
We went quietly out on our deck making sure not to scare them away. We sat and watched their little heads peeking out at us from behind the trees.
“How sweet are they.” I whispered.
Alex scanned the woods, “I don't see the Mom.” he whispered.
“I'm sure she's close by.” I looked around to see if I could find her myself. “Nope, I don't see her.” I looked over at Steven. “You know, I'm kind of honored that she felt our yard was safe enough to leave them here.”
Just then one of the fawns got up and slowly came to the edge of the woods. He stood looking at us for a moment before leaning over to begin eating the seeds out of my bird feeder.
Steven and Alex quickly looked over at me. Knowing how I hated when the deer emptied my feeder at night, they were waiting to see my reaction.
“That's okay.” I reassured them. “He's just a baby, I can share my feeder this time.”
We watched as he slowly drained the seeds. I have to admit he was starting to loose some of his charm.
Just then another of the triplets came out of the woods and began getting closer to the deck where we were sitting.
“Look, he's not even afraid of us.” I whispered as the fawn slowly came to the side of the deck. We watched as he poked his tiny little nose through the rails, his mouth frantically trying to reach my tomato plant. When he finally got hold of some leaves he quickly pulled the plant back through the rails, chomping ever so happily on my plant.
“HEY!” I called, but he didn't seem to even flinch as he stuck his head back through the rails to go back for more.
Before I could even get up I saw the final triplet had come out of hiding and had pulled a big chunk of my lawn out by the roots. He was staring at us with my lawn hanging out of his mouth.
I'd had enough.
“That's it!” I jumped up waving my arms. “Are you kidding me!” I cried, all three of the fawns stopped what they were doing and looked over at me. “GO! SCAT!” I was clapping my hands and stomping my feet.
I could hear Steven and Alex laughing behind me, but I couldn't stop myself. I kept up my crazy arm waving until the triplets hopped over the fence and went into the next yard.
“That's right!” I called. “Keep it moving!”
Satisfied that they'd moved on I turned back to my guys sitting up on the deck.
“Wow!” Steven said. “You go from zero to sixty in crazy when someone touches your tomato plants!” he was laughing.

“I thought they were going to be sweet little babies.” I climbed back up the stairs and sat back down in my chair. “I had no idea they were a wandering wrecking crew!”

Friday, September 2, 2016


 I was on the phone with my sister Donna, telling her about the psychic reading I'd had at a friend's house party. “There were eight of us and we each got twenty minutes for a reading.” I explained.
“What did you think?”
“She was amazing!” I gushed. “She was telling people about their careers and what was going on with their kids!”
“What did she have to say to you?”
“She told me Dad was standing by me.” I could feel my eyes begin to well up just thinking about it. “That he wouldn't leave until I knew it was him.”
“How did she know it was Dad?” she asked.
“Well, that's the funny part.” I was looking out my front window, watching the dragonflies dart about. “First, she asked if I knew someone with a hurt arm.”
“That's Dad!” Donna cried. Our Dad had lost an arm in a motorcycle accident when he was a young man.
“I know that now, but I wasn't thinking of him.” I admitted.
“How could you not know it was Dad?”
“I don't know, I just didn't.”
“So how did you figure it out?”
“Well, she said that when a client didn't recognize who she's talking about she usually moved on to something else.” I sat down on the couch, grabbed a pillow and tucked it behind my back. “But she said that this particular person wouldn't leave. He was insisting on coming through. So then she said there was a hunting dog next to him, and that he was wearing a blue shirt.”
“Oh, you had to know it was Dad then.” She cried.
“Nope...” I had to laugh. “I still didn't know it was him.”
“Are you kidding? Dad always wore a blue shirt and he had hunting dogs before he met Mom.” Now she was laughing too.
“I'm telling you it just wasn't clicking.” I put my feet up on the coffee table.
“So what finally made you realize she was talking about Dad?”
“This is the best part!” I stopped talking when I heard someone in the kitchen. I looked at my watch to see if someone was looking for dinner but it was only 4:30, so I went back to my conversation. “Well...she was quiet for a second then she finally said, he's yelling Albie!”
Now both my sister and I were laughing. “I swear I can almost see Dad shaking his head, wondering why I'm so thick that he finally just yells his name.” I was laughing so hard I had to wipe a tear from the corner of my eye.
Just then my husband Steven came around the corner and interrupted our conversation, “You went to a psychic?” he asked, a look of concern on his face.
“Hold on a minute.” I said to my sister. Then looked at Steven as he stood there holding a sandwich. “I thought I told you about this.”
Steven shook his head. “I knew you went to the party, but I don't remember you saying anything about a psychic being there.”
“Humm. I guess I forgot to mention that.”
Steven didn't look convinced. “You don't really believe in that stuff do you?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “It was a fun thing to do at a party, Steven.” Then I shook my head and tried to sound dismissive, “No one was there was taking it seriously.”
Steven nodded. “Okay, as long as you know it's not real.” he left to go back to his office.
“Hey, I'm back.” I said to my sister.
“I just heard what you said. No one at the party was taking it seriously?” she asked.

I waited a moment making sure Steven had time to get to his office but I still lowered my voice to a whisper making sure he couldn't overhear me, “Are you kidding me?” I looked over, double checking to make sure he wasn't about to pop his head the corner and overhear me again. “We were all taking it seriously!” I cried. “I'm telling you she was amazing!”

Friday, August 26, 2016


I'd just stepped out on my back porch when I noticed a hummingbird at my feeder. I stood there a moment watching him drink when my husband, Steven came outside.
“Morning.” he said, holding out the newspaper for me.
“Shhh.” I pointed to the feeder, but just as I did, my little hummingbird friend zipped off into the trees. “Aw...” I looked over at Steven. “I can't help it. I just love watching them! They remind me of the Jetson's cartoon when the flying car zips off into the horizon.”
Steven laughed as he sat down to enjoy some time on the deck before heading to work.
“What are you up to today?” he asked.
I didn't get a chance to answer before another hummingbird was hovering over the feeder. We both got quiet trying not to scare him away. He was only there for a moment before a second hummingbird dove down at him and chased him up into the trees. “'s like they’re playing tag.” I said.
As I pictured them enjoying this game another hummingbird tried to get a sip of nectar at the feeder when that second hummingbird swooped out of the trees and chased him away too. I looked over at Steven. “Now I'm not sure they're playing.”
We kept watching as they dove and spun around our back yard, circling the house. Each time one would try to land on the feeder, the other would chase them away.
“Wow, what a bully.” I said, getting annoyed at the one hogging the feeder. “How do you make a hummingbird play nice?”
“You Google it.” Steven said as he picked up his phone. “I just typed in hummingbird bully and there are a dozen articles on it.”
“Are you kidding me?” He handed me his phone to see. I opened the first link. After a few seconds of reading I had to laugh. “It says it's usually a male.” I looked back at Steven.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” he sounded surprised. “I always share my food with you.”
I didn't say anything as I went back to reading. “It says the way you fix the problem is to put a bunch of feeders together in a cluster. This way he'll get so exhausted fighting all the others away that he'll finally give up and let them eat.”
“There you go! Problem solved!” Steven said.
“Problem solved?” I handed him back his phone. “So the only way I can stop this guy from being a jerk is to give him more of what he wants!” Now I was getting annoyed. “Talk about rewarding bad behavior!”
We watched as he chased two more from the feeder.
“You're right.” Steven agreed. “Why should we reward that kind of behavior.”
“Exactly!” I watched as another never got a chance for even a sip before heading for the safety of the trees.
“Of course, if we leave it like this then you'll be responsible for letting the others starve.” he added.
I looked over at Steven ready to protest but he was just shaking his head, a sad look on his face. “But what can I say.” he shrugged his shoulders. “It's your decision.”

“Fine!” I wasn't even trying to hide the disgust in my voice. I pointed to our flying bully. “To answer your question about what I'm up to today. I guess I'm stuck shopping for more feeders!”

Friday, August 19, 2016


“Did someone eat the half of a bagel I'd saved?” I called as I stood in front of the bread cabinet holding a container a vegetable cream cheese in my hand.
My son Alex came out of his room. “Were you saving that?”
“I was.” I'd been looking forward to having it for breakfast.
“Sorry about that.” he looked in the bread cabinet and pulled out a loaf of bread. “How about this?” he handed me the potato bread.
I held up the cream cheese. “Not the same on potato bread.”
“I'm sorry I didn't know.”
“It's okay, as long as you didn't throw it out.” I looked over at him, trying to read his expression.
“Why would I throw it out?”
“Because last week you threw out the one waffle I'd left in the freezer!” I put the potato bread away and went to the refrigerator to put the cream cheese back.
“Who eats only one waffle?” Alex asked.
“I do!”
“Well, I don't know anyone, but you, that eats just one.” he was shaking his head in disbelief, “Waffles should be eaten in pairs.”
“Says who?” Now I was shopping through the refrigerator to find something else to eat.
“I also eat just one pop tart.” I added.
“I know. That drive me nuts, too! You stick the one back in the box in a zip lock bag.” He was leaned up against the counter, watching me forage. “They put a pair of them in a foil pack for a reason.”
“Well, you don't throw the one pop tart out.” I pulled out the eggs and put them on the counter.
Alex shrugged his shoulders. “It bugs me, but I figure you'll be back for the other one in a day or two.”
“So why did you throw the one waffle away?” I'd gotten out a pan, getting ready to scramble an egg.
“That one waffle was in the freezer for almost two weeks.”
I looked over at him, “So? I wasn't in the mood for a waffle.”
“So,” Alex reached in the drawer behind him and pulled out the spatula and handed it to me. “Every time you went grocery shopping you must have looked in the freezer, saw the box, and figured we didn't need any.” he smiled at me. “I figured if I got rid of the box you'd finally buy more waffles so I could have some.”
I cracked the egg against the side of the pan and dropped it in. Alex reached in the carton and pulled out two more eggs. “I only eat one egg.” I smiled at him. “I'm weird that way.”
He was still holding out the eggs. “I know, but I was hoping you'd make me some too.”
I had to laugh as I took the eggs from him. “Can you make the toast?” I asked.

“Sure,” he went back over to get the bread. “One slice?”

Friday, August 12, 2016


“Oh come on!” I cried as I was reading the morning paper. “Why do they think everyone in New Jersey is so stupid that they have to make ridiculous laws to protect us!”
My son Alex walked out of his room. “What are you yelling about?”
“This!” I held up the newspaper. “Did you hear that they want to make a law that you can't drink or eat anything while you're driving?”
“Yeah, the Distracted Driving Bill. I heard about it.” Alex didn't seemed fazed.
“So now if I want to take a sip from my bottle of water, I'm distracted!” I was still pretty fired up. Maybe because I never left the house without a bottle of water tucked under my arm.
“How about if I sneeze? What about then? You know you can't sneeze with your eyes open.” I was now pacing back and fourth in the room. “Now my allergies are kicking up and I sneeze, I'm distracted.” I turned to face Alex. “Are they going to ban sneezing next?”
Alex didn't answer. That's when my husband, Steven walked in. “What's going on?”
“Mom's afraid she's not going to be able drink from her water bottle while she's driving.”
I was waving the newspaper at them. “According to this, if they pass this bill they can stop me if they think my head's tipped back to far, finishing the last of my water.” I shook my head in disbelief. “You know, because my eyes will be off the road for a second.”
“They're not going to stop you.” Steven reassured me. “That's just the media exaggerating.”
“They're not exaggerating.” I held up the paper as if it explained it all. “If I have a fender bender and they see an open bottle of water in my console they can say the fender bender happened because I was drinking water while I was driving.”
“If the accident happened because you were drinking then they'd be right, you were distracted.” Steven argued.
“Oh come on! Who's side are you on?” I cried. “You know what's really distracting?”
Steven and Alex looked at each other, afraid to answer.
“I'll tell you what's distracting!” I tucked the paper under my arm and went over to the cabinet to get a bottle of water. “Two kids strapped in car seats behind you arguing about where we're going to eat that night, McDonald’s or Burger King!” I looked over at Alex. “Now that's distracting!”
Alex looked over at his Dad. “Wow, that happened like twenty years ago.”
“And I still remember it like it was yesterday!” I said, opening the bottle of water to take a sip. “I almost hit a curb trying to break up that argument.” I looked at Steven. “So you think maybe the law will include driving with kids in the back seat?”
Steven and Alex just looked at one another.
“Well...” I said.
“I'm sure the bill will get amended before it goes through.” Steven said he took the newspaper from me.
“It better!” I took another sip of water. “They treat us like idiots!”
As they were both leaving the kitchen I could hear Alex whispering, “Wow, you threaten to take her water bottles away when she drives and she goes nuts.”

“You don't even know the half of it.” Steven whispered back.

Friday, August 5, 2016


I was up early, wrapped up in my robe, sipping my cup of tea when I went into the living room to look out the front window to see if the newspaper had arrived. I could see it was waiting for me at the end of the driveway, but then something else caught my eye.
“Hey, Steven! Can you come here for a minute?”
My husband, Steven came in from the kitchen, carrying his cup of coffee. “Did the newspaper come yet?” he asked as he came over to the window where I was standing.
“Yeah,” I pointed out the window. “But look at all the dragonflies flying over our front lawn!”
Steven looked out the front window. “Wow, there must be fifty of them!”
“I know! I've never seen anything like it. Aren't they beautiful.” We watched as they hovered then dipped along our lawn. “What do you suppose they're doing?”
Steven shrugged his shoulders. “It's been raining so much, maybe something hatched in the lawn.”
I looked at the neighbors yards. “Then why are they only in our yard?”
Steven looked around. “Huh, that's weird.” We both watched as they frantically moved from one end of our yard to the other, but never crossing over to either neighbors'. “Must be something that only hatched in our yard.” he reasoned.
Just then a couple, out for a morning walked, stopped at our sidewalk to watch the dragonflies dashing and swooping along our grass. Steven and I backed away from the window.
“So...” I looked over at Steven. “Can you go get the newspaper for me this morning?”
“Why can't you go?”
“Because I'm still in my robe.”
“That's never stopped you before.”
“Well, I'm barefooted!” I lifted up a foot to prove my point.
“That's never stopped you either.”
“Please...” I whined.
Just then our son Alex came into the living room.
“Oh great!” I said giving him a good morning kiss on the cheek. “You're dressed, can you go out and get the paper for me?”
I smiled over at Steven.
Alex opened the front door, then quickly closed it again. “Woo! Did you see all the dragonflies out front?”
“Yeah, aren't they amazing!” I answered.
“Amazing is right! There must be a hundred of them!”
“Oh come on, it's not a hundred.” I looked back out the window where our neighbors across the street were now staring over at our house. Alex walked over to look out the window. “I thought you were getting the paper for me?” I asked.
“I'm not going out there.”
“Oh, come on... they don't bite.”
Alex looked over at me and laughed. “That's not the reason I'm not going out.” He at Steven then back at me. “I'm not going for the same reason neither of you are going.” He nodded his head towards the window. “Because there's a crowd of people outside staring at our weird lawn.”
Steven looked over at me and shrugged his shoulders as Alex headed for the kitchen. “He's got a point.”
“But I love reading the paper first thing in the morning.” I whined.

Steven grabbed the television remote from the coffee table and handed it to me. “Looks like you're getting the news from this today.”

Friday, July 29, 2016


My sister Liz was coming for the weekend and wanted me to plan a girls' shopping day.
“I guess that sounds like fun,” My husband, Steven said as I told him about the plan. “I'm just glad I don't have to go.”
I understood what Steven was saying. Shopping with my guys consists of going to the store to pick up what we need, then coming right back home. The goal has always been to spend as little time as possible in a store. I've gotten so good, at that kind of shopping, that I wasn't sure spending the day mindlessly wandering around a mall was going to be much fun.
Boy, was I in for a surprise!
When Steven opened the door, later that evening, I was practically giddy. My arms were weighted down with all my shopping bags. Liz was right behind me laughing as I dropped my bags onto the nearest chair.
“Wow! You've certainly been busy!” Steven said.
“Oh my gosh, look!” I held out my arms to show him the deep grooves I had from carrying so many bags. “I hope these aren't going to be permanent!” I said, rubbing my arms.
“She definitely had fun.” Liz said to Steven as she put her bags down too.
“What did you get?” Steven asked.
“You would not believe the sales they were having!” I reached into the first bag. “Isn’t this the cutest sweater you've ever seen?” I held up the black cardigan for him to see.
“Don't you already have a black sweater?”
“Not like this one!” I tossed the sweater onto the back of the chair and reached into another bag. “They were having a sale on hand soap.” I held it up for him to smell. “Lavender.”
“It smells nice.” Steven looked into the bag. “So you got five of them?”
“It was a great sale!” I went for another bag. “Oh...and when we stopped to get some lunch it turned out to be National Cheesecake Day! Can you believe our luck?”
Steven looked over at Liz.
Liz nodded. “It was National Cheesecake Day.” she confirmed.
“Did you stop for dinner too?” Steven asked.
“We ate lunch so late that I couldn't eat another thing.” I looked over at Liz. “What about you?”
“I'm still pretty full.” she agreed.
Steven looked at both of us. “Then I guess I'll order dinner for the boys and I.”
“That's a great idea! You do that while I start putting some of this stuff away.” I went over and gave Steven a hug. “Did I mention how much fun I had?”
“You did.” Steven started to laugh.
I began gathering up my loot. “I’ve been living with guys for so long I forgot how much fun shopping with a girl can be!” I couldn't stop smiling.
That's when Liz looked over at Steven. “I'm pretty sure that, right about now, you're grateful that I don't come for the weekend more often, huh?”
Steven smiled as he looked at all my bags. “You're a mind reader.”
“Oh, by the way...” I held out one of my bags. “I brought you and the boys pieces of cheesecake too!”

“Thanks!” he took the bag and headed to the kitchen to put it in the refrigerator. “Now you're a mind reader too!”  

Friday, July 22, 2016


I went out to my car, ready to run some errands, when I noticed my Adele CD laying on my console. “No-No-No-No!” I cried as I picked it up and went back into the house. “Who drove my car last?” I asked looking at my son Alex and my husband Steven, both in the kitchen making lunch.
“I did.” Alex said. “I had to run out late last night because we didn't have anything good to eat.”
“We didn't have anything good to eat?” I questioned as I looked at the packages of cold cuts he was making his sandwich with, along with the bag of chips and jar of pickles that were sitting on the counter. “I went grocery shopping yesterday and bought all of that!”
“But you didn't buy donuts!” he said with a laugh as he pointed to the box on the counter.
Steven shrugged his shoulders. “We were both in the mood for a Boston cream.”
I could only shake my head because I had stopped trying to figure out their eating habits years ago.
Instead I held up my CD. “Why did you take this out of the player?”
“Oh,” Alex went back to making his sandwich. “I went to turn the radio on and I must have hit the wrong button because the CD popped out.” He looked over at me. “Why, is it scratched?”
“I won't know that for about a week.” I said with a sigh.
Steven and Alex both had confused looks on their faces.
“Once you take the CD out of the player it refuses to take a new one for at least six or seven car rides later.” I explained trying not to show just how annoyed I was. “It's one of the car's new idiosyncrasies I'm trying to get used to.”
I love my car. I've loved it since the day we drove it new off the lot. As the years have passed it's become temperamental, but that's no reason to give up on it.
“Remember last year when the air conditioning would only blow on high?” I reminded them.
“I thought we got that fixed?” Steven said as he put his sandwich on a plate and went to the table. Alex followed him carrying his lunch.
“Actually, I didn't bother fixing that one.” I shrugged my shoulders. “I kind of like it now, the car cools off a lot quicker.” I sat down with them placing my Adele CD carefully on a place mat. “”I've even gotten used to the driver's side door freezing shut in the winter. I just climb through the passenger side and by the time I get to work it's usually thawed out enough to open.”
“I thought I fixed that one.” Steven said. “Didn't I give you a de-icer spray?”
“You did.” I gave him a quick smile. “But I kept leaving it in the car, so it kind of defeated the purpose.”
Steven didn't say anything he just shook his head and took a bite of his sandwich.
“But the CD player is a whole different story!” I continued. “I've had to choose what I listen to very carefully because that CD will be playing on a loop for the next month before I risk making a change.”
Alex looked over at me, “Why don't you just fix the CD player?”
That made me pause for a moment. “Well, I hadn't really thought about it.” I admitted. I looked over at Steven for some back-up. “Don't you think having a car is like a marriage?”
Steven eyebrows went up. “How so?”
“Well, when it's new you love everything about it but, then as it ages little things can go wrong. You try to fix what you can but everything else is just an idiosyncrasy you learn to live with.”
Alex eyes got big as he looked at me, then at Steven.
Steven thought for a moment then nodded his head. “She's got a point.” He looked over at Alex, “If anyone else told me they listened to the same CD for a month I'd think they were nuts. But when your Mom tells me that, I think, that sounds about right.”
“See!” I looked over at Alex. “That's how you stay married for thirty years!”
“Thirty-one.” Steven corrected.