Friday, November 17, 2017

TURKEY TROUBLE


I was at work, getting ready to go on my lunch break, when my phone pinged that I had a message. Pulling it out of my pocket and saw that my son Alex had sent me a photo of a turkey followed by several surprised looking emoji's.
I was completely confused until I realized the picture was taken in our yard. The three foot bird was sitting on our neighbor's chain link fence next to where we stored our garbage pails.

As I was walking to the break room I called Alex. “Are you kidding me!” I cried when he answered.
“I know, pretty weird huh?”
“Is it still there?”
“Yup.”
“You've got to get rid of him!” I cried. “I don't want them in the yard!”
For some strange reason turkeys showed up in our neighborhood the year before, but they'd been staying further down the street and hadn't venture any closer to us...that is until today.
“Why get rid of him?” Alex questioned. “It's so close to Thanksgiving I think it's kind of fun to have our very own turkey living with us! So, what do you think they like to eat?” he asked. “Because I gave him some birdseed but he doesn't seem interested.”
“WHAT!” I cried. “You fed him!”
` “Well, technically no, because he didn't like the seed.” I could hear him opening and closing cabinets. “You're really good about what the wildlife like to eat around here. Do you think I should cut up an apple or maybe throw out a handful of nuts?”
“Oh my gosh, DON'T FEED HIM!” I cried. “Do you know how aggressive they can get? I don't want to become a prisoner in my own home when mating season starts!” I was trying to figure out a way for him to collect the birdseed he'd already thrown without getting hurt. I took a deep breath before I started telling him my plan. “Okay listen, I need you to get the broom and go outside swinging it around until you chase him off.”
But before I could finish Alex started to laugh.
Now I was confused. “What's so funny?” I asked.
“You're killing me here!” he cried.
I wasn't sure what he was talking about but I decided that maybe I should approach the dilemma in a calmer voice. “Okay, I know it sounds scary chasing a turkey away but we can't have him coming around.” I explained.
Alex couldn't stop laughing. “Do you really think I'd feed a turkey?” he cried. “I don't like when you feed the chipmunks because they come up on the deck. They're only a few feedings away from coming into the house.”
“They are not!” I argued.
“Really, because one is on the deck right now looking at me while he eats whatever it is you left out there for him!”
“I haven't fed the chipmunks in months.” I cried.
“Okay, so whatever he got from the woods he's decided to enjoy eating it on our table.”
That was the reason I'd stopped feeding them. “Hey, they were cute when they were scampering in the yard but I have to agree with you, I don't want them on the deck either.” I sighed. “But getting back to the turkey, is he still on the fence?”
“Naw...he left right after I took his picture.” he admitted. “I just thought it would be funny to hear what you'd have to say after I sent it to you.”
Now it was my turn to laugh. “Well, I hope I didn't disappoint you.”

“Nope, you never do.”

Thursday, November 9, 2017

MOTHER LODE OF ROCKS


I was knocking on our front door with my foot hoping someone would come open it for me. “Hello? Anybody?” I called as I tapped the door one more time, trying my best to stay out of the rain.
My son Alex opened it. “Did you forget your key?”
“No.” I held up my muddy hands. “But guess what I just found a ton of?” I was headed for the kitchen.
“Rocks?” Alex asked as he followed me to the sink.
“How did you know?” I was surprised that he'd get it on the first guess.
“I can tell by the big smile on your face.” He nodded to my muddy hands. “I've never seen someone so happy to be covered in dirt.” he laughed as he pointed to the sleeves of my coat, also covered in mud.
“I'll throw it in the wash later.” I said as I dried my hands on a towel. “Can you help unload the car with me?”
“Can't the rocks wait until it stops raining?” he looked out the window.
“Not the rocks.” I grabbed the roll of paper towels and headed for the front door. “I went to the grocery store and I didn't want to get the bags all muddy.” I held up the paper towels. “I've got mud all over the steering wheel and door.”
He laughed as he flipped the hood of his sweatshirt on his head. “So where did you find all the rocks?”
“I was on my way to the store when I saw someone dumping a wheelbarrow filled with them!”

I jogged out to the car with him and climbed in my front seat while Alex began loading his arms with the bags. “Can you believe it?” I began wiping down my steering wheel. “A whole wheelbarrow, loaded with them!” I looked back at Alex and smiled. “How lucky am I!”
Alex grabbed the last bag and closed the door just as I was finished wiping down my door. “I hope I got everything I needed at the store.” I jogged ahead of him to open the door. “I was so worried someone was going to get the rocks before me that I did a pretty quick shopping trip.” I began scanning the bags as Alex put them on the counter. “I think I got everything.”
“So did the guy at the house see you loading his rocks into your car in the middle of a downpour?” Alex grabbed a bag of chips and began eating.
“Oh, he helped me pick through the pile to get the biggest ones and helped me load them in!” I began putting the groceries away.
Alex sighed then closed his eyes and shook his head. “Great. That's just great.”
“What?” I was confused. “He was a really nice guy. They just moved in and he's clearing out some of the land for a garden next spring.”
“Did you tell him you live in the neighborhood?” Alex didn't sound thrilled.
“Of course I did. I told him what a great neighborhood it is.”
Alex laughed. “You know he went right into the house and told his family that there's a crazy rock lady that lives around the corner from them.”
“I'm not crazy!” I cried. “I told him all about the rock path I'm making! He was very nice.”
Alex looked at the mud on my sleeves. “I'm telling you he'll be talking about the crazy rock lady that showed up in a downpour and loaded her car with his worthless rocks.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “They're not worthless to me.”
That's when my husband Steven walked in. “What's up?”
“Mom's got a car load of rocks again.”
“Oh great! I'll help you unload them when it stops raining.”

I looked over at Alex and smiled. “See. He gets me.”

Friday, November 3, 2017

PUTTING THE GARDEN TO BED


I put my garden gloves on, grabbed a garbage bag from the drawer and looked over at my husband Steven. “I think it's time I put my garden to bed.” I said as I opened the back door and went out on our deck.
Steven started to laugh as he filled his cup with coffee and followed me out the door. “Well, that shouldn't take you too long when you only had four pots of cherry tomatoes!”
I picked up the first pot where one lone green tomato was clinging to the shriveled vine. “I used to have five pots at the beginning of the summer.” I reminded him. “Until that fat groundhog attacked them.” I pulled the plant out of the pot and tossed it into the trash bag. Then I walked to the edge of the woods and emptied out the rest of the dirt.
“He only got one plant?” Steven asked as I went over to get the hose and rinse the pot out before bringing it back to the deck to dry in the sun.
“Nope, he got three of them.” I pulled the next plant out and showed him where I'd Scotch taped the broken stem. “Who knew Scotch tape would work so well.” I looked closer at my taping skills. “I taped them back together as soon as I saw what he'd done.” I looked over at Steven and smiled. “I obviously did such a great taping job that I never had to replace any of it all season!” I was still smiling as I tossed the plant in the trash and moved on to the next plant. “It was like it had never been snapped in two!”
Steven just shook his head. “Well there's a gardening tip you can pass along to your friends.”
“Exactly!” I put the last wet pot on the deck to dry then looked around to see if anything else needed to be done.
Steven looked at his phone. “Well that took you about ten minutes.” he laughed. “I think that's the quickest I've ever seen someone put their garden to bed.”
I looked at him, a bit confused. “Who said I was done?” I went over and picked up my hand clipper. “I have to winterize my garden tools now.”
“You have a pair of hand clippers!” Steven laughed again. “That's not really what you'd call garden tools.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “I'm thinking of investing in a trowel next year.”
Steven just shook his head.
“And I'm also thinking about making it eight...no wait.” I thought about it for a moment. “Make that ten pots of cherry tomatoes next year!”
Steven looked at me for a moment. “You know, now that were getting the yard ready for winter maybe I should winterize the grill.”
“That's a great idea.” I was rubbing the dirt off my clippers. “How do you do that?”
He put his coffee cup down, walked over to the grill, opened the drawer, and pulled out the grill cover. “I put this on it.” He shook it out before he draped it over the grill. Then he walked back over to his coffee cup, picked it up and took a sip. “As you can see my winterizing is even easier then yours.”
I had to smile. “Somehow I feel like you're making fun of me.”

“What me?” he shook his head. “Never.”

Friday, October 27, 2017

MONARCH MUNCHIES


My son Alex and I were out on our back porch enjoying a beautiful warm fall day. “I feel like I want to spend every minute outside when it's like this.” I said as I felt the warm sun on my face. “I am NOT a big fan of winter.” I sighed.
“Really?” Alex started to laugh. “I'm pretty sure we all know that by the way you've been walking around the house moaning, 'Winter's Coming' like you're a cast member on the Games of Thrones.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Hey, I can handle some cold weather.” I argued. “I almost like a little winter for the holidays. But once it's New Year's day I'm done with the cold.”
Just then a monarch butterfly fluttered a few inches in front of us, landing on one of my geranium plants.
“Isn't he beautiful!” I whispered. We watched as he climbed all over the plant looking for something to eat. “I'm just sorry he's not going to find much to eat on that plant.” I sighed. My geraniums had been beautiful all summer long but they were beginning to look a little sad, with very few blooms left. “Poor thing has such a long trip ahead of him that I feel kind bad that I don't have anything for him to eat.”
Alex and I watched him for a few more moments.
“You know he's the fifth one I've seen today.”
I heard Alex laugh and when I looked over I could see him shaking his head. “Are you going to tell me that a long lost relative is visiting us again?”
“There's that.” I looked over at the butterfly as it took off from the plant and fluttered into our neighbors yard. “But what I was really thinking about was planting a little patch of milkweed for them to eat.” I got up from my chair and walked down the steps to look around the yard. “Nobody wants to plant it anymore.” I called back to him.
“Maybe because it has the word 'weed' in it's name.” Alex reasoned as he came over to where I was standing.
“No. It's probably because it's poisonous to pets.” I shrugged my shoulders. “That and if you get any of the sap in your eyes or on your skin it can give you a really nasty burn.”
Alex looked confused. “So you want to plant a poisonous weed in our yard?”
“Sure.” I was still scouting the back yard for a perfect spot. “That's what makes it so perfect for the monarch. They eat it and build up the toxins and then no one wants to eat them!” I looked over at Alex and smiled. “How smart is that!”
Alex wasn't convinced. “But it's poisonous.”
“Well, I'm pretty sure you're not going to eat it or rub it on your face, so I think you're safe.”
“But wouldn't feeding them be cheating?” he asked.
“Cheating?” Now it was my turn to be confused.
“Well, if you start feeding them then when you see one in the yard it won't be a relative stopping by to say hi anymore it'll just be a hungry butterfly.”
I thought about it for a moment. “I can get around that one.”
“How?”

“Doesn't matter if they're alive or a spirit. I'd offer food to anyone who comes to my house.” I looked over at Alex and smiled. “It's the polite thing to do.”

Friday, October 20, 2017

SLEEPING SPIDER


It was first thing in the morning and I was running late but no matter how late it was, I needed to make our bed.
“So what's your day look like?” I asked my husband Steven as I pulled the sheets back into place.
“I'm running around all day in meetings.” he said as he grabbed a pair of socks and his shoes and sat down on the bench at the end of the bed.
“You home for dinner?” I pulled up the blanket and folded the sheet over it.
“I should be.”
I reached over and picked up a piece of black lint from the blanket before pulling up the comforter.
“Great!” I looked closer at the black piece of lint that was now in the palm of my hand. “Oh good Lord!” I began shuttering and hopping from one foot to the other. “Noooooo....” I cried as I dashed into the bathroom to flush it down the toilet.
“What's wrong?” Steven jumped up following me into the bathroom.
“Dead spider! Dead spider!” I held down the toilet handle and shuttered again as I watched it spin in the water before finally disappearing from sight. I couldn't seem to stop shuttering. “It was in our bed. More importantly it was on MY side of the bed!”
“But you said it was dead.” Steven walked back to the bench to put on his other shoe.
“I found it dead.” I reminded him as I followed him back into the bedroom. “It was alive during the night when it was walking over me.” I felt another shudder come over me. “I wonder if it bit me before it died.”
Steven looked over at me. “Did you notice a bite when you were taking a shower this morning.”
“No.” I admitted. “But I didn't know I was suppose to be looking for a bite.” I began feeling itchy all over. “Now I feel like I have bites all over me.”
Steven just shook his head. “It's your imagination.”
I went over to the bed and began pulling the sheets off.
“What are you doing?” Steven asked as I walked around him and began tugging on his side of the bed. “Didn't you just put those on the day before yesterday?”
“Are you kidding me!” I cried as I piled the blankets on the floor next to the bundled up sheets. “Everything has to get washed now or I'll never get to sleep tonight!” I got on my hands and knees and looked under the bed. “What if it's made a nest under here.”
“I think you're going a little overboard.” Steven tried to reason with me. “You know spiders come into the house in the fall. You're going to find a few of them over the next few weeks.”
“Around the house is fine.” I argued. “That's one of the reasons they invented tissues. It's an even fight. Sometimes the tissue wins and sometimes they get away.” Another involuntary shudder came over me. “But this one was in my bed.” I looked over at him. “While I was sleeping.” I cried. “It wasn't a fair fight.”
“What are you talking about?” Steven countered. “You rolled over on him and killed him. He never saw that coming.”
I'd been pulling my pillowcase off my pillow when that statement stopped me for a moment. “Well that's true.” I had to agree.
But then I thought about the dead spider resting in the palm of my hand only moments ago and I had to shake my head. “Nope! Spider in the bed, dead or alive means everything's got to get washed.” I added the pillowcase to the growing pile of laundry.

“Hey, fine by me.” Steven shrugged his shoulders. “I love Clean Sheet Night.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

THEN THERE WERE THREE


I was standing on our back deck, looking at our woods line when Steven came out. “What are you looking at?” he asked.
“The three morning doves eating under our feeder.” I said sadly.
“What's wrong with them, they look cute.”
“Yesterday morning there were two couples under the feeder.” I pointed to the pile of feathers in the center of our yard. “Yesterday afternoon I heard all the crows and blue jays screaming and I came out and saw the Cooper Hawk sitting right in the middle of our lawn.” I looked over at Steven. “I thought I scared him away before he got anybody.” I sighed. “But I guess I didn't.”
“Hey, it's nature.” Steven said with a shrug.
“I know. But now she's all alone and the other two are completely ignoring her!” I complained. We watched as the couple kept chasing the single bird away from them. “They're being so mean.” I cried. “She's just trying to have someone to eat with!”
Steven looked confused. “How can you tell it was the male that got caught?”
“I can't really.” I admitted as I shrugged my shoulders. “I just assumed he was being chivalrous and was protecting her from the Cooper Hawk and paid dearly for being a gentleman.”
Steven looked over at me, a surprised look on his face. “Really?” he laughed. “You figured all of that?”
“Hey, they mate for life.” I reasoned. “No woman, human or bird is going to stick around with a guy who's going to run and hide and leave her to face danger alone!”
Steven snorted a laugh. “So she's just this helpless female that needs protecting?”
“Of course not!” I countered. “She was right by his side fighting too!”
“Wait a minute...” Steven held up hand for me to pause. “Didn't you tell me you just saw the Hawk sitting on the lawn with all the other birds yelling at him?”
I was confused. “Yeah.”
“So where did this epic battle happen?”
“I don't know.” I sat down on the stairs. “I was just saying.”
Steven sat down next to me and pointed to the feeder. “Don't you think what really happened was they were both eating and the Hawk swooped in and then one of them was gone?”
“Of course it could have happened that way, but the way I tell it is much more romantic, don't you think?”
Steven looked at me for a moment. “Is this your subtle way of asking me to tell you that if a giant raptor was coming after us I'd protect you?”
I thought about it for a moment. “Well...it didn't start out the way.” I looked back at the single mourning dove and sighed. “But as a metaphor it's actually nice to hear.”
Steven shook his head and laughed as he stood up and brushed off the back of his pants. “I'm going in to get a garbage bag and clean up the feathers.”

“Thanks.” I stood up next to him, giving him a quick kiss. “Can you bring the sunflower seeds with you? Maybe if I give them all an extra treat they'll play nicely together.”  

Friday, October 6, 2017

RAINING ACORNS


My son Alex and I were out for a walk after dinner, the sun was just beginning to set and the sky was turning an amazing shade of pink.
“You know pretty soon were going to have to take our walks before dinner.” I sighed as I pulled the zipper of my sweatshirt up closer to my chin. “I hate when it gets dark so early.”
We both watched as a squirrel darted in front of us with an acorn in his mouth. He was headed to the flower bed of a neighbor's where another squirrel was busy digging. “Did I tell you I caught another squirrel burying it's acorns in my geranium pot?”
Alex shook his head. “No, you didn't.”
“Yeah, I feel kind of sorry for him.”
“Why?”
“Because I'm going to be throwing the pots out once the first frost kills them.” I shrugged my shoulders. “I hope he's got a back up plan and that's not his only place he's hiding his food.”
We both stepped over a huge pile of acorns someone had raked from their yard and placed at the curb. “It's unbelievable how many oak trees are in this neighborhood.” I looked over at Alex. “Did you know each tree can drop as many as ten thousands acorns?”
Alex shook his head again. “Nope, I didn't know that.”
We were now walking in front of a house that hadn't raked their acorns yet. The sidewalk was covered. “It's like walking on marbles.” I said as I slid my foot as if I were wearing ice skates so I wouldn't slip and twist my ankle. “Walking uphill also gives it an added sense of adventure!” I lied as I really was worried I'd slip and fall.
“Remember last spring when the house across the street had a forest of baby oak trees in their front yard?” Alex asked. He seemed to be having an easier time walking then I was.
“How could I forget! I swear I think there were over a hundred trees.” I had to laugh. “There's an example of a few squirrels forgetting where they buried dinner.”
We'd almost reached the top of the hill and could see the acorns were thinning out. “Phew, made it!” I announced as I stepped over the last acorn. “That's another reason why I'm on team chipmunk and not squirrel.”
Alex laughed. “You just think chipmunks are cuter than squirrels.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “That's true but they're also smarter.” I argued. “Chipmunks store their nuts right in their burrow so, in the middle of a snowstorm, they can just reach over and get a snack.” I pointed to the frantic squirrels scampering around. “Squirrels on the other hand are running all over the neighborhood on a snowy day trying to figure out where they buried their next meal.” I shook my head. “They just don't work as smart as chipmunks.”
“They seem to be doing alright.” Alex laughed.
We were getting ready to cross the street when a breeze came up causing dozens of acorns to fall from the tree directly in front of us. We listened to them clatter as they bounced off the sidewalk, some of them bouncing at least a foot back into the air before finally settling on the ground.
I looked over at Alex. “Have you ever had an acorn bounce off the top of your head?”
Alex shook his head no.
“It's only happened to me once.” I gave the top of my head a sympathy rub remembering the time. “But I can tell you it really hurts.”
“I bet.” We both looked up at the tree to see if any more were coming. Alex adjusted his baseball cap. “I'm glad I'm wearing a hat.” He looked over at my hat-less head.

“Good idea!” I quickly pulled the hood of my sweatshirt up and tied it tight. “ Who knew it would be so dangerous walking out here tonight!”

Friday, September 29, 2017

WIPER WORRIES


I pulled into our driveway, left the car running and went up to the house. Opening the door I called to my husband, Steven. “My windshield wipers won't go off!”
He came to the front door and looked outside. You could hear the screeching sound the rubber blades made as the scraped across the dry windshield.
“They just came on all by themselves?” Steven looked up at the cloudless blue sky.
“No, I turned them on. I wanted to clean the windshield but now they won't shut off!” I shook my head, looking around the neighborhood to see if anyone was outside. “I've just spent the last twenty minutes driving home with them swishing back and forth! I felt like a crazy old lady who drives around not knowing her blinker is flashing!”
Steven climbed into the driver's seat. “I'm sure no one noticed.” He flicked the wiper switch on and off.
But I wasn't through with my rant. “I might was well have two cats climbing around in the car and a pocket full of hard candy!” I cried.
Steven laughed. “What?”
“People wait until you're stopped at a light then pull up next to you and give the maybe-you-shouldn't-be-driving-if-you're-so-clueless look!” I shook my head and couldn't help but shudder. “I felt like an idiot!”
Steven turned the car off. The wipers immediately stopped. “There. All fixed.”
“That's what you call fixing it?” I pointed to the wipers that were now straight up in the air.
Steven turned the car back on and the wipers started up again only this time at their fastest speed.
“Oh, great.” I sighed.
“Don't worry.” He climbed out of the car. “We'll drop it off at the mechanic's. Let me go grab my keys and I'll follow you.” He left the car door open for me.
“Why do I have to be the one to drive the stupid car?” I cried.
“Seriously?”
I nodded my head. “Completely.”
“Why do you let this stuff bother you so much?” Steven sighed as he climbed back in the car and handed me my purse.
“I don't know.” I shrugged my shoulders. “It just does.”
“Okay, fine. You drive my car and I'll meet you over at the mechanic's.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I smiled as I leaned into the car to give him a quick kiss. Steven just shook his head as he put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway.

“I'm right behind you!” I called as I listened to the frantic screeching of the wipers as he drove down the street. “Well, there's one less embarrassing thing I have to do today.” I muttered to myself as I went back to the house to get his keys. That's when I noticed water leaking from my purse. I looked in to see the water bottle I'd tucked in there was missing it's cap. “Clearly this is going to be one of those days.” I sighed.

Friday, September 22, 2017

PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME


I'd just made myself a cup of tea, and was throwing away my teabag, when I noticed the empty peanut butter jar laying in the recycling bin. “We've started a new jar of peanut butter!” I cried.
My husband, Steven and son, Alex both gave me a confused look.
“I finished it last night.” Alex said. “Why?”
“So no one's opened the new jar yet?” I was almost gleeful.
“I don't know.” Steven went to the cabinet pulled out the new jar and handed it to me.
I slowly unscrewed the lid and saw the foil covering still intact. “Best day ever!” I cried as I peeled the foil off and looked at the smooth top of the peanut butter. “Do you know how happy this makes me?” I smiled at both of them as I set the jar down on the counter and went into the cabinet to get an English muffin. “When you grow up in a big family, like I did, it's rare to have an untouched jar.” I explained as I popped the muffin in the toasted and slide the lever down. “When I was growing up the peanut butter jar always had crumbs or jelly in it.” I shuddered. “It was disgusting.” I leaned against the counter waiting for my muffin to be toasted.
“But our peanut butter jar never looks like that.” Alex argued. “I use a knife for the peanut butter and another knife for the jelly. I never mix the two.”
“I know.” I smiled at him. “That's not the point. It's the joy of a new jar that I'm talking about.”
Alex went into the cabinet and got out a box of cereal.
I pointed to the box. “Cereal was another thing that I only wanted to eat if it was a brand new box.”
“Why?” Alex took a bowl out of the cabinet.
“Because, back then, a lot of cereal had prizes in them.” Hearing the pop of the toaster I turned around pulled the muffin out, being careful not to burn my fingers.
“I remember that.” Steven said, he looked over at Alex. “They'd have all kinds of weird stuff. Nothing really great but everyone wanted it.”
“I'd come downstairs for breakfast, really looking forward to a bowl of Frosted Flakes and the bulging box would be open on the counter top. You'd just know, by looking at it, that someone was elbow deep digging around for that stupid prize.” I shuddered again as I spread the peanut butter on my muffin. “That would be the end of wanting to eat out of that box!”
“That is pretty gross.” Alex admitted.
“Oh that's just the beginning.” I took my peanut buttered muffin to the table as Alex came over with his bowl of cereal. “Getting breakfast with seven kids running around was just crazy.” I shook my head.
“Well, don't worry it's not like that anymore.” Steven said, sitting down at the table to visit with us.
“Yeah.” Alex agreed. “I've stopped drinking right out of the milk container years ago!”
“What!” I could actually feel my stomach flip just thinking about it.

“Just kidding.” Alex laughed as he patted my arm to reassure me. “Just thought I'd bring back another childhood memory for you!”

Friday, September 15, 2017

KITCHEN TOOLBOX


I was in the hall bathroom hanging up a new picture when my son Alex walked in. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Hanging the picture your Aunt Lizzy gave me.” I finished tapping the picture hook into the wall then picked up the 5x7 white framed picture. It had three pieces of sea glass that were made to look like shore birds standing on a piece of driftwood. I placed it on the hook, adjusted it to make it level, then stood back to admire it. “That is so stinking cute!” I cried. I looked over at Alex. “Isn't it adorable?”
“Sure, adorable.” Alex answered not sounding nearly as thrilled as I was. He picked up the tool I'd used to hang the picture hook. “But why are you using a meat mallet instead of a hammer?” Alex looked confused.
I shrugged my shoulders as I took the mallet from him. “I haven't used a hammer in years.” I confessed. “No matter how many times I'd buy a new hammer it would be missing whenever I went to use it.” I held up the mallet and smiled. “None of you have ever thought of using this!”
Alex shook his head and laughed. “I guess as long as it works...” he went over to the vanity and opened the bottom drawer, I watched as the knob turned in his hand.
“How long has that knob been loose?” I asked.
“I'm not sure.”
I looked inside the drawer, at the screw that was holding the knob. “Perfect, it's not a Phillips head.” I looked up at Alex. “I can fix this for you in a second if you go into the kitchen and bring me a butter knife.”
“Okay.”
While he headed for the kitchen I looked over at the picture I'd just hung and noticed it was lower then I wanted. “Can you bring the metal tongs, too?” I called to him.
Alex came back with a butter knife and the tongs. “Okay, I get the butter knife.” he said as he handed it to me. “But what are the tongs for?”
“You'll see.” I took the butter knife, tightened the screw then closed the drawer. I took the tongs from him and clicked them together. “Pliers!” I took the picture down and using the tongs pulled the picture hanger back out of the wall. Putting the tongs on the vanity, I grabbed the meat mallet once again and 'hammered' the hook up a little higher. Hanging the picture once again I stood back to check. “Perfect!”
I gathered up my tools and headed back to the kitchen.
“So what else do you use in here for your toolbox?” Alex asked as he looked around the kitchen.

“I can't tell you that.” I opened the dishwasher and placed my tools in it, then walked over to him and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. “I'm afraid I've already given up too many of my secrets.”

Friday, September 8, 2017

HIGH-WIRE MOVE


I was walking past my living room window when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a squirrel scurrying across the telephone wire carrying something in her mouth. I squinted my eyes to try and get a better look.
It has always amazed me that a squirrel's twitching tail could take the place of the balance pole high-wire artists use. But no human, no matter how talented they are, could cross a wire at the speed that she was moving.
My squinting seemed to finally pay off because I couldn't believe what I saw. “Oh my gosh, she's got a baby in her mouth!” I cried.
I heard my husband Steven running into the room. “WHAT?” he cried.
I turned to see the panicked look on his face and was a little surprised by his reaction. “There's a mommy squirrel with a baby in her mouth.” I said pointing to the telephone wire.
“Oh, for God's sake!” He sat down on the couch trying to catch his breath.
It took me a second but I finally realized he thought I was talking about our across the street neighbors who'd just brought their twin babies home from the hospital the week before.
“Sorry about that.” I smiled and shrugged my shoulder. “I guess that did sound kind of weird.”
“You think?” he shook his head then got up to look out the window. We both watched the squirrel race back across our yard, up the telephone pole onto the wires and leap into the neighbor's tree. Moments later with another baby in her mouth she did the entire obstacle course all over again moving another one to the new nest.
“I've never seem a squirrel do that before.” I looked over at Steven. “I wonder why she's moving them?”
Steven was still looked out the window. “I bet it's because of the Cooper Hawk.” He turned to look at me. “I heard it in the back yard this morning.”
I grabbed my phone and headed to the front door. “I'm going to try and get a picture.”
“You're going to scare her!” Steven called as he stayed by the window.
“She'll never see me.” I reassured him. I got outside just as she was going back to the first nest for another baby. I tried to get a picture of her on the telephone wire with her carrying a baby but she was so fast I couldn't get the shot I wanted.

I thought I'd wait for her to make the trip again but when she came down from the new nest she didn't just race back to the first nest like she'd done before. Instead she frantically followed her route, seeming to be looking for a missing baby. I hadn't seen her drop one so I could not understand why she was acting this way. After checking the old nest once again she made the same frantic search on her way back to the new nest and her babies.
I came back into the house. “Did you see her drop a baby?” I asked.
Steven shook his head no.
“So how come she didn't know she'd gotten them all?”
Steven started to laugh. “I'm not sure if squirrels are known for their counting skills.”

“Oh, that's just great.” I sighed as I looked back out the window. “Now I feel like I need to go out and double check that she got them all.”

Friday, September 1, 2017

OAK GALL


I was outside filling my bird feeders when I looked down on the ground and saw something strange. It was perfectly round, the size of a golf ball and had the colorful look of a jawbreaker. I put the lid back on the feeder, tucked the bag of birdseed under my arm and scooped up my new found treasure.
Back in the house I placed the colorful ball on the counter and went to put the birdseed away.
Alex came into the kitchen. It seemed it was time for his hourly forage in the cabinets to see if anything new had appeared. He looked over at the ball. “What's that?” he asked.
“Not a clue.” I picked it up and began to examine it further.
Alex was opening and closing cabinets, clearly disappointed that nothing new had appeared.
“It's really pretty, don't you think?” I held out the strange little ball in the palm of my hand for him to see.
He looked over and shrugged his shoulders. “I guess.” then he continued his search in the refrigerator.
I put the ball down on the counter and took out my phone. “There's only one way to find out.” I snapped a picture of it, then opened my Facebook page. “There's a group I belong to that's just about plants.” I said as I began typing. “I'll post it there. I'm sure someone will come up with an answer.”
I looked over at Alex and could see the confused look on his face. “You belong to a group that's just about plants?” he asked.
“Hey! Don't judge!” I put my phone down on the counter.
Alex was still searching the refrigerator when my husband Steven came in. “What are we doing?” he asked then pointed to the ball I had sitting next to my phone. “What's that?”
“Alex is searching for an unknown snack and I'm waiting for an answer to that very question.” I picked up my phone to check, and sure enough I already had an answer. “Hey look, they sent me a picture of exactly what we have.” I held out the phone for them to see. “They say it's an oak gall.” I looked over at Steven. “Have you ever heard of that?”
Steven shook his head no. I looked at Alex, who gave me a you've-got-to-be-kidding-look.
“I'll just Google it.” Typing in “oak gall” I tapped on the first site and then began reading it aloud, “Okay, it says here that these things happen when the oak tree reacts to a non-stinging wasp that's layed its eggs on it's leaves or branches. The insects inject a hormone into the plant tissue which causes it to grow abnormally and encloses the developing wasp larvae.” I looked up at both of them my mouth twisted in a grimace. “Wow, that's gross.”
“Are you kidding me!” Alex cried. “You just brought a giant wasp egg in the house!”
Steven picked it up, opened the kitchen door and tossed it into the yard. “There!” he said as he closed the door and looked at Alex. “It's out of the house.”
Alex looked disgusted as he stood there just shaking his head.
“I'm sorry.” I cried. “It was so pretty, how was I to know?”
Neither of them said a word, they just looked at each other and left the kitchen.
I couldn't help but feel awful. “Dinner will be in an hour!” I called out to them, hoping that would make it all better. When there was no answer I added, “I'm making chicken parmesan!”
That seemed to do the trick.
“Are we having pasta with it?” Alex asked.
“Of course!”
“Sounds good to me.” Steven called.

I let out a sigh of relief. “And then all was forgiven.” I whispered to myself.

Friday, August 25, 2017

FALLING FEATHERS


It was after dinner and my son Alex and I had just returned from a walk in our neighborhood. We each grabbed a bottle of water and headed to the back porch where my husband, Steven was sitting.
“You two have a nice walk?” he asked as I sat down in my rocking chair and Alex sat down on the glider.
“Great.” I said taking a sip of water. “Oh my gosh! There it is again!” I cried pointing to a small white feather gently floating down and landing on the deck in front of me. “Alex, I told you a spirit was trying to let us know they were thinking about us!”
Steven looked over at Alex who shrugged his shoulders before answering. “Mom's talking to dead people again.”
“I'm not taking to them. ” I reached down and picked up the tiny white feather. “It's just a nice way to be reminded that someone's who's passed is watching over me.” I placed the feather on the table next to me then looked over at Alex. “How many feather's did we see on our walk?”
Alex shook his head. “Three maybe four?” He looked over at Steven. “I told her I thought it might be molting season.” They both started to laugh but quickly stopped when they saw I wasn't joining in on their joke.
Steven cleared his throat. “I thought you said it's when you see a cardinal?”
“That too.” I nodded in agreement. “It's also dragonflies, ladybugs, butterflies even pennies.” I added.
“Well...” Steven shook his head. “I'm pretty sure you can't leave the house without seeing at least one of those things.” Steven looked skeptical.
“I disagree.” I took another sip of water. “Days can go by that I don't see a butterfly or a cardinal.” I looked over at Alex. “And I haven't seen a ladybug in months.”
Alex looked over at Steven then back at me. “But aren't you the one who pointed out that our front lawn always has dragonflies buzzing around on it?”
I waved my hand dismissively. “We're not talking about dragonflies right now.” I leaned over and picked up the tiny white feather and held it up. “We're talking about feathers right now.”
Just then several more feathers floated down from the trees. Steven and Alex both looked at me.
I watched as they landed in a small pile in the grass and had to cringe. “Okay maybe that's not a loved one trying to get my attention.” I said sadly.
Steven leaned forward and looked up in the trees. “Okay I'm glad you realize that.” He sounded relieved. “Because I'm pretty sure those are from whatever the Cooper Hawk just snagged for his dinner.”

“Well, that was disgusting.” I said as I grabbed my water bottle and headed for the kitchen door. “Maybe you should check the front lawn for dragonflies.” Steven suggested.

Friday, August 18, 2017

VICARIOUS VACATION


My sister Liz sent me a picture of a waterfall. “Just checked into our hotel! Here's the view from our terrace!”
There was no texting back for me. I picked up the phone and called her. “Where are you?” I cried. “It's beautiful!”
“I booked a quick weekend get-away. We're up along the Hudson River in New York.”
I was happy for her but envious. I loved the Hudson River. There were so many mansions to tour, so much history to learn, so many shops to explore. “What are you planning on doing? I asked.
“Well, we're in the car headed for a two hour boat ride.” She said, I could hear her leafing through some papers. “It will go past a few lighthouses, under some really pretty bridges and past a bunch of mansions!”
“What a great trip!” I looked out my kitchen window to double check the weather. “It's beautiful here. How's the weather there?”
“Perfect! A little overcast but not too hot.”
I was really happy for her, she worked hard and deserved some time away.
So, even though I was standing in front of a sink filled with dirty dishes and looking over at the huge grocery list that needed to be purchased, I decided I was going to go on the trip with her. Not literally but vicariously.
“Send me pictures every step of the way!” I cradled the phone against my shoulder as I began running water in the sink, rinsing the dishes before stacking them in the dishwasher.
“Hey, it sounds like you're near a waterfall yourself!” she paused for a moment. “Eww, please tell me you're not in the bathroom!”
I had to laugh. “No, I'm rinsing a sink full of dishes before I head out to the grocery store.” I turned off the water and wiped my hands on the dishtowel. “Please snap pictures of everything you see on the boat tour.” I asked. “Especially the lighthouses!”
“Of course!” she had to laugh. “It'll be just like you're here!”
“Exactly!”
We hung up the phone as I grabbed the keys and the shopping list before heading out the door.
I was unlocking my car door when my phone dinged. I had a text from Liz. It was another picture, this time of the boat they were about to get on. “It's called the Rip Van Winkle!” she wrote. “How cute is that?”

I climbed into my hot car, started it up and turned the air conditioning on high. “Wish I was getting on a boat right now.” I grumbled to myself. But instead I texted back. “Adorable! Keep the pictures coming!” I added three smiley face emoji's just to let her know how happy I was for her.

I put the car in reverse and began backing out of the driveway. “Pictures of her trip are going to be the only thing making grocery shopping on a day like this even slightly bearable.” I sighed.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

USELESS TRIVIA


It was late in the afternoon when my husband Steven walked in the front door. “I'm home!” he called as he dropped his keys on the foyer table.
“I'm in here!” I called from the living room where I was sitting on the couch, still in my pajamas with my laptop propped up on a pillow on my lap.
“What have you been up to today?” he asked picking up the pile of mail from the coffee table and leafing through it.
I was busy scrolling though some news-feeds. “Did you know Jim Carey was also a painter?” I asked as I turned the screen around to show him some of his paintings.
Steven looked confused. “Jim Carey? You mean the actor?”
“Yup.” I turned the laptop back to facing me and began tapping on the keys again.
“What made you look that up?” He dropped the mail back on the table and sat down next to me.
I shrugged my shoulders. “A friend of mine posted a video on Facebook of him painting. At first I thought it was a role he was playing but then I realized it was his work.”
“So you've spent all day looking at paintings he's done?” Steven looked at my pajamas. “When I left here this morning you had a whole list of things you wanted to get done.”
“Not just paintings he's done.” I pulled a blanket over my bare feet. “Once I saw what he'd done it got me thinking if there were any other actors who like to paint.”
“Really?” I could hear by his tone he wasn't impressed.
That didn't stop me from sharing more of my new found knowledge.“Did you know Sylvester Stallone likes to paint in the nude?”
Steven shook his head, giving me a look of disgust. “Why would I want to know that?”
“No reason.” I said shrugging my shoulders again. “I'm not a big fan of his work but I thought the nude thing was pretty interesting.”
Steven laughed as he took a pillow and placed it behind his back. “So who else paints?”
“See...I told you it's interesting!” I went back on the site I'd found earlier. “Did you know Anthony Hopkins started painting when he was in his 60's!”
“I did know that one.” Steven said.
“What about David Bowie?”
Steven nodded his head. “Knew that one, too.”
“Well...” I scrolled through the site. “What about Johnny Depp? Or Stevie Nicks?”
“Nope didn't know about either one of them.”
“See!” I smiled as I as I shut off my computer and placed it on the table. “Now I've given you some useless trivia you can feel free to share with friends and family!” I stood up and stretched.
“Thanks.” Steven got up and headed into the kitchen. “What's going on for dinner?” He opened the refrigerator and looked inside.
“Well...I got so busy with my research that I didn't get a chance to go to the grocery store.” I admitted.
“So we're ordering out?” Steven was headed for the drawer we kept the take-out menus in.

“Nope!” I opened the freezer and pulled out the frozen pizza I liked to keep on hand for just such emergencies. “Dinner will be ready in twenty minutes!” I turned on the oven. “Once I get this in the oven I'll have just enough time to jump in the shower and put on a clean pair of pajamas before dinner!”

Friday, August 4, 2017

THE ART OF PIT SPITTING


Our son Alex came out on the back deck carrying a bowl of cherries. “Look what I found in the refrigerator!” he said placing the bowl on the table between my husband Steven and I. He looked over at me. “Did you get these today?”
“I did! I picked them up at the farmer’s market, don't they look good!” I popped one in my mouth and pulled the stem off. Spitting the pit into my hand I got up and went into the house coming back out with a few napkins. “Does anyone else need a napkin?” I asked placing them on the table next to the bowl of cherries.
“For what?” Steven asked as he took another cherry from the bowl.
“The pits.” I said.
Steven and Alex looked at one another before they began to laugh. “We don't need a napkin.” Alex turned his head spitting the cherry pit over the rail and into the yard.
“Nice!” Steven said then spit his own over the rail. “But I think mine went farther!”
They both turned to me. “You want to try?” Steven asked pushing the bowl of cherries closer to me.
“I've never been very good a pit spitting.” I said popping another cherry into my mouth, taking the stem and placing it on my napkin. When I spit out the pit it tumbled unimpressively just a few feet from my chair. “Told you.” I said picking it up and tossing it into the yard. “I've never been a gifted pit spitter like you two.” I grabbed another one from the bowl to try again.
“You've got to tip up your chin up a little more...it helps you get some distance.” Alex demonstrated what he was saying as I watched another one of his pits go sailing over the railing and landing in the yard.
I tipped my chin up and spit. The cherry pit dribbled out of my mouth, down my chin and landed on my shirt leaving a red stain where it landed. “Oh, great!” I said flicking the pit with my fingers. “That's going to be a stain I'll never get out!” I complained.
Alex looked over at Steven. “She really can't do it.” he sounded almost amazed.
Steven shook his head. “Nope, she really can't.” He shot another pit out of his mouth and we all watched it sail over the railing in a perfect arch. “It must be like the tongue curling gene. You either have it or you don't.” He curled his tongue and looked over at Alex.
“Oh yeah! I can do that too!” He curled his tongue and they both turned to me.
I stuck my tongue out, of course without a curl. “Nope can't do that either.” I sighed as I took one last cherry, popped it in my mouth and spit the pit into my hand before dropping it on my napkin.
“Maybe if you practiced.” Alex tried to sound hopeful.
I looked down at the cherry stain on my shirt. “Nope, not worth it.” I shrugged my shoulders, “Besides, it's not really very ladylike.” I sat up a little straighter, brushing an invisible speck of dirt off my pants.
“Really?” Steven turned his head, spit out another pit then looked over at me. “That's what you're going with?”

I smiled as I placed another stem on my napkin. “Yup! That's exactly what I'm going with!”

Friday, July 28, 2017

NOT A GARDEN


We'd invited some friends over for pizza and Steven had made some appetizers. As he put the plate of tomato, mozzarella and basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the table he proudly announced. “This came out of Kathy's garden!”
“Oh, the tomatoes!” Nicole asked as she scooped one off the plate.
“No, the basil.” Steven said and smiled at me.
“The tomatoes came from the grocery store.” I admitted.
“But she's growing some great looking cherry tomatoes!” Steven said. He looked over at Nancy. “Would you like to see her garden?”
“Um...Steven there's not really much to see.” I said passing the plate of olives to Nancy's husband Frank.
“Oh, come on...you're not giving yourself enough credit.” Steven got up and tapped Nancy on the arm. “Do you want to see?”
“Sure.” Nancy got up and followed Steven out the back door to our deck where five pots of cherry tomatoes were tied along the deck posts.
I handed the plate of cheese and crackers to Nicole's husband Jake before following them out to the deck.
I opened the back door and could see Nancy patiently standing next to Steven as he proudly pointed to the dozen or so cherry tomatoes ripening on the vines. “It's a pretty nice crop she's got coming in!” he said.
Nancy nodded and tried to look impressed.
“And her basil's right over there!” Steven pointed to the pot of basil next to the rocking chair. “Oh that's nice.” Nancy agreed.
“Hey, Nancy! Can I get you a glass of wine?” I asked as I stood in the open doorway.
“Oh, that would be great!” She came back into the house with Steven following her. I let Nancy in and stopped Steven at the door closing it quietly so the two of us were alone on the deck.
“Didn't Frank and Nancy have a huge garden when they lived in Connecticut?” I whispered to him.
“Sure they did.” Steven looked over his shoulder. “It was probably the size of our whole deck. They grew everything! Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers!” He shook his head trying to remember. “I think he even tried pumpkins or watermelons at one time.”
I groaned as I smacked my hand to my forehead. “So do you really think Nancy wanted to see my five tomatoes plants and a container of basil?” I groaned even louder. “I can't believe you even called it a garden?”
Steven patted me on the shoulder and reached for the doorknob. “Hey, don't be so hard on yourself. Last year you only had two tomato plants and this year you have five. I'm proud of you!”
I laughed. “Thanks.”
“Hey, just think maybe next year your garden will be in the yard and not on the deck.” Steven gave a hopeful smile.
I just shook my head. “Let's not go crazy. I can barely remember to water the five plants I have.”

As he opened the door we heard the knock at the front door. “Pizza's here!” we called in unison.

Friday, July 21, 2017

LAUNDRY DAY EVERYDAY


I walked into the laundry room and saw the laundry basket overflowing with clothes. “Oh come on! I thought I caught up with the laundry yesterday!” I cried as I began sorting the dirty clothes into piles.
“Are you talking to me?” my husband Steven called.
“I am if you're the one who dumped all the dirty clothes in here!”
Steven came to the door. “I only threw in what I used when I showered this morning.”
By now I had three separate piles. I held up a pair of my son Alex's shorts. “I'm pretty sure I know who did this.”
Steven backed out of the doorway and headed to his office. “Hey, I'm just glad it wasn't me.” he called over his shoulder.
“ALEX!” I called up the stairs.
“What?”
“Didn't I ask you to put your dirty clothes in the laundry room yesterday?” By now Alex was at the head of the stairs.
“I did.” he stood there looking confused.
“Yesterday?”
“Oh...um...maybe it was this morning.” He gave me his most charming smile. “Sorry.”
“Nope, not going to work.” I said motioning for him to follow me. “I would have done it for you yesterday but now you get to do it yourself.”
I was pretty sure I could hear a slight moan behind me as Alex followed me. “I don't want to hear any complaining.” I cautioned. “I'm tired of having to do laundry everyday. It's about time you did your own.” By now we were both walking into the laundry room.
Steven was already there taping up a sign on the shelf over the washing machine. When he saw me coming he pointed to the sign. “I made this for you.” he said than smiled.
In bold print the sign read: HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED AT THE LAST FEW LOADS OF LAUNDRY AND CONSIDERED JUST THROWING THEM AWAY?

“Amen to that!” I said looking at Alex, then down at his three piles of dirty clothes. “That's exactly what I was thinking when I came in here this morning! I adjusted the sign so it was centered on the shelf. “I think I just might go out and get this thing laminated!”

Friday, July 14, 2017

BACK ROAD WARRIOR


It was noon and my son Alex was just coming out of his bedroom.
“Want to go down to the beach and grab a hot dog for lunch?” I asked him as he came into the room rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
Alex looked out the window. “It looks like a perfect beach day.” He began to stretch. “So, I'm going to say no.” He stifled a yawn.
“What?” I was confused. “But you just said it's a perfect beach day?”
“I know.” He wandered into the kitchen and I could hear him rummaging though the refrigerator. “Do you know what the traffic's going to be like getting down there?” he called out to me. He finally came back into the living room. “Do you know there's nothing here to eat?”
“I know. I didn't feel like going grocery shopping this morning.” I explained. “That's why I'm suggesting the hot dog.” I smiled at him.
Alex stood there for a moment thinking about it.
“What if I told you I could get you to the beach without hitting any traffic?” I added.
Alex didn't seem convinced. “How?”
“Your Grandmother was the original back road warrior and she taught me all her tricks.” I got up and grabbed the car keys. “It's time I passed this knowledge down to you.”
We were in the car backing out of the driveway. “Knowing all the local shortcuts is the best thing about living near the ocean.” We were stopped at a traffic light of a major highway that led to the beach. “Now, off season we'd just go straight to the beach.” I pointed to the highway that now looked like a parking lot as cars jockeyed for the better lane. “If you go that way now, you're talking about getting to the beach in about an hour.”
“I know, that's why I don't go down there in the summer.” Alex grumbled.
“Well, that's just sad.” I said. “We live by the beach we should be able to enjoy it too!” By now the light had turned green and I crossed over the highway. “We're going to weave our way though a few towns, take the roads less traveled and be eating a hot dog in less then fifteen minutes!” I looked at Alex and smiled. “I promise!”
Cutting through two developments, and taking roads parallel to the direct beach route we were pulling into the parking lot of Windmill Hot Dogs in less then fifteen minutes.
“Wow!” Alex said as he got out of the car. “I didn't think we'd be able to find a parking space.”
I smiled as I pointed to the sign on the light pole. “That's because this lot is only for customers, and they really do tow you if you park here and go to the beach.”
“Did you know that before we got here?”
“Of course, or I never would have suggested coming down.” I pointed to the line of cars driving up and down Ocean Avenue looking for parking spaces. “You think I want to be one of them, waiting to see if someone's pulling out soon?” I shook my head no as we headed into the restaurant.
Once we ordered our hot dogs we sat outside to eat and listen to waves crash against the beach.
“Isn't this nice.” I said looking over at Alex and taking in a deep breath of ocean air. “This is how locals enjoy it here.” I sighed.
Alex laughed. “So after the hot dogs do you want to go get some ice cream?”

“Sure.” I smiled at him. “I'm pretty sure I know a short cut.”

Friday, July 7, 2017

KIKI AND THE CATBIRD


I'd been sitting on my back deck trying to enjoy a beautiful summer morning when I couldn't take it anymore. “Okay, you two! It's time to knock it off!” I cried.
Steven looked over at me. “Who are you talking to?”
I pointed to the catbird sitting on our grill top, screeching at the top of it's lungs at the open window that our son's cat, Kiki was sitting in. “They've been at it for the last twenty minutes!”
Steven looked over. “Huh, I hadn't noticed.” He went back to reading the newspaper.
“You hadn't noticed?” I got up to shoo the bird away. “How can you not hear that!” The catbird's wailing was deafening.
Steven shrugged his shoulders. “I don't know, I guess I just learned to block out things I don't want to hear.”
I turned back to look at him. “Well, there's a conversation we might need to have.”
He looked up from his paper and smiled. “What? I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.”
“Yeah, right.” I laughed and turned to shoo the catbird again. But as I got closer to the grill I could see Kiki wasn't yelling at the bird at the same time. They were taking turns. I stopped and looked over at Steven. “They're having a conversation!”
“What?” Steven looked over at me.
I pointed to the window. “I swear, I think they're having a conversation!” I watched as the catbird cried several times then stopped. Then it was Kiki's turn to meow a few times then stop and wait for the catbirds response.

“Oh, great.” Steven shook his head. “Now you're going to tell me what you think they're saying to each other, aren't you?”
“Well, I could.” I began waving my arms until the catbird saw me and flew away to the nearest tree branch. “But that would mean I'd have had to listen to that screeching for a few more minutes and I can't do it.” I went back to sit in my chair and listen to the pretty sounds of birds chirping by the feeders. “Ah...isn't that better?”
“Sure.” Steven handed me a section of the paper.
It had only been a few minutes before the catbird was back on the grill yelling at Kiki. “Oh come on!” I cried.
“The bird's probably got a nest nearby.” he looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. “It's just doing what come naturally to it.”
We continued to listen to the screeching a few minutes more. “Oh, I can't take this!” I got up and went to railing of the deck to scream at the bird. “The cat is locked in the house! There's no way she's coming out! Give it up, she's not a threat!” Both the catbird and Kiki looked over at me, then the bird flew away again.
When I turned around Steven was looking at me. “So you decided to be a part of their conversation?”
“Hey, it worked didn't it!” I smiled as I sat back down.
Moments later the catbird landed on the grill again and started back up. Steven looked over at me.
I held up my hand, “Don't say anything.” I warned him.

Steven just shook his head. “What would I say? I don't hear anything.”

Friday, June 30, 2017

LEMONADE STAND


Alex and I were driving into our development when we both spotted the lemonade stand set up down the street. Two little girls, both holding signs, were waving and calling out to us.
“Should we stop?” I asked Alex.
“Sure, an open pitcher sitting out in the hot sun for who know how long sounds like a great plan.” Alex turned his head to me. I was pretty sure he was trying to avoid making eye contact with the girls as we drove past.
I took a quick glance at the pitcher and noticed that it was uncovered and that there was no ice floating in it. “Wow! You've got good eyes spotting that so far away.”
Alex shrugged.
“I just feel bad for them.” I said as I looked in the review mirror and saw their sad faces looking at our car driving away. “Remember how excited you were when you had your lemonade stand?”
Alex laughed. “When did I have a lemonade stand?”
“Are you kidding me?” I couldn't believe he'd forgotten. “It was in January and you set it up in our living room!”
Now Alex was really laughing. “January? Why did you let me do that in January?
Now it was my turn to be surprised. “Let you? Are you forgetting how determined you get when you get an idea?”
Alex nodded and shrugged his shoulders. “How old was I?”
I thought about it for a moment. “I'm going to say around three.”

Alex shook his head. “I must have needed some money for something.” He looked over at me again. “Did I get any customers?”
Now it was time for me to laugh. “You had plenty because while you were dragging your Little Tikes picnic table into the living room I was on the phone calling all our friends and neighbors to come over so you wouldn't be disappointed!” I looked over at him and smiled. “You looked so cute sitting at your table patiently waiting for your customers.”
“Thanks for making that happen, Mom.” He patted me on the shoulder. “I guess when you're three you don't think about a marketing plan, huh?”
I smiled as I pulled into our driveway and put the car in park. “Hey, that's what Mom's do.”
Alex was quiet for a moment. “Well, now I feel bad about not stopping at their stand.”
“I can fix that too!” I smiled as I put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway.
Alex laughed, then looked a bit concerned. “We don't have to really drink it do we?”
“Of course not.” I shook my head. “You just smile and say you're going to drink it in the car then we'll get rid of it when we come back home.”

Alex reached into his pocket and pulled out a few bills. “In that case it's on me!”