Friday, March 31, 2017


“Look what I found at the grocery store?” I called out to Steven as I walked into the kitchen and placed the small green pot on the counter.
“I was hoping for food.” Steven sounded disappointed when he came into the kitchen and saw the plant I was fussing over.
“There's plenty of that in the car.” I moved the pot closer to the window. “I didn't want anything to happen to this little beauty so she rode up front with me.” I brushed a speck of dirt off the pink dotted green leaves. “It's called a Polka Dot plant but the other name it goes by is Freckle Face!” I looked at Steven. “So I'm going with Freckle Face.” I couldn't help but smile. “Isn't that the cutest name?”
“Sure.” Steven grabbed his jacket to go out and get the groceries. “Cute name.”
I was still busy fussing over my new little friend when Steven came back in with the bags. “This is all of it.” He placed the bags on the counter and accidentally bumped one of them against the plant.
“Careful.” I said moving the plant from harm.
“Oops, sorry.” he began unloading the bags. “So where are you going to put it?”
“On the back porch.” I said. “It says it likes moderate to low light so I thought the table next to the rocking chair would be perfect.” I began helping him unload the bags.
“It can go out now?” Steven seemed surprised.
“Well, not right now.” I admitted as I filled the fruit bowl with clementines. “It's still too cold out. But once it reaches 60 degrees it's our new porch plant!”
Steven looked at me. “You know it still goes down to the 30's at night. It's not going to be able to go outside until late May at the earliest.”
“I know that.”
“So why did you buy it now?”
“Because when I saw it at the grocery store it just made me think of summer evenings on the porch.” I looked out the kitchen window where I could still see a few stray fall leaves blowing around. “I can't wait to get the hummingbird feeder hung and put the pillows out.” I turned around and looked at Steven. “I guess I'm just in a rush for summer.”
“But what about Spring?” Steven asked. “Usually at this time of year you're standing by the lilac bush letting me know when you see the first bud.”
“I know.” I sighed. “But for some reason this last cold snap has me wanting to go right to summer.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Freckle Face can live on the counter for now.”
Steven looked over at the plant. “I guess for an impulse buy it's not a bad one.”
“I see your ready for summer too!”
“Actually, I was just thinking how lucky I was that the grocery store wasn't selling puppies, kittens or baby bunnies.”
“Oh, the baby bunnies!” I cried. “I wonder when our first litter will be hopping around the front yard?”
Steven shrugged his shoulders. “Wasn't it about the same time the lilacs started to bloom?”
I grabbed my jacket and headed for the front door.
“Where are you going?” Steven asked. “I told you I already got all the groceries out of the car.”

“I know, I'm going to check the lilac bush and see if there's any buds on it yet!” I was already out the door excited to see what I would find. “I can't believe it's almost bunny season!” I called over my shoulder.

Friday, March 24, 2017


It was early in the morning and I'd just been outside to get the newspaper. “Can you hear the woodpecker out there?” I asked Steven as I put the newspaper on the counter. I grabbed the kettle and began to fill it with water.
Steven listened for a moment. “It sounds like he's banging on someone's gutter.”
“I guess when you're calling for a mate the louder the better!”
“I wonder if it's the same red-headed woodpecker I saw in the back yard the other day.” Steven pointed out the window. “Two of them were digging around in the lawn.”
“They're red bellied woodpeckers.” I turned the burner on and put the kettle on. “The red headed ones are really rare. They aren't around here.”
“But the ones I saw had red heads...”
“I know, but I looked it up and we have the red bellied ones, they also have some red on their heads.”
Steven shrugged his shoulders. “Well, you're more of a birder then I am so I guess we have the red bellied ones instead.”
“I'm not a real birder.” I got a cup from the cabinet and a tea bag from the canister. “I have a pair of binocular and a couple of bird books that's all.” I leaned back against the counter waiting for the water to boil. “If I were a serious birder I'd be wearing the multi-pocketed khaki vest, a wide-brimmed safari hat, and maybe a walking stick, to be a little different then the rest.”
Steven looked confused. “Where did you come up with that outfit?”
“Don't you remember last fall when we went down to Cape May? We were there when they were having the birding convention.”
“Sure I remember.”
“Don't you remember the bleachers they had set up in the fields so that all the birders could watch the fall migration?”
“Of course, I remember that too.”
“But you don't remember how they were dressed?” I was surprised.
Steven took the kettle off the stove and poured the hot water into my cup. “No, I honestly don't.” he admitted. “I guess I was too busy looking up in the sky at the birds.”
“Well, that was your mistake.” I laughed as I grabbed the newspaper and my cup and headed for the table. “I couldn't take my eyes off of some of their outfits. The vests were the best! Pockets everywhere!”
“What are they carrying that they need all the pockets?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “You got me, but their pockets were bursting with stuff.”
Steven sat down across the table from me. “So the only thing stopping you from being a real birder is an outfit?”
“What?” I looked at him confused. “What are you talking about?”
Steven tilted his head a bit looking as if he was trying to understand me. “Didn't you just spend the last five minutes explaining to me how real birders have special outfits and that's why you're an amateur because you don't have a multi-pocket khaki vest?”
“No.” I shook my head. “I'm an amateur birder because I don't have the knowledge the real birders have.” I felt confused. “Geez Steven, if we went by your way of thinking I wouldn't be cooking you dinner tonight because I don't own a chef's hat and chef jacket.”
Steven stared a me for a moment with a look of disbelief. Then he shook his head, “I can't believe this whole conversation started because you heard a red-headed woodpecker tapping on a gutter when you went out to get the newspaper.”

“Red bellied, Steven.” I smiled, then took a sip of my tea and handed him a section of the paper. “It was a red bellied woodpecker.”

Friday, March 17, 2017


“Well, that took forever.” I grumbled as I lifted the eight bags of groceries hanging from my arms, and placed them on the counter.
“Are they're any more in the car?” Steven asked as he headed for the front door.
“Nope.” I rubbed the spots where the bags had dug into my arms. “You know me, only one trip into the house with the bags, even if it's enough groceries to fill a shopping cart.” I began the unloading.
“Why did you say it took forever?” Steven took the pasta boxes and placed them in the cabinet.
“Because nothing inspired me.” I put the milk in the refrigerator. “I must have walked back and fourth in front of the meat counter twenty times and nothing, I mean nothing, called out to me. How many times can I make chicken, beef, pork or pasta? I was looking for something different.” I placed the bag of fresh spinach on the counter. “We can leave this out, I'm going to be using it.”
“Oh, fresh spinach, that's a good start.” Steven reached into another bag and pulled out a pound of hamburger meat and placed it on the counter. “So I see you gave up and we're going to be having hamburgers?”
I smiled as I grabbed my phone and pulled up the site I'd been on. “We're going to have Swedish meatballs!” I showed him the recipe I'd found.
“Swedish meatballs!” Steven started to laugh. “What made you think of them?”
“Well...while I was wandering back and forth in front of the meat counter, waiting for inspiration to strike, I started to think about the matching bedside tables I'd like to get.”
“Wait, what?” Steven looked over at me, a confused look on his face.
“Oh, come on.” I began stacking the yogurts on a shelf in the refrigerator. “We've had mis-matched bedside table for years. It looks stupid.” I complained.
“This is the first time I'm hearing about this.”
“That's because you don't even see it anymore.” I took the hamburger meat from him. “So when I was thinking about the furniture I thought about IKEA and that led me to their Swedish meatballs.” I turned around a big smile on my face. “And that, my friend, led me to our dinner!”
Steven shrugged his shoulders. “I haven't had Swedish meatballs in years.”
“I know!” I took the bag of noodles and placed them next to the spinach. “Who doesn’t like Ikea’s Swedish meatballs!”
Alex walked into the room. “Did I hear someone say something about dinner?”
“We're having Swedish meatballs.” Steven said as he put the last of the groceries away.
Alex looked confused. “I don't think I've ever had them before.”
“What?” I turned around and looked at him. “We've never taken you to IKEA?” I looked over at Steven. “How could that be?”
Steven started to laugh, “Remember about twenty years ago when we got the kids furniture there and it took me hours and hours to put it all together?”
I tried to think back that far. “Kind of.” I finally said.
“I swore then that I'd never buy any furniture that I had to put together.”
“So it's been over twenty years since we've been there?” I was truly surprised. “It's kind of funny that I don't remember the furniture but I remember their meatballs.” I had to smile as I looked at Alex. “Just wait until you taste these.”

Alex didn't look convinced. “Sure,” He shook his head and started to laugh, “Furniture store meatballs, who wouldn't love them.”

Friday, March 10, 2017


I was standing in the dining room, staring out the window when Steven walked into the room. “You okay?” he asked.
“Not really.” I admitted.
“What's wrong?” Steven sounded concerned.
“I just not feeling very with it.” I sighed and leaned my arms against the window sash. “I should really be making a list for the grocery store but I'm just not up to it.”
“Are you coming down with something?”
“Nope, I'm just feeling a little off-center.” I looked over at him. “You know how I usually know exactly what I'm making for dinner for the next five days?”
“Yeah!” Steven smiled. “I love that about you.”
“'s not happening this week. I'm not even sure what I'm making for dinner tonight much less five days from now.” I turned around a pulled out a dining room chair, sat down and leaned my head back against the chair. “I just feel blah.”
Steven placed his hand on my forehead. “You don't feel like you have a fever.”
“I'm telling you I'm not sick, I just can't seem to get moving. I'm usually so organized. By this time of the day I should have a load of laundry in the washer and the dishwasher unloaded and reloaded.” I sighed as I just sat there. “Instead I feel like I wouldn't be able to find my shoes much less the car keys.”
Steven looked down at my feet. “You're wearing your shoes.”
I laughed. “I was exaggerating to make a point.”
“Do you want me to make you a cup of tea?” Steven went over to put some water in the kettle.
“I'm not sure it's a caffeine thing.” I shook my head. “I just feel like I'm in a brain fog. I can't focus, I'm forgetful and I'm always tired.”
“Maybe it's a hormonal thing.” he suggested.
I looked over at him.
“Well, you know at your age your hormones start to act up...”
I'm sure the look on my face stopped him in mid-sentence. “You're really not about to tell me about my hormones are you?”
It was just then that Alex walked into the kitchen. He looked into the dining room. “Hey, morning!” he called. “What are you guys up to?”
“Your Dad was just about to explain to me why my hormones are making me feel so unproductive.”
Alex didn't say a word. He just reached into the cabinet, grabbed a granola bar, and slowly backed out of the kitchen.
Steven's smiled at me as he held up the kettle. “How about I make some tea for both of us and we make the shopping list together?”
I just looked at him.
“Or...” he put the kettle down and came over to sit next to me. “We could order out tonight and you could skip the grocery shopping.”

I smiled, I was beginning to feel better already.

Friday, March 3, 2017


I'd just returned from a shopping trip when Steven met me at the door. “Where have you been?” he asked.
I held up my bag. “I ran over to the store to pick up a cute vestie looking thing.” I pulled it out of the bag and held it up for him to see.
Steven shrugged his shoulders. “So you really needed a green vest?”
“Well...need and want are two different things aren't they?” I tucked it back in the bag and went to hang up my coat. “But a friend of mine was wearing one at work the other day and when I told her how great it looked on her she told me where she got it and that there were still a lot of them on the rack so, I decided to go check it out.”
I went into the kitchen to start dinner and Steven followed me in. “I thought women hated when someone copied their look.”
I opened the refrigerator to pull out the defrosted container of sauce. “Some do, but if she's going to tell me the name of the store and let me know there were plenty left I didn't think she'd mind.” I opened a drawer and pulled out a pot for the sauce. “They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” I reminded him. I pulled out another pot and went to the sink to fill it with water. “Besides you know how much I hate to shop and I really don't have the fashion flair other people have, so when I see something I like I have to pounce!”
I looked over at Steven who looked a little scared as he choose his words carefully. “Well,” he finally said. “I do know you hate to shop.”
I smiled at him as I put the pot on the stove and turned the burner on. “Smart man.”
“So what happens if you both wear it on the same day? Isn't that a problem?”
“Can you grab a box of pasta for me?” I pointed to the pantry he was standing next to. “And to answer your question I didn't buy the exact vest she had, mine is a little different.”
He pulled out a box of ziti and handed it to me. “Wait, then why did you have to rush over to get one?”
“Well,” I leaned back against the counter. “I have to admit I was going to go over and get the exact same one. She was right, they had a bunch of them but, when I put it on the only thing I could think of was that when I wore it to work everyone was going to play the Who-Wore-It-Best game.” I looked at Steven and shook my head. “I have to be perfectly honest, I've never won that game.” I grabbed a spoon and gave the sauce a quick stir. “So when I saw they had other styles I got one of them.”
“So it's not really an imitation of someone else's style, it's more a resemblance.” Steven said as he opened the box of ziti and dumped it in the pot of boiling water.
“Exactly.” I answered as I gave the past a quick stir. “Which is still a compliment to her style. But just not a creepy as buying the exact same thing.”

Steven pulled the plates out of the cabinet and placed them on the counter. “I have to say, we've been married thirty-one years and the way you figure things out still confuses me.”