Friday, January 29, 2010

Yeah. Right. When Pigs Fly.

Have you seen the long lines lately
at the local BBQ joints?
Noticed that ribs and bacon
and chops are suddenly missing
from the shelves at the grocery?
Got a husband that won't quit
asking for pork rinds
and hog jowl?

Well, there could be a very good reason
for the universal run on pig products...

Argentina's president, Christina Fernandez,
has announced in a recent speech
that eating pork can spice up
your love life.

"I've just been told something I didn't know; that eating pork improves your sex life ... I'd say it's a lot nicer to eat a bit of grilled pork than take Viagra," President Cristina Fernandez said to leaders of the pig farming industry.

She also went on to tell the audience
that she has taken steps to prove it-
and both she and her husband
have been well "satisfied"
with the results.

"Trying it doesn't cost anything, so let's give it a go," Fernandez said in the televised speech.

Women all over the world are now
searching frantically for pork recipes,
building huge pig farms,
and buying up the shares in
pork belly commodities.

Men are oinking.
Women are squealing.

Why take a tasteless, dry,
little blue pill
when you can have
a smothered rack of young hog instead?

Why take a chance of someone
seeing your medication on the bedside table
when you can cover your nightstand
with sausage patties and chitlins?

Forgotten to medicate
at the last minute?
Well, just pull into
Smokey Joe's for a takeout treat
whose positive effects
will last longer than the heartburn.

So, ladies-
if your man needs a little assistance-
turn down the lights tonight-
put on some soft music-
dress appropriately-
sit him down in front of a cozy fire-
and offer him a
glass of swine.

Good times.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Crapper Chronicles

I was so busy worrying about my Wii yesterday-
(and how I was going to hide the evidence of
an abused and beaten husband)-
that I forgot to wish all of you a happy
Thomas Crapper Day!

We sure do owe a lot to this guy.
Or do we?

Before you start waving your toilet tissue flag
and saluting him with your plunger,
it might be a good idea
to get the real story behind
the "water closet".

History has long given Thomas Crapper
credit for inventing the toilet.
Except- the fact is-
Crapper lived in the 1800's,
and the first toilet was made in 1596
by a man named John Harrington.
(Is that why they call it a John?)

But Mr. Crapper did do his part
in making the toilet a household name.
He was a master plumber in London
and held nine patents for
water closet improvements.

Crapper is credited for the ballcock.
It's that thing inside the tank
that goes up and down
and lets water in and out.

I've seen many.
My husband ran his own plumbing shop
for almost twenty years-
and I spent lots of groggy mornings
helping him load ballcocks
and P-traps and valves
and tees and elbows
all that kind of crap.

I've helped him suck the water out of tanks,
remove the stubborn wax seal from the bottom,
install supply tubes,
closet bolts,
and gaskets
and goop de doop kinda stuff.

But how it's put together
and installed
is really not what matters.

What is important is 2 things:

1. It is available for use
2. It functions correctly

(You might want to read
this past post about that.)

Whether you wad, fold, or roll your tissue-
Read, sing, or quietly contemplate life
while on the stool-
no matter if you have a white, blue,
short, tall or handi-capped version
of this wonderful invention-
I do hope you all had a great
Crapper Day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wanna Play?

Men are funny.
Not "Ha! Ha! " funny-
but strange funny.

Like... that is a funny looking snake.
Or that was a funny tasting shrimp.
Or Lizzy Borden was a funny girl.

Sometimes it takes all the brain power
that I have
to fit into the same realm as my husband.
Priorities tend to differ.
Languages conflict.
Definitions are blurred.

Take for example a recent event
at our household...

By a bit of luck, we won a bit of money.
Not a lot.
Not enough to build a new deck
or retire our vehicles.
But just enough to buy ourselves
an item on our Christmas wish list
that Santa failed to bring us
in December.

He wanted a guitar amp.
I wanted a Wii.

We were happy.

He was overwhelmed that the UPS guy
would soon be delivering his new love.

I coddled my purchase from WalMart electronics
like it was a preemie newborn.

I got my gift first,
sitting it on the kitchen table last Saturday
with a bit of excitement
blurred with a bit of guilt.
It was a lot of money.

But I was hoping to exercise away
my thunder thighs by Labor Day.
To move-
burn calories.
And have fun.

The next day,
it was still there.
Politely waiting for a man
to interpret the list of directions
and installation guides
and nest of confusing wires.

Another day passed.

My husband went by the kitchen table
a hundred times a day.
Could he not see that the Wii
was still waiting?
Did he not know that
it could not possibly
install itself?

Day three.

I decided I would give it
a good Girl Scout try.

Carefully, I opened the package,
pulled out the contents
in an organized manner,
and began reading
the simple plan.

I was so proud!
But for some reason
the TV wouldn't work correctly.
The input wouldn't put out.
I couldn't view the video
or hear the audio.
No little avatars greeted me
with little nods
of their round heads.

A big blue screen.
No Wii.
No Wheeeeeeeeee...

Finally on day four
he asked if I was enjoying my Wii.

Now- I realize he works long hours
and doesn't have a lot of free time
or the patience for frivolous requests.
he is not being cruel-
just selective.
So I had been quiet and accommodating.

"I'll take a look at it later," he promised.

Day Five.

The UPS man arrives at 3 p.m.
My husband comes
in from work at 7 p.m.

He's unboxed,
hooked up
and hugged
his new amp
by 7:05.

I just smile.

...Listen to that lovely guitar.
So clear and smooth-
emanating from the new amp.

My Wii sits in the other room.

I told you men were funny.

But my husband just doesn't realize
how funny I am.

And I don't mean, "Ha! Ha!" funny.

I mean Lizzy Borden funny.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Barn Full Of Summer

Our barn is a combination
detached garage and Sturdi-Built,
full of tools and plumbing parts...
and party goods...
old lumber...
and stuff not even
sophisticated enough for a yard sale.

Last week's painting project
caused me to venture out there
to find a suitable brush
and perhaps an empty coffee can
for clean up.

The last time I had been in the barn
was probably when I hung
Halloween decorations from the
or parked the lawnmower in it's
winter resting place.

But, a twist of the doorknob
and a flick of the light switch-
and it was suddenly summer again.

Lawn chairs lined up
reminded me of slow evenings
and slow talks...
sipping beer and swatting mosquitoes...
large laughter and tiny kisses...
feeling that hot sun
turn cool
as it melted over the green fields
into a puddle of yellow.

There were empty planters-
still moist with soil-
that once bloomed with
velvet petunias
and baby pink impatients.

And there was Samuel, my scarecrow-
face down in a wheelbarrow-
his flannel shirt a bit faded-
his pinwheel hands spinning ever so slightly
as a breeze came in the door.

Samuel had danced in the garden
at our summer disco party-
proudly wearing the silver studded cap,
gold lame shirt
and huge sunglasses
that I chose for him.

And, without complaint,
he became a zombie
when harvest time arrived.

As I placed the latex mask over his head,
I almost sensed that he knew
the end was coming.

That the garden was dead...
His job was done...
The barn was saving him a place
to hole up for the winter...
That time was passing
and another year had gone.

I riffled past shovels and rakes,
tents and tinsel -
and mismatched jersey gloves.
I sorted through spray paint
and motor oil
and bolts as big as my fingers.

And, at last,
I found a paintbrush-
well-used and slightly crusty-
ready to take on a new project.

As I reached over to pull the door
and turn off the light,
I glanced once again at Samuel.

"Hold on, buddy," I whispered,
"Summer is coming...
We will soon dance again."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Snap! Crackle! Pop!

I'm here once again to share
an odd holiday.
If it wasn't for quirky blogs like mine,
how else would you know
that today is
Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day?

Bubble Wrap is one of those funny things
that you don't really think about
until you need to utilize it.
Kinda like Scotch tape, toilet paper, and
postage stamps.
It's nice to have extra on hand
in case of a bubble wrap emergency.

Bubble wrap isn't just for
cushioning packages for a trip
across town anymore.
It can be used in all sorts of
creative and useful ways.

1. Insulation
Wrap your favorite canned beverage
in a sleeve of bubble wrap at
your next party or get together.
People will admire your "greenness".
And not only does it keep your can cool,
it also lets you makes little farty noises
when things become boring.

2. Insect Repellent
Did you realize that mosquitoes
cannot penetrate bubble wrap?
Clothe your body in layers of wrap,
paying special attention to make
a double layer at the ankles
and neck.
Those little suckers will leave you alone
for the entire outdoor concert
or Forth of July celebration.
You might look kind of weird, though,
so shy away from cameras
and video equipment if at all possible.

3. Greenhouse
Frost warnings?
Take your trusty bubble wrap
and give your tomato plants
or favorite flowers
a nice plastic blanket.
They will love you for protecting them
from the elements-
although your tomatoes
will may taste like plastic
and your flowers grow in artificial.

4. Bedding
Why spend enormous amounts of
money on Memory Foam mattress pads?
Giant bubble wrap provides
a comfortable base of floating air
when placed beneath a cotton sheet.
The only draw back is when you
try to turn over.
Then the room sounds like
a fireworks factory
or a day of double fiber.

5. Privacy
Worried about the nosy neighbors
seeing something they shouldn't?
Drapes and curtains made from
bubble wrap distorts the view
and discourages peeping eyes
from your business.
Just don't light a match
or your window coverings
could go up in toxic flames.
Yet, that is a small sacrifice to make
just to be able to sleep in the nude.

However you pop it, poke it, or
play with it,
bubble wrap remains
one of those endearing things
that people just like to have around.

Have fun with yours today!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Who's Been Sleeping In MY Bed?

I keep thinking I've heard it all.
But the news lately seems to be
getting weirder and weirder.
(Or is more weird grammatically correct?)

I just read about the Holiday Inn
in London offering bed warming services.

Sounds great, doesn't it?
Kind of like a towel warmer...
Just enough heat to take the chill off
and put you in your comfort zone.
No one likes sliding into bed
under cold sheets.

these beds won't be
warmed by electric blankets,
hot water bottles,
or special thermal devices.
They will be warmed by
"a willing staff member."

The Holiday Inn spokesman
in Manchester, England assures guests
that these human bed-warmers
will be fully dressed
and their hair covered.
They will only occupy the bed
until it reaches the ideal temperature
of 20-24 Celsius.

This theory is based on
sleep-experts who claim
that a cold bed can inhibit sleep.

For some reason, I keep picturing
little Teletubbies in their
one piece jump suits-
climbing under the covers
and snoozing for awhile.


No thanks, Holiday Inn.
I'll bring an electric blanket,
my footy pajamas,
or some hot whiskey
when traveling abroad.

But, darn it!
To think I've been a
"human bed warmer"
all these years-
and never gotten paid for it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fog Fury

What is wrong with some people?

Do you ever get those days
where you get so frustrated
that you wonder if some of
the people around you
are from a totally different planet?

Normally, I am cool-headed.
Anger sits way, way back
in a moldy cave somewhere.
I rarely use it.

But yesterday,
I was ready to yank it out
and blow it up
like one of those
giant gorilla balloons
that help sell cars.


Yesterday was foggy.
Out here in the country,
it was really foggy.
I couldn't see the cows
in the field across the road.
I couldn't see the pond,
my mailbox,
or the school bus lights.
It was a giant cloud of
mist and ice
that laid right smack dab
on the ground.
Thick as a curtain
and as mean as the devil.

I had a lunch date in town
and had no other choice
but to slice through the fog
in hopes that I'd see the next turn,
the sharp curves,

What is wrong with people?
Do they think those cool
little strobes on the front of
their car
are just for nighttime?

Do they figure as long as they
can see to drive-
then all is well?

Well- It's not, you morons!

Makes me just wanna
pull them out of their cars
and give them a good
piece of angry.

I wasn't having road rage.
(I've had that before and it's
completely different).

It was the irritation in me
that just can't understand
some drivers.

It is simple common sense
to utilize your headlights
in order for other
drivers to see you.
It's a visibility issue
in a daytime situation.

there are so many people
that don't have common sense.

They are the same people that
back up without looking,
never use a turn signal,
drive a mile in the turn lane,
go 50 mph in the left lane of
the interstate,
don't use their wipers in a rain storm,

I know you saw me.

I was quick
and my brakes were good
and I was wearing a seat belt.
You know-
that strap thing that hangs
over your shoulder
and buckles across your lap?
Would you like me to show you
how it works?

And while I'm at it,
lets have a lesson
about how to turn on
your headlights.
Bless your little heart.
(And brain...)


My dear readers,
You can breathe easy now.
The gorilla-sized anger
and went back to his cave.

Time for another cup of coffee.

I'll rant again
another day...:)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tech-Free Tuesday's Tragic Demise

I suppose you're all wondering
how my Tech-Free Tuesday went.


For about fifteen whole minutes.

I always turn on the computer
first thing every morning.
I connect to the internet,
check the day's weather,
and pull up my husband's
favorite news site
so he can read before
heading out to work.

So, that was the start of
the entire day
spiraling down into
a dreaded failure.

I don't even have Facebook,
but I log on to my daughter's page
and lurk there again and again
throughout the day.

What is it about some stranger
cooking fried potatoes,
another finding a virtual cow,
and people simply sharing their moods
that fascinates me?

Is it like a peeping Tom kinda thing?
Or a nosy-neighbor syndrome?

Or a
"I should really get a life."
wake-up call?

Of course, after Facebook,
I had to read all my
blogging friend's posts,
check eBay for an item
my husband wants,
and look up a recipe
for something with
broccoli in it.

Then I proceeded to
curl up in front of the TV
because I am so lamely addicted now
to Wife Swap.

Shoot me.

If anyone ever told me
I would spend hours watching this
ridiculous program,
I would have laughed hysterically.

Warmed my coffee in the microwave.
Used my cellphone to find a phone number.
Charged my laptop for the kids to play on.
Sent an email.
Played Xbox with my husband last night.

I am a Tech Twit.

One thing I enjoyed about
Tech-Free Tuesday, though-
is that I got a day off from writing.
Sometimes the spark plugs
just don't fire,
if you know what I mean.
I got a chance to rest
my blogging bone.

So, Memoirs of A Farm Wife-
if you're listening-
you had a great idea.

But it ain't happenin' here.

Not as long as there is

Not as long as
and really cool gadgets
are funner than

Monday, January 18, 2010

It Finds You

Yesterday was the start of
Hunt For Happiness Week.

I just now started hunting.

Been sitting here with a net
for nearly an hour
and nothing has come my way yet.

I looked in my bank account.
Wasn't there.

Got on the bathroom scale.
Oh, hell no- it wasn't there.

Checked the mirror.

Looked outside at the rain and fog.
Not seeing it.

I think my happiness is hiding
somewhere on a brown beach
where starfish sparkle in the moonlight
and I drink frosty, fruity drinks from
a tall glass with an umbrella.

I think my happiness is somewhere
in a forest,
snuggled in a little log cabin
with a fire glowing,
and a stew cooking,
and no worries.

I think my happiness is
on a mountaintop
where the snow falls in giant flakes
and I'm watching it from an
enormous window in a pine lodge
drinking buttered rum
and soaking in the hot tub.

I think my happiness is
lurking in the aisles of
small clothing
and long rows
of tasty wine.

I think happiness is
in a can of fresh paint,
a dozen tulip bulbs,
a purple sunset.

Is happiness hiding under
the pine boughs
and icy mist
and the muddy ground?

Is it something I already own?
That I possess?

I realize that I just have to open my eyes.
Happiness is here.

In my own house.
My favorite chair,
Black coffee.
Warm sweater.
A good life.

Happiness is not something you find.
It finds you.
But you have to keep the door open.

When it gets close,
grab it and pull it in.
And love it gently.

Be forever grateful.
Humble in it's glory.

Remember: Tomorrow is my experiment
with Tech-Free Tuesday.
I'll be back Wednesday with a
Fail or Pass report card.
Have a great day.

And let Happiness find you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sea Of Winter

There are days when
this cold winter seems as though
it will drag on forever...

Days when it seems
the warm sun
and green grass
and gentle breeze
will take too long to get here.

Days when I think
I will go crazy with waiting.

That I will wilt away
like dirty snow...

or float off
in an icy creek
with a thousand
lifeless leaves...

Sometimes I think
my bones are so cold
that they will crackle...
that my spirit is so blue
that it will collapse...
that the days are so dark
that the sunshine
will never again
slice through them
and find my face.

I'm afraid time will stop here.
In this cold place.
This bitter season.
This space of frozen days.
Like a broken train
that stops on rusty tracks
and never runs again.

I think sometimes
that the snow
will fold me up
into it's quiet cave
and muffle all my attempts
to escape.
That it will lay me down
in a bed of frost
and torture me
beyond recognition.

Sometimes it seems
there is no lifesaver
on this sea of winter.
No rescue boats.
No shore.

Sometimes I fear
that if spring does not come soon,
I will sail across the fields-
sweep over the edge of the world...
and never be warm again.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tech-Free Tuesdays?

I read a lot of blogs.
It's kind of like my morning newspaper.
Cup of coffee,
pajamas and slippers,

Blog World.
I love it!
I've met so many cool people-
new friends-
gooey gossip-
and have shared other daily lives.

One blog that I've been reading recently is
Memoirs of a Farm Wife.
I was attracted to the graphic header,
and then discovered she's from
my part of the country-
so I got hooked
on her touching family stories
and thoughts for the day.

She came up with a great idea
that I thought might be fun
to pass around.
Tech-Free Tuesday.
(See her post here:

I know how hard it is to go
a whole day without the cell phone
or television-
or the worst for me
is the computer
But wouldn't it be wonderful
to say that we did it?

At least for one Tuesday a month?
(Or more).

What would that mean for me?
My housework might get done,
I might finish some art projects,
and my computer could finally cool down.

I might even read a book,
start a quilt,
or start baking bread.

Then, maybe not....

But, hey-
let's at least give
Tech-Free Tuesday a try.
What could it hurt?

Check it out
and give me a shout.
You in?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Song In My Heart

One regret I have in life
is that my parents
didn't surround themselves with music.

Although my mother came from
a musical background-
and played an instrument herself-
the responsibility of raising a family
superseded her artistic nature.

When my mom met my dad for the first time,
he was playing a guitar.
But there was never a day
in all my life
that I ever saw him hold a guitar
or ever bring one into our home.

Now, in my older years,
I wish I could sit in the quiet
of a open room
and strum a mandolin
with the grace of an angel.

I wish I could pluck the guitar strings
in a rock-n-roll rhythm
that makes men want to dance.

I wish my fingers
could touch the piano keys
like a thousand singing feathers
and make even the wind
stop to listen.

I wish I could blow into the flute
like breathing out the perfume of my heart-
and inhaling sounds
too perfect for this world.

I wish I could pick the harp
with such inspiration and clarity
that I would not want to ever sleep,
but to forever make music.

I wish that I could sing
like voices aloft in the heavens-
strong and sharp
and deep from the heart.
With a sadness to make men cry-
but with a softness
that would make them happy.

I wish I could take these winter nights
and sit side by side with my husband...
play guitar and make up songs...
and laugh together in our
moments of sheer cleverness...
and learn from one another
the music that lies hidden.

I am guilty of not giving my children
the pleasures of music, either.
Unless you count Bob Dylan on the turn table-
Led Zeppelin on 8-track,
Disco Duck on cassette,
or Snow Patrol on a disc.

But there is something quite different
between listening and making.

I am sorry we did not pursue
music lessons.

It is a quiet that never stops ringing
in my ears.
A regret
that now
I cannot ever change.

Monday, January 11, 2010

M-mmmm Good!

There is nothing that says comfort food
more than a hot bowl of soup.
Especially on cold winter days
when your bones seem to ache
with a special kind of hunger.
A hunger that is only satisfied
by a steamy bowl of soup
and a handful of crispy crackers.

January is National Soup Month-
and there's not a better time to
start trying out new recipes
to thrill your family and friends.
Soup is not only comforting and nutritious,
but often inexpensive as well.

Soup is the one leftover
that tastes better the next day.
And survives being nuked
again and again.

My all time favorite soup
is Paula Deen's Baked Potato Soup:

Baked Potato Soup Serves: 8 Cook Time: 20 Minutes


  • 8 slices Smithfield Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 5 potatoes, baked, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste (optional)


In a Dutch oven cook bacon until crisp; remove and crumble, reserve drippings.

Cook onion in bacon drippings until tender; stir in flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add chicken broth; cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Put in the diced potatoes, parsley, bacon and half & half; cook for 10 minutes. Stir in cheese and sour cream. Garnish with cheese, bacon and sour cream.


I usually just boil my potatoes

instead of baking them.

To me, it's easier

and I doubt they taste differently.

This soup is more expensive

to make than most, but the result

is a dish good enough to serve company.

With a slice of crunchy bread, or a

hearty salad,

this soup is a family favorite around here.

If you're looking for something delicious

and on a budget,

my sister Jewel's Vegetable Soup

is healthy and satisfying as well.

I am not sure of the exact

ingredients, but my version works-

although I'm giving her the credit.

(Sorry if I botched this one, Jewel!)


1- can black beans

2- cans mixed vegetables

1- can sweet corn

1- can cut green beans

1- large can Tomato Juice

1- pkg Knorr Dry Vegetable Soup mix

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 small onion

garlic to taste


Brown meat with onion and garlic.

Add all other ingredients. (Liquid included, if you desire

a thin soup.)

Heat thoroughly.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese

or croutons or crackers.

Leftovers can be frozen.

Sometimes I even like to

add cabbage to that recipe.

(But don't forget the Bean-o).

Soup can make a winter day, warm,

a boring lunch, inviting-

and a tight budget, stretch.

Next time you are thinking about

ordering take-out

or grabbing fast food-

Think Soup!

And celebrate the month

with a bowl full of yummy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Preserving History

The summer I was ten or twelve years old,
I spent a lot of time with my best friend, Gwen.
Her grandpa had a neat old house in town
and we we go there on hot, lazy days-
fix fancy meals of bologna and Fritos -
and then spend the afternoon playing Nancy Drew.

The house was perfect.
Dark and velvety 
with a huge grandfather clock in the foyer.
The staircase opened up
to a hallway of a dozen doors-
most locked-
but all too silent and spooky to explore.

But, at the upstairs landing
there was a massive oak desk-
with matchbox drawers
and worn brass knobs-
and a desk chair
that had seen better days.

The desk was covered with
dog-eared scrapbooks,
leather-worn photo albums,
and volumes of sepia-toned pictures
from a time gone by.

We weren't really supposed to bother it.
But I took a good look once.

There were photographs of the town
when it was being established-
with horse drawn buggies
and corner taverns
and sidewalks of wood.

There were terrific grayed photos
of the city tornado,
couples of high society,
and storekeepers
cranking up their canvas awnings.

Gwen's grandpa owned the local newspaper
and this was a collection of many years worth
of stories and celebrations and milestones
of the community.

It was a young summer day-
long ago-
but that day has always stayed in my mind.

So perfect, 
that I can still smell
the musty odor of the construction paper pages
and feel the texture 
of the hard bound portfolios.

Thirty-five years later, 
I worked at that very same newspaper office.

I even took photos for the paper-
But none as striking and as powerful
as those in the past.

Mine were of beauty pageants
and stock car races
and the fender bender on Main Street.
The county fair,
the new strip mall,
the pumpkin farm east of town.

These digital images
were usually downloaded onto the computer
and then deleted later 
when the file
was no longer needed.

I think to myself how sad it is
that years from now,
there may not be those
photo albums and collected memories
for some one to enjoy.

Our history is being deleted.

It's the same with home photography...
One day there will be no bad pictures.
Anything less than perfect won't be kept.
Anything that is blurred or crooked, 
or not quite right-
will never make it to the photo disc.

Letters have a similar fate.
I empty out my e-mail.
Hit the delete button.
There's no little cardboard box 
in the closet with evelopes
tied in ribbon...

There are things I wish I had kept.
The last e-mail letter from my oldest sister,
a sweet digital thank-you note,
an online clip from someone's wedding....

We write to several people a day,
but, yet, do they recognize our handwriting?

Do we delight in the way they loop their "W's"
or the style of their alphabet?

Are there still such things as love letters-
hand written
and sealed with a kiss?

do something different
and make a difference.

Take  a hundred photographs
and throw away none.

Develop them on paper
and preserve them in a book.

Write a real letter
and mail it with a postage stamp.

Draw a smiley face on it,
or spray it with perfume.

So perfect....
So unexpected...
that it will burn in their memory
like a young summer day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Time For a Commercial Break

Pretend You Never Read This

It's officially "I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore" Day!

You would think that I could come up
with a whole crazy list of things
that I'm not going to take anymore.
But, no.
Today I'm going to share with you
the things that are saying that
to ME!

I got on the scale this morning.
It groaned.
The springs sprung and the
little needle went haywire.
"I'm not going to take it anymore!"
it shouted.
I covered it with a towel.
(Well, smothered it, really.)
It won't be sassing me again anytime soon.

I reached in the refrigerator for the pickles.
He ketchup dropped out.
The shrimp from New Years Eve 
pooled into a fishy blob.
Brown lettuce lay dying.
The refrigerator snapped-
"I'm not going to take it anymore!"
So I got the thirty gallon trash can
from the garage and emptied
the entire thing out.
(That'll show you, you grumbling ingrate).

I washed my hair this morning
and started to blow dry it.
One side went east.
The other west.
The top, north.
The ends frizzled,
the bangs drooped,
the color wilted.
I twisted and creamed
and sprayed and spackled
and oiled and gelled
till I looked like a 
"I'm not going to take it anymore!"
my hair said.
So, I put on a hat
and hushed that horrid monster.

I started a load of laundry.
Used the cheap soap. 
Stuff that smells like 
the boys bathroom at the city park.
Figured I could wash ten pair of jeans
as easy as two.
"I'm not going to take it anymore!"
said the washer - all agitated.
So, I shut it's lid 
and twisted it's knob
over to Giganto Load
and left the room.
(I still hear him thumping against the wall
in his spin cycle.)

Okay. I know.
This is a poor excuse for a blog post.

Lame, even.
A little quirky
and a lot stupid.

So, you might as well say it, too-
"I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Well , you don't have to.
I'm done now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Good Snow

Well, they are saying that
the snow is on it's way!

That means two things:
1. People of all sorts of weirdness
will be crawling out of the
woodwork today to  stock up 
on beer, bread and milk.
2. I stocked up yesterday.

Pretty smart, huh?
There was no way I was gonna fight
any blue hair for the last carton
of cottage cheese!
Last time I did that- 
she put me in a camel clutch!

I think they are predicting five inches,
but it might as well be five feet.
Every loaf of bread and milk
will be gone from the shelves.

And, for heaven's sake-
why bread and milk?
Why not chocolate and pizza?
That's what I call stocking up!

Make fun all you want-
but I don't drive on the stuff.
I have a hard enough time
aiming my car down a winding road
on a clear sunny summer day.
Add darkness, snow, below-zero temps 
and a frosty windshield-
then you might as well be
riding with Toonces.

I kind of like staying inside-
all warm and cozy.
There is something about 
a winter storm that makes 
slippers feel warmer,
Campbell's soup taste better,
and even old movies seem more endearing.

A good snow can give that
old brown yard a great new coat-
can hide that ugly lawn ornament
that you got as a gift, 
and can indicate that your dog
had a sufficient bowel movement
this morning.

A good snow can make you
appreciate 90 degree weather,
sandy beaches,
and sunburned noses...
hoeing the garden...
mowing the yard...
and catching fireflies...

A good snow can bring the family closer.
It can bring out the board games
and the popcorn-

and sometimes the oil lamps
and the ghost stories.

A good snow can make you
love the mailman, 
the snow plower,
and Snuggie makers.

A good snow makes for
a great afternoon nap on the couch,
a hot bubble bath,
and a round of Scrabble.

And, in the end,
when the snow is blowing,
the wind is howling, 
and it's not fit outside
for man nor beast-
bring out the milk
and bread
and beer-
and have a little party!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Coffee Talk

In my world, 
there's only one thing worse
than running out of toilet paper-
and that is
running out of coffee.

I will put on a pot of coffee
before I even comb my hair,
find my slippers,
or look outside to see the weather.

I am not really sure what happens
if I go without caffiene any
great length of time-
because I always keep back-up coffee
in the pantry.
For snow-bound days
and forgetfulness 
and all-nighters.

But, this morning, 
as I scraped the last grain of grounds
from my Maxwell House can,
I panicked.

Did I even have reserves left?
Was there any off-brand, generic,
Big Lot brew to even substitute?

Like a bear after honey,
I scoured the cabinets for coffee-
shaking canisters and opening crocks
and digging way back-
past the outdated baking powder
and the petrified garlic salt.

"Whoo-Hoo!" I shouted,
as my eye caught sight of
two small cans of flavored coffee.
It had been a gift years ago-
one of those Christmas packs
of coffee, tea and cocoa.
Luckily, I had the forethought
to store away what hadn't
been used that holiday season.

Even though I had never heard of
Zavida brand Affters coffee,
I was willing to consume anything
that would take the edge off
my ever-increasing homicidal mood.

"What's this?" my husband asked, 
setting his coffee cup down with a
look of nausea. 

"Duh. It's coffee, you silly," I perked up,
not yet tasting mine.

"Where did you scrape it up at?" he puckered,
"Another one of your rummage sale finds?"

"Well, Mr. Smartie Pants- I'll have you know
that it's 100% Arabica coffee, 
roasted and blended in Canada", I advised him.

"Kinda far from Columbia, wouldn't you say?'
he tested me.

"The label says that the flavor 
will go straight to the heart 
with comfort and joy," I read.

"Really?" he said sarcastically,
"And just what flavor is this?"

"Well..." I said, suddenly feeling
rather Lucille Ball-ish,
"I mixed some different kinds together
to have enough for a full pot.
It's Eggnog, Almond, Gingerbread,
and Hazelnut-
with a pinch of Pumpkin Pie
and Peppermint."

"Taste it," he commanded.

"Oh- it can't be that bad!" I scowled.
"Coffee is coffee. 
It's all made from ground beans.
And in this case, a bit of flavoring added."

I put my cup to my lips-
"Smells Pine-Sol...
tastes like...well...ugh...
it's not that bad..."

The drive to town this morning
helped wake me up.

I bought ten pounds of real Colombian coffee.

And when I got home,
I was out of toilet paper.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

He Popped The Question!!!

Dearest Cindy,

I can think of no better way to start the new year 
than to know for certain that you 
will be my daughter-in-law. 
(Although I began to suspect it would happen 
the first time our son brought you home.) 
It was almost as though he wasn't worried
that we might tell you all the crazy, 
embarrassing family stories. 

Jake just stood there and beamed when he introduced you that day. 
And he has never stopped beaming. 

You have captured his heart 
and I know it is in good hands forever.

Thank you for loving him.

When he was growing up, we always said that we couldn't have gotten a better son if we had ordered him custom made. 
He was sweet, but tart- 
smart, but humble- 
and cute, but bashful. 

Now we will have a custom made daughter-in-law, too. 
Everything we could have mixed together on our own- 
all the special traits we could have imagined.
We love you.
The entire family loves you.

Your life together is open. 
Like a story ready to be written...

Make sure it includes lots of hugs 
and adventure 
and respect. 

Fill it with the little things like love letters 
and warm towels 
and wild flowers. 

Take time for sunsets 
and old movies 
and date night. 

Let him sleep when he's a grouch. 

Remember that he doesn't like tomatoes. 

And just give in if he wants to go eat chicken tacos at 2 a.m.

Don't forget that fights are part of the story,
but making up is crucial to happily ever after.

Don't go to bed mad
or leave the house mad.

Let his memory linger on your smile
throughout a difficult day.

Listen to other's advice,
but follow your own heart.

What goes on behind closed doors
should stay behind closed doors.
(That's why the door is closed in the first place).

Feed his temper with sweetness.
Sprinkle his worry with hope.
Sow your home with faith and love.

And give us a grand baby ASAP!

Mom Number 2
and Dad Number 2