Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tadpole Troubles

I'm so nice. (I thought.)

My Facebook post bragged: I just saved over 400 tadpoles from death by shop vac. I deserve a cookie.

Earlier that day, I'd badgered Jay into cleaning out the little pond in our front yard flowerbed. It was filled with algae, rotting leaves, and pollen. But I refused to let him use the shop vac to suck out the water because I passionately believed the numerous resident tadpoles should survive. (Anything that grows up to eat mosquitoes is highly valued in my life.)

Which means my longsuffering husband (who couldn't care less about tadpoles) had to dutifully scoop out about forty 5-gallon buckets full of water and strain them through a fine mesh net so I could find the little guys in the midst of the pond debris. Then I gently lifted up each one with my fingernail and dumped it into a bucket of clean water. 

I tried to count them but lost track around 400. It took us quite a while, but I was immensely pleased with myself when we returned the wee tadpoles to their newly cleaned home.

I will name him Thaddeus Tadpole and he will live for years because I am so nice.

The next night, I recounted my tadpole rescue to a friend.

She: You're so nice!

Me (with false modesty): It was no big deal. Just saving the environment one tadpole at a time.

She: So, what do tadpoles eat?

Me: I'm not sure. Let me look it up... Hmm. It says here that they eat algae and rotting foliage. 



She (laughing): Good job.

Me (frantically Googling): They can also eat tadpole food. This person says Walmart carries it.

She: The closest one closes at midnight, and it's 11:30.


With a heavy sigh, Jay picked up his keys and walked outside.

I'd already changed for bed into pajama pants and one of Jay's old shirts, so I stayed in the car while he went into the store, looking gorgeous and stylish in his skinny jeans and nice button-down. I don't know if he wanted revenge (since he told me not to clean the pond in the first place) or what, but he came back claiming he couldn't find fish food.

Me (protesting): But I'm in pajama pants!

Jay (shrugging): The store is closing in minutes.

Me (with a deep breath): I can do this. It's for the tadpoles...

Fetching midnight shopping attire

You know those memes of questionably dressed people shopping in Walmart that you see on-line? Yeah, apparently, they don't live here. I definitely stood out. Even the security guards raised their eyebrows when they saw me. They probably thought I was sleepwalking and Jay, trailing behind, was monitoring me for my safety.

As soon as we got home, I threw the life-saving sustenance into the water so our tadpoles could have a midnight snack. 

Food falling from the sky!
But I still stayed awake all night worrying about whether or not I got food to them in time. I crept out at the break of dawn to see if any of the amphibious creatures still lived.

There was not a ripple in the water.

I sprinkled out more food.

Not a tail flicker.

Not a moving shadow.


I'd killed them (sob).

In hopeful desperation, I grabbed the net and trolled the bottom of the pond to see if anything was down there.

Thirty-two rudely awakened tadpoles

And found loads of drowsy tadpoles.

They lived! And were apparently so well fed before the pond cleaning that they'd rather sleep in than eat.


I feel I must be honest enough to add that I screamed, "I went to Walmart at midnight in my pajama pants to get you food, so you better wake up and eat it, you ungrateful creatures!"

At that point, someone jogged by and saw me, still in my my pajamas, yelling into a pond.

I smiled and waved, as if this were a normal thing.

Well, it kind of is... in my world.

Verse of the day: (Proverbs 12:10) "The righteous care about the lives of their animals." 


Follow up: My humiliation has resulted in adorable tiny frogs with tails:

To read about another of my overreactions in "caring about the lives of our animals," click here.
To read about another embarrassing moment I endured when attempting to save a baby bunny, click here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Male "Logic"

One time I asked a good friend from High School to explain the thought process behind something guys did. He informed me that male thinking was "only normal unto ourselves." 

At the time I accepted his assessment. However, after living with Jay for all these years, I'm a bit worried that he's starting to make sense to me.

One day I asked Jay why a pair of his socks were in the microwave.

He said, "My feet were cold the other morning so I put my socks in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up."

"And why are they still in the microwave?"

"I put on another pair of socks while I was waiting for these. But then my feet warmed up, so I didn't need the socks in the microwave."

"And why are they still in the microwave?" I repeated.

"I just told you," he replied, patiently. "My feet were already warm."

I couldn't argue with that reasoning.


I asked Jay to open the curtains.

He said, "I did."

"Then why is the room still dark?"

He answered, tolerantly, "That's what happens when you open curtains, honey. And I opened them as far as they'll go." 

Apparently, to him, "Open the curtains" means to pull them together. Because then the curtain panel itself is open.

To the uninformed, this is an "open" curtain

That explanation managed to confuse me (not an easy feat). I even googled it to be sure I wasn't crazy. Sure enough, the phrase "open the curtains" means to expose the window.

ut I had to admit that there is a weird logic to the idea that the curtain itself should be spread out if one is told to "Open the curtains" rather than "Smush up the curtains to open the view."

Now I just say, "Would you please push the curtains apart?" to avoid confusion.  

In all our minds.


Speaking of curtains, Jay wanted to know if there was anything special I needed him to do while he was in the yard. I asked if he could drape some netting over our two blueberry bushes to keep the birds from eating the berries. I even wrote it on the To-Do list for him (he likes lists.).

Later, I went outside and the blueberry bushes were bare. The two rows of blackberry bushes, however, had netting hung between them on an old clothesline

I was on the phone with a girlfriend at the time, so I described what I saw. "I'm looking at the To-Do list and it clearly says to drape the netting. So even if he got the wrong berry bushes, why would he suspend the netting between them instead of draping them over the tops of the bushes? I'm sure he had a reason; I just can't figure out what it was."

"He did drape the netting," she answered, "He used the clothespins like curtain rings and hung it like a drape!"

Although it wasn't quite what I had in mind, I was compelled to admit that this literal execution of my request actually made sense.

Verse of the day: (Proverbs 24:3) "A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through understanding." It would be easier to understand men if they came with a communication app.

Follow up: Jay claims he was merely stretching the netting and planned to put it on the blueberry bushes the next day. If he says so, then who am I to question it? I'm the woman who erroneously thinks an open drape allows for an unobstructed view!

For another story about male-female communication challenges, click here for She Said, He Heard.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Jay used to be a Moggy

So, I clicked on one of those silly Facebook things to find out what they thought I would have looked like 100 years ago. This was their estimation:

I can't say I could rock those eyebrows, but I do like a curly bob, red lipstick, and polka dot dresses.

I was a bit taken aback, however, that they turned Jay into a cat.

I expected something like this next to me in the photo:

Crookston County Firefighter
Photo credit: https://cabinetcardgallery.wordpress.com/category/policemen-and-firemen/
Until I pondered the notion for a bit. And considered the following points in defense of someone thinking that 100 years ago, Jay could have been a cat:

1. Jay will self-groom, but he prefers someone else to be responsible for the tidiness of his living quarters.

2. He gets annoyed when I make a fuss about his clothes, shoes, or anything else he considers trivial.

3. He has natural athleticism but won't overexert.

4. He can fall asleep just about anywhere and in any position.

5. He has more energy at night than in the morning. Sometimes I ask if he'll vacuum for me at 1 AM just to get him to wind down. (And he does--he's a sweet tom.)

6. He likes to take a nap if he had to get up early.

7. He won't discuss his moods but can get a bit offended if I don't notice when his mood has changed.

8. He brings me presents. And by "presents" I mean things he has hunted down that he wants that I have no interest in. E.g. "Honey, I bought you a weed trimmer!" Um, thanks? If I don't feign interest, he'll try to bag something better--like a tree trimmer.

9. He likes his head rubbed and back scratched.

10. He's skilled at climbing. Which is why he's on a ladder truck at the fire department.

11. He pretends he can't hear me when I call him.

12. He gets a glazed expression if I talk for too long. Sometimes he even wanders off when I'm in mid-sentence.

Yeah, a cat sounds about right.

Verse of the day:
(2 Corinthians 5:17) "Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. Old things have passed away, all things have become new!"

To compare Jay with our old cat, click here or here for stories on how she "enriched" my life with her generous "gifts." 

 P.S. For those who don't know, a "moggy" is: a cat, especially one that does not have a pedigree. See, my blog is educational. You learned a new definition today. Now you can nap like a moggy and feel good about it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Conversation--Southern Style

When I moved to the South, I was never quite sure if Southerners were gushing compliments or insults. Or both. Here's a typical overheard conversation at a ubiquitous backyard barbeque:

Southern lady #1: Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but, bless her heart, I just don't know what she's thinkin' wearin' that top with those britches. She must be blind in one eye and can't see out of the other. (Loudly, while waving) That shirt is so colorful, Eula May. Where in the world did ya buy it? 

Southern lady #2 (shaking her head sympathetically): I know. That shirt fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. But her shoes are just darlin'.

Southern lady #1: Oh, my! Look at Sally Ann givin' corn bread to that squirrel. She's just precious, but doesn't have the sense God gave a billy goat. She'd do CPR on roadkill. (Loudly, while waving) Good to see you, Sally Ann! Aren't you just the sweetest thing feedin' that li'l ole squirrel?

Southern lady #2: Oh, sugar! I just spilled my sweet tea. This table is all cattywampus. 

Southern lady #1: It's as tipsy as a rat swimmin' in moonshine. Just like Billy Bob over there. (Loudly) How ya doin', Billy Bob? I haven't seen you in a coon's age. Ya look gooder than grits!

Billy Bob: You ladies are fine as frog hair!

Southern lady #1: He's one sandwich short of a picnic, but he can roast a pork butt that'll make ya wanna slap your momma.

Southern lady #2: (Craning her neck) I can't see the band. Is that Zeke and Willa's son singin'? I haven't seen him since he was knee high to a bullfrog.

Southern lady #1: Ya call that singin'? You know I'm not one to criticize anybody, but he sounds like he's up there callin' hogs. But he's a nice boy. Even if he does have his daddy's ears.

Southern lady #2: At least he doesn't have his momma's nose, bless his little pea-pickin' heart. I still can't see the band.

Southern lady #1: I can't either. Lula Jean makes a better door than a window. (Loudly) Lula Jean, could ya move over a bit, darlin'? We can't see through you, sweetie pete.

Southern lady #2: Oh, good; she's gettin' up for more vittles. She's sure got a healthy appetite, bless her heart. 

Southern lady #1: Not like Betty Lou. That girl'd blow over if someone sneezed. She's a dear, but she can't cook a lick. If a wolf came to her house, he'd have to pack a lunch.

Southern lady #2: Speakin' of food, did you taste this Shoofly Pie? Miss Mary Dean made it.

Southern lady #1: Well, how wonderful of her to pitch in. (Generously) And it's almost good! (Loudly, while waving her fork) Mary Dean, you just have to give me this recipe. I've never tasted a pie quite like this in all my born days! 

Southern lady #2: You know I just love her to pieces, but her tryin' to bake is like a pig in a hen house tryin' to lay an egg. 

Southern lady #1 and #2 (in unison): Bless her heart.

Verse of the day: (Colossians 4:6) "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt."

For more stories about my experiences in the Deep South, click on Preplanned PackingBald Peanuts; Ready Set... Ready Again, Set Again; The Mysterious 'Poke Lawn'; Going Postal (Southern Style); and Dastardly Directions (Southern Style).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Men Can't Tell Time

Jay tried to tell me that when a woman says, "I'll be ready in five minutes" that she really means a half an hour. I informed him that my time is estimated according to his leadership. He thought I was kidding until I reminded him of this conversation early in our marriage:

He: I'm going to Home Depot. I'll be back in half an hour.

Me (with faint skepticism): Did you just say a half an hour?

He (grabbing his keys): Yep.

Me (innocently): I'm new to the area, so I keep forgetting, how long does it take to get there?

He (a little distracted, looking for his wallet): About 20 minutes.

Me: And how long does it take to get home?

He (pausing to look at me as if I'm a little slow): Like I said, about 20 minutes.

Me (raising an eyebrow): OK, then by my math, the soonest you could possibly get back is 40 minutes.

He: Fine. I'll be back in 40 minutes.

Me (sounding a bit confused): So, you don't plan to get out of the car? I'm sure you have your reasons, but I don't understand why you'd go all that way just to gaze at the store as you drive past it through the parking lot on your way home.

He (rolling his eyes): Okay, okay. I'll be about 45 minutes.

Me: Well, that takes care of walking to and from the store. Weren't you planning to buy anything? Or are you just going poke your head in the door, wave at the salespeople, and sprint back to the car?

He: Fine. Add another 5 minutes for shopping.

Me: Oh, pah-leeze! I've been to Home Depot with you. You'll be in there at least 45 minutes.

He (offended): I'm just going in to get some 3" nails. That will take me 5 minutes tops.

Me (snickering): So, you're not going to stop at all to look at lawnmower attachments, power tools,
culled wood, shop vacs, survival magazines, saw blades, sandpaper, handheld multi-tools...

He (reluctantly agreeing): Okay, I might get a little distracted if I see something on sale. Or if I get there and remember something else I need. Or if I see something I could use.

Me: No kidding. And have you added time to get through the checkout line? Unless you're planning to shoplift. Because if you are, let me know in advance so I can get some cash ready to pay your bail.

He: Funny.

Me: Why don't we just say that you're going to Home Depot and you'll be back in about two hours?

He (sheepishly): Maybe three. I think they have a new line of outdoor grills. 

Verse of the day: (Psalm 90:12) "Teach us to make the most of our time so that we may grow in wisdom."

For another "shoe on the other foot" story, click here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

You Can't Trust Men

...when they're in a hurry.

Jay was trying to quickly pack (perhaps he should have done his famous "preplanning") before leaving on a weekend trip. I'd cut a few layers into my long hair the night before, but I couldn't reach the back. 
My hair's normal length

So although he was running late, I thought he could spare 30 seconds to trim the ends about an inch. He's done it before. In fact, he has trimmed the back of my hair every few months since we got married. It's not difficult. One little cut, straight across. 

But he was in a hurry. He grabbed the scissors, I heard a snip, and off dropped about two inches of cut hair. Startled, I remarked, "That looks like more than an inch." But the deed was already done, so I wasn't going to make a big deal about it.

Then he said, "Wait--it's not quite even," and cut again. I assumed he was just trimming a few straggly hairs, but in his hand he held about three more inches of my severed locks.

I gasped, "What are you doing? You just cut like five inches off!"

He looked at the pile of hair and said, "I don't know. I wasn't thinking. I just was trying to get it straight."

His eyes widened as he absorbed the extent of the damage. He hid the scissors,
which was a smart move since he'd just cut off five inches of his wife's hair. 

I looked in the mirror in shock. My curls, suddenly freed from the weight for the first time since I was in Junior High, poofed out.

I resembled Bozo, the legendary clown.

Just call me Bozela
At that point, Jay said, "I'm so sorry! Um, I need to leave," grabbed his luggage, and bolted. Which was another smart move since he'd just cut off five inches of his wife's hair. 

I tried straightening my hair, but it kept curling under. I looked like the late Joan Rivers. Brunette version.

Photo of Joan from PopSugar.com

I called my mother for consolation. She soothed me with, "You always look beautiful, honey. I'm sure you're cute with short hair."

So, I sent her a photo.

She called back.

"What did he do to you?" she gasped. "It's awful!" 

I emailed the photo to a friend. She responded, "It's not bad. But it makes you look older." Great. Facebook already thinks I'm over 50 and looking for "older men" (for that story, click here.).

I tried pulling my hair back to see if it made me look younger, but then I looked like Becky Conner from Roseanne reruns.

Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage
Photo by Nastase Nuttiness

The next day I washed my hair and let it air dry after gobbing on gel to tame my unruly, clown curls. The styling product helped quite a bit. But I still had a triangle-head hairdo.

It gave me flashbacks to the 1980s. (I know you think I was a mere infant in the 1980s, but let's just say that I was old enough to walk and leave it there.) I totally had an overwhelming urge to throw on jellies and totally run to the mall for an Orange Julius. Like in a ripped sweatshirt, acid washed jeans, and totally rad legwarmers. Totally. 

For some reason, I just wanted to Dance With Somebody (with somebody who loves me. Oh, yeah. Uh huh. Woo!). I wondered if Walk(ing) Like an Egyptian would help my pyramid hair make more sense.

I don't often look at myself, so I kept forgetting that half my hair was missing. Every time I walked past a mirror, I shrieked thinking there was an intruder in the house.

Jay called several times during his trip to apologize to me. 

I told him that it was just hair.

And it would grow back.

And I love him more than my brownie-locks.

He was thankful since he knows that most women would be furious if their husbands butchered their tresses.

Yet I'm an example to all of a heart of forgiveness. 

And godly mercy.

And grace.

I also plan to give him a Mohawk while he's sleeping.

Verse of the day: (Judges 16:19) "Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down, and his strength left him." On a second thought, I need Jay to do heavy lifting and yard maintenance, so I may leave his hair unshaved. This time.

Bonus verse of the day contributed by Jay: (2 Samuel 18:9) "He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air." At least I made sure that if Pamela is ever escaping through a forest on a mule, long hair won't slow her down. Knowing her, something like that could actually happen. #SilverLining

To read why I thought better about asking Jay, "What did I ever do to you?" click here for "Our Trip was the Bomb."

To read another story to prove I can't depend on Jay listening to me, click here for "She Said, He Heard."

To read about Jay's bizarre concept of "preplanning," click here.  

To read why Facebook thinks I'm over 50 and balding, click here

Followup: It was six days before I found the scissors. My hair-genius friend Amy made a house call and modernized the style of my unintentional bob, so Jay felt safe enough to return home. This time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Post from Jay--Mount Vesuvius (with Kefir Recipe)

Pamela is still on her blogcation while she's getting hyperbaric oxygen treatment, so I'm filling in for her.

The other night I was comfortably lying in bed when Pamela called from the kitchen, "Um, honey. I might need a teeny bit of help in here."

She hadn't screamed and I didn't hear anything crash, but I know her "I was just an innocent bystander when..." tone of voice well enough to get there quickly.

Pamela makes her own water kefir (a fizzy drink made from fermenting kefir grains). Feeling the need for a shot of probiotics before bed, she went into the kitchen to get some, even though she suspected that had she let the most recent batch ferment for a day or two too long. 

When Pamela uncorked the bottle, the kefir shot up like Mount Vesuvius. The entire contents hit the ceiling and rained down. She stood, holding the empty bottle, with caramel-colored kefir dripping off her face and hair, and casually explained her reason for calling me: "I can't reach the ceiling, and you won't let me climb on the counters." 

I grabbed some towels to sop up the sticky mess muttering, "Well, this is a blog post."

She brightened and said, "I'll get my camera!" 

"I'm kidding!"

She wiped up the floor and counter, but most of the spewed liquid was out of her reach, so she helpfully followed me around cheerfully pointing out things like, "Look! Some even got on top of the refrigerator!" and "Hey, it's even dripping down the inside of the cupboard doors!" until I shooed her away.

When I finally finished cleaning, I suggested she put a Post-It note on each new batch of water kefir with the date on it. She looked at me, puzzled, and said, "Why would I do that? I like it fizzy."

Verse of the day: "What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). By the way, the Bible recommends baptism in water, not in a kefir geyser. 

Note from Pamela: On the plus side, our kitchen ceiling hasn't been this clean and sparkly in years!

To read why Jay flatly refuses to let Pamela climb on the counters, click here.  (This is the blog's most-read post, so we know we're not the only ones who can relate.)

To read about how Pamela started fermenting, click here

Pamela's directions on how to make water kefir:

1. Obtain water kefir grains (they're different from milk kefir grains.). You can get them from a friend (like me) or order them here. If you order them, you'll have to rehydrate them for a few days. Use plastic--don't let your grains touch metal. Put your grains aside.

2. Dissolve an equal amount of sugar (preferably organic cane sugar or sucanant, do not use honey) as you have kefir grains (1/4 cup of kefir to 1/4 cup of sugar) in a couple of cups of filtered water (tap water has chlorine that will damage your grains).

This is sucanant, a raw sugar
We have well water, so we have happy kefir. It grows like dandelions in the spring. Well, a little differently, but I couldn't think of a good analogy. Multiplies like tiny, rubbery bunnies? If you don't have well water or are using distilled water, then add liquid minerals. You'll have healthier grains if you add them, and happy grains give you tons of probiotics.Which is why you're making kefir in the first place. Unless you're just trying to be hipster.

I mix the sugar in a bit of hot water to speed up the dissolving process. When the sugar is dissolved, then I add cold water (because you don't want to cook your little kefir grains).

3. Pour your sugar water into a glass jar. Add more water until you have about 4-6 cups of liquid (depending on how strong you want your kefir).

4. Make sure your water is cool (again, so you don't cook your kefir grains) and then add the kefir grains.

5. Cover the jar with a coffee filter and rubber band and let it sit in a dark, warmish (70-75 degrees) place (a pantry or cupboard is recommended. A shelf in your husband's closet is not recommended because he might accidentally knock it over. Not saying I know anything about that--just guessing.).

My water is brownish because I used tan sugar. If you use white sugar (please use unbleached), then your water should look more clear (if it's not, then you need to call a plumber because something scary is growing in your water pipes.).

6. After 3 days (no more or you'll starve your poor grains), strain out the kefir grains with a non-metal strainer (don't let your grains touch metal). Make sure your kefir juice is in a plastic or glass container (because you don't want to kill your pro-biotics).

My grains are brownish from the brown sugar. Normally they're clearish. I think mine look better with a little tan. As do I.

7. Rinse off your grains. Everyone needs a shower now and then.

Remeasure the grains so you know how much sugar to use in your new batch. They should double in number each time you use them. If you have more than you want, put the extra grains in your compost pile where they will greatly benefit your soil.

8. Make a new batch of sugar water. Add about 1/4 cup of your strained kefir juice to the new sugar water as a starter. Your probiotics will grow better in the new sugar water if they have some kefir juice to encourage them. Like new kids feel better if they have someone to play with who already knows their way around. 

9. Put your strained kefir juice in a glass or plastic jar with a plastic lid (you don't want a metal lid to accidentally touch your kefir juice and kill the probiotics.). You can drink the kefir juice just as it is. Start with a few tablespoons at first to see how your body reacts to it. It might clean out your innards a bit if you drink too much at first. I drink like a cup of it a day, but I need a lot of probiotics with my digestion issues.

Or you can add some fruit juice to your kefir juice to make it tastier. I like it in equal parts. And I only like pear or apple juice. Pineapple, orange, and pomegranate juice tasted weird to me. So did coconut water. But you might like it. If you're weird.

If you juice your own apples and pears, then strain the juice or you'll get bits of pulp floating around. That puts people off. On a plus side, you won't have to share your kefir juice. Just say, "What's that floating in the juice? Odd. Oh, well. Do you want to try some?" It works until they catch on that you're hoarding your kefir.

10. If you want fizzy kefir, then put it in a bottle with an air-tight lid. I think the blue ones are prettiest. They come in 16 oz. or 32 oz. sizes.

Let it sit in a pantry or cupboard for another day or so. Sometimes it doesn't get fizzy if your cupboard isn't warm enough. 

Warning! Don't let it sit in the cupboard for 4 days even if you think your house is really cold (unless it's really cold--our house was at 68 degrees) or it will erupt when you open it (see above story.). But that's kind of fun, so I advise you to try it at least once. 

If you need a break from making kefir, put your grains in a new jar of sugar water and put it in the refrigerator. The cold slows the fermentation process. Your grains will hibernate like bears in Yellowstone Park in the winter. Not that I've ever been to Yellowstone Park in the winter, but that's what I learned from watching Yogi Bear. He might sneak picnic baskets, but he'd never lie about hibernation.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jay's Post--My Funny Felon Bride

Jay here. I'm filling in for Pamela while she's getting hyperbaric oxygen treatments.

Last week was our 12th anniversary. I did better this year, but, then again, I had nowhere to go but up (to read about that fiasco, click here). This year I sent her roses and chocolate-covered strawberries. 

Pamela (in shock): Honey! I can't believe you did this!

Me: I wanted to make up for all the times I didn't get you anything.

Pamela (narrowing her eyes): Does this have anything to do with the fact that now I'm writing a blog?

Me (ignoring her question and shoving a strawberry in her mouth): Here, baby. Aren't these good?

Pamela (with her mouth full): Dothemritabus.

Me: Sure. Whatever you said. I love you, too.

Pamela (distracted from her blog question by chocolate): You are so incredibly sweet!

Me (modestly): Yeah.

Pamela (squinching up her face): Great. After years of following your lead into marital complacency, now I have to come up with something to give you.

I grinned and assured her that she didn't need to get me anything. But a little later... 

Pamela:  Sweetie, at least I can give you an anniversary card.

Me: Just a minute. I need to get your card.

Pamela: Okay.

Me (digging through piles of papers in the office): I can't find the card I got you!

Pamela: You can give it to me later.

Me: No, I want to find it. 

Pamela (holding out a card): Just read your card. You can give me my card whenever you find it.

Me (frustrated): I know it's here. I just had it!

Pamela (glancing at the card she was about to give me with a look of realization): Oh. Wait. Um, is this the card you're looking for?

Me: Are you saying that you stole the card that I bought you so you had a card to give to me?

I'm shaking my head but laughing. I'm not sure that's what Proverbs 31 was referring to when it says a virtuous wife resourceful, but Pamela would argue differently.

Verse of the day: "He who finds a wife finds a treasure and has favor from the Lord" (Proverbs 18:22). 

Follow-up from Pamela: There was a lot of stuff lying around the office. How was I supposed to remember who bought that particular card? Besides, if he bought it, then it's guaranteed that I'm giving him a card he would like. He should appreciate that. Especially since I proved a couple of posts ago (click here) that he's impossible to buy for. And if we're "one flesh," like it says in the Bible, then if he buys a card, it's the same as me buying the card. Right? That's simple, Biblical logic.

Follow-up from Jay: She stole my card. Then tried to give it to me for our anniversary. Enough said.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Baby, Light My Fire

The night before our anniversary a few years ago, Jay filled in for a captain at a fire station near our friend Cheryl's house, so he dropped me off before he left for work so I could spend the night at her house. Since his shift wouldn't end until 8 AM, I playfully told him, "I should prank call the fire department at midnight to get them to send your truck to this area so I'll get to see you the minute our anniversary starts." (I was kidding.)

Cheryl and I are both night owls, so we were watching a movie in the wee hours of the morning when we saw flashing lights pass the front window. We looked out to investigate. Her next door neighbor had put something flammable in his garbage bin before putting it by the curb for morning pick up. Somehow it ignited, and there was a flaming pile of plastic and garbage at the end of his driveway.

I recognized the gorgeous captain swinging off the fire truck, so I excitedly threw my fluffy, pink robe over my jammies and ran outside to see my husband. 

The crew knew what to do, so Jay left them and walked across the lawn to see me. As he approached the porch, I squealed, "It's after midnight; Happy Anniversary, honey!" I mean, what were the odds that I'd get to see him so soon?

He grinned, grabbed me in a big bear hug, and kissed me. It was cold, so he kept his arms wrapped snugly around me and rubbed my back as he murmured into my hair, "Happy Anniversary, baby!"

I glanced past his shoulder and saw his crew staring at us in utter shock. It was then that I realized that they didn't know anything about Jay. They thought their substitute captain just walked up to a random woman (wearing a robe, no less) at a fire scene and started making out with her!

The rookie dutifully held the hose over the flames, but his eyes were completely locked on us. His open-mouthed look of awe said, "I heard stuff like this happens, but I thought they were kidding. I've got to take that Captain's Test!"

Verse of the day: "(He) must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation" (I Timothy 3:2).

For another anniversary story, click here.
To read why Jay is terrified I will take "Come on, baby, light my fire" literally, click here. Oh, wait, there's another fire one here. Maybe now would be a good time to mention that I did not light the neighbor's trash bin on fire to see Jay as soon as our anniversary started.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Alone on Thanksgiving and Happy About It!

Jay left at 7 AM this morning for his 24-hour shift at the fire station. Because of health issues, I'm not physically up to going to anyone's house. Which means that I'm alone on Thanksgiving.

Someone asked if that makes me sad.

Nope! Not one bit.


Because it's not a day to indulge in feeling sorry for myself. I could feel sorry for myself the day before or the day after, but I certainly can't do it on a day dedicated to thanks!

It's not "Give Thanks If Things are Perfect Day" or "Give Thanks If You're with Loved Ones Eating Turkey and Pumpkin Pie Day."

It's an entire day, morning to night, designed to focus on thankfulness.

No matter what my circumstances.

So, I woke up this morning thankful for my warm, soft bed. And pajamas. And clean water in a clean glass on my nightstand. And slippers. And indoor plumbing. And toilet paper (leaves are too crunchy this time of year to work well, I'd imagine). And a house with central heat. And fresh bread. And a toaster. (Now you know how my mornings start.)

Even our animals are filled with gratitude.

The chickens are thankful that I gave them extra meal worms.

Caleb is thankful that after a week, Blanche opened her wounded eye. It's only half open, but progress is wonderful!

I'd been hoping she wouldn't be blind in that eye, because she's been walking around with her head cocked sideways for a week, and I didn't want to have to find a chicken chiropractor. (Taking Zoe to a doggy chiropractor was bad enough.)

Zoe is thankful that I allow her to massacre toys in our front room. She gets immense joy in disemboweling stuffed animals.

I'm thankful that she's so easy to entertain.

She's also thankful she gets to pose for photos since it's one of her favorite things (for whatever weird reason).

I may not be eating turkey today, but I'm thankful that I have a turkey cookie! (It's not turkey-flavored, just to be clear, only turkey-decorated.)

And I'd argue that a cookie might be even be better than turkey.

I'm thankful that I have a variety of wholesome food. But even if I only had porridge to eat (I still have no idea what it is, but poor Goldilocks had to be desperate to try it), I'd be thankful that I had bowl and a spoon to eat it with.

(Just wondering, why would you make dinner, put it on the table, and then take a long walk without eating it? Is that just a bear-thing? If so, I'm thankful I'm not a bear.)

I'm thankful I have a telephone so I could call Jay (and hear him answer with his mouth full of fire house Thanksgiving dinner) and remind him that I'm thankful for him. His response was, "Yeah, yeah, I'm thankful for you, too, honey, and I'll call you back when we're done eating." Rub it in, darling (eye roll).

But I know this day isn't about the food I'm not eating, but about giving thanks for what I do have. (I had cheesy eggs and a homemade biscuit, and they were quite yummy.)

I'm thankful that I can sit on massive mounds of oak leaves with our pets and feel the sun on my face.

Facebook is filled with photos of my friends and relatives getting together with their friends and relatives, and I'm thankful they welcome me into their lives long-distance. It makes me smile to see their pictures. And knowing them is another reason for gratitude.

I'm thankful that I can focus on giving thanks to God all day without human (or culinary) distractions. I'm alone with Him, so He gets all of my attention today.

That's why some of my best holidays are when Jay is working, and I have to focus on the real reason for the celebration. 'Jesus and me' is enough.

I'm extremely thankful that I'm not named Habakkuk. (Imagine that nickname. Habby? Kukky?)

But even Habakkuk was thankful:

Verse of the day: (Habakkuk 3:17-18) "
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!" 
And that is why I am having a happy Thanksgiving.