Thursday, July 13, 2017

Avoiding Temptation

We had dinner at one of our regular hangouts.
Unfortunately, they serve REALLY good bread,
   which (during our time of restraint, in an effort to lose weight)
we try REALLY hard to avoid.

We do this by saying "no" when the server asks if we would like some.

On this particular evening, we were not asked, and a basket of bread appeared before us.

One quick, shared glance, and my fiance' pushed it away.

"We'll pretend it's not there," we said, in hushed voices. 

About five minutes later, another basket appeared, with barely a sight of the culprit.

Is this a joke?

My fiance' pushed it aside, where it hung out with the others.

Our meals finally came, and we had successfully avoided both baskets of bread.


After our plates were cleared, I caught sight of something, out of the corner of my eye.
My fiance' noticed it, too.
It was being carried upon a tray, as if under a spotlight,
   and the music seemed to change, as it glided across the room.

We wondered which lucky soul it would land upon, when . . .

   "It's on the house," said our server, as he delicately placed it in front of us.

Two white and beautiful, perfectly round scoops of vanilla ice-cream,
   melting into one warm,
perfectly molded,
   soft and gooey serving of . . .



But, the tempation was more than we could bear.

Instead, we picked up our spoons.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Overactive (adj) - excessively active.

The bedroom windows were open, bringing life to the outdoors.
I had been lying awake for hours, it seemed, when I heard a strange noise.
The noise was subtle - a shuffling sound that was moving at a repetitive rate,
     getting closer, and closer, until . . .

It's a jogger, I said to myself.

I reached across the nightstand for my glasses, and sat up,
   bringing focus to the tiny, blue numbers on the cable television box -  5:00

Who on earth jogs at 5 a.m. ???

Then, I thought,

I have been lying here, awake, for hours - 
     jogging would probably be a much better use of my time. 
IF I had the motivation. Which, I don't. 
Think I'll just continue lying here, with hopes that I might fall back to sleep

About ten minutes later, I heard another noise.
Similar to the noise of the jogger, but different.
As the noise got closer, I realized it was someone walking.

More my pace, I thought, but STILL way too early.

Sleep, sleep - come on, sleep!

More minutes passed, and I heard, yet, another noise.
As it got closer,
   it sounded like several walkers, who were, also. . . TALKING.

THAT'S IT, I thought. It is DEFINITELY WAY too early for TALKING!!!

I rose from my bed, pushed open the screen, and popped my head out the window.


Of course, that last part happened in my mind, where most of MY early morning activity happens.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Curb Space

Don’t let the solid, rectangular piece of steel fool you. The entrance to my house is a revolving door. In the morning, I count the cars to know who is home. Even without visitors, it would appear to the average passerby that we were throwing a small shindig; a gathering, at the very least. Hopefully, my neighbors don’t mind that we take up more than the normal amount of curb space, sometimes spilling over to the other side.
Recently, we visited an Open House. Beautiful house for sale in the small town of Purcellville, but there was no driveway (just a modest-sized garage), and no curb parking. “We would have to run a shuttle service,” my partner and I remarked. We laughed at the vision of purchasing a golf cart to transfer kids and guests to and from some remote, gravel lot.
My partner and I included, we make up a family of seven. All but the seven- year-old drives their own car, and even he is dreaming of the day when he can hold his own set of keys. Our house, right now, is practically ideal: 5 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, a carport with a driveway AND curb parking, although, the driveway is on a steep slope.
Recently, a neighbor knocked at the door. “Um, your car is rolling down the driveway…” It was my partner’s jeep. Since then, we only park one in the carport; all other vehicles on the curb.
One morning, the inventory of cars did not add up. After questioning each of the physical bodies in the house (including the seven-year-old), we concluded that there was one unidentifiable car. There is a path that runs along the side of our house that connects to the adjoining neighborhood. Periodically, someone will park in front of our house and use the path as a cut through. This one car, however, began parking there every day, ALL day; always arriving and leaving, unnoticed.
“We need to do something about that car,” commented my seventeen year old, as he stared at the car with disdain. He is the youngest of the drivers in the house. “He is messing up our parking.”
He was right. He WAS messing up our parking.
On a normal day, there is one car parked in the carport, three on one side of the driveway (in front of the house), and one on the other. When the mystery car parks, only two can fit in front of the house, causing overflow to the other side of the street.
But, he wasn’t doing anything wrong.
According to the county parking rules, unless he left his car sitting for ten or more days, we could not have it towed. This person returned to his car every day, and though it was strange that he was parking there(visiting Mrs. Robinson, perhaps?), it was not illegal, so there was not much we could do.
“Unless we put a note on his car,” I suggested.
Something like . . .
To Whom it May Concern:
We respectfully request that you park at your place of “business”.Parking here disrupts the amount of curb space needed for the residents who live here. If you continue to park here, we are not responsible for the disappearance of your car.
NCS (Neighbors for Curb Space)
Of course, we would omit that last line. Revolving door is okay; doors with bars, not so much.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"Violets are Blue, Rosacea is Red"

One of the lovely features of getting older, 
apparently combined with my Scottish and Irish heritage 
(thank you, Great, Great, Great, Great . . . somebody), 
is that my skin has been breaking out like a teenager's. 

There is a LOVELY name for it: ROSACEA. 

Why such a lovely sounding word, 
associated with such an annoying condition??? 

Rosacea sounds likes Roses, as in . . .

"Roses are Red, Violets are Blue..."


"Everything will come out smelling like roses"


"Take time to smell the roses."

So, what IS Ros(acea)?

"A condition that causes redness and often small, 
     red, pus-filled bumps on the face." 

"Violets are blue, Rosacea is red" 


And, there is no cure.

One SHOULD, however, stay away from the following (deep breath): 

red wine (and most alcohol), 
avocados, bananas, and most tropical fruits, 
the sun, 
the wind, 
extreme heat, 
extreme cold, 
spicy food . . . 




Sigh . . .

I suppose I could look at the bright side.

There is a French proverb,  "No rose without a thorn." 

There is a Chinese proverb,  

"A thorn defends the rose, harming only those who would steal the blossom." 

I suppose I could think of myself as a beautiful rose;  

     my rosacea, defending me. 


Certainly gives new meaning to the old joke, 

"Does your face hurt? Cuz it's KILLING ME!"

Monday, February 15, 2016

Buying Time

It's early morning, and the winter brown earth has been awakened by white. 
As I sit, looking through the window of my suburban home, all is still. 
The only movement, that of the softly falling snow. 

Quiet, peaceful; serene. 

I imagine this scene through the window of a small, rustic cabin - 
     no threat of a disturbance from cars, busses; snow plows.  
The only noise, the occasional snap of a broken tree limb.
Or, the crackle of flames, from a warming fire.  

The refrigerator hums, and I quickly come to. 

As I sit, looking through the window of my suburban home, all is still.

I could stare out at the snow for hours, or for however long time will allow.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Going through the motions; collecting.
One by one.
Just, collecting.
Putting them in bags, in boxes, steel vaults.
Sealing them up with ties, with tape, with locks.
Shipwrecked debris, barely surviving; drifting along.
Staring up into nothing.
Thinking nothing.
Feeling. . .

Until, a strange sight comes into view.

There, in the corner, above the bedroom window,
   where the wall meets the ceiling,
sits . . .  a frog.  


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Shit, Plop, and Crash - 3 Short Stories



They clog.

And, when you aren't accustomed to using a particular toilet,
   there is no telling the load that it can hold.
I felt like I was in the movie "Along Came Polly", only I was not Polly,
   I was Reuben (played by Ben Stiller).
There was no pet ferret to interfere, however, there was a pet rat.
Fortunately, she was caged, and not allowed to run about the house.

It was pretty early in the relationship,
and I was not prepared to expose myself in such a . . .
              "girlfriends are human" kind of way.

FORTUNATELY, I found a plunger.

UNfortunately, while plunging the toilet, the bowl overfloweth(ed).


"Um, Mike?"


"Do you have any towels that could be used to clean up a, um, mess?"

"What KIND of a mess?"

"Um, like a, um . . . "overflowed toilet" mess?"

"Do you need help?"

"NO. no. NO. DEFINITELY not. UNDER control. TOtally.
  Soooooo . . . where are the towels?"



A very delicate matter.

Especially, when dropped upon the floor.

We picked one up at the local grocery store.
Looking through the glass case of mouth-watering(ly) enticing confections,
   we chose IT over the others, all chocolate crusted, and drizzled in all of its sweet chocolate(ness).

It made it from the store to the car.  Just.  Fine.

It made it from the car to my friend's house.



"OOooooo, that looks GOOD," people said.

"Let me take it out of the box," said I.

Remember that scene in the episode of FRIENDS,
   where Rachael and Chandler are fighting over the cheesecake?
Rachael carries the cheesecake out into the hallway of their apartment building, when she trips, and . . .


"OOoohhhhhhhhh," the people sighed.

Cheesecake DOWN.

I suppose, like the FRIENDS episode,
   we could have gotten down on our hands and knees with our forks.

We had brownies for dessert, instead.


Two things about red wine:

1) It stains.

2) The bottle is made of glass.

My boyfriend and I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things:
gatorade, bananas, orange juice, yogurt, salt, and two of my favorite bottles of wine.

They were on sale.

We went to the checkout line (15 items or less),
where my boyfriend and I debated whether or not an 8-pack of gatorade
counted as 1, or 8 items.

Anyways . . .

After the checkout person rang up the items and bagged our groceries,
   we placed them in the cart, and rolled them out to the curb.

Carefully picking up each bag and balancing the weight between both arms, we . . .


One of the wine bottles dropped STRAIGHT THOUGH THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG.



Red wine ALL OVER my WHITE shoes.

"OOoooohhhhhhh," the people sighed.

Wine bottle DOWN.

The very nice, non-English speaking cart collector
picked up the neck of the bottle from the ground (the only piece of the bottle that was left),
   and motioned for me to go inside to get a new one.
I could understand him well enough to make out the words "should have" and "double bag".


They should have double-bagged the wine bottles.

Thank you, sweet man, for not making me feel like an idiot.

Of course, he was not aware of the previous toilet and cheesecake incidents.