Tag Archives: husband

Harley Flowers

Yes, I had an arrangement made yesterday for my barber, Mr. B. My husband has his hair done by female stylists who only work for men. They won’t cut my hair but will allow my female dog to be there all day.

I know his gals and one (and her boyfriend) takes care of our dog when we’re out of town, but I can usually drop him off and go to the market while he’s being groomed. Oh, they love our dog, too. She hangs out with the patrons and other dogs.

My florist chose orange and we chose spiky things like thistles to make a manly bouquet for my annual gift to my Harley biker barber. I served it up in a local brewery’s pint glass, a vase of sorts for him to keep.

I’ll not go back to my favorite florist before Valentines’ Day as we do not celebrate Hallmark holidays. I’ve flowers around and secrets, too. One is that I don’t like crowds, he knows that. I do not wish to be in a crowd of men buying flowers like crazy for a Hallmark holiday. I’m not in the market for men, so bought just a few flowers this week to replenish what we have. My secret, OK it’ll remain that. Happy Valentines’ Day! Dee



You Don’t Need Lessons

Yes, I do. I learned to knit and purl with minimal instruction. I got to the point that I could make my father and brother golf club covers because they were essentially mittens without a thumb and I didn’t learn to make a thumb. This post is for my one and only brother.

Petit point was easy but not very relaxing. I recently found a complicated one I started years ago but with arthritis, it’s not comforting either.

Mom didn’t really want me in her kitchen, underfoot, so I learned to cook through books and Gourmet magazine. After college I got a job, a big step up, and hated it. I quit the job and spent my life savings on cooking school, the best time at school I ever had. No, I’m not a chef, I’m a good cook.

Owning a pet. Been there 27 years and still going. Learned about cats from a book. My sister sent my brother east from CA with a five week-old cat, a Burmese mix, who never let me get a word in edgewise for 13 years. Dogs, I thought I knew. My first was abused by a deputy sheriff and in a shelter where I visited her for a year. When euthanasia was mentioned as she was becoming a danger to men and children (kids used to throw rocks over the fence at her) I took her home, rehabilitated her and she was so loved in our neighborhood they took up a collection and donated a tree to the city for our park, in her memory.

Our current dog was another rescue. We adopted her at six weeks and she turns 13 years old this weekend. We’re having a party for her and her human and canine friends.

Today is our 14th wedding anniversary. My husband is away on business but I’ll make his favorite stew this weekend. He got me a multi-purpose slow cooker I need to try. I bought flowers that will remind us of the places we’ve been together. Yes, he’s still the “human tornado” that makes a mess everywhere he goes and never puts anything away. After over 15 years I’m happy he puts down the toilet seat, even though changing a roll of toilet paper is beyond the realm of capability.

Utah, 30 years ago. Snowbird, 12,000 feet and air so thin one cannot get enough of it. My little brother says, “no, you don’t need lessons. I’ll teach you!” He did come and save me.

Four times down the bunny slope, two on the bottom half of Big Emma. Then he brought me up to the top and left me in a big bowl. I didn’t know how to turn (schuss) to reduce my speed so I just snowplowed at 100 mph then sat down and cried. I did that a few times and he took the lift back up and came and got me. My legs hurt from snowplowing for a week! He just told me tonight that my father sat down and cried as well. So much for brotherly “lessons.” God rest you, Dad.

My dear husband decided to create a blog for me a number of years ago. I was terrified. What if I couldn’t write or find anything to write about. The first blog I wrote was the most popular of all time, How to Eat a Concord Grape. I’ve thousands of visitors to this niche blog and have met some good friends through it. Thank you, dear! This was a “seat of the pants” thing I just had to do on my own. It has helped my writing and storytelling skills. Thanks to AL&J, retired English teachers, as well.

I remembered what I used to do when first confronted with a computer. I wrote down the 4-5 themes I had to hit in a white paper or speech, or legislation, wrote them down on a piece of paper, and got to work. Once a blank page or screen was not an issue, the words flowed.

The lesson here is sometimes one needs a lesson, like hurtling down a mountain faster than your car can drive. With a proper education, others are just a natural extension of current abilities. Older and wiser, I try to learn something new every day as each day offers new possibilities. Right now I’m into art, framing and flower arranging. The arthritis brings limitations but they’re only physical. Courage, ambition to be the best “me,” selflessness, kindness to others all help. Carpe diem, Dee

Is He OK?

That is what I ask myself all the time. I finally got a shower at eight p.m. tonight and when I got out, he and the dog were sound asleep.

He flies in late at night, and out 6:30 tomorrow morning. I’ve asked him for a list of ten dishes he loves and cannot get at restaurants. Last week he bought me an old-fashioned pastry bag, I have the tips, and we made cannelloni yesterday.

I am a worrier and do check, as he says, “on the plane, number, love you” and I check it out a couple of hours later. He gets in between nine p.m. and 1:00 a.m. and we’re getting up at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow to send him off again. I’ll take out the dog, feed her and make him breakfast. Then he leaves. Zoe (dog) and I like to walk him to the car and I take her for a real walk.

Texting is not my forte but he does text that he’s landed at the correct site. Until that time my heart beats double-time and as his wife of nearly 14 years, I’m allowed to worry. Other people, pilots, car rental companies, hotel managers, restaurants have him. Not me. I prefer us being together. He and Zoe are back asleep. Cheers from Dee

Changing Roles

When we first met nearly 15 years ago my husband brought me roses. Usually arranged, in a vase. Eventually I ran out of room for vases so he bought me roses I needed to arrange, just at the time I needed to get dinner on the table. He’s allergic to cats so I found him a place 1,000 steps away. I brought over a few key kitchen elements (he only had a lame plastic colander from college days).

Oh, he has clues to make a grilled cheese sandwich but does not cook, at all. OK. He wanted to use all the kitchen machines I had before we met so we have made pancakes with whipped egg whites (he looked up a recipe) and fresh pasta with my hand-crank counter machine.

Both were successful. It would be fun if he can make cranberry or blueberry pancakes with our nephew over the holidays (before he becomes a teenager and stops talking to us)! I can call out the recipe and they can do the work! And clean up. That’s not a strength, the “human tornado” is called that for a reason. The tornado is the husband, not his younger brother’s son.

Yesterday I bought him pink and white tulips. I was running around doing things before he flew home (three hours late, got in after midnight and crashed on the bed after Otis-ing the lame old dog up).

The tulips were on the kitchen counter for 20 minutes or so while I was laundering and running a very loud and long dishwasher. I arranged the tulips, prepared the vase with flower food, cut the stems and voila!

The pink ones sagged but they all reached for the sun this morning so I turned them around. They are technically dead but still responding to food, water and sunlight. Kind of like family in hospice care. There for a week, my dear husband told my mother on her deathbed that he’d take care of me. He told me later, he has and will do so but I take care of him as well.

Sadly, my husband did get in after midnight, has a cold and I got up at five to get our dog out of his way, cover him and have tea and chicken soup ready to go. It’s nearly seven in the morning now and he’s snoring away. That’s the way he likes to deal with colds and flu. It works. If my brother had a cold/flu he could sleep 14 hours straight and awaken well. Whatever works.

Zoe is by my office chair, as always. We’ll let J sleep and see if any of our packages that were supposed to be here yesterday, arrived. Luckily his year’s supply of doc-ordered contacts arrived safely. He was in desperate need of those for work and life. I worry about him always.

He’s sick and is only home two days per week now. I can only hope that sleep, tea, soup, perhaps pizza or St. Louis style ribs will get him well. That is my wish. Dee

Changing Things Up

Yes, we move from time to time. We’ve been married over 13 years now and see things on the horizon.

I get to see the little things. I lived on my own for years so never had to think of these little things, like making dinner for two, feeding and walking a dog and keeping certain things separate. Suitcases. I used to be able to pack for us in less than 12 minutes. After 14 years he packs himself (first time for everything) and I stay out of his way. Of course all his shirts, pants, socks et al are clean and folded in his closet. Magic!

Most dishes go in the dishwasher so that’s all the same. Some things are blue/purple for him and red/pink for me, like toothbrushes. We can tell our glasses apart (I hate Dr. Pepper) and I don’t wear contacts.

Then it comes to cell phones. Mine was eight years old and even my bank would not allow me access. Years ago I got a bright pink case because we had the same phone back then (he drowned one fly-fishing then progressed several times) and I didn’t want him to take mine to work and have my list of contacts instead of who he needed to contact for work.

Now we’ve the newest iPhone on the planet and it’s huge and heavy and I don’t text and don’t know how to use the darn thing. I don’t care. I only call and answer calls. We both got glass and he has a hard case because he keeps his phone in his pocket and drops it on concrete a lot. I got a clear case with a rose gold back on my phone so he’ll never board a flight without his phone or contact list. I keep mine connected in the kitchen (away from water) and in my purse when on the road.

Newlyweds, forget about what the bridal magazines are trying to sell you. You will not be reading the Sunday paper and doing the crossword on the sofa. You will be worrying about where to put Great Aunt Linda’s china and taking care of your husband when his allergies kick in. Then you’ll have kids, at least a dog. Walks, soccer, school, runny noses. Whatever. Just remember when you take out Fido, you pick up and safely transport the poop to an approved receptacle. I am happily married to a very smart man, and am glad that you read this blog. Cheers! Dee

ps Ask me about the one fly-fishing trip another time……

Special Occasions

A parental friend and neighbor early on, before age 8, a psychologist, scholar and genius used to give me a word per day. When I saw him the next day mowing his lawn, I had to report the meaning. I probably got them back to him before due because I was so bored with school and his lessons were more challenging.

His lovely wife, who died recently, tried to get me interested in art. I’ve one crayon drawing I framed recently on our walls of all the major characters of The Wizard of Oz. At age five that was the pinnacle of art for me, even years later. I went on to copper tooling, and excelled at perspective drawings but that was it. With the beautiful photos I and others have taken, and my father’s paintings my husband’s favorite work is mine, a tiny Dorothy/Dee on the back of the lion. I may have been roaring, as I have when needed.

One year the lessons were phobias, so neighbor G asked me to define triskadekaphobia. That was reported back as fear of the number 13.

Yesterday was our 13th wedding anniversary. We did and did not do something special. I made him meat loaf, mashed potatoes and my version of Grandma’s cucumber salad that he loves. There were gifts from others as well.

Just in case G thinks I’m afraid of triskadekaphobia I think I’m going to call this the first day of our 14th year of marriage. Cheers to us. Dee

The Food Snob II

It was 9/11. Italian neighbors pounded on the door shouting CNN! CNN! We invited them in with electricians and appliance movers and watched as the towers went down. So sad.

Neither Continental nor the American Consulate would allow me to come home. Continental because there were no overseas flights. The Consulate simply said that my sleeveless summer dresses would not keep me warm enough in Newfoundland, the furthest I could be flown. I must say that the Customs Agent in Newark said “Welcome Home.” I shed a few tears, of course, but knew better than to kiss that floor.

Two weeks later I met a guy at a local restaurant over lunch. We were all talking about 9/11, of course. We talked for hours and shook hands and exchanged phone numbers in the parking lot. I threw away his number. He called the next evening, we lived 1/2 mile apart. We went to a movie and dinner. He opened the car door, took my hand and hasn’t let go for over 14 years.

He was laid off in dot.bomb era before we met, moved home with his parents and got another job back near me in two weeks. I consulted as my profession, worked with neighborhood pets as a side job/hobby and shelter pets/ferals as a volunteer. Through the dogs I found him a home 1,000 steps from mine. He could not visit me at home because he is deathly allergic to cats. Once he bought a gas mask and came over for dinner. Really, Darth Vader? Luke, I am your father. It lasted less than ten minutes, I think I was laughing too hard. We went out for dinner.

In the interest of spending time together I had a lot of kitchen equipment and moved some of it to his place. He brought one ugly blue plastic colander that we still have, and I brought utensils, plates, pots and pans. One day he came home for lunch from work and I was finishing up grilled cheese sandwiches (and tomato soup, of course) and he remarked “Oh, so that’s how you do it!””Hello? What planet?”

Later I got to meet his family before we eloped and his mother gave me a photo of him at age four making toast. The photo has been on our frig for years, and it only took him 30 more years to make a grilled cheese sandwich, and he likes mine better. Better choice of bread and type of cheese, I’d surmise. He’s a physicist so is methodical.

I graduated from two cooking schools, one professional in NYC and another in Italy.

My husband heard but did not listen to my cooking adventures even after he created this blog for me years ago. He is a keen critic of my food, which is well-prepared and tasty. Of late he’s taken to making fresh pasta and pancakes (not together) but only reads me recipes and I do the shopping, prep, cooking and clean-up. I’ve learned not to let him make spaghetti and meatballs (bottled sauce and dried pasta) because if I’m sick and cannot eat, none of the cleanup will be done. Oh, he also can make oatmeal with milk, topped with yogurt and berries. The walls tell stories and not about me, dear friend.

Once again, the human tornado is here in force. Oatmeal “glue” on a pot. An oatmeal bowl un-rinsed. He tells guests I have to do a newly imagined or read recipe three times before it’s right. I’ve a good palate, shop and do mis en place, cook and clean up.

Do you know what he tells me now? “Dear, you have created a food snob.” I agree. Since our old dog ate dinner off my plate while I was eating the other day, I do my thing in the kitchen, and once it is clean I tell husband and dog that The Kitchen Is Closed. Water and Dr. Pepper only. Cheers! Dee



Yes, I’ve got two significant ones. My husband of nearly thirteen years next week and a dog we got as a pup at six weeks who will be twelve at the end of the month.

Everything that happens to my husband through jobs, work, moving, everything hits me thrice. I need to process it and do it and bring dogma along for the ride.

Today is a day of change. I’m going to make some burgers for him to grill. Perhaps sweet potato fries to go along with some arugula salad. Cheers to a good day in our cold land. Dee


The pup I cared for yesterday, and my husband, display similar qualities and differences. First I must say that several hours with the pup sent me to nap from dinner-time until 1:00 in the morning! I laid down for a few minutes, my husband came in and placed a blanket over me and I crashed for hours.

He also is perfecting spaghetti with meat sauce. Yes, this from a guy who can’t make a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s pasta from a box, good sauce from a jar and lately summer sausage, He is called the Human Tornado because of the mess he makes everywhere he goes. But after puppy terror he learned to do the dishes, wipe up, and even run the dishwasher, first time in 14 years! Thanks, pup!

I do have great hopes for Mr. H, the pup. He has potential to be a fantastic dog if his folks take a firm hand and turn his headstrong nature to learning and being useful. One year our old Zoe was barking at a female parking attendant below our loft. We got her a backpack and my husband had it tailored for her unique frame. Then we loaded it with 8 oz. water bottles and walked out to the parking lot attendant and gave her a bottle of water. Three days in a row. Zoe never barked at her again. She is a herder. We gave her a job.

Learning from errors. Hard-headedness has its place, so does the ability to learn new ways and learn from mistakes. He ruined my new sweater. Can I take these teeny bandages off the needle-teeth marks now? H is going to be nearly twice the size of Zoe, who is now her “great Aunt,” and needs a firm hand (leash control and responding to NO) and training so he doesn’t pull his owners around the block when he’s 50 lbs.

That’s all from Camp Dee, Canine Station 101. Dee

ps Thanks to the miracle workers at Nature’s Miracle. No, they don’t give me anything but are wonderful for occasional pet clean-ups. I only use it on the bed for Zoe every couple of years when she eats something icky from the sidewalk, but five pees in four hours was amazing as H kept looking at where he’d gone before and couldn’t smell it. Perhaps he was just marking territory and I kept erasing it……

Big Dog Bowls and Absent-Minded Professors

A few weeks ago I ordered dog bowls for Zoe. They turned out to be cat-sized bowls and the company didn’t even want them back. I gave them to a friend.

There are always new worlds out there. Zoe’s first adult collar broke after ten years. Now, her first puppy dish set has rusted throughout after nearly 12 years. I’m now using handmade silk Martingale collars with a leather leash. They give her comfort and me control and there’s really nothing to break as she won’t be with us another 15-20 years.

Yes, we like to keep them pups. Her new bowls are larger (former are saved, stainless, and in the car for trips). It has a stand for water and food. She’ll be 12 in late January and deserved an alternative to the rusty bowl holder, and to have something a few inches up so that as she ages, she doesn’t have to bend down so much for her food. That’s what dog mom’s do.


The absent-minded professor has been away for most of two years for work. He borrowed my car yesterday evening for a business meeting. We pay for designated parking spaces. He left home for two hours, returned at 8 p.m.

This morning I got a call. He parked in someone else’s spot. Similar space, wrong floor. So if you remember the old game Clue, the parking space stealer was the absent-minded professor, the crime was done in the garage with the wife’s car keys.

And I hit a pole trying to get out of this space that can probably hold a Mini-Cooper, not a mid-sized SUV. Hurt my bumper, just a scratch to remember this mishap. No, my husband does not drink. Only Dr. Pepper. He was just thinking of other things. That’s what he does when life is bothering him. I’d rather he think things through in the shower than in our garage. With my car, the only car our dog Zoe is allowed to be in with her orthopedic bed and cargo net.

I did send a “sorry” note through channels to whomever owns that space, as parking is precious here. I sent it on a card I bought in Florence, Florentine paper and envelope. Hope that’s enough. He made a mistake. Others have taken our parking spots in the past and that was malice, not error.

Cheerily? Dee