Saturday, May 02, 2009

Our Little Spelling Bee

How I got TheCodeMasterGeneral to spell 'cousin' for yesterday's spelling test....

then..... what is it you do to make it to the 'Lake of Fire' when you die?

Needless to say, he spelled it correctly.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Moral of the Story

I may have figured out the moral of yesterday's story.

First, last night on the way to our church financial class I asked Capt to turn around so we could go home instead. I've been fighting off some bug and didn't think I could sit through 1 1/2 hours of teaching, my head felt like it was about to explode. And he didn't have a problem with that.

Then, this morning I wanted to sleep later than my usual 5am, so he took the dog out and feed her before heading out to the base.

When I finally got my butt out of bed at 6:30, I went downstairs and there was a surprise.....he put on a pot of coffee for me....he doesn't drink coffee and I wasn't fully aware he even knew how to make coffee.

So, the moral of yesterday's story is this: It's all about give and take.

Or as SirNottaguyImadadsays:

If you love something, let it go. If it doesn't come back, hide it after you wash it next time.

Thank you all for the sage advice.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Remember when I posted about starting to make my loving husband tea every morning in an attempt to be a better wife?

Well, lately he's been commandeering my favorite OXO travel mug in the morning in order to enjoy said tea, which I lovingly make him, while he drives to work.

Moral of the story:

I'm not quite sure yet. But I sure do miss my mug.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thyme for more

As promised I will continue the spicy story that I'm sure has had you on the edge of your seats. But first:

Capt and I had a date last night. We went to Saybrook Fish House and had a wonderfully romantic dinner. I had The Poseidon Adventure, I thought it would come upside down but it didn't.

Then to Bed, Bath & Beyond to shop for the turntable. I apologize to all my Susan-named readers, I now realize that what I was looking for is a turntable, not a Lazy-Susan. I thought a turntable was something that you put your Beatle's Albums on, but I am dating myself here.

Anywhos, to get back to the main point of this most interesting story, here is what my spice cabinet looked like before:

I am not an evening person at all, I was very tired and not focused last night but here is what it looked like after I organized it:

Do you see that Fennel Seed? I've had that since my twins were born in 1980. I used to use it when my children were gassy. I would boil a few seeds in water and make tea for them to sip. I would then count, 1....2...3 and I'd hear - *BURP*- it worked like clockwork. I just can't seem to ever throw it out. (Maybe when I become a grandmother....someday....hello children, I'm not getting any younger here.) <-----that was my manadatory monthly plea, sorry you had to witness that.

And take a good look at the Domino Sugar'N Cinnamon shaker:

A few years ago I was food shopping with my daughter Jen and she nonchalantly grabbed this from the shelf and said, "Oh wow, I designed and drew this for Domino's and I didn't realize that they used it." (She was working for a company at the time so her work was not owned by her.) Of course I bought 5 bottles of this stuff. Then she pointed out jars of spaghetti sauce and olive oil that she worked on and designed, but I just love the duck wearing a sleeveless tee, striped shorts, water goggles with a lobster on its wing dripping wet the best. That's my Jen.

Now, just for fun, I'm gonna tag you all to show me what's in your spice cabinet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thyme for a New Post.....

In my other life, the life I lived on Long Island, when I would get my tax refund the first thing I would do, after tithing, would be to buy something frivolous. Back then my tax refunds were substantial; the more faithful I was in tithing the more faithful God was in returning it back, and then some. So I would get myself a little something, like a massage, a day at a spa, take my sister's foster children to a toy store and let them pick out whatever they wanted; once I even took a cruise to Mexico. (Ouch, my head hurts just thinking about all the Margaritas I drank on that cruise.)

This past year has been different in many ways. I moved to CT relying upon a promised job which would earn me enough money, albeit less than my LI job, to live here in my dream home and be close to Capt, my husband now.

That did not work out and you all know the rest of that story. That was a trying year. And one of the greatest years of my life.

This year's tax refund has just been automatically deposited in my checking account. And even though it is puny in comparison (and, well, so was my tithing)to previous years I am so excited.

Tonight Capt is taking me to Bed, Bath and Beyond and I am splurging on a lazy-susan for my spices. I could not be more happier.

You see, I possess kazillions of different spices. I always have. I like to be able to sit in my kitchen and think of something I'd like to bake and have all the ingredients and spices available without having to take a trip to the grocery store. Which, by the way, is quite a hike when you live in this town.

The problem is that it is difficult to keep the spices in the same place on top of each other in alphabetical order, facing forward, without having them fall all over when I go to use them. I used to think my son, David, was to blame for my messy spice cabinet, he loves to cook and uses spices like an artist uses paints, but now that he doesn't live with me anymore I realize it is the spice fairies who come in when I'm not home and mess it all up.

So, I'm thinking that I need a lazy-susan, desperately, so that the spice containers will be more accessible. And I can't wait until after dinner tonight when we get to pick one up.

I'll even take a before and after picture for you tomorrow.

To be continued....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

His Majesty

This past Saturday we all took a trip to Long Island to meet up with my children and family. Mom and Dad came up from South Carolina. Even though the weather was horrible (rainy and cold) we all had a great time sitting around and just being together.

The trip home was long 2.5 hours. TheCodeMasterGeneral was unusually quiet, he wasn't feeling well. Then he told us, "I feel majestic."

Capt said, "Wow, I didn't know you knew what that word meant, good job with the volcabulary."

TheCodeMasterGeneral replied, "It means stuffy and can't breathe, right?"

We all just looked at each other puzzled.

Pookie was the first to speak up, "I think he means 'conjested', not 'majestic'."

And now that we all have caught TheCodeMasterGeneral's cold, we tell each other that we feel 'majestic'. I think it sounds a lot better than 'conjested'.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Joyce Meyer, my BFF


I have no excuses for not posting. None. But I do thank you for the emails and comments that you miss me and are concerned. I am fine, I guess sometimes I just get too involved in other things, like SPRING CLEANING and therefore lose my blogging focus. I started the cleaning on Saturday with my walk-in bedroom closet and it all went OCD thereafter.

Speaking of OCD, the past couple of weeks something has been gnawing at my spirit. I wasn't sure what it was but I kept feeling like there was something more that I should be doing, something different, something that I was failing at. I just couldn't figure it out. My husband even noticed it and was constantly asking me what was wrong.

He took me out to dinner on Friday night and as he sat across from me drinking his favorite Chinese tea it hit me. I asked him if he'd like me to get him a cup of tea every morning for when he gets out of the shower.

My thinking was that I'd be a better wife...that we would be more of a team working together towards a goal...the goal being, well, I'm not sure, but it seemed like this is what would fill the void I was feeling...the missing something.

As he raised his right eye brow (I love when he does that) he suspiciously asked me what is it that I want in return. "I just think I'd be a better wife if I brought you tea upstairs when I bring my coffee up", I reasoned. He doesn't have a morning beverage habit.

He then said all the right are a perfect wife, there's nothing more you have to do...blah, blah, blah. I was determined that something else needed to be done.

So the next morning I brought him tea. The next morning I forgot. Then yesterday morning we sat in bed together drinking our morning cup of coffee and tea and did something we never do in the morning, we turned on the television.

And Joyce Meyer was on. And she was preaching about that gnawing feeling that there is something else to be done to be a better wife. She told a story about how she grew a garden one year and made her husband clothes because she felt like it would make her a better wife. We watched with amazement because it seemed like everything she was saying was exactly what I had been trying to explain to him. Of course her garden and clothes making was a disaster, God has a plan for her to be who she is, the woman he created, not the woman she was trying to be because she thought it would make her a better woman.

The enemy gets into our lives and sometimes we don't even see it. I am fine the way I am, quirks and all. I like me. Capt likes me, he even LOVES me. There is nothing more I have to do to fill the void. In fact, there is no void, the enemy just wants me to think there is.

This isn't the first time Joyce Meyer has unintentionally spoken directly to me. There was a season in my life where I couldn't have stepped out of bed without hearing her because I was in so much pain. Pain that broke me. She was there to help me as I was built back up into the woman I am today.

She is an amazing woman and I have to believe that so am I.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kate and Capt doesn't work....

Monday night Capt and I watched the season finale of Jon and Kate Plus 8.

Normally he does not stay in the same room when that show is on. He has many issues with Kate's behavior and attitude towards Jon, as well as other things. Kate and husband could and should never be would be a disaster of magnitude proportions.

I was startled when right in the middle of watching Kate freak out when her children had a bit of paint on their hands, my husband leaned over and whispered in my ear that he had a fantasy

Before I let my mind run amok with that info I asked him what his fantasy was.

"I'd like to tie Kate down and watch her freak out when I splatter paint and mud on her because she's just too uptight about keeping her herself and her kids clean."


I think I'll stop watching it in front of Capt, clearly it is affecting him in a most disturbing way.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Secret Life of Yew Nork Babe's House

What ever this plague going around is, it has clearly wiped me out. At least this morning I feel like the fever is gone and I can think clearly...well somewhat clearly...I never truly think clearly.

Last night the season finale of The Secret Life of the American Teenager aired. If you heard about the show then you probably don't have a teenager. Or you may shield them from that type of show. In the past, when my children were teenagers, I would have not allowed them to watch it, but I was a strict parent and kept my children protected from a lot of worldly things.

Now that I am a step-parent to a teenage girl who is not being raised in a sheltered way, I see that it both ways has its benefits, neither is wrong, both are right. Although, my children are on the fence about that.

The Secret Life deals with teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, Christianity and other real life issues. The way these issues are portrayed are real and relevant to today's times.

The part I love the most: The character's personalities are portrayed in a transparent way. The attitudes, the brattiness, the hormones, the's all there.

Monday nights are our family night. We have a family meeting, talk about issues we may have, offer up suggestions to make our family run smoother, and comment on our week in general. We then play board games until The Secret Life comes on.

As the show progresses we discuss or comment on the motives of the characters. And I think it is a good thing. And I think that the show has opened the eyes of hundreds of thousands of teenagers and in turn will protect them from many heartbreaks. (An example: Why did Amy go all the way at band camp? Because she was feeling insecure and was being pressured and bamboozled by the most popular, silver-tongued guy that all the cool girls wanted to date. The outcome: being pregnant at 15 and having your whole life turned upside down.)

Pookie has learned a great deal from the show and has used it to understand some of the issues that surround her.

My husband is an excellent father and may be raising his children differently than I did mine, but I am learning from him that love and communication is the most important aspect of raising children in these times.

But one thing is for certain, even though I don't have much say in how my step-children are being raised, I adamantly put my foot down about this: NO ONE, REPEAT, NO ONE IS EVER GOING TO BAND CAMP IN THIS HOUSE!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Be Still My Heart

My little girl, I just can't get enough of her:

Don't you just want to just squeeze her?

She's 28 1/2 years old now, so I'm sure she would consider it harassment or something.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Like it Hot!

We got a new pizza/deli in this small town and it's all the buzz. Every time I bump into someone in town one of the first things they say is, "Have you tried 3 Fellows Pizza yet and isn't it great?". The owners are all from New York and the pizza perfectly reflects New York style pizza, which is just heavenly.

One of the amazing things about 3 Fellows is that they DELIVER !!! ....right here in the boonies. And that is unheard of in these here parts. [oh my, I'm starting to talk like a Marlborough-er]

Anyway, last night it was my turn to make dinner. My day was hectic. I just barely made it home before TheCodeMasterGeneral's bus pulled in front of our house.

When I got in the door I realized that it was too late to plan dinner.

I had a great idea: Let's get pizza delivered, but first I checked with Capt to make sure he didn't have pizza for lunch....I'm good like that.

I started to feel like I was back in New York, like now I have another option when it comes to getting dinner on the table.

The pizza delivery young man came to the door, I paid him and when I brought the pizza box into the house Pookie (age 13) asked if the pizza was hot.

"Yes, of course it's hot, why?", I asked.

"It must be really hot because it was near that delivery dude.", she said with a twinkle in her eye as she swooned.

Oh my land, that girl is growing up too fast.

And I think I saw a few more grey hairs on my husband this morning.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Observation

With all the technology these days I hadn't realized this problem before:

Kids with cellphones not having landline telephone etiquette.

Pookie's cellphone was taken away by her mother this time. I don't know all the details but I'm sure it was deserved. Here at the house of YewNork, we don't have a lineline.

When Pookie is on her cell she rarely talks, 99% of the time she is texting her friends.

Last night while I was driving her and her BFF to a fundraiser facility basketball game at their middle school she asked her BFF to text their other BFF, Kaylee to see if she's going to be there.

As she passed her her own cell, she told Pookie that the other BFF had her cellphone taken away also and that Pookie was going to have to call her at her parent's home phone.

Pookie dials and I hear, "Hi, is Kaylee there?" "Umm, okay, bye."

"Who answered the phone?", I asked.

"Kaylee's mom", she said

"I thought you loved Mrs. P."

"Yeah, she's so cool."

"Then why weren't you using good manners with her?"

"What do you mean?"

Then I explained how I would have felt if one of her friends didn't say ," Hi Mrs. F., how are you....or Hi Mrs. F. is Pookie there?" At least acknowledge her, I explained.

It never occurred to her, or to her BFF sitting with us in the car.

They said that they will both keep that in mind if they ever have to call a landline again. But the truth is, it rarely happens with teen-agers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NewYorkBabe's Irish Soda Bread

This is what is in my oven right now.

I've tried many recipes over the years and I've come up with one that is perfect, it's a combination of different Irish Soda Bread recipes handed down from generations. And yes, I am not Irish, I am Jewish, but I have some friends who are.

1 Cup dark seedless raisins
4 Cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
I tsp. baking soda
3/4 Cup sugar
2 T. Crisco shortening (full spoons, not measured exactly)
2 T. caraway seeds
2 Cups buttermilk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400. Put water in small pot, add raisins and bring to boil, then turn off and let raisins soak until ready to add.

Sift flour on parchment paper, measure 4 Cups and put into large bowl. Add salt, cream of tartar, baking powder and soda. Mix with whisk to fully blend. Add sugar and shortening. Cut shortening with butter knife until fine pieces, mix well with wooden spoon.

Add strained raisins and caraway seeds and mix well again.

Crack egg into a large bowl, add enough buttermilk to equal 2 cups, important: not more than 2 cups. Beat together.

Add buttermilk and egg mixture to mixture stirring well with wooden spoon. It will be sticky and hard to handle with hands.

Sprinkle some flour on the parchment paper and on your hands and spoon out mixture. Put some flour on mixture and knead gently until mixture is in a slightly manageable shape. Gently is the operative word. This will be very sticky.

Divide mixture in half, adding a little more flour to cut ends and lightly knead into shape of pans.

Coat pans with shortening and flour lightly 2(9x5-inch) loaf pans. (I also use round glass casserole pans sometimes) Fill equally with batter. Make a cross-like indentation with a sharp knife on top of the dough (it doesn't have to be perfect) and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then lowering to 350 for balance of approximately 30 minutes.

DO NOT open oven during the first 15 minutes of baking.

Then sit back and watch the family become intoxicated with the delicious aroma.

Advice: Don't let them eat a piece until their homework is done, or your husband throws out the garbage because it's all about the leverage here.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Don't you get PineSol from Pine Trees?

I had a wonderful weekend with my twins and future son-in-law.

It's maple tree tapping time out here in the boondocks. Everywhere you look you see maple trees being tapped, tubes a'flowin' and 5 gallon water jugs filled with sap.

My daughter asked me what was going on with all the plastic tubes and water jugs all over this town and I explained that my neighbors are getting ready to make maple syrup.

"Oh, well what kind of trees are those?", she asked pointing to the trees being tapped.

"Sugar maple trees.", I replied.

"But I thought you got maple syrup from pine trees.", she said. She thought for a second or two and then realized something.

"Oh yeah, maple syrup....maple trees", she said.

My 28 year old daughter makes me crack up...and she's not even a blonde.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Fashion Friday

About 7 years ago I found the perfect handbag from Banana Republic. It had round bamboo handles, canvas and oh-so stylish. I can't find an online picture of it but believe me, it was just perfect. One of the things I loved the most was the way it opened and closed with ease.

I felt so sassy and vogue strutting along with that purse.

But my world was about to come crushing down.

I had just found out that my former husband had been having an affair. The betrayal sliced through my being and the pain was crippling. My body and mind shut down, yet my spiritual connection to God and His peace was ever present.

I began losing weight fast...30 lbs in a few weeks. Although I ate some food everyday, my heart rate was so high I burned away those calories and then some. I had seen so many people, both men and women, go through this, since I was a matrimonial paralegal and dealt with them on a close level, but I never could understand the intense pain they were going through and how it affected their bodies like so drastically. Although I cared dearly about my clients, I never could sympathized with them...that was about to change.

It was about that time when a receptionist at the firm, a woman who was a tad on the wild side, got herself a new boyfriend. This new boyfriend had gone to an annually required meeting with his company and brought home some 'handouts'.

This particular receptionist thought it would be a great idea to put one of these 'handouts' on each desk in the office before anyone got in in the morning.

When I pulled into the parking lot I wiped away my usual morning tears, stepped out of my car (swinging my new Banana Republic canvas handbag)and ran smack into a desperate client. I told him to follow me straight into my office and I will sit and talk with him.

As I stepped into the entrance to my office I spied a bright, banana yellow 'handout' on my desk and quickly swept it into my easy to open purse, hoping that my client didn't see it.

My day was so busy, I forgot all about the banana 'handout'.

That night, in the middle of the night, I had to get rushed to the hospital. I had a high fever and was in a terrible amount of pain. My former husband did not want to drive me, he didn't care much about anything but his new girlfriend, so my daughter took me. She was in the midst of her final year in college and was having her thesis project presented the following morning.

My daughter stayed with me at the hospital all night but had to leave in the early morning hours right before my emergency surgery. In fact, all three of my children were in college at the time and all three of them were dealing with finals. I had been through surgeries before and I insisted that their finals were more important than sitting in the hospital with me.

My surgeon, who knew my former husband and knew about the affair before I did, wanted someone from my family at the hospital while I was in surgery. I was too out of it to make any phone calls so he asked if it was alright to go through my purse to find my address book.

Of course the bright, banana 'handout' fell out of my purse and went flying across the hospital floor. He went over and picked it up, looked it over and put it back into my purse. Next he called my sister in Staten Island.

The nurses put my purse under the gurney I was on and it seemed like every time they moved me the purse would open, spill out and topple over exposing the increasingly embarrassing 'handout'.

After the surgery (The surgeon and an oncologist did the surgery and they didn't find cancer, just a benign mass)I woke up to find my oldest son leaning over and kissing my cheek. All I had the strength to whisper to him was, "Dave...please... take the condom out of my purse.....put it in your pocket now.....don't ask me any questions....I will explain later."

The look on his face was priceless.

I recovered, in many ways. God is so good to me.

When I was up and about I took a trip to a local store. An elderly woman stopped me and told me that my purse was lovely.

Right then and there I emptied it and handed it to her.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Value, Worth

In my morning devotions I read, "An idol is anything that takes the place of God."

It hit home.

I am a fine example of what happens when you raise a child without making them feel like they have some kind of value. Fifty years later I am still trying to overcome my feelings of worthlessness. Yet in my head I know my value, in my head I know my worth.

But sitting in a tiny corner of my heart the opposite whispers to me.

In the quiet background of everything I do I sense its pull, "No one cares, you don't matter." And no matter how hard I try to ignore it, it's there. Just there. And there. And I know that it confuses people and sways their opinions of me because they can sense it too.

And it has allowed me to make wrong choices in my past.

And it takes the place of God.

An idol. Sin.

And it is annoying as heck.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

It's Come to This

So, Pookie gets her cellphone taken away since this past Monday because she hasn't turned in 8 math assignments. She also got her laptop taken away, but she can handle that.

Pookie texts ALL DAY LONG. I mean she texts when she is walking, talking, in the car, at the movies, ALL THE TIME!!!! She has unlimited texts on her phone and takes full advantage of that.

These past couple of days have been rough, she has been going through terrible withdrawals. She's been in tears, pleading, begging, praying, trying mind control on her dad....she even made up all the missing work and has been doing extra chores to get her cellphone no avail.

Capt is being strong and not giving in because he wants her to learn her a lesson on prioritizing her school work. I'm in agreement, the constant texting is OUT OF CONTROL.

But when I just walked into the dining room what I found was quite disturbing:

Pookie using a calculator , frantically and aimlessly texting away.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Time is Here

There is about 2 1/2 feet of snow that fell last night and it is still falling full force. The kids are sounds asleep upstairs and have no idea yet that school is closed. There is no way I'm heading out to work, the roads aren't plowed yet. I would imagine that the courts are closed anyway. A day to sit by the fire and relax is just what we all could use.

Yesterday I posted about visiting a new church. I have been looking for specific things in my search for a church here in Connecticut. It's not like there is anything wrong with any of the churches that I've been to this past year, it's just that I feel the place for me is in a church that fits these qualifications:

Worship - the worship team should, at the least, have smiles on their faces while leading worship. I love worship, I feel that it sets the tone for the service and helps me enter into God's presence. The worship team is leading us into God's presence, we are all singing to God. When I worship I have an image of God in front of me, I can't help but smile and get excited, so when the worship team is looking like they wished they were back in bed, it is distracting to me.

Music - I like Christian music. I come Christian City Church where music is...well...the most awesome experience...indescribable. Old hymns are wonderful once in a while, they pierce my heart and can melt me into a pool of butter where I stand, but I just can't get all excited when I'm signing hymns throughout worship. ..except if I'm singing "How Great Thou Art"....that one gives me goosebumps every time.

Congregation - It is nice to have a mix of types of people, mix of different generations, mix of backgrounds. I love when the congregation is made up of some really cool and updated,in the world type people...people that can relate to current events, fashion and what is going on in the world today. Some of the churches in this small town are made up of only people who dress plainly, do not wear make-up and have strict rules which separate them from the non-saved. That is fine for them, but not where God wants me.

Pastor - I like a pastor to be laid back, upbeat, comfortable, not too dramatic or theatrical and, most importantly in tune with the Holy Spirit. I don't put all of my confidence or trust into pastors because they are just humans like us and not our God, but the person that is spiritually feeding and leading me every Sunday should be someone that I feel isn't "way out there"; he should be right where we are in life, able to relate to us and our struggles. I've been to churches were it seems the pastor is too above us all and is too busy taking his private jet to the tropics than to sit down to share a meal with us. And I've been to churches where the pastor seems to be in a poverty mentality.

I want a church that loves the community, that has a heart for the unsaved, that accepts sinners with an open heart and does not judge but gently leads us all to forgiveness. I want to go to a church that is filled with sinners like me.

Christian City Church was the church my children grew up in, it was the church that I felt was my family. I haven't experienced that in a long time.

Yesterday I visited Hope Church and it feels right, it feels like I've found a home again. All the things I am looking for seem to be there.

And I am start to finally feel settled.

How do you feel about church?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Christian Spirit

I'm getting ready to head out and visit a new church, since I still haven't found a church in Connecticut that 'fits'. I have hope that this will be the one.

So while I'm gone, here's a video I'd like you to watch demonstrating a perfect example of the Christian spiri; just make sure you have a tissue ready, especially you men:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

To the Porn Shop

Did I ever tell you about the time I went to the local porn shop?

I had just met Capt for the first time after being matched up with him on Eharmony months earlier.

We had gone on a wonderful first date. He took me to a seaport to see how ships were made. Some might think, "What a strange place for a first date.", but it was perfect, just perfect. He had planned the whole day right down to umbrellas in case it rained and in case I didn't feel comfortable sharing one with him. He even had an assortment of waters in his car in case I got parched and was fussy about water. (Yes, he was correct.) He even pre-paid for everything before I even got there, which took the awkwardness away.

We even sat on the bench in front of the lighthouse and looked out over the water and talked and talked. I thought he was going to kiss me then, but he waited until we said goodbye.

It was the most wonderful date ever. And as I walked onto the ferry to go home I knew there were many things about Capt that I loved and I hoped we could continue our long distance relationship now that we had met in person.

Capt is all about electronics, computers and all things geek-related. He knows how to find anything on the internet and does it in no time at all.

A few days after our first date I called him from my office phone. He took that number off of his caller ID and reverse looked-up it to get my work address.

The next day I was getting buzzed by my receptionist, Larisa. When I picked up the intercom she was hysterically laughing and trying to tell me between breaths that the local porn shop was on the phone and they had a package for me.

This porn shop was not an ordinary porn shop, it was known to be the most 'porniest' of the porn shops around. I knew this only because the local churches were always praying for it and its owners.

Needless to day, Capt's reverse lookup investigaton did not uncover my correct work address and a lovely package of chocolate covered strawberries got delivered to the porn shop instead of the law office.

I pleaded with Larisa to pick them up for me, but being the good, sweet, innocent person that she is she declined stating that she was just too embarrased. I even offered her cold, hard cash, to no avail.

I had no choice but to go in there myself and pick up the strawberries. They had to be refrigerated so I had to get them right away.

It took me awhile to get out of my car once I got into the porn parking lot. I know that this is really stupid but the thing that I kept thinking was, "What if I ran into someone that I know from church in there?". And not because of what they might think of me, because I would know that they were there and then we would have a weird secret connection or something like that. That would be too creepy.

After about 30 minutes I took a deep breath, went inside, lowered my head and tried to keep my eyes straight ahead as I approached the check out counter. "You must be Theresa.", said the young woman. "Am I that obvious?", I asked.

It was the biggest laugh in my office for years, mostly because I am such a goody-two shoes. And it was a turning point in Capt and my lives because we just knew then that our relationship together was going to be filled with these types of funny memories.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Lesson Learned

My Pookie.

I don't know how she got to be so wise at age 13.

I don't know how she realizes how wrong domestic violence is.

I don't know if she knows how absolutely blessed she is to have a father who treats her so tenderly and lovingly.

She threw out the calendar of her dream man, the man she had a teenage crush on for over a year, the calendar that she swooned over every night and every morning. The man she insisted she would marry, if, of course, he wasn't attached when she was old enough.

She threw it in the garbage when she found out that he allegedly beat up his girlfriend.

Her crush is over.

I only wish I had been as wise as she at 13; it took me far longer than that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Scrabble Queen

Last night when my 13 year old step-daughter and I went "grocery" shopping, she told me that she thinks I'm so cool and that she wants to be like me when she grows up.

She also thinks that I'm the biggest nerd ev' she puts it.

Last night while we were driving through a snowstorm to, you know, get some of that delicious Dairy Queen otherwise known as "grocery" shopping, I got a call on my cellphone.

Someone had a Scrabble question and needed the answer right away.

My Scrabble days started 20 years ago when I was dating Todd. He was a Scrabble player extraordinaire and tried to teach me how to play, but I just couldn't get it. He was often frustrated and bored when we played. He threw down tiles that gained him high points and I spelled words like boy and duck, if I was lucky.

Then one day I got an idea.

I went to the local book store and found a book on how to win at Scrabble. I read it that day and learned many valuable strategies to playing a winning game. I also memorized all the two letter words in the English language, a big plus for a Scrabble player.

That night when he offered to play another tedious game of Scrabble with me. I obliged and played like the winner I had read about. (Todd didn't know about the book.)

Imagine his shock when I rack balanced, bonus worded and I used two letter words like 'aa' and 'ae' to attach to other words to maximize my points. I think I scored in the 400's that night.

And I think he turned pale and almost passed out.

One of the things I learned in the book was to use words like 'faqir' that your opponent might not know so he or she would challenge them. Then after a few losing challenges where they skip a turn they stop challenging you and then you can use words that aren't really words and no one is the wiser.

Some call it cheating, I call it strategy. Hey, I learned it from pros who wrote the book.

Needless to say, no one likes to play with me. Except last weekend my sister's boyfriend played with me and got really frustrated at my 'strategy' and quit playing.

But it was my son, David, who finally put it all into perspective for me when he asked, "Mom, would you play flag football with someone who tackles you all the time?"


But still, Pookie thinks it's really cool that I get phone calls about Scrabble. I even think she was more tickled about that than having her poor, exhausted, step-mother drive 38 miles through a snowstorm to get her an ice cream cone.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Golden Slippers

Money had been very tight around here this past year starting with me losing the job I relocated here for, and continuing with working two part-time jobs, which total in weekly earnings what I used to earn in a few hours. Not true, but it feels close to being true.

Gone are the days when I would throw down hundreds of dollars a month on face products to keep me youthful looking.

Gone are the days of facials and massages.

Gone are the days when I would walk into a high-end clothing store and sidle up to a saleswoman and ask her to please pick out about $1,000 worth of clothes for me while I wait in the dressing room because I hate shopping and have no clue what looks good on me and I know you have skills since you work here.

Yes, I used to do that twice a year.

That's how I used to roll.

And I don't even miss it because I'm happy and I love my new life.

Needless to say, my husband has had to take over the majority of my expenses. He has sacrificed so much to marry me. I am no longer the financially independent woman I was when he met me. He's really been a trooper. He's had to sacrifice more than I can say.

I know that he appreciates the skills I have that cut our spending, make ends meet and keep the bills at a minimum.

So Sunday when I told him that I purchased a new pair of slippers that cost $100 he looked like he was going to lose it for a second. And he never loses it.

You see, for a wedding present a girlfriend of mine from Long Island, who couldn't make the wedding, sent us a gift card to Saks Fifth Avenue in the amount of $100.00. Around these here parts of the wilderness, there is no Saks. She has no clue as to my new life here. We once had tea together at The Plaza in New York City....$90.00 for two cups of tea....and I don't even drink tea.

Anyway, for the past 7 months I've been looking on Saks online and trying to spend the gift card, but there are only a few items for under $100 and they just don't seem worth it, i.e., a bottle of Juicy Couture perfume. No thanks.

And lest you think I'm all about me, there isn't even anything for men that looks interesting for under $100.

In the past I would have added my own money to the gift card and presto a new blouse. But I carefully watch our budget and there is no room for unnecessary purchases.

Capt trusts me with our money and that means a lot to me.

So, on Sunday I received an advertisement via email from Saks showing slippers for $80. "Maybe, just maybe, I could get away with this.", I thought. And I looked. And I purchased. And if I had them sent via overnight the total cost would be $99.98. YES, SCORE !!!!

I needed a pair of slippers and I had mentioned to Capt that I was thinking about going to Target and getting myself a pair, if they were on sale.

A few seconds after I told Capt that I purchased slippers for $100, I told him that I finally used the gift card that I was wracking my brain over and he looked instantly relieved.

Now I am the proud owner of the most awesome slippers ever invented. I feel like I am walking on a cloud:

They're Uggs. Yeah.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why I'm So Happy:

A few days ago my friend Merrily over at Life is But a Dream tagged me for a photo meme.

The problem is that most of the photos on my computer, like 99.9% of them, are of Pookie and/or her girlfriends doing the 'kiss' pose at the camera. Anyone who has a teenager knows that pose. I think standing in front of a camera making pouty lips with your girlfriends....or a prerequisite for turning 13.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn't like me to post pictures of his children, although I've gotten away with it a few times for special occasions.

So I've picked my favorite photo of our recent wedding:

Capt and I had been dancing our first dance together for about 4 minutes, Pookie and her best friend were up on the landing of the stairway singing 'our song'. He had just mumbled something funny under his breath to me and leaned back to give the photographer a 'let's ham it up now' smile.

And I'm thinking, "Can I be any happier?"

These past seven months have proved that I can be.

Everyday something new happens. Everyday I'm happy that he married me. Every night we kiss goodnight and say, "I love you, thank you for marrying me."

Even the days when he does something stupid, like this past week when he tried to help me with my delicate laundry, I still am happy.

He gets the delicate load in the washer and at the last minute before turning on the wash sees the dog's dirty, fur-filled blanket on the floor and decides that it could use a washing too. Yes, he threw it in with my delicate load. When I come home he has already washed and dried (-IN THE DRYER-) the load three times because all the fur wouldn't come off.

Yet, I'm still happy.

And a few days ago when he broke the tip off of my favorite high-end parring knife and put it back in the drawer because he used it to pry off the top of his son's travel mug even though I had previously told him the mug simply unscrews and doesn't pop off.

Yet, I'm still happy.

Or how the blanket on our bed seems to make its way over to his side every night and when I ask him to please stop hogging it he tells me to stop letting it move over to his side.

And yet, I'm still happy.

Or when since our wedding day when I am looking for Tupperware to put leftovers in and he just stands there with a blank look on his face appearing to wonder with me where it all disappears to because I keep buying containers and lids and they mysteriously disappear. Then one day last week he comes home with a gigantic garbage bag filled with my Tupperware and dumps it on the kitchen floor. He had been taking it to work and leaving it there for seven months. It took 3 loads in the dishwasher to fit them in to clean them and I can't even fit them all in my cabinets anymore.

And yet, I am still happy.

I could go on and on with the reasons why I love him.... how he makes my body tingle when I see him walking towards when I look into his big brown eyes I when he touches me he can bring me back from a stressful day....but I won't, happily I've got a lifetime for that.

If you'd like to be tagged for this meme, tag, you're it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Kage, how I miss him.

My daughter emailed me this link of her dog, Kage.

Kage is a very weird dog.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Kids These Days

I guess I still have stuff to write about regarding the open house at the Court. After this, I should be done.

When I married Capt I got the benefit of becoming part of his extended family and thereby having an aunt (pronounced 'awnt' in these here parts instead of the right way, 'ant') and uncle among other wonderful family members.

My new Aunt J was kind enough to get me out of a bind and lend me the family coffee urn for the open house last week.

Since I still don't know how to make coffee that people can actually drink yet, I ordered already- made coffee from the local bakery and poured it into the urn. And presto no one had to know it wasn't made by me.

By the looks of it, the urn must have been around for a few decades, although it looks newly purchased. It has that 50's look, but it's odd because it looks brand new and out of place in these times.

After using it I brought it home to give it a good cleaning and set it on the kitchen counter/island right next to where my step-son sits when he eats his breakfast, when he plays computer games on his laptop or when he just feels like being a skutch to me while I'm cooking (Skutch means jokester in NY, I've had to explain that a few times).

My step-son has ADHD and it is very unusual for him to notice common, everyday things like a coffee urn on the counter. But this particular afternoon he did.

He had eaten breakfast Saturday morning and not noticed.

Later he had eaten lunch and not noticed.

But when his best friend came over to play an on-line combat video game together with their laptops....wait a second.....I have to stop here and just register my amazement at technology today, kids today bring their laptops to each others' houses and play games over the internet with other kids all over the world. When I was a kid I played jacks. And I loved it.

Anyways, in mid-slaughtering of an enemy soldier he screamed, "THERESA, WAS IS THAT OVER THERE????" I almost spit my water all over the kitchen when I instantly realized that he was afraid of the coffee urn.


People, here he is shooting and eliminating soldiers, there is blood splatters on his screen and there sits a gentle coffee urn quietly next to him, minding its own business, and THAT he is afraid of.

After his dad and I explained what the coffee urn was he laughed and said, "That thing looks like it could kill someone." And his friend agreed.

Oh kids these days.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Coffe Crunch Bars

The Court that I work for moved from the Town Hall into a new building last month. We still have some kinks to work out but all in all it was a good move. The only complaint I have is that it is very lonely working there without other people. Lonely and scary, but I think the scary part is from living in NY all my life. In NY you may not be too safe sitting alone in an office building in the woods.

This past Thursday we had an open house luncheon and invited about 50 lawyers, judges, Town Hall friends, etc. I ordered food from the local grocery store deli and made cookies for dessert. I had gotten a new Bon Appetite magazine and in it was a recipe that sounded right up my alley....Coffee Crunch Bars. Of course I had to make them for the party.

Bon Appetite has a whole article by Molly Wizenberg about these cookies.

She writes, "The coffee and toffee flavors of this crunchy dessert are heightened by the dark brown sugar and espresso powder."

Finding the espresso powder was the problem, a big problem when you live in a small town. After visiting several stores I went to Whole Foods, they didn't even have it, but they came up with a solution - they grounded up espresso beans into a powder and I used that.

The cookies came out wonderful, or so I thought. My husband doesn't like anything coffee related.

After the party there were a few cookies left so I sent them to work with my husband, his co-workers just love it when he brings stuff in.

Later that night I asked him how they liked the coffee crunch bars. He said, "No one ate them". "Why?", I asked. And in true Capt form he said, "I told them that you put coffee grinds in them".

I'm sure the image of old, cold, used coffee grinds would take anyone's appetite away.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Summary of Sorts

This past week was our week with the kids. There are a lot of things we try to do when they are here to make them feel like they are 'home' for the week. Things that they can rely on and things they can roll their deep brown eyes at. After all, split custody is great in so many ways, but it makes it difficult for the children to have a place to call 'home'. I often hear them telling their friends that they are at their mother's house or their father's house. They don't visit either parent, they live one week with Dad and one week with Mom.

The "switch" time is Fridays after school. The amount of "stuff" my step children travel back and forth with is voluminous so one parent has to get to the other parent's house with a truck sometime on Friday and transport the "stuff". It's not like they need all of the "stuff", well that's not all true, Pookie (13) needs her "stuff", The Boy (11) just likes to have his "stuff" at home, at each home. And if it makes him feel more comfortable then its worth the schlep.

Friday night is when Pookie has a sleepover with her girlfriend(s). The Boy and his dad hang out. I stay out of everyone's way, schlepping humans and "stuff" if necessary. I usually make pot roast since it is Pookie's favorite.

This past Friday morning, before work, I was getting the pot roast ready for the crock pot and noticed that after I opened the box of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix there was only one envelope inside the box instead of two. The recipe calls for two envelopes, but I find that I get too gassy if I use both. And being gassy is just not lady like. After all, I have an image to uphold in this household; gassy stepmother is not that image.

I took the empty box with me to work and on my lunch break I emailed Lipton to let them know about the missing envelope. In yesterday's mail I received two free coupons for Lipton's Onion Soup Mix together with a nice letter from Chris Greene, Consumer Services Representative for Unilever and other valuable coupons for items that I use.

I can't help but feel a bit like a Proverbs 31 woman.

Monday nights are family night. We may have a family meeting first to discuss any concerns, rules or issues, then we play Catch Phrase.

Catch Phrase is an electronic game similar to the TV show Password. It is so much fun because we usually wind up laughing so much that our sides hurt.

This past Monday my husband had to give a clue to The Boy and all he had to say was, "Theresa does this all the time". Without skipping a beat The Boy answered correctly, "Clean".

What? I hadn't realized that that is their opinion of what I do all the time. I guess that is a better image than when I digest too much Lipton Soup Mix.

Pookie and I spend alone time during the week. We do a lot of talking about our lives. I was telling her how much I miss going out for ice cream, something we just don't do when it's constantly -10 degrees like it's been these past few weeks.

She suggested that we go (air quote) grocery (air quote) shopping one night after dinner....and when we get back without (air quote) groceries (air quote) we will just tell Dad that we ate them.

Hmmmm, I knew exactly what she meant.

Dairy Queen is quite a hike, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do and (air quote) grocery (air quote) shopping is what we just had to do. At dinner the next night Pookie asked me in front of her dad if we needed to go (air quote) grocery (air quote) shopping. I said , "yes, of course we need to go (air quote) grocery (air quote) shopping, I was going to go to the gym tonight, but I'm pretty sure that (air quote) grocery (air quote) shopping is much more important. Let's get ready to go."

"Hey, what's with all the air quotes?", my husband asked.

Nothing gets by that hunk of a man.

We went and had a good time. I love ice cream too much.

As time goes by things get more and more into a routine with the kids and our marriage. And that's a good thing. I love my life, I love my kids and how they are growing and I love my step children.

We are jelling as a family.

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future."

Monday, January 19, 2009

coffee time

Dear Coffee Drinker next in line,

You don't know me, and that's most likely a good thing. I only started drinking coffee last month when I turned 50; before that I only drank Pepsi in the morning. I figured it was finally time to grow up and join the coffee drinking masses.

I find that the coffee at 7-11 is pretty good especially with the International Delight French Vanilla creamer that sits on the coffee counter, so I treat myself to a cup of coffee there every so often.

Since I am a new coffee drinker and all, and since I am a spaz of ginormous proportions, I didn't realize that the top of the French Vanilla creamer isn't supposed to be removed. Unfortunately it wouldn't fit back correctly, so I just left it sitting precariously on top of the container.

I am so sorry that you probably didn't notice that it wasn't on there tight while you poured it into your coffee. Whatever the repercussions of my stupidity caused you - I am truly sorry. I know I should have alerted the coffee clerk, but alas, I was too embarrassed at my inexperience at coffee counter etiquette.

Again, sorry.

As they all say at 7-11, "Have a good one."

Very truly yours,

Yew Nork Babe

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's too Early for This

This is what I saw when I opened my email at 6am this morning:

Have you ever notice that when you start spending a lot of time with someone you start looking and acting like them?

Well, it's been 6 months since we got married and it's so true, they are starting to look and act like me.

Do you see why I'm sooooo stressed lately?????

Clearly they are out to drive me insane.

Friday, January 16, 2009

No Time for a Title

Oh my poor neglected blog.

If I could just give you one brief glimpse of my past week I know you'd all faint from exhaustion, or boredom, so I'll spare you, except to say it was really that tiring because trying to fit in working two part-time jobs without a break in between, keeping up with the house work, cooking and grocery shopping, being a newlywed and a step-mother to a child with behavioral issues (which for the first time in 3 years we had to deal with an issue directly relating to my supervision of him - and after much tweenage angst there was a positive break-through), and fitting in my wonderful Christmas present - a year membership to the gym, I had a melt down.

I guess I should have seen it coming.

Sometimes it is difficult for me to let go of trying to be a perfectionist in all I do. So I'm working on it. And I'm letting my family help because I don't have to do everything myself.

So that's where I've been.

Now I have to run.

I hope you have a wonderful 3-day weekend.....and be blessed.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


The most important thing I learned today:

It's not a good idea to eat three helpings of the shepard's pie your husband made for dinner and then go directly to yoga class.

Nuff' said.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

What Me Worry?

My mind is in a fog right now, more so than usual. My husband and I have been having trouble sleeping lately but last night we probably only got 3 hours of sleep. We discussed our worries at length between 12am and 4am. And we talked about our blessings.

Right now he is at work and I am home trying to keep calm while my step-son runs around the house bouncing off the walls until his medicine kicks in. He is very, very loud and being a pain to his sister.

Thankfully, my step-daughter is being a great help.

One thing that her and I do a lot together lately is watch tv shows. It seems that every show we watch mentions prom. Not "the" prom, just prom. When did "the" disappear and why wasn't I informed? I hear, "Bobby is taking me to prom" and "Tonight is prom, what am I going to wear?"

I never went to my prom, instead I went to Sunshine Acres, a Christian camp in upstate New York and worked as an assistant cook. I missed my graduation ceremony too.

I never realized how by making that decision my life would change, nor did I realize how important going to your prom was. I may not have experienced what normal teenagers do and have the wonderful memories and photographs to laugh at 30 years later, but that summer I learned how to prepare food, how to cook and, more importantly, how much God loves me.

He is my Father and I have to remember that He can carry my worries on His shoulders if I give them to Him. And I think that's what I'm just going to do today.