Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Not Really an O Henry Tale

A long time ago, when we were first married, the H was working as a chef and I was working for a non-profit.  Our schedules conflicted wildly.  I used to tease him that the most commonly uttered phrases in our marriage were “good morning”, “good night” and “good bye”.   For all that, we were wildly happy.

The H used to take the train to Stamford to the restaurant where he worked and nearly every Friday he would buy me a bunch of flowers at the train station.  There was nothing fancy about them – they varied a little from season to season, but they were typical train station bouquets.  And I loved them.  He would buy them in the afternoon on the way to work and stash them in one of the coolers until he got off work.  I was often snoozing on the couch, waiting for him.  And he would have those flowers.  I would scramble to find something to hold them.

I wanted something special to put them in and finally found a turquoise jug with pink trim.  It was perfect – and far too expensive for me to buy outright.  I saved for months.  Finally one Friday night I had enough.  I went by the boutique on the way home from work, brought my treasure home and waited impatiently for him.

As was often the case with Fridays, it was the early hours of the morning when he finally arrived home.  I jumped up expectantly.  No flowers.  I can still see the abashed look on his face.  “They’re still in the cooler.  I was hurrying to catch the last train so I wouldn’t have to call you to come get me.”  The two of us broke out in laughter.

I still smile thinking about it.

photo (1)

[Edited to add:  Fuzzie asked me if I still had the vase.  Took me a while to find it, but here it is.  The light is bad and the colors seem a little muted.  Maybe I’ll put flowers in it again some day.]


Sunday Sillies

I can’t actually imagine a situation where lack of toast would constitute an emergency, but should that ever be the case – Emergency Inflatable Toast!

Inflatable Toast


Sometimes I Just Can’t Help Myself

Instead of going to the grocery store today like a good mother, I went to the local B&N. The reasons were twofold: I needed a latte and I needed Thomas Sniegoski’s newest Remy Chandler novel. It’s been out for a while, but today I simply caved – it had to happen sooner or later.

I should explain that I have an intense love-hate relationship with these books. On the one hand I absolutely devour them – I start reading and the world just stops. I can’t put it down and I desperately want to know what’s going to happen next. At the same time, they absolutely infuriate me (the Catholic in me keeps screaming “No, dammit! No! No! No!”).

Book Four, “A Hundred Word for Hate” was a particularly frustrating read. Near the end, I literally threw the book – which was kind of awkward since I was sitting in my car at a raised drawbridge and I ended up hurtling it out the passenger side window. Thankfully there was enough time for me to run out and retrieve it. And yes, I really did need to retrieve it, because I really did need to know how it ended.

After that, I resolved to abstain from Remy. Which I did. Until “In the House of the Wicked” it came out. I bought it, but I still haven’t read it. And now, today, I went out and bought “Walking in the Midst of Fire.

I just don’t understand myself sometimes.

(For those of you unfamiliar with the series, private investigator Remy Chandler is really the fallen angel Remiel. Now, these are not works of Christian fiction by any stretch of the imagination and require suspension of pretty much everything you ever learned in CCD. My less than successful ability to do so is why I have such a contentious relationship with the books.)


I am not a Guy!

Today I cried in the insurance office.  I bought my Explorer in August; sold my Jeep the very next day.  The insurance company never removed the Jeep, so today when the payment came out, well, let’s just say it was considerably more than expected.

So I went over to the local office to make them fix it and they were extremely apologetic.  And they took the Jeep off the policy.  But they could not do anything about the draft that hit today.  And I got upset.  Really upset.  So upset that I started crying.  And then I felt really stupid so I cried even more.  It kind of freaked out the people in the insurance office.  Actually it kind of freaked me out too.

The H would not have cried.  He would have done this weird quiet, scary, angry thing. Probably because he is a guy.  And I’m not.


Not what I want to hear at 0600…

“Mama – did you wash any socks?”

See, I only do laundry EVERY SINGLE DAY.  The reason for this?  Daughters.  Once a girl touches an article of clothing it becomes contaminated or something.  It can’t go back into the dresser or closet.  It ends up in the hamper.  Or on the floor, where the dog sleeps on it, so it ends up in the hamper.

Deep dark secret here:  I actually like doing laundry.  (I like ironing too and the smell of spray starch – but that’s a whole other kettle of fish).  I’m happy to wash and dry the clothes (OK, I’m happy to load the washing machine and dryer); I’m happy to fold them too.  The only thing I require is that the people bring their laundry to the laundry room.  Because I DO NOT fetch.

So in answer to Iseult’s question – “I don’t know honey.  I washed whatever was in the laundry basket.”

There is a pause and then:  “Never mind.  I found some.”

Ten bucks says she’s wearing yesterday’s socks.


Sunday Sillies

Ordinarily telling a man he smells like a pig would be considered an insult.

This might change all of that:

Bacon Shaving Cream


Just a Little Whimsey

This evening I was invited to an Oyster Roast.  I went even though I don’t actually like oysters – which is something of a heresy here in Chucktown – and yet…

Happily enough for me, the Oyster Roast ended up being Frogmore Stew (which I do love), because I gather oysters will not be available until October.  I was not in the least bit disappointed.

At least, though, we can be happy for a couple fellows who did enjoy those lovely fruits of the sea…

The Walrus and the Carpenter

By Lewis Carroll 1832–1898 Lewis Carroll

“The sun was shining on the sea,
      Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
      The billows smooth and bright —
And this was odd, because it was
      The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
      Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
      After the day was done —
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
      “To come and spoil the fun.”
The sea was wet as wet could be,
      The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
      No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead —
      There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
      Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
      Such quantities of sand:
If this were only cleared away,’
      They said, it would be grand!’
If seven maids with seven mops
      Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,’ the Walrus said,
      That they could get it clear?’
I doubt it,’ said the Carpenter,
      And shed a bitter tear.
O Oysters, come and walk with us!’
      The Walrus did beseech.
A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
      Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
      To give a hand to each.’
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
      But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
      And shook his heavy head —
Meaning to say he did not choose
      To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
      All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
      Their shoes were clean and neat —
And this was odd, because, you know,
      They hadn’t any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
      And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
      And more, and more, and more —
All hopping through the frothy waves,
      And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
      Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
      Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
      And waited in a row.
The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
      To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
      Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
      And whether pigs have wings.’
But wait a bit,’ the Oysters cried,
      Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
      And all of us are fat!’
No hurry!’ said the Carpenter.
      They thanked him much for that.
A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said,
      Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
      Are very good indeed —
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
      We can begin to feed.’
But not on us!’ the Oysters cried,
      Turning a little blue.
After such kindness, that would be
      A dismal thing to do!’
The night is fine,’ the Walrus said.
      Do you admire the view?
It was so kind of you to come!
      And you are very nice!’
The Carpenter said nothing but
      Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf —
      I’ve had to ask you twice!’
It seems a shame,’ the Walrus said,
      To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
      And made them trot so quick!’
The Carpenter said nothing but
      The butter’s spread too thick!’
I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:
      I deeply sympathize.’
With sobs and tears he sorted out
      Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
      Before his streaming eyes.
O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
      You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
      But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
      They’d eaten every one.”

When Reading is a Struggle

I am trying to finish And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander.  I should love it – mystery, antiquities, romance, the Victorian era.  And yet….I really hate the main character, Emily.  I haven’t figured out yet if that’s how I’m supposed to feel, or if I feel that way  because of who I am.  I’m giving it to page 119 – Chapter 14.  If by then I still hate Emily, then I guess we have a wallbanger.

(Earlier this evening at the Pig I scratched my eyeball on a post-it note and it’s making me cranky)


Things Big Sisters Do For Their Baby Brothers

One Random Saturday morning – July 1994

(phone rings)

Me:    Hello

Mike:    Hey Maeve

Me:    Hey yourself. What’s up?

Mike:    Going to the beach. What you up to today?

Me:    Not much. Housework. The usual.

Mike:    Great. So, can I borrow Angharad?

Me:    Can you borrow Angharad?

Mike:    Yeah – just for a little while. Couple hours tops. And can you put her in some really girly dress and one of those hat things Mom got for her.

Me:    OK – hold on a minute. Why do you want to take Angharad to the beach?

Mike:    To meet girls.

Me:    You want to take my baby to the beach to meet girls.

Mike:    Yep. She’s better than a puppy. Total Babe Bait. So, when can I pick her up?

Me:    (Sigh) Give me an hour. And you better take good care of her or you’re dead meat.

Mike:    No problem. See ya soon. Bye

I don’t remember how many girls’ numbers he got that day.

The Babe Bait

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30 December 1966 – 18 September 1994


Late night runs to the pharmacy

The local Walgreens is open 24/7.  Even so, one sort of expects that  after a certain hour, there won’t be much of a line at the pharmacy.  One would be wrong.  Apparently there is no bad time to not understand your prescriptions and need to have lengthy conversations about the side effects, the insurance co-pay, and how many refills are supposed to be authorized.

I wouldn’t even be in the pharmacy line, except that some time ago “The Man” decided to crack down on meth production by making ordinary people like me wait in line at the pharmacy to purchase some pseudoephedine-laced iburophen (aka Advil Cold & Sinus).  Meh!

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