• Advertisements

A Dweam Wiffin A Dweam*

Darling husband and I have been in each other’s lives for more than (I can’t believe this) thirty-five years, and have been married for twenty-nine. I often get asked how we keep our marriage going; how we keep the flame alive in the day-to-day drudgery of work and family and chores. How is it that we’ve managed to stay together when so many marriages and partnerships fall apart?

Beats the hell outta me.

Remember the first time you kissed someone? Remember that electric feeling all the way down to your toes and back over your scalp? Most people think that spark will be there forever, if you find your true once-upon-a-time soul mate. I’m here to tell you this idea is a fallacy, a myth, and a hoax. Don’t buy into it because it won’t happen. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy kissing (and other fun things) with your significant other, I’m just saying that particular thrill wears off in a hurry.

But there are other things to replace it.

When you are absolutely gross and schlumpy and two days away from your last shower, and your darling still wants to smooch you. When you don’t have to draw straws to clean the litter box, but both of you volunteer. When a fight turns into a discussion, and then turns into laughter once the issue’s been resolved. But the big one is this: when you realize the other person knows everything about you, and still wants to stick around anyway.


That’s magic. That’s the thrill that will last a lifetime. He or she knows all your secrets, all your bad habits, all your petty still-act-like-a-toddler hot buttons, and yet they still CHOOSE YOU. No matter what. It’s way better than any first kiss, my friends. To know, with certainty, your partner isn’t going anywhere? To know they want to be with you? To know that freedom?

It keeps the flame alive. It’s a blessing from all the pixies and fairies. And it’s truly a Dweam Wiffin a Dweam. (*credit to William Goldman, The Princess Bride)



Lament for the Letter ‘T’


Oh, ‘T’ – we hardly knew ye.

You used to be one of the most frequently used letters in our alphabet. And one of my favorite ones, too, since you often were doubled up in a word. I like doubles. Putter. Letter. Setter. Sitter. Butter. Kitten. Nutter. All these words are fun to say, right?

But something happened a few years ago. Something evil* and lazy* and just plain wrong*.

We stopped saying the ‘T’s in the middle of words.

Why did this happen? How could we let this poor letter become a cessation of sound, instead of its rightful behind-the-teeth tongue movement? When did it become okay to stop enunciating your ‘t’s? Back in the olden days, youngsters, we always pronounced our ‘t’s. Always. If we didn’t, some helpful adult would look at us, eyes squinted a bit, and enroll us in some class to overcome our issues and get in touch with the reason we were suppressing our ‘T’s.

Nobody wants that to happen, ever again.

And so, in the spirit of saving our ‘T’s and keeping us out of expensive special classes, please say the following words with me:

It’s ‘kitten’, not ‘ki-en’.

It’s ‘button’, not ‘buh-in’.

It’s ‘Manhattan’, not ‘Manha-in’. (I’m looking at YOU, Weather Channel announcer. Shame on you.)

It’s enough to make this writer go, “Argh!”  (If you have no teeth, you are excused from this exercise. Otherwise, I expect to hear some front-teeth-closed ‘T’ action from everyone I meet. Everyone. No exceptions.) 

Are you with me, six stalwart readers? Are we ready to make a stand for our ‘T’s? Support them? Use them? Make them the important and useful letters they once were?

Totally terrific and terribly topical of all of you.


*It’s not really evil or lazy or wrong. Not on a global scale – no. But it does get up my tits and bother me. Yes, I’m decreasing my caffeine, and no, I’m not on any medication. Why do you ask?

The Beach

I have a thing about the ocean, my dear readers. I love it. It’s kind of my happy place. And if I am near an ocean, I must put my toes in it, even if it’s 45 degrees outside, and the water temp is 36 degrees. Rain, shine, fog, snow… I hit the beach, the shoes come off, and it’s toe-freezing time. With a smile.


We were fortunate last week when we stayed at one of the local beaches – no real rain, just a few spits – and mostly sunny and warm days. For the Oregon coast, it’s a rarity to have such great weather, and we took advantage of it every day.

2014-08-15 11.47.50

We shopped at all the kitschy stores, went to the requisite candy-making emporium and bought enough sugar to fuel an entire elementary school, walked through the art galleries like we could afford to be picky.

2014-08-16 12.08.49

We (or rather, the sprogs) created the ultimate campsite/firepit to watch the sunset, including relocating a stump to create a bar. They even used the level app on the iPhone, so our beers wouldn’t tip over. Commitment to quality, people. It’s what we’re all about.

2014-08-16 12.08.03

And it was so worth it. Every grain of sand still in my hair, every stepped on rock/stick/pointy shell, every bug that crawled on me….

2014-08-16 20.32.04

2014-08-16 20.11.36

2014-08-16 20.15.22

I’m counting the days until we can go back. I love the beach.

It’s Hot

We’ve had a couple of weeks of constant ninety degree temperatures. Or close to ninety. We’re delicate Northwest flowers, so anything over 75 feels like the depths of Hades.

To stay cool, this is pretty much how we’ve looked:

2014-07-19 10.08.15

Ignore my toes.

How are you staying comfortable in the heat? Let me know – all six of you!

Because I Like Them, That’s Why

I’m going to post another ‘before and after’ series of the garden. Why? See the title of the post. Also, I like seeing the progression, how lush and green everything gets. In the day-to-day slogging of watering, feeding, removing weeds, and watching darling husband do all those things, you forget where you started in the spring.

2014-04-20 13.07.20

April. Planting day.

2014-05-17 17.21.37


2014-07-06 12.08.56

July 6th. Ignore the grass growing through the patio stones. I pull it, since I refuse to use chemicals on the garden. It’s annoying that it keeps coming back, but I don’t have mutated salmon in the river on my conscience.

2014-04-20 13.08.00

April, I believe. Again, darling husband working tirelessly while I’m snapping pictures.

2014-07-06 12.09.57

And today, July 6th.

2014-05-17 17.21.08

Blueberries, grapes and hanging baskets in April.

2014-07-06 12.09.33

And today. We’ve gotten multiple pounds of blueberries and raspberries, the old grape vines have set a few bunches of grapes, and even my new vine has one beautiful grape bunch on it.

2014-07-06 12.10.23

Finally, this keeps my Disneyland hopes alive all summer. I’ll admit I have an irrational love of Disneyland, but it IS the Happiest Place on Earth, and who wouldn’t want to go there? Huh? Who?

Hope your summer is blooming all around you, and as full of joy as it is of bugs.

Senior Pets and the Sogginess They Bring

It’s about Casey, the Dog of Infinite Badness. She’s become the bane of my existence. Here’s why:

1) She’s soggy again, after being dry and happy for most of a year. She started dribbling on everything sporadically a few weeks ago. She’d be dry, and dry, and dry… we’d take the diaper off and BOOM… sog-tastic mess on carpets, furniture, clothing, pillows.

2) I’m not sure if you’ve ever had to deal with dog pee on upholstery, but it’s difficult (if not impossible) to ever get the smell out. Our couch is basically ruined. I cried about it, and said some very unkind things to Mistress Dribbly-pants. I’m a little ashamed, and a lot disappointed. In both of us.

3) She’s started to eat very odd things. Yesterday she snicked off an about-to-bloom calendula flower and ate it like it was a MilkBone. She’s also trolled in the back yard for fallen impatiens blossoms, rose petals, blueberries, raspberries, and zebra grass.

4) She’s started to rise up on her back legs to eat things off the counters. This one really gets my goat, mainly because she’s never done it before. Before we caught on, she ate half a loaf of bread, fruit, butter, wrappers… anything we hadn’t put away. We’ve gotten a little more careful lately.

5) Yes, I’m aware that becoming rabidly hungry may be a symptom of something else – she will be seen by a vet as soon as possible. However, we’ve been to the vet constantly over the past two years, and they still don’t know what’s up with her. She is up to date with her shots, has a regular treatment plan with the vet, gets long walks twice a day, gets healthy food… She really isn’t neglected.

6) You can’t put a dog down for being incontinent, for ruining a couch, or for eating a stick of butter. Adopting a dog is for life. We promised to take care of her until the end, and we will. But some small and not-very-nice part of me wishes we could drive her into the country to frolic in someone else’s blueberry bushes and on someone else’s couch.

2014-06-29 12.39.53(Disclosure – as soon as I got the camera out, she decided to look pitiful and sleepy. So you wouldn’t think she was a happy dog – such a Drama Queen. Maybe she really is the daughter I never had.)

7) When we go out, we have to kennel her or she cleans off the counters, shinnies out of her diaper, jumps on the furniture and leaks piddle everywhere. I don’t really like locking her in her kennel – to me it defeats one of the purposes of having a dog, especially when you leave the house.

I’m sad because she’s completely ruining my house, and sad because no one, human or dog, deserves to be thought of the way I’m thinking of her. It’s not very charitable, and not very nice. Surely I’m a horrid person for not coming to her rescue and fixing all her problems – but I’ve tried. Really. I’ve tried. I can’t fix things, and I wish I could. I want Casey, the Dog of Infinite Badness, to live out the rest of her life surrounded by the people who love her. I want her warm and safe and dry. I want her to be able to sleep by my darling husband’s feet, to be within our reach at all times so we can say ‘good dog’ and pat her on the head.

I’ll keep trying to make her life a good one. Honest, I will. After all, a couch can only be destroyed once, right?


My Busy Life

I know, I missed a week. I’m not exactly sure why, although it might be that I decided to take a nap instead of write. My advanced age, you know.

Here’s what happened around the Castle (and beyond) in the last couple of weeks:

2014-05-26 09.58.31My book club  had a retreat at the beach – and this was the view from our house. (If I can see the ocean, I’m a very happy majesty.) We thought we’d need a couple of days to discuss the May book selection “S.” by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst. If you aren’t familiar with the book, it’s actually a couple of stories intertwined. There’s the narrative of the book, but then there are the notes in the margins, and all the things tucked into the pages (postcards, photos, napkins, etc.). So you have the story that was published, the story of the author, and the story of the two people trying to discover who the real author is, too.

2014-05-18 19.23.06

2014-05-18 19.23.21

Fascinating. A hard read, but totally fascinating. My take on this is that publishing wouldn’t have done this very expensive project unless it had JJ Abrams’ name on it. Read it and let me know what you think. 🙂

2014-05-30 14.08.55

Let’s see… oh, my car was recalled so I took it in for a routine fix. Nope. Not me. My car had the BIG problem, or one even bigger. I had a rental car for a week while they fixed it. Cool thing? It was a hybrid. I drove about 200 miles on a quarter tank of gas. Fun to drive – a little quirky, but still fun. Now I want a Tesla for a week. Can anyone help me with that?

2014-06-04 14.06.41

I also bowed to the inevitable ravages of time and bought my very first pair of reading glasses. I’ll have to go to the eye doctor to get everything checked out, but these help for now. Still getting used to wearing them, and most times I forget to put them on. Oops.

2014-06-07 10.14.12

And yesterday my darling husband, my motherp and I went to the Rose Festival Parade in Portland. For the first time EVER, we paid for seats right at the start of the parade, where the TV cameras film the participants as they march out of the Coliseum. In my family, parade Saturday went something like this: roll out of bed at nine. Start watching the parade on TV after bitching that it pre-empted Bugs Bunny. Realize it looks like fun. Drive like a bat out of hell to the end of the parade route to see it in person. Watch the exhausted people drag themselves across the finish line.

I have to admit, they had quite a bit more energy at the beginning, which made the price of the ticket worth it. It was a little more problematic to get to the parade, though, since they closed off most of the streets at o’dark hundred in the morning. Funny story – we paid for parking we couldn’t get to. Ha. Ha. Ha. Even funnier? The garages were almost empty when we arrived. Ha. Ha. Ha. How we laughed. Not.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print, and some that isn’t really fit at all. Actually, most of this is limp and flabby and not fit for anything other than my own tiny brain. I obviously need more tea.

Have a good week, y’all!