My new grocery store friend

My new grocery store friend

Maybe two months ago, this older gentleman at the store was stocking shelves near me. Something I needed was on the top shelf out of my reach. I said to him, “You’re tall. Would you mind reaching that for me?”

He responded, “AND handsome. People always forget the handsome part.”

I laughed and thanked him for retrieving my animal cookies. I mean, uh, something much cooler like ostrich beef jerky.

Anyway, I passed him today and remarked, “You know, you’re tall AND handsome.”

“And handsome,” he said. “That’s right. People always forget that.”

“I didn’t forget,” I said.

“No, you didn’t. Thank you. That made my weekend.”

And maybe it did.

Animal cookies. Err, ostrich jerky. Unless you find that offensive. Then it’s animal cookies. Unless you find that offensive. Then it’s water.

The conversation with the chicken lady


Remember my daughter sitting by the coop trying to discover which chicken was crowing? Well, she did. And then caught a different one crowing, too.

I decided to contact the seller and first ask if she still had hens.

CL: Yes, I have plenty. When are you able to come by?

Me: Great! I was actually wondering if I could exchange some of the hens we got from you, as they turned out to be roosters.

CL: How many roosters do you want to exchange?

Me: I’m not entirely sure yet how many are roosters. Two were caught in the act of crowing. Others look suspicious.

CL: Sometimes hens start crowing to assert their dominance.

Eh, what?

Me: Well, here are the two that crowed.

Read the rest of this entry

My most embarrassing text


We got this fun ninja mask from relatives.

The son of my neighbor left his flip flops at my house, so I slipped on the mask to return them.

“Jim”, “Pam,” and son were outside admiring Jim’s new work truck when I walked up, slid the shoes onto the tailgate and backed away.

Before I explain what happened next, you should know that Pam and I had a long running joke involving me texting her the ninja emoji. It probably had to do with the time she let me sneak into her house for a cup of sugar.

What happened after this little shoe drop off is explained in this text I sent Pam soon after.

Read the rest of this entry

Go take a hike


On our family hike, I found myself carrying the backpack and the extra water bottle, so naturally I had to tease my husband: “Sure, sure. I carried our kids for nine months each, I might as well carry everything else now too.”

He said, “Well, since you have all that experience…”

He was joking, of course. He then took the bag and bottle from me.

When we came across this in the parking lot, my little Joe said, “Someone dropped their fire candle.”

He’s a descriptive kid.

Anybody go on any walking adventures recently? Spot anything interesting/pretty/weird?

“I don’t think that [letter] means what you think it means.”


We cleaned out our garage so as to host the “annual” (minus 2020) block party. It was my beloved neighbor who kindly suggested we have it in our garage instead of on the street since we have pool and ping pong tables, shuffle board, and corn hole.

The day before the party, I watched, eyes narrowed, as this neighbor came and went merrily from her driveway, not a care in the world, as we spent hours clearing stuff out of the garage, hiding it in the shed, leaf blowing, sweeping, etc. (I kid, she’s lovely.)

At one point, unbeknownst to me, little Joe got the broom and decided to draw in the dirt, creating an incredible likeness of the letter “P.”

“This is not the P you’re looking for.”

When I saw it, I remarked to my husband, Paul, “You know, that’s not what they mean by marking your territory with p.”

Read the rest of this entry

The band that DID come

The band that DID come

So there’s this band…

I first heard about it from my friend who tends bar at a nearby brewery. “They play stuff from the 90s,” and he started listing several bands, making my jaw drop lower with each one.

“You’ve got to book them!” I told him.

A couple months later, he did. I told all my friends.

Then, for whatever reason, the band canceled.

Then they rescheduled. I told all my friends.

The band came! And I had one of the best nights of my life. I remember repeatedly saying, “I am so happy right now.” Plus, I did this: (It’s a slide show, so go quickly and you can almost see me playing! 😉 )

Do I know how to play the drums? No.

Did I have permission to climb on stage during a break and play the drums? No.

Did the drummer turn around and say, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” Yes. But after the first two words his face went from irritation/borderline anger to a broad smile. I was clearly having fun, for one thing, and I was the one who gave him food, for another. (That would be a separate blog post.)

Then, after applying some subtle pressure, the band got booked for a second time. I told all my friends.

The band got canceled.

The band was booked for a third time to play this past Saturday! I told all my friends.

Then Thursday morning I got a message from the bartender:

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but the band isn’t playing Saturday night after all. There was a miscommunication and we double booked.”

Picture me hanging my head.

Then he says, “The band that will be playing instead is a Pearl Jam cover band.”

Now picture me laughing my head off.

Pearl Jam is the band of my youth, my first musical love since age 12 when my big brother handed me their first album and said, “Check this out.” I was instantly hooked.

I told the bartender all was forgiven. I’d be there.

The bartender and me at the brewery on another occasion. When I asked if he’d mind if I put his face on my blog, he said, “I’d be honored.” Stand up guy. Despite the fact that he’s kneeling here.

I had told my mom and sister that the band was returning, so I updated them with the news that instead the performance would be by a cover band for “a particular Seattle 90s grunge band.”

My sister responded, “Nice,” then launched into a series of puns involving PJ song titles. (I love her.)

My mom said, “Is it a country band?”

She could hear me rolling my eyes from across the country.

“Ok. Ok. EV’s band?” EV, as in, Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam’s singer. Mom’s way cooler than she lets on. Living in Cleveland, my parents sometimes take out-of-town guests to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. After one trip, she mailed this to me:

Read the rest of this entry

Beware of squirrels with backpacks


My eight-year-old nephew said a squirrel had been digging in their sandbox, making holes in their castles. His mom told him to be sure to wash his hands after he played in there because squirrels can carry diseases.

He said, “Squirrels don’t have backpacks, so how can they carry diseases?”

Moral of the story: Be safe. Don’t play with squirrels, backpacks or not.

Post-skydiving hair

Tangled, wind-blown mess.

Indoor skydiving, that is. Not quite as cool as the real thing, but still fun.

Anyhow, I had a hair tie in, but somewhere along the way, it was sucked up into the giant suctioning fan, never to be seen again.

When I got home, my kids said, “Mom, what happened to your hair?”

That bad.

I spent 15 minutes trying to work out the snarls with my fingers because my brush was utterly useless. In that time, I untangled maybe a third of it. Then I remembered that conditioner exists, so I hopped in the shower, feeling sure there was a bottle in there somewhere.

There was not.

I texted my friend two houses down with a desperate plea for conditioner. She didn’t respond until much later. She’d gone for a walk without her phone, and had wished she could text me because she’d left her oven on. I showed her my hair. She showed me her food.

This used to be peppers.

Fortunately, her house didn’t fill with smoke, but it did smell, she reported.

Her veggies were ruined, and I was seriously considering chopping my hair, or at least portions of it, way short. She recooked, and I spent the entirety of a Doc Martin episode (Have you seen this show? You must.) straightening my hair out with my fingers.

But it was all worth it because this:

Hair tie halfway out.

And this:

We spun around and around to the top of the tower and back down multiple times in rapid succession. It was a blast!

In case you’re wondering, I know where my neighbors hide their key due to an unfortunate baking incident in which I had to do the cliché of all clichés: ask to borrow a cup of sugar.

She responded that she wasn’t home, but would be in half an hour. However, if I needed sugar right away, she’d tell me where she hides the key.

I texted back, “Please tell me where you hide the key. And the good chocolate.”

Believe it or not, she told me both, but I didn’t dare raid her cocoa stash. A woman’s chocolate is sacred. But the fact that she was willing to let me partake, in addition to entering her home while she was gone… truly an amazing neighbor.

Questions for you to ponder/comment on:

  1. What’s worse: hair that takes an hour to untangle, or burnt peppers?
  2. Have you been skydiving–indoor or otherwise? If not, would you want to?
  3. Do you have an awesome neighbor?

Do share!

No greasy fingers here, Mom.


I allowed my son to eat popcorn, but I wanted him to do it in his high chair. That way, his greasy fingers would be staying put, not potentially running along my sofa.

My son did not want to eat his popcorn in his high chair. He wanted to be free to roam.

And so he found a solution. He would eat his popcorn chair-free and hands-free.

“Look, Ma! No hands!”

I suppose I should applaud his problem solving skills.

Hubby picked up our hold items from the library, including this item:


“What’s this?” I asked him.

“Looks like it’s called Predators,” he helpfully tells me.

“I see that, but why did you bring it home?”

“It was on the hold shelf. You must’ve ordered it.”

I had not. It was clearly misfiled. I’m not sure if him thinking I had actually ordered this movie says more about him or more about me.

Do you have a favorite unexpected movie or genre?

[I did see the original Predator, actually, and can quote lines from it even, but that’s the extent of Predator movies for me.]

If you need an excuse, make it a good one.

If you need an excuse, make it a good one.

My mom nearly forgot my daughter’s birthday. Her card arrived a few days late, but she was prepared with her excuse.

Here’s what came in the envelope:

It reads: “Happy birthday, Elise! No, this card is not late! Check the date! [Much earlier than when it was actually written.] Mailed in plenty of time. It is the postman’s fault! (See enclosed letter.)”

And so, the enclosed letter from “Harold Postman”:

“It is my fault. The snow is high, seven feet high, and I could not see the mailbox. Do not blame your kind and beautiful grandmother. (I cannot believe she is a grandmother, she looks so young.) Now snow melted and I find letter. -Harold Postman”

That’s how you write an excuse with flair.

A blogger who knows who he is, has talked about Dot’s pretzels and how superb they are (probably even erroneously claiming their superiority to my beloved Chex Mix). I didn’t give much thought to Dot’s, as they seemed to be local to his area.

But, lo and behold:

There’s Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels on the top shelf for $7?! And waaaaaaaaaaayyyyy down on the bottom shelf, unimposing and humble, are the Chex Mix on sale for $1.

Now, now, folks, let’s not assume Dot’s has superiority based on perceived value due to cost and shelf placement. Yes, Mark, I was tempted, but, no, I didn’t buy your favored over-priced snack of choice.

I will, however, keep an eye on it in case it goes on sale to something reasonable! Then I’ll give it a try. Maybe. Perhaps. Probably.

Anyone eat anything new and interesting lately?

What’s the best excuse you’ve ever given or received?

Is my Mom great, or what? (Yes, Mom, I can see you beaming from here.)