Tag Archives: Marriage

Holiday Fun


We are having such a lovely holiday break; we’ve spent time with family and friends, slept in every day, and eaten our own weight in baked goods.  Every year, Hubby has off from work Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, and every year, we end up getting snarky with each other.  This morning he verbally committed to doing repairs at Eve’s house tomorrow. Five minutes later when I texted the kids to let them know to expect him, he got all blustery and was so irritated that I was “scheduling his time” for him.  In a patient voice I said, “All I told them is expect you after 10am.  You do not have to be there at 10am.  I’m telling them they don’t have to get up early.”  He huffed and puffed, I rolled my eyes, and we retreated to separate corners.

I texted a few friends to see if anyone wanted to hang out (since clearly being away from Hubby was the first thing on my list) but nobody was available.  I started laundry.  I read a chapter of a book.  I cleaned the toilets.  Hubby puttered in the garage and up in our bathroom. I was still thinking mean thoughts about him when he came downstairs beaming and says, “I cleaned all of the hair out of the drains!”  Well.  If that isn’t true love, then tell me what is?  He gave me a smooch . . . and we put our tiff behind us.

The rest of the days have gone smoothly. We’ve seen movies (Dr. Strange and Fantastic Beasts–both excellent), eaten at a new restaurant (Tom Thumb BBQ and car wash in Scottsdale), and hiked in two new locations.  Our first hike was a 45-minute drive away in the Superstition Mountains and is called the Wave Cave Trail.  A young teacher friend told me it was an easy hike.  HAHAHAHAHA.  I’m the first one to admit I’m out of shape, but wow, this trail kicked me in the arse.  The last half mile is quite steep and winding and involves crawling over large boulders.  Hubby lent me his arm to assist, but there were several points where I gave up my pride and crawled like a dog on all fours.  My heart beat so fast that every two minutes or so, I had to rest to catch my breath.  We persevered and were rewarded with a beautiful view from the cave . . . which slopes rather dramatically toward the cave opening. My fear of heights threatened to take over, but in my head I shouted in a stern voice, GO AWAY!!!  And it worked.  This unreasonable fear is as palpable as a leg cramp, a feeling of nausea, or a headache and can come on just as quickly—and causes me embarrassment and anxiety.

Our next hike was at Spur Cross Trail.  I’d been there two years ago with girlfriends when water was running in the creek.  We’d found the area so charming!  There are clearly two different landscapes situated side by side in this area:  the west side of the conservation area is dense desert with some of the largest saguaros and jumping cholla I’d ever seen, but the eastern trails run by a babbling brook and are rich with ironwood trees shading the paths, green grasses, and here and there you can see melancholy brick foundations of a dude ranch which had its hay day from 1925-1955.  Yesterday Hubby and I found only hot dry trails and no babbling brook.  It was still fun to explore a new place together, however, with no water running in Cave Creek, it wasn’t worth our one-hour drive each way.

To finish up our time off, we have tickets to luminaria night at the botanical gardens for New Year’s Eve (my very favorite holiday event).  New Year’s Day will find us experimenting with our new electric meat smoker and the drone the kids gifted to Hubby for Christmas. Life is good.

Happy New Year!



Snapshot of a Day at the Beach


I am in Mexico.

Hubby and I left for the beach Saturday morning.  I was packed and ready to go and (typical to form), Hubby was in no rush.  “A 90-year-old woman with no teeth could eat breakfast faster than that,” I barked at him. “I’ll go without you, you know I will!”

Five hours later, we were here at our favorite little beach, at our tiny little home away from home.  And everything was just as we’d left it.  There was the mango man, pushing his heavy cart through the sand (two please, extra chile powder por favor!).  The faint scent of marijuana drifted by (Jeannette says it helps her arthritis).   Just down the way, a large family group tossed a football, running and falling into the soft warm sand.  John Wayne, Rebecca’s friendly black German shepherd, chewed happily on a dead fish and smiled at us from his spot under the beach shade pop up.   A beautiful osprey hovered and dived into the ocean hunting for his lunch, then flew over us, a wriggling fish grasped in his talons.

And even though we swore we’d try a new restaurant . . . we did not.  And even though we said we’d walk around the neighborhood one day . . . we did not.  We did not visit the CEDO gift shop (they often have cool t-shirts and shell jewelry).  I did not begin the novel I’d brought, instead catching up on six months of Coastal Living magazine.  Just yesterday I was on a mission to get rid of all unnecessary things in my house, but after admiring the fresh, cheery, colorful beach-style furnishings in my glossy magazines, I’m just as eager to buy new pretty stuff.  (Be gone, Devil on my shoulder!)

We did try a new bar a friend has raved about for years  (Boo Bar) and felt silly drinking our beers at the bar while sitting on swings hung from the ceiling!  I couldn’t stop giggling, it was all so ridiculous.  We took moonlight walks both nights, Hubby pointing out the stars and planets to me.  We held hands and were quiet and slept too many hours and ate too much shrimp.

But now?  Now it is 11am. Soon we will leave.  The beach is so quiet.  Other than a man fishing from a yellow kayak, it appears we are the only people here.  I see Hubby floating about in the smooth-as-glass sea, diving down every once in awhile to examine a pretty shell or chase a school of black-and-yellow striped Sargent Majors.  The shush-shush of the incoming tide hypnotizes me, seeming to say, “Stay, stay.  Stay, stay.”








It was an alright day overall, excepting that my undies kept rolling down (which is way more annoying than you might think).  Surreptitiously I pulled and tugged at them from the aft and stern, however, there are so many windows and doors at my school that I’m certain someone must have spied me, covering their eyes and gasping in horror. Seriously the women I work with are so cool that if I had shared my discomfort, a serious discussion would have ensued and tales would have been told about That Time My Underwear Was Driving Me Crazy, and we all would have laughed. (Have I mentioned how much I love my job?).   The elastic has been worn out since BT (before Trump),  but somehow buying new undies never seems like a glamorous way to spend my time off. (Penciling it on my calendar, next Saturday at 9.)

We had a lovely Valentine’s Weekend, did you?  We’d thought about going to Mexico to see the whales, but ultimately decided since we are just months away from being “Empty Nesters” that we would stay home and keep William company.  Which is hilarious because we barely saw the kid.  We sighed a bit over the photos of leaping fin whales and humpback whales in the Sea of Cortez shown on Facebook, but truly it was a nice weekend just being at home.  We had happy hour with friends on Friday night.  We worked at the ASU House where our daughter lives on Saturday, finally capturing the last of the huge goldfish from the pond (read large, sunken metal bucket) and set them free in a nearby lake, followed by a nice Italian Valentine dinner out that night.  Sunday afternoon Hubby and I took a long bike ride, delivering Valentine’s Day cards to my friends in the ‘hood (a long time tradition).

After three weeks of babying my knee after tripping on the dog bed in the dark, it felt HEAVENLY to tootle about on my old bicycle (it was a present on my 30th birthday!) with Hubby by my side, the breeze in my hair, and Valentine’s surprises in my bike basket.  We biked on the curvy, hilly greenbelt paths in our ‘hood, and for this timid non-athletic person, it felt exhilarating to almost “wipe out” on a few of the sharp turns . . . and giggling with Hubby is one of my very favorite things in the whole world.

Hubby and I exchanged sappy $7 Valentine’s cards which basically said, I love being with you, and I’m so glad you’re mine.  After 32 years of knowing each other (and 27 years of marriage), I’m quite proud of that wise decision to get hitched back in 1988.  For the most part I love him, and after this many years, I know to walk away when he is making me want to punch him (like in Costco the other day).  And when he does things to annoy me, like:  blowing his nose like a flugelhorn (how does he even DO that?), snoring at night, and dropping his work shoes VERY loudly on the kitchen floor right before he leaves for work each morning, I think to myself how these are the very things I would miss if he were ever to go away.  I love you, Honey!

On to another favorite topic:  COOKING!  Yesterday It was pointed out to me from someone near and dear to me that she finds my recipes confusing.  Food for thought.  I felt really bad, since I enjoy sharing my cooking experiments here at this site and to ME the recipes make sense. So instead of rewriting the recipes I’ve morphed, I’m going to try a different approach.  I will provide a link to the original recipe of inspiration, and tell you how I changed it.  (I do not make money on my blog so it shouldn’t be a problem to link to a site.)

Tonight’s new recipe was a hit with the family.  It is called Three Cup Chicken and was sent to my via email by the NYTimes.  It is a Thai recipe and was delish!  Okay, this is what I changed:  I did not want to chop up the bone-in chicken thighs I bought on sale, so I sauteed them whole in sesame oil for 15 minutes (in two pans since there were 8 thighs), then removed them from the pans and put them in a greased 11 x 14 glass baking pan.  I preheated the oven to 350.  In the still-hot pan, I sauteed 4 T garlic, half the amount of ginger called for  (about 2 T), and the 4 chopped green onions for five minutes. I poured into the hot pan 1/4 cup rice vinegar and 1/4 cup soy sauce and sauteed for another five minutes. (I omitted the red pepper flakes entirely because they make me gassy , lol.)  I poured the garlic mixture over the chicken and baked it for 40 minutes.  I served it over rice and like I said, it was a hit.