Loving my Valentine

I don’t expect that on Valentine’s Day anyone will be spanking me with dog or goat-skin whips in order to increase my fertility this year, because although some may find that entertaining, I wouldn’t.  I’m thinking that the MoH wouldn’t like it much either, since he’s my Valentine, and I his.

We’re more about simple things and goofiness like emails that come as soon as I sit down in front of my Mac because he’s figured out nearly exactly when that happens each day.  Some people think that after two people have been Valentines for 25 years that there might not be too many more surprises, but I’d say they’re wrong because I’ve been surprised four times this week and it’s not even Valentine’s Day yet.

The first email said…

On the first day of Valentine’s your true love gave to yooooouuuuuuuu….

Something sweet under a pillow very near by.

Chuao Chocolates

He knows I love Chuao chocolate.  Love.  It.

On the next morning, just as I was wondering if there would be a second day of Valentines’ and whether I qualified for it the second email came…

On the second day of Valentine’s your trule love gave to yooouuuuuuu….

Your true love gave to yooooouuuuuu

Something stinky that thought it was going to watch TV but ended up in a dark cave.

Let me know if you can’t figure that out.

Now, I don’t know about you, but since I’m sort of stuck in all things food on most days, I thought of a very nice piece of cheese.  I know.  But the MoH knows me and clearly he was enjoying himself with all of this Valentine’s Day revelry, so I went with my first instinct and checked the cheese drawer in our fridge.  It’s pretty dark in there these days since I haven’t changed the light bulbs that have long been burned out, and I supposed you could consider it a cave since…well, okay, maybe not so much, but still.

Regardless, there was no package in the cheese drawer, so I went down to the laundry room where it is actually quite chilly and is stinky, too, since that’s where the cat box is.  But no present.  And then the garage where the second fridge is, but nothing was there that I didn’t recognize, so upstairs to his closet to see if I’d neglected to do his laundry.  But no.

So he sent me a second clue…

Stinky generally means it means bad, but maybe it just has a strong fragrance.

See clue 1 and then you were close with d) the garage fridge.  And you will have to open up something to find it.  And no it’s not in the trash cans.

I ventured back to the garage fridge and opened the butter box and found a bag of peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets with a $1.00 tag on them thinking, “He must have forgotten that he was going to do this riddle scavenger hut thing and ran into 7/11 on the way home…Or wants to get rid of me feeding me tainted peanut butter snack products.” Hell.  When it comes right down to it, peanut butter isn’t high on my list of special things unless it’s in the form of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that’s been in the freezer for a while.

So I sent him this… Nuggies

And then he sent me this…

So hmmm, I said you were close but that is too close.

What used to have a TV in it, is now in the garage and has a cavernous opening that you can close that sits next to the trash cans.

It starts with an A and ends with an R

Poor things, sitting waiting for someone to find them.

: )

And so I venture back to the garage and open our old armoire to find these thinking that this is all so much fun.  Yes, the presents are nice, but I love this goofy, romantic man I’m married to who has taken the time to do all of this for me and in between meetings is keeping up with it all when I still haven’t decided whether I’ll change my clothes or not.  Or combed my hair.

This morning, I hadn’t yet opened my email because I was focused on other things.  But no sooner had I opened my email and the MoH’s latest arrived…

Are you sitting at your computer waiting?


Have you already rifled thru the house wondering what treasure your sweet husband has left for you??

So here we go.

On the third day of Valentines your true love gave to yooooouuuuu.

A piece of plastic and a folded piece of paper.

But before I tell you where it is, it looks like you have a headache and need an aspirin.

Now I had already emailed him about what I was preoccupied with — our son, the RTR, who is somewhat absent-minded on most days.  The night before, he’d been talking about spending the weekend with his cousin, and we have a routine where my sister-in-law and I meet half way to their house and drop off whichever boy is doing the visiting.  I was worried that the plans weren’t in stone and that he needed to talk to the carpool driver about not picking him up after school today, or whether he’d packed a bag for the weekend.  I  needed to figure out Plan B and realized that the MoH and I could go out tonight and maybe see a movie or something.

With a barely recognizable rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas oddly coming from my pursed lips, I opened the MoH’s most recent email …

There’s no need to fear — Underdad is here.

I reminded him to tell M that he wouldn’t need a ride
I asked him about the bag and he said there would be time to come home
and pack it after school (then why do you need to cancel the ride?)
3pm at the halfway point is correct
See my last e-mail regarding your last question.

This makes me smile since my fat butt was still in bed sleeping this morning when all of this was going on.  The MoH was the Mom of this family for many years while I was working, so he’s good at organizing details about who should be where and when.

Today’s riddle was very easy since I knew where the aspirin was even though I rarely have headaches.  This is what I found… More Presents A gift certificate to shop in a favorite store and dinner at my favorite Greek restaurant.  Guess I’ll have no excuse to wear sweats.

With Valentine’s Day still not quite here, I’ve collected quite a few Valentines from my Valentine.

And because I’m a sap, the best part has been all the fun.

He makes my heart go flippety-flop.

Cheers to You, Family, and new Gaming PCs.

So we made it to Virginia and after a few days of very grey skies and a refreshing chill in the air, it totally warmed up to near 60 degrees and then rained. Sheesh. And today?

The freaking sun is out. What’s up with that? You would think that when you fly across the damn country for the holidays at least it could pretend like it was going to snow. Feh.

That list I made before I left had to get done or we wouldn’t have been able to get on the plane. So no problem there. When the shuttle driver arrived at the front door to collect us, the house was decent, the presents for the older boys were snuggled under the tree and as an added bribe to them to take care of the house while we were gone, we had the RT open one of his presents we couldn’t take…a gamer’s computer (HP Pavilion Elite) with a 22″ flat panel monitor and a humongous graphics card (XFX GeForce 8800 GT XXX) and I have to swagger around a bit when I say that even though I have absolutely NO idea what I’m talking about) that had to have its own power source (or some kind of a fan thingy installed). We had it installed before we left the store (Fry’s Electronics, thank you very much and NOT BEST BUY Bwhahahahahahaha Losers…) by a sales/tech guy who was completely cool, talked the entire time he was putting it in and answered everyone else’s questions at the same time — including “The Wife” on his cell a couple of times regarding being home on time for a change. The guy works 16 hour days. Amazing. We came home with a fist full of rebates I now have to complete so we can actually have a few checks in the mail at some point in the next century. I’ve done them before and I swear we never get anything out of them — most likely because I forgot to cross a “t” or dot an “i.”

Now the cool thing about this computer is that it also functions as a TV, so that helps us out a bit in the area of ensuring that we can all be in separate rooms watching different programs and never see each other ever again. Trick. AND (drum roll…) now neither the MoH or the RT has to use my Mac. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT.

Seriously. It’s mine, mine, mine. ALLLLLLLLLLL mine and they don’t get to TOUCH it.

EVER. So I’m sure the two older boys (okay, so they’re men, but you know how that goes when you’re the mom, right?) are enjoying it while the RT is away. And you can imagine the RT is sweating a bit because he had to leave it at home and is now stuck in this female infested house for the holidays. My sister does have a Wii, though, so people have been having a blast with that. I haven’t succumbed, but most likely will tonight after a couple glasses of wineski.

Enough of that nonsense.

So I just wanted to let you know we were all alive and well, have celebrated my mom’s 70th birthday in true style (there wasn’t a fancy dress in the house…) and took some photos I’ll have to try and share later. Totally hilarious. Oh, and “we” constitutes my sister’s family (husband and two younger daughters) her oldest daughter and her boyfriend (who left Monterey, CA to live here instead and are holed in upstairs indefinitely..) my mother (who’s living in the basement sort of indefinitely, but actually more like temporarily…) a dog, and three cats who all have to be kept away from one another. Oh. And us. Quite the household.

Today, more lists are in order — but they’re the lists I’m good at that include miles of ingredients and a sequence of what to prepare in which order. With one last trip to the grocery store (there have already been two…) we’ll be ready to hunker down for a fun night of dessert making, toasting (instead of the roasting we did to my mom last night), and preparing for our holiday breakfast and then dinner later.

The MoH and RT are out today with my seester doing the turismo thang in D.C. I’ll venture out on Wednesday (which is our wedding anniversary) and make like a tourist myself. Maybe I’ll even twist the MoH’s arm a bit for a swanky dinner or something.

In the meantime, I sincerely hope you are warm, doing what fills your heart — regardless of what it is — and that you are healthy.

Thanks for visiting my little space in the Bloggosphere so often this past year. You have helped to take me from the exhausted, burnt out, frazzled, and completely flattened person that I was, to a person who laughs much more than she used to, and who has also recovered something she thought she’d lost for good — writing.


Game Day Attire Has to be Matching

Ready for some Foot.Ball. It’s 10:03 am and the first stream of game day monologue has been uttered downstairs. “Okay. It’s time. Let’s go.” And a more quiet, less assertive mumble that seems to have had something to do with the kick off.

But the MoH’s ready. He had his official jersey pulled over his ancient Eddie Bauer waffle weave tee.

And the Gap jammies Santa gave to him a few years ago.

It’s currently 47 degrees F in Paradise on this Sunday morning after a few days of semi bracing rain.

And we are reh-dee-4-sum-FOOT.BALLLLLLLLLLL.

“INTERCEPTED! Antonio Gates. Ninth interception this year. OH! MY! Don’t throw it to that side of the field. Don’t throw it…”

I guess it’s safe to go down there and read the Sunday paper in happy sports land. It’ must be his matching game day attire.

“They’re just gonna run a freakin’ blitz until you guys do something different. COMEON!”

Well, maybe not.

“ComeON. When are you gonna play like a professional quarter back. Pull your head outta your butt.”

Phil Rivers should heed the MoH’s advice.

The Chargers should know about the dedication of this particular fan.

And his game day suit. Matching Attire

If I wish it…

I love December. I’m sure you’re thinking it’s made easier because I’ve never had to deal with snow and sludge, freezing temperatures and pipes that burst. Those things are rarely experienced in places like San Diego, Key West and the south of Spain. But living as I have in the warmer climes my entire life has only my heart grow fonder.

And speaking of hearts, mine is wired for anything that can be even remotely construed as hopelessly romantic — Jane Austin, The Goodbye Girl, Sleepless in Seattle, Harry Nilhsson’s “Without You”, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese…Dorothy and Toto…I can’t help it.
Oddly, all my loveliest swoonable memories can be traced back to December. The MoH and I became inextricably involved in December of 1987. For me, it was almost as painful as an unrequited crush in junior high. Thankfully, my life with the MoH has had a lovely outcome — one that has endured 20 years.

I get sappy when I hear certain songs and have warm memories of going to movies, or sitting on the same side of the table in tacky restaurants sipping margaritas and holding hands. Doing crossword puzzles, taking long walks, and window shopping in malls filled our spare time because they were free and neither of us had any money.

We also wrote love letters to one another.

I still have them, and get a bit squirmy thinking of the pages that are raw with emotion. It’s a wonder they’ve survived me, always on the verge of ridding myself of anything that could be classified as embarassing to myself. But I tuck them away each time I happen across them, glad that they mark a time that mattered so much. Some day, they’ll belong to the RT so he can be mortified that his parents felt the way they do about one another.

When I first knew the MoH, I remember my understandably horrified mother questioning the extent to which I might be in love with “that boy” one night while I was ironing in her house where I was living with my two older boys, not quite 5 and 6. The MoH is nearly seven years younger than I, but no, I wouldn’t have classified him as a boy.

And I did fancy myself in love with him.

Still. IMG_4995.JPG We can’t help ourselves.

It has made all the difference.

It’s called perspective. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Tiffany’s and Dust Motes

It rained in Paradise yesterday. Now don’t all fall over at the same time with that news, stupendous as it is. Not only did it rain — it poured much of the day: a record-setting .73″. I can’t remember how long it’s been since it rained enough to do more than dampen the top layer of soil in my flower bed. But yesterday water filled the gutters and at many points during the gloriously soggy day, moved in sheets across the road as the wind whipped the palm trees into a frenzy, fronds no longer sheltering the birds that normally perch there.

The MoH called from work to ask what I was doing. He wondered whether I had popped open the garage door, settled in a chair and bundled in layers to watch the show. He knows I love this weather.

What he struggles with is being practical — as in, too practical. Overly, cautiously so. I have thin streaks of practicality, and depending on the situation, will listen to my inner nagging voice that chastises me I really shouldn’t or better not.

Or, sometimes not listen.

Last night, he and I ventured out in the weather.

We thought we’d have a quick dinner and begin our leisurely search for gift ideas for Christmas. I’ve learned that it doesn’t really do any good to try and get this done earlier in the year, because he likes waiting. He enjoys thinking about it, talking about it, and then going to purchase after he’s found the perfect gift for each person on his list. I like that about him, because although the routine does lend itself to quench his selective need for systemic order, it’s also a little messy around the edges because he waits so long.

But this year, we are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I know. It’s a doozie. We were married the day after Christmas, so have always sort of collapsed our acknowledgment of one another into a dinner out in January, or a quick weekend trip before tax season exerts its ugly coils around our free time.

But this is a mile stone. How many people today can not only say that they’ve been married that long, but actually like one another. Look forward to doing things together. Love one another. Act sappy about it.

So over dinner last night, the MoH begins with, “I didn’t want to talk about his last night, so I waited to bring it up until tonight since I knew we’d be out and about.” And I knew what he was going to bring up, because I always know. “I was going to buy you something very expensive for your anniversary,” he continued, and then proceeded to wonder whether I’d prefer something for the house instead, or perhaps a trip somewhere. I could tell he was struggling with the topic and was thinking aloud more than talking with me. The MoH doesn’t like to spend a lot of money. Ever. And although I don’t have that particular problem, I do have that practical voice in me that has been in full scream for the better part of a year now because I cast my former income to the wind to sow the seeds of possibility for our future life. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But still. It has been quite the generous gift to myself and I wallow in it daily, knowing how fortunate I am to have this time.

As I listened to him, I had to be careful. I had to make sure he couldn’t see that ridiculous, tiny piece of the stereotypical girl left inside me after all these years that, no matter how much she doesn’t want or like or have to admit it — wishes for a fairy tale.

I know.

And you thought I was Matilda the Hun.

I did too. And I am, most of the time. But I guess not this close to a 20th wedding anniversary.

And the funny thing is, it’s not the “expensive” aspect of the whole thing that I’m interested in. Truly. Unfortunately, lovely things can cost quite a bit of money. They don’t have to, though. Not if one thinks about it for a time, savoring the possibilities.

Right now, I’m not comfortable with the whole “costs a lot of money” part of this. The sprinklers in the flower bed don’t work. The lights on the patio don’t work. My car needs a tune up badly, the carpets need to be torn out and replaced with wood flooring so the MoH can breathe in this house. It needs a fresh coat of paint…there’s annual physicals to pay for, and the RT’s college tuition is just around the corner.

I don’t want to discuss what I want him to give me for our 20th wedding anniversary. “I know you wouldn’t turn down a nice ring if you got one,” he concludes after other possibilities have been pondered. No, I probably wouldn’t, but I’d been attempting to explain to him that the idea of a diamond to signify our time together didn’t quite fit anymore. I use my hands so much and don’t get out amongst the masses. And was the purpose of wearing such a gift to show others? No, that just seemed all wrong. It would be shiny, and throw fiery shards of light against my face, distracting me from mundane tasks, but dust motes wafting in a stuffy room already do that and cost far less.

If the MoH happened to surprise me by capturing one of those motes, enclosing it in a crystal box and then tell me he knew how much I love the idea of a moment suspended in time, I’d sigh knowing he’d thought about that perfect gift, just for me.

See? Fairy tales. Actually, it’s the idea of a fairy tale.

Better than a sharp stick in the eye, as my mother would say. Yes, most things are, Mom.

And it’s especially better than having to ride in a smelly pumpkin to have a guy you’ve never met try and fit a glass shoe on your foot.

I’d have to wear a party dress to do that, and you know how I feel about those.

Tiffany's Window

Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s would be quite romantic. And DVD’s are cheap.

Blathering about exercise, sunsets, and NaBloPoMo-Ho

Guess what? The MoH has finally decided that he needs to exercise. Actually, he already knew that, but you know how that goes, right? Woo-Hoo! I’ve found another exercise buddy. And we are making some food and drink committments, too. I know you’re sick of hearing me yammer on about this and then nothing happens, so whatever. Fine. But still. We’re on it. We ARE, okay?

What happened to my VBF? She works umpteen gazillion hours a week and has decided to go to boot camp everyday at o-dark-thirty. No boot camp for me. I couldn’t do a push up if I tried. Just thinking about it pains me.

So the MoH and I went for our first walk Sunday. He didn’t even break a sweat. I, on the other hand, was sweating and huffing and puffing. It’s so annoying. But at least I was up and out. The air was still a bit smoky smelling and by the time we were done, my sinuses were stinging. I’m thinking it was probably worse to sit next to those happy smokers in Las Vegas, though. But the only jackpot I’d hit on a walk would be to find a penny someone dropped in the road. The promise of good fortune is always lovely.

We didn’t start our conscientious eating until yesterday because we were still recovering from those Bostinis I made. Jeez. But Monday, we were both on our best behavior as well. I ate so much spinach yesterday I swore I whinnied at the RT at one point. We’re packing in the veggies, and going easy on highly processed carbs. No extra servings for the MoH, one Coke a day for him, and two measly ounces of wine for me. Exercise daily. Water, vitamins, and all that rot.

I’m already looking for healthy recipes to bake. I have to cook. Have. To. But I will not be putting Splenda in anything. Ew-ah.

So yesterday was good. The MoH got home at a decent hour and then as planned, headed out the door to go work out at the gym in our development that we pay handsomely for and rarely use. As I put my shoes on to get ready for my walk, I could hear his car start up and shook my head thinking he was off to a terrific start. The gym is a four minute walk from our house. Jeez.

My walk takes me right past the gym, and I could see his persnickety car in the lot along with all the others. I was glad I wasn’t with them all and strode past, knowing the sunset would be spectacular. The air had lost its acrid smell and a pleasant breeze was blowing.

I love to walk. The problem is (and has been for years) that my shins always hurt. Or my feet. Add years to that and other aches and pains come and go. Right now, I have a serious problem with tennis elbow. And I’d love to blame it on playing tennis, but that’s not the case since I barely know what one looks like. It really kicked up when we were swimming this past summer and has only worsened. My friends chide me that it’s all the blogging I do. Fine. Why doesn’t my right had or arm hurt? Huh? It’s so tiresome.

But yesterday, NOTHING HURT! (Not counting my elbow, which I finally iced thanks to this site, so now I can officially call myself a cyberchondriac.) Totally amazing. I was able to zip along, push myself, enjoy the dark lavendar clouds tinged with peach change against the setting sun to a sooty grey in a field of deepening sapphire blue. Spectacular. Right under three miles in 25 minutes. Not bad. Stinky, but not bad at all. And I beat the MoH home.

A good way to cruise into the month of November, don’t you think?

And NaBloPoMoHo-Ho-Ho is around the corner. Blogging every day. Um, like this isn’t something I do already? I’m going to one up it, cut the length of these posts, and work on my food blog since I usually only complete two a week there. Is that cheating?

You need to sign up for NaBloMo. Come on. Click on those pink lips up there and join in. I only have two friends and the more the merrier. It will be fun. Except I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to handle the week off we have around here before Thanksgiving. Hmmm…

I’ll think about it later.

Gotta go. I’m off to a friends to cook. Not for me. For her. She’s expecting and we’re cooking and freezing dinners so she and her huzbink can take it easy after she delivers. They need to. She was having difficulty conceiving. Tried everything with no success and so decided to adopt a beautiful baby boy this past June. And guess what? Yep. She’s due in December. She’s been off her feet for some time now, and so is in the stretch. Life’s funny, isn’t it?

And if this post wasn’t the biggest load of unfocused blathering, I don’t know what is.

Do I Look Good in This?

This morning, I could hear the MoH’s voice coming from the closet, but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. I think it’s a passive form of control, actually, expecting the one you most love in life, the soul who makes your sun rise and set each day to get up, come to you and inquire gently, “What was that you were saying dear?” But I don’t, because I know how this works.

He soon walked out of the closet and stopped to look at himself in the mirrors that are on the closet doors. I noticed the black, corduroy baseball hat on his head before he returned to the closet. “So brown, black, and grey are neutrals, right?” he called out, returning quickly with yet another baseball hat perched on his head and stopped again in front of the mirrors. It was a dark Navy blue with a Yankees logo on the front. I was surprised it was even on his head and couldn’t remember where he got it.

“Yes,” I confirm, remembering that he and I had watched What Not to Wear last night before heading up to bed, and that this is exactly what Stacy and Clinton were trying to teach that Philosophy doctoral candidate who had absolutely no clue about clothes. “Tan, beige, and khaki colors, too,” I continued as he headed back into the closet, evidently not liking the second hat either. He emerged with a third, black hat that kept him standing and appraising longer than the two previous choices. It was an SDSU hat sporting the fierce face of Monty Montezuma, the Aztec’s old mascot. “What are you doing?” I asked him, watching him begin to smile because I’d found him out.

“Well, I don’t like this one because it’s pointy on top,” he said, raising his arm and extending his index finger to point directly down toward the offending crown of the cap. He was right.

“It makes you look like a poindexter,” I said, because that’s my job when he preens, and I’ve been doing it for years. I noticed that he’d put on his blue grey fuzzy lined sweats purchased at Old Navy years ago, and had chosen a waffle weave two-toned steel grey and black Nike long-sleeved tee, pulled over a white tee. It’s what I call his Spock shirt because it reminds me of the Star Trek uniforms from the old TV show. It was all coming together now. He was actually trying to apply his learning from the show last night. Unbelievable. I’d tell him to go without a hat, but learned long ago that the hat comes out when he feels he’s having a bad hair day. I’ve never quite been able to figure this out, because there’s just not that much hair. I’ve thought about encouraging him to shave his head, but it’s kind of lumpy here and there.

I went into the closet to look at the stacks of baseball hats with him and knew which he’d choose. It was a longer billed cap with a more shallow crown. A soft worn khaki green with a golf logo. His favorite. “It looks like you’re going out in a boat,” I told him, but I like that hat. He smiled and pushed past me to again survey the fruits of his fashion labor, and admired his reflection. I could tell he thought he looked cute, satisfied with his artfully mussed appearance.

“Yes, that one works,” I told him. It’s a neutral. It doesn’t have to be grey or blue or black. You look fine, I confirmed as he headed downstairs to leave for the office on this maybe final Saturday he’d have to work for a while.

He’s in the stretch, and this must have been his way of celebrating. Choosing just the right type of slacker wear to crunch numbers on the weekend when nobody’s around.

I should probably email Stacy and Clinton.

He never trusts what I have to say about his clothes.