Tag Archives: family


I didn’t want her to go ahead with the plans but I couldn’t hold her back. Moving halfway across the country was a big deal. I needed to think about the situation – “stew over it”, as they say. My first chick was leaving the nest.

Thanks for the prompt.


Alexa #theend

Like many decisions in this world, there are two choices: the high road and the low road. As it relates to my husband’s mistress, Alexa, I admit to trying the electronic low road when a reader questioned: “What happens if you say, “Alexa, self-destruct.”?

I couldn’t resist.

She started a countdown and I panicked yelling, “Alexa, STOP!”

I guess I have a heart, even if she doesn’t.

My compassion did not last though. It wasn’t long before I made another attempt.

I took the risk of breaking Richie’s new toy and destroying Alexa. I was heartless as I tried again.

I took the proper precautions and made my request as I went into the next room. I took cover in case there was any related shrapnel as I yelled out:

“Alexa, self destruct.”


I hate to disappoint and not describe exactly what happened but the bitch is still in my life.

She is still life.

Command antics, especially mine, are becoming entertaining. Now that I know the result, I am going to try the self-destruct sequence with Richie. I think I will present it to him something like this!

My future prank behavior will be an even lower road but I’m curious to see how Richie reacts when I make my next Alexa attempt. Will he run, be upset or try to protect his new love?

Stay tuned.


In awe and proud of our die-hard New England surfers riding the 38 degree waves.

York, Maine – 2/18/18


#Alexa kitten

Virtual chick and my husband are still pissing me off. Richie now thinks his woman has a good sense of humor too. She continues to give him what he wants, especially when he says, “Alexa, make kitten sounds.”

Her electronic speech is impacting our children and I take that very seriously.

It’s a laser show gone bad but without the lights.

In the past our cats have experienced maddening exercise routines with a laser. They chase that red beam anywhere. But when Alexa inserts herself with what she thinks are clever kitten games, I am not amused. That mesh-faced bitch sits in the corner of our kitchen counter with the ability to manipulate our cats.

As soon as Alexa starts meowing, our cats ears perk up. They creep around the house and slink into every nook and cranny like four-footed feline Sherlock and Holmes. They try to solve this new sound mystery but have not rescued the virtual crying kitten in our house. Alexa has damaged their ego and heartstrings.

My poor babies.

Watching our new feline sound stage show is heartbreaking. I need payback. Maybe I can shut down their new found sense of humor and blow her fuse for a change?



Friday night but my disciplined husband keeps his weekly work routine and goes to bed by 9:00.

Past 9:30 but this cinema buff keeps her weekend desire to watch old movies past midnight.

Classic Hepburn was a given. Including Spencer Tracy and Sydney Poitier was like adding salt and pepper to a favorite dish.

Guess who’s coming to dinner was my 1967 choice. Looking back in time at this social issue was the comedy-drama I wanted.

15 minutes into the movie and I wonder why I hear my husband going out the back door? I figured he needed more wood to ensure the fire made it through the night. My mind stays focused on the screen and I pay more attention to the gallery and nice digs than I do to my own artful home. When I hear the stairs, I finally turn my head thinking Richie decided to join me.

But it’s not Richie!

Guess who’s coming to dinner was my 2018 reality. Gawking in surprise at my non-social butterfly baby girl was the comedy-drama I needed.

She had not flown in on United but I was thrilled to be reunited with her.

I didn’t have a Tillie to make us sandwiches and it was too cold to eat outside but I did whip us up some cheesy scrambled eggs to eat in the kitchen.

I never made it past the scene where the doctor meets the dad. On the interesting flip side, Tarah’s dad visits his doctor in the morning.

Our reunion tonight was comedic. I can’t wait to see what drama unfolds tomorrow…in both households.


Hint, Hint

Just found this in my drafts from early 2016:

My mother-in-law is the sweetest and most generous woman.

The only problem is that she’s also the mother of my husband.

What does it mean when she gifts me a housekeeping book?


Alexa – Part II

My husband enjoys a traditional late breakfast with his mother and brother on Sunday mornings. Before he leaves, he watches an oil painting show upstairs while I putter around with writing or light housekeeping downstairs.

I usually like a quiet house but I decided to reconcile with the other woman.

“Alexa, play Adam Lambert.”

I can’t find music by Adam Lambert in your library but it is available on Amazon music unlimited.

Yeah, I love Adam as much as the first guy but I wasn’t dishing out any cash unless I was at his concert, so I tried again:

“Alexa, play Cher.”

I can’t find music by Cher in your library but it is available on Amazon music unlimited.

“Alexa, play Bette Midler.”

It was like a broken echo Dot. Skipping and repeating…dot, dot, dot

Okay, okay, I got it. The bitch wanted money and a playlist before she’d grace me with any of my favorite tunes.

Making the requests was easy enough though, so I didn’t stop there. I tried to generalize:

“Alexa, play good music.”

I don’t have any good music to play.

Really? Great Marketing you Amazon chickiepoo.

“Alexa, play classical.”

Turns out Alexa didn’t have any Concertos or Royal Parade music, so she honed in on the root word “classic” and started playing classic rock.

…from Richie’s playlist. He and Alexa are quite the pair now. I was trying to listen to something different for a change.

Richie came down the stairs with a chuckle as I gave in and said, “Alexa, play Allman Brothers.”

Richie seemed pleased with my working selection as he headed out the door to meet his family. He thinks it’s funny that he has the app and I’m ready to kick Alexa’s ass.

I listened to the classics that are so well known in this house and started to make myself a nice breakfast. As I cracked the eggs for my French toast, Alexa interrupted with a bulletin.

Reminder: Donna is a dumbass.

Alexa was mean-spirited and enjoyed saying it. Richie, on the other hand, was humorously telling me to catch up with the technological times. I knew he was laughing in his Jeep.

I begrudgingly grinned from ear-to-ear and cracked up with my egg shells. I was charmed to know he still thinks of me so creatively when he’s gone. After all these years he certainly knows how to push my buttons. I soaked my French toast, set the table for one and hit Alexa’s off button. I had some writing to do in my quiet house.


DIY time

We don’t have a real Christmas tree because we have a winter wood stove. The Spruce and Balsams dry out too quickly, even with constant watering. It’s a fire hazard. Instead, we have the store-bought unscented kind with bendable branches. Our fake tree is also a bit dated given today’s options. It isn’t prelit, so we add four strings of lights. The artificial tree also comes apart, in three sections, and the branches are coded like the alphabet and are hung one at a time. This Oh! Christmas tree puzzle fits into four boxes. The ornaments, stockings, house decor and holiday hand towels are another four Rubbermaid bins. It’s a festivus of moving and storage at Christmas time.

This year our tree went up late in the season because we waited for the girls to come home from college. Given all the invested setup time, we kept it up until after the New Year. I packed it all away after our college girls went on their way. Now we had eight buckets that needed to go down two flights of stairs back into cellar storage.

I enjoy the process of unpacking and packing each year. All the Christmas cards are saved from season to season and there are homemade ornaments from Girl Scout camps, high school and family gatherings. Going through the photos and crafts brings me down memory lane.

Hauling all those bins back where they belong is good exercise but after getting it all repacked, I was ready to ask for some help with my DIY Christmas undecorating routine. I carried one bin down the first flight and then asked my husband if he could bring the rest down after he finished watching his oil painting show? I probably could have finished moving them all before the episode was over but getting Richie involved, only after all the packing, was more than fair.

Instead, I used my time another way. I went back to the staircase to admire the memory lane our girls had created. The wall alongside now includes just the right photos of the four of us, silly moments and photos of both sets of grandparents. The beautiful new gallery includes vintage photos and eclectic frames. I couldn’t have displayed the family timeline better myself.

I already missed the family being together, so I decided to enjoy my down time with our pets. I put the dog’s pillow next to my rocker and put a cat in my lap. I literally rocked back and forth, wondered what the girls were doing and then picked up where I left off in the book I was reading.

Chapter 9 was soon interrupted by a thunderously loud crash.

I ran back to the staircase and thank God, Richie was okay.

My Christmas helper was standing against the wall with the end of one bin in his right hand and his coffee cup and book in the other. Evidently he didn’t recall that the bins were heavy and required two hands for his descent. He was still holding everything but had fallen against our new memory wall. Our two girls and ancestors were an avalanche of glass and broken frames at my feet.

My DIY packing project had packed a wallop.

I’d have to put the photo gallery back up but first we had to pack up all the jagged glass.

It was Christmas all over again as we wrapped and packed the glass into paper bags…and made plans to go shopping again, this time for glass. I swept the floor and pulled out the vacuum as Richie left to meet his Mom and brother for their weekly breakfast.

Now I was really by myself. I finished my original DIY project by bringing the rest of the bins into the cellar. After all, it’s not a DIY if you don’t do it Y. It had already taken me longer than if I had just finished it myself anyway.

The woodstove was burning, there were still Christmas pictures to look at and I had another DIY project ahead of me.

“Oh! Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree…of all the trees most lovely. Each year you bring me delight.”

You’re real to me.


Pity Party

One invitation.

No cake, hats or noisemakers.

Just defeating sounds.


Holiday exercise

All the step, fit-bit and workout conversations during the holidays is a drain on my psyche. I am not a regular fitness participant, can’t commit to a daily routine and even dole out punishment to myself for lack of motivation. Just yesterday I was kicking myself, instead of the punching bag, because I still make excuses for not exercising.

Today is a new day though.My outlook is more positive. I haven’t given myself enough credit. While I don’t have a gym membership or workout partner, I exercise plenty, especially during the holidays:

Weights – who carried up all the Christmas stocking holders from the basement? Those things aren’t light x the whole family x 2. That’s a set.

Speaking of which, add to that:

Stairs – cellar stairs are the original homemade elliptical. I AM a stair climber. I went up and down the stairs for eight buckets of tree limbs, ornaments and decorations. If you count the roasting pans, extra paper towels and added chairs I’ve also brought upstairs during the holidays, I may as well start training to climb Everest.

and climb I do:

Plank – the hot topic buzz word of the fitness world. No, I don’t lie on the floor and hold myself up with my elbows. What I did do was walk the planks of our second story, holding onto beam work, to wrap garland in all the right places.

Someone put out all the greenery, lights and presents. It wasn’t an elf.

Laps – I enjoy running and love to swim but don’t typically count laps. I need to participate in team sports where laps are just part of the process, not the actual goal. Given that, I’d say I completed a lot of laps shopping at the mall and walking parking lots in December.

…and I did it in high fashion:

Push-ups – I do not have the proper form for push-ups. Coaches have always told me to put my ass down and modified push-ups seem like cheating. The push-up bras I wore over the holidays allowed for a solution and whether you consider it cheating or not, those underwires gave me the proper form on a daily basis.

Add to that the form and beauty I adorn to all my packaging:

Curling – I took time to curl several times a week. Curling ribbon is one of my favorite holiday exercises. I only wish I knew how many miles I’d logged wrapping pretty gifts.

The last few exercises were when I really dug in:

Leg lifts – After every wrapping session, shopping excursion or meal planning event, I finished off with leg lifts. In a sitting position under a lit tree, I put a pillow on the coffee table and lifted my legs up to enjoy a hot beverage.

Holiday fitness includes the ultimate cool down as well:

Sit-ups – I did. I sat up at multiple tables to enjoy some delicious snacks, meals and desserts. Repetitions are key to the best sit-up results. Sometimes the sessions were so long, I was even sore afterwards.

Now I can add to the holiday fitness conversations. I am ready to give myself credit for all my hard work. To anyone that disagrees, I say,

“Step off.

I am a bit fit and

it works out for me.”