Turning 50 was a strange time for me. It freed me up in a way. I was free to hula hoop, wear plastic tiaras and skip in public. My "give a hoot" factor went way down. Who cares what people think? I am 50! But turning 50 also made me realize, that the things I dreamed of doing, I better get to doing. Which is why I decided to call this blog, "But Wait, There's More!" I have more I want to say and so much more I want to do. I better get to skipping!
My Valentine and I have been married more than 30 years now
so I thought I would write something clever like, “Our Top 10 Tips for Staying Happily
Married.” It always seems that those
list-type articles grab my attention in magazines…so why not, right?Well, I asked my husband over a yummy
Japanese lunch (hold the rice please and bring extra veggies!) to give me his
top 5 reasons why our marriage works.This was met with a blank stare that quickly turned to panic. “You are
catching me unaware,” he complained.Never
mind that the same handsome guy with the panicked look just hours before gave
me a beautiful Valentine’s Day card, in which he wrote at least 3 reasons why we
work. Tony knows how to express himself well in greeting cards. His messages
always make me cry because he writes what he would never say out loud. I
treasure those cards.
”How about just your favorite reason we work as a couple,” I
pressed on.He said, “You cannot print
Our discussion quickly turned to some light jabbing that continued
as we walked into Food Lion to buy dinner fixings—because eating lunch makes us
anticipate our next meal and we decided years ago that we stink at Valentine’s
Day so we stay home and mostly ignore it. I offered that our marriage works because I
tolerate his hats. My man loves his baseball caps, derby hats, Stetsons,
beanies—you get the idea.He countered
with, “Our marriage works because I tolerate your rhythmic breathing when you
sleep.”Tony is nice enough to lie to me
and claim that while I do NOT snore, I often breathe rhythmically and sometimes
Goofing around at our lake house.
As I am typing this, I realize that the reasons we work are
all right here. We work as a couple because
we enjoy each other. Tony is my best friend and favorite port in any storm. We
laugh together—sometimes even at each other, but always at ourselves. We adapt
well to situations. We eat Valentine’s dinner at home after many failed
attempts at Valentine’s Day dinners out (one ending at a fast food joint where we both
snapped at each other because we failed to make reservations and every place we
tried was booked and we had already burned through $50 in babysitter money
before settling for grabbing a burger). It works for us. We have also learned some expectation
management. Expectation management should be part of wedding vows.
My guy cracks me up.
We dream together. Over our Japanese lunch, we were busy
making plans and dreaming out loud. I love that.We also are getting healthy together (skip
the fried rice, please) and sharing common goals makes us work as a couple. Cheering for each other when our interests are
different is how we roll too. Tony has run marathons and I have run along
taking photos, ringing a cow bell and holding up a sign. I am proud of his accomplishments.
He will be the first one to read this blog and encourage me to write more.
We do tolerate the things we don’t love about each other. I
try to ignore those hats and I have even grown to love his beard. He puts up
with my snoring (I mean, rhythmic breathing) and all the curbside treasures I
drag almost weekly into our home.
And then there are the reasons that cannot be printed…Happy Valentine’s Day!
But Wait!! There's More...
I want to
thank my Valentine for braving the cold temperatures to go outside and get some
much needed repairs done. Tony and John Stenz (our awesome neighbor and
favorite party animal) fixed some erosion problems on the side of our house,
which included digging a very long trench in our frozen yard. That says
"love" to me.J
After more than two full
days of sweaty work and a broken fitness record, I realize I just lived through
what I affectionately call a “Give a Mouse a Cookie” moment.
You know the children’s book by Laura Numeroff with the playful, circular pattern where a boy gives a
cookie to a mouse. Then the mouse asks for a glass of milk and then a straw (to
drink the milk), a mirror (to avoid a milk mustache), nail scissors (to trim
his hair in the mirror), and a broom (to sweep up his hair trimmings). Next he wants to take a nap, to have a story
read to him, to draw a picture, and to hang the drawing on the refrigerator.
Looking at the refrigerator makes him thirsty, so the mouse asks for a glass of
milk and then—you guessed it —a cookie!
So back to Goodwill where I bought my “cookie” that
started my sweaty couple days and broke a personal fitness record. I love to
pop into Goodwill when I am at our lake house. I go to look for items I might
repurpose for my antiques booth, but I often find treasures to keep. Two weeks
ago, I found a full-sized foosball table. We have wanted one, but didn’t want to
spend the $200+ for one. So a $34 foosball table was too hard to pass up.
Problem was, the Goodwill folks loaded the foosball table into our 15-year-old
minivan for me, but there was no way I could unload it myself at the
house.Also there was the issue of space—price
wasn’t the only reason we hadn’t purchased a foosball table. We had absolutely
nowhere to even temporarily store the table…unless…
And here comes the “glass of milk” part of my story. I
hired a couple of nice local firemen to come move “a few things” and unload the
foosball table for me. I recently acquired a free trundle daybed from a sweet
cove neighbor, but it was clogging our garage. So I spent several hours—logging
enough steps to break my Fitbit fitness record!—clearing our two downstairs
basement guestrooms of more scrapbooks than anyone could possibly ever fill
(even with the tremendous amount of photos I take!).
So here goes my circular story…I bought a foosball table
so I had to hire two guys to move our treadmill from my crowded “scrapbook”
room to what was the guestroom downstairs (no small feat!). They then moved a
full-sized bed to what was the scrapbook room. They also moved two pieces of
furniture that stored scrapbook supplies to two hall storage closets (which
necessitated me cleaning and clearing those two closets). Then they moved the
daybed from the garage to the room with the treadmill.That way we gained two fully operational
basement guestrooms and more importantly (circle ends here!) a space in the
garage for a $34 foosball table!Crazy?Absolutely, but in “Judy”
logic it all made complete sense.
But wait, there’s more…
The bonus? I donated two vanloads of stuff to Goodwill,
created more livable space, filled our trashcan and exercised like crazy. On
Friday, I walked 28,988 steps, 60 floors (mostly lugging scrapbook supplies to
different floors of the house!) and walked the equivalent of 13.22 miles in my
house! On Thursday, I logged 16,969 steps, 35 floors and 7.74 miles and I didn’t
get started until 8 PM.I also only
logged four hours of sleep between Thursday and Friday! Then Saturday I logged
18,797 steps, 37 floors and 8.57 miles putting things away!
So all in all, I would say that was a $34 well spent.
Now I need to clear a spot for the foosball table in the
house…wish me luck!
'Tis the season...should I still mail them or recycle them? Yup, I still
have most of our Christmas cards taunting me from my closet and my to-do list.I am the queen of good
intentions. I buy graduation cards for all my friends’ children, my nieces and
nephews…and often don’t mail them. My nephew just received his graduation card
from us with his birthday card and Christmas card—several months late. I really
mean well. It’s my follow-through that stinks. As I rang in the New Year, I
vowed to address this flaw of mine (along with my previously admitted to
procrastination). But that pledge was for 2015 forward, what do I do about last
year’s Christmas/ Hanukkah cards? I should have learned my
lesson years ago. After buying mother’s day cards for all the mamas in our
family, I would have our kids sign the cards (not easy for toddlers) and then forget
to mail them. How ridiculous is that?
When I would call my mom to
wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, it seemed most years I was making excuses about
her MIA card. I would even explain that we all had signed her card, which
somehow was supposed to make it better. My mom would laugh and shrug it off
like my other quirky traits, but I know it hurt her. I always thought I would
mail a whole pile of the cards to her…someday.As too often happens when I procrastinate, “someday” never comes.
So mom has been gone two
years now and one might think the regret would make me change my ways. Yet, I stare
at this stack of Christmas photo cards and the requisite Christmas letter that
was supposed to accompany each photo and wonder what to do. We enjoyed the many
Christmas messages and photos we received from friends and family. When it quickly became apparent that I was in
jeopardy of not sending out our Christmas cards, I switched my strategy to just
answering cards this year. Problem is, I answered some of the cards when they
first arrived and then got busy, fell behind and then the cards kept coming and
the piles got mixed together and now I am unsure which cards I have already answered.
Which brings me to another
question: is it worse to get a Christmas card in February, not get one at all
or (gasp!) get two from the same deranged person—after all, who mails Christmas
cards in February?
If you get one of my “Valentine’s,”
please keep it our little secret. If you get a second card from us, just think
of it as an extra dose of love (with just a cup of crazy added!). Seasons Greetings!
But wait, there’s more…
When I started this blog
last week, my goal was to write Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.This is Monday’s blog written on Tuesday evening.Some habits do die hard. I am starting to think
a better title would have been “Better Late than Never”—although that is up for