Bill pointed out that “LBR” doesn’t have to be an insult.  It could also stand for “Legs, Breasts, Rump” and used to describe your lady.

    “Dude, my wife is smokin’ hot!  When she comes in the room, she brings the LBR.”

  • Exposed (and recipes)

    Finn says he’s scarred for life, but I think he should be thrilled his parents crave each other. Of course, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

    I ordered a fancy new lens for my camera, and Thursday I was met with the disappointing sight of a slip stating that FedEx had come by and didn’t leave my package because a signature was required. The note was tragically unclear whether simply signing the slip and going about my business would be permissible. Consequently, I lurked by the door all day Friday, as much as I was able, and left pleading notes on the front door when I had to venture out (“Dashed to get kids from school– Dying for package– back in eight minutes– PLEASE accept signed form!! Luv ya!!”).

    After school I trashed Finn’s plans. He was supposed to be chilling with the guys at a friend’s house, but I forced him to stay at home for an hour to sign the FedEx form while I drove his brothers to their respective social engagements. I also had to stop by Publix, which is taking a larger percentage of our pay each week, due to the boys’ increased appetites and the very noticeable increase in the cost of food. (Four bucks for an eight ounce bag of dried cheese tortellini? Dear Lord!)

    Meanwhile, Bill and I were in constant communication by phone. It was Friday afternoon, the weather was glorious, and I needed him to pick up Drew and Porter from their outings and hurry home so we could celebrate spring with gin and tonics on the deck.

    Hurry home he did. In fact, he came home before he picked up the duo, so he could go for a quick run. As he walked in the door I was cutting lime garnishes.

    “Yippee! You’re here!” I squealed when I heard him open the door.

    “You seem happy to see me,” he said. “You sound like a lady who wants to make sweet love to her husband.”

    While that was true, we were both distracted by the groan that immediately came from the den. Finn was putting on his shoes to go out, and heard every word of our saucy exchange. Bill’s face grew red and we peered in the den, where Finn was looking at us with an even redder face.

    “I am emotionally scarred for life,” he said. “I can’t believe you would talk like that with me in here.”

    Bill just stood there shaking his head. “I thought he was going to be gone all afternoon,” he mumbled.

    “You should be thrilled that you have parents who love to love each other,” I said.

    “Enough! Stop with the love talk!” Finn held up his arms as if we were throwing darts at him and ran for the door.

    Eeww. Spare me the gooey talk.


    The reason I was purchasing the pasta was to make this glorious dish, which is a family favorite. I double it, which feeds everyone and leaves enough leftover for a couple of lunches. Unless I have beautiful tomatoes, I use a can of diced tomatoes, drained, per recipe. I always use fresh corn, however.

    Try the Summer Garden Tortelloni— you’ll be glad you did. Thanks to Aunt Lulu, who sent us this recipe a while back.


    Earlier I promised to publish a recipe for Olive Tarts, an appetizer my mom made in the 1970’s for all her parties. I remembered it as being the yummiest thing ever, but when I tested the recipe yesterday, it wasn’t as good as my memory of it.

    This recipe definitely needs some improvement before it’s fit to serve. Apparently my parents had drunk so many Mai-Tais by the time they ate these that they didn’t notice how greasy they were. I’d definitely consider decreasing the butter before making these again.

    After a few drinks, these will be delicious

    The second problem was that instead of buying regular pimiento-stuffed green olives, I saw some that were called “Queen Size” and reasoned that they’d be perfect inside the puffy cheese coating. Boy, was I wrong. The larger olives were slightly hard and so huge that they completely overpowered the cheese taste.

    Beware the big ass olives

    So here’s the recipe, and you can have a go at it if you like. Use small olives and less butter to start. If you create a masterpiece let me know. (The reference to “sharp cheese” means Cheddar, and a dash of Tabasco won’t hurt these either.)


    Three years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Baseball Diaries: Snack Patrol 

    Stay tuned – the snack madness continues, and still fires me up!

  • What Is Love, Anyway?

    I overheard a woman at Jazzercise saying that her husband can’t stand Valentine’s Day. He also hates to say “I love you.”

    His theory is that she ought to know he loves her– they’re married, right?

    Well, that isn’t necessarily so. I know plenty of men who have cheated on their wives or abused them, physically or verbally. Marriage doesn’t always equal love.

    That’s probably not this man’s situation. Perhaps he grew up in a family that didn’t show much affection, and it’s hard for him to bare his soul and say something gooey. Maybe they do care desperately for each other but just forget to say so.

    If there’s anything Bill and I have learned over the last decade, it’s the importance of letting people know you care, out loud and often. When I visited my mom in the ICU after her ovarian cancer surgery, she was breathing with the aid of an oxygen mask and her lips were chapped. I found some Vaseline and put it on her lips and then left the tube on her bedside table so the nurse could reapply it later and keep her comfortable.

    “Love you,” I told her as I left. “I’ll be back tomorrow.”

    I returned, and she died shortly after I arrived.

    When I think back to her final days, I’m so thankful for those last words I can hardly stand it. Thank God I have that memory to cling to.

    You don’t have to say “I love you.” You you can show it, too.

    Bill and I do both. We say “I love you” plenty often. We don’t mind being gooey, or googly eyed, or touchy-feely.

    But Bill goes further than simply telling me how he feels. He buys all the boys’ athletic equipment, including shoes, because he knows the choices and prices make me dizzy. He compliments my cooking and my ass. He brings me coffee in bed on the mornings he’s not exercising, and he tries to remember to cut his toenails in the bathroom instead of in the bed.

    I thank Bill for doing the little things, like taking out the trash. When I see a recipe containing blue cheese, port or mushrooms, I cook it, because those are some of his favorite ingredients. I try to look him in the eyes and give him a smooch when he comes home from work, even if I’m juggling three pans on the stove, so he feels properly greeted.

    These aren’t big gestures, but I believe they’re important. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and if that happens I want to die knowing that Bill was never in doubt about my feelings for him.

    (As I was writing this column, I asked Bill to help me brainstorm ways we show our love other than saying “I love you.” He pondered the issue while buying groceries and cooking dinner so that I could get some writing done. Later we huddled up and exchanged notes. The exercise left us laughing, but feeling even more like a team. It turns out I’m much like a golden retriever, always supportive and fiercely loyal. If you mess with my husband, you’ve messed with me, and it’s going to take a while to get back in my good graces.

    You might want to try the exercise with someone– it’s bound to brighten your day.)

    What do you and your spouse/kids/partner/friends do to show you care? How important is it to you that someone says “I love you?”

    Listen to Howard Jones ask what love is. Which is cooler- the classic 80’s hair or his magic hands?

    Today’s was a really gooey post! Read this for some crankiness:Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Return of the Babysitter Stealer


    Also welcome: tips on WordPress + Youtube.  They don’t play together well.  I’ve lost my touch on making them compatible, and the Extreme Video plugin is giving me a fatal error.  Oh no!

  • The Sex Talk

    It was time to give Drew the sex talk.  If you’ve been reading, you’ll remember that he’s been showing signs of readiness.  He snickers whenever he hears the word “sex,” which is often in today’s society.  He giggled when he saw that his hospital wristband contained the words “age/sex” as part of its identifying information.

    We drained the pond at the Auburn house last week, and it’s been dredged and treated with chemicals to kill the existing fish so it can be restocked.  All three boys were wading through gloppy red mud, filling dead carp with BB holes, when Drew began taunting Finn.


    “Porter and I came out of Mommy’s tummy, but you came out of her lady parts!” he yelled, then laughed so hard a snot bubble came out his nose, according to Finn, who reported the incident to me immediately after they returned to the house.

    For Finn, the final straw came that night when the boys were upstairs getting ready for bed and Drew asked Finn, “Have you ever had sex?” with a mischievous gleam in his eye.

    “Sex means if you’re a girl or a boy,” Porter said with a mouthful of toothpaste fuzz, and for once Finn was glad to have Porter’s input.

    “Seriously, Mom, I think you’ve got to tell him something,” Finn told me.  “What if he starts asking my friends if they’re having sex?”

    So the next morning, I called Drew in from outside where he’d been assiduously destroying cinder blocks with a hammer just because they were there.

    “Hey honey, do you know what ‘sex’ means?” I asked.

    “Not really.”

    “Well, it means that a mom and a dad get naked in bed and kiss and make googly eyes to make a baby,” I said, deciding that premarital and recreational sex were off the table for the third-grade crowd.  So was sex on the pool table, the living room floor or in the handicapped bathroom.

    Drew’s pale face grew red.

    “Do you know how moms and dads make babies?” I asked.


    “Do you want to know?”

    “Not really.”

    Damn.  I had polished up my speech and practiced my coital finger movements, but I was being asked not to perform.  I was a bit disappointed.

    “Okay, but when you decide you want to know, don’t ask Finn or friends at school.  It’s important that you ask me or Daddy and we’ll tell you exactly how babies are made, because we’re really good at it.”

    “Yes, ma’am.”

    “And don’t go around asking Finn and other people if they’ve had sex, because what you’re asking them is ‘Have you gotten married and gotten naked in bed with your wife to make a baby?'”

    “I thought it was just a joke,” Drew said.

    “Sex is no joke, but it’s easy to get mixed-up about.  Is there anything else you want to ask me about?”

    “No, ma’am.”

    “Then head back outside.”

    He did, and I exhaled.  I hadn’t noticed until them how nervous I was. I’m guessing it won’t be the last time.


    Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom (proof that IT NEVER STOPS): Can I Ask You A Question About Sex?