Category Archives: Humor

Bling Discrimination


I do not have an iPhone. Or a Droid. Or a Galaxy.

I am probably one of the ten people left in this country who does not have a smart phone of any kind.

I call people, text like a fiend, and am delighted to use the “Notepad” feature (which I only discovered after having the phone for a year and a half). But I remain tragically unhip with my little Samsung Brightside.

A few months ago, I needed a new case for my phone.

Everyone who knows me knows that I have a deep love and attraction to all things sparkly. I went to the mall to get my new case, anticipating a stylish new glittering case for my phone.

It was not to be.

My husband  and I visited the first kiosk and I could not believe the paltry selection: black, black, and oh yeah…black! Next!

I approached the salesman at the next one with great anticipation. I was practically blinded by the sparkles coming from his little booth.

“Can you show me your phone cases for the Samsung Brightside?” I asked cheerfully.

“Wow,” he said.

I didn’t know what to make of that, but my best guess is that he was thinking, “What loser still has a Samsung Brightside?”

He rooted around and finally pointed to a pitiful selection of choices. All were boring. No sparkles to be seen anywhere.

I pointed to the lovely iPhone covers, prominently displayed in all their sparkly glory on the top shelf under a bright light.

“Do you have any cases for my phone that sparkle?” I asked, trying to hold my chin up.

He literally burst out laughing.

“Uh…no,” he said, his voice taking on a kindly tone when he saw my disappointment. “You will not find any sparkly cases for your phone.”

I resigned myself to my fate, swallowed my disappointment, and selected a purple case.

It was….kind of pretty.

Fast forward a few months to this week when I dropped my phone and the front half of the phone cover broke.

Based on my last experience, I walked into the mall feeling very self-conscious about my quest.

The first store I tried was AT & T.

“Can you please show me the cases for a Samsung Brightside?”

Total silence.

Confused look.

Then this, “Um…can you please show me your phone? I can’t even remember what those even look like.”

Sigh.

I handed over my phone and he looked at it like it was a charming relic from another era.

He handed it back to me with a weak smile and said quietly, “I think we might have something.”

After searching fruitlessly for a minute, he finally came across the one cover that would fit. And it was black.

With all the dignity I could muster, I thanked him and told him I would look elsewhere.

I approached a kiosk, asked for a case for my sad little phone and waited for the obligatory look of pity. I had long  given up on a sparkly case. At this point, I would settle for fairly colorful.

Instead, the salesman smiled and said, “Certainly!”

Of course, there were none displayed. They were in a drawer…deep down at the very bottom of the door. But they were there and there were a ton of them!

I looked over my choices. There were a ton but they were all fairly hideous.

Why must those who do not have a smart phone have to be punished by not having sparkly cases available to them? Our phones are already lame. Can we not at least dress up the lame a little? It is most unfair.

I cut my losses, chose a hot pink case, and called it day.

When I do get an iPhone, I intend to get a case so sparkly that you can see it from space! 🙂

4 Comments

Filed under Humor

Even THIS???


“Guess what?” My son greeted me.

“What?”

“Looks like the septic tank is about to overflow.”

“WHAT???”

This is an accurate visual representation of my face in reaction to those words.

Of all my fears, this one ranks right up there near the top. Just seeing those commercials where they show a disgusting bathroom awash in septic overflow causes me to hyperventilate. I am only slightly mollified by the tidy looking man in a spotless white hat with a big smile who says he is there to help and will completely remove the mess (for a tremendous fee, of course).

Thankfully, all the septic businesses around this area boldly herald from all their trucks and advertisements that they provide 24 hour emergency service. Whew!

Until my husband called three of said companies at 8:oo in the evening…and every single one of them said they could not come out until the next day.

Say WHAT?!

I am the absolute worst person at math that I know.  But even I know that 8 p.m. falls within a 24 hour period.

Needless to say, my sleep last night was filled with nightmares of apocalyptic proportions.

Lately, I have moved in and am living in Colossians 3 in the Bible. It is a soaring, stunning, beautiful,  practical,challenging portion of Scripture and I love it. Jesus has been using it to do major surgery on my heart that is too often cold, selfish, and unloving. Little by little, day by day, He is  transforming me and I am awestruck  by His tender mercy and love toward one so stubborn. Everyday I realize afresh that the only reason there is anything lovely in me at all is because Loveliness Himself has miraculously and delightfully chosen to make Himself at home in my heart.

One verse in particular stood out to me this morning as I very anxiously awaited the arrival of the septic man. (Just as I write these words, he has arrived! I had to stop myself from running outside and giving him a massive hug of gratitude).

This was the verse: Clothe yourselves therefore as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives) who are purified and holy and well-beloved by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, and patience (which is tireless, long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes with good temper.). —Col. 3:12, Amplified

It was that last line that got me.

Whatever comes? With good temper?

Even the threat of imminent septic tank destruction?!

Yes. Even that.

“Good temper” and “Susan” do not often go together.

However, “Susan” and “Fiery temper” do.

You see, to live the way Colossians 3 instructs us to do is totally impossible. It is counter-intuitive to our fallen human nature. But it is utterly and completely the nature of Jesus.

Colossians 3 is a sweeping, larger-than-life, joyous invitation to enter into and live your life in the matchless and perfect strength of the risen Christ—which is infinitely better than trying to navigate this tough life on our own measly and ultimately ineffective might

Jesus offers us a much better way: to submit our fragile natures to His perfect heart and exchange our weakness for His limitless, boundless power.

I had to smile as I ran my fingers over the smooth page of Scripture.  Jesus’ Word is so timely, so relevant. He is the Lord of all…not just the big stuff. He cares about everything we are facing.

He is attuned to all our fears, not just the big ones. And He willingly meets us there.

He never chides us for being afraid, for being overwhelmed, for being scared, for being human. He knows that we are dust, that we are small and weak despite all our bluster.

When we call on Him, He is always there to comfort, to encourage, to strengthen, to empower.

And because of this truth, I was indeed able to face this septic system emergency with good temper.

Some in my family consider that a miracle.

2 Comments

Filed under Devotions, Humor

Adventures in Cooking


Photo credit: Tumblr

It all started innocently enough.

I saw the recipe online and thought it looked both intriguing and delicious.

That was my first clue to cease and desist.

As I have shared many times, the kitchen is not my friend.  Nothing about me in the kitchen is intriguing. I cannot cook to save my life. Yet, in moments of utter insanity and optimism, I throw caution to the wind and dive right in, believing that this time, things will be different!

Upon hearing that I was planning to make something called “Vegan Spinach Lasagna” my husband announced that he was headed down to the finished basement to watch the movie “Apocalypse Now.”

An apt description of what was about to happen.

Since the recipe was online, I had my laptop sitting on the kitchen counter. Before beginning, I decided to declare my culinary intentions on my Facebook status. My cousin Sarah, who is a lifelong vegetarian immediately replied: “You are MUCH braver than I am.”

Uh-oh.

Nevertheless, I plunged right in. My mom happened to be sitting in the sunroom, which is open to the kitchen. She was supposedly reading her Kindle, but I now think that she was just treating herself to a front row seat to the spectacle that was about to unfold.

Since the recipe is vegan, one obviously cannot use a container of ricotta cheese for the lasagna. Instead, I was to place firm tofu, raw cashews, lemon juice, garlic,spinach, and half a cup of nutritional yeast (among other things) into a food processor. I was assured that once finished, it would be a suitable (and tasty!) imitation of ricotta cheese.

Except that it was green and non-dairy.

Since I do not own a Cuisinart, I surmised that a blender would do just as well.

I dumped everything inside while trying to ignore the look of increasing alarm and revulsion on the face of my mother. (Seeing the huge block of tofu nearly did her in).  I placed the lid on all that nutritional goodness and looked for the button labeled “blend” on my blender, since the recipe clearly stated that I was to blend the ingredients.

No such thing. (Strange, since it is called a blender).

My options were: stir, chop, mix. pulse, puree, liquefy.

What to do?

I asked my mother for help. She said that I really should have used a food processor instead of a blender.

For the record, let me state that this was not helpful advice since I already had a small fortune in ingredients loaded into my blender.

She suggested the “chop” option, since I was dealing with raw cashews. So, I pressed the button.

The machine immediately made an impressive whirring sound…and then stopped. Utter silence.

I tried again. Same thing. Nothing was moving.

Then I heard a rather strange sound. My mother had positioned her Kindle in front of her face and her shoulders were shaking.

She was laughing!

“I’m sorry!” She gasped, in response to my (rightful) offense.

Then she proceeded to collapse into more giggles.

Clearly, I was on my own.

I re-read the recipe, which informed me that if the mixture was too thick, I needed to add more vegetable broth. I was happy to hear this because the only vegetable broth I could find at my local grocery store was the organic brand that sold for a whopping $3.99. Imagine my irritation when I got home and realized I only needed two tablespoons for this recipe! So I liberally poured the vegetable broth into the blender and it worked its magic by causing the blades to happily spin.

I poured the green “ricotta” into a bowl and declared it to be delicious after a quick taste. (I will admit that this was more a declaration of desperate hope than actual fact). I offered it to my mother, whose expression suggested that a bowl full of nails would be preferrable. She  politely declined and disappeared behind her Kindle.

Undeterred, I plunged ahead.

I carefully followed the recipe, layered my lasagna, covered it with tin foil, and placed it into the oven to bake.

My daughter wandered into the kitchen halfway through the baking process. Immediately, she wrinkled her nose and said, “What is that awful smell? Did something die?”

Not a good sign.

For the last 15 minutes, I was to remove the tin foil and add the vegan mozzarella cheese.

If you have never purchased fake cheese, it is not cheap. $5.99 will buy you eight ounces of a substance that is “dairy, lactose, casein, gluten, soy, and cholesterol free.”

(Let me emphatically add that it is also TASTE-FREE! But I digress).

In addition, big red letters on the packaging declare that it “melts and stretches!!!”

I don’t know about you, but I always look for a cheese that stretches.

I had begun this endeavor at 7:30. When I finally took the dish out of the oven, it was 9:20.

Online, the recipe looked like this:

spinachlasagna

And then there was my version:

Vegan lasagna-0008-1

It really is a wonder why the Food Network has not called to offer me my own show.

This is my mother’s reaction:

Vegan lasagna-0006-1

To her credit, she had bravely stepped up to the plate, ready to take a taste.

She just couldn’t do it. In fact, one look and she literally gagged.

She could, however, do this…

Vegan lasagna-0004-1

And this…

Vegan lasagna-0009-1

There was simply no containing her gales of laughter.

I don’t blame her.

This vegan spinach lasagna was without a doubt, the worst thing I have ever made.

And that’s really saying something. Oh, the stories my family could tell.

To prove it, I called our dog Buddy into the kitchen. He came running, tale wagging happily because he knew a treat awaited him.

I placed a small piece on the floor for him.

He gingerly approached. Sniffed.  And walked away!

This, from a dog who will happily return to his vomit and begin eating it.

After dumping the entire dish down the sink, I headed downstairs to my husband.

“How did it go?” he asked.

“It was horrible.” I replied glumly.

“Of course it was,” he said.

I have announced before that I am finished forever with cooking. I made that very same announcement last night before I went to bed.

However…I know that sometime, somewhere there exists a recipe on the world wide web that will one day call to me, promising that this time will be different! That I can finally make that one dish that will be treasured by my family for generations to come!

Our illusions die hard, don’t they?

In reality, my family will most likely join with a man named Storm Jameson, who once said of a loved one, “She did  not so much cook as assassinate food.”

Sad but true.

6 Comments

Filed under Humor

Rapping At The Post Office


As Forrest Gump famously said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

This afternoon, I found that to be true.

Earlier today, I ran into the post office, trying to dodge the raindrops and protect the package I had to mail. A young man came in right after me and we got in line behind the person who was already at the counter. He was a tall African American with an enormous diamond earring in his left ear and rings on almost every finger.

He was earnestly explaining to the postmaster that he was a rap singer and had just made a CD. His plan was to send the CD  to various record companies in hopes that he would be discovered and make it big. But first, he had to send the CD to his own address with the dated postmark for copyright protection.

As the transaction was being processed, the guy behind me said, “Hey man, why don’t you sing us one of your songs?”

To my surprise, the rapper agreed and began to perform!

Right there, in the lobby of a post office on a rainy day, three of us were treated to an impromptu concert as this gentleman rapped his heart out. The tiny size of his audience clearly didn’t matter. He performed  like  he was playing Radio City Music hall and put his whole heart into it.

It was the last thing I expected to encounter when I left home to run some errands!

Our small northern New England town is home to a little over 6200 people.  The nearest big  city is over two hours away. It is 97.91% white and the median age is 42 years. The largest population consists of people between the ages of 45-64.

Not exactly a rapper’s paradise. 🙂

We all showed our appreciation for his music and as I stepped up to the window to mail my package, the  customer behind me  said, “We’ve all got a song inside us…and everybody has a dream.”

I thought that was beautifully said…and very true.

Everyone you see has a dream.

Do you know the dreams of those closest to you?  If not, I would encourage you to find out. Their answers may surprise you.

As far as your own dreams, are you pursuing them with passion?

Do you treat obstacles as road blocks….or as stepping stones?

Are you also pursuing your dream in an unlikely place?  If so, you don’t have to be defined by your surroundings and circumstances.

Just as this rapper did this afternoon…when the opportunity arises (no matter how small)…seize the day! 🙂 

Dreams are like the paints of a great artist. Your dreams are your paints; the world is your canvas. Believing is the brush that converts your dreams into a masterpiece of reality.” –Unknown

2 Comments

Filed under Humor

Weekend Moment: I Married A Rock Star?!


A little over a year after I married Doug, we moved to the beautiful town of New Canaan, CT.

Doug was working at Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan, so we lived one hour outside of the city by train.

It is such a quaint, lovely place.

New Canaan is town of incredible wealth. Many celebrities own homes there. If you call for a taxi, a Mercedes pulls up at your door. The student parking lot at the high school is filled with BMWs, Porsches, and Jaguars.

We did not want to flaunt our wealth, so we decided to live modestly:

KIDDING!!!

The above photo is actually of the Waveny House, which used to be a private home and was bought by the town in 1967.

In reality, we were actually poor as church mice according to New Canaan standards. We lived in a two bedroom apartment within a mile of the train station and Main Street, but we loved it.

Each Saturday morning while I slept in, Doug walked into town to get me a fat-free raspberry muffin at our favorite bakery.

One morning, he was just approaching the bakery when a Jaguar pulled into a parking space next to the sidewalk. A woman immediately jumped out of the car and literally ran up to him.

The first words out of her mouth were, “I LOVE your work!”

Doug was understandably confused that she was familiar with his work as a marketing manager at Bloomingdale’s By Mail.

Undaunted by his silence and the quizzical look on his face, she continued gushing.

“I have ALL your records! I just love your music!”

As the other passengers alighted from the car, she gestured excitedly toward Doug, saying, “It’s ELTON JOHN!”

As I said, New Canaan is home to wealthy celebrities, so it is plausible that one could see someone of Elton John’s stature strolling down Main Street…but not that day, much to the woman’s disappointment.

Frankly, I do not see the resemblance:

You be the judge.

7 Comments

Filed under Humor, Weekend Moments

The Jeff Bird


In 2005, I developed a severely herniated disc in my back that  eventually required surgery. Until the problem was properly diagnosed, I was in a lot of pain that necessitated much bed rest.

My family really should have given me a bell to ring when I needed something but since they didn’t, I had no choice but to shout loudly for someone, as our bedroom was at the far end of the house.

I seemed to call for my brother Jeff (who was living with us at the time) more than anyone else, as the kids were still quite young and Doug worked long hours.

So on any given day, the name “JEFF!” rang through the house several times.

(To his credit, he was unfailingly patient and good-natured…although there was that one time I woke up and he was standing over me with a pillow, saying “It’s for the best.”) 🙂

As you might imagine, the windows in Florida are not insulated, so sound carries easily. We were also blessed with a lot of cool days that year, so we were actually able to turn the air conditioning off and open the windows from time to time.

In the fall of that year, I had recovered from my surgery and not a moment too soon. Hurricane Wilma roared through south Florida as a Category 3, leaving a wide swath of destruction. Our neighborhood had no power for nine days.

Three days after the storm, a neighbor who owned a restaurant invited everyone to a cookout on the cul-de-sac around the corner from our house. The power was still out at the restaurant as well, so he decided to cook everything rather than having it spoil.

It was a delicious feast. Wilma had left cool breezes in her wake and we enjoyed spending time with our neighbors.

In the midst of talking and laughing, we suddenly heard it:

“JEFF!”

A moment passed, then there it was again:

“JEFF!”

We looked at each other in amazement, and followed the sound…to the garage of our neighbor who was providing the feast.

There, on a stand inside his open garage, was a parrot.

And he was yelling “JEFF!” over and over again, clear as a bell! And it sounded exactly like me!!!

We could not believe it…this bird had heard me yelling for Jeff all those times and was now repeating it!

Houses are very close together in south Florida and our neighbor’s home was diagonally behind ours, so the sound between houses carried easily. Our neighbor had also mentioned that his parrot liked to sit outside by the enclosed pool.

We have no doubt that our neighbor wondered why in the world his parrot was suddenly shouting the name Jeff…and we did not really want to enlighten him.

Parrots can live to up to 80 years old.

We left south Florida in 2007.

And that parrot still may be yelling for Jeff!

So, the moral of this story is be careful what you say. Your words may live on long after you’re gone. 🙂

5 Comments

Filed under Friends and Family, Humor

High School Musical


Last night, my family and I headed to the local high school for the annual Lip Sync contest.

Each grade picks a theme, chooses songs and props, then performs several numbers. Tickets are availiable to the community and it sells out every year.

Each grade entered the auditorium shouting rhyming cheers to wild, enthusiastic applause before taking their seats to wait their turn to perform.

Our son Josh is a freshman and the freshmen theme this year was “The Sky’s The Limit.”

The curtain parted and the energy exploding from that stage filled with ninth graders was massive.

Some observations from the evening:

*I am old.

Despite the promise I made to myself as a teenager that I would be the cool mom who kept up on all the current music my teens were listening to, I continually had to lean over and ask my daughter, “What song is this?”

You can imagine her delight at spending the entire evening addressing her mother’s woeful knowledge of popular culture.

I also could not understand the words to most of the music.

However…when songs from the 80s were used, I was all over that. I clapped and sang along with abandon, reliving my youth.

My daughter seemed to disappear into her seat. I have no idea why.

*My son played the part of Paul McCartney during the Beatles portion of the show because he plays the bass:

The spitting image of a young Paul, no? 🙂

*An incredibly touching moment occurred during the freshman’s performance. At one point, a young lady with Down’s Syndrome appeared alone on the stage, bathed in the spotlight as she danced. There was an absolute roar of applause and cheers from the audience. The huge smile that broke across her face was beautiful to see.

*I was so impressed with the goodwill and team spirit among the students. They genuinely cheered each other on. It was a wonderful way to build  school spirit.

*The winners of the contest will be announced today during school. As much as I was pulling for the freshman, I think the juniors have it in the bag. 🙂

*With all the heartache and uncertainty going on in the world right now, it was a delight to spend a couple of hours in a high school auditorium surrounded by upbeat music, laughter, and the energy and optimism of  youth.

Now if I could only get Don’t Stop Believin’ to quit playing on a continual loop in my head!  🙂

7 Comments

Filed under Friends and Family, Humor