Views From Home


watermark-hawk-on-telephone-pole
Taken from inside my garage looking to the east on a cold winter’s morning.
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My Funny Valentine: “It’s something black, sexy, and I can’t wait to see you wearing it,” Said he with a mischievous grin .


“It’s something black, sexy, and I can’t wait to see you wearing it,” Said he with a mischievous grin .

Hmmm.  What could it be.  He was giving no more clues or hints or reactions to the multitude of guesses she made as she attempted to find what appeared to be the obvious answer to his riddle.  She knew him much better than that.  The ideas she had in mind were far too easy to be correct.  What kind of scam was he trying to pull on her?  Her wheels were turning as she created a list of possible and plausible answers, given their history together.  This would be their seventeenth Valentines Day together.

He laughed hysterically as she rattled of her list of guesses.

1.  A sleeping bag?

2.  A tent?

3.  A little black beret that I can wear while I paint?  I know you’ve told me I need one before.  I don’t even know what you think I look hot in?

4.  I know…something in spandex?  You biker people seem to really like your spandex.

5.  A limo?  Well, you said it’s something I can wear.  Technically, you can’t wear a limo.

6.  A new black velvet paint shirt?

7.  The last time you really stumped me, it was a worm bin.  I hope it’s not anything disgusting.

8.  Tar?  Tar is black why would you want me in tar?  Gross!

9.  Ohhh, I got it…it’s an inner tube.  You are taking me tubing at Snow Star!  You kinda wear an inner tube, right?

10.  One of our first dates was bring a friend day to scuba diving class and I wore a black swimming suit, in the middle of winter to the pool….is it a swimming suit?  You got me a swimming suit and you are taking me to Mexico for the weekend!  Right?

11.  A black dress is too obvious….or maybe that IS what it is because you know that I will think that that is too obvious, so I would never guess it.  Oh, you shouldn’t have.  You got me a black dress, a limo, and it’s taking us to the airport, and we are flying to Vegas for the weekend.  You are soooo amazing, I love it!

12.  It’s not any weird kind of food thing is it?  Not gonna happen.

13.  Sunglasses? I do need a new pair of sunglasses.

14.  Undies?  Better not be a thong, I hate those things!

15.  Oh, I got it, a new camera, or a camera gear bag!  But how is that sexy?

16. Ok, I got nothin.  What is it?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/writing-challenge-valentine/#more-68832

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  3. Valentine’s Day Runaway | Tish Farrell
  4. The Valentine | Stories From My Mind
  5. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | The Ageless Dummy
  6. Remember Me | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  7. Happy Valentine’s Day! | How to write a memo
  8. Mary May and the Valentine Time Ship | Words Darling
  9. A Valentine’s Story | themiracleisaroundthecorner
  10. Can a fallopian tube ever bust or break? | classygallie
  11. The Valentine That Never Was | Polymathically
  12. Love – It’s What You Claim You Deserve | living my life
  13. My funny Valentine | Where is my mind?
  14. Happy Flipping Valentine’s Day | thisblogisepic
  15. My Valentine – Ramblings from the Swamp
  16. Lovely Friday | asweetbrightthing
  17. A Heart Like No Other | Tell It Slant Mama
  18. Weekly Writing Challenge – My Funny Valentine | Joe’s Musings
  19. With This Ring-Ring… | Charron’s Chatter

There’s a Snake in My Couch Part I : A Mom’s Point of View


By Marie Stephens1392322916394

Not everyone knows this about me, but I am a snake phobe.

I don’t like to visit them at the zoo.  I don’t even like to touch pictures of snakes in books.  I can’t even handle those fake plastic snakes.  I am not much of a yeller, but the few times that I have yelled at my kids were because they put a rubber snake under my pillow, or nearly caused me to jump out of my skin when they threw one on my bed while I was sound asleep.  I do not like the way they move, I do not like their creepy hissy looking tongues; I am fully aware of the fact that a snake’s skin is not slimy, but It still appears that way to me and it still freaks me out!

To all of you snake enthusiasts out there, I am truly sorry if this does not help to improve the public image of the snake and how important they are to the environment.  Let me publicly announce that snakes are wonderful creatures and very, very important to our environment and our food chain.  Just think how many more mice there would be without them!  Snakes are good, I get that….but when one decides to pay me a visit, in my home, as I am about to hit the hay for the night,  ALL BETS ARE OFF.

It was fall of 2005.  I was a brand new mom with a brand new baby who was just a few months old.  He had finally gone to sleep for the time being, so I had selfishly taken that quiet time to shower, brush teeth, and comb hair:  all luxuries for new moms.  It had been a long day of repetitive nursing, changing diapers, rocking, swaddling, and laundry with a baby that slept for maybe 15 minutes of every hour if I was lucky.  Needless to say, I was exhausted and ready to pass out for the night.

All the heat from the shower pushed me into auto pilot mode as I left our steamy bathroom and headed down the hall for the spiral staircase that led up to the loft bedroom in our rustic A-Frame house.  Sleep, that precious commodity that is so rare to new parents, was about to be awarded to me.  For the most part, I was already there.

I was approximately 15 steps from hitting my pillow when autopilot suddenly kicked into flight or fright mode.  As I slowly entered the dark living room and turned to go upstairs, I heard something.  A soft thump, as if something had fallen off the back of our leather sofa and onto the seat.

In an instant, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.  I quickly flipped on the light switch and immediately turned my eyes to the couch.  Out of the corner of my sleepy eyes, I could have sworn that I saw the tail of a tiny little snake slither right into the crack between the couch seats.

In my thoughts:

“What the heck was that?”

“Was that a snake?”

“No….No way…..there is no way there could be a snake in my couch!”

“Or could there?”

“Oh crap!  There really is a snake in my couch….THERE’S A SNAKE IN MY COUCH!”

Picture yourself in the same situation…wanting to scream at the top of your lungs, but only able to scream with your mute button on for fear that you might wake the baby!

Now picture me…..once half asleep now fully awake, throwing my hands up in the air and running around in circles, screaming without making a sound.

After spinning around aimlessly a few times, I flew down the stairs to the basement to find my sleep deprived husband, tinkering away on some project he found in “The Family Handyman”.  I flung open the door and screamed wildly, “There’s a snake in the couch!”  He stared blankly at me in disbelief, as if I had gone mad.  So I repeated myself and swore I was not hallucinating, although, as sleep deprived as I had been, hallucinations were quite possible.

To humor me, Tim grabbed a flashlight and headed up the stairs while I scampered around to find some weapons:  a broomstick and a tennis racket, perfect tools for the task at hand.  I stealthily climbed back up to the living room, ready to pounce on anything that decided to jump out of that couch.

Tim, being the level headed force of the Stephens’ household, calmly and smoothly approached the couch with his flashlight and peaked in between the cushions to see what all the fuss was about.  Seconds later, he turned around and said matter of factly, “Yep.  There’s definitely a snake in there.”  Once again, hands went up in the air, and one of us began running in circles.

Have you ever seen a movie where a husband and wife have an entire conversation without ever saying a word?  Where looks are exchanged, eyes widen and narrow, and information passes telepathically?  That is exactly how the following conversation went down.  Imagine two tired adults forced to solve the impossible:  how to get rid of a snake in a couch without waking their three month old baby.

Me, eyes wide with snake phobia, ” How in the heck are we gonna get that thing out of the couch without letting it get loose in the house?  I am not touching that thing!”

Tim, dumbfounded, ” How in the heck am I supposed to know?”

Me,  eyebrows raised,”I got an idea.  Lets just pick up the whole couch and set it out on the deck, and then try to get the snake out.”

Tim, “Hmmm that could work.  Let’s go for it.”

So we pick up the couch, thinking we have a quick fix.  We head for the slider door, ready to set the couch on our deck.  As we approach the door, me: “This isn’t gonna work.  It’s not gonna fit!”

Tim, “Crap, even if we tilt it up on end, the snake might fall out and get away.”

Me, discouraged,” Now what?”

I’m sure by now, you are probably thinking, “Why didn’t they just take the cushions off and grab the snake?”  Unfortunately, this is a couch from which one cannot simply remove the seat cushions, or any of the cushions, for that matter.  Oh no, we specifically bought this couch because the cushions could NOT be removed!

Tim, ” Ok, here’s what we do.  You hold the flashlight.  I’m gonna pin the snake down with this stick.  Then, with my hand inside of this grocery bag, I’m gonna stick my hand in there, grab the snake, and then turn the bag inside out.  As soon as I get the snake, you open the door, and I’ll take him outside and take care of the rest.”

Me, ” Fine.  As long as I don’t have to touch it.  I’ll go get the broomstick and tennis racket ready just in case he escapes.”

Tim, “Ready?”

Me, “No, but go ahead anyway.”

In a matter of seconds, it was all over. My superman of a husband pinned the snake with his left hand, grabbed it with his bagged right hand, turned the bag inside out as the snake tried to wriggle itself free from Tim’s tight grip, and headed out the door in a flash, before the snake could escape.

I hadn’t felt that much relief since the morning after I gave birth to that three month old babe sleeping soundly in the nursery right above the scene of the couch snake extraction.  I don’t know what exactly happened to that poor little snake, nor do I care to know what happened.  He was gone, and that was that.

Over the last 8 years, we have shared so many giggles while telling that story to our children.  I cannot begin to count how many times I’ve told, and retold it as a bedtime story after infinite requests from my son. We have told that story from my point of view, from the snake’s point of view, and Tim does an excellent job of telling the tale from his point of view…with a few embellishments here and there.  I can here his gruff and tough story telling voice now, ” Why, if that snake was a foot long, he was a mile!  I grabbed the beast with my bare hands, and he began to thrash so violently, I had to wrestle him to the ground.  The snake was angry that day, my friends!”  Even as I was trying to remember the details of the story last night, he and I had so many laughs as we tried to lay out the scene.

Just the other day, Tim came home from leading our son’s Cub Scouts meeting to tell me that the snake in the couch story had resurfaced.  The theme of the den meeting was, “Tall Tales”, and one of our son’s classmates remembered Harrison telling the story a year ago to their second grade class!  If only that poor little snake knew how popular he had become.  Thank you, Mr. Snake, for making a brief pitstop into my life.  My family has a richer folklore all because of you and your memory shall live on forever!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, snakes are great, as long as they stay in their environment and leave me alone in mine.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief encounter into my past.  Stop back again, you never know what you might find.  At Marie Stephens Gardening, life is a garden, and you never know where inspiration will strike.  Maybe even in the crack of a couch.

©Marie Stephens 2014 All rights reserved

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/writing-challenge-shoes/

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/quick-tip-the-quote/

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There’s a Snake in My Couch! True Story


2004_0601flowerpicsmemday0186Yes, you read it correctly.  I will be working on this week’s challenge by telling the story of :  The Snake in the Couch.  This is a true story that took place in 2005 in our house nestled in the rolling hills of Mount Ayr, Iowa.  First, I will be telling the story from my point of view….as I was the first discoverer of said snake.  Secondly, with the help of my beloved husband, Tim, we will be telling the story from the snake’s point of view.  If time allows, maybe I can talk Tim into telling the story from his point of view…..and then even from Harrison’s point of view…although he was only a few months old at the time!

So stay tuned to watch the story unfold.  It’s a good one.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/writing-challenge-shoes/

How Seed Catalog Orders are Born


It’s 8:30 a.m

Just entered the loo,

Sat on the pot

with nothing to do

but my morning routine,

if you know what I mean

And stare mindlessly at a few magazines,

Catalogues, more catalogues,

Brochures and the like,

Even a few renegade mags about bikes

Colorful ads, lovely flowers, vacations, and seeds,

Fine somethings or others that everyone needs.

But back to those seeds they look so appealing

They make me forget the heat this winter’s been stealing.

I can almost taste those sweet peas popped fresh from the pod

Maybe I’ll buy some new kind of corn on the cob.

That sweet corn on the grill with butter and salt and pepper and parm .

Those tomatoes to die for that came fresh from the farm.

The basil, Spicy Globe, it’s fragrance so fine.

I wish spring was here….if only I could fast forward winter time.

©Marie Stephens 2014 All rights Reserved

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/weekly-writing-challenge-lunch-posts/#more-66914Image

 

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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Moms Have Super Powers


I am your mother.

I have super powers,

powers beyond compare.

The power to make you laugh so hard you nearly pee your pants

from  just one twitchy stare.

I can light you up with just one glance,

my smile can make your day.

My hugs,

my squeezes,

they are what pleases

your heart…they melt your fears away.

 

You are my children,

extensions of me.

You have the power

to fill me with glee,

with madness,

with sadness,

with anger,

with joy,

with pride,

with fear,

with happiness,

my boys.

My boys fill me with power.

The power to love,

to live,

to give freely.

To be myself without fear

to feel accepted so deeply.

©Marie Stephens 2014 All rights reserved

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/category/writing-challenges/

A Letter to my Children


 

 

©Marie Stephens 2013 All Rights Reserved.  These are polymer clay keychains I made last winter to pass some time.  The light and the shadows on them was so cool, I had to take a picture.  If I had a little girl, I think I would hang it up in her room:)
©Marie Stephens 2013 All Rights Reserved. These are polymer clay keychains I made last winter to pass some time. The light and the shadows on them was so cool, I had to take a picture. If I had a little girl, I think I would hang it up in her room:)

 

Wish I could remember

all the things you used to say.

Funny things you’d say and do,

every single day.

Each time you’d tell a story,

I’d say I should write that down.

But when the day was over,

Your words escaped somehow.

Life from your perspective

is always fresh and new.

Maybe that’s why you were sent to me,

To provide a different view.

©Marie Stephens 2014 all rights reserved

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To Cook or To Sip?


Should probably make some supper.

Instead I’m sipping on a beer.

This oatmeal stout

is without a doubt

providing this mama with roast toasty cheer.

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