They Have Nice Flushers Here

1392324729713This one is for Ben, my little noticer

at the ripe age of three,

who notices things that seem trivial to you and to me.

Flushers are what gets him of late

Flushers all kinds he thinks are just great!

“They have a nice flusher” he states upon entering

The loo at the grocers without any mentoring

From me or from dad or grandma or gramps

The boy loves his flushers, his flushers are champs.

Upon going to church, the first thing we must do

is drop what we’re doing and go to the loo.

“Hey mom, they have nice flushers here too!”

He says as we enter

Unbeknownst to him that he is the center

of chuckles inside of the mind of a lady

Just on her way out to tell of that baby

who liked the flusher in the church loo

What a funny thing to notice thought she of my B

Why does he like flushers of old and of new?

Beats the heck out of me

Says me the mommy

I do not understand why

These flushers that flush seam so fly

To a little boy at the ripe age of three

Who loves his flushers that flush in every loo that he’s been.

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


Went out for a walk, 

ran into you.

Wanted to talk,

but you had so much to do.

Staring at your screen,

staring down as you walked.

More important than me was that screen,

so I walked.

I walked alone and I waved so long to you.

You, with more important things to do.

Like texting, or Facebook, or surfing the web,

from your hand held device, or iPhone instead.

Instead of looking up, at the world all around you,

You chose your electronics, your wifi, to surround you.

I’m no better than you, rest assured.

As I point one finger at you,

there is not a first, nor a second, but a third.

A third digit pointing right back at me.

I have counted them, yes, there are three.

That’s three times I can guarantee.

At least three times I have been guilty of the same damn thing.

Ignoring my loved ones as they have tried to connect.

But I had too much to do.

Too many friends to request,

too many pictures to like,

too many thoughts to post, to think of, to write.

And in so doing my best,

to connect with those in my nest,

I failed a simple test.

I forgot what’s most important, what I so need to do.

And that is to remember the importance of you.

You are right here, right next to me now.

You should come first, not some digital device.

Why is it so hard to heed my own advice?

©Marie Stephens 2014 All rights reserved

The Farmer’s Gift to Me








Beans are beautiful even in the fall.

When the sky is crisp and blue

When the beans have dried inside their shells
to a warm and tannish, hue.
Those beans are lovely, they provide so much,
soft and fuzzy their shells to touch.
I am rambling, this I know, but to these beans, so much I owe.

Gratitude for family who comes together.
Each fall, each October or September.
To watch the harvest is such a treat,
to see my brothers, my whole family.
We come together, we share a day or two,
to watch the beans and tractors brew,
that earthly concoction of chaff and seed.
The dust it drives us all to sneeze.
But with that dust, we all receive another gift..
Those Iowa sunsets, so colorful, from the drift,
of all that dust those combines made,
So many colors in so many shades
of orange, gold, purples and pinks,
Our sky is painted with earthly inks.

Ramblings, by Marie Stephens  Copyright 2013

My Cup Runs Over

My Cup Runs Over, a collaborative work of art created by the children of St. Paul's Lutheran Church Mom's Morning Group.  This piece was donated to a live auction that raised funds for a charity event "Wine to Water".  Funds went towards teaching locals in impoverished countries to maintain wells for a sustainable fresh water supply .
My Cup Runs Over, a collaborative work of art created by the children of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Mom’s Morning Group. This piece was donated to a live auction that raised funds for a charity event “Wine to Water”. Funds went towards teaching locals in impoverished countries to maintain wells for a sustainable fresh water supply .

My Cup Runs Over

written by Marie Stephens

Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved

Sometimes I feel like I’ll never fit in.

Like no one around me wants me to win.

To win at this life where I have been placed.

To conquer the challenges I have faced.

And then I remember, the Lord God Almighty

Has chosen ME ever so wisely

To be His child,

Entrusted with gifts

Gifts that only I can give.

What are my gifts?

I’m not quite sure yet

So I act like myself,

I try doing my best

At whatever it is to be thrown my way:

Different Things,

Different people,

Different events each day.

I just act like myself.

I do what I can.

I take one step at a time,

Knowing God is my biggest fan.

Sometimes I stumble.

Sometimes I fall.

Sometimes I crumble.

And then I must call.

Call on the Lord

To please pick me up.

When my heart is left empty,

To please fill my cup.

Then my cup runs over.

My cup overflows,

In ways unimagined,

Far greater than I could know.


©Marie Stephens 2014  All rights reserved.
©Marie Stephens 2014 All rights reserved.


Always behind

Never caught up

The more work you get done.

The more work you make up.









Where did the time go?

Where was it spent?

Tree leaves are falling

On my cement.

Zinnias are gorgeous.

Morning Glories are glorious

One Glory survived,

Now we’re victorious!

The one that survived

and beat all the odds:

Vine chewing rabbits

Seed eating birds

Sprout stomping dogs

My childrens’ feet

Not one of these were able to defeat.

Could not defeat this defiant Morning Glory

This lovely blue flower

That gives me satisfaction and power.

The power to see

That all this work:

The planting

The waiting

The rejuvenating

The digging

The pinching

The pruning

The trimming





That all this work is never done.

That all this work can be quite fun

That all this work makes life more grand

Without it my yard would be quite bland

Without it I would lack for stories

For stories of Morning Glories who fought to survive

The elements, the animals, just to stay alive.

And that, my friends, gives me satisfaction and power

That started with one seed

One fine seed indeed

Who once got to going, grew with great speed!

Now that seed covers great space

Now My morning glory grows all over the place!

Blue flowers everywhere

Blue flowers abound

Up and over my tee pee

My spruce tree

And onto the ground!

And that gives great satisfaction

satisfaction indeed.

Gladly, I’m glad that we never gave up

The work it was worth it

The result filled my cup.

My Mommy Flicked a Beetle

My Mommy Flicked a Beetle1379476484378

Original Poetry by Marie Stephens

My mommy flung a beetle.

She flicked it far away.

He never saw her coming,

On this sunny day.

My mommy flicked a beetle.

Tonight I’ll tell my dad.

That beetle never stood a chance;

I bet he’s feeling sad.

My mommy flicked a beetle.

She flung it to next week!

I think it flew up over my house

And landed in the creek!

This poem spawned from bubbles in the driveway with my 3 year old, Ben.  We were blowing bubbles, and along came a little black beetle.  He was getting a bit too close, so without warning, I flicked him with my finger.  Evidently, it made an impression on Ben, because, an hour later during lunch,  he was still talking about how he was gonna tell dad that his mommy flicked a beetle!  So our lunch conversation revolved around that little black beetle, with me jotting this poem on the back of an old envelope.  My hubs helped me finish the last line at supper time last night.

The point to all of this, is that poetry can break up the monotony of daily conversations at the dinner table.  It’s a different way to communicate together about daily happenings, that might otherwise seem so trivial and unimportant to us as adults, but may have been significant to our little ones.  Poetry is a fun way to journal about the dailyness of life and great way to remember those precious little moments that are so fleeting.

We were on a roll last night, and even wrote another poem together about being attacked by melting cheese in our soup.  This session involved lots of laughter, feeling truly connected, and joy of just being  truly present together.  So next time you share a meal, and someone says something that makes a light bulb turn on, grab a pen and paper and make a game out of it, start rhyming, and let the laughter ensue.

I leave you today with one final poem, that may or may not be finished.  It’s about melted cheddar cheese in your chilly.  It was created at the dinner table, on the other side of the envelope with the beetle poem on it.  Created with love and laughter by me and my fam:

I Got Attacked by Cheese!

I got attacked by cheese!

It melted in my soup.

So then I ate too much of it,

And now I cannot poop!

Now I’m drinking prune juice.

It tastes like licorice.

Not the kind that’s cherry red;

The black that makes you wish you had another kind instead!

All poetry copyright of Tim and Marie Stephens  and family.

Just One Bite?

Stop to find the forgotten few

beneath the weeds like hidden jewels.

Red, rose, yellow and green

The most luscious fruits I’ve ever seen.

They look glorious and plump from above.

Fresh tomatoes I do so love.

Stop to gather all the loot

bend down and look to find the shoot

From which to gently pry away

My delectable prize for the day.

Getting closer, drawing near

Whiteflies fluttering around my ears.

I’m so close, I can nearly taste it

That beautiful tomato must not be wasted.

The hunt is over,

I’m ready to strike.

Pruners at the ready,

Grocery bag at my side.

Stop for a moment.

Remember the story

of all it took

to go from seed, to sprout, to flower, to fruit.

So take one last look and remember the story

while you stare at this fruit in all it’s glory.

Mental picture taken.

Pride has been gathered.

There’s no mistakin’

This plant looks quite tattered.

But dammit, we started this thing from a seed

and we got it to make fruit and that fruit is for me!

Enough messing around,

Enough has been spoken,

Pick that mater before it gets broken!

Holy canoli,


Blood is rising

up into my face.

I cannot believe this big disgrace!

I pluck the fruit from the vine

only to feel as if I’ve been slimed.

My beauty,

my treasure,

my precious jewel,

Has been bitten, one bite

that could not be viewed.

But certainly felt

the juices running and streaming.

Face has gone red and now I am screaming

For the love of Pete! And a choice other few

Why is it that you have to do

this horrible, terrible, awful thing,

to my tomato

my pride,

my reason to sing?

For the love of Pete!  And a choice other few,

Just eat the whole thing,

Is that so hard to do?

If you’d have left no evidence

for me to find,

I would not feel the urge to shoot your behind!

So get that hiney back over here.

Finish your tomato, you stupid deer!

Or Raccoon,

Or squirrel

Whatever you are.

Finish your tomato

or I’ll hunt you with my car!

Now tossing tomatoes

up over the fence.

One, two, three……Ten

My pride has gone humble

my anger subsided.

If they think they have won,

they are misguided.

Critters score one.

But I will not crumble.

There will be a next time,

But I will not fumble.

I WILL get there first,

to the treasure site.

I WILL find the loot.

I WILL take the first bite.

And one other thing…..

I will actually finish my fruit.

Original Poetry by Marie Stephens  Copyright 2013

I Garden Because I Can….Pun Intended

This post is about gardening, and why I love it, why I hate it, and why gardening will always be a part of my life!

I garden because I can!

There’s no place I’d rather be.

In this place, treasures abound,

when searching around,

hunting on bended knee.


My arms are getting itchy,

The bugs are beginning to bite!

Yet still,

I feel,

A calm respite.


My buns are sweating, 

My back is breaking, 


I should be staking!

Muscles I never knew I had,

soon will be aching!


Weeds are tall,

My patience is shrinking!

My boobs are sweating!

My armpits are stinking!

And then I start thinking:


How I would love to fall into a pool

But then I look at my haul,

and I begin to drool!


My shirt is stained

My body is drained

My thirst needs quenched

My clothes are drenched




My mind is clear

My soul is cheered

My heart is full

along with my bucket!


My bucket is full

of gardeners’ loot.

I’ve hit the jackpot

in multiple pounds of delicious fruit!


My garden may not be perfect,

after all, it’s full of weeds,

but still it remains

an escape for me.


Not to be alone,

but to live in community

with birds and bees…….

and those stinking rabbits,

the snakes that give me the shivers,

the caterpillars,

other creepy critters

and let’s not forget the coons!

Yes they have a right to be here too,

so I guess I could spare them a tomato or two.

©Marie Stephens 2018

Are You Ready?

If after reading this poem, which is almost a disclaimer stating that gardening is not glam, you still want to give it a try this year, then I found a collection of seed at a decent price to get you started!  I read a little bit about the company, and it warmed my heart!  Take a peek and see for yourself when you click the pic!

The “I Garden Because I Can” Gift Collection, by Marie Stephens Art

Below, is a link to a small collection of “I Garden Because I Can” items that I created as gifts for gardeners and home grown food preservation fanatics!  They can all be personalized and shipped directly to you or to the person you’d like to send the gift to!

So far, I have designed a

  • kitchen floor mat with funny canning puns and phrases,
  • a tshirt that can be ordered in multiple styles and colors,
  • an apron,
  • a bandana to hold your hair back on canning day,
  • and a mason jar mug with the graphics I designed to make your fellow gardener/canner smile, especially if they hate bunnies…even though they really are so cute!

I hope you will get a chuckle, and if you do order something, thanks so very much!  I earn a royalty for the items purchased with my art on them!

Canning and Gardening