The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: marriage (page 1 of 2)

Welcome to Camp Mom!

It’s the last day of school for my kids, and I’m already crying.

No, no…not just because I’m completely unprepared for summer.

Mini-Me and her teacher

Mini-Me getting loved on by her 4th grade teacher yesterday…while Mrs. J. strategically avoids eye contact with me, per the terms of her restraining order.

I’m crying because my two elementary school-aged kids are sad to say goodbye to their beloved teachers and friends today, and when they are sad, I am sad. 

Seems like just yesterday my little Bucket Head was getting on the school bus for the first time.

And it didn’t take long for Mini-Me’s teacher to figure out that I was not operating on all six cylinders. Ah, memories.

Where does the time go?!

Aaaaand, there I go. Getting all sad and nostalgic again. Oy. Hormones. When in doubt, always blame the hormones. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Hey, it’s also my anniversary today, which is a sweet way to end the school year. Sixteen years. Yowza. Feels like sooooo much longer. (Just kidding, Honey…kinda.) We’re going to simultaneously celebrate our marriage and our last day of school-year-freedom by having lunch at our favorite Italian restaurant. Then we’re going to fill up a bunch of water balloons so we can ambush the kids when they get off the school bus and help them forget how sad they are to end the school year. Wish me luck on that one…hopefully it doesn’t backfire and make them even more sad that their parents are such insensitive dicks. (Tune in on Instagram later for an update!)

Read Me In the Powder Room!

But in the meantime, I’ve been brainstorming about some of the things we can do this summer to maintain a modicum of sanity and have a little fun. Spoiler alert: bathroom humor and manual labor! It’s over In The Powder Room today. Join me, won’t you?

Here’s to a great summer!

Public apology, good news, marriage humor, & Steubenville…

So this is the post where I have to publicly apologize to my husband because it wasn’t just the Man-Flu.


He had bronchitis.

And ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.

(You’re welcome.)

But The Gatekeeper is on the mend thanks to modern medicine, and we are all so grateful for his improved health (and fewer disgusting noises).

I’m sorry I doubted you, honey.

(But do me a solid and stop getting sick and/or whining so damn much every time you have the sniffles so I’ll believe you next time and get you to the doctor sooner, for fuck sake.)

Moving on.

Hey – last week was CRAZY. Between my sick husband and my birthday (which was awesome, thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes on Facebook and Twitter!), I also had three posts in other places.

Which is great for me, but a little challenging for you if you want to keep up with me. (And if you do, I thank you from the bottom of my duodenum.)

Kludgy MomI wrote a guest post for Gigi at Kludgy Mom titled “The Catch-22 of Blogging and Social Media.” If you’re not a blogger, go ahead and skip that one (unless you just want to hear some inside scoop about the blogging scene and why so many of us are losing our minds lately.)  It’s been getting lots of great feedback from fellow bloggers and even a lovely shout-out from the head of iBlog Magazine:

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 10.07.54 AM

He said “fantastic read.” OMG. How sweet is he?! Thanks Matt! Oh wait…is it because I mentioned my nipples twice?


Hey, whatever it takes. I’m just using what the Good Lord gave me: my wits. Don’t judge.

Read Me In the Powder Room!

I was also In The Powder Room three different times.

First, here, sharing some awesome news about several of the In The Powder Room writers (including myself).

Then, for my regular weekly column, I wrote a humor piece titled A brief history of marriage vows, which made me laugh out loud while I was writing it (always a good sign).

And finally, I wrote this round up of what I thought were the most powerful articles on the WWW last week concerning the Steubenville rape case. Not a light read, and a trigger alert is definitely in order if you decide to read some of the posts I’ve highlighted. But it’s such an important topic and one that we really must tackle head-on if we want to make any improvements as a society toward ending the rape culture that unfortunately exists today.

Busy week, I know.

It’s really rather unlike me to be so prolific. Usually I’m too busy moving piles of stuff from one room to another to get so much done, but I guess my new light box is kicking in.

Now if only I could channel all that energy toward finishing my bathroom remodel or removing the hair from my toes for sandal season.


It’s way more fun to blog about sick husbands and dirty priests and nipples.

Speaking of fun things to do on the Internet, I just so happened upon this conversation on Twitter the other day…


As you were.


She tried to kill him with her WHAT?

So, it’s Valentine’s Day.

And to celebrate, I wrote a little something about a news story that piqued my interest the other day. It’s a story about marriage, sex, and foul play—emphasis on the foul

She tried to kill him with her WHAT by The Bearded Iris In The Powder Room

I had a hard time coming up with a suitable title.

Here are some of the ones that didn’t make the cut:

International food recall scares vagitarians

Tainted Love – Are you gonna eat that?

Murderous Mustache Rider remains silent…her lips are sealed.

Connie Lingus, that murderous c*nt!

You can read the whole story at my other home, In The Powder Room. I think you’ll get a kick out of it. At the very least, you’ll probably learn some new euphemisms…my Valentine gift to you.

Go now and love each other. Love each other long and hard—today, and everyday. And try not to murder anyone with your poisoned apple (pie).

Most affectionately yours,

Come to Mama Sausage Dip, for most of your bartering needs

I’ve been told there’s a big football game on this weekend. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. If my Steelers aren’t playing, I’d just as soon curl up with Jamie Fraser, I mean, a good book.

But that means my husband will be going to his parents’ house for a Super Bowl Party, and hopefully taking all three of our kids with him so I can stay home alone and figure out why all my friends can’t stop gushing over Downton Abbey.

Hey, as a mother of three, I don’t get very much alone time. So Super Bowl Sunday is kind of a special day for me, and not just because it’s the grande finale of my holiday eating season.

Yes, just because I won’t be watching the big game doesn’t mean I won’t be eating like it.

Conrad Bain was mr. drummond on Diff'rent Strokes

Jim (aka “The Gatekeeper”) will undoubtedly make a huge batch of his famous hot wings, leaving me my own personal heaping tray of “the good ones.” (I only eat the wingette, never the drummette, not to be confused with the Drummond, may he rest in peace.)

And celery dipped in chunky blue cheese dressing totally counts as a vegetable, y’all.

There will be another vegetable course of bacon wrapped cheesy jalapeño peppers.

And I will be making a big ol’ vat of what I affectionately like to call my Come to Mama Sausage Dip.

I don’t make this dish very often, or I’d have to install an AED in my kitchen, but it sure is delicious and easy to make. And it’s a real crowd pleaser, let me tell you—especially with the men folk.

The Bearded Iris's Come to Mama Sausage Dip and Bartering Tool

As an added bonus, this dip makes for an excellent bartering tool.

Ladies, we all know that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So if you want your man to be putty in your hands without having to do some bush hogging or soil your sheets, just shell out some of this dip and sit back while he moans and groans in sausage-infused ecstasy. That’s right, give him a foodgasm and your every wish will be his command.

Need a day to yourself? Sausage dip.

Want him to take down the Christmas lights? Sausage dip.

New DSLR that costs more than your first car? Sorry. That’s probably going to require a more literal sausage dip. Step away from your Amazon cart and go spruce up your downtown, Loretta.

But for the rest of you with less expensive taste…

Come to Mama Sausage Dip


  • 16 ounce roll of breakfast sausage* (don’t get that puny 12 ounce thing…this is no time to settle for a little sausage)
  • 2 bricks of cream cheese (8 oz. each)
  • 10 ounce can of RO*TEL (Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies; find it in the canned veggie aisle)

RO*TEL original tomatoes and green chilis

*If you like to spice things up a bit, and I suspect that you do, get either spicy sausage, OR spicy RO*TEL. Don’t double down on the spice unless you want to spend a lot of quality time with Bernie Bunger over the next few days.

Now let’s get cookin’, good lookin’!

Brown up the sausage. I use a big cast iron skillet for this. Break up the big chunks of sausage with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Then drain the grease off and set the crumbled sausage on a layer or two of paper towel. If your crumbles aren’t small enough, chop ’em up and set aside.

Then, heat the cream cheese on med-low until it gets all melty and slap yo’ mama good. Personally, I’m a big fan of using every single pot and pan in my kitchen whenever I cook. But you could probably do this in the same big skillet you used to brown up your sausage if you are one of those more organized people who doesn’t leave a swath of destruction every time you enter the kitchen.

Once the cream cheese is hot and melty, add the RO*TEL and crumbled sausage and heat through. Easy, peasy, muffin-top squeezie.

Please serve this dip with Frito’s Scoops on the side. Don’t get all fancy and try to shovel this slop with wafer-thin Carr’s Water Crackers. This is a white trash, man pleasin’, artery clogging bartering tool and should be paired accordingly. M’kay?

Don’t worry, you can head back to the gym on Monday. Or do like I do and just camouflage that flesh belt with bold patterns and some cleavage peek-a-boo. Or perhaps a coon-skin cap. Nobody will ask you when your food baby is due if they think you’re a hooker or a rifleman.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Come to Mama Sausage Dip
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: The Bearded Iris
Hot, molten, cheesy, sausage dip perfect for the big game!
  • 16 ounce roll of breakfast sausage* (don’t get that puny 12 ounce thing…this is no time to settle for a little sausage)
  • 2 bricks of cream cheese (8 oz. each)
  • 10 ounce can of RO*TEL (Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies; find it in the canned veggie aisle)
  • Fritos Scoops
  1. Brown the sausage; break up the big chunks of sausage with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Then drain the grease off and set the crumbled sausage on a layer or two of paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Heat the cream cheese on med-low in a saucepan until it gets all melty and slap-yo’-mama good.
  3. Once the cream cheese is hot and melted, add the RO*TEL and crumbled sausage and heat through.
  4. Best served warm with Fritos Scoops on the side. It’s a heavy dip and requires a strong chip or you’ll be wearing it instead of eating it. (Trust me on this.)
*If you like to spice things up a bit, and I suspect that you do, get EITHER spicy sausage, OR spicy RO*TEL. Don’t double down on the spice. You can thank me later.

…and I would do it all over again.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I do.

The first time I laid eyes on The Gatekeeper, my heart definitely skipped a beat.

I will never forget that moment as long as I live.

It was a rainy winter day in northern California and he was wearing an Indiana Jones hat when he poked his head into my conference room to relay a message to my instructor. I thought he looked like a cross between Tom Selleck, Don Johnson, and Andre Agassi…in a good way. Hey, it was 1994.

I’d see him around work from time to time. I’d purposefully hang out near his office, reading case files, hoping to run into him. Every time I saw him I’d get all nervous and sweaty. I’d blurt out random things: “Looks like rain!” One time I told him that the name tag on his office mailbox was misspelled (stalker alert!) It read Marinelli and I thought it was supposed to read Martinelli. “Hey, they forgot the T on your mailbox,” I told him in passing one day. “No they didn’t,” he countered. (OMG. Just shoot me!)

One Friday night a couple of months later, we were both invited to a Bon Voyage Party for one of our co-workers. We sat across the table from each other in a noisy bar and made small talk.

I guess I did a good job not scaring him too much because he called me the next morning to ask me on a date. We met for coffee in Berkeley the day after that and have been together ever since.

At one point during our first date, after drinking more coffee than should be humanly possible, I got up to find the ladies’ room and actually tripped over the Sunday brunch jazz band that had been setting up right behind me. I hadn’t even noticed them there; I was that mesmerized by him.


The Gatekeeper and Leslie, on a date…it was a semi-formal company party. Oakland, California, 1995. I’m pretty sure his jacket had shoulder pads. 


He proposed to me on Christmas Eve later that year.

I said yes.

Actually, I’ve been told that I squealed yes in a tone that only dogs could hear.

We married each other fifteen years ago today.

photo of leslie's wedding day


Happy 15th Anniversary to The Gatekeeper of my heart.

Leslie's 14th anniversary dinner one year ago today


with all my love,


Have a gas this Valentine’s Day!

One of the many wonderful side benefits of blogging is the ability to look back and see how things change over time. - This Valentine's Day, expect the finest flowers still available on Valentine's Day


A blog can also be a very useful instructional guide for the husband. - Just a reminder that your Valentine's Day plans for me will be broadcast in real-time on at least three social media platforms


Last year on this day, romance was in the air over here. Or was that just the lingering odor of a poorly planned Valentine dinner? You’ll have to read my weekly column In The Powder Room today if you really want to know. - I want to grow old and disgusting with you


But this year, things are definitely looking up, and it smells better too. I’m not one to boast and brag, but let’s just say my husband and I are both making more of an effort to rekindle that spark.

And of course by spark, I mean understanding of the new cable channel guide. - I could watch TV with you forever


Baby steps. Actually, I’m expecting good things today from life in general, because it is a universal truth that you get what you give. And if I can stay awake long enough tonight, I’m going to give my husband a Valentine he’ll never forget. - Let's watch your shows this Valentine's Day


Friends, I hope you know today and everyday that you are loved and cherished, at least by me and The Big Guy/Gal driving the Winnebago in the sky. Because you are.

Now go read my In The Powder Room post, and then tell someone you love them, preferably in a way that is not an affront to any of their senses.




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