While attending a marriage seminar on communication, Tom and his wife Peg listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other." He asked Tom, "Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?" Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn't it?" The rest of the story is not pleasant. —Author unknown

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Olive, Rudolph and me in Deerville

I love our house, surrounded by 100-year-old oaks in a older neighborhood of Des Moines. But I hate our neighbors. No, I’m not talking about the delightful Neumanns and Conyers. I mean Bambi, Rudolph, Prancer, Dancer and Olive the other reindeer. And their throngs of friends and families.

Working in my home office, I often see [...]

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