Nobody's Little Mrs.

Category: Lovely

Ask Wifey: Part-Time Housemates or Full-Time Relationship?

Dear Wifey,

My boyfriend never finished the home projects he starts. We “part-time” live together and when I first saw his home I thought many of the home repair/rehab projects had just been started. Boy, was I wrong.

It is his marital home, where his now-grown kids were raised. My opinion about what’s to be done is not welcome. I’d like him to sell the house so we could possibly get an “our house” down the road. When I bring any of this up he gets angry.

What do I do?

Frustrated in Philly


Dear Frustrated,

One of the ways in which relationships can be challenging when we are older (from you telling me your boyfriend has grown children, I’m guessing at least he is at least 40), is that most of us are less eager to change and/or compromise. I’m not saying this as a criticism, rather as a fact. By middle age, most people have already made compromises, learned lessons, and have decided what they like and how they want to live.

You mention that you are “part-time” living together in his house and I would imagine he would want you to contribute your opinion and make the place yours as well, rather than make you feel like an unwelcome guest. I gather that you have your own place too, and I wonder if he feels the same about your place.

My understanding of the situation leads me to believe that one of two things is going on here: Either he is feeling the same way about you and your place–like you don’t want to include him in your place–or he is just very set in his ways and unwilling to fully share his home with you–or anyone else for that matter.

Before you do anything, I would figure out which situation is happening, and the best way to do that is simply by asking him directly.

If it’s the first scenario, maybe you need to spend more time together at your place too and hopefully, you will both feel more comfortable in each other’s homes and will learn to find your own place in each other’s space. Personally, I think buying a place together is the best idea so you can have a fresh start at creating a common home and life and a full-time relationship.

The second scenario is more troublesome, unfortunately. It’s entirely possible that he simply is very comfortable with his solo living arrangement and–other than having you as a part-time housemate–doesn’t really want to change his life or his routines in any way. If this is the case, I would seriously consider how much more effort you want to invest in this relationship.

No one should get angry with someone who loves them–and whom they love–and who wants to share a home and a life with them. On the contrary, it’s often the path many people hope their relationship takes. I think you owe it to yourself to find out if he is one of them. Once you do, you can decide what path you want to take and whether you’re he’s the right person to walk it with you.



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Sunday Cooking with My Mother

Almost every Sunday during my childhood my mother made fresh pasta. She’d pull out the wooden board–handmade by my father for that specific purpose–and within minutes flour, egg, and water would turn into fresh dough. She would knead and re-knead it, let it rest. Then she cut it, rolled it out, cut it into smaller pieces and soon the table would be lined with tiny orrechiette, or cavatelli,  fusilli, or tagliatelle.

When I moved out on my own, my father made me a pasta board, knowing how much I loved to cook (and to eat homemade pasta). But, unfortunately, the only action my board ever saw was the rolling out of pre-made pizza dough purchased from the market! Life just seemed to take over and my parents visits never seemed to include enough time for a homemade pasta lesson.

It’s taken a while, but I finally managed to get that lesson from my mother and put my beloved pasta board to proper use. 

There’s no better way to spend a chilly winter Sunday than cooking with my mom. For now, enjoy these photos from a great afternoon in the kitchen. I’ll soon be sharing the proper recipe for my mother’s pasta dough.

Buon appetito!

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Gifts for Your Mom(s)

Don't Forget Mother's Day!



I know you’re probably busy mixing mint juleps for your Kentucky Derby party today, but before post time, be sure that you’re ready for Mother’s Day tomorrow. If you haven’t yet, there’s still time to find the right gift to celebrate the mom(s) in your life!

Happy Mother’s Day–to all the many and varied kinds of mothers out there!

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A Mother’s Day Dozen

Happy Mother's Day!



Mother’s day is only days away, but there’s still time to get a thoughtful gift for the woman who is always there for you. So here are a dozen ideas that will make your “Best. Mom. Ever.” smile.

1. Vince Camuto Ink Blot silk scarf: $58, VinceCamuto.com

2. “Best. Mom. Ever.” t-shirt by Choies: $19, Choies.com

3. Mother’s Day Card by Rifle Paper Co.: $4.50, RiflePaperCo.com

4. New Growth Designs, Larger White Peony Faux Flowers: $920 (not a typo), BergdorfGoodman.com

5. Happy Elephant Rosa by Monica Strigel, iPhone 6 case: $40, Castify.com

6. Agraria Lavender & Rosemary Bath Salts: $79, Amara.com

7. Diane von Furstenberg “Frankie” crocodile effect leather cuff: $134, MatchesFashion.com

8. Smartphone connected ring by Ringly: from $195, Ringly.com

9. Diptyque Scented Candle, Mimosa: $60, BergdorfGoodman.com

10. “I love you Mom, and Here’s Why” Journal: $16, ShopTerrain.com

11. “Home Is Wherever Mom Is” Pillow Cover: $20, Etsy.com

12. Julie Nolan Zodiac Constellation Locket Necklace: $75, AhaLife.com


Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, mothers-to-be, grandmothers, godmothers, mothers-in-law, and honorary other mothers out there! 


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The Power of the Pen

I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years. So often, in fact, that I have boxes that I haven’t opened in years. In one of my last moves I came across a box that was labeled “MBP/Personal,” which could quite literally have contained anything private, intimate, or sentimental.

I shouldn’t have bothered to open it. After all, if I didn’t know what the box contained it was likely that I didn’t need the contents anytime soon. But I did open it, and out poured years’ worth of letters. Yes, letters. Before email, cell phones, Facebook, and facetime I actually corresponded regularly by mail with friends who lived everywhere–from all over the US to Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, and South America.

The other now-extinct oddity I found, were notes. Notes left on my door when someone dropped by my apartment and I wasn’t home; there was no cell phone on which to call me. They were the texts of my college days. (Either that or someone would call and leave a message on your answering machine and then you would have to call in and listen to your messages…) Here’s a particularly entertaining one:


Or how about this impromptu bit of poetry:


What I probably should have done was read a few letters, get a little nostalgic, then put them all back, re-tape the box and move on to more pressing things on my to-do list. What I did instead was spend hours sitting on the floor, poring over my correspondence. There were postcards from all over the world; cards for every and no occasion; letters from friends with whom I’m still in touch; letters from old school friends I had lost contact with (until Facebook for some); and letters from old beaus–some even tied with ribbon.



There are no less than thirty cards plus letters from one of my best friends and, believe it or not, some friends and I used to exchange…faxes. Fax. Machine. Well, here’s a fun fax–and it printed out on that thermo…whatever paper that feels really weird and from which  all the printing fades away eventually. If you’re curious as to why my nice Jewish friend was affecting an unusual dialect, I think it had something to do with a movie that we had be watching and re-watching at the time.

Oh, and in case you’re curious as to the article my friend sent me, here it is. Just don’t ask me to explain it–I couldn’t possibly–but “Robbi Jeffy” (not his real name, but I remember is a joke related to the dialect) always did have a good sense of humor.

I know that it sounds old-fashioned, but I miss corresponding by mail. Personally, I still try to write notes and letters whenever the opportunity presents itself–and sometimes for no reason at all–but usually the reply comes in the form of a phone call or an email. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how many different ways and how quickly we can get in touch with one another, but sometimes I wish our correspondence was slower and more thoughtful. There is also something about not needing a wifi signal to sit down and read the thoughts that someone wanted to share with you.

What might be just as interesting though, is sitting down to read the thoughts that someone wanted to share with someone else. While there are several books out there that are collections of correspondence, here are two titles with which I’ve recently been engrossed.

The first book is Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience. This collection of letters to and/or from the notable, famous, and celebrated caught my attention from the first entry.

In this first letter, Queen Elizabeth II writes to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In her missile the Queen writes to the President because she realizes that she “had never sent you the recipe for the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral.” Priceless.


Her Highness writes two double-sided sheets to Eisenhower noting that when it comes to the scone recipe “I generally put in less flour and milk, but use the other ingredients as stated.”

I don’t know about you, but I love imagining her in the palace kitchen, her apron dusty with flour.

Signing off as “Elizabeth R” (R as in Regina)…


she includes the following recipe:


I’ve already made a copy for myself, which I plan on trying when the occasion presents–after all, I found my recipe for Yorkshire Pudding in another book of letters, 84, Charing Cross Road. (It’s delicious, in case you were wondering.)

But in addition to this very friendly and politics-free letter from Elizabeth R, Letters of Note shares Elvis Presley’s five-page in-flight letter to President Richard Nixon. He offers his services as a “Federal Agent at Large” on page two:




Then there’s the 1956 letter twelve-year-old Jim Berger wrote to noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright commissioning plans for a house for his labrador, Eddie. His father promised to build it if Wright would design it. Mr. Berger completed construction in 1963:


Well done, Jim!

Marlon Brando was no stranger to fan mail, I’m sure, but how about these letters from authors Jack Kerouac and Mario Puzo. Both were efforts to woo the actor to bring their books to life on the silver screen.


“I’m praying that you’ll buy ON THE ROAD
and make a movie of it.”
“I wrote a book called THE GODFATHER which has
had some success…”

There are dozens of letters penned by the likes of Eudora Welty, Clementine Churchill, Mick Jagger, Mark Twain, and Fidel Castro. But even if the writer or recipient isn’t famous, it’s still curious to get a glimpse into the minds and relationships of others.

Several years ago I picked up another collection of letters entitled Other People’s Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See.


These mostly modern love letters include emails, post-it notes, messages scribbled on napkins and phone message slips, drawings, collages, as well as cards and some good, old-fashioned love letters. Some are syrupy sweet, some snarky, some sexy, but all are sincere and meant to be secret.

This particular note made me smile:

And I have to applaud the creativity of this one:
There’s not always time for creativity, though, but any slip of paper will do…
And  you don’t need to use personalized, embossed stationery to create a letter that will be cherished.
Considering how much of our day we spend sending emails and texts, taking the time out to put pen to paper and write someone is in itself a meaningful gesture. It’s a gesture that I think we should make more often.
If you need another reason to write, check back here tomorrow for a correspondence-inspired giveaway!

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In with the New

It seems that half of last year just slipped by without a new post. I’m not exactly sure how that happened–I wasn’t living in a cave; I hadn’t lost the use of my hands (and even if I had, there’s dictation software out there); and it’s not like I didn’t have anything to say (just ask anyone who knows me). But, somehow, life got in the way of posting.

What happened? Well, I moved…again. It started in June and technically has lasted to date–I’ve still not unpacked all the boxes because…I’m moving again–next week. Don’t ask. Then there were multiple extended trips to New York for family business.

And then my Basset Hound, Rufus, required spinal surgery in early November to remove a herniated disc. Eight hour spinal surgery that required him to have strict stall rest for thirty days and then limited rest for another thirty (and trust me, he did not like it)…which brought us right into the new year. He’s back to his old self again, though he’s not allowed to climb stairs anymore, at least not more than a few. (I have to thank the doctors in the neurology department at the Animal Medical Center in New York, I would trust them with my own life.)

We’re halfway through January now, and I’ve read my share of “resolution” blogs and I’m not keen on writing my own. The truth is, I don’t like new year’s resolutions much. It just seems arbitrary to me that you resolve to make some change in your life on a particular day simply because it begins a new year. The fact of the matter is that unless you resolve to something every day you won’t follow through on anything.

That said, I have set some new goals for myself. One of them is a long-term goal that I’ve been working toward for the last ten months or so. I’ll discuss that when it comes to fruition–I’m a little superstitious and don’t want to jinx it! I’m cultivating some new habits as well regarding my free time and my lifestyle and writing as well.

So while I won’t resolve to post every day, or even every other day, let’s just say that you’ll be seeing new posts here a lot more often than in these past six months! One thing I’d really like is to hear from you–about anything at all. Share your own resolutions, opinions, news, or even problems. Comments are more than welcome or you can email me at ask@thewifey.co.


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A Day with Dad…

A day with Dad...

Today is Father’s Day and as I think back on the many fond memories I have of my father, some of the best days we spent together were not at big events or on special occasions. They were simply days that we were able to gather together and enjoy some relaxing time in each other’s company: eating, drinking, being merry . . . and eventually napping.

Not much of a sportsman, my father nonetheless truly relished the outdoors and was generally up for any activity where he could feel the sun on his face. 

While I was married, my husband and I lived for a time on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. During our time there we spent as much time as we could on the river in any seafaring vessel available at first, and then on my 13′ 1966 Boston Whaler (very much like the one in the photo, a gift from my mate).

My parents would often visit, making the three-hour drive from New York for the weekend or even just an overnight. I remember well the first time we took my parents out on the river. My mom laughing as we were sprayed by the brackish water, and my father’s delight as he and my husband attempted to catch fish.

Back on shore we’d enjoy a favorite Italian pastime–eating–and at some point in the afternoon dad would commandeer the couch for an hour or so. When we moved to Saratoga Springs, New York, his first choice for a siesta was the hammock in the garden where I remember him often curled up with Methuselah (aka Sula) our Jack Russell/Thornton terrier mix. (Sula would eventually become so attached to my father she refused to return from my parents’ home!)

This is the first Father’s Day since my father passed away in January. It’s still difficult to accept that I won’t be making any new memories with him or celebrating this holiday together any longer. 

I consider myself lucky, though, to have been so close to my father and to have enjoyed so many good times with him. While I miss him everyday, recalling these and other moments together makes him ever closer in my heart.

A day with Dad…”  Pocket Polo: Old Navy; Swim Trunks: Vilebrequin; Fedora: Stetson; Aviators: Ray-Bay; Topsiders: Cole Haan; Hammock: Missoni Home; Boat: vintage Boston Whaler
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A Mother’s Beauty

Mother's Day

This is not actually me and my mother, but one more than one occasion during my childhood this photo could very well have been taken of us.

A not-brief-enough power outage on Sunday kept me from posting my Mother’s Day thoughts…

I chose the image above because this is the kind of glamour that I saw in my mother as a child. In public she has always been beautiful, elegant–but with a quiet and conservative style that belied the glamour that I saw in her. Unaware of how lovely she is, she was never one to flaunt her beauty. Nor does she have the kind of personality that made other women feel anything less than beautiful themselves.

My mother stayed home and raised her three children. In the morning I remember her braiding my hair as I ate breakfast, multitasking because I was, more often than not, a late riser. She walked me to school and was there to walk me home. When it was time for bed she would come up and tuck me in, but if it had been a long and busy day, she would sometimes nod off beside me leaving me to escape downstairs to watch tv with my father.

She has always been a champion for her children, but has also always held us accountable for our actions. Every step of my life, for as long as I can remember, she has been there for me. In her subtle way, she has made me feel strong, smart, and beautiful–inside and out. 

How can I ever thank her?

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