and now a word from our sponsor …

Happy New Year!  Today we kick-off 2012 with a guest post from our sponsor … my husband … and the man who funds this thing called our home.  Enjoy!

I grew up in the 1960s in a house full of women. All I knew of or cared about napkins were the ones set out at meals, either the paper ones on weekdays in the kitchen in front of the 13-inch black-and-white Sony, or the cloth ones on the Saturdays and Sundays when we all sat at the dining room table. So imagine my surprise and later regret when somehow I poked my little hands into the wrong place in the wrong bathroom and discovered a package labeled “Feminine Napkins.” Huh? Since when did girls and boys need separate napkins?

Fast forward through times as a young man when I used all types of napkin-ish devices, including paper towels, the back of my hand, shirt sleeves, the shirt sleeves of my friends, what have you. No longer, though. Today my home has proper napkins. Really nice ones, ones that have numbers, and ones that, after washing and drying, need to be folded so their numbers show. Yep, I do some laundry.

Odd enough that our napkins have numbers (“Do you want to be 3 or 47 tonight?”); odder yet that I needed to ask Linda for help in learning how to lay them out and fold them on the half, then on the sort-of-thirds, in the right sequence for their ultimate conclusion – soft, thick, dropcloth-quality napkins that are stenciled with numbers like sacks of potatoes that were shipped to the U.S. troops headed across Germany in the winter of 1944. (“Odder Yet” seems like it could be my DJ name on an Amish radio station – if there was such a thing. Can the Amish broadcast via lantern power?)

The napkins with numbers are great, a really creative idea, sturdy and comfortable and absorbent –the ultimate test of a napkin, right? – and we all have fun with them, arguing with laughs over who gets which napkin and whether it’s good to have a high or low number.

And hey, as long as I am Number One, napkin-wise, I’m happy.


P.S. From Linda: Ladies — and gentlemen — he’s being modest. My husband does all the laundry in this house.


  1. i love the napkins!!! i want some!!! :)

  2. I am cracking up at this post! Can’t imagine my husband writing a post about napkins and it being as interesting as this! They’re cute, too, by the way!

  3. love the napkins. I don’t recall reading if you stamped them or used a stencil and some paint.
    I actually have some white ones that I purchased from Williams-Sonoma and have number stamps to stamp them with, but not sure what type of stamp ink or paint to use. I don’t want the numbers faded. Would you share what you used?

  4. Why yes it is, Whitney. Thanks for the “shout out.”

  5. Love the post…you and your husband must laugh a lot together:o) Your napkins are lovely too and so, so practical. Do you have a post telling us how you made and stamped them?

    Thanks, Carrie

  6. LOVE the pillow tutorial you posted to Home Stories A to Z!!! And the napkins are soooo cute! I had to laugh because I too wish I had an English accent, everything sounds so much nicer!! haha..

  7. OK, your hubby is a hoot! I think it’s great that he’s your sponsor AND does your laundry (and writes witty blog posts)! I need a sponsor like that. ;^)

  8. Do you loan him out. A laundry man, how can I get one of these without mine getting his nose out of joint. HMMMMM! Needs more thought! Sending you every good wish for an amazing year. So glad I found your wonderful place, I will follow on my way out and hope you will find the time soon to come visit me and do the same. I look forward to engaging more with you in twenty twelve. For now I am off to see more of your very special place! Cheers Specialk XoXo

  9. these napkins are AWESOME!!!! i have to admit — we have a on in common hubby here does the laundry!!! : ) gotta love it! : ) sending hugs…

Speak Your Mind


and now a word from our sponsor …

That’s right, while I try to get our holiday cards out and bake some cookies, this blog’s major “sponsor” – my husband Mike who works full time to fund this thing called our house – offers up a guest post …


Take it away Mike …

I love my wife Linda, my kids, my life and my home. I am blessed that way. Oh, and my dog, Ernie. If I forget him he’ll start his own blog about me, and no matter how sloppy it might be given the problems he has with the computer, I can’t risk it.

I want everyone reading this to understand all of that. Mostly Linda.

When I met Linda in 1993, I knew at that instant I wanted her to marry me and spend eternity with me. So far we’re on track to reach these goals – one down, the second to go.

But I didn’t think at the time, “I wonder what this funny, smart, beautiful woman could do with a bland entry hall?”

Most guys might have that question in their minds, but instead, I was focused on her legs.

(Okay, Linda and I had met before that, once, when we both worked for the same company in different cities, and I was smitten with her but sure she was too cool for me, and I think she looked at me and wondered why I’d ruin a perfectly decent face with a smarmy mustache, which – thank goodness – I shaved off days before the next time we met. Thank you, Norelco. And thank all of you for reading such a long sentence.)

After we married, when we were in an apartment and before we had kids – we did things the old-fashioned way, go figure – I was in Atlanta on business in the spring of 1995 when Linda phoned me to get me back to Chicago because our realtor had found the house to buy. Now. NOW.
Built sometime in the early 1890s, a classic wood-frame house that had been renovated (to a certain extent, and not as well as the homeowner/renovator advertised, but that’s a story for a different and less-public discussion), the home has been wonderful for us. Once we had our two children, we decided to add a room on the back. That, too, is a story for another time, but I can do that publicly, and even thank our contractor. He’s good.

I didn’t expect a wife to arrive with a toolbelt and power tools, exciting as that might sound.

Allow me to dream on that a moment.

Back to reality: Linda decided that she could bring her innate creativity to bear on our home, and it did indeed begin with paint. I hadn’t figured on all the changes she has brought to the house, and neither did our kids and Ernie, who have indelicately worked their way around the maze of materials and furniture that need to be set up and moved to do the work that has transformed the house.

It’s all good.

Sure, I want Linda to read that, but I want everyone else to read that, too. It has been said that a man’s home is his castle, but in all the castles I’ve visited – it takes a while to tally, but I’d guess the number is zero – the interiors are awful. Not a cushioned boot-box or a rattan window treatment to be found, and I dare you to argue that one. But if you do, I’ll limit you to the top 50 castles.

All this said – it’s an interesting ride with my wife the renovator, decorator and blogger. Linda’s the greatest, and I won’t complain, because the house gets better looking all the time, but life in the house has changed. Life beyond the camera, you could say. More later, if that’s okay.

And Linda’s still got great legs. No renovation needed.


And please leave a comment for Mike.  Really and truly.  I’m trying to (coerce) convince him to contribute regularly because (1) He’s a great, funny writer, and (2) I’m worried that I’m going to run out of words.  You know, that I’ll wake up one day and go SPLAT.  Like I’ve used up my lifetime allotment of words and sentences and punctuation and have nothing left to say or write …


  1. Excellent job – both of you! I hope you won’t mind if I use your blog as an example when I teach about blogging with my faculty? :-)…

  2. He let’s you do your thing without complaining, he can write, is funny and is still smitten with you Linda! What’s not to like? Plus he supplies the extra muscle when you need 2 sets of hands! He’s a definite keeper!

    My hubs supports my endeavors too although I know it drives him nuts when I keep lugging more “stuff” into the house.

  3. Great smiles in your family photo. Mike summed up with humour and truth and love. Hope he does guest write for you, enjoyed his post.

  4. Love a post that makes me smile! I hope to see more posts from your great sponsor!

  5. ok – yes, encourage him – he is a great writer but even better, understands that girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do (in regard to home decorating!) hope to hear more from him!
    and on the topic of being afraid that you’re going to run out of words…every once in while I think that too, but amazingly I always seem to have something to blog about…and something tells me, you will too!

  6. Dude bloggers rock! So I’m told…
    Nice first post Mike, I’ll be watching for more.

  7. haha…funny! He’s a good writer. Had me laughing a few times.

  8. You would think that after all these years, a little of Mike would have rubbed off on Geoff…still waitng. :) Steph

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed Mike’s perspective…lot’s of wit and mirth…likewise want to read future contributions. (Plus…want to hear the back stories mentioned). Fiona – in Australia

  10. Mike is funny.. kinda reminded me of the picture of Ryan Gossling… is that his name? On interest that says something like… “hey girl…. I like how you turned that mason jar into a lamp” haha, I love it!

  11. That is supposed to be “pinterest”

  12. Oh Jamie, if you had just said he reminded you of Robert DeNiro, he would have been in heaven …!


  13. You and your husband look alike. Like seriously. Did you look alike before you got married? Just wondering.

    And Mike, you are way cool funny! I love your writing and that Linda has you here!!!!

  14. SO sweet that your husband blogs too! On YOUR blog, no less! My husband is my biggest blog supporter, but it never even dawned on me to have HIM to a post or two. Nope. Not gonna happen! He loves to read my posts, cheer me on, tell everyone about it – but when it comes to that actual blogging – no way! So, I really appreciate hearing BOTH of your voices! You’ve got an awesome little thing goin’ on! :)

Speak Your Mind