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#*%^(! squirrels, man

Hey, remember last year, how the squirrels got into my tomatoes for the first time in forever, and I had unfairly blamed Licorice for a while before I figured it out, and then it became clear that the squirrels were just looking for water?

Good times. And by “good,” I of course mean “rage-inducing.” By the end of the summer we’d already used up all of the tomato sauce I’d made, on account of having only made a few pitiful batches. Most of my tomatoes were stolen.

Well. THIS YEAR would be different. Sure, it was dry out for a while, but then it rained for, like, a week straight. NO PROBLEM! Those pesky squirrels wouldn’t need to decimate my tomatoes, right? HA. HAHA. MY OPTIMISM IS CHARMING AND DELUSIONAL.

squirreled-tomato

This specimen comes from the lone box up on the porch, the ONE plant I thought would remain undisturbed. And yesterday when Otto went out to let Licorice into the dog run, a squirrel chattered at him from INSIDE THE BOX and then dropped this and scampered away. Fucker. (Note the companion jalapeño which was sampled and discarded. I hope it gave him heartburn.)

In conclusion, I have no idea how to reliably keep squirrels out of my garden and I am cranky about it. On the other hand, I have lots of suggestions on how to take care of your marriage while life gets in the way, which is only because 1) life is always getting in the way, 2) life is less annoying that squirrels, and 3) Otto is the best and my favorite.

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Weirdest summer ever

I had grand plans for this summer. I did. This is the Last Summer, our last chance to operate as a family unit of 4 (if you believe the books with titles like Letting Your College Freshman Go and Once They Leave They’re Gone; Whoops! Just Kidding! They’re Back and Still Ungrateful and It’s Perfectly Normal: Why Your Child Becomes an Asshole Before Moving Out) and Do Things.

Except. Well, hey, we’re Doing Things. Many things. ALL THE THINGS! Just… not so much as a family unit, it seems. Everyone’s working. None of our schedules seem to sync up. When we finally have a day when no one has to go do anything, we retreat to separate corners of the house, doing our own things. (For me: quietly, without talking to other humans. For the kids: sometimes talking to their friends, but definitely not to us parents.) Eventually Otto coaxes the rest of us out with promises of ice cream, but it’s not exactly the picture of family togetherness ’round here at the moment, is my point.

Otto was all “We can do it! We can take a vacation! Let me just look at the calendar!” And the only time he could come up with was, like, 36 hours in-between two other things. He insisted that would be great. Um. Maybe not?

I’m sure everything is really great and fantastic, actually, I am just cranky because I’m tired. (more…)

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Well THAT never happens

You are just never going to guess what happened to me today. NOPE. NOT THAT.

Why, today marks the fifth time in 4 years that my Discover card was hijacked. I have no idea why I’m so popular—or why the dirtbags who try to use it always go spend it so stupidly that Discover immediately catches on—but there you go. (Lest you think I exaggerate: I give you January of this year, August 2014, January 2014, and November of 2011, otherwise known as Saladgate.)

Feeling a little light in the wallet? Just steal my Discover number. Everybody’s doing it.

Anyhoo. That put a crimp in my day, and so I felt like I needed a little levity to take my mind off of it. I bet you didn’t know I’m super artistic, but I totally am. In fact, I made you some great illustrations of parenting teenagers. (If you want prints you can just pay for them with my credit card, apparently.)

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It was nice while it lasted

We have lived in Georgia for eight years. I’ve been growing vegetables here for seven years. I’ve battled slugs, aphids, thrips, and the dreaded tomato horn worms. I’ve set up rain barrels and coaxed plants along in the constant 100+ temperatures. And never, EVER, before this year did I have any problems with my tomatoes simply disappearing.

Never before did tomatoes simply start appearing atop the fence.

Never before did my husband set up a video camera to catch the shameless thieves, until now:

Unmasking the tomato thieves from woulda on Vimeo.

It’s mid-July and I’ve already processed about a gallon of tomato sauce. But that might be it, because right now my plants are BARE.

Have I mentioned that I hate squirrels? I really, REALLY hate squirrels.

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Dogs are stupid expensive jerkfaces

I guess I can offer up a small bit of further explanation as to why I hate everything and everyone right now, though this is just the tip of the iceberg, or—as we prefer to say in my family—the tiniest sliver of the crap cake.
140921_Duncan_tie_0058Hi there! My name is Duncan. I enjoy wearing jaunty neckwear, scaring the crap out of my family, and costing a billion dollars while I do it. Also, I have a toe fetish. Please walk over here barefoot so I can lick you.(more…)

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Kids. SHEESH!

Chickadee managed to catch All The Germs during the Icepocalypse week off of school, which is doubly impressive when you consider that we were trapped in the house all that time. (Where did the germs come from? Had she been saving them up? DID SHE EAT INFECTED SNOW???) I ignored her misery for several days before caving and taking her to the doctor, at which point my just desserts were “Yeah, that looks pretty nasty, let’s get some antibiotics on board” and the subsequent and immediate coming down with the crud, myself. HOORAY.

This is where I would normally tell you that in my next life I am only going to have dogs, because kids are just too disgusting. But then this morning Duncan crapped all over our bedroom (you’re welcome for sharing) so basically my whole world is gross and I don’t know what to tell you.

I am now busy alternately blowing my nose and Cleaning All The Things, but also preemptively freaking out about summer plans, because I’m an overachiever like that. If you’re starting to think about what your teens will be doing this summer, please come on over to Alpha Mom and commiserate with me. Misery loves company, and I promise not to breathe on you.

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Merry Christmas! (P.S. Not dead.)

Oh, look. I haven’t been here for a week. No explanation or anything, just *poof*—GONE. If it’s any consolation, that week took about three years, in my mind. What? That doesn’t help? Well, now I’m just going to make it worse by saying, “We are all fine (now) but due to the nature of this particular suckitude, I am not at liberty to discuss it at this time.” And now I want to punch myself in the face, so we’re all on the same page, I think.

[I know. I KNOW. Here, let me give you details as best I can: Something Really Scary And Sucky happened, and while we were trying to deal with that, Something Completely Unrelated But Equally Sucky happened. The first thing was no one’s fault but the second one was 100% preventable with my general life mantra of “don’t be an asshole” (which turns out to be really hard for some people). One situation is now cautiously resolved but the other may end up in a lawsuit and have I ever mentioned that I hate everything? Because sweet baby Jesus, I really kind of hate everything. And THEN my work computer died, because the only thing that week was missing was a giant, expensive inconvenience. Not that I was getting any work done last week, anyway, of course, but there you go.]

And how was YOUR week?

The good (?) news is that the dogs have definitely picked up on the recent stress and have decided to put aside their differences in the interests of a nightly snuggle:

If I’d managed Christmas cards this year, I would’ve used that picture. Peace on earth! Or at least peace on our couch. Those two little hairy beasties are helping to keep me sane, which we all know is no small task.

Here’s to a better week all around.

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Meltdown City, population: me

I think one of the dirtiest little secrets of parenting is the parental meltdown. Sure, we all joke amongst ourselves about that time we got so mad that we yelled—pass that Mother of the Year trophy over here!—but the truth is that the really awful meltdowns don’t get talked about, much.

We’re too ashamed, too worried someone will point a finger and pass judgment.

Well,the advantage of really screwing up and knowing it is that there’s nothing anyone can say to you that you haven’t already said to yourself. (Silver lining, right there.) So come what may, today at Alpha Mom I’m coming clean about the giant tantrum I had this morning.

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Why you don’t mix the government and money

I keep meaning to tell you this story, and what better time than during a government shutdown? Er, slowdown. Or whatever we’re supposed to call it. It just seemed like a good time to reaffirm what every American already knows, which is that our medical system and government are—SURPRISE!—not actually operating as smoothly as they’re supposed to.

Try to contain your shock.

So! Perhaps you remember that about a year ago, I took to the blog to detail how we’d finally gotten Chickadee qualified for Medicaid coverage while she was hospitalized. That was a really big deal, both because the process is crazymaking and because if she hadn’t, we would’ve been on the hook for medical bills we had no reasonable way to pay. At the time, I thought getting the Medicaid approval would be the end of our financial issues related to her illness.

Haaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha! Yeah. Pull up a chair! (more…)

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Inconveniences of the dull and boring

“Our life is boring,” I told Otto after dinner last night. “I have nothing to blog about!”

“We should go on more adventures,” he replied. That Otto, he’s a problem solver. Though he seemed a little miffed when I declined his offer to leave the dirty dishes on the table, the children in their rooms, and grab the dog and drive off into the sunset. I’m not saying it wasn’t tempting, just that I was afraid the kids might eventually track us down. (Also, I hadn’t finished my laundry, and you should never run away without a sizable stash of clean undies.)

I just want to make it clear that I know I am
1) boring
2) relatively privileged
and
3) whining.

I KNOW. That’s not going to stop me, though. (more…)

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