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It was a pretty good run

I cannot remember the last time Duncan bit someone. Rather: I couldn’t remember, BEFORE THIS WEEKEND. He’s so sweet! So calm! That whole “biting people” thing is but a distant memory…

… which came back again while we were watching football this weekend. Otto and I cheered over a play while Duncan snoozed between us on the couch; Duncan leapt awake from the commotion and began barking; I tried to rub his head to calm him down, and he was… uhhh… not calm, it turns out, because I put my hand on him and he promptly snarled and CHOMPed down on my fingers. So. Had to set the “XX DAYS SINCE BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS ME” counter back to zero on Saturday.

He’s so old and cranky and confused, this dog. But also really cute.


“Look at me, so cute and adorable and harmless-seeming. Bring your fingers over here, I’m hungry.”

Anyway, I lived. But Duncan may be getting some coal in his stocking this year. (What do you mean, it’s weird that my dogs have stockings?) This is the closest I’m going to get to a segue today with my still-sore bitten hand, so now if you’re thinking about Christmas (or other holiday shopping), you should head over to Alpha Mom to get some holiday shopping ideas for teens, because this time of year tends to fly by in a blur.

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Blood, sweat, and tears. Mostly blood.

“Hey Mir,” you say, because you think it’s funny by now, “is your bathroom renovation done?”

“Ha!” I reply. “HahahaHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” I howl, and eventually you run in the other direction because I am a little deranged at this point, and frankly, scary.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I find Snapchat useful for staying connected to Chickadee, but there was something immensely satisfying about sending her this snap yesterday, childish though it may have been. (Listen, I was told the drywall guy was coming first thing, then when I inquired around 11 as to what was going on, I was told he’d be coming at 2. I worked out and got into the shower at 1 sharp, and of course my doorbell rang at 1:05. The dogs went ballistic and I answered my door in my robe in the middle of the day like some sort of dilettante.)

So, no, BUT THANKS FOR ASKING, the bathroom isn’t done. We’re closer, though. The tiling is complete (the third time was the charm, it turns out, though the fact that they had to undo/redo some of the tile twice is something I want you to bear in mind if I am murdered any time soon), so we have a floor and a shower and a toilet, and today the painters are coming, which THEORETICALLY means that tomorrow we can actually start using the bathroom again, provided that no one is too bothered by the fact that we don’t yet have a sink. (The vanity was backordered, apparently. Hilarious, because we literally ordered the cheapest possible option and standard everything. Either the whole world is as cheap as we are, or something else is going on. Best not to ponder.)

Bearing in mind that my role in this renovation is limited to shopping—perhaps my favorite sport—and very little actual physical labor, it may be surprising to learn that I am sustaining reno-related injuries, but I’ve always been an over-achiever. (more…)

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Two turkeys, no waiting

Remember when I used to write here regularly? I can’t decide if my life is less interesting now or if I just finally realized my life is not nearly as interesting as I once believed. It’s probably best not to dwell on it.

Today we are trying to Return To Normal Life, only that’s working about as well as you might imagine when my entire family returned on Saturday, over-stimulated and under-rested. Otto is a pretty good sport, as you know—plus when he’s tired he’s not mean, because he is a fully evolved human—but the kids spent most of Saturday in bed and then grumbled around for a while on Sunday and this morning they’re both sick. Because of course they are. (In fairness, Monkey told me he wasn’t feeling well on Saturday, I was just trying to wish it away because that’s a thing that’s worked so well in the past. HAHA. Kid made it 15 minutes at school today before I had to pick him up. Now he’s home with an ear infection and a lot of guilt-inducing comments about how he TOLD me he was sick!)

Chickadee is at school, though, because (quiz time):
A) She is a conscientious student.
B) She is paranoid about falling behind in her AP classes (read: all of her classes).
C) She wants to see her friends.
D) She fears I will give her a hard time for staying home.
E) She’s doing me a solid because she knows Monkey is sicker.
F) Some combination of the above.

This was all a fitting end to my few days of solitude, I guess. (more…)

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Because reasons, that’s why

It has come to my attention that my perception of “normal” may be… a little off. Weird, right? I—and my family/home—am the picture of boring normalness, surely. (Voices in my head: Yeah, no. Also, don’t call me Shirley.)

I mean, doesn’t everyone reassure others about their competence by announcing that they’re a dog door? No? Or own their stupidity by exclaiming “Gorgonzola!”? Also no? Weird.

For some reason, this morning, I started thinking about all of the weird little things which happen around here and strike me as perfectly normal even though it’s POSSIBLE that they’re not. Or maybe they are and I’m just really confused. That’s also a plausible explanation because let’s face it, I spend a lot of time being really confused. A day where I’m NOT confused is probably… a day when I’m asleep. (Wait, is that an option? I would like to be asleep right now.)

So for my own amusement (and maybe yours?), here’s an assortment of things which I’m sure are perfectly normal: (more…)

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Snippets in no particular order

I remember when preparing the kids for the start of school was practically an Olympic event. You’d get the list of school supplies and head off to your local Big Box store to buy your assigned allotment of glue sticks and whiteboard pens, and if you were supposed to have a magenta with teal striped 2.5″ 3-ring binder for a particular subject, well then, you had best find yourself that exact magenta with teal stripes 2.5″ 3-ring binder OR ELSE. Plus the clothes shopping. LORD. Uniforms, for the uniform years, or just replacement of what’s outgrown (him) and stocking the latest trends (her) before the big day.

Preparation for school this year:
Me: Does anyone want to go shopping for clothes? Do either of you need anything?
Monkey: No.
Chickadee: I’m busy.

I picked up some loose-leaf binder paper one day when I was getting groceries and they had a B1G1 special at the supermarket. Then I ordered a box of pens and half a dozen spiral notebooks from Target. Later that same week Chickadee deigned to go thrifting with me (first day outfit: procured) and I gave Monkey a haircut. Done! I LOVE HIGH SCHOOL! (more…)

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A case of mistaken identity

Forgive me, Internet, for I have sinned. I have leapt to conclusions and impugned the good name of an innocent. In short: I am a monster.

Remember when I told you that Licorice has been eating my tomatoes? Tomatoes were ripped in half, still dangling from the vine, and never in all of our years with her has Licorice bothered my garden boxes, but here she was, strolling inside with tomato guts hanging from her muzzle. Of course I took this evidence to be indisputable. Clearly, she had become a rotten, rotten tomato-stealer. FOR SHAME. At first it was just a single tomato, here or there. Then a couple of days ago, my garden turned into a veritable wasteland.

We went from the occasional appearance of something like this…


… to multiple casualties. Behold: (more…)

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Floors, fluffy-buddies, and filth

Hey, remember when I painted my office? Like, a million years ago? And I was all excited about it but then we decided to order new flooring and we’ve been living life with my entire professional life (contents of my office; whatever) strewn all over the dining room and kitchen? The new floor is going in RIGHT NOW as I type. Finally.

Of course, I’m leaving town tomorrow. So, uh, either I’ll reassemble my office tonight before I go or my family can enjoy having my desk in the middle of the kitchen for a few more days. No biggie, right? Right.

Normally I would’ve been terribly impatient about it all, but because life is never dull around here, I’ve been quite busy… cleaning up poop and worrying that Duncan is dying. (Does this seem like a recurring theme? Because wasn’t he just sick a few weeks ago??) Over the last week Duncan was once again kind of lethargic and off and he stopped jumping up on the furniture to be with us and then he started having accidents in the house… and of course it was a holiday weekend so the vet was closed. He didn’t really scare me until the night (on the weekend! of course!) when he refused to get up to come to bed, even, but slept in the crate in the family room all night because he didn’t want to move. I’m not going to lie; I went to bed that night wondering if he was a lot sicker than we thought and maybe the next day would bring a terrible discovery… but… he slept all night and was happy to see us in the morning. After a few bad days he rallied and now he seems to be fine. Stinker. (more…)

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Everybody keep breathing, please

Summer is firmly upon us, and I am enjoying all of my unexpected down time. HAAAA. You know, in-between the driving lessons, ferrying children to and fro, working on a few different projects for the school (damn my need to be “helpful” and “participatory”), gardening, sort of working, various visits and engagements, and trying to keep everyone alive (which turns out to be harder than I think it’s going to be, all the time).

We had houseguests who brought their two dogs, and do it was DOGAPALOOZA here for a couple of days, and after they left, Duncan seemed REALLY tired, which, fine, I guess having two extra dogs all up in your face is stressful. But then he started refusing to get up… or eat… and he got up one afternoon and peed all over the carpet and lay back down right next to it. Plus he was blowing little snot bubbles out of his adorable little smushed-up nose and there was a lot of sneezing and some coughing. (Pro tip: Don’t Google “canine influenza.”) Anyway. The vet put him on some antibiotics and he’s perkier, now, thank goodness.

Monkey is very busy 1) eating everything that is not nailed down and 2) planning out various D&D campaigns and talking to his friends about said campaigns and showing up in my office to say things like “And each oracle gives you a one and a half modifier to your level for the next strike!” (I try to nod and look impressed.) Chickadee is very busy 1) working, 2) driving, 3) doing music stuff like joining a jazz band so that she can learn yet another instrument because apparently jazz flute is not so much a thing, 4) studying for the ACT, 5) binge-watching Netflix, and 6) insisting she is too busy to unload the dishwasher. I choose to believe this is all fine and good.

Because there’s not enough other stuff going on, I’ve finally ordered some paint for my office. You know, because I picked out that paint two years ago and I am nothing if not punctual. Otto said he’d redo the floor for me, too, if I picked out some laminate, so maybe that’ll happen, too. Then my office will be BEAUTIFUL and I will maybe have to, you know, work more.

While I try to relocate two overloaded bookcases (ZOMG), you can head over to Alpha Mom to read about how teenagers differ from toddlers. Spoiler: Notsomuch.

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Dog weirdness and a new chapter

Theoretically I could just say, “Oh hey I have a new post over at Alpha Mom you should go read” and link to it, but I have a couple of dog-related things to share (which, granted, have nothing to do with the Alpha Mom post) so I am just going to put everything here and call it a post. Because… reasons.

Dog Matter #1: Licorice has developed a super-annoying habit of licking the kitchen floor. I don’t mean occasionally, or just that she scoops up food I drop (that’s why you have a dog, after all, so that you don’t have to vacuum as often), but that she will park herself in one of two favorite spots—directly under my feet while I’m cooking/prepping at the stove and the counter space right next to it, or under the kitchen table—and lick, lick, lick, until we worry that her tongue is going to fall off. We have scrubbed the floor. It does not matter. I think she’s removed whatever remained of the protective coating on our ancient vinyl and is giving herself brain damage. I HAVE CONCERNS. Otto’s suggestion of “coating the entire kitchen in Bitter Apple” seems… ill-advised. But I feel like I spend every morning and evening when doing food prep saying, “Licorice, stop. STOP. STAAAAAAHP LICORIIIIICE!”

Dog Matter #2: The other night we finished eating dinner and were hanging out at the kitchen table and I decided to have a banana (the fruit bowl is right there and perhaps I am low on potassium). As soon as I peeled it, both dogs were all up in my grill, per usual, but when Duncan stood on his hind legs and put his paws on my thigh I figured, what the heck, I’ll just let him take a little bite. I lowered the banana to his face and instead of the dainty bite I had anticipated (because I am delusional), my 17-pound delicate flower turned into one of the aliens from “V” (you know, the ones who can unhinge their jaws to eat stuff?) and CHOMP, 3/4 of the banana disappeared. He then lowered himself to the floor and chewed as if his life depended on it, because he knew that if he tried to set his stolen prize down to manage it better, Licorice would steal it. I laughed until I cried, while Otto and Chickadee asked me what I THOUGHT was going to happen. (Me: “Not that!”)

But hey, did I mention I have new post up at Alpha Mom? Because I do. It may not be as entertaining as Duncan stealing most of my banana, but you should go read it, anyway.

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Apparently not Australian

It comes as no surprise to anyone who’s known me for any length of time that my favorite topic of conversation is dogs. Specifically, my dogs. Because they are smushy wuvvy fluffy balls of ridiculousness.


“Help, my teeth don’t all fit in my mouth.”

When the bible talks about pure love and devotion, I believe it’s referring to something nigh unto impossible to achieve among fellow humans, but something that naturally occurs with pets. Just looking at them lowers my blood pressure by at least ten points. They’re the BEST.

Even when they’re, y’know, not. (more…)

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