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The State of the Duncan Address

We’ve crested the three-week mark with Duncan, so I thought you might like to know how he’s doing.

I’m kidding, of course. I don’t care if you care how he’s doing. He’s my SMUSHY LITTLE BABYKINS SWEETIEBOY and one of the only one of my children whose problems I can actually solve (the other one with solvable problems is, of course, Licorice), so I’m going to tell you about him whether you care or not. I’m selfish like that.

But seriously…


… if this face doesn’t make you start talking in a high-pitched baby voice, I just don’t know what to tell you. (more…)

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After this I’ll stop (maybe) (probably not)

The Great Doggie Integration Experiment of 2013 continues apace. Licorice continues to endure, while Duncan continues to try to figure out what in the world is happening. It turns out that his former owners weren’t kidding when they said he was “very food motivated,” so with liberal application of treats, we’re making good progress with him.

A fairly typical tableau.

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We’ve completely gone to the dogs

I know, I know. I was all LOOKA MY NEW SMUSHY PUPPY and then I disappeared. Almost like I had a life, or something. Except no, I totally don’t, I just have this here newish dog who is a complete mess. Needless to say, this both confirmed my belief that he’s totally part of our family AND has kind of been keeping me busy.

Anyway, we had to go see the vet.

“I am the saddest sad who ever sadded. WHYYYY MEEEEE??”

The good news is that the vet was all “I have an open appointment right after you pick up your kid! Come on in!” The bad news is that THEN two dogs who ate rat poison came in, so we had to wait for an hour. Neither Duncan nor Monkey were pleased. (Monkey busied himself with taking pictures, then playing every game on my phone, and later he was allowed to visit an owl they had in the back who escaped his enclosure and drank the vet’s coffee. So I think maybe I’ve been forgiven because OWL DRINKING COFFEE.) (more…)

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The course of true puppy love…

… never did run smooth, right?

Our first night with Duncan was a little rough. Today is better, and tomorrow will be better still. We’ll get there. In the meantime, it’s possible that my latest at Alpha Mom will cure you of wanting a second dog, just in case you’d been thinking that was a good idea.

On the other hand…

… Duncan just figured out how to use the doggie door out on the porch, and he was pretty proud of himself. So there’s that.

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Let’s make life more complicated!

So, uh, remember how I was all, “What we really need while everything is going wrong and ending up more expensive than we planned is another dog?” That was dumb, right? I mean, who DOES that?

Even Licorice knew it was stupid, and she’s cute, but not exactly a MENSA candidate or anything.

“You want a what, now? NO.”

Dumbest idea I ever had. Yep. (more…)

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The root of all evil… and puppies

I think we all know I’ve been a little out of sorts for a bit. (“O RILLY?” you say, because you are mostly nice and only a little wanting to poke fun at my uncharacteristic use of understatement.) Various… things… and medications… have left me feeling… well, let’s say… unfulfilled.

["Hey Mom," said a child of mine, a few days ago, "I've been reading your blog and apparently you hate everyone and everything. How's that going?" Testament to my priorities: I just felt self-satisfied that this information was obtained from my blog when said child LIVES WITH ME. I must be doing a FANTASTIC job of pretending NOT to hate everyone! (Also I did not smack my beautiful child, even though the fruit of my loins was making fun of me when I am busy having MANY MANY FEELS. I feel that I deserve... maybe not a medal, but perhaps a merit badge of some sort? Someone should really invent an entire line of "surviving teens" badges. I smell a new Etsy shop!]

There are two distinct money-related phenomena that occur when I’m trying to cope with feeling like this, and although they are in some ways total opposites, I’m living proof that they can exist at the same time and feel like they make total sense. I’m just super talented that way. (more…)

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Things which are ridiculous

My toenails; more specifically, my inability to paint them properly.
I believe in painted toenails. I don’t know why, because I almost never paint my fingernails and rarely wear makeup. I’m not exactly a get-dolled-up-regularly type, is my point. And yet, to me, summer = painted toenails. And given that I am far too cheap/lazy to get professional pedicures—hey, I have polish and passable eye/hand coordination—I do my own feet here at home. I am never either drunk or blind before I set out to prettify my feet, AND YET! What the heck is my problem? I manage to BOTH slop polish all over my toes AND miss entire sections of nails altogether.

I have been painting my nails for something like 30 years. You’d think I would’ve figured it out by now…? And when I paint someone ELSE’s nails—like on the rare occasions when Chickadee will allow me to do hers—I’m fine. This leads me to believe it’s some sort of angle issue, but I’m pretty bendy and not tall, really, so it’s not like my feet are all that far away.

[Somewhat-related digressions: Anyone else keep buying pretty colors in different brands because they're cheap and then getting annoyed when they chip? OPI + MIR = BFF 4EVAH. I am currently sporting Lincoln Park After Dark both to pretend Fall has actually arrived and because the stuff I had on before this was a different brand and was all chipped up by the time I took it off. Also---random recommendation ahoy---am I the last person on earth to learn about Gooey? I appreciate how it keeps the (good) polish on my nails even while I'm scraping it off the surrounding skin.] (more…)

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Birthday bonuses

I neglected to mention that about a week ago, Licorice and I had our birthdays. (Hers is the day after mine, according to the rescue from which she came, and also karmic math equations wherein your birthday + a dog’s birthday the very next day = The One True Dog.) It’s hard for me to verbalize why my attitude towards my own birthday these days is pretty unenthusiastic. It likely has something to do with the speed of time passing, the unexpected loops life has thrown our way the last couple of years, and gravity. (Mostly that last one.) Regardless of the cause, my excitement for marking another year of my life is hovering somewhere between “NO” and “whatever.”

On my birthday morning I woke up to a very excited family, a pile of small wooden boxes, and a weird paper thing. Following instructions from Otto, I eventually assembled this tableau:


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Gone skinkin’

So the supplies were gathered up, the trailer packed, and this is the part where I would normally conclude “and we were off in a cloud of dust,” except it has been so rainy that there is no dust. We were off in a cloud of mud? Mud doesn’t really cloud. We were off in the splash of a puddle? That sort of works. We packed up and left, is the point. Because why sit around at home when you could sit around in a forest and be eaten by bugs?

[Fun storm fact: Right before we left, the monotony of regular thunderstorm after regular thunderstorm was broken up by ye olde BIG ASS THUNDERSTORM FLASH FLOOD ZOMG, and thankfully that doesn't mean anything too terrible for us because we live on a hill, but our #^&*@#% cursed pool, I'll have to ask Otto if he took pictures, because I have never seen anything like it. For one thing, our crappy pool was transformed overnight into an infinity pool! By which I mean the water level was right up to the concrete. (Flash floods are FUN!) For another thing, all of the debris knocked off trees and whatnot had washed down the driveway and directly into the pool, so after EVERYTHING we've gone through to right the pool and balance the chemistry, it was not only overflowing, it was swampy with lord only knows what. Otto spent a day fishing out branches and stuff and the water was still brackish when we left even after a day and a half of running the filter.]

I wanted to burn the house down before we left, but Otto—so unreasonable!—was all, “Look, I bought you some candy for the ride, just get in the truck and let’s go.” So we left. (more…)

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Desperate times, etc.

I was having trouble coming up with a good way of expressing it that didn’t sound trite, I guess. Ebb and flow! Sunrise, sunset! One step forward, two steps back! The course of true love and/or parenting never did run smooth!

But, you know. There’s only so many ways to say “hey, no biggie, but this week is kind of feeling like a slog and I am tired.” Otto did a lot of traveling this month and I miss him when he’s gone; whether she’ll ever admit it or not, I think Chickadee does, too. So by this past weekend, we two ladies (using that term ever-so-loosely) (though not implying we are loose, mind you) were well and truly sick of each other and working one another’s very last nerve.

Thankfully, Otto came back last night, and I told him to STOP LEAVING US, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. He agreed, mostly because he was done traveling, anyway. Yay!

Truly, his return wasn’t a moment too soon, because things here had become dire. (more…)

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