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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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So the inmates are running the asylum

Summer vacation, man. Things are crazy already, and it’s only the second day.

I think tomorrow I’ll be able to direct you to a post about my summer philosophy (spoiler: Now with fewer Give A Craps!), but for today all I can tell you is that we ate all the strawberries we picked last week and we had to go pick some more. Also there are more teenagers lurking around here than I remember giving birth to, but I am a little afraid to do a headcount. Everyone seems happy, so it’s okay. Also we have a lot of strawberries.

ALSO my darling daughter has completely lost her mind discovered her nurturing side. You see, yesterday the Bug Guy came to spray, and while he was out spraying on the deck, a GIANT cockroach palmetto bug ran in through the deck door, and Chickadee decided to rescue it. AS YOU KNOW, I was already planning to burn the house down, but the new resident is making that decision even easier.

“He has EPILEPSY!” she declared. It seems he may have gotten sprayed on the way in. It scrambled his brains just a little. [WARNING: Pic after the jump.] (more…)

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All she wanted was a romp in the pond

Is this really necessary??

I am so peeing in your bed as soon as I get out of here.

Not kidding. NOT SORRY.

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Gardening for carnivores

So hey, since moving down here to the south I’ve become a passable vegetable gardener. (I don’t know if it’s so much due to the move as that the longer growing season is a lot more forgiving, and also I have a fenced area here to keep the deer from eating everything we grow.) Each year around Easter I trot out the wheelbarrow and various tools and dig the weeds out of my boxes and start planning what we’ll plant this year.

I’d love to tell you each year has layered precious knowledge on top of what came before, and now—five years into my clueless time of gardening-with-Google—I’m an expert. But… mostly I am a person who 1) likes vegetables, 2) knows how to read, and 3) has sort of learned a little from past mistakes. To wit: After multiple years of trying to grow snap peas in the middle of the summer, I actually bothered to read up on them and now know that they don’t do well in heat. Whoops! So this year I planted some early, and theoretically they should be ready for harvest before we’re into endless weeks of 95+ temps.

Also, I’ve learned that tomatoes are pretty easy to grow as long as you don’t have to battle tomato horn worms. So the garden is always pretty tomato-heavy. We all like tomatoes and tomato sauce, so that works. (more…)

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Strolling through nature’s beauty

It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter (in all senses both literal and metaphorical). The arrival of spring has us all but dancing around with cartoon wildlife. Never has a return to normal life and pleasant temperatures been more highly anticipated than this year, I’m thinking.

And never has there been a happier canine than one Spoiled Rotten Licorice, who is reaping the benefits of our spring-drunkeness in spades. The nice thing about a tiny little mutt like her—12 pounds of terror, man—is that she doesn’t HAVE to have a daily walk. She’s not an insane breed whose brain goes berserk without proper exercise, plus (let’s face it), at her size, we can toss a ball in the house or let her out into her run and she can get all the exercise she really needs. Still, walks are ZOMGEXCITING and lately she’s getting a walk every day.

Is there anything more soothing, more American, more simultaneously meditative and invigorating than clipping a small animal to a rope and then alternately dragging her/being dragged around outside on a beautiful afternoon? THERE IS NOT.

It has gotten to where as soon as anyone starts putting on shoes, the dog starts dancing around in little circles. (more…)

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Things which are scary

When I was about Chickie’s age, I was busy chewing my way through everything Stephen King ever wrote. The freakier and scarier, the better. This came up when I tried to convince Otto to watch Bates Motel with me the other night; he’s not so much a fan of a series that is fairly unapologetic about the amount of blood and gore, whereas I love it. I found myself explaining that—for me—there is catharsis in stories filled with terror. I get to experience all the fear/loathing/panic my body can handle WITHOUT having to relate it to my own particular life, and afterward, somehow my brain goes, “Well, then. We’re fine. Thank goodness none of that stuff was happening to US!” And I walk away happier.

Apparently that’s odd…? Like, most people read/see scary stuff and it just freaks them out? I’m now wondering if I am the only person who enjoys freaking myself out this way and feels fine, after. (Example: I watch Bates Motel, I can happily move on with my life when it’s over. But I have a real-life encounter like the last one I told you about and I’m disturbed and squicked out for days.

This tells me that fear is relative (duh). So here are a few other recent frightening things: (more…)

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Minutiae for your Monday

I have a variety of not-long-enough-to-be-a-complete-post stories which are either 1) still interesting enough for sharing or 2) mind-numbingly dull but I don’t realize that and insist you must know, and therefore that shall result in this, a disjointed mishmash of unrelated things all in one place. It’s just like my junk drawer! Only with more words and fewer pen caps!! (Moral of this story: If you need a paperclip and a button, I’m your gal.)

There’s a slight twinge of remorse here that I don’t have a more exciting life or whatever, but on the other hand, I got up this morning and brought up Facebook and was immediately presented with several hundred of my closest friends (haaaaaaaa) complaining about snow. And I’m not doing that! This is going to be WAY more interesting (to me)!

Though—speaking of weather—we had a gray, rainy weekend, and nothing makes me adore my spoiled rotten dog more than a few days of rain. While her lovable traits are numerous, the fact that she will leap at the door as if bladder explosion is imminent (ZOMG MUST GO OUT NOW NOW NOW OPEN THE DOOR I’M DYING!!!), then will poke her head out onto the porch once the door is opened, listen to the rain for a moment, and flounce back inside, all, “Just kidding, did you know it was RAINING out there? I just had my hairs did. I’ll just flop down on your couch and cross my legs for a while and take a nap,” is endlessly hilarious to me. This is a dog who was picked up as a stray, clearly in terrible shape. What have we done over the last three+ years that now has her convinced she’s far too delicate to even get WET? (more…)

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Weekend fun

And here we understand “weekend fun” to be synonymous with “dog torture.”

Licorice really, really, REALLY wants a walk from woulda on Vimeo.

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