Life! And other stuff!

Remember when I used to write here all the time? No? Huh. Me neither. But I heard a rumor that it used to be so. You know, back before life chewed me up and spit me out as a humorless husk of crankiness.

[HA! Just kidding. I’m TOTALLY CHEERFUL! I mean, most of the time. Some of the time. Occasionally. Look, I’m working on it. (No, really, I’m literally working on it. Like, old-school literally, not the new-fangled literally that makes linguists weep.)]

Anyway. Stuff has been happening, I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write about it because of reasons. (Those reasons include—but are not limited to—children, ice cream, pollen, chocolate, the return of Mad Men, work, trying to exercise regularly even though we all know I hate exercising, illness, laundry, fantasizing with my husband about all the things we’ll do once the kids have finally gone to jail moved out, school meetings, and shopping for groceries.) (So not kidding about the groceries thing. Seven gallons of milk a week. SEVEN GALLONS. I need a second fridge. Also a nap.)

Just how thrilling has it been? Let me count the ways!

School is almost over! That’s… nuts, right? Just a few more weeks and I will have a sophomore and a junior on my hands, assuming everyone makes it to the end of the semester in one piece. Monkey has done exactly what we’d hoped he would do, which means I think he will be raring to go next year on a full-day, regular schedule, thanks to both easing in with this half-day thing AND the fact that next year he’ll get to take the classes he really wants, like seven thousand science classes. Or something. I don’t know. Chickadee, on the other hand, is doing that thing where she insists it just LOOKS like she’s in the weeds but it all works out in the end! Or so she assures me. I have stopped looking at anyone’s grades. God is granting me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change through steadfast denial. Yay!

I can stop anytime I want to. I have very few games on my iDevices. Very few. Plus I know that I will get sucked in and so I try to avoid anything I’ve heard is highly addictive. (Case in point: I have never played Candy Crush.) But the children convinced me to try 2048 and let us not discuss how many hours of my life I have likely lost to shuffling numbers around by now. Instead, let us bask in the glow that is my having reached the 4096 tile this weekend. It’s green. I felt totally triumphant for about 5 straight minutes, and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, good for you. Never mind.

It’s summertime in Dogville! The weather is warming up and it was time to take the dogs for appropriate haircuts. This was the first tandem grooming appointment, and after I recovered from the coronary caused by the bill (weird, two dogs cost twice as much as one, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?), I had two very naked-looking pups on my hands.

Licorice just looks adorable and tiny after clipping, I think, but as this was the first time we had Duncan really trimmed down (he was shorn pretty close when we got him, but he was also really overweight back then), I am constantly surprised at how he now looks like a tiny, disgruntled lion. Or Wilford Brimley. Either way.

But the thing is, I don’t know if the groomer nicked his undercarriage or if he just got irritated or what, but a couple of days after grooming it became clear that Duncan was… erm… doing more self-grooming than usual. In the testicular area. Or where his testicles used to be, anyway. He had licked himself raw in a small, irritated patch. That’s sad, of course, because POOR PUPPY, but also hilarious, apparently, because now when various family members feel the need to do a Duncan-voice commentary, it’s usually things like, “Hey, my scrotum is ouchie!” or “My not-balls are kind of hurting.” And in the meantime I am left trying to get in there and put salve on the affected area without him biting me or immediately licking it off, so yeah, I have been spending a lot of quality time with my dog’s oozing scrotum. Try not to be jealous. (It is getting better now, thank goodness, because the next step was going to be a cone, and if you think he looks pissed off NOW, I really wouldn’t want to see how that goes.)

It’s garden season! Because I don’t have enough to do (hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa!) and because my idea of “saving money” on summer produce is to spend hundreds of dollars and hours on my garden rather than just getting up early on Saturdays to go to the damn farmer’s market, yesterday I commenced with the annual ritual of spending too much time at the garden center, following by half a day of sweating and swearing while I get everything planted. It’s very cathartic, actually. This year in the interest of motivating the children, I offered CASH MONEY PAYMENT for assistance outdoors, as the dog poop does not pick itself up, the pine straw does not spread itself, and weeding/prepping/planting does take some doing. I set out tasks for my darling children as well as our bonus child who is here, well, all the time. (Did I mention I have a third kid? Probably not. Surprise!) Monkey picked up approximately three fossilized pieces of dog crap before declaring that he was going to hurl, Chickadee spent most of her time fetching water and spraying people with the hose, and Bonus Kid hauled bales of straw and bags of dirt and spread all the straw and just generally worked hard. GUESS WHO GOT PAID! (Hint: No one who used to live inside my body.) GUESS WHO’S REALLY MAD AT THEIR MOM! (Hint: Not Bonus Kid!)

Addendum: This year I am trying beets along with our standard tomatoes/eggplant/beans/peppers/cucumbers fare. I know, I know; you hate beets. You think they taste like dirt. I love beets, so probably they will either not grow or will be eaten by pests. We’ll see.

So, you know, all kinds of busy. I would love to stay and tell you more, but we’re out of milk, so I should probably go get some before the natives return from school and start bitching about it.


  1. Sherri

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who has decided, for her own sanity, to stop looking at the grades online.

  2. Korinthia Klein

    We got our little Chipper dog who looks just like Licorice groomed recently too, and he went from a giant poof of a thing to a skinny minnie. We laugh every time we see him because there is nothing left of him but his fluffy head, really. Thanks for sharing the puppy pics!

  3. StephLove

    I’ve tried to grow beets twice and failed twice. The greens come up looking all hopeful and then the beets just never develop.

  4. JennyA

    But will you have mint this year? MIIIIIINNNNNNNNT #miiiiiinnnnt

    • Mir

      I love you.


      • Katie in Cali

        I live in a condo with community planters. Someone about five units away from me started growing mint last year sometime. No biggie, especially since we have stealthily planted veggies. Except, now, I am finding little mint plants all over the building. Like, on the opposite of building in a totally separate planter. It amazes me. The mint is taking over.

  5. Midj

    Nice to hear from you, sweet thing! Remember the old days when you and I used to draw things for that other game thing? We were each sure *we* were the worst artists. It was fun! Excuse me while I go look up this “2048”… I’m sure I have a little free time to check it out— ;-) Love from FL, where I refuse to put in a garden this year since the beagle eats the plants anyway!

    • Midj

      Aaaaand… 3328

      Just saying thanks, Mir… What I needed today, sincerely (too many sick, miserable kids for the last few weeks). Mindless game to free my brain. It is fun.

      Now back to work—

  6. Ani

    FWIW, I love me some beets. :-)

  7. Bonnie

    I didn’t know you could go beyond 2048. Still proud when I reach 500’s and thought my addiction would be cured if I just reached the mystical 2048. Now I’m doomed. Also, you are my hero.

  8. bonuela

    I love that licorice is all ” I look pretty, oh so pretty.” and Duncan is more “I am humiliated, and my human is sooooo gonna pay for this.”

    Also, if you buy a cow, you will always have plenty of milk. :-p

  9. Jean

    So missed your posts Mir! I live in New York so when I see the “school is almost over posts” from my friends in the south it kills me. We are all so ready for school to be over but have another 9 weeks left. ***sigh*** Plus it is refusing to get warm here so even the spring flowers didn’t bloom right.

    Ps…if your beets flourish you can send the extra to me…I <3 them.

    • Jessica (the celt)

      That is the best collar ever! I had to share both your comment and the link with my husband. And his face when I clicked over to show him the collar was priceless and sent me off in peals of laughter again. That dog does look like he’s ready for sail! And he’s even got the life preserver, just in case! ;)

  10. Mandy

    Missed you bunches.

    Also, what’s the application process for becoming Bonus Kid #2?

    • Mir

      Apparently you just show up regularly and be a nice kid until I forget that you’re not mine. That seems to be how it works. ;)

  11. Brigitte

    Wait, Mad Men is back!?

  12. Sonia

    I don’t have a dog, I don’t have a garden, I’ve never heard of 2048, and my biggest school related issue involving my kids is “opting them out” of the state testing because I detest the common core more than beets. However, I always take something from your posts and today it is that I really should make my kids drink more milk! (I’m tempted to write you out a common core math word problem using how many kids I have and how much milk they apparently don’t consume in a week but I’ll abstain!)

  13. Diane

    Yum, beets!

    Duncan really has a Scots-type glower down, doesn’t he?

    I know the time sink of 2048, though I play the Dr. Who version. Getting to Chris Eccleston is a joy; I’ve yet to match him, though.

  14. Angela Stone

    Oh that game is evil! Bonus kid needs a new name…like prize or crackerjack since you know prize – bonus – crackerjack. Just a thought. I made it to 256 before I forced myself to pull the plug. Pure evil…Now to forget it exists!

  15. Jamie

    4096 – wow! I’ve gotten the 1024 and the 512 next to it, but can’t build up another 512 to merge. Maybe a few more hours… :)

  16. Sharon

    It’s heaven to read you here [I subscribed to Want Not because I missed your posts but I don’t shop so it’s not working out so well]. I don’t have a dog, don’t play games online, and I don’t grow vegetables, but I’m learning to like beets. It’s just so good to hear from you~

  17. kellyg

    7 gallons of milk in a week?!?!?!?!!?!? wow. And you only have 2 kids. They must really like their milk or their cereal or their smoothies or milkshakes or whatever else has milk in it.

    Yes. From that entire post, that’s my take away. Mir’s kids drink a lot of milk. Oh wait. Make that 3 kids. Ok. Now it makes sense.

  18. Brenda

    Reaching 4096 is truly magical. That game was bad enough when I was just playing online. Now it’s on my phone and it’s pretty much all I do.

  19. suburbancorrespondent

    Okay, thanks for the warning. My daughter Rachel convinced me to download 2048 yesterday; she said it was educational. Educational, my a**. How many times does one need to review the powers of 2? And, oh my, it is addictive – lab-rat-pressing-levers-for-food addictive…

    • Jessica (the celt)

      Maybe the kids will decide to go into computer science, and then they’ll love that they know the powers off the top of their heads! ;) (Naw, it’s just addicting. You’re right.)

  20. Susan

    Oh the glorious time suck that is 2048! Even worse (better?) is Threes. All of the matching, but without the possibility of relying on a swiping pattern to advance. (plus the numbers all have names, say hello when you create them for the first time, and there’s confetti when you beat your high score!)

  21. Arnebya

    I so want to garden. Alas, I think it’s beyond my ability what with the potential need to seal off the grounds from all vermin. Between the tomato eating squirrels (who take ONE BITE OF EACH AS THOUGH THE NEXT ONE, NO THE NEXT ONE, NO THE NEXT ONE WILL BE DIFFERENT), raccoons who steal strawberries — I give up. (I do plan to try again, though, if only to get my husband to stop this incessant attempt at indoor avocado growing). I played a round of Candy Crush once. And then I deleted it. I am, however, intensely addicted to Ruzzle and Scramble with Friends.

  22. Jan

    Have I mentioned that I have a milkman? Milk, it MAGICALLY shows up on my doorstep EVERY WEEK in appropriate amounts for my family. Which I adore right up until the part where I have to write one big check at the end of the month and then I’m all, oh, that THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS? …. that’s for milk (and eggs and cottage cheese and butter, true, but mostly milk).

    I miss your posts too, and wish you wanted to share all the things with us again, but I understand. And it’s good to hear from you.

    We had a girl dog with that particular, um, habit? affliction? Hers turned out to be an allergy to, I kid you not, GRASS. *sigh* Life is complicated, is it not?

  23. Paige

    4096? 4096?!? Geez. The best I’ve done so far was 1048! But I gloated about that for more like 5 hours, so perhaps I should spend less time gloating and more time shuffling little numbers about.

  24. Erin

    This product for animal ouchies is PURE GOLD, I say. You can get it at the vet or off of Amazon. It’s called Ceragyn. It’s amazing for wound healing. I am tempted to try it on my child, but it has not been tested on humans, so… But pets, it’s amazing. We are dealing with some internal stitches trying to break through our dog’s skin. It’s gross, she picks at it, and after a week on this stuff, she is so much better.

  25. Mary K. in Rockport

    When our dog was a pup, he slipped on the stairs and scraped his undercarriage. We thought maybe taking him into the salt water at the beach would be healing – no. Cortisone salve was recommended but, needless to say, the poor dog shied away from having his abraded b*lls rubbed with medicine. A doctor I was working with said, “You know, cortisone comes in a spray. I’ll write you a prescription.” Worked like a charm. But all we had to do, for the rest of the dog’s life was to say “Psssst” in the his presence to totally freak him out.

  26. addy

    I’ve missed you! And I had Bonus Kid for years. Great to have around. Come back when you can stay awhile. :)

  27. Jenny

    So glad to see a post from you! I have a Bonus Kid too – a couple of them, actually. I feel like the Pied Piper when I pick up our daughter from school. I start out with one child and accumulate more as we walk home. I thought that an advantage of having just one biological kid would be that I wouldn’t run out of groceries every two days, but I didn’t factor in the hungry friends!

  28. mamalang

    I try to only look at grades once a month for the sophomore. Sigh. She’s doing fine. But still.

    Definitely Wilford Brimley.

    And yes on 2048! I keep cursing my kid. Now they have their father playing some dragon game with them (I call it Dragon Farmville which annoys them all, but it’s basically what it is.)

  29. nancy

    We are also trying beets this year, golden beets! My new favorite.

    Thanks for the reminder. I need to stop at the store and buy milk before I go home.

  30. Daisy

    My garden chores are again officially postponed due to another emergency surgery and complications in the follow up. I think I’m going to offer the neighbor boys cash to help with the digging and heavy work. Or cookies. They might prefer cookies.

  31. Michele

    Pissed off dog pics made my day!

  32. Jeanie

    You have been busy! Please, please tell me how you got the extra weight off of Duncan. My shih tzu is a “little overweight,” according to the vet. I did recently get a labradoodle puppy that Kenzie’s been playing with, and I’m hoping that will get rid of a pound or two. Do you have a special diet for Duncan? And I love beets, too!

  33. Stacy

    I have no not made it to 1024 – did not even know you can go above 2048 – I just thought that was “the end”.

    Wilford Brimely, definitely.

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