If you comment that the common yard tends to look like trailer trash lives here, the only thing missing being a truck up on blocks and a pink flamingo, well…when you leave for the weekend, your vision will likely be fulfilled.


I should state up front that I am not a dog person. Really, I’m not. We’ve had two dogs and I loved them both, and I especially miss Hank, but I’m not a “dog” person. I’m a cat person.

I’ve had to remind myself of that fact this weekend. Several times.

We’re dog sitting for two dogs, and a horse that thinks it’s a dog. All three are sweet pups (even the St. Bernard, whom I swear is part equine) that listen well and obey (well, when given verbal commands. They know there’s a line they’re not supposed to cross outside, but they do it anyway…and immediately come back when I tell them to). The two bigger dogs, though, can take me or leave me. They seem happy to see me because I’m going to let them outside.

The smallest of the three, though…he makes me think that I’ll want another dog someday. He knows how to work The Look and has the consummate puppy dog eyes when he needs them. He dangled the hook early on Day One and set it on Day Two. I let the other two out and he hung back to stand on his back legs and rest his head against my leg, looking up with that “you love me, you know you do” look.

When I finally got him outside, he ran off to do his business quickly and came back to may chair, resting his head in my lap while I watched the other two.

The other two wanted their fair share of attention, too, but that was pretty much limited to having a giant doggy booger wiped across my leg, and 30 seconds at a time each of head scratching. The little guy…he’s an attention whore.

And totally adorable.

This is not good.


It occurred to me today that Hank has been for a year now. A year today, to be specific. I thought about it early enough that the day could have been a completely depressing mess, but it wasn’t so bad. It was just a sad fact of the date; I still miss Hank, sometimes enough that it hurts, but it’s not that overwhelming “oh shit, I’m gonna cry” kind of thing. It’s more like a “damn, he was such a good dog” thing, and while I miss him, I’m just happy we had him for as long as we did.

I feel pretty much the same on the anniversary of Dusty’s death; I miss her, but I’m glad she was with us for as long as she was—13 years—and that as sick as she was her last year, she was comfortable and happy right up until that last day.


We didn’t sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. The Spouse Thingy got off work early, really early, so after the maintenance guy came to fix our running toilet with the leaky valve, we went to a movie. The Day After Tomorrow is, in spite of the critics’ belly aching that the movie is stupid because “that just can’t happen”, a pretty good way to spend a couple of hours. So it can’t really happen, at least not in the scientific manner as shown in the movie.

Say it with me, kiddos.

It’s. Just. A. Movie.
Made up stuff.

We had a good time. And he has tomorrow off, so we’ll probably just hang around the house and clean out the garage, spend some time with some neighborhood dogs we’re pet sitting (one is pretty much a horse, though, I’m not sure he can realistically be classified as canine), and play with the Spouse Thingy’s new Smoothie machine.

It’ll make daiquiris.


All righty now… I think the world is now safe from the threat of my life threatening (really! It was horrid! Or at least annoying) cold. Now it’s just a gross collection of odd snorts and hacking coughs as I try to spew forth the gunk dripping in thick, slimy threads from my sinuses (having breakfast? Did that make you more hungry?) The chortle of trying to bring up the massive lugies is made worse my eating, which makes me a wonderful dinner companion, I’m sure.

But I’m feeling terrific, even getting up at Way Too Early in the morning to walk with some of the neighbors. Well, twice this week, anyway. They walk at a nice clip, I realize now just how freakishly out of shape I am, made worse by having not been swimming in a few weeks (because, frankly, the Y pool appears to have lots of the aforementioned lugies floating in the water, and it creeps me out.) My shins are screaming at me, not necessarily telling me to stop it already, but more like “see, you’re fat and you’re out of shape, and we’re going to remind you with every beat of your heart.”

Really, when you finally get off your ample ass and start working out again, shouldn’t your body be thanking you for it instead of tormenting you even further? What ever happened to that nice endorphin rush that makes the effort worth it? The addictive properties that propel a person off the couch and into running shoes? Do I not get that? Am I doomed to forever feel the aches and pains and “oh this just sucks” of activity? Well?

Maybe I’ll just sleep in and be waiting for them all on the front lawn when they get home, with a huge freaking plate full o’cake in one hand and a raspberry smoothie in the other. That’ll learn ‘em to be morning people with goals.

Oh, hush.


It’s just a cold, really…though my neighbors may think I’m incredibly anti-social this week. It’s not bad enough to keep me locked behind the door, refusing to even peek out, but it is enough to keep me from dropping into a chair on the front lawn if other people are out.

I simply don’t want to infect the entire neighbor. Sure, I probably got it from one of the kids, but if I didn’t I don’t want to become the Typhoid Thumper of our street. And one of the neighbors is recuperating from surgery, and I surely don’t want to expose her to it. With my luck she’d sneeze and the top half of her head would come flying off, and that would make us all feel really bad.

And speaking of the neighbors…yeah, I know how I refer to them might be occasionally be confusing (next door neighbor, 2 year old of next door neighbor, other 2 year old, two 5 year olds, etc.), but they didn’t ask to be identified online and I’m sure as heck not going to plaster their names all over the Internet (satisfied, Murf? Ye who never updates his own blog.) Y’all will just have to muddle through the confusion that spews forth from my brain.

In other news: my flowers recently planted are not dead yet, the cat finds my illness somewhat amusing at 3 a.m., and it looks like my living room and kitchen threw up.

Just a little more sharing.


The joys of Spring…I’m not shivering so hard it feels like my fillings are going to rattle out (still cold, but not that cold—though I am now officially hypothyroid, I just haven’t been back to the doc to do anything about it, but not because I’m avoiding him, but because he’s not in the clinic right now, and if I keep going I might have the World’s Longest Run-on sentence), the tree out in the front yard has sprouted leaves, so that we have a wonderful shady spot, and we’re past the danger of a hard frost.

This means flowers.

So yesterday I wandered outside to weed the flower beds, and found myself with several little helpers in just a few minutes time. No kidding, the kids ran over to help—mostly because (I think) that my flower beds are generally off limits to digging, unlike the next door neighbor’s, and this was a chance to dig in them. But they really helped. It wasn’t just “help” but honest work.

The two older kids got bored and wandered off, but the two 5 year olds weeded half the bed around the wishing well by themselves, digging down deep for the more stubborn stuff that would have interfered with flower planting, and the two 2 year olds did the best they could to pick tiny little weeds out and drop them into the bucket.

What could have been a whole lot of extra years turned out to save me a whole bunch of time. They did an awesome job.

So today I planted a bunch of impatiens and petunias, and baptized them with Miracle Grow, which seems to be my best bet in avoiding mass herbicide. I also have lots of flower pots to still fill, courtesy of some neighbors who are moving out this week. That means I can go buy more flowers :) Hopefully flowers I won’t kill, and won’t attract too many bees.

Tomorrow the Spouse Thingy will string clear Christmas lights in the big tree outside, and then we’ll have an even nicer spot to sit.

And to drink.

There’s always the drinking…


Heh. If you can’t read the score—the game is still going, too—clicky here and you can see the bigger screen.
Yes, I’m bragging.


5 grown men.
1 Slip-N-Slide, on a hill facing a driveway.
54 degrees outside.
At night.
All on videotape.


Happy Mother’s Day!

Who’da thunk I’d start out my day with a brand new puppy? Yep, for Mother’s Day the Spouse Thingy got me a cute little black and white Border Collie named Buddy. He’s a quiet little thing, doesn’t eat much, doesn’t bark at the cat. He is, however, quite talented, as he can roller skate, and even wears his skating helmet (considering I got yelled at by a 4 year old the other day for not wearing mine, this is a good thing…) You can see him here and see what the cat thinks of him here.


Spring is finally here to stay, and it’s been worth the wait. It’s not too hot, but not so cool I need a sweatshirt when I’m outside in order to not feel like a human Popsicle. We can take the convertible out and drive where ever we want, turning ourselves all kinds of shades of red when we forget the sunscreen, or we can sit outside on the front lawn under three tree, watching the kids play, or just reading.

Today it hit 83 and we went fishing. The Spouse Thingy caught a nice, fat trout today, along with an assortment of perch (Me, I got one tiny little nibble and I yanked the freaking hook out of is mouth before the hook could set), which not only made the trip worth it, but seemed to make the cat very happy, too. He’s in little kitty heaven—which seems to be located right in the middle of my chair in the living room, where he curled up to enjoy the feeling of having an overly full stomach.

Not catching anything didn’t bother me—I don’t eat fish so it doesn’t really matter who catches it. It was just nice to sit out there and feel the breeze coming across the lake. Even nicer that the Spouse Thingy caught something and I don’t think anyone else out there did :)


When I was in 7th grade, or thereabouts, I was seriously jonesing to live in California (we were in Texas at the time). My sisters tried to convince me that I didn’t really want to live there, because someday the entire state was going to break off and fall into the ocean. In 150 years. So by their estimates, in roughly 107 years, California will be no more.

Apparently, they were ahead of their time. According to NBC’s 10.5 mini-series, that’s pretty much what’s going to happen, perhaps a bit sooner. All the faults will align, a gas pocket will belch, and within 48 hours there will be all these huge earthquakes. But fear not! Some guy from FEMA will just run up and down the state drilling really big holes into which nuclear bombs can be dropped, and the fault lines will be fused. Of course, he’ll die trying to get all Armageddon on us (and he wasn’t as spiffy at it as was Bruce Willis), but the day will be saved. So it must be safe to return to CA.

Hey, they wouldn’t imply that on TV if it weren’t true, right?

Just one really big question…if a 10.5 quake was expected in LA, why would people only be evacuated as far as Barstow?

Oh, and another. When something sucks that bad, why is the moon not pulled out of orbit.

And why (yeah, another question) did I watch this thing both nights???