Why We Are REALLY Glad We Moved…

It’s been raining.
A lot.
I woke at 5 a.m. to what sounded like marbles being poured onto the roof and nails being thrown at the windows. It’s been raining for a god two week, with a few odd breaks here and there, and this morning’s storm was a doozy.

These are pictures that are part of the Reporter’s online Picture Gallery of the flooding that occurred here. That’s the apartment complex we just moved out of.

The first pic is of the parking lot around the corner from where we were at; the second is the main road by the complex; the third is garage right behind where we were at (he looks familiar…), and the 4th—not the building we were in, but might as well be. It’s all flooded.

Check out The Reporter’s picture gallery… Most of this is close by; that Miata at the intersection of Alamo & Peabody is only a mile or so away. With cars submerged up to their roofs...this is a stark reminder of being in Grand Forks in '97. Not as bad, but it's an eye-opener, for sure.

I’m soooooo glad we moved…


I didn’t mind the fact that the base pharmacy didn’t have my prescription ready today. I more or less expected that, having experienced holiday slowdowns and screw-ups galore over the years dealing with military medicine. What I did mind was that I checked in, was told it would be ready in 15 minutes, waited an hour, and when the tech called me to the window what he had was not the scrip I was supposed to get. It was the scrip I had picked up at the ER last week (um...yeah...I had a nice late night trip to the ER on the 20th—12:30 to 4 a.m.—thanks to a wayward gall bladder) and not the scrip the Spouse Thingy had called to arrange last week.

Chances are my doc never got the message so he never put the order in; for all I know he wasn’t even working the last couple of weeks. But it would have been nice if, when I checked in, the other tech had noticed that the scrip he clicked on was one already picked up. Then he could have said “I'm sorry, but you don’t have one listed here” and I would have realized the doc had not ordered it, and we could have moved on. And I wouldn’t have been the least bit upset, since I went in there figuring it was a wasted trip…but we had to go out to the base anyway, so why not check?

But that wait… Phffft. I wasn’t the only one who sat there and waited amongst the throng of coughing people and crying babies. An elderly couple had been there longer the we had, and when their number came up the pharmacy suddenly had no record of their scrip, which meant they had to go back to the clinic to get their doc to re-enter it. I thought that old lady was going to reach over the counter and beat the kid with her cane.

I was kind of hoping she would. Not that the kid behind the counter deserved it--he was just reading the info on the computer screen--but just once it would be kind of funny to see a really old person go postal. Only kind of. In a really warped sort of way. Yeah, I’m not nice. But part of me wanted to see her heave that cane around and for the beating to commence.

Going to hell, I know I am.

So I get to go back next week and try again. I may take my laptop and write a new novel while I wait. Or just take my iPod and dance in the chair, which for me would look like spastic twitching and jerking. I can close my eyes and sing along, thereby assuring that no one will sit next to me.

Something to look forward to.


I woke up this morning when it was still dark out, and Max was standing by my pillow, staring at me. Buddah was curled up on my chest, staring at me. I reached out to pet them both; Max plopped down and tolerated it, Buddah wiggled happily and went back to sleep.

Then it hit me. Moe. She’s been gone 4 years today, and last year I swear she was haunting my apartment, whipping Max into a meowing frenzy. Since the cats were on the bed together—peacefully, which doesn’t happen often—I had the thought that she had a hand in their cuddly dispositions, and went back to sleep.

I had an odd dream about celery (one of the few things she was able to eat for a long, long time) and baseball (she was an avid Yankees fan, so to yank her chain I should be cheering “Go ’Sox!”) None of it made sense (especially the odd bit about being a deaf interpreter in an operating room located in the center of a cafeteria,) though when I woke later I tried to piece the fragments of the dream together into something coherent, but it didn’t matter. One way or the other Moe was there, poking at me with a celery stick, letting me know that she knows I haven’t forgotten her.

I’ll never forget her. I’ll always miss her. I’ll always wish for seeing her name pop up in my email. I’ll always be grateful for knowing her, and it’s a damn shame that the rest of you didn’t have that chance.

Well, a couple of lurkers might have. They know who they are. And they know they’re lucky as hell.


Dear Lady In The Scooter At The Grocery Store,

Think of the aisles as streets, and your nifty little red scooter as a car, with all the applicable, logical traffic rules. Think of that middle aisle that cuts thorough the center of all the aisles as a major thoroughfare. You wouldn’t just blindly speed out into a thoroughfare with slowing down, would you? Same logic applies in the grocery store. Slow down and look before proceeding into potential traffic. And shame on you for yelling at the kid whose cart you ran into. Sniping “these things don’t slow down or stop easy!” is not an excuse. Thinking people slow down before they approach a blind intersection. And nice people don’t yell at teenagers who are trying to apologize profusely even though it’s not their fault. You were mean, and that’s sad.

Dear Lady In The Other Store Walking Directly In Front Of Me,

Now, I know you didn’t even know I was walking behind you, so you didn’t know you were annoying the crap out of me by matching every side step I took in my effort to get around you, but come on, it was funny when the old guy walking towards you said “Well, if you’re gonna dance with her, turn around and make it easier!” Really, you’ll laugh later, I swear.

Dear Young Couple At The Library,

Yeah, your kid is cute. Adorable even. But please teach him how to use a Library Voice. You know, by example. He takes his cues from you and his cues today were Be Loud So Everyone Knows Our Business. Oh, and I’m sorry your butt has been itchy. Bet that little slice of info is something you’d prefer he hadn’t shared.



Because of my back, which does not like me, I sleep with two body pillows. I keep them jammed up against me on either side, and they offer support no matter what side I’m sleeping on. Amazing things, these body pillows. Even the cat likes them.

Buddah, that is.

This is how whipped I am: I worm my way out of bed in the morning lest I disturb the kitty slumbering upon my legs, and I pull the blankets Just So, so that there’s this nice little indentation between the two pillows. Perfect for a little black kitty to stretch out between.

And I leave it like that.
All day.
I am not making the bed, because leaving it unmade pleases the kitty.

Yeah, I know.
I need help.


There have been a few times when I have thought—not wistfully, mind you—that this time of year is when it would be nice to have a couple more kids. Not because I feel some deep need to have more of me out there in the world, but because kids and Christmas just go together. Little kids get excited about Christmas, and their excitement is more than half the fun, so…well, a couple more kids just this time of year would be kind of cool. Especially if they were perpetually 8 or 9; young enough to still be over the top with expectation, but old enough to not be jerks about it. And especially if then I could stuff them back into the See You Next December closet…

It would be a little creepy to rent two or three for the season… I think.

This year, however, we have Buddah. While Max tends to get a little perkier around Christmas, mostly because there’s a tree and a tree is obviously intended for his chewing and whacking pleasure, Buddah is like having a 4 year old hopped up on caffeine and crack. And if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear he not only knew on Saturday night that Christmas was the next day, but that Santa was going to bring him toys.

Saturday afternoon found Buddah on a holy tear through the house; from the family room I could hear him thundering up and down the upstairs hallway, then down the stairs, through the living room, into the dining room and then the kitchen, where he then leaped over the counter, over my head into the living room, where he dove behind the Christmas tree…only to do it again.

Saturday night we sat downstairs and listened to what could have been elephants stomping above our heads.

And then Christmas morning…from my nice warm bed I heard the sound of ten pounds of excited kitty pounding down the hall; he launched himself against the door, threw it open, and sailed onto my legs. He looked at me like “Come on! There’s PRESENTS down there!” and then took off again.

Make no mistake, Max was totally into finding out what was in their stocking, and he spent a good part of the morning trying to stuff his head into their big box of treats, but Buddah…Buddah celebrated. He grabbed a new toy and ran around like his butt was on fire, and when he realized there were other things to do, he bolted into the family room to chase wadded up wrapping paper as we tossed it across the room into a box. He played with his toys, he reveled in his little kitty glee, and then dropped like a rock into a deep, deep sleep.

Like your average four year old on Christmas morning.

For sheer entertainment value, Buddah is as good as having another kid. Maybe better, since he never needed diapers, he eats what you put in front of him without whining, and he doesn’t talk back.

Maybe I don’t need more kids. Maybe I just need more cats…


Did you know that gall bladder problems can be hereditary?
I did not know that.
Now I do.
Thank you Mommy :)


Speaking Of Fries...

Ding...<-- clicky

Ok, it might be old but I had never seen it before...


Why You Should Not Cheat on Your Diet:

Lately I’ve had these huge cravings for french fries (yes french, not freedom, dammit). I feel my tummy growling for lunch or dinner and the first thing I think is “Oooooh I want some french fries!” Yesterday while I was out running errands I actually heard Burger King calling my name, and it came from the deep fryer.

So of course I stopped. I had to. After all, fries once won’t ruin a diet. Right?

So I got my fries, all warm and wonderful and salty, and sat down to eat them. I savored the first couple, relishing the tiny little pop of grease that squirted as my teeth clenched down. Hell yes, grease is half the reason they’re so good! I was so engrossed in enjoying my fries that I didn’t pay much attention as I reached into the little bag for another.

I slid it slowly into my mouth, thinking this was sooooo good…and then I bit down. And then tears flooded my eyes as this unbelievable pain shot through the roof of my mouth, through my sinuses, through my eyes and skull and quite possibly into the earth’s atmosphere.

My wonderful, lovely, warm and salty french fry had a tip on it so sharp it could have cut through Aunt Martha’s Special Recipe Pot Roast. You know, the kind left in the oven so long it turns into shoe leather. That tip jammed into the roof of my mouth, breaking skin, were it lodged as it broke off from the rest of the fry.

By the time I realized what had happened I’d swallowed and the roof of my mouth was beginning to swell. I could feel it with my tongue: the offending area was roughly the size of a quarter and as thick as my thumb, and one little bit of potato fleshy crap was sticking out.

How in the hell do I explain this one in the ER? I wondered. Do I go up to the window and say “Excuth me, but I thust got sthabbed by a fwench fwy and it weawwy hurths!”

Gingerly, I stuck a finger into my mouth and probed. Yep, it was swelling and bleeding a tiny bit. It hurt like a mother, too, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt any more if I tried to dig it out.


After the tears cleared from my eyes and the snot stopped running from my nose, I realized the piece of fry had popped out, the swelling was going down, and I was safe from the ridicule of the ER tech who would surely announce my presence over the speaker system. “Attention in the ER, we have a woman who was attacked by a fried potato product…”

You’d think that would have ended the French fry cravings.

You’d think.


Ask a 10 year old about Santa and religion, and you get an answer…

Alright. There was this guy named Nicholas in Turkey and his parents were very very very rich and they always used to give tons of stuff to poor people. Then his parents died and even though he was still little he used the money they left him to keep on giving to poor people. The government must not have liked that because they threw him in jail. After he died he became Saint Nicholas.

People remembered how generous he was and celebrated his life and death by giving gifts to each other. In some parts of the world Saint Nicholas is known as Sinter Klaus which is Santa Claus in English. Saint Nicholas’s Day is actually on December 6th, but since we like to keep Santa Claus as a part of Christmas, here we have Santa give presents on Christmas Eve.

So that’s how doing the Santa thing is okay for religious people. Because Saint Nicholas was a real person who shared his wealth, and it’s not just fun it’s a religious principal. And it makes it fun for people who aren’t religious, because Santa is just cool. I think Jesus likes Saint Nicholas just fine.

I think he explained it better than they did on 7th Heaven


Paint tagged me ...

In the worst of life's weather
The tornadoes that could tear us apart
The winds will blow our way always, always

And whether my soul curls far away
Long, thick fingers of dust and ash
I will find you, always, always.


How warped my mind is...I was sitting here, doing nothing really, when the thought zoomed through my head: if the Boy, the Spouse Thingy, and I died together in a freak accident, who would take care of the kitties?

I'm gonna lie awake all night worrying that we're gonna die and the cats will be homeless or separated.


...and you thought your daughter's prom dress was a little too "convenient..."



The One Where Someone Does Something For Thumper…

Because I felt this compulsive need to be out amongst my People again—even though I said I was staying home today—I ventured out. I needed a book from the library and wrapping paper. So out I went; I found the book I wanted in less than 1 minute, and then headed over to WalMart, which I don’t happen to think is the World’s #1 Evil. But that’s neither here nor there.

Everyone else needed wrapping paper, too, it seemed, as well as tons of things to wrap that paper around. The inside of the store was hot, the jostling around made me feel even more hot, and the fact that I was wearing a jacket didn’t help matters any.

By the time I got through the checkout with my $3 roll of very spiffy gift wrap, I was thirsty. Not ohmygodtheDDAVPhaswornoff thirsty, but thirsty enough to stop at the line of vending machines outside to buy a diet soda.

And I like the WalMart brand of diet cola. It tastes decent and from the machine it’s only 25 cents a can. Put your quarter in, and it’s like getting a frosty little prize.

But the machine was sold out.
I was bummed.

I stepped over to the Pepsi machine, because it’s just as good, but it’s 50 cents a can. I dug deep into my pocket for more change, and pulled out a mere 3 cents.

=sob= went I, ever so quietly, as I stepped aside to let the guy who had walked up behind me get his Pepsi. I dug into my other pocket, just in case, even though I know my change never goes into that pocket.

So I reached for my wallet, because the machine did had a dollar bill slot. And I had a dollar.

The guy fished his Pepsi out of the machine, and as he turned he smiled and thrust two quarters at me and said, “It’s on me.”

Before I could sputter, “I really do have enough,” he added, “Please.”

And then he walked away, into the sunset of the parking lot, where he was run over by a semi truck.

Okay, that part didn’t happen, but he had turned and was walking away before I could get “Thank you” out coherently. I did say it, I’m just not sure he heard it.

That was one fine tasting, icy cold diet Pepsi.

Whoever you are…thanks!



I braved the crowds and went shopping today. Why, I don’t know; I could have easily waited until Monday when there would be far fewer people elbowing their way around the stores and far fewer little kids screaming and crying and being forced away from much needed nap times.

This morning I even had the thought that anyone shopping today must be nuts. I suppose that meant that I had to go out, so I would be amongst my People…

As I sometimes do when I am out and about, I stopped at the McDonald’s in WalMart for a drink and a burger (small burger, 260 calories, not great but not too bad when you’re trying to watch what crap you’re stuffing into your mouth.) It was packed, but I managed to find a small table in the corner, which was good enough for me. I wasn’t about to sit a the lone table for 4, not when there were so many people waiting to sit. I suppose I could have, but I have a perfectly fine car in which I can nibble on a grease patty. Let the masses have the big table.

So I sat down and sipped at my drink, thinking the burger wasn’t really what I wanted. What I wanted was a big ole bag of fries. Ok, maybe just a medium. With just the right amount of salt. That would be good, I was thinking when the woman with two kids sat at that lone available bigger table right next to me.

They were evidently having the best time shopping. The kids were happy and laughing, the mom was obviously proud of how they were behaving and had that Happy Mommy GlowTM about her. The kids were talking over each other but she seemed to be catching all they were saying, and whatever story the one little girl told was so funny they all laughed and laughed and laughed…and in mid-laugh the little girl who told the story barfed her lunch up all over the table.

Gross, but hell, I used to work day care. I’ve seen lots of kiddy barf and changed about 30,000 diapers that weren’t covering my own kid’s butt. I can handle kiddy barf.

Mom, however…Mom turned out to be a sympathy barfer. She stood, worried about her child, obviously, but the gagging began.


She was fighting her own war with the contents of her stomach, and I was pretty sure she was not about to win.

So guess who wound up cleaning up most of the kiddy barf?

I had a stack of napkins and a reason to use ‘em.
By the time the McD’s employee was there with rubber gloves, a bottle of bleach, a bucket, and a mop, most of it was cleaned up.

Now here’s the thing: I can clean up kiddy barf. But I had tons of empathy for the Mom because I have a hard time cleaning up cat barf. If one of the cats hocks a good one onto the floor, I feel my throat start to tighten and the =gak= =gak= =gak= begins.

I have, in the past, had to call the Spouse Thingy from another room to deal with feline vomitous deposits. I’m sure the Mom in McDs has to call her Spouse Thingy in to deal with kiddy explosions of the digestive kind.

And the kid who barfed? She felt fine after. Just overly excited about shopping and the holidays. Still, you can bet I went into the restroom and scrubbed my hands dang near raw with as much soap as I could get out of that container screwed to the wall.

But really, I have to stop sitting in food courts and fast food places, because I seem to be a magnet for People Who Need Things. Company to eat a hot dog, someone to talk to Just Because, vomit cleaner-upper… I’m a multifunctional wabbit, but I’m obviously entirely too approachable.

I’m staying home tomorrow.


12 December 2005

Ha Ha I Have This And You Don’t

Ooohyeah. You want this, you know you do.
You can’t have it, it’s mine.
Well, mine and the Spouse Thingy’s.
And it’s one of a kind, so you’re chit outta luck.

Seriously…this is amazing. Look at the detail here and here. See the soda can? I put that next to it so you could see the clock to scale. The enormity of it. The incredible jaw dropping awe of it. All that detail, that was done by hand. Painstakingly, carefully, patiently done by hand.

My father-in-law made it, and he gave it to us.

Yeah, I am overwhelmed and all a-twitter. Yes, I said a-twitter. ‘Cause sometimes a-twitter is the only way to explain a feeling. All the millions of hours and the beauty of it, and he gave it to us.

It’s on top of the entertainment center, where Buddah and Max do not go. It’s too high for them to jump, and we’re careful to not leave anything near it that might give them a platform. We let them both sniff it, then pointed and said “you go near this again and you die” and they seemed to agree to the terms.

Buddah will settle for having the Christmas tree to climb instead. So I suppose we need to put the tree up soon.

But…yeah…admire and drool.

You know I’m going to sit in the living room tonight and watch my clock…


Everyone in the U.S. knows you bus your own tables at McD’s. So what possesses a person to eat and then leave all their trash on the table? Do they think the McD’s fairy is going to appear out of nowhere and make their garbage vanish? Just because it’s a McD’s in WalMart doesn’t mean you gotta be a pig.

The people at WalMart still can’t get the insurance people to pay for my DDAVP. They did, however, go ahead and give me 4 pills to get through until TriCare coughs up the cash.

DDAVP pills don’t last nearly as long as the nasal spray…

Cats really don’t like it when you rearrange all the furniture.

If you have a computer call me, even if it specifically asks for me, and then have the computer put me on hold, I am going to hang up. If you want to talk to me, you call me. I am not going to sit there and listen to your crazy assed idea of music while I wait for someone who called me to pick up the freaking phone.

White tile counters in a kitchen is a realllllly bad idea.

How can my desk get buried in this much crap in just a couple of weeks?


It’s Saturday night. While the rest of the world is out partying, going to movies, shopping, eating out, having a good time, I am at home…peeing.

Yes. I said it.
Vast quantities every 10-15 minutes.
And I’m drinking in as much as I’m putting out.


My DDAVP is proving to be somewhat unreliable these days. If my sinuses are clear, it works too well; I start retaining water and after a couple of days I can feel the my skin tighten. It’s uncomfortable. If they’re goopy, I get crappy absorption when I use it and it wears off early the next day. So I drink and pee, pee and drink.

Evidently, I got lousy absorption last night.

This should not be a problem. I saw the doc last week and he gave me a new prescription; instead of a nasal spray, he wrote it for pills. Thusly, how well it works should not be dependent on the quality of whatever is sliming the inside of my nasal cavities.


I took the scrip to be filled, and because I was getting another one (ye old Growth Hormone) that had to be ordered, I was asked to pick it up the next day. No problem! I was going to have to come back for the HGH anyway.


Since they thought they had the DDAVP pills in stock, they went ahead and billed my insurance. When they realized they didn’t, they reversed the charge, because, after all, they weren’t entitled to compensation for the medication just yet. They ordered it, and it was there the next day.

My insurance, however, declined the payment when requested the 2nd time. They said they already paid. Pharmacy lady had to call and confirm that no, the payment on that had been reversed.

Well, ok said the insurance person. We’ll fill out the appropriate form, and you should be good to go.

In 72 hours.

I could pee myself to death in 72 hours. Ok, well maybe not since I can keep up with liquids if I have to, and technically I can live without medication at all if I choose to live my life on the toilet, with jugs of potable water at my feet. But I choose not to, and dammit, I want my pills!

So it’s Saturday night, and this is what I’m doing. Peeing and drinking and whining about it online. Not that I’d be doing anything else, like shopping or going out to eat or a movie, because I am night blind and the Spouse Thingy has to work. Besides, I hate being out on weekends anyway because every place is just too crowded, but it’s the principle of the thing!

Who wants to spend Saturday in the bathroom?

No, don’t answer that. I don’t wanna know…


I love Christmas. I ♥ Christmas. Totally my favorite holiday. It beats Thanksgiving, Halloween and Easter all combined by a mile.

Its not the presents; it’s all the decorations. The bright lights, all twinkly and sparkly, shining off the ornaments. I love driving around, looking at other peoples’ houses, their decorations, seeing how inspired (or uninspired) they might be. I love Christmas carols (unless they get stuck in my head) the crisp nip that should be in the air during December.

Usually by now we’re chomping at the bit to put the tree up.

But this year…not so much. This year, we have this:

Fearless one.
Wickedly smart.
Endlessly energetic.
Hopelessly curious.

He will climb the tree. He will chew the tree. He will spend as many waking hours as he possibly can trying to figure out how to turn a giant inside tree into his personal playground, and he won’t care how upset any of the people become. He will be filled with a joy unlike any other, and a glee that will have him hollering the feline equivalent of “Wheeeeeeee!” every time he goes near it.

Once that tree goes up, I will begin the slow descent into insanity, my days filled with “No, Buddah.” “Get off the tree, Buddah” “If you chew on that you will electrocute yourself and quite possibly burn the house down, Buddah.”

And Buddah will smile at me—as much as a cat can smile—and meow “This is fun!

I have no hope of winning.

So if over the next few weeks my words become a meaningless jumble of babble, you’ll know why. We finally put the tree up, and the damned cat won.


And 'lo, did the skies open upon us, and did the blogging gods point down to the earth below and shout "Rejoice! For that lazy no good Irishman finally updated his blog!" And there was much merriment and drinking amongst the blogging gods, for they would have to send no spam to this wayward blogger, and all was right with the blogosphere.


Thought Bombs

  • If you drop something, and then let loose with a mighty fart when you bend over to pick it up, don’t get all teary eyed and embarrassed. Just stand up, say either “excuse me” or “damn dog followed me here, didn’t he?” and then walk away. Your gaseous anomaly isn’t going to offend me nor will it kill me.

  • Go ahead and follow me around the parking lot, hoping I’ll lead you to a really sweet parking spot. Chances are I’m going to walk between cars to the next aisle, simply because you’re creeping me out.

  • I still want to be on The Biggest Loser but I’m hoping by the next time audition tapes are accepted I won’t come close to qualifying.

  • When I said I was ready for a cold snap, I didn’t really mean it.

  • Feliz Navidad is already stuck in my head…

  • The apartment is finally empty and clean. You may all now rejoice.

  • The house, however, looks like the apartment entered, threw up, and then left without cleaning up after itself.

  • Chocolate needs to be a diet food.


11 November 2005

The One Where I Go On And On And On…

In my daily blog surfing and hopping and general use-blog-reading-to-avoid-real-work, I’m finding lots of discussions about how to handle the whole Santa Claus thing, and when kids should be told the truth. Or should they be told at all, maybe they should figure it out. Or should they ever be allowed to believe in the first place. Maybe credit should be given to whomever is actually buying those gifts right from the start.

Apparently, Paris Hilton believed in the Jolly Old Elf until she was 17.


I think I was 7 or so when I figured it out, and I don’t think believing that some old guy was sneaking into my house, leaving gifts, ever tormented me. Stumbling onto the truth was not some psyche-scarring experience, either. It never ruined Christmas for me, although it might have put a dent in my sisters’ experience since I was the youngest and the last to lose that belief—as soon as I did they knew they weren’t getting any extra Santa gifts, either.

My son was allowed to believe. I don’t remember when he made it clear that he knew the truth, but his excitement over the whole thing didn’t wane because of it. When he was very little he wrote letters to Santa, left out milk and cookies (one year he left a beer; Santa left a note explaining that because he had to drive the sled, he couldn’t drink, so he put the beer back in the fridge and took a Dr. Pepper instead…) and he simply Believed.

I suspect he knew sometime around age 8, and by age 10 he was saving money and buying toys to donate to Christmas toy drives. You have to figure if a kid realizes that other kids aren’t getting anything because of poverty or other family situations, he knows Santa isn’t exactly hitting up every house in the world for a reason.

He was around the typical age for figuring the whole thing out. I don’t remember if he ever announced it or asked. But he knew.

So—with permission from his parents—let me tell you about Alex.

Alex is the oldest child of a friend who hasn’t updated his blog in 30 million years. He’s one of those kids who is scary-smart, and it was obvious from the time he was 6 months old or so. He was speaking words around 8 or 9 months, was potty trained before he was 11 months, and could carry on a toddler-type conversation at a year. He could count, knew his colors, and was reading some by age 2. He demonstrated unique displays of logic at 2.

Like I said: scary-smart.

When Alex was 3, He Who Never Blogs took him to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. Their goal: find the perfect present for Mommy. On the way in they encountered a Salvation Army bell ringer and Murf gave Alex a few dollars to put in the bucket. When Alex asked what they did with the money, Murf explained that they buy things for people who don’t have a lot of money of their own, like food and clothes.

Alex was content with the explanation.

They shopped for a bit, and at some point they saw the Marine’s Toys For Tots booth; Alex wanted to know what soldiers were doing there with a bunch of toys.

Collecting them to give to kids for Christmas. No, not all kids, just the ones whose Moms and Dads can’t afford to buy toys themselves.

Alex was quiet for a moment; then he sank to his knees and began crying wildly. It took a stunned Murf several minutes to calm him down enough to understand what the problem was. He sat on the mall floor, people walking around them, with Alex in his lap, trying to wipe his nose and listen at the same time.

Mostly Alex wanted to know: are there really kids out there who don’t have any toys? The thought tore at him; Murf knew he wanted to be told that of course all kids have toys to play with, but Alex was never the typical toddler and would know it if he wasn’t told the truth. So Murf told him, as gently as he could.

Yes, sadly, some kids don’t have toys. Sometimes their Moms and Dads don’t make enough money to buy any, not even at Christmas.

And Alex knew. Sitting on the floor of the mall, wrapped in the safety of his father’s arms, he knew about Santa. He stared at the Marines and said “Santa is a pretend game?”

Yes, Murf admitted.

The soldiers get to pretend to be Santa for kids who don’t have money?


Is it fun for them?

The most fun they’ll have all year.

They have money?

They need people to buy toys and give the toys to them. That way everyone who wants to can feel like Santa.

Can we buys toys and give to them?

Right now, if you want. We can buy lots of toys.

Alex got up, grabbed Murf’s hand, and headed for the toy store. He loaded a cart with his favorite things, and happily gave them to the Marines manning the Toys For Tots booth.

Then Murf asked if he wanted lunch.

You gots money?

Enough to buy some lunch. And a present for Mommy.

We have food at home?

Yes. Do you want to just go home?

You give your money to the man outside with the bell.

You need to eat something, Alex.

No I don’t. How much money you got?

Enough to buy you lunch, get Mommy a present, and still give money to the man with the bell.

Give him ALL your money, Daddy!

But we need to buy Mommy a present. If I give him all my money, I can’t buy something for Mommy.

Yes you can.


Use a check.

Murf left the mall with an empty wallet and a hungry kid. As he buckled Alex into his car seat, Alex asked, “Are you my Santa?”

Yes, I am.

I won’t tell Rachel. Does Mommy know?

Mommy knows. Are you okay about this?


Will Christmas still be fun for you?

I still get presents?

Yep. Lots of presents.

Buying toys was fun.

Buying toys is always fun.

I can help buy toys for Rachel?

And so it went… At three years old, this little guy figured it out. Instead of being destroyed by it, he turned it into something fun for himself. He’s 10 now and every year he goes shopping with his dad, buys as many toys to donate as he possibly can, and makes sure that Murf leaves the mall without any cash on him.

I think 17 is a little old to not know the truth…but in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think Santa is a harmful lie. Most of us grew up with the idea of Santa and we remember the excitement, not the disappointment of figuring it out.

I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with choosing to not tell your kids about Santa. The holidays are fun with or without him.

I think there’s everything right when you can take whatever you teach your child and turn it into acts of compassion and generosity. Alex grasped at 3 what most of us don’t really get until we have kids of our own: playing Santa is fun. Giving to others just feels good. And if you can combine that fun with doing something that feels good and right, all the better.

Whether he exists or not—yeah, there is a Santa Claus. A whole lot of Santas. Marines. Salvation Army soldiers. Little kids who just want to give. And they’re having the best time…



A black and white tuxedo cat jumps onto the lap of a very tired looking middle aged women. She is holding a book; the cat head butts it out of his way so that he can look directly at her face.



Meow meow meow meow.
I want something to eat.

You had dinner already. You don’t need anything else.

Meow meow meow!
Yes I do!

Can I just read my book?

Meow. Meow meow meow meow meow.
No. Get up and feed me.

There’s dry food in there, you know. Go eat that.

Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow.
If I want crap, I’ll graze in the litter box.

(she tries to lift the book so that she can read; the cat pushes it away)
You hate me, don’t you?

Meow meow meow. Meow meow.
I tolerate you. Feed me.

(Max rubs his head on the edge of the book.)

Meow, meow meow meow.
See, I’m being cute.

You’re adorable. Go play with Buddah.

Meow meow meow.
Feed me first.


(She picks the cat up and puts him on the floor, then heads into the kitchen, where she makes herself some toast. Max follows.)

Meow meow meow meow? Meow meow meow meow meow?
What are you doing? Are you getting yourself food?

Sucks to not have thumbs, eh?

Meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow meowvv meow meow meow meow meow meow.
I hate you, and while you are asleep I am going to eat your face off.

Don’tcha wish you were a person and could get a snack whenever you want?

Meow. Meow meow meow.
Die. Die right now.

(reaching into pantry)
Here. You can have a little treat.

Meow meow meow.
Don’t patronize me.

(shakes a few out into her hand)
If Buddah hears, he gets some, too.

Meow meow.
Bloody hell.

(setting the treats on the floor)
Happy now?

(inhales treats)
Meow. Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow. Meow meow meow meow meow meow, meow.
No. But at least your pillow will be poop free tonight. No guarantees about keeping your face, though.

Yeah, I love you, too.

Meow meow meow meow. Meow. Meow meow. Meow.
You may go away now. Go. Right now. Leave.

(Thumper wanders back into living room)

5 minutes later

(the cat re-enters the living room)

Meow meow. Meow meow. Meow meow meow meow…
I’m hungry. Feed me. Feed me right now…


It’s not quite 10 a.m., the Boy and the Spouse Thingy are still asleep (the former because he was up very late, the latter because he has to work tonight) and I’m sitting here trying to figure out why the cats seem to feel some pressing need to speed through the house as fast as they can, up and down the stairs, down the hall and into a bedroom, over and over and over, sounding much like I imagine a thundering herd of elephants would.

For the last 15 minutes I’ve hissed “Stop it! Calm down! Do I have to lock one of you up?” as they race past me, worried the sound of their collective 24 pounds beating on the floor will wake the Spouse Thingy. Do they care? Max paused once and looked at me like, “Lady, you wanted us to get along and play, so shut up and let us play.”

Buddah glanced at me once as he zoomed past, but I’m pretty sure all he was thinking was “Wheeeeee!”

We did not forget about the little furballs yesterday; since no turkey was being prepared at home, I slid a piece to the side of my plate at Denny’s last night and brought it home for them; Max gobbled his up, Buddah took a few bites and then walked away as if he didn’t understand what the big deal was. Eh, turkey. Dead bird. Max was more than happy to finish off what the little guy obviously didn’t want.

The theater yesterday wasn’t as packed as I expected it to be; we left the house thinking we’d see Walk the Line but when it appeared that there wouldn’t be 10,000 screaming kids to deal with, we paid for Harry Potter tickets instead. The Boy didn’t like it (he hasn’t read the book) and I could pick the movie apart, but for the sake of my holiday enjoyment, I won’t. I went into it knowing they had to pare a 700+ page book down to 2 and a half hours, so a lot was, of course, going to be left out.

Still…I kind of hope they get a different director for the next one. Maybe the guy that did the first two…?

Denny’s wasn’t crowded at all, either. We didn’t get the best of service—the lone server was a little slow to take our order and she kept forgetting to bring a part of my order to the table—but the food was good and it beat the heck out of cooking and then doing all those dishes afterwards and then trying to decide how many Vicodin it was going to take to make nice with my back.) And since we’ve had that server a few times before (how sad…we’re becoming regulars at Denny’s) we know it wasn’t because she’s a bad waitress; she was just having an off day, and it happened to be a holiday.

Sure, it affected her tip; instead of the $20 I was planning on leaving we left $10, but that was still 25%. I still had a nice dinner (I can’t speak for the guys; the Spouse Thingy seemed happy enough but I’m pretty sure the Boy found the whole day to be one giant holiday disappointment) and being in the restaurant a little longer than expected was no big deal.

10:20…and quiet. The cats have stopped running and the guys are still asleep. If I had an air horn, now would be the time to use it…


It snuck up on me this year. I didn’t even realize how close Thanksgiving was until last week. It felt like it was eons away, like Halloween hadn’t been here and gone and Christmas still feels like a long way off.

I’m not sure if that’s because it’s been so warm here, or because we’ve been so busy with the move, or both.

We’re sticking close to home this year; my back just isn’t going to allow the car ride to spend it with family, nor is it going o allow me to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, standing there to chop and slice and heat things up and cook a turkey. So…we’re going to a movie and then to Denny for dinner.

Hey, they have turkey, too…

Hopefully it’ll just be a nice day spent with the Spouse Thingy and the Boy. I’m sure I’ll be guilted for there being no leftovers for a while, but it won’t be fatal. And there won’t be dishes!

Have a terrific Thanksgiving! That’s, like, an order.


Once again...

Nor is it "Kath."
Nor is it "Kat," though that's actually closer, at least in initial terms.

When in doubt, call me "Thumper."
Or address email to "K.A."

Let's break it down.
I've never heard of anyone with a last name of "ompson," so that pretty much eliminates "kath."

So. Most people should be able to guess the "thompson" part. At least I hope so. That would leave "ka." And there aren't to many people named "ka" (or, horror of horrors, "kaka") so I would think one might assume those are initials.


Say it with me, boys and girls.
"K.A. Thompson"

If you're still not sure, look at the graphics in the sidebar, the little book covers. My self pimping displays my name. Or at least the name under which I write. You have to look very closely, but it's there.


In all fairness, I am related to a Kathy, and she's a very nice Kathy at that. She wears the name much better than would I. And if you get right down to it, the translation of my name and hers is the same. But my name is not Kathy.

..and no, it doesn't bother me that much, but I'm bored and somewhat in pain [not moving any more boxes, nope, the guys will finish that part of everything] so I feel a wee bit snarky. And pimp-like. readmybooks

Happy Monday.


You know things don't bode well when you think "This is a Vicodin kind of evening" and it's only 9:30 in the morning...

My back is now in revolt; it has been for a week or so and is steadily getting louder in its complaints. I'm pretty sure what it's saying is you take one more box up one more stair and I'm going to make you wish you were never born...

Well, it also mutters something that rhymes with "witch," but I'll be delicate here.

For once.


How To Make A Wabbit Feel Better On A Bad Weigh In Day:

1. Walk up.
2. Say "Hi."
3. Look surprised.
4. Say "You've lost a lot of weight!"

That will do it.


  • I’m not sure where Tuesday and Wednesday went, but I’m pretty sure they were lost to doing everything except what I should have been doing.
  • Like taking care of the still-not-completely vacated apartment
  • Or hanging pictures, emptying boxes, etc here
  • Check out dulldulldulldull
  • No, it’s not mine.
  • I found it on the 2nd or 3rd day it started
  • It made me snort Cherry 7Up Plus out my nose.
  • I’m dreading weighing tomorrow
  • Because that’s the day it “counts.”
  • I started Christmas shopping today.
  • Don’t tell the cats, but I bought them something.
  • While I am enjoying this extra car-top-down weather, I won’t mind when it gets cold.
  • I have a couple of spiffy jackets I want to wear.
  • But I do not want snow; the Evil People can have it all :)
  • Yes, I am mean.
  • Karma will get me in the end.


Ya Gotta Love CA

Who'dve ever thought that in the middle of November, it would be nice enough that I'd be able to drive around with the top down on the car?


I woke up this morning without a furry-skinned bag of bones weighing me down. Neither did I have one wedged between my knees, stealing warmth like a crack addict burglarizing the mini-mart for his next fix1. This is the first morning since we moved in here that I’ve been able to roll over and get out of bed without having to gently manipulate a slumbering feline off to one side, trying hard to not disturb His Majesty too much2.

Max was curled up in his bed; he hasn’t slept in it since he was so sick (preferring the closet for whatever reason,) but now that it’s colder he’s appreciating the fact that he has a nice, squishy bed placed just under a heat register. Buddah has a bed, too, but he doesn’t know what it’s for. He seems to think it’s just something Max steps through to get to where he’s going to curl up and sleep. Buddah apparently believes that I am his bed, and spends the night in various positions chosen specifically for their ability to impede my rolling over now and then.

Max has taught him well.

But I woke this morning, started to roll over and realized I had no feline companion to avoid squishing, muttered a brief thanks to Whomever convinced the cats to sleep elsewhere, and started to sit up. Max grunted at me from his warm little bed (“It’s about freaking time you got your butt out of bed,”) and Buddah bounded in from where ever he’d been with a squeal that sounded a lot like “MOMMY!” 3

That’s what it sounded like, but I’m pretty sure what he actually meant was “You’re up! Now make the bed so I can stretch across the fuzzy blanket without having all your lumps and bumps in my way! But first let me jump on your lap and stick my butt near your face so you can get a whiff of eau’d What Buddah’s Been Doing For The Last 3 Minutes!”

I got dressed, made the bed—and for that I had lots of little black furry help—opened the window shades when Buddah indicated that’s what he wanted, and sat back down on the edge of the bed to put my shoes on. Buddah4 looked out the window for 1.3 seconds, then jumped back to the bed where he curled up next to the pillows.

Max stood, stretched, sat down and looked at me, and grunted. His gaze was a fixed stare that said it all.

“We own you. Don’t ever forget that.” 5

1 No, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but me.
2 It doesn’t matter which cat is it; they both think they’re royalty and entitled to special treatment. And I’m whipped just enough that I try to leave them somewhat comfy as I slink out of bed.
3 I swear, that cat has a meow that sounds like he’s trying to say Mommy…realistically I know it means “I want to eat your face off,” but it sounds like “Mom!”
4Yes, I know we don’t spell his name “correctly.” He doesn’t care.
5Eh, I just like the super script tag...


It’s November.

That means thousands of writers are actively involved in NaNoWriMo.

That means thousands of writers are banging their heads on their desks, chewing and spitting out fingernails, wondering why they decided to give it a whirl, and possibly even coughing up almost 2,000 words a day as they peck their keyboards toward success.

Last year I signed up, thinking it’d be a kick. And I finished. 50,000 words by the end of the month. The manuscript was “done” but not finished. I added a good 30,000 more words, edited out a whole lot more, and in the end there was something publishable.

I wanted to do it again; I have an idea tumbling through my mind and it will either make a terrific story or just great personal therapy, but I didn’t sign up to NaNo this year because with the move I was certain I wouldn’t have the time or the energy.

Turns out I was right. I could carve out the time, but my creative energy is at an all time low right now. I’m a very tired Thumper these days, my mind cluttered with thoughts of “Well where the hell with that thing go in this house?” and “Holy moly, that apartment is not going to clean itself…maybe if I ignore it, it will go away.”

The want is there; the energy is not.

So I envy those who are doing it. I found it to be a wonderful exercise; the end result doesn’t have to be any good, and it doesn’t have to be something you’d want to share with anyone else. It’s just a good tool for getting words out of your head and onto (virtual) paper. It helps create a writing habit.

In bopping around the blogosphere, I’m seeing posts from people who started the month with good NaNo intentions, but they’ve either already quit (“I can’t do this!”) or they’re so stressed about the quality of the work they’re producing that they’re stuck.

Don’t quit. It’s not failure if you don’t have 50K by the end of November. You just don’t get the spiffy PDF certificate. You do wind up with the bones of something, “finished” or not. That’s a victory any way you look at it.

Try to gut it past the “ohmygod this sucks so much!” feelings. It all sucks in the first draft. Try not to edit; the time you spend editing is time you could be writing, and there’s always time to edit later.

Just Write.

It doesn’t matter if it sucks. It doesn’t matter if you’re on track with your daily word count. It doesn’t matter if, at the end, what you have is an embarrassing heap of mindless chatter.

It only matters that you keep on writing, because someday that jumble of words may come together in a giant flash of inspiration, and become something Truly Wonderful. Because the habits you’re creating by sitting down and pounding it out may be the habits that later help you create a future Oprah’s Book Club pick (and don’t be an ass and turn that down if you don’t like Mz. O...she can make your career.)

Thumper’s unsolicited advice for the day.

Keep the NaNo flowing.


The one we most worried about on this move was Max. He who does not handle stress well. Because he can—and does, especially at the vet—poop at will, and the upstairs carpet in the new house is mostly white…well, we were hoping that he would find other ways to vent his irritations at being uprooted yet again. You know: biting, scratching, drawing blood…

All during the packing he acted as if he knew what was happening, and he wasn’t the least bit happy about it. Buddah was in 7th heaven: there were boxes all over the apartment, and to him that meant things to explore and jump on. To Max it spelled out DOOM. On Saturday morning we locked him and Buddah in the (very large) bathroom; he looked at me over his shoulder as I closed the door, and the glare said loud and clear, “I know what’s going on. Bitch.”

Seven hours later they were let out to explore the now mostly vacant yet extremely messy apartment, and ten minutes after that they were in the car on the way to the new house. And I heard about it all the way there, the feline equivalent of Are We There Yet? Only I got it in stereo, first one cat meowing, then the other, the entire ride there.

Once let out, they began to frantically explore the house. There was much slinking from room to room on a furry little belly, much jumping at new sounds, much cringing from new smells.

Only the one slinking and jumping and cringing wasn’t Max. Max was fine: after fifteen minutes or so of “What the hell just happened?” he was happily checking out his new digs, scoping out each of the rooms and the stairs. Buddah, on the other hand, was almost completely freaked out, overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught of sounds and smells, and a floor layout he didn’t understand.

Buddah, in short, was one scared little kitty. And once Max got past the initial explorations of new places to nap and run, he noticed. Buddah would bolt from a new sound, and Max would quietly follow, and more than once I spied him rubbing his head against Buddah’s, and once found him quietly licking Buddah’s ears.

By Sunday afternoon Buddah was a little less skittish, and discovered the Joy Of The Stairs. By Sunday evening they were both taking full advantage of all the space available to run, chasing each other at speeds I haven’t seen out of Max in three years. Monday evening Max tossed Buddah down the stairs, and Buddah grabbed Max’s collar and pulled it off over his head.

Max is happy; Buddah is getting there.

Buddah’s existence was made a little brighter by his finding of the mouse. He was disappointed because it was a dead mouse he pulled out from under the stove, and because the Spouse Thingy took it away, but to an eight month old kitten, a dead mouse is better than no mouse.

Max and Buddah’s People are exhausted; by Saturday night, after two weeks of packing and hauling boxes and painting ceilings and walls, my body sent out a “No More” message. I could handle no more, and my back declared it to be a Vicodin kind of evening. I was mostly useless Sunday, and Monday found me crawling back into bed three hours after getting up.

The Spouse Thingy is tired, but he keeps pressing on, hauling stuff out of storage and getting things left behind at the apartment, hanging curtains at the house and dragging things up the stairs that I just don’t have the energy for.

But honestly, this move wouldn’t have happened as smoothly as it did without the Boy and his friends. They were the major muscle, loading all the big things onto the U-Haul truck, and then unloading and hauling it into the house…a good deal of it up the stairs, including my big assed desk and the washer and dryer. There’s no way the Spouse Thingy and I could have done it without them. And they did it without any major damage. Hell, the only damage was to a drawer that *I* forgot to secure; Paris and Drew lifted the cart and the drawer fell out; the face broke off but it’s entirely fixable.

So here were are…in the house, boxes littering the floor, the sound of cat feet thundering across the floor like a herd of wild elephants, and with little energy left to tackle the Cleaning Of The Apartment.

Really, I need a whole lot of energy for that; it looks like a bomb went off. You don’t realize just how dirty a place is until you get all the furniture out. Judging by the interior landscape of the place, we should be grateful no one from the Department of Health ever stopped by.

Oh, and 5 days without Internet access (or cable TV) really sucks. Cable people showed up this afternoon, after much prodding and involvement of a supervisor; turns out they actually showed up yesterday—to the wrong house. The techs made the effort, but they were given the wrong house number.


Quick post from the Vacaville library:

We're in the house. yay! The Boy's friends did a bang up job moving our stuff (well, not bang up as in breaking things...they done good) and all the big stuff is there as well as most of the little stuff. There's still a lot left in the apartment, and slowly but surely we're getting it moved.

But get most of the stuff out of a place and you see how dirty you really are. And we seem to be trashy, trashy people...

I should be writing this from home. We set up an appointment with Comcast cable two weeks ago to have cable and broadband set up as of yesterday. the appointment window was 12-4, and no one ever showed up. the Spouse Thingy was on the phone 5 different times, the first three he was told that for sure someone would be out there to at least start installation before 8 p.m. A littl after 8 he was told they had no idea what he was talking about, but a "supervisor" said she would find a tech to be there at 8 a.m. today, and would call him back within an hour to confirm.

By 10 p.m., no call. He called again; Um duh, whatcha talking about? Call again in the morning, we'll see what we can do.

And so it goes... He was stuck there all day yesterday waiting and will probably be stuck most of today.

We are not happy with the cable people. If not for broadband internet, we would be called the Dish people, 'cause there is a dish connected to the house...


Off to clean the apartment. Hopefully I'll have access again by tonight. Try not to miss me too much if I don't... ;)


I think we’ve moved all we’re going to move until the Boy’s friends haul off all the big stuff. Today we need to pick up the trash we’ve managed to create all over the place (we are very trashy people, it turns out,) do some general cleaning, etc. So what am I doing? I’m sitting here at the computer instead.

Having slept like crap last night (apparently, due to my own stupidity in thinking the Boy was still out at 4 a.m. on a weeknight, when he was actually in his room asleep, but I saw a light on and figured he hadn’t come home, so I laid there and worried and decided he was dead at the side of the road somewhere, but I didn’t get out of bed to check because, after all, surely someone would have called or come to the door if he was hurt…Turns out it was my closet light and not the light we usually leave on for him when he’s out at night. Eh, yeah, my own stupidity. I could make this aside a whole lot longer but I’ll be nice and spare you the gritty details of how my mind works t 4 a.m.) I feel worthless today. Oh, I took some trash out and sort of helped with some boxes that we took over to the house this morning, but other than that, I haven’t been of much use.

I doubt I’ll be much help tomorrow, either. My job will be to stay out of the way for the most part, perhaps playing traffic cop as I tell the guys what goes where as they bring it into the house.

The cats are taking the commotion rather well; Buddah is just curious about what we’re doing and he’s having fun with all the boxes. Max seems to know what’s going on and has a “God, not again! I am so totally going to poop on something!” attitude. When we lock them in the bathroom tomorrow, I think we’ll confirm his worst nightmare.

Party at my house Sunday. And wear old clothes. ‘Cause, well, you don’t want to get good stuff dirty, and I know this terrific party game called Put Thumper’s House Together. Its loads of fun and you’ll love it. Really you will.


  • I hate belts.
  • Hence, when my pants get too big, they will slide down.
  • Luckily, I kept lots of my smaller clothing.
  • However, I am in between sizes.
  • That’s not a complaint.
  • I will learn to love stairs.
  • Because I have to.
  • We have more than half the non-big stuff moved.
  • Yay for us.
  • I have consumed more fast food this week than in all the last 2.5 months combined, I think.
  • Yesterday I caved in to the call of a Snickers Bar.
  • Yet I still lost a couple pounds.
  • Yay me.
  • I love abusing the bullet tag.


You know you're getting old and you're out of shape when on just the 4th trip up the stairs with a box all you can think is that you really want to go back to bed...

The move hath begun.


I painted my ass off today. Almost literally, it seems, since my pants damn near fell down. As it was, I was totally hip-hop-cool whilst I painted the Boy's ugly robin's-egg-blue-meets-grey room. I know I was hip-hop-cool because I wore my jeans slung halfway down my butt, showing off my spiffy black and white undies. I was stylin'!

Stop laughing...I was stylin'!

In other news, because my in-laws are so wonderful (They are! They're letting us use their truck!), we're going to start moving stuff into the house this week and by this weekend we hope to have just the big stuff left. Like beds. And the hutch. And entertainment center. And the cats.

And my pants almost fell off!!!


  • The Boogers were surgically removed from the walls
  • Without anesthesia
  • And yeah, that’s Boogers with a capital B
  • Because it was that gross
  • We have decided the house was not cleaned especially well because the owner has arthritis and may have just not been able to do any more than he did to move himself out
  • Because I have arthritis too, we are being sympathetic now
  • Sort of
  • We’re snarky, too
  • I thought about posting a picture of the freshly painted room
  • I realized I didn’t want to blind anyone
  • That room isn’t just white, it’s WHITE
  • I may play the Nice Mommy and paint the Boy’s ugly robin’s-egg-meets-gray room this weekend.
  • If it blinds him, I’m not paying for a doctor
  • Because I’m mean that way
  • Met a neighbor today
  • His name is Chris and I think he’s a cop
  • He offered to help us move stuff in if we need help
  • I think I like Chris already
  • Petco had a huge sale today
  • Buy 2 cans of cat food, get 1 free
  • We saved $24 on cat food
  • Then spent $35 on a new cat toy for the new place
  • Are you still reading? You’re not bored to death?
  • You deserve a cookie for reading this far down
  • But you’re not getting one, because I’m dieting
  • Sucks, eh?


Please, please please...if your kid is a nose-picker, check to make sure he's not leaving boogers stuck to his bedroom walls before you move out of a place. The next tenants will greatly appreciate it.


Here's your daily get to peek at the house.
Only a couple more weeks until we actually move in!


I woke at 4:30 this morning to something I haven’t woken to in a very long time: Max curled up next to the pillow, his paw tapping my nose. As I stirred awake he started to purr and inched his way closer; my hand automatically went to his head and I scratched behind his ears, hoping that’s all he wanted.

That was it, but he wasn’t content with 30 seconds of attention. No, at 4:30 in the morning Max wanted a full-on head rub, complete with chin skritches. I humored him for 10 minutes or so, and as I drifted off again he set his head on my hand and went to sleep.

This matters. It’s not so much the annoyance factor, but it’s on a list of the things he used to do but hasn’t done in a very long time that he’s now doing again.

The 3 a.m. singing; that’s back with a vengeance. In fact, he talks all freaking night long. Like he used to.

He sits in my lap as much as possible; he hasn’t really done that since we left Ohio. If he’s not sitting, he’s standing on me, shoving his nose up mine or rubbing his face all over my glasses, his wet nose leaving skid marks. He’s realized I find his rubbery lips on mine incredibly gross, so he makes an effort to get that in on a daily basis.

Begging for dinner and snack starts 2 hours early.

We’d thought he was back to 100% before, but with the return of some almost forgotten behaviors, we realize he wasn’t. And that he may have felt a little off as long as a year ago. Long before Buddah.

I do worry what moving again is going to do to him; stress is obviously not Max’s friend. Hopefully by keeping him on the antibiotics 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off, we’ll make it as pain free as possible…but for now he’s Full Throttle Snarky, and I may never get to sleep through the night again.


Who would have thunk that there are 1,253,567 shades of white? Eggshell white, Antique white, Plain White, Brilliant White… And that’s just at WalMart! I stood there in the paint aisle this afternoon, transfixed by all the brightly colored containers that held nothing but white paint. If I had gone to a paint store, I would probably still be there, suffering momentous indecision, trying to decide if I want the bedroom to be white, bright white, brilliant white, blinding white, holy-shit-that's-white white, or ecru. What the hell is ecru, anyway?

I settled on brilliant white. The bedroom bespoiled by dog pee was, evidently, also the bedroom the owner’s 6 year old slept in, and the walls are wonderfully decorated in hand prints, hand smears, foot prints, foot smears, grime, dirt, sweat, and crayon. Even after I scrub them clean, they’re not going to look clean, hence the paint.

Last night I waged a mental war over colors: yellow, blue, deep red, two toned, do an accent wall, channel Jackson Pollack and just splatter the heck out of the walls…but in the end I figured white was less of a hassle, and I can always paint it another color some other time.

It’s a small room, after all.

And yes, it’s mine. I get to choose the colors and what goes in it, because I do, after all, need a place to hide when the Spouse Thingy is snoring at decibels so high a freight train could pass under the window and no one would realize. I’m such an adventurous person that I opted for white.

Brilliant white, mind you.

But white nonetheless.

I’m so exciting…


Dear People Who Live Upstairs,

Congratulations on your new baby! It’s nice to know that your kid has these wonderfully healthy lungs, even at 2 in the morning. I’m sure you’re appreciating that more than I am. Since your new child’s room is directly over my not-so-new child’s room, my child usually appreciates your child’s lungs even more than I do, but tonight I am getting a special appreciation for them. In fact, I am impressed. Your kid has lungs that quite possibly stretch all the way into his/her feet. Those are the lungs that will enable your child to one day stand in the toy aisle at WalMart and scream “Iiiiiiii waaaaaaaaaannnnnnt iiiittttt!!!” fifty two times without taking a breath. Trust me, other people will appreciate that, too.

Since you are normally very quiet—as opposed to the 3 a.m. headboard bangers that previously occupied your domicile—I find the sudden burst of activity up there kind of amusing. I can pretty much tell what you’re doing. Like tonight: the baby had a blow out, right? I base this on the sound of those lungs, the hurried footsteps back and forth, followed by the sound of water flowing into the bathtub, as well as the washing machine kicking on ten minutes later.

I don’t mind it. It’s necessary noise, not selfish I-don’t-care-about-the-neighbors noise.

You’re probably not going to get a whole lot of sleep tonight, and in an hour or two you might be crying, too, pleading with your spawn to please go to sleep, just for a little while. You might want to take a deep breath and sit back with the kid held close against you, and enjoy it, lungs and all. You’re not going to get much sleep anyway, and since we’re all going to get to hear him/her sing out through the night, there’s no point in getting upset about it.

There’s music in all of that. Proof of life.

I’m just glad it’s you and not me dealing with it…


The carpet cleaning guy called me this morning; he wanted to meet at the house this afternoon so he could take care of the doggy pee smell. I figured Yay! He’s professional, he wants to take care of this ASAP, the room won’t stink! He’ll fix it and I can do a happy dance across the front lawn, thus assuring I will meet the neighbors!

So I met him at the appointed time; he walked in with this little spray bottle in hand and proceeded to mist the entire upstairs carpet with it. That was it, he wandered around, squirting his little bottle of pink stuff, letting it settle from the air onto the carpet.

Um, yeah. That’ll fix it.

I got his card and if it (the carpet, not the card) stinks later…I suspect he’s gonna get tired of having to come over.

Exterminator Guy showed up a few minutes early to take care of the mouse. He shoved poison into a space behind the washer (after assuring us it has no secondary poisoning effects; if a mouse eats it, comes out and dies and one of the cats eats the mouse, they will not get poisoned) and placed glue pads in the pantry.

Opening the pantry from now on is the Spouse Thingy’s job. I do not want to see a poor stuck mouse that’s died stuck to the pad. I have been assured that they go very quickly because the stick their little noses to the glue and then cannot breathe, but somehow that feels worse… But if it’s them or the cats, the mousies have to go…



So. We got the keys to the house today. Property Manager Guy met us there at 10 a.m. to walk through and make note of everything that was wrong and what needed attention. And there was a lot.

Evidently, the owners were pressed for time in moving out. So pressed that they didn’t really clean. The walls are all scuffed up and have smudges on them and the kitchen is kinda gross…but those are things I can handle. I intended on cleaning before we moved our stuff in, just not quite that much.


They apparently housed their dog in one of the bedrooms while they were moving their stuff out, and apparently the dog was not happy out it. So he peed. Copiously. The owners had someone come out to clean the carpets, but they did a piss-poor (no pun intended) job. Aside from the vivid yellow stain, the smell is unbearable.

So the owner is having them come out and re-do it. When, I don’t know, but it needs to be soon. And I suspect that in the end, the room will need new carpet. I’m not living in a house that smells like dog pee, and if it smells like pee, the cats will surely decide to leave their own little imprint.

While we were there, and after Property Manager Guy had left, a mouse ran across the kitchen floor. Not exactly what one wants to see in a house they’ve just rented, but I suppose it’s better than seeing the mouse after all our stuff and the cats are there (though Buddah would love hunting a mouse, and then presenting it to someone at 3 in the morning…)

So tomorrow we meet exterminators there…

Property Manager Guy says he can get reimbursement from the owner for the time and effort it will take us to clean thoroughly… I really just want the pee room taken care of. And the mouse problem. If they can take care of that, I’ll be happy. Plus it would be nice to not start off with an antagonistic landlord/tenant relationship, no matter how much in the right we are (not to mention when we move out, we won’t feel so compelled to have it white-glove clean…)

We have the keys, though… Good thing we weren’t planning on moving in this weekend!


It’s Not Thmbr, Dammit

I wanted personalized license plates. Laugh if you want, but as an early birthday present to myself, I got online and ordered a set in July. Three months ago.

In Saturday’s mail was a notice from the DMV that my plates were ready for pickup at the local office. Yay. It took freaking long enough, but I was going to be stylin’ in my spiffy black ragtop with my very own Thumper plates.

Getting an appointment was going to take about a week an a half, so today we braved the chance of a Very Long Line and just showed up, old plates and registration in hand. And we were happy, there wasn’t a long line. Heck, there were chairs to sit in. We could wait in relative comfort.

Twenty minutes later they called our number. Yay! I was =this= close to my spiffy THMPR plates.

The clerk went to the back to get them, and when she returned, I watched as she slowly pulled them from the plain brown wrapper. Yay! My plates.

The Spouse Thingy peered over the counter and said, “They’re screwed up.”

And dammit, they were.


So for the next 45 minutes, this poor clerk tried to get it straightened out with the main DMV in Sacramento; in the end, it’ll probably be another 3 months before I get the correct plates.

Another clerk suggested whoever made the plates couldn’t read my handwriting. Nice try, but I applied for the plates online, and the receipt that came in the mail had the correct spelling listed.

You can bet that the DMV had my money 5 minutes after I ordered the plates, and it’ll be at least 6 freaking months all totaled before I see them.

I want my spiffy plates.


  • It's not even 9:30 p.m., and I'm already sleepy.
  • If I go to bed, I'll wake up and be that way until 4 a.m.
  • The kitchen sink plugged itself up (no help from us, I swear!) and we can't use it or the dishwasher until we can get the apartment people to fix it.
  • The bedroom is already 75% packed up to move.
  • Buddah was a big help in filling boxes.
  • Yes, I am rolling my eyes.
  • Max keeps glaring at me like "Oh no we are NOT...!"
  • Surely he does not really remember the last move and the 4 days in the car...?
  • I now have 2 cats crawling all over me.
  • They want their snack half an hour early.
  • I am so owned, they're gonna win...


We got the house; we get the keys next week and can start moving our stuff in. We won't move the big stuff until the first weekend in November, but the lease is signed and the deposits are paid.

Only downside: we have to buy our own refrigerator. Not an expense one wants on top of moving expenses, but none of the houses we looked at came with a fridge, so we were going to have to do it no matter what.

I suppose I could stick a "Donate To The ThumpaFridge Fund" PayPal button on my blog and let the rest of the world pay for it... ;)

So...yay! No more apartment living after November!


The house was as nice as we'd hoped, with laminate floors downstairs and carpet upstairs. Three bedrooms, with a small loft, 2.5 baths, living room, family room, dining room... We really liked it. The cats will love it: lots of windows to see out of and stairs to run on. And that's what really important, right? That the cats are happy...

So, we put in an application to rent... I hate this part, wondering if something is going to pop up and trip us up. I get horrible butterflies in my stomach--whether it's trying to buy a car or rent an apartment or a house. I always worry there's *something* that will hose the whole thing up.

I'm gonna have a tummy ache til we find out (yes, say "awwwwww" right now. I want sympathy.)

So, cross your fingers again. Hopefully we'll find something out tomorrow.


There are some truly gross looking houses for rent out there... and at least one that (from the outside) looks amazing.

We have an appointment to look at it tomorrow; keep your fingers crossed that it looks as good on the inside and that they'll rent it to us.

It would be nice to live in a really spiffy house for once...


Dear Lee Spencer,

Congratulations on your foray into the wonderful world of buying a home. Or at least in your attempt to secure information on mortgages. The Internet is a wonderful thing, eh? Go online, and in one fell swoop you can contact 32 dozen different mortgage lenders and ask them to send you information regarding their services.


You may be wondering why none of the participating companies has contacted you yet. You’re probably sitting there by your phone, sweat dripping off you in fine beads of anticipation, your heart racing each time it rings. And every time you’re disappointed because it’s only your mother or best friend calling to see how you are or if you want to go out for pizza and beer.

I can tell you, though, that the mortgage companies are very interested in your inquiries. The problem is that when typing in your personal information, you gave them the wrong phone number. How do I know this? Because you gave them MY phone number.

For the past couple of days the phone has been ringing with amazing regularity, and because my Spouse Thingy works nights and sleeps during the day, I haven’t been able to just let it ring and let the answering machine pick up. So far I’ve had to tell at least 10 companies that Lee Spencer does not live here. One person even asked me if I knew what his true phone number was. Sadly, I did not have that information to impart.

So don’t feel badly, Lee Spencer. Those companies do want to lend you money, but it does them no good to talk to me instead of you.

I just thought you’d want to know.

And please email me your phone number. I will give it to future mortgage callers, and I might even call you up myself and let you hear this new musical piece I’ve written. It’s called Symphony of Airhorns.

It’s quite lovely.

I swear.


Wanna know why it sometimes (not often) sucks to be me?

Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.

It’s because I never know. Not that I never know anything, but I never know how I’m going to fare from one activity to another, and that bites.

The other day the Spouse Thingy and I decided to take a walk…sans the wheelchair. We headed for WalMart (just as a destination, not to shop) which s about a mile away. No sweat! I made it that far, we bought a diet soda from the vending machine by the front door and pressed on, through the parking lot, past Sports Authority and Michael’s, to the road, and on towards another shopping center.

At about 1.75 miles, my back and hips suddenly decided spoke in unison “We are going no further! Stop! Right now!

So I stopped and sat on a brick retaining wall outside Safeway while he went home to get the car (and subsequently we said “screw it” to dieting for the rest of the day and went to Chevy’s for fajitas…)

I would have felt like a failure, but it wasn’t an endurance issue; it was a pain thing.

So today I wanted to go for a walk while the Spouse Thingy sleeps off his night shift. I headed for the Factory Outlet stores (in the car) thinking that if I just walked around there, I would always be close enough t the car that I wouldn’t be stuck somewhere.

I walked around and around until I hit 1.5 miles. No pain. I felt fine, could have gone further if not for the rather large diet drink I’d consumed along the way.

I just never know from one day to the next if I’ll be able to go half a mile or 2 miles, or at all. And that sucks, especially when a year ago I was doing 3.5 miles in an hour (I blame the Evil People for that…)

Um, yeah.
Boo Hoo.
Poor baby, and all that…
I hear ya.

Most of the time it’s so good to be me, but the not knowing, that bites.


How To Piss The Wabbit Off:

Or more accurately, how the Wabbit family can piss themselves off.

We put in notice yesterday that we’re vacating the apartment. And we gave them about 45 days’ notice—that should be good, right?


We should have checked the lease; they require 60 days notice and they’re holding us to it. The Spouse Thingy is already set with time off from work the beginning of November to move and the Boy has arranged the muscle for us to move…so we’re moving. Hopefully we can find a place, but we’re moving the beginning of November and we have to pay rent here through the 2nd of December.

Oh yeah, we were ticked beyond belief, but mostly at ourselves for assuming that just because every other place we’ve ever lived only asked for 30 days notice that it was the same here.

How To Tick The Cat Off:

Take him back to the vet for more blood work. We were prepared this time; yesterday we stopped by there to pick up a sedative to give him before his appointment this morning. Ideally he should have been nice and mellow and not giving a damn about what was about to happen.

He still fought like his life depended on it, and he still pooped all over the table. The vet asked the Spouse Thingy to leave him there for a while so they could dope him up a little more (Max is a surprisingly strong cat and is not afraid to use both his teeth and back claws…) and then draw the blood.

After the Spouse Thingy left the doc decided to wait a little longer and see if the drug we gave him took better effect; it did and spared Max the shot. So they got the blood, added to the humiliation factor by bating his backend, and sent him home, where he’s walking around like a little drunkard, barely even able to control his inner eyelids.

He’s royally ticked off; we’re laughing our asses off at him.

I suspect the lab results will be favorable; he acts like he feels fine (and the fact that he put up a fight even while under the influence shows it) but realistically we know we’ll be doing the pulsating antibiotics thing, potentially forever.

Small price to pay to keep his Snarkiness alive and as happy as one so snarky can be.


A finger pointed accusingly at me from email. In my head I could see it jabbing, just missing the tip of my nose. It was excited jabbing, not mean-spirited, but ya know even friendly jabbing can poke an eye out.

You’re Fat Kat! I know you are! I saw that blog and then your Spouse Thingy mentioned he was dieting, and it fit. Thumper is Fat Kat!

It wasn’t a secret, exactly. I simply wasn’t hanging from the rafters shouting about it. Yep, the Spouse Thingy and I have embarked on the road to healthier living. After so many false starts, I decided to just jump in with both feet and give NutriSystem a try (because, after all, I am inherently lazy and it seemed like an easy way to get real food in front of me) and after a week or so—knowing by then the food really is edible—the Spouse Thingy decided to join me.

It is as easy as I’d hoped and it’s something we can stick to. I started the other blog for 2 reasons: I had this really cook graphic of a cat on a scale I wanted to use for something, and I wanted to have a place to talk at myself about it, to keep myself accountable, more or less. But mostly, I wanted to use that graphic.

It’s mind numbingly boring, but you can play along if you want.

Oh, and I hate that men lose body fat faster than women. It’s just not fair…


How can it possibly be October already?
Hell, we left Ohio almost a year ago.
Christmas is in less then three months.
Three months!
After we move, I need for time to slow down.
But not until then...


That Which Pools In the Deepest Of Scars…And Then Haunts My Dreams

The Boy was seven years old and it was long past time for him to learn how to swim. We lived on base and the pool was less than a two miles away, so at the end of the school year we signed him up for Red Cross sponsored swimming lessons. The lessons ran in two or three week blocks, and the kids were tested on their developing swimming skills at the end of each block.

He did well; he took to the water without fear and was promoted to the next skill level at the end of each block. He was also fortunate in that he was able to keep the same instructor through the summer, plus his class was the final one each morning before the pool opened. The pool opened at 11 a.m. and his class ended at 10:30, so the life guards allowed the kids to stay and jump off the diving board or swim as long as their instructors were sticking around.

While he was an “advanced beginner” the instructor hung around after and encouraged the kids to jump off the high dive. He stayed in the deep end with them, promising he would not let them drown; just jump and try to swim to me. If you can’t make it, I’ll get you.

The Boy was fearless on the high dive. He looked forward to it every day. Forget the classes; he just wanted to get through those—which now were complete with the swimming of laps—so that he could jump off the high dive. Not all the kids were as thrilled as he was; there were several kids 6-7 years older who simply could not deal with the height. No, no one made fun of them. It was always “Maybe tomorrow,” as they climbed back down, and those kids would stand at the side of the pool and cheer on those who were willing to give it a try.

The fewer kids willing to jump, the more chances the Boy had. He’d scramble up the ladder, walk to the end of the board, jump in with as much flair as a seven year old can muster, swim to the side without help, and wait his turn to do it all over again.

Enter my stupidity.

After a class where he’d done several laps, then jumped off the high dive a couple dozen times, it was time to go. We were on the far side of the pool, and as we walked along the side, I told him to swim one more lap—but not in the shallow end where he could (and would) put his feet down. Just swim, and I’ll meet you on the other side.

He said he was too tired. Assuming he would have continued to jump off that diving board and swim for another hour if we hadn’t needed to leave, I didn’t believe him. After all, swimming laps isn’t nearly as fun as the high dive.

I told him to swim it. So he dove in and started to swim.

A little more than halfway across he turned, his eyes wide, and said, “I don’t think I can make it.”

He started to slip under the water.

As I went for my shoes—big heavy high-top suckers that would have weighed me down—he popped back up, but then went under again.

The lifeguard on the other side of the pool noticed, jumped in and grabbed him, and brought him to the shallow end. His instructor took the time to enforce a lesson he had been taught early on; if you get tired, flip over onto your back and float.

He was never in any danger; if the lifeguard hadn’t gotten him I would have. He never would have touched bottom. But I still have nightmares about that. He said he was tired and I made him swim anyway. He said he was tired and I wouldn’t let him swim that lap in the shallow end of the pool. He was never a liar; he said he was tired, I should have accepted that he was tired.

He’s 22 now and every once in a while that little face slipping under the water haunts my dreams. I can see it as clearly as the day it happened. I can hear his tired little voice. I still see his eyes.

Every parent makes mistakes. Every parent does really stupid things. We try our best, but we leave scars on our kids, and we can only hope they’re not too deep or too many. We regret them for the rest of our lives. We live with The Why pounding in our heads.

Why didn’t I take his word that he was tired? Why was it so important to me that he not be able to put his feet down? Why did I try to take my own damned shoes off before diving in? Why, why, why, why…

I don’t think the Boy is especially fond of swimming. He used to be; even after that he wanted to swim. But over the years I noticed he was never very excited about the prospect of going to a pool.

One of the many scars I inflicted on him.

Yeah, we all scar our kids.

And in the process, we scar ourselves.


I no longer have reruns of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or Star Trek: Next Generation as an excuse for getting little done in the way of sit-at-my-desk-and-create type work. Spike TV has played them all through so many times that I don’t feel compelled to tune in and let the TV run for 5 straight hours.

Nope, I’m no longer a slave to the TV.


I am a slave to the nice, moderate temps, the sunny skies, and possession of a car with a top that goes down when I want it to and up when I need it to. It doesn’t matter that gas is an arm and three quarters of a leg per gallon. I have a new distraction.

Well, an old distraction come back to enjoy the nice Autumn days.

Joy riding.

I can invent errands to run if I feel pressed to have a reason to be out on the road, but honestly, most days I just get in and drive. I avoid the Interstate because there’s always a semi that picks me to ride alongside, so I take the Long Way To Everywhere, Green Day blaring from the stereo (prompting looks from hybrid drivers that suggest “You ARE an American Idiot”) and the wind whipping through my perfect-for-a-convertible hair.

Yes, there is such a thing. Some hair is too long—you could wind up with it wrapped around your neck and choking you to death (think of Isadora Duncan and her scarf…)—and some hair is just too short, because it doesn’t move in the breeze. Mine…mine is perfect. It whips around but doesn’t get in my eyes. It flutters gently about my head, as if teased by tiny little fingers. It rides on wisps of wind. (Shut up. I’m being literary here.)

So basically, the 3 projects I have sitting here simmering are still not getting done, but I’m having a spiffy time not doing them.

I have Convertible Hair.
Hear me roar.


So he was in public...why?

Overheard while in line at Walmart:

"Moooooommmmm....I need to go to schoooool!"
"You can't. You're sick."



It went something like this:

Max: Meow. Meow meow meow meow meow.
         (Dude. Tonight we drive her crazy.)
Buddah: Meow meow meow meow meow?
         (Won’t that piss her off?)
Max: Meow meow!
         (Hell yes!)
Buddah: Meow meow meow meow…
         (But she’s the Mom…)
Max: Meow?
Buddah: Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow !
         (She feeds us and plays with us!)
Max: Meow. Meow meow meow meow meow MEOW meow !
         (Dude. She let the bald guy STAB me!)
Buddah: Meow.
Max: Meow , meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow.
         (So, every half an hour, we’re going to sing.)
Buddah: Meow meow meow meow?
         (Won’t she like that?)
Max: Meow meow meow meow.
         (Not all night long.)
Buddah: Meow meow. Meow meow meow meow meow.
         (You sing. I’ll sit on her face.)
Max: Meow meow. Meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow meow!
         (Awesome idea. And in the morning, you get on one side of her head and I’ll get on the other, and we’ll talk her awake!)
Buddah: Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow!
          (I’ll save all my night farts for that!)
Max: Meow meow meow meow, meow…
         (You’re coming along nicely, monster…)


“Revenge Is Mine,” Sayeth The Cat…

4:45 a.m.

I wake from a deep sleep, my Mommy ears prickling at the sound of a young one calling, and as I wake further I realize there’s a cat meowing in the bathroom. I can’t tell if he’s just talking to himself or crying, but he doesn’t stop so I have to get up and check. It could be either cat, trying to get someone to come un-stick their head from a laundry basket, or either cat talking to the ghost in the corner.

I flick on the light and squint against the sudden brightness; Max is lying in the towel basket, which I keep in the tub for the sake of additional floor space. He’s meowing at me, calling to me, it’s obvious. So I ask if he’s all right, worried that the mouth pain that drove me to take him to the vet has become worse.

Max looks at me, and yawns with his mouth as wide open as he can possibly get it. Then he stands up, turns around and plops down, looking over his shoulder at me with this look that says, “By the way, that yawn was my way of FLIPPING YOU OFF.”

As if pooping on me wasn’t revenge enough…

The vet called this afternoon; Max’s amylase levels are back up, hence the pushing around his mouth with his tongue—he’s been nauseous. Chances are his mouth was in no pain, he simply felt like throwing up every time he opened it. So he stays on the antibiotic, and because this has proven to be a chronic problem, we’ll pulse the antibiotics: 2-3 weeks on, 2-3 weeks off, and keep a careful eye on those blood tests.

I’ll worry in the long term what chronic pancreatitis will do to his life span, but in the short term…one day and he already acts like he feels 100% better, and we can look back and see that over the last few weeks he’s been quieter than usual. So now we know. He has a problem, it’ll be ongoing, but we can take care of it.

And hopefully he won’t poop on me again…