Good Jeans*

Someone once told me that there are people who can jump out of bed and right into rational thought. But they told me about these so called “people” early in the morning and I was unable to determine over the course of the conversation  if this is in fact true or just some fairy tale to further confuse those of us who have an extra hard time in the morning.

Today my foolish morning brain said, “Self you don’t want to wear your good jeans*, put on those old holey ones instead.” Had my afternoon brain been available it would have replied, “Dude, what are you nuts! I’m going bird hunting on the edges of a marshy mess known for it’s terribly thick cover that I will no doubt want to dive into because that’s where everyone else will have chased the birds to. Lets put on the good jeans*!”

Sadly my afternoon brain was sound asleep.

I wore the jeans with no knees.

Hours later I was doing my best human bulldozer impression. Having already become fed up with the terribly thick cover catching my hat, whistle, shock collar remote, game vest, sunglasses, shirt, neck, face and bare knees I was now pushing backwards, through the forest of ten foot tall, dried out plants. Each time I stepped back I would feel the tug of the 3/4 inch round stems, as their 60 grit sandpaper coating caught on my game vest and then I’d watch at my feet as they pulled out of the ground, each connected to a four inch plug of mud. Sometimes I’d get lucky and they’d snap off and stab me, occasionally I would tangle my feet and slowly, supported on all sides by the forest of stalks, sink to the ground in an undignified, swearing heap.

The vegetation behind my dog in no way resembles what I walked though. The vegetation behind the dog is like a golf course in comparison. In fact the only thing that is similar between this picture and the experience above is that my dog is still running and the sky is still blue.

The vegetation behind my dog in no way resembles what I walked though. The vegetation behind my dog is like a golf course in comparison. In fact the only things that are similar between this picture and the experience above is that my dog is running and the sky was just as blue and beautiful.

Today was my first bird hunt of the year and I feel the dogs, the gun and I have left ourselves wide open for improvement. The dogs- will not wander off in the midst of a horrid forest of sandpaper stalks. The gun – will stay in one piece when I shoot it. And I –  I will find my hunting clothes the night before.

* “Good” in this case has nothing to do with fit, wear or stains, only the absence of very large holes.


Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth (again)

In my world there are two good things about Halloween: candy pumpkins and this book.

Would I recommend it? Yes, even crazy people who loath candy pumpkins have been known to enjoy this sort of ghost story.

You can read a more through review on this book that I wrote three(!) years ago here: Zen Ghost by Jon J. Muth  

I still hate Clifford and I still hate Halloween but three years later we all still love this book!




It is the phrase I have attempted (with help from Jim & Charles Fay and twenty billion reminders from John) to teach myself. It is the phrase that insistently lets the kids know they are in trouble yet gives me time to think what to do next.  It is the phrase that can stop my mouth from uttering ridiculous edicts before my brain has a chance to think about them. It is the phrase that keeps me from saying,  “That’s it! You are never getting a glass of water again!” when confronted with a mess purposefully made with a glass of drinking water.  It is a good phrase.

But now I have a problem. Jane is beating me to the “Uh-oh.” Now I walk in a room and I don’t even have to scan for issues, I just listen. If I hear “Don’t say ‘Uh-oh’ Mom! Don’t say “Uh-oh’!” I know there is trouble in the making.Jane

Yes, I can hear you laughing from here and you can stop anytime now. Because seriously. Seriously.  Does she really think she can get away with all sorts of trouble just by talking fast and looking cute!?! Talk about an attitude guaranteed to make a mothers blood pressure spike!

After all, that’s my line! I get to say “Uh-oh!”  I get to use that to pause, and breath, and refrain from issuing crazy threats or giving her to the next delivery man that knocks on the door.  I say “Uh-oh.” Don’t be stealing my line Jane- I need it and unless you want to be shipped to Abu Dhabi  ala Garfield, you do too!

Furthermore, frantically repeating “Don’t say ‘Uh-oh’ Mom! Don’t say “Uh-oh’!” while continuing to do the offending activity lets me know, not only, that she knows that she shouldn’t be doing whatever it is she’s doing but also that she thinks she can get away with continuing what she’s doing  right in front of me if she’s a fast enough talker.

But the really big problem is that Jane is awful cute and listening to her panic as she tries to finish getting into trouble is, admittedly, pretty hilarious.

Which means that it’s true. She can totally get herself out of trouble and keep her mother smiling  if she’s a fast enough talker.Jane

I’m so doomed.



The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

I’ve done absolutely nothing but read.

My house is messy, my kids are bored, my husband has been ignored, I’m slightly sleep deprived and we have minimal food in the fridge.

I can’t sit down and write a real review -I have two days of neglect to make up for!

Would I recommend it?  I couldn’t recommend the last book of a trilogy, it just wouldn’t be right. You have to start with the first one, A Discovery of Witches, and go from there.  The only additional thing I will say after reading all three is that the vampire warning still holds true and that I liked each book better than the one before.

House Breaking vs. Potty Training

Jane is in the final phase of potty training. If she were a puppy it would be the time when they occasionally have accidents in the house and it’s usually your fault. Because even though they ask to go out most of the time sometimes they are just too distracted so you still have to be the one to pay attention or you’ll have another pee spot on the carpet. Trip and Sunday puppies

But I was talking about potty training kids, Jane in particular. So I should say that this is the time when she occasionally has accidents and it’s usually all my fault. Because even though she goes all by herself most of the time, sometimes she is just too distracted so I still have to be the one to pay attention or I’ll have another pee spot in a terrible and ridiculous place.Storm puppy

Which is the main way potty training children is different than housebreaking dogs. (That and kennels. I hardly ever use kennels with the kids.) When a puppy has an accident it pees on the carpet. The only time it won’t pee on the carpet is when it goes on a rug but this will only happen if the rug is so large that it won’t fit into the washing machine. A phenomenon that is annoying but at least predictable.Digby puppy

Jane, has accidents in more unusual places. We hadn’t had one in two days until she crawled inside a locker at the pool.  Cleaning carpets has none of the embarrassing factors that weaving through a mass of moms and kids in various states of undress with gobs of pee soaked paper towel does. And for that, I love puppies.Trip and Sunday puppies

Another two days accident free and Jane, dissatisfied with the five unoccupied chairs, crawled onto the dining room table to play with the Legos. And then flooded it all. Pee on the table. Pee on the centerpiece. Pee on the chairs. Pee on the Legos. Pee on Jane. No pee on the please-sign-up-to-bring-stuff-to-the-fall-party-sheet Ivy brought home from school. A puppy would have peed on the carpet and then eaten that paper, saving me lots of trouble. And for that, I love puppies.

Bucky and Piper


And yes, of course, I love Jane too, even when she pees in really terrible places. (I’m not even going to tell you about the poop – your welcome for that.) I was even going to put pictures of her in this post but then I was having too much fun finding puppy pictures!