I miss you. I miss the act of writing, I miss being a snarky smartas, I miss having somewhere to vent, I miss my commenters, I miss having the inspiration. Maybe soon…


So Fanny and Java “met” this summer. I’ve known Java’s people for a while but Java’s only about 10 mos. old. And big. She’s a Cattasomethingorother. Brown with little white spots and soft fur. Whatever.  Doesn’t matter.

She and Fanny run around at the (non-dog) park, play in our back yards, etc. (Note the locations have always been outside.)

So I took Fanny for a walk around the corner in a desperate attempt to burn off some energy off her crazy selfxto wish Janet & Greg a Merry Xmas, and we found out the hard way that Java is a bit – uh – territorial inside her home.

She attacked Fanny and didn’t just make her whimper or yell out, but really cry for a few seconds. She was shaking and everything…

Anyway, we got the eff outta there x left pretty soon after that and took a walk and all was well in FannyLand.

The next day I opened the door to find a bag with a treat for Fanny and the following note:

That note makes me smile every time I think of it, and judging by the wrinkles in it, you can probably tell I have been showing it to everyone.

Fanny and I went to watch a friend’s child play soccer at the park down the street. Well, technically I went to watch and Fanny went ’cause she’ll go anywhere…

So the game was between the unofficial-school-of-my-suburb (which is NOT a public school, but which “everyone” sends their kids to) and another school (where friend’s kid plays).

Being that there were kids from my ‘hood there, I saw a gaggle of girls I know. They weren’t playing soccer and when they saw Fanny they ran over (of course) ’cause she’s so darn cute.

They passed her around like she was a doll or a baby or something and then (god I am so stupid sometimes) asked if they could walk her around the park.

I compromised with the girls to limit the walk to around the exterior of field, talked to their moms, locked the leash at about 5 feet, and off they went.

About 1/2 way around, I could see things were getting a little out of control. Fanny wanted to run, the girls wanted to “show” her things, pick her up, meander around like kids do, and before I knew it…

the leash had been dropped, and the Fanster was hauling as# across the soccer field. Through the game. Right through the game…

so “through the game” that they had to pause it while we did a recovery mission.

The parents, kids and I (who all knew her name by now) were all calling her, but (thanks to early training and heavy food rewards) she came towards ME when I called and once she finally heard me over the voices of everyone yelling at her to stop (duh-that SO doesn’t work).

She was almost to me when one of the dads (natch) stopped her in her tracks. I was actually a little ticked off because this was a huge test of her obedience, and she can run FAST and AWAY if she wants to…and she was thwarted mid-stream.

But I did the “walk of shame” to go get her and the game continued.

I let her dig a hole in the ball field just to get some of that energy out and give the city workers something to do with my tax money.

Note that I would kill her if she did that in MY yard. Well, in my garden anyway…

She is such an energetic little puppy.

Recent text session with friend’s 9-year-old son (using older brother’s phone):

Him: Sup

Me: Gettin’ haircut and dye job. This is John? <ed. note: He has been known to attempt to snow me and say it’s his sister, so I have to verify. Soon to come: secret word>

Him: Yes

Me: Sup with you? Got your homework done? What are the sibs doing? How does your mom like her job? Kiss your dad for me.

Him: Good

There’s always one: one child who’s a particularly ongoing “challenge” for h/h parent.

Not having children, I don’t have this problem, although the animals certainly qualify in their own ways. Unlike with children, however I can yell and curse and call them nasty names and they still just rub up looking for affection, without any apparent psychological damage.

Anyway, my friends and I have come up with some charming names for their children over the years:  Spawn of Satan, Child of Satan, Devil Child, child of GOD (with the emPHAsis on the “god” part to imply frustration and that the child is anything BUT).

But I was just catching up on one of my favorite blogs and found that someone (in the comments) calls h/h child Tylenol. Isn’t that perfect? Until they reach a certain age you could even call them that to their faces, which is the real beauty of it.

You can’t really say my friends’ kids nicknames to their face, other than “child of GOD,” which I might add my mother called all of us at one time or another. But we knew it wasn’t meant as a blessing…

But Tylenol is brilliant! It gets the whole heaven/hell thing out of the way and reduces the child to its pure essence.

A side note: My friends with “challenging” children were all raised catholic (I wonder if there’s a connection?!). Omar, do you know about the commenter’s religious upbringing?

Here’s a link to the post and its comments. The Tylenol reference is the 2nd to last one:  click here

I’ve been a slacker with my blogging, I know. I’m sorry.

I think of things to write about all the time but there’s a lot going on right now and I am trying hard (and succeeding!) to get at least 8 hours of sleep too.

Here are some highlights:

***watering the garden: OK, are you done guffawing? I know it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it takes 2 hours (at least) when you’re anal and have a lot to water and have uneven water pressure. The neighbors sometimes don’t even have to water their garden but uneven water pressure also means I’ve unknowingly just spent the last 15 min. with the sprinkler watering my bricks.

It’s time-consuming! TG for those recent hurricane remnants of rain. I just can’t take 2 hours to water the damn garden twice a week (and that doesn’t include special waterings for the recent transplants – see below).

***walking the dog: I have had to actually walk my own dog every single day for the past few weeks because my normal save – my – butt – but – I – have -more – on – my – butt – as – a – result – of – not – walking – my – own – dog – enough dog walker broke his toe.

Clearly he wasn’t putting my needs ahead of his and didn’t believe me when I suggested that walking might help make him heal faster. So there’s at least an hour gone every day.

***On the other hand, if I hadn’t been out walking a few weeks ago past someone’s house and known they kept bees, I couldn’t have asked how to get the wasps out of the birdhouse. Turns out she knew who I was from the pool even though I had no idea who she was.

That was a bit embarrassing but come on? Who (besides me apparently) looks the same in wet in their swimming suit as they do on dry land?! Anyway, if I hadn’t been walking my very own dog I wouldn’t have had her send her husband (the beekeeper) over.

***socializing with the neighbors: it’s been so nice out that all the peeps have been outside. This often turns a walk around the block into a “hell yes I’ll have a drink to delay my walk catch up with you.”

***This will be its own post soon (depending on how you define “soon”), but Extreme Makeover Home Edition has been in MY humble burg, about 3 blocks away. Since god forbid I should walk without the dog and you can’t bring dogs into their 3 block perimeter, I have only seen the actual site once (with the neighbor girls of course – see below).

But I have chatted with show security guards Fletch and Hulk Hogan look-alike-guy, and with the second female cop in our town (still waiting for a non-caucasian, but despite the diversity of the population, the administration is dragging behind a bit) and with a cop from the adjacent town (I knew he was from the adjacent town not just because of his different cop car, but also because he’s not caucasian. How sad is that.

I also talked to the nice cop who pulled me over and didn’t give me a ticket (versus the other 2 that did). So look back here soon’ish for the real scoop on how they do Extreme Makeover Home Edition. It’s pretty amazing really.

***Driving 15 miles (3 times) to dig up someone else’s garden (with their permission). Long story short, the garden had to be removed (which is akin to murder IMHO), so I went on 3 rescue missions. I would’ve gone on a 4th but they tore it up before I could get back.

I’d like to say I’ve also planted everything I got, but that’s not the case. Please don’t tell my mother that most of the plants I’m “temporarily planting” until her next bed is ready are still in the buckets 1 1/2 months after being dug up. Dear god it’s been all I can do to water, not to mention plant all this extra crap.

***The neighbor girls coming over: There’s an 7’ish year-old behind me and a 4 year-old next to HER, and they’re buddies. The 7 year-old, named Lydia (pictured in this post), has a “fort” in their yard. Whenever she (and her siblings before her) are bored or are just outside and I come out, she yells out (from the top of the fort where she’s been waiting to see me come out) “Hi Mawy Kafrine! What are you doooing?” which of course is quickly followed by “Can we come ovuh?”

So me being the sucker I am let her and/or Bella (the 4 year old) come over. Sometimes we “play” in the garden (they weed or dig a hole!), sometimes we have sherbet on the back porch, Bella has helped make pesto, and we all 3 walked over (with the dog) to deliver a gooey-butter cake to the security staff, since you can’t come to this city and NOT have one. It’s the only city that even has them.

Sometimes the girls come over and actually play, but when they look back later, they’ll realize how much free labor I got out of ’em. Anyhoo, imagine going outside and having cute kids invite themselves over. I tell them no at least twice for every once, but they sure are outside a lot…

***J-o-b hunting: THAT’s the task that’s really eating up my time. Plus I have an added complication, which I’ll discuss at a future – but – soon date, but all those customized cover letters about why I would be such a great addition to your fabulous company are time-consuming.

I’ve been lucky and have made some headway (i.e.-interviews) but I don’t believe in waiting until you hear from one until you apply for the next one, so I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire. I started a spreadsheet, and even contemplated a database, but I’d rather use a chisel and stone spreadsheet than Access, so that’s how I’m doing it. Plus, filters on my email and a folder on my hard drive. It’s simple, really.

***FINALLY finished reading the Secrets of the Sistine Chapel, (discussed here) which was fascinating, if a little tedious (maxed it out at 9 weeks checked out of the library). The authors present a compelling case that Michaelangelo’s work for the catholic church is actually a subversive eff-you that brings in the Talmud, Kabbalah, Midrash, and other non – church – sanctioned perspectives and symbolism that are illustrated in the chapel’s ceiling. fackinating.

***What I haven’t been doing: reading the Buddha book. My greatest failing this summer, besides not planting those plants yet. I maxed it out at 9 weeks, got a replacement from the other library for another 2 weeks, and then maxed out the city libarry copy again and still never got past page 59.

How am I supposed to learn more about calming and centering and philosophy and if I want to study this more, if I can’t even concentrate on a book about it?! Seems like a trick to me.

Well, if that’s my biggest failure this summer I think I can live with myself. I have a resin Lowe’s Buddha in the garden so that’s gotta count for something, right?

So bear with me while I sort through all these activities. OMG, I haven’t even posted the contest winner and my comments about the submissions, or the last 3 dead animals on the porch. Well, I also haven’t paid my bills for a couple of weeks now, so I’m betting that given a choice between the two, I will first post then pay. My priorities are in line…

OK I can’t stop thinking about this: My first job was babysitting for my 2nd family’s son’s baby (got that?). I remember Sean, the dad, picking me up in his yellow Sunfire, so that means I was not old enough to drive. I think #4 of the 5 of us sisters was born or soon to be born, so that means I was ~14-15.

The baby I watched (Jason) was still a toddler, and I remember I stopped watching him soon after the 2nd one was born, and I think it was a summer gig.

So years pass, lifetimes change, and the next time I see this little toddler, he is ~25 years old, taller than me, married and with kids.

If I hadn’t been introduced, I couldn’t have picked him (the babysat-for kid) out of a lineup! I never would have recognized him, and he (of course, since he was a baby) didn’t remember me.

And I guess the “with kids” part didn’t really register because we were at a funeral, and I don’t remember if they were with him anyway.

So that first – time – in – forever – last – time – I – saw – him was about 6 mos. before my 40th bday, which was 5 1/2 years ago, which means he’s now what, 30’ish? 33’ish tops?

OK, Am I Are you ready? Not only is he married with kids, but he is now a grandfather! This baby, this toddler, has a grandbaby!

Meaning that my friend Sean, is now a great-grandfather! And my friend (his sister — my age) is a great-great aunt!! And her “little brother” (who’s 43) is a great-great uncle! ::snicker snicker::

I’m sorry but we are just not that old. There must be something wrong with the math here. I know I have math anxiety (thank you, Gayle V. Wrongley) but seriously, the toddler I babysat is now a grandfather?!

Clearly, it all comes down to me when you think about it (acceptance, aging, blah – freakin’ – blah) but still…

That does not compute. That does not compute…

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