Monthly Archives: October 2013

Neville Stinkybottom


So we adopted this cat a little while ago.  We had been discussing such things and then some friends posted a plea on Teh Book of Face about a stray who needed a home.  So it was that we arrived at the house of total strangers and collected him from them.  They couldn’t keep him because their stodgy adult cats were lodging complaints about the whippersnapper in their midst.  We could relate: we wanted another young cat to occupy the attentions of our kitten who was righteously pissing off our old lady cat, the Traditionally Built Hermione.

He’s a lynx-point Siamese, or looks like one.  He’s stripey and has Siamese markings and coloration, and the end of his tail is kinked like a fishhook.  His dazzling blue eyes are ever so slightly crossed.  He’s about half grown by now, and we’ve had him a couple of months.  We friended his interim-caretakers so they can see the pictures we post of him.


He’s an odd little thing.  He will allow you to cradle him in your arms like a baby.  He licks your hands too.  I once had a cat who did this and she was bottle-fed, so I have to wonder about Neville.

A conversation was had this evening about him.  The Lovely Rhonda and I were remarking to one another about the cradling and the licking.  He was in front of me on the desk licking my hands.

“Why is his butt always so stinky?” I asked, and TLR replied, “Well, it’s not just his butt.  Have you smelled his fur?  He stinks all over.”

“Now he’s licking my sweater.  It’s sticking to his tongue like Velcro.”

“And he’s not smart,” said TLR.

This is not an unusual conversation for us to have.


Horse Camp, or how I nearly lost my left leg (again)


So we have all these female children in our house and they are all girls.  Female girls of the girly female persuasion.

We made them all sign up for a certain Scouting Organization for Girls of the Female Persuasion, because we can.  We’re tyrants like that.

Last spring the two older girls went to an overnight horse camp where they did scouty things in the presence of, and briefly astride, gigantic hairy smelly animals capable of throwing them off and trampling them.  This is viewed, curiously, as a positive experience for them to have.

Earlier this evening I and my own personal offspring returned from “Mom & Me Horse Camp” which is similar except that we as mothers are obligated to attend as well.

We left yesterday afternoon.  I had to stop on the way and pick up a fast food burrito for my child because dinner was to be a “baked potato bar” which is where they give you a baked potato and various things to put on top of it and call it “dinner” even though it contains no “meat.”

As a meat-eating carnivorous flesh enthusiast, I was less than “enchanted,” but I like potatoes as much as the next person so I soldiered on regardless.  My child, however, is not a fan of the tuber.  So, bean burrito no onion please!  And off we went.


We were assigned to cabin 5, the “LOVE” cabin.  The other cabins were named things like “FAITH” and “JOY.”  This camp serves as a Christian camp part of the year.  I, however, chose to think of cabin 5 as the LOVE SHACK in that whimsical corner of my brain that won’t shut up.

The other two moms in the cabin informed me that they had managed to piss off more than one presumably humorless Scout Mom.  I’d like to go on to say that we became BFFs, but we didn’t.  We did get on tolerably well, though.

One of the girls had ADHD which handily explained why she was frequently obnoxious, but from what I can tell the other child was merely ill-behaved.  Both moms were of the shouty threat-spewing type and neither child seemed to pay any attention to them.  What fun!

We all managed to get through the night without much drama although somebody left the heat on “comfort zone.”  This might have been all right but it seemed the comfort zone was one that originated in the tropics.  We all came through it somewhat sweatier than I personally felt was necessary.

In the morning we had breakfast and then there were various blocks of “free time” during which we were expected to “bond with our child.”  This meant “sitting around doing whatever we brought from home to do.”  In our case, this was Yahtzee and some crafty sewing projects, or books and Candy Crush, depending on which block of free time you referenced.  At one point we were urged to visit the BIG SWING.

I thought this would be a BIG LAME SWING but actually it was very cool  It was indeed a big swing, chained to two towering evergreen trees, and the hapless rider was not just strapped in but attended by two staff persons who were harnessed to the platform.  My child declined to ride the swing but did consent to be strapped to it.  Considering that this child would not ride any attraction that left the ground at Disneyland, this was a pretty big step and I was satisfied with it.


I rode the BIG SWING and found it to be quite satisfactory, and indeed it was BIG and also a SWING, and therefore as advertised.  The first swing out over the ravine made my stomach get all wiggly, but after a moment that wore off and it was very peaceful and swooshy and verdant.  I was urged to follow tradition by spitting, and furthermore enhanced my BIG SWING experience by doing so on the way back thus avoiding spitting into my own face.

Eventually we were allowed to mount a horse, which as I understand it is the proper term despite sounding vaguely naughty, and an only slightly self-important teen led us around in circles up and down nearby hills for the better part of an hour.


My horse’s name was Cricket.  I think this is rather a laugh, as crickets are known to rub their legs together of a warm summer evening to make a wee tiny chirping sound that is beloved by all.  This horse’s favorite pastime, on the other hoof, was to meander a bit too close to the occasional tree in an ill-disguised attempt to dislodge me from my seat.  When that proved less than fruitful, she resorted to a different game.  A large stick was protruding into the trail and given the nature of our jaunt, which is to say circuitous, we passed it twice.  On both occasions she skirted the stick by just enough to avoid getting stabbed by it, but by not quite enough to ensure that I was not stabbed by it.  Twice it jabbed into my leg and ground into me as we wandered, slowly and painfully, past.  It therefore left two large horrible swollen bruises on my leg, and managed to break the skin both times right through my trousers.  These little souvenirs of my Horse Camp Experience stung like the very dickens when I got into the shower on my return home.  THANKS A LOT CRICKET, YOU BIG BROWN JERK.


Still, my kid enjoyed the ride fairly well.  She was very distracted by the prospect of the new Pokemon X and Y game that awaited her at home, so pretty much everything about the camp was more or less merely tolerated rather than truly experienced, thus making the sixty dollars per person money well spent, no?



The thing wherein I have a birthday


So on Sept. 7th I turned A Certain Age.

Really my age is no secret, although the closer I get to fifty, the increasingly strange it feels to say how old I am.

I’m 46.

I did some math around all this and came to the conclusion that in four more years, I’ll be fifty.  I’m not really sure how to feel about that, except possibly for IT SUCKS AND I HATE IT.

Then again, I find that I’m having more fun lately and part of that is the freedom of being the age that I am, so there’s that too.

So we had some Birthday Fun on Friday evening (the 6th) with the children, and Rhonda and the girls gave me an awesome pair of sapphire earrings.  Who doesn’t like fine jewelry?  NOBODY DOESN’T LIKE IT, that’s who.  NOBODY.  Especially not me.  So, aging process: 0, Me: 1.

Then the next morning we took the little darlings out for pancakes and then came home to watch what we thought would be “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs” on Netflix.  Sadly, Netflix doesn’t have that one.  So we poked around and found “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” instead.  And the children watched it, and they seemed to enjoy it.

Then we went to a friend of mine’s house.  This friend is someone I went to high school with and we haven’t laid eyes on each other since 1985.  Well, except that she lives along the route I drive to and from work and one day recently she saw me ride by on my motorcycle.  I have a bright orange motorcycle and my red hair pokes out the back of my helmet, so I’m fairly easy to see as I flash by.  But I haven’t seen HER since graduation day.  At any rate, she had taken a tree down in her yard and had a lot of wood for the taking so The Lovely Rhonda and I dropped by and loaded up the Family Truckster with a bunch of it.  We like a firepit now and again, so this will come in very handy.

We then bombed home, cleaned up and headed out to some BBQ with a friend.  I mistakenly ordered a “big” beer, thinking this meant a pint.

But no.

It was bigger than a pint.  And by God, I drank it down.

After that we did some stuff, and some other stuff.  And then we went to a friend’s Delayed Gratification party, a sort of “we got married a couple of years ago in a hurry for various good reasons not involving pregnancy and now we’re celebrating it” party, which was also a fundraiser for marriage equality in Oregon.  This, even though they are heterosexuals who can marry anytime they like and nobody makes, literally, a federal case out of it.  These are the kind of great people that we have the privilege of knowing.

After that we went home.  And I woke up the next morning and was still only 45 in my head.

Actually in my head I’m variable ages, usually 15 or so most of the time which is why I still laugh at farting.