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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lazybug's Naptime


1. I was woken by the city to move my vehicle from the driveway to the street so they could access the driveway to fix it

2. I wasted a blender-full of shake across my cupboard - what a dang-blasted mess of milk, yogurt and oatmeal that was

3. I had students tell me they did not do their term projects because they didn't think I was serious when I assigned it (hmmm...)

4. I came home to find both ends of the street being utilized by the city so I had to park in a field, the same as last year, and then became Fred Penner / Batman again
(the whole street has to do this, so the 'woe is me' attitude can only hold out so long)

5. I have 31 tests and 51 essays to grade, which I would like to finish before Thursday night (i.e. tomorrow).

6. I don't want to walk to the doggie-playland to hang-out, so Harley and I are going to be lazybugs and stay here.

It's going to be a long evening.

Now, nap-time. 

Pee Trail

20 years ago, I was a teenager. Wow, it really doesn't seem like TWENTY years.

I think back to some of the things we did and I wonder if kids today have half so much fun as my friends and I did. I hope they do.

One intense piece of business was when someone would pretend to be a wild animal and then start to play a good game of chase-the-human. This 'game' was accidentally discovered.

Y'see, it all happened one night when I was babysitting at my neighbour's house. I lived in 'Da Woods' and across the road from my house was a lounge/bar and a wedding was happening that night at the lounge. Everybody was going.

My neighbours went to the wedding; my friend and I went to their house to babysit.

Some of my friends were old enough to go to the wedding. I was about 15-16 years old, and my friends ranged in age, of course.

Late in the night, one of my guy friends decided to leave the party and come visit me and my friend while we babysat. However, we didn't know he was coming over.

The kids were asleep.

There was a half-knocking, half-scratching noise at the outside door and then the door swung open! I saw this as I was sneaking out through the dining room and kitchen to peek out the inside door of the porch.

Meanwhile, my friend was sneaking out behind me, thisclosetome. But I didn't know that.

My guy friend in the porch thought it would be hilarious to scare the living daylights out of us two girls, so he was sneaking in through the porch, making creepy noises.

Picture it: two girls sneaking out through a dark kitchen to peer out the porch door and a 6' guy sneaking in through the dark porch to scare us girls.

Ah, memories.

When we peeked over the ledge of the glass of the inside door, my guy friend raised his arms up and loudly yelled, like a bear. Seriously, arms up and, "RAWR!"

And the scream froze in my throat.

My brain shut off.

My stomach stopped gurgling, or doing whatever it is that stomachs do.

My legs froze.

I wasn't breathing.

No blinking. Eyes wide open.

And he was looking at me expectantly, then he laughed.

That broke the moment.

And I turned to run.

In my brain, I was thinking, "!!!!!!!!!!!!BEAR!!!!!!!!!!"

So I ran.

While peeing.

In my nice black shorts that I really loved.

My friend who had sneaked out behind me through the kitchen was directly behind me and she, too, was laughing and tried to stop me from running. She put her hands out and was saying my name and telling me, "it was only him, it was only him!"

But my brain was having none of it.

With a wild-eyed stare, I grabbed HER arms and pushed her in a backward run straight across the kitchen, through the dining room and gave her a fling into the carpeted living room. She fell backwards and I believe she ended up with carpet burn all along her forearms.

Meanwhile, I had turned left and was heading down the hallway to hide from the bear.

So, a quick left then a quick right brought me to the hallway of bedrooms.

I was still peeing, and leaving a trail of pee.

I knew, somewhere in the back of my head, that it wasn't a bear, that it was my friend. That part of my brain was struggling to control conscious thought.

Wild-eyed, I looked right to left, and turned right to go to the bathroom. There were two reasons for this:
1. I should finish peeing in the bathroom
2. the pee was no doubt attracting the bear and I should lead it away from the kids, and they were to the left

I was a good babysitter, even during my utmost level of fear.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, I could my guy friend yelling my name and dying with laughter. I heard him hit the floor, crying laughing.

But I kept running.

No bear was getting me. No sir.

I got to the bathroom, STILL PEEING. I just couldn't control it.

The tub was right by the door, and the toilet was kind of hidden behind the tub. I raced to the end of the tub and sat on the toilet, with my beautiful black shorts still on.

Then I saw the bear coming, and he WAS CRAWLING DOWN THE HALLWAY!!!!


So I pulled my legs back as far as they could go and hid as best as I could behind the tub, while still on the toilet, peeing. There was absolutely no semblance of control.

My friend was almost sick, still laughing.

Every now and then, I would peek out to see if the bear was still there.

It was.

He finally got to the bathroom door and after saying my name a few times, I kind of snapped out of it. I was beyond afraid. Beyond!

My carpet-burned friend wasn't pleased with me.

My guy friend sent me home to clean up and he cleaned up all the pee that by this point, had trailed all over the house.

On the way back to the Bear House, I was still almost sick and irrational with fear. When I got there, he was still laughing and apologizing profusely. He said he didn't think he would get that kind of reaction but no doubt that was the best reaction, ever.

Meanwhile, don't ever run from a real bear. Probably, it's not a good idea to pee, either. And if you do, the only way it's going to help you clean up is by being the garbage disposal.

just doing whatever they want

Friday, May 18, 2012

When Did You Exercise? :-/

Today was another moving day.

Awhile back, it was Jenny's turn to move residences. This time, we had to move my cousin, The Pixie. We were asked to move 'some clothes and an armoire.'

I said, 'I have some intestinal issues so I can't move an armoire but I'll see if Jenny is available. I can help with the clothes, though.'

Jenny was available.

Now you might remember from some of last year's stories that Jenny and I are the Funny FatGirls. We don't care what we do; we do what we want. And so we today, we wanted to help The Pixie move.

The Pixie changed her mind 800 times regarding the actual time of the move, so we were basically at her beck and call. 'Cuz you know, we're (in her words) 'just teachers breakin' and stuff.'

Yep, just teachers, hanging around on break.

Finally, we got down to business.

There were no clothes to move. It was all furniture! And I thought I was a hoarder! The Pixie needs to have the Hoarder show come visit her. We had to move boxes, clothes, games, dog food, dog treats, a dog, half a board nailed to a wall, a couple of table saws, a printer and a VCR before we could even get to The Armoire. And that was after we went down a flight of stairs, into the basement.

And due to my troubled intestines (that's a story for another day), I couldn't lift The Armoire.

So The Pixie looked at me like this  :-D  and I gave her a look like this  | :-/  . That's me with my eyebrows raised, except it looks like a unibrow and I have two distinct eyebrows. There was no way I was lifting the huge box.

Then we both looked at Jenny, to see if she could help. She looked at us like this  :-/  I'm sure she was thinking, "WTF" because of her expression.

But she did it. On the way up the basement stairs, she yelled, "Ah, I'm full of spiders!" to which Pixie replied, "There are no spiders in my basement" and Jenny then said in a very weak voice, "Oh, woe is me!"

I was giggling like a loon at the top of the stairs because I knew Jenny wouldn't lie. When they got to the top, Jenny was covered in webs. She gave me the dirtiest look of life after I said, "Let me hold the door for you" because she glanced down and I was carrying a pillow. And holding the door.

While she carried an armoire.

For my cousin.

Oh, dear.

So I dusted the webs off her shoulders.

Again, this is how she looked at me  :-/

We brought it all outside. Then we went inside, where Jenny and I thought we were getting The Clothes. Nope, Pixie said "So, do you think we can take this chest?" and by 'chest' she meant ottoman, which was a huge piece of furniture. And by huge, I mean it was humongous, so humongous that I once used it onstage and it was big enough to be easily seen by 600 people in a full theatre.

Yeah, that piece of furniture. We talked her out of it. Then she said, "Well do you think we can take the TV?" We said, "Where the hell are you gonna put a TV?" She stopped to think about that. We had never seen her place but that tactic seemed to work. The TV stayed where it was.

We went upstairs. There were no clothes being moved up there, either. Nope, just more stupid furniture. There was a night table, some baskets, hangers, pillows (which I carried) and a small chair (which I also carried).

The Pixie bossed us all around. Jenny was worried that I was going to be savage about being bossed around but I figured it was The Pixie's stuff and I wasn't really doing anything, so I thought we could let her boss her face right off, if she wanted.

Jenny was basically The Carrier of Everything.

I carried stuff, too, but Jenny said I did nothing but carry pillows. That is a flat-out lie because I also carried a basket with hangers, a chair, and some food. Plus, I got us drinks. And I also held onto the dog, and eventually put her in the bathroom when she got out of control.

But Jenny did do her share, too. I'm not saying she didn't.

We left that place and went to the new place. The Pixie said she lived on the 4th floor, so we thought we would bring everything to the elevator and make one trip out of it. Nope, Pixie lived on floor 2. She said we didn't need the elevator, we could just walk up two flights of stairs.

Jenny's face did this  |:-/  (but without the unibrow).

Then the furniture started coming out of the back of the truck at warp speed. One piece came flying out at me and I tried to lift it but I thought my guts were going to fall out of my arse end, so Jenny caught it and it started to fall forward. I said, "I'll help!" and immediately caught the tiny 8"x10" drawer for her. I thought she was going to kill me. She maneuvered the whole thing up the stairs like The Hulk, though.

She carried all the heavy stuff because Pixie decided to make the most amount of trips to take all of the little stuff. So she was flitting back and forth around us, running up and down the stairs, while Jenny took all the other stuff and I trailed along with the pillows and shower curtain rod.

Then we had to take bathroom breaks. Whew! What a whack of work! Beat to snots!

When we left, Jenny said she was so tired from all the exercise. I said, "Yeah? When did you exercise?" I thought she meant she was out walking or something.

She just about slammed on the brakes of The Blueberry right through the floorboards, and turned to me and screamed in my face, "ASSHOLE!"

And then, "What do you mean, when did I exercise?"

Jenny's face looked like this  >:-S

Then it dawned on me that 'the moving adventure' was the exercise.

Me   :-D

Jenny  :-/

It's been a long time since one of my friends called me an asshole, especially with that much emotion. I burst out laughing, and could barely breathe. Then she started laughing, too. My guts hurt so much.

She was really riled up, and on a pure rant.

"It's all right for you! You were carrying a pillow! Here I am, carrying 'The Armoire' with the spider webs! Then I couldn't use the elevator, and I had to carry all the furniture up the stairs by. my. self. Then! I! had! to! use! the! bathroom! Here you go, you carry the nightstand! You carry the chair! Here, TerriLynn, you carry the drawer! And I was just sweatin' the whole time, fat girl just sweatin' it out."

I wasn't sure why the bathroom was thrown in there but I guess it was a big deal. While all this was being said, she also held onto the steering wheel and tried to shake the shee-it out of her whole car.

Holy love of the Lord, was she wild. She wasn't mad, I could tell because she was laughing. She was just reminding me, loudly, that she did a lot of work, and I didn't remember it.

Sorry about not remembering that you were exercising.

Pure try-athlete in the house.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dog-Park Adventures 4: BFF in Training

Harley met a lot of little doggies over at our little Bark Park but he met one little guy today that was just the absolute cutest.

His name is Frankie and he is an English Bulldog.

Frankie is four months old, already about 20 pounds and as docile as a kitten.

Harley is almost three years old, 7 pounds and savage.

I want them to be best friends.

Frankie wants to play with Harley... and Harley doesn't want to have anything to do with Frankie, of course.

It all started like this:

We arrived at the park around 4:30. I had gone to the post office right after work, had checked to see if anyone was on the Lil Guy Side, and sure enough (!) people were there, so I raced home to get the little maggot, and we raced back to the park.

Harley started with his usual squirmy old shenanigans as soon as we got there because he thinks he can hold his own with the Big Boys. He cannot because he is a wimp. He would get trampled. Harley likes his personal space, only he doesn't realize he likes personal space because rarely does anything ever intrude on that space.

So I had to keep him in a pure headlock until we got to the Lil Guy Side.

We got in through the gate and Harley was acting like a 3 year old kid in a solid temper tantrum, you know when they get all limp and try to slide out of your arms? That was Harley when we got to the gate. He was desperately trying to taste freedom.

I was going to let him down until I saw the Bulldog on the Lil Guy Side. And I almost had a heart attack. Bulldog + Harley Wimpface = not so much a time.

The owners said he was just a baby bulldog and he was placid and he wasn't much of a playmate and all that stuff.

In fact, the two dachshunds there were much more aggressive and one of them was barking up a storm. Enough that it was obvious that the little bulldog was really no threat, as he was overwhelmed with the situation.

Harley was not overwhelmed at all.

He busted right in and introduced his furry arse.

He actually went over and lifted his leg on the bulldog owner's leg. You can't really apologize enough when that happens, I have learned.

So I kept my eyes on all the furry ones, to make sure that the smallest one (mine) didn't get roughed up by the bulldog and the barkers.

It was all going well. Then Frankie started to get a little more comfy and started to come out of his shell. One barking dachshund was trying to get him to play but the noise was just too much, so he would stop playing. When they were occupied elsewhere, Frankie would come over to try to get Harley to play.

But Harley was walking around on his back legs, trying to get me to pick him up because he didn't want to play with the little-kid bulldog. Plus, the little-kid bulldog was over twice his size. So he was getting bullied except the little-kid didn't know he was a bully.

It looked like Harley was a trick-performing dog, when really he isn't - he is just a big wimp.

So we had a barking dog, a Maltese walking on its hind legs and an English bulldog puppy trying to convince the circus dog to play by pouncing at it...

Yes, pouncing.

The English bulldog was trying its very best to pounce. On Harley. And my little boy was having none of it.

Frankie the bulldog was in full pouncing practice mode for awhile, and Harley was the target. In a Nintendo Super Mario game, some of the characters are able to Ground Pound. When a character like Bowser does it (see the link for his info), it seems like you are frozen for a few seconds and those seconds make a world of difference in game-playing ability.

That is what Frankie and Harley reminded me of today: Frankie was Bowser and Harley was Mario. Harley was trying to get to me and Frankie was ground pounding in an effort to play. Except, in Fankie's case, it was more like Ground Pouncing.

Frankie was also learning how to use his little voice - so pouncing and barking in that little puppy voice. He doesn't even have real teeth yet - he has those little puppy needle teeth.

He was trying to smash himself on Harley, and would sometimes lose control of his legs, or get tired, and just lay straight out on his belly.

He was seriously too cute.

Harley was absolutely savage with him.

For Harley, there was no playing with Frankie. Harley was just doggie-glaring at him. Then Frankie would come over and stand by me and wait for Harley to come over, too. Harley would stand on his back legs and lean against the back of my knees to try to get me to pick him up.

Frankie would come around to the front and poke his head through my ankles, right into Harley's face.

Harley would bark "ROWRF!" in a sort-of scream-bark. He was so mad at the surprise attack. Frankie thought the whole thing was a game.

Then the barking dog would jump in and bust the whole thing up because he thought they were playing. Frankie would get scared and run back to his owner.

Eventually, we left because Harley was thirsty and I wanted to watch Flashpoint, which was already half over. My boy had some fun, was terrorized a bit and wanted to go home. His BFF-in-training looked tired because he was cuddling up with his mama, too.

At that point, we were done with the Lil Guy Side of the Bark Park for today.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Art Night 4: Jeannette, Like a Boss

Pure savage.

Once we get going on the arts & crafts, we are pure savage, flat out, no flies on us. No holds barred, I tell ya.

And we're there, just given'er for all she's wort'.

That's what happened on Monday, at Art Night #4:

I showed up a few minutes early but there were still people there before me - it's nice to know I'm not the only one excited about all of this.

So I busted out my tree, and waited for further instructions. Jeannette always tells me fancy art stuff and fancy art words, and I am sure she thinks I understand them. Sometimes I wish she would just turn away for half a second so I could whip out the online dictionary and look up what we are discussing. For example: 'tonal' and 'up and down brush strokes'. Seriously. Painting is hard, man.

So first, Jeannette told me that I needed to see the tree picture all the time. First I thought she meant my actual artwork, and I thought she was insulting me by saying in a nice way that my tree painting was so bad that I was obviously blind.

But she meant the original picture.

You might notice the tree picture taped to my canvas, below. Well, it's taped there because Jeannette does what she wants, and she just ripped the page right out of her picture book so she could tape it to my canvas. She said it was her book so she could rip it up if she wanted to.

Alright - I wasn't, in fact no one was trying to stop her, so maybe she was trying to convince herself. I don't know. But tear up the book she did. She was pure savage on Monday, too.

Then she started to show me various brush strokes to use. However, her painting looks awesome, of course, and my painting looks like a monkey just learned how to throw mud onto the wall in lines, after watering it down by adding blood, poo and spit to make various shades of brown.

Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing because if you look at my tree, I am mostly inside the lines AND it is in the shape of a tree, relatively. And a few weeks ago, I never painted a tree before in my life.

In fact, Jeannette told me that I had some Picasso thing going on. I don't know if that was an insult or not (do art people like Picasso? was he an art world outcast?), but he was pretty famous and his art is still hanging around (pun intended) so I think I'll just pretend I'm that awesome.

So, yeah, I'm pretty much Picasso. You may as well admit it, too, even of it's only to yourself. Look at that painting. I make art.

Actually, if you are 20 feet away, it's not too shabby. And in a picture, like above, it's pretty good, too. So maybe I'll keep it on a cathedral ceiling or something. So what if I have to find one first... I'm ambitious!

Maybe that's why the old art masters only painted on ceilings - they knew art secrets - keep everyone plenty of room away and your art looks amazingly fantastic.

Whatever. I love my tree. I love the antlers. I love the dancing men. I love the colours. I love the brush strokes. I love the tonal stuff (I assume that means different colours). I will also love that we are doing shading next week, after I finish the rest of this weeks work. 

I love it because I am making it. It's mine. And if someone says it's ugly, I will hit them over the head with it. Just teasing - I don't want to wreck it!

Steph the giggling lunatic showed up and she busted out her letters, and she said she was tired and exhausted and all that jazz. Funny, because once she started on her letter T, she was hardcore. 

It took her 3 weeks to get the first letter, B, under control, and she got her letter T to the same point in one night, night #4.

Steph's 'but'

While barely noticeable in this picture, both the B and the T are both inked in black and foiled in silver and gold.

Her current level of speed makes no sense. She is starting her 3rd letter, U, now. She is all business.

She said now that she knows what she is doing, she can speed up. She then added that as soon as colour is ready to be added, everything will come to a screaming halt as she will have to decide what to do.

Then, we will have round-table discussions, I guess.

Time to bust out the old thinking caps, maybe have some voting cards and definitely some long talks about this. We need some of those paint strip colour cards so the discussions can really be informed. I have to go to a paint store so I can be ready for this. I cannot be unprepared.

When we do our little discussions about colour, Steph stares at the letters for a long time as if she is waiting for them to pop up and talk to her (I am assuming she is picturing them in bright Technicolour), and then she will turn to look at me in exactly the same way: kind of with her head tilted and a little bit of a vacant stare. That's because she is thinking (I hope) hard about her choices. 

Otherwise, I don't know what that look is about. Maybe she looks like that all the time and I just didn't notice. Oh well, whatever. Then she turns back to her work, still with the same look: vacant, creepy eyes. It reminds me of monster movies, except creepier because it's not supposed to be scary.

Maybe she is waiting for me to say/do something else, but I am not really sure what else to do about the colour stuff. So I stand there, with my hands at my sides, holding a little paintbrush, until it's awkward. But I think it's only awkward for me. She doesn't seem to notice.

With my heart beating faster, I came up with a new idea in case the monster look came back: I think we have to do some colouring experiments. 

Maybe we need to put aside the good copies of the letters once the foiling is done, and start practicing colouring the flowers with various shades of colours she likes, on extra photocopies of the letters. Then we will know what works for her and then we can apply it to the real thing.

Otherwise, I am afraid she will have to start over (eek!).

In that case, I suppose Jeannette could just rip some pages of letters out of one of her books to frame if it gets really out of control. She can also go no-holds-barred when she wants to. Not only does she do what she wants, she also makes us do what she wants.

In fact, she has already said the magic words to me, "I don't want to read about that in your blog!"

So, if you want to hear the really good stories, you have to be invited to Art Night, like my one-hundred-and-eleventeenth cousin, Ashleigh. She showed up with her art work and painted a bit, chatted a bit and generally had fun. She heard the stories.

I can only give you some stuff. Jeannette said so.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dog-Park Adventures 3: Obedience School

Harley is going to Obedience School on the double.

He might not look it, but he is a Holy Terror.

He escaped numerous times this weekend AND terrorized all the other dogs, even the big ones. He is so bad, and he always does what he wants.

Why is it that I can manage 30-100 teens at any given time but I can't manage a seven pound dog?

Even our secret talks don't make a difference. This is where I put him on his side and tell him "Mama is very upset with you and you are a bad dog. Now stop it." Plus I add in death threats if he has been really bad.

He doesn't care. He's the James Dean of Maltese dogs. He would smoke, ride a Harley and wear chaps, if he could.

No wonder other dogs won't come into the Little Dog Park when we are there - they can sense his evil nature.

Yesterday, the park was freezing but that was no deterrent to the Bad Boy. He ran up and down the fence, peeing, smelling everything and chasing all the dogs on the other side. By the way, they are instigators, I might add - they are running with him, so it may not totally be all his fault.

BUT, he is the one who starts the barking - he gets so excited, he just starts barking and howling. Then I have to get involved and tell him off. So then come our secret talks.

Harley doesn't even listen. He thinks he is the size of a Rottweiler or Great Dane. He is more like Scrappy Doo.

At the park today, Harley decided he was going to squish out through the gate. He is quite good at that. Then I started to have a heart attack because the park is right by a busy road and Harley just bolts. And he. does. not. listen. to. me. at. all.

So I yelled at him but that taste of freedom was just too much. I am VERY lucky he didn't run onto the road but that little leg came up and the pee went all over the flower pot. I don't even care about the flower pot, really, but I could strangle the dog.

This was after being at my friend's house, in the backyard, when the gate swung open and Houdini bolted out and ran across the lawn and all around the front yard. Of course, I thought he was a dead duck but luckily, he stopped to pee on the electrical box.

At Gregoire Lake, he barked at and tried to chase all the dogs on the beach and on the trails. It's not that he hates them or wants to hurt them, he wants them to notice him. When he is off leash, he just smells the dogs and doesn't necessarily even want to play with them. If they want to chase him, great, but if not, that's ok, too. It's as if he wants to talk, but the barking and lunging is unacceptable. It doesn't matter that he is small.

I have worked with him on the 'Come' and 'Stay' commands but he absolutely refuses to do them, even for treats. Obviously, I don't know what I am doing.

So, Obedience School it is. Or no more Doggie Playworld for him if other dogs are there - it's turning into Harley's Stomping Grounds of Terror for everyone except him, because he is having the time of his life terrorizing everyone and everything.

Harley - alone at the park except for the bugs and the wind. This is how it will always be until he can behave himself.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Art Night 3: Moose & Men, Ink & Foil

Monday was Art Night. We had many successes.

When I first showed up, though, all the lights were off and I thought I might have missed a memo about class being cancelled.

I snooped around and found one of the ladies puttering around, without the lights on. So we chatted, as it turned out I was just a bit early but she was super early.

The first thing my teacher said to me was, "We're going do some ... something something something something on your painting because something something and this will be dark but these things here will be something something something and that will be better, ok?"

And I said, "What do you mean?" Blink blink.


Because I think she thinks I am smarter than I actually am.

So she explained in Terri language: she bought me new paintbrushes so I have to slow down a bit and be a little more careful with the lines. We will also start adding in new colours. In addition, the brown may be too dark but we will layer colours so it will be ok.

Fair enough, grasshopper. I'm on it.

So I flipped my little tree upside down and started painting the upper branches.

The top branches reminded me of moose antlers before, and now I also see little dancing men in there, when it is upside down. So now, when I look at the painting, that's what I see: moose antlers and dancing men.

Told ya I grew up in the woods. Most girls would probably see fairies and butterflies. Not me... pure Newfoundlander: moose and men.


My mom would be so proud of her girl.

the Newfoundland girl's tree

It's kind of funny I am naming my painting 'the Newfoundland girl's tree' (thus far) since Jeannette originally said this kind of tree reminded her of NL, and Steph and I burst out laughing, saying this was not the kind of tree we would use to describe NL.

And it isn't, if you are looking at the whole thing. But if you look at just a couple of twigs, like the one dead centre at the top, it looks like a man walking. And if you flip it upside down, he looks like he is dancing. And if you don't see antlers in here anywhere, I don't know what to say about that.

Those things remind me of home. My uncles used to go moose hunting, maybe that's why. I don't know. But that tree now reminds me of home and that was totally, completely unintentional.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Steph was celebrating her own success. It was almost enough to break out a bottle of wine!

She graduated from one letter to another letter! WOOhoo!

graduation #1: one letter to another letter

She has inked the background and foiled the letter in two colours.

However, if Steph gets something in her head, she wants to make all her ideas happen NOW.

So she got the idea to colour her borders without deciding her other colours.

Discussion time. Out came the letters, the colours and the heavy brain waves.

We started talking out all her choices again, discussing colours for the flowers and the borders. She was going to start the borders immediately, but after some heavy thought- and sweat-intensive discussion, she decided to go with her original plan of finishing the inking and foiling first.

Then, she will choose flower and border colours and then move on to actual colouring.

I'm telling you, my heart is getting wrapped up in this project, too. I'm starting to feel concerned about the placement of everything.

They are going to be beautiful. I might sign them all, secretly. She can sign my painting, too, in recognition of all the positive comments she makes. I am the 'thought-processor' on her project, that's why I get to make a mark on hers.

When I am standing there painting, it feel like we are all real artists. I have spray paint or spray gold or something floating around me and into my lungs, there is paint all over me (when it should be on my canvas), there are various artistic instruments everywhere, and all kinds of tiny brushes are on my table at my disposal as if I am capable of making noticeably different lines and stuff with them.

And then, Steph is behind me, coughing up her lungs because she is bent over her work station, breathing in some weird smelling glue that she is using to stick the foil to the paper. Then she breathes in all the foil bits that come off her work when she brushes away the excess.

That, of course, is after she inks the whole thing with smelly India Ink.

She needs a face mask or something. She is going to mess up her work if she gets a coughing fit.

Then we will have to start all over.

Holy Lord above, her project is more stressful than mine and I'm not even working on hers.

Jeannette told me during her "something something something" conversation that we might have to do ten coats of paint to make sure the tree was layered properly and that sounded ok to me. My canvas might not be strong enough to hold up all that paint, but whatever, I'll tack it on to some wood.

I thought, 'No problem, I'll just keep painting until it looks right. Eventually, the paint will round out like a tree really is, I'm sure. I have a great teacher. It'll all be ok. No sweat.'

With Steph's, I think 'Holy love of God! You have 3 letters left! You better get cracking! We have colours to choose! How many colours are you gonna need? Do you know what your colour themes is - wait - don't think about that yet - keep inking and foiling! How much longer is the ink gonna take? What about this foil - I'm stressed out because it's so flimsy! Is this what the dentist uses on teeth!? Do you need some help? We gotta concentrate! No more talking! You need a face mask! You need gloves! We need more light! Your wedding is only 14 months away! We gotta come in on the weekends! What kind of frames are you gonna use? Mad panic!'

And Steph giggles.... like a lunatic.

And I look at my tree with the antlers and dancers.

I love Monday night - we say it's what gets us through the day!

Dog-Park Adventures 2

all tired & sleepy

My boy didn't last too long at the doggie-park today because he is kind of exhausted from all the running and chasing and hopping and playing over the past few days at Doggie Playworld.

We went over today and a lady there had two dogs, and they were excited to see my little monster! Woohoo! Friends!

One of the dogs was Harley's age and he wanted to play, but the lady said her other dog was 12 years old, he was basically the 'Fun Police' and he would shut down any parties the young ones were thinking about throwing.

They did ok for awhile but Grampa Dog kept them in line.

Regardless, my little maggot was so happy. And that makes me happy.

Another few ladies showed up and all the dogs hung out but Harley gets kind of quiet when there are 'big packs of dogs' roaming around and barking, so he came over and kind of hung around the humans. 

And by 'big packs of dogs' I mean there were 4 of them, including Harley.

So Harley is dreaming of Doggie Playworld now, while grasping his toy duck and his chew treat. He fell asleep while trying to chew.

Exhausted happiness.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dog-Park Adventures 1

Harley is not ugly.

When we went to the dog-park today, none of the other dogs would play with him. 

Actually, the dogs wanted to play but their owners wouldn't allow them to do so.

So I took him for a walk.

On the walk, one older couple said, "Oh what a cute dog!" Then another couple passed us and about ten feet after they passed, the woman said, "Oh, what an ugly dog!"

Harley: "Mama, why won't the doggies play with me?"

There was no one else around so I assume she was speaking about me or Harley.

I don't care if she called me ugly. But I thought she called Harley ugly and I immediately thought, "Shut up! You probably have ugly kids!" I didn't say it, though, because my mouth will one day get me in trouble.

Then I thought, maybe Harley is ugly and people tell me he is cute the same way people always tell others that their babies are cute, even if their babies are slightly strange looking. Maybe Harley is strange.

I think he is awesome. Sure, he is a bit rough and sometimes looks like he has never had a bath or has never seen the bristles of a brush, but he is a good dog and to me, he is still cute.

He is friendly and he likes to play. He has no idea about ugly or cute. He just wants to walk the trails or whip around the dog-park, chasing other dogs.

If only humans were made happy so easily.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Nellie's Lobsters

Yesterday, I went shopping and on my way out of the snaggle of a rat race known as the parking lot, I saw a guy in a truck who was selling lobster. So I squealed and screeched my tires and bought some, naturally.

Up until yesterday, I had never cooked lobster on my own. I was always part of a cooking experience, and mostly I was the audience member.

My 'cooking lessons' mostly went to the extent of my uncle getting drunk on Christmas Eve and trying to teach me how to make a boiled dinner. We usually got as far as cutting up the onion (i.e., the first step) before he forgot to continue to speak due to his drunkenness, and then the lesson would deteriorate slowly as he would peel vegetables and resolve to do the rest later. Then the party would continue, and the dinner would be cooked on Christmas Day.

The only thing was, he wouldn't let me practice cutting onions because every year he thought he was teaching me this technique for the first time. So... same 'new' lesson, every year. New onion, new lesson, no practice.

Y'see, I wasn't really allowed to do anything around our house (or anyone's house) while growing up. I was the bookworm, not the hands-on kid. I heard the statement, "Karen got her ruined!" more than once (Karen is my mother) because I didn't know how and didn't want to do 'house stuff.'

But I'm ok with the house stuff and with the ruined comment, because I do what I want. Always. That's what my mom gave to me and I am thankful for it. I am ruined, alright!

At our house, my mom did everything because she was kind of picky and liked things done her way. I don't know why people get like that *shaking my head here* :P but you know, that kind of thing is important to some people.

Anyway, my mom didn't let me do things like cook. Or clean the house. Or anything, really. She cooked our meals. She cleaned our house. I think she thought I couldn't do as good a job as her, but in my defense, she had been doing it for years and I had no practice.

Really, it is her fault I am lazy today. I am used to being waited on. It's all my mother's fault that I am the way I am. And there is no use to say that I am an adult now and I should know better - you are what you are. And I do what I want.

My mom's nickname for me is Nellie.

... as in Nellie Olesen, that spoiled-brat girl from Little House on the Prairie. Swear to God. She has some other ones as well, but that's the one we will talk about today.

As I said, she did it to herself - it's her fault I was a brat. Secretly, I think she loves it. She could have made different choices, but she made this happen, right!?

There I was, dying to learn how to cook (do you believe that?) and clean (HA!) and there my mom was, telling me off, saying I shouldn't be wasting my time with such menial chores.

Oh my God. What a parent. Absolutely ridiculous.

Honestly though, my job was to go to school. That was it. Mom did everything else. She said I didn't need to learn anything else because she was taking care of it. Somewhere along the line, we both forgot that eventually, I would leave her house.

So today, I am figuring things out but I often call her for advice. Which she also loves, I can GUARANTEE that. She loves busting out the old recipe box.

(I haven't asked her about plants yet because I am afraid of the amount of excitement. And when I have kids, that's it. She tells me off now about Harley stuff, so I can only imagine about kid stuff.)

Like yesterday, when I called her about lobster boiling. She loved it.

I was worried sick because it was so warm and the traffic was unbelievable, and I thought my lobsters were going to die before I got them home. You can't cook dead lobsters!

Finally, I got home and called her and the first thing she said was, "Don't let Harley get near those lobsters! They will hurt him if they pinch him!"

Well, it's a damn good thing she told me that! I was going to put them all together for playtime! Sheesh!

Harley was terrified of them, though, because once she said that, I had to see what he actually did think of them, so I brought him to them. He sniffed, then turned around completely in my arms so that his back was to the lobster. This is a defense mechanism of his: if he doesn't like something, he turns his back to it, and it no longer exists. Problem solved.

I got the water boiling and the lobsters ready to go for a dip. Worked up my courage to pick them up... and when I did, the buggers started flopping and moving and squirming, which I forgot that they do. Ugh, ugh, ugh... into the pot they went!

Then of course, the pot boiled over, the smell was too intense for my small apartment, Harley was terrified, my rice was cooking too fast, I had to call mom to see if I should take them out in 16 minutes or in 20, my whole sink was full of dishes that I had to get washed so I could rinse the lobsters...

... what a poo-storm.

I got everything under control after another call home. Then out came the lobsters and off went the rice.

Then the shelling...

... and the hand-scalding.

But it was SO worth it.

All the mess, all the smell, the white fluffy dog panic, all the cleaning up afterward including all the shells :S... so worth it.

I was able to make two meals of course, so coming home today to lobster again was just fabulous.

Nellie on

Just what a spoiled brat would want - a luxurious meal, already cooked and waiting for her.

My mom taught me well.