Oct 24, 2016

All of These Good Things

Last Thursday the 20th I drove over to the next county and picked up a puppy.  Just when I felt like I was paying all my bills on time and flossing regularly I threw a puppy in the gears of the house and everything when sproinging and springing out of the box. I can't help but be reminded of my old dog, 'Wednesday', whom I received in October of... jeez maybe 1997? She looked just like this pup. Wednesday was a great dog.  I needed a couple of years between her and this one to just be helpless mammal-less. 

Lately though I'd been wishing I had someone to bark when the door bell rings, someone to walk the bike-path with me, someone to chew on my shoes. Then Dad came over and brought a friend's dog with him.  My young son showed that big old lab around our house like he was royalty. "This is the hallway, this is the bathroom, this is my room... and if you ever spend the night you can sleep right here..." he said.  It wound me up in such a way that I knew this boy who's brought a stuffed dog to school with him every day for three years, needed his own dog. My mind was set.

I made myself one promise, I'd not have a house that smelled like dog. So potty training is number one and this pup understood in the first two days where to go and what to do. She's super smart. we taught her stairs, we taught her to go in and out, we taught her how to walk on a leash, tomorrow we're going to teach her to sit. But she's a nipper. She's part border collie and that makes her want to herd things. Including children.  We're working on it.  I bought books. The kids are helping. She's learning, but her teeth itch and she wants to chew things and every cell in her body is saying run and steer.  She can move a soccer ball around the yard like Pelé. My boy says he still loves her even though she chews his pants and his toys. So we're far from having lil' Pelé sleep over in his room, but we'll get there.


It's mid-October, the leaves are falling while the wind rustles the trees in the early afternoon.  That sweet autumn smell is wafting in the open windows.  Dinner is simmering.  Both children are at the dining room table working on their homework, and chatting about funny things. Thomas is making tea. The puppy sleeping on her tuffet, rolls over and her fat little belly is exposed as she yawns. The Cubs are on their way to the world series and Hillary Clinton is up in the polls.  I stand in the middle of the house sipping coffee and quietly soaking in all of these good things.

Oct 19, 2016

Infinite Geometric Progression

If you were trying to explain infinity to a six year old boy, you might say that it's the biggest number that goes on forever.  You might say things like you love him infinity much. You could talk about walking around a circle or explaining how small things can be or how far space goes.  Then you might hear him explain it back to you by expounding that if you farted two butts and those butts farted their own butts and those butts farted their own butts and it just kept going you would have infinity butt farts.

Oct 13, 2016

Hermit Crab

I haven't left the house in two days. It's glorious. I've been painting and illustrating and watching CNN. I'm at the end of the groceries and just stood in the kitchen figuring what I can still make without adding anything.  I have dinner figured out but every day I but a cookie in the lunches of the people that leave the house and I'm out of cookies.  We'll be going to karate class tonight and I'll run next door and buy some cookies and coffee, so briefly, for a bit this evening, I'll have to put on a bra and talk to people. The hard part about working from home though is that I'm never really off work and it's always looming there in the room wanting one more line one more swipe of the brush. Though I can go to work in my pajamas I'm still compelled to work after the day is done for just a few more minutes.

Oct 4, 2016

Hand Powered Mulcher

Why has no one invented a hand powered mulcher.  Seems like it would have gears like crazy so you could really crunch up a good sized branch pretty quick.  It'd fit right over a lawn bag and in really high gear you could have your kid crank the handle while you feed in the leafs and sticks.  I found a few plans for building your own and I've seen a few reviews for "leaf shredders" that say they stink in general as they're always getting clogged up. But it just seems stupid to fill lawn bags with all this plant material and send it away with the truck once a week and then in the spring go out and buy mulch to replace the natural mulch we all just sent away.  I get that it's not convenient to spread because it's not all chopped up into a uniform size... thus the mulcher, but I just want one less gas powered/electrical powered noise machine in the neighborhood.  I'm an old fashioned rotary blade push lawn mower and rake kinda person.  I did find one vintage shredder called a Rotocrop, but have not found a single one for sale in the whole world wide web. It's vexing.