One more time.

I’ve had the worst luck over the past several years with my garden. In 2005, we were living in military housing in New Orleans. I put a ton of work into my little garden. It wasn’t huge, and I was very inexperienced, but dudes? I loved that little patch of flowers and herbs, and even won an award for it in July of that year.

Then, Hurricane Katrina hit, and ripped all my carefully tended plants to shreds. We moved to Oklahoma, which has a completely different climate. I tried to throw a few things in, but everything croaked. Who knew that plants that thrived in the humidity of New Orleans would find the hot, dry winds of Oklahoma inhospitable? Me. I didn’t know. It was a semi-tropical plant genocide.

Then, I hurt my shoulder quite badly and required surgery. The healing process was long and painful. I could barely get my arm up to brush my own hair, so digging was completely out of the question. I spent that time researching though, so I wouldnt murder any more innocent bedding plants. Yep, for months, I stared out the window, sighing like a 14 year old reading Sylvia Plath, wishing I could actually go out and get dirty. It was not to be, and there went plans for that year’s garden.

I finally figured out what would be good here. I finally had the use of both arms. All systems were go. I ripped up a ton of sod crabgrass, and poured my heart and a good deal of cow manure into the garden. It was good the first year, but I had planted a bunch of perennials that would really only come into their own with time.

Then, we got evicted. For the record, it was nothing we did. As MadameX, star of the fried bull ball story, partner in patio beer drinking and former neighbor can tell you, we were quiet and mostly cool to live near. Anyways, we had been paying our landlord rent, but he hadn’t been paying his mortgage, and long story short, the house was repossessed by the bank.

We moved to a new house a few blocks down, and once again, it was too late to start anything. I decided to wait, again. It was only 8 or so months until I could start digging again, so I figured I could put up with it.

Then, I was running around with the dog in the backyard, about a month before the ground started to warm up enough to be worked. Shes a herding breed, and apparently she decided I was being a rowdy cow who needed correction. She did her herd-y correcting thing, clipped me and blew out my knee. No joke or exaggeration, she caused the unhappy triad (seriously, thats a real thing. Look it up and wince) of knee problems. Surgery was required. My career in the NFL was not going to be, and sadly, neither was my garden that year.

So. This year. I am not hurt, I am not going to be evicted, and I am pretty sure that hurricanes are rare in landlocked states. I started a flat of seeds, which sprouted beautifully, then ended up pushed onto the floor by a jerkface cat. I might have cried, but its only one flat. I could redo it.

I started more seeds–six flats of them. They also sprouted beautifully. Johnny Rotten bought me a cold frame greenhouse thingie, and I put all the little green babies in there to protect them from the stupid a-hole cat. Wouldn’t you know, a freak windstorm happened a week later, which ripped the cold frame to pieces, and blew all of my sprouts over my yard and the yards of everyone a mile downwind. I definitely cried. For real, y’all. Johnny Rotten checked on how bad it was, cameback in, and his face said it all. He didn’t even have to say anything, and I started sobbing. I know, I know. They’re just garden variety tomatoes, pardon the pun. But I was so excited about them, and I was heartbroken when it looked like all of my hard work was for nothing again.

He asked if I wanted to try to replace them. I said no, and my bottom lip quivered. He urged me to try one more time. I pouted and sighed like the drama llama I am. He told me how happy he is when he sees how happy I am when I’m outside, hauling bags of mulch, pulling weeds or breaking hard ground with a mattock. Fine, if it made him so happy, Id try one more time.

I only agreed to get him off my back. He’s tenacious, and I knew he wouldnt let it go. I harrumped, sighed and grumped my way to the local diy store to pick out more plants and seeds, like a gardening Eeyore with a massive chip on his shoulder. But, you guys? Look!

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Confederate jasmine, tiger lily, dianthus, viola

It’s working! This is part of the front bed that I put in. The back is still very much in progress, but Im so happy, and I cant wait to get out there again to work more. Its raining today which is why I am writing instead of digging, but the first break in the clouds? Im grabbing my shovel.

I’m so glad I listened to Johnny Rotten and his optimistic harassment. I do love this. It does make me so happy. This is going to be my year, I can just feel it.

I was aiming for ‘bronze goddess’. I failed.

Spring is here, and with it comes the feeling that I am supposed to be a bronzed goddess. All the women’s magazines tell me so, and who can argue with Cosmo? I mean, they have sex tips about how your boyfriend or husband will totally like it if you touch his penis, and since word on the street is that this info is accurate, I feel that theyre probably right about most things. It stands to reason, y’all.

Anyways, where was I before I started talking about penises? Ah yes, summer beauty. Being a bronzed goddess. Right. I need to point out right now that Im really pale. Im not white as in, thats-the-box-I-check-off-on-the-ethnicity-part-of-a-census-form, but im white as in, my-sister-who-is-both-bronzed-and-a-jerkface-has-gleefully-called-me-Powder-for-years-and-now-I-actually-answer-to-it kind of white.

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This is a portrait of me, if I was a bald guy with psychic powers. Its good to know these things.

This year, things were going to be different. I exfoliated the hell out my poor hide, and slathered myself with some self tanner that promised a “dark and luxurious natural looking tan, without the damaging effects of the sun”. How good does that sound?! That is exactly what I want!

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Did you know that with a $5 bottle of goop and 2-4 hours, you can look like this bathing suit lady's twin?

So, I was all slathered, and I sat down to wait for the dark, natural looking, luxurious magic to happen. Apparently, youre not supposed to move around too much, lest the tanning alchemy grease rubs off and you’re left with very ungoddesslike streaks.

Self tanner smells pretty strange. Its not bad exactly, but oddly strong–like flowers, coconut, and perm solution. The dogs got curious, and started snuffling at my ankles. Just sniffing at it would have been fine, but they decided that it must be tasted too. I bent down to shoo them away from my ankles, and got my arms stealth-licked. This shouldnt have surprised me. As I have pointed out on this blog before, they are sneaky jerks.

I follow the philosophy that all sentient life ought to be sentient enough to know to keep their tongues to themselves, so it would gross me out anyway, but now I was definitely at risk of a streaky tan too. I took evasive maneuvers (ie, running around until i could lock myself in a room away from the hellhounds) and tried to even out the luxurious goop, which wasnt feeling luxurious at all after being mixed with dog spit.

And then, I took a nap.

When I woke up 2 hours later, I expected to see a sexy, summery glow. What I actually saw was something that had me questioning if I had somehow been sleepwalking and ended up in an industrial accident at the Tang factory.

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I think I can see a nose print in there...

I am orange.

I am patchy.

I am an oompa loompa with gigantism and vitiligo.

For the next week, im going to have to celebrate the fact that warm weather is here by wearing clothes more suited for a beekeeper who is terrified to have a bee actually touch her skin.

You know what the worst part is? This has happened exactly this way every spring for as long as I can remember. I think I need to put self tanner in the ‘Not for you, EVER’ category with wax, and embrace my pale, hairy self regardless of what women’s mags say. Its simply too dangerous any other way.

Everyone but my dog wishes you a happy halloween.

That title? It says it all.

Everyone’s dog has some kind of weirdness. I used to, until tonight, think it was everyone’s but mine. I now stand corrected.
My husband (who isn’t named yet on this blog. Isn’t that weird? Let’s invent a good name for him, folks!) and I took the munchkin out for trick or treating tonight. Nothing weird about that. We came home, she dropped her candy off, then she decided to wrangle her long suffering, overly-patient older brother into taking her out some more. Nothing weird about that either.  Husband (jeez, this lack of nickname is really pissing me off now) and I went to the minimart to pick up a Bud with clam for me. Nothing weird there either, if you are gracious enough to ignore the fact that I quite enjoy my hoppy, malty beverages with a healthy dose of bivalve juice.

We got home. Usually, there’s a dog-stampede to the door whenever anyone opens it, because PEOPLE. This time, however, there was nothing. Not a one of the three came to greet us at all. That…. was weird.

Immediately my mind went to the worst place it possibly could on short notice: clearly, they had been brutally beaten by robbers, while protecting our home, and I needed to find them and pet them and let them know how much I adored them for their selflessness and courage.

I walked into the bedroom, yelling for the beasts who had obviously become incapacitated in Saving. My. Life. Y’all don’t even understand. I was in the house for 15 seconds, and I was already sure that the reason they werent showing up was because they were too busy being heroes.

No. No, they are not heroes.  They all helped themselves to candy and were busy ripping open the packages on the bedroom floor. The lady-dogs were bad enough, having grabbed fun sized packs of Skittles, but BoyDog really took the cake–or the candy– on this one. The munchkin had gotten one of the all coveted king-sized M&M packages while trick or treating. ONE. If you grew up halloweening, you know what I mean when I say that getting the full sized treats is rare, so the King Sized packs? Like finding the holy grail on a purple velvet cushion on the back of a three legged unicorn that’s stomping through a field of honest bipartisan effort, high on ecstasy and life.

That King Sized pack was what the dog was eating. Of ALL the treats he could have chosen, that was the one he had stolen, ripped open and was happily munching on while deluding me into thinking that he saved my life.  I thought he was saving me from bandits, but it appears he was busy being a bandit himself. BoyDog was then called BastardDog. And maybe, just maybe, a few other choice things as I tried to assess whether he was going to kill himself with the amount of chocolate he ate (he isn’t) and whether I’m going to need to get the steam cleaner to remove the chocolate-candy shell-drool ganache from the carpet (I do).

MandMs

Exhibit A: Clearly the dog executed a surgical strike on this bag.

So. I told BastardDog that he was in fact, a BastardDog. And I told him that this kind of behavior was unacceptable. And I told him that he should be very sorry about what he’s done, because MY GOD, that was a king sized bag of M&M’s, acquired while trick or treating, and clearly he did not appreciate the rarity of this situation.

He refused to meet my eyes. He slumped over and it became pretty clear to me that what I had told him had really sunk in. He was truly sorry… until he dashed off to fetch himself a bag of Skittles to munch on while I was talking. Jeez, BastardDog.

Munchkin came home a few minutes after I had endured this horrible treachery. She had a fun time with her brother. She was looking forward to taking her costume off finally. She was….. wait, where was the king sized bag of M&Ms?

I should have known better than to assume that she wouldn’t notice. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. There was nothing I could do but tell her that unless she wanted to share the spit of a creature that licks his own rear end, they were gone. I explained the situation, hoping that she’d be at least concerned for his well being. Im not ashamed to say I pushed the “but chocolate is toxic to dogs!” thing, just as a sympathy ploy.

What’d she do?

I’ll give you a minute. What would a reasonable 11 year old girl do, when confronted with the news that her dog had just eaten her prized trick-or-treatin’ treasure?

.

.

.

Did you guess “she flipped him off?” No? Then you lose, because that is exactly what happened.

Long story short? My dog stole my daughters halloween bounty, because he’s a dick. She decided to flip him off, because obviously, as a dog, he will completely understand that. God, honestly? I think he looked at her and licked her hand.  This is my life, folks. And this is why I both write and drink. Happy Halloween!

Oh, PS? I think Im going to call husband “Johnny Rotten”. So there.