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We found the worst pet area ever

27 Aug

So last week, in hopes of chasing the eclipse but not being like every other Seattle-ite who headed to Oregon, we road tripped out to Wyoming. We have family in Wyoming, and they happened to also fall in the path of the eclipse, so it was a win-win.

We left the two oldest at home, to their delight, and left Zoey, aka “big dog”, with them. We took tiny dog Sky with us. Car trips are kind of awesome for her because she gets to lay on people the entire time.

So we road trip – just the girls and the husband and the tiny dog. We found a pet-friendly motel made up of individual cabins for a couple nights, where the owner who owned some tiny dogs of her own cooed and cuddled Sky. We stopped for ice cream, where Sky met another of her kind. We got Arby’s, and Miriam fed Sky some chicken. Sky and Miriam took old fashioned photos together in Virginia City, Montana.

Sky was having a great time.

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But Day 3 of the road trip brought us to Wyoming. A place of painted mountains and amazing vistas, and the world’s worst pet area.

We were an hour from our destination when we all had to pee from chugging caffeine for 6 hours. We pull into a rest stop with some trepidation – you don’t road trip through America as often as we have and not know that every rest stop is unique. There’s a beautiful one outside Mt. Vernon, IL. There’s one that I’m certain comes with a man in a hockey mask near Hilo, Hawaii. There’s the ones in Arkansas that are metal toilets and a step up from outhouses that I never use.

This one in Wyoming seemed nice. They made the effort to have lovely lush green grass in the picnic area, there was a nice little playground, it was clean, the bathrooms were individuals, so Maura and I could easily go in together. It was all good.

Except for the pet area.

Now Miriam had started rating pet areas, and realizing they were all kinda crappy (no pun intended). They were all sort of dusty, dry grass areas, to which Princess Sky turned her tiny nose up at. But we’re sticklers for rules, so Miriam dutifully took her tiny dog to the pet areas.

But this one.

Guys, this one looked like Pet Prison. It was two six foot chain link fence areas, with gates. There were boulders and rocks everywhere, with just a couple scrubby bits of grass. They weren’t even that flat.

And there were two birds of prey circling above the pet area.

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“This is a bad place.” Miriam stated.

“Here, just spread your arms and look bigger than them.” I suggested, making a wing flap motion of my own. Okay, not the best motherly advice, especially since I was laughing as I said it, but in my defense, I was hopped up on caffeine and needed to pee. “Just keep the leash on Sky so you can tug her back if a hawk gets her.”

“MOOOM!”

I take Maura and we go to the bathroom, admiring the rest of the rest stop along the way. As we come out, I see a look of desperation on Miriam’s face – because now there are three birds of prey circling above her and her snack-size dog.

“We need to leave this place.” Miriam stated as one bird is fighting with the other above her head, trying to be first in line in case Sky broke free. Which wasn’t happening because at this point, Miriam is holding her tiny dog and tiny dog was not about to leap free.

Though her brain be little, it functions better than most. Sky knew she was a potential meal and was going to stick to the human.

Okay, so it doesn’t help that hours before this, we were driving through Yellowstone, talking about bear encounters – as you do – because they had “Be Bear Aware” signs everywhere and I was like “I AM AWARE! Where are the freaking bears?” and Josh was talking about bear spray, and how we had none, and how I’d probably just throw Sky at the bear before running away screaming*, which led to Miriam going “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!” and me saying how it’d be fine, the bear would just look at the tiny dog and ask “What is wrong with those humans?” and Sky would be all “Oh, there is SO much to tell.”

Okay, and maybe the day before that, we were joking that we could “fish” for hawks by opening the moon roof of the car, throw Sky through it on her leash, and see if we could reel in a hawk.**

Okay, and maybe because her grandfather would refer to a tiny dog as “hawk bait”.***

We’re really horrible people. But we truly didn’t expect to come upon a pet prison at a rest stop that doubled as a buffet for all the birds of prey in Wyoming. I mean, what are the odds, really?

*I would never actually throw any pet at a bear. I might shove my husband at it before I took off running though. #honesty

**We would never actually throw anything through the moon roof, especially the tiny dog.

***My fil did actually refer to a former tiny dog as “hawk bait”. But he would fight a hawk to protect his granddaughter’s tiny dog from one.

Sky was never in any danger at any point of our road trip, unless you count excessive spoiling and petting “danger”. But she could definitely tell a bear lots of stories about how weird we are.

 

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Tiny dog, safe at home, back to her “curl up on a fuzzy blanket on the couch with a doll” routine 

 

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The one where no one gets my name right…

22 Jun

Okay, with a name like Phoebe, I’m used to getting my name misheard, misread, and mispronounced. Saying my name over the phone is the worst – “Bebe? Stevie?”. If my name is spelled right on the Starbuck’s cup, there’s a one in ten chance that the barista will yell out “I have a tall latte for Fobe.”

Yeah.

I expect it. I brace for it. I sigh every time I have to give my name over the phone. “No, Phoebe, you know, like on “Friends”?”

“OH! PHOEBE! Do you sing Smelly Cat?”

“That’s not the point of the phone ca- actually, I could.”

One time, a guy called looking for “Foe-bee”. I said my name was pronounced Fee-bee – and he said “Oh! They have your name spelled wrong here.”

“Oh really? How is it spelled?”

“P-H-O-E-B-E.”

*sigh* “No. That’s the correct spelling. You’re just mispronouncing it.”

But there was one time in my life where the mispronunciation of my name crossed over to the absurd.

Imagine it, Sicily, 1918 – wait, wrong sitcom reference…

So when one of my kids was on a local soccer team, I was meeting other moms. Kim, Michelle, Jennifer – you know, other moms with regular names. Then there was one, who must have been very proud of usually being the one with the “different” name. Whose name had two legit pronunciations.

We’ll call her Anna.

I was introduced to Anna, and called her Anna, only to be corrected for using the A-like-ant sound.

“It’s AH-nnah, like Anna in “Frozen”. AH-nnah. Not Ann-a. AH-nnah.”

This wouldn’t have been bad, except the entire time she corrected me, she kept calling me “Foe-bee”.

As in…

“Now Foe-bee, people are always saying my name wrong. It’s AH-nnah Foe-bee, not Ann-a. Do you understand Foe-bee? AH-nnah.”

At one point, one of the moms I knew tried to correct AH-nnah. “Yeah FEE-BEE, It’s AH-nnah, not Annn-a.”

AH-nnah didn’t get it.

AH-nnah continued to call me Foe-bee for two more years. Always correcting me if I slipped and called her Ann-a. While sighing a little, as if it was such a burden to have to constantly correct people on her name’s pronunciation.

I won’t lie – it got a bit awkward. People tried correcting her but she’d always revert back to Foe-bee. We all sort of gave up trying to get her to say my name correctly. She was working too hard to make sure her own name was pronounced correctly to switch gears I guess. Who knows? But it only stopped when I moved.

I wonder if her job now is to teach Starbuck’s baristas how to write names on cups. Because it would all make sense.

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It’s both wrong AND right!

 

 

 

 

 

The one where I try to leave the house

26 May

Monday nights, my friend Not Jenn and I have a standing date. Sure, it’s because her kid has a thing near my house and she has time to kill, but that’s just how us parental units roll these days.

So Monday, I got ready to leave. My eldest looked at me, looked at Maura happily watching tv, and asked “You couldn’t possibly leave via the side gate?”

Me, for one second – Son, I will leave this house however I dang well please.

Also me – realizing that Maura has a tendency to reenact the platform scene from “Sophie’s Choice” as she begs me not to go – “You have to go move the brick from in front of the gate.”

Yeah, we have high-tech security to ensure Maura’s safety – or in this case, a cement block on the outside of the gate so she can’t escape the yard. (Yes, there’s also a latch. But some OT taught her how to manipulate latches.)

I make my escape unbeknownst to Maura, and go to the other side of my car to hide from here while I wait for Not Jenn to come get me. Which is a bit silly as my car is a Fiat 500 and I’m actually taller than it. But not by much, so it’ll be fine.

As I play on my phone, I suddenly hear terrified squeaking. I look up and across the street from me, a scene from Wild Kingdom has decided to play out. There is a tiny baby bunny, a mama bunny, and a crow. The crow is trying to get the baby bunny. The mama bunny hops at the crow. The baby bunny then hides under mama. The crow still tries to get the baby.

So I step into the street (we’re on a side street, it’s not that wide) and do the whole “Not today Crow!” thing while yelling shoo and waving my purse.

The crow leaves.

And I realized I’ve just been loud.

I hear Maura’s voice through the open window. “Mom? Mooom? Where Mom?”

Crap.

So I ducked behind the car.

 

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me, hiding behind my tiny car, looking perfectly normal

 

Meanwhile, I’m watching the bunnies. Mama bunny hops back up onto the curb. The baby bunny – who’s like the size of a large hamster – tries to get up the curb. But the curb is huge compared to him.

Now I’m trying to figure out what to do. If I go over and scoop the baby bunny up, will mama bunny run off? Will mama bunny launch herself onto my face? I don’t really know. So I watch and wait. Baby bunny tries the curb again, and manages to stretch its tiny little self up enough to reach the top and then scoots its little bunny butt up over the curb and reunites with mama bunny.

Hooray!

But then they just stay there.

I’m like “Woman, take your baby home for crying out loud!” But she won’t. Maybe because I’m there. Then baby bunny crawls under her for a while, and I’m like “Awww…baby’s still nursing.” And then mama bunny hops to the side – knocking her baby right back off the damn curb and onto the street again.

And now I’m crouched on the side of my car cursing at this failure of a mama rabbit under my breath. “Get on the street and take care of your baby!” I hiss.

Because obviously, I don’t care what this might look like to the neighbors.

You can picture it –

Neighbor – “Honey! That woman across the street is crouched behind a car muttering to herself. Is that normal?”

Neighbor’s Wife – “Does she have kids?”

Neighbor – “Yes.”

Neighbor – “Then yes, it’s normal. She’s probably just hiding from her own children.”

Meanwhile, mama bunny finally chose to go see what her own offspring was up to, and hopped down onto the street, following the bunny until it wiggled its tiny bunny butt back up onto the curb, and then they disappeared finally into shrubbery. Hopefully to where the mama bunny had some sort of bunny playpen to keep her offspring in.

And then my friend finally appeared, and I slinked into her car, disturbing neither bunnies, nor catching Maura’s attention.

And that, my friends, is how I leave the house.

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crappy cell phone pic of mama bunny – baby bunny is just to her lower left, on the street. Yes, he was tiny, and thank goodness, blends well.

 

 

 

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