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Teenagers, ammirite?

9 May

So…I have that heard of teens and that one who dared to turn 21 this year. Which, in retrospect, is great, because I can send the 21 yr old on a wine run for me.

Never leaving the house for the win!

I love my teens. But I’m no fool. I know not to trust them with anything. I mean, if my grown siblings and I still can’t be trusted together, why should I trust my teens?

Case in point –

Sean (the second eldest, the spare to the heir) was blowing bubbles in the house the other night. Mainly to get the Zoey dog in a lather. Because Zoey is an idiot for bubbles and leaps about biting them all.

Collin (the heir to our kingdom) thought this was hilarious. And then thought “Why not drive the dog crazy by holding her?”

The dog was like “No sir! You will not keep me from killing every bubble!” and leapt from Collin’s arms to do so.



Zoey chasing bubbles outside. See that crazy look on her face? Yeah.


I find out about all this as I walk in the next day with groceries. Because they’re blowing bubbles for the dog to attack. In the living room.

Then Collin produces a balloon. “I can’t believe we still have one left.”

See, Sean decided to cover someone’s bed in balloons on April 1st. Then the balloons were scattered over the living room. I don’t know who enjoyed it more – Maura or Zoey. Between the two of them, they eventually died.

Except one.

Which Zoey was now chasing between snapping at bubbles.

I, of course, ignore all this. Because this is what passes as normal in our house. As I walk away, I hear someone say the words “water balloon”.

“NOT IN THE HOUSE!” I yell back.

And the boys died laughing because they didn’t expect me to hear it.

Fools. My brother and I – as teenagers – had an epic water fight which ended in a truce (he with the hose at the gate, me with a super soaker pointed into the window of his brand new pick up truck) and then having to mop the kitchen floor (it wasn’t me who was using the sprayer from the sink.)

I’m a gypsy raised by wolves, who produced her own carnival. We invented shenanigans, dear offspring of mine. I know all, see all.

And remember, Mother’s Day is coming. Buy me something hard to break.



Why I never ever buy tinsel

1 Dec
Little me, circa 1970-something, and a tree with tinsel. Because sparkly.

Little me, circa 1970-something, and a tree with tinsel. Because sparkly.

Back in the day, I enjoyed tinsel…you know, around 1978 or so. As did my mother. See, we’re a family of magpies, attracted to all things shiny and sparkly. So when my mom found tinsel one year in the mid-80’s, there was much excitement and draping of the shiny strands of silver on the tree.

It was all good. All shiny, draping just right, the lights from the tree sparkling off of it…

…and then, we noticed the cat.

The cat in the tree.

The cat in the tree eating tinsel.

The cat in the tree chowing down tinsel like it was crack cocaine.

Really, we had some embarrassing pet moments in the 1980’s. The hamster in the crock pot incident. The cat my little sister colored in with red marker. The time my mom had to call an exterminator because the dog and two cats refused to even chase the mice in our house but instead would just sit there and watch them go up to their food dishes to eat out of. We won’t even start on what the human kids were doing. So really, having to take the cat to the vet because he ate tinsel wasn’t out of the realm of extraordinary. In fact, it was more of a “*sigh* Hope it doesn’t kill him.” sort of moment.

The protocol was one of wait and see. We would be able to tell if the tinsel passed through the cat’s system.

Oh yes, you can tell when the tinsel passes through the cat’s system. Because your cat will have a sparkly strand of silver hanging out his bum.

“For God’s sake, don’t pull on it!” my mother announced…as if any of us were going to try it. We were weird kids, but not that weird. I know I wasn’t going to handle anything that came out of the backside of the cat. No, instead, one of us got to hold the cat while my mom trimmed the sparkly bit. The cat did not enjoy this. No one enjoyed this.

The cat did enjoy eating more tinsel though. Which led to us picking off all the tinsel from the tree and going around the house trying to find the loose strands that had flown off the tree. Let’s just say the cat was more successful at this than we were.

The cat had a sparkly backside for weeks. And there’s no hiding tinsel hanging from your cat’s bum, not when you have a house full of teens who invite more teens over. “OMG! What’s hanging out your cat’s butt?”



My mom never bought tinsel again.

Fast-forward umpteen years later…and I’m reading “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson, where she’s describing how her cat ate one of those little twine strings with the feather and tinkle bell, and the cat pooped out the tinkle bell but not the twine, so the tinkle bell was hanging from the cat’s backside, so she went to cut it off but the cat for some reason ran from her as she chased it with scissors…

…and I thought “Oh yeah, been there, done that, chased a cat down to cut stuff from its butt.”

So really Mom, don’t worry, only the famously cool people have cut stuff off their cat’s bumhole. We’re all good.

This post is dedicated to The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, who I got to meet on her book tour.

This post is dedicated to The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, who I got to meet on her book tour. That’s me on the left, Herself on the right.


Meanwhile, in Mauraland…

11 Oct

Our morning went the same – wake up, make coffee, Maura turned on some cartoons, I let the big dog out. Eventually tiny dog left the warmth of teen girl’s bed and she went outside too.

But not long enough.

Next thing I know, Maura comes running to me. “MOM! MOM! MOMMOM! Come see!!!”

She grabbed my hand and dragged me to the living room.


Apparently tiny dog had to poop. Maura was horrified that tiny dog had to poop and did so on the brand new area rug. Teen girl, who was sitting in said living room, hadn’t noticed.

Observational skills test results-

Maura: 1

Miriam: 0

Tiny dog (who never actually does this, hence Maura’s horror at it) was thrown back outside for good measure. Miriam got to clean up after her dog. And Maura got a new version of “High five poopy!” for alerting us to what the tiny dog had done.

Maura and the tiny dog

Maura and the tiny dog



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