Things I forgot to tell you

Lord. I am so tired. How long can this go on?

Well, I've been workin' in a coal mine…

If you never heard the song "Workin' in a Coal Mine," at this point you must think I have gone berserk. Basically, I am tired. My dog does not sleep at night. In fact, it is early evening and she and I were just lying on the couch, and SHE had a nice nap. I could not drift off. She had her paws around my neck and her muzzle in my hair. Who wished she had large cymbals to wake that dog up so she'd sleep tonight?

Okay, first of all, the thing I forgot to tell you is I posted today on Chic Critique. I don't mean to only talk about that blog when I write on it, and in fact dcrmom made a nice Chic Critique logo that I should have on my sidebar, except I don't know how to put things on my sidebars. Which means I have to talk Marvin Gardensald into doing it for me and he always has "important" things to do like teach children. Whatever.

But speaking of Marvin's kids, there is a test paper here on the desk. The question is "Why does the U.S. honor unknown soldiers?" and the kid wrote, "To honor the people who fart in war."

Okay, does he think that's how you spell "fight"? Or is he a wiseacre?

Am I 179, using words like "wiseacre"? Stop that horseplay, kids.

Oh, and also? I TOTALLY misspelled "Tallulah" last time. Not to mention, today I told my father that my uncle is in Mexico, visiting Guatemala.

You understand that Mexico and Guatemala are two different places, right?

Lord. I am so tired. Well, I've been workin' in a coal mine…

Climb Every Mountain

Last night, Marvin Gardensalad and I went to a lecture about Mt. Everest. That lecturer told a lot of tall tales. BAH!

Did you know that the people who actually live under Mt. Everest have a whole different name for it, and then when the British people decided to start rushing over there and climbing the thing, they just named it "Everest" after some British guy? Doesn't that make you mad? I think we should all start referring to it by its actual name given to it by its native people, and this argument would be a lot more powerful if I could remember what the name of it is. Something foreign-sounding.

In the meantime, Tahlula, — which is what we are now calling the dog, because Marvin hated the name Lulabelle and I did kind of just come home with a dog and all — spent her first hour in her new crate. She and I drove to MONroe together yesterday to go to PetSmart, and turns out? She is kind of afraid of automatic doors such as the kind found at PetSmart. Also? She is afraid of Cocker Spaniels, mail trucks and construction equipment. She is going to have to man up, for heaven's sake.

Anyway, we put her in that crate. You guys. You'd have thought we were KILLING her.

Then, at night? We put her in there again. Do you have any idea how many noises of sadness a puppy can make? There is the ar-ar-ar-ar-ar whine where she sounds like a dolphin. There is the mmmmmmmmmmm whine where she sounds like brakes. Then there is the oh-so-easy-to-sleep-during rrowwwwwwwww! howl.

I am looking forward to the part where you all say she will come to like that crate.

At any rate, in case you haven't noticed, I hope you know, that it is the end of the month. It is a leap day. Are ya leaping? My Aunt Kathy is flying today, and she said she keeps thinking that if she dies in a plane crash, her kids won't be able to think, "It was a year ago today mom died in the plane crash" because February 29th won't happen next year.

It's fine, really. My whole family thinks this way. Recently I played with a five-year-old member of our family? And she wanted to play funeral. We are practically the Addams Family.

My morbid roots aside, it is the end of the month, and I must adopt a new healthy thing to do for March. Remember? How I was gonna add something new each month? So, here we go. For March, I will try meditation every day. I am thinking I will try to do it in the evening, when Marvin gets home, because meditating with a puppy in the morning sounds fruitful, doesn't it?

I also thought that alternatively, I could meditate in the church before or after work. That church in the middle of the day, with no overhead lights and just the stained-glass windows? So pretty.

Anyway, that's the plan for now. Meditate, rename that mountain, muzzle that dog. Yep.

Bones, running and cuteness

Whoever told me to get the Nylabone or whatever it's called is my hero. She is obsessed with that thing. It is bigger than she is. She also enjoys chewing my stuffed bunny I have had for about 12 years, and this hideously dirty powder puff that my cat Francis used to carry around and purr-paw on. I think those days are over for Francis.

Anyway, I just want you to know, I hope you know (my cousins used to say that. "I hope you know, Maria, that that is MY Cabbage Patch." "For your information, Katie, no it isn't." Oh, I am glad to be an only child) that despite the debacle that was my day yesterday, despite the fact that I am Christopher Columbus of puppies, without the smallpox blanket part, I got on that dang treadmill and ran last night. For 31 minutes. While Lula slept on the couch.

I didn't go as fast as usual — I keep a running diary, yes I do — and it occurred to me that all I had to eat yesterday was:

1. a plain Gardenburger patty at 10 a.m.

2. two handfuls of plain popcorn at about 4:00. At 4:01, Francis began licking said popcorn so that was that.

and 3. half a bowl of minestrone soup.

I guess that explains my lack of energy.

I must go, as Francis is hissing and groaning and having big eyes, and I think I need to get him out of this room before his head explodes into angry cat parts.

Meet Lulabelle. Sort of.

Guess what's almost impossible?


Filming a puppy. They move AROUND all the time.

Lulabelle is a 12-week-old Lab mix and she weighs 10.9 pounds. She is so skinny!


She ate dinner so fast I would've thought I had hallucinated putting food in the bowl. Then she chewed the bone I got for her that is 10 times bigger than she is.


She seems kind of upset, and also sort of Asian in this photo. Do not ask me what my hair is up to.


Marvin is fine thus far, and Winston is totally fasy67hu (she just typed that) fascinated with her. Ruby has been eating her puppy food. Francis is in the attic committing hari kitty.


Does anyone know how we can make her feel better? Despite this copasetic shot, above, she is restless and crying a lot.

She is back on puppies again?

Oh. My. Stars.

Today I had an interview in Raleigh, and I wasn't sure I really wanted the job. I was even thinking, "Why am I driving to Raleigh for this?" as I was in fact driving to Raleigh.

I was screeching down a two-lane highway. I was annoyed because I had had to stop for gas, and then twice there was that kind of road work where they shut down one side of the street and you have to wait for the cars to pass you.

Finally, the road seemed to be clear, and I was passing a small group of trailers when I saw a TINY PUPPY ON THE SIDE OF THE FREEWAY.

I said out loud, "Oh, no" and I did a U-turn right there. Someday when I die, you can be pretty much assured it will be because I was in the midst of loving some animal. Either I will have crawled into a lion's cage at the zoo, or I will have tried to kiss a cougar in the wild, or I will do something stupid on the street to avoid and/or rescue an animal.

Anyway, I came back around and saw that it was a yellow Lab mix puppy. I opened my car and I know I am being dramatic, but the look on her face said, "Hello, mom!" and she leaped into my car. Or scrambled, seeing as she is three months old and doesn't quite have jumpy legs yet.

We sat there together on the side of the road, her tail wagging furiously and her snout on my shoulder. I looked at the three trailers nearby. I considered knocking on the doors and asking, "Is this your dog?" but you guys. There were no fences in those yards. She was really skinny.

What I am trying to tell you is I stole the dog.

I called the place where I had the interview, and they said, "Bring her! We love dogs!" which is pretty great, but to drive her 250 miles round trip seemed kind of mean. So I said I had to reschedule and we came home.

I took her to Marvin's school first. I am telling you right now. He is gonna get an oxygen tank or become addicted to Benedryl or SOMETHING. Because this is my dog. She is my ding-dang dog. That is it.

However, Marvin seemed unaffected by her, except for the part where he was reduced to the word, "oh." "Ohhhh. Oh-hoho. Ohhh," he said. He did not sniff. He did not tear up.

Finally, I took her to my vet, who is the best vet I ever had. My Lulabelle (and yes, I am pretty sure I am naming her Lulabelle. Sue me.) has ticks, worms, and is malnourished. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

And that, folks, is why there is no photo yet. She is there, getting a flea bath and a worm shot and whatever else she needs, and I can get her this evening. In the meantime I came home and took a hot shower,  as she managed to pee, poop and drool on me in one car ride.

I do not even know what to tell you. I think I was just meant to find her. Had there not been those delays in traffic. Had I not needed gas. Had I not had a stupid interview. Et cetera.

So, please stay tuned for Lulabelle Gardensalad, coming to a blog near you.

In which you learn too much about my nethers

When my underwear had no elastic, I knew it was gonna be a stupid day.

I was late, for a change. Freezing in our laundry room, which is basically a back porch with windows on it, I put on the first pair of underwear that I pulled from the Vesuvius pile on the dryer.

"Why isn't the right side, you know, hanging on?" I wondered. It was just kind of flapping at my side. In the breeze. For a brief, shining moment, I thought maybe I had lost weight. But really, the elastic had just frizzled out of that side, rendering it sort of helpless. It was kind of like my underwear had had a stroke.

I put them on anyway. It was 8:01 and I am supposed to BE at work at 8:00.

Dashing out the door, I flumped my coffee cup onto the space between the car seats. Do not ask me why I decided to pull the emergency brake once I parked at work. Do not ask me the expletives I came up with as the coffee cup shot up and spewed coffee all over the car.

Running and trying to subtly push my flippy undergarment to its rightful place, I did notice that we have a bird's nest in one of our trees at the church. Those of you who read my blog last year know how I get about bird nests. I am so pitching a tent, so to speak, under that tree. There was ONE bright spot today.

Once inside, it didn't take long before my elastic-free pants decided to revisit all the old familiar places, so crankily I headed to the bathroom to revamp myself.

The single toilet in the women's room was hissing and carrying on, so with my fine mechanical abilities, I took the lid off the tank and jiggled everything. You will be surprised to hear this did not result in, well, anything, so I called the repairman.

How long do you think it took me between realizing the one toilet was broken and feeling like I absolutely, with an intensity unbeknownst to me in this life, had to use the facilities? It took about seven seconds, that's how long.

Now, there is a men's toilet. And I do not know why I am Prissy Fusspants of Squeamytown, but I simply could not make myself go in there, no matter how miserable I had made myself at this point. I kept saying, "June, this is psychological. You do not really have to go. Soon the repairman will be here and you can piddle to your heart's content. Now, go to work."

Well. Ten minutes of alternating between pulling at my underpants and dancing around — it was less the macarena and more the Make-A-Rain-A — I left a huge sign on the church door: WENT HOME TO PEE. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE. BE RIGHT BACK.

I can assure you that everybody in town read the sign and simultaneously envisioned me on the pot.

And what a sight I was when I got home, coat flapping behind me, spike heels clacking on my stone walk. It was like I was a racing greyhound, but there was a toilet in front of me instead of a bunny.

When I got back to work, I realized that I had run so fast that I have thrown out my back. I do not know how bad it is gonna get.

It is noon, folks. Noon. My back's broke, my bladder has exploded, and my underwear is addicted to crack.

This day has become a country song. It is a stupid day.

Exciting things that’ve happened today

I am supposed to be proofreading something — what else is new?– but so MANY exciting things have happened.

Okay, first of all, I have another job interview, this one in Raleigh. The interview is Wednesday. I would be a proofreader/office manager for a graphic design firm. Their website is really cool, and they have little profiles of each person who works there, and the profiles include what their pets' names are. So you know I'd fit in.

June GonnaEatThat is proud mother to the quite hairy Ruby DeLuna, Francis Carport and Winston Tripper, ages 12, 11 and 3, respectively. June wants many, many, many more cats, but her mean spouse said the next cat who comes in the door might as well be named Divorced White Female. Click here to contact June.

I don't mind being an office manager along with being proofreader. To tell you the truth, it'd kind of be like taking the two jobs I currently have and combining them and giving me benefits. And there probably aren't church bulletins to mess up at a graphic design firm.

I should really get all my work done tonight so I can shop for something spiffy to wear to the interview. Plus also too, Sally Hershberger has come out with a new line of haircare products, and it is imperative that I try them. I can write a review of said products on Chic Critique. (My pal The Nester wrote a guest review on Chic Critique today. There is a picture of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies included in said critique. And let's talk about how I forgot that Granny made moonshine, and had those jugs with the three Xs on them. What do those three Xs mean?)

And speaking of my pets, which I was four paragraphs ago, today I had to take Ruby to the vet. A few months back, she got diagnosed with asthma, and who feels bad that she took her cat, who lived in the city with the dirtiest air on the planet, and moved her out to the country so she could get asthma?

So, we had our checkup today, and Ruby is doing really well. But the point of my story is that I met (a) the vet's two bulldogs, and I happen to think bulldogs are just the most ridiculously Lou Grant looking cute things on earth, and (4) they also let me hold a baby baby baby puppy who was recuperating in an INCUBATOR, because she is so tiny. The puppy needs a home. Let's not go there together again, shall we? There was also a 10-month-old jumpy dog who needed a home, and again, let's not do this to ourselves unless we all agree it's okay to put Starvin' Marvin Gardensalad to sleep first.

And speaking of rubies, there is a woman in town whose name is also Ruby, and I have invited her over for tea this Saturday and I am so excited I could spit. Does anyone have something-that-would-go-nicely-with-tea recipes?

I wonder if Ruby will like Ruby, and vice versa?

Finally, Marvin and I are going to be famous. The paper is writing a story on the band Marvin joined, and the media — which is really a woman I know from Garden Club but technically she IS the media — has called us twice to get our story straight. I told her the Marvin-worked-with-Michael-Jackson thing that people always like, and she put that in the story. So we will be world-renowned. Or at least known by the seven people left in the county who don't already know us.

Oh. There is another finally. Finally part deux, did you SEE that there is a SPECIAL on the ROYAL FAMILY this weekend? Or maybe next Monday. Perhaps I had better confirm this. At any rate, there will be no mystery what I will be doing. Oh! I am excited. I plan to buy eggs to throw at the screen whenever they show Camilla Parker Bowels. Diana rocks! Team Diana!

Health, schmealth. Here’s how to pronounce celebrity names.

If there is anything more annoying than having a piece of coconut stuck in your tooth, with no floss in sight, I don't know what it is. Guess who had Samoa Girl Scout cookies for breakfast? Nice. Despite that, I DID lose weight this week. Imagine how much I'd have lost had I not plowed through the cookies.

Did you watch the Oscars last night? Here's what I discovered: when you go a whole year without spending, as I did last year? Turns out you won't have seen any of the movies up for an Oscar. Somehow this did not deter me from being amused by the Oscars.

And for the record? Everyone? It is pronounced Hal-y Berry. Like Hal. Like the man's name, Hal. Like Halliburton. Like halibut. You want to get on my nerves? Pronounce it Holly Berry, like whoever that idiot was last night.

Also? I have HEARD HER SAY IT HERSELF: It is Cate BLANchett, not BlanCHETT. Why do we have to make everything so weird and pretentious? It's just BLANchett. Nothing fancy.

And while I'm on the subject? Ralph LAUren. Not not not not not Ralph LauREN.

To review: Hal-y. BLANchett. LAUren.

Maybe I do know what's more annoying than having a piece of coconut stuck in your tooth.

Oh. Can I also say one more, which is now in the past and it doesn't matter? Yet it still grates? The Soprahhhhnos. It is just The Sopranos, like the singers in the choir. You do not have to get fancy about it. Soprahhhhhhhhhhnoes. Ugh.

Okay. I am done. Today I don't run, because I ran a lot yesterday. Am wishing I could have a baked potato loaded with cheese for lunch, but that would not be healthy. I think I will have a baked potato with broccoli instead.

Wait. One more. Leif Garrett is pronounced LAYF. Like, it rhymes with "safe." It is not Leaf.

Okay. Really done now.

Worst Church Secretary EVER

Before I begin, there is this woman named Emily who has spent the whole weekend reading my last year's blog. I keep getting emails from my old blog, telling me someone has made a new comment, and I can see her progress. Yesterday she was on last July, when Marvin accidentally stood like a T-Rex in the middle of that wedding, and today she is all the way up to November. Unlike this Typepad blog, I cannot email her back when she makes a comment.

I figure at the rate she's going, she'll read this in a day or two. So, hi, Emily! Love you! Love your comments! Can't believe you spent this much time reading my silly blogs!

Maybe she will get fed up at the end of last year's and never read this one. You think?

So, I forgot to print out the bulletins for the other church today. Nice.

There is this other church that my boss, the rector, preaches at every other weekend. With the whole copy machine breakdown fiasco, I just absolutely, 100% forgot about it completely. Seriously, am I the worst church secretary ever?

Before I leave the church for the week, I have to print out 65 bulletins, insert 65 prayer lists into those bulletins, print six large bulletins and insert six large prayer lists, lay 20 of said bulletins out for the choir, put one on the organ for the organist, and put the rest in the entryway, topped by a slip of paper where someone write how many parishioners were present that week.

Plus, I have to remember to put a teller sheet and deposit slip out for the volunteers who count the money. Oh, and I have to mail eight copies of the bulletin out for the homebound, and one for whoever is doing the layreading that week.

As you can see, no details going on THERE. But I make myself a little checklist so I won't forget anything. But you know what I've never written on said checklist? PRINT OUT BULLETINS FOR THE OTHER CHURCH, YA MAROON!

I am just mortified at myself. You'd think church secretary would not be stressful. But haven't I already told you the mushroom farmer story? My brother-in-law, Bill, told me he knew someone who became a mushroom farmer and after a year he quit cause it turns out that is a TOTALLY stressful job. You have to get the soil content just right, you have to pay attention every second, whatever.

Of course, I spent the whole time Bill was telling me this story waiting to make mushroom jokes. "I guess after a year he was no longer a fun guy, right?" I said. "That was the cap on how much he could take," I also said. "That job really creamed him."

My brother-in-law Bill finds me tedious. I can tell.

ANYWAY, I ran three miles today. It was fun; I went to the high school track with this other couple. Not that I by myself am a couple. You know what I mean. Cut it out. So, the man part of the couple could really run fast, and his wife walked the track and also the stairs in the stands, which I did not do. But I ran in exactly 45 minutes, which is what I thought it would take. When you do the long runs, you are supposed to go very slowly.

In an hour, we are going over said couple's house for happy hour. After an hour we are all going to have sad hour. Then maybe indifferent hour. I don't know.

Are y'all watching the Oscars? It's the first time since 1992 I've had to watch them on East Coast time, so I am either going to be very tired tomorrow or I will miss some of it. Really the best part is when they are on the red carpet anyway. They should just show that part and call us the next day and tell us who won.

Anyway, I'd hate to be tired and make a STUPID MISTAKE at work.

Bloom County

I have just spent the morning reading other people's blogs, as I am wont to do. Everybody seems mighty down, and I think they are all sick and not to mention tired of the stupid winter. It's been so long since I've lived somewhere with real winters, I forget what that "Will it ever end?" feeling is really like.

Also? When I was single and still living in Michigan, I always seemed to acquire a new boyfriend in February, so as bleak as that month was, there was always the "Oh! A new boy!" kind of a thrill.

Anyway, I sent good thoughts to everyone who sounded sad today, and spent a minute being grateful that even though we have moved to the smallest town in the universe, at least the weather isn't so bad.

Right after I had that grateful thought, I went to the kitchen to get more coffee, as I am also wont to do, and I thought, "Who painted that pole yellow in the backyard?"

It wasn't yellow paint. It was a daffodil! The poor thing was all alone, poking out of the leaves.

Marvin is at band practice, (yes, he has found a band) so I ran outside with the camera, even tho I am wearing my sheep pajamas and slipper socks. Here's what I found in our yard:


I know I took this in the middle of the day, but it looks like I sneaked out there at midnight or something. Anyway, here is her droopy self. I guess this is a sign I should clean up those leaves out there, eh?


And this! I know it is out of focus. Have I ever mentioned that my father is a professional photographer? But what is this little white flower growing next to the house? It almost looks like lily-of-the-valley, but it's too big. And also, I see the house painters were really careful.


Okay, and also, what are THESE? Again, I have no idea. They are all over the wooded back yard. Some Garden Club member.


I know I've shown you these before, but here are my pretty camellias from outside. Aren't they just so happy? Who knew you'd get all these flowers in February? It is not so bad here.


I don't even have to leave my house to find gay men.