Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just OC no D...this is NOT a disorder!

Married life is a constant joy for my husband, Opie, I can assure you.  And one reason I know it’s true is because I tell him all the time that I’m the best thing that ever happened to him and he never disagrees.

The other reason is that I am constantly bringing excitement and drama to his otherwise organized life.

Like earlier this week when I called him on the way to work, got his voicemail and yelled “Hey, it’s me…oh, never mind, it’s just crazy!” and hung up.

Now I, of course, realized that this could be construed as a somewhat disconcerting message so as soon as I got to work I sent the following email:

Thought I should explain the weird message…

Short version:

I straightened my hair...we have mice in the crawl space. 

NOTE: Even though we’ve only been married for a year or so, Opie’s had enough experience with my particular brand of crazy that I was pretty confident that this would be explanation enough. However, just in case, I also provided him more detailed information.

 Full version:

I straightened my hair this morning which always makes me nervous because that straightener is about 400 degrees.

And since I’m SUPREMELY self-aware, I know that this is the kind of thing that can lead me to have one of those freak outs that you find so endearing…you know, the one where I get halfway to work and then say “Did I leave the straightener on?”  And then spend the rest of the day worrying that the cat will see it on the counter and knock it to the floor. Thereby starting a fire and burning down the house and killing the pets before we got home.

To avoid that, I made a huge deal about unplugging the straightener so I couldn't possibly forget that it was safe.
Which made me run a little late.

 Which further means that I didn't get a chance to go through my daily ritual of making sure the dogs were in the house before I left.

Which finally means that on the way to work, I decided that Bubba was still outside, that it was going to get 85 degrees or more and he would get heat stroke before I got would then never forgive me and since you are stuck with me forever we would be doomed to live in an angry, resentful marriage until the end of our days.

 Obviously, I wanted to avoid this at all costs.

 So, I called you--thinking you could call the neighbors and get them to go check if Bubba was outside and maybe give him some water.

Then, while the phone was ringing, I remembered that when I went outside to my car this morning, I saw a mouse run into the grate in the front of the house.


I immediately ran all around the outside of the house like a lunatic to see if there were other mice and to see where the grate led.

But on the bright side, Bubba must have heard me and started barking hysterically from inside...the memory of which told me he was safe.

Crisis averted!

But we have mice in the crawl space and we need to put some traps in there because mice can draw snakes and if snakes get in the garage, I can’t live in our house anymore.

And by we, I--of course--mean YOU because the crawl space is creepy and I don't like killing things...even vermin ridden things.

Love you!


I know what you’re all thinking…he’s the luckiest man on earth, right?



A Mother Life

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Important Information

If you who read my last blog, you already know my stance on dead animals as gifts (definitively AGAINST for those of you who haven’t been following along).

However, the other day Bub may have earned the right to bring me any old dead thing he wants…here’s what happened:

I walked out into the backyard and noticed an odd looking old man sitting on his bike right outside our fence, talking.  For a second I thought he was talking to me.

He wasn’t.

He was responding to the voices in his head…but I didn’t realize that at first. Because I didn’t realize he was crazy at first…Until he came right up the fence and mumbled something about helping me sweep the yard.

And that was crazy since I wasn’t even sweeping the yard—largely because I don’t know what that means—and because he didn’t have a broom or any other sweeping implements.

So,  I was a little weirded out…and when I get weirded out Bubba gets worked up. And when Bubba gets worked up, the Rottweiler half of his heritage kicks into high gear.  Basically, he crossed the yard in 1.2 seconds and charged the guy like he was wearing Milk Bone underwear (Pronoun clarification: the second “he” in that sentence refers to the crazy guy, not Bubba.  Bubba almost never wears underwear).

Peek-A-Boo also sensed danger and ran across the garden to add his voice to the mayhem…then decided that, as a Chihuahua, he could better serve me by wriggling through the tomato plants and eating any of the green tomatoes in his reach.

His theory clearly being that anyone who saw such a bizarre activity—I mean, what kind of dog eats vegetables right off the vine?!!—would immediately realize that they were dealing with a creature heretofore unseen in this world.

But I digress…

“Sir,” I shouted over all the barking, “you should probably step away from the fence.”

Which I thought was a fairly clear instruction…but I don’t speak crazy very well because, apparently, in crazy language my statement translates into “Pay no attention to the hysterically, snarling dog.  He is only joking with you and has no interest in tearing your throat out and would, in fact, love it if you came inside.”

Because he took a step closer to the gate and actually put his hand on the latch.

(Side note: Let me take a second to answer the question that I’m fairly sure my mother and close friends are screaming as they get to this point in the story.  Yes, in retrospect, I do realize that this would have been the ideal time to  go inside my house, lock my door, and call the police if the man actually came into the yard.  But I couldn’t because of the dogs…there was no way I was getting Bubba inside while there was a stranger in the vicinity and getting Peek out of the garden when he is on a tomato eating mission is a HERCULEAN task.  I couldn’t leave them behind…and yes, in answer to the obvious second question, I understand that most people think dogs can fend for themselves…but remember Peek is twelve-year-old Chihuahua with a bad heart.  He couldn’t fend his way out of a wet paper bag.)

So I stayed outside and tried to take charge of the situation.  “Seriously, sir,” I shouted.  “This is NOT a friendly dog.

He paused with his hand on the gate and briefly consulted with his invisible friends.

“This dog will KILL you!”  I warned them all.  And smiled in order to communicate that I was equally as crazy as he was…just crazy enough to CHEERFULLY let Bubba rip his throat out.

He seemed to get that.

Because he shuffled back over to his bike, spent another minute or two in conversation with NO ONE AT ALL, and pedaled away.

It’s interesting to note that when my husband, Opie, got home that night I told him about Bubba’s heroics and he brushed the whole thing off…apparently he recognized my description as a generally harmless neighborhood crazy man who’s lived in the area for years.

Which wasn’t comforting for two reasons:

1.      Because “generally harmless” and “harmless” aren’t the same thing.
2.      The presence of such a person seems like information that should have been shared FIFTEEN MONTHS AGO WHEN I MOVED IN…and now I can’t help but wonder how many other potentially volatile people Opie is aware of and has forgotten to mention.

However, in spite of all that, I’m sleeping securely in the knowledge that generally harmless or even generally harmful crazies are intimidated by an enraged Rottweiler (though, sadly, not by a Chihuahua who really just wants to eat some tomatoes) so, if Bub decides he’d like to bring me a dead mole or two this week, I’m not going to freak out like I did last week.

Or at least, not as much.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dead Things Make Terrible Gifts


Am I alone in thinking that there are lots of things no one ever tells you about pet ownership when you first bring home that adorable ball of fur?  Questions that you never imagine you’d really have to consider?  And the problem grows exponentially with every new animal you bring in the house.

You see, for those of you keeping score, my husband Opie and I have 4 pets…2 dogs, a cat, and a bird. They are:

Peek-A-Boo: My “first born.”  A spoiled rotten, long-haired Chihuahua who is convinced that we got the other animals just for him since he is sure that he’s not a dog at all but a grumpy old man in a fur suit. 

Bubba:  A half-Rottweiler, half-Beagle who is so happy to have been rescued from the shelter that he spends most of his day showering us with attention so we never take him back…which, unfortunately, has manifested lately in him following me around the house and flinging himself on my feet if I stay in one place for longer than ten seconds at a time.

Prince:  A Sphnyx cat—completely hairless—who has been called a “rat” so often that he has decided to become a dog and tries to exhibit dominance over the other dogs by smacking them in the head and running away.

Dolly: The tiny finch who I inherited from my Grandma when she couldn’t take care of her anymore who has probably developed a complex since Prince thinks she looks tastier every time  he sees her.

In any case, last weekend Opie and I went to visit my family in Illinois.   We got our usual pet sitter for the weekend but since Peek-A-Boo has been having health issues, we decided to take him with us—largely to spare the pet sitter from my hourly phone calls and demands for updates.  It seemed like the best plan for everyone concerned…except when we got back to Oklahoma, Prince and Bubba decided that we must have taken Peek showed because we loved him best.  It was imperative, they concluded, for them to step up their game, so to speak, and buy our affections with a series of gifts.

The problem is, these animals don’t have jobs.  Which means they have no money.  Which further means that their supply of appropriate gifts is pretty low.

But ever the resourceful Rottweiler, Bubba searched the yard and decided to give us one of his favorite things:

A dead mole that he thoughtfully eviscerated and then left on the back porch so we could see it first thing.

Note: Dead moles make TERRIBLE gifts.

Not to be outdone, Prince spent the next few hours on his own gift quest…as a strictly inside cat, his options were slightly more limited.   Luckily, a cricket had somehow gotten in the house so he was able to kill it, swat it back and forth with Bubba for a minute or two, then wing it at my feet as hard as he could.

Note: While not quite as bad as dead, disemboweled moles, dead crickets ALSO make TERRIBLE gifts.

As a last resort, Prince and Bubba put their heads together this morning and came up with a whole new plan…as I was getting ready for work, I heard the two of them shuffling around, making weird noises and I thought I should probably go see what was going on…but then Prince dashed up to the bathroom door,  batting something around while Bubba followed along behind him.

Then Prince stopped and shot something at my legs with the accuracy of Wayne Gretsky on a breakaway.

Something that ended up being not a dead cricket but a live cricket roughly the size of a human head.

(Side note here: Please don’t think we live in a huge, cricket-infested hovel; Tulsa is experiencing a cricket population explosion of Biblical proportions).

It hit my legs, bounced onto my foot, and began hopping around the room like a toddler on a sugar high.   I, of course, immediately freaked out and started shouting every curse word I could think of…I couldn’t stomp the stupid thing because I was barefooted and I    At this point, Prince decided that I not only loved the gift but loved it so much that I wanted to play with it immediately so he ran in and began swatting.  Bubba couldn’t decide if we were all having a rousing game of Cricket Catch or if this was just the SCARIEST SITUATION EVER, so he alternated between lunging in the room to play and jumping back barking hysterically…either way he was blocking the door and access to any cricket smashing implements.  Meanwhile, Peek—who can’t climb the stairs on his own anymore—couldn’t figure out what all the ruckus was about so he stood at the bottom of the steps barking at the top of his tiny little lungs.

In short, it was complete mayhem.

And I’m fairly sure it’s mayhem that is a direct result of our leaving the two of them behind this weekend…but the thing is, I’ve traveled with these animals before.  Bubba gets all freaked out in the car, refuses to sit anywhere except the front passenger seat floor, shakes for most of the trip, pants like he’s just run fifteen miles, and basically drools all over my leg.

Prince, on the other hand, cries for the entire trip unless I hold him on my lap…and when I hold him on my lap, he always throws up at least once. Usually twice.

And next month is Thanksgiving…which means another trip to see the family and the kind of debate no one told me about when I first got pets:  Which is worse, a collection of corpses or bodily fluids on your lap?


kimbo325 is a teacher and writer trying to focus on the lighter side of life…she doesn’t hate crickets per se but wishes they would stay out of the house as they make the animals even crazier than usual.  To read more notes about her crazy life, follow her on Twitter @kimbo325 or on Facebook at