Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I'm going to do it, you guys. I'm going to get a phone that's smarter than me. Yeah, I know: not at all hard. WHATEVER. I am suspicious of technology; I always have been. It took me forever to get on facebook; remember that? My car doesn't open with a remote, and my home phone has a cord. Mine will work when the power's out; will yours? Hmmmmmm? I won't stand in front of the microwave and we have no cable. But sometimes, you just have to get with the program. I'm not getting anything fancy, of course, just the most basic model that has the death ray option. Or maybe that's an app? I'm not quite sure but you can bet I'm smart enough to figure it out, and quick. Oh yes, and guess what? My list of death rayees is scrawled on some junk mail from the utility company. I just scribbled out that obnoxious 'FINAL NOTICE' written in red across the front and then there was plenty of room, though I will admit I needed a second envelope from the fascists at the phone company for the last few low-value stragglers because my list is so long and distinguished. I used junk mail so no one will ever catch on. That's because Shane burns it all. He's kind of an addict. I wonder if there's a name for that? If I had a smart phone I could find out. Then, if he needs therapy I could send him on an airline trip! I totally should have called this 'Brilliant' instead of just 'Smart', don't you think? Well, that's enough of that. I think I might be about to get myself in some serious trouble. Always to be avoided, no matter how much fun it is. If you're smart. Which I am. Sometimes. Unless the death ray/pyromania is so awesome that it cancels out my good sense.

Seriously, though, my charming and well-loved Aunt Ina, the one that thinks I lie on here, sent me a text today and I could read it but not answer it, because my 1997 ebay flip phone has no keyboard. What if her head exploded because her Starbucks was closed one Saturday and in desperation, with her last conscious thought, she sent me a text looking for directions to the Tully's and I couldn't write back? I couldn't forgive myself! That will just not do, my friends. It's time to step up for the greater good. So here's what I'm going to do: as soon as I sleep off my hell trip I'm heading to the wireless store. I'll let you know when I'm done. Then I'm going to set the thing on vibrate and stick it in my pocket. TEXT ME.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Yep, I am home, PHEW! The return trip was a significant improvement, thankfully. Oh, there, see? I DO have something to be thankful for! Besides wine and xanax, I mean. Unfortunately, everything is just as we left it, although there WAS a new pair of boots on the porch. Yay, me! It's a sickness, I told you, so SHUT UP!

I had to sit in a middle seat, which sucked, especially since it was the end of the day and my hippie deodorant was all worn off, with just a hint of patchouli left. I felt bad. I'm not CRUEL, you know. Now, normally, I hate talking to people on airplanes, because really, what's the point? Plus chances are good that they are total idiots, otherwise what would they be doing traveling cross-country in a flying sardine can? Oh, right. On the other hand, there are some benefits to talking to someone you'll never see again. There's absolutely no reason to censor anything you say, as long as you haven't killed any nuns or crippled children lately. Because you should definitely keep quiet about THAT. If you can get the right flights, it would be pretty cheap therapy. You could just buy one of those super cheap round trips when the fares go on sale, since you don't care where you're going. Plop down next to some poor schmuck and spill your guts. Problem solved! I would totally do it, too, only I have Helen for that.

Anyway, it was a super long flight and I guess the guy next to me got bored of his email because he started talking to me. Turns out he just invented this technology to analyze the receptors on the adaptive immune system. I know, blah blah blah, boring geek talk, right? But this geek was into germs so I asked him who is crazier, the germophobes or the people who pick their noses and let their kids play in the toilet. Guess what? He said there are so many pathogens around all the time that it's ridiculous to think that anything you do will make any appreciable difference in your susceptibility to illness. AND, germs are good for you, because many of the microbes are similar in certain ways and being in contact with common ones might help you out some day when you encounter freaky ones. So there you have it. I don't know about you guys, but for me that's awesome news! I especially like the part about how there are so many pathogens that nothing I do makes any difference, because that totally lets me off the hook for any lack-of-cleaning related illnesses.

Then, I got home and I can't find one of the new used cats. The house doesn't stink, though. Any more than usual, I mean, so it's all good, right? RIGHT?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving from 27A

Sorry if this looks weird, you guys! I am posting from very austere conditions, indeed. I am typing on a mobile device I can barely operate; I think it might be some kind of a toaster or something. You are not even going to believe what I am doing right now- I can barely believe it myself. I am on my way to the east coast on a cram-jammed flight on short notice to visit the in-laws for a few days. I know! Nuts, right?

Shane just dumped a glass of water onto the backpack that holds all my clothes. I bet I know what you're thinking: what the hell? Are you CRAZY??? Yes, yes, I am. But come on, you know that. I almost feel like my friend Amanda (I can't link her from this stupid thing but she's over on the right under 'blogs I like'), who is well known far and wide for her love of embarking on last minute ill-advised trips. My mother used to ask me almost weekly what Amanda was up to now. I would tell her and she would laugh in disbelief.

Of course, I'm not Amanda crazy but I am wondering what the hell I'm doing here. And, you might ask, why are all my clothes in a backpack? Am I some kind of patchouli-smelling, Birkenstock-wearing, tangle-haired HIPPIE? No, because Lloyd is a stingy non-bag-fee-paying tightwad, that's why. Hey, I think I forgot the best part: I'M SO SICK I COULD DIE. In fact, it might be preferable.

What? It's Thanksgiving? Thankful, thankful..... This could take a while. No, I know. I'm kidding. I am very, very lucky and have much to be thankful for. You are also lucky, because I'm going to stop there and not get all gooshy on you. But damn, what I would not give to be in my warm bed with a book right now instead of smushed in this airplane seat with a sopping wet backpack. From 27A to your house, happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Haha, suckers! I am totally only writing today so I don't bust up my awesome consecutive string of posts. I might have cobbled together this many in a row before, maybe, in about 2009, back before I hit forty, when the fire could still fly from my fingertips on a regular basis, but it's pretty much unprecedented in the recent past. Dammit. That's all I've got. Well, I'll see what I can do. I might have to resort to pictures of brussels sprouts again. I'm not proud.

Work SUCKED today; I accidentally insulted this crusty old ex-colonel and then crashed the travel program on my computer after I spent approximately twelve hours planning a trip I'm not super enthusiastic about to start with. When I got home I saw on facebook I missed the birthday of one of my favorite people ever. Because I never, ever look at facebook at work. Sorry, Janelle! Actually, you know what? I never remember birthdays. It's one of my character flaws. I think it has to do with my whole Jehovah's Witness/Holiday aversion thing. That might be an excellent topic for another day, but I'm too tired and cranky to go there today.

Oh, I know! Once again, I need to address the issue of lies on here. Yesterday, at our early Thanksgiving party, one of my charming aunts informed me that sometimes she just skims my blog because she knows it's full of lies. It's just too outrageous to be true, she said. MY OWN AUNT! Can you believe that? I have talked about this before, multiple times, but a nice refresher is always good. Everything I put on here is basically true. Things will usually fall into one of several categories. Reports of events are always mostly true, but might be slightly exaggerated or embellished for effect. Hare-brained schemes, which are labeled with that category, are always straight out of my imagination, but are most often based on something that actually happened. Flat out lies are pretty obvious, like above where I said I never look at facebook at work. Also, if you'll notice, I have categories called 'lies' and 'true'. If you're wondering, you can always check the label. And, of course, you can always ask in the comments or email me at womanwithadeadcat (at) gmaildotcom.

And, finally, here's an example of a typical exaggeration, for future reference: After I posted this I received this question: 'Did they really lock you in your apartment when the President flew into Osan??' Now, the answer is no, they didn't really lock me in my apartment. Instead, they shot chloroform into my ductwork so I was unconscious for the whole event. But see, that's not quite as funny.

So there you have it, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, from a woman with a dead cat in her purse.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Holy cow, people! Look at me go! I think this is my seventh post this week. I missed a day, but I did two on Monday. This is the second to last thing I should be doing, right in front of boot shopping, because eleventy jillion people are coming over for early Thanksgiving this afternoon and the place is a mess and there's no food. It's just the family, though, and they've met me so probably aren't expecting much better. Dad is bringing the turkey, fortunately for me, and Jen is bringing dessert. So really, all I need to do is wash some forks and open wine. The aunts are coming also, though, so my excellent manners are hounding me to mash potatoes and make stuffing. Maybe even some vegetables, because I'm an overachiever that way. I'll get right on it as soon as I finish blogging and boot shopping. You might wonder where Lloyd is, and observe correctly that this operation would be proceeding much more smoothly and appropriately were he running it instead of me. As luck (bad for me, good for him) would have it, he is taking a refresher course required to maintain his instructor ratings this weekend. That's what he said, anyway, as he tore out of here this morning with an evil laugh, leaving rubber on the driveway.

So, yep, I'm going to get on that pretty soon. Those potatoes won't mash themselves! Unless I invent something. Maybe after I look at some more boots. I don't actually NEED any more boots, of course, especially after I bought some last night. I now have perfectly good black ones AND brown ones, and still I want MORE. It's a sickness. I am close to justifying it, though, with all the money I've been saving on shampoo and conditioner. I haven't used a single drop of either one for at least two weeks, so I figure if I keep it up, the boots will pay for themselves in only 94 more weeks. Of course, I do incur a cost for the baking soda and apple cider vinegar replacements, but we already buy that stuff by the bushel for volcano making and the like, so it's practically free. Plus, I am almost out of my store bought hippie deodorant and am about to switch to homemade, so that will be an extra couple of bucks a month.

All right, FINE, I'm going now. I just remembered I also have to police the house for pee balloons. Not everyone is as tolerant of such things as you guys are. Oh, it might be too late- one of the boys just said 'I smell something stinky!', and their standards are pretty low. I'll try to provide a full report later. I know you're dying to know what the boots look like.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


****updated Saturday afternoon: the toylit plan was too close to coming to fruition for my liking, so I bribed him to come out with promises of Taco Time. After that, we went to Target, where Shane dumped his milk out all over the cart in the checkout line. That was fun, but I would have preferred balloons filled with poop.

Lots of times I don't post on the weekend; I try to put up a couple of posts during each week so if I write on the weekend I usually save it for later. This is because there is less blog-reading on Saturday and Sunday, and I can't always be counted on have something to say during the week. Some weekdays my job wrings me dry, leaving just a crumpled-up husk of a wine sponge and the writing falls by the wayside along with many, many other things. I have been extra prolific lately, though, and this morning I have a surplus of kid-related raw material, so I'm going for broke.

I had big plans today, you might remember them. I was going to go cat collar and Skittles shopping, but it appears I will be staying home for the foreseeable future. See, Weston got mad at Shane over a helmet from Weston's Lego Transformer car. I'm not even going to get started on this stupid car kit, except to say that the whole concept must have been invented by Lucifer himself. Weston went behind a chair in the living room and won't come out. He is communicating with us by writing notes, which he attaches to a metal tape measure and projects out in front of the chair. They are HILARIOUS and I would take pictures but that would probably make him mad, and I try to be careful about that. I'll just paraphrase: 'I am never coming out!' 'NO!!! NO!!! and double NO!' 'I am MAD'. You get the idea.

So Shane and I started discussing the logistics of actually staying behind the chair forever. How would he eat and drink? What about pooping and peeing? He responds via more notes: 'I will pee and poop out the window!' Shane and I parse each idea and when we shoot one down he comes up with more. Surprisingly, Shane came up with a workable plan for the pee: he can pee in balloons. Shane helpfully tested this in the bathroom, and I would be pretty supportive except for I had to tie it for him. As an added bonus, it is an excellent way to get rid of about eight thousand of those cursed things we have laying around here. Of course one can't poop in a balloon, at least in my house, and he can't go outside because that would require coming out from behind the chair. He considered making himself a litter box and currently plans to construct a toylit (sic) out of a bin, a rim, a lid and a pipe. The last note even had drawings. I'm not sure where the materials will come from but I trust he will come up with something and I will find out about it from the trusty tape measure express.

I am tempted to go on with my shopping (mmmm, Skittles!) and let the chips (hahahahaha) fall where they may but the consequences would likely be a little more dire than I am willing to accept. There's always delivery. I'll let you know how it comes out, if you can stand it! If not, check back next week, this little episode will probably have run its course. Hope you're having a great Saturday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


You guys are not going to believe this, but I did NOT win the chili cook-off! I know, I am stunned beyond words, too. I DID receive a 'participant' certificate, which I spitefully pasted over a real award won recently by my office mate. I also came home with some chili in my hair and a small pancake griddle burn on my right index finger, and I'm pretty sure my cowboy hat is not a lucky hat. I'm going to try to shake it off, though. Because what else are you going to do, right? On the bright side, I am now out of kidney beans and I re-discovered my love affair with Fritos.

Did you know that if you set a Frito on fire, it will hold a flame like a candle? Because they are a dual purpose and delicious snack food, they are an excellent addition to your emergency kit. Just your Dead Cat emergency management tip for today! A blogger named Snack Girl experimented for you so you don't have to run to the store right this very second. You can see her analysis here, though I have to note that I don't entirely trust someone who calls herself 'Snack Girl' and doesn't have a robust appreciation for potato chips. I don't even want to consider what she might think of Skittles. And now that you mention it, I am very curious about what would happen if I set some Skittles on fire.

I am now wiping the chili travesty right out of my head forever. MY MIND IS A BLANK SLATE, PEOPLE! Where was I? Oh yeah, Fritos....MMMMMMMMMMmmmm........

Chili? What chili? I have no idea what you're talking about. Weren't we talking about cats? In the most recent cat news, Jake and Henry have been clamoring to get outside, so tomorrow we are going collar/tag shopping. Also Skittles shopping.

Let's see, what else? I went to the library today at lunch and picked up an entire book about Twitter. Is it just me, or does that seem the tiniest bit strange? I will definitely let you know if there is a book's worth of stuff about Twitter that you need to know.

In holiday news, we are having an early Thanksgiving party with the fam this weekend. I have some pumpkin in the freezer and was thinking of making a pumpkin/coconut milk/ginger soup but for some reason my soup making confidence is shot. I have no idea why; it's like there's this big void in my brain when I try to think of cooking or soup, and all I can think of is salty crunchy processed corn products. Weird.

Have a good weekend, and try to stay dry, my friends. I don't know about where you are, but around here it's going to be soggy! Funny, now all I can think of is boots.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Skirt Report

I know you've all been waiting breathlessly for the skirt report. It appears that the skirt is neither a good luck nor a bad luck item of apparel. I did get several compliments on its sassiness, so that makes it a win. I know you want a picture, Helen, but I am pretty lazy and didn't get it done. As much as I would appreciate some extra good luck, I guess I can't complain about clothes that are neutral in the providence department.

The chili is done. It's called 'Deer Me, it's Delicious! chili, and it's a surefire winner. I did get an unusual and unsolicited cooking tip- I was advised to liven it up with a can of Copenhagen. I was intrigued, but managed to resist. Also, doesn't a can of chew cost like four thousand dollars these days? I can't afford that, because I already spent the $867 per pound for the free venison. It does have several of my own top secret ingredients, though. I'm willing to spill if you promise not to tell anyone: chicory coffee, cocoa powder, and bloody mary mix. I also considered some actual coffee grounds, for texture, but decided to skip it this time.

Right now, the chili is resting comfortably in the car. Don't worry, it's going to be COLD tonight, so the chances of food poisoning are low. It takes some serious salmonella to overcome the kidney bean toxins, anyway. I'm going to tote it back and forth to the cook-off venue in my Osan shopping cart. I hauled that thing out of the garage and it still had a commissary receipt crumpled up in the bottom. I will admit to a tiny pang. But just one. The cart is the perfect size for my two giant vats of chili stacked on top of each other, and the purse basket is just right for the pancake cooking griddle. I'm not sure people in my office will have the proper appreciation for the hard-working cart, though. If someone mocks the cart I will probably have to punch him in the face, and then force feed him some kidney beans with salmonella sauce.

So that's it for today! I'll let you know how the cook-off goes! I'm going to wear a cowboy hat and everything, how can I possibly lose?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stop the Presses

Stop the presses, people! I am going to wear a skirt to work tomorrow. 'WHAT??' I'm sure I can hear you gasping. Yes, it's true and I'll tell you why. Mostly because I have been stuffing my face and my pants are pinchy and I couldn't find anything good at the Goodwill today, so I had to go closet shopping. I found a flippy skirt that I hadn't worn since the day I got shafted at Osan and tried it on. Luckily, it still fit so I twirled it around and asked Shane what he thought. He said, 'Mama, you look FABULOUS! Like a diarrhea!' I think he meant 'ballerina' so that's what I'm going with, because it's much better than the alternative. I hope it's not a bad luck skirt, after the shafting and the diarrhea thing. I guess I'll give it one more chance, and if my phone explodes or something tomorrow I'm definitely taking it to the thrift store for someone else to enjoy. I totally believe in bad luck clothes, and so naturally, I also believe in good luck clothes. I just don't have any. Maybe that will change after I win the chili cook-off!

I've been working on my chili; it's a multi-day process. So far I have a giant vat of beans and a container of seasoned meat, and I invented a way to keep the pots hot using just a pancake griddle. So that's a pretty good start, don't you think? I don't have a recipe or anything, because those are for candyasses. I'll just toss some other junk in there tomorrow and call it good- what could possibly go wrong? It will be just in time for good chili weather, too: it is going to get wintery soon. I say BRING IT ON, winter! I have new boots, so suck on that! The boys and I jumped on the trampoline tonight and my feet were FREEZING. At least I'm not in Alaska like some of my work friends. Boy, do I feel sorry for them. The zombie sewer robots will probably be covered up with snow and they won't even get any chili. TOTAL BUMMER.

I guess that's all for now; send my skirt some good luck vibes! I'll give you a full report if anything out of the ordinary happens.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jake and Henry

The cats now have names. I know you were worried so I rushed right over here to tell you. The black and white one that looks like Henry is named Henry, and the shy one is named Jake, after the cat in 'The Cat from Outer Space'. Have you guys seen this movie? It's an excellent flick, as you might expect from a movie about a cat from outer space. It's a must-see, especially if you love cats and outer space, both of which are very popular around here.

We also have been watching NOVA's Elegant Universe, which is fascinating. Weston is especially interested in string theory, but Shane has trouble figuring out the part about the eleven dimensions. I told him nobody really knows for sure if the theory is true and that maybe when he's a scientist he can figure it out. He quickly informed me that he's not going to be a scientist, he's going to be a 'piwot'. Lloyd, naturally, assumes he means 'pilot' and is thrilled, while I'm holding out for 'pirate', because that's WAY better. Not as good as scientist, of course, but you only have so much influence, right? He would make a super cute pirate, like Wesley, aka the Dread Pirate Roberts, in The Princess Bride. I'm sure I needn't describe 'The Princess Bride' beyond stating the obvious and well-known fact that it's the most awesome and fantastic movie ever made. Also, it boasts the brilliant and beautiful theme song 'Storybook Love' by the late, great Willy DeVille.

Let's see, what else is going on around here? I wore my stunning new boots to work today and I could hardly get any work done because I had to spend all my time admiring them. Also, I agreed to enter a big vat of kidney bean chili in the cook-off at work. You totally thought I was just kidding, didn't you?? But nope, I'm really going to do it. I'm going to use three different kinds of beans, though, to dilute that nasty kidney bean juice. I'm not EVIL, you know. I'm going to pretend that it's my revolutionary and double-top secret three bean chili recipe but really I borrowed it from my friend Yolanda after she was enough of a sucker to tell me her plan. So that should work out well. I'm in it to win it, people!


Hurray! Our new cats are here! Aren't they GORGEOUS?!?!?!?!?!? They are fat and glossy, and came with more accessories than I even own. A three-story kitty condo, some wheeled, soft-sided carrying cases, multiple scratching items, a sack of toys, and two high-tech litter boxes, and they got delivered right to my front door from, just like a pair of boots from Zappos. So cool! They have so much stuff that I might have to move out to the garage to make room for them. Sure, it's cold and dirty out there but there's plenty of clothes, boats, household items, bee hives, spare construction materials and emergency supplies. It'd be nice and quiet, and I bet there's plenty of wireless around here free for the taking. I'm sure I could live out there quite happily for some time. Of course, then I would need some garage cats. You can never have too many cats, you know.

They don't have names yet. Their original names don't suit us, but there has been some serious discord over potential new names, especially for the black and white one that looks like Henry. Shane favors 'Henry', while Weston thinks we should call him 'Alex'. The other one, who doesn't look like any other cat I know, hasn't spent enough time out from under the chair to let us ponder names for him. My sister is horrified that we aren't keeping their names but I don't think cats care about that kind of foolishness. They know who they are and aren't the tiniest bit concerned with what stupid humans call them; that's my theory. Cats don't need labels, only people seem to need labels. I have a high confidence level that I would not be appreciably different even if I had a name that was totally unsuitable. Like Molly or Tiffany or Edna. I don't even care what people call me, and it's a good thing, too. ESPECIALLY at the office.

That's all the cat news for today- I will keep you posted on the names. We can only call them 'The black and white one that looks like Henry' and 'The shy one' for so long, right? Have a good week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day! I actually think our veterans would be much better served with adequate pay, benefits and support than with a day of celebration in November. I guess it's a nice gesture. That makes lots of money for corporate America, no doubt. Sort of like Mother's Day and Father's Day. Tons of cashola for retail giants but no family friendly policies anywhere in sight. So that's business as usual. Have a nice day, veterans! Sorry about that TBI; you know how it is. We found a corporation that had to pay a few bucks in taxes, so we have to remedy that instead of fixing your head that we damaged in the first place. Among other issues, veterans are much more likely to be unemployed than non-veterans, and non-veterans aren't doing all that well, employment-wise, these days. Lots of families don't have enough food- it's a great time to donate to Northwest Harvest or a food bank near you. You can probably donate right at the cash register the next time you go grocery shopping.

Anyway, moving on, because that is super depressing, I got a new pair of boots today! The guilt-inducing ones I ordered last week came today. They are quite fabulous, and Shane turned the box into a WALL-E type contraption and wore it around the house all day with nothing else on except his teeny-tiny tighty whities- SUPER CUTE! Also, I discovered what Lloyd and the boys do all day. I strapped Shane in his seat this afternoon to hit the grocery store, and he said, "I would like to go to Starbucks for a hot chocolate and a blueberry scone, please."

Sorry I didn't post all week- I MEANT to, but there was this giant hurricane-ish storm in the Bering Sea so I had to work from 0'dark thirty to a million o' clock all week. Lloyd was gone, too, requiring painful, expensive and exhausting child care machinations. Thank God I get a celebratory day in May! I'm not sure about this standard time thing, either. It seems like it shouldn't be THAT big of a deal but I have not been sleeping properly ever since we fell back. It's such a stupid idea, anyway: it's not as if we REALLY get any more daylight. I have an idea! Let's donate Mother's Day, and bust it up into 24 one hour chunks, which we can then spread out for an actual extra hour on 24 different days! Brilliant, right?

And call me crazy, but I am getting some new-to-me cats tomorrow. I found them on Craigslist, and one of them looks exactly like Henry! We have been easing into the idea for a while, but the Fur Real cat Weston got at the Goodwill last week was the final straw for Lloyd. He said if we're going to have that creepy hideous thing around here, we might as well have real cats, as long as they're free. Lloyd has a real aversion to paying good money for used cats, especially if that money could be used for hot chocolates and blueberry scones. I'll keep you posted.

Have a good weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Wow, winter is really coming. Standard time is here, and look at all those leaves! We have this industrial-sized dual-tired wheelbarrow, and I have filled it up at least seven times so far with maple leaves from the front yard and apple leaves from the back yard. Apple leaves are poisonous, did you know that? Especially when they are wilting. So don't eat them. But it's okay to let your kid roll around in them. That's the Dead Cat safety lesson for today. And here's another one: kidney beans are EVIL. Look at this! I just found it while I was looking for a link to how bad wilting apple tree leaves are for your kids or dogs. Isn't that TERRIFYING?? I swear, you can't eat anything these days. I thought kidney beans were HEALTHY, and until today I made chilis and soups with them all the time. GEEZ. Now I'm going to have to donate them all to the food bank so the poor people get poisoned instead of me. I'll take a big fat tax deduction, too. Just call me BP! Or maybe I could just chef them up for the big chili cook-off at work. No deduction, but there's something to be said for job satisfaction, too.

Normally I'm not super concerned about leaves piling up in the yard. In fact, I like them, because they cover up all those broken toys, rotting jack-o-lanterns and wine bottles out there, just like a cozy orange and yellow quilt would. If it was big enough. That's just a little idea I'm going to keep in my back pocket in case I ever live in a place with no deciduous trees. Feel free to help yourself to it, especially if you're crafty that way. Today, though, I found myself inexplicably compelled to rake them up and do some other chores around the house and yard. Now, I know correlation does not always equal causation, but I think it might be because I just bought myself a pair of the most fabulous, but possibly unnecessary, black boots from a non-thrift store, and the guilt is getting to me. I resisted, though, because Lloyd wasn't even home to see me busting my ass, so what's the point?? Sure, the lawn would be clean, but not for long, because there's still at least a dump truck worth of leaves still on the tree. Gravity, she's a relentless bitch, ain't she?

Because I'm introspective, and also lazy*, I started thinking about this whole boots=chores thing instead of actually raking up more leaves or cleaning up the toys, pumpkins and wine bottles. I got to thinking about my Berenstain Bear-inspired shopping chore chart idea, in which penalties are assessed for inappropriate purchases. Perhaps, I thought, the chore chart could be more proactive, where you earn shopping trips by doing chores. So, for example, raking leaves and thinking about cleaning the yard gets you a fantastic pair of boots with cunning little buckles on them. To get a new treestand, you would have to steam clean the carpet, scrub the grout, clean the gutters, bleach the toilets, sweep the chimney and wash the windows. That sounds fair, right? I see a trip to Cabela's in Lloyd's future. You can thank me later, honey!

*Or, yes, only lazy. Have it your way. Just call me BK!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


This week I took a day off work and went down to see the newly installed stone on my mother's grave. In case you can't quite see the bottom line, it reads " Carrie won't be alone..."

Carrie was her step-grandmother and was sort of the black sheep of the family, which is hard to accomplish. You can trust me on that one. You might know that my mother wrote a book about her family, which we published posthumously on By 'we', I mean my brother-in-law, who did all the work, and my father, who paid for it. I definitely had thoughts, though! Lots and lots of thoughts.

While doing research for her book, she discovered that Carrie was actually not so bad; she was just a socialist and a crusader for unpopular causes. As we know, this can make one a pariah in short order, and so my mother, a bit of a quiet crusader herself, decided to remedy this injustice. She cared not at all what sort of service we had for her, but was very adamant that she be buried with Carrie, "So Carrie won't be alone." And so it was done. If you like, you can read a bit more about Carrie and the epitaph in this post on Doraville.

As it turns out, they both have plenty of neighbors, including the one that cast the annoying shadow on Carrie's stone so you can't see it very well in the picture. Below is the view of the Green Mountain Cemetery in Rainier, Oregon, from their grave. While looking it up to make sure I had the name right, I found this link to the International Ghost Hunters Society about a ghost investigation at Green Mountain. Maybe Carrie is out and about at night, doing her part for Occupy Wall Street! That would be AWESOME; I would totally go if there were ghosts there. Well, maybe not. I'm pretty lazy, plus my day job cuts into my protesting time.

And this is the skyward view from the grave. It's quite stunning on a nice fall day, though I don't guess they're looking. If they're doing anything, it's probably MUCH more productive than lounging around staring at the sky. I wonder if they take requests? I didn't think to give them any while I was there but I will definitely rectify that next time. Until then, enjoy the view, ladies!