Monthly Archives: April 2015

Late Update: Things I Learned Over Spring Break


This is a little late in posting. Sorry, I’ve been busy being … annoyed mostly. I may get to that later.

Things I learned over spring break:

  1. Regardless of the number of tiny Made-in-China Adventure Time figurines my daughter has, there is always room on her shelves for more. (She was missing the Ice King, but now she has him twice)
  2. The Boy decided blue hair is awesome – not just highlights or a streak – his whole head.
  3. The Girl decided if her little brother can have bright blue hair, she can too. Then she just did dark blue underlayers at the last minute.
  4. Both kids think I’d look great with blue hair.
  5. I’m going to wait until I’m 80 for blue hair like other grandmothers.
  6. Both kids decided Hubby would look great with blue hair after I declined to fall for their line.
  7. Hubby is smarter than his children. (He also isn’t dyeing his hair)
  8. Hubby and I need to make a plan for how to tell his parents about our kids doing the ‘fun’ thing while they’re young.
  9. My parents think it’s awesome that their grandkids look like Easter eggs.
  10. Darth Jingles hasn’t noticed the kids look different.
  11. Two foot high chocolate Easter bunnies contain a lot of sugar, even when hollow.
  12. All baskets belong to the cat.
  13. It is possible for me to not be in the mood to write a sex scene for a long time.
  14. Don’t go to the aquarium on the first day of spring break
  15. If you do go to the aquarium on the first day of spring break, don’t take someone who needs a walker
  16. If you’ve failed to follow the advice for #14 and #15, keep user of said walker away from parents who might deck him for swearing about stroller-induced jams in narrow spaces
  17. Jellyfish are awesome.
  18. Just because a steakhouse charges upwards of $45/entrée doesn’t mean they’ll get your steak right. Or even your order.
  19. The city thinks my cat is a dog. (I’m serious. I have a request to license my dog, which I don’t have. They insist I have a black domestic shorthair dog named Darth Jingles. Close.)
  20. I may take Jingles (on a leash, of course) down to wherever to license her in person.
  21. I am beyond ready for Doctor Who to start again.
  22. Jeremy Clarkson getting briefly fired from BBC’s Top Gear shook our household more than I would have expected.
  23. The Noble M600 isn’t legal to import into the U.S., even with waivers.
  24. The Boy took entirely too much pleasure in watching my eyes prickle with tears at his announcement of #23. I’m serious, he stood right up next to me, almost nose to nose, to see if I’d cry. I almost did.
  25. My in-laws cannot grow cherry trees.

They’ve killed three now. We’re getting them another one, because my mother-in-law really wants a cherry tree in the front yard for some unknown, God-forsaken reason. Yes, I think that adjective is correct in this case.

I have a thing about cherries. I used to climb my grandmother’s huge cherry tree as a kid and pick cherries with my cousins. I loved cherries, they were the best thing ever. Until on cousin showed me ‘checking for worms’ wasn’t a formality. He showed me the worm. That was devastating to me six-year-old view of the world. From that day forward, I have not liked cherries.

Imagine Hubby’s surprise when I kept hinting that maybe we should plant their cherry tree among our own little orchard. There’s a cherry tree in a neighbor’s yard to pollinate it, it’s all good.

Do I want the cherry tree? Hell no, it’ll make a mess. I don’t want my annoying nephew coming to pick them either, which is what’s going to happen when it gets planted at my in-laws. But the tree stands a fighting chance at our house and it clearly doesn’t at my in-law’s, which is the real issue I’m trying to call into question here.

Hubby laughs at my inner-Lorax and tells me to calm down. We don’t have to plant the cherry tree at our house, we don’t have to deal with the annoying nephew. (He’s cute, but he’s a brat and he’s never going to grow out of it.) We’ll plant the tree in the backyard on the little hill where their other pear tree used to be (before the deer got a little too eager). It’ll be fine.

Hmm. We’ll have to put a fence around it and put out bales of hay for the deer. At this point, if feeding the deer for twenty miles around is what it takes to see her cherry tree through the winter, my mother-in-law would do it.

And that’s what I learned over spring break. Sorry to disappoint on the lack of drugs, alcohol, or scantily clad girls. Those stories were all after-hours.

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Jingle’s Collar


Darth Jingles came home without her collar, again.

This may not seem a big deal to most people, after all, none of my cats growing up ever wore a collar. The thought was ludacris to even try to collar a cat. (Also, why does Word want to change “ludacris” – a perfectly normal and acceptable word in the English language to “Ludacris” – the rapper? Really?) Anyway … Jingles has a collar because of our HOA. Technically she’s also not allowed to stray outside of our yard, something I understand but I have no idea how to enforce. Thankfully she tends not to roam far and the neighbors don’t mind her. Actually, a lot of the neighbors like her. But she’s required by city and HOA code (our HOA is scarier) to wear a collar. She’s chipped, so it’s not like if she gets picked up they won’t know who to call. But that cute little piece of feline jewelry lets everyone know she’s not a stray. Also, her tag actually says “please don’t shoot me” on it. Hubby has a warped sense of humor.

Actually, it was Jingle’s collar that gave her the name she has today. Other contenders included “Stinkmuffin,” but I digress. When she was a kitten, scampering around the house, the single bell on her collar would sound her location. Remember It’s A Wonderful Life? There’s a line in there a couple of times: “every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” We had a cat winging angels all over the place. Being the dark people we are, naturally we came to the conclusion there couldn’t possibly be any angels left in heaven waiting to get their wings, therefore our dear black cat had to be killing people to create angels to wing them. She’d run down the stairs and wipe out entire villages in third-world countries, according to this theory. Only a Sith could be so efficient. Hence ‘Darth Jingles.”

History aside, Jingles wears a collar, usually, and occasionally loses it. They’re stretchy so she can get out of them if she snags on something. You know, cat collars. The quick-release clasp on the one she had originally was lost and never recovered. The one she lost a few days ago has been lost once, and a neighbor picked it up in their yard and walked it over. Our phone number is one there, just in case, but he recognized who it belonged to. We also meet new people in the neighborhood when they find her collar and call us, so we go retrieve it. Nice people.

The rule is: if Jingles isn’t wearing a collar, she doesn’t get to go outside. This is where a cat losing a bit of elastic with a pendant becomes a bigger issue. She didn’t want to stay in and wait for someone to find and return it, or wait for Mommy (me, I’m a kitty mom) to give up and go get her another one. In fact, Jingles was making enough of a pest of herself in her attempts to relay how urgent it was that she be allowed out to frolic in the spring air, that I sent The Girl on a quest to find an old retired collar. (One we got a call about just hours after I succumbed to her plaintive meows and purchased a replacement collar and tag.)

Jingles wouldn’t even sit still to let us put the ratty old collar on her. It took two of us to bell the cat. This is unusual, she generally recognizes collars and/or the harness and leash torture as a prerequisite to being allowed out. Yes, she will walk on a leash. No, she’s not happy about it. I think she does it because she likes to humor the kids and they always release her to run off eventually. Anyways, little furry wiggle worm finally has a tattered Christmas collar on her. It’s pathetic. The bells (three on this one, her last one didn’t have any because it doesn’t stop her from catching birds – a neighbor witnessed that – and it’s noisy. Of course it is, it’s a bell. At one in the morning, that bell sounds much louder.)

So the three bells have the paint worn off, and the nail polish I used to re-paint them a glossy red is also gone. Just little metal bells in the remains of tartan bows on red elastic. I dare say she’s going to try to lose it this time. Hopefully she won’t ditch this collar before someone finds the previous one.

Jingles isn’t vain. She rolls in the gutter before coming inside (thanks for that, by the way, you little brat). But she keeps herself clean (after the gutter-roll) and has decent manners considering she’s a cat. Aloof, yes, but not on the table or kitchen counter. Since we wrangled her into this collar, she hasn’t tried to wiggle out of it. Yet.

That being said, The cat is loose again in the neighborhood. And angels are getting their wings. And/or whole third world villages are being wiped out and then getting their wings. I should check the news.

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