Head ‘Em Up… Move ‘Em Out!

If there are readers who are faint of heart, move along. This could be difficult for you…

I love my mom. She’s a wonder. She married my dad when I was 5 and had to step into a marriage with an obnoxious man and an even worse 5-year-old. She adopted me, but I would go around and refer to her as my “evil stepmother”. Nobody said I was a lovable child.

My mom was a career woman back before it was fashionable to be one. She married an old fashioned man who believed a child should have the mom home. All the time. This worked out fine until the child became a psychotic teenager. Then mom was introduced to valium. That was back before they knew valium was so addictive and there were bigger problems than psychotic teens.

Nonetheless, she hung in there. Finally, when I was a senior in high school, my dad decided mom could go back to work. I think that was the happiest time of her life – until they started hiring younger men right out of college that didn’t know jack-shit, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

I love my mom. Mainly because she’s been able to put up with my dad all these years. I used to be pretty pissed at her, but those issues got resolved a long time ago with a trip through the nervous breakdown forest… with Hubby’s help, I got through that in one piece.

Now we come to the present. We’re getting to that point in our lives. You know, that point. Don’t look at me like you have no clue what I’m talking about! THAT point… the one where the kid becomes the parent and the parent becomes the kid. (YES…the lightbulb comes on brightly over your head…THAT point!)

We’re going shopping for something to hang on the walls of my parents’ new house. As I mentioned earlier, I have rather eclectic taste. Pretty much anything goes. I try to make my parents discuss this before we go… What would they like? Modern? Landscapes? The Masters? (No, neither Elvis on velvet or dogs playing poker were offered as suggestions.) All I could get from them was, “We want some color” and “We don’t care” and “Whatever you think”. This falls into that grey area that Hubby calls ” the landmine, step here“. He claims things like a woman asking “Does this make me look fat?” and “How do you like my new hairdo?” qualify for landmine status. Well, I’ve extended that to your parents turning you loose with instructions to find them things to put on their walls that they will look at for, oh, probably the REST OF THEIR LIVES and then saying, “Whatever you think”.

You wonder why I came home tense?

We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond. We went to JC Penney’s Home Store, Kohls, Target, Pier 1, and back to BBB. Yes, we found pictures. Yes, I liked them all. Yes, they were all a bit different. Yes, they had color. My mother agreed she liked one of them. A lot. I rejoiced! I think she was tolerating the others just because I said so. I still like them. Guess that’s all that counts. At least that’s what they said…

I’m waiting for the call where my parents beg me to come help hang them. I’m not sure my mother remembers where we decided to put them all, but it was 10 o’clock before I got home, so there wasn’t any way I was going to stay last night long enough to also hang them.

On a completely unrelated note: my mother showed me her new drivers’ license picture. I hate to say it, but it looked just like the “Scream” mask. Very creepy…

Take that Moon and Shove It!

After a late night (more on that later) I arrive home to a quiet house. Hubby’s almost asleep and the pups have been out and are bedded. I, however am as stiff as a two-year-old Twizzler. I lay in bed and look at the ceiling. I finally drift off to sleep…


I look at the clock. It’s 4:30 a.m. Didn’t I just close my eyes? Damn. I hop out of bed. (Did you just believe that statement? Did you? The last time I “hopped” anywhere I was 5.) Okay, honesty if you must, I crawled out of bed, down onto my knees, and felt around for my glasses that had fallen or been pushed onto the floor by a roving cat. (I’m pretty blind without my glasses. If you stand three feet in front of me and I know what you’re wearing and you talk to me, I’ll probably figure out who you are. Otherwise, clueless…) Then I rise, like the dead, and find my shoes. The pups have been quiet since they first heard me fall out of bed (did I say “fall” – I’m sure I said “crawled”… much more graceful…). They know the routine. Once they hear me start moving, it’s only a matter of time before I’ll be coming after them.

I do just that. Into the bathroom, grab the little one to carry her outside so they don’t get too distracted playing ‘tag’ around the sofa before they can get outside to do their business. Out we go. Oh, GEEZ…it’s almost COLD this morning! Why didn’t I grab my sweater? I’m standing out here shivering in shorty p.j.’s watching a couple of skunks run around the yard. (That’s what Hubby says they look like since they’re black and white. Not real skunks, you understand. Not that we haven’t HAD skunks before – we do live in the country – this is just Hubby’s attempt at humor.)

Now we play the “time to go in the house” game. Frank has learned it pretty well. I say, “Time to go inside” and he responds by running up to the door and waiting to be let in, or at least runs to my feet and waits for me to start walking back to the house so he can follow me and try and trip me. (I don’t think he means to, he’s just klutzy that way.) Frieda however, has a stubborn streak. Hubby says it’s because she’s female. I like to think it’s because she’s independent and has a mind of her own. Either way, at the ‘butt-crack of dawn’ it isn’t a fun thing. She’ll come within two feet of me, then run away. Or, she’ll come within two feet of me, annoy the hell out of Frank and run away with him chasing her. Yep. Now we have two wild shih tzus on the loose again!

I’ve found over the past few months that all the yelling, “clicking”, “smooching sounds”, treats, and begging in the world won’t make a difference to them when they are in ‘wild dog’ mode. Only one thing works. Growling and barking. You heard me. I have to growl at them and/or bark at them. They come like they’re on fire. Frieda begs to be picked up. Frank runs for the door. I haven’t got a clue what I’ve just said to them, but whatever it is, it works.

Hubby thinks it’s hilarious. Especially when he thinks about the neighbors… “Jesus God, Mary…there’s that crazy Smith lady barkin’ again! What the hell gets into her? Is she howlin’ at the moon? There IS a full moon…! I’m keepin’ my gun loaded iffin she ever gets in the mood to come ’round here. I wonder what her husband does on nights like this? How does he stand her?”


So, we’re back in the house. The lights are off. The pups have been put back to bed with water, treats, chewy treats, and blankies. I slip off my shoes. I take off my glasses. I lay back in bed. I’m cold, so I cover myself up to the neck with blankets and comforter. I start telling myself to relaaax…start with the toes…the feet…the ankles…UGH! Uh, hi, Welling.ton. My morning ‘greeter’ is here. All 16 pounds of furball have settle in across my tummy. He’s making biscuits with his front paws, but he’s laying down, so they aren’t as disruptive as usual. His motor is running – loudly. This is nice. A warm, purring body…It helps me to relax. Here we go again. Start with the toes…the feet…the ankles…the calves…


WTF? Aw, c’mon guys! Go back to sleep! Don’t wake up Hubby!


DAMN. I throw back the covers, shoving Welling.ton to the foot of the bed, grumbling. (yeah, both him AND me). I trip over to the door, putting on my glasses as I go.

BE QUIET!!” I hiss loudly. You know, when you are trying to get your point across, but be quiet about it? Yeah, that’s it. “BE QUIET!!” . Two smiling pups sit and look at me with wide-eyed amusement, tails wagging. I can tell this is going to be a joke to them. “YOU BE QUIET!!” Of course, emphasizing the YOU in case they may be confused that I am talking to some invisible entity hiding in the bathroom. I close the door, blood pressure now skyrocketing. I listen. Hubby’s still silent. All must be well.

Let’s try this one more time. Settle in bed. Glasses off. Cat on. Purring. Relax. Relax. Relax.

Hubby starts to snore.

So, how was YOUR morning?

I Got It!

Kenna! Thanks, girlfriend! I got the postcard! I now feel very special – not like, you know, Special Olympics. (Okay, I heard that. If you want political correctness, buddy, you’ve come to the wrong place. Some of my best friends have handi-capable stickers. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a sense of humor. I’m not making fun of “special” people, I’m just making fun of myself. If you don’t like it, move along…)