Can I go on a minute about dogs?

Can I go on a minute about dogs?

Dogs are the best. Sometimes I think the meaning of life is dogs. When we return home, whether from an hour away or days away, the dogs go completely crazy. The overwhelming joy shuddering their small frames as they jump, hop, shake, and shimmer with relief fills me with awe. Who else has ever been this exhilarated to see me?! 

We look forward to leaving just so we can return. As we approach the neighborhood, we are all like, Oh my gosh, the dogs are going be so excited. The anticipation of the event is building in all of us and is a frequent topic of conversation in our family. This ritual is one of life’s great pleasures. The sentiment was put to poetic perfection in 1978 by Peaches & Herb:

Reunited, and it feels so good
Reunited ’cause we understood
There’s one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited ’cause we’re reunited, hey, hey

This love is not without demands. Decaf, my male dog, insists we take it to the couch.

Hey, let’s unwind from this strenuous display of affection by plopping next to each other on a pile of cushions. What say you?

I watch him hot step it to the couch while craning his neck back to see if the pack is taking his lead. I almost never want to go directly from car to couch. Yet I frequently do even if only for a minute. He’s burrowed next to me before I even fully release my weight to the sofa.

I know he is just a mammal, but I can’t see how a mystical creature could be any more attuned to me. He is my familiar, medieval European folklore is alive and well in our house. We are bonded. We are bonded with super glue.

How do I deserve this? I don’t. I could never give them as much as they give me. Not that we don’t care for them. We consider them and think about their needs and make all kinds of adjustments and concessions. But I don’t feel like I am loved because of THAT. It’s not like:

Thanks so much for letting me sniff out that patch of grass next to Patty’s place. I so appreciate that you didn’t jerk me away. I don’t totally feel like pressing my warm little sausage body next to your side for three solid hours while you do French, play Woodoku and watch tv and but I’ll throw you a bone just this once.

He just wants to be there. And for those precious moments, I am not alone. My hand on his warmth, we are briefly one thing and not two things.

Sidewalk Face 1294on sale now in my shop.

Lesson Not Taught

Lesson Not Taught

Reoccurring problem. My husband sees an empty space and fills it. For him, domestic space is like a supermarket parking lot. If you don’t see a car there, feel free to drive into the spot. To me, our domestic space is a like an apartment building with leased parking spaces. Only one item has legitimate claim to any given area. You cannot be where you don’t belong, or you will be towed away at your own expense.

At the end of our hallway is large desk size built in shelf. This space has been doing triple duty for more than two and half years. One third is where I store my two purses, next to that is overflow food storage, and next to that are hard drives. Don’t worry, the sugar does not comingle with the technology. They are separated by bins and baskets. As I write it out, this arrangement sounds strange. I wish it were differernt but who has the time and space to make things not weird.

So yesterday, both purses are lolling around in chairs making it hard to sit down. Tidying up, I gather them, walk them over to the purse basket and find a five-pound bag of whole wheat flour sitting in their spot! UGH! I am instantly annoyed. My kid wanders by, and I ask in a rather surly tone,

Did you put this here?!


Just as I suspected, it’s dad! I am going to teach him a lesson.

My kid looks at me skeptically. Maybe even disapprovingly. I probably should heed the message in their body language, but the rush of frustration is already in full gallop, and I march the big bag of flour to his desk and deposit it in his chair. Now he will know what it is like to find a place you intend to use blocked by a ridiculous culinary obstacle.

I bide my time, waiting for him to need his computer. I am waiting for some type of outburst. Disappointed, nothing happens.

I check his chair and the flour is gone. It’s back on the shelf next to the purses where it belongs. I retrieve it and march it back to him.

Did you notice this on your chair? I demand.

I was wondering how that got there, he says totally nonchalant. It’s like it doesn’t matter one way or another. What’s so mysterious about a five-pound bag of flour showing up in your office? It doesn’t faze him. In his world, bags of flour being accidently deposited on office chairs is just a thing that can happen that needs no explanation, that jumpstarts no line of questioning, it forces no interrogation of fellow family members. This man cannot be taught a lesson!

I attempt to explain the outlandish violation and he says he has no idea that my purses go in a purse basket. He says he thought the whole thing was grocery storage.


Well, here’s what. What I think of as our systems are really only my systems. He says now he knows and will not do it again.

That should make me happy, and it’s probably true as who wouldn’t want to avoid another run in with me in this state. But I am not satisfied. I wanted to make him be like me and he is not like me.

He is not like me.

This is a good thing. He doesn’t explode out of the blue. He doesn’t need organizational integrity to be ok. And it’s okay that I do create systems. I just need to understand that I am the person responsible for their maintenance. I am best suited for that, and he is best suited for not being a critical jerk.

I am the one who keeps not learning the lesson. I need to learn the lesson.

Sidewalk Face 1230 and 1231.

Where Do You Keep Your Potatoes?

Where Do You Keep Your Potatoes?

I’m always on the lookout. What am I looking for? Something I have not yet noticed. A bunch of old potatoes sprouting in a neglected rose bush is just the sort of thing that floats my boat, and you know why. These faces don’t make themselves; I need materials!

This tater trove yielded some top-notch art supplies. Look at that face! So much texture! So much pathos! But I don’t think he’s happy with how his life turned out; probably expecting to live in a kitchen, big dreams of being mashed or fried. Rotting was not part of the plan. How did he get into this situation?

And what is this situation anyway? Were some folks hanging on their front steps with a few un-bagged potatoes and then rushing inside to answer the phone just forgot about them? Who hangs outside with potatoes? Have you done that? Is that a thing?

Even if it is a thing, how did the potatoes end up in the rose bushes? Why weren’t they disposed of in the trash? Truth is truly stranger than fiction.

I don’t know what exactly caught my eye, I just know a good opportunity for a face when I see one.

If you want to see me find this potato and make his face, check out my video reel on Instagram: