Bad parenting.


I think I should probably stop judging parents who let the TV, video games, etc. babysit their children, because that fireplace mesmerizes and occupies Picky from October to April. What can i say? Mama needs a little quiet time, here and there.


High Maintenance.


Hey-you eat things like book bindings, and um, walls. Mini pretzels are not the thing to suddenly get delicate with, and break into bite-sized pieces before eating.

Friday round-up: road rage, more medical mishaps, and why I can’t get any work done.

Road rage is for the badass and/or mentally ill.

Which is why I guess, being bad at it is a mixed bag. Yesterday, I was passing a slow moving tractor trailer, who suddenly decided he needed to get into the passing lane. Ok, fine, I’m moving. All the sudden, he decides that I’m not moving fast enough (at 70, I think I was, considering up until this point, he was going around 62), and starts maniacally waving me forward, his tattoo-sleeved arm flailing out the window. “I’M GOING!” I shout, to no one in particular, because he sure as hell can’t hear me. Then, in a fit of anger, I…shook my fist at him? Yes, you guys, I road rage like Alice, complete with “NHHHH!” Why-I-oughta! sound. Apparently, this pissed him off, because then he laid on his horn, and did an aggressive pseudo-swerve towards my lane. Ok, I’m outta here, as fast as the four cylinder engine I’m commandeering (and the law) permits. I’m not a rule-breaker, after all.

Once safely ahead of him, I got ballsy..and half-flipped him off. Two things about this-ultimately, I only did it because I knew he couldn’t see me (again-scared of confrontation, especially with someone piloting an 18-wheeler), and because another car moved in between us. Beep, beep! I’m lame. Oh, and non-sequitur, but about twenty minutes later, I came to an intersection that was only a two-way stop (and I was not in a stop lane), and this cadaverous old woman in a Ford Taurus blew through the stop, causing me to slam on my brakes and beep at her. What does she do? Slowly turns her head towards me, and raises a creaky, spindly middle finger in my direction. Narrowly averted car crash aside, it was just too funny to be angry. When you’re 104, what do YOU have to lose? Cruise on, Cryptkeeper!

Can I get a funnel in here?

This morning, I had a doctor’s appointment, one which involved me peeing in a cup. I don’t know about you, but I prep for this event the way others prep for surgery. Driving to the doctor’s office, telling myself that I’ve consumed enough water so as to not provide a paltry sample, giving myself enough of a cushion should I miss the cup at first. A pep talk, if you will. For some reason, there is no worse potential outcome for me than wasting a sample due to my wayward aim, and having to sit around the doctor’s office for another hour, pounding chlorinated tap water and waiting for my chance to shine. And yes, I’ve lived that experience. Multiple times. So, I get there, and it’s time to get to it. And while I was mostly successful, I still didn’t get out of there without peeing on my hands. It’s like my body goes crazy, and becomes some sort of unmanned fire hose. This particular visit was even better, though, because I somehow managed to get pee on my shorts. ON THE FRONT OF THEM. Which looked super awesome coming out of the doctor’s office, by the way. And since I’m sure everyone’s wondering with excitement now, no, I’m not single. This girl is off the market. No big surprise, right? I’m a lackluster cook, mediocre with an iron, and pee on myself. Anyone would be lucky.

Sure, Pickle, go ahead and eat that plant of unspecified origin.

So, between my two trips to the doctor’s office today (one was first thing this AM for bloodwork), I was already feeling disorganized by working at home today. Given that, it only made sense that Pickle should suddenly snap up some sort of unidentified greenery and swallow it, when I took her outside this morning. Dog owners will know that with that event, comes the invariable gastrointestinal warfare that is now being waged against my house. Three hours, five episodes of vomit, and an utter lack of paper towels later, I’m now down multiple dish cloths (yes, totally not green of me, but what the hell was I supposed to do?), a shitload of Lysol wipes, and half a bottle of 409. And all before noon! This dog is sick more frequently than any human I’ve known, and of course, like any good American, she’s uninsured. I think we’ll try to ride this one out, see if it gets better. We’ve been to the vet enough with her, that we should get some sort of pay ten visits, get one visit free punch card. And maybe some paper towels.

Happy weekend, ya’ll-hope yours turns out less messy than mine has started.


Mother’s Day


Picky showed her love today with a lovely Mother’s Day card. And the hole she chewed in our kitchen wall. Ah, the concessions we make for our children.


Learning to Laugh.

Sunday was Pickle’s birthday, and some of our family was coming by later that evening for cake, to celebrate. Yes, I’m aware she’s a dog, and not an actual baby. And no, I don’t care. Anyway, I’ve developed a renewed interest in baking, and so, I thought I’d do the whole “cake from scratch” thing. This rapidly proved to be a time-consuming endeavor, one that I feared wouldn’t allow for us to possibly do everything else we needed to, i.e., clean the house, make dinner, shower. Andrew, being the fantastic boyfriend he is, took charge and started cleaning while I desecrated the kitchen with butter and flour. So, with that, I felt like life was once again manageable.

Until approximately 4pm.

At that point, relations in the Baker-Hurlburt household quickly deteriorated. Andy decided to clean the glass screen on our gas fireplace, a job that is utterly filthy, to say the least. Immediately after removing the glass, Pickle darted in, snatched up one of the nuts used to hold it into place, ran and dove under the dining room table, and Andy and I played our usual game of “trap her and dig whatever coveted item she has out of her mouth.” Only, she swallowed it by the time I was able to conduct a finger sweep. Pick-1, Mom/Dad-0. Moving on.

Andy then brought up the mini Shop Vac from the basement, a touchy, irritable machine. It loses suction with the slightest tilt of its body, and is enough to incite rage in the heart of whomever is using it. So, he turns it on, and from the kitchen I hear him muttering, “God, come on. COME ON!” Vacuum off. Shake. Vacuum on. “COME ON, DAMN IT!” Banging. “WHAT THE HELL?! You piece of sh*t!” Vacuum off. Rinse and repeat. Vacuum on. Banging. “COME ON. SUUUUUUUUUUCK, YOU BITCH!!!!” Vacuum off. “Jenn, can you bring me the other vacuum, please?” Ugh, God. Please don’t make me go in there. He’s mad, and I want to laugh, despite my anger at Pickle’s thievery and my expanding mess in the kitchen. In I go, and am trying as quickly as I can to set up the vacuum, and get out. Only, I’m so worked up by trying not to laugh, and to also keep him as even as possible, that I’m fumbling over everything, getting tangled in the cord repeatedly, as I’m trying to put the plastic attachment on the hose. If I was ready to laugh earlier, I am now approaching near hysteria. Please, God, I pray, please don’t let me laugh while he’s so upset. I know how much more irritated I’d be if someone laughed while I was frustrated, and I really don’t want to do that to him.

Luckily, I’m able to escape to the kitchen in enough time to giggle in freedom. I collect myself, and Andy passes through the kitchen, and heads downstairs with the glass piece. I now refocus on the cake, of which I am entering hour five of preparation, and suddenly, it’s just not doable anymore to me. Our kitchen is now covered in dirty pans, bowls and utensils, and I realize I am out of both dishwashing sponges AND dishwasher soap. Come. On. I go to make the frosting, and ineplixcably, when I turn the mixer on to whip the butter, butter flies everywhere, coating the cabinets, counter, my hair, you name it. So, I wade through that fiasco, and then I go to pull the lemon curd that I made out of the fridge, to use as a cake filling. Only. It. Never. Set. And is a soupy, fluid mess. Then I heard a strange noise in the dining room. I turn, and Pickle has DESTROYED the entire Styles section of the Sunday NY Times, into confetti-sized pieces. All over the freshly cleaned floors. Chasing, snatching bits of paper out of her mouth, and general threats of dog murder ensue. Annnd, yahtzee. This was it. The next hour was a blur of cleaning up paper, cake frosting, preparing and baking an eggplant parmesan (which I have no recollection of doing), cleaning the kitchen, and finally, reconvening with Andy, to exhale and have a glass of wine before our guests arrived. And laughing, wonder where the hell everything went so wrong, so quickly. I sheepishly admitted to him how hard it was for me to not laugh when he was so angry earlier, and sensing that he wasn’t taking offense, even venturing to imitate his earlier shenanigans. And we laughed some more. Just like that, an hour of anger and chaos has become this totally hilarious episode, one that is likely to be a good memory, when we think of it in the future. And it just reinforced the importance of learning to laugh at the the bad, the crazy, the ‘Oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-kill-something” moments in life. Because really, how are you ever going to get by, otherwise? And sharing those moments with someone else who is able to laugh at themselves makes it all the sweeter.