Tag Archives: dog

That Escalated Quickly


Cartoon from the great Dan Piraro, as shared on FaceBook.  http://bizarro.com

Anyone else notice how we went from dead of winter to Holy-Crap-I-Just-Saw-A-Robin in less than a week? I think I even saw a rare white headed snow bird, although they usually don’t drive fly home north until April.

I was out walking the dogs a few days ago (because I’m ALWAYS walking the dogs. When I die, my tombstone will say “She really walked those dogs a lot.”) and saw my first sandhill cranes of the season fly overhead. Although I am one of those weird winter lovers, I have to admit I grinned from ear to ear when I heard them. You don’t realize how long winter is until you hear your first sandhill crane, I guess.

Saturday, the sun shone and it was 62 degrees. In Wisconsin, that’s shorts and flip flops weather. And bike riding weather. And therefore, also leg shaving weather.


I hauled my bike up from storage, threw some air in the tires, and dug out my fancy pants bike shorts. And then I took a gander at 6 months of forest growth and had to make a decision. Was it worse to scare the neighbors with sasquatch legs or to blind them with freshly-shaven, sun-deprived, neon white legs?

You’ve heard the term “Tan fat is better than pale fat” right? Well, pale fat is better than sasquatch legs. I hunted down the pruning shears and got to work. I wanted my winter white legs to look their best in my brand spankin’ new bike shorts.

I bought my new bike shorts off the internet. With justified trepidation I might add. Cycling clothes are sketchy enough to buy even when you can try them on, seeing as they seem to be made for toddlers and anorexically thin, middle-aged men. These shorts had rave reviews on Amazon, and everyone said they fit great and the sizing chart seemed legit, so I threw the dice.

I LOVE THEM. They have mesh pockets on the side for easy storage of maps, gloves, gel packs, phones – whatever us crazy bikers can think of to stick in there. I don’t usually wear the typical bike jerseys that have the pockets in the back (see above – toddlers and skinny middle-aged men do not have BUS’s (Breasts of Unusual Size)) so this is a great idea for me. I am totally geeked out about them. Plus the price was right and they actually fit without me feeling like a stuffed sausage.

And guess what? I also bought an over the shoulder doggie holder. That’s not what it’s really called, but it should be called that because I just made that up and that’s an excellent play on words.

Okay, I didn’t really make it up – I sort of stole it from the old “over the shoulder boulder holder” joke (that’s a bra for those of you who were sheltered as a child) but you have to admit, it gives a clear and concise picture in your head and is much easier to understand than the SEO title it has on Amazon. The “i’Pet® Hands-free Reversible Small Dog Cat Sling Carrier Bag Travel Tote Soft Comfortable Puppy Kitty Rabbit Double-sided Pouch Shoulder Carry Tote Handbag”.


Exactly. So I tried that out today, too. One thing about spring in Wisconsin – it gets deceptively warm for about two weeks and all the birds come back and start partying, and then it snows, rains, and freezes for a month (and the birds fall for it EVERY TIME. You would think they would learn) so you have to spend as much time in the sun as you can before it disappears again.

See below – don’t I look like Paris Hilton? I could be her twin, right?


For the record, I’m not really the froo-froo girlie girl walking around with her poochy-woochy-kins type. But Lucky dog has a bad feet so long walks leave him limping with bloody toes. And when I leave him home, he howls – which is equally detrimental to his health because everyone wants to kill him then. This carrier worked perfectly, and will make for an awesome summer of dog walking.

Okay – I’ve rambled on for far too long, so those of you still reading – go have some cake.   You totally deserve it.


PS.  If you want to check out the shorts, you can do so here: Aero Tech Designs  I’m pleased enough that I will probably buy a second pair.  If you are interested in the doggie carrier, you can check that out here:  Over The Shoulder Doggie Holder

PPS.  On my bike ride on Saturday, I stopped to check out Wequiock Falls.  There was a guy there playing one of those wooden flutes you see advertised on cable or at art shows.  He played under the bridge, so when you stood on the observation deck, you could only hear him, not see him.  It was surreal but cool.  Just had to share.



Glamorous. Just Call Me Fergie.

Well, the pressure cooker has found a new home. I haven’t heard from her since, so I am assuming she is either madly in love with it and cooking up a storm or dead from poisoning and unable to communicate her utter loathing. Either way, I’m off the hook.

Meanwhile, here at the DeGroot house, life marches on. Specifically, it marches behind tiny yorkie butts that produce a surprising amount of poo. Most of that poo is gathered in small plastic bags and disposed of in the garbage. Please do not ask me where the garbage takes it. Probably the landfill where it can pile up with all those disposable diapers we threw in there when the kids were little. But hey, at least the poo is not in your yard or on the road or on the bottom of your foot. See? Silver linings.

Unfortunately for me, one of the bags I used Saturday morning had a hole in it. Which I didn’t notice until I pulled it out of my pocket and poop flew everywhere. It was quite the start to my day, I must tell you.

The good news is that I was outside and the poop all flew on the road. That’s pretty much all the good news. Because then I stepped in it three times while I was spinning around in confusion and the dogs were lunging at the end of their retractable leashes at an oncoming huge pickup truck. However, I did not notice the truck because A) my dogs are jerks and bark all the time and B) I was digging in my pocket for a new bag while still holding the gross holey poopy bag, while trying to hang on to both leashes, while trying not to step in more poop.

I noticed the truck finally, and started pulling the dogs in but of course I still had the defective poop bag in my hand so I’m trying not to drop that while trying not to get poop on my gloves while trying not to fling any more poop while trying to operate the retractable leashes. And now I’m sweating profusely. Truly a vision of loveliness.

I closed my eyes and stood there – mentally swearing at my father. My dad saves all of his bags that come with his newspaper and gives them to me. They make excellent dog poop bags – they are large enough for your hand to fit into them but compact enough that you hardly notice them in your pocket, unlike bulky plastic grocery bags which make me look like I have goiters on my hips. So it’s a win-win situation, except that my dad doesn’t pay attention to whether the bags have holes in them or not.

Of course, at 52, I am sure he figures his daughter has enough poop bag experience and marginal intelligence to inspect each bag prior to use. That appears to be his undoing. And mine.

So I finally get the poop off my shoe and most of it off the road and go home. I walk in the garage, I pull the new poop bag out of my pocket to throw in the garbage and see a tiny bit of yellowish snow topple to the floor. That’s when I realized that the poop may have gone other places besides all over the road. Oh boy. Do I dare stick my hand in my pocket?

Of course I do. You all know me better than that. This is a woman who will eat a strange M&M off the carpet at work. I live on the edge.

Thankfully, the only other thing in my pocket was another empty bag. But I knew there was poop juice in there because of the snow. Or perhaps, by now, it was only poop cooties. Either way, the pocket was compromised.

I got in the house and threw my coat on the bed while I dug around in the bathroom cupboard looking for the antiseptic wipes, when Dave walked in the room. He stuck his head in the bathroom and asked me what I was doing.

“Cleaning out the poop juice in my pocket”, I told him.

You wanna ruin the ambiance of the bedroom? Just mention “poop juice”.

“That’s so disturbing,” he said. “Why don’t you just wash the entire jacket?”

Oh sure. Mr. Logical. NOW you show up. At least this time I didn’t forget the poop bag in my pocket like I did when I washed my jacket last year. Silver linings, baby. Silver linings.


PS. I’m probably the only person you know that can write an entire 800 word blog post about a single incident of dog poop. I should get some kind of award for that.


Happy Dog Butt New Year



Happy 2016!

After posting this picture, I now realize some of these dog butts are anatomically correct.  Sorry about that.

I take that back.  I’m not sorry.  These magnets are hilarious.  In fact, I’m going on Amazon in about 5 minutes to go buy the cat butt version.   Photo pending.

This brings me to my New Years Resolution, which is to fill my cube at work with as many distracting toys as possible.  I’m hoping this prevents any real work being done, as my secondary goal is to get paid for doing as little as possible.  Viva La Dilbert!

I actually have a serious resolution but I’m keeping it a secret.  Well, I’ll give you a hint.  My 2016 goal is to focus on my writing skills by writing a lot and taking workshops and classes.  So..that’s pretty much the actual goal, and not really a hint.

Oh yeah, and win the Power Ball.  You know, because there’s a chance.  Although I believe the odds of being eaten by a polar bear are higher.  I don’t live in Alaska so I figure that negates the polar bear issue and increases my odds of winning.

Plus, I deserve to win the lottery because I would use it for so many awesome things like shoes and cake and books and yarn and bike parts and never use it for building a secret death ray to hold the world hostage for one billion dollars.  (Because I would already have one billion dollars. Duh.)


I really just put that last paragraph in there so I had a reason to post a photo of Dr. Evil.  And use the term “death ray” in a sentence as it was next up in my “Word of the Day” program.  See?  I’m just full of self-help and bettering myself for 2016.

Speaking of randomly quoting movies – I love to randomly quote movies and I love really bad puns and clichés.  I know these are not ideal when one wants to be considered a “good” writer, but I’m not most writers.  I’m Sue.  And I am great.

My last blog referenced several movies, which I have listed below.  If you comment below on which phrases from my blog go with each movie listed, I will split my lottery winnings with you.  You odds of winning any of my winnings are the same as me winning and you don’t have to spend any money, which is just more winning!

Here they are, as well as a link to my last blog:  It’s All About That Cake.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Jurassic Park (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 , 10, etc.)

Christmas Vacation

The Wolverine


The Lord of the Rings

The Perfect Storm (this one’s a gimme)

Baby Got Back (technically a song but I’m running out of movie references and it looked lame only having 7)

Hot Tub Time Machine (this one is a stretch because the anatomy is wrong but again, running into the “lame” factor.  I think I need at least 10 to not be entirely lame.)

A Christmas Story (this one is so much of a stretch as to be virtually nonexistent but I needed number 10.  Pretty much any answer you give for this one will be accepted).

As a disclaimer:  Any one making reference to this blog, blogger or quiz being “Lame” will be removed from the list of winners.  You will no longer be “winning”.  You will be “losing” which makes you a “loser” and you don’t want to be a loser now do you.  Exactly.

Okay, that’s all I got tonight, peeps.

Stay warm and snuggly-

Sue (the Great)

PS.  No tiger blood was ingested despite my not so subtle Charlie Sheen reference.

PPS.  I’m not actually a Charlie Sheen fan.

PPSS.  Even if I was a Charlie Sheen fan (which I’m not), I still would not drink tiger blood or any blood because A) That’s disgusting and B) I’m not a vampire and C) Still so disgusting and D) Ew.

FitBit Round 2

“You look like a weirdo bouncing around out here,” said my husband from his open truck window. He had that look on his face. The one where he thinks I’m adorable on the one hand but doesn’t want to admit our marital status on the other. I grinned and leaned in the window, planting a kiss on his cheek, hoping that would sway him closer to “adorable” for the day.

I refrained from ‘bouncing” while he continued on his way to work, but as soon as he was out of sight, I began jogging in place again – I had to get some steps in before I was chained to my desk for the day.  Every morning I take the dogs for their “poop walk”.  The main goal is the production of outdoor tootsie rolls and not indoor tootsie rolls camouflaged on our brown carpet only to be found by an unsuspecting bare foot. Not a pleasant way to wake up.

However, our oldest dog, Lucky, is like a fussy old Englishman when it comes to picking his outdoor bathroom:  “Shall I poop here? No, no, no – doesn’t smell right. Shall I poop here, then? Hmmm. No, not quite right yet. Perhaps this spot? Drat! Still not right….Oh?  What’s this?  A delightfully dead worm!  I think I shall sniff it for 10 minutes and then roll madly about all over it!”



In the past, I just wandered along behind them, slack eyed and drooling before my first cup of coffee.  But, since climbing back on the FitBit pony, I realized there was a wealth of steps to be made on this walk, if only I was willing to look like the neighborhood idiot.

Seriously.  I look like that chick on the prancersize videos, only in the bustier Clydesdale version. Now, imagine seeing that come by your window when you first wake up in the morning. You can kinda see why Dave might want to deny all knowledge my existence.

Thankfully, I am NOT wearing revealing white pants.  Instead, I don the clothing of my people:  A Packer sweatshirt and pajama pants.  Hey, it’s 6:30 in the morning.  Be happy I have on a bra.

A bit of history: I bought my first FitBit Zip last year – you can read that story here – and proceeded to destroy it via wash machine. At it’s untimely demise, I fished out another crisp $100 bill and laid it down for the next step up – the FitBit Flex. Which I lost within a month because I had the great idea of attaching it to my shoe while I rode my bike (Note to self:  You are a bonehead.  That is all.).

I decided then that i was too irresponsible (and now too poor) to own a FitBit and I hung up my obsessive compulsive I MUST STEP ALL THE STEPS shoes.

Until, one day, I saw this beauty – the FitBit Charge HR.  Besides counting steps, it counts calories burned, flights of stairs climbed, and miles walked.  It has a sleep mode and an exercise mode.  It’s a watch and it pairs with my phone and buzzes with an incoming call.  Oh yeah, and it has a heart monitor in it!  Be still my geeky heart.  Nevermind that it cost more than both of my other two put together.  IT HAS A HEART MONITOR!!

FitBit Charge HR

FitBit Charge HR

So now I have this new FitBit and I’m in about a thousand challenges a week and let me tell you I am kicking FitBit ASS.

Some might say it’s become a little life controlling.  “Some” would be wrong.  I can quit anytime.  So what if we don’t have any clean underwear and I spend my evenings walking around the kitchen table until midnight?

Dave was downstairs watching TV and I had been marching around the kitchen for about 20 minutes when he came upstairs and glared at me. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Um…getting my steps in?”

“For the love.  It sounded like a herd of elephants from downstairs.  You need to get a grip.”

Fine.  I’ll walk outside.  In the dark, dark, dark outside, where we have no streetlights or sidewalks, past the woods and the cornfields, and pray I don’t get hit by a car.  Or attacked by a werewolf.  Or snatched by the Children of the Corn.

Now, if you will excuse me – I have to go find my crucifix and garlic cloves so I can go for a walk.

Until next time,

Werewolf Bait Sue

PS:  I have since learned from other people that FitBit has indeed sent people new units even if they have lost them in incredibly stupid ways, like drunk swimming, bungee jumping, wearing them during an alien abduction, leaving them in 1986 during a hot tub time machine incident, etc.

PPS.  I only bring this up because my very wise oldest sister told me to contact them both times and I didn’t follow her very sage and intelligent advice.

PPSS.  And it pains me to say this, but YOU WERE RIGHT, TERRI!

PPPSS.  Sue is still great.



It’s been a weird week and I’m not sure what to talk about.  Actually, I was sure, and then I sat down and now I got nothin’.  Not sure if it’s writers block or exhaustion or ADD.  Not that I have ADD, although sometimes I do wonder, especially when I can’t focus or sit still long enough to string a coherent sentence.

Because I don’t know where to start, I’m just going to start with today, and work backwards.

I had the lovely job this morning of scooping the cat boxes, which led me to discover doggie tootsie rolls that Mr. Lucky thought he had cleverly hidden behind the summer stack chairs.  A smart idea for a dog seeing as it may never be summer again and who knows when next I would be digging around those chairs except for one small detail.  My dog is a terrible poop hider.  All I had to do was follow his little poop trail to the poop jackpot.  Ding ding ding!  Why is this the only lottery I am winning?

I didn't poop on the floor.  Ok, fine.  I did poop on the floor, but look how cute I am!

I didn’t poop on the floor. Ok, fine. I did poop on the floor, but look how cute I am!

Last week, I was hanging out with my friend Geri, and we were talking about the woman’s retreat we are planning for our church group.  Just a small retreat – we do it twice a year and it’s just for a day, but we do seem to pack a wallop of spiritual growth in 8 hours.

This year, our theme is “mindfulness” and learning to focus on the present and find joy and peace in the midst of troubles and chaos.  Yeah – like I’m SO GOOD at that.  “Sue, can you please tell me how you have such peace and harmony in your life?” asked No One Ever.

So naturally, I volunteered to lead the meditation section.  After leaving Geri’s, I sent a panicked text to my sister (who really is an expert at meditation) and begged mercy.  After laughing for 20 minutes (I’m laughing WITH you, Sue…), she sent me a bunch of info and I feel a little less freaked out.  But now I have to practice at home.  Yeah, this should prove interesting, seeing as the only meditative states I have are over ginormous pieces of cake with 3 inches of frosting.  And we’re all out of cake.

One other thing happened at Geri’s.  She showed me a scrapbook/family tree she is working on, and I have to say it’s pretty cool.  She even has photos of headstones and newspaper clippings – a lot of which she found on the internet.  She showed me some sites she used and we started looking for people in my family and pretty soon I’m getting all jacked up about doing my family tree.

I spent most of this past week and weekend digging around the internet, reading old census records and birth certificates.  And you know what?  I LOVED IT. Possibly even better than cake right now.  Which is good, because did I mention we are out of cake? But, I know my personality so what I’m hot after today could be on the back burner next week, so we will see how long I last.  In the meantime, I am having a blast – this is like archeology without mummy curses and sand in your underwear.

In my family tree building excitement I thought “I should scan all my parents photos and my photos so I can add some to my project and have a digital copy of the rest and then put them all in photo albums but my scanner is slow so I should buy a faster one and I need more photo albums…”

And while thinking of this, I remembered our old family movies on 8mm and some on VHS and some on old reel to reel film, so those are now sitting in the middle of my new office because of course I am going to haul them in to Camera Corner and have them put on DVD, because I can’t just have one small family tree project.  I have to have a massive DO-ALL-THE-THINGS project.


(*Hint*. I’m not done yet and unless I win the real lottery and not the poop lottery and can afford to pay someone to do it, Lindsay and Matt will remain frozen in time at age 5.)

After digging those all out, I found an old SD memory card which I think is from my old camera.  I popped it into my computer and everything froze and my mouse quit working and my photo memory stick I had in my computer fried and after a brief moment of freaking out that I busted my computer, I finally got everything to work again.  This made me realize I don’t have my photos backed up on anything reliable – they are just on my computer.  Which led to a panic attack in the shower and now I have “remote hard drive” on my “To Get” list.  Right there with the photo albums and scanner, and probably a big ass cake for energy because, as I said before, we are out of cake.

Did I mention I also have to do my taxes?

I’m going to need a bigger cake.

Until next time,

Your squirrely friend who is off to find something shiny,




Dogs- Furry People. Except When They’re Not.

I love dogs. I really do. But let’s be clear about something. Despite all of our attempts to anthropomorphize them by dressing them up, leaving them our estates or applying our emotions to their facial expressions, they are still just dogs, not furry humans. Let me elaborate.

They Smell. And they have no intention of bathing in anything other than dead worms and bird poop. Even their feet smell like corn chips.

Frito Feet

Frito Feet

They Smell Part 2: Dog breath. The breath of my dog could melt the skin off your face like Nazis opening the Ark of the Covenant. Seriously not exaggerating.

Cat Poop. Dogs love cat poop. I was discussing this phenomenon with my friend, who started laughing and said, “I don’t think my dog ever ate cat shit,” to which I replied, “That’s because you don’t own a cat. If you had a cat, your dog would eat cat shit.”

More Poop. If you are lucky enough to have a dog that poops outside and not on your plush white carpet, say a little prayer of thanks. And then add a 2nd prayer that while you are gone working all day trying to earn enough money to buy the trendy gourmet dog food recommended by groomers, vets, the mailman, strangers on the corner (but not your dog because he prefers to eat cat poop), you don’t get a call from your 10-year-old son telling you the dog had a “poop explosion” all over the living room.

And More Poop. On those days your dog actually poops outside, break out the shovel or the plastic grocery bag for poop pick up doody…I mean duty. Especially important if your dog chooses to use your neighbor’s yard instead of his own. Neighbors are notorious for not appreciating your dog’s outdoor poop experience as much as you do.

Poop Side Note: Seriously, do not skimp on the quality of your dog poop bags. Make sure you pick one that won’t magically untie or disintegrate or good Lord spring a hole should you accidentally wash a bag of dog poop that you forget in your pocket. Please do not ask how I know this.

Yes, There Is Even More Poop. My dogs have long hair and often get poop dingle berries. Do they care? They do not. They strut around my house with their little poopy prizes and sit their dingle-berry laden butt stars on my carpet, furniture, and bed. HOW IS THIS EVEN HAPPENING?

The Final Poop. Next time you take your dog for a walk, observe how many times he sticks his nose in a pile of poop. In all likelihood, it’s EVERY SINGLE ONE YOU PASS. Humans, on the other hand, will go to freakishly extreme measures not to smell another human’s poop by lighting candles, running fans, spraying disinfectant…hell, someone even invented Poo Pourii, which you spray in your toilet BEFORE YOU EVEN POOP! We now have PRE POOPING COVERAGE.


It’s a real product. Seriously.

Eating Gross Stuff.  If all the poop weren’t bad enough, I have also seen dogs willingly eat barf, dead animals, bird poop, rabbit poop, the crotches out of dirty underwear, smelly socks, deer legs, grass, bugs, dirt, dead worms, nylons, razors, garbage, rotten meat, and bully sticks which are actually dried bull penis’. Oh yeah, and they lick their own butts. I’m sorry, but if your significant other just licked their own butts, would you let them kiss you?  But I bet you let your dog lick you in the face. Yeah. Think about that for a minute.

So you thought about all of this and I know you are wondering why in God’s green earth do you own a dog. A smelly, cat poop eating, bird poop rolling, furry pile of e-coli just waiting to slobber on your new white pants or barf up your underwear in front of company. Well, I’m here to answer that, too.

Heart. A dog’s heart far exceeds his brain size and the good sense God gave him, and he will do just about anything to be with you.  Run when he is tired, sleep when he isn’t, take the blame for your farts, wait all day in the hot sun or the freezing cold, drag your sorry ass out of a fire, find the bad guys, take a bullet for you, retrieve your ducks, sniff out bombs, kill rats, bark a life saving warning, herd your sheep (and your children), carry medical supplies, rescue people from avalanches, crushed buildings, mud slides…

I have known smart dogs, brave dogs, funny dogs, sedate dogs, hyper dogs, loud dogs, shedding dogs, annoying dogs, jumping dogs, licking dogs, cuddling dogs, tough dogs, cranky dogs, bouncy dogs, submissive dogs…and I have loved every one.

I love their goofy, tongue flopping smiles, their rotund bellies in constant need of scratching, and their swirling, whacking, wiggling, twirling tails.  They are the joy in a sucky day, a warm snuggle under quilted covers, a rowdy party of beer swilling frat brothers who chase rubber balls instead of girls, and oh how incomplete my life would be if I didn’t have at least one glorious, smelly, hairy, noble dog in it.

And that’s pretty much it.  Dogs really aren’t like humans at all.  They are “just dogs”.  And Thank You, God, for that.


The Terror-iers of Scott

The Culprits

The Culprits

Well, I’m sitting in my basement wondering what to write, while being barked at in very demanding doggie voices by animals that probably don’t even weigh as much as one of my boobs. Yes, I did just say that. We need some perspective here. My boobs are big, my dogs are small. And both control my life.

Every big boobed girl knows the agony of spending a day at work in a crappy bra. That will definitely control your life right there.

“So, how many kids did they say they needed to fit in this cafeter…ow – what the heck…stupid bra…anyway, so 250 kids per lunch period…Dang it! What is going on with this thing? Something is poking me…(covertly adjust)…a little better…now then…OW. (less covertly adjust)…stupid POS bra…how many fricken kids again? Oh yeah, 250 at each…GEEZ am I bleeding this time? (furious tugging and yanking)…crap, now I’m all discombobulated. I gotta get this stupid drawing done and I think I have a boob on the loose (covert tucking, more tugging)…ugh…now, am I good? Is it safe to move?…(experimental twist)…okay I think I’m good…so, where is that drawing..oh great it’s on the floor…”  And by the time you bend down to get your paperwork off the floor, your bra has impaled your breast and you wing that sucker off, knocking out cold everyone in the department within a 5 cube radius.

Back to the dogs. Since we have moved, they have had a few adjustment hiccups learning to live in the new house. First, we made them stay with the evil veterinarian  for two days.  Seeing as they had never been boarded before, I am sure they spent those 32 hours waiting for some horrific calamity involving the loss of a body part they used to like to lick. Then we bring them to some house that smells weird, has no lawn, and where they have to all the way down the steps to find the door that goes outside, where they have to pee on…gasp…gravel. And not only that, but they just have a small, soggy pen, and not a huge yard in which to run around while barking furiously at squirrels, neighbors, robins, leaves, wind, imaginary burglars, and Hank, the Next Door Nazi German Short Haired Pointer. He’s probably from hell, too.

View of the apparent doggie torture chamber from the upstairs patio doors.

View of the apparent doggie torture chamber from the upstairs patio doors.

(Side note:  We have a walk out ranch.  The upstairs patio doors are screwed shut to prevent someone from falling 10 feet to the ground, because we don’t have a deck yet.  Well, maybe more like 15 feet now with the moat*.  But anyway, the point is, we made the dog pen off the downstairs patio doors, so now we have to troop down the steps to put the dogs out.  Bear in mind that only Daisy will actually go down the steps.  Lucky has to be carried.  No, there is nothing wrong with him.  He’s just a jerk.)

Here is the new routine: Mom let’s them out in their little pen, and stands there demanding, “Go potty. Go potty! GO POTTY!”, each command a little louder and a little less in control while they stand and stare at her, saying “no barky no engleesh”.  In frustration, she let’s them back in, and then they trot up stairs, wait until her back is turned, and then sneak back down and pee by the workbench. Or poop on the landing. That’s mom’s favorite. She loves finding brown poop on brown carpet in her stocking feet. Ha! It’s very entertaining when she hops around on one foot until her big boobs flop in opposite directions and she knocks over a lamp while crashing into Dad, who is blinded by the flailing boobs.

Sooo...the cat doesn't seem to mind the new pen.  Unfortunately, he's not allowed out there, because he will jump out and turn into a mud ball.

Sooo…the cat doesn’t seem to mind the new pen. Unfortunately, he’s not allowed out there, because he will jump out and turn into a mud ball.

Okay, that didn’t really happen. Really, just trying to prove a point. But the “Go Potty” yelling happens every day. Every. Day.

So mom decided to start walking the dogs a few times a day, to keep from having to mop up the indiscretions. Which worked for the most part, except when everyone gets locked in the basement for the day. By “everyone”, I mean the dogs and the cat. We of course wouldn’t lock up any humans in the basement, although some days we might rather that than going to work. And we wouldn’t pee on the stupid floor either. But I digress. The point here, is that in between munching on cat poop candy bars, the little menaces to society would pee on the floor, conveniently right next to the potty pads mom and dad bought for them to pee ON. Not next to. ON. And don’t go giving me that “poor babies, they have tiny bladders, and so much change to deal with” crapola. I know they are just tiny furry jerks.

I'm afraid to know how many years of my life have been spent walking the dogs.  It's all about the pee, man.

I’m afraid to know how many years of my life have been spent walking the dogs. It’s all about the pee, man.

So how do you deal with tiny furry jerky yorkies with adorable, sweet faces and liquid brown eyes that keep you from throwing them off a cliff? You buy them the biggest kennels you can find at Fleet Farm, that’s what. And you make them cozy comfy beds in there and you give them a pee pad and a dish of water and liver treats and hugs and pets and scritches when you lock them in there and leave for work, weeping uncontrollably because you are a monster for locking them up. A MONSTER, I SAY!

Look how huge these kennels are.  "Neener" says Midnight.

Look how huge these kennels are. “Neener” says Midnight.

And then you speed home and hurry down the steps, and fling open the doors and they jump and leap and are soooo happy to see you. You put them outside in their little gravel pen, (Go Potty….Go Potty!….GO POTTY) and they tinkle just a tiny bit and run back inside and you go upstairs and 5 minutes later you need something that is still packed in a box so you go back downstairs and there is PEE BY THE WORKBENCH. And then, you take a better look at their kennels, and notice one pee pad is ripped to shreds in one kennel while in the other kennel someone has peed on the doggie bed. And that’s how you know they are actually just tiny furry jerks.


Not really. I just like to say “Flailing boobs”.

But there is a part two to the dog saga. When we first moved here, the ground was still frozen. Because of that, our yard has not been graded yet. Okay, no biggie, they told us they would do that when it thawed. So now it’s starting to thaw. And the ground is settling. It’s settling so much, we have to jump to get on our porch, and we have a huge sink hole in our front yard and our temporary gravel driveway has a huge dip in it right before the garage, making entering and leaving said garage a bit of a technical challenge for those of us who happen to be technically challenged when it comes to driving anything other than a flat road, and you know a ripped off car mirror is just waiting to happen.  This really has nothing to do with the dogs. I’m just venting.

Here’s the dog part. We now have a moat*.  So what’s a castle without a moat? That would be a castle without a spastic queen in it who is worried the moat is going to eventually go over the drawbridge. The dirt settled so much along the back of the house, that we have about a two foot trench that has filled with water. Water that isn’t draining, mind you. AND, the trench is right outside the downstairs patio doors, so we had to put in a ramp for the dogs or one jump out the door and they would be eaten by the moat monster, which has so far claimed one decorative rock that was previously being used to anchor the pen, and one partial rug that was in place to help keep some of the dirt outside. The garbage can and the poop shovel were almost victims, but rescued just inches from being sacrificed in to the pit.

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That means that even the small area we had is almost unusable, and we are now walking dogs about 5 times a day. Still, not such a big deal. Until Sunday night.

Sunday night we had gale force winds and sideways rain. But neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow nor spring twister will keep us from making the dogs pee outside. So here’s me, trying to drag two very reluctant 10 pound furry footballs across a sinking gravel driveway while it’s raining so hard I can barely open my eyes to see where we are going. Lucky has his front feet stiffened and planted firmly in front of him so I have to literally drag him and Daisy is huddled by my feet with her ears out like kites, and my boobs in full flail, while I am yelling pointlessly into the wind, “GOOO POOOTTYYY!!!”

Even more exciting was doing the same thing again in the morning only this time in near white out blizzard conditions. My neighbors now fully understand the definition of “crazy” that has moved in next door.

And here’s the final kicker. Once summer comes (like maybe in August) and we have some semblance of a lawn, it really won’t matter. We have two eagles and countless hawks and a few vultures that would LOVE us to leave the little jerks unattended. So there really is no hope for us. So go. Save yourselves. Buy quality undergarments and dogs large enough not to be carried off by birds of prey. We’ll be here, holding down the fort in our worn out bras and walking our smelly jerk dogs with faces so cute you forget to be mad at them. Send us a postcard.  Maybe we’ll be able to start a fire with it to keep warm.

Tune in next week for:  The Legend Of Zelda:  The LG Appliances of Time


Sunset on the bay.  Totally random and has nothing to do with today's post, but figured you were getting tired of seeing dogs.

Sunset on the bay. Totally random and has nothing to do with today’s post, but figured you were getting tired of seeing dogs.


10 Reasons Selling My House Makes Me Want To Eat Cake

015_12AFirst of all, in all fairness, I want to eat cake all of the time – not just when I am stressed.  But, under normal circumstances, I can “Just Say No” and move on with something more constructive, like eating Reeses Peanut Butter Puff Cereal.  This house thing, though – Man, I might as well make cake one of my main food groups.

It’s been 16 years since we last went down this path, and I don’t know if it’s age, the crappy housing market or Mr. Polar Vortex, but it sure seems harder this time around.  To give the folks down at Uncle Mike’s Bakery a break from my window peeping cake stalking, I decided to write down the 10 worst cake-eating inducing culprits of the house selling process.  Feel free to eat cake while you read this.

OPEN HOUSES: Is there anything worse than having to clean your house for strangers?  Yes.  Yes there is.  It’s having to clean your house for strangers, and then spend an hour in the car with two hyper little dogs that have face-melting breath, who are dancing nervously on your lap with their pointy little feet digging into your flesh, and a meowing, barfing cat in the back seat.  Oh, and then when you get back afterwards, the realtor says, “We only had one couple.  They think your house sucks.”.  Result:  9″ Marble cake with white frosting and pink flowers from the Pig.

Adorable.  Until they breathe in your face.

Adorable. Until they breathe in your face.

SHOWINGS: Showings are marginally better, in that the people coming thru are likely more serious and it doesn’t take as long, so you only have to spend about half an hour with the smelly dogs and barfing cat.  However, your hopes are pretty high, because you think they are really interested, right?  So you wait for feedback, and wait for feedback and then you wait for feedback.  And each day you wait is another blow to your house ego.  You started this adventure thinking you had the best house in the world. Day One has you at “Good God These People Are Getting a Bargain For What We Have This Priced At!”, and by the time you get your 3rd or 4th showing with little to no response, you are down to “We live in a hovel.  Our home is worthless.  Nobody love us.  Gloom, despair, and agony.  We suck.  Our house sucks.  We will never love again.”  Result:  6 pack of giant cupcakes from Festival.

PRE-APPROVAL:  To even seriously start looking at houses, realtors want to know you can actually afford what they are showing you.  Funny how people don’t like to work without the prospect of being paid.  To avoid being labeled a time-wasting pariah, you have to go thru the pre-approval process with your local mortgage lender.  Be sure to bring with you your pay stubs, W-2 forms, 401K information, bank statements, certification stating you have access to both of your kidneys, a living specimen of the Palos Verdes blue butterfly, the venom of a black mamba, and the birth certificate of your first-born.  While the birth certificate is fine for pre-approval, make sure you bring your actual first-born with you to the closing!  Result:  Turtle cheescake from Cheesecake Heaven

GETTING AN OFFER:  So, after 10 bazillion years of horrible car rides, you finally get an offer.  It’s 19 pages of legal mumbo jumbo, and you need a masters in rocket science and Mandarin Chinese just to figure out the date printed at the top of the page.  But you sit down with your realtor, who walks you thru it.  Basically, they want to buy your house for a decent price, but first, they want to inspect, test, staple, bend, fold, and julienne fry it, and then they want you to pay them some extra money to help defray their costs, and then they also want you to throw in a few appliances, too.  Like maybe all of them.  But yay!  They don’t have a house to sell, so you consider yourself lucky, and sign on the dotted line.  Result:  Birthday cake!

Lots of birthdays celebrated in this house.

Lots of birthdays celebrated in this house.  Look how old that computer monitor is.  And the beanie babies on the shelves.  Yikes.

HOME INSPECTION:  This is where the buyer hires a certified home inspector to go thru your home and find all the boogers.  All homes have them and most homeowners are aware of them.  The door that doesn’t shut right or the curling iron burn in the counter top from your rookie fashion diva.  However, these are not the things that keep you awake the night before the inspection.  It’s the boogers you can’t see – the horror stories you hear from other sellers – like a leaky roof or mold in the attic or a monster living in your sump pump hole.  We had a few tense moments as we read the report, but we escaped with minor injuries.  One thing to note – the report stated we had a minor gas leak in the furnace, so we called the heating and cooling people, who came over and tested it.  It was a leaky valve that took about 10 seconds for the guy to tighten, all to the tune of $70.  SEVENTY DOLLARS.  But this turned out to be nothing compared to the monster in the sump pump hole.  Result:  Celebratory heart-shaped Valentine’s Day cake, and a glass of wine.

RADON: The Monster In Your Sump Pump.  Most of you have heard about this gas – odorless, colorless, and present in all Wisconsin homes to some degree.  In high amounts, it can cause lung cancer.  Most home offers now contain a radon test contingency, and then they also have a contingency in there that states who will pay for the mitigation (usually the seller) if it tests above a certain level.  So the radon test guy comes over and puts a tester box in your basement and leaves it there for two days.  You continually go down there to hover over it, even though you can’t tell anything because the tester they use is cleverly designed not to show the reading.  You can only guess that it’s working because of the green light, and you spend a few sleepless nights wondering if you are inhaling radon.  Here’s the kicker though.  In Wisconsin, radon testing is not regulated by the state.  In other words, we have no state certification process, so pretty much anyone can test for radon.  And usually the guy who is testing for it is also selling the mitigation system.  They offer the test for free (how convenient) and what a surprise to find out you tested high.  I’m not saying there isn’t radon in most homes and I get that it’s a real danger.  I’m questioning the process when the same people who are testing for it are also making money by putting in the mitigation system.  Which is basically a $650 pvc pipe that sticks out of your house, with a fan at the top.  In our case, there was the choice of either having it go out the side of the house or out the garage.  Our buyers choose the garage.  When the radon guy was there, he made it sound like they installed a seal over the sump pump with a pvc pipe that came out of it, that would then run either out the side of the house or across the ceiling to the other side of the house and then out the garage wall.  When our buyers choose the garage option, we expected to see a pvc pipe running along the ceiling.  Um.  No.  What they did was seal the top of the sump pump, and then banged a 5” hole in the floor of our basement next to the garage wall, inserted the pvc pipe there and then ran it out the garage, up the attic and out the top of the roof.  I actually don’t think the finished product is that bad-looking the way they did it, but it would have been nice to know they would be putting a hole in our basement floor.  So now they are retesting it.  I asked him if homes ever tested high again after the mitigation system was put in, and he said no – most homes built after 1940 never had a problem because of how they build the foundations since then.   Oh, and the new tester whirring away in the basement is completely different from the one they used originally, and they are running the test in a completely different room.  Fancy that.  Result: Entire row of Oreo cookies.  We were out of cake.

APPLIANCES:  Okay, so you didn’t really mind giving up your appliances.  They are a little long in the tooth, and even though you haven’t cooked a meal in 3 years and the primary occupants of your fridge are half empty condiment bottles, you rationalize that you deserve something new seeing as Dear Hubby got his insulated garage doors and floor drains.  You decide to take a break from spazzing about house inspections and radon tests, and troop over to Sears, where you find out how much appliances have changed since the Jurassic period, which is obviously the last time you looked at them, based on those prices.  Refrigerators have freezers on the bottom, stoves can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, washers don’t have agitators, and everything has an electronic control panel to rival Houston’s NASA center.   You will actually have to READ THE DIRECTIONS, just to put your milk in the fridge or wash a load of jeans.  With all these new fangled high-tech bells and whistles comes a much shorter appliance life expectancy.  Not only will you be shelling out an easy 5 grand, you will be shelling it out again within 10 years.  Result:  No cake for you.  You just spend 5 grand in appliances.  Binge on Tums.


GOING THRU ALL YOUR JUNK:  When a person moves, they tend to go thru all their crap and start tossing.  A great idea, no?  Well, it’s all fun and games until someone opens up the box of disorganized photos.  I was in the process of chucking the whole works in a big Rubbermaid container when I had the bright idea to go thru them first.  I completely ignored the little niggling voice saying “Don’t be a dumb ass.  Now is not the time.  Toss those suckers in the bin and walk away.  You hear me? WALK.  AWAY.”  I did not walk away.  Below is a picture of my first night of going thru photos.  By the time I finished four nights later, I had a copy paper box full of double and triple prints to send to recycle and a serious respect for the digital camera.  Think about it.  The digital camera has changed our lives.  We now delete the crappy photos instead of having them processed, groaned over, and stored for umpteen years because we won’t throw them away after we’ve paid for them, damn it.  I once processed an entire roll, in doubles, of fuzzy pictures of my son’s model car collection, because I didn’t know what was on the film when I brought it in.  My son was in the room with me when I was ran across them.  I tossed him a few and said “You owe me $10 bucks for these pictures”.  He had the nerve to laugh.  Result:  DQ ice cream cake.

This was the first night

This was the first night

APPRAISAL:  The appraiser is not as bad as the inspector.  He just comes in, sees what kind of shape your house is in, takes pictures, measures the outside, and then does a market analysis.  However, just like the inspector, you are a slave to his report.  If he decides the value of your house is less than what your buyers offered, the whole deal can fall thru.  This is our final hurdle.  I am hoping we have the results by the time I post this blog.  Seriously – if this doesn’t go thru I will lose my shit.  And then go buy an entire sheet cake from Uncle Mikes and eat it until I throw up.  Result:  Aforementioned Uncle Mike’s sheet cake.  With chocolate filling.

A different Uncle Mike's - this one is in Boston.  Man, I wish I had gotten that piece of red velvet cake when I was there.

A different Uncle Mike’s – this one is in Boston. Man, I wish I had gotten that piece of red velvet cake when I was there.

SAYING GOODBYE:  As I said above (way way way above…if you are still reading this you deserve a prize of some sort), we have been in our current home for 16 years.  We raised our two children here, and have a lot of wonderful memories.  It has been such a good house, and an even better home.  We will be leaving behind flowers we have planted, neighbors we have befriended, and Rocky-dog foot prints in the extra section of driveway we put in.  I have walked this neighborhood with my dogs for over 22 years (our home before this one is only two blocks away), and all the locals know me as the “lady who walks her dogs while reading a book”.

These dogs were made for walkin...

These dogs were made for walkin…

It’s going to be tough to leave.  I almost couldn’t do it, and in fact talked to Dave about backing out of everything about a month ago.  But then, on my birthday, while driving past the turn to the spec home we wanted to buy, on my way to Door County, I realized how much I loved it out there.  How connected I already felt.  I said a little prayer then, and asked God that if it was okay with Him, to make it happen.  Our buyers came thru later that afternoon.

Now, before I get all sappy and smarmy, I’m going to end this with the note that I really hope it warms up before we move.  There’s about 10 inches of polar vortex encrusted dog poop in our back yard.  I’m thinking I don’t want to leave that as our legacy to the new owners.

Stay warm, my friends!

PS – We move on the 14th.  I may or may not have blog posts the 13th and the following 20th – it will depend on how organized I happen to be.

PPS – No cakes were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

PPSS- I can’t say the same for the Oreos.


Rescue Me

One of the things I love the most about Facebook is reconnecting with old friends, family members, and classmates.  I love seeing what they are doing and meeting via cyber space their children, grandchildren, and pets.  I love finding out what they think is funny, or sentimental, or maddening. And I really love how we come together as a community to support one another when someone loses a loved one or struggles with illness or other hardships.

One of these reconnects is the subject of my next Hero story:

When one hears the term “animal rescue”, one usually thinks about animals being rescued by humans.  We’ve all seen pictures and read stories of people rescuing pets from floods, garbage piles, drain pipes, trees, chains, and neglect.  Sometimes though, the “rescue” in “animal rescue” is the human getting rescued by the pet.


A few years ago, Laurie Spah held a high energy, stressful job.  It required a lot of her time and focus, not only during office hours but at home as well.  It was not unusual for her job related activities to spill into her private life, consuming her physical and mental resources into evenings and weekends. She had little time left to pursue outside interests, much less take time for her home and friends.

As busy and crazy as her life was, Laurie enjoyed her job.  She liked the mental stimulation and challenges to keeping everything on track and in balance.  And, she was good at it.  But even people who are good at their jobs can sometimes find themselves in need of new employment due to circumstances beyond their control, and this was the case with Laurie.

It didn’t take her long to find new employment, but her new job required far less of her, leaving her with feelings of loss and extreme anxiety.  Laure did the smart thing, and began to get counseling, as well as medication to control the symptoms.  However, she still struggled. As someone who has dealt with anxiety issues related to depression, I can give first hand knowledge to how debilitating it can be, and I can understand the awfulness of wondering if you will ever feel normal again, if you will ever find joy again.  Each day can become a challenge to just “get thru”, hoping the next will be better.


Seeing her struggle, her counselor suggested Laurie find a way to occupy her time and stretch herself a little, by reaching out to help others.  On that advice, Laurie began scanning the paper and the internet for ideas.  By chance, she received a mail flyer about an animal shelter looking for volunteers.  It was a newer no-kill shelter called Happily Ever After, and was based in Marion, Wisconsin.


Part of Laurie’s anxiety manifested itself by causing her natural introverted personality to magnify, so the idea of volunteering at a shelter where she would have minimal human interaction appealed to her.  She read that they often had information booths at a local pet store, so she went there on the weekend.  She talked to the woman there, who happened to be the aunt of Amanda Reitz, the founder of Happily Ever After (you can read her story by clicking here).  After hearing about how the shelter was started and the work that needed to be done, Laurie filled out her forms and began her life as a dedicated volunteer.


Lucky is one of Laurie’s foster kitties, and he is now at the adoption center waiting to find his forever home. Hopefully someone will give this beautiful boy a chance soon!

The following Saturday, Laurie drove out to Marion.  It was a blazing hot day, and while the pet rooms were air conditioned, the rest of the facilities and surrounding farm was not.  She spent that first day hauling, scooping, lifting, scrubbing, hammering, painting, walking, feeding, and caring.  Mostly caring.  There were 120 cats and 50 dogs, and each one was treated with the same love and attention as the next.  And while Amanda and her father had their doubts as to Laurie’s return, she knew she had found her calling.

Since that first hot, sweaty Saturday, Laurie was an active volunteer with HEA every weekend.  Being with the animals helped calm her anxiety like nothing else could.  The physical labor tired her body while the wagging tails and purring throats soothed her mind.  Besides the healing properties of warm, fuzzy, gratitude, Laurie discovered the reward of working with a great group of people who respected her and understood what she was going thru.


Ariel picture is one of Laurie’s current fosters who she has had since September 2012. Areil and her sister Peta came to her with upper respiratory infections. Peta passed away in her arms from FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). Ariel had a continued ear infection and it was discovered that she had polyps in her throat and a very large one in her ear. They removed them all but the one in the ear was so large that they had to take the whole ear canal. Her ear is sewn shut.

As her time with HEA continued, Laurie took on more duties, helping to establish and open the new Green Bay shelter and eventually becoming the unofficial manager.  Laurie now spent her weekends and most week nights helping to save the 4-legged loves that first saved her.  However, her volunteer work was overshadowing her full time job, her relationships with her loved ones, and her own pets.

To help minimize her work load, HEA created team lead positions that helped remove some of the stress and time consuming duties from Laurie at the Green Bay shelter.  And while letting go was difficult, Laurie now has more time to pursue the aspect of rescue that she loves the most – care taking and nursing pets who are ill.  She has also been able to adopt an additional family member- an English Setter named Paige, who for 7 years knew nothing of her world except a kennel, but is now lavished with love and attention.


Laurie’s babies: Paige (the English Setter) and Oliver (mix of 7+ breeds). They are both rescues from HEA.

Laurie will never quit working for humane solutions to alleviate pet over population and to provide pets with safety, health, and loving homes  – from being part of spay/neuter clinics to running the HEA adoptions out of PetCo, or to fostering and nursing sick or disabled animals.  Laurie believes all pets deserve a 2nd chance, and her goal will always be to try to give them that.  After all, they gave her a second chance, first.

And that’s Laurie’s story!  Remember – heros come in many forms, and they don’t always wear a cape.  Most times, they are people you see every day, quietly going the extra mile to make someone else’s life a little better.  People like Laurie.  🙂


Just 3 months into Laurie’s volunteering: At the GB holiday parade, Sally was the first dog (but not the last) that she “fell in love with”.

Until next week-stay warm my friends!

PS – If you are thinking about growing your family with a four-footed pal, please please consider adopting a rescue, from Happily Ever After or your local shelter.  Save a life.  Save your own.

10 Advantages To Living In The Frozen Tundra

mapWith all the hoopla today about how cold it was going to be, I thought it might be fitting to open up my first ever Monday blog post with list of advantages to living in Wisconsin in the winter.  By the way, anyone else notice that the coldest day on record since 1996 just happened to fall on a Monday?  Just sayin’.

It is, indeed, a day to grind in the grim reality of at least 3 more months of cold and snow with nothing much to look forward to except that each passing day adds a couple more minutes of daylight.  Oh, and a certain someone turns Nifty Fifty soon, so if you are the type that suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and likes to spend money when you are depressed, feel free to buy me something cool.

1.   No hurricanes in Wisconsin.  Yay!  Remind yourself of this as you walk to your car after work while the -50 degree wind is burning the skin off your cheeks like so much icy sandpaper.  That will certainly make you feel better.  You may also need to remember to hide Facebook posts from evil well-meaning friends and relatives that live in warmer climates…


2.  No volcanoes spewing burning hot lava.  Just because you seriously wouldn’t mind a little burning hot lava right now doesn’t mean you really truly want an active volcano in the neighborhood.  Ask the people of Pompeii.  Oh, that’s right, you can’t because they have all been turned into ash-cicles.  Now shush and go put on an extra sweater and those woolie socks your mother got you for Christmas.

Cow lava

It’s important to remember that with the freezing cold temperatures, animals will seek refuge around your car. Be sure to check under your hood before starting your engine!

3.  No sharks!  Think of it.  When you jump in Lake Michigan with the other nut jobs in the Polar Bear Club, you won’t ever have to worry about being eaten by a shark.  I was going to say “eaten alive” but if you are in Lake Michigan in January, your “alive” status may very well be a moot point.  As an added bonus, no Shark-Nados!  Come spring time, we only have to worry about plain old Auntie Emm type twisters that kill you from flying debris and the sheer force of wind, and not with a clearly impossible flying vortex of sharks.


Yes, this was a real movie. And yes, I did watch it.

4.  No spiders.  At least not in the winter.  All spiders are dead or dormant until spring, at which time they will suddenly appear on the ceiling directly over your head, and proceed to follow you around the room.  Killing them only seems to cause more to appear.  Clearly they are angry and now out to get you.  Meanwhile, you read on the internet about a lady who found a nest of tarantulas in a cactus she just bought and your best friend tells you she read an article stating that most people swallow at least 4 spiders in their lifetime while they are sleeping, meaning spiders are crawling on you AS YOU SLEEP!  But not in winter!  You are safe, safe, safe, in winter!  With the only exception of buying grapes and finding a hidden black widow spider.  So yeah.  Don’t buy any grapes.

They call us...the Black Widders!

They call us…the Black Widders!

5.  No Snakes.  All snakes are hanging out with the spiders, maybe playing poker and smoking cigars in some underground den, just waiting for spring, at which time you will find them nesting in your old mangy leaf piles you forgot to clean out of your windowsills.  Yeah, just struck the fear of Snake into you didn’t I?  Until then – you can prance around the neighborhood in your snowsuit without worry about seeing even a single snake.  You might find some on a plane though, so be sure to stay in Wisconsin.  Do not risk a snake attack by doing something so foolish as trying to go to a warmer climate.  I read on the internet that they have giant man-eating spiders in the airport public toilets too.   So there ya go.

See?  Even Samuel L. Jackson knows you don't mess with no snakes on a plane.

See? Even Samuel L. Jackson knows you don’t mess with no snakes on a plane.

I read it on the internet.  IT MUST BE TRUE!

I read it on the internet. IT MUST BE TRUE!

6.  No refrigeration required.  This is a great bonus for those days we lose power in a snowstorm and have to burn furniture to stay warm.  HAHA!  Just kidding.  Sort of….  But hey – nobody ever got food poisoning from Auntie Jean’s potato salad because it was sitting out in a snow bank.  Plus, your beverages are always cold!  And think how much you will save on your electric bills now that you aren’t running your refrigerator.  You’ll probably save enough to replace some of that furniture you just burned.  Or buy a lawn chair.  Either way, you come out ahead.


7.  Cute dog sweaters.  While you are burning your furniture to stay warm and eating Aunt Jean’s potato salad, you can learn to knit doggie sweaters by firelight.  I have posted some pictures of my favorites below on Lucky Dog.  Despite his expression, he really loved them.  He told me so later after I got back from the doctor and said he was really, really, sorry I needed stitches and plastic surgery to re-attach my fingers.  After intensive physical therapy,  I can now hold knitting needles again, so it’s all good.  Added bonus:  You can use knitting needles to roast marshmallows or wieners over the fire – both of which are delicious with potato salad.  See?  You have a complete meal right there.  No scurvy or rickets for you this winter!


“Seriously, lady?”

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8.  No earwigs.  I repeat.  No earwigs.  I cannot stress this enough.  NO EARWIGS.  By far, one of the grossest bugs to crawl across the face of God’s green earth, and while not as bad as a spider, still pretty bad.  I have read all the information from the entomologists stating that earwigs really don’t crawl into your ear and then eat your brain.  However, I for one am not taking any chances.  Have you seen the pincers on them?  What else could they possibly be for?  Those are brain eaters if I ever saw one.


9.  Women do not have to shave their legs from November to March.  If you’re a female Wisconsin resident and you’re shaving your legs during winter, you must be one of those foreign Illinois transplants.  No self-respecting true Wisconsin woman would be caught dead with a razor on her legs during winter.  Best watch yourself in the gym locker room, Miss Illinois.  Wouldn’t want no trouble, now.

Gotta stay warm in this here frozen tundra!

Gotta stay warm in this here frozen tundra!

10.  Your body burns more calories trying to stay warm, so the fewer clothes you wear, the more calories you will burn. You could possibly eliminate any need to work out at all and eat birthday cake at will, if you just walk around naked.  Plus, with frostbite, you will probably lose a few limbs, thus adding to your overall weight loss.  You didn’t need those appendages anyway.  You know all those cute girls in bikinis you see on tv during the December Packers games?  They aren’t drunk or crazy – they are simply using the cold to their advantage to lose weight.  That’s why they look so good.  Has nothing to do with the fact that they are 21 and have just indulged in an entire case of Miller Lite.  Notice I said 21 and not 19.  Because 21 is the legal drinking age in Wisconsin, and you won’t find any of our youngsters breaking that law.  No sir!


Okay, enough foolishness for today!  I gotta go eat my meatloaf.  Stay warm my friends!