Tag Archives: photos

on freak outs, animals and otherwise

8 Nov

One thing I was not expecting when we moved was how hard the animals would freak the fuck out.

I knew the move would be an adjustment for them, particularly for the cats, as everyone says* that cats are attached to places, while dogs are attached to people. But what I did not know is that in our first two weeks of living in our new Animal House in Zoolandia (our affectionate nickname for our new town) I would wake up more than a few times with all three animals in bed with Swede and me. The dog, yes—she sleeps with us every night.** But the cats have never—and I mean never—slept in bed.***

The first night I woke up and thought that Swede had piled a couple thick pillows and blankets on my legs. He’s never done this before, and I don’t predict that he ever will in the future, so why this was my first thought I can’t really say except that these things make sense when it’s 2 am and you try to turn over except you can’t because your legs are pinned down by pillows and blankets. Except it’s not pillows and blankets, it’s a large cat, draped over your legs. I managed to free my legs and roll over, only to nearly roll out of the bed in fright, because as I rolled over something jumped off the side of the bed, right at head level.

A ghost? The essence of the previous owner spiriting away after coming to check on us to see how we liked the house?

No, just Lady Gaga Halloween Cat, who had stationed herself near my head to…I don’t know that I’d call it sleep, as I don’t think she actually sleeps. Maybe go into a trance would be a better description. And when I rolled over I must have snapped her out of said trance because she went flying off the bed and into the shadows of the room to hid and most likely further plot her outline for world domination.

On night four, I woke up at approximately 3 am, and reached up to move the pillow that I thought was pressing against the top of my head, and again nearly fell out of bed in fright. This time it was the Fat Cat, who—and this is probably the weirdest thing he’s ever done****–had stationed himself above my head, and was resting a single paw on the top of my noggin. There is little that is as disconcerting to wake up in the middle of the night and feel something furry attached to the top of your head, Interwebers. Believe you me.

And the dog, well, she’s still adjusting to All the Wildlife that she can now see when she positions herself on the couch to stare out the front window. The dastardly birds, the bastard squirrels, and don’t even get her started on the Other Dogs in the neighborhood who deign to walk down her street. This all, of course, when she’s not busy running between the living room at the front of the house and the bedroom at the back of the house, crying, because Swede and I are in separate rooms, and how is she supposed to protect us if we’re in separate rooooooooms?

I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do to help the beasts settle into their new home, besides give them time. Time will help, yes? Yes, let’s hope so. Because we can’t go back to the condo, it’s sold and out of our hands. The good news is that they’re already showing signs of settling in. The Fat Cat, for one, has taken to exploring the basement (and then getting stuck down there when we shut the door). The dog only races between rooms in mild anxiety, rather than full-tilt. Lady Gaga Halloween Cat—

Well, whatever. We all make progress in our own ways, on our own time.

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So irritated that we moved them. They just…ugh. They just can’t believe our audacity. 

*I don’t really know who this everyone is. But I heard one person say this one time and it made sense to me.

**Terrible idea, BTW, letting dogs sleep in bed with you. This one in particular because she’s a bed hog, pillow hog, and snores like a g-d Mack truck right in your face.

***Apparently they used to, before Swede’s life had meaning, ie, before he and I started dating. But then here I come along, Jerky McJerkerson who’s allergic to cats and effectively kicked them out of bed. This is a big reason why, for the first four years of Swede’s courtship of me, I’m positive the cats were secretly campaigning to overthrow me as girlfriend and get back one of Swede’s previous love interests, whom I’m told were much more cat-friendly.

****And that’s saying something, considering this is the cat who regularly will sprint out of the room for no apparent reason, and yell—yell—at visitors when they come in the front door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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photo friday: state and monroe

11 Aug

20170803_163605_Burst01Monroe and State.

State and Monroe.

An underground picture to complement the above-ground picture I snapped oh so many years ago.

photo friday: on the southside

4 Aug

Well south of Chicago’s Loop, past Soldier Field, past McCormick Place, the lakefront trail stretches out for miles. The crowds of bikers and hikers and rollerbladers (there seems to be a resurgence lately!) thin considerably, and if you know where to look, you find an unpaved nature trail that leads to some amazing, almost-untouched views of Lake Michigan, making you realize for certain that it’s not just good, it really is a Great Lake. Lakefront Trail

cherry picking > blueberry picking

2 Aug

It’s summertime, in case you haven’t noticed, and that means fruit is literally ripe for the picking. In the past month, Swede and I have twice thrown the baby in the Bjorn and set off for the fields, on the hunt first for blueberries, and then for tart cherries.

Our reasons for choosing these fruit are twofold: A) Blueberries are delicious, and 2) Tart cherries are the key ingredient in making cherry bounce.

Further-fold, we live not far from the states of Michigan and Indiana, where blueberries and cherries abound, which makes crossing the border all the more interesting, because doing so just for cheap cigarettes and gas gets old after awhile.

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You’d be surprised at how necessary this sign is. 

Right before the 4th of July we made our way to a blueberry patch (field? What’s the correct term here?). We spent two hours picking, and came away with approximately three pounds of blueberries. At the end of July we hit up a cherry orchard (orchard, right? I know nothing about horticulture) (are orchards and things even considered horticulture?) and spent another two hours picking, and came away with 43 pounds of tart cherries.

That is approximately 14 times more cherries than blueberries.

14!!

How, what, why is this possible, you ask? And why the hell are you even picking 43 pounds of cherries?
To answer your second question first, I refer you to the number 2 point in our fold.

To answer your first question, I shall tell you:

  1. We were to damn excited about the blueberries. The blueberry….pafield?…where we went had just started seeing blueberries on their bushes. Which is a nice way of saying we jumped the gun. Picking blueberries at the point we’d gone meant teeny-tiny clusters that had to be plucked delicately. Had we waited about a week or so, the bushes would have had blueberries all over the damn place. We could have swanned through the aisles of blueberry bushes and brushed 12 pounds into our buckets with the slightest sweep of our hands.
  2. It was hotter than balls out the day we went blueberry picking.
  3. Being hotter than balls, Baby McSwedolish was sweating through the Bjorn and becoming quite agitated about it, probably because he takes after his mother and detests being sweaty when it’s uncalled for.
  4. Being agitated for being in his Bjorn, I took one for the team and whisked Baby McSwedolish off to the shade where he could crawl around in the dirt and attempt to eat each blade of grass and/or twig every time I took my eyes off him long enough to blink.
  5. Alternatively, when we went to pick cherries, we somehow managed to nail the timing, and the cherry trees were positively dripping with fruit.
  6. It was not hot as balls.
  7. Seriously, I could have just shaken the branches a bit and a one million twelve pounds of cherries would come tumbling down into my bucket.
  8. Cherry trees are taller than blueberry bushes, and thus provide shade. Which means I didn’t get nearly as uncalled-for sweaty, and thus did not spend two hours cursing inanimate fruit, the state of Michigan, or anything else except bees. Because there did seem to be a lot of bees, and I really don’t like bees.

So remember, if ever you’re inclined to go out and pick some fruit, pick cherries, not blueberries. But also know this: But whether you’re picking cherries or blueberries, one thing is for certain—either is way the hell better and easier than picking strawberries.

 

photo friday: in the future

9 Jun

 

City 2Someday, possibly someday soon, we will have to move from our bootbox of a condo, when sharing the space becomes completely untenable* for two large humans, a smaller human, a dog, and two cats.

And someday, possibly someday soon, we will also have to leave our little neighborhood, because more space in this now-fancy set of streets costs more than we want to spend, and is out of our price range altogether if we want more space to also include a few blades of grass to call our own.

But that someday is not today, so today I will, as I do on the daily, enjoy this little neighborhood for all it’s worth and say thank you to God that I get to live where I do.

 

*Right now we’re at semi-untenable status.

things i’ve been meaning to tell you: june 2017

7 Jun

One: I’ve come to the conclusion that 87% of children’s books are F’d. Up. I’ve already mentioned the fact that Jamberry? Motherf-ers had to be hiiiiigh when they wrote that shit. And now, I have to say I take umbrage with the book Frederick.

Do you know the story? A little family of field mice, getting ready for winter, and while most of them are running around collecting wheat and corn there’s little Frederick, collecting words and colors.

Words and colors.

Words and colors aren’t going to feed you and keep you warm in the winter, dammit!

Please don’t misunderstand me. Whether you can tell or not, I’m a writer. Words are incredibly important to me. Colors, too. But you know what? I’m pretty sure that I could gather some words and colors at the same time I was gathering some of the harvest for our winter hibernation. It’s called multi-tasking, Frederick.

Two: The other day my gym was celebrating its 12th anniversary. There were balloons! And free giveaway things! And food! And booze! And all I have to say about that is if my gym gave away food and booze regularly I would go there a hell of a lot more often.

Three: There has been a significant lack of learning in my life. Sure, sure, I know what you’re thinking: Every DAY is a new learning experience. And it’s true! It is! And that’s great!

But I still want to learn things.

So I signed up for a cake decorating class.

All About Buttercream!

If that’s not a class description that will lure you in, then I’m not sure you and I should speak anymore. That would be like turning your nose up at a class called, “Let’s Eat All The Melted Cheese.” If you can’t get behind that then you and I will have to relegate ourselves to curt nods in passing when we see each other.

I said good day.

Anyway, I’ve picked up quite a lot in this short, four-week class. I can make rosettes! And roses! And primroses! And daffodils! I can make all the flowers! And swag-things that go around the edges of a cake! And shell-borders!

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Making buttercream roses? Surprisingly easier than I anticipated. I’m going to flower the hell out of all the cupcakes near and far.

But you know what I haven’t yet learned?

How to straight up frost a g-d cake.

And so I continue with the learning.

Four: I went for a massage last week and it was wonderful. But there’s always that strange moment when the massage therapist leaves the room, you get undressed and get on the massage table, and then the therapist knocks to come back in. At that point—when she or he knocks—what am I supposed to say? “I’m ready”? Or perhaps, “Come in”? I feel the same way when I’m at the doctor’s office, sitting in my paper gown, waiting for the physician to enter.

Neither of those phrases seems right to me. “I’m ready” sounds oddly bizarre, when you think about the after part of that statement. “I’m ready…for you to start digging your elbows into my back!” Or, “I’m ready…for you to palpate my stomach to make sure there are no foreign objects lingering about.”

“Come in!” doesn’t seem right either. It’s not my home, for God’s sake. It’s a massage studio. Or a women’s clinic. I’m not about to serve my massage therapist tea, or offer my midwife cookies.

Maybe I should go with, “Door’s open!”
What say you, Interwebs?

photo friday: blessings

2 Jun

God bless the husband

God bless the husband who doesn’t refer to taking care of his child as babysitting, he refers to it as being a father.

God bless the husband who doesn’t do things the same way the wife would do them, and doesn’t care, because he’s confident that his way works just as well, or better.

God bless the husband who encourages his wife to get away for a couple hours to drink tea and take a break from the child and the dog and the husband and the bootbox of a condo.

God bless the husband who speaks up when he needs to get away for a couple hours to drink tea and take a break from the child and the dog and the wife and the bootbox of a condo.

God bless the husband who works hard to be the best partner he can be.