Monthly Archives: April 2014

~ Potty Pirate ~

For any of you familiar with our newest kitty, Sir Monty of Stinky Butt, you know he keeps us laughing.  I’ve shared several of his weirdnesses, but I’ve been saving The Big One for you.

You know how some cats insist on being in attendance no matter what their human is doing?  Potty breaks included?  Sir Monty is one of THOSE kinds of pets.

Whenever I am on the throne, doing, er, important paperwork, Sir Monty feels compelled to be with me.  Well, not really with me, so much as on me.


He sits on my shoulder like a parrot to a pirate.

Which makes me some kind of toitey Black Beard, sailing the, er, stormy seas.

He’s an enigma, this kitty.  He sits there, patiently,  just waiting with his little tail wrapped around my neck.

Let’s be honest here:  Pooping is lonely business.  Why else do people notoriously bring the newspaper or magazines with them?  We’re all trying to distract ourselves from having to ponder the deep pit of despair within our existential separation!  Social media serve as a sort of shield against the meditational angst we would otherwise be forced to face in the quiet moments where we are captive audience to our own deep, dark thoughts.

And really, when you look at it that way, Sir Monty is merely trying to save me from myself.  That’s an exceptional kitty for you!  How lucky I am to have him sit on me while I’m doing my business!

But, of course, there is one small problem with this scenario.

I can’t just push him off of me, because he digs into my soft flesh with his wee needle-like kitten claws.  How something so cute can be so painful is beyond me.

Unless we are talking natural vaginal childbirth, then I totally get it.

When I need to move to get some toilet paper, he gives me a warning prick with his cute little blood-drawing daggers.  And God help me when I need to lean slightly to the side to, you know, ‘wrap up business.’  Believe me when I tell you it costs me in large amounts of pain and flesh.

I’ve learned to move slowly.

It’s gotten to the point where we could rate my morning constitutionals on the hospital pain scale.  You know, “Rate your pain, where 1 is no pain, and 10 is someone sawing your arm off.”   It might seem weird to apply that kind of scale to a trip to the John, but with Sir Monty, it’s appropriate.  Fiber has become more important to me, than ever before.

Don’t Judge.

*** PS *** After I put the photo above up on the post, I noticed on the bottom right of the photo none other then Moose, giving us the stink eye.  Awesome photo bomb, Moosie!

And a little creepy.

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~ ACME Coyote Cannon ~

Living out here in the Agricultural Reserve of Montgomery County, we see a lot of wildlife that our down-county friends rarely find.  It’s not unusual for my family to be eating dinner, and see a fox or two out in the back yard.  And, of course we have the ubiquitous family of raccoons, squirrels, possums, skunk, and chipmunks, or as I like to call them, ‘Zippy-Chippies’.   We also have black bears and coyotes, though, to be honest, we never see them in the yard.

Recently, our local community members had a debate on Facebook about them-thar coyotes.  Some people fear them enough to want them dead.  Others have a live-and-let live attitude about them.  And, of course, everyone supports the notion that we have the right to defend our properties should chickens, dogs, or baby goats become prey to the dog-like critters.  Luckily, most coyotes will run if you clap, or yell, or throw a stick at them; but there is always the likelihood that they’d come back at night.

My Captain, Varmint, Critter and I sat around the dinner table tonight brainstorming about how we would deter a coyote from taking up residence in our own yard, should one ever come around.

This is where Critter, who is eleven years old, began thinking along the lines of Wile E. Coyote.  His ideas are fresh, outside-the-box, and more than a little scary.  His best contraption concept, which he named ‘The ACME Coyote Cannon” entailed motion detectors, randomly placed baseball fast-pitch machines, and water balloons.

But the others weren’t bad either.

One idea began with the same weight/pressure sensors found in minefields, and ends with catapults buried flush with the ground. It was dubbed “The Coyote-a-pult“.   Another had to do with a strobe light and Justin Bieber music.  (That would sure as hell deter ME.)  It was called “The Bieber Bomb“.   Another idea started with rounding up all coyotes, inserting metal plates in their backs, and installing powerful underground electronic magnets around the perimeter of the yard. It would be called, of course, “The Magnycote“.   Expensive and unrealistic, sure, but wouldn’t it be fun to wake up and see how many coyotes you have stuck to the grass?

Every one of these ideas rocked, frankly.  The problem was, with the exception of the last idea, that most of his contraptions could not differentiate between a coyote, and, say, Mama taking the trash out.

I have no wish to be catapulted into the neighbor’s corn field.

Thankfully, we have no need of any of these inventions, yet.  But I see great things in Critter’s future.

And I’m damn glad I’m not a coyote.

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~ Adapt and Overcome ~

Many years ago, My Captain and I were inspired to ride the 10 miles (20, round-trip) from Confluence, Pennsylvania, to Ohiopyle, at the falls of the beautiful, whitewater Youghigheny River.

Our romance was fairly young.  We were both willing to go the extra mile to impress each other.  It was still the days when we wouldn’t fart in front around one another, or pick our teeth at the table, or wear the same socks three days straight.  We were both intent on woo-ing!

The day was beautiful, and riding our bikes along the cool, sweet river water was pure heaven.

The first half of the ride went off without a hitch.  It is a slightly downhill grade to Ohiopyle, and we enjoyed a leisurely pace.  Stopped at the Hershey Ice Cream store in town, held hands, walked to the bridge near the falls, enjoying the sunshine and each other’s undivided attention.


When it was time to get back on the bikes, we both admitted to being slightly tired, and would be glad to get a shower at the River’s Edge Bed and Breakfast, and then gorge on their fantastic food.   It was a good plan, and all was right with the world….

Until the second mile back.

One of My Captain’s pedals broke.  We had at least 8 miles, uphill, still go.  What were we going to do?  Were we going to walk 8 miles?  We were already kind of tired!

My Captain got to work.  A little chewing gum, dental floss, and C4 later…..

Behold the solution.


It wasn’t pretty, but it was an interesting tow-job.  He had taken the wires for the bike locks, and created a pull line.


Being a proud manly-man, he was determined to be the one to tow, so I got put on the broken bike, where I had nothing to do but coast and enjoy the view.  Within a couple of miles, he could feel every single one of the extra pounds on my thighs and butt.  Hell, he probably could even feel the weight of my extra chins.

I started singing by the fourth mile.   He glanced back to see me with my feet on the handle bars, and my hands behind my head, lounging.  He didn’t appreciate it.

And by the time we arrived in Confluence, he was totally, thoroughly, and in all other ways devoid of romance.  He was DONE.


I took this picture of him back at the bed and breakfast.  This is him holding the broken pedal.

He was not pleased.

Not just because he was tired, or because his leg, back, and butt muscles were exhausted, and not just because he cared that his bike broke.   It was mostly because he had wanted to impress his girlfriend, and thought he had failed, miserably.

But what he didn’t know then, and I hope he knows now, is that his on-the-spot, adapt-and-overcome-fix-it job impressed me more than any easy ride up the river ever could have.

We haven’t done that ride since, though I’d really like to.  I think My Captain has flashbacks whenever I bring it up.  I’ve gained weight since then, and I don’t think he has the heart to pull me ten miles up the river anymore.

He picks his teeth at the table now, too.

I can’t judge him too harshly, though, because I fart at it.


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~ Burying A Husband ~

I saw this picture on the news today:


It is Lt. Walsh’s wife.  He died in the Boston fire a few days ago that claimed the lives of two firefighters.  This picture was snapped of her as she watched them load his casket onto the fire engine’s hose bed.

I couldn’t stop looking at it.  What am I seeing?

Is it pure grief?

Is it shock?

Is it fear?

Is it pride?

No one but her will ever know.  We could only imagine.  But I do know one thing for absolute sure…..

I don’t ever want to be where she is.

I don’t want to be the hero’s widow.  I don’t want to be the one left behind to grieve.

I have no say in it, obviously.  My Captain is who he is.  He has put his own life at risk for the past three decades, in the service of strangers, thousands upon thousands of times.  He did it before he knew me, he does it now, and he’ll probably do it after he retires – if he lives that long.

None of that changes the fact that I don’t want to be the one left here to suffer alone.  If there is going to be any suffering going on in this marriage, we’ll do it together.

Wait…..that came out wrong.

You know what I mean!

God bless you, Mrs. Walsh.  You, and your husband.

And thank you.

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