Monthly Archives: August 2014

~ Relaxed Muscle ~

One of our three cats, Moose, the BIG one, has an attitude problem.

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For all of his short life, he’s been picked on for his size.  He’s been called Porky, Fatty, Pork Chop, and Lard-ass.  And it has made him kind of bitter.  Because he is none of those things.

He’s extremely muscular; but it’s very relaxed, so his muscle is often mistaken for fat.

It doesn’t matter that he eats most of the cat food before either Sir Monty of Stinky Butt, or Gracie can get to the bowl.  It doesn’t matter that when he lays on the ground his sides MELT into the floor.  It doesn’t matter that when he tries to lick his nether regions to clean them, he can’t reach them, so I have to chase him around the house with a wet wipe to get the dingle berries off the butt-fur and fuzzy kitty scrotum. 

All those things are merely symptoms of his muscularity

I get it, Moosie!  I feel your pain, man!  I love you for what you are, no matter what.

And I understand your hurt feelings.  I’ve lived with the same misunderstandings, myself.  Inside of my Rubenesque frame is a LOT of muscle, most of which I carry in my bottom.  I’m the strongest sitter there is.  But does John Q. Public get that?!  Heck no!  So I’m with you, my friend!

And I understand why you can seem mean sometimes.

Especially when people laugh at your, er, extreme buffness.

Like our favorite veterinarian, Dr. Schoepp at Peachtree Animal Hospital, for instance.

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Poor Moose. 

I love you, Man.  Don’t let the skinny people in this world drag you down, you big beautiful, rotund ball of dingle-berry-laden fur!



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~ Pretty Purple Posies ~

I love to garden.  Got that little gene from my dad, who got it from his Italian mother, Nana.  It’s in the blood.  Nana owned and operated our family greenhouse in Beverly, Massachusetts for many years.  It’s gone now, but the green thumb lives on in my dirt-encrusted, poorly manicured hand.

And at The Little Cottage, I propagate, and I nurture and I design everything …

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from my cut-flower garden,

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to my scented butterfly garden,

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to my driveway.

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We have shade, a LOT of shade, so I’m relegated to things like hosta, and ferns, and ivy.  But after years of seeding and re-seeding the hosta, my driveway now looks like this:

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at least, when the hosta is blooming.

2014-07-12 19.05.17So for those two or three glorious weeks in July, the sweet, busy bumble bees, the handsome hummingbirds, and the colorful fluttering butterflies really get to enjoy the fruits of all my labor.

2014-07-12 19.06.01Invariably, though, we are at Pop-pop’s beach cottage in Delaware for those weeks.

2014-07-12 19.05.42And this means that all of this lovely purple, and lavender, and mauve….

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and all of this glorious wonder of nature’s beauty…

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pretty much looks like this when we get home:

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Story of my life.


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~ Mama, Don’t Be Afraid ~

I’ve been a basket case for the past two weeks.  Haven’t been too focused, not been writing much, certainly haven’t been accomplishing anything worth mentioning.  And all because my baby boy is entering middle school.

Today, in fact.

If I’m this broken up for 6th grade, how the hell will I survive high school graduation? 

I’m a wuss, is what I’m saying.

A whole summer of questions like, “Mom, what if I can’t find my locker?”  “What if I forget my locker combination?”  “What if I can’t find my room?”  “What if I forget what the teachers tell me to do?”  “What if someone bullies me again?”  “What if I have to pee?”  “What if I can’t handle the homework?”  “What if no one likes me?”  “What if I miss the bus?”  has left me exhausted.

No one slept at my house last night.  Well, I finally drifted off around 2am, missing My Captain’s feet horribly because he was at the fire station.  (We always touch feet before we drift asleep…don’t judge.)  My feet were cold and lonely.  My kids were worried, fretting in their beds.  Even the cat was puking on my cream carpet more than usual.  At 3am, Varmint climbed into my bed with a “Mom, I can’t sleep.”  I didn’t sleep anymore after that.  So I got about 1 hour of sleep last night.

To say that Mama needs her beauty sleep is a horrific understatement.  There will be no pictures of Mama in this post.

It all culminated at the bus stop at the bottom of our driveway this morning, at the ungodly hour of 6:30. 

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I was waiting for the tears.  I was expecting the melt downs.  I was prepared to hold trembling bodies.

But what I got instead, when the bus finally turned onto our country lane, was a little boy who straightened his back, squared his shoulders, turned to me and with his serious deep brown eyes said proudly, “Looks like your baby boy is growing up, Mom.”

I got no kiss goodbye.  But as he stepped onto the bus, he turned and winked at me.

And in a moment, the bus was gone. 

Along with my baby boy.

I turned and looked at My Captain, and said, “Well…..Shit.”

I’ve always been a wordsmith.

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~ Boob Hat ~

We had landed with a dull thud in Great Falls, Montana, My Captain only slightly peeved at me for embarrassing him on the airplane by coaxing the flight attendant into publicly bestowing him with a gross of barf bags.  Our energy was surprisingly up, despite our lack of sleep.  We obtained the rental car and started down the road to Glacier National Park. 

A beautiful, though uneventful ride, we were plodding along swimmingly, when I saw it. 

My eyes bulged out! 

My hair stood on end! 

I farted!


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There, on Northbound 89, was a fifty feet tall, concrete Tipi.  I reached over and pulled the steering wheel out of My Captain’s hands, and we screeched to a stop in front of a sign that read, “Espresso Tipi.”

OH…….EMMMM…….GEEEEEE.  I needed to know what this was.  We looked it up in our handy dandy Montana Guide, and found it was exactly that, a fifty feet tall tipi, originally built in 1934.  And get this….it had been MOVED three times since it was built.  Three stinkin’ times!  If that isn’t a feat of awesomeness, I don’t know what is.

Sadly, it was closed, and by the looks of the tall grass surrounding it, closed for some time.

But I was not going to pass this by without a cheesy picture.  Varmint demurred, so she got stuck with the camera, and My Captain and Critter and I posed on the dilapidated deck of this curious cone.

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I was so excited that I didn’t notice that poor Critter was smacked in the back of his head by my boob.  It happens.  It’s unfortunate, but it happens.  The boy needs to eat more so he’ll grow, for crying out loud.  I can’t make my boobs rise.  He’s just going to have to grow.

We finished the photo shoot, I looked across the street, and saw this:

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An honest to goodness cowboy museum!  Oh Hell Yeah!!!  But….My Captain refused to let me go.

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He wanted to get to Glacier before it got much later.  The man is very A to B, I swear.  I’m more of a ‘its all about the journey’ kind of gal.  But as he pushed and shoved and crammed me back into the car, he promised me a tour another time.

So on we putt putted down the road again.  But it wasn’t long before I had to pull the steering wheel out of his hands again because as we entered the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, we saw the metal warriors on metal horses statues. The what?!  That’s right!  Metal indian warriors on metal horses statues!  What’s not to love?!

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Gorgeous!!! And made entirely out of recycled metals!

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I was almost as excited as I was with the Tipi, but only slightly less because of the wildlife on the dingdang thing. 

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We did another picture…this time snagging a stranger who had stopped to remove a beer from off the statue.  (Damn kids!)

And once again, poor Critter received a boob hat.

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Look, I don’t plan these things.  There is just only so much you can do with the ding dang blobs of fat.  They are always getting in the way.

This one was pretty bad.  I nearly crushed my own boy. 

Don’t judge.

So did we ever get to Glacier?  Did we end up in a fiery crash due to my steering wheel grabbing habits?  Stay tuned for More Mama in Montana 2014!

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~ Drunk Baby Love ~

Mama got a dose of fresh baby at My Captain’s firehouse today.

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Tom’s beautiful wife, Leslie, finally brought Baby Parker to meet the shift.  Parker has a fantastically expressive face.  He’s got the face BABY MEMES were made for. The kid has got a future, is what I’m sayin’!  Every picture I took of him could easily sport an entertaining caption.  Like this one.

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And this one.  (He loves his Mama!)


And this one.  (His Papa could not be prouder!)

2014-08-12 15.54.41And THIS one.  (Looks like it will be some time yet before he can fill Papa’s helmet.)

All the guys on the shift were as excited as I was to meet Parker.

In a laid back, in-between-calls, ate-too-many-carbs-for-lunch, manly sort of way.

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But Master Paramedic Firefighter Tony did, in fact, show a little more interest, because HE has an even FRESHER baby at his house!  Let’s hope he brings his baby in to meet us soon….

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Because Mama Boe…. She LOVES her baby fixes!!!

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Even if, for reasons totally unknown, in every picture she has ever had holding a baby, the baby looks totally wasted.

I just bring that out in people, I guess. 


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