Category: Dads (page 1 of 3)

Sweet News

So my Kid 2 is pretty awesome. This is not a surprise to anyone who knows her, or who’s hung around much here. But this week, she even surprised me. See, there’s this club at school, FBLA (which stands for Future Business Leaders of America, as you may know), that she joined in the fall because they had pizza parties and being a member looks good on a resume and a college application. Last week there was a state FBLA competition, and she told me a month ago that she wanted to compete.

I wasn’t sure how much this had to do with the opportunity to compete in a state event and how much it had to do with the opportunity to go away for a few days and stay in a hotel with a room full of friends (but I could guess).

So she made a Public Service Announcement. And she took some exams and she did a few tests at the state competition. And she laughed about the tests on Economics, since she’s never, ever studied anything much related to economics. And she said, “My commercial went pretty well,” about her PSA and presentation. And then her PSA won first place. In the state. Out of all the kids who have made an ad for the competition.

First place.

Want to see it?

The Award-Winning PSA

(Just click on that link. Then type in “katie” as the password. Because [spoiler] Kid 2’s name is Katie.)

(She’s the one on her phone when the starting gun fires.)

(She’s cute, right?)

She wrote, directed, casted, and edited that piece. She chose the music, and she made it happen. Her dad helped by filming, and taught her the editing program (and exercised a lot of patience). We’re all kinds of proud of her around here.

On blogging and plans.

I was thinking  about posting on this here blog this morning. I really was. Planning it, even. It was a clever post detailing my underwhelming admiration of Ryan Gosling, and about how whenever I see one if those “Hey, Girl” memes I just see the scrawny, awkward Ryan Gosling from “REMEMBER THE TITANS” — remember him? With his super-bleached hair and his country dancing moves? My feelings are so maternal that it’s almost embarrassing to watch 40-year-old women swoon. Know what I mean?

Anyway, in place of the “I’m too old for Gosling” business, I give you an evening at 4th grade tackle football practice. Oh, the nearly unbearable cuteness. I’m sitting on the grass in the sprinkling rain (protecting my phone and ignoring my hair, if you’re wondering) and witnessing adorability. Plant, pivot, over the shoulder. Guys, it’s choreography. In full pads and helmets. And we all know how I feel about choreography. And I didn’t even get to the part about the pants. Oh, the pants. Nearly painful cuteness. Dads on the sidelines watch their boys line up, arms crossed, trying not to burst with pride. I love football. Happy fall.

Overheard, Discouraging High School Edition

Yesterday afternoon, in a soaking freezing spring rain, I sat alone in a wet stadium chair and watched 30 minutes of Kid 2’s track meet. I watched kids run their guts out in 100 meter increments. I watched them pump and stride and hustle past. I was proud to be there, proud to know so many of those strong, fast kids.

And then one of them, a young lady I’ve gotten to know a little through school, came up into the stands. She stopped a couple of rows above me, a couple of rows below her parents, laughed, and said, “Did you see? I came in third.”

And I sat on my hands so I wouldn’t clap for her. She wasn’t talking to me, after all.

And I heard her dad do a “Pssht” noise. He said, “Third from LAST, there were only five girls in your heat.”

I shook rain out of my ear, hoping I’d heard wrong. The young woman laughed it off, shrugged her shoulders and hopped down the cold metal steps of the bleachers.

Is it possible that girl knows she ran fast? That she is good, strong, capable, even if two other beautiful, strong, capable girls outran her in the freezing rain? I hope she knows. Young lady, I hope you know. You ran like a beast. Good hustle. Way to push yourself. And to her dad, is it possible that you don’t know what a soul-crushing thing it is to speak words like that to your little girl? To anybody? Ever? Shame on you. I wish I’d had the guts and the crazy to turn around, walk up several steps, and tell it to you yesterday. I am proud of your daughter for doing a hard thing. I wish it mattered to her what I think, but how can it? I am a vague, shadowy adult on the outer periphery of her world. An occasional substitute teacher. YOU ARE HER FATHER and you made her accomplishment worth nothing. Shame on you.

I recommit now to be more vocal in congratulating the kids who work hard and the dads who support them.

Weekend Update

I feel like Dennis Miller. Remember Weekend Update on SNL — back in the day before I was too old to either stay awake for or enjoy the humor thereof? Yeah. Me, too.

I picked our winners for TELL ME WHO I AM. They are Janna and Brittany. (It was random. Kid 2 did the picking. From a pile of paper cutouts. They just so happen to both be CA girls. Whom I love. Lucky that way.)

Prom. It happened, and it was good (for the Kid, you understand. I don’t want to make it sound like I was actually there… although I did get a look at all the juniors, and a few of the other kids). Kid 1 was lovely. See?

 

Her cousin D said, “She’s a *real* princess.” Well played, D. Well played.

I can’t explain the headless one. I tried to crop. Nor can I explain why there are 2 copies of the other shot. Except that it’s my favorite. I don’t know photos. Clearly my talents lie elsewhere… I hope. So the way I saw everyone in the junior class: It’s like this. Their high school has this tradition of a Promenade (which sounds kind of like, duh, but I don’t know how many schools do them) and the junior class parades out of this backdrop thingie, one couple at a time, and they’re introduced, and their parents are named (a Requirement in this town), and then the couples do a choreographed dance. When all the participating juniors have done so, there’s a daddy-daughter dance, and after that, the moms come down and dance with their sons. It was fun — kind of a princess-themed fashion show. And the whispers and the oohs and aahs. And the muttering about the one girl whose dress cost $x,xxx, really. (And everyone, EVERYONE, I tell you, seemed to know this. As though it had been advertised or something.) And the poor girl who vomited in the garbage can, not really out of sight of anyone. And the poor friend who stood beside her and received something that was not thanks. All over the skirt of her dress. (Hello, story material!) (But only because it was not MY Kid.) And the couple of boys who looked like their dates had gone all kung-fu on them, but really one kneed himself in the face in a trampoline-house situation and the other got several eyebrow stitches as the result of a ninja move in an epic game of Capture the Flag. And the seniors and the sophomores and even the freshmen who came to watch, all dolled up and lovely. This little valley has some really beautiful kids in it. Many of Kid 1’s friends came to visit  me in the gym (did I mention that this took place in the basketball gym? It did.) (I was conveniently located), and I was again glad that they are good people. And even though we probably could have found other things to do that evening, it was fun to see Husband dance with his baby girl. And also this: The Prom Queen is the cutest junior class girl… with Down’s Syndrome. She wore a knee-length tulle confection in shades of purple with light-up tennis shoes. She was precious. And props to the committee and all the voters for that outcome.

I would like to know: Are you a napper or a non-napper?

We can still be friends if you’re a non. But don’t come over here on a Sunday afternoon expecting to be entertained. Just saying. It was REALLY quiet here yesterday. Ahh.

And. My friend Steph is in the running for a really good prize with her video-story/confession of maternal ickiness. Check it here, and push the orange thumbs-up button to give her a vote. (You don’t even have to watch it. But it’s pretty darn funny, I tell you.)

The writing is going well. I’m filling up pages with words. That, for the moment, is a measure of success.

So, how was YOUR weekend?

Again. Again. Again.

Do you ever feel like your life is on repeat? Those same things, again and again? Like, for instance, we watched the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert again this Sunday afternoon. And, again, it felt a lot like THIS. Also this time, I wanted the guy who designed the lighting to come out and take a bow. Wow. The lighting.

And I’ve been doing a lot of school teaching. And I love being a substitute teacher, because it gives me the very best of the teaching opportunities without any of the hard work. (Yes, that is just exactly the kind of girl I am. Are you new here or something?) And this week I got to talk about To Kill a Mockingbird, and even to watch Gregory Peck be Atticus. Oh, Gregory. Oh, Atticus. You are one in my heart. And I got to teach high school seniors about resumes, so naturally I took in like 500 bloopers from the worst resumes ever written and shared them. Also, I showed them THIS. Because I own the skill of getting around the local school district’s non-YouTube filter. Add Hacker to my resume. Also, yesterday this dumb thing I did: I asked a certain class to do a certain thing, and several of the kids said they’d do it. So I wrote their names down. Here’s the thing. I teach these classes now and then, maybe almost once a month. I’m THEIR sub, if you know what I mean. And they like me. And I like them, too. And I’m learning many of their names. But. Mostly the ones on the top half of the attendance rolls, because once I hit the Ms, I’m just ready to move on instead of making eye contact with everyone. See? So yesterday, I wrote down the names of the kids I could remember, then I had TO ASK A COUPLE OF THEM TO TELL ME THEIR NAMES. They were offended, in the most polite way. They teased me. One said, head cocked to the side, “Really? You don’t know me?” And I laughed and said, of course I do, you’re my very best friend, and COME ON. It’s not like you know MY first name. And he got that “What are you talking about?” look on his face and said, “Becca.” Like, duh, lady. Then he told me who he was and I repeated his name seventeen times, and now I will never forget it again. First or last. Or initials BS (no kidding). And I used to think I was good with names. Turns out that as a sub, you end up with about a thousand different students a month. And I’m just not THAT GOOD.

And Nunsense is a riot. We’re pretty darn funny, if I must say so myself. Again. (Saturdays in March at 7:00. 100N 100W in Heber City. I’ll be there, I promise. I’m the one in the NunSuit.)

Also, apparently while I was inside a building somewhere, Spring sprang up around here. Sprang is a word. Spell checker doesn’t even try to stop me from using it. Sprang, sprang, sprang. I’m giddy with freedom. Sprang. It sounds like “boing” — another word that is very fun to say and type and read. At least for me. And, need I remind you who this blog belongs to? I thought not.

And remember once when I told you I read NORTH AND SOUTH? And that I wanted to adore it? Well, I finally found enough minutes to finish watching the BBC miniseries. Guess what. Go on, guess. Oh, all right. I’ll tell you. I said these words to Husband: “The movie was better than the book.” He gasped and made me repeat myself. (It’s happened before. I feel that way about the Wynona Ryder/Susan Sarandon/Christian Bale version of Little Women, too.) But N&S was so lovely that I will watch it again. When I get 4 hours. Check back with me in a few months. (Keyword: Richard Armitage. Yes. Yes.)

I made hotel reservations to go to this lovely place in July. It will be glorious and tree-full and hot and humid and my hair will be a flat-out disaster. But it will be awesome nonetheless. (Sometimes I just like to write things that aren’t words normal people would ever say.) (Should ever say?) And my parents are there, and it will be so, so good to have a real, face-to-face, hug-it-out kind of conversation with them again. It has been WAY too many months. (11 already.) And I’m going to find out how to get an excursion on a Mississippi River paddle boat, ala Mr. Mark Twain. They’d have that, right? (Google, come to my aid.) (Again.)

And, since it’s been very nearly a year, I’m thinking about paying someone to cut my hair again. Just a trim, but a trim done by someone else’s hands sounds like quite a treat. Yes. That sounds like a lovely idea. I’ll let you know if I actually choose to act on that lovely idea.

Then there’s this: On my no-white-flour, no sugar thing, I lost 12 pounds (mostly in February). And then I started getting cocky and cheating now and then (pizza, yes — pasta, once — cookies, only the lemon ones — and it’s girl scout cookie ice cream month [thank you, Dreyer’s], so, Samoas, yes) and for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been at a stall. But I’m back on the wagon again. Why do I feel the need to tell you these things? I have no idea. But I told you anyway. You’re welcome.

 

My Dad Has Some Words for You

… And if you have ever met my dad, you won’t be surprised. Words are integral to my dad’s being. He sent me this to use as a guest post, and even though there are words I have to look up[1], I think it’s great.

Macy’s post inspired me. Here are some 5-generation voice memories.

 

My grandpa had some palsy all the time I knew him. When he talked, his voice had some quaver and his teeth clicked. The most memorable conversation happened when I graduated from high school. I was sitting on the floor in the kitchen one night after dinner and Grandpa pointed out that I was unlikely to see as much change in my life as he had seen in his. I ponder often whether he was right. Grandpa was a consummate rose grower. I hear his voice whenever I plant or prune roses.

 

My grandma had a great deadpan. We were playing extended-family cards, and Uncle Jim trumped her ace. She glared at him for two beats and said, “Jerk!” This eighty-something also retained a few mildly abrasive Danish invectives that could flow from the same deadpan. I guess they provide me voices from even more generations.

 

I recognize that I grunt my way out of low chairs exactly like my dad did. Dad taught me French and German songs when I was little; I trace my facility with languages more to that gift than any other. My definition of mellow is my memory of Dad reciting verses from Faust or Caunterbury Tales. (When Dad did early modern English, it needed to be spelled with the “u”.)

 

Whenever I sing the phrase Balm of Gil’uhd I hear Mom’s 2-syllable, no diphthong fitting of the image into 2 eighth notes of a 19th century hymn. You’ve heard Mom’s voice this month from Becca’s Older Brother. He never met her nor heard her voice, but stories keep the wit, wisdom and voice alive.[2]

 

I’ll let you all know when I post the story of the song Becca’s mom sang that changed me from admirer to full-throated pursuer. Since we still sing the songs she taught us, her voice endures.

 

Now we cross into voices from people still living. Regular readers know Becca’s mom died more than 2 decades ago. I remarried – to her best friend, Mimi. That name is one of the simplest forms of speech that infant lips can try. To appreciate Mimi’s voice, you have to hear it in the context of a klieg light [3] smile, with arms stretched forward and shoulders thrust back to make enfolding space for anyone, anywhere. Mimi says “Welcome”; when necessary, she uses words.

 

I don’t need to say more about 4th generation voices than to commend many of these posts to you, gentle reader. It nourishes my soul to read them and to point friends who could use a lift to them.

 

I can’t share a hundredth part of the voices from the 5th generation. I think of the 60-something-pound granddaughter belting out Tomorrow to a packed Annie house. I hear the grandson cranking the amps on his guitar while paying on the roof of his house. I hear about the shortest girl in the class sharing the deepest insights.

It’s up to you (us?) writers to keep great voices vibrant.

[1] When I was in college, email was new. I know. I’m old. And my dad would send me emails at work (because it was new enough that I didn’t have a non-work account). And he’d say things to me that I didn’t understand. And he’d know that I wouldn’t. And he’d write “look it up” in the body of the email. That’s because we share a bizarre love of dictionaries. And then I’d look the words up and I would smile, because he could find strange and complex ways to tell me he thinks I’m great.

[2] Tomorrow, you’ll hear her voice. The voice of my grandmother, who died years before I was born.

[3] Look it up.

Thanks, Dad. I think you’re pretty great. You can quote me on that.

Gratitude Month, Day 17

Dad! Dad! Dad! Today, it’s all about you.

My dad is the best. He shows up around here now and then (I mean, I tell you stuff about him, but also he reads — you know), because I have a lot of stories that make better sense if you know the dad. Anyway, he’s good. And I’ll tell you why. Or at least some of the why. Now. Ready? Okay.

My dad is funny. Snort funny. (Okay, well, he snorts. Usually in response to something ridiculous or ironic. My kids call this the Inappropriate Laugh, because it is possible that Husband and I each have a different laugh that comes out when possibly no laugh should.) He isn’t the kind who tells jokes, but the kind who finds them. In print, like The Far Side, which brought him decades of laughs (because you can go back and read them over and over, right?) and in various books of various intellectual levels. He loves Harry Potter, especially the wordplay and the names. He probably laughs at the Iliad and Sophocles. He gets stuff that only True Nerds get. And it makes him happy. Which makes me happy, too.

My dad is musical. He taught himself to play the guitar one summer while he was watering lawns for a summer job (that may be totally untrue, but that’s the story I remember, and hey, this is my blog). He sat under a tree and picked out gentle hippie music which may or may not have hidden drug references, but which also made, in the future, excellent bedtime songs and campfire music. He’s sung with cool choirs, including the one time when he sang with some Cincinnati chorus AND CAROL CHANNING. I know. I love me some Carol Channing. Oh, so much. He used to take us to see plays and he’d sit on the edge of his chair, soaking up the goodness.

My dad has a freakish memory. Mostly for people, but also for obscure literary references. I honestly think the guy remembers every person he’s ever met. He knew all my friends in High School, and still remembers them and asks after them. He cared about them. That’s where the memory comes from, I’ve decided. He meets someone and gets Invested. So he remembers. Cool, right?

My dad loves good food. He’s a great cook and baker and maker-upper and eater. We do have a good time together. Surprised? I thought not.

My dad is a linguist. Besides speaking carefully (which he does) he also knows loads of languages. Even some dead ones. And what’s cooler than speaking dead languages? I know. Nothing is.

My dad is a caretaker. He always took good care of us. And he took good care of my mom. And after she passed away, he’s taken very good care of my Mimi and her parents and pretty much everyone else who will let him. He’s a nurturing man — and I’m pretty sure that most of the world’s problems would diminish down to specks if we nurtured the characteristics that make a nurturing man. He’s a gatherer. He loves to have people around. He loves to organize dinners, lunches, breakfasts… any excuse to bring people together, especially if it involves food. (Where did I get that, again?)

My dad is a worshipper. He loves his Heavenly Father and Jesus. He loves going to church. He loves studying the scriptures. He loves serving and working and helping and living the gospel.

My dad is a reader. He loves books. He has a broad range of tastes which has broadened to include YA romantic comedy, since I started writing it.

My dad is a grower. He loves plants. Mostly ones you can eat, but also ones that look pretty or smell good. He loves the dirt. And compost. Lots of compost. (He also showers. Good thing.)

My dad is an awesome grandpa. He gives each of his 40+ grandkids so much personal attention that I’m pretty sure they all think they’re his favorite. He lives 4+ hours away from the nearest ones right now, but he’s still involved, knowing sports schedules and concert plans and plays and tests. He tutors his grandkids in French, he sings with them, he gets so excited when they tell him what they’ve been reading. He works with them. He listens to them. He cooks with them and eats with them. He’s been known to cry with them when the tears are called for, and he cheers and cheers for them.

And my dad cheers for me. It’s a pretty great thing to have someone who can find all the best things to say, at all the most needed moments. He thinks I’m great. And I think he’s great.

Happy birthday, Dad. I’m so glad there’s you.

Duck Tales

I sort of promised you a story.

And here it is.

Once upon a time, we lived in Oklahoma. No, I am not making that up. We lived there for 51 weeks. And we loved everything, everything about it. Everything. (Except the job.) (And the weather.)

Oklahoma is a lovely, wonderful place. As long as you have air conditioning (check), a zoo pass (check) and a creek in your backyard (check). Oh, and friends with teenage kids so you can leave your small girls and go out to eat (check, again). Lots of eating in Oklahoma.

So this creek in our backyard was a source of constant adventure. It was a slow-moving, creeping sort of creek, just busy enough to make some noise, but not scary for the small children to explore. (I thought.) There was this huge, flat submerged stone that showed itself during a long, hot summer and became a perfect place to stand and discover wildlife. Which seemed like such a good idea.[1]

But guess what. Go ahead. Guess.

We didn’t have to stand in the creek to discover wildlife. Wildlife occasionally came to us. In the form of ducks. In the spring, when the redbud trees reminded us of all the reasons to live in Oklahoma (see above), ducks began hanging out on our back porch. Six or seven of them. And we’d feed them leftover pancakes. To the point of training them. No kidding. The ducks got so used to our leftover pancakes showing up on the back porch that they’d come knocking if the cakes weren’t there. Really. They’d come right up to the back kitchen door and peck on the glass with their duckish beaks.

“Hello?”

“Breakfast time, isn’t it?”

(Note: Ducks prefer pancakes to bagels. FYI.)

After breakfast, the ducks would get amorous. Oy. I know. Small children, welcome to the Circle of Life. [2]

Fast forward a few weeks, and only the green-headed boy ducks came for breakfast. What happened to the brown ones? the kids wanted to know. Oh, they’re nesting. Babies soon. Won’t that be fun?

Yes. Oh, yes.

Fast forward another couple of weeks. Babies. Oh, the cutest little yellow puffballs you’ve ever, ever seen. They breathed these little chirping sighs that would just make us insane with their cuteness. We’d sit beside the creek on our tri-leveled porch and watch them paddle by. The mamas and the daddies would take turns coming up to the door for breakfast. We delivered, these days. To all seven babies.

Wait. Six babies. And a few fewer adults.

No. Now five babies. And three adults.

Um, four?

Three babies? No adults? What’s going on here?

It really didn’t take that long for us to understand the Circle of Life playing out in our backyard. Some of those huge Oklahoma snakes were snacking on our babies. And possibly their parents. Vengeance was only a matter of time.

Husband, in a Herculean effort of Pet Rescue Bravery, borrowed a pool skimmer from the Gardening Neighbor. And we sat in wait for our remaining babies to float by.

Rather, make that Baby.

One lone baby.

Out came the skimmer. Into the creek went Husband. Into the skimmer went baby duckling[3]. Sort of screaming, I have to admit. It was one of those moments when we have to tell a smaller creature, “this is for your own good — trust me” but we feel bad anyway.

The internet (yes, it was around even then) had told us that baby ducks like cracked corn, wheat, and  oats. Um, okay. So I put some cornmeal, some oatmeal, and some whole wheat flour in a little pan. Then I put some creek water in another pan. Then I put both pans in a box. Then Husband put the baby duck inside, too. And we watched the baby duck whistle and peck and splash around in apparent relief. I can just see it from baby duck viewpoint: Two small human faces, peering over the edge of the box, two larger human faces, above the small ones. All smiling in a manic human manner. Stop looking at me, humans, and bring more cornmeal.

Everyone knows that a baby duck needs a name. So, Husband named our duck. Mabel Huntington. Do not ask me why. I cannot tell you. [4]

Everyone also knows that a baby duck needs a teddy bear. So, Husband bought Mabel a bear.

Wait. We didn’t know that? Well, the marketing department at PetCo saw Husband coming, then. There was a huge sign. Huge. It said, and I quote, “Birds Love To Snuggle!” Below which was a display of dozens of tiny teddy bears. Husband picked the cutest one, by far.

And brought it to Mabel.

Who adored that bear. And I am being so completely sincere. Even though I may have raised my eyebrows way up high in wonder that someone IN THE ADVERTISING PROFESSION could get snookered by an advertisement for something so unnecessary, he was right. Mabel snuggled up to the teddy and sacked out. With his/her fluffy little yellow head in the bear’s lap. Oh, heck. It was the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, duck-and-bearly speaking.

After a few days, we determined that, although we were pretty attached to the duck (and teddy bear) living in a box in our garage, there was probably a better way to raise this sweet thing. So we made some phone calls. To some of the nicest Oklahomans in the state. Finally, a wildlife rescue place agreed to meet Mabel. I drove her there, her box in the front seat of the Honda, kids safely belted into carseats in the back. The nice wildlife people told me that they’d be happy to do any kind of rehabilitation that Mabel might need and then help him/her to find his/her freedom. That many of the rehabbed ducks would choose to make a permanent home in the pond on the premises. I explained that she wasn’t hurt, exactly, just in mortal danger from the snakes and turtles that were making a habit of snacking on baby ducks in our backyard. Then I explained about the teddy bear.

Silence. Lots of it.

Then a slow nod. Riiiiight, lady. The duck loves the bear. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

I walked back to the car, watching over my shoulder as the brown-clad wildlife rescue worker hitched box over hip and walked away, toward Mabel’s future.

(Dramatic Pause Here)

After a few weeks, we took the Kids to the “museum” on the property of the wildlife rescue people. It smelled of taxidermy and dust. Many stuffed snakes. And live ones. But what I most remember was the possum. Oh, holy mercy. It was placed on top of a glass snake cage (which I’m sure has some manner of technical name ending in -arium, but I don’t care) so that it was, as I turned around, face to face with me. The possum reminded me of all the reasons I won’t ever have a possum for a pet. That, my friends, is a frightening creature. It was white with pink beady glass eyes, which, on its own is scary enough. Because it looked like a hugely overgrown lab rat. But the teeth. Oh, the teeth. There were a million of them. A million, at least.  Sharp ones. Its mouth was open, displaying all the fang-ed wonder. I suppressed both the cries and the gag reflex and shepherded my children out of the room.

We found a brown-clad rescue worker, who laughed when we mentioned Mabel the Duck.

“I remember you,” he said.

(Strangely for me, I couldn’t say the same.)

“Folks, when you brought the duck here that day, I wondered if you were crazy, what with you fixin’ to leave the duck with a toy.” (People in Oklahoma love the word “fixin'” — trust me on this one.) “But you were right. That duck still sleeps with the teddy bear snuggled up right next to her.” (She was a her. Apparently.)

Husbandly Vindication.

We asked to see Mabel. He brought her out. She was at least twice the size of the teddy bear now, and brown and awkward and lumpy.

Gorgeous, I mean.

The Kids couldn’t believe this was the same duck. Then the worker showed us the bed. With the teddy bear inside. The bear that Husband had known, KNOWN would make the duck safe and happy. This little bear was loved up. Nips out of his ears, covered in… something aromatic, matted and completely adored. For a guy who doesn’t like animals, my Husband sure knows how to take care of an accidental pet.

[1] Did you know that snakes live in Oklahoma? They do. And pretty much every single poisonous snake in the northern hemisphere wants to live in Oklahoma. They’ve never, ever read “Grapes of Wrath” apparently.

[2] I may have been heard to open the door and hiss at those amorous ducks, “Hey, there are little kids around here. Take it under the bleachers, why don’t you?”

[3] Telling it this way, it sounds a lot less… wet than I remember it.

[4] Just kidding. Of course I can tell you. Mabel Huntington lives upstairs from Mr. Kreuger and complains that her pipes don’t bring her heat, or water, or something. Mr. Kreuger is convinced that she’s lying for attention. We (heart) Jimmy Stewart.