Ethel finds a home, and puppies keep pooping

When the puppies were nearly six weeks old, Ethel developed mastitis. It was a Sunday, and she refused to eat breakfast, then she moped around all day. By evening, she was shivering with fever, and could hardly walk. I know this because I’ve learned how to take a dog’s temperature in the butt. Mastitis frequently occurs in breastfeeding women – it’s an infection in the breast tissue due to bacteria transmitted by a baby’s mouth. It also occurs in breastfeedingRead more

Bernie Sanders came to my house, and he slept under the covers.

Every weekend I visit the rescue dogs at Pet Supermarket as a test of willpower. This is a secret, except sometimes I make one of the children come in case he/she so falls in love with a pup that I HAVE to take it home. This might sound familiar because this is exactly the way we acquired Yobe the Rescue Dog, and afterwards Hot Firefighter Husband made me promise to never ever do that again. I didn’t exactly promise but I conceded thatRead more

The Canine State of Affairs around here

Damn Gem, our 13-year-old chocolate lab, left us on a cold December Saturday morning. She took her last breath while laying in my lap on the floor of the veterinarian exam room. I had been meaning to take her to the beach one last time. She loved the smell of the ocean; it never failed to fill her old body with the youthfulness we assumed was gone for good. But her illness crept up on us – two days after IRead more

Damn Gem marks a decade

I was 30 years old and just married when we brought home Boston, our yellow lab. Goddamn, we loved that dog. He was big, independent, and athletic – “a real dog’s dog,” a trainer once told me. One evening, when he was 8 years old, he climbed up into my lap, which was unusual. Normally he rested on my feet. On this night, he repeatedly wedged his head beneath my hands, only resting after my arms had encircled his torsoRead more

FECES and Thrift Shop and Japanese food

If you are alone with your three young children on a Saturday night and committed to a gluten-free, dairy-free eating plan and have had no social invitations, here’s a low-maintenance option: let your 6-year-old apply gobs of eyeliner, visit a Japanese restaurant so your kids can pretend to be almost on fire, then teach them all gross words on the way home. Japanese restaurants rock because everybody can sit around a grill, and the samurai chef throws oil on itRead more

Tis the Season to stress the hell out.

Day Four without a shower. I almost took one last night but I couldn’t find a clean towel. And I’m not picky, people – I mean I couldn’t find a towel that didn’t smell like mildew, pee, or peanut butter. I like peanut butter, but I’m not one to spread it all over my body. Unless, you know, it’s — okay, forget that, never mind. Listen, life is whack right now. The Pterodactyl had a fuhgettaboutit toothache Sunday, complete with throwingRead more

The Daily Grind, and a quiz.

And here’s another problem with Facebook – it makes me feel bad about my life. It takes no more than a 15-minute perusal of status updates to convince me that I’m raising my children badly, not eating enough vegetables, don’t have enough friends, haven’t read enough books, and have totally screwed up my writing career. As proof, here are some quotes from Actual Updates: I love today! What an AWESOME weekend! Best friends for life! Guess whose book won theRead more

What’s next on my agenda: Not another dog

What? Oh, hi! I didn’t see you there waiting. I’ve been busy looking for ways to upend my life. Because that’s what I do when I’m nervous. I’ve got some Guillot in me – Guillot was my grandmother’s name – and thus am a direct descendent of the Nerveenas, a group of women like my mother who worry with equal fervor about constipation, burnt roux, uneven fingernails and nuclear proliferation. Cymbalta helps temper the Nerveena in me, but still sometimesRead more

POWER TRIP! If I was king of the forest, man….things would be different around here.

The other day after teaching a boxing class, some friends and I were walking to our cars and someone said, “I don’t know how you do it. Teach, I mean.” I turned to one of the women and said, “Drop down and do five push-ups.” Her: Huh? Me: Just do it. Do five push-ups. Her: Seriously? Here? Me: DO IT. And she did. “See? That’s why I like to teach,” I said. “People do what I tell them to do.Read more

WTF!?!! Why is this woman’s work?

Yes, yes, today is Friday, and you should be reading Chapter 10 of Firebush. But peeps, I’m just not feeling it. I’ll tell you this: the letters are from Sterling’s mother. That should hold you until tomorrow. But for today, I want to talk about how a woman’s work (WARNING: WILDLY HYPERBOLIC STEREOTYPE AHEAD) is never, ever done, mainly because nobody else thinks to do it. For example, in a household, who knows when the toilet paper is in shortRead more