as I type this my dog thinks any minute now I’m going to do something super-cool

I took too much medicine last night & ended up throwing up lots. My poor son was still up when I threw up and he cried because he was frightened, even though I assured him afterwards. Then I couldn’t sleep, likely as a result of the meds and then too much strong coffee in the evening.

What’s worse than all that is I gave myself a really, really hard time about making these mistakes. I can’t always stop the mental negativity, the thoughts punish me and crowd me and yes, I know it’s terribly self-absorbed. The good news is I don’t do it as much or as often; and I am kinder to others very frequently, if I have not learned the art when it comes to my own self.

Tonight as Ralph, Emily, Phoenix and I drove to Olympia, my daughter identified weather on the horizon: “That’s a cumulonimbus cloud… we’re heading into a thunderstorm.” I said, “How can you tell?” (I mean I remember being forced to learn about clouds in school, and promply forgetting everything except for a few names.) She said, “The cloud has the classic anvil shape, and look at the color of the sky.” And then the holy shit of it all was she was right, as only an hour later we’d driven into what quickly became the most intense lightning storm I’ve ever been in, in my life in the Pacific Northwest. Huge drops of warm rain and a sky like a bruise and visible cloud-to-ground lightning accompanied with the loudest BOOMS and fire sirens and we drove past a tree that had been sheared.

It was thrilling. Thanks to the horrible nature documentaries my kids watch, I knew we were safe in the car. But I was still happy to get home and inside my little hidey-house.

Lightning Storm

In other news: Hutch had his first vet appointment. He’s down from 120 lbs. on June 27th to 111 lbs. today. I’m proud of getting him healthier and more comfortable. It’s been a lot of great fun, but a lot of work!


“But then, we had some growing up to do.”

The first thing my son did when he got up today, was make me a little picture of a kitty and a hot air ballon, and a heart that said, “I Love U!” inside, and then more little blue hearts, the whole illustration cut out on a piece of origami paper. It’s resting next to me as I type.

While I ran to a commitment at noon, the kids took care of Hutch and the cats, washed the dishes, cleaned up and got dressed, and packed what they needed for our river trip with friends. On the way to our meetup stop we were tailgated by a very impatient car. The kids twisted around to look. Then:

“Car pervert?” Phoenix asks me in the most gentle, inquisitive voice.

The river today. It was beautiful (tiny tiny kids, at right).

Quinault River

My dog ran about on his first-ever river date with me, splashing in the water and having a wonderful time. When I got lost in the bushes and almost lost a pint of blood on some Satan’s-Anus Thornbush Fuckery* he came after me to find me. He is a hero. Here he’s scouting ahead.

Lone Wolf

We caught tadpoles. Phoenix expressed her ambivalence about removing them from their natural home. Just now she asked me if we could drive the hour and put them back.


* No, it wasn’t Devil’s Club. It was far worse.

my 2000th post, broseph

I’m pulling out of the driveway but only a little bit nervous, as Ralph still isn’t home. I forgot what I’ve known for some time now – this week he starts 4/10 shifts with Fridays off (yay!) and won’t be home quite yet. Nels runs outside. Nels never. And I mean never. Ever. Let’s me leave without giving me a hug and a kiss. “Hug and a kiss!”, every time. He’s hung off the car before. He’s chased me partway down the block in his underwear. These days, obviously, I stall in the driveway so we don’t have to go through any of that.

“Where are you going?” He asks.

“A meeting.”

“But you’re going to throw up again,” he says.

“I’m better today,” I tell him.

“I hope so. I pray so nothing will happen to my Little Mama.”

I know what he means. I struggle with fear, because pain is so great when it comes. I am still trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be learning. I have learned a few things. Maybe if I write them out, I’ll feel better.


I was busy today. First a long walk-run with Hutch. Then a doctor’s appointment (by the way, my doctor recommended, as treatment for a kidney stone attack, slamming two beers in quick succession! I kid you not. And needless to say: ain’t gonna happen).

Then sewing some rad shit:

Cocktail Napkins!

(more pics to come!)

Something I’d looked forward to: D. with Freedom Tails came and visited and we talked about Hutch – who is at least thirty pounds overweight, and is suffering from a mild (but could-get-worse) skin reaction, likely from his food. D. and I talked quite a bit about the dog, his past and present (you can see him here as a past graduate, under his previous name “Hootch”).

D. had some absolutely wonderful recommendations and daily I am just super-pleased with what I’m learning from our dog. He already can walk well-healed and without stopping or marking, travel with me off-leash, respond to a “heel” command off-leash, and will come when I want him back on leash. Considering I’ve had him only two weeks and by the time he came to live with us he was an escape artist and a dog who pulls on leash AND sniffs and marks when he felt like it – well, things are going well indeed.

Not to mention I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND WANT TO POST PICTURES OF HIM CONSTANTLY and sometimes do (on Twitter).

The pets rested after a busy day.

4 Out Of 5


Hamilton, Keepin' It Classy

All Pooped Out


I shall not comment on the cats’ lifestyles. I shall not.

the god of hellfire & wieners to boot

E. Gets Her Hot Dog On
She roasted that fucker LIKE A BOSS

My Son
Nels. Is it just me or is he stunningly beautiful! He’s full of the devil too. If you haven’t caught on.

Concentration, Part 2
Focus… focus

Hutch, Chillin'
OK, Hutch kept “accidentally” sliding into this weird dark hole behind him. He was nervous about the fire. I had him off-leash all night and he behaved perfectly. He’s a winner!

It was a lovely night.

4th of July

I pen this as my neighbors are getting up and going with their loaded frolicking, involving explosives, many of which are likely not legal within the city limits. They’ve already fired more than one firework directly into our yard, on accident I think, because they are smashed. I came home from my mom’s to be with my dog who is hiding in the closet behind me, but much relieved I am here.

Earlier today: date with Ralph at the taco truck.

Ralph, Taco Truck

We finished cake balls – they will be for sale at my kids’ lemonade stand, First Thursday tomorrow in Hoquiam (5 PM to 8 PM, Gray’s General Store):

Cake Balls!

Hutch relaxed a bit, at my mom’s place:


By the way, Hutch knows who his “grandma” is. My mom has been talking him up all over town. I shit thee not. People I don’t know, know I have a dog and that my dog is awesome. I am totally in the “Hutch is awesome” camp, and I don’t know how it happened. I give him rub-downs every single day. I love him so much.

After dinner (which I was too hungry to take pictures of, alas – delicious tacos with tons of fresh veg and accoutrement) – strawberry shortcake, soooooo good (recipe in the July 2012 issue of Tumblehome!):

Strawberry Shortcake

Fireworks, a few minutes before I started believing we might die tonight:



Nels is down with the pyrotechnics (as you know he’s totally cool with standing inside a firework):


One last spark before taking cover inside:



this just in: blue vinyl chair solves all my problems

News: the July/August issue of Natural Child Magazine is out – and one of my pieces, previously unpublished elsewhere, is featured. I highly recommend any works published by this independent company as run by Wendy & Rolf Priesnitz. Wonderful stuff. And honestly, I think my own piece is pretty good. I hope you read it! I’ll publish it here at the blog in a month or so. If I remember.


Now back to blogging.

(massive laundry pile, dishes need to be done. But:)

Blue Vinyl Chair

Blue Vinyl Chair

I found this chair today. I went mad for it. It was more than we could afford, since times are tight. I begged Ralph for it. He bought it, but then said I couldn’t pester him for money for nine more days. Can I make it that long?

The chair is metal-embossed: “The Elegant FIRST LADY by Belvedere” (like this). It works. As in, the dryer works, the timer works, it adjusts up and down and has an auxillary power outlet. It’s also a pretty deep blue and vinyl so the cats can’t shed and dander on it. We have about four thousand percent more pet grooming on our hands with Hutch’s real estate, BTW.

Blue Vinyl Chair

Blue Vinyl Chair

I took like a hundred pictures of my kids. They were too beautiful for me to cull any photos. The kids dried their hair after their baths. Nels especially enjoyed it all, although my first picture doesn’t do it justice.

I love the freedom our family has. Stuff like this, like it is one of those incredibly fun things about family life. It’s wonderful stuff, truly.


"Hutch" Hogaboom

We have a new addition. He weighs 109 pounds.* I’m hoping he loses a bit of it. But anyway, he is hilariously large. Like, this picture you think, “Oh kinda big.” You should meet him.

And now? Time for second-walkies of the evening.

"Hutch" Hogaboom

* Nope. Actually, 120, as of today’s weighing. Yikes.