Archive for December, 2010

Eleven Dogs and Counting

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

If you read my earlier post, 8 Dogs and Counting, you might remember that I made the statement “All I know for sure is that we have 8 dogs, and we will never have 9.  I’m putting my foot down!”  I now realize that I made a mistake in stipulating a specific number because we have never had 9 dogs.  Instead, we jumped from 8 to 11.  To clarify our status, we do not own a kennel.  We do not raise dogs to sell.  We just have 11 dogs.  I’m sure you are wondering how the pack increased in size dramatically when I was adamant that Eight Is Enough!  All it takes is a female coonhound in heat and a lovestruck Deutsch Drahthaar bird dog determined to unite with his lady love.  He somehow escaped from his pen, and as they say, nature took its course.

I guess I should be happy that the litter size was small, 3 females total.  I have tried very hard to keep my distance as I know how easily one can fall victim to the siren song all puppies sing.  The brief glimpses I’ve had are enough to caution me against any and all direct physical contact with them because they are very cute.  Regardless of how adorable they are, they are all going to find new homes.  They have to find new homes.  Anyway, at least 2 of them have to find new homes.  Wait, if we keep one that would mean we have 9 dogs, and I said we would never have 9 dogs.  Well, for now we have 11 dogs, but we will NEVER have 12 more than 11 dogs.  I’m putting my foot down!

John Is from OGLE-TR-56b, Part II

Friday, December 17th, 2010

During the early years of our marriage, I stayed home with the children so I never asked John to help much around the house.  It seemed logical to me that our roles should be fairly traditional as long as I didn’t have outside employment.  However, once I started working, nothing seemed to change.  I worked longer and longer hours both outside and inside the home.  Occasionally, I would have a meltdown and demand more assistance.  These displays would usually precipitate some temporary change, but it was never long before John would revert back to his non-participatory status, and all things domestic would once again be my responsibility.  The one area where he helped the most, although intermittent at best, was the dishes.  He would from time to time load and/or unload the dishwasher.  I was always very careful not to criticize or offer suggestions even though he could never get as many dishes loaded as I could, and he never seemed to figure out whether a specific piece was better suited for loading on the top or bottom rack.  I also bit my lip when he would run the dishwasher half full.  Since he was actually helping out, I learned to live with it.

One day during a long period of domestic inactivity, I asked him if he would unload the clean dishes and load the few dirty dishes that were in the sink.  I made a particular point of telling him there weren’t enough dishes there for a full load, so he didn’t need to worry about running it.  He agreed to do the job, so I left to run some errands.

When I got home, I was pleased to see that the dirty dishes were out of the sink so I thanked him for taking care of that chore.  He said, “Just so you know, some of the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty so don’t unload it by mistake.”

Somewhat confused I asked, “What do you mean SOME of the dishes are dirty?”

“Well, I unloaded enough clean dishes for the dirty ones to fit in there, so you need to run it,” he answered.

By this time he had walked into the kitchen and I’m sure I was looking at him with the same expression I would have on my face if I spotted a unicorn or Bigfoot.  The only response I could muster was, “You what?”

He told me again how he had removed some, not all, of the clean dishes, and once he had room for the dirty ones, he loaded those.

“Why, why, why would you do that?” I stammered.

“You mean you’ve never done that before?” he asked.

I said, “Not only have I never done that before, I’ve never heard of anyone ever doing that until today.”

He responded, “The dirty dishes are out of the sink.  That’s what you asked me to do.”

I had to admit that technically he was correct, and his solution seemed perfectly logical to him.  I’ve often thought it might be fun to visit his home planet some day.  Now I’m not so sure.

Men Are from Mars, John Is from OGLE-TR-56b

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

For those of you not versed in the latest news from the world of astronomy, OGLE-TR-56b is a recently discovered planet that is 30 times farther away than any previously discovered planet, so I think you see where I’m going with the title of the post.  In all things big and small, John interprets the world (and acts accordingly) from his own unique perspective.  As always, I have an example that proves my point.  The “incident” happened several months ago when I was late getting home from work one night, and John decided he would cook supper.  I walked into the house that evening and immediately detected an unusual cooking aroma coming from the stove.  John walked into the kitchen and as nonchalantly as possible I asked, “What are you making?”  Without an ounce of hesitation he proudly announced, “Pork and noodles!”  Now I am rarely at a loss for words, but this announcement rendered me speechless.  My mind was reeling as I struggled to construct an appropriate comment.  I didn’t want to say anything critical that might encourage his already legendary lack of help around the house, but I had to quickly discard one response after the other as they all started or ended with the popular slang term starting with W and ending with F.

Finally, I managed to say, “Where did you get that recipe?”  He blithely answered, “I didn’t have a recipe.  I just saw a pork roast in the refrigerator and some Reames egg noodles in the freezer, and I thought that sounded good.”  I swallowed my irritation and hoped that the $7.00 pork roast and $4.00 package of noodles was tastier than that.  I helped him get the rest of the meal prepared and put a moderate helping on my plate.  It didn’t look significantly different than chicken and noodles so I took my first bite with high hopes.  Bland doesn’t begin to describe the taste.  The meat was tough and the noodles quickly became inert wads of dough.  I silently finished my meal thinking of all the boneless grilled pork chops and barbecued pork sandwiches that would never grace our table.

After I’d finished cleaning up the mess created by his cooking debacle, John walked into the kitchen with his plate and said, “That wasn’t nearly as good as I thought it would be.”  Could I seriously be expected to ignore an opening like that?  I said, “How many times did your mother ever fix pork and noodles when you were a kid?”


“How many times have you ever had pork and noodles at someone’s house?”


“How many times have you ever seen pork and noodles on a menu in a restaurant?”


“Did you ever stop to ask if there was a reason for its apparent absence from everywhere on earth except our kitchen?”


I walked from the kitchen shaking my head.  I know he means well, but I think the difference in atmosphere and gravity between earth and his home planet must leave him rather disoriented most of the time.

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