Friday, June 11, 2010

The Deer Who Came for Brunch

. . . and helped herself to a prodigious amount of hosta salad before Moose noticed she was out there and ran out into the yard in her nightgown shrieking, "Go away! Get out of my hosta!":

The deer was unperturbed by Moose's histrionics and went out to a remote, shady part of the yard for a postprandial nap, rousing herself only when Moose came back out to capture the moment on her iPhone.

Interestingly, as that last paragraph was being typed, Moose looked out and saw that the pretty yet unwelcome guest had returned for another go at the all-you-can-eat hosta bar. She has now officially become that crazy neighbor who shakes her fist and yells in order to protect the sanctity of her home. I will let you know if copies of American Rifleman start showing up on the doorstep.

Note to the Moms: You know, it's really OK with me if you start looking around for a new dog. Srsly, guys, it's been almost six months since I kicked the bucket. I'm doing fine up here in what we might for lack of a better word call heaven, but it's clear that things have gone straight to hell security-wise out in my ridiculously large backyard. Do it for the hostas and, you know, for what's left of your dignity. Just sayin'.

The moms have been inordinately preoccupied recently with matters domestic. In the last few weeks, they have been dealing with, let's see, well . . .
  • an upstairs shower that started leaking water through a light fixture in the kitchen;
  • an $800 car repair that required several follow-up conversations with our entirely trustworthy mechanic when Moose realized that the exact same repair had been done less than two years ago;
  • a consultation with Raymond, our eccentric yet masterful furniture guy, about how to repair the antique table that UPS smashed to smithereens when shipping it up from Texas;
  • appointments first with a trapping service and then with an exterminator to investigate the source of the scary tippy-tappy, scritchy-scratchy noises in the eaves of the moms' bedroom (upshot: bees, now deceased, but Brandon the Mighty but Kinda Dumb Trapper messed up the ceiling [in a futile effort to find nonexistent mice], which will have to be repaired by Orlando, the paint and drywall guy; see next bullet);
  • waiting on Orlando, whom we adore and have known for years, to come fix the damage done by the winter's ice dams, which is actually going to involve a fairly significant amount of painting and a little dry wall repair;
  • hanging out in the meantime with our beloved Joe, awesome carpenter and all-around fix-it guy, who figured out what caused the leak in the shower and the squeak in the dishwasher door and came up with a fix for a threshold in the basement that kept tripping Moose every time she came out of her study;
  • getting Cromcast to figure out what was going on with the suddenly glitchy Interweb connection, which was making my typist want to throw her laptop across the room rather than type for me or work on the Most Overdue Project in the History of American Publishing, which she is, actually, occasionally doing these days.
Wow. That's a long list!

Note to Dr. Crazy, who just bought her first house: I swear to dog, home ownership usually isn't this much of a pain in the a$$ or a drain on the wallet. Do not read this post and get scared. The moral of this tale of temporary woe is that everything can be fixed. It's just a matter of knowing who to call. As time goes on you, too, will develop a long list of reliable guys and gals to call in the event of emergencies or problems beyond your range of expertise. As for the money, well, some things (e.g., the ice dams) are covered by insurance, and some you just have to close your eyes and say, "I will get it all back at tax time, I will get it all back at tax time." Your home is an investment. Keep it in good shape in order to protect or enhance its value. Take it from a couple of fiscally conservative old broads who screwed up the nerve to cash out a decade's worth of equity and re-build the whole damn joint back in '03. You'll be glad you did.

While we are on the subject of housekeeping, Moose has racked up a long list of open tabs in her browser. We'll pass them along to you for your summer weekend reading pleasure:
  • The backstory on Charlie Riedel, the photographer who took those amazing photos of birds mired in the oil on the Louisiana coast that everyone, including us, has been talking about;
  • Melissa McEwan's eloquent and deeply perceptive take on the separation of Al and Tipper Gore, which we also weighed in on earlier this week;
  • Think outside the burqa! Here's a Time report on British research suggesting that Internet use makes people happier -- yes, HAPPIER! -- especially women and people in the developing world;
  • On the other hand, here's a WaPo story that raises questions about whether the millions of dollars schools are sinking into high-tech gadgetry actually improves student learning;
  • For Marylanders following the rematch between former Gov. Bob Ehrlich and current Gov. Martin "You, Sir, Are No Jack Kennedy" O'Malley, here's a WaPo piece that fact-checks the claims each candidate is making about the other's record on taxing and spending;
  • In the mood for a good cry? Eager to relive your own dead-pet experience? Well, then click on over to The Best-Ever Dog (H/T Kelly), for a well-written and heart-rending reflection on "how we repay unconditional love."
That's it, kids. A happy Friday to you and yours. Here's hoping the deer and the antelope are staying on the right side of your high fences.


  1. Egad! You gals have been busy! I've been lax on the house upkeep. I need someone to install a new door in our dining room. Perhaps your handy person can do it. I'll ask for a referral when next we meet. Speaking of which, want to go see the Mystics this summer? Another lovely dinner at Poste? I'm in NY next week at the library (engaging the possibility that I may do work again, not withstanding the past three weeks of complete unproductivity) but will ring you when I'm back. And a hearty yes to thinking about a new canine companion. We just played with Sasha who is delightful (though much more energetic than Shel and Em).

  2. Ginger was looking for Astaire? Might Astaire be the one Roxie is anticipating?


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