Poll Results

Everyone believes that our motto, "It's always sunny for us," should stand. (Mine was the only dissenting vote.)

That's good.

Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet

The first birdhouse was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Bird within hours. Happily, I immediately built another birdhouse.

The back is all scrap wood, pieced together:

The main piece of wood for the front and back of both of them was a piece of particle board that my coworker was throwing away. It was fun to put it all together and make it work. No one is yet living in the second bird house, but the first one is like it's been there for years. Whenever I try and get a good picture of Mr. and Mrs. Bird of the Hexagon House, they hide. They're all like, "No pictures, please!" I would like to have your opinion on what sort of birds they are, but they aren't having it.

Not to put too fine a point on it...

BAH was experimenting with beehive designs and, like and architect, he made a smaller scale model of a hexagon hive to see how that worked. He determined the hive was too complicated to mass produce, and abandoned the project. So then we had this little hexagon sitting around. It was such a nice little hexagon. I felt sorry for it, doing nothing like that. Then I saw this.

Voila the new hexagon bird chateau:

Made entirely of crap I found laying around... I mean... what do they call it? Recycled materials.

I wonder how the Beatles liked Aunt Lou's house?

She said they spent the night, and John snuck off and slept in the bath. Also, Paul was clearly dead, because the $ sign on his hat is backwards. And he's barefoot.

Seems legit.

A Pressing Problem

Family Motto

I've been reading the whole Game of Thrones (also called Song of Ice and Fire) series by George R.R. Martin with BAH and SMILE (Sweet Mother In Law Extraordinaire). You might know that the main families in the series have their own family motto: The Lannisters always pay their debts.

(It sounds silly, until one of them says, "A Lannister always pays his debts" right before he kills you!) The Starks always say, "Winter is coming."

A little pessimistic, if you think about it. (By the way, if you do read these books, keep in mind that you shouldn't get too attached to any of the characters, because Martin really likes killing characters off in the most gruesome way possible.)

BAH was at work one day. Someone told him to email a coworker. The coworker in question was on vacation in San Francisco, so he wrote,

"Have you ever seen fog covering the Golden Gate Bridge? It's always sunny for me."

Then he decided that should be our family motto, "It's always sunny for us."

That was about three weeks ago. The grass is dying. The trees are withering. It's always sunny for us, and it hasn't rained in three weeks.

It's probably just a coincidence.

Be sure and vote in the poll at the top of the sidebar! Very important, you know.

Our Lifetime Supply of Natural Diet Pills

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was killing time at Walgreens and I read the back of a box of diet pills. Okay, let's be honest: I was considering purchasing a box of diet pills. The main ingredient of the diet pills turned out to be Jerusalem artichokes.

"What a con!" I said, "We've got those in our garden!"

That was my first year of growing them, and I didn't quite yet realize how much Jerusalem artichoke we had in our garden. Jerusalem artichoke, when it's in the ground, looks like a sunflower, but with different leaves. It's about nine feet tall. I knew it was a perennial, but I assumed that, if I dug up the bulbs (because that's the part you eat) they wouldn't come back the next year. After all, my potatoes don't come back the next year when I dig them up.

Not so with Jerusalem artichoke. Every year, I dig them up, and every year, they come back more plentifully. Here they are this year:

I don't know if this picture quite shows how it is spreading away from the garden, right out into the lawn.

We always joke that we won a lifetime supply of Jerusalem artichoke!

It's a joke, because Jerusalem artichoke is bland and lumpy. It's not something anyone would give as a prize, I don't think. I just dutifully eat it once a week, year round, because it's free food that grows in our yard.

But then, a few weeks ago, I started reading nutrition studies, well into the night. [I'm sorry- I couldn't find the exact article for this post.] I'm not sure why, just got interested. As it was heading towards midnight, I came across something that listed Jerusalem artichoke as one of the few foods that really helps you regulate your food intake. Without getting into too much detail, I think I can safely say that it helps you to feel full. So.

The diet pills weren't such a joke, after all!

And I, apparently, have a lifetime supply of natural weight regulation medicine growing right here in my lawn!

Knowing that Jerusalem artichoke helps me stay fit makes me so much happier to eat my free, lumpy mush once a week.

Bee Home

Last week, I had most of my time off of work, and BAH had to go to Miami. He was worried about the bees, though. They needed additions to their hives, or they were going to swarm. BAH was quite worried. Hesitantly, I offered my services as woodworker. Oh, my.

So, BAH cut some of the wood and showed me what to do. And then he left for a week.

I can barely cut a straight line, so while BAH had cut the outer shell of the bee hive boxes, I had to do the inner workings. Truly, my inner wood cuts look a bit like waves.

In the middle of the madness of figuring all of this out, a random woman came and stood in the garage. I didn't notice her and then I turned around and,


In the spirit of true salesmanship, she pretended like I wasn't having a heart attack and feigned interest in the bee hive design. It turned out she wanted to sell me a spot in the yellow pages. Good grief.

Crazy freaky lady, standing there silently watching me for I don't know how long...

Anyway, BAH had told me "If you have time, paint them blue."

So, I did. But I couldn't resist adding a few silly extra touches:

Watch out! There's a bee on the handle!

Yes, we feel the love.

I ran into an ex student today who was unusually excited about seeing me. He cried out,

"What the f---?! Hey, Mrs. Door!" [Not my real name:)]

No Chicken Left Behind

This little chicken wanted to spend the night under a tomato plant, but I wouldn't let it because of the No Chicken Left Behind.

We just put the little chicks out to free range two days ago, and they are still getting lost a little- this one tonight, and last night there was one very far away from the barn, hiding in the bushes. I had a broom, BAH had a pink butterfly net (borrowed from Little Z), and Little Z ran around in circles a lot. We caught it. I realize this would have made a fantastic video, but alas, my cinematographer took the day off.

If you are wondering, Is that really a chicken in the picture? Yes, it is. It's a very small chicken with very big hair. Reminds me of some teenagers I know.

Terror of the Parenting Fail

I am taking a college course all this week from 8 to 4. BAH has been dropping Little Z off at preschool in the morning- not really our usual routine. But then, in the afternoon, I pick her up as usual. Except for today.

Today, I went to pick her up as usual, and her teacher met me at the door and said,

"You know she isn't here, right?"

and I thought, He just went to work this morning, and I just went to my class, and Little Z has been home alone all day, eating fig newtons and making concoctions!

My heart was jumping out of my chest as I learned the truth: Little Z was sick with a fever, and BAH had picked her up earlier and taken her home. Of course. Because he's responsible like that.

And I'm irresponsible. My cell phone was off, and I didn't even remember to check it after class for messages.

Little Z is now sleeping it off. I coaxed her into eating some ice cream before bed. That's what the nurse said to feed her, because she has a sore throat. See. I called the nurse line. Because, you know, I'm a responsible parent- right? Right?

We Lost a Good One

A coworker of mine died yesterday. He was on a kayaking trip that he had been planning for six years. He was going to kayak around Lake Superior. He called the trip "SoloSuperior". He died in Lake Superior, yesterday. I'm not sure quite what happened, but he was somehow separated from his boat, sent out a distress signal, and the Canadian Coast Guard found him, too late.

The thing about Bob was, he lived life on his own terms. He always said exactly what he thought, even when it was completely inappropriate. It was quite comical at times, actually. He made people so angry in our staff meetings! I already miss him.

Bob was an acquired taste. He was this radical guy. A radical union supporter, protester, a radical environmentalist. He biked to work often, even though he seemed to live in a different town, and this is Wisconsin, with all of our weather. His body was a mass of muscle. I really never expected anything like this to happen to it. I mean, did it really seem like a good idea to kayak around Lake Superior, all alone? Lake Superior, a lake that has tides? Well, yeah, for Bob, I totally thought he could handle it. I thought he would be fine. I admired him. I complained that he took off a week early for summer vacation to begin his grand adventure. But I was jealous, truth be told.

For all of the horror of a good person dying, I still think that is the best way to go: living your ultimate dream.

And then it makes me so happy to be alive still myself. Is that wrong? Treasure everyone you know! I really didn't notice how much I liked Bob until today. I know that the next staff meeting, someone will say something politically correct and I'll wonder what Bob would have shouted out right then! Maybe I'll speak my mind more next time. The world needs more like Bob. Watch him take off to live his ultimate dream here.

The whole trip was actually a way of raising money for this cause. I think he had already raised over $4000.


From the Futility Closet,


n. one who talks pretentiously

I can't help but notice that blaguer sounds an awful lot like blogger. Just a homophone, I'm sure.

For your enjoyment, a portrait my daughter (an occasional blaguer, to be sure) took of her toys:


I didn't think I could write a tribute to Ray Bradbury. So, I didn't. But I loved him and I am sorry he was not immortal- though he seemed, somehow, like he possibly could be. Someone else wrote a fitting tribute. Read it! This guy, Neil Gaiman, is a great writer. I've never read a thing by him before, but I vow here and now to read everything he writes. I haven't yet finished all of Ray Bradbury.

The Wedding of Those People I Barely Knew Is Really Cool

Two of my classmates from childhood made a pact in junior high: If they weren't married by the time they were thirty, they would marry each other. If this sounds familiar, it might be because it was a movie with Julia Roberts. But truly, they made the pact before the movie, and now they are getting married this week. Which I think is nice. I wish them well.

Found in Madison, "Little Free Library"

I could do this. We don't get any foot traffic, but I wonder if the bicyclists would tuck a good book into their spandex, given the opportunity? I'm sorry that you can see my arm. It wasn't meant to be a part of the picture. "Help!" says my arm. "Let me out of this box!"


Scott Walker won the recall. Jerk. On the bright side, it's the last week of school, and do you know, I don't think I've been sick one day the entire school year? I haven't even had a runny nose, that I can recall. Also, I've had a great year. The hooligans actually seemed to learn what I meant them to learn. And they were nice, really nice kids, for the most part. It doesn't get much better than that.

Organic Guys are Hot!

Bad Assed Husband bought a flame thrower to control our weed problem organically. He spent about two hours setting the yard on fire. He's in the shower now.
The back up plan for if the fire gets out of control is: "Run away from flame. Call for help." (From the propane tank label.)