Sunday, March 22, 2009


So maybe I was a little too adventurous in suggesting that we ("we" meaning Me, Scout, ABW & Gunner) compete in both the Austin Urban Dare and the Run for the Rovers 5k all in one weekend.

We are sore.

Urban Dare was harder than we thought. Run for the Rovers was fun like last year, only the hubbies were there to share it with us this time around.

Lewis was his usual freakish self, barking nervously because he so badly just wanted to run. Him and Kansas did their best to make Scout's hands lose circulation. I wish I could be as excited as them to run.

And I had a nice chat with this lady today, and mentioned to her that I thought I remember taking a picture of her and her pooch last year. Turns out, it was them:

He was still his apparently normal self, soaking in the water every chance he got!

I wish I had pictures to share from this weekend, but there was a combination of photos taken on my 35mm and Scout's phone. It will be a while before I can get them transferred to the computer.

I'm off to take some Motrin.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Did you know?

Did you know that getting your taxes back at the end of the year is like getting welfare or food stamps?

No shit? I didn't either!

Scout's birth year is jacked up with the Social Security office (has been for years). Because of this, we can't use free or inexpensive online tax services (we've tried it numerous times, and it always comes back with an error of some sort). I nag him every year about changing it so we don't have to go to H&R Block, or some other highly priced place with poorly trained employees (because for some reason, his social is good there - maybe because he can show ID? Who knows).

So we went to get our taxes done a few weeks ago. We sat down at a desk with a first-timer. Greeeaat. I knew we had at least one complicated thing on the list to take care of and now this was going to take a while. And we brought a squirmy, cranky 13 month old. Good times.

So at the end of it all, we had no tax liability, which meant we'd be getting everything back that we paid in. At that point, we hadn't even touched the adoption expenses, so I asked if they would carry over to the next tax year. The rookie obviously didn't know the answer and said, "Oh, let me ask (insert German woman's name)! She's been here for nineteen years!"

German Lady (I only specify her original national identity because 1) If you know any Germans - which I do - you know that their view of government is TOTALLY different from an average American's, most certainly different from mine, and 2) Germans - at least with me, for some reason - NEVER hold anything back. They say what they think - to hell with what your reaction is. Yes, I'm generalizing. Get over it.) explained to me that that adoption expenses would not carry over because the government is giving me a helping hand by giving all of my taxes back.

I shot her a look of, WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? I'm completely positive that, had someone snapped a photo of me at that very moment, I would have looked like an enraged serial killer.

Scout was sitting in between where I was sitting and where she was standing, and I nudged his knee as if to say, "You better play Night Club Bouncer because this bitch is about to get it." Scout took the cue and sat up in his chair.

However, German lady mistranslated my Crazy Person Look to say, "I don't understand, could you please explain it to me the way you would to a preschooler?"

So she proceeded to lower her arm and cup her hand. "See," she said, "the government is giving you a helping hand. They are giving you all of your taxes back. Really, it's like welfare. Or food stamps. It sounds bad, but it's not."

I am telling you guys, I almost had a meltdown in H&R Block.

I may or may not have said before that I'm an All-or-Nothing kind of girl. In the way that I Deal With Things, I had two options.

1. Leave H&R block peacefully, with my husband, son, and pending tax return.

2. Leave H&R block in the back of a police car for violently assaulting German Lady while yelling, "Welfare is money someone HASN'T earned, financed by other hard-working people like my PARENTS who pay money INTO taxes every year! You know what getting all of OUR money back means, German Lady? It means that we don't make enough to pay for OTHER people's electric bills and dairy products!"

Guess which option I chose. (Hint: I didn't leave in the back of a squad car.)

Oh, how I wish that I could be a Middle of the Road kind of girl. I wish I could have politely told her what a tool she was. And that she should consider moving back to her country of origin before her next explanation of the intricacies of our country's welfare system to a possible Option Number Two American.


Got this in an email from my dad. Subject line in email: Kid Lucky to be Alive.

This one's for you, Debey.

Monday, March 16, 2009


The sun is out and Diesel is home.

And I have a new obsession: Hobby Farming.

Thanks, Jenna.

Check out her book, too: Made from Scratch. You'll want to be a backyard farmer within the first few pages (well, maybe not. But I was hooked).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rain and Dogs

Rain rain go away,
Come again another day.
Little Johnny wants to play;
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again!
We've had rain since Tuesday; it's the longest stretch of rain I remember having since moving to Texas two and a half years ago.

I'm not talking "rain" like we have in the Northwest - the seemingly constant drizzle that makes your hair a little frizzy. I'm talking about Texas Rain. The kind that makes you want to bring out the blankets and hibernate for a while. The kind that makes you think out loud, "I'm so glad our roof is in good shape." The kind of rain that scares the dogs enough to make them bolt from the property.

The thing about me and dogs is that I love them. I want them inside where it's warm and dry. But try telling two Pits and a Blue Heeler that they can't go outside because it's wet and cold. They don't buy it. They WANT to be outside. If I make them sleep inside on the couch, they whine and chew things and scratch at the back door. If they go outside, they play and get muddy and sleep happily in the dog houses (Lewis, Winston, and Foxy on the other hand, want nothing to do with the rain - they sleep inside without argument).

But yeah, Texas Rain. It's usually attached to Texas Lightning and Texas Thunder. I give credit to all three for the fluctuation in my dog pack this week.

Tuesday night, I had six dogs. Wednesday morning I had four. No wait - five. Diesel ended up being in the front yard, huddled in a pile of leaves under a tree. Kansas was nowhere to be found.

A jillion fliers and 36 hours of worry later, the pound left a message for me saying they had found "Sophia". Huh?

I called back and asked if they meant Kansas. Apparently, the microchip company had the wrong owner's name and dog's name on file, but somehow they had my phone number right. At least they got the important stuff right.

So yesterday I had my whole pack again. Scout fixed all the areas he thought might be the routes to their escape. But I still wanted to be on the safe side, so all of the dogs slept inside (against their wishes). Scout let them out this morning when he woke up.

As Scout was leaving for work, he noticed Kansas and Diesel frolicking down the street. Kansas came when she was called. Diesel, however, still having the street dog instinct he did when I brought him home, ran.

So now we're down to five again. Here's to hoping the rain goes away and Diesel comes back.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

No Girls Allowed

Exotic Zoo

We went to The Exotic Resort Zoo today. Fun times. Great pictures.

I think this one is my fave.

Notice the deer eating Scout's shirt. He was not so comfortable with that.

Good thing Tucker has had practice being gentle with Our Zoo.

I love this one too. I wish I could have photographed him laughing as he fearlessly stuffed his fist full of food into the camel's mouth over and over again. He thought it was hysterical.

It was a good day.

(By the way - Happy Birthday, Grandma San Antonio!)

Deep in Thought