When Was the Last Time You Frolicked?

Dear Kid,

Many, many years ago we had a mulberry tree in our backyard (now we have a mulberry tree stump, but I’ll get to that).

Squirrel Wars 2016 Have Begun. Dad is --once again -- trying to keep the rodents off the birdfeeders. DearKidLoveMomThe mulberry tree had branches that reached from the back of the yard practically to the house. Dad wanted to cut the branches, but I convinced him not to. During the mid to late summer, the squirrels used those branches as their personal grocery store. They would come waaaay out on the branches and reach for the farthest, hardest to reach, presumably yummiest berries. It was jungle gym and produce section in one.

It was serious fun to watch.

Then we had to cut the tree down because it was dying and unsafe.

The squirrels adapted by trying to do triple gainers from other trees to reach the birdfeeder.

This pleased no one except the squirrels.

As I’m writing this, the squirrels are frolicking in the yard. Seriously, frolicking, as they try to figure out how to get their next meal.

We now have tree whose branches have grown far enough out that I can watch the little dudes up close from my chair on the porch.

They spend a lot of time under the birdfeeder encouraging their avian friends to throw down a respectable tithe.

And they are plotting.

It’s obvious as they pause on a tree trunk or branch that they are engaging in Highly Advanced Physics calculations trying to determine if they can Make The Leap from their location to the birdfeeder.

So far the answer is no, which pleases the squirrels not at all but the humans and birds are happy.

As for the stump, it still sits in the yard. And the squirrels haven’t forgotten it. yesterday, one of them paused on the stump, leaning over the edge, to watch other squirrels play/fight/frolic. Stump as lounge chair.

Très cute.

Hope you have some time to frolic today.

Love, Mom

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A Group of What?

Dear Kid,

A group of chipmunks is called a scurry.

A group of football fans is called a tailgate.

A group of drinkers is called a frat party.

A group of alligators is called a congregation. At least that’s what their prey says…

A group of bacteria is called a culture.

A group of operas is called a season.

A group of bullfinches is called a bellowing.

A group of bad ideas is called a cluster f***.

A group of crabs is called a cast. So is a group of actors.

A group of gnus is called an implausibility. So is a group of good ideas.

A group of hippopotamuses is called a bloat. So is a group of fat cells. DearKidLoveMom.com

A group of hippopotamuses is called a bloat. So is a group of fat cells.

A group of hippopotamuses is called a bloat. So is a group of fat cells.

A group of jellyfish is called a smack. Unless I’m involved in which case it’s called an “Are You Kidding Me?”

A group of mosquitoes is called a scourge and a group of locusts is called a plague.

(I’m making up very little of this.)

A group of otters is called an adorable (yeah, I made up that one).

A group of sandwiches is called lunch.

A group of turtles is called a bale.

A group of turtles is called a bale.

A group of dances is called a prom.

A group of squirrels is called a dray.

A group of stingrays is called a fever.

A group of turtles is called a bale.

A group of politicians is called a joke.

Love, Mom

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Puppy Invents New Game to Amuse Mom

Dear Kid,

I'll be right back...but there's important sniffing to do! DearKidLoveMom.comThe Puppy has created a new game called Get Mom to Get Up and Move.

That’s not what it’s called.

We were outside weeding. Well, I was weeding and he was sniffing weeds. Let’s call the spot where I was sitting Point A.

That’s a dumb name for a pile of mulch.

The Puppy started wandering East of Point A.

I was following my nose!

When he got to the edge of our property, I called for him to come back. He ignored me and kept slowly wandering toward the east.

I was following my nose, not my ears.

I got up, pushed my way through the bushes that he’s small enough to walk under, grabbed his leash, and led him back to Point A.

After a moment or two, he began to wander in southerly direction.

Important sniffing had to be done.

I kept an eye on him, but when he reached our property line, I told him to wait for me.

My tail tried to wait for you.

His tail may have wanted to wait, but clearly his nose was in control and he continued to meander while I got up and fetched him back.

We had an important talk about staying on our side of the invisible lines.

The squirrels don’t have to!

No sooner had we finished our talk than he began to wander West.

I wanted to see what was over there today.

Rinse and repeat. If he could have figured out how to wander up, I’m sure he’d have done that too.

All in all, it was hard to get much weeding done….

Eventually, the Puppy gave up, flopped in the sun, and contented himself with letting his thoughts wander.

Love, Mom

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Eyelash Perms? Are You Kidding?

Dear Kid,

Have you heard of eyelash perms? Clearly, I’m behind the times, because I hadn’t heard of this trendy beauty treatment until recently.

The idea is straightforward—like your eyelashes before the treatment. Well, not your eyelashes. You have gorgeous lashes. Sigh.

But not all of us have beautiful, thick, upturned lashes.

Mascara? Not really necessary.... DearKidLoveMom.comBack in the day, those of us that wanted curly hair but weren’t blessed with cooperative locks got our hair permed. The process went something like this.

Sit in the salon chair for about 73 hours while someone painstakingly rolled tiny bits of your hair in individual curlers. Squinch your eyes tightly closed while the stylist soaks your head with perm solution. Mop the drippy part out of your eyes, off your forehead, and off the very back of your neck where it wanted to trickle the most. Wait. Pretend your scalp doesn’t itch or burn. Repeat while the neutralizer was applied. Wash, cut, dry, have curly hair.

Then go through the whole thing again when the curls grow out. Because if you think growing out bangs is hard, it is nothing compared to growing out a perm.

So it was a long, uncomfortable process with results that were (in hindsight) something of a fashion mistake. Faux curly hair was not necessarily a good choice.

On the other hand, there is no question that gently curled eyelashes are a good choice. They make your eyes look bigger and more alert. This is why we spend countless minutes every day curling our lashes and slathering on mascara.

At least some of us do.

So the idea of permanently curled lashes seemed worth investigating.

Until I figured out that what was uncomfortable on my head would be ridiculous on my eyeballs. Can you imagine someone rolling your lashes on tiny little rollers and then pouring ouch-y stuff on your eyes?

And here’s the kicker—the chemicals can cause your lashes to break—entire effort, defeated.

And here’s the double kicker—even if it works perfectly, your lashes will grow out, fall out, and in just a few months you’ll be back to straight eyelashes.

All in all, I’m sticking to an old fashioned curler and a boatload of mascara.

Love, Mom

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Bunny Beyond Belief

Dear Kid,

It’s that time of year again. Yes, the rabbits are out. This thrills the Puppy who is eager (and by “eager” I mean desperate) to make a friend. It is less thrilling for Dad who is not eager to share his garden bounty.

This year, the rabbit likes hiding under the holly bush in the morning and foraging in the backyard in the evening.

For reasons that seem fairly obvious, the holly bush with its prickly leaves feels like a safe place for the bunny. For reasons I don’t understand, the rabbit does not seem to be bothered by the evening mosquitoes. Which is good because I doubt the rabbit would hold still for hydrocortisone.

Turns out that rabbits have just about three-sixty vision (the better to see predators while you’re picking lettuce). Their only blind spot is right in front of their nose. Which leads to a certain irony when they misplace something.

With the exception of the rabbit in The Secret Life of Pets (we saw the movie this weekend) and possibly Peter Rabbit, rabbits are affectionate little dudes. Snowball, the psycho rabbit in Secret Life (definitely one of my favorite characters), was determined to eliminate all humans. Most rabbits (a la Peter) spend their time plotting to eliminate Dad’s garden. (Seriously, there are rabbit seminars on the specific topic of your father’s garden.)

Jackrabbits, which belong to the genus “Lepus,” have been clocked at speeds of 45 miles per hour. Jillrabbits, which belong to the genius “Of course I know the answer,” have been watched (get it? watch? clock?) even faster.

New word of the day: crepuscular. As in “rabbits are crepuscular.” Which means they are most active at dawn and at dusk and when being chased by an overly friendly puppy.

WHAT? I would never eat my own poop. Yeah. That's it. Never. It must have been somebunny else. DearKidLoveMom.com

Rabbits can’t vomit, even after a night of raucous drinking. This is important because they eat their food twice. Like cows, except grosser. Cows burp up their cud and rechew it for digestive purposes. Rabits poop their first attempt at the food, then “reingest” (which means “eat their poop”) to be sure they’ve gotten all the nutrition they can from that particular lump of grass. Or clover. Or whatever.

Ick.

On the plus side, they are dang cute.

Love, Mom

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Heading to the Bahamas and Freedom of Speech

Dear Kid,

I’m so excited! A recorded voice just called to tell me that I’ve been selected to receive a free cruise to the Bahamas!

I’m so excited! A recorded voice just called to tell me that I’ve been selected to receive a free cruise to the Bahamas! DearKidLoveMom.com

I’m so excited! A recorded voice just called to tell me that I’ve been selected to receive a free cruise to the Bahamas!

It will stun you to know that I hung up before finding out what “free” actually means in this case. I’m sure it doesn’t mean “free” in the sense the dictionary might suggest.

“Mother,” I hear you say, “Why, Darling Mother, in this time of spam callers and election lobbyists, did you answer the phone when there was a number you didn’t recognize? You didn’t recognize the number, did you?”

No. I didn’t recognize the number. Recorded voices (and unrecorded people who insist on calling about things I’m not interested in) have gotten smarter. They now call on numbers that have local area codes rather than toll-free area codes. And they have managed to figure out exactly when to call so that they get me at a time when Dad isn’t home. So just on the off chance, the remote possibility, that something tragic happened (like his phone died) or something urgent is going on (like his phone died and he doesn’t know whether to salmon or chicken for dinner), I answer.

The other day, I answered the phone to discover a live human (live, not friendly) calling from a polling organization and asking for your sister. I explained that she wasn’t home. Less than 20 minutes later, someone else from the same organization called again asking for her. I said she didn’t live here anymore. Less than 20 minutes later – you guessed it – they called again. Since this was seriously cutting into my NCIS rerun viewing, I let the Puppy talk to them for a while. He has Very Interesting Views mostly involving treats and naps.

Love, Mom

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Selective Hearing | Everything Old Is New Again

Dear Kid,

Having one of those “Well, duh” moments.

There’s a video making the rounds on the ‘net (you can watch it here if you really want to) that proves that dogs have selective hearing.

Well, duh.

We (and by “we” I mean all cat parents, most dog parents, and many children parents—possibly hippo parents and giraffe parents too but I can’t be sure) see this EVERY STINKIN’ DAY.

Human: Come here. Cat: As if. DearKidLoveMom.comParent: Come here
Cat blinks.

Parent: Come here
Dog continues sniffing.

Parent: Come here
Child continues building Leggos.

Parent (whispering): …treat…
Everyone races to be the first (or second) to get the treat. Except the cat who saunters nonchalantly over but has plans to kill anyone who takes the cat treat.

This is not new news.

Parent says: Clean up your room, wash your face, then we’ll go shopping for school supplies.
Child hears: Let me grab my purse, a snack for you, and the car keys and we’ll go buy Star Wars Leggos.

Again. Nothing new.

Sometimes we hear the greatest new things on the internet.

Sometimes everything old is new again (extra points if you get the reference).

Love, Mom

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