Pillow Talk

“I dunno, Bean, I’ve never really thought about it.  What would I do if you died?”

We lay on our backs in the dark, pondering in silence.

“It’s tough to say.  I love you, Bean.  What we have – the way it works between us?  Well, it’s really cool, and so much better than I imagined it would ever work out…. Oh, you know what I mean.  But I dunno… I don’t know if I would ever want to be married again.”

“Why, because it’s just been so terrible for you?  Awww, poor Becky…. just so burned in marriage….Being married is just so rough on her…..”

“No.  It’s not that.  I love you.  It works between us.  It’s just… being single is easier, ya know?  Marriage is a lot of work.”

“Yeah.”  He falls silent.  “I don’t think I’d want to marry again either.  I love you, Becky.”

“I love you too, Bean.”

“I’d miss you with all my heart, but yeah… you probably couldn’t get me to ink up on marriage again.  If you died,” he pauses, as if considering whether to go on.  “If you died, I could have the whole bed to myself.”

I’m not offended.  It’s just common sense.  Besides:

“On the other hand….I dunno, Bean.. what if I live until 90?  I don’t believe in screwing around outside of marriage, and 60 years is a long time to go without ‘lovin’, if you know what I mean.”

“Who are you going to be sleeping with?”  He sounds vaguely insulted.

I don’t know why he’s acting all hurt – he just killed me off so he didn’t have to share the covers.  I’m just admitting to a biological imperative that would be tough to ignore.  Sheesh.

“Bean, don’t be silly.  I’m just saying… imagine it.  If I died in a freak accident, you’re only thirty years old. After today you would never, ever, ever get any nookie again.  Not once.”  I’ve already told him that if I die he can find someone else to marry, but that he’s not allowed to sleep around. 

He pauses, considering. 

“Well, in that case, if (God forbid) you died, I think I’d go be a monk.”

I snort.  “Bean, you’d make a terrible monk.”

Now he sounds really insulted.  “And why is that?  I’d make a great monk.”  

“Really?  You seriously think you’d make a good monk?”

“Sure.  I could sit up there on my throne…. And order people around….”

“What?  Sweetie, monks are those guys that live in monasteries.  They are the ones who give up all their worldly goods, shave their heads, put on a scratchy brown robe and tend a garden with a bunch of other dudes.  What, are you going to grow vegetables to help the poor while maintaining a vow of silence?”

He pauses.

“Oh.  Uh, yeah.  I’d make a terrible monk.”

The bedroom fills with a comfortable silence.

“Then what are those guys called that I’m thinking about?  The ones that have the lavish robes, who sit on a chair and boss their concubines around?”

“You mean like Genghis Khan?”

“Yeah!”  His tone brightens.

“They don’t exist anymore.  I don’t think they even have a term anymore.  I dunno…… Mongolian prince?”

“Yeah!  Mongolian prince.  That’s it.  If you died, then I would go become a Mongolian prince.”

“What about the kids?”

“They’re older in this scenario.  They’ve got their own lives.”

“So, what… you’d be sitting up in your throne with people cooking you lots of steaks, ordering your servants around and sleeping all sorts of concubines?”

“Yeah!”  He sounds happy.

Now I’m the one who is insulted.  The silence in the bedroom isn’t quite so comfortable anymore, and he can tell.

“It doesn’t count,” he says defensively.  “They’re just concubines.”

“Mmmm-hmmmm.”  I’m admitting that my flesh is weak and that I one day I may have to marry some sweet Christian guy with a pot belly and a nice smile, and suddenly the Bean is dressed in velvet robes, eating filet mignong while surrounded by dozens of nubile young slave girls?

“They’re just concubines!  It doesn’t count!”  He is starting to sound a little desperate.

“Mmmm-hmmmm.”

“It doesn’t!”

“Mmmm-hmmmm.”

There’s an awkward pause while he tries to come up with a way to take back what he just said.  Finally:

“I love you?”

“I love you, too.  But no – you are not allowed to become a Mongolian prince if I die.   Ever.   And I don’t know what imaginary dimension you were living in, but yes, concubines count.”

He gives a heavy sigh.  “Fine.  Concubines count.”

We roll on our sides, silence drifting like a warm blanket across the darkness, lulling us to sleep.

Admit it. You’re Jealous.

“So, we’re accepting the job offer with Portland?”

 “Yes, Becky, it looks like that’s the one we’ll go with.”

 “Awesome, Bean! This is great! I already have a lot of friends up there!”

 “Wait…friends? I thought you said you’d never been up there?”

 “I haven’t. Oh, Bean, this is going to be great! I already have tons of people we’re going to have to go visit and ride with…”

 “Are these friends you knew from before we met?”

“Nope.”

 “How do you know them?”

 “Oh, well, I haven’t really met them. They’re from my blog!

“From your blog?” Bean raised an eyebrow. 

“Don’t look at me like that.  Yes, from my blog.  They still count as friends.”

Whatever, Portland friends. Psssht. Bean doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You and me… we’re tight.

Although, in the interest of maintaining an honest friendship with you, I do have to be blunt.  I will not, ever, EVER wear hiking sandles with socks.  I can embrace the rain, the overcast skies, the mud, the hipsters, and everything else you throw at me, but a girl has to have standards.  I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.  

Anyways, in response to some of the comments my new friends (YES, Bean, they are my FRIENDS) wrote to me….

POA girl said:  “I’ve been told that Clackamas has more horses per capita then any other county in the country. I don’t know if it is true or not but oh boy do we have horses here. Wanna know another secret? There are a number of Canadian horses here (they look like foundation style Morgans). You prefer other types? We got it all.

Is this true?  I don’t care if it is or not.  I’m going to say it’s true.  And even though I will be living in Colombia County, I’m just going to pretend that it’s Clackamas so I can brag.  I think it took me all of thirty seconds after receiving this comment to google “Canadian Horse”.  This is what I found:

 I immediately went to equine.com to see how much they are going for…  Drat.  Does anyone have about $10 to $20 thousand dollars I can borrow?  I can repay you in angry DragonMonkies and Squidgelet puke.  Let me know if you want to take me up on the offer – I have plenty of “currency” on hand.

Albigear said: ” One time I went there I got to see the naked bike ride (7,000 strong?…”

And then she went on to say some other stuff, but I have to be honest, I quit paying attention after that.  Because, seriously.  Wait a second.  Hold on there.

NAKED BIKE RIDE?  As in… naked people?  On bikes?  Riding?  7,000 of them, all at once?

But… but….but people have flibbly bits.  And dangly thangs.  And wobbly fat.  And…

Gross.

How do you even sit comfortably on your bike seat?  Wouldn’t it chafe after awhile?  What about when you have to stand up to pedal up a hill… what then?  Sure, it may not bug you… but what about the person behind you?  Do they really need that view?  Or worse…what if you have one of those comfortable gel bike seats— the kind that’s sorta made out of absorbent material?  How in the world could you get that thing clean enough to ever lend it out to a friend after riding around naked on it? 


“Oh, hey, Jack… Yeah, no problem.  You can borrow my bike.  Oh, and hey, here’s a paper towel.  You might want to give it a quick wipe before you sit down.  I just spent two sweaty hours with that skinny front portion jammed up against my….”

GROSS.  Bad, Portland.  Bad.  I’m giving you -2 coolness points.

Snipe asked if the house we’re moving to is horse-friendly.  Sadly, it isn’t.  We had to work within our budget, and unfortunately, we had to choose between “horse-friendly” and “land with an actual house on it”.  I tried convincing The Bean that it would be a really great adventure to spend the next few years squatting in a tent on some property while we saved up enough money to build on it, but he wasn’t buying it.

That said, the area I’m moving to is fairly horse friendly.  While I can’t have a horse on my property, I was able to find several reasonable-looking barns close by.   In fact, there are some downright gorgeous barns nearby. 

Check out this place:

For those of you too lazy to click through, check out this picture:

 I.  Want.  To.  Ride.  In.  That.  Covered.  Arena.  

Okay, what I really want is to one day have a covered arena like that on my property.  But unless I make it big as an author one day and just have stupid money to throw around, I don’t think that’s very likely.  So, instead, I will settle for lusting after other people’s arenas.

I also want to go check out this barn:

For the record, you guys are allowed to browse the sales page all you want, but I already have dibs on “Quik Like A Jackrabbit.”  No, I do not have $12,000 dollars.  And no, I have no idea what I’d do with a cow horse with that much fancy breeding— I expect I’d just fall off a lot.

Even so, it doesn’t matter.  I call “dibs”, and everyone knows that “dibs” is an all-powerful claim.  Even Urban  Dictionary recognizes it.

“Dibs:  The most powerful force in the universe, it is used to call possession of a certain object or idea. There are very few things that trump dibs.”

You can’t argue with a dibs.

While we’re on the subject of “dibs”ing, I’ve saved the best thing for last:

Holy crap.

I’m going to be living near a Morgan horse farm. Admit it.  You’re jealous.

Dibs.

Dibs.

Same horse, but still Dibs.

This one’s so mine it’s not even funny.  Uber dibs.

Also mine.  Dibs.

Quit asking.  I already called dibs.

Yes, I already called uber dibs on him, but I just wanted to be clear:  He’s mine.  Back off.  I saw him first, and if you continue to encroach on my dibs, I don’t think we can be friends any more.  I mean, look at him.
No, seriously.  Look closer:
No, that’s not photoshop.  He really does have “Property of Becky” permanently tattooed on his hindquarters.  It would just be embarrassing for you if you tried to claim he was yours.

I understand that it’s very greedy of me to call dibs on so many of their horses, but I’m afraid that’s what happens when you’re second to the table.  Besides…. finder’s keepers.

Now all I have to do is work on the email where I introduce myself to the farm owners and ask to visit.  I’ve been working on this stupid thing for weeks.  I swear, I put less time and effort into dating The Bean than I am into trying to hit just the right note with the owners of this farm.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to word a “Hi, nice to meet you” note which will result in them saying, “Hi, Becky, we’ve been waiting for someone like you to write!  Why don’t you come on by and meet our herd?  You can basically pretend that they’re all yours and groom and ride them any time you want.  We’ll even provide free baby sitting and gas money for the drive!”

Shhhh.  Don’t interrupt my daydream with reality.  It could happen, right?

I’ve Got Mom Butt

The title says it all.

Squidgelet is a year old.  According to all the manuals, all the chub you have left on you when your baby hits a year is YOUR fat, not baby fat.

Well, crap.

I mean, there are some good things about being fat.

I never get cold any more.

When I go see a movie, I don’t have to worry about the seat cushion being too hard – I’ve brought my own squishy seat cushion with me.

When I’m out for a walk I don’t have to worry about anybody whistling at me like they used to.

I float great in water.  Between that and the never getting cold, I imagine I could be a pretty serious competitor at long-distance cold water swimming.  

I do know I’d kick some serious heiny at a game of “Who Can Survive the Longest Without Food on a Desert Island”.  Anyone want to play with me?  Winner gets to eat all the losers!  Anyone?  You there, in the back— is that a hand?  No?

At any rate, it was time to do something about it.

I dragged the boys with me down to my local 24 Hour Fitness and got ready to pay the $8 for childcare that it normally costs to work out.  I used to get up before work to work out, but I’ve been pushing so hard in all the other areas of my life, I just feel like I need to get a full night’s sleep.  Living with RA is kind of like living with a really grumpy bear – when it’s in “hibernating”  you’ve got to judge just how much “noise” you can make going about with your daily life.  If you make too much “noise” (stress, exhaustion, stress, over-exertion, stress), the bear comes roaring hungrily out of its cave, and heaven help any helpless little joint that gets in its way.  My “bear” has been tossing and turning restlessly lately, so I’m doing what I can to soothe it back to sleep.  That means that working out before work just isn’t in the cards at the moment.

Unfortunately, at $8 a pop for childcare, working out more than 1 or 2 times a week isn’t in the financial cards, either.

Imagine my surprise when I went to sign in and found out that the gym was having a special – Holy Crap.  $10 per kid, PER MONTH, and I could work out as often as I wanted?

I could feel my thighs getting toned, just listening to it.

Thrilled beyond belief, I reached into my purse to grab my wallet…

Only to discover I’d left it at home.

So I dragged both kids back to the car, loaded them up, and drove home.

“Gym? GYM?  GYM?!” wailed the DragonMonkey, upset at the sudden change of plans.  “Play wif da twuck at da gym?  PLEASE?  GYMGYMGYM?!”

I unloaded them out of the car, searched the house, found my wallet, loaded them back in the car, and drove back to the gym.

“GYM?  We awr going to da gym?  GYM?  PWEASE? GYMGYMGYM?!”


 I pulled into the parking lot, unloaded both boys out of the car, and headed into the gym.

 Life used to be so much simpler back in the days when I hopping in and out of a car wasn’t a 10 minute ordeal.

After checking them in and a fruitless attempt at soothing the Squidgelet’s tears, I managed to sneak out and into the busy gym.

I changed and briefly stretched, then hopped onto an elliptical machine.  Sure, I was sandwiched in between a 17 year old toned goddess and a young Brad Pitt, both of whom were wearing beautiful, expensive workout outfits.  Yes, I was wearing wrinkly pajama bottoms and my husband’s old t-shirt, but who cared?   It was just a matter of time.  With the new workout special, I could afford to work out seven days a week, if I wanted to.  Why, in just a few month’s time, that would be me on the elliptical, flaunting my toned body in a too-tight lycra uniform.  Just knowing I had this freedom was giving me a spring in my step.

I increased the resistance and incline of the machine, legs pumping in time with the bass of the music piped in over the speakers.  Boo-yah.  Less than two minutes into my 30 minute set, and I could already feel my muscles warming up.  This was going to be great.  Feel the burn, feel the burn, feel the…

“Becky Bean, please report to Kid’s Club.  Becky Bean, please report to Kid’s Club.”

With a start, I shut off the machine, grabbed the ratty kitchen towel that I was using as my workout towel, and opened the door to childcare room.

The smell of vomit assaulted me immediately.

“He, uh, he got sick…” the childcare worker trailed off, swallowing a gag as she attempted to do damage control.  The Squid was howling, purple-faced, his entire outfit, the bouncy, and carpet all dripping with throw-up.  It looked absolutely impossible for there to be that much throw-up, and yet… there it was.

“Here, don’t worry about it.  I’ll clean it up.”  I grabbed The Squid and lifted him to me, doing my best to ignore the feeling of his puke-drenched clothes soaking into mine. 

Ten minutes and 3,000 paper towels later, I dragged both kids out to the car again.

“GYM?  No, I wanna pway at da gym!  No, mama!  No, no wanna go!  GYM? GYM?! GYM?! GYM!?”

That was last Monday.  It has now been nine days of coughing, sleepless nights, and puking from the flu.  I have not been back to the gym yet. 

Also:

Dear Flu Bug:

Please go away and quit picking on my two children.  They were both skinny to begin with.  They really didn’t need days of puking.  I’m starting to feel like I’m carting around little Auschwitz babies.  If you wanted to pick on someone, why not pick on me?  I wouldn’t minded having a little bit of the flu.  It might have been good for at least five pounds.

Sincerely,

Becky Bean

http://www.hulu.com/embed/M12h0LZQBaPz9-9y4hzpZQ

Bad Max


 Bad Max.

No, you may not get up in the middle of the night because you are thirsty.  Quit whining.

I said, Quit WHINING.

Fine.  It’s three in the morning, but I’ll tromp out of bed and let you have a drink of water, just because you’re thirsty.  You know, there are starving dogs in Mexico who could wait until morning.  Wild village dogs on the African plain probably manage longer than five hours without access to fresh water.   Do you have any idea how easy you have it?  You wouldn’t last three minutes in the wild.

Are you done yet?  Fine.  Get back in bed.  Good dog.  Good night.

DOG, QUIT WHINING.  Max!  Can you hear me?  QUIT IT!   NO WHINING!  BAD MAX!  It’s four in the morning – I was just up!

Seriously, no whining!

FINE.  You have to pee.  I told you this is what would happen if you drank all that water.  Couldn’t you have waited three more hours to drink?  Sheesh.  Hurry up and pee.

 No, I do not want to play.  Go to bed.  Good dog.

Good morning, Max.  Yes, I’m happy to see you , too.  You’re a good dog.  Now get out of the kitchen while I cook.  No begging.

Seriously, dog, no begging!  Get!  Good boy.

What did I just say?  I said no begging!  GO! Good boy.

What the…..GET OFF THE COUNTER, MAX!  DON’T YOU DARE TAKE THAT PANCAKE— BAD!  BAD MAX!  NO!  DROP IT!

Nononono…. please don’t pee…. I didn’t mean to yell…..crap.  Too late.  Sigh.  I’ll go get something to clean it up.

SQUIDGELET, DON’T TOUCH THAT, IT’S DOG PEE….. Crap.  Too late.  SIGH. 

DragonMonkey, leave that poor dog alone.  He doesn’t want to play chase right now.  Poor Max.  You’re a good boy.  Any other dog would have eaten the DragonMonkey by now.  Good boy, Max.

Here, let’s go on a walk so we can burn off some energy. 

Seriously, dog, sometimes you’re more trouble than you’re worth.  The rules really aren’t that hard to follow.  Don’t pee in the house.  Quit breaking into the babies’ room and eating their poopy diapers.  Don’t steal food off the counters.  Is it really that confusing?  I’ve never had a sweeter, more disobedient dog.  I can’t tell if you are being passive aggressive and deliberately ignoring the rules or if you’re really incapable of remembering them. Bad Max.  Bad.

Okay, yes, you’re really good with the kids.  But don’t think you’re off the hook, mister.  You’ve been a very bad dog today.  You don’t deserve to go on this walk.  I’m very upset with yo—

No, DragonMonkey, I’m not mad at Max.  Yes, I know you love him.  He’s a good dog.  But seriously, isn’t it nice to imagine a nice, peaceful house where you can leave sandwiches on the counter and they don’t get eaten?  It’s not like he does anything for us.  We don’t have any robbers he chases away.  Our carpet does just fine without the piddle on it.  If we could figure out a market for all that hair he’s continually growing it might be worth it, but right now grooming the dog is just one more item on my never-ending checklist of To-Do’s.  Is all the hassle of dog ownership really worth it?

Okay, okay.  I get it.  You’re right.
Good boy, Max.  Good boy. 

Awww…. Who’s A Cute Little Flesh-Eating Kitten?

“Wait. What is that? Slow down.”

Sitting in the passenger seat of my sister’s car, I grabbed the dashboard and leaned forward, trying to peer over the hood.

“No, seriously. Slow down. I think there’s an animal in the middle of the road.”

My sister took her foot of the gas pedal, braking lightly. “Where?”

“There. See it? Up there, right in the middle of the road.”

We were on a back road of the tiny town of Taft. There wasn’t much to see – just an old, deserted building, an abandoned lot, and there, crouched in a tiny lump in the middle of the road…. a kitten.

The car slowed to a crawl, and eventually came to a complete halt, about ten feet from the tiny ball of fur.

“Oooooooooooh,” we breathed out simultaneously, starting at the bedraggled, miserable little animal.

“Why won’t it move? It’s just sitting there!”

“Is it alive?”

“It’s so tiny!”

“Ooooh, poor little thing!”

My sister gave a tiny, experimental little honk, but the kitten stayed there, trembling and immobile.

“We could drive around it…..?” My voice trailed off, lacking conviction.

“But it’s so tiny…” breathed my sister. “We can’t just leave it….”

“But what can we do with it?” At the time I was living with my mom, who was a self-proclaimed cat hater. There was no way I could show up with a half-starved kitten, no matter how tiny it was.

My sister wasn’t in a much better position. In the back seat of her car my nephew slept on, completely oblivious. He was barely three weeks old, and with a rambunctious two year old back at the house, Brandie didn’t exactly have much time on her hands.

“Maybe we can find it a home….?”

“Yeah…?”

We both stared at each, knowing we didn’t have the time, energy, or finances to deal with a kitten at the moment.

But there was a kitten.  In the middle of the road.

With a heavy sigh, I slipped off my seatbelt and cracked the door to the car.  “I’ll go get it….?”  The door buzzer  dinged in an annoying rhythm as I waited for Brandie to tell me not to go.

“Okay,” said Brandie, shifting into park and flipping on her hazard lights.

Sigh.  So much for being older and wiser.

The closer I got to the kitten, the tinier it became.  It looked like it couldn’t have been more than three weeks old.  As I approached it, it hissed faintly, and took two or three steps forward before freezing again.

“Awwwww, little one, it’s okay.”  Reaching down, I snagged it by the scruff of its neck, and cuddled it against my body.  The kitten was an indeterminate shade of mottled grey – it was hard to tell what color it was supposed to be, with all that dirt.  As I pressed the kitten against my shirt, I winced as I felt its ribs, hipbones, and shoulder blades popping out against its thinly stretched skin.  It was starving to death.  Poor little thing.

I walked back to the car, kitten still cuddled close against my chest.

“It’s so small!”  Brandie leaned forward to look at it, the kitten staring up at her glassily, lips pulled back in a forced smile as I maintained a tight grip on its scruff.

“I know.  It’s hard to say how old it is.  What do you think?”

Brandie glanced at it.  “Well.. size-wise it looks younger than a month…. but I dunno….” she cocked her head, taking it in.  “It might just be smaller from malnutrition.”

“Good point.  Let’s get it home and get it cleaned up,” I said, releasing the scruff of its neck as I reached around for my seat belt.

Released from the catatonic spell of being carried, the kitten woke up.  It took one look me, Brandie, the car, the strangeness………. and realized it was about to die.

“MREEEOEOOWOWOWOWOLWLWLWL!” With an eerie sound somewhere between a scream and a growl, the kitten leaped off my lap, flying towards the back seat with the sleeping newborn.  I immediately reassessed my judgement of its age from about 3 weeks to a pathetically malnourished 10-12 weeks.

“Get it! Get it!” screeched Brandie, kitten love being replaced by protective maternal instinct.

I lunged in my chair and managed to grab it around its middle mid-leap.

The kitten, upon feeling my hand around its stomach, twisted agilely around and sank its teeth into deep into my knuckle.

With a yelp I flipped my hand,  and the kitten went sailing onto the floorboards by my feet.

“MRREEEOEOOWOWOWOWLLLLLLLLL!!!!!”  For such a tiny creature it had a surprisingly loud growl.  It crouched, terrorized, fur on end, large eyes slitted in hate as it growled, hissed, and spit at me.    It looked like a bedraggled, filthy demon from the underworld. 

“Becky, get it!” said Brandie, her arms stretched out in a flimsy attempt to act as a barrier between Demon Kitten and the newborn in the back seat.

“I’m trying,” I said, trying to find a way to grab the kitten without losing a finger.  

“MROWOWLWLWEATYOURSOULMROWL,” moaned Demon Kitten.

“GET HIM!” hissed Brandie.

“I’M TRYING!”

With a lunge I managed to snag the kitten behind its neck, capturing it and freezing it by grabbing its scruff.  Unfortunately, in the split second between catching and immobilizing it, it managed to twist around and sink its teeth into my left hand, and latch on with all four sets of claws.

I now had a dirty Demon Kitten “stuck” in a permanent  attack position on my left hands.  It may have been my imagination, but I swear I could feel the germs, bacteria, and rabies seeping into me from its dirty little teeth.

The kitten glared up at me, frozen mid-snarl.

“MRRROWWWWLLLLWLWLWHATEYOUHATEYOUMRRRRLW” it growled, deep in its chest.

“OW!” I tried to wiggle my hand free, but it just pushed its teeth deeper.  I tried relaxing my grip on its scruff so I could free my hand, but in that brief moment of relaxation Demon Kitten just doubled its aggression and sank its teeth and claws deeper. “OWWWW!”  This was a life or death struggle, and Demon Kitten wasn’t going down without a fight.

“Do you have it?” Brandie asked anxiously.

“MRRRRROWL….”

“Yeah,” I gritted out between clenched teeth.  “But it’s biting me.”

 “GGRMRMROOOOWWWLWLLLLL…”

“Well, make it stop!”

“MRRROOWWWWLLLLDIEDIEDIEMRRROWLLLL…”

“I’m trying!”

“Seriously, get your hand out of its mouth!  What if it has rabies?”

“MMRRRRLLLLLEATYOURFLESHMMMMRRROOWWWLL…”

“I’M TRYING!  IT’S NOT LIKE I HAVE MY HAND IN THERE ON PURPOSE!”

 It took a lot of maneuvering, a few cuss words, quite a bit of blood, but I was finally able to extricate my hand from Demon Kitten’s mouth.  The baby in the back seat never woke up.  We managed to get the kitten home and in a rescue kennel.

I lucked out in that I didn’t get an infection from its mouth, and the Animal Shelter monitored Demon Kitten to make sure it didn’t have rabies.

Demon Kitten had a month of endless food, fresh water, and safety at the Animal Shelter before it was humanely put down.  Hey, I know that’s a terrible end to a sad little life, but it’s a better end than literally starving to death or being eaten by a coyote, which were its other two options.  With cages full of healthy, friendly, adorable kittens being put down do to lack of homes, it didn’t make sense to try to rehabilitate an older, feral kitten.   Spay and neuter, people.  Spay and neuter. 

And that, my dear friends, was the last time I rescued a feral cat off the side of the road. 

Not My Brightest Moment


“Awr we moving to Portwand?”

“Yes.”

“We awr moving to Portwand?”

“Yes.”

“Portwand?”

“Yes.”

“Is da car moving to Portwand?”

“Yes.”

“Is Max moving to Portwand?”

“Yes.”

“Portwand?”

“Yes.”

“Is da baby moving to Portwand?”

“Yes – Squid goes with us everywhere.  He’s your brother – you’re stuck with him, kid.”

“Is my bwankey moving to Portwand?”

“Yes.”

“We awr moving to Portwand?”

“YES.”

“Portwand?!?”

“YES!  WE ARE ALL MOVING TO PORTLAND.  BUT NOT UNTIL THIS SUMMER.  LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.  PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY, PLEASE JUST TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.”

……..

…………….

………………………

“Portwand?  We awr moving to Portwand?”

Dear Internet,

If I ever get the bright idea of repeating the same phrase over and over again to my son in hopes of having him repeat me…

Just shoot me.

Please?

Sincerely,

Becky Bean

….And the Winner Is….


Alright, alright.  I get it.

“Guess That DragonMonkey” was a total flop.  I only managed to get two videos of him – one from two months ago where he’s mumbling halfheartedly while burying his face in his dad’s neck….

And then there was Saturday morning’s video, where he looks straight at the camera and enunciates so clearly that it looks like I turned off the camera right before he launched into a rousing rendition of the Gettysburg Address.

Seriously, kid… you had to pick that ONE time to enunciate clearly?  I gave you free reign to mumble as much as you want, and all of a sudden you’ve developed the magical ability to say your “R”s and your “L”s, as well as every consonant in between?

You just wait.  I’ll get you back for this.  One day soon you’ll be in high school, innocently trying to fit in with all the cool kids.  You’ll be standing there, awkwardly posing and doing your best to be part of the crowd… and suddenly you’ll see me.  I’m going to dash onto campus and run up to you and all of your friends in the lunch area and hand you the lunch you forgot at home.   It will be a delicious, nutritional lunch.  And I will pack it in a pink My Little Ponies lunchbox.

Also, I will be wearing a large sombrero. 

You know – to shield my eyes from the sun.

 What, sombreros aren’t “in”?  Sweetie, Mama doesn’t like the sun in her eyes.  Here’s your lunch, lovebug.  I packed it extra special for you.  What’s that?  You don’t want to give me a kiss in front of your friends?  Awwww, hi guys!  I’m DragonMonkey’s mama!  I love my little boy so much… you guys be nice to him, okay?  Love you, DragonMonkey!  Have a great day at school.  Oh, here, wait…. Let me lick my thumb and try to dab at the imaginary spot of dirt on your cheek.  Okay, got it.  Love you!  Adios!  Ai-yi-yi-yi!

Revenge is a dish best served with a heaping side of humiliation.  Just you wait. 

Wait, where was I? 

Oh, yeah, that’s right. 

We’re moving!

If you remember, staying forever in California was never the plan.  I wrote about it here , and we meant it.  The Bean and I even made a trip or two out to the Phoenix area to look at where we would want to live, and we finally settled on Queen Creek.  The homes were a great price, it was a very horse-friendly community, and we both immediately felt at home beneath the wide-open blue skies and sun-baked desert earth.  There’s something about that desert that calls to both of us.  It seemed like the perfect fit.


So, naturally, we’re moving here:

Because, you know,  Phoenix and Portland are practically the same place.

They’re, like, both in the United States. 

They’re even on the same western half.

And they both begin with the letter “P”.

Can you believe it? 

The similarities are almost eerie.  It kinda makes the hair on the back of your arms stand up, doesn’t it?

The Bean and I realize this is a big decision, and a huge departure from what we originally had planned.  Sure, he might have received a fantastic job offer from a really great accounting firm.  And yes, the move satisfies my number one requirement, which is that it’s out of California.   Nevertheless, while The Bean has been to Portland many times, with the exception of a few summer weeks spent in Montana, I’ve never been further north than Santa Rosa, California.  Oregon is a complete mystery to me.

Well, okay.  It’s not a complete mystery.  I know it rains a lot there.  And, uh, it’s green, which is something I’ll have to get used to.  I’ve never lived anywhere green before.

Umm… let’s see.  What else do I know?

Rain?  Check.

Green?  Check.

Lack of sun?  Check.  What else?  Oh, yeah!  It’s been rumored that they have good coffee.  That’ll be nice.

Oh, and apparently they also have a thing called “hipsters” there, which I am looking forward to seeing.  It’ll be like bird watching, but instead of looking for brightly colored wings and differently-shaped beaks, I’ll be on the lookout for slouching 20 year olds with eyebrow rings and strange outfits.

With all of my deep wells of knowledge about the Portland area, The Bean and I immediately did what any sane couple would do when moving to an unknown area:

We bought a house.

We spent about two weeks shopping on the internet, and then once we had it narrowed down The Bean flew up there one weekend and we bought a house in a little town outside of Portland.  Since he is by far pickier than I am, I knew I could rely on his judgment.  Nevertheless, I asked him to take a lot pictures.  Ever considerate, The Bean took tons of pictures of both the inside and outside of the house.

Naturally, the camera had a severe malfunction and erased all but two of them.  Thank heavens for the pictures on the listing, or I’d be going kind of crazy. 

So, there you have it.  If you’ll notice, I have a little countdown clock on the right sidebar (not that I’m excited or anything.)  On June 1st, at way-too-early in the morning, The Bean and I will load up the kids, the cats, and the dog and start the eighteen hour journey to the Pacific Northwest.

To move to the state I’ve never visited.

To the town I’d never heard of before.

And into the home I’ve never seen.

Well.  At the very least, this should be an adventure!  Batten down your hatches, Portland, because here we come!

*********

(PS:  Congratulations,  Poniegirle!  Since we had so many correct guesses I assigned you all numbers, had The Bean choose at random, and you are the winner!  Shoot me a mailing address and I will get this box in the mail to you… Although, if I’m being honest, it’s probably going to be a week or so before I make it to the post office.)