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Learning to Live With Grasshopper Saturation
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It’s summertime. Which means, much like humidity, bugs are omnipresent. They’re in the house. They’re nesting in the garage. They’re completely taking over outdoors. Because it’s warm out and also because that’s just what bugs do – they bite and they bother. (Knock on wood, mosquitos have been leaving me alone which must be from all of the pickles I sometimes eat.) Most of the time, that nuisance applies to bugs as a whole. This year, however, it’s exclusively grasshoppers. The green jumpers who flail themselves without caution. They are absolutely everywhere. And while it’s true that they don’t bite, even the most innocent bug becomes a problem when they’re coating your yard. Just how dense are they? Walking brings up a cloud with each step. There are carcasses on every concrete surface, each with a live hopper atop each, mourning through creaks and bent legs. Heading across the street […]

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The Best Things About Harry Potter
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For some unknown reason, it’s been far too long since I’ve mentioned Harry Potter. And what better way to make up for that oversight than by dedicating an entire blog post to the wonders that were created by JK (and Warner Brothers) for the world to so fully enjoy? So here you have it, some of the very best things about Harry Potter: The Pandora Station Working to music with words is hard; I can’t concentrate. So instead of fighting it, opt for HP Pandora instead. You’re welcome. Cozy Sweaters Just looking that these quirky monograms makes me want to coze up in a nice sweater. Like yesterday. How far until fall again? Castles and Other Really Old Looking Things Pretty much everything comes with character; no cookie-cutter belongings (or dwellings) here. Honeydukes And absolutely everything it has for sale. Things Dumbledore Says D-ore isn’t just a wizard with magic, […]

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High Winds Flip Tents, Whether or Not You’re Wearing Pants
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As outlined in in a guest blog not long ago, I like outdoor things only when it’s on my terms. Where I’m still technically camping in that I’m outside and there is no AC, but not without TOO many amenities. A tent is a must, an air mattress ideal, and if at all possible, I’d like to not be bug-bitten when crawling into “bed.” It’s a goal that requires ample packing, but also beats its alternative of sleeping outside (gasp) or on a cold ground (double gasp). Or living life as a dirty, smelly mess. Like God probably intended. Anyway, that’s exactly what Bo and I did last weekend, along with some friends. It was our first camping trip together, and my first camping trip in multiple years. The day was great, albeit hot. We fished, ate, hung out, and made ample use of the nearby restrooms so as to […]

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The Pros and Cons of Early Mornings
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This blog is being penned at 5:30 am. On a Monday. Which feels like a real accomplishment. (She said, patting herself on her own back.) But seriously, I’m not even upset about being up. The cause? Prepping for a day of impromptu babysitting,* and still doing work … before afternooning with video games and park visits. (And hopefully napping. But can I also sleep? Is that being irresponsible? Once when I was visiting Hilde, who is a pro nanny, we both slept straight through naptime – hung over – and set an alarm so we weren’t zonked when the parents came home. Us and the kids were absolutely out.) Anyway, sometimes I wake up early and get things done. One of those “things” is rarely work on account of there being all day to get to the office, AKA second bedroom. But today, it is work. Though there’s still an […]

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Weather Patterns that are Universally Un-Universal
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Considering I’ve lived in it my entire life, you’d think I’d be accustomed to Midwestern weather. How, no matter what the TV or Internet tells you, it’s going to be at least three climates in one day. (Probably all of the ones you didn’t dress for.) Calls for heat can mean actual cool temps and rain. And if they say it’s going to rain, it almost never does. Even when chance is 100%. That’s the way it is. You just get used to never being used to anything. Then you throw your hands up and say “That’s Kansas!” and no one thinks anything of it. Except for me who thinks everything of it. Why, after a lifetime of unpredictability am I still surprised when 101 degree forecasts turn into 89 degrees and sprinkles? Why, after decades of technological advancements, are weather stations still wrong – as a rule – about […]

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Tips for Staying Un-Scorchy
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It’s hot out. Hotter than hot, actually. With the humidity levels and heat index, Mother Earth is pushing us to a literal boiling point. (Seriously, has anyone tried boiling water outside? I’m real interested.) And unless we get burned or extra dehydrated, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. That is, without getting creative. So slather on your sunscreen, pack up a jug of seriously cold water, and try these stay-cool ideas. Netflixing Boring? No. Cool? Yes. In all senses of the word. Especially when you’re catching up on that joint Gilmore Girls/NCIS marathon you invented and wondered why no one else invented it first. Running Through the Sprinkler Who says you’re too old to enjoy this time-honored classic? Certainly not my adult neighbors who run through their own sprinkler every time they need in their garage. (By the way their yard is the exact shade of green […]

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Finding a Solution to Yard-Pooping Dogs
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Sometimes when I wake up, there is dog poop in the yard. Most days there is not. But on the calendar days that the dog(s) do strike, they ensure their contribution is very large and very smelly. There are enough suspects around that I can’t pinpoint the perp. There’s the yellow lab from two doors down who is sisters with the cat, the roamer, Bullwinkle, who sometimes naps out back, the two tennis ball chasers from across the street, and the other yellow one who is usually with his Mom … but never listens to her. All of these dogs exist, without leashes, throughout my neighborhood. Apparently, it’s a new initiative that promotes a cage-free lifestyle and defecating at one’s leisure. So long as it’s not in your own yard. Because why would you smell up grass when you can take care of business downwind? It’s likely one of the […]

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