Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cheering for the Red Sox

I am very excited that the Red Sox have made it into the World Series, but now I want them to win!  The other day I dressed Owen in the hand-me-down Red Sox jersey he inherited from his cousin Henry.  You can tell Henry is 12 years older than Owen, because the jersey has Nomar Garciaparra's name on the back.  But that's okay, as I am still a fan of Mr. Hamm.

Anyway, here is Owen, modeling his jersey while refusing to look at the camera.  He's not sporting the red sox beard, but he'll wear the jersey for luck!

Go Red Sox!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Bulldogge Manor is getting quite scary these days.  Spiders are everywhere.  

Strange pumpkin-headed men can be found occupying our porch rockers.  

Various spooky beings can be found on our mantle.  

Let the festivities begin!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


One of Owen’s favorite things to do these days is to push a toy car or truck or train around as he crawls.  Of course, he will make sound effects as he goes, ending up with what sounds like a combination of a vehicle in bad need of a new muffler and a sick cow – in other words, his rendition of the sound Sean makes when he pushes a toy car around for Owen.  Owen will also imitate Sean making the car drive up Owen’s back and across his head.  He can’t reach his back, but he will stand there with the car going back and forth in a k-turn across his hair.

Being Owen, he will also try to pile something on top of the car he is “driving,” and then when it inevitably falls off, he will get angry.  He also gets angry if he drives his large truck under the chair rungs and then tries to back it out through rungs that are too low.  That is when we need to come to his aid, pronto, and all AAA-like.

It is all very cute to watch, but my favorite thing about Owen’s driving is the position he gets into while pushing the car.  He is mostly crawling, but he puts one leg up into the stand position, perhaps so as to get better leverage on moving the car?  Here’s an example:

(And such legs should always wear shorts, right?)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Calling All Cider Donuts

We’ve been on a bit of a quest to find a good cider donut in this area and have yet to reach success.  In New England the cider donuts were serious business—rather hefty and dense in contrast to the light coating of granulated sugar that tended to dust the top and sides.  One at a time would do you, and they tasted like fall. 

Around here we found that the Amish were selling some in Reading Terminal Market, but they sold them glazed, and whereas in general I’m of the belief that one can never go wrong with icing (unless it has cream cheese in it), there just is no need for glaze on a cider donut.  We found pumpkin donuts at the Dublin Bakery not too far from us, and they were tasty, but a pumpkin donut does not a cider donut make.

Then last Saturday Sean came up with the brilliant idea of heading on a whim to Merrymead farm, where pumpkins abound, as well as activities like corn mazes and hay rides, and he had heard rumors of good cider donuts on the premises.  So we drove the lovely 45-minute drive with Owen conveniently snoozing in his seat in the back, and arrived with our urchin just a few minutes before the hordes of other adults with urchins arrived.  We purchased a large lovely pumpkin, walked around and looked at the farm animals (including one ginormous pink pig tipped over in a kind of food coma in the straw), and then sampled Merrymead Farm’s cider donuts.

And they were definitely good—small little rings that were equally inviting the next day.  They had a dusting of granulated sugar and even a nice faint cidery taste.  I was glad we tried them, although they weren’t quite as dense as I think a cider donut should be.  Our quest therefore continues!

Dorothy thinking, in an Eeyore fashion, that if you ask me --
and no one ever does -- I would recommend a maple bacon donut.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I lived in Center City Philadelphia for nine years, and very much enjoyed my sojourn there.  However, when we decided to move to the suburbs, I was also pleased to leave.  I was ready for more space, and very ready for a yard in which to let Dorothy out, and ready for more trees and plants and animals.  The thing that made me happiest about leaving the city, though, is that after living in apartments for 22 years, I was VERY ready to not have to deal with anyone else’s daily noise.  I didn’t want to know when my neighbors turned their TV on and when they turned it off.  I didn’t want to hear their alarm waking them up in the morning, or smell what they were eating for dinner.  Being a person who tends to fixate on errant noises, I was very done with peripheral sound.

And where we live now is mostly deliciously quiet!  But on Sunday, I was enjoying Owen’s naptime with a book when I realized that I was hearing a weird high-pitched noise in the distance that would ring out every twenty seconds or so.  Being happily ensconced with a Posy on my lap, I texted Sean in the other room to see if he knew what the noise was.  At first he thought it was coming from a school bus port located behind us, but when he went out in the yard to do some chores, the noise wasn’t coming from that direction.

So when Owen woke up, we decided to go on a mission to follow the noise, identify it, and with any luck, get the thing to kindly shut up.  We put Owen in the front pack on Sean and off we went.  After a little bit of walking in one direction and then turning and walking in the other, and then cutting diagonally here and going catty-corner there, our sleuthing paid off.  The noise was an alarm going off in a hospital parking garage not far from our house.  This garage isn’t used much on the weekends, so there didn’t seem to be anyone around (besides us) to be irked by it.  We went to the main hospital entrance and told the security guard, who said he’d get someone to take care of it.  And then when it was still ringing an hour later, we called and reported the noise once again.  

Twenty minutes or so after that call, all was quiet again in our neck of the woods.  At least until Owen got fussy….

Posy thinking, You don't know from irritating noise.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bulldogge Bathtime

Is something I would prefer happen a little more frequently at Bulldogge Manor.  But that is easy for me to say, since I am neither the bulldogge being bathed, nor the bulldogge bather.  Sean does have Dorothy trained to walk upstairs and jump into the full tub, but it is still quite a chore:  there’s scrubbing, and shaking, and attacking of the towel, and what is worst, from my point of view, is that there’s a horrible stench of wet dog that hovers like a noxious gas cloud in the bathroom for the rest of the day.  And then multiple towels to be laundered, etc., etc. 

So we decided a few months ago to take Dorothy to get groomed, primarily because we need her nails clipped, and the last two times we tried to get the vet to do it, they just did a halfhearted attempt and then sort of stopped when Dorothy protested.  Now, Dorothy does not LIKE to get her nails clipped, and she is a strong bruiser of a dogge, but my pug, Tulip, was much more anti-nail-clipping than Dorothy.  Dorothy would just prefer that the vet not clip her nails, but she is so good-natured that after a halfhearted protest at the first attempt, she is really okay with it by the second attempt.  But I decided to sign her up for a grooming, thus getting her thoroughly cleaned, her white spots whiter, her brindle spots buffed, her nails clipped, her ears cleaned, and her fangs brushed.  The groomer at the vet’s office had a waiting list, so it took us two months to get an appointment.

But finally! I dropped Dorothy off at the vet’s before work, and Dorothy, strange friendly dog that she is, was more than happy to be left there.  She loves the vet (still)!  She loves the attention of the nurses and front desk folk!  All was good!  And when Sean picked her up in the afternoon, she sparkled, and received a good report.

And most importantly, her talons were no longer vicious rakes, but perky little girlish things.

Pretty Dorothy!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


The whole baby milestone thing is a strange business, so it is probably just as well that I have a baby book for Owen yet have not written a single word inside of it, ahem.  For with Owen, there doesn’t seem to be a Day that He Talks, a Day that He Walks, etc.  He will sort of do something without thinking about it for awhile, and then perhaps do it proudly for an afternoon, and then after that refuse to do it at all for a couple of weeks, and then work up to perhaps trying it again, before finally no-big-deal does it all the time.  That seems to be true for his language acquisition, and it also seems to be true for his walking.  

He now can walk, or I should say, has walked, and might soon be walking again.  But it is still more like a thing he does when he is standing holding two toys and wants to reach another toy and so will take three steps in that toy’s direction before squatting down and dropping the toys in his hands in favor of the toy on the ground, etc. 

He started doing that frequently this past weekend, but when we placed him upright on the ground and sat a few feet away and asked him to walk to us?  Well, he was having none of that.  I guess he is no trained monkey?  Or he just has to be in the mood.  Or he just has to start walking without thinking about it until thinking won’t make him pancake onto the floor?  We shall see.

In the meantime:  Owen walks!  Yes.  But he still prefers to crawl, and staircases are still his very favorite surface ever.

Owen in his preferred method of locomotion:
in the bjorn on Dad.

The Furminator

We have been having a lot of, shall we say, unpleasant furball-related incidents, in which Sean, who is usually the first one downstairs in the morning, will discover furball puddles in multiple rooms, as well as on the staircase.  I’ve been trying to brush Plum more, so perhaps have been making the situation worse by loosening more fur?  It’s no doubt the kind of thing that gets worse before it gets better?

At any rate, the cat comb I had was getting old and not as effective, and my boss recommended that I try The Furminator, a dog and cat comb that was guaranteed to work wonders.  I found a good deal on amazon and so far have been pretty impressed with the results.  Sean is skeptical—he says it looks like a cootie comb in a handle—but it does do a really good job of getting out all the loose undercoat.  And it even finds loose undercoat on Posy, who is extremely type A when it comes to personal hygiene.

The jury is still out when it comes to the furballs, but surely the handfuls of fur that come off when I use the furminator are handfuls of fur that will not end up in vomity ball form on my floors later on, no?  And that is something.