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Squirrel Proof My Ass

A few weeks ago I looked out the living room window and saw a big lump of gray fur stuck in the bird feeder. A squirrel inside the “squirrel proof” feeder! I was in shock for a moment and then afraid that it had made it in but was trapped and died inside. Nope. As soon as he saw me he rocketed out the top and back up the tree to his home in my roof. Little furry bastard.
This became a daily routine that I tried to capture on film but the window screen and his lightning quick reflexes never cooperated. Until John took out the screen to improve my wildlife watching.


Bad squirrel! Bad squirrel!!


The Return of the Lolo Bear

About 19 years ago a guy I was dating gave me the nickname of Lolo Bear. Everybody called me Lolo, Lolo Bear, Lo, Lobear, the bear, etc. Everybody. It became a whole alter ego and to this day friends from the olden days will call me that.

So I have lots of bear stuff. Including a stuffed bear hat. And when I saw an old highschool friend wearing said hat on Facebook I had to point out that I had one too and a challenge to prove it was handed out. So I dug it out from one of the costume bags and got all America’s Next Top Bear.


I was totally enjoying my little photo shoot, but Lilo was not. She wanted to eat the bear!


Now I am walking around the house wearing the bear hat and my Sorel Boots. Wearing my boots makes me feel like Minnesota. The bear hat just makes me happy.


Random On


We went to the dog beach yesterday. Do they plow it? The whole area was a wide expanse of smooth snow. Which was kind of awesome.

A few random notes from the week so far.

I made a Blackberry/Apple Pie which was quite delightful.

I have been sleeping a bit better thanks to the article in Utne Reader-“No Wake Zone”.

I had dinner with the Artists formerly known as Tube Talkers. We went for Lebanese at Semiramis. I had spent all day looking forward to the French Fries with Garlic Mousse that were bragged up on Yelp but the reality was a little disappointing. It’s still disappointing the morning after because even after two rounds of tooth brushing I can still taste the garlic coating my mouth in a not so exciting way.

John and I have started watching the first season of Dexter and oh how I love it. Since he actually has to go to work it takes self control not to just watch all the episodes while he’s gone. But there are so few shows that we both enjoy I am willing to make the the sacrifice. The fact that we have to wait for more episodes to arrive from Netflix helps my cause.

And we booked our tickets to Vancouver! Yes, we are going to yet another cold, winter destination! But we get to see the Kantowicz’s and airline tickets in the warm times are 3 times as much so we take the deals where we can get them. I can’t wait to see our friends and soak up a little salt water time.

Of course I am a bit stressed about leaving Lilo. She has not been without at least one of us for more than one night in just under two years! She hates it when we go away and I have a feeling that this time will be worse, since she and I are together 99% of the time right now. I know most people think we’re crazy about the dog, and we won’t deny it. McDrama sent me this sappy dog lover e-mail yesterday that totally made me get all weepy…


1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.
~Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God’s critters
~Now please pass this on to other pet owners. We do not have to wait for Heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!



Sunshiney Day

This pretty much sums up my day!






Chicago Sunsets Are Not Without Their Charms

After another ultrasound appointment (baby is fine thanks!) Lilo and I went to Horner Park to freeze our paws off and play some ball. It was the perfect time-sunset and cold enough to make the park virtually empty. Just how we like it.

The clouds were very Maxfield Parrish-y. Is it lame to really love Maxfield Parrish? I don’t know, I just have always kind of judged my taste in art because I love me some Maxfield Parrish and John Williams Waterhouse and I sometimes think that makes me pedestrian. But fuck it. I like what I like. And Willow and Tara had a Maxfield Parrish print in their bedroom and they were exceptionally cool, right? Anyway. The clouds and the light were really pretty. Oh christ, how lame and pedestrian is “pretty”? I really need to work on my vocabulary.



We made it back to the car without being eaten by coyotes so I consider the trip a huge success.


My New Artist Obsession-Rick Allen

A few months ago I fell in love with the work of an artist I saw at the Sivertson Gallery in Duluth. Rick Allen‘s work is my new favorite thing. (The artist Rick Allen. Not the drummer from Def Leppard, but I still remember watching MTV the night the news report of his car accident and how he lost his arm. I cried.) His work is colorful, features the North Woods, red headed women and bears-all things that are close to my heart! Here’s his bio which gives a description of his style and process.

My first purchase was a framed print of “Ever Hopeful Spring”.
“Ever-Returning, Ever-Hopeful Spring and As Ever under-dress’d in
Her Diaphanous Gown of Umbriferous Viridesence is wafted gently
North on the Prevailing Vernal Gales. Meeting Old Companions
& Greeting New Friends. Engrav’d on a Whim by RN Allen who
knows it was June when Lilacs last in the door yard bloom’d…”

We bought it in July and hung it in the living room. From then on I pined for “The Trapper’s Daughter and the Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep.” I bought that this last trip at the Grand Marais gallery location.


Now I sit on the couch and admire them both and look longingly at the blank space I have reserved for this one…”Trapper’s Daughter Crosses The Lake”

Maybe this summer she will be mine…

The cost of the print is reasonable, it’s just that good frame jobs are so damn expensive. Maybe that’s the skill I should pick up this winter. It would save me hundreds of dollars a year!


Fourteen Passive-Aggressive Appetizers

I am back to the decluttering project in the house and today found a piece I tore out of the New Yorker. Now that I realize I can find it on-line I can let go of the paper clutter! I thought it was funny so I will share it here.

by Yoni Brenner

Appetizers; Food; Recipes; Dinner Parties; Passive-Aggressive; Breakups; Girlfriends
1. Top thick slices of country bread with fresh goat cheese. Sprinkle with herbs and bake until crusty; serve to everyone but Jeff.
2. Vegetarian friends? Try veggie rumaki: wrap a strip of imitation bacon around a water chestnut, spear with a toothpick, and broil—but instead of imitation bacon use real bacon, and instead of a water chestnut use veal.
3. Steal Cheryl’s famous potato-salad recipe. When Cheryl asks, “Why did you steal my recipe?,” say, “I don’t know, Cheryl, why did you break my heart?” Then laugh so she knows you’re just kidding.
4. Blend fresh crabmeat with diced avocado, scallions, and a dollop of mayonnaise for a canapé topping so delicious that it will take your guests a full minute to realize that they’re eating it off dog biscuits. Once they catch on, act mortified and stammer that you must have “mixed up the boxes,” until everyone calms down. Then start crying because the biscuits remind you that today marks exactly eight weeks since you had to put down Buster, and you just miss him so much.
5. Tell Marissa that you appreciate her concern, but in the two years since Cheryl broke off the engagement you’ve grown up a lot, and you’re really in a much healthier place now. Then say, “Speaking of fiancés, how’s Peter’s alcoholism?” (Note: This is not technically an appetizer.)
6. For a taste of the U.K., fry up mini-servings of fish-and-chips. Take it to the next level by wrapping them in small pieces of newspaper, which, oddly enough, all seem to be printed with unfavorable reviews of Jeff ’s novel.
7. Have you ever noticed how sun-dried tomatoes and top-grade peyote look exactly the same? Not a suggestion, really. Just saying.
8. Another one for the vegetarians. If they think they like tofu, wait until they sample your delicious mock tofu—all you need is chicken fat, puréed pork loin, and five cups of piping-hot tallow. Cheryl will never know the difference.
9. Tempura makes great finger food, and the batter locks the flavor of just about anything in a savory, opaque crust. Impress your friends with creative choices, from squash blossoms to mislaid car keys to the two-carat engagement ring that Cheryl gave back to you after she “reassessed things.” Surprise!
10. Guests getting antsy? Head them off with a big bowl of steamed mussels. No one can resist mussels, not even emotionally stunted ex-fiancées and their new poorly-received-novelist boyfriends. Besides, disappearing into the kitchen will give you a chance to collect your thoughts and also to go slash Jeff ’s tires.
11. Homemade sugared almonds make the perfect sendoff, sure to please all your guests, even the ones who would be bludgeoning you with a tire iron if Peter weren’t standing between you. Good old Peter. He may not be the brightest or the handsomest person, but he’s very large.
12. As the party disperses, your guests might seem a little ungrateful, calling you an obsessive sociopath or pelting you with sugared almonds. Don’t worry, it’s probably the peyote talking. Just stand on the porch as their cars pull out, your eyes brimming with tears, and shout, “You know, I try, I really do . . .”
13. Add, “My dog died! He died! And he’s never coming back!”
14. Hepatitis! (Note: This is not technically an appetizer.) ♦


Bridges and Balloons

I have been seeing this on Facebook so decided to post one here.
1. Put Your iTunes on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Tag at least 10 friends

What do your friends think of you?
Because I Want You by Placebo

If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
You Got Good Ash by Mark Bois

How would you describe yourself?
Lose Yourself by Eminem. Yes, I have Eminem on my IPod. Don’t hate.

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Campaign of Hate by Libertines

How do you feel today?
Crimewave by Crystal Castles

What is your life’s purpose?
Unknown by Moby. Oh that one rings way too true!

What is your motto?
Nothing Compares to You by Sinead O’Connor

What do you think about very often?
Maggie’s Farm by Bob Dylan

What is 2 + 2?
Miniature Disastors by KT Tunstall

What do you think of your best friend?
My Manic And I by Laura Marling. Ha!

What do you think of the person you like?
You Owe Me Nothing In Return by Alanis Morissette

What is your life story?
Song of the Nile by Dead Can Dance

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Long Division by Death Cab For Cutie

What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Heigh Ho by Tom Waits

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Jumping All Over The World by Scooter. That is just not true.

What will they play at your funeral?
Baba by Alanis Morissette

What is your hobby/interest?
The Lady of Shalott by Loreena McKennitt. The painting by Waterhouse of this title is one of my favorite things.

What is your biggest fear?
I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say by the Subways

What is your biggest secret?
Free Money by Patti Smith

What will you post this as?
Bridges and Balloons by Joanna Newsom