Dec 28 2008

More reasons to love the little apple.

dsc_0211Sometimes I just can’t believe I live here.  I can’t believe everyone doesn’t live here.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  I love Minneapolis.  I was walking around Lake Harriet today, grooving to some tunes and compulsively zipping and unzipping my parka for optimal temperature control when I saw something so adorable, I had to stop and stare, a huge grin on my face.  There was a guy on cross country skis who had lassoed himself to his dog.  The pooch was mushing for all he was worth and was actually going so fast that the guy lost all control and royally wiped out . . . snow and skis flying every which way.  The dog stopped immediately, turned around and waited patiently for his owner to get his shit together.  That’s when I noticed the dog was wearing a fleece vest.  This little duo typifies the particular breed who lives here.  Here’s a guy who wanted to take advantage of thesunnygorgeousfreezingcold day with his dog and decided to try something new . . . something potentially mutually enjoyable and exciting.  It took an idea, a little extra planning and time, and off they went.  It reminded me of the woman who bikes around with a tiny dog strapped to her chest.  The dog is totally stuck, legs splayed forward, but the look of ecstasy on its face says it all.

And today Doctor Dash and I were eating a little lunch, gazing out the window when we noticed some people were ice skating on the creek.  Back and forth they glided . . .  I felt like I had been air dropped into a Courier and Ives painting.  Again, these people could have gone skating anywhere – every neighborhood has its own park with its own rink, not to mention multiple groomed rinks on every lake.  But these people got a little idea, and decided to try this instead. They decided to forgo the warming houses and rubber mats and sit on the banks of the creek to strap on their skates.  Not the easiest option, but for them, today, the best.

Here’s to all the winter warriors who live and thrive in this fair white city.

Dec 25 2008

Merry Merry Quite Contrary.

dsc_0189On Christmas Eve, six years ago, I had no earthly idea of what the night held in store for me.  What I did know was that Doctor Dash was on-call and that I would take Saint James to the children’s nativity mass.  I had been burning the midnight oil at work – it was the busiest I can remember being – and my huge belly with a January 10th expiration date was the last thing on my mind as I raced to get everything in order for the deals that had to close before the new year.  I was missing my little boy and I wanted nothing more than to just enjoy him for the next two days . . . to relish the unfolding of his two year old understanding of Christmas.  

The nativity mass was a zoo.  There was no where to sit, so I carefully picked my way to the front, brushing many a head with my stomach, and sat on the floor so that Saint James could watch the play. It didn’t occur to me that my front and center display of  gestational splendor might be stealing the thunder of the skinny eight year old playing Mary.  My neighbors, Pipes, Miss and their girls, took pity on me and scooched and scrunched me in with them and then invited Saint James and me to dinner.  I was touched by how seamlessly and generously they folded us into their night, their Christmas.  Saint James has always adored their girls, still does, in fact . . . and the roots of his affection stretch back to when he was a happily clueless baby . . . back to a time he cannot even remember.  

Later, after he was tucked in for the night, I started feeling funky.  With a sense of foreboding fluttering behind my ears, I called our friend Biker Brown just to make sure he’d be reachable to come stay with Saint James should the shit happen to hit the fan.  Biker Brown was on my doorstep with our friend Kim in about ten minutes flat.  As it turned out, the shit did indeed hit the fan and Biker Brown kept me company, made me laugh and patiently timed my contractions for the next five hours.  Doctor Dash was having one of those full moon nights of insanity and bizarre traumas at Hennepin County, the apex of which was when a man named Jesus was brought in with gunshot wounds.  He kept calling, breathless, checking in with me . . . is this for real?  he asked over and over.  I don’t know, I don’t know . . . We didn’t want to give in to a false alarm because his calling in his chief resident meant his chief missing Christmas morning with his kid.  And I certainly didn’t want to be the hysteric at the center of all this upheaval.  

In fact, I wanted nothing to do with a Christmas baby at all.   Being the peevish contrarian that I am, I was having none of it.  This is completely absurd!  We’re not Christmas baby kind of people! I shrieked at Biker Brown through clenched teeth in the grips of a contraction.  What if someone from the local news comes to interview me about my fucking Christmas miracle?!?!  In my overtired, irrational state, nothing seemed like more of a certainty and I was ready to punch any shellacked talking-head who even thought about crossing the threshold of my hospital room.  I closed my eyes and concentrated . . . told my uterus to stop this nonsense . . . at once . . . right now . . . I mean it . . . cut it out . . .

By about four a.m. I was feeling like a wrung out dishcloth and I knew I needed Doctor Dash by my side, baby or no baby, so I sounded the alarm and went to take a shower before heading into the hospital.  Dash was home within the hour and poor Biker Brown was asleep on the couch before we even waddled out the door, surely crushed by the relief of finally being able to pass the baton.  The shower had calmed my contractions, so I felt like a complete ass for having concocted this whole false labor scenario and blubbered and cried all the way to the hospital as poor Dash tried in vain to assure me that he could simply go back to work if nothing was going on.  

Supergirl was born at about eleven o’clock on Christmas morning . . . a dark haired beauty . . . enormous brown almond eyes . . . six pounds, fourteen ounces of vindication.  I was not a hysteric.  I did not inconvenience scores of people by having my baby on Christmas day.  She just couldn’t wait to bust into our world . . . and in keeping with who she is, she came without a lot of drama, without a lot of pain, without a lot of worries.  Aside from picking a hell of a birthday, she made it very easy for everyone. 

As we held her, marveling at this little person who moments before had been a stranger to us yet had already managed to stake an immutable claim to our hearts, I remember Dash saying something like . . . at least she’ll always be with people she loves on her birthday . . .

Supergirl loves her birthday.  She never complains, never feels sorry for herself.  She doesn’t count presents and wish for something more or different.  She is sweet and gracious and seems to understand, implicitly, that her birthday is special and that it suits her.  This year Doctor Dash was on-call again.  He was able to get coverage for a couple hours in the afternoon to come home for cake.  Supergirl and I put up streamers in the dining room and made lemonade.  Red Vogue and Salt and Pepper Polymath came over to help us love her up and celebrate.  A little cake, a little Wii, and a lot of love for Supergirl.

Later, after Dash returned to work with a reluctant heavy heart, we headed over to Nanook and Gear Daddy’s to reconnoiter with Crackerjack and Renaissance Man.  The boys played boot hockey outside and emerged in a blast of cold air – rosy cheeked and out of breath.  The girls romped around in the basement and emerged in a blast of hot air – rosy cheeked and in various stages of deshabille.  Nanook had kindly suggested I bring a cake for Supergirl and although we already had plans for afternoon cake, I thought, what the hell?  How many times do you turn six? And why pass up being sung to by her little peeps?  Nanook’s sweet kids made her a happy birthday sign.  Maybe it was all the champagne, maybe it was my constitutional weakness for children’s singing, but I was feeling the love for my girl as their little voices filled the house.  It was well after eleven o’clock before we peeled ourselves away from the revelry, feeling very very merry.

Dash and I don’t have family here in Minnesota, so we never know exactly what our Christmas is going to look like.  Sometimes we go to Florida, sometimes he’s working, sometimes we’re with friends, sometimes we hole up and enjoy it alone, en famille.  One thing is for certain, Supergirl always gives us a reason to celebrate . . . and Dash’s words on the day of her birth couldn’t be more true.  She is always with people she loves, and with people who love her.  Lucky girl.

Happy sixth birthday to my bright little star.  I love you more than you will ever know.

Dec 18 2008

and then back again.

I’ve been feeling like I’m walking around wearing one of those huge Russian fur hats, but instead of luxurious warm mink, it’s made of vague, heavy worries.  Part of it is reading Hot, Flat and Crowded, part of it is that you’d have to live under a rock not to appreciate just how tenuous and awful everything seems right now.  

On the other hand, it’s Christmas, and while I know that this is a really tough time of year for a lot of people, I feel really  blessed.  I have three healthy children who still believe in Santa, so it is hard not to be swept along in the magic.  Along with the trappings and stress, there are also some things that are truly simple pleasures – like gingerbread houses and Christmas lights.  Today I opened my front door to get the mail (which I love this time of year) and the afternoon sun shining through the glass door had so warmed our wreath that I was enveloped in the smells of a virgin pine forest.  Proustian Christmas synapses were firing every where.  

And so with the heavy fur shapka on my head, I sometimes feel like I’m getting whiplash from the happy and the sad -gingerbread-house the lovely and the dreadful.  Think of the poor Walmart employee who was trampled by overzealous holiday shoppers – that singular event, which I try not to think about, typifies the dark and horrible edges of this time of year – the base, careless and deeply selfish contours of the human soul.  

This morning was the dress rehearsal for Saint James’ and Supergirl’s Christmas concert.  I kept waffling back and forth as to whether I would go.  Maybe I should try to exercise or run some errands instead. Maybe my kids don’t need their stalker/mother beaming at them from the pews every time they turn their heads.   I’ll be seeing the whole thing tonight anyway and I certainly have a shitload to do. But in the end, I went.  I went because it’s Christmas.  I went because, in the grand scheme of things, how many more of these concerts do I really have?  I went because life is short and you never know what lies around the corner.  I went because I heard the kindergartners were going to be wearing angels’ wings.  I went because I needed to be still in a pew more than I needed yet another trip to Target.  I went and I’m so glad I did.

Say what you will about Catholic schools, but they sure do know how to put on a Christmas concert.  The children sing in high silvery voices, their chins raised to catch those slippery upper register notes . . . and it is nothing short of lovely.  They sing of mangers and wisemen, drummer boys and angels . . . the boy child bringing hope, love, peace and JOY!  They sing in German and Spanish . . . there are recorders, french horns, bells and violins . . . and not a mention of presents or toys or Santa Claus with all the price tags sticking out of his back pocket.  Crackerjack and Renaissance Man’s son played a beautiful violin solo with so much more soul than I thought possible from a smiley nine year old.  And I swear there was a part where the third graders started humming and it sounded just like Charlie Brown’s Christmas. 

I sat, and I listened.  I beamed and waved at my kids.  I let the dear sweet voices of the children wash over me. And for a few glowing moments, I felt that all was right in the world.

Dec 17 2008

To hell in a handbasket


mead_wild_boarSo I’m reading a book and it’s rocking my world.  Not necessarily in a good way.  It’s making me stressed and anxious – it leaves me fretting and wringing my hands.  My mantra:  we are so fucked – so so so so fucked.

I’m reading Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman and if all of our problems were embodied by a wild boar erratically and voraciously wreaking havoc in our backyard, then Friedman deftly succeeds in cornering, subduing, slaughtering, trussing, dressing, and turning the beast into bite size pieces of wild boar sausage.  In short, he tackles the morass of issues our planet is facing right now and breaks it down in a really compelling, common sensical, and terrifying way.  Sometimes I turn to Dash, wild eyed with panic, my nails white from clutching the book so tightly and he calmly urges me to read on. “The second half is all about the solutions,” he intones, his eyes like slits – a Yoda in my bed.  Solutions?  SOLUTIONSWHAT SOLUTIONS?  WE’RE SO FUCKED!  SO SO SO SO FUCKED!!!

Basically, Friedman posits that our planet is becoming hot(global warming), flat (because of globalization, technology and the internet, more and more people are able to rise out of poverty, see how “the other half” lives, strive for and attain a middle class lifestyle), and crowded (rising birthrates and life expectancies).  This trifecta of stressors is taking a huge, soon to be irreversible toll on our physical and political planet because of the paradigm that we Americans established for how to live and thrive on this earth: one that is based on the consumption of massive amounts of fossil fuels.  Friedman writes: “In particular, the convergence of hot, flat, and crowded is tightening energy supplies, intensifying the extinction of plants and animals, deepening energy poverty, strengthening petrodictatorships, and accelerating climate change.”  Ay, mamasita!

As always, the devil is in the details and he is able to illustrate each of these problems with such life and color that one is left chilled to the bone.  The tentacles of this energy crisis not only wrap around issues of climate change, loss of biodiversity and global politics – but women’s rights, education, healthcare.  Friedman isn’t an alarmist, though.  This isn’t simply shrill hysteria and hyperbole.  His arguments wouldn’t resonate as much as they do if he wasn’t able to build his case, piece by piece, in the cool (for now) light of day.  I haven’t gotten to the solutions yet, but I suppose there is some small comfort in understanding the scope and details of the problem.  The way it is far better to know it’s a wild boar in your backyard than to just hear mysterious and grotesque squealing and grunting in the night, waking up to wreckage and destruction.  It doesn’t make it any better.  You still have a big problem.  But at least you know what it is.  

Friedman asserts that America needs to take the lead in creating the technologies, the ethics and the systems to mitigate the fact that our world is becoming hot, flat and crowded and lead the way to a cleaner and more sustainable way of living and growing.  It’s the least we can do, considering we are largely responsible for our current predicament.  It would hardly be fair for us to turn to China and India and tell them not to do what we just did.  And it would go a long way toward making us one of the popular kids again.

There is so much information in this book.  It is so important and I so want to understand and get it right.  Aside from: 1.we’re so fucked and 2. at least I know how and why we are so fucked, I am left with my hands clutched at my heart, praying for the one man whose slender shoulders will bear the brunt of this call for change.  It’s beyond words, and I wish it wasn’t so, but you are it, Barack.  It all depends on you.

I won’t even get into the missed opportunities for change and betterment that slipped by in the weeks and months after September 11.  It’s all part if the very intricate jigsaw puzzle set forth in this book.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It is horrifying and fascinating.  It should be required reading for high school seniors – and the rest of us.  Give it to someone for Christmas, then borrow it back.  You won’t be sorry.  Or maybe you will.

Dec 12 2008

A family of savages.


friedchickenpshopWhat kind of a person eats a fried chicken breast whilst driving her minivan down 50th?  Not a leg, mind you – a breast - which is a greasy two handed affair under the best of circumstances.  I can understand breaking into a bag of chips or sneaking a Christmas cookie after a trip to the supermarket, but I actually got out of the car and went to the back, rifled around in the bags until I located the chicken, liberated a piece from its plastic clamshell, and scurried back to the driver’s seat, steam pouring off my chicken breast as it cooled precipitously in our 6 degrees below zero day.  I can’t even begin to imagine what the fancy woman parked in the Range Rover next to me thought of my unsavory on the fly fried chicken consumption.  I caught eyes with her, a distasteful moue plastered on her face, after my first bite. You know, the bite that leaves you with half the skin hanging down your chin.  Mmmmm . . . Of course, the fact that I even bought a four-piece pack of fried chicken at Lunds this morning is proof positive of the fact that I broke the cardinal rule of supermarket shopping:  DON’T GO ON AN EMPTY STOMACH OR YOU WILL END UP WITH A CART FULL OF NONSENSE

I was famished, as I tend to get when I don’t have a chance to eat breakfast in the mad rush to get everyone out the door . . . and when I get this hungry, WATCH OUT!  I turn into a salivating, carnivorous She-wolf and there exists no earthly muffin that will do the trick.  I need fatty protein and I need it fast. 10:30 a.m. minivan fried chicken was a first for me I’ll admit . . . but see a gray blue Honda Odyssey driving erratically and chances are I’m at the wheel tucking into some variety of a delicious meat sandwich.  This felt particularly barbaric, however, and I half expected myself to throw the carcass out the window after I grunted and wiped my greasy mouth with my sleeve.  Instead, the tiny ribcage of this unfortunate fowl is sitting in my car garbage, acting as my very own chicken-scented Glade Plug-in Airfreshener every time I crank the heat.  I keep checking my rearview mirror to make sure it’s Devil Baby, not Colonel Sanders, strapped into the carseat behind me.

Is it any wonder my children are a tad rough around the edges with a mother like theirs?  Why should I be surprised that they stand on their chairs at dinner, proudly announce when they’ve farted or burped, shimmy up the woodwork, moon each other every chance they get, pick their noses, make up songs about diarrhea and generally act like a pack of wild juvenile chimps?  Supergirl is especially unruly and it has taken much browbeating to get her to stop trying to pick up food, silverware etc. with her toes.  I wonder if my Bonnie Consuelo obsession is something I might have passed on in utero . . . The other day I caught her full on spitting at Saint James.  Now I’ll admit spitting is quite a cinematic way to convey extreme disdain and hatred, crueler and more loaded than a good solid slap across the face, but I’m sorry, spitting is non-negotiable.  We do not spit in our family.  (Unless it’s watermelon seeds and we’re outside and no one else is around). So I let her know, in no uncertain terms, that spitting is rude and gross and unladylike and forbidden – to which she replied, her words laced with fiery vengeance: “Fine! Next time I’ll wipe my butt on his pillow!”  


Dec 11 2008

There’s that howl again.



                                                Man Walking by Alberto Giacometti

Last night at Doctor Dash’s holiday work party, I got a bit flustered and hot under the collar when the president of the group leveled his serene, avuncular gaze on me and let fly a few seemingly innocuous but red hot lava words:  “What are you doing?”  The way he said it made me think, for a moment, that he meant right now.  For a split second, I was wildly hopeful, that perhaps I had been caught in the act of pick-pocketing him, or straightening his tie, or stuffing hors d’oeuvres into my handbag, or giving him a wet willy.  Had he actually meant right now, I would have composed myself and answered: “Oh, you know, trying to be the charming wife of the young Doctor Dash without seeming too terribly awkward in my heels.”  

But, alas, I knew he meant ‘what are you doing’ in the present progressive tense . . . terrible.  What are you DOING . . . in your life . . . with your life?  And there I stood, like an insect splayed and nailed to a white board while he and his wife and another couple stood, heads slightly cocked, patiently waiting for my answer.  My thoughts raced . . . I mumbled something about being home with my kids, which in my experience is when polite company jumps in with the “Oh, that’ll keep you busy!” or “It goes so fast!”  But no, they just stood there, watching me squirm and sweat and try to justify my existence. 

This blog flitted to mind, but I quashed it even though it happens to be one solid use of a small portion of my brain.  They’re doctors. And I write about tea and fur.  And not even every day.  And not for money.  And not for very many readers.  I wish I could say it made me feel better that the woman standing next to me, one of Dash’s colleagues who is around our age, was wearing an obscenely unflattering pair of maroon high-waisted pants, effectively obliterating her more than respectable figure.  Her wretched maroon pantaloons actually made me feel worse.  Oh, she has no time to shop.  Oh, she doesn’t care if her pants look like something M.C. Hammer would wear to a court hearing. She’s a DOCTAH


Last week I sent an email around asking the kindergarten parents to help assemble gingerbread houses for the class to decorate.  Bring your glue guns, I wrote, and bring one for me.  The mothers showed up in droves, with smiles on their faces and glue guns in hand.  I coordinated, moved things around, made sure everyone had enough graham crackers to glue onto milk cartons, and finally, finally worked up the guts to take up a glue gun.  My two gingerbread houses looked like crap, but that’s what all the candy and frosting are for.  As I sat elbow to elbow with the sweetest women on the planet, wrapped in the warmth of their light chatter, I felt humbled by how willing to pitch-in they were, how calm and cheerful they were, how free of angst . . . how utterly devoid of peevishness

If the kids only knew, I said, all you do for them. 

Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere.  I wear “stay-at-home-mom” like a tight scratchy turtle-neck.  I feel like the Jeff Spicoli of the Home and School Association.  Dazed and confused.  My very own Crackerjack and Nanook run the damn association and not only do they manage to make it look sexy (no small feat) and keep the meetings to an hour . I think I love them even more because they still love me even though I suck.  The women speak of budgets and teacher gifts and whether to switch Subway lunch to wheat bread . . . and I can’t focus . . . I don’t . . . quite . . . understand . . . what they are talking about.  What is my problem?  Why can’t I give myself over to this?

Thank you for organizing this, said the other mothers, as they swept graham cracker crumbs off the cafeteria tables and put their winter coats on.  We banged out thirty-six gingerbread houses in a little over an hour.  I mimicked their brisk and breezy departure – waves and smiles – and thought: No – thank you . . . for your willing hearts and hands . . . and for showing me what a little bit of peace looks like.

Dec 8 2008

A whole lotta love.


eskimo_woman_wearing_fur_coat_1915_card-p137412580926506539t5tq_400Our friends Circus Lady and Rip Van Techno threw a fabulous holiday party last night – one that has left me typing through a pleasantly woozy afterglow and alarmingly smudged mascara.  These two always manage to walk the fine line between swanky and warm . . . rowdy and refined . . . and Circus Lady deserves a major shout-out for whipping together a gorgeous table of delectable victuals with nary a hint of the blood, sweat and tears that inevitably must have gone into it all.  They are the consummate hosts and I admit I am shamelessly using positive reinforcement to ensure many future fests at their house.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  I love a party.  Thank you, friends, for a great one! 

In any event, I made a big chief discovery last night.  I wore a little fur stole (actually, it’s rather large and poufy – very Evita Perón) and, interestingly, it had the same effect as a robust and protuberant ninth month pregnant belly . . . people just want to talk to you and they just can help touching you.  Perfect strangers and old friends.  Both genders.  Never have I been petted so much at a party . . . and when I wasn’t being petted by others, I found myself petting myself . . . it was really quite lovely.  Where did this come from, people would coo. Aahh they would intone with satisfaction when I told them it was vintage, stroking my arm the whole time, unable to resist.  It’s no secret I’m a fan of fur, and this pretty baby warmed my shoulders and my cockles last night.

Dec 6 2008

Tea Sucker.


tea_cup_smallI’m obsessed with tea.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t always such a fan.  A couple winters ago, the winter that Devil Baby was a red, squalling, bundle of colic, to be specific, Doctor Dash started into an infuriating little nighttime tea ritual.  He of the poor circulation and chilly extremities would endlessly putter around the kitchen, readying his steaming cup of whatever, while I watched with growing irritation, usually with the baby attached to my nipple rendering his offers to prepare a cup for me impossible to consider.  I don’t know, something about drinking a scalding liquid over my squirming baby’s face just seemed like a bad idea.  I would watch him through narrowed eyes, feeling my skin prickle with annoyance, thinking he looked so nebbish – so self-indulgent as he sipped and slurped his cuppa.  

I resented his doing something to make himself comfortable when I felt so very uncomfortable.  I resented his making me feel like we were eighty.  Every once in a while, no longer able to contain my disgust, I’d let rip something super mature and intelligent like “Tea is so gay,”  or “You look like Steve Perry when you purse your lips like that.”  

As with many things over the years (i.e. fish, Radiohead, black coffee, Goodfellas, the Yankees), I have come around to Dash’s point of view and then some.  I have taken his penchant for tea and rolled it and patted it and marked it with a P . . . because now Peevish Mama can’t live without it.  I’m especially keen on Lotus teas, with their attractive whiff of the orient packaging and seemingly endless therapeutic benefits.  Heaviest in my rotation are Bedtime, a soothing blend of valerian, chamomile, passion flower and skullcap to help reduce occasional anxiety; Detox, a healthy balance of burdock, dandelion, Indian sasparilla and juniper berry to give my body a natural advantage over pollutants (i.e. liquor, salt); and Immune Support, a lively combination of astragalus, elderberry, echinacea, lemongrass and peppermint to strengthen my body’s defenses (against the petrie dishes that are my children in winter).  I also indulge in green tea, English breakfast tea (with milk and sugar), and hot cider (which is not tea, but is still steamy and old lady-like).  

Why the tea?  Well my house is freezing, for one thing, so I’ve always got my hands around a warm mug and a scarf around my carotid arteries (another Dash tip).  Those chilly Brits are most definitely onto something with the tea and scarves.  And truth be told, I like the ritual of it.  If I were really serious about this, I would forgo the microwave and wait around for the merry whistle of the tea kettle. I would steep loose tea in a mesh ball (like the one I wanted to put tiny Beck in). I would drink out of dainty floral tea cups with matching saucers. I’d be all spot of tea this and spot of tea that – and I’d cultivate the yellowest set of choppers you ever laid eyes on.   

Dec 3 2008

Judy’s feeling weepy.

shapeimage_2-1and I’m about to bitch slap her across the face.  I couldn’t begin tell you why I insist on likening our house to Dame Judy Dench, but it’s working for me, so I’m going with it.  We have a mysterious leak in our mud room.  It’s a slow leak – a bleeding, beading, weeping leak down one particular two by four that Doctor Dash exposed in a fit of manly, muscular plaster ripping.  Our mud room now looks like a crime scene and has for weeks upon weeks now.  We’ve got a guy on it . . . a jack-of-all-trades contractor who loves hunting and Jesus.  He chuckles with pleasure when I call him the Leak Detective.  He also chuckles when I tell him I think it’s a poltergeist.  He’s smart and has a nose for these kinds of things, but he’s slow, and in my opinion, barking up the wrong tree.  So last night after he left, no closer to figuring out why Judy is in the grips of such melancholia, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  

Rule out. Rule out. Rule out.  

Dash and I have been thinking our shower is somehow involved, so I gathered all the food coloring in the house (which is usually slated for play-dough, one of the things that makes me feel incredibly domestic and domesticated when I make it from scratch – narrowly elbowing out chocolate chip cookies) and grimly poured four bottles of green and blue down the shower drain and let the shower run for half an hour.  As my turquoise stained fingers will attest, food coloring is some mad concentrated stuff.  I look like a hapless bank robber sullied by an exploding dye pack stashed in a bag of stolen money.  Despite my little experiment, Judy’s tears run clear, so I think we can safely and finally, rule out our shower . . . which is good because the next move was to rip out the shower floor.  The Leak Detective is at it again, and I’m feeling confident that with the click of my tiny piece of the puzzle, he’s going to nail this baby today.  Lordy, he’d better.  It’s winter.  I need my mud room.  

Come on Judy. Chin up, old girl!

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