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Crofton, MD, 21114

A long-running personal blog shared by two authors with completely different approaches to life. And a lot of large, beautiful photographs of dogs and nature and places we've traveled to. Rich in commentary and irreverant in style. 


We started blogging a long time ago. Our work hours never aligned with recommended psychotherapists and we needed to get our thoughts out. We are great friends, total opposites and long-time housemates. This was a way to communicate. With each other. With strangers. With consumer marketers. With sub-par meteorologists. With distant friends who wanted to see pictures of stuff we were up to.

This is the place. Our bucket of thoughts to share. You are welcome. 
(We realize that most of you are here for the dog pictures.)

You Put The Pampers in Pampered Chef


So I don’t have a lot of free time. I am an American and I was raised to refer to my schedule as if it was a barely contained wild Mustang recently captured from the dusty outback. Bucking and kicking and scaring the hats off passers by. In my visualization I am both the horse and the fence. In another version my schedule is an angry and slightly confused 60 story monster trouncing a metropolitan area with googlie eyes and flailing arms. You get the picture. This is how I relate to time management.

So I get nervous about agreeing to stuff that I am “not that into”. And recently one such thing has come up. There is an event I have been invited to that is happening this evening. I was invited over two weeks ago. You see there is a pub in my fair village that I have frequented a few times – nice people, simple townsfolk wearing far too much Ed Hardy and eager to converse on topics like

  • Unique perspectives: “my friends say my boob job is too obvious. Feel’em whadda you think?”
  • Cuisine: “they call me ‘naked steak and eggs John’ cause after you wake up with me you get to choose what I will serve you for breakfast in my birthday suit”
  • Culture: ”what do you think about prostitutes in Korea vs Cambodia?”
  • Law enforcement: “well he creeped up on me and I just floored it. Figured the only way out was to hit 110 mph and start weavin to see if I could lose the tail.”

Sometimes I wonder why they even have TV’s at the bar, there is so much excitement going on amongst the patrons interacting.

So a woman whose acquaintance was met at this establishment invited me to her birthday party. She is actually a truly nice and sweet person. But the event is being held at her house... and it is also a Pampered Chef event. That’s the meat and potatoes of the problem.  I am NOT a fan of Pampered Chef.  In fact my skin crawls at the mere mention of it. Oddly it’s not the products they sell – it’s the method in which they sell things. They brainwash suburban women into playing the guilt card on neighbors and so called *friends. It is an evil pornographic twist of so called ‘hostessing’. Having not been initiated I attended my first PC party under the following guise

“Hey did you want to come by Saturday night? I’m having all the ladies in the neighborhood over to drink cocktails, eat carbs and dish gossip.”

Well yeah! Of course I do! My family has historically had very Bostonian Yankee ways about them and I had always dreamed of settling in some charming southern borough where people took their wine glass out for an evening stroll, going from one porch to another. The sounds of dogs barking on a nearby green of the fairway and the slap of a wooden screen door accompanying the swoosh swoosh of evening sprinklers. Everyone would have real iced tea served out of one of those jar type contraptions and hush puppies just out of the oven.

Well my pre-divorce neighborhood was not exactly like that. The only thing it had in common with the southern living dream sequence is that it had people. And some of them were mildly female.

I arrived at the Saturday night ladies cocktail soiree with a baked brie that I had artfully sculpted out of pastry dough. It looked beautiful. I wore a casual skirt with an unassuming t-shirt, linen blazer and hip oversized necklace. Once inside with the brie safely on the dining room table I looked up to find a room full of women that looked like they had just been asked to leave a public pool for some hygiene infraction.

One woman immediately made a snide comment about both my food offering and outfit by sarcastically asking the room if I thought I was going to a junior league event. I was surprised she knew of the existence of such a group. And yes – I was basing this social interaction off of just such past events. Events where PEOPLE GAVE A SHIT AND DIDN’T JUST ACT LIKE ONE.

We were soon-there-after ushered into a sitting room where folding chairs had completed the girl scouts circle of discussion. You would have thought they were expecting a male stripper. But no. They were expecting “the outsider”. A woman whom you do not know – will not know and become immediately suspicious of. She has a painted on smile. She is wearing odd clothing with an almost burlesque themed handbag. And she is talking to you. All of you. As if she knows you. And your life and your habits and your husband and your peeves and nuances. Then she makes your neighbor – the newest member of her cult – stand and make a terrible speech about how she is doing this because it will help us. It will make our lives easier. You watch this all go on as if it is a hostage situation. Your neighbor then hands out catalogs to each of you and makes a special point of putting a golf sized pencil with the words “Pamper Yourself” in your hand and telling you “it’s a gift”. What is? The pencil. (smile) You can keep it. <blink> no shit..really, the pencil that I wouldn’t waste my time stealing  is mine all mine? You are SO thoughtful. I glance into the other room at the $45 baked brie I brought as a hostess offering.

 So we do the dance for another hour – these women do not know me. They are not privy to the fact that I started training to deflect advances like this at an early age. Picture me at age 10 in a Turkish rug salon for 3 straight hours. Did I buy a rug? Nope. I lived in Texas and withstood the advances of several pink caddied Mary Kay assailants. Make-up? Still don’t need it. Lived in London where they send the saddest looking children door to door selling magazine publications out of a cardboard box they hung from their necks. “Fancy a subscript to Filament or Woman’s Weekly? Funds go towards royal pet rescue and the education dole”. Sorry – I’m an American’t.

So after everyone (but me) gives in and buys at least one thing – they introduce a game session. This is where I get up – go into the kitchen and pour myself a drink and cut into the very appetizer I brought – which is the only thing that did not fall out of a bag, in offering. I stand away from the ongoing game and possible prizes. And I become that woman. The bitch neighbor. The one who is stuck up and won’t “join the fun” or support the entrepreneur nature of our *host. Yes, that is me.

So I will do everyone a favor and know my limits by NOT attending this woman’s Birthday/Pampered Chef invitation. Do not confuse an invitation to cocktails or a celebration with a money making endeavor. It is ugly and crass.

I have become my grandmother. Someone please kill me… without charge.