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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.)

Idle Hands are the Devil’s Strawberry Workshop


Friday afternoon I got off work early and was dumbfounded that I had an entirely unplanned long weekend standing before me.

So naturally I was expecting someone to die.

remember Britney's last open weekend? (She doesn't either.)Does this ever happen to you? The times when you had a weird open hole in your schedule  - destiny fills it with parents in the hospital or a dog dying or a serious illness of your own. Normally, I can count on it. But I historically only note it in hindsight - similar to:

“Ohhhh.... that’s why I had nothing planned. Because the Schadenfreude-o-sphere had planned a violent car accident for me. Right, gotcha. Should’a seen it coming. Can someone pick up my arm for me, please?”

But I ignored all of that and went home early from work excited to return this Piece-of-Shit bike I bought at Target BACK to whence it had came. Whence it had come. Whatever. Back to the hypnotizing red dot that stole my brain and $200 and replaced it with a very cute retro parisian Schwinn that DID NOT ROLL. Not to make a big deal about how stupid I was that night - but I bought a bike and a bucket and a drink ....with my son... and then tried to fit it all into my closed top jeep.. that had two idiot dogs in it. With a massive rainstorm impending. :)

[ cue song “I did it my way” to play in background ]

But that was so last week. I got the bike-bucket-kid-dog#1-dog#2 and half a drink home and was in the process of trying to extract and hide the stupid bike from my significant other - when my significant other rolls in. He gives me that look from the window of his truck.

THAT look.

The “you crazy crazy lunatic woman what ARE you up to now cause I know it’s not good - and you know it is going to have been stupidly expensive and involve some effort on my part eventually and what the hell are you carrying? mmm.”

It’s like that pest control commercial where the insect is doing a drive by on the guys house in a a 1973 El Camino. Except much more *familiar.

I nervously yanked the bike out of the truck and tried running while CARRYING IT (doesnotfuckingroll!) (I swear it rolled in the store - wtf?) and I just stopped before I killed the dog or the kid or something worse. And turned myself in to Officer Suspicious Boyfriend. Sigh.

That was so last week. So Friday I returned the bike. Yes I had to carry it back into the store while haters in the parking lot looked at me like “bitz... put the stupid bike down and roll it. It’s a bike. You an idiot or something? Why are you bustin your ass trying to carry that giant awkward thing?”

To all of you I send out the following dedication. FU. I hope there is a sewage explosion that gets in your mouth and eyes.

I did not have to do much explaining to the woman at the returns desk. Smart woman there. She knew on sight that I was a mess she wanted no part of.

Then I confidently walked out of that store and into Dick’s Sporting Goods. (Tee hee. I love being able to use that word. Like conversationally. It kills me every time.)

So I got a new bike. The $300 price range seems to feature dramatically less cute but higher functioning models.

Saturday was all about bike rides. I went on 3! Yes. That was a mistake.

Sunday was all about BBQ’s and fear. After dining with my parents ("Come to our BBQ!" "Please fix our BBQ and cook the food. We are tired.") we stopped by a mostly deserted pub on our way home and met the scariest man alive.

It all started with me walking up to the complete stranger who was chatting with his friend and saying:

“Wow! That is an INSANE scar. How the heck did THAT happen?” It was a giddy mixture of curious disgust, intrigue, and horrification.

That was Bryant’s feeling too when I decided we should sit with these lunatics and not leave as the stories got worse and worse.

Let me do a quick tally - within this guys immediate family there was:

  • The killing of at least five people. Most of the victims had been picked up by their belt and smashed against the sidewalk on their heads. It seemed to be a family specialty. Some were in the line-of-fire while he was a repo man. And one was unfortunate enough to have been below him on a rappelling line in the army when the rope snapped.
  • The theft of cars from the Annapolis Koons dealership. He preferred Mustangs.
  • The violent killing of two police dogs (one by way of a flare gun).(!)(?)
  • The assault of his previous girlfriend. A cop in Florida. (why is it that cops make such bad relationship choices? It continually amazes me.) Said police officer was attending an event with the man we were chatting with when she tried to take him in to custody. He realized the change in their relationship status and decided to “hit her as hard as I could.

{let me take a moment to remark on the fact that this man was 6 foot 8 inches tall and 400 lbs. He looked like the product of Shrek’s ‘Fiona’ character having mated with the Braveheart cast. And then add some. more. more girth. more height. more scars. more tattoos. He was the most human I had ever thought that little of.} back to the cop. Yeah. He broke the woman’s jaw in 13 places and proceeded to take her gun and dis-assemble it while throwing the parts at her face. When questioned as to what his ultimate intent was he replied “I just wanted to put her down. So she wouldn’t get in the way. But I guess she was more fragile than I thought. {he laughs}.”
And that was the woman he was currently living with. His Girlfriend. mmmhmm.
Bryant was constantly looking at me for the sign to leave. His eyebrows were in the “up and twitching” state for over an hour.

The lunatic man finally decided to leave and I relented to Bryant. That man's name (previously I had written his real name - but after some thought that seemed foolish) his name rhymed with "Lavin". He is the craziest MF I have ever met and I would say to everyone and anyone that it is a dangerous idea to be around him. I actually don’t doubt that half of his stories (or more) are very, very true.

Monday morning I went strawberry picking. I needed to run around the field like fricking Heidi to wash all that evil off of me.

We went early. Like 8am. Bryant smiled as I left and rolled over to capture all of my pillows.

“have fun with the girlszzzz.”

Yenny had worked the night shift and was running on two hours of sleep when we deposited her into the car. No idea how she does it. Or why. And the Hysan sisters and their friend Brenda. I like Brenda. I had yet to have the experience of being driven by her previously  - but it’s really something special. She is a very confident driver.

Though she does not like to look to the left or the right.
While driving.

Straight? Yes. Right or left ? No. Not something she does. Admittedly.

And she gets very irritated with other drivers who do not subscribe to her mind control.

“Ugh. This guy is totally blocking me out of that lane!”

“Do you have your blinker on?” Hysan asks.

“No. But seriously! He knows. Move already.”

We had a very fun time picking strawberries. It could have been a very different mood if the temperatures were any higher. Good thing we got out early. Yenny and I shared a basket. We had a system. I picked strawberries and she threw 90% of them back claiming she was 'quality control.' The ground was littered with rejects. The white people that worked in this area kept frowning at the sight.

And somehow we ended up with 12 lbs of Strawberries.
I know! Right??? 12 POUNDS???? I paid $28 dollars for fruit I had to pick.

The ride back from the strawberry farm included eating all purchased baked goods while ignoring the ENTIRELY OVERPOWERING SMELL OF OVERRIPE STRAWBERRIES (weird but they smell bad when there is too many) and discussions regarding how the state counts reptiles, the war of 1812 and it's newfound popularity amongst 20-somethings in hockey's off-season, botox, boob jobs and the best Atlantic City hotel pools. Never. Not once. Did we discuss what the HELL we were going to do with the combined 27 lbs of fruit in the trunk.

We got them home and then and then Yenny left me with them. Alone. All those strawberries. That bitch.

So I took a nap and then the smell just got to me. I went to the store and bought every strawberry related support product I could find. I spent about $200 on groceries. I actually even bought MORE fruit. Someone shoot me please. Took all the crap home and proceeded to make 18 lbs of strawberry, blackberry and peach crumble. With a graham cracker bottom. That part arrived after my second glass of wine.

It was around there when the recipe became it’s loose-est. It was a crime scene. The kitchen looked like "Lavin" lived there and fed bodies down the disposal. There were strawberry heads everywhere and the sweet smell in the air caused me to start pulling out crackers and cheese. I needed salt. Which only caused more wine drinking. It's a cycle people.

It was a total nightmare. I swear this happens to me over and over again. Remember the banana bread incident?

So now I am giving crumble to anyone that will look at me. You can see pictures in the flickr feed.