Things our Butler does

Things our Butler does

Last month we adopted a 2-year-old Saint Bernard. 


His name is Butler. He’s adorable and we love him like crazy, but sometimes he does silly things. Tonight the kids and I were talking about Butler’s antics and one of them said “people might overhear this conversation and think we have the world’s weirdest butler.” I said they might be a little confused but unless we actually referred to him as “OUR BUTLER”, they probably wouldn’t assume he was a person. And then, naturally, we decided to try it out. Pretty soon we were doubled over with laughter, imagining people’s reactions when we tell people stories of “our butler”.

“Our Butler has been with us since he was two.”

“The other day when I came home, our Butler stole my shoe and ran off with it.”

“Our Butler likes to roll around in the snow outside.”

“Aw man, I just stepped in a puddle of our Butler’s drool and now my sock is all wet.”

“Our Butler sometimes drinks out of the toilet if we forget to close the lid.”

“The other day our Butler peed on Wordsworth’s leg while they were both outside.”

This could be the makings of a world-class sitcom here, folks.


Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Life in General


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Weird things I can say in French

About a year ago I decided that I wanted to learn French, so I downloaded a free language-instruction app onto my phone. I lost motivation and quit using it last summer but recently picked it up again. Since it’s been so long I pretty much had to start over, but this has reminded me of how amusing the phrases can be in this app. I’d like go share with you some of the strange things I have learned to say in French, and their translations.*

1. Je suis un tortue.
I am a turtle.
Really? My first thought is to wonder how many English-speaking turtles have downloaded this app with the intention of traveling to France. And then I wonder why it would be necessary for the turtle to inform the French people he meets of his place in the animal kingdom. Don’t French people know a turtle when they see one?

2. Les femmes mangent du beurre.
The women eat some butter.
Just butter? I mean, I’ve heard that French food can be pretty rich but this seems a little excessive to me. You could at least spread it on some bread first.

3. Les éléphants mangent une pomme.
The elephants eat an apple.
That’s either one GIANT apple, or some really small elephants for them to be sharing one apple between them.

4. Nous mangeons du sucre.
We eat some sugar.
Just sugar? I can’t imagine a bunch of French people sitting around a table, drinking coffee and eating sugar by the spoonful.

5. Les hommes mangent une fraise.
The men eat a strawberry.
Is there some sort of strawberry shortage in France? Why can’t they all have their own strawberry?

6. Je suis une abeille.
I am a bee.
Apparently it’s not only turtles that have urgent need of French language tutorials.

Whether or not I will ever actually NEED to say these things in French is another question. But it’s nice to know I am prepared, should the situation arise.

* I don’t claim to be any kind of expert in the language so I am taking the translations directly from the app. Please forgive me if these are too literal. I can only hope that the translation is somehow lacking and that these phrases would make far more sense when spoken in context to actual French-speaking people.

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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in Life in General


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Translation. I don’t think it means what you think it means

So I was just scrolling through Facebook, and saw this comment on a picture my aunt had shared of her dinner:


I was intrigued by the “See Translation” link at the bottom. Could it be this has some other meaning in a different language? I had to know, so I clicked in the link.


I am sure this will come in handy the next time I travel abroad. Thanks Facebook translator!

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Posted by on June 13, 2015 in Uncategorized


Sorry Mom, I broke my promise

Sorry Mom, I broke my promise

This year my mom told me all she wanted for Mother’s Day was for me to not get her anything. Because I love my mom, I agreed. She’s in another city today, celebrating Mother’s Day with her own mom, which I think is awesome. Mother’s Day doesn’t have to mean mothers spend every minute with their kids, right? Mother’s Day should be about showing your mom you love her by letting her do what SHE wants for a change instead of what her kids want. That’s why I agreed not to get her anything for Mother’s Day.

But I lied a little bit.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


Clearly Google+ Does Not Understand Religion

I have had a Google+ page for a long time, but like many people with Google+ pages, I often forget about it. Today I happened to go there by mistake when I was trying to check my Gmail, and this picture was among the items in my feed:

Jedi's Witnesses. Do you have a moment to talk about the Force? You will open the door. You will listen.

Being exactly the kind of geek I am, this made me laugh. So I shared it to my Google+, like you do. For some reason, Google saw this and said “Hey man, I heard you like religion. Check this out! I totally understand you now!”

Communities you might like: Top Positive quotes, Knowing Jesus, The Bible

No, Google+. These are not the communities I’m looking for. Move along.

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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


Signs it is time to clean out your desk

If you know me in real life, you probably know that I am a bit of a pack rat. If you know me REALLY well, then you probably also know that last sentence is a bit of an understatement. I like to collect things that make me happy when I see them, including but not limited to books, movies, and geeky objects. I also have a hard time throwing away useful things, because I worry that one day I will say “gosh, I could really use a thingamajig right now, but unfortunately I just threw it away last week when I was having a clear out.” Believe it or not, that has happened to me more than once, which only makes it that much harder to get rid of stuff.

For instance, I have this smallish plastic tote bin under my desk at work, which I use as a footstool. I have had it for years – I bought it when I was working at my first long-term office job back in 2004, specifically because I needed a footrest for my desk but I also needed a place to keep extra pens and stuff. Plus, it was on sale and cost less than any of the footstools in the store. I have brought this bin with me from one job to another over the years, and have never really sorted through the stuff that is in it, unless I need something.

And so it happened today, when I got to work and realized that my sweater had a HUGE hole in the elbow, I pulled the box out from under my desk, because I was almost certain that I had a sewing kit in there. Unfortunately, I did not have the sewing kit in it. I probably used it at my last job and put it into my desk drawer instead, which means it is most likely still in the box full of junk that I cleared out of my desk when I left that job last month. That’s an adventure I will have to tackle another day.

HOWEVER, I did find a plastic baggie containing an international calling card and assorted foreign currency from our trip to England & India in 2007.


And it's all at least 8 years old, so that makes it ANTIQUE money, and therefore more valuable, right?

Altogether, I have 2 pounds, 82 pence, 79 rupees, and 50 paise. So I guess I’m all set if I suddenly have to fly to England and/or India. Maybe when I get there, I can pay someone to fix my sweater.


Sven and the art of anniversaries

At the beginning of March, my husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary by ditching the kids and taking a road trip to Sioux Falls, SD. Sven (my selfie stand-in) came along to help me document the trip with photos.

Here we are, waiting patiently for our morning coffee before we hit the road:
Sven waiting for coffee

We arrived in town pretty early so we had some time to see the sights before we checked into the hotel. We ate some delicious sushi at a restaurant downtown and stopped at a little bakery to get some cupcakes for dessert later. We noticed there were a lot of sculptures scattered around the downtown area, and I thought it would be fun to take pictures of Sven with them, but we decided to wait until after we got checked into our hotel.

Sven was mighty impressed with our hotel room. To be honest, so was I; it was nicer than a lot of apartments where I’ve lived:
It's a really nice hotel room, but I guess you will just have to take my word for it.

After checking into our hotel room, we enjoyed a nice swim in the hotel pool before heading back downtown to Washington Square, where we had tickets for the Empty Bowls fundraiser. We each got to choose one of the myriad lovely bowls that had been handmade just for this event (Sven and I shared), and ate our fill of delicious soups, breads, and mini cupcakes which were provided by sponsoring restaurants. Here is one of several tables lined with bowls for the attendees to choose.


Sven had a hard time choosing just one

Afterwards we spent some time checking out the art galleries at Washington Square. Then we decided to go see a movie, because when you’re out of town without the kids, it seems like a wasted opportunity if you don’t go out and do stuff, right?


In the morning we drove down to Falls Park. None of the buildings were open but we did get to see the eponymous Sioux Falls. It was a warmish day, so the water was actually flowing around the ice in some places.


On our way back to the car we saw this sculpture, which Sven decided was just dying for a little company.


American Farmer by Sondra Jonson

Next we decided to go back to Washington Square and take photos of the sculptures around the area. At first I didn’t think to get the names and artists of the sculptures, so I’m just going to have to make up some names for these.


Off Kilter
By Martin Eichinger

This one was right next to Off Kilter, but I couldn’t find it on the Sculpture Walk website. For now I’m just going to call it “Whatcha Reading?”


title and artist unknown


Trojan Horse
By Dale Lewis

Sven really liked this one. He actually made me stop on the way back to the car and take his picture with it again.


Taking Attendance
By Ken Newman


By Martin Eichinger


Walrus and Calf
By Dollores Shelledy

Sven was a little disappointed that he couldn’t reach the pedals on this one. Maybe one day when he’s all grown-up.


Fat Tire #4
By Lance Carleton

This one is not technically part of the Sculpture Walk. It was in front of a bank which just happened to be near some of the other sculptures.


Not part of the Sculpture Walk, we just liked it

Sven and I don’t really “get” a lot of modern art, but we did enjoy the lines of this piece.


Zinger by Gregory Johnson


By Gary Monaco


By Josie Campbell Dellenbaugh


Bacchus by Sherri Treeby


World's Her Canvas by Lee Leuning & Sherri Treeby


Friesian Rearing
By Martha Pettigrew


By Bobbie Carlyle


The Eagle and The Hawk
By Joellen Domenico

And to bookend the whole trip, here is Sven, once again posing with his favorite sculpture:


Taking Attendance (again)

So there you have it. We certainly enjoyed our time in Sioux Falls, and I’m looking forward to the next sculpture walk. Maybe we will make it an annual trip. If you’d like to learn more about any of these sculptures or the Sculpture Walk, check out their website.


Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Life in General


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