The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: Ike (page 2 of 3)

An auspicious sign!


“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it never was.” ~Chinese Proverb


Remember this guy?

He was Bucket Head’s favorite trick-or-treating loot last year, until he lost him in the yard and Ike, our insatiable dog, gobbled him up like a rubbery green Snausage.

We sure were sad about losing that cheap little stretchy green skeleton. And when I say “we,” of course I mean “he”…because frankly, I couldn’t give a shit.

Unlike my dog, who did give a shit… a very entertaining shit, in fact. And finding that favorite little toy encased in that foul crypt a few weeks later was just the closure “we” needed to move on and find a new favorite toy. Goodbye stretchy green friend.

{Insert sound of screeching tires.}

Not so fast.

Lookie what Nature Boy found in our garden the other day:


Looks like the worms and dung beetles picked him clean. Well, pretty clean. Cleaner, let’s say.

Like I care. Shoot, that formerly-poop-entombed toy is one of the least disgusting things that kid touched all day. He’s in middle school now, don’t you know.

I guess that means this cheap little toy is ours forever, according to ancient wisdom.

Now, some might take this as an affront, a cruel twist of fate. As in: “THIS is what I get back? Really? Not the tennis bracelet I lost on a walking tour of Asheville in 2002? Or the dreamy future Hollywood movie and television star I briefly befriended in high school?”

No. Not me. I’m not bitter.

One of the few things I have control over in my life, theoretically, is the way I respond to life’s little curveballs. So instead, I choose gratitude and joy.

I think it is very auspicious that this little green toy keeps coming back to me. I’m certain it is a sign of resiliency. It reminds me that no matter how crappy things sometimes get, if you wait long enough, it will get better. Now of course I’m talking about “the small stuff” we all sweat, not that suspicious lump growing on your neck, Aunt Betty. Get that checked out, for Pete’s sake.

The other reason I take delight in the reappearance of this little toy is that I’m pretty sure it firmly cements my position in the blogosphere as the Princess of Poop. The Queen of Crap. The Duchess of Doo-Doo. So be it.

Hey, we all need a niche. I’m just trying to go with the flow.

So I’m going to wash the daylights out of this resilient little green skeleton and then put him in my “Shit My Kids (and Dog) Ruined” box. Maybe someday I’ll take all those little partially eaten and melted and broken tchotchkes and turn them into ornaments for a funny little “Holy CRAP, Parenting/Dog Owning is HARD” themed Christmas tree. Maybe I’ll do that when Mini-Me is in high school, as a supplemental form of birth control. Yes. I like that idea. I like it a lot.

But until then, it’s poop, poop, poop, poop, poop, poop, and more poop for me. Bring it. I will survive.

My toilet bowl is half full,


One giant poop-covered © 2011, The Bearded Iris.


Judge not.

Just in case you happened to see me driving through my neighborhood yesterday, I feel like you should really give me the benefit of the doubt.

Yes, it’s true, I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt.

And if you got a good look at me, you may have noticed the pit stains on my t-shirt and the mascara streaks on my face.

And yes, indeed, there was a rather large black Lab running alongside the driver’s side of my silver minivan.

And no, your eyes weren’t playing tricks on you. The dog was on a short blue leash, and I actually was holding the leash with my left arm dangling from the open driver’s side window.

And yes, the dog appeared to be very tired and was a little foamy at the mouth.

Yes, that was DaveFM’s Radio Free Lunch blaring from my speakers. Perhaps you got a glimpse of me grooving to Short Skirt Long Jacket by Cake.

And sure enough, my hazard lights were blinking, as I was driving ridiculously slow.

If you saw us, you probably thought to yourself “That is one lazy (and/or crazy) bitch!”

But what you don’t know is that I had just spent the last two hours hanging with my dear friend Christel and her newborn baby who live on the other side of my neighborhood. And that Christel had been loving me through a mini-breakdown about a lifetime worth of emotional baggage that is always bubbling right below a very thin surface.

You probably also don’t know that Christel invited my mildly psychotic dog Ike over to play with her enormous black German Shepherd while we were visiting.

Or that Ike decided to bolt at the end of our playdate before I got a chance to get him back on his leash.

Maybe you don’t know that Ike has a long history of playing “you can’t catch me!” which is why we ended up installing a Hidden Fence three years ago.

Or that I had exactly fifteen minutes to get back to my car and get across town to pick up my two older kids from their last day of Tech Camp.

Perhaps you didn’t realize that I had just run from Christel’s house to mine with a four year old boy riding piggy-back and shouting “Giddy up, Mommy!”

Maybe you don’t know that when Ike used to run away (before we got the fence) the only way to get him back was to drive around, call him to our open minivan, and trick him that he was “going bye-byes!”

Or that the day before I had spent two hours and $150 having my disgusting 6 year old minivan detailed for the first time EVER and that the carpets were still damp.

Or that Ike’s paws and nails were caked with mud from the romping, and chasing, and digging he had just done in Christel’s backyard.

And that I couldn’t possibly just wait for Ike to find his way home on his own due to “the incident” we recently endured when Ike was assaulted in our yard by an unbalanced courier. (And found to be not guilty, by the way, in a court of law.)

So before you pass judgement on me for being the neighborhood crazy lady who drives alongside her dog for his exercise instead of walking him, you should really give me the benefit of the doubt.

Things aren’t always what they seem.

Besides, there are many worse reasons to think of me as the neighborhood crazy lady.

Yours truly,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris


Blessings Abound

Saturday afternoon was my daughter Mini-Me’s First Holy Communion.

It was an absolutely spectacular day filled with more blessings than I can count.

And today, two days later, I am still filled with such enormous gratitude and wonder, that words are failing me.

Why yes, I do still have PMS. How’djyaknow? Stay away from my chocolate, bitch.

But I know you’re dying for some details, so I think I’ll just give you a quick rundown in the form of a list. Here it is…

My Top Ten Reasons Why Saturday Rocked:

10. My husband, The Gatekeeper, cleaned the kitchen within an inch of its life Saturday morning. It was spotless and the counter tops were freakishly clutter-free. I don’t even care that I’ll be spending the next three weeks trying to find all the shit he stashed.

9. I never got around to ordering a cake for the party. But lo and behold, there was a chocolate quarter sheet cake with buttercream frosting at Publix Saturday afternoon just waiting for us to add “Congratulations Mini-Me.” Thank you, Publix, for planning ahead for mothers like me who don’t.

8. My friend Kathy who met me for a quick cuppa coffee on Friday and made me feel less guilty about not having any decorations or party favors: “Mini-Me is your decoration!”

7. Coming home from mass to a house that was not burned to the ground after I accidentally left my curling iron plugged in and resting on the edge of the bathtub. The worst part? It dawned on me as we were on our way TO the church, “Did I unplug the curling iron? Oh my God, I don’t think I did!”  So I had to sit through the entire mass with the most loquacious priest ever, sweating more than I usually do, wondering and praying and trying my damnedest to not let the undercurrent of panic prevent me from being fully present. It. Was. Torture.

6. Seeing my lovely daughter all clean and gorgeous and truly excited about receiving this special sacrament.

5. Eating my sister-in-law’s homemade Italian cooking and listening to the golden silence of all our guests as they reveled in the deliciousness.

4. Having Mini-Me’s best friend from her preschool (who we don’t get to see nearly enough) arrive for the party in her prettiest dress and bearing the heartfelt gift of an “Angel of Best Friends” figurine.

3. The weather was perfect and The Rapture didn’t occur after all, which would have been a real buzz kill. Nothing spoils a party faster than fire and brimstone. Well, that and my crazy drunk uncle who likes to ignite his farts with a cigarette lighter. He wasn’t invited though.

2. Miraculously completing the slideshow (with only minor technical difficulties) as my gift to Mini-Me, even though my laptop went haywire after several routine software upgrades last week and I haven’t been able to use iTunes or iPhoto since. Listening to our guests roar with laughter upon seeing dozens of pictures of Mini-Me covered in makeup, and pudding, and finger paint, all to the tune of Superfreak, was music to my exhausted ears.

1. Receiving the certified letter from the county Saturday afternoon right before we left for church stating the verdict of Ike’s dog-bite hearing last Thursday night: NOT GUILTY!

So, in summary, God is good, and I am grateful.

Thank you for being here and sharing the journey with me!

yours truly,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Doggone Good Advice

In exactly 24 hours I’ll be reunited with my faithful friend Ike upon the completion of his 10 day quarantine. If I have a film crew with me (i.e., a child holding my iPhone), we will edit the reunion sequence to include a slow motion run toward each other followed by an obscene amount of licking and crotch sniffing (hopefully done by the dog and not by me), all to the tune of Reunited and it feels so good… by Peaches and Herb. It’s a wonder I’m not a famous director, really it is.

So for Just the Tip Tuesday, in honor of my canine companion and his extreme sacrifice to protect his family, I’d like to share something about dogs today. This is one of those things that gets forwarded over and over through email, so you may have seen it before. I printed it out years ago after one of the many dog lovers in my life forwarded it to me. I loved it then, I love it even more today. Even if you are not a dog lover, pay attention… this is full of life tips we can all enjoy. Sadly, I do not know who the original author is; if you do, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Things We Can Learn from a Dog

1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

4. When it’s in your best interest, always practice obedience.

5. Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.

6. Take naps and always stretch before rising.

7. Run, romp, and play daily.

8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

9. Be loyal.

10. Never pretend to be something you’re not.

11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

13. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

14. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

15. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

16. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

17. When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

18. No matter how often you are criticized, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.

Wagging with loyal anticipation,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Crime and punishment, doggie style.

It’s never good when a police cruiser appears in your driveway. Just sayin’.

So yesterday afternoon, the second day of Spring break, when I was hanging by my last nerve, trying to gather three uncooperative kids to run to the grocery store, the last thing I needed was to deal with the Po-Po.

Frankly, I knew we were living on borrowed time.

But let me back up a bit.

A few weeks ago I became acquainted with a charming new Internet friend, Erin. I commented on her blog, she commented on my blog, yada yada yada, and the next thing I knew, I was devouring information about the all-natural Shaklee cleaning products she sells. The stuff sounded incredible and I just had to have some. An order was placed. A box was shipped.

Enter the courier.

But wait, there’s something else you need to know.

I have a very entertaining and artistic dog named Ike.

Ike is a 6 year old Black Lab.

Black Labs are very loyal dogs.

Very loyal dogs like to protect their people from threatening things like noisy delivery trucks and strangers dressed in brown uniforms carrying large boxes.

For legal reasons, I cannot divulge any details, but long story short, the courier beat Ike in my front yard with a long black stick and Ike allegedly bit the courier.

I do not know what happened first, the biting or the beating.

I only witnessed the beating, not the biting. And it was a horrendous sight and sound to behold, let me tell you.

But it doesn’t matter in the eyes of Animal Control. It doesn’t matter that the courier was inside my invisible fence line. It doesn’t matter that she was beating my dog with a large stick and that he was yelping in agony with every whack.

All that matters to Johnny Law is that Ike (allegedly) bit someone. Period.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let the record show that Ike has never bitten anyone before this alleged incident.

The following photo is graphic in nature and intended for mature audiences only. Please look away if you do not have a strong constitution.

This is what it typically looks like when Ike attacks:

Help! Help! A dingo is eating my baby!!!!

Luckily I was there to save that poor child from being licked within an inch of his life.

Here is another example of Ike’s aggressive behavior (with a slightly less appealing angle):

Help! Somebody save me!!!

The courier sought medical treatment due to the alleged dog bite and did not go to work the next day. I know this because I made numerous phone calls to inquire about her well being. My family and I certainly hope that she feels better and are praying for her speedy recovery.

But apparently, anytime someone seeks medical attention for an alleged dog bite, the authorities are summoned.

Hence the unannounced visit from the Sheriff’s department yesterday afternoon.

There was a lengthy interview. I had to write a statement. The deputy took photographs of my yard, the “Invisible Fence” sign by my mailbox, and of Ike.

I was apprised of my rights and of the county laws regarding dog bites. Shockingly, even though Ike’s rabies vaccination is valid until 2013, the law states that he must be quarantined for 10 days, at my expense.

I had until 5:00 PM to surrender him to the authorities.

The kids and I loaded Ike, his dog food, and a favorite blanket into the van and drove him over to our vet’s office where he will be closely supervised in solitary confinement until the end of his quarantine period.

Turning him over to the vet just about broke my heart in two. I haven’t cried that hard in a long time.

I felt like I was walking him down The Green Mile.

Not to condone a dog bite, but there’s something just not right about a good dog doing ten days in the hole for the crime of protecting his family.

And as my kids’ friend Justine informed me a few minutes ago, 10 days to us is really like 70 days to a dog. Damn. That’s a stiff sentence for man or beast.

Please keep Ike in your thoughts and prayers during his time in the pokey. For as much as I complain about that boy, I sure am missing him.

with a heavy heart,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

The ONE kitchen gadget I can’t live without.

How does a busy mom-on-the-go feed the kids, discipline the pets, and manage the household all at once? Easy. All you need is a handy dandy large glass bowl like this:

What? You don’t see how a simple glass mixing bowl could possibly do all that? Well let me paint a picture for you, friends.

It’s 8:00 AM, and Bucket Head sits down to eat his freshly toasted store-brand waffle. At approximately 8:01, Bucket Head senses the call of the wild and runs to the loo, leaving his vulnerable waffle alone and afraid.

Ike the Terrible is lurking on the outskirts of the kitchen… patiently watching and waiting for this very moment.

Halfway there, and realizing the potential for loss, Bucket Head shouts: “Mom – protect my food! I gotta go potty.”

That’s my cue. I am the official protector of the food. But I’m also terribly busy checking my email. I can’t just idly sit there and keep the dog off the food while Bucket Head is dropping the Browns at the Super Bowl.

But with a quick flick of the wrist, I can turn this regular glass bowl into something we like to call The Dome of Doggie Dispair.

And voilá! The waffle is momentarily safe and warm, and I am free to go about my business while Bucket Head takes his time on the Sir Thomas Crapper.

Added bonus, The Dome is equally effective for dogs and cats.

Good thing too, because look who just pulled up a chair to the breakfast buffet. Check out that sweet little gray beard. She looks just like her Mama.

As always… lazy, but somewhat clever,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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