Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spring Fling

This is a bit delayed, but photos from Spring Fling at school can be found here. As you can see, some of my favorite coworkers and I had entirely too much fun after the students left.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Breaking and entering

My house- and dog-sitting adventure this weekend turned out to be a bit more than I bargained for. I had been happily watching the house of a family from church without incident (other than the dog eating a melon-sized hole in the kitchen tablecloth) when I got a call from the family: they had just gotten word that their neighbor had been unexpectedly hospitalized, and would I be able to take care of her three dogs as well? Sure, no problem. I love dogs. I'm happy to help out in situations like these. No worries.

Half an hour later, I got a call from the daughter of my house-sitting family, who is the normal caretaker of dogs when the neighbor is gone. She asked me if I had a pen and paper to write down instructions for taking care of the dogs. Good thing I had a full sheet of paper, because the directions filled up the entire thing: how to get into the house, where to find the dogs' bowls and food and vitamins and pills, each dog's dietary and medical needs, a description of each dog so I would know who was who, the proper placement of each one's bowl throughout the house during mealtimes, and instructions for shoveling up their messes in the backyard. No kidding.

So I gathered up a bunch of plastic bags for poop collection, and set out for the neighbor's house. First task: enter the backyard. Not so easy without a key. My instructions told me I would have to use a ladder to reach over and unlatch the bolt from the inside, or climb the fence. I had no ladder. I looked around. Broad daylight, with cars driving past and people walking down the street...now or never. I stuck the poop bags in my pant leg to free my hands and hoisted myself up and clawed my way over the 6-food solid-wood-panel fence, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible as I fell into the backyard. I crouched there for a minute on the ground, half expecting to hear shouts and sirens coming my way. I've never felt so much like a criminal in my life. I checked to make sure I had the instruction sheet in my pocket to plead my case when the cops came. Nothing. Sigh of relief.

I finally decided it was safe to come out of hiding and walked up to the back door, which was supposedly left unlocked. Supposedly...#&@%. Now what was I supposed to do, climb back out and fall onto unsuspecting passers-by on the sidewalk and let the poor dogs starve? Then I noticed the doggy door. I couldn't help but laugh as visions of Home Alone came to mind. So in I went, worming my way through the hole and ending up on the laundry room floor in the fetal position, looking up to find a Saint Bernard twice my side drooling on my face, with two other dogs behind him. Pure love and bumbling puppiness. All trials and tribulations worth it. Maybe not worth the $10 I earned, but at least it makes a good story, eh?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


By the way, photos from last weekend's Italian feast can be found here.

Buried treasure

Looks like our springtime snowstorms are finally over--fingers crossed--and the garden is really going to town. Even more exciting than the feeling of dirt under my fingernails while preparing the soil for planting was the hodgepodge of treasures I discovered while digging:

My housemates say I get way too excited about my newfound toys. I say that's impossible. Now the only treasures still buried are my carrots and onions. Checking their miniscule growth every day when I come home from school isn't quite as thrilling as digging up surprises, but it brings its own unique sense of satisfaction, and a connection to earth that I just don't get from horseshoes and rubber frogs. I never cease to be amazed by what miracles climb their way out of tiny seeds.