Monthly Archives: July 2009


Earlier this year the father of a friend of ours rescued/adopted an all black Lab mix that he named Chelsea. Nobody knew her history or how she had ended up abandoned at the SPCA with the clock ticking.

Anyway, he brought her home and she was the happiest dog ever and then a short time later he died suddenly.

Chelsea was left alone again facing a return to the cage at the SPCA.

Then, some other friends of ours and also a mutual friend of the woman whose father had died decided that they would “adopt” Chelsea. They had been talking about getting a dog and Chelsea needed a home and they fit together perfectly.

Once again Chelsea had found a home and happiness with owners she loved.

Chelsea’s owners were supposed to drop her off with us this weekend while they attended a family reunion but we got a call Thursday morning saying that Chelsea was at the vet. Her stomach had turned and they were going to have to operate. We told them to give their vet our cell numbers and we would pick up Chelsea when she was ready to come home.

Miss Carol just received a text message informing us that Chelsea passed away early this morning.

Ya know.

I’m glad that the final few months of Chelsea’s short life were happy and I wish it could have been longer for both hers’ and our friends’ sakes.

But what really bothers me most is the thought that, what if she woke up after her surgery, in a cage again, with no one there again, and just gave up.

I hope she knew how much she was loved.

We’ll miss you Chelsea.

Temporary Touron.


This weekend, on Sunday, we drove down to the Outer Banks to visit some of Miss Carol’s family who were vacationing there. It’s always great seeing family and catching up with everybody and blah, blah, blablabladeblah ’cause family stuff is family stuff and really, honestly, who else cares?

The thing that always chafes me, though, the sand in my ointment, the burr in my saddle, is that for twenty four hours I become a touron. I morph twice each year, once when we visit Miss Carol’s vacationing family and once when we visit mine.

Each time as I drive the hour and half from our beach to their beach, I can feel my Mr. Coolness Beach Dude oozing out of me and the touroness creeping in.

By the time we hit the NC border I’m wanting to buy anything and everything stamped with OBX. Especially if it’s fluorescent. Oh yeah.

I’m wanting to drink beer while I drive and fling the empties out the window. WTF, mutha’s, I’m on vacation and I’m firin’ on all eight cylinders so ya just better watch out.

But what I don’t see are the locals workin’ at the Brew Thru when we stop for beer and ice and what I fail to feel is the vibe that screams Dude. You’re. Just. Another. Touron. when we gas up at the Wee Winks.

Because I’ve become one of THEM.

And I worry sometimes that maybe I won’t re-emerge, that maybe the touroness will stick to me like a fart in an elevator.

Maybe I shouldn’t never leave home.




After days of planning and seed selection.

After weeks of germination.

After building a raised bed RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BACKYARD and filling it with bad dirt.

After planting energetic little sprouting plants and watching them shrivel.

After some equally energetic fertilizing and watering.

After realizing that our disheveled little garden was a salad bar for Bambi and the bunnies.

After building prison walls to keep Bambi and the bunnies out and supports for non-existent tired little chewed on plants.

After some MORE energetic fertilizing and watering.

After weeks of watching and weeding and wondering.


The fruit of our labor.

I smell dinner.



I worked in a new customers house today replacing an exterior door that had been kicked in when they were robbed two days ago.

Don’t get me started on mothereffers that rob people in their homes. Actually, do get me started. I think they should all have their hands cut off, then their penises, then maybe their arms and legs, and then maybe put ’em on a little cart and push ’em into traffic. But that’s just me.

Anyway. So I’m working on this house, listening to the middle-age homeowners tell me what they’re going through and it’s sad and I feel bad for them but they’re nice people and we chit-chat about life and stuff. And the whole time I’m feeling vaguely weird.

At first I’m thinkin’ that even though they’re nice people I hope their bad mojo doesn’t follow me home. But that’s not it.

Somethin’ just wasn’t right.

So I kept workin’ away and finally I finished up and they paid me and I went home and checked e-mails and walked the dogs and it hit me.

I was walking, listening to the endless and endlessly irritating music loop of an ice cream truck on the prowl (honestly, how do those people listen to that ¬†all day every day and not go batshit crazy?) when I realized what it was that had been eaten’ at me all day about their house.

There were no pictures or paintings or artwork on the walls. Nada.

There were no pictures of kids and grandkids frolicking. Zip.

There were no nick-nacks cluttering up coffee and end tables. Zero.

There weren’t even any plants. WTF?

There was none of it. They had lived there for 8 years, had grown children and grandchillen and the place looked like they had moved in yesterday and could move out tomorrow.

I don’t get it and it made me sad.

Huevos Roryos.


Time, yet again, for another photographically challenged doggy treat. Huevos Roryos. I love Huevos Rancheros, but unless you live in Mexico or California you can’t find really good refried beans. Or salsa. On the East Coast both are pretty pathetic so I started making mine with pinto beans and sausages instead.

Keep in mind that I only cook when Miss Carol doesn’t so my doggy treats are really simple recipes aimed at guys trying to stave off hunger. And I drink while I’m cooking so keep that in mind too.

Anyway, lets begin.


All the ingredients necessary for home alone fun. Hot sauce, eggs, beans, and beer. Woohoo. And lest I forget.


‘Cause pork makes EVERYTHING better. I’m starting to like the dreamy quality of my poor photography. Anyway, take a big dollop of pork and put it in a pan.


Appetizing, yes? Turn the heat up and cook the crap out of it. Really. Cook it like you forgot it. Cook it black. You want the texture, and believe you me it will keep it’s taste. Really. Go drink a beer, listen to some tunes and let it cook.

But don’t forget to start the beans. I like to pour the beans in a pan, turn ’em on high, and boil ’em for a little bit. Then turn it to low and add spices, ’cause there ain’t no calories in spices.


This stuff’s the best. It’s beautiful on everything. I’d use it on my toothpaste in the morning but I’m too damn lazy to walk downstairs and get it. Add lots to the beans. And maybe some to the sausages. And maybe sprinkle some on the kitchen counter and lick it off. Whatever.


And of course Old Bay. No meal would be complete without it. This is an East Coast staple. If you live somewhere they don’t sell it, move.

After about a beer, maybe two, the beans should be softened ’cause you’ve been periodically stirring them and mashing some of them along the sides of the pan during commercials or breaks between tunes.

And the sausage should be fairly burnt looking so crack three eggs over ’em and season with the Old Bay. Don’t be shy. Old Bay and eggs were meant to be together.

You can either cook the eggs sunny side up or flip ’em, but once they’re done ladle a bunch of the beans onto a plate and top them with the sausage encrusted eggs and grab a beer and a fork and push the dogs away and chow down baby.


I know it looks like blackened cancer swimming in a heart attack but it’s one of those strange mish mashes of taste and texture that really are just amazingly good. Like chocolate and peanut butter.

If you want to impress guests you can fry the eggs separately and either layer the thing or maybe have the eggs dancing around the sausages or serve it in a bowl and garnish it with something cute.

Just try it.

Foot farts.


I loves me some flip flops.

I wear them all the time, every day, all day, until it’s winter and too cold outside and my toes turn blue.

Then I wear boots, but thats a whole nother story (as if my footwear is a story, for gods sake).

The only problem with flip flops, besides the beating my toes take working in them, is the foot fart.

No lie. Just recently I was talking to a touron at the market one morning while I was getting my coffee. It was the normal, passing the day kinda conversation that goes on all season. Feigning interest I asked where she was from, and while she paused, probably wondering if I was trying to pick her up and ax murder her, I reached for the cream and,


My flip flop gave me a foot fart. I don’t know if it’s how worn out your flip flops are, or what they’re made of, or foot sweat or what, but it happens. Really.

She stared at me and I said oops foot fart. I don’t think she believed me but, anyways, we continued with the business of making our coffees and stupid conversation. I shifted to pour decaf into my cup and,


She stopped mid-sentence, telling me about her home in Ohio, and how she loved the beach, and missed her cat, and blah, blah, blahdy blah, and glared at me. Oops, foot fart, I said.

She grabbed her coffee and bolted. I said have a nice day but she didn’t look back.

Is it just me? or does this happen to other people?

Touron Time.


I seem harsh at times.

Let me try and explain what it’s like to live in a vacation wonderland. At first glance, living at the beach is a dream, unless you like mountains and snow and stuff, and then maybe not so much.

And it is a dream. But at times, it’s a weird dream.

During the off season we are a fairly small, fairly tight knit community. We party together, we go to one another’s homes for dinners, we go to the same bars. We’re a small town, just like small towns everywhere.

And we love it.

Then the season comes ’round and things change dramatically. Imagine your community suddenly overrun with strangers. Lots and lots of people hangin’ out, drinkin’ and doin’ their thing. Kinda like a huge concert ‘cept they don’t go home. They stay and, welded to their idea of vacation fun, do pretty much what they want. It is, after all, vacation.

And we love that part too. But.

You become invisible. From time to time you see other locals and you flash a smile, a sign saying it’s cool, it’ll end and we’ll get together. You endure even as the endless pool parties grind on and on with kids and adults squealing and boom boxes blaring keeping you awake.

You want to kill ’em all. But then you get up and walk the beach.

And it’s cool again.



Miss Carol and me got up early this morning so we could walk Cutter and Tug before the tourons flooded the beach with their touroniness. It was a high dawn with a marine layer on the horizon so not so much of a sunrise, but nice and deserted.

While the dogs were running like prisoners set free, I thought I’d steal from Stephanie at and take some angled photographs because hers always look cool and, hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

All was golden until I downloaded and realized what I’d done.





And then I got seasick and threw up in my mouth.

The end.



Life’s funny.

As if I needed any reminders, last night I was working late and Miss Carol had gone to bed and I’m thinkin’ the dogs are with her ’cause that’s how it works. I feed and walk them and they adore, absolutely adore, Miss Carol. I think it’s a guy thing.

Anyway, I got through doing what I was doin’ and went out to turn off the living room lights and go to bed and there was Tug. Sleeping curved around the fireplace hearth. Waiting on me.

As a cheerleaders love for her quarterbacks winning touchdown pass coursed through me I stood watching Tug and thinking back.

Cutter was our first pick. When we went to the dog lady that day four years ago, it was Cutter that sealed the deal by falling asleep in the crook of my arm while we watched a whole litter of labs roll around and be cute.

It wasn’t until after, when we were back home and Miss Carol decided we needed two puppies that I realized Miss Carol was crazy.

But when we went back to pick up Cutter there was Tug sitting all by himself in the corner of the big crate he and his siblings had grown up in staring at all the empty spaces where they used to be. Wondering where they all went.

And we brought him home and now he waits up for me.


Mother Miracle-Gro.


Boy howdy.

What a difference a couple of weeks and a couple of slatherings of Miracle-Gro make.

Two weeks ago I was looking at our pathetic, anemic little garden and thinking about all the work it’s gonna be to move the dirt and just dismantle the whole freakin’ mess.

Fast forward fourteen days.

Now, thanks to the miracle that is Miracle-Gro, not only am I not thinking about paving the whole thing, we have thriving glowing vegetables that we can almost hear growing. The tomatoes are lookin’ perky, the lettuce is hugely romaine, and the beans are climbin’ their strings.

We feel just like real farmers.

But it makes me wonder- if I just keep slatherin’ the stuff on will we get Jack in the Beanstalk style beans and jungles of lettuce and tomatoes the size of my head and squash that’d make porn stars blush?

I don’t know what’s in Miracle-Gro but I likes it.