Rude commenters amuse me, especially when they can’t spell.

Over three years ago I wrote an innocent blog post about a dog I saw in a grocery store.  The dog was a pug and its owner invited everyone to pet it.  The dog wore a pink shirt and the owner told us the dog was named Tina.

He explained how Tina was a service dog.

In my blog post, I explained that I doubted Tina was a service dog.

That post has continued to generate comments such as these (today) which both originated from the same computer just moments apart.  First “Matthew” said:

actually , i find your remark extremly rude ! i have a pug who is indeed a service dog and has saved a childs life, there are things such as medical alert dogs that can sence if a person with a medical condition , is going to have an episode before it happens, Size dose not matter.The extent of training that these dogs go through is amazing and they encourage you to dress up the dogs during training so that people will be more intrested and interact with the dog, this is part of sence training and the dog has to get used to multiple types of people. Mabye the ” fake ” dog or one like it will save someone you knows life one day so curve your tounge.

While I was still contemplating how I might “curve my tounge”, this second message was sent from “Jessica”:

“your a rude bitch someone should hit you”

Isn’t Michael/Jessica just a delightful human being?

Seriously, curve your tounge, Michael/Jessica!  You are extremely rude!

And thank you, Google, for bringing so much attention to my little post about fake pug service dogs!

The wounds of a stranger

From time to time, I receive a critical comment from a reader. The most recent such comment came on my diet blog. How odd that a comment from a stranger can cause me such consternation.*

And yet, it does.I never have taken criticism lightly. I don’t have the personality for that. Ask my long-suffering husband.

I wonder about commenters who choose to type a reply rather than click away to a more soothing Internet address. I think they intend their words to wound, to stab the blogger in some way.

The comments do sting, too. Even if they are delivered by toothpick, rather than ice-pick, snide comments hurt.

However, Random Commenter, you should know that it is not possible stab me to death with a toothpick. My skin is much too thick. Your toothpick will never reach my heart. I’m not sure why you try, but the mental picture of an irate reader attempting to attack me with a toothpick does make me laugh.

* (The reader objected to my use of the word “sin” and says that I “regularly turned the whole diet thing into a religious/moral issue.” I object to that characterization since I in no way believe that my personal issues with food have any spiritual, religious or moral grounds.)

Middle Name Meme

Carrie tagged me.

Here are the rules. Write a post using each letter of your middle name describing something relevant to your life. Tag the same amount of people as you have letters in your name.

Okay, so my middle name is Ann. That’s right, A-N-N, no E, thank you very much.

A: Adequate. Average. Adaptable. I have no illusions about myself. I am adequate, average in so many ways, and adaptable in ways that matter. (Husband has to be gone for four days? No problem. I can handle that. Toilet overflows at the same moment the telephone rings and someone cuts their foot off with an ax? No problem. I will adapt.)

N: Negative. Oh, it’s true. I tend to view everything through grime-colored glasses. I can’t help it . . . I was born with my glass already half-empty. My guiding slogan as a teenager was “expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.” I like to think of my philosophy of life as the Power of Pessimism. It’s served me well.

N: Noisy. I live in a noisy house. If the children aren’t arguing or joking, they are turning on electronic equipment . . . and then leaving the room. I can’t tell you how many times a kid has walked into the family room (where I work on my computer), has turned on the television, watched it for four minutes and then left the room. THEY NEVER TURN OFF THE TELEVISION. Or the radio or video games or the computer or . . . lights. We are single-handedly causing global warming here in my 2,200 square foot house.

Now . . . I rarely tag anyone for these things, but if you want to play along, follow the rules posted above and have a blast! Thanks, Carrie, for tagging me.

(And whoever gave me a “nice blogger” award . . . thank you . . . I will find that email and respond, hopefully in the next decade. Or so.)


So much to say . . . and I will say it tomorrow. I want to write here, but obligations keep getting in the way.

But tomorrow! Tomorrow I will write, write, write. Right here.


I’ve been tagged to post 8 random things . . . I’m pretty sure I’ve done this recently, but this is for my blogging buddy in Australia.

Death Sentence download

1) My toenails are always polished, but my fingernails never are.

2) I am the only one who ever turns off the upstairs bathroom light. I do so at least ten times a day.

3) I never go to bed before 11 p.m. unless I’m sick.

4) I do a Google search on my friend, Lori Bumstead, regularly. We became friends in second grade, but drifted apart eventually. I still wonder whatever happened to her. (Google has been unhelpful in this quest for information.) Lori, where are you?

5) I used to write songs in college. Once I wrote one called “Dead Butterflies” which was complete nonsense.

6) Almost every one of my elementary school photographs shows me wearing orange, usually orange polyester. I have never willingly worn orange since (except for that college talent show in which I wore orange polyester and white go-go boots in a crazy humor attempt).

7) I still miss the television show “thirtysomething.”

8) I am on a never-ending quest for the perfect healthy muffin recipe. I love muffins but no one else in my family does. (What’s wrong with them.)

Consider yourself tagged if you haven’t yet done this fun little exercise. You’re it!

Introducing . . .

I’d like you to meet a new friend of mine, Linda. I call her “Linda from California” because that’s where she’s from. Linda and I met at Mt. Hermon’s Christian Writer’s Conference last spring when she sat down at my table at lunch. Later, we realized that we have some things in common: four kids, for starters. And we’re both aspiring writers, knocking on doors and hoping someone will buy something we’ve written.
Anyway, Linda started a blog . . . and now, all she needs are some readers. So, won’t you go over and say hello to Linda? Tell her I sent you. Her blog is called Spilt Milk.

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I have a reciprocal blogroll . . . that means if you link to me, I am happy to link to you. If you are already linking to me and I haven’t returned the favor, please let me know so I can fix that as soon as possible! Thanks!

Sticks and stones

On a few occasions, I’ve received off-putting emails from people who have read this blog. I consider this blog a lot like my living room and those of you who read it like friends who’ve stopped by for an icy glass of Diet Coke. I chatter on about my family or maybe we talk about something in the news. I think of you as friends I haven’t met in real life yet.

But then, an email reminds me that some readers are just standing at the front window peering in and they have no qualms about throwing rocks if they don’t like what they see.

I find that very odd.

I also find it disconcerting when I have unintentionally offended someone and they email me in a big huff. Once, months ago, someone emailed me to scold me and reprimand me because I sent her an email. (I can’t remember what it was about, but it was a long time ago.) I had no idea she was even mad at me . . . we’d previously exchanged a series of emails and I thought that conversation had ended happily. I was wrong. (I’m still puzzled about that, though.)
It’s strange, this blogging business. Sometimes I wonder why I fling open my door and let people come in.

* * *

And now for an awkward juxtaposition: I won the Fruity Cheerios contest and $500, thanks in large part to my blog readers and friends. Thanks so much! I’m shocked and delighted!

Gmail Rant

I have been an avid fan of Gmail . . . I’ve had an account from the very beginning and never experienced any trouble until a few days ago.  Now, as I answer the deluge of email that continually piles up in my box, my account gets locked down for “unusual activity detected.”  I have emailed the Gmail people twice with no response. 

I cannot figure out a reason for this difficulty, other than the possibility that a demon has taken possession of my computer and if so, OUT WITH YOU!  Stupid technology is making my life difficulty.

So, if I owe you an email, be aware that my hands are handcuffed by the idiocy of my Gmail account. 

And, while I’m ranting, can I just say that the spray deodorant I bought for one of my boys smells like bug spray and I really regret purchasing it?

The most ridiculous navel-gazing post ever.

I’m rather nostalgic for the days when only twelve people came to read my daily postings.  Now, sometimes–like today–I feel self-conscious, worried about what people will think of me.  (Especially since some real life people read this now.)  I feel vulnerable when I pull back the curtains and let people have a glimpse inside my house.  If I describe my kitchen full of dinner dishes and abandoned glasses, everyone will know that I’m a slob.  A lazy slob.  If I exclaim that I am so tired, just so weary from my responsibilities here at home, everyone will roll their eyes and wonder just what is so difficult about maintaining a household in alignment with my very low standards of housewifery.

If I tell you about the pile of eighteen books near my desk, everyone will realize that I have pack-rat tendencies (and a lack of adequate bookshelves).  If I talk about my non-existent relationship with my sister who no longer speaks to me, you’ll assume that I am a rotten person, especially since I talk about the estrangement.  (How disloyal of me to speak the truth!)  If I offer details about life with teenage boys (stinky shoes, stinky armpits, repetitive noises, broken beds), you might think that I have no idea what I’m doing as a parent.  (You’d be right.)  If I mention my 4-year old daughter’s impressive ability to write letters . . . on her face, her pajama pants, the wooden arm of the child-sized rocker, her little table in the kitchen, as well as on paper . . . you might think I’m bragging.  Or that I have no control since she won’t stop marking every flat (and not flat) surface with neat little rows of letters.

It’s funny because I’m not really concerned with fitting a certain stereotype.  I don’t care if people think I’m not a picture-perfect pastor’s wife or a holy enough Christian.  It makes no difference to me that the Almas and Eleanors (anonymous commenters of prior days) of the world think I’m judgmental.  I do worry about appearing to be a messy housekeeper with an abnormal level of clutter.  If I knew you were coming by, I’d work myself into a lather putting things away and dusting and washing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees.  But on a daily basis, I don’t want to devote time to bringing my household up to higher standards because that effort is ultimately such a losing battle.  The kids undo what I do almost as quickly as I do it.  (I know.  A better mother than I would make the kids do it.  I told you I have no idea what I’m doing here.)  I just don’t want to work like a slave cleaning and tidying.    

What I want to do is read.  I want to think.  I want to plant flowers–will the ground ever warm up?  I want to be uninterrupted.  I want to enjoy just a day or two of an empty nest.  I wish I could exchange a couple of days of the normal chaos for a couple of future days of quiet.  Alas, time is linear . . . no loop-do-loos, no skipping ahead, no backtracking.  Just today.  And then tomorrow, another today.

I need to shake this self-consciousness.  You can help by pretending that either 1) you are just like me, thus feel no judgment, only empathy or 2) you aren’t reading this blog and won’t look at me cross-eyed when you see me in public.  Also, if you’re going to stop by, give me a few hours’ notice so I can find someplace to stash all these books.