Friday, November 30, 2007

Susan's question

Susan from Crunchy Granola asked me about why I felt a need to intervene in Z.'s pronunciation of "a" (as it's pronounced in "pants" and "hand" and "lap"). I've been thinking it over and I thought instead of burying my response in the comments I'd use it to round out my November posts.*

My first level of answer is that the sound of that particular vowel sound grates on me when I hear it from my own daughter. I haven't intervened in any of the rest of her pronunciation, so I'm not sure why that one is worse than anything else, but somehow, it is.

The first time I noticed her doing it, I thought it must be something that I do, but it's not--I have been paying attention to it now, for months, while she's been in two different daycare classes, and it's just not something that she's picking up at home and presumably it's also not from one particular teacher, though she may have picked it up from one teacher last year and it stuck--though of the two most likely teachers, one has standard American English pronunciation and the other has the remnants of a Trindadian accent, so neither seems to be a real likely source (you can see this has been bothering me a long time.). But whatever--in some way, I'm reacting to that diphthong as both a reflection on my own pronunciation and also as evidence of some kind of linguistic invasion from outside my home.

That vowel sounds foreign to my culture. Immigrant parents must have this with every word that comes out of their children's mouths (Nu, Julia?), so the fact that I am homing in on one sound is pretty nitpicky of me, I admit.

I think the dimension on which it sounds foreign is class. I'll own up to it: to my upper-middle class, mid-Atlantic ear, it sounds uncultured and uneducated. Of course I know that she's 2, but it is my vanity to hope that she comes across as a well-educated, highly literate 2, and that impression falls apart, for me anyway, when she asks to sit in my liap to read a book.

My father, a midwesterner, both schooled himself out of saying "ya" when he moved East and later schooled us, his children, in the correct pronunciation of his hometown (it is Omahaw, not Omahah). He was mildly appalled when I temporarily picked up "ya" during a two-year sojourn in Wisconsin. I think that there is something about hearing both the sounds of your home and the sounds of your aspirations in your children's accents, and I am acting it out for at least the second generation of my family when I cringe as she puts on her piants.

*I didn't manage every day, but I did average one post per day. For an unofficial go, I think that's a success.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Future acquisitions

S.: Hey, Z., guess what I got you, it's coming in the mail? A purple shirt with a ladybug on it.

Z.: No, a peuhpeul hat!

S.: No, but I'll make you a purple hat.

Z.: No, don't make it, knit it!

S.: Sure, I'll knit it!

Z.: Wif my peuhpeul yawrn?

S.: No, yours is a little too tangled. I have some purple yarn downstairs, I'll use that.

Z.: And den you'll put all yeuwr peuhpeul yawrn, you'll take it and you'll shove it into dat hat, and den it will be all gone, and I'll have it! It won't be yeuwrs anymore! You'll shove it into dat hat, and it will be in dat peuhpeul hat, and it will be mine!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just call me Henry Higgins

The linguistic map still says differently, but in our house there's evidence that The Northern Cities Shift has arrived in Philadelphia.

Actually, I don't know whether the entire shift has arrived, since I'm not listening to all of Z.'s vowels that closely but the final feature of the shift is that a word like "pants" is pronounced "pee-ants," because all the other vowels have shifted over and therefore to stay differentiated from whatever vowel sound has bumped it out of its old place in the world of differentiated vowel sounds, that "a" in pants gets diphthongized. And that is just how Z. is saying "piants."

In the past week or so, I've started actively combating it, and it's starting to take. Today I heard her say, spontaneously and uncorrected, "hahnds."

I don't care. I'd rather wash her "hahnds" than her "hiands."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blue, Green, Red, Yellow

Caring Honesty Respect Responsibility--quick, which one goes with which color?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Writing prompt

Today A. used this as a journal topic for her 7th graders. (It's getting late in November, isn't it?)

What's the most dramatic way you've altered your appearance?

Me, I'm tempted to answer it three different ways.

The single thing I did that people noticed most was to cut my hair off, from the middle of my back to above my ears. Close friends didn't recognize me, from even a foot or two away. But hair grows, and in time mine grew back, so that as dramatic as that change was, it's gone now. As far as my hair goes, I look about the same way I did in high school and college.

The thing I did that felt the most dramatic at the time was getting my first tattoo. It's pretty discreet, a vine around my ankle, hidden easily under a sock, but it took hours and it hurt with a welcome kind of pain, and it is never going to not be there. Doing it felt like it radically changed my body, from pristine to deliberately marked. My second tattoo, a snake, is almost hidden under my hairline (catch the Helene Cixous reference, anyone? Yes, I am a theoryhead, thankyouverymuch) so it's even less dramatic. But both of those body alterations felt very intense in the way they insribed and acted out my own ownership of my body, at an age and a stage in my life when claiming my body as my own was central.

But, well. In the end I have to say that the most dramatic thing I've done to change my appearance--and it was both temporary and radical--was to go get pregnant.

And you, my commentariat? How about you?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One will spread our ashes round the yard

Home again, finally.

After too much time spent on living room couches or in the car over the last five days, and after far too little time spent paying attention to my own thoughts, I finally squeezed in a late-afternoon walk over in my little patch of woods.

Since the last time I walked there, before we went up to A.'s parents' house, the trees have gone from mostly covered to mostly bare, and the leaves that were up on the branches have settled down on the ground in an inches-thick carpet of gold, red, orange, green. The little shallow creek at the bottom of the woods is covered over with leaves, too; in places it looks like little more than a wet ribbon in the russet groundcover.

I came to the spot where I usually perch on the creek's bank to let my thoughts wander along while the water flows over its shallow bed. The place where I leave the path for my spot lies between the footbridge and the fencing that keeps the erosion-control project safe from wandering feet and paws. It's a favorite place for dogs to get wet, and suddenly I realized what it was that my eyes had just barely been registering without taking in, as I'd made my way down along the path.

Fine, grey dust lying on top of the leaves. Fine and grey, but not uniform in grade or regular in shape. Fine and grey, across the leaves on the side of the creek. On top of the leaves that carpeted the creek itself. Settled on the bottom of the creekbed. As yet completely undisturbed.

I walked along from rock to rock for a few yards, respectfully, carefully. I found more fine, grey dust on the opposite bank of the creek, another place where pawprints are common.

I stood there on the rocks in the creek for a few long minutes and thought of Smartest Dog, whose ashes I spread in the St. Mary's River years before I moved to my house near the woods. I thought of Diva Dog, whose ashes are buried near the gate to our garden, who loved this spot in the creek. I thought of the Iron and Wine song, "Naked As We Came," that made me cry this morning while we were on our way to a shiva visit.

I thought of how much longer it is, forever, with people than with dogs. Decades and decades longer, god willing.

I thought of how little I know of how you get there. To forever.

Good question.

Z., surrounded by a toppled tower of blocks: How do I cope wif dis? How do I cope wif it?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Buy Nothing Day

Way-ell, I didn't buy nothing. I bought lunch for me and Z., and I bought McVitie's chocolate biscuits, sold at the corner store in my in-laws largely Irish immigrant neighborhood. (Alas, they only had milk chocolate, not plain. But I'll manage.)

However, the store was closed today. The Co-op on the Corner is closed the Friday after Thanksgiving, and so is everything else on the corner, so after two years of dismal sales we put up an Adbusters flyer in the window and decided to call it a celebration.

Thanksgiving at the in-laws--well, I had some kind of stomach upset that kept me from enjoying the morning, but A. valiantly braved the local supermarket chain just before it closed and got me ginger tea, which made a big difference. I did manage to eat some small portions of the meal. I'm much improved but not all the way better today--could be stress. I do okay with A.'s immediate family but I kind of shut down when her extended family is involved. I realized that I often need to just retreat from the scene--sometimes my body comes up with some physical thing, sometimes something else overwhelms me. Anyhow, worth keeping track of, I guess.

Here is what we veggie folks ate last night--this is my recipe, and I've made it in four states, the District of Columbia, and Mexico City.

Thanksgiving casserole:

Layer one:
1 1/2 c. lentils
1/2 tsp. ground sage, bay leaf
salt and pepper

Layer two:
olive oil
1 tsp ground sage
2 clove(s) garlic
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 apples (Fuji, Gala, etc.), diced
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2-1 c. dried cranberry
1/2 small jicama, diced (optional)

Layer three:
2 cups grated sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook lentils w/ bay leaf until just tender.

While lentils are cooking, saute all ingredients for layer two, beginning with garlic and onion. Apple should go last.

Remove bay leaf from lentils, drain well, add sage and salt and pepper to taste.

Spread layers in a large, lidded casserole, in order indicated. End with cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, then remove lid and cook for 5-10 minutes, just so cheese looks more finished.

You can make this vegan by leaving out the cheese, but it's better with cheese. Though in my opinion, everything is better with cheese.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The deal with the phone line

Writing from work to fill y'all in on the bloggy silence. We've had no voice line for a couple of days, except A. did manage to call me, very staticky, from work this morning. But when you pick up the phone, there's no dial tone, just a little lonely crackling.

Oddly, we do have some DSL service, but it's extremely patchy and liable to vanish and leave you stranded on the side of the information highway.

We checked the box with an old-fashioned plug-in phone, and the trouble is outside the house and therefore the phone company's problem. Hooray! They're supposed to fix it Friday while we're still at my in-laws. Anyone want to make a bet on it? The day after Thanksgiving?

Meanwhile, for Mom and anyone else who might be calling, our phone is being forwarded to my cell, which spends 95% of its life both misplaced somewhere or other and turned off so you can't call it to figure out where it is. But I dug it out when we figured out the landline was down and I've had it with me since. Yeah, ambivalent about the cellphone revolution, that's me: if cellphones didn't so obviously solve the problem of staying in contact while in transit, I might be perfectly happy for it to pass me by.

It's kind of funny, having it with me. It's like there's a phone in my pocket, or something. I feel a little bit "on" all the time. There's also a phone at my elbow, the store's phone, and objectively speaking it rings much more often. Why having a phone in my pocket should make me feel more keyed up for it to ring, I don't know.

Any thoughts on cellphones, or am I just a decade too late on this one?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bad news

DSL on the fritz. Details to follow.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My gaping wounds

Z.: (pointing to Mama's chin) Do you have a ouchie?

S.: (fingers the spot) Yes, I guess I do have an ouchie.

Z.: Can we put a band-aid on it?

S.: No, that ouchie is called a zit, and we don't put band-aids on zits.

(Z. pauses to consider this for awhile, then shares her conclusions.)

Z.: Maybe dey can sew you up again.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Binky crisis

Earlier this week, a binky wound up under the car, and that was the end of it. And another one showed enough signs of wear and tear that we pitched it. And we just hadn't been paying attention to numbers of binkies because usually one can be turned up when you need one.

But after the losses of this week, one could not be turned up today. I think we were actually down to one, single solitary binky, and it could not be located for several critical hours.

She's doing better on the whole binky thing, Z. is. She's capable of forgetting to ask for one for an entire run of errands. But we still weren't about to go to synagogue without one. So for lack of a binky, a morning was lost, and for lack of a morning, well.

We've had better days around here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Life and Art

This installation went up in the woods last weekend.


These are papier mache tree trunks, and they have been wilting all week.

I generally like the little bits of human-made beauty I find in the woods, but they usually run to sculptures of twigs and branches or rocks, or arrangements of seeds and leaves.


These trees, though. I appreciate the work that went into them. I just think I would have liked them more if I weren't comparing them so starkly to real trees that withstand the weather. I think if I encountered them indoors they would have been more imposing.

Maybe that's the point, though.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


On Thursdays after school, I take Z. to the cafe in the next block. It's a ritual that developed last Spring, though I'm a little hazy on exactly when. School gets out at four, so we're seldom there much before four-thirty, and the cafe closes at five, in a flexible kind of way. If you're already in, they don't kick you out, but they do start cleaning around you.

Z. gets warm milky tea and a lemon brioche. I get a hot jasmine green tea and either nothing or whatever looks good. She picks out two dog biscuits from the complimentary jar near the register, for taking home to our dogs later. I cut down her straw so it's easier for her to drink. She asks for a napkin and I tuck one into her collar. Puppy Pie gets a seat of honor on the table. Z. picks the lemon part out of the brioche (think cinnamon roll with lemon curd filling) and scatters the crumbs around her plate. I drink my jasmine green. When Z. loses interest in the crumbs, I get a little bag for her to take them home and we bus our table with enthusiasm. Occasionally we score some leftover baked goods for free when they clean out the case. We then have the bag, the milky tea, and Puppy Pie to juggle on the way home, and sometimes the stroller, which Z. no longer wants to occupy.

The half-block home is sometimes a little tricky, honestly, especially if she drops something while we're crossing the street. But it's been a good way to organize the end of the week for us. On Fridays, we have a similar routine at the bakery where I pick up the pastries for the weekend's events at the store, only with milk instead of milky tea, and a cookie or a cupcake instead of a brioche. (Fridays are are a cheaper date than Thursdays, it will not surprise you to know.) So if there are baked goods and go-cups involved in our afternoon, we know the weekend can't be far away.

When we first fell into this pattern, Z. sat at her chair at the cafe and her chin just naturally rested on the table. Now her shoulders are well above it, the table comes about to her armpits. Today, there were no lemon brioches left, but there was fruit tart, and we each had a slice. I gave her my strawberry slices and she gave me her kiwi ones, and she used a fork to eat most of her custard. (And her finger for the rest, of course.) It occurred to me that we have a long, long time ahead of us, mother and daughter, sharing pastries over tea. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New stage?

Z.: Dat's my job. I can do it by myself!

A.: I think that we may be out of "The Why's" and into "All By Myself."

S.: Oh, I don't think that the one is replacing the other.

Z.: Why? Why? WHY? Why? Whywhywhywhywhywhywhy? Whhyyyy?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

To everything, there is a season

This November thing selects for quantity over quality, doesn't it? Though it's also pushing me to put up more photographs out of deadline desperation, and maybe that's all to the good. It certainly livens up the place. In real life, I crave sunlight and brightness and I'm not sure why I continue to inflict this dark, melodramatic template on everyone, except that I'm still kind of delighted by the way my late-night fiddling with color turned out. Also, I'm lazy.

I chose it because I was mired in grief and depression when I started blogging, and this is the template you wind up with if you're mired in grief and depression, I think. Well, no one who's been reading for long will deny that those have both had their place here.

I'm heading into the toughest part of my year, Thanksgiving through my birthday (early April). Well, I'm usually doing better a few weeks before my birthday, but I've learned not to count on it, or I wind up depressed about still being depressed, and that's just depressing, if you know what I mean.

This morning was hard. I had a hard night last night, and woke up to grey half-light, feeling bleak and pointless. Like being me was pointless.

Tuesday is the day I'm most committed to swimming, so I swam, but I managed it only through the inertia of driving a route I've memorized. You know the way you drive yourself to work, say, or the supermarket, mostly by telling yourself that's where you want to wind up? After you've set the destination, some not-quite-conscious part of your brain takes care of the navigation for you.

Well, first I drove home from dropping Z. off, even though the only reason I drove those four blocks was to continue on to the pool. But I drove home because I was trying to stay depressed. Luckily, parking is tight on our block, and there wasn't a spot near our house. Instead of circling, I let that not-quite-conscious navigator take me to the Y like it was originally planning to, anyway, but all the while I was lining up excuses to turn back: I just washed my hair yesterday anyway; I didn't want to be wet on such a grey day; it was already nearly 9:00 and I had a meeting at 11:00; I hate the smell of chlorine; etc.

My autopilot is sturdy, though. I tuned back in to my surroundings and found I'd made it to the locker room. There was another moment where I told myself how comfortable my clothes were and how cold my feet would be if I took them out of my shoes and socks, but really, the locker room is plenty warm. I took my time stowing things in the locker. I took my time with the lock. I got in the water because wouldn't I feel ridiculous changing into my bathing suit and not getting wet? I swam the first lap because I might as well, now I was wet.

In the end, I managed my half-mile. It didn't pull me out of the depression of the morning, but maybe it gave me enough of a boost that chatting with a friend at lunch and playing with Z. in the afternoon and a gift of flowers from my sweetie in the evening let me climb out the rest of the way.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Running, Leaves



Z. visiting the park near her aunties Lo and Co, somewhere nebulously-identified in the New York metropolitan area. Edited: there are still more pix up at the Family O, including an adorable one of Z. with Teh Maggie!

Photos courtesy of A.

(Mama stayed home and played with iTunes.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

From Friday

If it happened Friday but I blog it today, that's not cheating, right?

S.: Who was at school today?

Z.: No Enthusiastic Blond Boy!

S.: Was Enthusiastic Blond Boy on a trip?

Z.: No, he was at his house. He was at home wif his Daddy.

A.: How do you know?

(Z. makes dismissive hand gesture identical to one her Mama makes)

Z.: I just made it up.

A. took Z. to see Lo and Co today--bloggable pictures resulted, so watch this space!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Time to put the garden to bed


November tomatoes


The child's gloves in question, rescued from the digging box.


Virginia creeper on the sidewall of the store.

Friday, November 9, 2007

From my morning walk

Still a little too dark in the woods themselves for good natural light, but here are some views from the way there (northeast- and southwest-facing views of the same tree):


...and the way back:


Thursday, November 8, 2007


This morning, as she stepped down from her chair, Z. took her finger out of my hand. Then she very carefully wrapped her four fingers and palm around all four of my fingers. Granted, my hands are small enough to fit into gardening gloves made for 3-5 year olds (the stretchy kind of glove, but they do fit.)

But Z.'s hand is now big enough to hold mine.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bloggy milepost

Hey all,

At some point since the last time I updated my profile, I crossed the 1,000-views mark. I'm now an established blogland citizen, thankyouverymuch.

It made me wonder what bloggy markers you pay attention to--anyone want to weigh in?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Civic duty accomplished

Election Day, Election Day. It's an off year, and this country still, shamefully, has not made it a national holiday, so even if you're American, you probably didn't notice. Around here, the big deal is the primary, since the city is over 70% Democratic. The mayor presumptive was established back in May, and our mediocre coucilwoman was returned to her seat because the challenging Democratic candidates split the overwhelming vote against her. There were no burning ballot questions, but we trekked on over to the church one block down the hill because it's one of those things you just feel like you can't NOT do. The last time I failed to vote was when the Republicans swept the mid-term elections in 1994, and there are some lessons you never forget.

Two districts vote at The Church Down the Hill, ours and one that has sixty more people in it but, more importantly, has far less turnout. The election commission has decided that all districts should get two voting machines, end of story. We stood in line for a good hour, in an off-year, when the election's outcome was a foregone conclusion in order to vote, while two perfectly fine voting machines went basically unused in the very same room.

But I voted for the Greens, something I only indulge in when it doesn't make a difference. Since one of their candidates was running against my councilwoman and I actually know him from our babysitting co-op, it felt like eating a whole damn bar of Maya Gold, guilt-free.

Oh and another thing

Yeah, I'm just going to sit here and bitch at the computer until it's time to go to work.

This Elizabeth Mitchell kids' cd that everyone is so excited about? I got it for Z. awhile back, and never got into her, but I remembered thinking she might be good in smaller doses. Listening to it again this morning and I loved the first maybe 4 or 5 songs, then I tuned out, then I realized how insipid it was and couldn't get to the end. Is this a failing of mine? Have I ever listened to the end of this album? Is there something great I'm missing?

Anyway, Ben Rudnick's Emily Songs are playing now and I'm so relieved to have some rhythm going on.

(iTunes is my new toy and it's all Phantom's fault.)

Advice, please

Okay, this is one where I'm asking a question, but I already know what the answer is, I just want you to tell me everyone would decide the same thing.

So the stereo in the living room, the one with the cd changer? Hasn't worked in at least six weeks, maybe longer. Everything's plugged in, and nothing happens. The machine is at least twelve years old, so I figure some crucial circuit just burned out.

There are still cd's in it.

I should take a screwdriver to it, right? To get the cd's out? I won't be doing irreparable damage because it's not going to be repaired anyway, right?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Will dance for o.j.

When A. and Z. came home from picking up the pizza, Z. raced into the living room and started singing "I like pizza, I like pizza, I like pizza, I like pizza," and doing a knock-kneed dance where she lifted/kicked out each foot in turn. The knock-kneed effect was enhanced by the fact she put a rock in her cargo pocket on the playground sometime today, so her pants were halfway off her tush.

It emerged that she had made up the dance on the sidewalk outside the pizza store, and then repeated it for the pizza guy, and he loved it so much he gave her a free juice.

It's her first performing-for-drinks gig!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The benefits of a religious education

Despite a brief early foray into short reviews, I usually try not to name books on this blog for fear of coming up on publishing industry radar screens.

But Z.'s new favorite book is the hot-off-the-presses new edition of The C@stle on Hester Street, and it's really beautiful. The new illustrations are gorgeous and the story is a wonderful balance between the grandfather's tall tales and the grandmother's no-nonsense facts.

Here's what Z. said to this passage:

"Grandpa came on a boat, like I did. It was terrible. Hundreds of families were crowded together. Babies were crying. Bundles were piled over. The boat rocked so much, I thought we would drown. But in Russia, life for Jews was very hard.

"We couldn't live or work where we wanted. Sometimes we were attacked just because we were Jews. We had to leave Russia any way we could"

Z.'s response?

"Dat's just like PHA-roah!"

In related cultural capital news, we were talking with her about the teenagers who enacted the weird sister scenes from Macbeth, over and over, on our corner on Halloween. Did Z. think they were good witches or bad witches?

And of course this led to a discussion of Glinda and Dorothy. Z. has watched The Wizard of Oz exactly twice. But she told us dat Glinda asks Dowaty "Ah you a good witch ohrw a bad witch?" After two viewings! The kid's a queerspawn genius, I'm telling you.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Havdallah in November

So I realized this daily November blog thing is going to be easier for me than it would have been in, say, June, because shabbat ends before I actually feel like it's late. But then it got late, anyway.

So here I am, cheating for the first time this month, by putting up pictures that were already sitting, unblogged, in my flickr account. I uploaded them recently, but they're from September.


This is Z.'s first self-portrait. The mysterious piece of cloth is the pirate hat she wore to school on September 19th--this was kosher because our synagogue, which is where she goes to daycare, actually sort of celebrates International Talk Like a Pirate Day. After all, it's a secular holiday, unlike Halloween. (Really! Costumes only go to school on Purim.)

The tiger's name is Bannister. Every pirate needs a tiger. The arnica is for treating the bumps and bruises every pirate incurs. The tea party is just what pirates *do* at the end of a long, hard day. C'mon, everyone knows that!


Self-portrait by me, on my morning walk, at a place where the path is wide and the trees are thin. At the time of day when I'm there, almost all of the rest of the woods are too dark for my camera to manage natural light, but as the leaves come down, I may have more to show you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Want a dog?

(Un)relaxeddad has pointed out the imperialism inherent in calling November NaBloPoMo. So I thought about making my tag be IntBloPoMo. But I'm not being official, anyway, so I'm just gonna go with "November."

So that hiatus I took--there's still a lot on my plate, but I'm finding it a little easier to cope. It's the new normal, you know? Also, I find it useful to scapegoat my dog.

Last year, after Diva Dog died, at the end of August, I got stuck feeling like it should still be August right through the end of December. Emotionally speaking, I just skipped the Fall and landed--hard--on my ass in January. This year I got most of September in, but October did not register. It's early days for November, but I think I'll manage to settle in. I've got my handy tag to remind me, after all.

One of the things that happened in my extended August last year was we got Annoying Dog, and it will not surprise you that I never bonded with her. Not in the correct headspace for bonding, you know? The fact that she had a minor but hideous injury the second day we got her should have helped me feel tender and solicitous towards her as she settled into her new home, but instead it just made me feel like we'd made a mistake to have another vulnerable life in the house racking up vet bills. And she barked at everything!--when going down the stairs, when people showed affection, when she felt like herding people, at 5:30 in the morning (when A.'s alarm goes off), and for a solid hour before mealtimes--well, it did not endear her to me. Also, I don't like her name, but she's old enough that it would be unfair to her to change it.

With her now getting into fairly regular spats with Hunter Dog, leading to the whole biting-Z.'s-hand-because-Z.-put-it-in-the-middle-of-a-dogfight incident, I am entertaining fantasies about not having this dog any more.

Have I mentioned the regular bouts of diarrhea in the house?

But giving her up would entail massive guilt, and probably a weekend spent driving her back to Ohio. We talked to someone at a dog discipline service, and it sounded okay until he got to the pricetag. So we're back at scapegoating, but doing nothing about it. Probably if we actually got rid of her, we'd realize it's all just us, anyway.