Tag Archives: Maya

Garage Sale Grump

First, I want to say that it took me three days to write a post that would normally take me 20 minutes or so, because of THE PUPPY. It’s just like having a newborn again, except it’s completely different. My human newborns didn’t bite me with tiny razor-sharp teeth, nor did they bark, dump their water bowls over, or chase the cat. Yesterday, Benjamin said, “Can we get some more puppies?” and immediately, in perfect unison, The Daddy and I issued a firm NO.

Despite the rambunctious streak, she’s very sweet and amazingly cute. See?


The other big thing going on is that we have a closing date on our new house. In July! Which means we’re moving! And we need to get serious about it. We definitely don’t want to take everything with us, so I’ve finally decided to have a garage sale. For real.

I say “for real” because I claim to be planning a garage sale every single spring. Someone will say to me, “I’m having a garage sale next week,” and I invariably reply, “Oh! I’m going to have a garage sale this summer too!” And then I spend some time explaining how I say the same thing every year, but THIS year is going to be different. THIS will be the year I actually DO it. But have I ever done it?


And here’s the reason: I am completely stymied when I start thinking about the logistics of the whole thing. It’s not the location – no siree, I currently live on the corner of an extremely busy 4-lane street. Hundreds, possibly thousands of people will see my garage sale without any advertising or signage at all. Nor am I worried about placing ads or collecting money or talking to strangers or fighting off the pushy early birds. I’m not even really worried about pricing, because pricing can and will change throughout the weekend, based upon what it is, what time it is, and if they are genuinely nice when they ask me for a lower price.

What I’m worried about is organization. Displaying things. I don’t want to put stuff on the ground on blankets because nothing annoys me more than to go to a garage sale and spend my time looking at the ground. So I need tables, or some other manner of raised flat surface. I don’t have a surplus of tables in my house, so then I think, “Okay, I’ll rent some.” And then I look into that and realize the cost will take a major bite out of my profits. Without fail, someone responds to this complaint with something like, “Get creative! Put old doors on saw horses. Hang things on a ladder. Put a piece of wood on a barrel and use that as a table!”

I want to kick the people who say that to me right in their well-meaning shins, because if I was creative I wouldn’t be suffering this mental organization disorder, and plus, who has a collection of barrels just lying around? Whatever would I have bought in barrel form? What are all you people buying in barrels, for heaven’s sake? Wine? Whiskey? Monkeys? Laughs?  And after the monkeys have climbed out and are swinging from your curtains, where are you storing the empty barrels? I can’t even think of anything I would need an entire barrel of, other than maybe chocolate. Or patience.

So you can see my dilemma. My brain gets overwhelmed by hellish visions of being up all night, feverishly constructing complicated, multi-tiered displays out of ladders and fishing line and saw horses and BARRELS and duct tape, and then I just call the whole thing off. Who needs that kind of stress?

Anyway – off to Costco to buy a barrel of laughs for my garage sale. If you have a barrel at your house, I seriously want to know the following things: 1) what came in it (beer doesn’t count…we’re not in college anymore), 2) where you got it,  3) if it’s ever come in handy, and 4) where you store it. And if I can borrow it.

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Doodle Oodle Oodle

As I mentioned, Benjamin had a hard time after all of the Trouble with Rex and his subsequent return to the animal shelter.  The Daddy and I decided that perhaps a puppy (a girl puppy) was a better idea, one that we could train from the start, with the goal of avoiding any Rexist repeats.

So we started deliberating over what kind of puppy to get. I took a cursory look around in the paper and online, but didn’t see anything that struck me. Bulldog? Too snorty. King Charles Spaniel? Cute, but too fussy. Boston terriers? Too Boston terrier-y. Golden retrievers? I love them, but they all seemed to be ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

Then my dad sent me an email that said something along the lines of, “I have a friend who has a Labradoodle, and it seems to be a good dog and it doesn’t shed much.”

This whiz-banged my memory back to an article I’d read a few years ago on the trend towards the designer dog breeds called “doodles,” meaning one breed mixed with a Poodle. Breeders are frequently mixing Labrador Retrievers with Poodles (Labradoodles) or Golden Retrievers with Poodles (Goldendoodles).  There are several benefits to these mixes, including dogs that don’t shed much, are low allergen producers, and have temperaments appropriate for family life or human assistance (therapy dogs or guide dogs). I seem to remember that the original Labradoodle was bred to be a guide dog for a woman whose husband was terribly allergic to dogs.

A quick Google search yielded a breeder with Labradoodle puppies ready for homes in a town 2 hours away. Better yet, she had a girl puppy. Even better still, the pups had already been exposed to the abuses charms of 2-year-old children, as she herself had a 2-year-old boy who loved to play with the puppies.

After some more research, we decided the Labradoodle was for us and scheduled to pick up the girl puppy that Saturday. We didn’t tell the kids; we simply told them we were going on a surprise adventure. Benjamin was confused when, after exhaustive questioning, I confirmed that the adventure wouldn’t include a museum, science center, or dinosaurs. I’m sure in his mind, he was thinking, “What other kind of freakin’ adventure is there?”

So now…drum roll…I’m pleased to present….Maya!


After the brief honeymoon period in which it seemed like she was the most perfect puppy ever, we entered a more typical and sobering phase of nipping, chewing, jumping, and general naughtiness. For example, when a frightened 2-year-old runs away screaming from a nippy puppy, the puppy doesn’t think, “Uh-oh…I shouldn’t continue on this path. The child is scared.” 

Nope. Here’s what the puppy thinks:

“Yay! The small pink human-shaped thing wants to play with me! First, I’ll jump on top of her play-growling, and she’ll enjoy that so much that she’ll fall on me and smack me with her oddly shaped paws, and then we’ll nibble on each other for a while! It’ll be so great! And then I’ll tug on her hair and she’ll chew my ears! And everyone will be proud of me and I’ll get treats treats treats treats TREATS!!!!”

Despite the obvious communication difficulties, it’s clear that she’s sweet and very trainable, or perhaps we are, and I predict that she’s going to be a really great dog.

And if you made it all the way to the end of this post, here’s a video that made me laugh of a Labradoodle named Figaro who sings (attempts to drown out?) his owner’s horn playing.  Whoever made this video shot it at a weird angle, but I DO  appreciate seeing that his carpet is obviously free of dog hair, probably thanks to his non-shedding Doodle.