Sharks, Playgroups, Pheromones and Stumps

Hello Internets, It's been a few weeks, so I thought I'd pop on and tell you what I've been up to here at the House of Quirk.

And the answer to that is not very much.

I spent most of the last two weeks watching the Olympics and most of this week watching Shark Week on Discovery. (I hear you out there. You're like, "Whoa, three straight weeks of nothing but watching tv? Is that even possible?" And normally I would say no, not for your average person. But it just so happens that I am a TV watching gold medalist, so I can marathon tv watch with less strain and tearing than your average recreational watcher).

But even I am tired of myself watching TV, because basically I spent the Olympics saying things like, "Wow, he's fast!" and "Look how high he can jump!" and "I'm tired of watching stupid swimming all the time!" to Shark Week, where I say things like "Wow, he's fast!" and "Look how high he can jump!" and "I'm tired of watching stupid swimming all the time!" Same tune, different channel. So in the spirit of non-tv related news, here's a meager offering of what else is going on in my life. And in list format no less! (Betcha didn't see that one coming!)

1. I have recently decided that ZB needs to interact more with kids of her own age. She is great with adults. The life of the party when it comes to adults, but she has no idea how to interact with other kids. It's like she considers herself a short adult, and what the heck is she supposed to say to this kid over here? They have nothing in common.  So I'm looking into Mother's Day Out programs so that she can have some supervised interaction with her fellow short ones. And since this is our first attempt at a daycare-related institution, I'm not sure how it's going to go for either of us. Anybody have any advice for us on making the transition smoother?

2. Speaking of new things, I'm trying something new with the cats that may prove interesting. Long time readers will know that due to Tony's crazy cat-lady tendencies and my inability to say no to a homeless kitten, we are the keepers of five Siamese cats. (Yes, five. Don't judge me). Anyway, with five cats in the house, you can imagine that there are some battles over who gets to be reining alpha cat. And while normally I don't mind a racing, hissing, madcap dash about the house at 2am, I draw the line at territorial marking, which Magellan has recently gotten into his tiny evil cat brain to try. Now, we've tried those cat pheromone diffusers before with some success, but they are basically limited to one room, and trying to outfit an entire house with them runs roughly the same out-of-pocket expense as trying to purchase a black-market kidney. So instead, I'm trying something new. Pheromone cat collars. Same great kitty pheromones, but now mobile! And at a cost of $8 a month as opposed to $20 for the diffuser refill. While it's only been a week and I don't want to jinx it, they seem to be working for us. No one is spraying or having passive-aggressive "accidents" outside of the litter box, and the number of all night cat fits has been reduced by about 95%. So yeah. If you have a nervous, stressed out or free-peeing kitty cat, I recommend the pheromone collar. It makes a difference.  (PS-They also have them for dogs, but I can't speak to their effectiveness for the canine persuasion.)

3. There isn't really a three.  I mean, I was going to tell you about how I'm trying to get rid of a tree stump in the front yard by drilling holes in it and pouring powdery stuff called STUMP OUT! on it, but STUMP OUT! takes 4 to 6 weeks to work and it's only been on my stump for a week, so I feel like telling you about it now would be a little premature.  Although I did get my big drill bit stuck in the stump while I was drilling, so that was kinda exciting, if by exciting you mean annoying.  (I don't know how it happened.  The bit went in, but then when I put it in reverse to pull it back out, nothing happened.  The motor goes "GRRRRRRR!" and smoke starts coming out of the back of my drill, but the bit doesn't move.  Stuck, stuck, stuck. So now I have a lovely powder-covered stump riddled with holes and holding my 5/8" drill bit hostage.  I'm hoping it becomes the latest rage in abstract lawn decor.)  I'm guessing that my drill bit will come out when the STUMP OUT! starts breaking down the wood fibers around it, but until then I'm just using it as a conversation piece with the neighbors.  I call it EXCALIBIT!

Okay, on that really bad joke, I'm outta here.  Sister-in-law Mary recorded a totally awesome video of ZB petting some goats at the petting zoo, so I'll try to get that up later this week because ZB is adorable and you deserve it after reading this far.  I just hope that her excitement over the goats in the video doesn't persuade Tony to try to bring one home.  I don't think they make goat pheromone collars.