Black Thumb.

In an entirely unwarranted fit of optimism, I planted some stuff this year.

You must know that I have killed every plant I’ve ever tried to own. My mom is a master gardner.

I’m not.

But hey, some of my best friends have green thumbs, I can respect that.

We don’t have much flat ground at our house to begin with, and even less that gets any sunlight. I had my eye on a space behind the shed, thinking that since we lost so many trees there would be enough sunlight to plant pumpkins there– because how cool would that be? Having our own pumpkins to carve at Halloween and all. Then all the leaves on the remaining trees came in, blocked out the sun, and it was not to be.

So I picked another spot, and I planted, from seed: peas, arugula, spinach, and mesclun lettuce. I transplanted hostas in order to make this happen. The hostas survived, surprising me, CC and themselves. I believed that in our terraced “back yard” the particular terrace that I had cleared and planted in was inaccessible to the few millions of deer in our neighborhood.

Turns out this was an erroneous belief.

The deer loved my peas, spinach, and mesclun lettuce. They had no love for the arugula. They also refuse to eat dandelions, which are currently the only thing truly thriving in my garden. I wish I ate dandelions, or at least could find someone to sell them to, cause you pay like twenty bucks in New York for a frickin’ dandelion salad. Because, you know, they’re like, microgreens.

I don’t eat dandelion anything because my sister made me suck the milk out of a dandelion stem one time while our mother was picking strawberries and not properly supervising us. I can’t remember if this was before or after I tried to kill her by slipping the paperclip into her milk (My sister’s milk, not my mother’s. My mother doesn’t drink milk. And I would never attempt physical harm against the Bringer of Strawberries.)

From the dietary preferences of the deer, I draw the conclusion that deer are nothing but sugar-sucking whores who won’t touch anything that is bitter (it was baby spinach).

I watched a deer the other night while I was walking Casey. Casey was doing her I-really-have-to-go-but-I-can’t-until-I-find-the-exact-right-place-because-I-am-a-girl-dog-and-also-neurotic dance and did not notice the deer standing ten feet from her. Hell, I could smell the deer from there. She’d been eating my roses, then went across the street to have some of their roses, and then continued on with her moveable feast to each house in order,  sampling all the flowers.

Then she tired of that and crossed back into my yard. The steep rake and the rocky incline didn’t bother her at all. It was at this moment that I discovered the extent to which my property is the main drag that the deer take between the cemetery and the neighborhood behind us. It is both their freeway and their promenade. And, apparently, their personal snack basket.

Sometimes they also drop a baby back there.

I wish we’d gotten more pictures of this guy before it stumbled back off to its hiding place. This little one was maybe two days old, probably less. Very shaky. It was about Casey’s size, just with longer legs. Pretty damn adorable. . . for a sugar-sucking whore.

Thanks for eating my peas, Bambi.

Jack Otis and Casey McCrea, Geniuses

Nothing gets by us. We're geniuses.

If they had business cards, that’s what would be printed on them.

What? Yes, I know dogs don’t have business cards. In no small part because they have no thumbs. But I’m thinking about getting them little tags for their collars because they’re so, so smart.

What? No, I don’t believe for a second that we’re the only family who gave their dogs middle names.

Not only are my dogs smart, they are terribly aware. Observe:

Looking the wrong way.

We’re puggles. We’re so smart. Hey, look! Grass!

What was twenty feet from them in the other direction.

No, we don’t need to look the other way. What could possibly be in the other direction? We’re puggle geniuses.

Completely at ease, with good reason.

Nothing gets by us! We’re geniuses! Did I mention we’re puggles?


Below is the deer’s reaction to me taking pictures. My dogs actually did not notice the deer until after they stood up.

Then Casey lunged, and the deer bolted. Mama went one way, babies went the other way.

I say babies, but they’re practically grown. They were babies last year and we would see them in this part of the cemetery while we were walking the dogs. The dogs didn’t see the deer then, either.

Now the babies are losing their fawnliness.

Yep, any day now these fawns will realize that they’re full grown. That they probably should get  full-time jobs; maybe go to summer school.

You can't see me. I blend right in.
Don't look at me. Don't look at me. Don't look at me.


They’ll realize how awesome it would be if they started cleaning the kitchen without being asked and stopped leaving their shoes in a death trap pile at the bottom of the stairs so their stepmama deer doesn’t break her damn neck.





They’ll buy their stepmama deer Godiva.

The extra dark truffle bar.

Hmmm. Where was I?



Oh right.