A Lapdapdoodle


All of my dog talk has rubbed off on my father. We had this conversation today.

My Dad: I think I’m going to buy a lapdapdoodle.
Me: What’s that?
My Dad: You know a dog like the President has.
Me: Do you mean a labradoodle?
My Dad: Yeah. One of those.
Me: You’re not allowed to have a dog that big in this complex.
My Dad: I’m old. I have … what do you call it … seniority. I can do whatever I want.
Me: Does the condo association know that?
My Dad: I’ll get a puppy. Puppy’s are small.
Me: Yeah and once it grows up whenever you take it for a walk, you can throw a raincoat over it and tell people it’s your cousin Walter.

I looked it up and the Obamas don’t have a labradoodle. They have a Portuguese Water Dog which is also known as a lapdapdoodle.

Photo by rickhogan.

Not a Small Dog

I used to want a pet fox. Then I wanted a pet donkey. My interest in exotic pets has waned recently. Now I just want a dog. I want a dog so badly that I check the Humane Society’s website every night to see who is up for adoption. I want a dog so badly that I talk about dogs all the time. My husband is probably getting sick of it.

Me: I don’t understand why anyone would want a small dog like a chihuahua. They’re just too small.
My Husband: I don’t really care about the size of the dog. What’s wrong with a small dog?
Me: I don’t know I just think a medium sized dog is much better. What can you do with a small dog?
My Husband: Walk it and play with it just like any other dog.
Me: … I don’t know a medium sized dog just seems better.
My Husband: What makes a medium sized dog better?
Me: That’s easy. You see the thing a medium sized dog has going for it is that it’s not a small dog.

A Picnic on the Motorway

Even though I’ve lived in the UK for close to five years now there are things that I’m still learning. I never bothered learning to drive here so there are a few road signs that I just never bothered to learn what they meant. Like this one:

What’s that look like to you?

Up until recently I thought it indicated that there was a picnic area nearby. Doesn’t it look like a picnic table? I used to think that Brits were very into picnics because I see this sign all the time. Then one day I was going somewhere with my husband and I commented on it.

Me: We could always stop and have a picnic there.
My Husband: Where?
Me: Where that sign was.
My Husband: What sign?
Me: You know the picnic table sign.
At this point my husband is just looking at me like I’m insane. Then we pass another picnic table sign.
Me: That one.
My Husband: That sign means we’re approaching the beginning of the motorway.
Me: What do picnic tables have to do with the motorway?
My Husband: They’re not picnic tables they’re roads.

So all this time I thought that sign had something to do with going on a picnic. I thought the sign that I often see with a line through the picnic tables meant that there was no place to have a picnic in the area. Apparently, that sign means you’re coming to the end of the motorway.

Now I know, but I wish I didn’t. Picnics are so much nicer than motorways.

Those Cadillacs

I overheard this brief exchange the other day and it made me laugh.

My Father: I got those Cadillacs in my eyes. I’m going to get the operation this week.

Neighbor Lady: Oh…you’ll love it. You’ll just love it. That operation is wonderful.

Hay is for Horses


My mother called me the other night to tell me that her doctor told her that she needs to eat more fiber. The conversation went something like this:

Mom: Fiber–most of my diet is fiber. I eat lots of vegetables and beans. Ever since you were little our diet has been primarily fiber.

Me: I don’t know what to say, ┬áMom. Maybe you should break out a bale of hay and start munching away.

Mom: I used to eat hay when I rode horses.

You probably don’t know my mother, but that is such a typical thing for her to say. She used to eat hay, yeah right? Maybe she chewed on a piece of hay like a cowboy in a movie, but she couldn’t have eaten it. She lives more than 5000 miles away and is still providing material for The Mooch.

She’ll call me after she reads this to insist that she did eat hay and feign anger. Then my father will call to ask why I don’t write any posts about him.

Photo by aussiegall


That’s Such a Riot

During the Florida hurricane season, I used to spend much of my time tracking incoming hurricanes. I would stare at the weather channel all day and hope the approaching storm would veer off path or die out before hitting St. Pete. I’d make sure my 72 hour kit was complete, get cash from my bank account and start using the phrase “hunker down.” I was serious about hurricane preparation.

The riots across the UK have had much the same effect on me. I don’t have a television, but I’ve read every article and seen every online video about it. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word riot so often in my life.

Last night at dinner I was talking about the riots and my husband started laughing.

Me: What’s so funny?

My husband: You keep saying the word riot. I’ve been trying not to mention it, but it’s getting ridiculous.

So what if I’ve said the word riot 927 times during the past few days. Someone’s got to say it.

Maybe a song might help me feel better…


We’re Easy to Feed…

My in-laws spent their last day in town at our flat. I planned to cook a chicken with roasted potatoes for them. I thought that was a good safe meal that most people would eat. My usually fair is curry and I know they don’t eat curry. The day before they were to come to our house my father-in-law suddenly starts talking about how he doesn’t eat chicken.

My husband: Oh no. We were going to make a chicken for you tomorrow.

My father-in-law: Don’t worry about us we’re easy to feed.

My husband: What do you want to eat then?

My father-in-law: It doesn’t matter. We’ll eat whatever you give us, but I don’t eat chicken or lamb. I don’t like any chunks of meat.

My mother-in-law: He’ll eat mince.

My husband: Do you eat fish?

My father-in-law: I like cod.

So I ended up making chilli. That’s an easy dish made with mince. I grew up just calling it chilli, but here they call it chilli con carne. I guess that’s the dishes full name. The problem is that I’d never seen it written, I’ve only heard it said. All this time I thought it was chilli con cardy. So I’ve been saying chilli con cardy to people and either no one has noticed or people here are too polite to point out my mistake. I only learned I was saying it wrong when my husband pointed it out the other day.

Anyway, if we lived near my in-laws I’m pretty sure that my father-in-law would provide an endless amount of material for this blog. I could probably get a week’s worth of blogging material from one two-hour visit.


The other morning I walked into the living room to find my husband doing some strange new exercise. When I asked him what he was doing he said that it was his version of yoga.

“If you want to do some yoga I’ll teach you,” I told him. I taught him how to do the sun salutation. “How was that?” I asked when we were done.

“I didn’t like it,” he said.

“Really? Why not?”

“It was too hard. I just want to do the kinda of yoga where you just lay around.”

Handy Pat

My husband is quite upset by the implication that he isn’t handy.

My Husband: I was always the handiest of the Bettison boys. My brothers are all mechanical, but I’m handy. Remember that time I fixed something around the house and you were surprised?

Me: No, what did you fix?

My Husband: I don’t remember, but you were impressed.

Me: Like when you fixed the mirror and now it hands two inches from the wall and we have to keep a box wedged between it and the wall at the bottom so it doesn’t hang on a crazy angle.

My Husband: You are so mean.

Horses in Jackets

Horse in a jacket!

While on my morning walk, I noticed that the horses in the field near our house were sporting jaunty jackets.

Me: I wonder what horses did about the cold before humans were around to dress them up.

My Husband: I don’t know. I guess they just froze.

Horse picture by dichohecho