September 17, 2014


by Janie Jones

It’s Wednesday at 11 am.

It’s my lunch time.  I’ve been up since 4 am, I’ve exercised, studied, gone to physics, gone to cell biology, and run all over campus on errands to the business office to pay the portion of my fees that were billed after they disbursed my financial aid and to change locker locations to one that I can actually get to instead of the one directly outside two massive lecture halls that become packed like a Major Metropolis interstate at 5 pm on a Friday during road construction.  I am more than ready for lunch.

I packed one, an apple and a can of chicken salad with crackers.  It’s about all I can bear to lug along with me with all the crap I have to carry.  And promptly upon swallowing the last bite my stomach growled for more.  So, I went against all my better instincts and bought a taco at the campus food court.

And once again I’m reminded of why I generally don’t eat there.

The food court food is expensive and tastes like crap.  I sit here looking around at all the traditional college age students eating nappy burgers and gluey nachos and I wonder how anyone can perform physically or mentally being feed such chemical compositions masquerading as food.


And, I’m still hungry by the way.


September 16, 2014

Tuesday Titters, who thinks of this stuff?

by Janie Jones

What is the difference between zombies & patched jeans?

Zombies are DEAD men, jeans are menDEAD!



September 15, 2014

Are you prepared?

by Janie Jones


September 14, 2014

Exactly how many mice does it take to pull a turkey neck out of the trash?

by Janie Jones

Leif’s farm has a severe rodent problem.  It’s probably a multiracial problem.  We’ve already evicted a weasel, several chipmunks, and some field mice.  But what I want to know is which brand of critter was responsible for last night’s escapade.

3:23 am.  Vera begins barking.  My room is above the kitchen and bathroom, and I can tell the barking is coming from directly below me.  It doesn’t stop.  I can hear her running about the kitchen, bathroom and dining room.  I get up, find my glasses and a flashlight and stumble downstairs to see if Leif is up.  Rupert appears, prancing in between my feet and Vera’s.  Both dogs are on about something.  I head for Leif’s room, he sees the flashlight and calls that he’s getting up to see what’s going on.  I head to the kitchen, then I check the bathroom.  I check the door to the laundry room.  Vera is right along side sniffing the laundry room door intently.

Now, the laundry room also has a back door to the outside, however, this door doesn’t have a latch or a lock at this time.  So, as I carefully open the laundry room door I’m watching Vera for signs of aggression or fear.  Just intent sniffing.  So, I open the door and quick flip on the light, half expecting a panicked raccoon or maybe a porcupine, or heaven forbid a skunk, to scream and head out an open back door with Vera taking off after it howling and snarling the whole way.

But nothing.

However, the back door is open just a smidge.  Vera sniffs the door very intently, sniffs around the walls, and then bee-lines back to the door.  I close the back door as tightly as possible under the circumstances, and she continues to sniff with great abandon.  I wonder if her fascination is due to having heard something trying to get in the house earlier and she can still smell its scent.

Leif appears and takes Vera out for a sweep of the hen house and the outbuildings in case of predators or zombies.  I mention Vera’s fascination with the back door as they head out and then I go over to the kitchen sink to get a drink of water.  That’s when I notice something else curious.

There, beside the trash bin is the turkey neck and bag of giblets that I threw away that afternoon after putting a turkey in the oven.  That was the only thing disturbed from the trash, and at the time I attributed it to Vera, who occasionally is unable to resist the temptation of dumpster diving for late night snacks.  But it vaguely seemed curious that the items were pulled from the trash without displacing the can, any of the other contents, nor was there a single chew mark on any of it. I put the parts back in the trash and set the trash in the breezeway between the kitchen door and the front door where Vera won’t be able to get to it again.

I wait for Leif to return to the house with the report.

A few minutes pass, and no suspicious sounds are heard from outside.  When Leif and Vera reappear it is with a report that nothing untoward was discovered:  all fowl, cats, and dogs are safely accounted for and no vermin or predators, zombie or otherwise, were seen.

I mention the turkey neck and giblets.  We’re both tired, though, so we just say goodnight and head off to our rooms.  And I fall quickly back to sleep.

But this morning I found some additional evidence that starts me wondering anew.

Back in the laundry room I’m sorting clothes to do a few loads of laundry when I notice a box of Kleenex on the floor.  I bend down and pick it up wondering how it got there.  Then I go to get some laundry soap.  The container is not on the shelf where it’s supposed to be.  I stop, and I look again, because sometimes these days I’ve so much on my mind I seriously look right past what’s in front of me.

But, no, it’s really not there.  I look around wondering briefly if Leif moved it.  Then I see it on the floor, upside down with laundry soap spilled on the floor.  And that’s when I wonder if some critter or critters were swarming the laundry room last night.  I crane my neck and look along side the washer and the space between the shelf and the wall.  There could be rodent poops there.  Or it could just be dead bugs.  It’s hard to tell in the dim light and at this ridiculous angle.  But if it was a rodent (or rodents) the sound of it knocking stuff over could have roused Vera.  Mystery possibly solved.

With the laundry underway, I go to the kitchen to make tea and get some breakfast.  That’s when I notice mouse poop all over the kitchen counter.  And I wonder some more.  Did the midnight machinations of mice disturb Vera as she was about to have a late night nosh of turkey neck?

Or do we have the mice from NIMH who were going to liberate our turkey neck and giblets for some furry feast of their own?  And Vera noticing the attempted turkey heist scared them off, causing them to drop the vertebral victuals as they fled the scene?

And, are these two scenes related, or separate incidences?  Was there some rodent gang war going on last night between the Wicked Weasels of Wash Tub Alley and the Motley Mice of the Upper Cabinet Row?

The gravy thickens.

September 13, 2014

A change of perspective; just a different view of the insanity

by Janie Jones

So once again it’s back to school time.  But this year I’m finally back at Stickittoyou U.  I couldn’t afford to really move to Big City, but I found myself a small room in town.  On the weekends, as long as I don’t have to work and the weather is fair, I’ll be out on the farm with Leif.

It’s been a year of big changes.

I’m still struggling with it all.  And last week it was easy to feel like I wasn’t going to make it.  Juggling two jobs (I’m cutting back on the tour guide gig so I can work in a biology lab), Physics, Cell Biology and Professional Writing for Science Majors, settling in to a new abode, and worrying about Leif, the dogs and how poor I am is a lot of balls in the air.  I cried a lot last week.

I’m scared out of my wits.  I’ve put in hours and hours preparing and slogging through maths and chemistry and I am tired.  All that work doesn’t seem to have gotten me very far right now.  I can’t remember enough to feel well prepared.  I’m worried I won’t be able to hack Physics with all the math.  I’m worried I’ll hit the wall of math in my Cell Bio Lab and choke to death on conversions and how to adjust formulas for stock solutions.  I have two big papers to write, one of which is a research proposal.  I actually have to come up with something to propose to study.  How can they expect me to know enough yet to propose my own study?

Then the other students are all talking about MCATs and GREs and other grad school placement testing.  No pressure there.

The more things change the more they stay the same.  Same stress, same exhaustion, same fears, just different rubber walls.

But I can’t give up, so I guess I’ll just have to keep on stumbling along.

Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.

-Victor Kiam


September 12, 2014

This still doesn’t make me a cat person….

by Janie Jones

On account of the critter problem down on the farm, last June I bought Leif and the Spud a barn cat.  Okay now everyone coo and awww at the adorable little kitten:

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He’s got no tail, which I’m told makes him a Manx. Naturally he needed a Scottish name and so he was promptly dubbed Duncan.  Apparently he’s earning his keep.  He’s caught several small rodents in the past few weeks.  It’s not quite so cute though when he leaves partially digested and regurgitated rodent carcasses all over the front porch.

Now if only I could get him to catch the ginormous wolf spiders we get in the house….

September 11, 2014

Thursday Quote Du Jour #13: CYA

by Janie Jones

I don’t know who this should be properly attributed to, but I heard it somewhere and it’s been on my mind lately.  So, I decided to share.

Man chased by Grizzly gets ticketed for running with a bear behind.


man with bare behind

 *Original artwork

Happy Thursday.