signs you're not a gardenerSpring is in the air, which means your eyes are puffy from pollen and you go from using your heater to your air conditioner all in the span of 24 hours.

For as long as I can remember, my parents spent the weekends in the spring and summer cultivating their gardens (and their wine habit). I always assumed I would follow in their footsteps, albiet those steps were stepping stones in a sea of green grass.

However, for some reason I missed the gardening-loving gene, although I did inherit the wine habit.

I learned the hard way that I didn’t have a green thumb. Unfortunately, my hostas and my manicure fell victim to this lesson.

However, in the hopes of saving the world from unnecessary manicure massacres, I’ve compiled a list to help you figure out if you’re a gardener or not.

1.  You think buying plant food means ordering a salad.

2.  You like your garden clean and free of dirt.

3.  You prefer to do all gardening indoors.


4.  You think a spade is only something in a deck of cards.


5.  Wearing gloves isn’t enough to convince you to touch dirt.


6.  You can’t keep your artificial plants alive.


7.  You don’t look good in hats and your skin is far too delicate for direct sunlight.

8.  You always tip over the watering can.

9.  Even drawings of flowers make you break out in hives.


10.  You think gardening is sexy only when it’s done by the sexy hunk you hired.


Hopefully this list helped you decide if you have a green thumb.  Personally, it’s not the thumb I think of when I think of gardening.

It’s another finger entirely…

Other places on the web this week where I’m cracking people up!

8 Ridiculously Petty Fights I’ve Actually Had With My Husband

15 Things That Will Surprise You About Men When You Move In

10 “Wierd” Things That Couples Do That Are Totally Normal


Jerry in his favorite surveillance spot.

Jerry in his favorite surveillance spot.

As many of you know, I have a gansta gnome guarding and protecting my home at all times.  

(This is not to be confused with the crazy Bachelorette contestant Kasey, who guards and protects women’s hearts.  My gnome doesn’t do that. He also doesn’t get crazy tattoos while on the season of a reality show.  He’s smarter than that…and he’s a gnome.)

My gansta gnome is Jerry Yardcia, and he keeps me safe from the dangers and threats of living in the suburbs.  He’s pretty hard core.  If you don’t believe me, look at his medallion.

If that doesn’t say bad ass, I don’t know what does.

Since Jerry took over security for the Newlin household, things have been safe and quiet, save for the occasional unwanted humping.  (Our dog Max likes Jerry…a lot.)

Despite the canine advances, lately Jerry looked lonely and in need of a friend.  After all, he can only talk on his mini cell phone so long before the battery goes dead.

We decided something had to be done, and Jerry needed a friend.  Unfortunately, we didn’t know how to go about getting him one, as we didn’t know what type of friend he would prefer.  A talkative friend?  Funny? Quiet?  Old?  Statue?  Bird bath?

Fortunately, we didn’t have to make that decision.  One day, I came home from work and looked Jerry’s direction, hoping to get a report of the happenings of the neighborhood.  I always throw him our secret gang sign so he knows it’s me, as if there’s another woman in a stained dress with Cheeto-stained fingers who frequents the suburbs.

As I threw our super-secret sign of recognition to Jerry, I noticed he was not alone.  He had a friend.  A friend who looked remarkably like him.  Here’s what I saw.

jerry and jernome

They’re multiplying!

Obviously, Jerry’s friend was shy.  He was also a master of disguise, as I could barely see his gy-gnomous head hiding behind the flower bush.

I came inside and asked Matt where the second a-gnomeonyous gnome came from. (Yes, attempting to change “anonymous” into a word using “gnome” was a bit ambitious, but a girl’s gotta try.)

I don’t know.  He just showed up and has been chilling with Jerry all day.”

Indeed.  They appeared to be besties.

Although I was happy for Jerry and his new friend, I wanted to find out more about this mysterious guy.  I had so many questions:  Who was he?  How did he get there? Was this who Jerry was always talking to on his cell?


Jernome looking….well…simple.

I approached them both, greeted them, and asked to speak to the new gnome alone.

Jerry complied with my request but told me to keep it short.  I reminded him that he is less than a foot tall, so I had no choice but to keep it short.

NOTE:  Jerry is not a fan of short-jokes.  It’s a delicate subject for him. LESSON LEARNED.

When I was a-gnome with the new gnome he told me he was Jerry’s cousin, and his name was Jer(g)nome.  That explained why they looked so much a like.  (That, and they were both manufactured in the same plant in Thailand.)

Jernome is a man of little words, and not just because he’s only a foot tall.  He was noticeably quiet about his story and where he cam from.

In all fairness, his timidness could be because he’s a statue.

In an effort to get him to tell me more, I got out the garden hose and turned on the water.  All of a sudden, Jernome because far more talkative.

Allegations of water-boarding were made, but those are obviously unwarranted and I will deny any and all such charges.

From what I gathered from Jernome’s quiet demeanor (except when it came to water), he is…ahem….a bit slow.

To put it another way; if our dog Max was a gnome, he would be Jernome.  Come to think of it, if Max was a gnome, he’d still have the same IQ but would probably lick his junk less.

Our sweet, sweet, Max

Our sweet, sweet, Max

Although Jernome didn’t come out and say it, I got the feeling Jerry gave him a job because Jernome couldn’t get a job anywhere else.  I considered suggesting he apply at my favorite Greek restaurant, as the waiters there have no personality and can’t seem to understand that I always want extra Tzatziki sauce on my gyro.


So for now, Jernome will stay and be Jerry’s wingman.  I suspect his only job will be standing around looking pathetic.  That’s yet another thing he and Max have in common.

I also suspect Jerry will send him on mindless errands just to keep him busy.  So the next time I see Jerry eating a sub sandwich with onions on it, I won’t remind him that onions make him gassy, which kills my hydrangeas.

Instead, I’ll know that Jernome messed up the order, and although Jerry will cut any bitch who stiffs him on a drug deal, he’ll eat onions and endure farts if it means Jernome feels needed.*

*If enduring farts makes one feel needed, then my husband is the most needed man in America.


Who doesn’t love cute, cuddly little chipmunks?  They are tiny and fuzzy, and seemingly harmless….that is…unless they decide to take up residence in the hostas in the front of your house.

They become decidedly less cuddly when they are trying to squat at your place.  Don’t get me wrong, I would be happy to offer them a cold beverage and discuss their budding singing careers, but, I certainly don’t want them anywhere near my house.

chipmunkSo, lately, I’ve been fighting a battle in my front yard with these adorable little chipmunks.  Although I must say, they aren’t nearly that adorable when I am in the throes of battle against them.

Since these chipmunks have failed to demonstrate their value to me I decided I couldn’t let them keep making a home in my hostas, and creeping up the siding to my house.

I keep waiting for them to don shirts with letters on them and introduce me to their good pal, Dave, who I would like to set up with a friend of mine.

Normally, I wouldn’t have minded the habitation in the hostas, but I’ve seen them crawl up the siding to the house, and I definitely don’t want them living with me unless they can contribute to the housework.

I am an animal lover and would never want to kill these creatures, so I didn’t want to do anything that would hurt them.  I just wanted to engage in behavior that would gently urge them to move elsewhere.

However, walking around in my underwear with the windows open seemed to have no effect on them, so I had to come up with another strategy to get them to move, although the retired man across the street became noticeably more friendly after this failed attempt.

red pepperI did some research on the internet and discovered that red pepper can keep them away as they don’t like the way it smells.  Interestingly, neither do I.  But I purchased some red pepper anyway, and took to the front of the house with a vengeance, sprinkling the red pepper on the hostas.

It looked like a battle zone when I was done, as red flecks of pepper covered the hostas.  I was convinced this would do it.  Unfortunately, this war strategy had unintended fallout.

As I went to pat myself on the back for all my hard work, I accidentally got some red pepper in my eye.

NOTE:  Red pepper in the eye is painful, but far more painful when it gets trapped in your contact.  It took me 20 minutes to get my contact out of my eye because I couldn’t keep my eye open long enough to retrieve it.

And the worst part was, that the red pepper did nothing to deter the little bastards….they definitely won that battle, but I was convinced they wouldn’t win the war.

I decided to fight fire with fire…or at least to fight chipmunks with urine.  Yes, urine.  Not my urine, but fox urine.

Apparently chipmunks don’t like the smell of fox urine and flee from it, as foxes hunt chipmunks.  Believe it or not, I didn’t have fox urine sitting around the house, so I had to go to Bass Pro Shop to purchase it.  This was no small feat.

red foxI entered the store after work, wearing work clothes and looking somewhat professional, aside from the Diet Coke stain on my right breast, which was an early morning casualty.

When I asked the store clerk where I could find the fox urine, I was convinced she thought I was purchasing it for some kind of strange foreplay.

She snickered and led me to the fox pee, all the while imagining what strange fetish I must have with fox urine.  I disregarded her glances, grabbed several bottles and headed to the cash register.

When I returned home with the coveted urine, I opened the bottle to start spreading it around and was taken aback by the odor.  It was stifling.

No wonder chipmunks hated the smell.  It was blindingly horrible.  Naturally, I decided my husband would be better suited to distribute the excrement and left that job up to him.

After donning nose plugs and haz-mat gloves, he spread the urine over the hostas.  So far, the fox pee seems to have forced the little critters to move to another home and we haven’t seen them looming in our hostas in a few weeks.

fox+urine.jpgUnfortunately, as is the case in any war, we have suffered as well from the fox urine.  The front of our house smells like a frat house after Greek week.  The only thing that’s missing is a pile of vomit and a girl with no self respect…or bra.

The pungent smell of urine seems to loom near our front door, which frequently incites flash backs to my college days.  But, it’s a small price to pay for the smiting of the chipmunks.

Of course, we haven’t had any visitors to our house since we began using the fox urine, but that’s okay, as the retired man across the street has become decidedly more friendly…