Tag Archives: Helper Mule

A long-awaited meeting

Mom will be here soon for our fancy evening of dinner and a play, but I have HUGE NEWS!

It was a day we have ALL been waiting for. For about a year and a half!



Today I went home to do some home-things. Home is about 45 minutes from here. You have to come down from the mountains and drive through a little town and then through a lot of nothing and THEN you are at my parents’ house.

First I got to spend some Nephew-time. He was playing with some Lego-like bricks and some trains and explained to me that Cranky the Train was so-named because he CRANKED things, not because he was annoyed. I told him I was Cranky the Amy, and he said, “NO, Aunt Amy!”

Then he had to go back to his dad’s house so they could run errands and The Nephew was all “NO NO NO I WANT TO PLAY!” and I hugged him and tickled him and kissed his little fists of fury and made him smile and they left and then Dad and I searched through the whole house for some things I was looking for and were ultimately successful (but not before a humorous misunderstanding where he thought a stuffed bear was a cat and was tearing a room apart looking for something under a bear when I was like, “DAD, I said it was in this box with the cat on the side?” and he was like “THIS IS A CAT!” and I was like, “Or a bear, but they’re both mammals, I suppose” and he was all “grumble grumble.”

Then we went to visit my grandmother. Grandmothers get tinier every time you see them. That is a very sad thing. We talked for a while and then it was time to visit Dad’s garden to see if the varmints ate it. They did not! Yay for no varmints!


On the way to Rooster’s house, Dad said, “You’d better not call that thing a Helper Mule, I think it’s just a mule. I don’t want you to hurt his feelings.” So the whole way I was all, “Hi sir, thank you for letting me visit your mule.” Dad was all, “What are you doing?” And I said “Practicing so I don’t say ‘HELPER MULE!!!’ in front of him and EMBARRASS YOU!” and Dad rolled his eyes.

At Rooster’s house, there are many animals. First, there was a happy red coonhound. He was not very old, and he didn’t understand that you were not supposed to jump or bite. (Not bite HARD. Just kind of a puppy mouthy bite. But I said “You stop that, happy red dog!” and he totally did. Animals like me. And it is mutual.)

There was also a pen of clucky chickens. They went “buck buck buck!” and the happy red dog bashed gleefully into the wire at them but couldn’t get to them and they rolled their chickeny eyes at him.

Then there was a pen with two beagle puppies in it! Well, I think more beagle tweens. They were a little older than puppies. One was lighter and had amber eyes and one was traditional dark black/white/tan. I was madly in love with them and they went “haroooo!” because that’s what beagles do. I petted them for a very long time through the wire and they licked my fingers most happily and pounced on each other and went “haroo! Haroo!” and I laughed and laughed. (Beagles are my first favorite type of dog ever, closely followed by pit bulls. We raised beagles growing up and I have the best memories of beagles.)


Rooster and Mrs. Rooster and Rooster’s grandson and some girl I didn’t know and Dad and I all went to the barn.

First in the barn, there was…



Rooster’s grandson caught one and it said “WEE WEE WEEEEE” and did not like that but that meant I got to pet it. It was bristly and scratchy and had little clacky hooves and when he put it down it ran away super-fast.

Then…what was on the other side of the barn?



His name is Chief!

At first, he was shy. Mrs. Rooster could touch him, but he was scared of me. “I will Helper Mule whisper you!” I thought at him furiously. “JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE!”

Rooster’s grandson let me feed Chief some hay. He ate the hay, but then backed off again. Then Mrs. Rooster let me feed him some carrots. He ate those carrots more crunchily. Then he realized maybe this new lady might be a food source and wasn’t so scared of me. THEN I got to feed him OATS, and, well, that cemented our growing friendship.

Rooster and Mrs. Rooster and Dad were talking about many things, and while they were being social, I spent much time with Helper Mule.

I took many photos. There was one of me with him, but Dad took it, and it is highly unflattering. It will stay lost to the ages.







Then it was time to go home, and Rooster said I could come back ANY TIME, and also offered to sell me Helper Mule for only $8,000, or for free if I gave him my family’s top-secret Michigan sauce recipe. I declined because I didn’t want to get excommunicated from my family. (But I did want to own Helper Mule. We had made fast friends. And when I was leaving, he walked out of the barn-area and watched me go with sad mule-eyes.)

Also, Helper Mule was quite tall, and furry, and dusty, and his nose was soft, and his eyes were kind.

Dad said everyone at Rooster’s house isn’t always that happy, and I said, “do you think my irrepressible charm got to them?” and he said, “Yes, actually, I do” and I liked that.


When I got home, I had to wash my hands a lot. Dad was all, “DON’T YOU TOUCH ANYTHING! YOU ARE FILTHY WITH MULE!”

It was a very successful day. And I totally whispered him. “Be good and be nice and don’t get in trouble, most wonderful Helper Mule,” I said to my new friend. “Someday I will come back to see you and we will have the best of times.”

And he wisely nodded his helpful head.

When I was whispering him, he said to tell ALL the internettians hello.


Happy rest-of-your-days, people! I have to go get pretty and wash the rest of the mule off me for a night of thee-ay-tah. Back tomorrow with MORE adventures!

Having just finished a vacation, the only thing to do is start planning the next one.

First: no, I am not dead from the evil sickness of death. I actually was able to sleep last night, which was nice. And I’ve gone from hacking up both lungs to just sometimes hacking up one lung. I do have the worst sore throat, but I suppose you can’t have everything, right? Right. Ow, it hurt to say that. Ow ow ow. I DID have to skip out on seeing The Nephew this week because I love him too much to pass along my germs to his little adorable self, because sometimes being a grownup means you have to put others’ well-being before your own happiness. Not ALWAYS, just SOMETIMES. I mean, I’m not a martyr. Being a grownup doesn’t mean you’re ALWAYS selfless. Come on, now. Be practical. I was sad to miss him, though. It’s been too long since I’ve seen him and I miss him very much.

So it seems I am on the mend. This pleases Dad; he was quite sure I was dying. Every day I would call him he would say “ARE YOU STILL ALIVE? WHY WON’T YOU GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM? WHY DO YOU WANT TO DIE SO BADLY?” He didn’t seem to understand it’s not often one goes to the ER for a cold. Now that I’m getting a little better, he keeps acting like I’m FOOLING him. “Are you SURE you’re better? Maybe the illness is HIDING. Maybe it’s a FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY,” Dad says, very suspiciously.

What are your symptoms, ma'am? Oh, the common cold? THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

What are your symptoms, ma’am? Oh, the common cold? THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

Nah. I’m ok, Dad. No worries. It’s just a cold. I don’t think it will kill me dead dead dead. Probably.

Second, and a lot more interesting than a health update: EXCITING VACATION NEWS!

Fast on the heels of my LAST vacation, I am already planning my NEXT vacation. Yes, I do actually work sometimes, why do you ask? (New job is going very well. I don’t think it’s technically new job anymore, is it? Since I’ve been there about five and a half months now? Probably not. And yes, it’s still great.) I don’t just plan vacations. I do work, too. Seriously.


At the end of July, I will be going to visit my parents for a week. I know, this doesn’t sound like it’s super-exciting. But it totally is, for a PLETHORA of reasons. What, you don’t think I will give them to you? I totally will.

  • I get to stay in my parents’ wonderful camp in the woods on a mountain, which is quiet and smells like pine trees and you can pretty much only hear the wind. It’s one of my favorite places in all the world. Also, I totally get to be a firebug and light all the gigantic campfires I want, which means ALL the fires. Dad laughs and laughs at the gigantic fires and my mom says things like, “Do you have the phone number for the fire department on the fridge? Make sure you have the phone number for the fire department on the fridge. Are you SURE it’s there? Maybe you should check, just to be sure.”

    When I see this sign, I start doing a happy dance. This is my park!

    When I see this sign, I start doing a happy dance. This is my park!

  • There is no television at camp. Well, there is A television. But it doesn’t get any channels. You can, however, bring a DVD player or a VCR and watch things. There is also no internet. But, in news of PROGRESS and the FUTURE, if you have Verizon, you can finally get cell phone coverage up there. I totally switched to Verizon just so I could have cell service when I go home. I also was the most proactive and bought one of those Bluetooth keyboard things so it’ll be like I have my laptop, only it’s my cell phone. I know. I’m fancy. So yes, there can be blogging while I’m there, and I won’t have to trek to town to do it. As long as it all works out. Fingers crossed.

    It kind of looks like this. Isn't technology grand?

    It kind of looks like this. Isn’t technology grand?

  • The time NOT spent watching all the television and wasting hours online will be spent reading and reading and reading. That is one of my favorite things about camp. It is quiet and you can read for hours. The main thing I’m planning on reading is the last book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, which I’ve started, but haven’t had the time to finish. Also, a thing that happens at camp is napping. SO MUCH NAPPING. And staying up late. And getting up whenever you want. And eating things you cooked on the grill.

    You know nothing, Lucy's Football!

    You know nothing, Lucy’s Football!

  • Mom and I will be going to see A Streetcar Named Desire at one of my favorite community theaters. She has never seen it. I am very much hoping there will not be graphic sex scenes in this version like in the version I watched a couple of years ago. YIKES. This will make for awkward drive-home conversation and also perhaps she will feel the need to do some praying while in the audience.

    How has Mom gone her whole life without seeing Brando in the movie? SIGH.

    How has Mom gone her whole life without seeing Brando in the movie? SIGH.

  • Dad and I will have some sort of adventure. In the past, we have gone to a wildlife center (to see otters!) and a fish hatchery (to see…well, fish!) and to the movies and to a craft fair and to a museum where there was a whole room dedicated to my famous ancestors. I don’t know the plan this year. I don’t want to be pessimistic, but there’s a good chance we’ve come to the end of things to do in the upstate area. STAY TUNED!
  • There’s a possibility The Nephew might be visiting that week; if he is, ADVENTURES WITH THE NEPHEW!

And now, for the two things that I am MOST excited about for vacation…


First, you remember who I said I would get to meet if I went home, right?


If you are new here, you might not remember Helper Mule, as he was very famous a while ago, (there are more Helper Mule posts, if you search for them) and there has not been much Helper Mule news lately. Helper Mule’s been flying under the radar. I got some strange news from Dad tonight that for some reason, Rooster (Helper Mule’s owner) bought like ten more horses? It’s all very confusing. I will get MORE info when I go home! WE WILL KNOW MORE ABOUT HELPER MULE! I will totally Helper-Mule-whisper him and we will become the best of friends! And of course, I will take ALL THE PHOTOS!

Second, and possibly (ok, fine, definitely, sorry, Helper Mule) more exciting…

…remember I said I was planning another out-of-country jaunt? IT IS TIME!

So I got my passport, and with my passport, I got a little passport card. This card is good for going across more local borders. Like the one into, say, Mexico. But am I going to be near Mexico? No. I am, however, going to be near Canada. RIGHT near it. And who lives in Canada?


(As does Sara, Le Clown’s amazingly talented and awesome wife, and Le Clown’s family. It’s not like he lives there all by himself like a weirdo and his family lives elsewhere. That’d be scary, right? And kind of odd.)

So, on one of the days of my vacation, I am making the trek up to the land of poutine and The Kids in the Hall and we are going to have an old-school hootenanny. Or we’re just going to hang out for the day and chat and talk and laugh a lot. Either way. I can give or take the hootenanny.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL, BABY! To meet some of my favorite internettians! It seemed silly to be only about an hour and a half from them and not to visit. Plus I am quite sure we will have most impressive adventures. Also Dad is very sure I will be killed in the traffic. He has NOTHING NICE TO SAY about Canadian drivers. Nothing at all. (However, do we find it at all worrisome he doesn’t think Le Clown is going to psychomurder me? He totally thought poor Andreas was going to psychomurder me. Either Dad’s getting soft in his old age or he’s just utterly given up on me.)

Dad sees a Canadian license plate and gets VERY ANGRY. "GO BACK TO CANADA!" yells Dad. I usually hide my face behind my hand.

Dad sees a Canadian license plate and gets VERY ANGRY. “GO BACK TO CANADA!” yells Dad. I usually hide my face behind my hand.

It is now time for bed. I just watched The Office finale, and it made me cry, mostly because I’ve been watching it from the beginning, and it made me think of the person I was when the show started, and the person I am now, and all the people I’ve been in-between. Also, I kind of totally want a Jim. Can I have a Jim, please? Thanks, universe, you’re the best.

Happy weekend, everyone! I will be working and theatering and all the -ing-ing, I suppose. But I will attempt to stop in and wave briefly, how’s that? Awesome. Love your faces. Have grand adventures, every last one of you.

%d bloggers like this: