Since I believe my brother Dale has a poo fetish, I should have seen it coming.

I posted a while back about the crazy Christ­mas gifts my lit­tle brother, Dale, and I exchange. Each year we take an extra­or­di­nary amount of time schem­ing think­ing of the most iinsult­ing con­sid­er­ate and gross thought­ful gifts we can present to each other.

Well, with the oncom­ing rush of rel­a­tives, ourl lit­tle fam­ily of three had our own pri­vate Christ­mas din­ner a gift exchange this past week­end. Of course, I opened my bro’s gift with con­sid­er­able dread anticipation.

As I said, I should have seen it com­ing. I mean, in the past Dale has sent me such things as links to some blog where a fel­low was post­ing a daily photo of, yes, his, well, poo and pho­tos of lux­ury toi­lets. And just this past Thanks­giv­ing he hap­pily gave me the “Monthly Poo” calendar–a beau­ti­fully pro­duced cal­en­dar of dog poo in var­i­ous stages of decom­po­si­tion and posed in beau­ti­ful, scenic locations.

Well, as you can prob­a­bly guess by now, this year’s gift had a poo theme. Here were the gifts, all beau­ti­fully packaged.

First, there was the rein­deer pooper.


This was actu­ally sorta cute. The lit­tle rein­deer dis­penses tan and brown jelly­beans. I will be sure to use it next time the gar­den club ladies come calling.

There was also a can of Poop Freeze. This actu­ally seems to have a prac­ti­cal pur­pose. Appar­ently you just “frost and toss.” The spray freezes the offend­ing poop to –62 degrees F. The can label is very encour­ag­ing: “Poop Happens–Just Freeze It!” and “Because It’s Your Dootie!”


I par­tic­u­larly liked the Nope, It’s Soap poo soap. It would be too too pred­i­ca­ble to use it when Dale and his lovely wife come to visit. I’ll have to store this for just the right occasion–like when the gar­den club ladies come calling.


There was also the highly edu­ca­tional book, What’s Your Poo Telling You? I won’t go into all the details because I don’t want to ruin it for you when you go out to get your very own copy. But I will tell you the names of some of the chap­ter titles: “Floaters vs. Sinkers,” “Num­ber Three,” “Soft Serve,” “Peb­ble Poo” and, my favorite, “The-Honeymoon’s-Over Poo.”


Finally, he found this lovely let­ter writ­ing paper made from recy­cled ele­phant poo. Well, you just know what I’m using to write the thank you note for THIS gift, right? The gar­den club ladies!!!


I like to think that my gift to Dale was a bit more intel­lec­tual. Sadly, I can’t share WHAT that is right now because I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. But I am hop­ing that my sister-in-law will be sure and take a nice pic­ture of Dale with the gift.

I’ll be sure to share.

Happy hol­i­days!

–Robin (Bum­ble­bee)


I have a brand new Bum­ble­bee Blog design that I’ll be launch­ing some­time in Jan­u­ary (fin­gers crossed). In the meanime, this is a tem­po­rary new design that I couldn’t resist. It’s a new tem­plate from Square­Space. Do you like it?

Keep Reading
There are 11 comments
Filed in: Humor
Tags: , ,

There is a sim­ple rea­son for the fact that I’ve not been blog­ging as much lately. It’s because I have a new part-time job. It’s called “work­ing out.”

I am not kid­ding about it being a part-time job. I must show up or I don’t get the reward. It is hard work. And it takes a lot of my time and energy.

Some days I like my part-time job—like when I can do my car­dio sen­tence on the tread­mill next to some­one I know so we can chat or when some fel­low flirts with me just a lit­tle bit or I imag­ine that some fel­low is flirt­ing with me just a lit­tle bit.

Other days I pretty much hate it—like when I would rather be eat­ing a whole vat a mac­a­roni and cheese while read­ing a trashy novel.

When I do my exer­cise at the gym it first involves get­ting prop­erly dressed. Now, this may seem like a sim­ple propo­si­tion to most peo­ple. Just put on some sweat pants, a t-shirt and some sneaks, right?

Not me. I am NOT going out in a place where I am going to sweat AND look like a bag lady even before I get started. Besides, what if some­one wants to flirt with me?

But here’s the trick. I can’t look like I tried TOO hard. I appar­ently tried too hard one day and a young, grunge-inspired female instruc­tor at the gym com­mented: “Oh, don’t you look so nice with your lit­tle match­ing out­fit. You’re even wear­ing makeup!” (In case you missed it, she meant this in the b*^&%y way that genet­i­cally blessed 22-year-old women talk to 40-something-year-old women who they think should be home cro­chet­ing afghans.) I man­aged to smile sweetly and say “Thank you. It’s amaz­ing but some peo­ple will go in pub­lic wear­ing just about any­thing, won’t they?”

After get­ting dressed, there is the 20-minute drive to the gym fol­lowed by a five-minute warm-up. Two days a week I pay a nice fel­low named Greg to be mean to me. It’s the yup­pie ver­sion of S&M. He tells me to do things that hurt. I pay him. It takes an hour with the weights and other tor­ture devices. When Greg is fin­ished with me, I am sen­tenced to at least 30 min­utes on the tread­mill, bike or ellip­ti­cal trainer.

When I am not pay­ing Greg to be mean to me I must spend at least one day a week being mean to myself–preferably two days a week. On the non-torture days I sim­ply get off with 45 min­utes to an hour of car­dio work. And every day I must spend at least 20 min­utes stretch­ing. I can do that by myself, with­out S&M Greg’s supervision.

See what I mean about this being a part-time job?

What’s the rea­son for this new-found fit­ness zeal?” you ask.

No, it’s not a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion. It’s a “lifestyle change.” It’s all a part of my slow­ing down and tak­ing care of myself so that stress doesn’t put me into an early grave.


I also wouldn’t mind drop­ping a few pounds to get back into my super­model wardrobe. After all, it is one of Robin’s Immutable Laws of Gar­den­ing that you can­not pos­si­bly lose weight by work­ing in the gar­den. But I’m not being too wacky about that. It’s fit­ness that counts, right? Not look­ing like a fab­u­lous super­model in designer clothes?

One of the lit­tle “lifestyle changes” that I’m find­ing amus­ing is my step counter. You can buy these babies for five bucks at K-Mart. They are FABULOUS. The basic model doesn’t count mileage, but only steps. Just clip it to the waist­band of your fash­ion­able work­out pants and off you go.

The idea is that you should aim for at least 10,000 steps a day, includ­ing a 30-minute walk. The rea­son for the offi­cial “walk” is that if you only do the 30-minute walk and basi­cally sit on your bot­tom the rest of the day, you’ll only rack up about 4,000 or even fewer steps. The idea is to incor­po­rate extra phys­i­cal activ­ity through­out your day.

The experts say activ­ity lev­els cor­re­spond with the fol­low­ing num­ber of steps per day:

–low activ­ity: <5,000 steps/day
–Low activ­ity: 5,000 to 7,500 steps/day
–Mild activ­ity: 7,500 to 10,000 steps/day
–Mod­er­ate activ­ity: 10,000 to 12,500 steps/day
–High activ­ity: >12,500 steps/day

    Greg (remem­ber S&M Greg?) says I should be aim­ing for at least 12,000 steps a day. (He would, wouldn’t he?)

    Actu­ally, I find that on a day when I don’t do any exer­cise but do some chores around the house and per­haps a cou­ple of errands, I already get about 7,500 steps. When I add in a 30-minute walk I can eas­ily get 10,000 steps. But 12,000 does take more effort for me. Some of the ways I try to get extra steps:

    –Park­ing waaaaayyy on the far side of the park­ing lot;
    –Car­ry­ing things upstairs and down­stairs as I think about it rather than putting a lit­tle pile on the bot­tom step to take up at one time;
    –Walk­ing out­side with the lit­tle dogs dur­ing potty time rather than just stand­ing there;
    –Stand­ing and walk­ing around while I talk on the phone;
    –And, my favorite, drink­ing a great deal of green tea so I have to walk back and forth to the bath­room quite a lot.

      So there you have it. If I haven’t vis­ited you lately, it’s because of this new part-time job. S&M Greg says my energy level will start to improve soon so that I’ll be able to leap tall build­ings in a sin­gle bound, yadda yadda. Per­haps I’ll also have the energy to catch up with my blog reading.

      Keep Reading
      There are 2 comments
      Filed in: Lifestyle
      Tags: , ,

      Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, is now available from Taunton Press. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.


      Email Updates

      To get the latest Bumblebee posts in your email box, just enter your email address.

    • Tags

    • Recent Posts

    • Google