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Maxwell Learns Restraint: If Only Disobedient Dogs Could Talk

Fact of life—we all need to learn restraint. Though I’m not as well trained as other terriers, even the best of us falters off the leash. I know what you’re thinking—Toto never wore a leash in The Wizard of Oz. Toto was the Babe Ruth, the Jack Nicklaus, the Pelé of Cairns. None of the rest of us can ever measure up. So, do us all a favor and lose the mental picture of Toto trotting happily behind Dorothy on the yellow brick road. Nothing robs us of our natural pluck more than these endless comparisons to the quintessential Cairn of the silver screen.

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A yarn for y'all, perfect for fall...

Ask anybody in these parts, and they’ll tell you nobody grows a finer pumpkin than Walt Spitzel. People surely tried. Can’t be done. Walt took the blue ribbon in the pumpkin division at the county fair for the last nine years running. Now, it’s no cakewalk growing pumpkins in the Adirondacks. We have fewer frost free days than pumpkins need to mature, especially the Big Max and Atlantic Giant varieties—two of Walt’s favorites. Up here, we just don’t have enough heat and sun for the really big boys.

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Gems, Lies, and Elephant Tusks

“Enjoy the reception,” intoned the president of the Not-Quite-Ivy Singles Club. “And the museum. Make it a goal to meet someone new this evening. Since we have the place to ourselves, mill about. I recommend catching the Carmen Lúcia.” The woman glanced at her notes on the podium. “A stunning Burmese ruby, the newest acquisition in the Hooker Geology Hall.” Mindy’s attention drifted from the speaker to a pair of hulking tusks overhead. Normally she avoided the mix-and-mingle scene. But the Museum of Natural History sounded like something a cut above, a classy place to meet the right kind of guy.

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Oh, what a beautiful mind!

Note to readers: My beautiful mother Jessica passed away last Monday at 88 years old, after surviving a disabling illness for 38 years. Read her story. Then you'll know why I'll miss her so much and why she is my family hero.

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Suburban Mommy Monsters

If I am being honest, I am glad to have an adult child at this point in my life and to be freed from the day-to-day travails of child rearing. Reflections on my young mommy years have drawn me into silent mommy watching all around me--on the train, in restaurants, and at the grocery store.

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