Hello my friends!

As promised I have attached a photo of last week’s extraction.

Still Life: Dead Rat.


My apologies to those of you who would have preferred I show the unbagged version of what lay decomposing under my house. Believe me, I would have loved to. But I have a line–it’s thick and bold and drawn at a “dead rodent teeming with maggots”. Even the professional was dry heaving.

I do wish I had the temperament of sociopath–if only for the time needed to photograph and post the vile creature, because a teaching moment was lost. Mother Nature went to town on this beast and I am censoring her work. So I would like to teach something else so you don’t feel cheated. I call that something: The Rest of Your Life.

I have given this advice to the daughter I don’t have. And now I will give it to you.

1. Know the difference between love and infatuation. Love feels like being safe and at peace. Infatuation feels like a power struggle with a side of pit in your stomach.

2. Handle your finances. Never surrender that power and/or knowledge to your partner. If you are a stay-at-home mom or dad and don’t earn an income make sure you write the checks, have access to the accounts, and understand what’s going on. It’s easy to be ignorant in this area. Especially if you’re like me and numbers remind you of dead rats. But I have seen too many people get taken advantage of here. And I won’t let that happen to you.

3. If you are considering marriage ask yourself one question: Can I see myself growing old with this person? Can I see us taking care of each other when we start pooing our adult diapers? Like can I really see it? Zoom in on that person’s expression as they hose you down. Are you both laughing or do you feel shamed and pathetic? If not you’re not laughing you’re about to make a terrible mistake.

4. When a friend is in need don’t ask if you can do anything to help. Show up.

5. If you want to be loved, be loveable.

You’re welcome.

Happy Memorial Day. Take time out of your potato sack races to think of those who lost their lives and loved ones for us.




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  • deseraemcg says:

    Love the advice Lisi!!! Also really glad you dissed Mother Nature for our sakes. Haha!

  • Laila N says:

    Oh, Lisi. Number one. If I’d known that like 8 months ago, it would have saved me a lot of trouble. But I wonder if I would have listened then. Do you think that sometimes you just have to let people screw up a little? Because I feel like at that point in time, I really desperately wanted to believe in something, and the only way I can agree that you’re right now is because that’s how it unfolded then. Or do you think that, for example, if a friend was to go through the same thing, it’s my responsibility to stage an intervention and abort the relationship at all costs? Although I’m not in the middle of any particular crisis, I do, oftentimes, find myself in situations where I’m not sure exactly what my role as a friend is…

    • Deserae McG says:

      Ooo. Again, not Lisi. But Laila, you are wise and kind and strong. You’re right. Sometimes we have to make mistakes. But if you ever feel in your heart that you should say something, share your story/experience, reach out in anyway to help cushion the fall, soften the blow, or ready the path– if ever you’re in a place to help someone and you feel in your gut that you should, don’t ever ignore that feeling. You never know how you can bless someone, you know? And even if you misread or your help isn’t wanted, at least you tried. And that person knows you tried. Because they’ll know who they can go to when they’re ready to vent or talk or get some help. Your role as a friend is always the same and it’s very simple:

      Just be there.

      Be there to listen. Be there to lean on. Be there to help.

      Just be there.

      Okay. :]

      Trust your gut!

      • Laila N says:

        Okay ^_^ Thanks Deserae – you sound spot on to me.♥ It’s funny because I fee like I know these things, but I need to have someone remind me every now and again. Don’t know why, but it helps.

        P.s. My sister calls me ‘cow’ a lot too. Funny that. She gets ‘donkey’, though… 😉

      • deseraemcg says:

        Hehe! I know you know. Happy to remind you anytime.

        (ALSO irrationally giddy about having a shared nickname. In my family, everyone’s a cow. Occasionally, a wildebeest, a mongoose, a barracuda, or a turkey. Haha!)

  • This is great advice, especially number one. Too many times I’ve seen people confuse love with infatuation and it not ending well. But what really got me thinking was number four, which is something I could actually use advice on. I’ve had this one friend for over eight years now and she would always tell me that she never wants to lose our friendship and that I could always go to her when something is wrong. Well lately I’ve been going through a rough time in my life, so I’ve been going to her and opening up. There have been times in the past few months where things have gotten so bad where I felt like I just couldn’t be alone and needing someone here with me. When I would message her about this, while completely breaking down, all she would say is “I don’t know what to tell you” or she would just send a frowning face and that’s it. Then there was also a time I logged on to Facebook only to she see posted saying she wished friends wouldn’t get her involved in their stuff (replace that with a curse) because she just wanted to be with her boyfriend. I knew it was about me because it was posted right after I called her crying because I didn’t know what to do. So my question is, do I bring this all up to her and see if she understands or do I end an eight year friendship that’s starting to feel one sided on my part?
    It’s be really great to get some opinions on this.

    • Deserae McG says:

      Hey, Dylan,

      I am no Lisi Harrison (and my sister often calls me “Cow” instead of “Desi”), but you know, I like to remind her and anyone else dealing with friendship problems of this: a friendship is also a relationship. That means it should go both ways.

      The thing is, friendships, like all relationships, change. It might just be that you two aren’t as close anymore. That doesn’t mean you aren’t still friends! But if you feel like what you want in this relationship isn’t being realized and (this part is super important!) you really feel like it’ll be worth it to say something (aka what you had in your friendship before is worth reclaiming), then you definitely should say something. For sure. Like whatcha waiting for???

      But if you can be okay with where you two are at… If you can understand her where she’s at right now and can do your own thing while she goes on to do hers… Things have changed for you too. And that’s okay! And if you end up talking to her this second time and you don’t get the kind of response you need (since we probs never will get the kind of response we want, need is the better indicator in a case like this)… Things have just changed in general. And trust me. That’s okay, too. I think you’re a brave and a really mature person to want to put all of these feels on the table. Just don’t go into it AFRAID of the idea of things changing or having changed. Change can be a great thing. It opens you up to new experiences. And here’s another (not-so-secret) secret: it doesn’t necessarily have to mean “the end.”

      Wishing you lots of luck and love,

  • Shaila Gottlieb says:

    Dear Lisi,

    Great advice. I’m printing it to give to my granddaughter .

    So glad the rat is gone…maggots are BRUTAL!


  • Kaitlyn says:

    Love the advice!

  • Rhea says:

    Great advice, Lisi! <3

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