Fergie, Duchess and Bird Dog

Fergie Love. Photo credit: Author

She smiled at us with her whole body, her white flag tail waving madly, a grin on that sweet doggie face. How could we resist this gorgeous animal who clearly wanted to go home with us? It was love at first sight, remarkably, for both of us.

The Search for the Perfect Companion

My partner and I had been visiting all the shelters in our area, looking for a sweet-tempered adult dog that we could both love. We came at this decision from opposite ends of the dog spectrum. When we got together, he had a Great Pyrenees mix, a placid giant named Alley, for the…

No clutter-shaming here

I always smile when I see authors I follow writing about messiness in a positive way. The first one showed up in my inbox today, which prompted me to go…

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Photo by Shane on Unsplash

I wish the second-wave feminist gender-neutral tey/tem/ter had caught on in the 1970s. Gender identity and expression wouldn’t have to be communicated in pronouns. My signature wouldn’t need to be Marie Jones (she/her/hers) because tey/tem/ter would be the norm for everyone. And the words would be firmly entrenched by now, accepted and habitual.

It would certainly be simpler for old dogs like me. My intellect and my heart want to always support my non-binary, agender, and trans friends. My mouth and grammatical habits have a harder time.

In my (small-town, small-college) relatively limited world, people aren’t choosing from among the…

Climate Normals reset next month.

Photo by Kseniia Zaitseva on Unsplash

Fun fact: When your local TV meteorologist tells you that today’s temperature is “above normal” that’s not just an average temperature for the last forever-number of years. It’s actually based on a thirty-year average from…

wait for it…


If you aren’t surprised by that, you are a bigger weather geek than my spouse. And he watches TV weather and checks the forecast on his phone more often than a nervous parent checks a newborn. We’re talking geeek.

But I digress.

What are Climate Normals?

It turns out that climatologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA NCEI)…

Trust me, I’m a librarian

Photo by mike giovinazzo on Unsplash

Since librarians are all about credible sources of information (and seriously cool boots), I have scoured the interwebs to get the real scoop on COVID vaccines for all of you. Here are FAQs and links to deeper answers and source materials. They may help you talk with anti-vaxxers or inform yourself if you have questions.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective?

Yes, research indicates that they are safe and effective. The vaccines were tested in large clinical trials that included people with various medical conditions, and different ages, races, and ethnicities.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed all of the data gathered in these…

And how I’m fixing it.

Photo by Goran Ivos on Unsplash

I have been late for meetings more often since the pandemic began than I ever have in my life. I hate feeling that I’ve wasted other people’s time or hurt my reputation when people have to wait for me.

How is it possible that I am later for Zoom meetings than I am for in-person meetings? Thinking through the process of how I usually get places on time helped me diagnose the cause of my tardiness and fix it.

If you are perpetually late or just having an issue with some part of your life right now, you can apply…

A little empathy goes a long way

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

It’s mid-semester. We’re tired. We’re all so tired. In many colleges and universities, there is no spring break as we power straight through to graduation.

As moods dip, how many of us suspect the worst of every student? Do you open a class session on Zoom and imagine that every student with their camera off and mike muted is actually at the beach, throwing back a cold one, with hundreds of other Spring Breakers?

If you suspect that every student is trying to get away with doing as little work as possible, how does that suspicion color your interactions?

The dead grandmother


Marie Jones, EdD

Librarian. Content Creator. Curious human. Exploring inconsistent organization, messy productivity, and miscellany. (She/Her/Hers) www.messydeskconsulting.com

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