Category Archives: About

He Ate A Glass Ornament

We are so excited to introduce the newest member of our family, Otis! 

Meet Otis

TimTheFarmer brought up the idea of getting the kiddo a dog for Christmas about a month ago. We’ve always talked about a second dog once we had a bigger house, but I still thought he was crazy with timing. I’m busy with work, he’s starting a new job (more on that later), and it’s winter – the thought of house training a dog in the snow sounded like a nightmare. It slowly started to appear that the El Niño predictions they’d made for this region were playing out as expected … 69 degrees and raining on Christmas?? Really?!? So, for the short term, the winter concerns weren’t really an issue. 


We debated adoption vs. finding the kind of dog we wanted (both of which we had very different opinions about) and agreed that we’d start looking, but wouldn’t rush it for Christmas. Then, I was scheduled to be in NYC for work two weekends ago and noticed on Facebook that Best Friends Animal Society was hosting a holiday adoption event when I was supposed to be there. My coworker and I took an earlier train to the city and went to check out to all the doggies. The Super Adoption event brought in shelters from around the greater NYC region and there were lots of dogs to meet. A former student of mine runs marketing for Best Friends and she immediately directed me towards Otis (formerly known as Christopher). I sent TimTheFarmer a few pics of Otis, a black lab mix who was super floppy, very lovable, and loved to play. We decided he was supposed to be ours.

Otis Kennel

Since I couldn’t take him home on the train with me, we worked out a plan to pick him up on Sunday in Brooklyn. During the week, I received some pictures and videos from the foster home where he was already living a with a pug #meanttobe?? This video is really what sold us on him.

TimTheFarmer told the kiddo he needed pick up something for work in Brooklyn and they headed to the city. Even as they walked into PetSmart, the kiddo had no idea that they were there for Otis. It wasn’t until TimTheFarmer asked if he wanted to take Otis home, that the kiddo learned the surprise. By all accounts, he was super surprised and excited – perfect! I got the following selfie-text which was the sweetest.


Taz and Otis got along immediately and have been alternately wrestling, napping, and humping since Otis arrived. 

OtisTaz OtisTaz1

The best part? We’d hoped Otis would really be the kiddo’s dog and they bonded instantly. They slept in the backseat the whole ride home and the kiddo is Otis’ favorite. He’s wild most of the day, but when the kiddo goes to bed, Otis climbs into bed with him and stays there all night #sosweet.


We’ve only had a few minor mishaps in the first 48 hours. Otis had to get used to country life and the fact that dogs pee outside around here – luckily he’s only had a couple accidents on the wood floor, but when he does, it literally sounds like a horse is peeing in our house. TMI? The other primary issue is that he likes to chew things all.the.time … which pretty much makes him a normal puppy … until you leave him at home for the first time for two hours and you come home a half chewed glass ornament. WTF?? I couldn’t believe we me might already have a huge vet bill within 18 hours of bringing him home. I consulted the vet (who’s not even Otis’ vet yet) and they said to feed him lots of bread and keep an eye on him. He also ate Paddington’s legs off, which may have helped cushion the glass in his tummy, because he seems fine. 


So, welcome to the family Otis! It totally feels like you were supposed to be ours. No more glass ornaments though, please.

P.S. Using my dog breed expertise (which would also decide that my puggle (pug-beagle mix) is actually a mini boxer, which is totally a breed), I have concluded that Otis is a mix of black lab and great dane and maybe something else. The adoption sheet says chow chow, but once I looked up what the heck that is, I decided they must have been smoking something. Originally we thought pit bull, but when you study him, you’ll notice a huge head that looks like a great dane, giant paws, a very long skinny tale, a slopey backside with his hips lower than shoulders, and super narrow shoulders/hips. He also walks like a horse, which I associate with great danes. He’s not huge, luckily, but is lanky enough to stand with Taz completely underneath him, which I hope to capture on camera soon. Just in case you wondering what kind of dog I think he is. 🙂

What’s In A Name?

I grew up in Colorado where my parents both moved from out-of-state to go to college in the seventies. This meant that we only got to see our grandparents once or twice a year when we would travel to Connecticut or California to visit, or they would come see us. Every time we would see them, they would want to hear all about our lives. We recently lost my paternal grandfather—Pops—and as we remembered him, everyone reflected on how he would always say “Isn’t that grand?” in wonder and amazement when we would tell him stories. I always loved when he would react to my stories with that phrase, both because it felt like a phrase from another era and and because I felt that he was genuinely excited for me.

Grandkids & Great-grandkids

Grandkids & Great-grandkids

I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a blog to chronicle my misadventures for a few years and was always held up on what I would name my blog. After Pops passed away, while on a flight to Puerto Rico for my honeymoon (one of my many misadventures…the honeymoon, not the marriage), I realized Pops had named it for me.

To me, Isn’t It Grand is a tribute to Pops and Happy Nana and Uncle David and Rose, all of whom always loved to hear my stories and are now watching over me and my family. It is also what I hope to be my mantra – an effort to always find the joy and awe in life, even in the small things.


Thanks to Ginny, a close family friend, I have developed a love of acronyms. The problem is, once I left Colorado and my community that spoke in acronyms regularly, people look at me like I’m crazy if I use one. Since I fully plan to use them here, I thought I’d provide you with a key to my acronym usage.

GTK: Good to know
WTF: Well, you know what this means…
TMI: Too much information
FYI BTW: For your information, by the way (a weird acronym combo TimTheFarmer and I use)
FIL: Father-in-Law
MIL: Mother-in-Law
DIY: Do it yourself (duh)
SOOL: Sh*t out of luck
NBD: No big deal
PIA: Pain in the you-know-what

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