Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I wish someone would explain to the Duchess of Sussex that she doesn't need to hold the baby up all the time.

Megs, darling, hasn't anyone explained to you that the baby won't just fall out in between your legs and land on his or her royal head?

Are you confused about how babies are born, or is "cradling the bump" a sign that you'll be one of those super clingy mothers who breast feeds until the kid is ten and follows him (or her) around the playground constantly to make sure no royal knees get scraped? Will you be cradling that very large baby when it's time to go to college? If you are, I assure you, your child will be desperate to escape.

Listen to me, Dear Duchess: you only need to hold onto the baby if your water breaks while you have a sudden, mighty contraction, and Harry lies on his back, looks between your legs and says, OH MY GOD! I CAN SEE THE HEAD AND YES, THE HAIR IS RED! (that will be followed by a sigh of relief on Harry's part because he'll be sure that he really is the baby daddy and you did not sneak off for a nookie night with older brother William but Harry's suspicion is the cause of this falling out that William and Harry have allegedly had and then Harry will rush into his brother's arms and shout WHAT A FOOL I'VE BEEN. YOU'RE THE BEST BROTHER IN THE WORLD AND I'LL NEVER COMPLAIN AGAIN ABOUT GIVING YOU MUMMY'S ENGAGEMENT RING FOR KATE.)

If all of that happens, Duchess of Sussex, then you should hold onto the baby until someone is ready to catch that right royal rug rat.

But for now, please let go. The baby will stay in place until you have serious contractions and start acting out your birth plan, whatever it is.

And although I think the Duchess of Cambridge is lovely, please don't go out wearing full make-up and high heels to show off the baby ten minutes after the birth. It makes all the other women of the world feel inadequate. Or even more inadequate than usual.

Let go.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, April 18, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I first published IN WHICH PENELOPE LEARNS TO BARK on Sept. 2, 2016, as we awaited a hurricane. Her writing was not yet the model of perfection that it is now. Her bark was brand new. She barks more now, but I don't mind if the dogs bark. They let me know when strangers are near or if something is not right. If they bark a lot in the backyard, I call them in so they won't bother the neighbors, but I take a look around to make sure everything is okay.

I appreciate my pups.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Hello. It is I, Penelope.

Mom Mom and Human Brother say Hurricane might visit. Hurricane's name is Hermine. Mom Mom and Human Brother purchased treats for Hermine to eat. Perhaps I shall receive a treat?

Soon it will be a year since I got in Mom Mom's car and came to live with her and Nice Brother Franklin.

I smile more. I also learned to make noises. Mom Mom inquired of me, When will you start to bark, Penelope?

I thought, Bark? It is on trees. I am not a tree. I am a lady dog.

Then a few weeks ago, our daddy, Willy Dunne Wooters, came in the front door without announcing his presence. I was startled. A noise came out of my throat. Mom Mom said it sounded like a cough, but she thought I attempted a Bark.

I thought more about Bark and decided it is the noise my Nice Brother Franklin makes when he chats with Daisy the dog next door or when Jehovah's Witnesses ring the doorbell. I tried to make the same noise. It would not come out of me.

Human Brother came to our house when I did not expect him. (I do not understand all these uninvited guests: Daddy Wooters, Human Brother, Hermine. House is Mine with Mom Mom and Nice Brother Franklin.) Suddenly Bark came out of me and it grew and grew and before I knew it, Mom Mom said, Why, Penelope! You can Bark and Growl. You will scare away bad people if they come to our house.

I do not know how I make Bark and Growl but somehow I have learned to make Bark and Growl and Mom Mom is pleased. Human Brother does not understand. He thinks I do not like him. I love Human Brother. He helped rescue me when I came to live here and I did not know how to go inside House.

He startles me. Startle makes the Bark and Growl grow in me. 

Perhaps I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Dr. Psychiatrist should be consulted.

Now I choose to nap until Hermine goes gone.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I walked out of the office and down the hall toward my bedroom, and it was there on the floor. Alive. Extra large. Not moving.

I stomped the hell out of it and somehow didn't kill it. It ran into my bedroom and underneath the dressing table.


I Usain Bolted to grab the buy spray in the hope that I could flush it out. Squirt . . . squirt . . . squirt . . . under and behind the dressing table. Behind the wardrobe.

It didn't come out. I got a flashlight and lowered myself to my knees to look under the furniture.

Nothing but dust bunnies and dog hair.

Penelope came in to take a look. She's still looking. She must remember the time she killed a palmetto bug in the office.

Has Penelope become a great black-and-white palmetto hunter? I hope so.

May God be with you on your quest, Penelope.

I'll let you know if we find . . . it, or another of its ilk.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug