Month: October 2013

It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s An…Otter?

I have a special story coming out to play today. A legend, really. Remember my loon-bird family? (if you’re new here, read this) Well, one of them came to my house dressed as a Superhero Otter once. I shit you negative. Let me explain.

It all started when a conversation began about what super power you’d choose if you could. My family had no trouble picking theirs, ranging everywhere from mind-control to invisibility. This morphed into picking actual Superhero identities, and yes, even designing hypothetical costumes cuz we’re weird detail oriented like that. But this story is about Aunt Anne, who chose to be the Superhero Otter, because they have the power make people smile and diffuse uncomfortable situations with their water acrobatics and undeniable cuteness.

otter-13081586

Go ahead. Try not to smile.

One day my eldest son – nearly four at the time –  was home sick from preschool when Aunt Anne called. We were chatting away when my son demanded to know who I was talking to. Aunt Anne said, “tell him it’s the Superhero Otter.” Upon hearing this he wanted to speak to her, of course. They spoke on the phone for a few minutes while I watched my son’s eyes light up with wonder.

Because things can’t be dropped at this stage in my family, an idea grew that Superero Otter would come visit my son; he had questions, after all, and wanted to see this Otter in person. My Aunt is not one to let little boys down. One might assume she just bought a mask and came over one day.

*throws head back in laughter*

Nearly six weeks later, she arrived at our door in a handmade, head-to-toe otter costume, complete with whiskers and claws. The hubs and I could barely keep a straight face. Her voice was diguised with a deeper, huskier one. She brought fried fish to share for lunch, and real seashells for my son to keep. She spent over an hour with him, chatting and answering his many questions. My son was amazed, mesmerized, gobsmacked! He took her by the paw and showed her his room and toys. It was all at once the most bizarre, hilarious, precious thing I’d ever witnessed.

sleepy-river-otter-caught-off-guard-20670412

Like this, but 5’6″ and with a cape.

Yes, our now 9yo still believes in the Superhero Otter, as does our 6yo. Periodically, Otter leaves small toys and shells hidden around the house to let them know she’s been there to check on them. And they know if they ever need help, all they have to do is think to her real hard, and she’ll always be there for them.

Someday they’ll learn the truth about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. But Otter will sting the most. Or will it? For the boys to know Aunt Anne cares so much about them she would go to these lengths just to entertain and be a part of their lives….I hope, if anything, it proves to them Superheroes really do exist.

If I could pick a power it’d be the ability to instantaneously time travel, any place, any era. Let’s play! What would your power be? Who’s your inner Superhero? Do you have someone in your life that could be defined as a Superhero? I LOVE your comments!

How Many F#!@% Cats Do You Have?

This is my inaugural Finish The Sentence Friday Post! With this particular prompt, I couldn’t resist. You’ll see why:

One Halloween I…

met the greatest guy in.the.world. I was at a bar with a friend, and this cute guy asked Frank-the-bartender who the girl with the beautiful smile was. Three hours of non-stop chatter later, I gave the cute guy my number on a cocktail napkin. We still have that napkin.

That cute guy had his work cut out for him. For one, at that time I had eight cats. Let that sink in for a minute. Eight. Cats. For some insane reason, that didn’t deter him. He not only pretended to like them in the beginning, he scooped litter and cleaned hairballs for fifteen years until the last one passed away.

PaPa?

He tolerated the year I quit smoking, which is also the year I chewed Nicorrette gum and gained twelve pounds, which is also the year he woke up with Nicorrette gum stuck in his armpit hair cuz I always fell asleep with the gum in my mouth. He patiently helped while I graduated college, supported me when I decided what I really wanted to do had absolutely nothing to do with my degree, and cheered me on through years of trying to figure myself out.

He has an incredibly stressful job…but you’d never know it. Somehow he’s able to leave his high-stress world at the door when he comes home to us, always making time to take the boys for a bike ride, or help with homework, or wrestle with them before bedtime. And I don’t think a day has gone by in over 17 years that he hasn’t told me I’m beautiful.

He changed diapers, scoops poop, walks dogs, makes my coffee Every.Single.Morning, puts up with my crazy antics, tolerates the fact that I don’t like to cook, and how I always leave that one cabinet door open. His family is awesomesauce, (yes, even my MIL!) and he didn’t care that I didn’t want a wedding. I’m in absolute awe of his patience and tenacity, and I’m so proud of the husband, father, and bad-to-the-bone mountain biking athlete he is.

my bad-ass better half

my bad-ass better half

If you know me, you know I’m not a mushy girl. This post is probably the mushiest thing I’ve ever done for him. To this day, I’ve only mustered the L-word a few times, you know, on very special occasions. We don’t throw it around like “hello” and “goodbye”. In fact, we literally say “L-word” in lieu of the other three words. If I do say “it”, I have to throw in cuss words to make it sound less fluffy. I’m adorable like that.

Fortunately, he’s the same way, although he’d admit to being the more sentimental one. In fact, it’s uncanny how alike we are. There’s no doubt in my mind that Halloween night of 1996 was Devine Intervention. The Universe…or maybe guardian angels…making sure I got someone who would take care of me (and all my crazy animals) forever.

So without further ado, Happy Halloweenaversary, Jim. I fucking love the shit outta you. (I tried, but I still have to cuss. Some things never change)

*This post is part of Friday’s Finish the Sentence Blog Hop, hosted by Finding Ninnee, Kate Whinehall, Mommy is For Real and Confessions of a Mommyaholic

Finish the Sentence Friday

Hey, You Have Hay On Your Gucci!

I was lucky enough to be one of the parents chaperoning my kid’s class field trip to the pumpkin patch yesterday. It was a beautiful day, perfect weather for hay rides and apple cider. As you know, pumpkins patches are not held in malls. They can be messy places, typically held on farms with dirt, hay, goats, feces, and chickens…you know. When choosing your outfit for this adventure, you’ll want to opt for things that conjure these words:

comfortable, easy, can get dirty, low-maintenance, not my nicest.

You get the idea. A lot of the moms did just that, but just as many dressed like it was date night, and by date night I mean walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes.

Why? Please tell me why on a day you know you’ll be sitting on hay and helping your child feed goats would you choose skin-tight hot pants, high heeled boots (Let that sink in a minute. Heels. In dirt), a silk blouse, your best bling jewelry, more make-up than I wore on my wedding day, a designer purse the size of a VW Bug, and enough perfume to turn away livestock? WHY.

I think there's hay stuck to my ass

I think there’s hay stuck to my ass

These are questions I genuinely want answers to:

*Was this their one chance to dress up and they’re just goin’ for it, balls-to-the-wall? Cuz if that’s it, I kind of respect that. But I don’t think that’s it.
*Do they dress like this all the time? Like even to the grocery store?
*Do they look down on “jeans/t-shirt” moms?
*I have to know what’s in the giant purse. I think there’s a dead body in there. Cuz it would fit.
*Do they smell their own perfume? Seriously. Wassup with the perfume?

Okay. Off my soapbox. *bows gracefully*

So I’m at the pumpkin patch with this other “jeans/t-shirt” mom who I really like. I’ve only chatted with her once, but I’m kind of enamored with her cuz she’s a big time runner, and I suck at running. Anyway, she’s super laid-back and cool. When she sees me she jumps next to me all happy and rubs her shoulder into mine. I was surprised cuz most people who I’ve only met once-ish don’t get cozy so quickly, but I tend to be super hesitant with touching and personal space so what the hell do I know. I have to say, while it was out of my comfort zone, it was endearing.

Later in the day, she’s telling a story and to demonstrate something she throws her arm around my neck. Again, I was flattered that she felt chummy enough to do this. I was in NO WAY offended or put off, it just got my attention because I’m so….I guess….not the touch-y type. With good friends, of course, I’ll link arms and hug and stuff, but I’m talking newer people. I’m certainly not a “hugger” unless genuinely inspired.

*before you get a visual of the hubs chasing me around like PePe le Pew, I do not have trouble with THAT kind of physicality thankyouverymuch*

This made me really think about how profound social cues are. Her behavior told me things about her. Things like: she’s confident; approachable; friendly; she really likes me; we’re friends. That’s interesting to me. It made me wonder what my posture tells people? Do I come off less approachable than I think? I feel like a friendly, harmless Labrador just (desperately) waiting for someone to play with…but maybe I look more like an uppity poodle. I’m not suggesting I go touch all over people – that would be so far out of character for me I would implode. But perhaps standing six feet away with my arms crossed sends a mixed message.

I’m very animated and friendly when I do, finally, talk so maybe that makes up for what I lack in positive social cues. I really don’t know. I sort of wish I could watch a tape of me at a social function and see how I act, but then again, there’s not enough alcohol in the world to undo the trauma of seeing myself on video.

Okay, so this was really two posts in one, but the events were intertwined so eff it. I’m efficient today, whatcanisay? And I wasn’t even drinking when I wrote this! Oh, wine counts? I was so drinking.

what kind of dog are you?

what kind of dog are you?

I gotsta know: How do you feel about personal space? Are you touchy feely? Do you like it when others are? What do think your posture tell others about you? If you were a dog, which breed would you be? Oh, and if overdressers drive you bananas, lemme hear about it! I LOVE your comments!

The Apple Don’t Fall Far From The Nut Tree

One of my favorite childhood recollections is one where my whole family is gathered around the table for a big holiday meal. I glance over, and there’s one of my aunts looking right at me, completely serious…with an entire stalk of broccoli hanging out of her nose.

This is my family in a nutshell.

The most consistent theme running through my family memories is humor. Not just witty remarks and fart jokes, we’re talking complete lunacy. It would take a novel to recount all the bizarre/hilarious stories (and don’t think for a second I haven’t thought of that), but a recent conversation on a group email stream inspired me to really think about where I come from. The following conversation is verbatim, except where it isn’t, and yes, they are being completely serious. *names have been changed to protect the deranged. **yes, everyone still calls me Bethie, which I adore.

Polly: Meredith, do you have my braid of hair?

Anne: Yes, I believe I do. It’s somewhere around here in a paper bag.

Marge: Aunt Destiny’s hair? That has to go to Bethie when we’re all gone.

Polly: No, I’m talking about my hair. Aunt Destiny’s hair is being kept by Karen and probably won’t go to Bethie, although you never know. It does have to stay in the family. If they run out of people to hand it down to, it will have to come this way.

Me: What the what? A bag. Of hair. Why does Anne have a bag with your hair in it (ew)? And why is there some other hair (who is Aunt Destiny? that’s a stripper name btw) and why does her hair have to stay in the family? IAMNOTTAKINGIT.

Polly: Aunt Destiny’s hair is charmed. It is carried to ward off evil and disease. Generations ago, she died at a young age but had magnificent hair which they cut at her death. The family thought it brought good luck (but not for Aunt Destiny). So they kept it. Now our cousin Karen has it.

Marge: We’re a very superstitious family.

Me: How can I just be finding out about this? A bag of dead-girl-charmed-hair is a big matzo ball. You can’t just drop that in casual conversation. Wait, why does Anne have a paper bag of your hair, Polly?  Don’t tell me yours is “charmed” too? *winces while waiting for answer*f

Jane: What until you hear about the knife from Da’s shop. You’ll probably get that too.

Me: WHAT

Polly: Don’t listen to her. My hair is just from when I cut it all off ages ago. You couldn’t give it to the Cancer Society back then, so you just kept it. Somehow Anne ended up with it.

Me: Uh-huh. I can’t believe I’m going to ask this, but if your hair is in a paper bag, what is the charmed hair in?

Polly: An ivory case

Me: Of course it is

This is my family. They’re zany, superstitious, clever, dramatic, funny, creative, and you should avoid taking them in public.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How would you describe your family? Does yours have strange traditions or superstitions? Are there things about yourself you’re glad you got from them? Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

Lock Jaw and Night Vision, Heed the Farning!

Definition: Farning. Using fear to impress danger upon someone. ex: Don’t eat that or you’ll die. My mom was the master of this. Still is actually. She’s very…mmm…dramatic is a good word. I say this with affection. Probably.

I bring this up because many of her farnings had a definite effect on me. I guess this is a good thing when your intent is to keep a child from potential harm, but what if it continues well into adulthood? Here’s a sampling of my nut farm childhood:

1. Don’t talk on the phone during a storm or lightning will strike the house, go through the phone line and fry you like an egg. (even though this is only relevant if you’re on an “old fashioned” plug-in phone, I still won’t talk on my cell phone during storms)

2. If you get scraped by a rusty nail and you’re behind on tetanus you’ll get lock jaw and night vision. (Can you imagine the visual I had of this as a six year old? Although I’m intrigued by the idea of night vision, I’m still horrified by lock-jaw, cuz LOCK JAW)

3. Check all canned foods for botulism. If you eat something with botulism you’ll die within 5 minutes. (I still obsessively check cans for the “pop” and will not use one if it has even a tiny dent. I was so paranoid about this, I wouldn’t even eat canned food unless someone else was home until I was well into my twenties)

4. If you see a van driving next to you, RUN! Kidnappers drive vans and grab little kids and you’ll never see your family again. (um…no joke, I’m still scared shitless of vans. In fact, I’m quite skittish and always feel vulnerable when out in the open. My BFF finds this highly amusing)

5. Don’t take hot showers if you’re on your period, you could pass out, and could hit your head on the tile and drown. (*blank stare*) (To be honest, I think I heard this one from Girl Scouts, but my mom added the fear element of a head injury and possible drowning because merely “passing out” wasn’t enough of a warning. Obviously)

Now, maybe I was a super sensitive kid who took warnings very literal and that’s why they affected me so profoundly. OR, maybe the farnings were a bit too…hmm….harsh given my age at the time and could have been phrased more gently. *shrug* But it does give me pause when considering how to warn my own kids. For instance:

I see my 9yo playing in the street the other day. My warning, “get out of the street, you could get hit by a car” is no longer making an impact. I can tell. Cuz he’s still in the street. Herein lies my dilemma. How far do I go to impress upon him the gravity of the situation while not causing him to cower in the house the rest of his life cuz of mommy’s colorful description of brain matter on the asphalt?

When my 6yo is scared/mad he’ll run out of the house and hide under one of our cars (charming, btw). A few Saturdays ago he was upset he was being left with a sitter and did just that. The sitter was already in the house. The hubs and I had somewhere to be. I stomped walked patiently to the car. He was wedged all the way in the middle and refused to budge. What did I do? I reverted to what I knew.

“Hurry and get out from under there! There’s a storm coming, you can’t be near large metal objects when there’s lightning!” (FYI, there really were *storm clouds.)

Awful, or not? I mean, that’s true about lightning, everyone knows that. And it worked! We got him inside and made our movie on time. Yes, he’s terrified of lightning now, but he already sort of was so I still see this as a WIN.

The thing is, I know my mom’s heart was in the right place. I get it. I bring it up all in fun, I mean, if it wasn’t for her farnings, how would I know to go through my kid’s Halloween candy for signs of foul play. You know, cuz Mom warned me how people stick needles in Tootsie Rolls to inject cyanide, and open Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups to insert razor blades and then replace the wrappers.

WHAT.

*by storm clouds I mean some grey clouds on the horizon. And by grey clouds on the horizon I mean an airplane. Shut up. That plane was ominous as shit.

So how far is too far? Was I just overly sensitive as a kid? Do you use fear to keep your kids safe? Did your parents ever give you farnings that still stick with you? I LOVE hearing from you!

Drugs and Sideboob Gratitude Tenfold.

I awoke this morning picking remnants of clingy migraine cobwebs off my brain. The storm has passed, yet I can still see lightning on the horizon, taunting me. I don’t get them much anymore thanks to a daily prescription I’ve been on for the past five years, but every once in a while one sneaks through and reminds how life used to be. Which brings me to number one of my Ten Things of Thankful list:

1. Migraine Drugs. Not only my daily, but also the Big Daddy that massacres any beastly ogre that manages to crash through the castle walls. When the migraine wasn’t gone after two days, I took the Big Daddy drug and SMASHED THE MOFO. I should’ve taken it a day earlier, but I haven’t had to take Big Daddy in several years and, quite frankly, forgot about it. Thank you, drugs. You are no joke and come with side-effects that make me appear dingier than I really am sometimes, but at least I have a life now. You have no idea how grateful I am for you.

2. SIDEBOOB!!! WHY ON EARTH WOULD I BE GRATEFUL FOR SIDEBOOB THAT’S INSANE!! Because it’s an AWARD SILLY! The Golden Sideboob Award, not only created by Lizzi of Considerings, but awarded to me by her as well. This award is for, and I quote, brazenness and hilarity, to be valued by its recipients as a symbol of their awesomeness. Well hot damn, color me honored!! Thank you, Lizzi! I’m quite proud of this award. If there is one thing I try to be it’s honestly funny. Or is it hilariously brazen? Either way, it’s cool to be noticed for it, and even more cool coming from an awesomerockin’, extraordinary, supportive, zany, uber-creative blogger such as Lizzi Rogers. I also gather it’s sort of a dare to see if the recipient will display it on their blog, which I don’t even really see as a dare but more of a privilege since I’m clearly a fan of all things round and hangy, so here goes!

The Golden Sideboob

Now, I’m supposed to award this to one other blogger who I feel is brazenly-hilarious-awesome, hasn’t already received it, and who I also think will display it on their blog. Turns out that’s easier said than done – to pick just one, that is. The next Golden Sideboob Award shall go to:

Kari of Miss bloggypants. I’m new to her blog but so far I love her honesty and she’s made me laugh out loud. I like that combo. Plus, she has a great About page and we both like minty sweets. AND AND AND this is her one year blogging anniversary! WOOP! I don’t know if she accepts awards, but I’m throwing this her way anyway. Happy Anniversary, Kari.

In the tradition of breaking rules (which I’m known for) I’d also like to nominate one other blogger who I believe displays awesomeness that deserves to be spotlighted: Mike over at Joe Floggers. He’s super talented and cool. And he has four grown kids who ALL had braces. I mean….
Plus, I kinda wanna see if he has the cajones to display it on his blog.

Congrats, guys. I genuinely admire both of you.

3. Milo, my dog, who (in my husband’s absence this weekend while he does an out-of-town triathlon. Good luck! Woop!) slept on the Hub’s side of the bed with his head on the pillow like a human and even snored so I wouldn’t feel lonely. Who does that? Milo does, that’s who.

4. My BFF’s longer commute for her new job. She hates it, but I love it because she calls me everyday on her way home. With her longer commute, we now get close to an hour to yap! Some days she is the first adult human I speak to all day. She is the person I can say anything to, ANYTHING. No matter how awful, snarky, or bitchy I sound, and vice-versa. Good posts have come out of those talks. I don’t think I would be sane without them.

5. HALLOWEEN! I have my first Halloween party of the year to attend tonight and I’m so excited! The kids are invited and we all get to dress up – yay! I hope to have photos to share tomorrow. I LOVE to dress up for Halloween. In the past few years I’ve been a witch (2 years in a row and then the kids said I scared them too much), a vampiress, and then Little Red Riding in the Hood last year (notice IN the hood, sort of a pimped out L.R.Riding Hood, pictured below.). Any guesses what I’m going to be this year? HINT: I want to try gory makeup. muwahahahaha.

me and the ghouls

6.  Mike, Clark or any straight man reading this: I apologize in advance. I’m very thankful for the link I’m about to share. Let’s just say it got me through this week. Sometimes a girl just needs a little eye candy to get through the day and Dracula hasn’t premiered yet, so without further ado:
for the ladies (& some guys)  (<<< Hit that linky. You won’t be sorry. Ask Lizzi)

7. I’m ending at seven because I like this number, but also because I’ve tortured you all enough. This has been a long post. I’ll save my other thankfuls for another day. My kiddos are awaiting entertainment and the hubs isn’t here to do it today (but will be home in a few hours in case you are a psycho-killer reading this. My husband is a muscly bad-ass SUCKA). Have a great weekend  everyone!

Ten Things of Thankful

MIDNIGHT ABYSS: Author Interview with Jennifer M Zeiger

IT’S MIDNIGHT IN THE ABYSS…DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR DARKLINGS ARE?

MACover-DraftFinal

As a ginormous fan of things that go bump in the night, I jumped at the chance to interview one of the nine authors of an exciting collection of spine tingling delights set to launch on HALLOWEEN. I mean, could you ask for a better release date?? (The answer to that is hell-to-the-no)

I’m here today with contributing author to Midnight Abyss, Jennifer M. Zeiger. I’m a HUGE fan of the adventure stories she writes on her blog so I’m beyond thrilled to have her hanging out on mine for a bit. She’s been generous enough to answer some questions about herself and the book.

Who are all the authors of Midnight Abyss?
In addition to me, we have Doug Langille, Gregory K Shipman, Shaun Adams, Raymond Tabaygo, Matthew X. Gomez, Theresa Briscoe Tschetter , Anisa A. Claire, and Kelleigh Perry.

Except for Anisa and Kelleigh (who are the masterminds behind all of this), I think we all met on Writer’s Carnival, which is a workshop site for writers. We’ve never met face to face. It boggles my mind how, in this day and age, such collaboration can happen without actually meeting. We span geographically from Canada, East to West coasts of the U.S., to the Isle of Wight in England!

Ah yes, Writer’s Carnival. I think I’ve heard of them (wink, wink:). The cover is awesome! Who designed it?
I love the cover=) Something about it just makes me think ‘that’s perfect!’ And this is another aspect of this collaboration that worked out really well. Anisa’s husband designed it for free. (As some of you know, in the self-publishing world, design stuff can cost a lot.) He does a lot of the design work for Writer’s Carnival and made up several ideas for the cover for Midnight Abyss just to give us options. This is the one that won the vote=)

Was the title a collaboration?
Yes. I missed that Google Hangout, darn it! But couldn’t be happier with the title. Everyone’s so creative in the group that sometimes I feel like I need to up my game or I’ll miss the creative bus=)

Did you learn anything about self-publishing you didn’t know before?
All sorts of things. I was always under the impression that self-publishing was really expensive, and it can be. But it doesn’t have to be. The key is to make connections and to not be afraid to ask for help. Most of the time, people are more than willing to lend a hand if they can.

I’ve also learned a lot about marketing. I’ve always looked at marketing as an annoying aspect of self-publishing but it doesn’t have to be that way. What really makes marketing work, in my humble, inexperienced opinion, is the human connection. Anisa and Kelleigh are really good at this. They’ll spend an hour on Twitter and have conversations with a dozen people. They build the relationship and everything else falls into place naturally.

Those are probably the two biggest things I learned.

How many stories does each author contribute to the book?
Most of us contributed two stories. One long piece between 5,000-7,500 words and one short piece under 1,500 words. Some of the authors used poems too, so there’s a nice variety.

Is this the typical genre you write? What inspires you?
a. Fantasy’s my typical genre. Sometimes I’ll add a darker element to my stories but Midnight Abyss was a stretch for me since it’s horror and dark fantasy. It’s great for my writing because it challenged me to dig deeper, to figure out what scares me and makes me feel emotion.

b. Sneaky Beth, you put two questions in one=) What inspires me? Reading’s a big one. I’ll finish a book and want to sit down to write immediately. Usually whatever I write has a flavor from whatever I read. If I just read romance, I’ll write a more emotional scene or if I read something along the lines of action, I’ll write something with swords or thievery.

Scenery. I love the mountains, the trees in the fall, the smell of pine, fresh fallen snow… but I also love to see new places. Each new place sparks ideas for me. I want to capture all that makes a place unique whether it’s apples growing on trees or types of stones found on the beach or fields growing with wheat. It all inspires me to add texture, depth, to the stories I write.

And I’d say people inspire me. Things people say, the way they act, their views of the world. People are amazing and diverse. And they’re a wealth of ideas. They’re the stuff of stories.

How do you feel now that it’s done and about to be published?
Wow, that was a wild ride! And still is. Unlike with traditional publishing, we don’t have a marketing team working with us, so we’re still working on getting the word out. That work won’t be done for a while, but having a finished product feels amazing. Holding a hard copy book with my name on it, indescribable.

Are you working on any other projects right now?
Several. I’m always working on the blog and the stories and adventures I post there. It keeps me rolling, as it were=)

I’m also working on a novel involving dryads and werecats. I’m about 50,000 words into that one and hope to have the first draft finished by the end of the year.

And lastly, I’ve the first novel I wrote, Escaping Shadows, that I’ve been shopping around to agents. It’s the first in a trilogy, so I’m also working on editing Racing Shadows and Chasing Shadows.

Needless to say, I stay busy when I’m not at my 9-5=) 

To learn more about Midnight Abyss:
Facebook: Midnight Abyss

Twitter: @AbyssMidnight

Goodreads: Midnight Abyss I believe we’re going to do some giveaways for reviews here, so that’s definitely something to look forward to.

Tumblr: TheMidnightAbyss.tumblr.com

Jennifer’s blog

Thank You Jennifer for a great interview, and for yet another reason to be excited about Halloween!!!

Never Give Up, Canine Edition

milo1

It was my youngest son’s birthday weekend and my mom was in town to be part of the festivities. We were cleaning up empty cake plates and shredded wrapping paper when my mom’s cell phone rang.

She’s on the board of the animal welfare society in her small town. Someone called to alert her that a dog had been found limping down the street, apparently shot in the leg, and had been dropped off at a local vet. The vet didn’t think the leg could be saved and plans were to euthanize the pup on Monday.

She was extremely disturbed after hanging up. Her plan was to call the veterinarian first thing Monday morning to stop the euthanasia and get the whole story.

In talking with the vet she learned the dog was not only perfectly healthy, neutered, and friendly, but also heartworm negative. “Heartworm negative?” my mom screeched. “There’s no reason to ever put a heartworm negative animal down. Can you save the leg?” He thought he could after all. “Do the surgery,” she said. “I’ll pay for it.”

About two months later I was visiting my mom for the weekend. I walked to the guest room to set my suitcase down and was greeted by a black and white dog with ridiculous Shrek ears and a bandaged front leg. *cue thunderbolt*

I was in love.

You don’t understand, I’m not really a dog person. That’s not to say I don’t love dogs. I do. But I’ve always thought of myself as more of a cat person.

But this dog. Something about this dog. I mean, he was mine. That’s all there was to it.

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You complete me.

They had named him Gunner (because he’d been shot). Aside from the fact I thought that was kind of sad, I wasn’t crazy about that moniker. But that’s okay, cuz I knew the one that belonged to him the minute I saw his little face. MILO.

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Don’t think for a second I took Milo home that weekend. No-o-o-o. I still had to get it past my husband. My very stubborn husband who was adamant we couldn’t have another dog. But we women are smart. And resourceful. That was Memorial Day weekend.

Milo was home with us by Labor Day.

Rescue stories are not always positive. After all, they potentially come with baggage. You really have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Well, lemme tell you. We were one of the lucky ones. He’s perfect.

No, really.

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He’s kind of a cat-dog. He’s not a barker. I can get on my bike and he’ll just follow me anywhere. You’d never know he almost lost his leg, he’ll run for hours. We can leave the front door wide open – he won’t bolt. The kids can roll all over him, yank on him, dress him up. I shudder to think what could have been his fate had it been someone else on the other end of the phone that day.

He has a kind, gentle soul. He’s….he’s…

Well. He’s Milo.
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How about you? Do you have a pet? I’d love to hear about your furry best friend!  

Can You Smell Them?

I’m baking cookies RIGHT NOW. Can you smell the chocolately goodness? I’m celebrating many things!

1. I spent the morning with a lovely lady who might as well be my sister. We are so close that our kids think they’re cousins, and hers call me “Aunt B”. Yeah, one of those besties. We got pedicures, had a yummo lunch, and then shopped. We both eyed this sweatshirt (photo below) in the 50% off rack at the same time. We both bought it. It’ll do since I can’t have the one I REALLY want from Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – HERE. <<<(DO NOT PRESS THAT LINK IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED. JUST DON’T.)

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Cuz, Epic and Shit.

2. I got my manuscript back from my editor-OMG. My first thoughts? I won’t be doing Nano this year. I have a mountain of work to do! BUT, I knew that going in and I’m so relieved she was able to point out the problems and suggest things I can do to steer it in a better direction. It’s all a bit overwhelming, but at the same time I’m really excited and anxious to get started.

3. I’m VERY excited to have a few minutes of time and inspiration to finally post something new and have my previous title out of my face. I’m tired of seeing my exploding boobs everywhere. I’m sure you concur.

4. OctPoWriMo. A challenge to write a poem each day the month of October. It has sparked creativity I didn’t know I had, and some things have happened that I’m pretty proud of.

5. THREE DAY WEEKEND. nuff said.

6. I entered one of my short stories in a Fresh Ink writing contest. *eeeek*

7. The hubs had an idea for us to take the kids to a seafood place last night and order a big platter of crab legs. His theory was while they were enamored with cracking legs with the cool pliers and pulling meat out with the tiny fork, we could actually have a beer and a continuous conversation.

I thought he was nuts.

IT WORKED. Not only could he and I talk, but it was like a date with the kids. I didn’t realize how long it’d been since we all four were together, really presently together. We had such a good time we’re gonna do it every Friday. Sometimes (SOMETIMES) hubs can be geniuses.

So I offer you all virtual COOKIES on behalf of my theme today: EPIC AND SHIT. Cuz it just fits, doesn’t it?

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Does something have you all excited today? Do you celebrate with food? What’s your favorite celebration food? Please share with me! I can’t wait to hear about it!

This wasn’t originally a TToT post, but the lovely Lizzi Rogers of Considerings was sweet enough to encourage me to join the linky even though I don’t have ten things and I’m running a bit late. Now I’m adding an 8th thing I’m excited about this weekend – wonderful bloggy friends.

Ten Things of Thankful

I Wish I Blogged When My Boobs Were Exploding

My first baby was born over nine years ago. I can’t quite believe I just wrote that. Seems like yesterday his tiny, squirmy body was placed in my arms and now he’s almost as tall as me. YOWZA! But aside from the happy memories of bringing a healthy baby home, and the absolute wonder of it all (I fucking did that? I made a human? ME?), you wanna know what I remember from that time?

fear-panic-isolation-anxiety-frustration-angst-depression-anger. all at once.

Why? Because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and I didn’t have any other friends who’d been through it yet. Oh I had acquaintances, but not close friends. I had books that pretended to prepare me, but not buddies who’d been there. I had no advice, no one making me laugh through the trials of breast feeding, no one telling me to hang in there, it just gets worse the hard part’s almost over. You know what I was missing?

THE BLOGOSPHERE.

I’m new around here, but as I’m reading all these HILARIOUS, AMAZING mommy bloggers I can’t help but feel a little pang of resentment that I didn’t have this resource when I was leaking milk and sneeze-peeing my way through sleepless nights. I would have taken anyone – ANYTHING – if it just felt like solidarity. If it just made me laugh or feel like I wasn’t insane. More than normal, anyway.

I’m reading The Mother Of All Meltdowns right now and OH if I had only had this book then! It’s SO funny! No one asked me to review it, trust me, this is all on me, but reading it is partly what inspired this post so I had to give it its due mention. If you don’t have it yet – do yourself a favor. And then follow all the authors because their blogs are GENIUS.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t have the insight and wisdom of other mommies when I was post-partum, or having to PUMP ALL MY MILK CUZ HE HAD A SUCKING PROBLEM WHAT THE HELL, through the potty training years (which just happened like a week ago BECAUSE I HAVE BOYS AND THEY DON’T CARE IF THEY SIT IN THEIR OWN FECES ALL DAY), or the tantrums, or losing naptime, or….or…breathe Elizabeth, breathe.

I do have it now, though. And now it’s going to help me with my third baby: my novel. They say the Universe has a way of making all things even. I believe that, utterly and completely. The Yin and the Yang. Karma. All that stuff. Balance Baby. Yeah. Can you hear the drums? Can you smell the weed sage? Kumbafrickinya….sing it with me…..

 

How about you? Did/does the bloggy world give you support during challenging times? I LOVE your comments!