My Menagerie

9:45 pm 6/19/17

It’s been a Monday and I’m cheating a bit tonight. I was going to write a bit about my cat Frankie. However, I thought it might be helpful to have a picture of our menagerie first, so I’m borrowing from my “About” page for tonight’s post.

The Menagerie

lucy

This is Lucy. As you can see, Lucy is a big girl. Lucy is on a diet, which doesn’t make her happy. She and I share a distaste for low-calorie foods. Due to a special feeder bowl which restricts Lucy’s access to solely diet foods, she has lost a pound in the past few months. Due to a lack of the ability to restrict my access to non-diet foods, I have not lost a pound in the past few months. Lucy puts me to shame.

Frankie

Frankie

This is Frankie. He is the sweetest, smartest, and most mischievous of the group. Frankie loves to cuddle in my arms at night and purr, which is sweet. Frankie also like to plant his paw on my cheek and lick the heck out of my face at night, which isn’t quite as sweet. Frankie can jump over 6 feet in one bound which basically means there’s no place in house safe from his shenanigans. He is the reason toilet paper has to be stored in cabinets, pictures cannot be hung on walls within reach of his paws and no plastic or silicone of any kind can be left out. He’s a really awesome cat.

Herbie eyes

This is Herbie, Frankie’s 3/4 biological brother. (Frankie and Herbie have the same mother and their fathers were brothers. Get it?) He’s a brute of a cat. Not so much in size, but in attitude. He’s stubborn and does pretty much whatever he wants. He will not move aside if you happen to cross paths with him. In his world, felines always get the right away. He is affectionate, in his own tough-guy way. He purrs and rubs against your legs when he’s in the mood, which is mainly when he’s hungry. He’s super fluffy and super soft and likes to have his belly rubbed when he sleeps at the end of the bed. His favorite pass-time is to hide behind toilets and pop up and give a little love bite to whatever area of flesh he happens to come in contact with at the time. This can be alarming, especially in the middle of night. We love our little bratty boy.

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Last, but not least, is Sammy, our newest addition. He’s a Pomeranian/Shih-tzu mix who is 10 months old. He’s the first dog I’ve had in a long, long time and he’s my constant companion. He’s super smart, and super stubborn which means he responds well to commands when he feels like it. He love chasing cats, especially Frankie who is his favorite. Frankie also likes to chase Sammy, so it’s a toss up as to who is to blame for most of their mischief. Sammy thinks he’s a cat and loves to walk on tables, eat cat food, and stalk and pounce on toys, just like a cat. We take him to the dog park so he can hang with his own kind, but being a true cat at heart, he doesn’t like other dogs. He does like getting an ice cream at the Kiltie when we’re done at the park, though. He also likes to stare into the other customer’s car windows and beg for food from them while he’s waiting for his ice cream. Sammy has no shame.

10:11 pm 6/19/17

 

My Happy Place

6/18/17 9:35 am

Day two of One and Done. It’s Sunday. And it’s Father’s Day. My dad died six years ago, and my son visits his dad today, so there’s no special celebrations going on around our house.

In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to share a favorite memory of me and my dad. As an only child, I was pretty close to both my parents growing up. As I got older, I didn’t remain as close to Dad as I once was, which is too bad, because as I grow older, I think we’re more alike than I ever realized.

When I was about 9 or 10, my dad and I used to take walks in our subdivision late at night during the summer. Late at night was around 10 o’clock for me in those days. Life at home was not always easy, and these walks were my happy place.

We’d take a flash light and slowly walk the deserted roads with only the chirp of the summer insects, flash of the fireflies in the fields and the occasional house lit from within to keep us company. Sometimes I’d walk with my eyes closed holding his hand, letting myself lose my bearings and orientation altogether.

I grew up in the country and there were no street lights so it was very dark, and there were always so many stars. Sometimes I’d walk, holding my dad’s arm, while looking to the sky at all those tiny lights so impossibly far away. It made me dizzy. And we’d talk. Always in hushed voices even though no one else was around. And not about day to day stuff as much as really talk about all kinds of neat ideas I’d never considered before. Alternate realities. Time Travel. What is reality and what is simply our perception of reality? Cool stuff for a 9 year old. Or a 50 year old.

I realize now, that I got my imagination, and love for stories and ideas that explore the unusual or supernatural, from my Dad. He had the gift to look beyond conventional ideas and dream of possibilities that, however improbable, were fascinating to think about. Maybe there’s some alternate universe he and I are sharing now, where I can tell him how much those walks meant to me then and how I still remember our conversations today.

That’s a nice thought, however improbable it may be.

My dad was trained as a commercial artist, and though he didn’t make his living in art, I do believe he was a true artist at heart.

This morning, my deck is my happy place. The weather is perfect, the flowers are blooming and life just doesn’t get much better than this.

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10:17 am — finished with time to spare while working on an ipad and fishing leaves out of the dog’s mouth every so often. Not bad!

 

One and Done?

6/17/17 – 1:29 pm

One and done? Why the heck would I choose that as the name for my new blog, and why should you want to read it?

The first question is easy. One and done. I’m challenging myself to post one blog a day while spending no more than one hour writing, editing and publishing it. When the hour is up it’s up, and my work is “set free” in whatever state it’s in.

This is scary for me. Ever since I started taking classes in creative writing to work toward my Masters Degree, I’ve acquired a over-bearing, uber-critical self-editor.

I can no longer read a novel without dissecting the writer’s style, choice of words, and plotting. I’m bored with trite plot lines where I can predict the outcome early in the book and I no longer enjoy reading “fluff” novels. Nor can I just “freewrite” anymore without dissecting my own work.

Therein lies the problem. I used to love letting my characters speak and let the writing flow. It was fun.

But now my self-editor never shuts up, so my work never flows. I’m always reading and correcting. It can never just be “done”.  It’s never good enough. There’s always one more misplaced comma to fix, or the need to find a better word. Writing is no longer fun.

Because of this, I haven’t written much of anything in almost 3 years. And I miss it.

So, if you’ll excuse the cliche’, enough is enough. I will write. At least once a day. For no more than an hour; self-editor be damned.

I’ll publish work that doesn’t quite flow right. It may have grammatical errors. It may have spelling errors. It may totally suck on occasion.

I will survive these travesties and live to write the next day. (I’m fairly confident of this).

As for the second reason, why should you read my blog? That’s a bit harder to answer.

I hope to touch on topics that are universal to everyone. Ones that resonate with your own life. Ones that make you feel. Ones that entertain (I have three cats and dog, and chaos ensues daily).

I promise to be real. I promise I won’t preach, or lecture, or discuss politics (because I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of all it!)

I hope to show you the funny and the poignant moments in my life. Day by day. Mostly unedited. One hour at a time.

I invite you to join me for my journey.

6/17/17 2:11 pm   Finished and published with 18 minutes to spare!

P.S. The top picture is of Sammy, my 10 month old Pomeranian/Shih-tzu mix. He’s pooped out after playing in his kiddie pool at lunch.