Monday, July 28, 2014

The Help

There's no such thing as privacy at my house. In fact, nothing happens without complete snoopervision. Even the shower isn't sacred.














You missed a spot

No one is shy about lending a helping paw, either.














Let me adjust this for you

Yet it can be refreshing to have competent assistants.



I've got your towel on the warming rack

Sigh. Guess I'm pretty lucky, after all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Like A Big Pizza Pie














Local Woman Captures Photo of UFO 

I snapped this eerily glowing object using my iPhone a couple of weeks ago. Looks like we're about to be invaded, doesn't it? But I'm not feeling scared at all. This isn't invasion, it's opportunity. If I can sell my UFO picture to the media, Indy and Bogey will be in treats and toys forever. I could turn in my retirement paperwork immediately. After all, who needs a job when they're rolling in dough?

My idea is foolproof because who could mistake this glowing object for anything but a UFO? I tell you, all I need is an advertising campaign and marketing plan. We'll be on Easy Street forever. Snap!

While I work out the details, take a look at last week's book signing. A standing room only crowd filled STL Books.














As you can see, the event was a resounding success. Thanks to everyone who came out to support NYMB on Moms and NYMB on Family. We had a blast!

And on another note, here's some news for all you Chicken Soup fans. Reboot Your Life will be released in September. My story, The Tuesday Night Ladies League will be included. Yep, me and bowling. I really could have named this story the Odd Couple.

But I digress. Before I can get back to my marketing plan, it's time for a dinner break. Strange how the more my eyes stare at the UFO picture, the more I crave a big pizza pie. And want to sing. In Italian.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

You're Invited!






















It's steamy summertime in St. Louis, so how about a night out to have some cool fun?

STL Books in Kirkwood, Missouri will host a special event on Tuesday, July 15, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Multiple contributors to NYMB on Family and NYMB on Being a Mom will be on hand and promise to give each person who shows up a live pinto pony. Okay, maybe more like give each person who shows up some slightly warped parenting advice. (Note: utilize advice at your own risk) 

How about another reason to attend? STL Books will be donating 10% of book sales to the Family Resource Center, to assist them in their mission to prevent child abuse and neglect. It can't get much better than that, can it?

So let's have a play date on Tuesday. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Fourth (or Fifth, or Sixth, or Seventh)











Image from House Call Vet Care.

I admit to perpetrating my share of critter craziness. Over the years I've bought hats, colorful outfits, and sunglasses for dogs. I've put jingle bells on cats. I've even photographed critters with a sign around their neck labeled with phrases like, "I pooped in Dad's shoes." But I've never dyed a dog red, white, and blue. Well, probably in this case dyed a dog red and blue. I assume this poor pup is usually white. We can only hope he didn't have to wait for his hair to grow out.

Fourth of July is nearly upon us again. Fireworks are blazing, blasting, and generally bloodcurdling just about every animal around, from pets to wildlife. Oh the joy of trying to get your dog to potty outside when the neighbors own a bigger arsenal than the United States did in World War II.

I thought my poor Indy boy had grown deaf enough not to care, but let me tell you, he cares. He really cares. So we're trying to have potty time when there's a lull in the action. Unfortunately we're having a lot more action than lull.

There's no one that enjoys a holiday more than me, but I must say I always look forward to July 5th (or 6th or 7th) so I don't feel like I need a helmet and combat boots every time I go outside. Alright, go ahead and give me some cheese with my Fourth of July whine.

So tell us what you think. On Fourth of July do you prefer action or lull? Whatever it is you want, we hope you get it...safely.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Getting Older














Here's my handsome Indy boy. Isn't he a sweetheart? When I walk from room to room, he gets up (slowly, thanks to his arthritis) and pads patiently along behind me. If I sit down, he's in my lap. If I work at the computer he positions himself beneath the desk. Indy has always been my little shadow.

As you can see, he's long overdue for a haircut. I planned to take him on Saturday, but he wasn't feeling well. Now that he's achieved the vast age of 14, I don't like to stress him out. If his fur is long and he smells a little "doggie", oh well. We can live with it.

Indy has slowed down a lot in recent months. He's lost even more of his ability to see and hear. He's thinner than he used to be and sleeps most of the time. It's becoming clear we're approaching our final journey, though I try not to dwell on it. As long as he's happy, eats and drinks, and doesn't appear to be in pain, we're good. And I hope we'll be good for a long while yet to come.

It's tough watching our four-leggers get old, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Meow














Don't let that innocent face fool you. Bogey is one tricky kitty. Seems like its one cat-tastrophe after another. If he isn't opening doors and drawers, stealing food, or knocking breakables off shelves to the floor, you can bet it's because he's taking a cat nap.

On the bright side, Bogey gives me fodder for stories. Plenty of fodder. His antics have been featured in more than one essay collection. Now he's got another book to add to his growing list of credits.

"The Great Curtain Caper" will appear in Not Your Mother's Book on Cats, coming soon.












Unfortunately, all the notoriety has gone straight to Bogey's head.










Bring on the paparazzi, woman. I'm ready for my close-up.

I don't care if he is a male. This feline has definitely become a diva.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wedding Bells














Last weekend, my daughter got herself hitched to a pretty special fellow. As you can see, they had eyes only for each other during their first dance as man and wife.

The Big Day started out warm, sunny, and plenty humid. But by the time we were ready for the ceremony, huge dark clouds rolled in and lightening began to flash. We knew a wedding on the first hole of the golf course simply wasn't going to happen.

After a minor meltdown and calming sip or two of wine, the bride agreed to move the ceremony to a covered patio area. The change in plans worked out perfectly with a view that included a lovely lake. The rain didn't touch us and I think all the guests would agree the move didn't diminish the beauty of the ceremony one little bit. Besides, isn't rain on a wedding day supposed to be lucky?

I know for sure my luck is blooming bright as the North Star. Guess why? You know how I've complained before about only having grand-dogs and grand-cats? Well, this marriage brought me not only a terrific son-in-law but two awesome ready-made grandsons to call my own. I'm now officially a G-ma. Hooray!

The Happy song has been burning a hole in my brain lately. My daughter's wedding reminded me of how very blessed I am to have so many wonderful people around me...both family and friends. Not to mention the critters who occupy my lap and run my life. I'm feeling good, clapping my hands, and oh yes, I'm happy!

"Clap along if you know what happiness is to you..."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What's New With You?














Indy and Bogey...yep we're all still here.

It's been a weird few weeks. It all started when I ended up on the floor (literally) in the wee hours of the night with severe stomach pain and other symptoms I can assure you that you don't want to hear more about. Three doctor visits, one CT scan and one colonoscopy later, I was diagnosed with ischemic colitis. Yikes! I never even knew such a thing existed, and if I never experience it again, it will be too soon. In most cases it doesn't come back (although with my luck, who knows?). I finished a round of heavy duty antibiotics and am now on a "low residue" diet for two weeks. That means no fiber, spice, fruits, vegetables, or anything I like. In other words, I'm basically living on bread, water, and applesauce. You'd think I was doing time in the state penitentiary or something. Oh well. At least I'm feeling human again. Funny how you don't appreciate feeling good until you don't.

But there are fun things happening, too. Some of you may remember the beautiful Christmas proposal my daughter received from her boyfriend. At the time it seemed as though the wedding was eons away. But the big day will arrive on Saturday. The next few days will be a flurry of last minute details along with prayers for good weather, since they plan to get hitched on the seventh hole of the Club golf course. Ah, young love.

That's a taste of what's been going on in my life. I'm eager to catch up and will be visiting your blogs soon. What's new with you?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Seaside Photographic Journey

















If you could spend a day at the beach and name it with a dance, what dance would it be? That is a question answered by Sheree and Russell Nielsen in a beautiful coffee table book titled Folly Beach Dances-The Infinite Rhythms of a South Carolina Seashore.

Sheree, an award-winning photographer, was diagnosed with lymphoma is 2012. During her road to remission, she was inspired to create a book that would serve as a "healing" volume for people diagnosed with blood cancers as well as for those with other types of medical problems.













Sheree and her husband, Russell, painstakingly combed through hundreds of photographs taken by the couple at Folly Beach to select the perfect images. And when Sheree decided to include a brief literary reflection for each photograph, she reached out to five award-winning women writers (and friends) who jumped at the chance to collaborate with her on the project. In addition to reflections written by Sheree and Russell, contributors include Mary Horner, Dr. Patt Pickett, Marcia Gaye, and Tina Solomon. I'm proud to say four of my poem/prose pieces are included in the book. Selfishly, I grabbed all the dog-on-beach photos for my inspiration. Thankfully, no one complained.

The book launch party on May 4 was a resounding success. Each contributing writer was invited to sign books, eat, and celebrate with Sheree and Russell.











Yes, I'm the one sipping a diet soda. Thankfully the photographer didn't catch me minutes earlier shoving delicious appetizers in my face. I love delicious appetizers.

I also love the soothing colors on the Folly Beach cover. The cover is so beautiful it's hard for me to stop looking at it. I even bought a book as a Mother's Day gift for my mother-in-law. She's house-bound these days, but now can visit the seashore every time she turns the pages of the book.

If you love the ocean, if you want to feel good, or if you need a great gift, consider buying a copy of Folly Beach-The Infinite Rhythms of a South Carolina Seashore. Click here for ordering information or to read more about Sheree and Russell's labor of love.

The couple is donating 10% of all book sales to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Meanwhile, we hope you have something swell planned for Sunday. Here's wishing all Moms (whether of two-leggers, four-leggers, or both) a glorious Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Women's Weekend








I don't want to make anyone jealous or anything, but guess what I got to do? The women of our family had a weekend at Lake of the Ozarks. That means my daughter, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, nieces, and I got to spend some quality time together in a lovely condo by the lake.

What did we do? We did what most women do when they get together. We consumed more calories than a Sumo wrestler, enjoyed plenty of scrumptious cocktails, and shopped until we nearly dropped. We laughed ourselves silly playing a crazy-fun game called Heads Up. Heads Up consists of one person holding an iPad high, so only the rest of the group can see the word(s) displayed. The group shouts or acts out clues trying to get the person holding the iPad to guess what's on the iPad. It kind of reminds me of the old game show Password, except a lot more lively...especially after a few of the aforementioned cocktails. More than one person had to run to the bathroom to avoid one of those I-laughed-so-hard-I-peed-in-my-pants moments.

We did a lot of talking over the weekend about work, family, and significant others. We even came up with a grand idea to start a new business venture. After we write a business plan. And get a loan. And convince significant others it's a foolproof idea. Launching our new business may take a while.

Meanwhile, my number one son kept all three dogs while we were gone. Indy, Brady, and Tinker Belle had a swell time. Not so sure about number one son. He slept with 3 territorial dogs in bed with him (talk about heroic) and had to break up two snarky disagreements between Indy and Brady. Unfortunately the spot shampooer also had a workout almost as tough as my son's. I couldn't help but notice the way he breathed a deep sigh of relief as soon as we finally pulled into the driveway.

I sometimes feel guilty about going on a women's weekend. Especially when I have so many other pressing things to be done. But nothing can compare to the awesome, almost mystic renewal that comes when a group of women spend time together without a single drop of testosterone in the room. It's woman power personified. We each came home with our shoulders a little higher, our smiles a little brighter, and our souls much stronger.

Have you done anything lately that made you just feel wonderful?