Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Finally a Post About The Book!

Something at work recently came about because a new employee joined the ranks and he has decided we all need a little motivation and morale “boostering.” I applaud him for that. What he has started in his short time here is called “Accomplishments.” He has asked everyone that works here – he even included the likes of me and my cohorts that fall under the ‘staff’ category - which is rather shocking actually - to send him something we are proud of.
At first I thought he meant merely ‘academic’ since we all are in Higher Ed, but then I found out he meant ANY accomplishment! Anything at all that we consider a great thing - that is what he wants to know about.
It took me a while, but I finally realized that I actually had an accomplishment! A real live honest to God accomplishment.
But precious few knew about it! I mean how could they know if it took me so long to remember it myself?! I suppose ‘remember’ is a bad word. It is more that the accomplishment hasn’t exploded onto the book scene and become a best seller, so I have relegated it to the files in my grey matter that hold only thoughts and ideas that could have funded my retirement – but haven’t yet.
Unfortunately, that file is full but it is growing many cobwebs and has a lot of dust on it.
Nevertheless, this new PR campaign going on at my place of work was the perfect opportunity to get rid of some of the dust & spiders!
If I flaunted my accomplishment campus wide – maybe a few people would tell a few people and those people would tell a few people and those people would tell a few people and – well you get the idea.
I live in a small town and word spreads like blood at a crime scene. (Too graphic?)
I decided rather than just tell the Accomplishment Master of this book – I would show him. I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t want to buy the book after they have actually read the book! (I feel retirement approaching!)
So today, I brought the book my sister & I wrote (she did most of the work – I am really just the silent funding partner) and gave it to him with a note:
"Rather than just tell you about my “accomplishment,” I thought I would actually give you a copy of my accomplishment. This book was a long time coming. My sister and I are the authors. Years ago when our  children were still young we used to get together for Thanksgiving. We didn’t live close to each other, so it was always a real treat and full of crazy. As we were sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner, we asked the kids to say something they were thankful for (because we are a crazy & a partially cliché type of family). One of the 6 kids said they were thankful for ‘chipmunks’ to be silly – and that is how the jokes started. That was probably 20 years ago, but my sister (Auntie) and I (Auntie) never let go of the idea to publish those jokes in a book. My sister’s second daughter, Amy, grew up to be an amazing artist (and tattoo artist) so she did the artwork. It is a family operation and all in all we love the book. I thought maybe you could have a laugh over the Christmas break by reading it (I hope over & over) with your children. Be sure to tell or show your friends!
There is another book in the works. Maybe one day we will have a best seller! J
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
P.S. You can buy them on Amazon, at the Bookshelf in town, and in the Spirit Shop if you want more of them for your friends. I can sell you some at discount out of my trunk.  ;)"

I cannot confirm or deny that how this book started, as told in the note above, is the absolute truth. But I do know that it was Thanksgiving (I think), we were around a table, and we make up these jokes.
While I was writing that note, I realized I had never written about it on my blog. So here it is!
Link is below! Buy one or two or twelve or 100!!! Remember, it is for my retirement!

You can also buy it at the local bookstore in my town and my universities Spirit Shop – and out of my trunk (I can give you a deal)!

Saturday, December 3, 2016


This blog isn’t for everyone this time. It is for one specific person. Now, I can’t say if this person actually seeks out my blog to see if I have posted regularly, but I know he had read my blog. I hope he reads this one – because I cannot think of any other way to tell him this.

We have 4 cats. We love our 4 cats, but if you follow my blog you know that early this year we lost our one and only beloved beagle, Bunny. Bunny was my first real dog. Well, there were other dogs – 2 to be exact – and those 2 did not last very long at all for various reasons.

Our kids LOVE dogs because of Bunny and I have to admit that because of Bunny, I love dogs. But I am a cat person. Born and bred, dyed in the wool, clear down to my bone marrow, cat person. Dogs? Who needs a dog? Way too needy I used to say – just like babies. But that needs to be a whole different blog topic.

Bunny changed all that. I finally saw what people see in dogs. I finally learned why they call them man’s best friend. I finally learned to love dogs – almost as much as cats.

Then she was gone. That is when I learned just how deep my new found love of dogs was. Well, if you can call cultivating it for 13 wonderful years ‘new found.’

It has been almost a year now and all my brain can think of is DOG. Commercials about DOG food pain me. I even don’t like Jack Hanna – but when his Cosaquin commercials come on all I can think is ‘lucky duck – he has a dog.’ Don’t even ask about the Humane Society commercials. Talk about a way to rip my heart out….

So this person and I started chatting about getting another dog, even though we said we never would. The talk became more frequent. The longing became more urgent. The Googling on the internet became more common.

But we didn’t find our dog.

Then by a sheer coincidence I found this cute puppy last week:

Holy mackerel – is she cute or what.

Oh yes, she definitely is!

She is a ‘Pocket Beagle’ and she cost more than my first car. But I was smitten.

Let me just caution anyone reading this by saying – READ THE FINE PRINT BEFORE INQUIRING ABOUT ANY PUPPY ONLINE!

I inquired. Unfortunately – according to their fine print – that inquiry is binding contract to purchase said puppy – if available. She was not.

I was happy yet sad all at the same time. Happy she was not available so I didn't have to shell out a fortune, because as I said – she cost more than my first car. But sad because she wasn't available. It was like having canine vertigo!

But the next day I got an email from the breeder telling me the other person had backed out and she was mine – invoice attached.




What have I accidentally, on purpose, done? How do I tell this other person that I just bought his Birthday/Christmas present without so much as a hint, a prayer, a picture, or a request - asking him if this was the right time. How will the cats and his beloved little cat/puppy Little Rat react? (A cat/puppy is an extremely cute cat that even though I saved her from death itself has devoted herself to this person and follows him around like a puppy PLUS sleeps on his head nightly just to be as close as possible to him.)

Sooooooo……SURPRISE!! Now is the time! Well, December 15th is the actual date.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY & MERRY CHRISTMAS to the most wonderful husband on the planet!!

Please don’t kill me….

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Greatest Plans of Mice & Traps Oft Go To Snakes

I have been gone a long time. I have no excuse worth mentioning, because unless you experience for yourself, the black hole of depression that sucks every bit of joy & laughter from you and no matter how hard you try - you can't get back to it, you won’t understand. But then for some odd reason, on any odd day, you suddenly feel a little like yourself and you see the things that make you laugh once again. 

Today was one of those days. 

A coworker and I were talking about mice. Probably because I showed her the video I had recorded of an electronic fake Halloween rat that screams and cries and tries to shake out of a snap trap - and my cat. The cutest cat in all the land by the way. 

It is motion activated and my husband and I placed it on the floor and placed our cute little cat (smaller than the usual full grown cat), coincidentally named Little Rat, next to the electronic rat. She sniffed and looked and circled and finally swatted it. Screeching instantly ensued and she jumped back like a snake had just bitten her. But then she just laid down beside it and watched until it ceased its ranting's. She then rolled over and reached a paw out to it - like she was telling it that she felt its pain and how she wished she could free it from its trap. Only there wasn't any real pain - because it wasn't real - but she is a cat - what do expect. 

Anyway, back to my coworker. After watching the video she told me about her REAL mouse traps at her house and how once she had such an infestation that the traps in her house were everywhere. (QUIT JUDGING - she lives in the woods - and little meeses are EVERYWHERE!) 

I looked her in the eye and forcefully asked, "You don't use glue traps do you - they are so cruel." 

Of course she answered, “Yes.”  

Her cool point factor went down by 10 for that because I think glue traps are sooooo cruel. The poor critter is stuck by their feet, or toes, or hair (if he/she rolls over somehow), just waiting for the big bad human to come pick him/her up and chuck him/her in the trash - making him/her live the rest of his/her days or hours next to some leftover liver and onions that the kids wouldn't eat (and neither will he/she, if he/she is smart) in a trash can until the trash truck dumps him/her in a giant bin that squashes everything together so that it is all over. The whole experience is a cornucopia of terror for the little critter! But, there is the chance that he/she may go to a landfill intact with only the prospect of pulling off his/her toes to escape, starve to death, or be eaten by a passing predator.  

I hate those traps. If you are going to get rid of mice, entice them with cheese and let the trap snap and end it all quickly. So much more humane. 

She didn't agree, but in the end, in my world, the past glue trapped mice got their revenge on her heartless (actually she is very, very nice) mouse trapping soul. 

Her story goes that glue traps were EVERYWHERE in her house and she had a habit of accidentally stepping on them quite frequently. (That alone should get you seriously wondering about her - but laughing) So, one day she got out of the shower, dried off, and entered her bedroom to get her pajamas. As she moved toward the dresser she stepped on one of the ever present glue traps - and it stuck to her bare foot. She wasn't too worried because as I said - she told me she stepped on them quite frequently. But then something odd happened. She felt a sharp pain on her ankle, and then another one. That made her look down and then she saw it - a SNAKE - not a mouse - was stuck on the glue trap - which was stuck on her foot. And it was mad. So it did what snakes do. It kept striking her ankle trying to tell her to get it off her foot and off it and the glue trap! She screamed of course. Her husband and kids came running to see their naked wife/mom writhing on the floor yelling, "GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!" 

Her husband obliged and took the snake outside. She insisted that the poor oak snake had lived long enough and made sure her husband made sure that the snake never came back into her house to get stuck on any other glue trap. One snake on your foot when you are butt naked is quite enough for a lifetime.  

Her story cracked me up. Because we have all done things - maybe not snakes stuck to our foot kind of things - but things that take us completely by surprise, are embarrassing and horrible, but turn out all right in the end. The type of things that we know deep down inside - that as soon as it is over and as soon as we compose ourselves and get a good night’s sleep - will be a great funny story to tell. 

Maybe on another day I will tell a crazy story of mine. But for now - sit back and picture my coworker’s story in your head - and laugh. 

And forget the glue traps – the mice (and snakes) will thank you!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Short & Sweet

Today I received an email from a Professor (I work in Higher Ed) and the subject line read: 

“Fan Drive by PSY Club” 

The email went on to state the Psychology Club was collecting fans for senior citizens.  

But as you know, I am a grammar freak and below is where my mind went when I read the subject line. I had to email the professor for clarification! Below is what I sent:


“Is this a Fan Drive Sponsored by the PSY Club?


Or a Fan Drive By PSY Club – like a fan drove by and shot the club members?


Or are we as employees supposed to drive by and shoot fans???


I am so confused by your subject line….”


I haven’t heard back from him. I wonder why? Inquiring minds need to know!


Monday, July 11, 2016

Poignant Words I Wish I Had Said

I have wanted to post about the horrendously terrible situation going on now in the United States. I am mystified why so many people want to hurt or kill innocent people they don’t even know. To me the whole situation smacks of the devil trying to take over the world and laughing at us as we give in to his deceitfulness. The lie that makes individuals believe that taking the lives of others will somehow heal the pain the slayer himself/herself is feeling. It is mind boggling to me.

But – I could not think of the perfect words or even come close to the perfect words – until I read my sister’s blog. Please read it using the link below. The sentiment is magnificently said.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Sometimes the tiniest of things can make your day a little brighter. Such is the email below. My daughter has been on point with her sarcasm lately (a requirement in our family), but sometimes my sarcastic replies to her are not quite taken as intended, so I decided to make sure this one was understood – maybe I took it too far. Sarah’s answer made me laugh out loud – at work.
Even if you only enjoy this only a smidge of the amount that I enjoyed getting the email – it is worth the post.
From: Mom
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 3:25 PM

To: Sarah

Subject: Opal 
Do you remember those opal earrings I sent you from that you liked? They went for $136!!! Needless to say – you aren’t getting them. 
From: Sarah
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 4:15 PM
To: Mom
Subject: RE: Opal
GET OUT. That’s crazy!  
I’m not worth $136? I’m so heart broken.  
From: Mom
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 4:21 PM
To: Sarah
Subject: RE: Opal

I NEVER insinuated that your worth was matched against the damn opals…………………………….Geez…………………………………..
I mean GEEZ…………………………………
I mean really – GEEZ……………………………………………………………..
GEEZ manetti……………………………….
Holy GEEZ……………………..
Are you GEEZing me????????????????????????
For cracking GEEZ………………………………………                  
Mother of GEEZ…………………….
GEEZ Louise……………………………………
GEEZ Cream Cheese………………………………….
Holy fricking GEEZ………………………………
For the love of GEEZ.........................
Seriously – GEEZ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
From: Sarah
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 4:22 PM
To: Mom
Subject: RE: Opal



One of my FAVORITE quotes of all times – and I have no idea who said it – is:

“Nothing is wasted if it is enjoyed.”

You now have my blessing to go waste some time. GEEZ - ENJOY!



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Word of The Day

I have been away a long time. It has taken all the energy I have just to get through most days. It is a shame really. But it is the best I can do right now.

I know this blog was supposed to chronicle my quest for happiness. Most days, even still, it eludes me.
But I know there are readers out there that work a job they dislike and are in the same position I am in. Not that my job is bad, it is very cut and dried – if you can add and subtract – which apparently most young college students cannot do.
Because math or critical thinking is apparently not taught in schools anymore, it falls to me to teach these young saplings how to grow into a tree, how to stretch their limbs to reach for the sky, AND how many leaves it is going to cost to do so.
It boggles my mind how many stupid questions I receive in a day. Questions that make me want to yell, “IT – IS – FIRST – GRADE – MATH!” But I am not allowed to do that, so I meekly answer the questions like they are not stupid and simple at all in order to keep this job that makes my blood pressure skyrocket.
On top of the stupid, there is a constant barrage of the attitude from these saplings. They come at us with an immediate attitude that if something is wrong with their student account it is OUR fault – not theirs because THEY couldn’t have possibly done anything wrong or misunderstood any information or added and subtracted erroneously. The arrogance we get from some of these young sprouts makes me wonder if their parents were nonexistent, chewed down by beavers, home to squirrels, or if they were raised by the Hell’s Angels. WTH.
It boggles my mind.
Some persistent unkind students call with the same complaint, excuse, argument, or grievance each semester. They are the ones that really make me wish that I could say what I really think; the ones that are repeatedly sure that every semester we have done something horrible to them by actually charging them tuition and fees with the expectation that they actually have to PAY for college. How dare we! We must be monsters!
One particularly pernicious student comes to mind lately. A student that does not think he has to follow the rules, does not have to do what he says he will do, does not to pay, and then blames US for reminders that his account balance is past due. Because of this behavior he routinely has a hold on his account and cannot register for an upcoming semester.
After he was nasty to my office repeatedly, he then felt the need to expel his nastiness to another employee, charging and blaming us for all kinds of wrong doing and mistreatment.
But you see, sometimes the student picks the wrong person to spew their lies to. Ahhhh, I love it when this happens. Such was the case for this one student. He sent his rant to a friend of mine. One that knew his 5 points of grievances/errors diatribe about what he perceived we had done to him – was not even remotely true.
So she emailed me to ask what to say to him, and she included his original email at the bottom just so I could see how venomous he was. I could not believe the shit he was slinging. We had tried to help him at every turn – yet he did nothing because he believed WE should fix HIS errors.
I wanted so badly to respond to the student with what I thought via our email server about how he really needed to calm the hell down and quit being an jerk, but I could not as I think Big Brother Is Watching Us, so I sent my friend a text. A text that answered all his one liners for how inept he thought we were. It is below:
1. This student and his father are ASSHATS.
2. His remark about no one picking up a telephone in my office is a lie. I bet if he got the voicemail - IT WAS BECAUSE WE WERE ALREADY ON THE PHONE – and I bet he didn't leave a message just so he could complain that he can't ever get a hold of us – because he is an ASSHAT!
3. His remark about ‘they were supposed to fix it last week’ is another fabrication an ASSHAT would tell.
4. HE screwed up his college prepaid plan by choosing the wrong plan and then also became delinquent on payments to that plan – so they would not pay us. He was notified MULTIPLE times over the course of 3 months but did not FIX that error until about 3 weeks ago when he found out he couldn’t register. His dad called and cussed out Lois (name changed to protect victimized), saying we did not do our job, when what was wrong was their own damn fault – another sign of being a total ASSHAT.
5. I received the corrected college prepaid payment today and posted it to his account and took his holds off (because there were MULTIPLE holds on his account – brought on by being an irresponsible ASSHAT)
6. There wasn’t a 6th point from the student but I have to say – just ASSHAT

WOW! Boy that felt good to get off my chest!
Asshat became the word of the day that day....

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fat Tuesday & Fat Heartbreak

Happy Fat Tuesday!

While it is Fat Tuesday, including a King Cake, it is definitely not happy.

Today is the day we had to put our beloved dog Bunny to sleep. She was 14; she has not been feeling good for a while, so while I know she is in a better place – we are not. We are heartbroken.

I must let you know that I am a 100% dyed in the wool, bone deep cat person. Bunny was the first dog I have ever had. I only agreed to get her because I was trying to get in good with my soon to be dog loving, cat disliking, new husband. If he would put up with my cats then it was only fair I would let him have a dog.

Since merging our bi-animal household, we have lost some cats. Bear, my adored Siamese being the main one. When he passed away at 19 I believed the only thing that would ever top that pain I felt was losing one of my children.

I was wrong. Horribly wrong.

This by far has been one of the most traumatic loss of a pet I have ever experienced and I was puzzled by that.

I love Bunny, but I still do not consider myself a ‘dog person.’ So I wondered why this death is causing me more pain than any other.

Sometimes answers come in strange ways.

In trying to distract myself from my thoughts I went to the kitchen to unload (and reload) the dishwasher. While doing that I turned around – no one – or should I say no pet – was there. It was odd and that is the moment I realized why this was so hard.

While cats have a laisse faire attitude about being around you – dogs do not. Or at least Bunny did not.

I cannot remember a single time when a family member went into the kitchen that Bunny did not immediately follow them. Admittedly hoping for a treat – but still – she was a fixture! As much a part of the kitchen as the stove, refrigerator and sink. The cats come and go hoping you don’t see them as they run out the door.

The kitchen just won’t be the same without Bunny.

We move to the living room. Bunny was always within glance if you were in the living room; lying in front of the fireplace or by the front storm door. Always there waiting for a sign that you would give her some love – or another treat – or your dinner plate.

Along with her presence came loud snoring if she was sleeping or nose hair burning poots. Maybe I will miss those the most. No need for the Bunny poot fans we purchased now. 

But the cats perch on their tower aloof. Staring at you as if to say – sit near you and your lap? You must be kidding me!

The living room will just never be the same without Bunny.

Then there was the bedroom.

Sleeping with one cat and the Bun was ok. Sleeping with 2 cats and the Bun was passable. Sleeping with 3 cats and the Bun was getting out of hand. But sleeping with 4 cats and the Bun was almost unbearable, so someone had to go. It was not Bunny. As long as she was able, she slept with us in the bed.

The bed won’t be the same without Bunny.

Now we move to mornings – but we come right back to the kitchen story. Although the cats like their morning treats, no one was more excited to get up and get one than Bunny. She nearly danced a jig each morning while seeming to say, “Thanks for the treat! It is going to be a good day isn’t it?!”

Mornings will never be the same.

The cats will never alert us to an intruder – neither man nor beast (we live in the woods).

The cats will never meet us at the truck when we come home from a day’s journey just to say, "YAY! You are home!"

The cats will never roll over just waiting for a tummy rub every time you walk by them.

No place in this home will be the same without Bunny.

Bunny was ALWAYS there ready to give love. The cats will take – but very rarely give. That is what cats do. I expect that. But that is why a dog is just so different.

So I have learned that cats are not dogs and that I am now keenly aware of why they call them ‘man’s best friend.’ In my case, a woman’s best friend too.

I learned with that flash of insight at the kitchen sink, why this is so difficult.

Bunny has no idea how much you will be missed.

I told her before she was gone to go play with Bear. They loved each other. Bunny, will you say “Hi” to Puppy too?

Thank you for 14 fun filled years.

Bunny - in the kitchen - where most of her pictures were taken.