Friday, September 30, 2011

New Book! I Gotta Have It!!

Ok.  So I'm ready for a new book. 

 This one I've been waiting for and I can't wait to read it.  I follow the wonderful blog, Mable's House, and Liz Owen is a beautiful person who has a way with words!   I was drawn to her when I learned that she'd been picked up by agent Laurie Abkemeier, the same agent who had helped John Grogan bring Marley and Me to the best seller list.  (Oh, how I love that book!)

Liz blogged an excerpt from her new book...  and since I'd like to win a copy, I'm doing my part and sharing that excerpt with you...  my friends.  Enjoy!  

 ...  and buy the book!

Once one has breathed in the deep pungent aroma of sewage, you never again forget the nose-hair singeing, eye clawing, throat gagging experience. It comes over you slowly. You begin to feel like a character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as your muscles involuntarily jerk and you run screaming and blowing raspberries. Anything to get away from the mind-numbing stench.
But let me explain.
It was 6:30 a.m. I was standing in my retro pink tiled bathroom trying to open my bleary eyes and ready myself for work. As I stood there, peering into the mirror and wondering what demented nighttime fairy had planted four new wrinkles on my face, I paused and sniffed.
“Matt… what’s that smell?”
Matt staggered from the bedroom in his underwear, eyes half shut. “I don’t smell anything.”
I pointed my nose into the air like a hunting dog. “Seriously? You can’t smell that? Did you go to the bathroom in here earlier? I told you to use the room spray when you do things like that.”
Matt puffed out his bare chest and gathered his pride as best a man can with sleep in his eyes and a small hole in the side of his underwear. “I just woke up!”
I frowned, catching a glimpse of my makeup-less hot-rollers-in-hair state and tried not to think about the fact that I looked fifty instead of twenty-nine. “Well, help me figure this out. Because something smells ripe.”
We sniffed the sink drain and ruled it out as a suspect.
“Is it coming from the toilet?” Matt asked, examining it from top to bottom.
“No, that’s not it,” I snapped. I’m not known for my milk of human kindness in a disaster. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a survivor. I plan on eating my radish like Scarlet and clawing my way out of the nuclear dust while dragging my loved ones with me. But I won’t be doing it with positive phrases and a smile.
“Hon, I just don’t know. We’ll call a plumber after work, maybe it’s coming from under the house.” Matt staggered a little, trying to get past me and out of our tiny bathroom.
“Well, that’s just great,” I moved aside and pulled the shower curtain back so I could perch on the side of the tub and give Matt room to move out the door.
That’s when the full brunt of nastiness filled the air around us, a swirling mix of excrement and acrid stench that would have brought the sewer dwelling Ninja Turtles to their knees. Where the normally slightly-clean-with-a-hint-of-soap-scum bottom of the tub should have been, there sloshed gallons and gallons of brown sewage.
I clutched the front of my sweatshirt and held my breath. Matt began to dry heave.
“Get out and shut the door!” I screamed as we bumbled into the hallway.
“I’ll deal with this,” Matt grabbed my shoulders, trying to talk and hold his breath at the same time.
I could feel my eyes glaze over, the horrors of typhoid and hepatitis in our bathtub filling my mind. But more importantly, I could envision our evaporated savings account. In my mind’s eye I could see the long, gray hallway at the bank. A worker shrouded in a black suit pulled a set of keys from his pocket and unlatched a small locker labeled “Owen Bank Account.” Inside were two small stacks of quarters and a few crumpled dollar bills. It was bleak, not only because the banker with an unimaginative wardrobe gazed at me with an expression that could only be interpreted as “You’re a Big Fat Loser,” but also there was a very definite possibility we wouldn’t be able to pay for a plumber.
I wasn’t necessarily a spend thrift. In fact, I was downright frugal when it came to decorating with thrift store furniture and rewired vintage lamps. But the fact was, we were poor. We were starting out at starter jobs with starter salaries. We were starter adults with a starter bank account.
“Okay,” I nodded numbly, thankful that Matt was taking the lead on such a disastrous biohazard. “But make sure the plumber is super cheap. We don’t have much money!”
I left for work like a wino stumbling through a fog, not really remembering my commute, not really doing any work as I sipped my coffee and stared blankly at the computer screen. A disaster of such gargantuan proportions had previously been unthinkable in my life, and now I found myself attempting to push the image of a vast sea of bathtub poop from my mind. But I was sure of one thing: Anne Shirley never had to get ready for work while breathing raw sewage.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Get Me Out Of Here

Dear Peta,

My name is Gracie.  I've tried to tell myself that I have not needed your services.  But it's gotten to the point where...  well, My mean owner Mom has stopped my evening walks (the reason I live and breath) because, according to her...  I pick up fleas.  (That's a story for another day)  So, anyway...  I really think this lady should be investigated.  I've collected proof. I am being mistreated.

It started out when I was a baby.  She kept me caged.

I used to cry myself to sleep at night.

And then I'd have to beg for food.

It was like a prison.  No dog should have to beg for food!

One day she mistook me for laundry...

And she put me in the laundry basket.  Hard to fathom, right?

She'd leave me alone for the longest time.  I'd be sad and watch for her return.  Sometimes she wouldn't come home for days hours.

She'd make me wear ridiculous hats... then she'd laugh at me.

I tired of her abuse.  But rest never came... I had to sleep with one eye opened.

Often I would hide under the bed trembling with fear...  afraid for my life.

Pretty sad stuff, huh?

She claimed she was laughing with me... but trust me... i was not laughing.

The humiliating outfits..

The time she left me all alone at the kennel while her and Dad went on Vacation...

It's all abuse, I tell you!

When she didn't like the way I smelled, she'd put me in a tub of soapy water and I'd come out soaked and shivering.

One time she locked me in the laundry room and then acted worried that she didn't know where I was! What kind of a mom would do such a thing?

She found pleasure in humiliating me.

And I tried to put on a happy face.

But it wasn't easy.  She took me to obedience school where Mom says I faked being good.

At night time, I'm always chased to the bottom of the bed to sleep alone.

She laughs and laughs at me for no reason.

One day she cut big chunks of my fur away over my entire body saying she was clipping away stickers that I'd gotten into.  Sure she'd say that.  Makes her look good, huh?

I tried to stay hidden.  Especially when she mentioned the words 'clean' and 'ears'.

But eventually she'd find me.

The silly bows...

The crazy costumes..

The using me as a Scrabble-tile holder....

Doesn't all of this fall into the category of abuse?

I wouldn't be writing this letter...  if she'd just quit picking fleas off of me and start taking me for my evening walks again.

But from what I can see...  it's not gonna happen anytime soon.

Oh, and one more thing.  In order to get her to play with me...

I have to literally drop HER favorite toy in her lap.

And even then she hesitates.

Abuse.  Right?

So Peta, my friend...  I urge  you to investigate this one and get my poor innocent self out of this very abusive home so I can live happily ever after...

At least for a while... until Mom comes to her senses.  

If you need to find me a place to live, I hear Golden Pines is cool..  and they let you go for walks just about every day.  Just sayin'  

Your friend, Gracie.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dear Diary, I had a Birthday

Dear Diary,

Saturday was all about me.  I'm not sure what a birthday is... but there was pampering, plenty of exercise, and ice cream involved.  

And now I'm 7 years old.  Gracie.

Friday, September 23, 2011


 If you get bored easily, or you don't feel like looking at a lot of random/ in no particular order/ misc. vacation pictures...  

Leave now.  

Our Cabin in the woods of Amish Country.
We saw a lot of these.
It rained for 2 days...  heavily.
And all kinds of unusual things were found growing in the woods. 
On our way home, we stopped at Coopers Rock.  

This is the view outside of our bedroom window.

We saw a lot of these little critters.
So pretty.  Do they sting?  I wasn't about to find out.

I had no idea that this was a snack of choice.  Ewwww.
I love chocolate just as much as the next guy...  but hold the bugs please.

What?!  Who would pay over 2 bucks for bbq larvets?  

"Are you looking at me?"
Coopers Rock - Breathtaking!

"You were gone for 3 days and all I got was a food and water holder?"
Good to get away.
Gary, relaxing on the deck.

My favorite scenery.
Outside of our bedroom window we were able to capture a few birds feeding in the bird feeder.
"Are you looking at me?"
Continental breakfast was served free, every morning at the lodge.  We were served fruit, then hot oatmeal, coffee, orange juice, and (the best chocolate chip cupcake I'd ever eaten!) 

It rained for 2 of the days and nights...  a lot.  The wood burning fireplace helped somewhat with the dampness... But I ended up purchasing a heating pad and finally got a good nights sleep.  (Oh my aching bones!)  haha!!

Shopping in town was wonderful.  I love the craft and antique shops and they are plentiful in Berlin, Ohio.  We had a blast!!

I ate way too much good food.   I went off of my WW plan, and am feeling guilty now.  Bad Bobbi!

On the way back home we turned off at Coopers Rock, which is close to Morgantown, WV.  We'd always wondered what is Coopers Rock?  There is a beautiful overlook, plenty of woods and picturesque settings, picnic tables, a Concession store, and much more.  So glad we stopped.

Gracie was taken care of by Lindsey, Rissi, and Robby...  though she spent nights alone after  they would go home in the evening.  Upon returning home, we found that she had drug one of each of our bedroom slippers into the middle of the living room floor.   She was happy to see us return!  

I was unloading the car when I noticed hundreds of dragon flies swooping down into our yard at me, around me, and toward me.  I ran for cover and watched them from inside.  I thought the world was ending! LOL.  I found out later on facebook that I wasn't the only one who was terrorized by these dragonflies.  Eeek.  Same time and everything...   

Gary said they were probably migrating.

Ok.  I've bored you enough with my nothingness.