A Thanksgiving Never to be Beat…I Hope!

Yesterday passed in a flurry of cleaning, and cooking, and otherwise making ready for guests at dinner. Everything clicked, nothing broke, or burned, or mysteriously went missing. The guests arrived, bearing beautiful, bounteous hostess gifts–including the most gorgeous poinsettia (in a hanging basket!) I’ve ever seen.pointsettiacool

Said guests are a husband-dearest’s co-worker, his wife, their teenage soon, and their beagle. The family is from Germany, and they’re still awaiting the closing on their home in their sparse apartment. Also, this is their first American Thanksgiving. What better way to celebrate that bounty and goodness than by sharing it with someone experiencing it for the first time?

So, anyway, all was going wonderfully. We retired after dinner and dessert to the lanai, to enjoy the mild evening outside. Dasher kept running in and out, looking, I think, so see if perhaps some turkey had fallen yet onto the floor where he could eat it. Until one time he ran out and husband’s co-worker said, “Oh, look. Blood!” Sure enough, Dasher left a trail of messy, bloody paw prints in his wake.

It was dark outside, so I picked him up and carried him inside to see–only to find a bloodbath all over the tile floor–living room, dining room, and kitchen–and dotting across the rugs and sofa. It was like looking at a horrific version of The Family Circle cartoon when you followed the dotted line to see where the kids had gone on their “direct route.”

We cleared out the sink, put the dog there, and washed his paw, trying to find the source. It just kept bleeding, and bleeding, and I couldn’t see where it came from. Out came the bandages, gauze and wrap, but it kept bleeding. Whereupon we had to ask our guests to please stop cleaning up the blood and leave so we could take the dog to the university’s vet school emergency room!

They were very understanding, of course, but still! What an introduction to Thanksgiving. Maybe for some families, bloodshed and emergency room visits are the norm, but I can assure you for us, it’s really not.

In good news, it turned out to be a ripped-off toenail that bled, um, profusely. They snipped it off, stemmed the bleeding, and sent us home, poorer but relieved. To clean up not only the detritus of dinner, but the remaining bloody mayhem, and start the washing machine going on bloody rugs and rags. It was a long night, and an early morning.

So, I wish you a Happy Black Friday, if you’re the shopping type, and a Happy Day of Rest if you’re not (but still off work), or at the very least, Happy Friday. May this day be yet another thing for you to be thankful for, come next Thanksgiving Day.


Posted in Personal Life, the dog | Tagged | 1 Comment

News from the Garden

I’ve been sooooo busy, both at the keyboard and with life, that I haven’t been posting here regularly. In good news, this means that my various writing projects are coming along well. In bad news, well, I haven’t produced much blog content of late. “Yeah, um, still writing” isn’t exactly the most thrilling of reads, I know.

So let’s move to the gardens, where things are exciting.

IMG_2480My camellia has started blooming again. Hurray! Here’s one bloom I snipped off and brought inside to brighten the kitchen sink area.

I absolutely adore this flower, with its unique pink-coral color and irregular splashes of white. I didn’t buy it, or plant it, but it appears to have been put here just to please me. (If it was divinely scented, it would be my all-time favorite plant, but that’s just being far too picky. Camellias are, unfortunately, completely scent-free.)

IMG_2474My neighbor has a unique thing happening in her garden. Her agave has sprouted a flower stalk. This might not sound like much, but take a look at this. I mean this thing is immense. And it changes. When it first sprouted, it looked like a giant stalk of asparagus. I am not kidding.

The plant is in a spot normally quite hidden from me anywhere in the house or outside, except, it seems, from the kitchen sink. So there I was doing dishes and I looked up, still thinking about food and dinner, and I thought “Hmm, that’s an odd giant stalk of asparagus. Where did that come from?” And then I dropped the towel and ran to the window, pressing my face against it as I looked for the aliens who would eat said giant asparagus. Seeing  none, I ran to the neighbor’s yard and stared in awe at the huge stalk. It’s thicker around than my thigh at the base.

IMG_2483Once it got nearer to blooming, this thing looked like something out of a Dr Seuss book. Do you remember how his trees often looked so odd and puffy? I now think he was simply drawing agave stalks!

Now those puffs are starting to open into the actual, individual florets. It’s pretty amazing.

The sad part is that once the blossom fades, the fruit ripens, and the stalk dies back, the entire plant will die. This won’t be a small problem, either, as the plant itself is a wonderfully huge and architectural “structure” in the garden. I know it’s hard to tell from the photo, but those innermost needle-tipped leaves are nearly as tall as I am! The needles themselves are as long as the first 2 knuckles of my finger. It’s going to cause a massive void. But one that will gladly be filled by the offspring, I’m sure. Such is nature’s way, even if not the will of the human gardener.


IMG_2473Well, it’s back to the novel. With rain on the way, the gardens here will be well-watered and thriving. Hope it’s so in your backyard, as well.

Posted in Magic of the Everyday, Nature | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Because I’m a Writer…

whom…and I love grammar. I mean, I love my dog, and that he’s a rescue, which is why I got this magnet. But I simply could not stand the public trouncing of grammar it represented, so I never put it on my car.  Until yesterday, when I edited the wording with a paint-pen and a Sharpie.

You may now call me a crazy dog lady, if you so desire. I’m good with that. So is Dasher.

Posted in Personal Life, plain silliness, the dog | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Re-emergence of Pizza in my Life

A quick note of joy and yumminess: Pizza! *insert sounds of food bliss here*

Longer version: Hubby-dear checked out the newest offering nearby to see if it could be true, and it was! Blaze Pizza opened nearby, and they really understand that for celiacs like me, “gluten-free” means no contamination during prep, cooking, and cutting, not just the dough.

And thus it came to be that I actually went out for pizza for the first time in many, many years (since I was diagnosed). We ordered, watched it being prepared, and ate–and oh my oh my was it good! Thin crust, choice of pre-made “recipes” or your own call entirely on toppings. A communal oven, but GF pies are couched on individual mats so that neither the paddle nor the other pizzas touch the GF ones. And yes, the GF dough was quite good, not simply a pure rice-flour disc to hold toppings.

Celiacs rejoice, and get thee to a Blaze Pizza! *returning sounds of food bliss*

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About That Silence…

Yeah. You know how life is sometimes way too ironic? Well, it’s as if Mother Nature decided to read that interview over at the MossySkull site and decided to play a prank. Last Sunday, I got bitten by fire ants six times on my left big toe, and twice more on the rest of my left foot. Between ice packs, Benadryl and gingerly shuffling about barefoot, it’s been a quiet week here. Not many words accomplished except in my dreams.

And then, two days ago, I wandered out to the garbage can, limping miserably. What do I see right next to the path that wasn’t there before? A nice, tall and utterly unmistakable fire ant hill. I mean really, right here, where I live and walk (often barefoot!) every day (except when I’m nursing a fire-ant swollen foot)! AAARGH!

The jumbo container of vinegar came out and I’m afraid  I enjoyed myself just a bit too much. In good news, my foot’s swelling is much reduced, and I can sleep without changing ice packs every two hours. In bad news, the ant hill has reappeared, moved over about a foot. It now hides inside a bunch of plants I really don’t want to kill with a vinegar bath.

If you don’t hear from me for awhile, picture me going all “Caddyshack” on the ants. And the ants just keeping on, unaware of my existence. Yeah, why do I have a sinking feeling the ants are going to win this one?

Posted in Magic of the Everyday, Nature, Personal Life | Tagged , | 3 Comments

I’m Late! The Story is Up!

I was traveling when the acceptance came, and just very, very muddled with the arrival of October–yes, these are excuses, but wait! It’s good news–I’m very excited to announce that my story, “The Giveaway Box,” is now up at Abyss & Apex! (picture me grinning from ear to ear!)

This story started with the title as a prompt. That made me wonder What giveaway box? What’s inside? Who’s looking? Of course, giveaway boxes are common at yard sales, and that’s where this one went. This story is set in my former neighborhood of Clintonville, a part of Columbus with sidewalks that come and go, large trees, and lots and lots of pedestrians and cyclists–all ideal for yard sales. And for little bits of magic infusing life around the edges.

I’m so happy that this story found it’s home here, at a magazine known for the beauty of its stories, and I hope you’ll read and enjoy it. If so, please consider dropping a tip in A&A’s donate jar, won’t you? Thanks.


Posted in Magic of the Everyday, publication | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

How to Help Plasma Frequency Come Back

Awhile back, a terrible thing happened: Plasma Frequency Magazine had its coffers cleaned out in a scam.

After 16 issues and winning many awards, the magazine was broke and put on hiatus. But the publisher isn’t walking away. He’s running a Kickstarter for another 18 days, trying to raise funds for another year of publication. It’s a very modest goal, and as I type this he’s nearly there–just $150 shy of meeting his goal. Can you chip in a few bucks and help throw this great little ‘zine over the edge into the black? I hope so. I love what they’ve published to date, and want to see them continue. The Kickstarter runs until Oct 22, and there are some very nice pledge rewards, if you’re into them. Give it a look-see, and spread the word, won’t you?

Good luck, Plasma Frequency!

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More Garden Surprises: Feijoa Fruits!

Thanks to my VP XVII classmate, Alex Haist, I was able to identify two my otherwise anonymous “shiny green-leaved shrubs” as feijoa, or pineapple guava, by their stunning flowers. And now, those same little shrubs have produced fruit! See:


These are tiny little things, partly because they didn’t get much sun, and partly because I didn’t have compost to enrich their soil until so late. (Next year, I hope for better since the sun and compost both have been added to the site!) But I’m thrilled to find them, and to have such a plentiful harvest after I helped it along by pollinating some blossoms myself with a Q-tip.

And yes, they do taste somewhat of pineapple. And of guava. Quite yummy little things. (The one gripped between thumb and forefinger was munched on by something other than me–squirrel? Ants?) Also, next year I’ll try tasting the blossoms, too.

Happy Gardening, and Harvesting!

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