This One Squirrel

HI! I MISSED YOU ALL!

It’s only been two days but I just was having a very lazy two days. Or at least I tried VERY hard to be lazy! “Hey Nel, got any weekend plans?”. “I plan to sit around and do absolutely nothing!”. Except that didn’t happen. I did stay up very late a couple of days to get some binge reading in but that was, unfortunately, the extent of my laziness. I plan to talk about my Saturday in a different post but I have a story to tell because I know how much you all love my stories. 🙂

This story is one of those stories where you’re like, “how in the …..!”

In a previous post, I mentioned how my husband and I purchased a new car. We had the option of trading our old one in but the trade in value was ridiculously low. We decided to sell our old car on our own because we knew we could get more from random Craigslist Joe.

Our garage can only hold two cars but our drive way can hold like 5 or 6 cars so my husband parked the old car out of the way of the garage’s path.

On Friday, my mother-in-law came over to visit and see the new car.

My husband is outside with his mom showing her the car. I decided to stay in the house because I had housely things to do. I can hear him explaining to her the features and everything about the car when all of sudden I hear a loud BANG!

I honestly didn’t think anything of it. I figured he’d opened the hood to show his mom the engine and then closed the lid because there’s no closing the hood gently. You have to give it a sort of toss and let gravity pull it down so it slams or it won’t close all the way. If you’ve opened the hood of a car before, you know what I mean even if I botched the description. There’s probably some car terms I should be using but I’m not fluent in car jargon outside of tires, trunk, brakes; the essentials.

Anyway, I continued what I was doing. My husband comes in the house and this is how our conversation went:

“The strangest thing just happened.”
“What’s that?”
“Did you hear a noise?”
“Yeah, I heard a loud bang. I figured you were trying to get my attention or you were showing your mom the engine and closed the hood.”
“If I was trying to get your attention, why didn’t you come out?”
“Because…. semantics. What happened?”
“I was standing there talking to mom and two squirrels were running around through our trees. I guess one lost it’s grip and fell on our car.
“WHAT?? Are you serious?!?! Is it okay??”
“I guess so. It got up and ran away.”

“Did you follow it some to make sure?”

“No.”

Then he took me outside to show me. And of course I took a picture to show you:

Looking at the picture, to the right, there’s a giant oak tree around the corner, next to the house. It has to be at least 150 foot high or something crazy since it’s taller than our house. And it’s the type of tree that has branches really, super high so if you wanted to climb it you’d have to be a rappel master, a ninja or have wings to get up there. As you can see, the leaves are evidence of this squirrel’s plight.

Our car saved this squirrel! If it wasn’t parked where it was parked, that squirrel would have went splat on the concrete and died and then my husband would have wanted to show me and I would have freaked out and it would not have been an easy time. What are the odds that my husband parked the car in the right spot??

Saving humans and now inadvertently saving squirrels all in the same week, I tell ya. I’m becoming more and more convinced I married a superhero.

Ever experienced a situation where you questioned the odds? Did you have a good weekend?? Let me know in the comments below!

Wondrous and Terrifying

Thursdays are dedicated to endangered species post and I still plan to write one but I want to share a story with you all that happened to my husband last night.

In a previous post I talked about how we bought a car and that it would take 2 months to get it. Turns out it only took 2 days because the dealership was able to find one surprisingly close. Because we both went to the dealership straight from work, it was going to be one of those nights where we get dinner on the go. My husband wanted Sonic. Sonic is great but if I see a Chipotle, that’s usually my automatic choice. I got my food before going to the dealership and he decided to get his food after.

We leave the dealership, say goodbye with plans to meet up at home. Again, we were in separate cars because it was easier to meet up versus us both driving home, picking up the other and driving back. Plus, the dealership said they would have someone else drive the car we just bought home for us if it was necessary.

Anyway, we ended up leaving the car there to get some extras installed and he goes to Sonic and I go home.

I’m sitting at home stuffing my face with Chipotle and talking to a friend on the phone when my husband calls me. I answer the phone and he’s quiet for a second. I start freaking out like, what’s going on. It’s one of those silences where something bad may have happened. When he finally speaks he goes, “I saved someone’s life”.

I thought he was joking okay! He’s a big jokester. I laugh and he was like, “no, for real” and proceeds to tell me the story.

The way a Sonic drive through is set up is you drive up to parking space which has its own menu. When you order your food, a person comes out on roller skates sometimes to give you your food. It’s supposed to emulate an old fashioned, retro restaurant.

My husband was waiting in line, a very long line, when a man came up to his car and started banging on the hood. The initial reaction is, “what the heck, that’s my hood please don’t dent it with your banging”, however, this man was desperately pointing at his throat. The man walked up to his window and had a white knuckle grip on the car door because he simply couldn’t breathe. His young children were nearby screaming and crying because they knew something was wrong but they couldn’t figure out exactly what.

Adrenaline is high for the man and for my husband. My husband realizes what’s going on and jumps out of the car and does what he felt was the Heimlich to try and get this guy breathing again. However his methods, it helped. The man was able to breathe regularly again after a couple minutes, he gave my husband a huge hug and went on his way.

My husband came home and said firstly, he’s never going to Sonic again and secondly, saving someone’s life is one of the scariest things he’s ever done especially since he didn’t exactly know what he was doing but the man needed help.

I was stunned. Literally floored. I thought about how you always see things like this happen on television and you say to yourself, “what are the odds that could happen to someone in real life”. If I was in my husband’s shoes, I’m not going to lie, I would have probably panicked. You never really think about those kinds of things until they unexpectedly happen.

Because of this event, we’ve decided to look up and find classes in the area that teach you how to do the Heimlich, CPR and other basic first aid methods so that if something like that ever happened again, we could be properly prepared.

You truly never know what life will throw at you at any moment or when the day comes where you turn into a real life hero.

Adulting

You know, you never appreciate days off until you have 4 or more consecutively in a row. Work doesn’t exactly rule my life but I usually don’t want to do much except eat and chill out after a full day. These past 4 days I’ve felt like a real adult. I mean I am an adult but I mean like a productive member in society. Okay maybe for only 3 out of the 4 days… or 2 and a half. Anyway, here’s a recap of my weekend.

Saturday, I slept and I slept and I slept. I loooooove sleeping. Its right up there with eating. I maybe get 6 hours a night. Actually, the reason why I slept so much is because my husband woke me up at an ungodly 5am to let me know that he heard something go bump in the night upstairs and wanted to know if I heard it. Of course I didn’t hear it.. I was dead asleep. I’m a really light sleeper too. It’s a curse. He called my name and I was awake. I’m also grumpy when I wake up so I had my “wtf-is-wrong-you” face. Turns out the thump was a tree branch falling on the roof. We really need to get that tree cut down soon considering it’s 6 inches from the house..

So then I literally spent the entire day reading. Like all of it. I had been on the same book for an unbelievable week and I desperately needed to finish it. I’m pretty sure that’s all I did on Saturday. I can’t remember. OH! actually it was Sunday I spent all day reading. I went to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Saturday which I’ve already shared a couple pictures of. So if you reread these two paragraphs, just flip Saturday and Sunday.

It’s all about Monday anyway!

Sunday night, after gorging on a chicken dinner early in the day, we fasted. I am not knocking people who fast, more power to you but I think it’s one of the most torturous things a person can volunteer to do. I’d make a TERRIBLE spy. I’d sing like a canary for a burger.

We had to fast for 8-10 hours Sunday to Monday because we were going to get blood drawn. You see I’m almost 30 so we decided to start family planning and I want to make sure all is kosher inside my body before that happens. I’ve never had blood drawn before that I can remember. Every time I try to give blood I’m always denied for one reason or another. The nurse who did the blood draw was amazing. She was definitely a pro.

After that we went to Farmer Boy for breakfast. I took some pictures through the sunroof on the way there because the clouds were looking so gorgeous at that time of day. They also had a bunch of these cool flowers outside the restaurant.

We get inside and we’re getting funny looks cause our arms are banded up from giving blood. I think a lot of people may have thought we were on drugs because we had our starving faces on.

It was no question what we were going to eat. We both got 4 XL egg omelettes with hash browns and inhaled that food like there was no tomorrow. I’m never fasting again unless its absolutely necessary.

Then my husband got it into his head that we should go look at cars. We have two cars. a ’98 and a ’16. The ’98 works great except he part that it leaks gas if you fill it above halfway. Not exactly the most safe thing in the world. For a while money was tight and another new car wasn’t in the budget but now we figured lets see what our options could be. We went to the dealership, test drove two cars and of course, like the adults that we are, we bought one. Better to be safe and all that. (That’s the ’16 pictured below. We have to wait 2 months for the new one)

The highlight of the hours we spent at the dealership was this quill pen! I’ve never used one but the feather was there.. the ink was there… nobody was around at that moment so we took turns acting like Thomas Jefferson signing the Declaration of Independence because it’s only fitting!

We came back home, I did some other house chores finished another book and sat down to watch Okja. Seriously, if you watch this movie, I hope you have a whole roll of toilet paper. From beginning to end, I couldn’t handle it. I had the ugliest tears watching this movie. It’s a Netflix original about superpigs and the food market of supply and demand and it’s SO EMOTIONAL!

Since this post is hitting 800 words, I’m going to end it here. I’ll save my 4th of July activities for another post. Happy Independence Day America!!! Happy Tuesday to the rest of the world!

How to Save A Life

My yesterday was very eventful for the span of 20 minutes. Remember those cherry trees I talked about in a previous post? I mentioned how the trees were netted so that the birds and other critters wouldn’t eat all the cherries before humans were able to harvest some of them. You see, as I was told, birds are color blind. (I have no idea if that applies to all birds or not but my 80 year old boss told me so). According to him, when the cherries turn red, the birds know they’re ripe for the picking. That doesn’t explain the yellow cherries but that’s not the point today.

My grumps buddy John and I were standing on the truck dock watching this swarm of birds go to town on the Queen Ann cherry trees. Those are the yellow ones. I mean there were a flock of blue jays, robins and sparrows. The crows must have been sleeping because usually they take over as much as possible before the smaller birds can get some.

So we’re just standing there talking and joking and mourning but not really mourning the loss of all those Queen Anns. You see the trees are in the median between two businesses. They don’t care that we, and other people in the neighborhood come and pick the cherries because they have so many trees they are happy to share the wealth.

We happened to look over at the tree by Mr. Continental because that tree looked like it was ready to be picked soon and we saw a bird flapping desperately inside the net trying to get out. Birds can be smart sometimes. This bird figured out how to get in the net but could not figure out how to get out of it.

John and I decided we couldn’t sit here and watch this bird struggle so we walked over to the tree looking to rip a hole in the net so the bird could be freed.

When we got over there we saw movement on the ground. Turns out our sparrow friend wasn’t the only one stuck in the net. There was a robin on the ground who’s situation was worse. She was all kinds of tangled up. We had to save her. Again, these nets aren’t ours but we got a speech prepared for if the owners came over to yell at us for ripping up their net.

We walked back into the plant and John got his gloves and a pair of scissors. I started to get flashbacks to my wildlife rehab days when a call would come in and me and another rehabber would go out and save one critter or another for various reasons. Maybe I’ll share a few of those stories another day.

We walk up to Ms. Robin and she’s screeching her head off. You can tell she’s afraid of us. I mean I would be too if I was her. John gets on his knees and slowly swoops in and grabs her. It should be noted here that if it has a beak, teeth or talons, it can bite. Ms. Robin definitely tried to bite. We’re both sitting here cooing at her telling her she’ll be okay. We just want to help her.

It took a little while because every time we would make a little lead way, she’d try to flap her wings and get more tangled. It also didn’t help that John was trying to hold and cut at the same time. At one time he goes, “I can’t see!”. I’m like, you’re holding scissors! What do you mean you can’t see?!”. He’s like “I’m not wearing my glasses.” I demanded he hand me the scissors right away.

As I instructed John to hold her wings in, I cut the netting around her body. Each time he would rotate her body so I could get around her wings, under her chest. I believe she realized we were trying to help her cause she calmed down and stopped flapping her wings. We got all the netting off that we could see and he let her go to fly away.

She made it about a foot before she just stopped and stood on the ground. She tried to fly away again but it wasn’t working. He left wing would spread but her right wing just stayed pinned to her body. I was like “John, we have to catch her again.” We thought maybe she had a broken wing and I was ready to take her to the closest rehab center.

He did a slow but quick sort of leap grab situation and got a hold on Ms. Robin again. Turns out we didn’t get all the netting. She had a good piece wrapped good around her right wing to the point that it banded it to her body. We cut that piece off and Ms. Robin was able to spread both her wings and fly away. We then proceeded to rip that net apart. The bird that was trying to fly out earlier found one of our holes and flew away as well. Hooray!

Have you ever encountered an animal who needed help? Did you try to help or call your local animal advocate to help? Let me know in the comments below!

One Love

Yesterday I had such a WONDERFUL day!

Every year cities all over America have a Pride parade and festival. For those who don’t know, Pride is a beautiful celebration of love; especially in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community. All of the displays are so fantastic because they feature all the colors of the rainbow. That signifies that no matter your race, gender, sexuality, love is pure. It does not pick and choose, it does not judge, it just is.

When we got there the first picture I took was of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame proudly displaying a pride flag along with all of the other rock flags. When the parade started, the Cleveland police led the charge! There were cops on bikes, horses and walking in the parade. The bike brigade was cool because they each had a tiny rainbow flag on the back of their seats.

Then the companies that support pride followed. There were hospitals, banks, and retail stores proudly displaying their colors. There was also a ton of churches displaying signs like “Love Thy Neighbor” and “Jesus Loves You” and people with free hugs and hi 5’s signs around their necks. You can imagine I was hugging and high fiving all over the place! The air was filled with an overwhelming sense of welcome.

Oh! This isn’t pictured because I was so excited, I didn’t think to snap one, but I got to pet a horse! I’ve never been near a horse in my life but one of the cops on his horse came up to the crowd and let everyone pet her. She was beautiful!!!

So as the day went on, I acquired lots of wristbands and I bought a button that said “Don’t Hide The Pride”. I also got a cool tree henna tattoo!

Everyone was so sweet! Smiles EVERYWHERE! Mine was probably the biggest because I was so excited. There was also dancing and singing and just seeing all the proud, happy people just made my entire month! Of course I also got a picture of me and my babes. They are my favorites. I’m so honored my husband and I got to witness their marriage a few months ago. (image is using a Prisma filter btw)

June is Pride Month, at least here in America, and although June is almost over, it doesn’t mean it stops. I have pride every day of the year!

My takeaways:

I love to love.
I love to see love.
I do not discriminate against love. I believe it’s impossible to do.
You are who you are, flaws and all, and that’s the way it should be. Always remember that and love yourself above all else because you’re beautiful. You know it and so do I.

Cherries: The Final Chapter

Its pouring down raining here today so I thought I’d share a story of sunshine and color!

I mentioned in a previous post that I work with people who are 30-50 years older than me. Well, my boss is 80 years old. He is such an enigma! I could probably do a whole blog series just about him. Anyway, usually when I come to work I do office stuff. That mostly involves paperwork, emails and answering phones. However, when you work for someone who is 80 years old and has many hobbies, your work day can often change. For example, he’s decided to have bee colonies at his house so he ordered a bunch of flow hives off eBay and had me put them together. It was a trial let me tell you. Another time he sent me to the post office to pick up 3,000 bees, not in my car mind you!

So, I’m usually first in the office. Then he strolls in about an hour or hour and a half after me. Yesterday, he decided that it was cherry picking day. I shared a couple of pictures of these cherries from their blossoms to the actual fruit. They’re ripe now! He walks into my office and goes, “you ever pick cherries before?” I’m like no, never. I’d never even seen a cherry tree up close until I started working here.

He explains that he’s going to put me and my coworker in a basket and lift us up to pick everything off the top of the tree. Now as you’re reading this, you’re probably like is he senile? What do you mean lift us up in a basket?? I automatically think of a picnic basket and I’m pretty positive I’m too big for that. Or like a hot air balloon basket but we don’t have one of those.

It’s actually a metal basket strapped to a forklift!

So I am literally entrusting my life to the driver of this rusted contraption below me and there’s no strapping us to the basket itself. It’s a free for all.

Half my day was spent up in the air which was pretty fun. When I told my husband he was like, “this is what you do all day?”. I was like when an 80 year old man tells you to pick cherries, you pick cherries!

Here are a couple pictures from up in the air to give you perspective. The first one is the view from the top of a semi that docked for shipment pickup. The second one features a cameo from Mr. Continental! He blends right into the forest with that tree growing out his bumper.

This is only one tree of many. As you can see in the picture above, there’s a tree with a different type of cherries. I thought all cherries were created equal but the dark red ones are called Bing cherries and those yellow ones are Queen Ann cherries. The Bing cherries have a slight sour taste whereas those Queen Ann cherries are sweet! They tasted like grapes to me.

We filled two big boxes of cherries and left the rest to the birds and other wildlife to strip the rest of that tree. Since this day there has been lots of cherry pie and cherry jam in this office.

Do you have fruit trees? Do you like cherries? Is it rainy where you are in the world now? Let me know in the comments below!

Think Goose!

What a nice wake me up. My Pandora is playing Disney tunes. First, Part of Your World and now Hakuna Matata. Reminded me of a story that I hope you’ll enjoy. As always, laughter is always welcome.

I got this idea into my head (yes, I have awesome ideas most times :P) that my husband and I should go walking in nature one Sunday. It looked like it was going to rain but it hadn’t started yet and we were up early enough, I figured we could go walk a mile or two before the rain started.

There are quite a few metroparks in and around our town. There was one right around the corner that seemed promising. I always saw it driving on the way home and figured it would be a nice little walk. When we got there, turned out this park was just a dock point for kayaks. I took some pictures especially of the geese because it’s baby season and Canada geese all over have been rapid, reproducing machines.

I should have known that was a sign.

We decided to drive to the Gorge Metropark instead since that’s a tried and true nice, long hiking trail. We get there and instead of taking the trail to the giant waterfall dam, we take a route we hadn’t walked before. I’d say about 7 minutes into the walk we encounter Goosey Lucy on the trail. She is not happy to see us. We get the hiss treatment and the stink eye. Luckily, there’s enough trail that we could stride widely and slowly around her. We didn’t see any other geese around her so I attributed it to her being a morning grump. I’m a grumps in the morning cause my bed is so comfortable that I don’t want to leave it but priorities and all that; grumps until I fully wake up then I’m less grumps.

I want to say we walked a total of 3 miles. It started raining on us and we kept going forward cause the trees were a natural barrier and my husband and the foresight to grab an umbrella. At one point we decided to turn around because the way metroparks work in Ohio, you could literally walk from one city to another through the parks. They’re quite extensive. One of the highlights on this trail was getting to see the dam from top side.

You know that feeling when your legs are tired but the best relief is to walk a little faster or run because regular speed hurts too much? That’s basically what we had going on plus we were getting hungry so we hustled back at a faster pace.

We get back to the spot were we saw Goosey Lucy only to encounter Goosey Brucey as well. Now we’re getting two stink eyes and double the hissing. They’re taking up more of the trail this time. We start to give them a wide berth like we did the first time but they spread their wings and take steps towards us!

My husband tries to keep walking. I grab him by the elbow to stop him.

Him: Why are we stopping?

Me: Because these geese are giving us their “I’m going to kill you stances” which means there are probably babies in that tall grass.

Sure enough I was right. Three goslings walk out to stand with their parents.

Him: Okay, so? We’ll just walk quickly.

Me: No we aren’t.

Him: I have the umbrella. We can use it as a shield.

Me: That umbrella has a sharp point! I don’t want to be responsible for injuring a goose.

Him: They won’t get my wife!

Me: My hero.

Him: Yes, I am.

Me: You do know a goose attack can break bones right? People underestimate the power of their wings.

Him: I can take ’em!

He was getting upset cause they were hissing in earnest now. I’m like they’re just protecting their babies. It reminded me of my trumpeter swan days when us group of college students had to basically steal 6 babies from their parents before they fledged. It was part of a breeding program and definitely a story for another day.

The geese must have realized we wouldn’t move until they did because they started walking ahead on the trail. My husband and I followed slowly behind with our umbrella shield and I couldn’t help but thinking about that scene in Aristocats where the geese teach the cats how to waddle like geese.

The geese fam walked off into the tall grass and Brucey stays on the edge of the trail eyeing us as we pass. We’re five steps away when my husband turns around and goes, “You’re lucky my wife is holding me back or I’d take you on!” I wasn’t holding him at all. I was certainly laughing though, especially when he wrapped my arm around him to simulate me “holding him back”.

Silly man.

Objectivity & Perspective

A regular activity of mine is listening to NPR (National Public Radio). I only listen on my drive into work and on my way home; when I’m not talking to someone on the phone. I hate commercials and music stations are too repetitive. I should admit that I do pay attention to what’s going on in the world a lot more than I did before because of America’s current president.

This past Friday, I heard the most interesting story. It was about conspiracy theorists in relation to the Sandy Hook shooting. I won’t go into detail about that tragedy because it’s depressing. Feel free to look it up on your own. Anyway, the journalist on NPR was interviewing a mom who had experienced losing her child because of this tragedy and her feelings about being asked to come on a new show to be interviewed by a known conspiracy theorist.

To those who may not know, a conspiracy theorist is someone who believes that certain events in history and today were staged by an individual or a group of individuals for whatever reason. They believe they can explain the circumstances down to the very last detail because all things can be explained I guess.

In this case, the belief here is that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged; that the children who were killed are actually still alive in a bunker or hidden spot somewhere and all of their families came up with this plan for monetary gain.

I listened to this woman explain what she and these other families have experienced in the last 5 years. She said the worst thing in the world besides losing a child to a shooter in America is having to defend that her child is actually dead. When asked how she shields her 12 year old son from potential questions about his sister, she said she’s practiced a script with him because she realized its impossible to shield her child in this world.

This affected me, ok. I’m driving home and I’m feeling sad and angry at the same time. So I turned around and called my husband right back and started with, “I just heard the most depressing thing ever…” and I explained the story to him and ended it with a healthy dose of curse words about how messed up I thought it all was.

My husband silently listens to my rant. When I come up for air, he starts to tell me his own story.

He tells me it’s ironic that I mentioned this because earlier in the day, a coworker showed him a video supposedly of one of these parents faking tears on camera. I guess someone caught video of the parent’s emotional state before the video went live vs. after. He said this coworker was trying to show him “evidence” of why conspiracy theorists think the things they do.

I got a little pissed, I won’t deny. I said something along the lines of, “you’re telling me that if one of these parents came up to you crying their eyes out about losing their child that you wouldn’t believe them??” Got seriously worked up here.

He calmly says, “I probably would believe them but hear me out.” Earlier in the day he was also listening to NPR but it was a different story. He said the journalists were discussing human nature. As humans, we innately, instinctively want to believe that when a person tells us something, they are telling us the truth. We don’t want to believe a person is a liar unless given an express reason why right? When presented with evidence that things may not be as they seem, how can your perspective not change a little bit? He said he’s not saying he believes his coworker but he’s not saying his coworker is wrong either. Who are we to say who’s wrong and who’s right when we aren’t personally involved you know?

My worked up emotions died at this point. I never thought about it that way. It’s hard to be completely objective when presented with different perspectives. I don’t want to believe that the world is that ugly that people would fake mass deaths but if I’m honest with myself, I’ll never know the real truth and I have to be okay with that.

It’s amazing how the course of a conversation can change in the span of minutes. I started it upset but I ended up feeling much better by the end.

This isn’t my usual happy go lucky story and I apologize if it upsets any of you but I wanted to share it to get an idea of how you all think. Do you try to look at the world objectively? Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said about a person’s perspective of the world? Do you think my perspective is wrong (I won’t be offended if you do)? Let me know in the comments below.

My Weekend: Pt. 2

To read part one, see here.

So, I’d gotten my books signed from Darynda and my friend’s girlfriend asked me to get a signed book for her from J.R. Ward. Okay, I said. I can do that, no problem. I’m leaving my Darynda line when J.R. Ward and company show up and it’s a big squealing girl fest because J.R. Ward, Darynda and Karen Marie Moning are apparently really good friends. So I look over at the line and we start to try to find the end of it. It went out the area they were in, around the corner, and down a long hallway….

The things you do for friends right?

My husband, the awesome man that he is, grabs a chair out of conference room for me to sit in and then he takes all the signed books out to the car. This line is legit, intimidating. I kid you not, there were fans with suitcases of books! Like, I’m going on a trip, please check my bag type of suitcases for this woman!

We settled in for a long wait. Every time we moved a little bit, my husband would drag the chair with us. This lady behind us thought he was on to something and went and grabbed her own chair. At one point her friend asked her, “are you going to drag the chair the whole way?” And she was like, “I’m not giving up my chair til he does”, pointing at my husband.

About halfway through waiting was when I met Melanie Jayne. Besides picking her brain about being an author, I informed her about how I was standing in this ridiculous line for a friend.. Turns out, she was doing the same thing! I told her how I wasn’t a huge J.R. Ward fan and she she explained to me about the direction of the books and the spin off series. It sounded like Grey’s Anatomy to me (because I can’t not make Grey’s connections in my regular life) where you have the residents with interns and then the interns become residents and get new interns and next thing you know you’re in season 14.

Because I’m a pretty forward person, I decided to ask her if she knew why J.R. Ward had bodyguards. She looks left and right and steps a little closer to whisper the scoop to us. She said word on the street was, in years past, two fans tried to kill her. I do not make this stuff up. Why would people want to kill an author?? I mean the characters aren’t even real. Don’t get me wrong, I get attached to my characters but not to that extent. I guess the content of her stories are so dark and sometimes devastating that it upsets people or their favorites got killed off? I really don’t know. Can you imagine someone wanting to kill you because of your creative mind?

I tried to Google it to no avail. The only thing that kept popping up was #peegate because apparently at RT (Romantic Times convention), when J.R. went to go pee she went in alone and had her bodyguards prevent any other ladies from entering to pee themselves. It was big deal cause it’s a hotel and the restrooms are for everyone. But when you’re a big deal it’s only natural to create a bigger deal right?

Anyway, the book signings were only until 5 pm but J.R. Ward said she would stay until the last person. Volunteers ended up going around with sticky notes so they could write the name you wanted signed and streamlined the process. When we finally got up there, it was quite funny when J.R. Ward looked at us and goes, “Didn’t we see you in Rally’s?” I was like yep. Her bodyguard thought it was quite hilarious.

After that we drove all the way back home, dropped the rental car off, had some late night Wendy’s and went to bed. Woke up early the next morning and decided to see Wonder Woman. I think Robin Wright makes the best Amazon ever! I’m so used to seeing her in her serious role on House of Cards but she needs to act in fantasy much more often. Also, I don’t know if I was extra emotional that morning or what but by the end of the movie, I was literally trying to conceal my sobs. I’m such an easy crier. I’m thinking of creating a tag called “romances that rip your soul to pieces” and we can all list movies, TV shows and books that yank the heart strings.

Have you ever encountered a strange experience trying to do something for a friend? Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? What do you think of my tag idea? Let me know in the comments!

Size Doesn’t Matter

SHAME!

 

If your mind went straight to the gutter… well so did mine but this is my story so I don’t count.

I can’t deny that when I first read the word prompt, I thought it said ballsy (it’s actually brassy). Similar, no? Well they have the same meaning! The American language I swear…

This story is not in the gutter I promise!

Do you like spicy food? If so, you’ll love this story.

My husband works for a well known company with a lot of, mostly men, with diverse backgrounds. One day, one such friend was telling him a story about his pepper garden. He grew all kinds of hot, chili peppers. The guy told him about his setup — you know placement of peppers, care needs and jarring process for the winter. He then proceeded to to ask my husband if he had ever tried any of these peppers. Some, yes. Some, no.

I want to let you dear readers know that there is a such thing as a hotness scale. It’s called the Scoville scale. It basically measures how hot something is before it burns the tastebuds off your tongue; at least that’s how I’m dubbing it. Why people subject themselves to this kImage result for hot pepper scaleind of torture, I have no idea.

Anyway, one of the peppers he grew in his garden was the habenero. On the Scoville scale, this is rated as 200,000-350,000 heat units. The 5th hottest pepper! The hottest pepper, in heat units, is pure Capsaician with a ridiculous 15 million Scoville heat unit rating.

So this friend gives my husband two to take home and tells him to cook them up with spaghetti sauce or something to get a taste for the heat. A little goes a long way.

Remember that I said this.

I’m shown these peppers when he gets home.

This is right before the fun started. He got this idea into his head that instead of cooking them in a sauce, we should just try them the way they are. They’re tiny so they can’t be that bad right? Me, being the logical woman (keyword woman) that I am, I’m game for this test! So he has one and I have one. I take a tiny little bite. Like right off the tip! Trust me when I say its hot. I was able to tolerate it but I definitely doused my mouth with lots of water (because milk is disgusting) and some bread.

My husband sees my reaction and figures, it can’t be that bad. I try to tell him that what he’s about to do is probably not a good idea. “I’ll be fine.” Yeah, okay Hercules. So you know what he does? He decides to bite half of it. HALF. OF. IT! At first, nothing happened and I thought, okay maybe he can handle this. I mean we’ve been to Quaker Steak and Lube and were able to handle their triple hot wings just fine, especially him.

Yeah, no.

He RUNS to the bathroom and sticks his head under the sink. He then orders me to go to the kitchen to get the whole gallon of milk and the whole loaf of bread. I’m definitely in tears at this point — tears of joy and laughter! I could not stop laughing! He’s over the toilet drowning in a gallon of milk and trying to sponge the heat out of his mouth with a loaf of bread. We were living with his mom at the time and she comes running like, “What’s going on??? Are you OK???” And I can’t even speak cause I’m just sitting and laughing my ass off. In hindsight, I should have recorded it!

It probably took about an hour or so for him to be able to not breathe like dragon at which point the woman (pointing at me here) says, “That’s what you get.”

So you see, the moral of this story is size doesn’t matter matter cause tiny things can punch you in the face and make you cry. Also, when touching hot things, don’t touch your face, you know around the eye area, with said hot stained fingers. You’ll thank me later.