Category Archives: Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff

Creepy singing avocados… yes, there’s video

Me and Trisha Stew Leonard's

Me and Trisha clowning around at Stew’s. It’s kinda hard not to, especially when you’re with an out-of-towner!

A couple of months ago, I attended Book Fiend Reader’s Fest III up in Manchester, a little less than an hour from my house. My friend and fellow writer Trisha Wooldridge, who lives in Massachusetts, came down for the weekend, as the morning drive from my house was shorter than hers—but also, we LOVE having weekends together and would use any excuse to get one.

When we were planning food for the weekend, I asked, “well, what would you like me to get?”

Her immediate response was, “Can we go to Stew Leonard’s when I get there?”

She hadn’t spent the weekend here in Danbury since 2013, when she and another friend and fellow writer, Nanette, came here for a writer’s retreat (we were all broke and couldn’t afford to rent a place). On that trip, I took them to Stew’s—and Trisha, who wasn’t familiar with it, remembered her experience.

So, for those who’ve never heard of it, what is Stew Leonard’s? Billing itself as The World’s Largest Dairy Store, it’s a wonderland of pretty awesome stuff, but the biggest attraction is probably, honestly, all of its crazy singing animatronics. Most of these displays entertain the little kids, but they’ve been a great balm in Gilead for any adult who’s feeling down. Nothing a little video of singing animatronic chickens can’t cure, right?

Or maybe just these creepy avocado girls.

 

How a reckless driver gave me back my writing mojo

I was in a car accident earlier this week.

It was after work, and I was in the parking lot, getting ready to back out of my space. I checked both ways behind me before pulling out—physically, which means I turned around and actually looked—and then slowly crawled out. I had barely gone a couple of inches when suddenly? WHACK!

I thought for a second perhaps I’d struck the light pole I was parked next to, but then I turned around and saw a black Jeep Cherokee sitting several feet past me—he’d been passing me. Not head on, just driving by in the driving lane.

Shit. Where the hell had he come from? He had to be going pretty fast to just show up out of nowhere, and because he was past me, he either didn’t stop at first or it took him a while to stop his vehicle. All of this pointed, at least in my mind, to unreasonable speed. In addition, it was a straight away. I definitely would’ve seen him coming.

Car Accident View -- 08-09-22

This was what I saw just before I backed out of my space, which is to the right of the photo.

The driver, a kid who would later prove to be in his mid-20s, leapt from his car, phone in hand, screaming “I’m so sorry! Are you hurt! Are you hurt?”

Well, at least he asked the right question.

He had some damage to his driver’s side door. Mine was a different story—it was pretty severe, probably more damage once it got opened up at the shop than could be seen with the naked eye. We agreed to exchange information, but I wanted to call the police. He was very uncomfortable with the idea, but I’m a Gen-X adult who knows better than to not call. I wanted the cop to see us both walking around and breathing, mostly so that this kid couldn’t invent terrible injuries later. He wasn’t acting like a jerk—in fact, he was polite, just totally confused and didn’t know what to do because he said it was his first accident—but his discomfort with getting the police involved signaled he couldn’t be trusted.

He hedged around the parking lot, pacing, calling his mom and his wife. Then, he asked, “Can you call back and find out when they’re going to get here? I have to go to a Mets game tonight.” Read the rest of this entry

NECRONOMICON PROVIDENCE IS COMING: I’ve got a reading! An art show, panels, parties and a ball!

Even as I juggle fifty million projects (an anthology, the 10th anniversary of Bad Apple, 34 Orchard, HWA-CT business, a short story deadline and critiques I owe people)…I’m getting ready for NECRONOMICON PROVIDENCE, in Rhode Island August 18—21, 2022! The main website for the event is here: http://necronomicon-providence.com/welcome/

Necro 2022 Schedule Book

I made my own schedule book so I can choose all the things I want to go to. See all those flags on the right? Yeah, I’m gonna be BUSY!

Here are some of my cast-in-stone plans. Would you like to join me? Some events require a ticket (one-day passes are available HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/necronomicon-providence-2022-tickets-143546536555) but some events are not only open to the public, but free! Please note, according to their website, masks and proof of vaccination will be required for all indoor events. Policies are here: http://necronomicon-providence.com/policies-privacy/

In between whatever I’m doing, I’ll be taking in panels—both pop and academic, readings, at least one performance, a few short films, and hooking up with friends old and new. I’ve got my wish list ready to go, but it’ll be a busy weekend, and it’s very fluid.

Before I get started, Read the rest of this entry

So this baby skunk rescue just happened …

Independence Day has a whole new meaning now. Two baby skunks fell into the window well behind our wood pile. Nathan rescued them with a wildlife claw. They appear healthy and unhurt and are out now and running around the yard.  Video below photo.

Babies down in the well:

Babies in the yard:

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

Wishing you an amazing 4th of July — it’ll be the last time we get a three day weekend to mark it until 2025! And, in case you’re wondering … yes, these Oreos really DO pop inside your mouth!


Firework Oreos Limited Edition

Flowers for the 4th …

4th Flowers 1

My husband bought me these gorgeous flowers for the 4th for the back porch, where I write all weekend. I love these. A little tag that came with them said the arrangement was especially created for the July birthstone, the Ruby (It’s not my birthstone. I’m a February baby, so my birthstone is Amethyst).

4th Flowers 2

Sad news. :(

I’m devastated to announce that the baby Carolina wren has died. It’s okay. It’s been over 11 days and he long should’ve fledged by now, though, and he really wasn’t eating, I don’t think, so I don’t think he stood much of a chance and he would’ve struggled in his little birdy life. His parents were very attentive and did all that they could–they were in the nest feeding him (or trying to) ALL THE TIME. In all honesty, he didn’t look right to me when he hatched. I had a good cry and am smoking a real cigarette, and then Nathan will take care of him when he gets home. I feel wren’s little spirit is happy and free, because yes, I can feel him around me. This is nature, and sometimes things just happen that way. We have had other successful nests closeby like this, so I’m sure it’s nothing we did. I hope you are happier and feeling better now, little guy.

UPDATE: (7:30 pm EDT): Nathan came home to bury him and the nest was infested with bird mites. Bird mite infestations cause anemia in baby birds. So that is why he died. Right now, Nathan is spraying the yard so the mites do not spread to our population.

Poor Dead Baby Carolina Wren

Looking for documentaries? Recommended watches …

I’m a shameless consumer of documentaries, but like anything else, they are all about personal taste. There are docs that are excellent, but if the subject matter doesn’t float your boat, then you’re not going to be interested (sports, fashion, medical, and political documentaries, for example, are just not my thing).

That said, many people ask me what I’ve been watching lately if they’re into documentaries. Although I’ve been too crazy busy to do much of anything, I was lucky enough to get some downtime due to illness earlier in the year, I’m often working on mindless projects that could use an incentive, and I do take a full day off once in awhile to prevent burn-out and turn off my brain.

Here are some of the documentaries I’ve watched since the beginning of the year, and where Read the rest of this entry

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! The wren babies hatched!

The little ones arrived yesterday (June 18) at about one in the afternoon!

7 Baby Wren 24 hours old

See his eye? This little guy is fewer than twenty-four hours old!

I came downstairs to get a bottled water, and I saw the female Carolina wren perched on top of the nest box, chirping furiously—calling her mate. When he didn’t come, she jumped Read the rest of this entry

“Life begins when you get back up.”

The last few months, while full of joy and wonderful things, have also harbored a few emotional challenges in the wake of unexpected change.

I’ve always felt I’ve had choices. I can A, let things beat me and roll over and play dead until I recover; B, keep fighting; C, find a decent work around and keep moving; or D, a combination of B and C and take all of that pain and heartache and channel it into something worthwhile instead of whining about it.

First of all, yes, I have chosen A a few times in my life, so this isn’t a post about my fabulous strength and endurance. F—, sometimes, shit just beats me, and that’s okay. Recently, though, it’s been choice D, and there are days when the gumption’s running low. It’s always wonderful, then, to find a little something Read the rest of this entry

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