Tuesday, November 11, 2014

warning! avertissement! advertencia! 警告

   The advertised weight of a weatherproof sleeping bag lined in flannel boasting toasty toes in weather dipping into the thirties (f) is six point five pounds. When the tag of the peed-upon sleeping bag warns you not to put it in a top-loading washing machine, believe something bad is going to happen if you do.  Even if you cut off the strings that are supposed to keep it all rolled up.  Even if you remove that  tag (possibly under penalty of the law) before you cram it down into the washer with the handle of a broom, toss in  a DO NOT EAT soap pod, and slam down the lid like a boss. Something. Bad. Will. Happen.  Perhaps you’ll step in a puddle and go chasing after one of the dogs (probably the littlest one because let’s face it he’s the biggest asshole) with a wet rug in your clutches because last time the rug was wet it was his fault….wait a minute….what’s that banging noise?  
   The estimated weight of a weatherproof sleeping bag lined in flannel boasting toasty toes in weather dipping into the thirties (f) is two hundred forty six mother fucking pounds.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014


If you know me in the personal sense at all, you know my heart bleeds gushes for lost and lonely animals.  My husband knows he is always just on the cusp of living in a zoo and forgives each and every email forward from the local pound or rescue shelter I send his way.  I've transported snails in tupperware, brought turtles inside to weigh on the scale because HOLY HUGE some turtles weigh 13 lbs in my hood, and once spent a whole hour trying to catch a kitten I heard mewing in the garden section of Wal-mart. There have been emergency lizard, frog, and moth rescues.  And we have three dogs, and a cat that all knew some sort of desperation before finding a forever place at our home.  

I can't drive by a stray without my heart racing.  I look at the clock to see if wherever it is I'm headed can just wait a few more minutes.  I've followed dogs home, tempted cats with turkey from under abandoned houses and maybe picked up a puppy shamelessly chucked from a moving pickup truck.  People do these things!  

If I wasn't as skilled at rehoming these wayward souls, my family would certainly be living in aforementioned zoo.  

I took some photos of my last "project".  Her name was briefly LUCKY- since she was found by a bartender-friend in the engine of her car.  After driving two miles to a McDonalds!!!  I suppose Stowaway or Hitcher would have also been appropriate, but at my house (where she ended up since said friend has allergies) we called her OLIVE.

I mean.  I really don't get why black cats are so much harder to find homes for.  Look at that beauty!

In the end.  After only about a week in our master bath (where she hid desperately from the dogs, but loved endlessly on the children) I grew the courage to post a photo of her on Facebook and a teeny-tiny hint that she was possibly "up for adoption".

Just minutes later, a dear old friend's wife messaged me that her son was just enamored with a book about cats and especially the photos of the black ones!  And that they had been really and truly tossing around the idea of adopting a black cat because of the sweet boy's adoration.


And though tears were shed (gallons possibly) by my oldest, dearest heart... sweet Olive was given a new place to roam about where no scary dogs (or cats) would have her hiding behind toilet stumps or under dressers.  I'm so thankful for friends.  And my understanding husband.  And for children I can say are truly learning to care for other people and for animals.  

My big girl knew Olive was only a visitor.  She knew from the start because I told her.  And she was happy in her heart for the friends who took her home and grateful for those days she spent taking care of her.  On the way home from the kitty delivery, she used a box of tissues but then breathed deeply and said, "now we will have room again for another lost one". 

And that's just right. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

about a bar

Because I needed another place to keep these thoughts.  And because, well, it's been ages.  Hasn't it?

I keep telling myself it was just a place. And I know some people are seeing these posts and thinking "what's the big deal?" or "it was just a bar". Well they're wrong. They don't know what they're talking about. It was more than just a place. 64 North Orange Avenue was a hideout. A treehouse for grownups right on the streets of Orlando. But instead of "no girls allowed", it was 21 and up. There wasn't a secret handshake, rather a yellow legal pad of paper by the cash register with members' names and tabs. When you had friends in town (or your mom) you popped in to show the place off. And your guests either got-it or moved on further toward Church street for drinks. But that was okay. You slid into a booth. Close (but not too close) to the RV and found or made your mark on it's cruddy side. You met your best friend there after wandering in during your first summer of college. He was sitting at the bar. He was behind the bar. He was dating the bartender. You met your wife there. Or husband. After taking many (MANY) strips of photos in which you were kissing frogs....you found a prince. (He was drinking High Life and poring over juke-box selections.) When you lost your job, Henry bought you a drink. And then Preston did. And then I did. When you broke up, She got Eye-Spy and you staked claim on BBQ (lucky dog). The girls behind you on a Saturday night are mad because you didn't get carded and they are searching blindly in their purses for an ID. But it's your place. You can do that. You can sit on a stool, rest your gut up against the bar, turn a lock that doesn't secure a damn thing and look up at a face who knows what you like in your can. And they probably know your last name and who will show up in five minutes to sit next to you. And I can't lie to myself and say that all that is no big deal. It meant so much to me. I was a patron there a few years and then I told Hurst he should give me a job so I could support my habit. He said, "Okay, come in tomorrow at 7." And I'm so grateful I had the balls to show up (hungover). This post is getting on. And faces and names are popping into memory that are making me happy and sad. Last night Ashley and Hurst hoisted up the rope ladder to the coolest fort I've ever known. I'm so thankful to have been a part of it.

not me

                                   (Ashley happens to be a photographer. Not just a bar tender.)