Got Newsy Neighbors? I do!

•January 29, 2015 • 13 Comments
A good neighbor is hard to find. So I'll have to settle for a newsy neighbor.

A good neighbor is hard to find. So I’ll have to settle for a newsy neighbor.

Every so often my new local paper runs “briefs” about suspicious odd whacky significant newsy events that happened locally.

To local people.

I keep thinking, “These are my new neighbors.”

I continue thinking, “Wow, these people are WAY more interesting than anyone I left back in New York State.”

Let me introduce you to just a few of my newsy neighbors.

Confused Jogger

Where am I? There has to be something better I could be doing right now.

Where am I? There has to be something better I could be doing right now.

A middle-aged (58–yes, that counts as middle-aged when you’re 57) man taking an early morning run at Bush’s Pasture Park in Salem, Oregon was suddenly struck twice in the head.

At first, he told the police, he thought he was being mugged. But no one mugged him. In fact, he was alone.

Next, he decided he was struck by lighting. Twice. Bull hooey on a stick! That only happens to me! The police officer assured him that no storms were reported in the area.

Then, he thought he was having a stroke. But all systems were operating properly.

Finally, he remembered he saw a large winged creature fly off to his left. He decided a giant bat dive-bombed him. Authorities assured him that a giant bat attack was unlikely, although Great Horned Owls are known to nest in the area and are also known to be very protective of their nests. So People, whoo is the real victim here?

Spunky Shopper

Classic.

I wonder if the woman’s name was Melissa. Her name was withheld from the article.

A middle-aged (57–I know, I thought I was moving to a place where young people go by the droves) woman’s purse was snatched as she was walking to her car after doing some grocery shopping.

I know, I thought this area attracted only nice people.

Anyway, this woman wasn’t about to let these two hooligans get away with her purse. She chased the two lads to their junky car.

I know, apparently, people are very fit around here and don’t all drive new hybrids.

By the time she reached the car, they were inside with the doors locked and started backing out of the parking spot.

The woman threw herself onto the hood of the car in what only could be described as a Melissa McCarthy move and hung onto the windshield wipers while the robbers drove the car in a “herky-jerky” manner trying to shake her off their car.

No deal. She hung on.

I know, you have to be very careful while driving in parking lots around here.

Finally, one of the hoods threw her purse out, keeping the wallet.

When she saw her purse fly out the window, she let go and flew off the hood.

The police asked her why she risked being injured and she replied, “I have pictures of my grandchildren in my purse and I wasn’t about to let those thieves have them.”

I know, my young age and already a grandmother!

As for the wallet, she remarked, “I don’t care about that, there wasn’t any money or credit cards in it. I’m not stupid.”

I know, I have to rethink the whole wallet thing…

For the Love of Music, Freedom, and, well, More Freedom

Trust me. You don't want to see the pictures I saw when I searched Google Images for naked violin protest. I'm going to have nightmares tonight.

Trust me. You don’t want to see the pictures I saw when I searched Google Images for naked violin protest. I’m going to have nightmares tonight.

A young man (finally) is suing one of the cities around here. There are so many, it’s hard to keep track.

He’s a musician. Plays the violin.

So far so good, right? This is an area that supports the arts. Great!

Well, he was arrested about a year ago for playing the violin naked in front of one of the city halls.

He said, “I was making a statement about individual liberty and freedom of expression.”

The police saw things that they didn’t want to see differently. I guess even here there are laws against showing certain pee-pee parts.

So he got arrested for public indecency, although I’m sure his music was tasteful.

But that’s not why he is suing the City of Definite Limits.

He claims that the police officers who arrested him were “gorillas who were unnecessarily rough, especially with his wrists,” which, of course, are necessary to his livelihood.

Unless he has a career in nude protesting, which isn’t starting off so great.

I’ll keep you updated on more interesting newsy neighbors.
In the meantime, do you have any newsy neighbors of your own?

Don't you admire what people can do with a shrub, hedge clippers, and a little imagination?

Don’t you admire what people can do with a healthy shrub, hedge clippers, a lot of time, and the talent to make a vision come to life?

The Goodbye Walk

•January 21, 2015 • 48 Comments

If you didn’t read my last post, this post won’t make any sense. Not that any of them do…

Do you think she's trying to confuse us? No she wouldn't do that on purpose. That's not the way she rolls. Or is it?

Do you think she’s trying to confuse us? No, she wouldn’t do that on purpose. That’s not the way she rolls. Or is it?

I know I make things around here confusing enough.

If you don’t know that tragedy plopped into my life, do yourself a favor and read Happy Trails, Happy Scrappy.

I’m trying to help you. Really.

Just trust her. She's been through a ruff time.

Just trust her. She’s been through a ruff time.

At the end of my last post, I told you I found a way past my sickening grief.

Before I tell you about that, let me just say that the last time I felt as lost, abandoned, and downright empty was when my husband left me in 2009.

Maudlin. That’s what I was after I finished being hysterical.

Every time I walked into the house, I cried.

When I went to the bathroom, I cried.

Why? Because Scrappy always followed me everywhere and I never went pee without saying “Hi” to him.

Is everything coming out okay, Mom?

Is everything coming out okay, Mom?

Phil tried to keep me busy Friday night and Saturday, but he was grieving, too. We were a sorry pair.

He was worried that I would get sick (or sicker) from the stress.

So was I.

I kept thinking about scientific articles proving pet ownership improves overall health. How ironic.

I took extra meds to help me sleep on Friday and Saturday night.

Fearing that I would sink into some dizzier, depressed, inflamed immune system malaise, I woke up Sunday morning knowing I had to pull myself back from the hole into which I was sinking. The hole in my heart.

I laid in bed and asked myself, “How can a hole feel so damned heavy?” How ironic.

I reached over and poked Phil. He stirred.

“I’m going for a walk.” I said.

This was an act of courage because every morning I took Scrappy for a walk. This walk would be solo.

“Do you want me to come with you?” Phil said.

“No, I have to do this alone.”

“Okay. Just be careful.” It was dark, raining, and windy. Phil worries about me.

“I will. I just need to do this.”

And I did.

Armed with my rain gear and a handful of tissues, I headed off into the pre-dawn darkness.

That’s when I started talking aloud to Scrappy.

First, I told him how sorry I was about not being there for him when he departed. I hoped that his soul left his body before he felt any pain. I told him I wished that he was in a peaceful, beautiful place where his spirit could run free.

Second, I talked about our journey together and how maybe he knew it was time that I travel alone. We met when we were both abandoned souls, teaching each other how to trust. I assured him that I will always love him and thanked him for being there through those tough days when it was just him and me.

Finally, I told him about how I was strong enough to walk alone. He was my brave and perfect companion, but now it was time for him to rest. He didn’t need to protect me anymore.

When I said this last declaration to him, three things happened simultaneously:

1. The rain that had been pelting me stopped instantaneously.

2. The wind that kept trying to blow the hood off my head died down to nothing.

3. My heart felt as light as a feather.

I smiled.

I think Scrappy’s essence, spirit, energy–whatever you want to call it–was surrounding me, weighing me down, until I said goodbye in a way that understood.

We spoke soul to soul.

When he was satisfied that his job here was done, he bolted–just like he did when he ran into the forest on Friday before giving me his knowing look.

His sparkling love now fills my heart, effervescent and light.

I haven’t shed a tear since the Goodbye Walk. I’ve even had occasion to laugh a little–maudlin no more.

Do I miss him? Sure I do.

But he and I took our magical Goodbye Walk and something shifted. He’s with me in a new way. We walk together every morning still…in that new way.

If you’ve never had a close relationship with a non-human companion, you probably think I’m being Loony Lorna or I’m into some New Age hooey about talking to spirits, especially animal spirits.

I know how you feel, Lorna. People judge us because we're timeless beauties who have it goin' on.

I know how you feel, Lorna. People judge us because we’re timeless beauties who have it goin’ on.

All I can tell you is what happened. The rain and wind stopped at the moment the grief-grip on my heart released.

Call it what you will. I call it Scrappy saying “I’m still looking out for you, Mom. I’m only a smile away.”

Look for some posts about Scrappy's interesting life in the future. He's got an interesting story and it looks as if I'm going to have to tell it.

Look for some future posts about Scrappy’s adventures. He’s got an interesting life story and it looks as if I’m going to have to tell it.

 Thank you so very much for all the loving and supportive messages. You have made this difficult time easier knowing I have a world of friends who truly care about me and my furry little guy (Scrappy, not Phil) who you’ve come to know via this wonky and wonderful blog.
Sending you my love and very warm hugs…

 

 

Happy Trails, Happy Scrappy

•January 19, 2015 • 69 Comments

scrappy surrounded-1When you write a zany blog, it’s tough on both writer and reader to switch gears and post something serious.

“Is she trying to trick us again?” you may be asking yourselves.

The answer is no.

This post is a rare and serious one–as serious as a stroke, or heart attack.

Which is probably what Scrappy had.

Which is probably why I’m sitting here and he’s not staring at me with his big brown eyes while curled up on his bed.

My almost 14-year-old boy who people always confused for a puppy is gone.

And, just like my free-spirited boy, he left me by surprise and on his own terms.

Friday was supposed to be a rain-out of a day, but the sun came out in the afternoon.

Scrap had been acting confused that day, something he was doing more and more. Failing senses? Doggie dementia? Mini-strokes? But he had been cooped up all day and I decided that when we got to the walking path behind our development, I could let him off leash for just a little while.

Scrappy was happiest when he could trot around and sniff unfettered by the ever-present leash.The walking path is tucked well away from streets. It’s been his haven for the last three weeks.

The path ends at a thickly forested ravine. He’s never ventured beyond there.

Friday he did.

I asked, then demanded he “wait!” In response, he turned his head and looked directly at me for about two seconds. In that time, I saw something in his eyes. Something that said, “No, There’s something I have to do.”

Then he disappeared.

When he was younger, he got away from me and went on grand Terrier-fueled adventures a lot. The difference was that I would hear him barking and running through underbrush. And, of course, he always come home.

This time, all I heard was silence. He disappeared.

Vowing I would never let him off leash again, I waited, called, then gave up and returned home, hoping that maybe his sense of smell was still working and he could find his way back home.

When I got home and I saw he wasn’t there, I decide to walk the neighborhood. The last thing I wanted was to have him lost and confused. I needed my vagabond boy back home, safe.

Fate had other plans.

As I headed out, I saw a gathering of people and cars by a corner one block away.

Instantly I knew.

I ran to find Scrappy lying, as if sleeping in the middle of the street on four-way-stop intersection.

Two vehicles, a car and a small pick-up truck were parked and three people were bending over his perfectly still body.

The woman in the car said she saw him running in the road and avoided hitting him. The young man in the pick-up truck claimed responsibility for hitting him, but I don’t know how that was possible. The vehicles could not have been going more than a few miles an hour.

There wasn’t a mark on Scrappy and absolutely no blood came from anywhere on his head or body. He was perfect.

I think, being the Highly Sensitive Dog that he was, he got startled by the traffic turning the corner and either had a heart attack or a major stroke. I want to believe that it was instant and that he never felt a thing. And I really want to believe that he was coming home. To me.

Was he saying goodbye to me with that definitive look before he disappeared in the ravine? I’ll never know.

With Scrappy, keeping me guessing was his sport of choice.

I felt wracked with guilt for letting him off the leash and for not being there to say goodbye to this little soul who has journeyed with me through both very low and very hide tides in my life over the past eleven years.

How many tears can a body produce? I think I tested the limit over the weekend.

But I found a way to lighten my heavy heart in a most unexpected way.

More about that in the next post…

scrappy sleeping

Things You Should Know…Or Not

•January 16, 2015 • 15 Comments

I thinks it’s pretty spasmagical whenever anyone shimmies down gets stuck in a chimney and it’s not Jolly Ole St. Nick, don’t you?

At least it’s worth a mention.

There are some other things going on around here worth mentioning (and by “worth mentioning” I mean “worth taking a flipping break from trying to make all the stuff I’m unpacking fit into my house”).

I plan on giving you some tips about moving in the near future.That post will be gift-wrapped in packing tape.

You don't want to miss my moving tips, People.

You don’t want to miss my moving tips, People.

I’ve been on a Cyber Interview Tour for my Novel

Izzy, from From the Mind of Isadora, did a nice, chillaxed interview with me. I almost forgot to talk about my book. We hugged a lot.

Diana Douglas, romance writer extraordinaire, lured me into this really poofy room where were drank aphrodisiac tea and became Goddesses for a day. Writer Goddesses, that is. We still are.

Peter, over at Counting Ducks, did me the honor of being his first book interviewee. He’s an author, too. If you missed my interview of his first book, click here. Even though he was a virgin interviewer, he did great and I had fun. You really should hop over and take a look at the interview because he asked questions I was never asked before.

Patricia Zick, a seasoned interviewer and book reviewer, also just did an interview with me. Somehow she managed to ask me questions I never answered before. So pop on over to her blog and find out something new about me and my book.

Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and Ellen, I still have some room in my calendar…

Anyone can write a book about divorce. I wrote a book everything but divorce.

Okay, you like red books. I can make my book cover red.

 

A Few More People have been Saying a few More Nice Things About my Novel

I have nine (9) reviews of Never Turn Back on Amazon. Nine is not bad but I wish there were more.

We're going as fast as we can, but we do have a life you, you know!

We’re going as fast as we can, but we do have a life you, you know!

 

Here are some excerptations from the newer reviews.

“I loved this book. It’s very engaging and features likeable, realistic characters. The story line is so interesting that I found it hard to put down the book.” (And it’s a heavy book.)

“…the book weaves fact and fiction seamlessly together to create an engaging and wholly believable story. It’s one of those books where you find yourself quickly immersed in the story and then feel a sense of loss at the end that you will no longer be part of their lives. I think this book would be excellent dramatised for TV,” (I’m totally ready to stop this silly unpacking and write the screenplay…)

“Lovely dialogue and scenes move this poignant story along through to the end.” (Can we meet and talk about this in person, you smooth talker, you?)

If these don’t inspire you to read my novel and write reviews that I’ll publish (so you’ll be published, too), I don’t know what will.

This Blog is an Award Magnet

How many times must I tell you, keep the kitchen door closed until I get this situation under control?

How many times must I tell you, keep the kitchen door closed until I get this situation under control?

The Four Year Old Adult thought that my blog was meganominatable for the Real Neat Blog Award. This makes, like, a whole lot (as precise a figure as I can give you without actually counting) of blogging awards for little old zany Lorna’s Voice.

Real Neat Blog Award

I’m familiar with the rules.

1. Put the logo on my blog. It’s on my Awards and Aw Shucks Page.

2. Thank the kind blogger who nominatified me and link back to his/her page. Thanks, you 4 year old adult, you!

3. Name other bloggers I want to nominatify and notify them on their blogs. I think you’re all Real Neat, Nifty, and Keen, so consider yourself nominatified. This is your notice. And don’t pretend you didn’t notice.

4. Here’s a twist. Answer the seven questions posed in the nominationizing blog post.

Okay. Here goes.

1. Do you ever bother about what people think about you? Only when they don’t like me.

2. Rate WordPress and social-media on a scale of ten. WordPress (blogging) I like because I understand, so I give it a 9. Other forms of social media bamboozle me. I don’t use any of them, so I give them a 0. You’ll probably all FB and Tweet about that and say bad things about my social media impairment. Shizzle.

3. What was the real purpose of starting a blog? I needed to have a social media presence so an agent or publisher could find me when my memoir came out and I could become famous. I’m still waiting.

4. Have you ever tried to spam people for increasing the hits on your blog? Spam? Heck no! I’m a vegan!

5. How do you rate blogging as a career opportunity? So far, not so good, unless you’re independently wealthy–which I’m not.

6. Have you ever hit on your fellow blogger? Not intentionally, but I can’t help the natural hot, dizzy blonde Scorpio Vibe I give off. It’s a burden.

7. Observing the current situation all around the world, Do you think that the world needs a makeover? The world could use more dizzy blonde Buddhist vegans in leadership positions. Things would change in a hurry. I can’t say exactly how, but there would be a lot less violence getting there.

Right?

Right?

Happy Weekend, Peeps!

 

Why My Blog is, Like, The Best One To Follow

•January 9, 2015 • 45 Comments

I’m not one to brag.

I’m too humble for that kind of thing.

Do you notice how humble people like Paris and me try to hide our assets so we down draw unnecessary attention to ourselves? That's just how we are.

Do you notice how humble people like Paris and me try to hide our assets so we don’t draw unnecessary attention to ourselves? That’s just how we are.

But my blog is, like, really, the best blog to follow…if you’re looking for a great bloggerific experience, that is.

Does it look like I could use some diversion?

Does it look like I’m ready for something new and exciting?

Oh sure, you need more than just my word that this is the blog equivalent to Nirvana, right?

If you’d just trust me, which you totally can, this would be a majorly short post.

And why wouldn't you trust me? I just got back from the, um, er, rest home. Yes, that's it, where they tuned me all up. My brain is working better than ever. I just wish I could remember where I left my body...

And why wouldn’t you trust me? I just got back from the, um, er, rest home. Yes, that’s it, where they tuned me all up. My brain is working better than ever. I just wish I could remember where I left my body…

But, no, you need proof (and by “proof” I mean “a list of reasons I came up with when I woke up early this morning”).

Fine. I can give you proof.

1. I hardly ever post. If you’re maxed out on time, no worries. So am I. You won’t see me popping up in your reader or email in-box a bazillion times a week. Nope. I don’t have that much to say. You’ll be lucky if I show up once a week, and that’s after I get all my boxes unpacked from my move across country (which will be sometime in February if they stop spontaneously multiplying). I’m a low maintenance blog, People.

None of the modern day equivalent of this kind of thing necessary to keep up with me.

None of the modern-day equivalent of this kind of thing necessary to keep up with me.

2. If you love language, congratulify yourself for finding me. I adore words. All of them, even ones that aren’t registered pure-bred. Don’t mutts make the best pets words?

Scrappy is one of those made-up pups and I think he's scrappalicious!

Scrappy is one of those not-one-breed made-up pups and I think he’s scrappalicious!

3. You’ll never read a rant here. No. No. No! Never. This is a NRZ (No Rant Zone). Why? You’d be amazed how much trouble you can get into when you start telling people what you think. I found that out right before my husband left me.

 

Yeah, I find that annoying. How about you?

Yeah, I find this annoying. How about you?

4. I like silly pictures and I bet you do too. Nabbing them from Goggle Images isn’t the worst thing in the world, is it? Especially when the perfect zany picture and caption makes you smile.

Like this one. Is he as confused about the hat as I am? I'm thinking he got himself inducted into some secret brotherhood of and now he is stuck trying to figure out the secret hand shake and how to explain his long absences every other Thursday evening to his wife.

Like this one. Is he as confused about the hat as I am? I’m thinking he got himself inducted into some secret brotherhood while drinking with his “buddies” and now he is stuck trying to figure out the secret hand shake and how to explain his long absences every other Thursday evening to his wife.

5. I mix it up around here. You never know what to expect, except that it will brighten your day and maybe even give you something to talk about with the people you talk to. I’m a former college professor and I’m a dizzy blonde. If that isn’t a formula for fun and informative posts, what the heck is?

6. I don’t cuss, curse, or use naughty words. Gomer Pyle would be proud. I know dropping the F-bomb is all the rage, but that’s just not the way I roll.

Shazam and golly! The way they drop the F-bomb on that there HBO channel, it's enough to give a guy like me the willies. And think about all them women-folk who have ta listen ta that. I sure am glad my momma taught me better.

Shazam and golly! The way they drop the F-bomb on that there HBO channel, it’s enough to give a guy like me the willies. And think about all them women-folk who have ta listen ta that. I sure am glad my momma taught me better.

7. Finally, you’ll never leave my place saying to yourself, “Well, that was a real downer.” If you do, seek professional help. Really.

That'll make you feel better.

That’ll make you feel better.

I hope you’re convinced, because I’m tuckered out.

Do you have any idea how many boxes I didn't unpack today because I decided to write this post? Oy Vey!

Do you have any idea how many boxes I didn’t unpack today because I decided to write this post? Oy Vey!

For those of you who have followed me for a while, how about helping me out? Why do you follow my zany little blog?

For those of you fairly new to Lorna’s Voice, what made you join in?

For those of you just whizzing by, what made you land here even for the briefest of times?

By the way, the answer to the quiz is to write with a red marker. Go figure, huh?

 
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