Tonight I had a dog-parenting fail

3ee69-253d253futf-8253fb253fsu1hmda0otitmjaxmtaxmjqtmdk1mc5qcgc253d253f253d-718564Tonight I failed my princess poodle, Mayiah. Royally. But before you read on, let me start with this disclaimer: she was not harmed — but she was temporarily upset with me.

Let me start at the beginning.

Mayiah has always been the Queen Bee in the house — she’s 4 pounds of attitude and even my Lab, Jade, would bow to her when she was alive. (RIP Jade). When Chewie, the shih tzu, came along, the first thing Mayiah did was growl at him. The second thing she did was steal Chewie’s first toy, which we nicknamed her “baby.” This toy, an ugly lime green squeaky toy is seriously bigger than Mayiah’s head. But she lugged that thing around for years. She slept with it. Carried it around and would cry when she couldn’t find it.

This toy has been repaired more times than I can count — numerous holes had to be sewed up and it’s missing its eyes and bow it used to have.

The toy got old and started to shed fuzz. When Mayiah got older she began to lick the toy, getting the fuzz in her throat, which made her choke a lot. So, we made the tough decision to take the toy away from her — hiding it in a file cabinet. She looked for it for a few days, but eventually forgot about it.

Until tonight.

It had been months and months since she had the toy so I decided to grant her a trial run with her toy. I gave the toy to her and she was overjoyed. She carried it around, threw it off the couch a few times and then carried it around some more. Then … she started licking it again. Pretty soon she was choking again on the fuzz.


So, needless to say the toy is back in the filing cabinet. I sadly watched Mayiah look around the room for it — she even looked on the end table for it. Then she looked some more. Then she cuddled with me, rolled over her back as if to say “if I’m cute, I know you’ll give it back to me.”

FAIL. Dog parenting fail.

I’m happy to report she’s sleeping now and seems to have no lasting ill effect as a result of my dog parenting fail. I do believe she’s going to make a full emotional recovery.

Sometimes it’s time to let go

wpid-20150525_140935.jpgToday I cleaned out my “favorites” bar on one of my web browsers. It was time to let go of some of those websites.

My dad was killed in a house fire and on my favorites bar I had bookmarked the various stories done about the fire. Every time I logged onto that web browser, there it was — “man dies from injuries in house fire.” And other headlines that instantly took me back to that moment — multiple times a day.

Today, I decided to let go of those bookmarks. The pain it causes me on a daily basis does not serve me. It does not help me. It only jerks me out of the present moment and back into the past. I can’t change what happened to him…and he wouldn’t want me reminded of that every single day.

I still miss him every day. His smile. His laugh. His humor and the stories he had to tell. Man that man had stories.

I love you dad, but today I had to let go of those bookmarks. Doesn’t mean I’m forgetting you, just means I want to remember the good parts — not the tragic way you died.

The day the newspaper rack tried to eat me


This is Mayiah. This is how I felt after my experience last night.

Last night they were predicting golf-ball-sized hail. As I was posting a severe thunderstorm warning to the paper’s website, I saw those words “golf ball.”

All the no’s in the world. Since I have a new car, I’m terrified of those words. So, I drove to work to borrow the garage until the storm passed. I get to work with no incident. Get the garage door closed and settle in at a desk in the distribution area. Everything was going fine, I hooked up my phone’s hot spot to the computer and started working away.

Everything was fine — that is until the bay lights went off (they’re on a motion timer). Now, this building is old and creaky, and never really has bothered me too much before until last night. I was sitting there in the dark with only my computer light glowing. All the sudden every horror movie I’ve found about murders in buildings during a thunderstorm flashed through my head.

“I must get those lights back on,” I told myself.


My view of the storm from the dock at work.

I got up to move around and, of course, the lights do not cooperate. In the distance a light was on and I look over at what I thought was a person.

“What am I gonna do?” I thought frantically.

It’s amazing that in a split second, my mind came up with a whole scenario (which I may very well use in my next novel). I figured it could be an ex-employee who knew exactly how long the lights stayed on and was sitting there in waiting.

But, also in that split second, I saw that what I was looking at wasn’t a person at all, but an empty newspaper rack. I was almost eaten by a newspaper rack!

Ah, the side effects of having a vivid imagination and being a future novelist working on a serial killer fictional book. Writing said book: awesome. Being in my book potentially: not so much!

After that I was pretty jumpy, even after I successfully got the lights back on. But, I’m happy to report, the newspaper rack didn’t eat me. And I made it home safely.

Oh, and it never did hail.

Of course.

Wamego, a Kansas gem

11393165_10152808061142035_2274784311559592635_nLove it or hate it (and no, this isn’t a political post) — Kansas is a pretty unique place. Who else can claim the famed Oz with Dorothy and Toto? And who else, but Wamego, can claim a fitting museum — the Oz Museum? There isn’t another state in the United States that can claim the Yellow Brick Road.1044646_10152808063437035_7622902764699579528_n

As I’ve found out, people have a love-hate relationship with Dorothy and her little adventure in Oz. While I get as tired as the next Kansan of hearing the cliche, somewhat seeming obligatory comments about Toto, Saturday night I got a pretty cool perspective on the Oz Museum and the little gem that is Wamego.

11423844_10152808063537035_5488339561783989443_nI was on a paranormal investigation with the Kansas Paranormal Research Society. The public event, which was held in Wamego, was centered around the paranormal and not only provided a bit of paranormal research, but an up-close look at places like the Columbian Theatre and the Oz Museum.

22801_10152808061247035_4155289911968300425_nOf course, since photography is my passion, I had a blast taking photos of the characters at night in the Oz Museum. It was a rare treat to photograph them in that lighting, which was just my flashlight. See for yourself with the photos I’ve included with this post.

The event was awesome and raised funds for the Columbian, which is a true gem as well. 11256842_10152808063652035_3315436456674229851_n

I feel so blessed in this life to have so many adventures — all right here in my backyard in Kansas. Kansas is a unique, wonderful state.


After the flood

Last night I went for a drive out in the country. Much of the area I enjoy driving through has been underwater for a couple of 11401021_10152804689302035_8392648700044032249_nweeks. Yesterday, a majority of the flood waters had receded and since it had been so recent, the landscape was drastically different than it normally looks.10407902_10152804689037035_6703364754926618166_n

What is normally a corn or bean field looked like an ocean or desert, but it was really the sun shining on the mud transforming it into something I’d never seen before.

It’s days like these I’m so glad I’m adventurous and love to explore my surroundings. So much is missed sitting in front of the television or in front of the computer all the time.


The Emerald City lives up to its name: DK 200

11150780_10152786796657035_4409166335429778041_n I’ve long called Emporia my Emerald City. A term I starting using for Emporia one day as I came up one of the final hills northbound on the Kansas Turnpike at dusk.  I’ve always loved Emporia and the way it shimmers in the distance a few miles outside of town reminds of the Emerald City.

Saturday, during the Dirty Kanza 200 event, Emporia lived up to that nickname I’ve given it. 1,500 riders took part in the race, in which riders took to the gravel (or mud in many cases) in 50, 100 and 200-mile treks, depending on which race the rider participated in.

11222593_10152786784772035_8220371576524952684_nSaturday was the first time I’ve been at both the starting and finish lines and saw the event through from start to finish. I not only had the opportunity to see the riders leave and come back from the rides, but I also had the honor of updating their progress throughout the day for the paper.

It was an incredible experience. There was so much electricity in the air between the riders’ energy and the excitement of the spectators throughout the day. The riders out there on Saturday endured so much from mud to flooded streams due to recent  heavy and flooding rains.

As we lined up at the finish line to greet the riders as they returned, exhausted and covered in mud, the excitement was contagious. It was an honor to be able to work that day and update their progress and help spread the excitement through the web and social media.11295542_10152786789772035_8906268928378154530_n

We live in a pretty special community here. Truly, an emerald city in so many ways. Saturday was just one of the many reasons why I love this community.