I have a standing joke with several of my friends where, when we become distracted, we say SQUIRREL or SHINY, or, if it’s really bad, SHINY SQUIRREL. You get the reference, squirrels are always easily distracted and if it’s shiny, it’s worse. Authors aren’t much different. So, I find this funny. I also find squirrels cute, as I didn’t have to deal with them trying to get in under our roof, building nests, being destructive when I grew up, my mother had some stories that made them seem like the pests they can be. They also tend to create havoc when bird feeders are involved.
I can stop and watch a video of a squirrel because I find them amusing, clever, and cute as hell…hence the ‘distraction’ when I’m trying to write.
Since my friends know of this quirk of mine, I get a lot of squirrel pictures or share them with a select few. I even went so far as to make the Shiny Squirrel, something several of them find funny or roll their eyes at.
Last fall, I went to visit my girlfriend who lent me their family cabin for a week so I could relax after traveling so much, be near enough for her to visit, and to get away from it all. It was beautiful and I posted pictures in my Facebook timeline before about the house I had to myself…or, as it turns out, not so to myself.
I tend to ‘hear’ things. I am told it’s because I’m sensitive to things beyond my knowledge (for now). Some of it is ghosts, my mother has let me know messages from beyond, and others who either live with me, reach out, or even haunt me. My cats are frequently seen in my house, definitely heard, and knock stuff around…the last one died before this last trip so the fact that these cats are gone means I’m hearing their ghosts…it’s annoying but I live with it. Just last week the one that I last put down sharpened her claws on my carpeted steps…she’s been gone since September. She really needs to stop acting like the living and move on…I’m told she won’t move on until I do from this house…that’s another story. (see how I get off track from a story…squirrel)
So, staying in this fairly remote (and beautiful) cabin, I heard the first night a rather high-pitched peeping noise. Turned out it was a plug in to keep mice at bay. I told my girlfriend about it and she said, unplug it. Then she seemed ‘obsessed’ about preventing an infestation of mice, involving her father in the whole thing, putting down a TON (and stinky, you can have TOO much of that ‘spring fresh’ scent) mass of dryer sheets to ‘keep them away’ and discourage their living in the house. She was rather overboard about it, and I didn’t think anything of it. I just thought she was concerned about me staying there, wanted my time pleasant, and mice are destructive. Turns out, there was another story to it that she just told me…FOUR MONTHS LATER.
She had been visiting me, we were sitting at the kitchen table chatting. My back was to the room, her valiant husky was on the floor…sleeping (the lazy thing) and, apparently, we had another guest that she didn’t quite tell me about…a squirrel.
Since my back was to the room she glanced beyond me, saw something out of the corner of her eye (I frequently see things like that when the ghosts are particularly active, but when I tell her, I can hear her mentally rolling her eyes). The something was a squirrel…in the cabin. It hopped to the steps, climbed them to the first landing, and then perused the room…looking at both my girlfriend and I, analyzing the threat of the sleeping, and lazy dog, and deciding we weren’t that much of a consideration as it continued on up the steps. When my girlfriend excused herself to make a phone call, I thought nothing of it. After all, we are both busy individuals. When she came back from the phone call (more than one I have now found out) was when we HAD to go shopping and pick up those dryer sheets to lay all over the cabin…as per her father’s ‘suggestion.’ Apparently, she had demanded that he come down and catch the thing. He told her he had TRIED over the years to no avail and to use the dryer sheets which they can’t stand the smell of. She next tried her sister, again demanding that she come down and catch the thing. She was told she had exterminators in there who had tried to catch the things…again, nothing. So, the stinky (and overwhelming) dryer sheets were apparently the answer.
I have now envisioned the possibility (because I’m creative like that) of waking up with a squirrel sitting on my chest, looking into my face, waiting for me to wake up…and my girlfriend, saying nothing, because she didn’t want to ‘scare’ the squirrel, and, of course, the dog doing nothing because she was too lazy and sleeping…
Anyway, that’s my squirrel story and I’m sticking to it (for now, until I can embellish some more) and I worry that my girlfriend kept the true parts of this story to herself for four months, feeling I might feel uncomfortable staying there with a rodent in residence, which, her father assured her, was probably up the chimney at that point. I did hear the patter of ‘little feet’ on the roof as I recall during my stay there…but contrarily, I also heard branches against the windows and those killer ‘ninja’ squirrels could have gotten me…and then, where the hell would I have been?
Hope you’ve enjoyed the latest ‘story’ as well as the one coming soon!
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Joy Parker had the perfect childhood. Doted on by her parents, she couldn’t imagine her childhood any different. As a child and later a young adult, she’s ignored by her much older siblings, made to feel the outsider…until a tragedy occurs, altering her life in ways she couldn’t possibly have imagined.
The next few years of her life are vastly different from her parents’ hopes and dreams for her. Then suddenly, another life-altering event changes the course of her life and she must make decisions she never dreamt possible. Winning the largest lottery in Wisconsin history opens the flood gates of possibility and means Joy must again decide which direction to take with the rest of her life.
After Joy is stalked relentlessly by fortune hunters, reporters, and even her own siblings, she decides to fly away into a future that she never could have imagined, let alone planned….
What would you do if you won $341,726,178.10 after taxes? Come along for the ride as we discover what Joy Parker decides to do with it….
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Yes, it happened. No, I’m not lamenting the fact that I am turning FIFTY! But NOT until 12:29 P.M. You see, I checked my BIRTH certificate and that’s the time they put down for when I entered this world. This really is a MILESTONE for someone who was not supposed to live to see her Thirty-Fifth birthday. I survived cancer that year despite the 4-5 month prognosis and I’m here to say, I MADE it. So, rather than lament the fact that this is a BIG birthday, I’m gonna go CELEBRATE it. Thank you to all who read my books, follow my blog, and are celebrating (in spirit) WITH me!
You would think there would be a tremendous let down after the conference in Washington D.C. Well, not for me there wasn’t because I was happily on my way up the Eastern Seaboard, up from Virginia, through Maryland, a part of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, into a long stretch of Connecticut and up through Rhode Island to Massachusetts to return Sue Ellen to her home near Boston. Then I turned around, went back to Rhode Island and checked into a hotel not too far from the airport in Providence. My good friend Jessica and I had a date to pal around and she got there before me. I jumped on her bed to fully wake her up and say hello. It’s great to have friends like that and while she got ready for work (she works nights) I collapsed into my own bed to sleep. She woke me when she came in in the morning and we both took naps for several more hours in our own beds.
Brunch came and she showed me ‘The Hill’ in Providence where ethnic neighborhoods abounded and we met up with her mother to eat at an Italian delicatessen. It was so much fun! Check out the street, they even have the Italian colors in the street stripes! Jess was certain I was going to get hit by a car taking these pictures, lol. The food was fantastic, as I expected and the company just as good!
All too soon I had to get going as I had a date with a woman I’d been talking to for a while and Jess and I had to stop by a florist. I think the results were worth the effort.
We had a wonderful time as the three of us went swimming, hung out, and then Jess was off as she had to work that night. My friend and I spent days together, shopping, getting to know one another, driving around and just having a great time. We went to those magnificent homes in Newport that are just so huge you have to wonder, why does ANYONE have such HUGE homes for their SUMMER home? The water was breathtaking, watching the boats, and seeing the just as huge sailing yachts. It was really lovely.
All too soon I did have to start heading home from RI to WI. On the Massachusetts Turnpike I hit one of those semi-trailer tire remains we all see on the Interstates. The darn thing was across the road like a speed bump and there was no avoiding it as there was traffic on both sides of me doing well over 70MPH! At first I thought I’d missed the worst of it, but my friend, following behind me in her own vehicle saw smoke and quite a bit of debris come flying off. I stopped at a rest stop but didn’t get out to inspect the damage, but merely to make sure my phone was plugged in to charge and she called me to make sure I was okay…I actually was, no shaking, I’d handled it very well and wasn’t shook up. It wasn’t until I was about 30-50 miles down the road that I heard an odd sound and decided to stop again and check the damage. Uh oh, I was missing a bit of the bumper and front panel and something was wedged under the front tire!
Apparently, when you rent a car and call for help, you have to know where you are…I had to go into the rest stop to use the bathroom and find out WHERE exactly I was! Oops! Also, according to Enterprise, they can’t come out to help me or exchange the car there, the turnpike is a private roadway and has to have the state police and AAA tow involved. It took over an hour to show up, fortunately I was on my SIXTH call to Enterprise and they listened to the exchange. The tow truck driver ended up jacking up the car (my suggestion) instead of towing it (his idea) and kicking the lodged piece of something loose from where it was wedged (my suggestion) and then said I was good to go. Enterprise, listening to this agreed and I was soon off and back on the road!
Took me an extra day to get there (and, as always Chicago is a nightmare) but I managed to get home in one piece…but only after I stopped to shop at one of the only TWO Trader Joe’s in Wisconsin! I just HAD to stop, also, to stretch…and pick up necessities…yes meringues, are necessities!…that was one, long, lonely trip and thank goodness for the excellent Nissan I rented from Enterprise (with insurance) because it was a lovely ride, despite the accident and damage. Also, it had bluetooth technology and I spoke to friends for hours on the phone, through the radio…how cool is that? I mean, I love gadgets but this was really something out of Star-Trek for this backwoods-living gal! I really enjoyed this fairly new Nissan!
I knew I was in Wisconsin (FINALLY) when I saw THIS:
I hadn’t realized that Pokeman had become a ‘thing’ while I was gone but all the traffic signs, even the construction ones reminded people to watch the road and mentioned the dumb game!
For a trip of over 3016 miles over the course of 10 days, I had such a LOVELY time! Hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventures.
Thanks to those who made DOCTORED and VEIL of SILENCE back to back BEST SELLERS for this author! Check them out on my website at www.kannemeinel.com!
Well the day was wonderful as all the days were at the con. I’d been having so much fun for an entire week, I was ready for it to end. As you can see, I dressed for the occasion:
I was wearing my grandmother’s jewels. I’m sure no one noticed but they were CARVED amethysts set in a graduated chain ensemble. Reminded me of what flappers would have worn in the roaring twenties (of the 1900’s, not the 2000’s as we aren’t there YET).
I also enjoyed watching the many people accepting their awards. It’s touching to see my fellow authors and their hard work being rewarded. And then it was time to PARTY!
Are you amazed to find out I know how to dance? I was thrilled to ask and be accepted by many women who I admire and enjoyed chatting with during the week and only disappointed I didn’t dance with everyone I wanted to. Ah well, there is always next year!
My ‘vacation’ didn’t end at the con, even the morning after as we prepared to leave. My shoes had come in the mail the previous day, FINALLY. I only got to wear them a little bit but next year you will ‘spot’ me!
It’s a real shame I’m so shy right?
Stay tuned to my blog for the further adventures as I go from the con up the Eastern Seaboard!
Meanwhile, take a gander at my books!