Monday, September 29, 2008

Word Inspiration

I look for inspiration for my writing in the little things. Most of the time it's there in front of me. Other times I have to go looking for it. Tonight I was catching up on my blog reading after being gone for a few days for my sister's wedding (more to come on this subject later), and I saw this awesome tool Amy found and posted on her blog. I had to try it out myself. What you see are the results of my first Wordle. I can see myself using this as a tool for inspiration in the future. Try Wordle. You'll like it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Intestinal Fortitude

My Junior year in college I went on a cruise with 11 other girls to the Bahamas. It was a five-day, four-night cruise, full of the typical cruise-like behavior: drinking, over eating, drinking, sunbathing, drinking, flirting with boys, drinking, drinking and more drinking. You find out a lot about each other living in close quarters, even if it is just for a few days. One of the girls, Sharon*, who eagerly partook in the festive behavior throughout the week refused to go to go "number two" all week while we shared a bathroom. She called it "poop fear." I called it impressively painful.

I realized this weekend, as we walked the girls among hundreds of visitors to the Ocmulgee National Monument for the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration, Roxy may have the same poop fear that Sharon suffered from. In a dog, I think this is an admirable quality. It doesn't force me to walk around with a smelly bag, looking for a trash can. She politely holds it until we get home. When we travel, it's not an issue. She potties on a leash perfectly. But she has a sixth sense of knowing that there are 1000 people around watching her every move and she prefers to be more lady like.

And boy, were they watching our every move. The fall weather (anything under 85 degrees is considered fall in Georgia) had everyone outside, looking for something to do, so the festival was very crowded. Seka and Roxy were pretty much the only dogs there, and certainly the largest. We walked among the vendors, carefully keeping their noses and mouths away from the beautiful fur pelts that were on display. We really couldn't go more than about four or five steps without someone asking to pet them and as proud parents, we were certainly happy to show them off.

There were beautiful costumes, horses covered in tribal war paint, lovely beaded jewelry and amazing pottery on display. I guess I didn't think about the other Native American-oriented things that would be a part of the day, like drums and black power rifles, both of which were present and both of which almost ruined Roxy's day right from the start. But she pulled it together and was a big girl. Treats help calm your nerves when the thunder gods are chasing you.

Both girls enjoyed all the attention they received. Seka stood quietly and received her petting in true greyhound fashion. Roxy was a bit over stimulated at first. Even while sitting to receive her love, she whined a little. She got used to all the strangers loving on her pretty quickly, and after a little while she started seeking out love herself. I'm telling you, the girl's got a sixth sense. She could tell who was going to bend down and give her attention just by looking at them. She would suddenly sit down and wait for the approaching person, who I wasn't even looking at, to come up and ask me to pet her. It was really funny.

Seka proved that she does not suffer from poop fear. We couldn't even get out of the car before she was marking on everything. However, she did hold her poop until we got to the burial mound, so she could show everyone just how big and gross it could be. I've threatened her with getting a vest that has pockets on it to make her hold her own poop bags until we can find a trash can, but I don't think they make them with pockets big enough.

To end the day on a sweet note, we took the girls for an ice cream. They were so tired, they barely made it out of the car, but as soon as they got a whiff of the waffle cones, they got their second wind.

Maybe it was the four hours we spent out in the sun. Maybe it was lactose intolerance. Or maybe it was just the fact she was in the comfort of her own back yard, but as soon as we made it home, Roxy's display intestinal fortitude was over. It reminded me of Sharon when we stepped off the plane in Atlanta and she went running, no sprinting, to the ladies restroom. So much for her no public pooping rule.

*names have been changed to protect the constipated.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ode to Opposable Thumbs

Oh, the appendages I dream of.
Flexible falanges of fate.
The key to unlock the secrets of the cookie jar.
My glass no longer able to hold hostage the bottom-dwellers.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Swamp Things

I've become obsessed with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. I liken my new found love to that of the excitement everyone else seemed to have for Harry Potter - a fever of which I never caught. I couldn't understand why the world was so crazed about some boy sorcerer. But the story of an 18 year old girl who falls in love with a vegan vampire while maintaining her relationship with her best friend who just happens to be a werewolf, now that's intriguing.

I've never read a fantasy book until this four-book series, but I can't but them down. Like reading under the covers until 2 a.m., can't put them down. Who cares that these books were originally written for teenagers? I've totally created my Team Edward shirt and I will be wearing it at midnight on November 21 when the movie opens alongside all the other adult women who love this book as much as I do. Oh - I've also discovered a few great podcasts as well. OK, obsessed is a bit of an understatement.

Maybe my girls realized my sudden fondness for monsters. After all, they are the ones most annoyed by my late night under-the-cover reading (Kev's snores the whole time). We've just started back on our training regimen in preparation for fall lure coursing. I walk both girls on a 1.5, 2 or 3 mile trek every evening. The varied distance helps me to see how well their stamina is building up. We only do the short route once a week and the long one twice. Most evenings we do 2.5.

We typically walk in the evening around 7-ish. It's around 85 degrees by then. Sure it's still a sauna outside, but at least the sun isn't beating down on you. I got the bright idea on Saturday morning to take the girls out at 9 a.m. It wasn't all that hot out and somewhat overcast. What I didn't plan for the weather phenomena where the sun rises as the day gets goes on, burning off the clouds, and increasing the temperature ten-fold. So here we are, 2 miles in, GBD is about to croak from heat stroke (drooling really isn't her best look), we've slowed to a snail's pace and I'm wondering how many phone calls to the house it's going to take to get Kev to wake up and come and get us in the car.

And then the girls uncharacteristically pull me to their sanctuary - our neighborhood pond. It's rather large, but my two girls ran toward it like they had been swimming in it for years. We found a somewhat safe edge for them to wade into - Seka just gets in enough to lay down, while Roxy walks in all the way up to her chest instead of laying down in the water. After a 10 minute soak, they emerged covered in pollen, muck, dirt, algae, and who knows what else. Needless to say we went straight home, being chased by a swarm of bloodsucking mosquitoes the whole way (half a mile or so), so the girls could get a good rinse off with the garden hose.

Now on every walk my two swamp monsters want to take a dip, no matter the temperature. I remind them that the swamp is there only for emergencies and maybe for their Halloween costumes if they want to go as the Swamp Thing. However, I think they both would make really cute vampires.