Tis’ the season, you know.

Eh.  I’m not much for a season of gratitude.  I think gratitude should be an everyday kind of thing.  Not in a new-age sort of way, but in the – my kids are okay, I have my health, I can walk the dog, we have jobs, and we have food on the table sort of way.  Oh, and I live in America.  I’m grateful for that.

My husband and I were talking today about how some people in America support repressive regimes – people you would never expect to support repressive regimes because those regimes oppress, suppress, repress women, minorities and gays.  What an odd contradiction.  I’m a big fan of human rights.  A really big fan of human rights.

My sister was telling me that in her community of Boulder, CO, dog owners are known as Dog Guardians, or Pet Guardians.  See this article.  How silly.  I realize the distinction is intended to be symbolic, but my question is this – then why have leash laws?  Isn’t that oppressive?  Can’t a dog take himself for a walk?  Yet Boulder has strict leash laws.  If your dog is caught walking off leash they can really ding you.  If Boulder has these strict leash laws, can the dog then receive a ticket and will he or she have to pay the fine?  So if the meter man leaves your gate open and the dog of which you are a guardian gets out, does this mean the authorities can remove your dog from your home and give him to another guardian?  Because you aren’t the dog’s owner, you’re merely the dog’s guardian?

Like today when hubby and I noticed a police vehicle driving through the wilderness park.  The officer was obviously looking to ticket the owners of off-leash dogs.  Had the officer caught us, I could have asked him – “Why are you ticketing me?  He’s the one off-leash.  I’m not his owner.  I’m merely his guardian.  My dog has free-will.  I’m not legally responsible for his behavior.”

Listen, the above is tongue in cheek to a great extent, but I do think some people have way too much time on their hands.  If they have enough time to think up these ludicrous euphemisms for dog owners they have enough time to volunteer at a food bank or a soup kitchen or an animal shelter.

I love animals.  I consider Jake my companion and he’s part of the family, but he belongs to me.  I’m not merely his guardian.  He’s MY dog, bought and paid for – of course my ownership DOES NOT give me the right to abuse or neglect him or any other pet I own.  It’s not like I’m running a doggie sweat shop here.  Jake doesn’t even pick up his own toys.

Although… Come to think of it, that terrier down the street could use a couple new guardians.  They were all standing out in front of their house with the dog off leash last night.  She ran across the busy intersection once again to harass Jake.  Tsk. Tsk.  I think I’ll call the Boulder, CO, authorities.

Wait… I got off track.

What am I always grateful for this time of year?  I’m very grateful when I don’t receive holiday letters.  You know, those letters that are either dark and gloomy or outright braggadocious and irritating.  I have a cousin who is really into giving us a holiday the obscene amount of money I raked in this year and what frivolities I spent it on update.

On the other hand, I do want to thank you– you wonderful, amazing, lovely, thoughtful friends and readers who have offered me words of encouragement and support during this difficult time.  My dad is not out of the woods yet, and I’m heading back up to Oregon this week.  But… Thanks.  You are so kind and considerate.  Your thoughts and wishes have made me feel better.  You’ve made the stress tolerable.

I’d like to end with a question – What is up with that weird-ass drinking game show I’ve seen countless, and very scary, ads for – Cougartown?  The women look freakish.  Yeah, I know one of the women is Courtney Cox, or some Stepford Wife/Joker version of her, but WTF?

Here’s the ad~

This is dedicated…

to the ones I love.

Two wonderful women gave me invaluable help and advice when it came to Stay.

The book would not exist at all if author Penny Watson had not said… “Hey, hold on just a dad gum minute!  What about Lucas Jennings?  (In the Flesh)  He’s a great character.  I want to know more about him.  What’s his story?”  And thus, Stay was conceived.

Thanks Penny – who by the way has a new release on Amazon as well, Lumberjack In Love, a romantic comedy.  So far she’s received five 5-star reviews!

Now don’t get all hinky about the cover.  It’s tongue in cheek.  Remember, romantic comedy?  I think it’s adorable.  Makes me smile whenever I see it.  Penny has another release coming soon – Sweet Inspiration.

Jaye Manus has been my savior.  She takes an edited but poorly formatted manuscript and works her alchemy.  The woman is a magician.  She brings ebooks to life.  Takes straw and spins gold.  Thanks Jaye.  Stay owes it’s marvelous design to you.

Oh… getting all gushy now.  Thanks ladies.  You two are the best!



Short and Sweet

Time for Thanks..

Before twenty-six relatives descend upon me for a Thanksgiving meal that I hope I have the time to cook, I thought I’d spend a moment in reflection…well…kind of -  I reflect everyday so today isn’t much different except that lately things have been tough for my husband’s family and we’ve had to cope with a lot of the fallout.

Here is what I’m grateful for – I have two healthy, supportive parents, a loving husband and three amazing children.  I’m grateful that my two sisters and I are close and sensible, for the most part – and that we somehow manage to laugh in the face of adversity – that’s when we laugh the hardest.

I’m grateful I have my dog and my kitties and I hope my most precious kitty – who managed to get himself injured last night (I suspect the local bobcat) heals up quick!

I’m grateful for the fourteen…count ‘em…fourteen huge hawks I spotted yesterday on my drive to work.  Makes me feel like our planet has a future.

Like my gramma Jennie always said, with a devilish little grin on her face – Be grateful you have your health!