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Shuffle (allegro)

July 1, 2016

I

Cut The Cord

Breaking Apart, Pain Redefined

Thrift Shop In The Dark

You’re Mine Dangerous Adrenaline

Divide Two Hearts

Turn The Lights Out, Dark On Me

We Are Over Me, Let It Die

It’s Not You, Eyes Wide Open, Light Up The Sky

Dirge, Outcast, Pull Me Under

Castle, Criminal, Unstoppable Nerves

The End Is Where We Begin

I had a fun idea while cycling through my playlists while driving home the other day and it turned out pretty great. I put my music on shuffle and then created a poem from the titles of the songs that came up based on their random order.

Nervous Deceit

May 11, 2013

Little needles

Little knives

Digging, picking, burrowing lies

Molten needles

Molten knives

Searing, scorching, burning hives

Giant needles

Giant knives

Slicing, stabbing, filleting lives

Iron bar

Iron bar

Beating, beating, beating

Battering ram

Battering ram

Crushing, smashing, splintering

Steel waves

Steel waves

Eroding, drowning, consuming

Nerves deceive my soul and I am pain

Max’s Story

May 7, 2012

Hello, my name is Heather and I’m always one cat away from being a crazy cat lady. I adore cats, and grew up in a household where strays were always taken in and loved. Cats ruled the house–not in the hoarder sense–just in the don’t sit in that chair because the cat’s already there and we don’t disturb cuteness in progress.

But this story is not about me (just in case you missed the title). This is the story of one of my boys.

Max was born in a feral cat colony. His mother was already two generations feral and she delivered a litter of 5 kittens; 2 boys and 3 girls. Max was the runt of the litter, and when I adopted him at almost 3 months old he only weighed 3.4 lbs. His brother, Sam, my other boy and firstborn of the litter, weighed 7 lbs. Their 3 sisters had to be returned to the colony because they proved to be too feral to adopt out.

When Max arrived at my home, he huddled back in the carrier while Sam cautiously crept out. I turned to corral Sam and Max shot under the bed. It took a lot of coaxing and reaching and eventually picking the entire bed up at one end to finally get him out. Until he finally started filling out, he was able to hide himself away in great places like under the stove or in the alcove above the guest shower. The biggest thing was Max needed a hiding place. He was the quintessential scaredy-cat . Max was always my special boy. I was the only one able to approach him and pet him. And I loved him for it.

My husband at the time, however, took Max hissing at him as an affront. He was angry that Max would hiss and reject any overture he made to him. He tried to force Max to take treats out of his hand and became increasing hateful of my poor little kitten. Every time I had Max cuddled in my arms, he would complain about what a “mean and ugly face that cat has, that’s not a happy cat”. All because Max was scared of him.

Then, while we were still teaching boundaries, he caught Max up on the kitchen counter. Instead of saying no or yelling or clapping his hands as we had agreed would be our training methods, he snuck up and scruffed him off the counter. Those of you who have normal kitties may be nodding your head sagely at that point. “Ah yes, scruffing calms the cat down while still asserting a familial dominance over them.” Those of you who have ever spent time socializing a feral cat have already peed yourself laughing at what came next.

Feral cats have no spine. Max, startled and already distrustful of the man, spun around regardless of the scruff and SHREDDED his arms and hands.I was sleeping already when this happened, but the yelling woke me up and I, for the first night of the next two years, stood in between Max and the husband.

Later that month, I woke up to a horrible crashing noise and went out to the living room to find my ranting husband holding a metal broom. No, that’s not quite right. He was hold half of a metal broom in each hand and was advancing on the corner where Max liked to hide. I ran and got in front of the hiding spot and asked my husband what was going on. Max had hissed at him when the husband took the broom out to sweep. Right, kitten’s hiss when they’re scared. Why is the broom broken?

Because my soon-to-be-ex-husband SWUNG IT FULL FORCE AT MAX AND HIT THE ARM OF THE COUCH WHERE MAX DOVE BEHIND A SPLIT SECOND BEFORE IMPACT.

That was it. 10 years of marriage in which I was consistently abused in some form or another and knowing I should get out. But at that point, right then and there, no more.

I was done.

There was nothing my ex could have done to win me back. I’ll put up with years of you coming after me, but once you go after the innocent creatures I brought into my home to love and care for, you went from maybe more therapy will help us to I hope you rot in hell for ever even THINKING about touching my babies.

From that point on until I finally kicked my ex out of the house, I slept on the couch with the cats. He would never have another opportunity to hurt them. I was elated, but also ashamed. I pet the boys for hours, apologizing for their first few years in this house. Max especially. Max didn’t want anyone even looking at him except me. He hid for days in my shower, only coming out when the bathroom door was closed and locked. I had a small interim roommate and, while Sam eventually allowed her to pet him, Max wouldn’t even let her catch a glimpse of him unless I was there.

I worried that the home I’d brought him into had irreparably damaged him and he would live out the rest of his life in hiding and only accepting me.

But then something happened. My roommate moved out and it was just the boys and I for the very first time. We made the most of it. Rearranging the back room to be a room filled with their things, making sure that no room was off limits, no place left unexplored and mama always there for cuddles and pets.

And when my mom came for a visit, Max finally decided he wanted to come sleep on my bed with me. Correction: sleep on my pillow and my head. It’s now our ritual. I tell him it’s time for bed and he runs in, hops up between the pillows and settles down waiting for me to put my hand out so he can use it as a pillow.

But it goes further. He started hopping up into my lap as I was trying to type, demanding pets. He followed me around everywhere and didn’t stay hidden all day. Yet, I knew in a few short months my boyfriend (now fiance) Dave was moving in, so I made the most of the time and apologized for his world being changed again.

I warned Dave repeatedly that he’d probably not even see the cats his first month here, let alone get close enough to pet one and that Max was a one person cat who may come to tolerate him in a few years. I was so focused on my boys and what they’d been through that I forgot to take into account the nature of Dave.

Anywhere Dave goes, a Sam is sure to follow.

Week 1: Sam adopts Dave. Dave now belongs to Sam, the expert emotional blackmailer, and I marvel that Max has walked by him once without running.

Week 2: I return to work and Dave calls me excited to say that after I left, Max hopped up on the bed and curled up next to him.

Week 3: Max has decided sleeping between us is perfect. He cuddles up to Dave while still using my hand as a pillow. Dave is over the moon that Max is choosing to be this close to him.Max also steps up the amount of time he spends in my lap.

Week 6: Max finally flops on the floor in front of Dave, which is our boys’ way of asking to be pet. Prior to this date, he has NEVER flopped for anyone but me.

I still carry an immense amount of guilt for the times I wasn’t there to protect my boys from my insane and abusive ex, but if it wasn’t for them, I don’t know when I finally would have made the decision to leave him. I see them becoming more and more the cats they should have been and it unbreaks my heart just a bit. And when Dave had the broom out the other night to clean up a spill, Max actually walked up to him and sniffed it. Then flopped for both of us to lavish attention on him.

Perfect love drives out all fear.

It’s Just a Word

May 5, 2012

It’s just a word. Just one, small, single syllable word.

And yet this word destroyed me at age 4, again at 11 and more times than I can recall in my 20’s. And here I sit in my 30’s, torn and bleeding around the wound the word insists on opening in me over and over and over until I fear I have nothing left.

I can’t remember the last time I was able to see that word without shuddering. Lately, it’s become a full scale meltdown and all because of that one, stupid, insignificant word.

It’s an ugly word, easily spat with the contempt it deserves. Often not enough in the face of those who wield it as their chosen weapon. Like my grandfather. He taught me the meaning of that word before I’d ever even heard it.

Those who never know anything other than Webster’s Dictionary’s Definition of the word have been spared a fate far beyond death. It is the conquering of not just a body but a mind and soul. It is the ultimate power play intrinsically designed to leave the conquered irreparably damaged.

There are so many days I walk through and breathe just fine, but it waits. On assassin’s paws it creeps in slow circles. Crouching. Watching. Waiting to pounce at the first sign of happiness.

God, it is so hard to hold my head up right now. The word sits on my shoulders, pressing me to the ground, whispering in my ear, showing me things I never want to see. Memories.

I try to light the word on fire, to sweep away it’s ashes, but find only the blisters singeing my own flesh. I welcome the pain because it is not the word. It is not the conquerors. It helps me feel. Yet, that way is lost to me now. Shoved away by promises I fight to keep.

My anchor, so far away, desperately clings to me. Tries to hold me as the word goes after our ties, one by one. He fights and pleads while I slip away and chase the silent world where the word does not exist.

I will the anger to return. To burn me from inside out. I’ll become a crucible. You can scrape away the impurities. I promise I’ll shine one day. And the next time the tarnish surfaces, you can hold me and we’ll walk through this together.

The word wants in. Just like those who used it as a weapon on me came in. Tore me apart and left me bleeding. For now all I can do is walk forward. And when I can no longer walk, I will stand. And when it takes that from me, I will crawl. Towards the word. Towards all the word screams to me.

It will destroy me, just like it did so many times before, but this time I have my own weapon. And there is no one to wield this word’s power on me but me. And after all…it’s just a word.

And I can say it without shuddering, without tears, without desperate panic, and maybe someday without blistering pain.

Rape.

Last Will and Testament

April 5, 2012

Prior to yesterday’s surgery, it struck me that it would be prudent to make my wishes clear on the division of my stuff. And by my stuff, I mainly mean my shoes. So I put a post up on Facebook and then was informed by my best friend, right before being put under, that I needed to make it into a blog post. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I dreamed about while under anesthesia. I was informed repeatedly not to sign any documents or make any big decisions for at least 24 hours, but since I’d already started it 17 hours BEFORE it should hold up under scrutiny.

Here is the first will and testament of H.C. Palmquist.

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1. First things first: my boys go to Dave. He has already adopted them and, more importantly, they’ve adopted him. Even Max. Dave refuses to be separated from them.

2. My shoes. … bury me with my top five favorite heels. The rest are divided up as follows:

a. Johanna is allowed to pick out three pairs to grow in to.
b. Buttercup is allowed to pick out two pairs to grow in to. Now this might get a little tricky since she once stopped an entire game of Pick-up Sticks to peruse my shoes. She then announced that she “couldn’t wait to grow up and be a mom so I can borrow all of Aunt H.C.’s shoes.”
c. Christina Evans get first pick at all of them and may lovingly care for my Giulianna’s.
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d. And, for the exciting finale, a two woman sack race through the wash between my mom Phyllis Jackman and my sister CJ Redwine to determine who get first pick at the remainder. Loser of the race gets second pick and has to carry the winner’s luggage. Although, something tells me Johanna might see these and beat them both to the finish line.
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3. My yarn goes to Pauline Campos, may she learn how to crochet … in time for her 50th birthday. The caveat being she must finish this blanket.

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She also gets first crack at my clothes, which will be a total of about 5 items she would wear.

4. My laptop stays with Dave. He can use Chicken Invaders to communicate with me from beyond the grave.

5. All my Nintendo DS games go to my three nephews, but my Wii, Wii games and Game Cube games go to whichever nephew can beat my Tetris score.  Better start practicing, boys!

5. My books. After careful thought, I have decided Valerie Demetros and her daughter Julie should get the first crack at them. Any one who consistently drives to the hospital to spend hours in the waiting room for just a few minutes of time with me deserves some of my most prized possessions. Not to mention the pita bread she brought.

6. My pills. Hell, sell ’em and pay for Johanna’s college. … Just making sure you read this far. Just avoid anyone who’s been on Intervention. You should’ve seen the look on the pharmacist’s face when I handed her this.

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7. And the only other collection that comes close to rivaling my books and shoes is my PowerPuff Girl Collection, which I hereby declare shall be used to start a museum so all can experience the best cartoon series ever made. Image

One of the best lessons I have learned in the past few years is that stuff is just that. Stuff. In the end, what matters is the life, love and laughter that we share in our brief time on this earth. So, while I obviously survived the surgery, I still challenge each and every one of you to never waste a moment you are granted.

Gorgeous Cover Reveal for DEFIANCE!!!!

February 23, 2012

I admit it, I got an early peek at this cover and I’m so excited that the rest of you finally get to fall in love with it! Not only that, but if you head on over to CJ Redwine’s blog, you can enter to win a SIGNED COPY and some DEFIANCE SWAG!!!

So what are you waiting for, huh? CLICK NOW: http://yabookscentral.com/component/content/article/25-info/11435

 

Luminous Giveaway Winner

December 11, 2011

Apparently, WordPress is eating posts again.

Thank you to everyone who read and commented on my review and giveaway of Dawn Metcalf’s LUMINOUS! Unfortunately, due to recent hospital copays, I only had the funds to choose one winner, but if you didn’t win, please GO OUT AND BUY A COPY NOW! It’s THAT good. So, without further ado, here is the winner using Random.org.

CJ Redwine

Congrats, CJ and your book will be on it’s way soon.

HOWEVER … Denise, your comment about wanting this book for your 8th graders spurred me into action, and it might be possible for me to get you a signed copy for your classroom! Please send me your contact information to hcpalmquist at gmail dot com.

Keep reading, keep sane … er.

Recycling, Old School Style

December 9, 2011

Growing up in California pretty much ensured I was well educated in recycling and caring for our environment, however, my parents found a way to take it to a whole new level. Here are the rules of recycling.

1. Sandwich baggies, contrary to popular belief, are not one-use-only disposable plastic. They are to be saved, brought home, washed out and used again. Only when they cease to be airtight, or used for a substance that even dad won’t condone putting a sandwich in afterwards, may they be thrown away. It is not uncommon to find sandwich bags draped over various things like the soap dispenser or the faucet.

2. The box a bible comes in has many uses. Every year, someone in the family receives a NIV Bible for Christmas, that is until they open the box and find something completely different inside. I was the last to receive a new bible and that was over 25 years ago. All those celebrity conservationists have got NOTHING on my mom.

3. When the dryer belt burned in half and started the load of towels in the dryer on fire, nothing was wasted! The towels were salvaged and used as shop towels for the garage (although, no one but my dad would touch them due to the smell) and the dryer belt was used as a cat toy. Mom draped it over the ceiling fan and it provided hours of entertainment for us as the cats chased it in circles. What? You think any member of the household was saved from snark just because they had four legs and a tail?

4. Being the youngest, I was well acquainted with hand-me-downs, even when it came to underwear. But what to do when even I couldn’t wear it anymore. Underwear dustrags! There was an entire drawer full of holey underwear in mom’s closet for battling dust bunnies. Who knew they succumbed so quickly to Hanes?

5. Wrapping paper has more than one life. I know the rest of you are thinking of all the wrapping paper you’ve used as fire kindling, but such was not the fate in our house. When unwrapping presents, one did so with utter care–dad preferred you to use a knife to cut the tape since mom taped EVERYTHING. Christmas morning, after all of the presents were meticulously unwrapped, dad would straighten and smooth out every piece and then roll it all up into a tube to be used for the following year. Mom let us know beforehand which wrapping paper she was sick of so we could “accidentally” rip it. If you’re in the market for vintage 80’s wrapping paper, slightly used, don’t even bother with eBay.

6. Even vegetable gardens were a source of recycling. It wasn’t mulch, but something far more “green” oriented. One year, mom planted a single cherry tomato bush and a zucchini plant. We enjoyed the crop that summer, but it the true big picture genius wasn’t discovered until the following year when, unassisted, four cherry tomato plants sprung up where the original one had been and zucchini plants took over the rest of the backyard. We had so much zucchini, people several streets away would close and lock their doors when they saw us coming with our bags and bags of zucchini the size of Hulk Hogan’s arms. The cherry tomato plants grew taller than the back fence and dad finally offered the majority of them to the grocery store right behind our house. But, the story doesn’t end here. The plants came back EVERY YEAR even after my dad rototilled the soil. Now that’s not letting any seed go to waste! My sister and I finally rebelled when zucchini pancakes were served for breakfast one morning. NOT the tasty morsals you’re imagining. Think rather of shredded zucchini in your Bisquick.

7. Toilet paper. Stick with me on this one. My sister and I are only a few years apart, so we were both in high school at the same time for two years. Which meant our house was TP’d once or twice. On one such occasion, the perpetrators went so far as to hold the end of the roll, while tossing the rest of it OVER our two-story house. They were THOROUGH. Our entire roof was draped with the stuff, and dad was LIVID–like purple face, vein in the middle of the forehead bulging livid. He cleaned it all up … remember the wrapping paper? He rolled it all back up. Into giant, mushy, grimy rolls. Put it all in a large paper bag and stuck it in my sister and I’s bathroom. For us to use. I mean, the man was obviously dedicated to recycling. Mom, figuring she’d helped reduce half a valley’s worth of carbon emissions with her zucchini, took pity on us and gave us fresh rolls.

As Christmas season approaches, I realize how much more I can do to live up to my green potential and continue the legacy. Does anyone have a good pattern for a Target plastic bag crochet rug?

Why Dawn Metcalf Should Consider Witness Protection

December 6, 2011

I won the book Luminous in a blog contest several months ago. It sat on my to be read pile and I always seemed to find something else to read ahead of it. Not that it’s cover wasn’t gorgeous and inviting, I just wasn’t sure about it. So it sat on my shelf. I even took it along with me to a few of my recent doctor’s visits, but never cracked it open.

Until last night.

And by the time I’d finished the first chapter, the only reason I put it down was to send the following text to my sister: “On Chapter 2 of Luminous by Dawn Metcalf and it is beautiful. Her writing is compelling, true and you feel the words.”

Once in a great while, you come upon a sentence or a phrase or a particular description that makes you cry because you weren’t the one who wrote it. I still remember a specific line from both Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver and Lisa Mantchev’s Eyes Like Stars. Dawn Metcalf’s Luminous had one on nearly EVERY PAGE! In the first 25 pages, I went from crying because I didn’t write this book to plotting where to stash Metcalf while stealing her identity. Her writing is sparse, yet her words are woven together so powerfully there is never a moment I couldn’t picture the exact setting, action and feel of her world. What would take me a paragraph to write, she conveys in a short sentence. Not only was I awed, I was completely sucked into the story.

“The world snapped open.”

“The world snapped shut.”

As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong.

When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela’s way home.

Luminous, surprisingly written in third person, opens with the main character, Consuela Louisa Aguilar Chavez battling the dreaded dressing room to find a decent pair of jeans. Right before her life turns utterly inside out. As she struggles to understand what is happening to her, the inner strength she has leads her, and subsequently the reader, through the beauty and the horrors of the Flow. Finding her way back home requires the stripping away of all former conceptions and revealing the core of who she is.

“Know thyself” is what V, her handsome and tortured new friend, keeps whispering to her. In a voice only she can hear. One he is not aware she is hearing. And while she treasures every moment, every accidental touch, she just wants to get home. And V is sure can save her. He must save her.

As more and more of their cohorts are murdered, Consuela must discover what she really believes and how to act without damning herself and the rest of the Flow. I would love to go on and on about the story and how incredible the plot is as well as all the subtle twists and turns, but I cannot bring myself to take those discoveries away from you. Each new revelation pulls you deeper and deeper inside, hurling down corridors one normally only navigates in a dream. All while moving closer and closer to the one danger that could end it all.

If you only buy one more book this year, make it Luminous by Dawn Metcalf. In fact, buy several copies and give them out as Christmas presents. Give one to your local and/or high school library. Chase kids down in Barnes & Noble and shove this book into their hands.

Powerful. Breathtaking. Horrific. Fantastic. Beautiful.

And, because I love this book THAT much, I’m going to give away a copy to one lucky commentator. No, you can’t have my signed copy. Back off.

The rules are simple:

Leave a comment: 1 entry

Subscribe (or be a current subscriber) to this blog: 2 entries

Tweet this review: 3 entries

Post this review on FaceBook: 3 entries

Blog about this review: 4 entries

Tally up all of your entries and leave me the links for Twitter, FB and your blog in your comment. I will use random.org to select a winner. This giveaway is open until Saturday, December 10th at 11:59 pm.

And, Dawn, pay no attention to that black van with no windows circling your neighborhood. Or those ninjas with blow dart guns hanging from your trees. Or the hair and makeup artist working feverishly to capture your full look on me. None of that has anything to do with this post. Whatsoever.

Things I Learned From My Vacation

June 11, 2011

I recently spent a week in California at my parents’ house. CJ was there for the first half and I finally got to meet Baby J! I was a very proud and honored aunt when she reached for me to pick her up at the airport.

As with all ventures in my family, this week brought about many learning experiences, the least of being the Great Pee Incident of 2011, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here are the things I learned from my vacation, in attempted chronological order which is pretty much impossible since the cough syrup with codeine has kicked in wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

1)  My dad, in an understandable attempt to be frugal, in no way grasps the fact that I work the evening shift and therefore must pull an all-nighter to be at the airport by 5 am. 

2)  My dear friend, Pauline (aka Aspiringmama), is not a cheap date. Nor does she, or will she EVER, make said 5 am trip out of the goodness of her heart.

3)  I had to bribe her with a baby blanket and 2 orders of grape leaf rolls.

4)  If you think that’s bad, you don’t want to know how many homemade, gluten-free pizzas I would charge her.

5)  Frontier airline sucks.

6)  Everyone loves Starbucks Dark Chocolate bars. EVERYONE.

7)  I’d rather sleep on the couch in the living room than in my grandma’s closet.

8)  My parents accidentally call one of their cats by my name. All the time.

9)  See the resemblance?

10) Everything is blooming in the Central Valley. And I am allergic to ALL of it.

11) Except the cat. She’s good.

12) Nothing can top the farting skunk my mom bought for my dad.

13) With the possible exception of the fart soundboard my boyfriend sent to my dad. Who laughed so hard he was begging me to stop playing it. My mom got him again that night when he got up for a drink of water.

14) Humor! We haz it.

15) California has drive thru ONLY Starbucks. A fact which escaped me until I was out of the mini-van, searching for the non-existent door.

16) They have plenty of windows though. Large, tinted, picture frame windows perfect for mocking the unwary souls lured in by the sudden realization that it is illegal to drive while talking on a cell phone in CA and need to make a caffeinated run for it.

17) Having no one around to affect the awkward parental do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do, my dad has thrown caution and reason to the wind and decided he no longer has to pay stop signs, speed limits, three-car length, cornering speeds safe in a mini-van, hello baby on board and any other standard rule of driving any mind. He is a one man tank safe in his captain’s chair. CJ and I left most of our nails imbedded in the arm rests.

18) My mom just likes to drag race from the stop light.

19) I haven’t seen her lose yet.

20) CJ and I share the same pen and notebook obsession.

21) Our dad couldn’t understand why we needed to go to Target for a notebook and pen when he had a perfectly nice standard notebook back at home. With a plain yellow cardboard cover. And a ballpoint pen.

22) Speaking of genetics, they’ve got nothing on what is destined to be. Baby J is a shoe fiend. Every morning, when she got up, she would shove her feet in my shoes as best possible and clomp around the house in them. My mom tried to give her a box to play with instead. Baby J was not to be deterred from the shoes.

23) I bought her a pair of shoes while we were out shopping. When I showed them to her, she promptly handed the toys in her arms to CJ and reached for the shoes.

24) Tell me she doesn’t belong in our family.

25) Hourglass, by Myra McEntire is made of PURE WIN! If you haven’t pre-ordered it, what are you waiting for?

26) You can’t have my special, autographed copy. Touch it and die.

27) I am the technological one in the family. A skill that in no way helped me change a diaper.

28) Hanging out with my parents is fun. Just don’t tell the teenage me.

29) Frontier airline sucks. When the fact that you need an actual airplane and flight crew for flight schedule months in advance escapes you–for no less than 5 flights–it’s time to hang up your wings. You’re done. Finished.

30) My satisfaction cannot be bought with a $50 voucher. Unless said voucher was for another airline. Like Southwest.

31) It is important to have a litter box in nearly every room when you leave your cats to go on vacation. Especially if they like to play behind the bedroom door and you’ve hired Pauline to cat-sit, but only every few days since cats are self-sufficient. And know how to open the door.

32) Or understand the bathroom rug is only $10 while the mattress is $1500 on a really good Memorial Day Sale.

33) Bonus? I now know how to get several day old cat pee out of a mattress.

34) Poop smell, however, does NOT come out of a comforter. No matter what you use.

35) The Great Pee Incident of 2011 is funny now that I am finally able to sleep in my own bed.

36) Pauline was wise enough to wait until I found it funny to laugh.

37) Gardens of Time on Facebook? Awesome to the power of WIN.

38) Baby J and I both fall asleep when riding in the back seats of cars.

39) Returning to a state rife with wildfires and wind gusts equals instant allergic reaction strong enough to turn into bronchitis. Again.

40) But at least Pauline, her mom and Buttercup are taking me to go get pedicures and our nails done tomorrow. I’m sure she’s thinking she’ll be cashing in on her grape leaves. I’m holding onto the pee card to play at the right exact moment.