Homeward Bound

We never did stop in Marshalltown, IA, despite the offer of a free place to crash and a game of Scotland Yard against Flavia the Swiss foreign exchange student, opting instead to spend Wednesday evening curled up on the soft comfy couches at Ben and Julia’s cuddling their beagles and chatting with Ben (as Jules was out of town for work).

It was relaxing, but there were silly moments, and it’s good to have friends you share in-jokes with, and who can invite themselves into your home, just as you invited yourself into theirs.

(Speaking of the beagles, Molly and Daisy are cuter than I ever imagined, and while they completely suck at coming when called, they do get in their kennel when told, so it’s all good. I did note, however, that calling “Beagles!” worked better than either name.)

In any case, we left Minneapolis around 10 yesterday morning, stopped at Caribou Coffee, and then finally crashed for the night at a faded but functional Ramada in Oklahoma City. We’re so close to home we can taste it, but it was late, and we were tired and crabby, and we’re about to go eat free food.

The plan is to retrieve the dogs from the vet, and then go home and sleep for a long long long long time.

ATTN: CARYNSILVER: Have fallen in love with the game “Valley of the Pharoahs” do you know it?

Quick Update from SoDak.

I’ve been enjoying hanging out with my cousins, some of whom I’ve never met before, and it was good to see Aunt Peg look so happy. Last night at her birthday dinner everyone was misty. Her great-grandchildren all gave her gag-gifts, and by the end of the evening she looked like a well-loved version of Maxine (from the greeting cards), with pink plastic birthday sunglasses, and a birthday tiara worn over her birthday straw hat, and a joke ear horn. She’s such a good sport, and seriously, she looks 75, not 90.

She says she’s “beginning to feel old now.”

During dinner there were phone calls from friends and family who couldn’t make it here, and that was touching as well.

Today we are splitting our time between brunch with my family and the afternoon with Fuzzy’s family, and then tomorrow we’re leading my parents to Minneapolis to see Ira’s daughter.

I’m still not able to shake this cough, but I feel mostly better, though I barely slept last night. I’m in that, “I really wanna be home now” stage, but still enjoying myself, for the most part.

I miss my dogs.

Lions and Tigers and Bears…OK?

While I generally think (and share with most people I meet) Oklahoma is a bleak and depressing stretch of land to have to drive through, today we found that there are some cool spots there, nevertheless.

We’d seen billboards for miles advertising a wild animal refuge, but we didn’t really pay attention. Until we got to exit 64 and Fuzzy said, “Wanna see the tigers?” I never even seriously considered going. But hey, the man loves big cats, and I like them too, so we went. We spent $18 (2 adult tickets plus a bag of food “for any of the monkeys and bears with pvc pipes, and the geese), and we spent a good 2 hours wandering around the GW Exotic Animal Refuge, coming two feet from lions, tigers, lemurs, wolves, chimps, baboons, cougars and bears. The bears and monkeys with feeding tubes were eager to play – tapping on the pipes for “more” or flirting with us. We used half the bag of sweet cereal on them, then wandered back to see the wolf hybrids (half-dog pets who were taken after they ate a Pekingese dog – owners were given the option of death or refuge. The geese were milling around near the enclosure where the goats and deer and sheep where hanging out, and they pretty much demanded the rest of the bag, following us and chittering loudly. One was injured in the wild and is missing half his top bill, and we gave him extra – he had to turn his head sideways to retrieve it.

The lions and tigers were very cool too – so many – mostly male. We’ve made plans to visit again when it’s cooler.
Feeding the bear was the highlight of my day. She met my eyes, and basically kept saying, “more please” and tapping on the pipe the way my dog taps on my arm or leg when he wants more treat.

We’re now in El Dorado, KS, and it’s bedtime.

Night all.

1:37 AM CDT: Couldn’t sleep. Edited this to fix stupid link that went crazy. This is why I shouldn’t post when I’m tired.

Too Close a Shave?

I knew it was going to be a weird day when Miss Cleo came in from her morning business dragging a torn sleeve. I threw it away, assuming one of the neighbor-kids had torn a shirt and tossed the evidence over the fence. But then the thumping started. At first I didn’t think much of it, because those kids are ALWAYS playing basketball in the street that goes along the side of our house, and usually I smile and think how cool it is that our neighborhood is safe enough for kids to DO that.

Except, whatever was thumping didn’t have that hollow basketball sound, but seemed more solid. And the shrieking doesn’t sound all that playful.

Fuzzy just got back a few minutes ago from his pre-trip haircut, and he’s bleeding, and he ran into the house faster than you’d ever think a geek could run.

“What happened?” I asked. “Did they cut you with the razor?”

“She tried to kill me,” he said.

“Fuzz, I know you hate hair cuts, but…”

“No,” he said. “They’re all pale. You know, like goths or something. And they smell weird. And she did this with the blade of the scissors, on purpose.”

“Um, right…”

“No, really,” he’s dabbing his head and frantic – and stoic!boy is never frantic. “She said I probably have a nice brain. I think she wanted to eat it.”

I put together the sounds from this morning, and my husband’s tale, and I nod. “But you made it home, right? So we’re good, and you’re safe.” I pause, then add, “Please tell me you didn’t tip her?”

But he doesn’t answer. He’s busy with his nose buried in the fur on top of Miss Cleo’s head.

Continue reading


Raspy is how I sound, now that I have a small part of my voice back. Oh, my flu has flown but it’s left its good friends to settle in my lungs. I have a great doctor, who complimented my hair, and good drugs, including pineapple flavored cough syrup with codeine that not only stops the scary phlegm-y coughing fits, but ALSO knocks me out. I’ve had more sleep in the last two days than I have all week, with weird vivid dreams, and Fuzzy is taking care to keep me in salads and juice and water, and the dogs are extra snuggly, which actually is a bit annoying.

I’ll write something real tomorrow or Tuesday.

Thursday Thirteen – 0706.07

Thirteen Things about MissMeliss
13 things that begin with I

  1. Ice: Whether it’s a frozen pond just waiting to be skated upon, icicles hanging from eaves, or cubes tumbling into a glass, ice fascinates me.
  2. Ichthyology: I’ve been in love with the ocean since birth. When I was ten or so I went through a stage where I wanted to be a marine biologist, then, I just wanted to study fish and sharks. I still love nature programs about sea life.
  3. Ideas: A seed of thought blooms into an idea, which either expands into a bouquet of many ideas interacting to form a story, or stands alone as a single moment in time.
  4. Imagination: Albert Einstein said:

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

    and Anais Nin said:

    There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.

  5. Improvisation: I stop and think too much, still, but I like the freedom of improve, the notion that we’ve agreed to accept whatever happens, and add to it rather than try to fix it, and then, the writer in me enjoys just making stuff up.
  6. Inspiration: I find inspiration in odd places. A spoon in an empty mug can conjur a paragraph about an entire family eating breakfast, or about one person sipping coffee and reflecting. Part of the definition of “inspire” is “to fill with exalted influence,” but you have allow yourself to be filled.
  7. iPod Shuffle: I prefer my Creative Zen Vision: M for the most part, as I like to use Napster-to-Go as a music source, but after winning a new shuffle on Blingo, I’m quite attached to it. It’s cute and small and I like the novelty of music being stored on something the size of a binder clip.
  8. Iridescence: I like shiny things, sometimes. My favorite hat is tone on tone iridescent velvet, and I love that the shiny part is just this subtle pattern that you don’t even see unless the light hits it the right way. Grackles, for all that they’re kind of pesky birds, share this quality. They look black, but when the sun hits them you realize they’re this gorgeous blue/purple.
  9. Irises: One of my favorite flowers, I love the vibrant color of the blossom in contrast with the elegant green stems, arranged simply in a clear vase. They’re such sensible flowers. Unfussy. But wonderful.
  10. Isis: I am a child of the ‘70s, which means I grew up on Sid and Marty Kroft and cheesy things like the Shazam/Isis hour. Watching Andrea Thomas spin around and say “Oh Mighty Isis” and then becoming the Goddess was great fun for my seven and eight-year-old self.
  11. Islands: I love the sea, and while I like big cities, I’d prefer to be near one rather than in one. I also sort of like contained environments – small villages that have everything at an easy reach. My fantasy is to live on an island – not a tropical one, as I like cooler weather – that has a café, a bookstore, and internet access. I want to wear fishermen’s sweaters and sip strong tea on the porch watching the tide go in and out.
  12. Istanbul: I like the cover of this song that They Might Be Giants did a few years back, but the place itself intrigues me, and I’d love to visit someday.
  13. Italian: Both the language and the food are special to me. The food, of course, is my family’s tradition. My great-grandfather owned the food concession at Fort Hancock, and it’s his tomato sauce and meatball recipes we all use. The language thrills me, because it’s artful and flow-y, tumbling from the tongue like rich wine. I wish I spoke it fluently.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Dear Blogfriends,

Please excuse MissMeliss from posting today, and retroactively back to Friday, June 1st. She has contracted a nasty flu, and is unable to even feign coherence.

In addition, please accept MissMeliss’s sincere apologies to certain IM buddies for her rather delirious sanity break babble over the past several days.

MissMeliss plans to spend the day in the pursuit of fluid ingestion, sleep accrual, and the intermittent viewing of Stephen King’s The Stand which, while possibly ill-advised due to the subject matter (decimation from super-flu), involves several hours of Gary Sinise, which, she says, would make anyone feel better.

Proof of MissMeliss’s illness lies in the fact that she begged off performing at CSz on Friday, and cancelled a mani/pedi appointment on Saturday.

Love and Kisses,

MissMeliss’s Fevered Brain

P.S. Did you know it is possible to “call in” sick when you work from home? Well, it is, and MissMeliss has done so today.