300 Writing Prompts #10: What is Something You Purchased Used?

Listen, I’m a frugal gal who likes to stick to a budget, so if I can get a steal of a deal, I will. Below are some of my favorite items I have acquired 2nd hand.

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Every car I’ve ever owned! I imagine this will be a common response among people. The second you drive a new car off the lot it will depreciate by as much as 11% of its value, and can lose up to 30% in the first year (I googled that info. I’m not that smart I promise..) Now I’m not good with math or numbers…but 30% seems like a lot especially since no one drives cars until they die like people did when I was little. If you have the money to buy a brand-new car without a loan more power to you, but if you search and find a good deal on a used car that won’t let you down then WOOOHOOO!

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Books, lots and lots of books! Even in college at the book store (or on ebay) I would hunt out the used books first. Now, as an adult and avid reader, I get a thrill from digging through the shelves of used book stores as well as Goodwill! I wanted a book at Barnes and Noble the other day, 18.99. Found it at a local bookstore for 4.50. “But Jennifer, the spine will already be bent and worn…” Um, what do you think I’m going to do to it? Read it with white gloves and turn the pages with tweezers? I read in bed, in the pool and in the bathtub, that book isn’t going to know what hit it when I’m done with it!

My Pets! This sounds weird, but stick with me on this one. Every pet I have had has been rescued by us or adopted from rescues. For one reason or another their original owners realized they couldn’t take care of their sweet faces anymore and humanely surrender them to shelters. We came along, fell in love and brought them home where they are showered with kisses and treats daily.

So tell me readers, what is something you purchased used?

 

 

 

 

 

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In Memory of Rowdy Shidler

If you read Tuesdays “300 Writing Prompt” entry (read it here), you will know that we recently had to put our beloved cat Rowdy to sleep. Today I share his obituary that is every bit as sassy  and silly as he was.

Rowdy Roo Shidler

Spring 2010 – December 17, 2018

Rowdy Roo Shidler, 10, of Nolanville Texas, drifted peacefully into eternal sleep on December 17, 2018 while surrounded by his family. Rowdy was born in Terre Haute Indiana in the early spring of 2010.

He was an aspiring medical helicopter pilot, but his dream was cut short when it was discovered he was a recovering catnip addict. He was later adopted in June 2010 by newlyweds Matthew and Jennifer Shidler. They survive.

Rowdy was a proud ‘spirited’ cat with a passion for attacking ankles unprovoked and hissing without being spoken to. He followed the typical cat rulebook to a T, never deviating from standard protocol once.

img_1112He was a loving and protective big brother to Mosby. The two could often be found rough housing, giving each other baths, chasing each other through the house at 3 a.m. and getting into other general mischief.

Rowdy was known by all to have a sophisticated pallet, often dinning on the finest hair ties, shoe laces and most exotic yarns he could get his paws on. If something didn’t meet his standards, he was not afraid to let you know, often at 3 a.m. and in the middle of a well-traveled pathway.

While never having the chance to be a father his self, (a major mix up at the veterinary

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office he always claimed) Rowdy took on the role of “Father Figure” with pride when his parents adopted two deformed and untrained cats, Lucy and Wrigley. He made it his personal mission to turn the two into functioning cats, but unfortunately never saw his dreams come to fruition.

Rowdy will be dearly missed but never forgotten. All that were blessed with the opportunity to feed him or with the rare opportunity to pet him un-harmed, know that their lives are forever changed.

Rowdy is survived by his loving parents, Matthew and Jennifer Shidler. Brothers, Mosby and Wrigley and little sister Lucy. Other family members include his Aunt Jonie Shidler, Estel & Cindy Shidler and Carla Kilburn.

A celebration of life was privately held at his residence December 24, 2018. Guests shared stories, pictures and passed around his favorite balls of yarn.

A GoFundMe has been created in Rowdy’s name to raise funds for Catnip for underprivileged inner city cats.

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300 Writing Prompts # 8: Have You Ever Had To Put A Pet Down?

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If I had started writing in this journal when I bought it 6 months ago, the answer to this prompt would have been boring, containg satirical stories of me flushing my State Fair goldfish down the drain, (for the record it was a lovely service) but as luck would unfortunately have it, I now have experience and insight for this question.

His name was Rowdy. He was the first pet I ever had that was all my own. We rescued him the summer we got married. The airport my husband worked at had “adopted” a cat on accident, and while the pilots in the medical helicopter hangar wanted to keep this kitten they had grown to love, they needed to keep a sterile atmosphere for the medical equipment. My husband was tasked with finding a new home for the cat. He instantly curled up in the truck next to Matthew and the next thing I know I was getting messages that could have very well come from a 4 year-old. “Can we keep him!” “He won’t be any trouble!”

I didn’t need to be convinced. He came home that day and after some careful discussion we named him after fun stories we heard about a local farm hand with a weird passion for Rush Limbaugh ( a long, but true story).

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Rowdy was never a perfectly ‘healthy’ cat. He first got sick 5 months after we moved to Texas. Like a lot of male cats, even fixed ones, his body would often develop crystals that would block the bladder causing infections and major illness if undetected. Over the next 8 years, Rowdy was prescribed different types of cat foods and had several (like 5) procedures to unblock his bladder. I won’t bore you with every detail of Rowdy’s life (I will leave that for his upcoming obituary), but what I will tell you is that we loved him even though he fit the stereotype of a typical house cat to a T.

On December 17th 2018 we found ourselves at the emergency vet office faced with 2 options, another unblocking procedure with several rounds of tests and a referral to a specialist in Austin, or to peacefully let him sleep. We spent 40 minutes trying to decide what to do, but with the guidance of the caring vet we made the decision to let our little Rowdy peacefully sleep.

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It’s not been a month yet, but we miss him and still catch ourselves calling for him or referring to our cats in the plural.

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I won’t ask anyone if they have ever had to put a pet down although you are welcome to answer if you would like. I do invite you to tag me in any of your blog posts about your wonderful pets our furry friends should be shared!

 

 

 

300 Writing Prompts #5: What Are You Recovering From Right Now?

What are you recovering from right now?

 When I sat down to tackle todays writing prompt, several items of recovery came to mind. None of them seemed to be substantial in length nor of real importance, so I decided to gather them together in a short-ish list. And here we go…

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  • I’m recovering from 2018. Not 2018 in terms of events, but 2018 in terms of the numbers. Here we are 4 days into the New Year and not once have I managed to write a single date correctly.

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  • 2 words, carb withdrawl. Without turning this into the stereotypical “new year new me” post, my husband and I have been eating a lot less carbs for about a week now. Bread I could care less about, but fruit and MILK are a whole different story.

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  • The after effects of Christmas. While our whole house has been cleaned from top to bottom and our decorations and treasured presents have found their rightful spots, I keep finding pieces of glitter everywhere. 2015 Jennifer thought it would be cute to decorate the tree one year with decorative swags that feature what I thought to be a tasteful dusting of silver and gold. They only lasted 1 year, but the trail of glitter they left behind haunts me to this day.

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  • The plural of the word “cat.” I don’t know if I had mentioned it on here yet, but we recently had to have one of our pet cats Rowdy put to sleep. It was a terrible experience that I have never had to go through before, and while we are working on not being as sad, it still stings when one of says “did you feed the cats?” or “Do the cats need their litter box changed out yet?”

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  • Mother nature. She’s been on one this past fall and winter. It has been cooler here in Texas than it normally is (not that I should complain too much, I’m used to worse) and to make matters worse it has rained straight through the last few days. We are talking miserable cold with 2 ½ inches of water. Yeah, I’ll pass.

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What do you find yourself recovering from this week?

Pet Grooming {ish} With Jennifer

We had to shave our cat. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d have to type. Now before your mind wanders or you call PETA, we didn’t do this for fun or for sport. Mosby is fine, a little cold, but fine. He thought it would be cute to sit on a wax warmer. A wax warmer that is intentionally hidden for this reason.

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Mosby

How did Mosby become the latest attraction at Madame Tussauds you ask? We are 99% sure this is what happened.

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Grumpy cat meets his wax double at Madame Tussauds

It’s 4 A.M. and everyone is asleep. Suddenly Mosby hears a loud noise coming from the living room. Fearing for the lives of his family, he gets down from his perch to investigate. After running as fast as he can from one end of the house to the other (repeatedly), he finds himself being attacked by a large snake in the shape of a bread tie. Heroically Mosby tackled the bread tie snake, violently smashing and thrashing it around. After swiftly swatting at it with his paws he realized the battle was more than he could handle. In an effort to find safety he leapt 4 feet into the air, landing behind the TV directly on the wax warmer. Mosby, now coated in wax on his stomach and leg has found himself “safe” but the bread tie snake still remains at large.

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Before we get into the physics that goes in to shaving a cat, I want to assure you that we contacted our vet to make sure this wasn’t an emergency situation. Oddly enough, they’ve seen several cases of cat vs. wax warmer (spoiler alert: wax warmer always wins), and have found that even with sedation the removal process can just as “easily” be done at home. Basically, they were not interested in being clawed to death by a 24 lb. ball of fur, wax and anger. I don’t blame them.

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We were officially on our own. The most popular options presented to us were, dish soap, coconut oil, vegetable oil and finally shaving. Since neither of us have experience in pet grooming, (in fact I’m still trying to master shaving my legs without cutting myself) we opted for the soap and oil methods first.

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We huddled in the bathroom (only one exit and no breakables) armed with towels, various oils and an angry cat. You know, your typical date night. Thinking there would be cat hair EVERYWHERE, I stripped down to my socks, underwear and sports bra. This would have been a great idea if Mosby was completely declawed, but I quickly and regrettably remembered his back feet (his strongest I might add) still have claws. Being nearly naked was no longer and advantage.

While distracting Mosby with a buffet of cat nip, we quickly lathered him up in enough oil that would make Paula Dean proud but even with a fine tooth comb the wax would not come loose. As we feared, shaving had become our last option. Mosby, slippery and high on catnip needed a break (as did we). We decided to stop for the night. We needed to lick our wounds, gather our thoughts and formulate a plan for the great cat shave of 2018.

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BE THERE!

We went in to day two with what we thought was a solid plan. We bought a corded mustache trimmer, (no time to mess with batteries) cat proof armor, (3 layered hoodies, gloves and blankets) and found a spray catnip that we hoped would distract him long enough to sheer him like a sheep. The plan was to get in, get out eat dinner watch an episode of The Nanny and never speak of this incident again.

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After performing what can only be described as an alligator death roll, Matthew and I were left with a pissed off, half shaved cat. We had 1 torn hoodie, a blanket that I swear is still missing and a pair of wax clogged mustache trimmers that will never work right again. Cat nip and fur were everywhere, our bathroom looked like a 4-h project gone wrong.

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After yet another call to the vet it was decided that we would allow the stomach fur to grow out long enough to where it could be trimmed with scissors. Lord give me strength. Our only other instructions were to keep the area clean and to keep Mosby happy. Not included in the instructions were hiding all the belongings that Mosby may or may not plan to pee or throw up on out of spite.

Today’s takeaway’s:

  1. Don’t underestimate the agility of even the fattest and laziest of cats
  2. The ConairMan beard & mustache trimmer is best on the market, hands down
  3. Buy a wax warmer and a hairless cat or fluffy cat and Wallflower Plug in. These items should not be mixed and matched

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An Ode to Chester

Finally, a blog post that proves that I can’t draw or write poetry.

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When they told us we could decorate the back room for the day

The vision of you with bright orange and yellow fur came my way.

A proud cat with a green top hat and clover.

It was obvious your smile would win the store over.

I was not prepared, however, for the creature I did create

I will try not to use a word so violent or strong, such as hate.

Your fur, while blotchy tells the story of a terrible disease,

Like ring worm or chicken pox, 10,000 tiny stings by 10,000 tiny bees.

Your arms, one fat, the other slender and lean

It is all too obvious that you belong on the back streets of Killeen.

Your picture is hung on the board in the back

Giving all who walk by a minor serious panic attack.

If I knew your existence would cause such riot and trouble

You, I would have kept in my head to avoid all the rumble.

I am so sorry I created your blotchy physique into existence

I swear to never create again without more artistic assistance.

All jokes aside from your picture (and this poem) being lame

One thing is for sure, that back room (or this blog) will never be the same.

Good Idea; Bad Idea

Over the last 10 months, I have been keeping a running list of all my good ideas that have ultimately ended in bad ideas. Today, I share with you my wisdom through experience. Please take heed….

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Good Idea: Stocking your bathroom with plenty of fresh clean towels

Bad Idea: Running naked/wet to other end of the house where the linen closet is. The cats are showing signs of bad vision and the neighbors will no longer look you in the eye.

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Good idea: Buying your favorite ice cream to be enjoyed on a hot summer’s day.

Bad Idea: Buying your favorite ice cream to be enjoyed on a hot Texas summers day, and forgetting it is in the car for about an hour.

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Good idea: Giving your cats a bath every few months or so

Bad idea: Giving your cats a bath every few months or so without sedating them first

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Good Idea: Plugging your phone in at night before you go to bed so it is charged for work the next day

Bad Idea: Plugging your phone in at night without first making sure that your cord is actually plugged in to the outlet

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Good Idea: Listening to great road trip songs like “Running on empty” By Jackson Browne and “Drivers Seat” by Sniff “n” the Tears while on a 16 hour car ride

Bad Idea: Being in the drivers seat in the middle of a 16 hour car ride, when the dashboard tells you that you are in fact running on empty and the nearest gas station is 30 minutes away.

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Good Idea: Keeping a fully stocked pantry with all essential staples such as tuna, ketchup and your favorite salad dressings.

Bad Idea: Only going through that pantry once every 5 years to find that the thousand island dressing was in fact ranch dressing with an expiration date past due more years than you and your husband have been together

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Good idea: Using generic house products like great value Lemon Pledge to dust your furniture, and great value cooking spray to coat your cooking pans versus the brand name versions, it gets the job done just the same.

Bad Idea: Laying both of these generic products next to each other on the counter leaving you 100% positive that your bookshelf will never stick to the pan if you decide to put it in the oven, and giving your salmon that extra splash of lemon you always wanted.

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Good Idea: Using a leash when taking your cat for walks around the block.

Bad Idea: Taking your cat for a walk around the block, with or without a leash.

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Good Idea: Driving through Arkansas to get to Indiana to save an hour on your total time.

Bad Idea: Driving through Arkansas at 1 am only to see deer and other medium to large sized wild life residents and their beady little eyes staring at you from the side of the road. You will stay put and I will do my thing and you will do yours. Let the dead raccoon next to mile marker 215 serve as your one and only warning.