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 # 2: Write Tonight’s News Headline At Your House….

Imagine you are a news anchor. Write the beginning of tonight’s newscast script.

INTRO MUSIC:

VOICE OVER: “Proud to serve central Nolanville and the west side of Boxer Street, this is WYRU-Reading News 38. Closed captioning of the following programing is brought to you by WYRU- Reading & the First National Bank of Piggy. And now Boxer Streets leading newscaster Jennifer Lynne.”

Jennifer: Good evening and thank you for joining us. Our top story tonight:  A local family finds themselves a little less merry and bright tonight after what authorities are calling the worst attack on an elf in decades.  The 678-year-old Christmas Elf which was reported missing early Wednesday was found dead in his holiday vacation home early this afternoon.

Boxer Street police said a family member discovered the body underneath the couch in the shared family house at about 1:30 p.m. on Decemember 29th. The Elf, who has been identified as Vincent, was spending the extended holiday at his new vacation shelf in Nolanville, according to a family friend.

The FBI joined the investigation because the elf initially was reported missing the day after Christmas by authorities in charge of attendance compliance at the North Pole.

Police detectives and crime scene investigators began searching the house late Thursday after obtaining a warrant. Not all details of the crime have been released by investigators yet.

The medical examiner’s office says the cause of death is being ruled as blunt force trauma and sharp force injuries similar to a mauling or bear attack. Police Chief Mosby said. As such, this case is being considered a homicide.

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It is Boxer Streets first homicide of 2019, Chief Mosby said.

No arrests have been made as of yet, but 2 suspects, Wrigley and Lucy Shidler, remain in police custody for questioning.

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Suspects being held for questioning

Neighbors described Vincent as a friendly, outgoing elf. “Always keeping a watchful eye, and leaving presents for his family” said Carla Kilburn, a friend close to the family. “His personality – he was very stoic yet charming.”

“This is almost dreamlike,” said Kilburn. “It just didn’t seem true at all, I guess he must have over stayed his welcome.”

A GoFund me account has been started in Vincent’s name to cover cremation and burial costs. Any remaining funds will go towards grief counseling for Santa and his remaining elves as well as support groups for other elves dealing with domestic violence situations.

Police ask that anyone with information on this case are urged to contact Boxer Street PD at (765) 867-5309

 

 

 

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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what goes through my mind before bed each night…

…..Just because my body has stopped moving a mile a minute doesn’t mean my mind has..here is a pretty accurate sequence of events each night in the Shidler house hold…No I am not kidding and yes, my husband does hate me Winking smile

9:30 PM-What did I eat today that will come back to haunt me at 3 am. When did I become old enough that eating pizza after 10pm would be a bad idea? When did I become old enough to say the statement “when did I become old enough?” …Better get the tums out just in case.

9:33 PM-Why can’t my pillows and blankets be as soft, cool and inviting as they were when my alarm went off this morning?

9:35 PM-Alarm! Crap!! Did I set it? I have to be at work at 9..I showered this afternoon and did absolutely nothing after that so I should be good to go in that department… If I get up now and lay my work clothes out for tomorrow, that will give me an extra 30 minutes to sleep. 8 am it is.

9:36 PM- Ugh..I really don’t want to get up to lay my clothes out. Why haven’t I trained the cats to do tricks/chores yet?

9:38 PM- How come Mosby always chooses to sleep above Matthews head? I bet it is because he feeds them in the morning, I tend to keep the people that feed me close by. Maybe I should start feeding them in the am so he will snuggle with me at night. I guess I can set my alarm for 7:30 so I can start doing that……but then again….Mosby is fluffy and I am already hot at night anyways. Matthew can get up and feed him. Let me put the alarm back to 8.

9:40 PM-  Speaking of hot at night, it is hot and muggy in here..if I could just get my foot out from under this blanket and the fan pointed just on my face I should be good.

9:43 PM- I’m thirsty..but I just got comfortable…is that Matthew snoring or Mosby? I think it’s Mosby..”hey Matt.are u asleep? ..Matt? MATT!” “can I have a glass of milk please?” ‘I think I’m about to have heart burn.

9:44 PM- “Ohhhh while your up, can you grab my jeans and work shirt out of the dryer and put them on the dresser?”

9:45 PM-“Also, can you turn the air down its stuffy in here!”

9:50 PM-Aww! I love milk! Dang it..I forgot to ask for a straw..I can make do!

9:55 PM-I haven’t checked Facebook, Twitter, my email or buzz feed in like 5 minutes, I better make sure I haven’t missed anything important before I go to bed.

9:57 PM-I want to lay on my stomach but this iphone is to big to operate with just one hand free. I guess I’ll roll over. If I move to much though, Lucy will wake up. She just stopped barking and jumping around so I must do this gently.

9:58 PM- While I’m at it, let me switch out pillows. Also It’s getting really cold in here now! Is this what menopause will be like. Oh my gosh…am I in menopause?…oh stop it Jennifer your 28.. just turn the fan off and pull your foot in the blanket and you wont be as cold.

10:03 PM-What was that noise?! I’m pretty sure rowdy just knocked something over in the living room, but what if it wasn’t? What if it was someone trying to break in and they made noise thinking we would think it was the cats and the noise was all part of the plan to throw us off so they can steal all of our stuff? I should definitely wake Matthew up..”Matt…matt..MATTHEW..I heard a noise and I don’t think it was the cat. Can you go check?”

10:10 PM-What did you say Matt? Rowdy just knocked over his food dish? I could have swore it was louder than that. I’m sorry I got you up! Come back to bed.

10:11 PM- “Hey, before you go back to sleep, can you turn the air up? “It’s kind of cold in here!”

10:12 PM- “Also, can you grab me a straw for my milk? Thank you!”

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