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

18222165_10101998704557164_5347491317964317101_n

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.

screen shot 2019-01-08 at 12.58.54 pm

 

 

Just a Quick Thought

I was working on Wednesdays blog post and came across a small promblem…I couldnt spell purpose right to save my life. One of these days I will spell ‘Purpose’ right on the first try instead of ‘Porpoises’…..until that day comes, if you are reading something I have written, just assume I’m talking about something that is intentional and not a small aquatic mammal… unless I write a blog about whales on porpoise (see what I did there..). If I do write that blog, just reguard this message! 😉

 

While The Husband is Away, The Wife Will Play….

27332240_575906742801465_2748318378541393756_n

My husband is gone for work for the week, and these are 10 things I will be doing in his absence. He may or may not be excited he isn’t here to join me.

  • 3 words: Gilmore Girls Marathon
  • Cheesy Romance novels and puppy snuggles
  • The house temperature will be 70, then 75, then 70 then 75 again….in one hour
  • I will Sleep in the middle of the bed with all my pillows
  • Text him every half hour asking him what he’s up to
  • Homemade Zoodle Shrimp Alfredo all to myself
  • Oil changed on the car…wait…this doesn’t sound like an advantage.
  • Give my doggo’s too many treats and lots of kisses
  • Bubble baths and while playing the best of Cher and Abba
  • The following movies will be on repeat
    • You’ve Got Mail
    • Sound of Music
    • The Mirror has Two Faces
    • Beaches
    • The Bridges of Madison County
    • Pretty Woman
    • Sleepless in Seattle

Because in most things in life there is balance, these are the 10 things I will miss with his absence. Again, he may or may not be excited he isn’t here to join me

  • I will miss telling him to roll over every time he snores in my general direction
  • I will miss reading him these blogs before I post them for a laugh test
  • I will miss the smell of his body wash wafting into the room at 5 a.m. after his morning shower
  • I will miss him showing me a million things on Facebook, even though I’ve already seen them lol
  • I will miss him talking to me about his flights that day even though I don’t understand
  • I will miss the way he makes pumping gas look so effortless ;).
  • I will miss him ‘yelling’ at me for sorting the dirty clothes wrong
  • I will miss him ‘yelling’ at me for loading the dishwasher wrong (confession, I’m a terrible housewife)
  • I will miss seeing how excited the dogs get after he walks through the door after he has been at work all day
  • I will miss the way he talks to our puppies early in the morning when he gently wakes them up to take them outside for potty time.

This post started as a silly weekday ramble, but the more I wrote the more I was reminded of two things…

  1. How much of the little and big things that I love about my sweet husband.
  2. So many people I know are missing their spouses for more serious reasons such as military deployment or death. This makes my complaints of a five-day separation sound trivial and minuscule.

Hug your loved ones and don’t take the little things for granted 🙂

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

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 11.03.43 pm 

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).

b011bf21-4d16-416f-8d8d-d488fedc03b5

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.

img_1178

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.

img_1216

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 #7: What’s A Food You Hate That Others Love?

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 9.01.06 pm

I have a strong feeling this post is going to cause a lot of my readers grief, but the truth must come out. I strongly dislike BACON. Actually, if I am being honest with myself, the only items from a pig that I eat willingly are hard salami and pepperoni. It’s not that I’ve taken some great vow for pig rights (no offense to those who have) but I don’t like the taste. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat it if offered to me or if my only option, but in all honesty, bacon leaves a taste on my tongue that I instantly feel like I need scrape off my with my teeth or with a butter knife (do not use a knife in public unless you want to look like cousin Eddy..).

f2d8801465b741f120ef1b86b36234f8

How do my I know my readers are going to textually assault me on this? Because I’ve already received quite the beating on Facebook. If you have any type of social media you have no doubt seen the posts that say, “one must go.” This is the post I shared, and all hell broke loose on my Facebook feed. 20 different people commented with words and GIFS conveying their varying degrees of disapproval.

Screen Shot 2019-01-06 at 9.22.14 PM.png

 

The good news for me is the whole comment section didn’t exactly gang up against my choice. The most common “go” item was sushi, but five brave souls said they could toss aside the donut and 1 sad soul said he could live a life without tacos (you are in my prayers lol ). He is married to my best friend, so I must forgive him of this sin, but it will be hard.

 

So, tell me readers, what food would you toss aside that most others love?

Football From The Eyes of an MLB Fan

cheese!

“As for me and my house, we serve the Lord and the Chicago Cubs….”

This past weekend on a whim, my husband and I decided to go to the NFL wild card game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts. My football appreciation starts and ends with Super bowl Sunday. I’m there for the food, commercials and half time show. Because I am not a diehard Texan or Colt fan (even though I grew up in Indiana) I went to this game with no expectations other than a fun afternoon and a good fight between rivals. While we had a blast (we really did) I left the game with a lot of observations and a few questions for the NFL and Texan fans.

Observations:

  • Football spectators are way louder and more alert than baseball fans.

getloud

  • The Texan announcer excitedly requested that the fans SHOUT out the last name of the starting lineup, citing it as tradition. If I knew there was going to be a quiz, I would have studied. (probably not)

 

  • If you are going to cheer for the visiting team, do so at your risk. Football fans tend to be built like the football players they cheer on. Say the wrong thing and a tackle could be in your future.

46566543_609699942844597_4033560740166066257_n

  • It is harder for a novice to follow football in person than on TV. The yellow line of scrimmage (had to google what it was called) does not actually show up on the field. You have to find the guys on the sidelines with the sticks and connect the dots yourself. When I finally find out whats going on, I’m the only one cheering.

6672788

  • Speaking of ‘harder to follow in person’, the flags on the field make a lot less sense if the TV commentators aren’t force feeding me the facts. I was left to my own devices to decide what the heck a “neutral zone infraction” was. Heads up, it’s not passing gas in the middle of a huddle. Although I imagine some deserve a 5-yard penalty for that.

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 4.02.19 am

  • 15 minutes in life and 15 minutes at a football game are not the same. That being said, I grossly misjudged the length of time my bladder is able to hold liquids safely. Towards the start of the 4th quarter, I quickly realized I needed to use the restroom. “Only 15 minutes left, I can do this…” 45 minutes later I am begging my row to stand and let me out in the middle of a tense play.

maxresdefault

  • In relation to the above observation, don’t drink copious amounts of water unless your seat to aisle access ratio is less than 3. You haven’t lived until you’ve straddled 6 adults and 1 child while trying to get out of a crowded row doing the “I have to pee” dance.

56841985354__4845b70c-b276-427d-8f06-903825c89588

Questions:

Where did this guy buy his ticket, because I didn’t see the option for section 615 row M seat 16 with optional spa and facial package.

img_1393

What bet did this bride lose to not only have to go to a football game minutes after saying “I do” but to do so in the nosebleed section. Also, pretty sure they could have saved money with a caterer at the reception vs. the concession stand.

What is this guy’s game day routine look like? “I need to go to bed early tonight honey, I want to get up early and do my hair for the game in the morning.”

img_1400

Do the Cheerleaders ever fight over where they stand during the game. They divide them between the four corners of the field. You can’t tell me Suzy isn’t upset that her BFF Jill is on the opposite side with her enemy Jolene, and don’t get me started on Karen pretending to best buds with Macey.

img_1396

 

Are you still considered a band wagon fan when the closest thing to representing team gear is wearing a hoodie that says Indiana on it?

img_1414

 All jokes aside, congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts! We had a blast at this game which is surprising because I walk a fine line between introvert and high functioning agoraphobic. Ha. Tell me friends, what sporting events do you enjoy in person?

300 Writing Prompts # 6: Write a Thank You Note To Someone

Dear Shower in Room 1319 Crown Plaza Hotel, Houston:

You may not remember me, but I’m the woman you heard screaming yesterday morning. Hi! I wanted to send you a word of thanks for the most violent shower experience of my life. Never in my 31 years of bathing have I gone from 3rd degree burns to frostbite in a matter of minutes. You really kept me on my toes, which is good, because they were the only body part left un-effected by your ‘Psycho’ Alfred Hitchcock thrill ride. Who knew the most effective way to clean your body was to sear the top layer off to make room for the new layer.

I was worried the memories of our weekend together would quickly fade away, but those fears were soon replaced by the constant smell of fried bologna on my skin that seemed to follow me where ever I went. That small reminder will have to do until our paths can cross again.

You truly went above and beyond, and I thank you for your service!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Shidler

 

Tell me readers, who would you write a thank you note to this week?

Extra credit: whats your worst hotel experience in recent memory?

to my love & light,

Greetings and Salutations!

I recently participated in a “Share Your Blog” experience over at the Captains Speech. Several bloggers from all over left their calling card in the comment section allowing everyone to shop around for new blogs. From this, I have had several new friends stop by and follow my journey in nonsense and satire. Because the majority of the stuff I post is strange, weird and questionable at best (ha) I thought I would give my new friends a quick chance to know more about me!

What’s your whole name?

Jennifer Lynne Shidler (please don’t steal my identity 😉 )

29572223_10102561908941064_3445569648692238973_n

Do you have any siblings?

Yes, 1 older brother William, a half-sister Angela and two sisters in-laws, Tifany and Jonie.

Where did you grow up?

West Central Indiana. I lived in that general area for 25ish years before moving to Texas in 2012.

indianawparkeco

Are you close to your parents?

My mom, yes. She has several health issues and my husband and I moved her into our home 2 years ago to help her. I was not close to my dad, he had his issues and while he would try to call or come around when I was youner I pushed him away. He passed away in 2012. I hope he has found his peace, I have.

Where did you go to college?

I graduated from Indiana State University (home of the great Larry Bird) in 2010 with a BFA in Communication and Marketing. Even after all that, my grammar skills are less than desirable. #sorrynotsorry

31221_617642123394_2325822_n

What did you study in college?

Public relations and marketing. I guess you can say I studied my husband as well (ha). We met in my junior year and have been together ever since.

What kind of music do you like?

My Apple music play list consists of 60s, 70s, 80s, & 90s music. A lot of oldies, a lot of folk and a lot of easy listening. Think Wings, Jim Croce, America, Mama Cass, Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Also add in musicals. Fiddler on the Roof, Sound of Music, Moulin Rouge, Camelot, Hamilton, Rent, Chicago

 

What’s one hobby that you’d like to take up?

I want to learn to play an instrument so bad it hurts. I kick myself for not sticking with band in 6th grade. If I was ever in a position where disposable income could be used for fun things and not real life stuff, I would invest in either piano, guitar or singing lessons.

img_0814

What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

When I was in elementary school until Jr High, a meteorologist. I am terrible at math and didn’t think I stood a chance. In high school and college, radio broadcasting. I still would love the opportunity to work in this field.

What’s the biggest project on your to-do list right now?

Creatively: Finish some craft projects I have paused and writing consistent content on my blog.

Real life: I’m preparing to head home to Indiana to back up and sell my child hood home.

 Do you have any irrational fears?

Spiders, snakes, scorpions. I hate the THX sound that plays at the beginning of some movies (check it out). I also get nervous with fireplaces and leaving furnaces running when we are not home.

Have you ever traveled outside the country? If so, where and when?

Yes, I have left the good ol’ USA a few times in 2014 & 2015. I have been to Mexico twice, Jamaica, The Cayman Islands, Honduras and Belize.

10404436_10100983931231044_5269672466053180599_n

When’s your favorite hobby?

I love baseball and dabble in several different crafts at any given time. Cross stitch, crochet and anything I can make with a silhouette Cameo.

Do you speak any other languages?

Not even close.

What’s one talent that you wish you had?

I’m sure my husband and whoever has had the pleasure of driving long distances with me would all agree that I need to learn how to sing, and I would agree! Also, as stated above, I want to learn to play the piano or guitar.

What are your favorite movies and books?

Favorite Movies:

  • You’ve Got Mail
  • Twister
  • Sound of Music
  • The Mirror Has Two Faces
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Mrs. Winterbourne
  • Moulin Rouge
  • In & Out

Favorite Books:

  • Anything by Debbie Macomber
    • Cedar Cove series
    • Let it Snow
    • Mail Order Bride
    • Snow Bride
  • The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Harry Potter Series
  • Anything that reads like a Hallmark Movie 😉

 

So there you have it new friends and readers! Want to know anything else? Drop a question in the comment section or stick around, I tend to be an open book!

Do you have a blog and want to invite other readers to check you out? Do what I did and head over to the Captains Speech and leave your calling card in the comments!

 

Checking In On My Quarter Life Crisis Bucket List

Exactly 2 months have passed since my 31st birthday and my public declaration to accomplish 10 tasks before my 32nd birthday. (Read that declaration here.) Today we are going to see what dent, if any, I have made on this lofty list.

Finish abandoned craft projects…

 I can tell you right now I’ve already slightly failed at this one.  Part of the terms of this task was that all of these would need to be finished before starting a new one. Yet at Christmas I gave out several handmade presents, so that ship has sailed. I will say I’ve got the box of my MLB coasters out and have finished 1 more. Welcome to the club Baltimore Orioles! Now to tackle the last 13, finish my Yellow Submarine cross stitch and start my MLB hexie quilt. sigh.

Learn to bake 3 new things…

 Surprisingly I only have one more of these items to attempt. I made the noodles  at Thanksgiving and while they were far from perfect, they were edible. (Their shapes, however left much to be desired), and the pie was featured on my Christmas eve post (a lovely poem that you can read HERE). That leaves us with bread and I must say, this one is going to have to wait for a while as my husband and I are on a bit of a carb cleanse. Sigh. Bread would be too much of a temptation. Don’t worry, still have 10 months for me to fall back into bad habits 😉

Complete 300 writing prompts

If you have been following my blog at all, you will already know that I have been trying to get these knocked out. I thought 10 months is a lot of “time”  until I realized that there are only 365 days in a year to begin with. I’ve only completed 5 of the 300 prompts and after a quick check with the interwebs have found that there are only 305 days left until my birthday. Yikes, I should have started sooner or relaxed my goal a bit. We will see how this one turns out!

Finish the books I have before buying more…

The section right here is the real reason I haven’t accomplished much else on this bucket list. Again, I technically failed because while I only have 3 of these books left to read on this original list, I have bought and read almost 20 more books since. (Santa must be a librarian ;)) The good news is, it won’t take me long to get these 3 out-of-the-way in 10 months, so I feel less guilty reading other books in between.

screen shot 2019-01-04 at 1.04.47 pm

For the sake of time, energy and my dignity, we are going to combine the rest of the bucket list tasks into one big block of idle failure…

  • I’ve learned 4 notes on the piano, (last time I checked not a lot of hits can come from four basic notes played with one hand…)

img_0814

  • I have yet to change a tire, although I would rather to tackle this one when the weather is better…
  • y todavía no puedo hablar español con fluidez.
  • I haven’t found a spot to volunteer yet, but I have my eyes set on the local animal shelter (don’t tell my fur babies I’m cheating on them..)
  • I have yet to join a small group at church, and while my anxiety is still partly to blame, timing is also a key culprit. Our churches small groups reset shortly after my birthday and start back up middle of January. Not giving up on this one yet!

As you can see I have a lot of work ahead of me! What something you are looking to complete this year or before your next birthday?

 

 

 

 

 

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…

unknown

  • 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.

img_1361

  • 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.

7-stages-of-carb-withdrawals

  • 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.

images

  • 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?”

48385322_10102929536672144_8747920239519334400_n

  • 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.

screen shot 2019-01-03 at 2.52.42 pm

 

What do you find yourself recovering from this week?