The Piggy That Went To Market…..

……And Never Came Home

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What do you get for the person who has everything? A gift card? Flowers? Fruit of the month membership?

How about for the person who has just casually lost a toe at home like it was no big deal (Yep..I said toe..no awkward auto correct here). A get well card? New socks?

I mean, at least for baby teeth, you just DM the Tooth Fairy, she drops a dollar or two under the pillow and you call it a day. —Side note, what are kids making these days for teeth? I imagine with inflation the whole exchange is worth more now than it was 25 years when I last cashed in on that ‘savings bond’.

Before you answer the real question at hand, I feel like I must explain my situation just a bit. If you are squeamish…move along..trust me..

It all started with an ant bite. Yep, you read that right, an ant bite. If you are a long time follower of my blog, you know that 1. I already hate ants (read here) and 2.  I take care of my mom who is in ‘end stage renal failure’.

My mom, who is freezing even when its 90* outside (side effect of Dialysis), has turned my garage into a little living room complete with T.V. , fridge, recliner and microwave (sounds weird but I promise you, a lot of people do that around here..).

One day the ants went marching one by one (hooh rah..hooh rah..) and decided to make a picnic of my moms foot while she was napping post dialysis. These ants weren’t just black ants, by the way, these were Texas Fire Ants. Other wise known as ‘satan’s little gardeners’.

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This situation all took place last summer. Since then, she has had two surgery’s. One to remove her big toe (buh bye..) and the second surgery to try to save the another one (spoiler alert..second surgery didn’t work)…Now we have a long-standing appointment every Wednesday to see her podiatrist/wound care specialist in an attempt to help her body fight off an infection where every one else would just rub some cream on it, grab some gasoline to light the ant mound on fire and then call it a day.

Now, to say I’m squeamish, is an understatement. With that in mind, my mom often excludes me from graphic discussions about what is going on underneath 30lbs of gauze and bandages on her foot. Until one day, I walked in on my mom and her home nurse re doing the dressing on her foot. It was then that I noticed that she was down half a toe. As you can imagine, I had some questions and a lot of statements. Mom and the nurse laughed as they realized I was pretty much clueless to what was going on. Apparently, they have been anxiously awaiting for the toe to drop off. Just wating…like you wait for pizza rolls to cook in the microwave. Ding..its done or gone. (Andddd I just ruined pizza rolls for myself…)

So, here we are one month, post-toe and I have yet to present my mom with an adequate gift to commemorate such a ‘special’ occasion…here are some of the leading ideas suggested by friends, family and the Dr. himself….

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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 # 4: Write a Quick Love Story That Ends Badly

1 hour and 27 minutes. That is all that separated Abigale from pure bliss. Her shift at the bank had been maddening which only increased her desire to get home. While it wasn’t a busy day per say, keeping her mind on basic tasks had proved more than problematic. She would greet the guests as they would come into the bank and she engaged in small talk with her co-workers, but her thoughts were 100% dedicated to the events of last night.

She still couldn’t believe it. Their meeting had been completely un-planned and at a gas station of all places! Who meets the one you’ve been searching for at a gas station?  The supermarket yes, the Valero down by the bus stop, not so much. It had been years since she had felt like this. Sure, there had been others, but none as sweet, cool and charming as this. When she arranged for a second meeting tonight, she wondered what others would think. She decided she didn’t care. She was an adult and old enough to defend her actions, besides who was going to find out.

Thankfully Abigale was scheduled to be on the monthly budget call the last hour of her shift. Her forced participation was bound to not only get everything off her mind but make the time go by quicker.

With five minutes left in the conference call and her speaking part already done , she began shutting down her computer and packing up her desk for the weekend. The minute the conference was over she planned to be out that door and in her car. No time for idle chit chat on how “it was finally the weekend, or we survived another week.” She had big plans and wanted them to start as soon as possible.

She raced home. Weaving in and out of the three-lane highway leaving those driving at or below the speed limit safely behind her. She caught herself blushing as she replayed last night events in her head. Could this be what she had been looking for her whole life? Suddenly her craving and desire reached an all-time high. Their dinner would have to wait until later. This needed to come first.

She pulled into the drive and instantly the excitement and anticipation drained from her body. Her Husband was home. “How could this be” Abigale whispered to herself. “He said he wouldn’t be back from Omaha until Sunday night.”

Realizing her plans were ruined, Abigale sat in the car for two minutes thinking how she was going to explain the evidence of what happened last night to her husband. She betrayed him.

Slowly and quietly she walked up to the door and opened it. Just as she had suspected, he was in the kitchen, spoon in one hand and the container of the special edition Blue Bell Rocky Road ice cream that she had been pinning for all day, in the other.

“Where did you find this?” He asked excitedly with his mouth half full of the sweet chocolate ice cream. “I thought the news said every store was sold out?”

“The Valero down the street by the bus stop” Abigale replied, trying to mask her hunger and disappointment. “The clerk said it was the last carton, and I was lucky to get it.”

“Well, it sure was delicious” her husband said as he tossed the now empty container in the trash as if it meant nothing to him. “Aren’t you surprised to see me, you seem disappointed? He said coming towards her, arms out for a hug.

“Definitely surprised” Ann said, more convincingly. “I just had a lot on my mind at work today, I’ll be better after I eat.”

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300 Writing Prompts # 3: What Would You Buy Even If The Price Doubled?

Write about something you would still buy if it cost twice as much as it costs today.

There is something I’ve been hiding from my readers and some of my family and friends for a while now and this is just the question to finally bring everything out into the open. No more secrets, no more hiding.

I have an addiction. In the beginning it was under control. Everything was in moderation. I couldn’t go out and buy it myself, so I had to rely on others. I would wait until my mom went to bed and take a little off the top. Same thing at my friends houses. It was a careful and controlled addiction. But as soon as I got my first job, my own car, the whole thing just blew out of control. Soon I was on the hunt 2 or 3 times a week. In between classes, on my break at work. Tony, the guy down the street at the gas station would help me out sometimes too. He knew I didn’t need fuel and would let me know when fresh stuff would drop so I could get my pick before the others got their hands all over it. Sure it would cost me double, but it was close by and would work in a pinch. 1%, 2%, whole, it doesn’t matter. When I need a fix, that’s all I can think about.  I’ll drink whatever I can get my hands on (except skim…I’ve not hit rock bottom yet).

My name is Jennifer, and I’m addicted to milk. (Hi Jennifer).

In all seriousness I would pay double, even triple for this white gold, this nectar of the Gods. They say the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, mine is through the cows utter. Ok, too far. Just take my word for it, I love milk.  I’m so deep in this dairy dilemma that I can’t even tell you how much a gallon of milk is. I NEVER look at the price. I check the date and the color of the cap, put in my cart and run to the check out as fast as possible. It’s that serious.

So, I dare you to raise the price. I’ll still be here with my super strong bones and special milk cup and straw.

What is something you would pay twice as much for?

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I’m Officially a Texan, Y’all

Well, it is official, after almost 7 years I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler, a born and raised Hoosier, am officially a Texan, and I have H-E-B to thank! YEEE HAW!

“But Jennifer, wouldn’t your “Texan” status have been granted the minute you got your driver’s license or purchased property?”

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Well, I can see how you would think these acts would make you a true Texan, but the truth is, this is a two-step process. You can accept Texas all you want and say “y’all hail Mary’s” until your face turns blue, but until Texas accepts you back, a true Texan you are not.

Low and behold, on Friday, November 9 2018 at 11:58 am I received my admission letter in the form of a Facebook notification.

“Facebook? How, ah, informal of them..”

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Hey! I don’t need a fancy document to prove my new-found state membership! Besides, some of the greatest most powerful people in the world use social media to get their points across and no one thinks any differently about them….(sigh)

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Anyway, back to how all this started. Earlier in the day I came across a Facebook video (watch it HERE) of a wayward Turkey who had accidently made its way into the living room of an unsuspecting couple. The video was cute, I had to hit the share button and tagged my favorite grocery store, HEB, and went about my day.

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What’s HEB you ask? Only the greatest supermarket ever (that’s right Kroger, I said it). They are based out of Texas and there are at least 7 of them within a half hour drive of my house. They are the only place I feel comfortable buying sushi from that isn’t a restaurant, they offer curbside pick-up and they deliver straight to your door. THEY DO IT ALL.

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I was putting away laundry and my phone went off. There it was. HEB commented on my post (blue verified check mark and all). In fact, not only did they acknowledge my existence with a comment, but they threw in an exclamation point and a winking face emoji just to boost my ego. Did we just become best friends? YEP!

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I always knew this day would come but I had no idea it would be on some idle Friday while in my pajamas folding laundry.

To my dear Indiana, it’s been a great ride. You taught me a lot about life and you will always be my first home, but I must go now. My grocery store needs me. Yall take care now, ya hear.

 

 

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye {ish} To an Old Friend….

NOLANVILLE- It is with great sadness that I must announce the untimely passing of my 2nd favorite pair of black strappy sandals, Sandy. They were also known as: “you know, the black and tan ones” to friends and family. They passed over to the big shoe box in the sky on August 31, 2018. They were only a year old.

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Born in April 2014 in China to parents Kali Footwear and Amazon Inc., Sandy was later adopted by on May 9, 2017, by Jennifer Shidler an avid online shopper and flip flop enthusiast. She survives.  Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 11.32.59 PM

Sandy lived a modest life in Texas where she would spend her free time under the couch, under the coffee table or under towels in the bathroom. She did not work (something about flip flops not allowed in the work place) but loved to travel and enjoyed going through TSA checkpoints with ease. Her recent and most memorable trips include Florida, Chicago, Colorado and San Francisco.

 

Outside of traveling, Sandy enjoyed short walks on the hot Texas pavement, hiding from her dogs, Wrigley and Lucy, and accompanying Jennifer to her pedicures.

Sandy had no children of her own but cherished the friendship she had with Jennifer and knew her ‘sole’ purpose was to protect and shield her. Sandy once walked over broken glass for Jennifer, another time bravely taking an exacto knife to the head.

 

Sandy had an identical twin, Mandy, and while they didn’t always see eye to eye or toe to toe to, Mandy always encouraged Sandy to keep one foot ahead of the other. Mandy stayed by Sandy’s side to the very end but passed shortly after Sandy, realizing her purpose in life was no more.

Sandy was preceded in death by a pair of silver strapy sandals, a pair of white Nike’s and the left half of Jennifer’s favorite cat slippers.

A celebration of live will be held Monday September 3rd. Family and friends are encouraged to attend and share stories, poems and memories of their time with Sandy. Cremation was originally chosen but do to current burn ban restrictions in Texas, a traditional shoe box burial will be carried out instead with arrangements entrusted to Hefty and Sons.

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The Shidler’s ask that in leu of flowers, memorial donations be made in the form of Amazon gift cards, so more flip flops can be purchased in Sandy’s memory.

 

 

Hoarding {ish} With Jennifer

This week on “Hoarding: Buried Alive” we follow Jennifer, a 30-year old office supply hoarder from Central Texas who is in over her head in ink and pencil shavings….

Ok, so, my hoard doesn’t require 10 dump trucks, an organizational specialist and a therapist (although, I’m not counting this one out just yet lol…), but it is a bit aggressive for someone who graduated from college 8 years ago and barely takes notes or writes by hand anymore. (Hey Apple notes, how you doin’?)

So how did this great gathering all start? Well, you see I tend to have anxiety and panic attacks (yep, newsflash, I’m far from perfect) and instead of dealing with those feelings in a normal or at least productive way, I decided to go from room to room, drawer to drawer on a mad woman search for every pen, marker and pencil that I could find.

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You see, earlier that day I stopped at the store to get school supplies for a local donation box, and like the junkie I am, couldn’t resist from procuring a few extra supplies for my own stash. Nothing too “hard”, just some pens, pencils, a fresh box of crayons (swoon) a journal and an electric pencil sharpener.

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You can smell this picture, can’t you!

I thought my personal ‘back to school haul’ would ease the anxious feelings that were creeping up. Nope. In fact, when I sat at my desk ready to unbox and introduce my new beauties, I realized that I had made a silly impulse purchase that wasn’t going to make me feel any better.  This crummy feeling only multiplied when I remembered  that I had plenty of pens in the drawer inches from my hand. Those pens, just like Andy’s toys in Toy Story, sit there hopping that the next time I go to grab a writing instrument that they would be the “chosen” one.

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From there it escalated. In an attempt to establish some sort of “reasoning” (AKA denial) I decided that I would replace the “bad” pens with the 12 new ones. I grabbed a note pad and a stack of pens and began the test. It became obvious, that I had taken exceptionally good care of my pens and finding 12 misfits was going to be hard.

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Cut to an hour later, my house looked like it had been the target of FBI raid. Every drawer was open and rummaged through and contents of purses and bags were turned inside-out and emptied on the island in pursuit for errant office supplies. No nook or cranny was safe.

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Paid Re-enactment

When all was said and done I had rounded up quite the bounty.

9 legal pads (why legal?)

3 spiral notebooks

2 journal style notebooks

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140 {ish} pens, pencils, markers and highlighters

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Now, again, this particular hoard is not a ‘bring in the dump trucks’ type of situation, but when you take in to account that I do almost everything digitally and can only write with 1 hand…it is still a bit much. Especially since I have a bad habit of impulse purchases.

I decided it was time to let go, so I made an A team (those supplies worthy to sit at my desk) a B Team (those good enough to stay for use around the house) and the cut list. Those supplies still have a lot of life, but will find renewed existence in a new home.

A medium-sized box was quickly filled and placed curb side and with the help of a post on our neighborhoods Facebook page, the box was on to its new home within 15 minutes!

What is your shopping & hoarding weakness? Let me know in the comments below, maybe we can start a support group!