Thursday, October 28, 2010


Happy Friday! Happy weekend! OOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOO! Happy Halloween! I hope you have prepared a wonderfully scary costume in which to go trick or treating. It’s not easy coming up with the perfect goulish ensemble!
I spent quite a bit of time and much worry over coming up with my costume. Other years I have always done something non scary that didn’t hide my identity. I’ve done the glam rock thing:

I’ve done the 50’s thing:

I’ve even done the nun thing :

Everyone could see that it was me. I decided it was time to do something scary that would disguise my true identity. I knew the perfect costume:

No one would ever guess it was me. Plus ghosts are very scary …well, at least to me.
I had invited my friends over to check out each others’ costumes to make sure we were ready for the big day Saturday (the city of Fayetteville declared Saturday as the official trick or treating day even though it’s only the 30th!?!?!?), but that wasn’t until late afternoon. Since I had already come up with the perfect costume, I had some extra time to kill. I decided to try my hand at pumpkin carving. We had bought a big old pumpkin, but no one had any spare time to carve it. I bet I could come up with something creative. If I could just keep from cutting myself, I would do just fine!
I put down some newspaper on the kitchen counter so I wouldn’t get the gooey inside of the pumpkin all over the place. I found a big knife and started hacking away. The cutting part was fun – the clearing out of the inside with my paw was not. Pumpkin guts are really slimy and creepy feeling. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat pumpkin pie again!!
Once I got past the gut clearing out part, I was rolling. I felt like Edward Scissorhands the way pumpkin parts went flying as I carved my masterpiece. As the last pumpkin shard landed on the counter I stepped back to check out my handywork.

Magnificent! I couldn’t wait to show my friends!
It wasn’t long before my friends arrived and they all agreed my pumpkin was quite the work of art. We had some smaller pumpkins that I let my friends carve. Everyone enjoyed that and it helped us get into the Halloween spirit.

We had quite the assortment of costumes! From Nemo to Raggedy Ann to Spam – very weird. At least none of us chose the same costume. Isn’t that the worst – when someone has the same exact costume as you?!?!??!?
I suggested we head outside and plan our route. I knew the houses where children lived would probably have the best candy so we made a plan to hit those houses first.
As we wandered through the neighborhood I had to be careful not to trip over my ghostly sheet. I guess one can’t disguise charisma, because several of the neighbors called hello to me by name. How else could they know it was me?
We had our strategy in place and felt ready to tackle the trick or treating mania. We agreed to meet back at my house Saturday afternoon just before the sun started to set. Not that we were afraid of trick or treating in the dark – we just want to make sure the neighbors don’t run out of candy!
I hope you are as excited about Halloween as I am! Be careful not to eat too much candy!!

Love & licks,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You're Fired!!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! I must start by offering an apology to all of you. I learned a valuable lesson last week….don’t trust a strange monkey with important work. I was horrified when I read last week’s blog and discovered that Preston had added his own comments and opinions. I truly believed that he was tippy tapping exactly what I said with no embellishment. I will never publish anything again without reading it first.
I don’t like to read my own writings once I’m done, so I don’t go back and reread my blogs. I would never have known what Preston had done if it wasn’t for the ruckus in my yard Saturday morning….

There was a crowd of animals, most of whom I recognized from the job interviews, protesting on our back deck. Their signs were all in reference to Friday’s blog. Since I knew nothing about Preston’s additions, I was at a loss. When I walked out on the deck, the crowd booed – you know I was horrified. I had to keep myself from crying.
“What is going on?” I asked incredulousy, “Where are your hats?” The crowd booed again. “Please tell me, I have no idea!!” I pleaded. The raccoon waved his sign at me and said he and the rest of the job applicants did not appreciate being called losers. They also felt Preston was given preferential treatment because he was so good looking – why else would I keep talking about how handsome he was in the blog? I assured them I had no idea what they were talking about, but I was going inside right then to reread my blog.
As it turned out, Preston had insulted me as much as anyone else! I was so mad at Preston I couldn’t think straight. I knew what I had to do. I ran upstairs to my hat rack and started picking out hats. The animals knew that I expected all visitors to be properly chapeaued, so they had purposely not worn their hats. I carried the pile of hats downstairs and stopped in the kitchen to whip up some snacks. I knew it was going to be hard to quiet everyone down to listen to me, but the fastest way to calm down distraught animals is to offer them some tasty snacks.
The crowd was still waving their signs and booing when I went out to put the hats on the deck. I quickly ran back inside and prepared to begin making amends. The crowd stopped booing immediately when I walked out with a tray of snacks. One by one they came up to select a nosh.

Everyone found something to their liking. Once I had them all calm, I began to explain what happened. I told the critters that Preston had written the snide comments unbeknownst to me. I pointed out that there were several comments alluding to the fact that I was not very bright. Why would I right something derogatory about myself? The animals all looked at each other and shook their heads in agreement. They apologized for making a scene and upsetting me. I told them I was sorry too and I would never publish a blog without first reading it very carefully. That meant I would have to fire Preston. I had a feeling he really didn’t like me anyway, so I didn’t think there would be any hard feelings.
We all sat and finished out snacks. We had a lovely time chatting and getting to know one another. Just as we had decided out bellies were full, Preston arrived for work. I told the others that I needed to speak to Preston alone. I told them to pick any hat they would like from the pile and take it with them. They each carefully chose a hat and put them on for their walk home – much better!! They grabbed their signs on their way out and were swatting each other with them and giggling as they left the yard.
I told him that I did not like what he did with the blog and I was very disappointed in him.

He apologized but could not promise he would not do something like that again. I thanked him for his time and told him his services would no longer be needed. Boy, hiring someone is a lot more fun than firing them!
I hope you have a great weekend and a productive week. And remember, never trust a strange monkey with important work!!

Love & licks,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Help Wanted

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Fall has disappeared already and it has been 80+ degrees every day this week. This may be the first Halloween we see witches in shorts and tank tops! (Woo! Hoo!) Oh, that reminds me, I have to get going on planning my Halloween outfit!
My Mom hads been working all the time on something called a budgie. I looked it up and found that a budgie is a type of Australian bird – like a parakeet. (Everyone knows that!) Why was Mom working with birds? I thought she was an accountant – oh, maybe she was counting them. Well, that’s silly, (yes, it is) it wouldn’t take all day and night to count birds. When I couldn’t figure it out on my own I asked Mom to explain to me exactly what she was doing with the budgies. She laughed and told me no, it’s a budget. When she explained what a budget was, it made more sense that an accountant would be working on planning next year’s expenses than counting birds. Life is confusing sometimes! (Only if you’re not too bright)
As I was saying, Mom had been working late and on weekends, which was not allowing me enough time to write a proper blog. Since I don’t have fingers, it takes me a long time to tippy tap my stories. I only have access to my Mom’s computer when she’s home so I needed a way to get my blog done quickly.
I know there are a lot of people out there looking for jobs. It occurred to me that one of those unemployed people (Preston) might appreciate the honor of working as my assistant!! If I could find someone (Preston) who was really fast at tippy tapping on the computer, I would be able to dictate my musings to (Preston) them and be done in no time. But how would I find this administrative genius?
I posted signs around the neighborhood and told my friends to pass the word. Some lucky creature (Preston) was going to get to be my right hand man/woman – at least until Mom was working normal hours again. (Hopefully never)
I asked interested applicants to show up on our deck the next day at 9:00am sharp to be interviewed. I was curious to see if anyone would even be interested in the job.
Next morning at 9:00am sharp (more like nine-ish) I opened the back door and was pleased to see a variety of critters (losers) interested in working with me. I handed out applications and asked everyone to fill them out. A vole, an opossum, two squirrels and an owl had to bow out immediately because they didn’t know how to read. I guess I should have been more specific about the requirements. (Duh!)
I collected the applications and invited everyone to have a seat. I would call them one by one to sit down with me in the kitchen to discuss their qualifications. (None) The first application belonged to Bobbi. I was trying to be professional so I called for “Ms. Bobbi Squirrel” and my dear friend Bobbi came forward.
Bobbi looked so professional in her pillbox hat. I led her to the kitchen and we sat at the island to talk about the position.

I read through her application and asked her how it was she came to work at a psychiatric hospital. Did she have medical training? Was she an orderly perhaps? Bobbi had this confused look on her face as she asked what in the world I was talking about. I pointed to a line on her application and she said “Oh!” and giggled. She told me she has experience with “nuts”, but not of the crazy kind, but of the edible, delicious kind. Boy was I embarrassed. (You should have been!)
I let Bobbi sit at the computer and try it out. Turned out her little hands were too small to type quickly and accurately. As much as I would have loved to have my trusted friend work alongside me, she was not going to be able to perform the duties as I needed them done. I thanked her for coming and told her I’d see her later. (Alligator)
Next up was one of the vigilante cardinals. (?!?!?!?)

He said he was tired of being a vigilante. While being a vigilante had its noble aspect, people tended to get mad and chase you when you confronted them. Besides, he told me, they were always jumping into situations that were not what they seemed and he was tired of being embarrassed by a mistaken accusation. He was looking for something more quiet and cerebral. I pointed out to him that he did not have fingers with which to type on a keyboard. (Basic!) He told me he would be able to do it anyway, so I let him try – he couldn’t. (Liar) I thanked him for coming and told him to keep his vigilante job. Jobs are scarce and evidently he was good at vigilanting. (Whatever)
I went through most of the stack of application before I came to a creature with whom I was not acquainted. I called for Preston Hollingsworth and a very statuesque (handsome) primate stepped forward.

Where in the heck did he come from?!?!?!?!? I invited him in and we had a lovely conversation. (Handsome)Preston had been imported illegally into the United States and had escaped from his captors before he could be sold. He had been travelling by train all over the country and had recently arrived in North Carolina. He was thrilled to see my flyer looking for an assistant as he was in need of food and a place to stay. I let (handsome, smart) Preston try out the computer and was pleased to see his long fingers just fly over the keyboard. I had found my assistant!! (Yippeeee!)
I immediately offered (handsome, witty) Preston the position and asked him if he could play the piano too. He smiled and accepted the position and said no, he did not play the piano, but he was willing to learn. (Not really, just wanted the job) I told him as compensation for his work, we - as in my Mom’s plastic card - would provide him with food , but he could not stay inside. (Stinks) Only I was allowed to stay inside. (Unfair) He was welcome to sleep under the deck or in the dog igloo still in our backyard from the previous owners if he wanted to. (Handsome) Preston was very pleased and thanked me for the opportunity. (Thanks!)
I led him back outside to the deck. We shook hands and I gave him a pat on the back and told him how happy I was to meet him. (Likewise!)

I told him we needed to get started first thing the next morning because we had a blog to write.
It was late in the week so we would have to get it done quickly. We worked well together and finished the blog in time. (Obviously ) I didn’t have time to proofread it so I hope (handsome, efficient) Preston did a good job. (But of course!)
Have a wonderful weekend. Start decorating for Halloween. It will be here before you know it! (Know what?)

Love & licks, (yuk!)
Josie (& Handsome Preston)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Author! Author!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! First, let me apologize for the brevity of my discourse this week. It has been a very busy and exciting week, and my burgeoning literary career (and the obvious merchandising opportunities) have taken up most of my time. But I do want to share my exciting news with you!
As many of you already know, I have been working on a Christmas book. It’s not an easy task and many a tree was killed in the process. I would tippy tap on the computer and then print the page. I would read it and decide it was terrible and start the process over again. This went on for days and weeks and months. I figured I had better finish up before I couldn’t find my desk anymore!

I did indeed finish the book and had a graphic designer work with me to make it look nice and festive. Then I had to wait for weeks for the printer to get it all done and in my hot little paws. I was so excited when the printer called and said it was ready!! Mom and Dad drove me over there to inspect the books. They were just beautiful! It was so wonderful to see my name on the front cover! I am an author! I was so proud that I started purring and couldn’t stop. Mom took out her magic plastic card and gave it to the printer. When he was finished doing whatever one does with those little plastic cards, he helped us load the books and we headed home.
We had boxes and boxes of books, so I decided I’d better get busy selling them. I set up a stand in the backyard and waited for the literary aficionados to arrive

It didn’t take me long to figure out that there were no literary aficionados in my backyard. It finally dawned on me that my friends were wild animals and most, if not all of them, could not read. They didn’t have families to teach them like I did. I was sad that my friends were not going to be able to read my story, but then Bobbi came by and offered a wonderful solution. She suggested I do a reading of my book. What a great idea! My friends would meet and enjoy my story together! Bobbi is so smart!
It didn’t take long to round up some friends that were nice enough to agree to listen to my story. Corny, Malcolm, Skippy, Tux, Jibbers and Cami all came over! They sat quietly and listened, laughing in all the spots where I had meant it to be funny. Even Corny held his tongue the whole time I was reading aloud!

I read slowly and turned the book to show everyone the pictures. When I was all finished, my kind friends gave me a standing ovation. I felt so happy and proud. I invited them all to stay for refreshments. We ate our snacks and talked about the book. My dear friends congratulated me on my accomplishment and assured me that if they could read and had money they would most certainly buy a book! It had been a very exciting day and I was in need of a lengthy nap, so I thanked them for their time and kindness and bid them adieu.
I’m hoping my Mom has time to help me set up a store on my website this weekend so I can start selling my books so, as my Mom put it, her “magic plastic card doesn’t explode.” Another reason I am anxious to sell my book is because I am giving $1.00 from each book sale to the shelter that took such good care of me when I was familylesss. I have 1,000 books which means I could give them $1,000!!!! That would make my friends there so happy!
I hope you all have an exciting weekend. Sit down and write a few pages about something you’re interested in. I bet you enjoy it, and who knows – maybe someday you’ll have your name on the cover of a book!

Love & licks,