October 2, 2020

Wrestling a Unicorn

They say pets resemble their owners...or owners resemble their pets- either way, Tristan and I share a lack of skin pigmentation, a love for overthinking, and if quirkiness + clumsiness were olympic sports...we would certainly win the gold.

I noticed an abnormal amount of itchiness in my big white fella in recent weeks. He tends to think he is a labrador and will snuggle his butt right up against you, turn his head and bobble, as if to say “You scratch the itchy...make it go away, Ma.” But lately, he’s been scratching on literally anything he can get next the point of busting through my chicken pen to release his feathered friends. (One of which is a real cock to deal with…#yourewelcome)

After chasing chickens around in my pajamas for the third morning in a row, I decided it was time to call in the higher-ups. Thankfully our vet does monthly visits to our township & the blessed day was upon us.

“So...he’s super itchy…” I say, as I walk the vet through the barn.

“And...umm...slightly overweight,” she interrupted.

Well, excuse me- that was rude. Covid has been rough on us all. But...I guess he could use a few pounds & maybe it wouldn’t be so easy to bust through the chicken coop. 

“I think he’s just got something in the atmosphere. Give him this skin/allergy supplement and 22 Benadryl per day...11 in the morning, 11 in the evening,” she says, after examining my fluffy, marshmallow pony.

I blink slowly...knowing that dosing my 1500lb giraffe with 11 Benadryl twice daily is going to be quite a shitshow. (And considering the fact that the supplement smells like a fishhouse, he will probably refuse food completely- which...could be good for his diet, perhaps?)

Dinner rolls around and I mix a cocktail of applesauce, ground Benadryl, and the supplement into his food...and wait patiently. He takes two steps into his stall, not even anywhere near his food bucket, sniffs the air...turns his nose completely inside out and runs out of his stall like his ass is on fire.

I follow him. He looks at me like I have been possessed by Satan himself and am trying to poison him.

Do not come near me...not today, Satan-that-looks-like-my-mom. Not today!

For the next two hours, we did the catch me if you can dance. I would pretend I wasn’t hiding a halter under my shirt...he would pretend he was going to let me touch him...and just as I would get close, he would run like I was firing shots at his hooves. For.Two.Hours.

Once detained, the real fun began...I ended up mixing a new concoction of another round of ground Benadryl, the stinky supplement and applesauce- putting it in a large syringe to shove into said giraffe-horse’s mouth so I would be sure he would eat it all. (All because I’m trying to make him feel better….because I’m concerned for his well being.)

As soon as he sees me, he begins spinning circles in his stall- which is not the most roomy of spaces. I follow and/or am being dragged by him, as he spins...all while trying to get my bearings to shove a very large syringe in a very tall horse’s mouth, and get said concoction out of the syringe...all while it’s still in said tall horse’s mouth. (Also, without being trampled to death...small detail.)

Somehow at least half of it made it in his mouth...the other half went in my hair/eyes/down my shirt. He refused to eat his dinner, which all traces of said “yucky” medicine had been removed from. But you know, for good measure...he would sooner starve. #dietingwin

At this point, I’m pretty sure I’ve inhaled enough Benadryl dust to send me into a lovely slumber for many days. Don’t worry, I’m fine...the adrenaline from our small-quarters-rodeo seemed to have evened it all out. 

We are a few weeks in now...Tristan is still a little itchy but less than before and is holding strong on refusing to willingly eat his supplement/Benadryl. (Benadryl is now only as needed...and no, it doesn’t make him sleepy or calm in the slightest.) I am able to proudly dose him almost without a halter...which I will take as a win!

Plus, I think we’ve both lost a few pounds from our double dose of daily workouts.

PC: Little Miss, the future of BBP

(un)Social Media

Social media...the blessing and curse.

How do you use social media? To keep in touch with friends? To promote your business? Or more so, what is the excuse you tell yourself to check your social media multiple times a day?

I tell myself that I keep social media around for my business- and I do enjoy sharing photos I’ve taken and seeing the comments when clients post their favorite portraits online. I tell myself I would miss keeping in touch with out-of-town friends and family...but how much do I actually interact with them? How much of my time is simply wasted mindlessly scrolling through social media news feeds?

I love writing and being able to share my blog with the 6 of you who actually enjoy reading it. (Thanks, Mom!) But in recent months, I sit down to write and catch myself losing all motivation after scrolling through social media...which, let's be honest, will suck the creativity right out of your soul. I might post a funny meme or status here or there, but for the most part...I write things in my mental journal and they never see the light of day. Writing, like horseback riding and shopping for new boots, is therapeutic for me...and perhaps brings a bit of entertainment for others. #maybesometimes

A few weeks ago, we sat down as a family to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. It discussed much of what I just mentioned, and how most of the world is addicted to social media. We don’t realize it...but when we have 30 seconds to spare, or a program is taking 5 seconds longer than normal to load, we jump on social media and scroll through the newsfeed of 300 acquaintances to maybe see one post that may interest us. (Or a really adorable animal video...who can scroll past those!?) However, even though we mostly do not gain sufficient satisfaction in our scrolling, we will continue to check back in only to achieve the same results. (If you’ve ever studied addiction, you’ll recognize this trait. Addicts only achieve the “really good high” once...they spend the rest of their addiction searching for that high which they can never reach.)

So...I’ve decided to redirect my social media activity back to writing. (And yes...I’m writing this to hold myself accountable to writing weekly...instead of wasting time reading things that don’t really achieve positive results.)

Prepare yourselves for an abundance of stories that I think are funny...or noteworthy. 

May 10, 2020

A Medium with a Side of Bacon?

It was a few months after Daddy passed away. I had stopped into the local grocery store to grab something to cook for dinner and ran into a former neighbor and friend I hadn’t seen since before he passed. We shared hugs and tears near the deli- she mentioned reading my blog post on our first dream date and how special it was. 

As we were talking, I was distracted by a package of bacon that fell off of the shelf. We continued talking and she mentioned a medium she recommended. Another package of bacon fell from the shelf.

“I’m not sure if you believe in signs- but there is no reason for that bacon to have thrown itself off the shelf...twice,” she said.

Another package fell.

I took down the medium’s information but didn’t call. While I completely believe in spiritual contact, I was satisfied with our dream dates. My heart was still healing (and still is today) and I wasn’t quite sure what talking to a medium would do to that process. Would it make me hurt worse? Would the healing process start all over? Would I have to move the medium into my house so I could contact my loved ones whenever I wanted? I just wasn’t sure.

Several years went by and numerous friends on separate occasions mentioned the same medium to me. I was fascinated by their experiences. It was getting to the point that I felt like the sign I needed was the fact that this Edward Zula wasn’t going away. 

So I texted him.

He instructed me to send him a photo of whoever I hoped to contact, nothing more. I quickly complied. 

Edward suggested our reading for the evening of April 23. I smiled, knowing Mom and I already had plans to be together that evening. Don’t stand us up, Daddy!

While Mom was onboard, Little Miss and my hubs were not so sure- both imagining me having a tarot card read in some backwoods trailer park somewhere. 

Shortly after lunch on our reading date, my phone dinged. It was Edward. 

“Ok does Kaddish mean something to you. It’s a Jewish prayer,” he said.

“Yes,” I replied, explaining that Little Miss was named for her great-grandmother.

“I’ve been visited by a woman in a black headscarf,” he said. (Little Miss’s namesake)

Knowing it is traditional for religious Jewish women to cover their heads, I frantically began texting Bobbie. (Former mother-in-law, forever our Bobbie) 

“The Kaddish prayer is said for loved ones who have passed, in rememberance...what did she say with the prayer,” she asked me.

“She was listing names…” I said, calling off the names she mentioned.

“Eden...these are relatives who passed...maybe no one is lighting a memorial candle or saying Kaddish for them four times a year,” she said. 

My mind was blown. But why did she contact me? Perhaps she felt I may be her only shot to get through to her relatives, considering the bond remaining with Bobbie and I? Now I was really counting down the seconds until we were able to potentially talk with Daddy.

7:00pm on the dot, Mom and I called Edward.

“Hi Edward! I have my mom on the line with us- her name is Kathy,” I said.

“Oh, Kathy!! That makes sense…”

Mom and I immediately began to sob.

“There are some different names...Trixie?” he asked. My father’s grandmother- who he absolutely adored. She taught him to smoke when he was 7. #differenttimes

“Also...a woman named Clair? I see financial institutes, mortgages? She handled money. She is...stoic, routine,” he said. Indeed. She worked at East Carolina Bank long before it was ECB- retiring as the executive VP. She was the first female comptroller in NC.

“Don is surrounded by family and they are so happy he finally gets to speak with you all,” he said, “In fact...he is getting quite impatient with me because I am not letting him speak.”

We laughed, while the tears continued to flow. I get my lack of patience from my daddy. 

“ were the love of his life. He wants you to know that. He wants you to know that he sees things differently now and he understands that at times- he made life harder than it had to be. He is sorry for being so hardheaded. His body hurt and didn't share the pain with you all- it caused him to be grumpy sometimes. I’m seeing the number 35?” he said. My parents were together for 35 years. 

“He wants you girls to stop grieving on the anniversary of his death. That is just a day- it isn’t a day to memorialize. Instead, celebrate his birthday or your wedding anniversary, Kathy...or near it- he was forgetful at times of the date. He says to be happy………..why do I see a deer? Is it an antelope? He thinks this is funny...he’s laughing. Is there significance in the deer?” he asked.

Don Deere. Daddy’s nickname.

“He is so proud of his girls...and he is showing me the number 2. That number is important. He has TWO granddaughters- and he wants to confirm that they both have a Y in their names? Sometimes spirits do this so you’ll know it is them…” he said.

I heard a whisper- Little Miss was listening. Her eyes were huge.

“I believe it’s him now. He said that for me. I believe him!” she said. 

Daddy never believed in step-granddaughters- he just simply had two that he loved with his whole heart. He was exceptionally proud to tell anyone who would listen about his two granddaughters. 

The conversation carried on through laughter and tears. Edward confirmed that Daddy’s body is restored- mentioning that he is athletic and active now. 

“He has a brother? You are now in contact with him...he’s so thankful for that. He wants you to know that family and love is all that matters,” he said.

We then shared a story about my cousin and an accident she’d been in about 6 months after Daddy’s passing. The accident was horrible, but she walked away without much of a scratch.

“He wants you to share this with his brother...he was with her that day- he helped her from the car. He is with you all, watching over you. Spirits often cannot stop bad things from happening- but they sometimes can protect their loved ones from harm by creating obstacles or encouraging assistance,” he said.

The man who helped my cousin from the wreckage...his name was Don.

Many people who I have shared our experience with ask me the same question- do you feel like you got closure now? Well, no...because I don’t think you ever truly get closure when you lose someone you love. I feel reassured. I feel like I’ve had a visit from my daddy that was more than a dream date. I feel confirmation that his presence surrounding me is not just a fluke. I feel like the bacon falling off the shelves that day? That was my daddy saying “Hey Jackass...your Ole Daddy is trying to get your attention!”

This year on the anniversary date...Mom and I spent the day together- just being together. We didn’t mourn- we didn’t reminisce of the date of his passing. Instead, we talked about some of our happiest memories. (And as fate would have it, my husband ended up on his John Deere mowing the property where my daddy sold John Deeres for a good portion of the day.)

**If you have lost someone close to you- I highly recommend contacting Edward. felt at ease immediately with him. Essentially, I felt as if he was merely translating key points and puzzle pieces my daddy was sharing with us. The worries or concerns I had four years ago when I first learned of Edward have all faded into the distance. Except for one...Edward- we can’t wait to talk with you again. #imhooked

To contact Edward, visit his FaceBook! Or contact me for his telephone info.

April 10, 2020

Chick Adventures

Pandemic. Quarantine. Words we never thought our kids would use in everyday life. I try really, ridiculously hard to find the humor and light in every situation. I text my husband and kiddos really silly jokes throughout the day- to which they mostly respond with eyerolls and shaking heads.

But that is how we get through. keeping with being here for the laughs- here we go:

The two words mentioned above have us all spending more time in our homes than normal. Wayfair is no dummy- as they have sent me no less than 300 emails to let me know the sofa I’ve had my eye on for eons is on sale….and there are only a few need to order now. We can finance it!

I made a plan to plead my case to the judge (i.e.: husband) all the while knowing it was probably the worst time to make a large purchase.

“Babe...I would rather you go buy more baby chicks than buy a sofa right now…” he continued on, but all I heard was immediately, you must go buy baby chicks.

He should know me better than this. He should know that all he did there- was give me permission for more baby things to raise. (Remember when he OJ’d the goat decision and I brought home Mocha and Leche? Yea, he should have known.)

The next day, Little Miss and I were off to the chick-store. Now, the chicken store is an interesting place, as one might gather. They typically have pigs, puppies, kittens, really anything you can sell, they have there for sale in baby form. (As most farm-stores do!) I always leave there with a story to tell and this time was absolutely no different. 

“Okay, bud- we are going in here, not touching anything...getting the chicks, getting out- and sanitizing the shi- germs off our hands as soon as we get back to the truck,” I instruct.

“Got it,” Little Miss agrees. 

We walk in and are greeted by an amish looking fellow who was thrilled to discuss all things chick with us. We grab the only three chicks left- which happened to be frizzles (!), a bag of feed and head out the door. Another fella, presumably the owner of the fine establishment, insists on carrying the chicken feed out to the truck. Little Miss gives me a look like I’m not following my own rules because I’m letting a stranger carry my feed for me.

I make small talk on the way to the truck about how odd the world is right now- not at all knowing that I was opening a door to a much more enlightening conversation than one could have ever imagined.

“They’re trying to pin this on Trump, ya know. This whole mess- they are trying to say this is his fault,” the fella tells me, while I smile and nod. 

“The whole world is? Trying to pin it on the President?” I reply, if to say, seriously?!

“You know the Clintons and the Bushes and them Obamas...they’re all crooked,” he continues.

My smile turns to nervous laughter because at this point, I’m lost. He leans towards me, as if to tell me a secret.

“Trump has them in Cuba....all of them. That’s what this is all we won’t know what is really going on. It’s going to come out in a week or so,” he says.

“The Clintons, the Bushes, and the Obamas? In Cuba?” I ask.

“’s gone know soon,” he said, as I continued backing towards my driver’s side door.

“Huh, well...thanks for the heads up. Have a great day!”

I locked my doors immediately. What the hell just happened. Thank God we saved these chicks!

“Mom...that was so weird,” Little Miss said.

“Not as weird as last time...last time I ended up in one of those trailers back there- I thought I was a goner!” I exclaimed.

“MOM! Why would you go in there!? ….did they have chicks in there? Oh.My.God. How have you never been kidnapped?” she scolded.

Valid question. I’ve put myself in some sticky situations for the sake of baby-animals.

Meet Regina, Gretchen, and Karen. (not pictured, because...Karen) #meangirls #youcantsitwithus

March 27, 2020

Uncharted Waters

Roughly twelve and a half years ago, I placed myself under my very own ‘stay at home’ order. I was a new mom of the most precious little in the city that never sleeps. A city that never seemed scarier to me than it did the day the hospital released us to go home. 

Home!? In a new house, in a new neighborhood where I literally knew not one.single.person. I trusted no one. Not only was I new to the mom-gig...but I was new to the germaphob-gig. Not that I was a t-totaller...but I definitely preferred every surface, every bottle, every everything to be completely Being the daughter of the daycare-lady...the state guidelines for health and human services regarding birth to three years olds was ingrained in my brain. #mustfollowguidelines

Grocery stores? Carts? The absolute horror. I walked through the stores holding my tiny bundle of fragility, picking up one item at a time...that is, if she joined me. (Shopping took hours.) 
I was given the responsibility to keep this amazing little person safe, healthy, and germ-free…#holyshit 

Sidenote: Not many people in NYC make eye contact...ever. So when anyone did lock eyes with me- I was pretty sure they were a child predator- wanting to steal my baby. #totallynormalmomthought

Eventually, my germ-fears faded- somewhere around her first cold...but my preference of spending time with her versus literally any other activity did not. She was (and let's be clear, still is) my favorite human in the universe. Meet a friend for coffee or sit on the floor and watch Baby Einstein for the ten-thousandth time? Which episode? Because the one on the whales is really catchy. #babybaluga

Now here we are, truly under a real-life ‘stay at home’ order due to COVID-19...and I can’t help but feel a bit like I did the day I left the hospital 12.5 years ago. It is a scary world we live in today, folks. We are back to living in a world where we can trust no one and it is heartbreaking. Our little county is filled with locals and some non-residents all ordered to ‘stay at home’...and some are doing as such, but many are not. Many locals are ranting on social media about out of town license plates and families on vacation during a pandemic. I can’t say I haven’t thought similar thoughts- but I have chosen to keep those thoughts to myself because...let's be real with each other- posting on social media solves no one's problems.

In our household, things are different. Little Miss is learning how to maneuver an online-schooling platform. The hubs and I are learning how to juggle everyone home for lunch. And the dogs? They’re thrilled to have their little person with them all day. (Cats on the other hand- they’re pissed. Too much human interaction. They’ve filed formal complaints about nap/sunning interruptions.)

Aside from the stress of the unknown and obsessively watching the news, I have to admit- we’ve made some incredible family memories so far. When life gets tough- the simple things become the big things that keep us strong. The dog walks together- the giggles over silly things- mucking stalls- the hour of TV before we all fall asleep...those are the things that we will look back on and say “that...that got us through it.” #ihope

In a world of uncertainties- one thing has never been clearer to me. Our family bond is strong...and nothing tests that and makes us stronger like uncharted waters. There is a saying said often on our little island- A calm sea doesn’t make a skilled sailor. In this unknown sea that we are crossing together, I am so thankful for those on the boat with me. 

Hug your know, the ones you live with. And wash your hands. Stay healthy, friends.