Thursday, August 7, 2014

Welcome To The Zoo


     The editing process of my book is coming along nicely. We've been making some major changes to the manuscript, so it's taking a tad bit longer to than expected.  I want this book to be perfect for my readers, so I'm going over every word with a fine tooth comb. It will be worth the wait, I promise.  We're finishing up on the feedback from our beta readers, and then the manuscript will go through one more round of edits before going to print. We should be done (hopefully) within 3-4 weeks. I'll probably be completely gray by then or even bald, and I'm pretty sure none of my clothes will fit since I've been living on a diet of Nutella and popcorn (too busy to eat right). I'm going to need to double up on Zumba classes before I start my book tour---otherwise, I'll be wearing muumuus to the signing events.

     While you're waiting for all this fun stuff to happen, I'm sharing one of my favorite posts that was featured at In The Powder Room last year.  Those of you who have been reading my blog from the beginning know what an animal hoarder I am, so I think you'll enjoy this post!



WELCOME TO THE ZOO



I was raised in a zoo-like atmosphere that could rival Dr. Doolittle's home. Once my sister started working at a wild bird care center, we ended up housing a menagerie of exotic animals. It wasn't unusual to find a pelican in the shower, a vulture on the desk, hawks in the kitchen or baby bats on the sofa. We dined with a toucan and cradled Burrowing Owls in our hands.

After I married years later, my husband and I adopted our share of cats and dogs to round out our family of six.

By the time our kids hit elementary school age, they wanted pets of their own. We started with goldfish and ended up with more floating at the top of the bowl than swimming at the bottom. The turtles came next, their mossy tank stinking up my son's room like a sewage dump. We gave them away after my husband threatened to make turtle soup. Soon after, my daughters adopted a long-haired guinea pig that resembled a stoner from Woodstock. We learned quickly not to be fooled by his calm demeanor. Apparently tickling guinea pigs under the chin is a big no-no.


We tried our hand at raising hamsters and it was all fun and games until mama hamster gave birth to nine babies and decided to eat three for lunch. Not the best way for my girls to learn how stressed-out mothers feel while raising their young.

Our home earned a reputation for being an orphanage for exotic animals, and pretty soon we were inundated with nocturnal pets. My husband suggested I tattoo the word “SUCKER” across my forehead due to my inability to say “no” to every animal that crossed our threshold.

At one point, we owned a sampler platter of animals that included a sugar glider, two albino rats, a pigmy hedgehog, a stray rabbit and seven chinchillas. My food budget for the critters equaled the national debt of a small, third world country.


It didn't stop there. I began feeding the outdoor birds and squirrels, which earned our home certification as a wildlife sanctuary. In short, permission to own a smaller version of Noah's Ark and my reputation as an animal hoarder.


Nowadays my husband gets nervous every time I visit a zoo and has banned me from watching Animal Planet for fear I will bring home a family of penguins or lemurs. He's convinced that whenever a child leaves our nest, I replace him or her with a new pet. This would explain the three rescue dogs I now own. One pug in particular cannot be potty trained and wears a doggy diaper made out of feminine hygiene pads. His digestive system is like a Tampax factory---he eats the Kotex pads lining his diaper and poops out tampons on the lawn.

     
My husband is waiting for the day I stop hoarding animals and start collecting yard gnomes or AARP discounts for travel, but.....oh look! Teacup pigs are on sale!



Want more Meno Mama?  This week I was featured on the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop. Find out how I keep my man happy right here: http://humorwriters.org/2014/08/01/keep-husband-happy/
   

59 comments:

  1. Haha... I want one of the tea cup pups too... ;)

    Good luck with your editing... you are in the home stretch Marcia :)

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    1. Thanks, Launna! Tons of coffee consumption over here, but we are in the home stretch!

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  2. Glad you re-shared! I hadn't seen this before. My favorite was "Not the best way for my girls to learn how stressed-out mothers feel while raising their young."...hahahaha! #bloppies

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    1. That really was a nightmare---it convinced me that I wanted no more hamsters for pets! Thanks for stopping by from Bloppys, Susan!

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  3. Pets are SO much like kids....so I can definitely see replacing a kid with a pet when they leave the nest...LOL!!!

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    1. Works for me----they are our little "fur babies"!

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  4. Really? You get a teacup pig??? I want one!!

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    1. I don't have one but I've seen them and they are freaking ADORABLE! Yes, I want one!

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  5. This was me when I was president of the humane society decades ago. Only it was cats--5--and dogs--2. I can't go near an adoption booth.

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    1. OMG if I had that job, I would own 30 animals. I can't say "no" to any of them, LOL!!!!

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  6. I want a teacup pig!! Good luck with the editing...I am sure it will be a great book!

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    1. Thank you. Audrey! It's hard work but in the end, it will be worth it. And yes---I want a teacup pig, too!

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  7. My gal says that if we ever decide to move to the suburbs and get a house the dogs, cats, pigs, cows, and horses would be moving in with us. I can relate to your animalr hoarding.

    I might also ban her from watching animal planet!

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    1. Yeah, you might want to watch out for that, otherwise you may end up with a baby kangaroo. OMG, I want a baby kangaroo!!!

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  8. Can't wait for your book to come out - I hope you come to Seattle on your book tour! Pugs are one of my favorite dogs - I love their faces. My younger son wants to be a vet, and if he had his way we'd have a zoo as well. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Your son sounds like AWESOME boy! I hope he pursues his dream!

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  9. If replacing kids with pets is how people get through the empty nest thing, I better go to the Humane Society and see if they have any animals there proficient in eye-rolling.

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    1. That's right----you're an empty nester now! I'm serious---pets make GREAT fur babies!!!

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  10. I am so excited for your book, Marcia, and I hope you hit an area near me on a book tour so I can come and see you!!

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  11. Good luck with that book Marcia! I want a teacup pig and a sugar glider. Fairy penguins would be nice too.

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    1. Oh yes please!!! I want a fairy penguin, too! Hey Pinky----how can I leave comments on your blog? I've read to but I'm never able to leave you a comment :(

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  12. "mama hamster gave birth to nine babies and decided to eat three for lunch. Not the best way for my girls to learn how stressed-out mothers feel while raising their young. "

    GENIUS :D That made me laugh.

    Keep plugging away at the editing x

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  13. So exciting that you're nearing the beginning for the book (yep, I said beginning on purpose since it's about to be a real live book). :) I know it must be a wonderful feeling to be this so far along. Wishing you tons of good luck with the process and the sales.

    We have a lot of animals here too, but not on purpose. Our big acorn trees attract the chipmunks and squirrels. No idea what makes the woodpeckers come, but I wish they'd find interest somewhere else. The deer I like, but that's because i don't have a garden. ;) Hubby's not fond of the moles or gophers, but I think they're cute. ;)

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    1. I wish we had chipmunks here! I love the squirrels and am fascinated by the woodpeckers. Did you know that if they are on a tree and you throw a shelled peanut up to them, they can catch it? I feed the ones in our yard like that all the time. We have a deal---I feed them and they leave my trees alone, hahaha!

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  14. Our local animals tend to be coyote food, so there are not a lot of strays in our neighborhood. Our cats definitely stay inside.

    Good luck on the book editing!

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    1. Yikes! We don't have that issue but we do get a lot of birds of prey who eat the other birds and rodents.

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  15. There was a time when I brought home every animal I could find. People thought for sure I'd end up owning a pet store.

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    1. Me too! i still have dreams of owning one, or working in a zoo….

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  16. Bwahaha! I've so missed my time with Marcia! :)

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    1. So happy to see you here, Diane! You always make me smile!

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  17. OMG, I love the face on the pug at the top, adorable! All the animals in your photos are adorable, I love animals too. Great post! What an assortment of animals you’ve had. Dining with a toucan, now that is fine dining at its best! Banned from watching Animal Planet, that's too funny! :)

    Marcia, I’m glad the editing is going well. I do a lot of editing at my job, so I know how tedious and time consuming it can be. Looking forward to your book!

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    1. Thank you! The editing is making me slightly crazy, but I know in the end it will all be worth it!

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  18. I bet hanging out at your house is more exciting than a night in Vegas. What happens at Marcia's stays at Marcia's!

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    1. Especially the things that happen in the garden at night….hahahahaha!

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  19. This is fantastic, Marcia and waaaaay cooler than bing the crazy cat lady! FYI you would still be beautiful bald!

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    1. Awwww…you are so sweet! Thanks for stopping by! <3

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  20. Hi Marcia! I can't imagine how stressful it's been getting ready for the big launch, but it's exciting too, right? Right? Well, maybe not. Personally, I'd put a little Nutella on the popcorn. Think of all the time you'd save eating!
    We had a red-eared slider turtle for four years. Four years of taking care of it for my daughter because she had the audacity to go to college and leave it home. Totally understand the stink factor in your house. And I learned 'about babies for lunch' with my neighbor's gerbils. GROSS!!!
    Hang in there, you're almost to the finish line :)
    Ceil

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    1. Hahahahaha you crack me up, Ceil! Yeah, those turtles are nasty smelling!!!

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  21. Oh the line the pug eating the Kotex lining and pooping up tampax, is a gem!
    Good luck with the editing process.. I know the book will be a success, as with everything you turn your hand to.

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    1. Awwww…you're so sweet, Lily. Editing is a major pain in the ass but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end. If not, I'm drowning my sorrows in rum on a deserted island.

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  22. You crack me up! For real, one of your dogs has a diaper made out of feminine hygiene products? REALLY? That's beyond awesome. Also, was cracking up at "Not the best way for my girls to learn how stressed-out mothers feel while raising their young." hehe!! I got a rat from school named Pip Squeak (she was cuter than that sounds) and then we had a boy rat and they had babies. I used to sell them to the pet store for 25 cents, making the person working there to promise not to sell them to anybody with a pet snake. I've had rabbits, dogs, ferrets, birds, and fish. No cats though - allergic. Also, ferrets are VERY stinky if you're considering one. :)

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    1. Seriously yes---my pug wears a Kotex diaper. As much as I love ferrets, my friend had THREE and they stunk up her house pretty bad, That convinced me I never wanted one.

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  23. Great Article. I am a New Blogger. Your all tips is Really Nice and helpful. Thank you very much for Sharing.

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  24. I thought I'd owned some strange pets over the years, but I can't compete with cannibalistic hamsters and dogs that poo tampons! Great post. Oh, and good luck again with the book.

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    1. We'll have to compare pet stories one day, Bryan! I'd love to hear yours, too!

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  25. That sounds just about how I grew up; chickens, horses, dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, bunnies, fish, hamsters, ect. I even worked in an animal hospital for a few years and took in stray kitties. (Hope that didn't give you any ideas your hubby would not approve of) Glad to hear your editing is almost at an end. And if you end up bald or gray, I'll send you a wig and/or some hair dye!

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    1. I could really use a wig right about now….

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  26. First of all, I think a diet of nutella and popcorn sounds "right on" to me:) You are so funny! 9 baby hamsters would send me to the bed, and then seeing Mom munch the babies - too much! Clearly hamster ownership is all about having one... and only one!

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    1. There's probably quite a few parents that need to adhere to the hamster advice, ha-ha!

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  27. Ahahhaha!!! Loved this story and nice to see the pics of the little critters that go with it!

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    1. Thanks, Roshni! Always happy to see you here!

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  28. When we got married two years ago, I was a self-proclaimed dog-neutral, cat-hating person. But my husband came with a dog, and then I fell in love with cats after volunteering with a rescue organization. Now we have the dog, a cat, and a kitten. Every birthday and holiday I ask for more cats. Or a pit bull. Or a horse. My husband is concerned we might very well end up with a zoo here too.

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    1. Hahahahahahaha!!! That's how it starts…you get one pet and start adding to the menagerie!

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  29. Marcia; If I haven't already mentioned it, (I know I have) I want to come visit! Your story does remind me of Noah :) Fur babies are the best. (Until they eat their babies...)
    I'll try to remember not to pet any guinea pigs under their chins... :)

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    1. Hahahahaha!!! From the looks of it, I think you might be starting a zoo over there with the dogs :)

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