First of all – I can’t write a bunch of silliness about my life without saying something about what’s going on in Ukraine.

I avoid writing about politics, religion, and race because you get enough of everyone’s opinions shoved down your throats whenever you pick up a paper or turn on the TV. I don’t think that’s why anyone reads my blogs. The purpose of my writing this blog is to make you grin. Or at least let you know that I have the same sort of life as you and that it’s okay. But I would be remiss not to mention that we are going through such concerning times in the world, more than most of us would have imagined during our lifetime.

My dad often talked about WW2 and all the atrocities that took place. He would also speak of how the people of Great Britain, and their wonderful allies, came together to make sure an evil man could not rape Europe. So, I want to just say this. Though I am being glib in the following post below, it does not in any way mean I am oblivious to the turmoil taking place in the world. The heartache of the people in Ukraine, the courage of the Ukrainians fighting for their country, and those in Russia, who have no voice, but do not agree with the actions of their ruler.

There- Enough said.

This is a pretty short blog this month. I hope it does not disappoint.

Right then. It’s already the middle of March, and my brain is still stuck in December. 2022 seems to have snuck in, and all my good intentions and plans have snuck out.

I’m blaming most of it on Gump. Well, Gump and his sidekick, Scout the wonder dog. They have become an undynamic duo. He’s been fascinated by that bloody dog since the very beginning, as I have referenced in this blog occasionally…okay most of the time. But since Covid, and his forced ‘retirement’, Gump’s being home has changed the way things are in the house, and I’m not pleased.

Scout used to hang out in my office while I wrote. She’d go on errands with me, and basically was my girl (I could say she was my ‘b*tch’, but I refrained—although she is a female dog so it would not have been a lie)- Oh, she still hangs in my office, but only when she wants to take a nap, or pass gas. The rest of the time, she’s stuck to Gump’s hairy ankle, and frankly, the two of them are gaggable.

She’s has become rather plump. Sort of like a sausage on four skinny legs. If I’m honest, I have absolutely no room to talk because I look like a larger version of her, and I am back to wearing the ‘kinder’ items in my wardrobe… I digress—

I watch the pair of them and think about all those months of training I did with the little madam. The countless sleepless nights taking care of the puppy, going out into the cold darkness in my nightie and freezing my arse off. The fact I still feed her, take care of her actual needs, you know, as you do with a child, or should I say a Gump. Yes, I can’t help but think of all the hours I’ve worked with her, petted her, and in the end, when she got to the age where she picked ‘her person’, which is a Heeler thing apparently – the little *@$# picked Gump. I feel like the runner up at a beauty pageant. A very chubby runner-up.

Well, she may have spurned me for a Gump. She may even love me less. But she fears me more (insert evil laugh). And living with a goofball for a spouse, and a sharp-minded Heeler for a pet, I MUST be the Alpha. If not, there would only be Pepper Jack cheese and nasty liver dog treats in the fridge, and the house would most probably burn down. Now if I could only get Gump to respond to my commands the way his four-legged girlfriend does, things would be magic.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all – I’ve got my $5 tee-shirt from Wally world to wear, and that’s about as Irish as I’ll get! No yucky cabbage going on in this house, thank you very much! It would remind me too much of my old boarding school headmistress!

Sigh….But I do remember the old days of going to the bar and celebrating (my vodka was never green) – staying out too late and then still getting up and going to work the next day. I was a rock star back then! Now the only rocking I get to do is in a chair…


I’ve told you all about the horses’ Carrot Club, and the vast tons of carrots I buy at Sam’s every week which make me look like some kind of veggie addict. I’ve also complained about all the fruit Gump puts out for the resident possums and racoons, even though I bought it for human consumption (not the disease, but the appetite). I’m sure I have probably complained about the fortune Gump spends on special birdseed because the ‘cheap stuff isn’t good enough for our birds’.

……..Then the bloody deer showed up.

Gump’s new friends

There are about eight females and one young buck. Of course, they appeared during the coldest snap a few weeks ago, and short of putting out sleeping bags and hot water bottles, Gump was desperate to do something to help them.

Enter deer corn. Great. Carrots, fruit, birdseed, and deer corn, and we actually only own a dog. I’ve started calling Gump, Doctor Doolittle, and I don’t use my nice voice either.

Speaking of doctors, Gump already goes to my dentist, so I can’t talk bad about him when I go there anymore. Now, he’s started going to see my primary care doc as well, which is weird. The week after his first visit, he got referred by that doctor to my chiropractor. I can’t wait for him to sign up with my gyno.

Gump’s taken to wearing shorts all the time, which looks really odd when it’s bloody freezing outside. I watch him and his sweetie go off on their morning walk, and I look at his attire and shake my head. Sweatshirt, hat, gloves… and shorts. I asked him why shorts in the middle of winter? He said he’s trying to let the hair grow back on his legs. Huh???? Turns out, all those years of wearing jeans to work every day rubbed all the hair off in places and made his legs look like a turkey’s. So he’s trying to grow it all back by baring his skin to the elements. Wait – then why am I supposed to shave my leg hair off? Ye olde double-standard at work. Consequently, I stopped shaving mine in protest, and they already look manlier than his!

Last week I caught a bug (not Covid) and I was so cold I ended up in bed with multiple blankets and a heating pad. When I get sick, I often get a low temperature, and I keep forgetting to replace the stupid thermometer we currently have. It measures about two degrees lower than your real temp, and mine was reading a balmy 93 degrees, which meant I was hyperthermic. Nurse Gump, who appeared two hours after I had already taken to my bed (good job it wasn’t my heart) finally showed up and seemed mildly concerned. He asked if I had a temperature, and I explained my dilemma, and that we really needed to purchase another thermometer. Rather than pop out immediately and get one, Gump, ever resourceful, disappeared for a moment, and then returned triumphantly holding the digital meat thermometer he uses when he makes steaks on the grill.

It is a measure of how badly I felt, that I actually allowed him to take my temperature using the damn thing, all the time listening to him chuckling about sticking the pointed end actually into my flesh to see if I was done…the swine!

These treasured moments are the ones I often find myself thinking about as I watch my treacherous dog and my exultant spouse sitting together in the evening. Then I catch myself and realise I am jealous of a relationship between a man and a dog. It is then I understand how badly I need a vacation.

Speaking of, I am running away soon to England, and I can hardly wait! Gump will be in charge of Debtwood (our home) and God only knows what it will look like upon my return. I am already salivating at the prospect of fish and chips, and you can be sure I will bombard you with pictures of my adventures, mostly involving food and candy. All I have to do is get psyched up enough to get on the damn plane and I’ll be fine. I hate flying. HATE IT!

This is a problem when everyone but your kids and grandkids live across an entire ocean. My bad – Oh well – that’s what medication is for…plenty of medication. It will be my first time to leave little Scouty – and I will be very curious to see if she’s relieved to see me back, having spent the entire time with the Gumpster…..stay tuned….

Do you all text? Of course, you do. Do you type or dictate? I have to dictate as I’m so slow at typing. It’s taken me a while to get used to doing it too, as my pronunciation is slightly different than normal American speak. But here’s what I keep doing. Whenever I leave someone a voicemail, my brain switches to texting, and I speak the punctuation – say the sentence and then comma, or full-stop….seriously – it’s awful, and I can’t take it back either. I am definitely getting left behind with technology.

On the writing front – I am going gangbusters. I will have a new book out next month and I have all kinds of cool plans this year. For those of you who are totally bored, check out my website for info on my book-signing in Edmond, Oklahoma with a great group of other authors.

Earlier in the month, I did a book review on the Okie Bookcast, a local podcast by J Hall – featuring great local attractions in the state. Check it out if you can (the podcast, not my bit) as it is really great. We need to support our local folk!

Speaking of support, a huge thank you to the great people who came out to my book signing last month at Gardner’s Book Store. It was lovely seeing some very special friends, and pretty cool meeting some new folk as well. I really do appreciate you all.


On a serious note – this has been a sad year, both in the world and for us personally. I would like to mention a few people who are no longer with us.

Richard ‘Dick’ Wessels. A US Army veteran who bravely served on the front lines of Vietnam. He loved his country, his family, and was beloved and respected by all who knew him.

My auntie, Betty Stacey. My mum’s only sister (out of 5 kids) – an ever-present person in our lives. A riot, always giggling and fun to have around. She loved to come to the USA and visit me, and she did many times with my mum.

My friend, Karen McCoy. A sweet soul who was taken far too soon. I hope you are soaring above with the birds you loved so much.

And finally, our dear friend, Francis ‘Frank’ Schloeder, who sadly passed away in February. I will always think of Frank whenever I have my Walker’s Scottish Shortbread. It was his favourite and we shared it with a nice cuppa from time to time. We miss you buddy.

With that – Thanks for reading this, and stay safe everyone.


The Brit on the Block