The Friday Five!

1. It’s been a hard week around here. Yesterday, we had to say goodbye to our sweet dog Monkey. We got him in February of 2002, just as I was starting to promote This Lullaby. My husband had done a job for some folks with a dog named Monkey, and we loved it so much I put it in a book AND my own house. He was pretty much the cutest boxer puppy ever:

What can I tell you about such a good boy? He was smart and loving. He could jump higher vertically than any dog I have ever seen. He was way too big to be a lapdog but climbed up anyway, always. He was gentle with Coco, our little dog, even when she jumped on him, and even more kind to our kid, even though her arrival meant he didn’t get as much attention as he once had. The only good thing about him being gone was that his decline was quick and merciful: he didn’t suffer over weeks or months, only a few days. It’s awfully quiet around here, though. We’re all adjusting to the empty space he left behind. But I know he’s at peace now. And there’s a comfort, a little bit anyway, in that.

2. One of the hardest things about all this—not that any of it was easy—was telling my daughter that Monkey was gone. She’d known he wasn’t doing well, as the last few days had been really bad. But sitting her down and trying to explain that he was tired and gone to heaven…man. She cried, I cried. She’s worried that Coco is going to go to heaven now, or me, or Daddy. I know it’s important for her to understand about life and death but a part of me just wishes we could have waited a little bit longer to have to deal with this. At five, you just shouldn’t be worried about people dying. Right? Or am I just being overprotective? All I can do, really, is eat a lot of cookies with her, talk about all the great things we loved about Monk, and be there to answer her questions, as hard as they may be for me to deal with. Still: not easy. Sigh.

3. On a more uplifting note—please, right?—I am finally embracing the fall. I had to turn on the heat this week AND pull out my Uggs, which pretty much means resistance is now futile. Plus there are other signs, like the smell of chimney smoke in the neighborhood, and the NC State Fair beginning this week. (Once you start seeing articles in the paper about the latest in deep-fried fair food—this year, it’s fried Girl Scout Cookies and cupcakes—you know winter is right around the corner.) The only thing that is hard for me is the days getting OH so short. It bums me out. I know they sell those lights that are supposed to mimic daylight, and I’m seriously thinking about investing in one IF they work. It’s cheaper than therapy, right? Or maybe not?

4. Another sign of fall: Halloween. This is, honestly, a holiday I had kind of checked out on before I had my kid. I loved it when I was younger, but I wasn’t into the whole costume thing as an adult. Although the candy, I will ALWAYS partake in. Who doesn’t? Anyway, once I had my daughter and she was old enough to get the whole Halloween thing, I was back in, big-time. I was a Real Housewife—complete with Bump-It in my hair!–then a cowgirl. This year we are going full-on Princess, which should not surprise anyone who reads this or my Twitter regularly. My daughter is Sleeping Beauty, and I am Snow White. I went online to look for costumes and there were SO many to choose from. Traditional, long-gown Snow White. Seductive Snow White (yikes!). Short-skirt but conservative Snow White. And the one I went with, Sassy Snow White. (I think the Sassy refers to the short skirt and the little corset bodice, although I can’t be sure.) Anyway, our stuff arrived and we decided to try it on. The skirt on mine was a BIT shorter than I anticipated, and the shoes I bought can only be described as stripper-esque. Whoops! Definitely not a look I can wear to the the preschool Halloween party. So now I’m improvising. I’m thinking some yellow leggings, with red flats, might tone the whole thing down? Or, I may look like a clown. My husband, bless him, was like, “VA-VOOM!” But I have to think about the children. I mean, it’s only right.

5. Finally, the new TV season is in full swing, and one show I’ve REALLY been looking forward to premiered this week: Nashville.  I haven’t watched it yet—too crazy of a week—but I intend to immerse myself in it this weekend once I have some downtime. The truth is, though, I’d watch Connie Britton, Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights, in ANYTHING. There are so many things to love about her, and her as Tami, but one of my VERY favorite is how she says the word “y’all.” As a Southerner, I’ve long known how great a word this is for general conversation. When I was waitressing, it was my go-to for greeting tables, because it didn’t matter if it was two people or fifteen, it still worked. “Can I get y’all something to drink while you look over the menu?” Also it’s very handy when you are angry with a bunch of people: I’ll admit to a weakness, not that I am proud, for “F**k ALL y’all!” If you haven’t said that, just do it once. You’ll see: it’s empowering. Anyway, I found a clip of Tami rocking her y’all and it’s just what I need after this long week. Maybe y’all do, too? If so, enjoy it here.
Have a good weekend, everyone!