Some people just can’t stand to eat off the same plates as a skunk.

Frankly, I don’t see the problem. It’s not like the plate remains unwashed.

"Really, are they are going through the wash next?" asks Sagie who is washing dishes for Mama.

Unless the skunkie fools you into thinking it is washed. They will lick a plate for ten minutes and it will shine when it has not been into a sudsy dishwater bath. But we skunk people know that and we wash everything.

My family though, my dad namely, has issue. And I can see the point. But these are not dogs or cats doing what dogs are cats do. They are tidy, polite little domestic skunkies.

One Thanksgiving we had everyone to the cabin. One of the last years we were all together, we meaning all of us in the family and both my pet skunks, Jeronimo and Sequoia.

After dinner, I made a feast plate for my skunkies. Brought them out to the kitchen to eat their dinner where everyone could enjoy how cute and sweet and cuddley. Skunk people are like new parents, they never get over the pride and bragging.

Sequoia and Jeronimo usually ate off stompable, unbreakable plastic plates. But all skunk holiday feasts are served on white antique stoneware china from England. Remember the lead in antique china is real, so don’t do this often. But we humans had antique china, so did they, the skunkies. Dining with all but the candles that might set ablaze their little tail feathers.

The next holiday my sister admitted how cute they were. But Dad had a problem. She politely, diplomatically asked if I have plates for the people from which the skunks did not eat.

Since those are their special plates and I have modern day white stoneware for everyone else, rest assured, Dad did not eat from a skunk plate.

But really, only skunk people know. These are special creatures. Intelligent. Resourceful with their surroundings…..

Skunks wipe like people. Skunks do not lick their hineys. They might scoot on the nearest rug to wipe…. but they do not lick. So the plan is to place right by the litter pan the washable rug you want them to use for wiping. But no, skunks do not lick. They wipe and everyday they brush themselves and brush their teeth too. They sit on their fat flat haunches and groom their hiney fluff with their little hands. So cute.

"Can I have your bean?" "No."

Skunks do not eat gucky stuff. Unless of course, we are feeding them crickets and grubs. That more real version of skunk dining is not happening in my house, I kiss my skunks. They must be content with steak and chicken, shrimp and salmon. Proteins that I, too, am willing to eat.

Thanksgiving dinner, skunks eat turkey (no ham or pork, please) and stuffing and yams without sugar. They eat corn on the cob, French bean casserole, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. They should never eat too much sugar at once but they will eat all you give to them.

Want the Thanksgiving dishes from prep-cooking to be pre-washed before they hit the dishwasher or after they are inside said dishwasher? Skunks can handle it. Just don’t put in knives or fork tines facing up.

Turn a flock of skunks loose on a huge bowl where pumpkin pie filling was mixed, fifteen minutes of licking and it is good to go. Yes, you will want to consider sugar, salt and seasoning intake. No raisin cookies or mock mince meat, since the raisins in those cause renal failure in animals. No asparagus which causes grand mal seizures.

But these domestic skunks, they are thorough if nothing else.

Skunkie moral of the story: I’ve got nothing. Except you want a dish washed right, give it to a skunk.

Thirty pet skunks stories, all about the boys.

 

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Reincarnation romance - Reincarnation fiction

Reincarnation romance - Reincarnation fiction

The contest was discontinued to keep life simple.

But if you would like a free ebook of A Breath Floats By, just go to ESSA Books and send an email mentioning the contest from Women’s Fiction Blog.   Thank you for checking on us here.  Essa

Scroll down to read the latest posts on Women’s Fiction Blog

Five women’s fiction books on the Women’s Fiction Blog – five authors that I recommend for 2009 reads.  One theme is reincarnation in most, spiritual awakening and /or life awakening in all.  If you read these, please go to Amazon and review, they all deserve attention in an awakening world.

Enjoy – Essa

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The Painter’s Gift the-painters-gift-holt-reincarnation-essenes

Author Penelope Holt

Reviews–

The Painter’s Gift… the place of religion in life is more practically divined here. The idea of piecing together a new holy message is appealing, the lead character is worth pulling for. –Clarion-ForeWord

Frankly, I can’t believe that this is Penelope Holt’s first novel! It is truly an excellent, fascinating, and meaningful piece of work. The Painter’s Gift… conveys a powerful message that ‘sticks’ with the reader long after the adventure of reading it is completed. It is a ‘gift’ for all just waiting to be unwrapped!    –Dr. Alex Pattakos, author, Prisoner of Our Thoughts

…Dan Brown’s obsession with (religious) detail doesn’t show up… Essentially, the story revolves around simpler themes of remorse and joy; loss and renewal; and embitterment and faith. Holt presents an interesting concoction of romance and quasi-religious mystery that blends quite seamlessly. She has crafted a pleasantly surprising novel and a solid, quick read. –Five Stars, Bookreview.com

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Threadsthreads-gavin-reincarnation-book

Author Nell Gavin

Reviews–

Nell Gavin has brought Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, to vibrant life in her unusual historical novel, Threads. Anne’s path from that of an unloved and abused young girl, to the position of Queen of England, is presented by Anne herself as she looks back upon the circumstances that eventually led to her execution. Although there really isn’t a lot of actual historical information about Anne, Gavin has created believable personalities with strengths and weaknesses, imperfections and understandable desires. Using a combination of fact and legend, she tells a story of passion, obsession, and heartbreak that will capture readers with its depth and humanity.

….in the end, beautifully coaxes the dark ghosts of a long dead past into the present for an introduction readers won’t soon forget.  Threads is a remarkable effort. It is, without a doubt, one of the best historical novels I’ve ever read. I give it my very highest recommendation!

–Nancy Mehl, author, book reviewer,  Amazon review

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A Breath Floats Bya-breath-floats-by-metaphysical-reincarnation

Author Thayne Hudson

Reviews–

An astonishing and beautifully crafted book of the strong currents beneath the thin veneer of modern life.  You may never again view a coincidence in the same light.

A Breath Floats By is about infidelity, divorce, women’s friendship, commitment, cancer, death and the afterlife. The story originates from the philosophy of astrology and numerology, dream interpretation and psychic gifts, the Essenes mysticism and reincarnation, soul mates and life’s sacred contracts. Beneath a timely, gutsy eternal love story, a swirling spiritually-charged world is exposed.

–Heather Fairbairn, Edmonton, Canada

What is important, and fascinating (in A Breath Floats By) is their relationships with one another, including their souls. How one character meets another, and comes to feel that they have known the other before; or one person can love another for years, and yet not feel consummated, in all the senses of the word. How soul and memory play a supremely important part in the loves of real people, if they will only pay attention.

When measured by that yardstick, I am sorry to say that many novels, even best sellers, often seem shallow by comparison.

–Bill Fabrey, NAAFA Founder

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Seeking Sara Summersseeking-sara-summers-gabriel-womens-fiction-books

Author Susan Gabriel

Reviews–

The story of Sara (Summers) Stanton sounds like that of many women who live their lives trapped into a life of mostly self-imposed expectations…. the reader is inside Sara’s head all through the story… made the struggle very personal, and somewhat painful. I had this urge to step into the book and scream to Sara it was all right to follow her heart.

Sara’s cancer read to me like an allegory…  it didn’t feel so much like a physical malady but more like a symbol that the way we live our life can just as easily kill us within. Sara’s worst enemy doesn’t seem to be her physical cancer, but the mental one…. I kept focused on that bright light at the end of the tunnel that Sara was navigating, and that I kept hoping she’d reach before perishing of self imposed darkness.

–Amazon reviewer Elena

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Featherfeather-ebner-reincarnation-fantasy-womens-fiction

Author Abra Ebner

Reviews–

Note from Essa Adams — I am including this book because it tickles my fancy – listen to this description, followed by a simple review. Do you feel the comedy coming on…

“…..the book is based on a legend where in the beginning the gods made man and woman, one being, one person. This being was so perfect, the gods grew jealous, ripping the being apart and casting them to earth in their greed… this created man and woman, sharing one singular soul. The woman was the watcher of their soul and the mother of earth – the male was the warrior and strength. But the male also hungered for the soul the female possessed, so their existence together was bitter-sweet, and dangerous….. The story is set in modern times, at a secluded college … where… she finds her other half and her true love. She discovers her life until now was only a fraction of the life she had lived. Immortal, she finds that her past life was lost, torn from her in a moment where she had no choice. Edgar, her other half, struggles to stifle his desire to kill her, choosing love instead, and a life of eternal turmoil.

…complicated… magical world where we learn to appreciate our human ease for love and acceptance. As Elle faces her demons, her friends, and her enemies in a world she never thought possible, where warriors spring from the earth and angels can exist amongst us, she finds a power and happiness she had thought gone forever.” end description

Review …funny, yet endearing, also packed with action, and nothing was sugar-coated, and I like that.  The magical element was seamless and well-backed, nothing seemed too far-fetched, and as the mysteries unraveled I had a lot of fun figuring it out along with the characters. She didn’t give anything away too soon, and the twists were unexpectedly perfect, and eye opening. The story unraveled seamlessly, keeping me intrigued.

–Amazon reviewer Lucy

~The quilt on the wall

December 16, 2008

Seasonal pausetree

You may momentarily wonder, as you visit, is Women’s Fiction a blog as in a journal?  Or is Women’s Fiction a short story forum within a blog?

Both.

Women’s Fiction will cover a range of life concerns from beliefs to gardening, body image to political (i.e. caring for the people) and relationships to animal rights.

A tapestry of women’s voices are being pieced for the quilt on the wall. This will be a rich wool-backing, whereas the creative side of short stories will dance and illuminate.

Why the pregnant pause?

Actually, I prefer the term peri-menopausal pause.  Seriously though – the holidays are all around us now, but I don’t hear them this year.  Something is amiss in the world, oh what can that be?

I continue to represent what I feel with Gracie, the tiny fake ladybug that needed me. For today, for me, this is as real as it gets.

The little fake ladybug sleeping in an envelope in my desk drawer. Yes, oh yes, she’s in my drawer. Her sister, Phoebe, seems to be down in the wall.

What was also real for me was to reach out, wanting to share a story that flowed from me. Wanting for someone, anyone, to smile while there is so much amiss. My ultimate offering.

I am a person of words, could write until dawn passes and comes again.

But no one has time to read, especially now when it seems like the world could cave in. When we need to ignore that for a time because there are so many holiday preparations. Reading is for January.

So I say briefly to you tonight in an intensely un-politically-correct outpouring….

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas… and all the other happy and merry stuff that goes with this season. I hope you and your family smile often.

Essa

ESSA Books

Remember to enter the book give-away after you read Gracie: The Christmas Ladybug

All humor aside….no really….

Gracie's sister is running from plastic to window. 'Help me help me.'

Gracie's sister is running from plastic to window. 'Help me help me.'

The life principle of this winter story is respect in marriage.

Relationships aside, Gracie is about respect for nature and balance with our God-given environment. 

ENTER THE CONTEST FOR A NOVEL — Read Gracie – The Freezing Fake Ladybug. Our January Contest Feature Story to win a novel.

First the marriage.

I read all creative writing to hubby. He at least smiles. Yes, I warned him.

Before I ever hit the punchline, first me then his window of plastic film started to get the I-know-what-you-did-to-my-airlock look.

Holiday spirit, zip. He ripped off a foot of duct tape. The hole is an inch, geez.

Phoebe, little sister of Gracie the fake ladybug.

Phoebe, little sister of Gracie the fake ladybug.

Humour aside, his especially, Gracie’s sister is in there now. I can’t go in after her. Huh-uh.

The FAKE Ladybug in My Window

Christmas short story by the Women’s Fiction blog.

Feel good holiday humor, really….

Fake ladybugs are not to be confused with holiday ornaments either.

Fake ladybugs are not to be confused with holiday ornaments either.

Did it move just now? The fake ladybug in my office window behind the plastic film? The thing is right in line with my view of the winter snow garden. Really bugging me.

One of those fake ladybugs.  An imported Asian lady beetle, orange-red with nineteen black dots on its back. The kind that bites hard.  Pees in your mouth this liquorish poison that makes you wail and spit for ten minutes.

How do they get in your mouth? They drink from water glasses. Crawl into salads, mixing with slivered carrots and tomatoes quite nicely.

See how they would fit right in?

See how they would fit right in?

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My office has wonderful walls of windows, so we purchased an EdenPure Heater like the one on Paul Harvey, just to keep me warm.  I love mine more than Paul loves his. Then hubby bought me a radiant Heat Dish.   Now our pets sleep in baskets by me where I spin them like rotisserie chickens.

Ask the ladybugs.  Winters are rough in the Great Lakes region. So he applied lovely plastic film to the windows to give them one more layer of insulation. Since I refuse to use drapes or blinds because I don’t want to lose my view of the winter garden, the film is a compromise.

The problem with this bug-thing staring in at me is that hubby is very protective of the film. The technique is in the airlock. So he spends the rest of the winter accusing me of pushing stacks of books, the lamp shade, and my purse into the film which does leave dents. I cannot deny evidence.

One must understand the dynamics of our relationship, of him bringing me sustenance while I create my prose in the office. Autumn onward, I would don gloves, many sweaters with hoods, scarves, jackets, then coats and boots, frozen fingers typing numbly.

Stubborn me with my walls of vintage windows on my vintage office-porch I would not change for the world, freezing to death.

fotolia_1964785_xs-up-cottage-gardenWhat a lovely winter garden though. Birds, wildlife, a tiny lacy cedar tree tipped in ice beads dancing beneath the grey skeleton of the high bush cranberry. I love my trees. My blue wind chimes.

Hubby loves me. So he contours the film, trims the edges within a sixteenth of an inch from the two-sided tape so I never know it is there. Then he uses hair dryer heat to coax the film to completely disappear as it spreads tighter and tighter.

Who would mess with the airlock? Not me. I’m not even touching it.

But the poor fake ladybug got caught between the windows and the plastic film.

Day before yesterday, the bug was lively. Being the coldest day of the year, I felt sorry for it, doubting its survival for more than a few more hours.  I know, I am a heartless fake ladybug hater. That evening when I turned out the lights, I do not remember noticing Fake Ladybug. She had probably frozen to death quite painlessly… right?

She? Yes, she. All ladybugs are feminine in fairytales.

Yesterday was more spring-like. Fake Ladybug was not flying around but she was still there, behind the plastic, mulling how to escape her winter wonderland aquarium. Then she disappeared for several hours. Before I turned off the lights, I checked for Fakie and she was not between the windows, not in cracks as far as I could see.

Fakie? Yes, Fakie. Just as Gracie is a cutesy name for Grace. Fakie. Using ‘ladybug’ in her name is too good for her.

Gracie, still as a nailhead on the iced windowsill.

Gracie, still as a nailhead on the iced windowsill.

Today I come in here to work, five essays exploding in my mind. There is Fakie, still as a nailhead on the white windowsill, staring at me through the plastic film. Eh.

I’m trying to work. And she is either dead or dying.

To my defense, these fake ladybugs can live through the winter. They hide in our insulated homes – all of us – between the drywall and outside wall, then come out in droves in the spring.

Summers they spend in alfalfa fields and when that is harvested, they fly into communities like yours to bite you and your children, stick in your fresh deck stain, pee on your windows, until they settle down and crawl into your house to stink and hibernate – those that are not rolled into the bales to be fed to the poor cows. I wonder if the cows can taste that poisonous vile they spray. Uck.

To my defense, some environmentalist from some agricultural improvement agency decided the United States farmers would be better off with these cold-weather resistant Asian lady beetles instead of old tried-and-true, gentle North American ladybugs who die off in the winter, it seems, and were a bit more sluggish in cold summers ( huh? ) when they were supposed to be eating aphids, I guess, and they say our native ladybugs were not as aggressive on the aphids.

Please. Have you ever seen the close-up images of what North American ladybugs do to a smorgasbord of aphids?

To my defense, once upon a time I always scooped them up to take them outside and make a nice plot of leaves and stones for them to live under far from the house, just like I do for the mice.

To my defense, I used to take my hanging lamps apart to get the fake ladybugs out before they fried their little feet on the bulbs. And when they fry they stink too.

Then one day, hubby got out the shop vac. Who would win? Me, the defender, or him, the warrior?

But too many times the nasty creatures got in my salad.

Sagie, I should have video taped him after he ate the fake ladybug.

Sagie, I should have video taped him after he ate the fake ladybug.

Once my pet skunk  tried to eat one and vomited around the house ten times over, me following with paper towels and the vinegar spray bottle while he squeaked and spit and gagged all over the hardwood floors. You laugh, but it could well be your dogs and cats eating them.

Oh!! Then I drank one of those poisonous devil bugs, so drank ipecac as a chaser to get it out of me.

I let hubby shop vac a gallon of them a week from there on out.

I couldn’t watch, couldn’t stand to hear their little screams as they were suctioned at high power into blackness like a tornado before one is in the center. Could not imagine their little faces when they were left in the stillness of the contractor strength garbage bag he dumped them into everyday.

But within a few weeks of hubby shop vacuuming fake Asian ladybugs, we had no more. And spring after spring our droves were lessened until we gave a sigh.

But now I am staring at Gracie…. I mean Fakie. And I think she was in a different position a few minutes ago. She could still be alive in there.

Not to be confused with iced berries.

Not to be confused with iced berries.

But where would I keep her? What could I possibly do with her? A pet? Humor me. But fake ladybugs are not pet material.

Reminds me of when my daughter kept a slew of horned tomato worms from my garden for pets. But that is another story. Or is it? She, too, named them. Wouldn’t let me toss them in the coffee can of turpentine. Yes, that is what old-time gardeners did with tomato worms, we didn’t want to squish them… it was too gross. Couldn’t let them loose in the woods… they would fly back as a moth and recycle. Tough I should have because they reincarnate as good moths that pollinate vegetable plants.  But what is more vicious to tomato plants than horned worms, I ask?  as I transgress…..

So how do I explain the hole in the plastic film to hubby? Took him hours to contour the film to the window so I would forget it was there.

I can’t stand it. I can tape the hole with clear duct tape. If you don’t know it yet, clear duct tape and plastic wireties really are a woman’s best friend. If you take nothing from this blog, that is what I bestow on you and your life from here on out. May you be blessed with an abundance of clear duct tape and your plastic wireties be all sizes and colours.

Fakie is so still.

I just took out the tiny knife I use for graphics. Sliced a tiny opening, like surgery on Grey’s Anatomy. Put the end of the knife through the narrow hole to pull Fakie out.

And she took off running the other way.

I sliced the hole larger to stop her, but she has quite a bit of life left even if she gave up flying.

I wanted to slice the entire bottom edge of the film along the sill to stop her. I wanted to. But that would be a lot of explaining to do.

I know you wanted me to save her. But get a grip, will you. This is not Tinker Bell. We’re talking Fakie, the fake Asian lady beetle that pees in your mouth when you try to eat her, bites you when you mow the lawn, stinks up the insulation between your walls. Has no natural predators in North America. Apparently not even the freezing winters of the Great Lakes.

So just get a grip.

Gracie freezing in the shade.

Gracie freezing in the shade.

There she is. Hiding around the corner of the window, a little alcove only Fakie can fit into. I feel bad now. At least before I bothered her, Fakie was sunning herself on the windowsill. Now she is plastered to a piece of metal in the shade.

Okay, I need advice here. What would you do? And don’t tell me to spray bug poison through the hole to put her out of her misery. Really, what would you do?

Hours later… Fakie is on the move…. waddles past the slice in the film, to the other side of my window. I try to pull the plastic loose on the other side of the window but hubby has it down to a science, there is no place for leverage without cutting in.

Wait, Fakie comes back by the hole. Thinking fast, I stick the curved end of my bifocals through and scoop her out the hole. She falls on her back on my open journal. Did I mention they spray that noxious poison too and stink up your stuff and hands and when you are trying to get them out of your hair, they spray so you need to shampoo three times? I forgot they do this. My journal, windowsill and bifocals now need washed.

Fakie is playing dead. I forgot they do this too. With no natural predators, one would think that they would not need to play dead here in North America. Do you suppose it will take a few more generations, or could they be thousands of years here before they lose the natural instinct to play dead? I do know they will become even more cold resistant. Good to know for managing winter happy aphids in the winter garden here in the Great Lakes region.

What to do with her? I never did decide. No, I’m not keeping her in a jar until Spring. Get a grip.

I let her fall onto a soft tissue, then tuck her into an old envelope from my office trash basket, fold the envelope securely so she will not get out. Put her into the trash right on top so I can think about what to do with her. Don’t worry, I won’t leave her there. She wanted to hibernate in peace and warmth anyway. While I think where she will hibernate, I will write my next essay.

Obnoxious little fake ladybug.

Read Gracie’s Freezing Little Sister next. Oh yes, and hubby’s response to the airlock issue.

fotolia_1923273_xs-red-balls3

WIN A BOOK EACH MONTH — Please, use comments to tell me what part of Gracie was fictional. From those guessing correctly, one will be chosen to win the book of their choice. Either A Breath Floats By or Skunk Medicine.  Use the poll on upper right for possible answers. Then write your answer in the comments area for this post / story.  Good luck to you.

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a-breath-floats-by-big-title-13jpg-180x260Essa Adams is the author of a spiritual fiction romance novel.   A Breath Floats By: An Illusion for the Soul. Penname Thayne Hudson.  Yes, attitude and all, she is a writer of spirituality, really. Excerpts and Chapter One are at ESSA Books.

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skunk-medicine-small2She also writes essays on her pet skunks and other fur children, both in blogs and her book, Skunk Medicine: There’s A Skunk In the House! and Other Tail-raising Stories. Pet skunks and Newfoundland dog excerpts are at ESSA Books.

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a_kv_113371This blog is entitled ” Women’s Fiction ” because it is about life as a woman. ‘Write what you know.’  ‘Make sure you have suffered enough first.’ Even though most of each story is my nonfiction contribution to life, there is always a part that’s not very true at all.   May you smile with me. Essa

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© Copyright December 2008.

Contact author for details on permission to reprint.

ESSA Books