Red Dog in a Blue Cone

Our two Italian Greyhounds recently had a routine dental procedure and while they were sedated, common canine growths were removed.  This is all part of their annual routine care, but it is an upsetting ordeal nonetheless, at least for my husband and me.  Sighthounds are sensitive to anesthesia, and it seems like an eternity passes before the vet calls with a post-surgery report.

Our boys were brought to us following a briefing with the vet.  Each had tooth extractions, but only Red had lumps removed necessitating an Elizabethan collar to prevent him from removing his stitches.  The collar was a soft blue cone, and I wondered how he felt about it.

He looked silly.  It was too large for him, and it appeared to swallow his head.  From the side you couldn’t see his muzzle, he resembled a lampshade with a dog body.

I wonder if he felt as ridiculous as he looked.  Did he cringe as we left the vet, passing other dogs on the way out?  I don’t think he cared, as he was still under the influence of the anesthesia.  Was our other dog Moose now embarrassed to be seen with him?  I don’t think he cared, either, as he was also still a bit loopy.

When all of his faculties were restored, Red ran through the house with a swoosh.  If curtains could run, this is the sound they would make.  Swoosh.  Then a crinkle.  It took Red a bit to adjust to the size of the cone.  He would scrape it along doorways and walls as he ran.  SwooshCrinkle.

Red answered my unspoken question as to his affinity (or lack thereof) for the cone.  I came home one day to a Red dog missing a blue cone.  It was left in a wad on the crate floor.  Red was pleased with himself, wagging his tail at me, but I was not pleased to discover that stitches from one wound were removed, exposing bone.

Off we went for repairs, the blue cone in tow.  Not only did Red receive three staples in lieu of stitches, but the blue cone was tied even tighter.  Poor boy.  One more week to go until he is the Red dog no longer in a blue cone.

Red the Dog

Red the Dog

Horror Thrills and Chills

Another Monster Mania show is in the books.  This was convention number 25 to be exact.  I have attended almost all of them, and have enjoyed myself at every one.  I have also been to Chiller Theatre in northern New Jersey and Horrorfind, now located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  My personal favorite is Monster Mania, held in nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  Not only is it 20 minutes away from home, but I find it to be the most well run and organized of the shows I have visited.

The conventions offer an opportunity to meet celebrities that work in the genre (in both movies and television), question and answer panels featuring said talent, and a variety of vendors.  There is something for everyone to enjoy, regardless of your budget.  Some shows also screen films throughout the day, host seminars, and have costume contests.

If collecting autographs isn’t your interest, these conventions are a great opportunity to people watch.  The camaraderie among horror fans is incredible, it’s one place where everyone can come together and be comfortable with each other.  It’s great seeing new attendees among the familiar faces.  You may even meet a new friend by chatting with someone in line waiting to meet a celebrity.

If you’re a horror fan, check out a local convention when you have the chance.  Once you start attending, you will become addicted.  Be sure to bring a camera, as you never know who will be lurking to scare you!

My Hubby with George Romero

George Romero with My Hubby

Salem, Massachusetts: The Happiest Place on Earth

 Move over Disneyland and Disneyworld, Salem, Massachusetts has replaced you as the happiest place on Earth.  Well, that may be true for those of us with an affinity for Halloween, and things that are not all sweetness and light.  If you’re one of those people, traveling here should be on your bucket list.

I have visited Salem at both Halloween and in the summer.  I describe Salem at the holiday as the Mardi Gras of Halloween.  It’s a party that lasts a month long, and I cannot think of a better place to spend the scariest night of the year.  There are a variety of activities and events during the month of October, something is guaranteed to pique your interest and keep you busy.

There are two hotels located in Salem, the Hawthorne Hotel and the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Marina.  Other accommodations can be found in nearby towns such as Danvers, some offering shuttle service to the Salem area.  You may want to take advantage of this amenity to avoid the traffic congestion.

People may think of Salem as primarily a fall destination.  While there are more crowds in autumn and Halloween is the ultimate time to visit, there are many things to do at other times of the year.  In the summer, popular tourist attractions can still be visited, including the Salem Witch Museum, the Witch Dungeon Museum, the Witch History Museum, and the Nathaniel Hawthorne House.

There is no shortage of wonderful places to dine and shop.  On our recent trip I enjoyed a wonderful scallop salad outside by the water at Finz.  Later that afternoon we stopped at Salem Screamery for an ice cream treat.  Rest assured, you won’t go hungry during your visit.

Unique shops abound in Salem.  Everything from tee shirts to ingredients for spells can be found in any number of stores.  (My personal favorite is Hex, located on Essex Street).  I have even bought some Christmas gifts for other like-minded people.

If you are a history buff, or would just like to tour the city while being kind to your feet, a trolley tour is a must.  It is the easiest method to take in Salem’s offerings, with many convenient stops along the route.  It is a scenic ride with knowledgeable tour guides.

This is just a brief overview of Salem.  I urge you to visit whenever you are in the area.  It’s a fun place to explore any time of the year.


Lizzie Borden Vacation

This past weekend my husband and I spent the 121st anniversary of the Lizzie Borden murders in Fall River, Massachusetts.  We were literally at the scene of the crime, as we stayed at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.

This was our third year in a row staying during the anniversary.  If you have never been, I highly recommend checking it out.  If you’re unable or unwilling to stay the night, tours of the house are given daily.  However, if you do stay, a historical/paranormal tour is given nightly to overnight guests.  In the morning, breakfast is a re-creation of the meal the Bordens would have enjoyed at one time.  A tasteful re-enactment can be seen on the actual anniversary date.

There are other local sights to see as well.  The Fall River Historical Society offers even more information on the Borden case, and a trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the final resting place of Lizzie and her family, the Oak Grove Cemetery.  If you want to see the graves of Lizzie’s three Boston Terriers, a trip less than an hour away will take you to the Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery in Dedham, Massachusetts.  Back in Fall River, be sure to see Maplecroft, the former home where Lizzie lived after her acquittal.  Today the home is a private residence.

I tweeted a few times during our stay, and one of my pictures of Lizzie’s grave (simply marked Lizbeth)  was included in the following article on Storify:


No Brakes, No Lights, No Problem

One thing is certain, if New Jersey does something right, they will eventually stop.  This applies to (bi)annual motor vehicle inspections.  New Jersey went from yearly full inspections to only an emissions check every other year.  This would explain the increase in blown out bulbs, worn wiper blades and dilapidated vehicles on the road.  As long as your auto doesn’t pollute the air, you will pass.  It doesn’t matter if you have bald tires and Flintstone brakes, jeopardizing yourself and anyone else who shares the road with you.  My inspection sticker reminds me to put my headlights on in the rain for safety.  That assumes both my windshield wipers and lights are in working condition.  Who knows?