Why Did You Do That?!

Everyone has one or two things that annoy them and today I’m supposed to find 5 things that annoy me. So here goes nothing… I’m a pretty laid back person so I don’t know if I can come up with 5 but here goes nothing.

1. Hypocrisy- oh dear lord in heaven how I despise hypocrisy! The best and most relevant example I can give you all is this; all of those people out there claiming that homosexuality is against the bible and yet there they are sitting down to a big breakfast of bacon and sausage (both pork products) in the morning.

2. Talking During Movies- particularly a friend of mine who will go unnamed to protect her privacy (but she knows who she is) who when watching a movie at my house will literally ask me to tell her about key plot points AS THE MOVIE IS PLAYING OUT IN FRONT OF HER!!

3. People Who Use “LOL” When They Don’t Know What Else To Say- I mean really?! I just said “I’m sitting at home watching a movie,” and your best response is “LOL” I was so not kidding I really am sitting at home watching a movie!

4. People Who End Sentences With Prepositions- sentences like “Where is it at?” really make my skin crawl!

5. Crying Children in Public Places- yes I know I was a child once too but my parents knew how to make sure I kept my unhappiness to myself!!

And there you have it my pet peeves, I think this just about covers the things that annoy me. And now back to your day.

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Look it Up

“Granny, how do you spell (insert any number of words here)?”

“Katy, go look it up,” was always her reply.

Very early on I learned to love and hate dictionaries, mainly because I felt like they made my job so much harder! My response to my grandmother or parents (because the would get the inevitable “how do you spell…” question as well) was usually something along the lines of “if I wanted to look it up I wouldn’t have asked you.” But of course that never worked.

But this is not where the story ends….

The only dictionary I loved was the crossword puzzle dictionary my grandmother and I used to do crosswords together. That’s why a tattered copy of Andrew Swanfeldt’s 6th Edition Crossword Puzzle Dictionary sits on my bookshelf today. The only time I didn’t mind being told to “look it up” was when my grandmother and I were working our way through a crossword puzzle. Word searches were fun but not as fun as crosswords we would work on them for hours because doing a crossword always brings about inevitable discussion (pencil vs pen, my grandmother was always a pencil supporter) or even the clues would be conversation starters and we would get to talking and the crossword would sometimes be forgotten and that was ok. Because really it wasn’t about the actual crossword but it was about spending time together and in the last few years since my grandmother passed those are the memories I cling to.

The Furry Family

McDougal

McDougal

McGreggor

McGreggor

Sassy

Sassy

Scout

Scout

Lizzy

Lizzy

So today, my very faithful readers, I’m going to tell you a story.

I have always considered a home totally complete with pets. I grew up in a house with at one point, no lie, two dogs, two cats, a bird, and a fish. When I would describe it to people I would tell them I was living with the food chain. It was chaotic but very happy.

My first dog was a black lab named McDuff, we called him Duffy for short. He was my best friend and a saint in the dog community. Since I was so young I rely on the stories my family members have told me about my relationship with Duffy, but according to everyone he an I were thick as thieves. When I would get into trouble and end up in my room he would come with me so that I could tell him my side of things. My grandmother told me stories about how my parents could send the two of us outside to play and he would make sure I wouldn’t let me go out in the street. Once my sister was born he was a shoulder for me to lean on when I lost my only child spotlight. And when Duffy died, I was in third grade it was the same night Bill Clinton was elected to office in 1992, I was absolutely heartbroken. I felt like I had lost a brother and in some ways I had.

At this point and through most of McDuff’s life I also had a cat, which shortly after my sister was born became two cats They were Sheba, an all gray beautiful cat, and Roxanne, a feisty black cat with white paws. And while I really believe that they mostly tolerated each other I loved them. Sheba and I had a kind of rough start with all of her teeth and claws but Roxanne and I were cool because she had been de-clawed and liked to knead which made her excellent at shoulder massages. Sheba died, sadly, the summer before I started high school but she had given us at least 15 or 16 very good years so it was her time. My mom had to give Roxanne away because we were moving and Roxanne was terrified of car rides.

When McDuff died I really thought I wouldn’t love another dog again but then my aunt brought over a puppy she’d just adopted named McDougal and all that changed. McDougal (another black lab our family loves labs AND any name starting with “Mc”) was a fan of long walks and playing Frisbee, swimming (just like my sister and I who were champion athletes in the pool) and finding the sunny spots in the house. When my aunt got a divorce and had to move into a small apartment McDougal came to live with us because we had more space for him to be himself. My sister and I welcomed McDougal into our family with open arms and our house felt just that much warmer. McDougal was a constant for me, he moved up to Tennessee with us, he was there for me through many a heartbreak and triumph, he was Doo (as we called him for short). I remember when we first moved up to Tennessee and all of us went to Cades Cove one afternoon, we were walking along the trail and my mom pointed out a sign that said dogs weren’t allowed on the trail, at this point my dad just silently led McDougal off the trail and continued walking. I always said the he was the only man I’d ever need in my life and my sister said she wanted to take him to prom her senior year but he wasn’t into formal wear. He loved car rides and going to the beach when we lived down in Florida or going to the lake when we moved up to Tennessee.

I feel like I should explain to you that my mother always says “no more dogs,” or “this is our last dog,” but we all know it’s not. I’m telling you this now because she said that about McDougal and then we adopted Sassy. Sassy was actually our first dog who wasn’t a lab. She was a Brittany Spaniel who was rescued from an abusive situation. One week when my dad was out-of-town on business (as things like this tend to go) my mom brought Sassy home “just to stay with us for a few days,” while they found her a new home. Sassy was a skittish dog, she was very tentative around all of us especially McDougal. We adopted her by the end of the week. My dad came home and it was suddenly very evident that Sassy ha been abused my a man because she was absolutely terrified of my father or any man in general. That being said once they got to know each other Sassy, McDougal, and dad were inseparable. Hikes on Sundays, trips to the park, walks around the neighborhood, it was always the three of them.

A few years later as McDougal got on in age and I moved out of the house. A dog showed up at work one morning. He was huge and so sweet. I wanted to call him McLovin (not because of the movie “Superbad” but because he was so sweet and because of my family’s love for putting Mc in our dog’s names). My mom tried so hard to find him another home but he was so energetic that no one else could keep him very long. So into the Morgan house he came, and in true Morgan fashion he got a new name, McGreggor, yes my family doesn’t disappoint. McGreggor was the biggest dog I think my family had ever owned and yes for some people he was very intimidating but really he just wanted people to love on him. In fact you wouldn’t have to do anything he’d do all the work, if you put your hand off the edge of the couch he would just rub his head under it so you wouldn’t have to actually move your hand he was very considerate like that.

A few months after bringing McGreggor home, McDougal took a turn for the worse. By this point he was 16 years old and he’d lived a long life. McDougal passed away about 4 years ago this month. I was devastated because he and I had been so close. I felt horrible about it because I wasn’t there with him in his last days because I was having a personal crisis of my own and being very selfish. I remember going over to my parents’ house and laying with him on the floor, crying, and telling him how much I loved him and begging him to hang on for just a little bit longer because I needed him.

When McDougal passed it was just Sassy and McGreggor and once again my mom said “no more dogs”, and for a while she was able to keep that promise. McGreggor passed away very tragically after being hit by a car after jumping the gate at my parents’ house and Sassy died very old a very happy after a long life with my family being very well-loved.

In April of 2009 I while in the bliss of a new relationship adopted a puppy with my boyfriend. I being the book nerd I am named him Harper Scout Lee after the author and main character of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Scout, a lab/collie mix, became my world. We would go to the dog park, downtown, once I took him into work with me in my purse (he was very small at the time) because he wouldn’t stay in the car for me to go in by myself. But as puppies so often do he got bigger and my boyfriend and I had to move into a smaller apartment. It started out as only for a week but he ended up moving in with my parents who had been dog free for about a year. My dad, who really is a saint and a dog whisperer, was able to turn Scout, who was very rambunctious, into a well-behaved young gentleman. He can even shake now!!

This brings us up to today, I’m still living with the same boyfriend in the same tiny apartment but as I said before a home isn’t complete with out a furry child to call your own. Two summers ago I was house sitting for a friend whose son and daughter-in-law had just moved out leaving their cat behind. While I was staying at her house their cat just attached herself to me, she would run up to the kitchen door and jump up to the window attaching herself to the curtain when I would get there and she would snuggle right up next to me when I would go to bed at night. But she also had this feisty little streak and that’s where she earned her name Elizabeth Bennett (yes, I am a book nerd), or Lizzy for short. She does tend to have an attitude but really what cat doesn’t? But when she snuggles up next to me in bed at night it just feels like she needs me and that makes all the scratches and bites worth it.

So that’s it, something I feel very strongly about, a house is not a home without a furry baby or two. I’m sorry if I rambled, but really isn’t that the true test of something you feel strongly about?

The Satisfaction of a List

So I’m not really a list maker (to-do or otherwise) but when I saw this prompt I had to do it, so please forgive me if I ramble.

10 Best Books Ever Written (Or Books I’ll Make my Daughter Read to Keep Her from Becoming Bella Swan)

1. To Kill a Mockingbird– The relationship between Scout and her father Atticus is amazing and the kind of relationship I think every little girl should have with her father. The story of Tom Robinson’s trial is heroic and heartbreaking all at once and it is clear to see why Atticus Finch is considered one of the greatest heroes in literature.

2. Pride and Prejudice– Jane Austen’s most well-known novel is one of my favorites. Elizabeth Bennett, Austin’s feisty heroin, is someone I think any girl should aspire to be. She refused to conform to what society wanted and wouldn’t settle for the first man who proposed to her instead choosing to wait until she found love on her own terms.

3. Charlotte’s Web– This is the book that made me want to become a writer. My love for this book can be summed up in one quote; “Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” I have a deep fear of spiders but I put that all aside for Charlotte’s Web.

4. A Time to Kill– I will admit that even though I read this book in early high school I really gained a new appreciation for it when I read the John Grisham used “To Kill a Mockingbird” as his inspiration. In my mind I kind of believe that Grisham was seeking justice for Tom Robinson’s unfair verdict.

5. The Hunger Games Trilogy– I liked the character of Katness and the fact that she pushed herself to be so strong and to lead a revolution. The more personal reason for choosing this series is because I read it at a time when I was so depressed that it brought me back out of my shell.

6. A Light in the Attic– Really what can I say about Shel Silverstein? I have always loved his poems whether they’re happy or sad, and the illustrations make it 100 times more entertaining!

7. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare– They’re classic and eternal. A must read for anyone.

8. Atonement– An amazing story that shows the reader how a false accusation can change the course of an entire family.

9. The Great Gatsby– F. Scott. Fitzgerald captured the roaring 20’s so well with a story that is still relevant today.

10. The Yearling– a book both my grandmother and my mother made me read but by the end of it I was glad I’d read it. A must-read for anyone from Florida and after you read it you have to visit Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ home in Cross Creek, Florida.

And there you have it, some of the greatest books in my opinion. Feel free to comment and tell me some of your favorites.

The Randomness That is Katy Beth Morgan

So here I am on day one, and here are 20 random facts about me. Prepare to be shocked, scared, or surprised!

1. I believe that all of life’s problems can be solved with chocolate. (But really am I alone in this?)
2. For a while I thought I had the world figured out. (What a joke that turned out to be!)
3. My grandmother used to read to me from her books for her computer class to get me to go to sleep when I was a baby. Which is why I think that to this day I’m good with computers (well that and my IT manager father) and love to read.
4. I started swimming competitively in 3rd grade and I loved it so much that I kept competing until I graduated high school. In fact I miss competitive swimming to this day.
5. I dream of owning my own island in Bora Bora that my friends and family can come visit.
6. I believe in ghosts.
7. I was raised on Jimmy Buffett but I wonder if I only like him because it’s a comfort and a reminder of my past or if I actually like his music. (I hope it’s the last one)
8. The book “Charlotte’s Web” made me want to become a writer… well that and my 3rd grade teacher Ms. McGee.
9. I can’t ever hate a person now matter how badly they treat me. I think that hate wastes too much energy.
10. Even though I’m happy on the outside I can be very sad on the inside and I don’t really like to show it because I don’t want people to be sad too. But despite that I still consider myself an optimist at heart.
11. I feel like I was made for something bigger than what I have now.
12. I can quote “The Princess Bride”, “Top Gun”, “Casino Royale”, “Ten Things I Hate About You,” and “The Dark Knight” word for word, in fact watching these movies with me is really no fun because you won’t actually hear the movie. Actually this is kind of sad because it means that I have no life!
13. I find comfort in my writing.
14. I don’t like winter… or at least the cold. I live with this philosophy if it’s going to get cold at least snow enough to where I can’t leave my house but if not don’t get cold at all. I guess that’s the Florida in me.
15. My grandmother made me the bookworm and the history nerd that I am today.
16. In fact my grandmother was such a huge part of my life that not a single day goes by that I don’t want to call her to tell her about something that I’ve seen or read. I miss her.
17. I want nothing more than to get lost in Ireland somewhere to write and take pictures.
18. I read “To Kill a Mockingbird” at least once a year because I feel like it is one of the greatest books ever written.
19. I’m working on my first novel and I have dreams of seeing it on The New York Times Bestseller List and on shelves of awesome stores like Barnes and Noble.
20. I can express myself better in writing than I can when I speak.

Bonus:
21. Back when I first got email I would check my account like 5 times a day even though no one really had my address so I wasn’t getting anything but junk mail at the time but still I thought it was cool.
22. Despite everything I still believe that love conquers all. (The Beatles used the word “love” 613 times in all of their songs, maybe they were on to something.) And that true happiness can be achieved no matter where you are in your life right now.
23. I have always thought that words are a very powerful weapon and should be used wisely.
24. I love the beach and the sound of waves crashing on the shore is one of my favorite sounds.
25. I absolutely love cooking for my friends and family.

And that’s it, I actually gave you all five bonus facts because once I started typing I really couldn’t stop myself (I think that’s part of the plan). So that’s it the randomness that is my mind. Stay tuned… I’ll be back tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

And now for something completely different….

In a much-needed effort to get my creative juices flowing I have decided to take part in a 30 day blogging challenge. Over the next 30 days I will be discussing my views on things as simple as random facts about myself to the slightly more complex like how I’d like to be remembered and my thoughts on mainstream music. If any of my friends or family still read this then please feel free to chime in with any thoughts you may have about my incessant ramblings.

My Topics for the Next 30 Days:

Day 1: 20 Random Facts About Myself- let’s see how many of you I can shock and scare with some of these.
Day 2: Something I Feel Strongly About- this might turn into a two-part blog because I tend to ramble when I get on my soapbox.
Day 3: A Book I Love- probably another two-part blog because I see most of my books as children and I have so many that I love.
Day 4: Five Pet Peeves- I think that’s about all the pet peeves I have so that works!
Day 5: Things I’d Like to Say to an Ex- so many things were left unsaid.
Day 6: My Views on Mainstream Music- I have so many opinions about music!
Day 7: What I Did Today- that will either interest you or bore you to tears hopefully it’s the first one.
Day 8: My Favorite Movie- this one should be interesting.
Day 9: How Important I Think Education Is- one that I’d like to dedicate to my sister.
Day 10: Put My Music Player on Shuffle and Write the First 10 Songs that Play- hopefully I won’t embarrass myself here.
Day 11: My Relationship with My Parents- I can already feel the tears coming.
Day 12: Five Male Attractive Celebrities- also known as my blog to drool over.
Day 13: Five Things I Would Hope to be Remembered For- I hope my list of things I want to be remembered for is longer then the list of things I don’t want to be remembered for.
Day 14: What I Wore Today- I’m sure you’ll be beside yourselves with anticipation.
Day 15: What My Zodiac Sign Says About Me and if I Agree With It- should be cool because I do enjoy reading my horoscope.
Day 16: Something I Think “What if…” About- the list is long but distinguished.
Day 17: Something I’m Proud Of- I’m looking forward to this.
Day 18: A Problem That I’ve Had- who doesn’t have problems?! It’s called living!
Day 19: Five Items I Lust After- I’ll post pictures to go with said items.
Day 20: My Fears- my mind is a dark and scary place.
Day 21: What Has Been the Most Difficult Thing I Have Had to Forgive- not for the faint of heart.
Day 22: Describe My Most Embarrassing Moment- I’ll have plenty of time to narrow it down to just one…
Day 23: Something I Miss- this one will be tough.
Day 24: Five Words/Phrases That Make Me Laugh- I tend to be a giggly person so this will be funny.
Day 25: Something I Worry About- this will be another long list.
Day 26: Things I Like and Dislike About Myself- I’m working on making the list of likes longer then the dislikes right now.
Day 27: A Quote I Try to Live By- there are more than one because I there are so many I love.
Day 28: Somewhere I’d Like to Move and Somewhere I’d Like to Visit- pictures to follow.
Day 29: Five Weird Things I Like- “I’m not weird I’m limited edition!”
Day 30: One Think I’m Excited About- I’m actually excited about a lot really.