Here’s a very quick post as I recover from the day’s adventures. Yesterday, as Bill and I were on our way to Brno, I happened to read a human interest story that was shared by People.com. It was about a US mail carrier who happened to see a customer’s beagle after she’d been bitten by a copperhead snake. The dog, name of Ginger, had been left outside while her family wasn’t home. The postal carrier was kind enough to take the dog to the vet after leaving her owners a message on their ring camera.
I noticed the couple who owned the dog, name of Kelsey and Aaron Proctor, were understandably relieved when Ginger was helped by the postal worker, Holle Keene Prigmore. And I think Prigmore went above and beyond the call of duty when she helped Ginger, who might not have survived a venomous snake bite. One thing that disturbed me, though was amid the many compliments the Proctors and Prigmore got, there were some people who posted legitimate concern for Ginger. Apparently, it’s a normal thing for her to be left outside while her owners are working.
Now… don’t get me wrong. I grew up in rural Virginia. I know some people let their dogs roam at will, especially out in the country. However, I also know, having had one dog stolen and another hit by a car, that I won’t leave any dog of mine outside unattended. Too many bad things can happen. A snakebite would be bad enough, but I have experienced losing a dog to dognapping, and it was absolutely devastating. That was even worse than my first dog being hit and killed by a car, back in the 80s.
Ginger is a beagle, so she probably likes to hunt. Hopefully, she’s been spayed. It really is a lucky thing that the postal carrier saw her after she was bitten and was willing to help. Things might not have ended so well for Ginger, otherwise. Her owners say she is on the mend.
I noticed that Kelsey Proctor was answering almost everyone who commented on her negligence in leaving her dog outside, unattended. It seemed to me to be very immature behavior, especially when she wrote to one woman that she wasn’t going to let Ginger pee in her house. As someone who has cleaned up a lot of dog pee (and plenty of poop and vomit, too), I’d much rather have a dog have an accident on a rug than have one get very sick or die because I couldn’t be bothered to make sure the dog was safe. Moreover, there are liability issues, too. What if your dog hurts someone or another dog? What if she gets hit by a car and causes damage to a vehicle, or somehow otherwise damages another person’s property? Someone could pick her up thinking she’s a stray, or turn her in to animal control. I just don’t understand taking the risk. And I don’t understand her shitty responses to people who are pointing out the obvious dangers of leaving her dog outside alone.
Kelsey’s response is to tell people she’d love for them to come over and walk Ginger while she’s at work. Maybe, if she can’t properly take care of her dog’s needs while she’s working, she shouldn’t have a dog. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kelsey finds this post and thinks about slamming me for writing my opinion and sharing it with the masses. But, as someone who’s had dogs in my life for over 40 years, I know I’m not wrong about this. Ginger didn’t have to be bitten by a snake. She wouldn’t have been, if she hadn’t been sitting outside alone. Thank God the postal carrier was willing and able to help her before she suffered more than she already had.
I saw that Kelsey also felt that the comments regarding her negligence were “negative”, and the people who wrote them were at fault. No, I’d say Kelsey and her husband were at fault for not securing their dog in a safe place. And yes, people are going to comment on that, and that doesn’t make them “negative”. They are simply advocating for a family member who can’t speak up for herself. I think Kelsey is immature for thinking the only responses she’s due are positive ones… and I think she’s naive if she thinks everyone is going to be “nice” to her after sharing this story. That’s not reality when it comes to the Internet. People on the Internet can be mean, and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you say. It’s part of the experience of having those fifteen minutes of fame.
Anyway, I hope Ginger makes a complete recovery and enjoys a long and happy life. I’m not going to share a photo of the hapless dog. Instead, have a look at our majestic and dearly departed Arran, who was suffering from cancer a year ago, before we lost him in March. Arran was never left outside alone, so he lived to be about 14.
Happy Friday, everybody. We have beautiful weather this morning. The sun is shining, and the weather report says the temperatures will top out at about 84 degrees, which is a bit warmer than it’s been, but still not super hot. I’ll take that over some of the weather I’ve been reading about in other locations in the world. I am, for damned sure, glad I don’t live in Texas anymore, even though I still vote there. The extreme weather is just one reason why I am grateful we’re not living there anymore. Another is because of the extreme wildlife in Texas.
This morning, as Bill and I were eating breakfast, I was reading The New York Times, and I came across the bizarre story of what happened to Texas resident, Peggy Jones, late last month. I’ve run out of free articles to share, so here’s the CNN link.
Peggy Jones, age 64, and her husband, Wendell, have been married for 45 years, and they have four grandchildren. The couple own an investment property in Silsbee, Texas, which is about one hundred miles north of Beaumont. The property has been in their family since 1850. It takes about three hours to mow the grass– and that’s with tractors. But the mowing work has to be done, and Peggy and Wendell Jones have been doing it together without issue for many years.
July 25th seemed like an ordinary Texas day, with temperatures climbing into the triple digits. Peggy was out on her tractor, far from the treeline, mowing the grass. All of a sudden, out of the clear blue sky, a dark colored, four-and-a-half foot long snake landed on her arm. It immediately tightly coiled itself around her forearm. Naturally, Peggy started screaming bloody murder, while trying to remove the serpent, which responded by coiling even tighter and striking at her face. Fortunately, Peggy was wearing her glasses, so the snake’s bites weren’t making contact with her face.
As Peggy struggled to knock the snake off of her arm, her tractor continued to creep forward. She screamed for help but Wendell was in the front yard, and he couldn’t hear his wife’s cries. The noise from Wendell’s own tractor, and the sound of nearby traffic, were drowning out Peggy’s hysterical shrieks.
Then, just when Peggy thought things couldn’t get worse, along came a pissed off hawk, who had come to reclaim the unlucky reptile. Apparently, the mighty hawk had planned to have the snake over for dinner and wasn’t about to accept the snake’s regrets. 😉 The hawk swooped down and grabbed the snake, but it was wrapped so tightly around Peggy’s forearm that her arm was forced upward as the hawk tried to fly away with its uncooperative prey. Again and again the hawk unsuccessfully tried to take the serpent, beating its wings in Peggy’s face and obscuring her vision, as she tried not to fall off the tractor or get bitten by the snake.
Finally, after about four swoops, the hawk was able to recapture the snake. It flew off with its prize, leaving a stunned, shocked, and traumatized Peggy in its wake. She looked down at her arm and saw that the hawk had mangled it pretty well. Peggy’s forearm was covered in scratches, puncture wounds, bruises, and cuts, and it was bleeding profusely. She said the pain was incredibly intense, and she was still screaming and hollering when her husband finally became aware of what had happened.
Wendell hadn’t seen the joint snake and hawk attack, but he soon found his wife in complete hysterics. The two went to a hospital, where medical professionals cleaned and bandaged the wounds and gave Peggy a course of antibiotics. The story was so strange that, according to Wendell’s Facebook account of the attack, even the doctor wanted to know if Peggy was on some kind of hallucinogenic drug and had just imagined the whole thing. Fair warning. If you click the link, you will see a photo of Peggy’s torn up arm. It’s pretty gruesome looking.
According to the multiple accounts I’ve now read about this extraordinary incident, Peggy was sure this was how she was going to die… in what I think is an utterly absurd way. She screamed out to Jesus as she tried to survive the attack, not just by a potentially venomous snake, but also by a hungry and tenacious bird of prey with very sharp talons.
Peggy’s glasses were chipped from the snake’s repeated strikes, and they found a substance on them that might have been snake venom, although the stuff was never tested. Fortunately, the couple reported that Peggy never experienced any symptoms of a venomous snakebite that time, although according to the article in the New York Times, Peggy was also bitten by a different snake two years ago. I sure hope Peggy has good health insurance. This incident is probably going to cost a bundle in medical bills.
Naturally, Peggy’s trauma and suffering isn’t confined to just the physical pain of the injuries she received from the attack. She’s now having nightmares, and has said that they range from a re-enactment of the attack to seeing snakes all over the place in her dreams. Honestly, as someone who is a bit prone to having phobias, I can hardly blame her for being completely freaked out about this. How does a person even process such a strange situation, let alone recover from it? It’s like something out of the Bible. Or, maybe, a Desperate Housewives plot? It’s just insane! I think it would make me agoraphobic.
It just goes to show you that life can be incredibly weird. You never know when you’ll be faced by a completely crazy threat of some sort. Peggy was just trying to mow the grass when she got attacked by wild animals… and not even from the ground. Since when do snakes fly? We certainly wouldn’t expect to have one fall out of the sky, right? But apparently, Peggy says she’s seen hawks catching snakes all the time and dropping them on fences, only to come down and pick them up again. I guess it never occurred to her that she might serve as a “fence” to a snake with a strong will to live and a hungry and very determined hawk, who also wanted to live, and needed to eat…
Peggy and Wendell Jones have seen the hawk flying around their property and they think it lives nearby. Hopefully, it will keep a tighter grip on its prey, the next time it hankers for a hunk of snake meat. Or, at least we can hope that next time, there isn’t a human being there to break the snake’s fall.
I am very impressed by Peggy’s pluck, as instead of immediately finding a good guy with a gun to dispatch the hawk, she says “I consider myself to be the luckiest person alive… I was attacked by a snake and a hawk and I lived to tell about it.” She wasn’t just attacked by a snake and a hawk… but a snake and a hawk at the same time! That’s a story for her grandchildren to pass down… not to mention the doctors who treated her wounds. File it in the “now I’ve seen everything” category!
I’m sure if I sat here long enough and thought about it, I could come up with a life lesson or moral to attach to this situation. Something along the lines of, “you never know what will happen when you come between someone’s life and someone else’s dinner…” It seems almost oddly symbolic, too… given the crazy political situation in Texas right now, and how certain people in that state are preying on the weak and gentle to stay in power and keep being “fed” money and power.
This story makes me even more glad to be living outside of Texas… where there are literal venomous snakes, as well as political ones.
Well… that about does it for today’s fresh post. Got to talk to one of Bill’s colleagues, rescue the laundry, practice guitar, and walk the dog. Perhaps I’ll be back tomorrow… Perhaps you will be back, too.
Warning– this is a rather personal rant… It may not be of any interest to people who don’t know me. Or, on the other hand, maybe some of you strangers can relate. Either way, I won’t accept any nasty or shaming comments from anyone who doesn’t know the backstory.
I had a bad dream this morning, just before I woke up. I feel pretty sure I know what prompted the nightmare, much of which I was able to remember. I haven’t historically paid a lot of attention to my dreams, but since Bill started studying Carl Jung, who was very much into analyzing dreams, I’ve been trying to pay closer mind to my own dreams. Bill likes to analyze them. Since I’m also a born storyteller, it makes sense that I’d pay mind to the “movies in my head”, even if they’re horrifying.
Here’s what I remember from this morning’s dream. I had just arrived at my alma mater, Longwood University. Or, that’s what I assumed, even though it didn’t look like Longwood’s campus. I was there with my roommate, a non-descript female. I was on basically friendly terms with her, but we weren’t best friends or anything. We were walking around the campus. It was hot and dusty, and in a weird way, the campus kind of resembled an open air airport terminal (no idea why). Maybe it’s because my adulthood took off from my years at Longwood.
We passed a business that looked like an airport bar, except there was no roof. My roommate needed to use the restroom, so we parted ways, and I was left alone. I decided to take a shortcut across campus. I was dressed in my usual outfit during my college days… shorts and a t-shirt, with tennis shoes.
Just as I was about to head into a hilly, wooded area, a huge, fat, anaconda type snake streaked out in front of me. It didn’t stop; it raced past with astonishing speed. It was quickly followed by another anaconda that was just as fast and slick. One might expect a person to pause continuing to walk into the woods after seeing two huge snakes. For some reason, I continued onward, in spite of being startled by the snakes.
I took a deep breath and stepped beyond the trees of the dusty street where I had been walking with my roommate. After I’d walked a few steps into the woods, I noticed there was a lot of detritus and junk in the woods. It was kind of trashy and uncultivated, with a lot of sticker bushes and weeds. It was not an area where a lot of people walked, but obviously, people threw a lot of trash in there. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to try to take a shortcut that way, but then I suddenly got this feeling of dread and danger…
As I was about to take another step, I was confronted by this very attractive woman in a long dress made of black satin. She had jet black hair and very pale skin. Her hair was perfectly arranged in a poofy bun. She wore bright red lipstick. The woman in the featured photo looks a little like her, except the woman in my dream had much paler skin and didn’t have bangs. Her face looked a bit more like the photo of Carmen Miranda, below… She was very attractive, but was also clearly evil and toxic. She immediately started attacking me.
I started fighting back. The woman in black gave a good fight, but in the end, I killed her with my bare hands. There was a lot of blood, and despite the fact that she fought back vigorously, it wasn’t actually that hard to kill her. As she surprised me with her attack, I found some kind of superhuman strength I didn’t know I had in me. And while I felt some pangs of regret at killing this attractive, beguiling, but very dangerous woman, I felt kind of vindicated and exhilarated…
Then I was attacked by a second woman. She seemed to be the sister of the first woman. She had a similar hairstyle– jet black hair in a bun, red lipstick, and a bun. But she wore a red sequined dress. I killed her with my bare hands, too. It was easier to vanquish the woman in the red dress, though no less bloody or horrifying.
I stepped out of the wooded area, breathless, panicked, and terrified. I am not a violent person at all, but I killed both of these women with surprising speed and strength fueled by rage. Of course, they attacked me first. But there I was with blood on my hands, having dispatched these attackers with my bare hands.
Then I woke up…
I told Bill about the nightmare, and together we figured out what it was probably about. Yesterday, we discovered that Ex, older daughter, and Ex’s daughter with #3 all went to see Bill’s stepmother this week. Ex just had a birthday, and has been clamoring for money in a crowd funder. At this writing, she’s managed to raise $500… but it was her own money that was contributed. She claims she needs the money to build a fence for her youngest child, a teenaged boy with severe autism. According to her fundraiser, the boy can’t go outside without at least three people surrounding him, because he runs away and winds up in dangerous situations or meets with “inappropriate people”– ie; homeless people, when he’s not wearing anything but his underwear. I swear, this is a story we’ve heard from a couple of good sources. I don’t know where the boy is right now, with his usual “caretakers” away from home. Maybe #3 is taking time off work, or they found a place to put him. Evidently, he did not go on the trip with Ex and two of her daughters.
Anyway… I figure that Ex decided to visit Bill’s stepmother, because she’s trying to maintain ties to Bill’s family, not because she loves them, but because she wants to exploit them. And Bill’s stepmother is an immature, needy person who will quickly condemn or forgive people on a whim. So, while Ex refused to let Bill’s daughters have a relationship with him, or his parents, she would, on occasion, let the girls and her eldest son see Bill’s dad and stepmother, as she told them lies about Bill. Stepmother told us during my last visit, which was years ago, that Ex had a habit of showing up at their house, letting her kids run amok, and treating her rudely. Stepmother and late FIL would give her expensive gifts or spend money on her, and Ex never appreciated it. She would make rude comments about Bill’s stepmother’s religion, or other things. Remember, Ex actually staged her divorce demand at the in-laws’ house over Easter in 2000. The in-laws have aided and abetted Ex in her schemes on many occasions.
I don’t get along well with Bill’s stepmother. I don’t think she’s as toxic as Ex is, but she is very manipulative and needy, and she will do things like send guilt mongering text messages to Bill, demanding that he come visit. She won’t visit people herself; the onus is on them to come to her. She used to do it to Bill all the time, but now she’s doing it to his youngest daughter, who is a busy mom of two young kids with another one on the way. Youngest daughter lives several states away from SMIL, and doesn’t really have the time or energy to drive several states to visit her.
Adding to this is the fact that SMIL’s adopted daughter doesn’t have children and has recently reconnected with her birth mom. I don’t know how much time they’re spending together, but if I know SMIL, I figure she’s probably feeling alone and betrayed… which would make her a sitting duck for Ex. FIL died in November 2020, so I’m sure SMIL has lost some of her resolve. And Ex needs money, and wasn’t invited to FIL’s funeral. I would not put it past her to try to get SMIL to give her money and/or give older daughter something from FIL’s estate, even though they shunned and disowned Bill and, off and on, his father and stepmother. They shunned Bill’s mother completely; younger daughter is only just now getting to know her grandmother, and they’ve apparently really hit it off.
Now… none of this is any of my business. I only know about it because younger daughter told Bill, and Bill told me. And, frankly, as far as I’m concerned, Ex and SMIL probably deserve each other. SMIL made it pretty clear that she’s on Ex’s side, even though Ex was extremely abusive and exploitative to Bill, and has done some things that, frankly, should have landed her in a prison cell. I know this upsets Bill, though, because it’s like Ex has hijacked his family. Ex wouldn’t even know Bill’s stepmother if they hadn’t been married. But he thinks that his stepmother has always resented him, because as a child, he needed and demanded attention from his father, on occasion. SMIL is a very possessive person. She’s immature, fickle, and treacherous. And even though she told me outright that she’s “just the stepmother”, she feels that Bill’s daughters are her grandchildren, when they’re really Bill’s mother’s grandchildren. The difference is, MIL was more than willing to share… SMIL wasn’t. She, like Ex, hates Bill’s mom. I think she probably hates me, too.
SMIL told me, years ago, that none of this was “any of my business”, since I was just Bill’s wife. However, I would submit that Bill’s kids and grandchildren are even less SMIL’s business, since she’s just the “stepgrandmother”. And she chooses to be involved with Ex, in spite of all of the truly nasty shit she’s done over the years. It wasn’t her husband’s income that went into keeping Ex’s household afloat while they were simultaneously and illegally denied any contact with the children. Why is it that SMIL can be as angry as she wants with anyone she pleases, but the rest of us have to cater to her bullshit and aren’t supposed to be upset with her?
So why is it me who “killed” the two women in my dream? Because I think they blame me for the divorce, even though I didn’t have anything to do with it. The truth is, I didn’t even know Bill when he and Ex split up. They had been separated for three months before I knew Bill was married, plus we were chatting online. I didn’t meet him in person until almost a full year after the divorce. However, Ex told her kids that Bill cheated on her with me, when actually, she cheated on Bill with #3. She also cheated with Bill on her first husband. And yet, I’m the one who is painted as a whore and an interloper.
I think SMIL resents the fact that I married Bill, making it impossible that he would get back together with Ex. She has trouble with change. She also doesn’t like my personality, because I don’t cooperate with her manipulative ploys or give in to her childish bullshit. I have a strong personality that a lot of people don’t enjoy. However, you will always know where you stand with me. I am who I am. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I am basically a decent person.
SMIL asked me, last time I saw her, if Bill was ever abusive to me in the bedroom. She asked this, because Ex told her that he was abusive to her. I laughed and said, “no”… because Bill doesn’t have a single mean bone in his body. Anything they did in the bedroom was consensual on her part. However, it wasn’t always consensual on Bill’s part. More than once, Ex told Bill she should slit his throat and, in fact, she did violently sexually assault him at least once, and left scars that a doctor noticed during an exam. Still, even though I told SMIL that Bill isn’t an abuser, at least not to me, she chooses to believe Ex, who has taken advantage of her and FIL for many years.
Why were the two women in my nightmare so attractive? Ex and SMIL are not exactly sexy women, especially not these days. Well… I think it’s because even though I am horrified and angry about their conduct, particularly toward supposed loved ones, I find both of them fascinating characters. Like I said, I am a natural storyteller. I like to write fiction. I used to do it a lot, until a certain unrelated “snake in the grass” decided to get into my business. If I weren’t Bill’s wife, I think SMIL and Ex would make excellent villains in a novel. But, trust me, neither of them are the type to wear satin or sequins.
There’s nothing we can do about Ex and SMIL cozying up to each other. We don’t care about any inheritance from Bill’s dad. However, I do think it would be a real shame if Ex manages to swindle SMIL for money or property she can sell. She is not above doing that. She’s done it repeatedly in the past. I see her posting all sorts of shit on the Internet that makes her look like an empath, but she’s anything but that. She is a true wolf in sheep’s clothing… and some people, like SMIL, will simply never learn not to tangle with her. They deserve each other. They really do. I just hope younger daughter realizes that she doesn’t have any obligation toward them. She’s an adult with her own family, and she has plenty of her own problems to worry about. I hope the next time SMIL sends her a “guilt” text, but then refuses to answer the phone with younger daughter calls her, younger daughter just blocks her number. She doesn’t owe her, or her mother, a goddamned thing.
Hmm… maybe I’m in some of their nightmares, too… It wouldn’t surprise me. I’m everybody’s favorite scapegoat.
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