Welcome to Dee's Pad

My life as a writer, and as a wife, mother, and grandmother.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bad Icarus

Oh boy. Icarus is 15 lb of attitude, ya know? Well last night when the dogs went out to do their thing, the next door neighbor's dog must've been out to. They live on 3 acres and we have 1 acre, with half-an-acre fenced in for the dogs to run.

I heard the three monsters barking, so I went out to get them. Zeus, usually the last one in, came first, followed by Maggie. Icarus generally comes right in. But no Icarus. I called and called for him.

Now y'all remember we had that bear drop by recently, so I worried he came and got little Icarus. I got the flashlight and cane and went out into the yard yelling for Icarus and looking for any escape routes. There were none.
About five more minutes went by and all I could think was "that darned dog better not have been taken off by some creature. I just spent $35 on him today getting his haircut and bath."

Then I saw the neighbor's lights on--2 acres over. He yelled, "I think we have your dog over here." He returned the monster who was now dirty.
The next morning I went out and checked for holes or something Icarus could've climbed on to get over. Everything was secure.

Icarus is part cat we think. He jumps off the deck 7 feet off the ground, he jumps half way up the screen door and we assumed he jumped so high that he went right over the fence and into the neighbor's yard! There's no other way he could've escaped.

Now he's being followed around by this lady with the cane that steers him back to the house--and not into the neighbor's yard!

Bad Icarus!

Icarus and the baby

dogs, writing and family
Category: Pets and Animals

It seems my dogs just keep getting into trouble. Today when I got home, my middle dog, Zeus, was in the backyard. Thank heaven it's fenced in! It seems Doug thought he brought him inside before he left for work. The weather was nice, so Zeus was okay--but really happy to see we arrived home.

However, Icarus decided he should beat him up for staying outdoors! Really, if only dogs could talk!

We had Autumn and Ashley over on Friday. Zeus is afraid of babies and steers clear of them. Icarus is curious and keep coming over to get a closer look at Autumn--until she reached over and grabbed his beard!

We're thankful he's very gentle. Although he had a look of terror in his eyes, he never growled or tried to bite. Once we got her to let go of Icarus, he stayed away from her. Once, he sat back when she was in her seat, watched her and made some barking noises. Then he got out of Dodge.

Maggie, the shepard, on the other hand, thinks babies are for mothering. "Come here, I'll wash your face and lick what little hair you have. Hey, maybe it'll grow faster if I lick it--you know--a little Rogain."

We had a nice Thanksgiving at daughter Michelle's in Sarasota. Most of the family was there, but Autumn's grandfather and step-grandmother and step uncle couldn't attend. Their baby is due in a few weeks and step-granny wasn't allowed to travel.

Yeah, this sounds strange, doesn't it? You see, Autumn's pappaw will have two daughters--22 years apart. So at the ripe old age of 6 months, Autumn will become Aunt Autumn to Emma.

Did y'all see Oprah's show on Monday? Need idea she had. Wish we could all do the good those people did.

That's it for now. Y'all take care. Come sit a spell. I might even bake some of those homemade biscuits everyone likes so much.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Fuzzy Perms and dogs

Have you ever got a perm and then looked into the mirror to find out you looked like fuzzy wuzzy? Now this is okay for my curly dog, Icarus. He's supposed to look like fuzzy wuzzy. But I'm not!
So I finally get the courage to return to the beauty shop where I turned into fuzzy wuzzy. They all looked at me and more or less gasped. Now I have to wonder how many people who looked at me shopping at the grocery store turned around and said, "Oh my gawd! That poor woman. Look at her hair!"
On the other hand, had I been Icarus with his cute curls, they'd have said, "Isn't he a cute little teddybear?"
So today, the beauty shop pities me and gave me a treatment to condition my fuzz. And they dye my hair so the golden fuzz doesn't show. Then I'm put under a dryer because blow drying isn't good for me for at least a week. I return home no longer a fuzz head. Nope. Now I'm a shorter version of "FLAT HEAD."
And you wondered why I have no photo? Now you know.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dee Gatrell's Writing News

This evening my neighbor called to say there was a bear in their trash and he was a good sized bear. We've lived in this house for two years and never had a bear visit before.

So I yelled for my husband to get the dogs into the house quickly.

The bear sightings were called in to me--it's at Dave's house now. Then I'm sitting her on my computer and I hear "kaboom." Ok, I admit I jumped a mile. Hubby looked and there was the bear who pulled out the trashbag from our big trashcan. I doubt he got anything good to eat in there. In fact, I think he was ticked off because when my husband glanced out the window, the bear growled at him.

I called 911 and the operator kept saying, "Now, don't go outside. Stay inside." Is she crazy? Did she really think I'd go outside when there was a bear out there?

I asked if she could give me the phone number of the wildlife office. She said she didn't have it, but in a few minutes she got it. I called them. They said he'd just dump all the trashcans looking for food and then should leave.

Hope someone else had better stuff in their trashcans then we did!

In the morning, my dogs are not going outside until it's light and I'm going out with them. Generally, since we have a large fenced-in yard, I let them go out for half an hour in the mornings. They ain't gonna be happy with mama tomorrow!


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Kid scares dog

I had three of my grandchildren over yesterday. The girls are 14 and 15 and they are happy as pigs in a poke just to either watch TV or use the computer. And then of course, Gammy has to have their special foods that they like to eat.

On the other hand, my 7-year-old grandson is a bit hyper and has a hard time staying tuned into any one thing for longer than two minutes. As for food, he ate two bananas and a PB sandwich. He did have some crackers for a snack. Now, he's as cute as a button and we love him to pieces, but he scares our one dog.

Let me just say that Icarus is 15 pounds of attitude and he loves everyone. He greets you with "Hey, aren't I just the cutest little thing? Pet me, hug me, tell me I'm a good boy." Then he snarls at his brother, Zeus, with, "Get away from here. These people are supposed to like me best." And poor big ole Maggie. She wags her long tail just hoping someone will notice her and not just the little guys.

Icarus got his attention with the grandson. He hugged him, and hugged him, and picked him up. By the end of the day Icarus would look at the boy and slink away--something we've never seen him do before. He'd jump in my lap or anyone's lap just to escape the boy! I swear he let out a long sigh when my grandson left. He liked the 14-year-old granddaughter. The older granddaughter likes cats, she isn't a dog person.

Maggie likes it when someone throws a stick or a ball for her. But then she won't leave you alone. She can play for hours if she has someone willing to play that long. Zeus is happy to go outdoors and chase squirrels or catch lizards or moles--and it's disgusting when he catches the moles and lizards. He's not fast enough to catch a squirrel. As for small boys, he says hi, now leave me alone or I'll jump up and snap your nose--not hard--just to get your attention that you really need to buzz off. Everyone else is okay--just small boys drive him nuts. They want to roughhouse with him.

Well, time to get some work done--like laundry, cleaning the house, and maybe even some writing!

Till we meet again--have a great time.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Well, let me try this again. I wrote and I lost it.

The editor of True Confessions is leaving the magazine. Now this may not seem like a biggie to you, but to those of us who wrote for her, it is a biggie. She not only bought our stories, but she encouraged us as writers. And that meant a lot of us. Writing isn't as easy as people may think it is. You put your heart and soul into a piece and then it gets rejected.
Then you start all over again to see about the next thing you write. As writers, we all know that writing is subjective. What you may like, I may hate. So it all depends on who's reading your story/novel as to if it sells.
The editor of TC even called me a few times to tell me she liked what I wrote and to encourage my other writing. And that meant a lot to me.
I really want to wish her the best at whatever she does next.

She has sold a novel to Harlequin. So if you see a book by Nathasha Harris-Brooks--pick it up and buy it. As writers, we all need each other's, as well as our family and friends, support.

As readers, God, we love you. Without you, where would we be?
Everyone have a great day. And when it's not so good a day, pick up a magazine or book and read it. This will help lift your spririts!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dee Gatrell's Writing News

Dee Gatrell's Writing News
November 9, 2006

Last Tuesday I worked at the election poll in Deland and worked as a deputy dog. After more than 13 hours, I was ready to collapse when I got home. My feet and back hurt, but so did most everyone else's. We stayed busy and that was good--means a lot of people voted.
There was one young man--I think of Asian descent--he said it was his first time to vote and he grinned from ear to ear when I congratulated him.
Later, near closing time, we had a mouse that must've wanted to vote. He tried getting in the door, so we closed it. I guess he was looking for food. And he didn't scare easily. He kept coming back to where we were sitting. I took my cane and told him to scat. He looked at me with his beady little eyes and I think he was saying, "Give me some food and I'll leave you alone!" But I didn't have any food.
There was a young boy and girl waiting in the car for their mom to finish voting. The boy--of course--was fascinated and wanted to see the mouse and got out. The girl kept saying, "Close the door! I don't want the mouse in here." As brothers do, he kept teasing her.

I sent off another story to TC--hope they'll like it. Now I need to write more and more!

That's it. Nothing else new


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dee's life in short

Welcome to Dee's News!
Put up your feet, have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate--or tea if it's your preference--and feel right at home.

I live with my family in Florida. I share my home with my husband, one son and three dogs. The three dogs replaced the three grown children who now live on their own. So okay, some of us are a bit nutty for animals. We have Maggie, a rescue Belgium Shepherd, Zeus, he's supposed to be a minature white schnauzer, but he now weighs 25 lbs. Then there's our 15 pound I-have-an-attitude Icarus, also a white schauzer, who thinks he's king of the household. His favorite hobby is carrying his empty bowl around the house to let us know it's empty. Right now he's in time out. I think he's the one who just caused one of the dogs to yelp. He's known for biting them where it hurts, and then looking all innocent. "What? What did I do?"

Writing is my passion. When I was a child I would write plays and put on puppet shows for my class. My cousins and I would put on shows and charge the neighbor kids a penny to watch us.

Then I grew up and had children and the only writing I did was letter writing--long letters--telling family and friends what had happened since last I wrote. I never thought much about these letters until people started telling me how much they enjoyed reading them, that they were funny. They were? It was simply my life--and I didn't think Chris putting stones in his nose was funny. Or Michelle making faces at people in church was amusing. And then there came holy terror Diana. She couldn't keep her little hands off anything--just had to feel it, touch it. Or Doug--he had a hard time speaking. He knew what he was saying, but we didn't. He'd get frustrated and say, "No! No! Didn't say that." He speaks okay now. Well he should after all that therapy and finally making Michelle stop giving him things until he did more than grunt for them.

When I was 38 I decided to go to college. Actually, my hubby said, "Why don't you go to college?" Why? Because I'm not smart enough for college. So I went and took a creative writing class. Believe me when I say you never want to read the 10 page story all about my son's dog Max. It's hidden somewhere.

College is contagious. You go, you make it through a class. You sign up for another class--or two or three. Before you know it, you're ready to move on to the University. In my case, the University of Central Florida. I received my degree in Journalism with an emphasis on PR/Advertising.

However, in my senior year my hubby was transferred to Ohio--our home state. He had to about tie me to the bumper to get me away from Florida. Besides that, Max had to be put down two days before we left. So it was pretty miserable with three crying women who didn't want to leave Florida and had to leave the dead dog and a son who decided he didn't want to go with us to the snow.

Well, I'm sure for years later he wished he'd had gone with us. Instead, he married. He and his wife turned up in the middle of the night when we'd just moved into our house that was nearly finished. They came to visit. Stayed for five months. Long visit. Ashley was born while they were there. Then they moved back to Florida when she was 5 weeks old.

Never fear. He and Ashley returned to us when she was two years old. And stayed until she was 19. Of course, we all moved back to Florida. Those Ohio winters are miserable.

Meanwhile, I went to work for the Galion Inquirer as a staff reporter. And since none of the kids whom I worked with wanted to do the Farm Page, I took it over as Farm Page Editor. Whatever you wanted to know about pigs or goats--hey, I learned a lot about them. Did you know that they bred Holstein cows bigger so they can produce more milk with less feed? If you want to know more, I wrote a romantic comedy called "Take This Mop and Shove it," based on this rancher who invented them. Of course, he's made up, but a good hero who's mother refers to him as a mad scientist and wants him to quit messing with over grown cows and start his own brood of kids.

Back to Florida we moved and I jumped back into my senior year to complete my degree. Then I took a part-time job working as an educational advisor at Seminole Community College. I eventually worked full time and stayed there for 15 years.

With that came "Death Came to Dinner," a romantic suspense built around a college counselor and the characters who work there.

Also, I wrote "Coming Home" about a woman who moved away from Florida when she learned she was pregnant and was threatened by her boyfriend's father, the senator, that she had to leave or her mother would find herself out of a job and home. She inherits her uncle's groves five years later, gets some spunk and returns to take over the family home and grove. She's reunited with her son's father, who is engaged to someone else when she arrives. Never fear, all romances like to have happy endings.

Meanwhile, I write short stories for the confession magazines. I love doing those. They are fun to write. I'll have Bride Wanted: ASP in the December issue of True Confessions. They may change the title, though. And in January, I will have my story, My Texas husband wasn’t the hotshot he claimed to be. I loved writing this story. It took me back to my days of living in OK where a garden was waiting for me when I moved in. Garden? What was I to do with it? And that nasty old husband of Bobbi Jo's who died in his mistress's bed, his hateful mother who took Bobbi Jo's house and poor Bobbi Jo was left with an old ugly house and a beat up old pickup truck. Read it and find out just what happened to Bobbi Jo. Remember, the titles may be different. But you'll know Bobbi Jo when you meet her.

OK, I've rattled enough for my first blog. Y'all come sit a spell and join me from time to time. I'd love hearing from you. And I promise not to rattle this long again. I'm new at this.