Tag Archives: Animals

On Bed Bugs, Pit Bulls, and Other Crazy Stresses

Stray pit bull puppy
Pete the Pit Puppy, not long after he showed up as a stray.

Do you ever have one of those weeks?

I’ve had a lot of “those weeks” in my life, but there was one last August that was a doozy.

I started the process of publishing Summer’s Winter plus fall term at the college (the craziest time of the academic year) that same week. My elderly mom had a fall and a mysterious illness and that didn’t help the stress level any. But then came the bed bug scare and the pit bull puppy, which really made it a week to remember.

For the last few years, I’ve attended a conference in Savannah each fall for my job. Generally it’s a fabulous, rejuvenating experience. Staying in the historic district of Savannah is an experience itself, and it’s a stay in a swanky hotel, and hubby generally comes along for at least a day or so.

This one started off just as lovely. I drove down first and did the conference stuff. Dave arrived later in the day and we went strolling down River Street, and found a place to eat with a great view of the water and the bridge to South Carolina.

View River Street Savannah Georgia Riverboat
A view from the hotel. (Looking away from South Carolina.)

As we ate and watched the sunset, I felt myself finally relaxing. Then Dave dropped this line on me. “Did you know there’s a brown dog at your mamma’s house?”

Shoulders tensing. Possibly a dropped fork.

See, my mom is elderly and lives out in the country with lots of woods. It’s a magnet for people dumping their unwanted animals. I have trapped-neutered-returned more feral cats than I can count. And this would make our FOURTH stray dog in a year.

“It’s a really nice dog,” Dave continued. And he showed me a picture on his phone.

“Isn’t that a pit bull?” I said.

“I don’t know. Is it?” he said.

I’ve never had a large dog of any kind. I’m really a cat person, and I found the very words “pit bull” sort of terrifying. I thought about what we had gone through to find homes for the three little terrier puppies the past year, let alone a big brutish animal with a killer reputation, and shivered.

But hey, we were in Savannah, staying at a fabulous hotel. I decided to be like Scarlett and think of that tomorrow.

Tomorrow rolled around pretty quickly. I woke up while it was still dark to see Dave sitting in a chair by the window, slapping and scratching at his leg. Then he said, “I think there are fleas in here.”

I said something really stupid. “You don’t think this hotel has bedbugs, do you?”

I probably shouldn’t have brought that up.

Not only did we have to fill out forms for an investigation, but we had to leave all of our luggage to be inspected by the hotel’s pest-control staff.

And…I was supposed to stay in the city an extra night with a friend. Have you ever had to make a phone call to a friend and say, “Do you still want me to come stay with you? It’s possible I’m infested with vermin.”

It’s not a fun call to make. But you really find out who your friends are. Mine gallantly told me to come anyway. Of course, she had a hurt leg and had been shut up in her apartment with nothing to do for a couple of days, so it’s possible she was desperate.

I arrived at her house with absolutely nothing but the clothes on my back. I even had to make a stop to buy a toothbrush and toothpaste, because I didn’t intend to carry anything bed-buggy with me that I didn’t have to.

It all came to nothing. No bed bugs.

And, thank God, my mom recovered quickly from her fall and her illness.

Of course, there was still the incident of the cursed socks during this same trip, but that’s a whole other story for another post. And there was still the pit bull puppy, Pete…

Boy, is that another story!

Stay tuned.

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Adam’s Animals: how you can help bring this book to life!

From Kimberley Payne's Christian children's book, Adam's AnimalsToday’s guest is children’s writer Kimberley Payne. She’ll be telling us about herself, her books, her newest project–and a way for you to get involved in its publication!

Tell us about yourself

I am an award-winning author and a member of The Word Guild, Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship, and John 3:16 Marketing Network.

I combine my teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for mothers and children about family, fitness, science and faith.

Tell us about the book

My latest project is “Adam’s Animals,” a children’s activity book that features over 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each. It is the second book in the Science and Faith Matters series. The first book, “Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation,” is a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories.

Who is this book written for?

“Adam’s Animals” is ideal for 6 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 1-3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Animal Life.

 What was your inspiration for this book?

Years ago, my daughter wrote a little book called, “Did you know…fascinating and fun facts about animals around the world” as a fundraiser to go to camp. I helped her with it and loved discovering new things about God’s creation.

Do you have a favorite animal and why that one?

I loved learning about the leopard. This big cat can climb trees, run fast, and swim. He’s powerful and smart. My kind of creature!

Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?

There was a ton of research. Not only did I have to dig through the Bible to discover the animals mentioned, but then I had to research each individually to uncover five unusual facts.

What do you hope this book accomplishes?

I hope that “Adam’s Animals” will fuel the desire for children to read the Bible and to also learn more about the animals that God created.

Where can we find you?

Website: http://www.kimberleypayne.com

Blog: http://www.scienceandfaithmatters.wordpress.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/KimberleyPayne.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FitForFaith

Kickstarter Campaign:


Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6

Where can we find the book?

This is the exciting part! The book is still in manuscript form. I am hoping to bring the project to life with the direct support of friends, colleagues and family.

As the book creator, I have set a funding goal of $3500, with a deadline of February 28th, 2014. If you like my book idea, you can pledge any amount of money to make it happen.

As the book backer, you choose from a number of rewards based on the amount of financial support you pledge. For example, backers who pledge a minimum of $5, will receive a choice of one of two of my e-books: 1) Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health, OR 2) Women of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual and physical health. Backers who pledge a minium of $15 will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals.” Backers who pledge a minimum of $175 will be listed on the “Dedication” page at the back of the book PLUS will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals.”

Backing “Adam’s Animals” is more than just giving money. Writers need encouragement and you would be supporting my dream of creating a valuable resource for children and parents.

To support the creation of “Adam’s Animals” please visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamsanimals/adams-animals-a-childrens-activity-book

Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6

Here’s an excerpt from “Adam’s Animals”–the entry on the Ant (see illustration at top of page):

Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”

See also:  Proverbs 30:25

The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, wrote the Book of Proverbs – a book of wise sayings to help us live godly lives. In this verse, Solomon points out that it is foolish to be idle and lazy. He says that we should learn from the example of the ant who doesn’t laze around and wait to be told what to do, but is willing to work hard and do what needs to be done.

Did you know?

  • Ants are from the insect family
  • Ants can lift 20 times their body weight
    • Ants have two stomachs – one to hold the food for itself and one to hold food to be shared with other ants
  • There are 3 kinds of ants in a colony: the queen, the female workers, and males
  • Ants communicate by using chemicals called pheromones
  • Ants don’t have ears but they “hear” by feeling vibrations in the ground

About the Author

Kimberley Payne is an award-winning self-published writer and a member of The Word Guild, Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship, and John 3:16 Marketing Network. She has volunteered as a teacher with many children’s programs at her church, as a teacher’s aid for student’s reading, and within the library at her children’s school.  Kimberley combines her teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science and faith.

Kimberley’s website             http://www.kimberleypayne.com

About the Illustrator

The illustrator, Janis Cox, is an author, watercolour artist, wife, mother and grandma — but most of all she’s a faithful follower of Jesus. She’s been retired from teaching for over 15 years but finds herself back into her passion of working with children. Janis says, “I love painting pictures of animals and it will be a joy to create the illustrations for Kimberley’s new book. Plus working with Kimberley has always been exciting. Her enthusiasm always brings joy to my heart.”

Janis’ website           http://www.janiscox.com/

About the Publisher

Diane Roblin-Lee is the owner of byDesign Media, a custom publishing company which specializes in beautiful layouts and cover designs. With over 30 years in the publishing industry, Diane has written several bestsellers herself and takes pride in being able to help other writers to get their books out to the world. Her tag line, “From Manuscript to Market,” covers the full spectrum of services, from editing and design, to publishing and international distribution. Helping her authors find pleasure and satisfaction in the publishing process is very important to Diane.

Diane’s website       http://www.bydesignmedia.ca/