How did I get so far behind? Slackin’ around, I tell ya‘. I just gotta catch up…I can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone a whole month or two ago. I have to jot notes to myself in my phone, then I either forget to read them or can’t make heads or tails of the wisdom I was imparting anyway.
I’m determined to bring you up to date in this post, though, regaling you with dazzling canapes of deliciousness from our stops in Memphis, TN, Little Rock, AR, Vicksburg, MS, and New Orleans, LA.
The 2 Kings of Memphis
When we hit the Memphis area we dipped our toes into our first military campground, at the nearby naval base. We typically stay about an hour outside of the city, so we can sightsee but also relax and find local places to hike and bike. Military base nightly…
Paulie the Piping Plover’s Merry Misfits A Martha’s Vineyard Tale
by Christy Burbidge Illustrated by Mary Jo Helchowski
Paulie the piping plover has always been afraid of flying, and the other plovers tease him because he can’t keep up. One day, tired of being picked on, he runs away from home. On his journey he makes two new friends who also fear something in their natural habitats.
Then, a storm changes everything for the new friends. Will Paulie learn how to conquer his fear of flying to help others and himself?Paulie the Piping Plover’s Merry Misfits takes readers age 6+ on an exciting journey that celebrates differences and courage.
“Endearing illustrations of the creatures and the shoreline make you root for the friends from start to finish. A delightful bedtime book for the kids, and maybe for you, too.”—Abby Remer, Author at The Martha’s Vineyard Times
“A powerful story about acceptance and overcoming one’s fears.”—Reader’s Favorite Review
Christy is a licensed social worker at a high school outside of Boston, and is affiliated with the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB), where she serves as a Chat Host. Visit her online at www.christyburbidge.com.
About the Illustrator
Mary Jo Helchowski is a children’s book illustrator who lives In Essex, Connecticut. She received her BFA in illustration from the Lyme Academy of Fine Art in 2018, and earned a Master’s of Library and Information Sciences from Southern Connecticut State University in 2022.
Her artwork has been featured in galleries and other children’s books about everything from baseball to bumblebees. She hopes her pictures made you smile! Visit her online at www.maryjohelchowski.com.
Grace is a once-loved older dog who finds herself in the shelter, alone and confused. How did this happen? She soon realizes that puppies and young dogs are being chosen while she is being passed by. After some misguided attempts to act like a puppy, she becomes discouraged.
Can Grace once again be recognized for the wonderful family member she is? Dogs like Grace have so much to offer, and her story can help families make the life-affirming choice of an older dog.
A Place for Grace includes testimonials from rescuers who have personally chosen older dogs. Endorsed by Doreen Jakubcak, the founder of Marty’s Place, it also features photos of some of the dogs at her sanctuary.
A Place for Grace is perfect for ages 6 and up, and includes gorgeous full-color illustrations by Rhonda Van.
First time author Martha Mosley brings her love and respect for senior dogs to this story of an older dog in need of a new start. A believer in the value of the seasoned love that older dogs offer, Martha has spent a lifetime supporting rescue through fundraising and volunteerism.
When not working as an R.N., Martha spends her time reading, swimming, and gardening. She lives in New Jersey with her husband Howard, her daughter Michelle, and their three dogs: Happy and GiGi, both age 8, and Remy Martin, age 16.
About the Illustrator
Rhonda Van is an author, artist, wildlife rehabber, and lifelong animal lover. She particularly adores jackrabbits, squirrels, her animal companions, Shark Week, vegan dinners in Santa Cruz, and her husband Tony.
Rhonda has been drawing forever, but only got deeper into illustration after she started drawing the wildlife friends she cares for.
That Thing I Both Dread and Look Forward To Has Come to Pass—I Met Cats
I know that you know that I love critters. I try to be an equal opportunity critter admirer, but a loosely-guarded secret of mine is that cats are my fav. I can’t help it! As early as I can remember I was dragging cats around with me, apparently even preferring them to my Easter basket and, gasp, chocolate.
I love how soft their pelts can be, and I most adore snuggling up with them and burying my face in their oh-so-delicious fur. It’s my favorite form of therapy.
As such I’ve been both looking forward to meeting cats on the road and dreading it, because if they are in dire straits I know I will be forced to take action on their behalf. Which sounds like a lot of emotional pain.
New Englanders, and those who come to partake of these illustrously-wooded states, are obsessed with the large land animal known as the Eloosive Moosive. Thus begins our search…
So Much “Fake Moos”
Joe: I want to see a moose.
We’re in Mooseland. Of course we’ll see a moose. Or even multiple meeses.
I was confident, especially after the girl at the sub shop told us she’d seen TWO. In one YEAR!
Holy common AF. It goes without saying then that our task was to search for this mythical being; but, in order to lure him, her, or them (we’re equal opportunity meese viewers) out into the open, we agreed to meander about pretending to do other things. In their general vicinity.
After all, we reasoned, this way we’d be sure to spot them from the corner of our eye and react accordingly. Oooh….aaaaahhhh….picture…
Do you love Akitas? Then Do We Have the Book for You!
Hachi’s Favorite Akita Stories Edited by Anastasia Ormeron
You’ll find yourself smiling, wiping away a tear at times, and nodding your head in recognition at these heartwarming tales that recall the unique quirkiness of sharing your home and heart with an Akita.
From mischievous to majestic, hilarious to heroic, and everything in between—Hachi’s Favorite Akita Stories is the perfect read for Akita lovers age 12 and up.
In addition, you’ll take a behind-the-scenes peek at the Hollywood movie, “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” and share on and off set moments with its amazing Akita stars!
Have you ever wondered what it is that makes an Akita so special?
To answer that question, author and editor Anastasia Ormeron goes back more than thirty years—when, during a trip to Tokyo, a beautiful bronze statue of a dog caught her attention outside Shibuya railway station.
As she looked closer and met Hachiko’s wistful gaze, she knew she would never forget him or his tale. There is something magical about Japan’s most famous and faithful Akita Inu that touches hearts and changes lives.
Many years passed, but Hachi’s memory remained and her own version of his story reached Akita lovers around the world. One by one, a small circle of Hachi & Friends furry readers began to grow—each with his or her own special tale to tell.
Here is their collection, and much more too. Akitas from every corner of the globe unite to celebrate their ancestor, The Loyal Dog, and his legacy of love in “Hachi’s Favorite Akita Stories.” With gorgeous cover illustrations by Akitas Comics.
Available to the trade through Ingram Distribution. Available in hardback and paperback through Amazon Worldwide.
Anastasia Ormeron is the creator of Hachi & Friends and is a teacher and writer.
A friend to animals since childhood, she often carries their beloved stories into the classroom, believing that many of life’s greatest lessons can be learned from them.
Anastasia spent most of her crazy, growing up years in London but shares a quieter life today, in a tiny corner of the Italian Alps, with her husband and grumpy gray cat, Mathilda.
About the Cover Illustrator
Talented French illustrator, Rebecca Szmidt, better known as “Akitas Comics,” combines her love of art and dogs with humorous flair. A former student of the prestigious La Cambre-Mode Academy, Rebecca is also a successful fashion designer. Find her on Instagram and Facebook at @akitas_comics.
P.S. Akitas are often affectionately called “Bears” because of their size and their beautiful furry heads, but we’re also advocating for two young bears, the “real” kind, who have been forced into captivity to perform silly tricks for the amusement of humans. We hope you’ll agree this is now way for them to live by signing and sharing our petition. Thank you!
Care about the rights of bears to live free in the wild? Please sign and share the change.org petition here:https://chng.it/wDnDKmXg8c
The White Mountains of New Hampshire are among the most beautiful in the country. Hiking and other nature activities abound in the state, and the gorgeous countryside is home to some of the most majestic wildlife in the northeast.
It’s an outdoor tourist’s dream come true.
Until you hit Clark’s Bears, that is.
Then those who value the outdoors and respect the animals who call it home will find themselves in disbelief that this continues to go on in a state with such a high regard for freedom.
What started as a roadside attraction in the 1950s has expanded into a nice little park, where they unfortunately don’t take New Hampshire’s…
We were halfway through our sojourn in the Poconos before Hubs comes out with the truth.
“See that hotel? That’s where my first wife and I went on our honeymoon.”
“Whaaattt? Oh, these jokes write themselves. Where’s my heart-shaped jacuzzi tub? Champagne? Why did she get all the good stuff and I’m in a camper in a rundown campground with my 11th anniversary looming in a matter of days? WHAAAAAA!”
I can’t imagine for the life of me why he waited until we’d passed it a dozen times before fessing up. It’s not like I’m fully capable of turning such things into joke fodder or a means of upping my own wifely status.
Redboxes: They Still Exist and Now I Know Why
I remember it clearly, as it was just a month or two ago and it hasn’t yet slipped through my mental sieve. I…
In another two weeks author Tamira Thayne will officially begin the “Untethered Tour,” and she hopes to blog more about their trip and the animal and human friends they meet and make along the way. Follow her to get the scoop on all their adventures!
I started this “Untethered” blog many moons ago when I was daily advocating for dogs on chains. While I’m no longer on the front lines of the dog-chaining issue, I appreciate all those who still work on their behalf and am forever grateful to those who care for these “forgotten” dogs.
It turns out, however, that “Untethered” as a principle continues to fit many aspects of my life, so I’m just gonna keep on goin’ with it wherever the blog takes me today.
In 2015 I left the organization I’d founded to free dogs from chains, Dogs Deserve Better, and I felt “Untethered” from my life’s mission—an uncomfortable feeling given that I believed I’d work with and for chained dogs forever, and even had the tats to prove it.
Now what was I supposed to do?
My sweet hubby had bought us my dream home along the Thornton…