Tuesday, January 26, 2021

COLLECTIONS By Sarah J. McNeal #TheWildingsSeries


I have to confess, I am a collector. I get interested in one thing, and the next thing ya know, I’m trying to find the space to put the MANY items I have collected.

Way back when my grandmother, who was addicted to auctions, got a box full of stuff at an auction and in it was a strange little ivory man with holes in his back which she gave to me. I wondered with all my imaginative might why it had those holes. Was it part of necklace that belonged to an Asian princess perhaps? Astoundingly, my high school sweetheart and I found another strange ivory figure with holes in it similar to the one I had been given by my grandmother at a unique shop, Maison Michelle, in downtown Charlotte. Curiosity really took hold. A few years later my sweetheart, who was then my husband and I found a wonderful shop, The Japonica, where unique Asian items were sold. The owner was friendly and even made us tea. She had several ivory figures with those 2 holes in them, so I asked her what they were. They were Netsuke, and were used as a slide knot with a pouch where the owner would keep things like pen and ink and so on. The item was worn on the belt and the Netsuke was made in such a way that it would always turn face out. Those little figures were actually very expensive, costing several hundred dollars each. I saved my money and bought one whenever I could until I had a nice little collection. I stopped collecting them when I thought about how they were made of ivory, and even though they were antiques, I felt guilty about buying any more.

My collection days were not over, however. I collected PEZ containers until my collection outgrew space. I also collected salt and pepper shakers because they were so cute, and I collected whirligigs until they began to cost more than I could afford. I loved the huge metal whirligigs in the movie “Twister” the auntie made and they were also musical. Awesome! I also collect interesting pens.

I don’t know the psychology behand the need to collect things and, quite honestly, I don’t really care. For me, it’s just fun and exciting when I have a collection of something and I find a new piece that is just too adorable to pass up.

Do you have a collection? What do you collect? How did you get into your collection?

Sunday, January 17, 2021

My Dog Lily's Super Powers #The WildingsSeries by Sarah J. McNeal


If the doorbell rings, the mail person deposits letters in the box, a car backfires, or the teenager next door is practicing moves with his skate board, Lily will come running to wherever I am with wide eyes and an anxious expression. I am not fooled into believing she is coming to protect me from an intruder or some such. No. Lily is looking for me to protect HER. She’ll get behind me like I’m her human shield against harm.

If I open the door, but not the storm door which is locked, Lily will bark so much I cannot hear the other person. This is particularly annoying at Halloween. I had to start handing out candy through the bay window because of Lily’s annoying bark. But here’s something interesting, if I open the door and let the person in, Lily immediately becomes an attention hound trying whatever she can think of to get them to pet her.

This is the way it is with Golden Retrievers. If you’re wanting a guard dog, this is not your dog. Now if you need a hug or a dog who will listen to you whine about your life for a while, now THAT would be Lily’s super powers. Golden Retrievers are all about service and kindness.

Lily is also great at chasing squirrels. She has never actually caught one. That was always Liberty and Priss’s (Priss was my cat before Liberty. They looked almost identical) domain (cats). If I lived in the wilderness and had to depend on an animal to fetch dinner for me, I would call the cat—the REAL hunter.

BTW, speaking of squirrels, I haven’t seen Twig today, but I think I saw the daddy sunning himself on the railing of the deck in a spot of sunshine. He looked very well fed and seemed pretty content out there.

When it comes to guardian type dogs, I’ve had 2 of them: Finn and Mac. You would think 18-20 pound dogs wouldn’t be anything to worry about, but I can tell you both those Scotties were determined, courageous, and smart. I wouldn’t have wanted to confront them if I were a stranger. They sounded like big dogs and I think they believed they were big. Those guys were fearless.

Well, Lily has spent all her energy begging for pats on the head from company today, so she’s having to rest to rejuvenate.

Do you have a dog or cat? How would you rate them as guardians? Would they rush in to save you, or hide behind you? What is your favorite thing about your dog or cat that makes you love them even more?