You Miserable Vomitous Mass

If you’re a regular reader, you’re familiar with my dog, Katie. She’s a sweet, cuddly, smart, and stubborn Rottweiler. I love this dog to pieces, but she has some annoying quirks.

Katie Up

Katie has an eating disorder. She eats everything–fabric, sticks, plastic bottles, rotten food and compost–and it makes her sick.

I threw a bag of trash out the back door into the sunroom for my husband to take out. Katie and I later discovered it had leaked ick all over the floor. She decided to help clean it up with her tongue.

My philosophy is not to clean anything major until something disastrous happens. And it always does. For example, if I mop the bathroom floor and then the toilet overflows, I’m mad. But if it overflows on a dirty floor, it’s not such a big deal. I needed to clean it anyway. (Our old house had plumbing issues. The bathroom floor got cleaned a lot this way.)

This method has worked well for me. Living with boys, a husband, and a dog ensures disaster on a regular basis.

As I said, Katie decided to help me clean by licking the icky, sticky stuff off of the floor. I figured She’s a dog. She knows what she can eat. Animals always do. It’s instinct. Apparently, she’s missing the genes that impart that particular insight.

I shooed her away and finished cleaning the sunroom. Soon I heard, “Mom! Katie spilled her peanut butter on the carpet!”

Just fill with peanut butter or dog treats for hours of entertainment for your dog!

Just fill with peanut butter or dog treats for hours of yummy entertainment!


Some people buy their dogs a Kong. You know, the dog toy that you put peanut butter inside to keep them entertained while they try to lick it out. I invented the poor-man’s Kong, or the redneck Kong. It’s an empty jar of peanut butter. There’s always peanut-buttery residue left in the jar, and Katie’s tongue is almost long enough to reach the bottom of the large one. This keeps her occupied when we leave the house for a bit.


“Peanut butter doesn’t spill, honey,” I replied, walking around the corner.

First the smell hit me. Then I saw the pool of dog barf on the carpet.

Have you ever watched the Princess Bride? Where Wesley calls Prince Humperdink a miserable, vomitous mass?

Worst. Insult. Ever.

"You miserable, vomitous mass."

“You miserable, vomitous mass.”

(My favorite movie of all time! Long clip, and it doesn’t start for 12 seconds. Tried to start it at 1:50…”You miserable, vomitous mass.” But I’m technology challenged.)

Not until that very moment when I rounded the corner did I feel the full weight of that insult. My nostrils were in pain. I stood there staring, unsure what exactly to do about it.

My next thought was Thank God my husband’s not home. He has the most sensitive gag reflex in the history of mankind. My 8-year-old was doing a nice job of imitating him as both boys ran out the front door. (Note to self: stink up the house to get the boys to play outside.)

That doozy of a puddle almost made me imitate Mr. Rains, too. And I’m like Wonder Woman with the stinky stuff.

I shall deflect the offensive odor with my bracelets made from Athena's shield.

I shall deflect the offensive odor with my bracelets made from Athena’s shield.

My first step was to get the dog outside before she erupted again. Katie thought she was in trouble and hunkered down on the floor with her droopy-eared, sad-eyed, I’m sorry look. And she wouldn’t budge. So I carried her. A 50 pound puppy. I’m surprised I didn’t Heimlich more out of her.

Now, she’s playing outside with the kids in the fresh air like she didn’t just expel a demon through her throat. And I’m in here on my hands and knees over this toxic puddle.

I squeegeed it out of the carpet with a dust pan, sopped it up with an old towel (which promptly got thrown in the trash), and used a special enzyme cleaner for pet messes.

Still stinky. Putrid.

Next, I mixed alcohol, vinegar, and Febreze. I inhaled the fumes of the mixture to make sure it would be potent enough. It burned my nasal membranes. Perfect. Poured it on. Sucked it up with my carpet cleaner after soaking a while.

Still stinky.

Next, I shampooed the entire room for the fun of it. (This validates my cleaning philosophy. We moved in February and I hadn’t shampooed the carpet yet. Silver lining!)

Still stinky!

So, I took the spray head off of the Febreze, imitated Katie’s puking sound, and dumped it in the biohazard zone. After a short soak, I sucked it up with the carpet shampooer.

SUCCESS!!! Febreze is made of magic.

...and horrid dog-barf puddles!

…and horrid dog-barf puddles on carpet!

But that dog is not to be trusted.

She later hoarked down a 1/2-inch-thick disk of solidified milk that my youngest had left in the truck for a week. She got to it as I was trying to dump the cup’s nasty contents into a drainage whistle where she couldn’t reach it. But she was too fast. Motivated by putrescence.

"Bow down to the queen of slime, the queen of filth, the queen of putrescence!"

“Bow down to the queen of slime, the queen of filth, the queen of putrescence! Her name is Katie!”

Her crate and the porch had to be hosed down and bleached the next day.

She does this so often that she’s not allowed to sleep anywhere near carpet. But the porch and linoleum get disinfected regularly.

If I am to look on the bright side of this,  I could say, “Thank you, Katie the Queen of Putrescence, for motivating me to keep the house clean.”  But I wouldn’t mean it… At. All.


New Books and Blog Tours

Since starting this blog, I’ve had so many stories about our adventures on Copperhead Farm to tell that I’ve neglected to talk about my books. Gasp! I was invited to participate in a blog interview and figured that this would be a perfect opportunity to share that side of my life with you.

What are you working on right now?

A young-adult paranormal novel. It’s a total departure from everything I’ve written so far, but it has been fun. Especially since it’s a collaboration with my husband. We will release it under a pen name, and we’re currently arguing about keeping it a secret or not.

As far as a new children’s book, I’m working with my publisher to get Breakfast is for the Birds released this fall/winter. It’s in the illustration phase.

Mother bird is so frustrated with her little birdies. They don't want barfed-up worms again!

Mother bird is so frustrated with her little birdies. They don’t want barfed-up worms again!

How does Breakfast is for the Birds differ from other works in its genre?

It’s for an older group of children than my first book. The reading level and interest level fit with young elementary-school students. It’s an early chapter book.

Here are a few lines from the story:

Mama dung beetle yelled from the family burrow, “Dinner time, my little scarabs!  Come and get it while it’s still warm!”

“Mom, can’t we have something other than poop?” asked the oldest dung beetle.


Mama dung beetle had had enough. “You know, it could be worse. If we were humans, we would eat meatballs.”

“What’s a meatball?” the youngest dung beetle whispered to his sister.

“I don’t know, but it sounds gross,” she replied.

The beetles decided that their dinner wasn’t so bad after all, and dug in.

If you eat your June beetle, you can have honeybee for desert!

Mama spider says, “If you eat your June beetle, you can have honeybee for desert!”

My first book, Sleep My Child, is intended to be read aloud just as early as the parent wishes to begin. Some start while still pregnant. I started reading to my son as soon as I could sit him on my lap. He is nine and his brother is six, and we still read at bedtime. We all miss it when we don’t get our reading time together.

*Getting on my soap box* Even if your children can read for themselves, it’s still important (and fun!) to read to them. How else are you going to justify reading fun children’s books? I even wrote a poem about it.

Why do you write what you do?

Frustration! My children’s books are born out of total exasperation with my children. Somehow, my frustration comes out as positive and silly stories. I have no idea how that happens.

Sleep My Child: my baby was fighting sleep

Breakfast is for the Birds: picky eaters

Horrible Hal of Halitosis: sibling rivalry and constant fighting

(Horrible Hal is finished, I just need to submit it to publishers! I really procrastinate this step. Rejection is no bueno.)

Other stories that my husband and I are working on come from dinner conversations. He really is full of ideas!  Most of them are crazy. Just crazy enough.

How does your writing process work?

Writing times are few and far between. So, the process starts with reading back into the story to see what’s in print and what’s still in my head. That’s really my biggest obstacle. Writing main points on a calendar to establish a time line and check off significant events really helps.

When the kids leave for school and the house is quiet, Katie (my Rottweiler) curls up beside my desk, and I write. Until the kids come home and the peace and quiet is shattered. Chaos ensues until they go to sleep.

(I really do love my boys! But they’re…you know…BOYS! <3)

Look for these authors next week:

Monday, September 23rd, the following (very talented) children’s authors will continue the blog tour and answer the same questions. Enjoy!

Kelsey Wagner

Laura Wintczak Eckroat

Joan Edwards