Toad Karma

089

I like to think of myself as a bit of an animal whisperer. You know – befriended by squirrels at the early age of 3 months when my Mum left me in my carriage in the backyard only to return and find three squirrels nuzzled up snoring beside me.

Whether squirrels, chipmunks, cats, dogs, birds, barracudas, deers, bunnies, foxes, bears or sea horses….just to name a few…they all want to hang out and swap stories with me. So this Sunday when I was exploring the banks of the great Kamperslut River, doing my “National Geographic” – get that amazing shot photo thing and hoping to spot the neon blue bellied salamander, the harmless but hissy Hognose snake, or the infamous northern backwoods leopard frog – I was stopped dead in my tracks when I heard the cry. It sounded like a waling baby – a sort of nasal “waaaaa” that lasted for about two to five seconds; and with that recognition I instantly knew the ever-illustrious, exceptionally rare, enigmatically noble Bufu Woodhousii Fowler Toad was near.  I told the wind to shhh. My toes gripped the sandy bank while I waited breathless for him to reveal his omnipresence. The grass waved and I saw him…a large, dusty brown lardaceous toad with a light stripe down the middle of his back with three or more warty bulbous bumps and a pristine white belly.   “Waaaaaa” I froze in utter disbelief. He was lurking and taunting me with his childish wail. Seconds felt like a lifetime and then he made his move – a leap of faith – 7 inches towards my hot little hand.  Gotcha Fatty!  I was gentle but his force was mighty, his tongue whipped my taut grip as he writhed and wiggled in my palm before peeing on me. Oh the horror.  I snapped his malicious little mug balancing Mr. Fowler in one hand, my camera in the next whilst tippy-toeing in bare feet on a 45 degree hillside incline.  You know what happens next isn’t good…

It happened in slow mo…Mr. Fowler turned to me and gave me the webbed finger as he launched into space – amphibian feet sprawled in all directions – while my tiny toes lost their grip and left this earth sliding downward into extremely treacherous terrain teeming with jagged-edged Sumac branches. I came to a sudden stop…only because a 7 inch branch had jammed its way into my shin.

It’s a weird sensation seeing a tree branch in your leg. In an instant you ponder hmmm…shall I pull it out? Shall I scream? Where’s the toad? Perhaps I will barf? Faint? Panic? I decided to panic and screamed for my friend who was leisurely soaking in the rapids of the river.

Meet Melissa Barron – not only smart and pretty but now a full-fledged heroine. Within seconds she rappelled the rocky shoreline to my rescue bravely holding back her vomit upon setting eyes on my wound. Strong bodied and minded she threw me over her shoulder hauling my ass over 50 feet of hilly knolls up to the deck to access the trauma.  The blood was gushing; squirrels were running around frantically, I told her to get it out!  She ran inside to get tweezers and came back with a paring knife and whisky.  Seriously? Let’s not be hasty… and in a flash of the metal on the edge of a knife she realized if she accidently killed me she’d never get invited back. So off to Huntsville Hospital we went.

Upon arriving I had to take a number even before seeing triage. Apparently Sunday’s are “chain saw massacre days” which take priority over limbs in limbs. Forever later… I was seen and sequestered to the waiting chamber where a motley crew of injured and their care givers sat in the dark watching Caddy Shack. There was Ben, the young, handsome, sensitive, lumberjack-meets-mechanic prince who got us lattes from the machine in the lobby. The sprite 99 year old Mr. Gibson, who’s much younger 88 yr old wife had fallen and broken her rib.  Dick and Dan – brother’s who’s Mom came in after hitting her head and was MIA (she was later found on another floor). There was Candy (who Ben instantly fell in love with), the high schooler wannabe veterinarian with a bee sting on her bum, Max with the cool hat and Cancun bracelets who had slept walked off a balcony and broken both his heels; and of course Melissa, my patient friend who insisted we play over a dozen rounds of the alphabet game to pass time – you know name things that start with A – Z…. And just as the Gopher blew up the golf course – I was called in. To make an even longer story short – 3 more hours later (after said branch had been in my leg for 4 hrs) – I was whisked off by the funky purple scrub nurse Kiki who told me how she moved to Huntsville for love and prepped me for branch removal by the petite but 9 and a half month pregnant doc Kelly McDonald – who when asked if I wanted freezing and I said no…she highly recommended it…cause it was gonna hurt like a mudder frucker.

Yes there was pain, but there was also relief. Yes there were tears, but there was also a heck of a lotta laughter. There was patience galore and patients galore who had it way worse, whom I felt empathy for and gratefulness for my minor misery in comparison.  There was true friendship (thanks Melissa) and new friends, as well as awesome sauce nurses and doctors who didn’t make fun of me for impaling myself while chasing a toad.

And there was a lesson – I needed to learn.  Don’t mess with the freedom of those who don’t necessarily want to be picked up, held and adored for the sake of a human photo opp. Toad karma will get you every time.    I’ve got the scar to prove it.

Legal:             Some descriptions were slighted embellished for literary license….duh.

Advertisements

Sneak Peek – Now Available!

FB-Post-1200x627-2-Launch-OWN-NOW

 “Life can be wonderful, amazing and funny and it can also be hard, scary and full of surprises…if only there was a manual!  Just a simple guide to show me how to get from point A to point B (in the quickest and least painful way).” – Patty

If you’ve ever uttered these words, then this book is for you!

How to Live Like a Chipmunk and Other Tips on Living an Awesome Sauce Life is a handy-dandy, tell it to me straight, how-to guide with over 80 life scenarios – each simplified into 11-step lists – so you can get to where you want to be lickety-split!

Like… How to travel off the beaten path.

  1. Forget everything you know or have been warned about! Talk to strangers – the stranger the better. Make friends with the locals. Learn how to say hello and thank you….and be the path – embrace every breath, hiccup, bump or bombshell as an adventure they make the best stories when you get home.

Adventure Girl!

776

I use to be a super shy. A catastrophic scardy cat, petrified of my own shadow, powerless without a voice and paralyzed in motion.

I was so shy that I would turn 50 shades of pink when the teacher said my name out loud and dared to ask me a question in class. I would stutter, be at a complete loss of words, dumbfounded in dead air and painstakingly stunned in utter fear as to what to say or do. Fight or flight thoughts of panic attacked my senses toying with my body to make a run for it or freeze in absolute stoic stillness – praying that no one would notice I was still there.  But I was and they noticed and let’s just say I faced the wrath of some pretty stinky meanies in my time.

My anxiety escalated. I started to catastrophize situations. Presume the worse case scenario, imagined the end of the world or like I say “saw the heard of rhinos stampeding instead of a box of new born kittens”.  Being a worry-wort, nail-biting, lily-livered, namby-pamby, sissy wuss who’s always in a dither is no way to live.

I realized that fearing something is way worse than facing it and by not facing it you are choosing to hold onto it.  It was time to “Feel Everything And Revel” in it (F.E.A.R.).  So I decided to jump the fence of fear, unfold my wings, hold up my sword and make friends with the monsters under my bed and say hello to Adventure Girl.

I started slowly, a lot of self talk, a lot of escape plans (just in case) and more than anything getting some perspective on the situation.  I’d start with taking a breath and realizing that I probably, most certainly would survive and that sharing my opinion in a crowd wasn’t as scary as being eaten by a bear one limb at a time…in fact each baby step I took into the mirror of fear made me stronger, smarter, braver and awarded me more badges!

I started to dare myself on a daily basis, an hourly basis and stretch myself beyond my comfort zone at every opportunity presented. Heck I tried tiger tiger licorice mandarin ice cream instead of vanilla!  Scary situations were now made-for-TV movies I starred in as the heroine, daredevil, explorer and high-wire acrobat!  “What if’s” became “whatever’s” because I could do anything!  Really what did I have to lose? Except everything I had to gain.

It was a huge shift that all started with a desire to be free. A coveting to open up my caged adventurous mind and visualize the story I wasn’t living but wanted to. A life full of possibilities and the freedom to dare to make them happen.

It’s amazing when you begin to believe in yourself – it creates a domino effect in your self-esteem and in others who support you on your adventure. You’ll discover new talents, expand your wisdom, elevate your emotional capacity and really get to know, trust and celebrate yourself.

So go for it – I dare you!  And remember … one life – one chance to live it.

Sneak Peek – Now Available!

FB-Post-1200x627-2-Launch-OWN-NOW

 “Life can be wonderful, amazing and funny and it can also be hard, scary and full of surprises…if only there was a manual!  Just a simple guide to show me how to get from point A to point B (in the quickest and least painful way).” – Patty

If you’ve ever uttered these words, then this book is for you!

How to Live Like a Chipmunk and Other Tips on Living an Awesome Sauce Life is a handy-dandy, tell it to me straight, how-to guide with over 80 life scenarios – each simplified into 11-step lists – so you can get to where you want to be lickety-split!

Like… How to love yourself.

  1. Be brave. Open your heart. Remove your armor, put down the sword and let you love light shine. Give yourself 5 compliments a day – nice curls Patty! Develop a crush on you. Stroke your ego, romance your reflections, date your psyche, care for your body and hug your heart. I love me!

Just call me…

002

So I got a letter the other day addressed to “Author Patty Lowry” – it made me squeal out loud and do a little dance on my front porch. I scrambled inside and plopped down onto my favourite chair and just held it and looked at it. It was hand-written and I could tell there was a letter (a piece of paper written with ink to scribe a personal note) inside.  I carefully opened it, not to rip a smidge and proceeded to read the most beautiful note from a dear friend congratulating me on my becoming an author.

It was really amazing – not just the words but the realization and acceptance that I’ve been crowned a new title and can now add it to my sash.

When you think about how many titles you’ve held over your life it gives you a cool perspective of who you’ve been and who you’ve become so far. Starting with being the most freckled face baby ever born and klutzy kid, to super late bloomer teen, shy (yes me) young woman and now a bold, ballsy dame. I’ve proudly held the title of “chip off the old block” (thanks Dad), daughter and sister, granddaughter, great granddaughter and cousin. I’ve been a friend, a best friend, a singleton, girlfriend and partner. A student, cheerleader, valedictorian and graduate. An employee, employee of the month (at McDonalds), a co-worker, secretary, Club Med beach bum, DJ and award-winning creative copywriter.

Some of my more interesting life titles included crazy ass adventure traveller, tree hugging-forest- frolicking hippie, moxie blues singer, leading lady, squirrel whisperer and monkey kisser.  Then there was fatso, loser, stupid, gimp and Mud Gurl (A depressive state of stuck in the mud, covered in heavy dirt, can’t move, trapped at the bottom of a deep hole, eating worms and can’t get out).

I could go on for days – but I’ll wrap up with my all-time favourite claim to fame and title – Brownie of the Year, 1969.  Beyond the cookies it was all about the badges.  As someone who is slightly obsessed with badges (46…but who’s counting)…it feels pretty awesome sauce to add author to the list. It’s not one I ever thought I would own. It feels grown up and worldly…but in fact, it’s quite silly and wordy.  It feels like it’s taken a lifetime collecting all the above life badges to get me here, to be able to have legitimately and authentically experienced the road to daringly call myself “Author”.

I looked up the word …as I often do to make sure I’m spelling it correctly…and it says

  1. The original writer of a literary work.
  2. An originator or creator: the author of a new theory.
  3. To assume responsibility for the content of a published text.

Whoa Nelly that’s heavy duty definitions!  You see I am not a guru, or expert, I’m simply a girl, a warrior and a self-proclaimed winner.  Someone who drank the Kool-Aid, did the damned exercises, dug the dirt, lay in the grave, sweated the details, swung the sword, climbed the fricking mountain, fell off it, broke in a million pieces and found my way back. So call me an author – storyteller, tale weaver, narrative ninja, wordinator, life scribbler or muse – I’ve earned this badge and will sew it onto my sash with pride!

But more important than any title, crown or sash you wear is what you do with it, and it’s my sincere hope that this book will spark a smile, debunk the ordinary, amp up the extraordinary and provide a plethora of new possibilities for you to live your most awesome sauce life.

So please,  just call me Patty…. or Patricia Ann as the official document says…or any of my other dozen nick names including Pixie, Princess Patty, Patrick, Elfa, Pattikins, P. Diddy, Pats or Honey Bunny Queen GAWDESS Bufu of the universe galaxy…. xx

Sneak Peek – NOW AVAILABLE!

FB-Post-1200x627-2-Launch-OWN-NOW

 “Life can be wonderful, amazing and funny and it can also be hard, scary and full of surprises…if only there was a manual!  Just a simple guide to show me how to get from point A to point B (in the quickest and least painful way).” – Patty

If you’ve ever uttered these words, then this book is for you!

How to Live Like a Chipmunk and Other Tips on Living an Awesome Sauce Life is a handy-dandy, tell it to me straight, how-to guide with over 80 life scenarios – each simplified into 11-step lists – so you can get to where you want to be lickety-split!

Like… How to manifest your dreams.

  1. Believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can do it. Plant seeds the size of coconuts everywhere and tend to them daily. Have real conversations with your imaginary dream team (and animals). Recruit believers.

Thank you.

946000_10153159596925128_1097571501_n

I love rainbows. I love unicorns, bunnies, squirrels and chipmunks. Heck I love every single last furry, feathery, scaly, bumpy skinned, buggy beautiful creature in the universe galaxy. I believe in faeries, ghosts, magic, miracles and shit wonders.  I love to be in nature, hit a dirt road somewhere off the beaten path in another corner of the world and get lost. I love sitting on my cottage step and speaking Snerney Berney. I love making up words. I love that I have a job that invites me to be creative. I love that I am always learning. I love being ridiculously silly, spontaneous and have very few inhibitions and I love that my friends love me for that. I love sewing and I love that every time I do it, Mum is with me. I love that my Dad and I are two “P’s” in a pod (Pinky & Patrick). I love that both my parents really believed in me. I love that I am surrounded by incredibly kind, interesting, funny, brilliant people who have supported me, had the utmost of patience with me, carried me when I needed lifting and help share the goblet when life is full.

I live an Awesome Sauce Life.

Today is a pretty gosh darn fricking off the chain, bowl full of cherries Awesome Sauce day. My little ditty is real. My lifeline of experiences is free from the vault. Free to find their way into the hearts, minds and spirits of others who are open to the possibilities life presents…who are open to living their most Awesome Sauce Life.

In a gesture of ginormous gratitude on this super sparkly occasion I want to express humongous thanks and massive loviation to my family, friends – near & far, fellow freaks, peeps and pets; to the strangers on the bus who smiled, the squirrels who always gave me a wink and the faeries in the chandelier.

This day wouldn’t be complete without a few select Oscar worthy shout outs to my tireless tribe mates whom without their kindness, patience and hard work – I would have never been able to accomplish this big girl thrill on her own.

To my ever fizzy and fantastical lifeline Kate Sharpe – you are my rock and my star.

To the brilliant and kind Chris Abbott – thank you for perfectly capturing my words with your cover and inside designs, as well as all the OMGAWD technical thing-a-ma-jiggy stuff you made work on my FB and Website.

To my brother from another mother Mike Dineen – thank you for your super smarty-pants wordy wisdom and wordsmithing and always being at my beckon call (aka MIKE HELP THE CEILING IS FALLING DOWN!)

To the magical Eleanor Healy – thank you for your expertise, asking really good questions and helping me “love, pet, hug & squeeze” (aka edit) my baby.

To every one else I know, love, admire, find inspiration and life lessons from – thank you. To those who make me burst out loud laughing, cry like a baby, question, wonder, ponder and push myself harder – thank you. To those who break my heart, test my spirit and rally me to be resilient and resourceful – thank you. And last but not least to Mom & Dad – thank you for believing that what made me different is what made me magic.

Sneak Peek!

FB-Post-1200x627-Coming1week

 “Life can be wonderful, amazing and funny and it can also be hard, scary and full of surprises…if only there was a manual!  Just a simple guide to show me how to get from point A to point B (in the quickest and least painful way).” – Patty

If you’ve ever uttered these words, then this book is for you!

How to Live Like a Chipmunk and Other Tips on Living an Awesome Sauce Life is a handy-dandy, tell it to me straight, how-to guide with over 80 life scenarios – each simplified into 11-step lists – so you can get to where you want to be lickety-split!

Like… How to engage your inner child.

  1. Wrap a towel around your head and pretend that it’s your hair. Throw a temper tantrum in public. Play more and let your imagination run wild…like go on a safari with your pet flying monkey.