What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Sneaky Sheep October 7, 2017


Our road trip through the Irish countryside is definitely one of the most beautiful I have ever taken. The wide valleys, the rocky mountains… the sheep.

Most of the sheep are in giant pastures with color-coded butt swatches. And the butt rainbow makes sense. Granted, I am not a sheep expert, but it seems to me that it would get really hard to tell one fluffy sheep from another. So farmers tag their sheep with their gang colors.

Well, one farmer with pink-butt sheep was having a very bad day. (more…)


Stones in the Mud August 5, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 3:30 pm
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I love hiking. I adore climbing around in the mountains; it’s one of my favorite things. There’s something about the effort required to get to the top that feels tremendous and utterly worth it. When we went to Ireland I knew I wanted to hike…something.

We hadn’t really planned what, exactly, we were going to hike. We just sort of figured we’d find something, and boy did we!

Driving around the Ring of Kerry, the views are absolutely breathtaking. Rocks and sea all tumbled together. Sweet little towns with pubs lined up to give you an amazing lunch.


There is a huge Ring of Kerry hike that you can do. The husband and I had heard of it, but it just couldn’t happen within our timeframe. But Ireland is really great about signs—not so much addresses, but very much with the signs. Signs for historic sites, signs for epic views, even signs for hiking trails. We were driving the Ring and found a sign for part of the Kerry Way, one of the “longest signposted walking trails in Ireland.” (more…)


The Terror of Traffic March 3, 2016

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 7:30 pm
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I can’t drive. I mean, I have a license. I am legally able to drive. On a nice country road or empty highway, I can drive for hours.

But traffic.

Oh, traffic, thine nemesis of my soul. The thing that gives me stress hives and makes me cry. That evil being that makes me want a kitten as a stress pet.

Thou art evil.

From the man who tries to run his bike into my car to the stop light that doesn’t allow half the line of waiting cars to pass. I hate you.

Fighting my way across Southwest Florida is my personal version of hell. Never knowing where in that hell I am. Never knowing if the person in front of my bumper is trying to merge or has died of old age while behind the wheel. It’s making me a nervous wreck.

And the Garmin doesn’t help. It’s telling me to go down a road I don’t know in an overly cheerful voice. And then she (the vile and misleading siren that is Garmin) wants you to merge, but there’s no way in hell the people around you are going to consider letting you get over. So you miss the turn and she gives you the ding of shame.

And the clock. (more…)


The Time I Got Road Rage February 20, 2016

I don’t drive very often. It’s not that I can’t drive. I can. I have a license and everything. But my husband really loves to drive, and traffic makes me angry. So I usually avoid it.

Well, today is my nephew’s birthday! He’s adorable, and I love him. So to avoid being the worst aunt ever, I decided to venture to the post office to priority mail his present to him so it would be there in time for his birthday. Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge deal, but I had to go between shows, during peak season, on a freakin’ island. And a beautiful island at that. With lots or tourist and not too many roads.

I managed to make it to the post office, only needing to call my husband once for directions. But then…. But then. On the way back, traffic got worse. So much worse. I had to phone my mother so she could listen to me rail at the traffic around me. I spent twelve minutes, TWELVE MINUTES, thirty feet from the turn off I needed! And no one would move! We sat there! I could have walked back to the theatre faster, but I think there’s a law against abandoning a vehicle in the road, and I was in company car anyway! Gah! (more…)


Mayhem in the Milk Aisle June 13, 2015

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 4:58 pm
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I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 23. Laugh if you want, but between crazy schedules, family tempers, and going to college out of state, it just never happened.

I like to think of it as delaying the size of my carbon footprint. I could never go anywhere by myself, so no pollution for me!

But then the day came when I was twenty-three. A newly married woman with a driver’s license to call my own, and I ran out of milk. I had been to the nearby store before. It was close by. I knew how to get  there. So, I took the keys and went. After a tiny bit of trouble parking, I triumphantly walked to the milk section. But there were hundreds of different kinds of milk!

Okay, maybe not hundreds, but there were an unnecessary number of choices! I had never been to the store alone, so I had never really looked at the milk. I had always just bought what my roommate or husband wanted. But there I was, alone in front of the cooler, left for the first time to make my own decision. (more…)


Gerty the Dead Prostitute Raccoon February 25, 2015

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Once upon a time I worked for a theatre and lived in cast housing two-and-a-half miles away. Two-and-a-half miles may not seem that far to commute to work to you, but when you live in a place with no public transportation, and half the people you live with don’t have cars, getting to work suddenly becomes a big thing.

We had a friend who would ride with the husband and me to work almost every day. We’ll call him M. I love M. He has the sort of sarcasm, wit, and nerve that are hard to resist.

During the heat of July, we drove past a dead raccoon on the side of the road. Naturally, M instantly said, “Oh poor Gerty. Such a terrible death after a hard life.”

We all laughed and assumed that Gerty would be gone by the time we headed home at the end of the day. But Gerty was still there.

M added to her tale. (more…)


Driving Lessons November 25, 2013

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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For my sixteenth birthday my mother gave me a bumper sticker that read “Clear the road! I’m Sixteen!” and took me to get my learner’s permit. I was so excited to drive! Until I got to the actual driving part. That was terrifying and ended in fights and tears every time. I was too afraid to merge. I would almost get us all killed. My mother would yell. It was a vicious cycle. So, I stopped trying to drive.

I went to college in Oklahoma and couldn’t use my out-of-state permit, so even though some of my friends and my boyfriend all wanted to teach me to drive, they couldn’t. I was secretly thrilled. If my own mother wanted to kill me when I drove her car, what would my friends do?

I left Oklahoma without driving. I went to Rhode Island and worked at Astors Beechwood Mansion. They had a Model A Ford kit car that people could drive around town advertising the living history. Even this very old-school convertible could not tempt me to learn how to drive.

But finally, my sweet fiancé got food poisoning. Horrible, nasty, three-day-long food poisoning. And I couldn’t drive to the store to buy him ginger ale. That was the kick in the pants I needed. We got me a new permit for the state we were currently working in, and my fiancé taught me how to drive. I think it proves we were meant to be together that we were planning a wedding, he was teaching me to drive, and we were working twelve hours a day, six days a week, and still managed to make it to the altar.

At twenty-three, I finally got my license just about two weeks before my wedding. I then knocked the side mirror off the car, but hey, we all have to start somewhere, right?
For my lovely followers: I have decreed that Monday blog posts shall now go up in the evening instead of in the morning. Nobody likes Monday mornings anyway.