Italians and Wolves at the Door

This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
Not with a bang, but with a fight over toilet paper.

So this tiny little virus is gonna kill us all, huh? Weird. I was always told it would be something like this. I guess you just can’t trust documentaries.

Ah well, I had a good run. And frankly, I’m at the point where I welcome the cold embrace of Death anyway. Oh wait – social distancing. Skip the embrace. Being in hell is gonna be tough enough. I don’t want to develop a cough there, too.

Speaking of death, NewWifey(tm) is also managing to keep it at bay. Sorry about the lack of updates, but since my last blast I’ve been keeping busy playing Nurse Ratched,  Driving Miss Wifey(tm), Chef Boy-R-Dee, and Media Pariah. Not much time to scribble lies here like I’d like to.

The good news is, the “Things That Are About To Kill NewWifey(tm)” list is getting shorter. Physical therapy + drugs – wool socks = gradual recovery.  Still a few kinks to work out, but overall she’s on a good trajectory. She can even have sex again without crying for any reason other than disappointment.

The bad news is, that may be about to change again thanks to coronavirus.

You’ve heard about coronavirus, right? COVID-19? Come on, I know you have. I referenced it above, albeit obliquely, in my brilliant opening poem parody.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you’re probably smart enough to have read the CDC’s “About” page description of this fucker: “The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.”

If you’re not smart enough to follow this blog, then you’re probably more familiar with the FOX/Breitbart/White House version: “The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a man-made pathogen developed by the North Koreans with financing from George Soros. It was injected into dogs which were exported to China and fed to 10 year old iPhone assembly line workers who coughed onto the touch screens and exported them to America to wreck the economy and help get atheist Chelsea Manning elected president.”

(Wipe that smug smile off your face, Brits. Your new Science Minister is not only not a scientist, but never even went to college. Or the dentist. Welcome to our world.)

Whichever version of the Truth is yours, there’s no denying that it’s of concern to a lot of people. And right now, that includes me.

NewWifey(tm), as I say, has risen from her death bed and is gradually improving. Not quite ready to run the New York City marathon, but at least good enough to drive there.

In fact, she did go driving. To Nashville, Tennessee. The day after the winds kicked up.

Why? Why would an otherwise sane –

Scratch that. It’s NewWifey(tm). Of course she’d drive to the site of one of the worst weather disasters that glorified trailer park has ever seen while wearing a cervical collar and taking meds to keep her from fainting behind the wheel at random times.

And it’s all because of this:

Bunny Egg resize

See that? That is the current Must Have item on the little old lady cross-stitch circuit.

And NewWifey(tm) is selling ’em.

Every year at this time all the big names in the cross-stitch world gather in Nashville, TN, for the industry’s biggest event: Nashville Market. It’s where designers and producers try to convince shop owners from around the world to carry their line in the coming year.

NewWifey(tm) is a designer and producer. If she manages to convince enough shops to carry her line in the coming shopping season, she has a great year. If she doesn’t, I don’t get sex. So we both want her to do well.

This year NewWifey(tm)’s product line featured a “Spring Release”, which included the above bunny and several others. They’re sold as kits for the customer to assemble themselves:

Egg Grouping Horizontal (1 of 1)

When she released those two pictures as previews on Instagram and Facebook thousands of little old ladies got moist for the first time since Mount St. Helens exploded. And with about as much force. NewWifey(tm) was getting frantic messages from shops around the globe asking if they could reserve her entire stock so their competitors would be fucked. I’m not kidding.

And that was just her seasonal release. Her other line is a monthly subscription release. Every month the lucky subscriber gets to stitch two tiny little boxes, one with that month’s flower, the other with its stone. She’s also got a more traditional sampler, and a stitch-it-yer-damn-self bracelet:

Bracelet f-6.3 resize

Little old ladies were literally offering to drive to DangerHouse from freakin’ California so they could get their liver spotted hands on these things before anyone else. But NewWifey(tm) told them all no, they’d have to wait til Nashville Market.

So knowing she’d probably have a contract put out on her if she didn’t show, NewWifey(tm) loaded up the Forester with cardboard eggs, thimble box kits, bracelets and STAY AWAKE! pills, and drove for three days in a neck brace to an area that had just been reduced to near fine rubble by the latest global warming consequence.

Fine. If it were anyone other than NewWifey(tm) I would have started writing their obituary the minute their car pulled out of the driveway. But if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you know what I’m dealing with here. This is the woman who cracked her head open in a fall, and two weeks later pulled her surgical staples out with a pair of needle nose pliers so she could enter a motorcycle race:


So I’m not worried about her driving a Subaru Forester from New Jersey to Nashville in a neck brace.

I am worried about her getting coronavirus, though.

See, shortly after she got to the hotel she got a text from two fellow designers. They were flying in to Nashville International Airport, and could NewWifey(tm) pick them and their bags up?

Sure” said NewWifey(tm). “No problemo!

And she did.

She drove across town to Nashville International Airport where she picked up the two designers who had just flown in from Milan, Italy, on the last flight out before the coronavirus travel restriction there kicked in. And then had dinner with them, and afterwards helped them set their rooms up for the show.


Then, of course, she helped disassemble their rooms and drove them back to the airport three days later when the show ended. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say she got the traditional kiss on both cheeks at the gate. Maybe even tongue.

From there NewWifey(tm) drove out to Arkansas to visit her mom, which is where she still is right now. She starts the drive back to DangerHouse sometime next week. If you read about an outbreak deep in the woods of Ozarkistan soon, you’ll know who Patient Zero was.

So far, by the way, she still seems hale and hardy. Considering she drinks enough wine at every meal to kill more germs than an autoclave, I’m not surprised. But if she calls on the drive back and says, “I think I’m starting to run a fever, and for some reason I’m short of breath“, I’m changing the locks. There ain’t enough toilet paper in this town for the two of us. I know. I’ve looked.

Well, I’ve got to wrap this up and go wash my hands. I’ve been keeping my fingers inside my nose to protect them from airborne pathogens, and they’re starting to get a bit sticky.



In other news, have I ever mentioned there’s a wolf preserve not far from my house?

There’s a wolf preserve not far from my house. And they give tours. So last weekend I drove out there, dragging the Nikon along with me.

The wolves were beautiful to look at, but because I took their “educational tour” and not their “photography tour”, it was not really conducive to picture taking. For one thing the wolf areas were surrounded by TWO chain link fences each, and it was tough not having every damn shot ruined by diagonal bars of metal crossing the scene. Plus the wolves were either too far away for my 300mm lens to grab, or they were obscured by all the ground brush, or they were right up against the fence. I took just over 300 pictures, and I think less than ten are keepers. And they’re only keepers because I managed to somehow wedge my lens between the links of the fence and grab an unobstructed shot. They’re not good pictures otherwise – more like glorified snapshots. But it was all I could do.

They also had an enclosure with a pair of foxes, and another with a lynx and a bobcat. But again, that damn fence. And a lot of people pushing up against it. Kneeling to get an eye-level shot would practically mean being teabagged by some fat Jersey grocery clerk out with his ugly wife and kids:

Crowd at Enclosure (1 of 1)

They do, as I mentioned, offer photography tours. But they cost THREE HUNDRED FREAKIN’ DOLLARS for two hours. For that money they let you walk between the two fences of the enclosure, and there are windows where you can stick your lens through for a fence-free shot. Plus the wolves are pretty tame and come when called, so you’re guaranteed to get good closeups and action shots of them chowing down on Liv-a-Snaps. But did I mention – IT’S THREE HUNDRED FREAKIN’ DOLLARS! For that money I’ll buy my own damn wolf on the dark web and have a lifetime of free wolf pics. Or at least free pics until he escapes and eats the neighbor’s kid or something. I give that two weeks. So it would be worth it.

Anyway, these are the pics I managed to somehow salvage from the outing:

Wolf on Rock resize


White Wolf Peeks Out resize


Wolf Pokes Head Out resize

And this is the little statue they have guarding the entrance. I don’t know why they went with Siamese twins, but they did. Anyway, I purposely under-exposed the shot to give it a more ominous feel. Does it feel ominous? Huh? Does it?

Wolf Statue Entrance resize

I think it looks ominous.

But not as ominous as….


Ciao, kids. Now go wash your hands. You never know where this post has been.



27 thoughts on “Italians and Wolves at the Door

  1. I hope NewWifey (aka zipperhead 😦 ) gets home safe and sound. I miss your hilarity. P.S. This little old lady with liver spotted hands is unlikely to do cross stitch, though I did buy a sewing machine and I sewed a skirt for my step-granddaughter. I honestly hated every minute of it. I don’t know if I’ll attempt anything like that again. Dark times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HA! I used to call her “Frankenwifey”. Great minds, and all that.

      Yeah, I’m hoping things get back to normal soon also. I have LOTS of lies stored up I need to post! Thanks Martha, you’re a babe. Even if you don’t have any womanly skills 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you get a chance to read my blog scroll down to March 10th and an awful fucking video of an awful fucking interview I did for local news. I don’t know why I feel compelled to draw it to everyone’s attention but I do, so there you go. Hugs to wifey too, obvs. You hang in there too

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sending virtual hugs and kisses on both cheeks to your wife. She has a constitution of iron. Love her cross-stitch patterns/projects and wish that my eyesight was still good enough to let me carry on stitiching. 🙂

    Best wishes to you both as we face this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you REALLY cared, you’d send money. But what the hell, I’ll take what I can get. So…thanks!!

      And best of luck to you also. Really. If we both come out of this alive I’ll mail you one of her stitched pieces. (Don’t tell her.) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly, finances are a bit tight or I’d be doing just that. 🙂

        I’m on vacation (unpaid) for the next 3 weeks to prevent/reduce the spread of the virus to our students. The fact that we occasional teachers still have those pesky utility/tax/grocery bills to pay seems to have escaped the federal govt’s carefully thought out planning.

        What a sweet and generous offer. You DO know that I have a ‘lot’ of x-stitched pieces from the days I used to do this already? Right?

        PS: Did I forget to mention that I loved your wolf pictures esp the one of the wolf peering past the tree?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, look at you! That was a very nice fish piece. I think I even recognize some of the more obscure ones – is that an arowana?? Pretty nifty! Did you stitch that on Aida, by the way? And did you ever go to any of the stitching shindigs, like Celebrations of Needleworks? Very cool!

          Thank you for the nice words about my wolf pics. I’m glad you liked them. And if you need food or toilet paper over the next three weeks, give me a call. I’ll send NewWifey(tm) over with some. She, of the two of us, ain’t scared 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you for the compliment. I haven’t stitched in years but when I did I used Aida (11, 14, 18, 22 count) and even-weave. It was in the pre-internet days so I was never involved in any stitching groups. Though I did go to a rather interesting Beauty and the Beast (Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton tv series) Winterfest gathering in Toronto that I rarely talk about. Oh the excitement…

            And then there were the Star Trek conventions which are a point of some rather geeky pride in retrospect. 🙂

            How kind of you to volunteer your wife for the long drive. I’d treat her right on arrival … freshly baked goods, plentiful amounts of alcohol applied internally and her choice of guest bedrooms to sleep in and rest up for the return trip. I’ll let you know if it’s necessary. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Wonderful! Ah, the good ol’ days. I bet Toronto was a lot of fun. BTW, almost all of wifey’s stitching groups are in-person event still, not internet groups. So if you ever find that Miracle Arthritis Cream and want to get back into it, give her a call. (Although fair warning: she’ll try her hardest to get you to stitch on linen.) 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              1. The internet was more for instant planning not for the meeting per se. I used to get my fanfic shipped to me. Once read, you ‘snail-mailed’ the bundle of stories on to the next person on the list. Pricey.

                It’s the eyes that are the problem not the arthritic claws. And that mostly affects the thumbs. 🙂

                I looked into stitching on linen years ago … so many challenges. I’d resist. Forcefully.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Your photos are wonderful. Especially the one behind the tree. And I thought Newwifey’s staples were piercings and thought they especially worked with her hair color. Did she consider leaving them in? They look copper but think it is the reflelction from her hair as copper is dangerous to wear above the neck..or so I read when I was making copper jewelry. Enjoyed your irreverent meanderings, as usual.


    1. Wow, thank you so much for the wonderful note. I’ve missed you! I’m so glad you like the wolf pictures – I’m quite fond of the snout picture as well, if only because it was technically the most challenging. (NewWifey(tm) did consider leaving them in initially, but because her head is made out of concrete the doctor warned her that any moisture from showering, etc., might have a point of ingress there and work its way down to her ass, which is where she keeps her brain and where most of her ideas are pulled from. So as much as she liked the aesthetic, in the interest of keeping me off balance with her various arbitrary and nonsensical decisions she decided to have them removed.


  4. I’m just catching up with your blog. That’s how much OT I’ve worked lately.

    Glad to hear FrankenWifey is alive and kicking. Here’s hoping she – and you – stay that way. This stuff’s pretty nasty.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The nice part is WHY the OT. I work from home. We were already set up that way. So we acqiored companies who weren’t prepared and COULDN’T prepare fast enough to move their operation to home-based. We were already growing fast. We just kind of exploded lately.

        They’re re-defining my part of the business too, so hopefully I’ll be getting paid more for it soon, too.

        Liked by 1 person

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