Ellie Bean

So, like most pet lovers, I swore that I was done for a while after the loss of my Sophie (see last weeks post), and yet, I didn’t make it for more than a couple of days before the overwhelming loneliness got to me and I found myself at the local humane society, wandering through their collection of animals looking for forever homes. It was a painful couple of hours…there were so many dogs, cats and even rabbits looking for homes.

I selected a few that I wanted to meet, but none of them were quite what I was looking for, nor did I find an instant connection with any of them. I honestly went in there hoping that a dog would pick me – not the other way around. It was distressing to say the least – all of these poor critters in cages, and the noise was deafening. They were power washing and cleaning/painting cages that day, so add that noise to the mix of barking dogs.

Then, somehow, I spotted Ellie. This poor little brown and white dog was cowering on her little mattress, and had her head hidden and she wouldn’t look at, or come to anyone. When I asked to see her, she shook like a leaf and tried to run and hide. Her backstory was that she was found in a pack of dogs, along with her presumed parents and siblings (who had all since been adopted) and that she was from another shelter. She was about a year old and had been at this particular shelter for a few months. She was so frightened – I knew I had to save her. And so, Ellie came home with me.

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Her first day home, scared and hiding

I tend to come up with crazy nicknames for my critters. Sophie, for example, resembled the color of peanut butter (sort of) so she eventually became known as ‘Sophanutter’ or ‘Nutter Butter’. Ellie is little so we started calling her Ellie Bean, or just Bean, which is pretty much all that we call her now…

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Getting used to the back yard, and no leash!

It’s been an interesting couple of months! She’s still afraid of everything, but she has come such a long way! She is my constant companion, night and day, and is an absolute cuddle bug at night. She has chewed through any harness we attempt to put her in, has destuffed pillows, chewed flip flops, and some articles of clothing, pulled seams apart on comforters, chewed holes in my sheet sets, and I wouldn’t change anything! She still doesn’t seem to know how to play, but the absolute joy on her face as she’s running on the beach or in the back yard gives me hope that she’ll continue to progress and forget whatever may have happened to her in the past.

Beach days!!

We LOVE our Ellie Bean!! I think Sophie approves and would have loved her too…

I LOVED this book!

Not That I Could Tell – Jessica Strawser

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An innocent wine filled Saturday night around a campfire amongst six neighborhood women with baby monitors in hand, sharing laughter and life. But the next day, one of these women is missing, with the evidence pointing to a hasty departure – children, clothing, luggage and money all missing. Did she really leave of her own free will? Or did her estranged husband have something to do with her disappearance??

This novel takes you on an intriguing ride, as you see the investigation unfold through each of the women’s eyes.

Kristin has vanished, an event that comes to light on early Monday morning, after her estranged husband Paul, receives a call from school, reporting that the children are not there. Puzzled, he comes to the house they once shared, looking for her, only to discover that certain items are missing from the home, with evidence of a hasty departure present. Mystified, Paul calls the police.

Clara and Isabel, two of Kristin’s closest neighbors, are also stymied by her disappearance. After interviews with the investigating Detective, Claire realizes how little she truly knew about her friend, and doubts begin to fill her head about Kristin’s estranged husband Paul. These doubts are further fueled when detectives report that Kristin had researched domestic violence in the hours prior to her disappearance.

The story unfolds through the eyes of Clara and Isabel, as well as past musings of Kristin, as time passes and no evidence of Kristin’s whereabouts can be found. Clara’s doubts about Paul grow, while Isabel, whom recently lost the love of her life in a strange twist of fate, struggles with loneliness, and finds herself feeling sorry for, and drawn to, Kristin’s bereaved husband.

Is Paul a jilted husband, or something far more sinister?

I have never read anything from this author before, and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! One finds herself rooting for Kristin in the hopes that she escaped safely, all the while wondering is Paul is as innocent as he seems. Izzy and Clara become close to your heart as you learn about their lives and their concerns for their missing friend. As the novel races towards a stunning and somewhat predictable conclusion, it ends with a sweet surprise that ties it all together.

I LOVED this book!!