Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Updates from 2015

Happy New Year and almost happy spring! The last two and a half months have simultaneously crawled and flown. It's been a busy, exciting 2015 so far, and we are grateful. Steve is working at the library and teaching online courses. He is also pursuing writing prospects. Steve is a terrific writer and I am glad he is putting his work out there. (Check out his blog, Kaijuville, if you have a chance.)

The Cat Zoo is doing well and keeping us busy. They are sweet and adorable and they continue to keep us entertained and warm this winter. It is never lonely chez Sigety! Yes, we have been called crazy cat people, but we are near the age where we really don't care what people think, or at least as not as much.

There are three reasons why I've been quiet on here for almost a season. First, I am teaching four classes in three different subject areas: library science,literature, and speech. It's a lot and it can be exhausting, but I am grateful for the opportunities, grateful to meet so many cool people, and happy to be able to teach and write.

Secondly, we are on the home stretch with this thesis. (I say "we" because Steve has been through this journey with me with his unfaltering love and support.) It's been a great journey. Combining expressive writing (Pennebaker) and freewriting (Elbow) may help a lot of people. This will be a thesis that will help the community--not a project that will be simply shelved away. It's awesome to have a stellar thesis adviser and a terrific thesis committee. It will be a relief to walk across the stage and pick up the diploma! It's been a long time coming! I can't wait to start reading and reviewing books on Goodreads again!

Finally, Karen Harris and I released our book, The Medieval Vagina: A Historical and Hysterical Perspective of all Things Vaginal During the Middle Ages. (Don't judge.) It is available on, and it is the product of a two-year writing collaboration. We call our book MV, and we released it on December 10, 2015. (Yesterday MV turned three months old!) Wow, has this feminist-historical-humorous tome has taken us on a fantastic journey! Five copies of our book is circulating at the St. Joseph Public Library in South Bend, Indiana. We have our books being sold in four bookstores in four different states: Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Texas. Karen and I have written guest blogs for blogs in Australia and the U.K. Our books have been sold in the U.S. and in the U.K. Our book is launched in print and in ebook.

Last week,in-between snowstorms, Karen and I had our first bookstore book reading and opening in Boston. (Trident Booksellers is an amazing place! It's a must-see in beautiful Boston.) Most importantly, MV is reaching a lot of people. We are building relationships and inspiring other writers to write and publish. Life is short, so Karen and I are making it happen. It can happen-- it takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and having so much fun in the process that it doesn't feel like work. I highly recommend a writing cohort. It makes all the difference.

For all of you writers out there-- just do it. One word at a time. :)

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions or just to say hello! :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Hellidays!

It feels more like early spring here in northern Indiana, but Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Instead of visions of sugarplums dancing over my head, I am imagining roasting Elf on the Shelf alongside chestnuts over an open fire. I admit it, I have seen too many hilarious Elf on the Shelf memes on Facebook. We don't have a fireplace, so an imaginary Elf on the Shelf with the virtual fireplace DVD on the laptop will have to suffice.

Christmas is a tough time for an empathic and highly-sensitive introvert:the sights, the smells, the sounds are enough to simultaneously drain and flood this kooky shiny girl to the point where I want to crawl in next to my feline hoard, sip on a glass of red, and read and sleep and write the hellidays away, leaving the memories of loved ones and Christmas pasts lurking outside my bedroom door.

I have to admit that the past two days have been really good. I embrace the good things, expect nothing, and show gratitude for any amount of light shining our way. I notice the significant details: the bird's nest outside our dining room window, struggling for a place under the covers next to our sixteen-year-old Javacat, the home cooked meals with friends and family and cards and unexpected gifts and laughter. It the moments that make a difference.

Merry Christmas to all! Hell freezes over as Steve and I continue enjoy the mellow Christmas festivities. -XO

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

December News

Since I last posted, Steve and I adopted two kittens this fall. We half-heartedly attempted to adopt them out, but all of our friends already had cats and all of the shelters were overcrowded. These two abandoned kittens are too beautiful, good-natured, and sweet to risk euthanasia. So, Oscar and Marimba Mittens are now part of the herd. We are officially crazy cat people, and that is okay with us.

Fast forward to December, as I skipped the whole month of posting in November! Life has recently been super busy in a very good way, and Steve and I have a lot to be thankful for. After a heartbreaking and hectic year, it's time for positive changes! Bring on 2015! I will be finishing my thesis and my master's in liberal studies by May, with the intention on publishing the writing prompts.

Karen Harris and I are also ready to launch our book, and there are several more in the works. We are both teaching college, and that gives us the financial stability and flexibility to live our authentic dream and write books. :)

Here is our new website for the new book, if you are interested in taking a peek:
As soon as our store is live, we can take orders for our book!

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Story of Edgar

Sometimes doing the right thing hurts.

Steve and I returned from the veterinary clinic today with an empty cat carrier and heavy hearts. Edgar (formerly known as Fred) had been through the proverbial ringer in the last couple of months. We captured Edgar in a cat trap, had his ear clipped and his manly bits neutered. We assumed that Edgar was a feral cat, so we intended on releasing him. There were two reasons why the release was unsuccessful. The first reason was that Edgar was a sweet and sociable stray. He camped outside on our side porch alongside two abandoned kittens this summer. (We suspected that they are his.) Second, he tested positive for FIV, which is the feline equivalent of HIV.

One Friday, Edgar limped to the door with a gash on his front right leg. We both took Edgar to the vet and he tended to Edgar’s wound. We kept Edgar with us until we found another home for him. Unfortunately, all of the local pet rescue organizations and shelters were—and currently are—overcrowded. And if we took him to the Humane Society, Edgar would have been put down because of his FIV. So we wanted to give the poor cat a chance.

Steve and I learned a lot about cats with FIV. Cats who catch FIV are usually unneutered males, as the virus is passed through saliva (as in a bite wound). Unneutered toms are territorial and tend to fight. Otherwise, as long as the FIV cat does not bite the others cats (and Edgar didn’t), there is minimal chance of transmission.

Besides the FIV, sweet and affectionate Edgar had other challenges. When he was nervous, he sprayed. Edgar stepped in front of the Lady Cats, ate voraciously, and drank a plethora of water. Edgar also experienced loose stools (a symptom of FIV) and he chewed his cat food on one side. (It turned out all four of his canines were broken.) Edgar twice escaped for a romp around the boulevard. Although the wound on Edgar’s right leg was slowly healing, he was still showing signs of discomfort. So, we called the vet and made an appointment.

Steve and I will always remember the sweet and resilient Edgar. We will take some comfort knowing that as he took his last breath he was not suffering in the streets. Instead, Edgar was with people who loved him. It was the right thing to do.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Autumn Gratitude

It has been almost two months to the day since I posted on this blog. A lot has been happening outside the virtual realm, so I unintentionally took a blogging break. Thank goodness I remembered the password to log in!

At this writing, I am sitting in a wicker chair, feet elevated,facing the front porch, and peering out at the boulevard. My right calf is a bit achy from this morning's biopsy. The September sky is pure autumn azure. The bushes and trees surrounding the house are full and the leaves are ever-so-slightly changing color. I am serenaded by the sounds of crickets, birds, and the occasional car. A dog barks in the distance. The cats--including the foster felines--are relaxing on the front porch with me and inside the house. Steve is on his way home from running errands. He was--as always--my rock.

Fortunately, I have a couple of days off from teaching to play catch-up on grading and writing. I am grateful to be teaching two sections of speech and two sections of library literacy, even though I have falllen behind on grading. I am also grateful to have played in the LaPorte County Symphony this summer and fall.The book I am co-writing with Karen, my friend and writing cohort, is almost finished. And the thesis is about halfway completed and should be completed in November. Steve and I are looking forward to a peaceful 2015.

Since the nearly two-month no-blogging spell has passed, it is nice to be back on the writing wagon. Hopefully your autumn is going well!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Birthday and Anniversary

July is always bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter. I celebrated the month with family and friends.

My thesis proposal passed, and I am working on it this summer and fall. The plan is to have it wrapped up and defended by

Thanksgiving. Then what? We shall see. I enjoy teaching and writing.

Today is our seventeenth wedding anniversary. We're going to go to dinner and then weather permitting, we'll go to the beach and

take in a sunset.

Hope your summer is going well!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

From the Scorch Files: The Cucumber Cleanser

I renewed a cookbook from the library. (Yes, you heard me correctly, I renewed it. I usually don't renew cookbooks.) The title is called Clean Green Drinks: 100+ Cleansing Recipes to Renew & Restore Your Body and Mind by Candice Kumai. I decided I wanted to try out a clean, green drink.

There are three ingredients in The Cucumber Cleanser. That's my kind of recipe:

1 Fuji apple, quartered
2. 2 cups kale
3. 1 large cucumber

Add all ingredients in a juicer and mix. (Be sure to peel the cucumber first. Steve and I searched the kitchen for a potato peeler.) I was lazy and didn't want to deal with the juicer, so I tried using the blender. There
really is a difference between a juicer and a blender. The smoothie is very green with bits of red from the apple. The "smoothie" tastes a lot like cucumber. There is no taste of kale, which is good for a beverage, and a tiny taste of apple.

Steve was brave enough to sample the "smoothie". He pursed his lips and took the tiniest sip. He didn't flinch.
"Not too bad," he said. "I probably wouldn't drink this so much." (Texture is an issue for him.)

I am half sipping and half chewing the "smoothie". I may attempt this again and remember to strain the veggies. In fact, I may purchase this book from Amazon--and actually use it. :)