Project #SaveTheBooby: Marco…Polo…

There’s exciting stuff happening today for Project #SaveTheBooby! My left breast has gone bionic(ish) with something called the SAVI Scout. To read all the science-y coolness you can click here, but I’ll still give you the scoop here, in case you don’t have time to read the article.

Summary: The SAVI lets the doctor play Marco Polo with my (very tiny, well-behaved) tumor.

Can you see the scene in my head?

Very Dignified Doctor: “Let’s do this.”

Tiny Tumor: “HUZZAH!”

SAVI Scout: “I’m ready.”

[Everyone lines up in the surgical theater.]

Very Dignified Doctor: “Marco?”

SAVI: “Polo!”

I’m sure it doesn’t happen exactly that way, but that’s the way I see it, and it definitely provides some entertaining comic relief from cancer.

[ICYMI yesterday’s post gave you the scoop on Project #SaveTheBooby (and a really fascinating look at the mating dance of the blue-footed booby bird).]

Back to the SAVI…

It basically helps the doctor find the fastest, least invasive, most complete way to remove the tumor. They put it in today so when the doctor does the surgery tomorrow, he has a computer telling him the best way to get to the tumor and beeping at him if he goes astray.

I wonder if I’m going to dream about the beep beep beep beep that I will hear during surgery, where the SAVI is saying “I said ‘GO LEFT!'” Basically, for the two-hour surgery, the SAVI will be micromanaging my very wonderful surgeon.

I’ll catch y’all on the flipside when I am cancer free (hopefully).

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

~ Jenny

Note: On the “getting an A+ in cancer” side of things, all 79 of the genetic cancer markers I was tested for came back negative. I am the luckiest freaking gal on the block.

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Project #SaveTheBooby

Since mid-November, my siblings have been texting me photos of booby birds. They send them with cute hashtags like #SaveTheBooby and #ProjectGetItOut. You see, mid-November is when I found out I have breast cancer and, with relatives like the Bag Whore, it’s been non-stop boobies ever since.

I have to admit, they’re cracking me up. I had no idea this kind of cuteness even existed!

Boobies come in all colors – there are three or four plain black and brown types, but the blue and red-footed booby birds are the real cutie pies. For my bird-watching pals (yes, I’m looking at you, K.B. Owen), these blue-footed charmers breed on the Galapagos Islands, and apparently they have one of the cutest mating dances around.

I put a short clip of it below. Totally worth your minute, y’all.

Booby Mating Dance

No that NatGeo dude did NOT just say “these boobies are swingers”…

I just can’t keep a straight face for that video.

Anyway, back to the boo-hiss breast cancer. This is some Stage 1 early-detection cancer and things are looking pretty positive. I have friends who have suffered terribly and (so far) it looks like I will get out of this ordeal with no chemo, so I’m feeling pretty lucky.

Plus, I’ve gotten presents like this:

The doctors are all enjoying that mug in appointments, let me tell you. And who doesn’t want that magical blue-footed stuffy next to their computer?

All kidding aside, I am absolutely getting an A+ in cancer, and I’m feeling very very grateful about it. #ProjectGetItOut (aka surgery) happens on December 22nd. I’ll keep y’all posted on how things go and whether there are any surprises that day. I would absolutely love any positive “no chemo” prayers you have.

What is up with you this holiday season? Do you have any holiday plans or news to share?


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Undies For Everyone – a Charity I Can Get Behind

Google Alerts are the best things since chocolate chip cookies, aren’t they? All the news you care about, straight to your inbox. Today, my “Undie Chronicles” alert brought me information on an amazing charity: Undies for Everyone. Now THIS is a charity I can get behind!

I know our beloved Undie Chronicles discuss all the wacky get-ups adults find to slap on under their clothes (most of which they should be insecure about). But Undies for Everyone was created to address underwear insecurity in children.

No child should have to worry about where their next pair of undies is coming from.

What is Undies For Everyone?

This organization was founded for American children in crisis. From their website: “Underwear insecurity is a condition endured by children in crisis who lack access to new underwear.” They further state, “Kids living in crisis don’t have access to new underwear – they venture out with hand-me-downs or nothing at all.”

“Underwear is something you take for granted until you don’t have it.” – Undies For Everyone champion, Brené Brown

(Amen, Brené.)

Undies for Everyone provides new underwear for over 100,000 U.S. children living in poverty or crisis. With newfound confidence and self-esteem, students are ready to learn and grow.

Here’s their home page video:

Donating Is Easy

There are three ways to donate to Undies for everyone if you wish to assist.


Because what organization do you know that doesn’t love the flexibility of money?


They have an Amazon Wish List set up like a registry. You click here, pick from the list, and send the undies. They take care of getting each pair where it is most needed. 


They have a Shopify store with t-shirts, tote bags, and more. And y’all, they have “Undies for Everyone” t-shirts! You know I need to get me one of those.

Extra Slice of Entertainment

If you need an extra bonus round of undie entertainment, here’s the founder of Undies for Everyone, Rabbi Amy Weiss, reading “Veggies with Wedgies” by Todd H. Doodler. The book mentions an Underwear Fairy… OMG, I’ve got to set up an alert for that.

Final Thoughts

I miss the heck out of hanging out here at More Cowbell with all of you! You make up the funnest comment section ever. It’s been this and that and way too much of crappity-crap-that these last few years, but my early New Year’s resolution for 2022 is to dust off this blog and post more regularly over here. (I’m still always around at Writers In the Storm. Eleven years and counting!)

* * * * *

Had you ever heard of Undies For Everyone? What is your favorite charitable cause to donate to, and why? What have y’all been up to? Enquiring minds want to know ALL the things here at More Cowbell!

Hugs all around!

Posted in Inspiration, Undie Chronicles | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Hashtag of the Week: #MadPooper

Toilet HumorTwitter has been blowing up this week over a Colorado Springs woman, dubbed The Mad Pooper, who is copping a squat on people’s front lawns. Now, as insane as that is, that’s not the funny part.

She’s been doing this for seven weeks and they haven’t caught her yet.

How do you poop on someone’s front lawn for seven weeks, with no one tackling you into the dew? She’s even on camera, with images from every angle and no one has stepped forward with a name.

How far did this lady have to travel to poo on these particular lawns? That’s what I want to know. If she lives in the same neighborhood, surely someone would have recognized her.

The tweets are hysterical. I’m always impressed with how creative people get in 140 characters. I’ve been laughing over this hashtag for 15 minutes…so of course I had to share it with my peeps.





And you know why this is even funnier to me? I have a jogging friend who went down in history with our set when she told us she’d had to take an emergency poo behind the bushes at the Baptist church in my mama’s home town. I can’t drive by that church without admiring their azaleas.

What are your thoughts on The Mad Pooper? Because, truly, enquiring minds want to know these things here at More Cowbell. 🙂

~ Jenny

p.s. For my writing peeps, I’m also over at Writers In The Storm today, talking about writing secrets from a television great, including insights into 3-act structure.

Posted in Humor, Twitter | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

The Best Tweet I’ve Seen This Month

How was your summer, everybody? I’ve been writing and writing, road tripping and writing. I’m desperately trying to finish editing a book before I attend Cruising Writers with Lisa Cron and Angela Ackerman.

[Excuse me while I have a fangirl moment *booty shake*]

So I’m catching up to be offline and I logged onto Twitter and OMG.

My writing pals and I were just talking about how difficult it is to write a sex scene. And would you look at this jewel of a tweet.

It’s like kismet.

Now isn’t that far more uplifting than the usual tweets running around Twitter? Disasters and politics and recipes have got nothing on these dangly bits.

Tell me one thing you are excited about as we move into Fall? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!


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Taking Your Undie Laws Wa-a-a-y Too Seriously

Wimbledon officials got twisted over several players panties this year.  The top seeded boys double players, Zsombor Piros and Wu Yibing, were asked to leave the court and change out of their black skivvies into – wait for it – borrowed white underpants.

(Seriously, y’all, you can’t make this kind of stuff up.)

The whole hubbub is explained in this article (includes video).

And how do these guys get their head into the game after being publicly sent packing (OMG, these puns are really hard to avoid today) to the locker room for some emergency underpants?

Papers like The Star opened their Wimbledon articles with ledes like this: “Tennis is a game that tests players’ athleticism, precision and mind. At Wimbledon, however, it’s also a test of players’ underwear.”

Yes, I know, it’s in the rules that one must wear white. I hear you. But I’d really think that applied to visible clothing, rather than undies. Did you watch the beginning of that video above?

Now keep in mind, this wasn’t the only undie case that day.

Another young whippersnapper, Jurij Rodinov, scandalized the chair umpire with his blue underpants. (I was scandalized by his man bun.) The umpire called in Lucy Grant, a Wimbledon supervisor, to also peek at this guy’s shorts. She says into her little radio: “Can we have some underwear to Court 18 – boy’s?”

Certainly, an Undie S.O.S. is how I’d want to be remembered in the sporting world, right? (Geesh!)

My advice to all Wimbledon players:

Go online and buy scads of white underpants. Do it the moment you know you’ve qualified for the tournament. And after the play is over — hopefully no officials have looked down your pants and asked you to change — do this with those boring white undies:

I have an Undie Chronicle I’ve been saving for a while, but this Wimbledon White Undies saga was just too fabulous to pass up.

Are you a tennis fan? What are your thoughts on extending the “all-white dress code” to the players’ undergarments? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

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The 11 Golden Rules of Watching Baseball

Photo credit: Pixabay

I’m smarting over here on the West Coast because the American League won the MLB All-Star Game last night. My home team is the Angels, so obviously I get to more American League games these days, but I am a National League girl.

The L.A. Dodgers..the San Diego Padres..the St. Louis Cardinals..really any NL team except the New York Mets. (Sorry, Mets fans, I adore the Cardinals…which makes your team pond scum.)

So yes, I’ll watch the AL games if they’re local, and at least the Angels have Mike Trout to keep me happy. But in every league-to-league contest, I root for the National League team. *ducks and covers*

How did I come by this passionate love of baseball?

From my mama, of course. That woman could name every baseball stat that happened in her life time. She got cable before it was the only gig in town so she could watch baseball games on TBS and WGN. I grew up playing “name that announcer” and can spot a balk at 50 paces.

I was blessed to get a visit from my mom’s best pal last month and she gave me the best gift. My mom’s baseball rules! She had very definite and distinct rules about the proper way to watch a baseball game. We’ll use the Cardinals since the Red Birds were her favorite.

11 Golden Rules for Attending Ball Games

by Jenny’s Mama

  1. Wear jeans or jean shorts.
  2. Must wear your team’s t-shirt or jersey. (favorite player optional)
  3. Athletic shoes to be nimble on your feet.
  4. Wear team visor or baseball cap.
  5. Take your ball glove for home runs or foul balls.
  6. Take transistor radio (nowadays, you’d use your phone) to hear the play-by-play from your team’s announcer – in her case, Jack Buck. (May he rest in peace.) Be sure to take a headset so as not to disturb others.
  7. Take cooler with water or soda. (Is this even legal anywhere now?)
  8. Wind shoestring licorice around your next for easy access and stress chewing. (Bubblegum optional.)
  9. BUY peanuts or popcorn and one soda to support the park.
  10. Get your program, score card and pencil. Know how to keep score properly.
  11. Bring your binoculars for good viewing. (She sat in the cheaper seats so she could go more often.)

When she died in 2004, we all lamented that we hadn’t written down her rules. And now look at this marvelous present I just received.

It’s prompted me to go buy tickets to the Angels’ interleague games. I love interleague play – it has saved me since I moved out of National League territory.

And in case you detest baseball, and am wondering why I spent all these words on such a dumb subject, here is an article for you.

What is your sport, and who taught you to love it? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

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The Bloggess has inspired me with her MAGIC!


Seriously, does anyone make the everyday seem cooler and more fun than the Bloggess? Plus we have the same

Cranky note: I’d really like to know why everyone else gets cute animals doing fluffy cute things, and the Jennys get a half-naked fat white guy dancing (badly) at a sporting event. It must be all my dancing-in-weird-possibly-illegal-places college karma coming back to haunt me.

In case you need to see this trainwreck for yourself:

Where have I been? Mostly suffering the plagues from Hell right here at the Hansen house. I wish I was exaggerating, but it’s been six weeks that felt like six months over here. Six weeks of working and mom-ing and passing around the stomach flu while combating a bizarre nearly-untreatable sinus infection. But we have survived. Nay, we have triumphed! (<–channeling my inner ancient gladiator.)

Now I’m counting down the final days of the school year until the summer. My kid likes to sleep in during the summer, which means some mornings I get to wake up when the time has an eight in it. WOO!

I hope you enjoy the heck out of the Bloggess and her Hot Dog Church Magic Show – I sure did. And I hereby promise to dust off the Cowbell and get back to a more regular blogging schedule over here. I miss my peeps when I am away!

~ Jenny

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What It Means to Overcome Fear

Cape Fear by Gary Dee ~ Wikimedia Commons

Today I’m thinking about fear, and all the wondrous things it holds us back from. Since I’m kicking my own booty over the fear factor, I’ll be inclusive and kick yours too.

I’m a giver like that. 🙂

Awhile back, I bought a book by Marianne Williamson called “A Return To Love” after I watched this Super Soul Sunday interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Williamson says, “Enlightenment is the unlearning of fear.” I’d agree with that.

So often, we’re afraid to reach for “more” and it’s senseless. Truly, it makes no sense not to reach for the stars. It’s not like you being more will make someone else less. But we worry that it will…or that we won’t…or that we can’t…

I like the way Ms. Williamson puts it:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

…Star in your own life. Be the most of who you can be. It will help lift up the others in your life to be the most that they can be.

In the interview below, she explains the difference between magic and miracles:

Magic is when you use your mind to tell the universe what you want. Miracles are when you ask the universe what it wants and how you can serve it.

Williamson’s message really hits home. I needed this reminder as I embark on some final drafts of my book before I start the beta reading and querying process. (Please let me know if any of you want in on that.

And the question I’ll add to the discussion:

Who do we think we are, not to stretch and grow and create with everything we’ve got dancing in our souls? Overcome that fear and reach for your dreams. You are the only person who can really make your dreams happen.

We wouldn’t have been given the yearning to create and shine if the words and ideas weren’t inside of us, waiting to be born. [Birth them, people! Birth them.]

Do you have a problem with fear? Is it fear of success, fear of failure, or both? Are you starring in your own life? Why or why not? Enquiring minds want to hear ALL about it down in the comments!


Posted in Inspiration, The Writing Journey | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

10 Life (and Writing) Lessons I Learned From My Dog

In honor of National Puppy Day, I’m sharing my favorite post about Hoshi with y’all. There’s just nothing like an awesome pet and my first baby girl was the best.

Hoshi was everything a dog should be: loyal, loving, sweet-tempered, funny.

She got my jokes (I swear to God that dog laughed) and she was around for all my big milestones – when I turned the big 3-0, the death of my parents, YEARS of dating, my engagement, my wedding, turning the big 4-0, baby-making attempts/successes/failures and the birth of my daughter, who is now a first grader.

There are so many up sides to pet ownership – companionship, exercise, preventative healthcare – but the biggest downside in my opinion is their short life span.

They will always go before we do – there’s just no way to get around it. Hoshi lived a stupendously long life for a 90 pound dog; she was fourteen-and-a-half years old when she left to frolic in that Puppy Lake in the Sky.

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a loved one, animal or human. I really think the memories and the lessons you learned from them are what help you get through it. Before we all start crying on our keyboards, I’ll move on to the Top 10 lessons my Hoshi-Moshi taught me, many of which relate to writing.

1)      50 New Smells A Day

It’s said that dogs need to get fifty new smells a day to stay psychologically alert and happy.  Those daily walks are your dog’s version of reading the paper. I KNOW they’re sniffing every bush, light pole and dog bootie on the block but in reality what they’re doing is “filling the well.” Writers must do the same thing (though I’d recommend keeping your nose to yourself). Stimulate your mind daily with whatever helps you be creative.

2)      Pay Attention

Take notice of the people, places and things in your life that fill your writing well. With the plethora of daily tasks on all our to-do lists, especially this time of year, it’s easy to let the small simple gifts in our world pass through unnoticed.

3)      Treats Help Everything

One of my dearest friends has seven pets and, according to her, “any one of her dogs would step over her bloody carcass for one bite of kibble.” (If you have dogs like hers, you might want to skip to #4.)

I’m not suggesting that you allow either you or your pet to get too fluffy in the backside but the world is better with steady rewards of coffee, chocolate, wine, cake or whatever treat that says, “Well done!” to you.

Positive reinforcement works on us writers too – you can bet I’ll keep my butt in the chair until this blog’s finished tonight. My husband is holding the nookie hostage in the other room until I do.

4)      Smile and Wag

What happens when your dog bounds across the room with a smile and a wag of his or her tail and slides under your hand? You pet them, and coo over them, AND YOU SMILE. It’s hard to resist your pet when they’re sweet.

Try to remember this concept when you’re buried up to your eyebrows in that pitiful sagging middle of your first draft. Your family (and your editor) will give you much more leeway if you smile and wag rather than bark and growl. I’m just sayin…

5)      Find the best professionals (and trust them)

When Hoshi turned eight, she began to get creaky with arthritis. Akita lifespans average about 10 years so I started getting mentally prepared (though, let’s face it, you never are).

My girlfriend, Mary, who’s a dog trainer, heard my concerns and sent me to Dr. Voll. A few visits with this wonderful vet and Hoshi was a whole new girl. Certainly, we did our part, but Dr. Voll took care of Hoshi for almost seven years and went well above the call of duty. Whenever the inevitable ups and downs of a senior dog would occur, I’d worry that it might be time to let my sweet baby dog go.  On one of those bad days, Dr. Voll looked me in the eye and said, “Stop crying! I’ll tell you when it’s time.”

And she did.

6)      Love Without Conditions

I don’t have to explain this one to any pet owners. Dogs don’t see disabilities, disfigurement, neuroses or any of the other things that tend to squeeze the human brain down the narrow path of judgment. Animals manage to see inside your heart and make their decisions from there.  Try to do this with yourself – this self-love will only make you a better writer.

You’ve heard the saying, “I want to be the person my dog thinks I am,” right? Enough said.

7)      Bring Your “A” Game

It’s not in a dog’s nature to give 50%, at least it wasn’t in Hoshi’s. She traveled the entire West Coast, San Diego to Seattle, and explored every dog beach and mountain range with the same focused zeal.

I’m a software trainer by day and, after September 11th the training projects in Southern California dried up. In 2002, if I wanted work, the dog and I had to hit the road.  We traveled throughout the state, stopping at every available doggie day care along the way. Whether it was Elaine’s Pet Resorts in Fresno or Fog City Doggie Day Care in San Francisco, that dog brought her A-Game. In turn, these places delighted in her visits and always made room for her even when they were full.

If we bring our A-Game to the page as writers, people (read: publishers) will make time for our work, even when they’re busy. It might just be critique partners or published authors in your writing chapter giving you time at first but, at some point, your writing will be recommended and you will sell.

8)      Invest In Training

One of my ex-boyfriends owned Hoshi’s parents – she and her four litter mates were literally born into my hands.

Unfortunately, this guy went to the “Well, they mind ME” school of training. This wasn’t so bad with Hoshi’s sire, who had an even temperament, but her mother was a really bad dog and it became a dicey business to have anyone in our house. I began training all five puppies, almost before their eyes opened, in an attempt to counteract the unruly bitchiness of their mother. This kind of rigorous training opened a lot of doors for Hoshi.

A well-trained dog is a well-received dog and the same goes for writers. The money and time you put into learning your craft will always be worth it.

9)      Service Makes You Feel Good

One of the happiest dogs I know is a Corgi named Boris. His owner, Monique is extremely disabled and gets around mostly by scooter. Mary (the dog trainer from #5 above) has taught Boris to fetch Monique’s keys, her shoes, the paper, and a myriad of other items. Like every pet, Boris thinks his owner is a rock star – he lives to serve Monique and nothing makes him happier than making her happy.

I’m not suggesting that you throw yourself on the altar of someone else’s happiness but I am recommending that you give back.

If you are unpublished that might mean guest blogs or judging in a contest. For published authors, it might mean the same or perhaps giving away a chapter critique. You’ll know your service opportunity when you see it if you’re on the lookout.

10)   Leave People Smiling

I realized during my second week home after having my daughter that it was Hoshi’s time to go. She’d limped along health-wise through my high-risk pregnancy. I really thought she’d miss the birth but she rallied.

Dr. Voll came when I called her and agreed that it was “time,” though she said I could take a few days.

I contacted all of Hoshi’s friends and opened the house for anyone who wanted to visit. We gave her every treat we had, plus people brought her scads of contraband food. Things like McDonald’s cheeseburgers that give a dog pancreatitis were on the menu that week and she was delighted (though I definitely got the “where has this been all my life” look).

On the big day, Dr. Voll came to the door and we sent our daughter out with a friend for a long walk so we could focus on Hoshi. She polished off the rest of a cheeseburger and moved on to the Honeybaked ham, smiling and wagging all the way.

When the medicine was administered, she never knew it.  I’ve repeatedly thought ‘we should all be so lucky.’

Hoshi was my first “baby girl” and I feel blessed to have learned from her.

Do you have pets? What lessons have they taught you? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!


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