A Phantom Post

Here is a post that I wrote Saturday morning BUT THEN NEVER HIT THE PUBLISH BUTTON. That’s just the way these past weeks have been going. It was just as well, because instead of being able to hang with Julie at the Hickory Stick Bookshop, I ended up relieving some exhausted volunteers at the Washington Town Hall, which had become a temporary shelter for people in town who still lacked power. I was only able to run across the street to the bookstore for a quick hello and to snatch up a few copies of Love at First Bark, before they were sold out. Anyway, here’s the phantom post that was meant to appear on Saturday morning:


Today, at 2:00, my dear friend Julie Klam will be signing copies of her hilarious and poignant book, Love at First Bark, at the Hickory Stick Bookshop, in Washington Depot. If you live in the area, you will likely not be able to read this, as you probably still have no power, but perhaps you will be attracted to the bright glow coming from the windows of the Hickory Stick.  Drawing closer to peer inside , you will see us all laughing gaily with Julie, without our coats and hats.  Yes, there is heat and electricity at the Hickory Stick Bookshop, so why not cast your Under Armour aside, and head on over to the Hickory Stick to meet Julie.  I’ll be there too and will have at least one of my pooches along.

Speaking of pooches, our town had to cancel Halloween this year.   First there was talk of postponing it and now it has been decided that it will be postponed until next year.  It wasn’t safe to walk the roads that were criss-crossed with downed trees and electrical lines.  Because of all the confusion created by the storm, I was unable to come up with costumes for our own “kiddies,” so I have decided to just post photos here from past Halloweens.

Some of you might recall that the New Yorker had a “Critterati” contest last year, in which you could submit photos of your pets dressed like characters from literature.   I submitted a few photos, some of the judges might argue that I submitted a few too many photos, but these two made the top five in the contest.  First, Mark, as The Nurse, from Romeo and Juliet:

Gomer as Evelyn Waugh:

And here are some others that didn’t make the cut.  Lulu as Bill Sikes from David Copperfield:

Daphne as Uriah Heep, also from Copperfield:

Gomer as the Reverend Dimmesdale of The Scarlet Letter:

Daphne as Friar Tuck:

And my personal favorite, Mark as Madeleine:






  1. Love these, they’re simply classic! Mark is such a dear. What a sweetheart! And Gomer as Evelyn Waugh is priceless. So sorry to have missed Julie at the Hickory Stick on Saturday … I was driving white-knuckled on a lonely, winding country road somewhere near Goshen at the time, caught off-guard by the earlier-than-predicted arrival of the snowstorm.

  2. Cynthia Stoddard says:

    Best. Animal. Costumes. Ever.

  3. Welcome back to the World-Wide-Web Ann. Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous critter costumes from Halloween’s past. I agree with Cynthia – Best Animal Costumes Ever!

  4. kristinseattle says:

    So glad everything is semi- back to semi- normal. Keep cracking up about the twitter; beddesk to bedquarters.

  5. Linda Hatch says:

    Loved seeing these pictures again.

  6. Yup, great revisiting the Hallowen pics.

    I love Gomer in the Evelyn Waugh costume. He’s so believable in the role. And Mark as the nurse is just hilarious. A horse with a towel on its ears is one of the funniest things on the planet anyway, and Mark’s expression is priceless–Hahahahaha! Oooops. Excuse the outburst.

    The backgroud elements you chose are perfect for the characters too. Fun stuff all over again.

    I’m deeply disappointed to miss Julie at Hickory Stick since “Love at First Bark” on my iphone helped get me through our dim 8 days. Loved her account of the pit bull who passed through your home and your blog, and felt like I was there (holding her coat??)for all the rescues.

    I had looked forward to meeting Julie, despite the technical difficulty of getting her signature on my phone. 😉 Booh! That’s the way lately. Maybe for another book….

    Hope things have smoothed out a bit at your end.

  7. So nice to have you back, I missed you. Love the pics.

  8. Welcome back Ann,, glad you are well and unharmed from Mother Nature, The TV Guide Magazine did a wonderful article on Denis and Michael J Fox and their wives!! It is so nice to read about strong family values when there is so much drama going on everywhere else. I think this is the correct link:


  9. Ann, maybe the phantom publisher was Ghost Girl! We haven’t heard from her in awhile and she might be ticked off that Halloween was cancelled.

    Mary L, thanks for posting that TV Guide link. Very nice article.

  10. I agree that those ingenious & adorable Halloween pics are worth revisiting time & again. I also agree with having missed you, Ann, though I was not willing to say it first out of concern for sounding too fan-y. Now that someone else risked the sentiment, I realize it sounds just right, and not at all “too much.” Reading your blog really does make my life cheerier, less focused on the yuckiness, more centered on the artful & light-filled &, best of all, the laugh-until-I’m-wishing-wore-depends funny.

    Since I kinda killed a coupla my body’s parts during the marathon–which were, to tell the truth already-dying anyway–I presently have a bed-desk as well. I shall be writing blogs, reading blogs, and stalking all forms of social media from my bed-quarters until further notice.

    Have no idea why the delivery guy from Gio’s Flying Pizza thought it odd that I asked if he’d bring my order to the master bedroom. Seriously, how unusual of a request could that possibly be? Especially when I added–in what may or may not’ve been–a husky-sexy voice that I promised to tip him for the extra effort.

  11. Oh, arse biscuits. That should’ve read “laugh-until-I’m-wishing-I-wore-Depends funny.”

    Clearly the pain meds are affecting my typing skills more than alleviating my hip & knee pain.


    • Denise,


    • Lol.

      Hope you are pain free soon!!!! The things you Marathoners are willing to endure always astounds me…..your hips and knees hurt but you presumably have toenails? Small consolation I guess.

      Let’s hope the bed desk is productive in the meantime since you have such excellent writing skills.

      • Hey Carol, since I’m pedaling–I ride a recumbent trike in the handcycle division–my toes don’t get the same kind of abuse that runners suffer from, luckily. When I was in the medical tent they were peeling away the blood-crusted shoe fabric from a guy’s toes after having cut off the rest of the shoe that they could. It was truly awful.

  12. Christine says:

    So glad you have power!

    Kids in our neighborhood went trick-or-treating on Saturday, Nov 5th. Of course, we ate half the candy by November 2nd.

    I wish I could look as GOOD as Daphne does in a hat!!! 🙂

  13. All I can say is, poor Mark. He does make a good Nurse. Maybe you could stage an all-equine “Romeo and Juliet” in your spare time. Thanks for the pics.

  14. It’s hard to pick a favorite “Critterati” photo. I think for me it’s Mark as Madeleine. That slight tilt of the head. All of your animals are good sports, that’s for sure!

    I enjoyed the TV Guide article on Michael J Fox and Denis.


  16. All fantastic! You are funny and a creative costume genius!!

  17. These pictures and costumes are the cat’s meow 🙂

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