Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Is That A Bubbler?

Hey Everyone!

Today, I've got a story for you. The story is from my youth but, unlike most of those years, this was some time that wasn't misspent. It's a little long, so please bear with me; I promise there's a point. ;-)

When I was a teenager, I had a kitty that got hit by a car. His jaw was badly broken and he needed surgery to repair it. Since I was just a kid, I didn't have the $1,000+ it cost for the surgery and the several days of care he required at the veterinary clinic afterwards. And my parents sure as hell didn't have it, either. But the vet was a kind old man, and he made me a deal. He treated my kitty, fixed him up good as new, and he let me work off the bill after school and on weekends.

It took several months for me to work off that debt part-time for minimum wage, but it was a great experience and I learned a lot. Doc worked with both large and small animals, so I got to see a variety of ailments and how they were treated. And the people he dealt with were often more of a challenge than the patients, which I'm sure isn't much of a surprise for anyone who has ever worked with the public.

On one memorable occasion, Doc took me out to a call for what he called "a bubbler." It turned out "a bubbler" was a cow that was pregnant and the fetus died inside her. She was unable to expel it on her own, and it rotted inside her. Bubbles of putrefaction were running out of her vagina and down her back legs. Hence the term "bubbler." The stench was truly beyond description.

Well, being the experienced vet that he was, Doc just sighed, got out his tools, and gloved up. He had me glove up too, and hold an enormous, industrial strength garbage bag open for him. He told me not to try to hold it up, just let it sit on the ground, but to make sure it stayed open. Then he went to work.

Doc took what looked like a long metal pipe with a loop of wire inside it and stuck it up inside that cow. It surprised the hell out of me, but she barely reacted. He then put his other arm up there and somehow -- don't ask me how, I'm not a vet -- got the wire looped around part of the dead fetus. Without cutting his fingers off, which I thought was the really impressive part. Then he pulled the loop tight from the other end of the pipe and sliced off a chunk. Which he then pulled out of the cow and chucked in the bag I was holding.

This process was repeated until the entire fetus had been removed and put in the bag except for the skull. It turned out the reason the fetus died was because it had been conjoined twins. And the reason the cow hadn't been able to expel it was because the skull was actually two skulls fused together and it was too big to fit through her pelvic girdle.

In order to get the skull out without cutting the cow open, which Doc didn't want to do because of the risk of infection, he had to break the skull into smaller pieces. What he did was get out this tool that, I swear to god, looked like a slightly smaller, elongated Jaws of Life on a pole. How he managed to wedge it up that cow, I'll never know. I get sympathy pains just thinking about it.

But he did it, and Doc reached up her and maneuvered it around until he had the skull in it. When he pressed a button on the handle, it made a horrible grinding sound followed by a sickening crunch. After that, it was just a matter of making sure all the shards got removed without slicing her up inside, flushing and suctioning her out to get rid of all the remaining ick, and stuffing her full of antibiotics.

So why did I treat you all to this lovely story? Hope you weren't eating dinner, by the way. ;-) I wrote this because I remember that after it was done, I looked down into the bag and thought it looked like a demented axe murderer had gotten loose in a cow barn. I mean, there were all these random, hacked up cow parts oozing blood and other fluids everywhere. The fetus had been almost to term, and there was almost two of them, so there were a lot of parts and they looked pretty recognizably cow-like.

But they weren't a cow. They had never been a cow, and they were never going to be a cow. And that's just the way the genetic lottery crumbles. If it had been a human woman who had been pregnant, what I stood by and watched Doc do -- and corralled the remains of -- would have been called a "partial birth abortion." But if it had been a human fetus in that condition, it would have had no more of a chance of ever becoming a human than that cow fetus ever had of becoming a cow.

And that's heartbreaking for the women who have to face that reality, but it's the reality, nevertheless. The only thing that would have happened if Doc hadn't been allowed to remove the rotting fetus is that the cow would have died too. Slowly and painfully. But just looking at the pile of parts, that wasn't obvious. It looked like someone really sick had done something terrible to a poor, defenseless animal.

So try to keep that in mind the next time someone shares a "horrifying" video or "sickening" pictures of an abortion. Because unless you're a medical professional who was onsite and able to assess the situation yourself, you really have no idea what you're looking at. And what's in those images may just have been a bubbler.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is one you may have already seen, but it's exactly why we need Medicare For All, and why electing another neoliberal shill who will just kowtow to the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations isn't something this country can afford. But I'll let the video speak for itself. Peace!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

#August2019 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's the 18th again, so time for my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly indie author book review!! Enjoy! :-)

Augmented by Stuart Kenyon:

Imagine being alone in a wasteland that was once one of humanity's shining achievements. That's the situation John finds himself in; a British exile living not far from New York City when the apocalypse struck. He has spent a year learning how to survive with only the aid of his wits and the mechanical companion he constructed. But a chance glimpse of video changes his outlook from one of futility to one of hope, when he discovers he's not the only human left alive on the planet. Will he find the strength and resolve to brave the dangers infesting a once civilized enclave to connect with his fellow survivors? You'll have to read to find out!

I really enjoyed this book. Stuart Kenyon has a gift for crafting characters whose flaws make them so realistic a reader might expect to meet them on the street. His heroes aren't perfect and his villains are such not because of some over-the-top evil within them, but simply because they allow themselves to succumb to the most banal of human vices, sloth, greed, jealousy, etc. It makes his good guys relatable, and his bad guys far more frightening and real than if the harm they caused sprang from a more dramatic motivation.

The themes this story addresses are also both timely and well-illustrated by this story. In an age when there is legitimate concern about how, and whether, human beings will adapt to technology that is becoming more and more sophisticated at an exponential pace, this peek at a possible application of that technology is fascinating. Taken on a more metaphorical level, it's reasonable to ask if we've already gotten to the point where we've allowed our computers and social media to make zombies of us all. Whether you want to consider the theme literally or metaphorically, there is certainly enough food for thought in these pages. And if you just want an exciting adventure story about regular people finding ways to work together to defend themselves against threats and find solutions to the unique challenges they face set against a post-apocalyptic backdrop, this ticks that box as well.

As I said, I really enjoyed this book, and I can't wait for the next installment in the series. Five stars, and please keep them coming, Mr. Kenyon.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Scorching #Reads #Summer #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Summer!  Please take a moment to check out the Scorching Reads Summer Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 66 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Friday, August 16, 2019

Delicious #Summer Wrap #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd share an easy, tasty wrap idea.

8 corn or flour tortillas
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups broccoli florets
1 20 oz package sliced button mushrooms
1 bell pepper seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
1 cup cabbage chopped
2 onions chopped fine
1 brick extra firm tofu cubed
2 ears of corn
6 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup adobo sauce
2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
2 cups unflavored hummus
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Grill or broil the corn until slightly blackened. Cool and then cut the kernels off the ears. Set the corn aside. Brush both sides of each tortilla with olive oil and heat them on the grill or in a skillet until they are toasted. Cool and spread one side of each tortilla liberally with hummus. Set aside

Put the onions in a skillet with the remaining olive oil and cook until they're translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook them until the mushrooms wilt. Add the remaining vegetables, tofu, sauce, and seasonings and cook them until the vegetables start to soften, stirring often. Add the corn and remove from heat.

Spoon the vegetable mix into the tortillas and fold the tortillas into wraps. Serve warm or chilled. You can grill the bell peppers before adding them to the skillet to give your wraps a bit more of a charred flavor. Also, you can obviously replace any of the vegetables with others that you prefer. As always, I prefer my wraps without meat. But you can add cooked strips of steak or chicken to your wraps, if you'd like. If you do, please make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly because food poisoning sucks.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Transitory By Ian Williams!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Ian Williams in my APC spotlight, today! Ian is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his space exploration, time travel, science fiction, action, adventure novel, Transitory, looks great! Here's the description:
Nate Maddox thought his vacation to a distant moon would be a chance to relax. He was wrong.

There, visitors venture into their own memories for entertainment. With the help of an ancient race of space-dwelling aliens, they can revisit their fondest moments, see lost loved ones again, repeat their greatest achievements, or even return to their childhood.

But what starts as fun for Nate soon turns into a deadly nightmare. He enters the rift and witnesses his past, only to find it replaying in a different way. Has he remembered it wrong, or is something far more disturbing happening?
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:

Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 978

Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal

Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Nine-Hundred-Seventy-Eight:
The adolescent felid has been guarding his cache of baubles so assiduously that I have temporarily abandoned the plan to use them to facilitate communication with my hominid-servant. Instead, I have taken the opportunity to study the little idiot, himself, to see if I can determine what, exactly, he seeks to gain by amassing the trinkets the way that he has. It seems unlikely that my hominid-servant will confiscate them, as she is the one who presented them to us in the first place, and they certainly will not wander away on their own. So I am puzzled as to who it is he seeks to protect them from. Hopefully, my observations will yield some enlightenment, however, I have not dismissed the possibility that my young companion is simply irrational. Which may be an inescapable byproduct of being a native of this planet.

The strange logic of young felids. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!