Posted by: marialyss mckinley | October 9, 2012


There has been a great deal of talk lately about traditional marriage versus gay marriage. One of the new arguments being used against gay marriage is children. That somehow children are better off being raised by a man and a woman then by two men or two women. This is insulting and demeaning. There are so many different types of families today, to say that one man and one woman are better parents than anyone else dismisses all of the others.

What about the child being raised by two aunts. What about the child being raised by an aunt and grandmother or an uncle and grandfather? What about the child being raised by a single mother with help from her mother? Are these women and men less capable as parents because they are the same gender even if they are heterosexual?

By the argument that only heterosexuals make good parents, why then are so many children abused by heterosexual parents? Why then do so many men walk away from their children and never look back? Why do women obsess over the physical aspects of the child, wanting their daughters to be thin and pretty?

What it takes to be a parent is endless patience, a great deal of love, discipline, the ability to emotionally support even when one doesn’t understand the problem. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with the ability to parent.

For those for now using the, think of the children argument, perhaps they should just be honest and say they don’t believe in gay marriage because they don’t believe in homosexuality.

Posted by: marialyss mckinley | August 29, 2012

Lack Of Respect

I haven’t been updating my blog very much. I think one of the reasons why is I didn’t want it to become another blog where someone complains about politics and politicians. But I realize one of the reasons why I don’t update that often is I haven’t spoken about many political issues. One of my last blog entries was about the problem with the bridges and infrastructure versus politicians being concerned about the size sodas we drink was one of the easiest posts I’ve written. It was something that I believed in, cared about and wanted to blog about. I can’t separate who I am from what I write about and that’s why my blog has been sorely lacking.

So now my blog is going to become more political because that’s who I am.

I’m sure by now most people have heard about the outrageous comments from Rep. Akin regarding legitimate rape victims and pregnancy. That somehow as women we can shut down our reproductive system at will. Now, there has been an equally outrageous comment from Senatorial Republican candidate Tom Smith. He equates becoming pregnant as the result of rape to having a child out of wedlock.

I’ve often wondered if it’s just ignorance or misogyny or combination of both that would compel someone to think these thoughts, much less publicly state them, especially in the age of mass social media. But the more I think about it, the more I think it stems from one simple basic principle, a complete and utter lack of respect for women. Obviously these men must think that a woman is completely incapable of deciding what is best for her physically, emotionally, medically, and financially so they must think for her. Since when is a complete stranger more adept at knowing what’s better for a woman than that very woman herself?

The subject of abortion is a controversial one. It evokes passion on both sides of the debate. But the fact that it even becomes a debate shows a lack of respect for women. To my knowledge there isn’t a men’s health issue that is a political issue. There has never been a presidential debate in which men’s health issues have been a hot button issue. And to me this confirms that the biggest reason for their even needing to be in abortion debate is a lack of respect for women.

Take the health-care debate. One of the biggest arguments is making healthcare pay for a woman’s birth control. But I have yet to see anyone arguing against health insurance paying for men’s sexual impotency drugs. So I suppose the belief is, men can have sex as long as they want and have somebody else pay for it, provided the woman takes it upon herself to make sure she doesn’t get pregnant by paying for her birth control herself, since her health insurance shouldn’t be forced to pay for it. And there’s no way she’s going to be allowed to have an abortion if she does become pregnant. All because some complete stranger has decided he knows what’s best for her. And more often than not that competes stranger is a male politician.

Take Mitt Romney saying he’ll get rid of Planned Parenthood if elected. Apparently he believes women aren’t in need of cholesterol screening, flu vaccines, diabetes screening, or physical exams. These are all services provided by Planned Parenthood. Since he’s insisted he will repeal Obama’s healthcare, where are poor and underinsured women supposed get the services if he closes Planned Parenthood. Again it seems to be little more than a lack of respect for women and where she chooses to get her healthcare or even have her healthcare covered by insurance.

Sad to say it is not just men who feel this way. Proof is that women are part of the antiabortion movement. Bre so than men’s lack of respect for women. I mean how can one woman deem herself to be more knowledgeable of another woman’s body mind and spirit than that woman?

I’m not saying men and women should believe in abortion, I’m saying all men and women should be pro-respect. Even if that means accepting a woman’s decision when it comes to her reproduction when it goes against everything you believe.

Posted by: marialyss mckinley | August 3, 2012

Retaining His Title

My blog post about my pug Preston left me thinking perhaps I’d been a little too harsh when I referred to him as the worst dog ever. However, after reading about my friend Steve’s rescue dog Tilly and her problems but subsequent graduation from doggie classes left me acknowledging that Preston has indeed earned his title.

Apparently both Preston and Tilly have had their share of housebreaking problems. Both have been to training but only Tilly has a diploma.  Preston doesn’t. In fact his training turned out to be little more than an opportunity for him to garnish an excess of treats and once the “Clicker  of Doggie Do Good” was no longer in my hand, the Worst Dog Ever proceeded to shred and eat the closest piece of paper he could find, or chase the cat, or chew on a bottle. I think you get the picture.

There is however one thing that my Preston has on Tilly. While it’s true she has beaten him in being the first one housebroken. He has superior aim. Tired of carting toilet paper all over the place to clean up Preston bombs, I left it on the floor. Stupid, yes, I know. Not only did Preston decide that he too would use the toilet paper but my pug was able to poop right down the center of the cardboard tube.

Worst Dog Ever, yes, his title remains in tact, but damn that dog has good aim 🙂

Posted by: marialyss mckinley | July 21, 2012

Hurray, We’re Saved

I don’t want to turn my blog into a political rantfest but there have been stories on the news lately that have me pretty annoyed. A light fixture fell onto the lower deck of the Tobin Bridge. Fortunately no one was injured and crews began inspecting the remaining light fixtures that have reached their expected life span. Okay, that’s fine, better than fine in fact, that is how it should be. Inspect bridges, roads and tunnels and fix them.

My problem, our infrastructure is slowly crumbling around us. Nationwide our bridges, roads, tunnels are in desperate need of repair and replacement. And what are our fearless leaders, are spending their time on? They are busy saving us from drinking too much soda. Seriously?! Politicians are spending their time and our tax dollars passing laws banning the sale of extra large sodas. Apparently the notion that I could buy two sodas instead of one big one has completely escaped them.

Why is this even necessary? Oh yes, I’ve heard the argument obesity is on the rise, children must be protected from themselves, blah, blah, blah. If we are in such dire need of protection maybe our illustrious leaders should fix the roads that are crumbling under our tires, the bridges that are falling down around us and tunnels that are starting to leak. Or maybe they think as long as I’m not driving on or under one of the aforementioned pieces of infrastructure with a 64 ounce cup of carbonated, sugary evil I have nothing to worry about.

Posted by: marialyss mckinley | March 22, 2012

Worst. Dog. Ever.

For those who’ve read my earlier blog posts, you know my pug passed away last year. We decided to adopt another dog. My choice was to get a Min Pin. My aunt’s, another pug. She won out. Now, I don’t have anything against pugs. I loved, loved, loved my last one and was perfectly happy to adopt another. The problem is, I do believe we are now the owners of the worse dog ever.

 Our new pug is another rescue like his predecessor. And like his predecessor he has come with a few quirks, I guess would be the polite thing to say.

He has a foot obsession. And the feet he is obsessed with are mine. He hates them, no one else’s, just mine. He barks, and shrieks at my feet. I don’t mind so much but now that the summer is coming and with it my return to sandals, I do mind his constant need to blow snot on my feet. And let me tell you, pugs have a plethora of snot.

 My feet are not his only obsession. Paper in any form is also a favorite OCD item of his. Paper towels, tissues, envelopes, you name, he’ll find it, attack it, shred it and eat it. I’m surprised I’m not 20 pounds thinner from my new past time of paper picking up, and  chasing him around the house to confiscate the latest piece of his prized paper snack. Do you have any idea how much paper is in a house? And my cats are not helping. I swear those two know of his addiction and they deliberately throw paper on the floor. Junk mail, tissue boxes, you name it, those two are tossing it to him to feed his addiction.

He must be tucked under the blankets on a cold night and has no problem stealing all the blankets. And he doesn’t just steal them; he winds himself up in them so extricating him is something akin to a brain teaser puzzle. It’s dang cold waking up to find a huge mound of blankets snoring, while wearing none myself and then trying to figure out how to unknot the tubalub from them.

 He goes out to do his business and after taking at least a half an hour to go here, there and everywhere, the darling little bad buns comes back in and pees on well to be honest, anything. He isn’t fussy. How can a dog have any fluid left in his bladder after peeing for half an hour? But he does.

 He believes he should be the only dog in the neighborhood. Now that in and of itself isn’t so unusual with dogs. The problem is people, birds, squirrels, flies and every other living creature fall into the lump of “I should be the only one here.” My neighbor thinks he’s funny and laughs. Damn it, man, stop encouraging the fool. I swear my neighbor’s laughter makes it worse.

My delightful pug thug has it in for our cats. Neither is concerned, but that hasn’t stopped the bad buns. He barks at the oldest cat. The cat is too old to care and too experienced with dogs to worry. I swear the cat’s only reaction is to give the dog a scathing look that can only be saying “What you’re not dead yet? I can help with that, you know.”

 Our younger cat was a bit put out by the pug, but once she realized that despite being overly loud and big, the dog is a coward at heart, she now has the upper hand, err, paw. It’s embarrassing to see him put on his best, pug thug showing only to be backed into a corner with his head down and a look that screams, “If I don’t look at her, she won’t kill me.”

He insists on being a lap dog, Problem with that is twofold. Not only is he an overly large pug but he doesn’t sit on my lap. He tap dances. Ever have a twenty pound lump with nails dance on your legs. Not pleasant. Thankfully it was winter and my legs were hidden in sweatpants. They looked like a road map to a crime scene. A myriad of scratches scraps and welts.

 I am training him. Clicker training. When I have that clicker he is sharp, attentive and the model student. The nanosecond the clicker is out of my hand, the bedlam of bad buns returns.

Yes, I do believe we are now the owners of the worst dog ever. And don’t think for one moment this blog entry has been a complaint about that. Nope, not a chance, I’m bragging. 🙂






Posted by: marialyss mckinley | December 29, 2011

Dirty Work

Once again we were forced to do someone else’s dirty work. I didn’t write about it when it happened because I was so angry the blog post would have been little more than an obscenity laced diatribe.

 A couple of months ago we had to take a healthy young female cat, no more than seven months old to the shelter to be euthanized. It would seem one of the women in our neighborhood never bothered to have her cat spayed and of course it returned home pregnant. With the huge problem of pet overpopulation, no homes could be found and this charming testament to pet ownership opened her front door and threw the kittens out.

 We learned this from a third party. What we didn’t learn was exactly which neighbor had done this or I would have been on the phone to our local animal protection agency faster than she could have made up an excuse.

 Instead what happened was one of the females found her way to our house. We feed a few regular strays and she joined the group. Unlike our regular strays who eat and leave, this sweet little girl moved into the yard next door and stayed.

 As the cooler weather approached her belly began to get bigger and bigger. We called no less than twenty small rescues and no kill shelters. All had the same response; they were full to capacity and couldn’t help. Our last option was our local kill shelter. And that was what we did.

 I borrowed a humane trap and caught the sweet little cat I had named Thumbs, due to her enormous paws. We brought her to the shelter. The intake worker was kind and sympathetic to what we had to do. The shelter did give us the option of aborting the kittens, spaying her and vaccination. The cost was well over $700 and for us it was too much money.

 It really broke our hearts because we would have loved to keep Thumbs but we already have 5 cats. Our oldest cat was courtesy of some jerk who threw him away at a fast food restaurant. We have a 6 year old cat and her 3 sons. You see, she showed up here pregnant and had her kittens here. At that time we had only 1 cat and was able to keep the mother cat, certain we would be able to find homes for the kittens. Well, they have a home, ours.

 So we were left with one option. Make a small donation to the shelter and leave Thumbs with them knowing she would be euthanized. And that’s what we did. And what really burns me up is this is not the first time, nor the second time we’ve been left to do someone else’s dirty work. It is the third time we have had to take an abandoned female cat and her kittens to a shelter, knowing what the outcome would be. That’s right, 3 stinking times. Only once were we in a position to keep the cat and kittens.

 Hey people, if you get a cat, SPAY OR NEUTER it. Don’t leave it up to some innocent person to take care of your irresponsibility and do your dirty work.

Posted by: marialyss mckinley | November 3, 2011

Veterans Day

Veterans Day, is a day to remember and honor those who have given so much and gone before us. It is estimated we lose 1100 World War 2 Veterans every day. For me this Veterans Day is about one.

I recently lost my grandfather. He served in the worst of the South Pacific and came home battered and bruised, but alive.

When I was growing up, he never spoke of serving in the war. Instead the time I spent with him was spent enjoy summers on the Cape. He was never too busy to drive us to the beach, miniature golf, or the shopping center.

I knew when I had annoyed my grandmother. She would look at me and suggest I help my grandfather take the trash to the dump. We were a family of girls and I was the only one given dump duty.

During the hullabaloo of holidays, he was always the quiet calm we needed.

We spent a week or two with them during the summer and saw them on holidays. When my mother traveled they would come and stay with us. I loved having my grandparents stay with us when my mother traveled. There was always a hot meal for dinner and someone to talk to.

I didn’t think much about the time I spent with my grandparents when I was growing up. It was just something we did.

As I grew older my visits became less frequent but I always kept in touch. My grandmother and I alternated every other week phone calls. I would talk to my grandfather during the calls, but he never talked long, knowing my grandmother loved to talk.

My grandmother became sick and passed away nearly four years ago. I called my grandfather weekly during her illness and continued calling him weekly after she passed.

Her death was hell for him. She was the love of his life and he never recovered. They had traveled around the world during their life together. They rode camels in Egypt and walked the Great Wall of China. Now he was alone and lost without her.

As I grew older, I came to appreciate the time I had spent with them more and more. To my profound regret I never told my grandmother. I made a point to tell my grandfather how much the time we had spent together meant to me. He was so grateful and thankful I told him.

Over the years we were able to talk about my grandmother without it being too painful for him. We both had a good laugh over my being sent to the dump with him when I annoyed my grandmother. She always sent him on trash duty when he annoyed her. Being the only two relegated to trash duty gave us a special bond. A bond that made him laugh during a time when he felt he had little to laugh about.

His health began to fail and we knew there was little hope he’d recover. I found myself asking my grandmother to come and get him, knowing he wanted to be with her more than anything else. One Friday she did just that.

I’ve lost my Grandpa and it hurts even more now that Veterans Day is nearly here. He gave so much to so many,

Posted by: marialyss mckinley | September 27, 2011

New Publisher

I learned over the last month that my novel Heart’s Desire has been bought by a new publisher, Musa Publishing. It was originally released by Aspen Mountain and they sold their Aurora Regency line to Musa. I’m very happy with this development. The people running Musa are truly author friendly publishers, editors, and cover artists.

Heart’s Desire will be released with Musa on November 25, 2011. Not a bad early Christmas gift.



A long hidden secret identity threatens to not only tear two lovers apart, but to propel Scotland into civil war.


Heart’s Desire       <<Click


Posted by: marialyss mckinley | May 25, 2011

Ponderings Part 1

I have throughout my life pondered totally pointless things. Much to my father’s chagrin, I have been known to ponder out loud. Not that my father minds my ponderings, but whether he’s interested in my ponderings or not, he’s stuck listening to them when he’s trapped in a car with me for hours on end.

Some of my ponderings.

Does it hurt when you swallow swords?

If you’re cloned and you die, are you really dead? You’re clone is an exact copy of you, so wouldn’t it think it’s you?

Can you walk on a loose rope or does it have to be a tightrope?

Why do you know that when the words “It’s for your own good.” are being said, you will HATE what follows next?

Why is it that now that I have reached an age when I truly know I don’t know it all, I’ve forgotten what it is I thought I knew?

And can you really know it all? When did things stopped being used and start being pre-owned? Somehow in Snoopy Come Home, Linus telling Charlie Brown “Face it, Charlie Brown, you got a pre-owned dog.” just doesn’t sound right.

Posted by: marialyss mckinley | April 9, 2011

The value of a life

My dog passed away. Actually I had to have my dog put to sleep. Oh, how I wish he had gone naturally in his sleep and I hadn’t had to make that most painful of decisions. He was a rescue pug. A senior rescue. As a senior rescue his adoption fee was less than if I had adopted a younger dog. Less money, equates less value. I think not.

I can’t even begin to describe the pain I feel or the hole in my heart. I know I made the right choice. Age had not been kind to my old boy and he was suffering. Knowing that, doesn’t make me feel any better. There is a part of me that is convinced I failed him and should have done more. But I know I did all I could. I don’t know how many times he saw the vet but I have a stack of receipts, canceled checks and a shelf full of different medications that were tried.

And through it all, my sweet, old boy continually wagged his tail, made his happy face and fussed for cookies. There are no words to describe what it was like to see my dog, crippled by arthritis, waddle along beside  me, tail wagging. It made me feel more than important; it made me feel like I was the center of the world.

He barked at me whenever I stood up. It didn’t matter if I was getting up to answer the phone, get the mail or going into another room. Once he was finished barking, he’d come with me on the off chance I was in fact headed to the pantry, and would bestow a cookie upon him.  If I didn’t go to the pantry, he didn’t mind, he was  happy just to be with me.

He’s gone now and I keep looking over at his empty bed. The house is quiet. I can stand up and I’m greeted by the most horrible silence. I dropped a chip on the floor and it sat there, alone, untouched. There was no one to waddle over and claim it.

I’m looking to get another dog. It will be a rescue. There is a pretty big cost difference between adopting a younger dog and a senior. I understand the reason why but at the same time I don’t. The value of the life I just lost is immeasurable; beyond any known monetary value. If I had all the money in the world, I would give it all up for just one more chance to stand up, be barked at, and have my pug waddle along beside me to the pantry for one more cookie.

Good-bye, my dear boy

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