I think I’m turning into a bit of a Blog Attention Whore.

Good grief. I wonder if there is a support group for that.

In my quest to keep things interesting and fun, and in an effort to lighten up and step outside of my comfort zone, I’m finding myself doing some pretty unusual things.

Since I use my own pics in my blogs, I now carry a camera everywhere I go. Everything I see is a potential photograph, and every photograph, a story.

Much to my chagrin, and the chagrin of others, I’m discovering that there is nothing I won’t do for the sake of the blog. Well, almost nothing.

One night while partying with girlfriends, one of them said, “We’d better cool down or we’re going to end up in jail!”

My response? “Oh, that would be a great blog!”

Sheesh. I seriously may need help.

On Halloween, a holiday that I’ve never enjoyed, I made an attempt to funny-up and embrace the day. While driving about with my good friend, Patti Petroline, we passed a side-of-the-road pumpkin patch.

“We should buy a pumpkin, carve it out, put it on my head, and then snap some pics for my blog!” I screamed, as I pulled the car over and turned it around.

Patti, the forever spontaneous and always-game adventurer, and my self-appointed personal Smart Phone Photographer, was up for the challenge. What resulted was, “A Halloween Dream”,

Who would have guessed that this crabby, claustrophobic, hot-flashing, quirky old beotch would end up doing this?


We had a blast and laughed for hours. It was truly one of my finest moments.

That brings us to this past Friday night at River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, for the opening reception of “Pure Genius”.

And it was.

Pure genius, that is.

That “River’s Edge Gallery Gang” just makes me all crazy. Crazy excited. And crazy inspired. But be warned, you’ve gotta watch these folks, because before you know it, you will be seeing, feeling, and experiencing all sorts of unexpected things. You’ll find yourself crying over things you don’t understand, falling in love with things that you can’t explain, and dreaming of things you can’t imagine.

Sometimes you might even see yourself up on the wall . . .  being displayed through someone else’s eyes . . . in their art.

It blows me away.

This show was outstanding. But it was different from others I’ve attended. Actually, there was one REALLY BIG difference.

And her name was Cinderella.


She is a beautiful Albino Burmese Python snake that is NINE FEET LONG and WEIGHS 45 POUNDS. She and her owner were given permission to attend the show, as an opportunity to educate those attendees who were willing to walk over to her table and meet her.

Not me. No sir. No thanks.

I’m not a snake person.

Are you kidding me?


When I found a mouse in my apartment, I called the Landlord, hysterical and from high atop a dining room chair. And afterwards, I sat in the same chair sweating, panting, and sobbing over my plight of husband-less-ness and my involuntary independence. I experienced it again when I discovered a large colony of gianormous slugs on my patio. And yes, I know they like beer. I supplied their slimy nasty-looking asses with a can of Budweiser one night. Sure, they drank it. And then they sludged away back home . . . all slow and buzzed up, while leaving a trail of ik.

But I digress.

So, there we stood, in awe, at Cinderella’s table. Patti stood much closer to it than I did. She’s the calm one. I am not. I would be the sweating, hyperventilating, twitching one.

At heart, I am an animal rights advocate. I don’t agree with wild animals being kept as pets or being hauled around from place to place for display, but honestly, I didn’t consider any of that.

She was beautiful. And I was mystified, captivated, and horrified, all at the same time. Her owner seemed to adore her and has been in the business of educating people with reptiles for many years. And I kind of agree with that.

So, in the spirit of stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing my limits, and being the Blog Attention Whore that I suspect myself to be, I said, “I should hold her and snap a picture for my blog!”

So I did.

I didn’t anticipate her weight or the feeling of her incredibly strong solid mass of muscle wrapped around my upper body.


It . . . freaked . . . me . . . out.


I don’t think I was even breathing.



In this photo, I was smiling through gritted teeth and begging Patti, “Did you get the pic? Did you get the pic?

3funny mouth


As soon as she said yes, I panicked inside and had to get the snake off of me . . . like, right now.



It looks like I’m pretty upset, but I was just in a hurry.


As soon as I got away from her, my adrenaline soared, my heart pounded, my knees began to shake, and my hands visibly trembled. I kept saying, “I did it! I did it!”

And I must have looked every bit a wreck, because the owner kept saying, “You did great! You did great!”

He knew how frightened I was as I approached their table. Later he told me that I was really brave. He said doing something risky isn’t brave unless you’re afraid. I agreed.

Much later, Patti and I determined that the series of photographs was taken in approximately 20 SECONDS. That’s how long I lasted. 20 SECONDS.

Several hours and a half a Xanax later, we were looking at a couple of pretty amazing photographs that I deem frame-worthy.

Because I did it . . .


. . . even though I was afraid.


And it was a good thing.



SIDE NOTE: The next day I Googled our little Cinderella, and read this, “The Albino Burmese Python are readily available but grow up to be huge snakes. This is one of the snakes that needs a healthy dose of caution, so think twice (or more) before getting one as a pet. Although Burmese Pythons are generally quite docile, they are incredibly strong, and it just takes a single mistake in handling them, to have disastrous results.”




Categories: Animals, Art, Downriver/Detroit, Michigan, Humor, Inspiration/Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

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  1. LMAO! I love it! I think I laughed just as much reading this as I did when it happened!
    So, what’s next?

    • OMGOSH, girl, let me catch my breath! Ha ha ha. Thanks so much, Patti! You know that I wait for your approval before I can breathe! You’re the best personal Smart Phone Photographer & FRIEND, ever! xoxoJulia

      • sandy

        Bravo Julia…I have a severe paranoia of birds and could NEVER have done what you did. Great story also, I was lmao as i can so picture patti standing there laughing taking the pics.

      • She’s ALWAYS laughing! With the pumpkin head, I had to take it off several times and say, “Stop laughing and take the pic!” ha ha ha. Too funny! Thanks so much for reading and leaving your great note! Our Patti is quite the photographer, ‘eh? Take good care, Sandy! xoJulia

    • theresa

      I love your new friend and you look great in yellow!

      • Thanks, Theresa! I appreciate that you took the time to read it and leave me a note. Take good care, Sweetie. xoxoAuntie Julia

  2. Julia, this is fabulous!! Your character, insight, humor, and creativity once again entertain fully. The pictures are great, and you are awesome for stretching yourself to experience this!! I picked up a python at Girl Scout camp with Carly and I was amazed how heavy it was – actually, 3 of us mom’s held it together! Anyway, great piece. 🙂

    • Thank you SO much, Marie! I still shake a little when I see the pics! Ha ha. So, you’re a brave one too, ‘eh? Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me too much! Thanks so much for reading and leaving your great note! xoJulia

  3. Congratulations Julia. I’ll take a pass with any and every snake – everytime. I’m not one for slugs, bugs, insects, rodents, and the list goes on… but I do NOT ever want to see them abused. They are animals and we should respect their little corner in the world too. LOL, as I type this I want to say “unless they are in my house” Thanks for sharing this one made me wiggle and giggle. xoxo’s Becky

  4. I LOVE this post, Julia. I take my camera with me, or more often, kick myself for NOT taking it, but now I see pictures and promise everywhere. Love the story, and your way of telling it. (Pumpkin photo, YES!)

    • Thanks so much, Naomi! I have to try to keep things interesting, yes? Ha ha. Take good care! And keep snapping those pics! xoJulia

  5. Betsy Aiello

    OMG Julia!!! Never in a million years…..but YOU did!!! LOL Would have taken alot more than 1/2 a xanie to chill me out………

    • It did take a little more. Can’t blog everything, girlfriend! Ha ha ha. Thanks so much for reading, Bets. I appreciate it so much! Take care, my friend! xoJulia

  6. daviddharma

    Well Julia,
    The 1st step is admitting that you have a problem. lol not so sure I’d want that python anywhere near me. Great pictures by the way.


    • Thanks, David! I know what you mean! lol The pics are courtesy of my personal Smart Phone Photographer, Patti Petroline! She’s a calm presence with the camera! Thank goodness she’s FAST too! Ha ha ha. Thanks so much for reading, my friend! xoJulia

  7. Addie


  8. I, too am becoming a Blog Attention Whore and I always take my camera with me. Guaranteed, the time you don’t have it the perfect picture opportunity pops up. Everything I do is blog worthy, just some things are more worthy than others. Great pictures and good for you for being so brave.

    Ruth from at Home on the Road

    • Thanks, Ruth! I know what you mean! Ha ha. Funny thing is, I think everything’s a photograph so I shoot hundreds of pics on any one outing…..then if I can find 10 or 20 worth posting, I’m doing good. I’m saving my pennies for a better camera, but I’m afraid that it’s 2nd on my prioritity list. But it will come, in its own time, I suppose. Thanks so much for reading, Ruth, and leaving your lovely note. So nice to hear from you, my friend. Happy travels! And keep snapping those pics! xoJulia

  9. patricia izzo

    Really loved this … Cinderella what a beautiful name for a beautiful creature.. and you my brave one.. i shall call you Joan of Arc… and to share a quote by St. Joan… ” I AM NOT AFRAID.. I WAS BORN FOR THIS!”

    • But I WAS afraid, Patti! Ha ha ha. Cinderella was quite a beautiful animal and she sure seemed gentle enough. She tolerated my stiff, but sweating body like the royality that she is! Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comments! xoJulia

  10. What an awesome article, Julia! I am so upset I could not be there, my sister came into town with my Godchild. What an exciting adventure! It’s always good to step outside the “safe” zone… We learn something about ourselves! xoxo

    • Thanks, Nicole. Sorry to have missed you again. We will have to meet for coffee and a chat soon. Thanks so much for reading and leaving your wonderful note! Take good care, my friend! xoJulia

  11. Lynn Gardner

    Wow, you are brave! I picked up Garter snakes in my yard when I was little but this, well I can’t wrap my head around it…..sorry for the pun, lol.Just love how you can write about a pumpkin and a snake and make it work, you can find humor and grace under what must have been just a wee stressful….xoxo

    • Thanks, Lynn! I couldn’t wait for you to see Patti’s great pics! All in 20 seconds! The girl is quick, thank goodness! Thanks a lot for reading and taking the time to leave a note. I always can’t wait to hear what you’re going to comment. I appreciate your words, my friend. xoJulia

  12. Oh my f*ing god! My heart started spinning only when looking at the pics. That thing is huge! You are so brave! This reminds of a time I went camping in Canada and I strolled the woods in flip flops and I saw a tiny little snake crawling from the grass, on my foot and into a hole. I thought it was so adorable! I googled the area where I went camping, once I got home, only to discover it is one of the few places in Canada where poisonous rattle snakes run wild and free and people should wear boots there. So close! :)))

    • Ha ha ha! Lavinia, you are SO funny! You’re just like me! You didn’t check out anything until AFTER! Yikes! lol Thanks so much for reading and leaving me your very funny note! Thanks for the grin, girlfriend! And take good care! xoJulia

  13. Oh yes, you are brave with snakes and brave in writing and guess what? Next you’ll be saying “oh that will make a great book!”

    • I’m hoping to compile some of these blogs into a collection. Who knows…..stranger things have happened, ‘eh? lol Also, just for the record, it took me SEVERAL hours to calm down afterwards! No joke! Brave in writing? That’s the most wonderful compliment! Thank you so much for reading, Heather! Take good care. xoJulia

  14. Julia, I admire your courage! Not sure if I would be able to achieve that same level! What a great piece, love the humor and Pat’s photos are great! Thanks for sharing your experience! xo

  15. Holy shit, Julia! That snake freaks me out! You are WAY braver than me, my friend, or dumber, as the case may be. LOL

    • Hey! Watch it! Ha ha ha. I may have had a temporary moment of “bravery” (if that’s what you want to call it!), but it took about FOUR HOURS to calm down again! Ha ha. NOT kidding! Ha ha. Thanks for reading, my friend. And thanks for making me smile this morning! Love to you and Sara! xoJulia

  16. Vince

    I really enjoyed it. I’m still smiling, thanks

  17. Julia with the pumkin and python… sounds like an act out of famous “Monty Python flying circus”….however, nice of Cinderella to leave you in one piece….so we can enjoy more journey’s and pics from you..LOL!

    • Thank you so much for reading! Yes, thank goodness….I am still in one piece! Ha ha ha! Thanks for the lovely note. Warmest regards, my friend. xoJulia

  18. i find snakes terrifying. You are most brave! Holy geez!

    • I find snakes terrifying too, Pink! Eeeek! It took several hours to get my heartbeat back to normal! Not kidding! What I’ll do for my blog……geez. Ha ha. Take good care, my precious friend. xoJulia

      • You’re an amazing source of bravery and strength! I could like NEVER do that. hahaa… You’re most precious! 😀

      • Well, it’s officially scratched off my bucket list! ha ha. No need to repeat that. Although, on the way home, while panting and freaking out, I did mention that I wished I would’ve posed in a cooler way with it…..but sheesh….who am I fooling? Ha ha. I was lucky to do what I did! Thank you, darling Pink! You always make my day better! xoxoJulia

  19. How fuuuuuuun! You really look petrified in the first picture!! Haha. I think blogging for you is GREAT then because it let’s you step outside of your comfort zone and do some cuh-razy things! Love it 🙂

    • Thank you SO SO much! Yes, blogging is surely moving me to a place OUTSIDE my comfort zone….and then some! Ha ha. Thanks so much for reading and making me smile with your comment! Take good care. xoJulia

  20. If it makes you feel any better, I used to carry a small notebook with me everywhere and kept one by my bed so that I could jot down blog post ideas. I’ve even silenced people on occasion while writing down their words. “Don’t mind me. I’m just making sure I don’t forget this humiiating thing you just said or did so that I can write about it.” Finally, I stopped this rude behavior…when I discovered that there is a notepad function on my cell phone. LOL

    • Ha ha ha. I just purchased my first 4G Smart Phone! The first thing my good friend showed me was the Notepad App! I’ve already got a list of blog names on it! So funny that you should say that! lol Although I still have a small pad of paper in every room, in my purse, and in the car! We are a bit the same when it comes to our rudeness, Miss Snark…..ha ha. Thank you so much for reading and making me grin today! Take good care. And keep on taking us to the edge. I love it there! xoJulia

  21. Lynn Marchant

    I’ve had to take a long, enforced break from most things recently. My health just hasn’t been good… But it was as though I relived all that PAST MAGIC of all the very best writers, when I chanced on this particular blog, during a listless search of my e-mails. You have come so very far during that break, Julia. You were SO good! And now? Style and syntax: incredible. Creativity: out-of-this-world. Your writing totally took possession of and invigorated me!!! Speechless.

    • You are too kind, my dear friend, Lynn. I thank you with all my heart……..You are so kind. I love and appreciate you and am so very grateful for your forever support. My heart to yours, my dearest friend! xoJulia

  22. I don’t think I could have cozied up to the snake like you did! 🙂 Cute pumpkin head.

    • The pumpkin was almost as difficult as the snake! Almost! I’m highly claustrophobic, so that pumpkin head had to be a quick pic! ha ha. Thanks so much for reading! And thank you for your lovely note. I appreciate the smile you always bring! xoJulia

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