Introductions: Meet Puppy ‘Baxter’

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As many of you know, I lost my shiba inu, Ryder, earlier this year. It was unexpected and heartbreaking, and I have many moments still today where my eyes tear up or I feel a melancholy about everything he missed out on. He was only ten and had such energy and love, but he was too sick to stay strong and we had to let him go. W and I had always talked about adopting another dog, but Ryder was very much an only-child and preferred to be with just us. We didn’t want to make his days more difficult, so we postponed bringing another puppy into the house.


Around March, we started discussing the best timing for adopting another dog, as we both missed having that lovable pet to play with at night or on the weekend. And perhaps with W and I suddenly by ourselves, we thought… hmmm… can we really only talk to ourselves and each other now at night? Ryder had been such a big piece of our lives together, we found ourselves with more free time and less conversations. The void needed to be filled but we knew it would take a while to find the right one. We love the breed and looked at a few rescue shelters, puppy stores, and breeders from the AKC website. It could take 9 to 12 months for the breeder to produce a puppy and reach us on the list.  We had some specific requirements as we wanted to get a different color than Ryder so the memory wasn’t too obvious. Ryder had a red coat, so we searched primarily for a red coat female or a black and tan male. I’ve had a cream colored before, and the red sesame is adorable but hard to come by.


We registered online with a few lists. I went to a few puppy stores and found one the day before our 3-week vacation. Timing is everything, huh? I couldn’t get him, but I also didn’t want to let him go. My mom (she’s awesome) volunteered to keep him for the three weeks, but we knew the puppy would develop an attachment to her (or vice versa?) and we might never bond the same way with him, so we said thank you, but we shouldn’t. We’ll wait to see if he’s still there when we return from Italy. The day before we returned, the little rugrat was adopted… it wasn’t meant to be. We arrived home the next day, unpacked, took a nap, picked up some groceries and did laundry. By late afternoon, we’d received an email saying we were now third on a list for a black and tan puppy from Kansas — so much sooner than we’d expected. It was too hot to ship him to the location of the person who was first on the list, so the breeder was letting us know that if the second person said ‘no’ that he was ours. An hour later, we had an email that the second person preferred a female, so we were faced with the choice: Are we ready?


We talked about it a bit and timing really is everything… It’s summer, we aren’t going anywhere for a few months, and I haven’t completely dived into writing my next book, so I’d have some free time. His pictures were adorable. We needed something to shake up our return from Italy (pictures and stories to come next week — this news took priority) as who wants to come back to normal life after such amazing vacation? So… we said yes, made the arrangements, and the little pup arrived in NYC on Thursday afternoon. He was born on March 16th, which is right in the middle of W’s and my birthdays. The other very coincidental connection is the timing on his birth. Shiba puppies are usually born about 60 days after they are conceived. Ryder passed away 60 days before this little one was born. I like to think maybe a little bit of Ryder’s spirit was passed into the new addition, so we have a bit of a connection already.


We’ve had him for 48 hours so far and he is every bit of a puppy. He’s voracious about biting things, way more than any other dog or puppy I’ve had in the past. I’ve threatened war with him many times. He’s successfully ripped off my glasses both mornings, torn a toy into pieces, pulled my shorts down while I was walking from one room to the other, and decided the couch legs are evil and must be sawed off with his teeth. Let’s not even discuss the corners of the carpet or any electrical cords. I’ve pulled up everything I can to keep him away, but there are a few we can’t unplug… he is my shadow or W’s shadow 24/7. We were lucky and he slept 7 hours straight the first night. Last night, he only made it 4 hours before getting restless in his crate. I might be too old to sleep on a floor again. It’s a work in progress yet one we already love!


More pictures to come, but I wanted to share a little bit of my news since returning from vacation and finishing up this week’s blog tour for Father Figure. Meet the new puppy: Baxter! I’m sure he’ll be all over the place on the blog in the coming months, but for now, he says hello and that he plans to torture us in these first few weeks.


A View From Siena

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I am so happy to hear that my little Bro is feeling much better!  If he chooses to not return from Italy, I won’t blame him!  The photos are just breathtaking! I had trouble narrowing down which pictures to share, so I thought a few photo montages were in order…



It sounds like Jay not only had a bit of wine, during his tour of the vineyards, but cleared all of the cherries off every cherry tree he could locate!



I apologize for not having more details about the photos.  Jay did not have a great connection.  His text messages were coming through mumbled and out of order…or maybe he just had a bit too much wine???  Now that I think about it, that makes a whole lot of sense!  I will let our amazing author man share the truth, when he returns…

While Jay is off wine tasting, I will be opening up the hives to observe the honey bees!  Feel free to check out today’s post, and see what I discovered!

What’s the Buzz?!




Jay Catches a Bug in Florence!

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If you are like me and love insects, today’s title might excite you.  But, don’t get too excited!  Jay did not catch a really cool spider or a beautify butterfly…Jay is sick!  While exploring the wonders of Florence, Jay caught a big, bad “Bug”.  This morning, I was happy to hear that he is feeling much better and enjoying Siena.  It sounds like there are some exciting wine tours coming up, in his near future, too.  Let’s send healthy and positive thoughts to our dear author friend, today!

Let’s take a look at what he was up to, while in Florence…





“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.”  ~ Author Unknown


An Update From Ravello

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I thought it was time for an update on Jay!   Where in the world is our amazing author man now!?  I have been informed that he has arrived safely to Ravello, in the village of Marmorata.  The photos are incredible…the perfect setting for a mystery novel, I do believe!

That magical mist!
A secret door…
Seaside villages
That View!!!
An Italian Stud Muffin!

As you can see, Jay appears to be having a miserable time!  I think we should all hop on a plane and cheer him up, with wine and gelato!





An Update From Rome!

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Happy Tuesday!  From what I gather, our amazing and talented friend Jay had a fabulous time in Rome.   By the looks of it, he is going to return to NYC in the form of Nutella and espresso gelato!  It sounds like it has been his main meal, washed down with lots of extra strong grape juice!  My secret agents sent me some stunning shots that I have to share with everyone…

Gelato…Jay’s new best friend!
Look at that view!


We know he is having fun, when we see a little grin!
OMG…I have no words! (And that never happens!)

I was told that Jay spent the rest of his time in Rome, at the Vatican.  He even had  brunch with the Pope.  Of course, that is why my secret agents could not take any photos!  Stay tuned for more of our Author Man’s exciting travel updates, from Italy!


Growing Self






When the Cat’s Away…

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I love the statement, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play!”.  In this case, while Jay’s away, Roda will play!   Bwahahaha….  Let me introduce myself. My name is Roda from Growing Self, also known as Jay’s Big Sis.


As many of you know, Jay is off on a little vacation for a few weeks.  (By the way, he forgot to invite me.  How rude! (insert eye roll – Jay is the master of eye rolling!)


How could I just watch my Little Bro’s blog sit desolate, while he frolics around Europe, drinking amazing wine and mouth-watering pastries?!  I could not!  Being the more mature and responsible one,  I decided to do a little blog takeover.  It’s not like he will be checking his blog, right?!  I am just helping out a bit, right?!  It is for greater good, right!?


So, for the next few weeks, I will be posting right here on my amazing Little Bro’s blog!  You will want to check in!  I have stories to tell about our talented, author man, Jay.  For example, I can say that he has arrived safely, to his first destination.  He did appear a bit spent after clutching his teddy bear, ever so tightly, on the long flight to London.  But, that’s what little brothers do, right!?  I packed his favorite binkie and Mr. Blue Blankie, just incase!  I am sure he appreciated me helping out!

That’s what Sisters do best!


Have a magical day!


365 Challenge: Day 357 – Maple

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Maple: the syrup I hope to taste on my trip to New Hampshire this weekend


Last week, I mentioned I’d be going on a getaway somewhere in the Northeast New England region. After much investigation, we settled on New Hampshire and will be staying in a charming B&B in the town of Bedford. I’m probably standing in the security line at the airport right now getting ready for a flight. It was easier to fly than deal with a train and a bus, as it was too far from the airport and the hotel. I also didn’t want to drive in a car 6 hours each way, so this will give me some reading time, too. I’m very excited to forget everything and wander around the hotel grounds, go for a hike, visit the surrounding towns and see what the area has to offer. One of the biggest things I’m looking forward to… since I’ve been so good by going to the gym every day and eating only low cholesterol and low sugar foods lately… is a cheat day where I can have some yummy pancakes and waffles with real maple syrup! Maybe I’ll even buy a log cabin, live in the woods and write a book… oh wait… maybe this healthy eating lifestyle is getting to me!

If you’ve been to New Hampshire or have any suggestions on what to do with the long weekend, please let me know. Arrive Friday around 12 noon and will leave Sunday around 4pm. I’ve pre-posted tomorrow and Sunday’s 365 posts, but they have a bunch of clues and thoughts about the future of the This Is My Truth Now blog. If you were looking for an Author Alert today, I’m sorry! I’ve put this segment on hold for a couple of weeks while I get the new version of the blog situated, but rest assured, there will be plenty more Author Alerts coming up in a few weeks.

Have a great weekend!


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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