Monday, September 30, 2013

Missouri Tree Frogs

When we travel, we always watch for natural wildlife, as opposed to the human variety. We are more interested and comfortable with nature and the simple things.

Recently, while traveling through Missouri we were able to enjoy some tree frog sightings.


We saw the Gray Tree Frogwho is native to most of the Eastern United States, 
including our own area of the Great Lakes, and into southeastern Canada.


We also were surprised by the unique and rarely seen Missouri Tree Frog. Life is filled with surprises; you just have to look.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Late Summer Song


The Rose of Sharon had bloomed all Summer, attracting numerous hummingbirds. It also attracted many bumble bees who would become so heavy with pollen they could barely fly. However, the end of Summer brought a special surprise.

A pair of Cardinals had been busy at the nearby bird feeders for several days. I watched them chattering to each other and visiting the Rose of Sharon bush. One morning as I filled the bird feeders, I noticed the female was taking bugs into the Rose of Sharon. As she left, I peered into the bush. There sat a perfect little nest, with two little hungry babies waiting.






The parents were very protective and active in caring for the babies. It was only a matter of a couple of weeks that the birds were fledglings, taking flight, and following us around the yard and garage. The parents are still nearby, watching both us and their now independent young ones. Life indeed goes on, just as it is meant to.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Route Change

 
We are home. Our road trip this time was much shorter than usual. We ran a couple of routes in Nebraska and Kansas. Then we wrapped up some loose ends before Bill changes trucking companies.
 
Bill has been an over the road (OTR) trucker for two years. After 35 years in the corporate world of manufacturing (Engineering and Sales), the economy literally went away through outsourcing. Bill decided to re-invent himself, rather than collect unemployment or assistance.
 
Bill's father was a trucker. He decided to also contribute to the economy by helping to move it. His usual runs were from 4-6 weeks away from home. When other people were having vacations and holidays, we were apart.  Needless to say, this has been extremely difficult emotionally. We have been married for 32+ years, and friends for 36+ years.
 
Bill now has a full two years of experience OTR. It is time to move up to a better position with a better company. He is currently narrowing down his opportunities and choices. He will be back on the road very soon.
 
Bill is excellent at what he does, and he enjoys trucking. Everything that you eat, wear, or use got to you because a trucker helped get it there. Truckers are invaluable in the world today, and that definitely includes Bill.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Road Trip!

 


I will be with Bill on a Road Trip this week! I'm not sure how long I will be gone. In trucking, I have learned that things can change very quickly.
I have a new cell phone, a new hot spot, and new cell service. I am learning how to use everything. I don't know what kind service I will get, as it varies so much from place to place. On my last trip, service was bad almost everywhere we went. 
If I don't post or comment much, please be patient. I am not ignoring you. I will be reading mostly from email subscriptions and feeds as I can, but may not be able to comment. I promise to take notes and pictures, and will catch up when I get home.
Stella, Maggie, Grizelda & Chloe Jo will be at home. Our long time neighbour and friend will be coming in several times daily & nightly to care for and spoil them. 

Thanks for your understanding and patience. We appreciate it. Happy trails!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dangled Carat


A Memoir

By Hilary Grossman

Hilary Grossman is the author of the popular blog Feeling Beachie. She is also the CFO of a beverage company in New York. Now she has achieved another success, in writing her memoir, Dangled Carat.

In her heartfelt book, we see the young Hilary going through family situations and teenaged insecurities.  We then see her grow into herself as a strong and successful woman. This brings us to the main story of Hilary’s relationship with Marc, her husband.

Dangled Carat is a contemporary love story of an age-old problem. In her trademark humourous style, Hilary tells the story of Marc’s “commitment phobia”. She reveals how they overcame it together, with a little help from their friends. In fact, it seemed they were destined to be together, judging from the way they met.

Hilary shares the meeting and then the growing pains of their relationship. Marc is thirteen years Hilary’s senior, and quite set in his ways. As they both became comfortable, there seemed no reason to change anything. 

However, after four years, friends of the couple decide it is time for them to make it official. What starts as a joke, perhaps a prank on Marc, becomes serious. Hilary realizes she is ready for the next step in in life. She wants to marry Marc. Marc however, is not going to be forced into anything. Love was not the issue.

What follows is how Hilary turned Marc into a husband. Their story is one that I believe many can relate to, especially in today’s world. Independence and self-reliance are common factors in our modern world, for both men and women. Yet, love can conquer even “commit phobia”, as Hilary and Marc prove.

Dangled Carat is a charming memoir. It is filled with humour and lots of love.

 Hilary Grossman
Dangled Carat is available at Amazon

Friday, September 13, 2013

More, please!

                                                                              animalgif

Linked to: Feline Friday

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Keys


For many years Mr. C. has carried the heavy key chain, arriving at school long before dawn. He is the one to keep the building safe, the grounds clear, and everything running correctly. There are always things to fix, rooms to clean, and there is plenty of regular maintenance.

Some people may think his job isn’t very important, but he knows that it is. He does this for the kids, who count on him to keep them safe. He holds the keys to the school, and school is the key to their future.


Story & Image by: McGuffy Ann Morris

Word Prompt: Key

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nettles


The sting of knowing is like grabbing a nettle;
the burning shock causes unsettle.
When secrets and lies are used to deceive
how can a relationship we ever retrieve?
Lies choke like weeds, you cannot forget.
Truth shocks like nettles, blistering scars of regret.
To find that memories are woven in lies
is a painful thing to realize.


Image & Poem: McGuffy Ann Morris
Poem from my book, "Weeds"




Monday, September 9, 2013

The Storycatcher


By Ann Hite

Ann Hite continues her story of Black Mountain in this companion novel to Ghost on Black Mountain. In this second novel, The Storycatcher, we learn the haunted history of Black Mountain and its people.

Taking place during the Great Depression, young Shelly Parker works for the overbearing and controlling Pastor Dobbins on Black Mountain. Shelly is gifted with the ability to see and hear people who have passed over to the other side. The dead speak to her, giving her warnings to heed. She does not feel comfortable with this gift and tries to ignore the spirits. However, the spirits persist, watching over her and communicating things she needs to know.

When Pastor Dobbins’ daughter, Faith, develops a supernatural bond with a spirit, Shelly cannot deny the spirits any longer. She must face her own fears and listen to them. She realizes that it is the only way that she can help everyone. Together, Faith and Shelly travel to Georgia. From the haunted cemetery on Black Mountain to the saltwater marshes of Georgia, there are horrible secrets beyond what one can imagine. Ultimately, these two young women hold the answers to solving the mysteries that have entangled many lives for several generations. 

Ann Hite has a magical gift. Her Southern Gothic novels hold the reader spellbound. The stories stay with you long after you close the book. This is an amazing author that you should not miss. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Will I See Him Again?


A Look at Pets in Heaven

By Tom Waldron

Most pet owners find comfort in the concept of “The Rainbow Bridge”. When Christian author Tom Waldron lost his cat Butchie, he wanted more. Tom wanted to know if he really would see Butchie in Heaven someday.

Theologians and experts have long debated the topics of animals having souls, and of animals going to Heaven. Tom needed proof, something real to believe in. He wanted answers from God, so Tom turned to his Bible.

Over the following year, Tom researched this question. He believed his Bible held the answers of God’s promises, including those pertaining to animals. He found answers, and shares them in this well written and researched book. Tom takes into consideration human emotion and scriptural answers.

I believe that God is a loving God. I believe He does not waste. I believe He does not create something as full of life, emotion, and spirit as an animal just to let it cease to be. I believe God has a plan for all of his creatures. I learned as a child that the Bible says God sees even the smallest sparrow fall. Then I believe He picks it up, and has a place for it with Him.

This book supports my belief. Tom Waldron addresses these ideas, and more. I recommend this book for those who believe there is more beyond this life for animals. If you believe in The Rainbow Bridge, have you wondered what is beyond it? Perhaps this will give you answers, or at least hope. I believe; I cannot imagine Heaven without animals. 

Will I See Him Again? is available through Amazon. 

Please visit Tom Waldron at: www.mybutchie.com

Tom & Butchie

Friday, September 6, 2013

Milk Bath

                                                              animalgif

"Milk: it does a body good."
                           ~Real Milk Ad~

Linked to: Feline Friday

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Power"


It was the “dog days” of summer, with stifling humidity and no breeze for relief. Laundry still had to be done, though it was a long, tedious chore. She had to unplug the air conditioner to plug in the washer or dryer (using only one at a time).

Just as she plugged in the dryer, there was a loud humming…followed by a ~CRACK~! A power surge had blown the transformer right off of the utility pole across the street. 

Slowly she unplugged the dryer, not that it mattered since the power was now out.

Story & Picture: McGuffy Ann Morris


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lowcountry Bombshell


A Liz Talbot Mystery, #2

By Susan M. Boyer

Private Investigator Liz Talbot is back in this second book. We met her in Lowcountry Boil, the first book in this series. This book is just as much fun, if not more.

There are the two men in Liz’s life. Liz remains close to her brother, Blake, the Chief of Police in their hometown.  She is now in a partnership with another private investigator, Nate, and their relationship is growing.

Liz has a very unique client. Calista McQueen is a dead-ringer for Marilyn Monroe. Her entire life mirrors Marilyn in many ways. She is a widowed lottery winner, who is being stalked. here are millions of dollars at stake that could be the reason for threats on Calista’s life.

When Calista’s personal psychic is murdered, things really heat up. Liz is determined to solve the mystery and protect Calista. Her own deceased friend, Colleen, watches over Liz. This adds a paranormal element, and also some interesting situations. 

The book is very entertaining, filled with southern charm. This is a mixture of romance, humour and mystery. The story will keep you guessing until the end, and then you will be left wondering what will happen in the next book.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grits & the Wild Creature


Grits was a very gentle dog, and especially loved children. He loved babies of all kinds. He was also very protective and territorial, making the rounds of our fenced-in yard regularly. More than once he chased people away from our cars and garage, preventing theft and vandalism.

Occasionally Grits would have a run-in with an animal, whether it was another dog who challenged him or a wild creature who invaded his yard. He was the master of his domain.

Late one summer night, we heard Grits barking frantically. There was bumping against the house and a lot wild creature sounds. We ran outside with flashlights to find that Grits had cornered a raccoon in the bushes next to the house. This was not his first, nor his last, raccoon encounter. We were able to distract him long enough for the huge raccoon to make it out of the bushes and over the fence. Grits was furious, but unharmed. We weren’t sure about the raccoon; he was gone.

Early one morning shortly thereafter, we again heard a ruckus in the bushes. It was still dark outside, so we grabbed flashlights and ran to assist both Grits and the presumed raccoon. We did not want anyone hurt.

When we got outside, Grits seemed extremely agitated and concerned. He was almost frantic, but this time we couldn’t see the other animal. We could hear hissing and growling, though. Figuring it was wedged under the bushes, we needed to be extra careful. Bill tried to scare it out. He shook the bushes with a rake, to no avail.

Next he grabbed the garden hose; he was going to “flush” it out, he said. He turned on the water, and pointed the hose to the area where the sounds were coming from. The growling stopped; then we heard rustling in the bushes. I was now able to shine the flashlight into the area of movement.

There sat a drenched little baby raccoon. The poor little thing was shivering, and very angry. By this time, Grits was inconsolable. We realized that he wanted to save this baby, but the baby was not cooperating. He was crying and howling, while trying to get into the bushes. I had a hard time holding onto him, as Bill focused on the baby raccoon.

Bill parted the bushes as far as he could with the rake. Very gently, he scooped up the raccoon cub. He was so small that he easily fit onto the rake. Thankfully, the little guy clung to it, all the while cussing Bill and Grits a blue streak.

As Grits and I moved away, Bill lifted the little guy over the chain-link fence, sliding him onto the ground as far from the fence as possible. The cub seemed okay, just upset by the entire incident. Grits however immediately ran to the fence, still crying under his breath. Seeing the raccoon, he wagged his tail and proceeded to lie down next to the fence. He would not move. Concerned, he chose to keep his eyes on his little friend. 

For the next two hours, they stayed that way. I watched to make sure both were okay. I did not want a mother raccoon to appear and threaten Grits. I was also worried about the drenched raccoon cub. Just before sunrise, I noticed the cub was gone. Grits was finally ready to come inside. He had done his job. 

Grits with Sam, one of his cats

Story & Pictures: McGuffy Ann Morris

Linked to: Two Shoes Tuesday
Word Prompts: Creature & Wild 

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Pool Party

Belle, a three week old Asian elephant, 
enjoys her first playtime in a pool.
She lives at the Fort Worth Zoo, in Texas.

Linked to: Aww...Monday

Sunday, September 1, 2013

“Thunder”


She listened to the thunder rolling in, feeling the subtle power as it closed in on her. Her loneliness seemed to grow with the strength of the storm.

Whispers of rain began to fall between the violent flashes of lightning. The lights around her flickered, before eventually staying out. 

Somehow, as total darkness enveloped her, she no longer felt alone.

Story & Picture: McGuffy Ann Morris


Word Prompt: Thunder