Friday, December 30, 2011

Follow Friday Four Fill In

Every week, Hilary of Feeling Beachie gives us four statements to complete. Her co-host this week is Irene from Me, Myself and I. If you have suggestions for questions, please let Hilary know and you could be her co-host!

This week’s statements:
1. Lately, I have been feeling  a little___________
2. I am usually a ­­­­______
3. ________________________is always the best feeling at the end of the day
4. _________________________is the first thing I do in the morning
My Answers:
1. Lately, I have been feeling a little depressed.
2. I am usually a positive person. Really.
3. A hug is always the best feeling at the end of the day.
4. Get  a hot mug of coffee is the first thing I do in the morning, or I cannot function. 



I think it is human nature to be be superstitious, whether you admit it or not, or call it that or not. Everyone talks about "luck", or perhaps have items they consider "lucky". Athletes are known for the rituals they follow. Some athletes have articles of clothing they wear or won't wash if they are on a winning streak. Dale Earnhardt had a "lucky penny" glued to his dashboard when he had a particular important win. Tom Brady wouldn't cut his hair when the Patriots were on a winning streak one year.

My Granny was a small but mighty woman, even imposing at a petite 4'8". Even she had superstitions. One passed down through her beliefs was that all Christmas decorations be taken down and put away before midnight New Year's eve. Before the new year arrives, this must be done or someone in the house may die in the new year. I remember fearing this and that something may get overlooked...then what?! Well, I still observe this, but not as strictly. As a Catholic, I now like to leave the nativity out until Epiphany. (Granny was a strict Baptist, as was I growing up.) 

It was also not wise to put up a calendar for the new year until the 1st day of the new year. You did not want to bring the bad things from the old year into the new year. You want to start fresh.

Granny also delivered many babies in western Tennessee, in her day (early 1900's). She believed in the "veil" some infants are born with as being "lucky" for that child. The veil usually was over the infants face. Granny would take this and put it on a Bible for the mother, to preserve it for her and the child. To destroy it was considered very bad luck, as it was an omen of greatness for the child.

These were Granny's superstitions. Seven year bad luck for breaking a mirror, throwing salt over your left shoulder however, as were many others, considered "old wives tales", not to be taken seriously.

Superstitions are often family traditions, which is also common in many cultures.

 Martha Mary

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs

Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: A True Story of Bad Breaks and Small Miracles

A True Story of Bad Breaks and Small Miracles

By Heather Lende

In her second book, Heather Lende takes us on an emotional journey. Being the obituary writer for her local newspaper in Alaska, she is well versed in the emotions of life and death. However, it became personal when she was in a near-fatal accident, literally run over by a truck. To add to her pain, she lost her mother to leukemia a year later.

Confined to bed, Heather reflected on life, death, and everything in-between. What came of it all is this beautifully miraculous book.  Heather turns once again to her neighbors, friends and community. There she finds strength to focus on faith and spirituality and from that there is growth and eventually healing.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dear Old Love

Anonymous Notes to Former Crushes, Sweethearts, Husbands, Wives, & Ones that Got Away

Compiled By Andy Selsberg

When Andy Selsberg got married, he reflected on commitment and old loves. He felt the need to reconcile past relationships, the joys and lessons of some and the pain or errors of others. He turned to the Internet and started this project as a website. It would be a place to leave messages to old or lost loves.

Being able to do so anonymously made it easy to say what may have otherwise been difficult or perhaps impossible. To be able to take a love story and condense it into one line is undeniably an art. This only adds to the importance and beauty of the message and of this book. There is quite a variety of messages and thoughts here. The final section of the book is a “fill-in” section, where you can actually create your own “Dear Old Love…” messages.

Quite often, it is the small book that has so much to say. This book is an excellent example as is says a lot very succinctly. Dear Old Love is for the ones who got away and the ones that were held onto, if only in our hearts. It honours them all by addressing them, “Dear Old Love”.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
Peace & blessings to all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa is on his way!

It's true!
I was watching CNN this morning,
while having my morning cup of coffee.
Breaking news is that Santa
has left the North Pole!
He is making his rounds,
delivering gifts to everyone
on his "Nice List"!
This is how you can track Santa
as he is traveling:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Please Note:
Book Reviews will resume next week!
Thanks! Happy Holidays!

Follow Friday Fun Four Fill-In

Hilary at Feeling Beachie is the host of this very fun Hop.

Each week, she lists four statements with a blank for us to fill in on our own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, let her know. If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!This week’s co-host is the wonderful Brenda of Fiction With a Purpose (she came up with the last two statements). Please visit them both; they are wonderful women.

This week’s statements:
1. I have a love hate relationship with_____
2. I have been buying a lot of ___ lately
3. If I hear _____________ anymore I swear I will _________________
4. Whenever I see_____ makes me ____________ and then I ____________

My Answers:
1. I have a love-hate relationship with healthcare. The miracles of science amazes does my failed ankle surgery. I can't believe I am worse now than before.
2. I have been buying a lot of critter food lately. Between the inside furkids and the birds & squirrels outside, we are going through a lot of critter food!
3. If I hear Frank Sinatra sing "Mistletoe & Holly" anymore, I swear I will boycott carols!
4. Whenever I see people going for walks, it makes me remember how great it felt, and then I feel very sad that I can't. I am trying to get my ankle issue resolved, but it is time consuming, painful both physically and emotionally, and extremely disheartening.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Maggie's Bath

Chloe loves her "big sister" Maggie,

sometimes to Maggie's dismay.

Maggie is patient & tries to indulge Chloe,

knowing that Chloe is very persistent,
and does not take "No" for an answer.

Chloe gets her way as always,

which is wanting Maggie's attention.

Clean and comfy, now...

it's nap time.

Cat Thursday

Merry Christmas to All!

Wordless Wednesday


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fun Follow Four Fill In

Every week, Hilary of Feeling Beachie hosts a "Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun". I hate to miss this one,  so even if I have to be late, I try to make it! So, here we go...
This week’s statements:
1.       ____ is my ideal winter night.
2.       I don’t remember the last time I ___ but, I really want to.
3.       I will never turn down __________
4.      To save money I like to ____________
My Answers:
1. Cuddling inside, and watching a good snowfall from the bay window is my ideal winter night. This was fun last February, when we had a good old-fashioned blizzard!
2. I don't remember the last time I made a snowman, but I really want to! I also want to go sledding!!
3. I will never turn down a hug.
4. To save money,  I like to re-use whatever I can as long as possible!
Thank you, Hilary, for hosting this fun each week! Hugs!
Please go visit Hilary at Feeling Beachie; she & her blog are awesome! You'll love them, and you will especially love Alex!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meowy Cat Thursday!

Here's hoping you are on the "Nice" list!

On the Road Again...

After 7+ weeks, Bill was finally home for a few days. It was not long enough, went way too fast!
Bill is a long haul truck driver. He is one of the hard working guys who brings the food to the stores, who makes sure you have what you need accessible to you.
As you know, we have been together for over 30 years. We have been through many things, always together. Bill wasn't home for Thanksgiving, and he will not be home for the holidays. Such is the life of a long haul trucker. It just isn't "home" without him.  It's hard; I miss him.
The next time you encounter a trucker on the road, please remember he is doing a job you rely upon. He is a regular guy, and someone loves him. Please give him the space and respect he deserves. It might be Bill.

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fun Four Fill-In...

Every Friday, Hilary at Feeling Beachie hosts this fun "Fill In". Please join her! 
This week’s statements:
1.       When I ___ I feel that ___ paid off.
2.       I just realized that____.
3.       My _______ come from _______.
4.       If I had _____, I would _____.
My Answers:
1. When I think of my husband I feel that loyalty & commitment paid off.
2. I just realized that I have to have my ankle surgery totally re-done.
3. My decisions come from my intuitions based on experiences.
4. If I had my ideal life, I would live in the U.P. and commune mostly with nature.
Now, hop on over & visit Hilary!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cat & their Authors

               Cats & their Authors

Oscar & Dr. David Dosa,
"Making Rounds with Oscar"
(my review was 12/1)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Things & Stuff

Youth is spent collecting things. We find things that we like and we keep them. We attach our identity to them, making them important if only to us.

Our collections grow as we do. They hold memories, marking time. They preserve a place in our history, tangible pieces of who we are and where we have been. These are the things that made us who we are, and tell our story. They define us, becoming our lifelines, anchoring us to the world as we know it.

As we go through our lives, we continue to obtain things. Some things make our lives easier. We reward ourselves with things that we feel we deserve or have earned. We become surrounded with things, a lifetime of collected moments, events, memories and rewards.

However, sometimes life events or circumstances changes your focus. Suddenly, you see these things for what they really are: things.

My health with its complications forced me to do things differently. I had to do things differently, changing many things. Again it has changed, as I found out that the surgery "didn't take". I had been told for six months that it was  successful.

When Bill lost his job, we truly learned what is necessary...and what is not. There is a big difference between what you want and what you need. His new career is teaching us both many things. (It has been six weeks since I have seen my husband of 30+ years.)

My health issues, loss of Bill's career, loss of family and loved ones, all of this refocused our energies and also our finances. It became increasingly obvious how much time and energy, but also space and money was spent, perhaps wasted on "things". As stress rose, so did the need to simplify. Inevitably, reality set in as to the differences between need and want. With this came the clarity that our happiest times were those of simplicity.

Personally, I have never been one to need much to make me happy. Loved ones, human or fuzzy, nature, hugs, smiles...the little things always make me happy. It really hit me hard that all of the "things" did not make me happy! In reality, these things were stressors. They embody stress and waste.

I can give up the "things", the stuff. I have, in fact. What really matters is what is behind the stuff, the meaning of the things. It is the love, the hugs, the laughter, the memories of the time spent together with loved ones. It is the connections made with them, not with the "things". This is what keeps me going; this is what I need. These things don't cost money, don't need to be dusted; they don't get broken or take up space. I can take these with me wherever I go, carrying them with me, right in my heart. These things last a lifetime, and they make life worth living.

I am weeding out the "things", the stuff; I'm sorting, and clearing it out. But I am gaining insight and clarity, and hopefully eventual wisdom. In the end, it is not what we have, it is the way we live.   

"Tails" of the Afterlife

True Stories of Ghost Pets

By Peggy Schmidt

I believe in the Afterlife. I believe that there is a Heaven, and I believe that there are animals there. I cannot imagine Heaven without them! Every devoted pet owner knows about the Rainbow Bridge. We believe this is where our pets go to cross over to the Afterlife. This is the comfort that fills the void left in our hearts where they depart this life.

As a well-seasoned paranormal expert, Peggy Schmidt has lead numerous ghost tours. She has written and documented a wide variety of experiences, including the pets in this book. "Tails" of the Afterlife: True Stories of Ghost Pets is a very comforting book for those who feel as I do about this topic. Peggy has created a beautiful book full of stories, personal experiences from pet owners, and many colour photographs of the pets she writes about.

The stories in this book are unique and interesting. Each story is touching, showing the power of the human-to-animal bond. In one story, a dog reappears to assist another pet in crossing the Rainbow Bridge. Another dog appeared just in time to save his family from a fire. In other stories, pets remain in their earthly home, seemingly held there by love.

The book includes an appendix that addresses topics such as communicating with the deceased, including pets, and knowing when it is time to let pets move on, across the Rainbow Bridge. 

Peggy Schmidt writes about what others have experienced, while being open about her own experiences and thoughts. She is owned by eight Jack Russell terriers.

This is a nicely done book for those who believe, or even those who want to.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Making Rounds with Oscar

Product Details

The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat

By David Dosa, MD

The instincts and intuitive abilities of animals are long debated, yet proven. After meeting Oscar, even skeptical Dr. Dosa will now agree with that.

Dr. Dosa began his rounds at the retirement home quite skeptical of the stories of such things as animal intuition and the power of pets. Yet those who knew Oscar knew of his power to know who needed him and were quite protective of Oscar and his gift. He was a special member of the staff.

Over time, Dr. Dosa bonded with patients and their families and the nurses at the facility. Eventually he bonded with Oscar, as well. As he did he could no longer deny Oscar’s gift. It was not only a gift that Nature had bestowed on Oscar, but one that Oscar bestowed on those who needed comforting.

No one can deny that Oscar comforted many people. He had a sense who needed it the most, and that is where he stayed, easing their final days on earth. He was a constant presence with those that were dying and their families, as well.

Dr. Dosa learned the power of Oscar’s extraordinary gift and finally accepted it and Oscar. And Dr. Dosa was comforted, too.

Cat Thursday!

December 1, 2011

Enjoy it while you can!