Wednesday, February 29, 2012


By Ben H. Winters

Susan and Alex are your typical New York couple. Young, married with one child, they are trying to make ends meet. Alex is working hard in his photography business, while Susan has put aside a law career to work on an art career. Hiring a nanny to accomplish this goal, finances are tight.

When Susan finds the perfect apartment just within their budget, they decide to check it out. When she finds the “bonus room”, she knows this is the perfect place for her to make an art studio. The apartment is almost too good to be true.

They settle into a routine. The nanny keeps their daughter busy. Alex is working long hours, leaving Susan to her art. Yet she doesn’t seem to be able to focus on it. Unusual things begin to happen. Then she begins to notice itchy, red welts, but only on herself. After researching it online, Susan becomes convinced they have bedbugs.

She speaks with the elderly landlady, and calls in an exterminator. Even when nothing is found, the problem continues with Susan. She becomes obsessed with bedbugs, and as the situation escalates, she begins to question her own sanity.

As the story unfolds, with characters as intriguing as the plot line, there are many twists, turns and unexpected surprises. It is quite a thriller. A very suspenseful novel, I could not put it down. I read it straight through. Though it is admittedly not my usual genre, I highly recommend it.   

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Ruby Slippers

The Road Back to Kansas

By Tracy Seeley

Tracy Seeley knows the importance of home and of knowing where it is. As a child, her family moved often. “Home” was thirteen houses in a mere nine years. Her father was more concerned about seeking stardom and validating himself. He moved himself and his family wherever he felt would further his whims. Ultimately, he left his family to fend for themselves. Tracy had no sense of stability; nor did she know what or where home truly was.

After struggling through a fractured, broken childhood, Tracy has nothing to draw on. She must embark upon a journey alone, and find her own way. Taking us into her past, she searches for meaning. She also shares steps in the present day as she moves toward a future with purpose.

Complicating things for Tracy are serious health issues and illness, adding to the importance of roots and what home means. This leads to her trying to reconcile her relationship with her father, and his role in her life.

From Kansas to Colorado to California, Tracy learns about life, herself, and ultimately what and where home is. In going back to where it all began, Tracy Seeley was able to find herself and move forward. In that, she found that home really is where the heart is. My Ruby Slippers is a beautifully written, lyrical memoir.

Patrice's Porch Chat

Welcome to the porch for Patrice's weekly chat. Here are the questions for this week:
1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
2. What's your favorite kind of juice?
3. Have you tried Pinterest yet?
4. I can't wait for __________ from my garden (or farmers' market/CSA/neighbor with green thumb).
5. The worst job I ever had was __________________.
My Answers are:
1. Coffee. I'm not a breakfast person. I know...sometimes I guilt myself. I like oatmeal. I'll bet Wendell likes his oats, too!
2. I like pineapple-orange-banana, especially with coconut juice...hold the alcohol! *lol*
3. I have never tried Pinterest. I need to find out what it is all about!
4. I can't wait for the flowers in the garden! They always cheer me up!
5. The worst job I ever had was retail. It is just so tedious. I respect those who do it well, though. An informed salesperson is very valuable to their employer and the consumer.

The Kreativ Award

Thank you to Angie, of  Angels are Kids and Furkids for the Kreativ Blogger Award!!
Wow! I am so honoured and excited! Angie is one of my favourite people. Please check out her blog and you will quickly see why. Thank you, Angie. Hugs!
The Rules:
1. Thank & link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Answer the form questions below.
3. Share ten random facts / thoughts about yourself.
4. Nominate (at least) 7 other blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

The Questions & My Answers:
1. Favourite song...Both Sides Now, by Judy Collins...this has been my favourite song since it came out, when I was a child. We sang it in choir then. I think it says a lot about Life. Of course, there are many songs that I love and identify with, however.
2. Favourite dessert...probably mint-chocolate chip ice cream. It is a weakness & a treat.
3. What ticks me rudeness! There is no excuse or reason for rudeness. It is just hurtful.
4. When I'm upset I...withdraw, retreat, reflect. I think it through before I react.
5. Favourite pet(s)...are cats & dogs. I think they are so interactive, and cuddly! There are favourite cat and dogs, too...but that is a long and winding road.
6. Black or white...grey...I like grey, and gravitate towards it.
7. Biggest fear...losing my husband, Bill. I cannot imagine life without him.
8. Everyday attitude..."It is what it is...& must be dealt with." I believe I can deal with anything, as long as I know what I am dealing with.
9. What is perfection?...Perfection is mutual acceptance & love.
10. Guilty pleasures...are mint-chocolate chip ice cream, and non-educational TV. 
Ten Random Facts/Thoughts about Myself:
1. I love sweaters with pockets & hoods, and "Hoodies".
2. I collect unique dictionaries, like Yiddish, Southern, Yooper, Slang, Regional, etc.
3. I love waterfalls, whether small or large. A favourite waterfall is Tahquamenon Falls, in Michigan.
4. I shower daily. I never take tub baths; it creeps me out.
5. I refused to "graduate" with my eighth grade class. We had moved (again), and these were not the ones I went through junior high school with. I chose to pick up my diploma.
6. I struggled with math. I think in words, not numbers.
7. I was a devoted Mad-TV fan, and miss it. I liked early SNL, and then Mad-TV.
8. My favourite cats are polydactyl. I truly believe they are special. I hope to have a Tuxedo Poly someday...if I ever find one, or it finds me!
9. I will not wear open-toed shoes.
10. I absolutely love all trees and everything about them.
Now I pass this award on to:
*Brenda of Brenda Youngerman
*Carol of Dizzy C's Little Book Blog
*Kathy of SUGAR MOON
*Patty of  Books, Thoughts And A Few Adventures
*Andrea of  From The Sol
*Pat of A View from the Edge
Please accept this award, because it comes from my heart. Each of you are special &  creative in your own unique way.

Knowledge is Power

Human nature never ceases to amaze me. 

I consider myself to be intelligent, and take pride in this. My curiosity drives me to read and to learn, believing there is power in knowledge. It is in knowing things that we can either use the knowledge for the good of ourselves and others, or to change something that is wrong. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is simply the state of not knowing. Ignorance is also dangerous, allowing things that need to be changed to remain the way they are. The reason I am reflecting on this is something that has come to my attention recently.  

Social networking is a blessing and a curse. There is a "feed" on some sights, that shows the most recent posts of those on your list of "friends", which essentially are people who are linked to your information and posts. Included on the feed are threads of conversation, comments and more postings. Okay, granted most people know all of this. Most of the world knows far more than I about "social networking" and how it works. 

I try to keep up, but I have limits. It takes up so much time to try to blog, post to Facebook, "Tweet" (if it is Twitter, shouldn't it be "Twit"?). I have other things I need to or have to do. I do try, because there are those that I really connect with, and things I really care about. 

For me, part of what holds me back or some say puts me off, is the "chatter". When I say something, I want it to be something of value. I don't want to waste anyone's time. I like discussions, and opportunities to share knowledge. I try to share what I think has importance, and I seek that from others.

Recently, someone posted that they are sick and tired of the postings regarding animal neglect, abuse, and rescue. They stated that they log in to check out what their friends are doing. They do not want these things on their feed, and they want people to stop it.  

I understand the social aspect of these sites. I respect the right of people to post about their day, their dates, their parties, their personal issues, jobs, shopping trips, and updates of their TV shows, etc. They have every right to post whatever they want, and I will support them in that.  

I also appreciate the value of networking on these sites, as well. So, I personally use it to educate myself and others. I will continue to read and post things that I find of value and importance, including animal related items. 

I post these things because I believe it is through awareness that we educate others of the realities of animal neglect and abuse. This is what I want to stop. The only way to stop it, and hopefully prevent some of it is by facing it. Ignoring it does not mean it does not exist, it merely means you condone it.  I have a conscience that does not allow me to look away and condone these things. 

My intent is not to offend, it is to educate and perhaps inspire others to get involved in some form of rescue. If a post affects you, please use that to do something for the animals who cannot. Perhaps you can donate something to a local shelter or rescue facility.

If you have pets, love them. Imagine if they were to become lost or homeless, and what you would want someone to do to help them. Not all animals are as blessed as yours may be. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

How Lovely!

x 2

Thank you, RoryBore, of Time Out For Mom for honouring me with this award. This really means a lot to me. The reason she has chosen to give me this award makes it especially meaningful. This is what she said when she told me of the award:
"In your particular case:  it is your dedication and faithful commitment to animal rescue.  I wanted to call attention to and honour that."
Thank you. To be given an award is wonderful. To be recognized for doing something that means so much to me, and calling attention to the importance of animal rescue is truly a lovely thing! Thank you.
Please visit Time Out For Mom , because she has a lovely blog, and is a lovely person.
Now I am pleased to pass this award to the following people for their lovely blogs:

*Angie of Angels are Kids and Furkids
for her warm, welcoming blog

*Patty of Books, Thoughts And A Few Adventures
for her sense of humour and hard work

*Patrice of Everyday Ruralty
for her comfortable, home-spun warmth

*Old Kitty of Ten lives and second chances
for her dedication to cats and their people

*Farm Girl of My Field of Dreams
for reminding us of the beauty around us

*Kea of Musings On A Small Life
for her sensitivity & creativity

PS...this was passed back to me by Angie of Angels are Kids and Furkids

Sunday, February 26, 2012

And the Winner is...

Everyone knows that I love animals. I have spent a lifetime loving animals.  I have worked with them professionally and privately. It is its own reward.
People often ask me whether I am a "cat person" or a dog person". I love and respect both cats and dogs, for different reasons. How can I choose?

Clearly to me, the obvious winner is the pet owner.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Six Word Saturday

I appreciate my wonderful 
blogger friends!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Fun!

Hilary at Feeling Beachie hosts a fun blog hop every Friday.  If you send her suggestions that she uses, she will make you a Co-Host!

Here are this week’s statements:
1. I never ___ on a ____
2. ___ is my favorite holiday
3. I think my ___ is/are ___.
4. When there is a ___ I ___.

Here are my answers:
1. I never eat meat on a Friday, during Lent.
2. Easter is my favourite holiday.
3. I think my age is making me more tolerant.
4. When there is a power outage I become very frustrated

Hop over to and visit Hilary. Join in the fun!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Cat Thursday!

         "The Real Owl & Pussycat"
This looks and acts exactly like Chloe Jo. She thinks everyone and everything is a game. Chloe loves everyone and believes they love her as much.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hidden Truths

By Brenda Youngerman

Hidden Truths takes us into the world of children dealing with the consequences of their parent’s issues and actions. Two families are living very different lives. Yet when tragedy strikes each family, as is always the case, it is the children who suffer the most.

Billy and Wayne are the sons of Stan and Pat. They are a seemingly typical family, until Pat is suddenly killed. It is then that Stan’s struggle with alcohol spirals out of control, tearing what is left of his family apart.

Jack and Alice have a good life with daughter, Grace. When Gwen is born, it throws the family out of balance, ultimately dividing it. While Grace grows up happily, Gwen is isolated and abused.

Life’s circumstances affect each child in very different ways. However, all are affected by their parent’s reactions and responses to the harsh realities of life’s truths.

Brenda Youngerman has a rare gift of seeing the hidden truths in life, and sharing them in her novels. She takes on difficult, often painful situations, exploring them and seeking resolution. Her stories are realistic in their subject matter. She is sensitive to both the issues and the characters involved. As do all of the books by Brenda Youngerman, Hidden Truths will affect you and leave you thinking. It is a moving and very heartfelt novel.

Brenda Youngerman has just released the novel, Skewered Halo. You can read more about Brenda Youngerman and all of her books on her website, Fiction with a Purpose. She is a very wise and insightful author, one whom I admire and respect.

Wordless Ash Wednesday


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Come Chat on the Farmhouse Porch

It is time to visit with Patrice & Wendell at Everyday Ruralty . Every Tuesday they have a good old fashioned "chat" on their front porch. They pose questions for visitors to answers. Come join in!

This Week's Questions:
1. What's you favorite kind of salad?
2. How old were you when you learned to cook?
3. What's your favorite kind of store? (grocery, garden, department, cooking, bookstore, etc)
4. If you could have lived during another time in history, what time would that have been?
5. I'm looking forward to_______________.
My Answers:
1. My favourite kind of salad is spinach salad. I love  most salads, with the exception of iceberg lettuce.
2. I was probably about 12 when I learned to cook, though I didn't actually get good at it until I was well into my teens.
3. My favourite kind of store is any book store. I can spend hours in a book store!
4. If I could have lived in any time in history, I would have loved to have lived in the late 1900s, in America. I think that was an interesting time for our country for many reasons.
5. I'm looking forward to being healed (after the ankle revision) and able to walk again  pain-free!!

Thank you Patrice! Hugs to you & Wendell!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Games We Play

This week I was tagged (yes, again) this is my attempt to catch up.I was tagged with the same game, by different bloggers with different questions and a slight variation in rules. I have taken the liberty to combine the tags.
Thank you Brenda Youngerman of Fiction with a Purpose, and Angie of Angels are Kids and Furkids
Here are the rules:
1. You must post the rules. 
2. List eleven things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people that you have tagged. 
4. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

Eleven Things about Myself:
1.I have no depth perception.
2. I am afraid of spiders.
3. Bill & I lived in and traveled in an old van as newlyweds. We did this for several months, traveling 13 states. My old dog, Velvet, was our fearless companion.
4. I have a weakness for chocolate chip/mint ice cream.
5. I do not drink alcohol. I am a big milk drinker, though!
6. A prized possession of mine is my great-grandparents original wedding portrait. It is in the original frame, with the original glass, 24" x 27". They were married August 5, 1891.
7. I am very sensitive.
8. The only sports I follow are football & NASCAR.
9. I was going to be a storm tracker in the Navy, before finding out my health was not good. 
10. I am extremely practical and simple (but not simple minded).
11.I have never been outside the (mainland) United States.

Questions for Me: by Brenda:
1. Wine or beer? Neither; make mine coffee, tea or water.
2. Hot or cold? Cold!
3. Black or white? I am definitely grey .
4. Spring or fall? Fall. I find it to be a very reflective time; and the cool weather is such a relief after summer's heat. The colours, football, NASCAR Chase, all make it exciting.
5. AC or windows? Windows whenever possible! If it is hot, AC whenever possible. I have asthma.
6. Heater or fire? Fire; I like the natural things when possible.
7. Carpet or hardwood? Hardwood! It is natural, and easier with pet hair! Just sayin'.
8. Roses or Tulips? I like both, but probably roses a little more. But I like Mums and Angel Wing Begonias even more.
9. Dog or cat? Seriously, Brenda? BOTH!! I don't talk about Polly, my old Coydog much, because it is hard to. She is almost 17, and I am afraid of jinxing her. When we lost Wiley & then Maisie, two months apart, two years ago, it was devastating. They were 16. I am very protective of Polly, and afraid of losing her...don't go there...
10. Curtains or shades? Curtains are more open, inviting, free.
11. Shoes or barefoot? Barefoot...well actually, socks. I am really a socks person: thick, comfy socks. My feet & ankles being so messed up, shoes kill me. I just don't get you "shoe people"! I'm not judging (Hilary, *LOL*)...if it's your thing, go for it!

Questions for Me: by Angie:
1. Do you have a favourite book? If so, which one? Books are my favourite! I have many, many favorites. One longtime favourite is "The Prophet", by Kahlil Gibran. I first read it when I was 15. I have 3 copies of it, and it is on my Kobo (don't laugh; I want a colour Nook...any donations will be happily accepted *lol*).
2. Where do you think your love of reading stems from? Or how did you come to love reading? I remember learning to read! My first official word to read aloud, in school, was "look". I was exhilarated! I felt there was power in reading! I could do it anywhere. It satisfied my curiosity and my craving for knowledge, at the same time. There was no stopping me!
3. When you have "down time" what do you enjoy doing the most? I savour every moment spent with my husband. I always have. Anything with him is the best, be it watching TV (especially football & NASCAR), fishing, talking,'s my favourite time. We were platonic friends for years before he convinced me it should be more...but that's another story.
4. Would you ever own a black vehicle? No; nor would I own a white one. Too hard to keep clean, never looks right to me. One exception: Dale Earnhardt's #3 Goodwrench Chevy.
5. What is your favourite animal? Why? I dearly love all critters. Yes, all. I do have a special fondness for Sandhill Crane. Bill even brought me some Sandhill Crane items from China, when he went there on business trips years ago. I adore them. However, there is an animal that I feel a spiritual connection to: the Coyote. I believe it is misunderstood. I also have a deep respect and admiration for it, for its ability to survive alongside of & in spite of man.
6. Do you have an author whose work you read, no matter what? Yes, because they are always great! Some are: the insightful Brenda Youngerman (a review this week!), awesome Lesley Kagen, talented Sandra Kring, sensible Sherri Wood Emmons, creative Sarah Addison Allen, & the entertaining Bob Tarte all come to mind. But there are also some that I eagerly anticipate more books from, having written one book so far: beautiful soul Beth Hoffman, amazing Amy Greene, perceptive Lori Roy, sensitive Anna Jean Mayhew, significant Michelle Hoover, and genuine Gin Phillips all come to mind. There are more; I just can't name them all!!
7. If you could be a superhero, which one? I have no idea. I'm not into fantasy or sci-fi or that kind of thing. If I had a super power, I would choose to be able to fly. I have such a problem with my joints and walking, etc., that to be able to fly would be such a freeing experience. Wow.
8. If you could have any house, money being no object, what would you build or buy? It would be a log cabin, with a big wrap-around porch, on Lake Superior, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
9. What state have you always wanted to visit? Alaska! I would love to see their wild frontier, go whale-watching, experience their natural unspoiled beauty.
10. What's your favourite movie? I am not a big movie watcher. I like Christmas movies (A Christmas Story, Elf, A Gift of Love, etc.) and old movies (The Caine Mutiny, Angels with Dirty Faces, Dark Victory), and animated movies (Up, Muppets, Monsters, Inc.), to give some examples. I look forward to the upcoming movie The Lorax! It's my favourite Suess story! (I have an active, though secret, inner child. Shhh!)
11. What is your ritual when you settle in to read? All chores must be done. All critters must be cared for. No distractions! I like to be comfy, with a soft blanket or throw. Then I usually climb into my big recliner...followed by a cat or two.

My Questions for Those I Tag:            
1. What is your favourite childhood story?
2. What was your first vehicle?
3. What or who was the first concert you attended?
4. How old were you when you had your first kiss?
5. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what? 
6. If you don't have tattoos, do you want any? If so, what?
7. What time do you usually get up?
8. What is your bedtime routine?
9. What is your "irrational" fear?
10. If you could go anywhere, to where would it be?
11. What is your favourite snack?

TAG! You're It!
2. coming home to myself 
3.A Soul Unsung...
4.Everyday Ruralty
5.Deserts and Beyond
6.Form The Sol
7. Marti's Musings
8. P.S. Annie!
9. Silver's Reviews   
10.Show My Face
11.♥ Books, Crafts & Pretty Things Blog 
12. Tilly Bud /The Laughing Housewife
13.The True Book Addict
14.Welcome to Just Cats In-home Cat Care
15.New Prairie Woman