Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hippie Boy

A Girl’s Story

By Ingrid Ricks

In this fast paced memoir, Ingrid Ricks tells her story of growing up and finding her own way. She tells of her broken but important relationship with her father, and of how it was this that helped her to ultimately learn how to save herself.

Ingrid’s mother is a very troubled woman, who clings to the Mormon religion. She marries a homeless veteran, who is also a Mormon. Even though she is torn by this male dominated religion, she feels compelled to follow it and her abusive husband.  

This memoir is very revealing regarding this religion and its effects on its followers. Ingrid, yearning to be “normal” wants only to fit in. She knows this is not what life should be, and seeks the companionship of her father, a traveling tool salesman.

She gets her wish, and takes to the road with him in the summer. In doing this, she becomes dependent upon him, and the freedom that the road brings. She learns there are other ways and choices. Ingrid begins to learn who she is, and who she can be.

This is a powerful memoir. It is written with honesty and heart, from pain through self-discovery. In searching for meaning, Ingrid finds herself.

Cat Thursday: May 31

Rupert was the Elvis fan,
& had the expression...

...but it was Eddie
 who had the hair.

Thank you...
thank you very much.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

On Memorial Day, let us remember
those lost in military service... 
~In Honor & Memory~
S/SGT. James Michael Ray
POW/MIA 18 March 1968
South Vietnam

Manly Memorium

The Unknown 
American Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

(photo: Major General Robert Foley)

The Tomb of the Unknown American Soldier  is located at Arlington National Cemetery. It overlooks the nation's capitol, Washington, D.C.  The tomb is made of marble, weighing 79 tons.
Interred within the Tomb are Unknown U.S. Soldiers from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The remains of  the Vietnam Soldier were interred in 1984, but later identified and disinterred. He was laid to rest near his former home, by his family. The crypt for the Vietnam Unknown will remain empty.
The Tomb of the American Unknown Soldier continues to be guarded around the clock. This perpetual watch has been made by The 3rd U.S. Infantry of the U.S. Army, since 1937.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May 26th

Sent From Bill to me...
"I Believe in You. Happy Birthday.
I Love you."

Six Word Saturday: May 26, 2012

I survived another year.
Yay me!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friendship Friday: Advice

The theme for Friendship Friday
this week is: Advice.

Here is what came to my mind, 
and so for what it is worth,  
I want to share it.

"...if he is indeed wise 
he does not bid you enter 
the house of his wisdom, 
but rather leads you to the 
threshold of your own mind.

For the vision of one man
lends not its wings 
to another man."
~ Kahlil Gibran~

Meet Kelly Meister!

Kelly Meister

Kelly Meister is a writer, animal photographer, and potter. She shares her life with four cats, twelve ducks, and a barn full of ornery horses. Based on her years of experience rescuing animals in need, and donating her time to animal welfare agencies, Kelly also acts as an advocate for their care and humane treatment. When she’s not taking riding lessons or volunteering at a horse rescue facility, Kelly waits on her cats hand and foot. 

Please meet the wonderful Kelly Meister, author of "Crazy Critter Lady".
Kelly, I am pleased and honoured to have you here today! Thank you for taking and answering some questions. Let's begin:

1. Kelly, tell us why you are the "Crazy Critter Lady". How did you come to have that nickname and who gave it to you?
I gave myself the nickname after the time I crawled out on the ice on a mostly-frozen pond to rescue a flightless duck who was stuck out there. The rescue seemed perfectly reasonable to me, but when I told a therapist about it, she gave me an hour-long lecture on priorities and personal safety. It was then I realized that some people might think the lengths I go to, to help animals are just a little too far past sane! LOL

2. How did your connection to critters begin? How do you keep it going?
It began when I broke up with a boyfriend but kept his sickly cat. The cat had been diagnosed with liver failure and given a couple of months to live. I spent 24 hours a day taking care of that cat, and he managed to hang on for 13 months. When he died, I had a lot of pent up love and energy that needed an outlet. I started volunteering at my local humane society and things really snowballed from there. I keep it going because it's so good for my sanity and well-being. It's the one part of my life that is always in total clarity.

3. What kind of critters have you had? What is the most unusual?
I've primarily owned cats. I look after a gang of flightless ducks on the pond where they were abandoned. I volunteer at a horse rescue facility and take riding lessons there. I've rescued various bird species and the occasional chipmunk. The oddest critters would have to be the ducks. I'm really not a bird person, but the domestic ducks are such characters! They all know me, and they come running to greet me as though we're long lost friends! And while they're eating, they'll make squeaky noises as though we're carrying on a conversation. I just love 'em!

4. Do you work with critters and if so, in what way?
Well, critters are my life. I look after them (ducks), I live with them (cats), I volunteer my time for them (horses), and I write about them in my blog. When I look around my house, most of the knick knacks and decorations are animal-themed. I take pet photographs on the side. So just about everything I do in life is related to animals in some way.

5. How did this book come into creation?
I had written a really bad manuscript years ago. It was bad because it had no focus or central theme. I shopped it around to a number of agents but no one wanted it, and I can't blame them! Many years later, when I found myself in the thick of caring for various critters, I realized that that was what my next book needed to be about. I'm a big believer in writing what you know, so once I made the decision to write about animals, it was a pretty easy book to write.

6. Are there any future books in the works?
Absolutely! Finding the time to sit down and write it will be my biggest challenge, but Crazy Critter Lady #2 will definitely get written somehow some way!

7. What is your greatest wish?
My greatest wish is to date George Clooney! My other greatest wish is that everyone learns to be kind to animals so that we can eradicate animal cruelty in all it facets.

8. Any final, parting thoughts or anything you would like to share?
One of the most important lesson we can teach our children is to be kind to animals. That means ALL animals, not just the cute and cuddly ones. Folks teach their kids to be nice to puppies and kitties, but when a raccoon or opossum happens by, suddenly it's o.k. to throw rocks at it??? We need to be teaching our children to be kind and compassionate to all the earth's inhabitants! Thanks!!

Please visit Kelly Meister at:
Miss Kelly Meister (author of Crazy Critter Lady
*please be kind to animals!*

Crazy Critter Lady
By Kelly Meister

Kelly Meister is a photographer and a potter, creating beauty to share with others. However, her true passion is for animals, both volunteering with them and helping them on her own. In this book, Kelly shares a wonderful collection of critter stories that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
Overcoming a painful, abusive childhood, Kelly struggled within herself. In animals she learned how to trust and love. She found acceptance from them and was able to give that back to them.
Kelly has rescued a wide variety of critters. Whether it is a mouse, a frog, a cat or a raccoon, if it needs help Kelly will be there. She has used whatever is at hand, sometimes endangering herself; yet she achieves her goal of helping critters. She will selflessly go above and beyond what some may consider “normal”, to give a critter every chance in life. That doesn’t make her crazy, just crazy about critters.
I could identify with Kelly and her mission. I admire her beliefs and her dedication. Her stories are well told, full of heart and soul. The world is a better place for all of us, not only critters, with Kelly Meister in it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cat Thursday: Floyd

Floyd had a good sense of humour,

even if Grits didn't think so...

...especially when it had
to do with the his dog toys.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Very Good Deed

Bill is an over the road truck driver. He drives a refrigerated unit. Though he can carry almost anything, most of his loads are temperature controlled. Bill takes his job very seriously. He follows rules and regulations. He is very safety conscious, and takes pride in what he does.

Recently, Bill was hauling a truckload of meat to North Carolina. When he arrived at his destination, he had to wait while it was unloaded. He has never had any problems with damages, however this time he was told that one box of meat was being rejected. Apparently, there was a spot of blood on one box. He was told it was unacceptable.

Having never had a damaged load, Bill was shocked. He wanted to check the situation out. The box was fine, no damage. Nothing was leaking. Apparently, when the box was packed, a spot of blood dripped onto the box. Still, the receiver refused the one box of beef. 

At this point, Bill called his company to report the situation. Bill was told to donate the 66 pounds of beef to someone or throw it away. Bill was not about to throw away this perfectly good beef. Unfamiliar with the area, Bill began making phone calls to donate the meat.

He called local food banks and was rejected. He called local churches and church programs with the same results. Surprised, but not willing to throw away high quality food, very expensive meat, he persevered.  Bill knew there was nothing wrong with it, and that would be the worst kind of wastefulness.

He called the police department to donate it, or to get suggestions. He was told they were not interested. He called the fire department. While the fire department was not interested either, they referred him to the Allied Homeless Shelter, in Burlington, N.C.  

When Bill called the Homeless Shelter, they were very happy to accept the donation gift of 66 pounds of beef! The shelter worker arranged to come pick up the box from Bill. When he arrived, they opened the box, so he could see the donation. To say he was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. The box was full of three huge top grade prime rib roasts.

Bill was glad that he had not been willing to throw that away. He wanted someone who needed that food to have it. He went out of his way to make calls until he found a homeless shelter who not only was happy to take it, but needed it! He made the shelter happy, as well as many hungry people. Not only did they get a good meal, they got the best there is!

Bill is a very good truck driver. He puts in many long hours, getting the food from the packing plants to the warehouse, the stores, and to your tables on time. He is also a great person. He did a very good deed. 

This is my husband of 31 years. I'm extremely proud of him for many reasons...such as this.


Chat on the Farmhouse Porch #43

I am glad you are feeling better, Patrice.
You, too, Wendell!
We missed you both last week!
Happy to be here to answer these questions:

1.What are you doing for Memorial Weekend?
I will be spending it alone. Bill is still on the road. I will also be turning a year older (I survived!).
2.What's the last old movie you saw?
I love old movies, but it's been awhile since I watched any movies.
3.What color are the walls in your living room?
Green & gold. I love it!
4.What's your favorite food to cook on the grill?
Bill does the grilling, & I love all of it! He is an excellent cook and grillmaster, too.
I love when he does shishkabobs, because it is a special treat.
5.What's your favorite animal?
Obviously, animals are my favourite! I love cats & dogs, naturally. In wildlife, I love all critters, too. However, I have a connection with coyote; I love their ability to survive in man's shadow. I also am very fond of Sandhill Crane, for the same reason.

Have a great Memorial weekend!!
Waving Flag #3
Don't forget to honour our fallen heroes.

World Turtle Day 2012

Ivy, Three-Toed Box Turtle

  • Turtles have been on the earth for more than 200 million years. They evolved before mammals, birds, crocodiles, snakes, and even lizards.
  • The earliest turtles had teeth and could not retract their heads, but other than this, modern turtles are very similar to their original ancestors.
  • Several species of turtles can live to be over a hundred years of age including the American Box Turtle.
  • One documented case of longevity involves an adult Indian Ocean Giant Tortoise that when captured as an adult was estimated to be fifty years old. It then lived another 152 years in captivity.
  • Turtles live on every continent except Antarctica
  • Turtles will live in almost any climate warm enough to allow them to complete their breeding cycle
  • While most turtles do not tolerate the cold well, the Blanding's turtle has been observed swimming under the ice in the Great Lakes region
  • Turtles range in size from the 4-inch Bog Turtle to the 1500-pound Leathery Turtle
  • North America contains a large variety of turtle species, but Europe contains only two species of turtle and three species of tortoise
  • The top domed part of a turtle's shell is called the carapace and the bottom underlying part is called the plastron
  • The shell of a turtle is made up of 60 different bones all connected together
  • The bony portion of the shell is covered with plates (scutes) that are derivatives of skin and offer additional strength and protection
  • Most land tortoises have high domed carapaces that offer protection from the snapping jaws of terrestrial predators. Aquatic turtles tend to have flatter more aerodynamically shaped shells. An exception to the dome-shaped tortoise shell is the Pancake Tortoise of East Africa that will wedge itself between narrow rocks when threatened and then inflates itself with air making extraction nearly impossible
  • Most turtle species have five toes on each limb with a few exceptions including the American Box Turtle of the carolina species that only has four toes, and in some cases, only three
  • Turtles have good eyesight and an excellent sense of smell. Hearing and sense of touch are both good and even the shell contains nerve endings
  • Some aquatic turtles can absorb oxygen through the skin on their neck and cloacal areas allowing them to remain submerged underwater for extended periods of time and enabling them to hibernate underwater
  • Turtles are one of the oldest and most primitive groups of reptiles and have outlived many other species. One can only wonder if their unique shell is responsible for their success.      
        *Thank you Animal Planet!

Wordless Wednesday: May 23, 2012

Fort Wilkins, Copper Harbor, MI.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Celebration Inspiration

With my birthday looming, 
I want to share 
my favourite poem.
While I do not celebrate 
my birthday, 
I do celebrate getting older.
I celebrate surviving.
A wise friend
reminded me of 
this connection.
I love her for that
& many things.
I celebrate our
& her, too.
Perhaps she will join me
when I do these things...
I hope so.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go,
and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy
and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money
for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement
when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops
and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety
of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and
grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and
beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes
that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear
in the street
And set a good example
for the children.
We must have friends to dinner
and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked
and surprised
When suddenly I am old,
and start to wear purple.

~Jenny Joseph~

First You Try Everything

By Jane McCafferty

Growing, aging, and evolving, is inevitable. It is life. It is meant to be. Ideally, a couple remains connected and does this together. That is the vow of marriage. Commitment is the root of the vow. It takes equal commitment from both people, and it must be sincere, from the heart.

Evvie and Ben have been together since college. Common childhoods and interests brought them together, sealing their bond.

As years pass and life happens, differences form. Ben becomes involved in the corporate world. Creating a career also provides a lifestyle for them as a couple. He feels this is the best road to take to achieve the goals best suited for their future.

Evvie holds onto her ideals and the freedom that comes with them. She clings to what the couple originally had together. Suddenly, she realizes that Ben has taken a different road, one without her. She becomes obsessed with the idea that they belong together, whatever the cost. She sets her mind on this idea, going to extreme lengths to keep them together.

The story of a couple is told in their alternating voices. It is an emotional story, taking you inside a marriage, revealing a couple who have grown apart. This novel explores the issue from the inside out. 


Gunney was a Gunnery Sergeant
  in the United States Marine Corps.  

Gunney served in Vietnam, and 
then became a Drill Instructor (D.I.)
at the infamous Parris Island, 
S.C. Marine Boot Camp.

Upon retiring from active service 
to our country, 
Gunney chose to teach 
to high school ROTC cadets, 
like me.

He taught us many things,
including military history, 
meteorology, military etiquette, 
and drill instruction.

I learned much from Gunney, 
but not only things about the military.
I learned things that I have used 
throughout my life. 

Gunney taught us self discipline, 
how to think quickly & safely
in dire situations,
how to help others, 
the buddy system,
honesty, loyalty, 
& what patriotism
truly means.

this one is for you, 
& all of those like you:
real men.

Semper Fideles

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Armed Forces Day

Thank you to the 
United States Armed Forces,
including our often forgotten 
hardworking furry members!

                                                 (Image: Google Search)

Six Word Saturday: 5/19/12

Someday it will all make sense.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Earthquake Machine

(New cover!)

By Mary Pauline Lowry

The teen years are a time of awakening for everyone. Each of us has our own set of circumstances, our own awakening. It is a time of leaving behind childhood, that which was created for you, and evolving into your own self.

The teen years are a time of making choices toward your future, by the steps you take. Consequences begin to have meaning. It is also a time when you become aware of the choices others are making, and the consequences they face, as well.

The Earthquake Machine takes us on Rhonda’s journey to herself. She is a fourteen year old girl coming into herself. She is becoming aware of life around her, and her place in it.

Rhonda sees her mentally ill mother with serious issues. Rhonda’s father deals with these issues by keeping her mother heavily medicated. Obviously neither parent is there for Rhonda. The person she feels closest to is the family gardener, Jesus. When he is deported back to his native Mexico, it affects Rhonda deeply.

Suddenly, Rhonda is on a mission to find Jesus. She makes choices about herself, her life, and takes steps to change things. Rhonda takes off on a journey across the border and into Mexico to find her friend. This forces her to change her identity to a male, to ensure her safety as she travels across the Mexican desert on the back of a burro.

This adventurous young adult novel deals with serious and immediate issues. Mary Pauline Lowry bravely writes of gender and sexism, as well as the cultural differences between the United States and Mexico.  She has written a bold and important coming of age novel. I look forward to reading more from this insightful author.