Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving with Cats

Thanksgiving is a special time to 
stop & appreciate all that we have.

We decorate, celebrate, & give thanks,

feasting with family & friends, for 
the bounty of blessings that we have.

May you have plenty for yourself,
and enough to share with others.

Bountiful Blessings to All!
~from all of us at McGuffy's Reader:
Bill & I, Maggie P., Grizelda Zoe, 
Chloe Jo & Stella Belle~


Thanksgiving Blessings


I am thankful for all that God has blessed me with,
especially Bill, our home, critters, family & friends,
including each of you that write and blog with me.
I am also thankful for all of the nature and wildlife 
that God has filled the world with, and shares with
us every day from one season to the next.
Happy Thanksgiving to you & your loved ones.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Donations


The holidays were coming. Streets and parking lots were filling with cars as people rushed about, laden with bags and packages.

From opening until closing time each day, Marty stood ringing his old bell in front of the big department store. He wore the same old thin coat, mismatched gloves with holes in the fingertips, and huge unmistakable smile. It was hard to gauge how old he was; he somehow seemed timeless.

Marty had done this for so many holiday seasons that people remembered him. He remembered them, too. Marty liked people. People would come by and wave or call to him. He never failed to greet each person, calling them “Friend” and wishing them a happy holiday. Even when some people ignored him, pretending they didn’t see him, Marty would smile. He knew they were busy; they had things on their mind.

Sometimes people would ask him how he could do it day after day, no matter the weather. He always responded the same. He liked being useful, collecting donations for needy people. He could take the cold for the few weeks of the season, because he knew he was helping others.  He knew some people had less than he did. He had clothes and food to eat at the shelter. He had enough. He also had time that he could share. It was his gift to others, he said.

As the weeks went by, Marty continued to ring his bell as he paced back and forth on the icy pavement. However, he looked more tired and cold each day. His age was catching up with him; it was becoming obvious. His regular donators, his “friends” as he called them, noticed and showed concern.

One evening, just before Christmas, a van pulled up to where Marty stood. Grinning and waving, he realized it was a group of his “friends”. The people got out of the van, carrying things as they approached him. One person put a hat on him, as another helped him into a warm coat. Someone wrapped a scarf around his neck, as someone else handed him warm gloves. 

As Marty stood stunned, they brought a folding chair out of the van. Setting it up near Marty’s donation bucket, they told him to sit, as they eased him into the chair. Finally, someone handed him a cup of hot coffee. As tears rolled down Marty’s face, they told him for all that he gave to others, it was their turn to give to him. 

Story: McGuffy Ann Morris
Image: Google 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday...

to Grizelda & Chloe Jo!

4 weeks old

Grizelda @ 6 weeks

Chloe Jo @ 6 weeks

Grizelda & Chloe Jo @ 9 months

Grizelda @ 2 years

Grizelda @3 years

Chloe Jo @ 2 years

Chloe Jo @ 3 years

Happy Birthday
to our Baby Girls!

Three Rules


By Marie Drake

Hope Wellman lived through a very difficult, traumatic childhood but she remains haunted by a recurrent nightmare. Hope feels she is constantly being watched, that someone or something is following her wherever she goes. She questions her sanity, unable to distinguish whether it is fear or imagination. She fears that it could be something far worse than even she can imagine.

Surviving the horrific abuse of her childhood, Hope has always held in the details of the evil she has lived through. Attending the funeral of her abuser, she feels perhaps she can now finally be free. Only Hope knows that the grave is empty. 

It is this reality that continues to haunt her. She believes she sees him everywhere, she feels his presence, and is relentlessly haunted by the recurrent nightmare. Hope fears she is losing her mind, or what is left of her sanity. She fears that the nightmare may in fact be an omen of far worse evil than she can even imagine. 

This novel reads quickly. Well written and suspenseful, it is hard to put down. It keeps you wondering how it will all end. Hope’s story will remain with you even after you finish reading it.

From the novel Three Rules:
“I have learned three rules in my life: 1.) The most dangerous people in the world are not always strangers. 2.) The scariest things imaginable are not those that can kill you, but those you can live through. And probably the most prominent: 3.) The most horrible possibility is not what could happen to you, but what you could become – I became a killer.”  ~Hope Wellman

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Arachnophobia


Bill sent me this video because he insists
 it's exactly like Grizelda and me...& spiders.
I admit it; he actually is right!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Someone Else’s Love Story



By Joshilyn Jackson  
    
This beautiful novel drew me in from the first page and held me to the last. It is definitely a complicated love story, but the love is sincere and often heartbreaking.

Shandi is a single mother of precocious, bright three year old Natty. She has convinced herself that Natty was a miraculous virgin birth. She cannot face the reality of this being the result of a party she cannot remember. She also refuses to see Natty as a mistake. She is a wonderful mother, fully devoted to Natty.

William is a brilliant research scientist, he is a genius. However, he has Asperger’s. He is struggling with emotions and life. He is also trying to deal with the car accident that resulted in the loss of his wife and young daughter.

Shandi and William’s worlds collide at a convenience store where a robbery takes place. Shandi, Natty and William are taken hostage along with several others. William becomes the hero, first sheltering Natty and then taking control of the hostage situation. Shandi immediately feels drawn to William, as does Natty. A deep bond forms between the three of them.

As their relationship grows, they find out more about each other and their pasts. They inevitably learn more about themselves, as well. There are many twists, turns, and surprises in this book. 

Joshilyn Jackson has a way with portraying characters that you care about, in difficult situations.  This is a sweet, touching novel filled with people who ultimately seek not only to be loved, but to love others, too. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Box


The Customer Service desk was overflowing with people, papers, and ringing phones. The line was long, seeming only to be getting longer and more agitated. People were complaining out loud to each other, or to any one who would listen.

Noticing a box labeled “Complaints”, Marie quickly wrote out her thoughts of the ensuing chaos and approached the box. When she noticed there was no slot to put the complaint slip into the box, she loudly advised the supervisor. 

The supervisor promptly and firmly told her that they were aware of that fact.

Story & Photo: McGuffy Ann Morris


Holiday Food

Halloween is the beginning 
of the party food season.

We do a lot more snacking than usual.

We cook for family and friends.

We want to be sure to have enough,

including the traditional pies!

We like to entertain our loved ones,

because it is all about love and peace,
and celebrating together.
Happy a happy, healthy holiday season.
Enjoy every moment together.

Linked to: Cat Thursday

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Tilted World


By Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly

This historical novel takes place during the “great Mississippi floods of 1927”.  Set in Hobnob, Mississippi, the novel characterizes their people, lives and suffering during the massive natural disaster.

Moonshine and bootlegging is a way of life in and around Hobnob. Young Dixie married top moonshiner, Jesse. It is not an easy marriage,  laden with problems, including the loss of an infant.

The Government sends in agents to shut down the bootlegging of moonshine in Mississippi, particularly in and around Hobnob. While seeking out stills and illegal operations, two agents go missing. Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover then must send in two special agents under the guise of being engineers.

One of the agents, Ingersoll, finds an infant and places it with Dixie, who is more than willing. This only creates another set of problems, while complicating existing issues. The relationship between these characters is interesting and intriguing. 

A complex, multi-layered story, it is vivid in its imagery and colourful in its characters. Offering romance, suspense, history, crime, and intense character portrayals it will hold your interest and keep you involved.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

“Letters”


It started as an occasional innocuous, but oddly knowledgeable, note left on her car. After several, the letters began showing up at her house, growing longer and more intimate, though the handwriting was unrecognizable. 

The letters held compliments, but also questioned her everyday activities, even offering advice. With each letter she grew more frightened, unsure who would do this and why they persisted anonymously. 

Then suddenly, just as the letters had started they completely stopped, though her unrelenting fear continued.

Story and photo: McGuffy Ann Morris

Linked to: Five Sentence Fiction 
Prompt: Letters

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fragile


Hannah and Will began collecting ornaments with their first Christmas together; each had a special meaning.

This year, they found their first ornament, a red heart, shattered in its wrappings. Hannah was inconsolable, crying that it could never be replaced. 

On Christmas Eve, Will tenderly handed Hannah a box he said was fragile and very special. Carefully opening the package, Hannah tearfully found inside a heart ornament identical to their original ornament. On the attached note Will had written, “A renewal of our love and commitment.”

Story: McGuffy Ann Morris
Image: Google


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mark Twain & Cats

“When a man loves cats, 
I am his friend and comrade, 
without further introduction."
                             Mark Twain
“I simply can’t resist a cat, 
particularly a purring one. 
They are the cleanest, cunningest, 
and most intelligent things I know, 
outside of the girl you love, of course.” 
                                    ~Mark Twain

Source

I am sharing one of my favourite authors,
a wise and wonderful American who 
told great stories and also loved cats!

Linked to: Cat Thursday/Cats & Authors

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crossing


He didn’t want to live without her.

She held him together;
her small hands holding him,
caring for his needs.

The long road of life with its
ups and downs, twists and turns,
brought them to this crossroads.

She deserved to go first,
being good, needing rest
that only Heaven could offer.

Once she was gone, he stood
alone, searching for answers.
Time slowly slipped away.

Until finally it was his time
to go beyond the crossroads
into the sunset.

There was no need for answers;
there were no more questions.

Poem: McGuffy Ann Morris
Image: Photobucket 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day


Thank you
to all of the brave men, women 
& animals who have served in
the Armed Forces of the
United States of America.


Thank you all.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

To Dance


Every third Saturday there was live music at The Manor Care Facility.

Once a dancer, Bette loved the music and the happiness it always brought her. Now confined to a wheelchair, she was limited to only listening to music.

Bette looked forward to the occasional times someone would grab her chair and whirl her around the floor. She would then close her eyes, able to remember the exhilaration of how it felt to dance.

Story: McGuffy Ann Morris
Image: Photobucket


Word Prompt: Dancing

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald




The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore, twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well-seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made the tattle-tale sound
And the wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too
T'was the witch of November come stealin'
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashin'
When afternoon came, it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When supper time came, the old cook came on deck sayin'
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya
At 7 P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good to know ya'
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her
They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go, as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!

Written By: Gordon Lightfoot

~I was raised in (and still live in) the Great Lakes region. I remember this tragedy. I have been to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at the Whitefish Point Lighthouse, just beyond where the Fitzgerald went down. The museum continues to remember the most famous Great Lakes shipwreck with an annual ceremony. The bell is rung 29 times, once for each member of the Edmund Fitzgerald crew, and a 30th time for all who have lost their lives on the Great Lakes. It is with great respect that I remember and honour the crew of The Edmund Fitzgerald, lost to the gales of November 10, 1975.~

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rainbow


The northwest wind was blowing, and temperatures were dropping fast when George heard the loud cries. Unable to allow anything to suffer in the raging storm, he knew he had to try to help.

Following the sound of desperate pleas, he reached into a cold, muddy puddle under his car and lifted out a tiny newborn kitten. Shocked, George quickly took her inside the safety of his house, wrapping her in warm towels.

Realizing the urgent situation, George called an animal rescue service who agreed to come for the kitten immediately. 

While waiting for their arrival, George settled in with the kitten, gently holding her close to his heart and humming softly as he silenced her cries.

Story & Photo: McGuffy Ann Morris
~In memory of Iris, one of our rescue kittens~

Prompt: Reach   

Music

Music is a universal language,
crossing cultures and generations.

Music can be personal;
you can really get into it. 

Music can pick you up,
and get you moving; 

 or it can be calming and relaxing.

Whether you play an instrument

or just listen to it,
music is for everyone.
Enjoy!

Linked to: Cat Thursday

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yum...grapes!


Happily, Bill is home for a few days.
He is sharing this critter video with us.
This is one smart & cute raccoon!
Healthy snacks can be good, too!
Yum!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Collector


She pushes the heavy cart through Old Town.
It doesn’t matter to her that the cart doesn’t hold
her own dreams, but those of countless others.
What matters to her is that she holds
forgotten dreams as her own.

Poem: McGuffy Ann Morris
Image: Photobucket


Monday, November 4, 2013

Dona Nobis Pacem


“Jesus does not need an army to fight evil in the world; 
he uses the victorious weapons of love and humility.” 
                  ~Pope Francis, in his campaign for Peace

McGuffy's Reader is joining bloggers worldwide 
in support of peace today, and every day. 
We pray for peace for all living things, always. 
~Dona Nobis Pacem~Grant Us Peace~

Linked to: Blog4Peace 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Oh, Deer


Autumn is here! Deer are out and about more, 
as they answer the "call of the wild": mating season. 
Please be aware of them as you drive, especially
at dawn, dusk, and in the dark. Remember,
where you see one deer there are usually more.
They don't understand roads and traffic, but you do.
Please be careful. Slow down.



Friday, November 1, 2013

Locust Creek Covered Bridge

Recently, as we traveled through Missouri, we were able to visit the Locust Creek Covered Bridge located off of U.S. Route 36. It is near Meadville, in Linn County. The pedestrian bridge was built in 1868 out of white pine. It was originally part of Route 8, the countries first transcontinental road. 


The path to the bridge

Locust Creek today

Approaching the covered bridge

Locust Creek Covered Bridge

 
Bridge entrance

The interior of Locust Creek Covered Bridge

The exit of the bridge

At 151 feet long, the Locust Creek bridge is the longest of Missouri's last four remaining covered bridges. It is a beautiful nationally registered historical site, and maintained by Missouri State Parks Historical Society.