Friday, October 31, 2014

Beware



Don’t go past the graveyard tonight.
It’s late and dark, just right for a fright.
The souls are restless, spiteful and loud,
keeping the threats they once avowed.
Witches fly high, while zombies lie low.
Spirits float where cold winds blow.
Shadows stumble between the trees,
while old hobgoblins taunt and tease.
Heavy footsteps leave deep treads
upon ancient eternal rotting beds.
Whispers echo over crypts and stones
as wind rattles teeth and skeleton bones.
Bats take to wing in pale moonlight. 
Beware what walks the graveyard tonight.



Happy Halloween!




McGuffy Ann Morris
Originally shared October 2013
(Image: Public Domain)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Safety

Everyone likes to have fun, even critters!
However, we need to make sure that we
keep them safe from accidents & hazards.
This video offers you tips & reminders
to assure a pleasant holiday celebration.

~Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!~

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Missing

Bill is due Home today. He has been out on the road all month. Needless to say, we are just as excited to have Dad home, as he is to be here. 

Dad couldn't be here when Chloe Jo had her surgery, so she will be even happier than usual to have him Home. But make no mistake, Maggie, Grizelda, Chloe Jo and Stella are all Daddy's Girls. He spoils them quite well.

Please understand if I am not available much in the next few days. As you all know: Family comes First. This is ours. When Bill is back on the road, I will catch up with everyone. We appreciate your understanding. 


Bill

A Park

...in Arkansas. 
There is an explanation.




Linked to:
Curious as a Cathy

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's a Masquerade!

Today I am joining Rory Bore at Time Out For Mom for her Coffee Chat. However, it is a special day and we are having a masquerade party for the birthday of her little princess! Zoo Zoo is turning five years old! We were each asked what we would wear for this special celebration.

Zoo Zoo was a fan of Grizelda and Chloe Jo from the time they weren’t much more than kittens, and neither was she! She also loved my book, “Bedtime Tail”, and the black cat in the book (which is a composite of Grizelda & Chloe Jo).

It was pretty easy for me to decide how to dress for Zoo Zoo’s party. I would definitely dress as a black cat. Zoo Zoo loves cats. She could know it was me, too.

I would keep it simple, but wear all black. It might be similar to Ms. Rory Bore’s Black Widow costume from her beloved Marvel Avengers. (Yes, she is a serious Fan Girl.) But my costume would be without the gun, handcuffs, boots and red wig. Oh, okay, so that would leave the black cat suit. Yes, that works. I would add cat ears, whiskers, and a long cat tail. 

I might even bring Grizelda and Chloe Jo. I am sure Zoo Zoo would love that. Cashew would, too, I bet. Now wouldn’t that be fun?



Happy Birthday, Zoo Zoo! 
From Grizelda
& Chloe Jo 
~xo~
We wish you much fun and joy!



Linked to:
http://amothersluv.blogspot.com/2014/10/tuesday-coffee-chat-its-masquerade.html

Celestial



The sun always rises,
bringing renewed hope
of warmth and light.
The sun needs nothing.
Having owned the day,
it gradually relinquishes
its place in the sky.
Proud of its accomplishment,
it sets slowly, reluctantly,
leaving us in the chasm of
expectation and darkness.
The moon tries to fill the empty sky;
but the moon needs the stars,
knowing there is loneliness in darkness.
The moon and stars can offer only
the vague promise of dreams,
possibility of wishes come true.


Image & Poem by:
by McGuffy Ann Morris
Poem from the book "Weeds"





Rubbish Tuesday #26

Remember when...?

I took this when Bill was making a delivery in urban New Jersey.
It surprised me to see such a relic as an old working pay phone. 



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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Fragile World


By Paula Treick DeBoard

The Kaufman’s are a close and happy family. Curtis is a respected high school teacher. Kathleen is a creative interior designer. Their eldest child, Daniel, is a musical prodigy. He is away at college on generous scholarships. Youngest child, Olivia is a normal, happy, middle school student.

Late one night the Kaufman’s receive a phone call that no parent ever should. Their son, Daniel, has been killed in in a hit and run accident. This will have devastating, permanent impact on this family.

Each family member reacts to grief in their own way. Unfortunately, this tears them apart. Curtis withdraws into an obsession of Daniel’s wrongful death. He strongly feels that the man who recklessly killed Daniel should be held accountable, to the fullest extent possible. This affects his relationships and his career.

Kathleen tries to go on with life. She wants to heal and make her living family members happy. She relocates to another state and builds her business there. She wants Curtis and Olivia to join her, so they be a real family again. They remain resistant to any changes.

Olivia is torn apart by the loss of her brother, and the loss of her family. She develops phobias and begins to keep a book listing the bad things that could happen. Ultimately, when her mother leaves, Olivia chooses to stay with her father. She feels he understands her pain. Together they forge an existence, until the pain becomes too much to bear.

Curtis finds out that the man who killed Daniel has been released from prison early. This sends Curtis over the edge. He wants this man to pay for what he did. He will make this his mission, resulting in even more devastating consequences.

This novel follows the family as they grieve separately, each in their own way. As their story unfolds, we understand why they feel as they do about both life and death. We see their pain, and we see them search for healing. The journey through tragedy is poignant and very human. 

Paula Treick DeBoard is one of my favorite authors. She understands family relationships and dynamics, especially in the wake of tragedy. Her writing is powerful. The stories and characters will stay with you long after you close the book. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Grizelda's Photo Session

Grizelda is very shy, private, and a bit elusive.

She hates cameras, so it's hard to get good pictures of her.

It is even harder for her to get good "Selfies".

After seeing the results of this photo session,

Grizelda decided to give up and go back to bed.

Shh...just don't tell Chloe Jo that she has Joey Joe.



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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chloe Jo’s Follow-Up


Chloe Jo went for her follow up appointment. She was happy to see her friends at the vet clinic, as she has known them since she was four days old. She crawled right up onto Dr. J., and rolled onto her back for Dr. S. to check her tummy. She then cuddled up to N., one of her favourite technicians, knowing she would get some more attention. Chloe Jo loves to hug and kiss.

After her check-up, they said that Chloe Jo is healing nicely. In fact, the vet told her she did an excellent job in removing her stitches. They said she will be able to wear a bikini with no problem, though I must say that is one thing Chloe Jo has never done…yet.

Chloe Jo’s appetite has returned to normal. She is still a bit irritable, but she is playful, again. Mommy is still her main focus, though. Wherever I am, she wants me to hold her and comfort her. I don’t mind. She has had so many health scares; I am just relieved she has pulled through this, too.

Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the lab work results for the type of stone Chloe Jo had. We cannot put together a treatment plan until we get these results. We can’t make any changes in her diet, or put her on any medications until we know exactly what we are dealing with. So, we wait.

What we do know is that this is genetic. This will no doubt happen again within the next couple of years. Chloe Jo will have to be monitored closely for kidney issues for the rest of her life. We do this with her respiratory issues, so this will now be included in her routine care.

We love Chloe Jo dearly. She is our baby and we will do anything we can to give her a healthy and happy life. Seeing her happy is what it is all about! The unconditional love and affection she gives to us, and everyone who knows her, makes it all worthwhile. 

I will continue to report on her health and progress. As soon as we get the lab results and treatment plan I will post it here. We want to thank everyone for their continued prayers and support. It means a lot to us. Chloe Jo sends hugs and kisses. She would give them to you personally, if she could. 

~xo~

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fill In Fun #186

The "Follow Friday Four Fill-In" is hosted by Hilary at Feeling Beachie. Each week, she posts statement with blanks. Our mission, should we choose to accept, is to copy the statement and fill in the blanks on our blogs. Then link up to her blog for sharing. Hilary is always looking for co-hosts and more statements for us to fill in. Please visit her, and let her know your suggestions!

The statements & My Answers: #186:

1. Tomorrow I am going for a long walk with Stella. We like to take walks in the nice, cool Autumn air. Stella is a great friend to everyone. People and critters have gotten to know her and love her.

2. Does anyone live in safety, anymore? If so, where and how? The world has gotten to be such a scary place. People aren’t safe in public places that were once considered “secured”, but they aren’t even safe in their own space, their homes. 

3. People sometimes judge others unfairly. While we really should never judge others, human nature tends to do that. It is worse though, when based upon misunderstandings rather than facts. We need to be more sensitive of other people’s life situations, as well as their feelings.

4. It is okay to put yourself first, sometimes. We each have our own way of coping with what life throws at us, and taking a break to take care of ourselves is a healthy way to cope. Some people like to pamper themselves with a massage, others may just need time alone. We cannot honestly give to others if we are not in a good place within ourselves. We need to remember and respect that.  



Remember to take care of yourself
and each other!




Linked to:
Feeling Beachie

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Simple Fence

Near Sulphur Springs, Texas

A fence doesn't have to be fancy to be good.
I love this simplicity of this natural scene. 




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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Harvest Time


Indiana Pumpkin Patch




Linked to:
Curious as a Cathy

What's in a Name?

In her weekly Coffee Chat, Rory Bore of Time Out for Mom has asked, “What does your name mean? If you go by an alias, why did you choose that particular moniker?”

Having an unusual name, I am often asked about it. It is: McGuffy Ann, in that order. McGuffy is my first name. Ann is my middle name, and I usually am known as Annie. It is easier and it suits me.

McGuffy comes from the original spelling of McGuffey. The McGuffey Clan originally came from the western coastal mountains of Scotland. “McGuffey” was a nickname meaning “dark peaceful one”. Some of the McGuffey Clan migrated to Ireland, bringing about variations of the name.

Though fair complected, I can identify with the meaning of my first name in a different way. I am sensitive to the dark side of life, having had a difficult life myself. Consequently, I lean towards that in much of my writing. However, being conscious of the dark makes me strive for peace. Faith guides me.

The origin of the name Ann is Hebrew. It is a derivative of the name Hannah. Other variations are Anna and Anne. The meaning is “full of grace or mercy”.  I feel grace and mercy are essential. I strive for these, too. I seek grace and mercy, but I seek to be gracious and merciful, as well.

I like my name, and am not offended when asked about it. I find it interesting that so many people use aliases. This makes me wonder about their names, especially names they choose to go by. If I am asked about my name, I will usually then ask about theirs. I try to call people by their chosen name or nickname. It is part of being comfortable with who you are. I respect that.

Names are fascinating, and I think they are important. We carry our name with us throughout our entire life. Our identity and sense of self is linked to our name. That’s what’s in a name.



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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Sisters the Saints


A Spiritual Memoir

By Colleen Carroll Campbell

This spiritual memoir is powerful. The author draws the reader in with its very human journey. The challenges she faces are very relatable. As she is dealing with illness and loss, relationships, the draw of motherhood, career issues, and more, she is also trying to find her place in the world.   

Ultimately, she turns to her Catholic roots to help sort it all out. Reconnecting with women saints at critical junctures along the way, the author finds a sense of sisterhood. She realizes these very human women faced similar challenges. Each saint struggled with spirituality in a harsh human world, too. Reading the words from their personal journey, she is able to draw inspiration and strength for her own. 

This beautiful memoir reads easily and quickly, but leaves you feeling fulfilled. As a woman who was raised Southern Baptist and converted to Catholicism, I could relate to her spiritual journey. This is an important book that I will read again and again. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Chloe Jo: Update


Chloe Jo continues to heal from her ordeal. Recovery has been slow and not without issues, though. Following the surgery, she became obsessed with the stitches on her belly. She removed all of them herself, in fact. She actually untied the last one, but had it out before I could do anything about it. Chloe Jo is a very determined little girl! Her vet had also successfully used surgical glue, so we had no emergencies with the incision.

An Elizabethan collar (cone) was not a practical option for Chloe Jo. It would have seriously been more detrimental to Chloe Jo and her state of mind. Having worked closely with critters for so many years, I knew what watch for and what to do. We got through that part of her recovery relatively unscathed.

However, we did end up back at the vet clinic this week. Chloe Jo was not eating very much. She really did not like her new food. Unappetizing, it was not inspiring her to eat. This, combined with the physical trauma she had gone through, took a toll on her. Her tummy became very upset. Further distressing her, she had to be thoroughly cleaned up several times. She just wanted to sleep.

At this same time, Chloe Jo also started sneezing. Her chronic respiratory problems can go bad very quickly. Changes in seasons, or even weather fronts, can cause her difficulty. Thankfully, the antibiotics kept her stabilized, so she had no infection or fever. They were able to calm her respiratory issues and her tummy at the clinic.

Maggie and Grizelda had also gone on strike against any dietary changes. They were not going to eat the new food, no matter what I did to persuade them. Grizelda was becoming frantic that I was starving her. I was her food source her entire life; how could I suddenly starve her?! Maggie, being the proverbial drama queen, just lay on her back on the floor trying to convince me that she was fading fast.

So, for now everyone is back on their regular diet. Getting their way, they are eating their favourite foods again. They have all forgiven me. We will cross the dietary bridge when we get the definitive results on the kind of stone Chloe Jo had.

Chloe Jo has finally started to feel more herself, again. She is eating now. She has even started playing a little bit, just with Mom, however. Her patience is very low with her sisters, except for Stella who she loves to cuddle with. Chloe Jo still sleeps quite a bit, but is more herself when awake.

The vet is expecting the test results to come in any day now. We can put together a long term health plan for Chloe Jo at that time. She will probably have dietary changes, as well as medication. We do know that this is likely to happen again, especially if we do nothing. Taking her age (three years) into consideration with her unknown stray/feral ancestry, there are probably some genetic factors.

Whatever happens, Chloe Jo will have what she needs. We will do whatever it takes to get her feeling good and make her happy. Stella, Maggie and Grizelda agree. She is our baby, and we love her. Thank you again for all the well wishes, purrs, and prayers. Please keep them coming. We believe they are helping! Hugs.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Fill In Fun #185

The "Follow Friday Four Fill-In" is hosted by Hilary at Feeling Beachie. Each week, she posts statement with blanks. Our mission, should we choose to accept, is to copy the statement and fill in the blanks on our blogs. Then link up to her blog for sharing. Hilary is always looking for co-hosts and more statements for us to fill in. Please visit her, and let her know your suggestions!

The statements & My Answers: #185:

1. What would be your title for your life story? I have pondered this, though I am not sure that I could actually write my life story…or that anyone would want to read it.

2. Certainly a lie will eventually be uncovered. It may take a long time, but the truth always comes out. I believe this.

3. A real book is still better than an e-book. I still love the look, feel and presence of physical, tangible books. E-books just do not offer the same experience for me. I do read them, but not the way I do traditional books.

4. Joining a group that has no moral compass makes me want no part of it. I need to trust that the people I am working (towards a cause with) truly believe as I do. I don’t believe in “politically correct”, but rather morally correct.






Have a great weekend!



Linked to:
Feeling Beachie

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One Way


As a trucker, Bill is very conscientious about rules of the road.
He is always very careful to follow federal and local directions.
Travelling cross country, road conditions are always changing.
With construction, road repairs, emergencies and just the ways 
of life, things often change. You have to pay attention to signs.
I couldn't help but notice that these cows even follow the rules.
As Bill says, "Be safe out there!"



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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Autumn Moon

This was taken the night following the "blood moon".



Linked to:
Curious as a Cathy

Word Beauty

Every week, my good friend, Rory Bore of Time Out for Mom, invites us for a Coffee Chat. She then challenges us with a question to discuss. This week she asks, “What is the most beautiful word in the world?”

I thought long and hard on this question.  I love language; I love words. There are so many words that went through my mind and heart. However, the one word that I kept going back to is “grace”.

Looking up this word in various dictionaries convinced me of its worthiness as my choice. I have listed some of the definitive reasons here:

grace
noun
1. favour, goodwill
2. mercy, pardon
verb
to honour
synonyms
kindness, love, forgiveness, charity, mercifulness, honour, glorify

There are numerous beautiful words, in many different languages. Somehow this one word sums it up for me.


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An American Tragedy

An American Tragedy

Trucking along with Bill I see both natural beauty and harsh ugliness. When you travel this way, you see things as they really are. There is no controlled environment, as you create on a vacation. You cannot pick and choose what you see while trucking along America's roads.

There is no looking away because it is hard. It is there, and it should be noticed. I find it important to look, to really see what and who is actually there. I also find it important to share what I see. Avoiding it doesn't mean it isn't there. Looking away doesn't solve it.     

I hope to remind others of their own blessings. However, I also pray for solutions of improvement for those less fortunate. Their story needs to be told, because they do matter. 

The reality of life is that there is both beauty and ugliness. You cannot have one without the other. In fact, one should make you appreciate the other. And that should make you look.


"There is none so blind as those that will not see."
Matthew Henry,
Welsh Non-Conformist Minister,
1662-1714


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Monday, October 13, 2014

Crooked River


By Valerie Geary

Sam and her younger sister, Ollie, have a lot to adjust to since their mother’s death. Sam is trying to deal with her own grief, and Ollie has gone silent since her mother’s death. To make things more confusing, Ollie believes she is seeing spirits or “Shimmerings” as she calls them. 

The girls are sent to live with their father. Bear is reclusive, living in a teepee in the woods at the edge of town. Many question his ways and whether he can raise children in such an unusual way. However, Bear tries to be a good father. Gentle and attentive, he teaches the girls about nature, beekeeping, and simple living. The girls become as protective of him as he is of them. This family love and commitment will be put to a harsh test. 

One hot summer day, the girls find a dead woman’s body in Crooked River near their homestead. With the recent death of their mother too raw, they decide not to tell anyone. Then evidence begins to mount that their father may somehow be involved. 

Sam sets out on a mission to seek justice and prove that Bear is not involved. Searching for the killer, she uncovers secrets that will change everything for her entire family. Her pursuit for the truth will also jeopardize the safety of both herself and Ollie. Everything that Sam thought she could count on comes into question. 

Both Sam and Ollie are easy characters to care about, immediately drawing the reader into their story. The writing is direct and flows nicely, quickly pulling the reader along as Sam solves the mystery of Crooked River. 

I enjoyed Valerie Geary’s debut novel, and will definitely be looking for future stories by her.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Horizon


The Ferris wheel lifted her high above the lights and noise of the only life she knew. Though shallow, her roots were here below her, but did not allow for growth. 

Deep down, she knew that it was time to find her own place in the world. As she rose above the chaos, she realized the answer was out there, just beyond the horizon. With firm resolve, she knew she would find it and make it her own.


Linked to:
Word Prompt: Horizon

A Maggie Moment

~Maggie P.~

Maggie is the quintessential “big sister”. She was just three years old when we took in the newborn kittens. Initially, I had been a bit concerned how she would react. Rejected by her catmom, Maggie had been a bottle fed orphan. She went on to become a CFA show cat, as a champion Maine Coon polydactyl. Her life had been very different before we adopted her at age one. 

I need not have worried, though. Her sweet, loving, and accepting nature took to the babies immediately. She was curious and fascinated. When I fed and cared for them, she became a fixture next to their crate. She sat up with me night after night, as I filled their humidifier and helped them breathe. 

When the kittens were old enough to be weaned, Maggie was left with the dynamic duo. She took it upon herself to teach them the basics of cat behavior and etiquette. Independent Grizelda was a quick study, while Chloe Jo took a lot more work (even still). This actually cemented the closeness that Maggie and Chloe Jo maintain today. While it gives Maggie a pirpose, it seems to gives Chloe Jo a mission!

Since Chloe Jo has been so sick lately, Maggie has made it a point to be even more accessible to Chloe Jo for comfort and warmth. She watches and follows Chloe Jo, without invading her space. She knows not to upset Chloe Jo. However, she is sure to be available for care and face washing She makes extra room for sunbathing and at naptime, too. She is leaving all of the entertainment to Grizelda. 

We are so proud of Maggie for her sweet, loving, and patient ways. She has always been unselfish to the point of indulgent. She even accepted Stella, the Sheltie, without question. We know it hasn’t always been easy to be the "big sister", but she took it upon herself to be the best one possible. We love her all the more, as do Grizelda and Chloe Jo, and Stella, too.


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*Thank you all for your support
for Chloe Jo! Please keep her
in your thoughts and prayers.
We appreciate it!*