Monday, January 26, 2015

Chloe Jo & I

I believe what doesn't kill me makes me stronger. I believe that I can get through anything, as long as I know what I am dealing with. I then try very hard to focus on the task at hand and get through it. Prayer does help. But, I am human.

This month has been one of those very trying months.  To begin the month, Bill's truck didn't take the subzero weather well, so he had some breakdown issues. Of course, that affects loads, deliveries, and payroll. It also increases stress.

Computer issues were prevalent lately, too. Taxes, medical claims, almost everything is done via computer, now. Of course, correspondence and blogging is mixed in there, too. It is hard to get anything done when that happens. 

As you know, last week while rushing around trying to get things done, I fell down my back stairs. I really bruised myself up badly and broke two ribs, displacing them. It is difficult to even breathe. There is no comfortable position. I am focusing on healing, and I will get through it.

Today was another story. Chloe Jo was having trouble using the litter box this morning. It seemed she may have stones, again. My heart breaks for her when she is sick. I bundled her up and we spent the day at the vet's office. She had x-rays, blood work, and a urinalysis. 

The initial tests show her bladder is enlarged and her kidneys are very small. We are not sure why this is happening. Nothing could be noted in her bladder to be causing this enlargement. We are unsure about the smaller than normal kidneys, too. She could still have stones that were not visible to us on the film. Her blood values seemed pretty in line with her usual results, except for her gall bladder, which was elevated. 

Chloe Jo was sent home with medication to help with calming inflammation and relaxing her, too. We are hoping things will settle down. She stresses easily, which always makes things worse for her health issues.  I am praying for her to feel better and to be relieved of these painful issues. She is our baby.

Please keep Chloe Jo in your thoughts and prayers, too. I will keep you posted as I am able.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Haste Makes Waste

Yesterday was a typical busy Monday. I had my week planned out. However, things don't always work out the way we plan. As I hurried out the door from one chore to the next, I fell down my back stairs. I knew I was very bruised from my face to my knees, but my back is extremely bad. 

After a very rough night, Bill (who is on the road) convinced me to call the doctor, who immediately sent me for X-Rays.  Along with deep bruises inside and out (especially my liver), I have two broken ribs. This explains why I cannot get comfortable in any position I am in, whether it is sitting or laying down. I am also having trouble breathing. 

Consequently, I am forced into a blogging break until I can get this under control. I really hope that will be very soon, because this is excruciating. Thanks for your kind thoughts. I appreciate it. Be safe.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What Dogs Have Taught Me

I have learned valuable lessons from people, but the things that I have learned from animals have left deep impressions within me. I have often said that animals are genuine. I believe this. They have no ulterior motives. They are honest in their emotion and their actions. Animals do not lie.

Several years ago, before the Internet, blogging, and social media, I had several pieces of my writing published in literary magazines. Along with many poems, I had a series of dog essays published. I have not shared them since then, but after much encouragement, I plan to do so now.

I am widely known as a “cat person”, but the truth is that I need dogs, too. In the future, I will share my cat stories. There are many. But, while cats address one side of me, dogs address the other. It is yin and yang; balance. Without both, I feel a sense of loss.

Each dog that has come into my life has taught me something. Just as each dog has been unique, their lessons have been, too. Admittedly, I have been a good student. I have paid attention. I wanted the bond that they offered. I sought their simple wisdom. 

I will share each dog in the order that they entered my life. In addition, I will share their stories over time. I want each to stand on their own, as they do in my heart. 


Things said and unsaid, 
both raw and painful. 
Scars ran deep,
wounds beneath 
never able to heal.
Things could never
be undone; 
compromise and tolerance 
worn far too thin.  
Defeat was now
too heavy to bear, 
even together.
Walking away, 
time and silence 
swallowed their leftover 
unspoken words.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fill-In Fun #197

The "Follow 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: #197:

1. Do I have insomnia, or just an overactive mind? I may have forgotten how to sleep, perhaps. It is truly getting exhausting.

2. If only people were as genuine as animals then respect would be more prevalent.

3. Every girl needs a good role model , and every boy needs one, too

4. I would love to learn about other religions and cultures, but I do not want to have to defend my own, in my own country. America is my place of birth. We need to get back to our roots and what made America strong, before it is too late

Have a relaxing weekend!

Linked to:
Feeling Beachie

Friday, January 16, 2015

All the Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven

This is an emotionally charged novel about two mismatched young people. Violet is a popular cheerleader; manic Finch is considered the school “freak”. It seems they should have nothing in common, but they do.

Violet is trying desperately to cope with the sudden loss of her sister.  A car accident took the life of her sister, leaving Violet the sole survivor of the crash. She is left with devastating guilt, causing her to rethink life.

Finch leads a manic way of life giving him the label, “The Freak”. He is always changing his persona and his outlook. He is also constantly plagued by thoughts of depression and suicide.
One day the two teens meet through dangerous and unusual circumstances. Together, they set off on a life altering journey. Neither one of them will ever be the same. 

Jennifer Niven has written an extraordinary novel that goes far beyond youthful angst. This brave, heartrending story delves into the deep recesses of the troubled teenaged psyche. Watch for the movie based on this incredible book.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Brooklyn, NY

This January, Bill has made many deliveries to New York.
Many long haul truckers will not deliver to New York, 
due to safety issues, traffic, congestion and road conditions.
This is even more of an issue in the Winter months.

Backing and turning a tractor-trailer (rig) down narrow streets 
alleys to position it in the unloading docks takes a lot of skill.  
The tractor-trailer combination is between 65-67 feet, depending upon 
how the tandems are set. The set-up varies depending upon the load. 

(Please note: The trailer usually shows the company logo, 
which I have removed here. Excuse the blurred look. )

This scene shows the tight quarters for truck maneuvering, 
along with the street art of the Williamsburg/Brooklyn area.

Bill's delivery was located directly next to this park on 
the East River, near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

The Williamsburg Bridge is the suspension bridge
that connects the Lower East Side of Manhattan 
to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

A frigid dawn at Grand Ferry Park, Brooklyn, NY.  

An important fence, this one holds very serious signs.
As a dog owner, I find the the first sign important to follow.
However, the second sign is extremely serious for everyone.
This sign warns...

"Wet Weather Discharge Point
This outfall may discharge rainwater mixed with
untreated sewage during or following rainfall
and can contain bacteria that can cause illness."

*This is followed by further instructions on what to do.
Note the No Swimming, No Boating, No Fishing icons.*

~All pictures here are taken by Bill~

Linked to:

Captured Moments

Due to persistent, painfully slow computer issues, I am linking up late to Coffee Chat. The computer is still not up to speed, but I am also persistent in trying to keep up with things. Well, I am trying.

This week, over at Time Out for Mom we are asked by Les, our wonderful Coffee Chat hostess, “What is the last thing you took a picture of, and why did you capture this?”

I am always taking pictures, though most are just for my own enjoyment. I try to capture things that mean something to me, even if no one else ever sees them. I love to take pictures of things that seem out of place, or unusual. I can sometimes use these pictures with my writing, such as on my blog.

However, I also like to take pictures of my critters. I have files of these wonderful pictures, and many are very old. I know in my heart that I do this to try to freeze frame the moments that I have with each critter. No matter how long I have with each one it is never long enough. So, I try to capture moments that are meaningful to me, memories that cannot be recreated.

The most recent pictures that I have taken are of Maggie and Chloe Jo. They are in the bay window, each is in their own bed, but still very much together. Even those they are so very different, these two are very close. Maggie loves to nurture, and Chloe Jo loves to be nurtured. These moments are special, at least to us.

Linked to:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Undertaker's Daughter

By Kate Mayfield

As the daughter of an undertaker, Kate Mayfield experienced a very unconventional childhood. It was 1959, and she was just beginning grade school when her father moved the family to Jubilee, Kentucky. There he fulfilled his dream when he opened a funeral home in the family residence.

Funerals were commonplace in the family home. One of four children, Kate learned to be quiet and essentially invisible, but never by choice. While her older siblings were able to have activities outside the home, she struggled with this imposed solitude throughout her childhood.

Kate takes us through her developing years. She tells what it was like with a busy, charismatic father and a stoic, unhappy mother. Her brother was smart and easygoing, but her older sister had serious anger issues, often striking out at Kate and her younger sister. It isn’t until much later that these issues are painfully addressed.

Kate tells of the difficulty of trying to fit in with schoolmates. Friendships don’t come easy to a child growing up in a “creepy” funeral home. Her closest friends end up being the family housekeeper, and an eccentric elderly friend (and eventual benefactor) of the family.

Kate’s story is much more than being an undertaker’s daughter, however. She writes with candor of early forbidden love, racism, and the complexities of growing up in small town USA during the turbulent 1960s. In addition, she offers interesting historical background of her home town and its people.

Ultimately, Kate Mayfield has written a beautiful memoir. Sharing her experiences with clarity and insight, she draws you in with honesty and keeps you there with keen emotion.  I loved this memoir.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


My computer is so slow. I know that most of us have had this issue from time to time. They say that patience is a virtue. I hope so, because I am certainly trying to practice patience. 

I will be here working at posts, slowly but surely. I am hoping to be back up to speed very soon! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015


The winter wind roars
through the bare trees,
elusive, intangible,
as the residue of a
nightmare in the expansive
darkness of midnight.
Its voice, a whispered scream
of lies and regrets,
secretive reminders of the
empty void of loneliness.
Its icy breath sends shivers,
as a ghost across a grave.
Winter is a cruel companion,
owning the past while stealing
the hope of the future.

~from my poetry book, "Weeds" ,
this is a repost from February, 2013,
but is a timeless poem about Winter.
Please visit my Poetry Page for more.~

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fill-In Fun #196

The "Follow 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: #196:

1. April is my most peaceful month. I am refreshed by Lent and Easter, and at peace with most things.  

2. Listening to The Rolling Stones reminds me of being at their Boulder, Colorado concert, in 1981. Bill and I were newlyweds. We were living and traveling in a van, with my old dog, Velvet.

3. Would you choose to experience all four seasons if you didn’t have to? I would. I cannot imagine not having the beauty of each season in its full glory. Even with the endless cold and snow right is Winter, and Winter is part of the cycle of life. Here in the Great Lake, we adjust

4. One word to describe animal behavior is genuine. Animals are genuine in thought and action. I both respect and love that about them.

Enjoy your weekend!

Linked to:
Feeling Beachie

The Resurrection of Tess Blessing

By Lesley Kagen

Tess Blessing is fast approaching the age of fifty when she gets the unexpected bad results of a mammogram. Suddenly she is trying to deal with the reality of breast cancer. Now Tess feels she must resolve several issues before what she is sure is her impending death. So, she makes a “To Do” list.

Not to be confused with a “Bucket List” of wishes, Tess’s list involves many serious issues. She is dealing with a stagnate relationship with her spouse, her daughter’s eating disorder, a teenaged son who needs guidance, a longtime estrangement from her sister, and her own leftover childhood issues. Tess is resolved to handle all of this on her own, in her own way.

However, there are things happening that she does not know or see. Tess is not alone on life’s journey or in her current mission. She has a very unique, perhaps divine, personal “helper”. There is extraordinary magic here.

Lesley Kagen is a very special author. She skillfully blends drama, tragedy, and life events with her trademark heartwarming sense of humour. Ms. Kagen flawlessly makes every situation she tackles both touching and inspiring.

I am sure you will love Lesley Kagen and The Resurrection of Tess Blessing. I also recommend the “sister” novella The Undertaking of Tess. This sweet book tells the story of Tess’s childhood, giving both background and depth to Tess. 

However, please do not stop there. Lesley Kagen has written several fine books. Her ability to bring to life the complexity of sisterhood, relationships, childhood memories, and life events is incomparable. This is an author not to be missed. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Epiphany and Other Revelations

Today, January 6th, marks Epiphany. According to the Christian calendar, this celebrates the journey of the Magi upon the birth of Jesus. As the holiday season is officially over with this day, there is a reset (or rebirth) in time. Perhaps it is because of this that for me it has always been a personal spiritual new year.

Epiphany marks a time for me to look within myself and really see who I am, and work on who I want to be. This isn’t a time of resolutions, but rather personal reformation.  I look at both the positives and the negatives of who I am. I work on figuring out what I need to do to become a better person for myself and for God. Only then am I able to be of good use to others.

I hope to accomplish some things in 2015. While some things have to do with directly strengthening my relationship with God, others are of a more human nature. I have several chronic health issues including Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcoidosis, and lung issues. However, I want to become healthier, stronger, and more physically comfortable in my own skin. I believe that some of those things can be accomplished with diet and exercise.

On McGuffy’s Reader, I will still be joining memes and hops, though perhaps not every time. I do plan to work on my writing. I want to share more poetry and stories, but also my thoughts and musings, too.  My blog is not an autobiographical blog, but I do want it to be a reflection of what I believe and what is important to me.

I will also continue my advocacy of animals. Their well-being and their welfare are very important to me. I advocate for them both in my daily life and in social media. I welcome you to check out McGuffy’s Reader on Facebook, too. It is still a new page. I will be posting many animal related things there. I want to make a difference for God’s creatures in whatever way that I can. 

With each Epiphany on the calendar, I seek epiphanies and revelations about my world and myself. I really want to accomplish being a better person.

I am joining my good friend Rory Bore for a Coffee Chat. This weeks topic: 
"One thing I would like to accomplish in 2015 is                    ."
Please join us:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Good Wishes

 This was sent to me by a friend and is worth sharing...

Wishing you...
time for relaxation & reflection,

good sleep,

good health with exercise,

someone to dance with,

a bit of adventure,

and good looks.

But, most of all,
I wish you lots of bear hugs.

May you always have love to share,
health to spare, & friends that care.

And remember to watch out 
for those penguins. 

~See you soon!~