Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Right Now

Spring is inspiring. We watch as the earth works hard to come back to life. Both plants and animals follow nature’s call to begin the cycle of life again. Cold, darkness gives way to warmth and light. “Out with the old; in with the new”.

I am happy to pitch in, too. I clear away the dead plants and leaves left behind by Autumn. I want to let the sun get to the new growth as much as the new plants seek it. This makes me evaluate other things in my life.

I find myself feeling the proverbial pull to do “Spring Cleaning”. It is nice to air out the house, ridding it of Winter’s encasement. As I clear away the residue of Winter, I find things I no longer need or want. I recycle or donate what is no longer used or needed.

Life changes and we change with it. Each season of life teaches us something, giving us what we need. The rest we need to recycle. 

Spring is a perfect time to renew, refresh, and evaluate what we really need and want. I am using it to do just that. 

Linked to:
"Right now is the perfect time to..."

Good Morning, Sunshine

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wake Up

This is the first "Simon's Cat" video I ever saw. I loved it immediately, as it depicts cats and their people. However, it is even more applicable to me now.

This is Chloe Jo and I every night (all night). It isn't really about food; it is about Chloe Jo. Though she does not use a baseball bat, she has her own methods of getting the attention that she wants. Believe me, she gets her point across, and she gets her way. Bless her heart.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

After the Rain

This young robin was taking advantage

of the warm rain that brought fresh worms. 

He seemed thankful for the bounty.

The Irises were all in bloom,

and stretching to shed the raindrops,

to show themselves in all of their glory.

~Thanks to Bill, who took these pictures at a 
rest stop just east of Little Rock, Arkansas~

Saturday, April 25, 2015

An Invitation to Art

My wonderful friend, Claudia, is an extremely talented photographer and artist. Her website is ImagesByCW. Always productive, Claudia recently started a new meme.

She has asked me to link my recent flash fiction story, Harry's Changes, to her "sARTurday Art Linkup". When I mentioned that I did not create the image I used, she reminded me that creative writing is a form of art. She said that she felt that "everyone" should read my story, and shared it on Facebook. I am pleased (and very humbled) that she feels that way. 

Claudia is someone that I respect and admire. Her beautiful work never ceases to amaze me. She is a very positive and inspiring person. If you do not know Claudia, I encourage you to visit her blog. Please take along some of your own art to link up and share, too! 

ImagesByCW Photography

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fill-In Fun #210

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! This week’s co-host is Obi, of Eloquent Rambles.

The statements & My Answers: #210:

1. Learning is my favourite guilty pleasure. Those who know me know that my curiosity is like a cat’s. It has to be satisfied. I am driven to learn and understand nature and the world around me. I believe there is satisfaction in knowing, and power in knowledge. 

2. Some days I just wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything “right”. But, realistically, I know that isn’t right. I can’t make people do things any more than they can make me. We each have a life to live, and only we can do it. There is a reason there is no “magic wand”.

3. Sometimes I wonder why some people have to complicate things. More often than not, humans tend to complicate things that should be simple and straightforward. Personally, I don’t have the heart for unnecessary drama

4. Life is not a test. It is a lesson. The test is what we do with it

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Harry's Changes

With his old dog gone, Harry knew there would be major changes now that he was alone.

The strain on the budget would ease up with no veterinary visits, grooming costs, special foods, or toys. There would be no more sleep lost to late night walks in inclement weather, either. It would certainly be much quieter in the house, without a noisy dog running around, as well. 

As he drove into the animal shelter parking lot, Harry knew these were changes he could do something about.

Linked to:
Word Prompt: Changes
sARTurday Art Linkup

Story: McGuffy Ann Morris

Monday, April 20, 2015

Creative Blogger

I have been given the honour of the Creative Blogger Award. While awards are very nice, what I really value is that someone thinks I deserve them. That truly means a lot to me. 

As with most blogging awards, there are rules to follow. I will do my best to abide by these four requirements.
A.) Thank the one who gave you the award.
Thank you, Janet and Kitties Blue. You make it a practice to care and share with others. I respect you for all that you do, and I appreciate you very much. Hug.
B.) Link to the blog of the one who gave the award to you.
Please visit Janet and Kitties Blue at their blog: The Cat on My Head. I know you will love them as much as I do.  
C.) Tell five things about yourself
      1. As an avid reader, I do have favourite authors. I began following the author Sherri Wood Emmons with her first novel: Prayer and Lies. I enjoy her writing for many reasons. I also enjoy her as a person. In her most recent novel, The Seventh Mother, Sherri named a (rescue) cat McGuffy! I am flattered by this wonderful honour. 
      2. I am allergic to animals. I do not get injections, preferring to use the hands-on “exposure” method. Life without critters would not be living for me, but merely existing. I do limit my time in enclosed spaces where there are many birds, however. I actually like to see birds in the wild, anyway. I think they like it better, too.
      3. I have severe claustrophobia.  I cannot stand anything around my face, or to be confined in any way. I also suffer from arachnophobia. I respect spiders in their “house”, but not mine. Fair warning, spiders…just sayin’.
      4. I have a very strong moral compass that I refuse to compromise for any reason. To me, that would be dishonest. It makes me unpopular at times, but when all is said and done, I have to live with myself.
      5. I had a few “exotic” pets when I was a child. However, as an adult I do not believe this is acceptable. I feel it is often dangerous and unhealthy for both human and critter. I also feel that it is not in the best true interest of the animal, often bordering on cruelty. There are plenty of domestic animals (worldwide) that are in desperate need of homes and love. 
D.) Nominate other bloggers.
I enjoy and respect all of those that I blog with. I think you all deserve awards and validation. I understand some bloggers do not accept awards, however. There is no obligation; no explanation needed. Please follow your heart. 
With that being said, I nominate:
Queen Jester, Life in a Canned Ham

Again, as always, I believe that everyone deserves awards for their talents, creativity, and hard work. Please know that I appreciate every one of you,  just for being you.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Spring Storm

One of the hazards of trucking is the weather.
Near Alanreed,  in the (far north) panhandle of Texas,
Bill recently encountered this serious storm.

The wise thing to do is to find a safe place to park and wait it out.

The storm was clearly gaining strength very quickly.

Creating a lot of rain, hail, and wind over Texas, 

it covered many miles, spawning a tornado in Oklahoma.

Thanks to Bill for braving the elements to share these amazing photos.
Stay safe!

check out this post from June 2, 2013.
All pictures were taken by Bill!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fun Fill In #209

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! This week’s co-host is Elizabeth, of Silver's Reviews.

The statements & My Answers: #209:

1. If I could influence people’s thinking, perhaps I’d change the way they see animals. Animals are a necessary part of the world. Each species, each critter, has a place in the world, just as we do. As earth’s caretakers, we should respect that and celebrate it.

2. I’d rather travel in the United States somewhere than travel to a foreign country. No offense to other countries, but rather simple love of my own. There is so much here in America that I have not seen, and I would really love to see it all. America has so much rich beauty and history to offer.

3. Seeing the seasons change always makes me reflect on the big picture of “Life”. Life takes care of itself, and of us, by evolving and adapting. I believe we are supposed to learn from that. I watch, take notes, and try to apply what I learn to my own personal experiences.

4. Could you still maintain a close relationship with someone after they betrayed you? For me, in all honesty, it depends on the seriousness and depth of the betrayal. However, I do feel that if forgiveness is given, it should never be brought up again. To do so would be not be true forgiveness. It would be like a cancer in the relationship. The relationship could not be healthy and continue to grow if forgiveness were incomplete like that.

Linked to:
Feeling Beachie

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Left Behind

From dawn to dusk, Amelia chases the sun and walks in the shadows. The walls of the old cottage both contain and isolate her. Routine only serves to give time a purpose these days. 

Having all moved on to greener pastures, there is no one left to check on her. Now it is just Amelia and the clock, and the cats she feeds every day.

Linked to:
Word Prompt: Isolated

Monday, April 13, 2015

Just a Note

Bill is here on his scheduled "home time". Please excuse my absence in visiting and commenting. I am busy enjoying my husband and family time. Time is precious, and these moments are few. I promise I will be back up to speed in a couple of days. Thanks! 

Sunday, April 12, 2015


With each flight of every bird,
with each rustle of every wing,
comes Spring.
With the wind on easy breeze,
with each slant of bright warm sun,
Spring has begun.
By Winter’s sigh and memory,
its cold dark shadows past,
life is reborn, and now
it is Spring at last. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Yard Work

Please be careful!
Plants are not the only ones living in your yard!
I have rescued many wild newborn bunnies.
It is not an ideal or preferred start for them.
If you find a wild bunny nest, please call a 
knowledgeable wildlife rescue authority 
in your area for the proper assistance.
The Humane Society offers advice, too.
Wild Rabbit Information

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dirty Chick

Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer

By Antonia Murphy

Antonia Murphy was a fast paced city journalist from San Francisco. However, after becoming a parent she decided that she needed to settle down to raise her family in a close, supportive environment. Antonia and her husband ended up on a farm in New Zealand. Making it their home, they felt they could focus on the important things: family and community.

From the very beginning of this memoir, the author engages the reader with humour and wit. Some of the stories we read about are the problems of an errant rooster, the charms of both alpacas and goats, raining lambs, and the issues of wandering cows.

Along with these exploits are many other related issues of farming. We learn of pitfalls in making cheese, and the extra benefits of homemade wine. Again, generous humour is added to both recipes. However, there are many valuable life lessons in this colourful book, as well. 

This is a memoir that has it all: family drama, rich humour, critters, world travel, and so much more. It is all told with a generous heart and warm soul. I can only hope that Antonia Murphy will write more about the adventures on her New Zealand farm. She may be a "dirty chick", but she is my kind of person! 

Sharing my "Spring"

Ms. Rory Bore, our Coffee Chat hostess, is Canadian. She has let us know that she is: "So done with Winter!" This week she pleads with us to: "Show your Spring!" So, Rory, as promised I am sending you some of mine.

This is early Spring in Northeast Illinois.
 Suddenly, all of the trees have leaf buds.

The peach tree has buds, so we are hoping for blossoms soon.

The tulips are growing quickly, now.

The hollyhocks suddenly popped up, too. 

These crocuses were planted in the grass by a creative squirrel.

Wild Daylily are native to Illinois. They will be orange, and 
are usually called "tiger lily" here, though they really aren't.

An extremely important plant (*wink*): organic catnip. 
I sun dry it and jar it for the long winter months.
Maggie, Grizelda & Chloe Jo get it fresh in Summer, 
and then dried in the Winter months. They love it,
but it is very good for them, as well.

Even though it is still a bit cool, wet, and grey, 
we have sparrows nesting in the wild locust tree.

Our sparrow colony is quite large and friendly.

The first pair back each spring become the king and queen.
They get the "castle", which is the closest to the feeders. 

Of course, Spring also brings warm, healing sunshine!
Maggie and Chloe Jo certainly appreciate the Spring sun.
They appreciate your purrs and prayers, too. Thanks!

~Happy Spring!~

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Bond

Jimmie and Gracie hunted as an imposing team for over ten years. She would point and flush, and then he would successfully do his part to get the bird. 

Hunting is hard work, but nothing was harder than Gracie's sudden terminal illness last summer. Jimmie laid her to rest out near the corn field, where at least her spirit could hunt the rows each fall. Knowing that it would never be the same, he then put his shotgun away for the last time. 

Linked to:
Word Prompt: Hunt

Sunday, April 5, 2015


~He's Alive!~

Wishing you the Easter blessings  
of faith, hope, and love. Alleluia!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Working Bunny

This may not be the Easter Bunny, but 
he certainly takes his job very seriously.
Figaro learned his herding skills from the 
best teachers: the resident sheepdogs.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fill-In Fun #207

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! This week’s co-host is Jennifer Farwell.

The statements & My Answers: #207:

1. I require a lot of intellectual stimulation. I truly don’t need much or “require” much. However, I am curious about everything so am driven to learn. Simply put, I seek to understand what makes the world go 'round because I care.

2. Love is a basic need. All living things need love.

3. Sometimes I need a hug and sometimes I need to hug someone else.  Hugs are cathartic and healing. They are good for everyone.

4. One word to describe life is unpredictable. You may think you have it all figured out and planned, but it can change in a heartbeat and often does. No one is exempt or infallible.

Linked to:

Good Friday