Monday, January 30, 2012

A Very Moving Video



This is heartbreaking, but real.
It is also proof that animals
have genuine feelings & emotion.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

An Award!



I am honoured to have been chosen for an award. It means a lot to me when a peer, someone I respect, chooses to honour me. It still amazes me that people actually want to read what I write! I appreciate it! 
Thank you to Angie of Angels are Kids and Furkids. Please visit and join her at: http://angiesangelsrkids-furkids.blogspot.com 

Here are the rules that go along with this award:
1. In a post on your blog, nominate 5-15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
4. In the same post, share 7 completely random facts about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Seven Random Facts about Me...(really?)...
1. I am a very light sleeper, 
and often have trouble sleeping.
2. I have severe claustrophobia.
3. I am a "chatterbox", once I open up. 
I am a very good listener, though!
4. I literally live in denim, 
and hate to "dress up".
5. I am a lifelong fan of The Rolling Stones. 
I love Classic Rock (60s-early 70s), but also Classic Blues, Folk & Country. 
I guess I'm "Classic", now.
6. I have an endless curiosity. I want to know or at least 
understand everything, not that I ever will...just sayin'.
7. I have long had a connection to coyote for their ability 
to survive, even in extreme situations. I respect them.

I would now like to pass this award on to:

*BookBagLady at 
*Patty at 
*Brenda at 
*Patrice & Wendell at 
*Kim at 
*Joseph at 
*Farm Girl at 
*RoryBore at 



  


Back in the Saddle...sorta'


I made it home from Arizona! 



So, I'm "back in the saddle",
trying to get caught up 
on all of the things here at home!



It was a whirlwind tour of 
The Valley of the Sun! 

We were able to drive through 
Apache Junction, 
Superstition Mountain.


The difference in landscape 
was incredible! 


The Tonto National Forest 
does not have the trees 
that I am used to up North.






If Mayo Clinic in Phoenix 
can't help me, 
have options in 
Apache Junction!



Anyway, 
"Honey, I'm Home!"






P.S. If you don't see your comment
on "I'll Be Missing", 
please let me know.
Somehow, some comments
went to another blog
and were deleted
(I never saw them).

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'll Be Missing




I will be missing for a few days. I have been very busy with getting ready for this trip. Some of you know that I had ankle surgery last Spring. After several months, I was told it did not work. So, due to the complications, and much to my desperation and dismay, I am going to Mayo Clinic. I am hoping they can help me and correct this problem. It is amazing how you take things like walking for granted, until you can't. When I get back, please know that I have many book reviews to post. When I am not blogging, I am reading!
Thank you all for your patience and understanding. I appreciate each of you.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Go Nuts Today!

   Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day!
This time of year is difficult on wildlife.
Please be kind & think of them, too.



Squirrels like seeds & nuts!


So feed some squirrels today!




Friday, January 20, 2012

Etta James



            Thank you, Miss Etta James...
            may you rest in peace.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cat Thursday




The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper, by Sarah Addison Allen, has just been released in paperback!
I am honoured to have won a special The Peach Keeper "Box of Summer"!

To celebrate, I am re-printing my review of her wonderful book.
                                                            
The Peach Keeper
The Peach Keeper: A Novel

By Sarah Addison Allen

The Peach Keeper has it all. In this book there is romance, friendship, family, and Southern charm, all mixed with a touch of magic.

In the town of Walls of Water, North Carolina, unlikely former high school classmates are brought together by the renovation of a local historical mansion. It is this mansion that ties the unlikely families together throughout history. As they struggle with this history, and their own problems, a real mystery is literally uncovered with the renovation. This forces them to look beyond what they thought they knew: at their families, each other, and ultimately themselves. They must solve this mystery for everyone to be able to move on.

Sarah Addison Allen’s books are always a treat. I already look forward to her next book, and every one of her books.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday



      Hosted by Hilary of Feeling Beachie

It's a Blackout

http://www.copyblogger.com/sopa/
                                                                           

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Sometimes Daughter


By Sherri Wood Emmons

The Sometimes Daughter is a beautiful, deeply poignant novel. It is a story about a daughter often abandoned by her emotionally and physically absent mother.
Born at Woodstock, surrounded by “free love”, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes grows up feeling unloved by the person whose love she seeks the most: her mother. Her father, Kirk, matures, taking his marriage and parenting Sweet Judy seriously. Cassie, her mother, continues the carefree hippie lifestyle, neglecting all responsibility. Eventually, she leaves Kirk and Sweet Judy to follow a communal life, with tragic consequences. Judy and her father move in with his parents, forming the only stability that Judy will ever know. They are Sweet Judy’s salvation, never letting her down.
Throughout the years, Judy struggles with her mother’s lack of responsibility. She watches her mother make serious mistake after critical mistake, including remarrying and its sad outcome. Over and over she trusts her mother, only to be let down. As she matures, Judy must deal with the same issues all young people do, but hers are colored by the feelings of maternal abandonment. While she has her father and grandparents, she feels the physical and emotional void of not having her mother, whom she so loves.
This book delves into the intricacies and dynamics of the mother-daughter bond. Sherri Wood Emmons lays bare the frailties of this connection, and also the necessity of it. A mother’s love is the first love we feel, and the one most of us count on when all others fail us. The neglect of this essential ingredient of childhood leaves one feeling broken.
Sherri Wood Emmons has keen insight and is an amazing author. I cannot wait to see what she writes next.  



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose

Hosted by Brenda of Fiction with a Purpose

Each week, Brenda challenges us to "Ponder with a Purpose". Well, Brenda, you know I do that probably too much. (Bill says I think way too much!)
This weeks challenge is: Routine

I am a creature of habit. Like a cat, I thrive on routine. I believe, "there is security in sameness". This has long been a mantra of mine. Perhaps this is a result of moving too much as a child. I was never allowed to develop roots. I went to over nine schools. It was not for the military, however that may be what attracted me to R.O.T.C. in high school: routine.
I excelled in ROTC, becoming the second in command, the highest ranking female. There was security in the sameness. I belonged. I thrived within the secure structure of this routine of knowing what to do, when to do it, how to do it, what to expect, and who I could count on. I also was eager to impart the wisdom and security upon others. In being secure, I could offer it to others. Routine is security; there is security in routine...at least for me.




A Thousand Vessels


~Poems~

By Tania Runyan

In A Thousand Vessels, Tania Runyan brings the women of the Bible to life with her poetry. She weaves their stories and struggles into the fabric of the contemporary lives of women today. Revealing heartache that has echoed throughout the ages, it still resonates in the hearts and souls of women today.

Each section of this beautiful book is titled with the name of a Biblical woman. The poems are written about that woman, some in her own voice. From Eve the first woman, to Mary Magdalene, thought to be the lowliest woman; they are here. In their sorrows and trials, their poems are written with an urgency and importance.

Tania Runyan writes with intelligence and sincere emotion, both essential in poetry. She writes from the heart and soul. Life resounds in every poem, each with trials and tribulations, but also with faith, love and hope.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

"The Joy of Books"


          The Joy of Books
          http://www.youtube.com/

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun

            
Every week Hilary of Feeling Beachie hosts this fun "Hop". She poses four statements for the reader to complete. This week her co-host is Tami from Empty Nest in Illinois. If you have ideas for statements, please let Hilary know!

This week’s statements:
1. I have never eaten ___
2. I like to ___ in ___
3. If I could go back and change one thing, it would be _______.
4. My greatest _____ for my ______ is ______.

My Answers:
1. I have never eaten bugs. I know some people have, admit it or not! I know it can be a cultural thing, or whatever...not me, no way, no how, not ever.
2. I like to write in the middle of the night, when I can truly hear my soul.
3. If I could go back and change one thing, it would be to spend more time with my father. I spent most of my life missing him, and I will spend the rest of my life missing him. It was not by choice, but rather circumstance; not all families are functional. If you have a dad, please appreciate him, if you can.
4. My greatest wish for my husband & I is to retire in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where we can fish and commune with nature until the sun sets on our lives.

Please go visit Hilary, and Tami, too. Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Special Cat Thursday


              Author Dee Ready & Dulcy,
              of "A Cat's Life: Dulcy's Story"



Dee & Dulcy

A Special Bond

A Cat's Life



Dulcy’s Story
As Given to Dee Ready

This is a very special and beautifully told story, from a cat’s point of view. Dulcinea, “Dulcy”, tells the story of her life with her human, Dee Ready.
The perspective and awareness is remarkable. From the beginning, their interaction was based upon a mutual respect and love. The result was a strong yet tender bond, lasting a lifetime and beyond.
Both cat and human were present both physically and emotionally for each other, through many of life’s changes and situations. They shared a spiritual connection. Not only was Dee blessed by Dulcy, I believe Dulcy was most assuredly blessed by Dee.
Anyone who has experienced a deep emotional connection with a pet will not only understand, but appreciate this very heartfelt book. It is a joy and a tribute to that special bond between the two species of human and cat. All those who have shared love with a cat should have this book on their shelf. It is sure to be a favorite book, read often.
To quote Dulcy (and Dee), “At the end, all that matters is love…”


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Hosted by Hilary of Feeling Beachie

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose

Brenda at Fiction with a Purpose presents a weekly pondering & writing prompt. It is our mission to ponder and then share what we write. Her most recent prompt is: wallow.

I gave this a lot of thought, as I do most things. I ponder constantly, perhaps too much. My husband says I think too much, but he says a lot of things...that is an entirely different "ponder": husbands and how they think.

My thoughts are: I don't wallow. Personally, I dislike wallowing. I never feel sorry for myself. I am more inclined to feel badly for those around me, having to deal with me and my issues. So, I will admit quite readily, that I "hide". I withdraw. When I am threatened, hurt, overwhelmed or in pain of any sort, I withdraw. I burrow in and hide. It is how I cope; it is what I know. This is how I can sort through things, including my feelings. I often write through it, which is obvious in my poetry.

So if I am missing, I am not wallowing. I am probably hiding.







The Meerkat Wars

By H. S. Toshack

H. S. Toshack has written a third book in his Paka Mdogo: Little Cat series. Our little heroine is Sheena, a domestic cat. As in her first two books, Sheena is off on an adventure.
In The Meerkat Wars, Sheena’s family goes on an African Safari. Sheena stows away in the back of their vehicle, and ends up in the middle of a warzone. There is a war amongst the tribes of Meerkat in the Baragandiri National Park. Sheena becomes the mediator, and hopeful peacemaker for the Meerkat.
As in any situation involving war, there is violence. However, this is a chapter novel for young adults. As an educator, H. S. Toshack handles these situations with intelligence and moral lessons. Tolerance and acceptance are stressed. The book is filled with natural facts and interaction of Meerkat. The lessons are easily applicable to human nature, as well.
I highly recommend this book and series. Well written, the books are both adventurous and educational. H. S. Toshack plans more books based on his Paka Mdogo: Little Cat. His following of readers continues to grow in number, and in age.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Unlikely Friendships

...Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom

By Jennifer S. Holland

I fully believe animals have much to offer to each other, and to humans, in many ways. We can learn from them. This book illustrates this fact.

Jennifer Holland has captured 47 truly incredible stories of bonds between animals. These are stories of true, heartfelt connections. Accompanying each story is amazing photography of the animals showing their bond.

Some of these unlikely friendships are those between a cat and a lizard, a monkey and a dove, a dog and a fish, and even a friendship between a pit bull, cat and baby chicks!

Most people have heard the classic story of Koko, the 230 pound gorilla who had been taught sign language. It was a surprise when she signed that she wanted a pet kitten. Koko’s favorite stories were “Puss in Boots” and “The Three Little Kitten’s”. For Koko’s birthday, she was allowed to choose her pick of a litter of kittens. She chose a tail-less grey kitten, who she named “All Ball”. Koko then treated him as a mother gorilla would her own infant. The entire story is beautifully recounted in this book.

I am reminded of my dog, Maisie, a Shetland Sheepdog. In her 16+ years, Maisie was surrogate mother to many kittens and bunnies that I rescued. We called her “Auntie Maisie”.  She did everything for them, but feed them. It made no difference to her that they were not puppies (or that she was spayed). She was patient and loving, and she knew that was what they needed.


Auntie Maisie

That is the theme of this book: love and the connection that it offers. Love goes beyond species and breed. It is the common thread of life, holding us all together. The need for love is universal, promoting growth, healing and well-being.

Each and every story here will leave you feeling refreshed, restored, and renewed. Yes, indeed, we have much to learn from the animal kingdom, if we only would watch from our heart and listen with our soul.

This book is for all ages, all people, and one to be enjoyed through the ages, again and again. There should be sequels. This is a very special book.
 
Maisie Grace

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Feeling Beachie's Fun Four Fill-In

Every Friday, Hilary at Feeling Beachie posts four statements. This week the co-host is Sarah of The Mama Pirate. It is our fun mission to fill in each statement as it pertains to us. Here are this week's questions, followed by my answers.

This week’s statements:
1. ________ is not my strongest virtue
2. _________ is my favorite meal of the day
3. ___________ is my ____________
4. Whenever ____________ happens, I always _____________.

My Answers:
1. Trust is not my strongest virtue. I have a hard time trusting other people.
2. Lunch/dinner is my favorite meal of the day. You may make it big or little, and have plenty of fuel to get you through the day. I am not a breakfast person; just coffee, please. Supper can be too much!
3. "Myself" is my own worst enemy. Whether or not it is proper English, it is true.
4. Whenever something bad (around me) happens, I always blame or question myself.

Okay...there you have it, truth & all! Now hop on over to Hilary's and enjoy her awesome blog. And check out Sarah the Mama Pirate, too! Everyone, have a fun-filled week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It is Cat Thursday


Sybil Exposed

The Extraordinary Story Behind
 the Famous Multiple Personality Case

By Debbie Nathan

Sybil became popular, both in psychiatry and modern culture in the 1970’s. Both the book and the movie made the complex disorder known as “Multipersonality”  a phenomenon, though sensationalizing it, as well. Not only did it bring this disorder to the spotlight in mental health, it created a catchphrase and controversy, in spite of its horrific nature.

Psychiatry and psychology are not absolute, as the mind is a complex, hidden area. The memory is not always exact in time or place, being affected by many things. It deals with fact, feelings, and the shaded grey areas in between. The mind deals with the melding of both fact and feeling. Sometimes the mind remembers what the heart may have felt. History is recounted by what the mind remembers, sometimes losing things to interpretation, and sometimes colored by emotion, whether intentional or not.

For many years, the story of Sybil, as well as the ethics and motivations of her therapist have been questioned. This book is written by investigative reporters whose goal is to shed light on the truth of Sybil’s case, as well as the disorder.

Letters and documentation were supplied by the family of Sybil to researchers of what is now known as “DID”, Dissociative Identity Disorder. This disorder is still misunderstood and often misdiagnosed. The intent was to dispel myths, answering decades of questions and speculation.

Notes at the end of this fascinating book list the documents used and the resources that Debbie Nathan was privy to, in her writing of “Sybil Exposed”. I have no doubt that Sybil and her case will continue to be controversial, as will DID.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Favourite Cookies, hosted by Hilary,
of Feeling Beachie.
Very old (obviously) & good,
M&M cooky recipe!
"We made you cookies, but we eated them..."
now you have to bake them!
(Hilary started it!)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Source of All Things

A Memoir

By Tracy Ross


Tracy Ross has written a powerful memoir that will resound with many, assuredly staying with the reader. Her story is open, honest and painfully true.

Losing her father when she was a very young child, Tracy felt blessed in gaining a doting stepfather not long thereafter. They become very close throughout her childhood, and all seemed right in her world. Her family was close; camping trips were commonplace. Her stepfather taught Tracy many things about the Idaho nature, wildlife, and living life to the fullest on these family outings. However, his love and affection for Tracy turned very wrong when on a camping trip her stepfather began to sexually abuse her. Tracy was eight years old.         

Eventually, Tracy fights back. Leaving home as a teen, she reveals the truth. This tears the family apart, finally forcing them all to face buried secrets and carefully hidden flaws. As Tracy was betrayed as a child, the family felt she now betrayed them. It takes years for them all to admit the truth.

Growing up fast, Tracy goes through many changes, and encounters many situations. She learns hard-earned lessons. Tracy’s lifelong love for nature and the outdoors takes her from her native Idaho to Alaska, and eventually to Colorado. It was nature that always held Tracy together, and ultimately helped her to heal.

There finally comes a point where Tracy is able to confront her stepfather, as an adult. This takes immense courage, for which I admire her. In doing so, Tracy is able to come to terms with what happened to her, and that she survived.

Tracy Ross’s story is full of raw emotion, vulnerability, and ultimately real survival and forgiveness. This is a memoir not to be missed.   

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thank you!


Thank you to everyone who supports my blog and me. I have many upcoming reviews and musings. I enjoy sharing with you all, and I enjoy your comments just as much. I appreciate each of you. Thank you!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Time

                    

           We are all on the proverbial clock. Everyone is bound to time, and there is no way to escape it. It is said that there is a time for everything: a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to harvest, a time for war, and a time for peace, a time to cry, and a time to laugh. Time is not affected by religion, race, or gender. There is never enough time, yet there is always time.
No two clocks are the same exact time, yet clocks are everywhere. Clocks come in every shape, style, color, and size. There are loud clocks, silent clocks, clocks that start out quiet and get louder if you ignore them. There is also the perpetual clock.
Every Spring we are told to set our clocks forward an hour, just to set them back an hour come Fall (as if we have nothing better to do with our time).
Time zones also add to the entire time phenomenon. You can be in one place, travel to another, and it be the same time as when you left the first place. Now that is magic!
Of course, the sun and moon have something to do with the real issue of time. We know that when the sun comes up it is morning, the beginning of the day. When the sun goes down, it becomes night, the end of that day. The time in-between becomes tangled in seconds, minutes, and hours. How this happened and why, is the real mystery.
We all deal with deadlines and due dates. A wide array of calendars and appointment books can help manage time, if you can find the time to use them. Yet, some seem to never be in sync with time. Time has been an issue since the very beginning of…well, time.
            The world was created in seven days. Noah survived the “great flood”, when it rained for forty days and forty nights. It goes on; history is full of dates and times. We keep track of our own time with birthdays and anniversaries. We rely on time telling us when to do things, and when not to.
In reality, time is obviously without measure, though we forever try to measure it. It is elusive, though we forever try to capture it. We fight it, yet we celebrate it. It is seemingly endless, yet it is often too brief. When you look into the eyes of an infant, you see the future. When you look into the face of an elder, you see the past. The circle of life is the true “biological clock”; each of our lives is set to it.
Let us enjoy the time we have with each other, and in our own selves. Let us live each day as if it were our last, remembering yesterday with little regret, and looking to the future with hope. Time waits for no one.
            Godspeed.