Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Favorite Cat Joke in Honor of All Dad's Cats & My Moe


A cat died and went to Heaven. God met her at the gates and said, 'You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking.'

The cat thought for a minute and then said, 'All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hard wooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on.'

God said, 'Say no more.' Instantly the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.

A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to Heaven together. God met the mice at the gates with the same offer that He made to the cat.

The mice said, 'Well, we have had to run all of our lives: from cats, dogs, and even people with brooms! If we could just have some little roller skates, we would not have to run again.'
God answered, 'It is done.' All the mice had beautiful little roller skates.

About a week later, God decided to check on the cat. He found her sound asleep on her fluffy pillow. God gently awakened the cat and asked, 'Is everything okay? How have you been doing? Are you happy?'

The cat replied, 'Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in my life. The pillow is so fluffy, and those little Meals on Wheels you have been sending over are delicious!'

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

What will you give Jesus this Christmas? After all, it's His birthday we are celebrating. Turn on your sound and check this out: What Would Jesus Want?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Harry's Tip to Parents--A Favorite Christmas Tradition


My favorite Christmas tradition as a kid was getting a package at the bottom of our bed the night before Christmas. It was usually pajamas, slippers or a robe. Something like that and all four of us got the same thing, but a different style or color. Although it was usually some kind of clothes, it was always fun finding a package at the bottom of our bed. My mom and dad figured if we got new sleepwear, we would look good in the pictures that dad always took on Christmas morning.

One year when the three of us girls shared a room, we had triple bunk beds! I was on the top in case you're wondering. Anyhow, one of us woke up at 2:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve (technically, it was Christmas morning) and opened are packages right then. My parents heard us and came in telling us to go back to sleep because it was too early to get up. We were just excited.

Why not surprise your children this year and put an early present at the bottom of their bed tonight? I bet they'd like it!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Are You Sending Christmas Cards This Year?


Every year I debate if I'm going to send Christmas cards and then end up doing it. I know it's nice to hear from people at Christmas time, especially ones we don't see throughout the year, but I know our cards just get tossed into a basket. Then next year we throw them away to make room for the new ones. I update my "card" list throughout the year and usually buy cards for next year when they go on sale after Christmas.

When I used to ask my dad if he was going to send Christmas cards this year, he always would. He'd always be sure to buy a religious one to send. They are getting harder and harder to find. Most say "Happy Holidays" or "Holiday Season." Many have very cute pictures of animals or beautiful scenery, but those aren't really projecting the true meaning of Christmas. Therefore, I too always buy the religious ones. I figure if the Christians don't, who will.

I used to call my dad a "fuss budget" because he always made extra unnecessary work for himself in my opinion. He'd fuss with stupid things. His Christmas card "ritual" is one example. He kept track on paper of who he got cards from and would make sure to send them one back if they weren't on his list. But just a check mark wasn't good enough. He put the date he received a card. Then he'd also have a list of people that he sent cards to and keep going over and over his lists.

Harry sent out cards every year in December. The last six years or so of his life, I printed out mailing labels for him so he didn't have to write as much. It was a bit difficult for him to write because of arthritis in his fingers. The last Christmas before he died (2006), he got behind schedule and didn't get his cards out on time because of the medication he had been taking that made him so drowsy that he'd fall asleep for long periods through the day and wouldn't get anything done. I felt bad for him and offered to do them for him, but he wouldn't hear of it. He said, "Oh no, I can do it." I suggested that it wasn't mandatory and that maybe he just shouldn't bother with it this year, but he said, "Oh, I want to send them out so people know I'm still alive. Otherwise, they may wonder."

So, his last Christmas, came and went and he didn't get his cards done in time but sent them out after Christmas so people would know he was still alive. He said he wanted to put a note inside explaining to the people why his cards were sent so late so I offered to type up little notes for him to just insert inside. After I explained he could tell me what he wanted it to say and I would type it up, and print them from the computer, he finally understood and started dictating away. He died the following February, two days after Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Save That Paper and Those Cards!

Every birthday and Christmas, we would hear my dad say "Don't throw that away, we can reuse it again." He would salvage the paper if we didn't rip it up in the process of opening it. My dad would actually use his pocket knife to cut the tape on his presents so he didn't rip any of the paper. It does seem like a waste to buy nice paper and only use it once. I always thought he was being silly saving it but now that I buy it, I can see his point.

One of the best purchases I feel I ever made were fabric gift bags from a co-worker whose wife made them and sold them. They came in three sizes and were especially good for odd shaped things. They can easily be used over and over again. My parents thought they were great! They are also nice for people who do not like to wrap presents, for whatever reason. They look very easy to make too. I found some free instructions for them at Craft and Fabric Links. I must admit though, it's more fun to tear off wrapping paper than untie the fabric bag bow and be careful not to pull out the ribbon like my husband does. If I had a sewing machine, I think even I could make these! If you are not a sewer either but would like some, you can buy them from www.luckycrow.com.

My parents were always looking for ways to save money, after all, they were raising four kids! One of the things I used to help my mom do was to make gift tags. My parents would recycle the Christmas cards they received by cutting parts of them up and using them for the "to" and "from" tags for gifts. Here is a video of me making some to demonstrate this very difficult procedure!
video

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thanks for the Lemonade Award for having an Attitude of Gratitude!


Thank you, thank you, thank you as Harry would say. I got this award for having a great attitude or an attitude of gratitude from Flitting on Fiction last month. Since I only post on this blog weekly and had so much to post about in December, I waited until now to pass this one along.

Here are The rules:

Put the logo on your blog or post.

Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!

Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

Share the love and link to this post.

10 blogs that show great Attitude and/or Gratitude…. hmmm…

Positive Men
Red Pine Mountain (Fenced in Family beat me to it, but I will still pass it on to her as well)
Work at Leisure
Made To Worship
Parental Instincts
Rising Thinker
Father Blogger
Heart At Home
Guy's Wife
Coming Back to Life

We Have A Winner: Congratulations to Abelle at Only In Silence!


Congratulations to Abelle at Only in Silence for guessing the cost of the NEW YORK TIMES ad to be $2,000! I will send Abelle an autographed copy of "My Funny Dad, Harry" as soon as I receive her address via email. In appreciation to all others who ventured a guess, they will receive a "My Funny Dad, Harry" bookmark as a consolation prize if they wish to give me their address via Entrecard email or myfunnydadharry@sbcglobal.net. This is my first contest on this blog and I thought it was pretty fun. I'm just glad some people participated!

I regret spending $2,000 for this little ad and here is the email I sent to Outskirts expressing my disappointment as well as the response I received back. I thought you may be interested to see their reaction to the ad.

-----Original Message-----
From: Karen Arlettaz-Zemek
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 6:18 AM
To: Outskirts Press; Outskirts Press Marketing
Subject: Re: Outskirts Press, Inc Customer Receipt/Purchase Confirmation

This was such a big disappointment, a real gyp and I believe that buying this ad was the stupidest thing I ever bought. You should have mentioned the one-page Outskirts ad would be buried inside a special book section among other colorful and bigger ads. I feel we got ripped off here.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
From: Outskirts Press Marking
Sent: December 11, 2008

Hi Karen,

We’re sorry you feel that way. Most authors wait their entire lives to appear in the New York Times, and they never get mentioned, much less along with a picture of their book. We feel this was an exciting opportunity for the 12 authors who were selected. Many more of our authors expressed interest and were not able to participate. This was one of our most highly-requested marketing opportunities by our family of published authors, and that was the main reason we offered it. Of course, we always want our authors to be satisfied with the services we offer, which is why we mentioned all the specific details about the opportunity in advance.

The New York Times Book Review always includes both color and black/white pages; and our opportunity was clearly described as being presented in black/white in the New York Times Book Review section. As you can imagine, pages in the New York Times are very expensive. Even in black/white, a single page in that issue of the New York Times Book Review has a rate card price of over $40,000. Color ads are much more expensive; our goal was to keep the cost down for our authors as much as possible, considering that 5 million people would see it. There were 12 books on our page, for an average cost of $3,333 each. Our co-op price of $2,000 was a very attractive savings and opportunity. In order for the ad to have been “bigger” (I assume you mean 2 full-pages rather than one full-page), the cost would have doubled, too. We don’t have control over where the New York editorial staff places pages, unfortunately, although we feel our page was the most attractive and appealing black/white page in that section.

Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. Feedback like this is always very valuable.

Sincerely,

OP Marketing


I was bummed out about this and embarrassed but yesterday a scripture came to mind that encouraged me: Romans 8:28 says "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV) I believe "all things" even includes my stupidity. Only time will tell, but I do believe God can make good things happen, even when we make mistakes and use poor judgment. My God is great and good so I will trust His word and not beat myself up over this anymore.

I am also currently reading "Love Your Life" by Victoria Osteen and she advises not to dwell on our mistakes but to look back on our accomplshments which is exactly what I am going to do now.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad Contest!

Harry's birthday was December 9 and mine is this Saturday, Dec. 13. Harry lived to be 89. We always used to celebrate together since they were so close. My dad wasn't big on cake, but he loved pie so my mom always used to make him pie and me the lemon cake with cherries and whipped cream on top which was my favorite.

Gifts Growing up, us kids got him mostly ties or flannel shirts which were always his favorite kind. I always thought it would be so much easier if he liked sports because then I could get him sporting equipment or team apparel, but he had absolutely zero interest in sports. As I got older, I got more creative. Here are some of the gifts I got for him:

(1) a mail holder that said "With love . . . a Father is a Special Friend, thanks."
(2) a bird bath.
(3) Lumberjack jacket.
(4) a gift card to Home Depot.
(5) Tim Conway and Harvey Korman video.
(6) a sign for his desk which said, "Please Don't Straighten the Mess on My Desk, You'll Goof Up My System!"
(7) an L.L. Bean bomber hat.
(8) a cap that said "I have one speed, slow."
(9) Fleece shirts with a zipper instead of buttons when his fingers didn't work so well anymore.

He Bought Himself A Present:
The best though was when he called me on his 86th birthday to say he just bought a van for his birthday and wanted me to go with him to the dealership so I could sign to have my name on the title as well. He was always looking to make things as easy as possible for me when he died. The main reason he even bought the van was to fit the kitchen door in it that he made for me and Gerard, but it was also much easier for him to get in and out of than his station wagon. Click here to read about the "See Through Door For Cats".

Here's the Contest Part:
My dad always said not to go spending a lot of money on him. He was always thinking of others, even on his birthday. That's why I know he would not be pleased about this ad. In an effort to advertise my book, I jumped at the opportunity to get this ad in the NEW YORK TIMES which has a huge circulation. It was in there for one day, Sunday, December 7, but I had a hard time finding it even though I knew it should be in there. It was buried inside a special book section that was filled with other colorful and larger ads. I knew it would be black and white, only 2" x 2" and on a page with other similar ads when I purchased it; however, I did not realize there would also be so many other bigger colorful ads at the same time. (This offer does not apply to authors published through Outskirts Press because I'm sure we all received the same email about this "great" opportunity.)

To make matters worse, in chatting with some other authors at Author and Book Event Center. I learned that newspaper ads are pretty much a waste of money when it comes to marketing a book. All I can do at this point is hope they are wrong. I am embarrassed to admit how much I paid for this little ad but if one of my readers guess the price before Christmas day, I will send you an autographed copy of "My Funny Dad, Harry" in honor of his birthday. (hint: It's a nice round number.) I know he would say I was very foolish to pay what I did, although he would be nice about it. Live and learn!

Leave your guess in the comments and the first one to guess the correct amount, wins. If you have a blog, I can let you know on there if you are the winner. If not, you can leave me an email address so I can contact you if you win.

I miss you, dad. It's hard to believe it'll be two years without you in February. I still think about you and mom every day!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Attention Readers and Authors!


I discovered a new interactive site for readers and authors when visiting A Book Inside. It's called Author and Book Event Center. I just joined myself on Wednesday. If you like to read or have published a book, it's really worth checking out. I hope to find you there.

This is a networking site geared to readers and authors. Authors can load photos of their books, their websites, and set up a profile for readers and other authors to see. Readers can participate in on-line chat with authors. If you would like to chat with me there, pop in at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesdays and I will try to be in chat over there on a regular basis at that time.

View my page on Author and Book Event Center

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Save That Paper--Scheduled for Posting Dec. 16

Ooops, I meant to schedule this post for Dec. 16 and hit "publish post" by mistake before putting in my "post option." Trying to multi-task is not a good idea when doing your post (on the phone at same time). I just read a post about this by Kathy at The Junk Drawer today too! Even the best bloggers goof sometimes so I don't feel too bad.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Are You Decorating This Christmas?


When I was little, my dad always put up the colored lights on our house. After some were stolen, he never did it again. Instead, my parents used to hang the lights inside the house on the mirrors and around the archways. We always had big live Christmas trees.

Later though, as we got older, they quit putting up the lights altogether and they bought an artificial tree--a silver one no less that had two spotlights. A colored plate spun around so the colors projected on the tree would change. After my dad died, I found out that silver tree and those spotlights were an item that the estate liquidator was very interested in getting. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the spotlights anywhere. I guess dad did throw things out sometimes.

After all of us kids grew up, they purchased a smaller artificial 3-4 foot green tree that they decorated with tinsel and ornaments. After Christmas, they kept it decorated and Harry just took it up to the attic and covered it with some plastic bag until next year. Not a bad idea--it certainly made decorating simpler. The other decorating they did at this point was to switch the artificial summer flowers that were in mom's sconces with artificial Pointsettas.

When my mom and dad were in their 70s, even the small tree got replaced with a ceramic table top tree. I always thought it was sad that he didn't decorate for Christmas anymore but as I age, I understand it. It's just so much of a fuss and a lot of extra work. Clearly, dad was just being practical by not decorating.

I myself am not much of a decorator, but I do manage to at least set up my nativity set, sometimes my little village that my parents gave me, and an tree, mostly for my cats' pleasure.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What To Get Dad For Christmas

It was always a little difficult buying things for dad because he'd only wear new clothes if he felt his old ones were too worn out. He also insisted on baggy pants and actually ordered his own clothes once he discovered L.L. Bean. I did find some nice warm shirts for him that he liked. With his arthritis when he was in his late 80s, he had a terrible time with buttons so he really liked the pullovers I found that had zippers instead.

One year, I took pictures of his cats and put together a customized cat calendar. When he opened it, he thought it was very nice because he likes cats but his eyesight was so good and he didn't recognize they were his until I pointed it out to him. Then he said it was "wonderful"! He hung it up in his dining room and did use it. He'd write birthdays on it that he wanted to remember and doctor appointments and always had stuff like news articles or comics clipped to the side.

I used to tease him about not flipping it at the beginning of a new month. I guess he just didn't have time to do it. When I went to flip it for him, he said, "Nooooo, leave it alone, I'll do it." It normally didn't bother me, but when he was using the cat calendar I made for him, I wanted to see each picture the whole month, especially the one of Sweet Thing because he was my favorite of dad's cats. Sweet Thing was on for the month of November, I think, and it was half way over before dad got around to flipping it.

Since he adored his cats so much, we often bought each cat something a little special which really pleased dad more than things we would buy for him.

To see a related article about custom calendars that gave me the idea for this post,
see Custom Calendars. Another idea is to give your dad my book, "My Funny Dad, Harry." (I couldn't resist, especially since Mountain Woman suggested it in a comment on my previous post!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giveaway Contest--Lots of Prizes


Wonderful Things In Life


Wonderful Things In Life is have a big Christmas Giveaway with lots of things. I am one of the sponsors and am giving an autographed copy of "My Funny Dad, Harry" for one of the prizes, but there are lots of other things too.

Here are all the prizes and sponsors:
FIRST PRIZE - $35 + 16,000 EC
$25 - My Online Paradise
$5 - Blessing In Life
$5 plus 1000 Ec - Moi et mon univers
*1 banner - worth $149 - Buytemplates.net
*1 blog layout - My Web-Blog Designs
*cuties for Christmas - So Cute
5000 Ec plus 125x125 ads space for 1 month - Snapshot
3000 EC - Stranded Life
2000 EC plus banner ad for 1 month + text link for 1 month + ebook for bloggers- Kasakk
1000 EC - Crimson Heaven
1000 EC - Heart Random
1000 EC - More on Health
1000 EC - Jenny Talks
1000 EC - Sharing my Thoughts
125x125 ads space for 1 month worth $20 - Contest For Bloggers
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Shopping Blog

2ND PRIZE - $25 + 13,000 EC
$10 - Follow Your Sense of Adventure
$10 - Yennygirl
$5 - More on Heath
*1 banner - worth $149 - Buytemplates.net
*blog layout - The Designer's Chic
3000 EC - Sweetytots
2000 EC credits plus 1 month ad space - Pink Hues
2000 EC - The Joy Of Love Forever
1000 EC - Show Me your Interest
1000 EC - Days Of My Life
1000 EC - ArticleSnatch Blog
1000 EC credits plus 1 month ad - Random Chronicles
1000 EC - The Artist In Me
1000 EC - Varun's Vagaries
125x125 ads for 1 month worth $20 - kahpeng.com-Bits From My Life
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Another Contest

3RD PRIZE - $20 + 11,000 EC
$10 - Wonderful Things In Life
$5 - My Life's Adventure
$5 - Twinkletoe Writing Space
*complete blog makeover - Designs By Vhiel and Cans Of Thoughts
*Website logo worth $99- Custom Logo and Marketing Materials
2000 EC - Sweet.Pretty.Naughty
1000 EC plus ad space for 1 month - Cheth Studios
1000 EC credits plus 1 month ad - The Positive Side
1000 EC - Show Me Your Interest
1000 EC - Wiehanne Lounge
1000 EC - Medan Daily
1000 EC - Call Center Gal
1000 EC - A Simple Married Life
1000 EC - Programming The Life
1000 EC - Pinay Freelancer
125x125 ads for 1 month worth $10 - Genrya.com
125x125 ad space for 1 month - That Blog 4 Me

4RTH PRIZE - $15 + 9,000 EC
$5 - Life's Imagination
$10 - The Joy Of Life Forever
1 Blog Template worth $29 - Website Design Services
2000 EC - E-Pamilya
1000 EC plus ad space for 1 month - Thoughts and Obsessions
1000 EC plus banner ad for 1 week - Simplement Belles
1000 EC - Show Me Your Interest
1000 EC - 24x7 Online Diva
1000 EC plus ad space for 1 month - Made Me Glad
1000 EC - Serradinho Blog
1000 EC - God's Best Gift
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Sherry
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Travel blog

5TH PRIZE $10 + 7,700 EC
$5 - Earning Money Online
$5 - A Message From My Heart
1 Blog Template worth $29 - Website Design Services
1000 EC plus banner ads for 1 week - Kalidadis
2000 EC - Wonderful Things In Life
1000 EC - Definitely MAYBE!
1000 EC - The Joy Of Life Forever
1000 EC - My Life's Adventure
500 EC - Love's Haven
500 EC plus ad space - MeiYah/Miah Laborte
500 EC - Chica & Pumuckl
200 EC - Around the World
125x125 ad space for a month - Also Mommy
125x125 banner ad for 1 month - PriZK Dot Com

6th PRIZE $5 + 6,000 EC
$5 - Designers Blog
1 Web design/flash template worth $29 - Flash Template
1000 EC - Life Marriage And Kids
1000 EC - Everything plus the Kitchen Sink
500 EC - Brown Pinay
500 EC - A Message From My Heart
500 EC - In The Eyes Of The Beholder
500 EC - Nierva Dot Com
500 EC - Blog Contest For Pinay
500 EC - Creative In Me
500 EC - Cheth Studios
500 EC - A Zone for Digiscraps
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Dashing Smiles
125x125 for 1 month - That Blog 4 me

7TH PRIZE - 4,500 EC
*1 Web design/flash template worth $29 - Flash Template
1000 EC - One at a Time
500 EC plus 125x125 ad space - Biz-N-Honey
500 EC - Twinkletoe Writing Space
500 EC - My Little Home
500 EC - Journal of Journey
500 EC - So Far, So Good
500 EC - There is Happiness
500 EC plus ad space - Musings of a Pinay Blogger
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Thomas Travel Tales
125x125 for 1 month - Travel Blog

8TH PRIZE 3,500 EC
*1 yr domain - Earning Money Online
500 EC plus ad space for 1 month - The Money maker
500 EC - CharTherCT.com
500 EC - Vhiel's Corner
500 EC - Anything and Everything in Between
500 EC - Love's Haven
500 EC - EastcostLife
500 EC - Contest For BLoggers
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Bohol Paradise
125x125 banner ads for 1 month - Pinky Posh

9TH PRIZE 3,000 EC
*blog layout - My Collection
500 EC plus ad space for 1 month - Starts at Two
500 EC - Aha Mama!
500 EC - Twins happiness
500 EC - A lonely planet it is not
500 EC - Nita's Random Thoughts
500 EC from Bits Of My life
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Filipino Online Community
125x125 banner ads for 1 month - Only In Silence

10TH PRIZE 2,500 EC
500 EC plus ad space for 1 month - Beauty Of Life
500 EC - Nita's Corner
500 EC - Days Of My life
500 EC - Little Soie's Steps
500 Ec - I Travel here and There
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Batuananons
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Love Is A Perfect Gift

10TH PRIZE 2,500 EC
1,500 EC - Seek No More
1000 EC - Nesting Buddy
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Love Is A Perfect Gift
125x125 ad space for 1 month - A Message From My Heart



Consolation Prizes
1. 300 EC - Healthy Living and Lifestyle
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Life's All About

2. 300 EC - CompTechGadgets.com
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Erlinda's Wandering Thoughts

3. 300 EC - Arts and Entertainment Center
125x125 ad space for 1 month - Thomas Web Links

4. 300 EC - Great Finds and Deals
125x125 ad banner for 2 weeks - 24patrol

5. 300 EC - Make Money Online
125x125 ad banner for 2 weeks - Multiply Themes
6. 300 EC - For the LOVE of Food
125x125 ad space - Jocelyn's Journal

7. 250 EC - Genrya.com
2 weeks link ads SimplyWP

8. 250 EC NetzDesigno.com
Footer text link for 1 month worth $5 - Genrya.com

9. 250 EC Stacykoay.net
Footer text link for 1 month worth $10 - Bits From My life

10. 200 EC - it's A Woman's World!
Footer text link for 1 month worth $10 - Contest For Bloggers


Special Prizes:
1. Free Icon set - Custom Icon Design Services
2. Semi-solid light red toddler hat, fits approx 2t-4t - Cherish Sweet Knitted Bottoms
3. 1 book - My Funny Dad, Harry
4. 1 book "Princess Charming" by: Jane Heller - Just Say These Words
5. 1 book "Siren's Song" by: Trish Albright - Just Say These Words
6. 1 book "Weddings Can Be Murder" by: Christie Craig - Just Say These Words

Go enter! Here's is what you need to do:

Go to Wonderful Things In Life and then:
How To Enter:
1. Blog about the contest with all the Prizes and Sponsors.
2. Subscribe to my feed via email. (you can see it in my sidebar)
3. Put the logo contest in your post.
4. Choose one logo for your side bar. (One is shown above in this post, the other is on the sidebar)
5. Leave a comment along with a link to your post.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanks to Rebecca For This Butterfly Award!


Rebecca at Cat Lovers Site gave me this pretty award and I do appreciate it!

The rules for this award are:

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate 10 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

OK here are my nominated sites:
Carol Denbow at A Book Inside
Mountain Woman at Red Pine Mountain
Page McManus at The road I'm Traveling
Healthnut Wannabee Mom
TC at My Love for Animals
Tashabud at Tasha's Take
Wildcatsthree at The Cat Dog Log
Terri Terri Quite Contrary
Blogging 101
http://fashionparamedic.com/?page_id=221

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bookworm Meme--I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged with the Bookworm meme by Page over at The Road I'm Traveling. Here's how this meme works:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next two to five sentences.
5. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book or the intellectual one. Pick the Closest.
6. Tag five people to do the same

My Funny Dad, Harry is the closest book to me. I have a small pile of copies on the end table near my computer which I have on hand for direct sales or for marketing purposes. It only seems appropriate for this blog to do this book. Although my dad had a lot of books, most of them I have sold or given away and they were mostly books about.

Here is the excerpt from page 56 of the book I wrote about my dad:

"He (Sweet Thing) would lick himself so much, that his fur seemed to wear off. Finally, after much persistence, I persuaded dad to take them to the vet. Neither had ever gone before. The vet I used for my cats was very good but it would have been almost an hour drive from dad's house so we looked for some place closer. I made the appointments and left work early to go with dad to the vet for the first time."

This section is about Sylvester's and Sweet Thing's first trip to the vet. Harry and the vet did not click at all!

I am tagging the following:
Tina at Creative Nerd
Signe Says
Small Town Mommie
Frogs in My Formula
Life With Kim
Polly at Random Ramblings

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good Things About Funerals



I can think of two very good things about funerals:

(1) IT BRINGS THE FAMILY TOGETHER.

Growing up our family was not what you'd call close. We did not do gift exchanges at Christmas with our relatives and the extent of our visiting relatives was our grandmothers and the aunts who lived with them. That was pretty much the only contact we had with our extended family. Once in awhile, I think a total of 3 or 4 times, we visited our cousins in Mansfield (which was about an hour's drive). I remember one party we went to at another cousin's house. Other than that, the only cousin I saw on a semi-regular basis was Carol because she's a hairdresser so I went to her for haircuts and perms. When an uncle or aunt died, that's when our whole family would get together. It was always awkward because I never would know who certain people were that I should know.

When my mom died my foster brother, John, and one foster sister, Pam, didn't even come to her funeral. I think it was because they didn't know about it in time because we had no idea where they were, no phone or address for them. Since then though, we did get in touch. When my dad died, it was the first time in years that I saw Pam and John and first met John's family. That was a really good thing. It was such a momentous occasion that Michelle's, daughter even took a picture of us all together--one with our spouses and one with just us. (Michelle is my other foster sister.)

(2) WE SEE OLD FRIENDS AGAIN.

It was actually fun seeing some old friends again who came to the funeral home to console me and pay their respects. My best friend that I grew up with came! We exchange Christmas greetings but I've only been to her house once since we've been married. I mention her in "My Funny Dad, Harry" so I told her about the book I wrote and she bought it and passed it along for her sister to read as well. It was also great seeing friends from my old church again.

I recently attended viewing hours for the father of brothers I had in the youth group from years ago. It was wonderful seeing them again and they were very surprised to see me since we hadn't been in touch at all for such a long time. They both live nearby and we exchanged email addresses so we can keep in touch now.

I think this aspect of funerals is a glimpse of what heaven will be like. It'll be one huge happy reunion with our loved ones who have gone on ahead and people we've known throughout our lives who we seldom see. I have lots of questions about this such as: "Since we get new heavenly bodies, how will we recognize each other?" "What about age--will we be the age we were when we died, or be younger or older?" At any rate, I really look forward to seeing my parents again!

John 11:25-27 says:
25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

27"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ,[b] the Son of God, who was to come into the world."


I John 5:9-12 says:
9We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.


It is so comforting to know Jesus and have the assurance of being re-united with our loved ones again.


(3) THE FAMILY GETS SOME VERY PRETTY FLOWERS.

Here is a picture of my cat, Spunky Doodle (the one I got as a kitten from dad's), enjoying the flowers we brought home from my dad's funeral.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This Is The Worst Bathroom I've Ever Cleaned!

Thank God for cleaning people! I'm not a cleaner, so when I lived alone, I hired someone to do the cleaning for me once a week. I did run the vacuum myself and at one point, dusted but not on any regular basis. Once I got married, my husband did all the cleaning. He doesn't mind and likes things neat and clean. He is very adamant about keeping our house clean which is great!

Consequently though, when we visited my dad, Gerard would just cringe. You see, cleaning was not even on my dad's list of things to do, EVER! Once in a blue moon, he would get the urge to wipe off a counter or possibly rearrange his stuff on his table. He was hesitant to vacuum because the noise frightened his cats. A few times I brought our vacuum cleaner over because it was quieter than his and his place was so dirty, it even bothered me.

He resented me cleaning anything but there came a point where I just decided I HAD to step in and do something. One day I was in his kitchen and looked at the top of his stove and decided to clean it. When I lifted up the coils for setting pans on to cook stuff, there was globs of junk in the tray with lots of cat hair! EWWW! It was SO disgusting. He's telling me to just leave it and I'm yelling back at him that I can't leave it like this. It's too bad! (Not that he ever used the stove, but still.) Once I got it cleaned, I bought him a couple tin shields that lay over the burners so that the cat hair wouldn't get in there anymore. He liked them and used the top of the stove to hold his paper towels and some bags after that. I made several attempts to get him to let me hire a cleaning person to come in at least once a month or every other week, but he wouldn't hear of it.

When it came time to sell the house, oh what a job it was to clean up that place! I hired a cleaning lady to come to do the big jobs. The bathroom was the worst and most needy, so I had her start with that. I believe it took her about 5 hours! She said she never saw a bathroom as dirty as his was. She apologized for not being able to get the tile floor any cleaner but she did the best she could. The next time she came, she brought a friend to help.

Some people are not bothered by clutter or dirt and my dad was one of them. My mom used to do some cleaning before she got too weak to do it but after she died, the only cleaning that was done was the little I squeezed in now and then. Mostly when my dad was in the other room and couldn't see me dusting his furniture. If you are like my dad, please let your adult children help you out by either hiring someone to do it or letting them help you do it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Harry's Halloween Tip--How To Hand Out Candy



Sorry this is a bit late for this year, but I just thought of it when I was handing candy out to our trick-or-treaters tonight. My mom and dad always loved seeing the kids' costumes on Halloween and were always generous with the candy. He always bought plenty to make sure he didn't run out and usually gave them more than one piece too! Any leftovers he gave to me so he would ask me what kind he should get.

Opening and closing the door to hand out the candy was very cumbersome because our door opened so close to the side railing on the porch, that you had to open it real wide to get the candy in the kids' bags and they usually were crowded up close because they were anxious for the candy. They always had to back up when he opened the door.

He came up with what I thought was a very good idea. He would wait until Halloween night to remove the screen door and then he could just hand the candy right through the door without having to open it. Pretty clever, huh? Then either at the end of the trick-or-treating or the next day, he would put in the storm door.

Hope you have a happy and safe Halloween! Maybe you could use this idea next year!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Church's Fall Festival Brings Back Memories of Dad


Today Gerard and I ran a game for the fall festival at church that is open to the community. As I was walking around, looking at everything I saw the big wheel that dad had made for me when I was AWANA commander at my old church. ( AWANA stands for "Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed" based on II Timothy 2:15. It's a worldwide ministry that churches use to run clubs for kids to reach them with the gospel of Christ and train them to serve Him.) I asked him to make sections with clips on them that I could attach papers to with different things we gave points for and we'd let one of the kids spin the wheel to see what we would give extra bonus points for that night. My dad was always thrilled to make things for me out of wood. He really was a wonderful dad and I still miss him.

At the festival, they put candy on it and whichever section it stopped at when the kids spun it, they would get the candy that was in that section. It makes me feel good to see that it's still being used, at least once a year anyhow. It was one of the things in his basement when I was clearing out the house and I just didn't have any room for it. I was happy when my nephew took it to use at the church! His wife is on the Children's Ministry team and he thought she would be able to use it for something. Here they are with their boys at the festival.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

An Interview With Carol Denbow About How To Sell Your Story

Carol Denbow is the founder of Plain & Simple Books and the author of three books herself, including, A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story.

Karen Zemek: Welcome Carol. I can’t wait to talk about marketing today because I’ve personally had a difficult time finding mine! How does an author connect with their market?

Carol Denbow: Karen, you’re not alone. Most authors generally look to the “book” market (Amazon.com, B & N, etc.) to sell books, But that market, although obvious, shouldn’t be the only direction to look for sales. For instance, your book, My Funny Dad, Harry is a heartwarming and cute story about your father and the funny things he did during his full life. Your market may include somewhere such as assisted living homes where others in Harry's same age bracket might relate to some of his “quirky” habits. Since your book also includes some other funny characters—that is, your dad’s many cats, you might find interested readers where cat lovers are. For my newest book, A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story, I look to places where writers are, such as writing forums and writer’s groups. Authors need to look inside their work for the most appropriate market.

Karen Zemek: Okay, that makes sense. So are you saying authors shouldn’t rely so much on Websites like Amazon.com to sell books?

Carol Denbow: Well I would never put all my eggs in one basket, especially if I just sit on them waiting for them to hatch. I see a lot of authors who, once they list their book on Amazon.com, just sit back and expect that’s it—their done. Yes, Amazon is a good listing and definitely every author should have their books there. But there’s more to Amazon.com than just your initial listing—that won’t sell many books. Your audience needs to find you, and Amazon has many options to help them. I would strongly encourage authors to join the “Search Inside” program (cost—1 book), and ask their readers to post reviews. Also, make sure you have added relevant keywords, listed a book description, and any editorial reviews you have. If you can’t figure out how to do this, just ask. Amazon is good at answering questions; usually in one day or less.

There are numerous other Websites where you can list your book for sale. Authors! Use the search engines!!! They are your friend!

Karen Zemek: Books stores always seem reluctant to stock my book. So other than the Internet, how to I find my customers?

Carol Denbow: Karen, I know you are uncomfortable talking to people face-to-face, and I am too. Very few of us have the gift of gab, and I’m sure many of your blog readers aren’t any different than us. But really, that is the best way to sell books. Face it, nobody cares about your book as much as you do—you are your best market! You are passionate about your story, and nobody can tell it better. Authors need to scoop up the courage and get out there. I sell books at our local festivals, and believe me; here on the Oregon coast we have lots of them! The day of a new event, I get horrible butterflies in my stomach. But if I can fester up the courage for a split second, the passion erupts and boom, I’m talking up my book like a pro. On occasion, I think people will buy a copy just to shut me up. Once that first book sells, I lose the fear and am ready to sell books. I can sell more books in one day at a festival than I do on Amazon.com in a year’s time!

Karen Zemek: Well I will try to get over the fear. I do believe readers would enjoy my book My Funny Dad, Harry and I am passionate about the book, so hopefully I can “connect with my market.” So where can a person find your books?

Carol Denbow: My books are all available through my Web site at http://www.freewebs.com/authorsbox, Amazon.com (of course), and wherever fine books are sold.

I also have an information site for new writers and seasoned authors at A Book Inside.blogspot.com.

Karen Zemek: Thanks for stopping by today and good luck with the rest of your book tour.

To see where Carol’s tour is taking her next, visit her Web site. If anyone would like to leave a question for Carol, or a comment regarding this interview, please use the “comment” link below.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Time Is The Secret To Patience With Dad

I just finished a Bible Study on patience this week and it brought to mind how hard it was to be patient with my dad at times. As he aged, he just did things slower, such as walking, eating, fixing things, etc.

I realize that if it weren’t for time, I’d have no problem with his being so slow. The problem usually came when I visited with him on my way to work. Since I take the bus to work, I had to leave his house at 7:25 a.m. Sometimes, he would bring up a subject right before it was time for me to leave and I’d just have to say, “got to go.” He understood.

Sometimes on Sundays visiting him after church felt rushed too because we were anxious to get home to watch the football game. Often, he would go into a long explanation about something and it became very annoying that he was taking so long to tell me something.

Probably the thing that used to aggravate me most was when I’d try to change his schedule around so that he would be able to get things done more efficiently and he’d come up with a lot of reasons I thought were stupid as to why it wouldn’t work.

I learned a lot about the elderly by watching my dad grow old. Allowing extra time when visiting him or taking him somewhere really helped improve our time together. If it wasn’t committed to be somewhere right after my time with my dad, I could enjoy him in spite of the slowness. I would be more relaxed and our time together went better.

I remember our last trip to Lowe’s was so enjoyable. He was having a great time shopping for hardware and I had cleared my schedule so could just be with him for as long as it took. He was such a wonderful dad who never wanted to be a burden or put me out. Sometimes elderly people can be very demanding and always asking you to do things for them but that’s not how my dad was at all. In fact, it was hard sometimes to get him to let me help him.

I write this to encourage you if you have elderly people who sometimes get on your nerves to check to see if time isn’t the reason. Allow extra time when visiting with the elderly so you don’t get stressed out about being late for your next appointment. If you have to take them to the doctor, take the day off to do it so if you have to wait long, it’s not really putting you out.

Oh, how I’d love to spend a whole day with my dad and his cats now! Cherish the time you have with your loved ones while you can!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Refreshing, Funny, Interesting, Inspiring!

I got an email yesterday from a fellow blogger, Poppopx7 at the Espenlog Times, saying he got my book and read it straight through! It makes me so happy to hear that. He immediately wrote the following review which I have posted with his permission:

I just finished reading, "My Funny Dad, Harry" written by Karen Zemek who also writes here at PNN. With so much doubt, fear, and confusion that surrounds us, it was refreshing to read such an avid account about a daughter's love, and devotion to a loving father. I found the book to be funny, interesting, inspiring, and a must read for every one that has lost a loved one. The writing of this book came from deep inside of Karen's heart. As you read her book you can hear the beating of her heart. I strongly recommend you read this book.

Visit his site at http://poppopx7.pnn.com
(He is a humorous writer and his dog, Fluff, also has a blog there along with his fantasy football team manager, a monkey named "Harvey." It's a fun read!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Guest Post by Mountain Woman at Red Pine Mountain


I met Mountain Woman through blogging and has wrote a very nice post about me and my book which is as follows in part with her permission to repost it here:

Initially, I discovered "My Funny Dad Harry" when I joined Entrecard. While scrolling through various cards, I came across one with a picture of an elderly gentleman with a large lion ("Leo") seated on his lap. The card caught my interest at once and off I went to click on the link.

I discovered this blog written by a woman to honor her father who had passed away. The blog alone stands as a testament of love to his memory and it is filled with marvelous facts about a man who lived a productive, interesting life. But as I read further, I discovered Karen has actually written and published a book about her Dad.

Karen has a full time job, is active in her church, takes care of her husband and has many and varied outside interests. She made the time to take her precious memories of her father and put them into written form. I have this book "My Funny Dad Harry" sitting next to me today and as I read its pages I am filled with admiration for Karen's achievement. But beyond that and more important is the love Karen has for her Dad and her effort to share this marvelous man with the rest of the world. Her book is touching, poignant, humorous and a truly great read.

Mountain Woman has a very interesting blog of her own about life and her home on Red Pine Mountain. Please stop by and visit her blog at Red Pine Mountain.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Garage Treasures Found and Used--Part 2

This is part 2 of the earlier post about the stackable shelves that I got from my dad's garage to use in our new rec room for my games which are currently in my hall closet.
video
Saturday, I discussed with the painter if he wanted to use spray paint or a brush and he said spray paint would be faster so he'd go with that and I should let him know when I got the paint and sometime next week he could to them. Well, it was a beautiful day with no wind so I just did them myself, partly because the painter charged too much and the paint was already way more than I expected.

First, I laid out the two big tarps that I took from my dad's garage as well and couldn't help but think of my dad all the while I was working. I thought how he would have done such a much better job than I was doing, but that I just wanted to have them look better than the plain wood. After all, they were just shelves and would be covered with stuff anyway. I didn't sand them or put any primer on them. I'm sure my dad would have.

Then, I just started bringing them out one at a time and spraying them. Another thing my dad probably would not have done. He never liked using spray paint so I'm sure he would have used a brush instead. Another thing my dad was never concerned about was how long things took. He just had the patience to do things right and do it well no matter how long it took. I, on the other hand, do not have that much patience yet. Maybe some day I will, but for now, I just wanted to get them done in one day so when the floor is finished early this week, I can begin using them in the rec room.

I wish though I had started with the brown because it covered so much better than the orange. I didn't buy enough orange to do two coats of it so I'll try them the way they are and if I still am dissatisfied with the orange ones once they are covered with stuff, then I'll redo them with the brown. I have 4 or 5 cans of brown left.

Although I'm sure dad would not approve of how I did them, he would be happy I didn't pay the painter to do them. It took me four hours to do all seven shelves so I'm sure it would have even taken the painter longer. So at least I saved myself over $100 there. Yes, he charged $25 an hour! I thinks that's high. Praise God he wasn't available to do them that day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Garage Treasures Found and Used--Part 1


Harry liked having his cars handy. He always parked them in the driveway, never in the garage. I think he felt it wasted too much space that could be put to better use.

Harry loved working out in his 3-car garage. That truly was his favorite place in the whole world because he could putter in there to his heart's content. He had his big band saw in the far end, a drill press, a work bench, cabinets and even some kind of air vacuum system to draw the sawdust out, plus all kinds of hardware.

In the middle section was his lumberyard. He had the whole second garage filled completely with wood arranged by size and marked with its dimensions on the end. Some he also marked the kind it was. There was only a narrow little path to walk around and even that had obstacles to climb over or move to get by.

The first section he had all his yard tools, more storage cupboards, his current "project" or two and just a bunch of junk. There was only a little room to walk and you couldn't even get all the way to the back! Two hand push lawn mowers and a big leaf shredder resided right near the front.

About two months after dad died, I started focusing on clearing out the garage. When I was able to get to the back and side of that first area (about a month later), there were some really nice stackable shelves that he had made. They were just bare wood, but had slots that interlocked but that made it easy to carry them to move them around. They were also nice because you could stack them as many as five high or have two stacks of lower ones. Altogether, there were 7 longer shelves and 6 shorter ones. I tried selling them at the yard sale I had for $10 each, but no one wanted them. I was really shocked but glad now because I took them for myself. No way was I going to throw those out!

I set them up in my basement and used them to hold the things I brought over from his house to sell on Ebay with the thought in mind that one day I would use them in our rec room to hold my games that currently are in my hall closet to make more room for our blankets, comforters and throws that a currently balled up in my bathroom closet and in the laundry hamper, just because we don't have any other place to put them.

In part 2 of this post, I will update you on the current status of these shelves. What's in your garage? A car? How boring!

(If you enjoy this blog why not buy "My Funny Dad, Harry")

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Posting Frequency

I just want to thank the faithful readers of this blog. I get so many comments of how nice it is and how many of you enjoy reading about my dad but feel bad that I don't have new posts every day on here. Since he is no longer living, I must post as things come to mind about him or if something comes up related to my book or an event that jogs a memory. I suggest you subscribe to the feed to make sure you don't miss something and I promise your mail box won't have something from here every day. I just added the followers widget you can click on to subscribe. It's in the sidebar next to the slide show above about my dad.

Coming soon will be a 2-part post concerning my great garage find. Please note too that this is a supplement to the book. Some of the things I write about on this blog are included in the book, but many are not and viceversa. There is a lot in the book that is not covered on this blog that I'm sure you would enjoy as well.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? I know!

My dad had a huge collection of books, none of which were fiction or novels. He read for the sole purpose of learning. He had many "how-to" books about woodworking, plumbing, remodeling, upholstering, lock work, gardening, electricity, tools, money management, spirituality and science.

Most of these books I either sold on Ebay or gave away to family and friends. I kept a few for me though that sparked some interest. One was a paperback titled Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? and Other Imponderables--Everyday Mysteries explained by David Feldman (1987). I read this a bit at a time and found it sort of humorous and interesting. It certainly contains a lot of trivia!

This is a book full of unusual “Why” questions with answers to most of them. I enjoyed it because the questions were generally about things I never gave any thought to, for example:

Why do ants tend to congregate on sidewalks?
What are those twitches and jerks that occasionally wake us up just as we are falling asleep?
Why do bananas, unlike other fruits, grow upward?
What do Federal Express people do after 10:30 a.m.?
Where do houseflys go during the winter? Why is scoring three goals in hockey called a “hat trick”? How and why do horses sleep standing up?
Why are the hamburger bottoms so thin? Why is the scoring system in tennis so weird?

It even had some questions at the end that the author couldn't answer which he referred to as "Frustrables." Perhaps some of you would like to give it a try. Here are the ones I'd like to know answers to:

1. Why do the English drive on the left and just about everyone else on the right?

2. Why is yawning contagious?

3. Why do we give apples to teachers? (I'd rather have chocolate!)

4. Why does looking up at the sun cause us to sneeze?

5. Why do women in the U.S. shave their armpits?

6. Why don't you ever see really tall old people?

7. Why do only older men seem to have hairy ears?

This book is still available on Amazon.com but there are newer editions too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Harry's Electric Heater Collection & My New Heater

My dad got mad at the gas company for always charging so much (of course, he'd have his thermostat set at 78 at least). He also got mad about the estimated gas bills and would go down himself to figure out what he actually used and recalculate his bill, then send in just that amount.

Dad's solution to his high gas bills was to buy electric heaters and use those instead. He thought his electric bill was still cheaper than his gas bill would have been--I really don't know if it was or not. Fortunately, he didn't have any problem with them, even though he had many hooked up with extension cords all over the place!














top row: bedroom, living room (actually he had 3 in the living room)
middle row: dining room (2 in the dining room), kitchen,
bottom: and, of course, the cats upstairs got a couple as well
(Not all his heaters are pictured. He also had one on the porch by the Kitty Hotel and one in the basement and in his back "storage" room off of the dining room)

After he died, I collected them all and he had a total of nine. I sold some, donated several to Kitten Krazy and gave one to one of my nephews. They always made me nervous because every now and then I'd hear about a fire in a home that started because of an electric heater being too close to something that caught on fire but now here I am buying one.

Therefore, on September 4, I thought of my dad when I read a full-page article in the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER telling about a special 48-hour promotion where you can get 2 free heaters--the cost is for the handmade mantle, which I know dad would have made himself and just got the free heaters! It said it rolls anywhere with no chimney, no vents, no wood and no smoke. I purchased one Heat Surge Fireless Flame heater to save money on my gas bills this winter. It looks like a fireplace that comes fully assembled with a handmade Amish mantle in oak or cherry. All I need to do is plug it in.

I only purchased one because I figure we are usually in one room at a time in the winter and we could put it in the bedroom at night with the thermostat turned way down. I couldn't help thinking if my dad saw it, he'd probably order 6! One for every room. I think he'd be proud of me for purchasing this so I'm using some of the money we got from the sale of his house. It works great and we like it! You can check out their website at www.heatsurge.wordpress.com to order or for further information.

Win $1,000 at Crunch Now's Contest

This is a contest that Crunch Now is doing. All you need to do to enter is write about his contest and subscribe to his blog. Here is the site:
http://www.crunchnow.com/2008/08/crunchnow-dot-com.html. Sorry, I couldn't get it to be as a link. For some reason, it wouldn't work but you can copy it to your browser.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Birthday Present For Himself--A Van


I love that my dad was such an optimistic and practical person. Even into his 80s, he remained active in making things for me. I wrote about the door he made for us in a previous post but it was too big for him to fit it into his car so he traded it in on his birthday and bought a van! He called to tell me he bought himself a van for his birthday and needed me to come with him so I could sign too because he wanted my name included on the title as well. He said the van was much easier for him to get in and out of.

I immediately had flashbacks to when my favorite aunt bought herself a new car when she was old and only had it a month or so before she died. I was really hoping this wasn't going to be history repeating itself. Fortunately, it wasn't. Dad enjoyed driving his van for about 7 months before the doctor told him he shouldn't drive anymore. He was very good about listening to his doctor and gave us the van on the condition that we would drive him places such as doctor appointments and stores if he needed to go which I was happy to do. Giving up driving is a very difficult thing for many elderly people because it takes away their independence so I was very thankful that dad had enough sense to stop driving when the doctor told him to. (The doctor didn't realize he was still driving--he should have stopped long before!)

At first we were going to try selling it but then we both liked it so much and it was newer than both the cars we already owned, so we decided to put "For Sale" signs in both our cars and sell whichever one that we could sell first. It happened to be mine. Our neighbor across the street bought it from us for his daughter.

I would never have thought to purchase a van since it's just my husband and I, but it has come in very handy when I had to clear out my dad's house after he died. It held three big loads of junk that I took to the annual garage sale our church school has every May, and it's nice to have when I take my Sunday School class on outings now and then. It also came in handy when we bought furniture because we could easily fit it in the van. Thanks, dad!

Previous "See-Through Door Is Nice For Cats" post:
click here

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Thanks for the "I Love Your Blog" Award!



Thanks, Ann, Chica and Pumuckl, for this nice award!

Also heartwarming awards have rules, so here they come:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog;
2. Link the person you received your award from;
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs;
4. Put links of those blogs on yours; and
5. Leave a message on the blogs that you’ve nominated.

Here's the blogs I love reading that I will pass on this award to:

1) Monique Renae at Blogging More
I like this one because she shares her personal experiences in such a fun way. She has a wonderful sense of humor.

2) Humane Blogging Tips This blog has been very helpful to me concerning blogging and I've learned a lot from it.

3) Life With Kim
This is a popular personal blog that I always enjoy reading because it is about simple everyday things, similar to my personal blog but without all the pictures.

4) Adventures from a Future Crazy Cat Lady I like this one because of all the cat information it gives.

5) Memories of Our Pets
I found this one through link referral and although it's relatively new, My Moe Cat is included and I plan to add my dad's cats shortly. It's a nice memorial site for pets and is free!

6) 2+2=9 I enjoy reading this one because it's so informative. It's written by two moms who between them have nine children, all ages and there is just a ton of good ideas and suggestions about raising kids of all ages on here.

7) Live Life 365 This is one written by a man (most I find are written by women), which is both humorous and interesting. I really enjoy reading this one because it's like talking to a friend. He misses his hair and wrote a song about it! How funny is that!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Wedding Day


photo by Mike Solomon 8/30/97
at the Brooklyn Christian & Missionary Alliance Church

Eleven years ago, I married Gerard. Both my mom and dad were happy I found a good man. My mom's health was beginning to fail and she didn't get out much, but she was able to make it to my wedding. Knowing how my dad hated to dress up, I told him that it was okay with me if he didn't want to wear a tuxedo. Dad was relieved at this and looked very nice in his suit. That morning we loaded up the car and when we were ready to go, dad couldn't find his keys. I said he could just use mine because we were already later than mom and I wanted to be, but he insisted he needed to find his. It was kind of funny and it didn't take him too long to find them. He just forgot which pocket he put them in!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Attention Entrecard Users!


There is now a place where you can find blogs by Christians. See that "Christian Carders" button right under my Entrecard Blog on the sidebar? Just click on it and it will take you to Quiver Full Family where you can find out how to join and see the list of Christians at Entrecard. Pretty cool, huh? It's a nice, easy way for us to support one another by visiting their blogs. Not all of us have "spiritual" blogs so aren't in that particular category. What a great way to make more Christian friends!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Poop Bags From The Cleveland PLAIN DEALER

Having as many as 6 cats in his house at one time and as few as 3 during his old age, my dad had a lot of litter boxes to clean out. Because he wasn't very steady on his feet when he was in his later 80s, he didn't take the poop out every day, but did clean the litter boxes each day putting the droppings into the long plastic bags that the newspaper came in. These he placed in a can and it worked good! Each week he would collect them to take them out for the garbage pickup.

Blackie, Timi, Striper


Sweet Thing, Sylvester, Softie

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Even Junk Mail Has a Purpose

Harry was very much the pack rat. He saved everything, even junk mail! Yes, he found a use for it too. I don't remember him saving it when we were young although he may have and I just did know it. When he got to be a senior citizen, he got some of those big clips from the office supply store and tore his junk mail in thirds or halves depending on the size and used the back as scratch paper. He would clip a pile together and have a nice little scratch pad. (No wonder he ran out of time in his day doing all these necessary things!) I thought it was pretty smart of him actually since he used it for writing down what he ate every day. Little did I realize how many he had until after he died and I was cleaning out his house. When I opened up the back room closet, he had a whole big supply hanging on the door!

Notepads

Monday, August 18, 2008

Giraffe Note Holder Craft (Writer's Workshop)

Harry used to help me with craft ideas for Vacation Bible School and Hobby Club at church. The giraffe note holder is one that I even use at work. It just has a square block of wood on the bottom for a stand, a dowel inserted into the middle of it and a block of wood with a clothespin connected to the top. Harry cut out all the parts and the children just painted it. Later, Harry cut out a whole body that looked like a giraffe and used a piece of brown yarn for a tail. It makes a great holder for a paper I'm typing from at the computer.

This is a Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt: to share a craft idea.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.
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"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway

Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.