Thursday, November 26, 2009

Visiting Dad Is Fun! (Writer's Workshop)

Visiting dad was funny because he fell asleep so easily! Sometimes when visiting, we would bring along Leo, our stuffed lion, just for fun. By this time dad usually fell asleep if he sat down for any length of time. One time he fell asleep while shaving! He did it sitting in the living room. He’d fall asleep while he ate. Sometimes he fell asleep while petting Sylvester, his cat. He always fell asleep when reading the newspaper. Sometimes he even dozed off while we were visiting him. Gerard would put Leo on his lap and he didn’t even know it!

This was a Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt: Write a story using exactly 101 words.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. This is one of the stories I included in the book.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our Dog’s Most Destructive Behavior (Writer’s Workshop)

My parents let me choose a puppy one day with the goal to get me over my fear of dogs. It worked. I chose a cute brown one with four white feet and a white tip on his tail and named him Brownie. I quickly bonded with Brownie and when my mom yelled at him, I’d put up my sign on my bedroom door that read “PEOPLE WHO ARE MEAN TO DOGS, STAY OUT!” My parents thought it was funny but I was VERY serious.

I did not like the fact that my parents insisted Brownie stay in the basement when we moved into our new house. He was no longer a puppy by this time and I was in the fourth grade. Harry put a baby gate at the top of the stairs so he couldn’t come up. My mom didn’t want the dog on the furniture and I don’t think she ever really liked dogs all that much anyway. Sometimes we would get to let him up though but if he barked, mom would flick water at him which he did not like!

I knew Brownie was a smart dog and since I felt sorry for him that he had to be in the basement most of the time, I decided to teach him how to open the baby gate. I showed him how to push up the pin with his snout. I never actually saw him do it, but one day when we came home I was so elated to find that Brownie actually did it! My parents were very upset because while we were gone he chewed up all four pairs of the new boots my parents just bought for us kids!

Does any kid like wearing boots? Maybe some do, but not us. We thought it was so funny and were so pleased that Brownie did this for us. However, my parents were not pleased at all and my dad couldn’t figure out how Brownie got out. I proudly told him that I taught him how to open the gate! We still got more new boots, ugh! Brownie died when I was in high school shortly after we moved.

Here are links to the other Writer's Workshop posts I did this week: A Thanksgiving To Remember and Did I Really Want To Change My Life Forever?
See more Writer’s Workshop posts or choose a prompt and participate yourself at Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

If you liked this post you would like “My Funny Dad, Harry. To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

I’m Proud I Actually Wrote A Book—(Writer’s Workshop)

I never planned to become an author, but here I am! I wrote "My Funny Dad, Harry" as a memorial to my dad after he died in February of 2007. I just had so many thoughts about him racing through my head at night that I couldn't sleep, so decided to write about him. I realized what a wonderful dad he really was and how amazing as well as funny. Growing up, I always thought my parents were funny (as do most kids, I expect), and often said they should have a TV comedy show called the "Mom and Pop" show.

By writing this book, I thought it would be a great way to share my dad with others and keep his memory alive. I also thought it could be an encouragement to others who are caring for aging parents as well as giving some tips on being a good, caring person. I enjoyed writing this book very much because it helped me work through my grief. I worked on it while clearing out his house to get it ready to sell. (Several months after the book was published, I entered the blogosphere with this blog about him which also makes me proud.)

In the end I include an epilogue that tells how God helped me through the really tough days after my dad's death when I just felt so overwhelmed with everything that needed to be taken care of. Included at the very end of the book are several appendices which list names of people mentioned, all his cats because there were a lot to keep straight, list of places mentioned and one that gives some spiritual help for those seeking a personal relationship with God. This part can be easily skipped if it is of no interest to you; however, I felt compelled to include it for those who may find it helpful.

I was thrilled to hear from one of my co-workers who purchased this book that her two girls saw it on the car seat when she picked them up from school and started looking at it. The cat pictures caught their attention because they love cats and they started reading it before mom even got the chance to read it herself. I think that's great. My dad would be pleased too! He always liked kids and enjoyed watching the neighbor children play.

In hindsight, I see where I could have done a better job with it, but it’s written from the heart and I was very eager to get it published by the end of the year. I was going for a quick read that moved along so people wouldn’t get bored. Considering I had no idea how to get a book published when I started writing, I consider this to be quite an accomplishment and am proud that I did it!

Check out my webpage at for more about "My Funny Dad, Harry." You can listen to an audio clip from me and read an excerpt from the book.

For more posts about what people are proud of and other things or to participate yourself, go to Mama Kat's Workshop.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Having A Pill Pity Party Here!

I never expected to have a line up of pill bottles before I even got to be a senior citizen but here I am. It makes me feel old to be taking so many pills every day and needing bifocals. If it weren't for all these pills, I would still feel like I'm only in my 20s--yes, I really feel that good. I remember when the doctor first told me about ten years ago that I needed to take a pill for my thyroid which affected my metabolism and another to keep my cholesterol level in check. I was in shock thinking this shouldn't be happening so soon! I did notice, however, that I had more energy and felt better.

When working out with a trainer several years ago, he noticed that working my shoulders caused me some discomfort and suggested I start taking Glucosamine/Condroitin for my joints. It did seem to help but this put me up to four pills a day!

About two years ago he told me and my husband to start taking Centrum (which I replaced with one especially for women over 50), a vitamin supplement, so then I was up to three a day.

Now since my bone density test results showed that my bones are slightly below normal and I'm headed for Osteoporosis in my future, I should start taking Citracal which will help my Calcium and Vitamin D deficiency and improve my bone density--oh and these I am supposed to take twice a day so that puts me up to six! The doctor told me that years ago they wouldn't have detected this so no one would have mentioned anything about it to me. I guess it's good to know so preventive measures can be taken, but I hate having to fuss with all these pills!

I always felt bad for dad that he had so many pills to take when he reached his 70s. He took Levothyroxine for his thyroid, Centrum, an iron pill, Metformin (usually morning and evening) and one at bed time plus insulin in his 80s. Wow, I'm up to as many as he was and here I'm only 55! No wonder I feel old!!

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.