Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thanks For the Comments!

I am very surprised at the nice comments I have received on this blog or about this blog through my email. It makes me feel good that people find it interesting enough to actually read and look at the pictures. Now if only I could sell some books!

Thanks to Entrecard, traffic increased from 18 to 2320 in just about 1 1/2 months. I recommend any blogger to join Entrecard.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Arte y Pico Award

Wow, I just got this award for my other blog and now I got it for this one too from The Zoo Crew. This is a very homey site with religious overtones. Great posts to think about! Definitely worth spending some time checking it out. Thanks so much! It means a lot to me that people actually read this one in memory of my dad.

Thanks Zoo Crew, for including me in your special group of recipients of the Arte y Pico award. (HUG)

This award was created and to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creativity and their talents, also for contributing to the blogging world in whatever medium. When you receive this award it is considered a "special honor". Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to 5 others."

What a wonderful way to show some love and appreciation to your fellow bloggers!!!

The rules for passing this honor on:

1) Pick 5 blogs that you would like to award this honor to. (This is the hard part--there are just so many good ones around it was difficult to choose just five.)

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

Here is my list of recipients:

Laura: I'm an Organizing Junkie
This blog is full of organizing suggestions and ideas plus great links to other related blogs as well.

Shelly: Mom With Brownies: Mom With Brownies This is one of the best parenting blogs I've read. Interesting posts with lots of helpful information. Check it out!

Robin Sampson: Blogging 101 Heart of Wisdom is a Christian homeschool blog focusing on Bible first teaching. I found her blogging 101 blog to be quite helpful to beginning bloggers like myself.

Ana at Chica and Pumuckl: Chica and Pumuckl--Funny Cats in Egypt
This is the funniest cat blog I found but also educational because the cats tour places in Egypt and take pictures. They will soon be moving to Germany. If you enjoy cats or even just some great photography, check this one out.

Jolene at Jo's Tip Jar: Jo's Tip Jar
This blog is very helpful with one quick short tip after another concerning every day things.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What, No Ring?

One of the unusual quirks about my dad was that he never wore a ring. I don't know about customs in other countries, but in the USA, it is customary for married people to wear a wedding ring the the fourth finger of the left hand to let everyone know they are taken. Although my dad was a loving, faithful husband for over 50 years of marriage, he refused to wear a ring because he worked so much with his hands and felt he would either lose it, damage it, or it would be uncomfortable for him. My mom wore one, but allowed my Harry to do his own thing and didn't make a big fuss about it. He was definitely his own person and really didn't much care what others thought and certainly wasn't going to let society dictate what he would and would not wear.

Although I'm not big on jewelry either, I do wear my wedding ring. I just got one ring and used it as an engagement ring and wedding ring. My husband wears one too and I'm glad he does!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cat Sanctuary Where Cats Rule!

About 200 cats live here, waiting for adoption or just to live out their lives in peace.

To the right is a picture of the room for the feline HIV cats to live out their life with dignity if no one adopts them. They are nice cats and are adoptable if they would be the only cat in the house but would need to be kept in the house.

When my dad died, he had 3 pretty old cats still living upstairs: Sweet Thing, Sylvester and Softie. All were nice, but Sweet Thing nor Sylvester were neutered and both had tested positive for feline aids which meant no shelter would take them because it put other cats at risk. Softie was very small and had parasites. I felt I let my dad down because he trusted me to take care of his cats when he died. I did for three months but I had to get them out of the house so I could sell it.

I wish I had known about Caroline's Kids Pet Rescue sanctuary back then, although, I don't think it existed then. It is literally a cat house. It has a no-kill policy and takes in feral cats and the ones with HIV and feline leukemia to live out their days in a nice environment. It also takes older cats and has many adoptable ones. Here is the link to their web site. It is located at 7394 Morley Road, Painesville, Ohio 44077.

By sending a monthly check I feel I am at least helping to save lives of other cats who were in a similar situation as my dad's poor cats. At least it makes me feel good to know I'm helping this very special organization. Today I got to actually see it first-hand. Send donations to: Caroline's Kids Pet Rescue, P.O. Box 24068, Mayfield Heights, OH 44124.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Handyman

My dad could fix or make just about anything. I just took it for granted growing up, assuming that all men were skilled in those ways. I just always thought that when I got married, my husband would be able to fix things. Boy, was I wrong! Dad was gifted with an inquisitive mind that made him eager to learn how things worked. This motivated him to study books on his own to learn how to fix or build things.

When things would go wrong around the house, dad would just fix it himself. He did call a painter to paint his house because it was very high and my mom didn't want him up on a ladder that high, but even then he was out there with the painters to make sure they did a good job.

My husband is not a handyman at all. The most fixing he does is to change a light bulb, but usually he calls on me to do even that. He did hang the baskebtall net though, which surprised me. I always think of dad whenever we need repairs but now have to call Handyman Connection to do the job. They'll be coming Tuesday to scrape and paint our basement walls and fix our light in our "man cave" room.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Made the Right Choice!

Today the sky is such a pretty blue. I'm so glad I picked the sky blue for my book cover because I wanted something cheerful and thought that if it was sky blue, I'd think of my dad everytime we had a pretty blue sky which is exactly what happens! At first I picked a dark green to match his suspenders, but I'm so glad I changed it to the pretty blue.

Be sure to let your father know who much you appreciate him while you still can and have a Happy Father's Day!
("My Funny Dad, Harry" is available through and Amazon or Barnes Noble)

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Other Life in Dream Land

Last night I dreamed about my mom who had passed away 8 years ago. I love it when I dream of my parents because it's just like they are still here with me. It reminded me of something my dad said to me when he started having weak legs. He said, "I have two lives. I dream of Lenore and it's like she's still here. In my dreams, I have no trouble walking at all. I can run and I don't have any arthritis either. I can work easily like I used to."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Delightful, Inspiring Story of Familial Love and Faith

Here's a review I received yesterday by Charlene S. Rubush, “author and book lover” (Donalsonville, Georgia)(5 stars)
June 11, 2008

My Funny Dad, Harry
by Karen Arlettaz Zemek

If only everyone were lucky enough to have a devoted father and true family man like Harry! Zemek's love, respect, and gratitude for her dad shines through in this sweet book. Harry, a product of the Depression, had quirky habits that will have you chuckling.

Anyone's who's had a parent who lived through the Depression, should be able to relate to Harry's thrifty ways. From saving junk mail to make notepads, to keeping orange juice cartons to convert into drawers, Harry wasted nothing.

Zemek's use of photos throughout the book, gives the reader an up-close look at Harry's ingenuity, plus provides a feeling of familiarity with Harry, his wife, Lenore, his daughter, son-in-law, foster-children, and his many beloved cats.

As Harry grew old, he stubbornly refused his daughter's offer of moving in with she and her husband, preferring to stay in his own home, taking care of his numerous beloved cats, right up until his death. We can feel Karen's anguish and concern, as she comes to terms with his inevitable decline.

As I read Zemek's book, there were many ah-ha moments where I'd get a lump in my throat, as I saw flickers of my own mom and dad, now deceased. But Zemek always manages to bring out the bright side of life. By the time I closed the book, I'd come to love Harry and his family. They are a fine example of those "salt-of-the-earth" caring, Christian people who hold this country together. I applaud Karen for taking the time to write this book. It's a fun, touching read. Harry would be so proud.

(This is an excerpt of the review--for full review, please look under the cutomer reviews on

Friday, June 6, 2008

Must Read for Those Who Enjoy Memoirs

Here is a book review I received yesterday from Cindy Oldham:

Cindy Oldham

My Funny Dad, Harry
Karen Arlettaz Zemek

‘My Funny Dad, Harry” is a unique, interesting collection of memories about a gentle man who was a devoted husband and father. His daughter, author Karen Arlettaz Zemek leads us through the early years of her life and shows us how she and her father had a special bond that continued growing throughout their lives.

Mrs. Zemek allows the reader to share in her father’s love of cats through the many pictures sprinkled through the book and the memories that are tied to how he loved and cared for them. She portrays her father thoughtfully and eloquently as she became his caregiver during the last years of his life. This is a memoir that allows the reader to meet her father and is a loving tribute to his life and the many memories his daughter chose to share with the world.

This book is a pleasure to read and will make you smile and laugh as well as bring a tear to your eyes as you read this lovingly crafted memoir. My Funny Dad, Harry is a must read for those who enjoy memoirs.

(For more reviews, check out "My Funny Dad, Harry" at and after reading, be sure to participate in the book discussion on Amazon at the bottom of the book detail page. Thank you!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Make Things Easier For Those Left Behind When You Die

My dad was very thoughtful and considerate of others, especially me. Here is a list of things he did after my mom died that made things a bit easier for me after he died that may be something you should think about doing too if you have family members you can trust:

1. Put my name on the house too using a survivorship deed.

2. Titled his car in both our names.

3. Added my name to his bank accounts--both savings and checking.

4. Kept important papers in file cabinet and let me help name the files.

5. With a marker, he put the year the furnace and water heaters were installed.

6. On his calendars, he would mark the days he made repairs and carried them forward from one year to the next.

7. He told me where he hid his money that he had in the house.

8. He preplanned and prepaid for most of his funeral expenses, including the casket, the grave marker, the vault and opening the grave. I was with him when he did this.

9, He gave me a key to his house.

10. He gave me his will as executor.

11. He saved an advertisement for me that he had in the dining room for a company that buys houses cheap "as is" and then takes care of cleaning them out and resells it. (I did call, but they never responded promptly so I gave up on them and cleaned everything out myself.)

My dad and I were very close and I would never think of stealing from him or cheating him in any way so he was able to do these things.

"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.