Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Note From Dad--You're In The Game!

For my final post of 2011 on this blog, I decided to share a note I found written by my dad when straightening my desk.  I never noticed it before because it was on the backside of a pink index card invitation to a "Youth For Christ" meeting.  It must have either been some sermon notes he took or else a devotional thought he had.  It was written in pencil so is hard to read, but here is what it says:

Game, Sport
A great many people thoroughly enjoy watching a good game; the most popular seems to be baseball.  Few of us realize that we are in a game ourselves right now, with many people watching us and hoping that we will win.  But some of us we are losing, because we are so much interested in watching others play their game, and forget that it we ought to be much concerned about winning ourselves.  You ask "what game are we playing?"  Our very life is a game, some win, and some lose.  There is always reward for the winner.  The prize for the winner of life's game is of unspeakable value; words cannot describe it.
 I believe his thoughts were based on these two scriptures:

Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.  Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith:  who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
God compares our life to a race and those who have successfully completed their journey before us are the "cloud of witnesses" cheering us on.  I wonder if my mom and dad see me from heaven and are cheering me on.  It's kind of a cool thought, isn't it?

The other verses that I think my dad was thinking of when he wrote this are:

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:13-1)
What a good message to keep in mind as we begin a new year!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I am donating .50 per legitimate comment this month to The Cleveland Pregnancy Center.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Favoirte Gift Ever and More! (Writer's Workshop)

My dad's favorite thing to do was work with wood. Here is a list of a few of the the neat things he made:

My all-time favorite gift is the secretary that my dad made for me when I was only around 3 years old. I still use it today, 53 years later! One of the games I played was with my secretary and toy phone. Once my dad was sick and stayed home from work that day (which was very rare). I heard him call in sick so I went to my phone and did the same: "Hello Boss, I am sick so won't be in to work today. Good-bye." He was not happy with the secretary because he measured the desk top part wrong and it doesn't come up quite as far as it should when it's closed. I still love it! Later, after the foster kids came to live with us, he even put a lock on it for me although I usually didn't bother locking it.  I don't even know where the key is now.

Among many things dad made for us kids was a jeep, which I mention in my book. It was really, really great! Four kids could sit in it at once. My dad, being the ever cautious, safety first kind of guy did not put any motor on it. Thus, it was self-propelled by pushing it along. We had a blast with it, even though we just used it in our own yard. Here's a very short video clip of it and my brother playing with our dog so you can see for yourself:

(This video was taken off a DVD I had made through CVS from one of our old movies my dad had taken.)
My parents always liked it better when our friends would come to our house and this certainly brought them over. Having four kids all within just two years apart meant that our house was the place to be. Especially with our unusual "toys."

Another kid attraction we got one year to compliment our swing set which included a glider was a little backyard roller coaster! It had one big hill and a bunch of little ones. Only one could ride at a time though but it was a lot of fun too and drew a crowd!

Harry used to work at a box company. One of the best things he made for us was out of cardboard! He made us a robot with only three sides so we could go inside and make its head and arms move! We had a lot of fun with that!

I love the things my mom and dad made for me but these are the most unusual. There are so many I won't list them all here.

What was your favorite gift or the best gift you gave or received? Have you made something cool for your kids?

This is my response to the prompt to tell about your favorite gift that you received. To find more interesting posts or participate yourself, head of to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Nativity Project of 1982 With Help From Harry

In 1982, I was renting the upstairs of dad's double house for just $100 a month (which included meals and utilities!) It was a sweet deal and I knew it and was grateful! 

During the time I rented his upstairs, I was youth director at the Brooklyn Christian and Missionary Alliance Church so would have the youth group over for a time of snacking and just hanging out after the Sunday evening service. Usually, we'd have about eight, but when I started the special Christmas project of actually making a Nativity set for the church, we got more kids to come.

I covered my large dining room table with a sheet so we could just paint on that and I could leave it up all week. (I lived alone up there before I even knew Gerard, my husband.) I bought the pieces and the paint, chalk, spray, trays and dad made a stable out of cardboard that the boys could glue wood onto and then stain it. We worked on this about six weeks and then set it up in the church narthex with the intent of using it every year.

Unfortunately, some pieces got lost and broken so I took it back and use it every year at home.  It brings back fond memories of the teens who made it.  I had to replace Mary and the cow and the angel. To see my post with Spunky Doodle helping me set it up this year, go to Spunky Doodle Helps Set Up Nativity Set. Spunky is the Tuxedo cat I got from dad's when it was just 3 months old.

(All these pictures of making the set were scanned in with my new photo scanner I got for my birthday this year.)

This post is a Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt: Show us your Nativity Set.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Would You Do This To Your Kids?

This video ( that I first saw over at Unknown Mama, although funny in how it shows how much the kids like their candy, is also sad how the parents purposely attempt to get the kids upset. The parents lied to their young children, saying that they ate all of their Halloween candy and videotaping their reaction. This little prank was instigated by Jimmie Kimmel who thought they would just get mad and was surprised that almost all of them cried. I think some cried because they were so angry. I know I do that sometimes and so did my mom.

I am grateful that my parents never teased me. Maybe you think we were too serious all the time, but I really can’t remember them ever getting me mad on purpose. Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” My dad took that literally and so I know he would not have participated in this prank.

Would you do this to your children? Do you tease them just to get them mad? Did your parents tease you? If so, did you like it?

I am donating .50 cents per legitimate comment this month to St. Jude's Childrens Research Hospital.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Biggest “What If” Worry

My dad’s biggest worry was what would happen to his cats if they outlived him. Part of the reason my dad didn’t take his cats for regular vet care was that he was actually hoping they wouldn’t outlive him. I reassured him that I would take care of them for him, and did for three months; but then when I decided to sell his house, I had to get the cats out.

At the time, we already had two cats--Moe (14 years old) and Spunky Doodle (3 years old). His two male cats were not neutered but the female must have been spayed; however, the males had HIV and the female had parasites. They all had their claws whereas; my two both had their front paws declawed. I looked for someone to take them but couldn’t find anyone and ended up having to have them put down. It was heartbreaking for me and I felt I let my dad down. I just didn’t have any choice. I didn’t know about the cat sanctuaries around.

Now, my biggest fear is for the welfare of our pets if something happened to both Gerard and me. We don’t have children. Who would even know something happened to us and that they were in there all alone?

What’s your biggest worry?

I am donating .50 per legitimate comment this month to Samaritan's Purse for famine relief to starving people in Africa.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Choosing Pet Food: I like the Picture On The Bag

Softie and Sweet Thing Waiting for Whiskas

Harry loved his cats, any and all cats even, but pretty much let them run the show. 
Dad chose his cat food by the picture on the bags and I'm sure he's not the only one.  Of course, his cats had the final say and they loved their Whiskas and Meow Mix.  I fed mine Fancy Feast thinking it was good because of the name; it also had a nice furry cat on the can. When I realized I couldn't go by the name, I switched to Science Diet--the only one out of the three kinds mentioned here that is lifestage specific and test fed.

Which bag do you like best?
The cat is so small, it's hard to see!

I just wish the manufacturers of higher quality pet food would put more effort into making their packaging more appealing.  Just like you can't judge a book by its cover, you can't choose your pet food by the picture or name!  I recently learned that there are two very important things to consider when choosing your pet's food and it is pretty easy to find this information once you know what to look for.

AAFCO stands for Association of American Feed Control Officials. A basic goal of AAFCO is to provide a mechanism for developing and implementing uniform laws, regulations, standards and enforcement policies for regulating the manufacture, distribution and sale of animal feeds; resulting in safe, effective, and useful feeds. 

Look For The AAFCO Statement

The AAFCO Statement provides the two most critical key points of information on a pet food label.
  1. What life stage is the food nutritionally balanced for?

    Label A Brand X Cat Food provides nutrition to meet the needs for all life stages. What does that mean? Start your kitten eating this food and continue feeding this food to your cat forever. But, just as we discussed earlier, a human’s nutritional needs change as we go through life, so it does for cats and dogs. When a pet food is for all life stages it must provide nutrition for the most demanding: GROWTH (kittens and puppies). Do cats and dogs need all that extra nutrition as adults and seniors? No, they don’t.

    Label B When a food states it provides complete and balanced nutrition for a specific life stage: growth, maintenance (adult), and reproduction (pregnant or nursing), the nutrients in the food are optimal for that life stage.

    Here are Hill’s life stage guidelines:

    • Growth life stage – high nutritional demands for growth and development
      • Puppies and kittens age 0 to 1 year
    • Maintenance (Adult) life stage – nutrition that maintains good health
      • 1 to 7 years for small & medium breed dogs
      • 1 to 5 years for large breed dogs
      • 1 to 6 years for cats
    • Mature adult life stage – nutrition that supports healthy aging
      • 7+ years for small & medium breed dogs
      • 6+ years for large breed dogs
      • 6 - 11 years for cats
    • Senior
      • 11+. years for cats

  2. Which method (formulation or feeding test) was used to

     determine the life stage for which the food is nutritionally


    Label A Brand X cat food was formulated  based on a nutritional guideline; basically like following a recipe. The "Formulation Method":
    • Does not require feeding the product to an animal
    • Actual feeding or digestibility trials are not required
    • Results can be determined more quickly
    • There is no guarantee of pet acceptance or nutrient bioavailability when utilizing this method
    • Is less expensive to develop the food
    The food has been formulated in a computer based on AAFCO guidelines, and then it ultimately gets tested on your pet.

    Label B Brand Y dog food was test fed using the "Feeding Trial Method." This method is the gold standard for determining nutritional adequacy for a specific life stage. It is the preferred method. The Feeding Trial Method:
    • Requires the manufacturer to perform an AAFCO protocol feeding trial as the sole source of nutrition, including required veterinary exams & biological data collection
    • Feeding trials are the BEST way to document how pets will perform when fed a specific food using AAFCO Standards

    BEST OPTION: Pet food labels with the AAFCO Statement saying the food has been test fed is the optimal choice.

    Both of these key points are found in the AAFCO Statement located close to the ingredient panel. Some manufacturers place this on the side of the bag while others place it on the back. Consumers need to locate this information. It's typically like reading the “fine-print. This information is aside from the marketing claims made on labels, yet it is the information that answers these two critical questions.  NoteTypically there isn't one on treats simply because they're intended to be fed as a supplement. We say that treats should not exceed 10% of a pet's total daily diet.

    Source:  Hills Pet Nutrition Specialist, Lori Smith
    I am donating 1.00 per legitimate comment this month to Samaritan's Purse for famine relief to starving people in Africa.

    Visit Sugar, the Golden Retriver for more Tasty Tuesday posts about good food.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Comparison Between "Growing Up Colt"--A Father's Love and "My Funny Dad, Harry"

I recently finished reading Growing Up Colt by Colt McCoy (the Cleveland Browns QB) and Brad McCoy (Colt's dad). As I read it, I couldn't keep from thinking about how it was for me writing My Funny Dad, Harry. His book shows a love and strong bond between a father and son while mine shows the love and strong bond between a father and daughter. Although his is more about his childhood and the life lessons he learned from his dad, mine is focused more on the the funny things my dad did and how we grew closer as I grew up.

I'm sure writing Growing Up Colt was a fun project for Colt and his dad. Both books give examples of people demonstrating Christian character and both point people to Jesus at the end. Both are personal and written from the heart in simple language that makes for a quick read. Colt mentioned in his book that his grandma told him if he didn't point people to Jesus in the book, it wasn't worth writing it. I remembered how I felt like that as well when writing My Funny Dad, Harry. Neither book is preachy at all; however, both share how faith played a part in our lives. I included an Appendix with scripture references* at the end that a person seeking peace with God could read and find that peace through a personal relationship with Jesus.  Colt summarized how a person can have a personal relationship with God at the end of his book too.  

My Funny Dad, Harry is about my dad's fight for independence as he aged and how I supported him. Growing Up Colt is about parenting and how parents can help their children. Both are about loving, Christian families and are upbeat and touching.

I encourage you to read both these books! Here is the link to my review of Growing Up Colt over at our book blog, Grab A Book From Our Stack. Go Browns and I hope you have a great season, Colt!

*In hindsight, if I could do it over, I would write out the scripture instead of just providing the references.

I am donating 50 cents per comment on all my blogs during September to Best Friends Animal Society.  I hope you will leave a comment and visit my other blogs too (see tabs above)!

 Available as e-book ( and on Amazon.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Too Many Pesky Pills

Keeping track of one’s pills can be a bit confusing.  Those plastic weekly pill containers worked good to help my dad remember to take his pills every day.  He had three separate holders for his morning, lunch time and evening pills that he clearly marked.  He would fill up the containers On Sunday and that way he would know if he took his daily pills or not.   The only problem was that if he fell asleep, sometimes lunch time wouldn’t be until 3:00 or his evening pills would be really late which he was supposed to take at the same time every day.  It’s sad that as we get older we generally have more pills to keep track of which can become a bit confusing and sometimes overwhelming.

I used to think he was making a big problem out of nothing but now I have six pills to take and realize it is an added responsibility.  One is only on Saturday morning and one is only every other day (I use the calendar to help me remember which days to take them).  I just pull the bottles out of the cupboard when it is time to take them and after I take the pills, put them back right away.  I do not use the weekly pill holder because sometimes I take them at home and sometimes I take some at work.  Fortunately, my memory is good enough that I take them right on time each day.

Last week though, I had a day off so was out of my usual routine and was pretty stressed out.  I remembered I had to take my vitamin pills that I normally take at work, but instead of reaching for them on my second shelf, I grabbed the morning pills I take from the first shelf out of habit.  Oops!  I had the 5 a.m. swallowed and the next one in my mouth when it dawned on me these were not the right ones!  I was able to spit the second one out, dry it off and put it back.  I felt very stupid but from now on, I will take them out with the others when I am home so that doesn’t happen again.

I told the Pharmacist I accidentally took my early morning pill twice and asked if I should skip it the next day or still take it.  She said “Why would you take it twice?  How did you do that?”  I answered, because I’m stupid and explained I was off my routine.  She told me it wouldn’t hurt and that I should still take one the next day as usual. It sort of scares me a little that I did such a stupid thing when I’m not even a senior citizen yet!

Everyone makes mistakes but I try not to make the same mistake twice.  I think this will work.  Do you have pills to keep track of yet?  If not, you are lucky!  If so, what system do you use?

I am donating 50 cents per comment this month to Heifer International.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I've Been Interviewed--Go See!

Defending GloryAnne K. Albert over at Piedmont Island Trilogy ( offered to interview me about my book for her blog and it is up now.  I thought it was very nice of her to help promote My Funny Dad, Harry.  Please stop by and leave a comment for her!  She is a mystery and romantic suspense author.  Two of her books are Defending Glory and Protecting Hope.

I am donating 50 cents per comment this month to Heifer International.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Was Here First—Cats Rule!

I often remember laughing at my dad when he would go to sit down and find one of his cats in his chair. His cats had a knack for knowing where he was going next it seemed. Harry never shooed the cat off and fortunately didn’t ever sit on his cat even though he came close a few times. He just let the cat have his chair and he would sit somewhere else. Well, now I do the same thing and thought about my dad and his cats as soon as it happened!

My Manny boy was lying on the chair under the dining room table (pictured). When I pulled it out, it was heavier than usual and then I saw my nice cat lying on it. At first, I was going to ask him to leave but since there was a free chair next to it because Gerard was walking the dog, I just pushed Manny back under the table where he was and I sat in the chair next to him to eat my breakfast.

What chairs do your cats seem to like most? Do you chase them off or let them stay if they are in the chair you want? Who’s the boss at your house—you or your pet?

I am donating 50 cents per comment this month to Heifer International.  Let me know if you would like us to donate a goat, pig or sheep with your comment.

This is part of Saturday Suggestions blog hop at Mona's Milestones and Pet Pride.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Practical Backyard Project--Bench or Table?

My dad made a wonderful backyard bench/picnic table for us. It's kind of like a transformer toy because we can either use it as a bench, or flip the back part up and use it as a table. At each end in the back is a chain, a hole and a piece that fits into the hole to hold it in whichever position you want.

Unfortunately, part of the wood broke off of the second board on the back and it split. It's still usable, but I feel bad every time is see it broke so finally asked our handyman from Handyman Connection if he could fix it.

He was very positive that he could easily fix this saying, "Oh sure, if I can build houses, I certainly can fix a bench." He went on to admire it and said that he would like a picture of it so he could make one for himself and use it when he goes camping. I was very pleased to hear how much he like my dad's work and it made me feel proud once again to have such a wonderful dad. I'm so glad that it will be able to be restored.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here Available as e-book (

Friday, June 17, 2011

Show Dad Some Appreciation – Especially On Father’s Day

Through the years, I always got something for my dad for Father’s Day.  He didn’t like eating out, usually didn’t want to go anywhere but he loved his cats and he loved to work in his workshop so anything I got for his cats was much appreciated.  One year I gave him a gift card for Loew’s, one place he did enjoy going.  I usually tried to find him a nice shirt or jacket or new pants too since he rarely bought any clothes for himself. 
I miss my dad so much and think of him every day, but more so around Father’s Day.  It was always a challenge to find something special for him but one I wish I still had.  I was surprised to find the stack of Father’s Day cards and birthday cards I gave him over the years when I cleaned out his house after he died.  I know he was a pack rat, but I didn’t think men thought much about cards.  In his case, apparently he did. 
What did you get your dad for Father’s Day?  Hopefully you encourage your children to get something for your husband, at least a card.  Dads have a big responsibility and get little appreciation but Father’s Day is certainly a good time to do something special for him. 
This is my 200th post for this blog and I am pretty much out of memories about my dad to write about.  I encourage my newer followers to check out the archived posts.    
I am donating 50 cents per comment this month to Joni and Friends. To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here Available as e-book (

Monday, May 23, 2011

“My Cat From Hell” Is Entertaining And Educational!

Thanks to The Best of 2011 blog hop over at "A Pause on the Path," I discovered that this is my most viewed post for the year!

My cats enjoying the cat tree.

My Cat From Hell” is a TV show on Animal Planet that I wish I had seen when my dad was still alive.  “My Cat From Hell” is an entertaining show.  The cat behaviorist helps people who are at the wits end with their monster cats.

So far the three times I’ve watched, once the people change some things, the cats come around.  They showed some of the following extreme cases: a black and white feral cat coming into the home that already had two other cats, a white cat who bit and scratched the person while he slept, and a Sphinx hairless cat who got into everything including chewing wires and knocking things over.

It was funny when the cat behaviorist was trying to get the feral cat out of its hiding place in the wood shop and into the carrier.  I was actually rooting for the cat.  Sure enough, even the “expert” couldn’t get that cat into the carrier.  It took off really fast!  It made me feel better about not being able to get my cat in.

My dad would have enjoyed this show very much because it’s all about making cats happy.  He loved his stray cats but the ones he brought inside I don’t think were very happy, at least not the ones who lived upstairs of his double house rent free.  By watching this show, I learned a few things that I didn’t know before:

(1)  There are basically two categories of cats, tree dwellers and bush dwellers.  Bush dwellers like to hide in bushes, tree dwellers like to be up high.  You want to encourage your cat to be up and in the open spaces.

under the bed

(2)  A cat that is hiding or attacking does so because they are afraid, stressed out and not happy. 

(3)  Cats do not like to be confined in small rooms with little to do or things to climb on.  If you can provide high places for them all around the room, they will be much happier.

I believe these are some of the things dad would have done for his cats if he had seen this show:

1.  Get them some cat trees!  This gives the cat a place of their own from which to observe from up high.  I don’t know why I never thought of buying them one of these.  I have one for my cats and they love it!  They usually go on that instead of the furniture. 

feather on a stick
2.  Use interactive toys.  Cats like playing with their owners.  Just putting cat toys out for the is not very exciting for them; however, when those toys move they become very interested and pounce, chase and jump.  (I played with dad’s cats when I would visit but I don’t think he ever did.) 

3.  Provide high places.  He probably would have built some shelves for them to jump on so they could get up on top of the valance or other higher places.  He may have even built a special shelf for them to go on around the room up near the ceiling.  Looking back, he had their cat beds always on the floor for Softie and Sweet Thing.  They probably would have liked them on the window seat better.
Have you seen this show?  What do you think of it?  If you like cats or have a problem with your cat, you really should watch it sometime! 

I am donating 50 cents per comment during May to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here Available as e-book (

Check out more Saturday Sampling posts or link up one of yours--best posts of the week over at Half-Past Kissin' Time..

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Morning Stomp

My husband thinks it’s so funny that I crush our boxes first before throwing them in the garbage.  I think I just picked this up from my dad.  He was a box designer so part of his job was to design the smallest box possible that the product could fit into.  I assume packaging just came naturally to him after doing it for so many years and I just picked up on it.  When I eat, I always consolidate my garbage as well.  My husband thinks it’s funny that I stomp on the cereal boxes to flatten them before throwing them away and thought you might like to see my “morning stomp” so here it is. 
Do you see anything funny about that?  I don’t.  Do you consolidate your garbage? 

I am donating 50 cents per comment this month to Samaritan's Purse to help with the relief effort there. To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here Available as e-book (

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Was Great Except For The Stupid Hats!

I have all good memories of Easter except for one thing--the stupid hats we had to wear. I remember mine was white with a blue ribbon on it and some flowers. I wish I could have found a picture of it to show you, but I couldn't find it. I know I saw one somewhere. Apparently my parents thought it was cute. I never liked dressing up anyhow on Sundays, but Easter was the worst of all!

Anyhow, let's move on to the things I liked about Easter growing up. I remember going to my grandma's house on my mom's side where I was first introduced to delicious chocolate covered marshmallow eggs. My aunt used to work at Towers Candies and they always had some for me. I still love chocolate marshmallow eggs and and not choosy about the brand. The Towers ones were big and the marshmallow was always soft, never hard or stretchy. Those marshmallow eggs were the highlight of Easter for me growing up.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Shabby Chic Day!

When I saw this I just had to write about my dad's cats decorating skills. He had a total of 6 cats inside at one point. The cats liked going under his couch and reaching up to claw the edge at the bottom of it. It was a white couch covered with black furs!  He had a white chair to match which the cats loved to claw up the arms. This was one reason my mom never allowed cats in the house.  They weren't allowed in until after she died.

Sweet Thing by scratching post watching Softie Playing

Sweet Thing was the most talented decorator of all his cats. He actually clawed up the rug by the living room door and my dad put a board over it to get him to stop. Sweet Thing and Softie both liked to play and in this picture, Sweet Thing is watching Softie play from his scratching post that they pretty much tore apart! My dad made it himself for them with just some old leftover carpeting and some wood.  Sorry I don't have pictures of their work.

On the other hand, Spunky Doodle was just a little kitten (a/k/a Spunky Rooy) when I brought her into our home but knew if she lived with me, I had to get her front paws declawed too.  She was born to a stray at my dad's and was the last kitten of the litter left to find a home.    I felt so bad doing it, but she forgave me!  When she was a kitten, she tore my curtains.  Here is some of her cute decorating work:
Oooh, this is so much fun!

Spunky "Rooy" messed up the den.  She did pull the toilet paper out too but I cleaned that up right away.

I am donating 50 cents per comment this month to Samaritan's Purse to help with the relief effort there. To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here Available as e-book (

Visit the Cat's Meow to Find more participants!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Memorable Neighbor Who Scared Us Away (Writer's Workshop)

Growing up, we had a crabby couple on one side of us and my best friend on the other side. There were four of us kids and for some reason, the crabby couple next door didn’t like us. To this day, I really don’t know why. They were both heavyset with gray hair and frowns all the time, but they took great pride in keeping their yard looking nice. They didn’t want anyone walking on their grass so when our ball would accidentally bounce into their backyard, I guess they expected us to just leave it. Well, we walked on their grass to get it but went as quickly as we could. It’s not like we ran all over their yard.

Whenever they found candy wrappers in their yard, they always blamed us even though we never littered like that. Yes, we walked to the corner store often and bought candy and ice cream, but we never threw wrappers on the ground. They would complain to the elderly man across the street about us but his response was to be glad he had a nice family living next to him.

When my mom told me we were going to move, I blew my stack. After all, my best friend lived right next door! This was the only time I really was angry at my parents. I think I was a junior in high school at the time and didn’t understand why my parents would let the crabby neighbors chase us out of our home. My mom explained she saw the man with a rifle in his driveway and was afraid he might shoot one of us or my dad when he came home late from working third shift.

Both my parents had a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and so I didn’t understand why they couldn’t trust God to protect us or work things out by having the crabby people move. It didn’t seem to me like they were exercising much faith by moving. We moved, but not far. It was only about a 20 min. walk away and at the time, I could make it in just about 5 minutes if I ran. The crabby neighbors also moved away about a year or so after we did.

What would it take for you to move? Was there a time when you got angry at your parents? Did you ever have a crabblepuss for a neighbor?

This is in response to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompts: "A Memorable Neighbor" and "What Would It Take For You To Move?"

You can help Canine Lifeline (a dog rescue organization that saved our dog, Abby) by leaving a comment on any of our blogs in March. We will donate 50 cents per comment at the end of the month.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Story of Love (Writer's Workshop)

My Funny Dad, Harry is about love--my love for my dad, his love for me and our family, and ways God’ showed His love for me. My dad was called home to be with our Lord February 16, 2007. I found him dead on the floor of his bathroom with his head against the tub when I stopped by to visit him before work.

At first, I didn’t realize he was dead but couldn’t wake him and called 911. He was a very loving family man, a great dad who was always there for me and I felt so sad that he was gone but happy that he didn’t suffer long and was able to live independently and die in his own home like he wanted. I just wish he didn’t die alone.

I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t sleep through the nights. There was so many things that needed to be done and I am the type person that likes to get everything on my “To Do List” done each day. That just wasn’t going to happen for a very long time. Many wonderful memories came to me during the nights following his death and I got the idea to write a book in his memory because he was such a wonderful father. I knew there were a lot of books written about abuse, domestic violence and sad tales and thought perhaps the world would like to read about a happy family for a change. After all, “Marley & Me” was a big hit and that was about a funny dog.

I began writing “My Funny Dad, Harry” and remember feeling like it was something God wanted me to do. It was fun writing and although I had no idea how to get a book published, I just trusted God to lead me—he did. One Sunday there was a big snowstorm and church was canceled. I went on the computer to see if I could find out how to publish a book, was going to go on an author’s website where I thought I might find some advice and instead up came Outskirts Press, a self-publishing company in Colorado. To this day I cannot explain how it came up. I never heard of it before but there it was with several packages to choose from and an offer of a representative to walk me through every step of the way. I started writing my book the end of February 2007 and it was published October of 2007.

I still miss my dad very much but know I’ll see him again and hopefully because of this book, others will get to meet him too. I included God’s plan of salvation in an appendix.

This is in response to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop prompt: A Story of Love.

You can help Canine Lifeline (a dog rescue organization that saved our dog, Abby) by leaving a comment on any of our blogs in March. We will donate 50 cents per comment at the end of the month.

(“My Funny Dad, Harry” is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Please, Keep Your Hands Off My Stuff!

Harry's dining room table after mom died.
My dad used to always keep a stack of stuff on the dining room table by his place and didn’t want anyone touching it or moving it anywhere else. This was one of the things that used to upset my mom. My dad had a lot of stuff in the basement, in the back room, and in the garage. It looked like a big mess with a lot of clutter everywhere, yet, he knew where everything was.  He liked things handy. I’m like him in this respect.

I generally have a place for all my things and know where they are. That is until my husband moves something without telling me which really irritates me. I like knowing where everything is! Why can’t he leave my things alone? He likes moving his stuff around all the time from one place to another. An example is his book holder that sits on a desk or table (one of the many things Harry made). I think it’s funny that he can’t pick one place and just leave it there. I have no problem when he rearranges his things or even the furniture in the basement that we consider to be his man cave, but he needs to leave my things alone, don’t you agree?

This morning I found my evening pill bottle moved to a different shelf. Now I have it placed exactly where I need it to be so I remember to take it in the evening every other day. My morning pills are on the far left side and my evening pill on the far right.

I read somewhere that it’s good to change things around to help prevent Alzheimer’s from setting in. I’m afraid I am headed for it but since my dad didn’t have it and I take after him, I’m hoping I don’t get it either. Maybe my husband is trying to challenge my mind more.

What about you? Are you particular about your things? Who are you more like—me and my dad or my husband who likes to change things around? Does it make you nuts when people move your things?

You can help Canine Lifeline (a dog rescue organization that saved our dog, Abby) by leaving a comment on any of our blogs in March. We will donate 50 cents per comment at the end of the month.

I linked this post up to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop for the prompt:  Something you do that drives your significant other CRAZY.  How do you make your significant other crazy?

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Be Careful, Don't Fall!

Toddlers fall a lot and it seems so do the elderly. I think I'm getting there but am only 57--this is not good!

Dad Goes Boom

My dad used to fall quite often once he hit his 80s. The beginning of his falling seems to be when he fell in our driveway one day and broke his hip. He recovered nicely but didn't want to go to the hospital. Oh, what a fuss he made!

After that he would fall often it seemed to me but didn't break any more bones. He got the Life Alert and sometimes it was very useful when he would fall and couldn't get up, but after it went of accidentally a few times, he quit carrying it with him which got me mad. One Sunday in particular I remember he feel in his hallway and just waited for us to come by at our usual time after church. When he fell while grocery shopping pushing his cart to the car, he cut his head and we got a call from the paramedics saying he didn't want them to take him to the hospital but he hurt his head so he really should get it checked.

Now I'm Falling!

Since my lumpectomy, the doctors told me I should be very careful about not bumping my right arm. I also found out that my bone density is a bit below average. So far, I've fallen once at work tripping over the carpet and sliding into a file cabinet, once playing tennis I was backpedaling and just sat down, hitting my head on the concrete but was okay after rubbing it. Every time our phone would ring at an odd time, I'd think, "Uh oh, now what happened?"

Yesterday, I fell again while changing clothes! My foot got caught in my pant leg and I lost my balance and toppled over, bumping my head on the dresser once I was down. I thought about how dad used to fall all the time and I felt like a klutz. I just read Left Neglected recently about a lady getting brain damage when she was in a car accident and hoped my brain was still okay. I thought about that commercial where the lady falls and can't get up. I'm not that bad off yet, but if I was knocked unconscious, I wonder how long I would lay there. The stuff on the dresser made noise but my husband was watching TV in the living room and heard nothing. My cat, Spunky Doodle, came in to check on me, but by then I was up and just rubbing my head. No broken bones and no brain damage, whew! It's ironic that I fall in my bedroom when I've managed to stay upright walking on all the ice every day to and from the bus stop.

Tips About Falling

Here are some tips to remember when falling or things to do to help prevent a fall:

1. Just roll and try to protect your head. (I am still working on this one.)

2. Always hold on to something steady when standing on one foot.

3. Use the handrails on stairs.

4. When on ice, take small steps and walk on your toes first and not your heels first.

I've been very fortunate with my falls. How about you? Have you fallen or know some elderly people who have?

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where Did The Time Go?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years now since my dad died. The first two years it didn’t seem real. I couldn’t believe he was really gone. Now, over time, I have become used to not having him around. I still miss him very much and wish he were still here; however, it no longer seems that he’ll call or that I’ll visit him tomorrow. I am finally over the routines I had when he was alive.

Now instead of buying his medications, I buy my own and have to remember to take different pills at different times and on certain days. I now understand how he felt about not really being bored staying home. I used to think nothing of going out in the evening, but now once I get home from work, I’m happy to be home and don’t have any desire to go out very often. I sure hope this changes once the weather warms up! I think back to when my mom was alive and would go to church on Wednesday nights with me to help in our AWANA club for the kids when she was in her 60s and early 70s. I give her a lot of credit! In just three more years, I’ll be 60!

It’s strange how some days I feel old and other days I feel like I’m 27! Bundled up, tromping through the snow in the cold I felt like an old lady going to work last week! I guess it depends on my frame of mind and how my knees are that day. Funny how time flies by the older we get. I look forward to retirement, but also plan on enjoying each year along the way!

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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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.