Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Dad Would Have Loved This!

My dad, being the cat lover he was would be very happy to know the Barrister bookcases he made for me have been put to good use! Whenever I open the glass, a cat usually jumps in and spends some time inside.

Manny enjoying the bookcase.

Spunky Doodle making herself at home in the bookcase.
Here is a video of Manny choosing a book:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday Teaser from "My Funny Dad, Harry"

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought I would play for fun! Just do the following:

Grab your current read Open to a random page
 Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.

We just rode around an empty parking lot and for some reason, which I don't remember now, mom hit the brake HARD!  The car jerked, John screamed, mom cried and dad yelled. 
Pg. 12 of My Funny Dad, Harry by Karen Arlettaz Zemek.

See our other teasers at Grab a Book From Our Stack.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Meet My Dad's Cats

All my dad's cats have gone to "cat heaven" but I still think of them and miss them.


Spunky Rooey on top - the one I took in; renamed Spunky Doodle as it grew up.

Razzle Frazzle

Razzle Frazzle

Very bushy shy cat who never wanted to come inside.

Sweet Thing aka Whacky

Sweet Thing aka Whacky

My favorite of dad's cats-very shy, loved to be brushed..


Very affectionate, had feline aids and private room.


Looked like Blackie, playful little thing and very soft.


Liked sneaking out but always came back.

Striper (the Entertainer)

Striper (the Entertainer)
Loved to climb and ride on dad's back and got the cat nip out of the kitchen cupboard!  
Really liked the basement!.


Nice cat, only cat who was allowed inside while my mom was still alive--stayed in hallway.

Diamond Jim

Diamond Jim
All black except a white diamond shape on chest. (actually, this is Timi but don't have good picture of DJ so this is close.



Friendliest and saddest looking cat ever! Always followed me and wanted inside -always hanging out by front door.



Dad's Best Friend

I became a cat lover after getting to know my dad's cats.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Oh No! Am I Becoming A Pack Rat Too? (Writer's Workshop)

As I was making the video below, I couldn't help but think about my dad and how much like him I am. It seemed to me he kept everything in case he would need it some day or could fix it up and use it again. Consequently, his garage, basement, attic, and house had a narrow path in which to walk with stuff piled on either side like the Red Sea when God parted the waters for the Israelites to walk across!

Dad's Dining Room

I'm not that bad . . . yet, but my den closet fits that description. So far, it has not spread to other parts of my house. Watch this video of my attempt to clean out my den closet and you will see what I mean:

The need for me to have a supply of boxes I think is in my genes. I definitely have inherited that from my dad; however, based on my own experience, it is good to save them so when I have to return an item, I still have the original box. The only difference between my dad and me regarding this is that he kept his boxes in his dining room; whereas, mine are in my closets. Yes, I do mean plural here--I have some in the basement closet too.  (Link:

This is part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt: Describe a talent or flaw that seems to be in your genes. You can join in too if you like--there are 5 prompts from which to choose!  I also did the prompt:  "When you first discovered the Internet, what sites did you frequent most?" on my other blog, Right Where We Belong.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Kitten Krazy Makes Good Use of Dad's Work

(Bench made by dad)

Sven and Wendy (President of Kitten Krazy at her home in Medina, Ohio)

When my dad died, I donated a lot of his things to Kitten Krazy, a non-profit private organization that primarily does kitten adoptions. Many his things I donated to their auction to help them raise money to remodel their shelter and take care of the cats. Some of the things donated are now being used in the shelter. Today was the first time we got to visit and see the place first-hand. My initial impression was that these are very happy cats (I'm surprised any of them would want to leave!) There are many that are free to roam around in the office/medical area. Another amazing thing to me was that they didn't knock over all the stuff on the counter. I know my Spunky would and my dad's cats would have too, I think. It's a very happy, friendly busy place! There's another room which is for visiting with the cats and then a chicken wire dog run attached to the back of the building where the cats get get the feeling of outdoors with lots of things to climb on or lay under. My dad would have liked this place very much and would be so happy to know many of his things are being used there. In his words I know he would say, "Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful"!

Dad's file cabinet and Dad's cabinet

Shelves made by dad

Friday, April 19, 2013

13 Problems My Dad Had and His Solutions

My dad had diabetes and as he grew older, experienced many problems.  He never complained or stewed about things, but always came up with a way to make things easier on himself.  Below is a list of some of the problems my dad had and how he solved them.

Problem: His eyeglasses fell off when he bent over.
Solution: Wear an elastic band that holds them on.

Problem: Arthritis in fingers so he had a hard time pulling up zippers.
Solution: Attached a paper clip to the zipper to make it easier to hold.

Problem: He kept dropping things because lacked feeling in his finger tips and was hard to bend over due to stiffness.
Solution: He got a grabber gadget and hung it on his walker so he always had it with him if he needed it.

Problem: Hard to climb stairs with groceries after shopping.
Solution: Built a ramp on the back of the house and used a cart.

Problem: Legs weak so hard to get up off the toilet.
Solution: My mom had this same problem so he built a wooden contraption that fit around the toilet that had arms so he could push himself up.

Problem: He'd forget to pay bills sometimes.
Solution: He got a box with slats in it for 31 numbered spaces and put the bills in the numbered slat of the date he wanted to pay it.  (The hitch was that he still had to remember to look at it and to actually put the bills in it.)

Problem: It was difficult getting off the bed.
Solution: He removed the bed and replaced it with a recliner to sleep in!

Problem: Had a whole lot of tools that he wanted easy to grab.
Solution: He attached magnetic strips to the wall and many of his metal tools hung on those.  (Guys coming in the basement were very impressed with his wall of tools.)

Problem: It was too time-consuming to get dressed in morning and undressed at night.
Solution: He slept in his clothes.

Problem: He couldn't always remember if he took his pills or not (had so many).
Solution: He laid the pills out for the week in the little pill holders. Had 4, one for breakfast pills, lunch pills, dinner pills, and bedtime pills.

Problem: Hard to hear on the telephone.
Solution: Purchased a Miracle Phone--worked somewhat.

Problem: His hearing got so bad that his hearing aid didn't help; said it picked up Morse code.
Solution: He quit using them and had people write their message big so he could read it.

Problem: It was hard to tie shoes.
Solution: He got shoes that used velcro instead of laces.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How It Feels To Be An Author

The day I got my author copies in the mail
I never expected to be an author and only self-published this one book that I wrote in memory of my dad shortly after the Lord called him home.  Here's what I thought about this experience:

Easiest Thing: Writing the book.

Scariest Thing: To me, the scariest thing about writing a book is waiting to hear what others think of it.  I figured the people who knew me or my dad would enjoy it, but I wasn't so sure about people who didn't know us personally.  I just want to say thanks to all the readers who posted good reviews on Amazon for "My Funny Dad, Harry."

Hardest Thing: Marketing the book--making sales.  I thought my book would be a best seller just because it is so easy to relate to and my dad is so likeable.  Wrong!  I soon realized that generally it takes a reputation as an established author to get an agent and get the promotion necessary for it to see that much popularity.   

Most Satisfying Thing: The fact that I actually wrote a book in my dad's memory and got it published.  It was therapeutic for me to write my memories and share my dad with the world.  I think people could learn a thing or two from him.

Most Fun Thing: It always gives me a lift to read a new review and discover that someone else actually liked my book. Hearing about the parts different ones especially found funny, touching, or interesting makes me feel good that I wrote it. If you read it and like it, please take a little time and post a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble to let me know.

"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.