Saturday, March 23, 2013

Our warm fuzzy friends

     Soft and cuddly, warm and friendly. This describes our furry friends, our pets. Dogs, cats, hamsters, even our feathered birds who sing in cages in our homes. How many of us throughout our lifetime bonded closely with animals who never asked for anything except to be loved, and well, of course. . . food!
     I think back to dogs we had when I was a little girl. Two fluffy companions, one aptly named Fluffy, the other, her sister, Buffy. How I'd longed for these dogs to love me, sleep with me at night when the childhood fears fell upon me. They never did. It was my mother they bonded with. She, who'd fed them, loved and cared for them. I think they would have gone to the ends of the earth and back again for Mom.
     Several soft, furry cats graced our home through the years as well. One in particular, Jimmy, a gray striped tiger cat was a favorite of mine. Aptly named for his larger nose for Jimmy Durante, he of the famous schnoz. Another cat, coal black as the evening, appropriately named Midnight, frightened the living daylights out of me. He'd wait behind the hedges bordering our small front yard and spring out, claws extended whenever someone would walk by.
     When I'd grown into adulthood, I brought two other black cats into my home. They'd walked the neighborhood, scrawny and mewling for food, when I begged my husband to let them stay with us. You could tell they were of the same litter for their markings on their bellies, and we named them, Kitty #1 and Kitty #2. Well, let me tell you the reason for this: when we'd call, "Here, kitty, kitty," they always came running. I know, not very clever, but it worked.
     Kitty #2 was my companion for many years until three years ago when she succumbed to a tumor in her stomach. This beloved friend of mine, who was more like a dog, followed me around my house, sitting as near to me as possible, and never keeping me out of her sight. When I'd put my coat on to leave for the day, she'd look into my face, eyes filled with apprehension, but upon my return in the evening, she'd greet me with her sloppy, wet love.
     I now have two cats once again, a brother and sister, Bella and Rocco, two very hairy felines whose antics never cease to amaze my husband and I, as they drink water from the bathtub, one of them down inside the tub, the other perched precariously upon the edge.
     My son has a cat he famously named 'Piggy' for her portly size. Piggy has become somewhat of an icon, for she has her own YouTube following and Facebook page. I think the reason for her success lies in something we all long for. The comfort and companionship of a furry friend. The whimsical tales we tell one another of the crazy things our pets do. This is something which bonds us as human beings, for we can laugh with one another, share our own "tails" and come away just a little bit happier.

Buy my book Piggy, The Adventures of A Not So Ordinary Cat at Amazon::


I just wrote a quick blurb on Facebook about what defines success. To one person, it's money or power. to another, it may be looks or status. What about things? Having everything you thought you'd ever want, then you'll be happy.

Success is looking back over your life and feeling a sense of accomplishment. You may not be "there" yet, wherever that might be, but I know you're not where you were a year ago.We've all grown, all come so far  and shaken off old habits, old fears and failures.

Take me for instance. I've changed so much in the last ten years it's unbelievable.  Thinking back even longer, I shake my head at who I once was.

I know I've made mistakes in raising my children, mistakes in my love life at times. I've handled many situations poorly and hurt others. Thankfully, God's grace is sufficient every day for me. I don't have to be "good enough" or try to attain perfection. Only He is perfect. But thankfully, He loves me so...

Driving home from visiting my family today, a feeling of peace and God's love overwhelmed me. I began to cry from happiness and a sense of who I am in the world. I matter. You matter.

I want to make a difference in this world. I want to leave an imprint for future generations. If it's in a kind word, a smile, a small deed done in secret to bless another, even my writings, my books.

Let's do it together, you and I. Let's make each day count and not let another minute go by. A precious minute to be the encouragement another person may need just at the right time and place.

You are special, you are loved. So am I. Now that my friends, is success!

Buy my heartfelt novel on Amazon:

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I believe we are on this earth to love and uplift one another. I think it pleases God, makes Him smile when we do a kindness for someone. It isn't easy as we go about our daily lives to feel this sort of "love" especially with the sandpaper people we encounter daily.

When was the last time you really took the time to put aside the cell phone and listen to that person who's talking to you? When was the last time you made that phone call to a loved one who might be lonely? I, too, am so very guilty of this. I can be typing away at my computer, lost in a story I'm writing, and my husband is asking my opinion of something. I haven't heard a word he said. I must close the cover of my laptop, look him straight in the eyes, and really listen to what he's saying.

As for calling or visiting a lonely loved one, the other day while sitting in the nursing home with my husband's Uncle Hubert, thinking of all the other things I should or could be doing, the dear elderly man looked at me and said, "Thank you so much for coming today. I really miss you guys." Wow, lump in throat, and convicted! What did it take, only an hour out of my precious schedule to give this man a little happiness?

Having said that, it is with great pleasure I share another author's work with you on this page. For I think in loving others, we must build them up, help promote them. I believe this makes our Heavenly Father smile. Take a moment, or two or thirty, and think about someone you can help today. A phone call, a post on Facebook, a little card sent in the mail. And when you encounter people, close your laptop, turn off your cell phone and really listen to them. You'll make their day and perhaps, in the process, your own day will become one of the happiest in a long while for you.

Carol Howell is a Certified Dementia Specialist and Endorsed Life Coach with an emphasis on Music Therapy. After her husband's brain injury in 1992 and her mother's diagnosis of Alzheimer's in 2006, Carol felt the need to learn about the brain. As her knowledge increased, she became more intrigued and determined to become an equipped and prepared caregiver. Her company, Senior Life Journeys, was born from this desire to learn and help others.
Carol is the author of IF MY BODY IS A TEMPLE, WHY AM I EATING DOUGHNUTS? It tells of the "amazing miracle" that helped her lose 100 pounds. The book is written with the humor and sincerity Carol is known to display in her own life.
Carol also authored LET'S TALK DEMENTIA - A Caregiver's Guide. This easy to read book is full of helpful tips for caregiving, information about dementia, and 23 SMILES that will brighten your day.
Carol resides in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, and they are the proud parents of a daughter who is a physician assistant in Florida.