Friday, September 10, 2021

A Sense of Accomplishment Can Be Worth More than ME Time

Preparing for this month's Fly On the Wall post was painful when I realized I need to get out more! Each day I am consumed with either writing blog posts, creating YouTube videos, writing health-related articles, analyzing health questionnaires for clients, writing newsletters, interviewing one guest a week for my podcast, bookkeeping for our brick and mortar businesses, or teaching on the internet. 

If you haven't checked out my podcast, please do!  (Now in my 8th year!) You will find incredible true stories of people who went from victim to victor and from hopelessness to helping others find hope. Each guest has become successful and many have made huge positive impacts to society. 

It leaves little time for anything else, as my days start at 5:30 AM and run until dinner time. Don't worry, I cook everything from scratch and manage an organized home. 

But who wants to hear about that in a blog post? However, I did travel to my daughter's home to house/dog sit for one week. That was heaven to me. I took my computer with me, set up an office in her dining room, and worked almost 'round the clock. I decided to fast that week so there was no need to cook. I loved it and accomplished more than I would in two weeks if I was at home.

The grands were in Hawaii that week and the pics speak for themselves:

Curling hair at 5 yrs old?

How blessed I am to see the love these two have for each other

Please have a buzz around and see what the other bloggers in this group posted this month:

Baking In A Tornado

Menopausal Mother

Wandering Web Designer

Friday, August 20, 2021

Is it Difficult to Find a Veterinarian Who Loves Dogs - Really?

Have you ever turned off your clock and worked until the job was done? That's the way the past two months felt. I needed to launch my new website and YouTube channel -- everything else had to take a back seat.

I didn't realize that this was only the beginning. My website and YT developer set up a daily spreadsheet of articles to be written and videos to be made.  As much work as that is on top of my other jobs...I have never enjoyed anything more.

There were 2,000 downloads on YouTube in the first two weeks. I am told that is extremely rare. I also know that the message of hope is needed now more than ever and that is what I share. Every. Day.


We couldn't bear watching her suffer

In the middle of this craziness, hubby and I knew we could not put off Star's dental issue any longer. As a rescue, she came with bad teeth and Doxies are prone to gum disease and teeth problems. 

I have tried to find a vet who would clean Star's teeth and remove the bad ones for under $10,000. No luck. 

Daily, Star got a regimen of vitamins, tinctures, and a raw food diet but it wasn't enough. She needed help we could not give her. 

Then a miracle happened. My hairdresser found a vet in the city (a ferry trip away) who didn't comply with the ridiculous fees other vets charged. She paid $1500 - not $10,000 for a similar procedure.

After the doctor examined Star, he shook his head. The infection had run deep and she needed antibiotics for two weeks before he could determine what to do. He assumed there were two badly infected teeth. 

Coupled with the abuse she had received before we rescued her, he said her jaw was cracked and she must have been in extreme pain for a long time -- we had NO idea. She never complained.

On the day of surgery, the vet said he would call us in a couple of hours when she was ready to be picked up. HOWEVER, the call came much earlier. He said it was one of the worst cases he had seen. She would need all her teeth pulled. Her jaw would need to be wired together where it was cracked. Our dilemma: What should we do? And how much could we afford?

I called my daughter and ran the scenario by her. She has rescued dozens of dogs including those with rotten teeth. She had been told the worst-case scenario more than once. 

She said, "Mom, you will give Star her life back. Trust me." The vets told her many times there was little hope of improvement. But she proved them wrong each time. 

I called the vet to ask him what Star's kidney, liver, and heart health looked like. He said, "Considering what she has going on - I could hardly believe how healthy she is." That made the decision for us.

Seven hours later we picked up this precious baby. When she saw us she started to cry. She never stopped until we got home. It was heart-wrenching. The ferry line-up wait was five hours in the scorching heat (over 100 degrees) with no shade in sight. Yup.....she never stopped crying. This is so rare as she rarely barks and we have never heard her cry before. So sad!

UPDATE: Star is a new dog. She runs with her tail held high (never did that before.) Her ears are perked up! She can't stop kissing us and cuddling -- also unusual for her. 

She got a clean bill of health and her jaw, which was stitched together is healing fine. ready for this? The vet never charged us the full amount. He loves rescues and wanted to help this little creature. He only asked that we do not tell anyone or he would be bombarded with people wanting the same deal. NO PROBLEM. 

We are so grateful. is Star.



And.....TODAY...I am over-the-top excited. The GRANDS are coming for four whole days. Life is put on the shelf. The work will be there after they go back home. 

For some of you who have not seen your grandbabies or loved ones during this season of 'separation,' my heart aches for you. I hope you will see them soon.

What would any Fly on the Wall post be without pics of the grands

Camping for 5 days is exhausting!


Someone dropped some

 bubbles in the hot tub

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 5 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Baking In A Tornado

Menopausal Mother

Wandering Web Designer

What TF Sarah



Friday, July 23, 2021

During the Middle of Chaos, Do You Stop for a Break?

"Building a website can be fun," they said. Have any of you ever done that? Was it fun? 

For the past six weeks, I worked 10 or more hours per day - every day - building my new website. I was fortunate to find the right person - who did a job many times better than I imagined. She went well past the call of duty. I have hired her for life.  There are several pages on the site and I have incorporated both of our jewelry sites, my podcast, my health coaching site, my YouTube channel, and everything in between. One stop - it's all there. 

The entire site theme (mountains and ocean) is carried through all the pages, along with the color scheme. I would love your feedback. Check it out here. PLEASE didn't stop there. I also have a new Facebook page and YouTube Channel. I am scheduled to do three blog posts per week, and two YouTube videos, PLUS coaching and teaching online.  P L U S my podcast is booked until March until next year - two interviews per week.

"Building a website can be fun," they said. But NOW the fun begins. 

One day last week, I was about to drive up the driveway when I heard loud screeching by birds. I stopped to have a look. A baby bird had fallen out of its nest and mom and dad couldn't figure out how to pick it up. 

I felt helpless. There was nothing I could do for this tiny creature. I got a chair from the house and placed it near the fallen bird so no one would drive over it. The cries from the parents went on until nightfall. I knew the demise of that baby but.......

In the middle of last month's chaos, I took a four-day breather to visit the grands. With each visit, I see how they have matured and with joy in my heart also note their kindness to one another, their politeness, and how they love interacting with adults and animals which is a constant thrill for any gramma. 


During the Middle of Chaos, Do You Stop for a Break?

Salmon fishing


Golfind with grandpa
Loves His Golfing Times with Papa

Time to Cool Down



The newest family member -- Mama was so tiny and her baby is like the size of a small dog

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 4 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.



Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:


Baking In A Tornado          

Never Ever Give Up Hope   

Menopausal Mother         

Wandering Web Designer

Friday, June 18, 2021

Have You Ever Seen the Benefits of Helping the Homeless?

Six years ago a man asked us for a small cash loan on a silver dollar.  I gave him $20. 

"I'll be back in a week to pay you back." Steve was homeless and I didn't expect to see him again.

A week later he returned to our store with a $20 bill. We chatted. After graduating from university he lost the love of his life. He started drinking. He has been an alcoholic for 40 years and lost everything - including his family.

A couple of weeks later, he returned with the same request and this continued for about a year. Each time he came into the store we chatted. He is an avid reader. Each week he borrowed three books from the library and became an encyclopedia of facts - a 'walking Google.'

When we moved from our home he helped me pack everything and on moving day was an incredible help.  A year later we moved into our new store and he was the chief helper again.

Our new store's back entrance is in a parking lot. He got himself a chair and parked it there. For the past three years, he sits in that chair and reads. He has become our Chief Security Officer. 

When Covid hit, our local food kitchen for the homeless closed. I brought him meals every day and often he came to our house for dinner (but hubby made sure he had a shower first)!

Steve has been in rehab numerous times, has attended AA meetings for years, but nothing seemed to make a difference. I spent hours encouraging him but trying not to make him feel guilty.

A few months before his 60th birthday he announced that he has had enough and was quitting for good. To celebrate, we invited him to dinner on his birthday - filet mignon, prawns, all the trimmings, and two types of pies. He had FOUR pieces of pie.

He is now six months sober and has ZERO desire to drink. He feels he owes us a great debt but we have assured him that seeing him sober is an incredible gift to us. 

When hubby and I were in the city last week we visited our goldsmith. He asked us to wait a few minutes while he ran to China Town. He returned with a large, heavy plastic bag and told us not to open it until we got to the car. I put the bag on my lap, untied it, was going to put my hand into it when a LIVE jumbo prawn jumped out. 

I screamed. Then laughed. Immediately we called my chef friend and told her we were on the way home with three pounds of live prawns. We dropped the prawns off to her, unloaded our car from the day's grocery shop, and 20 minutes later she arrived with all the prawns prepared including an incredible stir fry! What an amazing feast.

Next week I am headed out of town to see my grands for a FULL week. I can't wait to see them in person.

Brie wears her attitude on her sleeve!

Brie's baby had a baby - she is smaller than Brie's dog.


Can hardly wait to see them all!

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 4 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.



Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:


Baking In A Tornado        

Never Ever Give Up Hope   

Menopausal Mother         

Wandering Web Designer


Friday, May 21, 2021

How to Maintain a Great Attitude in the Middle of Sadness

Mother's Day is an emotional day for many moms. My mom died when I was 18 years old. Not only do I miss her every day but I realize how fortunate my friends are who have shared their lives with their moms all those years. 

Mom died 3 months after my wedding

I love orchids and hubby keeps me well supplied! On Mother's day, he made it his mission to find the darkest purple one available. We were both shocked to see that it had NINETEEN buds in addition to the ones already open. Considering that these blooms last at least six months - I wonder if it will topple over when all the buds open.

19 buds on this orchid

This is also a day I reflect on the years of joy we shared with our son and his family. I hide away for a few minutes each Mother's day to thank God that one day, someday, I will hug my son again. We are now in the tenth year since he walked away from our family, without explanation. He lives in our small town, minutes away from us. But, we have not seen him. When he left, he had two babies and now he has four. Although the last ten years could feel like wasted ones, I refuse to buy that lie. I focus on how wonderful it will be when we are together again and will maintain that attitude of expectation!

The more you give...the more you receive

Hubby and I have close friends in Uganda who run an orphanage. They have sacrificed everything to parent over 100 children at a time. They ask for nothing in return. When Covid hit, they lost any small source of income they had and nothing has pleased us more than to be in a position to support them. They are humble and never asked for help which made it even more exciting to be able to bless them when they did not expect it. I keep a journal of our daily conversations - the good and the awful things they have had to endure. 

On Mother's Day, our friend posted a Happy Mother's Day message on Facebook. His kindness touches many people and there were a lot of comments in that regard. I wondered if anyone recognized that he has a wife who has given so much, works tirelessly, and never asks for anything.

So......I posted a beautiful tribute to her and sent her two dresses. It is something she will remember forever and I cried when I received this picture of her.

Not the best way to hear such news

When I opened Facebook on Easter Monday I was shocked to see this pic of Brie. Her mom didn't want me to worry.....crazy she didn't tell me what happened until she knew Brie was fine.

On their Easter egg hunt, Brie was challenged by one of her boy cousins to put a chocolate egg up her nose. Daddy to the rescue and a trip to Emergency scared her enough I don't think she will do that again. She had to have minor surgery to remove it. 

For Brie's birthday, she received a Shetland pony from her daddy who did not know the pony was pregnant. Last week this tiny horse gave birth. And now there are two precious babies. I can't wait to see them.

Although William is in second grade he is reading at a high school level. Here is a note from his teacher:

I just wanted to write to let you know that I reassessed William’s reading level today. WOW. He’s reading at a level “X” on the A-Z alphabet scale. His fluency is amazing. I can’t overstate this: I’m really impressed. He says that he learned to do this by listening to music and reading the lyrics. Suffice to say, you have an amazing kid. I was thinking about talking with our Learning Support teacher, about taking a closer look at William’s abilities. And, of course, I’ll explain to his classroom teacher next year that he is a truly unique student. In the meantime, plenty of praise and confidence boosting is in order! Way to go William!

Kind big brother ALWAYS looking out for his baby sister

The hydrangea bushes were so high that we could no longer use the sidewalk around the front yard. When I watched the gardener trim them back the entire yard was a pile of trimmings. This pic is only the beginning. I have no idea how this little bit of a woman did all that and carried it down the driveway into her truck. 

When we chatted later she said she was in the movie industry in France and is trying to break into it here. After her first year, Covid hit and she needed a job so she started her own business as a landscaper. What an amazing woman!

When I was sweeping the sidewalk the next day, I found my diamond hoop earring on the EDGE of the garden gate. Don't ask...I have no idea how it got there but how wonderful to have found it.

Whatever is happening in your world I hope you can find good memories and hope for a brighter future in your thoughts every day. 


Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today four bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:


Baking In A Tornado      


Menopausal Mother      


Wandering Web Designer      

Friday, April 23, 2021

How Do You Answer the Tough Questions A Five-year-old Might Ask?

Since I have my office in my home, the only time I 'dress up' is for Zoom calls - full make-up, business attire, and jewelry. If I have to run errands, I rarely bother with make-up. Sunglasses and a mask cover my face! How about you?

Last week I had two interviews the same day and wanted to run my errands between them. One of those errands was to go to the recycle center. I had several trays of recyclables but there was a strong wind outside which made cans and plastic bottles fly out of them and roll down the parking lot. It was a gong show. I would run after one can while another bottle was flying through the air. 

Finally, I got inside the building, cashed them in and left for my next errand. When I turned the corner, my eye caught my right hand on the steering wheel -  with NO ring on it. I freaked. I started to pray out loud as I turned the car around, ran into the center, and searched the parking lot - NOTHING. 

Do I call my husband? What would I say to him? 

I emptied my purse onto the front seat of the car and there it was - at the bottom. How did that happen? Was this one of those times when an angel was looking out for me and put it there?

I called my husband but only told him the first part of the story. Was that mean of me to want him to feel my panic? Half-way through the story I had to say, "Don't worry - everything's okay."

Lesson learned. Don't leave the house dressed up. Go out with no make-up, no jewelry.

Some of you may remember the story of Charlie - my daughter's Bernese Mountain dog that we rescued. Charlie was seven years old and suffered many close calls since we saved her life when she was a puppy. She almost died when her tummy flipped. She almost died when she gave birth and she had other close calls. 

We realized how difficult it was to determine if something was wrong because she lived her life with an incredible attitude. She never showed any indication of pain. She 'smiled' all the time. She was gentle and loving and adored the kids. 

One morning a couple weeks ago, my SIL found her in the woods in obvious distress. He gently carried her home. The local vet was kind enough to make a house call and tell them it was her time. She had run away to die. Charlie was my grandson's best friend.

This was not easy for a little guy who has suffered much loss - heart-breaking at every turn. But, as always, what a trooper he was as he comforted his little sister. Their daddy took them for a walk while my daughter stayed with Charlie.

"Good-bye, Charlie"
We will miss her forever

"Mom, I'm sitting here holding Charlie's head in my lap," my daughter said through her tears. "Right up to the last second, Charlie is fighting her demise. She has pulled through so many times. She doesn't want to say good-bye."

William asked me to make a story book with pictures of Charlie and have it printed. I am sure I will have many tears as I do that. 

During spring break, the grands spent the week with me. It is the first time I have had them visit without their mom. I planned activities and enjoyed each minute to the fullest. I'm already excited about the next time they can visit us. 

No, I didn't spoil them. 


I bought one of those kits to paint Easter eggs. Can someone explain to me why the dye they use stains everything? We made a huge mess. I had to sit down on the kitchen floor because we were laughing so hard. 

Hunting for Easter eggs this way was a lot more fun
and an advantage over her cousins!

Let the Easter egg hunt begin!

What a great success it was!

Since they were very young, whenever they visited us, they could take two hands full of loose coins from the change bucket. Their hands are getting bigger now and they love counting it to see how much they get. 

Gramma: "Brie, what are you going to do with all that money," I asked.

Brie: "Give it to my daddy, in case he needs it."

Brie: "Gramma, how come you don't paint your nails anymore?"

Gramma: "Because I work from my home office, now."

Brie: "So, Gramma, you really need to get out more."

I was stumped for an answer to this five-year-old.

Brie: "Gramma, I'm five now. Do you think I need a bra?"

        Gramma: Dumbfounded look on my face. 


With the time change during spring break, it was not dark at dinner time.

Brie: "Gramma, why are we eating dinner in the morning?"

Gramma: "It's not morning; it's evening."

Brie: "Oh, Gramma. You are so silly. It is never light outside at dinner time." 

William is nine years old but reads at an eighth grade level. He loves books and I teared up when he said, "Gramma, you're an author, right?"

"Sure am!"

"Do you think I could read your books?"

"Of course! But I will expect a review, okay?" That really excited him.

This has been my monthly Fly On the Wall post where a few bloggers share what has been happening behind closed doors in their homes. Have a buzz around and enjoy their stories and laughs.

Baking In A Tornado                 

Menopausal Mother             

Wandering Web Designer