Less than a week ago I was contemplating…..Contemplating my father’s reaction upon seeing his special delivery.  That of his three grown daughters falling from the sky to land on the front of his stoop, surprising him at his home in Arizona.  Two coming from the state of Texas, one from St. Louis, Missouri.

After arriving by plane and renting a car, we parked a few feet away to slither to the front of his house like a local rattle snake, albeit one without any venom.  Giggling like school girls we were nervous to knock on his massive wooden door nearly six inches thick.  “You do it,” my middle sister said.  “No, you,” I responded, jiggling the skinny of her arm in gleeful anticipation.  Finally, our youngest sister pushed both of us out of the way, rolling sapphire eyes in mock disgust.  “Tap, tap, tap,” her knuckles loudly rapped.

Today, I’m reflecting……Reflecting upon every moment spent with my father.  The whole of each second is stuffed inside denim pockets or hidden within silken folds of wrinkled shirtsleeves waiting to be unpacked.  Before I shake them out I must push them deep to the far corners of my mind, lest they forever be lost.  Every joke and laugh, smile and tilt of his head, hug, silly story told, family minute and clink of our glasses to cheer our past.  This I must remember for all my future it must last.

My father was totally surprised when he opened the door, nearly falling to his knees with a look of shock and joy.  My sisters and I sat with Dad on a western sofa while he finished his curly chicken noodle soup to tell him of our plans for the next few days.  It was the first time he did not balk at our staying in a hotel.  Truth be told, I think he was a bit relieved since he was recuperating from Vertigo.  He needed to rest, after all.

Around a table of square that evening, girls with giggles shared wine of liquid red from bubbled glasses clear.  Later, in the shadows of a stark hotel room, whispered voices wafted over down comforters, reminiscing of long ago youth.  Stories of high school days, cheerleading, old boyfriends with shoulder length hair and parties where record players blared.  Mind photos of mini-skirts, bell bottom pants, first cars and learning lines in plays.

The next day my two younger brothers joined us.  It was the first time we were all together in nearly four years.  There were smiles and laughter with a little bit of teasing now and again for old time’s sake.  We nibbled on cubes of cheese like scampering mice while snapping pictures with camera phones.  Later, under twinkling stars in the blackest sky we sang Karaoke songs to the top of our lungs.   Eyes glowed fluorescent green in the luster of a yellow moon, and if one looked close enough, scraggly coyotes scattered every which way.

On our last day together, we all shared a grand lunch followed by visiting relatives while enjoying the desert sun.  We prayed over my aunt’s struggling fruit trees, and shared a delicious pink grapefruit, freshly picked.  My youngest sister, who recently passed her Personal Training certification gave my father a lesson in Yoga, much to all of our delight!  A picture of him in the CHI position is my very favorite, one I shall treasure always.

In reflecting upon my trip to Arizona, I had the greatest time with my sisters, my brothers and of course, my father too.  It seems like weeks were packed into a small duffel of four days.  The CHI picture is my fondest reflection of my father.  His love of life, all people and especially family.   I do not take my time with him for granted.  Not one minute nor a second on the clock.  Every moment that I think of him is a reflection, a mirror on the wall, a ticking watch wrapped around my wrist forever to remind me.






Living In The Moment

Contemplating my day. How will it go, what will he say? I’ve pulled off surprises in the past. Yet, this one I fear will be too short. It will not last. Stopping to sip a cup of of coffee near the airport lobby, twinkling lights of a runway welcome me. “Take pleasure in the moment, ” they seem to say.

A quick trip is planned to Arizona. Visiting my father. Two, younger sisters will be joining me in Phoenix. We ‘re stepping stones. 1-2-3. with about five years between the each of us. Renting a car, we plan to relax in a hotel while spending a few days of quality ‘sister’ time.

My father was told that he needed to be home this afternoon to “sign for a special delivery.” Indeed, when the three of us drive up Dad’s dusty circle drive, past the prickly cactus, mongrel dogs and the open starry skies, hopefully he’ll think we are a “special delivery!” I can’t wait to see the moon of his face, hear him struggle for words and string my arms around his neck.

My father had a slight accident last month, only a couple of weeks before Christmas. It was silly, he thought. Stooping low to climb into the crackled leather of the driver’s seat of his car, he missed. Bam! Ouch! Hitting the greying hair of his head on the edge of his cream-colored car, he nearly knocked himself out!

“No big deal,” he thought. Until he started driving. Dizziness., blurry vision and a headache began. Suddenly. Somehow, Dad made it to the first ER where tests determined a slight concussion. “A concussion??? I’ve never had one in my life,” Dad exclaimed!! “Are you kidding me????”

No driving for my father. Lots of rest. Trouble is, he’s had additional symptoms ever since. Some slight and subtle. Others not so much. Yesterday, he was back in ER with Vertigo.

His doctor does not think there is a connection between Dad’s concussion and other symptoms. As a writer who has done a lot of medical research in the past, I know just enough to be dangerous. I have my suspicions together with tremendous hope that I am wrong.

Enough of that! Back to “living in the moment.” I’ll soon be laughing with my sisters. Stopping for a bottle of red wine to share within the desert suite of our hotel. Staring at sand of beige with a pool of blue through the clear of our 2nd floor window.
Together, we’ll whisper jokes under fluffy covers while giggling until our bellies ache. Times 3!

Before that, we’ll surprise our father with an anticipated “special delivery.” He’ll be shocked with glee covering an enormous grin of wide! Happy and smiling. Crinkles with wrinkles surrounding watered blue eyes.

Dogs of two will jump and bark nearly knocking us down. Tall, Sahuaro cactus will greet us in the foreground while we relish in our father’s bliss.

Yes, all four of us , family together again will take pleasure in the moment.”>2015/01/img_1118.jpg</a

I Took My Dying Dog on a Bucket List Adventure – by Lauren Fern Watt

A post with words to make every dog owner hug their own a little tighter today. Creative and beautifully written, you’ll love and laugh and cry for Gizelle and her owner, Lauren.

Kindness Blog

When my 160-pound English Mastiff was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, I was crushed. Together Gizelle and I had been through college, boyfriends, our early 20s, and a move from simple Tennessee to big and scary New York City.

This dog wasn’t just my best friend — she was my roommate and confidant. What does the vet mean she only has a few months left?

My sobbing seemed unstoppable, but Gizelle was sensitive and didn’t like to see me cry. I had to be strong. So I decided we would bury our worries in the dog park and create a bucket-list adventure of everything we wanted to do before she died. It was my mission for us to indulge and explore life’s joys. We’d escape the city and search for waterfalls, cook lobster, and nap in the grass. We’d jump in the ocean without towels, just to enjoy the sun…

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Gifts of Two

*written from the perspective of my daughter-in-law

Babies in our arms.  Yes, b.a.b.i.e.s.  We’ve bonded, holding them close, chest to chest. Gifts of two.  One for me and one for you.  A month has passed.  No, it isn’t possible!  Do you believe it?  We stare at these miracles here within our arms not even due.  Faces of innocence.  Are they breathing?  Pinching fingers gently to lift fuzzy blankets nearly covering noses shaped like flowered buttons.

Bending my head close to feel the warmth of even breaths.  So slight others might not notice.  First one little lamb before moving on to the next.  Short and even.  Yes, they’re breathing.  Silent little puffs barely felt upon my face.  Still, so much peace for me. Relaxation….

Cuddling them in softest flannel, hearts begin to burst with pride.  Four tiny eyes flutter in REM.  Closed with hints of open.  Slits of blue in darkest slate, wet with shiny wonder.  Ohhhhh, did you see that, Daddy?  Look!  There, it is again!  A smile.  First a tease, crinkles from corners of a tiny mouth of bird.  Then a bigger “O” lasting several seconds, enough to melt my heart to pieces.

Sleepiness sets in.  Time to give them up to a nursery crib of walnut slats with padded giraffes ready and waiting.  Bundles of babies swaddled warm and cozy. Replicas of my womb, I think.  Fragile gifts from God, still so small.  Not six pounds apiece.

Gazing down, baby birds spoon into the warmth of a fluffy nest.  Nearby, stuffed animals wait to climb the plank where safety soon will welcome them.  Noah would be proud.

Daddy, we’re doing our best.  With love in our souls and songs in our heads we hold our babies dear, kissing their sweetness from head to toe.

There is something about tender skin, the faintest thumping of fragile hearts and believing our babies have the very best of both of us.

Every day our love grows while watching what we never knew. The oh-so-tired yawn while struggling to stretch. An itty-bitty kitten cry or the murmur of a tiny mew.  The way the darkest blue of their eyes melt our inner cores. It’s how they gaze at us while drinking tepid milk from bottles no bigger than those of baby dolls.

Oh, to know what our little ones are
thinking…feelings of indescribable love, I hope.

Holding them close ‘our’ gifts of two, one for me and one for you.  


Don’t Be SAD

Moods.  Often changing depending on seasons.  Sunlight.  Darkness.  Morning.  Evening.  I’ve noticed this lately.  Intuition signals sweat to form tiny beads on the back of my neck.  Little hairs begin to prickle.  I see changes in actions while hearing words with tones sounding different than only a few months before……

Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It’s real.  A Chronic Condition that affects more people than I ever imagined.  It’s a true form of depression many haven’t heard of or even know exist.  Once simply called the Winter Blues, it’s probably been around since the beginning of time.  Like a broken arm, migraines or the flu.

Approximately fifty years ago, a proper diagnosis was made and a name given to a form of depression that seemed to be triggered by specific seasons of the year.  More woman are affected than men who live in states or countries that have less light.  Yes, people feel blue, but it is more than that.  They are truly SAD.

Most who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder notice a curtain closing upon their mood during the darkening days of fall, not lifting until the lighter days of spring.   Still others notice changes in their mood during the fresh scent of spring, lasting through the end of summer’s sun.

SAD is real and it does exist!  If you don’t suffer from it, I guarantee that someone you greet on the street, bump in shop, or pass at work probably does.  They may be good at hiding it, or worse yet, do not even realize they are living with it.  How SAD is that???

Please support me today by being a good friend tomorrow.  Hold a hand and spread my words to help others understand that Seasonal Effective Disorder is a true condition that can be treated.  There is no shame in being depressed.  Education is the key.  Talk about it.

Only a physician can properly diagnose someone with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  If you or someone you know is feeling depressed over a period of time without feeling better, seek treatment.

Some Symptoms of Winter SAD



*Feeling tired or having low energy

*Hypersensitivity to rejection

*Problems getting along with others



*Increased appetite/Craving carbohydrates or foods high in fat or sugar

*Wanting or needing excess sleep

*Decreased sex drive

*Weight gain

*Increased alcohol consumption

*Difficulty in concentration


Spring and Summer SAD



*Weight Loss



  • Talk therapy
  • Light therapy
  • Proper Diet
  • Exercise
  • Medication
  • A Combination of the Above

Icy Adventures

Breathtaking formations of frozen nature. Winter awe at its best.

Ramblings From Jewels

 I’m always keeping an eye out for new and interesting adventures, so when I heard about an Ice Castle at a park not too far from home, I thought it might be something cool to go and see.  And it was, literally.  😉

It was a balmy 28 degrees yesterday, and I figured that was about as good as it was gonna get for January in Minnesota, so my daughter and I bundled up and headed over there to check it out.

When we first stepped through the “gates” I was a bit awestruck, it was like walking into a frozen cavern in Antarctica.  The ice formations were absolutely stunning, it took my breath away!  After taking a few moments to just revel in the beauty of it all, I excitedly began snapping photos.

Unfortunately, it was not the best lighting that day for taking pictures with my…

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Sometimes you can tell a lot about a person simply by listening to their voice.  Just as eyes are “windows to the soul,” voices can be impressions of the heart.

Visiting a friend in the hospital not long ago, I needed to go to the tenth floor.  Pushing a square glowing button of golden orange with an arrow pointing “UP,” I waited for the elevator.  Shiny doors of silver opened, disappearing into wall spaces on either side allowing me to step in.  Two men huddled near a panel of buttons to the left, chatting like old friends.

Trying to appear occupied, I looked down at a dotted steel floor where I noticed scuff marks of white on navy blue boots.   In my hands, I held a small potted plant.  Waxy green leaves rolled unconsciously between my thumb and forefinger.

The two men seemed to have reconnected after a chance encounter elsewhere in the hospital.  A family lounge?  The cafeteria?  “I still can’t believe it’s you,” one of them said!  “Yeah, it’s been a long time.  Man, its great running into each other,” responded the other, with a pat on the back!

As the elevator lifted up, pitches and tones of the men’s voices took twists and turns within our 5X7 generic space.  Pauses, sigh, sadness and laughter suggested important changes had taken place for each of them.

One of the men had a lilting sound to his voice.  Notes of anticipation that rose higher with each passing floor.  The other sounded resigned yet hopeful.  His voice disguised suffering, I guessed.

Not much time left.  The elevator wall panel told me so.  Glowing buttons highlighted floor numbers soon-to-be.  They hinted farewells were about to take place.

Nervous laughter trickled among the small of our spot.  An air of tension suddenly weighed heavily as we neared the first floor to open.  When doors slid wide a large sign on the back wall read, “Maternity.”  The first man out brushed back his hair nervously to say, “You take care of yourself.”   “Sure will!  Tell your wife, congratulations,” the other man called out.

It was only then that I truly looked at the other man who stood in the corner.  He pushed a lit button with one hand while gripping an IV pole with the other.  Dressed in an oversized hospital gown with very loose jeans, he glanced at me with a slight smile.  Shiny doors closed, silently.  Seconds later, when they opened, I read a different sign.   “Oncology.”

After the man stepped out he turned, whispering familiar words to me.  “Take care of yourself.”  His voice gave me the impression of kindness, sincerity and gentleness.  In time and space of small, my heart had grown large.  He left me feeling like I had known him for most of my years.


“Older” Little Sister

Last weekend, my husband and I delighted in having our newborn twin’s older ‘little’ sister for the night.  Early the next morning we opened wooden window blinds to discover twenty turkeys loitering across golden frozen tips of our once green grass.  I had never seen so many together in the whole of my life!

With pudgy fingers our petite 14 month old grand-daughter pointed with excitement to squeal, “Puppies!”  Sitting down in front of the window, her hands flat on cool tile, we felt swooshes of warm furnace air blowing up through a metal grate in the floor.  From her seat, she could see her “puppies” out the clear of window glass.   It was there that we taught her new words.  “Turkey” followed by, “Gobble-Gobble.”  So proud she was, trying to repeat them over and over again in her little baby voice.  “Gogble…gog-gle,” she said, with smiles so pink and wide.

Later, we took our little grand-daughter to The Magic House, a famous St. Louis children’s museum.  Truly, it is a magic house of sorts.  Victorian in design with three stories high plus an attic, the restored and redesigned home allows children to unleash hidden imaginations in never seen spaces of wonder and amazement.

Everything at The Magic House is hands-on with areas designated for age appropriateness.  When the three of us sat on primary colored seats of a bench of iron to take a simple rest, suddenly music sang loud and grande.   “Come, sit on me,” they seemed to say  “Let’s Play!”  As in musical chairs!  The three of us strummed strings of a giant harp shaped round with the head of a long wooden pin and afterwards, made brass bells ring while watching balls trip down the steps of a miniature ladder.  Oh, to see her face light up at the sounds of music she had never heard before!

Wandering towards another area, we followed the flow of a magical river seen clearly below our feet.  Yellow, red and green fish swam by through pebbles of speckled colors. Soon it met a beautiful pond of blue where Grandpa helped tiny hands grip a children’s wooden fishing pole.  Before you could say 1-2-3, a fish of blue rubber, all slippery and wet dangled from the end of a cream-colored string.  Smiles of delight….such a sight!

Next, we pretended to have lunch in a ‘fine’ make-believe restaurant where our own Sweetie Pie baked and served several slices of pepperoni pizza.  Then it was off to the grocery store for a quick shopping trip where our little one had her own basket to check-out all of her purchases.  A carton of chocolate milk or a pound of creamy butter?  A dozen of range-free eggs or yellow petals in a pot of green for Mommy?  Finally, she decided to buy everything, plopping down a wad of weathered bills.

Climbing flights of stairs to the third floor attic, we cuddled in the children’s library before going off to tumble down shiny silver slides or jump feet first into piles of plastic colored balls.  Turn your head, come down fast, take a dip, and jump so quick!  So much to do, so little time.

Long before all was seen and done, eyes of a toddler began to droop.  Lashes lingered while jackets were donned to brave the cold.  Arriving home, I changed my grand-daughter’s diaper before snuggling her in a rocking chair, warm with a fuzzy blanket of red.  Within seconds, she was sound asleep.  A terrific day for everyone with a wonderful opportunity to make an older ‘little’ sister feel extra special.

Still a baby yet herself, she needs that after all.


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Happy “Special” New Year! Hearts As One-Drum Beat Award

On New Year’s Day a gift was surprisingly bestowed upon me.   Already, on the very first day, it became a “Special” New Year for me!  Sue Dreamwalker, awarded me a truly lovely and meaningful award that she created and designed herself.  I’ve held this heartfelt treasure close to me during this past week, believing in the magic of its significance.  Thank you with great appreciation, Sue.

Today I pass it on to others of which the recipients must be caring of others with love and compassion in their hearts.  Truly, I cannot think of a single person that I correspond with here at WordPress who does not fall into this category!  So please, besides those listed below, feel free to accept this award proudly while passing it on to others who YOU feel are deserving.

Drumbeat Award

Sue is a very spiritual person who ‘beats’ to her own drum while inspiring others towards peace and good will.  Hoping  to spread further seedlings of empathy and kindness through the world during the year of 2015, she strongly supports the unity of all mankind.

Please pick up Sue’s beautiful drum.  Go ahead, beat on it slightly with the palm of your hand. Do you hear a faraway thumping sound or feel soft vibrations all around?  If we close our eyes lightly to wishing silently, positive changes may begin in the year of 2015. Ahhh, to sigh quietly this is what I’m dreaming of.  Indeed, this is what we need….

Happy “Special” New Year to All of You at here at WordPress.

The Heart’s As One-Drum Beat Award  is Awarded to the Following


“Within their posts whether it be through Poem or Word

Caring for others is a must for this Award

Be it through laughter or Humour

Photograph or Story

Love and Compassion

Are Mandatory”  *Sue Dreamwalker