Monday, September 26, 2011

He's Not Just an Animal to Me

Did not blog for a while because I have been going through a lot of worries with my cat. Some people don't understand how you can get so attached to "just an animal", but I am more than attached to this particular animal.

 He's my bud.

Late this summer I started noticing the signs and symptoms of diabetes. On Friday I took him in to be tested. On Saturday the preliminary blood test results proved I was right to be concerned. He had an extremely elevated glucose level. That could be because of being stressed out at the vets getting his blood drawn or it could indicate something else.

While waiting for the final test results, I couldn't write, read, or do anything, but worry and watch TV.  Should I treat him with insulin shots? Would that make him suffer and lower the quality of his daily life? What to do? What to do?

This morning I called and the vet got on the line. "When I saw the preliminary results I thought Mama had nailed the diagnosis, but he's just fine. Some of the results are a little higher than we like, but he's just an old cat now." A simple change of diet for his age--more fiber, less carbs--ought to take care of it.

Yay! Relief flooded me. After giving him a big hug, I rushed out to buy the diet food. Now I'm back at the  computer ready to catch up on lost time.

But much trouble is it to switch a finicky eater over to diet food? Would the battle lower the quality of my daily life? What to do? What to do?

Tell me about the beloved pet who is not just an animal to you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet Award from Angela Brown

Just received this Irresistibly Sweet Award from Angela Brown. Thank you, Angela!

Here are the rules in accepting this blog award:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominates you
2. Share seven random facts about you
3. Pass this award to five new blogging friends
4. Contact and congratulate the awarded bloggers
1. I once bleached my own hair and it turned out chicken yellow! My mom came to my rescue.
2. Back in the really old days of my youth, I fell in love with Mighty Mouse. I wanted to grow up and marry him.
3. The first book that made me cry was Anna Sewell's Black Beauty.
4. My favorite vacation spot of all time is downtown Savannah, Georgia
5. My first car was a little, red Toyota Corolla.
6. My present car is a little, grey Pontiac Aztec.
7. I love fruit smoothies. In a personal blender each afternoon, I mix 1 tablespoon of fat free, sugar free Vanilla pudding, a handful of frozen fruit (strawberries mostly), and about a cup of fat free milk. Tastes just like a milk shake!

Awards go to:

W. B. Terrien at
Laura L. Sullivan at
Patricia Schirra at
Francesca Zappia at
Krista M. at

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff

I just finished reading the Kindle edition of Umbrella Summer, a middle grade novel by Lisa Graff. I won't write a short synopsis of the novel, but here's a link to the page at Amazon that provides a good one.  This novel from 2009 made big, fat tears roll down my cheeks. I had to pull off my glasses, dab at my eyes, but could not put this book down.

 As an adult and former elementary teacher, I approached this from an adult point of view with life experiences. I was totally involved emotionally with the main character Annie Richards, her parents, and the woman across the street who just moved into the neighborhood. I don't know what a child would be thinking as he/she read this novel, but I'm sure they would relate to Annie and the other characters emotionally as well.

I love the way the author portrayed Annie's unusual problem of dealing with grief, and the way she had the other child characters interact with Annie while keeping their own special characteristics. I especially liked the way she handled two best friends breaking up, bringing in another character to stir the pot, and including enough humor to make me chuckle.

At times, though, the teacher in me wanted to reach in the book and give her parents a couple of good head slaps! But Annie took care of that in her own way.

This is not a sad book, it is touching, sweet, at times funny, and hopeful as it deals with a family overcoming grief. In the end you come away knowing everything is going to be all right. But the journey to that end is just plain wonderful.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Campaigner Challenge--200 word flash fiction

Rachel Harrie has posted the first campaigner challenge. Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

                                                      MAC’S UNCANNY ABILITY
                                                         Catherine A. Winn

The door swung open, Officer Dave glanced out.
“Who is it?” Hilda Gross wrung her hands.
 “You sent for me?” Detective Mac Worth asked.
“Looks like the Ski-Mask Bandit has changed and messed the place up.”
“Anyone hurt?”
Mac said. “Give me a minute.”
Mac scanned the boutique. Everything was in disarray. The register had been cleaned out and dumped on the floor.
“You okay, Ma’am?”
“Yes, thank you, Detective.”
Officer Dave read from his notes. “After closing, Ms. Gross sat at her desk doing some inventory updates.”
Hilda interrupted. “And then out of nowhere this horrible, horrible little man with a ski mask came in and tied me up. He got away through the back door.”
“I see,” Mac said.
 “Stupid me, I forgot to lock the front door.” She pointed to the open safe. “He cleaned me out; now I’ll probably get fired!”
 “We’re going to have to catch this guy, Mac.”
 “You already did,” Mac said. “Our robber is right here.”
Hilda Gross protested her innocence. Officer Dave’s search produced a bag full of cash.
“Mac, how in the world did you figure this out?”

(see comment section for the answer)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Seventeen by Janis Ian

This song touches everyone who listens to it in some personal way. It's perfect for those of us who write Young Adult. I did a search for it while creating a young adult character and after listening to it then humming it for two days, I decided to share it with you.