Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Best Friend (Soft Whisper)

Did you see this? 
For 14 years, I had the honor of having "Joshua's Sister Jessica Sue" for my dog.  Josh was our last collie.  Jessi was our first Bichon Frise.  She was my soulmate.  I loved her with all my heart. We had her put down at 14 as she was suffering arthritis and digestive problems.  It's the hardest thing in the world when you have to do this, even though you know it's the right thing to do.

Well, sometimes I still hear Jessi whisper.  And I still miss her sooooooooooo....I still shed a few tears at times, but I know she's happy, and glad that we have Teddy (our current 9 yr. old Bichon  & Kaycee, our 7 1/2 yr. old Maltese).  Jessi loved other dogs, besides people.
In a message dated 10/16/2007 8:15:44 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:
by Lanie Blackmon

My best friend spoke to me last night
a soft whisper in my ear.
I woke up and looked around the room,
I was startled, yet I had no fear.

My best friend said that all is fine
Rainbow Bridge is so much more.
That there was so much love up there,
even a beautiful ocean shore.

There are fields and fields of green green grass
and the sky has different shades of blue.
There are flowers, mountains, trees and clouds,
everything they said it was, is true.

My best friend whispered in my ear last night
saying "Please don't cry or be sad.
That what was done, had to be done,
for me to live my life now, so be glad."

My best friend said that I did the right thing
an unselfish act on my part.
And that the pain and sadness I feel
will be gone soon from my heart.

I asked my best friend, "How could this be
I miss you so much everyday.
That my heart hurts so much for you,
I wish there could of been another way."

My best friend whispered in my ear last night
"You will always be in my heart.
Go on and live and love another,
because we will never really be apart."

My best friend whispered in my ear last night
"It's time for me to go towards the light.
I just wanted to stop and say to you
Go on my best friend, I'll be alright."

"I carry your unconditional love with me
I have done this from the very start."
I whispered back to my best friend last night,
"I'll always love you with all my heart."

"So goodbye my best friend," as I looked up at the sky
A shooting star I see in a straight line
Moving fast across the sky and out of sight,
I whispered, "Goodbye my best friend.  Now, I'll be fine."

         --  Lanie Blackmon    <lovemy4goldens at>

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Little Cottage By The Lake

As most of you know, I grew up in Minnesota.  I lived in a small town of not quite 1000 people.  I had the best possible childhood. We were two hours from Minneapolis, MN for shopping and doctor (specialist) trips.  We had a cabin at the lake about 10 miles from town.  It is a spring fed lake and so clear you can (to this day) see the bottom, even when you go out deep in it.  I received this Heartwarmer's Story today, and when I saw this title, I just KNEW I had to put in here.  If no one reads it but me, I am still happy.  I loved the lake and the cabin.  I am a Scorpian, and that helped.

I confess, that WE did NOT have clams, (Nancy, are you reading this?  Cuz I know you DID.)  We had turkey or chicken and steak that my Dad grilled outside and that's what OUR fall extended family celebration day offered..  I am a midwestern girl, but I must say I while I have grown to love lobster, shrimp, and crab, I DETEST clams, and squid (what is that stuff?), and do not eat it to this day. 

Still this story got me, down to my toes.  I hope you will dream along with me and read it....I bet it might just "get" you, too.

Love you all,



by Stefanie Wass

      What a crisp, colorful autumn afternoon.
      Crimson tipped maples paint the rural landscape as we make our way to my aunt's shady lakeside cottage.  Overhead, a flock of geese fly in "V" formation, seemingly pointing us to the Western Pennsylvania border, past miles of roadside pumpkin stands and endless fields of late season sweet corn.
      Finally, my husband turns down the familiar gravel road.  I spot the lake, glistening in the warm October sun.
      "We're here!"  I rustle my girls from the back seat.  "Hurry and say hello to everyone."
      The small white cottage reminds me of a doll house -- the good cozy kind, where friends and family happily gather, spilling out into the yard when the quarters get a bit tight.  I smile as I walk past the well manicured lawn, bedecked for fall with orange and yellow mums peeking from cast iron buckets.
      As always, dried cornstalks climb the back porch rails.  I spy a row of perfectly orange pumpkins, gifts from my uncle's garden.  I wonder if my girls will remember to take one home at day's end.  For years, my uncle has sent home a pumpkin with each child, just in time for Halloween.
      Hopping out of the car, the girls crunch through the leaves, hoping to sample appetizers on the back porch table.  In an instant, their cheeks are stuffed with crab dip, Amish Swiss cheese, and trail bologna.
      Family seems to be everywhere.  Cousins, aunts, and uncles trickle out from the cottage, sharing hugs and gossip in the wooded yard.  Gathered in groups, my chatty Scotch Irish clan prepares for our autumn tradition -- an outdoor clambake, held annually on the first Sunday in October.
      Husks fly off golden ears of sweet corn as we all pitch in, removing silky threads from more than forty cobs.  Great aunts, unaware that they could be sitting down, scurry about setting tables, slicing juicy red tomatoes, and taking surreptitious sips of homemade
berry wine.  The men hover as they always do, around the fire pit.
      I chuckle at this primitive scene -- men tending the fire and women preparing the vegetables.  Why is this always the case?
      Salty steam wafts upward from the coals as the tempting smells of clams and chicken tease my taste buds.  What could be better than this? Somehow, I can't imagine being anywhere else on this idyllic
autumn afternoon.  Sitting around card tables in the yard, we manage to quiet down for a prayer of thanksgiving.
      Then, at long last, it is time to dig in.  Tearing open the mesh bag of steamers, I can hardly wait to swirl each clam in drawn butter.  What a gloriously gritty delicacy.  Heaven seems near as a lobster tail is placed upon my plate, followed by sweet potatoes and a cup of steaming clam broth.
      My daughters, content with an ear of sweet corn each, amazingly don't seem to care that much for seafood.
      "I can help you out there." my husband teases, reaching for their leftover lobster.  We laugh with my cousins as we swap family news and gorge on a final, overindulgent treat -- homemade cheesecake and APPLE pie.
      As the sun sets, we pour second cups of coffee, warm mugs that prolong our time together, if only for a few precious minutes.
      "Don't forget to take a pumpkin home with you," my aunt reminds us. "Did you get a candle off the mantel?"
      Our girls pick their future jack-o-lanterns as I select my party favor -- a homemade cranberry scented votive.  In the year ahead, the candle will take me back to this place, filling my house with the
light and warmth of family.
      "Thanks again for the clams, the pumpkin, the candle!"
      It is the following morning and I am struggling to email my aunt.  How can I show my appreciation for it all -- the glorious weather, the delectable food?
      Finding next year's calendar, I flip ahead to October, making sure to highlight the first Sunday in bright orange marker.  Perhaps the best sort of thank you involves simply being present for cherished traditions.
      Next year, and hopefully for many years to come, I will be there, feasting with family at the little cottage by the lake.

               -- Stefanie Wass    <swass at>

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Patient

I have to share this with you all, I was very moved by this story.  It brought back many thoughts and memories I have of caring for my Mom.

 Love, Merry

by Ellie Braun-Haley

      The transition from living in your own home and directing every aspect of your life to being confined to a wheelchair and being dependent on others for everything, is a traumatic change.
      Five months after mother's 91st birthday my mother fell and this one single incident changed mother's life.
      She was in hospital for months and then moved to a nursing facility.  We knew she would never go home again and then came the day when she too knew it.
      When I visited my mother I recognized she was putting up a brave front, yet I knew inwardly she was questioning her own value.
      She was completely helpless, confined to a bed unless someone moved her to a wheelchair.  The sinks were not even set up for wheelchairs so she had difficulty even brushing her own teeth.
Closets held her clothing up high, as if she had elastic arms.  Her legs would barely respond to lift or shift and her conversations indicated she felt as useless as those legs.
      Mother was wondering why she was still on this earth. Four infections had drained mother to the point where she no longer read or did crossword puzzles or played cards with herself.
      Wishing to stimulate her interest in something I asked her if I could read a short story to her.  She nodded her consent and laid her head back on the pillow.
       I told her the story of The Patient...
                  *              *              *
      The Patient was bedridden and only able to chat a bit and smile. All the nurses looked forward to going into The Patient's room because they were overworked, tired and in need of something -- perhaps the milk of human kindness.
      In The Patient's room they fed on the warmth of the smile they received.  Each person was uplifted by the good cheer, gentle words, and by the abundant and concerned thoughtfulness of this one senior Patient.
      There were some in the hospital who yelled and whined. There were some who cried and others who literally abused the staff with slapping, biting and harsh words, but not The Patient.
      No, when the staff entered the room of The Patient it was as if they knew they would find sanctuary!  All understood, in this room, with this one Patient, they would always be uplifted.
      Cleaning staff, nurses, even doctors fed on the endless supply of enevolence dished out by The Patient, and The Patient, in turn, seemed to understand how very valuable this kind of service was to everyone.  The Patient understood her calling, and realized she was needed!
                  *              *              *
      As I finished telling the story, a light seemed to go on within mother, and she exclaimed, "Goodness, the staff here all say they like coming into my room because I am so cheerful.  I never thought about the impact of it before."
      It was as if a heavy load had lifted from mother's shoulders and she looked more relaxed than she had in a long time. Mother's children have always known she blesses many lives with her loving disposition.  How wonderful for mother to now understand her actions make a big difference and her very presence is a gift to many.
      Now and then I have heard a saying "grow where you are planted." It dawned on me that mother was growing in a new way.
      God impressed upon me to tell mother the story of The Patient and I realized immediately this was indeed the answer to helping her understand her worth.

           -- Ellie Braun-Haley   <shaley at>
This story comes from

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Soldiers fighting for us!


This is very moving.  I didn't just cry, I sobbed.  So scroll down and click on the thingie and listen in!  I think we all need to think about this and remember just what our soldiers are doing so that we can enjoy the freedom that we do.  And if you don't think like me politically,  that's fine, but we have not had any terrorism since 9/11. And we all know who was president then and still is.

Those of you who know me well, know I purposely normally do NOT discuss (or argue) religion or politics with my friends or family.  I feel so strongly about this song and this issue, I am making an exception to that and I am taking a stand and expressing my true feelings on this.  You don't have to agree, but I still hope you will listen to this song!

Also, I personally feel that we should thank Rudy Guiliani (my spelling?) whether you want him to be in office again or you don't.  Those people got our country through some horrific times no matter what your political views are.
I  usually avoid sending anything like this on, but I am not going to do that.  This IS a good song! I think.

A good friend of mine sent this to me!  I have to send it on.  He said:
The words to the song you're about to hear were penned by a female soldier named Karen Reed, while on duty in Iraq. Every word is true and heartfelt. Truly a masterpiece! To those of you who don't like country music -- listen to it anyway. It won't kill you!