Wednesday, April 24, 2013


A few weeks ago I promised to tell you about my ‘best friend’ Panama. Let me start at the beginning.

I had a Cocker Spaniel named Lily. Then my daughter got as a birthday gift a Cocker Spaniel whom she named Jack. As a side note we also had a cat named Rosemary. Yeah, for awhile we had Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts. Anyway…My mother went through a time of breeding dogs; Cocker Spaniels to be exact and she made a little money at it, so I thought why not see if this will be an easy ‘part-time’ job.

Well, it wasn’t easy and it drove my husband nuts. Lily had a litter of five puppies. One, ‘Sweet Puppy’ didn’t survive, but that’s a story for another time. One of the puppies Peepers (another dog story, maybe) was really attached to me and I desperately wanted to keep him. It was a fight, but I finally got my way. I got out of the breeding business, and decided to enjoy Lily, Peepers and Jack as beloved pets.

Peepers lived fourteen years and everybody was heartbroken when he died (his parents had already passed on). At that time my husband stated ‘no more dogs’ and nothing I could do would change his mind. I mentioned this to my daughter and told her how much I missed having a dog. Somewhere along the line I also mentioned that I would like a big dog, maybe a Golden Retriever. So, that Christmas that’s exactly what she got me. A little ball of fluff that I named Panama.

(Sorry, I only have grown up Panama pictures in this computer.)

Panama started out about as big as two handfuls, but I swear you could sit and watch that dog grow. By the time he was six months old he looked like a full size dog, but he didn’t stop there. At about ten months he was huge. This is when my husband ran him over with a truck, not intentionally, he suffered a broken leg and pelvis. It was the third of July. We loaded him into the back of my SUV and drove him over to the only vet we could get a hold of. She took some x-rays and told me that he could be fixed, but it would be expensive. I pulled out a credit card.

Panama healed rather well, but he did stop growing after that. He didn’t like to be out in the cold either, but I had always intended he be an inside dog, so it really didn’t matter. After the whole episode of being run over by the truck and then the traumatic ride to the vet, Panama never wanted to get in the car again. Because he weighed over a hundred pounds and stood about three and a half foot tall at the head, it took two of us to wrestle him into the car, if he HAD to take him somewhere.

Panama was a monster in size but he had the gentlest heart. He never barked – there goes the watch dog. Once when we were out walking on the ranch we scared up a small herd of elk (about 75 of ‘em) he turned and looked at me and I could tell he was considering jumping up into my arms, something that had me a little more worried than a confrontation with the elk. He also never growled or snapped at another dog or person. He and Scout, our outside dog, used to play and tussle around but there was never a growl or even an accidental nip on Panama’s part.

When we were moving to the islands many friends came out to help us clear the ranch property we had been living on for seven years. A very kind and gentle man who was one of our neighbors, showed up during a work party and sought me out asking; “What can I do to help?” In that instant I had a flash of how kind and wonderful he and his wife treated their two dogs, one a huge sheepdog named Barney and the other a Cocker Spaniel, whose name I can’t remember. Anyway, I asked Mike to help me by giving Panama a good home. He talked to his wife Kelly, and they agreed.

It broke my heart to leave Panama behind in Idaho, but I knew then and know even more so now, that he’s better off and happier there. Man, I love that dog. He is my best friend.


One last friends Brandon and Bryan over at A Beer for the Shower Have a released a new book

and they are giving away a free paperback copy. Check out their site and enter to win. It's easy. You know you want to.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Sorry to report that I've been dealing with some sad news and struggling to write. So, that post I've been promising about Panama the Golden Retriever will have to wait another week, but I did write this Blog Bit about ten days ago to have as a back up so I hope you enjoy it. I'm going to try to write the Panama post later today. Next week for sure. I Promise (not the vague promise of before but a real promise).

Ya’all know I like to read, don’t ya? Well I was reading something very inspirations and informative the other day that prompted this post.

Ya’all know who this is, don’t ya?

BUT, do you know these guys?

Well if you’re like me, I knew who the first guy was immediately, but those second two I did not recognize. That will not happen again.

That FIRST PICTURE is of Lance Armstrong (if you didn’t already know). He’s pretty famous. I hope today in your mind he’s famous for the truth about him and not the lies. The truth that he’s a liar, cheat and a bully. He took a great physical achievement and turned it into a complete circus, a sham, a total counterfeit of what it should be. But as usual I digress…

Every year in May, my little island in the Caribbean is host to one of the big Ironman competitions. It’s a real big deal down here, more than another excuse for a party. It’s a time when the world of athletics takes a serious look at us and we Cruzans are proud.

Last year, the Ironman here was a bigger deal than ever because Lance Armstrong was coming to compete. Businesses and balconies all over town were covered with banners welcoming the Ironman participants and most were also welcoming Lance. Well the competition did not go well for Lance, he came in third overall. He was probably exhausted at the end, but he didn’t shake hands with those lining the streets to cheer him on and he did not attend the banquet that night in honor of all the participants but particularly the winners. No matter, the Cruzan officials made excuses and said after all, he’s a busy man and had to leave the island to be on schedule for his next appearance.

Now before I discuss the second picture I want to tell you how I came to know about these two fellows. I purchased Nick Wilford’s book “Overcoming Adersity An Anthology for Andrew’. I purchased this book because so many of you, my blogger friends, contributed to it. I really had no idea what to expect when I started reading.

Somewhere in the first half was a submission by Al Diaz. I just recently met Al at his blog Father Dragon Writes Al talked about these two men in the picture Dick and Rick Hoyt. I encourage you to purchase the book and read Al’s words for yourself. I promise you won’t be sorry. (You will also be treated to some other wonderful stories.)

Rick and Dick Hoyt are known in the racing circuit (marathons and triathlons) as Team Hoyt. They are a team because the run, swim and cycle together. Rick has Cerebral Palsy and his father Dick serves as his legs. It is this woman’s opinion, they are absolutely incredible. They love exhibited between this team is extraordinary. I find it most interesting that their dedication to each other has made each of them stronger at every level. Their love is an example in perseverance that exceeds the normal human spirit.

After reading the story of Team Hoyt put so simply by Al Diaz in a book that, by the way, is helping to fund a very good cause; I’m embarrassed that I could so easily recognize Lance but knew nothing of these two men. To Lance I say, ‘Shame on you! Shame on you for doping, shame on you for lying, shame on you for bullying other cyclists into keeping quiet about your and their doping, and double shame on you for trying to grab the limelight one more time by confessing  you lies on National TV in front of Oprah. (Oh, and Oprah, shame on you too, for giving him the opportunity.)

To Team Hoyt I say, BRAVO Gentlemen for a job well done. BRAVO for setting an example for everyone of love, devotion, loyalty, and to endurance not only in racing but in this thing we call life.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Dog Stories

I was telling dog stories to someone the other day and it started me thinking this would be a grand blog topic. I love dogs. I had a dog as a pet and a doorbell for as long as I can remember. Since coming to the islands, I do not have a dog. The climate and bug infestations are hard on them and currently I live in a condo. Having a dog would be hard on both of us and there is nowhere to conveniently walk a dog. But anyway, I digress…

Before I left the States I lived on a ranch in the middle of about 700 acres.

I only have a few pictures of the ranch in this computer. These are they.

There I had two dogs. Panama a golden retriever who was the inside dog and Scout a pit bull mix, who was the outside door or doorbell. See it was pretty wild out where I lived. We had big cats (Cougars-Mountain Lions), Wolves, and Bear as neighbors. At the time I was raising Quarter Horses and every spring we had a few babies. Unfortunately, those cute little foals would make a tasty treat for my neighbors, so we had Scout the outside door or doorbell.

Scout wasn’t particularly fierce, but he was loud and gave us plenty of warning if someone or something was lurking about. Bears hate dogs and stayed pretty clear of our place. Only once did someone actually see a big cat on our property, but wolves and the coyotes; ha, for them dogs were a challenge.

The coyotes would howl and send a bitch up close to the house to try to entice Scouty away, but he was having none of it. He would bark and bark and sometime even shiver. One Sunday morning I was all dressed to go to church and I heard a commotion outside. I stepped out the front door and there was Scout shivering with anticipation and howling in answer to the coyote bitch. I went back inside for the .38. One shot out of that cannon in the narrow valley and the coyotes scattered. I put Scout in the garage and went off to church. When I sat down next to someone in church, he looks at me and says “What is that smell?” I held up my hands and said “Cordite, I guess?’ He just shook his head.

Boy, I miss those days on the ranch and I miss Scout.

When I left for the islands, I really only brought clothes and my clock radio (don’t ask), I don’t have a picture of Scout to share with you.

Next week I’ll tell you about Panama the biggest Golden Retriever I’ve ever seen.

(For gunmen out there, I know cordite really isn’t used anymore, but it’s the expression that counts, cause it still is misused.)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Interest on Pintrest

Last week I was working hard on revisions when I needed a break so I headed over to my new black hole of wasting time - PINTREST. There I found this.

Needless to say it made me more than a little sad, but not one to be fooled with and still not wanting to get back to work, I did a little research and found it all to be true. I also found an article about how Al and his buddies did a whole lot of campaigning for their lies to win the prize. You can read that HERE

To learn more about Irena read about the The Irena Sendler Project - Life in a Jar. Not only did this woman save 2500 children from the Nazi camps, but she kept track of their names and worked to reunite them with their families after the war.

Wondering just how something like this happens, I mean, how does a group who are supposedly so influential and impartial at the Nobel Committee overlook the valor and dedication, not to mention courage and heart of a woman like this in favor of Al and his lies about Global Warming. BUT then I was reminded of who these guys awarded the prize to in 2009. Are you guys kidding me?

Oh well, my research led me to this news release article of April 4.2013. 'Nobel Committee Asks Obama 'nicely' to return Peace Prize' Before you get too excited be sure to read the title banner in full.

Yeah, I knew it was too good to be true! One can only laugh and hope.

Incidentally, I also found that Adolph Hitler was nominated for the Peace Prize in 1939, BUT he did not win.

A Chnage of Plans

I’m sneaking another post in this week, because I have something special to tell you about. Now, I usually don’t do this type of thing here in this space but this time I just couldn’t help myself.

Today I’m covering the COVER REVEAL for Donna K. Weaver’s debut novel ‘A Change of Plans’. Before we go any farther here it is..

It probably comes as no surprise to you after viewing this cover that the book is Adventure/Romance. It may surprise you to know that I really enjoy Donna's writing in this genre. While I admit that I don’t normally read Adventure/Romance I took a pleasant detour from my normal and read her book mainly because she’s a friend. Well…let me tell you there is something to be said for friendship, BECAUSE I really had a good time reading this story and became fully engaged with the characters.

This is the type of ‘real love story’ that I find it a pleasure to read. While all too often the genre is full of lust and sex, in ‘A Change of Plans’ you will find love (the real deal) and romance (enough to sweep you off your feet) and as to adventure. Well just take a look at the book details and description.

Book Details:
Author: Donna K. Weaver (author website:
Genre: Adventure Romance
Publication Date: Jun 1, 2013
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing (publisher website:
Book Description:
When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old, Colorado high school teacher wants to do is forget that her dead fiancĂ© was a cheating scumbag. Lyn plans a vacation diversion; fate provides Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and temporary friendships, her emotions come alive. 
However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he's navigating, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn is on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs from Braedon and what he has to offer.
Their confusing relationship is bad enough, but when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions in American Samoa things get worse. Paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped and Lyn's fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.
Author Bio:
Donna K. Weaver is a Navy brat who joined the Army and has lived in Asia and Europe. Because she sailed the Pacific three times as a child, she loves cruising and wishes she could accrue enough vacation time to do more of it with her husband.
At fifty, Donna decided to study karate and earned her black belt in Shorei Kempo.
After recording city council minutes for twenty years, Donna decided to write something a little longer and with a lot more emotion--and kissing.
Donna and her husband reside in Utah, they have six children and eight grandchildren who live all over the world.

Take a minute and mark it ‘to read’ on GOODREADS so you won’t forget. Then start counting down the days until June 1st.

To learn more about Donna check her out at:

Finally, take a minute and enjoy this killer trailer for ‘A Change of Plans’ by Donna K. Weaver coming to you on June 1, 2013 from Rhemalda Publishing.

To view trailer click HERE

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why am I still so insecure?

Here we go with another first Wednesday of the month. Can you believe it’s April already? I can’t. Where is the time going?

Anyway…since everyone else in the writing community is off A to Zing, I don’t expect much traffic today so I’m gonna rant a little. My rant is NOT particular to writing but to insecurity in general.

What I can’t understand is why an intelligent, basically mature person, who is basically pretty comfortable in their own skin, is still so insecure in some areas of their life. Yeah, that would be me.

I’ve overcome the, ‘do these jeans make me look fat?’ because I already know what makes me look fat, and I run in the opposite direction, no matter what fashion might dictate. I’m not concerned about hanging with the ‘right’ crowd, but would rather be with the crowd that I’m comfortable with, people who share some of my interests and ideals, but yet present new enough ideas that I can learn from them. I read and listen to all of the advice about writing, working and living in general, but at the same time I know that everyone else is searching for the answer just as I am. I know where to look for truth and basically make up my own mind about it. I’m pretty good at spotting the frauds, you know the people who tear everything down because they are so unhappy with themselves. I know certain people, who if they say nothing about a particular accomplishment of mine, confirm to me that they think said accomplishment was really very special. I’ve also come to recognize those who have to nitpick for the tiniest little error, just so that you can’t be right or have done something praiseworthy.

I’ve been put down because of my sex, occupation, choices, religious beliefs, careers, and friends, and I’ve managed to shrug it off. I’ve endured insults to my intelligence, race, and background. I’ve listened to all the ‘your momma’ (more likely in my case daddy) jokes, judging me by the actions of my family and known that although it hurts, I am not responsible for anyone’s actions but my own. I’ve lived many different places and had to adapt to different cultures and customs and been made fun of, because I didn’t understand the world I was living in.

All of this that seems easy to take in stride and yet I’m insecure. I tinker with things like my writing over and over always thinking it isn’t good enough. Always wanting to entertain, educated and help others endure life. I can sink into the darkest hole and imagine all sorts of terrible things about myself, over little incidences that I would make a thousand excuses for in the case of someone else.

So, you tell me, what is it that makes me so hard on myself? Is it because I strive for a perfection that I’ll never really achieve in this lifetime or is it simply that I want to be liked? Either way it makes me feel kind of pathetic. See, there I’m doing it again.

Most if not all of these insecurities are not something I like to talk about. In actuality talking about myself is not something I really like to do unless I can hide behind a story about someone else who impacted my life. Stepping out on a limb today, most likely because I don’t expect much traffic.

If you want to know more about the IWSG click on that title and see where it takes you. Hopefully you will read some of the other posts and be more encouraged that you will have been here today. Oh, and thank  Alex J Cavanaugh, as he is the inspiration behind this group.