Fun contest for anyone who has (or knows) a Service Dog!

“Giveaways” are becoming quite popular these days, so I thought I’d get in on the fun and see how it goes.

This giveaway is just a really quick one to test out how it works and see how it goes. The prize is for a Service Dog patch for your Service Dog’s Vest, which is a simple but indispensable item. Besides, to some people, patches are like Pokemon – you gotta get ‘em ALL! 😀

I plan to have other and possibly more interesting prizes soon, if people show interest by participating in this giveaway. This first one is to sort of “test the water.”

What is your style when it comes to patches? Do you prefer just one or two which are “to the point” or does your Partner wear as many patches from your collection as you can artfully display on his Vest?  :)

Please comment below on this post and tell me what kinds of prizes you would like to see me offer if I keep doing giveaways. (It doesn’t have to be Service Dog related, though it certainly can be.)

Also, if you wouldn’t mind, please click one or more of those “social” buttons at the top of this post and share the fun!


Remember, you can Tweet every day for lots of extra entries! Let’s share the fun!  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check back here for information about our next giveaway.  :)

I’m Back!

I’m back! I’ve decided that it’s time to begin writing and publishing to this blog again, since it seems that there are a lot of people who want to read it, (and who HAVE been reading it, but how was I to know? Nobody said much about it until I stopped!)

I’ve been getting a large amount of email for some time from those of you asking when I will be publishing to my blog again. Thank you for letting me know that you care.

I thought I’d precede my comeback with a post explaining where I’ve been and why I stopped writing here, for those who wondered, but who did not ask.

To begin with, those of you who know me are aware that I have been dabbling in writing most of my life, and as a young adult used to supplement my income by writing magazine articles, usually health related material and such. This was before the PC became an item in most everybody’s home, and I did my writing on an old Underwood typewriter.

Some of you also know that I began many years ago collecting information from various members of my extended family regarding certain incidents from before my birth, and trying to integrate everyone’s perspective of what happened into a cohesive narrative.

One of the main reasons that I stopped publishing here is because I was very busy putting together and editing my first book, called Ode To Mothers, which depicts the lives of my mothers and their families. (Yes, plural, that is not a typo, there were 2 of them)

At one point I searched prematurely for an agent, thinking that it might take more time to find an agent than to finish the book, but right away one of the agents that I queried became interested in representing my book, but I wasn’t satisfied with my revisions and editing and was not ready to release it to be published, and so lost that agent. Live and learn, right?

I’ve spent much of my time revising, editing, and polishing the aforementioned book, and finally released it; I wrote a companion book, “The World’s Oldest Diet Plan” and am now working on the sequel, “Ode to Sisters”.

In spite of my busy life, I’ve decided not to neglect blogging to in the future as long as people indicate (as they have) that my words here are being read and appreciated. (Otherwise there would be no point, right?) One way to show your appreciation is to take a moment to comment on what you find here that interests you. I’ve set it up so that you don’t have to register or anything, just click and give your opinion!  :)

“Ode to Mothers” Is FREE today!

Ode to Mothers is FREE on Amazon Kindle today, and is also available as a “Kindle Unlimited” book EVERY day!

Current Cover OTMCLICK HERE for your FREE copy!

In the nineteen fifties, it was still considered quite scandalous for a woman to have a child out of wedlock. When Anna introduces Wendi to her handsome cousin, Joshua, they fall in love and get married. But are they really married?

Wendi’s father, Stewart, doesn’t think so, because Joshua is a member of an obscure Jewish Christian sect, and they were married in the tradition of his religion, and therefore didn’t register the marriage with the state.

Stewart is a member of a radical hate group and his prejudice fuels his anger, and Joshua’s family is forced to flee from a lynch mob.

The marriage also comes as a shock to the groom’s family. Joshua was supposed to have married Deborah in an arranged marriage, but she’s in love with Aaron. When Deborah presents her family with a baby and swears that it’s Joshua’s, the girl’s mother does the equivalent of leaving it on his doorstep, even though Joshua swears that he hasn’t touched her.

Ode to Mothers is a story about friendships, forbidden love affairs, baby swapping and the heartache, pain and confusion that inevitably results as a Jewish family struggles to keep ancient traditions in the midst of a changing, modern world.

While living a lifestyle similar to that of the gypsies, (and with traditions at least as old and steeped in mystery as those of the Romany) these nomadic people struggle against prejudice and persecution as they cling to the old ways. Although most have traded their horses and wagons for motor vehicles and trailers, they refuse to give up the nomadic way of life and are sometimes mistaken for gypsies.

The choices which are made begin a domino effect of events that reach across time and space to affect countless lives. Who knows when the last domino will finally fall?

This part of the tale ends with the births of three babies from as many mothers, and the clever solution that one of them contrives to prevent her brother from having to shun his own child.

Be sure to watch for the soon to be published sequel, Ode to Sisters, which continues where Ode to Mothers ends.

CLICK HERE to get your FREE copy TODAY!

Ode To Mothers Is Available NOW!

Ode to Mothers is now available on in kindle format.  CLICK HERE!  (It will open in a new tab so you don’t lose your place over here.)

Ode to Mothers is a story about friendships, forbidden love affairs, baby swapping and the joy, pain and confusion that inevitably results as a Jewish family struggles to honor their ancient traditions in the midst of a changing modern world.

While living a lifestyle similar to that of the gypsies, (and with traditions at least as old and steeped in mystery as those of the Romany) these nomadic people struggle against prejudice and persecution as they cling to the old ways. Although most have traded their horses and wagons for motor vehicles and trailers, they refuse to give up the nomadic way of life and are sometimes mistaken for gypsies.

Written in the style of narrative nonfiction, this book gives a glimpse into the lives of a small group of nomadic Jewish Christians, providing insight about little known customs and traditions which have seldom even been told, let alone published.

The choices of the people in this story begins a domino effect of events that reaches across time and space to affect countless lives. Who knows when the last domino will finally fall?

This part of the tale ends with the births of three babies from as many mothers, and the clever solution that one of them contrives to prevent her brother from having to shun his own child.

CLICK HERE to buy (It will open in a new tab so you don’t lose your place over here)



Allow God To Use Your Hands

Everywhere in the Christian community we see bumper stickers and such with the question, “What Would Jesus Do?”

Indeed, think of the suffering that might be prevented if everyone considered that question before acting! Yesterday I received a story in an email that I’d like to share with you:

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books.

I thought to myself, ‘Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?
He must really be a nerd.’

I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him…

He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes . My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.

As I handed him his glasses, I said, ‘Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.’

‘ He looked at me and said, ‘Hey thanks!’

There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.
As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.

I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.

He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends . He said yes.
We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, ‘Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!

‘ He just laughed and handed me half the books.’

The next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors we began to think about college.  Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never
Be a problem. He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd.

He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak .
Graduation day, I saw Kyle.
He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.

He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.
Boy, sometimes I was jealous!
Today was one of those days.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, ‘Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!’

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled….’ Thanks,’ he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began

‘Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.

Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends….

I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.
I am going to tell you a story.’

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the first day we met.

He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.

He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.

‘Thankfully, I was saved.
My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.’

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.

Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions.

With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse.

God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

Allow God to work through YOU…


The author of this is currently unknown; I attempted to find the author to acquire permission to post it. If you are the author and object to my putting it here please email me.


Early to Bed, Early to Rise…

Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, or so said Benjamin Franklin, although he wasn’t the originator of the concept. In fact, it seems he might have taken it from Aristotle, (384 BC – 322 BC) who said, “It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”

Ancient scripture also had a lot to say on the subject thousands of years before even Aristotle was credited with the idea:

How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (Pro 6:9-11)

As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. (Pro 26:14)

It’s been a custom in my family for generations to rise with the sun every morning to pray. I learned as a child to get up early and for some years was blissfully unaware that anybody might feel anything other than cheerful about getting up in the mornings. A number of people have since questioned me as to why I don’t sleep in and just pray right after I get up, later, at a more “decent” hour of the morning…

Some of you may be familiar with the story of Daniel and his strict adherence to various practices such as prayer and diet customs which were from the same source (and family) as the ones that I observe…

David also wrote in Psalm 55:17: Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

One of my grandmothers taught us early to meet with God at sunrise, noon and sunset every day, and to look forward to each prayer time at least as eagerly as one might do if they had an appointment with the most respected and important human individual imaginable. The identity of said imagined personage of course could vary widely! For some it might be the president or king of their country, others perhaps might be impressed by a celebrity of some sort, but regardless, if you had an invitation to meet with your esteemed hero, wouldn’t you make every effort to be ready and on time for the appointment, even if it was at an early hour of the morning? The excitement of the prospect would probably eliminate your sleepiness in short order and it’s unlikely that you’d even consider being late or not showing up without even calling to cancel!

How much more so when you’re meeting the Creator and Maintainer of the universe?

Of course, we also pray from moment to moment at any time or place during the day, in accordance with the advice given in 1Th 5:17: “pray without ceasing”, but there is a special blessing in showing up for a prearranged appointment with God. The feeling of His presence at such times is unmistakable. Try it and see; what do you have to lose, aside from perhaps a bit of sleep? As long as you’re up, you may get some other things accomplished as well! If you were to sleep just one hour less every day, (especially if you’re in the habit of staying in bed more than necessary) you would have the approximate equivalent of 2 months of 8 hour work days worth of extra time. Just think what you could accomplish if you put that time to constructive use…

My grandmother was a firm believer in the usefulness of developing good habits, and she usually assisted us in fun and interesting ways. To assist us in being able to wake easily, she would have us “practice” getting up in the mornings by setting up a game involving a simulated waking scenario. She usually did this at noon time prayer, which lent itself nicely to this practice session.

First we would lie in our beds while she told us a story. She always told the best stories, so it was no hardship to jump into bed and lie under our covers to listen! She’d have a washbowl and pitcher of appropriate temperature water set up and waiting nearby, just like it would be in the mornings; warm for cold weather and refreshingly cool for hot summer conditions. She was from a previous generation when running water was the exception and not the rule, and had an antique bowl and pitcher for this purpose that she was partial to. (for that matter, I’m no “spring chicken” myself these days, and my childhood lifestyle didn’t always include running water either)

After the story, we were to close our eyes and pretend to be asleep as if it were a new day dawning, and then she would call our names in the same manner as we were accustomed to in the mornings. When we heard our names, we’d take a deep breath, and stretch (she insisted this was very important) and then immediately sit up, and take several more full, deep breaths, then leave our beds and proceed joyfully (she encouraged us to clap our hands and skip and cavort) to the wash bowl and splash water on our faces and dry them on the towel just as was our usual morning routine. Then we proceeded to wherever it was determined that we would be having noontime prayer that day, which would be outside under a tree whenever possible.

I often think of my grandmother in the mornings when I wake up, and although I usually make my way to the wash bowl with somewhat more dignity than in those days, it’s still with joy in my heart and no desire to lie about in the bed.

To read more about my wise and wonderful grandmother, CLICK HERE to see my recent book, Ode to Mothers.

Reports from adult friends seem to indicate that a modified version of this process will also work to reprogram a person to lose the tendency to want to lie in bed, and instead find it easy to get up and begin the day. If you want to try this, you can set your alarm to go off in 5 minutes or so, (not so long that you’ll actually get sleepy and want a nap!) then get into bed and pretend it’s almost the morning waking time. When the alarm sounds, reach over immediately and turn it off, take a deep breath and stretch, sit up and take several deep, slow, focused and unhurried breaths, then get up and simulate whatever the first element of your morning routine is. (You might consider adding a few moments of prayer at this point in your routine if it isn’t already your custom)

One of the first things to do when you are ready to begin is to decide whether you will rise at an earlier hour or if you just want to make getting up at your usual waking time more comfortable. Naturally, for this to be of benefit, you need to be firmly committed to the plan. It’s important that you make an effort to follow the routine in the mornings when you’re really getting up, just as you practice it in the daytime.

It seems that it takes about a month to firmly establish most new habits, although most people who try this method say they notice positive results in a very short period of time.

Category: Children, Health  7 Comments

The further into the future we go, the more complicated the simple things in our lives become!

There was a time when the basic activities of the day took care of all of the exercise anybody needed.

Hoeing a few rows of the garden plot got the heart rate up and worked the large muscles, and kneading the dough for the week’s supply of bread also helped to ensure that strength was maintained.

Obviously, I know that’s not everybody’s cup of tea, and most Americans have worked hard to leave that sort of thing behind, and prefer sitting on their behinds!

The problem is, without serious conscious effort and determination, most of us these days are not as healthy as we could be because most of our activities are performed sitting down.

Instead of walking over the hill to the berry patch and soaking up some sunshine while we pick a basket of berries, we drive to the grocery store and grab a bag of frozen berries and a bottle of vitamin D capsules.

Scientists who have studied the decline of the modern human have discovered that there are two kinds of exercise that are lacking in the urban world that previous lifestyles supplied naturally.

Most everyone has heard of aerobic or “cardio” exercise, and how it’s important in reducing the risk of modern lifestyle diseases, but what does that mean exactly?

In order to qualify as aerobic exercise, you must engage in an activity for a period of 15 to 20 minutes or longer while maintaining 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. Do you keep at it that long if/ when you exercise?

If your exercise session is shorter than that and leaves you panting and gasping for air, you cross the line into an anaerobic workout. Not that doing so is a bad thing, of course, because you need both. (And you would surely have both if you were taking care of your chores on the old homestead!) You can also tell the difference because anaerobic work will tire you out faster and is more likely to make you sore afterward.

Aerobic activity is, as you might imagine, the type of exercise that people usually notice the most obvious benefit from, and it’s also somewhat difficult to come by in modern society, due to the busy lifestyles we maintain. Aerobic exercise takes time to do properly; a relatively large chunk of time, relatively speaking, and ideally we need to get a good session of it every day. It’s long in duration but low in intensity. (Like a natural lifestyle) It makes you breathe deeply and your blood flows faster, but if you’re working (or “working out” as the case may be) with a companion, you should still be able to carry on a conversation. Aerobic exercise is fueled with the breath.

Some chores like chopping and stacking rounds of firewood (or intense repetitions of lifting heavy iron bar weights) is in the anaerobic category, meaning it is short-lasting, heavy, and or vigorous, activity. Anaerobic exercise uses energy that is stored in the muscles and is not dependent on oxygen from breathing. During anaerobic exercise your body’s demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply, and there is a temporary shortage of oxygen being delivered to the working muscles.

Another thing that occurs when one is working anaerobically, is that lactic acid is produced and in the beginning fatigue occurs quickly, along with sore muscles, but with persistence endurance will build and you can work (out) longer before you get tired. This would have practical applications if you were working on the homestead because the increase of endurance might mean that you could work faster, as well as longer, if you were trying to finish an outdoor chore before it rained on you…

When lactic acid builds up to a certain level in the blood, it causes muscular fatigue, and so one cannot keep up that pace for very long. Back on the farm, this would mean that you’d vigorously work away at digging your garden plot until you have to stop, lean on your mattock or hoe for half a minute or so to catch your breath, and then go at it again. Now the scientific way to go about it is to lift iron weights for half a minute or so, give or take, then rest for ten or twenty seconds and have another go, until you’re fairly well worn out, and you’ll have had yourself an anaerobic workout!

As endurance increases, the body is able to handle the lactic acid more efficiently, and that’s a good thing on a number of levels.

Several metabolic changes take place when one increases the level of regular intense exercise (or hard work as the case may be). There is a decrease in the production of lactic acid, and increased efficiency of the removal of it from the bloodstream, which delays the occurrence of fatigue during anaerobic exercise.

Research indicates that this efficiency is increased by 12% to 50% with regular anaerobic activity.

Of course having said all of that, I’d better lay in the standard disclaimer: “Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program or adding any additional exercise to an existing routine.”

In any case, it’s only common sense that beginners should start with lower-intensity aerobic exercise if this will be a rare foray away from the computer desk and couch. A nice long walk is an ideal place to begin an exercise program, because it’s relatively easy to safely control how much you exert yourself, especially if you take a friend with you. Remember the conversation rule, and pace yourself so that you can still talk as you go, but not so slowly that your breathing does not deepen at all. Even if you can’t convince anybody to going along, then go with God; a “Prayer Walk” is great for the spiritual health as well as physical well being!

Category: Health  Leave a Comment
84 Year Old Woman Judged And Condemned

Fortunately the people doing the judging were not on a jury, although they COULD end up on one sometime I suppose, which is a scary thought!

I came across an interesting story about an elderly woman thought to be the missing mother of 14 children, who disappeared 41 years ago. Apparently it was known that she was trying to deal with some sort of mental problems, and one day she was gone and nobody knew where.

The story indicates that if this is indeed the correctly identified missing mother, that at least some of her children are eager to reunite with her, though the story leaves the reader to wonder about many of the details. You can read it HERE.

The part that I wonder most about is all of the self righteous comments left by people who read the article. As I mentioned, there are a lot of factual details missing from the story, so we don’t know WHY the woman left or how the separation from her children affected her. The readers have no way to know what kind of mother this woman was while she was with her family, but the daughter interviewed is stated to be “eager to reunite.”

In any case, given the facts that were provided, the judgmental condemnation of many of the commenters is frightening! Many people merely made jokes about it, saying that with 14 children, it’s no wonder she left, but a number are downright hateful statements about how she deserves to suffer for what she did. It was good to see that there are a few compassionate responses as well, although it seems most who left comments preferred to assume the worst and have not much mercy or compassion.

Those who judge and condemn should hope that if someday they make a mistake of their own they are not judged by the same measure that they’re now using…

I wish peace and healing for that whole family. I suspect that whatever the facts, they’ve all suffered a lot.

Category: In The News  9 Comments
Where is Mercy and Compassion?

This might be a good place to begin…


Category: Health  Leave a Comment
Bountiful crop lands farmer in legal trouble

Bountiful crop lands farmer in legal trouble – News

Who really cares how many vegetables this man grows, and why should they care?