Robert Golstein’s, The ‘Respect’ Award, Recipient

•November 15, 2015 • 40 Comments

(In my haste, I consistently referred to Melinda by the name, “Melanie.”  My sincere apologies to you, Melinda)

I am blessed to have been awarded Robert Goldstein’s, Respect Award, from Melinda, author of, Looking For the Light Blog  .

Robert Goldstein’s

The ‘Respect’ Award

Clarion Alley 2012

The “Respect” Award is my personal award for fellow bloggers who consistently reach out to other bloggers, offer support, are kind, struggle to understand differences in people, and who treat themselves and other people with kindness and respect.

You don’t have to do anything for this award.

You can choose to copy the Award Picture and give the award to the people who have earned your respect or you can do nothing.

This is my way of saying thank you. You have earned my respect.  – Robert Goldstein


To be awarded this is more than humbling; it’s awe-inspiring.  I met Melinda a few months back, discovering that we both live in the North Texas area.  We have yet to meet, personally.  My sweet, dear friend is fighting a courageous battle with Lyme disease, an overwhelming case that leaves her weak, but never broken in spirit.  And, it is her spirit that drew me to her blog.  How can one not be drawn to a light that beams brightly?  Light brings energy, guides and enlightens, and such is the life of Melinda and of the author and founder of, The ‘Respect’ Award.  I encourage everyone to discover bothMelinda and Robert NOTE:  Melinda has had WordPress issues and is currently attempting to navigate her blog from over to lookingforthelightblog.wordpress.comRobert can be found at


I can’t think of one of my followers that do not deserve to be honored.  Each of you bring a joy that only YOU can deliver.  I sat for a long time trying to make a decision, and in that period of time I told myself I could only choose two from over 362 of my followers.  Below, you will find Ann, she is dedicated to helping those who suffer from Mental Illness.  A professional counselor that hails from the Boston area of Massachusetts.  Follow her positive and altruistic blog and you will discover how she illuminates the world of those she works with, as well as those who follow her blog.

Next, meet the gentleman that is dedicated to honoring all our Veterans, both within the United States, the U.K., Australia, and points beyond.  Take a history lesson from each post.  He is networking with other Vets and historians to bring us knowledge learned, forgotten or never made available to us before.  Truly a guardian for all of those that have served their countries.  I feel honored each time I see a posting from G.P.; I am more informed than ever before, and therefore, honored to acknowledge his work and the work of those who submit their stories.

Thank you to Ann, G.P., and to all of you for your support, love, and the illumination you bring to my journey.  I am blessed.

Ann Koplow

GP Cox

What is intolerance and identify its forms? How best to come out of it all?

•November 4, 2015 • 9 Comments

Reblogged by permission

This post is rather lengthy, but well worth reading.  Authored by Harbans, a gentleman author from India, I could not help but find many correlations to the situation(s) that we currently see within the United States.  The media is reacting to incite, rather than to calm the waters of discontent and malcontent within our nations.  There is much more to be gleaned by this eloquent outline.  Again, I do hope you will take the time to read this. Please drop a line to the author and offer your thoughts.  I’m quite sure he would appreciate any/all feedback.


What is intolerance and identify its forms? How best to come out of it all? Intolerance is supposed to have taken place when we do not accept others’ point of view or belief, are not in sync with others’ sensitivities or habits which are different to that of ours, etc. This intolerance could be due […]

“Happy Halloween” from Hannah

•October 31, 2015 • 26 Comments

Not really my favorite holiday

The doorbell rings constantly, small people dressed in obnoxious outfits shout something about,  “Trick or Treat!”  My siblings and I, the three felines, do all that we can to avoid the foray of strangers and their insane ways.  The cats leave me out in the open though, squeezing themselves into spaces that will only hold them.  And the worst of it?  My mother encourages me to join in on the holiday festivities.  She knows I love children, what she can’t understand is how much I dislike seeing them dressed as if the Mother Ship landed and they all rolled onto the tarmac, located our street address and instantly hit, ‘The Big One!’

A few days back I thought I’d try something.  It was the day I saw her decorating for this ridiculous holiday.  We’d had a nice rain, something like 9.5 inches.  It was time for my last nightly visit to the backyard.  I swam back to the compost pile and found something interesting.  Mom tried calling me in several times, even sloshing through the deep water, flashlight in hand, attempting to pry me away from my snack box.  I was able to ignore three or four of her pleading attempts to get me inside, but finally I caved.  This woman was soaking wet, had an attitude and appeared to be on the verge of calling for reinforcements.  (That would be the cats.)  I caved and headed into the light.  OMG! Dripping wet, mouth wide open and words falling forward upon my ears, “Hannah!  Look. At.  You!  What on earth? “  

We entered into the den.  Slowly.  Cautiously.  I knew exactly what was expected.  I walked straight into my cubby.  Mom quickly disappeared.  I feared what was to come next.  And sure enough my fear materialized.  She had the camera.  Something important was about to be documented.  Oh Lordy; not good!  It’s 11:30 at night.  Dad’s out-of-town on business.  All of her friends are surely sound asleep.

IMG_1600 IMG_1606 IMG_1610 IMG_1615

I stayed here, panting, trying to catch my breath.  Mom left the room after she snapped these photos’ and I had no idea what was coming next. Remember, it’s late.  Time for bed.  What could mom possibly be plotting? Just about then, she rounded the corner, towel in hand and spoke these four words, “Go see Mr. Sprinkles.”  I didn’t argue.  As she removed my mud encrusted collar, wiped my webbed feet, I tucked my tail between my legs and followed her into the shower.

She never spanks me.  Never yells at me and is the best mom anyone could ever hope for, but look at what I have done.  She’s tired.  She’s old.  She’s wanting to go to bed, but now she can’t.

The scent of cucumber and mint begin to waft thru the air.  The warm water and massaging of the soap ease my tired and weary bones. But poor mom, she sits at the foot of the shower stall, soaked now by very dirty water.  And then I suddenly realize, I never brought her the treat for my trick.  I’ll get that possum come morning.  He’ll be floating.  He lost his footing right before my deadline.

Kissed by raindrops

•October 22, 2015 • 43 Comments

A promise of rain, an opportunity to transplant, but then a reminder that this may be a torrential water fest.  I took a chance and moved a crape myrtle, but made myself stop at that.  Would you like to see my work?  Any arborist would surely admire it, from a distance, especially if he were blindfolded.


The chair fainted, delighted so by my ingenuity.  I used cable ties to secure this beauty to some supports.

Well, rain soon began to fall. I quickly scooted about the yard to catch what may be the final blooms of this years flowers.




Confetti Lantana


Marigold (variety unknown, but extra-special because she was gifted to me by my sweet next-door neighbor, Carol.)


Pink Penta, loved dearly by both butterfly and bees.


Cigar Plant, Cuphea.  Magnet for the hummingbirds.


White Penta.  Magnet too, for butterfly and bee.


Not just another green plant.  This is Comfrey, the plant produces the best organic feed for anything you grow.  Invaluable!

She blooms a pretty pink, tinker-bell shaped flower, but I try to keep those to a minimum.  Her greenery is where the gold is located.


A Delphenium.  She is poisonous and was placed in front of some Foxgloves that the Spring floods killed.

They paired beautifully together, so if this latest flood doesn’t get the girl, I’ll plant Foxglove with her in 2016.


Milkweed.  Nectar extraordinaire to the Monarch Butterfly population.

Last years plants drowned, I replanted and to my surprise… yes, SURPRISE!  The re-plant is

the invasive number.  Oh My Goodness!  What to do, what to do?

My whole back yard will be overrun this time next year.  But isn’t this a remarkable beauty?

Yes.  Yes, she is.


Borage, dressed in pink.  She grew from a re-seed of a blue.


I found this and transplanted it into my garden.  She’s an angel cat.  Not rare, but exceedingly beautiful.

Don’t you love her?  Yes.  Yes, I knew you would.


This one is for Scott and Barb.  Here’s my sweet potato vine.  Funny story:

One day I was clearing debris and something got caught on the vine.  Up came a good portion of it,

along with a potato.  Awe shucks!  I thought I had destroyed her.  A month later and she is bigger than ever!

Throw Back Thursday *Fresh Air..Cool Breezes…Nature*

•October 8, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Walk into the room and listen to some music. While you visit, peruse this beautiful, and at times, difficult to read blog. Surviving one storm is a true test of ones will to overcome tribulation, to survive innumerable obstacles defies definition. I’m thankful for your gift of being. My path lights by your presence.

Nominated for the Liebster Award

•October 7, 2015 • 30 Comments



Nominated me for this award.   Thank you, Girlfriend! 




By accepting this award, I am to do the following:





1) What is your inspiration for writing?

Reading.  Nothing stirs my curiosity more than to come upon a writer willing to share his or her opinion.  It broadens my scope and teaches me tolerance while showing me how close and fragile humanity really is.  Every person has a right to the way they feel.  I may not agree with it, but I still want to hear it, and more importantly, I want that person to hold it and defend it to the end.  They own it, as I own mine.  Neither of us is wrong, we simply believe differently.  When did life depend upon being, “Politically Correct” in order to maintain, peace?  Being PC is one thing, being honest and forthright, with respect to all, is a totally different item.  AND, it’s our birthright. It’s also the cornerstone to true peace. Not one of us has walked in another’s pair of shoes.  How can we possibly understand their heart?  Let us have compassion, humility and let us honor one another.

2) If money didn’t exist, what would your job be?

Training service dogs.

3) What is your dream house like?

Craftsman/Bungalow, 700 sq. feet.  two bedroom, one bath, large front porch and a carport out back.

4) If you could choose to be reincarnated as anything, what would you be reborn as?

An Officer in a Roman Legion.

5) What is a skill you would like to learn how to do?

Landscape design, Xeriscaping.

6) What is a movie that always makes you laugh?

Animal House

7) What is a band that puts a smile on your face?

He’s not a band, he’s a solo artist:  James Taylor

8) What is something you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too afraid?

Learn to dive into the deep ocean and swim like a shark.

9) Everyone has “comfy clothes”…what are yours?

Yard clothes, tacky, ripped, faded, falling apart and made of 100% cotton (summer).  Wool socks, leggings under fleece, thermal t-shirt with fleece shirt and a flannel scarf (winter).

10) What is something you did as a child that you’d love to do again?

Live on the beaches of Hawaii.

11) If all animals were tame, which one would you have as a pet?



This is where I am to nominate eleven new bloggers and ask them to answer eleven questions that I would like to learn about them.  I have to be honest.  I’d be interested in having anyone answer from my list.  It’s fun learning about folks, and it’s a great way to bring us all closer.  Now grab your keyboard and answer my eleven:

  1. If you could, would you travel into space?
  2. How old were you when you learned to tie your shoes?
  3. Snow skiing, or horseback riding?
  4. Favorite book of all time?
  5. Name your favorite hobby?
  6. If money wasn’t a factor, what would you purchase immediately?
  7. Who’s the better cook, you or your significant other?
  8. Which do you prefer:  t.v. news broadcast, Internet news, hardcopy newspaper?
  9. Would you abolish Daylight Savings time (null to folks in Arizona and Hawaii)?
  10. Do you hoard pennies, or leave them in the tray on the counter?
  11. Name your favorite board game.

Thank you for playing along!


Grab me a pen, give me some paper…

•October 6, 2015 • 17 Comments


Kind of sounds important, doesn’t it?  Don’t be fooled.  If by the second paragraph I remember why I sat down to write this, we’ll both eat cake.

Oh, it was about the weather.  WAIT!  That’s simply unjust, mean and cruel.  I saw the news today and my heart breaks for those of you in North Carolina, upstream, as well as downstream.  Let’s wander elsewhere.  Shall we?  Yes, we shall.

I spent three full days in bed making Pom-Poms out of tissues.  And not intentionally.  “No, Martha, I did not use your official cut-and-twist guide.”  I fashioned mine while I tried building a dam to nowhere, for my sinus drainage.   I took my temperature so many times I killed the battery in the thermometer.  I’ve never slept so many hours in my life!  This comes from someone who suffers extreme bits of insomnia.  Food?  I found two cans of soup at the back of the cupboard, and considering we don’t eat processed canned items I can’t help but wonder where they came from, much less, why I consumed them.

I’d had enough of this Chit, so by 10:00 a.m., I drug my lazy self out of bed and into the steaming shower, threw on some clothes and asked Hannah if she’d like to go for a walk.

I thought I’d heard a lot of commotion over the roar of my blow dryer, but I wasn’t in the mood to go ‘seek-and-find,’ what all the mischief was.  Once dressed, and out the door, I looked up the street to see the fire truck.  What the heck?!#&@

Okay, right off the bat I have to confess.  I’m not into seeking out horror.  I can’t handle it. Put me in a car, drive me down the freeway and have someone shout, “Look!  There’s been a car accident!”  What do I do?  Slither down in my seat and turn my head in the opposite direction.  If I’m the one who happens to be driving, you won’t find me rubbernecking.


Where was I going with this?


The Walk…(and not on the wild side.)

Finally, upon our way, and we journey toward the coffee shop.  I realize I can’t enter, doggie and all, but then I remember the new app I have downloaded on my phone.  Hannah and I mosey up to the patio and sit down.  Attempting to order, I realize this app needs a few software upgrades, but I’m not in the mood to hack up the menu in broad daylight, much less try to find a work-around on the stores wi-fi firewall.  Dang, I can’t just walk away, the pup is looking at me with those sweet, begging eyes as if to ask, “How much longer, Mummy?”

Thinking comes quick when smitten by man’s best friend.  I lasso a chair with her harness and tie the pup securely to it, placing her in full view of any area I’ll find myself at once inside the store.

Entry.  Order.  Exit.  (Prayers answered that no one kidnapped my doggie!)

IMG_1575 IMG_1584

…..Admit it, you’re just a wee bit bored, but you just can’t seem to pull yourself away from all the action. Consider yourself a rubbernecker and let’s get moving…..

We are at a junction in the road.  If we take the route we came, we’re out 1.5 miles, but if we journey the alternate route we are out 1.5 miles.  Decisions, decisions, oh, and the trick math question at the end.  (Find your calculators.)

Let’s go rogue.  I’m caffeinated and jet-packed by toxic chemicals from eating rancid soup. What could go wrong?

The Traffic Light!…(into the jungle)

Sucker must have been rigged for red-light runners!  Hannah and I were caught in the median of a crazed intersection.  Everyone dreams of a cuppa joe or a fuel tank of $2.35 gasoline.  I think the only thing that saved us was my California Highway Patrol t-shirt my son (in-law) gave me.  I looked OFFICIAL!

Okay, I was only a third grey, now color me white-headed.  I match the dog now.  Lesson learned:  Rubberneckers.  “You folks are everywhere!”  One of you almost put tire tracks on my bright orange and pink sneakers.  Tell the truth, “We’re you wanting my eye color or that close-up of fear earmarked across my face?”

…..This painstakingly will end at some point.  Why don’t you take a snooze and check back later for the mischief of the last mile and a half?….

Safely upon green space, we walk among the oak trees listening to the sound of acorns dropping in our midst.  (Note to self:  Bring bike helmets in the future.)  Meandering along and I look up to see we are at the high school.  My heart skips a beat, and then another. “Wasn’t it just yesterday?”  Oh how time does fly.  But I won’t let this moment go.  I grab my phone and take a couple of photos.  I zip them off to my two beautiful daughters.  They’ll open their messages and go back in time themselves.  I wonder at what moments their day will stand still?  I knew mine.  I know it well.  I’ll cherish it forever.

There I sat awaiting the dismissal bell.  The bell echoes.  Oh, I miss that bell.  I miss all the ringing of that far off bell.


Saturday my youngest daughter moves away from home.  Off to her grown up home.  Not a dorm room, no, those days are gone, too.  There’s part of me that wants her to go, but then there is that part of me that knows how far away she may one day travel.  And yet, I must give her the pieces of the apron strings, the wings to fly, to soar, to dream and dare.

Did anyone find me a pen and some paper?  Did you find your calculators?  Get ready, here she blows:

If I live 1.5 miles in one direction, yet I am able to travel in an opposing direction 1.5 miles and arrive at my origination, what direction am I traveling?

Hey, it’s a trick question.  ;)