Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Happy Tuesday!  A big Happy Birthday Shout out to my dear sister who is turning ….. today! 🙂 She always will be older than me,   and she always has my back , she is one who I couldn’t make it through this crazy world without! We share each other’s brain.  Love you Sis!

Love my family, love my friends, who are you thankful for today? Give them a shout out and let them know! Have a wonderful day and enjoy the quotes.


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Spreading the Light

Yesterday I posted about a tragic shooting that happened at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.  11 innocent lives were lost.  I asked the question of why it is so hard for people in the world to be kind! Why do we have so much hate and prejudice against others who are different from us?

Tonight I wanted to show a short video clip of children being kind to their classmates. I have always believed that we can learn a lot from children and this is just one of the many ways.

Spread the light of kindness and love!


This next video clip I thought was an excellent way to spend your birthday! And really an excellent way to spend any day! Spread smiles!



It’s not Rocket Science!

Why is it that we can send a man to the moon and come up with cures for various illnesses?  That we can constantly be making new discoveries in complex technology, but…we that have so much trouble with one simple thing!

Why is it that in this world where almost anything is possible, there are those who find it so hard to display the simple courtesies of respect and kindness. Displaying those courtesies to everyone, no matter how different they may be from you!

Once again we have had a senseless killing of innocent lives. A senseless killing because of one person deciding they can’t tolerate those who are different from him. My heart goes out to the victim’s of yesterday’s mass shooting in a synagogue. I have struggled with what to say, because there just doesn’t seem to be sufficient words for the horror of what hate does to people.

A post that I over a year ago came to my mind and I am going to re-post it here. It’s just a simple story of kindness and friendship. A simple story,  because after all, showing kindness and respect to others is not rocket science!

The Language of Flowers

Jenny took off on her bike once again to go deliver some flowers of Happiness. Her Mom watched her out the kitchen window, she was so proud of her daughter. Jenny had a special love for flowers. She always made sure to have some in her room. She would also use her own money to buy her Mom a fresh bouquet of flowers every week to have them sitting on their table. Jenny said how the sight and pleasant scent of flowers made her heart happy and she wanted to spread the joy to her Mom.

Recently she had started delivering flowers to the neighbors. Once again using her own money. She started with the neighbors on her street but she started adding the streets from the development behind her. Jenny told her Mom how she loved to see the smiles that would come across the faces of the people when they would receive them.

She laughed as she told her Mom that even sour Mr.McGregor was starting to give a faint smile. At least he wasn’t shouting at her anymore to not walk on his grass. In fact Jenny noticed that he was sitting on his front porch more regularly lately. One time Jenny said how nice it was to see him waiting for her. He just grunted, but again she saw the trace of a smile. His sour expression and grunts used to scare her, but not anymore.

Little Billy would come running when Jenny would ride into his driveway. He would always raise his arms up for her to pick him up. He would smile big as he clutched a flower in his chubby little fingers to give to his Mom. He knew not to put them in his mouth anymore. Renee, his Mom, started coming out with cookies and lemonade when Jenny came. They would sit on the porch as Billy would beg for Jenny to play with him some.

Hazel was a older widow and she often told Jenny how a visit from her was the highlight of her week. Her husband had bought her flowers a lot when he was living. Jenny enjoyed talking with her, she enjoyed hearing stories from her past and of how things used to be. Hazel usually had little nuggets of wisdom to pass on to her. Jenny tried to make Hazel’s visit be the last one, so that she would have plenty of time to talk to her.

There was another house that Jenny longed to stop at, but her parents told her not to. Jenny really didn’t understand why. Her parents didn’t really give a reason besides the fact that they said those people in that house were “different”.. “Different”? Jenny wasn’t sure what to think about that. It spiked her curiosity though. What was so “different’ about them, she had to know.

One day she had an idea. She ran up to the front door, laid some flowers down, pushed the doorbell and biked away as fast as she could. It worked! She got away and no harm came to her. The next week she tried it again. Jenny decided that as long as she never had to face them it would be fine to continue it and so she did.

Jenny asked Hazel one day about a sign that she had put in her yard. It said, “No matter where you are from, we are glad that you are our neighbor.” Hazel explained that it meant she welcomed everyone as a neighbor. Jenny got real quiet and then looked up at Hazel and said, “But what about that house down the street, aren’t you afraid of them? My parents say they are different!”

Hazel sighed and got a sad look in her eyes. “They are just like you and me Jenny. They have hearts that can be happy and that can break. They may speak a different language and come from a different land, but they know the power of a smile! Sadly people are afraid of things they don’t understand. If they would only know the joy that they are missing out on by not opening their heart and mind. Jenny put her head down and said softly, ” I wish I could meet them someday but my parents keep telling me to stay away.” Hazel took Jenny’s hand and gave it a squeeze and they just sat there in silence for a little feeling the gentle breeze.

Jenny’s Mom was inconsolable, the time was growing shorter and the Doctor’s faces were getting graver. Hope had been so strong at first, but it was getting hard to keep holding onto it. Jenny’s Dad held his face in his hands, he just didn’t understand. How could this have happened. One minute Jenny is delivering flowers of happiness and the next she is fighting a life and death battle,  due to having been hit by a speeding driver.

Jenny needed a blood transfusion but she had a rare blood type and they were having trouble finding donors. Time was running short and Jenny was unconscious not knowing how her parents hearts ached. Suddenly the Dr. burst into Jenny’s room. “We got a donor! ” Jenny’s parents embraced as their hearts soared! Tears were falling as they watched their precious daughter be wheeled out of the room.

Three days later Jenny was doing a lot better. The Dr has said she should be ready to go home in a couple more days. Her Mom was sitting in her room talking to Jenny when the Dr came in. “Dr. Kline Jenny and I were talking, would it be possible to meet the one who donated blood for her, we really would like to thank them.” Dr.Kline smiled and said he would see what he could do.

The next morning Jenny was finishing her breakfast as Dr. Kline walked in. ” Mr. and Mrs. Stouffer, I was able to locate the person who donated blood to Jenny.”  Jenny clapped her hands and her parents were all smiles. Dr. Kline stepped out the door for a minute and then stepped back in and said, “Please meet Roshana!” Jenny’s parents gasped! It was the new neighbor! The “different” neighbor. They couldn’t speak. Jenny though eagerly reached out her hand and squeezed Roshana’s hand as she said, ” Thank you so very much!!”

Roshana took her hand, and smiled. She then pulled from behind her back a bouquet of flowers for Jenny. Her parents watched as tears filled their eyes.

When Jenny came home from the hospital there were two signs to greet her in the front yard. One welcoming her home and the other sign welcoming ALL their neighbors to the neighborhood.


Friday’s Super Short Stories!

We complain that the tomato should have been sweeter in our sandwich and there should have been more meat in it …. while others would be happy for just a bite of bread!

We spend time loudly arguing about insignificant things … while there is a parent at the hospital pleading with God to save her child!

Sometimes looking at things in a different way  helps shed light  on a new perspective about what really matters in life!

(from Pinterest)


The people that I am about to tell you about are not actors, they are real people, real situations! I wish though that they would be actors for a fictional show, but you know what they say, real life is stranger than fiction!

My teenagers work at Arby’s Fast Food Restaurant. As those who have worked with the public before know, you meet all kinds of people! Let me share some examples with you.

Customer Number 1 – The man who spent 10 minutes at the drive thru window yelling at my teenager because of not taking his coupon. He had a coupon for a discount off a sandwich. A roast beef sandwich. The problem was he didn’t want a roast beef sandwich he wanted a slider which is different. It is smaller than a  roast beef sandwich and cheaper. He wanted to use the coupon on the slider. He was yelling so loud that the manager had to come over to the window and tell him to please leave! Seriously! What makes us feel like we are entitled to whatever we want. Its like going to Walmart and saying you want one product for the price of a different product!

Customer Number 2 – Arby’s are known for their yummy curly fries but one lady was dissatisfied. It wasn’t that they didn’t taste good, for she hadn’t even tasted them. She had only looked at them! She wanted a bag of new fries. Why? Because the fries weren’t curly enough for her! Yes, you heard me right. Its like expecting all french fries to be the exact same size of each other! There were fries in her bag that were not as curly as some other ones and as she said to my teenager “Well they are called curly fries, aren’t they!”

Customer Number 3 – Hands over a Wendy’s coupon. “Sorry sir this coupon is for Wendy’s.”  “Can you take it anyway?”

Customer Number 4 – “I want a chocolate chip cookie please”.  Hands the lady a chocolate chip cookie. “That’s not what I want! I want a chocolate chip cookie!”  “Ma’am, this is a chocolate chip cookie!”  “No, its not, I want that one!”  Points to a different cookie.  “Okay, but that is not chocolate chip.”    “But I want chocolate chip, how hard is that for you to understand!”  “Here you go!”  hands her a chocolate chip cookie. “NO! I don’t want that cookie, I want the chocolate chip one!” points to the other cookie!  Finally hands her the other cookie and she says “At last! Why was that so difficult!” and she walks away.

Customer Number 5 – Comes in very close to closing time. Half of the dining room is cleaned already. One section has been mopped and chairs are turned upside down on the tables. Section is blocked off. Customer moves sign takes chair off table and proceeds to sit down. ” Excuse me sir, this section is closed. ”   Customer smiles and says that he wanted to sit there and continues to eat.  No, this isn’t a teenager sitting in the closed off section, it is a grown man. In fact all of these customers have been adults!

It takes all kinds of people to make up this world, but some really do make you wonder!!!

To end on a lighter note I will give you 2 more customers

Customer Number 6 – Going through drive thru and gets handed a bag of fries. Empties fries into their bag and hands the fries back and says “You forgot to put fries in this!”  this would rate up there with the customer who comes back an hour later saying they didn’t like their sandwich, can they have something else for free?

Customer Number 7 – Ordered food at the one window and drove to the next to pick it up. While waiting for the food his truck ran out of gas! His face was so red, he had to push his truck to a parking space. I feel for that guy for Yes I can see that happening to me. LOL! But no, I don’t usually let my gas get that low and no, he was not waiting for an extra long time for his food.

Let me encourage you that when you go to a restaurant or a store, please make an effort to smile and be very nice.  I can guarantee you the employees will really appreciate it! Okay, I know there are some employees that could do better at customer service too, but that’s another post. 🙂

To sum it all up it reminds me of a quote! You know I have to get quotes in whenever I can.


Feeling Blessed!

I found the perfect job! It doesn’t pay in money, but the rewards are even greater. I get paid in smiles, hugs and fun comments and questions.

This month I have visited 2 Elementary schools, sharing stories from “The Odessa Chronicles”.  The book of stories for all ages that Colin and I wrote together. A book that shares the crazy adventures of 4 best friends who happen to be a Barn Owl, a Tabby Cat, a magical Jackalope and a man-servant.

This past Monday I spent all day at the one school and my heart was full when I came home. It is hard to put into words the joy I feel at seeing a sparkle in a child’s eye and knowing that their sparkle and smile are because of stories that I helped to write! I usually have enough time with each class to share 3 stories from the book and in between take their comments and questions. I thought it would be fun to share some of their comments and questions with you, my wonderful followers. I do believe they will bring a smile to your face, just like mine.

I had just finished reading the story called “The Hole”, which revolves around a mysterious hole that Dewey the cat found.  I asked the children what they thought made the hole and hands went up immediately.  “A hedgehog”, “A porcupine”, “A shovel!”
“I think it was a lizard”, “Maybe a deer?” “A squirrel”, “I think it was a tiger!” At times I do find it a little hard to stay composed as I listen to their answers and think of a response.

I like to watch the faces of the children as I read the stories. I can see their eyes grow wide as Dewey the cat is flying in the air and I see them laugh,  giving their classmate a nudge when one of the characters in the story has a joke played on them. It’s  also fun to see them pick up on some clues of what may be coming later in the story.

The “Roof Top Incident” story has been a popular one.  In the story the man-servant gets stuck up on the roof. How does he get down? Once again guesses are called out. The most popular one being that he went down the chimney.  Or perhaps he jumped to the tree next to the farmhouse and then climbed down the tree. Maybe Odessa the Barn Owl, picks him up and flies him down to the ground.

Their questions can be just as entertaining.

“Which character is your favorite?”
“What was your inspiration for writing the book?”
“Did you and Colin write stories that you scrapped and didn’t use?”
“How long did it take you guys to write the book?”
“Did you write all the stories on paper?”
“Are there any stories where the one character goes on an adventure all by themselves?”
“Why do the characters have the names that they have?”
“Where does Colin live?” followed by “Wow! That’s really really far away!” when I told them Canada!
“Who made the really pretty picture of Odessa on the cover?”

Will this book have one of those cool medals on its cover, you know the medals that really great books receive?”

 “Does your book have any errors in it, for I found an error before in a book I read, the character’s name was misspelled.

Have I mentioned that sometimes I don’t know how to reply to their questions?

“Where is the man-servant, you need one, for he takes care of everyone.”  This was in response to the stuffed Odessa, Jaxon and Dewey that I bring along with me. My sister surprised me with them and they have been  wonderful to have. The children love seeing them and taking turns to hold them.  Unfortunately it has not been real easy to find a stuffed man-servant, but now after this little girl pointed out how I need one, I am on the search for one once again!

Their comments make me laugh and they melt my heart.

One little boy came up to me at the end saying, “I really didn’t want you to stop reading, I was so caught up in the story.”  A little girl,  whose smile I can still see gave me a hug as she told me how much she loved the stories that I read, that they were so funny and that she really, really hopes her Mommy buys her the book.

I think of the little boy who came up to me as I was talking to someone else.  He  just threw  his arms around my waist giving me a hug, not saying a word but wearing a big smile.

When I finished reading to one class a girl came up to me and gave me a note. She had written me a thank you note as I was reading! It was so sweet.

I have also been delighted by the comments of the teachers and the librarians that listen to me as well, while I read to the children. One admitted that she didn’t expect to enjoy the stories as much as she did, but that she was caught up in them too. Another one compared them to Winnie-The-Pooh and friends! That comment  really warmed my heart for as a lot of you readers know, I love Winnie-the-Pooh!

I am going to a preschool tomorrow and am waiting for 3 other schools to get back to me. I don’t know how many other schools and public libraries will let me come, but its an adventure that I am very much enjoying!

There is a Pooh Bear quote that I feel pretty much sums up how Colin and I felt when writing the “The Odessa Chronicles”.  We had no idea of what kind of responses we would receive, of where things might lead. We only knew one thing, that we were having fun!


If you would like to know more about “The Odessa Chronicles” and why it is creating excitement, feel free to click on the book cover in the right margin.




Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Happy Tuesday everyone! How has your week started out? Mine started out in a great way, which I will share more about tomorrow. The air is getting cooler, we have had our first frost of the season. Time for hoodies,  sweatpants, and hot apple cider! May have cool hands now, but that doesn’t matter as long as we keep having warm hearts!

I hope you enjoy the quotes picked for today and if you want a clue as to what my post will be about tomorrow, here is a question for you to ponder, “Who or what dug The Hole??”


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A Moment in Time

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She walked down to the lake and watched the ripples move across the water. Breathed in the beauty of the kaleidoscope of colors.  Watched the leaves bending down to give the water a gentle kiss.

Sitting on a little cushion of leaves, she stared at the colorful reflections in the water, quietly reflecting on the deep things of her heart.

After some time had passed she rose and started to walk, listening to the leaves crunch underneath her feet. Savoring the beauty that at this moment was hers to enjoy.  She didn’t just look at it with her eyes , she let it sink into her soul.

Her heart felt free like a butterfly at this moment in time. She did not know what was to come, but she didn’t let that hold her back from embracing the moment. Right now, this very moment, she was going to let herself breathe. Breathe as she reminded herself that no matter what, there is always beauty to be found. An open heart is a window to the myriad of beauty that can be found, for us to enjoy, one breath at time.

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The REAL Friday’s Super Short Stories!

Nothing like the feeling of confusion when you see messages saying how people “liked” your Friday’s post and you know that you didn’t post your Friday’s post yet, for you were still waiting for inspiration to hit!  Oh how sly some kids can be!  Here is Part 2 of Friday’s post. 🙂


Joy can flow in the heart like a waterfall from the simple words and smiles of a child.

Holes can be dug in many ways, you don’t always need a shovel!

Sometimes even the wisest Owl can be a little Cuckoo!