Sharing the Joys



Happy Thursday! With all the chaos in the world, it always helps to focus on the Happy things! What are some things that make you happy? Today for me,  it was the simple pleasure of swinging on my porch swing, eating dark chocolate peanut M’Ms , lounging on the couch and getting a great shoulder massage. Massages always make me happy!

So what Happy things are on your list? When you take the time you may be surprised at how many things come to your mind. Don’t let the darkness in this world shut out the many things that can make your heart shine! Like the warmth of my dog’s body against my foot as she softly snores. Feel free to share below what makes your heart smile and most of all BE THANKFUL for the little joys life brings!


The Gullible One


picture from Jason’s blog at   My thanks to Jason for the use of his photo to inspire a short story.


Free Entertainment

Dorinda was getting bored. She had already raided a few gardens, and she was rather full. She thought she would roam around a bit looking for an unsuspecting human, one that could easily be tricked.

Ahh! That guy looked like he might be gullible. She would see if she could get his attention. Sure enough he started to look her way. Dorinda kept eye contact with him and started moving a little closer to his vehicle. He was parked, so she wasn’t afraid of getting hit. Little by little she inched her way towards him, and it worked! He slowly opened the door and got out while watching Dorinda.

Dorinda turned her head a little and then looked back at him again. She took a few steps forward and turned back and looked at him, just stood there waiting. Took a few more steps forward and turned and looked at him again while she waited.

Yes, it was working. She had seen that look in a human’s eyes before. They thought she was wanting them to follow her, which was exactly what she wanted. Humans were so gullible.

Sure enough, she was right, he started following her. Every so often she would look back and laugh to herself at the grin he had on his face. Humans did provide fun and free entertainment.

Dorinda led him into the woods. Sometimes she would run, for the fun of it,  and she could hear him huffing and puffing behind her. She would slow down then, for she definitely didn’t want to lose him. Oscar was waiting for them. They had talked about it earlier in the day and he said he would be around all day.

She was almost there, she could see the cave. The closer she got she saw Oscar’s shadow. He made sure to stay hidden until just the right moment though!

Dorinda was right in front of the cave and the human right behind her, not looking off to the side at all when “GRRRRRR!!!!” Oscar the bear came out of his cave standing straight up.

Dorinda and Oscar were still laughing as they watched the human running like the wind! “He sure can run fast when he wants too! I am impressed!” said Dorinda.

She was shaking her head with a smirk still on her face as Myrtle the turtle came over to her. “Warn me next time, when you decide you pull your tricks!  One of these days, I am going to get stepped on by those humans that you scare to death! This one just about tripped over me!”

Dorinda assured Myrtle that next time she would try to warn her.

Oh yes, you had to watch out for some humans, but the others sure could be fun to fool, thought Dorinda, and she went off looking for some more food. She had worked up an appetite!






Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Happy Quote Day! This morning kind of got away from me, but I didn’t forget that it was Tuesday Was out in the bright sunshine earlier taking a little walk. Hope your day started with a smile, and perhaps even some laughter. Now take a little time to sit back with a your favorite drink, breathe in the moment and enjoy the quotes!





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The Animals Save the Day

Tamara was in the grocery store, and she once again had the strange feeling that she was being followed. She glanced behind her but saw no one. What was going on with her, more and more she felt herself feeling nervous when she was out. Was that mysterious lady really following her and if so, why?

She quickly gathered up what was on her list, checked out and headed out of the store. All she wanted was to get home and relax in her pool. It had been a long day at work, and then she made a few stops on the way home. The grocery store was her last one. She needed to get her Banana fudge ice cream and Coffee ice cream home before they melted.

Who was that standing by her car? It was her! The mysterious lady must have been following her, she was standing by her car! Tamara picked up her pace, she was determined to get to the bottom of what this lady wanted with her.

“Excuse me Ma’am, why are you standing by my car?”  Tamara asked as she walked up to her car.

“HI! I am Tanya” , and she put out her hand.  ” I am new to the area and now my car has a flat tire.  Sorry, to bother you, but I have seen you in the neighborhood and you looked like a nice person so I was hoping you could help me.”

Tamara’s heart was pulled. She did have a kind heart and was always quick to offer a helping hand. She didn’t know a lot about cars but she did know how to change a flat tire. Her Dad had taught her well.

“Sure, I can help you, where is your car?”

Tanya smiled, as she led the way to the next row of cars. Her car was parked away from the other cars in the far corner. They got to her car and Tanya popped the trunk.”I think everything you need to change it is in here.”

Tamara looked in and suddenly she felt something hard hit her in the head. She screamed as everything went black.

Tanya slammed the trunk shut. Well that was easy enough, she thought. Patrick’s girlfriend is pretty gullible. Now to pay Patrick a surprise visit, she had some unfinished business with him to take care of!

They were almost to his house when…. Tonya slammed on her brakes! What was that blasted cow doing straight ahead of her in the middle of the road and…!

She pounded the steering wheel. Patrick and Luke were standing on either side of Betsy!

There was no room for her to turn around, plus Luke and Patrick were walking to her car now. Tanya smacked her head on the steering wheel as she heard Patrick’s voice.

“Well, well, well, I see we meet again! Didn’t expect to meet up so soon again, guess you just couldn’t resist wanting to see my handsome face again?” Tanya made a face! “I don’t understand, how did you know?”

Luke said, “We will explain, but first I think you have a trunk to open!”

Tanya pulled the lever to pop the trunk and Patrick pulled out Tamara who had a throbbing headache, and was shook up, but found comfort in Patrick’s strong arms.

It didn’t take long to arrest Tanya and send her off to prison once more. This time there would be tighter security, Luke would see to it! He took Tanya,  while Patrick took Tamara back to his place to help her recover from her frightening experience.

Tamara laid on the couch with her head in Patrick’s lap, as he gently rubbed it.

“Explain to me again how everything unfolded.”

“Luke had called me about Anna escaping from prison. It seems that Betsy had come back to his farm one day and told him everything. She had thought she wanted to escape the farm but then started feeling guilty for Luke had always been really good to her. Apparently Luke has some very special animals, for they all helped put this plan into motion.

Luke brought Betsy and a goose along with him about a week ago now. We had the goose trail Tanya, and she would report back to Betsy who told Luke. The goose was in the parking lot at the grocery store, she saw everything that happened and we flew into action when we heard the news.

Tamara sighed, “I have never been so grateful for animals before as I am right now!”

Patrick leaned down and gave her a kiss.

“I can’t imagine what I would have done if something would have happened to you. Betsy the cow and the awesome Goose are our heroes! I heard that Luke has a Gnu on his farm now too. Oh and an extra cow named Bessie. Anna loves them all!

They all have brought Luke comfort, as he was sorry to lose his pig and Charlie the Chicken. He still has never found out what happened to them, they disappeared the same day as Betsy did and they never came back!

Yes, Luke has his extra special animals and I have Myrtle the turtle, who just eats earthworms and….”

Patrick stood up quickly, letting Tamara’s head drop on the couch.

“Myrtle, Where is Myrtle? How did her lid get knocked off?”



Feeling Blessed!


My husband and I took a hike today in a new area. The woods were so quiet as we walked by lush green plants and pretty wildflowers. The more we walked we began to hear the distant sound of water flowing. Found our way down to the creek and walked along it for a little ways, enjoying the sound of the water. I told my husband that I would love to have a creek in our backyard again.

One of the first places we had when we were married was a cottage in a meadow with a creek. Loved going out there in the morning and sitting by it with a book, or my journal, so that I could write.

I love nature, I can never tire of it! It is a gift to us, and I feel rich being able to enjoy it. It clears the mind and makes you feel at peace. We found our way to a waterfall, it wasn’t a huge, rushing one, but still pretty to watch the water run down the rocks. The hike back up the mountain may cause me some problems getting out of bed tomorrow morning, but it was worth it! A beautiful day!

As we walked I thought about the things that made me feel rich, love and friendship, and being able to enjoy the outdoors. Having good health where I can get outside, and living in an area where the woods isn’t far away. Yes, I am a beach person, but I do love the woods as well.

A recent conversation also came to my mind. I was talking about “The Odessa Chronicles” and Colin and I can’t say that the book has made us rich as far as monetary gain, BUT.. I pointed out that the book did indeed make us rich.

I have an owl, cat and a jackalope that will be my forever friends! Oh yes, and can’t forget the kind hearted man-servant.
I have seen children’s smiles and felt their hugs, because of our stories.
I have had words of appreciation for the book touch my heart deeply.
I have seen animals that had only existed in my crazy imagination become loved by others.
Colin and I both agree that we have gained far better riches than money!
Sure, we would love for “The Odessa Chronicles” to become a bestseller, and I do highly recommend that you check it out. You can just click on the picture of the cover in the right hand margin if you are interested in finding out more. But whether it ever becomes a bestseller or not, we are blessed by the smiles that we know it has brought, and how the stories have touched us!
I pray that when you go to bed at night that you can feel blessed by riches that can’t be bought. They are the ones that we can store in our hearts and never have disappear!


A Time to Dance

Patrick had his place all cleaned up and looking pretty nice he thought. Myrtle had her head in her shell when he was vacuuming but she was poking it out now as she stared  out of the glass.  It was 5:30, Tamara was due to come at 6, perhaps he would take Myrtle out of her for a little and let her roam around.

He took off the lid and gently lifted her out. When he put her on the floor he felt like she smiled at him. Just then his doorbell rang. Was Tamara early? He opened the door to find a child selling Girl Scout Cookies. Patrick did have a sweet tooth, so he ordered some Thin Mints and some of their Coconut cookies. He closed the door and walked back to the couch to watch Myrtle explore some more, but where was she? He got down on the floor and looked under the sofa, but didn’t see her there. The little girl at the door had been chatty but he didn’t think they had talked that long. Myrtle was a turtle, how could she disappear so fast!

He kept crawling around but couldn’t see any sign of her, where did she go? He was feeling really confused when the doorbell rang again. Looking at the time he realized that now it would be Tamara. What a way to start off a date night, searching for his missing turtle.  He got up with a sigh and went to open the door.

Tamara was standing there smiling and looking nice in her bright yellow top and sunflower leggings.

“Hi there handsome”, she said, but then her smile changed as she saw the worried look on his face.

“What is wrong?”

“I can’t find Myrtle! I took her out of her cage and then the doorbell rang and …OH NO! What if she slipped out the door?

“She isn’t that speedy of a turtle, she probably just found a nice place to curl up and hide in. She can fit into some pretty small places. Myrtle, Myrtle, Where are you?”

Patrick started laughing. “She is a turtle, she isn’t going to answer you back. The last I knew turtles couldn’t talk.”

Tamara made a face at Patrick and continued calling as she looked.

“Found her!” Tamara shouted.

She had slipped underneath Patrick’s baseball glove that he had lying in the corner of the floor.

Patrick breathed a sigh of relief as he picked Myrtle up and  put her back into her terrarium.

“I thought you were a detective, and you couldn’t even find a missing turtle?” Tamara joked.

“Well it was kind of fun watching you crawl around on the floor.”

Tamara looked at Patrick’s twinkling eyes and she didn’t say a word.

Patrick walked over to the stereo and turned on some music. Tamara was sitting at the table and he came up behind her kissing her gently on her neck. He breathed in the soft fragrance of her sweet perfume and for a moment forgot about the food that he had prepared for them.

He had made his specialty,  Manicotti, with Tiramisu for dessert. He brought it over to the table and then poured them each some wine before he sat down.

“This smells delicious! I am impressed!” said Tamara.

“Hopefully you are still impressed, after you taste it. My Mom was a great cook and I was able to learn a little from her. I am also really good at ordering pizza, for when some of my dishes don’t turn out!”

They were enjoying a nice dinner until Tamara brought up how at times she had a strange feeling that someone was following her whenever she came to see Patrick. The only person she ever noticed around her though was some  lady with a broad rimmed hat on her head, and dark sunglasses.

Patrick started to say that he hadn’t noticed anyone before, but then he remembered the other day when he was backing his car out of the garage.

“I am sure its probably nothing, wouldn’t know why some lady would be ….” he paused.

Tamara looked at him, “Yes?”  Would be… what?”

Patrick took a gulp of wine, ” I don’t think you need to worry, but I will see if I notice her tomorrow when I go to work.”

Through the rest of dinner, Patrick had a nagging thought in his head, that he tried to dismiss. Would Anna really come looking for him??

He shook his head, watching Tamara clean off the table. When she went to take his plate, he took her hand. “The dishes can wait.”  he said.

He stood up and led her into the center of the room. “May I have this dance?”

Tamara smiled, laying her head against his chest as they swayed to the music, and all thoughts of Anna left Patrick’s mind.



The Unexpected Twist!

Patrick was drinking his latte as he sat out on his back deck in the early morning hours.

He was thinking about last night and how magical it had been. Life was starting to look very bright for him. After catching Anna, who had been living under the false identity of Tanya,  and putting her in jail, he had received a promotion at work. Then a few weeks after that he bumped into Tamara. Quite literally bumped into her! He was at a pet store, for he had decided he needed a pet. It had to be something though that didn’t require lots of time and attention due to his chaotic work schedule.

He was trying to decide between fish or a turtle or he did really like the guinea pig in the corner of the store. Finally he decided that the turtle would be the least amount of work and he thought its painted shell looked pretty cool, so he bought the turtle and left.  When he got to his car he placed the aquarium on the floor and then noticed the time. He had spent more time in the pet store than he had thought, he had to hurry to get home and get ready for work. Put his car into reverse and “BAM!” he hit another car! He got out of the car feeling mad at himself and embarrassed. The lady whose car he hit was very nice and understanding as they exchanged insurance information. The damage wasn’t that bad thankfully.

Patrick had been mad at himself for the rest of that day, but it turned out in the days to follow that hitting Tamara’s car led to something very good. Patrick had called her the next day  to apologize again and they ended up talking on the phone for quite awhile. They had several more phone conversations after that and then they started meeting on his lunch break. It was the best time of Patrick’s day.  He felt at such ease around her, conversation flowed easily and he felt himself falling more and more with each date that they had.

He was beginning to wake up in the morning with her face in his mind. Thinking of her smile stirred his heart. Her hair was strawberry blonde and she had it cut in a cute pixie style. He loved to see the way her green eyes would light up when she laughed. The feel of the warmth of her hand in his, when they would walk along the water. He laughed at the memory of the squeal she made as he put his arm around her waist, teasing her about taking a little dip in the cool water.

Last night he had taken her to a little more fancier restaurant than usual, for their dates. There was candlelight at the table and in the corner of the room 2 musicians were playing, a cellist and a violinist. The music was very nice, but Patrick was more intent on feeling himself getting lost in her eyes,as he noticed the faint blush that came across her cheeks, when she felt his eyes on her.

Well, enough daydreaming, he had to get himself ready for work. The bluebird was singing his song from the top of the Maple Tree and Patrick felt like singing as well, while thinking about seeing Tamara tonight.  He finished his latte and checked on his pet turtle, Myrtle. She seemed to be content with her new home, as she happily ate some earthworms that he had put into the aquarium for her.

He was glad that the sun was shining. He decided to ride his bike to work today. In the summertime he enjoyed doing that as much as he could. It was only a couple miles to work and it was good exercise.

Whistling a happy tune he got his bike out of the garage and headed out of his driveway. He had taken no notice of the lady standing on the sidewalk. She was dressed in a simple turquoise sun dress with a wide brimmed hat and dark sunglasses, and was very intent on watching Patrick.

Patrick was going through paperwork on his desk when his cell phone rang.

“Hi Luke! What’s up?” Patrick said with a smile on his face.

His smile quickly faded when he heard Luke’s words. “Anna escaped from prison!”

Patrick smacked his head! The day had started with such pleasant thoughts, but now there were two questions in the forefront of his mind.  Where did Anna flee to  and what name was she using now?


Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Happy Tuesday! It is a beautiful, sunny day here. The flowers on my porch are still alive, which is surprising, for I have had them a little over a month now. Flowers don’t typically survive that long for me! Perhaps they will make it through the summer. Surprises do happen!

May your week be filled with sunshine and perhaps a few good surprises! Enjoy the quotes!


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The Language of Love

f895809594fc780124535e280a924c7d pinterest, Elephants from the Thula Thula Reserve

In the past several years I have developed a growing fondness for elephants. They are majestic creatures who have a very strong maternal bond with their children and they just are fascinating. Very smart animals!  I recently read a book called “The Elephant Whisperer” and I was so intrigued by it and wanted to share it with all of you in case you are looking for a book to read.

It is a true story by Lawrence Anthony. He lived inZululand, South Africa and owned a wildlife reserve, the Thula-Thula Reserve. it consisted of 5000 acres. He was granted the opportunity to save a herd of elephants from death, and he jumped at the chance. Little did he know how his life would be changed. He developed a true bond with the elephants and it really is a powerful story to read. Its not a “how to” understand elephants book , its the simple story of what happens when a man opens his heart to a family of elephants.  The things they teach him about loyalty and trust, and about what can happen when you show an animal how much you care. He became known as the “Elephant Whisperer”, but he said it was the elephants that whispered to him, he just learned to listen.

The book is filled with many moving moments, as you see into the heart of certain elephants. Nana is the matriarch of the herd and Lawrence had to win her love and respect first, for the herd followed her. With much patience and dedication he did win Nana over. He describes the first moment that he finally began to feel her trust.

“For a few magnetic moments we connected. I stood a little closer as she moved the tip of her trunk over my t-shirt and then touched me on the head and face. I was completely entranced.”

He hadn’t realized how much he had won her over though until a specific incident occurred.

He had been trying to work with a new, young elephant that had come to the reserve, She had watched her whole family be killed, and she was very scared and angry at humans. She got along wonderfully with the herd of elephants. It was a joy to watch the elephant who at first had acted so scared and shy,  now frolic with the other elephants. She was getting used to her new home but she still did not trust Lawrence. He had to be careful of her, for she had tried to charge at him several times, and though she was considered a youngster, she still far outweighed Lawrence.

One time when he was out on the reserve he found himself in danger. He saw the young elephant and the look in her eyes. He knew she was going to charge, and this time he was not close to his vehicle to jump in. His heart was pounding and then, Nana, the matriarch, stepped in.

She stopped her grazing and stepped in front of Lawrence, protecting  him with the broadside of her body. The young elephant stumbled back, knocked off course. She meekly swung around and headed back to the herd and Nana went back to grazing like nothing had happened. Lawrence describes his feelings in the words below.

“I stared, barely breathing, pulling body, soul and nerves back together. I had never heard before of a wild elephant blocking the charge of another to protect a human! Nana was radically changing the way I perceived her species.” 

The book is filled with moving moments like this and humorous ones as well. How Lawrence and his staff  trick some poachers and scare them so badly that they knew they wouldn’t be back. What happens when one thinks a Black Mumba snake got into your house and you can’t find it! Black Mumba snakes are one of the most deadliest snakes’s around.

What happens when there is flooding, your LandRover is stuck in the mud and you aren’t sure where the crocodiles are?

You will feel like you are in Africa, in the bush, walking with the elephants, as you read this. There will be moments that will bring tears of joy and tears of sadness. It really is a story like no other. You will be amazed at the way these elephants think and it will make you wonder again if we humans really are the more intelligent ones!

We hear often of how dogs and cats form bonds with their humans, this is the first book that I ever read about the strong bonds elephants can form. The bull elephant in the herd named Mnumzane grew very close to Lawrence. Every time Lawrence would drive by in his Landrover, Mnumzane would come out to greet him and stand in front of his vehicle while Lawrence rubbed Mnumzane’s trunk and they “talked”. Mnumzane wouldn’t move out of the way until he was ready for Lawrence to leave.

In 2012 Lawrence died of a heart attack. His wife was devastated, but she received a huge surprise after Lawrence died. Two of the elephant herds that Lawrence had saved found their way to his home. They stayed around the house for 2 days mourning the death of their friend.

God gave us such amazing animals, take a journey with Lawrence and get to know this special herd of elephants,  you won’t regret it!