Friends taking a look at the blog!


Be careful what you ask for……BANG! Dang.

            I was out with my daughter Maria yesterday driving along the road and started talking about what has happened during this year. Not specific topics but the year in general.  She said “you know this year for us was just making it.” “Just making it?” Wow. Who would want that. She was right unfortunately and we both agreed that next year would be our year. “Great things are going to happen to the family and us individually!“ she said and I believe her. Made me think about how powerful your thoughts and words can be.

              You ever use  catch phrases like, “I’m as serious as a heart attack,” “if I’m lying, I’m dying” or “just shoot me!” We all do it.  We don’t think anything of them.  There are a ton of those phrases we use all the time, every day.  I know I never thought about how many times I would say “just shoot me” in reference to being frustrated or upset. Well, three years ago while my son Patrick and I were driving through my friends upscale sub-division, there were these two young kids hanging out in front of one of their houses. Of course I was talking and I’m noticing that Patrick is not paying attention (no shock there) but I was looking ahead to the road, when all of a sudden I heard “BANG!”  Patrick yelled that one of the kids had a BB gun and took a shot at my car. As God is good, it only hit the back window of my van which thankfully no one was sitting there. I threw the car in reverse and parked it in front of the kids house and screamed for Patrick to call 911. I knocked at the door and the kid answers and I say as calmly as possible - “why did you just shoot at me?” I’ll never forget that day or moment when I thought to myself, I’m always saying “just shoot me” and someone did! Think about it. The thought of being shot at is so slim to none given where I live (thankfully) that who would ever think that one day I would be shot at. Be careful what you say - you just might get it!

                        I had a conversation recently with a friend that I was so distracted by how many times I heard the word miserable, dejected, depressed that I really couldn’t tell you exactly what the conversation was all about.  I know that sounds horrible but how else could a person feel when the words you choose dictates how you WILL feel. 

                 When we were on the Oprah show (see previous blog) Dr. Phil was saying to another guest that her words were like knife blades cutting through to her heart. She told him it was the first Christmas without her kids and she knows she will be  heart broken, devastated and despondent. And he said - yes you will be. He was not making fun but told her to look forward to the times she would be with her kids to make that time the best, most memorable time in her life. To look for something positive rather than something negative.  Ironically - it was him helping her that changed my life, not the advise he gave us!

               I really do think about what I say before I say it as your words are very powerful. To this day, I have not been shot at again…whew. Ton o’ blessings to you until next time…………….


A dryer sheet, a cat, a Vet and the eleventh hour reprieve.

        I came home from work to find my daughter in tears that our cat, Quinnie (real name) had eaten a dryer sheet. She said that she was able to get “most” of it out of her mouth but not all of it. I figured, it’s a cat - it’ll survive. A day or two goes by and the cat is not eating. Now I am getting nervous and decide to go to one of the local pet stores that have veterinarian services in the back to see what product I could buy to “push” that dryer sheet along. The very nice assistant tells me that if the cat has not “pooped” it could be serious.  I tell her, of course she has pooped (not really knowing if she has or not) and isn’t there a kitty enema I could buy? She says - “do you really think you could give your cat an enema?” Good point. She told me to watch the cat and I should really go to my Vet and have her checked out. Only problem - I had no Vet. She suggested a animal hospital down the road that she would call first to let them know that I was going to go home and get my cat. She said that they were really nice and that they would help. 

        Never really bringing the cat out of the house for anything, this was going to prove harder than I thought. We had no travel container so I got a large hamper and my husband and I put the cat in there with a towel over it. If anyone knows that horrible cat screeching noise that they make - it goes right through you! We were going down the road and I saw an animal hospital and told my husband to pull over. I got out and ran inside to ask if anyone had called them about my cat. I was greeted with a nasty “you have to wait your turn.” There was no one in front of me or at the counter so I was like - ok? I politely asked if anyone had called about the cat who ate the dryer sheet and if someone could help me. She looked at me like I had three heads and told me to sit down and she would get to me in a minute. I knew this was NOT the hospital I was supposed to be at. I turned around and said that I was in the wrong place and left. Three blocks down there was another hospital and I ran in asking if anyone had called about a cat and a dryer sheet. The very nice person behind the counter thought it was the start of a joke until she saw that I wasn’t laughing. She said no, but that, of course they would help me out. I got my husband and the cat and they were the absolute nicest, most caring people that I have ever met. They told me they would keep the cat over night and get back to us. 

        The next day we got the call to come in. Unfortunately, the dryer sheet was blocked in the intestines and she would require surgery to remove it. This was five days before Christmas. This was also thee worst year for us. The surgery was over three thousand dollars. We were devastated. Knowing right then and there we could not afford to have the surgery, we made the decision to put the cat down. My husband had put down, in his childhood, two dogs and knew the pain that came with that decision.  The next heart wrenching decision was to tell the kids that the cat would not be with us anymore. I had come in to say “goodbye” to the cat and started to cry. I tried to stay with the cat as long as I could. They were all hoping that something could be done. I thanked them for being so kind to me and my cat and left. The cat was to be put down at three o’clock in the afternoon. I told my husband to be there with her toy. I told him, do NOT call me when it’s done. I had called my family and closest friends and we all just cried. Then my cell phone rang at two forty five and it was my husband. I immediately thought “why can’t husbands just do what they are told?!?!” 

        I answered the phone yelling at him “why are you calling, I told you not to call, I didn’t want to know when they were doing it….” He as calmly as he could, said “ they didn’t put her down.” I said “what?” He said “if you would shut up for a minute, the Veterinarian (who is also the owner) said that he couldn’t do it.” Said that he would volunteer his services as well as the other people in the operating room would volunteer their services. Now in front of me is my young daughter Maria, who is still crying and I am trying to tell her that everything is going to be ok and that Quinnie is gonna live!!!  The cat had the surgery and pulled through just fine. She came home Christmas eve day. 

                After the surgery, my son Matthew for his eighth grade project started the “Quinnie Foundation.” We raised over eight hundred dollars to be used for people who could not afford food or medical supplies for their animals at the hospital. That was three years ago and the cat is still going strong today and we will forever be grateful that on that day - someone cared enough to save our Quinnie. That hospital and everyone in there will forever be our Christmas angels. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.

                       The day we brought Quinnie home Christmas Eve.


Do you believe in Miracles? - No it’s not the 1980 USA Hockey Team story, it’s mine.

       How many of you really believe in miracles? I mean really believe in miracles.  How many of you want a miracle and feel silly asking for one. But this is based on real life miracles. Why are you afraid to ask for a miracle, afraid it won’t happen or if it happens would you believe it was just a coincidence? There are no coincidences my friend.

       It’s the holiday season and for so many people this time of the year it ……sucks.  You don’t live up to the expectations of others or you are not as happy or joyful and you’d rather not be out there at all. Why? You really are control of your own emotions. You dictate how you feel. It is such an easy spiral downward if you let it. One sad, angry, emotional thought becomes two thoughts and then you ask yourself - how am I going to get out of this? 

     What miracle would you ask for right now.  I’ll wait……..go ahead, just ask.  Do you think it’s too big? Think about the whole world, and all the people in it. My mother used to say “put your problems in a hat, and you’d still want to pick your own out.”  I never believed that until I got older and saw what problems are out there.  Sometimes it gets to me, that I am complaining? You know someone, right now who is suffering, physically, emotionally, financially or spiritually? Why not direct your thoughts for them. Direct positive prayer, positive energy towards that person or their family. You have power right now that you are not using. 

      I am so thankful for the daily miracles that happen to me and my family each and every day. Today a miracle happened to me and while I am holding it close to my heart, and someone might not see it as a miracle - I do. Isn’t that what it’s all about. Finding the good in all situations, and choosing to be thankful not ungrateful. Choose something to call a miracle today. Who cares if someone doesn’t think it’s a miracle - you think it is - THEN IT IS!
      My Christmas wish is to see your miracles posted on my blog. Leave it anonymously if you want. You reading this is my miracle - yes you are a miracle to me. Ton o’ blessings AND miracles to you until next time. Love you my snow angel.


Don’t judge a suit by it’s outsides - ya neva know what’s on the inside.

       Keeping with holiday spirit and that it is definitely better to give than receive, I am reminded of a special woman named *Claire from Missouri.

       After a few years living in Missouri and becoming more active in my church, I decided to join different clubs. I loved going to church (still do!) and fondly remember the people that I would see every Saturday night. I enjoyed those that really got dressed up for church. I would admire this one woman who always wore nice suits and always presented herself beautifully. I would smile at her and always give a hearted hello as I was a greeter. She always just smiled back. I never took it as an insult that she never really stopped to talk but that she was shy or that she just wanted to get inside quickly.

       I was asked if I wanted to volunteer for the Care Service organization. It was just beginning with a wonderful new building adjacent to the church that was more like a warehouse. It was stocked with canned goods as well as offices for people to go who were having a hard time making ends meet. I was more than thrilled to be apart of that group. I started volunteering Tuesday nights as that was the night for the food distribution. We had shopping carts set up for the people to get and wait on line. The local super markets would donate produce and meats that were about to expire instead of throwing all that food out. 

       It is bittersweet that you start to have “favorites” that come  every week. One night, while the hustle and bustle of getting people in and out quickly, I noticed the woman who I see every Saturday night on line waiting for food. She was still dressed so nicely but had her head down. I immediately went over to help her and put my arm around her and asked her what her name was, she had said *Claire. Still not looking at me, I said “it’s ok, we are all here to help.” She barely smiled back. Over the next couple of months, every time I would see Claire in line, I would rush over to make sure I was the one to fill her shopping cart. Not that I would give her more food, but to make sure that I got to hug her and always whisper in her ear - “it will get better - trust God - it will get better.” She and I began a sort of friendship even though we only saw each other Tuesday nights. She then began to tell me what had happened. Her husband was laid off from his job making quite a lot of money and then went through their life savings just to keep the house a float.  Looking at her, you would never know that her family was struggling. You would pass her on the street and think, wow- she must have it all by the way she dresses.

       It was a few weeks before Christmas on that faithful Tuesday night that I saw Claire on line.  This time, she had her head held high. She was actually looking for me! I ran over and we hugged as we did, and I saw she had tears in her eyes. She whispered, “this is my last night coming for food.” In a strange way, I was sad. She then said with a big smile “my husband got a wonderful job and we won’t need for me to come anymore!” I started to weep with joy for her. I loaded up her cart and walked her to her car. She told me “I never gave up because you were right - it did get better.” We hugged again and true to her word, she never came back.

       Shortly after that time, I had made the decision to switch masses and I never did see her again. She always lives in my heart but especially this time of the season. You really don’t know what is behind that suit someone might be wearing - do you.  Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.

*Named changed to protect my friend.


Positive thinking and yes, I was on Oprah and the show begins....(Part 2)

          The next morning we were having breakfast in the hotel where apparently famous movie stars have been and of course, I couldn’t eat a thing. Bill on the other hand, ate great. He wasn’t nervous at all. I did my makeup and met the other guests that were to appear on the show in lobby as we all got into the huge limousine off to the show. We were truly brought into a “green room.” I thought that was just a saying until I saw it for my own eyes, a green room. We were then seated after the audience had their seats and Bill and I were in the front row. I had the worst seat. I had my feet up on what seemed to be a speaker and was quite uncomfortable. Did I care? Heck no - I was on Oprah. Then the doors opened up and Oprah comes out to do a sound check. She checked the names of the guests that were on that day and she got to mine. She looked at me and said “you cut your hair?” I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about until I realized that she had the picture I sent into the show along with my “problem” on a blue card. I said “why yes I did - do you like it?” She smiled.  Then the show began and I swear to this day - it was like a blur. I tried so hard to be in the moment. Was I going to say something stupid or stutter? I better pay attention. 

         At this point Dr. Phil walks out and yes, he is extremely tall and intimidating. I look over to Bill and a sweat bead forms on his head and at that point I truly felt bad for what was in store for him. Then our segment came on. They showed the film of our “background” and why we were there. To be honest, it really did seem stupid.  Dr. Phil calmly looked at me and asked “is your husband a good man,  he good to you?” I was like, “yes, sir” and in that minute, I knew it was over. This was not going to be good for ME!  Dr. Phil went on how it was MY fault for not being more specific in what I wanted as a gift. That most men “aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed,” and why am I complaining. Bill instantly said - “yeah - what he said!” Oh great, when is this going to be over. As our segment ended and going to break, they started another film segment on the next couple. As the film was being shown ( a huge screen behind Oprah and Dr. Phil,) I could see Oprah staring at me and nodding. I met her gaze and nodded back seriously saying to myself “oh my gosh - Oprah is nodding at me and I am nodding back at her!) After the clip stopped she said to me, “I thought this could be related to what you are feeling - and I said, “you’re right,” smiled back and thought, what the heck is she talking about. I’m going to say no to Oprah? I don’t think so.  Of course when all was said and done and I actually watched the show, I then understood why she said that to me.  I was too in heaven at the time to “analysis” what she was saying.  

I truly believe in my heart, that positive thinking got me to that show. I do not believe in coincidences and this was such a desire in my heart that came true. Everyone has that power within. It might not happen tomorrow but I do believe I will get on the show again. So every time Oprah’s Favorite Things show comes on, Bill is quick to say - and all we got was a mug.  

I treasure this mug as it does remind me - God is good and dreams really do come true. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.


Positive thinking and yes, I was on Oprah.

                     You truly do not know the power you possess within you. I certainly did not know that eleven years ago. I had always said that I wanted to be on Oprah. Never believing I could get on Oprah but always wanted to. I would see myself on those ugly yellow chairs chatting with Oprah about whatever! I loved dreaming about being on the show. It was only a dream- right?

                 I had gone on her website as it was asking people to email a new guest (Dr. Phil) with any problems you might have for the good doctor and you can possibly get on the show. That was in 1998 when I emailed the show. At that time, there were quite a few things going on that were not good with my marriage. It was more cathartic than anything. I got so much off my chest and to be honest, totally forgot about that email. As God is good, the marriage got back on track as we moved from Missouri to Florida and the start of our new life began. Then in November of 2000, the phone rang and on the caller id it said “Harpo studios.”  I answered the phone thinking “no way, can’t be.” It was a producer from the show saying that they had read my email and that they thought we would be  great guests for Dr. Phil. I truly had no idea what she was talking about. I told her “great - and.... what again did I write?” She had said that she felt that Dr. Phil could help us get on the right track with our problems. Ewww - of course I could hear my mom say “don’t hang your dirty laundry out for people to see!” I quickly asked what the show was specially about and if I could narrow down “our problems” to the fact that I thought my husband was a bad gift giver.  She thought that would be perfect as it was to air around Christmas time. My husband (Bill) comes home and I said “honey buncher (as I call him that today as well) the Oprah show called and they want us on it.  Even typing that today makes me laugh. The absurdity of it. Bill quickly asked - “why?” I told him that it was going to be a “light and funny look” at gift giving (or the lack of!) He said ok as long as Dr. Phil doesn’t yell at him. (Um…..I thought to myself …he better yell at you - you’re the one who doesn’t put the whole thoughtful ideas together!!!) I said, “of course honey, he’ll yell at me!” Oh how those words got me back.

As soon as I gave the OK, film crews arrived within a couple of days to film at our home. We moved furniture around and taped the kids coming home from school and a nice family gathering around the table playing backgammon (which Bill hates because he never wins) but hey, it looked cozy.  A day or so after that we were off to Chicago and put up in the nicest hotel. I can say I was literally pinching myself the whole time saying, “holy crap - we’re going on Oprah!” Next blog - let the show begin. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.


Hey Facebook and Twitter Fans - For better or worse posts?

           Isn’t Facebook and Twitter great? Yes, they can be and sometimes they’re not.  Since being on Facebook, it has allowed me to connect with long lost friends and family that I haven’t spoken to in quite sometime. I have always wanted to try Twitter but didn’t get how to use it until recently.  What wonderful friends I have met through both. But let me address my FB family. Over the past couple of months, I have been praying on a new and positive venture for which I am sure I was looking for support from anyone! That support came from my FB family. I would just ask for people to send positive waves and prayers my way to help me see what I believe is the path that I want to take. I had posted on my FB page: 

              " Expect miracles and they really will happen. Just ask me. :)"

           Not thinking anything other than that is a true statement, I got several private messages asking for me to pray for them for a miracle. Not revealing what miracle they needed (nor did I ask,) was honored to do so. I wrote back all that messaged me with words of encouragement and not to give up. My family has had huge ups and downs this year but in the end - we choose to be positive and keep smiling (well, laughing if you know our family.)

You never know what you say as a “thought, or status, or feeling” is going affect someone.  I was driving home and turned the radio on to hear this quote and thought I would post it after my previous quote to kind of “piggy back” on what I meant. The quote is from Deuteronomy 31:8.  

8It is the LORD(N) who goes before you. He will be with you;(O) he will not leave you or forsake you.(P) Do not fear or be dismayed."

and again, was greeted with new private messages telling me that they needed to see that and it helped them in their own way. What a blessing to touch someone’s life in a positive matter.  

  Now for the flip side of social networking. The expectation of reuniting with friends (and family) sometimes doesn’t go the way you’d hope for.  I had that happen to me but after a while, shrugged it off to say, the people that know me and love me are present in my life and even those that don’t speak to me often,  mean the world to me. FB has a wonderful tool that you can “hide” the person who you are happy to reunite with but don’t want to see their negative quotes everyday. You hope that their lives get better and pray for happy quotes, but they don’t come.

It’s different on Twitter for which I am finding out. You really are involved and see people’s conversations (so to speak) what is on their “timeline.” You can do private messages as well, but most “chat” directly with friends by their Twitter name beginning with an @ sign.  With that said, lately I witnessed horrible fights and nasty bantering among people that I thought to be friends. In a way, you feel like you are prying on their conversation as it scrolls down the timeline. A wonderful friend I recently met had put on her blog what she believed to be etiquette rules of Twitter.  With her permission I’ve added the link.        

 What I thought would be a little blog turned into a sermon but felt in my heart had to be said.  Ton o’ blessings to you this joyous holiday season and hope big miracles to come your way.