Reviews, talk, and fun

Fall and Winter

It’s fall here in Michigan. The leaves are disappearing with each wind that passes, but thankfully there are a few survivors that are shimmering their orange/red leaves and defying the cold snap and winter winds. Those who are summer lovers are upset and unwilling to let the heat and sunshine of the three warm months of the year, but I am getting excited. You see fall and winter for me are the most beautiful times of the year.

Fall is when you see the bones of the trees that seem like lace against the dark skies, and it is those grey days that get me excited as the scents that are distinctive to fall spread just outside my window. It is not the dressed up days of summer, but rather the times I see the world as it really is and then as winter comes I can see them dressed up so beautifully in the elegance of the white ballgowns that drape gently on everything! Time can slow to a crawl and people must become slow and thoughtful in their driving and stepping out.

This is definitely my favorite time of year. For me, it is the time for meditating on the simple things of my life and enjoying the changes outside my window, and within myself.

Chris Caughey:

Forgiving is the path toward God’s REAL love. :-)

Originally posted on News:

We’re humbled to bring you this interview with Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu about their new Global Forgiveness Challenge as well as, a platform for transformational ideas that Archbishop Tutu is co-founding with book and media creator Doug Abrams. is delighted to be a partner in this initiative.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are trying to change the world with the Forgiveness Challenge. Get involved! Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are trying to change the world with the Forgiveness Challenge. Get involved!

What is the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge?

The Forgiveness Challenge is a free 30-day online program developed to help people learn the practical steps to forgiveness so they can live with greater love and joy in their life.

How does the Forgiveness Challenge work?

Each day, participants receive an email from us that directs them to a new post on the website that presents an important insight into forgiveness and that offers them…

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Tai Chi (With Cat)

I have a new furry roommate in my apartment, and most of the time his is truly great company.  He’s done what most cats do automatically as he  has become quite a snuggler and also a lap quilt if I am seated which has been great fun.  But for those of you who know and understand cats well any movement can be an enticement to join in which can create all types of problems.  And that is exactly what happened when I began exercising in my small living room today.

I began with my Tai Chi warm ups along with a DVD I recently received.  I have found it can be a great way to start and end any day for me.

But today’s practice was certainly different!  While I began my warm  ups the my Pangur decided to make the whole work out much ore interesting and challenging.  You see he seemed to decide to make it his business to participate every time in every movement I made.   He made it his business to either become a weight around my ankles, or a hand slapper for my hands.  Let me explain.

During the time as I am doing my warm up and cool down he often attaches himself to my foot around the the ankle area, and he loves every movement of my swinging feet on either side forward  and back and then side to side.  He cheerfully vocalized this with soft mews.  But then he realized that the best part of the “game” for him was when I was also standing on one foot ans swing the opposite one he first tried to catch that foot but quickly decided to jump on the chair I use for support.  You see I do not really have the best balance and need a chair to begin this warm up.  Sitting in the seat of the chair he would jump up and try to grab the hand each time with great excitement.  Thank goodness he has no claws in the front paws or I would definitely be scratched every time he grabbed my hand.

But the simple warm ups and cool downs were definitely not enough exercise for him!  Throughout the steps he would participate in the Tai Chi and would change between clutching one of my legs for a ride, or chasing my movements on the floor which made it almost impossible for me not to lose my balance during the routine!

One of the movements he loves the best is called waving hands in the clouds. The movement is both using the upper body with hand movements, and stepping out with the right foot.  The first time I did it Pang decided to latch on to my right foot and ride it throughout the three times I did it while he, hanging on very tightly continued the swinging motions with me – as he smiled!

Needless to say it was almost impossible to do my exercises AND avoid the cat so I don’t fall flat on my face!  It really can be exhilarating – at best!

But the funniest part of the whole experience was afterward when we both plopped into comfy chairs by the window.  I lifted a glass to my lips to drink some water, and he simply looked at me and he raised his paw after a moment.  He seemed to be telling me in no uncertain terms that he was just too tired to go on.  He had had enough!


I have always been an animal lover.  As a kid I almost always had a dog in the house and we always played with most of the neighborhood pets, but we never had a cat in the house because my mom hated cats.  But I, lover of almost any kind of animal, broke away from the all dog idea when I first moved out on my own.  I got a Siamese cat who I loved.  But of course when I fell in love and decided to marry I had chosen not only a “dog” person, but had a man who did not understand cats, nor trusted them, I believe.  So my lovely little Siamese cat had to be given away and I again became a dog person.

When I went out on my own again recently I knew I  had to make a choice of a very small dog, or a cat.  After exploring the various shelters and playing with both I discovered the cats were by far the most prevalent and the quieter of the two.  Apartment living does not work well when you have noisy neighbors, be they dogs or humans and though the small dogs can be taught not to bark, most of the dogs found at shelters are larger breeds or tiny barkers.

After my third visit I discovered I was drawn to the funny felines that I began to encounter.  I had totally forgotten their penchant for destroying paper bags and boxes and crazy cat-astrophes they often can create in a home.  Humor and silliness are often traits I find the most endearing in my animals.  I’ve had my share of crazy dogs that would often have us laughing at their antics over the years, but by far in my opinion a cat can more subtly grab attention and make you question if there is a mini human within those furry bodies.  It is said that Jim  Davis loved cats so much but because of his allergies could not have one of those little furballs so he created Garfield as a cartoonist to fill us with all the laughter of what never could happen with a cat – right??  We who know cats have a secret.  Often what he shows daily in his Garfield strips is total truth about our furry feline friends!!

It is almost 15 minutes into the new year.  I am listening to the music I love most Irish music of course, and sipping a wine glass of Summer Sunset.  It certainly isn’t Summer, nor is it sunset but it is a new beginning, and as the sages tell us it is a new blank page to write you dreams, your hopes, and even a few of those lovely musical tunes down on to pass the moments you have in the coming months and days of joy too.

Happy New Year to all and many wondrous days to explore to you all!


I have tried for 5 full days to get to my blogger site Journaling my Life Away and I have now finally given up.  I have not been able to get to the dashboard – unless I create a new one of course and it isn’t worth it there.  So the aforementioned blog as well as Writing and Beyond are at an end and this is my new venue.  I had planned on adding a new article there but it will be here instead.  Thanks to all who shared comments and thoughts on my pages and I have almost finished a new article here so come on back soon!

The sad thing is you have a Blogger account – I cannot sign in to actually COMMENT on you blog!  Double UGH!

Have You Noticed?

Have you noticed that

Some people’s lives

seem blessed while others

Seem overdosed with pain?

Everyone has it

You know…

Grief, pain.

But some find a cure

And it dissipates,

while others struggle on.

So many positive things in life

I AM thankful – MANY days.

But some days when the sky caves in

I simply must be a bit thankful

that only HALF of it came down

where I now stand.



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