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Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween On The Romantic Side

Sharing with you some vintage early 1900's Halloween postcards. I love the idea that you can look in the mirror and see your true love!
He Is Your Fate
Who's Face You've Seen
In The Mirror's Face
On Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Widow Lesson Learned: I think it was easier to find a man in the mirror in Victorian times than it is to find one online today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review "I'll Always Love You"

During an interview when I was on tour with WOW, Women On Writing, I was asked what book influenced me most as a child. Well, my mind went blank, a senior moment perhaps.( Dear Heavens, am I really using that phrase?). I don't remember books from my childhood, but I do remember a childrens' book from my adult life that I love to this day!

"I'll Always Love You" by Hans Wilhelm. This charming, sweet book was published in 1988, by Dragonfly books, and can be purchased on Amazon online.

The story is a simple one. Elfie, a dachshund, and her young boy progress happily through life together. As a young pup, Elfie is full of pep and pranks; but as her master grows taller and taller, Elfie grows fatter and slower. One morning Elfie does not wake up. The family grieves and buries her, and the boy refuses a new puppy. He is not yet ready for another pet; but when he is, he will tell that one, as he told Elsie every night, "I'll always love you."  (Amazon review).

The naive watercolor illustrations add to the feel of this dear book. It is one of the best books I have read on dealing with the loss of a pet and the lesson learned is one, that as adults, is a good one to remember. Tell those you love that you love them every day.

Written for ages four to eight, it is a book that every adult, who has ever loved and lost a pet, will treasure.

I tell my dogs every day I love them. I tell that to my friends and family too. It amazes me that a book written for a small child can have so much impact on my life as an adult!

A perfect little holiday gift to show those you love, that you love them!

I have to add my own two cents worth here. When your pet leaves you, remember there are dogs that are grieveing for a forever home. Don't wait before you find another true love. We can't replace those dogs we love, but we can love a dog that is lost and needs love. There is no better feeling than to open our hearts to animals in need.

Check with my favorite rescue group, Animal Action Rescue, to see dogs that need your love.

Widow Lesson Learned: Sometimes a childens' book can point an adult in the right direction on how to deal with life. 'I'll always love you,' Foxy, Bray, Annabelle, Chloe, Rascal, Bray, and mother, and all my dear friends.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

When A Dog Has More Style Than You, Or Finding Your Inner Beauty

Miss April In Paris, A Vision Of Style

That is Miss April In Paris. My rescue dog turned Diva. She has her own blog where she talks about visiting the city of lights. She has been a lazy Diva these last months and her diary has fallen behind, although her dreams are still large.

She looks better in hats than I do.

How sad is that?

Perhaps it is even sadder she wears a hat and I don't.

I am uncomfortable with anything sitting on my head. Yet, when April had this lovely, vintage, pink, rose chapeau placed on her head for a round of dog photos I was doing at Easter, she transformed from the shy dog that fell on her side to the ground, cowering, as I walked into the room, to a Diva. She was the latest rescue dog to come to my house. Number six. She had been here only a few months and had not found her place in the pack yet.

Suddenly wearing that hat, she had attitude. April did not seem a fitting enough name for her now. April was her name from the shelter. A fine name, but now plain for this Diva.

I looked at her and smiled. I put my hands on her face, bent down to kiss her nose and whispered into her ear, "I shall call you Miss April In Paris because you are so lovely."

She has transformed from a shy, panic stricken dog, to a dog full of confidence. She holds her own with the pack now. On any given day she comes up to kiss me right on the mouth. A bold move for a dog that was so timid.

I am amazed. The placement of that hat done without thought on my part, made such a difference for a shy dog.

Am I being silly? Maybe. Perhaps. But it is a true story.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can bring out inner beauty. If a dog's attitude can change with the placement of a vintage hat, during that moment something out of the normal is done, what do you think something out of the normal will do for you?

I like to open up to the possibilites of what if, even if they are silly and make you laugh. A big smile brings out more beauty than any other thing you can wear!

Originally posted on September 25, 2010, a few minor changes here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

When A Man Loves A Woman - A Favorite Percy Sledge Song

In this case it's more like when your male dog loves a doll! I came across these old photos of my late dog Jake, that ninety-five pound dog that showed up in my yard and ruled my life for twelve years. He passed away in April 2009 and started me on my hunt for rescue dogs to fill my heart. His was a good death. I did not have to make the choice to put him down. Although he had no use of his hind legs for months following the death of my husband, he had a spirit that loved every moment he was here. Even when he couldn't walk and I lifted him with a rear end sling he was smiling. He loved the attention and he loved food. Love and food, two good reasons to smile. And this dog could smile. He left me when he was ready. You can read about Jake in my book, The Unfaithful Widow!

Selling on Ebay for years, both my dogs, Foxy and Jake, were used to being photographed for my bio page (ME page) on Ebay. I slipped a little vintage handmade Raggedy Ann doll by Jake one day, and I think they fell in love.

Back in 1988 I started a newsletter, RAGS, on collecting Raggedy Ann dolls. Owned and published it for thirteen years. I sold it to a newspaper owner in Arcola, the birthplace of Johnny Gruelle, the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy. It is now called Rags Magazine and if you love Raggedy Ann click here and check it out.

These photos brought back so many memories. Made me think of that old song by Percy Sledge and I am humming it as I post, but I think I'm singing when a dog loves a doll.

Old Jake sure loved this doll.

Widow Lesson Learned: Love knows no boundaries!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dreams Can Come True

I've always dreamed about owning a Harlequin Great Dane. Lucky for me that dream did not come true. But, even better, I have six wonderful dogs. I wonder if I added up all their weights if they would total what a Great Dane weighs? Never mind, I can't count that high on my fingers.

This month finds me following my writing dreams. I am working on my new book: Covered In Fur: Life With Dogs and I am going to start an online magazine on dogs. Pretty outrageous for the gal who doesn't know how to do a print ready PDF. But I have some great helpers!

Trying to find a new Print On Demand Company made me a little crazy. I wanted to try something new for my dog book, something a little easier and lots of fun. I found CreateSpace, an Amazon Company. I have already started the process and am working hard on the book of my dreams. You know how much I love dogs and this book will be a great gift item and a tool for helping my favorite animal rescue groups. I am wagging my tail doing something this fun.

While checking on how to get my book in the works I found a great company ePaperFlip that converts your PDF to an online magazine where you flip pages. I hope to have my magazine online and ready to read, hmm, flip through, by December lst.  I'll keep you posted on this one. A big challenge for the technically challenged.

I like to dream big. The worst that can happen is that I learn something new. My brain spins at night thinking of things I want to create. It does leave me tired in the mornings, but then I have the dogs to get me out of bed!

Pay attention to your dreams - God's angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep. ~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

Sleep tight! Tomorrow is another day for something great to happen!

Widow Lesson Learned: It is better to dream of great things and work hard to see what happens then to sit on your butt and eat potato chips. However, I have found that eating chips while you sit and dream is totally acceptable.