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How many heartbeats does one person have in a lifetime??

An old friend from years past got me thinking about this…heartbeats…how many have I used and how many do I have left…and how exactly will I spend them?

So…let’s say I live to be 75 (average life expectancy) …that gives me 15 more years of heartbeats at a rate 72  of beats a minute…to use…I am not going to bore you with the math.

Hmmm….it seems I have used up a good percentage of MY available heartbeats…so I had better not waste what may be remaining.

I also got wondering…how did  I spent all those past heartbeats ?


Some years ago I spend numerous heartbeats … writing children’s stories/poems.  Last week when cleaning out a space in my home, I found a binder with all the creations I had long since forgotten about. In thinking about heartbeats…I thought I would share some of them here on this blog …I suppose in doing this…

 This is a way of sharing my present and past heartbeats with all of you.??


My mom will always tell me

“No, no, you shouldn’t, don’t

I find that quite confusing

Cause normally I won’t

But when she says “don’t do that !!!”

Whatever that might be

She makes me think about it

I get confused…you see???

Stock Photo #1569R-9034345, Boy pouting at kitchen table, mother shaking her finger

When mom says please don’t do that

the first thing that I think

I really want to try that

Before I can even blink

Like when she says “don’t eat that”

before she has a clue

that thing if right inside my mouth

And I begin to chew

Boy Eating  : little boy eating cookies on white background isolated

When in the tub… mom always says

“Don’t splash and please no bubbles”

But splashing makes the bath such fun

Which always causes trouble

Why does mom say “Don’t touch that” ??

Cause it makes me want to try

And so I touch it quickly

And then she wonders why??

On days when it is rainy

with big  puddles on my street

Why does she yell  “No splashing Sam”

Then… I can’t control my feet

And when I crawl in bed at night

Mom says  ” Don’t suck your thumb”

But that just makes me want to

Isn’t that just  dumb?

Mom gives me straws to drink my milk

Then says “No blowing bubbles”

If she would just not say such things

I’d cause her fewer troubles

My mother always tells me

She wants me to be good

If she didn’t give such fun ideas

I’d behave…I know I could.

Written by…ME…

Sally Unrau … May 23, 2006

Thanks for sharing my heartbeats today….I hope you enjoyed the first of many kids stories.




20 Days till Christmas morning…

A roller coaster…ahhh yes…that describes my life as a children  book author…up one minute and down the next…turn to the right…turn to the left!!

Book signing at McNally this Saturday was good…well….let me clarify that…it was very good…once the first hour was over…and by the time it was over…I realized…I had not done this in some time…NOT GOOD…as I had lost my momentum…I was off my game a bit…and…truth be told…I was even a bit intimidated that day…it was a bit of a difficult hill to ride.

I suppose we all find ourselves having those days…days when our roller coaster is heading downhill….no matter how hard we try not to…Wouldn’t …… start moving up the hill again … be the goal…Going uphill would take much more effort than going down…in fact…going down takes no effort at all!!!….So finding the energy…and keeping your eyes on the up hill…would be in order.

I suppose that…if on a roller coaster…one could find himself going downhill…in two ways….The first would be…coasting down with  eyes straight ahead…seeing where one is headed…and…inevitably…having a bit of  momentum to start-up the next hill…The second would be…heading down the hill backwards…not seeing where you are going… losing momentum as you go…Two ways to go down …and so…two ways to try to get back up…one being  much easier than the other.

What goes up…must come down….right???…If that is so….It would be impossible to stay up…all the time….Wouldn’t gravity… at some point… prevail….however….is it possible that one might stay down…  find it impossible to get back up???….Is it possible that …one might  not be able to find enough energy to get back up the hill???….Can  gravity  become stronger than a person’s drive ???…Is it easier to go up  a  second…brand new hill…rather that having to … attempt to climb the same exact hill…you couldn’t get up the first time???

It all makes me wonder…with all that hill climbing…wouldn’t it be nice if we got a bit of exercise out of it???…Oh..Oh!!!…maybe we do!!…Could it be that … climbing all those hills…exercises our minds…Think about it…Just like the person who hikes and climbs… the more they hike and climb…the the easier it gets???…Or is it that…it  does get easier… only because…they train for it???

If so…is it possible to train for those roller coaster hills/rides … that make up our life???…Can we prepare ourselves to be more successful at getting up the   hills???…Is it possible that… at times…we can get on a roller coaster …that is too big???…One we have not trained for….one we are  not prepared  to ride???


Want to be creative with your gingerbread this year????…Here are some ideas.


Vancouver Aquarium …the three musketeers.

I am unpacked and getting back into the regular schedule of my life…drinking the great coffee  my husband makes every morning, eating at least one salad a day, and blogging !!  It has been over a week and not blogging!  I thought for sure I was going to have some strange kind of withdrawal symptoms…but NO…not a one. I was so busy I didn’t even have time to miss this.

But now I am home and the computer calls me…so…here I sit…my mind thinking faster than I can write and my two dogs curled up at my feet., a coffee on my desk ….. Ahhh…what more can a person ask for.

So now…getting to the motivation thingy….Puppets…yes puppets..I think this is going to be my newest book motivation.  Book motivation you may be thinking????  What does a puppet have to do with a book????  Well,  Sam of course !!   I am going to practice making puppets and hopefully get good enough to be able to make one that looks  like my Sam.  My thinking is ….what a great item to bring with me when reading to children.  Maybe I can make a number of them to bring with me for the kids to try???   OK  now, maybe I am getting ahead of myself…but ….see what I mean about motivating me???

I think it was also Vancouver. It is such a creative, eclectic , artsy… place.  I always love how I feel when I come home from there.

If you have gone to my page of where Sam has traveled…I will be adding two new locations today. One is Aloha, Oregon where George lives who bought my book for his grandson. George and I went to high school together way back in the 60’s.  The other location is Washington D.C where Sam went for a holiday  with Paula and family….my shoelace supplier. In fact she sent me a few photos of her visit that I will now share with you….Thanks for that Paula.

Sam at the Capitol. Washington DC

Sam at the Korean War Memorial.

Sam at the Smithsonian Museum.

Sam at the Lincoln Memorial.

Do you have a camera ??? would you  like to take a picture of   Sam in front of  the sign for your town or any other place you might visit and send  it/them my way?   I think I will make a special page on …and post all the photos I receive.  Oh, oh….I just thought….this could be another collection of mine.  Just one little photo from each of you and send it to .  Please don’t send any photos with people in them unless you don’t mind me posting it .


Talking about my collections…it is time for a new one to begin…this time it will be weird pictures and things…

Look at the centre window…..yikes !!!


Today I am going to chat a bit about the old…. publishing process. 

I am having difficulty  inserting photos today…sorry. 

At the present I am involved in listening to and making comment on my book…in audio!!!!… Very interesting part of the process.

Sean , my audio guy……is about to become the voice of Sam.  I wonder if he has any idea how important a position he is in. Do you think that who ever did the voice of Donald Duck for Disney…way back when…could ever had had any idea of what a household voice Donald would one day be??? …Now I am not trying to imply that Sam…my Sam…will ever grow to the magnitude of Donald Duck or that his voice would ever become a voice recognized by millions….however….I do believe that …just as a book cover is a vital part of any kid’s book……. now that audio books are becoming a normal part of it all… voices …are also a variable that can make a book stand out from the rest…or… make it …just another book.

So…yesterday….Sean sent me what he called a dry read. He has a very articulate, very clean clear voice…which is why I chose him.(yes..I had four voices to choose from..) However, in this first audio, Sean  had  little animation in his voice  which gave me reason for concern…I was now concerned…very concerned. Is this what my Sam was going to sound like???…No excitement????…No loud and soft voice…just constant and calm.   But Sam is not calm at all in my story…Surely I would have some say in the audio???…Surely there was room for some changes???

 I had always wanted Sam  to be a fun quirky kid who voiced lots of emotions…at least that is what I was expecting…..that is how I always read the story to the kid…..I wanted to hear more excitement, more concern, more confusion in Sam’s voice. So… how do you tell that to your audio book voice person?????….Well, I decided that instead of beating around the bush, I would just tell him. And so I did…but very nicely of course. I gave my comments and then I asked if he had ever listened to Robert Munsch..I thought he was a good example fo what I was talking about…having fun with your voice…and .he said no…but then he asked if I could email him something with Munsch’s reading voice.  And so I did..It took me 4 tries..but .I finally figured out how to get it to him.  Sean said he was…”wanting to learn and make my Sam the best he could for me.”

So I wait for tomorrow …hoping to get an email from Sean with another audio read of my book.  I look forward to what he will send.

Hopefully tomorrow  the problem with photos will be fixed..I don’t like writing without pictures at all !!!!!!!!!!

Life’s Tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
Benjamin Franklin

Being an author is tough work. Not only do you have to write a story and get it published some how…you also have to be ready for the onslaught of interesting questions and comments  that may come your way once your book is out….Here are some that I have been asked…. 

  • Where did you get your inspiration from?
  • Sam…how did you come up with him as your character?
  • When will we be seeing another Sam adventure?
  • Is this a sequel? Will there be a sequel?
  • Maybe you will get on TV… on Oprah?
  • Maybe there will be a movie about Sam?
  • Who did the illustrations for you?
  • When did you start writing?
  • Remember me when you become famous..OK?
  • Are you making money yet?
  • What have you learned about the process?
  • What has been the most difficult part of it all?

I am usually decently  quick on my feet…but this is a whole new experience…and some of these caught me off guard..some surprised me…..but I think I have developed my repertoire of answers for if and when I need them. Will there be more??…Will I be ready for them???I sure hope so. 

And book signing… although it can be fun…. it can as well be a bit stressful…. So far… I have a collection of  three Sam  books …that will be mine to keep. You see, I have made the mistake of spelling a few names wrong. …Now that is a faux pas for sure. But with the hustle and bustle of people all around…whew…the simplish task can become daunting. So now…I always have a pad beside me when signing and make sure to write the name down on the page… prior to writing it in the book so I  get the spelling correct….It is amazing some of the names I have had to write. 

This is such an interesting, fun, challenging,  learning experience…Don’t they say we learn best from our mistakes???…if so…I am going to be a very wise old women at this rate. 


The musician's toilet

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.                                         

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

 You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

 And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Dr. Seuss

You may have already figured out that I love Dr. Seuss. His nonsense says it all …at least I think so. His use of rhyming words is wonderful!. I believe his words speak to both children and adults alike.

I have spent hours…writing lists of rhyming words for my stories ….and let me tell you…it is not an easy task. Just for fun I tried an interesting thing….

I found a list of rhyming words from a few years ago in one of my writing binders. I was taking words that adults use and comparing them to a child’s vocabulary….just for fun….here it is…

kids will  staple- we colate…kids will argue-we debate…kids will leave-we evacuate…they will change-we deviate……children sell-we liquidate…kids will use-we operate…Kids say it’s  pretty-we say it’s ornate…kids call them apes- we call them primates…they will read -but we narate…when kids say  spin-we say  rotate…they will pee- we urinate…kids will  copy-we  duplicate…they grow seeds -we cultivate……kids days  end-  ours terminate…they oil their bikes-adults lubricate….kids will  think-we concentrate…kids say shake-we say agitate…children ruin-we decimate…kids will show-we indicate…they will talk- we communicate…… and children mix- adults integrate.

Here is another  list I found….of  some more words that just rhyme…..animate, donate, deflate, dictate, elevate, educate, graduate, hesitate, celebrate, dominate, isolate, liberate, mediate, pulsate, radiate, situate, recreate, violate, vacinate, aluminate, arbitrate, associate, placate, cooperate, dislocate, facinate, hibernate, humiliate, infatuate, insinuate, medicate, manipulate, negotiate, originate, penetrate, perolate.  



Burn the candle at both ends …To live at a hectic pace.

Success…how do we measure success???  I am feeling pretty successful right now after selling and signing many books…but is there a difference between  FEELING success and actually HAVING success???…How is success measured???…Is success a matter of meeting our expectations??…If that is so….we can all be successful…just lower our expectations!!

I have no idea what the average sale of a new children’s book might be.  I have no idea if I should be feeling success. I suppose you could compare it to the athletic events my husband had competed in for decades. He always said he was not in it to try to win the event but rather to try to beat his own time.   I think I should look at book sales that way as well….compare it only to my past sales…not anyone elses. 

Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it.

Sam Ewing

Right now I am a bit tired from the long days sitting and talking and signing books and I realize I am going to have to pace myself just like one would do for an athletic event. I don’t want to burn myself out before I get to the mile one marker.  I can see how easy that would be cause at first the adrenaline is pumping and it would be so easy to run the race too fast too early.

Sam and my book are going to be with me for the long haul and I need to keep reminding myself of that. Pace, pace, pace.  What would be great is to have a pacing car to keep me on  a comfortable pace.


“The human brain is unique in that it is the only
container of which it can be said that the more you put
into it, the more it will hold.”

— Glenn Doman

Hmmm…is that really true??…As a child…yes…our brains are like sponges…soaking up everything . For years that continues and we gain more and more information which we store in our brains.

But doesn’t there come a time…like any container…when it is finally full to the brim…overfull in fact???

Take for instance a sink with a tap and  running  water… soon the water fills the sink and  reaches the sink’s edge only to overflow…. or a balloon …it can only be blown up so big until it has no more room for air and so Pops !!!…

If our brains are anything akin to that…it would mean there needs to be a tap..or an opening in the brain….a way for some information to be released to allow for more to be gathered…just like the balloon to insure it doesn’t overflow or explode!!!

So if that is true and some of our stored memory …goes down the brain drain so to speak…what happens to it????  Like the lost water from the sink…what  about lost data???….is that drained piece of data gone forever or is it retrievable if we make room for it???

And what if a person’s  brain does not have a drain???….Will it explode like the balloon???  Maybe not…but can it get overloaded???…and if it does…how does that affect us??? Is it like the electrical outlet that gets overloaded and burns out????  Maybe this  is why when some people  age…there is a percentage of them who  have memory issues. And why is it that …let’s say…in the case of dimentia…that all the old memories become vivid and the newer ones are lost???? Maybe these people’s brains…have no drain … could this be like the overflowing sink or the bursting balloon???…there is a circuit overload and the data gets confused???…and then…so do they???

Now of course this is just a thought…an opinion……but still…it does make one wonder about the brain…don’t you think??? The brain … such a wonderful and weird part of the body. Does your brain have a drain?????  Think about it.

New topic…book launch coming up this week and with signs, posters and today…a small article in the local paper about the event.

I do believe I just experienced…my 15 minutes (or is it seconds) of fame!!!  …How about you..   any perceived moments of fame in your life??





Definition of Contract……

Voluntary, deliberate, and legally enforceable agreement between two or more competent parties

I had a few thoughts today about my contract with Tate so re-read it this morning over coffee.

I sent a few questions out to my marketing person at Tate and will wait for her response…hopefully on Monday.

My questions have to do with…what part of my book do I own???  …Just the words??…How about the illustrations…and Sam???Someone asked me the other day if I owned Sam. I said yes but truly I didn’t know. Now I want to know so hopefully I will find out soon. And if I don’t own Sam…can I make likenesses of him or not?? …I need to know the answers so legally…I know what I can do.

That’s it for today…short and sweet. And now for another one of my items in my newest collection. 

 Anyone figured it out yet???  Let me know when you do. 


  • I like my money right where I can see it–hanging in my closet.  Carrie: Sex and the City't like this's not me

By now you are tired of hearing about the things I am working on to get ready for my book launch. But…today I did something for myself….went clothes shopping!!  I like my money right where I can see it too…but hanging in my closet is not the place!!… In fact…I sometimes have to force myself to go out and buy clothes….But I must admit…shopping today…Now that was fun…I needed some new things anyway so now was a good time to shop and have something new for my book events. I usually finally go pick up a few new items if a vacation is coming up. Good thing we take regular vacations. My husband always says I am a shopper and he is a buyer….I guess you could say today I was just like him…a buyer.

My calendar is getting filled up…how exciting…but now I am worried I won’t have enough books to get me through the next few months. Wishful thinking I suppose??…The coloring books I ordered are on their way…in fact an email I received told me they will be here today. So I will stay around the house for the afternoon…just in case they arrive.

This is not it. This one was done by my friend Katie and in a past quilt show.

Our quilt group will be having its annual quilt show on April 30, May 1 and 2…and since I am in charge of the auction table…along with my friend Marty….I have a ton of phone calls that must be made to secure donations for it.  Usually we get more items than we could have imagined…and each year it is interesting to what we get.  This year we have made a beautiful quilt that will be a part of the items on the table…I would love to win it for myself!!! It is gorgeous!!

So now I have a question for all of you….has anyone figured out the connection to the collection I have begun???..Does anyone see a theme…a thread running through them all????   Here, I will give you another one today and see if that helps….


Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.
Doug Larson

Here is a tidbit of information for all of you…did you know that ..•on this day in 1963….                                                                   Julian Lennon, the son of John Lennon, was born in Liverpool, England???

I realize that this event in itself if nothing very profound….and for some of you this will have no meaning at all…but for me…it made me think back to the old days and the Beatles…and…as well…I was in High School…High School !!!   Wow…now that is going back.

Last year was very interesting for me. It was my 40th school reunion…which I was not able to attend…however…over the months before  and after I was fortunate to catch up with a number of  old friends from my high school..Bunnell…in Stratford, Connecticut.  It was such fun to be able to see photos of everyone now and I would take out the old year book to check out  how I remembered them. It had been 40 years since we had been in touch and now many of us were retired, grandparents, and in some cases, still working hard and a few had passed away.

I collect memories of events on wine corks, people, places.

Feelings of Nostalgia…that is what the thought of the birth of Julian Lennon brought to me today. Not Julian really…but…The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Lenard Cohen and all the memorable music  of the times. I remember ironing my hair every morning before school to make sure it was straight…and it was!! Straight and burnt…most likely…but that was not important.  And the deaths of celebrities seemed to be the thing of the day and I , still to this day, can remember when people like JFK, John Lennon and Martin Luther King …lives were taken so much before their time. 

I guess those were years of emotion…teenagers… to whom these events effected many of  us … the times we grew up in.  The world seems simpler now…or is it really???….What about the teens of today…I suppose their lives are full of a roller coaster of emotions just as ours used to be. I wonder what events of today are the ones they will remember with nostalgia when they are 50 yrs old???…the ones they will remember all the days of their lives??   And the music…music seems to be the communication of choice when we are teens…What is the music saying to teens today and what will it  be saying to generations to come???

Our cork collection...sorry...never turned photo

How about you???…Not a baby boomer???….what cases you to be nostalgic???…what events…what music????


Figured it out yet????

See full size image

If I look confused it is because I am thinking.
Samuel Goldwyn

Confused…today I am confused. I won’t bore you with the why’s and how’s…only to say…I am confused.  Some days life seems so very simple and confusion is nowhere to be seen and then comes a  day when …splat !!!….it lands right in your lap (confusion that is)  and it is difficult to really understand why it is there and where exactly it came from and what to do with it.

I tried to understand it today but the more I thought…the more confused…I… and my Thinking became.  Maybe that is part of the problem…too much thinking…too much trying to understand. But then I think… I have to understand so I will not be confused about this  in the future…right???  But if I am not really clear on what is causing the confusion…could it be that there really is not confusion at all and it is just some weird game my mind is playing on me???? 

Whew !  Maybe when we are confused… it calls for action and not thinking on our part. So does that mean that the more you think the more confused you will become…and the more active one is…the less confused one will be???? OK … Now I am really confusing myself.

1. confusedCONFUSED – perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements; filled with bewilderment; “obviously bemused by his questions”; “bewildered and confused”; “a cloudy and confounded philosopher”; “just a mixed-up kid”; “she felt lost on the first day of school”

perplexed – full of difficulty or confusion or bewilderment; “perplexed language”; “perplexed state of the world

A person can be confused about somethings… but can go and get an answer …and the confusion will clear up…such as the  meaning of a word…or…confusion  about directions to a location or directions …or… for putting something a model. But I am not talking about that…instead I am talking about the somethings that are not so tangeble…like our thoughts and beliefs or others thoughts and beliefs.  Religion and politics or other controversial subjects are often cause for confusion…and..body language can be cause for confusion even the spoken work can be confused.  Confusion comes in our attempts  to interpret things around us…not knowing that we often misinterpret instead…and …splat!!!…confusion lands in our laps. I a bear or a potato?????

So now this all got me wondering about my day…confusion…For some strange reason it seems to have disappeared!!!. Life can be a mystery at times… and I suppose…we are not supposed to understand it all. We might like to ….but…I think sometimes we are better off not understanding everything that confuses us. 

Change of topic now….Here is an interesting shoe site I came upon today…so I thought I would share…

And now….Drum roll please….da da ta da…..I now have the beginning fo my newest virtual collection. I won’t tell you what it is…but it is simple…and you will guess it in not time. Here is the first of many…..



  • a system of timekeeping that defines the beginning and length and divisions of the year
  • a list or register of events (appointments or social events or court cases etc); “I have you on my calendar for next Monday”
  • enter into a calendar
  • a tabular array of the days (usually for one year)
  • I wonder if you are anything like me…owning and using a calendar filled with appointments, events, tasks, deadlines and so on. If you are like me you would be lost without it. It is my system to get through life without forgetting tasks and events.

    Every Sunday nite I review my calendar to check what is scheduled for the coming week. Will I have to be up and out of the house early some days..any lunches planned…any birthdays to remember….do I have any evening activities I must attend.??? …And even knowing all of that I still have to look at it first thing in each morning to be sure of that day.

    For me there is some form of comfort in having my calendar close at hand. Would I remember everything if I didn’t have a calendar???… Am I just getting to the age when I NEED a calendar???…or am I just so used to having it to count on that I don’t even try to remember the info anymore????

    I have misplaced it a few times but have always found it.  For 2010 I bought a larger day timer…with all the book tasks and events coming up I seem to need more room to write everything down.

    How about you??? ….Do you have a system of timekeeping??…Do you use a day timer/calendar to keep you on track??…Or maybe you are more high-tech and carry a device with you such as a blackberry or Ipad….or Are you able to keep it all organized in your head still??…or are you inbetween….not always remembering but not wanting to give in yet.

    Maybe you are like the person who has put off getting tested for glasses only to find out how much clearer life can really be. ..or in this case…how much simpler…less stressful life can be…unless of course you are always misplacing items.


    This is the last of  the manicures…tomorrow I will begin with a new virtual collection for you…

    TOKYO - NOVEMBER 30: A competitor shows her nails with Swan designs during the Tokyo Nail Expo 2009 at Tokyo Big Sight on November 30, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan. The nail industry has grown to nearly 200 million Japanese yen market in 2008 and the annual event attracts 50,000 visitor. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

    Yes…a local book launch for Sam’s Weird Afternoon is coming up this month.  A local business asked me if I would like to have it at her business….I was thrilled and of course said yes. So here is the date…time and place.

    If you live in the area…please come…everyone  is invited !!!

    April 21st…7-9pm                                                                                                     PosersGallery                                                                                                                               Stephen St.                                                                                                                    Morden, Manitoba

    Now I have things I must do  to get ready for it….

    Baking for the evening….order a cake….make more bookmarks for the store to hand out…print off a few posters…finish my quilted banner…glue Sam to rock….finish cloth Sam doll…buy new napkins and plates., article to local paper.  

    I don’t know what I have done because I feel like many of these tasks …I have been working on for some time now. But then, none of them are one day…one week jobs. Wheww…that makes me feel better.  

    Hmmm…I wonder how my book launch will go???…Will you be having a book launch???…What did you have to do to be ready???..was it a fun time??…did you have a good turnout???  Would you do it again if you had another book???  Ok now…holiday time draws near.

      I wonder if there are book launches for dictionaries??

    With Easter on its way I am possibly going to have to take a break from blogging…big family dinner at our home tomorrow….dinner at friend’s home on Saturday and Sunday….Easter!! 

    If I have a chance I may find time to at least put in another one of my collections of interesting manicures…

    To all  have a very Happy Easter weekend…and if the Easter Bunny shows up at your house…don’t eat too many sweets.


    Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.  ~Harry Emerson

    For a several years now, I have been retired…and I have been busier than ever. No, I don’t have to get up at the same time every day and I don’t have to get to the office at 8:3o to do all the tasks required by my job description. However…somewhere along the line my time got filled up and I wondered to myself…how ever did I have time for work????

    I have heard so many people before me…decide not to retire because they are afraid they will have nothing to do with their time…or…they feel financially they are not in the place to do so.

    Some things I have learned about retirement I would like to share with those of you who are nearing that time….

    •If you can’t find a way to fill your time…have no fear…others will happily do that for you.

    •Because of that….learning how to use  the word NO…and actually saying it …are crucial to keeping some control over your days.

    •You will often answer the phone..usually at lunchtime…and there will be a pause…only then …to hear the voice of a phone solicitor mispronouncing your name. It is imperative that you develop an exit plan as  these calls, of which many you used to miss being at work… will  now become a regular occurence.

    •They say that if you haven’t done it before retiring…you won’t do it after. I always believed that statement…however I can truely say….it is false!!  After retirement I published my first book.

    •Make sure to call a friend for lunch on a regular basis. Just because you no longer have lunches out…doesn’t mean you can’t still do so.

    •You may return to your work place for coffee breaks and gatherings….and it will be fun. But the day will come when , although your excoworkers might continue to invite you back…you will no longer have the time or interest to do so.

    •Financially you will survive…and quite nicely. Fewer clothes, fewer meal out, fewer birthdays etc. to have to chip in for, and less gas for the car.  You will have to spend much less money now.

    Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.  ~Will Rogers

    How about you…retired??….thinking about i???….years away from it???  I have been out of work for some time…but technically will be retired in two months.  maybe I should celebrate???  Kind of anti climatic though.  My health problems caused me to quietly just slip away from my job which was out of my control…but in two months I hit the magic 80…and papers must be signed.

    Planning to retire? Before you do find your hidden passion,
    do the thing that you have always wanted to do.”
    Catherine Pulsifer


    They almost look like pretty Easter Eggs.

    Yes, that is what I said…finding the right glue.  I have finished my Sam figurine and have found a wonderful rock to sit him on for display purposes. Last night I when down to my husband’s workshop to find a glue to use to glue Sam  to the rock.

    First I tried a tube of silicone…surely that would work. But to my disappointment, Sam just kept slipping off the rock even after I held him in place for 30 minutes. With no success, I scraped off the silicone residue and found a different tube of construction glue. Again…the same results…Sam slipping off of the rock…but this time the glue was all over my hands and it was a bit of a job cleaning this brown goop off of Sam, the rock and my hands.

    My husband was to arrive home last night after a week of hiking the Grand Canyon with 3 other guys. I decided that I would wait and have him help me with this as he would probably know better what would work.

    Yes, I have been on my own for the past week. During that time I managed to spend many hours on the computer, meals out with friends, shopping , walking the dogs and then last night, a few hours before he …my husband…arrived home, I did a quick vacuum and wouldn’t you know it….I sucked up one of my mini gloves before I had a chance to grab it. Now my central vac is  plugged and out of commission. But then…I had an idea…the toilet snake!!  That would work. I would be able to push it right through the hose, into the canister and remove it before anyone knew. But alas ….I couldn’t find the snake anywhere in the house.   And so… unable to fix the vac  myself…I was now resigned to having to tell him of my mishap and hoping he would be able to fix it. I will keep my fingers crossed….hopfully it can be unplugged.

    I am sure my husband has some...he always does. whew...

    I thought it would be nice to have a week of not having to think about anyone except me …and the dogs of course. It was in some ways…but I must admit…it has been a bit too quiet for my liking.  And I found out that I really do like preparing a supper every night and having company to eat with. And…I found out that …although I am very independent and am very confident in doing things on my own,I can’t always do everything….  over all…I sure missed him and am so glad he is home .


    I have had a few pedicures in my time…not really my thing. My nails look good for a few days …but I really can’t stand the feel of the nail polish on them. I can’t imagine how a manicure like this one must feel. Wouldn’t your nails feel heavy????


    Paths….But you have to take all of those things, you have to take into consideration the paths, the roadways, how much cloud cover there is, how much foliage cover there is, whether there are streams, all of that comes into play.
    Richard Serra

    Life is very interesting … the way it  lays out different paths for us to explore or not. I was talking with a long time friend , Susan , to be exact, about just that subject this weekend. Both she and I…  find ourselves in places that…2 years ago…we never could have imagined being in. But here we both are …and how interesting both our lives are at this moment in time.

    Paths come in all different sizes and shapes. Some paths we take… are long and others are short. Some paths lead to a zillion other paths and others have only a few …some paths are very clearly defined …others are more like  those made by deer in the woods….some paths we are able to see for miles and others have so much growth around them we are only able to take them  one step at a time. Then there are the paths that are flat and easy to travel….and other that  are hilly with difficult terrain.

    There are paths we walk  all alone and others not.  Sometimes we find ourselves on a lit path ….other times we must negotioate a path in the dark.

    So that got me to wondering…hmmm….if  paths were clearly lit and laid out like a highway system ….and  if  we could have a bird’s eye view of them… would  the decision of which one to take be easier???…Would that cause us to avoid certain paths ???….Would that cause us to take the simpler paths??…Or would it make it all just more difficult????

    I remember when I was much younger and  a bit more nieve.. taking paths …paths my parents did not agree with…but paths that were interesting and exciting. I also remember taking some paths that… unbeknownst to me …were actually quite dangerous.But when we are young…we are invincible…fearless.

    We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
    Walt Disney

    As we get on in years…do we look  for and take the safer…more predictable paths???…or …are we still curious…do we still like to …occasionally… take the more dangerous , less defined ones??? 

    I don’t know about you…but right now for me … I am quite content with the path I am on with Sam. It appears clear and defined right now…but I am sure there will be hills and unclear parts to negotiate… coming up.

    Soooo…what kind of path are you traveling on right now???.


    I think I will go make myself another cup of coffee.  

    I once collected buttons with no real measurable goal. Now I have jars and jars of them. They look pretty sitting on the shelf...but don't really have anything to do with them>




    a goal is an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe.

    We have all set goals for ourselves over the years…as I have…with some being met and others not.  So it made me wonder why?

    I suppose some are easy and others are more difficult to meet…some we are passionate about and others are not…some are we enjoy working toward and others seem to be just plain work…some take a long time to meet and others not…sometimes we stay on course and other times we get sidetracked..other times we become discouraged and let the goal slip away or change it .  Goals… we all have them.


    For me, writing my story was fun, trying to get someone to publish it seemed easy, getting through the publishing process was long, planning a marketing strategy became a passion of mine and now …my next goal is planning events and selling my book.

    I wonder…how will I be with this??…Will I be able to stay on track??…Will I get discouraged??…Will this be fun??…Will it be too much work??  Lots of questions.

    So …I suppose I should have a more concrete goal than just…sell books.  If I remember from what I have leaned int the past…a goal should be measurable and attainable. I also remember something about…reevaluating  it on a regular basis and making changes if needed.  

     If that is so….maybe I should put a number on my goal ….like….I want to sell 50 books…or 100 books…or 500 books????  All of these are measurable but attainable????…I suppose it depends how much I want to put into it.

    If you don’t know where you are going. How can you expect to get there?

     Basil S. Walsh

    I will think about that for a while and try to come up with a measurable goal/expectation  for me over the next year…the first year of my book and Sam.

    And I must also remember what they say ……if you keep doing the same thing you will keep getting the same results. So reaching my goal may mean changing up my strategy once in a while.

    Map out your future, but do it in pencil.  ~Jon Bon Jovi

    How about you???…are you working toward a goal right now??…Is it measurable and attainable??…Is your strategy to attain it ….working for you????


    And now …for your daily dose of caffine…..

    Yes it is Monday again and time for a new word. This week it will be a small on again…so that maybe I will be able to remember it and use it some time……

    ADZ    … a cutting tool

    Now how is that for a good Scrabble word????

    Today I spent quite a few hours and 3 cups of coffee …working on this …my to be quilted Sam banner.  So far I had to redo the head and the arms. Next will be the dotted shoe laces and then the face.

    When I started getting a book published little did I know I would get so involved in the character Sam.  He sure is keeping me busy and out of trouble.

    Today I have a bit of ….Cabin fever  a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in,for an extended period [1]The phrase is also used humorously to indicate simple boredom from being home alone.[2] The term was first recorded in 1918.[3] Other references have the term in use at least to 1906. An 1820 reference is to an actual fever, common in Ireland, resulting from eating watery potatoes during wet years.

    I am going to have to make a call or two this week …just to get out of the house and have lunch with a friend or something!!!  I feel like Sam has kept me way too busy and I need to get out of the house….

    Not feeling too pensive today and so will just leave you all with this…


    Our Wizard of Oz wall clock.

    Did you turn your clocks ahead today??? Spring is just around the corner…..

    I almost forgot about it until I noticed the time on my computer…and here I thought I had woken up at 8:30 as usual on a Sunday morning …but NOT…9:30 instead.

    Life is all about timing… the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable… attainable. Have the patience, wait it out It’s all about timing.
     Stacey Charter quotes

    So does that mean that we have lost an hour in our life???…or just that we have to move ahead an hour until we once again have to move behind????  I suppose that depending upon what time of year you leave this world and how old you are…you actually might have lost an hour in your life???…right???

    If the time change occurred on a weekday…it could have caused some confusion in your life…realizing you woke up an hour late….getting to work late…can throw your whole day off. But being a Sunday…to manypeople… it will not matter…but then there are the church goers who might be late for services…but then…your God would be much more forgiving than your boss would…don’t you think???

    And now comes the task of finding every clock, watch in your home……etc….and change them. It usually takes me a few days before they are all ticking at the same …CORRECT…time.

    And so now …our days will begin to feel longer and our nights shorter. I am anxious to see the snow melt and the daffodils begin to peak out to find the sun. 


    by William Wordsworth
    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
     When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
     Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
     Continuous as the stars that shine
     And twinkle on the milky way,
     They stretched in never-ending line
     Along the margin of a bay:
     Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
     Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
     The waves beside them danced,
     but they Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
     A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company.
    I gazed-and gazed-but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought;
     For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
     Which is the bliss of solitude;
     And then my heart with pleasure fills,
     And dances with the daffodils.

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