Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Best Lights for Christmas on Albertly in Parma, OH!
 As we walk our dog, we pass by this display.  I love it!  I think this is the best display I've seen this year because it's pretty yet simple and conveys the true meaning of Christmas. 

Yesterday after worshiping my Savior at the Christmas Eve candle light service at Parma Heights Baptist Church, I enjoyed browsing through the Samaritan's Purse catalog online and picking out several different projects to donate to.  This is how I like to buy for Jesus since it is his birthday we are celebrating.  It brings joy to my heart when I can help others and also help spread the good news of Jesus!  This organization is the best way I know of to do both. 

We show our love for Jesus by our actions and I think the two biggest are how we spend our money and how we spend our time. 

Merry Christmas to all! 

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Why I'm So Glad I Read the Harry Potter Series

When the Harry Potter books first came out, my husband wanted to read them and I told him I'd rather he didn't because it was all about witches and wizards and witchcraft and I didn't want it in my house.  I just assumed that what it was but I was wrong.  Yes, I admit it honey, I was wrong.

When I looked at different booktubers on YouTube, over and over the Harry Potter series came up as being favorite books, best fantasy world, best book about a boarding school, book that got kids into reading and probably some others I forgot.  I never found one negative comment from anyone who actually read the series and my curiosity was sparked.  This year I decided to read it so I could find out exactly what it was that everyone who read it loved so much, and I did!

It is definitely my favorite series and I loved every book in the series.  Never would I have thought I would read a book that was over 700 pages, but I did and want to reread them!  This is so much more than witchcraft.  It is about friendship, family, loyalty, kindness, leadership, sacrifice, good vs. evil and love with lots of humor!  It's a coming of age story following Harry Potter from a little kid through to adulthood and Harry Potter is so cool!  I liked how each book told about another year in Harry's life.  He is a lover, not a fighter.  He just wants to be ordinary and not famous.  He didn't like everyone staring at him all the time because of his scar.  He was always humble and showed love for others all through the book, even to the end and managed not to kill anyone even though his life was threatened over and over.

There are many well-developed characters in this series that were introduced gradually enough that I was able to keep them straight.  I found myself really liking Harry and his friends and felt as though they were my friends too!  This series brought out a variety of emotions for me too which I love.  At times I felt sad, jubilant, scared, angry, excited and curious.  I laughed at quite a lot of things and cried during the last book.  I loved the interaction between the professors and the students, and the interaction among the students.

There is a lot of mystery and suspense with action, adventure and unexpected twists and turns.  This book is so well written and I was just amazed at the imagination that went into it.  J. K. Rowling had me eager to read more and more and get back to whatever book I was reading.  Even after the book was done, I kept thinking about it!   

The plot is very elaborate and complex which is why I'm surprised these are classed as juvenile books rather than YA, especially since most of them are about Harry's teenage years.  Also, I think the vocabulary is very advanced for children.  Because of the witchcraft and the dark plot, I would not recommend it for young children but would highly recommend it for teens and adults who missed out on this classic literature series.  I loved this whole series!!!! 

Here's some links to check out for more information and some fun:
Here's a sorting quiz (one of many) to see which house you would belong to:  I got Gryffindor on this one but Hufflepuff on another one

Have you read the Harry Potter books?  Which was your favorite?  (Mine was the 3rd, Prisoner from Azkaban).  What did you think of the series? 

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Common Knowledge?

My hubby told me some things that surprised me.  He says it is common knowledge that:

(1) The NFL gets paid by the government to do patriotic things at the games. Things like reuniting soldiers with their family or making the flag in the stands with spectators all holding a part of the picture. 

(2) The referees have other jobs as well.  Being a NFL referee isn't their primary job.  

I did know any of these things that he said "everyone knew."  So, I need to know who is right.  Please let us know in the comments if you knew these things.  I think there are others who didn't know these things either, did you?

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

So Much to be Thankful For!

O come, let us sing unto the LORD:  let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:1-3, KJV)
What our Pastor said last week is true:  "Once you start thinking of something you are thankful for, more things will come to mind."

God has blessed me so much and given me almost 62 years (my birthday is Dec. 13).  I am so thankful that most of those years (all but the first 7) I spent knowing, loving and serving Jesus, my personal savior.  What a blessing, privilege and honor to serve the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

One game I like to play in my Sunday School classes around Thanksgiving is Scattegories.  I give them a letter and have them list things they are thankful for that begin with that letter in a minute (or whatever time limit I choose).  Then they get a point for the things on their list that no one else has.

Another game I did last year with a small class of four 5th graders was to let them build towers with big cardboard blocks.  They took turns naming things they were thankful for going through the alphabet.  We got all the way up to "S" I think.

Okay, if you've read this far and are curious, here's my list (let me know if I didn't include something you are thankful for as well)  (click on "read more" below the social media icons):

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fun at Parma-Snow Library With Outback Ray

Chinchilla:  image source Wikipedia
Saturday we went to see an animal show at the library that I was very impressed with.  I loved it, being the animal lover that I am and admired Ray for coming up with such a fun job.  He brought lots of different animals and let anyone there pet them who wanted to.  Of course, it was a family show so mostly little kids were there, but I went up and pet a couple too!

He brought a lizard named Jabberjaws, Pokemon the hedgehog, Black Jack the huge rabbit, a cockroach, a big yellow snake named Sponge Bob, a black snake named Vader, a 3-band armadillo named Yoda, Mr. Kipling the big reptile with big jaws, Bindy the chinchilla, and a baby tortoise that weighed 30 lbs.  Guess which two I pet (answer at end of the post)!

Ray was pretty funny and interacted very well with the kids, getting them to relax and pet and hold the animals.  I wish I took my camera, but unfortunately, I didn't.  I was impressed that he made sure to use different volunteers every time to choose the next animal and get to hold it.  The show last 45 minutes but I never got bored at all.  It was very good and I loved the fact that he let everyone who wanted to touch the animals.

Outback Ray puts on shows at schools, libraries, birthday parties in homes and even does shows for seniors!  I checked on his website at  to see how much he charged.  My husband's guess was $50 but I thought it would be more than that and I was right.  He charges $200!  I say good for him.  I think it would be worth having him at a party because he did such a good job and brought a lot of different animals.   If I were a kid, I would love to have him at my party!

The two I pet were the big rabbit that felt just like my cat, Spunky Doodle, and the chinchilla.  The rabbit was really big and had a silver sheen to it but of course was black as the name suggests.  It was the first time I ever saw a chinchilla and it was very cute and extremely soft.  My fingers kind of just sunk into its fur.   

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why I Like My Bus Driver

I have a very nice bus driver coming home.  He not only does his best to get me home safe and sound every day, but is also pleasant and very alert.  Twice, he's gone above and beyond his duty to be helpful to me.

Once, I was sleeping when we got to my stop.  I dozed off reading a dull book and he not only stopped at my stop anyhow when someone else was getting off, but invited my husband to come on the bus and get me!  My wonderful husband comes to meet me at the bus stop everyday.  It was a bit embarrassing but pretty funny.  I like to make people laugh even if they are laughing at me.

Yesterday, he outdid himself again.  This time it is very dark when I come home and I was so engrossed in reading Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix that I didn't even look up.  I was at the part where Professor Snape was about to tutor Harry.  We were making such good time that I had no idea we were already at my stop.  My bus driver stopped anyhow, even though no one rang the buzzer to get off and called back to me that we were at my stop.  I quickly put my book away and jumped off the bus, thanking him.  I'll bring a little treat for him today.  If he hadn't sad something, I would for sure have gone way past my stop.

Thank you Mr. bus driver!

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Fall Flowers

Flowers in front of PNC Bank Building, Cleveland, Ohio
Here it is October and look how big these flowers are!  When we plant these kind in our yard, they barely get to be 7 inches high. 

Oct. 1, 2015

At least our rose bush still has some pretty roses on it!

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ever Make a Mistake at Work?

I'm sure anyone who has ever held a job has made a mistake at work at some point, but I'm betting it wasn't broadcasted on the media and posted on the Internet with a video for the whole world to know about it.  Aren't you glad?  I am.

That is why I felt so bad for the Indians guy who mistakenly set off the fireworks when the other team scored a homerun.  I'm sure he felt bad enough without being booed by the fans!  As if that wasn't enough for all the people there to know about it, CBS Sports (and perhaps others) did a story about it.  I saw this on Facebook when I read my husband's page who shared it.

Where is the compassion?  I do not think this was news worthy.  By doing a story about this and spreading it on the Internet to me seems very cruel and mean.  No one is perfect, and this certainly didn't hurt anyone and was not a life or death situation.  It did cost the Indians the extra expense of the fireworks, but other than that, no damage was done. 

I am purposely not posting the link in this post because as I said, I feel bad for this man and don't want to give the original article any more attention.  

How do you feel about this?

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Feline Friday--Spunky Doodle and Manny Boy

Spunky sits on Gerard's lap but not mine.
 I am puzzled and a bit jealous about this.  Spunky Doodle never sits on my lap nice like this.  He's not even holding her (maybe that's the secret).  Spunky will sit by a window, lay in the sun and even join me on the bed and let me pet her up nice; however, she doesn't sit or lay on my lap.  Manny Boy will, but not Spunky Doodle.

Manny loves to come up on my lap, especially if I'm reading!
Joining in for Feline Friday.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our 18th Wedding Anniversary--Hard to Believe!

This was then . . .
8-30-97 at Stan Hewitt Gardens, photo taken by Michael Solomon

This is now . . .

No more perm for me! (Taken at our vet where our dog visits every day!)
In 18 years, our lives truly have melded together.  Gerard has a bit less hair and mine is more gray but we are both happy and truly blessed!  Gerard retired at age 62 last November and so we cut back on our charitable donations.  He is waiting until 65 to start getting social security.  We went from two cars down to one and think that was a wise decision.  We really like our 2012 Ford Escape.  It's nice having Gerard home to take care of things that otherwise I'd have to take off work to do.  Abby (our dog) loves having him with her all day!  He even plays some with our cats now.  Besides having less income, the biggest change this year that I am really happy about is that now he helps me with my Sunday School class every week. 

We hope we have many more happy years together.  We highly recommend marriage--the key is to be yourself when dating so you find the right person and do not write off someone based solely on looks.  Inside may be a kind, compassionate and generous unselfish person who will love you deeply in spite of your faults.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Our Big Hole

The City of Parma is replacing the pipes so digging up peoples yards.  This week it's our turn and it seems we hit the jackpot.  Our hole is bigger than the others, taking up not only the tree lawn but also part of our sidewalk.  They dug the hole yesterday and got everyone else's hole refilled except for ours.  The city will replace the sidewalk and plant new grass once they are done, but it sure looks like a mess right now.  I think it's good though that they are replacing the pipes before they broke.

The pile of dirt from our hole.
The pretty new pipe.
They put up a plastic fence all around it.
Hopefully they'll get it all filled back in today. 

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Happy International Cat Day!

Rest Time

What's Spunky doing?
I like playing with string!

I know, I'm so pretty!

Hey Spunky, a bag to chew on over here!

What should we do next, Spunky?

If you do not have a cat, what are you waiting for?  they are great companions, easy to care for, fun to play with, amusing, and promote a peaceful atmosphere . . . usually.

I'm currently reading Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper which I found out about on YouTube from one of the book trailer Booktube challenges:

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

What Happened to My Grass, Dad? by Abby (Our Dog)

I love walking through the tall grass at Parma High School on my walks.  My mom even took a video of me doing it not too long ago, but here is a picture she pulled out of it to show you again.

You can hardly see me in this one, which is why I like it.  It's fun to hide in the tall grass.  Here is a close up of me that you can see me much better:

Then, when I came up the hill and looked down, anxious to tromp through my favorite tall grass spot, this is what I saw:

I was confused and sad and disappointed and shocked and upset all at the same time!  Where did my tall grass go????  Who took it away?????  No one consulted me.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What's On Your Bookshelves Besides Books?

This post is about things on my bookshelves that are not books inspired by the Goodreads group, Top 5 Wednesday.  I have way more than just 5 things on my bookshelves, but picked out the ones I thought were most interesting.  In addition to what is shown in this video, I also have stuffed animals, photos, old slides, old calendars, puzzles, a movie title set and extension cords.

So, what do you have on your bookshelves besides books?

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sleepy Rainy Day

Manny & Spunky on their cat tree & Abby on the floor with her dad.

Then Gerard showed me how he gets Manny to hiss at him. 
Sure enough, it worked.  What did Gerard do?  All he did was come near him, point at him with one finger and he gets this reaction.  Manny is a mama's boy and does not seem to like Gerard much.

But, on the other hand, Spunky Doodle actually let Gerard pick her up and hold her for a bit without squirming. 
Spunky doesn't look very happy about it, but she's not fussing to get down like when I hold her.  Do your cats like you holding them?

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Birthday to Our Sweet Dog, Abby

Our dog Abby is now 11 years old and we are so happy to have her in our lives.  She is a happy, well-behaved, friendly, likeable, adorable dog who makes friends wherever she goes.  In fact, she not only got a brand new harness free of wet dog smell today from us, but also a bag of treats from a neighbor, from a resident at the nursing home she visits, and from one of the workers at Bartels--her vet.  Unfortunately, poor Abby didn't get any of these today because she had already had enough and we didn't want to give her too much.  She'll get some tomorrow though!

C'mon, I want this cookie NOW!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Blackhawk Fans

Got this jersey at Thrift Nation on Pearl Rd.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Strange Things: Odd Houses in Our Neighborhood

On our morning dog walk, we pass a couple unusual houses.  I enjoy looking at different houses and thought our readers might like seeing these as well.

The first is missing a front door and reminds me a little of a castle because of the style of the windows:

 It looks to me like a modern addition was built on top of an old looking bottom part.  The door is actually on the side:

You can see steps on the side of the house that lead up to a side door.  I like how the driveway curves around it too.  I think it looks really cool.
This is on a main street set pretty far back from the street, farther back than other homes on this street.

Another odd one we see is one that has the garage in front of the house instead of behind it:
Wonder why they have that railroad crossing sign by their drive right in front.  I think this is a strange arrangement.

Do you have any strange or odd looking houses in your neighborhood?

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Beautiful Day for a Walk With Abby

I was on jury duty this week and even got picked for the jury in a felonious assault case.  The day of opening arguments, the defendant changed his plea to guilty so we got to leave at 11:30 a.m. and I had a beautiful free afternoon.  I enjoyed joining my husband and our dog, Abby, for their afternoon walk.  Here is a video I took along the way of some of the highlights:

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Feline Friday: Ready for Breakfast

We're ready for breakfast, mom!
Manny Boy and Spunky Doodle sit on the steps waiting for me to come give them their breakfast.  (They were both watching me but of course when I got the camera, Spunky looked away.)  I give them half when I first get up in the morning and then some more after I have my breakfast.  I have to do it like this so Spunky doesn't chow down too fast and regurgitate it--even this way doesn't always prevent that from happening.  I also have to feed the separately so Spunky doesn't go after Manny's food.  He gets more because he's a bigger cat so I have to close the door to his room until he's done eating.  Sometimes I let Spunky have his leftovers if it's just a little.  Supper is done the same way and they get a bed time snack.

That's our feeding routine, what's yours?

Joining Feline Friday today.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

In Honor of Memorial Weekend: Thoughts on Prayer by Major General Olson

This is a video of the Air Force Major General's speech at a National Day of Prayer event speaking of the importance of prayer in his life and how best to pray for the military.  He is a fantastic speaker and I enjoyed listening to him share prayer examples from his own life.  He relies on God daily and gives God praise for his accomplishments. 

It is a shame that Mr. Mikey Weinstein, CEO of the civil-liberties group wants him court-martialed for speaking publicly about Jesus:  Military Hero Faces Court-Martial for Praising Jesus.  To me this is outrageous!

We thank all the servicemen, servicewomen and their families for the sacrifices made to protect our freedom and defend our country.  May God bless the USA and our nation return to Biblical values soon!

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Feline Friday: My Two Cats Chilling Out in the Afternoon

Manny Boy:  You are not supposed to see me in here!

Spunky Doodle:  This is so comfy!
Both are in our "cat room" upstairs.  Yup, a special room just for our cats!  Hey, it's an extra bedroom, what can I say?

See more Feline's at Feline Friday.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Feline Friday: Happy Birthday, Manny Boy!

Today is Manny Boy's birthday - he's now 10 years old and such a great companion to me!  He usually likes being near by and likes me petting him.  As a special birthday treat, I let him hang out for awhile in the hallway closet and let him eat some of his breakfast in there. 

I like how he lays on me pretty much whenever I lay down and joins me on the bed at night. 

I like how he runs around the house like a whirlwind playing with Spunky Doodle.

I like how he chills out and stretches his body out.

I like how he sometimes crosses his paws when lying down.

I like how he sneaks into my Booktube videos on occasion.

I like how he rolls around on the bathroom floor every morning waiting for me to finish up in there so he can get his breakfast.

I like that he is still a good jumper.

I love my cats and am so glad we were able to get Manny Boy!

Joining in with Feline Friday today.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up!

Friday my husband bought flowers for our porch and for the front section in front of our porch.  The assortment this year includes geraniums, merigolds and snapdragons.  We usually have success with geraniums.  Our yard has so little sun, it's hard to find plants that do well.

I enjoy our front porch and think the flowers add a nice touch.  Saturday, my husband helped me make my Top 5 Wednesday--Summer Covers video (it will be uploaded to YouTube Tuesday) from this spot which turned out great.  This is the best lighting I've found so far to shoot videos so I plan to make some more from this spot.  Think I'll be hanging our our wind chime this week.

I spent some extra time at the library this weekend stocking up on books I want to use for my next few Booktube videos.  This is just some of the books we got!  Manny Boy is looking them over, wondering why all these books are cluttering up his table.

This is a picture of a house we saw in our neighborhood for sale for only $32,900!  The yard is quite large as you can see, but it terrible condition.  The house looks small but not too bad from the outside.  I wonder what the inside looks like.

I had a very nice Mother's day.  These are the three cards I got:  one from both my cats, one from my wonderful husband, and one from our dog.  Plus, the pets gave me a gift card for Cracker Barrel!  We had great weather, no rain as was predicted.  It was a very nice day!  What did you do over the weekend?

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Joy in My Present Moment (Writer's Workshop)

I am currently in the midst of a joyous time so when I saw this was one of Mama Kat's prompts for Writer's Workshop this week, I decided to join in.  Also, because I have found so much joy lately that I have been neglecting this blog!

First, I am having a blast making videos for the Booktube community.  My subscribers are few, but I seem to pick up one or two a day and am not worried about how many I have as long as I enjoy it and am finding some good books to read through it as well as more "virtual" friends.  My channel (if you would like to subscribe, is  I am excited about learning more about this fine art of editing videos and this week discovered how to add layers to my pictures I want to use for my thumbnail.

Second, I found a two new groups on Goodreads related to the Booktube community called Top 5 Wednesday and Tuesday Talks.  Bloggers could also use these sources for inspiration for blog posts too or even just participate by leaving comments related to the topics.

Third, my Sunday School party was a lot of fun and when I offered the book I wrote in my dad's memory (My Funny Dad, Harry) to the kids, they all were eager to read it.  The very next day, two of them mentioned they were reading it and what parts they were up to.  The one kid shared a funny thing from it to his mom and she laughed too!  I did not write this book to become an "author" or make money (which is a good thing because it's really hard to sell self-published books).  I wrote it to share my wonderful dad with the world in the hope that people would enjoy the funny things he did as well and cherish the people in their lives.  By sharing how God helped me through the difficult time after his death, I hope others will trust in Jesus as their Savior as well.  It's such a blessing and comfort to know I will see him again one day.

Fourth, today we are donating some junk items to Parma Heights Christian Academy's garage sale so
it's always nice to get rid of clutter!  If you are in the area, this is a huge garage sale but for only one day, this Saturday.  Check it out and I'm sure you'll find some treasure you would like!

Fifth, we are getting new blinds for three windows today!  The torn curtain will come down and the naked dining room window will finally get dressed!

What is bringing you joy today?

Join in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop too!

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