If I would have known…

Why reinvent the wheel? I want to share the "lessons", shortcuts and knowledge I have acquired over the past 63 years!

Guest Star: Juno – Call this an adventure?

Thank you, Marc, for providing me with an insightful narrative on what I always suspected my Jazzy was thinking!


Hi everyone,

Please find below a guest post from Juno who sadly passed away on 1st January 2015, but though she remains greatly missed her humorous take on life in Cardiff (and occasionally elsewhere) continues in her blog at In the following post she reflects on her experience of visiting the vet.

They seem to think that I am not listening and taking in everything they say on the phone… not using the V-word eh? Seems like my resident nazi sympathiser has a trip planned for me; but little do they know I saw the postcard (addressed to me!) about my annual health check and booster vaccination being due. “It will be an adventure” they say, while slyly referring on the phone to some “trip to Hull and back” or a similar phrase. Well, I have my own plans regarding this forthcoming adventure I can tell you. Firstly, I…

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Fireworks Can Be Terrifying For Your Pets!


While enjoying the Fourth of July holiday, please keep your furry friends in mind.  Even though fireworks mean celebration for us, the loud, flashing, exploding noise can be frightening to your pets.

Don’t be tempted to take your pet to the party.  They are more comfortable in their home.  Once the fireworks start, help to keep the noise and flashes out by closing blinds, turning on the television or play music.  If your pet is crate trained, put them in the crate and cover it with a blanket.

Also, this is a good time to make sure your pet is microchipped in case they get out of the yard or the house.  If your pet is not microchipped, write your name and phone number on their collar with a permanent marker.  Fourth of July is one of the busiest times of the year for lost animals being turned into shelters.

Happy Fourth of July!  Have fun and keep yourselves and your fur family safe!

4TH OF JULY……..Don’t light that firecracker while holding it!!

Oh, those 4th of Julys of yore. My siblings and I looked so forward to getting that huge bag of firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers! Did you ever light a firecracker while holding it and not throw it soon enough??? How do we have any fingers, eyes, or other non mangled body parts? Thank goodness society learned how dangerous exploding objects are, especially in the hands of unsupervised youngsters!

These days, the Fourth of July is about celebrating Independence Day, anniversary of the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776. Families come together to eat, play and enjoy community firework shows put on by professionals, and what magnificent light displays they are!

If you want to find 4th of July events in your area, contact your Chamber of Commerce, City Hall or Parks and Recreation Department, or search the Internet.  Following is a link to celebrations happening in and around Austin, TX, my stomping grounds:

Have a safe and fun 4th of July!



Depression, anxiety…what is it? How do you know if you have it? LET ME SAY RIGHT NOW THAT I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I suffer from depression and anxiety, and have suffered with it my entire life. I did not realize it, though, until I was 48. After a very emotional and traumatic year, the depression and anxiety manifested itself into physical and unexplainable vertigo.

After extensive testing by several specialists, the ear doctor sat me down and told me I was doing it to myself, I needed to be on medication and advised me to talk to my primary physician. I was devastated! I was convinced I was “crazy”, “weak”, ashamed and embarrassed. I was reluctant to tell anyone, especially my family! They had been worried about me because I looked so bad. I truly looked physically ill!

I made my appointment with my primary physician, and DREADED what she might say, however, it was a turning point in my life. She explained to me that I had a chemical imbalance, and have had it all my life, and probably was hereditary. My doctor prescribed a low dose of antidepressant that is also used to treat anxiety. She explained it could take a couple of weeks to feel improvement and up to six weeks for the full benefits to take effect.

Then it happened. After just a week, one evening after work while watching tv with my husband, the dark clouds opened up and sunshine came flooding in! That is exactly how it happened! For the first time in my life I was not INVISIBLE! And as the weeks went by, it got better and better. I no longer cried all the time, worried about little things, and feared what every day would bring.

I am not saying I went into this state of euphoria. I was excited, relieved, amazed, and shocked! When I told my doctor about my experience, she explained the dramatic change was proof that I had a chemical imbalance and would need these drugs for the rest of my life. NO SACRIFICE for the relief!

Not that the process has been without small bumps in the road. Each drug has side effects, such as weight gain and muscle spasms, but, after several trials, and counseling with a psychiatrist and a psychologist, I have found the right combination that allows me to live without the fears I experienced my whole life.

Please remember that everyone is different and the depression/anxiety symptoms may not be the same as I experienced. If you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from depression or anxiety, talk to your primary care physician.

Below are links to resources for more information.



I look at art and think, “I can do that!” Every blog, You Tube lesson, and art teacher say “you don’t have to have talent”, “you don’t have to know how to draw”, “there is no wrong way”. Then why does everything I create look like a kindergarten art piece? That having been said, when I showed my son-in-law, a musician, my first acrylic painting, he told me to get back out there and start painting because we were going to start selling them!

Learning to paint is not an over night process. So many decisions and choices to make, such as, do I want to use acrylic, oil or pastels? What type of brushes do I need? What type of paper or canvas, or do I want to use paper or canvas? Do I want to paint still life, landscape or abstract? Do I know the color wheel, tones, perspective, how to mix colors?

Practice, practice, practice. I have painted trees, with leaves, without leaves, reflected in the water, over and over. And that elusive light! Where is it coming from? ARGHHHH! This is not for sissies!

However, I do so enjoy getting out my brushes and paint, or my acrylics, and seeing the colors and strokes become a picture! Even if it is not exactly like I had envisioned. I can spend hours just “painting” and thinking of nothing else. And, when one is finished, the sense of accomplishment and pride is immense!

Lessons are invaluable and FUN! The resources available for someone wanting to get in touch with their artsy side is abundant. You Tube, Pinterest, Blogs and the Internet are filled with videos and resources to access, from the beginner to advanced. Also, arts and craft stores, such as, Hobby Lobby and Michaels and some art centers and schools offer lessons. Or, try one of the social painting classes, like Painting With A Twist or Pinot’s Pallets, where you can enjoy a glass of wine and the camaraderie of other artist wannabes!

You might be the next Picasso, or at least find a hobby you enjoy very much!



It was the fifties, I was a twin, the youngest of three children, and a girl. Maybe it was the decade, or the fact I grew up in a small oil town, or that Daddy worked 24 hours a day and Mom was exhausted with keeping up with very hyper twin girls (we did tend to get into mischief) but, I don’t recall having any meaningful conversations about growing up, what to expect, how to prepare, education, possibilities, dating, sex, having children, etc. Unfortunately, my first child suffered the most from my ignorance. By the time I was pregnant with my second child, I realized I had a lot to learn!. It is said that babies don’t come with user manuals, but, in my search for helpful and knowledgeable information, I found if you ask questions, and look in the right places, you can learn most of what you need to know. Once I realized children do not automatically know about life, Mom, Daddy, my Mother-In-Law and Father-Law, Grandparents, friends, teachers, my doctor, and the library all became great resources for information. One of the biggest lessons I learned was to talk to my child about what she could be and how important education is. I started the day she was born. I also talked to her about growing up, finding the right man, having children, being independent, and thinking for herself. I am very proud of both my children and who they have become. However, the growing up process would have been much easier for my first child had I understood the importance of talking about what to expect and what was expected of him.

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