Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Special Award!

My dear friend, Leann has just given me this very beautiful award. Here is what Leann said, "here is a award for renie; its a "you made my day award..from the eagles nest. "
Leann, I'm honored to receive your beautiful award. You are a talented photographer, and a very special lady. Thank you very much, and God bless you!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Two New, Very Cute Awards

Karen at Karen's Korner has graciously passed on to all her blogging friends, including me , these two new , very cute awards that she had received. Karen is a true blue blogging buddy and friend. Thank you very much, Karen.
I would love to pass this on to all blogging buddies that come and visit and comment here. I appreciate every one of you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Sad Part Of Living In The Woods

A sad entry today about a terrible incident that happened here this morning. First of all, I was still a bit depressed about my daughter and family leaving. That usually takes a week or so to recover from. And as I was outside performing some morning chores, thinking how much Hannah liked to help me with them when she was here, I heard a terrible noise coming from the woods behind the pond. Some animal crying out for help.

I had never heard that sound before, so I didn't know what it was, but I did know it was a cry of distress, and it wasn't in the distance either.

I picked up my walking stick that I like to carry with me when walking in the woods, and made sure my phone was in my pocket. Then, accompanied by my now barking little mop of a dog, Midgie, went running towards the sound, which had by then turned into screams of anguish.

As we reached the woods, I saw them. Two coyotes tearing at the flesh of a still living, but badly hurt young buck. I screamed at the coyotes and waved my stick, and at the same time ordered Midgie, who was about to go after the coyotes, to stay by me. I didn't want her to think she could chase the coyotes away on her own. You know how small dogs sometimes think of themselves as mighty dog.

Fortunately, my screeching and stick waving scared the coyotes off, and the young buck laid there, bloody but still alive. I wanted so badly to help him, but I knew there was nothing I could do for him.

With tears streaming down my face, I called our Game Warden, and could barely talk from the sobs that overtook me. He told me he'd be here in 15 or 20 minutes, and of course, he was.

When he arrived and we walked to the woods, I asked him to please wait until Midgie and I were back in the house before he did what he had to. But, of course, we heard the shot that finally put the young buck out of his misery.

Apparently, the buck had been shot by a hunter, but got away, and made it to my woods, somehow, until he collapsed, and was found by the coyotes.

So, I have felt quite sad all day, and thought finally, maybe if I write about the incident, I will feel some relief. Nature is beautiful but cruel at the same time.

Lord forgive me for thinking badly of hunters and hunting. I know it's necessary, but at this moment, there is hate in my heart!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Birthday Week and Gifts of the Heart

Besides Thanksgiving, this is also birthday week at my house. First, Nichole's birthday on the 20th, then mine, on the 25th. So in honor of birthday week, and since writing something new this busy week, is impossible, I thought I'd post an old birthday story, instead. I hope you enjoy it. An the photo is of me at 2 years of age. It's the only photograph of me that survived the war with us.

A Grandma's Gift of the Heart

My eleventh birthday was a week away when we arrived at the refugee camp in Austria on that cold November day in 1947. My grandparents and I had fled our Soviet-occupied country of Hungary with only the clothes we were wearing.

To frightened, cold, and hungry people like us, the displaced persons camp was a blessing from God. We were given our own little cardboard-enclosed cubicle in a barrack, fed hot soup, and supplied with warm clothes. We had much to be grateful for. But as for my upcoming birthday, I didn’t even want to think about it. We had left Hungary without possessions or money, but we were still alive. That was the important thing. So I put birthday presents and celebrations behind me.

My grandmother was the only mother I had ever known because her only child, my mother, had died suddenly when I was just a few weeks old. Before World War II intensified, my birthdays had been grand celebrations with many cousins in attendance and lots of gifts.

My eighth birthday had been the last time I received a store-bought gift. Times were already hard then, money was scarce, and survival our utmost goal. But Grandma had managed to pawn something so she could buy me a book. I loved it! Cilike’s Adventures, a wonderful book full of humor and adventure, had transported me many times from the harshness of the real world to a world of laughter and fun.

On November 25, when I awoke in our cardboard cubicle, I laid there and thought about being eleven. I was practically a grown-up, I told myself, and I would act accordingly when my grandparents awoke. I didn’t want them to feel bad because they couldn’t give me a present. So I dressed quickly and tiptoed out as quietly as possible. I ran across the frosty dirt road to the barrack marked "women’s bathroom and shower," washed, combed my hair, and finally returned to our cardboard sleeping quarters.

"Good morning, sweetheart! Happy birthday," Grandpa greeted me cheerily.

"Thank you, but I’d just as soon forget about birthdays from now on." I squirmed in his generous hug.

"You are too young to forget about birthdays," Grandma said. "Besides, who would I give this present to if birthdays are to be forgotten?"

"Present?" I looked at her in surprise as she reached into her pocket and pulled something out.

"Happy birthday, sweetheart. It’s not much of a present, but I thought you might like having Cilike back on your eleventh birthday," she said, tears welling up in her eyes.

"My old Cilike book! But I thought we left it behind," I said. I hugged the book to my chest while tears of joy flowed down my cheeks.

"Well, it almost was," Grandma said. "But when we had to leave so quickly in the middle of the night, I grabbed it, along with my prayer book, and stuck it in my pocket. I knew how much you loved that book, so I couldn’t bear to leave it behind. I’m sorry it’s not a new book, but I hope you like having it back."

"Oh, thank you, Grandma! Having Cilike back means so much to me. So very much." I hugged her again. "It’s the best birthday present I ever received!"

The gift of that old book was a miracle, to me, and I realized that day that God had blessed me with a wonderful grandmother, whose love would always see me through the hard times. And most importantly, she taught me that gifts of the heart are always the best gifts, because they truly are gifts of love.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Bit of Good News

I have a bit of good writing news to share. Two new articles online have just been posted.

Paprikash Soup- A Hungarian Comfort Food, is up, here:

And my old essay Changing Course-Living Alone, is posted here:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Blessings!


For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating the holiday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy 18th Birthday, Nichole!!

She is lovely and she is smart, and extremely nice, too. She is and has always been my Honey-Bunny! She is my oldest granddaughter, Nichole, and Nichole is celebrating her 18th birthday today!

Happy Birthday, Nichole!

I love you, and am very proud of you!

Have a wonderful day on your special 18th birthday, and I will see you tomorrow here, and we will continue celebrating together!

Love you a bunch!


Monday, November 19, 2007

My Special Gift from Audrey!

My sweet friend, Audrey has presented me with this beautiful, I'm Fabulous award! I am awed and honored to receive this special award. Thank you very much, Audrey. You are pretty fabulous, yourself.

There are so many Fabulous blogging friends who deserve this award much more than myself. However, I am passing it on to three of them, this morning.

First, to my old friend, Mary, who already has oodless of awards on her writing nook, but this award is for her that is also fabulous and deserves this lovely award.

And to Leann, who has a big heart and a loving soul and is one of my favorite ladies in blogland.

And last but not least, to Karen, who is a new blogging friend with wonderful Christian, family values and a friendly spirit.

Congratulations ladies! I hope you enjoy your well deserved award.
And forgive me if I'm not doing this as professionally as I should. I'm a slow learner!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Falling Leaves and Turkeys Gobblin'!

Since my little camera is cooperating once again, I thought I'd post first, this photo I just took of my front yard. The leaves are covering most of the front, and most of my driveway as well, even though there are still plenty of leaves left on the trees.
Just think of all the fun my visiting company will have next week, raking leaves! LOL.
And in the field, wild turkeys are gobblin'. Since, like the deer, the turkeys show up in my field regularly these days, my granddaughters will enjoy seeing them.
Deer season ends Sunday, thank goodness. Peace and quiet will return to the woods. Until the girls get here , and fill the woods with whooping and laughter.
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm Confessing!

Okay, while my little camera is refusing to transfer pictures to my PC today again, I had to come up with an alternative subject to blog about. So, I decided to do some confessing, with a recent, perturbed looking, confessing type of picture of me to go along with it. Haha! I'm in a silly mood, so why not?
Ten days ago, I sold a short inspirational piece to, True Confession Magazine, for their, That’s Incredible Department. I even forget what the title of my piece was, and I can’t seem to find my record of it. But it will be published in January 2008, so I guess I will find out what it was when I see it in print. (Got to read that Organized Writer book, one of these days!)

I have written for the Confession market many times. I have had stories in various Departments like, How I know I’m in Love, The Life I Live, My Moment With God, Women Are Wonderful, The Experience of a Lifetime, etc. I have, in the past, even written full length confession stories. But I usually don’t like to tell people about my secret life as a confession writer. Not because the stories are risque, in any sense, but because people think of them that way. But to a freelance writer, they are just another paying market!

I remember when I sold my first, full length confession story, and debated whether I should tell my writer friends about it, at the monthly meeting I used to attend. This was ten years ago, when I was a youngster of 60, and most of the other members were my seniors by several years. Would they be shocked or happy for me, like they were when I sold something to Chicken Soup, or Good Old Days, or Angels on Earth, or Guideposts ?

So I went to the meeting with a copy of the contract from True Confession, and after everyone had a turn to read their latest piece of writing, I announced nonchalantly, "I have a surprise for all of you."

"Oh, did you make another sale?" one of the more enthusiastic members asked, excitedly. "What did you sell, an article?"

"Yes, I did make another sale, but it wasn't an article," I replied.

"Oh, was it a short story," someone else asked.

"No, it wasn't a short story either. At least not a traditional short story," I said, finally showing them my contract.

"Why, this is a contract for a confession story! It says here, it will be published in October, for a payment of, $195. Isn’t that wonderful, girls?" the enthusiastic one said, all a tither.

After more questioning, the girls wanted to know how they could try their hand at a confession story, too.

"Go to our local Country Mart and buy several Confession Magazines. Read them thoroughly, then try writing one of your own," I told them. "That’s what I did."

"Buy a Confession magazine?" our oldest, most timid member said, in a shocked tone of voice. "This is a small town, what if someone should see me?"
Everyone chuckled at her remark, but that’s exactly what they all ended up doing, after I reminded them that most of us have been around a long time; we should have plenty to confess!

A confession story can be about anything true to life, and although written in the first person, it is always fiction, and it's written anonymously. The Department pieces are short, inspirational non-fiction, and the writer gets a tagline with them. All the Confession magazines have monthly Department sections that pay rather well for these short, inspirational pieces. Check them out and you may be confessing too!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Everybody Loves Somebody, Sometime

I thought I'd finish the week on a lighter note, and show you my Dean Martin singing replica doll. He was a gift from my son, Greg, who knows that I have been a big Dean Martin fan since I was a teenager in the fifties.

Oh, how I swooned and mooned over Dino, back then, and bought all his records, and went to see all the silly movies he was in with Jerry Lewis. I considered myself his number one fan!

In the second photo you see, I placed some beautiful girls around Dino, because he was always surrounded by beautiful girls on his TV show! (TeeHee.)

The doll sings two songs, when his button is pushed. Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime, and That's Amore. My two younger granddaughters love to push Dean's button whenever they come for a visit. And as Dean bursts into song, his head moves from side to side, as does his hand holding the mike. He really kicks up the dust. Of course, that's because I forgot to dust his stand, before I took the picture.

In the mid-70s, I was invited to be the guest of a local disc jockey friend, at a snazzy night club in our city. The attraction that night was to be Frank Sinatra Jr. So, of course, I went. Frank Jr. sang nicely, sounding a lot like his famous Dad. During his break, Mr. Sinatra Jr. actually came to our table and sat down to chat a bit.

"A little bird told me you're a big Dean Martin fan," he said, smiling at me.

"Uh, yes, I am," I replied, somewhat flustered. "I'm his number one fan!"

"Well, I happen to know Mr. Martin personally. He is a good friend of my father's. And when I go back to Hollywood, I'll tell Dean all about his cute number one fan."

I blushed and thanked him for his remark, and then thanked my disc jockey friend, because I knew he had planned the whole thing. It was all kind of exciting. But the really exciting thing was yet to come

Actually, it came almost two months later, in the mail. For there was a large, padded manila envelope addressed to me from Dean Martin, Hollywood, California! And inside the envelope was a personally autographed photo signed, "To Renie, Always, Dean." I whooped around so loudly when I saw the photo, that my three kids came running, thinking I had gone stark raving mad! In a sense, I had.

It was kind of fun remembering Dino. I listen to his CDs often, to this day. He was my first singing idol. Although my autographed photo got lost somehow, when I was moving from the city to the country, I love my Dean Martin replica doll, and I will always be Dean Martin fan!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Seven Random Facts Meme

My old friend, Tina, at Tina's Odds and Ends, has tagged me for the Seven Random Facts meme. So here it goes:

My mother died when I was just a few weeks old, and my father was away because of the war, so I was raised by my maternal grandparents. I've always had a sense of loss, for never having known my mother, or my real father, for that matter. But my grandparents were wonderful substitute parents.

I have been blessed with two great sons and a wonderful daughter, and three beautiful granddaughters, and I'm ever thankful to have them in my life.

I dreamed of living in the country for most of my life, and finally realized my dream in 1983, when I moved to the country. I have loved living in the woods the past 24 years.

Hiking in the woods is a favorite past time, and I've had some adventures while doing it. I have gotten lost in my woods more than once, until my son Greg gifted me with a compass!

I have a wildlife pond near the house that I love. The wild creatures that live around here love it as well. But 4 years ago, when my cat, Orie, was just a half grown kitten, she ventured onto the thin ice of the pond and fell in, when the ice broke. And I fell in as well, trying to save her. It was a miracle that we both made it out alive, and didn't get pneumonia! Now, when there is ice on the pond, the cats stay in the house, no matter what!

In December of 2005, I slipped and fell in the back of my house, in some newly fallen snow and broke my hip. It was late afternoon, and the temperatures were frigid. Since I had forgotten to take my cell phone along, like I'm supposed to, I had no way of calling for help. But through the power of prayer, I made it back into the house by crawling for over an hour, and was finally able to summon help. I have recovered well from my ordeal, and am able to continue to live in my woods. Thank you, Lord!

My faith, my family, my friends, and my animals are my greatest blessings.

Thank you, Tina, for tagging me. It was fun.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Golden Autumn Afternoon

Yesterday turned out to be a golden autumn afternoon, so I went outside with my camera, to capture some of the gold in my woods before it's gone. And while I was out there snapping pictures, some curious deer came out of the woods and stood around watching me the entire time.
So, I snapped a picture of them as

Because of the extremely dry and hot August, I was afraid we wouldn't have the usual beautiful colors this fall. I'm pleased that I was wrong.

I've read that the best conditions for a good showing of color are the right amount of moisture and falling but not freezing temperatures, and these we've had in the past week or so. And surprisingly, dry weather, increases the sugar concentration in the sap.

The brightest fall colors occur when dry, sunny days are followed by cool, dry nights. An early hard frost, which is in our forecast for next week, will kill the leaves before they have a chance to complete their final shut-down. So, a beautiful display of color depends on a magical combination of sunlight, soil nutrients, and cool nights.

The poem by one of my favorite poets, Edna St. Vincent Millay, captures the feeling of a golden autumn afternoon perfectly:

God's World

O world,
I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour!
That gaunt cragTo crush!
To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,--
Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,--let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Country Roads

Country roads , Take me home, To the place, Where I belong!

This is the road to and from home. I have lived on this country road for over 20 years. The view you see is to the North, taking me to connect with the highway to town. Of course, it's only a two lane highway, thank goodness. I don't think I could navigate a freeway anymore. It has been quite some time, since I have driven on a busy freeway.
My country road is hilly and scenic. A pleasant drive in all seasons. I took this photo yesterday, and as you can see, we still have a lot of green on the trees, although the colors are moseying on in.
I love my country road!