Friday, June 25, 2010

My Walks with Sugar

I'll be taking Sugar for her second walk in a little while. I look forward to taking her. We walk around the neighborhood where it's quiet, and most are still at work. My work of course is done inside my home.

I've lived in this neighborhood for close to 40 years. It's hard to believe. I almost moved away last fall but decided against it for the time. And since then I've realized how lucky I am to be where I am, in a location one can actually relax, and feel more in touch with nature. Yes, I have neighbors on all sides, but am situated in a way that I do have my privacy, yet we can all look out for each other, which we do.

I moved here in 1971, actually at the end of August. Married, with a two year old and six months pregnant with my second child, this was going to be our "starter" home. Except as the years passed, we found it easier to stay on, add on, and remain where we were. My house is considered tract housing, a small ranch house. We paid I think $20,000 for it. We added a two car garage, a family room, another full sized bath, a deck. The basement is finished. The yard is kept up by my neighbor, who does a fantastic job. He lives in the back so is always around to do whatever needs to be done. His son plays with the younger boys across the street. They often cut through my yard to visit each other's house. I don't mind. We have formed a community and we look out for each other.

Still, whenever I go out into my backyard, I envision how it once was. My neighbors to my right, the original owners of that house have passed on. I can still imagine Roger out in his garden, or building a windmill, or stocking up on wood, filling a special shed just for that purpose. I imagine him with my late husband, figuring out how to start and complete the latest project. Each holding a beer, kabitzing about the best way to do things.

Helen, Roger's wife loved bingo. She also loved her hot dogs, and knitting or crocheting.

Roger loved his special projects, like that windmill. I'm not sure if he ever really generated any electricity out of it.

Every summer Helen would holda tag sale. One time I participated in a neighborhood tag sale with Helen and her sister Jeannie. Both have passed on, joining Roger, and my husband.

I now walk around the neighborhood with Sugar. All the kids have grown, and have kids of their own.  It's all different. 

The years passed so quickly. And each generation will wonder how does time go by so fast like that, leaving behind only memories.

The above ground pool we once enjoyed is long gone. I did not plant a garden this year, although the ground is ready for it having been rototilled last week. I simply did not get around to it. Age has something to do with it of course. I conserve my energy now for those actitivies that I want to enjoy. Dancing being one of them which I'll do tonight.

My walks with Sugar gives me the opportunity to reminisce, reflect, and re-evaluate. As July 4th weekend approaches, I am reminded that it will be eight years that will have passed since losing my husband on that fateful day (July 6, 2002.) In the beginning of my grieving I was told eventually we get "over" such terrible tragedies. In a way I will agree. Yet, I have to warn we totally never get over those type of events in our lives that pretty much turn us upside down.

I'm sure that every day since that day I have at some point during any given day thought of what happened. The images don't disappear but become embedded into our psyche. Thirty-three years with someone does not disappear. Forgetting become an impossibility.

We go on. We make a new life. We create new memories. We can laugh again. We can experience joy again. Yet, in the quiet moments, such as taking a small dog for her walks we can be transported back in time, and even start to again enjoy those moments created by that past life.  Moments such as those have made us who we now are in the present.

Through death, through divorce, through an event that separates us from that person we had spent a lifetime with, it is the  memories that stay.

As a result, I think we appreciate more of what is in the here and now. We remember to show gratitude for when things go well, because we know how it can all go wrong and turn on a dime.

We value relationships better, and we become more patient with those who are now in our lives.

And why I look forward to my daily walks with my dog Sugar, and am more grateful and more appreciative of all that life brings to me.

This week will be a week of reflection for me of course as it has been since after 2002.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


While surfing the net today, which I occasionally do to see if any new reviews are there for any of my books.  I came across two of them today.  Of course, seeing that I received five stars from one, and four stars from the other...I'm doing a snoopy dance.

I'm posting them here so that I can come back to this page and look at them, especially on those days when I may feel a bit discouraged, or down, or simply wondering if I should be doing something else.  Of course I know the answer.  At this stage in my life, I need to do those things I fully feel a passion for and that is creating complex plots, complicated characters, and stories where readers will find a satisfying ending.

This reviewer gave No More Secrets, No More Lies five stars!

Years ago, Sydney Morgan gave up on the only man she ever loved. After spending an entire weekend together, Sydney wasn't prepared to find out that the man she thought she knew, was in fact engaged to be married. Not waiting on an explanation, Sydney left him, her job, and disappeared. Her choices eleven years earlier weren't made just for her sanity, she had someone else to think about. While Sydney thought she was doing the right thing at the time, she is now haunted because the man she has continued to love is now one of her clients and he wants back into her life. What will he do when he finds out the lies she had to tell in order to keep her most prized possession safe?

Grant Sinclair is pleasantly surprised to find that his new financial advisor is none other than Sydney Morgan. When she left him eleven years ago, Grant was almost destroyed and thought to lick his wounds by marrying another, which didn't work. Grant is divorced now and when he sees Sydney again, he wants to take up where they left off, only Sydney isn't cooperating. Grant finally learns the reason for her subterfuge when he realizes that she is a single mother of a son. A son that seems to have been born nine months after their weekend together. A son that thinks his father is dead.

Will Sydney's lies be too much for Grant to bear? While she thought she was doing the right thing at the time, Sydney is tired of the lies and decides to tell all.

No More Secrets, No More Lies by Marie A. Roy is intensely emotional and often times just downright sad. Choices made by Sydney made me wince at times but I could relate to those same choices and was able to lend my support. Grant Sinclair made me a bit irritated in the fact that, while he never called Sydney in eleven years, he immediately wanted to pick up where they left off without first asking for any explanations as to why she disappeared. Have no fear, however, Sydney put him right in his place and that made me smile.

No More Secrets, No More Lies was a good read. I applaud Marie A. Joy for writing such a poignant novel. Fully able to relate to making choices alone, I found myself immersed in the story and sighed with satisfaction when finished. I think I have found another author to read and for that, I am happy!

reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed 

This reviewer gave No More Secrets, No More Lies four stars! 
Secrets have a way of revealing what you wished to stay hidden . . .
Sydney Morgan has just been given an account that could either make or break her career. She is determined to win GS Enterprises but she is totally unprepared when she discovers that GS's CEO is Grant Sinclair. Her past has come back to haunt her. Grant is the same man that she put out of her life ten years prior .... the same man who broke her heart ... the same man who is the father to her physically challenged son, Brian .... the same man who still sets her heart to racing. Will she have the courage to face Grant and reveal the secret she has kept locked away from him for so many years?
Grant Sinclair hasn't seen Sydney Morgan for ten years but she still has that same beauty that had captured his attention the first time his eyes met hers so many years ago. However he is saddened to see that those same eyes are now shadowed with guilt and doubt. What has happened to her? Will he be able to convince her to reveal the secrets that she has kept so well guarded? Will he be able to accept the truth if he does?
In NO MORE SECRETS, NO MORE LIES Marie A. Roy does an exceptional job in her development of her characters. It has been a very long time since I found myself growing so close to the book's characters. Her smooth poignant plot will stand up with the best in the romance industry. Books such as this one are hard to put down once read.

By Suzie Housley Book Reviewer

A New Toy for my PeekaPoo

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Thing for Dr. Oz

I finally had to admit to myself today while standing in line at a local Price Chopper that I may have "a thing going" for Dr. Oz. Then again so does probably a million or more other women (and some men) who watch his show every day.

Today when I noticed a woman standing behind me and staring at what I had put on the conveyor belt, particularly one of the items I realized she probably was not familiar with Baramundie which is a fish and in fact is what the package contained.

Baramundie is a white fish. Baramundie is what Dr. Oz recommends that we eat simply because it's one of the best fish to eat besides Salmon. One can eat just so much salmon. Baramundie is usually found in the frozen fish section in the fish department. You can Google it to find out more about it and the fact that it is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Getting back to Dr. Oz, I informed the woman what the package contained. I then shared with her why I buy it now because of Dr. Oz's recommendation. I also shared with her that Dr. Oz and I as well as my sister will share the same birthday this week. Her eyes lit up at the mention of Dr. Oz's name.

It was then I realized also that his show has greatly influenced what I now buy in any grocery store. Today I bought not only the Baramundie fish, but also raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, Shitake and Maitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, veggie burgers as well as Smart Dogs, which look like hot dogs but are made from tofu. Also, spring greens, Benecol spread, Greek yogurt, a package of frozen vegetables as well as a package of frozne Edame beans. I did regress when I picked up a small container of Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream.

A special friend will be over later and we will enjoy a dinner comprised of the Baramundie fish, sweet potatoes, salad, and the ice cream for dessert. We will also enjoy a nice glass or two of a white wine...probably a Chardonnay.

I think TVshows like Dr. Oz and The Doctors (which I also faithfully watch each day_ teach us that we should be buying our groceries in a mindful fashion which can result in far better choices as far as nutrition.

Healthcare I guess will always be a "biggie" with me in terms of what it is doing to not only ourselves but our nation.

I read somewhere that during the "big" wars (WWI and WWII) when Americans needed to ration what they used and were eating less meat, as well as less sugary foods, and incorporating more of the bean dishes, and the soups that contain vegetables the incidence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure became lower. That is no coincidence.

Yet, today I spot customers in these stores filling carriages with sugar laden sodas, salty snacks, fatty meats, and highly processed foods that only aggravate any condition they may already have, or be the trigger in developing any of those conditions.

We are in essence merely "feeding tubes." Why are we careful what we put into our gas tanks. Why can't we be more careful of what we put into our own bodies? Each cell needs certain nutrients to thrive. It makes me wonder about a certain soda which actually disperses grease off a cement floor what that will do to us when we ingest it into our stomachs? Yet, many Americans feel they can not live without this drink. 

I would love to see classes and courses given that explain the digestive process, and what the body truly needs to stay healthy. Also, what foods will actually harm us in the long run, producing illnesses that are not only pushing healthcare costs to an all time high, but taking away from resources that can make our country a far healthier and productive country.

Anyway, getting back to Dr. Oz, I'm hoping more and more will watch his show, try to understand what he is trying to tell us in terms of what WE should be doing to maintain a healthy life style.

Meantime, later today I'm going to enjoy my Baramundie fish and all the trimmings!