Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Updates on Puppies and Poetry

So, I haven't been blogging too much lately because it's been really crazy around here. Our new puppy, Rory, is adorable...

but he sure gets into a lot of trouble and keeps us on our toes.  The kids each have their own day to take care of him and for the most part they are doing a great job.

He's actually been a very good puppy so far and is learning the household rules quickly. :) (Wouldn't you just do anything for that face?)

Back in School!
I guess I didn't think a new puppy would be enough, so I decided to enroll in some classes from  I'm taking Modern and Contemporary Poetry; Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas; Plagues, Witches and Wars: The Worlds of Historical Fiction; and Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society.

The poetry class has been tons of fun so far, partly because my husband and I are taking it together and it's opening my brain up to a whole new way of thinking.  It has even inspired me to write some poetry again, which I hadn't done for years.  I might even decide to share a few.  The historical fiction class just started on Wednesday and I'm super excited to learn more about that genre.

They are all a lot of work, but I'm really excited about what I'm learning and I love the platform. is a free educational website that offers actual courses from top universities around the world. As a student, you watch the lectures, do the homework and interact with other students online, and you even get a certificate of completion for each course!  I've done some other open course sites before but this is so much more interactive!  

And I'm still working on revising my Fantasy novel which I think is now going to be called, The Night Years.

I'm crazy busy, but it is all good stuff and I'm having a great time, I'm just exhausted!!  I need about four more hours of the day just for sleep. :)

So, I really am still here just not as often.  I keep saying I'm going to post more, but realistically if I get one in a week I'll be happy for now.  I'm going to try to make the rounds around the blogosphere, but it will be slowly.

Thank you so much to everyone who wrote wonderfully supportive comments on my IWSG post! :)

Hope everyone is having a great October so far!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Well today is the first Wednesday of October already!  I can't believe it.  That means it is time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.

I don't want to be a big downer, but I have felt quite insecure these past few weeks...months.  I don't even really know why, other than it seems like my life just keeps getting crazier and crazier and I hardly have time to sleep let alone sit down to write something decent.

But sometimes I wonder what I bring.  Do I have anything unique to say that hasn't already been said by a million other writers?  I'm not sure. I'd like to use my love of writing for something good, to inspire or help others.  But how?  I feel like I don't know enough.

Yesterday, I was reading a book by Karen Armstrong about Buddha.  It said that every day on his search for enlightenment, he would sit and direct the feeling of love to every corner of the Earth, sowing the seeds of friendship to every single living thing, even his enemies.

I thought that was wonderful.  Maybe sending love and support is enough.  Maybe one comment I make can help someone's day be a little brighter.  And the IWSG is such a great way for all of us to send even just a little love and support all around the globe.  Thanks Alex for creating a platform for us to help each other!

So here is my little bit of love that I'm sending to all of you! (I'm closing my eyes and concentrating so I can get it to each and every one of you!)  I hope your week is full of good thoughts.

Have a great day!!!

Kathy :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's Time

So... my bad!  I signed up to help Jeremy Hawkins promote his new series of art/design books and I feel awful because I missed my day.  There's no excuse, I just plain missed it.  So sorry Jeremy!  

Anyway read on to hear more about his unique series of books.

It's a four book series 40 pages each and it is the art/design from things I had designed over the years. It's a mish-mash of things that I had seen in my head... and some are future designs that will become shirts. Places I wanted to go artistically as you travel from where I was to where I am now. Is it great journey!  Titles came from the idea of time "12:34, 35, 36 and 37” seems that is when my best ideas came to me... day or night. It's funny I never considered myself a "writer" just a man who likes to paint a canvas if it be words or my art/design.

Jeremy's books, Twelve-Thirty-Four, Twelve-Thirty-Five, Twelve-Thirty-Six and Twelve-Thirty-Seven are a fantastic collection of unique art.  His work runs the gamut from movie inspired, where some of our favorite characters are portrayed with a fresh perspective, to cute and funny to scary. There is something for everyone here.       

Now here's Jeremy to tell us a little bit about some things he's noticed.  

What do these all have in common; The Wedding Singer, The Blues Brothers, Anchorman, 40 year Old Virgin, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Armageddon, Top Gun? That’s right someone sings someone else’s song in a movie and some you know… some you don’t. I would like to share a mix of stuff that I could think off the top of my head and then I would like to hear some of yours that you have got that would fit. Thank you for letting play this with you and to Kathryn for playing host here today, so can you think of any more?

The Blues Brothers


The Wedding Singer

40 year Old Virgin

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom


Top Gun


Thank You, for letting me play host and to all who took the “time” to read this… you are all the best.

Jeremy Hawkins
Being Retro

Direct Links:

Main Page:

Direct Amazon link

Support Jeremy and enjoy his take on the world.

Again, Jeremy I'm so sorry that I messed up!  I hope your launch is super successful!


Friday, September 20, 2013

CassaStorm is out!

I wasn't creative enough to come up with a unique question for Alex, but I do want to say a few words of my own about him.  

Even though I've never met him in person, I feel like I've known Alex for years.  I first "met" him three years ago during the A-Z Challenge.  I was nervous about being a new blogger but Alex commented on every one of my posts about a minute after I had posted. It was so encouraging.  I felt like I was really part of something.  
I made it through my first A-Z excited about the possibilities of blogging, but I figured someone with as many followers as Alex wouldn't continue to read my posts after the challenge was finished.  I was wrong.  
Three years later he still comments on almost every post I write.  WOW!     
He continues to inspire many new and old bloggers with his comments,  frequent blogfests and IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group).  
Alex has a unique capacity to bring people together.  

Thanks Alex for all that you do for us!  I hope the launch of the third book in the Cassa series is a huge success!!

Kathy :)

Comment on Alex’s blog this week for a chance to win a Cassa mug, mousepad, magnet, and swag!

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.” 
- Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries

“I thought the revelation was going to be one thing and I was completely wrong … CassaStorm pushes the limits…”
- Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Reviews

“…mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It’s a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion…” - Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken
$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:
Amazon -

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Book Trailer html -

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's a Boy!

Alyssa with Rory

Here's Rory, our newest family member!  
He joined us on Sunday for Jessica's 17th birthday!  He's an 8 week old beagle.  We are all thrilled to have him join our crazy gang.  

I had no idea we could decide we wanted a puppy and then five days later actually have one.  

Hope you are all having a great week!
If you have any puppy training tricks I'd love to hear them!

Kathy :) 

Monday, September 9, 2013

TV or No TV

That is the question.

Our family has lived happily without TV for 9 years now.  Okay, we actually have a TV but we don't have cable so that means we don't get any channels.  Sure, we watch movies and use Netflix instant stream to introduce the kids to the great old shows, like Star Trek, Doctor Who and a few others.  But for the most part our kids, especially our 9 year old son, have grown up without normal television programming.

We don't miss it, even my football loving husband.  A couple years ago we still would watch some TV in hotels, but on our last trip, no one even turned the tube on.

It was great to have family time to read and talk, but we began to realize there might be a flaw in our thinking.

Living in Cleveland, someone asked our son what he thought about LeBron James.  He stared blankly back like the person was speaking a foreign language.  Embarrassed, I had to explain, "Well we don't have TV so he doesn't even know who that is."

Later someone else asked him what his favorite teams were.  Again the blank stare.  He couldn't even name any teams.  Yikes.

Were my husband and I depriving him of essential knowledge in our sports crazed world?

Especially for guys, it seems like the default entry into conversation always revolves around the game, "Hey did you see the game last night?" or "Can you believe that catch?"

It's one thing to not play sports but for a boy to not know anything about any teams, players, or even the rules of the games...well maybe that's going too far.

Worried that if we didn't act fast, it may be too late for him, we decided to take the plunge back into the world of television and give our son a proper sports education.

The cable guy is coming this morning ...and I'm kind of dreading it.

What do you think, do our children need to have a working knowledge of sports to get by in today's world?

Have a great week!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Generation Gap

Most of the time my husband and I see eye to eye, but occasionally we don't. The other day was one of those times.

I don't remember what we were discussing.  The topic wasn't important and it was only a casual, non-heated exchange but I couldn't understand where he was coming from and vice versa.  Ryan, our son, was listening in and sided with Dad.

They shared a look like, what is she talking about? 

Then my husband said to me, "It's because of our generation gap. You just don't understand."  A smile played at his lips.

I raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean, I'm only three months older than you?"

"Yeah but I'm in the 17-40 generation and you belong in the 41-80 category."  He laughed knowing he had me.

What could I say?

I laughed too, knowing that time is on my side.  By the end of September he'll be joining me in that older generation.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Kathy :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Colorado/Utah Adventures Part I

Today I'm going to let the pictures of our trip do the talking.  We had a wonderful time in Colorado and Utah.

We are the front 5
We started off our trip in Glenwood Springs, CO where we promptly braved the Colorado River.

It was the first time white water rafting for the kids.  Alyssa was nervous, Ryan and Jessica were excited.  I'm not sure how much of the river Ryan actually saw though, every big rapids his eyes were shut tight.

Ryan making a wish in Spouting Rock waterfall
Later, we hiked a couple of hours up the Hanging Lake Trail where I was gasping for air from lack of oxygen in the high altitude but neither that nor the rain deterred us from making it to the top where we were rewarded with the Spouting Rock.

Relaxing in hot springs

Our next stop was Moab, Utah where we visited Arches National Park and Canyonlands.

Canyoneering in Chamisa Canyon

Jessica rappelling down the cliff

We tried canyoneering which is kind of like extreme hiking. (Have you seen the movie 127 hours? Where the guy is canyoneering and he gets stuck and has to cut off his own arm.  He was in Moab.  My imagination ran wild with that!)  We had to swim through deep canyon ponds of milk chocolate colored water, crawl up steep slopes, and rappel down cliffs.  It was one of the most amazing thins I've ever done.

Then we rented Side X Sides (like ATVs) and raced through the desert trails. I've never had so much fun driving before!

The couple hour hike up to Delicate Arch was difficult but we were rewarded with spectacular views.  It was like walking through a landscape painting.  As the sun lowered in the silver sky, the windswept sandstone formations came alive with color.

Despite the beauty, when we arrived at Delicate Arch, standing alone in its splendor, Ryan asked, "Wait, we walked all this way to see that?!"  He was totally unimpressed.  I guess he pictured it much bigger and thought there were multiple arches in a row.  Maybe in this age of overwhelming visual effects in movies and video games our brains need more stimulation to be amazed.  

Sometimes, parent's ideas of what is cool doesn't match with a nine year old's.  But I can bet that eventually, he will look back fondly on that long hike as he and Jesse held hands and talked.  He will probably even take his own kids on the same hike.

Well, that was half of our trip, I'll share Part II with you next time!

I hope you all have had a wonderful summer, I can't believe it is almost over!

Kathy :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Switched- Cover Reveal!

I'm back from a wonderful two week trip around Colorado and Utah and I think I'm finally in the right mind set to blog regularly again. Yay! Wednesday, I'll give you a peek into some of the crazy things we did on vacation.

I'm jumping back in by helping out one of the sweetest bloggers I know.  Aside from being a very talented author, she's always ready to lend a helping hand and a cheerful comment to her fellow bloggers.  

SO without further ado here is the long awaited cover reveal for Cassie Mae's newest book, 

coming out December 30th!

Hot guy alert!
Cassie Mae redefines the New Adult genre with a novel that answers the eternal question: What do you do when you’re head-over-heels for your best friend’s guy?

Ever since high school, Kayla has been crazy for gorgeous football player Talon. But before she could muster the courage to tell him, he became a hot item with her beautiful BFF, Reagan. The only person who knows Kayla’s secret is Wesley, Talon’s best bud—and he’s got it bad for Reagan. Now they’re all in college together, hanging out 24/7. For Kayla, seeing the two lovebirds together is absolutely unbearable. So Kayla and Wesley hatch a plot to drive them apart. But time is ticking and they must act now, before Talon gives Reagan the Christmas gift she’s been waiting for.

Sure enough, the once-happy couple is fighting, Reagan suddenly can’t get enough of Wesley’s goofy sense of humor, and Talon seems to be paying more attention to Kayla than a guy who’s “just a friend” ever should. But something just isn’t right. Then Kayla and Wesley accidentally spend a night together, and discover a hitch they never considered: that switching partners may not lead to a perfect ending after all.

What Cassie Mae has to say about her cover: "Okay, I love all my covers. But that guy, I can't stop looking at him. The girl is a perfect replica of Kayla too. So this makes me a happy pappy author"

Here's the link to purchase directly from Random House: Switched

Cassie Mae is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. She’s the author of the Amazon Bestseller REASONS I FELL FOR THE FUNNY FAT FRIEND, and is the debut author for the Random House FLIRT line with her New Adult novels FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI and SWITCHED. She also has a three book deal with Swoon Romance Publishing, including her book HOW TO DATE A NERD. She spends time with her angel children and perfect husband who fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

You can find Cassie Mae's blog here.

Congratulations Cassie Mae!  Hope it sells like crazy!  I can't wait to read it!


I'd love to hear what you've all been up to in my absence! :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

No Texting in the Outfield

"Wait how am I supposed to text with this thing on?"

On our vacation in Michigan, we piled my brother's kids and ours into the car and took them to play some softball.

We let the kids bat first.  My not-so-sporty kids were at least able to hit the ball.  Though the bat looked like it weighed more than my son and Jess and Alyss decided to ballet leap to first instead of run.

When it was the kids' turn in the field, I handed Jess my glove.  She put it on and looked down at her hands confused and asked, "Wait, how am I supposed to text with this thing on?"

I laughed but wondered if there is any hope for her.

Kathy :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Fog Lifting

Jess and Alyss playing with their cousins in Michigan
Ok so I've been kind of missing in action lately but I've really needed some time off to think and get some other things done.  I'm not sure if it was the death of my grandfather, to whom I was very close, or other stress, but ever since the end of  the A-Z, I felt like I was walking around with a fog in my head. I couldn't seem to focus on my writing.
But after a couple months off and spending a lovely week in Michigan with our extended families, the fog seems to be clearing. It was wonderful to be up there and have fun with the whole family, relaxing and listening to all the kids goofing around together.  

We went up to my grandpa's cottage which now belongs to my mom and dad.
It was odd to be there.  I thought there would be this big hole without him there.

His empty chair on the porch,
His empty fishing boat rocking lonely in the waves
The fire in the fireplace untended.

Our last morning there
His red and black plaid jacket still hung by the door.
But as his coat hung in our presence so did his spirit.
He was still there, just formless.
In everything he was there.

We could all feel him like he had never left.
Holding all of us together
In this place where we spent so much time with him,
His favorite place.

He was still waiting for us.
And he always would be.  

Our last morning there began with a mist rising from the glass-calm lake, then the sun rose and burned through the fog.
Allowing the light to shine down.

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!
I miss all of you.  I think I will probably be blogging only twice a week for a while, until I get back in the swing of things.

Kathy :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


It's time for the IWSG again, hosted by Alex.  It's a place to share our fears, insecurities and successes with the world. We post on the first Wednesday of the month.  If you want to join click here to sign up.

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks because life has really gotten in the way. It has left me feeling mighty insecure.  If I listed everything on my insecure list for this week, your hand would cramp up from scrolling down, it might also be a bit too depressing.  And I don't want to ever be depressing.  One of the reasons I got into blogging was because I wanted to be a positive influence and spread joy.

SO today I'm just going to leave you with this picture of my son from his 9th birthday this week.

I hope you all have a great week!  Hopefully I will be back to blogging regularly soon.  Thanks for being my lovely followers and being patient with my crazy life.  

Kathy :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fun in Philly

The kids with Ben Franklin on U. Penn's campus

When the girls were little, we lived in downtown Philadelphia.  Now, whenever we get the chance to go back, we jump on it.  This year we spent a wonderful extended Mother's Day weekend there.

I love the city, it's not as big and intimidating as New York City but it has plenty of cultural and historical sites and more great restaurants than I could ever eat at.  

This trip, we spent most of our time on the University of Pennsylvania campus where the kids got to meet some of our old friends and even attend some classes.  

Having fun in class
After a class in Negotiations, Alyssa said, "That was a lot more fun than I expected.  I can't wait to go to college!"  
I just hope they didn't learn to many techniques on negotiating, because believe me they are already pretty good at it!    

Relaxing in the park
After a day on campus, we walked down to Center City and hung out in Rittenhouse Square.  We sat on a park bench and just watched the people go by.  Ryan's attention was focused on a woman twirling two glowing blue lights on some kind of string.  He was mesmerized.  We went over to check it out.  She showed him that there were two LEDs inside a silicone shell attached to a rubber cord.  Then she let him try it.  He swung them like lassos over his head and the blue light streaked around him.  He was thrilled, but we couldn't stay for long as it was getting to be time for dinner.         
Ryan learning a new skill

I've always loved the food in Philly.  There are so many different kinds of cuisine to choose from.  This time, because we are now mostly vegetarian, we stayed away from the Philly Cheese-steaks, (If you've never had an authentic one, you really should.  They are delicious!) but there were still plenty of healthy and delicious options.  

Enjoying mango smoothies before dinner
We found a great little Indian restaurant called the Philadelphia Chutney Company, where we shared two huge dosas (thin crepe like bread made from rice and lentils) filled with paneer, an Indian cheese, and lots of different veggies in a not too spicy curry sauce.  It was fantastic and even the kids loved it!

Ryan's favorite food is sushi, so one night we ate at our favorite little sushi place, Mizu Sushi Bar.  We had our fill then walked around some more.  (I just love all the walking we do in Philly.  Living in the suburbs in Ohio, we have to drive everywhere.  It's nice to be able to walk a couple blocks and get to just about anything!) Then we decided to treat the kids to dessert, so around 9:30 pm, we took them to Devon Seafood Grill, where we ordered, the most delicious carrot cake, apple turnover, and mango sherbet along with some coffees.  We had a wonderful evening full of conversation and laughter, but we were too stuffed to finish everything.

Mother's Day morning I was treated to a breakfast at Rachael's Nosheri which maybe wouldn't even catch most people's eye, but it is one of our favorite little breakfast spots.  It's really just a simple diner, but their food is excellent and much cheaper than any hotel breakfast.  They have the best challah bread French toast I've ever had and the kids love the chocolate chip pancakes.         
Mother's Day Breakfast at Rachael's Nosheri

Walking down Walnut Street shopping area

We didn't even make it to the Art Museum or Old City, where Independence Hall is, this time.  There are so many great things to see and do there.  

So if you get the chance to visit Philadelphia, take it and enjoy all the charm this wonderful big-little city has to offer.  

Kathy :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Best/Worst Movie Remakes

Best/Worst Movie Remakes

When Hollywood runs out of ideas, they remake older films. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it fails miserably. 
List the best remake you’ve ever seen and the worst. 
Added bonus – list the worst and/or best song remake you’ve ever heard!

Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp, Livia Peterson, Father Dragon Al.  

Best Remakes:

The Karate Kid 2010-
Though I enjoyed the original back in 1984, the story was ready for a remake.  The new version, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith is a refreshing take on the original story line.  Being set in China brings a wonderful new perspective. I especially love the scene where master and student visit the ancient temple, it gives the film an entirely new character.

Worst Remake

Dinner for Schmucks 2010- 

I never saw the original French film called Le Diner de Cons (1998), but honestly I don't think it could be worse than the remake.  With Steve Carell, I was hoping for a night of laughs and while it was mildly funny, the movie resorted to bad taste and stupidity.  And often I'm a fan of stupidity, I love Dumb and Dumber but this one just didn't do it for me.  

What remakes are your favorites?

Kathy :)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Happy May 1st everyone!  We are finally getting some springy weather around here.
I can't believe April and the Challenge are already over! I hope everyone had a great time.  I did!

Being the first Wednesday of the month means today is the IWSG, started by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today I'm feeling pretty good, because during the craziness of the A-Z Challenge, I decided to send out a query for a magazine article.  The guidelines said they wouldn't contact me unless they wanted to use my article.  But the next day I got an email from the editor saying thanks for the query and if they "decide to use my good idea," they will contact me again in sometime in May.

I was so excited!!!!! I Jumped up and down and pumped my fists in the air, just because I got a reply.  Now maybe it was just an auto reply that they send to everyone, but I don't care. I choose to think it is a good omen!!!

How are you this week?  What are you excited about and what are your fears?

Kathy :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for the End

PT’s 91 Years of Wisdom
This year, I had a terrible time trying to figure out what my A-Z theme would be.  I finally decided that this year, I would honor my beloved 91 year old grandfather, Paul Titus, or PT as his friends called him, who passed away on February 8th.  He lived a wonderfully full life and was always trying to challenge my brothers and me to think out of the box.  So for this challenge I thought I would share little bits of his wisdom that he tried to bestow upon us.  
But I also want to highlight the wonderful bloggers in this community who have published their books.  So everyday, I will give a quick  shout out to those works with titles beginning with the letter of the day.

Gramps's favorite place; the lake at sunset
There aren't any words that begin with "Z" to go with Gramps, but there was one word that he and I made up together.  

"Sikeemuzzah" - It didn't really have a meaning. We used it as an exclamation. Then we would continue speaking in our own nonsense language, and somehow we knew what the other person was saying.  

We had so much fun together and I'm thankful for every minute I was able to spend with him. I still have times when I think, "Oh I have to call and ask Gramps how to fix that towel rack in the bathroom," or "I have to show Gramps a picture of my blooming orchids." Then my heart sinks, because I know I can't.  

I know he was ready to go. He wondered for years why he was left on this Earth for so long without Grams. And now he is finally with her, but it doesn't make the loss easier for us who are left behind.


I wish you all could have really known Gramps, I'm sure he would have loved talking to you virtually. He would have marveled at the thought of making friends all over the world. I think part of the reason I enjoy getting to meet all of you is because of the curiosity he inspired in me to learn about others.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your posts! I didn't get to as many as I would have liked but I will continue to visit people on the list.

Gramps and our family
I hope you all enjoyed this year's A-Z Challenge as much as I did and congratulations to everyone who completed it!!

Kathy :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

X is for Xercise and Y is for Yay! Yay! Yay!

PT’s 91 Years of Wisdom
This year, I had a terrible time trying to figure out what my A-Z theme would be.  I finally decided that this year, I would honor my beloved 91 year old grandfather, Paul Titus, or PT as his friends called him, who passed away on February 8th.  He lived a wonderfully full life and was always trying to challenge my brothers and me to think out of the box.  So for this challenge I thought I would share little bits of his wisdom that he tried to bestow upon us.  
But I also want to highlight the wonderful bloggers in this community who have published their books.  So everyday, I will give a quick  shout out to those works with titles beginning with the letter of the day.  

X is for Xercise

Gramps never believed in exercise.  Not the way we normally think of exercise anyway, like jogging, P90X,  Zoomba, Spinning, Yoga and weight training.  His exercise was in the work he did, carrying heavy blocks and boards at construction sites, chopping firewood, raking leaves, and mowing grass.  Most of his leisure time was spent active as well.  He loved biking the 5 miles around the lake, ice skating outdoors in the winter, and he enjoyed slalom water skiing until he was seventy. Most of all, he loved chasing and wrestling his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  With all that going on, who needed exercise?

Gramps at his cottage with great friends. Yay Yay Ya!

Yay! Yay! Yay!

Whenever anything unexpectedly good happened, Gramps would exclaim, “Yay! Yay! Yay!”  It could be something as small as kids jumping into his lap, some old friends or relatives stopping in for a surprise visit or as big as taking his grandkids to Florida.  Whatever the occasion, he was thankful for it.  
In his last months, he told me that his mother used to say, “Always be thankful for the little things, because the big things may not happen.”  Throughout his life he had lived by that statement.  He always felt blessed for the wonderful people and events that touched his life, and there were so many.

“How lucky can a guy be?” he would say when reflecting on the special people in his life.  

Three people whom he always said this about was my husband, Jesse,  and my mother and father-in-law, Reiko and Dave.  Twenty years ago they came into his life and brought him so much joy.  Gramps loved my husband as if he were his fourth grandchild and he took my in-laws in as if they had always been a part of our family.  He cherished sitting with them on his deck at the cottage, gazing out over the water and talking for hours on everything from bird watching to politics.   They became so close that four years ago we had all planned a family vacation to Reiko’s native Japan.  My parents and Gramps were going to join us.  Gramps wanted to see the temples and visit Reiko’s brother, Eiichi,  whom he’d met years ago at our wedding.  
Unfortunately, we were never able to make it there with him.  But two years ago, Reiko’s brother came to Michigan to visit him.  Gramps showed him so much kindness that on his last day, Eiichi teared up saying how he now understood the true meaning of family and was thankful his sister was part of it.

Those are only some of the people Gramps felt so thankful to have in his life. I was blessed having Gramps in my life for as long as I did. How lucky can a girl be?  

Gramps taking everyone for a boat ride
Now for the "Y" shout outs! (Couldn't find any for "X")

Laura Bambrey

Hope everyone has a great day and that you're able to say "Yay! Yay! Yay!" to something today! I can't believe tomorrow is the last day already! Thanks so much for all the great comments and support. Make sure to check everyone else out here.

Kathy :)