Looking for answers to life's questions

Archive for June, 2014


In Search of Versatility

I have received something I was not expecting. The Versatile Blogger award from Lisa Reiter at Sharing the Story. I am so very appreciative. Thank you Lisa. It’s taken me longer than expected to finish this blog.  Please bare with me a moment. As it happened, I finally gave in and called in tech support. (my son)

I have been nominated several times by several different bloggers for awards but unfortunately, I turned them down. Not because I wasn’t appreciative, but because I couldn’t figure out how to get them onto my blog page.

I’m in my mid 60’s (leaning a little to the far end here) and I work hard to keep up with technology. I can get a bit annoyed when folks my age say they have no need to learn new things. They hate technology. Same mentality that was present when cars were introduced during the horse and buggy era. We are not going backwards folks, no matter how much we miss the “good old days”. (Count me out on that one.)

I get a new laptop every 3 or 4 years and yes, I still swear at Windows 8. Please, someone fix it. I have a smart phone, know how to text, e-mail and use my GPS. I think it’s fun to learn new things. My motto has always been “if I don’t learn something new everyday, close the lid”. Yesterday, I learned to do a wire transfer over the internet. Whoo Hooo! Money all gone now! Today I’m going to learn how to paste the award on my blog courtesy of Lisa Reiter. Lisa did what I want to do and was exploring new blogs. She read many of mine and decided I was a candidate for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much Lisa. Again, I am honored.


Now comes the fun part. The instructions are:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.versatile-blogger
2. Include a link to their blog.
3. Next, select 15 excellent blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
4. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award – include a link to this site.
5. Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

This is not going to be easy but I have to try. Lisa made it so easy and also connected me with Sandra Bellamy at Quirkybooks to walk me through the process to get the image onto the blog. You just meet the nicest people on blogs!

So here are the Blogs I nominate as they have so many different things to educate and entertain:

1. Willow-Marie.real.
2. grevilleacorner
3. Living Simply Free
4. Gardening Nirvana
5. To Breathe is to Write
6. A View From My Summerhouse
7. The Contented Crafter
8. Boomdeeadda
9. Texana’s Kitchen
10. seeking life
11. What’s Green with Betsy?!?
12. pam grout
13. Writing Is My Drink
14. Eye-Dancers
15. The Garden Diaries

Now comes the hard part. List 7 things about myself. It seems easier when I respond to lists someone else comes up with. Things I can relate to, others not. So here is my attempt.

1. I have, but never want to start my day without a cup of coffee. (or two)
2. As much as I enjoy the company of people, I require a great deal of quiet, alone time.
3. I’m a collector of wayward fabric, books of every sort, butterflies and Angels
4. My favorite place in the world is a bookstore or a library. If it has food or coffee attached, so much the better.
5. I have moved 34 times in my life that I can remember. This month will be number 35. I think I’m done.
6. Most people don’t know that I’m terrified of them and struggle to make friends.
7. I love being older. It’s the best time of my life and I’m enjoying every tippy minute of it.

Thank you for reading and for the hours of education and entertainment you’ve given. I would like to read more blogs and as soon as the unpacking is complete and the boxes burned, (not literally). I will then settle in to widen my horizons.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

The Voice

Since I’m overloaded with moving right now, I’m filling in with a writing assignment I did for class. I don’t get any feedback to find out if it’s awful so you get to suffer through and feel free to critique. I promise to let you know when I know what gives with the home purchase. This is a major lesson in patience. I have none and it shows.


Seven year old Maddie had been outside playing for an hour while the little ones took their nap. She wasn’t allowed back in until they were awake in case she made too much noise. Mom was taking a nap with them and waking her could be disastrous. Mom needed the nap more than the 2 toddlers and another baby on the way.

Maddie was hoping enough time had passed because she was thirsty and bored outside all alone. All the other kids had already gone back to their own homes. She quietly opened the large front door that led to the six interior apartments. There were 2 apartments on each floor with housekeeping rooms on the fourth floor that ran the entire length of the building to the other side where there were six more apartments. Downstairs a basement filled with storage lockers ran the full length of both units as well. Both sets of units had a large playroom at either end. The kids rarely played up there because there was nothing they could really do without making too much noise.

Stepping into the foyer, Maddie started for the stairs that led to her first floor unit. That’s when she noticed movement and heard someone call to her. Turning toward the basement steps, she saw a man dressed in a nice brown suit and a hat. Odd attire for someone in the storage area. Maybe he was lost. Again, he call to Maddie asking her to come down and answer a question for him. Maddie took a step forward to ask what he wanted. He waved her on down. He seemed nice enough and Maddie was always told she lived in a very safe place. She took a second step forward when she heard it. A voice she didn’t recognize said to her, “he means to hurt you; RUN!” Maddie looked around for where the voice was coming from but saw no one. Thinking herself silly, as her mother often called her, she reached for the handrail to go down. Again the voice warned her with more intensity this time. Then something happened that just couldn’t. A breeze in the closed basement blew the man’s jacket open. Inside the top jacket pocket was the handle of a long knife.

Maddie didn’t waste another second. She ran to her apartment door and banged on it loudly. No one answered and she was afraid the man would come up the stairs and take her down there. She banged one more time and still on one came to open the door so Maddie ran up. She ran all the way to the top floor and across the building, then down the stairs coming out the other side through that front door. All the while she was terrified because no one saw her or heard her run. She was afraid she would see the man outside but there was no sign of him anywhere. She stood outside for what felt like an eternity, shaking in disbelief. What had just happened?

Finally, she could wait no more and tried one more time to go home. Opening the front door to the building ever so carefully and quietly, Maddie looked inside to see if the man was still there. No sign of him by the door or in the basement. Maddie ran to her front door and knocked again. At long last, mother opened the door and she ran in. Her heart was still racing as she tried to tell her mother what happened. Mother thought she was being foolish but when dad came home they reported it to the police anyway. The police looked around the building but there was no sign of any strange man in a brown suit with a brown hat in the area. The police said if he had been there at all, he was probably long gone and Maddie shouldn’t worry.

Maddie never told her parents or the police about the voice that warned her. They weren’t really listening to her anyway. Maybe she had just imagined it. Maybe she was as silly as her mother said. That’s what she thought; until the next time she heard it.

In Search of Homes for All

I am still in the waiting game with the bank. They want a bank statement that won’t be generated till June 7 and not available till June 10. The want it June 3. I see why so many people choose to rent. I will if I must but the rents here just went up another $40 a month. Wow! Supply and demand. If everyone trying to buy a home, even one like I’m trying to buy has this much aggravation, I understand the rental demand.

On that note, I’ll tell you about a few others that needed a bit of help to find a home. My daughter and I were coming back from our Sunday errands and saw little kittens poking their sweet faces out from under the apartment building across from me. The neighbor who lives there is not fond of cats, especially feral cats. I just can’t seem to mind my own business. So I brought down a little tin of food and a small, soft cat kennel. Those frisky little guys are like stealth jets. Lunging for food, then retreating into the hole. I finally managed to snag one and pop it into the kennel for a trip to my guest bath. My daughter took one look at (her) and gifted her the name Smudge.

Any question as to why she got her name? She also ran the show.

Any question as to why she got her name? She also ran the show.

It took another day to collect two more and while I was sitting on my neighbor’s porch trying to catch the last two, I was being observed by a gentleman in his car. He had apparently been keeping track and feeding the mother cat. He and his wife were going to attempt to get her spayed if they could corral momma. That was one big cat and I was not going to mess with her. I know almost nothing about them other than I wanted to find them homes.

Smudge got her share first, then the other 2 ate. I think that's why Smudge was the biggest.

Smudge got her share first, then the other 2 ate. I think that’s why Smudge was the biggest.

As it turned out, the gentleman and his wife came to my place and decided to call Smudge their own. They took her to their vet while I took the other two to mine. Ironic that I have a vet and own no animals. I thought about keeping one or two but I am surrounded by packed boxes with little room to walk, much less keep track of wily kittens. One wrong move and they would be gone again. On top of that, the vet determined they needed some extensive treatments which I didn’t have the resources or energy to do. Smudge had the same problems but her family were in a better position to take care of that. The vet fosters kittens so she took them in for treatment and would then place them in good homes. I was sad and happy at the same time.

Cinder and Puff (of smoke) outside the hard kennel. Door was open but they felt safe in there.

Cinder and Puff (of smoke) outside the hard kennel. Door was open but they felt safe in there.

It had to be about what was best for the kittens, not what would entertain me. I won’t have the time to devote for a while so it’s best for me to wait and see. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to keep wrangling strays when they cross my path.

Puff was larger than Cinder. At 7 weeks old, they are just too tiny

Puff was larger than Cinder. At 7 weeks old, they are just too tiny

Is there any solution to the abandonment of unwanted pets that leaves them to fend for themselves? If we can’t make some people responsible for the children they’ve brought into the world, how can we persuade them to be responsible for the animals they leave behind? I’m trying hard not to rant here, but I really want to.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself