The Rescuing of Cochise: An American Bulldog’s Tale

American Bulldog, Cochise, dog fostering

Hello, my name is Cochise. I am an American Bulldog. Well, mostly American Bulldog; I’m not a purebred, but close enough as long as a certificate isn’t important to you.  I was picked up by the County Animal Control officer because I was living free and easy on the streets of Newport Tennessee. I had a home once, but… well… maybe I’ll tell you about that another time.  For now I want to tell you how a couple of good people rescued me from certain death.

See, when I was brought into the local animal shelter I tested positive for heart worms, that made me ineligible for the national Rolling Rescue program, which would have allowed me to be adopted somewhere that good pets are not so plentiful, and the prospect of local adoption was getting slimmer by the day.  The shelter cannot keep dogs forever.  I was on death row – with just days to go before it was my turn to take the one-way walk. Continue reading The Rescuing of Cochise: An American Bulldog’s Tale

Remembering 9/11: The Largest Boat Rescue Ever

The video below impressed me not only by the actions of civilian boaters but especially by the numbers of people rescued and the short time it took. It’s a great example of people helping people, and it is quite timely as we remember 9/11.

The largest sea evacuation in history; carried out primarily with civilian boats, without any preparation or practice, simply because there was a need. The previous record holder was the evacuation of Dunkirk, where 39,000 soldiers were rescued over a period of 9 days.  The 9/11 evacuation rescued almost 500,000 people in less than 9 HOURS. Enjoy

If the embed does not work, click here: to view on YouTube

Patti-n-Me: First Times

About a year ago Patricia Carrigan and I were DMing back and forth in Twitter about this and that… whaz-at?  Not a year ago? Oh, well let me think… yeah, you’re right, it was just a couple of months- err weeks?  Oh, *A* week! Yeah, that’s what I meant; a week ago.

Patrician Carrigan, author, Antiserum, vampire novelsAnyway Patti asked if I’d do a guest post for her blog.  I’m sure you know Patricia Carrigan is the author of the Antiserum vampire series.  I had to confess that I’d never read the series because, well, because vampires are just way to scary for my delicate psyche.  I like to sleep at night. But she graciously said that it didn’t have to be about vampires, or it could be about being vampirely clueless.  I had to do a little thinking on that so I did what I usually do: fire up the tractor and go mow some lawn.

It worked, I wrote up what came to me and fired it off. It just went live, with this preamble from Patti:

I have enjoyed tweeting with Doug for some time and so I begged him to do a post for me.  Well, technically, I asked and he said yes. Then he pondered about what to write for a while (I don’t give to many constraints) And then after writing it… I got busy!! … I mean, we’re talking… totally swamped..don’t know where my head is type busy!

So, FINALLY… I’m letting the world see the wonderful post Doug wrote for me!!  He was so sweet about having to wait. huge hugs Doug!!

My pleasure Patti, it’s been fun.

Please pop over to Patti’s blog and give it  a read: First Times.  Thanks!

What’s Your Chocolate Blog Hop

Today I’m trying something new for me, a Blog Hop. If you’re new to this too, a blog hop is an easy way to discover new people with a common interest and read some great posts. This time, we’re all talking about our love affair with chocolate and invite you to join in through the comments. Below my article is a list of links to other hoppers, this same list appears on all the hop stops. Here, have a brownie, read my article, leave a comment if you like, then click a link in the list to go there. Repeat as often as you like or until you’ve visited them all.

My Favorite Chocolate

chocolate, dark chocolate, HersheysI love dark chocolate.  Yes, I know: to most of you this qualifies me as a psychopath.  “Normal” people prefer the sweetness of milk chocolate.  Be that as it may, I remain committed to the dark variety.  But then, even though I’m a Southerner, I don’t drink Sweet Tea and I prefer the taste of a diet soda over regular just because I can’t handle the syrupy sweetness. In the meals that we cook we reduce or eliminate sugar.  It’s what we’re accustomed to.

My favorite every-day treats are Hershey’s Nuggets: Special Dark with Almonds.  I keep a canister of these on the counter in the kitchen, and use them as a reward to myself for having completed all my tasks for the day and behaved myself.  On special occasions I may receive Ghirardelli or Toblerone bars. Continue reading What’s Your Chocolate Blog Hop

Rainy Days and Fridays

mountain, rainy, weather, Clingman's dome, Marie Bittinger, TennesseeCall me crazy (many do) but I like rainy days.  There is something comforting about the sound of rain drumming on the roof, and sometimes a rainy day provides me with a much needed excuse to take some time off.  I love settling into my comfy chair next to the fire place on a chilly, rainy day and reading a good book.  Or taking a mug of hot tea to my desk and writing. Continue reading Rainy Days and Fridays

Book Review: ENUFF a Guidebook for Simple Living

If you have grown weary of the rat race and are looking for an alternative, Kate Carpenter’s book ENUFF is a good place to start.  ENUFF is an acronym for Eliminate the Needless, Useless, Foolish and Frivolous and in it you will find a primer on minimalism and tips for simple living.

ENUFF – The Book

ENUFF, Kate carpenter, minimalism, simple livingThe book itself follows the tenets it teaches by not being stuffed full of pontification.  It takes a direct and entertaining approach.  In each chapter Carpenter explains her topic, explains the need, and offers a supportive anecdote, then uses great quotes from famous people, charts or illustrations, to make the point.  Most chapters include an expanded reading list and a list of movies that embrace the topic of that chapter.  Most of these outside resources are not about minimalism, they are popular books and movies about people and life, but they embody the simple living principle being discussed as a part of their story. Continue reading Book Review: ENUFF a Guidebook for Simple Living


As authors and writers, we tend to be sensitive to public opinion about us.  This guest post by Dr. Calvin Metcalf explores the power other people have over us.

AP-CalvinThe power of people to affect us is an interesting phenomenon. We are influenced daily by what people say or do to us. Sometimes it is what they do not say or do not do to us that makes a big difference in our lives. We give other folk a big amount of control over the way we think and act. Our dispositions are often the result of our reactions to the way people have treated us. Our moods are made either better or worse depending on who has been messing with our minds. For some reason we seem to be programmed to let others determine if we are to be happy or sad.

We are incurably addicted to what others think about us. We give away our freedom to be our own person in hopes that we can be liked by other persons. It can be an awkward way to live if we are intimidated continually by the power of people and never find our real identity. The strong influence of other people, however does not need to be a negative factor in our lives. We can be motivated and challenged to do our best because they expect it of us. We can get a better picture of who we are from those who love us enough to share their honest opinions. Continue reading POWER OF PEOPLE

Dolly and the Night Spirits

A re-post from last April and another of my blogs, now closed down, as we fondly remember our girl, Dolly.

Yesterday, at almost 2:30 AM, I was in my office rebooting the modem because we had no Internet.  No; there is no alarm on our system that goes off, waking me up, if the Internet goes down.  No; I have no sixth sense that nudges me from sleep if our connection to the rest of the planet dissolves… in fact I’d have been blissfully unaware of the networking failure were it not for some dog being stuck in non-stop barking mode.

It is warm enough now that we have gone back to sleeping with the bedroom windows open, so we hear more of what goes on outside at night. Marie is able to sleep through such disturbances – I am not. Dolly was trying to sleep and would occasionally go to the window to shout, “Would you PLEASE hush up!” then curl back into her snuggle bed in the corner with a grumble to try and get back to sleep. I am a light sleeper (or so I thought).  Once I am fully awake (for any reason) I will not get back to sleep; I might as well fire up the coffee pot and find something productive to do. Continue reading Dolly and the Night Spirits

Murdering My Children

Guillotine, blog, blogging, closing, cost, benefits
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

I recently closed down the Simple Life Prattle blog. This was a painful decision because it was always a fun blog to write and I loved the way it looked.  I must stress that I will continue to Prattle, I simply won’t be doing it on a blog of its own, but here on my personal/author blog.

I have been writing for as many as 6 blogs, plus my magazine articles, plus building web sites, plus working on two books, plus doing my garden and all the maintenance around our property, plus… well, you get the idea.  It was getting overwhelming.  Being overwhelmed was not why we moved to the mountains.  It’s time to simplify. Continue reading Murdering My Children

Book Review: lilabean by K.C. White

Today, Dear Readers,  I welcome children’s author and health blogger Joy O’Hare as she reviews K.C. White’s book lilabean – a storybook about simplicity for grown-up girls.

simplicity, simple living, booklilabean is a truly enchanting story.  It could apply to any of us, struggling to find ourselves among possessions and the struggle of day to day living.  Learning to clear the clutter and find the true meaning of life is a great way to simplify and make life what we want it to be.  Kudos for putting things into perspective!  Hoarders beware.

More Info

You may get more information about lilabean, read a sample chapter and order the print book at or buy the eBook from Smashwords

author, childrens book Imagine That!Joy O’Hare lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her cat Libby and is the author of Imagine That!, a collection of short stories for children.  She also blogs about simpler living and returning to nature at Living More Naturally.