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The signs of fall are more evident each day…I can feel it in the air.   The large fall spiders are spinning their webs and announcing the change of the seasons.  The leaves of the trees are turning into bright yellows, oranges and crimson reds.  Fall makes we want to stay home and bake and watch old John Wayne movies!  The approach of fall also read more….


breast cancer“I’m sorry to inform you, but your breast biopsy results are positive”.  These are some of the most feared words in the English language.

Eight years ago my mom heard these words when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily she had gotten her clinical breast exam and mammogram done faithfully every year. Because of this it was caught early. Her treatment consisted of a lumpectomy followed by radiation treatments.  She continues read more….


Celebration of Life

Celebration Collage LifeMy very special Mother-in-law of 33 years passed away last year on October 1st. Ella was born only two weeks before the anniversary of her death so this post is in celebration of both the birth of baby Ella and the Life of Grandma Pat.

Patricia Ann Vernon-Cole, a wonderful mother to 5 children, grandmother of 11 grandchildren and great-grandmother of 7 was truly the matriarch of the Vernon-Cole family. This strong woman of integrity, determination and unconditional love is greatly missed. We miss her paintings and the artists paraphernalia strewn about her house, her love of gardening and animals, and the vegetable soup she would make when we’d visit.

If I could talk to Pat today about life and death, I can imagine what she would say… read more….


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Here we go again….another bittersweet moment in my life.  From my experience it seems these moments usually involve my children.  If you are a parent or grandparent I’m sure you’re familiar with these moments.  They usually involve a great new adventure or phase in your adult child’s life.  The moments when you’re excited or maybe even bursting with pride and encouraging your son or daughter to “go for it”!  But, at the same time inside you is the pain of letting them go once again.  It’s so very true that you are a parent forever…your roles simply change.

My husband Mike and I have been very fortunate to have all three children and six grandchildren living within a few  hours proximity of us.   But, this weekend our son Nathan and his wife Naomi began their  cross-country move to Pennsylvania.  They will both be continuing their education there.  They are so anxious and excited about this new adventure and all they will learn and experience.  It is exciting to Mike and I as we listen to their plans.  Oh, to be young again!   We are now tracking their progress across the country much like Santa Claus is tracked on Christmas Eve. read more….


Our Friend Mia

Mia PiaWe lost a very special member of our family this week. Mia, our miniature Australian Shepherd, passed away on Sunday. She was our friend, mascot and all around great companion.

When we brought Mia home in 2001, she was a cute little ball of fur with a freckled nose. Our daughter Rachel had earned money to buy her by doing chores, having garage sales… and a few donations from family and friends. Although she was originally meant to be Rachel’s dog, in no time at all she became the family pet. Rachel picked out the name Mia (pronounced with a long i). I tried to convince her to spell the name ‘Myah’ so it wouldn’t be mispronounced. Rachel stuck to her guns and as expected we were constantly correcting people on how to pronounce Mia’s name! Dad, who always nicknames our dogs, quickly labeled her ‘Mia Pia’,  sometimes lengthened to ‘Mia Papayah’! read more….



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I love reminiscing about things from the nostalgic 60s with others that remember the same things!  From toys to furniture to cars to how different our lives were lived then.

Does remembering some of these things help to bring a smile, or maybe a tear, to your face?

1.  Remember when the world felt like such a safe place?  My sisters and I lived out our very young years in a small town in Missouri.  Kathy was too young at the time, but Carol and I were allowed to pack our lunch and take off walking read more….


IMG_5606A work related project commonly becomes a whole family affair in our home! Recently I had to come up with a craft project for 15 “90 somethings”. For this project I wanted something that would be fun and functional. If any of you have ever worked with the elderly you know that Bingo is one of the most anticipated of weekly activities. Our community is no different, and to make it even better our residents earn Bingo Bucks that can be used to purchase items at the Bingo Store. The thrill of the “BINGO!” just became even more exciting! After the game the bucks are generally tossed into a walker, stuffed into a pocket or plastic baggie, or mistakenly left behind when dropped on the floor. I thought it would be fun to make a small “Bingo Bucks” pouch for attaching to a walker or wheelchair for “buck” safekeeping. read more….


First photoDo you volunteer your time anywhere? Have you ever volunteered your time or resources to a worthy cause? I admit that my volunteer experience has been limited, that is until Horses with Hearts came into my life.

I first became aware of Horses with Hearts after seeing their calendar at the hair salon I frequent. I’ve always loved horses, so I found the idea of using horses to provide therapy to handicapped individuals intriguing. I looked it up online, read about the program, located the volunteer forms and contacted the program. Paul decided he would like to participate as well so we attended the volunteer orientation and thus began a special experience. read more….


I’ve always had positive experiences with Craigslist.  It has been a convenient way to sell things and we’ve met nice folks along the way.  That is until now!  We were just “almost” the victims of a Craigslist scam.  I’m sharing my experience with you in hopes it will prevent this from ever happening to you!

After advertising a piece of furniture on Craigslist I was contacted via email by a potential buyer.  It was your average inquiry, asking questions regarding condition and what my bottom price was.   A price was settled on and we had a potential deal.

First red flag:  The buyer, lets call him David, was from out of town and was not read more….


A Life Well Lived

paperclip heart - tranquilI am currently employed at an Assisted Living Community in the Activities Department. Because June is the month of weddings we like to celebrate this very special event in the life of our residents. We do so by displaying their wedding pictures, sharing stories, and reminiscing about the past. Hopefully these memories will create avenues for conversation, helping to bridge gaps and build relationships.

The majority of our residents are 90 and over. Sometimes they need a little help remembering, so after our first request we begin to knock on doors as a gentle reminder that we would love to include their photo in our display. When visiting their rooms, residents almost always want to talk about what is on their mind. Whether it be their health, their family, or their fears. This is one of those special opportunities we have to talk with residents one on one. It is important we take time to listen and converse when visiting their home. read more….