October 27

Be The Change For Animals #BTC4A


I’m participating in the Be the Change for Animals Fund-Free Fundraiser.  For every tweet and blog post featuring the #BTC4A hashtag (short for Be the Change for Animals) from October 22-27, Petco will donate $1 for rescue pets – up to $5,000 – at BarkWorld!

You Can Help!

Participating is super-easy!  Here’s what you need to do:

  • Tweet this now through Saturday, October 27th at 11 AM (EST) :

Rescue pets receive $1 from @Petco at @BarkWorldExpo for each #BTC4A tweet from Oct 22-27! Learn more: http://ht.ly/eEls7

  • Blog about what rescue means to you, now through Saturday, October 27th at 11 AM (EST) and add #BTC4A to your post title. Include your post link (not just your domain) in the blog hop list below to be counted. Bonus: Each time your post is tweeted, you’ll earn another dollar for rescue pets!
  • BarkWorld attendees can nominate their favorite no-kill, 501(c)3 rescue or shelter at the Petco booth through Friday, October 26th!

I thought it might be fun to ask Freedom, Casper and Nikki what they thiought were the most important “improvements” to our lives since adding rescue pets to our home.  Here’s what they had to say:

Nikki – You never have to worry about oversleeping.  Every morning at 5 am, I will wake you up.  I promise.  Toss that alarm clock out.

Freedom – You get to add new adjectives to your vocabulary.  I’ve been known to get a little grumpy when Casper trolls my bed, so when mommy gets crabby with daddy, daddy says, “Now don’t go all Freedom-ish on me!” 

Casper – You make new friends and can have sleepovers.  Plus, we have friends all over the world, thanks to blogging.

Nikki – You learn new math… 1 jingled leash (intentional or not) + 3 pairs of dog ears = 3 dogs going crackers.

Freedom – You have a place to funnel all that pesky extra money…toys, collars, coats, leads, beds, greyhound vacations, vehicles large enough to transport 3 dogs in the comfort to which they’ve become accustomed…things like that.

Casper – You become a very good speller.  G-O…T-R-E-A-T…W-A-L-K…O-U-T…words like that.

Nikki – You learn what chillaxin’ looks like.

Freedom – You don’t have to put us through college.  More money for hedgehogs!

Casper – You become the most amazing, incredible, exciting, missed rock star on the planet every time you come home.

Freedom, Casper & Nikki – You truly and deeply get to ponder the question, “Who rescued who?”

Daily Inspiration


Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds), Lori's Lists | 11 Comments

October 20

Books That Made A Difference


I have long been a fan of a feature in O Magazine called Books That Made A Difference, where a celebrity lists several books that made a difference in their life.  Recently, I saw a post on Staying Awake where Jan listed her top titles.  She was inspired by a post on The Solitary Walker.  I’ve always wanted to compose my list and here it is (in no particular order)…books that made a difference to me.

1.  The Bible.  Any translation for informing how I live, the King James Version for the majesty of the language.

2.  Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  The book that made me a life-long reader.

3.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.  My perfect heroine.

4.  Atonement by Ian McEwan.  A beautiful novel that captures the messiness of life and the consequences of our sometimes horrible choices.

5.  Little Golden Book – The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids.  My mom would do the different voices when she read this to me.  My favorite fairy tale.  I wish I still had my copy.

6.  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  A fascinating story that illustrates how people, place and time help form who we are.

7.  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.  The first Shakespeare play I read and still my favorite.  Who can resist star-crossed lovers and a blood feud.

8.  Anything by Agatha Christie.  I love mysteries.  Agatha Christie introduced me to adult mysteries and is the Grande Dame to me.

9.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.  A frightening look at the thin veneer of civilization.

10.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  My favorite tale of redemption.

What are books that made a difference to you?

Daily Inspiration

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.

Edward P. Morgan

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books), Lori's Lists | 24 Comments

October 6

Gourds, Pumpkins & Squash


I saw an interesting article in the October 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine about the differences between these “fall-harvested cousins.”


True gourds are hollow, non-edible and known by shape–swan, bottle and dipper to name a few.  I painted the cute jack-o’-lantern about 15 years ago.  It still looks great.


Pumpkins are technically squash, but I would venture to say that no one who sees a pumpkin thinks, “squash.”  Pumpkins come in a wide range of sizes and are a decorating staple for fall.  If you want to eat the pumpkin, make sure to choose a baking variety that is bred for flavor.  The medium size pumpkin is a baking pumpkin.  I know this because that’s how it was sold.


Winter squash has a thick rind and can be stored for much longer than the varieties of summer squash.  This thick rind makes winter squash ideal not only for storage but also for decorating.  Decorate now, eat later.

Novelty Varieties

Often incorrectly called gourds, novelty squash are generally edible but more often used as decorations.

Daily Inspiration


 How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.

John Burroughs

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 6 Comments

September 29

Books I Read April – September


Here’s what I’ve read during the last six months:

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered.  Based, in part, on her testimony, her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, is convicted of the murders.  Twenty-five years later, The Kill Club, a society obsessed with notorious crimes, locates Libby and offers her money to reconnect with people from that time in her life.  As the stories are revealed, Libby must confront the fact that her testimony may not have been as solid as she believed.  This is a dark book throughout and not for the squeamish.  I enjoyed this book because the story was interesting, and even more so, the characters were interesting.  All the characters were extremely gritty, but very human and believable.  I was a little dissatisfied with the ending, but not enough to prevent me from recommending the book.  I want to read more by Gillian Flynn.

The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

The Janus Stone is the second Ruth Galloway mystery.  When a child’s headless skeleton turns up during an archeological dig, forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway determines that the bones are of recent origin which spurs an investigation.  Although this isn’t my favorite mystery series, I’ll continue to read them because I find the archeological backdrop and details fascinating, and Ruth is an interesting heroine.

The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine

I selected this book as part of the South Asian Challenge 2012 I’m participating in this year.  Stumbling upon books like The Blue Notebook is one of the reasons I encourage people to participate in book clubs, reading challenges and anything else that makes them step outside of their comfort zone.  The Blue Notebook is poetry, written as prose.  The subject is heartbreaking and unbearable…sexual slavery and child prostitution.  The story is frank, surprisingly hopeful, and a testament to the human spirit and the power of storytelling.  I highly recommend this book.

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher has a razor sharp, irrevent wit and impressive insightfulness.  This book is based on one of her stand-up routines.  I like Carrie Fisher and her sense of humor, so I enjoyed this book.  If you’re not familiar with Carrie Fisher and her life, you may find it a bit disjointed.  I have not read anything else by Carrie Fisher but I would like to in the future.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Audiobook)

A lost manuscript, a reluctant witch, a 1,500-year-old vampire and a mystery launch this trilogy.  I listened to this audiobook and while I enjoyed it, my friends who read the book were more enthusiastic about it.  I think I may have missed some of the richness of the novel by listening to it rather than reading it.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (Audiobook)

Last year, when I highlighted a favorite book for my Saturday posts, this book was one of my picks.  I equally enjoyed listening to this book.  Jayne Entwistle perfectly captures the precocious 11-year-old Flavia de Luce, the protagonist of this mystery series.  If you enjoy clever, fun mysteries that are very British and involve an unconvenional heroine, please introduce yourself to Flavia de Luce.

Guilt By Degrees by Marcia Clark (Audiobook)

Marcia Clark is probably best known as the lead prosecutor in the OJ Simpson trial, but she is also a writer.  Guilt By Degrees is the second Rachel Knight mystery.    Rachel Knight is a D.A. in Los Angeles, California.  When she takes on the case of a murdered homeless man, she not only pits herself against a formidable opponent, she must also come to terms with the ghosts of her past.  Rachel Knight is not just a sharp and savvy investigator, she is a fascinating character all-around.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will read the first book in the series.

Daily Inspiration


A good book has no ending.

R.D. Cumming

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books), Lori's Lists | 9 Comments

September 22

Great Feuds



Currently, I’m reading Great Feuds In History: Ten Struggles that Shaped the World by Colin Evans.  It chronicles ten “high-stakes personal contests [that] had a lasting impact on the societies around them and the generations that followed.”  An interesting list…here are the feuds that Mr. Evans covers:

1.  Elizabeth I versus Mary, Queen of Scots

2.  Parliament versus Charles 1

3.  Aaron Burr versus Alexander Hamilton

4.  Hatfields versus McCoys

5.  Joseph Stalin versus Leon Trotsky

6.  Roald Amundsen versus Robert F. Scott

7.  Duchess of Windsor versus Queen Mother

8.  Montgomery versus Patton

9.  Lyndon Johnson versus Robert Kennedy

10.  J. Edgar Hoover versus Martin Luther King Jr.

Daily Inspiration


History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard.  It is a poem with events as verses.

Charles Angoff 

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 2 Comments

September 15

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies


This list comes from the October 2012 O Magazine...How To Make The Most Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie.  These tips come from Alton Brown, the host of The Next Iron Chef.  I don’t bake often, but the next time I make chocolate chip cookies, I’m going to give these tips a try.

1.  Include dark, milk, and semisweet chocolate.  Otherwise you’ll hit the same flavor notes with every bite, and your palate will get bored.

2.  For a chewier cookie, try baking with bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.

3.  Use room-temperature eggs.  Cold eggs are hard to work into a batter.

4.  Never bake the dough immediately.  Instead, scoop it onto cookie sheets and refrigerate.

5.  Before you bake, toss the dough in sugar, which will caramelize into a sweet-smelling, crispy crust.

Daily Inspiration


If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?
Khalil Gibran

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 3 Comments

September 8

When Something Right Can Go Wrong



This list is from A. W. Tozer (1897-1963).  I love little lists like this.  They keep me thinking.

When Something Right Can Go Wrong

When in our determination to be bold we come brazen

When in our desire to be frank we become rude

When in our effort to be watchful we become suspicious

When we seek to be serious and become somber

When we mean to be conscientious and become overscrupulous.

Daily Inspiration


Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

Will Durant 

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 7 Comments

September 1

More Things To Frame


Wednesday’s “Try This” post featured the idea of framing pretty things you find at thrift stores.  I put some old doilies in a frame.


Imagine how delighted I was when the last page in the latest edition of HGTV Magazine posed this question to favorite HGTV personalities, “What’s something you pop in a frame besides a photo?”  Here are their answers:

1.  Vintage pins on a velvet background.

2.  The paper from the first time a child writes their name.  

3.  Initials.  For instance…thin metal letter stencils or vintage military-style letter stencils.

4.  Paint chips.

5.  Menus.

6.  Butterfly shapes cut from maps, then hot-glued in the center so the wings stick up.

Some great ideas for displaying special items that tend to hide away in a box or cupboard.

Daily Inspiration


If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point. 

Antonio Porchia

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 5 Comments

August 25

Favorite Villains


Ann, at Harvest Moon by Hand, recently posted about favorite villains.  That got me thinking…who are my favorite villains?  Here are my top five:


1.  Animated Villain – Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

She’s just so angry and vengeful.  Plus, she can turn into a dragon!  I’m really looking forward to the upcoming movie Maleficent with Angelina Jolie.


2.  Fantasy Villain – Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)

The Wicked Witch of the West, as played by Margaret Hamilton, is so iconic.

3.  Psycho Villain – John Doe (Seven)

Calm, calculating, intelligent and completely mad, Kevin Spacey played John Doe to terrifying perfection.

4.  Mob Villain – Tommy DeVito (Goodfellas)

No one plays unhinged and unpredictable like Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas.

5.  Horror Villain – Pennywise the Clown (It)

Watching and reading horror doesn’t usually “stick” with me, but Pennywise did and totally creeped me out.

Who are your favorite villains?

Daily Inspiration


Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.

Emile Chartier

About the photo (taken on August 25)…I had a fun adventure on Saturday along the banks of the St. Joseph River in Mishawaka, Indiana.  I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.  This is a view from Kamm Island.

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 8 Comments

August 18

25 Ways To Get & Stay Creative


1.  Make lists.

2.  Carry a notebook and camera everywhere.

3.  Try freewriting.

4.  Get away from the computer.

5.  Be otherwordly (you decide what that means).

6.  Quit beating yourself up.

7.  Take breaks.

8.  Know your roots.

9.  Listen to new music.

10.  Be open.

11.  Surround yourself with creative people.

12.  Get feedback.

13.  Collaborate.

14.  Don’t give up.

15.  Practice, practice, practice.

16.  Allow yourself to make mistakes.

17.  Go somewhere new.

18.  Count your blessings.

19.  Get lots of rest.

20.  Take risks. 

21.  Do more of what makes you happy.

22.  Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect.

23.  Clean your workspace.

24.  Finish something.

25.  Have fun and play.

Daily Inspiration


Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.

Henry Frederic Amiel

About the photo (taken on August 16)…I took this picture at Whitewater Crossing Christian Church in Cleves, OH.  I went there for a Facilities Forum.  This was a wallhanging that I thought was interesting.

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 9 Comments