Thursday, July 18, 2024

All My Pets in the Summer Edition

So fun to see ALL my pets in the summer edition! I tell you, I'd be so sad if we didn't have the kitties. They missed me so much while we were gone that Jules has taken to sleeping with me all night long. Poor Michael, less space for him in the bed. Oh, the sacrifices he makes. Good man! We're enjoying the heat and humidity and cool ocean breezes! Isn't my shadow amazingly tall?  

Monday, July 15, 2024

Writer Sanctum Book Fair

Summertime is for reading! Check out the wide variety of books from the self-publishing (SP) forum--Writer Sanctum--I belong to here: — A.L. Hawke ( and happy reading! If you are interested in publishing your own books, this is the place to be. The members are interesting and gracious and fantastic storytellers!

Friday, July 12, 2024


July is the month of the Precious Blood and we remember at every Mass that when St. Longinus speared our Lord's Sacred Heart, Water and Blood poured out, bathing us in Love and Mercy. Yes, His Blood reconciles us to the Father. We are made white as snow, our sins forgotten. I can come confidently to the throne of the Father, knowing His Son has paid the price for me. 

We've just returned from a road trip for a family reunion in Texas and I've already had a chance to celebrate two wonderful saints--St. Maria Goretti (July 6), St. Benedict (July 11)--and excited about these feast days coming up. I remember the last time we made a road trip to visit my brother: to Memphis. We got to celebrate the Feast of Sts. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus (July 29) at EWTN. Oh, thanks be to God for everything!

Saturday, June 29, 2024

The End of an Era

I've not had the heart to talk about the declining health of our 16-year-old golden mix. She's been such a blessing to us--the best dog ever! We got her from a colleague of Michael's at Boeing the summer right before we started RCIA--the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults--and as the migraines worsened, she gave me the strength to take her on daily walks, no matter what. She kept me moving even when I thought it impossible. The kids named her Sunny. So many memories...come take a walk with me.

Sunny as a puppy, falling asleep after running about, learning to sit on command, waiting for a treat. 

How quickly she grew. Nearly full-grown at six months, enjoying her first snow. She loved going on walks with us, camping too! I still remember how worried we got when she wouldn't come back out of one of the glacial lakes...

Although our two older cats didn't like her much, they taught her boundaries, and toward the end of their lives, were often found relaxing with her. When we got a pair of kittens, they loved cuddling with her. We did too. She taught us all to be patient and to live in the moment. What a trouper she was, all of us, moving across the country to SC. 

We had such fun with her. She was up for anything, even ridiculous cat ears. 

Sunny was a cover girl in the local newspaper. This is what they said, "This photo is beautifully framed and captures the sun, the beach, and the dog in just the right perspective. This earned our top honorable mention vote and was the unanimous choice for the cover." The judges also said, "Although there is not a lot of action in this photo, all the judges agreed that Sunny was guarding the beach and ready to jump into action ... awesome photo!" Max took many more gorgeous pictures. 

She loved the beach. And oddly, even though she was mostly a retriever, she didn't retrieve balls or sticks after more than a couple of times. But she loved it best when we were all together. Her pack! Then came the kittens and she befriended them. And look how patient she is--taking the edge of her dog bed, while the little cat takes up half the bed! But as Sunny became old, she'd simply nose them off her bed and make herself comfortable. 

It was so great to be able to take her everywhere with us and accompanied us on Rosary walks, Stations of the Cross. 

She got to experience snow again! Sunny, like most dogs, was completely food-oriented and in our foodie-family, she had lots of treats. I love how focused she is on the meat. Now that's adoration! In 2020, during Covid-related lockdowns, we started buying our meat and eggs from a local farmer. And she ate all the bones from the bone broth I'd make. She was already showing some hip problems but within a year she improved. Of course, one cannot counter old age indefinitely--she was already well past the age most goldens live. 

This was one of our last good long walks with all of us together. And the next few photos were taken of her last days. She'd lost her appetite even for the yummy bones.  


All life ends but it was especially hard because Sunny deteriorated so slowly. She's had a tumor on her snout that I thought was a tick at first and nearly got my hand bitten when I tried to pull it off. Oy. The past couple of years, she'd knock off the tumor when it got too big. It'd bleed and grow back. She developed a second, different type of tumor on her neck this year. Our walks became shorter. For the past three months she was on daily painkillers and for the past couple of months, my husband had to carry her up the stairs. He was happy to do it, but how I feared that one day they'd both fall and break a leg. But now there's peace in her passing. Still, she leaves a big hole in our hearts. Goodbye Sunny St. Helen. May we meet again in heaven! 

When my first cat died, I took great comfort in listening to Fr. Mike Schmidt's explanation here: But I especially love this CHURCH SIGNS DEBATE WHETHER DOGS GO TO HEAVEN | TheDogPress Enjoy!