Monthly Archives: May 2017


Think you can’t make a difference in someone’s life? Think again. Everyone can make a difference, even dogs! This is Shelby, my registered therapy dog, sitting outside the school where we go read to the kindergarteners. You can see that she’s quite proud to be wearing her “I’m a School Visitor” badge. We visit here once a month and I think that we teach the kids that reading is fun and dogs are fun. And accepting. 

One boy is a student with special needs and each time we see him, his behavior is calmer. Last time he even sat with us and the other kids for a while. Now this may have nothing to do with Shelby but I can’t help but think she plays some small part.

I’ve taken other therapy dogs to a home for profoundly disabled children and I know for a fact that the dog calmed some of these children. Kids that aren’t normally verbal make sounds. And kids that don’t interact, pet the dog. I’ve seen the same reaction with older folks who don’t interact anymore. They will ask a question or call the dog over.

We all have a chance to make a difference in the lives of others every day. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture either. Just saying hello or sharing a smile can change the course of someone’s day. And you may never know. Your kind gesture affects someone so they are nicer to someone, and so on. Small acts can make big ripples.

If a dog can do it, so can you! 


I am recovering from a stressful day and decided that should be done with flowers.  It helps!  See new clematis above.

One of our four mandevillas. They are already growing so well that I had to make new trellises for them. Can you tell we went to greenhouses on Saturday? We also bought a gardenia, a new climbing rose, and a hibiscus, plus some annuals. Photos of those will be forthcoming when they flower. We still have to get our usual flats of flowers too.

And then we have our usual suspects that flower year after year. This clematis amazes us with its profusion of blooms. 

The rhododendrons are also in fine form.

The Wygelia is spectacular. 

The columbine pleases with its delicate blossoms. 

And the scent of the Miss Kim lilacs! I sit on the porch for hours just to smell them. Then I take some in the house. And to work. I want to enjoy their scent as much as I can before they fade until next year. Of course we have old fashioned lilacs, and the Miss Kims, and Royal lilacs. They bloom in succession so we are with lilacs for some time. Bliss!

And I am destressed! The wonders of the outdoors can work magic. 

Spring Favorites 

Cassius and Me

One of my favorite signs of spring is…hiking! Spring is the best season for this as far as I am concerned.  It’s warm, it’s sunny. Not too cold, not too hot, limited bugs. And all the green, blooming and sprouting things are good for the soul. 


I took our dogs who enjoy long hikes on a three mile trek at West Branch State Park. I call them The Three Amigos because they go nearly  everywhere together, Cassius, Baxter, and Shelby. 


You can tell how much fun they had by the smiles.

Shelby and Cassius

Shelby and Cassius enjoy the view. And quite a view it is.

We saw some boats.

But the nature views are the best. The dogs seem to enjoy it too, but really their favorite place to be is anywhere that I am.  My favorite place is also any place with them. That’s why we stay home a lot. The best place to be is with family. Cassius, Baxter, and Shelby are family.

Kammie and Nikki, our other two shelties, are of course family too. They just can’t hike so far anymore so they stay home. With age, comes that right!