Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s a Bitch Getting Old

Ruby was a sweet looking puppy, but her behaviour was wild during her puppy days. She grew out of her monster stage and turned into a wonderful dog.

Ruby had her 11th birthday in February this year. She’s a bit gray around the muzzle, and now sports bushy white eyebrows. Like many dogs her age, she was packing around several fatty lumps on her body. One of them was getting uncomfortably large and pressing on her throat. It was time to do something about it.

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We have great confidence in our veterinarian and admire the way he cares for our pets. He removed the worst of Ruby’s lumps, taking special care with the one that was near her carotid artery.

Since two of the lumps are near her shoulders, wearing a cone would not stop her from scratching at the itchy stitches, so a T-shirt was recommended. The trouble was to find something small enough. With some creative cutting and knot-tying, I managed to fashion a covering for Ruby.

Most of the time, it works, but this morning when I was wanting to take her outside, she didn’t move from her doggie bed. I had a closer look and saw that she had straight-jacketed herself in trying to get out of the shirt.

She hadn’t hurt herself. The material is very soft. But at least she wasn’t able to scratch herself.

She is healing well and I’m sure she’s glad to be rid of those lumps. I’m sure she’ll also be glad to get rid of her “hospital” nightgown.

Guest Blogger: Anneli Purchase and Her Latest Book “Marlie”

My friend Marlie would love to show you some of the photos of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) where she taught at the elementary school. You might think teaching isn’t a very outdoorsy job but her new friends take her out and about to see the islands. She learns that in beauty lies danger.

Luanne Castle's Writer Site

My name is Marlie Mitchell. That’s me on the cover of Anneli’s book.


Anneli’s friend Jan Brown painted my portrait. She made my hair a bit wilder than it really is, but I do have trouble keeping it tamed. Jan certainly got my eyes right. One shows the hurt I’ve felt, and the other shows my determination to pick myself up and be strong.

You see, I had great plans to teach young children and build a happy life with a husband and maybe a couple of kids of my own. Hah! That dream went down the toilet almost before I got started. Everything in my life seemed to go wrong.

I was the perfect candidate for an escape to a remote teaching post in the Queen Charlotte Islands, now called Haida Gwaii, off the coast of northern British Columbia.

Many of my students lived in poor homes in Haida…

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The Superpower of Attitude

For those of you who don’t know about my second blog site, dedicated to writers, writing, books, and reading, I invite you to visit annelisplace.wordpress.com and click to follow it if you like what you see.

Anneli's Place

I’d like to introduce my guest, Diana Wallace Peach, author of several novels and now author of her first children’s book. Diana has a wonderful attitude towards life, which I’m happy to let her share with you.

Welcome Diana.

My daughter wasn’t a morning person as a three-year-old. Instead of simply picking out her clothes for the next morning, she’d wear her outfit to bed. Anything to avoid the ordeal of dressing in the morning. Mornings were miserable and teary, and they set the tone for a miserable, teary day.

One morning we sat on her bed, and I suggested that we use her superpowers to change her day. Well, that intrigued her. So together we said the magic words. “I’m going to have a great day.” We said it over and over again, louder and louder, and guess what? She had a great day. Was her routine different than…

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Beach Fishing, Anyone?

I would feel safe enough fishing from a little skiff. I wouldn’t mind the mystic, misty fog that will burn off later in the day.

But going ashore to fish from the beach has given me pause. All sorts of dangers lurk there, right next to those horse clams that squirt water through their siphons like a mini fire brigade.

Remember them, squirting water into the air? Well, just look what is going on behind their backs.What if I’d been standing on the beach fishing, and it turned out to be the bruin’s favourite fishing spot? I think I’d stay in the skiff, thank you.

But worse yet, what if you heard wolves howling the night before, you go to the beach to fish in the morning and a friend calls over to tell you he just saw a wolf running away. You go to explore, and find that wolves have taken down a good-sized deer.

A pack of wolves would tear at the hide, pulling it right off the hind quarters to get at the meat under it. I apologize to the squeamish readers, but this is real life and death–the kind of thing we Disney fans deny ever happens, when in fact it is going on all the time. It must go on. Wolves have to eat too. But you’ll excuse me if I’m not overly in love with wolves or want to transplant them to every part of the country.

Next time I’ll post something sweet and not too real. I know that for many of you this is hard to look at. I didn’t like it myself, but it’s real, it’s true, and it’s happening out there in the real world.

No, I wasn’t there that day, but the Captain was. He took these pictures.

Whispers Under the Baobab

Followers of Wordsfromanneli, please indulge me one more time. I know that some of you are aware of my second blog which I dedicate to books, authors, and writing, but in case you don’t know about my annelisplace blog, please come visit and if you are interested, follow me there as well. https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/

Anneli's Place

One of my favourite writers, Darlene Jones (yes, she’s the one on the camel) has just completed another book, “Whispers Under the Baobab.” It is a stand-alone sequel to her previous publication, “When the Sun was Mine.”  In this sequel,  the setting goes back and forth in time.  We are taken from the U.S. to Africa and back, to events that happened earlier in the life of award-winning journalist, Flo McAllister. When she died, Flo left a mystery behind. The story evolves as we try to decode her secret notes.

I’d like to share the author’s thoughts with you here. Welcome Darlene. What can you tell us about your new book, “Whispers Under the Baobab”?

Darlene Jones

It’s always exciting when “the book” is finally edited, formatted, and published. Holding the print copy in your hands never fails to make your heart beat a little faster. You’ve done it.

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Losing It

Did you ever do something really stupid that made you wonder if old age is setting in early? I did! Today! I think I’m losing it!

We have a lot of windows in our house and they were in dire need of a cleaning after a winter of storms. I had been cleaning a few at a time over the last week, using a spray bottle of Windex, paper towels, and sometimes a squeegee.

Today I had a lot of things on my “To Do” list, so I rushed to get started. I grabbed the Windex and the paper towels and started on the living room windows.

I was surprised how much of a film remained on the window pane after I sprayed them and wiped them with the paper towel. I put it down to having neglected the job for too long, and rubbed harder with the towel so the panes finally came out clear. Emma’s nose prints on the glass didn’t help any. She likes to stick her nose into the window pane when she sees birds or rabbits in the yard outside.

In case you’re wondering why I have a photo of two spray bottles, it’s to show how similar the Windex bottle is to the one I accidentally grabbed in its place.

I had been cleaning my windows with Febreze! No wonder the panes were a bit filmy. But at least there is no doggie smell anywhere near the windows.

It’s easy enough to grab the wrong bottle when you’re in a hurry and don’t have your glasses on.  The Captain says I’d never be able to get a job as a caregiver. I’d have the residents keeling over from getting the wrong medicine.

Julia’s Violinist: A Story of Love, Courage, Survival

Lori Greer in Portland

I miss Julia.

Sometimes my need to know the “rest of the story” competes with not wanting to let the main character go by finishing a book.

I can be almost finished with a book but find that I have to force myself to read the final chapter.

This is the case with Julia, the main character in Julia’s Violinist.

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