Paw Prints

Bella Rae

Bella Rae

We’ve never owned a dog like her before

And it’s a wee bit nerve-wracking

Okay it’s a whole bunch nerve-wracking

She’s feisty



Like me

But she’s a dog

And I’m the boss

She’s supposed to listen

When I tell her no

To get in her bed

To pee and poop outside

To stop jumping on the furniture

And charging through the house

And bouncing around like a kangaroo

To stop biting

And scratching

And licking

That constant licking of herself

Like a cat




And she snores

And she farts

And she eats like a pig

  We’re old people

We like things calm and quiet

We like a clean smelling house

Pee-stained-free carpet

And slobber-less tile floors

At least she’s potty trained now

I thought

Till this morning

When she peed and pooped in the living room

And threw up in my bedroom

 I wanted to wring her little neck

Take her back to the pound

And bring home a droopy-eyed over-the-hill bloodhound

But I cleaned up the mess instead

Because I love her

Because she brings more joy than chaos

Because she has left paw prints on my heart


~ Sandi


Stay-at-Home Mom Career

While other girls were dreaming of their Senior Prom, finishing school, and going to college, I was dreaming of having a baby.

After I got married, of course. I’m from the old one-room school with outside toilets; light years before premarital sex became acceptable.

Actually, I wasn’t even thinking about how babies were made. I just knew I wanted one.

Call it maternal instinct. Call it insanity. I just wanted a baby.

To hold in my arms.

To love.

To protect.

To fight to the death for.

Finally, my dream came true. I was twenty. Although the marriage didn’t last, my love and devotion for my son did.

Four years as a single mom and no child support was tough. I worked. I scrimped. I barely made ends meet.

I cried a lot.

Worried a lot.

Slammed doors a lot.

But I never stopped loving and caring for my son.

He was the reason for me to keep going.

Then one evening, at the least of romantic places . . . a service station, I met my Knight in Bermuda shorts, wire-rim glasses, and yellow button down shirt.

It was not love at first sight.

Nor was it love at second sight.

But as time went on, I fell in love with the gentle giant and married him. How could any mother not love the man who loves her child as she loves him.

Although I continued working to supplement our income, my heart was ever longing to be a stay-at-home mom.

Several long years of misery in the working field, I convinced my husband that we wouldn’t starve to death if I quit my job to stay home where I belong.

As with anything, unless you’re super rich, there were sacrifices. We couldn’t afford designer clothes and trade cars every year. We didn’t go on cruises or travel the world. Sometimes a simple trip to the beach was out of our budget.

But the trade-off and the investment we made in our son was worth all the luxuries in the world.

This morning, nearly five decades later, I sat reminiscing about my life. Suddenly, I felt a twinge of regret that I hadn’t done this and hadn’t achieved that and asked myself, why?

Then I remembered.

I smiled.

My stay-at-home mom career was worth all the PhD’s in the world!

To see what my son is up to today, visit freedom4her | RAWimpact Police Training Project

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My Friend, Gill

Like a giant he stood in the small, dimly lit Sanctuary, quietly adjusting to his strange surroundings.

I liked him right off —- ponytail, earrings and all.

Each word of his charming accent painted picturesque scenes and ancient villages of Italy.

His smile was warm and friendly, but his eyes were shadowed with loneliness and grief.

He had just served ten years in prison and struggles to fit into a harsh, unforgiving society. A society that slams the door in his face everywhere he turns. A society that clutches the keys to his bleak and lonely cell in which he lives.

He longs for his family, but their hearts are frozen. Their hateful words, like a vengeful sword, pierce his bleeding heart.

I wish they could hear him laugh. Listen to his heart. Feel his anguish.

But, like a sneering warden, they dangle the keys of judgement in his face; never letting him forget his twisted, tormented past.

From the day we met Gill, he became a huge part of our family. We loved him, encouraged him, and helped him in every way we could. My son was his pastor, mentor, oft time provider, and unconditional friend.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough.

Like a dog returning to its vomit, Gill returned to child pornography; hours and hours of internet child pornography. When that was not fulfilling enough, he became involved with a minor.

Her dad called the police.

When the police arrived at Gill’s house, they broke down the door to find him slumped unresponsive in a chair.

While the world was busy with their every day lives that warm sunny day four and a half years ago, Gill ended his.

Pedophiles are a dog’s bone in prison. And Gill promised himself he would never go back there.

Many people would say that the ten years our family invested in Gill were a waste. That he didn’t deserve love and understanding. That he was a worthless piece of trash.

But for God’s grace, we would all be a “Gill,” forever lost in the darkness of evil.

While many people recover from a broken home, sexual abuse, and abandonment, Gill never did. In spite of all our efforts, he chose a path that ultimately cost him his life.

Would we do it again? Yes. Gill was worth it to us. He was worth it to God. I only regret that he wasn’t worth it to himself.

Pornography is Satan’s supreme promise to pleasure beyond measure.

He leaves out the astronomical cost of your soul.

What is your life worth to you?

God’s Gift

PreciousBabies are a joy; God’s gift to the world. Yet, so many today are abused, abandoned, and tossed away like trash. In the midst of selfishness, poverty and greed, a baby’s cry goes unheard; a child’s anguish unseen.

As the value of human life goes down the price of a child’s innocent body goes up through child exploitation and human trafficking.

And it’s all around us.

Although we can’t rescue every hurting child in the world, we can love and protect the ones God has put in our lives. Our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren need love and encouragement. They need our time and attention. They need to know that when they mess up we still love them and will always be there for them.

We need to treat the children in our lives as if they are the most precious treasures on earth . . . because they are!

Photo Re-Touched . . . Alien Grave

This is another photo posted by Colin. It wasn’t difficult for me to see the creatures lurking within these funny-shaped mushrooms. And they’re not cute . . . They’re aliens. And they’re dead. I don’t think they’ll be posing a threat to anyone.

Original photograph is by:  A Tramp in the Woods –

Thanks for stopping by!

Photo Re-Touched . . . Flower


My life would be totally boring if I couldn’t create. There’s only so much rollerblading and skateboarding a granny can do in one day. And cleaning house got old a long time ago. I still do laundry though, when we run out of clean stuff. And wash the dishes when the dishwasher is full. But sitting at my computer is where you’ll find me the biggest part of the day . . . and night.

 Colin, A Tramp in the Woods – posted this lovely flower a while back and I just couldn’t resist setting this little captive free . . . Now Fizz has another playmate.

Thanks, Colin!

Thanks to you for stopping by!

Re-Touched Photo

At first glance, I saw an alien. As I got to working with the photo however, something entirely different emerged . . .Lady PrayingEverything was right there: her long, graceful neck, floppy hat, collar and flowing scarf. All she needed was a face. Of course I had to do a little warping. Then I added some shading, highlights, and texture. And wallah!  We have a lovely lady praying.

Photo is compliments of: A Tramp in the Woods | A nature diary from the Forest of Dean.

Thanks Colin!

And thanks to you for stopping by.

Photo Recreation

Colin posted this beauty a few days ago. It is a male Catkin. The female Catkins do not bloom until a month or two after the male Catkins bloom. But I couldn’t wait that long . . .so I created Mrs. Catkin . . .and his sister, Joan . . .and his Aunt Thelma.

Now everyone’s happy.

Thanks for dropping by, and thanks, Colin, for the use of your photos.

Flower-Inspired Fantasy

Remember this photo from my last post? You may have seen just a lovely flower . . .

But I saw this. Of course, I didn’t see it right away. It was well hidden beneath the sludge of my imagination, clogging my creative juices. It seemed forever that I sat staring at my blank computer screen, trying this, deleting that, starting over, filling my coffee cup for the umpteenth time, playing with the dog, talking on the phone, checking the weather, praying for world peace . . .

But in the end, persistence paid off.

Thanks again for stopping by.