Finding The Positive in Mother’s Day

Social media, and media in general have blown Mother’s Day up into a two day event… and then some… making it harder and harder on those who don’t have mothers worthy of celebration, and those who have lost mothers they miss every day of their lives.

I’m one of the former.

Over the years, I’ve simply ignored all the wonderful posts about mothers who are loved, missed, and celebrated, but for some reason this year it was more difficult to stuff my feelings into a tidy little slot and just keep moving forward.

The problem began with hearing one of those radio deals where listeners phone in and have twenty seconds to say something to their mom—for all the world to hear.

I laughed at the first few, thinking, ha ha, nope, nothing like my mother. Then a young woman said, “If not for my mother, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

At that point I started to think of the negatives in my life I could directly attribute to my parents. If not for my mother I wouldn’t be…

But I stopped, because I have learned to live a positive life…I gave up negative when I realized it was a legacy I didn’t want, didn’t have to accept.

Today, I refused to dwell on the why’s behind my shortcomings and weaknesses.

Instead, I chose to look at, think about, and question how the negatives in my childhood impacted me in a positive way, and here are a few that stand out.

If I’d had a mother who got up in the mornings and got her children off to school, would I be such a good self-starter? Would I still be crazy proficient and organized if I hadn’t had to get my own breakfast, get dressed, and on my way?

Probably not.

If I’d had parents I could run to when the bumps and scrapes and hurt feelings happened would I still be this resilient and self-sufficient?

If I’d had parents who put their children first, would I be such a strong and independent woman today?

If I hadn’t had parents who expected me to work as soon as I was legally able, would I have such and outstanding work ethic?

If I hadn’t had parents who bought me a horse so I wouldn’t be interested in boys, and so they had a tool to hold over my head (If you do that we’ll sell your horse. If you don’t do this, we’ll sell your horse. If your grades…) would I have had such a fantastic career as a horse trainer? Would my future have been decided by a boyfriend and not by my own pursuit of happiness?

If my father hadn’t bought himself a puppy, one who grew up to be a dog who loved me, and who I loved with all my heart, would I have had this life blessed with loving and loveable 4-legged creatures?

Maybe, maybe not.

Bottom line? There was always food in the cupboards, a clean bed to sleep in, and a roof over my head… And that’s a helluva lot more than some kids had, so for that I am grateful.

And when Mother’s Day and Father’s Day threaten to overwhelm those of us with seemingly little to celebrate, I remember the gift of independence, of strength, and of resilience. And I think about the sheer joy of loving and caring for animals.

I grew up on my own, and somewhere along the line I found out that I’m naturally compassionate, and although I built a wall around my feelings at a very young age, I have a soft heart.

Today I celebrate the positives that came from parents who had no clue how to love, nurture, and protect their children.

I have a great life, lived in a positive way, and I am grateful!

Finding My Way

Today I begin a new project.

Today I begin talking, publicly, about why my characters are so flawed, and why they have so much to overcome before they find happiness.

Why now?

Because it’s finally time, and because today I released, INTO THE SUNRISE, a story I’m passionate about. A story about a woman who overcomes enormous obstacles, and learns to celebrate her own strength.

It reminds me of who I am.

And it reminds me of everyone else out there who has struggled to overcome.

So bear with me for a few days, while I explore what it meant to me, to finally realize I was from a dysfunctional family.

From shattered dreams to incredible joy.

Soul-destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

If you love stories about women who pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and get on with living no matter what the universe tosses in their path, this book is for you.



Gratitude – for Calvin

Gratitude – for Friday being the perfect culmination of hundreds of hours of work put in by a small group of women determined to socialize a reluctant feral cat.



For discovering his reluctance was due to dental pain and wonky blood sugar.


For sticking to the goal in spite of hisses and punches and blood dripping from the odd finger.


For Rocky 1, and Rocky 2 (the names we gave the elbow-length wildlife gloves) helping us get past a hurdle or two,


For the distraction of food giving us the opportunity to touch him without getting punched.





For the feather sticks that became the “Key to Calvin,” and the standard first approach tool.







For heart pounding moments — of which there were oh so many!  Like the first time I successfully captured him in a blanket, or when I was sure he was about to punch me and instead leaned into my hand to enjoy the rub or scratch, or reaching out to touch him when he was out of his lair.






For the first time he stayed in my lap, even when I uncovered his head and he was free to go.





For the special first moments when he was touching me or accepting my touch and all I could do was say, “I hope someone can get a screen shot of this for me.”  And sure enough, several people would oblige. I am grateful those special moments were captured. (To all who contributed, thank you!)

For being able to finally get him to come out of his lair to play.

For the day I was so excited by an early breakthrough moment, I forgot to take off my scrub booties and wore them home inside my shoes!

For seeing him on camera at night, romping and playing like a kitten.




The weeks and weeks of bunny suits, booties, gloves, and head covers were all worth it. The hours and hours of laundry because everything had to go through the cycle twice are but a distant memory.

Months of staying determined we would get him to exactly where he is today, in a loving home, with people who understand the special needs of a formerly ferocious feral, have paid off.

When I slipped a blanket over him and gently carried him to the travel carrier, I gave him one last hug, and said, “I’m going to open the blanket up, and I want you to go in on your own.”  I let the blanket open, and he calmly walked in, turned around and laid down, snuggled into his favorite little bed. He was calm, ready to get on with his life.

I’ve chatted with his new mom several times since he got home, and he’s doing very well. He left the carrier within a few hours, and has staked out a favorite spot in his safe room. He’s taking all the newness in stride, and he’s blessed to have a human who “gets” it. Knows to give him space, but also understands he needs to feel human touch in order to stay connected.

For those who don’t know Calvin’s story, here’s a brief summary.

First of all, he survived being born in the wild.

He beat the odds and didn’t succumb to parasites, to disease, or predators. But by the age of three, his teeth began to go bad, and he was living with a horrible eye injury. Things were going downhill fast.

Then the best day of his life happened. He finally stepped into the trap set just for him, by, and he was whisked away from his forest colony to become part of the October Fixathon held at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital.

Vets and Techs from Mountain View and other hospitals volunteered to spend an entire Sunday spaying and neutering feral cats and doing whatever else was needed to help with controlling the community cat population. Dr. Sakals (Nano’s surgeon) from Canada West Veterinary Specialists, removed Calvin’s eyeball which had by now ruptured, and he was neutered.

Calvin still needed to return to Mountain View for extensive dental surgery before he’d be fit to release back into his colony, but that had to wait because he tested positive for ringworm. Once that was cleared up and the dental done, he was ready… but showing other symptoms, and was diagnosed with diabetes.

Returning to the wild would be a death sentence, so returning wasn’t an option. He was started on insulin therapy, and socialization was his only hope. So we set to work, and it took six months.

We celebrated even the tiniest of milestones, and cheered each other on. Each with our own style, each with our own level of bravery, we taught Calvin about love and trust. Some of us only did socialization, while others took on the massive task of taking daily blood samples and giving insulin injections, all before he’d decided humans weren’t the enemy!

It’s amazing to look back at where he was, heck, who he was, in October, and then see who he is now.






He is truly blessed, because not only did we all believe in him, but someone else believes in him now, has adopted Calvin, and taken him home, because as she said, he’s family.


Thank you, Calvin, I’m grateful for all you’ve taught me, as well as the laughter, and the great group of strong women you brought into my life.


To learn more about Calvin and other amazing cat rescues, go to

~Because all lives matter~

Daily Gratitude

Gratitude – for a group of women who are awesome, incredibly supportive, and freaking phenomenal.

I am never surprised when they reach down and pull out more reserves. They live with guts, determination, and an abundance of love. They handle whatever comes across their path, with grace and dignity. And they look out for each other.

The Tinykittens leaders, are amazing human beings
And their support volunteers are cut from the same cloth.