Blog challenge · Blogging · Cee's Share Your World · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction

It’s Me Again! ~~~ Share Your World ~ Week 35

First I’d like to thank Cee from Cee’s Photography for this weekly get together. Thanks Cee!

For Share Your World, Cee asks 4 questions and we answer them, it’s a nice way to get to know your fellow bloggers. Come join us!




Have your blogging goals changed?

Not really. I started this blog 2 years ago to put my writing out there. That’s what I still do. I needed a place to write stories and see if anyone enjoyed reading them. This blog lets me do it. A really nice bonus to this is that I have ‘met’ some really great people in the blogging community and have become wonderful friends with. It’s nice to be surrounded by good people.



If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?

I would have to work with the animals some how. I love animals and I want to make sure the animals in a circus were treated right. I don’t really believe in putting animals in cages for the enjoyment of humans, so my circus would be for the small animals that are able to live with people and be happy. No elephants or tigers and such, they should be in their own environment. Maybe dogs, cats, small domesticated, trained animals. They would of course be spoiled rotten. Because that’s just what I do. ūüôā


If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself?  Or if you are younger than 25 what words of wisdom would you like to tell yourself at age 45?

This is a more complicated question than you would think. I could go back and tell my younger self not to marry that Texan. He is bad news. I should have went with my girlfriend and her family and moved to another town when I was invited to join them. Would have saved years of hurt, fear and abuse. But then, my life would have changed so dramatically and I wouldn’t be where I am today or more importantly WHO I am today. So it’s a tough call.

One thing I would tell my younger self for sure though its….smarten up about your health! Eat healthy, don’t ever smoke ( I quit cold turkey¬†8 years¬†ago), and watch your sugar intake! Don’t ever think that your health is something you will have forever, because if you don’t eat smart, exercise and take care of yourself, you will regret it when you are older.

I would also tell myself when I was younger to never give up your dreams just because someone else says they are foolish. They are YOUR dreams and you should follow them.



What is your favorite comfort snack food?

Well since I can’t have sweets (I’m a diabetic) M & M’s are no longer an option.

So I will go with unsalted Saltine crackers. Sounds weird I know. But I love the taste, nothing on them, well maybe some cheese sometimes, but I can sit and eat saltines and feel comforted by them somehow. I love the crunch and the flavor.


That’s it for this week people. So are your blogging goals the same as when you first started?



Cee's Challenges · Cee's Share Your World · nonfiction · postaday

Share Your World ‚Äď 2014 Week 25

Another week is going by fast people! Now, it’s time for me to do Cee’s Share your world. Cee from Cee’s photography does this every week. She asks 4 questions and we answer them best we can. Why not go see what it’s all about and join in? It’s a wonderful way of getting to know your fellow bloggers or maybe some new bloggers.


What is your favorite type of dog?  (Can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal, drawing, cartoon or character in a movie or TV show)

I love all dogs. I’ve owned all sorts of dogs, but I have to admit my favorite breed is the German Shepherd. They are smart, loyal, playful and easy to train. I used to raise them years ago. Another lifetime ago. I have to say though that Sam, who is a bishon/Shih¬†Tzu¬†mix is super smart too. He is my buddy, my confidante, my little clown. He loves me unconditionally.

Sam (c) JLPhillips 2013
Sam (c) JLPhillips 2013


Name one thing not many people know about you.

That I lip read. I’m very good at it too. I lost my hearing when I was 16. It was a slow, gradual loss that wasn’t detected till then. During that time I became expert at reading lips, just so I could figure out what everyone was saying. I was told in the beginning that my hearing loss could not be corrected. That hearing aids were not a solution as it wasn’t nerve damage that did it. At the time they weren’t sure what caused it. I was told by the time I was 20 I would be completely deaf. It was devastating. In the meantime, I graduated high school with one of the highest grades in my class. I got a job. Life went on. At my job I finally was able to receive insurance and so I decided to have my hearing tested once more by the leading¬†¬†Otolaryngologist (ear doctor) in the state of Wisconsin. I was lucky in that he was practicing not too far from where I lived in another city. He did a battery of tests and confirmed that one, yes, I was almost completely deaf in both ears. But…..he could fix them! With an operation, he could replace the middle bone in my ear and fix it, hopefully. It was still a fairly new procedure where I came from and I was given a 50-50 chance that it would work. If the operation failed, they never could fix it and I would be deaf permanently. Needless to say it worked! I remember the first words I told the doctor when he was talking to me after the surgery and wanting to know if I could hear him. I drowsily told him to stop yelling at me. He wasn’t of course, but it seemed that way LOL.

Have you ever gone scuba diving?  If you haven’t, would you want to?

No to both questions. I have never had an interest in scuba diving. I am slightly claustrophobic. I do not want to be under water that way.

What was the most important event in your life last week? (Anything goes it can be a good night’s sleep, finished a reading book, winning the lottery, or getting married)

The most important thing last week is that it finally stopped raining. Yeah, not much, but I’ll take what I can lately. Oh, and speaking of sleep, I finally did have one night of half decent sleep. For me that is an unusual¬†occurrence. I wish I had won the lottery, but alas, that keeps eluding me.







Author Interviews · Blogging · nonfiction · writing

Author Interview ~~ Helen Kuusela and Bumble ~~ Confessions of a Rescue Dog

Today I have a special treat for everyone. My good friend tiny ( and her rescue dog Bumble have written a book.

Bumble is amazing!
Bumble is amazing!

Bumble is a brown toy poodle. He is a rescue dog and he loves to tell stories. All from his vantage point, in first dog, and with a twinkle in his eye. Now at the respectable age of 13 he has gathered enough courage to tell it all: from the trials and tribulations in his first home to his time in the shelter, his rescue and all the adventures that followed. You will discover that Bumble is a skillful observer and a great analyst of human behavior. He has a lively imagination and a very big heart. His story is a treat for pet lovers of all ages! A portion of this book’s sales will go to the local Humane Society shelter in the county where Bumble lives to help homeless animals find loving forever homes.

You can also visit the Firdemonte Press to learn more about Bumble and where he lives. You can buy the book on Amazon here.

1-What inspired you to write your book?

Oh, there are several things. I have written all my life, but my writings have been of the boring, professional kind. I have always wanted to write a novel, but never had the time. When last year’s NaNoWriMo was approaching, friends like you inspired me to empty my plate and give it a go. This particular book has been a long time coming. You see, I used to tell animal stories to my son when he was little. A new story every night. He loved these stories and has been bugging me to write a “story book”. And then, maybe most importantly, we adopted a rescue dog who thinks he’s human.¬†Bumble has¬†done so many funny and wise things that sometimes I think so too ūüôā So he’s really the writer. He tells his heartwarming story quite humorously and in the first dog.

2- Who did the cover and illustrations?

My son Mike did all the artwork (cover and a few illustrations inside the book) despite his busy schedule.¬†He is a skilled graphic artist and it was a great experience to work with him! But I need to say that this is not a children’s picture book.¬† The target readership is pet/dog lovers¬†of ages 10-100, but parents can certainly read this to younger children as well.

3- What was one of the surprising things you discovered when writing it?

I had a two-prong surprise! The first part was positive:¬†I was able to write 50K words in one month with little advance preparation! The second part was negative: the enormous difficulty I had¬†to come back to the manuscript and edit it several times before it went to¬†the “real”¬†editor. I had given myself a long break from writing in December and over the holidays, but even after the break and when I honestly had the time, I invented other priorities. It was really, truly hard to finalize the book. I had not experienced anything like that in my professional non-fiction writing.

4- Tell us about finding Bumble, the wonderful inspiration for the book.

Finding Bumble is a story in itself. My husband had a very serious incident with his heart and decided to retire almost on the spot at a very young age. He said to me that now was the right time to adopt a dog. And he was specific: a small brown poodle. I remember laughing and asking him why that specificity. He told me he “saw” a brown poodle in our home. Ok, he was still very sick and under heavy medication so I didn’t want to try to talk him out of it. But I quickly confirmed that this¬†would be a difficult undertaking.¬†Very few poodles¬†were available¬†for adoption in the area where we then lived, none of them was brown, and all of them were adopted before I was even able to call the shelter. I continue to monitor several sites after my 12-h working days. No luck. Then, about five weeks later, on the morning of New Year’s Eve, I spotted a small, scared-looking toy poodle on one of the adoption sites. And he was brown! I called immediately and learned that this particular shelter already had lots of inquiries about this dog, but that they would not make a decision on first come basis. I raced to the shelter, spent time with Bumble and wrote an application – the tenth. The rest is history, and Bumble gives his take on it in the book…

5- Is there going to be a second book?

Hmm, probably. I have actually started (just a little bit) writing a novel about my years and adventures in Africa. It is a much more demanding book to write. Hopefully I’ll have the time and the stamina to finalize it. I’m also collecting some poems, so maybe a poetry collection at some point. Maybe.

6- I know you are a busy working woman, tell us how you made time to write.

¬†When I decided to try the NaNoWriMo, I had just completed a huge, 10 month¬†project in Egypt. I simply said “no” to new projects for November and December last year. It was not easy, but I knew that if I really wanted to write, I could not be focusing on my professional work at the same time. I’m not that split of a personality :). So if I want to continue writing, I will need to do a bit less other work – which I hope I’ll be able to afford.

7- As a new published author, what is one piece of advice you would give other writers?

Honestly? I am still far from experienced, just gotten my feet a little wet. If I dare to say something it would be that a writer has to decide that the hard work s/he is doing is truly important. Every day. Until there’s a manuscript. Then take a break and come back to the revisions energized! And maybe I should add that getting the book out is the easy part… letting people learn about it is definitely much harder. Thanks for helping on that Jackie!

I’m so pleased I can do my small part on that tiny! Thank you for your great answers and doing this interview with me. Good luck on all you want to do in life!

Now readers, another treat for you! If you buy this book this weekend (March 22 -24) ¬†the book will be part of “Kindle Countdown Deal” for 99 cents! So for 3 days only you can get this delightful book for 99 cents! Order a few extra for Christmas/birthday gifts or just as an everyday gift. I know you’ll enjoy it!

Blog challenge · Blogging · Fiction · Friday Fictioneers · Humor · Photo Challenges · postaday · writing

Friday Fictioneers ~~ Jan 3, 2014

Hello people! A new year begins with a whole year of the Friday Fictioneers to look forward to!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s eve and rocked in the New Year like you wanted. Now today is for relaxing and getting ready to tackle this brand new, sparkly new year the way YOU want to! That’s what I’m doing.

Anyway, most of you know the drill by now, but if I have any new readers, Friday Fictioneers is where a bunch of very talented writers get together every Friday (it actually starts on Wednesdays)  to write a 100 word story based on a picture that some kind soul lets us borrow. One picture, lots of writers writing stories based from the same picture. What you get is a wide range of stories that will make you smile, cry, laugh, shudder (in fear), gasp, shake your head at, and marvel that so many stories can come from one source.

Thanks go out to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields¬†for being the kind and benevolent¬†hostess that she is. If anyone is interested in joining us, please click on her name and read her blog for the few rules we go by. If you just want to read many great story tellers, again click on her name and scroll down to the little blue guy and click on him and then read to your heart’s content.


Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and an end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)


Make every word count.

The picture this week is from Rochelle’s daughter-in-law. It’s Rochelle’s grandchild and the dog actually climbs the tree! I believe her as I had a dog who loved to climb trees too. Then she would jump onto the roof of the house and that’s¬†when I would have to rescue her. She could climb trees and come down from trees, but once she was on the roof (one big tree was close to the house) she was helpless. But she was on the small size and would jump right down into my arms. I miss that dog!

dog in tree




Genre: Literary Fiction (100 words)

“Hey Ralph! Can you see it yet?”

“Not so loud! Your mom will hear!”

“Nah, she’s busy with the laundry.”

“She would freak if she knew how well you really talk.”

“Like she wouldn’t freak if she found out her dog talks?”

“Adults don’t hear us animals talk, only special kids do.”

“Well do you see it yet?”

“All I see is the neighbors crazy cat talking to a scared looking mouse.”

“At least he’s just talking.”

“I see it!”

“FedEx is here! Grandma said she was sending me a new toy bike! It’s here!”

“I’m coming down!”

“Hurry up!”













Blogging · Comic ~ Sam and Me · nonfiction · postaday · Uncategorized

Wednesday Comics ~~ Sam and Me, September 11, 2013

What is it about dogs? Why do they love to roll on stinky dead things? Sam has been doing this a lot lately. Especially right after a bath! Crazy dog.

Does your dog do that too?

(c) JLPhillips 2013
(c) JLPhillips 2013


**click on picture to enlarge**

Blogging · Comic ~ Sam and Me · Humor · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday · Stories of my life

Wednesday Comics ~ Sam and Me, August 14, 2013

Where we moved almost everyone has a dog. Sam likes to talk to all the dogs in the neighborhood, from our yard.

I will take him out and he runs to the gate and sits and barks up into the air. Then a few seconds later you can start hearing the answers. Pretty soon the whole neighborhood is filled with different barking.

Sam just sits and grins at me, like….

“See mom! My fans adore me!”

The comic I did today is what in my mind seems to be happening when he does this. Hope you enjoy.


(c) JLPhillips 2013
(c) JLPhillips 2013


**click on comic to see a larger image**


Blogging · Comic ~ Sam and Me · Humor · Mi Vida Loca · postaday

Wednesday Comics ~~ Sam and Me

I finally got my patio set outside and set up. I have four chairs and each chair has 2 cushions, for the back and the seat. I bring the cushions in every night and set them in a big pile in my mudroom. It rains here almost every night and that’s why I bring them in.

Sam seems to think the cushions are his throne. Now the cushions are piled pretty high and Sam is not much of a jumper. He sleeps with me at night and I have to lift him to set him in bed because he can’t jump that high. The top of the cushion heap is almost as high as the top of my bed. So I have no idea how he gets up there. I’ve tried to watch and see but if I’m watching he won’t go up there. But if I turn my back for just a second….Poof! There he is on top!

He reminds me of the old kids story of the Princess and the Pea. I tried to get a picture but he jumps down when I try. The little stinker. So this is my interpretation of his “Prince and the Pea”.


(C) JLPhillips 2013
(C) JLPhillips 2013


**Click on image for a larger view**


Blogging · Comic ~ Sam and Me · Humor · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday

Wednesday Comics ~~ Sam and Me

Something happened the other day that was comical yet a bit scary at the same time. Sam met up with a huge hawk!

We were in the back yard enjoying a bit of sunshine. Which this spring is unusual since it has rained almost every day for a couple of weeks.

I knew we had hawks around as I have seen them several times. This time the biggest hawk got just a tad too close to Sam for mine and especially his comfort! My Sam is little. He looks like a black and white rabbit from a distance. I think that’s what this hawk thought too!

When that hawk got a bit too close to Sam the look on his face was priceless! Scared and fascinated at the same time. I was a bit shocked that it got that close. Now I go out with Sam, just being careful you know. Anyway, the hawk in the comic is not that good as I’m still learning this program I have to make my comic strip. So please use your imagination on the hawk. ūüėČ

I’m sure in Sam’s mind it was just this scary looking! Ha-ha!

(c) JLPhillps
(c) JLPhillps


**Please click on image for larger picture**

Blogging · Comic ~ Sam and Me · Humor · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday · Uncategorized · writing

Wednesday Comics ~~ Sam and Me

Now that I’m more settled in the new place, I thought I would start the weekly comics Sam and Me again. ¬†Sam has missed all his fans. ūüôā

This strip is about how much Sam hates getting groomed. Sam is a Bichon/Shih Tzu mix and so has to be groomed every 8 weeks or his coat gets really bad. ¬†You know that little boy in the Peanuts comic that always has a dust cloud around him? Pig-Pen? ¬†That’s my Sam! He is a boy who loves to get dirty, he seems to be a magnet for the stuff. So he has to get bathed, clipped and all that other good stuff. He hates it. Period.

I have a great lady that owns a mobile grooming trailer that comes to the house. It is a lot less traumatic on Sam and on me. I’ve tried other groomers but he is so hyper and such a Mama’s boy that I was getting desperate on finding a good groomer. Unfortunately the first couple of groomers hurt Sam and he has never forgotten, or forgiven.

When I finally found Tammy, my mobile groomer it was super! She loves Sam and Sam really likes her. But ……. Sam is such a drama king when he gets groomed! He howls and yips and cries and makes more noise than 10 dogs twice his size! It literally sounds like he is being killed, slowwwwllllllyyyyyy. ¬†It’s rather embarrassing. Tammy doesn’t even have to touch him! It’s funny and embarrassing at the same time. ūüėČ

But it has to be done. This is my rendition of last week when Tammy came by.

Copyright JLPhillips
Copyright JLPhillips


**click on picture to see larger image**


Blogging · Comic ~ Sam and Me · Humor · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · writing

Wednesday Comics ~~ Sam and Me ~~ April 3

I’m in the middle of packing up my house so I can move at the end of this month. So Sam and the stinkin’¬†cats (Sam’s description not mine) ¬†are fighting over the boxes. I’ve never had a dog that loved playing in boxes like Sam does. Of course cats being cats, they love the boxes too. Sometimes they want the same box at the same time, which doesn’t always work out well. So far it’s pretty even who wins out. Sam may be little but he doesn’t take no cat bullying. He’s a quick little guy. Ha! I make sure that no one gets hurt seriously. So far so good.

Here is my weekly comic depicting the box war. It’s more like the cats are trying to figure out how to get one over on Sam. This should be an interesting month!


Sam and Me (c)
Sam and Me (c)


**Please click on image to make it larger**

Blog challenge · Blogging · Daily Prompt · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday · stories · Stories of my life · writing

Daily Prompt: Breaking the Law


Today’s Daily Prompt is:¬†Think about the last time you broke a rule (a big one, not just ripping the tags off your pillows). Were you burned, or did things turn out for the best?


You mean I can’t mention my tag ripping? Well crap.

All right. Then I guess I will have to dismiss my skipping school, writing in library books, smoking under age, and other various small infractions. I’ll have to talk about a big one. For me it’s one of the biggest. Stealing.


Yes, I said stealing. As in ‘I stole something’. What did I say? I said I STOLE something. Yeah, a thief. Nasty right? I hate thieves. I detest them. But for a very short time in my life I became one. Only one time though. Not sure if that makes it better, but it really was only that one time. Let me explain.

It was a couple of months after my divorce. I was broke. Flat broke. There was no food in the cupboards or the fridge. None. But I could handle that. I worked with a few stand up great women. They knew I was having a lot of problems. My very tiny paycheck didn’t go far enough. After rent, car payment and utilities there was no money for food that month. A good friend from work treated me to a nice lunch. So I was fed for the day. There was no way I was going to borrow money from her. No way! She had helped me in the past and I couldn’t ask. Prideful? Maybe.

I had furbabies though. Three dogs that had at one point saved my life. (you can read that story here ) They were my babies. I loved those dogs with all my heart. They were loyal and forgiving and loved me unconditionally. I wasn’t about to let them go hungry after all they had done for me. One was a German Shepherd, one was a Cocker Spaniel and the other was a Heinz¬† 57.

I had no family to ask for help. I sure wasn’t going to my ex, hell, I was hiding from him. So I stole a couple of cans of dog food. Yeah, a moment I’m not proud of. I was so scared! I thought for sure I was going to get caught! My heart was pounding so hard that’s all I heard as I walked out of that store! To this day I still can’t believe I didn’t get caught. To this day that’s the only thing I ever stole.

I went home and fed my furbabies. And cried. I felt so ashamed that my life had gotten to that point. I thought what about the next day? The day after that? I could live on peanut butter (and did for months), but my dogs couldn’t.

It must have been about an hour later that I had a knock at my door. Not many people knew where I lived so I peeked out the window first. Standing at my door was my best friend Terri and her 3 little boys. They all had a bag in their hands. I opened the door and Terri  and her boys came in with groceries! Bags of groceries! Also, she had in her car a big bag of dog food!

She said she knew how rough things were for me money wise. We talked every night on the phone. So she had some extra money that month and her and the kids went shopping for me. Now, I’m not much of a crier, but I cried twice that day. I loved that woman like a sister. She had a wonderful heart and spirit. Terri wherever you are, I love you woman!

So that was my one walk on the dark side. My one trip as a thief. But my dogs ate and I was blessed with a dear friend. After that I managed one way or the other to feed my babies without resorting to thievery. It wasn’t easy, but living with a guilty¬†conscience wasn’t¬†any easier.