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Summer reads? It’s not too late!

11 Jul

Summer reads? It’s not too late!.

A #SpecialNeedsChild in the Family

10 Jul

What your neighbors don’t know about your life

Hello to everyone reading this post. You’ve come to the place where truth is spoken and answers are sought. I want you to share in my journey, and feel free to share your journey with me.

I am the proud mother of a special-needs child, and my baby is now 32. I know—you’re thinking “she’s no baby”… But she’s my baby, and that she’ll always be!

Many years ago I enjoyed an absolutely wonderful pregnancy, marveling at each kick of my unborn child. Feeling my little one toss and turn, and specifically delighting in the activity that taking a bath brought about… Yes, pregnancy—a miracle of life.

Just a few weeks before my first child saw the light of day, I started to feel ill. My doctor attributed my uneasiness and discomfort to the fact that this was my first child and I was making something of nothing… He was so wrong!

Two weeks before my due date, I experienced such excruciating pain that I was unable to eat or sleep. No labor yet—it was foolish to go to the hospital, or so I was told. Thankfully I became so uncomfortable that I had to go to the hospital… and eight hours later—for the purpose of saving my life—the doctors performed a cesarean section just in time. They saved me, and my daughter… but the life to come was no easy journey.

Follow the journey here, and I’ll share what my neighbors didn’t know about my life, and may only be finding out now.

Maybe your life will have similarities to mine—or be something completely different!

Share your thoughts with me at bettyanne@sunsetdreambooks.com. Together we can spread the word that having a special needs child is an experience you would not generally request, but is a blessing to you and all those around you! Come along with me—and together we will enlighten the world!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

“Like” my page at www.facebook.com/SunsetDreamBooks

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

The Passing of #AndyGriffith

3 Jul

The Passing of #AndyGriffith

Looking back on a time of innocence

I am saddened to hear of the death of Andy Griffith. Having grown up with him, and then growing older, it makes me reflect on the type of world that existed when Andy was seen on television. It was certainly a much simpler time. No IPads, IPhones or electronic playthings. Merely skipping rocks across a pond could entertain the average child, and bring a sense of peace and happiness. We went fishing as a family, and took rides together in the car to nowhere in particular.

When I look around me I sometimes long for those days. I sense that young children nowadays are missing out on so much, even though their lives are filled with gadgets.

Andy was well-respected and honest, Aunt Bea was revered as the matriarch, and Barney was, well, Barney. We’ve all known a Barney or two in our lives. Back in the day we didn’t bully, ridicule or make fun of those Barneys. We instead chose to go out of our way to boost him or her beyond where he or she thought possible.

Do you miss those times as I do? Or were you born later on, and now find it hard to believe that simpler times ever existed? I come from a family of four children. My mother often said that it was easier with four children than just one or two. She also sometimes said that it would be easier to raise chimpanzees—but she didn’t feel that way very often, thank goodness. We always found something interesting to do, and we had someone to do it with. I observe many young children today that haven’t had that experience, and I tend to feel sorry for them. We had to wait in line for what we got, and it wasn’t always something new—just new to us. We learned patience because we had to wait patiently. There is much to be said for “hand-me-downs” and playing with toys older siblings had already played with, and then grew too old to use. You had a sense of belonging to something bigger and more special than yourself.

Yes, Andy, you will be greatly missed. From Mayberry to Matlock, you portrayed characters that could be respected and emulated. I don’t see that so much anymore in the actors currently working. I miss that.

Rest in Peace, Andy. I will silently hum “Bringing in the Sheaves” one more time, and smile when I think of what you gave to the world. You certainly left the world better than you found it, and I am grateful for your legacy.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

On Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

 

SUNDAY SILLIES 07-01-2012

1 Jul

Bungee jumping for old ladies

Now that’s what I’m talking about

I have a few things to share with you that people who have met me personally already know: I can be quite the contradiction. I once jumped out of my car at an intersection to yell at a real “Hell’s Angel” for cutting me off in traffic because my very young children were in the car. In my mind I jumped immediately to the place where one of my children could have been injured, and I was there to protect them. That act of valor (stupidity) on my part, that surely drew confusion from the biker (this lady must be crazy if she’s yelling at me), prompted an apology from him that I will never forget. “Lady, I’m sorry—I’ll never do it again”. He backed away from me sheepishly, and politely got on his bike and waved me ahead of him to make my left turn. He was transformed in just a heart-beat from an imposing threat to a real-life teddy bear. I must warn you: I do not promote the type of behavior I exhibited that day—DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

On the other hand, WHAT A RUSH! I faced the lion and it retreated!

Oh baby! Give me some more of that!

Here’s another side of me: I bungee jumped from a 171 foot tower (17 stories) above a swimming pool when I went to #Las Vegas for my dear niece’s wedding not too long ago. But I will not participate in any activity that poses the threat of breaking one of my nails. Like bowling.

No. There will be absolutely no bowling for me.

Imagine being my Mother! She tells me I was an easy child to raise, until I turned 40! Well, I guess I had a lot of wild activities to catch up on by then. One thing I can tell you: the fear of bungee jumping never entered my mind. I was more fearful that my plane could crash on the way to Vegas and I’d never get the chance to bungee jump.

I had that chance, thank goodness, and I took it with absolute pleasure. My son and niece jumped off of that looming tower before I did (one of them happy to do it, the other one feeling that a personal challenge had been issued). Actually the worst part of the experience was stepping on that hideous scale! Thankfully they measured our weight in kilos, and the number scrawled on my hand was approximately half of what it would have been if measured in pounds.  Funny, I even felt thinner when I read that number!

I moved bravely into the bungee-jumping position with both of my feet hanging off of the platform, balancing on my heels precariously. I was then instructed to wait until the moderator gave me the countdown to fall forward and allow gravity to take me plunging toward the earth. He was going to county to three, and I was going to do it!

Keep in mind that you are the star of your own bungee-jumping video when you push the envelope and take that free fall jump from the tower. And jump I did! I screamed the entire way down… And I Quote—“NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!” No fear, no doubts, no tears…just yelling at the top of my lungs with more excitement and sheer joy than I had ever experienced in my life.

After hanging like a piece of meat from a butcher’s hook for what seemed like an eternity, I was safely removed from the bungee harness and my feet touched terra firma. I realized when I took my first step that I hadn’t anticipated that bungee jumping could injure me. I knew I could die, but I hadn’t acknowledged in my brain that I could somehow break an ankle! Fortunately I didn’t break any bones, but I did hobble around Las Vegas for the next six days—happy to share my bruised ankle and bungee jumping story with anyone who would listen.

The operator of the bungee company announced to the waiting crowd when I was leaving the building that I had jumped with no fear, and that I demonstrated the ultimate way to bungee jump. My only statement to him was: “I thought you were going to count to 3—but you never did!”

His answer to me was “Lady, you jumped on number 1! I didn’t even make it to number 3!” 

NOW THAT IS THE WAY TO BUNGEE JUMP—and an awesome way to learn to live without holding back! 

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox  

SUNDAY SILLIES 06-24-2012

24 Jun

A funny thing happened while on vacation

Since it is Sunday, I thought I’d take a moment to share something funny that happened at church. I attended a Catholic church for many years, and became actively involved in the liturgy schedule. I was a lector, which meant I delivered the “Readings” on any particular Sunday. When you become more involved at church, you also get to see what goes on behind the scenes.

This church had quite a large congregation, but it felt small because people also chose to spend time together in smaller groups. A high percentage of members always volunteered to meet the needs of the church. The Priest was well-loved because he approached the needs of the church with a humble heart.

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose for the congregation. A trip was organized to visit the home country of the beloved Priest–Ireland. Many parishioners were able to join the Priest on his trip to explore and celebrate his roots. Much excitement was felt within the church during the months preceding the trip, and various preparations took place as the monumental task of planning and executing the trip unfolded.

Along with planning the trip, the congregation was faced with the task of filling the shoes of the beloved Priest during his absence. After everything was taken into account, it was soon realized just how much that one man did each and every day! It would certainly take more than one person to fill his shoes.

What the Priest didn’t know before he left for his journey was just how much the members of the congregation loved him. So much so that they knew he could appreciate a practical joke upon his return. Keep in mind that this vibrant, loving church was a reflection of the life of the Priest. It was truly the home of compassion and acceptance—HIS HOME. While he was off enjoying the trip of a lifetime in Ireland, it came to the minds of a few to plant a large, commercial “For Sale” sign in the front yard of the church to greet him upon his return. I am somewhat happy to say that I was one of those involved in fostering the idea. I then actively searched for a willing accomplice to procure the “For Sale” sign. I soon learned that not everyone was so excited about the idea. I finally found someone as adventurous as myself, and the sign was planted in a prominent place in the front yard of the church.

And then we waited… and waited… and wondered… how would he really handle this?

We knew that the Priest was a jovial guy, but we didn’t really know how he’d react when the joke was on him! It was quite a shock for him to see the sign, and a momentary sense of “I knew I shouldn’t have gone on vacation” entered his mind. Imagine coming back from a long trip, only to find a large “For Sale” sign in the front yard of your house! Thankfully, he knew immediately that the joke was ultimately a symbol of the congregation’s love for him.

I am happy to announce that he was so happy to be home he truly forgave each and every one of us, and I think he even enjoyed the joke a bit. It was fun to be involved in a practical joke that didn’t hurt anyone, and that ultimately showcased the ability of the beloved Priest to exhibit his humanity and character. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

All my best!

Betty Anne

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

SUNDAY SILLIES 06-17-2012

17 Jun

WHAT WILL I DO IF SOMEONE ASKS ME TO DANCE?

We’ve all been in situations we never expected. One of the difficult events in my life has created so many stories – some of them even make me laugh. At the age of 41 I was widowed suddenly, and it devastated me for quite a long period of time. I wore black for a year (definitely not my usual look) and even found it difficult to go out to the movies with friends. What if someone in the movie died? How would I handle that? I wasn’t going to put my emotions out there, not just yet–maybe never.

After about 4 years, I finally got the nerve to start doing things with a dear friend of mine. She was divorced, also a situation she never expected earlier in her life—but it meant that she was available to go out at least once a week and try to have some fun. We were like two fish out of water. We tried the local craft shows, summer festivals and occasional concerts. Sometimes we went to the diner for some coffee and a piece of pie. Yes, I remember those pies…

Finally, we decided to go out and do something we both loved (in our prior married years anyway). We convinced ourselves we were brave enough to go out for a night of dancing. Yes, dancing! Now that was going to be fun! What we didn’t know about “dancing” we were about to find out!

We went to a hot spot in our small town, directly across from the airport. The music was loud, the floor was packed, and of course, there was not a seat to be had! We stood idly by, watching people move in rhythm to the beat of the music—wondering just how to gracefully step into their midst. It was like waiting for the opportune time to jump into the double-dutch jump rope. We finally decided there is no good time—just do it!

Moving out to the dance floor we tried to avoid the craziness we saw—not much of what people were doing looked like dancing to us. We left the dance floor when the next slow dance began, and I said to my dear friend: “What would I do if I was ever asked to dance?” After all, the last time that happened I was in high school! She looked at me blankly, not offering any suggestions about what to do, and we stood idly by. It is fun to watch people dance, after all. We had to be happy we were at least out having some fun. Then, all of a sudden, I was tapped on the shoulder and a very young man said something I still to this day can’t recall. I was taken quite by surprise, because from what I could figure out—he had just asked me to dance! Can I tell you how shocked I was!?!

In the blink of an eye I figured out what I would do if it ever happened. Without hesitation, I body-slammed my dear friend with my purse and disappeared into the disco ball frenzy of the dance floor. There she stood—speechless—now holding not just her purse, but mine too. I guess I didn’t care what she would do if someone asked her to dance. Sorry dear friend!

That was a big turning point for me. I no longer wondered what I would do if this happened or that happened. I learned to go with the flow and respond naturally and from the heart. I never left my friend holding the bag again, but I certainly didn’t let an opportunity to dance ever pass me by from then on. My question to you is: What will you do if you’re asked to dance, or volunteer, or act as a mentor? Do what I did—body slam your best friend with your purse and never look back!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

I’m late, I’m late, for a very important…

15 Jun

Good morning all.

I don’t have time to write my personal thoughts this morning. My interview at noon EDT with Etienne Gibbs on www.blogtalkradio.com/intheauthorscorner takes priority this morning. I’m really looking forward to it. If you want to hear more about me and my work, tune in either live or later on when you have time.

Find out what makes me tick.

A new and enlightening blog will be my focus for you this afternoon. I hope you check out the interview. It will be good to connect with all of you on a new and exciting level.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

On Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

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