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From Pits to Triumphs

In my previous blog, I talked about removing the pits (challenges) from our bowl of cherries (our life). There are many books about this subject, but I have listed my two favorites.

The best book to address this issue of rising above cultural, physical, or family limitations is Johnathon Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach. The most important lessons Jonathon learned are:

  1. Be all you can be. Do not let imposed limitations stop you, but puruse to be the person you want to be.
  2. Pursue your passion even though it might cause separation from family, friends, or a familiar environment.
  3. Help others to be the people they want to be.

Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl is a biography about his life in a concentration camp and how he endured, survived, and learned from that experience. His message in simple terms is a person gets what he focuses on.

If you have never read these books, I encourage you to do so. They will help remove the pits at the same time you have the opporunity to learn from them.

A favorite saying is titled the 3 C’s: You must make the choice, to take a chance, or your life will never change.


This popular phrase means that life is sweet and simple, but is it? Irma Bombeck pointed out in her book that a bowl of cherries might have a pit or two. Cherries are indeed sweet when fully ripened, but some can be sour.

Going back to my life’s quilt on the previous blog, there were pits in each patch. The biggest pit was the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, but it has turned out to bring amazing rewards and growth. Yes, cancer can have its positivity IF you choose to learn from it, help others, and be a role model for family and friends on how to face adversity.

Being a parent has many rewards, some heartbreaks, and it challenges one’s patience, understanding, and coping abilities. Parenting is the most difficult and most rewarding role and one I would not trade for the world.

Sally Cronin wrote a wonderful book titled, Life is Like A Bowl of Cherries, Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet. I gave it 5 stars with the comment “each story will touch your heart, search your soul, and awaken your senses. 

Life is (or should be) about touching our hearts, searching our souls, and wakening our senses. The pits are opportunities to become better individuals. If your bowl of cherries has too many pits, perhaps they need to be removed by changes you can make. More about this in the next blog.


If you were to create a quilt with each patch representing your life, what would it look like? Would you have the patches represent the lows as well as the highs of your life? Would it show mistakes or failures? What colors would you choose? Would you include lessons you learned, role models who influenced you, or life-changing events?

My life quilt’s background is of many colors. My patches include a central patch with a heart representing my wonderful husband. I have a square of just black, which represents the child abuse. It is small now though it was quite large earlier in life. There are squares for my 3 sons, 8 grandchildren, and 1 for my great grandson. I danced (not always smoothly or easily) through the storm of cancer. Earning my master’s degree was an important goal that impacted my career. Aunt Arleigh has always been an inspiration and there for me. The four stars represent steps in my growing faith and spiritual path from childhood to now.

Writing this blog stimulated my imagination and many memories. Have you begun to design the quilt of your life? I encourage you to do so because it will put your life in perspective, give you a symbolic way to look at it, and for others to perhaps learn something new about you. Just know you can always add or take off a patch. No matter what, the quilt is YOU; that special gift from God.


Did 2021 really just end? Or, has my mind just gone a little crazy? What a year it has been with broken pipes, migraine headaches, canceled trips, a newly published book, untimely deaths, graduations, fishing, shelling, beach walks, time with family, good health, AND friends like you.


  • Make plans but be prepared to cancel or postpone
  • Research what is being said from the government down to your doctor and pharmacist.
  • Live each moment to its fullest.
  • Appreciate the wonderful Florida weather…even the humidity.
  • Reach out to friends and strangers in need.
  • Keep writing despite vision issues…dictate your stories, blogs, etc.
  • Clean out the cupboards, closets, and donate to those in need.

Here are two music videos that will lift your spirits, give you hope, and fill your heart with love.

Wishing you each a blessed 2022.

November Reading

Three great books by three very talented authors: #Staci Troilo #Sally Cronin #Jan Sikes.

Staci Troilo is a multi-genre author from short stories, anthologies to series. Her most recent published work is No Such Luck. It is about a young woman, Piper Seidel, who believes a red carnation is her good luck charm. It was given to her by her high school sweetheart. Now that it is lost and her life has changed to the negative, it is time to find herself and a new good luck charm.

Life Is Like A Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet by Sally Cronin, is a series of short stories. Each story will touch your heart, search your soul, and awaken your senses. Two of my favorites were about a couple who help a young man with their winnings from a scratch-off card and the other was The Florist where love is unexpectedly discovered.

Award-winning author, Jan Sikes, most recent book is about Cole Knight who went from rags to riches. He earned fame and fortune but it was his return to his roots with his family that was his greatest achievement.

Each of these books would be a wonderful gift for this Christmas season. There are lessons to be learned about life, choices, and family.


My Tanka poem about thankfulness.

  A hand reaches out
A mystical light surrounds
One's heart soars with love
Touching, embracing, filling
Lifting, teaching,and guiding.

For me, this day is about “Giving Thanks Day” rather than Thanksgiving Day. Today, I celebrate my family, friends, acquaintances, physicians, nurses, teachers, and even strangers, who have touched my life. I give thanks to each who has been with me on my path: leading, following, lifting, encouraging, and helping me. To each of you who read and follow my blogs, “thank you”.

Let’s give thanks at every opportunity, every day.


Yesterday, I received a very special certificate for my oustanding performance. The certificate stated:
                                           "ONE ATAWAYTOGO"
One doaen "atawaytogos" qualifies you as a leader. Work overtime with a smile, explain assorted problems to the clueless, and be looked upon as a local hero without a raise in pay.

                                                                          Stan Hamerski 

I received this prestigious award because of the following personal health and home issues (challenges): serious and long-lasting headaches, canceled a long-anticipated trip to New England, and broken water pipe damaging floors in two rooms.

All these issues occured in a month’s time, and still counting. Our home is still turned upside-down waiting for repairs to begin. Headaches have been gone for 2 weeks, but the doctor questions if I might need a more aggressive treatment. AND, our car broke down and it took 3 days to figure out there was nothing wrong with it. Possibly a large bubble in the fuel caused it to stop in the middle of the road. Plus, the shower handle decided it wanted some attention: it will only move to “scalding” or “freezing.” Just one more pit in our “life is like a bowl of cherries.”

courtesy of Pinterest

Some people will allow anger, depression, jealousy, or other negative emotions become their choice of reactions. Laughter is one of my methods healthy ways to cope.

  • You should see my new style of interior decorating.
  • It is too early to do spring cleaning!
  • What kind of battery do you need when your car breaks down? TRIPLE A
  • What does a farmer call his headaches? MY-GRAINS

The “ATTAWAYTOGO” certificate brought a smile and a giggle. I will proudly display it when I can make my way through the maze of boxes, bags, and stuff to space on a wall or my desk.


If you would like to read a truly good book filled with short stories, then “Things Old and Forgotten,” is just for you. Mae Clair’s talent as a creative writer is quite evident in each story. She describes emotions, scenes, and characters in a beautifully poetic manner without them being contrived.

My 5 Star Review

Here is a collection of short stories that covers a wide range of genres and each story has a powerful message. My favorites were Desert White and Miss Lily Makes a Wish. The first one is about redemption, life’s choices, and consequences. On a lighter note is Miss Lily Makes a Wish, where a sweet elderly woman comes across a genie who jumped out of the lamp she rubbed. The chose 2 of her 3 wishes were very simple: to fix two things in her house, which surprised the genie. It was her 3rd wish that changed her life forever.
The author, Mae Clair, is a talented and creative storyteller. Each short story had a life lesson
, a moral or religious issue, or a thought-provoking message. Some were on the light side while others were darker.



Twitter: maeclair1

Instagram: @Maeclair1

Pinterest: maeclair

Member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers.

Member & Contributor to Story Empire.


When you meet someone very special, who touches your heart deeply, you are very blessed. You will learn, laugh, and cry together. You will feel like you have known each other forever…and I believe at a soul level, you have. When I met Carol Tucker a few years ago, a deep bond was formed.

She loved the season of autumn, especially when she was at Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Carol always decorated for Halloween, welcomed trick-or-treaters, filling her home with the smells of apple cider, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon. Preparing and serving a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends was always brought a smile.

In memory of Carol Tucker, Oct. 27, 1950-Oct19, .2021
Two words describe Carol Tucker: educator, advocate.
   She taught those children with a variety of learning disabilities. Using her intelligence and creativity she designed lesson plans designed to help, educate, encourage, and inspire. 
   As the co-founder and director of the Princeton House Charter School, she was an important leader in providing the best education for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
   Her role as a mother was always teaching her four children with unconditional love how to live to their fullest potential.
   Carol did not let her diagnosis of ovarian cancer slow her down. She advocated for women to know about this lesser known cancer, designed a newsletter, volunteered for every event, provided support to others by listening to those newly diagnosed, and giving them hugs, encouragement, and love.

Her book, Learning About Autism: One Mother’s Journey of Love and Acceptance, is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other book distributors. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO OVARIAN CANCER RESEARCH.


Where have I been? Why have I not been blogging?

  • A neck injury from an auto accident 40 years ago, has been giving me continual pain for two months, especially when I am on the computer.
  • Injections, medications, acupuncture, exercises, and manipulations have slowed its progress. Now a more aggressive and invasive treatment is on the horizon. What exactly that will entail is yet to be determined.
  • A water pipe broke underneath our house causing damage to two areas of our home. We canceled a two-week vacation trip to New England because of my severe headaches.
  • So, I am grateful for the headaches. Otherwise, we might have lost our home due to water damage!
Life can be a pain in the neck.
The average head weighs 11 pounds
The neck consists of 7 vertebrae
A giraffe with its l-o-n-g neck has the same number of vertebrae.
I wonder if it suffers from headaches?!

The bright side of this two month challenge has been the number of books I have read. One such book published by Fresh Ink Publishing is The Autumn Tree.

The Autumn Tree by Aysha Ehsan

Four young and very different individuals, Amanda, Catherine, Matheus, and Brad lives become intertwined in San Francisco. Spring brings hope and love, but can they survive the challenges of autumn?

My 5-star review: Two of the primary characters, Amanda and Catherine, lives are intertwined. Each young woman has issues that they must face and either learn from or succumb to. There are some disturbing scenes that might be upsetting to some readers. The author presents sexual, drug, discrimination, and family issues that each character needs to deal with. I loved this book, and read it quickly. Congratulations to the author for a well-written novel.

Please give Aysha your support by reading and reviewing her first novel.