Monthly Archives: November 2015



Family – that beautiful, complex six letter word. It can be something you’re born into, an entity you marry into, or even people you find in your life along the way.  Family is an encompassing word – it holds so much love, so much loyalty, and even at times, pain.  It can bring out the very best in you, make you feel nurtured and loved and wanted. Family can make you whole.  

Days like Thursday remind me that one of God’s greatest blessings is the kinship He gave us with others. Simply being together can ease the sting of loneliness and soften the blow of loss.  Even when nerves rattle and personalities grind, in the end there’s still a connection, a longing for fellowship. I’m so very grateful for my family…the ones who have nurtured me all my life, the ones who swallowed me into their mix without hesitation, and the ones I’ve gathered into my heart over the years.

The Dog Branch Clan


The children put out a thankful bucket. There were so many great responses!!


One of our animal family members on a beautiful November day.




                                                               “A thankful heart is a healthy heart.”

     There’s nothing like hard times to make you long for the calm, peaceful days you take for granted.  You know those days…days when you’re almost bored with the steady humdrum of life.  We never appreciate those days when we have them.

     The last few months have been hard.  Really hard.  Losing a loved one, watching family members struggle with health issues and surgeries, trying to be strong and sure when most days I’m not. To remedy that weight, I’ve been trying to turn my thoughts to thankfulness.  Everyday, starting early in the morning, I step through all the things that are blessings in my life.

     I’m grateful for the angels watching over my daughter when her condo caught fire.  They sent good Samaritans to bang on her walls, to open up their homes, to lend a phone.  Most of all, I’m thankful for the sudden cease of flames just before they could cause real damage to her or her home.  (Like I said…angels were with her.)

     I’m so thankful for family and friends who surround you when you struggle. They bring you food and help you clean your house. They check on you, call, text and encourage you to do things you never, ever thought you’d do in your lifetime.

    I’m filled with gratitude for another day in my home with my husband and children and our pets. A husband that is the other part of me, and children who never cease to amaze me.  There is a warm bed, a roof to cover my head, the comfort I only feel when I’m there.  

    I’m so very thankful for prayers.  So many people have told me they’re praying for our family, and I’ve felt them, every one.  They are a comforting hug, a kind word, a lovely card, a wash of peace settling over us all.

    Most of all, I appreciate the bond of genetics.  In the middle of all the busyness, my son decided to write down his first recipe while making deer jerky.  In his notes, I saw his grandmother.  When I used to ask Dot how she made things, she’d always say, “Oh, you know, just a little bit of this and then I’d add a little of that.” I never could follow her directions. Apparently, he’s the same kind of chef.  

This made me smile so much. Our angel was smiling too, I just know it.