Of Garden Greens… and Birthday Blues

The other day, my dear friend turned 55. And what a day it turned out to be! I’d bought 5 birthday cards to give to Holly on her 55th birthday—but in the end, I didn’t give her even one. It was that kind of a day, folks!

I awakened in the early morning to the irksome throb of my cell phone. I squinted at the clock and groaned. “What do you want…?” I said into the phone.

“Today is my Birthday!” said the voice on my celly. “And I need help in my garden!”

“WHAT….?” I lurched upright in my bed. “Today is your birthday?” But of course! My friend had been telling me for weeks, but somehow I’d forgotten.

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Of Nieces, Nonsense, and Newspapers

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The day was dull, dreary, and oh-so-ordinary! I had a hundred errands to run…shopping to do…and articles to write—but my grandnieces were raring for Adventure! To them, even ordinary days should be ‘Funtastic!’

“Auntie?” said little Katy as we headed into the Grocery Store together. “Can you be ‘Mary Poppins’ today?”

“Indeed!” I said, grabbing a shopping cart.  “I’m guess I’ll have to be ‘Auntie Poppins’ to get through this shopping trip!”

Resolutely, I pushed the shopping cart past the bins of gum, pop and candy—hurrying the girls along.  But then we passed a Newspaper rack, and I paused.  My brain was thinking fast.

“Look here,” I said to Katy and Avri as I handed them a Newspaper.  “If you’ll behave yourselves today, you might find yourself in the Newspaper, soon.”

Their mouths dropped open.  “How?” said the girls, looking intrigued and excited.  “How will it happen?

The little Darlings had no idea that their ‘Auntie Poppins’ wrote a column for the local newspaper….And they didn’t know that she was pushing a deadline.  Auntie didn’t enlighten them, either!

The girls spent the next half-hour chattering happily—pondering the mystery of the Newspaper in their hands.  They scarcely noticed all the goodies on display throughout the store.

We made quick work of our shopping trip with a minimum of distractions.  I was congratulating myself, when suddenly Katy tripped and fell down in the bakery aisle.  Her smiles turned to tears, and she started to cry loudly.

Heads swiveled as other shoppers turned to stare.

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From My Heart to Yours…!

13775415_10208810905103542_7708772936445270618_n[1]Valentines’ Day can make single gals very sad!  Just ask me.  I know all about it.  But sometimes, we can be pleasantly surprised and comforted in the most unusual ways!

Take the other day, for instance.  With a big sunhat on my head, I was walking along the water’s edge feeling sorry for myself.  It was a nice day, and I should have been enjoying the sunshine. Instead, I was mumbling and grumbling—feeling lonely and pitiful.

I searched the shoreline carefully, looking for ‘heart-shaped’ rocks—as is my custom—but there were none to be found.

“Lord,” I said.  “If You would give me a heart-rock, it would really make my day!”  I went on searching for some time without success.  I sighed and was ready to give up when suddenly I noticed someone approaching me from the side. Continue reading

The Full Story of “The Loon and the Lunatic”

During their lifetime, most folks get a chance at “15 minutes of Fame”–or perhaps “15 Minutes of Infamy”–as in my case! At one time or another, we all end up on local or National Television, and it is supposed to be the highlight of our existence here on the planet. Right?

Well, folks–my “shining moment” came and went last month, and it didn’t turn out to be as shiny as I expected. In fact, every time I think of it I am quite mortified.

I was in Northern California, beachcombing on my favorite stretch of sand near Eureka. I’d wandered far down the beach to an isolated area and was about to turn around when something caught my eye.

There in the sand was a big loon flopping about on the seashore. He was entangled in fishing line from his beak to his feet, and there was a large fish-hook embedded in his chest.

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Update: The Loon and the Lunatic is on now TV!

RTM - Hey Looney Bird - Don't Bite The Hand That Frees You

My “Loony video” aired today on a TV Show called: “Right this Minute!” 🙂

I don’t know how it happened… but 2 different agencies saw my video on YouTube — and they both contacted me. Then one agency worked out a deal with my daughter, Karissa—who is my “business manager”—and within 24 hours, it aired on their show while their panel reviewed the Rescue.

Watch it on: http://www.rightthisminute.com/post/rtmtv-hey-looney-bird-dont-bite-hand-frees-you

“A loon rescue in Eureka, California turns into an attack on a Good Samaritan. While walking on the beach, Vicki O’Neal came across a loon tangled up in fishing line. She decided to free the bird, but that seemingly easy rescue turned into a 10-minute struggle.
The unappreciative bird bit scratched and kicked at Vicki. All we can hear are Vicki’s screams as she pleads with the bird to cooperate. Despite its stubbornness, Vicki was able to free the loon. She originally posted the rescue video on Facebook.”