Helen, The Best Golden Retriever in the Universe!


A heart takes a little while to heal sometimes.

We were blessed to have had two wonderful Golden Retrievers in our family. Strawberry, who we were grateful to have in our lives for 17 years and Shortcake (her biological sister) who was born two years later and lived to be 15.  Both of these wonder-dogs filled our lives and our home with many four-footed excursions, most of which involved our back-yard pond.  It was of no great surprise to our family that in both of their passings we found them there at the pond…one final resting in their “favorite spot.”

Three years passed before we were ready to open our hearts again & we began our quest to find our newest four-footed family friend.  Little did we know we were about to meet Helen, The Best Golden Retriever in the Universe!  And that we’d be lucky enough to have her fill up our days with light and laughter and love.

In my newest blogging 101 assignment, as I practice with learning ‘widgets,” I hope you find yourself viewing the picture gallery posted of Helen.  No doubt, you too will find her to be The Best Golden Retriever in the Universe!  (No cape necessary.)

Hugs n’ (puppy) Blessings!

He makes all things New.


I recently found my daughter’s “first favorite” stuffed animal as I was beginning to pack up her childhood bedroom for our upcoming move. A small black and white spotted Dalmatian dog she would anxiously reach out to hold with her small pudgy hands.  And who, through her muffled pacifier filled mouth, would then shriek ‘Woof-Woof!’

As I held “Woof-Woof” in my now aging & (beginning to) wrinkle hands, I found comfort in reflecting on the sights and sounds from so many years ago. Was this the same level of comfort my daughter felt when she too held this same toy as a small child?   As my fingers brushed past the grub & grim I remembered each and every stain. The dripping chocolate ice cream cone, the trips to the beach, the mud-puddle hurdles across the parking lot as we ventured into Masrain-in-mud-puddle-300x225s one rainy Sunday morning & “Woof-Woof” fell from my daughters tight grip onto the rain-soaked pavement just as we hopped over the final puddle!

Each examination of every stain kept me peering into a heart full of memories.  Most sweet and precious and others painful, as when she clutched “woof-woof” tight against her chest & tucked up close under her chin the day she severed the tip of her tiny little finger.  And yet although “Woof-Woof” has made several trips through the laundry in an effort to make him look “brand-new” again,  I am grateful now for the stains that have been left behind.   Because it’s all of that,  the good and the bad; which make the purpose of this little stuffed animal so valuable.  That make “Woof-Woof” so loved.

And while holding this forlorn stuffed puppy, I unexpectantly pause to examine the comfort of my own life lived out.

Just like this stuffed-animal my own life deserves to be examined. Not critiqued. Not judged. But examined.  What has the ‘messiness of life’ left behind on me?  Was there a purpose in it all?  Has it caused me to value somewhat differently?  Has any of it made me more loving or loved?

And I must be the individual examiner.  Not a peer. Nor loved one. But me, myself…and God beside me.

He alone holds the comfort I need each time I examine my conscious and peer deeply into my soul.  Especially,  as I discern whether to accept or to polish away the grub and grim that stains me.

He alone will determine the value of each stain.

And He alone will be the one to hold me in His hands one day remembering the sights and sounds of my life.

I pray He too finds comfort in the life I struggle to live for Him. For I know it is only Him who makes all things (brand) New.

Hugs n’ blessings,

Dawn Marie

Speaking from the Heart

“As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.  Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard…”

1Samuel 1:12


Justin (name) – an anglicized form of the Latin given name Justinus, a derivative of Justus. Justinus was the name borne by various early saints, notably a 2nd-century Christian apologist and a martyr of the 3rd century.  Fair and just. You are full of high inspirations. You are courageous, honest, & determined. You are a leader, especially for a cause. Sometimes you do not care to finish what you start, and may leave details to others. You can do well in position of authority, and prospers in professional fields. Emergencies may raise your intuitive abilities in order to resolve conflict or situation. You become very creative under pressure, and have quite original ideas to make the best out of it.

Outgoing, you are always looking for an opportunity to show your abilities, especially before an audience. You are very flexible and like to feel appreciated. You are looking for chances to mix with others socially and to communicate his ideas. You like to talk and can easily relate to different cultures and concepts. The biggest challenge for you is uncertainty. If you understand your goals, if you can make major decisions in life and follow it directly and straight up without worry and uncertainty, you are able to achieve great heights.

A mother’s prayer for a child is always spoken in her heart; even when not seen on her lips, or heard in her voice.   Happy Birthday, my dear sweet son…

TheseHugs n’ Blessings are just for you!

Music by:  Fort Minor