A Courageous Woman Indeed

It’s been a while since Rosie or I have posted anything here. I’m sure I saw a lonesome tumbleweed blowing across the screen a little while ago, that and a whole bunch of cobwebs in the dusty Microsoft Word corners. It’s actually been a somewhat harrowing month for both Rosie and me. It’s been much worse for her than for me of course. I mean, I’ve gone about my daily routine, done my thing, worked to bring home the bacon as it were. She on the other hand, has struggled day-in and day-out. She’s a fighter though, never giving up. If I had half her courage I would be superman.

Imagine living without food or without being able to quench your thirst. Not being able to eat would be my worst nightmare. Rosie lives that way… always. She doesn’t eat and she doesn’t drink. Well, not as you and I do at least. Her stomach is paralyzed and she lives by means of a feeding tube. She has been my best friend the past seventeen years and never once in all that time, has she eaten food. I met her face to face for the first time back in 2011. I spent a whole summer with her in Litchfield, Minnesota. I was there again in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Trust me; I’ll be back for summer 2015 as well.

So, imagine not being able to eat or drink. You have a guest over from Europe, a guest who eats and drinks. Imagine cooking breakfast, lunch or supper, knowing the best you can ask for is a waft of fine food lifting about the kitchen. You are hungry beyond words, but you cannot eat. You can smell and you can watch your guest eat. That would drive me insane. Not Rosie though. She’s a wonderful cook. Doesn’t that inspire you? It really inspires me.

I am not going to go into why Rosie cannot eat or drink. One day you’ll all get to read the book of her life and then you’ll ask yourself more questions than you ever thought possible. Knowing her story first hand, I ask myself the questions you’ll ask, over and over again. I guess the first one will be; what drives a woman to fight so hard and to remain so faithful when death spends so much time waiting at her door?

On the first of October this year Rosie underwent a major surgery, yet another major surgery. She’s pretty used to them by now. Her pain levels went through the roof and for a woman who lives in constant pain, that’s telling you something. She came as close to death as one possible can without actually dying. She is home again now. Rosie is bedridden for the time being at least, forced to remain in bed for the foreseeable future. She has a cockatiel in a cage and a couple of cats for company. She also has copies of every book I’ve ever written. It isn’t really very much though, is it?

Nobody knows what the future holds for Rosie. She is fighting against the odds once more, struggling to remain strong in spite of her anguish and pain. Her story is one of sheer determination. Rosie doesn’t quit, she won’t give up. One thing’s for sure, Rosie will go on fighting, go on proving the doctors wrong and go on inspiring others.

God bless you, Rosie ♡

Gavin

author web site

sweet conclusions web site

 

Shadows of Simplicity

One never has to look too far to see the beauty of life all around us. This weekend I was again thankful for my vision. My own backyard gave me all the shadows of intricate simplicity I needed yesterday. Look at these majestic colors against the blue sky.

“Simplicity is the last step of wisdom” Victor Hugo

 

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions

Enjoy this slow motion video of falling leaves

Rosie

Today’s News

What had we really expected from Russia? America, backed by Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has now begun bombing IS. 130,000 refugees crossed into Turkey yesterday and on the news today, I heard them thanking America and the other countries involved for their help. Russia’s Foreign Minister Spokesperson claims this is a gross violation of international law, despite the fact that Vladimir Putin has been doing just the same thing in Ukraine.

My question isn’t why Russia is so against the eradication of this evil band of barbarians. We all know that Russia lives by its own rules and doesn’t give a damn about anybody else. My question is why are only America, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates seeking to destroy these wicked, child murdering, women raping, throat cutting, life hating savages?

I am not a warmonger and do not believe in war. I do believe though that IS must be taken down before even more innocent lives are put to waste.

Where is the rest of the world when this is going on?

Gavin

author website

Shades of Autumn

I watch a graceful Monarch butterfly and a bumblebee drink nectar together. The Monarch leaves the plant and flutters all around me for several minutes. I feel peace with nature.  I take in more beauty by looking closely at vibrant autumn flowers.  An occasional leaf here and there has begun to make the transition to autumn.  Giving off hues of oranges, reds and yellows in the beams of the sunlight. I hear the cardinal in the near by tree and to try to get a glimpse of his radiate color and outstanding beauty.

As I try to hold on to summer I know that is not possible. Another season and day are upon us.

 

 Find a quiet spot today and take a moment to pause and reflect on your life. Enjoy the wonderment of the world all around us.

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions

Rosie


 

Simple and Delicious

Sometimes you just need to have something “sweet” to perk up your day!  One of these Pretzel – Rollo – Pecan cookies will do the trick.  They freeze well so you can pop one or two or three into a lunch box or picnic basket at anytime!

Ingredients:

50 small pretzel squares (they make gluten free pretzels)

50 Rollo candies

50 whole pecans

  1. Place pretzel pieces on a baking sheet.
  2. Top with one Rollo candy.
  3. Place in a warm (250 degrees) oven to just let the Rollo candy melt on top of the pretzel to hold it in place.
  4. Remove from oven and place a pecan piece on top.
  5. Let cool and harden.


 Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Rosie and Gavin

 

If you laugh at it you can deal with it!

Joan Rivers 1933 – 2014

Comedian Joan Rivers died in a New York hospital Thursday afternoon, a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a medical procedure at the age of 81.

Joan Alexandra Rosenberg, known by her stage name Joan Rivers, was an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host, best known for her stand-up comedy.

I had the great pleasure of being in the audience to see Joan Rivers in 1983.  It was a dinner theater performance at the Carlton in Bloomington, Minnesota.  Joan was promoting her album at the time entitled: What becomes a Semi Legend most?  She was very cordial after the show to sign autographs, have photos taken and chat briefly.

Joan was a quick-witted and sharp-tongued comedian on stage. Her famous line was, “Can we talk?”   In real life Joan had a heart of gold, having gone through many battles.  When being interviewed by Larry King, I recall her profound statement about life. She said, “If you laugh at it you can deal with it.”  How very true that statement is.

My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” Melissa Rivers said. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Rosie

The Cowboy Rides Away

Front row seats at a George Strait concert doesn’t happen to just anyone. Last evening I was lucky to have one of those front row seats in the comfort of my own home. CMT was airing a special, the final George Strait concert from Texas, “The Cowboy Rides Away.”  This final tour ended this summer for George with over 105,000 faithful, delighted fans in attendance.  The biggest indoor concert to date in history. George is not retiring from country music; just country music touring.

With my life size George Strait cut out, which stands by my TV screen, I captured a photo of the special event for you to view.

I was in my glory as I sang along with George’s sixty number one hits. He had nine friends stop by to sing with him. Some of the biggest acts in the genre. Each capable of selling out stadiums in their own right.

As George ended his concert and was about to leave the stage, he threw his signature cowboy hat out into the crowd (something he has never done before). I knew I had just witnessed a historic event not just an ordinary concert.  I recalled the first time I saw George Strait on stage in Minneapolis, I was the age my son is now. I have no idea how the years can go by as quickly as they do. Music truly can lift one’s spirit. Thanks George for the memories and songs that linger forever!

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Rosie

 

 

Where will it all end?

Imagine a world where one could watch the news and smile afterwards, a world where only good things happened and where all people, no matter their color or religion actually cared for each other. Wouldn’t that be something?

Sadly that’s not the world we live in. The number of people forced to flee their homes across the world has exceeded fifty million for the first time since the Second World War. Half the world’s refugees are children, many traveling alone, often falling into the clutches of traffickers. This world is a scary place.

Just yesterday American journalist James Foley was cruelly beheaded by a British jihadist. Thinking about what this man went through breaks my heart, knowing it was a British citizen that committed this heinous crime causes my blood to boil. Even, I as a published author cannot imagine the hell James was forced through, the hell his family went through, are going through right now.

The world really has gone too far and life appears to mean so little to so many. How is it possible to kill in the name of religion? How can anybody ever justify slaughtering men, women and children in the name of God? James Foley was a journalist. He wasn’t there with a gun, wasn’t there to kill, wasn’t responsible for government policies in the Middle East. He was just a reporter, a simple man who happened to be an American. The only weapons he carried were a pen, a note pad and camera.

Rest in peace James Foley.

It’s important though to remember that hundreds of thousands of people are facing death as I write; that countless numbers have been murdered in cold blood, slaughtered in the name of religion. I am not against religion. I am a proud Christian. I just wish religion didn’t have to be used as a weapon to destroy lives.

Until next time,

Gavin

author web site

Off the Beaten Track

Sitting here right now, the sun on my back; mug of coffee in hand, it’s difficult to believe summer will soon be giving way to autumn. The older we get, the quicker the years rush by. Isn’t that the story of life? Last week this time I was still in America, still in Litchfield Minnesota, my home from home.

It’s been an eventful summer, a summer of meeting old friends and of making new ones, of completing my latest novel, of editing, of promoting my books and Sweet Conclusions.

Six weeks passed like wild horses and in just a few days’ time, I’ll be back at work here in Sweden. I always cherish my time in America; always look forward to visiting new and exciting places, places the average tourist doesn’t usually get to see. I have friends who have traveled from New York to Orlando, from Seattle to San Diego. Some have flown from Sweden to Washington DC or Minneapolis while others have experienced Dallas or Denver, Phoenix or Las Vegas. I’m not really a city person though; don’t really need to see streets lined with shops and tourists packed in cars and on buses like tins of sardines well-passed their sell by date.

If you want to see the true America, you should take a step back, leave the tourist tracks and head off into what is for me, one of the most amazing countries on earth.

You can find a McDonald’s or a Burger King, a tacky clothes store or and shoe shop in pretty much any city on the planet and surely, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I always make a point of visiting small towns, discovering new watering holes, mixing with the good people I meet on the way. As much as I would like to take a road trip from New York to Orlando or from Seattle to San Diego, I think I’ve seen and will keep seeing the best of America!

  Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Gavin

 Gavin Hill author web site

What have you seen in your backyard this summer?

Do you ever pause long enough to enjoy the lovely sounds of nature? The earth has music for those who stop and listen!

This is what I found waiting for me to capture recently. 

A hungry bluejay with its beak open waiting patiently for some suet.

A baby cardinal enjoying some safflower seed.

 A beautiful swan protecting her young.

Did you ever wonder why there are so many types of bird beaks or bills? The most important function of a bird bill is feeding, and it is shaped according to what a bird eats. The bill is one of the characteristics used to identify birds. You can learn about bird behavior by looking at the bill and thinking about what it eats. Then you may think about where it lives, and so on.

We have the most beautiful hummingbird grace our presence daily.

Hummingbirds have long, tubular bills that resemble straws, which they use to sip nectar from flowers and sugar water from feeders.

We recently found this woodpecker in our tree.  Sadly the city crew had to cut down our tree last week due to Dutch Elm disease. Woodpeckers have strong beaks which taper to the tip, forming a chisel for pecking holes in trees for food or nests. Most feed on insects which live under the bark.

 A cone shaped bill is found in many birds such as finches and grosbeaks. They have a strong beak used for cracking seeds. We enjoy this grosbeak when he arrives to the feeder. We have a catbird watch over us daily.  Sometimes he comes close and sits in a branch near our table when we eat outside.  This week Gavin saw a fawn run across our backyard … a very rare occurrence for our neighborhood.  What have you seen in your backyard this summer?

I will leave you with a John Burroughs quote:

I go to nature to be soothed and healed,

and to have my senses put back in order …


Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions

Rosie