Posted by: fionasmosaic | January 24, 2015

Sometimes it takes a village……….and one cat.

We lost one of our kitties a few months ago. As I was thinking of her, and her place in this family, I thought I should write a few things about her.

This was the kitty that we called “The Professional”. This was the kitty that we always said should give “Cat Classes”. This kitty with the V-8 motor knew how to do it right.

This was also the kitty that raised my son.    

Homework Time

Homework Time

I know that’s a pretty loaded statement, and I don’t say that lightly. But once in a while an animal comes along that changes your family dynamic, and changes your parenting. This was that kind of cat.

When we were looking for property, we lived with my folks temporarily in my childhood home. During that time my sweet hubby rescued a kitten from a Costco parking lot. We gave him to my son and my son named him Thomas. Thomas was pretty sick and in bad shape when we got him, and unfortunately love, vet visits, and antibiotics weren’t enough and Thomas died after about a week. We were heartbroken.

A couple of months later, we had bought our property and had just moved to it, when we were invited to a barn party at a friend’s house. We really debated if we should even go or not because we still had MOUNTAINS of boxes to unpack, but we had done a lot of moving and unpacking already and decided we needed the break.

After we arrived,we all piled out of the van and were standing there chatting with some people, when this cute little black and white kitty appeared that looked a lot like our little Thomas kitty. Not quite a little kitten, but not quite an adult cat either. She walked right up to me and flopped onto my feet, rolling onto her back and reaching up to me with a paw…….almost like she was waving “Hi”. I, of course, could not refuse her. So I scooped her up and held her. Pretty soon she was up on my shoulders, wrapped around my neck like a scarf. And since it was October and quite chilly, I was grateful. That little kitty stayed wrapped around my neck for a couple of hours.

Later in the evening, the owner of the kitty, who owned the farm just up the hill, came to me and said, “You know Fiona, this kitten was dumped here a few months ago and has been living in our barn. If you want to take her home, you can.”

Since we had just lost Thomas I wasn’t sure how excited my husband would be about getting another kitty, our hearts were still a little tender. I figured the only way this kitty was going to come home with us would be if my hubby fell in love with her.

He has a soft heart, so I didn’t think this would be too hard to do.

So I went over to him and said nothing of my conversation with the owner of the kitty. I just said, “Hey hun, this little kitty wants to cuddle, and I need to get some food, so how about you cuddle her for a while so I can eat.” He responded with, “Of course!”

And I left the kitty to work her magic on a willing heart. Never underestimate the power of a purr.

About an hour later I went back to retrieve her, and my hubby was smitten. He said, “I love this kitty! What a great temperment she has. Too bad we can’t take her home.” I told him that we could take her home, and about my conversation with the owner, to which he replied, “Then get the kids, and let’s get in the car before I change my mind.”

We gave her to my son, and he named her Thomasina since she resembled Thomas so much.

Thomasina moved in and took charge of the household. We already had a dog and cat but she let them know that she was the boss, and things were going to change.

What I didn’t expect, was that she would take charge of my son. She took charge of him and kept him on a very tight schedule. She slept with him, and at the appropriate time would wake him up in the morning. She would herd him downstairs for breakfast, and then meow at him until he had brushed his teeth and settled down with his schoolwork. She would sprawl out either next to him or on him and begin purring while he did his schoolwork. Later in the evening she would start meowing that it was time to get ready for bed, and he would comply. He would head upstairs, and brush his teeth and head for bed. If she didn’t think he was moving fast enough she would go to the top of the stairs and YOWL. And if she still didn’t think he was coming fast enough she would come back downstairs and follow him up, yowling all the way until he got upstairs. She would escort him to his room after he brushed his teeth, and sleep with him. If we went to go in and tell his sisters something in their room before bed, Thomasina would follow him in, and if she felt he was talking too long she would start walking around his legs and meowing until he headed for his room. That kitty kept him on a tight leash.

When our son was older, and it was time for him to go to high school, we wondered what would happen to Thomasina’s routine when he was gone, but she adjusted. She still made sure he was up in the morning, and got his breakfast, while she sat on the back of his breakfast chair and supervised while he ate.

Every day we would see her in the dining room window waiting when we made the trip home from school, and then she would rush to the back door and jump up on the counter so she could greet him. Then she would follow him around (meowing) until he got settled with a snack on the couch (hopefully Doritos that he would share) and started his homework. She would supervise every homework session, and then make sure he got to bed at the proper time. She kept this up faithfully for years.

Once we had Thomasina I never had to go wake him up, I never had to tell him to get started on his schoolwork, and I never told him it was time to go to bed. When he started high school I never once told him to do his homework. Not. Once.

But then Thomsina got older, and she developed thyroid disease, but she still saw to her duties faithfully, and bringing up her boy was still the most important thing.

She also extended her love and help to the rest of the family too. Always offering comfort and a snuggle to whoever needed it. Sometimes the girls would come home from college just because they needed some “kitty therapy”.

I was really hoping that Thomasina would last long enough to help him finish college, and help him find a wife. I thought she would have some definite opinions on the subject, but kitties don’t usually last that long. Regretfully, we had to have her put to sleep recently. She was 15 ½ years old. But she was there to get her boy through grade school, and then high school, and then one year of college.

I owe a lot to that little kitty though. Because of her I got to be the “nice mommy”. Because of her I never had to nag my son. Because of her he always did his homework immediately after school, resulting in good grades and scholarships.

It’s not easy to raise a son, and get through the teenage years well. Sometimes help comes from unexpected places. Maybe we should consider adding pets to our box of parenting tools.

Once in a while in your life, a kitty comes along that changes things. Thomasina, “The Professional”, was such a cat. I needed to do this little tribute to her. She was such a huge help, and such a comfort from the very first day she came up and flopped on my feet and chose US. She will be a tough act to follow.

They say it “takes a village” to raise a child. Sometimes it takes a village, and one cat.
Read More…

Posted by: fionasmosaic | January 26, 2014

Seasons & Setbacks


So this last 18 months has been an interesting season for me. I have had a few health setbacks that have slowed me down, but certainly haven’t stopped me. It’s nothng horrible, my thyroid has been a bit up and down and my allergies have acted up. All I can do is take care of myself, keep moving forward, and make sure I’m informed.


I had to take a few things off of my schedule and do some adjusting. Sometimes life gets redirected. Sometimes it takes a left turn when we wanted to go right. Sometimes we have to stop, take stock, and formulate a new plan……………or just say “There is no plan. I have no idea what happens next and I’m OK with that!”  I throw my arms up over my head and scream as I go down the hill on the roller coaster.


But I am filling out my goal sheet……and looking ahead. I have learned so much. You can check out my goal sheet here. Fiona’s Goal Sheet


January has been all about getting the house back in order, reading some good books, and making some plans for 2014. For us January is always a more restful season, and I appreciate the slower pace. I almost hate to see January end.

Posted by: fionasmosaic | June 26, 2013

Anne of Avonlea

I needed to simplify my life a bit over this last winter. In January I realized my brain was due for a vacation. Especially when January stretched into February and tax time.

Every so often I NEED to reread the “Anne of Green Gables” series. To be honest it really IS like a vacation. It is refreshment for my soul and mind, and I am so grateful for how it redirects me to the important things in life. This series is lovely, beautifully written, and humorous.

Right now I am rereading “Anne of Avonlea”, the second book of the “Anne” series.

I usually am reading three or four books at a time (so I can pick whatever I’m in the mood for), but right now I am reading the Anne series before I go to sleep at night. It’s perfect…………..a good dose of beautiful before I sleep.

If you need a little extra peace and serenity, this is a good antidote.

Here is a link to the current book! If you haven’t read the series I HIGHLY recommend it, but I would suggest starting with the first book “Anne of Green Gables”.


Posted by: fionasmosaic | November 4, 2012

Habit #2-Eat Breakfast!!

OK……so they say that eating breakfast gives your metabolism a jump start and gets it burning calories. It also helps with regulating your blood sugar. It also helps with keeping your mind sharp and focused.


So WHY wouldn’t I want help with ALL those things??


Gosh I don’t know, maybe I like being an idiot in the morning? LOL


Somewhere we have it in the backs of our minds that skipping meals is helping us, and it truly isn’t.


Sometimes I would skip breakfast, but I made a commitment to be more on top of this, and also to try to help my hubby with this. So now I try to get up with him (at O’dark thirty!!) and make sure he gets a breakfast too.


It only takes about 5 minutes to make a batch of raisin, cinnamon oatmeal. And that is GOOD for you! It  lowers your cholesterol.


Or you could make a yoghurt fruit smoothie. Fiona’s Smoothie

It doesn’t have to be big or elaborate. It only take a few minutes. And it is SO GOOD for you.

So Habit #1 was giving up one fatty thing in my day, in my case  the half and half in my coffee. Habit #2 is eating breakfast. This is not hard stuff, but it does make a big difference. Jump on the habit wagon with me!

Posted by: fionasmosaic | October 25, 2012

I Moustache You Something??


Sometimes you just need a boost. Sometimes you just need to laugh out loud.


One of the best instigators of spontaneous laughter is my middle daughter.


A while back we had a back patio birthday party for her. A bunch of her friends got together here and we had a BBQ, cupcakes, and gathered around the firepit. It was such a fun evening.


And everyone was wearing fake moustaches………..

The girls and their “staches”!


Yes, I do mean everyone. 



After the party, for weeks, I was finding moustaches everywhere. They were on the porch, in the laundry, stuck to things in the kitchen……………I even found one at rehearsal down at the church. I just happened to look down and see something stuck to the bottom of my foot. I pulled it off my shoe and started laughing, and then the background vocalists started laughing. I stuck it on my mic, I thought maybe it would look like I had a moustache while I was singing.


When I was pulling a moustache out of the washing machine, I stuck it on a bleach bottle.


This is what I found later.




Oh my gosh!! I laughed so hard!


And now I see it everytime I do laundry. I laugh everytime I see it. The fun just keeps on going. And you gotta admit, anything you can do to make laundry more fun… a good thing.


Posted by: fionasmosaic | September 30, 2012

Habit #1

OK so where to begin, we didn’t eat that badly at our house. I wasn’t really sure what to do as far as making changes. I did think though that changes would become apparent once I got started.


So I decided to begin at the beginning. What was the very first thing I would do when I got up in the morning? Make a cup of coffee, with sugar and half and half.


Messing with a busy woman’s coffee??? Isn’t that just a little bit sacred? As a wife and a mother I need all the help I can get! LOL  And one cup of coffee is not being overly indulgent. But I did make a comittment to ONE change. I’m not giving up my sugar (maybe someday), but I gave up my half and half and replaced it with 2%.


Well, it’s a start! And to be honest it was actually really easy.

I do have half and half in my coffee while on vacation twice a year. Knowing I get to indulge a little at some point makes it a lot easier to do the right thing for my health the rest of the time.


What is one high fat thing you could give up that you do every day? Maybe look at your day starting at the beginning, and see what you come up with.

Remember that the point of this was for me to get healthier without cholesterol reducing drugs, and to develope habits that would stay with me. Here is what has happened so far….

My cholesterol is 30 points lower (and that reading is from BEFORE I was exercising a lot)

I am stronger

I am lowering my chances of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes

I am beginning to look better

I have more energy                                                                                     

My clothes fit better

And I have lost 10 pounds

Let me know what you pick out as your first habit change, I want to hear!  

Habit #1-Use 2%

Posted by: fionasmosaic | September 23, 2012

Road to Healthy!


This was not something I was really wanting to write about. I don’t think I know that much about being healthy, or getting healthy. I’m no expert, and there is just SO MUCH for me still to learn. In fact I even hesitated sending this out several times because I thought “They are going to look at me and think I still have so far to go.” But one of the blessing about getting older is that you just don’t care as much about what people think. The people that love you are excited about the little victories in your life, and the people that needed the encouragement are the ones that this is all about.


My sweet hubby encouraged me a lot saying,”But what if there is someone who needs to hear this? What if there is ONE person who needs to hear it?” He and I talked for a long time and I said, “Why would anyone even want to read about it? There are lots of people writing about getting healthy. What makes me unique?” His response? “The fact that you don’t give up, the fact that you have had 4 car accidents, and you didn’t give up. The fact that you homeschooled, and didn’t give up. The fact that you had four abdominal surgeries and didn’t give up. The fact that you had two major illnesses and didn’t give up. That’s what’s unique about you.”


So without going into a huge long healthy history,  it’s been a rough road……………. a really really rough road.


So over the years, and having my kids, I worked out from time to time. When I couldn’t work out, I plunked whichever baby was the youngest into the stroller and off we would go. I also got a treadmill. For someone who loves to walk, it was a great investment. I have been walking on it for 17 ½ years. I would just turn on some music and walk for about a half hour.


But after a bad cholesterol reading (something I inherited from my family) and a trip to the ER because of my heart,  it was time to make a few changes. I certainly wasn’t badly overweight, but I weighed more than I wanted. And to be honest making changes wasn’t really a matter of weight as it was health, and specifically heart health.


I realized something, if you worried about eating for diabetes, blood pressure, or cholesterol, the one thing that covers all of those is a heart healthy diet. If you go heart healthy you are covering all your bases.


But I also don’t believe in diets. The reason for that is simple,  in my opinion a diet means “temporary”. So it only works for a time. I do believe that if we are going to make changes they should be lifestyle changes, and that it’s OK to splurge sometimes if it keeps us from eating garbage most of the time. I also don’t believe that God put bacon on the earth to torture us. Sorry, but I think he loves us more than that. I have bacon when I am on vacation with my family, and occasionally in a quiche. I don’t eat tons of bacon through the year, but I get to have it a couple times a year. I’m OK with that. It’s enough for me.


Plus the word “diet” implies restrictions. So what’s the first thing we want to do??? Eat what we shouldn’t.


Now I don’t want anyone blasting me for my thoughts. They are just that, my thoughts. There are people that shouldn’t eat bacon, maybe their blood pressure is at stroke level. I’m talking about your average middle aged person who is pretty healthy and just wants to take it up a notch and think long term. One of my thoughts that keeps me going is I’d love to have energy to play with my grandkids when they come along. I would love to still be able to hike with my sweetie in my 60’s and 70’s, maybe even my 80’s.


OK so back to the bad cholesterol reading, it caught me very much by surprise. We eat pretty healthy about here, and I exercised some, evidently it can be hereditary. I did not know that. I knew I got my big laugh, my foot size, and my smile from my family. Cholesterol???? Yay…..cholesterol (please read that phrase with some sarcasm and a frozen smile pasted on your face). That was a gift I wasn’t excited about at all.


I decided that lots of little changes over time would be easier to do. I also didn’t want to fail. I knew that if I changed everything overnight it would be overwhelming, I would get frustrated, I might even forget some of the things I should do if I put too much on the list of changes.


They say that if you want to change a habit to do it for 30 days. So if I make a change every 30 days, that is 12 changes in a year.


So I’m going to chronicle the changes I made. Include a few tips, some exercise suggestions, and some healthy recipes. I’m also going to talk about some huge challenges that I faced while trying to make these changes, and some inspiration I found to keep going.


I still think I have a long way to go, but considering I have a real life, a hubby and three kids, and have had more than a few setbacks, I’m pleased with what I have accomplished. And with God’s continued help I will go even farther.


If your interested, you can subscribe to my blog so you get these in your email. That way you don’t miss the sequence of steps that I took.


So here’s step #1!! And you don’t even have to do anything! Just view your changes whatever they happen to be as lifestyle changes not a diet. And there is so much more than what we eat……it is exercise, and lowering our stress level, being kind to our bodies.


So lifestyle changes here we come! Step #1 is done! No diets, but changes for life!


FOR LIFE! Two very powerful words.


I choose LIFE!

Heart healthy! Heart happy!



Posted by: fionasmosaic | August 17, 2012

Shifting Gears

OK, So I’m in the middle of a situation and there is NOTHING I can do about it. NOTHING. I just have to wait a few days. They must not know me because they don’t know how HARD that is for me. I love to jump in and get it done. It’s not so much that I’m impatient (although that can be a part of it), it’s that I used to be such a procrastinator that I don’t want that to be a part of how things shake out. I want to be able to stay on top of it and see it through. Git er done!


But when there is nothing I can do…………I stop and look around and ask….”Ok, what CAN I do?”


When I can’t do what I need to, I’ll do what I can.


I can bring some order into my situation. So that when I get a chance to act, I don’t have a million other things that need my attention. First I look at my list and see if there is anything my sweet hubby needed me to do. Then I look at the kids part of my list and see if there is anything there that I need to do, like taking one to get their permit, or helping another get copies of their resume. Then I throw a load of laundry in, and look at my business list. I tie up any loose ends there.


Then comes the house. I’ll try to catch up there too. So when I can do something about the problem, and my situation then requires some action at the appropriate time I can jump on it immediately because I don’t have all the other things distracting me. And there is nothing more frustrating than when you finally have the opportunity to go for it and get some big hairy awful thing off your list, you can’t because your attention is really needed elsewhere.


So that’s where I am right now, I am focusing on what I CAN do until I can work on what I SHOULD do.




Does Any of this make sense?? Please tell me I’m not alone on this. lolol


Ecc 9:10a :”Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might”

Posted by: fionasmosaic | July 12, 2012

Fiona’s Smoothie!!

Fiona’s Fiesta Smoothie

This was a kitchen experiment, and hopefully the first of many more. The sweet hubby and I have been making some healthy changes over the years. And I decided it would be fun to take you along with me.

I wanted some smoothie recipes but haven’t really gotten around to looking some up on the web. I pinned some photos on pinterest of smoothies that looked good. But I confess I was feeling a little impatient this morning, and there were some peaches sitting RIGHT THERE…….and well, you can figure out the rest.

Pretty soon Fiona was flinging stuff around the kitchen, the blender was blending, and this is what I got.

Fiona’s Fiesta Smoothie!!

1/2 cup yoghurt (peach or plain)

5 peach slices (I just used from a can, drain syrup)

1/2 cup non fat milk

1/3 of a large cucumber (peeled)

handful of chopped red pepper (rinsed and seeded)

1/2 cup crushed ice



Oh my gosh this was so good!!!!! And in my opinion the red pepper just MAKES IT! Enjoy!! Tell me what you think!

Posted by: fionasmosaic | July 10, 2012

Beach Therapy

One of our favorite places on earth……..


We laughed

We ate

We listened

We walked

We let the sand rub the hard edges off the difficult things

We let the stiff ocean breeze blow the difficult things south…..

(they must be to San Fransisco by now)

We let the peace seep into our hearts

But we let the difficult things change us

So that they are not wasted

So that they have eternal significance

The difficult things didn’t truly blow away to San Fransisco

But the visual of God’s breath in the ocean breeze blowng them away is healing

And something HE CAN DO

If we let him

We have the choice of accepting peace when it comes to knock on our door again

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