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Tribute to MY River Dog

The first time I ever laid eyes on Toby
he was bouncing around the play yard at
the Humane Society. At 3 months old he was fearless, happy, and had way too much energy.

I absolutely knew that I’d fall totally in love
with him. And, a day would come too soon,
when my heart would break.

I actually weighed and pondered this thought right then. And made a decision: It was worth
the risk. There was some-thing unique—
and special about this overtly friendly pup.

What is a Dog’s Life Worth?

An abandoned river dog, Toby was found by a good Samaritan at the river when he was just 3 weeks old. Too young to make it on his own, Toby most likely was the only survivor of his litter. As a result Toby was filled with anxiety. Truth be told, at that time I had the same issue. We bonded quickly. Over time we healed from our anxieties together. And yet, because Toby was my shadow, and rarely let me out of his sight, I always worried. That his heart that might refill with abandonment anxieties during my rare overnight absences. Even when he was left in good hands. Eventually, Toby was given 2 brother cats which quelled his solo angst immensely.

Eight applications were on file already at the Humane Society asking to adopt this wide eyed puppy doll. Several had been interviewed and home checked. Scrutinizing me, the interviewer told me to take Toby home right then and there. I had not brought a carrier, and had no leash. Nothing because I knew there was a 2 week waiting period. She waved their customary home check, simply eyed me and said, “He needs to go home with YOU. Today.” It was apparent she saw their special puppy now had met his perfect match in me.

Toby (12) Toby (4) Toby (11)

From 6 months of age Toby was socialized through obedience training with the intention to become a therapy dog. True to Toby, he passed his therapy dog certification with high accolades. Toby loved our weekly therapy dog visits at the VA hospital. He was the only one to wrestle on the floor with the veterans. If we missed a week the guys all asked where “Toby” had been. They never learned my name.

Toby loved to run. And jump. Particularly my four foot fences. I raised my fences higher. I hot-wired them. Toby was revealing he needed to focus his energy. We started agility training. The river dog took to it like water. True agility dogs are born, or rather, are destined for this sport. Toby excelled. His love for jumping and running, plus four years of agility training, found him to be an instant rising star. This newcomer turned heads. This year: 2017 was to be TOBY’s agility year. With mounting qualifying scores and his weave poles mastered, Toby was ripe to title numerous times.

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River dog Toby was often openly invited to hike the trails with the numerous hiking clubs ‘we’ belonged to. He wore his own backpack proudly, packing his own essentials. He was loved and adored by all his hiking peers for his enthusiasm, temperament, and amazing trail behaviors. He was our guardian. The Border Collie in him was always watching. Always making sure, waiting- and accounting for every last hiker, on every hike. Every Rogue Valley trail has seen Toby’s paw- and my foot-print side by side.

Toby was well traveled. He went everywhere with me. Everywhere that didn’t require air transport. He helped my family heal during my mother’s passing. He was a welcomed and an honored guest wherever we went. Upon arrivals, first comments were typically: “Where’s Toby?”

Toby had tons of dog friends. Somehow Toby’s energy transformed the broken and the meanest of canines. Toby didn’t care about their human issues, he cared about them as dogs- and as playmates. His joyousness was infectious. To Toby, absolutely everything was about fun. He was always happy.

Toby (6) Toby (45) Toby (23)

Toby never missed horse feeding time at the barn. Mornings, he would accompany JD and Lily out to pasture, and secure their safety before returning to me. Trail rides were Toby’s highlight. He would follow in Lily and JD’s horse tracks right underneath their tails. The horses were confident with Toby as their scout. And, they followed him into any questionable- or hidden trail.

Toby loved going to Denman Park. A place where he could run and swim the river to his hearts content. Although, his first river crossing was met with desperate howls and a refusal to follow us across. So my riding buddies returned back to Toby’s riverbank, then searched down stream for a shallow spot to build his confidence. Thereafter, Toby became a true river dog. Swimming endless times back and forth, in lieu of our one horse crossing.

The river dog loved water so much I built him a pond in my backyard. It was only Toby chest deep, but he spent hours circling its circumference, tail wagging wildly, and looking endlessly into its depths. One time he actually surprised himself when he caught a fish. Wiggling in his mouth it was quickly released back to his pond.

Toby (14)a Toby (29)a Toby (30)

There was not a day that Toby did not run my property for the pure joy of it. Or accompany me to the store just for the car ride. Dare I walk our road- or visit neighbors without him. His howls could be heard from down the road.

Ocean trips, the sand, and running in the surf were his thrills. Toby loved his cats and they attached to him like glue. They even took on Toby’s behaviors- and acted just like him!

It is true. Toby was spoiled. Whenever a visitor came to the house he believed they were there just for him. Claiming the center of attention Toby would disembowel his stuffed toys. Often he would toss them about- then fling his toys straight at guests. Impressively, always just missing their heads!

Every night he’d cuddle up next to me on the couch, often with one or both of his kitties curled inside his grooves. Head in my lap, often I would read or watch Netflix. If animal shows were on, Toby would pounce off the sofa and down the hall to find them. Or, he would peer around the backside of the TV to figure out where they went.

Toby adored all creatures, no matter their size or genre. He was a gentle soul, without a malicious intent. When challenged or provoked, Toby’s response was to smile and wag his tag. Although dare another harm his friends. Once, in a group training a large poodle blatantly ran down Toby’s best friend, a much smaller Cavalier, in an attempt to devour him. From across the arena, Toby saw this and broke free. With agility speed Toby intervened in a nick of time. That was Toby’s way: Loyal to his friends.

Toby (8) Toby (2) Toby (16)

Every person and every animal was enhanced and impacted by Toby’s exuberance for life. He left no stone unturned. Nothing unexplored. Nothing undone.

Toby was the love of my life. HE WAS MY LIFE. I was- and am honored to have had that much Unconditional Love and Loyalty at a time when I needed it most. Virtues that I never believed could be possible, much less experienced from another being, in my lifetime.

Except for memories, our chapter is now closed. There will be no more agility trials. No more trail rides. No more of US hiking the Rogue Valley. No more nightly couch cuddles. No more good morning wake up licks. No more bed hogging. No more therapy dog sessions for me- or for others. And, no more river crossings.

So how do I measure Toby’s worth? In terms of his endless blessings? Immeasurable. In terms of an endearing friendship? Infinite. In terms of family? He was my child. How does one put a price on family? Toby’s worth is Incalculable. His fifth year of life is now finalized. Irreversible and definitive.

Toby’s worth is- and will always be irreplaceable, eternal.

Toby (44) Toby (18)a Toby (42)

And, it was to the credit of my River Dog Toby, who inspired my mission of passion: Patty Ann’s Pet Project.

For 4 years Toby cuddled against me on our couch, or curled up at my feet, as I wrote every single book listed on this site. Many of my books reflect Toby’s lessons and silly antics. He even has a few books starring himself~! Toby’s photos, and his examples for living are chronicled, and often interwoven inside some of my toughest life journeys.

All sale proceeds from go to Patty Ann’s Pet Project which donates to rescue groups that save the unfortunate. Most are abandoned animals with physical, spiritual and mental scars. Because of Toby, donations now go to some amazing folks who save throw away river dogs much like him. My intention is that other animals will get their forever home and experience the life much like Toby had.

Toby (38) Toby (33) Toby (36)

As typical of Toby’s example for living life, he continued to teach others, profoundly, through his death. Words don’t teach. Consequences do. Our choices are a testament to this fact.

On a typical Sunday morning Toby and I returned from barn duty. As typical Toby wanted back out to his well fenced backyard. Also, as typical I went to check my morning emails.

His fate was preordained at hands of others to which unfolded fast. Despite strict warnings to my RV tenants to NOT let Toby beyond my gates; absent of thought, once again, they let Toby out front. Over the past year our neighborhood had held much animosity towards speeders disregarding community safety. Not only was my gate left open, but one of these speeders hit Toby dead, and ran off.

I asked the universe the day I brought my Toby home: “Please do not let him suffer when his day comes.” My wish was granted. It was so swift I didn’t even hear him yelp from inside my house. But I knew. You always know when a part of your soul dies.

As serendipity would have her way, a string of events unfolded. Immediately I summoned law enforcement. Within the hour they came. Even before we buried Toby. So the Deputy got to view the heart of my soul, forever asleep. My neighbors surveillance camera identified the hit and run car that came from our dead end road. The Deputy took photos from the surveillance camera, and the matching tire tracks leading to the road scuff where Toby died…not a foot off my property. The Deputy said a hit and run equals a year in jail. He set the expectation of a speedy apprehension.

As of this writing the driver is still at large, and most likely will remain so. Numerous, anonymous –and exacting leads were directed to this Deputy in charge. And yet, Toby’s case has been severely disregarded; dismissed just like the rest of our neighbor law enforcement pleas. It is sadly apparent, The Worth of a Dog’s Life is of no consequence according to the Medford Sheriff. Many letters were written-not just by me. I had hoped that Toby’s life–and particularly his senseless death–would give pause to other’s consciousness to make amends. I would have appreciated giving a ending of reposed closure to my dog’s life well lived.

Toby (47) Toby (46)

My property now sits quiet. A severed friendship violated by lack of respect and trust, now finds my RV spot empty. My land is void of robust energy. Only a mound in my garden remains. Toby’s toys, his neon orange winter coat, his hiking pack, assorted hanky neck ties and his agility ribbons and prizes remain. Now all boxed and put away. Toby’s only legacy, besides these words of homage, are those who are left remembering… with his paw imprinted upon their hearts.

Toby’s love for this life was his ultimate sacrifice to get others to LISTEN. He is granting others the biggest opportunity of their lives to learn, grow, benefit and mostly heal. I do hope all involved embraces and integrates Toby’s teachings. Am I angry with the violators? Temporarily. However, in keeping with Toby’s selfless lessons, any transgression only punishes me. We humans struggle with much. Mostly with our learned behaviors that do not serve us. Leave it to our furry friends to help us out. Consequentially, I do desire that Toby’s co-conspirators find peace and resolve. Death calls us all. But, worse than death is not heeding our lessons; not taking responsibility for our actions; and not ascending ourselves.

And last, there are no coincidences. After several months in the making, just one day prior I had finally uploaded Beyond the Rainbow Bridge on YouTube. It is a tribute to Sox who passed six months earlier, and Toby is central to this video along with Lunar, who is the only one now left of this trio. Lunar is adjusting to life without Toby, as am I.

Toby (41)Picture Taken 3 Months Prior
Toby (43) End of Our Trail.
There Are NO Returns.

My river dog now swims free and runs wild under the wing of the wind.
RIP Toby Until Our Paths Meet Again. October 1, 2011 ~ January 15, 2017

What is a Dog’s Life Worth?
Perhaps the question is: What is any animal’s life worth to you?

Written March 15, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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For the Love of One Horse

Have you ever had
That one special horse
Who knew your
Heart & Soul?
Who spent their life
Journey alongside yours?

This was mine.

Owed 2 Ab ~ 33 & Forever Free

I bid my best friend a final farewell today.
As a firstborn child remembered, He won’t go away.

Our memories not forgotten, as I hold them near,
Just like our first encounter when we met in yesteryear.

I was the only one to enter His stall corridor that day.
He was the only one to peer out and down the aisle my way.

In those first eternal moments I bought Him sight unseen.
It was fate merging our paths with a cause and a mean.

My Dream Horse shone like a new copper penny,
Trimmed in a golden mane and tail He stood out among many.

Gentle, forgiving, curious, yet strong,
He challenged me to new heights and brought me along.

Like my own spirit there were times He bucked hard,
Yet He returned to me always, where He stood over guard.

My seat learned secure with a sense of balance, held firm,
And although grounded often, my respect for Him He did earn.

His rocking-horse canter floated upon air,
Extending and releasing like elastic, without a care.

As always, I held His soft mouth tender as we rode.
He wore His rubber-egg butt proudly, as we had last strode.

At 15 point 1 His package was small.
Yet He felt so very big—so absolutely tall.

Who knew He flew with the birds, and had their wings of flight?
As He could run with the wind blowing at the speed of light.

And we ran and we jumped, as one does just for joy,
As a gazelle might and would, over life’s hurdles, oh boy!

Others came and went, but He stayed, sharing more than half my life.
He laughed with me, cried with me, and consoled me in my times of strife.

He raised me up into the person I’ve become,
As I bore and raised my own children, and then some.

Known to all as ‘Good ole Ab,’ He fostered novice riders along,
Making them confident in character—they too grew strong.

He taught me, my friends, children et al,
That just being is beauty, and honesty stands tall.

Among His herd He roamed independent and free.
Like me, Abba belonged to no one, only to thee.

His life made full, brought mine complete.
Our journey saw too soon where our trail end would meet.

The best I could do was offer Him His lifetime home,
But His real reward lay across heaven’s gate alone.

He taught me to listen, then told me when.
It was His time to go, but He would see me again.

This morning, I saw a shiny new copper penny.
It fell out of my pocket and onto the floor like many.

But this one stood alone, both shiny and bright,
As a symbol of his freedom that lived long in this light.

With the breeze at our backs, Ab took one final buck,
In the world He so loved; I wished upon Him a final good luck.

As my friend laid my friend ever so gently to earth,
The breeze carried His spirit into the land of new birth.

I don’t pray to the Lord for His soul to keep,
Because He rests inside me eternally, for mine to reap.

Thank you Abdaar Fadan for the gifts that you gave,
No longer must you play a part here, as you rest in your grave.

Single handed you raised JD into your mirror of a special horse.
And in His turn, and by your guidance, He has taught Lily your course.

Together your herd stands solemn over your final resting spot,
Knowing you go before them, leading the way—and you found your way out.

Freedom rides high and rewards those who deserve it,
And you, my dear friend, won yours, as heaven assures it.

Each morning I will hear your soft nickering voice.
Each night you will trail in; I will miss seeing you, but respect your choice.

And when my time comes, I know you’ll be there standing at my gate,
Peering out once again down our aisle, impatiently, wondering if I’m late.

To toss at me, push at me, burrowing your head deep,
To make sure I am listening, looking up ahead, and am not asleep.

No farewells to you, My Dear Sweet Old Friend,
As your heart and soul live on inside me, to my final of no end.

Registered as “Abdaar Fadan” aka “Ab,” “Abba,” and “Good ole Ab.”
Born May 12, 1976—As remembered this 28th Day of January 2010

Original Poem in my book Abba. Life. Love. Letting Go.
Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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7 Tips to Tell if Your Buyer is Serious

How do you evaluate

As a Realtor or an Owner-Seller
(of which I’ve been both)
Here are my TOP TiPs
for discerning between
REAL Buyers and Tire-kickers.

This article is also written for BUYERS! Educate yourself to real estate practices with these step actions, and you will expedite your property purchase!

(1) First, ALL buyers should be prequalified. As a Realtor, or FSBO Seller, it is HIGHLY recommended to get buyers prequalified, prior to showing appointments.

What does “Prequalified” mean? Simply put, it’s written proof to show the buyer can afford to purchase realty property up to a set amount. A lender will write a pre-approval letter for a buyer, stating they are able to get a loan, or has the funds, to purchase.

The bottom line for getting prequalified, is to show a buyer is ready, able, and serious to purchase a property. It also gives a seller confidence, knowing their sale will most likely succeed. If a buyer is not viable, much precious time can be wasted. Realty Agents need to know a buyer’s spending limits. They can screen out prospective buyers from lookers. Also, savvy sellers may not allow showings without proof of funds.

(2) Serious buyers know what they want and are proactive. They scour the MLS listings and pick their favorites. Often these buyers direct their agent to set up a showing. Many fall in love with their future property on the internet right off.

(3) Serious buyers should not bring children, friends or pets to a showing. Children will distract parents. That’s just what kids do. Particularly when it’s important. Trust me on this. I have grown-up children. Been there, tried that, doesn’t work. Realtors and sellers have every right to request that children are not to attend showings.

Friends of the buyer(s) should not attend showings. Well meaning buddies are a big distraction. Namely, because they influence. Their opinions often sway and undermine the buyer’s own decision making and processing.

A heads up! Generally, pets should not be left in the car unattended on a seller’s property. This is a courtesy to property owners that have their own pets… and who may investigate who else is in the car! Therefore, it’s suggested to leave Fido home.

(4) ALL buyers should attend showings. When a buying partner does not attend a showing, this can be a caveat that one may not be on board. Of course there are exceptions, such as for out of state buyers. Serious buyers make the time to consider available properties > TOGETHER.

(5) Listen to a buyer. And encourage them to talk freely. For you will learn where they are at in the buying process. They may be pre-qualified, but still not mentally ready to commit. Perhaps, the buyers are still evaluating all their options. For instance, what type of home style; where to buy; or school districts to live in. A good agent can help educate and influence, but often cannot get the uncommitted to sign.

A ready buyer often takes the lead. Has done their homework and has pointed questions. Their language turns positive and their tone of voice energetic. Particularly when they visit a property that checks their boxes. They tell their agent or the seller right then, “Let’s make this happen!”

(6) When buyers present low offers and a house is on par with sold comps, this can indicate several things. 1) The buyer cannot afford the listed price. Thus the reason pre-qualified exists. 2) The buyer wants a super deal. This is how flippers operate. It means more profit in their pocket. 3) Many buyers (and agents) think FSBO Sellers should slash their price because they are not paying a commission. But the fact is, FSBO Sellers must execute a closing the exact same as a Realtor. A seller’s time is worth no less. Oddly, this stigma still lives on in many minds. So a note to sellers: If you want your listed price, verbalize it upfront to the buyer and/or their agent. It will save everyone time.

7) Serious buyers are motivated. Is there a job relocation involved? If so, an immediate need to purchase a house may be at the forefront. Life changes are typical times for upgrading or downgrading real estate properties. New marriages with combined families often need a larger home. Empty-nesters typically want to down size.

Lifestyles motivate property purchases. As a forever horse owner I’ve seen one such scenario repeat often. People buy one horse. And board it out. They become captivated by the lifestyle. They buy another horse- or two. Thus more money spent on boarding. These horsey home owners start adding it up; their 3 horses boarded, plus their own mortgage. Purchasing acreage starts to make sense. That is the path of serious equestrians. The point here is: lifestyles not only motivate, but dictate how, when, and where a person purchases property.

In my opinion and experience, a serious buyer offers full price, or close to it, when they see value. They know intrinsically what’s in in for them, emotionally, mentally and otherwise. Serious buyers make the sale happen.

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

Real Estate Education for Buyers, Sellers & Realtors

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17 Tips to Cope with Conflict AND Succeed!

Conflict is part of life.
Yet few of us are comfortable
in the midst of confrontation.

Often we react, rather
than proactively assess the
situation before responding.

Here are 17 tips to help you
in moments of crisis and chaos.

First and Foremost!

  1. Take 10 seconds before reacting—or responding. Often when we are broadsided with deep contrast we have knee jerk reactions…much of which comes from a defensive position.
  2. Learn to breathe deeply for at least 3 deep breathes before saying any word at all.
  3. Gather yourself and compose your thoughts about what you just heard, saw or experienced.
  4. Remember and Realize….

    * How you respond sets the tone for an ugly or nicer interaction.
    * Reactions arise from learned behaviors –which can be changed.
    * People would act better if they knew how to – so help show them!
    * Acknowledge that everyone has different ways to cope with stress.
    * And every interaction is a new opportunity for YOU to learn from another.

3 Ways to Respond to Conflict

  1. When you are provoked, you are being asked to respond. However, you do not have to! If you know the current situation is unhealthy, tell your combatant: “I can see you are upset. Now is not the time to discuss this situation. Let’s chat when we are both able to listen to each other.”
  2. Tell someone who continues to argue: “This discussion is off limits. We will resolve this later.” Then change the subject and move forward.
  3. If the interactions escalate, do not respond. Do not get the last word in. Walk away. Let your body language talk. Leave the scene and stop further distress.

During a Conflict > Create Cooperation!

  1. Agree to disagree. Use the misunderstanding to find common ground.
  2. Use empathy to understand another person’s viewpoint and expand your awareness.
  3. Make “I” statements. State how someone’s behavior affects you. Do not blame. Offer resolutions instead. And ask for input. This helps build reciprocal empowerment.
  4. Humor rarely helps in conflict situations. It often aggravates and inflames. Use empathy to connect with another who is upset.
  5. Seek to understand. Paraphrase another person’s words. This shows you acknowledge their concerns.
  6. Be proactive and positive in selecting your words and when using your body language.
  7. Learn passive aggressive behavior ques, so you will know how to navigate challenging conversations. Passive aggression is a common communication maneuver to gain control.

Use Conflict to Learn & Grow!

Remember conflicts are not about who is right or wrong. Conflicts arise because of our perception gives rise to judging another person or situation. Often when we know all the facts, or gather more information we learn our viewpoint may stand to be corrected.

Use the contrast of conflict to seek how another person thinks, perceives and reacts. Use these moments as a springboard to understand more about interpersonal communication behavior. In doing so, conflicts will teach you how to respond, react and resolve conflict successfully!

Related Communication Guidebooks that Help!

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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Confessions of a Clairvoyant

My mortal eyes hardly discerned
the first portholes,
to scan the grid
of warped and waffled panes.

Each an intrusive facet.
A peekaboo glance.
My naked fingertips barely
slipped over the window sill.

And yet, intrinsically I already knew.
Those were glints of my destiny.
Overwhelmed, I retreated.
Afraid. Confused. Throwing the curtains shut.

Curious. Why me?
Why should I KNOW, what I should not?

Yet I returned to the grid of panes.
The obscure glass thick, yet discernible.
As a tree grows to branch out, so did I.
My branches reached out to crack the glass ceiling.
And, shattered each into a shard of prisms.
I shunted the panorama.
Closed the damn curtain.
Yet the lit peepholes ignited…
To beg, tease, and beckon my return.

Curious. Why me?
Why should I SEE

The holes in my broken heart ahead.
Would they ever mend me whole again?
How would I survive the knowing?
Each window pane was lifeless. A mirror reflecting.
Each a puzzle piece; a channeled link.
Every breeze of recognition ripped the drapes open.

Curious. Why me?
Why should I HEAR

The whispers of silent sentences,
To which I defied and ignored.
But, IT happened anyway.

Was there NO choice in a preordained life?
Was MY Muse paving the path?
My fate sealed?
And my body and brain marionetted?
Puppeteered by ONE master maker?

The strings tugged, taunted.
Go here. Over there. Not now. Do IT.
My oak trunk thick, steady, and strong.
My branches sky-bound to shred the cloak.
Thirsty for the illumination;
Dauntless to the phantom of darkness.
My roots entrenched in the void of the sublime.
By osmosis my veins absorb the food of freedom.

Curious why me?
Why should I be…

The one with stealth insights,
To possess an umbilical cord to the divine,
And, be conscious of creation beyond dreams?

I am no one special.
Every one is extra-ordinary.

Curious. Why me?
Why am I fluent with the cosmos?

Just because I am curious?

Related books you may enjoy…

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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11 Essential Listening Skills that Make Every Relationship Work

Communicating with others is vital to
our human experience.

The primary ingredient for relating
successfully with others

Here are top listening skills, that are
easy to implement into your life,
and will enhance your relationships.

  1. Listen Proactively and Attentively. Show you are interested in what others have to say. Engage in what they are saying. Respond with feedback. Ask for clarification.

  2. Listen to Learn. From understanding another person’s viewpoint to getting guidance on how to travel to another city, listening helps you learn. 

  3. Listen Objectively. Gather all information with an open mind. If what is being said is emotionally charged, take in the words without judgment. Remember you may not have all the facts. And, it is just one person’s opinion. Keep your mind open. And do not be quick to judge.

  4. Listen to Provide Feedback. Articulating what was said helps your mind organize and respond appropriately. Feedback helps further understanding and adds value to cooperative conversations.

  5. Listen to Clarify. Short or long, every message is a story told. Not everyone can tell an event in 3 sentences. As a listener, you can clarify by asking questions or paraphrasing, which helps you get the whole picture.

How to Listen to HEAR Another

  1. Stop your mind chatter so you can attend the conversation. If you are thinking about your response while another person talks, you are not really hearing –or listening to them.

  2. Hear words as just information. Remember everyone has their own version, perception and experiences. Words are pieces of information. The relational aspect is left to the interpretation of the listener.

  3. Do not interrupt the talker. Respect others and listen to them until they are done. Often you will learn more as they talk.

  4. Paraphrase in your own words back to the messenger what you think they said. This will clear up misunderstandings. And promote mutual awareness.

  5. If you do not understand the terminology- or you are getting an information overload > Ask the speaker to explain in simpler words, or slow down. Tell them you want to be able to understand, because you value their message.

  6. If you are preoccupied with your own issues it is difficult to hear another person. Tell your friend you need to talk another time when you are able to fully listen.

Listening is a powerful connector towards maintaining long lasting relationships. Listening attentively tells another you care, value and respect them. In most cases, listening is far more important than talking!

Check out these popular communication guides below.
Click HERE for ALL Communication Books!

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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Writer Burn Out? Get Your Mojo Back!

As a writer-author,
how do you know
when you are
on complete
burn out mode?

Here are 10 signs
that tell you
it’s time
for a break!

  • Apathy lurks along with zero focus.
  • Inspiration lacks — no ‘ah-ha’ ideas are flowing freely.
  • Your mind wanders away to far off places seeking refuge.
  • Once purposeful writing, now becomes a laborious chore.
  • Your blank brain stares without seeing (the computer screen).
  • That passion to harness words is replaced with messy edits.
  • Disenchanted, and wishing words to fly out of the keyboard.
  • A stuck imagination; affectionately known as ‘writer’s block’.
  • Not wanting to jump out of bed to capture a brilliant phrase.
  • Procrastination.

I am sure all you writers have some fabulous burn outs to add to this list!

How to Get Your Mojo Back
First and foremost, do not ignore the signs of burn out. You cannot barge ahead and expect to write with inspiration and exuberance. That in itself is a time waster. Your time is precious and it should be spent enjoying whatever you do! While you may perform amazingly under pressure and with deadlines for the short term, for the long term it’s a recipe for sabotaging your creative mind…and possibly your mental health.

Here are simple ideas for rejuvenating your mind, body and soul.

Take a break. Get off and away from your computer. Stay away from the Internet, and all social media. Just plain unplug.

Schedule time off. Limit how many hours per day you are immersed in writing. Take one day a week off and stay away from the computer- and put your cell phone on airplane mode. Schedule time off and stick to it. Refreshing time away will rebuild your brain power.

Do something different. Get outside and go for a walk. Play with your pet. Plant veggies in your garden. Do something pleasurable away from your work space. Revisit an enjoyment that is almost lost to the forgotten past. Put on rock n’ roll and dance out all your anxiety. Or become adventuresome. Experience something you have never done before.

Change your environment. Refresh yourself by escaping to a new surrounding. That’s what is so great about a vacation. The newness is stimulating and awakens our senses. However, you do not need to travel elsewhere to find inspiration. Instead, discover or try a specialty that is unique. For instance, you may not pamper yourself enough, or at all. So go get a massage, a pedicure or manicure. By the way, you do not need to spend money to change your environment. You can take a hike to uncover a new trail. Even explore a park or a waterfall you have never visited. And while you are at it, take along paints with some brushes, and a canvas to see if this incentive motivates you!

It is easy to get caught up in what we think is important business. Yet, taking extended breaks will allow perspectives to emerge. Airing out helps us to re-balance our priorities. Step back and allow some freedom to elevate your consciousness.

If all else fails, pull weeds. That is what I do. No kidding!

Doing something mundane, lets my to-busy brain rest, all while being a bit productive.
And the funny thing is, as I extract weeds, inspirational ideas begin to pour into my mind. So, now I begin my days by pulling weeds. It must be the dirt. It grounds my soul to nature. And ignites my magic mojo once more.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
3 Guidebooks that Offer Writing Prompts…

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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No Victims. Only Players.

While there are many ideations attached to the word VICTIM this article is an examination of our identify to roles played out inside interpersonal communications. This also includes the behaviors thereto.

The word VICTIM is not in my dictionary. Anymore. When life experiences pounded on my door to change my viewpoint, the very idea of participating in the role of victim no longer fit. Or, was welcome.

When a person plays the victim, they seek to blame others. They make excuses. Play helpless. Say it’s out of their control. Is playing a character role on stage a choice? Yes. And so is choosing your role.

People are unaware they are victims.
We are typically guided by our own learned behaviors. Often victim roles were taught in families of origin.

While you can be a totally responsible person, you can also play the victim. Trust me. I played that role extremely well.

It was not until I grew weary of the same scenarios that I took a hard look in the mirror. My problem was being too responsible. Ironically my choice made me a victim to my own irresponsibility to myself. And, this enabling was a huge disservice to my others. In effect, I allowed others to pile their ‘stuff’ on me. I was misguided and actually believed my good intentions would be recognized, even appreciated. Thus, I became the perfect enabler. My illogic told me others would see my overburden, and would step up to do their part. But they didn’t. They never do. We always pair with another to recycle learned behaviors, until we learn.

It takes 2 to tango.
After awareness, I saw the steps leading into a familiar dance. Yet, just didn’t know how to modify my behaviors. Then it dawned on me with such sweet simplicity. And clarity. I had found it difficult to say NO—when I was taught from my crib to say YES. Then a revelation came when I claimed No- and No More. It was empowering! With MY boundaries defined, my relationships knew where their boundaries were set. My communication became definitive, clear, and absolute. No longer were opportunists sharing my life. Sure some left. No loss. Attrition happens when you grow up.

Victim-hood does not exist in responsible relationships.
Self responsibility is self love. And, belongs to YOU alone. Daily attendance to your thoughts and habits are required while integrating new patterns to become routine. It is easy to change a thought; but it takes discipline to change a habit. Catching old character traits in action and rerouting your behaviors is completely self-directed. Once you bridge to healthier relationships you will wonder whatever took you so long.

Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.

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Lucid Dreams: Our Conscious Awareness of Expansion

A lucid dream is one where you are aware of your dream state as it’s happening.  Very often, lucid dreams deliver the dreamer a message. Other times, the lucid dreamer is the messenger of the dream, to deliver to someone else.

Lucid dreams are a way others communicate even though you may not have interacted for years. These relations may want to thank or acknowledge you. Or just say a simple hello. Souls who come forth can be alive, or departed. Be our animals, or another embodiment such as our spirit guides. And even, visitors we do not know.

When your dream conscious mind recognizes you are experiencing a dream, you also awake to your active participation inside this looking glass. Lucid dreams can be premonitions; travel to other dimensions or lifetimes; and visits to the past and future. You can even astral travel to see your friends and loved ones in real time. Test it out. Set a dream intention before falling asleep. And upon waking, you are able to remember every detail; even the oddities that perplexed you inside your luminous state.

Dreams are often abstract. Our constructs result from how our brain and/or subconscious receives, then interprets the information. Therefore, often messages need to be untangled. Like a puzzle, pieced into place. This is the fun part. If your lucid dream includes another living person, chat with them. Most often they can help you figure it out. Or, fit the peculiar pieces together.

For instance. My son-in-law, Conner, had an owl dream he had to share with me. He was reticent to disclose the oddities in the dream. Why? Because in his immediate perception it was not only baffling, but downright weird. But, to me his dream revealed AWESOMENESS.

In short, Conner’s dream was about a very large robust owl who appeared, and towered over him. The owl was intense with intent. Before long Conner was carrying this owl, inside a package, as they went on a walk. That is where his dream ended. So Conner’s lucid dream became a journey because he was quite compelled to tell me. Yet he did not understand why. Until I then told Conner of my experience last year. Which happened to be just a month prior to when he married my daughter! We figured out all the nuances of his brief owl encounter, including that package he needed to deliver. It was very evident my Great Grey Owl was reaching out to me once again. To tell me he was fine, and even stronger than before. This was not the first time my friend reached out through another. But, it was the first time the Great Grey used a lucid dream to reconnect. And no less, on a night of a full moon! The miracle story of this Great Grey Owl is linked here.

Once you start having awareness inside your lucid dreams you will be captivated. Largely because you will discover other aspects of your soul self. And, you will open up other portholes of possibilities. In turn, your options for self awareness expands beyond limitless. Essentially, it is your own consciousness–along with the collective that recognizes itself in action. And so these interludes become magic in the making!

Having a lucid dream is a natural progression and evolution of our soul journey. Some may consider lucid dreams as a sign of evolving oneself from this 3rd dimension into the 5th dimensional beings we are destined to become. Oh MY! And guess what? My front door just blew wide open while typing this last sentence… to reinforce this point!? There are NO coincidences. Only synchronized junctions of harmonic agreements.

Experiment with your dream intentions prior to sleep. You can also arrange to meet someone in a dream. And together co-create a dream-escape–another stage on which to perform. It helps that your friend is not only receptive, but also has lucid dream awareness. Once upon a time, I had a co-conspiring dream friend. Made from inside creation itself, with our own conscious intent: our dreams manifested pure alchemy.

Lucid dreams are becoming prolific and the norm for many now. It is a gift. Threads strung from our own cosmic connections to expand our awareness during this unique sojourn. Unveil the mystery. And enjoy the enchantments that will surprise and delight you.

Click to Check Out All Topics in the Soul Self Series!

Copyright 2020.
All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.

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Did Mother Earth Arrange a Rest with Corona?

Inhale. Then Exhale.
In — Out — Slower.
In. Out. S-l-o-w-l-y. Deeper. 3 Times.

Our Planet requires – needs a rest. We ALL Do.
Nature communicates with us constantly.
It is our job to listen. And, hear her voice.
What happens when children disrespect their parent?
Often, a time out is enforced.

Corona is not taking victims.
Nor is IT a random fluke.
It is a construct.
A natural consequence by design.
By which humanity co-created.

The question may not be how to stop the virus.
It may be how to stop ourselves long enough to reflect.
On stripping our planet of her protection; her skin of trees.
From mining earth’s belly of essential oils cultivated for herself.
And harvesting her oceans to depletion, using her as a trash bin.
Attending our mother, is simply called savvy self preservation.

Didn’t you feel the tension building?
The unease. The unrest. The energy chaotic?
Our complacent bubble about to burst?
The conscious souls did. But, we are in the minority.
We need 51% on board to tilt the tide.

So. Nature found a way to redirect us.
Stop us in our tracks. Interrupt the discord.
Perhaps, steer us back to basics. And to…
– Resurrect and reconnect our relationships.
– Quiet our minds to ascend our thoughts.
– Test our intelligence. Grow our soul.
– Encourage community. And responsibility.
– Restore us to caring and care-taking.

OUR planet is a connected, conscious living being.
She is allowing herself an intermission.
A space where we can redefine our priorities.
One more opportunity to examine and evolve.
The real question is: ARE YOU LISTENING?

Inhale. Then Exhale.
In — Out — Slower.
In. Out. S-l-o-w-l-y. Deeper. 3 Times.

To help you refocus, check out: 9 Steps to Your Happy Spot

Copyright 2020 by Patty Ann – Article Reprints Granted by Permission Only.

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Take the PET REMEDY to Refocus & Relax

As the fingers of the coronavirus reach out to impact our lives, much uncertainty abounds. Every industry and beyond is at an unprecedented crossroads considering what comes next. Among those affected are the thousands of school closures sending faculty, staff, admins, plus many more students home as a precaution.

In the midst of this confusion it’s prudent to be proactive.
Focus points of interest help children and teens, because (re)directing disquieting thoughts can turn into positive adventures. Thus, there is no better helper waiting than your family pets, large and small.

So what can you do as a parent, mentor, guardian or teacher?
Keep your students (or child’s) attention focused during times of unrest. And, one solution is to interact with animals! For many pet owners, nothing is more emotionally stabilizing- and healing, than the unconditional love offered by our pets. Or just as significant, times spent in nature observing and enjoying wildlife.

Offered here are some ideas, suggestions, and educational opportunities,
for students who may need a healthy diversion, or a schedule for stability:

  • Have children attend the family pet needs. Animal care tasks not only instills responsibility, it provides purpose and a secure place of belonging when routines are disrupted. Pet care should not stop at daily feedings. Have your child exercise the family dog(s), or play with their cat. This time is beneficial for both pets and their humans to decompress. Make sure to consider animal disposition to a child’s capability in terms of a good fit, so a positive outcome results in bonding.
  • Now may be the time to forgo the household ‘pet rules’. The unconditional presence of animals helps to absorb and quell angst. Allow the family dogs to cuddle on the couch with your kids. Or sleep in bed with them. Apply the same with cats. Although, often cats never wait for an invitation because they train us! 🙂
  • If you have farm animals, or have access to a neighbor’s ranch enlist their help. Often farm friend’s welcome help with feeding, stall cleaning, grooming and much more. There is an abundance of joy in the spring when kid goats, baby lambs, calves and foals are born. A fresh perspective is a true gift to give to a child. Along with the possibly of a new charge to look after, or even becoming a hired helper. It’s wise to call your neighboring farm first, before showing up on their doorstep!
  • Animal shelters and pet rescues welcome an extra set of hands. Many shelters need dog walkers, groomers, feeders and assistants. This is a perfect opportunity to expose students to other animal breeds, and possibly a future career. Wildlife sanctuaries specialize in a variety, or a specific species. From bobcats and bears, to raptors and birds of prey, or even possums, raccoons and skunks! Check shelter websites for visitations and volunteer policies before assuming they are open to the public during this time.
  • A simple bird seed- or hummingbird feeder hanging by a window can offer hours of restful watching. Wildlife happens everywhere if you look for it. Even in the city. Or propagated. Such as setting up a fish tank, getting gerbils or guinea pigs. As well, backyard chickens can supply fresh eggs! There are many animals waiting to provide charitable opportunities to humans needing a calm repose, relaxation, and/or renewal.

Often simple solutions are gifted to us from our 4 legged- or feathered friends. Animals impart healthy wisdom by living in the moment of NOW and ACCEPTING WHAT IS.
An excellent lesson at this time that we all should heed. Wendell Berry provides an appropriate summary to this article with his insightful poem, “The Peace of Wild Things”.

“The Peace of Wild Things”
by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me and
I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Do YOU Participate on TeachersPayTeachers? If so…
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Copyright 2020 by Patty Ann – Article Reprints Granted by Permission Only.

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Live Your TRUTH!

Living your truth means taking ownership of every facet of your being. It means being aware- and accountable for your thoughts in action. And how your behaviors impact others.

However, to acknowledge and embrace your feelings is the root of true healing. Ownership empowers yourself with choices that produce favorable outcomes. From this self-responsible point you enable appropriate interactions. And communicate with others through sharing perspectives–and with ease.

Living Your Truth means abiding by how you feel at all times. By allowing your emotional state to reveal itself, this opens a doorway to accessing your truth within; finding true happiness; and accepting what is.

To illustrate this perspective: I had a four year estrangement from my adult children after divorcing. Those years challenged my belief systems to great lengths and beyond. I constantly railed against the question of WHY? My children and I had always been very close. They even encouraged the divorce over the years. Yet when I enacted it, I became their nemesis. It took a long while to discover it wasn’t about WHY it happened. “IT” was about my evolution. (Years later the WHYs were revealed.)

During those estranged years, I had work to do on ME. Namely, about getting my learned behavior- and thought patterns rearranged. And so, I dove deep. Into my entrenched beliefs. One that embedded deep-seated patterns from my family of origin and white-washed into my own. This unraveled profound emotions I had long denied. In retrospect this time out afforded me to complete this critical task.

My generation of women grew up with expectations of our place in society; and in our families. It was one of subservience. We denied our own feelings. In putting others before ourselves we diminished our own self worth. Tradition held we followed in our mother’s footsteps. As independent, capable and accomplished as I had been in my life; I started over. Dissecting my beliefs one by one. Examining circumstances I helped co-create. Letting my feelings and emotions out of my box to explode.

There was no blaming anyone, but myself for how I felt. I had to own my enabling participation in this estrangement dance. And troll out my life long habits. There was one big lesson in the midst: my feelings were perfectly valid- and natural. They were mine. And not to be buried or denied anymore.

The gifts were great. In care taking my feelings my interactions changed with my children. However, living my own truth was not always easy. Even after reconciliation. It challenged all of us to transcend our old ways. To become the next best and higher version of our self.

Thereafter, I set firm behavior boundaries. For my own health.  There was no falling back to antiquated paradigms. No more blurred innuendos. No more allowing expectation setting from others. Adopting a self-less modality allowed cooperative conversations. Communication with clarity emerged. Owning my feelings meant I took responsibility. “I statements” explained clearly to others how I perceived their actions; and how it affected me. This act is powerful because it allows others the opportunity to reflect without blame. And hear your requests. “I Statements” are key to healing all communication upsets.

Years later my son told me that I had always put my loyalties to the family above my own happiness. His statement spoke truth. I knew this in my heart, but denied myself all along. Life lessons that slam hard are meant for us to take ownership. Of our behaviors and thinking habits that may no longer serve us. BUT! It is our feelings when acknowledged that will pave the way to our truths.

Changing life-long feeling denial takes practice to re-habituate. Use feeling-awareness to familiarize and rewire new habit patterns. Be cognizant that different situations will arise to test your new found truths.  Lessons will repeat in diverse ways until your psyche becomes accustomed to this new healthy normal. Learn to recognize the hooks. Don’t take them personal. Acknowledge and validate your feelings and emotions. And know that these synchronized ‘tests’ are reminders to help you live your truth.

Below are books that offer related perspective, guidance and support. (Covers are linked.)

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.

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For the Love of Animals

Growing up dinners were meat and potatoes. Salad was a side dish. Tasteless iceberg lettuce leaves. And a dalop of bottled dressing. That is how it was.

Now my dinners are salads. Deliciously accessorized. With dried cranberries. Raisins. Almonds. Mandarin orange slices. Chopped apples, carrots and broccoli. The leaves are now spinach. Sometimes, its dabbed with dressing. Homemade.

Truth be Told-My Version

Writing an article of this nature was inconceivable 20 years ago. But personal journeys are too compelling to ignore. And this is one begs to shout out.

Lifetime habits and media marketing convinced me that our bodies would wither without protein. And meat was the only way to get it. Learned behaviors followed. Even raised my adult kids to follow suit. Hotdogs filled with animal beaks, feet, organs, skin. The left overs. The stuff that grosses us out. The jerky and pepperoni sticks. Then there was that Oscar Meyer Wiener Song. Still have that song stuck in my trained head.

Honestly I tried to cut down on meat consumption. “Try” is a word that means “Failed at”. When a spouse is a carnivore. When your children want to fit in. Foregoing meat is asking for a peer reduction. Now, it’s perhaps not as radically alienating as previous times. But people still raise eye brows when saying you don’t eat meat. It’s like announcing you are moving to the Arctic Circle. As in: Why would you do that? Lunch and dinner invites dwindle. It can make others feel uncomfortable. Often friends think us vegetarians are judging them. I don’t. Everyone has their own path for what is right for them. And I tell my friends this often. Even for other topics outside their meal habits.

For the Love of Animals?

My family of origin and the thereafter LOVES animals. We are fanatical about our four legged fur friends. We coddle, hug, and love on our pets. And adamantly claim our love for all animals. Then sit down to dinner and eat one. Somehow we justified this. Because it came wrapped pretty in cellophane. The true story of that cow we ate, was ignored. It never happened. It was easy to separate our fur babies out from those who really kept us alive. I began to wonder. How could I honor my own animals and not these others? Wasn’t it logical to have the same reverence for all animals? This challenging thought began banging around in my head.

Learned habits do not make conscious connections easy. Conduct has its own mindset to which we apparently are puppeteered. Once I entered solo living there came space to examine a whole lot in myself. Such as? My habits. Entrenched learned behaviors. False beliefs. And, ah–yes, robotic thoughts that lead to all that.

Really. I had longed to not eat meat. And. There was no more blaming a family that I no longer had. Morally, intrinsically it felt wrong to cannibalize another living being to use its “protein” to gratify my body. I mean: What was I thinking. More so, what had I been taught?

The Dawning of Differences

As I aligned consciously I began to taste differences. Namely between organic and store bought meats. The latter tasted plastic. As if fed filled with growth hormones or worse. I was aware of feedlots as a child. Specifically when my parents drove by that section on Highway 90. Staring out the back seat window I was horrified. Cows in dung filled lots waiting. Eating their own feces. Waiting some more. I wondered if they knew. It hurt my gut to look upon them knowing. And yet I ate meat. The veil pulled back over my eyes. As long as I chose not to see them as conscious living beings, cow eating was not a sin.

Human consumption of meat is voracious. And, nowadays at an all-time high. Meat animals are now processed no better than fast food. I often wonder if animal souls stand beside their abused bodies while waiting their execution.

Okay. I know about now I’ve lost readers. Maybe even some friends. But know this: I do NOT condemn anyone for the choices they make. I have many meat eating friends; including my children! Does that make them bad people? NO! Truth be told, I fall of my soapbox once in a blue moon. Evolution takes time. Rome was not built in a day.

Benefits Behold

While pursuing meat free sainthood I discovered amazing side effects. Namely for my health. A plant based diet afforded me far more energy than I ever imagined. Also, clarity of mind. Regular intestinal flow. Okay I’ll say it > BMs. Additionally, I by pass doctors. Haven’t seen one in years.

And to trump popular opinion, it IS less expensive to eat fruit, veggies, nuts, legumes. You’d be surprised where protein can be found in foods. Once I no longer visited the meat counter a whole new world of other foods appeared. Its abundant and plentiful.

World Concerns

Growing animals for food is not earth sustainable. The amount of land rape to accommodate harvesting meat has severe consequences to our climate. The sheer non-logic of what humans do is nonsensical. Humans are genetically designed for a plant diet. Why use an intermediary animal to process plants that are designed to go directly to us? Nowadays animals are not eating proper plant nutrients because they are abused for consumption. Pumped with hormones and faux foods. What is natural about this insanity? Do you realize growing plants vertically in buildings consumes far less resources and land?

The Contrast Continues

Sometimes I think animal consciousness will rebel and co-conspire to poison the human race. But in fact, it is humans who are doing it to themselves via an inhumane model!

This is not one of my soft and sweeter blogs. It’s blatant. I own it. But I do hope its enlightened you to eat less animal meat. Or to buy organic if possible. At the minimum bless and thank the animal you eat each and every time. After all a bit of good intention prevails over none at all. 😉

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.

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Patty Ann’s Pet Project 2019 Year End News!

Fall into Winter Greetings for 2019!
In this newsletter: *Wintertime Pet Care Tips & *Updates from

Wintertime Animal Care & Comfort Tips

Many folks still believe animals can withstand all weather. But for domesticated animals, their ancestral hardiness has been bred out in favor of show ring- and indoor qualities. Dogs, cats, horses and others are affected by severe climates. Therefore, here are some common sense winter time tips & ideas to share:

  • A make shift or natural shelter can help. A board fence can serve as a wind break. A grove of trees can be a storm shelter, or a sun shade.
  • There are many options and reasonable, portable shelters for purchase in the marketplace now–even for livestock.
  • Let outside animals have a break inside. Bring them into the garage, a basement, or a barn. Even a cubby hole inside a haybale is refuge.
  • If pets must be outside provide any type of shelter; be it a cardboard box. Put an electric blanket or heating pad inside, or a heat lamp overhead.
  • All animal breeds have inexpensive waterproof warm apparel available.
  • Provide (preferably tepid) clean water to drink. Check water buckets daily.
  • Feed high protein foods, or grains, that help keep animals warm.
  • Pet and hug your animals daily – Let them know YOU CARE! 🙂 News

Running an epublishing business certainly has its road bumps. Over the last couple years the marketplace has become extremely challenging. Here are some insights…
  • First, ebook host sites are taking larger commissions from authors. 🙁
  • Second, sadly there is a lot of plagiarism. There are those who buy best selling products and reproduce the content verbatim. Then re-sell it as their own. It appears no one respects copyrighted materials anymore.
  • Third, every genre in e-publishing is saturated making competition fierce causing reactive price wars that are commonplace and prolific.

These issues have affected my e-publishing efforts immensely. I have produced far more products to compensate for the above, yet the return has not kicked in…yet. Therefore the aforementioned has pushed me to re-prioritize.

Progress Continues Regardless!

This year I re-opened my ETSY store. I developed more artsy products that are more in line with what ETSY offers. I also closed a few test market stores that proved unproductive. It’s an ongoing adventure and discovery in epublishing. Pinterest has been my main source for advertising. Therefore I have developed interesting pins that have have had wide audience appeal. Pins link to my products and/or to my BLOGworthy articles. Of course animals are a center stage feature to help the Pet Project cause. Some samples below are linked:

I continue to support animal rescues via proceeds when available, albeit silently. I no longer advertise donation recipients openly, thus my Pet Project Facebook Group Page is now used solely to support and promote animal comforts, and cause awareness.

I hope this year end brings you a peaceful closure to 2019.
Happy Holidays Ahead to Each One of YOU!
~ Patty Ann

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The Power of Pinterest

For those new to Pinterest or those wanting another users point of view, read on!

What is Pinterest?
Foremost Pinterest is a search engine that leads to ALL of the pins/boards/videos/people posted on Pinterest. It’s akin to searches found at Etsy, Amazon or eBay.

Pinterest is unique in that pins are selected and repinned on other boards. There pins can be picked up again (and again) and re-shared to more boards. This exponential sharing is the power of Pinterest. By design re-pins expand a pin’s viewing audience.

About Pinterest Profiles, Boards & Pins
A Pinterest profile is a webpage that contains boards. Profile owners can create new boards- or join existing boards. Inside each board is a collection of pins. There are 2 types of boards: personal and collaborative (group). Personal boards contain pins procured by the board owner. Collaborative, or group, boards invite others to join. Group boards offer a variety of pins on themed subjects.

Join and/or Create Group Boards
Anyone can create a group board. And invite other Pinterest users to pin on their board. You can also ask to join a group board. Joining a board allows you to post a pin on it. When you join a collaborative board it also displays on your profile page. Joining group boards is a great way to have your items mixed with like kind pins for more exposure. (Group boards are recognized by the sectioned circle icon on the left lower corner of a board.)

If you want to join a board, contact its owner. The board description may provide their email–or the URL contains their profile name. Send them a private message. Be sure to FOLLOW the board -FIRST- so you can be sent an invite to join.

Ideas to Organize Your Boards
There are many ways to set up your profile cover page. There is no magic formula. Realize your profile boards can- and will change over time. You can move/edit/delete/rename boards at anytime. For my profile I have presently arranged the boards in this manner:

  1. My first 3 boards contain products from my stores at:; TeachersPayTeachers, and Etsy. The 4th board has my photography and fine art as it’s a distinct category. Searchers prefer to target specific board types, so accurate board titles are vital.
  2. The next 5 are group boards I created: 1- eBook Stop n Shop; 2 – Books of Discovery 3- Education 4 All; 4- Graphic Arts Design Resources;  5- Career & Vocational Resources. These boards were created for my own pins, namely because I could not find any genre specific boards on Pinterest. I also invited others to join the boards who had similar pins to provide a variety of pins for viewers.
  3. Next there are my other interest boards: Communication in Relationships; Ethics & Critical Thinking Activities; Mental Health Mindfulness; Videos by; DiY Home Projects, + more. In all I have 18-20 boards. The rest of the boards are collaborative boards I joined. Board arrangements can be changed anytime.

Viewing Pinterest Profiles & Boards
People landing on your profile page want to know who and what your boards are all about. Since profiles can have many boards, people may view only the top rows. Therefore, when arranging boards, think of the visual experience you want to create for your audience. If you offer products to sell it is wise to put these boards upfront. Remember if someone is searching a particular topic they will pull up your board(s) and/or pin(s) if it fits their search. So do not fret about the perfect board display.

If you don’t see a group board to meet your needs > Create one! Then invite others to join. That was the case for my group boards. The intent was not only to showcase my pins, but invite like-kind pins. Now others ask to join my boards because they have pins that fit–and my boards are actively viewed.

Note: If a board receives few pins, views or action > change the board title, and description, to make it more attractive. The success of a group board depends on its owner.

TiPs for Collaborative Board Owners
If you create a board and want to attract quality pins, you MUST monitor board activity. Here are some tips:

  • Upfront in the description tell your audience what the board is about -and how to contact you. Post rules on what is- and is not- acceptable to pin.
  • When you get a request to join your board, click back to that person’s profile–before sending an invite. Check to see if their pins will fit your board. Otherwise spam can occur.
  • If a person posts off topic pins message them and request they comply to the board rules. I always give 1-3 courtesy warnings. If they don’t comply I block them from my board. Many folks just block pinners without notice. Sometimes pins get misplaced. Or their pin scheduler is not set up correctly. I believe it’s fair to warn folks, so they can modify their pinning habits.
  • You alone are responsible for the integrity of your board. View your group boards at least weekly. Keep them spam free. And cohesive to the board theme. Pinners and viewers appreciate a board that is true to its description.
  • Only create the number of group boards you are willing to monitor. My limit is 5 because I do not want to review, or police, my boards more than once a week. Do what fits you best.

Pinterest Takes Time to Grow
Like any social media, growing your Pinterest profile and following takes time. I started on Pinterest in 2012?- but did not become regularly active until 2017. That is when I truly realized the potential Pinterest offered. I only market through Pinterest. Because a picture IS worth 1000 words! And, it’s just fun to look at others creations.

The beauty of your Pinterest profile is that its active 24/7. And, a fun way to create and showcase our passions and talents. In any event, I hope this info provided a tad more insight to your Pinterest adventures!

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.