From the Brave Girl Camp recipe collection…buttermilk syrup and waffled french toast

You will never choose maple syrup again…

(Note from Kathy…Warm and buttery homemade syrup over crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on the-inside french toast made in a WAFFLE maker…I’m telling you, you MUST make this incredible recipe from Chelsea & Kallie  (my daughters) as soon as possible! They have made this for us several times at Brave Girl Camp and family events and I asked Chels to do a guest post for us today to share it with our Brave Girl friends…it’s a perfectly DELICIOUS recipe for any fall morning. Enjoy!! xoxoxoxo)

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At my house, this is our very favorite breakfast.  My sister, Kallie shared her Buttermilk Syrup recipe with us and now we make it every chance we get.   Saturday breakfast, breakfast for dinner, breakfast with friends, breakfast at the cabin, Christmas breakfast…

You are definitely going to want to try this creamy, delicious Buttermilk Syrup, served over Waffled French Toast.



When the recipe starts like this…

…it’s bound to be delicious, right?  Right.

Begin by melting 1 cube (1/2 cup) of butter in a deep, heavy saucepan.   Add 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of buttermilk, 1 Tbsp vanilla and 1 tbsp corn syrup and bring to a boil.  Next, add 1/2 tsp baking soda and this…

…will turn into this!

It makes it so foamy and delicious.  You are going to love it, I promise.

(I found this bottle at the $1 store…it’s just perfect for this syrup!)

Now on to the french toast.   First, you will need 6 thick slices of bread (sourdough is especially yummy).   Combine 2 eggs, 2/3 cup milk, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp vanilla and a pinch of salt.  Wisk together until it is mixed well.

Dip the bread in the egg mixture, coating each side well.  Normally, you would put in onto a hot griddle (which happens to be ALMOST as delicous), but we like to use our waffle iron.  This add a wonderful crispness to the edges and creates perfect little pockets to hold on to that yummy syrup!

Plate yourself up a couple pieces….and don’t even think about being stingy with the syrup!  You could serve it with bacon & eggs, hashbrowns & ham, but to be honest, this little beauty might be all you need.

Heaven.

You will be glad you tried it….and so will your family…mine sure was!

Enjoy!

You gotta meet Florence…and how girls change the world

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about girls. About their natural strengths and gifts, and how they are so often undervalued in our world.

I am blessed with a remarkable daughter who has brought many of her joyful, creative friends into our home. To raise a daughter is to be immersed in the natural exuberance of girls. And have you met my sisters and nieces? My amazing mother? My girlfriends? All of them creative, fearless, funny, loyal, loving; all of them fierce mother bears when they need to be.

These are qualities that change lives; qualities that are changing our world.

Meet my friend, Florence, who lives in war-torn Nigeria. I call her my sister across the sea. Florence is a young widow with no formal education, and though unmarried women have little stature in her community, she is caring for six children. Some of them are her own, and some of them are orphans from the war.

Organizations that try to help communities like the one in which Florence lives have discovered an incredible, previously untapped resource.  Women.

Given a chance and a little hope, a woman will find a way to take care of her children. She will do what it takes to care for others’ children, as well. (If you are a girl, you know that this is absolutely the truth.) She will joyfully support the efforts of other women.

Together, they will figure out how to clothe, feed, and educate the young and the helpless.

They will sing together in the light of their kerosene lamps and laugh and cry together as they undertake the enormous task of rebuilding their communities.

They will fill their homes with color and love as they weave their torn and broken lives back together.

Women are amazing that way. I am so proud to be Florence’s friend. And I am filled with hope when I remember the other women in my life, the joy and strength in those women.

What is it that really makes the world go ‘round, anyway? Is it money? Politics? Power? No. I absolutely believe that it’s much simpler than that (thank goodness). It’s….

hanging onto hope, no matter what

recognizing, when no one else does, when someone needs a hand to hold

searching for joy, and always finding it somewhere

creating something only you could envision

nurturing and loving those who cannot take care of themselves

being a real friend

Girls make the world go ‘round, by being brave enough to do whatever it takes to create a beautiful, light-filled world, wherever they may be.


Save the date….this is going to be so gooooood! ***Updated with FAQs

I wanted to personally invite all of you to look into the online workshop that we have coming up in January…it is going to be sooooo wonderful and the next best thing to being at Brave Girl Camp. I LOOOOVE teaching this curriculum and I love the transformations and deep restorations that take place through these fun and meaningful exercises, projects and assignments. It truly is life-changing and I hope you’ll make time in  your life to do this for yourself. I can’t wait to spend 6 weeks with you!!!! We are working nonstop on videos, pdfs, instructions and lots of other surprises that you’ve probably never seen or experienced in online workshops….we want to blow your mind with how wonderful this will be…..

Register HERE for the class……informational video and FAQ page coming soon…..make sure you save the date, though…this promises to be one of the VERY MOST IMPORTANT things you will ever ever do for yourself……you won’t want to miss it.

xoxo

melody

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is the purpose or the intended outcome of this workshop?

A:  If you know anything about Brave Girl Camp, you know that the workshops developed and artfully taught by Melody Ross are truly life changing. Her heart-penetrating curriculum is unlike anything you have seen before, and she presents it in true ‘Melody’ style….fun, enjoyable, meaningful, and extremely relatable. She combines her own stories and life experiences with ‘soul crafting’  (creative art projects, collage, journaling, etc.) to teach women from all over the world how to get unstuck, back on track, and restored to their best self.

Soul Restoration is this curriculum and more….

What we intend to provide in this workshop is an effective and enjoyable process of getting every woman  to really really think and hear her own soul again…to help her remember what brings her the most joy, to know of & remember all of the things that she is good at and that make her heart sing…to get back and track and to unleash the courage and motivation to stay on track….to reunite with her soul.

This workshop is a method of helping each woman become reacquainted with her deepest self through remembering and reuniting her with her inner ‘Truth-Teller’. She will be helped to discern truth from lies that hold her back and make her feel less than who she is…to remember her dreams, her potential, her gifts and talents, all the possibilities and unique answers for her life (because it is different for each of us). This curriculum is intended to enable each woman to find and then keep the bravery it needs to stay joyfully true to her own path.

Because it will take bravery to guide her life by the truths that she has found and remembered, and to put aside voices that are confusing, judgmental, and opinionated, this curriculum is intended to continue beyond the 6 weeks that we are together, giving each woman a set of skills and beautiful tools that will carry her throughout her life.

Read HERE and HERE the testimonials of women who have worked through this curriculum.
Q:   What exactly is an eWorkshop or online workshop?

A:   An eWorkshop or online workshop is simply a worldwide class where we will meet virtually over the internet. You can participate in this class from the comfort of your home or wherever you have a computer!  This eWorkshop will include videos, blog entries and comments, downloadable PDFs, and live chats. You can participate in the lessons whenever the timing is best for you…you do not have to be present at a certain time.

It is SUCH a fun way to do a class, and we will be doing it together as women from all walks of life, of all ages, from all over the world. We intend to make this as personal as possible so that we can all feel like we are actually together! We wish we could have EVERY WOMAN come to Brave Girl Camp, but this is the next best thing and will enable women from all over the world to participate in this life-changing and soul-restoring curriculum.

Q.   What kind of time do I need to be able to participate in this workshop?

A.   The most important things you need for the Soul Restoration eWorkshop are:

  • COMMITMENT to the assignments, and
  • an OPEN AND WILLING HEART

We want you to have one of the most wonderful experiences of your life, so before you decide to sign up for this workshop, we ask that you truly commit to doing the weekly assignments.

Each assignment can take anywhere from 2-8 hours or more…..depending on how much time you want to spend making things artsy (this is not a requirement, only a personal preference).

You can truly work through the assignments in a few hours a week….but we think you will find that you will get lost in the enjoyment of them and spend beautiful hours working through the curriculum. Once you find your heart again, you will want to hold on to it fiercely and spend every minute that you can with it.

If you don’t think you can spend at least a few hours a week on this workshop, it might not be the best time for you to sign up.  We don’t want you to feel overwhelmed or like you are missing out.

Our suggestion is that you decide on a time allotment each week and then stick to it….early Sunday morning for 3 or 4 hours….late Thursday nights…every lunch hour….whenever it works for you…just commit to a time.

Again, we want you to have a beautiful experience…and this workshop truly can be described as an experience. We promise that your commitment and sacrifice will pay off.

Q:   How will this eWorkshop operate?

A:   Like every Brave Girls Club activity, this workshop will be a life-changing series of activities that you’ll experience in creative and enjoyable ways.

A few times a week, for 6 weeks, a new lesson will be presented on the class blog (you’ll have a special password).

Each lesson will include a short, meaningful and fun presentation by Melody Ross (with a few special guests now and then) and a creative and wonderful assignment for you to work on, along with a PDF worksheet to download with journal prompts, etc., to help you.

Each week there will also be a video with new art techniques to use on your assignment and special video messages created JUST for you.

Along the way, there will also be podcasts to download that you can listen to in your car or anywhere else you may be going.  There will also be a lot of community interaction with the other class members and opportunities to share photos of your projects.

Q.   What supplies will I need? Do I need to have artistic talent or experience?

A.   You will be sent a Class Kit containing your base supplies, including the books you will be working in, the curriculum packet, and a lovely selection of embellishments to play with. Aside from that, you will need the following:

  • some good waterproof pens
  • Mod Podge or other collage adhesive
  • paintbrushes for applying adhesive
  • scissors
  • photocopies of photos of yourself that you want to work with
  • Optional supplies:
    • acrylic craft paint (highly recommended)
    • rubber stamps and inks
    • pretty papers,
    • personal ephemera (things that are unique to you…mail, wrappers, receipts, etc.)
    • any embellishments you might enjoy using.

In addition, you will be given access to several videos showing art techniques that you might want to use in your projects. We will show how WE used those techniques and supplies, and if you find that they are calling to you, there will be a supply list and you can get the supplies at that time.

The curriculum is designed to work with any level of artist or crafter, and also to work with any level or method or medium of being artistic (we work mostly with collage and art journals) …which means that if you only have scissors, glue, and a pen, the class will still work for you.
Please don’t let that hold you back.  You do not have to be an “artist”…these are activities that will bring you back to your childhood fun!)

The most important part of the class is the curriculum and how much of your heart you put into it.

Class kits will begin shipping out on Dec. 1, 2010…so it is important that you register for your class early so that you will receive your kit in time for the class launch on Jan 11, 2011.

If you register later than that…do not worry! We will get your class kit to you as soon as possible and give you ideas for other things to use for your assignments while you are waiting for your kit.

Q.   Who would most benefit from taking this workshop?

A.   This curriculum is written for your soul. Melody has a true gift of combining deeply meaningful and effective exercises with fun and humor …along with moments of soul-penetrating seriousness and meaning. Women and girls of all ages love her style.

We believe that anyone and everyone can benefit tremendously from this workshop. We have found that this curriculum is very effective in helping women deal with feeling stuck, the effects of trauma, relationship issues, life changes…struggles and challenges and pain of every variety.  Melody has lived through just about all of it and has come out on the other side with all sorts of tools to share to get through it beautifully.

Women come to Brave Girl Camp from a countless variety of circumstances…but we have found that every human being has a story…that this life isn’t a cake walk for any of us.  Many women are simply broken…they walk around with huge smiles on the outside and broken hearts on the inside. There is much about life that can break us every day. This is not a bad thing…rather it is an essential part of life and a non-negotiable part of our individual journey.

Sometimes though, we are left in a place where we don’t know what to do with our brokenness. This curriculum helps with that. This curriculum helps us get back onto our OWN unique path…it helps us see what is holding us back and how to deal with it and move forward in spite of it.  This curriculum is designed to get us back to a place of joy and purpose….to start thriving instead of just surviving.

Women who are not feeling broken also benefit….coming away with a personal clarity of purpose and a renewed commitment to living out their unique purpose in life.  This curriculum is for anyone who senses deeply that there is a better way to live and wants to do whatever it takes to get to a place of peace, joy, and purpose in their lives….no matter what difficult circumstances they are dealing with. This curriculum is designed to REMIND us of important things that our souls already know, but that life experiences have made us too tired, afraid, angry, hurt, or jaded to remember.

This curriculum was designed not to CHANGE any of us into someone different, but to RESTORE us to who we always have been and who we are meant to become….which is different for each one of us.

Q. Can I still take the online workshop if I have been to Brave Girl Camp or if I plan on attending Brave Girl Camp?

A. Absolutely! Soul Restoration Online Workshop and Brave Girl Camp enrich each other. Each of the experiences are ongoing and dynamic, and compliment each other. Many Brave Girl Camp attendees have already registered for Soul Restoration because they want to continue working on the commitment they made to themselves to stand in their own truth and take care of their souls. Soul Restoration online workshop is a great way to do this. Many Brave Girl Camp attendees also continue to return to Brave Girl Camp to refuel their hearts and souls and for the camaraderie and continued learning and growth. These experiences are perfect to combine!

Q.  Is there a maximum number of students allowed?

A.  You will definitely be able to get into the class because there are an unlimited number of seats available. We will be making sure that it is a beautiful and personal experience for everyone….. but we definitely want to be able to accommodate as many women as possible.

Q. If I sign up now and find that I cannot participate, or if any other reason arises, can I get a refund?

A. We hope you will think carefully about whether this is the right time in your life to take part of this powerful course. Because of the preparation that must take place long before the class begins and simply because of logistics, refunds are not available once the course is purchased. We know you understand.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER



Straight From the Hearts of the October Brave Girls….

Just over a week has gone by since we all returned home from October Brave Girl Camp. The fun times and soul engravings still linger everywhere in my mind and heart….and I know it’s pretty much the same for everyone who was there. It just happens like this every time. Just like always…the only thing I would change about camp is that EVERY SINGLE WOMAN I KNOW could be there to experience it. Every time we have another camp….it makes me remember all of the camps before it, and miss all of the girls from all of the past camps…and to see all of this grow into something so big and beautiful and lasting is a miracle that I wish everyone could experience. That is why we are working so hard to open a retreat center where we can do camps at least twice a month…….for now….I just want to share with you what the girls of THIS camp have to say about it. We want you to experience all of this magic too….and for now, we are creating an online class with the Brave Girl Camp curriculum and as much of the magic of camp as we can fit into it…you can find out more about that here.

Here are the thoughts of many of the girls…and since we just started this blog last month…I also want to go back sometime soon and pull the blog posts from the Brave Girl Camp alumni of the past year….for now, let me introduce you to some of the many wonderful women of October…(in no particular order because they are all equally spectacular!)

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Here’s Kolleen……she has written quite a few posts about her experience….here’s one of my favorite quotes she wrote…

I can honestly say i watched a moment change everything for many many women….i think they would all agree when i say “we are all forever changed.”


See Kolleens blog posts here and here and most recently here

her blog is at http://heartwingsisters.blogspot.com

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Here’s Bonnie Rose, she had a wonderful, restorative experience….she was a special and unforgettable part of camp, and she has been so generous with sharing all of the details of what was so meaningful to her. It is so fun to read what everyone has to say after camp!

Be sure to scroll through the last few weeks of Bonnie’s blog, because she has posted a LOT about Brave Girl Camp…the experience of being there as well as the effects that camp has had on her life since she returned home…..some of the blog posts are here and here and here.

Bonnie’s blog can be found at http://alifeunrehearsed2.blogspot.com

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We had the amazing experience of having THREE girls at this camp who attending our VERY FIRST CAMP one year ago…it was so much fun to share our first anniversary with them so we could all celebrate how far Brave Girl’s Club has come in just one year…one of these beautiful girls was Connie…she actually came as staff….I loved reading what she had to say about the difference in coming as a guest and a staffer…

You can find brave Connie’s blog post here

http://conniecapron.blogspot.com/2010/10/bgc-beginning.html

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Kelly is angelic and unforgettable….we all got to bask in her lovely glow and her pure zest and love for life and people…she has really written some beautiful posts about camp and post-camp….I am loving reading her posts…

Kelly’s posts can be found here and here and here

and more too at http://kelly-loveismyreligion.blogspot.com

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Mikal is lovely and she has a powerful, calming presence. I looooved having her at camp, we all did. It was wonderful to read her post-camp blog post and have her explain her feelings about things…I love how she put it all into words…

You can read her first post here and another one here

Mikals blog is http://mikalslanding.blogspot.com

p.s…..just in case you were wondering…beautiful Mikal’s name is pronounced just like “Michael”

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We all so enjoyed spending time with Lynda. With so many women in one place…the quiet ones are hard to get to sometimes, Lynda was a bright and shining light….in her quiet way….and camp would not have been the same without her…

See Lynda’s beautiful post here

and Lynda’s blog is http://positive-force.blogspot.com

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Lara is soulful and artsy….a professional photographer by trade…her art speaks volumes

she is also a blast to be around and we all loved having her & her great laugh there

here’s Lara’s blog post

and her blog can be found at http://modernprairiegirl.com

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Chrissy just might be my brunette twin….well, we just like the same clothes and all…and she actually came out of her room several times at camp wearing clothes that I also own. So….we had lots in common. BUT…that’s not what’s so fabulous about Chrissy…..she is just full of so much love and she shared it all with us all throughout camp. She is a ray of sunshine for sure….

You can see Chrissy’s blog posts here and here

So much loveliness……….

I know some of the girls are still working on blog posts, too….so I will be sure to post those when they are done!

Today is my 39th Birthday. I have never been so happy in every single way in all of my life. I can not tell you how overwhelmed with joy I feel on this day that I get to do this…..this beautiful thing called Brave Girl’s Club…this magical experience called Brave Girl Camp……I have to pinch myself every day to make sure it’s real…..so FAR BEYOND a dream come true. I wish every woman could experience this joy. As I said before, we are doing our best to make this happen. I hope you will check out our upcoming online class….SOUL RESTORATION……it is as close to the Brave Girl Camp experience as you can get without actually being there.

Sending out SO MUCH LOVE.

xoxo

melody



Before I begin this wild blogging party…..

I’m getting ready to share with you all about our October Brave Girl Camp….from my perspective, but I especially want to share the words and photos that many of the graduates have been sharing on their blogs….before I begin, though…

I want to share something first about what I am feeling as I look over the photos from camp…not just THIS camp, but all of the camps we have had so far….something huge is standing out for me….I want to tell you about something that makes me happier than happy….and it’s so simple really…so simple that I don’t understand why it doesn’t happen more often….because it seems to make everyone happy that sees it or does it….I am thinking right now about how often it happens at Brave Girl Camp…and then, after…how each group continues to be in each other’s lives in the most positive ways….it is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING.

What is this simple thing? Well…I love when I see people lifting the spirits of other people….especially when those doing the lifting have heavy burdens of their own. The miraculous part of it all is that when we lift the burdens of others….somehow OURS are lifted…and for a moment…no one is carrying a burden. It is one of the crazy miracles of life.

People often come to camp full of lots of brokenness, hauling around pain and trials that are so heavy, sometimes they have been lugging these enormous weights for a lifetime. Within the first 24 hours….I see these broken people all doing everything they can to put each other back together. I think that’s why so much happens so fast there….because there’s so much beautiful-ness coming from so many women in every direction…and it just HAPPENS….no one tells anyone to do it…they just do….it is a miracle that I wish I knew the formula to…because the world would be a different place if we all treated each other the way I see women treating each other at every single camp.

I always always always hear at least a few BGC attendees….often many more than a few….comment on how they have rarely been in a group of women that whose main intentions are to lift each other up, rather than tear each other down.

Why is that? Why is it that we hold all of this power in us…as women….to really lift each other up…to encourage, to remind, to support, to love and adore without conditions or expectations? We have all of this enormous power to actually HEAL each other!!! And yet, it often goes unused….and even sometimes that power gets used to destroy rather than to build. We have so much responsibility with this gift we have been given.It once again makes me want to try harder. It makes me want to reach out more and more and more. It makes me want to truly truly truly SEE more people…not just LOOK…but really SEE who they are what they are about….and if they can’t see all of that beauty that’s inside of them…I want to do all that I can to show them. Because I have seen what kind of miracles can happen.

It teaches me once again that in times of burden and hardship and pain….one of the fastest ways to be relieved of the weight of it all is to lift another person up….it is like their lifted iron burdens become a magnet that swoops our own heavy metal burdens up with theirs…..until we are all light and free…………

It’s a beautiful thing. I hope we can all do more of it. I hope that more than I hope for just about anything in the world.

*all of these photos were taken by beautiful brave girls…I will be sharing their blog posts with you next!!!

More to come!
xoxo

melody

Lessons on Bravery from a Furry Friend

This is Missie…our family dog. She is a white Shih Tzu who stands up on her hind legs and twirls for treats, plays growly games with my husband, and sleeps near my feet while I work at my computer. My twin daughters, Angela and Tessa, sneak her onto their beds when they can get away with it. She is a sweet part of our family.
A few weeks ago as I was sitting in my home office working on prep for Brave Girl Camp, my neighbor ran up to my door and pounded on it. I ran to the door where she yelled, “Your dog has been hit by a car!” I ran outside and found Missie off to the side of the road where she had drug herself…her head was bloody and her eyes were wide and unresponsive. We live out in ‘farm country’…and the traffic is sparse but very fast. We wrapped her in a towel and rushed her to our veterinarian…

We thought she would die…we thought she was brain damaged…we thought she was blind…we knew her jaw was broken. This is how Missie looked when we brought her home later that week…wired jaw, random shaving, eye stitched partially closed, huge lump of dental cement in her mouth to keep her jaw stable…

All of this happened just a few days before we had to leave for Brave Girl Camp, so of course I brought her with me so I could take care of her and give her all the pills and eye drops and gooey eye ointments that were going to help her get better.

At Brave Girl Camp, she spent most of her time sleeping in her crate, coming out for just a few minutes to eat and do her business and be loved up by the oh-so-wonderful Brave Girls there.

She let me treat her eyes for the first several days, then one day she started growling and biting at me when I came near her. She fought me and scratched at me and shook and cowered and yelped and cried. For 3 days I was unable to get any medicine in her eyes..I tried being loving and kind, I tried being sneaky, I tried holding her down (impossible with her broken jaw), my Mom tried…we tried everything. When she returned to the Vet for a checkup, the results were terrible…her eye was swollen and painful and it looked like she would lose it completely. The medicine was critical, and if I couldn’t find a way to get it in her eye, she would be blind

Now I know that dogs live beautiful lives all the time with just one eye, but all of us were determined to save her vision so her life could be the best it could be…so she could return 100% to how she was before the accident. I suppose some of it was my own well-deserved guilt for not protecting her as well as I should/could have. I had let her out to chase squirrels and knew the risks of the road nearby, but somehow thought it would never happen to her….lots of regret. Lots of determination to make it right.

The frustration was that with her broken jaw, I had to be so careful with her…there was going to be NO forcing her to allow the drops and ointments. No holding her down. No wrestling with her.

I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but one day she just decided to GIVE IN.

She just sat there and looked right into my face (with her one good eye and her funny smile, lol)…and she decided to TRUST ME. She allowed me to help her without fighting me…no more scratching and growling and crying and hiding. Just trust and submission.

When I took her back to the Vet the next week, there had been significant improvement….it looks like her eye will heal completely. We all cheered and celebrated!!! Even Missie was caught up in the excitement and stood up on her back legs and did a little twirly dance right there in the exam room.

So…what have I learned from this little experience?

1. Often what is required in order to heal is that we just stop fighting and scratching and crying and just give in…TRUST…ACCEPT the help we need without running from it…(SUBMIT to our Healer)

2. Life can totally take you by surprise. One moment you can be running around in the sun chasing squirrels, and the next you can be stopped in your tracks by a big mean truck that leaves you bloody and beaten.

3. We need to watch out for each other. We need to be the neighbor who drops everything when she sees someone who needs help…someone who pounds on door until she finds help. Not a weak or selfish or too busy ‘well-intentioned’ neighbor who drives by and sees a tragedy and ‘feels bad’ but DOES NOTHING.

4. When we’re battered and hurting, it’s okay (and necessary) to give ourselves time to rest and restore. In fact, there is no other way to recover or heal.

5. We must do everything we can to protect those we love from dangers that WE know are there, but that they might not be aware of. I have great regret that I failed to do this and caused my little dog such pain. It is not enough to have good intentions…our responsibility to those in our care is to do everything we can to protect them. Tragedies and accidents will still happen, and we have to accept that…but our responsibility and our joy is still to do all we can to take care of each other.

My Mom always said that animals have souls and feelings and emotions of their own…and I’m sure she’s right about that.

Now it’s your turn…I’d love to hear your stories of brave pets and what you’ve learned from them!

love,

kathy