Sunday, January 1, 2017

Limited Imaginations.

Where do I begin?
One year ago today?
January 2016, I sat at my computer  contemplating  my past and my future as I do every year and  I struggled for words to define  my  extraordinary 2015 experiences. Looking back that day I was humbled by the fact the universe had opened up a life to me beyond anything I could have imagined.

I remember laughing at my limited imaginations and understanding concerning the myriad paths which life can offer us. When forced to say good bye to my dying sister, I believed my future was inevitable, that my road would be a rough one, struggling  with loneliness and heartache as I trod into 2016.

The loss of my sister’s love and understanding was going to leave a hole that I was positive no one could fill.  She had made the grief of losing my husband bearable. Becoming my editor and sounding board for several of my novels, he picked and pushed me to be the best that I could be. She was my best friend and my best critic, always keeping me on track.
Another of Dali Lama’s principles of spirituality is, “Each moment in which something begins is the right moment.” (And I assume when something ends is the right moment, too, because “there are no mistakes according to the Dali Lama.)

 The very next day after my sister passed, my daughter, whom I had been estranged from for sixteen years, contacted me. From that perfect moment on, my daughter’s love rushed in, overwhelming me and   giving me no time to grieve.
If the sad thought of my sister’s loss popped into my head, it remained only a second, because the joy of my reunion with my daughter filled me.

I believe my sister’s new position in the place where kind generous people go when they cross over, gave her the power to arrange this miracle reunion. Her wonderful family, my son-in-law, two granddaughters and two great grandsons all embraced me.
In my limited thinking, when my sister was so ill,  I believed the only way for my fears of loneliness to be calmed and my dreams  to come true was  for my sister to survive her cancer.
“If you already know how to make your dream come true, you are thinking too small.” Jack Canfield.
I was dreaming too small.
Today as I sit  at my computer, gazing into my future,  I could not dare to  imagine what the new year holds for me. But I do know that  2017 is going to be the best year ever!!
How can I expect less?  
2016 blew me away.  

2016 became a year of reunions.
 I connected with my best friend, Jan Gingold, from high school. We were nearly inseparable then. And yet those whom  we loved with a purity and innocence when we are young somehow get lost in running and the races of growing up. But now as I dust off the memories, time is thin, and I treasure  the love and the laughter, every moment  then and now.
Because all us are connected, our reunion led to other classmates, some whom I didn’t remember and a few others whom I will always hold a place in my heart.

Check out the books of my fellow classmates!

The Lavonne Houlton Compendium

The New Year is going to be monumental!
Click here: Something's Coming! 
Something good!

    Click On the lick below to  reach
Coast to Coast with a Cat and a Ghost is an autobiographical account by Judy Howard, that follows the author's road trip across country after the death of her loving yet at times abusive husband.
When her husband of twenty-five years, Jack, passes away, Howard is faced with an overwhelming sense of loss. She takes to the road in her Winnebago on a journey of self-discovery accompanied by her cat, Sportster, and Jack Incarnate, a life-size stuffed doll she creates with an eerie resemblance to her late husband. During their travels she and Sportster experience the beauty of the land as she resolves her troubled memories through conversations with the doll. She comes to terms with her deep love for her husband despite the abuse that was part of their relationship and discovers how she became a stronger woman for it.
The audiobook is a narrative, both of physical travel and of emotional and spiritual evolvement, says Howard. It leads the reader through the hills and valleys and provides insights to fear and bravery. Howard aims to weave an emotionally-charged narrative with humorous anecdotes and a unique perspective on life, engaging and inspiring the listener.


Going Home With A Cat And A Ghost: In this mystery-romance, Judy Howard ( who shares her name with the author) drives alone on a journey into her past, encountering the ghosts of her teenage years when she was drugged, raped, and had an illegal abortion.
She discovers the ruins of Rt. 66 as she travels alone in her motorhome with her cat Sportster and a life-sized, stuffed doll named Cowboy Jack. Will she also discover who was responsible for raping her forty years ago? Will her attacker pay for his crime four decades later? And will she find the love she lost 40 years ago?
As a widowed baby boomer, Judy Howard approaches her tortured past, her old high school crush, and her 40th high school reunion. She reaches out for what seems impossible. Will she find justice… and love?

Activate Lion Mode:Sportster the cat had always envied the huge cats who lived the big life in the jungle until opportunity sends the motorhome in which he travels veering into a roadside ditch. When strangers whisk away not only his Winnebago, but also his chauffer, Judy, he is alarmed. However, once the dust settles, he purrs a happy tune as he discovers he is free! I He is in the wild! And he is in the Olympic Forest! ACTIVATE LION MODE is just what Sportster does as he spins this yarn in his own words. Living wild and free brings on encounters he never have imagined. The life he dreamed becomes an adventure full of bears, pit bulls, drugs and more. Sportster weaves this story of his incredible journey as only a coddled cat of leisure can do.

Masada's Marine: Masada and her Marine were both born two decades and two thousand miles apart, and both aspired to do be the best that they could be. But first, they had to meet.
Masada began her journey in Illinois as a bumbling golden retriever puppy and emerged twenty months later as a proud, confident American Service Dog, ready and able to protect and preserve the life of Iraq veteran, Alex March, USMC.
Alex’s journey began in California as an ambitious boy who only dreamed of protecting and preserving life for the Corps, his country and his family. Twenty years later, he emerged as one of “a few good men,” and served with honor, courage and commitment …until he came home….
“An unseen attacker, camouflaged in the crowd, cooled its heels like a terrorist. It waited to follow Alex and his family home. How could he have known what lurked on the sidelines? Another war, an invisible war, he knew nothing about and had not been trained to fight.”
Follow Iraq veteran, Alex March, USMC and his American Service dog, Masada, who rescues the wounded warrior, as they become the best they can be.


Walking Point For A Hero

The Making of A Service Dog

By Judy Howard


Masada's Mission: Masada, a bumbling golden retriever puppy, struggles through eighteen months of training to become a lifeline for a veteran with PTSD.

As part of her training, the puppy is assigned to prison life, where she matures and adapts to the cold concrete life of confinement and experiences hair-raising risks, tension, and the ache of loneliness.

She forms unusual bonds, first with Roy, her inmate trainer, and in the end, the total prison population as well.  

When she walks point for her veteran down the graduation aisle, an awe of respect silences the crowd.

Will the readers also be led down the wedding aisle?  Brad and Judy, founders of the K9s for Warriors training facility,  who have reunited after a forty-year separation, face monumental responsibilities that test their relationship as they try to build the dog-training program for veterans.

A touching yet educational story, about the world of service dogs who save veteran lives.
Click on the link below to reach











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