Category Archives: writing

Mourning Mia

Mia 11/26/04 - 08/28/15

Mia 11/26/04 – 08/28/15

I know for some people it’s hard to understand the pain in losing a dog, but I can tell you from experience it is devastating. A few days ago I lost my dog, Mia. She was more than just a family pet. She was the heart of our family. She will be sorely missed by everyone, especially me.

Mia was a King Charles Cavalier who came to live with us in the beginning of January 2005, she was six-weeks-old. She was a tiny ball of chestnut brown and pearly white fur, with a flat nose and big brown eyes. She loved to cuddle and followed me everywhere. Me and my shadow.

It was a difficult time in my life. My son had been diagnosed with autism, my first grandchild was born in West Virginia and I was living in Norway.

Shortly after we got Mia my husband’s job took us to Houston for two years and then three years in the Netherlands. That’s how Mia became an expat and we never regretted taking her with us. She was a comfort out there in the big world. I’ve lost count of how many international flights she spent in a small bag, under the seat in front of me without so much as a whimper. One thing about Mia, she never complained. She was the most patient being I’ve ever met. She was always calm, cool and collected. Totally the opposite of me!

In 2010 Mia was diagnosed with a serious heart problem and the thought of losing her one day was unbearable. That’s when I decided we needed a new puppy. I knew another dog would never replace her, but I hoped when the time came it would help ease the pain. And I think it has.

Khloe, also a King Charles Cavalier came to live with us in July 2011.

Regardless of their different personalities, Mia tranquil and Khloe rambunctious they became good friends. Sisters who played, ate and slept side by side for four years. Since Mia’s passing Khloe has changed, she’s quieter, calmer, completely serene. It’s like she has taken over Mia’s role, I wonder if it will last…

losing Mia has been HARD. I feel SAD. EMPTY. I ache to give her just one more hug.

I have received many comforting messages from friends, neighbors and family around the world, remembering Mia with great fondness and expressing their sorrow. I have also received well wishes from people who never met her, but know or can imagine the pain in losing a beloved pet. For this I am so thankful.

Here are a few pictures from a family album:

Mia as a puppy

Mia as a puppy

When in Houston take your dog to sit on Santa's lap

When in Houston, take your dog to sit on Santa’s lap

Khloe & Mia

Khloe & Mia



The word ecstatic means: Feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement, and that is what I’m doing here today.

I haven’t posted in a very long time. I’m not sure anyone out there remembers this site or will even read this post, but that doesn’t matter.

Let me explain… I do not consider myself a writer.

I am a reader.

I wrote a book that did not come from talent or imagination. It was just me telling my life story, punctuation, spelling errors and all. I started this blog to publicise that book, but soon found myself happier reading other blogs than writing one myself. So I stopped.

Now why am I sitting here today?…  Writing. Good question!

The only answer I can think of is excitement. I’m so excited, I can’t sit still and I want to shout from the roof top.

I’m going to England!

I’ve been there before. Many times actually, but this time is different. This time I’m going on a ‘literary pilgrimage’.

My parents are coming to Norway (where I live) for a visit, this Spring. My mother suggested that maybe her and I could take a little trip, an excursion while they are here. My first thought was Paris but then a friend soon put another idea into my head. Her and her daughter had just purchased cheap tickets to London and asked if we would like to travel with them.

Except for seeing a show and afternoon tea, London didn’t tempt me. Knowing however, that my mother didn’t care where we went, a thought crossed my mind. The same thought that crosses my mind whenever I think of England. Jane Austen.

Jane Austen has long been my favorite author. I’ve read all her books and although pleasurable, not an easy task. At least not for an American like myself. It’s like reading in another language, new and romantic. I love everything about them. While there is plenty of plot and adventure, they are genteelly written and domestically structured around marriage. They are about women.

If you have never attempted to read one of Jane Austen’s novels, you should, or at least see one of the many films based on them. I’ve seen both the Hollywood and BBC versions, (many times over) neither of which disappoint.

For me it’s not just her writing, but the author herself that entices. I want to walk where she has walked. And that is exactly what I am going to do come June, with a trip to Bath and Chawton cottage.

We will be taking a bus trip from London to Bath, stopping off at Stonehenge. Jane Austen lived several years in Bath. Here we will see the Roman Baths, take afternoon tea and of course visit the Jane Austen Centre.

We will also visit Chawton. I have a friend living near London named Claire, who has kindly offered to drive us. We will visit the village and cottage where Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life. The literary shrine where six of our greatest novels were first written or given their final form.

I can already hear the birds singing and I’m ecstatic…

A list of my favorite Austen books, in order:

  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Persuasion (surprise)
  • Pride and Prejudice (usually the most popular)
  • Emma
  • Mansfield Park
  • Northanger Abbey

Start reading, Mom!









NYC Marathon Recap


My daughter ran the NYC marathon… Imagine that!

Originally posted on Marshall Campus Rec:

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope you guys are enjoying the frigid temperatures that we are experiencing right now. Take from a girl who was in Florida 3 days ago, this cold is for the birds.

I have wanted to get around to typing up this post for the last 2 weeks, but with all the travelling, it has been put on the back burner. I finally made it, today is the day.

On Sunday, November 2nd I ran the New York City marathon! I had been looking forward to it for about 8 months, since I found out I got in way back in March. The NYC marathon is set up as a lottery, so you put your name in and you find out if you were accepted months later. There are a lot of people who don’t get in and try for years and years, so when I managed to…

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International Running by Guest Blogger Michele Muth


Everyone’s doing it… even here in Norway.
Running that is :)

Originally posted on Marshall Campus Rec:

As summer is in full swing, I think many of you are out travelling the world. I hope you are enjoying your vacations and getting the most out of them. I recently travelled to the majestic country of Norway for 2 weeks to enjoy nature, eat amazing food, and well… just relax for awhile.

While I was there I had the opportunity to travel to a small coastal town called Farsund to run a half marathon. The original plan was to run the Rock and Roll half in Oslo, but it was cancelled, so I was happy to find that I had another opportunity much closer to where I was staying in Egersund, Norway.

I have run 3 marathons including Marshall and Chicago (twice! Love that city!) and I am happy to say that I have been accepted into the 2014 New York marathon, and I’m running the Disney marathon…

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

So You Want To Be A Writer…


It’s funny how we can affect people we didn’t even know… Thanks, Terry Anne and good luck with your book!

Originally posted on notesonaboardingpass:

I have to admit, being announced as a writer at the recent #FIGT conference was a proud moment. It had long been a dream of mine and my eventual epiphany was inspired by a borrowed book. That book would eventually lead me to a writing retreat in Tuscany, led by Jo Parfitt. At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, it changed my life.

Becoming a writer…in Tuscany Becoming a writer…in Tuscany

I’ve always been envious of people who are diligently committed to their writing, as opposed to simply proclaiming their wish to be a writer, as I had done for years.  Having lived and travelled for twenty-three years in countries strung across the globe, I have nevertheless written every step of the way. Though up until now, those experiences have languished in my journals, begging to be released. They attest to adventures such as safari by camel in Rajasthan, truffle hunting in the Arabian desert…

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Happy Holidays

win a free copy!

Writer Waiting


Oh this shiny new computer…

There just isn’t nothing cuter.

It knows everything the world ever knew.

And with this great computer

I don’t need a writing tutor,

‘Cause there ain’t a single thing that it can’t do.

It can sort and it can spell,

It can punctuate as well.

It can find and file, underline and type.

It can edit and select,

It can copy and correct.

So I’ll have a whole book written by tonight

Just as soon as I can think of what to write.

Shel Silverstein

September’s Member Spotlight: Henrik Muth


A story that’s very near and dear to my heart… My grandson Henrik learns how to swim :)

Originally posted on Marshall Campus Rec:

Not including Labor Day, today marks the “first” Monday of the month. Which means it’s time for another MRC Member Spotlight, easily one of my favorite parts about this blog. Since October of 2012 we’ve posted about one of our inspiring members every month, and while the success of this month’s member might be slightly different than most, he is still an inspiration. Today’s member did not lose any impressive amount of weight (I honestly don’t think that he could if he tried), but he did reach not only a “fitness goal”, but somewhat of a milestone in his young life. Five year old Henrik Muth is September’s Member Spotlight because he has learned how to swim thanks to our swim instructors, specifically Carissa. I asked Carissa to write about her experience with teaching Henrik the ropes in the pool, and her testimonial is below:

“Hey Guys! I’m writing…

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Music to my father’s ears

When I was young my father desperately wanted me to learn how to play the piano. I gave it a try but it just wasn’t my thing…

Flash forward and none of my four, plus one (stepson) seemed any more interested in playing an instrument than I did.

Then our sixth (and last!) child came along. This one was different or should I say Unique, he’s quiet and always keeps to himself. At three-years-old he was diagnosed with autism. Unable to participate in team activities, he started piano lessons. He unenthusiastically played for about three years before moving on to the guitar. A few years went by and he lost interest in that as well.

Sorry Dad, it doesn’t look like the grandkids will be playing for you either.

You can only imagine my surprise when last summer this son, now eighteen came to me and asked if he could start playing bagpipes!

Bagpipes in Norway? Who would teach him? Where would we buy them? And how much do they cost?

I calmed down when he told me he could take lessons online and we didn’t need to buy bagpipes (yet). The first step in learning to play the bagpipes is on a chanter. A chanter by itself doesn’t cost much.

He stuck with it for a whole year, didn’t lose interest and was really starting to sound good. Now convinced that he was serious, off to Scotland we went. We bought bagpipes, ordered a kilt and he attended an intensive bagpiping course in Glasgow.

That was two months ago. He practices everyday and I think he sounds great… Have a listen for yourself.

The first song is Corkhill, the second is Itchy Fingers and the third is Amazing Grace.

This is for you, Dad…


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