MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

From MAGGIE the dog to FINAL YEARS and Parent Care

You may wonder how I went from writing about my soul mate dog in MAGGIE The Dog Who Changed My Life to writing about parent care and loss in FINAL YEARS Stories of Parent Care, Loss and Lives Changed. Although they are two different topics, both of my books bring to light difficult feelings and experiences that many find hard to talk about and listen to. Both MAGGIE and my parents touched my deeply and changed my life.

Are you a caregiver to aging or ill parents? Have you lost your parents?Many baby boomers are part of the sandwich generation caring for both their children and elderly parents. In my new book, FINAL YEARS Stories of Parent Care, Loss and Lives Changed, ten people shared stories of tough decisions, family dynamics, grief, and healing as their parents’ health diminished and they eventually passed. I weave my own account through each of their chapters.

December 5 the Best Day to Enjoy Saving With a Kindle Countdown Deal

For only $1.99 (list price = $6.99) you can download a Kindle copy of my book for yourself and gift a copy of  FINAL YEARS to a friend or family member. This Kindle Countdown Deal runs until tomorrow (you can see the countdown clock here for how long you have to buy at this price before it goes up in increments of $1.00 back up to $6.99). You don’t need a Kindle to read a kindle book. You can download a free Kindle app on your computer, Mac, iPad, tablet and most smartphones.

Are you a caregiver feeling alone, unsupported or unsure where to turn? Visit if you want to learn more about FINAL YEARS Stories of Parent Care, Loss and Lives Changed and to find kindred spirits for what you may be going through. You might also like the articles on my other blogFinal Years Blog, at Here you can find an excerpt in two parts for my new book, Final Years, and other articles on caring for aging parents. Take care.

Click title below if you want to order  my book(s):

Monday, December 2, 2013

Longmont Humane Society Now and Forever Campaign Reaches Phase 1 Goal

Volunteer Camie Kirkevold works with a cat named Kiki on Wednesday at the Longmont Humane Society. (Matthew Jonas/Times-Call)
According to The Longmont Humane Society they have reached their Phase 1 goal of their "Now and Forever" Campaign.  They avoided foreclosure! They were able to make their November payment of  $772,227.68 "because of the generous support of our friends and donors in Longmont." 

They did it "after cashing in its investments," director Liz Smokowski told the Longmont Times Call. The investments netted $363,118, which combined with $526,932 in donations exceeded the amount needed for this year's payment.

The shelter's Board members have worked diligently to "improve and augment" their operating finances which the Longmont Humane Society has been concerned about for several years. Over the past two years, Longmont Humane Society changed leadership in order to take a new direction and respond to the urgency of their financial situation. As a result, they have raised animal adoption prices, reduced staffing costs and marketing expenditures, increased the number of volunteer positions, and boosted their fundraising efforts. "Longmont Humane Society has achieved a combined positive cash flow from operating and investing activities over the past two years." They say their cash drain "is related to financing of the construction project and the related bond offering that was taken."Without their principal and interest payments, Longmont Humane Society would be wholly sustainable.  

The Longmont Humane Society will still need to raise the final $2.4 million even after this payment. Liz Smokowski, hired in 2011 by the Longmont Humane Society, told the Times Call the shelter is "still seeking donations to cover the payment because cashing in the investments drained all of the its savings." Their operating expenses are now compromised and they have no reserves.

The fundraising campaign is titled, "The Longmont Humane Society: Serving the Community Now and Forever." Focused on the November payment until now, they now seek "to raise $3.1 million to pay off the remaining loan amount by the fall of 2014." Next year's loan payment is also $772,000, so they are far from out of the woods. Phase 2 of their campaign is to raise $2.4 million by the end of 2014.