Updates from Maggie

The spring season brings blooming flowers, plans for summer vacations, and quiet evenings enjoying sunsets & katydids. Maggie has a few things she would like to share with you, too.

Maggie loves sharing her ‘Thought of the Month’ with you. She appreciates your likes and comments on Facebook, Twitter, and her owner’s website. Maggie will be spending some of her summer days writing her ‘Thought of the Month’ and working on the publicity for her book, ‘Paws & Reflect’.  The return of her monthly blog will be on September 1st. The release date of ‘Paws & Reflect’ is yet to be determined.

Maggie’s owner will be working on her travel blog, ‘Travels with Sissy’. Although the blog will not return until September, watch for photograph teases on Facebook & Twitter to guess where Sissy is, as she travels across America. A new camera, and some amazing sites for sunrises & sunsets, has her owner very excited. The fall will find Linda Massucci at some arts & crafts fairs to sell her photos & books.

Maggie hopes you make time to read this summer. If you haven’t read ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’ or ‘Mama’s Bookends’, check out the books on Amazon. Don’t forget to leave a review.  Although her owner has a few books on her summer reading list, she also loves watching movies too. Maybe someday you will watch the movie ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’. Linda Massucci is working with a screen writer in Colorado to help make this dream a reality.

Maggie wishes everyone a summer filled with inspiring sunrises, sunsets shared with friends & family, and memories that warm your heart & soul.

Maggie’s Thought for the Month: Sometimes Nothing Is the Beginning of Something

We like to believe if one works hard and lives an honest life- hardships will be minimal and every problem will have a quick solution.  However, when life is like a roller coaster with heart-stopping dives and slow crawling climbs back up, how does one find the strength to keep believing this ride will end?

Maggie enjoyed her daily routine. The occasional hardships included trying to poop during a blizzard, or getting a very large stick into her dog house. At times, she had some dives when visiting veterinarians who gave her shots or forced pills down her throat. Maggie always remained calm during these ‘dips & crawls’ in life. She waited for the uncomfortable situation to end, as if knowing ‘this to shall pass, better days are ahead.’

We all experience highs and lows in our lifetime. Sometimes we have a strong support system, and other times we must overcome struggles on our own. In either situation, it is with determination and grit that we survive life’s hardships. It is our faith that allows us to understand the lesson- even when that lesson might not be answered within the time frame we would like.

When you are down to nothing, God is up to something.

Maggie’s Thought for the Month: Just Show Up

One of the top selling book categories is how to be successful. The best advice I received on being successful- ‘Just Show Up’.

Maggie was always there when I needed her. After a long day at work, she was waiting at the door to greet me. If I was working in the yard, and someone came on our property, she was right at my side to protect me. She remembered neighbors daily walk times, and was always at the fence waiting to say hello & maybe get a treat. Day or night, I could always count on Maggie to show up.

We live in a world that changes quicker than any other time in our past. People are constantly trying to make themselves marketable, employable or the most valuable on the team. I’ve learned the most important quality to have is to just be there.  When I need help on a task, the quality I look for in the person to ask is not the smartest or strongest person. It’s the person who is going to show up- and be there until the job is done.

Maybe being successful is 1% Luck and 99% Dedication.

The Last House That Dad Built

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Recently I was cleaning my guest room, which also serves as a shrine to some traveling memorabilia & childhood memories. I noticed a photo taken in DeSmet, South Dakota; the last house that Pa Ingalls built.

I thought about a time when people had to rely on their neighbors and natural resources to survive and protect their family. I wondered if people today would be so altruistic to help another need. Then, I remembered a house my dad built- and it didn’t cost a penny.

In 1979, my dad built a playhouse for my sister and me. It was truly built from the generosity of neighbors, family, and friends. The door, nails, most of the wood & roof shingles came from donations of what people had ‘extra’ in their garage or basement. Maybe it helped that my dad was a pack-rat, and always saved things because ‘you never know when you can use them again’.

The last house that dad built became a hang out for the neighborhood kids. Our mother always knew where we were, and who were our friends. It transitioned from a pretend school house, to walls lined with posters from Tiger Beat magazine. Later on, it became a shed for mom’s flower pots & gardening tools.

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The little house is now gone, but the lessons learned will last a lifetime. Most people are kind, think twice before you throw something away, and the best memories are usually the ones that never cost a penny.

Maggie’s Thought for the Month: Be a First Rate Thinker

Baby Maggie

The dictionary defines a thinker as an intellectually creative person. Therefore, a true thinker, thinks their own thoughts- right?

Maggie was constantly praised for her great thinking skills. She seemed to know the daily schedule, had the ability to solve her own problems (like getting a very large bone thru her doggie door),  and coerce visitors to give her treats.  Maggie solved those expensive doggie games- guaranteed to keep your pet entertained for hours- within minutes. She was a first rate thinker!

In today’s world, we often ridicule people for not thinking the same way. Don’t we need an eclectic group of thinkers to create a world of diversity? If our world was not filled with diversity, how would we prosper by sharing the same thoughts?  Maybe we should worry less about what people are thinking, and worry more about how we treat each other when our thoughts disagree.

“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”A.A. Milne

Travels with Sissy: Sharpe Hill Vineyard

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When someone mentions the word vineyard, most visualize Napa Valley or Sonoma, California. Who knew Connecticut has its own hidden treasure of vineyards, too.

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Travel along Route 44 in the quiet Northeast corner of Connecticut, and you will see many signs directing to various vineyards in the state. My travels, one summer day, took me to Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret. The quiet back road, aligned with stone walls, sets the mood for a relaxing day with good wine, food, & conversation.

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The staff at Sharpe Hill Vineyard welcomes you upon entering the front door of the red barn. Patrons can purchase a bottle of wine, and enjoy the scenery while sitting on the patio. Another option is lunch or dinner to be enjoyed at the restaurant.

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The restaurant at Sharpe Hill Vineyard is on the second floor of an adjacent building to the main entrance. As you walk up the steep, wooden, spiral staircase- the aroma of food fills the air. The room is small, so reservations are required. The staff carefully explains the choices of appetizers, selection of wines, and how each meal is prepared.

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Vineyards offer something for everyone- whether a relaxing day with friends, or a romantic get away. Whatever season you prefer, Sharpe Hill Vineyard has something planned to make their guests feel relaxed, special, and planning a return trip.

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Maggie’s Thought for the Month: It’s Okay to Say Goodbye

Baby Maggie

All too often we try to make everyone else around us happy, and our own happiness takes second place. We play a tug of war in our mind- should I stay or should I leave.

One of the things I admired most about Maggie was her ability to make a decision and stick with it. Once, she waited a solid fifteen minutes until a toad finally came out from hiding behind the steps. She was staying until she got that toad- it made her happy. Other times, she would get bored with the other neighborhood dogs and just walk back to her yard. She didn’t care if the other dogs started to bark, she just kept walking back to her blanket & chewy toy.

During our lifetime, we will meet an eclectic group of people. All of the people we meet, whether we realize it or not, serve a purpose. Some people will provide the words of wisdom or physical materials we need to get us to the next step. Others will stay a little longer; helping us stand tall, and provide constant reminders that we are going in the right direction. At times, it will seem like we will never be able to survive without their presence. Eventually though, only a few will consistently remain in our lives for our time on Earth.

How do we know when it’s time to say goodbye, or feel okay when someone says goodbye to us? I’m not sure what the correct answer is, but I do know Maggie had the right response when the decision was made- don’t look back.