“Coco Not?”

Here we go again……riding the seesaw of American Heart Association recommendations for what is healthy , what is not.

The latest miracle food was coconut oil.   I have jars of it on my counter, in my pantry.   I fry in it, bake with it………add coconut butter to coffee……..

Now the limelight shines a bit dimmer from the Heart Association on its benefits.  I grew up on the wonders of margarine……that didn’t turn out so well.   Too bad we can’t take back those huge tubs that always sat on our mothers’ and our own refrigerator shelves if we are of a certain age.   And as an added benefit, we could reuse those “healthy” plastic containers to store boiling hot food……..sigh  😦

Margarine, so healthy……we all ran out and bought it, slathered it on toast in the morning…….baked with it.   We could eat it without the worry and calories of butter…………

But then, that side of the seesaw dropped and we hit the ground of reality with a thud.

So what is best, coconut oil, butter, palm oil, avocado oil……..Avocados are another miracle.   Avocados aren’t big in an Italian American household; I never tasted one growing up.  I don’t think our local neighborhood market even stocked them.

Quite frankly, I need something with avocados to “kill” the taste.   I know most say they don’t have much taste, only great creaminess………but I taste avocados and never quite warmed up to that flavor.   But I buy them and bake with them and spread them on toast, although I spread a layer of something delicious on the toast first…….  But one day, the seesaw will fall flat on an avocado and smash its creaminess in the dirt……….

For today it will be expensive avocado toast in upscale Manhattan Restaurants alongside the delicious creaminess of coconut butter swirled coffee………..

And the next day……….who knows?……….But I know one thing……we will all be taken for that new ride on the seesaw, for however long it lasts………..

Read the news article here


Posted in "A Poet's Blog", A Writer's Blog, Life Musings from a Reiki Master and Intuitive Animal Communicator | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Fathers and Daughters”


I think the adage is true…….you look for your father in your husband.

Some look for the guy who always fixes things…….

If your dad could be depended on to fix that radiator hose in the middle of nowhere and get you home……..you look for that in a guy.   If your dad was the guy who stretched his arm out across your body if the car stopped short, you know the first time that guy does that…….he is the one.

Fathers always made it right……if you were given a good one.   If you needed a ride home, they were there.   If you needed money, they were there.  If you needed a home to come home to when things weren’t so great……they were there.

If you are truly lucky, you find that guy………..and he becomes the father your daughter knows is always there.   In life, radiator hoses break, hearts break as well……it is nice to know there is someone out there waiting for a chance to help mend either or both………..

My dad is gone now; sometimes he makes his presence known to me from another place.  He is still there waiting, it’s harder for him to fix things now, but I never for a moment doubt he intervenes in whatever way is spiritually possible.   Deep within my soul, I am still that little girl, wanting my dad to look at me the way he does in this old photograph……..

Happy Father’s Day to all reading this……….DSC_4293



Posted in "A Photographer's Blog", "A Poet's Blog", A Writer's Blog, Life Musings from a Reiki Master and Intuitive Animal Communicator | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“They erased her life, but not her words” Remembering Anne Frank on her birthday

I have an unexplained connection to Anne Frank, ever since I was a little girl.   Last  night, while scanning through some obscure television channels, I happened upon “The Diary of Anne Frank.”   So, instead of the Tonys, I sat watching it again.   For some reason, there is compulsion to watch, to remember, it seems to come from the depths of memory or soul.   I wrote this blog a couple of years ago, but today is Anne’s birthday, a good day to share it again.

August 4, 1944 ~~ Anne Frank is captured.

Today’s blog breathes life into a memory stored for nearly half a century.
It is a moment I have never forgotten; it is “written” in my heart, perhaps the reason I write today.
It is the memory of a little girl and her mother who went to the local MacDonald’s for lunch one afternoon.
This little girl had dark eyes and dark hair and shared a strong resemblance with another little girl, though not of her time.
While in MacDonald’s waiting in line, another little girl and her mother walked in. Immediately, this little girl started yelling and pointing her finger, saying “Look mommy, it’s Anne Frank.”
I remember the awkward, frozen silence between two moms and two “shaken” girls……
From that day since, every time Anne’s eyes look up at me from upon the page of a book, there is a twinge of remembrance from the little girl inside me….
Today’s blog stirs this twinge………
It is taken from an excerpt from Thomas Moore’s book, “Care of the Soul.”
In it, Moore relates the true story of a thirteen year old girl with cystic fibrosis. With the wisdom of Anne Frank, she faced the reality of her situation.
After she died, her broken hearted mother read a page from her diary. It said, “I will live the life that is given.”
Today, I aspire to live the life that is given to the best of my ability, to reach for the higher rung on the ladder.
For all of us, whether we run, walk, crawl, push a wheelchair, or tiptoe lightly across an attic floor……let us all aspire to move forward in reach of that higher rung.
Somewhere in Heaven, I like to think Annelies Marie Frank is watching over a very wise, thirteen year old Angel.
The diaries of little girls who leave too soon can bring such lessons for the living……
If you haven’t realized it by now, the little girl in MacDonald’s was me.

My son took this photo of  the Frank house in the Netherlands for me.   Somehow, I think my aspiration to write and be remembered for my words is connected to her.anne frank 2frank house


Posted in "A Photographer's Blog", a poet's blog, A Writer's Blog, Life Musings from a Reiki Master and Intuitive Animal Communicator | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

“Coming Home”

I have read several stories in the past weeks…..soldiers coming home.   No, not from Iraq, Afghanistan, but from WWII.

DNA has been the tool to identify remains long since decomposed into dust and bone.  It’s bittersweet.   Mothers and fathers who themselves have died, will not weep at a son’s gravesite.   Perhaps some nieces and nephews who never knew the boy……just the memory told to them before the last of his generation left this earth.

I have a farmhouse in Gettysburg.   Beneath the fields, many still remain unknown.   We now have monuments to remember those who fought, each thinking his side was right.   Sadly, those monuments are being torn down.   It is my hope that history’s truths, the ugly, the heroic, the rights, the wrongs, will always be taught and those who sacrificed will all be known in this way.  They gave so much more than their names to war……every war……each death deserves recognition.

Yes, it’s nice to become known after being unknown for so long; but it really doesn’t matter to those whose remains are being transported across the sea and laid to rest in American cemeteries.  They are with those who knew them, loved them, wept for sons who never came home……they are all home now.   In Civil War times, it was known as the good death, to be surrounded by loved ones and buried in home ground.  There are still so many unknowns out there, they did not have a good death, but may they all have everlasting peace and be home with the ones they love……………dark cross


Here is the news story of one such soldier




Posted in "A Poet's Blog", A Writer's Blog, Life Musings from a Reiki Master and Intuitive Animal Communicator | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Today’s Adventures~~ Shirl and Squirrel”

There’s a new kid on the block…….a feathered one.   And he means business.   You don’t mess around with bluejays.    He is quick, swooping down and carrying a whole peanut in his beak.  When I was a kid, my brother went out to put the garbage in our pail under the tree out back.   There was a bluejay nest in that tree.   My brother’s head was the target…..new kid

It’s war with those birds……I see my Oliver frightened of him…..squirrel chirping in the tree and waving his tail furiously……..upset that this “creature” is stealing his nuts.

Don’t worry Oliver, there’s more nuts waiting  …..    How can you resist a squirrel who says I love you…………  ❤sign language

Love and Light,

Shirl and Squirrel and the New Kid……..

Posted in "A Poet's Blog", "Animal Communicator", A Writer's Blog, animal stories, Life Musings from a Reiki Master and Intuitive Animal Communicator | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Shirl and Squirrel” (The adventures of a Fairy Tale Author and her squirrel)

I have a squirrel who waits by my front door each day……..He waits until I feed him his snack.

He has eclectic tastes…….one day, it might be pears, the next apples, dried apricots and plums……
And yes desserts……..he prefers carbs…….leftover pizza crust, ciabatta rolls are a big hit, I have seen him finish off a whole one…….

Well, he is a Jersey squirrel with an Italian Jersey girl mom…….so of course, he prefers Italian………we haven’t tried cannolis yet; I am sure he would find their shells irresistible.

My squirrel gets Amazon deliveries……no joke.   My friend in Ohio shipped him a jumbo bag of peanuts, his obsession.

He calls in for take out delivery.   Twice now, my children have seen him sitting at my front door and phoned in his delivery request from their cars.    And it works, soon the fairy godmother of peanuts delivers his order………. 🙂

He sits inside my mail basket at the front door eating his lunch, it’s like his park picnic table.   I have learned to recognize him by his distinct markings;  each squirrel has his own little features.   Sometimes, his friends drop in for lunch, mostly uninvited, and this can lead to a flurry of fluffy tails at the front step.

This is his spot……like the same customers come to Patsy’s each week in NYC, their reservations lifelong.   I hope my squirrel has a long life, he has a standing reservation at my door…….always.

I have named him Squire Oliver………because he is always pleading with his cute squirrel face and beguiling little paws…….“Please, can I have some more……”

He makes his home in a comfy, dense thicket of ivy that wraps around a tree in my front yard.   He is safe from the wind, the rain, and I hope one day my little furry child finds a mate and makes me a squirrel grandma.

Stay tuned for more adventures…….

Shirl and Oliver

Posted in "A Poet's Blog", "Animal Communicator", A Writer's Blog, Animal Communication, animal stories, Being a Jersey Girl, friendship, Life Musings from a Reiki Master and Intuitive Animal Communicator | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Dog Attacks”

I have been reading such disturbing news stories this week……

  • the ninety year old woman killed in her home by a rescued dog the day it was adopted
  • the emotional service dog who mauled an airline passenger in the next seat

Let me begin this blog by saying…….

I love all dogs; the breed outside in no way determines the heart inside.  I have written this in books and told people countless times, but what follows will still be misinterpreted.

When you bring a rescued dog into your life, you have to do so with intelligence as well as emotion.  Over the years, I have made a few mistakes, hoping that each one could  be “saved” with love.   But each one cannot be saved.   Some are so tortured and abused and scarred that they cannot be saved, and in the end, perhaps if you are lucky, only your home will be damaged, if you are not so lucky………your child, or you.

I adopted a mixed German Shepherd from a rescue many years ago.   The dog loved my children, loved my husband, but hated me.   She would curl her lips as she “slept” as I walked past.   I kept hoping, even after she bit my hand, I kept hoping.   That was a mistake, and thankfully, our knowledgeable vet convinced me so.   Sorry to disappoint my children, we returned the dog to the rescue.   The next adopter wasn’t so lucky; her cat paid the price………….Some time afterwards, that rescuer confided to us that this dog had been abused by his previous owner, a woman whose appearance was much similar to mine…….Would we have adopted this dog had we been privy to this information…..I don’t know……but we should have been informed.

I have rescued enough dogs to know what you are told is “not always the whole picture” but the nicely colored in areas.   The messier parts, the blurry lines, the zig zag lines are often lost in the picture.   It is here where your brain, not your heart has to focus…….If you see any troubling sign, don’t hope it will go away.   Ask the advice of your vet when you take the new dog in for examination……my shepherd went to snap at him when he tried to examine her ears……Be especially vigilant if you have small children.   Never leave a newly rescued dog in the room or in the yard alone with them; it takes a second to ruin a lifetime.

Recently, my own brother was attacked while walking his daughter’s little dog by a pit bull who had escaped from his home down the block.   My brother was knocked to the pavement and suffered stitches to his head.   It happened to be a pit bull, but ANY breed can be aggressive.   The one distinction however, is size and power.    If you adopt a yorkie from the shelter and need to stop an attack, it is possible………Not so much so, with a large and powerful breed.    I have witnessed a dog attack; I know the speed, the horror, how quickly death occurs.   By the grace of God, the pit bull ran off when my brother fell; if he had not, my brother might not be here as I write this.

I wish this world could save them all.   I wish all wrongs could be made right again, how the hurts inflicted from people could all vanish with a warm bed and loving home.   I wish all people sharing homes with animals did so with responsibility and compassion.  There are so many that have suffered who still look to us with trust and love.  I don’t write these words to discourage any adopter from hoping, just color that page of hope with intelligence and reality as well.   Don’t walk past a dog in a shelter simply because of what follows the word Breed on his or her cage.   Don’t walk past a dog simply because the word black is written in his description.   Sadly, most black dogs get adopted last or not at all…….

Until the world becomes a happy ending fairy tale, I will keep saying and writing these words.  Much more can be read in my book………..

Book Cover Voices of Their Hearts

Shirl Knobloch


Posted in "Animal Communicator", Animal Communication, Animal Cruelty, dog stories, Life Musings from a Reiki Master and Intuitive Animal Communicator | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment