Dog Sledders and Other Walking, Talking Miracles

firstgreatraceOne of the most memorable mornings of our trip to Alaska was getting up close and personal at a real dog sledding camp. Unlike the beautiful photo-shopped pictures you might see in magazines, these dogs weren’t so pretty in the flesh. In fact, they were bred for smarts and speed.

It was so inspiring to see how much our dog owner/musher loved his animals. It was also heart-warming to see how much they loved him back. During our several hours at this camp, we learned a lot about how the real-deal sledding dogs are born, raised, trained, and how they thrive in this harsh, harsh land.

I just kept thinking…those who call Alaska home are one tough breed (human and canine alike.)

On our last day, we were able to spend a few hours in Anchorage, and it was at an open market where we had the privilege to meet one of the original founders of the Alaskan Iditarod.

Now author, Dan Seavey, ran the first Iditarod race way back in 1973 and has written, The First Great Race: Alaska’s 1973 Iditarod. Seavey’s story is compelling, amazing, and awe-inspiring. Readers will get a rare insider’s look into dog sledding in the early days and how the sport has developed over the years.

After having visited a dog sledding camp myself, then having read Seavey’s account of this adventure of a lifetime, I came away with the same conclusion…those who call Alaska home are one tough breed.


Filed under Book Reviews

A Minnow in the Ocean of God’s Mercy


This is how I felt overlooking the stunning waters of Glacier Bay…

Max Lucado—

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad. Psalm 126:3

You have not been sprinkled with forgiveness. You have not been spattered with grace. You have not been dusted with kindness. You have been immersed in it. You are submerged in mercy. You are a minnow in the ocean of God’s mercy. Let it change you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

How Do You Spell Adventure in Six Letters? Alaska


Off all the beautiful photos I could have chosen to share, this single shot of me all bundled up in waterproof head to toe gear is what best represents what I took away from this excursion to Alaska.

Traveling to Alaska (which is remote enough by anyone’s standards) and then going on excursions to even more remote locations was an experience I won’t soon forget.

So what did I learn from this 11 day adventure?

You should always plan ahead.
You should always be prepared (for the worst…in the best possible sense.)
You should always expect the unexpected.
You should always look for the bright side.
You should always remind yourself you get one shot at living this life and go for it.

In the coming weeks, it’s likely I’ll be sharing more of my time in Alaska…it really was bigger than life in so many ways.

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

Life Support


My first review for Faith, Friends, and Other Flotation Devices, is here!

Originally posted on Doyle's Delights:

Who doesn’t want a happy, abundant life? Ironically, we are the ones who often stand in our own way.

Author Michele Howe describes 20 means to living the life we dream of in Faith, Friends, and Other Flotation Devices. She calls things such as faith, faith, friends, and flotations devicesfriends, forgiveness, providence, freedom, contentment, and peace our “flotation devices.” According to Howe, these are the means to carry us through the rough times and enhance the good ones.

Women try to do it all. We want the happy, healthy family and a career that is personally and financially rewarding—and we want it to be perfect. Our expectations for ourselves are demanding, exhausting, and impossible. Howe’s guidance assists us on that course with solid advice, examples from other women, and a list of points to consider.

She uses Scripture verses from the Catholic/Ecumenical Edition of The Message to bring it all to the forefront…

View original 265 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dog or Cat? Excerpts from Canine and Feline Diaries


Now that we are the owners of two (outdoor) cats as well as two (outdoor) dogs…I felt this post was a good refresher for me.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

Just because some days (like today) we need something to laugh about…

Excerpted from Max Lucado’s newest, Great Day Every Day.

Excerpts from the diary of a dog:

8:00am Oh boy, dog food – my favorite.
9:30am Oh boy, a car ride – my favorite.
9:40am Oh boy, a walk – my favorite.
10:30am Oh boy, another car ride – my favorite.
11:30am Oh boy, more dog food – my favorite.
12:00pm Oh boy, the kids – my favorite.
1:00pm Oh boy, the yard – my favorite.
4:00pm Oh boy, the kids again – my favorite.
5:00pm Oh boy, dog food again – my favorite.
5:30pm Oh boy, Mom – my favorite.
6:00pm Oh boy, playing ball – my favorite.
8:30pm Oh boy, sleeping in my master’s bed – my favorite.

Excerpts from the diary of a cat:

Day 283 of my captivity. My captors…

View original 310 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Nothing Better Than a Box of Books

Opening this particular box of books made me want to weep (almost.)

This book has a story behind it.

Way back in 2008, I had sold this book to a publisher (new to me) and I was excited that within 9 or so months, I would see it in print. Well, we all know what happened in 2008 to our economy. It tanked. So did many publishing houses.

I still remember getting the email that regrettably announced they were returning my manuscript but I could keep the advance. Bittersweet moment.

Once again the hunt for another publisher began. Truth be told, I was so busy with other projects I had forgotten about this one.

Then one day I was cleaning out my files and something sparked in me to try again. So I did.

Within a day or so of contacting, ACTA Publications, the publisher got in touch with me, we talked, he worked up a contract, my agent looked it over, and I signed.

That was over two years ago.

Once again, I sort of forgot about this book.

Then, in January 2014, I received an email saying the editing was in full-swing and the book would be out in the summer.

Needless to say, actually holding this book in my hands is sort of surreal given I had given up on it so many times.

Thanks for bearing with me as I told the story behind these stories.

To read more…you can find Faith, Friends, and Other Flotation Devices here.

1 Comment

June 24, 2014 · 7:10 am

Now Available!!! Faith, Friends, and Other Flotation Devices

Now Available!!!

Faith, Friends, and Other Flotation Devices: A Woman’s Guide to Abundant Living is now available.

Am I ever excited?

You know it!

There’s a lot to be said for the correlation between writing a book and the publication of it…and birthing a baby…if you’re a woman who’s been pregnant for nine months and then labored to bring forth your child…you know how I’m feeling right now.

I hope you’ll take a look at my newest “baby” and order a copy for yourself. :)

From the back cover…

The table has been set with care. A pitcher of ice tea sparkles in the sunlight. Home made scones are still warm, and fresh fruit has been artfully arranged on a crystal platter. A copy of The Message lies open on a bench next to a vase filled with wildflowers and weeds. And Michele Howe, your gracious hostess, is here, ready to share memories, dreams, fears, daily challenges – woman to woman, your friend and confidant.

You might not have had a day off from work, volunteer obligations, family life for weeks, perhaps months, but she has made space for you and done everything to make you comfortable. In each chapter in Faith, Friends, and Other Flotation Devices Michele focuses on a single theme – forgiveness, providence, regret, contentment, and more; introduces you to a woman whose daily experience sheds new light on active, faithful living; and gives you a concise set of guidelines to examine and live your faith.

Think of Michele Howe as your next door neighbor, your prayer partner, a friend, and enjoy your time together.


June 20, 2014 · 8:05 am