Lessons of Love and Change Fly In With a Baby Vulture

 “This is a very well written children’s book. I bought one for each of my great grand children. They all are enjoying it. The illustrations are great.”– The Children’s Book Review

Lessons about loss, transitions, and change from a baby vulture teach how love and friendship can grow even with someone completely different from yourself.

Victor the Vegetarian Vulture by Elizabeth Vansyckle

Once upon a time in the east Texas Piney country, there lived a ground squirrel named Pete. With the help of a baby vulture and a wise owl, Pete, busy at his job of gathering nuts, was about to learn new lessons in love and change.

Buy now!

About the author:

Elizabeth Vansyckle is a retired nurse who was a hospice nurse throughout her forty-year career. Raised in the Salvation Army as a young child, she learned the greatest person you can be is one of service. And, as an United States Army veteran, she found that being a hospice nurse made her the very best possible nurse in any setting.

Throughout her career she also was a surgical nurse and feels that the ability to ease a patient’s fears in the few minutes before surgery came from that place in hospice of holding the calm space and giving that sense of quiet and trust.

Elizabeth Vansyckle.jpg

Post #18 of the holiday blogroll for participants in Indie Authors Monthly.

“Rosemary’s Face” Is Now Published

I’ve been waiting for this day.

Rosemary’s Face” is now published in the Spring/Summer 2017, Vol 1, Issue 1 edition of The Journal of Crisis Prevention.

I wrote this essay about my mother-in-law’s sister, the aunt my husband never really knew, who was born in 1934 and has lived her entire life with the brain of an eight-month-old. I met her for the first time one Saturday in the ICU.

I was graciously given permission to repost it on my blog, since it’s a print journal and you all might never see it otherwise.

Click here for “Rosemary’s Face: The Legacy of Rh Hemolytic Disease.”

5 Things NOT To Say To Someone Who’s Just Lost a Pet


For people who love their pets, saying goodbye never gets easier. Whether you see someone talk about their loss online or off, here are five things you probably shouldn’t say:

1. “At least it’s not a family member. The ability to love isn’t finite. People are capable of feeling lots of love for lots of things, and trying to legislate how they feel about a loss of a loved one, pet or not, is trampling all over their grief. And even though it may not be that way to you, for a lot of people, pets are family members.

2. “You can get another one.” Pets aren’t something you just swap out like batteries. Granted, sometimes we have to “get another one” sooner than we want because young kids don’t understand or the remaining pets are showing severe signs of depression. But trust me, people know that other animals are out there. They’re kind of hard to miss. Saying it just makes it sound like you don’t care about the one who’s gone, or the effect on the family.

3. “Someone has a pet for sale right now, should I connect you?” This is an escalated version of #2, but if you think it’s better, think again. Look, grief is personal. Some people take way less time than others to process their feelings and move on. That’s fine. It’s still better to err on the side of waiting a few days if you’re feeling compelled to rush in with a replacement animal.

4. “I’m lucky that hasn’t happened to me yet.” You’re lucky if you haven’t received this comment yet. Some people seem to feel obligated to show how it’s all about them; don’t be that person.

5. I’m posting about your loss on my Facebook too so I can talk about how I feel. This may not be what you actually say, but doing this is how it comes across. And yes, this also makes it all about you. Unless you’re directly involved, let the people who are actually involved have their time and take comfort in people’s sympathy. Yes, people can feel for you too—as I said, love (and feelings) aren’t finite—but it’s still rude.

This list is just my personal take. Your mileage, as it were, may vary. One thing I know is that pets can love you unconditionally. If you want to honor the memory and the person who is grieving over the loss of that love, just try a simple “I’m sorry for your loss.”

What things have you heard?