"...IF YOU FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, DOORS WILL OPEN FOR YOU THAT WOULDN'T HAVE OPENED FOR ANYONE ELSE." - Joseph Campbell

"SOMETIMES ON THE WAY TO YOUR DREAM, YOU GET LOST AND FIND A BETTER ONE." - Lisa Hammond

"IT IS POSSIBLE AT ANY AGE TO DISCOVER A LIFELONG DESIRE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD." - Robert Brault


"IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHO YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN." - George Eliot

"WE DID NOT CHANGE AS WE GREW OLDER. WE JUST BECAME MORE CLEARLY OURSELVES." - Lynn Hall

"GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS! LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGED." - Henry David Thoreau

Monday, December 30, 2013

Laptop Crash

My laptop "crashed."  I'm posting this using my Blackberry.
 Not sure when I'll be back online.  :(
 Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

* MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM VERN & FAMILY *


Merry Christmas Everyone!

(Vern and I chose the following photos for today, and he told me what he wanted to say. So this is his Merry Christmas post to all his blog friends and fans!)

Don't I look dapper in my warm, red coat?!



I'm sleeping peacefully on the daybed next to Mom's desk, while listening to Christmas music, and dreaming of doggie treats and rawhide bones and flips.


I was beside myself with love and excitement when Mark stopped by for a visit!


Mom made me watch some of the Charlie Brown Christmas show with her. 
I did like Snoopy, though.


This was pretty funny. Justin Timberlake dancing and singing as a soup can! 
Mom laughed out loud, a lot.


This was taken when we got all that snow a week or so ago. 
Mom and I were out walking in it. 
If you look at the sky, really close, you can see some snowflakes falling on us. 


This is me in December of 2011. 
I look so cute in this picture, I wanted to show it again.


Same as above!



Sourch - Pinterest

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas! 

A delightful incident happened to me yesterday morning. I got up early, wrapped and packaged three copies of my memoir, grabbed some Christmas cards I still hadn't mailed, and drove to my nearby post office. I got there about 10 minutes after they opened, so there was No Waiting! Yippee! (No, that's not the incident I was referring to.)

On the way home, I went to a well known fast food Drive-Thru to get a cup of coffee, since I hadn't taken the time to make any at home....yet. When I pulled up to the window to pay for it, I was informed by the young employee that I didn't owe anything...that the driver in the car in front of me paid for it! Which then prompted me to want to do the same. I didn't have a whole lot of money with me, so before I automatically declared I'd pay the total for the car behind me, I asked how much it was. (What if the driver was picking up a breakfast order for an entire office??) The total was something like $4.60, so I said, "Okay. I'll pay for it!" 

Something as simple as that, gave me such a smile on my face and joy in my heart. I wonder if the trend continued until that particular group of cars were gone? I'm sure many of you have done the same, or have wanted to. 

Random Acts of Kindness
Nothing is too small or insignificant


"Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone." -- Charles Schulz

Sunday, December 22, 2013

* NOSTALGIC SUNDAY *

It's Time For Another Nostalgic Sunday



I'm sharing some photos I've posted during past Decembers.....


These are from 2011, but I baked the [same looking] cookies for a cookie exchange earlier this month. The difference between then and now is that these were made from a Betty Crocker sugar cookie package. The ones I made this year were made from scratch! Yes! I haven't done that in quite a few years, and I also used a recipe I'd never tried before. Pretty brave, daring, or just plain idiotic when participating in a cookie exchange....with people I didn't even know! (except for ONE woman!) Yikes! BUT, I did have a "back up plan," a package mix in the pantry, just in case! 


But, everything worked correctly and this year's batch was just as pretty and tasty as 2011. I keep saying I'm going to make more, so we'll have some to take to others, and still have some to hide share at home. I better start today, dont'cha think??



I also posted this in December of 2011. It's a Christmas card holder that I made. (Yep, another astonishing fact!) But, before you start applauding my "talent," let me say that it's a "no-sew" project, and I used my hot glue gun. When I was a little girl, my mother made a couple of these "boots," but they were more elaborate with rick-rack and were actually sewn together. (I mention these in my memoir.) She let me help with some of it and I loved them so much, I decided to make my own. The back material is green felt, and the pockets are light-weight, cotton fabric pieces. Then, just glittery glue for the names.


This is Vern from last year. I've taken new photos, but just haven't gotten them uploaded yet. When he and I were out early this morning, it began to flurry on us, which made us both Happy! (See that wad of peace signs behind him? That's one of his very own blankies!) 



"It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, especially for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul." -- Caroline Kennedy

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday Potpourri -- Part Two

Well, here it is about12 hours later since I wrote Part One. So much for sharing updates, huh? At least I have good reasons. I DID get a lot accomplished today!

But, I'll write about that tomorrow because this evening I have a reminder, and an announcement:

Reminder -- To be entered in my book giveaway at Jennifer Shirk's blog, you must leave a comment before midnight tonight, EST, which is about half an hour from now...(11:30 EST)
Thank you again, Jennifer!  * The winner on Jennifer's blog is.....Karen Walker! Congratulations, Karen!! You'll receive a gift wrapped book in the mail asap.*


Announcement -- The very lovely bestselling author, Michael Lee West, just posted her weekly Foodie-Friday; and along with that, a warm and charming post about my memoir & me, and a book giveaway, (to be announced Monday, Dec 23rd). Please stop by and leave a comment, even if you don't care to be in the drawing. She is always so kind and gracious, has an amazing home which she is renovating/decorating, a marvelous cook, creates fabulous tablescapes....and still has time to write! AND shares photos and recipes! (There she is....way up high on the right sidebar!) Thank you very much, Michael Lee!

* Dec. 25th: Winner of memoir giveaway on Michael Lee West's blog, Rattlebridge Farm, is......Rettabug! Congratulations, Retta!! I'm so happy that you're excited about winning! 


Oh, and her blog, Rattlebridge Farm, is listed on my side bar under OTHER FAVORITE BLOGS.




"It's hard to explain your passions, but sometimes it is harder to live them." -- Michael Lee West, She Flew the Coop: A Novel Concerning Life, Death, Sex and Recipes in Limoges, Louisana

* Thursday Potpourri -- Part One *

Hello family & friends! I have such good intentions to accomplish tremendous amounts of stuff today. I'll be back, off and on, to give updates. Hopefully, I won't be embarrassed by my [lack of] achievements....

Until then, enjoy looking at these beautiful ducks geese, who semi chased me to my car on December 4th!

I attended a cookie-exchange in Illinois, and totally forgot to take any photos (typical...) until I came outside to drive home! These guys were next to the parking lot where my car was.

See the one on the right charging toward me?! I jumped into my car, rolled down the window, and took this so fast I'm surprised it's not blurry! 

I'll be back later! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

* My Followers Disappeared & So Did Yours! *

Have you noticed that the little box that shows the faces of all your followers has gone missing?? I noticed it on mine this morning and knew I hadn't deleted it. I just checked a couple other blogs and theirs are missing, too! There's the word "My Followers," but that's it! Does anyone have any ideas about it? 


*Ah, yes....the cute little faces returned! Whew! *
Thank you to everyone who reassured me by leaving a comment, too!

Monday, December 16, 2013

* I'M FEATURED ON JENNIFER SHIRK'S BLOG *

Happy Monday, everyone! 

Today the very talented author and all around wonderful gal, Jennifer Shirk, is featuring me on her blog. There is an informative Q&A section, plus a giveaway for a free, gift wrapped copy of my memoir! Please stop by, leave a comment (and it would be nice to let her know what a fabulous job she did) and be entered in the drawing. Do it quickly, too, because the giveaway ends this Thursday, December 19 at 11:59 pm, EST. (Sorry, only good for US and Canada, due to shipping costs.)





Thank you, Jennifer!




* Welcome to my newest followers Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life, Dreaming, Johanna Garth, and Yvonne. I hope all of you will stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you so much! * (I still need to add the links for these four beautiful ladies' blogs. I wanted to post their welcome now before I forget!!) 

   ** December 22: Blog links attached to these four lovely ladies' blogs! **


Sunday, December 15, 2013

* Writers Make the World Go 'Round - Repeat *

I was saddened to hear about the death of Peter O'Toole, and decided to post this "repeat" from my blog post of April 13, 2012.


Two nights ago, I watched a fascinating interview on TCM - Turner Classic Movies. The actor Peter O'Toole (79 years old) told riveting and charming stories of his life before and during his stage and screen career. He's probably best known for his role as writer, T.E. Lawrence, in Lawrence of Arabia. Mr. O'Toole recounted hilarious tales about himself and one of his co-stars, Omar Sharif, during the filming of the famous "charge" scene, and how both tried to stay in the camels' saddles. (Can you believe they didn't use stunt men?) He talked at length about his various roles and co-stars and was highly entertaining.


(Lawrence of Arabia - 1963)


(age 79 - 2011)


Toward the end of the interview, Mr. O'Toole spoke about his writing. He's written two memoirs; Loitering with Intent: The Child and Loitering With Intent: The Apprentice. He said he is working on his third book, but didn't specify what it was about. But, he did say this about writing:

I love it, the writing process, but I don't have to like it. It's so frustrating. You feel you've written rubbish and you tear up the papers and walk around the room in circles. But it's a love affair. I like getting down there and putting on to paper. I never wanted to write until I was 40 or 50.

I didn't use quotes with the above, because I'm sure I don't have it verbatim, but it's very close. I especially enjoyed learning he didn't think about, or want to write until he was "older." I'll definitely check out his memoirs. If his writing is anywhere near as marvelous as his acting, then he's been given more than one precious, gift of talent.


One more thing. Sometimes we forget that although it takes a very good/great actor to create extraordinary performances.....none of it can happen without superb writing.....Writers make the world go 'round.....





"Writing is a kind of performing art, and I can't sit down to write unless I'm dressed. I don't mean dressed in a suit, but dressed well and comfortably and I have to be shaved and bathed." - -- Peter O'toole


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

* IF IT'S TUESDAY, I'M MIXED UP AS USUAL *

For the past year or more, I always seem busier on Mondays than any other day. And so, when Monday evening rolls around, I feel like I've done two days worth of tasks, and I ask The Ronald, "Is today Tuesday?" To which he has a variety of answers, some of which I won't post here. (Tsk, tsk. Don't automatically think they must include bad language or something. Get your minds out of the gutter!)

~~~

This afternoon, I really have no idea what day it is. I've spent approximately SEVEN HOURS attempting to "fix" my printer/copier. Yes. Seven hours. And it's still not "fixed." I think I'm going to have to buy a new one. (Don't even ask. My reply might send electrical shock waves through the cyberspace.)

~~~

I do want to say that I'm being featured in kind of a blog tour for my memoir, and I thank the following three women with all my heart:

Tomorrow, December 11th, the lovely Julie Flanders is hosting me. Please stop by and leave a comment for Julie and/or me. 

Monday, December 16th, the always lovely Jennifer Shirk will be my host. Please stop by there, too let Jennifer know you were there.

And on Monday, December 23rd, the ever so lovely Margo Dill will have a little something about me, too. And again, I ask, please stop by and leave a comment. My appearance on Margo's blog has been postponed until January 20, 2014. I'll post a reminder when the date gets closer. Thanks, Margo!

** P.S. After I posted this I found out that Ann, at Ann's Reading Corner, also highlighted my memoir in her Teaser Tuesday post! Thank you, Ann! **

~~~

*Welcome to my newest follower, Carol Ford. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you so much! *



"The world is a book, and those who don't travel, read only a page." -- St. Augustine

Sunday, December 8, 2013

* NOSTALGIC SUNDAY *

It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday!


For tonight's Nostalgic Sunday, I'm sharing more random snippets from my memoir. These paragraphs are from various chapters and will perhaps pique your interest.

~~~

It felt like we were flying along the highway, even though the car’s tires weren’t actually leaving the road. Almost all of the windows were rolled down, and my dad’s left arm rested comfortably on the driver’s side door, giving him that funny one-armed sunburn he got every summer. It was so hot that Dad’s white, cotton, short-sleeved shirt stuck to his skin. My mother poured yet another cup of steaming hot coffee from the thermos and handed it over to him. Dad barely took his eyes off the road as he took it. I couldn’t imagine why he wanted something so hot to drink. Mother brought a cold jug of Kool-Aid for my brother Mike and me.

Times like these, I wished I had a crew cut like my brother or a flattop like my dad. The force of the wind whipped my long pigtails around so much they actually stung my face every time they slapped against it. 
~~~

Grandpa was a quiet spoken man, always pleasant and easy going. Grandma had an extremely peculiar voice, which I can’t possibly describe. Let’s just say it wasn’t a soft, ladylike tone. It kind of reminded me of Ma Kettle’s, especially since she bossed Grandpa around all the time. He was old and retired from his job, so he was home a lot. It got on my nerves, but I guess he’d learned to just tune her out. They’d been married for about 100 years, so he was used to it.

~~~

Mother did relent after I begged and begged for some white go-go boots. All the girls dancing on the TV show, Hullabaloo, wore them and they were so cute. The popular girls at school had them, too. Surely, I could be popular and cute, too, right? Uh…no. It also didn’t take long to realize they hurt my feet and really weren’t worth the price. They stayed on the floor of my bedroom closet for years, all scuffed and unappreciated, just like I deemed I was.


~~~

I grew up in a home where chiropractors were thought of as quacks. The word “chiropractor” itself was pronounced with such disdain that even as a little girl, I knew I didn’t want to ever see one. I was even afraid of “real doctors,” those with an M.D. after their names. My parents, though, considered them to be God-like. They faithfully followed all their instructions and advice, and they also trusted nurses, pharmacists, and dentists. But chiropractors? My mother practically shuddered at the very thought. 

  ~~~

Faith, hope, and a sense of humor have always been important in my life, and I’ve learned you don’t have to have a perfect childhood or a perfect life to be truly happy. The joy just comes from within, from your daily appreciation of life, and from whatever warm memories you hold in your heart.

~~~


My mother told me in so many words she thought I was nuts. She honestly believed my accident at Woolworth’s—involving an ice machine, a crowbar, and my head—caused severe brain damage. In her way of thinking, it was the only possible explanation for what she considered the erratic behavior I developed soon after.

<<<>>>

** Monday, December 9th, please stop by Karen Lange's blogWrite Now. Besides sharing some great "Tips for Every Writer," Karen was kind enough to mention me and my memoir. Thank you, Karen! **


* Welcome to my newest follower, Suzanne Prickett. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you so much! *


"Writers will happen in the best of families." -- Rita Mae Brown

Thursday, December 5, 2013

* This 'n That on a Thursday Evening *

You know how thoughts just seem to pop in and out of your head? Sometimes remembered, but most likely forgotten, and some are truly important.

Yesterday I decided I need to order one of those waterproof thingys for the shower, so I can write down those awesome brainstorms before they're forgotten!

Another thing that popped into my head, and where this came from I have NO idea, was that if I had to describe my present-day personality combining three literary characters, they would be: Pollyanna, Little Orphan Annie, and Lucy Van Pelt.

Pollyanna: She always looked for, and found, the good in everything. There was always something to be glad about. As a young girl, every time I watched the movie on TV with Hayley Mills as Pollyanna, I'd get so upset with all the adults in it because they'd get angry at her for always being so cheerful. It just didn't make sense to me, and still doesn't!

Little Orphan Annie: She always looked forward to tomorrow, because things were going to be better then, or at least they could be. She had spunk, self-reliance, and hope. She never gave up.

Lucy Van Pelt: Oh my goodness...there's so many reasons! She's such a smart-alecky, know-it-all, and still says the funniest things.

~~~

Okay, now that I shared that bit of trivia, I must apologize for not getting back to my blog like I kept saying I would. I've been in such a whirlwind that continues to spin, so I'm just going to post the short version.

1) I didn't go shopping after all on Small Business Saturday, except at my local resale boutique and hit the mother lode on great clothes. They were actually in my size, fit perfectly, and of course were very inexpensive. What more could a gal ask for?!

2) Have I mentioned I was interviewed on a local radio station? It was last Wednesday, Nov 27th, the day before Thanksgiving. It was lots of fun and I wasn't a bit nervous. It can be heard here. Just click on Lets Talk Shop for 11/27/2013. Then move the cursor to about 0:55:20. That's where my part begins. 

3) For the very first time, I'm attending the Erma Bombeck Writing Workshop! It's in April of 2014. Yesterday at noon was the opening to sign up and it was sold out within hours! I would've been so disappointed if I hadn't gotten in. I'm still going to submit something to the humor contest though, hoping to maybe win a free workshop like my friend, Donna Volkenannt did last year!

That's it for tonight. Wishing you all a very warm and comfy home if you're in the frigid areas of the world. And to those of you who may be too hot.....as in Australia....I wish you coolness!


"Can I help it if I was born with crabby genes?!" -- Lucy Van Pelt

"Watching your graceful movements on the pitcher's mound lulled me to sleep." -- Lucy Van Pelt

"The sun'll come out Tomorrow, so you gotta hang on till tomorrow. Come what may. Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya Tomorrow. You're only a day away. -- Little Orphan Annie

"See here, little girl, we might just as well settle this thing right now, once and for all," he began testily. "I've got something besides the weather to think of. I don't know whether the sun shines or not."
Pollyanna beamed joyously, "No sir; I thought you didn't. That's why I told you."

Monday, December 2, 2013

* SO MUCH GOING ON - SO MUCH TO SAY *

Happy Monday, December 2nd, 2013!

I have lots of news but can't work on my blog until this evening. 
Please stop by *tomorrow* if you have the time. 


But, for now ~ How about ~ "Give a book for Christmas" as in..the book being my memoir! 
And have it gift-wrapped for free when purchased from my website.



Would you believe this is wrapping paper?? It's heavy duty paper, and looks like a pile of books all stacked on top of each other. I took this photo this afternoon! Just let me know when you order my book whether you'd like it wrapped or not, and if you want it signed, who it's for. 

Bye for now. I'll be back later.......Oops.....How about tomorrow? 

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...."