"...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." - Unknown (as seen on River's blog, "Drifting Through Life")

"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



Wednesday, May 28, 2014



Rest in Peace Maya Angelou.
 
You made the world a better place.
 
~~~
 
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
 
 
"We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
 
 
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

* MEMORIAL DAY - DECORATION DAY *

Every Memorial Day I take time to remember what this day is really about. Many years ago, it was known as Decoration Day. That's because it was the day families and friends laid wreaths and other patriotic decorations on the graves of loved ones....those who died in wars.

Some men come home from wars, but many others do not. I am alive today because of one man that did not come home....my mother's first husband. He was killed during WWII, and that was heartbreaking for her and her two young daughters. A few years later she met and married my dad, and so when my brother Mike and I were born, we already had an instant family....one that consisted of two teenage sisters for us.
 
During our barbecues, picnics, and parties that celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer, let's remember that in spite of our country's problems, we are free, and we owe so much to all our veterans of wars....deceased or still living.


photo taken by Becky Sept 2011 at our friends' lake house
 
 
"I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, 'Mother, what was war?' " ~ Eve Merriam


Friday, May 23, 2014

* SIMPLE JOYS - HAPPINESS - LAUGHTER *

Today really felt like Saturday to me and I have no idea why. Maybe because I haven't been keeping my "usual routine!" (and if you believe that, you don't know me very well!)

And now....Sharing some simple joys......






 
 
Some of you will remember my small collection of statues with books.
I got this adorable little girl at Dollar Tree!
 

Ahh, yes life is good. (most of the time!)


 I love to take pictures of all kinds of things,
especially when sunlight is part of it.




Isn't it more fun to have homemade iced tea in a pretty,
 hand painted, glass pitcher?
This was a birthday gift many years ago,
 from my friend Kathy Y who shares my birth date!



One of my favorite walking trails from 2009
 
 

 This is a small (approx. 8" square) canvas print from (I think) Hobby Lobby
(the colors are actually more vibrant than this shows)


Mmm, making homemade bread the Old-Fashioned way,
 not in a bread machine, but in the oven!
(I must confess, I haven't done this in YEARS,
but just the thought of it brings wonderful memories
and the aroma of freshly baked bread.)


My beautiful, ceramic, much treasured chicken cookie jar -
I'm so glad I have this photo because a couple of years ago
 it stood proudly on the top shelf of my baker's shelf....until one day
when I was dusting everything....and her head fell off!
Can you envision it?? A chicken who lost her head?
I still have all the pieces because The Ronald said he can put
it back together....but I'm not sure....SO, at least I have this photo!
 
 

 This picture always cracks me up!
That's my son, Mark, and me "driving" some kind of
game at Chuckie Cheese's. I could fill a small photo book with
all the wacky faces I've made that have been captured on film!
 
 
 
(Guess which one of the 3 I am!)




Don't you wish you could do this
 with two of your girlfriends?!




I bought this little lady at Dollar Tree in 2010.
I wrote about her on my blog saying,
"Doesn't it look like she's scratching her butt??"




 
Ahh, I love candles but definitely not
 all of the fifty million scents that are available!




Coffee mugs that are unique, pretty, cute, and/or with sayings on them.
(Oh my gosh! Look at the spots on my table/desk! Or should I say, DON'T look!)




Last but not least, I can't possibly write about joy, happiness,
 and laughter without including a picture of our sweet, beloved Vern!

 
~~~


Welcome to my two newest followers Medeia Sharif and Sia Mckye. I hope you'll both stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!


~~~

Okay....So, these are just a few of the simple things in life that give me joy and/or make me laugh. What about you? What brings you joy?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

* HAPPINESS IS A DOG'S FIRST ICE CREAM CONE *

 
 
Vern's first ice cream cone.
(vanilla, of course!)
 
 

On the patio at Paul's Donuts & Ice Cream
 
(cone being held by The Ronald)
 
 
 
 
cavemancreations.net
 
 
 
 
 
 
chompsy.com


Monday, May 19, 2014

* A WINNER & A CELEBRATION *

The winner of the giveaway I posted last Wednesday is none other than......Bookie!

Congratulations! I will be mailing your prizes in the next few days.

 
~~~
 
 
source: 123greetings.com


Happy Victoria Day to my Canadian friends!



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

* ANNOUNCING A GIVE-AWAY *

Announcing a Give-Away on a dreary Wednesday afternoon in May.

~~~
 

Although I just announced I won't be blogging as often as I have about my book, one of my upcoming guest posts that I also mentioned is TODAY. I wrote a humorous piece for my Guest Blog post over at Maryann Miller's It's Not All Gravy. The title of it is "Pigtails? Curls? Perms?" Please stop by there and leave a comment if you have a moment. And maybe also where she reviewed my memoir: Book Review.

BECAUSE whoever leaves a comment at her book review, AND at my Guest Blog post (both links included above), and then leaves a comment HERE telling me, will be in the drawing for a GIVE-AWAY. That is THREE comments.....and the give-away is for SEVERAL ITEMS!

Those items will be posted a bit later today. I'm not trying to be mysterious....just have some things I have to do. Remember to come back!
LATER!
 
 
8:45 PM -- It is now several hours later, but now I can include the pictures of the gifts! All of these items will be mailed to the lucky winner. (In the US only, though. I'm sorry that the postage rates are outrageous for other countries.)
 
I also forgot to say when the deadline for comments will be. Comments can be left at Maryann's blog, in both blog posts, and then back here, until midnight (CDT) on Sunday, May18th.
 
 
All of these items have never been used!
 
A 5 x 6 note pad

A pale pink, shabby chic, birdie tea light holder
A Tropical Drinks S&P Set
 
 
 
Another view of the birdie


 
Four note cards (2 of each)  Teapot design
 
Four note cards (2 of each) Floral design
 

Come to Tea book - all kinds of cute craft and recipes
Very cute for little girls and moms, or just moms!
approx  sixe: 9 x 10

 
Mary Engelbreit's Fan Fare Cookbook: 120 Family Favorite Recipes
(spiral bound, hardcover, heavy duty pages - VERY nice)
This is the cutest book, as you can imagine! I remember when Mary had a Call Out for recipes to include in this book and I never got around to submitting anything. (another time I kicked myself in the butt, which takes quite a bit of double-jointedness!!)
Each recipe gives the person's name and town.
 

It also contains lots of Mary's drawings and sayings!
 
 
 
 
"A friend will tuck the tag back into your collar." -- Anonymous


Monday, May 12, 2014

* CRAZY? DID SOMEONE SAY "CRAZY?" *

Would you believe I've recently passed the SIX MONTH time period since my memoir was published on November 6, 2013? During those months I've been promoting it like crazy, which is obvious to anyone who has landed here more than once.

 
Crazy? Did someone say "crazy"?


Why, no....I haven't totally "lost it" yet!


I have two more blog stops where friends have graciously allowed me to be the Guest Host. So, in between and after those, I intend to keep my blog posts interesting, informative, humorous, etc...and on a variety of subjects. Oh, and I'll have giveaways from time to time of assorted goodies! Which means I won't be yackity-yacking about my book all the time. (Aren't you all glad? Do I see a standing ovation?)


I LOVE this picture!
 
This was taken in one of those photo booths around 1993 or '94.
That's me in the middle, with a straggly perm and wearing contacts!
I may reveal the names of the two boys at a later date......




“If I told you I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at, I’d be lying, because I have no idea where I am right now.” -- Jarod Kintz

Saturday, May 10, 2014

* NOSTALGIC SUNDAY *

It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday
 
 
 
Once again, it's been a long time since I wrote a Nostalgic Sunday post. A few days ago, I decided Mother's Day would be a good time for another one.
 
Below are excerpts from my memoir pertaining to my love for my two sons. The first is from pages 128 & 129 of the chapter "Were Those Salad Tongs?" It's about my first son, Scott, who was born when I was only 19 years old.
 


 

      After being in labor off and on for more than14 hours, I finally was wheeled into a delivery room. I couldn't wait to be relieved of my agony and experience childbirth. The only problem with that was by the time I got the spinal, I instantly fell asleep from sheer exhaustion. I woke up briefly to the sensation of my innards being tugged on—a definite pulling, but not painful. Raising my head slightly, I gazed down toward the obstetrician. My vision was blurry, but I thought I saw some tongs, and then my head plopped back down. I had peculiar dreams but at the same time, felt awake and wondered how many hours had gone by and would I ever see my baby. Then a miracle happened. A nurse gently woke me and showed me the most beautiful, little face peeking out from a pastel blue blanket.

"You have a son!"

Looking at him, I realized that with his birth I, too, was reborn. I was no longer a teenage girl but a young mother, experiencing all the emotions of motherhood: cherishing, protecting, and nurturing. But most of all, an abundance of unconditional love. All I could say was, "Ohhhh," knowing my life would never be the same again.


~~~
 

 
This next one is from pages 193, 194, & 195 of the chapter "A Joyous Journey." It's about my second son, Mark, who was born when I was 34 years old.
 

 

     We had not planned on having a child of our own. We both had been married once before. He had two sons: a 20 year old, and a 16 year old, and I had my son, Scott, age 14. For one thing, we thought we were too old! We were dealing with teenage boys and trying to “semi” blend our sons into a family. (And as I’ve professed many times since then, “Real life ain't like The Brady Bunch!”)
       But as it happened, it seemed there was another plan for our lives that we weren’t aware of at the time.
On October 20, 1987, Mark was born by a scheduled C-section. Another boy! We were thrilled! Ron was able to be in the operating room with me, and I was so happy that he was able to share this miracle with me. But the nurses whisked Mark away, (Oh no. It's déjà vu, just like when Scott was born. What could be wrong?) Soon we were told that our baby had some fluid in his lungs and wasn’t breathing properly. He was kept in a special area of the nursery, with tubes attached in various places. It was heartbreaking, not being able to pick him up and cuddle him. Ron and I would walk down the hallway to see him and touch his little fingers and toes, and caress his little face, but we weren’t allowed to hold him or give him a bottle.
       I begged my doctor to let me stay in the hospital until Mark was well enough to come home. But insurance companies have their rules. I was forced, for lack of a better word, to leave the hospital without my newborn son.

After arriving home, all I could do was gaze at Mark’s new crib and his tiny clothes. I said about a million prayers, asking for a miracle, if that’s what it was going to take to bring him home.
Astonishingly, he began to improve immediately, and we were told we could take him home on October 26, which was only two days after my release. Joy set in, but also fear. What if he really wasn’t ready to be released from the hospital? What if he needed the expert care that he could only get there? The nurses assured both Ron and me that our baby was fine and ready to go home with his adoring, devoted, and doting parents! Bringing him home was one of the happiest days of our lives. We would jokingly argue over whose turn it was to give him his bottle, even those middle of the night feedings.
~~~
 

 A quote from my mother; also in my memoir, page 113.
 
"You know, Becky, you haven't been the same since that crowbar fell on your head."
 
~~~
 
 
 
(Please remember to stop by Maryann Miller's blog for her review of my memoir. It's supposed to be posted sometime Sunday, the 11th)
 
 
 
 
 
 
"The birth of my sons. The birth of new emotions...what a privilege. What a blessing." Elle Macpherson
 
 





Thursday, May 8, 2014

* UPCOMING REVIEW OF MY MEMOIR...AND MORE *

Happy Thursday, May 8th!

Why is it a Happy Thursday?? No particular reason except I'm alive and well, and spring is here! I look out the large window in my office and see tall trees, covered with green leaves. How much better could it get?!

I'd like to announce that Maryann Miller of It's Not All Gravy will be reviewing From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More on Sunday, Mother's Day, May 11th. And then on the following Wednesday, the 14th, I will be her Guest Blogger. I'm anxious to read her review because I haven't seen it yet! Sure hope she liked my memoir!  :)

My guest post will be something entirely new. So please stop by Maryann's blog to read it.

~~~
 
Also, don't forget about the great Mother's Day gift suggestions on my post of May 5th. It may be too late to mail something to arrive on time, but a belated gift is always a welcomed gift, too!
 
~~~
 
*Hints about some of my upcoming blog posts:
 
1) On Mother's Day, I'll post some paragraphs from my memoir about my love for my two sons.
 
2) Soon after that I'll reveal a little something extra that can be purchased along with my memoir now! I just developed the idea, so that's why it wasn't available sooner! Got your interest?? I'll think it will be a hit.....please keep your fingers crossed for me!
 
 
 
 
“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”  -- Anne Lamott

 
 


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

* MOTHER'S DAY GIFT SUGGESTIONS *

Mother's Day is only six days away!
Here are some great gift ideas:
 
* JUST UPDATED THIS MAY 7th AT 5:25 pm, CDT.
* This post is getting new participants added every day until Saturday, May 10th, at midnight, so please remember to keep coming back for new information. Thanks! *

Creative Carmelina's Blog and Etsy Shop. Carmelina makes beautiful items, some of which I own! I won a give-away of hers last year and wrote about it here. I love, love, love the crocheted tea cup, along with everything else, of course. The tea cup is one of my treasured items in my curio cabinet. Any of her creations would make lovely, unique gifts!


Here is an open invitation to all my talented followers who have items they've made that are For Sale. If you would like to be featured here, please either leave a comment that you'd like to participate, or e-mail me, with pertinent info.

googled

I also thought about contacting my writer friends and ask if they'd also like to mention their book(s) here. But, I would surely forget to ask more than one, and I obviously don't want to hurt anyone's feelings! (Books always make great gifts, too, so keep them in mind....whether they're print copies or e-books.)

So, the same invitation goes for followers who have books they've written and would like to sell. Please either leave a comment that you'd like to participate, or e-mail me, with pertinent info.


And, I can't possibly post something about books for sale that would make great Mother's Day gifts without mentioning my memoir -- Can I?! Please keep it in mind, too. Moms of any age would enjoy it! It can be purchased directly from me, or from Barnes & Noble (online only), or from Amazon, or STL Books.

~~~
 

* From Melissa Goodwin - Two children's books: The Christmas Village....and....Return to Canterbury.


 ~~~

* From Jennifer Shirk
Thanks, Becky! My book FIANCE BY FATE is a fun (and clean) romance--perfect for moms who own kindles or ereaders. :-)
http://www.amazon.com/Fiance-Fate-Anyone-Novel-Entangled-ebook/dp/B00J6U1DOW/ref=la_B002BM4L8M_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399317458&sr=1-4

~~~
  
* From Patricia Preston
Here is the link to my humorous short story, The Yard Salehttp://amzn.to/Jmog8Z  It is a funny story about a Southern gal having a yard sale. It is a Kindle ebook.

~~~
 

*From Susan Flett Swiderski
Anyhow, this is a great idea. Thanks for coming up with it. Yes, my book Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade would make a good Mothers' Day gift, too. It can be found on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/148489071X
It's also up for grabs on a Goodreads giveaway right now, and the widget can be easily accessed to whiz you right to the spot from my blog. Also, the week after Mothers' Day, the e-version of my book will be on sale for the paltry sum of ninety-nine cents.
~~~

* From Patt Hollinger Pickett
Thanks, Becky, for the opportunity! Your blog looks cool! Here’s my Mother’s Day gift info:
A 99 CENTS Kindle SALE! Great Mother’s Day gift.  Limited Time Only-- May 7-11
Get your e-version copy of The Marriage Whisperer: Tips to Improve Your Relationship Overnight for just 99 cents.
http://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Whisperer-Patt-Hollinger-Pickett-ebook/dp/B00GZPFDUG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399437823&sr=8-1&keywords=the+marriage+whisperer-kindle
~~~
 
* From McGuffy Ann Morris
"Weeds" is a poetry book based upon life's experiences and observations. Weeds come in many forms and varieties, from beautiful to plain, dangerous to harmless. Each has a purpose, if only to value what is important. It can be purchased from Amazon.com.
Thanks, Becky!
~~~


* From Carol Kilgore
Becky, what a great idea. In my book SOLOMON'S COMPASS, Taylor Campbell vows to never be like her mother. And we all know how that goes. Right?
Happy Mother's Day to all!

http://underthetikihut.blogspot.com/

~~~

* From Toby Speed
I love your Mother's Day gift idea. Moms who love murder mysteries might like my new book, Death Over Easy, available in hardcover and Kindle editions. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Death-Over-Easy-Toby-Speed/dp/1432827227/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1370955679&sr=8-2&keywords=death+over+easy
 ~~~

*From Terra Hangen
This is a super idea, and my book is written specifically for moms of all ages and is full of humor and tips. A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms, on Amazon.com, hardcover, color on each page. Oh, recipes kids love too. Terra Hangen, co-author. http://www.amazon.com/Scrapbook-Motherhood-Firsts-Stories-Celebrate/dp/0915547716/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399520881&sr=8-1&keywords=terra+hangen



 
"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." -- Rajneesh

Friday, May 2, 2014

* FRIDAY'S FEATURES *

Happy Friday! Another week has flown by and I'm happy to say I actually accomplished quite a few items on my List of Things to Do. I also created a schedule for myself that makes more sense than any of the other ones I've attempted to follow. Instead of writing down that I would perform a particular task on a certain day, and/or at a certain time, (which, of course NEVER worked) I did it this way:

Donate ______ hours for e-mailing.
Donate ______ hours for marketing.
Donate ______ hours for actual writing
Donate ______ minutes to Facebook
ETC.          ETC.           ETC.

** I can't believe I typed "Donate" four times, or the fact that I just now - 10:15pm Sunday night - realized it!! I meant to type: DEVOTE. **

I copy the sheet every morning, write the date on it, and get to work. So far, so good!
This helps me manage my time so much better. It hasn't been a perfect system because things do interfere, but it's a great beginning.

~~~
 
I'm excited to announce another site I found online to promote my memoir. It's Writing-World which I just mentioned in my April 26th post. It has a LOT of information, so take your time browsing! There's a link very close to the top of the main page that says BOOKS BY OUR READERS. <<<< You can get there by clicking this link. Different price packages are available for promoting a book, and believe me, they're very reasonable.
 
~~~
 
Are you the type of person who can read more than one book at a time? I really can't, and it's too bad because I'm "sort of" reading four or five books right now. Don't ask how it's going!  J AND, I just happened upon a table of books yesterday when I was at Dollar Tree (my very favorite dollar store.) Well, my goodness, a person can't pass up a table of hardcover books that are only One Dollar, can she? I've purchased books there many times. Some I take to Goodwill, (especially if I don't care for them) and others I'll take to writerly events where there's a table for free books. I bought a few just to donate to a government facility that requested books. Sheesh... I'm getting off course here....Anyway, I dug through the few books that were there, kept control of myself, and bought only one. I've only read 20 pages so far but that's pretty good because the print is so tiny, I get blurry-eyed after about 3 pages! The title is:
 
The Writing Circle
by Corinne Demas
 
It's about a woman who ......guess what??...joins a writers critique group! I'll let y'all know what I thought of it when I'm finished.
 
Buying it also reminded me of a book I bought in a Borders' bargain bin way before they closed:
 Blind Submission
 by Debra Ginsberg.

It's about books and a literary agency, etc. In one of the reviews on Amazon, it says "This is the book-world version of The Devil Wears Prada." I really enjoyed it! If anyone would like to read it and pass it along, I'll be happy to send it....anywhere in the US. (Sorry other countries!) The offer is the same for The Writing Circle when I'm finished reading it, too. 
 
 ~~~
 

Oh, guess what? I actually submitted a story for an anthology, which is something I haven't done since 2012! It was for the Special Call Out from Publishing Syndicate that I mentioned on April 26th. It will be awesome if my story is accepted!
 
~~~
 
 
 

Oh my gosh! The famous Blue Angels are in town this weekend! I am always thrilled and terrified at the same time when I see them in person, which has only been once or twice...Talk about having "nerves of steel." 
 
 
 
The Ronald and I might try to find a parking lot somewhere near to watch them. (We don't like crowds, and the admission is $12.00 per person! Yikes!)