Friday, February 28, 2014


Ah yes, it's another fun day in my Midwestern household. It's bright and sunny, which I'm very happy to see as I look out my large window, although I know it's cold. At the moment, Vern is snoozing on the day bed next to my small kitchen table which has been my fill-in desk until I can get the one I really want. More about that another time....
There's been a bunch of workers outside since about 7:00 am this morning, trimming trees, with chain saws and making a lot of loud noise. I can't see them from where I'm sitting, but I certainly can hear them. Anyway.....just a few minutes ago, Vern and I both heard a
Huge Ka-Boom!
and felt the house shake! That's when I jumped up and looked out and realized they're not only "trimming," they are sawing down a tree or two. The BOOM was obviously when a large trunk slammed onto the ground! Did I mention we live in an area with lots of OLD trees? I just love it in the summer because there is so much shade. I do know, though, that the two they took down were in bad shape.

By the time it occurred to me to grab my camera, the huge trunk had been sawed into smaller pieces, and transported away, until there was just the stump. That, too, was dug out and removed.

Well, it's now hours later since I started this blog post. Life happens! So, now onto a different subject...
Yesterday I spent more time in my car than usual, and most was while driving on highways. Whoa! Look out! I usually remember to bring along some CDs to listen to, but I forgot. There's a surprise. I switched around radio stations, trying to find the right music to "drive to." I came across "Evil Woman" by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and immediately drove a teeny bit faster. J That reminded me that I should put together my list of Top Ten Songs For Fast Driving (which I'll have to really put some thought into!) The only other one I could think of at that time was "Lake Shore Drive," by Aliotta, Haynes, Jeremiah. There's nothing like a hot, sunny day, speeding down the highway, and blasting that song from my car's speakers! I still love it, and I wonder what much younger drivers think when they see this little old lady behaving like a 20-something! LOL         
What about you? What are some of your favorite "driving songs"?       
Now for more exciting news.....  A BIG winter storm, Titan, is supposed to drop snow, sleet, and possibly some freezing rain, beginning sometime tomorrow, and lasting through this coming Monday. Where I live is in the 5" to 8" range. Will winter ever end? Will warmer/hot temperatures ever return?? Can most of us take any more of this?? Accckkkkk!
** Welcome to my newest follower, Julie at Empty Nest Insider. I hope you will stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you so much! **

"When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter." -- Phil Connors (movie Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


As I mentioned in a previous post......

I'm featured today on Women's Memoirs, in a Q&A post: "My Long and Zig-Zaggy Road to Memoir Publication."

Please stop and leave a comment if you can. Matilda worked very hard getting everything set up for me.
I'll share more info in another day or two, but for now, please hop over to here!
"Whether you believe you can or not, you're right." - Henry Ford

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I'd like to share a bizarre little story that still baffles me.

My Kodak printer/copier ran out of color ink about a week ago,
and I finally went to Walmart on Saturday to buy a new package.

It was properly sealed. 

The box had not been opened.
There weren't any cuts or tears in the cardboard.

I grabbed my scissors to cut open the silver bag.......

And saw that it had already been cut open!
 It wasn't a jagged tear. It was a cut. 

I immediately thought, This is bad. This is really bad.
They are not going to allow me to return or exchange this!

The orange, plastic cover was snapped onto it as it's supposed to be.
But that ink cartridge was EMPTY! When I removed my used one, and clicked the "new" one into place, I just knew it was either empty or close to it because it was very lightweight. I did try to use it to print something, but the copier just kept yelling at me to replace my empty cartridge! (Why can't it still go ahead and print black and white documents?? That's what I use the most.) My stomach just sank. I knew if I took it back to Walmart and told them the truth, they'd never believe me.
Heck, I wouldn't believe me.
Well, I figured out a way to not lose any money in this little predicament. The same day I bought the ink cartridge, I also bought a new watch ($10.88) and some makeup ($7.00?) Luckily, I hadn't opened either one yet, and so they are going back to the store for a refund of almost the price of the ink cartridge!
I don't have to have those two items, but I do have to have my ink!

Sheesh! I finally got all my laptop and e-mail issues straightened out, and then this happened! Oh could be a lot worse! Just call me Pollyanna!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

* Love Your Pet AND Your Friends! *

Happy Thursday, February 20th, 2014
I was having a hard time coming up with something interesting to write about today and then I remembered a site that always has unusual information to share:
I'm so glad I checked it out because, according to them, today is, among other things,  Love Your Pet Day, and International Friendship Week (Feb 16-22) TWO of my favorite things:
My beloved dog, Vern
is so special.

He is definitely loved,

and spoiled!! J

To have friends and to be a friend to others,
is an amazing gift in life, so hang on to them dearly!
I treasure all my friends, particularly those bloggie friends who I've never met, and most likely never will. We have such strong, magical connections.

Thank you all!

But you got to have friends
The feeling's oh, so strong
You got to have friends
To make that day last long
-- Bette Midler
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs, yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend all day on a couch with a resting head and supportive eyes to lift the spirits of a broken heart.” So God made a dog. source


*Important Note: In my previous blog on February 17th, I inadvertently left out one of my blog tour stops! I'm so sorry! Sometime this April I will be featured on Juanita Nobles' blog. Juanita, I apologize! I'm looking forward to being on your blog, and I will add your blog asap to the list.

P.S. Is my new background showing up properly? Just wondering because no on has mentioned it yet!  I just love the new shabby + book design!  

Monday, February 17, 2014


Hello and Happy Monday!
Yeah, it's Monday. So, what do I have to be happy about?! My laptop is still working and I can write another new post! I'm trying to catch up with topics I've wanted to mention for quite some time. (AND, it was semi-warm here this afternoon -- like temps above freezing, and even warmer predicted for this week!)
Before I forget, please stop here and read my writer/blogger friend Claudia's beautiful poetry. And leave a comment if you can. (I had troubles, but it worked after I left out my blog address.)
I have some upcoming blog appearances that either mention my memoir or are longer guest posts.
February 18, tomorrow, I'll be at Elizabeth Seckman's blog. Please stop by and say hello. Elizabeth has an awesome blog, is also an author, and knows how it feels to self-promote books!

February 26, I'll be featured on Women's Memoirs, in a Q&A post. Please stop and leave a comment if you can. Matilda worked very hard getting everything set up for me. The title of it is:

My Long and Zig-Zaggy Road to Publication
So, You Think You're Too Old to Write?

March 10, I'm doing a guest post on Carol Kilgore's blog, Under the Tiki Hut. My post there will be different from previous ones.

Date still to be specified The lovely Karen Lange has been patiently waiting for me to answer the questions she sent me ages ago, so I can also be a guest on her blog. Thank you, Karen!

Date still to be finalized Another blog stop happening at Juanita Nobles' blog sometime in April. (I apologize for inadvertently leaving this one out when I first posted it on Monday!)


* I'll also be hosting other writers on my blog very soon. If you would like to be featured here, please send an e-mail to the one listed in my profile. (And if we've already discussed your visit, but I've been a bit forgetful, please remind me!) *

I'd like to know opinions and/or knowledge about:  Kirkus Reviews
I just don't understand this. Writers from all over the world pay lots of money -- anywhere from $425 for "standard service" to $575 for "express service" for a review of their books. And what if the review isn't favorable? Has anyone paid for a Kirkus Review, or something similar? Or know anyone who has?

"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do." -- Bob Dylan 

(surely he knows that applies to women, too!)

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Happy Saturday, everyone.

I have lots of news & information that didn't get posted during my blog hiatus, (due to my laptop/internet issues. Grrrr..!) so today I'm going to post a bit of a salmagundi. << If you don't need to look up the definition of that word, you have my sincere admiration! 

** Please stop by Bish Denham's blog to read something really uncanny! **

First of all, at Coffee & Critique about a month ago, one of the members, Jack Zerr, read from the novel he's presently writing, The JO Bunkroom. (JO stands for Junior Officer.) It is set in 1970/71 and concerns Vietnam, and carrier pilots encountering the war at that time. The two main characters are Amos Kane (self-proclaimed Cool Hand Duke) and Jon Zachery. I asked Jack for permission to post the following paragraph because I thought it was so beautiful. It was just one of those times when the writing really "got to me," ya know?

It was like I was the airplane. I didn’t pull back on the stick, to get the plane climbing. It was more like I got my nose up, to get me climbing. I felt as if I had two sets of eyeballs. One set flew the instruments, the other took in the stars, gazillions of them against the black, and they seemed to twinkle happy light at me. It was the first time I’d felt like flying was just the coolest damned thing, and at night, too. Night flying’s kind of like work, but, man, not that night.

To learn more about Jack, click here.

On January 28th, I received Mary Kay Shanley's e-newsletter, which included a little write up about my memoir! I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Kay in 2010 when I attended the wonderful writer/spiritual retreat in Des Moines, Iowa. (Although I was born in Illinois, my roots are in Iowa. My parents, both sets of grandparents, and my two older sisters were eith born there, or lived there for many years.) I included a few chapters about Iowa, particularly Greenfield, Iowa, in my memoir, and I still love to visit as often as I can. I wrote about the 2010 retreat on my blog in the following posts, if anyone would like to read about it:

Hopefully, I'll do more catching up tomorrow with another new blog post!

"Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself." -- Alan Alda

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Anniversary, More Laptop Problems, Free Books, & More

Today is a wedding anniversary for The Ronald & me: 31 Years! I don't know how this can be possible since I'm only 35 years old! J

Seriously, where have the years gone?? Sure, we've had our ups and downs over the years, but managed to always work things out, and keep loving each other. A story I wrote about our marriage is in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Love Stories (2007)

(I think he has something planned because last night he said, "We can exchange our anniversary cards later this week, ok?" And I replied, "Sure!" Good idea since I hadn't gotten anything for him yet...either!)

Notice the jagged edge on the left bottom? Our big, ol' puppy at that time, Rocky, decided a few of our wedding pictures were quite tasty. That little bit of information is included in a story I wrote for NYMB...On Dogs (2012)

My son, Scott, worked on my laptop for a couple of hours last night, figured out what the problem was, and fixed it...

(image from Google)
BUT the never-ending-saga of my computer problems continues....Late last night I began having problems sending and receiving e-mails. So, if you are expecting an e-mail from me, please don't fret. I'll get this straightened out as soon as possible.

I'd finally realized, too, I was getting down in the dumps, not because of the frigid temperatures, but because I couldn't use my laptop properly! Yes, it's a large part of my life!

No wonder I feel like this!
And I pretty much look like it, too!


* To those who are interested in winning a print copy of my memoir, either click on these words: GOODREADS GIVEWAY 

Or, go to the gadget on the right column and click on just these 2 words: giveaway details right above the Enter to win box.

I'm giving away FOUR print copies, so stop on over there! *


** Welcome to my two newest followers, B.A. Wilson & Carrie at Cottage CozyI hope you both will stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you so much! **

I have so much more to post, but won't do anymore here. I don't want information to get lost due to TMI. I'll just say some topics include: Melissa Goodwin, Jack Zerr, Shirley Showalter, Women's Memoirs, Under the Tiki Hut, Karen Lange, Juanita Nobles, & more!
And now a few humorous quotes.....

"Helpdesk: There is an icon on your computer labeled "My Computer". Double click on it.
User: What's your computer doing on mine?"


"See daddy ? All the keys are in alphabetical order now."

"I realized I was officially a professional writer when all my plans began with "drink coffee" and ended with "take a nap." -- Cassandra Duffy