Thursday, July 30, 2015


On June 18th, I wrote about winning a beautiful little charm of a bi-plane. 

To be eligible to win, I pre-ordered a hardcover copy of Susan Crandall's newest book, The Flying Circus. (If you missed that blog post, you can click on the link above to read about it.)

The beautiful book arrived the first part of July and I immediately fell in love with it the moment I opened it, without even reading one word. Why? It had an aroma similar to the books I read when I was young, especially those old, library books! Newer books these days just don't have that same scent. I think it has to do with recycled paper, or something. So, still today, every time I pick up a book that I'm interested in, whether I'm in the library, or a store, I must open it and take a deep sniff! (Don't worry, I don't actually put my nose ON the paper! I must say though that I've gotten some strange looks!)

Because of being a bit overwhelmed this month, (so what else is new?!) I haven't finished Susan's book yet, but I am LOVING it! I will definitely post a review when I've completed it.

And just why did I want to write about this today? Because when I e-mailed Susan to let her know I received the book, I also shared with her that I've been a "book smeller" all my life, and when she replied, she said she loved the term "book smeller!"

What about you? Do you sniff books? Or other inanimate items?? And if so, why?

"I stepped into the bookshop and breathed in that perfume of paper and magic that strangely no one had ever thought of bottling." -- Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Happy Wednesday, y'all ~

I've had 392 Followers for a LONG time, and I truly appreciate every single one, from the moment they decided they liked my little blog, right on up to the present. I've lost a couple here and there, but that's okay, too....especially since I haven't been blogging regularly for a LONG time, either.

Remember the excitement each new follower brought? I do. I miss that, and since I'm getting back into blogging again, I hope more people will somehow find me. Can you help me? I've been thinking of some kind of give-away to have (it won't be for my memoir, unless someone specifically asks for it. And only because some people may be tired of hearing about it!) Any ideas?? I'm thinking that everyone likes gift cards! I could offer a gift card (to just about anywhere) to anyone who sends the most friends my way, or something like that.

What are your thoughts? ...And yes, I know the number of followers isn't really important, but it's like the number of reviews I've received on Amazon....S L O W!


Wishing everyone a beautiful, blissful day wherever you are and whatever kind of weather you're having. We're having HOT and HUMID....but hey, it's summer and that's how it's supposed to be around here!


* I just thought of something else. Remember when blogging was really popular, around 2009 and 2010? So many of us had Play Lists with tons of our favorite songs. I miss that! I don't think there's anything available like that anymore, is there? ....You know, that's free!

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." - C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Today is my oldest son's birthday. I was a mere child myself when Scott was born on this day, July 28. The following is the first couple of paragraphs in the chapter titled, "Were Those Salad Tongs?" from my memoir, From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More.


The U.S. Army almost killed my newborn son and me. Actually, it wasn’t the entire Army—just a few medical personnel at William Beaumont Hospital in Ft. Bliss, Texas.

It was the end of July 1972, a week before my due date. I was swollen, bloated, and miserable. Our living room “furniture” provided zero comfort, such as it was. Two webbed lawn chairs near the black and white TV were the sum of our décor. My only alternative was to lie on our bed with its saggy, lumpy mattress.

Scott and me in Germany, 1973
As you can see from the photo above, we both made it through the horrible delivery. Scott was a plump, happy, and healthy little guy! (Ah, for would be nice to be that slender again...and young, but in totally different circumstances.)
I know, too, that I wouldn't be the person I am today, had I not lived through all the ups and downs in my life, and that makes it all worth it.
Some of you will remember the very frightening time in the summer of 2010 when Scott had a burst appendix, while being in England for business.
Happy Birthday, Scott! I love you humongously! J
"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing." ~ Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987
"There is an enduring tenderness in the love of a mother to a son that transcends all other affections of the heart." – Washington Irving

Sunday, July 26, 2015


It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday

This Nostalgic Sunday post is going to be about my beloved dogs, because I recently heard from my pal, Tracie Hotchner, about this upcoming Dog Film Festival in New York City, which is her project! (Sure wish I lived near there!)

"THE FIRST ANNUAL DOG FILM FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK IS A CELEBRATION OF THE REMARKABLE BOND BETWEEN DOGS AND THEIR PEOPLE. The Dog Film Festival is a project of The Radio Pet Lady Network and Tracie Hotchner. - See more at: "

My nostalgia today is about the three dogs I've had in my life...yes, only three, including my current old guy, VERN! We didn't have pets when I was growing up except for an occasional gold fish which is NOT a least in my opinion! (In my memoir sequel, I'm including a story about having a puppy for only a couple of days, until I had to give him back.)

Anyway....My first much-loved dog was Rocky. We got him as a 6 month old puppy when The Ronald and I were newlyweds - (1983 or '84)

This is my oldest son, Scott, holding Rocky soon after we got him.
Awww.....aren't they both adorable?!

We knew nothing about having a puppy, especially living in a small apartment, where nobody was home except in the evenings and on weekends! I wrote about our episodes with Rocky in my memoir, and also for NYMB ...On Dogs 

A few years later, the minute we brought newborn Mark home from the hospital, Rocky was there looking out for him. He didn't want to let people get too close to him in the bassinet! Rocky lived to be almost 14 years old and was always Mark's companion.

Rocky and Mark 1988
~ ~ ~
Here is beautiful Tiger Gal. We got her at a shelter when she was 6 months old, just a month after we said goodbye to Rocky. Part of why we chose her was because she resembled Rocky's markings. She, too, lived to be 14 years old. We had to say goodbye to her just a couple of weeks before Christmas in 2010. I wrote about her on my blog here:
~ ~ ~
And is Vern. (June 2015)

Those of you who don't know the story about Vern, here's a condensed version: Three months after we had to say goodbye to our beloved Tiger, I was ready to look for another dog. Wanted an "older" dog....a companion, and not a frisky puppy. Found Vern, a lab mix, online at a shelter. His age was listed as eight, but found out he was really nine and a half.....big difference in dog years! But, we brought him home with us (in March 2011) and have been in love with this fabulous dog ever since! He is sweet, loving, smart, funny and just plain perfect. We will celebrate his birthday next month - - he'll be 14 years old, and our hopes and prayers are that he lives to be 20! (as long as he is healthy and happy)


Friday, July 24, 2015


Earlier today I wrote about a new site I found a few months ago: Carrie Ann Lahain. Whether you're an author and/or reader, you'll find many interesting book reviews and other articles. Please check it out.


Another site I stumbled across not too long ago is The Fussy Librarian. Again whether you're an author and/or reader, this site is for you! It's free to join, I highly recommend it, and will write more about it on a later post.

If you click on the link above on Saturday the 25th after about 12:00 noon CDT, my memoir should be the first or second one appearing on the page! Newsletters are e-mailed to members, and those who indicated they enjoyed reading memoirs, will be notified about mine, along with others. Only so many are highlighted per day, so it's not too overwhelming. Please take a moment to check it out!

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." - William Wordsworth


Looking for a good book to read? Or maybe to add to your already huge stack of "to be read" books? Keep reading and you'll find out where to read tons of reviews that might help you decide.

I don't remember how I found Carrie Ann Lahain (you know, the usual web searching, blog hopping, etc. and then I have no idea how I got there?) I love her statement at the top of her site: Because Good Writers Read!

Carrie is both a writer, a voracious reader, and sometimes gives book reviews. I'm very grateful that she agreed to read my memoir, From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More. Her review is posted on Amazon, other websites, and it's highlighted today on her website here:

One of the things I really enjoyed about her review was how she "got it", how she grasped what I wrote about my relationships with my mother and my oldest sister.

Carrie stated she's slowing down on review request acceptances because she has SO many already, but you can check out her website and read the requirements.

Thank you again, Carrie, for sharing your thoughts about my memoir.

"Keep in mind that the person to write for is yourself. Tell the story that you most desperately want to read." -
Susan Isaacs


Thursday, July 23, 2015


It is 1:20 am, Thursday, July 23rd.

I am Reenergized ~

I am Revitalized ~

I am Rejuvenated ~

Why? You may ask.

I will tell you why. This is definitely one of those "Happiness Is..." situations. It depends on the person involved, and what's been going on in that person's life for a period of time, and what recently happened to make that person happy.....

I've been doing load after load of laundry and there haven't been any problems! Happiness is...being able to do my laundry again!

Please click on the arrow.

"Simple pleasures. Makes life worthwhile." - Kristen Chandler   

Sunday, July 19, 2015


It's Time Again for Another Nostalgic Sunday!
I'm particularly nostalgic today and I think it's because of the various challenges I've had to deal with the past month. I'm longing (at least a little bit) for those days of simpler times....of naïve childhood summers.....
...of window fans
...of Jack Benny & "Hoss" from Bonanza

...of aluminum tumblers, with "sweaters" to catch the moisture


...of visits to grandparents in Greenfield, Iowa

...of hand crank ice cream makers


...of hand crank ice crushers

What about you? What are some of your special, yet simple summer time memories from your childhood?

P.S. Please excuse how jumbled my photos and captions are. Blogger just would NOT work with me this evening!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


*Note: I just realized this is my 1,000th post!

I haven't posted anything about the craziness going on here, which began on June 30th when The Ronald had total knee-replacement surgery on his right knee. He came home two days later and has been doing amazingly well ever since.....which is exactly the way I envisioned he would.

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

The hardest part for me has been keeping track of all his medications. I made a chart listing them all, what they were for, and at what times he needed to take them. Some were once a day, others were every 12 hours, others were twice a day...but with meals, etc., etc.

And along with those chores as The Ronald's caretaker, Vern was a bit more "needy" in the early stages of Ron being back home, too. There were strange, new things around the house: a walker, an exercise contraption, a large bandage on daddy's knee, etc.

Things were settling down pretty well when just a week after Ron's surgery, I became aware of some major tooth pain in one of my back molars. Long story short, I had to have oral surgery because it was cracked, couldn't be saved, and wasn't a "typical" tooth-pulling. I came home looking like a chipmunk with a huge bruise. Still today, I have a smaller, multi-colored bruise on my right jaw, but no swelling.

Vern looking at me when I first came home as if he's thinking...
"Who IS that? It can't be Mom!"
After he looked at me in the above photo, I kept talking to him and calling him by name,
 and he wouldn't even look back at me!
 (Besides the swollen cheek and huge bruise,
I still had gauze in my mouth and didn't sound like myself, either!)

This was taken on Friday, I think.

So, I've been trying to catch up on "normal" household chores such as laundry (but we have also acquired a bit of a plumbing problem,) so things are piling to speak! (The plumber is supposed to be here later this afternoon.)
I'd like to leave a final thought from my friend, the brilliant Robert Brault. This is from his book, The Second Collection: Thoughts and Other Writings. It is currently unavailable, but his first book can be found here:

"Some mornings you wake up to the smell of the coffee, and some mornings you wake up to the smell of the halibut from last night's supper." - Robert Brault

Thursday, July 9, 2015


I chose today's blog post title for three reasons:
1) It's been raining here so hard, for so long, that I just keep thinking, When it rains, it pours. (and when will it ever stop?)
2) I love the Morton Salt logo and slogan!
3) Let's call it "Nostalgic Thursday!"

Morton Salt girl - 1956
This is the Morton Salt image that I remember as a little girl. Our home always had a container Morton Salt. Mother not only cooked meals, she baked all kinds of goodies, and every recipe called for salt then, didn't it??

And maybe one of the reasons I loved looking at the little Morton Salt girl was because she looked like me....or I looked like her!

P.S. Our dad always got a kick out of the fact that my brother and I could sing all of the cigarette commercial songs! Boy, how times have changed.

Do you remember any slogans or logos from your childhood? Please share!