Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Masterpieces of Religious Verse

Many years ago I found this huge volume of poetry Masterpieces of Religious Verse published 1948 by Harper and Row. Its contributors are thousands and I've turned to this book many times for comforting words, thought provoking, and just plain beautiful poems written long ago but timeless in their message. Here are but a few.

If We Knew - Author unknown

If we knew the cares and crosses
   Crowding round our neighbor's way;
If we knew the little losses,
   Sorely grievous day by day,

Would we then so often chide him
   For the lack of thrift and gain-
Casting o'er his life a shadow,
   Leaving on his heart a stain.

If we knew the silent story
   Quivering through the heart of pain,
Would our womanhood dare doom them
   Back to haunts of guilt again?
Life hath many a tangled crossing,
   Joy hath many a break  of woe,
And the cheeks tear-washed seem whitest,
   This the blessed angels know.

Let us reach into our bosoms
   For the key to other lives,
And with love to erring nature,
   Cherish good that still survives;
So that when our disrobes spirits
   Soar to realms of light again,
We may say, dear Father, judge us
   As we judged our fellowmen.


                                                  If I knew you and you knew me,
                                                  If both of us could clearly see,
                                                  And with an inner sight divine
                                                  The meaning of your heart and mine,
                                                  I'm sure that we would differ less,
                                                  And clasp our hands in friendliness;
                                                  Our thoughts would pleasantly agree
                                                  If I knew you and you knew me. 
                                                                Nixon Waterman, 1859-1944

Hem and Haw

Hem and Haw were sons of sin
Created to shally and shirk;
Hem lay 'round and Haw looked on
While God did all the work.

Hem was a fogey, and Haw was a prig,
For both had the dull, dull mind;
And whenever they found a thing to do,
They yammered and went it blind.

Hem was the father of bigots and bores;
As the sands of the sea were they,
And Haw was the father of all the tribe
Who criticize today.

But God was an artist from the first,
And knew what he was about;
While over his shoulder sneered these two,
And advised him to rub it out.

They prophesied ruin ere man was made;
"Such folly must surely fail!"
And when he was done, "Do you think, my
He's better without a tail?"

And still in honest working world,
With posture and hint and smirk,
These sons of the devil are standing by
While man does all the work.

They balk endeavor and baffle reform,
In the sacred name of law;
And over the quavering voice of Hem
Is the droning voice of Haw.

                             Bliss Carman, 1861-1929

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Procrastinating- there's always tomorrow, right?

Everyone knows 'The Sun'll Come out Tomorrow' right? It's true 'Tomorrow is never promised' and we all believe that 'Tomorrow is Another Day.'

One can easily see why the stuff we just can't seem to face or make time for today is put off. Especially when there really aren't enough hours in the day to get to everything, right? I hit the floor running and it seems the only time I sit down is when I'm driving. I laughingly told my husband my taking the long way home was sort of a mini vacation. Hey, I'm not complaining.

Good thing I'm not living back in 'the day.'

Up at the crack of dawn to a rooster crowing and hens clucking nervously around waiting to be fed.

Have you ever crept out of bed to an icy room so cold your breath clouded? And because you were the first one up you needed to stoke the fire? Never mind the fact it's a cast iron cookstove or maybe even a fireplace. If you were thinking of grabbing that hot cup of morning coffee you'd better hope someone has already been down to the well or riverbank and filled a pail of water. Seriously. Or maybe there's a rain barrel right outside the front door. Some homesteads even had a hand pump close by.

Great for rinshing mud off your shoes or even between your toes if you were the one who happened along the banks of the river. 

Rememeber those chickens pecking at the ground,
zig-zagging around the yard digging up bugs? Unless the Colonel is your
uncle and visiting with a bucket of orginal recipe, someone's gonna have
to catch one and....

Well, let's just say I'm happy it ain't my job.

I'll just stand by get the pot ready. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Novella- Night Bird is currently FREE!!

With a little tweaking and a brand new cover, Night Bird is gearing up to take flight once more! This novella will be available in ebook only. For a limited time Night Bird is FREE!  Oh, I almost forgot to mention the additional new ending! Yep,  new content, new cover, new price. Can't be that!
Check it out.


Known as the Night Bird, Emma Samson dedicates her afterlife to a solitary existence on Lost Isle easing the passage of the dying. When she finds Travis, weak and desperate to right a terrible wrong, she gifts him a few more days to settle his affairs.
Imagine Travis's surprise to wake from a nightmarish rescue and see the face of an angel...whispering the declaration that he has passed on!

Sorely lacking in faith, Travis must find the courage to test that what he cannot see in order to warn his father before it's too late.
But, can one find love in the last moments of life? Or is death just the beginning....


“Where am I?” His voice accusing and laced with warning. “What happened to the men on board my ship?”

The ominous furrowing of his brow held her in place, fearful of coming closer. She knew nothing of this man, shared only one common bond, the blood that bound them together.

From across the room, she watched him struggle to sit up. “More direct would be, what the devil has happened here? To cause this strange uncertainity draped upon me” he said, running a hand across his face. Long, tapered fingers traced his cheeks as if seeking some familiarity before his hand dropped to his lap. “Tis as if I’m not really here.” His voice shook with suspicion.

Emma knew the disjointed feeling, remembered the questionable surge as the body adjusted, the heady rush of adrenaline shortly after transformation.

“Please…” The stranger’s voice broke through her thoughts. “I must know. What’s happened to my ship? The lives of my men?”

The soft glowing candle illuminated the inky darkness that had fallen as the last light of sun disappeared beyond the horizon.

She met his questioning stare. “The ship you speak of went down. Only charred and splintered wood remains, along with a few barrels of oil carried in with the tide. There were no suvivors.”

"What am I then, if not proof that all aboard did not perish?" If I survived surely there are others."

"You did not survive. Your body drowned. I found you floating with the tide and pulled you to shore."

OOOOOOohhh gives me shivers just thinking about it!

Here’s a recap of what some reviewers have said:
Highly Recommend  
NIGHT BIRD by author Teresa Blue is a great short story. Travis a ship captain is found by Emma a paranormal being washed up on the shore. Emma has special abilities that help the dying complete their journey to death by finishing unfinished business. In the end Travis helps Emma with some of her own dreams never completed. This story is a fast read and I highly recommend it. This book was received for the purpose of an honest review.
Diane reviewed Night Bird
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
What a charming story!
A ship's captain washes ashore and is rescued by an angel. Literally. Emma has one gift to give the man near death--time. Time to come to terms with his death, time to rectify a wrong, time to love once more.

Teresa Blue's debut novella is a winner. Emma's earlier sacrifice tugs at the heartstrings. She's always put others before herself. You want to root for her to find the love that has been missing in her solitary...
A ship's captain washes ashore and is rescued by an angel. Literally. Emma has one gift to give the man near death--time. Time to come to terms with his death, time to rectify a wrong, time to love once more.

Teresa Blue's debut novella is a winner. Emma's earlier sacrifice tugs at the heartstrings. She's always put others before herself. You want to root for her to find the love that has been missing in her solitary life. Travis is the man who can make her whole. Well done, Ms. Blue.
Couldn't put it down & I didn't want to! May 5, 2012
I highly recommend this novella. I don't like to give away too much in any review I write, and I won't make an exception here, but I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with this read!

From the very first paragraph I was invested in this story. I was drawn into the mood and the characters. Emma is the perfect heroine for this story and Travis is not only sexy and manly as the hero, but tender and vulnerable...
I highly recommend this novella. I don't like to give away too much in any review I write, and I won't make an exception here, but I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with this read!

From the very first paragraph I was invested in this story. I was drawn into the mood and the characters. Emma is the perfect heroine for this story and Travis is not only sexy and manly as the hero, but tender and vulnerable at the same time.

Teresa Blue has a wonderful way of weaving her words together to bring her characters to life and put the reader right into the scene. Each word she used to describe what was happening was so well chosen, it made everything so crisp and easy to visualize. Top it off with Emma's emotion and caring attitude to her past, her present and her future and I was a goner. I didn't put this story down until I reached the end.

Beautifully written with twists and turns I didn't expect, I loved following along with Emma and Travis as they revealed themselves to each other...and the story was revealed to the reader. There were several times I was caught by surprise and that's a real treat when reading a story.

I'm not a professional reviewer, but if I were, I'd give this 2 thumbs up, 5 stars and lots of satisfied sighs!

Monday, January 25, 2016

A New Year calls for a celebration. Cheers! Bottoms up!

Happy New Year! Welcome 2016!

Might I suggest you pull up a chair or plop down at the bar with a frosty cool one. If the year was
1892, you might have been handed your beverage in a Wilton Armetale pewter mug like this one. A family-owned company founded by Ralph P. Wilton, Sr. in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania.
These mugs are individually cast and hand-finished so no two pieces are alike.
There are many designs to chose from. I was lucky enough to receive this mug for Christmas.
Ho! Ho! Ho!

And for those of us who require just a shot to keep the old joints lubed, how about this?

This particular glass holds about two oz. A goodly portion to get the job done. Plus, the detail on this shot glass is enough to make one order...well, several! Keep 'em coming, eh?

Made in Germany, Rein Zinn shot glasses are beautifully rich in design. And that's not all the folks at Rein Zinn make. There's tankards, steins, spoons and many more fashionable crafted items.

Lastly, how about this lovely pair? For the collector who literally has everything might be tempted to add FRANCE frosted shot glasses. I bought them for the handsome replica of tall-masted sailing ships. But ended up grabbing the stage coach as well because one never knows when the urge to hit the road may strike. Looking on Ebay I saw a liquor decanter that completes the set. I just may have to do some bidding.

Bottoms up!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year!


Another year is wrapping up and I’m knee-deep in holiday traditions. So much so, every weekend is filled shopping, baking, and spending time with those I love.


Aside from giggles with these two sweeties, there’ll be goodies! Carmel corn, chocolate fudge, cookies and cakes to eat all the days of Dec. And with the snacks come movies! Hours and hours of Christmas shows I’ve seen waaaaay too many times to count. Somehow I always manage to drop everything and sit down (or wrap presents while watching) and enjoy. In no time at all, I'm chuckling at the antics of Ralphie in The Christmas Story desperate to get his Red-Rider BB gun. Or marveling at how young June Lockhart was when she played in the original black and white A Christmas Carol.  The neighbors will probably hear me laughing at Red Skelton’s Christmas follies.


Now that I'm all grown up, the holidays can be a trifle sad if I start thinking how much I miss the old days. My own memories of Christmases past- me as a child, sharing in the joy and magic of the season with my brother always warms my heart.

I have a favorite memory of waiting in the car with my brother outside the toy store while Mom and Dad shopped. Santa was standing on the street corner ringing his bell and I worried about him working so late. I mean, gosh, he had such a big night ahead. The more I thought about it, the more I realized he must have already had his sled packed waiting nearby with the list tucked inside his bag. The one with all the names. Maybe even my name.

You see, I was pretty certain that I'd made the list, but things definitely looked iffy for my brother. And he must have been really worried too because eventually my brother rolled down the car window and called him over. After about a million psst! Hey, Santa! the big guy finally came over with a bellowing Ho! Ho! Ho! and handed each of us a candy cane.
Right about then Mom and Dad came out of the store. Dad opened the trunk as Santa walked over beside him. Twisting around in the backseat we peeked through the crack beneath the car's hood to watch them. Suppose they were trading secrets? Like last minute gift ideas. Not that Santa needs any suggestions but you never know.

And what to our wondering eyes did we see...? Our dad and Santa standing back there sharing a nip of holiday cheer! Yep! Jolly old St. Nick with his beard pulled up and head tipped back. Santa was well on his way to getting merry- (at least that's what I heard my dad say later when he got in the car.)
I don't think Mom was too happy.
But for us, it was a joyful time filled with snowflakes and icicles. :  )

I can almost feel the crisp night air as our breaths clouded around us. The cold frosty car windows and sweet tasting candy cane. Cheerful faces in my mind like a Norman Rockwell painting, folks rushing through the deepening twilight, darting in and out of the stores to grab last minute gifts or food. Everytime the doors would swing open holiday music would drift out into the street. The smiles and greetings left me with a warm contagious feeling that I get every December as the 25th draws near.

The most wonderful time of the year!  Why can't every day be like Christmas? At least the feelings of peace, hope, and love, all year long.

Whatever your memorie are, may your hearts be filled with the warm spirit of Christmas! 








Saturday, November 28, 2015

I love holiday stories and even wrote one of my own. The Season for Miracles, the story of a little girl and her dog alone on a snowy Christmas Eve. If you haven't gotten your copy yet, now is the perfect time because it's free!

One snowy Christmas Eve street urchin Victoria and her little dog spend hours wandering the chilly streets selling ribbons and peering through the store glass windows at the grand gifts designed to fill boys and girls Christmas wishes everywhere. 
But Victoria has a wish of her own. A yearning for something she wants more than anything else in the world. And perhaps this year Father Christmas will find her and make all her dreams come true. 
When a withered old storekeeper and his gentle wife find themselves in her company, they are at a loss. The couple has long forgotten the joys of Christmas spent with a child and the magic sure to follow when they open their home and their hearts to... The Season For Miracles.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's down-right Frightful how fast time flies!!!

Oh my gosh, I can't believe its November already...What? And that it's nearly over? OMG! Time really does fly!

I hope that you know but just in case, let me say how very much I appreciate all you magnificent readers. I'm like Wow! Because of you my romance novel, Man of Her Dreams, continues selling on Amazon.

And of course, that means someone out there is reading it!!

It always spurs me on to keep plotting and writing the next installment- Glory Daze, a novel featuring Dottie and Earl on their anniversary road trip. So many funny things happen to them, none the least that they find amusing at the time but you know what they say, don't you? 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'
I swear, by the time they get back home- if they get back- they'll be able to bench a truck! Or at least the vintage old Honda they're riding. Do you wanna peek? They've stopped at a motel for the night after a grueling day on the road.

*   *   * 
       Dot came out of the bathroom wearing her comfortable green robe. “I feel as if I’ve hit the ground from a forty-foot drop,” she said as she wobbled into the room,. Her body ached in places she’d forgotten she had. “Are you sure we didn’t wipe out back there?”  
    Earl balanced on the edge of the chair trying to toe off his new leather boots.  “Back where?” he managed to squeak out as he tugged on the offending boot.    
    “Here, there. I don’t know. Where the heck are we?” She slid around the edge of the bed stopping at the foot where he’d tossed their luggage. “Every bone in my body hurts,” she said, unzipping the leather bag.  “I’m glad I remembered to pack the ointment.” Dot retrieved the tube of topical arthritis pain medicine. “Be a sweetie and rub some on my back.”
       Earl was pulling on the heel of his boot, his face red and forehead dotted with sweat. “Let me get these damn shoes off first” he grimaced, hooking the boot’s heel on the edge of the coffee table and pulled. A white stocking foot slowly emerged. He repeated the process, freeing his other foot from the stiff leather boot and sent it sailing across the room.
     He fell back into the plush chair cushions; both arms flung to his side as he closed his eyes. “Ahhh.” He flexed his feet and wiggled his toes. “Whose idea was it to wear new boots, anyways?”
     “Yours, remember? Along with the leather jacket and Oakley’s?” She eyed the white double duvet on the bed and made slow process toward the center of the cushiony mattress.  “No sense looking like an amateur, you said.”
     “As if. You forget, this isn’t my first rodeo.”
    “Yeah. And the Honda’s no horse, either.”
    “I’ll admit these days I’m more of a soft leather type. Like George Clooney or Cary Grant …” Dot held back a laugh. Ha! George Clooney my foot. And the only resemblance Earl had to Cary Grant was the dusting of gray hair. 
    “…distinguished. Comfortable. Did we by any chance pack my Rockford’s?”
       She gave a weak grin and twisted her shoulders left, then right, stiff joints cracking noisily as she moved. “They’re in the bag. I’ll dig them out in the morning,” Once more holding out the lotion. “But for now, can we concentrate on me? Please? I can’t get rid of these kinks in my lower back."
     “In a minute, Dot. I wanna make sure you packed the shoes.”
      She shrugged and tilted her head; the continual racket as she attempted to loosen her neck was drowned by embarassing creeks coming from her knees as she tried to sit cross-legged on the bed. She should probably just pop a couple ibuprofens and forget the lotion. Earl looked worn out as he stood rummaging through the satchel.
       “Aha!” he said as he pulled out the worn leather shoes and set them on the floor. Earl moved like a hundred year old turtle- backing up to the edge of the bed while keeping his back ram-rod straight- like it were tied to a board and then descended slowly onto the mattress. Part of her wanted to feel bad for him. Six hours on the back of a motorcycle was a tad much. But this whole anniversary road trip was his idea. He needed to act his age. Which was middle-aged, not some empty-headed twerp barely out of high school.    
       Earl turned slowly and took the tube from her. “Okay, Dot. Where’s it hurt?”
      “A better question would be where does it not hurt? Which would be my chin, probably because it was cushioned against your back.”
      “I know. I have a dent to prove it.” He unscrewed the tube, making a face as the vapors released into the air. The tube made a noise as he squirted a generous pile in his palm.
      Immediately the scent of camphor wafted between them. “I’ll be quick.” The cold ointment touched her skin followed by Earl’s strong palms, rubbing the cream between her shoulder blades.
     Naturally. She groaned. If she had a dollar for every time she’d heard that lately she could afford her own private masseuse.  Hard to believe they used to spend hours in bed, rubbing bottle and bottle of oil into each other’s skin. The radio would be playing softly in the background and a gentle breeze from a window fan gave them just the right amount of privacy in their tiny apartment.
    Splat! Earl pushed the lotion up around her neck, massaging the nape of her neck and carelessly hitting the rim of her ears which immediately started to burn. When did he become so rough?
     Dot closed her eyes. Some things never change despite their location. But she could pretend…let herself dream she was being pampered in a fancy ladies spa hotel with a muscular masseuse rubbing herbal scented oils into her skin…flirting…playing.
     Lost in a daydream the smelly lotion took on a fruity aroma, of pineapple and coconut and she pretended to feel the heat of the tropical sun beaming down….
     “How’s that?” He said, slapping her on the back. "Better?"
     Pop! The fantasy ended but the heat penetrated deep into her aching muscles brought immediate relief. In a matter of moments soothing warmth began to work its magic.
       “Anything else?” Earl said as he capped the tube and tossed it onto the bed. He strolled across the room in his stocking feet, soundless, except for the noise sounding like pop-rocks coming from his joints. “Epson salt? A pedicure? Maybe you’d like some hot towels to drape around your sore shoulders?”
       She ignored the sarcasm. “Mmm…Sounds wonderful,” she murmured, and stretched out across the soft bed, closing her eyes. “I’d be willing to try anything but I can hardly move much less roll over.”
      She could hear Earl rummaging around in the bag but she was too weary to open her eyes. He was big enough to lay out his own socks.
     “Who said you need to roll over?” He slid across the spread beside her.
     Suddenly cautious, and very leery of his tone, Dot cracked one eyelid. What squirrel crawled up his leg? She twisted just enough to see him more clearly, taking note of the gleam in his eyes as he arched his brow. “I have just the thing here that’ll fix you right up. Something to take the edge off.”
       “The edge off what?” She attempted to sit up, but his arm flailed out preventing her from sitting up. Instead, she lay back and turned onto her side to face him. “Earl?”       

      He raised his eyebrows rapidly in a wiggling, comical, silent-movie fashion. “Inquiring minds want to know.” 

First draft stage and all but definitely fun. I love road trips, don't  you?