Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Words are powerful and have the ability to hurt, heal, and seal the deal into a promise of a lifetime.

I had never really thought about it when I was younger but I always knew I had the ability to weasel out of a situation by quick thinking and a silver tongue. Sure, it didn’t always work but not because I didn’t try. Seeing my mother standing in the doorway looking at her watch with the dark leather snake hanging at her side was encouragement enough to dig deeper and give it another go.

I later learned this is called lying, or stretching the truth. Fabricating. And soon after discovered ways to enhance my …um, silver tongue by using it to my advantage. 

I write fiction.

That's right. The stories I pen are false. Not real. They happen in my head. I dreamed it all up.

It’s funny how something we struggled with during infancy, drooling and gurgling until finally popping out a recognizable word, suddenly opens up a whole new audience.

Not only are Mom and Pop looking on gleefully, but they’re shoving you front and center into a whole set of on-lookers while you proudly babble off this remarkable talent. Seriously, I remember being the only one in Sunday school singled out to sing Jesus Loves Me. My brother sat in the pew making faces. Geesh...what an experience.

Um...but back to words and their marvelous magical substance they possess.
Upon entering school one of the best thing I remember is my introduction to Jane, Dick and Spot, bold printed simple words that opened up a whole other group of friends. Books. Page after page of words delivered in such a way I’m changed, transformed, no longer the same. Because of words.

The Bee Gees said it best, “It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away.”

Thursday, December 8, 2016

"What's the matter? Doesn't he like Christmas?"

Hurry! Grab your free copy! Because giving never goes out of style!

It's Christmas Eve and 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.

                                                         Merry Christmas ya'll! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Goodbye is never easy...

Remember what it feels like when the last day of school or summer camp is over and it's time to say goodbye to the people with whom you've shared so many hours of your life? There's a heaviness in your chest, a gloom that just won't lift no matter what you try. And despite the promises to stay in touch, you know things will never be the same from this day forward. Life will go on, and sadly, those faces who have meant so much, will eventually, disappear from your life forever.

That's kinda of how I'm feeling. After spending an exciting, and very emotional summer with the Bravo Company, a platoon of soldiers during the Vietnam war, I must accept the fact the series has ended...and without a happy-ever-after. Of course, I knew it couldn't end any other way, and yet as I watched all three seasons as Tour of Duty exposed the turbulent years 1967 through 1969, I prayed the men would return home safe and sound to smiling faces and warm embraces.

Sadly, that didn't happen.
Many of the young men who found themselves stationed there, eager to serve their country, were sent home in a body bag to a country who gave no consideration of what their lives had meant to their families or of the ultimate sacrifice they gave. The ones who did survive, returned wounded, scarred and disillusioned to a homeland that had turned its back on them. This award winning series opened my eyes to many issues of the Vietnam era I'd only heard of. There were examples of soldiers risking their lives to take a hill- many dying in the attempt- only  to be ordered to leave the area and let Charlie reclaim it. I also discovered that over the course of the war 18 million gallons of chemical war far we know as Agent Orange was sprayed over the jungles, the fields, and homes, and our men included. Because of this show, I understand now why this war was not won. It couldn't be. It was not our fight.

These episodes were heartbreaking. And yet, I'm glad to have watched the entire series. And to all the real men and women who served in Vietnam, a heartfelt thank you.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Paper or electronic - I'm more old-fashioned than I thought

I love ebooks, especially how quickly they're downloaded upon purchased. Within moments and a few clicks, I'm able to begin reading.

And yet there's something missing (for me) when I'm reading along electronically. There's no place to
tuck my scrap of paper, my empty bank envelope or sales receipt I often use as a bookmark. Because
an ebook doesn't need reminding- it goes directly to the last page read.

Before I learned how to turn off the speaker, while sitting in the dentist's waiting room, I opened my Kindle, turned it on, and it loudly announced to everyone the book's title I'd selected to read, 'COME LOVE A STRANGER.'

Yuk! Was that embarrassing.

However...a friend recently told me of a book she'd finished and raved about. And so, sitting in my pj's, I quickly found the title, click, and was reading said in a matter of minutes.

But I'm not telling you anything you don't know. The ebooks are here to stay. I know I'll still rush to the book store in search of a new release. And there's something about the feel and smell of a current edition. But, I'm glad for the ereader, and how wonderful it is to know that no matter whenever I go, I'll never be without
many reading options at my fingertips. Now, if only they offered a dog-eared corner.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Downton Abbey- DVD collection

Downton Abbey- my new addiction

I know, I’m late to the party. This wonderful series has actually ended now but thankfully available to first-timers like me on DVD.

The year is 1912, the setting- a Edwardian country house filled with the Crawley family, servants and secrets.

Robert, the Earl of Grantham and his American heiress wife Cora are having a perfectly idyllic life with their 3 daughters.

Mary, the oldest, Edith, a somewhat spiteful middle, and Sybil, sweet tempered and liberal minded for her times.

It’s highly addictive to watch this family with its intricate dealings of society’s expectations, meddling family members and both, deceitful and honorable servants go about a somewhat normal daily routine.

There’s the stiff Mr. Carson who runs the household, along with Mrs. Hughes- who actually has never been married. Add Mr. Bates, a somewhat scarred fellow who walks with a limp, nevertheless  possesses a deep loyalty to the earl. So deep in fact, he puts his own happiness above that of the Crawley family. 

And I find it nerve-wracking to watch Thomas and O’Brien smoking in the yard and plotting the next disaster to bring Downton.

One could never forget the insufferable Dowager Countess, Violet, mother to the earl and although she regards her Cora as an interloper, the old girl upholds secrets that could bring the house down. Truthfully, I adore her!

With the sinking of the Titanic and a lost heir, Mathew Crawley, third cousin once removed is brought to the estate as heir to an earldom. What better solution to keep Downton in the family than for lady Mary to marry him. If she would only agree before another heir may or may not be born. One fleeting moment changes everything.

And that’s barely a skim of the characters or goings on. There's Daisy and Anna, oh, and Jayne, who if word ever got out, would cause havoc for sure! In a house this size there is never a dull moment! I’m eagerly devouring and must be careful to avoid spoilers when using Google.

Oh, and that nasty habit I have of collecting odds and ends- look what just turned up.

 Now, really, doesn’t this remind you of Lady Sybil and her chauffer Branson? Lady Edith learned to drive one as well. I call it my Downton Abbey glass for tea.

Who’s your favorite at Downton?  

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