Monday, April 29, 2013


My hair, the bane of my existence, is so thick and bushy even hairdressers try to pass me off when they see me coming. I have enough hair for two people. Takes twice the perm rods.

 While sitting at Sam's Club and waiting to have tires installed, I observed people, and noticed one thing. There is no such thing as styled hair anymore. It's almost like unkempt, plain, straight or ponytailed hair is the norm.

However, I did see some stand outs. When one woman with long hair turned around she had male pattern baldness and a shiny chrome dome. Didn't seem to bother her at all. A little blonde boy  about 10, with BRIGHT blue bangs sat down in the snack bar for pizza. A teenaged girl had Arial the Mermaid red hair.

One last thought, the woman who sat down beside Bill had so much facial hair above her lip, it looked like she had a thick caterpillar crawling across her face. I reached up and rubbed the space between my nose and upper lip. Whew, safe.

Hair, nobody seems to care.  

I think writing could be compared to hairstyles. If you have to gussy it up too much, your writing may sound artificial, unnatural. Best to say it in plain words than to embellish too much.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Another Lucy moment

If you have a police scanner and you happened to have heard about an older woman being pulled over because she did not MOVE over ... let me explain.

I was coming home from a late meeting, hoping to catch the 10:00 p.m. local news. On the highway near my house there is a right hand TFL lane with no warning until you are heading around the bend. The right lane ends and it is TFL (too flipping late to merge).  A white pick up, cut me off and almost plowed into a semi truck. My knees were knocking.

I was a 1,000 yards from my turn when I spied two police cars on the side of the road. There were no other cars on the highway except the two trucks that whizzed ahead. I was approaching my exit, a block from home when the flashing lights lit up my car.

I knew I hadn't done anything. So I pulled over and waited for him to run my license. The child cop came to my passenger side window. I handed him my license and insurance card. He was irritated.

"Don't you know you're supposed to move to the next lane when you see emergency vehicles on the side of the road? I was there to protect the other squad car and you did not move over."

I babbled at warp speed, "I know! I  do know. Didn't you see that white truck cut me off and almost plow into that semi? I'm surprised you aren't chasing them. Seriously, didn't you see it? It just happened right back there around the bend."

He looked surprised. He looked out at the highway with no traffic, and then back at me and said, "No. And THEY have nothing to do with you and your offense."

I said, "They do too. I slowed to fifty and I put my left blinker on when I saw you. Didn't you see it? I'm telling you, those trucks scared the crap out of me!"

He looked me like I was his poor pitiful grandma. He shined his light on my license and insurance card, and then at me and said, "You're clean. Okay. Listen..."

I said, "Officer, listen, those guys really scared the crap out of me."

Poor kid shook his head in disbelief. I said, "I live right there."

He said, "Oh go. Just go. Go on."  He handed me my papers and waved his hand as if he were  speaking to an aggravating child and shooing her away.

The trucks really did create a dilemma for me and my reflexes were such that I FORGOT to get over because I was watching those idiots.

Now, the joke's on the kid cop. He sent me on my way without a fine or even a warning ticket. Plus, I had handed him an expired insurance card. The up-to-date one was above my visor mirror.

I should start wearing a red wig with a big bow in it.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Say it isn't so!


Yes, It’s true! The Book House, in business for over 30 years in a unique historic 150 year old Victorian house, is scheduled to be TORN DOWN. Unfortunately, the owners of The Book House do not own the property (they have been leasing for over 30 years and have tried to negotiate to buy it for several years with no success). Now the property is being purchased by a developer who is planning to demolish the historic structure to make way for an industrial storage facility. The Book House is a community asset, and has weathered many of the storms that have impacted bookstores over the past three decades and really wants to stay in the area. But we may be forced to close our doors by the end of the year.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! If you do not want to see another independent bookstore close and another unique historic structure destroyed - we need you to make your voices heard!
Call Rock Hill City Hall (314) 968-1410
Call the Developer Bill Bowman at Great Northern Developers 586-703-9882 or 734-996-9979
Call the Media - Kirkwood Webster Times, Riverfront Times, Post Dispatch, TV stations
Call anyone who you think might be able to help or who cares about our bookstore
We need to show a presence – that we matter to the community. If we close it will also affect our charity partners such as Second Chapter Center, the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition and the Children’s Home Society which we help fund through book donations and sales. The Book House wants to remain open as a community resource, but we can’t do it alone. We are running out of options. This is YOUR bookstore! If you want it to continue you need to help us fight for it! We need to crowd source some funding, or find an investor, or parner, get approved for a bank loan, loan cosigner, or somehow raise the funding to purchase either this building or another building and pay for move/remodel. We need to find a new location SOON. We are throwing this out to the universe for some help. Any legal, financial or real estate help accepted. We can’t do this alone - believe me we have already tried. We need the community to help rally some support.
Tell your friends, your coworkers, any booklovers you know. You can always help by coming in to the shop and buying books! We are still running all operations as normal and have an incredible selection of new, rare and unusual books for sale. Cash and book donations are still accepted. Every little bit helps. HELP SAVE OUR BOOKSTORE!!


The Book House Staff and Friends

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Nurturing Paws gets a tail wag

So excited about Nurturing Paws being a recommended book. My poem, Rest My Sweet Girl was published in this anthology.


The US Review of Books

Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. -D.H.Lawrence

Nurturing Paws
Lynn C. Johnston, Editor
Whispering Angel
"No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted" -Aesop
This anthology of short stories and poems celebrates the relationships between humans and animals of other species. Each selection describes an act of physical and/or emotional healing or increased awareness facilitated by inter-species interactions. An especially touching story is "How a Brown Bunny Changed Everything". In it, an unhappy New Yorker's life is transformed after her adoption of a baby bunny. "The Touch" is a short short story of three small paragraphs. "He knew ...when I needed his touch. Sometimes he would tell me his troubles, too, and then meow as if to say that nothing was ever so bad that a little tuna wouldn't cure." From "Our Canine Family Member", "When we brought Max (a puppy) home, a different type of energy and a profound sense of purpose entered in with him." The settings of the stories vary, but a common theme is mutual rescue.
Sometimes the animal comes into the person's life through a friend or a family member; sometimes the relationship is initiated by one or both of the direct participants. Anyone who has loved anyone (human or otherwise) and been strengthened by a relationship will appreciate these powerful stories and poems, which are only matched by the strength of the writers assembled. Editor Johnston allows the individual voices of the authors to be heard, so the structure and quality of the selections vary some, but the truth of the experiences shines through each. Nurturing Paws will bring your emotions to the surface, and make you glad that you feel them.

©2013 All Rights Reserved • The US Review of Books

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm okay

Thank you one and all. Research proves it: not one spam message at all yesterday. I was overloaded day after day until I enabled the code sign in. Sorry for that.


Monday, April 22, 2013

I am sorry

To my devoted readers, I apologize. To my occasional readers, I regret having to do this. To all of you, please leave a comment. I am doing research.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

First hand account of a bombing

The  results of  the explosions in Boston and Texas are heart wrenching. The news accounts brought back repressed memories.

In the 1970s-'80s  there were two warring organized crime families in St. Louis making the daily news. In retaliation for infractions to each other, they'd blow up one anothers' cars. The first bombing I can recall happened on a department store parking lot right down the street from where I worked. Luckily I didn't see, hear or feel that blast.
I taught one of the grandsons. He said he'd forgotten his show and tell, so I told him to TELL us something. When the little guy stood before his peers and said, "My dad's got all the booze in the trunk of our car..." I smiled and said, "Thank you for sharing today." I just knew he was going to name everything in that trunk, and I did not want to know.

Second incident in the mid 1970s: my children were small and we lived in a very stable, blue collar neighborhood where immigrant women (referred to as The Scrubby Dutch) brought out buckets of hot sudsy water on Saturday mornings and washed their granite porches and steps. Parents didn't have to worry; children were safe playing outdoors. It was a time of family values.

Our home was one block off a main thoroughfare where dozens of independently-owned small businesses thrived. When one of the store fronts vacated, everyone wondered what would go into that building. The day the sign went up, the neighbors' collective sigh was a whoosh of disbelief and discontent. An adult bookstore a block away? No way! Everyone was up in arms. The second week of operation, neighbors were still wondering which official to complain to and how to get the business out of the neighborhood.

At 2:30 a.m. my dog had to go to the bathroom, so I walked outside into the warm air with her and gazed at the starlit night. I had just climbed back into bed when a deafening blast rattled homes and broke windows for two square blocks. I thought a plane had crashed. Outside, the night was eeerily still, save for the murmur of neighbors in night clothes milling about wondering and waiting for the sirens. The odor of gun powder permeated the air.
The newspaper reported that the several sticks of TNT placed outside the establishment blew the crime boss, who lived above the store, clear out of bed and across the room. No loss of life, just shattered windows and security.

Third bombing: mid 1980s. Bill was several car lengths behind the car driven by one of the crime bosses. When the bomb under the hood was remotely detonated, it blew the guy to bits. Highway 55 came to a standstill for hours.  
Those were horrifying, isolated incidents. I can't imagine what it is like living in daily fear of sick individuals in foreign countries  who prey upon innocents. My heart breaks for those affected this week in Boston, Texas, across the globe ... and also for the kid who allegedly did it. I pray we learn to seek peace, and stop the hate.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mama got a new pair of shoes

Sometimes I long for those days when I danced the night away wearing high heels. It has been a while since I've worn heels, but this evening, I trotted around Bronx and Diba Shoe Outlet in Earth City, teetering in spikes, clomping in clogs and playing dress up in six inch platforms with the cast members of Listen to Your Mother St. Louis. Bronx-Diba is one of our generous sponsors who donated a new pair of shoes (to be worn at the event) to every cast member. We were like little girls primping and preening, twirling, laughing. The wine had very little to do with the gaiety. The snacks were yummy, and my fellow cast members are fun, funny and amazing women.


I chose a very sensible, dressy, black satin, peek-a-boo pair of heels. You can't tell from the photo, but they are criss-cross pleated. Now, I have reason to buy a new dress.

These heels bring to mind something that happened twenty-five years ago when hubby and I were dating. We were at a dance with several friends. Also in attendance was my former boyfriend and his lady friend. It was another of my Lucy Ricardo moments.

Bill had taught me how to jitterbug, and I admit it, I was trying to impress my old flame. Discreetly, I'd glance over and catch him watching me boogie like a pro. I was showing off, swishing and swaying and moving to the groove with Bill. When I spun, somehow I got my high heel caught in the hem of my long dress. I went down to the floor in slow motion and landed on my knee. At least it wasn't a face plant or butt thud. Wide-eyed, both of us (not Bill) made direct eye contact with one another. It was one of those moments when time stands still, and not in a good way. I was never so embarrassed. I dislodged my shoe and smiled at the "heel."

I am hoping that I don't trip going on stage. I'm about forty pounds heavier than I was back then, and I'm sure I'd rock the auditorium. Break a leg could take on a literal meaning.

May 11th is the event and tickets are still available. Fifty percent goes to charity.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don't be so nosy!

People I know have recently had their debit cards hacked and their identity stolen. I have a notion it begins with these scam artists phishing for personal information.

This was one of my e-mail headlines today: Body Ready for Summer?

Who wants to know, and whose business is it anyway? Some weight loss guru have a miracle cure for thunder thighs or blubber belly? I'm not buying, so you can stop prying!

Just between you and me, my body wasn't ready for winter, therefore I hid it under layers of clothing. Spring is an invitation to expose a little more my toes, and anyone who knows me knows I love the freedom that comes with wearing flip flops and sandals.

In spring I resume polishing my toe nails; I shave my legs and pluck any German wild hairs which occasionally spring up on my big toes.
I'm okay with exposing my feet, but shorts are out of the question this summer. Knee pants or Capri length, that's as high as I'll go.
And sleeveless? Well, it will have to get awfully hot before I consider baring arms.

What about you? And what would you do or say in response to an email such as this: Body Ready for Summer?


Sunday, April 14, 2013

How do YOU explain the unexplainable?

I believe that there are forces at work in all of our lives if we are open and receptive. Today at rehearsal I was talking with some of the phenomenal women in the cast of Listen to Your Mother St. Louis of which I am a part. This is a live performance of women (across the nation) reading their personal essays on motherhood.
We were in the hall informally discussing spirituality and connectedness. We are all different ages, yet we all had experienced the "me too moments" that matter in life.
I told them how I'd received a gift and acknowledgement from my mom after she'd passed away. I asked her to kiss my son's unborn baby girl on her tummy if she saw her in heaven. Nicole was born with a birthmark on her little tummy in the shape of a kiss. No, I do not believe it was a coincidence.
One of the women who had previously had a near-death experience and had gone into cardiac arrest  assured us, "We are surrounded at all times. I know! We just can't see or hear our loved ones."
I nodded. I SORT of believe that in my heart. I so WANT to believe that in my head. I needed concrete proof.
When I got into my car to go home, I cranked the volume on my CD player because I had been listening to the Oldies and bee-bopping as I drove to rehearsal. I intended to pick up mid-song, right where I left off, but I got the surprise of my life. Instead of the old time rock and roll song resuming, I heard an instrumental that took my breath. 

I listened in disbelief to a piano rendition of The Old Rugged Cross, my late grandmother's favorite hymn. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I sat in the empty parking garage, my heart pounding, seeking a logical explanation. I have NEVER played CD #2 before, EVER. Had no idea what it was other than a holiday gift from a former student's parents three years ago. I had shoved into one of the six slots of the car's CD player and never played it, completely forgot about it.
I surmised that the #1 CD completed its run through and switched to CD #2. Well, that's the only LOGICAL explanation, but if you are a believer as I am, we both know that my grandma and mom were sending me a message that they are proud of me for being part of this inspirational performance on MOTHERHOOD. This I know for sure. I felt their presence in a way I cannot explain.

Question: when I turned my car off in the middle of the song ... shouldn't it have resumed at the point where it left off, not switched to a new CD? Some things cannot be explained.

I cried happy tears all the way home. How do you explain it?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

If only I could get my hands on him

The squeaky jerk who lives inside the Wii machine and I are going to tangle. If only I could get my fingers in that squawk box I'd choke that little dude.

Yesterday when I stepped on the Wii Fit scale, that cartoonish voice said, "GREAT!" I guess it would; I had lost six pounds preparing for my colonoscopy. I finally had a real meal yesterday after five days of near starvation.

Hubby said, "You want to weigh this morning?" I was prepared for a wee rise in my weight, but when I stripped down and stepped on, that little clown-creep squealed, "OHHHH!" in a pained voice.

THREE pounds increase! I didn't eat three pounds of food. That little Wii creep is going to think "OHHH!" Wait until tomorrow. Hubby is taking me to breakfast today.

I am so fortunate to be as healthy as I am and to be able to eat. In the pre-op room there were patients with stomach cancer and esophogeal concerns, a man with a tracheotomy, a man who told the doctor he had quit smoking...Sunday. The nurses couldn't believe that I don't take any prescription drugs at my age and my blood pressure was great. I am thankful. They found tiny-tiny polyp and will have results next week, but no concerns. The doctor did ask if I'd been on vacation and had been constipated. I asked if she saw my flaking sunburn. No, she said, "You have a vey small hemmorhoid."

I replied, "He's not that small. Can you bring him back here to the recovery room?"

Actually, although he is a pain in the butt (only once in a while), I have the best husband in the world!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's going to be a rough ride

(This was supposed to be posted last evening, but no computer because we were basement dwellers when tornadoes started skipping around town. Three touch downs did some real property damage nearby. We are safe and sound, though.)
Anyone who crosses me in the next two days may have a story of their own to tell. I admit it, I am a junkie and I am having major withdrawal symptoms. I wake about 5:00 and go right for my stash of pretzel crisps, those flat little salty munchies dipped in dark chocolate. I make myself a hot flavored tea and delight in my four little chocolate morsels, as I peruse social media.

I've been on a light diet since Monday: a slice of white bread, a scrambled egg and one chicken nugget, two glazed donuts, white soda and a mug of broth. From here on out it's liquids only. I am having a routine colonoscopy.
We went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription but my insurance card would not work. The pharmacist called the insurance company. They said the card was not active. After one hour and fifteen minutes of phone tag with MY cell phone in the pharmacist's ear for half an hour, they finally resolved the computer glitch.
While we waited seventy-five minutes, we observed all sorts of customers, some more interesting than others.

WHY was that middle age woman wearing a pretty, orange eyelet blouse and slacks with enormous, waffle stomper brogands? Was she a factory worker? A brawler? A clown?
The elderly lady wearing the lime green, open weave sweater was either experiencing Youth Part ll, or she was a former show girl, as she was showing a little too much.

The man with the moon pie shaped face was obviously on Prednisone, and I said a prayer for him.
The store manager, with his big nose high in the air and a superior attitude over his employees, was three feet out of range of my foot or I'd have tripped him and brought him down a notch or two.

The little four year old boy who sassed his mama, then saw me watching him with my "teacher look", refused to look at me when he walked by and kept his head down.
The mother who came in with two sick children was much nicer than I would have been if the pharmacist had told me, "We don't have these THREE in stock, but I can order them and have them by tomorrow."

The kids were sick NOW. I can remember being a young mom with ill children. I could only imagine that poor mother's rough night ahead. I'd have demanded the pharmacy order on the spot from another of the chain's pharmacies.

I almost lost it when my prescription was filled and they stated the amount. $90 for a plastic jug and a packet of sludge removal granules ... with a packet of aspartame! to add to the jug (for flavor?). 

I dare say, the pharmaceutical industry has us by the hiney. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

This much estrogen, what do you expect?

First, the audition; yesterday, was the cast meet and greet (and eat); next two weeks, the rehearsals.
MAY 11th, two performances.

I am so excited to be part of this wonderful group of women. I am telling you, the stories are phenomenal.Cast member,  Kim Lenhoff  gives an overview on her blog of what it is like to have a girl crush on all of these amazing women. Click on her name to read about the hippie love.

The introductions were fun. Each of us told about ourselves. I wish I had said, "Drizzle dark chocolate on it, and I will eat it."

In the beginning, no matter how friendly people are, we all tend to hold back and present a professional air. But when you get a group of women together in an informal setting, the estrogen flows, the guffaws happen, the connections occur and we are one...with the same issues, the same emotions, the uh-huhs and amen sisters! The energy in that auditorium yesterday could have powered a small community. The stories were so moving, heart warming, gut wrenching and humorous, we were all weeping. Kim had a little allergy/sinus issue. Thank goodness she brought a box of Kleenex to share.

Click on the above link to discover the cast (you might know someone) and more information about the May 11th event. This is a nationwide stage performance honoring motherhood and benefitting a women's not for profit. We have some major sponsors and an amazing cast. You will not be disappointed. Please purchase your tickets for Listen To Your Mother St. Louis soon. They are selling fast.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

An interview with Susan J. Reinhardt, author of The Moses Conspiracy

I'd like to thank Susan J. Reinhardt for this interview. I am happy to be part of her book blog tour. Please leave a comment.

Susan J. Reinhardt's journey to publication began as a non-fiction writer. Her appreciation for using fiction techniques inspired her to use novels as a vehicle for truth. She's been published in The RevWriter Resource, Devotions Magazine, A Secret Place, Vista, Live, and numerous other compilations and periodicals.

A widow, stepmom, and active church member, Susan enjoys reading, couponing, gardening, and searching for small treasures in antique shops.

The Moses Conspiracy by Susan J. Reinhardt

A trip to post-terrorized Washington, D.C. in 2025 and a buggy accident in Bird-in-Hand, PA set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

Convinced it's now safe to visit D.C., Ellie and her firstborn, 8-year-old Peter, travel to the nation's capital. Both mother and child make an effort to enjoy the sights, but they're unprepared for the challenges they face. Her nightmares come true when she and Peter are separated.

Back home, John witnesses a neighbor's buggy accident. The suspicious circumstances and law enforcement's refusal to take them seriously prompt him to take on the role of detective. He and a tenacious reporter band together and vow to find out what's happening in Bird-in-Hand.

Extended family squabbles erupt when John's sister, Annaliese, faces off with Ellie for blowing her D.C. experiences out of proportion. She'd rather ignore the warnings than deal with the growing danger.

John and Ellie can't decide whether her trip and his involvement with the accident were such a good idea. People are getting hurt, and their own family receives ominous warnings. Turning back the clock is not an option, but going forward could initiate more violence.

The small community is shattered when the unthinkable occurs. Will family, friends, and neighbors band together or allow fear to prevent them from taking action?

Caught between strained family relationships and a faceless enemy, the couple rely on God for wisdom and protection. Little do they know that He's working on their behalf each step of the way.

The scabs of a past tragedy get ripped open, and the truth of their second child's death is revealed. While they may expose the culprits, will they survive the heartache it brings?

  An interview with SUSAN J. REINHARDT 

1. What inspired you to write The Moses Conspiracy?

 My late husband and I visited Gettysburg prior to Christmas in 2004. While standing in the old town square, surrounded by history, I could "hear" the forefathers' voices. However, they were like fading echoes.

After several failed attempts to write non-fiction pieces, I put it on the back burner and prayed for direction. In August 2005, my husband and I were talking about "the Gettysburg experience," and he said, "That's it!  That's your book! And you'll write it in 4 months and call it Ghosts of the Past."

I thought he was crazy, but caught the vision. The name changed to Echoes of the Past and later to The Moses Conspiracy. When I sat down at the computer, I had no clue what I was going to write. By Christmas 2005, I had 55,000 words.

2. How long did it take you to write the book? Was it an easy journey?

The first draft took 4 months, but then I had to learn how to write fiction. I cut my writing teeth on this book. There were multiple re-writes while I shopped it around. It took 8 years to write, get a contract, and an agent.

The journey was far from easy. From 2006-2007, I wrote very little due to my husband's battle with leukemia, death, and subsequent challenges. When I came through the grief process, I knew I had to finish the book both in his memory and because I felt the Lord had directed me to write it.

3. What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

There are several messages, including the faithfulness of God during difficult times, the importance of protecting our freedoms, and building strong family relationships.

4. What genre is your book?

I loosely define The Moses Conspiracy as Christian Speculative Fiction because it takes place in 2025. Although it takes place in the near future, I've avoided a lot of techno-babble. One take-away I wanted for the reader was the possibility this or something similar could happen.

5.  Please give us a thumbnail sketch of The Moses Conspiracy.

 A trip to post-terrorized Washington, D.C. in 2025 and an unusual buggy accident in Bird-in-Hand, PA set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

6.  What are you working on now?

The Moses Conspiracy is the first book in a trilogy. Book 2, with a working title of, "The Scent of Fear," takes place 3 years after the initial story. The rough draft is written and is now in the editing stage. The third book, "Lost and Found," is still in its infancy. Each book is a stand-alone novel, but builds upon the previous plotline.

7.  Tell us a little about your writing background.

I've written for many years, but only started my publishing journey 10 years ago. Non-fiction is my first love, and I'd still like to produce a devotional or other non-fiction book down the road. I digress. I've had numerous devotions, short pieces, and a few compilation stories published along the way.

Fiction has always interested me, but I never pursued it until a visit to Gettysburg in 2004 stuck in my mind.

8.  What advice would you give others on the writing path?

Each journey is different, but the main thing I'd advise is to stay true to the vision God has given you. That said, publication may come in non-traditional forms such as self-publishing, print-on-demand, or ebooks.

I considered all these options when shopping The Moses Conspiracy around the usual channels, but never felt a peace about them. Helping Hands Press, a small, independent, royalty publisher, found each other through a mutual friend, author Kathi Macias.

9.  Tell us about "the call."

LOL, it wasn't a call. It was actually a series of email communications. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw the subject line, "We want to work for you. Can we talk on the phone?"

10.  How did you react?

I did the ol' Snoopy dance and then near-panic set in as it sank in. This was a moment I'd waited for, but could I really do this? After a pep talk from my critique partners and good friends, I settled down and started checking off items on my to-do list. Yes, I have a list for everything!

11.  Where can readers get The Moses Conspiracy?
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

Enter here for a chance for U.S. residents to win a free copy and a $25 gift card








Friday, April 5, 2013

That yakking parrot!

I finished two books while on spring break. The Tender Bar, a memoir by J.R. Moehringer. Moehringer mentioned his cousin, McGraw. Throughout the book I thought, "Such an odd name, and to think, one of our home town radio hosts is named McGraw."

At the end of the book Moehringer wrote that the last he'd heard, his cousin was a radio host in St. Louis. How about that!

A Walk in the Woods, a memoir by Bill Bryson about his experiences hiking the Appalcahian Trail was humorous and informative. He mentiond a place where we had camped, which triggered a memory. We were in line to pay a feisty senior woman tending a parking lot. She looked at Bill as he fiddled for his wallet, and she twanged, "Sir, if ye didn't wear yer britches so dadgummed tight, you wouldn't be holding up the line."

Bound South, a novel by Susan Rebecca White also triggered a memory. She writes about how she and her mother-in-law, Atlanta's elite, attended a funeral for their long-time beloved maid. They were the only white people in a black church. When they walked to the casket for the viewing, there in the maid's hands was the Bible the M-I-L had given her many years before. BUT, the deceased was a male!

This took me back to my early childhood. I remember my grandmother telling the same story about her neighbor's maid. The  line spoken by the fictional character was the same as the line spoken by my grandma's friend in the 1940s. "All those years, he helped me into my girdle!"

Reading can spark a memory or an idea for your own work, and that is why writers should also be readers.

One last memory to share, a family story about my great-great aunt who had a parrot that ratted her out. She had sneaked a portion of the household money and mumbled to herself, "I'll hide this money under the table."

When her husband rummaged through the cookie jar for the money, great-aunt claimed innocence.

The parrot squawked, "Awwwk! Mamie did it! Awwwk, under the table, under the table."

I wonder how long that bird lived.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Back to reality

 We drove south as a freak winter storm was bearing down on St. Louis. It dumped up to 13 inches of snow in some neighborhoods. We boarded the Carnival Conquest in New Orleans and headed out to sea. That cold front/jet stream dipped so far south that Miami had record-breaking the 30's. We figured it would warm up as we got out to sea. NOT! The first two days the ocean was rocky and the weather very nippy. And of course not many on board packed jackets. The pools were open but only kids were brave enough to jump in. By the time we arrived in Jamaica, the tropical weather felt wonderful, but it rained all day. We took a tour of the town and shopping district, then headed back on board ship. I can't say that I am fond of Jamaica. Perhaps an all inclusive resort would be better.
Once we arrived in the Grand Cayman, we were in tropical paradise. We went to Tiki Beach Club on the Seven Mile Beach where we lounged on recliners. I got a sunburn on my arms and chest. I lollygagged in the ocean and collected unique small shells. I love-love-love it here and could live in this place, except everyone drives on the wrong side of the road and owns a yacht. I'd be out of place.
We were so sunburned we were unable to snorkle in Cozumel as we usually do. We took a taxi into town and walked around the shops. There were seven cruise ships in port that day. The sea was such a gorgeous, breath-taking turquoise. So much to see and observe. I am a people watcher, and did we see the sights!
We observed some awesome natural sights too, but this cloud formation made us gasp. Was this a water spout backlit by the sun? No one could tell us, but everyone was in awe.
Well, it's good to be back home again and back to the routine I wanted to escape from. Funny thing how that works.

I gained two pounds and the mister lost 1.7 Things are going to change!