I have such good neighbors. After the recent six inch snowfall, the snow on the sidewalks and driveway was whisked away without my even seeing who did it. (I now know who the mysterious snow-blower was.) What a delight it was when I went outside and saw that my giant (only seems giant when you have to shovel it) driveway was already done. All I had to do was the front patio. Thank you! I know how badly we needed the moisture. I also know how much the kids love to go sledding or throw snow balls, and now they can, for a day or so. It is melting fast and already settled to half it’s height.

I ordered my new kayak. I am so excited. I can’t wait to bring it home and hang it on the wall of the garage. That won’t be as great as putting it in the water the first time, but still, in the middle of winter, at least I will be able to go out there and look at it! I have a trip to Flathead Lake in Montana planned for this summer. Before that trip, I hope to use it several times closer to home. I have to learn how to put my car-top carrier on, but other than that, I think I’m set.

The days are getting longer! Whoopie! I can tell because now I’m not closing the shades until after the evening news is over. That means spring is around the corner. I get to tell myself that anyway. Come to think of it, I better get up to the mountains and do some snow shoeing. There wasn’t enough snow last time I went, but I’m guessing there is now!




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Car Seat

The birthday bash is over. What a day it was for my mom. She got a call from as far away as Japan and she was thrilled! Hearing from nearly all of her grandkids, and great grandkids was a treat. It was funny how tickled she was at the great big butterfly balloon, and it wasn’t clear who liked it more, the two year old great-grand or the ninety-eight year young birthday girl.

The trip home was “arduous.” I was exhausted the next day. We had vehicle trouble and a two year old. Use your imagination. Actually, she was pretty darn good, especially when you consider the circumstances. We lucked out by finding a great children’s playroom in the location where we had the problem fixed. None of the toys had batteries, but they were all new to her, so she loved them. What she didn’t love was getting back in the carseat when the vehicle was ready to go again. I don’t blame her. When a six hour trip becomes a ten hour trip, being harnessed into a carseat sucks.

Time to re-focus and get back to work. Ugh. That doesn’t sound fun. Ok, time to accomplish something! No, that doesn’t sound good either. Time to move forward with my projects. That will have to do. I have more notes to go over from Beta reader #3, and need to find another reader. In the meantime, I am finishing up Compass Point. It is amazing how good it is to step back from a book for a while, and how much more I see when I go back to it. The search for an agent continues.

Spring! Oh Spring! Where are you? (Nobody says ‘where are you’ cuter than my granddaughter.) I’m ready. I’ve planned. I’ve sent off the order. I’ve cleaned house. I’m done with this cold, snowy weather. sigh


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Happy Birthday Mom!

The last several days have been frustrating to say the least. I’m trying to figure out this high blood pressure medicine, and we have not come to a suitable arrangement yet. It doesn’t seem to like me, and I sure as heck don’t like it.

I’ve got a full week planned, including driving over the hill (the Rocky Mountains) to see my mom and wish her a Happy 98th Birthday. That is so amazing. I keep thinking I really have to take care of myself, eat healthy, and keep moving, if I’m going to get anywhere near her age. She still whoops me at cards, and works on her crossword puzzles every day.

Somehow I don’t think I’m going to last that long (98). My excuse will be all the hours on horseback (or getting thrown off), and raking hay on the little tractor, or bouncing across fields on the four-wheeler, or loading and unloading the sacks of grain and seed, or wrestling baby calves, or branding. Truth is, I wouldn’t trade any of those times for a few extra years at the end of my life. As far as I can tell, those aren’t the fun years anyway.

My sister is battling a new problem in my parent’s house. Ants. I know what needs to be done, but what I suggest and what will happen are two planets apart, so I’ll just keep quiet. Oh my my. What is next?

Happy Birthday Mom. You are an amazing, a strong, stubborn Welsh woman to be sure.

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Hair Cut

I wore blue jeans for the first time in a month since my surgery. They aren’t exactly comfortable when I’m sitting down, yet, but still, I wore them. It is a milestone – of sorts.

Yesterday was warm and sunny. Today is cold and gloomy. Sheesh. Winter!

I hope all of you are faring okay with this flu season. What a horrible illness we (our health system) can’t seem to get a finger on. Wash your hands! Stay home if you are sick – and don’t send your kids to school either.

My prayers and condolences go out to the victims of the mudslides in California. What a horrible, horrible catastrophe to contend with following the fear and devastation from the fires. This may start the reverse migration that happened in the Nineteen Thirties during the dust bowl. Dust seems kind of mild right now compared to fire and mud. (I’ve seen the pictures and heard the stories. I know it was terrible to go through the dust bowl too.) We don’t seem to run out of tragedy and heartache, do we? Again I remind everyone to donate to the Red Cross. They are always there.

The sun came out. I started walking. The sun went behind a cloud. The wind came up. I turned around. Once inside and settled in with a project, the sun came out. I stared outside with my eyebrows raised and my chin lowered. Guess what I did? I started walking. The sun went behind bigger clouds. The wind blew harder. I turned around. It has been a rather worthless day, except I got a really good haircut, so I can’t complain at all, really.

This week is my mom’s 98th birthday. Amazing! Happy Birthday Mom.



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Times Up

Three hours worth of sorting and shredding old documents. Ugh. Then I spent an hour in the garage, rearranging and untangling fishing poles. More to do out there, but that was all I could handle. The beautiful weather called me outside for a walk to enjoy the fresh air. It called and I went.

I am so proud of the Times Up movement. I’m also proud of the men who are on board and supporting it. Of course, I admire the women who have had the courage to say Me Too and tell their stories, to speak out when it wasn’t okay, and now the people -men and women- who are putting their money where their mouth is to support those women who have no platform or resources. What a glorious day for humankind!

“Locker room talk” is no longer an excuse. If you haven’t figured out that thinking that way allowed a culture where abuse was okay too, you’d better re-think, and think deep. It’s not okay. To the women who put their Me Too moment behind them, that’s good, that’s how you coped, but it still happened and it wasn’t okay in the first place, and it’s not okay for our children and our grandchildren. Times Up!

I took advantage of the strangely warm weather to go outside and dead-head my mums. The day-lilies are next, but my trash was full, so they have to wait. Then there is my beautiful, large Russian sage. I cut it all the way back last spring, and still it gets bigger and bigger. It absolutely loves the sunny spot where I planted it. If it didn’t have to be cut back every year, (there’s a walk way close by) I wouldn’t even consider removing it, but I’m getting more and more into plants that don’t require work. That begs the next question. What would I replace it with? Ah ha! See, there’s always a catch.

and so it goes…

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I got in my first hike of 2018. The day was beautiful, warm, and sunny. I was in the mountains, but there wasn’t enough snow to snow shoe. I think the east coast has gotten all of our snow. I do hope we get some snow pack this winter, or we are going to have water restrictions come summer. Too soon to worry about that. In the meantime, my prayers go out to those suffering in this extreme cold and flooding that has accompanied so much snowfall back east.

My search for an agent continues. This is where a person has to be persistent or lucky. I took time off for surgery and holidays, but now there are no excuses. Every day means more research. I am grateful for the Internet and computers in this case. Some of the books I’ve read lately, make me wonder.

Despite the snow and cold, I have been doing a little garden planning. A tiny little bit. The great internal debate at the moment, is whether or not to add more blueberry bushes. I do enjoy them, and the berries are freezable, and the variety I’ve planted is so yummy, and and and. What could more bushes hurt? Looking outside, I see some plants I could surely do without. Eliminating them will eliminate some dead-heading throughout the summer. I like that thought. KISS. The blueberry bush leaves turn red and orange in the fall. I love that. I think I am convinced.

I’m now starting my second high-blood pressure medicine. I had a reaction to the first one. So, we’ll see. I could probably hire a personal trainer, lose fifteen pounds and get it down that way, but that isn’t happening. I eat healthy already, and I spend as much time on fitness each day as I’m going to spend. My grandmother started having strokes in her fifties, so I think there might be a genetic reason for getting this under control – now. I hope this one works. Every day when I open my computer and look at the screen saver shot of my kids and grandkids, I know how blessed I am to have such a great family by my side. Definitely worth sticking around to watch them grow.



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Well, my morning has consisted of downloading all of the holiday pictures, sending pics to my mom, registering for a conference, registering for a class, sneaking in some jig-saw puzzle pieces every time I walk by the table where my Christmas gift puzzle is laying – waiting for me, calling to me. I love puzzles!
Yesterday I put together new shelving for the garage. I only had to reverse one shelf after putting them together and realizing they were made with specific ends so you can link them together with another set to make a long row. Since I don’t plan to add more, I didn’t have to take it apart and reverse that one (no one else would ever notice), but I did. That’s me.
I’m ready to plan the garden. I looked out the window and saw everything covered by a layer of crystal shiny white snow and changed my mind. Maybe it’s time to plan a snow-shoeing day instead. I am grateful not to be in the sub-zero weather so many places are dealing with to start their year. High temperatures in the teens is bad enough, and I’ve had enough of that for this winter. What do you want to bet I get more?
A neighbor just came by and gave me more Christmas cookies. They are absolutely yummy, unfortunately. Geesh. The work-out schedule really has to get set in stone now. I also need the days to get longer – and warmer. I’m not asking for much, really, just a hurry-up to spring so burning calories is easier.
Oh – got to go – the puzzle is calling me.


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