It’s been months since I’ve posted here.  If I wait until I feel like composing prose, I may never write again.  So, I’ve decided to cast away all writing fear and record my thoughts, as random as they may be…

       My father-in-law, who is 87, is an enviable gardener.  Last fall, he shared with me some bulbs – lily, iris, phlox – and some peony sprouts.  I was thrilled – especially about the peonies  – which are heirloom plants brought from Norway by his grandmother (or was it great-grandmother?), about 100 years ago.   

       I managed to get all the bulbs planted but not the peony roots.  They needed a different spot in the yard.  A brand new place.  My hero had great intentions of removing sod and preparing a great place for them.    

But because his job demanded enormous amounts of overtime, he just couldn’t get to it. 

         Weeks passed, pushing us into late fall.   In desperation, I finally decided I’d do it myself.  I was soon shocked to discover I had neither the strength nor the tools to cut through sod, much less, prepare five holes, each a foot wide and a foot deep, as I’d been instructed by a peony expert whom I’d phoned for advice while in that state of desperation. 

    I should probably mention that I did manage to dig one hole – almost deep enough.  I’d started late in the day but decided I should probably stop digging when our neighbor backed into his driveway and just sat there with his truck headlights beaming at me…digging a hole in my yard in the dark. 

       Which turned out to be a good thing for another reason.   The next day,  as my college-age son and his friend sat eating my home cooking, I asked the friend if he would be willing to dig holes in our yard, for pay.  He agreed but in a follow-up phone conversation, he suggested I first call and have our yard marked for underground wires, etc.  You know – the “Call Before You Dig” advice. 

      So I did.  I called.  A few days later, I saw little wires with colored flags marking varying spots in my yard.  And red lines sprayed in the grass, directly across the hole I’d begun digging. 

        I need to shorten this so I can get to bed…  

        Finally, on a frigid, windy, rainy November day, the young man I hired, and our son, not only dug the holes, they mixed in the compost I’d lugged home.  And, with my guidance, planted the peony roots.     

               It had been weeks since I’d received those heirloom starters from my father-in-law and I was more than worried they may not sprout.  But now it’s spring.  April.  And I am so stoked to see they’ve come up! 

               And the young man, one of my “sons,” who incidentally turned down my pay, is now in another state beginning training to be a Navy Seal.           

A Must Read



“Bruchko” – This is one of my all-time, lifetime favorite books.  The true story of what happens when a sold-out-to-God teenage boy – a nerd – heads into the South American jungles to find an elusive and murderous indigenous tribe. 


Author:  Bruce Olson      Publisher: Creation House


You’re welcome.    (I know you’ll like it so I’m just sayin’…)


NOTE added Auguest 1 3, 2009:   I have never heard anything but raves about this book.    See Larry’s comment!  🙂 



Mid-day Reverie



It’s 1:14 p.m.  Mid-day.  Just stepped out onto our front porch to retrieve mail from our box across the street.  Mama robin is still vigilantly brooding in the nest she built under the eves of our front porch.  Last night she weathered quite a storm.  Thunder.  Lightening.  Wind gusts.  Rain.  Exceedingly patient, she is.


Strolling the sidewalk and down our driveway, I hear the raucous songs of frogs gone wild.  Lots of them.  In the middle of the day?  Is that what rain does? 


The misty field across East Cemetary Road reveals the high humidity.  My instantly frizzing hair confirms it.


Lowering the front flap of our black box, I reach in and retrieve its contents, then turn back toward the house. 


Perennials are up.  Annuals planted on Mother’s Day are taking nicely to their new home.  Mr. Big Fat Toad has again staked out his territory near the sprouting Black Eyed Susans.  So well camoflaged, only his Creator protected him from the claws of the hand hoe by highlighting his barely-visible, nubby brown back when the soil was first turned. 


I slap the mail on the kitchen table, automatically put the Penny Saver on top of the newspaper stack in the broom closet, and shred the rest of the “mail.” 


Several pair of men’s jeans churn on Heavy Duty in the washer…


The theme song of a Gunsmoke rerun plays in the background.  Was I watching it?  Not really.  But Matt Dillon is kind of cool.  I once had a crush on him. 


Mmmm.  The washer’s quiet.  Time for a load of “darks”…    What’s your favorite laundry product? 



Hello Kitty


This is too good not to share.  I recently received the following story in an email.  No writer’s name was included.  If anyone knows its origin, please let me know so I can give proper credit.  In the meantime…enjoy:




Clutching their Kohl’s shopping bags, Ellen and Kay woefully gazed down at a dead cat in the mall parking lot – obviously a recent hit – no flies, no smell. 


“What business could that poor kitty have had here?” murmured Ellen.


“Come on, Ellen, let’s just go…”


But Ellen had already grabbed her shopping bag and was explaining, “I’ll just put my things in your bag, and then use this tissue…”


She dumped her purchases into Kay’s bag and then used the tissue paper to pick up, cradle, and lower the former feline into her own Kohl’s bag, and cover it.


They continued the short trek to the car in silence, stashing their goods in the trunk.  But it occurred to both of them that if they left Ellen’s burial bag in the trunk, warmed by the Texas sunshine while they ate, Kay’s Lumina would soon lose that new-car smell.


They decided to leave the bag on top of the trunk, and they headed over to K & W Cafeteria.


The two ladies went through the serving line and sat down at a window table.  From there, they had a view of Kay’s Chevy with the Kohl’s bag still on the trunk.


But, not for long!  As they ate, they noticed a woman in a red gingham shirt stroll by their car.  She looked quickly this way and that, and then took the Kohl’s bag without breaking stride.  She quickly walked out of their line of vision.  Kay and Ellen shot each other a wide-eyed look.


It all happened so fast that neither of them could think how to respond. 


“Can you imagine?” finally sputtered Ellen.  “The nerve of that woman!” 


Kay sympathized with Ellen, but inwardly a laugh was building as she thought about the grand surprise awaiting the female thief.  Just when she thought she’d have to giggle into her napkin, she noticed Ellen’s eyes freeze in the direction of the serving line.  Following her gaze, Kay recognized the woman in the red gingham shirt with the Kohl’s bag hanging from her arm.  The lady was brazenly pushing her tray toward the cashier.  Helplessly they watched the scene unfold. 


After leaving the register, the woman settled at a table across from theirs, put the bag on an empty chair and began to eat.  After a few bites of baked whitefish and green beans, she casually lifted the bag onto her lap to survey her treasure.


Looking from side to side, but not far enough to notice her rapt audience three tables over, she pulled out the tissue paper and peered into the bag.


Her eyes widened, and she began to make a sort of gasping noise.  The noise grew.  The bag slid from her lap as she sank to the floor, wheezing and clutching her upper chest.  The beverage cart attendant quickly recognized a customer in trouble and sent the busyboy to call 911, while she administered the Heimlich  maneuver.


A crowd quicly gathered that did not include Ellen and Kay, who remained rivited to their chairs for seven whole minutes until the ambulance arrived.  In a matter of minutes, the woman with the red gingham shirt emerged from the crowd, still gasping, and securely strapped on a gurney.


Two well-trained EMS volunteers steered her to the waiting ambulance, while a third scooped up her belongings. 


The last the ladies saw of the distressed cat-burglar was as she disappeared behind the ambulance doors…the Kohl’s bag perched on her stomach.



Writing for the Soul



Okay, you have nearly a year now to budget for the next “Writing for the Soul” conference.  It’ll  be held at the Grand Hyatt in Denver next February 18-21, 2010.  Take a look at the keynote speakers.  No doubt you’ve heard of authors, Max Lucado and Philip Yancey; Phil Vischer created VeggieTales!  The conference is hosted by New York Times Best Selling author, Jerry B. Jenkins, owner of the Christian Writer’s Guild. 


Besides the conference, the Guild offers top notch courses designed for everyone from beginner (including teens) to seasoned author.  For anyone serious about writing for the soul, this may be your answer to prayer:  http://www.christianwritersguild.com/


After returning from the last “Writing for the Soul” conference, February 23rd, I posted a photo of my new mystery BFF.  So Much Adventure…So Little Sleep  I didn’t forget that I haven’t told you who she  is; I’ve just been a bit occupied being…um…sig.  (I’m still trying to shake the crud completely.)   But…okay…the mystery friend is none other than best-selling author, and keynote speaker, Karen Kingsbury!  http://www.karenkingsbury.com/  How this lady can raise six children and manage to have 13 million books in print is beyond me.  I found her to be a woman of humility, humor, warmth and amazing kindness.   


I also mentioned that I brought something back from the conference for a blog giveaway.  I haven’t forgotten about it either.  But that’ll be another post.  Right now, shouldn’t you be praying about whether or not the next “Writing for the Soul” conference is for you?  If you feel called to write, or wonder if you are; if you want to meet editors, agents, publishers, and other writers…

So Much Adventure…So Little Sleep


After traveling from North Carolina to Colorado in a week and a half, my adventure cup is full.   Just got back yesterday afternoon and I…am…tired.   But I’m not a bit sorry. 


Our visit with Handsome Son # 1 in Raleigh was fabulous.  We had a blast hanging out with his incredibly talented friends.  


And the “Writing for the Soul” conference in Colorado Springs was beyond my greatest expectations.   (Recognize my new BFF in the photo below? )   





I need sleep so I’m checking out for tonight.  But I couldn’t wait to say Hi and tell you that I thought of you while I was away.  In fact, I brought something back for a Blog Giveaway.  Hint.  It’s from here:  http://www.broadmoor.com/ 



There’s so much more I want to tell you, but I really need some sleep…so…G’night.

God Comes First



Been out of town visiting Handsome Son # 1.  Raleigh was in full bloom.  Got back Tuesday afternoon.  Spent yesterday, and into the night, preparing to catch a plane this morning for the “Writing for the Soul” conference in Colorado Springs.   Now I have to chose between spending time with the Lord and posting on my blog.  God comes first.  See you next Tuesday, Lord willing.  Stay close to Him.  He is worthy.