Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Summer Meltdown

July 19, 2013

Kindle Owners:

The first book in the Soul String Saga is on sale for .99.

Great way to see if the series interests you. You can read more about Book 1 and the following completed books now available in various formats here. So far reader reviews rank it a straight 5 stars!

Here’s a few reader reviews from Kindle.

  • I started this book…did not stop until I finished….I immediately ordered books 2 & 3.
  • This great Casey Clifford story brought me back to…my strongest yearnings for success and most precious romantic memories and I got to relive those feelings through B.J. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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Thank you, Neighbor

September 30, 2012

These whale bones were washed ashore on Monhegan, an island off the coast of Maine.

We have a fantastic group of neighbors. I hope all of you noticed my new header today. One of those fantastic neighbors sent this to me yesterday. He took it at sunrise before they started working to take the boat out for the winter. I much different sunrise view than the photos I usually post.

Even more impressive to me is he took this panoramic shot with his phone and I think the clarity is amazing. Technology–isn’t it grand?

Last week, I posted photos of a trip to Maine my hubby and I took several years ago. Because I’ve been very busy this week you’re getting more since you appeared to enjoy them.

But a bit about the trip. We took it to celebrate our 5th anniversary. And we left the kids behind. Ours is a second marriage and we blended our families.

Our first honeymoon was spent camping with the boys. Very romantic. This one was much better–much, much better. Romantic dinners, moonlight sails, sunrises on the beach…

And oh, the seafood…

Have a great week.

Our sunset sail, chilly but fantastic.

A White Kitty, A Black Puppy and Boats

September 23, 2012

The trip was lovely though often foggy and chilly. Added atmosphere.

I’ll bet you’re scratching your head trying to figure out this one. Especially with my choice of first photo?

Be honest. You think I’ve finally gone round the bend. Totally lost touch with any reality. My lack of sleep and crazy hours are getting to me. I’ve been working too hard and trying to do too much…

If so, then thank you.

If you just begun following me, hang one and I’ll explain–for both groups.

Life has been very difficult the past two years as many of you know. But this past year has truly been a challenge. And I’ll admit early this week as I was frustrated with the formatting for the book now available, I was thinking maybe I really needed to give up something. And I don’t have much left to give up.

Then what worried me even more (yes, I worry a lot–always have), was I couldn’t even begin to think about how to approach my blog post for today or my column due next week for the local paper. I feared my creative muse had given up on me. She expects to be fed new experiences and locations and I’ve been unable to provide much that interested her lately.

Don’t blame her. I hadn’t been fed much if any of that either–we have a symbiotic relationship going on–and I admit I was feeling more than a bit sorry for myself.

When we first spotted this, the fog shrouded it. Eerie. Unforgettable.

But on Friday I had an appointment to get my nails done and my nail tech runs her business attached to her home. I’m the first customer of the day and thus I get greeted by her huge puppy. A friendly sort who’s come to learn that first customer is allowed to give a treat. So she waits–all quivering 130 pounds of black playful puppy. Now did I say how huge Callie is?

Once I dispensed with the treat, I looked around and noticed a very small, open pet cage. No way was that for Callie or any of my tech’s other pets. ) Think horses, another large older dog and a very large, graciously charming cat named Emma. But Emma wouldn’t fit in that cage.

Then I caught a flicker of white lightning from the corner of my eye. I looked down at the floor.

Not far from me feet now sat a very tiny white kitten. (A bit over a pound) A very playful kitten whose antics entranced me while I removed my polish and watched the kitten discover her reflection in the glassed front of the TV stand. I noticed the kitten’s blue eyes and the only color on her body was the merest hint of peachy orange at the tips of her perky little ears and the very tip of her long tail.

Love that crashing Atlantic surf against Maine’s rocky shore .

That kitten further entranced me as I was her play Hide-N-Seek with the puppy Callie. The puppy would galumph after the kitty who would scoot behind a piece of furniture or a chair and then peek out to tease Callie.

When they tired of the game, the kitty raced into her cage to rest. For a few minutes anyway and my manicure started. I then witness what was the cutest situation between animals I’ve seen in a very long time. White kitty sneaked from her cage and jumped, landing on Callie’s paws.

Oh, oh, I thought. Not so.

They started playing again with Callie gently laying her paw on the kitty and nuzzling the kitty’s back. Kitty must have liked it because she stretched out and before I realized it, Callie was her, and then lay her big head over the top of white kitty as if to protect her. They both fell asleep to play again another time.

Those images stayed with me the rest of the day. So did the feeling of joy I gained watching them. I felt blessed that I’d been lucky enough to share in such an innocent experience: two animals stereotypically described as “enemies” enjoying each other so much. And providing pleasure for someone who watched.

Lobster boat. Ate lobster every day.

And then I realized that if I allowed myself to give up my joy in writing by thinking my muse has left, I’ve given my power to the current circumstances and giving in. If I don’t allow that, my muse won’t leave me. She’ll only walk away if I give up on her. And, look, I came up with a post for today.

But what about those boats? And why not pictures of Callie and the white kitty which doesn’t have a name yet? I didn’t have my camera with me that morning–so no photos. As for the boats? Well, in an effort to feed my muse’s need for different settings, I looked through very old photos of a wonderful trip to Maine with my husband, our first one. I scanned some of the photos which I still remember taking and thus I pulled out the boat related ones for today. Enjoy.

See you next week.

Once in a while we had sunshine.

A Much Needed Vacation

May 20, 2012

Redwood Cathedral

I need a few weeks away. I’m not traveling–but I will be moving.

Projects off my to-do list that has kept on growing.

Goals that must be met.

Reorganizing how I plan these next years.

SeaWall Iris

This won’t be long. Maybe only two weeks. Maybe three. Just know I’ll be busy. And thinking about what next to post. Like maybe a photo of the complete–think never-ending landscape project–which has complicated life around here.

Sunset From Water

A May Sunrise

Define Paraprodoskian

August 14, 2011

After the Rain

“No good deed goes unpunished.”

That’s been a sentence I’ve been spouting quite frequently to friends and family over the past few months. Some have heard it so often they now finish my sentence before I get all the words out of my mouth. That should tell me something.

Like I’ve been way too cynical lately, perhaps? Or maybe just a tad disappointed in “stuff” that’s landed on my shoulders lately or on my hubby’s and my collective shoulders. But this isn’t a whine post, I’ve done that already and really I do have a point to make.

One is when I say that and my family or friends finish my sentence, we laugh. Because laughter is a great antidote to despair or depression.

Really. I should know because life hasn’t been very easy lately. If something can go wrong, I know it will happen—thus my sentence bursts forth. People who know me ask how I stay productive when it seems life is falling apart, or even more importantly, how I stay sane. In fact I had two people ask me that yesterday.

An Early Morning Visitor

One is to see something wonderful or positive and acknowledge it within a few minutes of waking. Okay, I’ll give you time to get your eyes open. Maybe even a few minutes more. But then look around and find that thing, and appreciate it. That’s why I took the photo of the dragonfly still sleeping on my balcony post one morning this week. Within a few moments after I took the photo, it was flying away for a busy day of helping to keep our mosquito population under control.

The second element that helps me is to find humor in things. Thus, the reason I laugh after I verbalize my oft-repeated mantra that began this post. And yesterday I discovered the real reason I laugh as do others who hear me.

“No good deed goes unpunished” is an example of a paraprodoskian phrase. This is a figure of speech/sentence where the latter part of a sentence is surprising or unexpected. This change causes my listener or reader to reframe the first part of the sentence. Sometimes the effect is humorous, sometimes, dramatic. However, comedians or satirists (or ordinary people like me) use this a lot.

Many used my example before me. Clare Booth Luce, known for her diplomacy and writing; Oscar Wilde–poet, dramatist, author; film maker Billy Wilder; and my favorites, American financier John P. Grier and banker and wealthy man Andrew W. Mellon—all used this example long before I was born.

And that’s long ago!

So how did I discover my well-used sentence might be considered a paraprodoskian element?

Yesterday, a friend of mine, one who’s listened to me and laughed with me when I spout my sentence, sent me an email defining the word and giving me a list of examples. I laughed and laughed at her examples and her message.

Fortunately, I opened email very early yesterday. It represented my positive and wonderful item for the day. And it kept me laughing or chuckling all day long. It also prompted me research more about the term and see if I could find other examples. So I leave you with a few I gleaned while I checked out the internet.

I hope you enjoy them and they give you a chuckle for at least a day. 🙂

The Beauty of Abundant Rains

“You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing—after they have tried everything else.” Winston Churchill

“She looks as though she’s been poured into her clothes but forgot to say ‘when’.”  P.G. Wodehouse

Anonymous:

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.

If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea…does that mean one enjoys it?

If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.

Tomatoes are a fruit, right?

These are my favorites…

A bank is a place that will lend you money…if you can prove you don’t need it.

Some people are like Slinkies…not really good for anything, but you can’t help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity they can train people to stand at the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

Whine Time

July 31, 2011

Hummingbirds like this

Thank goodness! Today is the last day of July.

It’s been a miserable month.  Too hot, humid, stormy, full of worries and woe. I’m sure many of you have had days, weeks, months or maybe even years where you couldn’t wait for that particular time to end.

July has been such a month for me.

If your situation is bad enough, and that’s determined differently by each of us, well then, that’s when time drags slower than a young child’s feet at bedtime. Or traffic snarls plugged up in rush hour traffic.

So my question is this.

Why is it when life, the weather, our relationships, our activities are going well—why is that the only time that the hours fly by faster than a jet breaking the sound barrier?

Yes I’m whining. Not that it will do me much good. But really—consider this point. Many people are very happy February is our shortest month—because that means the tough winter will be over soon.  But why couldn’t the same happen in July? No, instead we get two, 31 days in a row! Months we can be pretty sure, at least in my mind, that storms, heat and humidity will still hang around like unwelcome garden pests that ruin the beauty and abundance of the garden.

Time never flies in the heat. Nothing does.

Oh, I know many people have much more going on in their lives, situations that are more difficult than anything I endure, so I shouldn’t complain. I also know parts of our country and other parts of the world are suffering even more acutely due to weather issues.

But really, sometimes a woman just has to whine. We shouldn’t be bashful about our need.  After all, I suspect others out there, need to whine also. Especially if you’re not one to whine, do it today.  Breaking your longsuffering silence will make you feel so much better. And you’ll see others are shoulder-to-shoulder with you, whining.

Maybe our collective whining will have an effect on the weather.  If we’re lucky.

Balcony beauty

So today, please feel free to post your whine. I’ll really love knowing my whine companions are letting their troubles air out in cyber space. Perhaps our whines will cool the air, chase away the humidity and help our troubles fade away. At least our collective whine might push time to move a bit faster.

What do you think? Got a whine to share?  I promise I’ll respond to your whine. 🙂

Once In A Lifetime

July 3, 2011

Storm Clouds Massing Over Lake

Storm Clouds Massing Over Lake

Our county was in line for a severe thunderstorm with very high winds—all to arrive within the next 15 minutes.

I glanced out the windows and noticed the skies darkening and looking threatening, but then they had been looking strange for the past few hours.

Five minutes later we had no power. No phone. Pitch black skies.

Winds off Lake Michigan shook our eastern walls. I looked out the east windows and saw our huge old trees bending at threatening angles. The wind was so strong off the lake it literally lifted water from the lake and slammed it into our outer walls seventy feet away.

I saw incredible lightning within the dark clouds out over the lake. But we never got a drop of rain. Just wind and incredible menacing cloud formations. For hours.

I’d never felt such strong winds before. And they lasted for hours. All through the night and early the next morning the winds eased, but not much. We didn’t get power until mid day on Friday. But we were lucky, many people were without power for a couple of days.

We learned the strait line winds that lasted for so long were 75 – 80 mph. When they lessened, it was to 45 mph which made cleaning up very difficult and dangerous for the utility crews trying to restore power.

An Example of A Downed Tree

During a Friday night newscast, I learned the weather forecasters were calling it a “once in a lifetime storm.”  That’s what I had told my Alaska son once we got phone service restored. I know I never experienced such a storm and I’ve lived through a lot of storms.

Our greatest devastation was the loss of very old trees. Ones that have been a beautifying part of our lakeshore ever since I remember going to the lake as a very little girl. When I drove into town yesterday, lines of trees and power poles were down for miles.

Our county and our lakeshore will miss the trees. I will not see such trees grace our shoreline in what remains of my life. The family who lost a son riding his motorcycle just as the storm hit and a huge tree fell on him will never have him in their lives again to share holidays, build more family memories, grow old.

I empathize with them. I buried two sons—both of them died during very bad and unusual weather events. John’s birthday was Friday but I wasn’t able to get out to the cemetery and yesterday was busy still cleaning up. However, I planned to go today only to learn the cemetery is closed because of all the huge old trees that are down. Maybe it will be open next week.

I wonder if the huge old oak tree which housed an owl family will be standing when I get there.

Bringing in the Big Trucks to Clear the Trees

That tree which shaded the plot where John and Jimbo are buried with their beloved grandparents, my parents, comforted me.

 I miss those two sons. Had they been alive they would have been out here with chain saws helping to cut away the storm’s debris. Instead I’m thinking they may be looking down on that cemetery oak tree whose fate I’m wondering about. They’re either discussing how the cemetery clean-up crew should go about removing it, or they’ll be glad that unlike them, that old tree managed to survive yet another Wisconsin storm.

Tomorrow is Independence Day. While you’re enjoying your picnic or day at the beach, look around you. Give thanks for those who are with you to share the day. Send a kind thought to those who no longer can be with you. Treasure each moment and place you are in.