Photo Shoot

I decided to have a new Facebook profile photo. I notice that people seem to be especially fond of animals and a shot of a man with his big dog sleeping on his lap drew a lot of comments.  So… Mandy is a big dog. And she likes to sneak into my lap … Where she has never been still long enough to sleep. Don’t know why I thought this would work.

I ask Dan to man the camera, and then I flat ironed my hair and did my makeup. After an hour’s prep, I called  Mandy. She couldn’t believe she was actually welcome on my lap, and as soon as she got there, I assure you, she wasn’t.

Dan shot about six photos before the session ended at my request. By this time, my hair was askew. My makeup was licked and smeared. And, my breathing was labored under the weight of the 55 pound animal’s butt crushing my chest. If her feet are on my knees, that’s where she sits.

After coaxing Mandy out of my lap, with non-genteel terms, Dan handed me the camera and left the room. I scrolled through the shots of big dog in vairous strange positions. The best one was unacceptable. The camera has a red-eye delay so the photo you get is not the one expected when the button is pressed. Otherwise Dan would have had a hard time explaining six shots with Mandy’s backend in my face.

Uupdate – one week later:

Determined to have a shot of Mandy on my lap, we tackled the job again. This time I gave Mandy a whiff of lavender (actually, more than that!) And, here’s the result:

A few drops of Lavender oil on the blue tie is a wonderful thing!

Amanda Cabot’s CHRISTMAS ROSES (a Review)

It’s a little early for me to think about Christmas but I just read a novel that has me thinking about the season and gifts and… ah… pound cake and Christmas roses and romance.

 [amazon_image id=”0800720040″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Christmas Roses[/amazon_image]

As an Amanda Cabot fan, I’ve enjoyed her last three releases. However, I’m a reader who bases expectation on past reads but judges the current book on its own merit.

CHRISTMAS ROSES is a historical romance without Cabot’s usual element of suspense. Still, this one grabbed my heart and held tight, page after page. I worried about six-month-old Emma’s cough and shared Celia’s relief when a stranger arrived who knew how to treat the croup. I felt her loneliness and longing for romance.

As her year of mourning neared its end, two men in the mining town vied for her hand in marriage. Either would offer financial security and a father for Emma. But, Celia wanted something more. Her marriage to Josef had been arranged without love or courtship. Now, she longed for romance and the kind of love she’d read about in books; but as the parson’s wife kept insisting, Emma needed a father. Still, as impossible as it seemed that winter in Montana Territory, Celia’s heart longed for a man who would give her roses for Christmas. Should she give in to the longings of her heart when she need security and her daughter needed a father?

When I read the last page and closed the book, I leaned back with a satisfied sigh. It was that good! What more can I say? Except, Amanda Cabot brought the characters in this book to life. I feel I know them, and I’ll remember them from time to time.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher with no obligation. I’m reviewing it because I enjoyed the book and want to recommend it. I think you’ll like it. A click on the cover will take you to

Where Were You on 9/11/2001

(Photo credit – JustASC/

One ordinary Tuesday morning in September, Dan was on the patio reading the paper when I turned on my computer. I didn’t go to Facebook, couldn’t get past the homepage news.

I stared at the screen. Impossible. The This can’t happen. A few seconds later reality kicked in. It was real.  Although it had happened earlier, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center displayed on my monitor crumbled to the ground as I watched.

I called to Dan and turned on the TV. We stood stunned as we learned why the towers collapsed. We saw clips of the planes flying into the buildings, the upper levels bursting into flame, the towers collapsing… and the horror. People jumping from windows and falling to their death. Others on the ground running for their lives; bloody and bruised, covered with ash and soot.

This is one of those terrible events in American history that cannot be forgotten by those who witnessed it and must not be forgotten by generations to come.

This was an attack on the financial heart of the United States in New York City. Although the death toll has a number, I doubt that the full impact on American lives and economy will ever be known. Some companies disappeared in an instant, their people, records, and offices. The attack touched families from coast to coast and border to border, including our neighborhood and circle of friends.

One of our neighbors was a flight attendant for United. She knew members of the crews aboard those planes. And, she was scheduled for one of those doomed flights but something came up and she agreed to swap routes with another attendant. She will never forget that day. And for everyone who knows her, that attack on the Nation has become personal.

A friend’s husband’s first question when he heard the towers had collapsed was, “Where are my daughters?” They were enjoying a long awaited vacation with their mother and scheduled to be in the area of the towers that morning. News of their whereabouts didn’t come for hours because communication lines were down including cell service. When word came through, they were safe… but finding transportation out of New York would be a challenge.

Glaring headlines spread the news around the world. But the personal stories told by neighbors and friends touched our hearts in ways we won’t forget.

Want to share where you were and how did it touched your friends and family? Leave a comment below. I’d like to know.

Procrastination Pays!

Dan has a Fire.

Sarah has a Fire.

I don’t have a Fire.

I’ve been thinking about it for about a year. It’s cute and Dan really likes his. But, ho-hum, I think I’m happy with my old Kindle… 


Until today!

Just found out Amazon is releasing a new Fire and it will start shipping in November. I read about it and it runs circles around the old Fire. It’s this much bigger…. and faster… and a little more expensive. I’ve decided I want one. Sometimes, a girl just has to take control and stop procrastinating.

[amazon_image id=”B008GFRE5A” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB[/amazon_image]

Click on the image and see what I’m getting. You may be impressed.

One of the first things I’m going to do is Skype with my grandkids. Maybe I can figure a way to read Ella, Ashton, and Asher a story. And then, I’ll see what has been keeping Dan so busy so many hours with his. This is one time I’m glad I waited.



Our Wedding Day








From the day we set the date, I knew August 28, 1959 would be no ordinary day. I would have prefered a June wedding but that was impossible. My student fiance had to work a summer job to pay our first bills. It would have helped if I had a summer job, too. However, that was impossible. I lived six miles from the nearest town with no transpertation. And, there were no jobs available in that rural community, anyway. So, we set the date late in summer, just before the 1959-60 school year began.

We planned to meet at a chapel in the Wichita Mountains, about halfway between our family homes. From there, we planned to spend our wedding night in our new home (the house-trailer in the college town where Dan would finish his last year of college). That’s all we could affort.

Our wedding was planned to be VERY simple. Dan and I thought it would be just our immedite family and the preacher… nothing out of the ordinary. But, it didn’t turn out that way. (Did I mention that MY MOTHER was five months pregnant with her thrid child?) 

The extended family on both sides wanted to attend. So we had uncles and aunts and cousins galore. I had three cousins, two attended… but Dan had… ah… more. So, here’s how it went:

They all traveled to the middle of nowhere without the promise of cake and punch.

My mother refused to wear maturnity clothes until after the wedding. Consequently, she was way more concerned about what the mother-of-the-bride would wear than the bride’s dress. Daddy was a farmer with little use for a suit… so of course, he had to have a new suit to replace the one worn to the last funeral. My fourteen-year-old brother… well, he’d probably outgrown his last suit.

And the bride – my aunt and I were about the same size so she offered to loan me a dress. She had a pink one and two white ones that would have been suitable. But, a borrowed dress for my wedding? I said my heart was set on a blue dress so Mama gave in, and I helped her make a blue dress after she made her adjustable waisted mother-of-the-bride dress.

And, there’s more:

My brother had a minor motor scooter accident that day and came to the wedding with a few bruises and some scrapes.

Dan’s brother, Buford was the best man and he got yellow paint on his suit coat while decorating the newlywed getaway car.

Dan’s sister, Sarah was my maid of honor and as far as I know she wasn’t involved with yellow paint. No paint on her dress.

My Auntie Dorothy took the photos but her camera malfunctioned and we only got a few.

(Did I mention that my dad refused to give me away?)

None of this mattered. All I could see was Dan, the love of my life. And all I could think about was our new beginning. Over the years there have been times that I wished Dan could have seen me in a beautiful gown, standing at the back of a beautiful church, on my father’s arm. And I could have seen him waiting for me at the alter.

It didn’t matter. Dan and I joined hands outside the chaple door. By the time we came down the aisle together, we were committed to sharing our life together. That ceremony, without any trimmings, bound us together with strong ties. Ties that will last until… (I can’t even say those words).