Friday, May 29, 2009

More Beauty of Scotland

Isn't this an unusual flower? This was growing in the church yard where my nephew preaches. It is a Snake Head Fritilory. The spelling may be wrong. I thought Arlene was saying Fertility, but she wasn't. This was the purple one and there was a white one also. It looks like a snakes head and it is so unusual, it was pretty.

I looked at the pictures this morning and wanted to go back to Scotland. It is so beautiful. Even when it was cloudy and the wind blew cold, it was still pretty. Next time, I will take warmer clothes and not leave my jacket someplace.

I'm trying to keep the goals I have set for myself. I missed by 497 words yesterday, but I think I can make them up today. I'm rewriting Callie's Mountain when I finish my 2,000 words each day. Then I still have time to clean and do laundry. 

Next week, we are moving my office to the basement. That way I will not be tempted to get on the computer when I need to be working on the house. No more games at odd hours. It will help me to be able to leave and know I won't be running into the office to do things other than work during my computer hours. I will also have a guest room that is not cluttered with writing junk.

I'm going to find the pictures of the beautiful gardens in Scotland and try to get them posted. They were beautiful. I tried to get my husband to do one for me, but I think he thinks it is too much work. It is!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One of those Days

Yesterday was one of those days. I seem to have a routine and if I get off that routine, nothing goes right. That happened yesterday.

Today I am right on schedule, so far. I am on the computer early, well fairly early, and I am going to exercise in a few moments. My blood pressure is up again today and I think the exercise will help. My doctor wanted me to start exercising again as soon as I could. I am ready.

My writing was behind yesterday also. I had taken my calculator and figured out if I write 2,000 words a day for 5 days a week, I can finish my book in 8 weeks. I have about 4,600 words now and I didn't write much yesterday. The words wouldn't come and I don't have writer's block yet. It was just a bad day. We all have them.

There is more research in this book. Most of it I can find here in town. We have a very good archive with documents preserved from the early 1800's. I am anxious to see some of them and get some copies made. 

I am also registering for ACFW conference today. I can't wait to get that going. I am introducing an author for one of the classes. She is a very sweet lady and I am pleased to know her.

If I get anything accomplished, I'd better get started.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Days are usually spent with family. This year our family had other things to do and I understand that. My Memorial Day will be spent working instead.

The first chapter of Love of the Mountains is finished and I have started on the second chapter. I wrote a little on it Saturday, but my mind was not totally in it. I don't want a long lapse in time. Between the first chapter and the second chapter there has to be a lapse. I don't want to make it very long and there will be some telling. Callie is still in the book and working through a bad situation. I don't want to make it too sad, but I want her to grieve. We all have to do that to go on with life. I am sure I will work it out. It will come in a flash when I least expect it.

This morning I changed my blog a little. I am going to move the pictures if I can figure out how to do it. My daughter has a beautiful blog and mine seems so dull. I guess I am not as creative as she is in that area. 

I hope and pray that everyone has a safe and happy holiday. We are going to stay here on the hill and grill this afternoon. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

Enduring Love

Enduring Love is a new book to come out soon by Bonnie Leon. This is a third in her Sydney Cove Series and is about Australia. I have not read the other two, but I will. 

Bonnie weaves the story in such a way that you feel the heat burning the hard, dry ground. Your emotions are so enduring to Hannah Bradshaw and you feel her shock, love and kindness. I really don't want to give the story away, but I was almost praying for it to end right. I was in this story completely.

The author is very good in storytelling. A friend in Australia had told me about her books and when a time came that she needed someone to read it, I shot my hand up. I am so glad I did. Bonnie has a new fan. I recommend the book highly.

A little about what I am doing. I have started my second book. I received my Genesis scores and to say the least, they were horrible. I have never made such a low score on anything, ever. I was disappointed, but my friend Tiffany Colter told me to set it aside and go on to the next book. It has worked wonders. She also told me that they were told to be very picky with their scoring, so things that would have normally been overlooked were not. That made me feel better.

My great-nephew in Scotland has a video on You Tube. He plays in a band called Acrylic Iqon. Yes that is the correct spelling. He went over it with me at length while we were there. Scott is the one in the white shirt and necktie. He plays guitar and sings. He is a wonderful young man and I am proud to be his Auntie.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

God's Not Finished With You Yet

Yesterday I talked to a friend of mine who has been in the hospital at the point of death for about two months. We had all prayed for her recovery. She is a very special woman who has had a lot of heartaches through the years.

Linda had open heart surgery in the late winter. She went home and everything was fine. Then one day her rib cage broke open and they rushed her to the hospital in very serious condition. She was in ICU for weeks. We would get a good report, then a bad report, but she continued to fight to live.

When we were able to get her phone number, I called her. After we talked for a minute, I said, "Linda, God's not through with you yet." He isn't. She lost her son and has his children to raise. She needs to be an encouragement to others in her family and in church.

It's very hard when you go through something like this. A similar thing happened to me five years ago and I said the same thing. "God's not through with me yet." He isn't and I know it. There is much more for me to do here on this earth. My life has changed dramatically in the last five years. 

You may look at me and see nothing has changed, but on the inside it does. When you are close to death, you appreciate everything around you more. Each morning when I get up, I open the curtains on my double door in the family room. Then I take in the beauty of the hills and the mountains. Sometimes fog is rising off the river and I see it hiding the hills. God has been so good to me.

My family is more important to me now. My youngest grandson was not born when I was so sick and I prayed that I would live to get to know him. He is so precious to me now, as are the other three. It is so wonderful to watch them grow into wonderful young men and women. I pray that the Lord will let me live a few more years to enjoy them.

I thank God daily for my life, my families and my friends. You are all important to me. You make me realize that God is not finished with me yet.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Drinking Coffee

Yesterday I heard that drinking coffee will increase your brain power and make you more alert. How many cups do you have to drink a day? They said 3-4. I'm on my second cup now and my brain is coming alive. I will have two more before the day ends.

We are finally through Blackberry Winter and ready for summer. The blackberries are in full bloom. There will be plenty this year. We have a lot in the freezer from last year.

Last week the Genesis Finalist were announced and my name was not on it. Oh, well, I will keep going. Someone, sometime will like my book. It is completely edited now and I will start this afternoon doing the corrections. I know my weak points and I need to improve on some things with emotion and descriptions. That shows a lazy writer.

After two weeks in Scotland and coming home to cool weather, I am looking forward to warmer temperatures. The sun is shining beautifully today and it is supposed to be warmer. The rest of the week is supposed to be warm.

My house wants a good cleaning before anyone else comes to visit. I'm ready to tackle it, so I must get busy. Have a wonderful day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Busy Week

This has been a busy week. My Ladies Day presentation is finished and today I will be reading it and getting more familiar with it. When you write it, you feel you know what was written, but there are always things that crop up that you hadn't thought of. I think it is pretty good, but then that's me. We'll wait until the rest of the ladies hear it.

The morning has also been busy with grocery shopping. One of our largest grocery stores has homemade chicken salad. I almost bought them out for our luncheon tomorrow. Is everyone like me? You never get the exact things on your grocery list. I used to, but now I see something that would be good later on and I get it. These sales make me crazy. I'm always buying something on sale. 

My writing has taken a backseat for a while, but I am ready to get back to it Monday. My husband and I have a few things to do Monday, I have a mammogram scheduled early Monday morning. After that, we have other things that need to be done. I hope we are through by lunch so I can get busy.

Summer is finally here in the mountains. It has been in the upper 70/s and lower 80's for several days. We waited for this all winter, now watch everyone complain. We are to get storms today and I hope we do not have anymore tornadoes. We had one last week that hovered over our Walmart. It did not touch down. 

The day will slip by before I have done what I needed to do. I do have laundry finished and that is a big plus. When I write on this blog, I'm trying to improve my writing. I still have problems with emotions and actions. It will improve.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Last Week

It's hard to believe that last week, at this time, we were flying through the air. We miss Scotland and long to go back, maybe next summer. I want it warmer when we do.

My Ladies Day is almost finished. I am really cutting it close. I think I can finish up this morning and then start memorizing it. After that, I will get busy on my manuscript. It will be good to start working on it again. I have missed Callie these last few weeks.

A friend of mine in Australia is writing a book and we are chatting back and forth via email. She had lived here for a while and was my mother's nurse. Then she and her husband went back to Australia. I miss her, but we have kept in touch through the last two years. We are discussing our books and publishers. We also cheer each other up, or at least she does me. She has always been one of my favorite people.

I finished a wonderful book yesterday. It is about Australia. The name of it is Enduring Love by Bonnie Leon. Tomorrow I will give you more information about it. I did enjoy it very much. It was exciting, with enough mystery to keep me turning the pages. Good job, Bonnie.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rainy Monday

Rainy Mondays get me down. That song fits today. Everyone tells me that it has rained a lot while we were gone. We did have beautiful sunshine yesterday morning. It made the Lord's Day more wonderful.

Today I have plenty of energy, which I have lacked for a week. After I change the beds and get the dishes in the washer, I am writing. My Ladies Day presentation is almost finished. I'm putting scripture with what I want to say. I hear and read so many good scriptures and I can't use all of them. I'm trying to decide on the ones that meets the subject best. The topic is It's Not About Me. There are a lot of people who come to worship when they feel like it. I think how Christ must have felt hanging on the cross. I am sure He endured more pain than I will ever and he did it for me. That is the only thing that is about me. Christ died for me. It makes it more important when I look at it that way.

Enough preaching. I am now on Facebook. I took the plunge while in Scotland and so far I am enjoying it. It does not take up as much time as I thought it would. I hear from friends regularly and keep up with things. If you want to be my friend, I'm under Katt Anderson, so please contact me.

We are trying to lose part of this weight we gained in Scotland. We have a doctor appointment Wednesday morning. My sister is coming by after a dental appointment that morning and I forgot to tell her I won't be home, so Sis, I'm not going to be there, but Carolyn will. Come on by and we'll go to Golden Burger as we leave and bring home burgers. The best burgers in the world.

This week I have plans to finish my Ladies Day and work on my book. There is a lot of polishing to do before I send it out again. So, besides getting ready for Ladies Day on Saturday and writing, I am going to be busy. This is something I desire to complete, so it is not work. 

I'm off to get some things finished today. I want the suitcases out of the living room. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Blog is Later Today

We all have our off days and today is mine. I had my day planned, but things changed rapidly.

This morning when the clock went off at 6 a.m., I snuggled down in the covers until 6:30. I always shower and dress first thing in the morning. I had gone to unlock to front door when my hubby entered with these words, "I forgot my billfold and I have to go back to town to get the groceries." We had no creamer for the coffee. The world revolves around coffee at our house.

That was fine because I was going to town also, so we ate breakfast out, went to the nursery for plants and some bushes. He also got a rose bush for me for Mother's Day. Then, it started raining. Not little showers, but thunder and lightening and the heavens opening up. Needless to say, we decided to nix the grocery store.

Soon after we unloaded the shrubs, rose bush and plants, it stopped raining. Now, I went back to the grocery store. This rain has really made my knees hurt, so I am taking it easy now and trying to stay off of them for as long as I can. I don't like pain.

Yesterday when the mail came, I received a rejection from the publishing house I had sent my proposal to. Most of yesterday was feeling a little sorry for myself and trying harder to be positive. I was more positive than sorry.

Rejections make you humble, or so I tell myself. It still hurts when someone does not think your baby is as pretty as you do. One writer said they were stepping stones to publication. She said hers were about an inch thick. 

This week-end I will be working on my Ladies Day presentation. I am going to rest for a while and let the medication work. Then I am going to get busy and finish my speech or as my husband says, my sermon. Have a good week-end.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Back at Home

We are back at home at last. I enjoyed Scotland so much, but there's no place like home. 

There has been a lot of rain since we left and we had storms last night. The grass is green, but not as green as Scotland grass. I miss seeing the sheep dotting the countryside. The hedges in the fence rows were so beautiful and I do miss seeing that. I tried to talk Jerry into moving the hedges that dot our farm and put them in the fence rows. He somehow didn't like that idea.

Things I learned:
1. How to make a "Caramel Cake" although it's really a pie. Take a can of condensed milk, cover it with water in a pan, boil on the stove for 2-3 hours. Makes delicious caramel. Pour into a mini pie shell and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Delicious.
2. I do love scones and I can't wait to try my hand with them. 
3. A lot of history and a wonderful new idea for a book. I have to finish the two in my current series before I can start it. I will have a lot of research to do before I can start, but that is fun for me.
4. Scots have beautiful voices. I love to hear them talk and sing.
5. Scots are a loving people and so friendly. 
6. I miss the quietness of Scotland. No loud cars with radio's turned on high, high. It was very quiet on the streets.

Are we going back, yes! There is so much more to see. I may need a wheelchair when we go back, in fact both of us may need one. It seemed my Scottish blood came out in me while we were there. Can I roll my "r", certainly, if I want to. I'm in America and I will speak like I always have, but aye, we had a lovely time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Back Home

Just a short note to let all of you know we are back home in our own house. The flight home was better than the one going over. Our plane in Philly was an hour late leaving, so we had plenty of time. It was a wonderful trip and I loved every minute of it. It is good to also see things that belong to you. My dog was glad to see me, but it took him a minute to realize who I was. I will write more tomorrow when I rest.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ourl Last Day in Scotland

Today is the last whole day in Scotland. It will be spent packing and going to brunch with a couple. We have made so many friends since we have been here. The people are wonderful and friendly.

No pictures will be posted today. When we get back in Nashville, I will download them. We did go to Loch Lomond Friday and to the Old Village of East Kilbride on Saturday. The Old Village was so beautiful. I have found so many interesting things to write about.

Things I have learned: 
Don't leave your coat at a B&B. It is cold here, even in April/May. Not freezing, but cooler than I am used to this time of year.
The meat pies are good. I have not eaten anything I did not like. Caramel Cakes are my favorite. It is a caramel pudding (very rich) in a tart shell. My favorite food I have eaten here.
Tablets are pure sugar. Another caramel product, but so good.
People are very considerate. They even talk slower to us so we can understand what they are saying. 
The grass is greener. 
The fields are beautiful dotted with sheep.
The Scottish people are friendly. 
The coast is close by no matter where you are. 
The rugged coast is beautiful and breathtaking.
When you turn a bend you usually find something outstanding.

We have both loved it here. We did get a chance to know our nephew and his family better. His youngest son, Scott, is a very talented musician. I knew he sang with a band, but that was about all. He wrote a beautiful song when my mother died. Arlene played it for us and I became so choked up. It was beautiful and meaningful. He is a wonderful young man. It was worth the trip to get to know him better.

Another thing I did while here was to go on Facebook. I still have more to do on it, but you can be one of my friends. It is under Katt Anderson. I expect to have fun with this.

I will not put anything else on until Wednesday. I expect we will go to bed Tuesday when we get in. We covet your prayers for a safe journey.

Friday, May 1, 2009

More of Arran

More pictures of Arran. I have misspelled it before and it is hard to get my fingers going right with the a's and the r's. The picture of Ailse Craig is a bird sanctuary, it shows up in the background of the picture.

There were seals on the rocks at Blackwaterfoot which surprised us. Our room looked out on the town and the sea. It was a beautiful view.

Yesterday we went to see a lady who had visited us about three years ago. It was wonderful to see her. Her caregiver said she got up early because she was so excited we were coming for coffee and biscuits. It was wonderful to get to visit with her again.

Last night Arlene's father and two of her sisters came for dinner. Jon cooked Indian. It was spicy but so good. He made an Apple Crisp which is definitely American. 

Today we are traveling someplace. They know where they are going but we have no idea. It is cloudy and supposed to rain, but we are in Scotland. We expect rain every day. When I woke up the sun was shinning, but not now. It is gray and the wind is blowing.

When we left the B&B, I forgot my jacket. It was water repellent and had a hood. When we went back to Brodick to catch the ferry, I shopped for a coat and we found one on sale. It also has  hood and will come in handy this winter at home. 

Arlene was telling us something about Scotland yesterday and I said, "There's a book." Yes, I do have a wonderful idea for a book between Scotland and America. I will be so glad to get back home so I can write. I am sharing my computer with Jerry, so I don't have it 24/7.

I did read Maggie Brandon's book No Place for a Lady. It is very good and I highly recommend it. Before we left, my daughter handed me Gingham Mountain, by Mary Connealy. I already had it packed for the trip. My husband has read both of the books since we have been here and he loved them both. I am half way through Mary's and am trying to get it finished. Both are excellent books.

We will be leaving soon, so I had better eat breakfast and get ready to go. Have a nice day. We got most of our gifts bought to take back. Went to Walmart's store here, Asda, and Jerry's discount card worked! Hey, Walmart people, they said their discount cards looked like ours.