Friday, December 30, 2011

The New Year

We are about to close out 2011 and begin 2012. How has 2011 been for you? It's been an all right year for me. My family has had a lot of things go on, but right now we are all doing well. The biggest thing is the grands are growing up too fast.

I don't go in for New Year's resolutions. I've tried them for years and never completed any of them. My plans are to finish the book I am working on, and try to get an agent for it. That's been my plans for a long time. I did finish my first novel and almost finished the second when I decided to go a different route. I'm enjoying this book more, and it's easier to write.

Looking back on last years, I've seen a lot of prayers answered. Sandi Rog is doing better. She seems to feel better, and that is a blessing. I know she enjoyed this Christmas better than last year. My prayer is for her to continue to improve this year and beat cancer.

I've had two surgeries and have come through both of them well. My knees are so strong now. I feel like I could walk for miles. My hernia surgery is doing better. I've had some congestion in my head and chest. Coughing does not feel good, but it is better right now.

My son-in-law came through his last heart surgery well. He is feeling so much better, and we are so thankful. His voice was stronger after the surgery than it was the last time. I feel he's on the road to improvement. God answered our prayers for his surgery to be a success.

I pray that we all are healthy and strong next year. Positive attitudes are the best. Keep looking for the bright side of everything. May God bless you all.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Product DetailsBefore Christmas, I finished reading Summer of Promise, by Amanda Cabot. Here is what the back cover says:

Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont with her sweetheart, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte's letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads West to Wyoming. The endless prairie seems monotonous, but when her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day. 

When circumstances--and perhaps a bit of matchmaking--put Abigail and Ethan together, there's certainly attraction. But Abigail is planning to marry another man and return to life in Vermont as soon as she is finished attending to her sister. And Ethan loves his life in the Army and the wilds of Wyoming. When summer ends, will Abigail go back East? Or will she fall in love with this rugged land herself?

Book 1 of the new Westward Winds series, Summer of Promise is a tale of following your heart to unexpected places. Readers will enjoy Amanda Cabot's passionate characters and vibrant setting in the beautiful high prairie.

I won't comment of a book that I have not read. I thank Revell for sending this book to be before it releases. The release date in January 1, 2012. Truly, this is Amanda's best book yet. I look at the story, depth of the characters, and action in a book I read. This had all of this, including a dog, Puddles. There is a mystery that winds through the book, and I was captivated by it. The description of Fort Laramie was wonderful. I'm anxious to see it, but I did see it through Amanda's eyes. 

You will not regret reading this book. Thanks Amanda for letting me read this early. Loved it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas

This will be my last post until after Christmas. We will have our Christmas tomorrow, Thursday. We all have to make allowances when there are in-laws to be considered.

My presents are all wrapped, except one. I'll wrap it in the morning. The turkey is thawing, and cooking will begin this afternoon. I've already completed some, but I have a lot more to do. The house smells like fruitcake and all kinds of goodies.

This year I'm making Dressing Balls. I have a very good dressing recipe. I've always made it in a pan, but this year I'm rolling it in balls and baking them. They are so crispy done that way. I think my family will enjoy them.

I get almost as excited as a small child. I love to sit back and watch the expressions on the faces of the children. It takes me back to my Christmas.

We always had a cedar tree when I was growing up. They were so hard to decorate, and I always had cedar stuck in my hands. It smelled so good. That's what I associate with Christmas.

I love being with my family. As the children get older, we don't get a chance to get together very much. There's always band, soccer, flag core, or something to keep us from all getting together. We do get busier as our children get older. I remember the days, and it's coming back to haunt me. Christmas is different, we always get together for Christmas.

My wish for all of you is a Very Merry Christmas. I'll be back on Monday, I hope, so enjoy the Holiday and don't eat too much.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday and Christmas Programs

Friday, my hubby and I attended two Christmas Programs at the elementary school my son's children attend. This is our third year to attend and each year seems to get better. I was so amazed the first year we attended at the talent the music teacher had. The children seemed to love her, and her music ability was so good.

The second year, last year, was even better. Her programs would rival a college production. Of course, to see the three grandchildren perform made it even better. The children paid attention to her and seemed to enjoy what they were doing.

This year, it was even better. The upper grades, three through five, played musical instruments. Our fourth grade granddaughter really got into the music. Each note she hit on the xylophone, she bounced. They did a dance while the teachers corrected a problem with the sound system. It was so good, and the children enjoyed it. I watched our oldest grandson as he and a boy partner did some amazing tricks.

This was all at 9:00 a.m.. We returned at 1:30 to a filled gym. This was grades k through 2, and every parent, grandparent, aunt, and uncle was there. People were standing in the back of the gym. This was also an outstanding performance.

The children sang in this program. Our youngest got into his song, and it was fun to watch him smile and sing. It was a great program. I have no idea how the music teacher comes up with so many different ideas each year. They are always new and fresh.

This is a small elementary school in the county we live in. I think it must be one of the best around. As we came home after the last program, we talked about how the children loved the principal. When I was in school, we were scared to death of our principal. He did not interact with us at all. That was the second principal we had in that school. The first one was wonderful. He loved children and would come to our rooms and tell us stories. I'll never forget that. I'm glad the teachers and principals are changing. It makes learning more fun.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


We live in a beautiful part of the country. In fact, every part of the country is beautiful, not just Western Kentucky. We do have a good diversity that I have not been accustomed to in the past. The mountains of Tennessee are beautiful, and I enjoyed watching them change, but I'm enjoying learning more about Kentucky.

The eagles are returning. My husband and a friend go out eagle watching several times a week. These birds are magnificent. I had never seen any until last year, and I couldn't wait for them to return this year. We watch their nests and have seen little heads pop up. Mother Eagle is really careful with her babies, and we don't get very close.

Last year we watched them soar over the interstate. What a sight! I wonder if people on the highway knew what they were seeing. They didn't seem to notice them at all, but I enjoyed them.

My husband got me involved with eagle watching to get me out of the house after my last knee surgery. At first I didn't feel like going, but I pushed myself, and I am so glad I did. They are so beautiful when they soared. Now, I'm read to go back.

I wanted to show you this picture of a eagle with a white spot. Our friend took this Monday when they went eagle watching. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Last Friday my email was hacked. These were good hackers. They knew what they were doing. They had all my emails transferred to them to a new email address, That is not my yahoo email address, and they spelled my name wrong. Our preacher wrote to my real address to see if I was all right. They even answered him and told him I needed the money.

It took me almost three hours with AT&T to get this straightened out. When we found out they had all my emails transferred to them, we fixed the problem. I knew I should be getting more emails that morning. One friend had called and asked if I was all right. She was to email me the letter sent to her. I never got it, so I knew there were problems.

The email sent out stated that I was in London, England and had been mugged. All my cash, credit cards, and my cell phone had been stolen, and I had been hit in the back of the head with a pistol. I needed $2,000 to pay my bills. Thankfully, most people called me to see if I was okay. One friend said since I had been hurting so bad previously that she wanted my medicine, if I felt like going to London. Most people said they knew that was not my writing. They had small i's and didn't put the commas where they needed to be. I don't do that, even in my emails.

My advice to you is to never use the same password for all of your accounts. I have different ones for credit cards, banking, facebook, and email accounts. I am so thankful that I did that. I changed all that were alike. I now love facebook. They contacted me that someone had tried to access my account. They even sent a map and noted where they were from. Africa.

I feel I was violated. It was the same feeling I had when our house was almost robbed. It's a horrible feeling, but now I can laugh about it.

So, I can say I am back home from London. Don't send money! The best thing, I have talked to people I have not talked to in years. That's one way God turned lemons to lemonade.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Historical Writing

From the time I was in the third grade, I knew I loved history. The town I grew up in was full of history. It is the second oldest town in the state of Tennessee and has the oldest courthouse in the state still being used as a courthouse. The name of the town is Rogersville. It's nestled in the hills and mountains of eastern Tennessee.Aside from being the second oldest town, it also had another famous event. Davy Crockett's grandparents were massacred and buried there. I grew up with a lot of history around me.

Also, my father and grandmother were storytellers. My grandmother was raised in the coal mining towns in Southwest Virginia and Southeast Kentucky. Her father was a sheriff and had many interesting stories to hand down. Before I was in high school, I knew about the people from different countries and their customs. I had a fascinating childhood.

Do you have stories from your family that you put in your writing? I found a picture of my grandparents and one of their children. In the picture was a bunch of turkeys. I asked my aunt about it before she died. She said they raised turkeys to buy their shoes for the winter. With six children, that was a lot of shoes.

Things like this is what makes stories interesting. The little tidbits can change a story and make it more interesting. Since I am writing historical books, I look for these things. There is a turn of the century museum close to us. So far I have not been in it, but I'm dying to go. Mostly because I'm writing a book set in the early 1900's. The house is decorated for Christmas now. I would love to see it. I need to pry my husband away and go before the end of the year. It is famous because a president visited it. I want to see the furnishings and the decorations. Maybe I can go one day next week. I'll let you know if I do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Is Getting Closer

Christmas is getting closer, and I'm not ready. My shopping is finished and most of it wrapped, but I have not decorated one thing. There is not one sprig of green in my house. There is a reason.
I have encountered a complication from the hernia surgery. I probably bore you all with this, but it helps me to write about it. It is very discouraging. After the surgery, I developed a (kind of) blister at the place where the hernia was. It is large, very large and filled with fluid. The site of the removal of the hernia is irritated, inside, that is. The scar is fine, it's just my insides. My doctor says I am healing slowly.
The good news is, no surgery! The bad news is, I have to live with it for a while. I have trouble walking, standing, and bending. The pain is very sharp. My husband had said I'd probably milk this for a year or eighteen months. His prediction may be right. If I am not better is six months, I have to return to the doctor. Not good! The best part is Tylenol helps.
What do I do in a situation like this? I can write, sew, read, play games, or anything where I do not have to bend over while sitting. Writing is good. I can do that, but not as much as I used to do. It still hurts sometimes when I sit.
My husband has been very good to help me. I haven't mopped the floor since the surgery. I do need to hogtie him and get the decorations put up. Maybe I will feel better then.
During all this, my son-in-law had to have heart surgery. He has a-fib, and his heart was racing constantly, which messes up his pacemaker. When they went in, they accidentally punctured his artery. The doctor was wise enough to back out. He clotted well, and they got all the imaging they needed. The doctor will repeat the surgery on December 27. His name is Ron Turpin and we would appreciate prayers for him and his doctor.
Changing the subject to something good. My novel is coming along well. I'm almost one-third finished. That's pretty good considering all we have been through. I have to thank two author friends of mine, Susan Page Davis and Sandra Robbins, for their encouragement. Love you girls! Sometimes I don't know what I would do without these friends.
Here's hoping your week will be good. Continue to stay on the Good List. Santa will be here before long. By the way, I live with Santa.