Thursday, March 28, 2013


Today is a good day and very exciting. It doesn't take much to excite me, but today is special. First of all, a headache I have had since Saturday is gone. I didn't think it could get much worse than it did yesterday. The doctor had given me meds for my headaches, and I usually can control it with one pill every four hours. Yesterday I was taking two every four hours and wanting the time to go faster. I was in a lot of pain. Today, I am fine. I may feel a little groggy, but I can handle that.

My husband decided to end our land-line and go to all cell phones. That has been a big decision. The phones came yesterday and mine is red. Red is my favorite color, so it was very appropriate. I am very excited to activate them today and get them working. We have ATT internet, but we can keep a line in the house for $5 per month. That's not bad considering all we will be getting on our phones.

I started reading a new book the other day,. My friend, Sandra Robbins, had Harvest House send me her latest book in the Smoky Mountain Series. It's Mountain Homecoming. I recommend it highly. I'm only on the third chapter, but it has grabbed my attention. I didn't want to put it down, but my head hurt so much that I couldn't read.

I'm also getting one from Karen Witemeyer. We have been corresponding this week. She is such a sweet person, as most authors are. I'm looking forward to reading her book about the Preacher. If you read Short Straw Bride, you read about Crockett. I'm anxious to read it.

Today I also ordered a three book set by Tim Downs. It is part of his "bug man" series. I'm not squeamish when I read about insects, and I am well acquainted with the Body Farm somewhere around Knoxville, TN. This is about a forensic anthropologist. I'm looking forward to reading it after I finish Sandra's book.

Today I have to activate the phones, and I'm anxious to start using the red phone. That's hot! Have a good week-end and a Happy Easter.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


We had a wonderful time at our retreat. Six wonderful ladies turned up and brought food. What could be better?

Early Thursday morning I received a call from KenLake Resort. This is a state park about 20 miles from my house. We all traveled a long way..:-) In reality, no one traveled more than 80 miles. We live fairly close together which makes it good for something like this. Now to get back to the story. The resort called to tell me there were termites in the Executive Cottage we had requested. They had treated the problem, but the odor was pretty bad.

What a bummer! They did tell us we could have two cabins side by side for the same price. One was a two bedroom and the other was a one bedroom. Susan Davis met me at the resort early, and we checked the cabins out. We hoped we could could all fit into one but there was only one bathroom. Can you imagine six women with one bathroom? It wasn't going to work. The beds were double and would be harder to sleep two people together.

Susan and I decided to take the one bedroom and let the others have the two bedroom. We used it as our headquarters. It worked out well.

Thursday afternoon and evening everyone drifted in. We had planned a Mystery Game for eight people. Eight had sent money to come, but at the last minute two had to cancel. Susan called her husband and a friend to come play the other two parts in the game. It worked out. The game was very interesting and fun. I was not the murderer, Sandra Robbins was, and she played the part well.

Friday morning after a delicious breakfast, Sandra Robbins talked to us about developing characters. It was very good and lots of fun. Friday afternoon we critiques everyone's first ten pages. Personally, I learned so much. It was done so well. We all had a chance to talk and even the seasoned authors found they could improve their story more.

Saturday morning, after a light breakfast, we all went our separate ways. This was such a good experience for our group. We learned more about each other and more about writing. Are we planning another one" You bet! We all benefited so much from this one.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Wow, today we start our retreat. It seems the time has flown by. I'm ready. Bags packed, well almost. Critiques done, check. Food I'm to bringing ready, well almost. Can't put frozen biscuits in until I get ready to leave. Money all collected, check. Anxious, double checked.

It's funny how anxious I am to spend time with eight women. We have so much to learn from each other and so much to talk about. I've changed the beginning of Susannah's Hope and I'm anxious to see what everyone says about it.  Susannah has been a challenge for me to write. She is such a brat at the beginning and changing her into a better person has caused some problems. I hope people will like her better.

I had hoped the weather would be nice because the cabin has a screened-in porch. A couple of days ago the weather person on our local station started talking about snow. Yes, snow! It isn't supposed to get to where we will be, and if it does, it will only be a dusting. They say it will be tonight and everyone should be here by 6 p.m. I think we'll be safe.

The mystery game is called Mulligan's Island. Much like Gilligan's Island, but there is a mystery. Since we are all women, four of us had to play men's parts. I'm a man, and I'm looking forward to it.

I have several things to do before I depart on my little journey. I hope everyone has a good week-end.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Writer's Retreat

This week-end our local writer's group will be having a retreat at a local state park. We will have eight people present. It is going to be a wonderful time for us to get to know each other better and to learn more about writing. I am truly looking forward to being with these ladies.

We will begin on Thursday with dinner and a Mystery Game. I am very excited about this. I've never played anything but Clue, so this is going to be fun. I already know who I will be playing, and my costume is laid out on the bed, ready to be packed.

Friday will be a learning day. One of the ladies is giving a class on Deepening Your Characters. We will have lunch and then we will critique each other's work. We have all sent in 10 pages of our current WIP, Work In Progress. I feel we will learn so much from each other. A couple in our group are multi-published and they can give us a lot of insight to our writing.

We will leave on Saturday morning, after a breakfast and some fun time. I think we will all come home with a lot of knowledge.

Writing is a lonely job and if we can find someone who shares our interest, we gain so much. We need this time together to talk and learn. Getting together with several other writers will help us grow as authors. I'll let you know what happens next Tuesday.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Recently I have been on a weight loss plan. My doctor suggested that as I age, I gain weight. Even if I eat the same amount, our body does not work like it did at 20. Also, as we age, our activity level decreases. Not very good for aging, but we all do.

Here are some things I would like to suggest. Do Not Super-Size. You are only putting on more of everything. We no longer eat out much, but when we do, we eat sensibly. Most fast food places, or fat food places, are off our list. We will go to Wendy's or Taco John's on Sunday, but not every Sunday. Sometimes I want to say to the little perky girl at the register, "If I had wanted something extra, I would have ordered it." That would be rude, but sometimes I want to say it.

So, what are we eating at home. No packaged meals. I cook everything and it doesn't take that long. I can still fix a good meal in an hour, I have to plan ahead. We eat a meat, vegetables, and fruit for dessert. I did make an Angel Food Cake yesterday, but that is not bad. We can have it in moderation. We eat very little starches. When we do I'll fix a baked sweet potato.

Really, you can have anything you want in moderation. We have cut back on our portions. My husband has lost about 16 pounds since we started doing this. That includes the time with family and all the anniversary sweets. I've lost about 9.

Another thing we do is exercise. We bought a Wii when they first came out several years ago. Since then we have added exercise and game programs. We use the Wii anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour each day. I do some balance exercises and we both do sports. We've made it fun and it isn't so bad. When it gets warmer, we will start walking at the park. We are blessed with a park nearby with a good walking path.

We are losing slowly. My doctor was proud of my weight loss. I would like to lose more, but that will come later. Right now we are trying to stay on course.

I believe we forget what we used to do as housewives. We hung out clothes, ironed, and worked harder at keeping our houses clean. I know I've failed with the clothes dryers and the Swiffers. When I worked harder, I didn't gain weight. Then we didn't have fast food either. Since I want to be healthier, I will be changing my attitude this spring and trying to do things to help with my exercise and eating program. I hope you will think about this too.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


It has been a while since I posted. Over two months, and that's a long time for me to be quiet. A lot has happened in those two months.

First of all my hubby became ill. Although we had our flu shots, I think he had the flu. It took him a good two weeks to get over it and feeling like something. I'm not good when he's sick, and when he misses church, he's sick! In fact, when he sleeps all day, he's sick! I'm a worry-wart, and I did worry a lot about him.

After he recovered, he started running a high fever. A very high fever, and you know men. They will not go to the doctor. Finally, he did decide to go. He had a bacterial infection. Thankfully it was not viral because we were less than a week from our 50th Wedding Anniversary. The doctor gave him a very high powered antibiotic and he made a rather quick recovery. He still has some tests to take to try to find the problem. They had no idea what caused the fever.

Our 50th was looming and we had company coming. Our niece from Texas with her husband and one of their sons and his family were coming. I had cleaned house for two months. My house was not that dirty, cluttered is a better word. The bedrooms looked so neat when I walked through the house. It was a satisfying feeling.

We had six extra people in our house. Believe it or not, but David (niece Lisa's husband) and Corey (Lisa and David's son) wanted to see where they made Moonshine. We had found the distillery before they came and thought you could tour it. That was the hit of their day. Corey got to pour some moonshine in the jars. A big thrill for him.

Our 50th celebration began on Friday, February 22, which is our anniversary. We had everyone who helped with the reception, hubby's family, my family, and friends from church to a dinner at a local steak house. I think there were 35 people there. It was great for Hubby's family to meet our friends. In fact, his brother and his wife celebrated their 65th anniversary on February 19.

Saturday, the 23md, was the day of our celebration. Lisa had not seen her uncle and aunt in 40 years. We had all of my husband's family for breakfast, about 20. Then the celebration which was attended by around 100. Before we left, we invited all of Hubby's family to our house for supper. It was a wonderful reunion. We may never get together again like that. I dearly loved having everyone crammed into my small house, but boy was I tired when everyone left.

It took me over a week to recover from all the fun. We are still hanging pictures and have more to put in frames. Everyone was so nice and we received so many nice gifts, although we asked for none.

It's taken me a while to get back in the groove to start working again. I am happy to say, I am back in the groove and writing again. All in all, I took three months off. That is way too long and I'm glad to be back to normal. I've scattered some pictures of the celebration. Hope you enjoy them.