Thursday, May 29, 2014

In a hurry

Apparently, I am not the first one to have done this. 
Whew!  It makes me feel a little better.

Yesterday I was in a hurry!

Placing my lunch on the roof of my car, I stockpiled the passenger seat  with my purse and  my stack  of books that  I bring to work each day.  I read on my lunch break.   Never knowing if I'll be in the mood for a devotional, have an epiphany to write in my journal, or get lost in the imaginary world of fiction,  I pretty much bring it all! 
My family likes to comment on the "bookstore" in my car.  I'm a library on the move! 

Slamming the car  door shut, I headed back into my kitchen and grabbed my breakfast.  One would think that because I had food in my hands, I would remember the food on top of my car!   Nope.  Not me.  I headed straight for the drivers seat and pulled out of my garage.  Thinking back on it, I had a can of diet pepsi in the bag.  You'd think it would have rolled right down my windshield!   My lunch wasn't missing this ride.  It had a front row seat!
Cruising down my county road, I remember thinking "Wow, I have some really great neighbors. They're all waving at me as I pass by."   I had my music on and waved at them too!
Oblivious to the unfastened freight on top of my vehicle, I kept on driving...all the way to work! 
I pulled in to the parking lot and started gathering all my stuff.  I soon wondered, Where's my lunch?
Jumping out of my car, I quickly  realized why the waves and pointing...because I'M NOT VERY BRIGHT!
And no, the lunch didn't make it to work! 
It made for some great conversation throughout my day with patients.  (I work in a dental office.)
So funny! 

So, tell the truth...have you ever done that before?  What's your story? 

Sunday, May 25, 2014


We are working on a new door this holiday weekend for our front entrance. 
It got me thinking of the many doors we saw while we were in England.
This large scale door hangs at St Pauls Cathedral.  I look pretty miniscule in comparison to the massiveness of this wooden door.  Can you hear the creaking of the door as it opens?
Some doors open and shut and got us from point A to point B.  When the door shut, off we went in the black taxi, connecting if only for a moment with our taxi driver. 
How old do you think this door is?  Not sure myself, but it is at Kings College in Cambridge.  It's old!  What is on the other side?   
A welcoming front door.  This is Beryl.  A country home we stayed in while in Wells.  Notice the windows on the door.  Unlike the above door, I could see what was inside.  An antique table with marble on top.  A glass vase filled with a bouquet of white roses, yellow daisies, and greeneries added to the ambiance.  I couldn't wait to enter.    
I love this door.  I love it so much I have this very picture hanging large scale in my bedroom.  A gift given to me from my dear friends, John and Yvonne.  Once upon a time I stood right by this very door while in the Cotswolds.  I often wonder who lives behind that door.  I imagine an elderly woman who is charmed by the quaintness of her village.  She makes her tea each morning and tends to her many gardens.  Fresh flowers decorate her vintage home.  I spent a bit of time marveling at the sight of this door.  It was very difficult for me not to knock.  Should I? Oh that would be rude...but, I really want to... No, I didn't!

This is the front door to the home of CS Lewis.  What would it have been like to knock on this door and it opens with CS Lewis welcoming me in?   I would ask to see his writing desk and we would talk for hours about Narnia and his wife Joy and the grief of losing her, and what he remembers about his mother...
Doors.  They open to welcome people in, and  they shut to keep people out.   Front doors are more formal as we knock and wait to be welcomed in.  Back doors are casual.  Usually unlocked and easier to access.  Doors are used to separate and connect us.   We walk through many doors throughout the course of one day. 
As we finish our front door, I think of all those we have welcomed in.  I pray all who have entered, and will enter, feel welcomed.  
What doors have you walked through lately? 
Yesterday we walked through the church doors.  On either side of the doors stood two people holding the American flag.  We walked through the doors and took our seats.
During the service we recited the 23rd Psalm
Remember it?
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff-they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; your anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
May I never forget the feeling of gratitude I felt as I walked out of the doors of church yesterday, watching the vibrant colors of red white and blue flowing freely in the morning breeze.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Ever met someone and felt like you were being entertained by an angel?
Their very presence just begs for more conversation.  Uplifting, glorious fellowship spent getting to know one another. 
It is easy, comfortable dialogue between two women.  One 90, the other 40.
That's how it went that fine day back a few years now. 
She told me about her family and how she missed her husband.  I remember one comment in particular.  Waving me close so no one would hear, she revealed the longing she missed the most.  It's our secret, but boy did we laugh. 
She asked about my family and she discovered I no longer had parents. 
"I need a bit of water," she abruptly said. 
Immediately I got a small glass for her. 
Taking a sip, she then proceeded to throw the rest of it in my face!
Really. She did. 
A 90 year old woman threw water in my face!
With a huge grin on her face, she then said, "There.  You're my adopted daughter now."
That is how I met June. 
A few days later, this came in the mail for me...
My Adoption Paper!  Made me cry. 
Then, not long, came this...
My birthday card from my "Adopted" mother June. 
She is referring to the party her family had for her 90th birthday of which I was invited and extremely delighted to attend.  Here is the invite...

Even the local news wanted to know about this remarkable, fabulous, extraordinary woman.  She is the Proverbs 31 woman.  Her family is blessed beyond blessed.  She is a legacy.  She is who I want to be like.  I want to be just like her.    "I thank my God every time I remember you..." Phillipians 1:3
Want to meet her?
Click here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tea/Solitude and the Pleasure of Company

As I sip my cup of English Breakfast tea, thoughts of a recent trip to a tearoom come to mind. 
While browsing the gift shop, this was in the window.
."Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.--Author Unknown

Here I am, alone in my den.  Just me and my tea.  Pondering my day and all that needs to be done.  I'd take a picture, but... My hair is pulled back with a band, taming the strands that are quite unmanageable this morning.  I am still in my footie pajamas...I was a bit chilly going to sleep last night...still am actually!  No make-up on, which today I will need because I woke up with my chin hurting...more like, first finding my glasses,  I put them on only to have a gargantuan zit staring back at me in the mirror, festering, pleading with me to stop the pain.   Of course I did, remembering the days of junior high and how instantaneous relief comes from popping them, splattering "stuff" on the mirror!  (I know you've been there!)  I thought I was too old to get these!...I think you get the picture!  Solitude. 

This is a picture of me with the pleasure of company. 
I so much enjoy having tea with friends.  Especially John and Yvonne.  We have loads of fun.  Here we are at the Avalon tea room.  A lovely place to meet and stuff yourself with tea food.  The four of us (my husband is taking the picture!) each had our own pot of tea filled with our, oolongs, and green teas.  Fruit, quiche, chicken sandwiches, scones were all on our plates. 
Desserts are always a must for me.  Here is the dessert I just had to have!
Another treat was getting a ride in this car to the tearoom!
The Avalon tea room is a great place to have tea with friends.  The website
The day is looking gloomy and chilly today.  My cup is empty.  Time for another cup of English Breakfast.   

Thursday, May 15, 2014

There are signs

I've been a bit hesitant, but now I do believe it is here.  Spring. 
The grass grew enough that it needed to be mowed yesterday.   Torrential downpours helped its growth. 
I'm afraid here's trouble.  He darts around the yard like its some kind of huge smorgasbord.  I'm thinking he is pretty confident there is no dog around now to chase him away.  It is only a matter of time before he sees that he is right! 
The deer in the fields are coming closer to the house.  We catch them in the early morning hours.  We are told deer love hostas.  Time to research deer repellant! 
Mrs. Robin protecting her young.  I get to see her each morning from my kitchen window as I am making tea.  Its the simple things in life! 

Perennials awakening from their long winter's slumber.  A walk in our yard gave us a sneak peek of the show coming up in the weeks to come.  A hummingbird flitted about too fast for us to snap a picture of it taking a drink from the nectar in the feeder.    Yellow finches, Baltimore orioles, cardinals, robins... If we feed them, they will come!  We have a front row seat.  This morning I lost count after 15  yellow finches.  All at once, there they were.  Crowding around the feeders, shoving and pushing, pecking their beaks at one another for their morning meal. 
Ahh yes, spring is here. 
What's in your yard?

Monday, May 12, 2014

And the name is....

Thank you for all of your suggestions in naming the English sheep dog for some chapters in my book.  I received many ideas.  I thought about my chapters and decided this week that the dog needs to be a "she."  Sometimes that happens!  It starts out one way and ends up another.  That is the beauty of writing.  You get to change your mind and make it be whatever you want it to be!    
Let me introduce you to IRIS. 
Iris is adorable isn't she?  Thank you David for the picture.    She makes life eventful at the Bed and Breakfast she lives at!  Stay tuned. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Dad

The call came that afternoon.

"Your father is here in the hospital.  You need to come. " The calm voice on the other end of the phone spoke softly, but firmly. 

"What's wrong?  Is he alright?  What is going on?" "Who is this?"  I couldn't wrap my brain around this alarming piece of information. 

Again, the voice summoned me with direct and urgent instructions  in such a way as to cause the least amount of freaking out on my end.   We left immediately. 

What ifs went through my mind all the way to the hospital.   With my pulse racing, my upper body swaying back and forth in the passenger seat, I remember praying frantically with fingers laced together.  I never cried.  I remember that.    I did, however, beg.  I begged and pleaded in disbelief that we were even on the road to the hospital not knowing what was going on. 

Walking through the hospital doors, I locked eyes with my brother.  I knew.  He was gone.  I just knew.   I just didn't want to believe it. 
"No no no he's ok right?  Just tell me he's ok." The whole emergency waiting area heard my pleas. 
My brother's broken heart could be seen in his eyes.  He came toward me.  "He's gone Gail."
"No...." My husband grabbed me just as I lost my balance.  I beat him in his chest with my fists until my body went limp.  I had no strength.  My husband tells me my eyes were open but I wasn't there.  It was a hard moment for him...for all of us.

May 08, 1999.   Today in history. 
He was 54 when he died.
There is a lot that has happened since we said goodbye. 

Grandkids of his born, great grandchild too!  High school and college graduations, marriages...LIFE.

One day I needed to go to my father's grave.  I traveled alone and sat there with my pen and paper.  I marvel at what flowed that day on to paper. 
A letter from him to me...

"I think I know how much this hurts to not have a parent here on earth.  Remember, I lived the deaths of both your grandparents.  Those were hard days for me...I am proud of you my precious child....move past your grief...don't grieve for me.  I am where I have always wanted to be."

Much more is in this "letter", but I walked away from his grave different. 
The need to be there was so strong.  Now its gone. 

I think of him a lot.  He was my dad. 
I try now to think of the good things.  Like his cool whip sandwiches he made every day after work for his "snack."
Being the first visitor to the hospital when both my children were born.
His laugh.
The dirt under his fingernails.  He had a strong work ethic.  I think that is where I get it from. 

Ah yes, today is a memorable day.  But I know my dad is in heaven.  Without a doubt.  It gives me great peace. 

Is there a day you will never forget?



Monday, May 5, 2014


One of the fun parts of writing that I enjoy is doing research. 
I was at  a friend's home yesterday and we were talking about organization. 
She is very organized, and I like to think I am! 
She hasn't been to my home for awhile.  I am glad! 
My den is a mess.  A mess.  And that is an understatement!
I have index cards all over the floor.  You can hardly tell what color the carpet is! 
I was going to insert a picture of it here, but decided I would rather have you think I am organized!

Ok...back to research. 
I needed to see a dog up close and personal for some scene revisions in my chapters. 
Specifically, an Old English Sheepdog. 
You know, the fluffy grey and white kind with the floppy this one!
Isn't she so cute?
We played and got to know each other. 
She has a distinct gait.  Almost a hop, like a rabbit. 
I took lots of pictures so that I could remember every detail on her coat, and the hair in her eyes, and all her fluffiness.  I love research! 

I am wondering if you could help me name this dog.  Actually the above dog has a name!  But, I need a name for the dog in my book!   
I have a few thoughts...what do you think?



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Charlotte Hubbard/Naomi King=AUTHOR

What a privilege on this writing journey to meet so many wonderful and talented people. 
Every month, I get to spend time with some pretty fabulous folks. 
These would be my "peeps" at ACFW-MN writers group. 

Last Sunday evening I met Charlotte Hubbard/Naomi King.  She is the same person! 
She spoke to our group about selling a series...writing a series...WOW!  I learned a lot.  She has many many characters in her books.  AND...she keeps them all in order.  No easy task.

The back of one of her books states.... "Welcome to Willow Ridge, Missouri!  In this cozy Amish town along the banks of the river, the Old Ways are celebrated at the Sweet Seasons Bakery CafĂ©, and love is a gift God gives with grace..."

We have many Amish families starting to live in my town, and so I am going to enjoy these Amish books. 
My autographed copies of her books! 
Me and Charlotte!

Dear Charlotte,   It was a pleasure and privilege to meet you.  Thank you for your time to come and speak with us.
My takeaway from your lecture:  "Create a hook that an editor can't say no to."
(among other things that I feverishly wrote down while you spoke!)
You are a delight. 
I wish you many blessings as you continue to bless others with your God given talent for writing. 

You can find this author at her website: