Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wide awake

Wide awake.  Everyday.  That is how I want to live my life.
This is the view I see before I begin  the arduous undertaking just to the left of this picture...
THESE STEPS!  All 159 of them one way!  At least I think that is how many!   Every time I remember to count them, I am on my 3rd or 4th time up this grueling stair master,  and I don't care how many steps...I just want to get to the top!   Up and down, up and down, sweating, trying to go faster as I see these young whipper snappers literally flying up the steps.   I think they are showing off!  Skipping every other step, hardly breaking a sweat,  they are up and down before I make it one way!  Eventually I will get there.   I am enjoying the cool breeze, inhaling the free calories coming from the eateries conveniently located at the bottom of the steps!   My senses are in over drive.  The smells of hamburgers cooking on the grills, laughter  heard from visitors enjoying an evening out with friends, watching  boats glide through the water, and the secure feeling I get when I have to hang on to the railing as I pull myself up one more step!
As I walk through the neighborhood to get back to my car, I came across this garden.  I breathed in their beauty.  Just there for me to gaze at and be wide awake to notice.
Another non calorie reward...
A visit to the kitchen store...where I bought this...
A scone pan!  And yes, I made scones for breakfast.

And then there was the phone call.  The much needed one.  God knew I needed to hear from our son.  Remember, he is in Alaska.  This mother has imagined all kinds of conflicts going on.  I was more than awake when I heard the sound of his voice.  I screamed in the phone.  He told me to calm down!  The nerve!  He said, "guess where we are?"  Oh boy.  That just means he is on some adventure somewhere.  And indeed, he was.  He and his buddy decided it would be fun to go hiking "up some mountain range."  They got a few days off and decided to go explore.  So, for two nights, they hiked and enjoyed the scenery.  Living life.   He was thrilled to try to describe where they were.  He was awake. 
I was too...the rest of the night!  Before getting off the SAT phone, he told us that he could count 3 grizzly bear not far from him.  "They don't care about us mom."  I sat up lots during the night praying, just to make sure! 
I came across this story about a man who is living his life.  However long he may have, he is WIDE AWAKE.  Click on it!  It will make you think. 

What are you seeing in your daily life that makes you say, "I am WIDE AWAKE."     

Monday, July 28, 2014

Field Trip

Not so far away from where I live, sits a historic home in the small river town of Taylors Falls, MN.
Keeping watch over the town, the Folsum house can be found on top of Angel Hill.
My writers group and I spent the afternoon touring this notable home.  The tour guide was patient with us as we had to take "just one more picture" and "could you repeat that?" as he told fascinating stories of the lives lived here long ago. 
Lives that cooked and baked and socialized and politicized.  Admiration for President Lincoln subtly whispered throughout the home. 
Blueberry buttermilk paint adorned the floors.  We oohed and aahed over the color! 
We observed jewelry made from real hair (yes real hair!) and there were hair extensions even back in 1855!  There seems to be "nothing new under the sun!"

Sprinkles of England were found too...leave it to me to find them!
Chad the tour guide told us that treasures are still being found hidden in the pages of books.  Hmmmm...sounds like a good scene for a book! 
I would have loved to be a part of this tea party. 

Have any of you seen this before?  This is a mustache cup!  It really was useful.  It kept the coffee and tea from soaking in to the mustache! 
I can't think of a better way to spend a bright summer day.  Thanks for the outing,  my kindred spirit friends.    


Monday, July 21, 2014

Great writing blog

Can't remember when I stumbled upon this blog site, but I am hooked. 
It is a wealth of information. 
 Enjoy the British slang!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Meeting her

When and if I ever get asked, "Have you ever met someone famous?" I have my answer. 

June 19, 2014
I happened to be in Italy. 
My husband and I drove for the day to Florence.  (Crazy to drive in Italy I know.  So far, we haven't found any tickets in our mailbox!) 
We made it through some pretty chaotic traffic and more than a few roundabouts.  We had our trusty Rick Steve's book on travel in Italy and had the page open to the traffic signs.  Driving in Italy tested our patience more than once. 
Relief is an understatement when we finally parked.  It was about 9 in the morning and our mission was to get to the  Galleria dell' Accademia to see the famous DAVID by Michelangelo. 

We did not get tickets ahead of time, and so we prayed the line was not around the block when we got there.  Giving each other a high five, we jumped in line and breathed a sigh of relief as we were about number 12 from the entrance.  Even being that close, it still took probably a half hour to get in. 
In the meantime, we said hello to those in front and in back of us.  Surprisingly, they all spoke English!  We put our ear buds in and started listening to the audio about the DAVID. 
And that's when it happened.
I looked up and did a double take.   
Breathing a little faster, and with my heart skipping a few beats, I looked again.  Could it be?  No way!  Just mere steps from me?  I shook my head again talking to myself.  No way.
I looked up in to the heavens.    Really God?  Is it really her? No way.  Here in Italy?  The exact same moment that I am standing in line to see the David?   
I considered it some more.   It definitely was her.  I have spent a lot of time reading and underlining her book, One Perfect Word.  Deciding to spend a whole year on one word is no easy feat.  By the way, my word is TRUST!
Now to decide.  Do I go up to her and ask her if I could have my picture taken with her?   
I did not want to bring any attention to her.  After all, she is on holiday too.  Do I bug her?
I thought quick.  If I am going to, it has to be now.  I will not ask her in the museum.  NO WAY.  That would be rude.  But, is this rude outside of the museum?  Ugh.
Before I knew it, I was right up to her and very quietly I asked her!  She was lovely.  And her friend was kind enough to take our picture.  I remember saying, "I am sorry to bother you.  I bet you get people doing this all the time. "
 She told me she was surprised I recognized her.  What was so joyful to me was the fact that here I am, a "want to be" writer.  And then, I am in Italy of all places  and I look up and there she is...a very gifted author.  Not a Hollywood star or a famous athlete, but an extremely accomplished  AUTHOR.  Right there in front of me.  I just had to say hello.  I was proud of the fact that no one noticed.  I didn't scream her name out loud.  Oh believe me, I wanted to!  But, I was discreet.  Even my husband said to me when I floated back in line, "So, who was that you were talking to?"  "Well honey, she's this author..."   
Throughout this trip, my dear friend Yvonne told me to write down one perfect moment that happens every day that I am in Italy.  I was wide awake this whole trip.  Never in a million years did I think I would meet Debbie Macomber.   Yep...this day my perfect moment was meeting her.  It was a thrill. 
When I got home, I decided to send her an email and thank her again for taking the time with me.  I never expected to get a reply. 
Another perfect moment as one day this past week I got an email...from her.  I will cherish it. 
This is one of her many many books.
Catch her series this weekend on the Hallmark Channel.  Cedar Cove.  I am hooked! 

So, I want to know.  Is there someone you have met that you were surprised to meet? 

Monday, July 14, 2014


Meeting Big Ben,
a ride on the London Eye,
and a view like this
clarified to me that yes, indeed, we were in London.  Was I dreaming?  Nope.  I had arrived.    Playing tourist in this fairytale land most certainly was my cup of tea.
 However, the countryside called me, and I couldn't wait to get there.   Our dear friends John and Yvonne, would be meeting us at the train station.  (A story in itself...getting there... but that is for another blog.)  We would stay with John's sister Marion and her husband Alan.  A most magical treat awaited us as we arrived at their home. 
My jaws dropped open and I kept saying, "Wow.  Are we really staying here?"  I wondered what I ever did to deserve to be gifted with such a remarkable place to stay...this 15th century home.
This is the dining area.  So quaint isn't it.
The windows fascinated me.  Old.  Really old.  Love it. 

This is the room we stayed in.  Notice how Marion placed a Diana book in that collection on the table.  She thought of everything.
Orchids on the table in the morning, tea  (of course...we are in England!) and some glorious smelling hand lotion.  (I actually just went into my bathroom and pumped out a few squirts of the heavenly stuff on my hands!)  It was in Marion's  loo and so I tried it.  Now I am hooked.  So much so that I have it in my favorites for ordering when I run low.  Every time I use it, the scent takes me back to England.  What is it you ask?  Well...MOLTON BROWN London.  The fragrance is rose granati.  Not too strong.  Just right. 
Meet Marion.  We had a most pleasant time together.  She is one classy lady.  I wanted to find a cashmere sweater while in England.  We found one!  Wore it out for dinner this night.  Awe, such memories. 
We went for walks not far from their home.  Pinch me.  I really did see this. 
Would you live here?  I would in a heart beat.  This is a home in the neighborhood!
I miss you guys.  I am thinking an England trip needs to happen again soon.  We are blessed.  We have friends in England! 

How about you?  Where do your friends live?   

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Blog Hop

Many thanks to my writer friend Connilyn for inviting me to the blog hop! 
She asked me 4 questions about writing, and I will do my best to answer!
Please visit her website at  Then, click on her blog. 
Watch her.  You will be seeing her books soon.  Many wonderful things are happening in her world with writing.  The glorious thing lately is that she is now agented with Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Literary Agency.   Trust me, this is A.BIG.DEAL.!
A literary agency full of integrity and genuine love of the written word.
 What are you working on?

Maybe the word "working" should be replaced with "learning."  I am learning a whole bunch.  Every writer (Ok, maybe just me) starts out thinking they have the next best seller,  and it is just a matter of time before everyone else knows it too!   I entered a writing contest.  Notably,  The Frasier Contest with My Book Therapy. The judges give great feedback.  An excellent way to get critiques.  By the way,  I  am not on the best seller list.  I looked!
I am asking the big What if question with my story these days.  The story question is woven throughout the novel.  You need a good question or quite frankly, your story is going to be a real yawner for your readers.
I am working on the craft of writing.  I feel like I am back in college, but this is way  more fun.  I will never watch a movie the same way again...EVER!  (Thank you  I look for the inciting incident, the lie, the black moment.  It's all in there!  I look for it in books too.  I "dog ear" and underline constantly.  (No, not the ones from the library!)  I am immensely enjoying the journey of writing.  Ultimately, the goal would be to have a manuscript worthy of representation by the Steve Laube agency.  Just saying!

How does your work differ from others in its genre? 

Hmmmm....I write women's fiction.  It's about getting my characters from point A to B to C.  Learning and changing along the way.  Every woman has a story, including me.  Writers write with their own unique voice.  Personally, I am all about leaving a better legacy than the generation before.  To quote CS Lewis..."each generation is taught by an earlier generation-none can give to another what he does not possess himself."  It is possible to "have life and have it more abundantly."  John 10:10.  I will say here that my favorite favorite author of all in the whole wide world is Robin Jones Gunn.
I can only wish to write as good as she does. 

How does your writing process work?

I, like many writers, have a full time job outside of writing. I work in a dental office.    It is all about time management.  I try to write at least an hour every night  during the week, and hopefully many hours on the weekend.   I am finding that a regular scheduled time works the best.  There are many authors that I admire.  They adhere to their writing schedules and accomplish much.  One I really admire, and leads by example is Lisa Jordan.  She is on staff with My Book Therapy.  It is worth repeating...she leads by example.
My kiddos are older now, and I have a very understanding amazing husband, so I have a bit more time now than I used to.  I will say that before I start to write, I sit at my computer and listen to a song.  Usually it is "My Desire" by Jeremy Camp.  It is my desire to be used by God in any way He chooses.  My longing is through words.
I also belong to a wonderful group of writers.
I am privileged to be connected with such talented authors. 

Why do you write what you do?

Anyone who knows me knows I love England.  The land of queens and kings.  Fairytales.  I love that land across the pond.  Did Princess Diana ever ask "Am I enough?"  I think maybe she did.  I think a lot of women ask that.  Including me.  I want readers to know that Jesus came to give us life...and we can live that  life abundantly.  (John 10:10)

You can learn more about me at
Check out these websites I gave for more information on these authors and about writing in general. 


Monday, July 7, 2014


Friend:  A person attached to another by affection or regard
               A person who is not hostile.
This weekend we had the opportunity to gather with friends.  Different ones, on each day.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 
We spoke of kids and swans, dreams and wisdom, travels and water filled basements,  planting and planning the next gathering. 
Forgiveness even got a bit of attention.  Louie Zamperini was our guide.  Now there is an example of a person who was not hostile.  (Read the book UNBROKEN.  It just may change the way you think.)
I didn't really need the reminder that tea is balm for my soul.  I already knew that.  Reminding myself that I have really great friends ...the perfect remedy, salve, and soother  for all that ails me. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

One of those weeks

"What I'm looking for is a blessing that's not in disguise."
                                                                             -Jerome K. Jerome