Thursday, February 20, 2020

Finding the sun.

Found out this week I'm vitamin D deficient. Wasn't too surprised. I live in the tundra. A place where the sun has a personality all its own. A spot where it picks and chooses when to turn its high beams on.

Well, if the sun won't come to me, then I'll just have to go to her.

Next week I'll be off catching some rays. No vitamin D pills for me. Won't need 'em. I'll be soaking in the real thing every single day.

That said, I'll be away from the blog too. Meet me back here in two weeks.
The tales will be many.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Climbing the Tower

For some of the best views in Oxford, I highly recommend climbing the tower at University Church of St Mary the Virgin.
Off we go.
Our first peek.
The famous Radcliffe Camera.
Built 1737-1749 by Dr John Radcliffe, a royal physician.
I learned the word 'camera' simply means 'room.'
The building is home to a science library.
Notice the green...okay brown, grass.
Look at all those dreamy spires.
We were thankful not many were at the top when we got there. Hard to squeeze past each other!
Different views everywhere we turned.
So thankful for a sunny day.
What a marvel the stairs were. How did they make those? Incredible.

Thursday, February 13, 2020


Recognize this home?
I'll give you a hint.
It's famous.

Visitors come from all over the world to tour. 

Yep. It's the Orchard House.
Otherwise known as the home of Louisa May Alcott. Author of Little Women. 

I had the distinct privilege of touring the home last fall. It was amazing. Lovely.
You can't take photos inside. Bummer. Good thing I had my journal. 

Did you know Louisa loved owls? Owls. There is a sketch of an owl in her bedroom. Her sister May drew it for her.

Louisa wrote for up to fourteen hours a day. All with a quill pen. Oh the ache her hands must have endured.
The guide at the Orchard House told of how Louisa's right hand would get sore. She would shake it out, switch to her left hand, and continuing on with writing.

I saw Little Women in the theater over Christmas. The girls went to Little Women, and the guys, well they missed out.  They chose Star Wars instead.  Oy!

The director did a superb job with this rendition of Little Women.  It was excellent. I laughed and cried throughout the entire screening.

What profoundly hooked me were the times in the movie when Jo March was writing with one hand. She tired, stopped, and shook out her hand. Just like Louisa would have done. She then continued writing with the other hand.

I would have missed that bow to Louisa had I not gone to the Orchard House. 

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Hubby and I are going to see a movie. Guess which one? And no, it's not Star Wars. 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Quintessential Oxford

Cobblestone lanes and an umbrella.
A lamp post sighting. Narnia around the bend?
Bridge of Sighs. Did you study for that exam?
A walk on the streets of Oxford.
The location where CS Lewis first met Joy Davidman.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Launch team privileges

A few months ago, I was asked to be on a book launch team.

"What's that?" you ask?

Well, it's an honor bestowed to some, and one of those somebody's was me!

You see, writers don't just write books anymore. No no no. Not even close. (I'm shaking my head here.)

Gone are the days when an author wrote book after book, while publishers and brick and mortar bookstores did all the marketing.

Enter real life and online Amazon.

It used to be I'd hear the word Amazon and immediately my mind would wander to South America.  You know the place. The wet, tropical, rain forest Amazon where monkeys swing from tree to tree. Where jaguars prowl around ready to pounce and bullet ants carry a painful sting. The site where the blue dart frog fools with a vibrant color, only to paralyze or even kill with just one touch.

"It's a jungle out there," people.

Enter launch team members to the rescue. Launch teams help authors market their books.

We get an advanced copy of the book and get to read it. Win win! Then we review it online for the author.

Have you ever read reviews online?  Some can read like the creatures in the Amazon rain forest. Ouch. Seriously. Take the bullet ant for instance. Some reviews can really sting. Bad. Really bad. Others can leave the author so paralyzed with fear, they may never write another word.

I've talked with authors who make a conscious effort not to read their book reviews. It can make or break their whole month!

Anyway, Patti's book was easy to review. It's so good. I already miss Arno and Hattie. I took my time reading it. I just didn't want the story to end. Yep. That good.

Why is it titled Three Little Things?

You'll have to read the book to find out! And did you notice the endorsement on the front cover? Yep. It's the real Debbie Macomber! I'm so happy for Patti.

Without giving the story line away, here's my favorite 3 things about the book.

1. Pearls
2. WWI
3. letters

To find out more about Patti click here:

Monday, February 3, 2020

I break for tea

Our tour around Oxford included time for tea. 
We found this little cafe in Magdalen College. Met an American girl who was studying abroad here to be a lawyer.
She was a delight to have tea with.

We had a good laugh when she asked, "You are not driving around Oxford, are you?"

Typical English Afternoon Tea.
Tea (of course!) scones, clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches and dessert.
Million dollar shortbread!
And yes, it's worth a million. WOW. I've tried to make it at home. It's just not the same. If you go to England, this delightful dessert bar must be on your list of eats.
The tea tastes better across the pond too. I think it must be the English scenery. Must be!