Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Coming!

And yes, that gorgeous music you hear on the video is the Re'Generation. :-)


P.S. Painted the bathroom yesterday--from cranberry to sea foam. Had some curtains I loved hanging in the windows, but after seven years they were a mite dusty. (They're made of bits of silk from Indian saris--just love them!) So I put them in the dryer with some damp clothes, thinking they'd tumble and get the dust blown off. Opened the dryer . . . . and felt alarm bells ringing when I found bits of silk all over my other clothes. Some of the silk pieces had literally disintegrated. So I'll have to order new curtains. I'll post final before and after pictures when it's all done and spiffy. :-)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This is one friendly cat . . .

LOL! That is one persistent cat! I hope someone adopts it and takes it to a family where there are lots of kids to entertain him.

P.S. Yesterday, after paying the bills and addressing all the Christmas cards, I decided to paint our bathroom. For a bathroom, it's pretty big, and the ceilings are tall. So hubby came in to help climb the extension ladder, and he was a big help . . . except that now there's paint all over the ceiling, so today I'll be touching up. :-/ Photos to come when the room is put back together.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Trivia

Whew. The Christmas tree is up, the outside of the house is decorated, the lights are hung. Time to sit back and relax . . . until it's time to go back to work!

Okay, so I took this quiz and got ten right, which was "turkeriffic!"

How did you do?


P.S. This lovely Tom Turkey was running around Glen Eyrie one year when we were there . . . he was noisy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Painting and Thanksgiving and Decorating . . . oh, my!

P.S. from yesterday: the chess pie was DELICIOUS. My favorite of the things I baked. :-)

I have been having some STRANGE kind of painting urge, so on Wednesday afternoon I painted my library. It leads into my office, and both rooms had been DARK green, so I painted the first room, the library, a new lighter bird-poop-green color. :-) I like it better . . . at least until I get the urge to paint again.

Thanksgiving was fun and family-centered, and I hope you enjoyed yours, too. I've attached a couple of pictures. My family always eats the traditional big meal, then we play "Dirty Santa" with inexpensive gifts we've brought from home. It's always a blast.

And Friday/Saturday are my big decorating days. I feel fortunate this year--my small neighborhood has decided to do our first ever yard sale on December fifth, so I'm having hubby pull EVERYTHING from the attic (where all the decorations are stored). If I can't find a place to put something this year, it's going into the yard sale pile . . . a pile that is rapidly outgrowing the space I've allotted for it. But I'm finding each year that I was to put less out, because that will mean less to ultimately put away and store.

That's another thing we've missed by not moving in seven years--each move usually results in a major purge of STUFF, and if you don't move, you don't purge. So this yard sale is coming along at exactly the right time.

Don't wear yourself out shopping! Have a great holiday weekend!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since I never get much work done on the day-before-a-holiday, I've been up since dawn cooking for tomorrow. (My family piles into the car and heads out to a wee little town where my extended family commandeers the local Women's Club.)

So I'd like a share a southern recipe with you--I've made this, but I haven't tasted it, so I hope it's good!

Traditional Southern Lemon Chess Pie

2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
6 eggs, beaten
the juice of 2 lemons
1 t. lemon zest
6 saltine crackers, crushed
2 uncooked pie shells (regular, not deep dish). Or double recipe if you want deep dish pies.

Preheat oven to 375. Cream together sugar and margarine. Add the beaten eggs, lemon juice, and zest. Mix together. Add saltines, well-crushed. Divide between pie shells. Bake for ten minutes, then turn oven down to 300 degrees and continue baking for 25 minutes or until pies are set.

If your family has never had chess pie, they'll be dying to know what's in this!

Garnish with whipped cream.

Enjoy your holiday! And as we consider our blessings, I'd like to thank YOU for reading my blog and for occasionally chiming in with your comments. I appreciate you more than you know.

Blessings to you!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Painting Again

Photos: new foyer, old foyer, new dining room; old dining room.

On Saturday, I nearly painted myself into an early grave. I was exhausted and dizzy by the time I'd finished.

I got up early and cleaned the house, then decided to tackle the project of painting the dining room. But since it opens up to the foyer, I had to paint the foyer and a hallway, too. (Actually, the hallway became an afterthought, when I noticed how unfinished a certain corner looked without the paint.) I like the final result!

The old paint was a kind of violet, but the new is darker purple and a seafoam green that's light and nearly blue. I'm loving the difference.

On Sunday morning, I was rushing to touch up a little section on the ladder when I jiggled the ladder and spilled my paint tray . . . everywhere! It's a miracle it didn't paint one of my dogs, since they always stay so close to me.

I had to laugh as I cleaned it up--I've always thought spilling paint has to be the worst painting mistake you can make . . . short of a fall that sends you to the hospital. So now I've made it! :-)


Sunday, November 22, 2009

"You've Got Talent" winner from the Ukraine

A blog reader pointed me to this link and it's amazing; I've never seen anything like it.

I wish I knew more about Ukrainian history. Obviously, this girl's painting tells a story, and obviously, it moves her audience to tears.

Simply amazing.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Amazing Animal Story

If you saw March of the Penguins, you know a little something about leopard seals . . . and this is an incredible video. Amazing!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Don't Mess with the Pigeons!

Cute computer animated film about a rookie secret agent . . . and a pigeon who wants his bagel. :-)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Moving . . . or not

Photo: kitchen before and after the paint-over.

I'm one of those rare women who LIKES to move. There's something about settling into a new place and redecorating that just thrills me. I wouldn't want to do it every year, of course, but I just figured out how many times we've moved since we came to Florida--four times--and how long we stayed in each house. The longest was eight years, so we have moved an average of once every 5.5 years.

But I really LIKE this house, and even though we've been here seven years, I don't want to move. Plus, the market is terrible, and though we've always lost money on the houses we sell (I have a tendency to over-improve), we'd take a real bath if we moved during this market downturn. So I have to stay put and quell my urges to Start Over.

Or maybe not. I have decided that the best way to satisfy my urges and keep the budget intact is simply to redecorate. And I'm not talking about major expenditures. I've been watching that "Sell This House" show that airs on Saturday mornings, and I think I can do a lot to make the house look and feel different by simply investing in . . . paint.

And so I've been formulating grand plans. I'm going to try to repaint/redecorate one room per month, until my urges have died down and the house looks fresh. Seven years ago when we moved in, the trend was toward Mediterranean colors, bold golds and cranberries and oranges. Now I've noticed that colors are more muted, and a model house I recently walked through was painted top to bottom in a lovely light mint green. That seems appropriate for a house near the beach, doesn't it?

In any case, last night I redid my kitchen, in the simplest way. The walls are gold and I LIKE my gold walls, so I kept those. But I had a bay window lined with cranberry, so I painted that over again in a light peach. Also painted over the bold green and gold stripes beneath the island (not pictured--I did those on another whim last month). Not a huge change, but brighter. One small step in the grand scheme.

I'll try to post some pictures as my projects progress. I'm thinking of doing the cranberry bath and master bedroom in light aqua, the violet dining room in mint and purple, moving my office from deep green to a light butterscotch . . . who knows? :-)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Precious trailer

I don't know much about this movie--I have a feeling that it's going to be pretty raw--but the trailer alone made me cry. Listen to Precious as she cries out with the rest of the world "Nobody loves me."

Isn't that what the world wants? As one of my characters said in THE DEBT, the world doesn't want our programs, our churches, our lists or standards. What it needs, what it cries out for, is love.

Did you recognize Mariah Carey as one of the social workers? Looks like a powerful movie.

I blogged the above paragraphs several months ago, and PRECIOUS opens this weekend. I've heard the movie IS raw, and I still cry in the trailer. But I think this is one of those movies I ought to see, so I'm going to see if I can slip out sometime this coming week to see it. I'll probably go alone so I can sit in the corner and sob.

It's not for the kiddies, of course. And if you go, I have a feeling that you'll need a box of tissues. But oh, how powerful this film could be . . .


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

A lesson in perseverance . . .

Photos: One plant, three different years.

In 2002, I bought an orchid. The tag assured me it was an orchid, and not just any orchid--this was one of those big, frilly orchids; the kind your mother used to wear in her Easter corsage.

So I planted it. And waited. And watered. And waited. Years passed--2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. The plant didn't grow and it didn't die (like many of my plants). It just sat there.

And then in 2007, it put forth one bloom. The poor bloom was tattered and half-eaten by some kind of vermin, but I was so thrilled with it I brought it into the house, took a picture, and blogged about it.

In 2008, the plant put forth several bloom--about a half dozen. I was so thrilled I blogged about it again, and cut several blossoms for my kitchen window. (The cut flowers last a LONG time).

And this year . . . that little frilly orchid is outdoing itself. It is loaded with flowers AND buds, so I'm going to enjoy a glorious show for several weeks to come. I moved it to the front door, in a place of honor (especially since the button mums have mostly died without even opening their buttons).

And every time I look at this flower, I think of all the people who wait and water and wait and water . . . for some gift to burst into bloom. And finally, it does.

Here's to the waiting and watering.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Trailer for NEW MOON

And it opens FRIDAY! Yippee!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Good news!

Yesterday I learned that LET DARKNESS COME is available EARLY and is now shipping from Wow!

This week I also learned that my publisher has entered DARKNESS in the Edgar Awards competition (big deal from the Mystery Writers of America) and the Mary Higgins Clark Awards.

Tee hee--I didn't even realize I'd written a mystery until I had finished the book!

And if you've read the book already, would you be so kind as to post your thoughts at or other web sites? Thanks so much!

And one of my pals sent me to this blog to read an essay--it's well worth taking a moment or two to read. Very insightful!

Have a great Friday the 13th! (Great things always happen to me on Friday the 13th. I'm braced for fun.)


Thursday, November 12, 2009

In Flanders Field . . . our veterans

I'm afraid I'm a day late for Veterans Day, as I was traveling yesterday. But someone reminded me of this poem, so I'd like to share it with you . . . and then send you to read a story about its origin:

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Now, visit this website and read the true story of how this memorable poem nearly wasn't published.

A heartfelt "thank you" to all who have given their lives in the defense of freedom not only for this country, but for people around the world. God wants people to be free to live in peace . . . and unfortunately, that often requires bloody resistance to the forces of tyranny.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is amazing . . . dancing dog

As amazing as this dog is, I worry about 1) his hips and 2) his self-esteem.

That skirt is just too much! :-)


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Photo: the ceiling of the China Pavillion at Epcot.

Last night we were driving back to my hotel and suddenly, wham!, there was a deer right in front of us. He bounded away safely, but we came *this close* to hitting him . . . and I'm sure you know that hitting a dear is a very dangerous thing. People are sometimes killed in deer/car collisions, and yet this was IN TOWN.

Anyway, we thanked the Lord for putting a couple of angels near by to shoo that deer along, and I was soon safely tucked back into my hotel room. We'll work all day today, and then I'll fly home tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great Tuesday!


Monday, November 09, 2009

If this is Monday . . .

. . . I'm up north, interviewing the folks who will be the subjects of my latest collaborative book. My publisher asked me to set THE GRANDMA GENE aside for a few weeks in order to help someone else write their story--and it's fascinating. So the WIP is going to percolate for a few more weeks while I shiver a little bit, and then come home to write up this story. Shortly after Christmas, however, I'll be putting my nose back to the grindstone to get THE GRANDMA GENE shaped up and out the door.

I'd appreciate your prayers for safe and healthy travel. Since this is flu season, I tend to be a little paranoid on airplanes . . . germs! But I carry a bottle of Purell and trust the Lord to keep me functional. :-)

P.S. Have you heard about It's pretty cool--you can go there and look up your favorite authors to see about any books you might have missed!


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Robin Lee Hatcher's Latest: Fit to be Tied

If you watched the "what novelists do" video I posted earlier, then you saw my friend Robin. :-) She has a new release I'd love to tell you about:

by Robin Lee Hatcher

Who says a woman can’t do a man’s job?

Cleo Arlington dresses like a cowboy, is fearless and fun-loving, and can ride, rope, and wrangle a horse as well as any man. In 1916, however, those talents aren’t what most young women aspire to. But Cleo isn’t most women. Twenty-nine years old and single, Cleo loves life on her father’s Idaho ranch. Still, she hopes someday to marry and have children.

Enter Sherwood Statham, an English aristocrat whose father has sentenced him to a year of work in America to “straighten him out.” Sherwood, who expected a desk job at a posh spa, isn’t happy to be stuck on an Idaho ranch. And he has no idea how to handle Cleo, who’s been challenged with transforming this uptight playboy into a down-home cowboy.

Just about everything either of them says or does leaves the other, well, fit to be tied. And though Cleo believes God’s plan for her includes a husband, it couldn’t possibly be Sherwood Statham. Could it?


Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She makes her home in Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her family and her high-maintenance Papillon, Poppet.

About FIT TO BE TIED, the Library Journal said: "A master of lively historical romances, Hatcher demonstrates an expert ability to craft spunky, unlikely heroines who go against the tide of the times in which they live, making for fun, exciting stories. She also pays close attention to historical detail. This second series entry (after A Vote of Confidence) is highly recommended for readers of inspirational and historical romances and women's fiction."

A Note from Robin

The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series sprang from the question: Who says a woman can't do a man's job? And I can't fully express just how much fun I've had looking for the answer through the eyes of my heroines in this series. Although I have no favorites among the novels I've written (each were special to me at the time I wrote them), I do have some favorite characters. Cleo Arlington is one of them. I love her for her strong faith, for her quirky turns of phrase, for her confidence with horses and her lack of confidence with men, even for her impatience with Sherwood, the English aristocrat that she's supposed to turn into a cowboy. I've been so delighted that readers have taken her into their hearts the way they have. I hope you'll feel the same way about her.


You can order the book here!


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Big Book Giveaway for Chapter a Week!

Christmas is just around the corner! So we're giving away another ten-pound box of autographed Chapter-a-Week books to one Chapter-a-Week member. If you get a friend to sign up (and they mention your name in their email) you'll be entered twice! The more friends you sign up the more times you'll be entered! Simply send an email with "Chapter-a-Week Christmas Giveaway" in the subject line to and you'll be entered in the drawing. Do NOT reply to this message. We'll draw the winner November 27th, the day after Thanksgiving so the books will arrive in plenty of time for Christmas!

Get your entries in and be sure to tell your friends to sign up for Chapter-a-Week! To qualify, the return email address must be on the Chapter-a-Week membership list. Continental U. S. residents only, please. Industry professionals should refrain from entering, and though we'd love you to share our books with your friends, these books are not for resale. Thanks and happy reading! Your friends at Chapter-a-Week

P.S. To join Chapter a Week, sign up at this link. You'll receive no more than one email per week.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Making of Many Books

Pictorial Webster's: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.

You probably know how books are written (or you've figured it out by now!) . But wouldn't you like to know how they are MADE? Follow the fascinating journey of one man as he makes a dictionary. Now I understand why quality leather-bound books are so expensive!

A tip of the hat to Jerry J for the link above. :-)


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Okay, I've had a couple of days off . . .

. . . so I got some friends to send me some video and I put it together to observe NaNoWriMo . . . or "national write a novel month." Seems that every November, thousands of Americans set out to write the first draft of a novel, and here's to 'em. :-)

Those of us who do this full-time tend to search for reasons to NOT write, but eventually we have to . . .



Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Grandma Gene trailer

I've been on a movie-making binge. I was waiting for another project to shape up (details to come once they solidify), and so I found myself pulling images together for my WIP, The Grandma Gene. Before I knew it, I had a completed trailer.

This story is only in rough draft form, but there's enough here to know where I'm going. Enjoy!

Did anyone else watch "V" last night? My paper said that only "middle-aged geeks" would remember the original, so count me among the geeks who not only remembered it, but loved it! The new version has been updated with some interesting and relevant references to terrorist cells and universal health care. I tell you, the latter gives me the willies without involving any lizards.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Procrastination Made Artsy

As an expert in procrastination, I loved this. It's brilliant, artsy, and sooooo true. And one of these days I just might stop watching videos and get up and do something. :-0


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Talking Cat

This one made me laugh out loud. If the eyes are the window to the soul, I think this guy interprets for his cat very well!