Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Don't get around much anymore


I am embarrassed to see I haven't posted in almost a year. Unfortunately, I've been so busy that blogging hasn't been at the top of my list. But just so you know I'm still alive and kicking, I thought I'd better write something.

Nothing much has changed, and that's really not a bad thing. I had a great weekend, did a bicycle ride on Saturday with the Wolverines (we rode to Detroit and had lunch in Mexican town - Los Galenos) and on Sunday my daughter Angie and I hiked at Maybury State Park. The weekend was gorgeous, so I had fun both days. I allowed myself to take a two-day break, and not write, edit, clean house, or grocery shop. Nothing except have fun!

Angie and I made our annual visit to Greenfield Village this summer, and plan to go again sometime soon to see the Halloween decorations. Hopefully we get a few more warm days for that. Otherwise, we can always go to the museum. We like that too. We also made a cider mill stop in Franklin a few weeks ago, and bought donuts and a gallon of cider. The place was packed! We barely were able to find a parking spot.

Besides working on writing today, I plan to do a few necessary errands, like stop at the bank, buy a new water filter for the kitchen sink, buy birdseed for my outdoor bird feeder, and figure out something for dinner. Not the most exciting day, but I'm fine with it.

Slicky is doing well, and being a good boy. He's sleeping in my chair right now, but he has lots of energy when he's awake. His paper and shoelace are still his favorite toys, plus playing glove attack.

I hope everyone is doing well....


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Catching up with my blog...


I apologize for not writing for quite a while now. But I've been concentrating on writing chapters for my new book, and neglecting other writing projects. This blog is basically fun for me, and I hope it is a place where anyone who has read HER LAST LETTER and wants to know how things are going with the book and with me, will be able to catch up.

I do have some new news about the book. I have signed with an agent at Trident Media Group in New York City. This was in August. What this means I really can't say, but I'm thrilled! I have a great agent and it is a great agency, one of the best, so I'm hoping for good things in the future. I don't bug my agent about how she goes about doing what she does. She's the expert after all. I just trust her to work the magic. Once I hear any good news I will let you know...

My summer was great. It was hotter than I needed it to be, but I won't complain. I am definitely sorry to see it end. On the upside we've been having some really warm days lately, and the fall colors are nice. I took a beautiful hike at Maybury State Park yesterday with a friend. Autumn leaves were all over the ground, and it felt very private walking through the woods. We started out on the hiking trails, then spotted one of the mountain bike trails and turned onto it. It was hilly, but not bad at all for walking. We only saw one mountain biker, who came up behind us so quietly it surprised me. We walked for about two and a half hours, and got a little lost for a while. It is a big park, and the trails go all over the place. Next time I plan to bring a compass.

My daughter and I finally did get over to Greenfield Village, but it took a while. Angie only has so much free time. One of the places we like to stop for a break is called Cotswold Cottage. That's where we have our peppermint tea and scones, and give crumbs to the hungry birds who hang around our table. Then, of course, later on we have lunch at the Eagle Tavern. It is said to be haunted, by the way, but they must be nice ghosts, because I have the nicest feeling every time I'm there. This time the Eagle Tavern offered rainbow trout, our favorite, and it was yummy. Their breads are wonderful too, and the mashed potatoes, and all the unique side dishes. And we had the mint tea again, but this time hot. We sampled the iced tea at the cottage.

I'll try not to take so long to post in the future. I can always find something to talk about.... Just so you know, Slicky, our cat, is doing fine. He's as feisty as ever, and whines a lot when I don't play with him often enough. Lately he likes me to drag a long shoe lace across the floor, which he pounces on every so often. (I tie two together.) Or if he's feeling lazy, I dangle it up and down while he lies on his back in a chair. He never seems to tire of this.

Hope everyone is doing fine.


Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter


Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Great Memorial Weekend


I had an absolutely great day today!

Memorial Day is tomorrow, but the weather could be a little iffy as it's supposed to rain and possibly thunderstorm in the afternoon. I hope the weather prediction is wrong, or that the rain holds off until at least late afternoon.

But today was gorgeous! Actually, my daughter Angie and I were supposed to go to Greenfield Village, as we both love visiting there. We usually walk through most of the old historic homes and shops, then stop for a break and have tea and cookies at tables in a quaint garden setting. After that, it's more walking, then a late lunch at the Eagle Tavern, a wonderful restaurant which was originally a stop for stage coaches... When we actually make our next visit to Greenfield Village, which should be soon, I'll write about this in more detail. But about today...

We changed our mind and decided to stay on the lake since it was so nice out. It was just the four of us: me, my husband Bruce, Angie, and Marty, her husband. And then, of course, Makamae, their cockatoo, and their two cockatiels came also. Slicky, our cat, is afraid of the birds, so he hid in the basement as he usually does when they come by. But it is cool down there, so I'm sure he was comfortable. He still has his winter coat of fur, and it's been much too hot for him lately. No doubt he was annoyed though, and wished they would just stay away.

I decided to cook for everyone, and kept it simple: burgers and hot dogs, cole slaw, cottage cheese, corn on the cob, and baked beans. Angie brought a pasta salad which was excellent, but we ate most of that earlier in the day.

Bruce put the boat in this year, after six years of it sitting in the garage. I was upset last year as it was the first summer I didn't ride in a power boat. No real reason, just never got out there. I used to feel that summer hadn't begun until I'd taken a ride in a boat, usually our boat. So I asked Bruce if he would put the boat in this year, and he did. We went out for a ride twice today. It was wonderful, even though the lake was pretty turbulent. Lots of boats were out on the water cruising around, or pulling water skiers or tubers. We ran into (not literally) a few old friends; some we hadn't seen since winter. The lake is already warming up from all the recent hot weather, and felt pleasantly cool. We passed a bunch of pontoon boats parked in a little cove, swimmers floating alongside them in their rafts. They appeared to be having lots of fun. Next time we are out I think I will bring a raft and float too. I haven't done that in a long time either.

So, I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend!

I personally am looking forward to a long, hot summer and lots of good times with family and friends.

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.


Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Between Winter and Spring


It 's a gray day today, and feels more like late winter than spring, though my cherry tree shows signs of blossoming soon. It's cold out, maybe forty degrees, though I haven't actually stepped outside to check. It could be a little warmer. The lake has thawed completely, and the grass is green, but I know from years past it could snow any day. Most years we see at least one good snowstorm in April. Not until May can you assume the white stuff is gone. I remember one year it snowed six inches and they opened the local ski area for the day. I didn't go skiing, but I thought about it.

So far, we've been luckier than ususal and have had several sunny days, a few with temperatures reaching all the way up to eighty degrees. The most recent one was Good Friday. I used that opportunity to go on a long bicycle ride with a group I ride with, going all the way to Belle Isle and back, about forty-five miles. I actually rode only forty miles, because I skipped the Belle Isle loop, which is fast and usually windy. (Usually I do the loop, but I talked myself out of it this time.) Instead, I stayed at the coffee shop, a Tim Hortons, and waited while a few of us lazies relaxed and drank some really good coffee and ate blueberry muffins. It was absolutely great to ride in bike shorts and a light jersey so early in the year. This particular ride is normally an easier pace, except for the Belle Isle part, so you can talk to friends without getting winded. It is also flat which makes it a favorite. We'll be doing the hill rides soon enough...

I enjoyed skiing this winter as well, both ski racing at Boyne Mountain and our one week vacation to Vail, Colorado. The snow was great at Boyne this year, not much ice at all, and two weekends had full sun. Our last weekend up there was not only sunny, but warm. No rain, no bald ice, nothing to complain about. The only thing I could complain about was my lack of trophies this year. I came close to a third place once, missed it by less than half a second, but could not make it happen. It's not like I raced badly, just everyone else raced better. My one excuse it that great snow conditions don't usually favor me. The worse the ice, the better I do. Oh well, I did race on Boyne's Nastar course a few times and claimed several gold medals. And one run was just short of a platinum. Next year...

Vail was awesome. We had a great condo at Lion's Head. My daughter Angie and her husband Marty joined us, plus we had two friends in our condo as well. We were only a short five minute walk to the gondola. The snow was a little sparse considering what they normally get, but I didn't notice any rocks, and once we headed to the back bowls we found lots of powder. We skied earlier in the season this year, the first week in February. Temperatures were mild though, early to mid-thirties during the day, colder at night. Vail is one of my favorite ski areas, more terrain than you could possibly ski in a week, or in several weeks. And the food is spectacular, pricey, but it's Vail after all. The restaurants have to pay for all that prime real estate.We did eat all of our breakfasts in the condo, and took turns cooking and cleaning up. Thanks to my husband, we were usually one of the first ones to arrive at the lift, no later than nine o'clock, and sometimes arriving by eight-thirty. This was not a vacation that included any sleeping in time.

But I'm really looking forward to spring and summer. That's the great thing about living in Michigan. Before you lose interest in any one season or sport, it's time to start another.

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter


Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Movie Marley and Me, and My Cat Slicky


My husband Bruce rented the movie, Marley and Me, last night. He was hoping to please me, and I enjoyed the movie very much, though I cried at the end. (I wasn't in the mood to cry, since I was feeling a little down already. No real reason, or maybe a lot of little reasons, not sure.) Anyway, the movie reminded me of how much I would hate to lose our cat Slicky, and that I haven't played with him as much as I should lately. By the way, the movie is about a dog, a Labrador, not a cat, but a beloved pet just the same.

I believe the movie is based on a true story, though I haven't looked that up to be sure. But I think I read that it was. Marley is a lovable, untrainable, exasperating dog who tears up the furniture when left alone, pees on the carpet, and does just about every unthinkable thing a dog can do. He is not mean though. And he adores his parents. The movie is not just a comedy about Marley; there's a lot more to it. It is also about tradeoffs, the ones we make in life for those we love, trying to do the right thing. It is actually a good movie on several levels....

Anyway, I was wondering the other day if Slicky would be happier if he had friend to play with. I've always owned only one cat at a time, though my girlfriend owned two cats, and they seemed to do well keeping each other company. I don't want to invite problems though, and maybe Slicky likes being the only cat. After all, he gets all of the attention when he does get it.

Slicky is calling to me now. I'll be back in a sec....

Okay, I played with him. He really likes to play with architectural paper, the large sheets. It is very noisy and he likes to hide beneath it and let you poke at him with your foot, while he attacks through the paper. He never seems to tire of it. I can chase him through the house too, or play glove attack. He sits on the high perch Bruce built for him and attacks my gloved hands. He has claws, so without the leather gloves this wouldn't work at all. He also likes to lie on his back on the floor and play with the belt on my robe, which I dangle up and down.

It is much easier to keep an outdoor cat amused, but Slicky wants no part of the outdoors. You could leave the door wide open and he would just stand there. You would definitely have to coax him out, and I've talked to several vets, and all said that considering what a high-strung cat he is, he probably would get hurt. He is scared of everything. The phone rings and he will jump off my lap.

Anyway, he is happy for the most part. I know because he purrs all the time. It will be better when summer comes and he can hear all the birds, and smell the outdoors, and watch everything outside. He is still a middle aged cat, and very healthy as far as I can tell. No reason to worry. I'd be willing to guess he will be around for a long time.

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery-romantic suspense novel, Her Last Letter


Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

An Old-Fashioned Christmas Tree


Christmas is just around the corner, and I wanted to share with you the nice experience I had with my daughter and son-in-law shopping for a Christmas tree the old-fashioned way.

It's my job these days to assemble our nice looking, but fake Christmas tree. It works for me. It looks good, the needles stay put, and I can burn an evergreen candle if I want a little pine scent. In years past, my husband and I would buy a real tree, pre-cut, at one of the neighborhood lots, but Bruce became less enamored with picking out the tree, bringing it home and setting it up, and cleaning up all the needles.

I finally gave in and we bought the fake, and it is less trouble, but I do sometimes miss getting a real tree. So, I was delighted when my daughter Angie called me and asked if I would like to go to a tree farm and help pick out their tree.

We are not that far from Highland, maybe 10 miles, where a lot of open land still exists and most of the tree farms are located. We visited one of the most popular tree farms first, which featured hay-baled filled wagon rides pulled by a tractor. This was great as it happened to be a beautiful sunny day and only mildly cold. The three of us hopped on the wagon along with a few other people, and headed for the acres of planted pines beyond. It was fun! They dropped us off farther back, and we walked and walked, but couldn't decide between the scotch pine or the blue spruce, plus some of the pre-cut trees they offered looked good also. In the end, we decided to drink some hot cider, then check out another of the tree farms nearby.

Eventually, after more walking, we decided on a blue spruce at the next farm, where many of the trees were nice looking. But as we were ready to leave, the tree tied to the roof, Angie's best friend Darcey and her husband Jim, plus their toddler Andrew arrived. And so we did it all over again, walked through the trees for a third time, to visit with them and to watch while they picked out their tree. I'll admit I was getting tired by this time, also hungry, plus hadn't seen any signs of an available restroom for a while.

It all worked out though. We stopped at a McDonald's for a snack afterwards, then drove back with the sunroof open to make sure the tree stayed securely fastened to the roof.

All in all, I enjoyed myself immensely, and hope to do it again next year.

Enjoy the holidays!

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.


Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Disneyland ... My Bird Feeder

Hi there!

It is cold, cold, cold here in Michigan, especially today. I'm not sure of the temperature, but the winds are fierce. I went out this morning as I usually do and put out seed for the birds and squirrels, and they seemed especially anxious to get to their chow. I have an unusual feeder that my husband built for me. It is shaped somewhat like a cross, about seven feet high, but has three flat boards, one over the other, near the top. I spread the seed on each board, and a variety of birds, squirrels, and chipmunks show up each morning, usually immediately after I spread the seed. When I first started doing this, maybe five years ago, none of them got along. Each squirrel would shoo off the other squirrels and the birds too. Now they seem to know each other, and it's like a little Disneyland out there, birds and squirrels all eating and socializing together.

I originally wanted a bird feeder to amuse my cat Slicky. He gets bored being an indoor cat, and he enjoys watching it all in the morning, though now he is used to it and rarely tries to attack the squirrels that run across the deck. (The feeder is built to one side of the deck so I can reach it easily.) Of course, I really like watching all the action in the morning too. I put out wild bird seed, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. The unsalted peanuts were originally for the squirrels, but the jays usually get most of them. I read that blue jays store food for winter, which surprised me. They are quick, and funny to watch. The peanuts are in the shell, and being greedy, the jays try to stuff more than one in their beak, which doesn't work. After picking up one, then dropping it to get the other one a few times, they settle on just one and fly away to their nest. This repeats for a few minutes until all the peanuts are gone.

I've seen cardinals and woodpeckers, big ones and little ones, and the mourning doves are a large group, plus many smaller birds. I have a bird guide my daughter bought me, so I know most of the ones that come around. I used to see blackbirds and crows, but not recently. I think some birds come by just to see what's going on. One time a duck flew up and sat on the feeder. I tried to get a picture, but something scared it and it flew away. The ducks do walk up from the lake and get seed off the ground in the summer, and they bring their little ducklings. (This makes me glad I have an indoor cat.)

But I wonder how they can stand the cold on days like this, but they do. The squirrels cover their backbone with their long tail, and the birds puff up to capture some body warmth, and their hearts beat much faster than ours, pumping out the heat. Makes me glad I can provide them with some fuel ... and that I can watch them from inside.

Hope you're enjoying the holidays!

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.


Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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