Monday, June 19, 2017

Shirley on a Rolly Thing

When I saw my niece (check out her handstand on the right side of the photo! We're both amazing) zipping around on this little white two-feeter unit, I asked for a turn.
Wow. Watch out! Windmill arms coming through!
My niece didn't have that windmilling feature on her speedy quick ride through the house. She just zippity-do-dahed right along, arms wherever she wanted them to go, not focusing on keeping her balance.
She was just... balanced!
Well, adventurous Anderson girls abound, so of course my little sister had to take a turn. She got to where she could steer herself pretty well, and she didn't even run over my toes!

My son Scott got the hang of it so quickly that he rolled down the hallway with perfect balance in a kind of creepy-blue-lights-robot/alien-coming-to-get-you (Look, Ma, no hands!) 

If you had to the chance to ride this space age- looking thing (which I was told is called a "hoverboard" EVEN THOUGH IT ROLLS, PEOPLE!) would you ride it?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Photo Op Cop

As a passenger in my car while my son drove, I took the opportunity to take a picture of an interesting patch of trees on an otherwise bare hillside. I wondered, "Why is there a thick patch of trees there? Did a fire burn all around it and skip over that part? That would have been cool to see. Is the rest of the hill diseased? What kind of disease? Is that the only place where there's enough ground water to grow trees? Or is that where an alien spacecraft landed and unloaded their potties, making the soil particularly rich?"
As I took the fascinating picture, the car window rolled up into view. (See the window line in the photo above, cutting through the grove?)
Since that startling event strengthened the alien theory, which could result in my car being controlled by forces outside myself, I looked around for a reason.
That's when I saw that my teenage son had a smirk on his face and his finger on the buttons that control all the windows.

Well, I'm a speedy camera girl, so I took another picture, but I STILL got a window in the frame from the guy trying to police my photo opportunity. (The window is a little lower, underlining the trees as if separating them from the green field, but it's still there!)

So as the window spazzed up and down with my teen's twitchy fingers, I clicked and clicked until I GOT ONE! Above is a nice, clear picture of the strange grove along the west side of I-15, north of Beaver, (yes, there really is a town by that name) Utah.
I think my teenager is pretty funny in his own, strange teenage way. He's kind of quirky, like this unusual patch of trees.
So, do you "get" teenage humor? Or would you rather wait until a teenager is no longer a teenager before you talk to one? 

Monday, June 5, 2017

My Family When I Was Seven Years Old

While going through some boxes of my old papers, I found this picture I drew of my family when I was seven years old. 

How do I know I was seven? Because Carolyn isn't in the picture, and she came along when I was 8 years old.
My just older brother, DellRay, is on the far left holding a bucket on his head with an impossibly long arm. (He needed the arm to hold the bucket, don't you see? He was really good with his chemistry set, so maybe he turned himself into elastic man for a day.)
His other (impossibly short) arm is extended to hold my hand. (Maybe he had the secret ability to pull his arms through his body, like a pipe cleaner through a hole.)
Awww, look at that. We're ALL holding hands! My awfully curvy seven-year-old self is holding onto bikini Bev, who was five going on six. (She still loves to tan.) Then there's four-year-old Greg, who usually matched DellRay when we were kids, but he's got a red suit that summer for some reason. Loraine, the only one with stylish stripes, was turning three that summer.
Behind us is 11-year-old Rebecca, also in a red suit, holding onto 15-year-old Melinda's hand.
Now I've got to wonder why I drew Melinda in a dress and socks and shoes instead of a swimming suit? I don't know. Maybe she swam in a dress. Maybe it's because her legs were broken. (I mean, LOOK at them! She should be walking with  crutches at least!)
It also appears that she's saying, "Down!" (Written in blue above her head, with little blue talk lines radiating from her mouth.)
What does that mean?
I forgot to write an explanation.
Then it looks like my parents are dancing in the middle of us all. (My father loved to dance.)
   So now you'll be able to recognize all of us on the street.
You're welcome.
What's your favorite summer activity?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lots of Shirley's!

Today is my birthday! Happy to me!
Here I am through the ages, starting with first grade in the upper left hand corner. (Awwww!)
Then view the model quality images left to right until you reach my 5th grade picture on the far left of the middle row. I distinctly remember being proud of my beautiful hair that day because I styled it myself. When I tied that bow around my head, I just knew I was worthy of inclusion in a Disney princess lineup.
On to the 8th grade picture on the far right, middle row.
After that, MY 9th GRADE PICTURE WITH THE BLUE EYESHADOW IS MISSING! (Did I sluff that year? Probably.)
The next item to note is that the short hair picture in the red shirt (Junior year), and the long hair picture in the white vest and blue collar (
Sophomore year), are reversed. 
I really don't know how to pull hair out of my head to make it grow that fast in one year. 
You might also note that with short hair cut so closely to my round face, I resemble a bowling ball with a neck.
Then we have the GRAND FINALE Senior picture in blue feathers. BLUE FEATHERS, PEOPLE!
I had arrived at adulthood and they put me in blue feathers.
Yeah, employers are going to take THAT seriously on a resume.
"I know how to smile in a blue feather shawl without sneezing."
Do you remember your Senior pictures?
Was it a good day?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Birthday Surprise!

I don't know if I posted this last year...but it's worth a re-post even if I did!
When I came home from work on my birthday last year (2016) I found HAPPY NOTES and FLOWERS by my bedroom door! It lifted my spirits and made me smile! Thanks for the love, people!
How do you like to show love?
How do you like to receive it?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Carve Me A Melody by Rachelle Christensen!

My friend, RACHELLE CHRISTENSEN, is taking over writing my blog today!
Here is her exciting message:

Today is my book birthday and this is a very special day indeed! I am thrilled to introduce you to my 19th book baby, Carve Me a Melody.

I absolutely adore this cover capturing the essence of this novel. This book continues Leland's story from The Soldier's Bride. I had so many readers say that they wanted to know more about Leland and I'm so pleased to deliver this story!
Carve Me a Melody is available on all digital platforms, here's a universal link:
It's also available in a special edition hardcover here.
I have a special launch giveaway too! You can enter to win one of three ebook copies of the first book in the series, The Soldier's Bride. Check out the rafflecopter giveaway below, but first, here's more about Carve Me a Melody.

From the award-winning author of the bestselling novel The Soldier’s Bride read the story of a carpenter who gave a music box to a young polio victim, but held the magic of the melody inside his heart.

He hesitated only half a second before lowering his head. There was something there, behind his eyes, in his soul. Something that seemed familiar to Sophie. She didn’t know Leland, but she recognized that haunted look in his eyes. He had lost someone. He had weathered the storm and still manned his ship, sailing forward through life.
Book blurb:
World War II has ended but the scars of the war have carved deep grooves in Sophie Wright’s heart. Now a widow with two young children, she returns home to Aspen Falls and meets Leland Halverson, a handsome carpenter who appears interested in her, but afraid of a relationship. 
Leland wishes he was worthy of the beautiful Sophie, and he adores her two children, but his past still haunts him. Sophie knows that Leland fell apart after his little girl died and his wife left him, but she doesn’t know the real reason why.
Meanwhile, David Alexander, a decorated bomber pilot has returned to Aspen Falls, and Sophie catches his eye. Confused by the two vastly different choices of men, Sophie searches for answers from a heart that has betrayed her before.
When Sophie discovers a message inside a music box that Leland once owned, the pieces start to fit together. The enchanting melody urges her to share the secrets of her heart so that she can understand his. Leland knows the tune from the music box well and if he can find the courage, he’ll carve a melody for Sophie from the solid wood surrounding his heart.

About the Author
Rachelle is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense, nonfiction, and women’s fiction. She solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She enjoys raising chickens and laughing with her husband. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music.
Rachelle is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including The Soldier’s Bride (a Kindle Scout Selection & Whitney Award Finalist), Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, Veils and Vengeance, Proposals and Poison, Hawaiian Masquerade, What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know, and Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology. Her novella, “Silver Cascade Secrets,” was included in the Rone Award–winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.
Join Rachelle’s VIP mailing list to learn more about upcoming books & get your free book at
Goodreads Author Page:
Bookbub Page:

Google Plus:

Direct links to all of your favorite ebook stores that carry Carve Me a Melody

Enter to win one of three copies of the ebook, The Soldier's Bride, book #1 in the Music Box Romance series, Kindle Scout Winner & Whitney Award Finalist.
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Monday, May 22, 2017


I found this mysterious photo on my phone.
I don't remember taking it.
Is that a giant finger?
Or a glazed loaf of bread?
Some kind of fat worm?
Or a wrinkly bald head?
Whatever it is, it was probably taken by mistake (or by mysterious forces) and to this author's mind, looks worthy of writing something spooky or wonder-inspiring.
What does it bring up in YOUR imagination?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Southern Utah Pyramid

There was no field of white spread out below this pyramid when I took the picture. It looks like a span of quartz, or a hillside of snow or ice or solar panels. Or snake scales. Or sheets of shiny paper laid out side by side. (What does it look like to you?)
 In my un predictable phone camera, I also found a picture without the mysterious white sheeting. As I gazed out the window at the mountain range south of Enterprise, Utah, I was sure I saw a pyramid on the skyline. (Perhaps I've watched too many episodes of "Mummy," but it sure looks like a pyramid to me!)
What else could it be?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Silly Anderson Children with Blue Eyes!

Oh my gosh! Did someone say, "Make a silly pose?"
 I'm sure they didn't say it again... did they? The six Dell B Anderson children who got together in April just didn't want to stop having fun... 
 (Look out! We have more fun with all of us, if you can believe it, with Shirley on the left -that's me!- then Gregory, Melinda, DellRay, Rebecca, and Carolyn. Beverly and Loraine weren't there. We missed them!)

AND, since Melinda's never been in a blue-eyed Anderson kid line-up, we HAD to take another one of those! (Not only do we share a strong family resemblance, but all eight of us Anderson children have blue eyes of varying shades. Maybe we're secretly mer-kids, with water-colored eyes.)
What color are your beautiful eyes?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Cousin Bryce from Fargo!

I was at a family gathering last weekend... (or was it the weekend before...?) Well, it wasn't too long ago, not as long ago as when I last saw my cousin, Bryce, who currently lives on the windy, cold plains of Fargo, North Dakota!
Bryce himself told me that he wondered how humans even thought of settling in Fargo in the first place. "How is it even a place?" he asked me.
I didn't know.
 (See his beard? It's a survival thing. I suppose that his wife has to wear a ski mask made of polar bear fur in order to make it through the winter without losing her nose to frostbite.)
I am a child of the oldest sibling, who is 20 years older than Bryce's dad in the family lineup, so our ages are pretty far apart, but our reunion was quite welcome, with good conversation, warm hugs, and comforting food.
Here is Bryce's dad (my uncle's) artistic plate.
(When I tried to get a picture of my uncle, perhaps with strings of spaghetti trailing down his chin, all I got was a talk-to-the-hand gesture!)
Do you have any seldom-seen family members? (Perhaps ones that you really don't want to go muck-lucking through snow up to your eyebrows to visit, so you wait for them to come to you?)
Who are they?
 Where do they live?
(On a tropical island, perchance, drinking coconut milk and ready with an extra large beach towel for your visit?)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Nature Won't Wait!

One minute messed up my photo! 
As I stopped my car at my yard gate on my way to work, I saw a jet trail criss crossing through the moon. I pulled the car through the gate, and then got my phone out of my purse to take a picture.
The contrail was no longer cutting through the moon, and it was less than a minute later! 
Nature waits for no man... or woman.
Do you take pictures when the opportunity arises? Or do you wait for "later?"

Monday, April 17, 2017

How Dogs Improve Our Health

 After I posted my Easter Dog blog with the epic photo of Bibs nose to nose with the Easter Bunny, I was inspired by a PuppySpot graphic to blog even MORE about not only Bibs, but other doggies we've owned and loved.
As you might surmise from this new photo of Bibs, one of her favorite games is ball. She will chase launched tennis balls (thrown or kicked) or old, deflated balls of any sports type.
(Inflated large balls are of little interest, since they are too round to bite onto and carry to whomever she hopes is a ball-launcher person.) Bibs is very willing to provide hours of fun, healthy exercise for her and her human playmate.

Check out this awesome graphic from the
Having dogs has definitely benefitted our whole family. My husband once had a Springer Spaniel named Trixie that he swears could read his mind on their hunting trips, a hobby that provided him with plenty of outdoor exercise and good heart health. She was a one-man dog, but would interact with the rest of the family, especially if my husband wasn't there. When she had puppies, our young sons enjoyed making sure that they got lots of love and human interaction.
They also wanted to keep all four puppies.
(Yeah, that didn't happen... we shared the joy with other loving owners!)

You can check out PuppySpot if you’re considering adding a fancy furry friend to your family.

After Trixie, we found a puppy named Griz from a classified ad. He started out as big as a cat, then grew to the size of a Newfoundland.
Griz passed on at 11 years old, a week after we had a new baby. After moving to a different house, our younger boys wanted a dog, but my husband said he thought we should be done with dogs.
I said it wasn't the younger boys' faults that they were born after our earlier dog years, and they should be able to grow up with the benefits of having a dog like our older boys.
My husband finally asked if I would be ultimately responsible for a new dog. Jumping up and down, I said, "YES!" and Bibs came into our lives. At 13, she our longest lived puppy dog.
When our boys were sad or upset, they would often go outside, and I'd check on them through the window. More often than not, they had their arms wrapped around a dog, telling it their troubles. While we have been fortunate enough to have good health, not needing doggie alerts for seizures or anything, Griz protected me a couple of times from questionable characters. Lunging, he barked like a maniac. I managed to hold him back with his leash, but they certainly didn't try anything shady with Griz at my side.
While it seemed to take our sons longer to get puppies, as of last month, three of my sons have finally adopted them "for their children." Yet when I visit, I see my great big boys holding those dogs, talking to them, petting them and deriving comfort from those furry friends in much the same way as when they were little, proving that you're never too old to benefit from the unconditional love of a dog.
What kind of dog do you like best? 
Do you have a dog now?
Did you have one as a child?
What is/was it like?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Easter Dog

When I introduced my dog to the "Easter" bunny, she (the dog, Bibs) was rather interested. When she found out eggs were involved, she was rather excited!
Of course, if we ever had Bibs as the Easter Dog, there would likely be no eggs for anyone else, because she likes them so much!
What are your Easter traditions?
Have they changed over time?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Washing Machine Survivor

This is "Belt," a stuffed animal with long, Velcro tipped arms that wrap around my backpack strap and stick together, letting him travel with me as a warm, soft, uncomplaining companion. Traveling can make one dusty and sticky, so he went for a swim in the washing machine.
Funnily enough, when I opened the machine, Belt wasn't buried under the blanket that spread out over all the other wet, clean wash. Belt had his head up, checking out the inner workings of the washer.
I know it's just a stuffed toy, but I couldn't help but project human emotions of curiosity and taking control of a situation onto the fuzzy little toy.
Have you ever gotten inspiration from an inanimate object?
What was it like?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Unsafe Safety Car Message!

My husband likes his fairly new truck. It has a long bed, is racy red, and gets better mileage than his last trailer hauler. The main problem with it is the safety message that pops up while he's driving down the road.
I mean, think about it! How long does it take to read the sign that says you shouldn't be taking your eyes off the road to READ THE SIGN?!
Do they offer a discounted insurance for getting into a wreck while reading their safety sign, I wonder?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spontaneous Senior Citizen!

Yes, I went into Walgreen's after 11:00 pm (on my way to work) to buy some lipstick because it was on SALE! I don't wear make up that late in the day. I let my skin breathe, baby.
 As I stood at the checkout counter where a cute 20-something cashier was ringing up my purchases, all of a sudden, she said, "Let me give you the Senior Citizen discount and save you little money."
She didn't ask how old I was... she didn't ask for ID... she didn't even glance up to take a second look at me to see if I looked younger than she thought. Tip, tap, whirr, here's your receipt, and I had the senior citizen discount.

Within a 24 hour time period, I had makeup on and red hair (by accident... telephone instruction on how to use professional hair color!) and I didn't feel like a senior citizen.
How about you? Do you feel old? Or do you feel young? Or somewhere in between?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Carve Me a Melody by Rachelle Christensen

I have been so excited for this day! It's the day I get to reveal the brand new cover of my next book!

Last year, The Soldier's Bride won the Kindle Scout Publishing Award and that set me on the path to continue the Music Box Romance Series with characters that I fell in love with years ago.
Now The Soldier's Bride is a Whitney Award Finalist and on a special sale for $1--so all this celebration means that the next book didn't want to be left out.

Carve Me a Melody is now available for preorder and here is the absolutely gorgeous cover designed by the ultra-talented, Kelli Ann Morgan.

I can't wait to get the hardcopy, how about you?!
Here's a little about this story:

World War II has ended but the scars of the war have carved deep grooves in Sophie Wright’s heart. Now a widow with two young children, she returns home to Aspen Falls and meets Leland Halverson, a handsome carpenter who appears interested in her, but afraid of a relationship. 
Leland wishes he was worthy of the beautiful Sophie, and he adores her two children, but his past still haunts him. Sophie knows that Leland fell apart after his little girl died and his wife left him, but she doesn’t know the real reason why.
Meanwhile, David Alexander, a decorated bomber pilot has returned to Aspen Falls, and Sophie catches his eye. Confused by the two vastly different choices of men, Sophie searches for answers from a heart that has betrayed her before.

When Sophie discovers a message inside a music box that Leland once owned, the pieces start to fit together. The enchanting melody urges her to share the secrets of her heart so that she can understand his. Leland knows the tune from the music box well and if he can find the courage, he’ll carve a melody for Sophie from the solid wood surrounding his heart.

Carve Me a Melody will be released on May 23, 2017 and you can preorder your copy today, right here.
To celebrate, I'm hosting a giveaway for a $25 Amazon or Paypal Gift card. All you have to do for entries is join the party! Please join me in sharing the good news. Thank you for your support!
Be sure to add this book to your Goodreads Want to Read list.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Placemats of Prediction?

When we went to the Black Bear Diner in St. George, everyone got a paper placemat with pictures of tasty looking food, such as pineapple upside down pancakes (they look sideways to me),
Bear-b-que chicken,

and bacon cheeseburger salad. 
(Not pictured was my little sister's order of cinnamon roll French toast, which made her smile after she ate the whooole thing!)

But my place mat had nothing, nothing food-wise, that is. Just a snow covered mountain with a cascading waterfall.
Was the universe trying to tell me something? 
Was I only supposed to have water?

But then I figured it out. Fish swim in water, so I got fish. (Yummy crispy outside, tender white inside, and delishioso tartar sauce.)

I didn't get a picture of the fish fillets, but the next day the universe made the traffic light turn green which was the signal to go back to the diner and get their tuna salad.
(Pictured above... more fish, see?)
So, are you a fish eater?
What would you order at the Black Bear Diner?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Parade of Homes... and Bugs!

The Parade of Homes had some beautiful fixtures in their houses... wait, what's that? Did someone miss cleaning the sink?
Ahhh! It's a SPIDER! 
But it's not scrambling up the slippery sink sides in a vain attempt to escape the deadly faucet waterfall sure to swirl it down the drain at any moment! 

Oh. It's rubber. Fancy that. New, improved rubber arachnids for home decor that won't really spin webs in your pantry or bite you in your sleep.
How innovative!
My sister, Carolyn (Purple Girl) and I both liked the Be Happy sign, because we were happy to be together doing fun things on a rainy day in "sunny" St. George, Utah!
Do you like to look at new homes? Or are you perfectly satisfied just looking at the walls of your own home? (Or cave...)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tall Bahlmenn and Big Fish!

I know my boys are tall, but sheesh, Andy, you're gonna take your head off if you run through any doorways in that get-up for playing the giant in BIG FISH at the Snow College theater! 
(I know, who's "playing," right?)

I was warned to take tissues, so I did. Afterward, I asked Bob if I should have handed him a tissue. He just looked at me with a half grin. Michael said he would have cried if he was a social cryer. Andy did his crying on stage.
We really liked the play. It was worth our time.
Do you like plays that make you cry? Or do you prefer to laugh? (This one offered both!) Do you like slapstick? Musicals? (This was also one of those.) Or drama? (Yeah, that too.)
What kind of play would you like to see? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Singing Valentine

I witnessed a singing telegram on Valentine's Day! (Let's play "Search and Find"... do you see the rose in the picture below?)
 Students from a high school choir group (directed by the rose recipient's's who you know!) came dressed in their best to sing to the lady on the balcony. She was delighted. (Interestingly enough, my husband would not interpret this public display as a show of affection. He once asked me to NEVER take a birthday cake to work for him again, because he does not like the attention! You've gotta know how to show the love for the particular loved one.)
Even though it's not OFFICIALLY Valentine's Day now, any day is a good day to feel loved.
So what is it that makes you feel loved?  

Monday, February 13, 2017

What A Nice Date!

Wow,  how nice to go on a date with Bob to Marv's Drive-In in Enterprise, Utah.  (It's closer to our new place than St. George.)
They were happy to see us, too. (See the smiley faces on the little tubs of sour cream sitting on top of the taco salad? They are upside down, so my may have to stand on your head to recognize them, unless you have a good imagination!)
Feel the love!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Boots and Flips

When I went to Walmart one recent snowy January day in my boots and fuzzy pants, I saw a man inside the store wearing Bermuda shorts and flip flops. 
(Since I didn't think to take a picture of his feet when I asked him about his choice of clothing, I simulated it in this picture. USE YOUR IMAGINATION!)
He said that he was dressed like that because he was willing spring to come.
Would you go to such lengths for something you wanted to happen? Or would you rather just sit back and wait?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Wow! What a difference a floor makes!  My dear husband, Bob, worked so hard putting a new floor in our new/old house that he actually got a blister on his knee. I appreciate him so much! (In case you can't tell, the new floor is the wood laminate one.) For some reason, I find that I feel compelled to go into the bathroom more than I used to! ;o)

And I love the new wood laminate floor that goes through the whole house! It's so much better than the brittle old cracked linoleum, and we even had our first water disaster the morning after we finished installing it. (Our washing machine made a waterfall.) But the floor came out of the flood looking perfectly fine!

Bob also put in the fireplace which acts as our furnace. Before that, we only had a wood stove, fueled solely by wood that actually needed to be chopped. It's nice to have that as an option, but it wasn't ideal as the sole heat source. 
Would you like to chop wood to stay warm, or trot out to a real wood outhouse?
Or do you like "fake" gas fireplaces and indoor privys that just look rustic?

Shirley on a Rolly Thing

When I saw my niece (check out her handstand on the right side of the photo! We're both amazing) zipping around on this little white tw...