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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway FB Twitter

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?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Snow Angel

After a big snowfall, the snow plow came along our street while I was at work, clearing the road but pushing up a ridge of snow across my driveway in the process. I barely got through with my low-slung Ford Focus, and actually got kind of stuck beside my house, but rocked the car, turned the wheels, and managed to get unstuck after kicking up way too much gravel. 
When I had to leave the next day, I prepared to get a run on it to make it over the ridge by opening my gate first so I wouldn't have to stop in the snow. That's when I noticed that a snow angel had cleared the snow pile away from my gate.
(My dog wishes they'd knocked the gate down while they were at it.)

I don't know who it was, or why they chose me, because for some reason my neighbor across the street didn't get a snow angel visit.

Thank you, snow angel.

Are you a good snow driver?
Or do you do best on clear pavement only?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Towel Tales

I have learned since saying "yes" to Bob, in the most ridiculous way, ("Um, uh, oh, um, well, I don't see why not!" to which he replied, "What kind of answer is THAT?"... It's the  kind of answer one gives when one thinks the other person is going to say we shouldn't see each other any more, and instead he proposes) that marriage takes compromise.

Now, before asking my question, I'm posting sort-of the color of towels Bob chose for himself: (the picture does not do them justice. He was looking for navy blue, but couldn't find it, so settled on black. I must have had my flash turned up too high.)
And the towels I chose for myself:

So now to my question - How do you compromise to find shared bathroom/guest towels from THESE disparate tastes?

Well, Bob came up with a solution: Caucasian colored towels.

I mean, how can we argue against our own skin color?
What color of towels would you put in your bathroom? 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Cake? Anyone? Apparently, Fingers Allowed...

Someone brought cake to share at work.
Someone forgot to bring a knife.
Would you dig in with your bare hands to get your share?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Gloppy Green New Year's Resolution

Yes, I want to eat healthier food this year! (Does this pile of, um, green goo count?)
No, it's not that! It's a protein shake, people! 
It's a spilled protein shake that I made myself. After I drank some, I set down the container, WITH LID, but the lid must not have been snapped down tightly.
The next time I looked, my container was tipped over and a lot of my lovely green drink was on the floor!
Fortunately, it nearly matches the carpet, so clean up was easy squeezy.
Now I'm thinking I need to learn a lesson from this... make smaller shakes? Or drink it all in one sitting?
What would you do?

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....