Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The proud new parents are rejoicing with their newest addition.  One month old and his first Christmas!  My fifth greatgrandchild, a boy.  God has blessed me way beyond anything I could have imagined. 

We expect our sixth great grandchild to be born in April.  And they are all boys, well, except for our little Ruby.  She looks so much like her daddy but has her mommy's beautiful eyes.  Mommy's eyes are a deep blue that turn to violet depending on what outfit she wears.  Rubys are a deep black.  You ask how can she have her mommy's eyes if mommy has blue eyes and Ruby has black.  There are more to one's eyes than the color.  They have the same shape, and then their individual expressions, that are different, yet the same.  I think you get the idea. 

Our grandchildren live throughout the world and now our great grandchildren have joined them living so far away from us.  But I feel a road trip coming on!

Until then...........


Only a few more days and we will be ringing in another new year.  Where has this year gone?  As we get older it seems like time flies by so fast.  Long gone are the lazy days we used to lay in the grass and stare up at the clouds and dream of flying, or even tugging on the string to keep our kite soaring.

What happened to the front porch sittin' days?  Slowly rocking back in forth in the rocker, waving to neighbors and their children as passed by.  Remember when everyone on the street congregated at one house and chit chatted.  For that matter what happened to the front porch?

Am I telling my age here?  Well I can remember when I used to sit on the front porch and my mama shooed me into the back yard to talk to my friends.  She said.  "A good girl doesn't hang out on the front porch advertising."  It took me a long time to understand what she was talking about.

Oh well, on to better times.  Reflecting back through the years, letting my mind wander, to the happier times in my life.  Watching my children opening their presents at Christmas.  Their smiles and giggles as they tore open the paper and flung it aside to see if they got what they asked for.  Which usually they did.

The delight I felt as I watched each one of my children walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.  Helping them decide on what college they wanted to attend.  Then being there when they pinned on their first strip coming out of boot camp.  Army, Marines, and Air Force.  My children have you covered.  Rest assured, you are safe.

Their marriages and my grandbabies!  How much more blessed could a person be?  To sum up my year I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.  I pray each one of you are too.

Until then..........

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Christmas Season is upon us again and like everyone else I'm running around trying to get everything put together for our semi-annual trip to Disney.  My phone rings constantly if not from the telemarketers it's my daughter asking still another question. 

Jenn is next to my youngest but she is the only one that lives close by.  I see her and the grandchildren almost everyday.  She will pick up the phone and ask me how long do I have to boil a whole chicken, to do you think I should take the baby to the doctor if she keeps complaining about her mouth hurting.  Then there are times when she is pretty upset over someone or something and she just has to have a sounding board.  After she has sounded off she says thank you and hangs up. 

The other day I told her she was going to have a hard time after I'm called to heaven.  She said.  "Mom don't talk like that.  You're too young, besides we need you."

I tried explaining to her we don't live forever.  We are born, live our lives, then we die.  It's how we live our lives that make an impact on others.  Again her reply was "I don't want to talk about it."

I finally told her.  "Well Jenn when it does happen and you are really needing to let off steam about something here's what you'll need to do.  Pick up the phone and dial 1-800-2heaven and I'll be there."

Until then.............

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Yes it's that time of year again.  Christmas!  The hustle and bustle of the crowds as you shop for that perfect gift for Aunt Betty, or for the doll little Susie just has to have.  You adorn the house with all the garland, tinsel, and candles you stored in the garage.  And you can't forget the Christmas card list you've so carefully updated from last year.  But there's another side of Christmas we forget all too often until someone reminds us.  Christ's birth.  Let me tell you a story from my house.

We downsized over a year ago and I had packed the grand children's books and hadn't unpacked them until recently.  I had a large book on Jesus life that had pop ups on each page.  When my daughter's schedule had her working nights she would d\rop my three grandchildren off for a few hours.  My youngest granddaughter found the book tucked away under an end table and pulled it out to read.  Mind you she is only eighteen months old so I set her on my lap and with her three year old sister standing next to me I tried reading the story to them.  They were not interested in the story but more interested in the pop up pictures so I just started explaining the pictures to them.  Of course, reminding them not to tear the book which I'm sure they are getting tired of hearing.  My eight year old grandson listened but is more interested in the video I've put in the player than the stories about Jesus.

Yesterday I stopped by my daughter's house to drop off some things she asked me to pick up while I was out shopping.  My three year old granddaughter met me at the door along with mommy.  Mommy and I stood and talked for a minuted when the granddaughter asked me "Where's Jesus."  My daughter said.  "What did you say."

I told her we read the story about Jesus and she just asked me where was Jesus.  Mommy was caught off guard for a minute.  Mommy tells her about Jesus but they do not go to church but once in a while and the children don't go to Sunday school.  I turned to my granddaughter and said.  "Jesus is in your heart.  He's in mine."

She said.  "No He isn't."

Mommy replied.  "He's in my heart."

To that my granddaughter looked at both of us and said again.  "No He isn't."

Mommy and I told her again Jesus lives in our hearts but for a three year old she was not buying that.  My only prayer is that the more I tell her and the more she is told the story of Jesus she will begin to understand.  With God's guidance I will continue.

Until then....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The little bugger finally made it into the cold harsh world Nov 22nd at 9:45 p.m. during a snow storm in the high sierras.  He's such a sweet baby.....mommy says he wants to sleep all the time.  Just wait!

Now we are waiting for the sixth that is due in April.  It would be funny, yes funny, if it was born on April Fool's Day like it's grandmother.  My brother was born on April Fool's Day also.  It's time we added another joker into the family.

Children and more children....oh my.  The Lord told me to be fruitfull and multiply and believe me I guess I've done my share.  I always wanted a lot of children.  It's just a pity they all live so far away.  Life happens.  What happened to the days when your children stayed close to where they were born and raised?  Where they could bring their children over to visit the grandparents....rest awhile......chat......Sunday dinners.

Our world is spinning so fast........everyone is in a hurry.....all the time.  We have to get this done, that done, go to work, shopping, taking the children here and there, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, laundry, ironing, fixing meals, balancing the checkbook, and the list goes on and on.

The question is this...do we take the time to sit and enjoy each other's company?

Until then......

Monday, November 22, 2010


Last night my granddaughter went into labor.  It's twelve hours later and counting, and we're still waiting.  It's hard on us waiting but I know it is even harder on mommy and daddy.  Harder still,  I'm at least three thousand miles away from the action.  Thank goodness for facebook!

Our children do not communicate very well via letters, phone, or texting.  But they will tell the world on facebook!  I'm just glad they have friended me so I can be a part of their lives too.

Okay well I guess I'll stay glued to my computer, writing, like I should be doing, and checking facebook every half hour for an update.

Until then........

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Every day is the day the Lord has made and we should rejoice in it.  After all we are alive.  Well we may have a few more aches and pains than we did from the day before, but we are here to make plans for the future, talk to our children, see our grandchildren, and the list goes on and on.

What am I going to do today.  WRITE and write some more.  I'm so far behind, and remember you can never get caught up because by tomorrow there is always more to do.  So that said here goes.......

I wrote my devotional for the day and now getting ready to get caught up (oops there's that word again) on genealogy plus add a few more words to Katie's story.  I'm so excited about Katie.  What a child, to be roaming through the territory looking for her parents.

Until then...............

Monday, November 15, 2010


That sounds like a song title doesn't it.  The days go speeding by faster and faster.  I try to cram everything into a day that I can and end up being exhausted.  Then I'm done in the next day.  I guess that's life!

Reading, riting, and ritmatic....hope to the tune of the hickory stick.  An old childhood song comes to mind.  Yes I still have a mind but it wanders a lot more now than it did back then.  I try to get in the reading, reading every book and magazine in site.  Taking in how other writers spin their words to make a great story.  Then I let my fingers fly over the keyboard to see if I can match theirs.  But no I don't do arithmatic or rithmatic as the song says.  I have a hard enough time adding one and one to get two.  My better half takes care of that!

Research and more research takes time but if you want your story to have credibility you need to do your research.  I have finally found information on different Native American songs and languages.  I was beginning to think I needed to go live with them for awhile to get a better idea of everyday life.  Come to think of it that's not a bad idea.  Oh well the next best thing.....research!

Then when you are working on three different project, all at one time, you still have to do research!  Especially if it is the genealogy you are working on to finish putting the book together.  Crossing the t's and dotting the i's to make sure it is right.  It is looking good my friend, looking good.

One other project......devotional book.  That takes research too.....God's Word.  Quiet time with Him is the best.  So.....

Until then....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I think I'm on a roll.  Well maybe a slow, meandering, wobbling, like of roll.  I find something then the phone rings and then I forget where I'm at, so I start something else.  Oh, no, is that the seniors disease?  You know old timers?  I can loose track so easily.

I need to look up a few things relating to genealogy and I'm waiting for land papers from my great great grandfather.  At least I hope it's my relative.  His son had property close to his.  And I didn't think he owned any land.  I thought, really I did, think he was a free loader, but maybe I was wrong.  I do know though he liked to move around a lot.  Maybe that's where I get my itchy feet from.  I know my mother got her itchy feet from him. 

Then there is research for my novel.  I'm really excited about Katie.  She is finding her way......oops can't give too much away.  I am getting there so but sure.

It's a beautiful day, hot inside, and my fingers are flying over the keyboard.  Hopefully there will be something to report soon.

Until then..............

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I love writing!  I like creating the words, putting them together, forming sentences, paragraphs, each with the outcome of a story.  What I don't like is getting old.  You ask what does that have to do with writing.  Well let me tell you it's not easy getting older.....

All through school I prided myself on my spelling.  I never had a problem with getting the words right.  It was math I had trouble in.  As I've gotten older the spelling is almost a chore.  I doubt myself when I put the words down on paper, then immediately look the word up to see if it's spelled right.  A lot of the time it isn't.  That takes time away from writing, how fast your story flows, the thought process. 

I know there are a lot of other seniors out there that have the problem of forgetting the word you are wanting to say.  You take a little more time in finishing a sentence because you see the word before you that you want to say, but it doesn't come out of your mouth.  It is so frustrating.  People look at you like "Okay spit it out.  Get on with it."  I am one of those seniors.  I feel embarassed about it, then make a joke about getting old.

It's not fun.  You remember your youth, your vitality, easy to run, jump, even get out of a chair.  You don't feel any older inside but your body won't cooperate with what you want to do.  It takes longer to do the simple things you always did.  There aren't enough hours in the day to finish the things I want to do, that I once did in one afternoon. 

Then there is the alternative.  It's better to be alive and slow than not being here at all.  So with that said guess I'd better get up and get with it and get a few things done!

Until then.........

Monday, October 18, 2010


My how time flys.  I thought I just expressed my views on ancestry but when I looked at the date that was two weeks ago.  Where did the time go to?  Either I'm getting old, slowing down, or I don't know what is going on!

My daughter tells me I try to do too much and I suppose she is right.  Let's see, take care of the house, (when I say take care of the house I mean laundry, vacuuming, dusting, dogs, and everything else in between)the lawn, babysit for her when needed, Red Hat meetings, Bible study, genealogy meetings, make sure I spend quality time with my husband, and the list goes on.  I forgot scrapbooking and making cards for our card ministry.  Did I cover everything?

Did I say writing?  How can I squeeze that in?  Oh yes, I can't forget, research!  Without the research I can't write the facts.  Research for writing devotionals.....making sure I have the correct verse to go with what I'm talking about, research on Indians for the book on Katie, and the list goes on.  I should be one smart gal!

So with this new week starting I vow to get some writing done!  Please Lord I pray I am able to get a few chapters done along with my devotionals for the week.  Amen.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I am stumped!  Ancestors with a common last name, and of course a common first name, is making me crazy.  I sat at the computer yesterday trying to search, or look, outside the box.  You know what I mean.  You get stuck on one thing and you can't get out of the rut.  You can't see the forest for the trees.

Today is going to be different, at least I hope so.  I'm going to try going through the back door.  If you too are having that same problem try looking for relatives instead of the person you really are looking for.  Way back when people stayed with family or close to family.  They traveled together, coming to America together.  Then of course some went off on their own, but if you look closely you may find one of the relatives may have joined them later.

Ok with that all said and done that's what I tried yesterday.  No such luck.  I had at one time found Nathaniel's father in law and now I can't find him.  And I can't find my piece of scratch paper where I put the county he was living in.  I know the state.  I have so many pieces of paper laying around my computer with bits and pieces of information and none of them had what I wanted.  So today it's start fresh, at least I hope so.  And clean up all the pieces of paper!

Good luck to all who will try this approach.  I'll keep you posted.

Until then.........

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I'm sitting here in my office trying to figure out what to write about.  Lord I need a little help here.  I've looked through the concordance of the Bible and can't find the right word.  You know what I'm saying the word that comes to mind.....something that is dear to your heart.  Something that reaches out to everyone today.

The sky is a beautiful blue and cloudless from my office window.  My mind wanders as I watch the birds fly by the window.  Maybe he's looking for his mate.  They play tag between the houses and land in the tree.  Then one will take flight and sit on the eves of the house next door. 

Have you ever wondered if they get tired from their wings flapping?  How high can a bird fly?  Just any bird, not the grandest bird of all, the eagle.  He soars higher than all the birds, so majestic as he glides through the sky then swoops down as soon as he spys his prey.  In a flash, lightening fast, he picks up his catch and carries it off to his nest. 

I have two birds that have made their nests in my hanging ivy on my patio.  They've done this for two years in a row.  They build their nest and lay their eggs.  I've watched as they feed their babies after they hatch.  Then one day they're gone, leaving an empty nest behind, and a dead plant.  You see I'm very careful how I water the plant when they put their nest in the middle of it.  I wouldn't  want to drownd the babies.  So again I've taken my ivy down and I will wait until next year to replace.  Maybe I'll replace with a different plant, then see if they come back to build their next and hatch their eggs!

Until then.......

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Today started out with breakfast with the ladies of my Red Hat group.  We decided to try the new Panera that opened at the Forum and we were not disappointed.  Food was excellent and so was the company.

It seems like it's been quite awhile since we've had a number of ladies present.  With our busy schedules that seems to be at least one or two that isn't able to come to breakfast.  And it looks like we have a couple that will be hitting the road shortly taking trips across country.  It's not me this time!

We talked about the upcoming genealogy meeting at the Schertz Library in Oct.  I am anxious to check out the speaker they have scheduled.  I keep trying to figure out the DNA stuff but it is so confusing.  I do hope our speaker will be able to tell or explain to this simple mind how to figure out the markers and maybe some more ins and outs of it.

I keep hearing that some people have found long lost relatives because they've had their DNA tested then low and behold a relative did the same, and they found each other!  Oh if it were only me. 

I know it's in God's timing and He will give me the grand revelation when He thinks I am ready for it.  But I am so impatient, and I thought my daughter was the only one that was impatient!  I've had my eyes glued to the computer and hunted for so long to find a missing relative that I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the only one from whatever gene pool I'm from.  See how confused I get!

If anyone is interested in their DNA the Schertz Library will have a speaker on Oct 5th at 6:30 in the library meeting room.  Maybe you'll be able to understand it.  Then will you explain it to me?

Until then...........

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Did you ever have one of those days? One of those weeks? Maybe a month of bad days, days you thought were never going to end. Here lately I think I've been having one of those days.

Yesterday I thought started out alright but when I got to my appointment and proceeded to back my car in between two of my friends cars I hit one of the cars. Never mind that I hit the car but it was her NEW car! I really felt bad, and of course, that put a damper on the rest of the day. Although it was a good day because our Gideon Auxillary women placed fourteen Bibles in doctor's offices and gave out 66 medical testiments to workers. That was a praise the Lord.

I took my husband's bracelet to the jewelers to have the clasp fixed. I told him what was wrong with it and as he looked at it he couldn't figure out what I was talking about. I, too, was perplexed as he was having no trouble with the clasp. I thought maybe I picked up the wrong bracelet to be fixed. So I asked him to fix the clasp on my bracelet as I couldn't get it opened. He said give him about an hour and come back, which I did. He placed my bracelet on my wrist and I was able to open and close it with no problem. He said he adjusted my husbands clasp. No charge he said. "Enjoy."

When my husband got home last night I handed him the bracelet and said the jeweler adjusted the clasp. He got quiet, then said. "I took the bracelet to the jewelers while you were gone and had it fixed. I should have told you."

Well it was a bad day, but now that I look back the car accident could have been worse. I only scratched some paint and put a small dent in the rear end. No glass was broke. No one was hurt. God was watching over us.

My husband could have told me he had the bracelet fixed but then I got my bracelet clasp adjusted, something I probably would have put off even longer. That was good.

God knows what He is doing when I just forge ahead and blunder about. I need to put my day in His hands more than my hands. Lord I pray this is a better day.

Until then........

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Last weekend I went to Tennessee to be at my granddaughter's wedding. I felt honored to be sharing her special day with her. The flight went well and by two o'clock I was out on the freeway driving in quite a heavy thunderstorm. There's nothing more unsettling than driving in a storm, in a city you're not familiar with, and in a car you are not used to!

I found the exit I was supposed to take, or at least I thought it was my exit. There was the hotel and right beside it was a Cracker Barrel. I could handle this........good food! I went up to the desk and asked if I was in the right hotel. She looked up my reservation and said no, but there was another Sleep In ten miles down the road. I frowned and said, "I thought I was going to be able to eat at Cracker Barrel!"

She assured me there was another Cracker Barrel beside the other hotel too. I was happy!

Between more downpours, thunder, and lightening I was able to check in at my hotel and head right for the Cracker Barrel to kill time. Before I set foot in the store my granddaughter called me and said. "Meet us at the hall if you'd like."

If I'd like? Of course I'd like to be part of everything. So off I went searching for the hall where they were to be married. When I pulled into the parking spot I couldn't help but to think of how much the hall looked like a big church. Upon entering there was a large entry way with tables and chairs inviting one to feel welcome. Off to the right I saw a hustle of activity so I gravitated there to find a big group getting ready for a wedding reception, but not my granddaughters. I walked back out and headed to the left and found young girls busy setting napkins on the tables, tying white bows made of tule on the backs of the chairs, and my grandson running here and there with a cousin.

After hugs and a tears I started helping with decorations. Then when the rehearsal was over, gifts were handed out, we all headed to Ryan's for dinner. It looked like my granddaughter had everything under control. I am so proud of her!

Wedding days can get so hyper and this one was no exception. The flower girl's shoes went missing. Everyone looked everywhere, tore everything apart, and still no shoes. Daddy and aunt were sent to the nearest Wal Mart or K Mart to find a pair of shoes! Not bad, wedding was only an hour late but flower girl had shoes, granddaughter looked beautiful, guests were seated, and now time for the ceremony.

What a beautiful ceremony. The grooms mother married them and the best man was his father. There were a few tears and long paused during the vows, and this was from the pastor, but all in all it went well.

I looked at the face of my oldest granddaughter and saw a beautiful confident woman where there once was a young lady. A woman ready to make a commitment from her heart, a commitment for the rest of life. Her sparkling blue eyes shone when she looked at her new husband. Soft, red, lips smiled, encasing the face of her love. The face of a woman in love.

A tiara adorned her strawberry blond hair that cascaded down her back, touching the top of the red embroidery, on her wedding gown. A full, white skirt fell to the floor with a small train trailing behind. A picture gracing the cover of a magazine.

A wonderful trip, beautiful wedding, gorgeous couple, and I was ready to head home.

Until then.................

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Cold, Windy, and Stormy Day

As I sit at my computer I look out the window at the rain beating against the pane, the wind bending the trees too and fro, and the tiny hummingbird struggling to get a drink from the window feeder.

You could call that perseverance. How many times do we tackle a project only to fight obstacles along the way, but we continue until our project is completed. Then that satisfied feeling we have to see it finished.

This last weekend I finished my projects strung about my house. The desk in my craft room was covered with so much I couldn't see the desk. My husband put another table in there so I could collage three canvases, which has taken me three months to complete. It's a pleasure now to open the door and see a clean room.

I'd been working on an afghan for my husband for almost eight months. This last week I finally finished it. Now he can cover his legs when he watches television, his puppies can sit on his lap, and they can all take their naps before bed.

Again the tiny hummingbird is struggling against the wind to get his drink of sweet confection. The trees are still swaying with the wind and the rain beating against my window. This is a day to definitely stay close to the hearth, read a book, work on my writing, or do nothing but stare at the turmoil of Mother Nature.

Until then......

Friday, September 3, 2010


September is here already. Where has the year gone to again? Every year I ask myself the same question and every year it's the same answer. I don't know!

I, like everyone else, get so caught up in our everyday schedules that the day is gone and I make a mental check that I didn't work on my story, or I didn't check out if that answer was right or not. I've come to the realization that I need to write first, then clean house, do the laundry, mow the lawn, run errands, go grocery shopping, take the dogs to the vet, babysit for the daughter. Whew I just got tired and I haven't done anything yet. Did I mention I need to go to the gym for my self?

Yes I joined the gym because my husband said, "We need to do something to get some exercise."

Okay so I've been once. Can't find the time to get back and need to seriously work out a schedule for myself. Is this where the saying comes from "the best laid plans of mice and men".

I told myself this is the year, and I know it isn't over yet, that I was going to get at least one project finished. Well I do have four months left, but let me see now. Granddaughter gets married next weekend in Tennessee. Have to be there for that! Vacation in Florida for Christmas with the children and grandchildren that are able to make it. Have to be there for that! Pamper Me ladies retreat with Susie McEntire Luchsinger in November. Have to be there for that! Girl's getaway in October. Missed it last year so I have to be there for that!

Now where do I fit everything else in? I am woman, I can do it!

Until then...........

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Home At Last

Traveling can be fun seeing new sights, visiting friends and relatives, making new discoveries with genealogy, and shopping of course. Can't leave out the shopping. But now that I'm home it's back to housework, getting caught up on the little things you let go while you were gone, and sleeping in your own bed again.

Now that I've almost caught up on the housework, clearing off the desk from everything I piled on it the day I unpacked, and laundry it's time to get back to writing. I feel like I haven't written anything in a month. Oh wait, it was a month ago that I left.

I wrote one devotional and since then I've been working on the genealogy again. I'm just about ready to put that book together and get on to another that's been in the works for a year. I've come to the realization that you can't have three novels you are working on all at one time!

Since genealogy is in my blood.....so to speak I'm going to probably get that one out first. Oh what am I saying, just because I have found so much on my mother's father's lineage doesn't mean I haven't given up on another branch of the family. It just goes on and on and on and on. You get the picture.

So here is the plan.....genealogy book first, Indian book second, and the memoir last. I guess the memoir is going to take a back seat after all I've been working on that one all my life and I'm not finished with it yet!

Until then........

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Beautiful State of Washington

I was called to Washington last week for my sister-in-law's funeral. I made it in time and was truly blessed by the outpouring of love she showed to everyone that she came in contact with. It was a beautiful celebration of life.

Now that I'm here I decided to catch up on a few things that need to be caught up on. First to visit my sisters who I haven't seen in quite a few years. We are to have a big dinner this week and my little brother will be joining us too. I'm so looking forward to that.

I've been tracking down, yes like a blood hound, my great, great, grandfather and it looks like he may have died not to far from where I'm staying. So you know that I've got to find out for sure if that is where he died and where he is buried. Then .... his son and family moved a bit further north.....still in Washington.....but I'd like to visit their graves also.

And then..........my aunt is living here.......who I haven't seen in forty years........so got to get together with her too!

Whew.....so if you don't hear from me in a week......I'm still searching the cemeteries!!!!

Until then.........

Monday, July 26, 2010


I'm in countdown mode starting this week. Only a couple of weeks and I am traveling, again. I keep thinking of one more thing I want to do, go see, or someone else to go visit on the way. Have you ever done that?

You lay out your plan. Go see Aunt Jane, visit the lake, of course go shopping, and then more ideas just keep popping in your head. By the time you get home you are exhausted! But you got all those things done and then some.

I'm looking forward to just that. I'm taking my laptop and hopefully will be able to write a page or two.

Then there is reading in the airport. Or do you just like to people watch? I like doing both, but then I'm looking over my book, glancing here and there, loosing my place, rereading the page several times. I'm sure you've done that too. But it's interesting. Could be a good story. A thriller. A ruse while he's reading the book watching for the agent that following him.

Okay enough of that. But it is a good story. I've got a lot of books on my shelf that I've got to get read. Think I'll start with Steven James. Good suspense....FBI......looking forward to it!

Busy day ahead....got to get in some research too so I'm off.

Until then.....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm in Overload Mode

I was in Tampa last week and arrived home late Thur. I hit the ground running you might say. Friday morning I was at a meeting to help finalize our workshop that evening, then off to the store, and back home again to check messages. One o'clock found me at my daughter's babysitting while she took the oldest to get his passport (a trip with a friend at Christmas to Costa Rica) then home again to fix my dish for the evening.

Our writer's group is amazing......at least the ladies that put together our speakers, authors, and give of their time to make sure we have a great take away from the workshops. We heard Janice Hanna Thompson, over sixty books to her credit, speak about Finding My Unique Place in the Writing Industry.

Then off to hear the other speakers in their workshops, Allison Pittman (Revising Your Writing for Depth and Creating Multi-Dimensional Characters), Kelly Irvin (Maintaining Suspense in Your Fiction), Eileen Key (Research in Contemporary Fiction), Karen Roth (Research in Historical Fiction). What a blessing to each one of our eager writers who want to learn how to craft their writing.

Then.......to top off the excellent week end on Monday night, our usual critique night, we were able to hear Steven James talk about his writing. WOW. He has four novels out, mystery, and they are titled from a chess set (Rook, Knight, Pawn, Bishop). Yes I got all four and I want to sit down and read all four at once.

We have an awesome writer's group and I feel privileged to belong to it. Everyone is willing to help each other and lift them up when they are feeling low. Thank you Lord.

Until then........

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Week In Tampa

My husband had to go to a conference in Tampa for a week. I tagged along thinking oh boy I will have a week of quiet to do writing, maybe see a few sights, and of course there has to be some shopping I can do in Tampa. Wrong on all accounts.

The flight was smooth, got to the beautiful hotel overlooking the channel, and found out there isn't much here. That is unless you own a boat, have a LOT of money, and have a car readily available. Oh yes, there is a trolley that runs from the hotel to Ybor City, but don't let the sun go down on you in that part of town.

Saturday we took the trolley to Ybor City, got off looking for a place to grab a bite to eat. If you drink your lunch you are all set, but we, on the other hand prefer to grab a bite of salad or have a sandwich. So we head back to our hotel. The conductor suggested we get off at Channel Plaza. There were a few restaurants in the small area, of which we found Bennigans. The waiter gave a us a booth by the window and while we shared our plate of bar-b-que ribs we watched boats go by. Then of course, we were sort of on vacation, we decided to go with the dessert the waiter suggested. It was chocolate ice cream, chocolate topping, and chocolate fudge crust, death by chocolate. Topped our day off!

Sunday morning.........yes Sunday morning..........we made our way to one of the hotel's four restaurants. Of course this was the only one open at nine o'clock in the morning. We glanced through the menu then looked at each other, mouth agape.......bowl of oatmeal......$15! The waitress suggested the buffet so we proceeded to indulge. It was really good...........then we were presented with the bill. Fifty dollars! Is this how the rich live?

I told my husband it's time we rented a car and get away from the hotel. I wasn't going to spend that kind of money again. Renting the car was really the best thing to do. We followed the map and found Tarpon Springs. The sponge capital of the world. Very interesting. Worth the car rental.

Oh yes did I say at the beginning we left home with a sick husband? He's been real good about not catching a cold for a long time.......well he caught it before we left. And here we are in the hotel room.....I'm on the computer.......and he's in bed with his head covered up! We don't leave for two more days!

Until then....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Is This Monday

We had a great 4th of July weekend. It lasted four days, so this must be Monday? If it isn't then I'm behind!

It's time to put the fingers to the keyboard and the old brain to working. Words to grace the pages of my novel. Now this little Indian girl has escaped the massacre and she is trying to find her way back to her camp. She meets up with a brave from another camp and they team up together. Oh yes, did I say the little girl is only six years old?

Okay, so I'm stumped...........well maybe not stumped......but how many things can happen before she finds help? True story folks...but it needs a little help.....a little drama to make it more interesting.

If you are a writer, aspiring to be a writer, and needing help, check out the workshop sponsored by the Christian Writer's Group of Greater San Antonio and the Alamo Christian Fiction Writers' Group. It takes place on July 16 & 17 at First Baptist Church Universal City. Go to www.cwgsa.com and download a registration form and get your money in to reserve a space for you. There are seven different workshops to choose from. Don't delay..........act now!

Until then...........

Friday, July 2, 2010

Working On The Book

Or shall I say the book(s). Hopping from one to the other......making corrections, adding, taking out things that don't make sense, and just plain rewriting.........tweaking.

Writing is continuous and rewriting is like fine tuning. Going over and over to make sure it sounds right, right grammar, and all around good reading.

Belonging to a critique group is a number one priority. At least belonging to one is a priority for me. You keep checking your wonderful masterpiece and you see nothing amiss but when you take it to the group, well ........
They find the punctuation marks in the wrong place, misspelled words, and you get the picture. What do they say, oh yes, four eyes are better than one. And in a group it's more than four eyes.

So my friends we have this long week end to play at the lake, lay around and do nothing, clean out the garage, have a bar-b-que, and we can work on our novels. So alright maybe, for me anyway, clean out the garage, and work on the novel.

Until then......

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Month For Writing

It's July already and where has the time gone? I told myself at the beginning of the year I want to finish at least one of my projects. Well it looks like I've been working on them.......they're further than they were.......but finished?

Sometimes I feel like I must be ADD the way I bounce around from project to project. Then again......keep the house clean.....yard work done....laundry...............and yes, don't forget babysit grandkids! Help!

Today is massage time. My wonderful husband gave me a gift certificate for a massage at the salon he tried this last week end. Yes, my husband finally went to have a massage and he said he'd do it again. For years I've told him how it would relax him, help him with the stress of the job, and he always said that wasn't for him. Someone else gave him a free massage and told him he expected him to use it, not his wife, but him. Thank you friend.

Anyway back to my writing. I'm working on a memoir, a historical fiction about an Indian girl and the Black Hawk War, and trying to put together my genealogy works. By works I mean the lineage plus incorporate stories of my childhood, and then trace my ancestors from New York to Oregon. Whew!!!!

So you see folks I'm busy, busy, busy. But I love it. So it's off to my usual breakfast with my red hat lady friends, massage, work on my book(s), then Bunco tonight. See you tomorrow.

Until then........

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Day Another Writing Project

Monday morning and I'm ready to write. I want to just write, as it comes from my brain and my heart and flows through my fingers. But wait.........I need direction.

Direction for where my story is going, direction on who are my characters, punctuation, spelling, and the list goes on. I admire anyone that can sit down to the computer and just let the action fall onto the page. I, on the other hand, need to make diagrams, make notes, and research everything.

You may have a great story going but if you don't have your facts straight the reader is going to catch it. At that point the reader may throw the book to the side and say. "If the writer can't reseach what he is writing about how do I know the whole story is correct."

It doesn't matter if you are writing fiction or non fiction. Get your facts straight.

I've been reading DiAnn Mills novels lately and love the way she incorporates fact with the action. I would recommend The Nile Runs Red. Good reading.

Lena Dooley also got her facts straight when she wrote Minnesota Brothers. Another good read.

I've started Bruce Judisch's second book The Word Fulfilled. Good.

Also if you are into genealogy, and you knew I'd go there, Megan Smolenyk Smolenyayk and Ann Turner wrote Trace Your Roots with DNA. It's a bit confusing at times because you have to remember who's blood can be traced for what, etc, etc, etc. But if you can figure it out, and this is up your alley, then it's worth reading.

Well you get the picture. Now I'm off to do the same.........research for my novel. Enjoy the read and writing.

Until then..........

Friday, June 25, 2010

Writing Workshop

Many of us like to write. A lot of us say. "I could write a book." But we don't take the time to do it, or we don't know how to start.

The Christian Writer's Group of Greater San Antonio is having a one day workshop to help anyone that would like to learn how to write.

July 16, 2010 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. will be a dessert reception and on July 17th 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. you will be able to select from seven different workshops to help you out.

This will take place at First Baptist Church, 1401 Pat Booker Rd, Universal City, TX. For more information go to http://www.cwgsa.com/.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Death Certificates

The adrenilan was running high yesterday when I found a web site that had my ancestors death certificates. I was able to order them on line. More pieces to the bigger puzzle.

It's so exciting when you finally put all the pieces together. Like our lives our ancestors lead exciting lives, whether we believe it or not. In a way we don't think of what kind of lives they lived. Think about it.

We don't stop to consider what our ancestors they went through to travel. Today we can get in the car and travel hundrededs of miles in a day. Our ancestors did good to travel ten miles a day in their wagons.

If you look at where our ancestors went you will probably find that a few other family members went with them. My great great great grandfather went from Kansas to Oregon (at least I think he did as soon as I find his death certificate) and several of his sons went with him.

It's intriguing to watch the migration as each person branches out and goes their own way. I've found that I've lived in places where my ancestors lived and have only recently realized it.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Names Names Names

So many names to look for and so many names are the same in the family. I would guess that happed a lot back in the 1800's. It seems like William had a son William, then that William had a son named William, and so on. I guess our ancestors never realized that generations to come would try to find out who was who, where they went, and better yet what did they do with their lives.

Names that were common in the 1800's are all out dated now. Good sturdy names like Ruth, Ruby, Nathaniel, Elijah, well you get the picture. I suppose our children's children will say the same about our generation.

After you find their names, whether it's in the census or city directories, you begin to wonder where did they work, what did they do for recreation, and how did they live. Pieces to a puzzle and you have to put the puzzle together.

When you see their name in the census you see that they have listed their occupation as a farmer, blacksmith, cobbler, or banker. They could have given the dollar amount on their property if they owned property.

I've found it interesting that after finding my ancestors in the census I look for the history of the town where they lived. I've found more information on how they lived their lives.

Now back to the names..........yes I have ancestors that have very common names and they moved around a LOT. Finding them is like finding a needle in the haystack but I keep on trying. One of these days I'm going to have that ahhhaaaaa moment when I'm going to accidently run onto their name.......and it's going to be MY ancestor!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Off On Another Trek

I opened my mail box yesterday with great anticipation hoping the death certificate would be there. With eager fingers I tore the envelope open and stared at the piece of paper. I read the first line and it was the right person. Then as I read each line it was correct to what my findings were, there was only one glitch. Mother's maiden name was "not known."

Well everything else was right so it looks like I have my great great uncle! Now to figure out why he went west and who went with him. How did they go? The Oregon Trail starts at Council Bluffs winds through Nebraska, Kearney to be exact, and onward west. He was living in Kansas so did he leave from Kansas? But I found some of the family in Council Bluffs too!

Once you've unlocked one door you are ready to run as fast as you can to unlock another door. With each door you learn something new about your ancestor. It's like opening the present you got for Christmas. You want that special something so you tear the paper off in shreds to get to the prize.

Well it looks like we're back to the drawing board. I've got to find where my great great grandfather died and why he left his family in Iowa. It's like being a blood hound.....nose to the ground.....or books.....which ever the case may be.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Genealogy Passions

Yes I guess you could say genealogy is my passion. I come from a generation that didn't talk about your ancestors. They weren't hidden in the closet, they just weren't talked about. My generation was brought up you didn't ask questions about family matters. What your parents said was final.

Not that this was a bad thing, it's just the way it was, back then. But it left a lot of questions for our younger generation. Even my generation, I want to know the answers. My mother and father were very hush hush about anything pertaining to family.

After I married I was too busy raising my family to think about ancestors until someone asked me to do the history on a small four room school house about to be abandonded. The history would go into a time capsule at the new school.

I didn't know where to start until someone told me to go to some of the students that went to the school at the turn of the century. You have to realize this was about forty years ago, so there were a few people still around.

I had fun talking to people and taking notes then looking for other articles in the library. When I finished I had about one hundred pages of history on the old school house. I was bitten by the genealogy bug then!

That's when I started my long road, and I do mean long road, into finding my ancestors. I started with my father's side until I ran into a blank wall. Then I switched to my mother's side, where I'm still working hard to find out where her great grandfather died. I think I may have found it and I'm really really excited. I want to get in the car to go check on the records myself. But that's another story.

I'll keep you posted because it's sooooo close!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Federal Census vs. City Directories

Yesterday I did some more researching......you know looking for that dead relative again. Low and behold I think I found him. But then I thought I found him before clear across the United States on the west coast. So who is this person I found in the breadbasket of our country. So much for a common name.

When you are researching a name like Green, Black, Smith, or White you have to double check an even triple check everything. And I do mean everything. So I thought I found my great great grandfather in Oregon with one of his boys and I've gone bonkers.....I can't wait to get a death certificate to prove that is where he died. So who is this man with the same name, and I might add with some of his boys, that I found yesterday in the city directories? There it is, a big family with lots of boys, going in every direction, and with common names!

More digging.........until then.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Death Certificates Tell It All

Looking for your dead ancestors is fun and when you find out when one has died or where he or she has died. You scramble to get the death certificate to make sure you have the right person. The death certificate not only tells you when they died it tells you what contributed to their death.

Sometimes it will give you the cemetery where they are going to be buried and sometimes it will give you the name of the morturary that took care of the services. But the big find is, and hopefully whoever gives the information has the right information, you can find out the maiden name of the mother.

Now you are ready to go off on another adventure. If you didn't know before hand where the couple married perhaps knowing the maiden name of the mother will pinpoint where they were living when the couple met.

Time and patience is your biggest ally in searching for your ancestors. You sit for many hours behind the computer screen or at your local library searching microfilm. Then when you find what you are looking for you jump for joy! You want to shout it out for everyone to hear! Then it's off again searching for more and more. It never ends...............following the meandering trail your ancestor makes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Birthday Boy

Today is my oldest son's birthday. He is fifty years old today. Yes fifty. I'd say he was getting OLD. Where did the time go? I still remember the day he was born. How my mother took her time coming to pick me up while I paced the floor not know what was happening. At seventeen you are still trying to figure out how to keep the blemishes from popping up on your face. My husband was away on a job that would take him at least three hours before he could make it home. By four in the afternoon my baby boy arrived with a couple minor problems. His cord was wrapped around his neck,he wasn't breathing, and he had a slight club foot. The nurses and doctor were amazing working over him. I heard a small wimper and knew he was going to be alright. They put him in the incubator and he was off to the nursery. I wasn't even allowed to hold him. Four days later he was home in my arms breathing normally. At five pounds thirteen ounces he was so small. I was almost afraid to hold him, afraid I'd break him. Unlike my husband and I who had blond hair my baby had cold black hair. We both wondered where that came from!

Until he was walking I massaged his tiny foot and worked with him until he was able to walk without any problems. No casts and no special shoes. It never slowed him down.

Throughout the years I watched him grow, play baseball, ride horses, dig holes in the yard, play football, and mature into the fine man he is today. He's made his share of mistakes just like everyone else has made and like I've always stressed to him. "I pray you learn from your mistakes. Don't make the same ones twice. Learn from the first one." A good lesson for all of us.

On this special day my son I'd like to wish you Happy Birthday and many more to come. May God bless you as he has in the past. Never forget His blessings in your life.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Mind Is A Blank

Yes you heard me. My mind is a blank. I'm sitting here ready to write, staring at the screen, and I'm having writer's block. I can be in the shower washing my hair and my mind is going over and over all the things I want to say and put down on paper for the world to read and comment on.

I drive the car and my mind is going over and over all the wonderful tidbits and cute little saying I want to put on paper for posterity.

When I lay my head on the pillow at night, all ready to end the day. my mind perks up and thousands of words come to me. I tell myself I'll remember so I don't get up and write it down,but I don't remember the next day.

Writers throughout the years have had writer's block but they press onward and upward. They go on and keep writing no matter what and finally when they least expect it they have that article, novel, or poem they wanted the share with the world.

This I will do also. I will keep staring at the screen and write from the heart because when it comes from the heart it is genuine. Readers will remember it and feel like they know you by your words.

Until then.......

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Platform

Last night at writers group we learned more about blogging. One thing that was drummed into everyone .....if you are going to blog......then keep it up. Not like me in the past. A day here and a day there, like myself. Let's see if I can keep this up then.

I will be blogging every Tue about my latest adventure. You ask yourself "What is your latest adventure?" Well read on.

I've heard it over and over at all the conferences I've gone to. "You've got to have a platform". I've pondered it over and over. Ran it through my feeble little mind. What IS my platform!
What DO I like to write about, talk about, am obsessed with, or even like to do?

Then it hit me like a frying pan up side the head. I'm into looking for my dead relatives. Yes even trapsing through the cemeteries, looking at old head stones, reading who the people were lying beneath those stones, and wondering who they were. What did they do with their lives? Were they married? Did they have a family? Did anyone care about them, dead or alive?

I like writing about people, people who lived before me and the things they had to go through to survive. If you think about it we have it pretty easy, but people who lived just one hundred years ago had it much harder. OOPS........I'm nearing that mark......well soon enough anyway.

So if I had to my platform is.....well it's Ancestry.....History.....People! Watch for my next blog on what I've done with history.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jesus My Lord and Savior

What do I title this for today? My fingers have been flying over the keyboard with words coming from my Lord and Savior. I cannot do anything without Him. I pray my words bring glory to His name.

The book about Katie is coming together and I can't get the words out fast enough. Katie has so much to tell of her life. I wish I had known her myself but through my findings maybe I will know her.

Now back to the writing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dallas Conference

Last week end I went to my first American Christian Writers Conference in Dallas. Instructors were Gail Gaymer Martin, Lin Johnson, Jerry Hopkins and Frank Ball. I highly suggest to anyone to go to a conference with any one of these professionals. I walked away with brain over load because of all the information I was given. There was also personal time with Gail and Lin. I was given an abundance of great helpful information for my novel. Now the big job takes place! I have to put all the information to good use and get it done right!

I look forward to my next conference by ACW. Reg and Eleanor Forder put together a wealth of books for the bookstore and with their choice of instructors. Thank you Reg and Eleanor.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Deadly Wilderness

I started reading Kelly Irvin's new book "Deadly Wilderness". Her prologue got me going so much I had to read on. The setting is San Antonio, Texas and is about murder and romance. One page will lead to two and on and on. I haven't finished it yet (slow reader) but can't wait to pick it up again. Great book Kelly........keep them coming.

Reading New Books

This is long overdue and I apoligize to Mary DeMuth. Her memoir "Thin Place" was very intimate and gut renching. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has been physicial abused, mentally abused, or verbally abused. Mary described her deepest feelings and how she has overcome and she has done that through Christ Jesus. Pick up her book and follow her adventure from a child to adulthood. You won't regret it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Last Friday of February

I can't believe February has only two days left of the month. Well three if you want to count today. I've made the copies of my manuscript to give to an editor to give it the once over. Find all the mistakes, boo boos, and then to make it right before looking for a publisher. That's the big one. How do you go about finding a publisher? Going to conferences is one of the ways but what if you aren't scheduled to go to a conference for a few months or more? I've thought about self publishing but that takes money and I really would not like to put out a bunch of money. Not that I don't believe in what I've written, it's just that I'd rather not pay to have it published. I have no problem in promoting my work. Let's face it in todays world money is short, for everyone. If you self publish you tend to have to charge more for your book. I'd like every woman to be able to pick up a copy without it hurting her bank account. And so it goes...........

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Year and New Resolutions

This is the year to finish my projects. I will finish my novel and get it published!
I will finish my genealogy book on my great grandfather Nathaniel Green!
And I will get the next novel up in full swing.

Haven't we all made our resolutions for the new year only to fizzle out by the third month? I, too, have done that. But if we don't make a vow to ourselves we would go aimlessly through life having no direction, nothing to look forward to, nothing in our life to say we accomplished anything.

Sometimes it's hard, really hard, to put aside the house work, yard work, baking, visiting with neighbors (do people still do that?), of course the household bookkeeping, and do what you really want to do for yourself. Like write. As I drive down the street scenarios play out in my mind and I can't wait to stop and write it down for future use. My friends have told me to keep a small tape recorder in my car so I can just take notes. Well that would help but I forget to take it and when I have taken it I forget to turn it on. I know you have to get in the routine. Well that's like making a new year's resolution.

Then, of course, there is the grandchildren. Yes those darling little people God has entrusted to grandparents to play with, guide, and take off parents hands when they've had all they can take of snotty noses, whinning, crying, and fighting amongst themselves.

I must trust God in giving me my free time to do what He wants me to do. Until then.........