Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas - A Little Bit Of This A Little Bit Of That

Primitive White Cupboard with Christmas Toys
As much as I love glitz in some things, I love a country old fashion Christmas. When I used to set up at the Lakewood Fairgrounds south of Atlanta, I loved their holiday show in October. My booth that last year  had an old red iron bed, quilts in red and green, a dark brown cupboard, Charlie Brown Christmas trees with lights that twinkled on the tall skinny trees with their long thin trunks and shelves full of vintage toys . . .  bears, china head dolls and handmade rag dolls. The funkier they looked, the more the charm.

I haven't changed in the years since the show closed. I wish I had kept the red iron bed with its chipped paint and rust! Not that I would have had a place for it, but I could have stored it in the shed and brought it out at Christmas to prop in the yard and scare my neighbors!
I started putting out my decorations between edits on my new book. A gal needs a distraction in the middle of such concentration! Two early China Head dolls, an antique jointed bear and a hand crafted black Santa, dressed in a vintage quilt, sit nicely in front of a chipped green paint short shutter. The old white cupboard was a purchase years ago made over a pay phone at Barnes & Noble to my antique dealer friend who was not in the shop and I had to secure my purchase. Pay phones...hmmm, that was a long time ago! But the memory is fresh in my mind!
I managed to pop into The Last Chance Thrift Shop on Tuesday and found a few Christmas treasures. The snowman wreath was $1.99. I had to glue a few glitter balls on it to fill in where others had fallen off. I found two huge bags of Christmas ornaments, the funny plastic kind that are inexpensive new, but my shopping good luck netted the two bags for $1.59 each. One was full of red balls, the other large white ones.
The mantle in my kitchen has more thrift store ornaments. The silly garden girl was $1.99 and the Christmas balls came from that $1.59 sack mentioned above.
This year I may be the laziest gal in town. I am tucking ornaments in with decorative items I keep up year round. I pulled down my boxes from the attic, opened them up, smiled at the lovely things I saw and closed the lid. My house will be festive, but in a slightly different way this year. I'll be posting photos as I go.
My dogs are very interested in the flurry of activity with boxes stacked and ribbons flying through the air. Last year my tall white tree did not catch their attention, but I sense boredom on their part with all the rain we've had, and they may need a romp through the house to be naughty dogs even though the sun is bright today. We'll see how they do!
The very last photo is from last year. My tree in the sunroom by my computer. It is a favorite of mine. Chloe dreams of a stocking full of milk bones!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Brain Is Popping - My Book Is Written! In Praise of Animated Gifs

I am a sucker for animated gifs! I love the movement and never stop to be amazed that things sparkle before my eyes that I put down flat on my blog!

This image is my brain today! It is on overdrive! I finished my romantic thriller "Danger In Her Words" this morning and it is being formatted for Amazon and Kindle by Gilbert Street Press.

Writing about my own life seems a simple task, writing fiction is daunting! This has been a joyful experience, however, as I've bonded with my characters and we've had a heck of a wild ride!

Look for my book launch in January. We didn't make it in time for Santa, but it will be a great way to welcome the new year!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Addicted to Jewelry

My latest fix - necklaces with old religious medals.

There. I've said it. I am addicted to jewelry.

Now I need to clarify that statement. Not expensive diamonds and gold, but artist made pieces that are full of imagination and spirit. Vintage jewelry with a history and patina. Junk jewelry I find at thrift stores. Mingle it all together and you have what I call 'my style'. You also have my drug of choice. Buying jewelry calms me down when I am stressed. It is also my main distraction when I am writing late at night and need a break. At 2AM you'll find me sneaking up to Etsy to find my latest fix.

It is a relief to me that I have narrowed it down to jewelry. I became an antique dealer because I was addicted to huge old painted cupboards. You can't just toss those on a tray on your vanity and walk away. Then it was art...then it was vintage clothes...I have downsized my craziness to fit in my pocket. You know, that pocket that has no money in it, but is filled with beautiful things I love.

When I wrote my memoir "The Unfaithful Widow" my jewelry choice then was vintage turquoise Native American pieces. I found it didn't matter what I wore, everyone noticed my jewelry. I layered it around my neck and up my arms. There were two rings on each hand. I felt 'interesting' during a time I felt so alone. Wearing turquoise jewelry eased the word 'widow' that had become a part of my vocabulary.

My very first - and actually only - book club signing - the gals all wore turquoise jewelry in my honor. I stepped into their warm surroundings, soup simmering on the stove, wine punch in a bowl, and felt at home. Several of the members came up to me waving their arms to show turquoise bracelets. "We loved your chapter on Turquoise jewelry." Then I took off my coat and realized I was wearing only silver. My turquoise was piled up on the dresser at home. My mood that day called for vintage Mexican silver.

It seems my mood dictates many choices for me.

My latest passion  - crosses, and lots of them, dangling on silver chains and surrounded by vintage rhinestone necklaces. I wear 'dead people' around my neck as I was reminded by a group I had dinner with a few weeks ago. My latest purchase from Etsy arrived. An assemblage necklace with an 1800s tintype photo of an old woman, hair pulled back in a stern bun, and dressed in black. It was in a small antique gold frame circled with tiny rhinestones. I was ecstatic it arrived in time for my dinner adventure.

"Is that a relative you have around your neck?" I looked up from my shrimp salad confused. She pointed to my necklace. "That old woman in the frame."

I smiled and looked at the group. "No, it's a dead person I don't know." I suppose I got a bit of joy out of the moment. The young gal that ushered me to my table had complimented my necklace only minutes before. "It's so cool." My dinner companions looked at me with peculiar expressions. End of conversation.

I plan to wear another 'instant relative' - the more politically correct phrase, dead person is a bit gauche, to dinner tonight.

Sometimes I leave the house and am naked of jewelry. That is always a buying situation ready to happen. I will walk into my favorite thrift store, check out the jewelry counter, find an odd little piece for under $3, reach up and feel the empty spot right below my throat, and point to the case.
"Can I look at that piece please?"

Most likely I will leave wearing it.

A bit of a game, but easy-peasy, and inexpensive at best.

My choices are simply what I love at any given time. Not to impress, not to shock, but to feel good when I pull myself together. I love art in any form, and the pieces I buy now are one-of-a-kind visions of artists who love old things as much as I do. Or used bits and parts I may fashion into something.

I've made jewelry before and sold it in our Botanical Gardens gift shop. My back room is full of oddities ready for me to pick up and design again. Perhaps after the first of the year I will. It may be time to lighten my jewelry load! Right now I am too busy writing. I only have time to shop online at night.

In celebration of my upcoming release, "Danger In Her Words" I will offer a raffle of a naughty or nice piece of jewelry. Details are coming.

Some of my recent purchases below. Are you addicted to jewelry? If so, share your comments below and be entered in my give-a-way.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jewelry Give-A-Way - Read On

 Purchased from Etsy to be included in jewelry give-a-way!

Did I get your attention? I hope so, because I have fun news to share.  I'll be giving away jewelry on this blog in a few weeks. Read to the bottom and see how you can enter in a pre-publication drawing by commenting here now.

My romantic girly thriller will launch the end of the month. I'll be posting more information here and on Facebook about some fun give-a-ways to celebrate my first fiction book. So follow me if you'd like to join in.

The queen  (I've crowned myself queen since no one else has) of memoir writing is writing fiction. This has been such an interesting and fun time for me. I've read that many fiction characters hold traits of the author, and that may appear to be so in my romantic thriller. But baring my soul is nothing new to me.

If you read my memoir The Unfaithful Widow, or any of my blog posts on other sites, you know I don't hold back. I share everything. My favorite remark from a much older friend of mine after she finished my widow book..."I was just shocked at one thing."   I held my breath, ready to turn a bright red if she picked up on a few of my dates. "I can't believe you only own one bra!"

Yes, I confess, in 2009 I only had one. I've corrected that. It is terrible when you only have one bra, and one of your six dogs has made it his. I found my bra tucked in Bray's teeth and paws as I was trying to get dressed for work. That excuse for being late to work was quite embarrassing!

But writing fiction, it's a dream! I can twist and turn and have fantasies galore that hopefully will be fun for everyone.  I love my characters, they have become my friends as I sit late at night, my pack of dogs by my side, and plan their fates.

I don't always get the final say with them, however. Susan and Jamie have thoughts of their own, and are not shy in pulling me in a different direction. I let them. It is, after all, their story.
It is an amazing experience. So much different than non-fiction memoir, where I stick to the truth, the whole truth, so help me...well, almost always.

I am in the editing stages now. Soon... my book (title to be announced) will be available on Amazon and Kindle. And you might win a fabulous necklace for the holidays.

Have you been naughty or nice? I hope you'll share your story with me too! Leave a comment below and enter in a pre-publication drawing!

 Purchased from Etsy to be included in my jewelry give-a-way.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Just Who Is Getting Kissed In Safe Haven? And Who Is Getting Murdered? And Why?

Image from the web.

There's a lot of kissing going on in Safe Haven.
Killer kisses.
Wish I could say more, but I don't kiss and tell.
In time for the holidays... a romantic romp of a good time.
It is not a Christmas story, that's  just my deadline.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Scene : A Farmhouse Kitchen The Crime? Girl Talk To Make You Blush

Glass front cabinets and cut flowers from the garden. Part of Susan's dreamy farmhouse kitchen.  Photo Pinterest.
  “This is just like old times!” Susan opened the bottle of wine and started to fill their glasses. The four of them huddled in the kitchen in their PJ’s drinking and laughing. . . .  And oh the stories they shared, but wait, you'll have to read the book ... coming Christmas 2013.
What inspired the kitchen in my upcoming naughty thriller? A cottage kitchen that would hold a killer farm table and let me act out my own farmhouse fantasy. That's the only fantasy I'll fess up too.  Or else I'd go from cottage white to blushing red!
A little bit of this and a lot of that pulled together to make the perfect kitchen space. Photos from Pinterest helped me design Susan's kitchen, the heart of her two story 1800's grey shingled cottage farmhouse in a small town close to Atlanta.  As an antique dealer, details are important to me.  Susan and I have the same taste, painted furniture, large cupboards and more paintings than wall space. Perhaps you'd like to join us for a glass of wine!
Susan's kitchen is large enough for a farm table to die for, surrounded by eight French style chairs. That little dog, why that could be Daisy, Susan's loveable, spirited, mixed ball of fluff! Pinterest
Who wouldn't love this wonderful farm table and chairs?   Pinterest   I dream of white at night and soft pastel colors during the day. Susan's cottage is a lovely mixture of both.

My cottage style farmhouse fantasy went from a blog where I tried to exorcize the notion I had to move out of my house, to the scene in my first stab at  fiction - a romantic, somewhat naughty, thriller!

As a non-fiction author, The Unfaithful Widow, a personal memoir, available on Amazon and Kindle , writing fiction is awesome! I am having fun with it - perhaps you will too.

I've a deadline to meet so I'd better whip myself in shape and get back to the job at hand!


Friday, October 4, 2013

The Plot Thickens

Graphic from the web. Google Free Betty Boop Graphics.

The plot thickens as I continue to write my romantic, slightly erotic, thriller. Two murders at the college, a farmhouse to die for, a trip to eat fried green tomatoes, an outstanding antique architectural piece purchased at a local shop, a missing dog, and a revealing kiss in an ally have my heroine Susan on edge.

But Susan is no more on edge than I am! Susan is taking me on a writing journey and I am her willing slave. I never know what she will do next, but I can't wait to find out where this all ends.

Hopefully not with me face down in my bottle of sherry. A victim of my own writing folly.

Available for Christmas.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday and I Feel Like Dancing!


Monday and I feel like Dancing!
Probably should have gotten more sleep!
But how much fun are these?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

In Love With Art

Image from Pinterest

If art were a man I might not love him as much. I love art for art's sake! I spent the morning on Pinterest gathering photos that inspire me. The gem above came from Pinterest.  I started collecting Christmas ideas. Decorating ideas for the holidays so I can plan my own Merry Little Christmas. The fact I am excited about the holidays in September tells me I am happy. The things I used to do when it was 'we' not just 'me' sometimes brought back too many memories. Now I am back to the things I love. Art has always made me a dreamer, a doer, a shape shifter of my own kind. My vision of what is art changes hourly. To me art is life, my life, creating what makes me happy and whole, and hopefully sharing it with others who will enjoy the beauty of art as much as I do.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

When All Your Dogs Have Fleas

My dog has fleas. I'd like to be able to use that phrase. But I have six dogs - and all six dogs have fleas. So the correct statement would be my dogs have fleas. I go to sleep listening to the scratching sound of six dogs scratching fleas. I wake up to dogs scratching fleas. Poor old Annabelle actually cries she is so agitated with her fleas.

If I sing it - will it make it better?

Don't think so.

I have been a good dog mom. The trouble as I see it came from several factors converging at the same time. I stopped using Sentinel for dogs - which is a heartworm medicine that also controls fleas. The word shortage comes to mind. I think it was unavailable for awhile. I changed to a lesser heartworm tablet and that would have been the only reason for the change - a shortage of what I normally used.  Then we've had rain, rain, rain. Somehow the combination has given me a flea problem - but not of epic proportion. I personally don't have fleas - not yet. Nor have I had a flea bite - it would show. My house is not overrun with fleas - not yet. I don't really see fleas on my dogs - not yet. What I have is constant scratching from six dogs who have at least a flea each. I know, dog people are laughing at me. There is no such thing as one flea on a dog.

My dogs are back on Sentinel. I have also purchased Frontline. And, when Annabelle cries too much, I give her a Capstar for instant flea death. One dog is on an antibiotic for a hot spot from scratching. Annabelle is on prednisone to ease her itch discomfort. It is a fair trade off I think. She didn't scratch last night and I had a good night's sleep. The prednisone made her drink lots of water, so she peed while sleeping on the corner of my bed.

Yes, I know. Yuck. But Annabelle and I slept well. Shut up.

It's not just the scratching. My new shower head has a constant drip.

Drip drip. Drip drip. Drip drip.

How annoying is that?

I tried to tighten it down, but couldn't figure which way to turn it. I didn't want to break my new shower head, so I put on my thinking cap. The cap that was not thinking too well, because of all the scratching and drip drip I've had to endure.

I took my hand towel and wrapped it around the shower head.

Smart, huh?

No, the shower head continued to drip..drip..drip.
The dogs continue to scratch.

I continue to sing, my dogs have fleas and think about Chinese water torture. I have a call in to my handyman who is currently out of town. Perhaps permanently. He was planning on moving in September.

Then tonight my keys started to stick on my keyboard.

I sent out a Constant Contact e-mail I had been working on for an hour. I promise I  hit save, then continue, then mailing list. Somehow, I think the save stuck and I sent out the template. Three hundred and eighty e-mails for an antique open house in Georgia that invited everyone to a  wine tasting in California.

It was easy to belt down a glass of wine, get back on Constant Contact, make a new e-mail and resend. I typed in CAPS...E-MAIL CORRECTION. I hope everyone will open the new e-mail unless they are packing for a trip to California. 

I swear it was not my fault. I've been listening to scratch, scratch, drip, drip for days. I am not in my right mind.

It makes sense to me. Constant repetitive sounds could cause one to blip out on a Constant Contact e-mail. I think you can agree.

Wishing all who read this a peaceful night. I'd like to sing you a lullaby!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Writing About Sex OMG

Graphic from 123RF

I am obsessed with sex at the moment. Sex is on my mind day and night. I wish I could talk to someone about it. No, not a therapist, another writer. I am in the midst of my first work of fiction, an erotic thriller.  

I am out of my comfort zone, but learning how to deal with it.  

The idea for my book started a year ago. I wrote ten thousand words, then let it alone. I kidded my friends I was writing porn (which is what it seemed like to me) and had started smoking and drinking Jack Black as I sat at the computer at night. I don’t do either, but laughed myself silly with the image in my mind.  I wrote a funny article for an on-line site about trying to write erotica. A tongue in cheek piece. I couldn’t decide where to put the tongue in my erotica, so I made a joke of it, got a bit of mileage, and put my story on the back burner until I was mature enough to make it work. 

 A few months ago I decided it was time to bring the book out of the closet. Sex is integral to the plot (no spoiler here, but trust me, the book would be stupid without sex if you knew the storyline.) But I wanted clean erotica. Now there is a challenge. How to make my book work, make it hot, but just not so graphic it kills the rest of the story. 

I feel like a tease on her first date. A virgin trying to lose her virginity. Should I or shouldn’t I? 

I read and reread the chapters. I’ve cleaned it up so much I startled myself on the last go-round. Yet I still blush at some of the scenes and wonder where did that come from? 

I don’t want sex to drive the story. Yet, without it, there is no story.  It is a fun, chick-lit, women’s fiction, semi-erotic tale that runs the gamut from vibrators, farmhouses, antiques, art, roses, hydrangeas, a neurotic dog, fried green tomatoes, and a dash of murder.  

A recipe for disaster or a blue ribbon winner? 

When I figure out how to make the sex in my book work, I might be ready to date again.





Monday, August 26, 2013

Birthday Week Ends At Steppenwolf Concert

My friend Dianne with me at the concert!
The Banger Sisters!  There I've said it. I promised Dianne not to call us that at the concert - but I love that title, so I am using it here. I also loved the movie when it was released in  2002.
 'The Banger Sisters' 2002 Movie
Turning sixty-five was nothing compared to turning sixty. Yes, I am older, but wiser, and settled into my life and loving it. At sixty I had been a widow for three months and just started on my journey to find my new life.
For my sixtieth birthday I bought a vintage corvette to help me along the road of discovery. I rarely drove it because I needed my van to haul antiques to my shop.  I made the car a character in my book The Unfaithful Widow.
I got more mileage out of the car sitting in my driveway than most did on the road. It made me feel alive to just to look at it and on days when I was blue, I could crank it up, listen to the motor hum, and smile at the universe. When my sixteen year old foreign exchange student came to stay with me for five months last year she, and her teen friends, looked at the car in awe. She called me 'mum'. My good friend said she should call me 'grand mum'. I mentioned that one night over dinner when she talked about calling me 'mum' in front of her friends. I will always laugh when I think about one boy's reply. "You can't be a grand mother with a car like that in your drive way!" Amen to that. My Vette finally found a new home this year with a young handyman who traded work for the car. My house got a facelift and the car went where it belonged. To someone who would give it a life I never did!
Now, on to the Banger Sisters! My friend met Steppenwolf some forty-years ago and told me about the concert. She wanted to go and I thought, why not? I love music, especially today's music, but back in my early years I was not a rock fan. I do remember Born To Be Wild, and loved it. And the concert was a biker and beer charity event. My cool factor was up even though the heat was on.

"We need to do something about your make-up," my younger friend kidded me. "And you might need to wear a sexy top or something."

I giggled. And then The Banger Sisters movie popped into my brain. She was the hip one who remembered the early years of John Kay and I was the older one who needed a refresher course on the bands. My redo included my hat. I knew my make-up would melt at the outdoor concert - but I didn't want my brain to fry.

We bought the V.I.P. tickets and sat next to the stage. The tickets came with a reward - a quick meet and greet with Steppenwolf. My friend got a hug from the band members in the thirty-seconds we had with them!

An incredible way to end a week of birthday celebrations. It was a great birthday shared with my best friends, all week long! The grand finale got me out of my comfort zone (I am not an outdoor concert gal) and I glowed with sweat until I sparkled with joy!

Concert memories!

Meet and Greet with Steppenwolf


Music before the concert in parking lot.
Mother's Finest
Concert Ad


Friday, August 23, 2013

In Dog Years...

Chloe Look-A-Like From Web

While I am taking sixty-five in my stride this week - Chloe has done the math in dog years and may never be the same!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

If You Can't Buy A Farmhouse Make It The Setting For Your Book

Sunlight from a skylight above makes this kitchen sparkle!
I still dream of an 1800s farm house. Not a huge house, but an old cottage with farmhouse style.  I've done changes on my own sweet ranch to turn its head in the right direction - retro to rambling cottage style. Picket fence,  old shutters, you know, the ones with the moon cut outs, old fireplace mantels on walls where there are no fireplaces.  All the charm I could find landed in my house the last months. I started a blog, first to dream about old houses, and then to share my renovations. The Cottage In My Mind was to cure me of my fixation. In fact, the last post was titled My Faux Farm. It failed. Demons still poke at me, prodding me, telling me I need a farmhouse. has not seen the last of me!
I am not moving. I do love my house now, situated in a neighborhood that is full of activity, restaurants, art, all within walking distance. But I am still haunted. Every time I see photos of cottages, farmhouses, porches, rose arbors, I sigh and ask myself, What's a gal to do?
I decided to do what writers do. If I couldn't live in a farmhouse, I'd write a book where my character does. The cottage farm I dream about is the setting in my new book.
A leap of faith on my part, I am writing a fictional thriller with a whisper of erotica. As a non-fiction memoir writer, and one who loves to write about life with dogs, this is an interesting journey for me. I am having fun living out my fantasy life - which, sadly is more in tune with the farmhouse setting than a romantic lead. I am working on my male character and looking for inspiration there!
The house in my book is a mix of many old houses I've looked at over the last year. Houses I couldn't afford and houses I could afford, but didn't buy, because I have six dogs that are at home here. How could I move them? I can't even get them all in my van at the same time!
The kitchen photo above, with the sunlight sparkling on the old brick fireplace with it's new insert, makes me melt. I could get erotic in my description on how this photo makes me feel, but I'd hate for you to see how really crazy I am!
And crazy is the subject of the second book I am working on. A memoir of a crazy dog lady - moi! There I am on familiar turf.
Two books in the works that are my presents to myself for my sixty-fifth year. It is count-down to my BIG birthday next week. Sixty-five will be my turning point, not for old age, but to do the things I've been procrastinating on! My list is growing and my mind is sparkling with so many new ideas, it may burst. If you see a trail of glitter, that could just be the remains of my over excited brain.
Poof!  She was such a nice gal.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

An Invitation To What????

At the end of the day - it was only an invitation - not a sign from the universe I was ready to go, but a reminder of what I needed to do.

       I haven't even had THE BIRTHDAY yet - it is next week - you know, the really, really big one - but the universe is having fun with me I do believe. I'm listening and laughing back.

      If you know me, you know I poke at everything, even serious things. I've found humor and laughter have a way of smoothing over the rough spots. A broken heart can feel the tug of a smile. And I follow that old adage,  laughter is the best medicine. Even dark humor has a healing power, perhaps the best of all healing. Surrounded by sadness if you can make an off the wall joke a ray of light shines in all the murk.

     My caveat for humor, is it is always at my expense, not at another person. I don't make fun of others but I sure do make fun of myself. You are cordially invited to laugh with me as I do this!

    My last BIG birthday, and I categorize big birthdays as stepping stones to the years that make us reflect on life because we are crossing a threshold we've joked about, was my sixtieth. Three months before I hit that milestone, my husband died. So I met age sixty with my widow crown.  I wrote my book on that first year alone - The Unfaithful Widow - a memoir doing all those things I never thought I'd do again. My book, and my adventures that year, were my therapy. I had a choice to let the darkness take over or to find the dark humor in my situation and write my way back to a life of my own. Some days I look at my book, which I self-published in 2010, and think how quirky it is. I sounded like the little engine that could.... I think I can, I think I can. And I did.

     So next week is the big date, my sixty-fifth looms at me.  Three small, minuscule, hardly worth mentioning things happened this week. Three pokes from the universe that tickled my funny bone, and if my funny bone gets tickled, I share.

     1. My primary care physician fired me. I showed up for a routine exam, anxious to try out my new Medicare card, which was effective August lst. Friends of mine, who retired from the same federal agency I retired from, reassured me it was wonderful to have Medicare, especially with my outstanding federal insurance policy as a secondary insurance. My doctor's office - the doctor I really have never liked because when I visit her I leave feeling old, fat, and crazy (that's a story for another time) - informed me they do not take Medicare assignment, I would have to pay up front and be reimbursed by my insurance company.  A life-event about to happen.

     My reply, thinking I stood on firm ground with my excellent insurance coverage, "Then I'll have to find another doctor." I think my chest puffed out about that time, thinking I had the upper hand. A stern nurse looked at me and said "You're fired." Well, not in so many words, but a rule is a rule, and I was booted.  The good news, the universe did what I hadn't been able to do. Make me look for a doctor I might like. 

    2. Later that same afternoon I got my daily snail-mail. A lovely envelope with pale green trees in the background was saved for last. A few bills, a ton of advertisements for Medicare supplements, and then what looked to be an invitation. I was excited to open it and hoped it would be an event I would love to attend.

      "Plan now for your cremation."

      Not what I was expecting but maybe a wake up call?

      Okay. I think that sums up the quality of heath care I might be facing with my new Medicare card if I don't find the right doctor. Yes, universe, I get the message, I will find my new doctor today.

    3. The same batch of mail included an envelope addressed to my late husband. It was stamped boldly on the front, Get out of your time share forever.

      I wanted to call them and ask, "Does this mean I get him back?"

Enjoy your day and remember to laugh! I plan to.




Monday, August 12, 2013

An Old Chandelier Sparkles In The Sunlight, Ghosts Smile Remembering - a repost from

 Post originally on my 'Writer With Dogs' site on Skirt. com.  One of my first posts on Skirt written in September 2010. It seemed fitting to share it here again. The old chandelier sparkles with age!

     I love this chandelier. I sold it on Ebay seven years ago. It was broken in transit. An arm cracked. The purchaser wanted a refund, and since I always like a satisfied customer, I took this lovely old, slightly askew, vintage crystal chandelier back.

     I was so pleased to have it again in my possession. It doesn't work, it has some flaws, but on days when the sunlight shimmers through the prisms it is a magical sight to behold. One dead tree limb hangs over the old six foot high stone wall that runs down the side of my patio. I gently hung this sweet piece on that limb. On stormy days I take it in, but on most days it graces my patio adding a touch of old world elegance.

     My yard has become as full as my house with treasures that once belonged to someone long ago. I wonder, on days when I sit sipping a glass of wine on my rusty vintage patio chair, who this piece belonged to.  It was not wired when I bought it, but at some time I imagine it was hanging from a ten foot ceiling of an old home where the family gathered around a dining table for a festive holiday meal. Perhaps young lovers shared a drink under the soft glow from the sparkling bulbs. The crystal prisms, reflecting the light from above, adding romance to the evening ahead.

      I like to let my mind wander to imagine what my vintage treasures meant to others in a prior life. As a former antique dealer my treasures have come and gone over the years. Lately, however, I find I am keeping more things. I've parted with enough. I like to think I have the ghosts of antiques past smiling at me as I raise my glass to celebrate the past and wonder about the future. Perhaps one day someone will look at my lovely old things and wonder, who owned this? I like to think of my possessions going on to another life, but I am not quite ready to give up the ghost to send them on just yet. But my will stipulates, sell! Have the biggest estate sale of the year (that year many years off) and find the best of homes for my things.

    Once loved beauty needs to be loved again and again over the years. A past, a present, a future. Antiques bring us an amazing history to sit and think about. The patina of life brings life to those of living with them.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Holy Crap, I Just Got My Medicare Card or Sparkle At Sixty-Five - It's All In Your Attitude

My new mantra for age sixty-five.

My first reaction to filing for Medicare was not a pleasant one. It was a symbol I was getting really old.  I'd ignored AARP for years, but you can't ignore Medicare. Of all people, I knew this better than most. Ten years ago I retired from my job with the federal government, working for Social Security. 

I called my best friend and whined. "What if my Medicare card falls out of my purse while I'm out with a young guy!"

She brought me back to reality. "You haven't dated in months. If you do go out, keep your purse and your mouth zipped."

I filed for Medicare the end of July. My coverage began August lst. For those of you reading this, my birthday is August 21st. Feel free to help me celebrate. But no old age jokes. They are off my radar and have been since I was very young.

The day my card arrived (last week) I looked in the mirror to see if I'd changed overnight. A long critical moment proved what I needed to know. I was exactly the same gal I was the day before, the month before, and actually all the last year, and maybe even a year or two before that! My daily routine of slathering my face with ROC at night paid off, I didn't see any more wrinkles. My lip-gloss shimmered and made my smile and teeth look good (all mine pu-lease, what were you thinking?).  My short hair (which I cut myself and have for twenty years) had that bedroom look I love. I still needed to lose weight. I was still ME!

What I needed was an attitude adjustment so I could put the fear of sixty-five behind me.

Then a close encounter of a romantic nature and a plan for my books gave me the kick in the pants I needed. I also found my word for age 65 to guide me through the year!


The day I filed for my Medicare card on the phone ended with a perk that made it the best day I'd had in a dog year! (you do the math)

I filed my claim at 1:30. At 7:30 I was making out in the back seat of a car parked at Starbucks with an old boyfriend I dated in the late 1970s. He'd rolled into town to visit family and we had a small window to reconnect. Talk about perfect timing. In a matter of a few hours I went from feeling old to the high of a teenager steaming up windows in a rented car. The back seat was so small we couldn't get into big trouble . . . but passionate kisses were the best prescription for what ailed me that day.

Follow your bliss at any age. That is what I am doing this year. My two books are turning into a reality. A romantic, erotic thriller "Writer Beware" is almost completed and my long talked about sequel to my widow memoir should follow behind.

A new website and blog complete my goal to feng shui my writing portfolio. If you follow me at all, I have too many blogs, too many websites. I plan to simplify with one main blog and website for all my writing this year. We'll see how long that lasts. You know, two dogs eventually led to six. I will never get my old shop merchandise out of my house, because I still buy more. If I get an idea that inspires, a new blog could sneak in. But this blog will be my home base. So I hope you will book mark it and come back to visit.

Then look for Gilbert Street Press to build its business to include book and cover designs for others with my talented sister Pam King at the helm.

When you follow your bliss it doesn't hurt to sprinkle it with glitter. My new word for sixty-five is Sparkle!