Tuesday, October 28, 2014

{From the Short Story Archive} Death at the Morada

Death at the Morada

The sun was barely coming up over the mesa. The night had been cold and Jake was running out of time. He had to get the cattle back down to the valley before the crew left for Fort Worth. There was no way he was going to miss out on a chance to make some money with the rest of them. When Rivera said the rancher from Dallas was looking for some good hands, he was ready to go. Only he had to finish the work he promised to do for Mateo, so he had to get these five head down so they could be hauled over to Tucumcari day after tomorrow. He dusted himself off and drank the last of the rotten coffee he made earlier, then he wet down the fire pit he had made. He could see them off in the distance. Looks like none strayed, that was good. He didn’t want to waste any time looking for a stray and his back wasn’t feeling all that good after sleeping on a roll all night. The thought of a nice warm bed was mighty enticing just then. Mateo would let it pass if Jake said he couldn’t bring them down but he wanted to keep it good with Mateo for those times when he needed some extra work. Mateo was shrewd and if Jake didn’t do what he promised he’d pass him over the next few times for work, Mateo’s way of saying, "don’t mess with me."
It pissed Jake off that he had to kowtow to the Mexican but until he could get enough money to buy the land back, he’d have to play that game. Jake was a raw teen when his father lost the land to the bank trying to make it work as a farmer. The Mexican had swooped in to buy it up from the bank for pennies just as he had done to his own “borracho” brother’s land whom in a night of drunken gambling, signed it over to Mateo for $50,000.00 when the land was worth $500,000.00. The “borracho” wasn’t able to think beyond the bottle and ended up begging his brother to let him live in the old adobe house that was on the land. When he could stay sober, he worked as a hand for his brother Mateo. The 50 grand was gone in no time.
Jake saddled up and started the work of the day moving cattle. The sun was over the mesa now and it would be late afternoon by the time he got down to the valley assuming there was no problems. At least it was a pretty morning; he could enjoy the blue sky and crisp air. Wasn’t long before he saw the smoke. He wasn’t sure where it was coming from.
He cut away from the heard and headed toward the smoke. As he got closer, he saw the fire. The old “Morada” was on fire. No one should have been in the old church this time of year, the old Spanish families held their ceremonies during Easter. The “Majordomos” checked on the church now and then to keep it clean and ready for use. It’s was possible they were in trouble. After all, they were always lighting those damn candles all over the place.
Jake grew up with the old Spanish traditions all around him; partly they were his traditions too. He had joined the local men on several occasions when they paraded the saint statues through the villages. Had joined the big feast at the “Morada” on Good Friday and walked the Stations of the Cross. A few times, he even took part in the “Penitentes” rites with “Los Hermanos.” He could speak 'Spanglish' with the best of them and could switch to pure Castilian, on a dime, to talk with the “Viejos.”
When he reached the "Morada", it was awash in flames. He pulled out his cell phone hoping he could get a connection. Cell phones didn’t always work in the high desert mountains. He dialed Mateo but the call dropped. He knew he wouldn’t be able to do anything himself; there wasn’t even a water supply nearby. The rangers would have to either let it burn out or order up a slurry drop. He moved a few yards hoping he would find a hot spot and dialed again. Mateo picked up on the second ring.
“Mateo, its Jake. The “Morada” is in flames. I can’t put it out myself. Call the ranger station, see what they can do.”
“OK, stay there, I’ll call them. Is the herd safe?”
“Yeah, they’re fine, far enough away. Hurry up, The “Viejos” are gonna’ be upset if they lose all their old statues.”
“OK, let me call” and Mateo hung up.
Jake waited, helpless, hoping they wouldn’t end up losing all their treasured artifacts. He wondered if he should start to dig a line just in case the grass caught. It could help, it would keep him busy until the rangers and volunteers got there. This was gonna’ put a damper on his plans. He got down from his horse and gave her a smack. He knew the horse would trot down to where the cattle were, instinctively looking for safety.
He heard the helicopter first followed by the grinding of gears of the volunteer water trucks. Three trucks pulled in close. Men jumped out and started getting the manual hoses ready to spray. They had to hit the target consistently since they had a limited amount of water in the trucks. He knew all of these men, spent plenty of time in town with any one of them having a beer or hitting the dance hall. He knew them all to be good men, hard working men. He kept digging knowing they would tell him to do something else if it were necessary. One of the men, Billy, nodded at Jake letting him know he was doing the right thing by digging the fire line. You couldn’t take a chance. Wildfires were a problem in the west and everyone knew to be careful just like they knew to turn the water off when they brushed their teeth. Water was precious in the desert.
It was almost an hour later when the fire was out and all that was left were adobe walls and burnt wood beams. The sheriff had arrived, as did several of the local and state police. A few of the local ranchers and “Viejos” had driven up in their old ranch trucks to see what was going on.
They found the body face down near the wood stove. It was easy enough to see the woman had been shot in the head. Identifying the body would be a pain in its condition. When the coroner left with the body, the sheriff walked back over to Jake. Ray Moro had been the sheriff longer than he cared to remember and this murder was not something he wanted to have to deal with. He had promised his wife they’d ride up to Alamosa for the weekend. Looks like that will have to wait. He knew Jake and his family for years and knew Jake was a good man even though he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his father losing the land.
“Jake, do you remember hearing any vehicles or voices up here last night?”
“No, I didn’t. Like I told your man, I made camp a good ways back near where the shale road reaches the top.”
“I’m pretty sure you would have heard if there was a vehicle. Dead quite up here in the night and sound carries pretty good. Doesn’t mean they couldn’t have hiked up. If you remember anything more than you already told my deputy, come see me.”
“Alright Ray.”
The sheriff started walking toward his truck and without turning back called out, “Stay close Jake, just in case we need ya’ for anything.”
Jake was tired. All the craziness of the day and digging the line that wasn’t needed took his energy. Most of the day was gone and he still had to move those cows. Looks like he wasn’t going to Fort Worth. He was hours behind his schedule to get down to the Valley and now Ray wants him to “stay close.” What the hell does that mean?
Mateo had called him twice to find out what was going on and told Jake not to worry about the cows. If he got them down by tomorrow afternoon, that would be fine, there was still time. Jake didn’t tell him about the woman found in the Morada.
Mateo sat in the cab of his dually and dialed ‘Becka’s number again. He was starting to get worried. She told him she was going to be staying at La Fonda. It was a pretty long drive from Dallas and he was hoping she didn’t run into any problems on the road. The Jeep Cherokee he bought her a few months ago was in good shape, it was brand new and he had made sure it had regular maintenance. Why wasn’t she answering her phone?
Mateo looked out over the valley. He loved this place and planned to make all of it his own. He was proud of his accomplishments even if some thought he went about them in a shady way or was overly aggressive in negotiations. He was a landowner, a successful rancher and was respected in Santa Fe and Taos as a man of influence. He built himself a spectacular home with a view of the entire valley and mountains beyond. From the back, he could see the mesa. His family was well taken care of and his wife Dolores had everything she could want. Now that the kids were gone, Dolores had taken to volunteering in town leaving Mateo with more time on his hands than he wanted. He probably could have brought those five head down from the mesa himself but no matter what Jake may think; Mateo liked him and wanted to give him the extra work. He knew Jake thought he was a bastard for buying his family’s land at a bargain but it was just business.
Mateo started up the truck and headed down the gravel road. He’d head into town, get a beer at Shorty’s before he tried to call ‘Becka again. Maybe play a game of pool.
Mateo walked into a full room at Shorty’s. A Los Lonely Boys song was playing. He sat in a booth by the pool table and ordered a Tecate. Ray Moro spotted him, walked over and sat opposite Mateo in the booth.
“Winding down Mat?”
“Yeah, got too much time on my hands. I think I need a hobby.”
“I don’t know about that, you seem to be a pretty busy guy from all that I read in the Journal.”
Mateo laughed, “Can’t believe everything you read.”
“I expect you handled the call up to the mesa today. What happened?”
Ray sat back and nodded to the waitress to bring his usual, Coke with ice and two wedges of lemon. He knew it was Mateo who called the fire in and that he was told about it by Jake who was working Mateo’s cattle up there.
“Yep, I was up there. Looks like we have a murder on our hands. Used the fire to cover the deed. Don’t know why people think a fire will cover up a murder but they do. Jake spotted the fire.”
Damn, you’re kidding me. Jake didn’t say anything. Just that the Morada burnt to a crisp. Who was killed and why didn’t he tell me?”
“He’s under orders from my office not to share any details though I’m surprised he did as we asked and we aren’t sharing yet.”
“You can see the mesa from your place, Mat. Did you see anything, lights, vehicles, anything out of the ordinary last night or today?”
“I can see the mesa from the back of the house but I don’t usually go out back and I didn’t last night or today. Do you think the murder took place last night?
“Hmm, like I said before, we aren’t sharing yet.”
Mateo sat talking with Ray a while longer before he remembered he had to try to call ‘Becka again. He told Ray that if he remembers anything or hears anything, he’d let him know and he excused himself. Back in the truck, he tried ‘Becka’s phone again. Still no answer. Now Mateo was concerned and he headed to La Fonda.
Jake was exhausted by the time he got down to the valley. It was just before dusk and he was happy he made it before the sky darkened. Now the cattle were wandering in a big corral and he was heading home to shower and sleep in his own bed. His truck was just where he left it. He’d call Mateo in the morning even though Mat would have a bird’s eye view of them from his front porch.
Happy he didn’t run into any major snags keeping them together and herded in the direction he wanted, he still would have preferred to have never even seen the smoke. He wished he didn’t have to be involved. He didn’t see or hear anything except the smoke and didn’t know anyone was in there until he heard Ray call for the coroner and still, he doesn’t even know who the body was. Ray was careful not to share details but expected details when he answered questions. Jake couldn’t remember a murder around here in his lifetime. This would be a big deal once the details were out.
Jake flashed his lights at the driver coming up the road that didn’t have their headlights on and was driving much faster than the two-lane country road could allow. Ignoring his flashing lights, the driver passed him way too fast and way too close. Jake recognized Dolores’s car and was surprised by her driving. He’d never seen her drive like that before but he was pretty darn sure it was her driving and not someone else. No one could miss that big hair of hers.
Jake parked in his driveway, happy to be home; still annoyed he wasn’t going to Ft. Worth.
Mateo pulled up and parked beside the barn. It was late and he was tired. 'Becka never checked into La Fonda and still there was no answer when he called. The lights were on and that meant Dolores was still up. He thought about Dolores, she was a good woman, a good mother. They had met in high school and married shortly after. Within a year, they had a daughter and the following year, a boy. They had a good life. Dolores never had to work but now that the kids were gone, she was antsy to do something. When she told Mateo she was thinking of volunteering at the museum, he supported her; even spoke to a friend on the board to see if he could smooth the way. And he did.
Lately though she wasn’t herself. She was moody and drinking more than normal. Maybe the volunteering was too much. He’d talk to her about it.
He walked up the steps to the porch and looked out over the valley. Looked like Jake had brought the cattle down safely. He would have to throw in a few bucks more for a job well done. Dolores was passed out on the couch, Chris LeDoux was blaring on the radio and an empty bottle of wine on the table. Mateo turned off the radio and picked Dolores up to put her to bed. Mateo couldn’t figure out what was going on with his wife. He got her undressed and into the bed and headed to the kitchen to get something to eat. He opened the refrigerator and took out the makings for a sandwich, adding item after item into the crook of his arms. With his elbow, he swung the refrigerator door closed and started to put everything down on the table when he saw the note. In Dolores’s handwriting was the name ‘Becka and a phone number. It was “Becka’s cell phone number. Mateo lost his appetite. Dolores knew.
Mateo didn’t mean for anything to happen. He loved his wife and he loved his life with her but when he met Rebecka on business in Dallas, he didn’t realize he was heading into danger. This wasn’t good. Maybe that’s why ‘Becka didn’t meet him and why she wasn’t answering his calls.
Mateo put the sandwich makings back in the refrigerator and took out a beer. He went out to the porch and sat, he needed to think of what he was going to say to Dolores.

Mateo woke to a knock at the door.
“Ray, what are you doing here so early in the morning?’
“Came to talk with you about the fire. We identified the body that we found in the Morada, Mat. Her name was Rebecka Moran.”
Mateo leaned against the wall, “Come in Ray.”
When Ray finally left, Mateo just sat and stared. Mateo couldn’t believe how his world was spinning out of control. They found ‘Becka dead in the Morada with a gun shot in the head. Her Jeep was found in the parking lot on Marcy Street in downtown Santa Fe just a few blocks from La Fonda. Whoever killed her was sloppy and thought the fire would cover their tracks. Ray had been sure to tell Mateo to stay close because there was much more they would need to speak to him about regarding his whereabouts and his affair with Rebecka Moran.
Dolores had heard everything from the bedroom. When Ray left, she came out dressed looking like the pain of the world was on her shoulders. Couldn’t tell if it was the pain of what she had learned about her husband’s affair and the murder or if it was the bottle of wine taking its wager.
“How could you Mateo? You make me sick.” She turned back to the bedroom and retrieved an overnight bag she had packed. “I’m leaving. I’m going to Taos, I need to think.”
Mateo was speechless. He knew he should say something but he was overwhelmed. All he could do was watch her go. He couldn’t believe this was happening.
He picked up his phone. “Jake, it’s Mateo. I need your help. Can you handle the haul to Tucumcari? I’ll pay you good. The woman’s body they found, turns out its someone I know. I can’t leave and I don’t have a mind too. “Can ya’ help me out?”
Jake figured he knew what Mateo meant when he said he knew the woman. There were rumors around about his business trips to Dallas. When Mateo asked him for help, Jake saw dollar signs and agreed to haul the cattle to Tucumcari.
“Sure, no problem, I’ll take care of it.”
“Everything you need is in the barn and I’ll leave the papers you’ll need in your box, I’ll call the boys and let them know you’re taking my place. They’ll be at the barn by sun up. Make sure they know there’s no drink until the works done. I’ll call Bill Deere in Tucumcari; he’s the person you’ll see when you get there. I’m counting on ya’ Jake.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve handled hauls before.”
Jake hung up and smiled, Mateo just might get his after all.
“Hey Ray, got a minute.” Ray’s deputy was standing at the office door.
“Whatcha’ got for me Frank?”
“We found tire marks on the back side leading up to the mesa and it looks like the vehicle had a bit of an oil leak too. We also found two sets of footprints; both woman and one set matched the shoes that were on the deceased. The fire was set with gasoline probably from the cans kept in the workroom at the back of the Morada.
“Good work. Did you match the tires to the vehicle type?
“Yeah, belongs to a Cadillac Escalade, not too many of those around here.”
“We also found a pair of sunglasses on what would be the driver’s side, ladies Oakley’s

“Hmm, I know of one Escalade around here and the driver usually wears Oakley’s. I don’t think I like where this is going. You know what to do next Frank.
Mateo sat on his porch looking out over the valley. He had no energy to do anything. He kept going over in his mind how ‘Becka ended up at the Morada and why she never called. Who would want to kill her? Mateo sat with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. He was sure Dolores would be filing for a divorce. This would ruin him. He heard a vehicle and looked up to see Ray Moro driving up the road. Mateo watched Ray slow down to make the turn over the cattle guard into his property. He’d be up at the house in a minute. Mateo got up and headed to the front door to let Ray in.
“Ray, come in. How about some coffee, it’s old, from this morning. I could make a fresh pot?”
“No thanks Mat. If ya’ have a coke I’d take that. Is Dolores here?”
Mateo handed Ray a cold can of Coke from the refrigerator “No, she left to Taos. She heard us talking this morning and took off. Said I made her sick. She’ll probably file for divorce.”
“What time did she leave?”
“Around 8:30, shortly after you left. Why?”
“We think she may know something about what happened up at the Morada. Let me make a call, I’ll be right back.”
Before Mateo could say anything else, Ray walked out onto the porch and closed the door behind him. Mateo didn’t understand what was going on.
“Mateo, did you see Dolores yesterday morning?”
“No, I left the house early to meet the boys for breakfast in town. I had to tell them what the plan was for hauling the cattle Jake was bringing down to Tucumcari. She was still sleeping when I left.”
They heard the Deputy’s truck coming up the driveway. Ray went to the door to let him in. Several other vehicles were with him. Ray spoke quietly with Frank for a few minutes.
“Ray, we have a warrant to search your home”, Ray said and Frank handed it to Mateo.
“Sure, go ahead. Am I a suspect?”
“No Mat, but Dolores is. We found tire marks up at the Morada that match her Escalade and a pair of Oakley’s, the one she always wears. Did she have them on when she left for Taos?”
“No. God, I can’t believe this. Dolores couldn’t.” Mateo fell into the chair at the table.
“She’s been picked up in Embudo on the road to Taos. They found a gun in her SUV. I’m sure it will match. She’s already implicated herself. Looks like she found out about the affair and lured Rebecka to the Morada, shot her and tried to cover up with the fire.” Ray put his hand on Mateo’s shoulder.
“Yesterday, when I came in I found a note with ‘Becka’s name and cell phone number and I realized she knew about the affair but kill he, I can’t, I don’t think Dolores could do such a thing.”
Mateo got the call from Ray in the late afternoon. Dolores didn’t want to see him or have anything to do with him. She didn’t want him to come to the trial or attempt to reach her. In her mind, this was his entire fault. Ray said she was ranting and didn’t make sense but she wasn’t sorry. She confessed to the murder.
Dolores heard Mateo’s cell phone ring and was surprised he had left his phone on the nightstand. Dolores picked up the phone and saw the call was coming from “B”. Dolores had felt the change in Mateo and knew something was wrong with their relationship. Mateo had been distant, often taken trips that he wouldn’t normally have bothered to take and he had been guarded about where he was going, what he was doing. So when she saw the call come in from “B”, she went into a tailspin. She starred at the phone until, the message signal came on, and then she dialed the voicemail and listened. The woman was talking about their upcoming tryst and how excited she was to be with him. She left the time and place that she would be in Santa Fe. Dolores was sick and then the plan started to evolve.
Dolores called the number back under the guise of being Mateo’s secretary. Dolores figured if it didn’t work and the woman knew better, then she would just have to have it out but if not she could meet this home wrecker and Dolores would have her say. She called and identified herself as Mateo’s secretary and told Rebecka that Mateo would be in a meeting and asked her to call Rebecka and arrange to pick up and bring her to the ranch where they would attend a party together. Dolores had laughed when she realized how young and naïve the woman was and that made her even angrier. Dolores picked her up in the parking lot a few blocks from where the woman was planning to stay. They drove the hour chatting amiably about Rebecka and how she met Mateo. Rebecka was more than happy to keep the conversation on herself. It was apparent from what Rebecka was saying that she knew Mateo was married and had two grown children but that was all, didn’t even know the wife’s name or anything about his children but was convinced the wife had to be awful if such a nice man like Mateo would so easily stray. Rebecka was happy to tell about the Jeep Cherokee that Mateo had bought her among other things including the diamond bracelet, which Rebecka kept dangling in Dolores’ face. Dolores had all to do to keep her temper. When they arrived at the Morada, Rebecka wanted to know why they were there because it didn’t look like anyone else was. Dolores said that was where they were all meeting, she was to get there early to open up and turn on the lights, blah, blah, blah, and Rebecka believed her. It was so simple and when Rebecka walked in and looked around, she turned to Dolores who had a gun pointing at her. It had made Dolores feel so good to just say, ‘I’m Mateo’s awful wife’ and shot Rebecka in the head. She left the body there, went to the back room where she knew there was a few can of gasoline, and poured it around. As she left, she lit the gas and for a few minutes watched the flames take hold.
“Mateo, she may need an insanity defense,” Ray said.
Mateo hung up the phone, walked out to the porch and dialed Jake. Listening to the phone ring, he watched the sun go down on the valley.

+++++ © Beachwalkermari  October 5, 2011

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Your opinion is important

Change is good!

During my recent visit to Breaux Bridge to visit my good friend and biggest cheerleader for my short stories, I decided to do some wiggling with the focus of the blog. With the goal of highlighting my stories (tales) and my interest in western lifestyle we did a bit of brainstorming. Over several sips of Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey on ice one evening, we came up with a pretty decent list of new names for the blog and the name Whiskey Tales came up and it immediately spoke to me and it continued to speak to me. Not wanting to lose the existing name and URL, I’ve decided to try it out as an extension of Beach Walking in the Desert.

Of course this means I'll have to step up my story writing and get some more tales ready to post 

Have a look at the blog banner for the headline and description to see Whiskey Tales by Beach Walking in the Desert let me know what you think; your opinion is important.

By the way ... that Bulleit Bourbon was pretty darn good!! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Enter the Cowgirl Dirt cosmetics sweepstakes

Well, this is a pretty nice sweepstakes being run by Cowgirl Dirt cosmetics. This brand is about the only cosmetics I will use.

I prefer my look light and natural and Cowgirl Dirt cosmetics gives me that exact look. I use the black mascara on my lash tips with a light brush of Dusty Bronzer in the lighter shade Arena and just a bit of Wild West Blush on my cheekbones. I have a few shades of blusher, changing them with the seasons. If it's an occasion, I'll use a bit of Mineral Powder Foundation. 

I like that their products are all natural and they use organic ingredients when they can. For me, they are time tested. I have never broken out or had any problems with the products and I've been using them for the several years.

I also like the Whipped Body Butter, the Rawhide Organic Facial Serum and the Deep Sea Masque.

If you have a teen in your home, they will love the Deep Sea Masque ... it really helps with breakouts and deep cleansing. My teen uses it regularly.

Don't forget to enter the sweepstakes ... there are quite a few opportunities to be a winner. The sweepstakes event will take place Oct. 13th through October 31st.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cody Dog

“Dogs are the magicians of the universe.” 

Cody Dog!
It's amazing how Cody has taken to being a house dog. He is certainly making himself at home at my brothers home. The best dang dog in the world ...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cowgirl Dirt cosmetics supports Breast Cancer Awareness

15% of sales today, 10.02.14 and tomorrow, 10.03.14
go to Breast Cancer Awareness.

Jim Jones: Western Songs...Western Stories

Jim is a native Texan and a long time New Mexico resident. He makes good music and writes good stories and this is his most recent project.

 Learn more about Jim's books and listen to some of his music here!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review ... The Summer Wind by Mary Alice Monroe

The Summer WindThe Summer Wind by Mary Alice Monroe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As usual, Mary Alice Monroe tells are good story with interesting characters, in a great setting and leaves you satisfied but wanting more.

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Nākd Fruit and Nut Bars by Natural Balance Foods ...

A little over a week ago I received a message asking me to review a whole food product and blog my review. After I agreed, they quickly sent a case of “Nākd Fruitand Nut Bars” and my son, one of his friends and my brother commenced eating and reviewing.

Nākd Fruit and Nut Bars are made by Natural Balance Foods who makes healthy whole food alternatives to processed foods. Nākd is new to the USA, and products can only be purchased through their website.  They expect to be in stores soon but if you live in Canada, they can be found in lots of stores there ~~ find a Canada store near you.

~~Click here for Free US delivery~~

In their own words ....................
"We're a young British company devoted to increasing world happiness with yummy healthy snacks, humour and helpfulness. That means we make delicious, good-for-you munchies, do our best to help others, and try to spread a little joy along the way."

My first choice to try was the Cocoa Mint Bar which reminded me a bit of Mint Chocolate Girl Scout Cookies, only the texture was chewy and maybe there was a bit too much of a mint taste to become a favorite.

My son chose the Apple Protein Crunch Bar which he said tasted exactly like eating an apple though he felt the texture was something he would have to get used to. Overall, he said it was a good choice and with 18.4g of protein, great for an after workout snack.

My brother tried the Banana Protein Crunch Bar and liked it immediately. Being a health food junkie, he liked what he read about the ingredients.

My son’s friend tried the Cocoa Delight Bar but not being used to eating whole foods was put off by the texture.

I also tried the Berry Delight Bar and liked it … perhaps better than the Cocoa Mint.

Overall, my son, my brother and I were pleased with the all natural and nutritious goodness of these bars. I think though that for people who are not used to eating whole food, a bit of getting used to the texture and, in some bars, the sweetness of real fruit will take a bit of time.

I’d recommend you check out Natural Balance Foods Fruit and nut barspurchase a box or two and try them for yourself.

So Eat Nākd !!! You know you want to ....

Sign up for their newsletter, join their community and / or follow them on facebook and twitter

Friday, September 19, 2014

Free sample of lip moisturizer is included in every order of Yeehaw Lipstick during this limited time sale

Save 20% on Lipstick!

Thank you for helping us name the five new matte lipstick colors! The new color names are: 1. Eclipse, 2. Reckless, 3. Black Tie Affair, 4. Target, 5. Hidalgo.  A sample of lip moisturizer is included in every order of Yeehaw Lipstick. Apply the moisturizer before applying the lipstick for optimum hydration.

While you ride hard after your dreams, make sure you don't leave the corral without some Yeehaw Lipstick! Now's your chance to save 20% on ALL colors! 
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Sale runs today and tomorrow only!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Are you inspired to read?

I was just reading a blog post written by Virgin Atlantic mogul Richard Branson about reading 10 minutes a day. Seems he will be a grandparent soon and reading to his grans is important to him even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. So 10 minutes a day doesn’t seem like a difficult task especially when you already enjoy reading and especially if you get to spend time with your little ones.

I’ve always loved to read even as a small child but the only time I remember being read to outside of school was a particular time when I was a toddler and everyone was home because it was Christmas.  I remember everything about it including where we were sitting, how the sun was filtering into the room, the modulation of my dad’s voice and the story … ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.’ 

Maybe that wasn’t the only time but it was certainly the only time I can remember. So perhaps I didn't have someone reading to me on a regular basis that I can remember but I was exposed to books, both my mom and my dad were readers and I grew to love to read and I love to write.

I remember reading to my little friends when I was in lower grade school. I’d make believe I was the teacher and as I remember it, they seemed to like that game. One of the businesses my parent’s owned was a luncheonette and they sold a variety of things including paperbacks, newspapers and magazines so it was like having a mini library at my disposal.  I would go from one kid’s magazine to another, one Archie comic book to another and I would do my best to read the newspapers. Not because I wanted all the knowledge but because I liked to read, learning was a side benefit. I liked how you could make a story have different feelings based on how the words were strung together.  

I read to my boy as he was growing up. Every night, during the day with paper books and audio books and I volunteered to read to his class one day a week. So 10 minutes a day is a good mantra. Good for people who may not like reading but understand it’s importance to a child and their development (away from TV and video games). 

10 minutes a day is good for adults too. I’ve been trying to get my brother to read. I don’t think I have ever seen him read a book. Yes, he’ll give a quick glance to the financial section of the newspaper and I’m sure he read when he was in school several decades ago but he’s just not a reader. I can’t help but feel sad about all the pleasure he is missing out on each day as well as all the information he has come to lack over the years. For a man who has a Master’s degree in business, he lacks basic knowledge of the simplest things. The knowledge he does have is old and outdated harking back to a time when …well, when he did read.

Two weeks ago after my insistence he decided to go to the library and learn how to use a computer. He seems to like the classes, they are very basic. He had never touched a computer amazingly, has never written an email nor goggled his own name. After the second class he told me he was reading an article on the computer. You could imagine my shock. It was an article about nutrition, a subject of interest to him but his experience reading the article was that “it was too long.” He never got past two minutes of reading. He seems to have misplaced the habit of reading. I felt sad.

Reading inspires me, it sends me down rabbit holes filled with new places, new ideas, characters and settings. I was inspired by Richard Branson’s blog post to write about reading.  If each person read 10 minutes a day, think about the transformation and mind expansion, one inspired thought leading to another and another. Isn’t that how the world changes, how we grow and develop? That’s why there are so many organizations that foster the love of books like First Book, a not for profit helping to get books into the hands of children with minimal access and Pro Literacy, another not for profit working to help adults who for one reason or another, never learned to read well enough or not at all.

Today I’ll write this post hopefully inspiring you to read even if only for 10 minutes a day and in doings so perhaps you’ll inspire someone else to read and there will a genuine domino effect.

We can all help in some way to inspire others to read. Here is my list:
1.       Volunteer at your local school to read to a class of children
2.       Bring a senior who doesn’t get out much to the library
3.       Stop by a nursing home and read to some of the residents
4.       Pick up a few small children’s books and give them to the really little ones who come trick or treating this year (of course with a bit of candy)
5.       Put an audio book on in the car when traveling as a family, spark an imagination
6.       Turn off the television and close the laptop/tablet/smart phone … let someone see you read
7.       Talk about what you are reading with your kids (and their friends) … you’ll be surprised!
8.       Bring a non-reader to a book store/café and set them loose (they’ll think they are waiting on you J)

Can you add a few more to the list? Comment with your idea to inspire reading even if it’s just 10 minutes a day? 

From apostcardaday.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 14, 2014


I've taken the message below direct from a post on Facebook but I am very sure the good people at LEARN will not mind. I'm not a horse owner but I know plenty of friends who are and I find horses to be majestic in their own right. There is no reason why the horses need to be rounded up so that the govt could use the land for their will. Do we really need another fracking site or another mining operation. Not that I am against those things, they produce jobs but we have enough. Let's not let greed wipe out these beautiful horses.

"This Wyoming roan stallion, Gladiator, represents the 800+ Wyoming wild horses the BLM will roundup beginning Monday, Sept. 15. Who is going to be there to observe? TCF will be there for sure. If you can't go, you can still make a difference with Secretary Jewell and the Dept. of Int.: ‪#‎justice4mustangs‬.
1. Post your outraged but civil and respectful comments on Dept. of Interior's Facebook page,https://www.facebook.com/USInterior, stating your stance on the removal of Wyoming checkerboard horses.
2. Share this on your Facebook page and with all your friends.
3. Be sure to join the conversation with
#justice4mustangs on your postings.
4. Call Secretary Jewell's office: 202-208-7351.
4. Tweet to @SecretaryJewell @Interior: Public lands 4 all Americans: Stop WY wild horse wipeout. #justice4mustangs.
5. Email Sec. Jewell at the Dept. of Interior: exsec@ios.doi.gov 
6. Write your US Senators and Representatives.
#justice4mustangs "

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What if?

I love this picture! Found it on Facebook, origin unknown.

Chasing our dreams for a remarkable life can be scary but what if our hard work, chances taken, and paths followed makes those dreams come true? The dreams don't have to be perfect. As a matter of fact it just might be best if they aren't so we  can continue to dream bigger and bigger. 
There is nothing sadder than watching a person live in fear of what could go wrong... 

when it could all go very right.

Let's not live life full of fear, kick it to the side, saddle up and stretch our wings as high as we can ... and let's fly.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Do you have a remarkable product or service?

I'm looking for additional Lead Generation projects for remarkable products ... contact me to learn what I do @ beachwalkermari@gmail.com   

{{In marketing, lead generation is the generation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business.}}

Friday, August 22, 2014

Watch for the release of a new book by Amy Hale Auker, author of Winter of Beauty and Rightful Place

It’s always a delight to learn that a favorite author will be releasing a new book soon and I'm looking forward to getting a copy. That author is Amy Hale Auker and I've written about her other books in the past right here.
I stopped by her website when I learned about the new release. Seems it’s about an old cowboy, old letters, loves, losses and a crime. Sounds like a winner.
This author has a knack for bringing together a melody of words.
The book will be released by Pen-L Publishing this fall and Steve Atkinson who I am not familiar with has done the cover and I must admit it's quite appealing. According to Ms Auker's Facebook page, Steven Atkinson is a "photographer, designer, and western artist extraordinaire. (And a pretty cool friend, too.)"

The author will be taking advance orders starting October 1, 2014. Stop by her website to learn more.
Photo: When I signed a new contract with Pen-L Publishing, I promised myself that I would keep the rumble of publicity quiet until I had cover art. Tomorrow, on my website, I will post a blog, and add the link here, about this gorgeous cover, painted and designed by Steve Atkinson. The wonderful news is that this book, a novel very dear to my heart, is set to be released this fall. I will take advance orders starting October 1. Until then, share away, and make sure and compliment Steve on a JOB WELL DONE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lost in the Zoo: A Children's Short Story

My inner urge to write will always have me creating and re-creating whether or not I am ever published any place other than right here on this personal blog.

The following is based upon a prompt to write a story that a 5th grade reader could comprehend. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Children's Book:

Lost in the Zoo

Have you ever been lost? I was!

Being lost can be scary but it can also be lots of fun. I was so excited to go to the zoo with my dad and my older sister. We had gotten up pretty early and got dressed as fast as we could and hurried downstairs to where my dad had a breakfast of eggs and bacon and toast waiting for us. My dad made the best breakfasts. We ate and then we were off to the Zoo. All I could think about was seeing the elephants. My mom had just read a book about elephants to me and I just thought they were the best.

My dad parked the car and we headed inside. It was amazing! We walked along looking for all the animals in their homes; we saw Tigers and a Lion sleeping on a rock. We saw all different kinds of bird and we saw Giraffe’s that looked like they were hugging each other. My sister spotted a sign that pointed to where the monkeys were and we headed there along with lots of other families who wanted to see the monkeys. That’s when I lost my sister and my Dad.

I felt like I was going to be sick because I was so afraid that I wouldn’t find them again. I kept walking and walking and still never saw them. All of a sudden the Zoo wasn’t much fun and I started to cry. A policeman saw me crying and asked me where my family was and I told him I couldn’t find my dad and my sister and all the while I just kept crying. The policeman wiped my eyes with a tissue and told me he would help me find them. He held my hand and we walked together. He was such a nice policeman and he asked me about all the animals I had already seen and wanted to know what my favorite was. I told him about the book my mom read to me and that elephants were my most favorite. He laughed and said they were his too. He stopped and asked me what my favorite flavor of ice cream was and I said, “Chocolate, of course.” Then he sat me on a bench next to a man with a cart and bought me a chocolate ice cream cone. As I ate my ice cream, we kept walking and then I saw the elephants. So did the policeman because that’s where we headed. He pointed out the mommy elephant and her baby. They were so cute, just like in my book. The baby was following the mommy around and was making baby elephant noises.

Just then I heard my name and the policeman turned me around and I saw my dad and my sister hurrying through all the people. When my dad reached us, I called to him and he cried out that he was so happy to find me and he bent down to hug me. The policeman looked at my dad and said, “We knew you’d show up near the elephants because they’re your daughter’s favorite animal.” My Dad shook the policeman’s hand and thanked him a million times, then we walked off waving to the policeman and he was waving back.

It was the best day of all!