Make a wish … take a chance … make a change.
Make 2014 your best ride yet! 

My 2014:
Release ---- let things go!
Minimize --- hold only what is needed!

Write --- every day!

Certainly appreciate your comments and would be so happy if you'd share my posts!

Unintended Lies by Linda Kendall McLendon -- A review

 I just finished reading Unintended Lies by Linda Kendall McLendon, a women I met by serendipity through a Facebook friend who told me about her book signing. I’ll tell you more about the book signing in a bit but first I want to talk about her book, the first in a series about Catherine DeLong. 

Catherine is a sensitive soul longing to put the sorrows of the past behind her and start a new life on a farm in Florida. The only problem is she keeps  being jolted by life events from the loss of her dearest Uncle and finding out about her Native American roots to finding out her husband’s death may not have been an accident to  learning she may have a half-sister. Through it all, she learns more and more about herself and although she may appear to be forlorn and weak, she is really quite the strong woman and very capable of taking the bull by the horns when she must.  
The story grabs you from the very beginning and keeps you interested in finding out what will happen next. The author is quite good at building a scene and providing the detail to be able to see the story unfold on a movie screen. There is just enough mystery to keep you looking for a next clue, just enough romance to make you want more and just the right amount of creative description to keep you turning pages in this book where the Author easily weaves betrayal and conflict for a fine story.

I’m looking forward to her next book Accidental Lives which I plan to start reading tonight to find out how the story plays out.

The Book Signing --

Now I promised I would tell you a bit about the book signing. The Author, Linda, greeted me with a great big hug that told me so much, especially that I liked a person who was willing to hug a stranger. I met a number of very pleasant people who had many interesting things to talk about. The Author's friend decided to buy both books for me and only asked me to write a review in return. That is not something that   happens every day but it warmed my heart and like the Author, this friend of hers was willing to “hug a stranger.”

 Enjoy this video of the author talking about her book and about her Foundation Full Circle Therapeutic Riding where she "provides therapeutic riding sessions weekly or every other week to persons who are differently-abled." 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I thank thee Lord for blessings,
Poured out on me like rain,
It seems for most I have to wait—
To know the loss before the gain.

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The stars must be aligned!

I looked for this post in my archives because something incredible happened tonight that is really a chance in a million.. I was looking at YouTube videos and I came across a video in which an old friend, who I met in Northern New Mexico many year ago, showed up. My friend who brought a beautiful bouquet of wildflowers from her garden for me to carry down the aisle. Amazing!! Just amazing that I could stumble upon a video in which I recognize an old friend. The stars must be aligned!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bone China

I was married once, well twice actually but that’s beside the point.

On this occasion of marriage, I was in that place I know so well. Like a troupe of actors, we took our parts, unlike most parts played by the more traditional of folk. The priest was summoned to a forlorn church, old beyond time, unused except by the small group of people whose purpose was to insure the churches antiquity, a population of twenty or so all within a small village one road long and miles wide. All soon to be my relation. To write it sounds as if I lived in another time, another place and that would almost be true but for the fact that it was not long ago and it was in this reality.

It was an incredibly beautiful blue sky day punctuated by a cast of friendly characters some I continue to hold dear after all these years. Dressed in our country finest, we prepared for the festivities. The few in my cast of characters were wide eyed and questioning but accepting as they knew the oddities of the ways in this enchanted land.

       A handsome group,   they were ….

As we all prepared, there was one character for whom we waited, the bearer of the bouquet. My dear artist friend for whom all of life was captured on canvas. She would bring life to the brides bouquet from her garden and bring it along. As we were in this land of enchantment where time is suspended and does not follow any reality most know, being comfortable waiting is acceptable, well almost expected and allows for adventure in the waiting moments. Even though one may have a part to play in a days event, there are higher callings … callings so strong one can not reject them. It’s the call of the yard sale. Yes, the call of the yard sale. Unexpected, sure. Necessary, no. Like hearing the pied piper’s call, my bouquet bearer could not pass up the offering.

A set of bone china was shining in the bright high sun … calling from the yard sale. So our wait was not in vain, we were to learn of her adventure soon enough and revel in her prize. We would ooh and ahh as we inspected the bone china giving it the power it needed. We all knew in our hearts, the bone china would be the winner of the day but we didn’t speak about those things, all was already in motion. And the bone china became the best remembered guest of the day and it continues to grace the bouquet bearers shelf … it’s longevity a testament to choices.

Like a minstrel, the trickster laughed and the bride and groom are no more, and the wheel  of life continues to spin.

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"How do people do it?" A short rant!

So my question is "How do people do it?"

I just finished reading about a woman who after having a girl’s night came up with questions about sustainability in a world marked by consumerism. Much too serious a thought for girl’s night out but that’s not my point. My point is ... she up and founded an organization. Well, what else would you do after you've had a girls night, a few glasses of wine, an epiphany ... you found an organization. Well, of course! Don't we all have the time, and most importantly the money to be able to do these things? Hence my question "How do people do it?"

Is it because they have a multi-income family, a spouse or partner to prop them up? You know ... other people who have a stake in their game.

picture taken from the Internet
I'm at a loss wondering just "How do people do it?" Many of us have a ton of ideas worth salt but don't know how to do them because our entire world is consumed with being the breadwinner, a parent alone, the chief cook and bottle washer. We don't have anyone to pay the bills or even to contribute to paying them. We don't have anyone else who has enough of a stake in our livelihood who could help with decisions. So we feel stuck!

Of course, when you read these incredible stories of woman up and creating a fun, happy business, they don't tell you if they are independently wealthy, come from a long line of money, have a rich spouse or partner, or a helper with as much to lose. The story just leads you to believe they are perfect and can just accomplish anything on their own. Huh!!

It's depressing to read about these women.

Is it just me?

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Winter of Beauty by Amy Hale Auker ... A Review and an Interview

I finished reading Winter of Beauty by Amy Hale Auker a few nights ago. As I closed the book and held it in my lap, I sat with barely open eyes relishing the characters that Amy created, each of them with a story and each as if they were your own circle of friends.  This is the story of people who live each day working hard and caring big in the shadow of a mountain called the Bride.
Of all the characters so vividly drawn, I found this story to be the story of Shiney, the ranch owner, who I fell in love with almost immediately. Shiney watches quietly but with a keen eye over her ranch and over those working for her and has an understanding heart for each of them. She struggles with the losses of the past, the hardships of the present and she struggles with what the future will bring as she gets older but ultimately she knows she would never leave the ranching life as hard as it may be. She is the ranch, she is the story, and she is very much like the Bride, a steadfast overseer.
Amy has a talent for bringing you to a quiet place where people live their lives simply and naturally and her use of language to create that place is exquisite, making you hungry for each coming paragraph, each coming sentence.
As an ex-ranch wife, I felt the raw authenticity of this story, memories flooding back to me as I could place a similar character and I could smile at the coming together of individuals who create a community and ultimately a family.
Thank you Amy!
For more about Amy and her previous book Rightful Place, pay a visit to her website.

Interview with the Author, Amy Hale Auker:
When did you openly call yourself a writer and feel comfortable doing so?
"I had an amazing experience in 2005 with my friend and editor Andy Wilkinson. He was teaching a creative process workshop in South Dakota and I had gone along for the experience. We were having lunch alone one afternoon and he asked me when I was going to begin to call myself a writer. The conversation stayed with me, and from then on, I did begin to privately taste the words "I am a writer," on the back of my tongue. That evolved over the next year to the point where I began to say so openly to others." When you were younger, did you ever think you would author books?
" I did dream of being an author someday, just as I dreamed of being a nurse a la Cherry Ames, a horse trainer, or a marine biologist. However, words are what come naturally to me, and in the mid 90s I began to seriously consider that I would write a whole book and see it in print."
What do you love most about writing?
"I love painting a whole world with words. I love the solitude of writing. I love it when the sparks start flying and the ideas are popping. And I love having a whole book-length manuscript, the raw figure, the form-able clay.... I love editing and shaping what is already on the page in some form."
Do you use any specific technology application?
"I love ink on paper. I love Word (and I type very fast). I have downloaded Scrivner, but don't think it is going to augment my process much. I think it is important to switch mediums from time to time... write in longhand, brainstorm on yellow legal pad, type on Word with a new font, make a visual collage with scissors and glue to match a character or bring an idea to life, even speak the words into a recorder."
Have you ever received a negative review and, if so, how did you handle it?
"I have not received a negative published review yet (fingers firmly crossed). However, when I finished my first (horrible) draft of Winter of Beauty, several of my beta readers hated it, including my husband. How did I handle it? I listened to what they had to say and I went back to work."
Describe your writing style?
"I am a very sensual writer... I want to bring my reader into the world I am creating... and to do that requires all the senses. I also am enamored with the metaphors in the natural world around us, and I can't help but make the land a character in the story."
You've written two books so far, which is your favorite and why?
"I have written two books.... true. But one was creative non-fiction and one was fiction, so apples and oranges. My favorite book is the one I am currently writing... it always is!"
In your current book, "Winter of Beauty", who is you favorite character and why? 
"My favorite character in Winter of Beauty is very easily Jody Neil. Jody captured my heart from the moment he walked onto the page, and I gave him Del as a gift... as a guide into manhood. And then, I continued to give him fathers because he needed them. In return, Jody gave me Shiney. I will always be in Jody Neil's debt because he gave me Sunshine Angel Lewis. After Beauty was born into the book, she quickly became a favorite for me even though she never speaks a word. Beauty is the powerhouse in the book, the one who changes so many lives, simply by arriving on the planet."

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Lemony Peppermint Sticks

It's been a while since I've had one of these cool treats.

Mmmmm  ...  Yum!

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I won!!

Today I learned that I was the randomly chosen winner of the Horses & Heels give away from Western Border ... the cutest little pair of buckaroo baby boots. The little boots were specially made for the give away by Western Border. They design and create their own products for little ones and they specialize in western apparel & accessories. You can check them out on Facebook.
Courtesy Horses & Heels
I was really quite surprised since I didn't really make a conscious effort to enter the contest. I normally read Horses & Heels and when I saw the post with these sweet little boots, I naturally commented and wallah, I became a winner. It always pays to comment on blogs when you enjoy them. Letting the blog writer know their posts are appreciated is just the right thing to do and sometimes you become a winner.
I'm gonna' save this sweet pair for the right sweet baby ... may be some time before that happens but that's OK.
Stop by Horses & Heels and I'll bet you'll become a fan. Her most recent post today is Rosemary Crackers with Sea Salt & Pepper ... Enjoy!!!

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I love the transformation ...

"To Journey without being changed is to be a nomad.
To change without journeying is to be a chameleon.
To journey and be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim."
~~ Mark Nepo
I am my journey!
You are your journey!

From http://lmbartelt.wordpress.com

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A new food blog on the block!

So tonight my niece wrote her first blog post. She is creating the blog as a part of the web analytics class for school. So interesting what kids are learning in school. When I was in college, back in the Dino age when we chiseled our work into stone, we didn't have that type of technology. The fanciest we ever got in college was to create a make believe business and try to make it profitable competing against other teams in the class.

Anyway, my niece's blog is New York Girl in a Florida Food World ... I love the name!

Driving friends to her blog will help her to get the 'numbers' that she will have to analyze for her class, so please drop by and comment on her post(s), share it with your friends. Let her know I sent you.

Maybe she'll like it and keep it going long after she has gotten a good grade ... I hope so!

There's a new food blog on the block my friends!!

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Found this on FB ... Love it! .... sometimes it is just that simple.

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Who loves a good cuppa?

So a friend on Facebook was talking about this delicious coffee she bought .... "you've got to try this coffee, it's so yummy." Well, alright, I bit! It doesn't take much. So I ordered two different kinds of coffee from Kathy at Favorite Cowgirl Coffee in Minnesota. Well, I don't normally go all that far to get my coffee and I have been a fan of  Pinon Coffee and Red Rock Roasters, both New Mexico coffees and obviously local businesses for this gal but I was determined to try this coffee and I thought the name was great. Of course someone (me) who works for Cowgirl Dirt cosmetics would like the name Favorite Cowgirl Coffee.

I ordered a bag of ground RODEO JOE (organic beans) and a bag of ground FAVORITE PONY. When the package arrived, I was so happy to see they had included this little cookie, sort of a rice krispie treat covered in chocolate in the shape of a horse. they call it a Frosted Filly ... how cute is that!

On Saturday morning, I fixed a small pot of Rodeo Joe, poured my first cup, put some music on and watched the sun come over the mountain and truly enjoyed this cuppa. Lately, I hadn't been drinking too much coffee, usually stopping at one cup but this day, I was ready for another. Good coffee, yes indeed, my FB friend was right.

This morning, I fixed a small pot of Favorite Pony. OK ... OK, now I know why the company says this is their signature blend. Deep and rich, full bodied, a real nice roast ... yes, delicious! I'm on my second cup now. I'll bet this coffee would make for a great evening cuppa with a sip of some good Pendelton or Montana Roughstock whiskey.

I'm glad I found this company and as always am happy to purchase American made products and support small American businesses. Stop by their website, read their 'about us' story, check them out. They also donate a portion of every sale to Cowgirls for a Cure, a group they started to support the Coburn Cancer Center Greatest Needs Fund. I like a company with a higher purpose, don't you? I'm going to try a few more of their blends ... I think this gal has hit on something good.

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It's just a little bothersome

The trolls are back. You know those people who make nasty comments, then have the nerve to advertise their product or website in their comment and actually expect that you would publish their comment. I'd say they aren't too swift. I just mark them as spam and move on.

But, I thought I'd bring back word verification on comments for a while in the hope they go, go, go ... far away.

Fellow bloggers ... any suggestions?


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Flow ...

{{FROM THE ARCHIVES 10.07.11}}

I’ll take the rocks …
River SeridóImage by grungepunk2010 via FlickrThere are days when I look back and wonder why a person’s path snakes so wildly. Could I go back in time and re-write the script, would I want to do that?
No, I don’t think so!
Our paths come together like a confluence of rivers, with meaning, with precise timing, creating a dynamic energy. There are many rocks in the rivers, sometimes there are boulders. Often there are downed trees and lost items being pushed by the waters. Sometimes the rains come and cause the rivers to overflow with abundance and most times, it is good, other times the rain floods areas that had the best of possibilities, changing the landscape and the view. Yet, we keep flowing, whether we know it or not and it is in the flow that peace comes to us and we see the changing of times and accept the landscape for what it has become. In the end, we hope the landscape was beautiful, wild and even crazy. Perhaps, others will remember it as having great purpose.
Would we have wanted no rocks or boulders, or downed trees or are those the very things that set the landscape and direct the energy for future paths to flow?
I’ll take the rocks, the boulders and the downed trees. Along the way, much will probably get lost and that is all right because I will have created energy and a landscape for those who will follow. 
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Happy New Year!

Nothing is impossible! 
I hope this New Year brings you all much joy and happiness and is punctuated by the glory of God's blessings ...

do you remember
the night we drove
out into the inked darkness
until the hum of the city
evaporated into contrails streaked above us
like some Pollack canvas
that night I looked up at the sky
and its infinite display and I said
“doesn’t it make you feel better
to know you’re made of star dust”
and you laughed quietly, and replied
“you’d rather be up there, wouldn’t you?”
and I think that’s when you first knew
I would always be tripping over things
because the ground didn’t interest me
in the slightest
~~The Origin of Clumsiness by Anna Peters

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