All I Want For Christmas

We don't have a Christmas tree in our house, even though we have fifteen acres from which we could cut one.

No Christmas decorations up at all. They're still packed in a box in a storage trailer.

No stockings.

Sweet Hubs and I agreed that we wouldn't buy each other anything. Not even a Christmas card.

None of it matters even one little bit. We have each other. We have our first Christmas in our new life in Montana. It's definitely going to be a white Christmas, which we haven't had in years.

We have two good dogs. A warm, cozy house. Plenty of firewood. A prime rib for our Christmas dinner. We have good wine, candle light, deer in the back yard, a view of the lake and the smell of pine trees and wood smoke in the cold winter air. Life is beautiful.

The only thing missing is that the children will not be able to spend the holiday with us.

Next year, we may have our holiday things unpacked to the point where I can get at them. But if not, that's OK. I have all I need.

New Release

Releasing a new work of fiction is a lot like sending my children off to their first days of school.

Will they fit? Will they make friends? Did I give them what they need to make it in the world?

Ah, the angst! The worry! The pride, mixed with anxiety. It's deliciously difficult to do. And so, my next child is going to be released on the world on December 25, 2016.

As always, I am nervous and excited. I hope my baby can fly!



Our first major snowfall as Montana residents.

About 18 inches of snow fell over the weekend. And it is beautiful!

I can say that because I'm warm and toasty in the house, while Sweet Hubs is on the tractor, plowing the driveway. Wearing his coveralls and trapper hat. Flaps down, of course. He's adorable!

The dogs act like silly puppies, running and wrestling, and putting their noses down in the snow and running like a plow. It's very cute and a little dangerous. There could be stump!

So I baked toffee cookies, oatmeal cookies and bacon-cheese puffs. I also made a big pot of venison stew and some homemade bread. Did all my regular chores and relished being in my cozy home.

In the afternoon, we sat out in the hot tub and sipped moscato while we soaked, and watched the snowflakes drift earthward. I am so glad the hot tub is under a roof. We tried the hot tub in the falling snow thing back in Arizona once and we looked exactly like those Japanese Snow Monkeys:

Image result for japanese snow monkey

Soaking under a cover is much, much better. 



One hundred and fifteen years.


It was 115 years ago today that my Grandmother was born, in Rotterdam, Holland. She was an amazing woman who epitomized resilience, positivism and even temper.

She was alive, although too young to remember it, when the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk.

And she lived to an age where I could fax funny cartoons and comic strips to her in the nursing home.

She endured a life of hardship and loss, and remained a cheerful woman without bitterness.

She was not allowed to marry the man she loved, so she chose to throw herself into the marriage that was arranged for her and grew to love him so deeply that their marriage became a beacon on a hill.

I got to grow up with this amazing woman as an integral part of my life. Most of what I know about happiness and balance came directly from the lessons she taught me.

  • If you look for the good, you will surely find it. If you look for the evil, you will find that too.
  • Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
  • Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition. You each give 100%, and you each get 100%.
  • This, too, shall pass. 
  • You can not un-say an unkind word and you can't un-hurt someone's feelings.
  • Family is the most important, but there are priorities. Your spouse and your children are the first priority. All the rest of the family comes after them. 
  • Happiness is not something that finds you, is given to you, or that someone makes you. Happiness is something you build for yourself, every day, out of pieces large and small.
  • Sleep naked.
Thank you, Grandma, for your brilliant advice, words of wisdom and for your example of a life well-lived. Yours was never an easy life, but you made the most of it while you were here.

What I See--Alita

Oh, Alita! What can I say? We've known eachother for so many years! Alita and I became acquainted first because our husbands worked to...