Monday, November 26, 2012


I continue to be thankful for the things and people in my life. Not just in the month of November but throughout the year.

Thirty-six years ago at 3:34 am on a rainy November 27th morning I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Jamie. I had no job and was taking on the job of a lifetime. I have not always made the right choices, nor have I been the best example, I have however done the best I could at any given time. There have been bumps along the way. I grew up as you grew up.

We were friends always, but you ultimately knew who was in charge. We argued but never went to bed angry. I allowed you to express your feelings. I encouraged you to try the things you love. Dance, gymnastics, and music.
We have always traveled. Even to exotic places. All over northern Michigan, to Florida, Canada, and St. Thomas. I hope we will continue to do that.
We enjoy eating. Our own food and in restaurants. I had fun at Iggy's even if the food did nothing for me. Aren't you glad you're not a picky eater?
You made me immensely proud when you graduated from college in May. I always knew you could do it if you put your mind to it.
You have provided me with a son-in-law and two beautiful children as well as a step-grandson and a granddaughter-in-law. 
Happy birthday Jamie Renee'. I love you more than you could possibly imagine. I suspect we have many more adventures still to come.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Again I have fallen behind

Let me go back----Thanksgiving I was blessed to be with family and friends. Two of my beautiful nieces and their respective mates,  a mother-in-law to one niece, and a friend to one nephew. A small intimate gathering with lots of food and good conversation.

I am thankful that it was only the last ten miles of my trip home on Friday I had snowy roads. Once again I was able to travel without a mishap.

I am very thankful for the friends, writers, and professionals who are doing advanced reads of my next book for review. They have been most helpful.

I am thankful for friends who take time out of their day to go to lunch with me. And was lucky enough to have another friend join us.

Yes, I am thankful for all of that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am a bit behind

On my 30 days of Thankfulness I have fallen behind.

Yesterday I was thankful for clear roads and a safe travels. I actually made my way through the mountains without mishap. I was able to navigate my way around Washington D.C. only to be detoured just over a mile from my destination by a serious traffic accident. While I was not looking forward to thirteen hours in a car I was grateful for a safe arrival.

Today I am thankful for judges who can see through ruses and get to the truth. As he ruled in my favor. I am glad it it over.

I am once again thankful for my nieces. One who generously opened her home to me and one who has designed a logo for my new company. Yep, without them I'd be lost.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Smells of Baking

There is nothing better than the smell of home baked goods. I don't care if it's bread, cookies, pies, or cakes.  It is the smell of safety. My grandmother was always baking something. My mom used to bake, more than she does now. I love to bake, but baking for one is no fun.

I don't know if it's the mixture of spices or just the aroma of whatever is baking, it just means home. Holidays are a big time for baking. This year for the first time in a long time I want to bake. I want to make cookies, and banana bread. I wan to bake pies and anything else I that crosses my mind. Maybe even make fudge. Those who know me, know this is out of character, because I try to avoid baked goods.

But for today, I am thankful for the wonderful aromas of home baked goods.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Simple Things

Yes, I am thankful for the simple things in life. A walk in the woods or on the beach. Kicking up fallen leaves.     The wind in my hair. I like making things for others. Holding hands or cuddling are always nice.

Life doesn't have to be drama. It doesn't have to be difficult. Just look for the simple things. A flower, a bird, anything in nature. Skipping rocks or skipping rope.

I'm thankful for the simple things in life. A smile, or hello from a stranger can go a long way. Doing something nice for someone else is a boost to your own self-esteem.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


I am thankful for the ability to spin a yarn, tell a story, spark someone's interest. Words make the world go round. I know people who are gifted storytellers, but would never think to write a word down on paper. I know people who write stories and should not. I think those who can do both are doubly gifted.

Each time I finish a novel or short story I know a part of me goes with it. Every time I send it out to be read, I am tempting the rejection fates. I know not everyone who reads my books will like them. I also know my fan base is growing, which means I must be doing something right.

I thank God daily for the ability to arrange words to make things interesting to others. I know there is a reason I've played word games all my life. Words intrigue me. They are probably the most powerful weapon...for lack of a better word...people have.

What you speak can help or hurt. Choosing your words wisely is always the best. I am thankful, I can do this.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I am thankful for the multitude of friends I have acquired over the years. While I don't see some as often as I'd like, I think about them.

I have friends I can trace back to kindergarten...yes, Louise, that would be you. Over the years we have moved in and out of each other's lives, but that doesn't mean I don't hold her dear to my heart. We shared those things that only small children can.

Then there are the impetuous friends I collected in my teen years. Some are still around (yes Shelley, you are still around albeit in another state), others have moved on. Those I care deeply about I can find on any given day. I keep in touch with a few. I've lost track of many. But they helped shape me into who I am.

College...that was a new and at times frightening experience. Guess what, it brought a whole new set of friends. Some I've not heard from since we graduated a lifetime ago. About a half dozen or so are still in my close circle of friends and though we don't get together as often as I'd like, I know if I needed them they'd be there. (Deb, Joan, Vicki, Sue....I know where you are).

Somewhere in all that I became an adult. I have friends from when I was first starting out as a single mom, in a new neighborhood. I cherish them. I became friends with neighbors, community members, and teachers. All of whom had an impact on my life. And if Nancy and Sally didn't meet me for lunch once in a while I think sometimes I'd still be lost.

Then there are the friends and colleagues I made in my teaching career. Some are parents, some are neighbors, some just worked with me in some capacity or another. This list is way to long for me to mention everyone, I know I'd leave someone off and I wouldn't want to do that.

Finally, there are those whom I've encountered in my life as an author. While they may only have made their way in briefly, I am honored to be counted  a friend, Jama, Kelsey, Ashely, Kortney, Cesya, Sherrice,...and that list goes on and on.

Never to be forgotten are the friends I've made in South Carolina, Mark, Megan, Joe, Jane, Linda, David, Karl, Kathy.....that list too is a long one. I am looking forward to seeing all of them again soon.

Yes, today and everyday, I am thankful for friends. While I profess to hate people, I know I'd be lost without my friends. God bless you each and everyone.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I am thankful for compassionate people and a community who has shown support for a young mother, whose baby girl is dying. The out-pouring of love, prayers, and general concern has been overwhelming. In this time of year when we are most thankful for families and friends, losing a loved one is hard. Losing a child is devastating. Losing an infant is horrendous.

I am so proud to be part of a community that can come together. I'm just sad that it always surrounds a tragedy. I'd like to see it happen every day. No other reason than we are all human. We all have feelings, and just a smile or friendly hello can make someone's day.

Today I am most thankful for people who demonstrate they have compassion. It's a vital part of human nature. It also shows me we are not a lost country as the media would have us all believe.

Many hugs, prayers, and blessings to the Parrish family in this terrible time.


Monday, November 12, 2012


Yeah, I'm thankful for my siblings. Being the oldest means I have tormented them all. It also means I get it back. I'm thankful I have them. They've taught me much about life.

While we have each traveled a different path we are always there for each other. We don't always agree. We still bicker and snipe at each other, but when it comes right down to it I know I can count on each of the them.

Love you all. I'm glad I'm the big sister.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Warm Sunny Days

I am most thankful for warm, sunny days. I am a person who thrives in the sun. Getting a chance to walk in the sun in November without a jacket and still in my sandals. That to me is a bit of Heaven on Earth.

I appreciate the seasons, but know I suffer from SADS-Seasonal Affective Disorder Syndrome. I also know for me, if I am not careful it leads to depression. Since I don't like where depression takes me, I try to avoid it.

I feel energized when I have the chance to get out and walk. I prefer long walks in the woods or on the beach,(beach walking starts in just over seven weeks) but I settled for the strip mall in town today. I was on a mission to find something.(I did get part of what I was looking for). So, I parked at one end and walked to the other and back. I used to walk the strip mall because four times up and down was a mile. Today it was just vigorous walking once and back. Then I was off to WalMart, where they did not have the other item I was looking for. Ugh. I know where to get it though.

Today, I am most thankful for warm, sunny days, to walk.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Friends and Inspiration

Last winter while wandering the beach at Kiawah Island I met the most amazing woman. Her name is Kathy Smith. We talked for a while and quickly became friends. She told me about a charity run by her son and I checked it out. I was so impressed I asked if I could become a sponsor. As a result I give 10% of my earnings on Cold Case: Sleeping Dogs Lie to Tanner's Totes.

I have held high hopes of seeing Kathy again this winter. I would love to get to know her better. Today I received an e-mail from her. She continues to amaze me. However I'm going to provide links to her son's blog so you will understand why.  You need to read this one first to understand something of what Tanner has grown up with.

Then you need to read this one for what is currently happening.

Kathy does not know if she and Craig will be able to make the trip to Kiawah this winter. I can understand why. This will be a long road for them. The one thing she told me in the e-mail today was not to feel sorry for them. I don't I am amazed at their resiliency. I admire the strength of the entire Smith family. I am proud to call Kathy a friend.

I am thankful for the inspiration they all are.


Friday, November 9, 2012


I am thankful for the changing seasons. As much as I am not a winter person I can appreciate the beauty of freshly fallen snow, or the first real snow of the season. In all honesty the only snow I want to see is on Christmas morning and I really only want a light snow then.

I love the spring when trees and flowers are budding. My allergies might not, but I love the reawakening of the plants. They are no longer winter dormant.

Summer is my favorite season. If if could be summer all year long I'd be happy. I love hiking and swimming. While I can hike in spring and fall, there is something about a summer hike through the woods that is different.

The leaves changing in the fall are beautiful. No one who has seen their splendor ever forgets it. The rustling of the fallen leaves when you walk through them lets you know it is time for the trees to prepare for winter.

Yes, today  I am thankful for the seasons. The seasons of the year, as well as the seasons of life.


I am thankful for the ability to laugh and those who provide me with the opportunity. It matters not whether it's baby laughter, the belly laughter of my nephew, or that of my grandchildren. Laughter is contagious. My life is currently full of laughter and for that I am most grateful.

I have heard that laughing burns up 35 calories every time you do it. If that is the case, I will lose weight in no time. I do know you can't be depressed if you are laughing. I also know I feel better when I'm laughing.

So, take time to share a laugh with someone.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Unexpected Surprises

Election day came and went, however I had a dear friend tell me that she did not like the candidates for school board and as she stood in the voting booth was frantically thinking of who she could put for a write-in candidate. Yep, you guessed it, she wrote me in. Most likely the only vote I got as I was not running as a write-in candidate. I was not running at all.

It's nice to know that someone thinks enough of me to even consider I should sit on a school board. I guess after all my years of teaching I could do the job. I've just never considered it. It would also require that I stay in the community during the winter which would not work for me.

Over the years parents have come and gone. However, it's the ones you least expect it, who are the ones in your corner. I've had parents who haven't always seen eye-to-eye with me, but I've never had a confrontational parent. I think the biggest part of that is I listen. I may not always agree with their point of view, but I do listen.

I've had confrontational students. I listened to them too. And the funny thing is, those are the students who have come back as adults to ask for my advice and opinion.

So yes, it was unexpected anyone would think to write me in as a candidate for school board or any other position. But, it meant a lot that she did.  Thanks, Julie.


Today I am thankful for my health.While at times it is rocky, I am really doing quite well. I know being a diabetic has all kinds of complications. It affects the heart, the kidneys, and any other organ that gets in it's way.

I've come a long way to getting my sugars under control. I'm the girl whose A1C-three month blood test-has always been between 8.3 - 11.3 none of which are good. My most recent one done about two weeks ago was 7. See me do a happy dance. I've also lost a pound in that two weeks.

My blood pressure while not crazy, is not as normal as I'd like, but then this is me. My new doctor--actually a nurse practioner is awesome. She listens to what I have concerns with. She also agrees I know my body better than anyone else. I live in it. Or with it as the case may be.

While we are still doing some things that have been neglected, I am feeling better. Which means I'm functioning better.

So today...which is actually yesterday, I am thankful for good health.



I am thankful for the freedoms won by our military over the years. I am thankful for the right to choose my government. I am also thankful for the women who risked their own lives, to earn me the right to cast a vote.

I am thankful to my forefathers...several of whom have held the highest office in this country for doing just that. I cannot imagine aspiring to be President. I cannot imagine the risk to family and friends should you be in that position. It is one not to be taken for granted.

I am thankful for the service men and women still giving their all to keep those freedoms I so cherish intact. I do know the sacrifices you make.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nieces and Nephews

I am thankful to have been blessed with an abundance of nieces and a couple of handsome nephews. It is not often they are all in the same place at the same time. It was the first time my youngest niece was able to be home for Christmas. She saw snow for the first time, up close and personal.

They have been a delight to watch grow up. They are successful and talented and I am so very proud to call them family. While the niece and nephew by marriage are not in the photo nor is my grand-nephew, but that doesn't make them any less in my heart.

I love you all.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Most Important

Yep, my daughter. The most important person in my life. She has become the woman I always knew she could be. She had brought me more joy than I ever imagined and helped me grow up.

She is the mother of three, a wife for twelve years, has a full-time job, coaches high school gymnastics, is a graduate of the University of Phoenix, and finds time to spend with her children at their sporting events. She is the unofficial photographer for her children and their biggest cheering section.

While I have my moments and give her fits, I know she has my back. We don't see each other as often as I'd like, but we talk, text, or e-mail daily. We keep in touch. She is also my biggest fan.

When she took on bullies this fall, I couldn't have been more proud. I believe that part of her life it getting back to normal, but haven't taken her pulse there lately. She saw a wrong and stood her ground to make it right. She continues to make a difference for many.

I was going to wait to put her on my list of thankful for, but her birthday isn't until the end of the month and I didn't want her to feel left out.

Jamie Renee' you are and always have been my biggest reason for living. I love you.



I am thankful the two people above are a part of my life. The young man in the photo is my nephew. The young lady is a former student and friend. Unbeknownst to me, the two of them met at Acorn Buddy Camp, a camp for handicapped children.

One year at Christmas I posted a photo of my nephew and Jen commented she missed him and how did I know him. My question was how do YOU know him? He is my nephew. Funny how small the world can be.

This past summer I took Jen with me when I went to visit my sister and nephew at their cabin. It's the first time Jen and Ryan have seen each other since Ryan aged out and was unable to attend the camp anymore.

While both have handicaps, they are the happiest two people I know. They have taught me much about looking past the disability and seeing the person. I am thankful for the education they have given me.

I love you both.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I am very thankful for my grandchildren. They keep me young. Above is Megan Leesa. She is not only a stellar athlete, but also an academic all-star. Today I have the privilege of watching her run in the state cross-country meet. The only girl representing her team. She is ninth grade.

Above is Jason my handsome youngest grandchild. He is sixth grade this year. Also a stellar athlete, running cross-country this year for the first time. He's played Jr. Rams football, basketball, and baseball. Like his sister, he is an academic all-star. He's my bashful boy.

Last but definitely not least, my eldest grandson, Eric and his beautiful bride Angelina. They have recently moved to Michigan and I hope I will get to spend much more time with them.

Each of them adds a dimension to my life I would never have expected. I am so thankful they are all a part of my life. I have been blessed.


Thursday, November 1, 2012


I'm thankful to be alive. Each day is an adventure. Some days are struggles, some are triumphs. Life is what you make it and for the most part mine has been good.

I have been blessed with family and good friends. I have friendships that span a lifetime. I've lost friends over the years we've grown apart and gone our separate ways. But those who have known me and are still around are the ones I count.

Life has brought me ups and downs. There have been more ups and I choose to celebrate those. Finding my career path as a teacher/mentor, being a mom, becoming a grandma, and finally realizing the dream of being a writer those are the things I celebrate.

Each of them has brought me joy and I am thankful for every one of them. A lot of children have crossed my path in the years I taught. Some are grown now with children of their own and I can count them as friends.

There have been tragedies, because life has those too. I choose not to dwell on the losses. They were only there to make me stronger.

Today I am thankful for and celebrate life.


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