Friday, January 31, 2014

365 Photos Days 30 & 31

I am slipping here, but it was important to finish my novel yesterday. So, today I'm doing two in one.

Donny Winter was a stranger to me until a year ago. I am forever blessed he has come into my life. We met because of a bullying issue. He's talented, runs his own youtube station. He's a writer, which means he understands some of my quirks. We have wonderful conversations. It's amazing. Today we had a long lunch together.

This beautiful young lady has become my second daughter. I have known Jen Evans since she was about 18 mo. old and I have been lucky enough to watch her become an amazing young woman. She is gaining confidence in her own abilities. Although she has not yet found her niche, in life I am convinced she knows she has a purpose. We had dinner together tonight. For once we were not commiserating about the pitfalls of home ownership. Love you, Jen.

I know I am blessed by the people in my life.

TTFN

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

365 Photos Day 29

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A tombstone? Yes, but not  just any tombstone. I found this the first time I went digging up bones. This one caught me off guard because the name on it is Catherine Mae Hudson Henderson. She was born on August 15, 1880 and she died May 3, 1960. She was born Kansas and died in Detroit, Michigan. It caught my eye because this tombstone belongs to my great Grandmother.

I contacted the person who had it on  their family history site and said I thought we might be related. Imagine my surprise to find a cousin named Catherine Mae for her grandmother. Cathy's mom and my grandmother were sisters. So, finding living family has been a bonus.

After I posted the other photo I found while doing family history search, I sent the blog on to the cousin whose parents were in the photo. Rick lives in Cornwall, England. He shared the blog with another cousin, Murray, who also lives in England and Murray....whose grandfather was the brother to my great grandmother...and I are now in contact via e-mail.

I wonder who else I can dig up???? I have learned that through my great Grandmother, Catherine Mae Hudson Henderson,  my 26th great grandfather was William the Conqueror. Imagine that, I'm the great granddaughter of a King...although he is not the only King on that side of the family.

Who can you dig up?
TTFN

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

356 Photos Day 28



I wasn't going to post this but I'm angry. In November I bought a 4 lb. Dominos sugar container. I had planned to bake. When I opened it I found the brown item you see there. I went on-line to let Dominos know. I had a response in less than 24 hours. They would send me a prepaid mailer so I could send them the little brown item and they would analyze it. They were also going to send me coupons for more sugar.

Well, it is now the end of January and I still have no prepaid mailer. There have been no other surprises in the sugar and they are not anwering any e-mails. Not sure I will buy their sugar again ever.

TTFN

Monday, January 27, 2014

365 Photos Day 27


Pretty muchh how it has looked for the past three or four days. Not much change in the future. I did venture out into the frozen tundra today. I mailed bills, picked up mail, did some banking, went in and paid a bill, ordered propane, and finally went to visit a friend who has cabin fever as much as I do.

Was I layered? You bet. Jeans and my warm socks with my UGGS, tank top, shirt, fleece vest and fleece jacket, and gloves. Um forgot the hat and decided not to go back in for it. Started my car, opened the garage door, hiked through the snow, which came above my boots, scraped off the pig and discovered my propane tank was at 20%. Translate it to mean I have 100 gallons. I now have 71 more coming.  Not only has the price gone up, but they charge me an extra $45 because they are not delivering 200 gallons. It's a catch-22. I am just praying I will have enough to carry me to the next time I have money coming in, but with the weather this cold, I doubt it.

Hope everyone is staying warm.

TTFN

Sunday, January 26, 2014

365 Photos Day 26


I love this face. I have loved it since before she was born. She was off to watch her son play basketball yesterday. I find this face to be beautiful. I know she will argue it's not, but she's wrong. She is the reason I have gotten out of my bed and gone to work, sometimes working four jobs at a time.

If I had it to do again, I wouldn't change a thing. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Did I make mistake yes, but we both survived. Sometimes I wondered how much I was doing wrong and how badly she would be scarred for life.

She's turned out just fine. She has a full-time job, but finds time to coach high school gymnastics, and community ed gymnastics. She makes as many of her son's athletic events as she can. She and her husband split who goes to which event so they both get to see both kids. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Accounting. A feat she managed after being married with children. She will give the shirt off her back for a friend. Her friends are willing to drop everything for her if she is in need.

Yeah, I'm proud of her. Who is she? My beautiful daughte, Jamie.
I love you, Punkie.
Mom
TTFN

365 Photos Day 25...I'm behind.



It's a Flint, made by Billy Durant and Flint Motor Car Company. This one is a 1925. It is NOT considered a classic car even though there are only 101 in existance. What a shame.

This particular one has suicide doors, and the first automatic windows. It is spring action, becareful you could lose a finger. It is a dark blue with light blue interior.

It was originally built to compete with the Buick. Billy Durant had an argument with C.S Mott and pulled out of General Motors to start his own company.

How do I know all this you ask? Well the photo above was taken in my Dad's backyard. It is his car. He completely restored it. He's won awards showing this car. He's been featured in magazines.

TTFN

Friday, January 24, 2014

365 Photos Day 24


Family photos again today. This time of my brother, Dean, because it's his birthday. The cute little guy with him is his grandson, Eli.

As brothers go, mine's not bad. He survived three sisters and we survived him.
So, little brother....happy birthday. Have a great one.

TTFN

Thursday, January 23, 2014

365 Photos Day 23



Not my photo but I truly believe the saying. We need to seize the day everyday. If you are not living your life, you don't know what you are missing.

You will never be any younger than you are right now. What is on your bucket list? Start doing those things. My Dad told me a couple of months ago old age should be called the 'tarnished years.' It's also not for the faint of heart. While my parents are in relatively good health, they are aging. Mom can hold her own with any task she sets about to do. So, can Dad.

I'm seizing the day. I'm living the life I want. I'm writing, publishing, and writing some more. I fit in an occasional book signing. I even won an award for one of my books. I'm traveling. I've driven to Phoenix, AZ and back. There is still much I want to see and do.

Make sure you are filling your days.
TTFN

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

365 Photos Day 22



This probably doesn't look like much. It was a clear glass square. On it I glued several other pieces of glass and some fine glass shards. Three years ago I was learning to do glass fusing.

This was the finished candle holder. I have learned there is a kiln at my parents I can use for glass fusing. I love the idea as I like the candle holders and pendants I have made. I'd like to make more. I'd like to experiment with other colors. One more thing to keep me busy.

TTFN

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

365 Photos Day 21


This is a photo from June, 2009. I love this photo.  It was the last time my daughter and I took a vacation together.

There is a story behind why we went to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. When she was about nine or ten, I applied for a teaching job there. I did not take the job there and Jamie always wondered what she missed.

If you look closely we are both very sunburned, me the worst. She missed snuba diving, but made up for it. We both had cornrows put in our hair, yep even in mine. We took the ferry to John's Island and almost became a meal for the mosquitoes. We ate flame broiled lobster at a neat little restaurant there. We spent our last day at Maegen's Bay....most beautiful beach every.

A gentleman in Iggie's beach bar took this photo for us.  Picky eater that I am I hated the food there, but we had a good time. Someday we will travel again...probably after her kids are grown.

TTFN

365 Photos Day 20


I have learned most schools are basically the same. The color scheme differs, but they have lockers, trophy cases, gyms, after school activities, and are pretty much the hub of their community.

I don't miss getting up and going to school every day. I do miss the kids I taught (luckily many keep in touch with me). I miss the people I taught with. I was blessed with wonderful mentors, good friends, and journey I can look back on with pride.

While you cannot reach every child, it never stopped me from trying. Even when you do reach the unreachable, you cannot always save them, life is what it is.  I have students I've lost track of and sometimes wonder where they ended up. I have some I wish I could have done more for.

I took a walk into a school today. If only the walls could talk.

TTFN

Sunday, January 19, 2014

365 Photos Day 19


Anyone who knows me well knows this is true. I've been a daydreamer all my life. Made studying difficult. Made staying on task difficult. Allowed me to crawl between the pages of a book and shut out the world.

It also allows for a vivid imagination and a mind which has no shut off button. I have to be totally exhausted to sleep. Even in sleep my mind runs wild.

Probably why I write. The only way to let my demons out and find peace.

It does not mean I don't deal with the everyday tasks involved in living. I may not like real life as much as my daydreams, but I cannot ignore it. I've tried. It doesn't work.

 Being a daydream means I see the good in everyone, often resulting in deep disappointment when they prove me wrong. And  deep hurt that I have once again fallen victim to my own idealism. But it is what it is.

TTFN

Saturday, January 18, 2014

365 Photos Day 18


This is the novel which launched my career. Let me explain. I learned about National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo to those who are familiar with it the 8th  of November, 2005. It took me 21 days to write 50,000 words.

Those words became this novel. It is wrong on several levels. The story is good. But the type face I used guarranteed it would not be accepted by traditional writers and publishers. It is the reas I leave it in this type face. I want it to stand for others to see and learn from my mistakes.

I have also been asked if it will ever have a sequel. I doubt it as I wrote it with an Epilog. It was never intended to be part of a series.

I know if I could write 50,000 words (which I have done twice now) you can, too. Have you got a story in you?

TTFN

365 Photos Day 17



This is one of the ways I relax. I crochet. This is a baby layette I made for a fomer student. I find if I am crocheting I don't eat while watching TV. I also find it very relaxing.


I also make afghans. I love watching them grow from nothing to something.


And for a real challenge I make Barbie doll clothes. My nieces, daughter, and granddaughter have had the best dressed Barbies ever.

What do you do to relax?
TTFN

Thursday, January 16, 2014

365 Photos Day 16



This is where it started. I wrote poetry all through high school and college. Only a Start resulted from those poems. After I started  teaching...long after, my colleagues convinced me I should reissue it with the poems I'd written since the first book. The result was the book you see pictured above. It was released in October of 2004.

If you want to see the evolution of a writer, this is the book to buy. The early poems were childish and amateurish. The older ones are much better written. While some have won awards, I sometimes wonder how. They reflect the times I grew up in as well as the idealistic views I held.

It's my two books for the price of one. You can find it at amazon.com. It's where I first writings turned up and led to my continued writing career.

TTFN

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

365 Photos Day 15


Yes, they are socks. Everybody has some. My daughter bought these for me for Christmas, 2012. They are the warmest socks I own. They are soft, warm, and have been worn more this winter than last.

Being the person who always has feet that feel like icicles, I appreciate a good sock.I have Raynaud's Syndrome, which causes cold hands a feet.  However, if the truth be told I prefer sandals to shoes any day.

Thanks, Kiddo, for helping to keep me warm this year.
TTFN

Cover Reveal

I'm doing a cover reveal for an author friend.

The book is a young adult, light romance. Read about it here:

It is amazing how many truths and lies can come out in just a summer. Daniel thought he was going to have a normal summer with his grandparents fixing up an old truck. However, when Tiffany needs a place to stay after her brother’s death Daniels summer plans change.

Coming to a bookstore near you on Feb. 15th

About the Author

Toni Sinns was born and raised in Western North Carolina before moving to Central Florida in 2011. She is an author with a mind in multiple genres of novels and stories. She is currently working on multiple novels that you can read about on her website:http://gracietfranklin.wix.com/tonigsinns also you can catch her random thoughts on her blog at: http://lilgracielou.blogspot.com/

Best of luck to Toni

TTFN

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

365 Photos Day 14



My daughter wanted to help me destress this winter, so she bought me a fountain. I put a tea light with it because you couldn't see the features very well. Behind it is my sandscape I bought to help me vision the beach.

In case you have not figured it out, I am not a winter person. Also I've had a lot go wrong with my house this fall and I just can't seem to catch a break. She was hoping the sound of trickling water would be soothing. It is the quietest fountain I've ever had. I love it, but have to check frequently to see if it is on.

Thank you, Jamie, you done good.

TTFN

Monday, January 13, 2014

365 Photos Day 13



This is my farmhouse in winter. Note the grey sky and the icicles. It's not a bad house. It just doesn't suit me for a number of reasons. One it's in Michigan where it gets bitter cold in the winter and the ground is filled with white stuff. Two, is it is a story and a half. The entire upstairs is used for nothing but storage. Waste of good space.

I've lived her for close to 26 years. It's the longest I have ever lived anywhere. Which seems amazing to me. It has 1.8 acres requiring mowing about once a week. I wish all the neighbors were on the same mowing schedule. I am allergic to grass. While fresh cut grass smells good to some people it plays havoc with  my sinuses.

It does not afford me a place for long leisurely walks. I live on a main road and would not recommend anyone walk along them. It also does not allow for peace and quiet. I long for peace and quiet.

So, I am prepared to sell it to someone  with a family or contemplating a family. The three bedrooms need to be used. It needs life  breathed into it again.

Let me know if you're interested.
TTFN

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Two Posts in One Day



Yes, I am a Blue Harvest Creative Author. I am very proud to work with them on my cover and interior art on my novels.  They go above and beyond. I hope you'll take the time to watch the video trailer and see all the amazing things they have done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyVA02MbcKE

I am one of the many novelists, short story writers, and poets they work with. Today we are showing our appreciation.

Thank you for all  you do.
TTFN

365 Photos Day 12



Today's photo is for two reasons. One it is to celebrate my parents 61 wedding anniversary. And two to show the two people who support me in everything I do, even when I screw up.

They talk me to walk, talk, and think. They told me to follow my dream. They have known forever I wanted to write. They looked into the Famous Writer's School for me. They are my biggest fans.

When I temporarily lose my sanity they are there to pick me up. They gave up two days and I have no idea how many hours to help paint the outside of my house this summer. I did not ask them too, I just told them I had to do it myself.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

TTFN

Saturday, January 11, 2014

365 Photos Day 11


I've been digging up bones again. It amazes me what I can find when doing family history research. The gentleman in the photo is my Great Uncle Charlie Luke. He was the brother of my Granny Bessie Luke Vigus.  This was taken somewhere in Cornwall, England.

I never met Uncle Chalie. I did however meet his beautiful bride (pictured with him) my Aunt Maggie. In fact, Aunt Maggie attended my high school open house. Somewhere packed away I have her photo from that day.

I currently correspond with my cousin Rick Luke who is their son. Rick and I have been writing and e-mailing for several years. I remember when Rick came to visit cousins in America. He was probably 18 at the time. I could hardly believe that handsome young man was related to me. I was probably ten or so when  he came.

This is not the first time I've found a photo tying me to my past. It's an amazing thing to do. Search your roots.

TTFN

Friday, January 10, 2014

365 Photos Day 10



Last winter I saw gators on Kiawah Island. Did I mention it's a nature preserve? It is. This is a momma gator sunning  herself. Nope I didn't flip her over to look. I know because this little guy was my next photo


If you look closely you will see the baby gator on the log.  While they are dangerous and you are warned there are people to try to antagonize them. I did not see a gator the first year down there and it was much warmer the first year. I will miss seeing them in early spring.



TTFN






Thursday, January 9, 2014

365 Photos Day 9


This was sunrise at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. I love watching the pelicans. They are difficult to catch in flight. Unlike my winter in Texas there is no one place where they just perch for hours.

I miss walks on the beach. Listening to my Ipod and walking it's amazing how far you can get without realizing it. Most days I got in five miles.

Vastness of the ocean makes you realize just how small you are in this world. It wasn't until my second winter there, I actually saw cruise ships in the distance and even those were not close.

I find it peaceful to walk the beach at any time of the day. There is something to be said for peacefulness.

TTFN

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

365 Photos Day 8



While I found this photo on Facebook it tells you a little bit about who I am. I believe in fairies, piskies, pixies, gnomes, elves, and magic in general. I have a necklace with a piskie on it from Cornwall, England my great aunt brought me after a trip to her birthplace.

I think I have always believed in other worlds. It might be beliefs passed down, I really don't know I just feel in my heart they are their.

I think it's because of this belief I have chosen to write a children's book about these same things. I find stories which deal in magic and other worlds to be fascinating. I hope to share the same fascination with children.

TTFN

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

365 Photos Day 7


This astonishing young lady turns 16 today. I cannot imagine life  without her. From the time she could walk, she would carry an arm load of books to me saying, "Read a me, Granny." One time while talking on the phone she made this request and I told her I couldn't because she had all the books. She still likes it when I read to her.

She's an outstanding althlete, something she did not inherit from me. She is also an outstanding student. She does not like it when her grades fall below an A. As a ninth grader she was sure she was failing honors geometry and warned her parents before conferences. They opted to go see the geometry teacher first. She had a 93% highest grade in the class. Lowest grade she had. ~insert and eye roll here~. We had to explain to her how percentages worked for grades.

She is a delight. She came to visit a couple years ago to help me with a garage sale. Many complimented her on how cheerful she was. She was a big help, but was tired out from the experience. Besides she got to go ride the jet ski with her aunt afterward.

Happy Birthday, Megan.

TTFN

Monday, January 6, 2014

365 Photos Day 6




My house in the bitter cold after the southern part of the state got snomagedden. I just got the bitter temps and cloudy sky. Although the sun did peak through late in the afternoon.

I am not a fan of winter. My trees are not even snow covered. While the rest of Michigan digs out, I'll be hibernating.

TTFN

Sunday, January 5, 2014

365 Photos Day 5



This photo was taken out my front door at 4pm today. If it appears blurry, it's because it was taken while a light snow was falling. I wanted you to see the road out front where the dark SUV is. No road plows will get to it today and it is a main road.

I am not worried about the access road beside the house. It was well cleared the last time it was done. But I might not be able to get out for the doctor tomorrow. Ugh. So need to get there. Will have to see what the morning brings. I could find myself house bound still.

TTFN

Saturday, January 4, 2014

365 Photos Day 4



This was the view outside my parents home after the ice storm came through in early December. It had snowed the night before this photo was taken. This was early morning on Dec. 24th.

While I hate the snow and cold, it makes for some awesome photos. My parents have lived here since 1966. I wish I had taken a photo of the burning bush. It was terribly weighted down but looked beautiful.

This is the place I grew up. Other than a couple of hickory trees it was a field when we moved in. Dad planted trees everywhere. He plants anywhere from quarter to half an acre in food every year.

But I hear we have a major snow storm coming in tomorrow. Having stayed away from Michigan for the past three winters, I am finding I dislike winter more than I ever did.

TTFN

Friday, January 3, 2014

365 Photos Day 3



I was not sure how this book would be received. Nor did I know if it would measure up to the first Macy book. The topic is a touchy one. Bullying happens more and more frequently especially since the advent of social media. It's always been around, but the number of children dying or being maimed as a result of bullying is staggering.

Today I saw a young girl who was bullied for having a big nose. She has been home schooled for the past tw years and has few friends. So, they opted for plastic surgery to fix a deviated septum and give balance to her face. What are we becoming?

This book however has exceeded my expectations. It has won Turning Pages 2013 Mystery Book of the Year Award. I am going to be honored at a book signing and awards ceremony in Orlando, Florida this spring.  So, professionally, as a writer, this is a crowning moment.

TTFN

Thursday, January 2, 2014

365 photo Day 2



These are three of four very special people in my life. Left to right are my grandchildren, Eric, Megan, and Jason. The fourth is Eric's wife Angelina who is waiting for her husband to arrive in Texas in a couple of weeks. She has just gotten a job in her chosen field of radography. I am so very proud of her. 

Safe journeys Eric as you travel home to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I hope you will find your dream job, too.

Megan, you make me so proud. Outstanding athlete...I wasn't even a mediocre one. Excellent student and soon to be 16. 

Jason, you too make me very proud. Outstanding athlete, excellent student and almost a teenager.

I love you all  more than you will ever know.

TTFN

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

365 Photo Day 1


I cannot claim this photo as my own, but it represents a good day, a wonderful football season, and a university in Michigan. Not ever going to be the little brother in the Big 10 anymore. Congrats MSU on your Rose Bowl win.

Each day this year I will post a photo which has some meaning for me. If you have a blog I hope you will take the challenge and post a photo a day, too.

TTFN

When Electronics Aren't What they Claim to be

In August I bought a Verizon hotspot. Don't. I chatted with a young man on-line about the fact it was not working. I had not gotten...