Wednesday, December 2, 2020


 Hi Everone!

Sorry I am posting so late. I just realized it is the first of the first Wednesday of the month. Thanks to Alex and all the IWSG hosts, we are able to catch up and air our anxieties and share our advice to others as well. If you would like to join, please click on the site and sign up!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Even in these troubled times, I was able to have a few friends over. I had two tables separated by twelve feet and one family was at one and the other was with me and a few close friends. It was a cool day, but we managed to enjoy ourselves with throws and the help of an outdoor heater. One of my friends said it was one of the best Thanksgivings she had ever had. It was a wonderful day and it was nice to have some normalcy.

For the past few months, I have been deligently working on the exterior of my house. I tried several times to sit down and write, but with such limited time to finish before winter set in, I felt it was more important to spent my time away from writing. But now that the holidays are upon us, I will have time to write. YAY. This week I plan to finish putting up the Christmas decorations. Trying to stage a 2400 sq ft house plus the huge front porch is quite the challenge. For the first time in my life, I have a large enough space to actually put out ALL my decorations. And believe me, there are TONS. I can actually open up my own Christmas shop. I have four trees to decorate, a fireplace hearth, LR, DR, and kitchen... not to mention the entry and staircase. I have about half done, and I hope to complete the rest by the end of the weekend. THEN, and only then, can I work on my writing in between baking. Even though I don't foresee anyone spending Christmas Eve or Day with me, I hope to have an outdoor cocktail party for about eight people out on the front porch. I will be enclosing the porch with heavey canvas, and there will be a patio heater, so it should be warm enough with our coats on. I will have a real tree decorated out there, so it will look quite festive. The porch is such a wonderful space because of it's size. I'll post a pic on how I set it up for Thanksgiving.

I want to wish all of you a SAFE and HEATHY Holiday season. Please be careful in your travels and gatherings. We are not though this pandemic yet. Holidays can still be special with the proper planning. 

Sending you all a huge HUG and PRAYERS for you happiness and safety.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020



Hi All!

I hope everyone is doing well. This time of year is certainly my favorite, even though allergies for me are at their highest. But, this does not damper my love for this time of year.

As the year closes, I tend to reflect on what had happened in my life during this time. Sadly, for most of us, Covid has taken a heavy toll. In 2008, I had to reinvent myself by looking for alternative income because my design business had closed for several years. That is when I picked up writing. Now, I find myself back in the same situation. Writing saved my sanity once, I am hopeful it will do it again. 

Shortly after my first novel, I had joined the blogger community and THIS community. I had met some of the most AMAZING people I had ever known and to this day, I still feel that way. Alex, is one of them. Without him, we would have the IWSG. Astonishing. To think, I was in the community when Alex first created this group. I am honored to be apart of it. Thank you, Alex, and all the countless others who have given so much of their love and time to help others in our community. IF you have not signed up yet, do so at his site.

Although this year has certainly been taxing, I am thankful for many things. I finally found the home of my dreams, and although it is a nightmare trying to pull it together, I have never been more happy with my residence. I did have to give up my Florida condo because of lack of business, but I am fine with that. I can now breathe again financially. And once again, I managed to use my time well, including getting back to my writing. After another readthrough and edit of my second novel, I have submitted it into the mentee program of PitMad. So, I am hoping one of the talented people who are giving their time to mentor, will find my novel intersting enough to take me on. For sure, it is a LONG SHOT, but you just never know. This may finally be my time. I had a lot of interest in this novel in the past, but I never managed to get signed by an agent. So, with a mentor's help, I may get over the next hurdle. 

As for my current WIP,  I hope to finish it by the end of the year. There are a few snaffu's with the person who's life I am writing about. We have a few areas that need to be ironed out before I complete the last few chapters. This has been a GRULING project and has taken me three times as long as my other two novels to write. But, with a bit more time and PATIENCE, I hope to get through it. Like my second novel, this one has great potential and I NEED to get it right.

Most writers know how difficult our journeys are, and I hope that we all get there in the end. It has been ten LONG years since I completed my first novel and I believe that this year will end well. Hope and prayers are our most powerful allies. 

Take care everyone, and stay safe!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020


 HI ALL Happy September!

Once again,  I am posting late. Thanks to my blogger pal, Michelle Wallace, I saw her FB post to remind me this is the first Wednesday of the month!

Thanks to our friend, Alex J. Cavanaugh, we get to post our anxieties or help others with theirs... A WONDERFUL day of the month. If you would like to join our group, hop over to Alex's site and SIGN UP.

As I prepare for my journey south, I am trying to finish up my current WIP. Most of us know the stress of moving, but when one has to travel almost 1500 miles to clear out their vacation home, then they have to load a truck and drive back the same 1500 miles in a fifteen-foot truck, the stress is epic. So, you can imagine how difficult it is to write, especially when you find out you have to add another story/chapter to the remaining chapters. (I am writing narrative non-fiction) I feel as though I will never finish. Just when I think I am down to the last two chapters, I have to keep adding more. UGH. But, at least I am writing. Many of you know I haven't written anything in months, but I am managing to write a chapter in a week to ten days. 

Thankfully, the weather is cooling and fall is definitely in the air. The nights and mornings are cooler and the sun sets earlier bringing down the heat in the early evening. I am also trying to squeeze in the remaining sanding and priming of my front porch. With only a few more months of painting weather before winter, I am crazed...nothing new there. LOL 

I thank you all for your good vibes and prayers as I prepare for my journey. Like most of you had said, masks, sanitizers, and washing hands will hopefully keep me safe as I journey to and from Florida. 

Next month I should be all settled back in and preparing for my much-needed vacation to Colorado for three weeks. November should be beautiful there and I am really looking forward to it. Of course, with the pandemic, it will not be as wonderful as it could be, but a change of scenery and escaping the house rehabbing, will do me good. 

TAKE CARE my Friends, and STAY SAFE! Sending a virtual hug to you all...

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Hi All,

Once again it is time for another IWSG post. Thanks to Alex, we all get to meet once a month and share our insecurities. Please drop by his blog to sign up and JOIN OUR GROUP! 

I hope and pray all of you are healthy and well. In today's pressing times, we are all under a great deal of stress and anxiety. But how do we cope with it all? Trying to function in a world gone "WILD" is not an easy task. So many of us are reclusing, others are ignoring the situation and living their lives as if nothing is wrong. But sadly, life's situations are taking its toll. How on earth can any creative person keep up their momentum? 

Many of us are using other creative outlets which really does help. Cooking and baking have skyrocketed since March. I know I am still having a hard time trying to find basic baking essentials. Home projects are keeping many of us sane and busy. I should know. LOL, rehabbing a 1915 Craftsman home is a neverending battle. But what about staying focused on our writing? For me, I have definitely been affected by the times we live in, and my writing certainly has been on hold. LIFE is so crazy for many of us right now. But the funny thing is, I have started writing again. Not a lot, a few pages here and there, but I am writing! For which, I am very thankful. I have been on hiatus for so long with my WIP and it is taking me so much time just to finish up the last few chapters. I keep asking myself why? I wrote the first draft in about six months. After I had an editor look at it, her suggestions were, "Add more. I want to see more of everything and finish the story." I had thought it was finished, but she wanted me to write about Mommy Kay's complete life. Not just her life from the 50s-70s. 

The story is written from the POV of her daughter. Since this is, in reality, Kim's story, I have to include Kim's life and how it was affected by her mother. I realized this aspect of the story is far different from the zany and often insane world she grew up in with Mommy Kay. Now the story focuses on her marriages, child, and her work. A far cry from most of the book. How do I keep this section as exciting as the rest of the book? Will these final chapters drag down the story? I am honestly anxious and worried about it. There are a few MK situations woven into these chapters, but the focus has definitely shifted. This is my answer to why I have been procrastinating for so long. But how do I do it? All writers feel that parts of their manuscripts fall flat. And in fiction, I feel it is much easier to overcome these obstacles. But in non-fiction, how can you achieve this? You are working with a specific person's life. This is the question I ask all of you, non-fiction writers... Any suggestions? I could use some help on this one. 

I am hoping to wrap this up within the next couple of weeks if I can. If not, my writing goes back on hold. Another one of life's interventions. I have to return to Florida. I sold my condo and it needs to be cleared out. COVID is so bad there, I am freaking out about it. But I need to do this. Prayers and positive vibes would be greatly appreciated. Once I am safely at home again, I will breath easier.

Keep safe and healthy my friends. My prayers and good thoughts are always with you.

Thursday, July 2, 2020


Hi All,

SO sorry for missing the post yesterday. I COMPLETELY spaced it. Ugh. With all that is going on in the world and with my house, it is no wonder.

I wish you all a WONDERFUL, SAFE, AND HAPPY Month and Fourth of July! With all the parties going on, PLEASE play safely... this virus is OUT OF CONTROL. If anything is stressing me out at all this month, it is that. WORRYING about all of us!


Wednesday, June 3, 2020


Hi All,

I hope everyone is doing well and safe!

Once again it is time for another IWSG post. Thanks to Alex, we all get to meet once a month and share our insecurities. Please drop by his blog to sign up and JOIN OUR GROUP! 

Thank God we are all here to spend another month together. Now that the country is slowly opening, I hope and pray we still remain well. I must admit it scares me, but life must persevere and we must retain a new and safer way to live. I have begun to socialize with some friends and neighbors. It is time. As long as we all take precautions, there is no reason why we can't socialize safely. I know the numbers will go up, but we can't stay at home forever. I have altered my lifestyle to stay safe and hopefully, within the year we will have more ammunition against this killer disease.

I woke up this morning somewhat renewed, surprising after an intense thunderstorm ragging through the night, freaking out my poor pup. But when I stepped outside and into my side garden, I didn't see fallen branches and puddles of water, I saw some of the most beautiful peonies blooming. Mother nature is truly amazing.

Some news on the writing front, I am happy to say that I did a final edit on my second novel. I had put it away for a few years but this will be the last tweaking; it is as clean as it will get. I already submitted it to a publisher, so we shall see what happens. I plan on querying it as well, hoping to nab a really good agent. As for Mommy Kay, I will be writing the last few chapters this week. I am pumped and ready thanks to the glorious flowers and the rebirth of nature. After two months of life's anxieties, it really is time for me to move ahead. We all need too, especially with what is happening in our country. We must keep positive and protect each other. Kindness and love can be a lot more powerful than evil and hate.

I hope you are all well and here's a pic of my peonies to brighten your day...sending you all a huge virtual hug!


Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Hi All,

I hope everyone is doing well and safe!

It is time for another IWSG post. Thanks to Alex, we all get to meet once a month and share our insecurities. Please drop by his blog to sign up and JOIN OUR GROUP! 

This month, in particular, has all of us living very different lives from a few months ago. Thankfully, I made it back to my home in NW IL. Staying safe at home here is much easier than it was in Orlando. Now living miles away from the Chicago crowds, I feel very safe in my little haven. People here understand the urgency to keep social distancing, YET, we still talk and share our daily lives. One can still social distance and have a comfortable social life. With the lovely warmer weather, I spend much of my time on my front porch. It is wonderful. The stress of the daily headlines still persist, but the anxiety I have felt for the past month has now subsided to a normal level. My advice is to spend as much time outdoors as you can. It is wonderfully therapeutic. My gardens are finally taking shape after hours and weeks of planting and replanting. I have forgotten how time-consuming gardening is, but it relieves so much tension and gets our bodies moving once more. My time in Florida was spent on a couch and watching TV twelve hours a day. Not good.

These trying times have also made my writing almost non-existent. I had done so well for a while, but this pandemic has stifled any creativity in me...until now. If you feel trapped and can't focus on your writing, DON'T feel bad or beat yourself up. Find another creative outlet...I found gardening. Eventually, you will get back to your writing because your stress and anxiety levels created by our troubled times will slowly dissipate. 

Once I finish planting the remaining shrubs and trees, I will get back to writing. I actually did start re-reading my current WIP to get back into my story so that I can finally finish it. I also began reading my previous novel. It has been a few years and I decided it was time to start the query process again. This year I had purchased GRAMMERLY... it is a wonderful program to catch those pesky typos and other writing issues. So, I decided to download this work chapter-by-chapter... I was ASTONISHED how many typos it caught...I had five CP's edit it, as well as the twenty-plus times I had read through it. This program is totally worth the investment. I needed this. Try reading you previous works, it's working for me to forget the current situation for a while and write. 

Stay well, my friends, and keep your loved ones close. Social media is very helpful in this department. If you feel overwhelmed, take a walk, even if it's just around the block. It will clear your mind.

We all have to try and keep our sense of humor and I am VERY GRATEFUL to all of you posting funny pics and anecdotes on Facebook. They are definitely helping me, and I am sure others, too.

Stay safe. Keep in touch. WE need each other.

Sending you all TONS OF VIRTUAL HUGS!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Hi All,

It is already the first Wednesday of the month! I am glad I realized it before the day was out...
It is time for another IWSG post. Thanks to Alex, we all get to meet once a month and share our insecurities. Please drop by his blog to sign up and JOIN OUR GROUP! 

This month in particular has all of us anxious...

I am hoping and praying everyone is well during this crisis. Sadly, at this time we are all sharing the same insecurity. But we must all remember that we must not panic and just take it one day at a time. We all know what to do to stay safe, but there are those people who think they are immune and care more about their own agendas than staying home like the rest of us. We must pray for these people because these are the people that will be spreading this horrific virus.

I am proud of our smaller community(Lake Buena Vista) in Orlando. People here are staying home and leaving only for the necessities. Vineland Avenue, which is usually bumper to bumper with Premium Outlet shoppers and families going to Disney, is now empty. I see only the occasional walker or jogger, keeper their distances from one another and me. The grocery stores are complying and keeping customers the proper distance and disinfecting the carts. Overall, I feel somewhat safe. I have never washed my hands so much, but if it will save my life, I will continue to do so.

I am anxious about one thing though. This virus is keeping me here in Orlando. I had come down for a much-needed vacation after finishing my kitchen remodel in my new house up in NW Illinois. I arrived on March 3rd ready for a few fun months of Disney, Universal, and Sea World. I honestly had no idea how bad this virus would become, or I would have never left. A week or so later, all the Orlando parks closed. Now I am stuck. Not sure when I will be able to travel north again. Almost all the states have restrictions, and I would have to travel through five states to get home. 

Since we are all writers, we are comfortable staying home for days at a time, but this is very different. I am a social person and not being able to visit friends or go out for meals is certainly depressing me. There are only so many movies and shows I can watch before I am ready to scream...and trust me, I have. It does if you feel the need...let it rip! Lol

We all have to try and keep our sense of humor and I am VERY GRATEFUL to all of you posting funny pics and anecdotes on Facebook. They are definitely helping me, and I am sure others, too.

Stay safe my friends. Keep in touch. WE need each other now more than ever.

Sending you all TONS OF VIRTUAL HUGS!

Sunday, February 16, 2020


Hi All,

Sorry, I have been so scarce, but the new year started off bumpy for me. As most of you know, I went in for a basal cell removal in the first week of January. Sadly the cell was much bigger than expected. They took out a rather large chunk from the right side of my nose. Needless to say, the swelling and pain were unbearable at times, but thankfully I managed to persevere I always do. lol The swelling is finally coming down, but now the scar is more prevalent than ever. Harry Potter has nothing on me. LOL... I just wish mine was on my forehead too, instead of front and center on my nose. The scar is the full length from the top of my bridge to the tip. Not pretty. I am hoping with time and the scar cream it will diminish. Time will tell. If all fails, I will need laser or reconstructive surgery. Let us hope and prayer it fades.

I thought I would give you an update on my situation before getting to the real reason why I am posting.

As you can see from the title I had another Earthly Angel encounter! It has been quite a while and although I haven't posted any stories, I am hoping you have encountered an EA in your lives.

This story begins as yet another friend of mine had lost something precious to them. This time a wallet (last time it was a purse). My friend was clearing out his storage unit and haphazardly flung his coat and his wallet fell out. I had no idea of this until I received a phone call from a stranger in Chicago looking for my friend (apparently my number was in there). He asked me how he could get in touch with my friend. Stephen was so incredibly sweet. He was so concerned about my friend losing his wallet, he could only think of getting in touch with my friend as soon as possible. 

As soon as I finished talking with Stephen, I called my friend. He was on the road moving three hours outside of Chicago and was more than halfway to his destination. He realized he lost his wallet only minutes before I phoned him. He was running low on gas and pulled into a gas station. Realizing it was missing, he was just about to go into a panic. Thankfully I calmed him immediately with the good news. 

I phoned Stephen back. We chatted for a while and I realized he was an EA. He wanted nothing but to help. My friend was willing to head back to Chicago to pick up his wallet, but Stephen insisted he would send it out special delivery the following day. Since it was after five on Sunday, he waited until Monday morning. My friend insisted on giving him a gift card or something for his kindness, but he downright refused. He kept saying it was no inconvenience at all and he knew how it felt to lose a wallet because he lost his last year and sadly his wasn't returned. 

Like clockwork, my friend's wallet was returned to him. Not only was everything intact, but he didn't even use the money inside to send the wallet ... he paid the postage out of his own pocket! How honorable is that? 

Naturally, my friend sent him the postage back and insisted on sending him a gift card for him and his wife to have dinner. I texted Stephen that his package would arrive, and he was not all happy. He really didn't want anything for his kindness. But, my friend is kind, too, and once I explained that to Stephen, he agreed on enjoying a meal as a thank you for his good deed.

Imagine...even in a big city like Chicago, there are Earthly Angels around. Rember this when traveling through big cities. Not all city people are ruthless and unkind. There are EA's EVERYWHERE!!! And it was my pleasure to post about Stephen today. 

Thank you, Stephen. May you remain as kind as you are and continue to help others who need your help. It is a wonderful gift to be an EA...

I hope I find all of you well and in good health. I am finally relaxing and enjoying my new kitchen! is finally done! I can cook and bake again. Although it was stressful, the end result is a beautiful, Italian, Tuscan-like kitchen... Here are a few pics...

 I just love the fireclay farmhouse sink! 

I am also enjoying the mudroom. With all the snow we've been having it's great not to have to track Hamlet through the front with his wet paws.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020




It's 2020! WOW! I still can't believe it! Wasn't it only "yesterday" we were doing the "Y2K" thing and now it's TWENTY years later. We all have cell phones, computers, and every new gadget created in this new century. But, we still have our old anxieties lurking in the background and we drag them into each new year and decade. I say..."LET'S leave THEM in the PAST and start fresh. A new year and a new decade...Yay! What do you say? Agreed? You, bet!

First, the one thing I don't want to forget about is the wonderful people behind the IWSG! It's bigger and better than ever. Who would have ever imagined the success of this group thanks to the founder and our friend,! here! This organization has catapulted into far more than any of us would have ever imagined. 

For those of you who have not joined, please do by stopping by Alex's blog and signing up right away...we need you! We can ALL use good advice and we all have some to give to others who are in need. I know I am thrilled and honored to be apart of it. 

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday. For me, well, it was interesting, to say the least. I traveled for three days in a fifteen-foot truck from Florida to my new country home in Galena, IL. When I arrived the place was covered in construction dust... and to top that, my kitchen was completely ripped out and had NO WALLS. I FREAKED...of course... who wouldn't? So now I was faced with only three weeks until Christmas and would be living in barely livable space. 

After my mini-breakdown, I dug in and started to clean. In four days, I managed to create a somewhat inhabitable place. Over the past five weeks, the house is now set, EXCEPT for the kitchen. I am staying here until it is done! Hopefully in a few more weeks. I finally have walls. LOL.

Writing took a back seat. I had planned to come to my new country haven and finish the remaining chapter of MK. HA! Talk about anxiety. I could barely breathe. Also, looming over me is the prospect of my basal cell removal surgery scheduled for tomorrow (just a small spot, pre-cancer, nothing to worry about...I hope and pray. That's what the doctor told me, anyway). On the plus side, I need to rest and not do anything strenuous to mar my face, SO,  now I have two weeks of post-op to chain myself to my computer and FINISH my editing. I will certainly do my best to IGNORE the construction dust, the noise from the kitchen floor install, cabinet install, etc. This is going to be quite a task for me... I may need to be drugged. LOL. I would appreciate some good vibes and prayers at this time for keeping my sanity and for the surgery. I am hoping once I immerse back into my manuscript, I will block out the rest. One can hope.

I will also be visiting your blogs as much as possible after every few hours of work. Although I am editing, I also have to write about five more chapters... no, I still haven't written them yet, but now I will.

Thanks for all your support and friendship throughout the years. Even though many of us have cut down on our blogging to a bare minimum, I still know we all love to keep in touch with our blogger buddies and wish them the best in their writing journeys and in their personal lives. I may disappear for a while, but the community is always in my thoughts and prayers. And...I always return. LOL

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE, and may 2020 be a HAPPY AND HEALTHY year for all of us!