Friday, August 26, 2022

Where Did Summer Go?

 I know technically summer isn't over, but hey, the kids are back in school. To me, that always meant summer was over. It used to be they went back after Labor Day. It seems they go back earlier every year. 

Why should that bother me? I mean, I don't have school-age kids, heck, I only have two school-age grandkids. 

Yet for some reason I feel sad about it every year. Maybe it's because I remember my own going back. I hated getting back to the routine of bedtime earlier, especially as it was still light outside. All summer they got to stay up late, played outside until 9:00 and sometimes later. Getting them to settle down was no easy task, but that wasn't the only reason. Nope, it was fun letting them stay up late and watching them play outside. I loved it. 

And, of course, I knew what was to come. My least favorite time of year, my least favorite season. I was okay until January. It wasn't terribly cold in November and December (at least not usually, although there were a few years). I don't mind the snow. I actually think it's pretty. I just don't like driving in it.  Although most times, the road crews are pretty good about keeping it clear. But those big snowfalls when you can't even get out of the garage without shoveling, well, suffice it to say, I'm not crazy about them. 

There was a time, in my younger years, I actually loved snowstorms. Loved going out and shoveling and playing with the kids building snowmen and making snow angels. But those days are long past. These old bones have trouble shoveling nowadays. Praise God, I have a nephew who does it for a living, and the great guy that he takes mercy on me and plows our drive. 

I have no desire to flee south for the winter, even if I could afford it. Nope, I love Ohio, love being near my family especially. So, I'll live with it and look forward to next spring and summer. At my age the time goes pretty quickly, so it'll be here before I know it. Until then, I'll continue to wonder, where did summer go?

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Things My Mother Never Taught Me by Roseanne Dowell


Dedicated to my mother who passed away on Nov. 22, 1996

My mother never taught me about the thrill of a first kiss or the hurt of that first breakup. She never told me about the love between a man and a woman and the joy of standing at the altar, vowing before God, family, and friends to love him forever.
My mother never taught me about the emotions of holding my newborn child in my arms for the first time or the feeling of responsibility for their lives. She never told me about the overwhelming sense of awe I'd feel knowing that this child came from within me. That I created the life, nourished it for nine long months, and now had to nourish and care for it in the real world. She never taught me I'd feel this amazing sense of awe with each child.
My mother never taught me the feeling of swelled pride at watching my children take their first steps or hearing their first words.
She never taught me about the combination of pain and pride I would feel as I watched my children waltz off to school looking so grown up and yet so young. So independent. She never told me how I’d feel when they came home and said “But Miss so and so said it was better to do it this way.” and the realization that I was no longer the sole influence in their life.
My mother never taught me about the fear of having a child in the hospital undergoing tests by a neurologist after a normal eye exam discovered a problem or sitting in an emergency room while your child undergoes an emergency appendectomy. She never told me how difficult it would be to watch your children suffer through typical childhood illnesses, stitches, or broken bones.
She never taught me about the fear of letting your children go down the street to play or crossing the street for the first time by themselves.
My mother never taught me about dealing with my daughter’s first crush and heartbreak and lost love. She never told me how hard it would be to watch my children struggle to get good grades or make the team or try to fit in.
She never taught me about the pride of watching my child march down the auditorium to receive their diploma or hearing about their first job. My mother never told me of the deep fear I’d experience when they learned to drive or getting that phone call that told me they had an accident.
My mother never taught me of the excitement of their engagement and the trials of planning a wedding. She never told me of the happiness and pride I’d feel watching them walk down the aisle to stand beside the one they would vow to spend their life with or the worry that this child was now totally independent of you.
She never taught me of the sense of wonder I’d feel holding my newborn grandchildren for the first time.
She never explained that these feelings of worry and concern never go away when my children grew up. My mother didn't tell me the worries would only strengthen as my children married and had children of their own. That I’d have more to love and worry about.
She never told me how it feels to be a mother. She never told me about the joy, pain, and overwhelming awe of being a mother and grandmother. I now know why my mother never taught me these things. Because these things have to be experienced to understand the wonderful sense of being a mother.

But the biggest thing my mother never taught me was how I’d feel when she was no longer here to talk with, to share my feelings with after she passed from this world. She never taught me how to deal with the sense of loss at losing a loved one or the pain deep within that I would carry through the rest of my days. She never told me how much I’d miss her.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

It's been a long time.

 I lost track of time. I could have sworn I posted on this blog recently. Obviously not. I apologize to those of you following me. I just didn't realize it's been so long. 

So what have I been doing all this time? Honestly, nothing really exciting. Last year was mostly a loss because of Covid. You'd think I'd have been writing, and I've tried, honest I have. I have three stories started and each one has me blocked. I'm not sure which direction any of them are going and that's the main problem. 

I'm what they call a "seat of the pants writer". That means I don't plot out my books. I tried plotting one out once at the advice of another writer who spoke to a writing group I belonged to. What she said made perfect sense at the time. 

Unfortunately, I got a couple of chapters into the story, and bam, just like that, nothing would come. I didn't know how to get my heroine into the next situation. I think I didn't care for the situations I had plotted and that was a big problem. And I really didn't like the ending I'd created, so. there I was staring at a blank screen. Nothing came to me. I had blocked myself into situations I didn't really like and neither did my character. And let's face it, if your main character isn't happy, the author isn't happy. 

I was blocked on that story for two years. Every time I tried to write, the same thing happened, Nothing. So I set it aside until I forgot what I plotted. Finally, I opened it one day, and just like that, the ideas started flowing. I created a different ending and it didn't take me or my character long to get there. 

That's how I usually write and plotting is okay for some writers, but definitely not for me. I know the beginning of my stories and the end, how I get there - or I should say how my characters get there - is as much a surprise to me as it is to my readers. 

So, what's wrong with the stories I started? I don't have an ending on any of them so my characters don't know where to go.  I hope someday to finish them but for now, they sit with blank spaces. 

So since I haven't been writing, what have I been doing.  A lot of embroidery. I got a new embroidery machine and I love it. I've been making all kinds of things, especially Christmas gifts. I have a lot to make, so I start early, although I haven't started for this year yet.  

Last year, I made bowls and ornaments, and placemats.

Some for myself, some for everyone else. And the cutest snowmen. And then I made Easter gifts, beautiful crosses for my kids, little cute things for the grandkids, and great-grandkids. It keeps me busy and out of trouble. Recently I've been making bookmarks for my Bible Study Group and for Easter dinner at church,. Today, I'm actually working on baseballs for a dinner we're having at church tomorrow with a baseball theme. It's really been fun. Next month we're doing a Christmas in July dinner at church and yep, you guessed it, I'm making ornaments. I also made baby bibs for my granddaughter's first baby. 

Other than that, not much else, Oh yes, I was in the hospital with pneumonia last summer. It started out as a UTI but the doctor wouldn't see me until I had a Covid test, which took three days to come back, by then I was so sick I wanted to crawl in a hole. I begged the doc to see me since it was now Friday and I knew I couldn't go through the weekend without some kind of prescription. She finally agreed to see me and then made me wait in the waiting room for over an hour, Not one person came or went during that time, And when she finally called me back to the exam room, she poked my stomach, asked me a question and insisted I go to the emergency room, that I needed a Cat scan because I might have Diverticulitis, I didn't have one symptom of that. I knew I had a UTI, I've had them before. 

So they hooked me up to an IV and were getting me ready for the Cat scan when the emergency room doctor came in and asked what was going on. I explained I thought I had a UTI and he asked if I had any labs. Nope, I hadn't so he said we'd get those before they did a cat scan. Praise God, he did, because he came back with the results. A UTI just as I thought. He gave me a prescription and sent me home. 

Unfortunately, I was getting worse instead of better. So the next Tuesday, off I went back to the emergency room. And now I had pneumonia and was admitted. Probably got it because all I did was sleep the week before while waiting for the results from the Covid test and running a fever. I'm surprised I wasn't dehydrated, too. 

Anyway, after four days, I felt like my old self and they sent me home, for which I was very grateful. 

Now, I'm very happy that life is returning to normal. Masks are now optional (except for Medical facilities) and I take every opportunity not to wear one. 

Hopefully, I'll keep up my blog better now that I'm aware of how little I've posted. 

Happy Summer, everyone. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

February Half Over

Wow, here it is the 17th of February already. The month is going by quickly.  Seems the older I get the quicker the time goes by.
It's been a fairly decent month weather-wise. A few cold days, but mostly above normal temps, just like January.  I hope that means an early spring and not that winter is delayed.
The bad thing (in my opinion) thing about these warm temps is the flu seems to be worse this year. I think we need those cold temps to kill the germs. On the other hand different types of germs live in cold temps, so maybe it's a trade off.
So far this year, my husband and I have been blessed to escape the nasty bug. Not that the flu season is over by any means. There's still a long way to go.
It is nice, however to see the days becoming longer - I should say daylight, shouldn't I - the days are still only 24 hours long.  And it's really been nice to see a lot of sunshine this winter. Normally the days are dreary, sometimes to the point of having to keep the lights on all day.
Beginning March 8th, only a few weeks away, the time changes again and it'll be light even later. Can't say I mind. I just wish they'd leave it one way or other already.  I hate they keep changing it. Of course, if they leave it to daylight savings time, it's going to be dark in the morning longer. If they leave it the way it is, it'll be dark earlier in the evening during the summer months. I think I'd rather have it get dark earlier. It's bad enough it doesn't get light until almost 8 AM in the winter. I can't imagine it not getting light until almost 9.
I guess I don't have much to say about it. They've been talking about changing it for years and so far it hasn't happened. Probably never will.
Today is a bright sunny day, and I'm enjoying it. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 50 again. Last Friday, it barely made it to 17 for a high.  No wonder everyone is sick. Crazy roller coaster weather.
We'll take the good with the bad and suffer the frigid winters every so often or the snowier than normal winters. And yes, we'll enjoy the warmer than normal also. We have no choice.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Welcome, Rita Lee Chapman

Today, I'd like to introduce a guest author to my blog, Author, Rita Lee Chapman. I was privileged to interview her recently.

It's  my pleasure to interview Rita Lee Chapman. Thank you for joining us.  Would you please introduce yourself to my readers and share something about your life.

Thank you for having me on your Blog-spot, Roseanne.  I was born in the UK and moved to Australia in my early twenties.  Although I loved writing, it was not until I retired that I published my first book.  Since then I have written another five books; there are three in the Anna Davies Mystery Series and the others are completely different.

When did you write your first book and how did it come about?

When I retired I wanted to write the book I had always felt was within me.  But where to start?  When you can write about anything it is not easy to settle on a subject.  Then I remembered our holiday in Egypt – a mysterious land where anything was possible.  Where better to set a mystery?  And so Missing in Egypt was born.

Do you always write in the same genre or do you mix it up?

I write mysteries mainly, although some are romantic travel mysteries, others crime mysteries.   I have also written a book for horse lovers, from teenagers upwards, Winston – A Horse’s Tale.

When you write, do you start with an idea and sit down and let it evolve, or do you make notes and collect ideas on paper beforehand?.

Being a very organised , I would love to sit down and plot my books in advance!  Unfortunately, I can’t.  Sometimes I know the ending, sometimes I don’t.  As every writer will tell you, quite often the characters take over the writing and take the story in a completely different direction to the one you had in mind!  My latest book, The Poinciana Tree, started with the idea that the amazing Poinciana tree would make a splendid book cover.  I wrote the story from there.

Would you like to give us a short excerpt from one of your books?

Yes, I’d love to.  Here is the Prologue from The Poinciana Tree.

She looked out of the kitchen window at the spreading branches of the Poinciana Tree.   She gazed at the familiar limbs, dotted here and there with lichen, which formed a canopy over the grass.  She thought of the picnics she had enjoyed under its shade as a child and then, later, as a mother.  It was summer now and the tree was covered with the huge red flowers for which it was famous.  So beautiful.  It was a tree she had loved ever since she was a little girl – right up until that dreadful day.  Now it only reminded her of the things she most wanted to forget.  She let out a long, deep sigh and turned away.”

Who is your favourite character and why?

My favourite is Winston from Winston – A Horse’s Tale.  He tells the story himself.

Which of your books gave you the most pleasure to write?

Again, it was Winston – A Horse’s Tale because the story flowed so easily.

What is the best marketing tip you have received?

Write more books – particularly a series.

How would you describe yourself?

Determined and creative, in the face of a challenge. 

What do you do when you are not writing or reading?

I enjoy playing tennis, walking along our amazing beaches, swimming and entertaining.  My husband and I have made some great friends through our tennis club and we socialise regularly.

If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?

I love travelling and have been fortunate to have visited many countries, but there are always more you would like to explore.  Sicily and more Greek islands appeal at the moment.

If you have owned pets, do you have a funny story you would like to share with us?

The tap on the horse trough was always being left on by someone filling it up and then forgetting about it, so a sign was put above it, stating that it was not to be left unattended.  Every horse that came up for a drink stood and looked at that sign as if he was reading it!

What is the biggest factor for you when selecting a book to read?

The cover has to appeal – I don’t like dark covers.  Then I look at the blurb and read the first page to see if I like the writer’s style. 

Do you have your own website?

Yes!  Here you can learn more about my books, see photos of my latest travels and read an interview from writers of all genres.

Are you working on a new book at the moment?
No, The Poinciana Tree only came out in September and I’m busy promoting it.  I’m sure it won’t be long before I pick up my pen again (metaphorically speaking) especially if we have some wet weather.

Do you have any events or book promotions coming up that you would like to tell us about?

I have combined the Anna Davies Mystery Series into one ebook and it is on Kindle Unlimited for $3.99 until 11 April.  I would also like to mention that all of my books except the horse book come in a large print version as well.

Rita's Books


Friday, January 3, 2020

Twelve Days of Christmas

Well here it is January 3rd and many people have taken down their Christmas decorations and outdoor lights. Not me, I leave them up until January 7th the day after the Feast of the Epiphany, feast of the three kings or Magi. Whatever you want to call it. I do it because I celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. Yes, the 12 days of Christmas start with Christmas day and end January 5th, not the 12 days before Christmas that so many people, especially stores celebrate.
It always annoys me that people misrepresent these days. Not to the point of getting angry or anything, just because the season is lost.
It's sad to see all the colorful lights gone. Everyone is back to their busy life and Christmas suddenly seems a thing of the past. Even though only a week ago, it's seems so long ago. Gone are the Christmas Carols on the radio stations, I'd say Christmas movies, but Hallmark is still playing them, but all signs of Christmas are pretty much gone. Stores are putting out Valentine's Day decorations or spring merchandise. Don't look for a winter coat or clothes. All the spring finery is replacing them.
Okay, you can still find a few things on sale, but for the most part the turnover has begun. I was in a store yesterday where shelves of Christmas merchandise was cleared to make room for the next season.
I know Christmas merchandise is out before Halloween and people have grown tired of looking at it. Not me. I love it. but they could at least wait until Nov.1st to put it out. And can't they wait until January is over to put out the Spring merchandise?
As for me, I'll celebrate the 12 days of Christmas and light my lights and enjoy the decorations for four more days, then I'll sadly put everything away until next year and hate the blah - albeit clean. uncluttered- rooms.
Happy 12 Days of Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year

Well, the Christmas Holidays are over and done. It was a busy month with a Christmas Eve Dinner on the 15th, dinner with my sister in law and brother in law and of course, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
It was a busy, fun month. And now, here it is New Year's Eve. Many years ago, we went out on New Year's Eve to a restaurant for dinner, drinks after and often ended up at someone's home. Eventually, we decided it'd be more fun to go to someone's house.
I'm from a big family, 5 brothers and sisters, so needless to say, add in my parents, and we had enough for a party. Everyone brought food and whatever they wanted to drink.
Once we had kids, we included them and the party grew. And then the kids got married and we started getting together with them, at our house at first and then at one of theirs. Grandkids came along and the party grew more.
What fun and memories we made.

Now, hubby and I stay home. It's easier and the kids do their own thing. That's fine. While I enjoy getting together with them, I don't mind staying home. It's getting difficult for hubby with his COPD to go out much.

Funny, how quickly the years pass now. Seems like 2019 just started and here it is 2020. Oh, and does everyone remember 1999 and how worried everyone was about 2000 - that everything would crash. Here it is 20 years later and all is still well.

Wishing everyone a blessed and happy new year!