Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Magic

Oh, yeah. It's that time of year again. Pumpkin time--don't you just love them? I do. I really do.

In the spring I planted a few hills of pumpkins. Some winter squash. A couple of gourds. Then, I ignored that garden. No weeding. Watering only during the big heat wave. I didn't even search beneath the big leaves to see what grew.

Now, though, I see the magic. A few seeds. Some sun. Time. And...magic.

My plan? To put the pumpkins at the end of our driveway, with a small sign. An invitation to enjoy the magic.

Wishing you a peaceful day.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Between Land

Between books. A weird place to be, really. Missing the characters in my mind and heart who I've come to know and love. Really, it's kind of lonely around the place now.

So, I'm thinking about the next book. Just thinking at this point. It'll be different from the last book but there'll be a love story.

Only this time, no duck. That's right, I'm leaving the duck out of the next book. I mean, there can't be a duck in every book, right?

I don't think I'll begin writing until I get the pre-winter farm chores squared away. Then, with long stretches of cooler weather and all my chores done, I'll be able to concentrate on writing. I won't feel guilty for falling into a different world when this one screams for attention. But until then, I'm in the strange between-books place.

What about you? What's going on with you?

Wishing you a peaceful day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mrs. Fix-It

I've got a date with a ceiling hole today so I'm going to dash. I hope you have a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Whole Lotta Eatin'

The end of summer chores are mind-boggling here on the farm.

Always something to do.

And, always something pretty to appreciate.

The grapes are amazing.

Truly incredible!

More on that another time.

Now, I'm showing you what's been filling the kitchen.

Imagine some mouthwatering aromas, okay?

Applesauce. Apple butter. Apple pie filling.

And some random pickles!


When we bought the farm, we planted a small orchard.

It's finally bearing bushels of fruit.


The tomatoes keep coming.

The last of the blueberries became jam.

Wishing you a peaceful day. Me? I'm going to get some writing done. Look at the hole where the bathroom fan and light should be. Maybe I'll figure that out. Or, I could just take a walk through the forest. It's a blustery day, the perfect time for forest walking.

Who am I kidding? Any day is a good one for a walk in the forest.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Good Monday morning, friends. I hope you had a pleasant weekend. Mine? Interesting, but I'm not going to share. I'm just going to say that today I'm going to breathe. Enjoy the warm fall day. Go for a walk. Write. Bake something just for fun. And breathe. Yeah, lots of that.

One flower. So pretty, isn't it?

Stretching toward the sky.

I love it.

Now, don't you just wish your bathroom ceiling could look like this?

Short story?
A leak.
Then, angry.

Yes, that is a kitchen towel stapled to the ceiling.
You know, I never thought I'd say that.
Live and learn.
And breathe.

I hope you have a peaceful Monday. As I said, I've got lots of plans. I'm going to ignore the ceiling today. It'll be there tomorrow. Today, just breathing. Peace. Relaxation. No ceiling holes or leaks.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Checking In, it's Thursday already, isn't it? How did that happen?

First, thanks for all the kind emails. I didn't mean to worry anyone. Honestly, the days just got away from me. I'm fine. Just busy.

I've got a ton of farm stuff to square away before the cold weather hits in earnest. My to-do list is longer than my arm! I've been painting the deck, pulling out the veggie gardens and mowing. And mowing. And mowing!

And, the canning. Oy, the canning... Tomatoes and apples just won't quit. I'll be grateful come winter but now I'm just sick and tired of canning. Don't get me wrong--I'm grateful for the produce but I wish it would can itself.

Polishing the book up, tweaking it and making it ready to go out into the world. I really hope there's a way to read the pages from heaven. I really do.

So, that's it from here. Just muddling along, not really paying attention to the days but focusing instead on what's right in front of me. It is working but I'm sorry if I've worried anyone. I'm still here!

Wishing you a peaceful day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Catching up around the farm after finishing one book but before falling into the next one is in full swing. I'm vacuuming--yay!--and doing a few odds and ends.

And today, just because I like you an awful lot, I'm going to share a tip. Really, a handy-woman's tip. Something I learned, something I think you might need to someday know, too.

See this? It's a product called Gorilla Glue. That's right. Gorilla Glue.

Now, if you're a petite woman like me, you might sometime need to repair something above your head. And, if you do, you'll hold the handy-dandy Gorilla Glue so the glue squirts out of the tip toward you because, hey, no one glues up, do they? Of course not. Glueing down, that's the ticket.

When you tackle this overhead glue repair project, you could possibly be wearing a favorite v-neck shirt. Green, maybe. Olive green, exactly. Perhaps.

So you're overhead glueing down toward your favorite olive green v-neck shirt, right? Do you see it? In your head, do you really see the whole thing?

Okay. Then, you can see how a blob of Gorilla Glue might splop (yes, that's a savvy glue word) down at you, into your shirt and onto your...ah, assets.

Let me spell it out for you.

If you're not careful with this Gorilla Glue stuff, you could glue your boob to the inside of your favorite shirt. And no, I'm not kidding.

Consider this one of those pay it forward things. And, be damn careful with that stupid glue, okay?

Have a peaceful day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I've assumed so many new hats here. It's just crazy. Some new jobs I'm getting down without too much trouble. Others? Oy...

Recently, the vacuum decided it wasn't going to operate correctly. So, I grabbed a screwdriver and took that sucker apart. Four times. Every time, I thought I had it fixed. Uh, no. Not quite. So, I took it apart the fifth time and thought for sure I'd figured it out.

I even told a dear friend, "It took me five times but I finally got it right! Yay!"

Yeah. Yippee.

Tried it out yesterday afternoon and it's true, the vacuum finally did suck. In fact, it sucked really well.

But it also spat.

That's right. There was sucking. And, there was spitting. Lots of it. Big, hairy, dusty spitting.


Yes, I'm trying to keep the blog G-rated. In real life, I swore in four languages. Vividly. I'm pretty shocked none of you heard me, actually.

So, I took it apart for the sixth time. Yes. The sixth time.

You know how soldiers have to disassemble and reassemble their weapons against a stopwatch? I'm pretty sure I can do that with this vacuum.

The sixth time really was the charm. Now there's just sucking. No spitting. And, I'm happy.

My sweet man would've fixed the vacuum on the first try. I have no doubt whatsoever he could've done it in a snap. He could fix or build anything. Anything.

Thank God I hovered over his shoulder and can find my way around a toolbox. It took me much longer almost than my patience could stand, but I didn't give up. I admit, round number three almost saw the vacuum fly but...I restrained myself.

So pleased I've figured this out. And now that the book is done, I've got miles to put on that vacuum.

What's new in your world? Anything you'd care to share?

I wish you a peaceful day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Help Wanted

Ho finito.

I'm finished.

Yes, it's true. I'm finished. The book is done and I'm tickled. Woo hoo!

What a journey this book has been. I wondered whether I'd be able to do it without my sweet man sitting within sight while I put fingers to keyboard. I won't lie; it wasn't easy. But I did it. And, I'm so glad. I have no doubt I had him here every step of the way. He's just, as my old friend Ray recently said, taken a seat with a better view. I love that thought.

Thanks for all your kindness and support. You can't imagine how many times your faith in me has kept me moving forward. You're all amazing!

So, now I'll catch up on life. There's a stack of unopened mail. A pile of packages the FedEx and UPS guys have left. I've hauled them inside but they are in a heap near the back door. The house? Oh, Lordy, the dust bunnies are huge. They could start a sorority and take over the place! Definitely time to get cracking on catching up. And, everyone who's left messages on the answering machine? You're on my to-do list, so hang on, okay?

First, I need to ask for help. Not easy for me to do, but I need a hand. Or maybe two. More specifically, I need eyes. I'd like a set of eyes to give the first few chapters a read through, just to maybe catch anything I've missed. If you think you might be willing to do this, I'd sincerely appreciate the help. Just email me and I'll contact you with the details. Thank you!

Now, off to tackle the mail. And the dust bunnies. And, maybe, to make some cookies for a very special person.

What about you? What's on your to-do list?

Wishing you a peaceful Tuesday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

So Close

You know what I'm chasing down, don't you? I'm close, so very, very close that it's practically maddening.

But let's not discuss it. I'm so sick and tired of it that I totally don't want to talk about it. Vito always said that was the best "sign" and once I'd hit the I-can't-stand-this wall I was closing in on the elusive, best two writing words.

Anyhow, this afternoon I plan to do some mowing. No one talks about it, but after a huge round of water and flooding there are unsavory remnants of the storm. First, huge, thick grass. And--dare I say it?--snakes. That's right. Snakes. Big ones that come with the water flooding the land. BLECH!! So I'm hoping the thick grass is dry enough to mow it close, which I'm hoping will keep the snakes out of our yard. The houses near the creek really are having issues with them. Up here, not so much, but I'm not taking any chances.

What about you? What's on your agenda for this lovely Monday morning? Whatever you're doing, I hope you have a peaceful day.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Remember

Forever in our hearts.

God Bless America.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


My gratitude list is long. Really, I'm blessed. Today? I'm very grateful for my rain boots. Really. In upstate New York they're a necessity. And I don't see that not being the trend for a while, so I'm glad these boots are so comfy.

Today, more cleanup. And squeezing in some hours for writing. Then, salvaging anything I can from the gardens--they're underwater so that makes harvesting a challenge. Hoping to get some sewing done, too.

Oh, yes. The to-do list is massive this Saturday. What about you? What's on your agenda?

Wishing you a peaceful day.

Friday, September 09, 2011

One Thousand

Yes, it's true. This is my one-thousandth blog post.

So much has happened in these past years. So many changes. I could sit here and cry over the sad days, but I'm not going to do that. It's much easier to remember the good days, and smile.

Of course, I'd love it if my wonderful husband could be sitting right here beside me as I type these words. You must know it's my greatest wish, to be with him. But I believe he's with me, and he knows what I'm doing. He somehow sees I'm still here. That I'm doing all we discussed. I'm keeping to the plans we made together. He knows these things--and so much more.

Recently an old friend reminded me that Vito hasn't left my side. He's just taken a seat with a better view. I love that!

Thank you all for making this journey with me. For sticking with me through the triumphs and sad days. For letting me know I'm not alone on this path. I am grateful.

It's with a full heart that I share this milestone with you, this one-thousandth post. I have no idea where the days to the next milestone post will take me. All I know is that today, from the farm and from my heart, I'm glad you're sharing this moment. And, from this chair and from another with a better view, we welcome you again to another day on the farm.

I wish you a peacful Friday.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Water Horror

Nerves are frayed here. Tensions run high.

I'm ready to smack someone. Really, my usually peaceful personality is being tested. Not by Mother Nature, although I'm not thrilled by the antics she's enjoying. No, I'm agitated by a comment someone made. The gist of it? "Why let that upset you. It's not your house. Not your relatives. Why do you care?"

Yeah, I'm seeing red. I'm not a door-slammer but I actually did that this morning. I pretty much slammed the door in someone's face. I couldn't deal with one more minute of the self-centered, who-cares-about-anyone-else-I'm-okay crap.

Thanks for letting me get that off my mind. I'm still annoyed but now at least I've told someone. Doesn't it feel better sometimes to share, even if it's just to vent? Thank you for listening!

Dru asked if the tornado hit here. Thankfully, it didn't, although the spot it hit on the Thruway is very close to the farm. I'm really glad that one missed us!

This is the scene here this morning. State of emergency in the county. No travel. Lots of power off. Lots of phones not working. And water everywhere. Bridges, homes, businesses...washed out. Roads crumbled by the water. Colleges and schools closed. Trees down everywhere. And, it's cool. That means homes where water has hit the furnace or load center, there's no heat. For most of us, it's not crucial. But there are lots of elderly residents who are freezing.

I heard of one 84-year-old widow who lost everything. She's got the clothes on her back. No family. Friends? Pretty much in the same boat or gone to their reward already. She's got no one. Nothing. All those years, and this?

My heart is breaking. It's no wonder I slammed a door. How can anyone just not get the magnitude of the loss? And even if it's not yours personally, it's ours. Yes, ours. The human race--we're all in this together, so the stories of loss and suffering belong to all of us. I feel it. And, I know I can't be the only one who does.

The meandering creek.

No longer meandering.

All night long, the crashing as trees, boulders, parts of buildings

and even dead animals washed through. Awful. Really, just awful.

It' s just a matter of time before those barns are gone.

Pieces have already washed away.

One has a beautiful slate roof.

It proudly proclaims the year it was built.


Aren't you grateful this isn't your home? I know I am. But...
The suffering and loss this photo conveys belongs to all of us.
All of us.

I can't distance myself from the heartbreak what's going on around me is causing. I just can't.

No more photos. They're just too sad.

I hope that wherever you are, you're safe and dry.
I wish you a peaceful Thursday.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Them's Soggy Words!

It's raining; it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he couldn't get up in the morning.

I hate to be a weather reporter here, but it's a big story in Upstate New York. It's raining--hard--which is something this already flooded area definitely does not need.

Yesterday I looked at the creek across the street. It's calmed down some but isn't back into its banks yet. There's still water in yards, garages and even flowing straight through a family's barn. Straight through. As in it's made a river through their building.

Now, more rain. Heavy. And we're already very splishy and splashy here. Sheesh.

You know what I'll be doing today, don't you? That's right. It's all about the book here this week. Yesterday I did manage to can tomatoes and make some applesauce (mostly because I'd filled one sink with tomatoes and apples!) but otherwise I kept my behind in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard. Today, more of the same.

Maria asked if I have a deadline in my head for finishing. I always do. And this book is about two weeks ahead of schedule because I've been so determined to make it work. I've just been single-minded about finishing it. I know I've got to do this, for so many reasons.

Maybe it's the old get back on the horse thing, I don't know. I'm just sure that my getting through what's going on in my life includes my successfully completing this book. Actually, I usually work much more quickly. I've given myself permission to meander a bit on this, recognizing I'm grieving so the added pressure of the "normal" deadline shouldn't apply. This book is longer than any other I've written, too, so I've added a bit for that. Still, I hoped to be done by October 1st but plan to be writing "The End" by this time next week. Fingers crossed!

I hope I'm not boring the heck out of you with all this book talk. I don't mean to. It's front and center in my head now and, thankfully, pushes even the sound of heavy falling rain to the background.

What's new in your world? Whatever you're doing, I hope you're staying dry. Have a peaceful day!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Crazy Writing Week

Every writer has them, the crazy writing weeks where the end of the book is in sight and the huge motivating factor is finishing the book. That's right, all I can think about is finishing the book.




So close, so very close...yet, thousands of words away. Scenes to write. Tangles to unsnarl. Arguements to solve. Love to make. Oh, yes, the end is close.

That's my week. What about you?

Monday, September 05, 2011

From the Farm

Just going to enjoy Labor Day quietly here on the farm. Some sewing. Probably canning tomatoes and applesauce. Making eggplant for dinner and the freezer. Working on the book. Staying out of the garden because it's raining here again.

All in all, a leisurely day. What about you? Any plans?

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Do You See...

what I see?

Saturday, September 03, 2011


Just a short note this morning. It's early, but I'm already on the go. Here on the farm, it's going to be a very busy day. Harvesting. Canning. Eggplant parm for dinner, as well as a few servings for the freezer. Trimming and weeding in the vineyard. Housekeeping...oh, washing floors and chasing dust bunnies.

And the book. Working on the book. Our heroine has herself truly tangled--in more ways than one!--in the current chapter. Poor thing; her already upside-down life is about to get even more harried. Me? I'm loving giving her a healthy dose of aggravation right about now. Life has bumps, so she's busy bumping along.

First, to dig out a sweatshirt. Not for her. For me. Because you know what? There's a definite chill in the air this morning. Brr!

Wishing you a peaceful day.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday's This and That

What a week.

According to the local news there are still in excess of ten thousand homes without power. What a nightmare. I've seen crews from many states (thank you Illinois, Wisconsin and Florida--you guys are like a small electrical army!) and everyone's working hard to clean up.

The experience really is an attention-grabber, on so many levels. One of the barns leaked, big time, but there's no way I can wring my hands and moan over it. Other people lost their entire homes. Still others, their lives. What's a barn by comparison? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I've been busy cleaning up the grounds. The gardens were underwater but are beginning to dry out. Trees went down. Some siding from one of the buildings flew off but I've got it on the to-do fixit list. Windows are repaired already, so I'm making progress.

Yesterday? Oh. My. Goodness. Let's just say I won't buy canned tomatoes for a long, long, long time.

And amidst it all, I've managed to get a good amount of writing done. The book is probably two-thirds done, which really makes me feel good. It's been a great leap of faith for me to sit down and write this book. The sweet angel on my shoulder motivates me to finish. I know the end will be bittersweet. I'm still keeping it in sight, though.

What about you? How was your week? And do you have any plans for the long weekend?

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a peaceful day!

PS I'm over at The Lark Journals today. Sharing a secret and something beautiful!

Thursday, September 01, 2011


Yesterday I received a wonderful gift. It warmed my heart. Soothed my soul. Brought peace. Laughter. Contentment.

Hmm? What did I get? Something that is so important.

Friendship. That's right. I was blessed by the gift of friendship.

A friend spent the day with me. We took care of some business. She supported me during a trying experience. She listened. We laughed. We cried. We spent time together, and it was exactly what I needed. Her kindness, attention and compassion lifted me high.

I think we sometimes forget how precious the gift of friendship can be. We take our friends for granted, assume they somehow know what we think and how we feel. To a point, it's true that a dear friend knows the connection is always in place. But, it never hurts to bring the gift of friendship front and center.

I am grateful for this wonderful woman and the day we spent together. The sweetness of the afternoon will linger in my mind and heart for a long, long time.

And, did I tell you she fed me cake for lunch? Now that's a true friend!

What's new in your world? Thanks for spending a few minutes with me today. I'm wishing you a peaceful day!