The Power of Books

I must be in a nostalgic mood this week. I did a post on toys and games from my childhood on Sunday and today my mind has drifted back to books that I loved when I was little. I had many favorites throughout my childhood, but 3 specifically came to my mind today.


Frog and Toad were best friends and I enjoyed reading their stories over and over again.

If there were mishaps, it usually happened to Toad. Poor Toad! Their stories brought laughter, and you could also clearly see the strong friendship they had.

I still have these books and there was one chapter from this book called “The Letter”.  Toad was sad, for day after day he watched for the mail and day after day passed without him ever getting a letter. Frog got the clever idea to write him a letter. He wrote it and  gave it to the snail going down the road. He asked the snail to deliver it to Toad’s mailbox and the snail said he would.

Frog  then went to Toad’s house to watch out the window for the mail and Toad thought that was very strange of him. Toad told him how it was useless for he never gets any mail.  Four days later the snail finally arrived and Toad got his letter, which made him so very happy.

You can’t help but feel happy for Toad, can you!


This is a fun story about a witty mouse and how he outwits a weasel, who caught him, with the intention of making Mouse Soup to eat. I of course cheered on the little mouse. I re-read this story a lot  too. I may have known what was coming, but I still can remember how much I would laugh each time at the wit of the mouse.




Little Bear stories warmed my heart, for he was such a sweet little bear. He could be good at getting himself into trouble at times, but you always knew that he was very loved by his family.

It was fun thinking of the warm, happy feelings that these books brought back to me. It made me realize how memorable books really can be and how even simple stories can touch your heart and leave an impact.

I really intended this to be just a story of some  favorite books of mine when I was very little. I couldn’t help  but see some of the similarities though to “The Odessa Chronicles.”

I smile at how one of the earliest books that I loved to read was about friendship, the stories about Frog and Toad. That is a strong theme in “The Odessa Chronicles”. I laugh too at the wit behind “Mouse Soup” for  “The Odessa Chronicles” definitely has its share of wit in it.  Plus the “Little Bear” stories warmed my heart with love. and the characters from me and Colin’s book have totally filled my heart with love.

Not only do these books have similarities to the book Colin and I wrote, but they describe my life as well!

Love, Friendship and Wit are all strong threads that run through my life!

One just never knows how strongly we can be influenced by what we read, listen to, or see. What books do you remember reading when you were very young? Feel free to share below, would love to hear!



Friendship Magic at Moonbeam Farm

Reading the “The Odessa Chronicles” had the feel of reading classic stories like Peter Rabbit. It is cute and gives a nice and comfortable feeling.” 

The above quote came  from someone who had just recently purchased a copy of  “The Odessa Chronicles” and she was sending me a message to let me know what she thought of it.  Reading her words warmed my heart.

There also was the time that an older lady, who I knew, came up to me with sparkles in her eyes. She proceeded to tell me how she had finished reading “The Odessa Chronicles” and she “absolutely loved” it!  She went on to talk about the characters as she gave a little laugh telling me how much fun they were.

This was a lady who I knew as being more reserved and quiet. As much as her words gave me joy, it was seeing the shine in her face and  hearing her excitement that really touched my heart.

It’s moments like these that continue to fill my heart with awe. I feel so thankful for the smiles that me and Colin’s book,  “The Odessa Chronicles” is bringing to the young and old!

I can’t stop smiling at how due to a friendship made with fellow blogger, Colin, that I was inspired to write a fun story about a cat named Dewey and his man-servant. How that one story led to another, which then led to Colin adding his magic, and collaborating on more stories. The more stories being written led to the idea of creating a book, which then led to “The Odessa Chronicles” being published!

One just never knows what surprises can happen!

Would you like to go to a place where friendship, love and laughter abound? Do you need a smile and relaxing break from the stresses of life?  In the pages of “The Odessa Chronicles”, meet Dewey, a  mischievous cat who always thinks of his stomach; Odessa, a  witty Barn Owl, who is very outspoken; Jaxon, an easygoing Jackalope that has magical powers; and the fun Man-servant who has a big heart and loves having Dewey, Odessa and Jaxon living at Moonbeam Farm with him.

Take a journey to Moonbeam Farm and share in the fun adventures that these crazy friends have together! In taking a peek into their lives your heart will be filled with laughter and with the warmth of friendship. You may even shed a tear at some of the more touching moments shared by our 4 friends.

For more information on “The Odessa Chronicles” and how you can order it, you can click on the picture of the book cover in the right hand margin.

If you have any other questions about the fun-loving characters in our book, or questions about the writing process, etc. feel free to ask in the comments below!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday and let your friends know how much they mean to you! As our beloved characters on Moonbeam Farm  would attest to, friendships can come in a surprising way and be an amazing blessing!




Make A Difference!

After last night’s more serious post, there was a song that came to my mind, that I wanted to share with all of you. I can’t help but smile when I listen to this song and watch the video. I think it spreads a great message! It is a song by Chris De Burgh, I have really been enjoying his music thanks to a friend who brought his music to my attention.

The song is called “Read My Name”. It’s talking about making a difference in the world and how every child is special! Its not your color, or your background that makes you special, its just YOU simply being YOU! There  is no one else exactly like you and that is  something to celebrate. We may not all end up making big names for ourselves, becoming famous and known world wide, but there is still so much difference that we can make in the lives of others! We can make a difference every day just by spreading kindness, joy and love!  I love the smiles in the faces of these children on this video clip,  you can feel their joy for life.

Why as adults does it seem that the unbridled joy we had when we were young becomes more contained? More pushed down inside of us. We get weighed down with problems and forget how we still have an inner child that wants let out. An inner child that has unbridled joy and wants to let it go and make others smile!  We still need to keep our candle burning and let our light shine, lighting up the darkness!

Let the joy spread in your heart today, let it be contagious!

I hope you enjoy this song. I was introduced to Chris De Burgh’s music by a friend and I am so glad that I was, for I have been enjoying his music very much!














Sweet Melody

He looked at his watch, she should be coming soon. She was always on time and he always looked forward to every visit  from her.  It was by far his favorite time of day when she would appear beside him with her sweet smile and spunk.

Henry enjoyed living at the “Golden Acres” retirement home.  The staff were very friendly and he had made good friends, but nothing quite compared to the days that Gia would come to see him.  He had no family to visit him, so the days could get long at times. He was so thankful at how the elementary school nearby had an after school program for their students to visit the residents. His friends enjoyed it too, the children added sunshine to their days.

Gia was such a sweet, spirited girl. She loved to talk, but she did enjoy listening to Henry’s stories too and loved to ask questions!  Intently she would listen, as he would share not only about his day, but about stories from his past.  He would watch as her hazel eyes would grow big in amazement at some of the stories that he would share with her.  He did enjoy teasing and would sometimes embellish the stories a bit just to see her mouth open wide into a big  O shape. She then would see the gleam in his eyes and would giggle as she realized that he was pulling one over on her, sometimes causing her cheeks to get as red as her hair.

The sound of approaching footsteps made Henry turn his head. The children were coming and Gia was leading the line.

“Henry, oh Henry, do I have a story to tell you!” Gia squealed.

She plopped herself down in the chair in front of him, her cheeks were flushed with excitement.

He got such a delight out of listening to her stories. The sound of her voice was like a sweet melody, filling his heart with joy.  Sometimes she would tell him what crazy Tommy did in class that day, or how her teacher told her to be quiet. How the teacher didn’t understand nuffin, that sometimes she just had to talk or she would explode.

Henry couldn’t hold back his laughter as he watched the emotions splash across Gia’s face as she told her story. She waved her hands in the air as she was explaining her frustration with her teacher. She had got in trouble again for talking.

“Then my teacher made me wait another forever 5 minutes after recess had already started! It was awful, I was dying !  I just had to tell Abby what Mikey had told me. He likes her he weally does! He wanted to meet her at the merry-go-round, but cause of teacher he had to wait, wondering if Abby would come.”

Henry’s eyes sparkled as Gia paused to take a breath. “Oh dear, poor Mikey. What happened?”

Gia smiled and said, ” I ran fast, when teacher said I could go. Abby was swinging and I pulled her arm saying we had to go. She wasn’t too happy with me at first, but when I told her about Mikey she got happy and ran to the Merry-go-round. We had fun going round and round but guess what, guess what Henry!”

Gia’s eyes once more got wide as she started to explain. Then she bounced out of her seat because of  laughing so hard.

“Oh Henry it was so funny!”  Gia sputtered out.

“What is it, tell me please, what happened?” Henry asked.

Seeing Henry’s eagerness to know made Gia start laughing again. Once she got control of herself she continued with her story.

“Well Henry had a present for Abby, it was in his pocket and it jumped out! It jumped out and landed on Abby, Henry!”

“What did? What was his present?”  Henry asked.

Henry’s eyes danced with amusement as he watched Gia throw her hands up in the air and shout, ” It was a FROG!”

“Oh Henry, Abby squealed and Mikey’s face got all red, Abby don’t like frogs, but I do, I like frogs Henry, do you like frogs?”

Before Henry could answer, Gia continued. “Abby ran fast to the teacher and me and Mikey we played with the frog. It was a cute frog, but teacher didn’t let Mikey take it back inside with him, he had to let it go. Mikey and me played with it a little after school until we got picked up.”

Ending her story Gia took another breath and said, ” Oh Henry I have something for you before I forget”, and she reached down to pick up her backpack.

Henry put his hands to his face and said, ” Oh No,  its not a frog is it!”

Gia dissolved in giggles, “Oh Henry, you funny, its no frog! Here you go, and Gia placed it in his hands.

“I hope you like it, I drew it just for you.  I gotta go now  Mom will be waiting. Bye bye friend!”  With those words she gave him a quick hug and he watched as she skipped down the hall.

Henry’s eyes glistened as  he then looked at the little card that Gia had placed in his hand. On it was a drawing of Gia and him holding hands and scrawled beneath the picture were the words. “Thanks for being my fun friend. I like you. Happy Valentine’s Day Henry! Your friend, Gia.”

Henry smiled and thought how this may be one of the most special Valentines that he had ever received  and his heart was full.






Spreading Smiles!

Happy Saturday! I am happy to share some  smiles with all of you today. I have a picture that I was given permission to share on here.

Meet Benjamin. One of “The Odessa Chronicles” youngest fans, and oh so very sweet! He has  been such a delight to know.  He has made Colin and I smile so many times with his enthusiasm for our book, “The Odessa Chronicles”,  and he happily shares the stories with his friends  too!


His favorite character is Jaxon. Jaxon was thrilled to hear that! Dewey, heard it and just went back to sleep. Odessa rolled her eyes.  They all have had their turn though of being in the spotlight as  someone’s favorite. When I share stories either at schools or libraries, all 3 get mentioned as being someone’s favorite. I am glad to say that the man-servant does get mentioned as well by the children. They enjoy how cunning he can be at times, and his big heart. For who would take care of Jaxon, Odessa and Dewey they say, if it wasn’t for him! Especially Dewey! Poor cat would be lost without someone to wait on him hand and foot!

Benjamin’s Grandma, who is a wonderfully sweet lady, says that Jaxon is always with Benjamin! She sent Colin and I this picture and his smile melted our hearts. This is why we wrote the book, to spread smiles!


And if you are new to my blog and wondering what ” The Odessa chronicles” is about, here is an excerpt of a story from Colin’s blog, that he shared a few months ago. I hope it brings a smile to your heart. If it piques your interest, click on the picture of the cover of the book in the right hand margin.  The link will provide you with more information.

Our friends live on Moonbeam Farm. Joshua, who is known better as the “man-servant”, retired to the farm, not knowing what guests would be there to meet him. Odessa, (the Barn Owl), Dewey, ( the Cat), and Jaxon (the Jackalope). They all have very distinct personalities and become the best of friends having all kinds of crazy adventures.

In this excerpt, there has been a woman visiting the farm, and they all have grown to like her very much.  Her name is Florence, and she has a special connection to Moonbeam Farm, for it used to belong to her Grandparents. Being that everyone likes her they have made the decision to give her the ability that will allow her to communicate with all of them. All they have to do is ask her if she would like that and then Jaxon will work his magic.


The next time that Florence visited, the man-servant called everybody over. “Florence,” he said, “the four of us here had a discussion about you, and we would like to tell you what we decided.”

“Oh dear,” said Florence, “I hope it is going to be good news, because I have a question for you guys.”

The man-servant became thoughtful. “Okay, Florence, as a matter of courtesy, why don’t you ask your question first?”

She was obviously thinking about the best way to present her question. The man-servant, Dewey, Jaxon, and Odessa were all looking at her and waiting. Suddenly, she said, “Well … I’ve really enjoyed coming here, and we all seem to be getting along really well, and so … I was wondering if …”

There was total silence.

Odessa looked at the man-servant. “What’s your problem? Can’t you see that she is having difficulties? Encourage her! She is one of your species … in case you had not noticed.”

The man-servant turned to Florence. “Please continue. We have thoroughly enjoyed your visits. What’s on your mind?”

Florence looked around the room for a few moments, and then looked at Dewey, Jaxon, Odessa, and finally the man-servant. “Could I live here? You’re not using my old bedroom for anything, and I would love to use it again. I wouldn’t be here too much, because my work takes me away for weeks at a time, but it would be lovely to stay with you all when I am back in the area, and I could help out with the costs of running this farm.”

The man-servant looked at her. “It’s a nice idea, Florence, and we would all love to have you live here, but there is a major problem. We will be leaving Moonbeam Farm before the end of this year.”

Florence was saddened by the news. “Why would you want to leave here?” she asked.

“We don’t have a choice, as far as I can tell,” said the man-servant. “The farm is being purchased by the town, and then demolished in preparation for a road that is planned to come through here.”

“Joshua,” she said, “that does surprise me, but I think that I may be able to assist with resolving that problem. Would you like me to get involved?”

Odessa, Dewey, and Jaxon had all moved in a little closer, and waited for the man-servant’s response. He didn’t say anything. Odessa jumped up onto the man-servant’s shoulder and shouted into his right ear, “Why aren’t you answering? Here you have a female human who obviously knows what she is talking about … and you sit there pondering something or other! Tell her, ‘Yes! Please get involved!’”

Florence had watched Odessa’s performance. “My word, Joshua,” she said, “Odessa certainly gave you a good talking to!”

The man-servant looked at Florence. “Yes, she certainly did. She wanted to know why I didn’t say ‘yes please’ to your offer.”

Florence looked at the man-servant. “Well … why didn’t you?”

*the rest of the story and many more can be found in “The Odessa’s Chronicles”, and yes this isn’t the first time or the last time where Odessa gets baffled by something the man-servant does say, or as in this case what he doesn’t say! It can be hard work figuring him out! 🙂 *








Overflowing Heart

There are the times that as parents you shake your head wondering what are you going to do! But then there are the times where you shake your head in amazement, thinking, I knew we had the best children!

My husband and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary this weekend. I not only have the best children, but the best husband too. We  had a wonderful time away, just relaxing and enjoying time together. Reminiscing about when it all began. Laughing at funny memories and being touched again by other ones. I woke up to several sweet messages today from my husband.


Our hearts were light and filled with joy as we headed home this evening. We pulled in our driveway and said “Awww!”  There were blue lighted snowflakes dancing in a circle on our garage doors. We walked inside the house and all was quiet. One child was studying in their room and another one came walking slowly down the hall looking very tired. We thanked them for the outdoor lights and then were told to look downstairs.

Let me pause here. We have a basement. The definition of a basement I believe is where you store stuff and you just keep adding to it, because you just close the door and no one ever sees it. Then you think of sorting through the stuff, but it makes you tired just by looking at it.

That pretty much described a very big corner of our basement. Imagine our shock when we walked downstairs and the corner was bare! They had cleaned our basement and did a superb job!

I am still in shock. My husband said it was the best gift!

Plus there was still other little things they had done around the house. I asked my husband when are we going away again!

To know that my kids, who had to work this weekend, still took the time to do something that was hard work makes my heart smile. They knew how much we had talked about cleaning the basement up and they made the decision to surprise us.

Once again, money can’t buy the happiness! It could not compare to the love that overflows in my heart right now.

Feeling Blessed!

I found the perfect job! It doesn’t pay in money, but the rewards are even greater. I get paid in smiles, hugs and fun comments and questions.

This month I have visited 2 Elementary schools, sharing stories from “The Odessa Chronicles”.  The book of stories for all ages that Colin and I wrote together. A book that shares the crazy adventures of 4 best friends who happen to be a Barn Owl, a Tabby Cat, a magical Jackalope and a man-servant.

This past Monday I spent all day at the one school and my heart was full when I came home. It is hard to put into words the joy I feel at seeing a sparkle in a child’s eye and knowing that their sparkle and smile are because of stories that I helped to write! I usually have enough time with each class to share 3 stories from the book and in between take their comments and questions. I thought it would be fun to share some of their comments and questions with you, my wonderful followers. I do believe they will bring a smile to your face, just like mine.

I had just finished reading the story called “The Hole”, which revolves around a mysterious hole that Dewey the cat found.  I asked the children what they thought made the hole and hands went up immediately.  “A hedgehog”, “A porcupine”, “A shovel!”
“I think it was a lizard”, “Maybe a deer?” “A squirrel”, “I think it was a tiger!” At times I do find it a little hard to stay composed as I listen to their answers and think of a response.

I like to watch the faces of the children as I read the stories. I can see their eyes grow wide as Dewey the cat is flying in the air and I see them laugh,  giving their classmate a nudge when one of the characters in the story has a joke played on them. It’s  also fun to see them pick up on some clues of what may be coming later in the story.

The “Roof Top Incident” story has been a popular one.  In the story the man-servant gets stuck up on the roof. How does he get down? Once again guesses are called out. The most popular one being that he went down the chimney.  Or perhaps he jumped to the tree next to the farmhouse and then climbed down the tree. Maybe Odessa the Barn Owl, picks him up and flies him down to the ground.

Their questions can be just as entertaining.

“Which character is your favorite?”
“What was your inspiration for writing the book?”
“Did you and Colin write stories that you scrapped and didn’t use?”
“How long did it take you guys to write the book?”
“Did you write all the stories on paper?”
“Are there any stories where the one character goes on an adventure all by themselves?”
“Why do the characters have the names that they have?”
“Where does Colin live?” followed by “Wow! That’s really really far away!” when I told them Canada!
“Who made the really pretty picture of Odessa on the cover?”

Will this book have one of those cool medals on its cover, you know the medals that really great books receive?”

 “Does your book have any errors in it, for I found an error before in a book I read, the character’s name was misspelled.

Have I mentioned that sometimes I don’t know how to reply to their questions?

“Where is the man-servant, you need one, for he takes care of everyone.”  This was in response to the stuffed Odessa, Jaxon and Dewey that I bring along with me. My sister surprised me with them and they have been  wonderful to have. The children love seeing them and taking turns to hold them.  Unfortunately it has not been real easy to find a stuffed man-servant, but now after this little girl pointed out how I need one, I am on the search for one once again!

Their comments make me laugh and they melt my heart.

One little boy came up to me at the end saying, “I really didn’t want you to stop reading, I was so caught up in the story.”  A little girl,  whose smile I can still see gave me a hug as she told me how much she loved the stories that I read, that they were so funny and that she really, really hopes her Mommy buys her the book.

I think of the little boy who came up to me as I was talking to someone else.  He  just threw  his arms around my waist giving me a hug, not saying a word but wearing a big smile.

When I finished reading to one class a girl came up to me and gave me a note. She had written me a thank you note as I was reading! It was so sweet.

I have also been delighted by the comments of the teachers and the librarians that listen to me as well, while I read to the children. One admitted that she didn’t expect to enjoy the stories as much as she did, but that she was caught up in them too. Another one compared them to Winnie-The-Pooh and friends! That comment  really warmed my heart for as a lot of you readers know, I love Winnie-the-Pooh!

I am going to a preschool tomorrow and am waiting for 3 other schools to get back to me. I don’t know how many other schools and public libraries will let me come, but its an adventure that I am very much enjoying!

There is a Pooh Bear quote that I feel pretty much sums up how Colin and I felt when writing the “The Odessa Chronicles”.  We had no idea of what kind of responses we would receive, of where things might lead. We only knew one thing, that we were having fun!


If you would like to know more about “The Odessa Chronicles” and why it is creating excitement, feel free to click on the book cover in the right margin.




Celebrating the Moment

It was the end of summer,  and the heat was not wanting to let go! Trisha had taken her children to the park that morning for them to play in the big sprinkler that was there. She had joined in with them for a little, for you are never too old to dance under a sprinkler. Now she was sitting on the bench letting the sun dry her clothing as she watched her children and listened to the joyful shrieks coming from them and the other children at play.

She looked around at  some of the other adults sitting on the benches. One was talking on her phone, the other one had her laptop out and was typing away on it. Another lady was typing furiously on her phone.

She watched as their kids came to them begging them to come play in the sprinkler. Sadly each parent had shook their head “No” , as they quickly went back to what they were doing. Trisha didn’t even think they noticed the dejected look in the eyes of their children.

Trisha’s clothes were almost dry, but she found herself heading back to the sprinkler. Her children saw her coming and squealed as their little faces lit up with smiles.  She wanted to freeze that look in her mind. The look of joy in her children’s eyes. A look of joy that wasn’t there because of getting the newest toy, but a look of joy simply because their Mommy was giving them a  very precious gift. The gift of her time. A gift that Trisha needed to remember about more often. She let out a big yell as she ran into the sprinkler, grabbing their hands and dancing with them.

Her yell had made the one Mom look up from her phone and stare at Trisha. Their eyes met and the other Mom smiled.  She put her phone down and started walking towards the sprinkler. Trisha saw  a little girl go running towards her and she watched as the Mom picked her up and spun her around. They laughed together as the water sprayed them.

Trisha’s heart smiled, life was good! It deserved to be celebrated and she realized how sometimes her actions may be the nudge that others need. She let out another shriek, making her children laugh,  as the cold water hit her back

Suddenly the azure blue sky turned very dark and the clouds burst open as the rain poured down.  Trisha heard a sharp yell from the one woman who had been so furiously typing away on her phone before. She saw the phone slip from the woman’s  hands and hit the pavement. The other Mom who had the laptop was frantically calling to her kids to hurry as she tried to slide the laptop into its case.

Trisha gave her children a hug as she watched the other parents practically dragging their children along with them, in their hurry to get out of the rain.

She hugged her children tight  and they spun around once more. Yes, she was getting soaked, but she didn’t mind, for right now her heart was soaking in the moment and making precious memories.




Sounds of School

One parent finds it hard to stop talking to their child, even though they are all moved in. With one more hug goodbye the parent walks away from her child’s dorm room and wipes at the tears that they had been trying to hide.

One parent finishes up school shopping for their child who is about to enter Middle School. Gone are the days of the cute backpacks, now they need something cool!

One parent tucks their excited 5 year old into bed, as they babble on about being so excited to ride the  big yellow bus and the parent tries to swallow the lump in their throat. Where did their little boy go?

School time is in the air and some kids are excited while others drag their feet and groan.

Once again there will be noisy buses with the chatter of many students, while some try to drown out the chatter with earbuds as they lose themselves in the music.

School hallways around the world once more will be filled with the sound of students. Some happy as they wave to their friends and some dreading the test that is coming. Wishing that school would suddenly dismiss early and save them from the test!

Students of all ages and sizes will be walking through the school doors. Students from all different backgrounds, coming together for one sole purpose. To learn. To get an education,  to help prepare them for a future where they can strive to make their dreams come true.

School is in session again and I pray that the sound of gunshots will be one thing that is not heard in the hallways this year, for every child deserves to have an education that’s not interrupted by the sound of gunfire or by the sight of the splattered blood of their classmates.  Our children are walking into the doors of a school, not into some House of Horrors.

May this year be the year where the sound of gunshots ringing throughout a school will be forever silenced!



What is Happening?

My heart has been troubled for awhile, my eyes wet with tears as I watch and read the news,  but yet I hesitated making a post about this.  I decided though that sometimes things just need to be said and I believe this is one of those times.  We need to speak up America!!

My heart cries at what is going on in America right now, specifically at the borders in Texas. Children being taken from their parents!!  This is modern day America, 2018, and we are forcefully separating children from their parents! What is happening to America?!  I really have no words but I know I can’t stay silent,  and sometimes pictures can speak louder!