The Unexpected Phone Call

Max was looking in his closet  for his cherry red and yellow shirt to match his tie. While looking he came across a hanger with something sealed in plastic. It had been in the back of his closet. What could it be?

He guessed it must be a suit that he didn’t wear anymore. Probably grew out of it. It seemed he gained a few pounds recently. As long as it just stayed a few pounds he wasn’t too worried. Ahh! There it was, he had found his cherry red and yellow shirt.

Grabbing it he walked out of his closet with the sealed bag still hanging there,  momentarily forgotten. He dressed for work. His secretary would groan again at his choice of outfit but red was his favorite color and he thought yellow went just fine.

That evening when he entered his house he wss ready to relax! It had been an exhausting day of showing houses, but it had paid off. He had finally sold the MayApple house.

It was a beautiful 2 story house with a wrap-around porch. A spiral staircase and lovely cherry wood floors. A lot of people were not crazy about the paint job inside but this older lady loved it when she first saw it. It was a dark shade of green with colorful flowers all over. The lady who had painted it had been a real artist.

Max breathed out a sigh of relief as he poured himself a cold drink. He had some eztra padding in his bank account now, with the sale of this house.

When opening his closet to put away his shoes he noticed the hanger again with the plastic bag. Curious he pulled it out and started unzipping the bag. Catching a glimpse of something red, the memories came back. He knew what it was!

He pulled out the Santa suit that had been stored away. Why he didn’t just get rid of it he didn’t know. When would he be Santa again, he didn’t have time for it. A heaviness startrd replacing the light feeling that had been in his heart moments ago.

Max remembered the kids that used to sit on his lap. They were so cute with the things they would ask for. He used to visit hospitals and go to nursing homes too. He loved spreading cheer!

He loved it but he got too busy. He had bought a big house and a brand new convertible. Suddenly there was the stress of needing to earn more money than he had before when he lived in his rancher.

It had been a nic house but he had dreamed of bigger and better. This house had a swimming pool and a hot tub, it was his house of dreams, though he didn’t seem to be in it too much these days. He sighed, thinking of the days when life was easier.

Max laid the Santa suit out on the chair by his bed. He just wasn’t ready to seal it up yet.

His eyes startrd misting, but just a little. He wouldn’t let himself cry, as he looked at Marta’s picture on his dresser. His drive for earning more money had turned her away. She wanted the old Max back. She had told him to call her when he found the old Max. He watched her drive away in the rain, taking half of his heart with her.

He was deep in thought when the phone rang.


“Ho!Ho!Ho! Hi Max! I think we need to talk.”

“Santa Clause?”

“How would you like to visit me at the NorthPole? I will send some of my reindeer and elves to pick you up tomorrow at midnight, Ok?”

Max was practically speechless. “Um, sure, that sounds great!”

“See you tomorrow! Sleep well Max. Ho! Ho! Ho!”

The phone went dead and Max still held it in his hand. What was happening? There was no way that could have really been Santa Clause, could it?

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Our Sheltie is lying under the tree, she loves that spot whenever we sit up the tree each year. December is here, let the December magic begin! We had a great time over Thanksgiving being with my husband’s family. Lots of food and laughter and many hugs. We just got back last night and now there is laundry and grocery store shopping to do, but first you all need some quotes right? Enjoy and have a great first week of December! December is an extra special month here, for there is a certain someone’s birthday, plus our anniversary, plus Christmas! We have the beginning, middle and end all covered! Oh and we are anxiously waiting for my nephew and his wife to have their first child this week! Can’t wait to snuggle a newborn in my arms again!


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Feeling Blessed!

Today I want to give a shout out once again to my dear family, if you all don’t mind!

I want to honor my sisters today. I was blessed with 2 older sisters and cherish them both!

I will get to see my one sister in a couple weeks which I am looking forward too. I have many fond childhood memories of growing up together. We rushed our stuffed animals to the “vet” many times in our bedroom and we danced in our family room as we pretended to be Princesses, waiting for our Prince. We shared a bed and she often had to tell me to be quiet and stop laughing so that she could go to sleep! Yes, my face was pushed into my pillow many times by her to muffle me before our parents heard!


I love you Sharon!

My other sister had a birthday today, and I was so glad to be able to spend the day today with her!


We got our Happy on, as we chatted, enjoyed a shrimp lunch and made Orchid gardens.




My sister’s orchid wasn’t blooming yet, but it will. The love and happiness she spreads will continue to bloom as well to all those around her long after the orchid’s bloom is done!

I love you Karen, and its not just before you will hit every decade before me. 🙂 I know I shared my Dad’s age when I posted for his birthday, but I think I will be quiet about my sister’s. I don’t want her to follow through with the threat when I was younger, about selling me to the circus! I know, can you imagine, how she could possibly feel like doing that to someone sweet like me!

My heart is full and I found this on Pinterest which describes the relationship with my sisters pretty well! Perhaps you will identify with it as well, your love for a sibling or for a dear friend!




Being a Friend!

When was the last time you spoke to a stranger? The last time you smiled at someone you didn’t know? I love walking by little children and have them call out “HI!” as they smile really big and wave.

Here is a  short video clip that made me smile and I hope it does you too! Children may be small, but sometimes they can teach us so much!

Ripples of Joy

I went to the chiropractor today and he was happily surprised at how easy my neck and shoulders adjusted this time. Sometimes they can be very tight. He said vacations are good for me! 🙂

How can they not be, especially this one, where gold nuggets were found!

Hope you all aren’t tired of pictures yet, for I have more.May seeing a glimpse of the beauty help bring some smiles to your heart.

20190623_211303.jpg Watching the sunset from way UP HIGH in the city of Vancouver. I was feeling very tall!


Walking along the seawall was great. Breathing in the sea air, and just taking our time, enjoying the moment. Any guesses on how many miles it is to walk around the whole thing?



I had to include another picture of this wonderful hideway place, and remember how I mentioned about sitting on the rocks and just gazing into the clear water in my other post? Here is a pic of my wonderful husband doing just that. 🙂



This little guy came by while my daughter and I were sitting by the fountain outside our hotel.


Did I mention that I love the water? Like the ripples of the water, there were many ripples of joy and happiness that were spread on this trip.


This is Washington State from out the train window as we headed home. We may be home now, but stay tuned, you haven’t heard the last about our vacation! 🙂



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! 🙂 *








Spreading the Light

Yesterday I posted about a tragic shooting that happened at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.  11 innocent lives were lost.  I asked the question of why it is so hard for people in the world to be kind! Why do we have so much hate and prejudice against others who are different from us?

Tonight I wanted to show a short video clip of children being kind to their classmates. I have always believed that we can learn a lot from children and this is just one of the many ways.

Spread the light of kindness and love!


This next video clip I thought was an excellent way to spend your birthday! And really an excellent way to spend any day! Spread smiles!



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.




Special Moments

Writing “The Odessa Chronicles” with Colin has been an adventure from the very beginning and it continues to be! The book may be finished, but now the job of promoting it is upon us. I have been enjoying doing story time readings at local libraries with children. Their smiles melt my heart.

I had a 9 year old girl come up to me wanting to know how we came up with the characters in the book. That is one question that can always be interesting to answer.  She then went on to tell me how  she writes and that she hopes to be an author someday. I was glad to be able to give her a hug and a word of encouragement  about following her dream.

There was an older lady who pulled me aside after story time, to share some words with me. Her smile was so warm as she took my hand and said how the stories intrigued her. She went on to say that she  wanted to offer her encouragement to Colin and me to not stop writing. How could we not be touched by those words?

These kind of encounters are what its all about. About putting smiles on the faces of others and adding some joy to their hearts. Its a reward all of its own to be able to do that!

Surprises happen at these story times too. A couple weeks ago a lady came up to talk to me. She mentioned that she absolutely loves Barn Owls! She then asked if I lived on a farm and I said “No”, she asked if I had ever seen Barn Owls and I said “No”. I also had to tell her that I didn’t own a cat. Do you see the pattern to these answers? For some reason she did not ask me whether I owned a Jackalope.

I was getting a little worried though about what her next question may be, for I didn’t want to have to say “No” again.  I didn’t have to worry, because what she said next was not a question. Instead she told me something that made my eyes light up. She told me how they have an old rustic barn on their property and there is a family of Barn Owls that live in it! How exciting!

What are the odds that I would meet someone that has a family of Barn Owls?  She talked about how her family enjoys listening  to them chatter to each other at night.  I was listening to her and wanting to be in the barn with  the owls. I may not have been real fascinated with owls before I wrote this book, but Odessa sure had a way of changing that!

Stay tuned, for I may have a post to share about a possible upcoming visit to the barn. You just never know what may happen, what magic Jaxon might weave,  when you share stories about the gang from Moonbeam Farm!



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.