Monday, June 30, 2008


Well, before I go into a bit of a rant here, I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend. I did, for the most part. The weather has been beautiful, the company pleasant, and all the animals that live here, have been well behaved. Even Oreo, who tends to enjoy terrorizing Gracie and Maya, occasionally, has been a perfectly sweet kitty. But, there is a GRRRR, in this story.

Friday, Eileen and I drove to the Purple Castle. Well, actually, it's only a purple house that sort of resembles a castle, and it's about 15 miles from where I live.

Have you ever been charmed by a house? I don't mean impressed by it's grandeur, but charmed by it's uniqueness? That is what I have been by this extraordinary purple house, with the purple picket fence, and purple mailbox!

So we drove to look at it again. I had my camera with me. In the past, I have never seen anyone by the house. So this time, as we sat in the car, in front of it, I contemplated if I should get out and try and take pictures of it.

"What if the people don't like strangers taking pictures?" said Eileen.

"Well, we'll find out soon enough," said I, getting out of the car, while Eileen stayed put. Just as I was aiming my camera at one side of it, for it's a large house, an older woman came out. I introduced myself and asked her if it was okay for me to snap a few pictures of the house. She not only agreed, but after chatting, she invited me inside, to take pictures of the interior. Eileen insisted on staying put again, when I walked back to the car and tried talking her into coming along.

"No, you go, if you want to, and if you don't come out of there within a short time, I am going to call the law. You don't even know these people. They may be strange or something. After all, they live in a purple house!"

Now, if my daughter reads this, she will more than likely think that Eileen was right, and her Mom, me, a bit too daring, as usual.

The woman, Sandra was perfectly gracious. She told me she and her husband designed the house themselves, and have been working on it together for 14 years! And it's still not nearly finished, which was quite obvious, with lumber and even furniture, still stacked up on the numerous porches of the house. And Sandra, who is now in her sixties, is an artist. Much of her art is also stacked up in the various unfinished rooms. Oh, but the few rooms that are finished, are something else! Beautiful, stone fireplaces, a huge mural of a white tailed buck, on one of the walls, which Sandra had painted, stained glass windows, beautiful detail work on the walls, etc.

If I continue with the praises of the uniqueness of this house, this post will turn into a book. The photo's would tell some of the story....would, if I could only upload them onto my pc! But no such luck!

I have tried uploading them since Friday evening, but no success. The message keeps telling me to connect the device, which is connected! GRRRR! I have put freshly charged batteries into the camera, I have taken the little card in and out several times, at my daughters suggestion, I have done everything possible to make it happen, but it's not happenning. GRRRR! So I can't show you the Purple Castle, just yet. Or maybe never. It's stuck in my stupid camera! I am pretty aggravated over this! Can you tell? LOL.

So, I will have to take my laptop and camera in to our PC Guru, Patrick, sometime soon, and see if he can figure it out. But this week will be pretty busy, being that the 4th of July weekend is coming up, and I am determined to enjoy it all, even with a GRRRR, that will be in the back of my mind all week.

Thank you for reading my rant. Hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tagged Again--Why I Love Writing from Home

Okay, something a little different here from my usual posts. My busy bee little writing friend, Michele, over at Writing the Cyber, has tagged me for a meme. I'm supposed to list some reasons why I love writing from home. So here it goes...

1. Although I always loved writing, and wrote stories for my 3 children when they were young, I began writing for money,in the late nineties, on a typewriter! Yep, remember typewriters? I was a late bloomer, when it comes to writing, anxious to write the stories in my head, some true, some fiction. So my career of writing from home began.

2. This new career of mine was on wobbly legs for a while, and I jokingly called myself an almost starving writer. But I hung in there, and made my first sale. And when that first piece was published, in Good Old Days, and I got a check in the mail for it, well, I could go outside and whoop and holler all I wanted, and the only neighbors I disturbed were the wild creatures that share my woods with me. And they're all still here, so I didn't scare them too much!

3. Writing from home has so many advantages. I can write when I feel like it, and not write, when I don't. I couldn't do that writing for some publication, while sitting in an office. No sirree Bob. (Are you smiling, Michele?)

4. Writing from Home in the nineties was a different ball game. I bought magazines like, The Writer, and Writer's Digest, and a huge book called The Writer's Market, which came out every fall, listing thousands of magazine and book markets that bought articles from writers. I also bought books of advice for writers. They were all a huge help. Besides, I have always loved to read!

5. Then I got a computer! My son Greg brought it, set it up on my desk, showed me how to turn it on and off, then he was gone. I was alone with this new gizmo I nicknamed Einstein. Einstein seemed to have a mind of his own! But he made life easier for a writer writing from home. And I wrote a piece about Einstein and had it accepted by Folks Online! The year was 1999. What a thrill that was. My first published article on the Internet, and I got paid for it! And that article is still up. Here is the link to it, if you'd care to read it, with a photo of me from that year that I also posted on here. It was called, Messages from the Old Homeland, and if you check it out, I hope you enjoy it.

6. Computers are amazing. We all know that. But for a writer writing from home, they are truly a boon! I no longer have to buy the magazines put out for writers, I can read all the writing advice I care to read, right on the Internet. I can find writing markets galore on the Internet as well. I can submit my writing by email, instead of by postal mail. I am saving on paper, postage, and on gasoline, since I don't have to go anywhere, to send my manuscript. (Of course, that doesn't mean I am saving that much on gas, since I enjoy going to town and meeting my friends for breakfast, lunch, or just coffee, often, and town is 10 miles away.)

7. Writing from home affords me unusual sights that I would not see writing from an office. Like the unusual sight that I have been witnessing for the past couple of weeks. No doubt you have heard about the plight of the honeybees. How they are supposed to be is some sort of trouble. Well, outside my window, honeybees are causing a lot of trouble, this year.

I've been putting up hummingbird feeders for 25 years, and enjoy watching the little jewels buzz around. Well, this year the bees have taken over the hummingbird feeders. Swarms of honeybees! And I don't know what to do about them. The hummies are afraid of the bees, and who can blame them? Anyone know what to do about honeybees swarming on the hummingbird feeders? (Maybe there is an article there....hmmm.)

8. Of course, there are the usual advantages to writing from home: I can stay in my pj's all day. I can comb my hair or not. I can bring my lunch to my desk, or take a break and eat it out on the deck, I can work all day, or just a couple of hours. I can read all kinds of neat stuff on the neat blogs I enjoy visiting, and then go back and work on a story, or an article later. I am my own boss! What could be better?

9.Well, you get the picture. Writing from home is challenging, interesting, and even fun! I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thank you, Michele, for tagging me. I enjoyed it.

And thank you for reading. I hope it wasn't too boring. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Summer!

Today is the first full day of summer, and I hope everyone is out there, enjoying some lovely weather. Our weather in the Ozarks has been heavenly the past week and a half-mild, sunny days in the low 80s, and cool, good for sleeping, nights. And I have been out and about, enjoying it.

I went to some yard/garage sales this morning, followed by a nice lunch, with friends. Our small town is already getting ready for the Fourth of July, as the tents are all set up in town, selling fireworks. I can't believe the Fourth if July is already almost here!
My favorite neighbors in the woods, the deer, have been around, as usual, and I took a couple of pictures of them. I have not been able to take pictures of the new fawns as of yet, although I have caught glimpses of them. It will be a little while before they will follow mama to the field, where this "odd" human lady lives that talks to them. :-) But they will come eventually.
Before we began mowing my field, it used to be a beautiful meadow, full of wildflowers and butterflies! But, I soon discovered that besides butterflies, many unwanted insects liked the tall grasses and flowers as well. So did the various and sundry snakes, like copperheads and the more benign, but equally unwanted black snakes. They all enjoyed my beautiful meadow. So now, we, or I should say my son, Greg, keeps it short and almost looking like a suburban lawn, and I can see any unwelcome visitors clearly!

My posts have been sparse lately, but there is just too much happenning in my world, that I want to partake in. Even my writing has been neglected. Thank goodness for reprints!

Thank you for reading, God bless, and have a wonderful week, everyone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fascinating Facts!!!

I don't usually post things I receive in my emails, but last week someone sent me some fascinating facts that I thought you may all enjoy finding out about. The email titled these:

A Coincidence????

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and science shows that carrots greatly
enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four
chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also
profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, Avocados and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers.

And how profound is this? .... It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. Just like a baby!

There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Onions look like body cells. Today's research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

"The news isn't that fruits and vegetables are good for you, it's that they are so good for you, they can save your life." David Bjerklie, TIME
Magazine, Oct. 2003.

I hope you enjoyed finding out these fascinating facts about fruits and vegetables.

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

His Inspiring Motto--A Story for Father's Day

I was eleven when we fled our Soviet occupied country Hungary, in 1947, landing in a refugee camp in Austria. Our only worldly possessions were the clothes on our backs. We had lost everything because of World War II, but we were alive, and for that we were grateful to God.

The refugee camp housed hundreds of destitute refugees. Although dismal and cramped, the camp provided a roof over our heads, donated clothes to wear, and soup and bread to fill our hungry stomachs. So what did it matter that we didn’t have penny to our names?

But it mattered a great deal to Apa (Hungarian for Dad.) He hated living off the charity of others; hated not being able to provide for his family, as he always did in the past.

Just beyond our dismal camp home was a beautiful natural world of mountains, a crystal clear river, and farms with grazing animals. The river was the Drau River, and Apa and I discovered it on a summer day while taking one of our rambles through the countryside.

“You can enjoy the water, while I get busy with something else,” he said,.

So I splashed around in the shallow, clear water, while Apa walked up and down the bank. I noticed he was cutting some branches from the river willows growing all along the bank. Soon, he had a large armful of them, so we headed back to camp.

“What are you going to do with them?” I asked him curiously.

“I will make some baskets,” Apa replied.

“And what will you do with the baskets?” I continued, suddenly remembering that his hobby in the past used to be weaving.

“I will try and sell them to the Austrians.”

Soon, Apa found some old boards and bricks, and set up a worktable in front of our barrack. Then, after peeling the willow branches, he began weaving his first basket. A large crowd gathered to watch him. Some boys volunteered to get more willow branches for him.

“Thank you. And when I sell my baskets, I’ll pay you for your help.”

Within a short time, there were six beautiful baskets ready for market. Apa hung them on a long stick, flung them over his shoulder, and off he went to town, looking like a hobo peddler. He returned a few hours later minus the baskets. He had sold all of them!

Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out the book I had been longing for, while we had walked around in town.

“Oh, thank you, Apa,” I shrieked, giving him a hug. “I can’t believe you were able to buy me a new book.”

“You are welcome, Sweetheart. Never forget–where there is a will, there is always a way,” he said. Then he went off to pay the boys who had helped him.

Apa continued with his new venture all summer, and even gave free lessons in weaving to anyone interested. After he sold the next batch, he bought himself a fishing pole, too, and a large frying pan, and building a fire outside the barrack, soon cooked up a large batch of fish he caught in the river, and shared it with our neighbors. It was most unusual to have the aroma of that frying fish wafting through the camp, where barracks were lined up like soldiers, and helpless people lived their lives in them, hoping and praying for something better.

My dear Apa’s example was an inspiration to many at that refugee camp. His motto became my motto in life, and it has always served me well.


"Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad."
-- Anne Geddes

This story is from the book, “The Best Dad in the World” published by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Copyright © April 2008.

A longer version of this story was previously published in Chicken Soup for the Father and Daughter's Soul. Apa was my dear grandfather, who raised me.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The other day, as I was driving up my gravel road, heading home, I ran into a neat surprise. There in front of me were two covered wagons pulled by horses! They pulled to the side, when they saw me, so I could pass by. But instead of passing by, I stopped and opened my car window, and asked the men in the wagons if they could stop by my driveway, just ahead, while I ran in the house a grabbed my camera. They agreed. So I sped up to the house, ran in and ran out with camera in hand, followed by my two barking dogs. I told the dogs to stay! and being good girls, they obeyed nicely.
This is the second wagon. I messed up the order, when I downloaded the photos, and I didn't want to do it over, since it takes forever with my slow dial up Internet.

This is the photo that should have been first. The men told me there were about 20 other covered wagons that were up ahead. "We're the slowpokes of the group," one of the guys said.

They also told me they were members of the Maynard Saddle Club, and they go on these outings twice a year-driving up and down these hilly gravel roads. I was sorry I missed the rest of the caravan, but they told me they would be all back the first week of October. I'll be ready with my camera then!

The second surprise was finding out that my prickly pear cactus was blooming! This prickly pear cactus appeared in this spot a few years ago, on its own. It has been spreading and growing bigger and bigger. And now, it's blooming! Aren't the flowers beautiful? The pads of this plant are edible, and very nutritious, but you'd better pick them off while wearing gloves. They don't call it the prickly pear for nothing!

I hope you enjoyed my surprises. And if you're experiencing the sweltering heat, we are experiencing, I hope you're managing to stay cool. If you're living in the areas plagued by severe storms, I pray that you stay safe.

Thank you for reading. Have a great week.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Prom Pictures and a Small Woo Hoo!

My daughter sent me some pictures of my oldest granddaughter, Nichole, going to her Senior Prom, recently. Pictured above is Nichole and her date, Danny. Aren't they cute?

And here is Nichole, with her best friend Ally. They have been best friends since kindergarten! They are lovely young women now, going off to college soon.

It seems like only yesterday that Nichole was a little girl, chasing my chickens around the yard, swimming with baby ducks in the kiddie pool, taking a walk in the woods with me, collecting pretty rock treasures, catching tiny frogs in cups at the river, and trying to sneak them home by hiding them in a suitcase, and crying when they were leaving to go home to the city, because she didn't want to leave her Nana! But, of course, she will always be my Honey-Bunny. And did I tell you that I am very proud of her?

Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following an other
Laden with happiness and tears
-From "Fiddler on the Roof"

I also want to mention a small Woo Hoo. I have a short, writing related article in this week's Writer's Weekly, a popular newsletter for freelance writers. Angela Hoy, who publishes the newsletter, bought this from me recently, and if you'd like to take a peek at it, here is the link to it:

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day!