Thursday, August 28, 2008

My First Blogiversary and My First Giveaway!

Today, August 28 is my first Blogiversary! And it's also my first giveaway. I copied and pasted my first post right here below, so you can have the pleasure of reading it, since only two people read it when it first appeared. LOL.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm So Confused!

Today is Tuesday, August 28, and I'm trying to set up a blog. But I'm so confused. I seemed to have created three different blogs, but I only want one. Maybe the extreme heat in our area for weeks on end now, fried my brains.

I'm hoping that blogging will get my creative juices flowing better. I did have good news in the mail. A contract came from Bordon Books for a story to be published in, The Best Dad in the World. That was a nice surprise. And Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating Brothers and Sisters, contacted me about a "media blitz" they are now having for the book. That's neat. My story in the book is "You're Too Cute To Be A Boy." My sons and daughter will get a kick out of the story, once they read it. I think. I hope! And I received my copy of the September issue of Catholic Digest, a few days ago, with my story in it. I'm on page 74, in case anyone reading this subscribes to it.

Well that's enough good news for today. I am going outside to do a rain dance. Hoping it will help end this long, dry period we've been in. And a little prayer can't hurt either: Dear God, please bless these beautiful but dry woods with some rain, soon. Amen!"

My very first commenter's were my daughter, and my lovely young and talented writer friend, Michele, from Writing the Cyber Without her help and encouragement, I never would have begun. Michele is not only a good blogger friend, she is a real life friend as well, as she lives in my neck of the woods. Thank you, Michele!

So, to celebrate my first Blogiversary, I decided to have my first give away. Everyone who comments on this Blogiversary post between today and September 6, will be entered in a drawing for a special book, which I think is the perfect book to give away to someone in blog land, because bloggers are the kind of people who often make a difference in people's lives! (Oh, and I do have a story in this book, entitled, The Compassionate Enemy.)

My best friend Eileen will draw the name of the winner, and I will post the name here on September 9. At that time I will ask the winner to email me her postal address, so I can mail her/him the book.

I have met so many kind and supportive friends and wonderful bloggers in my first year of blogging, and I thank each and every one of you for that support. I do hope you hang around for another year. :-)

Have a wonderful day, everyone. Blessings from the woods!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cruising Down the River!

Our weather has been perfect for spending time at the cabin on the river, and doing some cruising in the jet ski. The captain doing the navigating is my younger son, Greg.

Here he is, above, sitting next to me, manning the steering wheel, while I am snapping pictures. I'll have to keep it a secret from him that I put his photo on my blog though. lol.

So I thought I'd show a few pictures of our lovely river, along with a few of some of the cabins we see along the way. There are many more, some elaborate and large, some smaller and some tiny, (but quaint,) like our cabin.
The Current River is a very beautiful river with blue green waters, and scenic views. This is where it really begins, at Big Spring, in Van Buren, Missouri. The ladies on the dock in this picture didn't know they were going to be on my blog, just as Greg didn't know!

As the Current River winds its way through our hilly, forested County, it sings its sometimes tumultuous, sometimes placid song. And in the water, on the banks, and in the sky above it, wildlife thrive. Can you see the nose of the jet ski, where I am sitting, snapping the pictures?

Another picture going north on the river. I have not been successful at snapping a picture of any of the Great Blue Herons, although they are always around, for the fishing is good on our river. But I will keep trying, and maybe have some next time. Many Bald Eagles spend winter along the Current, arriving in the fall, as do other beautiful visitors like the Osprey, or fish hawk. Of course, tourists from all over the country come to enjoy some float trips and fishing on our beautiful river. Float trips are done in huge inner tubes, that are carried along with the river's current. The last time I went on one of those was with my daughter and son-in-law, a few years ago. These days, I prefer cruising and floating in the jet ski. Not as scary!

And below, you see a few of the cabins we passed.

Heading back now after a totally relaxing hour spent cruising the river. Guess where I will be once again, very soon?

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of this area, featuring our favorite playground-the Current River.

Thank you for visiting. Have a great weekend, and week ahead, friends.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Amen! of Nature!

August's loveliest surprise!

Friday we had some lovely, light rain, and cool temperatures, and when I came home from an outing, I found the Magic Lilies blooming! Can you see the raindrops on them? Actually, I don't know the name of this flower. Everyone around here calls them magic lilies, because they appear as if by magic, and disappear the same way, leaving no trace behind. They have a long stem, but no foliage of any kind, and they have a heavenly fragrance. They are August's loveliest surprise! Anyone know their real name, or are they really magic lilies?

The meaning of Passion Flower is: Faith, religious fervor. And the color is a heavenly blue!

"The Amen! of Nature is always a flower." Oliver Wendel Holmes. Ah, yes it is!

Blue and white and lavender Amens! at Mammoth Spring State Park, in Arkansas, where I love to visit and take pictures.

"Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into."- Henry Ward Beecher.

After a wordy last post, I decided to show you a few of my flower pictures today. Thank you for visiting. Have a lovely Sunday, and a great week ahead, everyone.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just Dabbling-And a Woo Hoo!

I decided to post something a little different this morning. A bit of dabbling. A story I have been playing around with. Not that I haven't posted stories before, but they were always non-fiction based on personal experience, and this is a piece of fiction. I rarely write fiction. So this is a short-short (short-shorts are 500 words or less) Paranormal Fantasy. The setting is from my own personal experience, but that's where it ends. This story is a work of the imagination, and maybe not that great, but it was an interesting exercise for me. I hope you enjoy it.

Kati and the Dolphins

Anni is fourteen and Kati is fifteen when both of their families receive the news they had been waiting for. They are going to America!

For Hungarian refugees who had been living in a refugee camp for the past four years, this is wonderful news. It is their chance at a new life. What is even more wonderful is that Kati and Anni, who are best friends, will be going to America together.

On September 7, 1951, they board the ship, with hundreds of other refugees. Then they stream to their assigned quarters, women and children separated from men and older boys. Kati and Anni will be sleeping next to each other in upper bunks, with their mothers below them.

When the ship pulls out to sea, they gather on the deck. It is a poignant
moment for the adults, who are sad about not seeing their homeland again.

“But we’re on our way to America, the land of the free and the brave,” Kati says. She and Anni embrace this new adventure with hope in their hearts.

Kati and Anni soon begin to explore the ship. They eat together in the massive dining hall, and play together in the huge recreation room on the ship. Meanwhile, both girls parents’ spend most of their time in bed,
suffering from seasickness.

By the second day on the ship, Kati and Anni have made a new friend. He is a young American who works in the galley and brings them treats on his breaks, telling them about life in America. Anni knows that Dave’s interest in them is due to Kati’s beautiful looks. She has long, curly black hair framing her oval face, and the blossoming body of a young woman, while her own body is still in limbo, like her braided locks. But both girls enjoy Dave’s attention.

On the third day of their voyage as Kati and Anni are sitting in the recreation room leafing through a book, Dave rushes in and motions to them.

“Come on girls. I want to show you something,”

They jump up and follow him to the deck.

“Look! Dolphins!” Dave says, pointing to the great Atlantic below them.

“Oh, They are beautiful!” Kati cries breathlessly. They enchant Anni, too. They count six dolphins carrying on playfully in the great waves.

“Listen! They are talking to us,” Kati says, leaning so far down on the
railing that she frightens Anni, who pulls at her friends jacket and cautions,” Be careful or you’ll fall in the water.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind that in the least,” Kati laughs. “They are calling me.
It would be wonderful to join them and ride the waves on their backs.”

“It would not be wonderful for you. You’re not a dolphin. You wouldn’t
survive down there,” Dave says earnestly. Kati gives him a strange look,
and then walks away from them.

After that, the dolphins begin to obsess Kati. She looks for them and talks
about them day and night, and Anni, not knowing how to handle her friends new obsession, grows more and more worried. Even when there are no dolphins out there, Kati claims she can hear them calling her. Her obsession begins to frighten Anni.

On the sixth day of their journey, Kati suddenly becomes very sick. Her
mother, thinking she is seasick, makes her stay in her bunk all day. Of
course, Anni keeps her company.

“Do you feel sick to your stomach?” she asks with concern.

“Maybe a little,” Kati replies. “I’ll be alright by tomorrow.”

That night, as Anni lies in her sleeping bunk across from Kati, thinking she is asleep, she suddenly hears her moaning. Then Kati whispers, “I’m coming. I’m coming.”

“Kati, who are you talking to?” Anni asks. But instead of a reply, she hears her friends soft, lilting laughter. Kati is in her bunk, but her laughter is floating above them, moving across the entire area, before disappearing into the night.

Anni sits up and calls to her loudly. “Kati! Kati! Are you alright?”

By this time both Kati’s and Anni’s mother are awake, and get out of their bunks to see what the problem is.

“Kati is gone,” Anni wails, tears streaming down her cheeks. “She went to join the dolphins.”

“What do you mean she is gone? She is lying right there, in her bunk,” her mother says, while Kati’s mother climbs up and shakes her daughter.

“Oh my God! She is dead! Oh my God!” She screams, waking everyone up. The ship’s doctor is summoned. But it is too late. They take Kati away.
The doctor says she had pneumonia, the kind that strikes like a blitz. Her
mother, blaming herself for Kati’s death, becomes so depressed that she
doesn't utter another word during the rest of the journey. Anni is pretty
depressed herself.

Two days before they arrive in New York Harbor, Anni is up on the deck, watching the waves lapping at the ship. Suddenly, several dolphins appear and begin carrying on with their usual antics. Anni does not call down to them like before. She just stands there and watches them in silence.. Then she hears something. “Wee, this is wonderful!” It’s Kati’s voice!

“You hear it too, don’t you?” a voice behind her remarks, startling Anni. It’s Dave. They stand there in silence, listening to the lilting laughter below, until the dolphins disappear.

“Ill never forget you, Kati,” Anni whispers sadly.

Their arrival in New York Harbor is a somber one. Kati’s parents have to think about burying their daughter in this new land. Anni’s heart aches for them. She wants to tell them that Kati’s spirit is happy among the dolphins, but she knows she cannot. So she give them both a tearful hug, and then walks away in silence, carrying the truth with her into eternity.

The End. :-)

The Woo Hoo is I just heard from my editor at Silver Boomer Books, and "Freckles to Wrinkles" is now published and my copy (and check!) will be arriving soon. My story in the book is called "Guard Duty," and it's a horse story. I was also invited to a big to do about the book in Abilene, Texas, but unfortunately, I can not attend it right now.

Thank you for reading my somewhat simple attempts at writing a short short story. I need lots of practice.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy 08-08-08!

The Foundation of Peace Community Project is observing A Moment of Peace, on 08-08-08, at 08 AM. Please join in.

Peace and Blessings to everyone, where ever you are on Planet Earth, on this special date!

Happy 08-08-08!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Cat and Deer Tale- in Pictures!

Here is a little cat and deer incident that I was lucky enough to capture on camera recently.

Felix the cat, was just lolling in the field, enjoying a breeze, minding his own business. A doe came out of the woods, and noticed Felix. See the doe really looking Felix's way? Her ears are like antenna's, pointing towards the cat.

The doe decides to move closer and check out this creature lying there, and you can see the cautious expression on her face. Felix isn't budging from his spot.

The doe moves even closer, really taking a good look now. Felix looks back, but isn't a bit intimidated.

"Nothing to worry about," the doe seems to be thinking, or maybe even saying in deer language, since you can see her mouth moving.

"I wasn't worried," Felix the cat seems to be saying, as he continues to enjoy his spot in the field.

The doe finally walked back into the woods, and Felix got hungry and came to eat his lunch.

The End! :-)

I hope you enjoyed my little cat and deer tale in pictures. Animals can be very entertaining.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.