Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Tomorrow is our national day of giving thanks here in the U.S. - a day that is traditionally celebrated by having a huge meal of turkey with family and friends. Those who enjoy the sport of football also spend the day watching it on TV. When I was growing up my mother usually made the meal at our house, and the relatives would pile in from all around the city and outlying areas. Everyone lived close in those days.

For me personally every day is a day to give thanks, as I am very grateful for not only having a roof over my head and food on the table, but also for my friends and family. With the ever increasing storms that get more powerful each year, one never knows when tragedy will occur and everything could be taken away.

So I want to let you all know how grateful I am to have you in my life - all the new friends that I am making from around the world and those I have been reconnected with. I enjoy our conversations and am grateful for your support.

To my family so far away I am sorry that the distance keeps us from celebrating this day of Thanksgiving together, and I hope and pray that you will all have a safe and wonderful time tomorrow. Be good to one another - and send us lots of pictures and videos.

Thanks for reading - see you in a few days.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


This post is much longer than usual, so you might want to grab a cup of coffee first.

My husband and I used to manage recreational vehicle parks and resorts that varied in size and amenities. We always lived on site. The first park we did was listed as a small quaint park in a rustic setting - in other words - it was a dump! I didn't want to take the job, but my husband thought it was a good place to convert a bus. But that's another story. This tale is about tails - many different types of tails.

The piece of property sat on ten acres at the edge of a small town, and along two sides of the property there ran a trickle of a creek. Being a "rustic" place we saw our share of stray cats and dogs, possums and - because of the creek - there were also raccoons. I could write a whole story just about them, but this story is about the diversity we had there. Most of the property was unused by humans, so a family of coyotes took up residence where we humans did not tread. And why not? They had a varied menu right at their doorstep. Their den was cleverly hidden by vegetation on the side of a berm.

Aside from the more common critters, we had the occasional visit from more exotic ones. There was a ferret who set up housekeeping in the side yard for awhile. We never did find out where he came from or where he went when he left, but he was a riot to watch while he was there. He'd run up and down the trees and disappear in a flash down a gopher hole. We called him Ralph. And yes, we had our share of vermin, but I don't want to talk about them.

Another time we helped rescue a llama that was found strolling down the narrow country road that led to the park. We sheltered him in a fenced area until his owner tracked him down. He was such a gentle creature and so easy to care for. Some of our human visitors could have taken lessons from him. (That's an actual photo of him). We were sad to see him leave, but we got a tour of a llama ranch as our reward.

Now on to the many feathered friends that visited. We started out with the average back yard variety of birds, but over time had sightings of birds not common to the area. There were too many to mention here, but two really stand out in my memory. One was a male cardinal - so not common to that region. I had a visitor in my office who was from Minnesota and she was stunned when she saw the bird at one of the many feeders that we had built and set up throughout the back yard.

The other bird was a mystery. He was the size of a parakeet and despite my researching efforts, I never did find out what he was. This tiny visitor landed on husband's shoulder one day as if he was a long lost friend. He would frequently search for my husband and follow him around. And although we had set up a sheltered place for him to live, like many of our visitors, he eventually moved on. We hoped that he had been someone's pet and found his way home.

By this time my husband had tamed the wild growth on the property and created a trail for our visitors to walk their dogs. While walking our own dog one day, we noticed that the water in the creek had risen. We learned that a nearby wetlands area was being enlarged and the water was coming all the way from the base of the foothills. Our local raccoons were thrilled as their menu of fish increased. By this time the coons had taken up residence in a nearby clump of bamboo and would come up on our deck at night to share a meal with our cats and a local possum.

The engineers in charge of the wetlands project kept their eye on the creek, so we weren't concerned about overflow until an unusual winter storm headed our way. Concerned about the tenants who were closest to the creek, my husband decided to rent a tractor and widened the area where the creek turned at the corner of the property creating a nice sized pond. Within seconds the ducks started flying in to claim the newly created pond. This was a good example of "build it and they will come". In time, their numbers increased to the hundreds, which suited me just fine. 

Then the shore birds that were displaced from all the construction activity at the wetlands area followed along. I especially loved seeing the white egrets. Unfortunately several of the other shore birds discovered our little back yard fish pond and routinely emptied it of its contents. This was a different pond from the larger one.

There was a blue heron that would alternate from fishing in the big pond to waiting patiently for a gopher to emerge from a hole out in the field. Whenever he was spotted in the field, the people driving out of the park would turn around and go out the other way. Nobody wanted to disturb our feathered friends. 

Now back to the ducks. There were so many that we ended up buying large bags of duck food and we'd go out to feed them every morning and late afternoon. We started out laying the feed in a clearing by the pond, but sometimes they arrived before we got down to that area. So we'd find them waiting for us in a clearing closer to the park office.

One morning we slept in and were awakened by the phone ringing. We were told we had visitors waiting by the gate. Thinking that we had early arriving RV'ers, we dressed quickly and ran outside to check them in. What we found instead were dozens and dozens of ducks patiently waiting for their breakfast. What a treat that was. Not only did we enjoy our feathered visitors, but all the tenants in the park did as well. One tenant took a picture of the ducks walking up to the office from the pond. It was strange that they didn't fly up - I guess they realized how small the landing area was and didn't want a mass collision. I wish I could have found that photo to show you.

So that's my tale of tails. Now it's time to feed the little bundle of cat fur that has been sitting next to my keyboard waiting for her breakfast. Thanks for reading. See you in a few days. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday this coming Thursday, I'll put out my next post on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I am experiencing a mixed bag of emotions today. I am both happy and frustrated at the same time. The happiness comes from the fact that I was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of a nice gentle rain dripping off the awning. Rain is one of my favorite things. Some of my best memories are of walking in the rain - warm rain that is. Today's rain is not in that category as it is only 58 degrees (F).

Not surprisingly, my first novel - the first in the Jake & Maggie Maguire Book Series - is called Summer Rain. I had that title before I even started to write the book. The second book in the series went through several titles - most of which referred to weather. When I ended up with a working title of Miami Heat for the third book, I realized I was getting into a weather rut. And yes - I knew I couldn't use Miami Heat for the title. That one is now titled Midnight in Miami. So the rain is what has made me happy today.

The frustration is coming from having trouble installing a photo software. We installed it the other day - it wasn't working right - I sent an email to the manufacturer - and was told I'd have to wait a few days for a reply. So I went about my life for those few days and did other things. When I finally got a reply, I went to open the software and discovered that it had disappeared - completely! Not only were the on screen icons gone, it was nowhere to be found in the programs. Decided to walk away and try it again the next day.

So this morning we installed it again, this time on an external hard drive to make sure there would be plenty of room. We got further than we did the last time, but alas - a few minutes later - it disappeared again. If you're thinking "operator error" - I'm sure that's possible, but it's not the first time we've installed software. 

Are we frustrated? That's putting it mildly. We'll try again later - that's if I don't walk off into the rain. So there you have it - my mixed bag of emotions.

Thanks for reading. See you in a few days.

Monday, November 18, 2013


When my lovely wife talked me into retiring early from my construction business, I looked forward to spending some quality time with her. Unfortunately that hasn't happened. It didn't take long before I realized what a recluse she had become. I knew that she had gone through the "empty nest" syndrome, but that was quite some time ago - after our son, Casey, had gone off to college.

I knew she was an avid gardener - one only has to look at our landscaping to see that. What I didn't know was how much time she spends in that garden with her beloved cat, Duffy, a pure bred Himalayan. I tried to talk her into taking a cruise, but she complained about being claustrophobic and not wanting to leave her cat in the hands of strangers.

All I want is to take her to tropical locations, walk with her in the sand, and drink margaritas at sunset with the tiki torches lighting the night sky. It all sounds very romantic to me, but for some reason she won't budge from that garden.

So I go off every day and drown my sorrows - in coffee. We live in Costa Mesa, California close to the Newport Beach Yacht Harbor. I have a favorite little coffee shop over there that I frequent where I hang out with my ole buddy, Ernie. I love being near the water and the boats, but I'm not sure how long I can keep this up. It's not in my nature to be so inactive.

If I can make my dream come true, I think I can get Maggie to join me on that cruise. You see, I've decided that I want a yacht of my own. Do you think I'll get it? And how will she react if I do?

Thanks for reading - and for helping Maggie and me to push Joan along on her way to publishing Summer Rain.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


One of the first posts I saw on my Facebook news feed yesterday morning was by a gal who was stating how grateful she was for the seat warmers in her truck - because it was 13 degrees out. Now that's just way too cold for me. I was born and raised in snow country and although I love the stuff, I can't handle the cold. Unfortunately the two go together.

She ended her post by asking "what are you grateful for today?" That was easy. I was grateful that I wasn't in 13 degree weather! In fact, where I live the weather forecast was for a high of 90. Now that temperature a couple of months ago would have been a bit hotter than I like, but at this time of year it was very welcome. We do have to put the heat on early in the morning as the overnight temperatures dip into the 40's. 

Now it did take all morning for the temperature to get that high, but it was a chance to open the windows and air the place out. It's supposed to get into the 80's today, then tomorrow it will cool down again. This three day warm spell is called a Santa Ana. Normally the wind comes off the Pacific Ocean and heads east, but when we have a Santa Ana, the wind shifts and comes from the desert east of us bringing the warmer air with it. (And no we don't have camels in that desert.)

It did give me a chance to do some overdue gardening that I've been putting off due to being glued to this frickin' computer. I don't intend to waste today's warmth either, so I'm going to get this finished and go outside.

Although I prefer to be in a warmer climate, I do enjoy seeing all the snowy backyards - so please keep posting them. Do I miss the snow? Sometimes. Am I grateful not to be living in it? Definitely. Thanks for reading. See you in a few days.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I usually have my post written a day or two in advance - ready to publish on blog day. Today, however, I had nothing ready to go and worse than that - nothing I felt like writing about. After two months of intense self learning on the internet, I felt my brain needed a well deserved rest. So I spent the weekend doing nothing much besides watching needless movies (all feel good - everyone lives happily after) movies.

Trouble is now my brain doesn't want to get back into working gear. Maybe I need more than a weekend to unwind. After all I did accomplish quite a bit on my platform list. I created my Facebook page, and although I'm not getting a hundred "likes" a day like I would if my page was about erotic romance or cats, it's slowly growing. I'm up to 88 "likes" and am very grateful for each and every one.

I'm up to 80 followers on Twitter. Yeah, I know, that's nothing compared to some people who have thousands and thousands of followers. But I'm not actively tweeting. The only tweets that go out are from having my Facebook page connected to Twitter. I still don't get the value of the whole tweet thing.

LinkedIn has been more active since I updated it, but I haven't been reading books lately, so I haven't contributed to Goodreads.

I spent a lot of time as an Admin in a new writing group, plus I started this Blog and have been consistent with two posts a week.  I also got my website up and running the other day (although the content is minimal at this point). Here's the link if you care to check it out: 

So I'm feeling a bit of Internet burn out. Now it's time to give Summer Rain a final read and polish, then it will be time to get published. Still hoping to complete that before the end of the year. Thanks for reading. See you in a few days.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I had planned on writing something else today, until I watched a video on my Facebook news feed a few minutes ago. It had to do with a woman who was in her SUV that was sinking in ten feet of water during those recent Colorado floods.

As one man attempted to break a window with a stick, several other men swam out to help. One of the other men reached down into the water and was surprised when the woman grabbed his arm. He was able to drag her out of the car and up to the surface where the others helped to get her to safety.

The interesting part of the story was that when the SUV was later brought out of the water, all of the windows were completely closed. Nobody was able to explain how the woman got through the window. Divine intervention? I for one wouldn't discount it - and I'll tell you why.

At one time I had one of those little Fiat Spiders - smallest vehicle I ever owned. I never felt safe driving that thing, especially on the freeways where semi truck drivers loved to get behind me and scare the you know what out of me. I'm not saying that Fiat makes an unsafe car - no way - it's just that I was used to driving full size trucks and V-8's - not little convertible sports cars.

Back to my story - One day I was driving out onto a main road in the city when the Fiat stalled after going through a big dip in the pavement. As I was attempting to restart it, I looked to my left and saw a huge truck coming right at me. I thought I was a goner as the truck didn't appear to be slowing down. Then in an instant I found myself on the other side of the road. The strange thing was that I hadn't gotten the engine going again.

And no - no vehicle (or person) had come up behind to push me out of danger. It just happened - in an instant. Divine intervention? I like to think so. Thanks for reading - see you in a few days.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Hope I didn't get you guys confused with the change of my blog title. I decided I didn't want to keep sending out the "I'm lost" vibration into the universe. While I was searching for a new title, I discovered I already had one - my Twitter name. 

Since Maggie was kind enough to be my guest blogger the other day, I thought it would only be fair to extend the same courtesy to her husband, Jake. If any of you don't know who this couple is, please visit their Facebook page "Jake & Maggie Maguire". Here's the link for your convenience:

Anyway, Jake turned me down. Can you believe that? I tried to explain to him that it was like putting a prologue into a book. Maggie gave us some insight into her early years, and I wanted Jake to do the same. He flat out refused - saying he didn't like to talk about the past. He could tell I wasn't too happy with his refusal, so he tried the "complement" approach - saying that Maggie and I were better at writing than he was. I guess it worked as I stopped trying to push him into it.

So it looks like you'll just have to wait until I get Summer Rain published to find out about his background. Personally, I think he just wants to give off the image of a mysterious leading man. Guess I can't blame him for thinking that since my own image of him resembles that of Pierce Brosnan.

Now I suppose you would like to know what Maggie looks like. Well, to me she's the image of Rene Russo with the Irish attitude that Shirley MacLaine portrays so well. There you have it - a little insight into my main characters.

Now I need to get back into marketing research. I know Jake is upset with me because there haven't been any new Likes on their Facebook page this week. He wants me to step up my game - so much pressure! Thanks for reading - see you in a few days.