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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Barbara Bettis: Writers' Wednesday Features Shellie Foltz

Barbara Bettis: Writers' Wednesday Features Shellie Foltz: I’m happy to welcome Shellie Foltz. I met Shellie a few months ago when she spoke to our local writers group, Ozarks Romance Authors, and s...

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Tonight I needed a break from being too much in my head.  I am making a presentation tomorrow morning at Southwest Regional Association of School Librarians and I'm nervous!  I also am having a book signing at Barness & Noble from 2-4 tomorrow afternoon.  It's great!  All of it is just great!  But, I am not an out in front sort of person by nature and these things are just a bit taxing for me.  So, I retreated to Paris tonight.

On the way home from school (after being stopped by the longest train of all time not once, but twice in trying to get to my destination and then being kept from turning where I needed to by traffic backed up at that same train a third time!) I bought some new placemats with a bistro and bicycle motif, a couple new coffee mugs that say "l'amour" and a few groceries for my vegan French dinner for two.

I literally spent hours in the kitchen tonight to prepare French Onion Soup Tartines, Cucumber Gratin, and for dessert, Profiteroles (however you pronounce that).  It was all lovely good.  We ate late (for us) by the fireplace and listened to Jazz Radio's Paris Bistro station.  We capped off the evening with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina

Romance is not dead.  No matter what they say.

And now, back to work!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Old Traditions Die Hard

This year my traditionally traditional approach to the holidays is succumbing to a mid-life shift in style.  I'm paring down.  Back when it was time to decorate for fall, I had a nearly panicked feeling about cluttering up my house, ruining the simple lines and clean, flat surfaces; I didn't want to feel surrounded by stuff.  I quite liked what I ended up with, but I have to admit, it was a far cry from my usual and it pained me a bit to put pieces I have always had out in the past back into their storage bins for that season.  Funny how it didn't occur to me then that I might face the same dilemma come Christmas.

Sure as shooting, though, when Thanksgiving came and went and we hauled up the holly from the basement, I found myself setting aside trinket after bauble after do-dad and settling on the simple again.  I'm very pleased with how it all looks, but in the back of my mind, that bit of guilt nibbled away at me:  Someone made this for me.  I've had this out at Christmas for fourteen years.  I remember the day we got that.  You know the routine.

More than special foods, more than miscellany, more than what was so important yesterday, I want to celebrate the moments I've been given to live my faith, to love my Lord, to sing, to choose, to lighten someone else's load, to cry when it is right to, and to focus on the joy of the season with family and friend - to celebrate.  

Merry Christmas.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Interview is Up and the Giveaway is Open!

Thanks, Readinista, for the fun interview and for hosting a giveaway of Love Under a Dark Sky!  Be sure to check out her awesome blog for tons of reviews and lots of other great stuff!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September Relishes

So much is made of the approach of fall.  Rightly so, I think.  It's a refreshing time, a time when new routines are formed and we draw more toward home.  It's a time for the return of familiar flavors and scents and sights, even sounds.  We all have special moments we look forward to in autumn:  spotting that first brilliant orange leaf on a tree in your own front yard; biting into the perfect apple from a local orchard; that wonderful dusky purple that edges the sunset; lighting candles of an evening; pulling on a sweater and snuggling in.

September is difficult, though, because as much as we want it to be fall, it just isn't yet.  All the back-to-school promotions and decorations in classrooms would lead you to believe it should be, but the temperature is still quite warm and there's nothing yet of the tell-tale crispness in the air.  So, before you let September get by you for wishing it was something it's not, I suggest you make a list of things to relish about it and make a point of celebrating each one.  Before long, you'll realize the dream of autumn's arrival; just don't miss the transitional time between.  It holds its own sorts of delights.

My September relishes include:  the first home football game that requires me to wear a jacket and allows me to comfortably drink a hot chocolate from concessions; buying a new nail polish or lipstick in something brown or burgundy or russet; and baking zucchini bread.

What do you relish about September?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Life In The Fast Aisle

Today I did the marketing. That sounds so much more sophisticated, almost European, than buying groceries. In the interest of full disclosure, this isn't my first time do this. After all I was a single dad for ten years and did all the marketing. Now that I'm retired I wanted to do something to ease Shellie's work load. So the house is very neat and the yard almost enviable. And now, after a long hiatus, I'm back in the food store, Wal-Mart none the less. With list in hand I set out this morning to do battle with the hungry hoards. I traveled up and down the rows all the way from the pet department, health and hygiene, paper goods, canned goods, dairy, produce, and finally frozen food. I was pleased to find that there are less sideways, aisle-blocking carts at that time of the morning and few screaming children. For once I couldn't complain about the slow bewildered looking elderly because I was clearly numbered among them. The only drawback was the long line that awaited at the check-out. Apparently we all finished our shopping at exactly the same moment. But after numerous announcements of "code 7 to the front" several lines opened and the crowd thinned considerably. In my attempt to further my "slowness" philosophy, I chose to remain in the same line. Then on to the car with bags safely tucked into the trunk. I felt very successful, even accomplished. I was able to procure almost everything on my list. How those ice cream bars found their way into my cart is still a mystery.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Market Basket Preview

Bruce is making his debut as our family's meal planner / marketer tomorrow.  I'm going to insist he write about it tomorrow!  Be watching.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thank You!

Thank you to the 991 people who entered my Goodreads Giveaway for a chance at one copy of Love Under a Dark Sky!  The winner has been chosen and will receive her copy soon.

Keep reading!

Monday, August 1, 2011

He Worries

He worries about me.  Isn't it sweet?  I'm 43 years old; we have been married for 13 years; I have driven all over the country as part of my first job out of college; since I started teaching, I've driven to innumerable conferences and workshops and training sessions.  I haven't had a wreck since that weird run of three Valentines Days in a row when I was 18, 19, and 20 - that's ancient history - and only one parking ticket in the interim!  Yet, he worries about me.

This weekend I will be attending a committee meeting in Columbia, MO.  It's a mere three hours from home.  All good roads, daytime driving, and I'm renting a car since ours has gotten, well, old and well-used.  Of course, anything can happen, but that's true anytime with everyone.  Today is Monday and he has mentioned my trip, let's see, around. . . five times today.

He worries about me.  Isn't it sweet?