SIMPLE JOYS

This week I took a granddaughter to a nearby lake. No cousins to help entertain her but the purchase of a $20 swimming tube sure helped.

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With a tube you can swim. You can lounge back and relax. You can flip the tube round and round. You can paddle. On dry land you can have a very fat hula hoop. It’s an endless source of amusement.

A cool breeze blew over the lake. What a lovely day to spend a very hot day.

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Going to the lake is one of my favorite ways to spending a summer day. What are your favorite ways to spend the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer?

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I’D RATHER BE A WRITER

This week I had a brand new experience. Along with my daughter and 11-year-old granddaughter we went to the Millarville Race Track where we were extras in an episode of Heartland. http://www.cbc.ca/heartland/ For a video of the day go to the blog What A Day!! And it was quite a day. (BTW, can you hear me clapping on the video? lol)

We watched them film 4 little segments from the episode. Each segment was filmed 3 or 4 or 5 times in order to get it exactly as the director wanted it. There was much attention to detail. At one point the audience had to move to fill up a spot where the sun was reflecting off the aluminum bleachers. Several times we had to mime clap so as not to interfere with the other sounds they wanted to capture.

It was interesting and informative. The episode airs Oct. 18.

I’ll share some pictures.

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PEOPLE LINING UP TO GET IN.

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SO MANY PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING A SCENE.

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THE GROUND’S MAN CONTINUALLY RAKED THE ARENA TO MAKE IT LOOK FRESH AND THE DOG ON THE SET TRIED TO HELP. LOL

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GRANDPA JACK—LOOKS TO ME LIKE HE’S WORKING ON HIS LINES

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AND A YOUNGER JACK FOR A FLASHBACK SCENE. I UNDERSTAND THIS YOUNGER JACK IS CLOSER TO HIS REAL AGE.

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CASEY LOOKING EVER SO GOOD.

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AMY-EVEN PRETTIER IN REAL LIFE THAN ON THE CAMERA AND SO GRACIOUS. SHE TOOK THE TIME TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AND EXPLAIN THE PROCESS AS EACH SCENE WAS SET UP.

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GEORGIE—A BIG THANK YOU TO THE GIRL FOR MAKING THE DAY EXTRA SPECIAL FOR MY GRANDDAUGHTER.

Kudos to the entire cast and crew who were gracious hosts and made the day memorable. It was very interesting to see how episodes are filmed but after watching how hard they work I decided I would sooner stay at home and be a writer.

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

I have been blessed to have had a wonderful father. This is a picture of him holding my brother.

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What makes him so special?

#1. He was fair. Yes, we got punished but we knew we deserved it.

#2. He made time for his family whether it was making work a family affair, taking us for car rides or on picnics.

#3. He taught me about nature. We went fossil hunting, observed wild animals and studied the stars.

#4. He loved history and taught me to do so as well. Visiting museums was part of those lessons.

#5. He did not hold a grudge and, in my opinion, had plenty of reason to do so. Others didn’t always treat him fairly even those in his own family. But I don’t recall him ever expressing bitterness about it.

#6. He was always polite and expressed his gratitude. He never rose from a meal without thanking his hostess—whether my mother, myself or someone else—for the lovely meal.

#7. He was a patient man. He must have been to put up with my siblings. LOL.

#8. He loved to travel though his journeys never took him far from home.Mostly he took us to visit relatives, but we took time to enjoy the landmarks and scenery.

#9. He taught us to respect others and treat them fairly.

#10. He loved God, his Bible and church and was faithful in living his beliefs in his life.

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COVER REVEAL

It’s here!! The cover for my Oct. 2015 release—the first in the Christmas trilogy—Christmas in Eden Valley. And I love it.

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Finally, after lots of hard work both on my part and the editors’, the book is about to be released.

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BUSY DAYS

I wish I had something important or profound or even interesting to post today. I don’t. It’s not that my life is boring. Quite the opposite. Maybe that’s my problem.  I’m too busy.

I have had 3 major projects to complete in my writing. Two are done. The third will be done in a couple of days and by then there will be two more to do.

We now have four gardens in our yard. Four very dry gardens. Last year was so wet and this year it is so dry. And of course the bugs love the dry weather. (And there are those we love the wet so you can’t win.). I have treated the bugs organically with diatomaceous earth. Sure hope it works.

The outside of my house is getting painted. I’d post a picture but it is only partially done. But wait, maybe you should see what we are living with.

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I’m looking forward to having it done. BTW f you note the dandelions, their presence is intentional. They (whoever they are) say that destroying dandelions threatens the bee population so I’m doing my best to ensure future generations have a food supply.

Hubbie and I also helped our daughter shear alpacas this week. A new baby alpaca was born while we were there. Here is my granddaughter admiring it.

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So although I have nothing important and wise to say, I can’t say my life is boring. Summer is always super busy. It’s like we want to pack as much living into a few months as possible.

I hope your summer is also busy, interesting and fun. What makes it so for you?

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HEROINE INTERVIEW BLOG HOP

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Character Interview Blog Hop – heroine

Thanks to MEARA PLATT – for her interesting interview with Daffodil Farthingale – identical twin to Lily Farthingale in My Fair Lily, which you can read here: http://mearaplatt.blogspot.com/2015/02/those-darn-farthingale-twins.html
I love the title of her book, The Duke I’m Going To Marry, a Regency era historical romance.

Now to introduce my heroine. Widowed Clara Weston is on the run to protect her two little girls from her father. She’s never managed on her own before but—wait, why don’t we ask Clara to tell her story. You can find Clara’s story in my October 2015 Love Inspired Historical book, a DADDY FOR CHRISTMAS, the first in a Christmas trilogy. I wish I had covers to reveal but not yet though I have seen previews of the first two of the series and they are beautiful.

Linda: Clara, tell us about yourself.

Clara: First, my name is really Clara Creighton. I changed my name to make it harder for my father to find me. If I had to describe myself I would say I have been pampered all my life. No, that’s not quite the right word. It’s more like I’ve been taught I’m not capable of looking after myself, let alone my two girls.

Linda: So what have you done about that perception? I assume it’s wrong, isn’t it?

Clara: I guess at first I believed it but over the years I’ve had more and more freedom, learning that I had strengths and abilities no one gave me credit for. Mostly my husband—God rest his soul—and my father. (Her jaw juts out). But when I overheard my father telling the girls they didn’t need to do their lessons because girls weren’t expected to know anything of importance, I realized it was time to leave.

Linda: You mean you ran away from your father? How will he feel about that?

Clara, glancing over her shoulder: He warned me if I tried to leave his care he would follow me and take the girls from me.

Linda: My goodness. That is frightening. Have you told Blue about this?

Clara: No. I guess I want to prove to him, to myself…to everyone, that I can manage on my own. I must in order to be able to defend myself against my father.

Linda: Do you wonder if you can give the girls what is best? 

Clara: I firmly believe being together and teaching them to have confidence in their abilities is the best thing I can do. (She sags momentarily). I hope they don’t suffer too much while I try and find us a home.

Linda: Is there a person who has made a positive difference in your life?

Clara, her expression softening: That would be Blue. He’s so steady, so solid, so kind despite his own losses.

Linda: It sounds like you don’t get much time for yourself. How does that feel?

Clara: Once the girls are in bed, I’m alone. I like to read but mostly I think. You know, a person can have too much time for thinking.

Linda: So you’re a woman with a huge secret?

Clara: I have to hide my true identity and be as inconspicuous as possible. Father will not hesitate to follow me and take the girls.

Linda: To shift the conversation a bit, what is the thing you value most?

Clara: That’s easy. My girls. I will move heaven and earth for them. And right on the heels of that is my freedom. I don’t need or want a man running my life, telling me I’m not capable and ordering my every move. I don’t want to be considered a pretty little thing without an intelligent thought in my head.

Linda: I hope things work out for you so you get a new home and your freedom.

Up next in the blog hop is LILLIAN MAREK – with her interview of her heroine Lady Emily Tremaine, who longs for adventure. You’ll find Lady Emily’s story in the book: Lady Emily’s Exotic Journey an Historical Romance.

Her blog will go live June 9, 2015. lilmarek.indiemade.com/blog Be sure and check it out here. You can find more about her on her website: lilmarek.indiemade.com

Lillian Marek spends most of her time in the 19th century, discovering new adventures for her characters. LADY EMILY’S EXOTIC JOURNEY, to be published on August 4, is the second in the Victorian Adventures series.

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BANFF ALBERTA

I just returned from a 2 day girls’ trip to Banff. Four of my five daughters joined me for a all-girls’ getaway. Such fun.

There was eating. Lots of eating. Of course, those who can enjoy such treats had a Beaver Tail (it’s a kind of flat doughnut that you can have topped with any variety of toppings). The girls dutifully accompanied me to the Whyte Museum

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On the right, a display depicting Mary Schaffer Warren, an early woman explorer.

No trip to Banff would be complete without going to the Banff Springs Hotel. This is a view of their sunroom off the great ball room.

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Nor could we not wander the administration gardens.

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But the highlight was a morning spent at Lake Minnewanka. Such stunningly beautiful scenery.

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You might guess that I love Banff.

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LAST STOP

Two weeks ago, my blog took me to the beautiful Broadmoor hotel. It’s a place I could gladly spend a week or two for a writing retreat.

My last stop on my trip to Colorado is Bent’s Old Fort on the Santa Fe Trail.

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The fort has been restored with people in period dress and the rooms displayed as they would have been at the time. There is also an opportunity for people to sign up for a week of living authentically as one would in those days. Yes it was tempting. But I’m not keen on sleeping in a buffalo robe on the floor.  

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I am considering setting a series on the Santa Fe Trail so enjoyed seeing this place and purchasing several books for research.

If any of you have a good resource for more information on the Santa Fe Trail, I would love to hear from you.

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HAPPY MOHTER’S DAY

I am blessed to come from a long line of Moms. Ha ha.

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My mother on the left with two of her sisters.

My mother taught me many things. Like the importance of words and of pursuing your dreams. She wrote hundreds of articles, stories, puzzles, etc.  I think she got paid a few cents/word. But she faithfully wrote, faithfully sent out her work and never complained when she got rejections.

She taught me how to work hard. Monday was wash day and that meant putting a tub of water on the stove to heat overnight then up early to start the laundry. All the clothes would be hung on the line before we went to school. She also grew a huge garden using the empty lots of either side of our house. Most of the labor was done by hand.

She taught me the importance of taking care of others. She regularly visited shut ins, often opened her house to someone in need and took care of a friend’s child for several months when the need arose. I never once heard her complain of the extra work or inconvenience. Come to think of it, I never heard her complain about much of anything and her life of hard work makes mine look easy.

She taught me the importance of reading my Bible and memorizing scriptures, offering us rewards for learning many passages by heart. Along with that, she taught me that God loves me and because of Jesus’ death on the cross, there is a way for me to enjoy that love eternally. I remember asking her, at the tender age of four, what I had to do. I don’t recall the exact words but something to the effect of just asking Jesus to be my Savior. I think she used the words, ask Him into your heart.

Mom, your works rise up and bless you. Thank you for being faithful to your dreams and convictions. Thank you for teaching me such valuable lessons.

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NEXT STOP

Last week I was on the train through the Royal Gorge. Did any of you guess it?

Here’s a picture from the top.

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Can any of you guess my next stop? It would be a perfect place for a writing retreat.

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The flowers and lake are beautiful.

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There is even a museum and lots of western art useful for research.

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Where am I?

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