It’s me, Peanut. My owner asked me to do a blog for her. Sometimes she forgets that I am royalty and she’s my servant.

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She won’t let me call her mommy. She says any child of hers walks on two legs, isn’t covered with fur and doesn’t stick his face in his food to eat. Sounds like strange creatures to me.

I’m learning that life isn’t fair. I mean if I coughed and hacked like she’s been doing, she’d put me outside. I only tolerate her behavior because she rubs my under the chin in that spot I really like. And of course, the food she provides. Mind you, I’m perfectly capable of finding my own food. I even offer to share with her. She isn’t as grateful as she should be. Humans are very strange creatures.

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So I’ve been contemplating what I should say. I’ve given it a lot of thought.

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I could tell you of my many adventures or how I learn to hide from a certain child. Or I could tell you–

But look at the birds out there. Excuse me while I go do some research.

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I’ve once again asked Peanut to stand in for me as I am sick with a cold.

He wasn’t impressed at my request.

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But finally agreed to say something.

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But I think he forgot before the urge to sleep claimed him.

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I pestered him until he woke up.

But then he took one look out the window, saw snow and hid.

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Oh well, I tried.

Maybe next week one of us will feel up to talking.

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It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Normally, it is a lovely fall day with crisp leaves of gold and yellow, fat orange pumpkins and a blue sky.

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Not so much this weekend. We have (shh, don’t say it aloud) snow. Yikes. What’s with that? I surly hope it doesn’t indicate we are in for a long, mean winter. If so, I might have to relocate to Mexico or Hawaii. Mind you, I think I’ve said that every winter for the last twenty years and yet here I am still.

Nevertheless, I have much to be thankful for.

1. A nice warm office where I can hunker down, write and ignore the cold weather.

2. My health and the health of my husband, children and grandchildren. So often we take such things for granted but when I look about at what others are dealing with I am truly grateful.

3.Friends. People who know my history and what it took to get where I am now. There’s no need to explain. They just know. And they listen when I need to talk. They pray for my concerns.

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4. The abundance of our garden and especially that it is DONE for another season. I will enjoy the vegetables every day of the winter and be glad I put in the effort to get them in my freezer or cold room but now is the time to enjoy the rewards of my labor.

5. The freedom and security of our land. I simply can’t begin to fathom what it would be like to be in a war-torn country, to be a refugee, to be reduced to living in a cold tent and wondering where I would get my next meal. My heart goes out to those who suffer these indignities.

6. My family. What a joy to share special occasions with them. To take part in everyday moments, to listen to joys and sorrows. Is there anything sweeter than a grandchild on my knee singing a story she made up? “Once upon a time there was…” Words can not begin to describe the feeling.

7. My church where the Word of God is taught, where we bear one another’s burdens and find sweet communion with others.

8. Grapes. Yes, I’m thankful for grapes which are now available year round. My favorite fruit. Apples are good too and again, we can get them fresh and crisp every day of the year. When I read about families in the thirties surviving the winter on turnips I realize how blessed we are.

9. My home. It’s just right for us. Oh sure there are some things I might change if I had the chance…like add an all-season sunroom and another bathroom. But like I said, it suits our needs. And now that it’s been repainted, repaired and rejuvenated, I like it even better.

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10. My God who loves me without measure, day in and day out.

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Happy Thanksgiving. What will be on your list of things you are thankful for?

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Autumn, also known as fall in North America, is here. The free dictionary describes it this way:

1. The season of the year between summer and winter, during which the weather becomes cooler and many plants become dormant, extending in the Northern Hemisphere from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice and popularly considered to include the months of September, October, and November; fall. In the Southern Hemisphere autumn includes March, April, and May.

It’s an explanation that falls (see what I did there?) far short of what autumn is. I prefer a collection of 24 quotes in Country Living. I share copies of 2 of them. To see them all go to:

I’m privileged to live in a small town with a college where there is a botanical garden and a wetlands project. And where I can walk and enjoy the plantings. I present some for your pleasure.

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I love autumn: Long walks, colorful leaves, cool air and a scent all its own. There is not room or time to list all the things I love about fall.

How do you feel about fall? What are your favorite things?

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I  confess to be a lover of lists. How do people live without them? How do they keep their lives running smoothly? I simply don’t know.

Here are some of my favorite lists:

1. The to-do list. I have one for the week and one for each day and yes, I have been known to write something on mine after I’ve done the job so I can then cross it off. It’s a form of celebrating what I’ve accomplished.

2. The shopping list. If it isn’t written down it doesn’t get bought. (Mostly because I can’t remember it). Not to admit to being OCD but my list is organized listed in order of how the stores appear in town. If someone suggests an addition after the fact, I just say it’s too late. It wasn’t on the list and I don’t backtrack.

3. Honey-do list. It saves nagging, saves excuses such as ‘I didn’t hear’ or ‘I forgot.’ I’ve learned to put no more than 2 or 3 things on a list at any one time.

4. Kid-do list. Same reasons as above. Mind you I don’t do these much any more but it’s interesting to see how many of my kids do lists. Even more interesting is that the ones who said they would never do that to their children are slowly learning it’s not a bad idea.

5. Goal list which is different than to-do list. This one is more expansive and far reaching. I include writing deadlines here.

6. Bucket list. Oh, my bucket list. One thing I was able to cross off was visiting Paris. But now I have ‘visit Paris again.’ (I need to go back and get digital photos!) There are a number of other places I’d like to visit. Another item I was able to cross off this year was renting a cabin at our favorite nearby lake and spending a week there with some of my family.

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7. A gratitude list. One year I made it my goal to each day list 5 things I was grateful for. I have so much. Anyone living in our country has so much and  yet I find people grumble and complain. (Yes, I am among those who do). Being deliberate about thinking of what I have helps me avoid this.

8. Harvest list. Every year I keep a list of what comes off my garden—beans, peas and apples in the freezer; carrots, potatoes and turnips in the root cellar; beet pickles in the basement.

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9. Exercise list. I confess this one has been less than successful but I am trying to find enjoyable ways to add exercise to my winter life. I don’t need more exercise in the summer—I have the garden and it’s fun to be outside. Winter, not so much.

10. Last but not least, I borrow from The Sound of Music and enjoy listing my favorite things. The colors of autumn would be on this list.

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There is one last list. One I don’t like. It’s the one that springs to mind in the wee dark hours of the night. It’s a reminder to me of all the embarrassing, awkward, wrong things I’ve said and done throughout my life. And in this, my memory is infallible. Crying face I can remember things from Grade One. What is with that???

Are you a list maker? Or do you find the practice horrifying?

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It’s been a tough week. I don’t want to talk about it and you don’t want to hear about it so instead I am going to talk about my cat. His name is Peanut.

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We’ve had him for two years. From the beginning he has been a character. Even when little he would rush out and grab people around the ankle. I put up a sign saying: WARNING:ATTACK CAT. People laughed and then screamed as he grabbed them.

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He loves to play. By the hour. It keeps the guy in the wheelchair occupied.

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But most of it, he likes to sleep. And he has a laid-back attitude toward the world. But then what does he know about deadlines, and demands?

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It got me to thinking about how we, as humans, forget to enjoy life. The words in the book, Jesus Calling, say it better than I could. I quote from that book:

‘So many people dream of the day when they will finally be happy; when they are out of debt, when their children are out of trouble, when they have more leisure time, and so on. While they day dream, their moments are trickling into the ground like precious balm spilling wastefully from overturned bottles.’

So for today I am going to do my best to look for and enjoy each precious moment.


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May 8, 2016. The garden is ready to plant. Should I plant 4 or 6 rows of beans? I can never have too many and if I do, I’ll give them away or leave them so I plant 6 rows or maybe it was 8.

June, early in the month. Weeding is hard work but is there anything that looks better than row after row of cleanly weeded emerging plants.

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June, late in the month. The beans, and the rest of the garden, are doing well after a dry spring. I can’t wait for fresh beans to eat.

July. Rains have broken the drought. The garden looks great. Can’t wait for fresh beans and peas.

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August: Rains continue. And the beans have started to produce. So nice.

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Mid August. The beans are really producing. REALLY producing.  I pick prepare and freeze 20 gals. in one picking. Do I really like beans as much as I thought?

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late Aug. Beans, beans, beans. If I never see another bean it will be too soon for me. I have 35 gallons in the freezer. I pick more and give them away.

Sept.3, 2016. The beans are about done. Yahoo. I pull the vines out and pile them up to be hauled away. Here is the pile so far. I’m only about 3/4 done ripping them out.

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I’m sure you’ve heard of patchwork quilts. Years ago, the girls and I made several crazy patchwork quilts. No pattern except that the quilt was made in 12” squares. The result is colorful and…well, crazy. Kind of fun to make.

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This week I am doing a major revision on one of my stories. I am taking out some elements, adding others and rearranging much of the scenes. It’s messy and a real work out for my brain. Pages look like this. (Page purposely blurred so no one can see which story it is and judge me. You know you would! Smile)


It’s not my favorite way to write but hopefully, after much more editing, it will produce a story that works.

For no real reason except to clear your mind after that blurred picture here are some flowers from Hawaii. Besides, flowers are pretty and easy on the eyes (and brain).

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Do you do anything that seems to have no rhyme nor reason until the project is finished?

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I spent a week at a nearby lake (one of my favorite places) with 2 daughters and 5 granddaughters.

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There is something about the water,

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the beach,

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the many benches and chairs along the promenade,

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and the ice-cream stores—Big Moo and More Moo.

The powers that be continue to improve the park. New amusements are added.

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It was a break from writing, weeding and gardening. A time of refreshment and enjoying my family.

What is your favorite activity of the summer so far?

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It’s August. The garden is at its peak which means…

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beans, peas and raspberries to pick. (that’s 5 gal. of beans.)

A new book has arrived. It never gets old to get these boxes of my book. This is the first of a new series set in NW Montana during a gold rush.

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And working on a new series of stories I plan—romances along the Santa Fe Trail. So doing lots of research.

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How about you? How is your August shaping up?

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