SUMMER SUNSHINE

One of the things I enjoy most about late summer is my sunflowers.

sunflowers 002sunflowers 003sunflowers 004

There are many things to enjoy about summer. Here are a few of my favorite things:

1. Family gatherings.

2. Days at the lake or any body of water and watching little girls play. Here is Anastasia giving her little sister a ride in the lake.

sylvan lake august 005

3. My garden. Sometimes it feels like too much work but a freezer full of vegetables looks real good.

gardens, etc. July 008

4. Day trips. It’s a great time to catch up on research and local activities.

5. Garage sales. For just a few cents I can get all sorts of books and other stuff. But I have to remember, something in, something out.

6. Summer heat and sunshine. But can you believe it went from +35C to only +4 C in the space of a week? At least the cold was short lived but could it be a warning that winter is fast approaching? Noooooo! I don’t want to hear it. Even Peanut does not want to hear it.

peanut 002

These are a few of my favorite things. Tell me some of yours.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

BEAN BUSY

I borrowed the pun from my daughter. Below is a sample of her picking.

I’m waiting for someone to write an ode to beans—green beans, yellow beans and purple beans. Yes, we had them in abundance this year.

view from my office window 006view from my office window 009view from my office window 008view from my office window 010

The purple beans were especially abundant, hanging in clusters. I lost track of how many gallons I picked of them and the green.

It’s nice to look in my freezer and see enough beans to eat all winter long but I can’t say I am sorry for the rain and wind that might have put an end to the plants.

I did find one poem that says a little of how I feel about my beans:

ODE TO BEANS BY JASON PIPER

Oh, my beautiful bean collection
How I love thee, in all your perfection.
I see your multitudes of shapes, sizes and colors.
And I think how could this be.
That no one in the world has experienced this joy
This joy you have brought to me.
I love your beautiful colors, shapes and sizes
I treasure you all, like my little prizes.
The world deserves to see, this beauty I see.
I will spend my waking hours displaying your splendor
Devoted to you in homage for life, I will be.
Little do they know the qualities you, my little beans possess
Your hard exteriors glow with such amazing colors they do impress.
Colors of the rainbow, reds, blues, greens, purples and a multitude of others do they show.
Though, seemingly impenetrable at first, but only with a little water
You become a gift of life and start to grow.
Giving nutrients straight from mother earth.
This is why I love you so, my beautiful beans.
I will spread you on my bed at night, look and marvel at thee…
Like a proud father I will gloat
But, when I fall asleep with you,
I pray, I don’t inhale you, or certainly I will choke.
Oh, my beautiful beans, how I love thee.

Have you bean busy? lol

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

CHRISTMAS TRILOGY AND FORT CALGARY

I have all three of my Christmas covers. Squeeee!!!

a daddy for christmasA Baby For ChristmasA Home For Christmas

Aren’t they the best covers ever? I love them.

Also this week, I visited Fort Calgary. I’ve never been there and found it quite interesting. The juxtaposition of historical and modern was wonderful. See for yourself. The old barracks with the Bow Tower in the background.

Fort Calgary 054

A view of what the interior of the fort would look like:

Fort Calgary 031

 

 

 

 

 

The hospital. The tools would make one shudder.Fort Calgary 034

 

 

 

 

The jail:

Fort Calgary 032

And a NWMP guarding the garden.

Fort Calgary 053

I don’t know if you can see in the above picture but the day before Calgary had had driving hail that shredded the garden terribly. Here is a picture taken on the street.

Fort Calgary 001

Summer is full of interesting things, isn’t it?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

LAZY HAZY CRAZY DAYS OF SUMMER

I don’t know about you but there is very little lazy about my summer. But lots of crazy.

However, I do manage to squeeze in an event or two that is a little more lazy. Like taking four screaming, drama-filled girls to the river with floaties.

day at Red Lodge Park 019

Depending on which version of the telling you hear, one or possibly two of the girls almost drowned when they fell off their floaties. That is until they realized they could actually touch the bottom with lots to spare. Too funny.

day at Red Lodge Park 007day at Red Lodge Park 008

I couldn’t help but notice everyone else who was there moved upstream or downstream from us. Do you think the screaming or the talk of drowning or maybe the concern about the presence of sharks might have had something to do with that?

No sharks. No drowning. But lots of noise.

day at Red Lodge Park 026

Now this is how I’d like to spend a few hours. Just enjoying the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

NEWS OF A NEW SERIES.

I’ve told you about the Christmas in Eden Valley series coming out this fall/winter. It’s time to introduce the new series being released in the spring of 2016.

Montana Cowboys features three half breed cowboys. Their mother was injured in the Battle of The Little Bighorn and fled for her life. She would surely have died if not for Big Sam Harding who rescued her and nursed her back to health. Of course they fell in love as young people often do. They married and had three sons. My series tells the stories of these three now-grown sons.

The first in the series will be released Mar. 2016 and is titled The Cowboy’s Ready-Made Family. I expect you can guess there are children involved in this story.

The second to be released in April 2016 is titled The Cowboy’s Baby Bond and features a darling little boy who wins the heart of the middle Harding son.

I don’t have a title or release date for the third book. Shucks, I haven’t even written it. That’s on my agenda for the next two months. But chances are there will be a child involved.

I’ve thought about writing this series every since I read a book by Albert Marrin called, Sitting Bull and His World.

sitting bull

Visiting the sight of the Battle of The Little Bighorn further fueled my imagination.

battle of little bighorn

I’m eager to see the covers for these stories. And I’m eager to see them in print. But first, I must get the third story written. Wish me luck as I work on it as well as harvest a huge vegetable garden and deal with summer activities.

BTW, what is one of your favorite historical events of the west?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off

THE LITTLE GARDEN THAT GREW

Every year I say I am cutting down on my garden space. But when the hubbie retired and the cows said goodbye there was no more need for those corrals and when the fences were removed there was all that space!! Two of the girls had their eyes on that plus the sister-in-law next door and a friend. So from one garden I have expanded to four gardens and a little one in front of the house where I have tomato plants and lettuce.

Garden #1 with 3 people sharing

 gardens, etc. July 007gardens, etc. July 008gardens, etc. July 010gardens, etc. July 009

 

 

 

 

Garden #2 with 3 people sharing

gardens, etc. July 001

Garden #3 with 2 people sharing

gardens, etc. July 002gardens, etc. July 003

 

 

 

 

 

Garden #4 with 2 people sharing

gardens, etc. July 005

And a few flowers to brighten the place

gardens, etc. July 006

Yes, I’m busy but nothing beats the taste of vegetables right from the garden. Or our own produce throughout the winter.

Do you garden? Especially a vegetable garden?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

CHRISTMAS IN JULY?

Not exactly. But I have the covers for two of my Christmas trilogy due out Oct., Nov., and Dec. of this year.

a daddy for christmas

 A Baby For Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are they not beautiful covers? I can’t wait to see the third one. Or at least until I can reveal it to the public. It’s beautiful as well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

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.

at the lake july 4 005

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.

sylvan lake 002

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?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off

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.

heartland 007

PEOPLE LINING UP TO GET IN.

heartland 026

SO MANY PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING A SCENE.

heartland 084

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

heartland 033

 

 

 

 

 

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

heartland 125

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

heartland 030

CASEY LOOKING EVER SO GOOD.

heartland 057

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.

heartland 126

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

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

my dad 001

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.

Posted in Father's Day | Tagged | Comments Off