17 06, 2024

I Celebrate Three Fathers on Father’s Day

By |2024-06-14T15:19:52-05:00June 17th, 2024|Holidays, Writer's Life|0 Comments

For some celebrating Father’s Day might means a birth father. For others, it’s a stepfather or a relative or friend that serves the father’s role.

I’ve been blessed with three godly men who were notable examples of a father’s love, offering faith and wisdom and guidance along my way.


My daddy taught me how to fish, how to hunt, and how to dress out my bounty. He taught me how to build things, grow things, and cook around a campfire. He taught me raunchy songs and words as though a son, not a daughter, and then reminded me to always be a lady. =)


My second father was my beloved uncle who told me often he received word of my birth when he was on Ivo Jima. A Marine through and through, he taught me to shoot straight, with a firearm and with my words. He taught me the fun of antique auctions and old things. He showed unconditional love in the tough times and tough love when needed. He was a wise counselor.

I inherited my preacher father-in-love when I married his son. My third father shared his Bible wisdom and whetted my appetite for Bible study. Best of all he raised his only son to be a great husband and a godly father.

All three are gone so Father’s Day is a bit sad for me. Remembering them on their special day brings back fond memories and makes me smile.

As Holley Gerth says:

“One of the greatest blessings God can give us is a father whose faith passes on the heritage of the past, provides blessings in the present, and guides us with wisdom for the future.”

Do you have a father figure you count as a blessing? I’d love to hear about your daddy in the comments.

24 05, 2024

Memorial Day Weekend

By |2024-05-23T09:13:24-05:00May 24th, 2024|A Writer's Life, Holidays|2 Comments

Hearing “Happy Memorial Day” greetings is hard for me. I understand we equate the weekend as the beginning of summer and that is a happy thing.

BUT Memorial Day is not about going to the beach or having a cookout.

Those things aren’t wrong. Not at all. I enjoy a hot dog or a hamburger with family and friends and celebrating what signals the start of summer same as anyone else.

I’m just saying that we should also remember why Memorial Day was originally set up.

Memorial Day is for all those soldiers who are gone but never forgotten.

If you are a military family, it’s a day filled with hard memories, not a carefree day. Even if you have no military connection, most likely you’ve lost friends who served. Memorial Day is a day to remember them.

The whole month of May is designated Military Appreciation Month which makes confusion understandable.

Armed Forces Day (May 18) and Veterans Day (November 11) give Americans a way to thank current service members. Thank you for your service, greetings are welcome.

Memorial Day honors those who have paid the ultimate price in service to our nation. If you know a Gold Star family, perhaps a Sorry for your loss is more appropriate than Happy Memorial Day.

This chart explains.

Sometime during this Memorial Day weekend why not stop for a minute to remember our fallen heroes?

13 05, 2024

Mother’s Day and Flowers

By |2024-05-12T09:53:58-05:00May 13th, 2024|A Writer's Life, Holidays, Writer's Life|0 Comments

love background with mothers day illustration

Did you wear a corsage for Mother’s Day Sunday at church services? I did.

Growing up in the Hill Country of Texas, almost everyone at church sported a carnation or a corsage on Mother’s Day. It’s a longstanding Southern tradition, and, even though you’re the one wearing the flower, the purpose is to celebrate your mother’s presence in your life.

Color matters. Red or pink flowers meant your mother was still with us. If she’d crossed over, you wore white.

Every Mother’s Day, my mother would load us into the station wagon and take us to her mother’s house before church. Grandmother grew red and white rose bushes. We’d pick a blossom to wear on our Sunday dress or shirt.

Because our Mother was very much alive, all three of us cut red roses. Nowadays, I wear a white rose.

Wearing a Mother’s Day corsage is a Southerner’s way to say, “I love you, Mom and I’m so glad to share this day with you” or “I’ll never forget you and I’ll love you always.”

Flowers on Mother’s Day is one of the many ways Southerners show their manners without words. Like when we pull over for a funeral procession to let the bereaved know we understand their grief and we’re sorry for their loss.

Or “carry food” to a neighbor or to church after a funeral to offer support and love.

Or open doors for the person behind us to be helpful and show respect.

For me, it’s a matter of being polite. Something that’s stressed to all Southern children until it’s automatic.

If you’re not into corsages, cut flowers also work for Mother’s Day remembrance. Flower colors in bouquets silently speak too. According to Pantone, the color specialist,

Green reflects a mother’s protective nature,

Yellow– Mom’s optimistic outlook towards life and her children,

Pink – her compassionate and nurturing soul, and

Red – a mother’s passion and empowerment.

If you missed Mother’s Day, flowers are welcome any day.

I’m sure you’ll find lots of flower bouquet choices half-price today. My supermarket sure had Mother’s Day flowers everywhere.

1 04, 2024

April Fools’ Day

By |2024-03-30T08:28:29-05:00April 1st, 2024|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Today is officially the day when pranks and pranksters abound. Be alert!

An April fool is the victim of a joke or trick played on April 1st hence the name April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day.

A little aside here, finding a grammatically correct meme wasn’t easy. The day is April Fools’ Day. There are multiple fools in the world. This is their holiday hence the s apostrophe.

Although dictionaries show both fools’ and fool’s, the plural possessive makes the best logical sense to me.

Whichever way you spell it, playing jokes and tricking people has been around for centuries, but no one knows its origins for sure.

My favorite theory is April Fools’ Day is of French origin and dates to 1582 when the Council of Trent required the French to switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

Those who embraced the new calendar started to mock the reluctant ones, offering false presents, and playing tricks on them. Those tricked or fooled are called April fools or Poisson d’avril (April Fish).

Eventually, the fish name-calling tradition evolved into the exchange of fish-shaped cakes and then paper fish associated with jokes and hoaxes.

School-aged children in France design paper fish to stick on the backs of unsuspecting people.

Much like children in the US create kick me signs.

April Fools’ Day is a popular, widespread day but not an official public holiday in any of the countries where it’s recognized.

No one seems to want to grant formal recognition to a day that allows attaching paper fish or playing pranks on unsuspecting folks.

Wherever April Fools’ Day originated, it’s a perfect day to enjoy some laughter with family, friends, and coworkers.

Smiles and laughs are important for a balanced life, don’t you think?

29 03, 2024

Easter and the Paschal Triduum

By |2024-03-28T18:23:45-05:00March 29th, 2024|Holidays|0 Comments

For the Christian world, Maundy Thursday ushered in the Paschal Triduum, the three days ending with Lent and leading to Resurrection Sunday (Easter).

The term may be familiar to Protestant denominations like Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed as well as Anglican churches that observe Lent.

Other denominations may or may not be familiar with the term.

In our Methodist Church, the Triduum is called “the Great Three Days,” and on each day except Saturday, there are church services.

Maundy Thursday services remind us of Jesus’ command (to love one another) as He washed His disciples’ feet and shared The Last Supper with them. This service concludes with the Stripping of the Altar as the church readies itself for Good Friday.

Good Friday services can include a Fish Fry after the meal, the congregation gathers in a “bare” church setting to reflect on Christ’s Passion and His time on the Cross with songs, readings, and prayer. Church members leave in silence preparing to return on Easter morning in anticipation and celebration of His resurrection.

Holy Saturday or Black Saturday is a day for silence, fasting, and quiet contemplation focusing on personal spiritual journeys while remembering Jesus’ crucifixion. Holy Saturday falls as the Jewish Sabbath before Jesus’ Resurrection for those of Jewish faith.

Roman Catholics have celebrated the Paschal/Easter Triduum as a formal separate season since 1955. Many Catholic churches hold an Easter Vigil through Saturday night.

This season leading to Resurrection Sunday is the holiest time of the year for Christians. Participation in Paschal Triduum activities can enhance the season but is not required.

The important thing is having a thankful heart for what Easter represents. Without what He did on the cross, we would be forever lost.

May you have a most Blessed Easter.

12 02, 2024

Valentines Say I Love You

By |2024-02-10T07:59:52-06:00February 12th, 2024|A Writer's Life, Holidays, Writer's Life|1 Comment

Valentine cards say the words we sometimes find difficult to voice.

When I was in grade school – not Little House of the Prairie days, but close – we had Valentine’s Day parties at school and gave our friends homemade cards. We made mailboxes from shoe boxes or decorated envelopes to collect our cards.

Those years helped form my love of Valentine cards and began my Valentine card collection. And, yes, I still have a few cards from that era. For sure, I’ve collected cards from those days.

Vintage valentines can be very valuable, especially Victorian-era pop-up honeycomb ones. Value varies and can range from the hundreds of dollars up to thousands. Check Kovels Valentine’s Day collectibles Pinterest board for examples and values.

Interested in becoming a Valentine card collector, here are some tips on how to start.

What to look for

  1. Cards that relate to the news of the day
  2. Valentines signed by someone known
  3. Older homemade cards
  4. Victorian three-dimensional valentines
  5. Postcard valentines
  6. Die-cut school-type valentines from the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s
  7. Mechanical valentines with moving parts

Hairstyles, clothes, cars, or trains pictured in older valentines will help date the card.

Where should you look?

  1. Old scrapbooks
  2. Keepsake boxes for sentimental ephemera
  3. Old heart-shaped candy boxes
  4. Flea markets or ephemera shows
  5. House sales, garage/yard sales, and thrift shops

Are contemporary valentines worth collecting?

The simple answer is yes. According to Terry Kovel of Kovel’s Antiques, Inc., look for cards with certain characteristics:

  1. Current news, pop culture, and/or historical events.
  2. Cards depicting characters from Disney, children’s books, cartoons, movies, and television shows.
  3. Be cautious about modern technology cards. Those record-your-own-voice cards will stop talking as they age.

Learn more about Valentine collecting from these sites:

The Ephemera Society on Facebook:

National Valentine Collectors Association on Facebook:

National Valentine Collectors Association. Marketplace on Facebook:

Here’s a peek at some from my collection. I love displaying them for Valentine’s Day each February.

15 01, 2024

Blue Monday

By |2024-01-14T16:17:49-06:00January 15th, 2024|A Writer's Life, Holidays|0 Comments

You’re probably somewhere cold right now. Winter storms and a polar vortex have prompted weather advisories in every state in the lower forty-eight over the last four days.

We’ve been hearing warnings for days, which has sent flashbacks of the cold snap of 2021 (when the Texas power grid collapsed for four days) to so many here on the Texas Gulf Coast. So many lost their homes.

Space City Weather, the most reliable weather forecasters I’ve found, encouraged: “… let’s look at the current forecast for low temperatures …for Tuesday since that will be the coldest morning for the vast majority of the state. If you compare the (2021) record lows …, most locations will be solidly 5 to 10 degrees warmer than that cold snap.”

Reassuring, yes. But, if you lived through the ice apocalypse of 2021 without electricity for four days, still not comfortable. Temperatures in the twenties for days are way too cold!

It’s unnerving and it’s happening on what’s known as Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year, the time of year when most everyone feels a letdown.

Christmas has come and gone with all the twinkling lights, good food, and fun. The days are dark, dark, dark and most of our well-intended resolutions have flown out the window. It feels like a lot of work to simply face the day.

Never heard of Blue Monday? Blue Monday was originally dreamed up by psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall in 2004. He devised the formula for the bleakest day to help a travel company sell holidays, with the first Blue Monday on 24 January 2005. Arnall says it was “never his intention to make the day sound negative,” but rather “to inspire people to take action and make bold life decisions.”

Truth is, none of us gets a pass from winter. It’s part of a natural life-cycle system that moves through four seasons. We must all go through winter to get to spring, and winters can be bleak. That’s for sure.

Blue Monday may seem like a cold dreary day but there’s hope. December 22 was the shortest day of the year. That means every day after Blue Monday is a day closer to the lighter, brighter (and warmer) days of Spring.

If wintry weather has you in its grip, please stay warm and safe. Remember this too will pass.

P.S. January 15 is also Martin Luther King Day. And it’s falling on his actual birthday this year. How cool is that?

8 01, 2024

It’s a Holiday Wrap

By |2024-01-07T07:20:52-06:00January 8th, 2024|Holidays, Writer's Life|0 Comments

Our holiday was a whirlwind that became a tsunami with twenty-three gathered before Christmas Day to celebrate and have a first-ever all-of-us picture taken, including our OES who was the best behaved.

Dealing with that many personalities was a challenge. The photographer had her hands full and did a fantastic job. Considering the drama surrounding it, it turned out well.

We all survived and the whole event provided writer me with lots of characterization and conflict ideas for future protagonists.

The tree is undecorated, bundled, and stored in the barn shed to await another year.

The treasured pinecone people and tiny village houses from my grandparents’ home are nestled all snug in their box and stored away in the closet to await next Christmas’s unveiling.

January 1 is the clear-cut start for another trip around the sun. Another 365 opportunities — 366 this year since it’s a leap year — to pause and think about how we can best use our time in this new year.

That usually means making resolutions or setting goals.

According to, New Year goals include quit smoking, fitness, finances, mental health, diet,  work-life balance, more time for loved ones, learning a new skill, drinking less, meditating more, and traveling more. All of these are admirable goals and intentions.

The sad fact is most goals and resolutions will fail miserably and fail quickly. Statistics on how long New Year’s goals last do not put the New Year tradition in a favorable light.

Most goals will fail within 3-4 months. Only one percent of goals last twelve months. So, you’re not alone if your intentions peter out.

Give yourself grace when you do fail, “The beauty of goal setting is you don’t need a ball drop or cannons of confetti to signal a fresh start—you can recommit to your resolutions at any time.”

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again, to paraphrase a song lyric.

Me, I’m going simple for 2024. Only one goal. Finish my new romantic suspense, DEAD BODY GIRL.

Frankly, I’m more than ready to settle into an imaginary world where the writer is in charge. 2023 is good and well gone, holiday stress is over. Time to move into 2024 with all its promise and clean pages.

What about you? Any goals or resolutions?

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