Vintage Love…….

vin val coupe


And when I’m call’d on, and in open day,

To swear that true is false, and yea is nay,

And know I’m in a lie, and yet go through it,

By all that’s blest I own I cannot do it.

Let me but feel me buckled for the right,

And come a world in arms, I’m still a knight:

But give my foe the truth, and me the fraud,

And the pale scholar of the priest is awed.”

   “Say not the word,” the hasty fair one cried:

“I see it all, and wish I might have died.

Go sir, oh go!! a soldier and afraid!

Was it for this you lov’d a trusting maid?

Your presence kills me, Sir, with shame and grief.”-

She said; and sunk in tears and handkerchief.

  “Ah, Mabel,” said the knight, as with a kiss

He bow’d on her dropp’d head, “you’ll mourn for this.”

He look’d upon her glossy locks, admire’d

Their gentleness for once, and with a sigh retir’d.

                                      —-from “The Gentle Armour.”

Poem by Leigh Hunt

Excerpt from Love Poems of Browning & Hunt, Published by The Dodge Publishing Company, 40 West Thirteenth Street, New York, New York. Copyright 1902

*photo courtesy of Google Chrome, Vintage Valentine Cards.





God’s Messages

Earlier this week, I took a break between different passages of my work.  Bundling up to venture into the cold of what remained of winter, I walked for blocks not far from home.  My mittened hands were pocketed while breathing in piercing cold air of wonder.  Walking through woods of barren trees and trickled frozen streams, I prayed to God for guidance.  New forks in the road presented themselves.  That’s what life is all about…

There in the crunchy snow were sets of deer tracks, two by two, side by side.  I followed them.  Curious, I wasn’t sure where they would lead.  Would I catch a glimpse of awe ahead of me?  A doe with her young nestled closely by her side for warmth, or a buck guarding his family amidst the confines of his openness?  The deer tracks made me think of life, I guess.  Oddly, they came to no end, yet somewhere God’s creatures were hidden within.

Upon returning home, I stretched upon my bed with a tablet upon my lap.  There, I was able to view our little forest land from a large bay window while tapping keys and moving a mouse.  It’s important to see the outdoors to energize me.  The sun shined through window blinds, leaving patterned shadows of cabbage roses against the walls.

After a moment or two, I looked up from my laptop to glance outdoors.  Snowflakes fell full and fast down from the sunlit sky of blue.  Such a beautiful sight!  It was as if God was sifting powdered sugar over one of my grandmother’s sweetened cakes from long ago.  At that second, I couldn’t believe it, but it was true!  Not one, or two nor three or four, but even more.  A whole herd in fact gently bounded past my view.  A tall, strong buck seemed to lead the way, five points or more.  Together, they danced and pranced proudly, maneuvering through the path of woods until they were beyond my sight, past the window panes.

It’s about twenty degrees today, but I dare not complain.  The sun lights a Delft blue sky, leaving snow, the color of marshmallow cream upon the ground.  Deer tracks can be seen near my patio.  Messages from God to be thankful.  Hints of the future, of what may come to be for me.


*edited and reposted from 2/11/14/pictures courtesy of Google Chrome


What’s in a Name – ‘I’ – The Surprise

A tear to my eye in this heartwarming story written by our dear friend, Sally Cronin. Perfect timing for my print release of, Babies of Two on March 1.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

What's in a name 2

Because of the theme of this story – I have left the name blank until the end as a surprise.

What’s In a Name – ‘I’ – The Surprise

The news of her pregnancy was a surprise to the 45 year old and to be honest not a welcome one. Her two other children, both boys in their late teens, were very happily studying at the same university fifty miles away. Whilst she missed them all the time, she had sailed through the empty-nest syndrome perfectly well.

Jane had gone to the doctor to enquire about hormone replacement as she seemed to have entered the menopause early. Before prescribing the treatment, her doctor felt it was a good idea to rule out any other reason for her symptoms with a simple test. He delivered the news with a certain amount of care to a bewildered Jane; sitting at her side…

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Calling All Children’s Books Authors – Special Needs Children Need Your Books!

Nothing closer to my heart than books for kids with special needs. Please help them out.


Bird from Twin Lakes Civitan

Hi fellow authors!

I recently received a message from a lady, Angie Smith, who is looking for books up to grade six level for special needs children. She is the secretary of Twin Lakes Civitan, a non-profit organization that helps people of all ages who are in need of assistance. Above is their adorable snake reading a book and below their logo!

Twin Lakes Civitan

Angie asked me if I could spread the word about this organization and help in some way to obtain the much needed books for their special needs children to get them up to their reading levels. I told her I would be happy to send some of my books to her. All most authors want in return is a review. This she said she would make sure is done for anyone who donates a book or books.

Please visit their website and you will see the good things that they do to help…

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Not Always What They Seem

The other day an elderly couple was out in the cold, standing near the curb near the exit of a supermarket with bags in their hands. Three or four, plastic and filled to the brim. I surmised the couple was waiting for a ride home. She with milky watchful eyes, strands of gray hair that swirled around her weathered face and hands that were turning blue.  He, older and protective, hovering close. He tightened his reign on her and lightened her load, taking the handles of one of the bags. They were tangled for a few seconds between the others until finally, two of them broke free. The younger-elderly woman smiled upwards. A look of love warmed the milk in her eyes. The man began to shield her silhouette from the wind. A mere step or two to the right blocked his mate from the elements. Soon, the tips of his ears turned red as a beet.

Cars went by the aging couple who waited in the blustery gusts that whirled around them. Colors and models of old and new and even trucks too drove slowly by them. The watchful woman together with the man who held more bags than ever before looked intently toward each and every one. Finally, a vehicle pulled over to the side. The couple smiled at one another. Then a girl from inside the supermarket quickly ran out to hop in. The car drove off.  Smiles of the golden age disappeared. Cold persevered.

Suddenly a boy with an orange vest pushed by several people as he pulled a string of shopping carts behind him.  He stopped to grumble a few words at the elderly couple, convincing them to move to the side in order for him to easily pass by. They started to shuffle their feet from side to side while grimacing in pain. Their bodies of old were no match for Mother Nature.

A few minutes later, a woman from the supermarket, wearing a uniform in burgundy red joined the twosome. Gently putting her arms around them, she took their bags and encouraged the couple to wait in the lobby.  There, a warm wooden bench could be seen through the walls of clear.

Soon, a taxi drove in front of the supermarket. Two employees walked the elderly man and his bride out to the car where they opened the door to help them get inside. The bags of groceries were put on the front seat while a note together with a few bills was pushed into the palm of the driver’s hand. Slowly the taxi pulled away, turning towards a neighborhood to the left.

It is ironic that things are not always what they seem. Who would have expected the boy in the orange vest, the one pushing carts to be of help to the old couple? Yet, obviously, he alerted his supervisor who assessed the situation. She took it a step further by telling her manager.  Did they gather more information from the couple themselves or perhaps find a number to call inside one of their shabby pockets? Regardless, I expect the loving and elderly couple ended up safe and warm before cooking a delicious dinner for two!


One Small Gesture Can Make a Huge Difference…

Pulling on my heartstrings. Please donate a single book (at least) to make a huge difference in the lives of children on the outside looking in.

Michelle Eastman Books

UPDATE-Children’s authors and lit lovers are giving BIG to help kids of incarcerated parents!

MARCHing Books to Kids launched just over a week ago, and children’s authors are already making a big impact.  Thanks to all of you who have donated books and told others about the initiative. 

The number of kids with incarcerated parents has increased nearly 80% in the last 20 years, according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. More than 2.7 million children have a parent who is incarcerated, and parents of another 10 million children have been incarcerated at some point.  The experience can be profoundly difficult for children, increasing their risk of living in poverty and housing instability, as well as causing emotional trauma, pain, and social stigma.

But, through programs like the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa Storybook Project, some of that stress melts away when kids are able to…

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An Infoblog about Depression for Teens…(by a Guest Blogger)

As one who has lived with depression, this is a most important post. Depression is a Chronic Condition that needs to be recognized as such. Talk to your loved ones, listen to them and let them know you support them no matter what. Be prepared to get professional help when needed and don’t let a single minute go by without reaching out. Never give up!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


In this article I am aiming to give you knowledge about depression. I will be giving an overview to it and going over information that I think is important. If you would like to read more about depression and in-depth, I have a website, Depression for Teens, which you can access by clicking here. I post on it regularly and the article content is very detailed.

What Is Depression?

It is an illness. It can happen to anyone at any time and it should be treated ASAP. The best way to overcome and beat depression is through medical attention. You may think that you will get through depression without medical attention but in many cases you won’t. If you leave it for too long can become life threatening.

What Does Depression Feel Like Compared To Sadness?

When you are sad it tends to be temporary. When you…

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How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment. We can start now, start slowly, changing the world. How lovely that everyone, great and small can make a contribution toward introducing justice straightaway. And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!”

Anne Frank

*photos courtesy of Google

350million diabetics worldwide and millions more at risk -Pre-Diabetes

I guarantee there is someone you know, perhaps even in your own family that is living with Type 11 diabetes without knowing it. If not, they are well on their way to pre-diabetes. Please read and be aware. See an endocrinologist for help if needed. This condition is an epidemic, particularly in the US, but can be prevented, even reversed with proper nutrition, treatment and care. Thank you. Sally, for an excellent post!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

smorgasbord health

A longer post today but I wanted to get the details together in one article and I hope you will find compelling enough to read, if not for yourself but for a family member or friend who might be at risk.  This is not about Type I diabetes or even those who have been diagnosed with Type II.. It is about the millions worldwide who are at high risk of Type II which is predominately lifestyle and diet related.

According to the World Health Authority it is estimated that there are 350 million people worldwide with diabetes. In the US around 30 million and the UK approximately 3.2 million have been diagnosed. Unfortunately it is the many millions who are undiagnosed that are at the greatest risk

You do not need to have full-blown diabetes to be suffering from some of the symptoms associated with the disease. There is a…

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Discovering New Memories

Soaking the sun in Arizona. Oh, how it feels so good. Warm to my skin, touch me now. Press lightly on pink until cream paints to blush. Butterfly wings tattooed across the bridge of my nose.

The desert dances a recital to melodies my ears and eyes rarely hear or see. Imaginary tunes of sharp in unusual shapes of cactus land or dreams of an orchestra conducting sherbet colors across a spectacular sunset in an endless sky. Look! Northern Lights rising above peaks of mountain tips.

Leaves do not drop from trees. Palms of olive sway slightly, first to the left than to the right in the warmth of a breeze. Cactus’s sprout short or tall, or prickly balls in large and small sit on top of dusty soil. Puckered lips, blow some dust. Poof! One would never know a single speck had even disappeared. Nature’s trick you see.

I’ve been to the desert many times, lived in it years ago, bore a child here and began to raise babies near the colored sand. Still, each and every time I visit for a second or a minute there is something new to see. A cactus never seen before. Flowers sprouting wild in nothing more than rusted dust. Liquid dribbling where one would swear forever dry. Turn your head, SURPRISE! Hidden in the grass are bunnies larger than soon-to-be Easter Rabbits!

Newly discovered memories to pocket for my St. Louis home.