Winter Wonderland


The beauty was not lost on me when I woke to Winter Wonderland yesterday. Trees were thick with frosted white, streets were blanketed with new comforters, while snowflakes fell ever so gently to tuck them in.

Before diving into scattered papers upon my desk, blinds were raised, allowing additional light to shine within my office space. What a sight there was for me to see! Boughs of a tall evergreen in Blue Spruce nearly touched tiny wires of my turret window screen. Colors of emerald blue contrasted beautifully against virgin white. The tree reminded me of a perfectly painted miniature, part of a proud display entered in a gingerbread competition I had seen around Thanksgiving. http://wp.me/p41md8-2Au

The morning was a surprise of sorts. Winds howled the night before, temperatures dropped and rain began to fall. Still, no one expected another six inches of snow! After all, didn’t the groundhog see his shadow? I opened a French door to let Doodle dog out. Tentatively, he held out a single shaggy paw to the cold elements. “Wait,” he seemed to say. “I can hold it a bit longer.” He backed his bottom end into the kitchen, holding his duties off for another hour or two. Later, after providing him with a little shove, I snuggled him in a fuzzy blanket, cuddling him with warmth near the fire. He’s nearly twelve, after all.

I worked nearly the whole day through and much of the night. Still, during every break I sat on the hearth or took walks past windows while opening doors to breathe fresh crisp air, and gaze at sights of new fallen grace.

I’m aware it won’t last. Today the trees are once again naked. Driveways and streets are clear with the blankets of snow slowly shrinking to weathered sheets. Still, I have memories together with my photographs. Blessings of brief beauty. The unexpected gift of Winter Wonderland soon nearing the hope of spring.

 

Little Gifts…Soooo Big!


Over the weekend a milestone for my eldest son!  A B.I.G. birthday was celebrated last Saturday. Asking him what he’d like to do, his wish was to share some fun with his family. A dinner at his favorite restaurant followed by a game of bowling. “Bowling, with a one and a three-year-old,” I wondered? “We’ll see…”

Our first stop was a festive Mexican restaurant where traditional décor and costumes hung from the walls. Warm tortilla chips together with red salsa were devoured before ceramic plates floated aloft in dazzling colors. Turquoise blue, yellow to match the sun, avocado green, and a bright orange, reminding me of freshly squeezed juice. Each spilled with a variety of tacos and tamales, steak fajitas, or cheese quesadillas for my grand-babies to eat.

Digging in, our taste buds were treated to zesty spices when suddenly the sound of music sang throughout the room! Three or four employees, dressed in full Mexican regalia strolled towards our table, strumming their guitars while singing Happy Birthday in Spanish. Giant velvet sombreros trimmed in glittered silver tipped atop their heads. My grandchildren were startled at such a sight, yet enthralled with delight. Soon Daddy wore a matching sombrero of his own!

Before long, we were at the bowling alley, trying to find shoes small enough to fit the little princess child. My baby grandson was given a pass, allowed to wear the two already on his feet. Finding a bowling ball light enough to share with my grand-daughter was not easy. Yet, in the distance, my eye caught sight of a starry blue ball resting on silver a tube of shelving. Picking it up, I discovered it weighed a mere six pounds. Perfect!

Helping Princess to the starting gate, she sat on the floor eager to push the ball down the lane. Bzzzzz…….A loud buzzer signaled we crossed the foul line. Scooting backward, she shoved the round ball of big with all her might. S.l.o.w.l.y….it lollygagged to the end of the polished lane, knocking one pin to the floor. With arms and legs stretched up into the air, my grand-daughter jumped up and down with glee!

Next, holding elfin hands within his own, my eldest one led his first-born son to the same spot I had just been. Bending down, the two pushed and spun the ball. It rolled and rolled and rolled, bouncing bumpers of brown along the way. Finally, it jarred pins of white until they jiggled and wiggled. Two or three fell down, making a loud sound. PLOP! A pacifier popped out of my grandson’s mouth. All eyes were upon him. There he sat, clapping wee hands awash in baby pride.  “Dey go down, dey go down, Daaa-Dee!”

Little gifts-Soooo big!

 

Hughes Photo Challenge Week 13: Love!


http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/02/16/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-13-love/

As all of you know my life is blessed with love, particularly my grandbabies of five who are all under the age of four. My eldest is about to turn another milestone next month, with her baby brother not far behind. In celebration of all the tremendous love I have for each and every one of my dear and darling grandbabies, I’m sharing them with you. This year I will have a four-year-old, two 2-year-old’s, and Babies of Two who recently turned one! I LOVE them all to pieces.

 

 

Spring is Near!


Snow is melting around my home. Grasses, drab in textures and colors of variegated straw have sprouted in fresh cool green. Soft beneath bare feet while tickling beneath ten toes. Gazing at pavers of my red brick patio, clear water trickles ever so slowly toward smooth and speckled pebbles of several dormant fountains. Before long, century old rocks, nubby and gnarled will splish-splash, reaching toward the heavens of a bright blue sky. Together, they will roar fresh melodies, those of a new season for all to hear.

Spring is near!

patio

 

Sharing Credit


Dear Readers:

Today is a happy day for me and I must give credit where credit is due.

Finally, our children’s book Babies of Two is being released in print on March first, to children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers everywhere. Since our printed edition has been expanded with more pages and illustrations than we first anticipated, our Kindle version will be updated as well.

My dear and talented illustrator, Alisa Belzil https://sweetafternoons.wordpress.com/ has stuck by my side all the way, passing through many obstacles in this digital age of the 21st Century. Together, we have spent countless hours suffering setbacks and sifting through our mistakes while learning our craft. Alisa is not only an artist extraordinaire, but has learned to format as well, not an easy feat!

Together, Alisa and I edited, proofed, and re-proofed. We discovered typos that magically appeared months after everything seemed to be perfect. We submitted our work, only to receive a hard-copy with a cover that curled! Needless to say, our eyes became weary, yet it was all part of the job. Together, we are a team who handled, lest I say, everything in between? To say that Alisa is my angel from above does not seem nearly enough, yet those are the words in my head.

Our new book trailer for Babies of Two has been produced by our very own Great Ape himself, Chris @ http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/.  Authors who want or need a book trailer on any topic what-so-ever should not hesitate to call on him. Chris goes out of his way to make you happy at unbelievable prices. I am truly proud of the fantastic job he did. Won’t you please take a look? https://www.youtube.com/embed/GZw6TR_vDho

On a side note, a big Shout Out to Jo Robinson and her recent book, The Absolute Indie! It is an indispensable resource that guides Indie authors one step at a time through the myriad of formatting. Unfortunately, it was released too late for me regarding Babies of Two, but regardless, I’ve read it two or three times. To those who have half a brain (yes, there is still hope for me, Alisa), Jo Robinson will no doubt take you right to the front door of Kindle and CreateSpace. Please visit her site to pick up a copy today! https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/

Finally, to all of you, my sincere thanks for your patience and support, and for always being here for me when it seems I am not. To say my life has changed since starting my blog is an understatement. My family has grown larger than ever before. My workload is heavy, yet spills with passion through and through. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams, yet I wish there were more seconds in a single minute, more hours before dawn to dark.

Please know in my heart that I am filled with your presence. Each and every day I pray for more time to read your books and blogs, connect with you on a deeper level and show you more appreciation on the outside as well as the in.

With Sincere Thanks and Blessings,

Kim

 

 

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