Quiet Gifts

Electronic gadgets with sound effects! Available for all ages!

Looking for a quieter gift. One that will not wake the sleeping puppy. Or baby?

My suggestion is to go back to the reliable BOOK. Yes, either paper or electronic.

They’re portable. Quiet — unless the writing moves you to laughter, or tears, or the impulse to share. (A sure sign you’ve got a good read in your hands.)

Paper format has a bonus in that they are easy to wrap (nice rectangles) and ship. (No worry about liquids or batteries.)

Over the years I’ve received many. This was one of my favorites.

And now some suggestions for this year’s gift giving:

All three titles give you a sweet romance with just a hint of suspense.


He’s Ready!

The Thanksgiving Turkey is a memory. (Or perhaps hanging out in the freezer for a few final snacks.)

Americans now turn their attention to “THE NEXT BIG THING.”

On Friday Christmas music was playing at the bank. It will be everywhere for the next month. Ancient carols. Familiar hymns. Popular songs from half a dozen decades. And at least one new “HIT.”

Charities have sent their requests. The bell ringers are working. Open your heart, they say. Open your wallet, they mean. Oh– many of them do good things for many people. But some times the sheer number of requests at this time of year can overwhelm a person.

It’s good to prepare. Are you a list maker? Or do you begin the seasonal shopping with only a wisp of an idea.

Reindeer on stand-by for the big night.



One Last Look

Lunch today — is it turkey sandwiches? Or have you re-heated some slices with dressing and gravy? Do you have your sights set on the last piece of pie?

Yesterday was the Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States. Lots of feasting. And while some folks avoid the traditional — lots of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, salads, and pies were served across the land.

Today has a tradition also — as the first shopping day of the Christmas season.

Are you a person eager to go out and be with the other shoppers looking for bargains or to pick up the “must have” item before the supply is gone? Or are you more of a “I’ll stay home today and do my shopping later” sort of person.

The photo below is for the latter group. Let’s take one more day to enjoy the colors of the harvest season before we string up the red and green holiday lights.


Unbeatable View

Lift me up, Mommy! I can’t see. The fence/counter/bush is too tall.

It’s a plea familiar to all parents — allowing for variations of course.

On one of my trips to the zoo, I enjoyed the pairing of certain of the animals without giving it a lot of serious thought. And later, when reviewing photos, I noticed at least one similarity.

Oh, my! What beautiful long necks you have!

And legs to match!!

This retired medical professional is thankful treating these patients for a sore throat was never in my job description.


Coat Experts

Most of them in the United States are mis-named.

Step into the cloak/coat room of any medium or large winter gathering in the midwest — and someone is sure to ask for their camel hair coat.

Expect to find several fine wool (from sheep, not camels) in a pleasant light brown. Style and size will vary. Most will have a collar of the same material as the body of the coat.

Last year I found some nice looking, real, camel hair coats.

When the weather cools — the coats get rich and thick.

         These experts at growing the double hump style may be found at the                         St. Louis Zoo.


Think Spring

How’s the weather in your area?

Has the season changed from autumn to winter on the thermometer?

Spring is just around the corner. (Actually, it’s only a computer click away.)

In less than twenty-four hours, Hiding Places, a sweet romantic suspense set in the pleasant weather of Wisconsin during June, will be re-released.

Behind this cover discover the story of Mona Smith and Linc Dray. When she sprints into his life, begging for a ride out of Minneapolis neither one could have predicted the events set into motion.

Available at your favorite ebook retailer. Print version available from Amazon.

I invite you to settle in with your favorite apple treat and enjoy.


Bird of the Month

You’ve seen, perhaps even own, an electric clock which announces each hour with a different songbird call. They are rather clever.

During November, in the United States, the talk often turns to another bird. This one is larger than the dozen featured on the clock. And while it lost the prestige of becoming the national bird and symbol, he certainly gets lots of press.

There are two major varieties. The wild kind is just that — wild. In the portions of the country where they have been re-introduced in recent decades they have a strong reputation. Hunters enjoy testing their skill. Farmers complain about the damage to crops — especially when they move into an area in large numbers.

The domestic ones are raised in large barns to the sound of ventilation fans refreshing the air. Dependent upon humans, they do one job well — eat and grow. You will find them in the freezer case of the supermarket. They are present year-round, but abundant from now to the end of the year.

Tom’s goal is to avoid becoming the centerpiece at your feast.



If you eat your broccoli….then you may have a cookie.

If you pass the test…then you may have a driver’s license.

Life is full of items which are tied together. Sometimes they are paired up naturally. Other times, parents or authority figures hold up the second as a reward for doing the first.

Today you vote:

Please, please, please…. if you are eligible you should vote.

Then….if you don’t like the result you are allowed to grumble and complain.

No vote. No complaint.

An election collection.

Now go out and exercise your democracy muscle.


Lion and Lamb

It makes a pleasant picture of peace and tranquility. The predator and the prey sharing space without danger or fear.

It’s also a scene I don’t expect to find in ordinary life. Predators are interested in survival. So is the prey. And the proven methods are actions such as flight or hiding or staying with the group. If I lamb does not want to become lunch — stay with the bunch.

So imagine my surprise when I noticed two signs in the same garden.

These are “Lion’s Ears”

And a few steps away:

“Lamb’s Ears”

No “preying” allowed.