Acquaintance Renewed

A snippet from Starr Tree Farm.

She (Laura) studied his face a moment longer. Unwelcome heat climbed up the back of her neck. Big Ears Brad all group up? Memories of an awkward boy willing to do anything for attention rushed in.

This sweet romantic suspense is available for ebook or in paperback format. Check out the entire blurb and order information under the “Starr Tree Farm” tab on this web site.


Without a Ripple

Are you looking for something calm in these uncertain times?

I offer this small flock of white pelicans — residents of the St. Louis Zoo.

While the wild flocks migrate and work cooperatively in shallow lakes and marshes to drive the fish together for a pelican feast — these birds have the advantage of regular feedings. They also have a fine lake, plus an island to offer an escape when the tourists get too plentiful or noisy.

Picture a sunny day. A friendly bench on the side of the lake. Relax as you watch the graceful birds glide past.



Tock, Tock, Tock

Every person needs a hobby. It’s healthy to have an activity which you enjoy.

The fictional Janet Zwingel restores antique mantel clocks.

This example, found in a 1830’s replica cabin, would find a proud place in her home. But she’s practical — and on a budget. Her restored clocks run a little younger.

Add Comfort Zone to your reading list to find out what happens to her

1910 Seth Thomas.


Patience Rewarded

Have you been patient? Have you refrained from cutting down trees and bushes that  are merely dormant instead of dead?

One week ago, this blog featured a photo of a fig tree in early March.

Fast forward to July.

Lush leaves. Are they large enough to sew a few together for a bikini? I’d select a different tree: one on your own property would be best for that experiment.

Growing fruit. Staring into the branches will conjure up visions of sweet tarts and treats. A little more time to ripen. The reward is within sight.


A Time to Rest

Early March :  What’s that?

I looked twice at the familiar scene at the botanical garden and took a few seconds to register the sight.

Have I taken a photo of a dead tree? No, while the branches are bare, I’ve confidence the fig tree is alive.

Dormant. Resting. Not a single leave. An impulsive person might mark it to be chopped down. Fig wood? I’ve never heard of it being used for building or crafts. Would it be burned for fuel? Would it have a pleasing odor?

Thankfully– this tree is in a safe place and will reward the patient with signs of life.     Be patient and stay tuned.


Tick, Tick, Tick

Time passes. Time flies. Time drags.

Some days (most days?) Americans appear obsessed with measuring time and packing as much activity as possible into each second.

During school and career years, large portions of my time were measured and observed by others. Some tasks were dependent on the timely completion of work by others. For example: I could not do procedure B until another person completed procedure A. And another, usually impatient, person wanted the results so they could do procedure C.

If this sounds like a supply chain — you’ve got the right idea.

Keeping track of time is not a new thing for Americans.  The settlers brought time pieces along in their wagons of goods.

A clock takes center mantle in this reproduction of a 1830’s home.



A Super Highway

Coal. Grain. Scrap metal. Fuel.

Do you have tons and tons of heavy material to ship?

You’re in luck if your route is between Minnesota and the Gulf of Mexico. You can ship north or south by barge. The modern barge business on the Mississippi River is great for bulky, heavy manufactured or raw materials.

Thanks to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Upper Mississippi is controlled and kept to a depth of nine feet or greater by a series of locks and dams. The locks are busy areas allowing barge tows as well as smaller commercial and private pleasure watercraft to transit from one level to another.

St. Louis, located at the southern end of the lock and dam system, sees lots of activity in the formation of the tows. Below you see a pair of barges being moved, it can go into a group of fifteen going north (upbound). Tows going south (downbound) in the lock and dam free portion of the river can be larger.

Ignore a school lesson for a moment. Barge tows are pushed.