Don’t forget

When touring the zoo — don’t forget to visit the elephants!

Shall we test my memory? How did the six blind men describe the beast?

Very like a wall–said the man who felt the elephant’s side.

No, like a tree — said the one who wrapped his arms around a leg.

Wrong! Like a rope — the man who grasped the tail insisted.

Not at all, more like a fan — said the man holding an ear.

I don’t believe any of you — the beast is like a snake — said the man touching the trunk.

You’re all wrong. This animal is like a spear — said the man rubbing the tusk.

Are they all wrong? Are they all right? Do you remember the first time you saw an elephant?

In Comfort Zone, during a visit to the St. Louis Zoo, Henry Taylor tells elephant stories. Want to read them?


Here’s to George…

Washington, that is. Born on February 22, 1732 (on the Gregorian [current] calendar) to Augustine and Mary Ball Washington, he belonged to the fourth generation of Washingtons to live in the colony of Virginia.

His formal education would be considered sparse by current standards. He made only one trip outside of the continental British Colonies/United States — to Barbados at age 19 with his older half-brother, Lawrence. But his diary shows an observant eye and sharp mind.

American school children learn a bundle of “facts” about Mr. Washington. Some are true. Some unproven. Others far-fetched. However, he did important things and earned a place in history.

So…if you want to celebrate George on his birthday, may I suggest a cherry flavored treat. Following one of the far-fetched stories in schoolbooks, cherries, hatchets, and a small boy telling his father he is unable to lie — “Yes, Father, I chopped down the cherry tree.”– have become standard fare for his celebration.

Once upon a time… when I lived in a town and state named in his honor… the city officials would re-enact his famous river crossing — following a widely published, inaccurate painting, and host a cherry pie eating contest in way of celebration.

Here’s to you George…two centuries and a smidge past your death and you’re remembered with fondness.


Live with Gusto — and Soar

Every group needs a thread which weaves through the relationship. The motto above, while unofficial, is a favorite among a group of five women who bonded during US Navy boot camp many summers ago.

Time passes. Face-to face time between group members becomes sporadic as they each lead separate lives. And then…

The unthinkable happens just when Janet Johnson of St. Louis would like to enjoy the end of an August heat wave.

Dip into this sweet, contemporary romance and meet Janet — HVAC tech, divorcee, and mother-of-the-bride — as she navigates a few of the trials of the “sandwich” generation. Will she live with gusto? With a partner?

Kindle readers:

Nook readers:


Two Centuries + Two Years

The math on this one is easy. The result is 1820.

The United States, recovering from the War of 1812, was in years of rapid growth. Maine and Missouri achieved statehood. Steamboats enabled goods to move up the rivers much faster and more dependable than previously. Daniel Boone died. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson lived in retirement.

And in upstate New York, a girl was born.

Thanks to education, a lot of hard work, and association with like-minded women, this girl grew into a woman many people recognize today. For a brief time, she was honored on a coin.

The lady on the right – Susan B. Anthony was born on this date in 1820 and honored on a one-dollar coin.

The proud woman on the left – Sacagawea lived earlier and gained fame guiding the Lewis & Clark Expedition over the Rocky Mountains. Her coin, also valued at one dollar, was designed later.


Need a Gift Idea?

Valentines Day is fast approaching — only three days from date of this post.

Have you picked out a gift for your sweetie?

Candy, especially chocolate, is generally appreciated — and quickly eaten.

Flowers are thoughtful and beautiful — until they wilt several days later.

Jewelry? Maybe — can you afford it?

My suggestion is books — long-lasting and able to be read more than once. How about giving your sweetie a romance? A sweet romance for a sweet lady? A small-town romance to introduce your man to the genre?

Kindle shoppers should try one of these links to find a Crystal Springs Romance. Seed of Desire Hiding Places Starr Tree Farm


Seasonal Dress

Do you live where Mother Nature gifts you with all four seasons?

Poets extoll the virtues of spring. Farmers and gardeners toil in summer heat. Students begin school with high expectations (or maybe it’s the parents with the expectations) in the fall. Winter brings thoughts of hot drinks and snug places.

Evidence of winter abounds in this view of a small playground. The parent’s bench looks a little short — and cool. No sled required. Climbing? A bit of ice makes it a challenge with your mittens. As you may expect, the play equipment was not popular on this winter day. The next day? I can feature a small person, bundled up tromping around and calling out — look at me! Can you imagine the laughter resulting from taking the slide and landing in a soft snow pile?



Hey! You! Do you know what day it is?

No, not the day. Not the day of the week. Did you know it’s only ten days — Ten Days! — to Valentine’s Day?

Are you ready?

Didn’t think so.

Now — to all of you with a sweetheart — you need to get your act together.

Candy — chocolate is traditional — and generally appreciated.

Flowers — florists will have extra stock of roses (but still may be short), check for other blooms — or perhaps a plant.

…and then:


How about giving your sweetie a romance novel on this romantic holiday?

Want to know a secret? Some men read and enjoy romance novels. How about trading, reading, and holding a conversation about a book — perhaps while nibbling candy and enjoying the flowers sitting on the table.


A New Page

Welcome to February!

Did January bring problems? Resolutions broken? Goals forgotten?

Cheer up! Today we can turn the page and start fresh.

Who made a silly rule you can only set goals and make resolutions in January? A case can be made for changing a habit or behavior at the beginning of any month — or week — or pick a day. (You birthday, perhaps.)

A new photo on the calendar. Lots of space in notebook or pad.

Let’s grab a positive attitude and stride forward into February.