No Trespassing

Sometimes you see a sign. Or a fence. Or both to signal that a certain area is off limits for visitors.

The reasons are numerous. Perhaps the owner is a very private person. Or there is a danger — poisonous snakes or predator. Sometimes the danger is not visible — heed the warning.

Sometimes no sign is necessary.

These plants and sculptures sport an international, multi-lingual “no trespassing” sign. Stay away or suffer the consequences of my sharp spikes. I need space.

Space — and the ability to own land — brought many immigrants to the United States. Check out the story of one small group in the sweet, historical romance, New Dreams.


Fiddle among the Ferns

Is that right? No? Let me try again.

“Among the Fiddlehead Ferns.”

Is that better? Instead of conjuring an image of a violin player standing in a patch of ferns — we have created an image of you, dear reader, in a patch of unfurling ferns.

Translated to glass… the artist came up with this.

Green and graceful the fern unfurls in the spring air.

Can you see the tight coil unwinding as the plant draws nourishment from the soil? If you can identify the fern species the coils make a spring treat — be sure to cook — and have been eaten by numerous generations.

Alas — the glass will only remain in the public garden for a limited time. I do hope I can pay another visit before the exhibit ends.

No ferns cooked by the immigrants in New Dreams, a sweet historical romance. I wonder if some of the native-born in fictional Elm Ridge harvested the treat in early spring.

More book information here:


Please Pass the…

Gorgeous! Huge! Splendid!

I can see it now. This year — these giant, glass, cupped flowers are a hit at the public garden.

A few years from now — will we find the design copied in snack bowls at the local big box store?

I can see it at the outdoor party now. Please pass me the red bowl — the snack mix is delicious. Oh, you have mixed nuts? In the blue bowl. How delightful. The bright dishes liven up the party.

Parties can be held for many occasions. In Comfort Zone, a sweet romance, Janet holds an engagement party for her daughter and soon-to-be-son-in-law. How is she to know that his uncle is the intriguing HVAC customer? More book information here:


Unlikely Companions

Hey! Toss me that chunk of wood. No need to worry if your aim’s not perfect. Wood’s sturdy — only breaks when you work at it.

Careful! Hand, don’t toss, that piece of glass. We break it — we’ll have a mess and a half to clean up. Never mind the explaining.

Glass and wood. Wood and glass. Not the mostly likely pair — unless you think about a window. Or art.

Glass and wood together make this dramatic outdoor feature. Logs supply a sturdy base and a rustic feel. The straight glass — reeds — according to the sculpture title add a touch of wonder and delicacy. The color, in case you wonder, is given by the metal neodymium. (Yes, metals are often used to color glass.)

Humans sometimes come together in pairs as different as wood and glass. Take, for example, a woman who is retired military, busy with a satisfying career, and living near a loving extended family. Would you ever expect her to make the acquaintance — let alone more — of a semi-reclusive millionaire with an attitude of toleration, not enjoyment, from immediate family? Find their story in Morning Tryst, a sweet romance available at major on-line retailers. Click here to learn more:


Beauty in a Small Space

Garden. Flower bed.

The words conjure images of large scale plantings. Or perhaps long and narrow along the length of a building or walkway.

May I present an exception.

This small, precise, medallion garden is found on the grounds of an extensive, public garden.

However, one of my neighbors maintains a similar beautiful spot where a tree was removed several years ago.

Remember, the area of planting need not be large to be a showy spot for the neighborhood.

Janet, the heroine in the sweet romance, Comfort Zone, attempts a more conventional flower bed with plants flanking her home’s front entrance. (With a moderate amount of success.) She’s better at HVAC repair — and living with gusto. Find her story here:


Golden Shrimp, Please

Sorry if the headline made your mouth water. Yes, I enjoy a nice plate of golden, fried shellfish as well as the next person. But I’ve a different sort of Golden Shrimp in mind today.

Shall we modify to Green & Gold Shrimp?

Pleased, and surprised, to find this bed of a tropical/semi-tropical, flower in an outside area of the Missouri Botanical Garden on a summer visit. I knew we were having a warm July — but really — have the planting zones moved this much???

Considering their location, I expect before the frost arrives this fall, the plants (or a portion of them) will be moved to one of several greenhouses on the property. I’ll need more visits to follow their appearance in this outside area.

Outdoor photography is an art — practiced by Serena in the sweet romance, Morning Tryst. Focusing on Missouri State Parks, she captures flora, fauna, and sunrises. Check out her adventure here:


Garden Greeter

Welcome to the Missouri Botanical Garden, 2023 edition.

The “WOW” moments start before you exit the glass doors into the grounds. I knew the glass exhibit would be good — and it did not disappoint.

The artist named this “Vivid Lime Icicle Tower”

I certainly won’t dispute the color. And it’s certainly a tower. But this viewer, and I’m thinking many others, find a resemblance to other things in life. Can you see hints of a barrel cactus? A bottle brush?

Books, like art, let you use your imagination to complete the image. Test your mind with a sweet romance set in fictional place more than a century in the past with New Dreams. Can you see, hear, smell, and taste the people and items presented on the page?

I’m getting hungry for a fresh-baked cinnamon bun.


Friday Fun

It’s Friday!!! Celebrate the end of the work week with something to put a smile on your face.

Food is the first thing that comes to my mind. Unfortunately, it wants to linger at waist and hips. So what’s something calorie free that makes you smile?

This flamingo quartet in a neighbor’s flower garden might be a place to start.

Perhaps a pet – yours or another’s – makes you chuckle with their antics. Open both eyes, unplug the music from your ears, and observe the world around you. Humor is lurking in unexpected places — even unpopular co-workers or supervisors are full of surprises. (Might be best to laugh when they are out of the room.)

This sweet romance contains touches of both suspense and humor. After all — how can you not find a spot of humor when kids and dogs in the same place. So pour yourself a cool drink, settle into your chair, and spend some hours in fictional Crystal Springs. Seed of Desire was rated five paws by Dancer.


Playing in the Dirt

I’ve had brothers. And sons. I’ve yet to meet a little boy who didn’t like to play in the dirt with trucks or cars or shovels. (Girls also enjoy this — but today we’re talking boys.)

Many change their interests over time from building a literal dirt track for their toy cars to other things — girls, computers, money, sports — the list is long.


sometimes big boys continue to love to play in the dirt. Much to the benefit of others when they are reshaping drainage areas to keep water out of buildings. The equipment is larger now — riding size and motorized. Principles remain the same… water still flows downhill and clay, topsoil, sand, gravel, and larger rock work the same for a thirtysomething as a four-year-old.

Hans Hoffmann– an honest man? — worked with shovel and wheelbarrow 1851. Check out his story in New Dreams, a sweet romance set in fictional Elm Ridge, Illinois.


A Fond Farewell

All living things have a life span. Pets, farm animals, wild animals, water creatures from small to large, as well as plants from moss to redwoods.

Several years ago, I bid farewell to a large oak tree in my front yard. For twenty years, I enjoyed the shade and the antics of the squirrels racing and leaping on branches and trunk. But the cycle of life keeps turning — and the tree developed a fatal illness which put it on the arborist’s list.

I don’t know how many before me enjoyed the benefits of thousands of leaves and an equal number of acorns. (At least it seemed like it when the year was good and the nuts created obstacles on the nearby sidewalk.) I would not be surprised if the tree was older than me — and I can remember when people talked about Packard cars being discontinued.

Trees abound in Missouri State Parks. For a sweet romance which will introduce you to several parks — try Morning Tryst.