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:


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.


Rock your cares away.

From birth, or perhaps before, a person is comforted by rocking. Think of the stories this chair could tell.

Comfort the fussy infant. Cuddle the injured child.

Did the man of the house sit here and read the Bible, or folk tales, aloud to the family?

Did the woman of the house knit or crochet by candlelight?

Located in the re-creation of a 1830’s frontier home, I’m not sure when this rocker and matching footstool was crafted. Can you imagine a guest, perhaps elderly, resting their weary feet as they pass on the news of the day?

Homes in 1851, the time of New Dreams, likely contained similar furniture. Why not sit in your own chair, get your feet comfy and off the floor, and settle in with a sweet romance? The immigrants would like to tell you a story.


Passport to the Universe

No secret among my friends. I enjoy travel. At various times I’ve taken road trips, train trips, airline flights, and one cruise.

I’ve also time-traveled to both the past and future. And space traveled. And imagined myself exploring new worlds of jungle one day and ice the next. How?

I have a passport to the universe. It fits in my wallet and I pull it out before I leave the library with books, videos, music, or puzzles. (They have other items, but I’ve not brought them home– yet.)

Currently, my other passport, the one that requires money and tickets to use, is in the process of renewal. When I get the new one — I’ll begin to plan a real-life adventure. But I’ll use the library passport to help by reading travel guides, or checking out a video, or finding a map.

The main characters in the sweet romance, NEW DREAMS, traveled a great distance. The necessary papers were different then, no photos, no plush accommodations — they pretty much had a guarantee of poor food and sanitation. Check it out and marvel at the changes since the 1850’s.


Behold the Horseman!

Equestrian statues have been popular for generations. I’ve never been able to remember for more than a minute the meaning behind how many and which of the horse’s feet are on the ground. Died in battle? Wounded in battle? Died of old age many years later?

However, I appreciate the way this animal has a hint of forward motion.

The king riding forth with a mixture of centuries in his dress and accessories did not prevent a namesake city from using this image. You’ll find it near the entrance to the art museum. With free admission to all except the special exhibits, this is a great place to introduce children (and others with short attention spans) to the world of fine art.

Not familiar with the flyover cities of the Midwest? Books can cure that. Starting with a sweet romance is a good choice. COMFORT ZONE, featuring a mature couple is an even better choice to this author.

Kindle link:


Holiday Ready

Today the United States of America celebrates a birthday. Hundreds of thousands of people will wear red, white, and blue clothing, grab a small flag, and watch (or participate in) a parade.

Will there be marching bands? Veterans in straight rows? Candy thrown from a bright float? Clowns? Horses?

Don’t eat too much cotton candy–you want to save room for the hot dogs!

Wear a hat — and sunscreen!

The Mississippi River glides past the arch grounds — the site of St. Louis’ largest July 4th party. Stay until dark. Those barges most likely hold the fireworks!

Comfort Zone, a sweet romance set in St. Louis, features a heroine with her fingers crossed for moderate weather — she wants to enjoy the day with family instead of working to replace A/C units during a holiday.

Check out the book here:


Honoring Mr. Clemens

He’s a Missouri favorite son. Born in 1835 in the settlement of Florida, MO (not too far from Paris), the two room frame house of his birth has been preserved and moved.

You need to look for his pen name when studying the map. If you look close, you will find Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site, Mark Twain State Park, and Mark Twain Lake.

The park, where the house was moved, was one of the first of Missouri’s State Park. The park began small, but additional land was obtained through the years.

A giant change occurred in 1983 when the Clarence Cannon Dam was completed and Mark Twain Lake formed.

When camping here, if the weather turns foul, just go up the road a bit and enjoy the modern visitor center — complete with the two room house.

For an armchair introduction to Missouri State Parks, check out the sweet romance, Morning Tryst.

Kindle link: