Tag Archives: Holiday

Last Call

The party ends at midnight. Set down your adult beverage. Remove your mask. Put the beads away.

Until then…well, it’s PARTY TIME! Also known as Mardis Gras.

New Orleans is in the spotlight in the United States. Other cities along the Gulf Coast hold their own celebrations. And St. Louis celebrates in an old, French portion of the city.

Parades. Color. Noise. Music. Drinks. King Cakes. A little something for everyone. I do advise, if planning to attend the St. Louis parade the Saturday before Ash Wednesday (the largest event), keep an eye on the weather. It varies from snow and freezing, to balmy and clear.

Mardis Gras accessory — didn’t bring any? Attend a parade and snatch a few from the friendly, generous people on the floats.

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.

https://amzn.to/2RDFgxH Seed of Desire

https://amzn.to/2Jm26GQ Hiding Places

https://amzn.to/2zqIQEw Starr Tree Farm


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.

2021 — The Year That Was…

Farewell, 2021! Here’s hoping the New Year brings improvement for each and every one of my readers!

(No reason to waste a good imitation of a grave in my front yard. Sort of a summary of the year. [Actual reason for mound of dirt was repair of a water main break.] Yes, I expect some of you can imagine items other than large diameter PVC pipe below the turned earth.)

So I say to fellow- writers: Turn the imagination loose and write the story that goes with the photo.

Readers: Try something new in 2022 — a new genre, a new author, a new format.

More than One Day!

Happy Holidays!!!

Yes, more than one. Christmas Day 2021 is in the rear-view mirror as this post goes “live”. But the celebration does not need to end. New Years is only a few days away. Friends and relatives still have birthdays — birthday cake among the cookies & candy?

Long ago, when I was a child, the days between Christmas and New Years were busy. All the normal chores. New toys, games, and gadgets to try. People to visit while they still had their tree up — everyone I knew used a real tree and they had a limited life span.

So draw a deep breath. Pull courage up from your toes. And keep the holiday spirit in your heart for days — and weeks — to come.

Frosty peeks around the tree to greet you and wish you Happy Holidays. He’s smiling because: a) he has a cardinal on his hat? b) the presents are for him? c) 2021 is drawing to a close?


What makes you happy? Is there one thing sure to bring a smile? Make you laugh?

A special food? Music? Favorite person stops to visit? Or video chat? Or call?

I’m not sure what happened a moment ago — but these three gingerbread figures are having a JOYful time on a sunny December day.

Wishing you to find joy in the season. Smile. Laugh. Pause to enjoy the antics of children or pets. Listen to the story Grandma has told eight-five times and counting. Eat a candy cane. Light a candle. Give some holiday cheer to the next person you meet.

For those who light an Advent wreath — the pink candle represents — JOY!

Color Confusion

Did you have strict teachers in the primary grades? Did they insist you color your pictures to look like the view out the window?

You know: trees are green with a little brown, sky is blue, flowers are red, pink, and yellow.

But…some days it’s fun to just reach into the crayon box and color the bird, or cat, or tree with the first hue your fingers grasp.

Christmas trees in pink and purple and blue. Flamingos in basic white. I think the decoration specialist at the zoo tossed convention to the wind — or fed it to the alligator.

Family Tradition

The year end holidays are filled with religious, cultural, and family tradition.

Foods considerate too rich, or too time-consuming to make find their way to a holiday table.

Perhaps you listen to certain music, or attend an annual concert, play, or performance.

One of the traditions in our family is gifts — and books in particular. Like most traditions it can be traced for several generations.

The volume on the left, Ben-Hur, is inscribed to one of my great uncles, from his sister, for Christmas 1913 and New Year 1914. Heidi, in the center, was under the Christmas tree for me in 1956 (from my parents). Completing the trio, the book on the right was a more recent Christmas gift from a son.

So, whether from one sibling to another, parents to child or child to parent — consider an easy to wrap, no batteries required, quiet gift at your celebration. Also works well from one friend to another.

Going Non-Traditional

Readers in the United States — this one’s for you.

Do you have an opinion on the Norman Rockwell Freedom from Want?

The highlights: Three generations at the table, the eldest couple clearly in charge: he wears a suit, she has an apron over a dress. Fruit, a large covered dish, and small side dishes are on the table before “Grandma” lowers the turkey on a platter. You can only see faces/heads/partials of the family — all are well-groomed and smiling.

Does this look like your family? Do you recall portions of this happening during your childhood?

It may have been Thanksgiving — or a Sunday — I do remember a chaotic day with lots of relatives and food (I believe mother had to tie the oven shut because the turkey was too large). We had three generations in the house. Mother, not grandmother, was in charge. Consistent with her personality — she asked for and got assistance from others in her generation. Noise, food, people, and music probably burst out of our brick house on Main Street.

Later, when I was a teen and college student, the Thanksgiving feast was held with good friends and alternated between the homes. Lots of food, conversation, and fun. The deer hunters — yes, the season often overlapped with the holiday — took a few hours off.

After marriage, I lived many miles away from family, therefore we celebrated with friends, neighbors, or perhaps drove an hour to an Aunt & Uncle. My career (in health care) required working the day about half the years. Good planning permitted a bit of feasting and fun later in the day — after work. But please — spare the hours of preparation for the traditional meal — and the nuclear family was more comfortable after a busy shift.

What takes center stage at your Thanksgiving? Church service? Food? Football? Family & friends (or friendly family)? Shopping? Phone or video calls with loved ones far away?

However you choose to mark the day —

Tom, and his family, suggest a menu more in line with the 1621 celebration — venison, fish, and cornbread.

May your Blessings be Abundant!

Underwater Spooks

BOO! ‘Tis the season to scare each other.

Most Americans take the Halloween decorations, jokes, and “trick or treat” activities with a smile and idea of fun.

Do you ever wonder how other creatures cope with things which scare us? Does a plastic dog skeleton scare a dog? Do corn field creatures appreciate a maze? Do raccoons tell jokes to each other?

Cue the spooky movie music —

the hunt is on.

I’m convinced Hollywood designers used this stealth swimmer as a spaceship model.