Sleek Swimmers

One of the many things I appreciate when walking at the Missouri Botanical Garden, is the pleasant little surprises when you take one of the less often traveled paths.

Bonus if a bench is in a strategic spot.

Playful otters, even the sculptured ones, look sleek and cool in their pool on a hot summer day.

Have you had a rough week? Plop yourself down on a bench. Close your eyes and listen to the fountain gurgle and splash. Then blink back to reality and enjoy the representation of some of nature’s playful creatures.

There — did you feel it? Tension just slipped off my shoulders. Ohh — a bird came to visit and carried away a worry. Take a nice, deep breath of garden-scented air. Nice earth undertones. Light, sweet blossoms.

I think I’m ready now. Time to pull the book from my tote bag and transport myself to another time and place while my body sheds heavy, daily burdens and selects some sweet, light hopes.

Suggestion for your tote bag — romance. A sweet read is “Morning Tryst”



Jewel in the Park

Diamonds glitter. Pearls glow. Rubies shine. Emeralds, sapphires, and topaz reflect rich light.

Jewels. Gems. Precious stones. For centuries they have been valued by humans and used to adorn the garments and objects of the rich and powerful.

But the world contains other jewels — some of immeasurable value.

Within the confines of Forest Park, the grounds and structure of The Jewel Box please the eye and soul.

Walk. Relax. Enjoy the fresh air and beauty. Or step inside and admire the greenhouse portion.

Want to read a book that fits with the setting? I suggest the sweet romance, Comfort Zone. Two St. Louis area residents are faced with a second chance. Will they live with gusto and risk their hearts?



August Advice

A little advice is a good thing. When it comes from an expert, it’s even better.

So here are the professor’s tips for staying comfortable on hot, August days.

Seek the shade.

Drink plenty of water.

Eat your fruits and vegetables.

Professor? Well, for the month of August, I decided to explore close to home. Yes, for many people this is prime vacation time. But for a multitude of reasons, some people are unable to travel. So take a look around and see what you can find within a drive of two hours or less.

Professor Chimp dispenses his advice and demonstrate a carefree attitude at the St. Louis Zoo.

Do you live near a zoo? Have you considered a stroll among the animals as a place for a “date”? Light and casual courting in Comfort Zone, a sweet romance, includes a zoo date with emphasis on elephants.



Fly-in Dining

Do you have six legs? Four wings?

Welcome to the Fly-In Buffet. The special this week is fresh black-eyed Susan. Always on the menu is the popular butterfly bush and salvia.

This small space is busy on sunny days. Bees, butterflies, and other flying creatures stop for a sip. No problem with drinking and flying for these diners. Energy and perhaps a little bit of a “sugar high” are the results.

Want to practice photography skills. This is a perfect place. Bring your patience. Sunscreen and a hat might be good accessories.

Do you or your neighbors have flowers to attract our flying friends?

No two days are the same in the garden.


Summer Meeting Place

Forget the details of the song. Once upon it a time, the fair may have been the place to meet people in St. Louis. But the fair is gone, kept alive in the memory of St. Louis with artifacts in homes and museums. And traces in Forest Park.

Want to set a meeting place in St. Louis this summer?

Baseball’s the name of the game. Select a Hall of Fame player and gather your group pre-game. Swing. Throw. Leap. Slide. Take your pick of these heroic action figures to get your hometown spirit flowing.

Arrive early? No problem. Favorite activities while waiting include people watching, note taking (some things you don’t want to forget), or reading. Didn’t bring a book? Shame on you — what do you plan to do during a rain delay? Suggested topics — well, baseball player biographies come to mind. Or perhaps enter a fantasy world and read a baseball themed romance. Don’t have one at hand? How about a St. Louis themed book — a sweet romance with a dash of suspense.

Oh, look, I see one now.

Kindle edition available here:


The Future is Coming

This author is old. When I was a child, talk of the future included nuclear power plants. (Yes, Atoms for Peace was a real thing.)

Understanding computers – introduction to the idea of binary – languages with names like Fortran & Basic — filled conversations when I was a young adult. (Internet? Is that like computer terminal time sharing?)

Now, with the weather patterns changing and more people than ever before on the planet — another adaptation needs to be made.

Have electric vehicle charging stations reached your neighborhood? Your workplace?

No, the charging car is not mine.


Excellence Required

Firefighters need many skills.

They need to be strong and agile. Able to drive a large vehicle into and out of tight spots. Have knowledge of local streets — GPS is good, but has occasional problems. They must not fear climbing ladders or dragging hoses.

A firefighter needs basic cooking skills and tidiness. Friendly and cooperative are musts when living in close quarters and working as a team.

In addition — they need excellent packing skills!

All of this — plus a few things out of frame — needs to fit into one truck. Not just fit — but be organized for use.

Does someone have a diagram?


Is it Spring Yet?

According to my calendar, spring begins in two days.

According to the scene out my window — I’m not so sure.

March is one of those unpredictable months — even more so than others. Some years you think Mother Nature is having mood swings as the temperature soars on a sunny afternoon a day or two before measurable snow buries the brave daffodils and tulips. Will it rain? Some days. Snow? Possible. Sleet? Maybe. Ice? I hope not.

Perhaps it’s best to wait until the March temper tantrum passes before sending out new growth — or switching to summer wardrobe.

March 1 — a good time to keep buds closed.
April 1 — I hope this weather is not a joke.

While the ash tree cautiously opens to show leaves, the grass greened without hesitation.


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?


Party Perfect

Have you been to a party recently?

No? Me neither. But some of my friends have attended special occasions such as birthday parties. Or allowed children to attend at a neighbor or friend’s house.

When I was a child — some of my friends held birthday parties every year. Others had one or two over the years in elementary school. We went to their home — played games outside (if weather permitted) laughed, oohed and aahed when gifts were opened, and enjoyed cake.

My children attended a few parties for their friends. Often at an arcade, bowling alley, or skating rink. Fun and food were the result.

What does it take to make a party these days? How do you dress?

Yes, Mama–I’ll mind my manners and wear my mask.