Today’s happenings April 10, 2022

Concert Stage

This clip is an experiment, hope it works, to give a sample of what is happening.

There is a big rally happening downtown Los Angeles today. They are still setting up and it looks like it is going to be big. Concerts, speakers, vendors, lots of people. At one point I heard someone say they are expecting a 50,000 strong turnout.

There are live streamers sharing this on You Tube and Rumble.

Currently I’m watching both Sasnak and Mud Pig Trucking on You Tube.

His name started from his habit of hauling to farmer’s fields and coming out with a truck covered in mud.

We won’t hear much about this in commercial media that’s for sure.

Check it out.

More news… February 15, 2022

In yesterday’s Oops post, found here, I shared about much time spent watching the live stream walkabouts and the things I’ve learned about the truckers Ottawa Freedom Convoy 2022.

The post ended with the concerning news of Justin Trudeau, Canada Prime Minister, invoking the Emergency Measures Act. This was concerning because the criteria for using this action is the need for force, which clearly is not the case. It turns out he is using this as a scare tactic to force the protesters to bow to him.

This tactic won’t work and this morning’s short video explains why. Such a relief.

The truckers and the supporters joining them have been amazing in their commitment to peaceful protest.

There were a couple of short videos confirming some of what goes on over there but I can’t find them again. One showed the protesters giving out Valentine red roses to police officers on scene. The other was of the conversation/one sided altercation between a counter protester and the father of a thirteen year old girl who had her flag stolen. It did not end well for the belligerent counter protester, many witnesses – besides the camera, saw the one-sided altercation and the inebriated man was arrested.

There are many new videos today and I would love to share them but will leave you with just one. Dave Rubin, a popular figure in the US is a huge supporter of the Canadian protest and definitely NOT a fan of Trudeau. Dave is excitable and the video is long but he is informative and inspiring.

I’m sure I will be back with more news.

This whole thing is important because they are not just fighting against mandates, they are fighting against tyranny. And this is not just a Canadian issue, it’s world wide.

The truckers are amazing in the way they manage to keep their cool under immense provocation.

I can’t go to Ottawa but I can watch videos. Every view and like counts for them. Subscribe helps them too.

Happy viewing. Be informed.

Happy New Year everyone January 01, 2022

New Years Eve tradition alive and well

Happy New Year everyone! On this bright and beautiful, very crisp sunny day.

My kids kept up the tradition by presenting me with a new puzzle on Christmas. It had me very excited, for a while there I thought I might have to resort to digging out an old one this New Years Eve.

With the glorious blue sky out the window in front of me today it will be fun working on it.

On top of that, knowing it’s -32C feels like -41C is like a gift. It’s a great excuse to feel happy about staying in without changing out of my cozy pajamas and heavy bathrobe. Not that I need an excuse or anything, now that I’m old enough to do whatever I want. 🙂

Wishing you all the very best in the year ahead.

A new current read November 09, 2021

The last current read is finished and was enjoyed right to the very end.

It was called Yesterday’s Treasures, book 1 in the Blueberry Beach series.

The new current read is called Tomorrow’s Blessings and is book 2 in the series.

I have just barely started but so far so good. I expect to love it every bit as much as book 1.

Tomorrow’s Blessings: A Blueberry Beach Novel

Anitra Pollard has lived in Blueberry Beach all her life, an idyllic small, lakeside town where regular people go to escape real life.

Unfortunately Anitra’s real life couldn’t get much worse, despite the idyllic setting.

Her husband left not long before her oldest son was diagnosed with leukemia. Worse, the head doctor on the team assigned to her son looks very much like the man she had a short, but very sweet, summer fling with…and the father of the child she carries.

Her life couldn’t get any harder or messier, but she will let nothing get in the way of getting the very best care for her son, even if it means staying married to her cheating husband to keep his health insurance and rebuffing the overtures of the doctor who thinks he recognizes her.

Thankfully she has the support of her friends and neighbors in Blueberry Beach – her safe harbor in the middle of life’s storms.

But even they can’t protect her from the heartache of losing everything she’s always held dear.

Will her new baby be the beginning of tomorrow’s blessings?


The listed reading time is 3 hours. Maybe I can finish before the night is over.

Happy Reading

Free and bargain books August 16, 2021

Read til the end for an amazing scene. But first…

1531 Entertainment has suggestions for us. This first one is FREE. I remember reading this a year ago and it is definitely worth looking at again.

Looking for Justice: Christian Contemporary Romance with Suspense

Amazon quote:

Can a former attorney and a war veteran keep an assaulted student safe and heal their own troubled pasts?“Edgy, gutsy, real” says Varina Denman, Author of the Mended Hearts Series “

Attorney Alexis Jergenson leaves her law firm and the pain of her clients’ abuse cases and decides to start over in a small Tennessee town. The Christian college there is desperate for a law professor, and she is desperate for a new career. The problem is she’s not a Christian, and to add to this, a student has been assaulted and comes to her for help.

Luke Stephens is recovering from the effects of the Afghanistan war. He’s settled down to teach and work his ranch. His only problem is with the new law professor—she looks too much like his unfaithful ex-wife, and Luke will do anything to avoid her. But Luke and Alexis are forced to team up to find the student’s attacker, and they put not only their lives but also their hearts in danger.… a book that will linger in your mind long after you read the last page…” Debby Mayne, author of the Belles in the City series Book 4 of the Dangerous series, but also a stand alone. A Christian book that contains sensitive subject matter.


Another free book showed up, one more that I’ve read, enjoyed, and still remember.

An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train): An Orphan Train Novella

Amazon quote:

Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.

Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he’s grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him–plans that may include this feisty socialite?


Currently, I’ve started a book that has captured my attention. I’m only on chapter two but still, it should be good all the way through. It’s at a low bargain price too.

This is about a race car driver who crashed and burned, literally. Only he wasn’t on the track, and it may not be an accident.

He’s also inherited a baby but we don’t know yet how that all came about. He’s hired a high school friend, turned private investigator, to figure out what happened. He also wants her to find the baby’s mother.

Show Me Best Friends: Small-Town Single-Father Cowboy Romance (Cowboy Crossing Romances Book 4) 

Amazon quote:

A “steel cowboy” with a wounded spirit, an ex-cop who’s never forgotten him, and a baby in need of love… Can these childhood best friends become more? A sweet, clean, wholesome romance with a happily-ever-after!

Damaged and scarred after an accident that ended his racing career, Maverick Clark returns to his family ranch to find a new purpose. When he starts caring for his buddy’s baby, Maverick turns for help to his childhood friend whom he’d had a crush on, Vera. Soon he wants more than friendship. But what does he have to offer her now?

At thirty-seven, jobless, husbandless, and childless, Vera Tsareva feels like she took a wrong turn somewhere. But once the road takes her back to her hometown to help her grandmother, she begins working with Maverick, the guy she’s tried to forget for many years. They even go on a trip to the other side of the world together, but he’s closed off his heart to her.


It has been a warm one today and judging by the orange moon we are still bothered by smoke from nearby forest fires. When I say nearby, they are in the same province but miles away.

My son and his family live in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Yesterday they were driving home from holidays and the mountain highway (Coquihalla) had fire burning on both sides of the road. We were shocked it was still open when they went through.

(we affectionately call it The Coke)

When it is not burning this is an amazingly beautiful drive.

I’m sharing this for the pictures. I love this trip and I’ve driven it many times with some great memories. It’s about 2 hours long. Someone should film the whole highway then we could travel it vicariously. A friend in Norway send me a video like that once, it was a train trip. Norway has high mountains too. Watching something in real time seems like it would be boring but they did a good job with their camera work and it was enjoyable.

Anyway, enjoy the scenery.

And the books

So much wisdom, so much empathy

This is a deeply touching interview filled with wisdom, understanding and empathy. And hope. So much hope. I have to share.

I hope you find it as comforting as I did. In these difficult days we need to hear voices filled with wisdom and hope.

Rick Warren has experienced unbelievable pain. Toward the end of the video he shares what it was like to live through it. He puts heavy emphasis on living through it.

This interview is posted by a gifted podcaster Carey Nieuwhof. He knows how to ask questions that will mine the depths and bring out the best in his guests. Always a blessing to the listener.

May you feel as blessed as I do right now.

What to say…

I’m at a loss for words. After missing several days in my daily blog I need to find something to say. I’m feeling emotionally wrung out, maybe that’s why my mind is empty. I’ll just have to start and see what happens. It will surprise me as much as it will you, guaranteed. It’s funny how one thing leads to another and rabbit holes appear out of nowhere…

Today was the day for our monthly writers group Zoom call. Since I’m part of the executive there is always a feeling of self inflicted pressure to be a good participant not just a passive observer. As an introvert, fly-on-the-wall is where I would rather be. I was trying to be rested and relaxed ready for the camera but it wasn’t working out all that well for me. I started out stressed, like it or not.

Going into the week, I didn’t have an active part in the meeting. That all changed when the agenda came out and I found I was down for a book review. In the end we had more than enough readers (to share stories that would be critiqued) and there was no time for the my contribution. It didn’t get used but it was good writing practice, working on the review was not a total waste.

It’s funny how things happen sometimes. I had been thinking several days ago about my style of writing and the type of critique I would like to have. The thing is, I’m often not sure if what I have to say makes sense. Feedback would be helpful. I think I assume people know certain things already and tend to write in note form with little detail. My first clue I do this is when, days later, I read what I’ve written. Sometimes I have no idea what exactly I was getting at. So, going back to the most recent review I’d posted I found myself with a chance to work on making sense.

The review definitely needed to be reworked and expanded. It was a good exercise in figuring out how much extra detail needed to be included. I’ll try to do better the next time I write something like a review or thoughts (like now maybe.)

So, getting back to today’s Zoom meeting. It did the heart good to see everyone again even though we couldn’t be in the same room together. Five members read their stories, each one personal and unique.

They were all good but the one I appreciated most tore us all apart. It was a very raw and real sharing of a lengthy journey with parkinsons. What she has been through, and will continue to go through, is heartbreaking. Yet she has such a positive outlook on life. We could see it cost her dearly to be honest with us. We felt honored to be trusted enough for the privilege of hearing her story.

Today was a day we will not soon forget.


I’m going to pick up a fast food hamburger and then the mail (it’s been several weeks and I need to get out.) When I come back I’ll see if this still makes sense to me.


Well, I’ve made changes. I’m not sure it’s enough but time’s getting away on me. At least I’ve finished supper, washed the pile of dishes waiting for me and played a few games on the computer while I was thinking.


Tomorrow is story prompt day. The word is Resolution. Guess I’m not done thinking for the night quite yet.

A little this, a little that, at Christmas

This is story prompt Sunday. The word was Jolly. I feel happy and jolly, but totally pulled a blank when it came to anything jolly worth writing about. It’s not a great day for book suggestions either so it will be a this and that kind of a blog day.

I’m good with it. Many thoughts are busily floating through my mind at the moment. As usual, I don’t have any of this planned out. It will be another lets see where we end up post. I’m currently feeling upbeat and I’m pretty sure the post will sound that way too. I don’t want to take a chance with the good vibes I’ve got going on.

I will admit, briefly, that the lead up to this week was anything but jolly. There were a number of emotionally charged things going on and it all brought me to a place where, for days, I just wanted to cry. I couldn’t figure out why. I thought maybe if I gave in to the need the pressure would ease. There were no tears, so that idea was of no value. One thing did help, I counted up all the stresses over the previous week. That explained a lot. Once you get past a certain number a melt down is inevitable.

I worried that a lock-down covid Christmas would only make things worse. Thankfully the opposite happened.

It all began on the 21st when things started out sideways. My daughter-in-law talked about a video call at 4 pm, my eldest and his family. When it didn’t come at four as suggested I thought it wasn’t happening after all. Part way through a piece of blueberry pie my cell phone rang with a video call. No time for primping. I can laugh about it now.

Our whole family gets along well and has a lot of fun together but, scattered all over the country we don’t see each other very often. None of us are good with phone calls either. When we do talk though, it goes on for hours. After three hours I’d seen most of the house and talked with everyone in the house. It was just what I needed.

The next night we had scheduled a full family Zoom call. The first one we’ve ever had as a group and it was four hours of awesome. Nothing fancy or spectacular just the simple joy of being together and seeing each other. I think a few grandkids and a spouse or two may have checked out after awhile and left us to it.

I think part of the reason we were all fully in the moment was the recent loss of an extended family member. It reminded us of the fragility of life. Some of us are not getting any younger and the sudden, unexpected passing could have been any one of us. It sounds like we are going to commit to regular monthly visits while we still can. Just not four hours long. I’m couldn’t be happier about the promise of more visits.

Christmas Eve I delivered gifts to my daughter’s family in the city. I didn’t plan to stay long with covid restrictions in place but I was there long enough to see most of another family Zoom call with the extended side of the family. They enjoy each other immensely too and it was a treat to experience their interactions.

I enjoy all of the families my kids have married into. I feel very blessed. Most, if not all of us, find it easy to allow others into our family circles and it’s awesome.

So, aside from conversations I had fun with gifts this year.

I usually just give the teen-aged boys money. I’m a lousy shopper and I want them to be happy. I fully intended to use that method again this year but at the last minute changed my mind and ordered something. It wasn’t a new thought, I’ve been wanting to do it for awhile now but waffled.

I gave them a family Christmas card explaining that I decided to spend their money for them, the gift would be arriving before the 31st and it is a secret. I know they will love the gift. In the meantime curiosity is driving them crazy. It’s a good thing I’m not with them or they would be dragging it out of me. Anticipation is a good thing sometimes.

Included in the bag with the card was a couple of big bags of variety junk food, flavored chips, and three books. Big books.

Several years ago when their cousins (my other grandkids) were visiting I gifted them with a couple of full bags of books. My goal was to find stories they could get hooked on and from there develop a love of reading. I had selection help from a nerdy, teen-age book-lover sales clerk so I knew the options offered were good.

I held back three books (all part of a series with stand alone books) waiting for them to be in need of more reading material. Middle boy is the book lover, boys one and three – not so much… not yet anyway. The distress over the thought of such long books was hilarious. Their dad said he would give oldest boy fifty dollars if he read the whole 600 pages. (If dad was serious about the reward I think I will make a contribution to the incentive. Must check it out.)

Their reaction was no surprise and I didn’t take it personally. Reading is such an important skill, I wanted to do my part to provide tempting reading material. One day they will find a book they love. Aside from that, it gets easier with practice so any book they read will take them in the right direction.

I know they will be happy with the gift when it arrives, It will have them forgetting all about books, I’m sure.

I was unsure how I would feel about coming home to an empty house at this time of year. Usually I would stay with them for a few days to make the most of the season.

Once in a while, when I return from a family visit, grief at being alone will hit me like an unexpected tidal wave. It didn’t happen this time. I think there were several reasons. My emotional tank was refilled with the many hours spent with my family. (virtual works for me.) At the same time someone was praying for me. A friend mentioned I have been on her mind lately and she’s been praying for me even though she had no idea what the need was. I can still feel the comfort of her prayers wrapped all around me. I am grateful beyond words.

It was in answer to my prayers too. Earlier in the week I had cried out to God in my despair and he answered me. (there is a bible verse that says it like that). The change was so dramatic it feels like a miracle.

So, that’s my story. It has been an unexpectedly good Christmas and I still feel good.

(I hope the same for you)

Random thoughts for July 18, 2020

This is a random thoughts, no books, kind of day. It was good in so many ways.

It started early, to make the hour trip into the city in time to meet up with the rest of our writers group. An impromptu picnic in a beautiful and popular park was the plan. With covid, it’s been a long time since we last met, the first Saturday in February in fact. The extroverts among us couldn’t bear to wait any longer and so, The Picnic.

Usually at an event like this we have pot luck lunches, we bring all sorts of interesting dishes to contribute to the meal.

We behaved well during this social distancing time. Most of us just brought a sandwich and a drink of some sort. Betty, the lady I traveled with, was highly disappointed with the food situation. She likes things to be an event not the ho hum I could do this at home routine.

By the time it was over she had forgotten her thoughts on food and was reliving the good time we had visiting with friends of like mind. Not everyone in our life gets our love for writing. Sometimes we forget and fail to appreciate how much encouragement we gain from time spent with our writer friends. The aftermath of Covid has been a good reminder for us.

We  (Betty and I) don’t see each other all that often even though we live in the same small city, and it was nice to catch up on the drive to and from. When I dropped her off we said our good byes suggesting we should do lunch sometime.

Sometime came sooner than expected. Her coffee mug was left in my car and that had her dropping by to retrieve it.

The forgetting turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

For some reason it felt like a downer when I got home after the day away. I was tired and feeling crummy. Blaming it on the early morning I took a nap that made only a marginal difference. It wasn’t too long after my nap there was a phone call about the neglected and forgotten coffee mug.

Sometimes it pays to go ahead and do things even when desire is not there.

With minimal enthusiasm on my part we went on an adventure to find somewhere interesting to have supper. Neither of us go out for meals all that often so we have no clue about where’s a good place to go.

We tried one new place everyone was talking about but it was take out only. Not what we needed. There was one more place we had both heard about and hoped they had inside seating and no line ups.

The pizza at the golf course’s new restaurant was delicious and the view of the golf greens next to our patio table added to the ambiance.

I think our outlook on life had improved considerably with the experience. We seemed to be in agreement on that.

It was a wonderful day all the way around and now group plans are underway to meet next month too.


Well, there were no new books today but there’s no shortage of reading material with all the offerings we’ve had lately.

I’m almost finished Cold Shot and it’s still a bargain. I think it’s worth the $1.99.

I learned something new with this book. Cold shot is sniper terminology and you have to be good to pull it off. Not sure this will be useful info but it is new.

Cold Shot

In college, Griffin McCray and his three best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore PD. Declan Gray would head to the FBI and Parker Mitchell would go on to graduate school as a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world–and friendships–crumbled.

Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet–until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern–a young social justice lawyer missing since spring–and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Gray takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he’ll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he–and those he cares about–are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents.


I may go to a lighter read next. It’s still a bargain too, at $0.99

A January Bride (A Year of Weddings Novella Book 2)

A January Bride

What will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser’s “pen pal” friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn?


Sorry I didn’t get any pictures of our day.

I always mean to but get talking and forget.

One of these times…

I’m just happy I managed to find something to say after all.

I hope you had a good day too.

Happy Reading!







Dreams of learning to play piano?

Another post, unintentionally inspired by the morning post of a follow blogger, I meant to leave a simple comment on his site, not start a whole big production.

I had some thoughts on the subject and was responding to his question. As the comment grew longer, I decided it would make a good beginning to a needed piece for critique at writer’s group next month. It seemed like a good idea, at the time, to copy and paste my long winded reply in a new window on my page. It would be much easier than trying to rewrite the whole piece from memory.

My bright ideas aren’t so bright sometimes. It copied and pasted to my site fine, no problem. The trouble occurred back on his site when I finally hit send on the comment. WordPress was not impressed with my ingenuity and refused to send it. (There must have been some law violated with my actions.) I figured the whole effort would be wasted unless there was another way out of the dilemma. So… this works.

To get the full story, go to his site and read the post I was replying to. In the meantime; here’s the thumbnail sketch. He tells us he was musing on Facebook about regrets over wasted childhood opportunities to learn piano. He is turning forty in a few weeks and wondered if it’s too late to learn piano now, at this age. Many replied that’s it’s never to late. This morning he’s asking his blog readers the same question.

So here’s my long winded response, which normally I would never dream of posting on my own site.  Life is crazy sometimes – the surprise curves coming out of nowhere.

The comment needs to be expanded to a make-sense version:

“It’s never too late” is true. I had a landlord, many years ago, who decided to learn piano after he retired. Living in their basement suite, I can tell you he did. He didn’t have the talent to be awesome but he did learn. He also joined a local choir to sing in cantatas. He was loving his life.
As for the question of purchasing a piano or signing up for lessons – there are other options to consider in this age of technology. The other day I was listening to a tech show on the radio and they were talking about a new app out this year. It is like a game. As you play it, the game will teach you to play piano. It sounds like fun and would eliminate the need for a teacher or a piano. It’s worth checking out, anyway. I’ve heard there are even apps for playing on your smart phone or tablet. Musicians often use these apps to practice, in free moments when instruments are unavailable.
At the same time, though, I can also tell you the “want to” has to be there for it to work. I have had easy access to instruments most of my life. When I was young we had an out of tune piano with some dead keys. My grandmother offered to teach me but I couldn’t handle the discordant sounds. A missed opportunity for sure. Then several decades later we inherited an antique pump organ. It intrigued me and I put effort into learning, but not enough. We moved a lot and eventually, for practical reasons, traded it in for a electronic keyboard. My daughter was the only one to take lessons and in time, it went to live at her house.  Currently there is an out of tune piano in my basement (it came with the house) and two inherited accordions (my mother’s and grandmother’s.) I still haven’t learned to play. The want-to is there but apparently not enough of it to do the hard work. My mother, on the other hand, did the hard work. She practiced relentlessly as a kid (her life was full of loss and she needed a distraction) and played all of her life, both at home and publicly in groups.
Sometimes, I still think about my lost chances. Lately I’ve come to realize, while I haven’t learned to play, I’ve scratched the itch in another way. I have a large Gaither Vocal Band and Homecoming, video collection, I play them often and love to sing along. I’ve learned to sing harmony (privately only, of course) and it turns out, tenor (from listening to male quartets) is my favorite part. I’ve been willing to put the effort into noticing and learning and found recently that it is getting easier to hear my part with other groups too.
So, back to your question. It is possible – never too late – check out the app. Maybe it will be what you need if you can dig down deep and put in the hard work. Give it a shot, what can it hurt? It would be fun.