Saturday, January 26, 2013


Trash and Treasures is the elegant name given to our once a year substitute for a yard sale, bring and buy or flea market. It is held on the last Saturday of January every year and it is usually a smashing success -- depending upon how you did.

First you scramble to get a table inside. If you don't get to the event planner quick enough you are stuck with a table outside. I say stuck but lots of residents prefer an outside stand. Perhaps it gives the whole thing a more rugged ambiance  Still, I always try for a inside position. I made that decision when I first took part in the Trash and Treasure event because before this particular one in January 2013, I promoted my books and, since it's usually damp (our clubhouse faces a lovely lake and January can be damp in the early morning hours, and books tend to curl up when damp), I fought valiantly for an inside space, and succeeded.

But, this time was different. I didn't even bring a book to this years Trash and Treasure because I was determined to get rid of lots of treasures. I don't know of anyone who participates ever considering their wares as trash. So for the past few months I've been poking into closets and casting a wary eye over treasures all around the house. When they had been collected and put in the shed, they amounted to an enormous pile of treasures. But, I soldiered on, promising myself that I wouldn't really miss any of them. The next step was to box and package these items. That took a lot more time than I thought I'd have to spend and when they were all contained in boxes of various sizes, packed so as not to spoil anything, I stood back and wondered what in the world I was thinking.

But it was too late, the spot has been reserved and paid for, the treasures had been cleaned, polished and lovingly packed in papers where necessary. A dozen wine glasses have a tendency to break when bounced around in boxes unless cushioned with newspaper and paper towels. My special crystal pieces deserved folded paper towels. Anyhow, yesterday two of my friends very kindly volunteered to help me lug the ever-growing pile of stuff (you will note it is now stuff, not treasures) up to the clubhouse. We are allowed to set up on Friday and then market on Saturday. I can't imagine what I was thinking, but the amount of stuff exceeded the table provided so some of it went under the table to replenish the spaces left empty by the sales that were going to be great and wondrous.

This morning I hurried up to the clubhouse and uncovered all my stuff. It looked wonderful, even better in the light of day. The crowds swarmed the building and outdoor spaces. Women with shopping bags on their arms picking up and examining items they had no intention of purchasing, men searching for men-stuff like tools, golf clubs, sweatshirts with their favorite team emblems or just meekly following their wives with wallet at the ready.

We opened at eight o'clock and the stampede petered out at eleven-thirty. The Trash and Treasure was officially over at noon. I had sold a lot of stuff but had an unexpected amount left over. There are two things you can do with leftover treasures, take them  home or donate them to the charity that picks up the unclaimed treasures/stuff. I decided what I wanted or even was able to take home. Believe me this whole thing took a lot more manpower than I thought. I was bushed and as I cast my eyes over what was left, a lot of the stuff didn't seem so necessary. So, I picked out the best of the unclaimed treasures and hauled the other stuff over to the section of the driveway relegated to collecting for the charity. I was amazed at what I really didn't mind giving up.

At what seemed like long last I shoved the left-overs into the trunk and went home. It's amazing how the body reacts to unusual trauma, and standing for four hours, smiling at passers-by, hawking the best of the best on your table takes a lot out of you -- or at least out of me. I collapsed into my recliner and sighed. My husband asked if it was a success and I told him it was. But I had to confess to parting with things that a few minutes ago I could do without and now seemed extraordinarily precious. Oh, well. It was for a good cause.

My legs ache, my feet hurt and I feel as if I had been beaten about the body but I'm sure in a day or two I'll be right as rain again. But for now, it's lean back in the recliner and eat leftovers for dinner.

January 2014 is a long way off.

Friday, January 18, 2013


As promised here comes the blog on the letter C. I've chosen CHANGES as I blog through the alphabet

CHANGE, after all, is what life's about. Just think of the changes you've encountered in your life. But what stirred me to make today's blog about CHANGES is that things are surely changing, and pretty fast lately. For instance, this morning when I got out of bed, the first thing I checked was the thermostat. It was 62° in the house! I might remind you that I live in Florida. They say (whoever they are?) that your blood doesn't thin. Well, pardon me, but I disagree.

I remember when I lived in Pennsylvania 62° anywhere was wonderful. But, after living in Florida for over twenty four years, year 'round, I'm COLD (another C word) at anything under 70°. So, I put the heat on and now it's a reasonable 72° in the house, but I just checked the weather on the computer and it's 48° outside. That's COLD. Of course, our COLD doesn't usually last long and before the afternoon is out it will get up to at least something in the 70s. I shouldn't complain as I look out the window at the blue sky, the green trees and lawns and my ever faithful Crown of Thorns blooming their little red heads off. Even my yellow hibiscus is still blooming. What wonders God does provide.

But, getting back to changes, yesterday I wore Capri-length pants and a tee top. Today I'm in a sweater and jeans. So there goes the theory of your blood thinning. Mine must be the consistency of tea right now.

Then there's the theory of climate changes (more C words). I seem to remember this past summer that it was hotter in Indiana and surrounding states than it was in Florida, which is tropical and usually has temperatures I love. My children live in Pennsylvania and often when I was speaking to my son this summer, it was hotter there than here. I don't really know about this climate changing thing the experts are arguing over but it seems to me a hurricane in the northeast in late fall or early winter is strange and certainly an unexpected, dangerous and serious change in weather conditions. Florida is supposed to have hurricanes during the hurricane season, May to November. Thankfully, we haven't had any real dangerous ones since 2004 when we were inundated with four dramatically serious hurricanes, all in one season and which we lived through.

I don't know but I think theories are just that -- theoretical. Still, when the temp is lower than 70° in the house, I'm cold and my thin blood lets me know.

I know the weather has been pretty awful in some places this year, but then that's in my opinion. Snow can be beautiful—from a distance. Ice is never nice unless you're skating on it in an indoor rink and frostbite is out of the questions. Hope you are having the weather you enjoy. Have a great day and God bless.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

B as in blessings

Some weeks go better than others but all weeks and days have blessings. 

This week started off with me having to cancel and reschedule a doctor's appointment for me. You know how that is, you search your calendar, they check their's trying to fit another thing into the days. 

On the second Tuesday I meet with the ladies group from our church for our monthly luncheon. We always have a great time of fellowship and food, two great words. Since at this meeting we celebrate birthdays falling in that month, and it being January, I was honored for my 81st birthday. We even had cake with lots of icing! I love icing. Then I made one of my many trips to Wal-Marts and picked up yet another prescription. I really think Lenny and I win the prize for the number of prescriptions we need each week (and the amount of money we leave at that Pharmacy). Still, it was something that he needs, a new medication which we hope takes care of an ongoing problem.

Wednesday I got my hair cut, after waiting two months to get around to it. I changed the appointment twice before I just said, I'll call you when I can come in. She always does such a great job and I 'treated' myself to an eyebrow shaping. She had enough white hair on the floor to stuff a small pillow. Phew!

Thursday, today, is a day I look forward to every month. On the second Thursday of the month the Crystal Ball Book Club meets at one of the members homes. We are a congenial group of women and we share news, laughs and the books we read. It is a different set up than a lot of book clubs. We don't all read the same book, but give a report on one we've read during the past month. That way we all get to take part in the program and each of us is quickly jotting down the names and authors of some of the books reviewed. It seems to open us up to more books and if there's anything better to reading gals than more books I don't know what it is. Of course, the hostess for the month always manages to have some scrumptious snacks for us, too. I truly treat this event and the ladies who make it such fun as definitely a blessing.

Tomorrow, Friday, I have to get up early (ugh) and take the car in for an oil change. I had to get an early appointment because from 1:00 to 3:00+ I chair the Avon Park Wordsmith's writers critique group. It's held in the library so I'll probably pick up one of the books mentioned today if I can. I did get one of the books reviewed today because the reviewer offered to share it. It's The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. I'm already thirty pages into the book and know I'm going to love it. In the evening we will be going to the clubhouse to play Pinochle. We both love cards and the friendships that go along with the games.

Saturday looks like I might get time to wrap up some of the things I'm going to take to the Trash and Treasure Sale at the clubhouse and try and turn the treasures I'm parting with (in the hopes that we sell the house before too long) into a veritable fund of money Ha! Ha! At least it will clear out a couple of cupboards and closets. I am an admitted pack-rat.

Sunday will be the same as always and isn't it nice to have one day of the week that is normal and comfortable with no appointments or surprises (or at least rare surprises). We'll go to church in the morning and then we usually go to breakfast/lunch with a couple who are not only fellow members but our dearest friends. Then in the evening I get to watch PBS and now it's a series of  Downton Abby. It's the third series and is a story about an English Lord and Lady and their immense staff. It is so well written, the actors are wonderful and the photography is great. I've watched it from the first series, then the second series and now the much awaited third series and it is certainly not overdone or boring. I can hardly wait for next Sunday.

So that's a rundown on an almost typical week for us. Fortunately, it wasn't as filled with doctor's appointments, lab tests and therapy sessions. We are also fortunate that right now the therapy sessions are held in the house. That saves a lot of work and traveling. Lenny is getting such good home health care and that is another blessing.

Guess that's the week in a nutshell. Exciting life, eh? I'm trying to keep up my intention of writing a blog and working on my manuscripts. I did write two short stories for submission to the FWA Collection #5. A new collection is published each year and all the entries are based on a given prompt. This year it's It's a Crime and all the stories have to be about a crime. Fun. I love competitions, especially short stories because they are a challenge for me. I usually can't tell a story with less than 100,000 words. Guess that's why I write novels.

Take care, stay tuned and God Bless,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

BLOG - A - as in apple

Well, I promised myself, and anyone else who might be interested, I would begin a regular regime of blogging -- so here goes.

When planning on going through the alphabet for this blog series (and it doesn't mean that I might not stick some other un-alphabetical thoughts into this project) I considered skipping around -- you know e, then h, and maybe t, there seems to be a lot of interesting words that begin with t -- but then I thought about it and decided in my present state, I'd probably get confused so we're beginning with A-- simple huh?

I struggled for a while going through words that began with an A when it suddenly hit me -- A as in Author. Duh. After all, I am an author. When I first began writing I was told by someone that when you wrote books, you were only a writer until you got published and then you were an author. I don't know who made that rule, it sounds kind of silly but then again I guess there is some measure of prestige in being published.

Then I thought, what can I write about me as an author and came up with just about zero beyond what my friends and readers already knew so, I thought, let's pick on other authors that I really enjoy.

Now there's a broad subject. I'm not always pleased when someone asks me who my favorite authors are because I have so many can they really be cataloged as favorites? But, as all other readers, I tend to gravitate to the same authors. Here's a list of my really, really favorite authors not in any order of favor. I love Maeve Binchy and I'm looking forward to her last book (she died last year but had a book ready for publishing); I also love (and get used to that word) Rosamund Pilcher; then there's Nicholas Sparks (I have most of his books and 7 are signed by the author), and, if you want a laugh, read one of Donald Westlakes books especially the Dortmunder series). I also enjoy books by Richard Paul Evans.

One of my very favorite books is A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith. It's the only one of his that I could attach the word love to. Then there are writers such as Grisham -- too many to list; and books that I read because of my dear Crystal Lake Book Club such as The Help, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, (those two are so funny) and Caleb's Crossing. I have friends who are authors, so many that I hesitate to list them. They know who they are and there're so good in so many ways. One thing I do know, an author must have regular contact with other authors or something goes amiss. My collection (you should see my bookcases) an eclectic assortment of books and authors whom I have enjoyed. I know I've left a lot out, (and again) you should see my book shelves, but I guess this is enough for now.

After reading all this I really could have made this an A for author and B for books blog. Well, never mind, I'll find something else to write about for the next blog. The real B one.

So long, for now. Take care and God Bless