A quick music update -- Sons of Anarchy might not be for everyone so if you don't watch it and think you didn't miss a thing, well, you did but only because the music has been very good and it's even better this season. Audra Mae and the Forest Rangers (feat. Billy Valentine) did a cover of the old Association's song Never My Love which played on the second episode. It is an exquisite, hauntingly beautiful rendition and your music life would be incomplete if you don't ever get the chance to listen to it! Some music stays in my head for days long after I first listen to it and this is one of them. It's available on iTunes which I of course immediately downloaded. Each artist has other music which I'm exploring and so far I like what I hear. Just wanted to share that with you...

Butterflies have a special meaning for me. The reason is because of the connection between my grandfather (who was one of the most amazing men I’ve ever known), butterflies, and me.  I was watching one today as it fluttered about doing its butterfly thing...inside Walmart (I for one would have preferred to have been in an entirely different type of store but when you have kids you frequent stores that end in “mart”…frequently;) This reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies where the lead female character sees a butterfly on the subway and she supposes that the butterfly was on its way to Bloomingdale’s to buy a hat. And by the way, this is also the movie where the lead male character says "Rose...that is a great name," you see, how can I not love this movie!  As it so happens I saw my butterfly in the allergy medicine aisle and she hovered next to me for a moment then flew on about her business. At least I think it was a girl butterfly because she flitted over to the makeup aisle; apparently she didn't suffer from allergies like me and had no interest in hats;) I told my son about the butterfly incident and he was totally unimpressed. Anyway, I love when unexpected cool but odd things like this happen! 
Speaking of odd...I was reflecting on some of the things I like that most people would consider unusual to like. I think truth be told, many of us do have a few eccentric likes; yes that means you too! So you want to know a few examples, alright but these are several of my tame, less quirky ones...I love driving through tunnels, the lighted kind and I will even detour out of my way if it means I can drive through one especially at night. If I'm ever late meeting you somewhere, it's probably because of a tunnel. I love steamed rice and fried eggs all mixed up with ketchup on top which is strange as I don't like ketchup on anything else, not even on fries. Are you grossed out yet? I also will prune my catmint flowers despite the fact that there are no less than fifty bees buzzing about them at all times. They should be called beemint flowers. Anyhow, I move carefully and I’m very stealthy so as not to disturb the bees. No big deal you say but the thing is I think I'm allergic to bee stings; I like challenges:) Okay, so there's other stuff but I'll just say one more and get ready because this last thing I'll admit to is so not what you’d ever expect from me. I don't mind the smell of a skunk for about three seconds. The operative words are don't mind and three seconds so no, it’s not that I like it, and no, I don’t say ummm, skunk. And no, I wouldn't want to smell it any longer than three seconds and I don't want Pepe Le Pew for a pet so stop right there:) I have a feeling I’m going to regret writing this! But the funny thing is I’m sensitive to odors so you’d think there’s no way I’d say this but I believe the reason is because when I smell a skunk, I know with 100% certainty exactly what it is without ever actually seeing it and there’s something oddly reassuring about that. I just wish I had as much certainty about a couple of things in my life right now but on the flip side, I do so very much love surprises and life does that to me oftentimes:)
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I've written several books and I'm deciding whether to go the traditional route or self publish.  The traditional route means finding an agent to represent me.  Should be so easy...right!  I may post a few longer excerpts from Glimmer soon so if you like magical realism and an unusual love story, stay tuned!

The use of flowers as metaphors isn’t anything new.  In Glimmer, the Chicory flower in some ways represents Vivienne, my awesome protagonist.  For those of you who don’t know what Chicory is, to some, okay, to everyone but me and maybe children, Chicory is actually a weed.  It’s pervasive in the Midwest, growing in places like along the roadside, abandoned parking lots, in gravelly dirt, you know, verdant, lush places like that.  Anyway, I think it’s way too pretty to be just a weed. I didn’t know what it was called when I was writing my book so I did some research and found that Chicory is more than just your average, no good weed.  Roasting the root yields Chicory coffee which was a staple for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Young leaves can be added to salads as well as the flower head so the pretty part is edible too.  Good, on our next road trip, I now know what to feed my son when he swears he’s starving to death:).  Chicory also has medicinal purpose as it’s supposed to aid in digestion -- yet another reason to feed it to my son.  I also discovered that Chicory has mythical associations.  Some belief that it can bring good luck, help remove barriers in your life, opening of locks, and receiving favors.  Oh, forgot to mention Chicory is good for curse removal.  I’ll have to keep that one in mind the next time I’m unfairly cursed...yes, it's always unfair and undeserved:)  Chicory is also cited as the likely candidate which gave rise to the perception of the blue flower representing love, yearning, beauty, and the ethereal nature of such things.  I didn’t know any of this when I was writing my book but it fits perfectly.  Now you know too:)


"Of all the noises, I think music is the least disagreeable" Samuel Johnson



    "What did you say -- Chica…?” I prompted, wanting to distract him from asking what I was up to.

     “Chicory. That’s what they're called.” He tipped his head towards the flowers.

     “Oh…I’ve seen them before and wondered what they were. They’re beautiful,” I told him as I swung my gaze back to his.

     “Suppose they have some use.  People used them to make Chicory coffee when coffee beans were scarce.  Some still like to drink it.” Brandon explained with a shrug of his shoulders. “But they’re just weeds.”

      “Umm…weeds. They're too pretty to be called weeds.  Maybe there's a fine line between what some consider a flower or a weed, kind of like the difference between a daisy and a dandelion, so...”

      “But weeds typically take over, crowding out other plants.  Intruding where they may not be…welcome.” 

      Were we still talking about weeds or me?


       •  Vivienne and Brandon -- A very short excerpt from Glimmer.


                   Joshua has his own space here... 


                Track 2014 60 meter run
Joshua sketched this in about five minutes. And nope,
we don't have a pet goat:)

He sketched this picture of our dog Maggie. Of course, I think it's all kinds of awesomeness!

Branson, July 2013.  Getting harnessed up by a dude, about to go sky surfing...

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