A Few Treasures From My Garden

I must confess, my wall gets a little untidy by about mid-June. Between the So. Ohio heat, my new WIP, and my summer job at the bakery, the weeds grow up faster than I have time to pull them.


Unlike my writing, my approach to gardening is rather haphazard — no rhyme or reason, I just plant what I like. At the top of the list are cone flowers…



And day lilies!


These black-eyed Susans seem to have planted themselves!


Here is a pic of my bottle garden, which I had to move to the middle of the yard, since my chocolate mint took over the corner where they used to live.



That’s all for today. Hope your day is filled with happy thoughts, sunshine, and lots of flowers!

The Heart of a Father


This is one of my favorite photos ever, my nephew Joe with his firstborn son, Josiah. To me, it is the very face of fatherhood. Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all!


Until you have a son of your own… you will never know the joy, the love beyond feeling that resonates in the heart of a father as he looks upon his son.

Kent Nerburn


Cats… or How to Ditch a Date


Pal swallowed the last of his beer. “So do you want to go dancing or anything?”

No, she did not want to go dancing with Pal Wainright. As far as she was concerned, this date was over.

“Actually Pal, I have a little bit of a headache. Would you mind just taking me home?”

“Sure thing. It’s all the smoke in here from the grills. If it was me, I’d install better vent fans. I’ll go and pay the bill and then we can take off.” He opened his wallet and leafed through it. “You mind leaving the tip?”

She’d thought saying she had a headache would make him drop her off and go away, but when they reached her house, he followed her onto the porch.

“You mind if I use your bathroom?”

She showed him where it was and returned to the living room. Maybe if she waited by the door he’d get the hint. After a few moments he returned and sat down on her couch, clearly ready for more conversation. By then her head really did ache. She thought of Lilly’s suggestion of telling him to get out of town, but she couldn’t bring herself to be that rude.

“Would you like a cup of coffee?” she asked.


She made the coffee, carried it to the living room, and handed it to him. He was flipping through her meager collection of CDs. “Matchbox Twenty, huh?”

“Do you like them?”

“Not so much.” He shrugged. “Candy used to love them. I took her to see Rob Thomas once. He was okay. If it was me, I’d have played a little longer though and given people their money’s worth.”

“Of course you would have,” she murmured.

She heard a soft mewling behind the guest room door and jumped up. “Oh gosh, I’d better check on my boys.”

His coffee cup stopped halfway to his lips. “Boys?”

She opened the door and Nutmeg bolted out with Pepper close on his heels.

“You’ve got cats?” Pal squealed.

Before she could grab them, they scrambled up his pant legs and hopped onto his shoulders. He swatted at them, spilling his coffee in his lap. “I didn’t know you had cats!

His look of absolute horror made her want to giggle and she bit the inside of her cheek.  “Just these two, for now. But I’m going to be starting up a cat rescue soon, so I’ll have at least five or six more.” It was only an idea she toyed with, nothing she actually intended to do, and she was amazed at how smoothly the words slid from her lips.

“A-Choo! I’m allergic to cats.”

“Oh, dear.”

Pepper climbed back up his leg.

“A-Choo!” He slapped his coffee cup down on the end table, grabbed the kitten and all but threw it at her. “I’ve got to go.”

He jumped to his feet and bolted out the door without another word. She stared after him, openmouthed, as the door slammed behind him. The kittens also stared after him, as if they, too, were unsure what had just happened.

“You naughty boys,” she said softly. She scooped them up in her arms and hugged them. “Oh, you dear, sweet, naughty little boys!”

The giggles broke free then, and for the second time in seven months, she laughed until she cried.

Excerpt from Frankie’s Heart

Coming Next Month

From Black Lyon Publishing!


A Hundred Years from Now


It shouldn’t come as a surprise, if you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time at all, that I love old photographs. I love to drink in all the details and try to invent stories to go along with what I see. Or think I see.

A hundred years from now, if this picture should still be around, I wonder… what will people look at it and see?

They might look at the woman and the young man and note a similarity in the shapes of their eyes, and conclude that the young man is her son.

They might invent a story in which the young man, from New York, finds himself in Ohio on business for a few days, and that he calls his mother and invites her to lunch.

They might look at the woman’s smile, and see in it how happy she is, and how she will treasure the memory of this perfect day, this unexpected blessing, for a long, long time to come. They might guess that she looks at this young man, her boy, and is reminded of a little child who brought her jars of crickets and dandelion bouquets. Of years of cheering in the stands at football games and wrestling matches, her heart swelling with pride — even when he didn’t win. They might guess at how amazed she is that this boy, her boy, in what seems the blink of an eye, is now an amazing young man.

They might imagine that he means the world to her.

And they will be right.