Elf School Grand Opening

What a fun afternoon at the Elf School in Clay County, North Carolina! Kanute Rarey, founder of the Mountain Area Storytellers, invited three local authors to read some of our works during the Grand Opening celebration at the Elf School of the Arts, an artist residency focusing on photography, printmaking, jewelry, weaving, book arts, painting, music, and writing.

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Mama Mia!

It’s such a treat to live in the mountains! I glanced outside early this morning and didn’t pay much attention to the doe hanging around just outside the window. She’s there often and is good company for our two dachshunds. But an hour or so later I did a double-take when I saw a wobbly-legged fawn enjoying its first drink. I can’t ever get a decent picture through a window screen, but suffice it to say, it looked much like this Image by -Rita-👩‍🍳 und 📷 mit ❤ from Pixabay. I’m tickled the wildlife is so comfortable with us, and I’m really glad we put a fence around our garden.

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No one ever died from uncomfortable

My good friend, Lyn Messersmith, authored today’s guest blog and graciously granted me permission to share. It appeared in her weekly newspaper column, The Lay of the Land, way back in 2014. I found it in an old box of clippings and I think it is still timely today.

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A Hole in the Canopy

We had quite a storm here over Memorial Day weekend. I’m grateful we fared better than those poor souls in other parts of the country, where a tornado outbreak wreaked terrible damage that cost lives and destroyed homes. My heart goes out to those families.

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Featured Author: Six-Minute Stories Podcast

One of my short stories is featured in the Six-Minute Stories podcast on the Personal Stories Publishing Project website. Fit To Be Tied is the true story of an adventure that befell me while working on assignment as a newspaper reporter. The story also appears in Now or Never, the tenth anthology in the collection, released in March 2024. (Publisher Randell Jones did a great job reading my story. I neglected to tell him how to pronounce "Niobrara," so for those unfamiliar with the river, it is pronounced "NIGH-oh-BRER-ah" with the "BRER" rhyming with “chair.")

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An Unforgettable Anniversary

Where were YOU on May 18, 1980? I was at home in Hauser Lake, Idaho, building a pig pen. I noticed what appeared to be a big thunderstorm moving in from the west. But by midday, it got dark enough that the street light on the road by my house turned on. I remembered hearing daily news briefs about Mt. St. Helens' recent stirrings.

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Anticipated  release date June 2024

June 2024

Elf School Grand Opening

What a fun afternoon at the Elf School in Clay County, North Carolina! Kanute Rarey, founder of the Mountain Area Storytellers, invited three local authors to read some of our works during the Grand Opening celebration at the Elf School of the Arts, an artist residency focusing on photography, printmaking, jewelry, weaving, book arts, painting, music, and writing.

Read more »

Mama Mia!

It’s such a treat to live in the mountains! I glanced outside early this morning and didn’t pay much attention to the doe hanging around just outside the window. She’s there often and is good company for our two dachshunds. But an hour or so later I did a double-take when I saw a wobbly-legged fawn enjoying its first drink. I can’t ever get a decent picture through a window screen, but suffice it to say, it looked much like this Image by -Rita-👩‍🍳 und 📷 mit ❤ from Pixabay. I’m tickled the wildlife is so comfortable with us, and I’m really glad we put a fence around our garden.

Read more »

No one ever died from uncomfortable

My good friend, Lyn Messersmith, authored today’s guest blog and graciously granted me permission to share. It appeared in her weekly newspaper column, The Lay of the Land, way back in 2014. I found it in an old box of clippings and I think it is still timely today.

Read more »
May 2024

A Hole in the Canopy

We had quite a storm here over Memorial Day weekend. I’m grateful we fared better than those poor souls in other parts of the country, where a tornado outbreak wreaked terrible damage that cost lives and destroyed homes. My heart goes out to those families.

Read more »

Featured Author: Six-Minute Stories Podcast

One of my short stories is featured in the Six-Minute Stories podcast on the Personal Stories Publishing Project website. Fit To Be Tied is the true story of an adventure that befell me while working on assignment as a newspaper reporter. The story also appears in Now or Never, the tenth anthology in the collection, released in March 2024. (Publisher Randell Jones did a great job reading my story. I neglected to tell him how to pronounce "Niobrara," so for those unfamiliar with the river, it is pronounced "NIGH-oh-BRER-ah" with the "BRER" rhyming with “chair.")

Read more »

An Unforgettable Anniversary

Where were YOU on May 18, 1980? I was at home in Hauser Lake, Idaho, building a pig pen. I noticed what appeared to be a big thunderstorm moving in from the west. But by midday, it got dark enough that the street light on the road by my house turned on. I remembered hearing daily news briefs about Mt. St. Helens' recent stirrings.

Read more »

In Appreciation: National Nurses Day and Public Transportation

Today is National Nurses Day. A flash across my screen this morning reminded me of the many people for whom I am grateful. I’ve recently had several medical appointments and encountered many more health professionals than I normally do. Their knowledge, efficiency, and patience continually amaze me. They even broke through my unreasonable fear of needles to extract blood without me passing out.

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April 2024

Oklahoma City Elm Tree

Today's blog is a guest post from my friend, Pam Bergstrom, National Technical Assistance Agroforester who works for the Nebraska Forest Service  and the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Lincoln, Nebraska. She shared these thoughts in one of her newsletters, and granted me permission to share it.

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Gold and Silver!

Lucky me! Two of my three entries in the Cherokee/Clay Senior Games Literary Arts competition medaled. Mad Max won gold in the short story category, and Honoring and Honored at the Rosebud Wacipi took silver. My third entry, Alone, Invisible, and Forgotten, didn’t medal, but placed fourth in the essay category. Thanks to my fellow Ridgeline Writers members for your constructive critiques!

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National Library Week was “Eclipsed” today

Clouds rolled in just as the partial eclipse began in North Carolina. But they held a silver lining. I sat in the yard, felt the temperature drop, and listened to the birds (and a few crickets) as they reacted to the diminished daylight. The cloud cover waxed and waned, obscuring the sun to varying degrees. At a certain point between blinding and invisible, I stole a few quick glances and observed the phenomenon without safety glasses. Foolish, I know, but at my age I take a few risks. It was amazing. Still, I’m glad I witnessed totality during the 2017 eclipse, shown here in my picture as it passed over Nebraska.

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Epic Poetry Isn’t My Bag . . .

I’ve been trying to round out my reading list with several of the “classics” that I somehow passed over during my school years. Most of the books have been wonderful reads, but this one was tough. I checked out Homer’s Iliad from the library, and it took me two full weeks to wade through it.

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March 2024

Now or Never: Hot Off the Press and on Podcast

One of my stories about my adventures as a newspaper correspondent appears in Now or Never, Randell Jones’ latest Personal Story Publishing Project anthology. Fit To Be Tied chronicles a reporter’s escapade involving frigid temperatures, ice climbers on a sheer cliff high above wickedly sharp rocks, and a patient park ranger.

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Has print journalism’s decline contributed to a drop in civic engagement?

Over the past couple of decades, I’ve noticed that citizen participation in everyday local government affairs appears to have declined. This seems to have intensified in recent years as partisanship and political posturing have increased. I find this both sad and alarming because I think now, more than ever, it is important for regular citizens to keep abreast of current events in our communities. “Knowledge is power” may be a cliché, but I believe it is true.

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Spring is Springing

The strawberries arrived this week, yum! Every year the local elementary school sells them as a fundraiser. It’s my unofficial start of spring. They bring me cheer—and endless possibilities. Those red jewels liven up the dreariest of breakfasts, add sweetness and color to salads and desserts, and generally just make me a happy camper. I even sliced some and flash-froze them for out-of-season enjoyment.

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February 2024

Influencers, Part 3: Teachers

Teachers, both traditional and non-traditional, rank just after family and elders on my list of people who have most influenced me. These folks opened up new horizons and introduced me to the wider world beyond my home.

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