Thursday, January 27, 2011

What to do with all that snow?

Has the snow got you down? Are you feeling the winter blues?

<------ Well, you don't want to try this.

Instead, turn back the clock and remember when you were a kid. Remember how whenever it snowed you would press your face against the window and fog it up watching the snow fall, hoping school would be cancelled. And when it was what did you do?

You went outside and played in the snow. You made snow angels, built snowmen, built snow forts, and generally just froze your tushy off while enjoying the cold white stuff.

Well, you're a little older now so maybe the idea of snow forts and snow angels don't appeal as much. I mean who wants all that cold snow trickling down their back. Brr!

However, your entrepreneurial spirit kicks in and you realize you can do something with this snow and make a buck at it. No, I'm not talking shoveling someone's driveway. I'm still talking about tapping into your internal kid.

Go on outside and build a snowman!!

Another idea you would normally think would be a summer time idea, but no, you have to think outside the box. Or in this case, outside.

Remember when you were a kid you would go outdoors to play in the snow and inevitably you would put some in your mouth and eat it. Admit it! You did.

And of course, your mom would catch you and tell you to spit it out or she would warn you about the yellow snow.

You probably still think about eating that snow (mostly cuz your mom told you not to). Well, now you can. Try this little recipe for Snow Ice Cream!

1 gallon snow
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk

When it starts to snow, place a large, clean bowl outside to collect the flakes. When full, stir in sugar and vanilla to taste, then stir in just enough milk for the desired consistency. Serve at once.

And your mom said eating snow was bad. Ha!

Try these ideas soon, before it's too late. Sunnier days are around the corner and soon you will be chillin'.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sendoff to a friend re-deployed overseas

There are days, weeks, and even perhaps months that the war on terror probably slips our minds or gets put on the back burner of our lives. Unfortunately, there are many people that this same war affects every day or has affected permanently.

This week a friend of mine prepares to go active back to duty and defend our freedom. He will be leaving for training and then shipped off with a bunch more men and women to a destination unknown.

Before Duane gets on a plane and travels away from his family and friends for who knows how long and to who knows where, I want to share with you how special this person is and give him a send off he won’t soon forget.

There are those people you meet who pass through your life in a fleeting moment, then there are those who do not pass through, but stick around for the long haul and become real friends, and later something more, they become family. Duane is that friend in my life. He has been there for the long haul, through thick and thin, good and bad, laughter and crying.

You see, Duane is a friend who for whatever reason fate deigned to be my guardian. Duane is the one man besides my father who has been a constant in my life, a significant influence, and the person who has an invisible link to me that can never be broken.

He is the person in my life when shit hits the fan he is somehow there scooping up the mess and putting the pieces back together. Of course, he does also contribute to that shit storm as well. Let me share a couple of examples.

I met Duane when I was fifteen when we both played soccer for our high school teams. We both looked a lot different then, but I always looked better. One night he and I went on a double-date with my parents to dinner.

Picture Duane and me sitting next to each other in a booth with my parents sitting across from us. Naturally, we should have been nervous, but my folks are cool and they had met Duane on several occasions prior to this dinner date, so no big deal, right?


My father waits until after the waitress takes our order and then goes for the kill. He leans in with his elbows on the table, his fingers tapping together in a teepee shape and says, “What are your intentions toward my daughter?”

Of course, I am flabbergasted, mouth hanging open, and saying in a whiney voice that I do not possess, “Da-ad.”

My mom sits back and smiles.

Then you have Duane or as most people refer to him Dewey. Dewey leans back, wraps his arm over my shoulder and says, “Well, sir, I plan on doing her every chance I get.”

That one sentence, while mortifying to me, ingratiated Duane into the bosom of my family from that day forward.

When I got divorced, Duane was the first person I told, albeit through email at the time since he was overseas. The first opportunity Duane had he called my parents and blabbed.

My mother responded to this shocking news by saying, “She what?”

Shortly after that call, my friend Duane calls me. I answer the phone and the first words out of his mouth were, “I can’t believe you didn’t tell mom and dad you got a divorce!”

I answer, “I can’t believe you told them!”

Duane is also the person who has this uncanny knack for showing up when I least expect it. Let me show you how.

One Saturday night when I was in college and out dancing with some friends I step out of the ladies’ room and who do I quite literally bump into? Duane!

This is significant because at the time I was living in Virginia, he was stationed in Texas, and we ran into each other in DC. I mean seriously, just how many times does that happen?

The weekend I bought my home, Duane called me stating that he was back and in DC. I told him, “Fly your butt up here and see my house.”

He had no clue I was buying a house. He flew up that day and the next morning Duane was the first person to see my new home. He was in half the photos I took of the house to send to my family so they could see…my house, not him.

Duane is the man who showed up at my father’s 60th birthday party as a surprise and turned my father speechless for the first time ever in his life. I’m telling you it does a woman good to see two of her favorite men turn to mush, even if they try to hide the tears by swiping at them and saying, “It must be the hot wings.”

Even now when I send Duane a text message that says nothing more than “Call me,” I know that the minute he can, he will.

Duane ~

While I love and adore you as a longtime friend, I respect and admire you for your courage, compassion, and dedication to keep my family, friends, and every other American safe. I applaud your bravery to stand the wall and fight for our freedoms.

Please know that for every day, hour, and minute that you are gone, you will be missed. You will be in my heart and in mind every day until you return home safe and sound.

Come home soon!

Love ya,


You do know that Mom and I dearly love you and that the door is always open for you. As you might expect, we will worry about you in your absence, but we understand that what you are doing is extremely important for the freedom that has only been provided by our soldiers, you being one of them.

We will be thinking of you and praying that you will be returning someday soon to pay us the long overdue visit.

You have made us proud of your accomplishments while you have been in harm’s way.

Love ya,
Dad & Mom

Monday, January 24, 2011

If you haven't attended a mystery event...

What are you waiting for?

This past weekend we did another Mystery Event at Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown, NH. What was different this time was that we did the event 2 nights in a row. The event sold out on Saturday so Tom Zack asked if we wanted to do a second night.

Heck, yeah! And are we glad we did.

Look at the crowd!
Why are these events so successful and fun?

I believe the answer has multiple parts. In no particular order, one of the things I heard from the guests those two nights is that the price was right. For one fee, the participants received a 3-hour event that included the interactive mystery, food, a wine tasting, and of course the best part. . .a book to take home and read.

The event is interactive. There is no sitting on your duff and watching a show. You are PART OF THE SHOW. The actual mystery itself unfolds before your very eyes and ears. It's your job to watch, listen, and investigate. As a matter of fact, I overheard some women say, "Next time we leave the men at home."

I guess that tells you who was sitting on their behinds while who was actively involved.

Another thing that was mentioned to me several times was that the authors were accessible. We weren't standing behind a table. We were part of the show and at the same time always willing to stop and sign a book or discuss a story.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

I decided to start today's writing prompt with a question. Let's see what you come up with to the writing prompt question.

Writing prompt: "What do I have to do to convince you?"

Have fun writing!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thought provoking Tuesday

Tuesday is the day I ask a question that provokes a little thought.

Today's thought provoking question: If not now, then when?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Want to learn about my most embarassing moments?

Then stop on by my last book blog tour stop for NEVER TEMPT DANGER at My World. . .in words and pages where I reveal. . .

Today, I had the opportunity to talk with Melissa at My World. . .in words and pages where she asked me a few questions and I shared some little known details about me. Stop by and ask a question and shh. . .maybe even learn a secret or two about me.

Melissa also wrote a very nice review of NEVER TEMPT DANGER and is giving away a copy of the book so stop by My World. . .in words and pages and leave a comment of your own or if you haven't had a chance to read it yet, see what Melissa and others have to say about my latest novel.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Writing Prompt Saturday

It's Saturday and a good day to write. To boost your writing creativity here is a little writing prompt to get you motivated.

Writing prompt: She stood by the river. . .

Write as much or as little as you want and have fun!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The road to fame

I saw a quote this morning that touched me. I won't share all of it, but a brief bit to inspire you.

"'for sitting on a cushion
Is not the way to fame, nor staying in bed;
And without fame, a man must spend his life
Only to leave such traces upon the earth
As smoke leaves in the air; or foam in the water."

~Dante's Divine Comedy
Inferno XXIV 43-60

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thought Provoking Tuesday - What makes you smile?

Every once and a while it's a good idea to ask a question. Not just any question, but a question that will make you think and hopefully make you respond.

This should be a fun and easy one. Try it out and leave your answer to the Thought Provoking Tuesday question.

Thought Provoking Question: What makes you smile?

What makes me smile. . .

Seeing a friend,
Watching a little girl trying to eat an ice cream cone that's too big for her and getting chocolate all over her face,
Being called 'sweet-cheeks' by my dad,
Watching the sun rise on a warm summer day,
Seeing my garden bloom,
Watching a little boy kick a ball that is almost as big as he is,
Hearing that a friend is safely back from overseas,

the list could go on and on. What makes you smile?

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