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  • Back to the Real World ~ Home from Vacation

    I was away on vacation last week with no internet, and that’s why I haven’t blogged.


    The boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach, DE


    My husband and I usually spend two weeks at the beach each summer, one in June and the other in September. Last week we had a great time at the Delaware Beaches.

    We visited relatives who live in the area–my mother’s brother and sister and their spouses. It’s always great to see family, and they seemed to be happy to see us.

    It rained most of Tuesday, the first full day we were there. Still, it was a refreshing change.

    We spent a good amount of time riding my husband’s Harley-Davidson to various beaches and the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, which was still relatively crowded, even out of season.

    The most fun we had was at an old time photo studio. We got dressed up as robbers during prohibition and are pictured in front of the Genco Olive Oil Company, from The Godfather.


    Sunset at Rehoboth Beach


    It was a terrific week away. Here are more pictures:


    View of Atlantic from Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach.


    Dunes at Roosevelt Inlet, Delaware Bay, Lewes, DE.


    Roosevelt Inlet.


    Sunset at Lewes Beach.

    We arrived back in Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon, so my husband could get ready to go back to work on Sunday.

    He works in a mall. Our vacation was perfectly timed, since there have been a string of terrorist attacks/violence at American malls recently. Hearing of these attacks, and knowing he has no weapon, nor any way other than perhaps a tool of some sort with which to defend himself at work, caused me mental anguish.

    Combined with knowing summer is over, and with it much of the sunshine and daylight, hearing of people being attacked and killed in malls brought on a terrible attack of anxiety/depression. It knocked to my knees for a few days, and prevented me from doing much of anything.

    But depression is my illness. It’s horrible and chronic and I wish I didn’t have it, but everyone has something, and this is what I was given. So I don’t complain too much.

    I wrote a post about my affliction last year.


    Though my depression/anxiety is under control for the most part, due to a doctor who listens and works with me, I still have periodic episodes, one of which is happening now, as I write this.

    Too many things have happened this past week. Some are small things that should upset no one, such as a darling and perfectly adorable grandson going through the terrible twos, who snaps and shrieks when looked at. Such a thing is funny, and I laugh accordingly, but my senses weren’t made for such overload. After two days, the shrieks seemed as loud as a fire siren to me.

    Another was watching my beloved granddaughter be shunned at a playground. Such a thing happens to every child, and she forgot about it within a few minutes. Why then, does it stay with me? Why do I look at the future and see other such scenarios in store for this child, whom I love with all my heart? Why must I borrow trouble?

    Still other contributors were news stories. These I have no control over, and I sometimes pay zero attention because the news is terribly depressing in and of itself, on many fronts and for many reasons. However, it’s not in my nature to be an ostrich. I have to keep up with current events.


    Some people can’t understand what depression is, and nobody can blame them; it’s hard to describe it to people who haven’t suffered it. And I’m happy for people who don’t understand it. I wouldn’t wish depression/anxiety on my worst enemy.

    But enough of this. I spent a week away, and returned home rested in body and mind.

    This week I am working on revisions to the Cadáin’s Watch manuscript, and It’s great to be back home, doing what I love.


    Related Posts:

    I Wish You Peace

    I Tried Yoga and I Love it ~ Leslie Sansone’s You can do Yoga



  • The Longest Day Of The Year

    June 20th is almost here–the longest day of the year.

    Sigh. This day, the official first day of summer, is always bittersweet for me. I absolutely love summer. I love the warm weather, the beautiful flowers, and the fresh vegetables. I love the beach, where I will soon be spending a week’s vacation.


    I love carnivals, riding with my husband on his Harley-Davidson, going to the park, the ease of driving without worrying about snow, and too many other things to count.

    I know I should make each day the best I possibly can. It sounds great in theory. It’s good advice. It works for many people. However, I’m not one of them. And now that the longest day is approaching, Fall is on my radar. Sigh. In another month, the crickets will begin to sing, making me aware that Fall, with its shorter, darker days, is just around the corner.



    This is good advice. I find myself following very little of it, though. It’s just not in my genes. I am descended from a long line of chronic worry-warts. I must admit that I do fret sometimes.

    These days, who doesn’t? Unless you are a modern day Rip Van Winkle, who has just awakened after twenty years, you must have noticed that Western Civilization is on the decline. Each and every day there is a new outrage in the news. It’s very overwhelming. Yet what can any individual do except try to do the right thing each and every day? Things were simpler back in Audrey Hepburn’s day. Maybe people struggled just as much as we do, but they certainly weren’t as nasty to each other as certain segments of our society are.

    I have often wished (sort of) that I was born a generation earlier. I know there were ugly episodes in America during my parents’ generation, things that never should have happened, but still… things were simpler. I would have been happy to be a housewife and just raise my own kids in that climate, as long as I could guarantee I married the same man I’m currently married to.

    I am an old soul, and I would have been happy to just be the wife and mom back in the late 50s — early 60s.  There, I said it. I don’t care. Back then, many more people were kinder to others than they are today. Neighbors would probably have invited a child into their home to wait for a parent, rather than call the police, resulting in two children being removed from their home for a month, and most likely suffering a trauma that will take years to overcome.

    What kind of society are we living in? It’s pretty pathetic that I wish I had been born thirty years earlier than I was, but that’s the way I feel.

    Still, it certainly wasn’t my choice. Nobody can help when they were born, just like nobody can help what color they were born. No matter how many people wish to inflict guilt on a certain segment of humanity, simply because they have less pigment in their skin in 2015 and their ancestors also had less pigment in their skin back in the day, we can’t help being born who we are. And ripping the country apart they way it’s being ripped apart now will not make up for what our ancestors did.

    Perhaps things will get better soon. In the meantime, it’s summer.












  • Welcome Beach Season

    This weekend I went to the beach with my mother, sister and brother-in-law. My husband works on Sundays, and decided to skip this beach weekend. He stayed home to work on our garden and other spring chores that can’t wait.

    It’s always sort of sad to say hello to our beach place, because so much of my father is there. He bought the place for us in 1978. It’s just a little mobile home, but perfectly fine for vacations. My parents kept up the place so well that you’d hardly know it’s almost 40 years old. Now the upkeep falls to my husband and brother-in-law.

    My brother-in-law, Jerry, on the porch my father built.

    My father built the porch and the huge picnic table inside it. The table was constructed inside the actual porch, because it would have been too big to fit through the door. My BIL fixed some leaky pipes this weekend, and my mother pointed out that the roof will need to be tarred sometime this summer. My sister and I just cleaned up some.

    When Dad was alive, we barely did any upkeep. He loved to keep busy, and he retired early from DuPont, so he had time for all sorts of projects. Back in the day, before my parents bought the present mobile home, we had a tiny camper in the same park. My cousins had a place next door. We had too many fun times to count back then.

    My sister Amy and I, and our cousins, who were also sisters, were driven to Rehoboth Beach around 11:00 am by my father and dropped off. I was the oldest. My cousin Dawn was the youngest. Our ages ranged from 12 to 16. We spent the day laying on the beach, swimming, walking the boards, playing skee-ball in the arcades, stuffing ourselves with pizza and getting sunburned if we weren’t careful. My cousin Wendy had a radio. We took it to the beach each day, and listened to hits in between riding the waves.

    My father arrived at the U in the center of the boardwalk between Dolle’s and Candy Kitchen at 4:00 pm, sharp. We were always waiting, because we didn’t want to incur his wrath if he had to drive around and come back. (He didn’t like to sit and wait by the curb).



    My father pulled up in his 1976 Chevy Van, which he bought for the express purpose of toting us girls to the beach. It had only a driver’s seat and a passenger seat, so, my father, not wanting us to be forced to sit on the floor, installed two discarded school bus seats, face to face in the back of the van.

    We would climb in, hauling our towels and other junk, pile it all on the floor and grab a seat. My cousin Wendy and my sister always got the best seats. Dawn and I never argued. Once on a trip to North Carolina, my sister brought two old couch cushions along. She and Wendy fought over who got to sleep on  the cushions. Dawn and I mostly sat in the school bus seats and kept our mouths shut. If we wanted to nap, we just found a way to do it without bothering the couch cushion queens. We didn’t want to incur their wrath, either.

    The cushion wars came to an end in a McDonald’s bathroom somewhere in Virginia. Dawn and I were keeping a low profile. We stood quietly next to the sinks and watched the catfight. It didn’t come to blows, but the whole restaurant must have heard the shrieking. After Wendy stomped back to the van, Amy, Dawn and I watched a tiny oriental lady emerge quietly from a stall where she’d been hiding, listening to the howling. We were too embarrassed to say a word. We stood silently as the lady hurried out of the bathroom. Then we walked quickly back to the van. Dawn and I scrambled into the bus seats. After Amy informed Wendy that they had frightened an innocent restroom user, they decided to share. (With each other). They each took a 3 foot cushion.

    My sister Amy (long straight hair) and cousin Dawn around 1977


    But back to our beach days. My father hauled us and our sandy beach gear back to camp. We hurried to the shower house. My uncle’s place had a bathroom with a shower, and our tiny camper also had a shower, but there were beach rules. The showers in our campers were reserved for the adults. No kids allowed. So, we grabbed clean towels, washcloths, soap, Lemon Up shampoo, Long and Silky conditioner, hair brushes and hair dryers, and clean clothes, and trudged to the shower house. We had to yank a chain and hold it for water. After we finished, we walked back to camp, and sat down to eat a meal prepared by my mother. My uncle Jim, Wendy and Dawn’s dad, and my cousin Jimmy were usually there, too.

    After the meal, we piled back into the van. My father got behind the wheel, and drove us all the way back to the boardwalk. We usually arrived around 7:00. He dropped us off at the U, and told us to be back there at ten sharp before driving away.

    Nights at the boardwalk were different than days. We walked the boards, but we also rode rides. Sometimes we walked on the beach. We usually had a pack of cigarettes. Most kids smoked right out in the open back then. (I only smoked sporadically, never in school, and only for about a year). Back then people hung out under the boardwalk, but we were strictly forbidden to ever venture under the boardwalk. We never broke that particular rule, having been forced to listen to horror stories of kidnappings and other atrocities that might befall us if we went under there.

    My parents may or may not have known about the smoking. Smoking was also strictly forbidden, but almost everyone smoked on that boardwalk.

    At ten o’clock we were back at Dolle’s. My father would pull up and we’d pile back into the van. He drove us back to camp, and then he went to bed. We kids walked around the campground or listened to LPs at my uncle’s place until about midnight. My uncle was single at the time, and he was usually out at the DeBraak, a bar in Lewes. (The DeBraak was named for a shipwreck off the coast of Lewes. I’m pretty sure the bar burned down. At any rate, it’s no longer there.)  On Sundays we went to the beach, but after dinner we had to drive home so my parents could be at work on Monday morning.

    Some days my father just didn’t want to deal with Rehoboth traffic, so he dropped us off at Lewes beach. (Not a cool place, according to Wendy). I think she refused to go to Lewes once or twice, and sulked at the campground instead.

    View of canal from Lewes Marina


    What great times. We weren’t angels back then, but we certainly survived. I’m glad we kept my parents’ beach place, even though times are hard right now. We don’t have the income we used to, on account of Obama’s economy. Still we all agree we will keep the place for as long as possible. Why shouldn’t we? My father worked hard for that place. He wanted us to enjoy it.

  • Winter’s Almost Over

    We made it! Winter’s almost over.

    This was the scene in my hometown after the recent snowstorm.



    It’s very pretty, of course, but also, I must say… Winter is getting old! The following photos were taken this morning. They still look wintry, but there’s a subtle difference. More sun & less snow. The gnome under the red maple tree was completely covered last week. Now he’s emerging from the snow.



    Our Lady was also almost covered with snow, but here she is, standing in the sunshine. Soon the rock garden surrounding her will be blooming again.


    I’ve been keeping my eyes open for the first robin, but as of yet they haven’t returned. My bulbs are still covered with snow. As soon as it melts, I expect to see them poking through the ground under the weeping cherry tree. I’m looking forward to visits from my grandkids this spring. They love our home.


    Soon all the drabness will be replaced with bright colors and scenes of spring and summer. We’ll open our beach place, and my brother-in-law will take us fishing in Delaware Bay.


    I will miss only one thing about winter: The beauty of the scenes above. I won’t miss the short days and long nights or the cold. I’m really looking forward to beach time, so my eyes can gaze on scenes like this one:


    There’s more work in spring, with the garden and other chores, but the brightness and warmth make the work seem easier. Today I’m doing laundry. I think I’ll hang it outside. There’s plenty of time for it to dry, since the days are longer.

    I’ll close with the following song. It’s a song from my teen years, and brings back too many memories to list here. It will also be included in my upcoming post detailing “songs” for each character in the Storms Of Transformation Series, as Sandy’s song. Maybe you’ll recognize it. 🙂

  • Thanksgiving

    images copy 21Happy Thanksgiving. I was thinking back over the previous year and counting my blessings, of which there are many. I thought I would take a few minutes to list them here, so I can look back on them whenever I’m down. 🙂

    To begin, I am very thankful to God for all He has given me. I know I’ve been blessed abundantly.

    images-2 copy 3I’m blessed to be part of a family who loves me. I’m thankful for my mother, my sister, my kids and their significant others, my nieces and nephews, and every other member of my family. My husband and I celebrated thirty-five years of marriage in October, and this is another reason to give thanks. We are also very thankful for our little grandchildren.

    I am blessed with many, many friends. I see people online everyday. I must say that I’m thankful for social media, because if not for twitter and Facebook, I would never have met my dear friends Michele and Sharon. I’m thankful for my part time job, too, since I met my friend Vicki there. I don’t know what I’d do without my friends!

    I’ve been blessed with good health most of the time, too. I’m very thankful that I’m able to stay physically fit, and that I’m able to run.


    I completed the Delaware Half Marathon back in May. This was my second race. I plan to train again this winter, in hopes that I can run another 13.1 miles on Mother’s Day.



    I’m very thankful for being part of the Roman Catholic Church. My faith is what keeps me going during the tough times. I’m also thankful for the friends I’ve made in my parish church.

    This year brought many changes in my life. Ever since I published my first book, Tears Of Paradox, back in May, things seem to have become more hectic than they had been.

    This is another blessing. Because I took the plunge into self-publishing, I met a group of people who’ve provided friendship, support, and more kindness than I ever expected. The members of the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance have helped me more than words can express. I must mention Mr. Jack July, who took an interest in my writing, introduced me to the group, and invited me to be a guest on internet radio. If not for Jack, I might never have found the CLFA.  Every member of the group has been kind, welcoming, and helpful with writing tips and promotion. Please visit their Facebook page for reading suggestions. All genres are represented, and the books are those you’ll want to read again and again.

    I especially want to thank two members of this group, Daria DiGiovanni, and Kia Heavey. Daria invited me to be on her internet radio show, Writestream Tuesday, to promote my book, We struck up a friendship after finding out how many things we have in common. Kia is a talented author and artist. She helped me tremendously by reading the manuscript of my second book, and has done a wonderful job designing new covers for both Paradox and book two, The Notice. I’m thrilled with the new cover designs.


    To date, Tears Of Paradox has received ten 5 Star reviews on Amazon. The latest was posted just today. I’m truly humbled at the reaction to my work, and I want to thank each and every reader for their time, and for giving me a chance. 🙂

    I love the world that God created, and I try to enjoy every day. I love music, and looking at the beauty of nature while I run in the park.


    I love walking on the beach, especially Lewes Beach, Delaware, on Delaware Bay, and I’m thankful my family has been able to hang onto our little beach place through these tough economic times. My father worked hard to give us that beach place. He wanted us to keep and enjoy what he worked for. Luckily we’ve been able to keep it, even though it’s sometimes a struggle, due to policies crushing the middle class these days.


    This brings me to the subject of America. If you read my books, (or even the reviews), you’ll know how I feel about America. I truly believe that America is a wonderful country, and I’m tired of listening to people run her down. I don’t like the fundamental transformation America is undergoing at this time. It’s causing way too much pain and suffering. People in my family are affected in negative ways. I want America to come back. People should not be shamed because of their beliefs in a traditional American way of life.


    I will continue to pray for our beloved country, and  give thanks to God for allowing me to be born in the greatest country on earth.

  • Summer’s Over

    Summer’s over…I don’t like the sound of those words. Here we are again, though. School has started, Labor Day weekend has passed, and I’m beginning–reluctantly–to think about my Christmas gift list.


    Our garden is finished. Today my husband picked the last of the green beans, and took down the fence. The deer will have a field day now, eating what’s left of the tomatoes and melon patch.

    We had a very nice summer. We enjoyed our beach place, on the infrequent weekends we were free to use it. We plan to spend a few more days visiting our favorite places, before it’s time to winterize.

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    As always at this time of year, I feel a sense of dread. The darkness of winter is closer. The fact the the days are getting shorter bugs me; I like warmth, sunshine, flowers and lingering light. But…there’s nothing I can do about it.


    Soon we’ll be seeing sights like this. Fall is a beautiful season, and even though I don’t like winter, I think I’ll try to make the best of it. There’s beauty all around. I plan to see it everyday.

    Yes, summer is over…but it will be back again next year.