On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 23, 2016:

This has been an interesting week – not because of any one thing, but because of several small events. I decided to make this a potpourri column – a mixture of all these different things.

firstdraftIn my column two weeks ago, I wrote about what I’ve learned through the experience of writing fiction. One of the first interesting things this week was that I completed the first draft of my first novel. It was thrilling for a few minutes, at least until the reality of endless editing struck, and until I remembered that no one but me may think it’s worth the year I’ve spent on it. Still, if I’ve learned anything about this pursuit, it’s that a writer continues to put words on a page even if no one ever reads them. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 16, 2016:

cats-vaccination-orangeBeing a cat is not all kibble and naps. Kitty has had a difficult week. Her troubles started on Wednesday when David took her in for her annual shots.

We’ve taken her to the Emory Veterinary Clinic a couple of times, and we really like the people and the treatment she receives there. However, since Medicare doesn’t cover cats, we needed a cheaper alternative. When the time came for Kitty to be spayed, we found the Animal Protection League in Sulphur Springs. It wasn’t as convenient as the local clinic, but it was much less expensive, so that’s where David took her on Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader On August 9, 2016:

nano_featureI mentioned last November that I was participating in National Novel Writing Month, an annual event during which writers around the world commit to write 50,000 words in thirty days. At the time, I had been working on a project for a while but had only managed to write a little over 6,000 words. I am a voracious reader of mystery novels, but with the exception of three short stories, one of which was written when I was sixteen years old, I had never written anything but non-fiction. I was intimidated by the process, but I decided to use the motivation and peer pressure of what writers call NaNoWriMo to focus my keyboard time on my first novel. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 2, 2016:

Rosie the Riveter

For you youngsters, this is Rosie the Riveter who represented the women who worked in the factories during WWII while the men went to war.

This past week, we have seen and heard a lot about strong women. Mothers have posted about how thrilled they are that, with Hillary Clinton having been nominated for the office of President of the United States by the Democratic Party, they now have a role model of a strong woman to hold up before their daughters. While we now have the opportunity to tell our girls as well as our boys that, if you are willing to work for it, the possibilities of what you can do with your life are virtually unlimited, we should make sure that our efforts to expand their horizons are not actually having the opposite effect. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 26, 2016:

makeup-junkieI first wrote this as a blog four years ago, but I edited and updated it for my City Girl column this week and thought I’d share it with you.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with make-up most of my life. The only time Dad ever spanked me was because of lipstick. I was five, and like most little girls, I was fascinated by all the neat stuff Mom put on her face. One day I asked permission to put on some lipstick, but for some adult reason, she said no. Forbidden fruit is always the most tempting, so when she wasn’t looking, I did the one thing I had been told not to do. I’m not sure how I expected to get away with my crime with the evidence smeared all over my face, and I didn’t. Not an auspicious beginning. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 19, 2016:

Yes, Kitty’s transition is complete. Two weeks ago I wrote about her increasing but still limited freedom. We had recently been testing the concept of leaving her loose to roam the living areas during the day when we were gone. Shortly after that column, due to her excellent behavior or her uncanny ability to climb on forbidden surfaces without disturbing anything or leaving incriminating paw prints, she earned her daytime freedom. However, she was still confined to the laundry room at night. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 12, 2016:

ChapelAround this time last year, I wrote a column about a Christian women’s retreat I had attended. I returned late this past Sunday evening from the 2nd Annual Retreat of a group of women who now call themselves The White Chapel Girls. My original intention was to write about my trip there and back with three women who have become close friends. However, the joy of silly jokes that made us laugh until we cried and the freedom of being with friends you can trust with your deepest feelings can’t be described in a few words. That’s why I decided to re-run last year’s column with a few differences noted.

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I just returned from four days at the F & H Goat Ranch, so named because of the fat and happy goats that populate the front pasture of the five-acre spread about twenty miles north of Kerrville. The owner, Julee White, retired from the Dallas rat race and social scene fifteen years ago so she could move closer to family and devote herself, in part, to making the dreams of her two nephews come true. When those dreams included goats for an FFA project, Aunt Julee provided both the goats and living space for them. I don’t think the project was very successful, but the goats didn’t mind. They stayed on at the ranch, invited some friends, and became – well – fat and happy. Read the rest of this entry »

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