On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

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 »

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 5, 2016:

cat-with-USA-American-flag

Cats like freedom, too!

It has been a month since my last Kitty post, and since we have just celebrated our nation’s independence, I thought I’d give you an update on the status of her independence. You may remember that I recently had a ring-side seat at a fox versus rabbit race in which the rabbit came in second. It turns out that I am as over-protective of Kitty as I was of my son. Since I don’t think that rabbit lived to demand a rematch, and since I’m not sure if foxes discriminate between bunnies and kitties, I have greatly curtailed Kitty’s outdoor freedom. In fact, I think she’s been outside once in the last month, and I hovered over her the entire time. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 28, 2016:

Two men in living room watching television and cheeringLast Sunday afternoon, David and I were invited to a late lunch with friends in honor of Father’s Day. As often happens at this kind of event, the men gathered in the living room in front of a televised sports event, and the women gathered in the kitchen.

The hostess related a story about a friend who wasn’t present. It group-women-preparing-food-kitchen-happy-couple-34070393seems that he made a deal with his children. If they would address their elders as “Sir” and “Ma’am” for an entire month, they would receive a reward of some kind. He was delighted to pay up when they were successful. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 21, 2016:

My Daddy and me - 1947

My Daddy and me – 1947

Dad has been in Heaven for five years, but I still miss him and think about him a lot. He’s especially on my mind in June when there is so much emphasis on fathers, so in honor of the special day we just celebrated, I want to share some of my favorite memories of the man I called Daddy. Read the rest of this entry »

Cover

Blurb:  Three lives. Three broken hearts…

Piper loved her mummy. So when she loses her, her world is confused and sad. But she has Rachel now. She won’t leave her as well, will she?

Rachel finds out she has a 5-year-old sister on the same day that she is told her mother has died. Having been in foster care for years, she never really knew her mum, but she knows for sure she doesn’t want the same thing for Piper. She knows she has to take care of her – but how?

Mary never even got to see her baby. They took it away as soon as she gave birth. And the hole in her heart has never healed. So when she meets Rachel and Piper, two lost girls looking for a family, her broken heart skips a beat…

Review:

Whenever I pick up a book by Buffy Andrews, I have come to expect a reading experience that will draw me into a funny, exciting, and/or emotional story filled with life-like characters that I grow to care about. Our Fragile Hearts, Andrews’ latest release, does not disappoint.  This poignant tale of a five-year-old girl, a young adult single woman, and a wealthy, childless widow met all my expectations beautifully.

Our Fragile Hearts tells the story of love lost and love found, but not in the typical boy-meets-girl scenario. Five-year-old Piper, newly orphaned and insecure, meets Mary, a lonely woman who longs to make her huge house into a loving home. The love at first sight between the two is mutual. Rachel, whose life plans have been turned upside down by the introduction of a younger sister, holds herself aloof for fear of one more in a long string of disappointments.

Andrews weaves the lives of these three characters into a lovely narrative that will make you want to hurry on to see what happens next but also to linger in the parlor where Piper, Rachel, and Mary are sharing a cup of tea. For a memorable reading experience, I highly recommend Our Fragile Hearts by Buffy Andrews.

Available at Amazon.com 

BuffyAbout the Author: Buffy Andrews is an author, blogger, journalist and social media maven.

By day she’s a journalist, leading an award-winning staff at the York Daily Record/Sunday News, where she is Assistant Managing Editor of Social Media and Engagement.

In addition to her writing blog, Buffy’s Write Zone, she maintains a social media blog, Buffy’s World. She is also a newspaper and magazine columnist and writes middle-grade, young adult and women’s fiction.

She lives in south central Pennsylvania with her husband, Tom; two sons, Zach and Micah; and wheaten cairn terrier Kakita. She is grateful for their love and support and for reminding her of what’s most important in life.

Find Buffy at her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Blessings,

Linda

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 14, 2016:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the attractions of country life is the peace and quiet – being able to sit out in the yard and see only an occasional neighbor driving by or to sleep with the windows open on a cool spring night and smell the fresh air instead of pollution. Another thing I really enjoy on our little country homestead is the wildlife. We’ve sat at our dining table and watched the squirrels, rabbits, and all kinds of birds play and forage for food. One season an owl joined us for dinner every evening, and for two seasons, a pair of hawks were frequent visitors. Before we cleared the back part of the lot, we saw lots of deer grazing among the honey suckle and poison ivy, and even now a doe and her fawns will wander across occasionally. On special occasions, we’ve seen two foxes, an armadillo, a skunk, and more buzzards than people of our age need to see. Read the rest of this entry »

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