Happy Mother Earth Day!

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 Happy Earth Day planet lovers!

I know Earth Day isn’t a typical holiday but maybe it should be these days. We honor important people in our holidays like moms and dads and veterans and presidents but maybe it’s time to put more attention to recognizing that our planet deserves a recognized day as well. Earth Day has been an unofficial occasion now for more than thirty years I believe but wouldn’t it be great if we made it an official holiday? And even better, how about if it was a holiday that the United Nations or some such official governance declared it as a world holiday? Wouldn’t that be the coolest thing ever? Other than Christmas and Easter, both religiously based holidays, I don’t think there is any kind of “world” holiday that is recognized. What better holiday to go first then one around saving our planet? Something we all have in common and care about. There are so many plusses to it:

 

  • ·         It would help draw attention to the many environmental issues we face (including warming issues at both the North and South Poles that are melting the glaciers.)
  • ·         People everywhere could be encouraged to donate their time on that day to volunteering for some kind of environmental cause.
  • ·         Children could be dismissed from school – or even kept in school that day—and the day could be devoted to studying about the environmental issues we face and how to help improve them.
  • ·         It would help put more focus on the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra that needs to be part of our everyday life.
  • ·         And my favorite, it would help promote connection to each other and kindness to our planet and all living things.

 

Official recognition or not, though, all of us, anywhere in the world, can honor this day by recommitting to simple acts. My favorite is to use less because I have so much control over that one. I waste too much and am mindfully trying to cut back on what I purchase and what I throw out. Both food wise and waste wise.

Pick something for you and your children and let’s all work toward making a difference and showing our beautiful planet some love. Earth Day is a great day to recommit to kindness for our planet.

Easter Fun . . . Hippity Hoppity!

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Well, Easter is rather late this year and even at that it feels like it came fast! We’re not hosting an Easter brunch or dinner but my mom is (“Hi mom!”) and was busy on scheming on what she was going to serve when we talked this week on the phone. As children, my parents always made this day special. Mom would put together fabulously fun Easter baskets that we would wake up to that morning and dad would hide eggs around for us to hunt. Then we’d put on our new Easter outfits and off to church we would go before heading to my gram’s for another fun hunt and a delish Easter dinner. Lots of years, I would stay with my grandparents then the rest of the week. I think of Easter and those growing up times with great fondness.  

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Maybe that’s why I spent some time on Pinterest this week looking at some of the creative Easter centerpieces. Here are some of the ones I thought were extra clever and delightful. I especially love the bunny ear napkins. There’s a lot of ideas on how to do thes eon Pinterest but this version is both super cute and really simple. My favorite combo.

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Whatever your Easter Sunday brings you, I wish you a day full of joy! Hippity Hoppity.

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Writing Retreats

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Orcas view from my retreat spot — heaven!

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I don’t think I caught you all up on the fact that I’ve been making progress on book three in the South Pole Santa series, The Rescue. Hooray!

I got in a getaway last week at my sisters wonderful place up at the perfect, serene, place for any writer — Orcas Island. Three days of nothing but writing got me up to 30,000 words which is a little less than half way. I was hoping to be a little farther along at this point but with working too, this is my pace. It was about exactly where I was for Sandra Claus… last year so I know it can get out on time – I was just hoping to get it out a little earlier. But October works well for a Christmas book so I’ll be happy with that.

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Meanwhile, oh my goodness, so many big things have been happening! I tell you, I plan out chapters, of course, and then those characters, well, they insist on doing their own things so even I get completely surprised at times by plot twists. I love it when that happens!

Guess what island I’m heading to write the next 30,000 pages? It’s big and its beautiful. And tropical like St. Annalise. Did you guess Hawaii? You’d be right! Kona on the big island to be exact is the location for my next retreat. A whole week in the tropics. The bummer is I will have to write, write, write since I’m not further along. The great part is, I get to sit poolside in paradise and make it happen. I am nothing but lucky and spoiled. Naturally, I’ll be checking in from sunshine central but its still a couple weeks away. (I’m just getting too excited thinking about it! :) )

Soak in the sunshine wherever you are! Thanks for swinging by.

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

 

 

 

Kindness is Found All Over the World

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You know how I love to talk about all kinds of kindness and this is a great one. This is a youtube clip of a Thai TV commercial that is a delightful three minutes long. It’s a SUPER COOL example of generous random acts of kindness by an insurance company of all things. If they were here in the US, they would surely be my insurance company. I believe in supporting companies that promote kindness in ways that help change the world.

This comes with a warning though! If you’re soft-hearted - like a good elf - you better grab your tissue box. This is heart tugging for sure. So good! Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZGghmwUcbQ

 

 

See-Sawing

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Our little angel sunbathing

What a seesaw ride life can be. The same day you’re up, you can be given a curve ball the very next minute and you come flying back down. That’s sort of how the last 24 hours has gone for me.

On the really nice side, I had two things happen that were book-related. First off my brother-in-law called from Nevada to say he had just finished book two. I kid you not when I say if I could just have every reader rave so positively and genuinely on the books as my brother-in-law did last night, well, I’m pretty sure I’d be a gazillionaire! He’s a perfect example of why I like to say I write books for “the young and the young at heart” because my bil – Jeff - fits solidly in that second category. Truth be told, I was pretty sure he would like this series. He is a HUGE fan of all the Harry Potter books and movies and my series has a flavor of JK Rowling’s adventure side. :) It was so nice to get his call and kind words last night.

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Then, second wonderful thing. I have an author acquaintance, Ira Phillips, who wrote the story of a strong woman going through a big betrayal with the evocative title, Betrayal, Malt Whiskey and a Toilet Brush. You can find it on Amazon. It is definitely not a children’s book. :) Ira contacted me about sending some signed books for her soon-to-be-ten-years-old-daughter’s birthday party. Sweet Leonie, pictured here, is one of my English fans (and an award-winning songstress in her home town!) and it was such a treat to get to sign the books for each of her friends attending her party. They had fabulous English names like Olivia and Harriet and Chloe and Phoebe. Such fun to add fun to a once-in-a-lifetime for every little girl event.

Those two things had me smiling pretty nicely. Combined with a planned dinner with my family that was overdue (hooray!) and meeting with a bunch of my best ever friends that is also overdue (hooray!) and we’ve got on the smiles for sure.

But, like any good book, those twists and turns come along and in this case, the wrenching twist was that we lost our little Christmas kitty Noelle who is sunbathing above. She had been sick and blind for a long time so we knew each day was a gift but we loved our little treasure and rejoiced that she chose to bravely meet the challenges of each day. Animals are so grand in their generosity of sharing love and providing acceptance. We gave her a good home and in return she helped us grow in patience and strength of character. She, like every other incredibly wonderful pet we have ever had, will be cherished in our hearts and deeply missed.

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But life being life, it continues on and this day has proved to be bright and shiny. I am thankful for my readers and for each day we got to share with our sweet little Noelle. And the two big guys also sunbathing above. Embrace the gifts of this glorious day! Sending you love from the Pacific Northwest.

 

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Signs of Spring

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Things have gotten all flowery and springy around my house the last few weeks. Its spring time inside and out!

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Craft Time! Let’s Get Our Garlands Going

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Today I thought I’d bring you something a little bit different. This is a post for all you creatives out there and, for sure, all you mom’s looking for a little something fun that the whole family could work on. Or maybe, you’re like me, and couldn’t knit to save your life (worst knitter ever here!) but like a little soethig mindless to be doing while you’re watching some favorite shows at night. How ’bout making garlands?

I know! I never think of garlands either except for for Christmas decorating or maybe for hanging one of those cheesy ones from the party aisle that say “Happy Birthday!” or “Welcome Home!” But it turns out there are some pretty fabulous, do-it-yourself, super simple garland suggestions out there on Pinterest for year round crafting and decorating and “lets-have-party-just-because” fun!

And I love me some fun.

You do too.

I mean I know it because you’re here and really, who doesn’t like fun? Even Ebeneezer Scrooge changed his mind about fun in the end. :)

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So check out these wonderful ideas I pulled right off the pages of Pinterest, get your own creative juices flowing and head to the craft store. Or in the case of some of these — and in my case — just head to your junk drawer for string, tape and scissors and my craft drawer for letover colored paper and pom poms. :)

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I’m thinking a cute one could be done in colored egg shapes and be a pretty addition to Easter decorations. Or maybe cut in flower shapes for spring time joy. Don’t be a tiny bit surprised if garland making shows up in one of the next South Pole Santa books. The elves would love making these!

I might love the top one with the clouds and raindrops the most right now — I like how it makes rain whimsical — but all of them really look like some serious fun. Am I right? Don’t you think so? So many creative people and great examples! There are more when you do a Google search and so many more on Pinterest. But you don’t need any of that. You have me, a great imagination and a bunch of leftover craft supplies. :) Ladies and gentlemen, start your glue sticks! Let’s get our garlands on!

 

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

A Bright Reminder for All

You're worth it

Sea Parrots aka Puffins: Cute by any name!

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Did you know three are three kinds of puffins? You didn’t? And you never thought you needed to know either I bet!

Well, when you’re a writer you find yourself learning a little bit about a bunch and right now I’ve been researching puffins since it seems one is determined to be part of this next book. (These characters get so bossy sometimes! :) ) It turns out that, like most animals, puffins are pretty darn charming. Here’s some of my favorite things I’ve learned so far:

  • Puffins are ocean going, flying, birds.
  • I added in “flying’ because when you look at them, they remind me of penguins (who, as you all know, dance but don’t fly. For verification please rent the movie, Happy Dance. :) )
  • They also swim. And they eat fish – especially herring.
  • Like penguins, they live in big colonies. Unlike penguins, they nest in rocky cliffs.
  • Also, unlike penguins, they are found only in the northern hemisphere. Well puff and stuff! I was hoping for a fun southern centered bird but that won’t be a puffin it seems.
  • While my puffin is likely to be a real chatterbox, it seems the more typical puffin has a call that is described by many as sounding like a “chainsaw.” (Insert grimace here.) It seems they are more charming to look at than to actually hear.
  • There are actually three kinds – the Atlantic Puffin, the Tufted Puffin (my favorite, I think) and the Horned Puffin.

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  • They get called “sea parrots” probably because they of the striking looks. They are also called “clowns of the sea” which I think is the side of their character that will be showing up in the book. :)
  • The clever little clowns can dive up to 200 feet in the water – on one breath!
  • An average puffin lives for about 20 years.

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  • And this might be my favorite puffin feature since its so doggone romantic. Puffins mate for life! I love species like that. So darn special. They even rub their beaks together. (Just too sweet to even think about. :) )

Now see why I had to share? I bet you are loving these little charmers more too. Great facts for your next trivia game!

Oh Oh Oh! — jingle

 

Each Day Brings Gifts

The gift of each day is the best gift of (1)