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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Guest Post: COOKING UP A MYSTERY, by Gail Pallotta

 My guest today is Gail Pallotta, a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Nominee. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. 

Gail's latest book is COOKING UP A MYSTERY! Here's the blurb:


Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. Laney is on edge from the emotional scars and her parents' deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it's all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.
When Eric discovers that Laney's in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? . . .and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There's more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.



And now for the excerpt! 😉


Eric pointed at the picture of the man riding the huge tricycle. “Is that it?”
The sound of several pots clanking one right after the other drifted into the dining area. Did he not hear the racket? Laney opened her mouth to ask, but snapped it shut. The last thing she wanted to do was say she heard a commotion when there was none. Eric would think she had a bad psychological problem. She put her hand over her mouth. Did she? “Yes, but go ahead and eat your cookie.” She jumped at the sound of more bonks. She would’ve sworn someone ran into the trashcan in her kitchen, not out back. She gazed at Eric. He munched as though nothing distracted him. She had to ask. No! Thuds pounded the floor in the kitchen. Laney was sure of it. Eric had to have heard them. She opened her mouth.
“About the painting, I believe you said one of your customers gave it to you.”

Buy it at :



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Friday, April 24, 2020

Make a Wish


If you found a magic dandelion puff capable of granting one wish, what would you ask for? I know exactly what my request would be. I would ask for a vaccine for the coronavirus. Since magic dandelion puffs don't exist, prayer is a far better use of my time. I must be patient in order to remain safe.

Still, I've been busy while we're in lockdown. I've crocheted thirty-four little preemie hats--so far. I've made face masks. I watched Michael Moore's latest movie, Planet of the Humans, which is free on YouTube and which I think everyone should watch. I listened to the podcast of Radio Influenza--which is not very cheerful, but if you think things are bad now, you should listen to it. Back in 1918 people didn't even have pain relievers.

I am writing--or rather rewriting. I cook and do laundry and occasionally clean something--which often includes vacuuming up the potato chip crumbs hubby manages to drop under the futon. (Some things take a special talent.) I pulled out the watercolors and made a painting of a very fat robin. Hubby thought I should put a worm in its mouth but I didn't. Now and then I do exercises and I usually try to walk a bit as well, but that's not as interesting as it used to be since all the parks are closed. 😟

I cannot stop worrying, but I've gotten into a routine of sorts and find I am less anxious than I was at the beginning of all this. Keeping in touch with everyone has been a huge blessing. Video chats may not be the same as physically being with loved ones, but just seeing their faces is a comfort.

How are you doing?

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pandemic Fashion

That’s me with my homemade mask. Due to the coronavirus, everyone must wear a mask in public. It may help slow the spread of the virus—not that a double thickness of cotton will protect the wearer of such a mask from getting the disease. However, the mask might protect others from those who are contagious, but have not developed symptoms as yet.

But acquiring masks during a pandemic isn’t an easy task. Just assembling the raw materials for such an endeavor isn’t easy either.

I can crochet, I can paint, and I can write. But sewing is another matter. Read about my experience at:

https://rawdatafalloutfromthecoronavirus.blogspot.com/2020/04/virus-distractions-marzec.html

Let me know what you used for a mask.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

The Bubble Lady

Image by misku from Pixabay 


On Palm Sunday, since it was a beautiful day, hubby and I went to Sandy Hook. We parked in Lot A to watch the surfers. The surf was churning and the surfers had a tough time catching those huge waves. We watched for a while, worrying about the guys in the water and counting to make sure they were still there. 
There weren't many people at all on that stretch of sand. Then a woman without any shoes on her feet walked to the edge of the water and held up a bubble wand. She let the wind make bubbles—lots of bubbles. Her legs were bare and she wore a bright yellow skirt. The wind carried her bubbles over the dunes toward the bay. I wondered why she was doing that. Did she have a gallon of bubble juice she wanted to get rid of? Was she celebrating something? A divorce? Or was she simply trying to cheer herself and others and relieve their coronavirus anxiety?
I'll never know. It was chilly that day and after a while, hubby and I wanted to be warm again, so we walked back to the car. We passed a pair of lovely white sandals with iridescent straps. I figured the sandals belonged to the bubble lady.
A few days later, Sandy Hook--along with all the state and county parks in New Jersey--was closed. Maybe, when the parks open again I'll make bubbles to celebrate.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Who Loves You


I always felt like an ugly duckling. Added to that, I was shy as a youngster. By the time I got to high school, I was very self-conscious. I didn’t have the right clothes or the right shoes. My chin stuck out. My lips were too thin. I really didn’t need a bra. 

Other girls had boyfriends. I didn’t. 

At home, I frequently moaned, “Nobody loves me.” That really wasn’t true. I knew my parents loved me and my siblings loved me—sort of—I think. My grandparents loved me and my aunts and uncles loved me. But boys didn’t give me a second glance—except for the boys I didn’t want to be seen with. Those guys were scary!

My mother got tired of listening to my rant. One day, she handed me the small statue pictured above. That ended my whining. Mom was right.