Thursday, June 08, 2023

Going, Going...Gone

My mother was always passionate about art. She painted or sketched every day. However, after my brother died her will to paint vanished for a time. It eventually returned but in the meantime she began to collect things. 

I remember well the first garage sale I went to with Mom. We stood in a crowd of people gathered outside a one car garage early one morning. When the garage door opened, everyone rushed in to see what was for sale. Mom headed for the Depression Glass. She loved the beautiful colors and patterns--remembering it from her youth when the pieces were handed out at movie theaters. 

She became very knowledgeable about the glass and gathered quite an enviable collection of it. She also decided to buy some other antiques. She loved beautiful, old things. 

Soon, Mom and another woman decided to go into business with an antique shop. They did well for a time and Mom enjoyed interacting with customers, but eventually there was a disagreement between Mom and the other woman and so the store closed.

Then Mom displayed her wares at a booth in an antique center, but as she aged that got to be too much for her and she put her lovely things on display in a small case in another antique store closer to home. However, even that became too much of a chore as she became frail. An auctioneer sold off most of her collection of Depression glass. But several large pieces of furniture she did not need and a lot of boxes cluttered up the basement.

We contacted the same auctioneer who liquidated her Depression Glass and he set up a date for an auction of my mother's stuff. He took the Victorian rocker, the old-fashioned washstand, the oak server and china cabinet along with a number of ceramic pieces. My mother was extremely apprehensive about the sale.

The evening before the auction, she had trouble breathing and went to the hospital. She had water in her lungs. Nevertheless, she wanted hubby and I to go to the auction. We did. It was a bittersweet experience to see my mother's treasures on display and it was at times disturbing to discover that some of the things I always considered most valuable went for so little. On the other hand, some items fetched a surprising amount.

In general, the antique furniture did not sell for much. Nevertheless, Mom did have some Hess toy trucks, some Roseville china, a bit of sterling, and one very old souvenir from the 1851 World's Fair which attracted some interesting bidding.

Mom got out of the hospital just as the auction was ending. She was pleased with the total amount of the sale, though disappointed that some of her things did not make more money.

Still, she told me, "See, you should save everything." 

After she died, the process of cleaning out the house was overwhelming and we needed help. For a long time after she died, I couldn't deal with walking into an antique store because I would invariably see some of the things Mom loved so much. 

Of course, when it comes to collecting I have way too many books. I make small attempts to cull the collection at times, but it's difficult. For the most part, the books aren't antiques or even collectibles but I just happen to love them. Sigh. 

Thursday, June 01, 2023

The Village Hardware Store

     A long time ago, our town was considered a village. There was a bank, a small post office, bookstore, a small library, a hardware store, a luncheonette, a church, a grocery store, a historic inn, and a beauty parlor.
     The area of the town remains the same, but since we moved here several housing developments went up. The road going through town is always busy. The historic inn was demolished and a large restaurant replaced it. Many other businesses were added. Some concerned citizens managed to save one small plot of land from development and that became our village green--but otherwise this isn't a village anymore. 
     Of all the things I miss about our little village, I miss the hardware store most of all. The owner of the hardware store always had whatever we needed--even in small quantities, and since all the houses back then had been built by the same developer, he had plenty of advice on how to fix a problem. 
     The hardware store was less than a mile from our house. When one of our daughters accidentally broke a pane of glass on the door, I went to the hardware store and got a piece of glass in exactly the right size. I put it in place before hubby came home from work. 
     When a friend's child accidentally put a hole in the sheetrock, I got what I needed from the hardware store and had the hole patched before hubby walked in the door. I did such a great job, he didn't even notice the repair. 
     I never could manage using hubby's old, worn-out Phillips screwdriver, so I bought one at the hardware store with nice, raised rubber grips on the handle. Hubby has since confiscated it. 😂
     Progress is good and we can still drive to a huge place like Lowe's or Home Depot, but it was nice to get individual attention and help from someone who knew exactly what was needed for the job. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Bargains On Books In June!

Starting on June 1st, Amazon has chosen over 100 Pelican Book Group titles to be included in a combination of June Kindle Daily Deals or Kindle Monthly Deals.The discount on monthly deals will be set at ALL retailers. Three of my books have been chosen for the Monthly Kindle Deals. ANGEL OF THE L TRAIN, DADDY WANTED, AND PATRIOT'S PRIDE will be on sale for the month for $1.99. 

In addition,  many of the other Pelican Book Group titles will be on sale. So you'll be able to save money and stock up a bunch of books to read this summer. 😁 What fun! 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

I Grow Stories, Not Plants

If I were a farmer, I would starve. So far this year, my chives, oregano, peppermint, and lavender are doing well. They must be hardy plants. I gave up growing tomato plants years ago because I would need an eight foot high fence to protect them from the deer. This year, deer ate the shoots of the allium bulbs I planted in the fall.

However, deer are not my only problem. I have a brown thumb. Either there's too much shade or not enough. Either there's too much water or not enough. Maybe the soil is anemic and needs fertilizer or maybe I need to mulch.

I work well with words, but plants are impossible. If I type a story and save it, the document stays in the same place, ready to greet me the next time I open it. If I dig a hole, drop in a plant, and water it, it dies or gets eaten.

My sister, the horticulturist, gave me a flowering plant, Bouncing Bet. She thinks I may not be able to kill it. The flowers resemble phlox, but Bouncing Bet is an invasive weed. This is great. Invasive weeds survive on whatever rain falls on them. They don't need fertilizer and flourish in nutritionally deficient soil.

I found some interesting information about bouncing bet online. (Check it out here.) The plant is toxic. The deer should get a tummy ache. Perhaps they'll avoid my yard. Then I can spend less time outside trying to make things grow and more time writing.

Growing stories is fun.

Wednesday, May 03, 2023


One hundred copies of the ebook edition of ANGEL OF THE L TRAIN will be given away on Goodreads. There are 9 more days before the giveaway ends. Sign up now and take a chance on winning a terrific story!

Here's the link for the giveaway:

Thursday, April 27, 2023

True Love

Above are my maternal grandparents in 1975. They are sitting on a seat from an old automobile on their backporch. Married in 1919 (you can see their wedding photo HERE), they spent fifty-nine years together and had seven children. My grandfather was a coal miner, but he did some farming, too. My grandfather died in 1978 at the age of 86, despite black lung and a few heart attacks. My grandmother died in 1990.

They argued all the time. 😊 My grandmother was the most lovable woman I ever met, but she could be feisty, too. When my grandfather kept insisting they did not need a new stove, she decided to go on strike and refused to cook. Eventually, my grandfather gave in and Grandma got a new stove.

They had plenty of trouble in their fifty-nine years of marriage, but they stuck together and worked things out. That's true love.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

2.2 Million Words!


     The New Jersey Romance Writers  met last weekend in person for the first time in three years. It was a big celebration marking the 2.2 million words written by the members of the group in February of this year. Every February NJRW provides the JeRoWriMo challenge for each individual author to write 30,000 words in that month. It's like NaNoWriMo but less stressful since it is 20,000 words less than NaNoWriMo AND it occurs in a month without Thanksgiving or holiday preparations. In fact, February's best holiday is Valentine's Day! What could be a better incentive than to write about love in the month of love. 


     Those who finished the challenge received a pin to commemorate their success. Everyone who took on the challenge got chocolate, whether or not they reached the goal. Some of us also received pins to mark how many times we've joined in and triumphed. I received a pin for doing this five times. 

     Nancy Herkness started this event many years ago. However, she does have help because it is a big job. There are cheerleaders who urge us on every day. There are those who add up the numbers. Plus we have someone who likes to make chocolates! 

     Every author needs a nudge to get writing now and then. JeRoWriMo is a sweet way to do just that.