Did you hear the latest news? A major New York publisher is distributing Kindles to all epubbed authors and asking them to promote a New York Bestselling author on their websites. Yep, I will take care of Roxanne St. Claire. I don't mind. She's been my favorite author for years. The world is turning upside down. Isn't that wonderful? So who would you take under your wing now?

Okay, so I am babbling. APRIL FOOL!!

Do you know how April Fool's Day originated? In sixteenth-century France, the start of the new year was observed on April first. It was celebrated in much the same way as it is today with parties and dancing into the late hours of the night. The First April Fool's Day Then in 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and the new year fell on January first.

There were some people, however, who hadn't heard or didn't believe the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April first. Others played tricks on them and called them "April fools." They sent them on a "fool's errand" or tried to make them believe that something false was true.

Poisson d'Avril In France today, April first is called "Poisson d'Avril." French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends' backs. When the "young fool" discovers this trick, the prankster yells "Poisson d’Avril!" (April Fish!)

April Fool's Day in the USA Americans play little tricks on friends and strangers alike on the first of April. One common prank on April Fool's Day, or All Fool's Day, is pointing down to a friend's shoe and saying, "Your shoelace is untied." Teachers in the nineteenth century used to say to pupils, "Look! A flock of geese!" and point up. School children might tell a classmate that school has been canceled. Whatever the trick, if the innocent victim falls for the joke the prankster yells, "April Fool! "

April Fool's Day Jokes: The "fools' errands" we play on people are practical jokes. Putting salt in the sugar bowl for the next person is not a nice trick to play on a stranger. College students set their clocks an hour behind, so their roommates show up to the wrong class - or not at all. Some practical jokes are kept up the whole day before the victim realizes what day it is.
Most April Fool jokes are in good fun and not meant to harm anyone. The most clever April Fool joke is the one where everyone laughs, especially the person upon whom the joke is played.

When I was in college, my best friend and I told about fifty students that the dean summoned them to his office. They gasped, opened scared eyes and went pronto to meet him. The dean frowned at first, then laughed and finally told the last one to bring Mona and Vicky to his office. We stopped laughing for a few minutes when he asked: "Exactly what are you trying to do? You are expelled." When he saw our terified expressions, he burst out laughing and said: "April Fool!!"

What was the last April Fool you played on a friend? Can you share?

My new contemporary romance is up for pre-order and that's NO April fool.

PRESCRIPTION IN RUSSIAN at the Wild Rose Press. Dr. Fyodor Vassilov is a thirty-eight year old widower and devoted family man with four little boys who need a caring mother. Still emotionally crippled by the loss of his wife, Fyodor can’t allow himself to get close to a woman again. Having a fling is okay but love? Forget about it! He has to protect his kids, and his heart, from any further harm.

Jillian Burton is an American pediatrician on an official mission to improve health care conditions in Belarus. A few years ago, she lost her son and her illusions about men, marriage and family, and she won’t risk being hurt again. Feeling guilty about her son’s death, she travels to third-world countries to cure and save children but she never allows herself to get emotionally attached to a child.

Fyodor’s mother presses him to marry a healthy woman who wants a big family and loves children. The last woman who fits the bill is Jillian, a woman who considers herself incapable of mothering a child, a doctor who can’t stop roaming the world.

When Fyodor and Jillian work together in Belarus, their cultures clash and their painful memories still hurt, but their attraction defies all odds. Can love overcome duty and guilt?

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with passion.

Being passionate about the past, I relish a connection to those who’ve gone before us.  I’m fascinated with history and love old homes, historic sites, all that ties us to the richness of bygone ages.  Intrigued with herbal lore, I often use it in my writing.  Herbs influenced every facet of life in pre-modern times and have changed little over the centuries. When I hold an aromatic sprig of rosemary in my hand, I’m touching the same plant beloved by the ancients. Some heirloom roses hail from the glory days of Rome.
To further that sense of oneness, and for their many uses, I grow a variety of herbs.  Thyme, basil, sage, and chives are a few in my kitchen garden.  Lavender and scented geraniums are wonderful for their scent alone.  Ladies once wafted the delicate perfume of toilet water.  Porcelain bowls filled with colorful potpourri scented musty parlors.
Before taking the leap into penning novels, I wrote vignettes on rural life.  I’ve compiled these into a work of non-fiction and may self-publish.  At one time, I also had a modest herb business and gave talks on herbal lore to local groups much as Julia Maury did in my light paranormal romance Somewhere My Love.
Back to my herbal enterprise, with the faithful assistance of my long-suffering mother we grew and dried herbs and flowers for wreath making and potpourri which we sold in the fall.  Herbs and heirloom flower seedlings were raised in the small greenhouse my hubby built me and sold in the spring.  Any profits were swiftly overrun by subsequent visits to the allergist,whom I’ve seen regularly for years now and still get four shots at a crack.  It seems I developed every allergy latent within me by exposure to all these pollens.  *Note, If you’re allergic to ragweed, avoid an herb called Sweet Annie and the Artemisia family.  But I’m considered to rank in the top ten percent of allergy sufferers in the nation, so what are the odds of that?
After being run indoors and my gardening curtailed, I took up writing and have used my love of plants there.  I’m still an avid gardener, though with shots, meds and limits.  Is it spring yet?  My nose says yes. :)

A garden is never so good as it will be next year. ~Thomas Cooper
An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider 
all the other choices in life. ~Cora Lea Bell

This book attracted my notice because of my Chinese connection with the past.  Not only did I spend my early childhood in Taiwan where my parents taught English, but my grandmother was born and raised in China by her missionary parents.  My mother and father also taught English there at a later time, but I didn’t accompany them on that trip.  Their home has always been open to hosting students from China, many of whom have become our friends over the years.  My grandmother spoke Mandarin all her life and never forgot it, and my mother also learned the language.  She can chat  with waiters in Chinese restaurants.
City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell, although a novel, reads as if it were a biography and the reader is an integral part of the day-to-day experiences of Edward and Katherine Kiehn. Especially meaningful is that the story centers on these two Mennonite missionaries who went to China early in the 20th Century, as did my great-grandparents, only they traveled there even earlier in 1891 under the Southern Presbyterian Church. They initially met on the voyage over, but were posted to different cities.  After my great-grandfather made an exceedingly difficult trip to visit her, my great-grandmother decided to accept his marriage proposal because she loved him,  and to spare him another horrific journey which included a canal boat with an opium addict, as did one trip described in the book.
An extremely moving part of the story concerns the sickness and death of Edward and Katherine’s young daughter, almost more than they could bear and forever in their hearts and minds. My great grandparents had five children born in China, with one stillborn. Their oldest son, after finishing college and seminary in the United States, returned to China to serve as an itinerate pastor, as had his father, visiting small villages where Christ was not known.  Another son completed medical school and returned to China to work with his mother, also a doctor.  Highly unusual for a woman in that era.  She’d been tried early on by villagers who brought a boy to her nearly dead from a worm infestation. Knowing it was a test, she laid him out on the ground where all could see, and gradually gave him something to make the worms leave his body, curing him.  And won their respect.
Eventually all members of our family were forced back to the states in 1939, after Japan invaded China and war ravaged the land. Living in China makes an enormous impact on Americans, as it did on those in Ms. Caldwell’s book upon whom she based her story, and as it’s made on our family.  A hospital now stands on the spot where my great grandmother practiced medicine and their stillborn child is buried.  Many descendents of missionary families who’d served there at that time were invited back to a celebration of its founding in 2005.
My parents have a camphor wood chest, not as elaborate as the one described in the book, but as fragrant, that they bought while teaching school on Taiwan. They (and I) can attest to the feelings of love expressed in the book that flowed between the Chinese friends of Edward and Katherine and which the couple reciprocated with all their hearts.
*Photographs are of me as a child in Taiwan with my doll tied on my back like the peasant women who carried their infants that way while at work in the rice paddies.
*My great-grandmother, Annie Houston Patterson and my Great Uncle Houston
*My grandparents, Henry and Margaret Mack,  my mom and uncle.  My grandmother grew up in China, returned to the states for higher education and married.   She and my grandfather traveled back to China and stayed with her parents for a time, later journeying as missionaries to the Philippines.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw The King’s Speech about George VI (Queen Elizabeth’s father), and what a super movie! Albert, called Bertie by his family, chose to be George when he suddenly became King on December 11, 1936 at the abdication of his brother Edward VIII. He had never expected to be King, but if Edward had stayed on the throne, Elizabeth II might never have come to reign.

When I was a young girl, Edward VIII (called David by the family) was such a romantic hero that I read anything about him that I could find. He gave up a throne to marry the woman he loved.

“King Edward VIII did something that monarchs do not have the luxury of doing - he fell in love. King Edward was in love with Mrs. Wallis Simpson, not only an American, but also a married woman already once divorced. Yet, in order to marry the woman he loved, King Edward was willing to give up the British throne - and he did.

To some, this was the love story of the century. To others, it was a scandal that threatened to weaken the monarchy. In reality, the story of King Edward VIII and Mrs. Wallis Simpson never fulfilled either of these notions. Instead, the story is about a prince who wanted to be like everyone else.” King Edward VIII. This is quoted from History 1900’s at the link included.
King Edward VIII was born Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David on June 23, 1894:

A few facts about Edward VIII.

Birthplace: White Lodge, Surrey, England
Died: 28-May-1972
Location of death: Bois De Boulogne, Paris, France
Cause of death: Cancer - Throat
Remains: Buried, Frogmore, Windsor, Berkshire, England

He was the first monarch to become a qualified pilot. He created The King's Flight (now known as 32 (The Royal) Squadron) in 1936 to provide air transport for the Royal family's official duties.

The above article goes on to say that Edward had a predilection for married women. In 1918, he met Mrs. Winfred (Freda) Dudley Ward, and for sixteen years she was his mistress. He also had a long term romantic relationship with Viscountess Thelma Furness. It was at the Viscountess’ party that he met Wallis Simpson. For seven years, he and Wallis had a not-very-private affair.

By 1936, it became evident that he would marry her.

However, his family and his Cabinet opposed the match, the government threatening to resign en masse if the relationship continued. As head of the Church, he faced opposition there as well. Eventually, Edward realized that he must choose between the Crown and Mrs. Simpson. A twice-divorced woman would not be acceptable as Queen.

Wallis Simpson didn’t mean for the King to abdicate yet on December 10, 1936, Edward signed the Instrument of Abdication. His brother immediately named him Duke of Windsor.

On June 3, 1937, after her divorce was final, the Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson in Paris, France.

He reigned less than a year: January-December 1936.

He was very handsome, blond and blue-eyed, and still, to me, a very romantic figure. I just ordered A King’s Story, the Memoirs of the Duke of Windsor, and can’t wait to read it.

Linda Nightingale, Author of Black Swan, a spicy vampire story.

As the title suggests, gypsies play an important part in “Gypsy Charm.” In fact, if not for the old gypsy woman, Mrs. Lee, there’d be no story at all. It’s she who engineers and choreographs the entire event, though she only appears at the beginning and the end.

So who are these people we always associate tambourines, golden earrings, and crystal balls…violins and exuberant dancing…and “Cross my palm with silver”? Where did they originate? And where do they now live?

Originally, they were thought to come from Egypt (Egyptians…Gypsies…get it?) and were supposedly exiled for giving refuge to the infant Jesus when He was brought to Egypt to escape King Herod’s wrath. Now, they’re believed to have come from India, perhaps the province of Rajasthan, migrating to northwest India around 250 BC, before beginning a westward trek in 500 AD. In 1322, they’re mentioned in writings as Atsinganoi (Untouchable) living in Crete; in 1360, a fiefdom in Corfu is mentioned as having only Romany serfs. By the 14th century, they were in the Balkans, where they were enslaved until around 1856; by the 16th century, they’d reached Scotland and Ireland, and by the 1860s, large-scale immigrations to the United States had occurred. Correctly, Gypsies are called Romany, from the word “Rom” meaning “Man.” Someone who isn’t gypsy but associates with them and speaks their language is called a Romany Rye (Ri).

In Europe, the Romany were subjected to ethnic cleansings and herded into concentration camps. In a process called the Porajmos, they were killed on sight or sentenced to forced labor. An estimated 1,500,000 Romany died during World War II. Though they were treated more fairly in Tsarist Russia, during the Communist Regine, they once again were labeled a “socially degraded stratum.”

Traditional Romanies place a high value on family life and the strict regulation of social behavior as ordered by the Marhime or Hindu purity laws. There is a rom baro (tribal leader), who rules over each extended family. Most Eastern Romany are Catholic or Orthodox Christian or Muslin, while Western Romany are Catholic or Protestant. They speak Romani, an Indo-Aryan language but because the people are so widespread now, many are forgetting the language and speak a mixture called Calo or Angolormani. There are attempts now to standardize the language.

Even today, there is extreme prejudice and discrimination against Romanies, in Central and Western Europe, where they are considered the “nomad emergency” and responsible for high crime rates. Even as late as 2004, they are actually considered a high security risk in some places and gypsy women in some countries could be legally sterilized without their consent.

Gypsy names are divides into two groups: Trade and common. There are only two trade names –Cooper and Smith—which have been translated from the Rom language. Common names for gypsies are Lee, Grey, Boswell, Herne, Lovell, Marshall, Stanley. A name may have been adopted because it was similar to a Romani one, it resembled a town from which they originally came, or it was the name of the noble under whose protection they lives.

Mrs. Lee is the gypsy matriarch in Gypsy Charm; her grandsons David, Isaac, and Tomas are all Grays. Unlike their real-life counterparts, the Romany of Gypsy Charm lead a fairly uneventful and safe life, though Grandma Lee appears to keep things lively enough.

Gypsy Charm is available from Class Act Books, http://www.classactbooks.com/Gypsy-Charm-by-Icy-Snow-Blackstone-EPub_p_281.html.

Early on, Essie McBane set her standards high and waited for true love. She never expected the answer to her prayer to literally fall from heaven in the shape of a warrior angel with chestnut curls and a celestial body. As much as she’d love to teach the divine creature a thing or two about sex and lust, can she be responsible for leading him into temptation?
Sinfully handsome Cam-ael, an angel, is wounded in the second war between heaven and hell and plummets into the arms of a beautiful human. But Cam knows he must return eventually, no matter how much he likes the material pleasures of earth. Not to mention the sensual pleasure he’s found with Essie.
But when his mortal feelings for Essie draws a demon into the midst, can Cam protect her or will he learn the true meaning of the word sacrifice?

COMING MAY 20TH, 2011 from The Wild Rose Press, The Wilder Catalog!

For an excerpt and the HOT cover, please visit Bianca Swan’s Blog.

Deer Eating Your Plants?

Last fall the young deer scampered in my yard and others. Then they were graceful, lovely creatures.

Now they are monsters. Now I know why my plants didn't bloom well last spring or summer. I'm not a good gardener, but a few plants live year after year in spite of me. I enjoy them and look forward to their blooms.

Yesterday I realized many tender shoots were chopped off! Yes, gnawed so low I doubt they will bloom this year. Did the monsters in deer's clothing eat the lovely yellow dandelions? Of course not! They chomped on my daffodils and other plants I can't name. They found shoots from iris bulbs. Yes, I had some I separated and replanted.

That set me off on a quest to make the deer feel unwelcome.

A buried memory of a friend filling her menfolk with beer, an easy task, and sending them outside to water the perimeter of her garden teased at the edges of my mind. Hmmm. I suspect some of our ladies were concerned about me when I asked them if they knew anything about deer and human urine. (snicker)

Scarlet suggested googling the info.

Because I was up to my crossing eyes in editing for a client, I decided to ask for help from our gardening expert. Beth mentioned human hair as a thing deer don't like. That was easy. I scrambled around and cleaned enough hair from my vacuum cleaner and the floor of my car to scatter in some plants. Bet I can find more hair tomorrow if I groom my sweaters and clean the floor.

I took pictures in my neighborhood to show the colors of Japanese magnolias, pear trees, and a slew of other colorful foliage. Too bad I can't find the tiny camera that hides with my cellphone.

Trust me, there are deep purple, white, lilac, pale pink and deep pink, yellow and other colors in trees and bushes around me.

Now about those pesky deer. Maybe I should .......

Happy Monday, all!

Anything bugging you this week?

Deer eating your plants?

Posted by Scarlet Pumpernickel | 4:39 PM | 20 comments »

In less than two weeks our school will be observing Spring Break. I've been thinking about it for a while now, making plans and lists. There are so many things I want to do, that I feel pulled in different directions.

The yard needs work, the house needs work. My office is a mess and could so use a good cleaning.

But the thing that needs the most work is my mind. I need to put my house in order, so to speak, but not my real house. No, what I'm talking about is the virtual house of my mind.

There are things I need to do, things I must do, and things I want to do. My problem is time allocation. I tend to get bogged down on the small stuff, to ignore the really important things that will propel my writing career in the direction I want it to go.

I find it is so easy for me to get side tracked and lose sight of my goals. So, I think I'll sit down with my planner and mark out a certain amount of time each day to devote to writing. There are other things I've allowed to slide, like meeting with my critique partner, which has got to be pulled to the front. I need the stimulation afforded by interaction with someone who "gets it."

So, when I start off with spring cleaning this year, it's my mind that is going to be dusted of cobwebs first. Then I'll go and tackle the real stuff. What about you? What are your plans for the spring? How do you stimulate your creativity and prime the pump for getting the job done?

Avon Impulse - digital lines

Posted by Patrice Wilton | 10:19 AM | 14 comments »

Hi everyone,
I'm sure that by now you all know about Avon's new digital line. This is exciting news for the industry which is rapidly changing day by day. Between self publishing and keeping the major royalties all to yourself, and the choices we have now in E-Publishing houses, authors are facing new decisions and have more say in their career arc. Of course, we probably would all love to be published with the big New York houses, but that is becoming more and more difficult for aspiring new writers.
I may try my hand at self publishing and promoting on Amazon, Smashword, etc. but I'm not all that savvy, and know it will take a lot of time and effort, with an undetermined outcome. Some writers have made it big by going this route, but they are the exception not the rule. Avon has an interesting submission page, and I must admit it's a little challenging. I've spent the past two days trying to figure out my best scene, my best line, etc., but I'm definitely giving it a shot.
I'm opening this up for discussion. What do you think about the traditional publishers going digital, and do you see the benefits of having their margeting team, versus self publishing?

I was at the Epicon conference last week and attended a fantastic presentation by Angela Knights on how to write a good sex scene. Here is more or less what Angela said—I hope I got it right, Angela.

Love scenes illustrate the development of romance and show the way people feel about each other. A love scene reveals characters, enhances the conflict, and develops the romance.

Love scene and the characters:
How does it reveal the hero? The hero must be experienced. Don’t ever write about a virgin hero! Mention his romantic and sexual history before the first sex scene.
Show how his attitude toward the heroine change in the course of your story
Show how the heroine helps him develop his strengths and overcome his weaknesses.

The love scene should reveal how he makes love to the heroine, how he finds her different from past lovers, and how his way change toward her by the end of the story.

Before a love scene, we should also know the heroine’s romantic history: how does she feel about sex? In historical romances, a love scene is a big conflict for the heroine who is usually not experienced. Give the heroine good reasons to trust the hero enough to sleep with him. Picking up a hero in a bar and making love with him is dangerous and borderline erotica.

Is she sexually confident?
How does making love to him change her?
Does she gain confidence in them as a couple?
Let the heroine take the lead in some scenes.

Love scenes make them both grow. A love scene is always a turning point. You develop the plot with a love scene. You also develop the conflict with a sex scene. To intensify the conflict through a love scene you can make him dominant if she doesn’t like an alpha hero. And then make her reaction to him strong and dramatic. Let one character turn the tables on the other—heroine dominates the hero.

Logistic of a love scene:
A hero can’t go directly to kissing before a few steps of touching that establish trust.
You have to create the environment of trust for her to accept his kiss.
Love scenes should complicate the situation: A love scene is a critical turning point. What problems does it cause? How does it change the way the characters view each other now?
To know if your love scenes make sense read them back to back by themselves and see if the romance grows and develops through these love scenes.

Love scene pacing:
Where does the love scene fall in the romance? What kind of emotion do you want to communicate? The love scene can intensify the mood: We are at our most vulnerable when making love. This is a perfect time for drama. Taking off clothes is a big act of trust.
Or it can lighten the mood: for example it will keep a romantic suspense or a thriller from getting too dark.
Watch your timing: Characters who are supposed to be hunting the bad guys can’t waste their time making love. Don’t follow a gruesome murder with a love scene.
Love scene construction:
Don’t rush. Good lovers take their time. You need at least five pages for a satisfying love scene, for emotional impact. Don’t cheat the reader
Set the scene with a sensual environment: sharp vivid emotions with five senses. A long pre-scene is acceptable but stay clear of purple prose.

Who makes the first move? Stay within characters.
More interesting when there is more than one objective to the love scene.

Sexual roles of hero and heroine: The heroine sets the sexual pace. She decides when characters make love because she’s the one who has the most to lose.
Concentrate on sensual details. Focus on sensations that characters feel. Use lots of sensual details, smell, touch, taste. Reader doesn’t want to guess.
It’s always better to be in her point of view. Don’t shift POV in the middle of a sex scene.
Use a lot of emotion to give love scenes their power.
Use dialog during a love scene.

Pillow talk: remember blood doesn’t go to a man’s brain when it rushes elsewhere. So keep dialog lines short and sexy. Moans are not considered dialog!!! Use sense of humor and keep tenderness to the last chapter otherwise your story is over.
Keep sex language appropriate to time and characters.
Keep heat levels corresponding to your readers’ comfort. Trade paperback and ebooks allow sexier content than mass market in terms of language and erotic details.
Look at other books in the same genre to decide what you can get away with.
Happy Ever After: Readers want to know what it’s like to find HEA with a sexy hero. Capture that experience with passion and imagination.

Remember that your first paragraph sells your book and your last paragraph sells your next book.
{more details in A Guide To Write Erotic Romance by Angela Knights}
My new book Rx in Russian follows Angela Knights’s advice. It has a great sensual tension and a memorable love scene.

Release date April 11, 2011!!

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat.

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN winner of 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors and winner of 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite.
Rx FOR TRUST, winner of 2010 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite and 2011 EPICON.

It is Monday and I’m still reeling from the pictures and information I’ve received regarding the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan--the voices urging people to help, the worried lines marring brows, the vacant states of people still in shock at the devastation.

As a writer, I always try to write emotion that is true and touching. Looking at the recent faces of tragedy shown on television and captured in pictures in the newspapers, I’m not sure my words would be enough. One picture, in particular, caught my attention. A grandmother was hugging her granddaughter, weeping in relief and gratefulness. I have two granddaughters of my own and felt those emotions with her. There were many other faces caught in a touching moment.

My heart goes out to the people of Japan and those people from around the world who live and work there. As many of you writers know, Alesia Holliday is in Japan and is, thankfully, all right. Pam, is your daughter affected by this? So many people, such fright, so many tears.

Disasters like this remind me that we are, indeed, a community of nations --one world—and the faces of tragedy belong to us all.

Have you ever been caught in a disaster?

Musings on Spring

Posted by Scarlet Pumpernickel | 9:06 PM | 6 comments »

The weather is finally getting warm and the rain has gone for a few days. Makes me want to go outside and work in the yard
It is beginning to feel like Spring here in Georgia.

The weather is finally getting warm and the rain has gone for a few days. Makes me want to go outside and work in the yard.Makes me want to go outside and work in the yard.

Now don't get me wrong, I love a beautiful yard, it's just that yard work isn't my cup of tea.

My grandmother loved working in the yard. She would putter around her yard for hours on end. I, on the other hand, have to force myself to go out side to work in the yard.

Strutting around the yard putting on a bright display just isn't my thing. I'm much rather lounge around with a good book than climb a tree. Or take a nap to get my beauty sleep. Still, when spring rolls around I think of pretty flowers and time in the yard.

I am sorry to be late posting this. But, I just got back from the Hospice hospital.
Hospice is a support group for those who are dying. They have a Hospice hospital here in West Palm Beach and it's almost like a motel room. You can stay over, come in at any time, or even bring your ill relatives dog to visit.
My husband and I have been dealing with his very sick brother. He is not that old, but has really abused his body to the point where his liver is at end stage. Four days ago, they handed us the names of funeral homes, told us to straiten his affairs and say goodbye.
Then I told his 96 year old aunt he was dying. She said don't worry, I am gonna pray for him. Now I was raised Catholic and I believe in God, there has to be something that made our universe. Well at least in my mind, it had to start somewhere. But I never believed prayer helped other then to comfort the prayer. She told her gazillion kids who had masses said and added their prayers.
Every day we visited him and he was barely aware, if at all, of what was going on. He was bleeding internally and over the course of a few days they had given him close to 30 pints of blood. They said he would bleed out because the liver produces clotting factor and he had none. Chris cried, I have never seen him do that.before. Even if his brother did drugs he still loves him. I could tell you things he's done that would curl your hair.
Well yesterday he was sitting up and eating a burger and fries. Huh?? I thought he'd be dead. They said no one comes back from a place that far gone. He cannot move his legs and they don't know why. But he asked for chocolate and is calling us every ten minutes. They told us he was stable and wouldn't get any better, when he became conscious. They were gonna feed him through a tube. But sent him a tray and I fed him. Yesterday he was eating by himself.
Now my point is this. There has to be some power in prayer, because for him to come back from deaths door and eat is a miracle. And miracles must have something to do with a higher power in my mind. So I am rethinking the prayer thing. Heck I might even go to church soon. I could use some help. I think I'm gonna call his aunt and tell her to pray for me too!Something happened that gave him more time. He is still very ill and they feel he might die, but now they are not sure it will be right away and we will have to put him in a rehab place eventually. Who knows he might go home someday and I can give him back his beautiful German Shepherd dog. Two dogs that big is really hard on me. You just never know. Where is God? In your heart always if you believe...
Miracles do happen don't they?!?!


This exquisitely beautiful book came to my attention last summer in Black Mountain, North Carolina while my mother, daughter, and I were browsing a quaint used bookstore–a fitting book for a charming store.  Dated 1906, the journal spans the changing seasons with wonderful illustrations painted by the Edwardian Lady herself, Edith Holden.  The highly talented Edith weaves in quotes and poems fitting to the season or plant uppermost in her mind on any given day, as well as her thoughts and observations on the wildlife surrounding her home in the village of OltonWarwickshire, England.
Apparently Edith kept her journal hidden away and it wasn’t discovered for seventy years.  The diary was then published posthumously in 1977, the copyright date of the book I chanced upon.  I’m not sure the extremely private Edith would approve, but her lovely journal has been a blessing to many.
The Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady is a delight for gardener/ nature lovers, and anyone who appreciates beauty.  Her writing and illustrations are wonderful.
Of course, Amazon has some used copies available.  And the journal was the basis for atelevision series released in 1984.
Of the month of March she says, in part, she has many more pages on March:
“Gathered some of the young crimson catkins of the black poplar. The last few days have been very cold and dry with a keen north wind, and any quantity of March dust in evidence.  This morning I saw Frog spawn which had been brought in from a pond….
Cycled to Bushwood on a still, grey day with beautifully dry roads. March is going out like a lamb….the woods will be carpeted with primroses in a week or twos’ time, but I found quantities of primroses and sweet violets both blue and white on the banks of the fields and the roadsides.  
I found the first dog violet I have seen in blossom this year at the top of Dick’s Lane; the cowslips are only in bud yet, but everywhere the celandine made the ditches bright, and the strawberry leaved cinquefoil spangled the banks…I saw two robins’ and two blackbirds’ nests…and a number of sweet birds as I spun along between the hedges.   A tiny greenish grey bird flashed across the road, I thought for a minute it was a warbler, but as it emerged into sight again I saw it was a golden-crested wren.
…March has been a very cold month, but dry on the whole.  There were two or three bright genial days in the first week that were like a foretaste of summer.”
Of the many lovely quotes she includes is this one by Shakespeare:
“Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, And take the winds of March with beauty.”