Sunday, May 30, 2021

Memorial Day

                                                      Of all the nasty things to happen! 

I have a toothache and it's over a long weekend so I am popping tylenol and hoping I can keep it under control until I can call the dentist on Tuesday! 

It's Memorial Day Weekend and a time for us to remember those who lost their lives so that we can be free. So many wars, so many losses. I've lost count of how many wars that have happened in my lifetime. Far too many, I can tell you that. 

I posted chapter two of "Summertime In Magnolia" this morning, in case you are reading this sequel to Springtime In Magnolia. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Disrespectful Attendees

 I was so looking forward to a concert held here in the courtyard yesterday afternoon. We had Billy Mitchell singing the oldies and it was really good. 

True we were all sitting around tables in the courtyard so it was a very informal affair. But, it was a concert and I got so disgusted at all the talking going on during the songs. To begin with I had two ladies talking non-stop on my right. After awhile a friend joined another friend on my left and they didn't stop talking. It was so distracting and so disrespectful to the performer. 

If we'd been in a concert hall, everybody would have been quiet... Guess the out-of-doors cut their tongues loose. 

I finally got up and left. My find my patience wears thin more quickly that it once did. Just don't have enough time left in my life to put up with crap. 

I guess I've griped enough. Got that off my chest!! 😅

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Mountains In The Morning

I don't know why but it takes me days, and I mean DAYS, to get over a trip. 

Couldn't be my age!! 😁

It's been a slow go... I got home Thursday afternoon late. It took two days before I even touched the suitcase to unpack it. But, finally I got up the energy to get my hair cut today! Boy, did it need it!!!!

I took this picture on the way home. Posted it on facebook with the caption 'Mountains In the Morning' and commented that I thought it should be a country song.

                                         Well, guess what! it is.


I do love the mountains. There's something so majestic about them. With the swipe of His hand, God placed them there for us to enjoy. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Announcement - Sequel to "Springtime In Magnolia"


I have an announcement to make. 

I once wrote a novel, "Springtime In Magnolia"

Publication date for that novel was 2014.

People who had read my novel started asking me when the sequel was coming out.

                               Writing a book is no easy task. Publishing takes time and effort. 
Marketing it yourself is a nightmare. 

I had several chapters already written but I didn't want to go through all that bother to get it ready for sale.

And, then I came up with a plan.

Beginning Sunday May 23rd the sequel will be posted (for free) on

Each Sunday a new chapter will be posted HERE

So, if you have read "Springtime In Magnolia" and enjoyed it

The next book "Summertime in Magnolia" will be available to begin reading Sunday! Hope you enjoy it. 

If you would like to read the first novel it is available on Amazon. 

Birds of a Feather Stick Together

 I'm home again after being at my son's for three weeks. Being in my own bed was so comforting and also unsettling at the same time. I got used to the surroundings at my son's, this seemed a bit odd to me. As I lay in bed, the door was in the wrong place, my bed faced west not east, and in the dead of night... where is the bathroom. I soon adjusted!! 

I enjoyed sitting on my son's patio watching the birds and listening to a lone mockingbird who kept the music going non-stop. Here are some pictures from that peaceful time.

A robin on the roof.

Mr. Mockingbird

A Chipping Sparrow that has a pigment disorder (thus the white feathers)

A Pretty Cardinal

Another Cardinal

The Mocking Bird that kept me entertained.

A Woodpecker loved the suet blocks

Ya'll have a nice day, now. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Lunch at the Rattlesnake Saloon!

 I do love a good adventure! 

My son, Michael, invited me to have lunch with him at the Rattlesnake Saloon. It was an hour and a half drive from his house and we were starved by the time we got there.

At the entrance you hop into the back of a big, white pickup truck. The side benches hold about 10 people. I chose to ride 'up front'... thought it best for these old bones! 

We headed down this narrow dirt road (and I do mean DOWN), trees surrounding us and at the bottom of that hill was a huge bluff. An oudoor cafe and saloon sat underneath that bluff. (actually the saloon is inside that little wooden building)

Their menu features sandwiches (burgers, hotdogs etc) and the ones we ordered were very good. The Key Lime Pie was amazing! Beside the good food, it's the atmosphere that pulls you in...

Michael and I sat at the table under the edge of that bluff, the cool air relaxing us, nature embracing us. He got a burger so thick that he had trouble getting it in his mouth to chomp off a bite. My chicken salad was very good and was on a hogie bun (Extra mayo available, if you need it and I did, since I absolutely LOVE mayo.)

I don't know when I have had such an usual, delightful lunch. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. 

Oh, the saloon is miles out in the boonies... You'd think no one would show up or even find it. Nope. That place was hopping, the taxi truck making that trip up and down the hill constantly bringing hungry folks down to eat... and they have a lodge top-side with walking and horse trails, chuckwagon races, horse races etc.

It's been featured on several tv shows, has served folks from all 50 states and 30 countries. It's nothing to have anywhere from 1,500-2,000 people there on a Saturday. There is live music on the weekends. It's the place to be. 

                              And, I was there!

Monday, May 10, 2021

Jalepenos for Mother's Day


This is funny! 

I am at my son's in Alabama so one of my daughters says for me to look for a delivery around noon on Mother's Day. 

I expected flowers and sure enough there was a dozen beautiful roses

More gifts? I open the next bag. It's a German Chocolate Cake! my favorite.... and another bag held two boxes of candy. One was Godiva and the other was Lindtl asst. pralines

This is just too much! But, wait, there is another bag.

I peer down in the plastic and see large dark green jalepenos ... seven of them. What the dickens?

I call my daughter to thank her for all the goodies, including the jalepenos

She didn't order any jalepenos. Not for Mother's Day, for gosh sakes, 

Now, we are wondering what poor soul is missing 7 jalepenos in an order they placed (and it got put in hers instead)

And, we have laughed and laughed at the SURPRISE gift. I hope I get a goofy surprise like that every Mother's Day. Laughter is great for your soul. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

Decoration Day in the Old South

 Cemeteries in the south have a 'Decoration Day', held not always on the same Sunday. The cemetery where my Mom and Dad are buried, (also my brother, infant son and lots of relatives) chose the 2nd Sunday in May for the day to decorate the graves. 

In years past, Decoration Day was a big deal, probably the most anticipated day all year except for Christmas. You bought new clothes, you got all dressed up, everyone was at the cemetery. Church would be held in the morning, baskets full of fried chicken, green beans, potato salad, chicken dumplings, etc, etc, etc. was spread out on a large table under the trees and you just helped yourself. The afternoon was spent with singing hymns. It was a grand time.

Now, all of that is gone except for the people who go (whenever they have time), place flowers on the graves and leave. A part of the old South is gone.

My son and I bought flowers and on Wednesday we drove from his home about 60 miles from the cemetery to where our loved ones are buried. We decorated the tombs, walked around a bit, looking at old tombs, being surprised at brand new graves. 

I just got this huge lump in my middle. I now live nearly 800 miles away. I am getting on up there in age. This would probably be the last trip I could make to pay my respects. My Dad was killed by lightning just before I was born. I never knew him but the ache of loss has always been with me. My Mom, the woman who struggled during the depression to make sure me and my older sister had a good life. My baby son, born into this world with problems he could not overcome. They were all here.. in this ground, their tombs marking the sites. I wouldn't see that again... It was an emotional moment for me.  

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

 First of all, let me thank you for all the sweet and understanding words on my previous post about my Grandson's autism and the trials they go through. 

Owen had been transitioned into a residential home since his 21st birthday. But, then Covid hit and first place to be totally shut down was the town of New Rochelle, New York due to the high levels of covid affected people. His house was completely closed and he came home to stay with the family during the pandemic. He has increasingly gotten worse, at times unmanageable and seemingly no outside help available. He's 6'5" tall so he can be more than a handful.

Things are moving slowly toward Susan having maybe a couple/three hours twice or three times a week now. So, there's a wee, wee light at the end of the tunnel but the solution, of course, is to find another residential home. 

Now on another note. 

My sister is 96, living in a senior independent apartment where they do assist them with activities and prepare their meals. They keep those seniors busy. Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and they had a celebration. Here's a picture of my sister.


Here is my son and I having a marguerita, salsa and chips out on his deck to celebrate.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Real Struggles of Autism

 Today is my youngest daughter's birthday. I haven't gotten to be with her for a year and a half, mostly because of Covid but also, because she is going through the most trying time of her life right now. Her middle son, Owen, was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months. He is now 27 years old. As the years progressed so did his behaviors. 

Noone, not even those who are close to them, know the struggles she and the entire family faces 27/7. Even going to the grocers or keeping a doctors appt is a huge deal. I was very taken by a post she did on Instragram and would like to share it with you. It wasn't done for pity or people to say 'oh, you poor thing' but to bring awareness to Autism.

There are so many spectrums of Autism and so many levels of behavior. Mostly in the news one hears about the kid who is autistic who ends up going to college. Or even gets a job, has a career. The success stories. There are no success stories in the Murray household. Success, to them, is one or two hours where things are fairly quiet. 

So, here's Susans post:

Today marks the last day of April’s Autism Awareness Month so I thought I’d share with you what most people experience with autism when they see their friends/neighbors out and about with their child who has autism. They often see the more calm moments that led us to actually be in public. I know for us we have had the struggle of a lifetime this past year and it’s had its dramatic ups and downs. I post pictures of Owen smiling. I’m not posting about the behavioral issues, the physical struggles, the ER visits that lead nowhere. The self injurious behaviors that are new... the holes in our walls that we have had to repair from those unimaginable moments. Everyone has been stressed beyond reasonable limits daily just to try to hold on to wherever normalcy they can. My other children have stopped their needs for his & done work & homework through severe times.
Life has focused almost entirely on Owen and getting him more stable and finding a new best support & home again. With well trained staff. I share this not for sympathy but Awareness. Autism awareness is more than a blue puzzle piece or light... it’s about the reality of everyone’s experience with autism. Owen & so many others need care 24/7.... there aren’t off times. This is the reality for so many families out there but you don’t realize it unless you live it. I’m not sure what lies ahead right now...I pray a lot for him. To save him from his struggles. My heart breaks a thousand times a day. Guess it always will. This awareness month has come & gone. So much is needed still... services, training, understanding, acceptance....the list is far too long. Im so proud of my children for stepping up in ways they should have never had to!! I am so proud of Owen for doing the best that he can in these trying times. He has had it harder than the rest of us and I hope he knows we will do whatever we can to make his life the best we can!!
I’m forever grateful for my family and my sweet supportive friends. You all have been my rays of hope and sunshine. I count my blessings every single day.

I just ask that you please keep this family is your prayers. Like Susan said, my heart breaks a thousand times a day. 

A Robin

“If I can stop one heart from breaking

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.”
                         ― Emily Dickinson

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Wildflowers in Bloom

 I used to have a wildflower identification book!

Gee, I wonder where it went? Like a lot in my life, it just disappeared over the years.

I remember once, back in the late '80s, my husband and I took a less used road traveling through North Carolina, iding wildflowers along the way. That's when I had that book.

So.... no book but lordy mercy, who needs a book when they have google!!

On my and Michael's travels this time we identified some flowers that I had often wondered about. 

First was the yellow flower, tall on a thin stem, that looked like a dandelion. Dandelions don't grow on tall stems. So, what was it?

Michael pulled over and broke a blossom off for me while I got a couple snaps from my car seat. Those two look so much alike but this is a dandelion.

low to the ground with jagged leaves


here is the Meadow Hawkweed

on a long stem. The leaves are long and skinny. 

We also found out that a tree with purple blossoms blooming alongside the road ... no leaves yet... was a Purple Robe Black Locust. 

I hope I did not bore you to death with that. I just love learning new things. How many of you already knew that the yellow flower was a Meadow Hawkweed? 

Oh, and just look at the back row of petals on that blossom.
the rest of the petals are yellow but that back row is greenish/brown. So pretty when the sunlight shines through it.