8 Feb, 2017

I Love You Because…

February 8th, 2017|

I stated my intention to blog about my "Year of Love" every week in 2017 but, obviously, I am already falling short of that goal.  Book writing has been getting in the way of blogging recently. But I can tell you that, in spite of my absence from the blogosphere,  I have been sticking with my goal of searching for ways to live out my word of the year - Love - every day. I am learning a lot from this experience and, I believe, changing in some good ways. Probably you have heard of "love languages," the ways in which people feel most comfortable in expressing love.  Love languages aren't the same for everyone. For example, my strongest love language is gifts. I give gifts

26 Jan, 2017

Target Practice

January 26th, 2017|

I made the decision to choose "Love" as my word of the year for 2017 in the last part of 2016. Since the holidays were coming, I decided that my first attempt to put my intention into practice would be to literally "love my neighbor" by giving every resident on the floor of our apartment building a Christmas gift. I've lived in apartments before so I am aware that you don't always experience the same sense of community in an apartment that you do when you're living in a neighborhood. Some of that is due to the temporary nature of apartment living - people come and go so quickly. Still, though I do sometimes chat with people in the elevator (especially if they have a

12 Jan, 2017

My Word for 2017

January 12th, 2017|

As the calendar turns to a new year, it is impossible not to see that this is a strange time in the United States.  We've faced challenges before and will again but I can't ever recall a time when we were so divided as a nation.  Now, there's nothing wrong with citizens holding differing opinions and viewpoints. The ability and right to engage in a lively civil discourse has traditionally been one of our strengths. But lately, it seems to me that the "civil" part has been missing from our discourse. That really, really bothers me. It's actually kept me awake nights and even had me reaching for the phone to call my favorite pastor for advice. (By the way, my favorite pastor also happens

23 Nov, 2016

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2016|

Dear Friends, With the holidays upon us, I've been thinking about one of my favorite Thanksgivings past, the year when all my sons and my beautiful daughters-in-love were home for the holiday and every bedroom of our big house in Connecticut was filled with the people I love most. I went all out to create a fun-filled Thanksgiving that year, dubbing the weekend “Turkapalooza!,” preparing all my family’s holiday favorites for dinner, and creating a special slate of activities and outings. Some of my plans were received more enthusiastically than others. The guys didn’t enjoy the craft activity quite as much as the girls did, and it’s hard to go tubing when there’s no snow. But game night was a hit, and the turkey and trimmings

10 Aug, 2016

The Great Portland Donut War

August 10th, 2016|

When I moved to Connecticut in 2000, I wasn't a big consumer of donuts.  Donuts just weren't much of a thing in the Pacific Northwest, where I grew up. However, in New England, where people measure the distance between towns in the number of Dunkin's along the route, donuts are most definitely a thing. Makes sense. You need to pack in a few extra carbs to survive those frigid winter storms. But Oregon has a more temperate climate so I've been surprised to discover that, in the years of my absence, donuts have not only become a thing but kind of an obsession. Residents of Portland have very, very strong opinions when it comes to where to nab the best donuts and are willing to stand

2 Aug, 2016

Fitbit, You’re Fired.

August 2nd, 2016|

I hate my Fitbit. My Fitbit is a habitual liar. I am visiting with my mom, The Sage, for a couple of weeks and getting up early every morning to go on a long walk. There is a 1.6 mile walking trail near her house. I go up the trail and back every day. This should be 3.2 miles. Forget "should be", it IS. Three Point Two Miles. Smart people with those measurey wheely thingys measured it when they laid it out. That's their job. These are professionals.   My Fitbit consistently under measures the distance, often by more than half a mile. I have adjusted my stride length in my profile twice and it still under measures it. Today, I decided to get a

17 May, 2016

The Sap Gene

May 17th, 2016|

If you've read my Too Much, Texas novels, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND TEXAS and FROM HERE TO HOME, you already know that the women in Mary Dell Templeton's family suffer from The Fatal Flaw - an unfortunate tendency for these otherwise sensible women to, "at some point, and sometimes at many points, allow lust and biology to trump morality and reason". As you might imagine, this is a weakness that causes the Tudmore-Templeton women no end of trouble and drama. A reader who just finished those books, Nancy Gruenhagen, just wrote to me with a little story about her own family's "Fatal Flaw" - something they call The Sap Gene. Though the consequences of this condition aren't quite as dire as those that Mary Dell and

11 Mar, 2016

Role Models and Mentors

March 11th, 2016|

My new release, FROM HERE TO HOME (3/29/16) features two very different heroines. Mary Dell Templeton is the 60-something host of a long-running quilting show that has suffered a recent ratings slip. Holly Silva is her 20-something co-host, an ambitious young woman who knows nothing about quilting but whose career hinges on outshining Mary Dell in order to earn her own show. In these circumstances, how could Mary Dell and Holly fail to become adversaries, which is just what an unscrupulous network executive hopes will happen? How? By becoming comrades instead competitors. Here's an excerpt from chapter 21... "Mary Dell sat down at one of the tables, motioned for Holly to take the second chair, and then swiveled in her seat so she could face her young

15 Dec, 2015

Never Too Late To Begin

December 15th, 2015|

If you’ve had a chance to read my most recent newsletter, you know that my husband and I are crossing the Atlantic on a wonderful cruise that we chose especially because it has a ballroom dancing theme. We’ve wanted to learn to dance for years but because of our complicated and sometimes conflicting travel schedules, we’re never together for a long enough stretch of time to take classes. A week at sea with multiple bands and daily dance classes seemed like the perfect way to fulfill that longtime wish. We’re having a great time. I’m so happy to be able to write every day and still have time to take part in the activities. A transatlantic cruise turns out to be a great place to

3 Dec, 2015

Big Stitch Hand Quilting

December 3rd, 2015|

  It's been a long time since I did any serious hand-quilting, but this tutorial from Rebecca Mae Designs has me thinking it might be time to take it up again. I've already got a big collection of pearle cotton thread that I use for crazy quilting. It would be fun to put it to use for colorful "big-stitch" quilting on some of my smaller pieces.