Sunday, July 30, 2017

Reading to Annabelle

Annabelle enjoys being read to, and always enjoys a good book.  But, her brother's book remains her favorite.

p.s. - we're raising her to be a Democrat. 

and an activist.

and a lover of classic rock . . . 



Friday, July 28, 2017

Time to take back OUR country

Usually when I see tears, I shed some tears of my own. 

It doesn't matter if I know the person crying or not. 

I might see a stranger in an airport crying - who knows why - and I'll have tears rolling down my face. 

I've been known to cry during Coke, McDonald's and Hallmark commercials on TV. 

I cry when I'm hurt, I cry harder when I'm angry. 

But I did not cry when I saw those big alligator tears of Mitch McConnell's. 

The man has no true heart, so I wasn't the least bit concerned it might be breaking. 

His only goal, as well as most of the Congressional Republicans, has been to wreck anything and everything President Barack Obama did FOR this country. 

To continue their governance by obstructionism that they embraced during Obama's presidency. 

This new administration, led by a crazy, uninformed, mean idiot of a human being, does not give one whit about you or me. 

These people are doing well for themselves at our expense. 

They're paid well for doing not much. 

Their retirement is secure. 

They, and their families, won't ever have to worry about the possibility of losing their homes because of an illness that will leave them bankrupt. 

If you think this can't happen, enjoy your stay in Never Never Land. 

Is it too much to hope that perhaps now the people who were elected (maybe) to represent this country will get over seeing their Republicans versus Democrats as a sport?

 Perhaps get over their pissing contest and actually start doing the work they're honor bound (maybe) to do? 

Is it too much to hope that those who insist on continuing the ol' party line before country will get voted out of office and replaced by true statesmen and women who want to live in a country they're proud to serve? 

I hope not, and I pledge to help make that happen. 

I want to see more women like the strong and brave women, Democrat AND Republican, who have stood tough and strong and have shown us what it means to be an elected official of the United States. 

I want to see more women like The Notorious RBG on the Supreme Court, and on every other court of this land. 

I want to see the people who have turned The White House into some trashy parody of itself OUT. And in a lot of cases - in prison where they belong. 

And no, I don't feel the teeniest bit sorry sorry for any of them - they're all just trash. 

Liars and power hungry sycophants. 

The lack of truth,honesty, ethics, empathy and patriotism in our own government is turning us into a banana republic now being laughed at around the world. 

And some areas of this country don't look any better than some Third World Countries. 

Look at health ranking compared to other countries - it's shameful. 

Look at our country-wide level of poverty compared to other countries. 

Hell, just hop on a train in Europe and then hop on a train in the United States to see how far we've fallen. 


It's OUR country. 

Time to bring jobs back. 

We should not have homeless veterans living on the streets. 

We should not have homeless women sleeping in their cars with their kids. 

We should not have working people working 3 or more jobs to make ends meet because companies like WalMart won't pay a living wage, or give their employees enough hours to claim benefits. 


It is way past time to fix the roads and bridges before we all end up disappearing into some huge sinkhole on our way to work some morning. 

Time to speak out LOUDLY against the bigotry.

Children aren't born knowing hate. 

Sadly, there are parents who find it to be a badge of honor to teach their babies to hate people who are different. 

I wish I knew how to make it stop. 

God, how I wish I knew how to make it stop. 

But I do know this; together good people can take this country back from the corrupt. 

It's not going to be easy, but it IS possible. 

Get rid of the special interest groups who line the pockets. 

Get big money out of our government.

Get rid of gerrymandering.

Keep doing the things YOU do to help - march, make phone calls, write letters, sign petitions, send emails and faxes and do not let anyone tell you it's not doing any good. Bull Shit. 

WRITE WRITE WRITE. The pen is STILL a mighty weapon. Use it. 

If I sound naive and idealistic, oh well, whatever it takes to keep me moving, keep me fighting, keep me working and keep me hopeful. 

Time to take our country back. 

And oh yeah, don't forget to vote. 

Vote in every grassroots election you're eligible to vote in. 

Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 

Believe it.

Today is National Milk Chocolate Day

I'd like to offer John McCain (Arizona), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Susan Collins (Maine) a kiss to celebrate the occasion.

And, for doing the right thing.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Completely inappropriate, unacceptable speech to The Boy Scouts of America

I was horrified by Trump's actions yesterday. 

Manipulation of young peoples' thoughts - where's it happened previously? And what was the outcome? I don't think I'm being an alarmist in comparing his actions yesterday with Hitler youth camps. No one thought that was possible either.

If you found Trump's speech to The Boy Scouts of America as horrific as I did, join me in writing to share your concerns: 

Mr. Michael Surbaugh 
Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America 
1325 W Walnut Hill Ln.
Irving, TX 75038



Friday, July 21, 2017

The Women's March Six Months Later

July 21st is the 6th month anniversary of the largest mass mobilization in the history of the world, The Women’s March. To honor this day The Resistance Revival Chorus took over Times Square to sing songs of protest. With thousands of tourists looking on, unsure what was happening, the Chorus aimed to inspire people to action and to keep fighting in the Resistance.

I was in DC 6 months ago, today. 

Along with other Boone, NC friends - some of whom I did not know until that day - Pat TaylorAmber Dollyhigh-KwongTodd CarterMelissa WeddellErin Bell Dickson (who'd I miss?!), and a pocket full of paper with friends' names who were marching right along with me.

It was a day I will be proud of forever.

And I'm especially proud that it's a march that keeps growing in what it's accomplishing.

It was no "One Day March."

It was an important kick-off to a movement against the things that need to change in this country.

And change, they will.

Not overnight, but we're in it for the long haul.

There are things being done every single day.  

If you haven't already, put this webpage on your daily "to do" list -

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sigrid Harald news and Margaret Maron Launch

Are you a Margaret Maron fan?  I'm betting the answer is "YES!"

Have you read her Sigrid Harald series?

I'm guessing many of you have, but if you haven't, the first in the series, "One Coffee With" is available for $0.99 (electronic version) at amazon:

(the following piece about Margaret's launch of the newest (and final) Sigrid Harald novel was originally posted at Jungle Red Writers)

It's always fun to get together with Margaret & Joe Maron, and we always look forward to attending one of Margaret's launches when we're able.

We weren't about to miss the launch for what she says is her last novel, "Take Out."

We met Margaret and Joe, Bren Bonner Witchger, Katy Munger, and Sarah & Steve Shaber for dinner beforehand.

Then walked just a few steps to the new Quail Ridge Books where, as always, a standing room only crowd got to enjoy a fun evening with one of their hometown favorites.

Introduced by store manager, Sarah Goddin

We were treated to a gentle roast (Joe Maron said perhaps it should be referred to as a "braise") of Ms. Maron by three of her friends and writing group.

Katie Munger

And then, champagne was passed around

and a toast was made.

And then we listened to Margaret.

She told a few stories, and did a reading from "Take Out."

She made us laugh a little, and she made us cry just a little too.

She told a story about her very first reading at Quail Ridge for her first novel.  

Margaret and Joe, and son John showed up to a crowd of two.  Nancy Olson - then owner/manager of Quail Ridge and one bookstore employee.

Hard to believe, huh?

Her books now total 33, I think, including two collections of short stories, and her signing events draw several hundred people.

After speaking, she signed books.

A lot of books.

And almost every single person in the long line had a connection to Margaret.

Either a very personal connection, or one developed through a love of her work.

And Margaret, always gracious, always kind, always generous and always happy to see her readers, spent a little time chatting with each and every one.

And she always has time for a fan who wants a picture.

I can't say enough about Margaret Maron.

I adore her.

She's an MWA Grand Master, winner of several major American awards for mysteries (Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity), her works are on the reading lists of various courses in contemporary Southern literature and have been translated into 16 languages. She has served as president of Sisters in Crime, the American Crime Writers League, and Mystery Writers of America.

In 2004, she received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for best North Carolina novel of the year. In 2008, she was honored with the North Carolina Award for Literature. (The North Carolina Award is the state’s highest civilian honor.) In 2013, she was named a Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America for lifetime achievement. In 2016, she was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

And Don Barley caught a few very good shots, as usual.  

 he even managed to catch a shot or two of my new shoes!

Steve and Sarah Shaber are a delight!

And here's the Maron family - 

Joe with son John & his wife Andrea, and daughters Julia and Natalie, joined by friend Viktor Agabekov

And to top off a special night, it was made even more special for me to get to spend a little time visiting with friends.

Doreen Weaton

Karen Kiley

and Prentiss Garner

They all seemed a wee bit disappointed not to meet Annabelle, however.

So, here she is . . . 

This was my first visit to the new Quail Ridge. 

It is gorgeous!

I'm going to make a special trip back to Raleigh just to spend an entire day browsing the shelves.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

"oh, Kaye!"

First Sunday of the month  -  Yay!

My day to play as "Oh, Kaye!"

I'm at Jungle Red - - chatting about what a fun evening we had at Margaret Maron's launch at Quail Ridge Books this past week.

I hope you'll pop over to say "Hey!"