Friday, July 31, 2020

And - - - We have a winner!

Kathy Boone Reel - Congratulations!

Kathy is the winner of the most recent "Carousels of Paris"  giveaway.

She chose a tote and a copy of the Trocadero Carousel photo.

They'll be on their way shortly

Thanks to all of you who played! 

Keep an eye on my webpage for more giveaways.

And if you're interested in receiving my newsletter announcing giveaways, please sign up here.

Stay well!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

John Lewis - February 21, 1940 - July 17, 2020

This is the opinion column JOHN LEWIS, civil rights leader and congressman, wrote for the NY Times, shortly before he died and requested it be published on the day of his funeral.

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.
When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Where Am I?

On a mountain in Meat Camp, North Carolina.

Sitting on the back deck enjoying all the green

and the quiet

and my pup

and my husband

And  I am grateful for my life

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
  - - - Mary Oliver

Thursday, July 23, 2020

life goes on. (and clothes shrink)

And so, I've been shopping . . . 

We rarely leave the house, but well - I've been shopping.


I haven't bought books in awhile.  Haven't really needed to because grants me an awful lot of wishes and I'm also lucky enough to have friends; reviewers, writers, publishers, who love me enough to send me books.  And I'm tickled and happy and grateful with my bounty.  And I know how very lucky I am.  But, I couldn't help it.  I went to my on-line "wish list," spotted a few books that have been there for awhile and I ordered them.  Yes, yes, I did.

Yoga pants.

Because I rarely leave the house and have been living in yoga pants, the ones I've been living in are beginning to look like they've been lived in for entirely too long.

Besides which, I think maybe they've shrunk.

Cute new teeshirts.

Because I rarely leave the house and have been living in teeshirts, the ones I've been living in are beginning to look like they've been lived in for entirely too long.

Besides which, I think maybe they've shrunk.

A new bra.

Because I rarely leave the house and have been living in yoga pants and teeshirts and no bra, I was surprised to discover when I put one on recently that it has (can you imagine?) apparently shrunk.  

The good news is that there were sales going on at some of my favorite on-line spots so everything was on sale (I am, after all, my mother's daughter).

On sale.  And very good sales.  20% off does not move me.  30% - nah.  40% - getting closer . . .    

On sale.  Oh how I love those words . . . 

And, oh yeah, the cute dress, and the adorable white linen tunic shirt?  On sale.

NO idea where I might be going that I plan on wearing that adorable new dress, but omg it spoke to me.  AND (did I mention) it was on sale?  Besides which, I'm thinking a lot of my cute dresses that are  hanging in my closet may have shrunk.

Shirts too, and blouses too.

Pants?  Oy . . . 

But, in my defense, I haven't spent much money since quarantining.  

Haven't had my hair cut since I do not even remember when. (I may look a lot like Crystal Gayle before I feel comfortable going to a hair salon again) 

Haven't had a manicure.

Or a pedicure.

And may never have another.

Haven't needed to buy make-up.  

Lovely to be married to a man who swears you don't need make-up to be beautiful at the same time he swears he hasn't noticed that so many of your clothes have apparently shrunk.  

In return I don't tease him too much about how he'll soon be sporting a ponytail.  (But never ever never a man bun.  Never).

Haven't bought any new shoes.  

OR boots!

LordAMercy, I hope I don't find out they've shrunk too!

Haven't traveled.

Haven't gone out for a nice dinner.

Haven't met friends for lunch.

Haven't gone to a movie.

The only concert we had planned for this year (Brooks & Dunn) has been postponed a year.  A whole year!!

Holy cow, if I keep this up I'll be able to rationalize a monster shopping spree!

But, the urge seems to have been quieted for now.  I think I'll be okay.

But if you want some hints on where you might be able to find some cute stuff on sale, don't forget that practically all your favorite on-line shopping places also have an outlet that's separate from their regular on-line store.  I have gotten some steals at on-line outlets.  My mother would be proud.

I hope you're all doing whatever you need to do to stay healthy in mind and body.  

Take care of yourselves!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Won't you wear a mask, please?

I wish I was in Paris,
but the lady doesn't want me.

Okay, so I've always wanted to visit Italy.
Nope, she's giving me the boot.

Greece?  I haven't seen you in years!
Oh, don't want to see me this year either I guess.

Australia!  My friends there will welcome me, surely.
Oh.  My mistake.

Barcelona!  I have longed to kneel at the altar of the genius of Gaudi.
Nope - Gaudi does not care.

Japan - no.  Algeria - stay away.  New Zealand - pfft. No.  Rwanda - Really?  NO??  South Korea - No.  Really?  Really.  No.  Morocco, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay?  You are kidding . . .  NO

Oh, Norway - Svalbard, Svalbard wants me to see her Northern Lights.
She doesn't?  Oh.  Not this year . . . 

Belgium tells me if I want some of her chocolate, I'm welcome to order on-line.

Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus - all shout "stay the hell away."

Have a beer in Germany?  Nope.  nopeNopenopeNope.

Denmark!  You're known to be one of the happiest places in the world, and honey - I am needing some happy . . .  oh.  

Estonia?  no.

Finland!  I hear you folks are even happier than Denmark.  Surely, you're willing to share some of that happiness with a . . . No.  You're not.  Actually, I understand.

Iceland?  no.

Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania - what do you say?

Places I've never cared to go don't even want me.

The Netherlands.  Love to join some of you in a "coffee house" for a cup of coffee and a smoke . . .  not interested??  But you guys have always been so friendly!

Liechtenstein - never mind.  I understand. And you sure don't need my money.

Malta?  Even though I'm not really sure exactly where you are?  No.  okay . . . 

Poland.  Romania.  Luxembourg.  Slovakia.  Slovenia.  Sweden.  Switzerland.  No no no no no and no.  Damn.

Canada, then.  Always nice to visit with a neighbor.  

The EU+ area—Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland—all agree.  

The (once)United States of America needs to stay home until they get their Corona Cooties under control.  

This is even worse than having head lice.

Even though the intelligent folks of the (once)United States of America are doing all the right things - social distancing, masks, and washing our hands.  (I said the "intelligent!")

The insane piggy man in the (once)United States of America's White House and his equally idiotic, not very smart, cohorts have convinced the not intelligent folks of this (once)United States of America that the Corona Cooties are politically aligned with a particular party.


They don't need no stupid masks!

They can dance under the light of the silvery moon with 100 or more of their best un-masked pals.

(oh, wait - probably not really a great idea after all - how many party animals have died from Corona Cooties in the (once)United States of America? )

Sadly that number is mixed right in with the deaths of smart people who were staying home or wearing masks and trying to the do the right thing.


You party animals (political or otherwise) brought those cooties home with you, or to work with you.

Or to church with you.

You gave them to your mom and your dad, your brothers and your sisters.

Your kids.

You stupid, stupid party (political or other) animal.

The EU+ area—Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerlandall agree that this is pretty stupid.  Pretty unbelievable, seeing as how well they've done in comparison to the (once)United States of America.

And so, until the (once)United States of America starts paying attention to Science instead of Political Party Fools, I guess we're all going to vacation at home.  Those of us still lucky enough to have homes (and that may not be for a whole lot longer).

'Cause it's all about the economy.

But - you know what? - that $1200 the guvment "gave" us didn't really go too far.

Howsomever (as my dad used to say), if  "you're one of 43,000 taxpayers, who earn more than $1 million annually, then you're all set to receive a $1.7 million windfall, on average, thanks to a provision buried in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act."  LUCKY YOU!

But you still can't go to Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland 'cause they think you have Corona Cooties too.  Poor you.

And, oh yeah, you can scratch Mexico off your vacation list.  They don't want us either.  And didn't even need to build a wall; oh the irony . . .

And as of today - Scratch The Bahamas.

Because some of you refuse to wear a mask.

And the rest of us?

We want to punch your maskless face in.

But right now we're trying to wrap our heads around the fact that some of you are missing the simple fact that you're likely to get very sick.  

And you might die.

And people who are very sick aren't going to be out shopping spending money or otherwise engaged in helping the economy.

And you sure as hell aren't going to be much help if you're dead.

But.  I wish you health and happiness and a chance to someday visit another country where you can open your eyes, your mind, and your heart and just possibly learn a few things.

In the meantime, won't you consider wearing a mask?

John Lewis - Rest in Peace, and in Power

If you worked in Downtown Atlanta in the late 60s, through the 70s, you more than likely caught a glimpse of John Lewis. 

If he was one of your heroes you might have worked up the courage to approach him to shake his hand. 

I did that when I saw him leaving a small restaurant off of Five Points behind what was then The Trust Company of Georgia, which is where I was working at the time.  

I couldn't think of a single thing to say, just shook his hand. 

He looked at me with wise gentle eyes and said, "it's all going to be all right. We're working, working hard." 

I nodded my head and fought back some tears. 

I don't remember the name of the restaurant, even though it was a place I'd go fairly often for a cup of coffee and a breakfast special, but I do remember the name of the woman who worked the counter; Ruby. 

When I walked in and sat down Ruby handed me a napkin to wipe my eyes, took my order and said, "John Lewis is a great man." 

I'm crying a little bit today for the loss of John Lewis and wondering about Ruby.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Carousels of Paris Giveaway - July Newsletter

Hello Everyone!
What a year, huh?!

If, like me, you're ready to have 2020 behind you  - - -  
Raise Your Hand!

I hope you're all doing well and staying healthy.
Donald and I, along with Annabelle, are sticking pretty close to home.  We're missing doing the things we might normally be doing, but since we're both homebodies at heart, home isn't a bad place to be.
In spite of being unable to visit bookstores to do signings, sales for Carousels of Paris have been healthy and we're very pleased.
If you have a copy, and if you're enjoying it, I hope you'll consider leaving a review somewhere.  At your favorite bookstore webpage, or Barnes & Noble, or Books A Million, or Amazon, Goodreads, or Facebook.  I would appreciate it, and am interested in hearing what you think.
If you don't have a copy, well - we can try to fix that!
If you’d like to win a copy of Carousels of Parisalong with a copy of a photograph from the book, please fill out the form on my contact page or send an email to info@kayewilkinsonbarley
Choose one of the three carousel photos posted on my webpage and tell me which one you’d like to receive if your name is the one I draw out of the magic pink Willie Nelson hat.
You can choose an 8 x 10″ or a 5 x 7″ (frame is not included).
If you already have a copy of the book, maybe you’d rather win this canvas tote (see my webpage!) along with a photo. of your choice
To be considered you must include your mailing address!
I’ll be drawing the winning name on July 31st and will announce the winner at my webpage on that day.
Thanks for playing and good luck!

Annabelle says "Hey!"
Kaye Wilkinson Barley
P.O. Box 1274, Boone
NC 28607 United States
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