Sunday, August 29, 2021

A new collage

 "Come in, come in! 

Have a baby . . . I mean a beer.  

Have a beer!"

Monday, August 16, 2021

Feeling let down by my community

 My annual Wellness Appointment is coming up so I went into town to have my blood work done ahead of time.  Loud and sincere applause for employees and patients at Greenway Medical Center who were 100% masked.  Thank you.

Stopped by and picked up my grocery order at Lowe's Foods.  While waiting curbside it appeared that employees coming and going were masked, but not all shoppers.

We don't really spend a lot of money for things other than necessities (like books!), but what we are buying now, more than ever, is being bought on-line.  

The Town of Boone has a mask mandate in force, but many in the business community don't appear to really care.  

Many shops, grocery stores, and restaurants have said they really can't enforce the mandate. 

I don't understand that.

 If some can, and DO, why can't the rest of them?  

Because they don't care.

Okay. Fine.

I will spend my money elsewhere, except for perishables from the grocery store, gas for our car and that sort of thing. 

Am I going to feel guilty?  No.  Sad maybe, but not guilty.

Why should I care, if they don't care?

Several things ordered recently include new jeans (for me and for Don), a few teeshirts, a new dress, new underwear, make-up, skin care products, vitamins, sun screen, new sheets, new towels, shampoo and conditioner, nail polish, some dahlias.  A few hundred dollars.

Not a huge amount of money, but money that would have been spent here if I felt like the community was pulling together and trying to do its share keeping its citizens, friends and neighbors healthy.

I know there will be some local folks who aren't going to like or agree with my little personal protest, but you know what?  I do not care.  Maybe what I'm doing actually shows more care, concern, and respect for your health, and your  children's health, than some of the businesses you're feeling loyal to.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

What to do while suffering from a book hangover . . .

 Stay busy!

I stayed up way later than usual last night (this morning) so I could finish the ARC a friend sent me.

The new Amor Towles.

I love Amor Towles' writing.

A Gentleman in Moscow is one of my all-time favorite books ever.  

I loved Rules of Civility.

I've been impatiently awaiting The Lincoln Highway.

it was worth the wait.

It's not going to be a book for everyone.  I can already imagine some of the comments and where they'll be coming from - and why.

'Sokay, not everyone likes livermush or scrapple either.

So today, after sleeping late, knowing the search for the next book needs to be put off for a little while as I recover from this latest book hangover I decided to start cleaning out some kitchen cupboards.

Nobody needs so many mugs.


We all seem to have a gracious plenty, don't we?

Gifted mugs.

Mugs we picked up on vacation.

And the travel mugs!!

Time for them to go.

Some will go to our booth at Antiques on Howard  Some into the trash.  Some set out at the corner of the neighborhood container site where people drop off  "take what you want" items.

(Noooo, not everything on this table is leaving . . .)

while I was washing the dust off these long-unused mugs, I spent some time doing what I often do.

 Dreaming of Paris.  

Wishing there might be a chance in the near future that Don Barley and I might be sitting in green chairs in a Paris garden having coffee and a croissant.  

Photo in Tuilleries Garden by Landen Kerr

But selfish ignorant anti-vaxxers are doing their best to make sure that doesn't happen while endangering the rest of us; including the children. 

 Being the people responsible for so many deaths, wow, what a way to make a point.  

A point of stupidity. 

For shame.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Sweet Little Long Summer Dresses


Retirement is great.

I truly love it.


I miss buying and wearing pretty clothes.

Leaving the house every day to go to work (or any where else) has never been something I wanted to do, or enjoyed doing.

Staying home most days suits me just fine.

But there's just no reason to get up and put on a cute little dress for hanging around the shanty.

And now, with a beach trip planned in a few weeks, I have a hankering for a cute new summer dress.

Looking at some of my favorite on-line shopping spots I have seen some adorable long dresses.

Summery, floaty, pretty little summer dresses.

But ooooh have I seen some ugly.

I know I should be very careful here - one girl's cute little summer dress is another girl's horror.

But I'm just going to say, that "Little House on the Prairie" look is this girl's horror.



Tiers and ruffles.  Smocking and ruching and frills and sleeves with holes in them.  

Sleeves gone wild - flutter sleeves, bell sleeves, ruffled sleeves, bishop, balloon, lantern, leg o' lamb sleeves.

I do love long swishy dresses.  I like thinking of myself sitting on the deck of our beach rental in a simple white maxi dress.  Feeling it skim my toes as I walk along the sand at the edge of the ocean.

The reality of me at the beach, however, is me in jeans and a Tshirt.

The reality of me not at the beach is usually my "uniform" of little black dress, a scarf, and a hat.  

Often with my favorite cape, and almost always with my camera.

The reality of me at home is yoga pants and a Tshirt.

But none of that stops me from dreaming of swanning around in pretty long flowy dresses.

Maybe I'll just treat myself to something for this upcoming beach trip.


Because I would look beyond ridiculous decked out in one of those fairytale dresses on the beach at Topsail Island, North Carolina, maybe something like this . . . 



those tiers . . . 

I do not want to look like Laura Ingalls Wilder lost on the beach searching for Pa.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Revisiting New Orleans Bouchercon 2016

Sadly, one of the mystery community's favorite events is in danger of being missed by many this year.

Last year's Bouchercon in Sacramento was cancelled due to COVID, although many events were handled via Zoom.

This year's event has not been cancelled, but the rates of infection from the new COVID Delta variant is causing many, with fair reason, to rethink their plans about attending.

I love Bouchercon.

And I love New Orleans.

Being in New Orleans in 2016 for Bouchercon was one of the most fun cons ever. 

Heather Graham, Connie Perry and their entire crew did an amazing job, and set the bar extraordinarily high for future events.  Events including this year's B'con, again being coordinated by Heather and Connie and an amazing group of volunteers.

 I have tons of 2016 memories and TONS of photos.

One very personal memory that I will be awfully proud of for a lifetime is having a short story included in the 2016 New Orleans Bouchercon Anthology, Blood on the Bayou, edited by Greg Herren.

If you don't have a copy of this Anthony Award winning anthology - Why NOT?

A few of the authors included are David Morrell, Alison Gaylin, Gary Phillips, Elaine Viets.

My story is about Marie LaVeau.  A woman I've been fascinated with for a long time.  

Visit my webpage to find yourself a copy of Blood on the Bayou, and read my entry, Voodoo at the Jitterbug -

It seemed only fitting that I pay a visit to Madame LaVeau while I was in New Orleans so I could thank her for her inspiration.

For those of you who are sad to miss Bouchercon in New Orleans this year, maybe seeing pictures from Bouchercon in New Orleans circa 2016 will bring back some fond memories.


Laissez les bon temps roulez!