October 9, 2018

Addition to the Fleet

Graciousmobile II
     Gotcha. No, I'm not writing about our U.S. Navy ships, manned by dedicated Americans. I'm writing about my Graciousmobile II. And this is the short version:
     It was a blisteringly hot day in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.  My original Graciousmobile I, a 2005 silver Chrysler PT Cruiser, was loaded with dog, husband, luggage and granddaughter Ava. The purpose of our trip was to safely return the small child into the waiting arms of her loving parents after a week's worth of hardcore wackiness at our annual Grammy Camp. So, there we were, gas tank full, dog secured in her own personal puppy seat with us all buckled in and the key in the ignition. 
    "Grammy, I'm hot," came Ava's sweet voice from the back, as she pressed her little self into the door, keeping her distance from the sometimes irritable rescued Chihuahua, Abby, with whom she shared the back seat.
     "Hang on, baby girl.  I'm firing up the Cruiser right now.  I turned the key and the engine whirled the way an engine should.  "Crank the windows down and let the heat out till the air conditioning catches up," I directed all, backing us out of the driveway.  That's when I saw Abby's face in my rear view mirror. She was panting and, far too hard, to take a trip to the corner let alone a trip several hours away.  The AC had conked out.  What a time for this to happen. We were on a deadline because Ava had to get home. As an aside:  I had recently taken the elderly Graciousmobile I to the garage to have the AC repaired.  They couldn't find the leak, so put some sort of stop-leak somewhere under the hood.  The mechanic told me it should stay cool long enough to carry us through the summer and well into the fall. He was wrong. 
     Now I could have stood the drive with all the windows down.  Bruce could have, too, but not the small child and certainly not the semi-sweet dog.  So, straight away, we went to the only rental car company on the island, picked up a white car and got Ava home on schedule. 
     A white car?  What kind, you might wonder.  I can't tell you because I don't care about cars, so much so, I don't even remember what brand it was.  I have never had any interest in cars and that is a big part of why I dragged my feet for such a long time when it came to buying another vehicle.  I needed a sign, something to force me to go car shopping.  No air conditioning in the summer was that sign. So, as long as there is a radio and a working air conditioner, I'll drive anything.  It would follow that I don't watch car commercials either. I will admit I do recognize a Jeep, a truck, a bus, a convertible, a station wagon,  a Model T or similar vehicles, a bread truck, a dump truck and a Jaguar.  A Jaguar has round front fenders.  Did James Bond drive one of those?  Oh, and an old Mustang and a '57 Chevy.
     Okay, where do I begin? Fact #1: A new car had to fit inside our one car garage with enough room for me to still exit the vehicle. Fact #2: It needs as much cargo room as my PT Cruiser.      (Bruce went car shopping 11 years ago with my five-foot book rack in hand. The Cruiser  was the only car that would hold my rack.)
      I was on a quest and Google was my friend. I filled three single-spaced legal pad sheets of paper with stats of cross-over/small SUVs, I think they were called. I had no idea how many kinds and styles there were. I was truly shocked.  My four columns per page were  Name/Brand, Width/Length, Cargo Space and Mileage. The winner was this 2019 Honda Fit! (The 2019 was less money than a 2018. Go figure!) It comfortably fits in the garage, gets 33 miles per hour in the city and 40 on the highway and the seats lay down. While the cargo space is less, it's as big inside as I could find. The final plus for me is the brilliant bright red of the machine. The newest Graciousmobile II needs to stand out and show off her Goodbye Lie series signs and, by jingo, she certainly does. I love her! 

P.S. Sometime I'll have to tell you about the time I followed my son-in-law's car. The family is still raggin' me over that one. 

September 30, 2018

She's Got the Book

     It was another of those toasty days in Florida. As
Janet Marie and Jane Marie
 you looked down the road, everything seemed to be in a white haze because of the heat and humidity. That didn't stop me from making new friends on vacation, as I signed books in front of Sea Jade's on Centre Street, Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island.  This old Florida style souvenir shop is welcoming and I try to be that way, too. The common denominator of our enjoyment is historical fiction, and my writing, as such, always creates interesting conversations. New friends are just plain wonderful! 

September 18, 2018

Back Cover Blurb from Amela Island/s Velvet Undertow

in Ebook and Paperback



The Goodbye Lie series

“Where Little House on the Prairie meets
Gone With the Wind”




     Witnessing the unthinkable, Carolena Dunnigan’s secure life on Amelia Island, at the edge of the world, turns to ashes. Determined to save her siblings, she flees to Charleston, South Carolina for work. Entanglement with a world-famous conductor, plus ghastly revelations, drive her to Pennsylvania and the horrific Johnstown Flood of 1889. It washes away secrets of the past, but who will survive to claim love?




Review: I like how you extensively describe Johnstown [PA] that day, in the hours before the breaking of the dam. That the city was already such a mess is often forgotten in the drama. … [After the flood of 1887], we suspect that morning [of May 31, 1889] was like [this], only a bit worse.  –Douglas J Richardson, Park Ranger, Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS, Johnstown Flood NMem, Southfork, PA




Known to her fans as Gracious Jane Marie of GraciousJaneMarie.com, author Jane Marie Malcolm celebrates HEART and HOME every day with Roses, Recipes and Romance.  She is the creator of Martha Bear’s world, spokesbear for this blog, and continues work on future novels and short delights to entice, puzzle, and surprise her loyal legion of readers.

*******
The Goodbye Lie Series, featuring Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow is available here HERE

September 12, 2018

True Love Bites

     After I drafted this post, I thought how some might find the title deceptive.  No. I will not trash the concept of true love, this or any day.  After all, I write historical romantic suspense novels set in paradise, don't I?
     Rather, I mean to show the depth of love my husband, Bruce, has for me.  You see, after I slathered the last of the raspberry jelly on one slice of his morning toast, I opened a fresh store-bought jar of the same flavor.  That's when I compared labels.  One was full tilt, meaning lots of sugar added.  The other had no extra sugar added.  I was curious to see the difference in flavor between them.  Since there was no more in the one jar, the only way to taste them both was to take bites of Bruce's toast slices.  I went so far as to ask his permission, although he would have probably taken notice of the rounded chunks missing from each and inquired.  Well, with no hesitation, my sweet man granted my wish.  While I can't remember how much of a difference between the sugared and less-sugared jellies there was, I can and will always remember what I can only describe as an act of true love.
     I have to had that, as a child, my father used to let me spoon the juice aka yoke out of his fried eggs, often, on Saturday mornings.  He would eat the less than appetizing remains of the eggs, afterward.  
     You may tag me as spoiled rotten, but I prefer to see the true love in these generous acts. 
     I might add how Brucie will occasionally utter the phrase, "You know, I've never had a complete meal to myself in all our years of marriage."  Then he smiles at me.  

September 4, 2018

Another Book Title


Image result for book free clip art images with no watermark  



     Occasionally, I am inspired with ideas for future books.  Oh, these will not be written by me.  I am busy enough working on Amelia Island's Sand and Sin, #4 in my Goodbye Lie Trilogy, Plus One and this blog.  Hey, writing such in-depth articles as what you're reading now, takes me into the realm of deep thought.  
     So back to another inspired title of a book I will never write. It's a story about a man on a disastrous blind date and I'd call it: 

Ready, Met, Woe!  

How's that for in-depth thinking?  





August 28, 2018

Miss Ella's Cinnamon and Sugar Diamonds -Goodbye Lie Diaries


 A Fernandina Favorite

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida


Miss Ella writes: My mother, the children call her Grammy, has made these sweeties for our family as far back as I can recall. She trims her pie crusts and with those delicate scraps, she creates baked cinnamon and sugar diamonds that are gobbled up before they have a chance to cool!  I make them for Mama these days. Now that my girls,
*Miss Ella Dunnigan
Breelan, Carolena and Marie, are young women, they, too, are learning this simple recipe. By the way, I will often make extra pie dough just so there are sufficient diamonds for all.

     You'll need the following. Oh, Jane Marie, if you would be so kind as to translate my recipe into your modern times. While the ingredients are the same, your baking oven is more accurate than mine. Thank you, ma'am.

***
Present Day
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

Jane Marie writes:  I am happy to write out the recipe instructions.  By the way, my mother, Marie, used to bake these same treats and have them waiting for her children when we came home from school!  What a wonderful memory for all of us. Don't you love how recipes are passed down through the generations? Thank you for reminding me about them Miss Ella. I will make some this very night.

You'll need:
  • fresh pie dough or refrigerated pie dough, already made (What a time saver this is, Miss Ella, and it's nearly as good as homemade. This is one store-bought item I purchase.) 
  • butter or your favorite butter-substitute used for baking
  • cinnamon
  • sugar      
Roll out the dough on a floured surface.  Spread a goodly amount of butter on half.  Sprinkle the butter with cinnamon and plenty of sugar.  Fold the other half of dough over the cinnamon and sugar mix, pressing  and sealing the edges so the melted insides won't leak out.  Poke a couple of times with a fork, but only the top layer of dough.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cut into diamonds or triangles and serve warm. A pizza cutter works well to do this. Enjoy! 

*Miss Ella is the Dunnigan matriarch. Known for her culinary talents, she is responsible for approving all foods served on the ships of the family's Aqua Verde Passenger Line, commencing 1883 and continuing to the present day. This is all part of The Goodbye Lie Series. The first three novels are set in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida in the late1880s, and are available in e-book and paperback. 

August 21, 2018

An Almost True Trivia Story

    Hubby Bruce and I went to a local restaurant and stayed for the weekly trivia game.  We’d heard about it and, heck, you can win free food.  Since we like their pizza, why not have an extra large, thin crust, double cheese with mushrooms on half and pepperoni and green pepper on the other half, on them?  Oh, may I mention we are pretty good at trivia?  It’s been a while since we’ve played Trivial Pursuit, a game from the 1980s, but when we did, we beat the socks off our kids. 



Once the rules were explained, mainly no cell phones allowed with which to google the answers and no shouting them out, we chose a name for our two-person team.  Being the well-educated sophisticates we are, we cleverly decided upon Team Malcolm.  (In case you don’t know, Malcolm is our last name.)



We began.  The first question: How many days are in a fortnight?  I jumped on that one, writing down the number 14.  Correct, of course.  Then I got one about the Joint Chiefs of Staff right and Bruce got Pulp Fiction. It went downhill, at lightning speed, from there. 



After ten minutes, we were doing so poorly that when they asked five questions about television theme songs from the '90s, I hollered, “We didn’t even own a TV back then!”  Not true, but I was hoping for a little sympathy at our wretched showing.  When none was forthcoming, we left at half-time having learned a couple of lessons.  #1.  Just because I beat a radio DJ out of a pizza twenty-one years ago by stumping him with Bruce’s question:  What was Li’l Abner’s legitimate day job?  Answer:  He was a mattress tester for the Stunned Ox Mattress Factory.  Yes, just because I won that one, doesn’t mean we know quite everything.  #2.  Never assign your real last name to your team because Amelia Island, Florida, where we live, is a small place and word of any humiliation spreads quickly.  Examples of such: So far this morning, the mailman asked me if I know what color the sky is and a store clerk asked how many toes are on a human being’s left foot.  While I’m pretty sure the sky is blue, I’m thinking the toe thing might be a trick question.  Is that with our without webs and do webbed toes count as one or two toes?  Hmm.  I’m still thinking this one over …

(Reprinted from 2014 and written by Jane Marie Malcolm because she found it and thought it was still cute. Remember, she's the funniest person she knows.) 

August 14, 2018

Grammy Camp Photography

Grand-daughter Ava seems to have an "eye" for picture taking, and she loves it. Here are a few she snapped around Stately Martha Manor, formerly known as Stately Malcolm Manor. That was until friends of our Martha Bear, stuffed spokesbear and model for this blog, hung a new sign on our residence,
Martha Bear, 
spokesbear and model
naming it in her honor. Since we all love Martha Bear, hubby Bruce and I think it is a fine thing so to do. Wonderful job, Ava!








 

August 7, 2018

Grammy Camp - Beach Wreath - Plus Goodbye Lie Diaries - Peeper

     This easy creation was inspired by the cover of our *Amelia Islander Magazine. I recycled this grapevine wreath or you can buy one inexpensively, find some shells on the beach, in that glass vase on your hutch or online. A little paint and glue and you can start creating! Instructions are below:

Beach Wreath

You'll Need:
grapevine wreath (the fuller, the better looking, I think)
white spray paint
aqua paint
glue
glitter (optional)
pearls (optional)
old jewelry (optional)
ribbon for hanging if needed

     On a protected surface, I put newspaper on the garage floor, lightly spray your grapevine wreath with white paint, so it looks white-washed. Let dry.
     While drying, paint only some of your seashells with the aqua using a brush. Let dry. Leave several shells natural.
     Arrange the shells on the wreath in a pleasing pattern, remembering odd numbers of groupings, look best to the eye. I used three to a grouping.
     Glue and add trim.
     Hang proudly or give as a pretty gift!
                    Enjoy, Jane Marie - present day 
***
The Goodbye Lie Diaries
Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
Peeper


Peeper writes: Boy howdie! If that ain't a perty thing, I don't know what is. With all the littles, that's how I've taken ta callin' the grandchildren - Yes, with all the littles a-runnin' wild around Dunnigan Manor, this sure would keep 'em busy. We will first gather wild grapevine ta make our wreaths. We can hang 'em on the front rail of the
Miss Ella
house. Miss Ella would like that. She loves them littles almost, almost as much as I do!
 


*Amelia Islander

August 2, 2018

Grammy Camp - Paintbrush Dolls


Granddaughter Ava's Bride Doll
     A big part of our annual Grammy Camp is all about creating. Last year, we made dolls from perfume bottles. This year we made these fabulous dolls from paintbrushes. They are fashioned with odd trinkets from my lifetime collection of stuff in my craft boxes.  Here is how we made ours:


You'll need:

Paintbrush from the Dollar Store
Glue
Paint of your choice to cover the brush handle and bristles, optional
Grammy's Irish Doll
Face - large(about 1") clear glass button-rounds-trace a circle on paper, draw a face and glue it to the back of the glass button with clear glue
Trim - glitter, ribbon, flowers, buttons, shells, rick-rack, fabric etc. 

Simple or fancy, make your paintbrush doll as a gift, as an ornament, door hanger, wall art, etc.  Remember, no two will be alike and it's relaxing me time or time with the kids, plus it's just pure fun!

July 22, 2018

Grammy Camp - Crowns Abound! - Goodbye Lie Diaries - Marie Dunnigan Writes

    Grammy Camp is an annual event at Stately       Martha Manor (named for our Martha Bear teddy bear).  Since my granddaughter is a mini-me, can anything be more fun than our shared interests in crafting, photography, music, food, humor and just about every subject there is?
     This day we created crowns.  Ava and I love crowns.  There are endless ideas and styles online, and the picture shows our happy efforts.  Here's how we made lace crowns.
     Oh, I have to tell you that most of these crowns are 40 years old, although we made them today. Why?  There used to be a fabric store called Cloth World that sold "penny-a-yard lace."  I think their limit per day was $1.00.  They had the sale quite often, so I still have hundreds of yards of lace left.  I've used the different styles of lace to edge pillows, blankets, quilts, christening gowns, bibs, curtains, dresses, vests, wedding decor, costumes, placemats, dog coats, just about anything you can make by hand. As a child, my Barbra used to say, "Not Cloth World again, Mommy."  hahaha  Little did she know, that decades later, her daughter and I would be creating treasures together with that very lace. 


Lace Crowns

You'll need:

(WE FOUND THAT THE THICKER THE LACE, THE MORE GLUE IT ABSORBS AND THE STIFFER and STURDIER THE CROWN WILL BE. This is what you want.)


Rinsed out metal can or plastic whipped cream container (Cool Whip-type)
Old newspaper to keep your surface clean
White glue and water or fabric stiffener from Walmart or a craft store
Old paintbrush of some kind
Lace- the thicker the better
Different sized cans to keep the crown round
Parchment paper
Plastic wrap
Spray paint (optional)
Jewels, fabric roses, ribbons, etc., to decorate
Bobby Pins or thin ribbon to tie under the chin or behind the hair to secure the crown if worn (optional)
A human head or a pet or doll or the corner bedpost, etc., on which to place the finished crown.

We went online for directions and this is what we ended up doing.  It worked well.

1. Cover your round cans with a layer of plastic wrap.
2. Pour 3 parts glue and 1 part water into a clean container you can throw away and mix well or use store-bought fabric stiffener.
3. Determine the size of crown you want, add a half inch to cross the ends over and later glue. Cut your length of lace, trying to match the pattern in the back where you'll adhere the ends.
4. Dip one length of lace at a time into the glue.  Holding one end at the top over the can of glue, run your thumb and first finger down to the end to get the excess glue off. Lay the glue covered lace flat on the parchment paper. 
5. Using an old paintbrush, make sure the glue is even on both sides and the holes in the lace are open. Let dry.
6. When dry, paint more glue onto both sides of the lace. The lace will soften again from the glue. Move the wet lace to the plastic covered can, overlap the lace and pin in place.  Let dry.
7. With a dull knife and the help of an adult, slip the knife under the dried round lace to remove it from the can.  If it's still not stiff enough, paint on more glue and let dry on the can again, to keep the round shape.
8. Once dry and stiff, hot glue the ends, overlapping slightly. 
9. Spray paint a color, add glitter, weave a ribbon through the holes of the lace, add a bow, add jewels, silk flowers or leave as is.  The lace, itself, is pretty. 
10. Give as gifts to your favorite princesses or queens and save one or two for yourself because you are royalty in your world. Let everyone know!


***
The Goodbye Lie Diaries

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island

Marie Dunnigan
*Marie Dunnigan writes: How beautiful! I want to be a princess, too.  If I ask my mother, Miss Ella, perhaps she will share a piece of lace made by the sisters at Saint Michael's. I am sure Peeper has glue. Should she not, she can make some sort of stiffening potion that will work. I can use one of Daddy's blueberry wine jugs for the round to pin the crown on and trim with a sparkling broach.  I am so anxious to begin, I will find Mother, straight away, and inquire about the lace.  Thank you,  Miss Jane and Ava. The result of my efforts will be most regal, I'm certain. 

*Marie Dunnigan is the youngest adult sibling in the family.  Some may describe her as self-involved. She seems to learn from her mistakes, at least sometimes. Marie is featured in Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, set in north Florida in 1898, part of The Goodbye Lie series. 

July 11, 2018

Genius Plus The Goodbye Lie Diaries - Leona

     Women are always questing for longer eyelashes.  Layers of mascara, false lashes with glue, they all take time to apply or smear or fall off.           
     Enter what I think of as pure genius: magnetic lashes.  Note the picture above.  The tiny red dot on the "bottom" lash is the magnet.  There is another magnet on the "top" lash. This is how they work. You lay the top false lash atop your own lashes, then add the bottom false lash beneath, snapping the magnets in place, sandwiching your real lashes between. Genius. Am I right? 
     Then here comes all-thumbs and fingers me. I turned on both bathroom lights, squinted into a magnifying mirror 8Xs normal strength and struggled for over seven minutes to achieve the lush lash groove which the directions said should take three seconds with practice. The magnet held fast, no problem there, but my positioning was off.  Instead of them laid against my lash line, as they were supposed to be, they ended up on the tips of my real lashes, crooked at that, thereby extending their length nearly to my brow. I came away looking like a cross between a Twiggy wanna-be, a supermodel in the 1960s with killer lashes, and a hairy spider.     The good news is I saved my receipt and will get my money back.
  

Disclaimer: I did not mention the name of this product because I don't want to hurt their reputation. I only wanted to show my lame attempt at personal beautification. 

**************************
Late 1800s
Fernandina, Florida

Leona writes: I am blessed with naturally long eyelashes. I take a spoon and curl my lashes against my thumb and there you have it. Pity you simple women with only lash stubs. 

*Leona Visper
available as E-book and in paperback
*Although lovely, Leona Visper, a featured player in The Goodbye Lie,  is less than kind. Self-involved, she avoids acts of charity, in all cases ...

July 6, 2018

A Little Popcorn with Your Butter?

      I enjoy going to the movies. I like the films almost as much as I do the popcorn.  Well, it's the butter I'm crazy about ... I know it's bad for me, but sometimes I take one of those "wild-side walks." I'm quite the rebel, you know.
     The age-old question arises. How does one get butter onto the popped kernels in the middle of the bag?  Sure, it's easy to drizzle butter on the top popcorn. It's just far tastier to have some down inside, too. To that end, I saw a terrific hack on Facebook that works.  Maneuver a straw half-way down through the bag of popcorn, hold the stray under the butter dispenser, drizzle said butter down the straw and there you have it.  Yummo! 
     Oh, do plan on buying a whole new wardrobe because not only will your waistband soon get too tight, but your shirts will be covered in grease stains where the butter soaked through the bottom of the bag.  Pleasures often have consequences, don't they?  🍿

July 3, 2018

Liberty

     In a wonderful country like ours,  I was not surprised to find a miniature version of The Statue of Liberty standing proudly in the Publix grocery store between the salsa chips and the pink flamingo inner tubes.
     From sea to shining sea, God bless the USA!

Happy July 4th! 

June 28, 2018

Save the Mat!

     I had a perfectly good doormat faded from the intense sunlight here on Amelia Island, Florida.  You know how I like my spray paint. (Passersby want to buy my formerly old faded pink flamingos right out of our front yard because the spray can found them and they are now so randomly colorful.)
     I got to thinking, as I often do. I pulled out the paint, placed the boring mat on the grass and with the push of a spray can button, I spritzed a very light coat of dark green onto the overall mat.  Next came the white for the leaves and vines, followed by the pink and peach for the roses.  It took less than five minutes to enhance the mat and I think it turned out pretty well.  It's by the front door now, offering a silent greeting that says: "The people inside this house are zany!  Prepare yourselves!"  (Someone described me as zany recently, and I've never had a happier compliment in my life!)

June 23, 2018

Glory in the Morning plus Goodbye Lie Diaries- Breelan

Present Day
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

     
Jane Marie writes: I had never seen morning glories in this particular area I frequent. But, poof, there they were, in all stages of blooming from buds (look at the lower right of the top photo) to full-blown blossoms.
     A memory from childhood, I recall them climbing on our backyard fence and I thought how pretty they were.  When they wilted, I'd pluck away old blooms to make room for more.
     As I stopped to take these pictures, I thought about the name, morning glory. How simple and wonderfully sweet. The way they open their faces in the a.m. in greeting to a new "glorious" day, well, they are aptly named.  💮
     
     I did a quick search for info and found they are poison to ingest, so don't. They come from South American and have made their way here. There are 500 varieties! They are a vine and will climb on anything vertical.  They are often considered a weed. In Victorian times, they represented either love or mortality because each bloom wilts after one day. They also stand for tenacity because, although their vines twist and turn, they are tough and don't quit climbing.
    So, there are a few tidbits about morning glories, an old-timey flower that deserves appreciation.

***
Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Breelan Dunnigan writes: I am not noted for my gardening abilities, more my writing, but I do love flowers. Peeper mentioned morning glories one time while talking to herself.  I do not believe I was meant to hear. She said something about how she would love to sit back and watch while they "growed up Aunt Noreena's legs, fat body and around her neck.  Since they are knowed ta chock out plants," she figured they might choke the blather out of her next-door nemesis.  
Breelan Dunnigan
     Those two are always at it. I think they secretly adore the other. Well, not adore, but like each other. Hmm, no. I don't know which one hates the other more. The only good thing to come of their nasty shenanigans is it gives mama an example to tell the little ones about how to NOT behave, and the adults think it's funny. 
***
Breelan Dunnigan is the heroine in The Goodbye Lie series,

the first in the historical romance novels set on Amelia Island in north Florida. A cub reporter for the Florida Mirror, Bree learns while she lives, appreciating all things that may spark a short story or an article for the local newspaper. Her curiosity is known to cause her trouble and her trouble is her family's trouble ... 

June 20, 2018

A Brother's Gift

     Just look at the very cool T-shirt my sweet brother, retired Navy Chief Bob Harkins, sent me for my birthday.  He knows me so well!  (Insert big smile here!) Thank you,  Bobby!

June 15, 2018

My Father

     Thinking about our precious father, I realize I have a smile on my face.  That sums it up.  His love for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchild, all the days of our lives, is the most precious treasure a human being can expect on this earth.  And his every action, with regard to us, reinforced that love.  
     My siblings and I have been blessed beyond words, measure and forever, having been born into the family headed by such a gentle, feisty and good man as Leo Michael Harkins. May the Lord continue to hold Daddy in the hollow of His mighty hand. May the flutter of angels' wings keep time to the beat of Tommy Dorsey's orchestra playing background in an eternity of laughter and joy as Daddy stands beside the woman he loves, in the presence of our saving Lord, Jesus Christ. Thank you, God. Amen.

My hope is that each of you enjoys the tender care of a father-figure. Be it a lifetime or a momentary touch of a strong arm about your shoulder, take it into your soul, feel that love and let it warm you always.  

Happy Father's Day to All
on earth and in Heaven

June 12, 2018

Beneath a Reading Tree

  

     To me, the title of this post sounds like you should expect to read a poem.  Not this time. It's more for those who like/love to read novels because this image screams, "I want to be the girl nestled under the tree holding the book." I found the picture at Free Trinkets and Treasures blog. http://freetrinketstreasures.blogspot.com/ . Visit them and email  a thank you for allowing us to use this picture. 
Notice the white heart carved into the tree. Ahh ...

Purchase The Goodbye Lie series here,
in E-book and Paperback. 
Each novel stands alone and features one of the grown siblings in the Dunnigan family from Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida,
in Victorian times.

June 1, 2018

Lazy Gardener's Lush Flowers

Some may call this simple idea lazy.
Others may praise me for my economy of time.  I like the instant gratification of it plus the beauty.  You have curb appeal and you never have to use a shovel or gloves or get your hands dirty! 

What is it? Go to the garden shop and buy a flat of, in this case begonias, which are annuals.  Without counting, I think there are 24 plants in one of three flats I took home and perched on my front landscape timber. My method? Leaving each flat intact, place one or all in a location according to the required light instructions on the growing card which comes with the flowers, remember to water them and there you have your instant flower garden!  I heard once there is fertilizer in the container dirt already, so no need to pay for that.  Naturally, you can dig a hole and insert each plant into the earth, like *Miss Ella and **Peeper do.  After all, this is still America.  But if you haven’t the time or you don’t want to strain your back,  try my easy and tested method of gardening.  The pictures prove it works.  This is two months worth of growth, by the way.  Should the plants get too leggy, I may be forced  

to bring out the scissors and give them a haircut.  Even this lazy gardener will make that effort, if necessary.



In addition, I bought some moss roses (not pictured here), also known as portulacas or purslanes.  I think there are six to a flat. I cut them into 3s and placed them at the base of a rose bush and another section on a large yard rock.  I love moss roses because they don’t require much water at all in this Florida heat.  They will get leggy, but either pinch them back or cut them back, saving the pieces.  Toss the pieces on dirt/sand and they often will root on their own, making a patch of brilliant ground cover for you.  Happy flowering!  

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*Miss Ella and **Peeper are prime characters in The Goodbye Lie series set on Amelia Island, Florida. Miss Ella is a respected rosarian in town and Peep likes her hydrangea bush aka her door step plant. Catching Aunt Noreen clipping a stem to root makes Peeper happy because Noreena couldn't grow a weed if she smothered it in manure and spit tobacco juice on it.